Police should focus on failure to stop
On Wednesday I saw a man drive through a red light on Atkinson Drive and Mahukona Street, hitting two pedestrians crossing the street. I called 911 and reported the incident. This is the second time in less than a year I've had to do so. I commute from Waikiki to town daily. I see 5 to 10 vehicles drive through stop signs and stoplights each way during my 5-mile commute. When is something going to be done about this habitual disregard for the brake pedal that a significant number of Oahu drivers have when they see red?
In the past, Mayor Hannemann has expressed a desire to be Giuliani-like in his leadership. Why not start here? How many people need to die before some attention is given to this problem? Rather than having police officers hide behind trees looking for people riding a bicycle on the sidewalk or not wearing a seatbelt, why not also put police officers in positions to really save lives and help Oahu drivers "brake" this nasty and deadly habit?
Celebrate Fourth by getting rid of tyrants
How many Americans this Fourth of July will give much thought to the battles our forefathers fought to provide us with the freedoms this country has enjoyed up until recently? British citizens, wanting to escape the yoke of tyranny, heavy taxation, religious persecution and little opportunity for prosperity, flocked to New England.
Britain attempted to maintain control, creating 13 colonies, but in the mid-1770s our forefathers revolted, finally issuing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and were victorious in battle over the British in 1781.
Ten years later the Bill of Rights became part of the U.S. Constitution. That limited government powers and protected the rights of the people by preventing government infringement on freedoms of assembly, speech, the press, unreasonable search and seizure and self-incrimination, and ensuring the right to bear arms and a speedy public trial with an impartial jury.
But in the news recently, President Bush and the Republicans have attempted to do away with many of our rights, engaging in warrantless searches and sidestepping checks and balances provided for in the Constitution. And Bush attacks the press that reports their misdeeds. Celebrate Independence Day during the November elections by throwing out the tyrants.
Tent towns would serve many homeless
In view of the concern regarding the homeless, I would like to make a recommendation. I realize it wouldn't work for all of the homeless, but I think a large majority of them would appreciate this.
If I were mayor, I would ask for an acre of land in an open area but close to public transportation. Then I would have a chain-link fence installed to protect the inhabitants from people who might do them harm. Then I would erect large tents to house single men and another large tent for single women. Then, as needed, I would erect smaller tents for families. Also, I would have hygiene facilities for showering and toilet necessities. Food service would be provided via the military style when the military are on bivouac.
There are some homeless for whom this wouldn't work as some do not want any regimentation in their lives.
These facilities could be placed all around the islands, but not in the areas the rest of the public wants to use for a few hours or overnight without the crowdedness presented by the homeless.
Gordon "Doc" Smith
Hawaiian Air seems to have lost its aloha
Since moving in 1999 from what I called home since 1974, I have acquired a perspective different from the protective, old-boy, "localized" one I carried with me for years.
I read both Honolulu papers daily and continue subscriptions to local business magazines to keep my finger on the pulse of a place I love. Thursday's story about the injunction Hawaiian Air is attempting to obtain against Mesa's go! struck a nerve I would have sworn never existed. I feel ashamed at this type of business, whereby folks who think just because they consider themselves kamaaina, they have rights not availed to haoles (original term).
What I read this morning sounded petty and childish, foolish almost in that Hawaiian would waste the court's time in a thinly veiled claim it came up with to justify the action.
Eh, Hawaiian, be a good sport like our history informs us. Don't fall back on the injustices of decades ago -- prove yourselves with what carried you through all these years: an understanding of local customs and the aloha we have proudly bestowed on our visitors to make them feel at home.
St. George, Utah
Former Hawaii resident
Why not send Watada to Afghanistan?
Though not a customary procedure, but in the interest of compromise, why not let Lt. Ehren Watada transfer to a front-line unit in Afghanistan? It's a win-win situation. The U.S. military will get its due service and Watada will get to serve in a just war or legal war in which he can honorably serve out his duty.
This will resolve all the questions of Watada's honor.
Harbin overstepped it with Web site threat
I am a blogger who lives in House District 28. Rep. Bev Harbin was not put into office by my fellow residents or by me. She has embarrassed our district enough ("Rep. Harbin's lawsuit threat forces artist to close Web site," Star-Bulletin, June 30
Freedom of speech is excellent. However, Bev has made a mockery of it. I can't wait for the election to be over. We need a representative who will have all his marbles!
Harbin fails to understand the Internet.
Protesters learned nothing from past
Last Tuesday I was on my way into town and I was rather shocked and saddened to see Kona's own contingent of Cindy Sheehan wannabes marching along the Queen Kaahumanu extension, making a spectacle of themselves and causing dangerous traffic distractions in their efforts to demonstrate their disloyalty as misguided Americans (Star-Bulletin, June 28
). I was struck by the absence of the U.S. flag .
As I went on about my business I was consumed with thoughts of how these individuals were echoes from another era -- the Vietnam War era. Back then , their predecessors made sure their voices were heard loud and clear throughout this land, and finally when in 1975 and the fall of Saigon and Phnom Penh came they achieved their long-held goal of seeing zero American assistance or further involvement in Southeast Asia.
I imagine most went smugly back to their communes to smoke pot and enjoy free love while Cambodians were being frog-marched out of every town and city to death camps that resulted in the demise of more than 2 million. Even now, 30 years later, this has left a people, a culture and and a country reeling from the horrendous impact of that betrayal. In Vietnam, we can only guess how many people perished on the high seas seeking to escape the communist takeover, or how many died and were buried in shallow graves in countless jungle re-education camps throughout that sad land.
As bad as that was then, if America pulls up and runs away from its commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the resulting bloodbath will make Southeast Asia look like a walk in the park. Those marchers are willing to sacrifice U.S. strategic interests, to endanger the entire Moslem world by abandoning it to the rabid and radical extremists who love to cut off heads with dull knives and whose long-term agenda is to see the entire world ruled and controlled by strict Shariah-based Wahabbist Islam.
The Kona protesters are a disgrace to our community and an insult to our military folks who are putting their young lives on the line for us every day.
Better to burn flag than nation's values
I am so grateful we have people in Congress with sense enough not to vote for a constitutional amendment to outlaw burning a flag. A flag is a symbol, nothing more. To confuse it with what it stands for, and then to make it more important than what it stands for would only show that we have lost our sense of values and what is important in life. I'd rather keep the freedom and burn the flag than the other way around.
It does not hurt me when someone burns the flag. It does not dishonor my grandfather who fought in World War I. It does not dishonor my father, who fought in World War II, and it does not dishonor my brother who fought in Vietnam.
As my father has said, "I didn't fight for any flag. There was no flag where I was. I was fighting to come home."
There are a lot of issues that Congress needs to deal with. Flag burning is not one of them. The day a bill like this gets passed, I will burn the flag because it will then be meaningless.