Don't make the rice pay more for baloney
Government is like a Spam musubi -- all the substance in the middle, topped by all that baloney and wrapped in a thin veneer of respectability. The thin veneer and baloney get all the publicity and kudos, but the rice is the building block on which they sit. Without the rice, there is no government and there is no Spam musubi.
The baloney is up for a pay raise in our city government. When they vote for their 5 percent raise, they should remember that the rice got nowhere near that much.
City has some nerve thinking of pay raises
The City and County of Honolulu budgeted for pay raises (Star-Bulletin, April 20
) when our degrading sewer systems, shortages in law enforcement personnel, potholed roads and lack of parks maintenance continue from administration to administration? It is apparent our government officials are out of touch with what is happening outside of Honolulu Hale.
Stop pointing fingers and making excuses of past administration failures. Get with the program and start thinking about the needs of the many, rather than how to increase someone's paycheck.
Editorial misstated racetrack tax credit
The Star-Bulletin missed the mark with its April 15 editorial
on the failed racetrack tax-credit incentive. While I agree that the potential conflict of interest involving Rep. Jerry Chang needed to be addressed, I find it short-sighted of you to claim that the bill should have been defeated due to "concerns that the state would not get good returns on the credit."
Had you done your homework, you would know that only a tax credit incentive was being proposed. This means that the state would not have spent one penny in credits until the facility was generating tax dollars for the state as determined by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
Although veteran racers and organizers continue to discourage people from street racing, it seems inevitable that the lack of a racetrack on Oahu will result in an increase in such illegal activity.
I hardly consider that to be "all's well that ends well."
Lefty scientists spread reefer madness
President Bush's administration deserves our praise for once more rejecting the insidious "findings" of left-wing scientists.
The Food and Drug Administration just announced that "Smoked marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use," so no matter how sick someone is, smoking marijuana is going to mean prison ... period.
That's it, folks.
We should have known that when the National Academy of Science claimed marijuana could relieve symptoms such as "chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting," those white-coated, terrorist-supporting characters were simply trying to turn America into a drug-crazed nation.
John A. Broussard
Homeless not entitled to sleep in parks
We can finally use Ala Moana Beach Park again. The park is much cleaner and safer than it was before the homeless were moved out. The homeless need a place to stay, but it doesn't have to be the best and most popular park in the state. Being homeless does not entitle a person to just take over prime oceanfront property and displace legitimate park users.
The bleeding hearts need to see the reality that most homeless are drug and alcohol abusers; yes, it's true. We should have school field trips to where the homeless are, so kids can see what happens when you don't go to school, abuse drugs and alcohol, and start having babies you can't afford.
Regardless of politics, nuke power is smart
So, Iran says it is building nuclear power plants to generate electricity for its domestic needs. Why would they want to do that when they have all the oil they need and then some to burn for the same purpose? Oh, I know, it's to save the planet by helping to stop global warming from burning all that oil!
Whether you believe that or not, building nuclear power plants is what we should be doing, as fast and as many as possible, to reduce oil burning. They don't need to be built near rivers for cooling water. They can be built out in the sticks with huge cooling towers and a closed system. Instead, the Bush administration is supporting the oil industry and developing more sources of oil.
That's a death wish.
Bush should have let Hu protester speak
In the latest irony from an administration that has raised irony to a high art, a Chinese journalist was arrested and charged with harassing, intimidating and threatening a foreign official after she interrupted a White House ceremony honoring the visiting Chinese president with demands that President Bush stop the dignitary from persecuting members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. The irony is that Bush had just finished admonishing the Chinese leader to allow his people to speak freely. Bush later apologized to President Hu for the fact that someone in America had spoken freely.
The Chinese protester will be learning the hard way that under Bush most of the protections of the Bill of Rights no longer exist. After Secret Service agents roughed her up she was jailed, charged and released. She faces up to six months in prison for her once-protected outburst. If history is any guide, she will now be declared an enemy combatant and shipped off to one of our many concentration camps for torture and interrogation.
My question to any Americans reading this letter: Have you had enough yet?
GOP should be pleased about high gas prices
With historic imaginary WMD, current real planning for a nuclear attack on Iran, mission not accomplished in Iraq, growing war casualties, inept reaction to Hurricane Katrina disaster, widening investigation into White House outing of an undercover CIA agent, continuing inquiry into Jack Abramoff bribery scandal and falling favorable poll ratings for the president and Republicans, it doesn't look good. But there is good news.
