'One America' not such a great ideal
In response to James Roller's May 1 letter
, "American is one nation under one flag," the logic used in citing Theodore Roosevelt seems lacking. Not all those who lived before us possessed greater wisdom than we. If we want to quote historical figures, Capt. Richard Pratt, the founder of Carlisle Indian School, often said, "Kill the Indian, save the man."
This formed the base for the forced removal and attempted assimilation of thousands of Native American children from their reservations. The effects of this are still felt today, as manifested in high rates of violence, poverty, substance abuse and mental health issues among many Native American communities.
So before we start trying to kill the differences among those that made this country great, let's consider what efforts to create "one America" has done in the past.
Immigrants used to embrace English
I certainly agree with David Wilson (Letters, May 1
)that the very strength of our country lies in its cultural diversity, but he misses the point of the president's remark that the national anthem be sung in English. The remark is not addressing merely the singing of our anthem.
Precisely because we are a country of many cultures, it is imperative that we be able to communicate with each other. We need one language to do that. To this end, English should be the official language of this country, mandated by an amendment if necessary. When this was first suggested in the 1960s, I thought it was unnecessary because until then immigrants quickly adopted English. Now many do not. Thanks to ill-advised court decisions, we have multilingual ballots and our children can graduate from high school without being able to speak a word of English.
The federal government also should mandate that all school children learn at least one other language. This helps one to better understand other cultures, and that understanding is a key to our continued greatness.
Big developers should migrate elsewhere
The Pacific golden plover have filled their tummies in Hawaii and flown to Alaska to nest. Many folks believe the plover come here to "get fat off the land" and leave. I have a hard time being upset with a bird following his instincts.
On the other hand, when large corporations or outside organizations come in to Hawaii, buy up real estate and sell just to make a profit, I do become upset. Oaktree Corp. is one such organization, with plans to build 3,500 more hotel rooms/condos at Turtle Bay. When will enough be enough? When will those who live in and run our beautiful piece of paradise say "no" to big developers that do nothing but ruin our little island in the middle of the ocean?
Parcel mailboxes pose risk to children
My dog and I usually cut across the parking lot of the Kuola Townhouse complex in Waipio Gentry. On a recent Sunday, two young boys were playing next to mailboxes in the parking lot. I heard noise coming from a large mailbox used to place parcels. A little boy was stuffed into the mailbox with his legs folded up in a fetal position. I had to help him get out. I told him he should never go into the mailbox, that it was dangerous and he could have difficulty breathing. I noticed that all of the parcel mailboxes had keys on them and were easily accessible. I shudder to think that this situation could have ended tragically.
Parents, please supervise your children and inform them of the dangers of this situation.
Amy Y. Yamamoto
Lingle has reversed tide of budgetary red
The state has not had a budget surplus since former Gov. Ariyoshi's administration. However, under Gov. Lingle's administration, it now enjoys a surplus in excess of $600 million.
Hawaii legislators and residents should laud Lingle and her administration for this accomplishment. It also is to Lingle's credit that she wants to return at least $120 million of the surplus to the people for tax relief. And, as could be anticipated, state lawmakers want to decrease this amount and use the money elsewhere.
When election time comes, taxpayers should remember what Lingle has accomplished fiscally.