House speaker reveals Democrats' true intent
House Speaker Calvin Say, in his opening day address at the Legislature
, said he won't allow any tax relief despite a half-billion-dollar budget surplus because hey, it's only the cost of a plate lunch or two each week.
A big mahalo to Say for finally having the guts to reveal who the House Democrats resemble: playground bullies who steal your lunch money.
Aged senators should pass torch graciously
As a senior citizen, although not as senior as Senators Akaka or Inouye, I respect age as much as anyone. However, age, wisdom and ability are not synonymous. I do not want an 81- to 87-year-old surgeon operating on me. I do not want an 81-year-old lawyer representing me.
So, I really do not want someone representing me in Congress who may not be capable of dealing with the extraordinary mental and physical stresses, regardless of what an exceptionally nice person he or she may be or what their performance may have been in the past.
This is not disrespect for elders. It is a realistic look at life and recognition of natural limitations. The torch needs to be passed, and should be passed graciously. If not, then a challenge is not only appropriate, it is necessary.
The most telling -- and frightening -- statement in Rep. Ed Case's announcement that he is running against Akaka, is, "I did not ask for permission."
Permission from whom? This is the United States of America. No one has to ask anyone for permission to run for office.
I respect the reasoning behind Case's decision and admire his courage. I am also happy that it is causing Hawaii's Democratic leaders to show their true colors. Maintaining their dynasty is more important than the future of Hawaii and the democratic principles on which the nation was founded. This should not be tolerated, and I hope, in November, the voters of Hawaii agree.
Case's record shows he's no moderate
Rep. Ed Case is right that a transition is needed in the Democratic Party, but he is certainly not the answer.
Case calls himself a "moderate," but voted to continue the illegal Guantanamo Bay prison, supports the Bush administration's "war on terror" and votes with corporations and the Republican majority.
The transition needed in the Democratic Party is not to become more like Republicans, but to embrace the values of Martin Luther King Jr. and other progressives and fight for peace, social justice and against corporate influence in our government.
My hope is that whoever fills the late Patsy Mink's seat will join the Progressive Caucus in Congress and support efforts to transform the Democratic Party into a real agent for change.
Performers make Waikiki worth it
I am the president of Ken Gaub World Wide Travel and also do motivational speaking. I speak to more than 1 million people a year and have helped bring a lot of tourists to Hawaii from Japan, Australia, Europe, Israel and many other places. During our recent visit to Hawaii, we heard about Bill 711.
We love the Waikiki area, especially Duke's Lane, the International Market, street vendors and street artists. It's fun to wander around and see and feel the excitement. Bill 711 would have curtailed all that.
Street performers do not pose a threat to tourists; they attract and entertain them. If you feel the need to clean up something, why not work on the prostitute problem?
Waikiki is always busy and exciting, and that is what we like about it. If the street artists, street shops, international market and all the little shops are gone, there really is no point to staying there. If this changes we will cease to promote Hawaii with our travel agency, speaking engagements or printed literature. Don't ruin Waikiki.
The other Cayetano would be fine leader
I urge Mrs. Vicky Cayetano to run for the office of governor of Hawaii. She is knowledgeable, experienced, charismatic and would serve all of the people in a very reliable way. She is an optimistic person and loved by the people of Hawaii. She is capable of governing in this time of serious governmental crisis in our nation.
It's clear, Hawaii needs a rail transit system
As the price of gasoline goes higher and higher, and I find myself spending more time stuck in traffic, the solution becomes crystal clear. We need a transit system, not more cars. And I don't mind paying the half-percent general excise tax increase to fund a rail project because it will improve my quality of life.
Thanks to the mayor and the City Council for moving this forward, so we can have an alternative to traffic gridlock.
Returning veterans need PTSD clinics
We will need Veterans Administration clinics on all the islands to help the veterans who request assistance to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, as more of them return from Iraq and Afghanistan. The clinics should be in areas where it would not cause hardships for them and their families to travel to them.
We owe it to them to provide the best care available for doing their duty in those two countries. May it happen!
Roy E. Shigemura