Rising gas prices will help the GOP this November as prices will be so high during the fall elections that only Republicans will be able to afford the gas that will enable them to drive to the polls to vote.
When will lawmakers stand up to tobacco?
Why is Hawaii always behind communities on the mainland on smoking prohibition and prevention? Is it because our lawmakers accept contributions from Big Tobacco? Any Hawaii lawmaker who accepts money from tobacco interests should be voted out of office. Is it because they don't want to curtail profits of retailers who peddle tobacco?
Every retailer should be ashamed they peddle this lethal, addictive menace. That tobacco is profitable and legal are the lamest of excuses for selling it. Similarly dangerous illegal drugs are profitable, too, which is why criminals deal them. And tobacco is legal only because of a quirk in history, as tobacco became acceptable long before we knew of its deadly effects on smokers and nonsmokers alike.
When will our lawmakers have the guts to lead the nation on tobacco issues? When will one single Hawaii retailer have the guts to say, "We value our community's health more than profits, so we choose not to sell tobacco"?
Give new airline a chance to win you over
Recent letters to the editor suggested that go!, Hawaii's new low-fare airline, is engaging in predatory pricing with its $39 fare. I feel it necessary to respond to this misconception and point out the facts: Our introductory $39 fare is just that, an introductory fare being offered to encourage the people of Hawaii to try our new interisland service. And at our current pricing structure, go! would be nicely profitable at the same load factors generated by the existing interisland carriers.
We believe the interisland market is ready for some healthy competition. Since 2000 there has been a 55 percent average increase in fares coupled with a 23 percent decline in traffic. We hope our entry into the Hawaii market will lead to increased interisland travel, creating more jobs as a result of our service. We see nothing but advantages for the people of Hawaii as a result of having expanded air-service choices.
We appreciate the warm welcome we've received and look forward to starting service June 9. Hope to see you on one of our flights!
Chief financial officer
Mesa Air Group Inc.
When airline war ends, which do you want?
Regarding Steven Loretero's letter (Star-Bulletin, April 20
), yes, it is true that the airline industry today can be characterized as "cut-throat." Just about any airline will find every which way to cut another's line. These tactics stem from price competition being the primary focus of air travel since airline deregulation in 1978.
The bottom line is: After these air wars are over, which airlines do we want to remain in our islands? The interisland market will certainly not be large enough for four airlines. We will soon learn what value (or lack thereof) Mesa/go! will provide our people in terms of reliable passenger carriage and quality employment in comparison with our local airlines which have been established in Hawaii for generations.
Contrary to what Mesa/go! has said regarding flying empty, I do not believe losing millions of dollars would suit the interests of their board of directors, who keep a watchful eye over the values of stock prices. My advice is to stick to the airlines you value the most.
Missionaries did good things for Hawaiians
If you analyze Nanette Naioma Napoleon's article ("Hula's outlaw past," April 16
), a more balanced portrayal of the missionaries will emerge. Why did Queen Kaahumanu embrace Christianity? Hmmm ... could she have been thinking, "Is it better to worship a forgiving God, or to keep my people in a kapu system where mana is 'preserved' through fear and capital punishment? Shall so many commoners be at the mercy of power-protecting mo'i or at the mercy of mighty but loving Akua?"
Though the missionaries were not perfect, they wouldn't murder a woman for sharing a coconut with a man (a double kapu in "idyllic, pre-contact Hawaii"), nor would the missionary leader Hiram Bingham expect people to bow as he and his shadow approached. No need for an entourage of guards, idol-keepers, storytellers, food preparers, cape bearers, etc.
Missionaries valued reading and writing; men and women shared inter-generational meals; there were no kauwa (outcasts), for they respected the family unit. This was ohana.
Because of them Keopuolani, Kapiolani, Ka'ahumanu chose to follow the Trinity who transcends race, status, gender, culture and time. The Nu 'Oli messengers -- imperfect as they were -- brought spiritual and social liberation. It is pono to acknowledge their sacrifice and faithfulness, and time to stop blaming them for our current sociopolitical shortcomings.
Culver City, Calif.
Former Hawaii resident