Hawaii's leaders show our true colors
The beauty of living in Hawaii is that its multicultural and multiracial people make us immune to the knowledge of ethnicity. Our leaders are a great example of this.
Today we have a female Jewish governor, a Hawaiian lieutenant governor, a Samoan mayor of Honolulu, a Korean mayor of Kauai County. The chairman of the City Council of Honolulu is Filipino. In the state Legislature, the speaker of the House is Chinese and the leader of the Senate is Filipino. Our chief justice of the Supreme Court is Korean, the chief of police of Honolulu is Portuguese and the fire chief of Honolulu is Portuguese. The athletics director of the University of Hawaii is black; the state superintendent of education is a female Korean. We are represented in the U.S. Senate by a Japanese and a Hawaiian senator and two white representatives in the House.
The true beauty of this is that most of us living here are not aware or concerned about this mixture of ethnic backgrounds. We have been educated and "environmentalized" that we should judge each person as an individual. That's it! Quite simple in a world where people make life so complex.
I am Hawaii. You can be Hawaii. Come see Hawaii. Then live Hawaii.
Ban 'bad' ingredient in cold medicine
PBS just ran an excellent documentary called "The Meth Epidemic," but missed the one fact that can solve this problem virtually overnight: a ban on every cold medicine that has the active ingredient to make crystal meth. The drug giant Pfizer has a "new to the United States, sold in Europe for years" Sudafed PE that does not have the ingredient used in meth. Bad is pseudoephedrine, good is phenylephrine. For some reason Pfizer is still selling the original Sudafed that has the bad drug that drug dealers can make meth from.
Meth also is called ice, speed, crank and crystal. The United Nations has called meth the No. 1 abused drug in the world due to its low price, easy availability and highly addictive nature. This drug does not exist in nature -- it must be made as a synthetic compound. As many as 80 percent of prisoners in parts of the United States are meth abusers committing crimes because of drug addition. Many will die from the drug.
Let's put peoples lives before profits, tell the drug lobby to take a hike and ban this cold medicine drug today.
Terminally ill should not be forced to suffer
As regards the death with dignity issue, I think it is cruel punishment to legally require a person to continue with life when he/she is in great pain and suffering. What have these certified terminally ill people done wrong?
The Oath of Hippocrates talks about "doing no wrong." Which is the greater evil, requiring the terminally ill to go on living in great pain and suffering; or letting them pass away peacefully, knowing they would perish soon anyway?
Both of my parents passed away in November, and I miss them. However, they did not suffer from great amounts of pain, as both of them had morphine near the end. My mother broke her hip five days before she passed away, and if she did not have the morphine she would have been in great pain.
These so-called religious people who say, "God gives life and only God can take it away" are playing judge and jury when they say we should require terminally ill people to go on living, despite the certainty of death and the great pain and suffering involved.
Amazing O'opu deserves state honor
In his Feb. 13 letter to the editor
, Ted Chernin expressed his concern over the possibility that the O'opu could replace the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a as the official state fish of Hawaii. Mr. Chernin implies that because the O'opu is not as famous as the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, it should not be given consideration as our state fish. I think that if Chernin knew what extraordinary and unique creatures the O'opu really are, he might change his opinion.
Unlike the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, O'opu are native to Hawaii. O'opu were prized by Hawaiians not only as food, but also for use in cultural practices. Perhaps what is most amazing about these fish is what they are capable of doing. After hatching, baby O'opu are swept downstream to the ocean where they must survive for up to five months. They then find their way back to the stream and begin an upstream migration that sometimes ends at the top of a waterfall. O'opu have the uncanny ability to use their specially shaped fins to climb up the steep vertical faces of waterfalls. One species, O'opu alamo'o, has been found above Akaka Falls, a waterfall measuring more than 400 feet high!
I am sure many will agree that the O'opu deserves to be the state fish of Hawaii.
Kudos for pushing curbside recycling
I am delighted to hear that the Honolulu City Council is taking steps to initiate curbside recycling (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 16
). I submit my gratitude to the Council, along with a plea: Please make maximum use of the next 10-and-a-half months to plan a well-organized, well-coordinated program. Not like the bottle bill.
Adding 10 percent won't make it Kona
I completely agree with Joe Corbett's response to the article on Kona coffee posers
("Kona coffee should be more than 10 percent," Letters, Feb. 16
). It IS deceitful. That's like taking modern dance, sprinkling in a few amis or wehes and calling it hula. You might be able to fool some with the label, but in the end it is what it is -- unauthentic, unethical and just plain dishonest.
You can package kukai in a Hershey wrapper, but that doesn't make it a chocolate bar.
Saint Charles, Mo.
Former Hawaii resident
Seniority lets leaders abuse their power
The advantages of congressional seniority should not be a knee-jerk call for keeping politicians in office indefinitely; otherwise incumbents should never be challenged. Devised by those in power, the system of seniority has the effect of keeping in power those in power. It is dangerous when powerful officials are not afraid of the people from whom their power derives. That fear is engendered by the prospect of losing power. Those who are willing to sacrifice much by challenging them keep our democratic system healthy by, among other things, restraining the arrogance of power.
Our congressional delegates must not just have earned the right to retain their offices; they must tirelessly continue to earn that right. This process is not about them. Power is not their entitlement. It is about democracy. It is about the people, and the people's power to choose.
Nelson S.W. Chang
Without cap, prices would be higher
Don't the critics of the gasoline price cap
realize that without the cap, the price of gas would be over $4 per gallon as the oil companies gouge us for all they can get?
Try to help our people -- support price controls on gas, not free-market price gouging by greedy executives who hold us captive.
Jon K. Evans
Gasoline tax cap would work better
I'm proposing that the state repeal the gas cap law
and instead institute a gas tax cap. Using the same formulations from the gas cap law we could apply this to the gas taxes we pay, which, incidentally, are the highest in the nation at 50.9 cents per gallon (Source: Hawaii DCCA
). Using gas tax figures from cities within the regions that Hawaii identifies in the gas cap law formulation, we should be able to reduce our gas taxes by 5 to 7 cents per gallon, which would provide substantial savings to the constituents our legislators were allegedly elected to serve.
Voters should decide whether rail gets built
Finally legalized gambling in Hawaii! It appears the Oahu residents will be betting that a rail system is going to solve their traffic problems. But when you go to Vegas and play the odds, you at least decide how much you are going to risk.
If the rumors are true, our City Council will be voting on a proposed rail system this fall. And there is no guarantee that ridership will support the construction and maintenance costs. If it's built and it doesn't work, you still have to pay for it, year after year. Worst of all, it could be a spectator sport for the majority who don't live within the area served by the rail system but will observe and fund this bet.
Win or lose, Oahu voters will have to pay, so they should decide this November that this is something they want before they are railroaded into it. Contact your City Council representative and ask him or her to get this issue on the ballot for the fall election!
UARC supporters at UH are quiet but present
Way to go, President McClain! Many of your University of Hawaii colleagues support your decision, we just are not as verbal as the opponents of University Affiliated Research Center ("McClain gives nod to Navy project," Star-Bulletin, Feb. 17
The Board of Regents should look a little deeper at the true motivation and political ideology of the anti-UARC movement, starting with an FBI background check on its leaders. Seriously. Many of our colleagues are pawns in the very effective psyops tactics of our national enemies in the war on terror.
Associate professor, Surgery
John A. Burns School of Medicine
University of Hawaii