Americans don't want Watada prosecuted
I'm disappointed to read that the Army still plans to court-martial 1st Lt. Ehren Watada
sometime next year.
Some of the highest-ranking former military commanders have recently come out against the Iraq war, and American voters just showed their feelings by electing dozens of new Congress members who oppose the war.
The invasion of Iraq and occupying the country for four years was a grievous mistake by the United States. Watada faces up to six years in prison, and he doesn't deserve it for refusing to participate in a war that was wrong from day one.
It's time to forgive and forget.
Election officials' apathy turns off voters
According to state Office of Elections spokesman Rex Quidilla, everything went well despite several minor glitches. Two missing voting consoles
, several precincts that opened late, constitutional and City Charter amendment ballots not being provided to voters, precincts closing early, precincts running out of ballots, and poll workers not fulfilling their responsibilities are not minor glitches.
One invalidated or missing vote is one too many. If election officials do not consider every vote important, how do you persuade voters that their votes are important? To say that the votes in the two missing consoles don't count is dissing the voters in those districts.
This attitude from election officials perpetuates the apathy of Hawaii voters.
Delayed polls opening shut out isle voters
So I show up at my polling place Tuesday morning, eager to exercise my civic duty, only to be met by other would-be voters heading the other way.
"The place won't open 'til 8:00, 8:30," I am told, as I'm backing into a parking stall. One nice citizen said they couldn't unlock the cafe and another shared that someone couldn't get here until later.
With no Plan B to fall back on, and not being able to wait for an hour, I swallowed my civic pride and headed off to work. I wasn't going to be able to get to the polls before closing, unless they stayed open an hour later to make up for the short morning shift (fat chance).
For as loud as the "get out the vote" drum was continually beaten leading up to Election Day, its rhythm fell flat when it came to show time. LIttle wonder about the low turnout this year; I'm now one of them.
Victimhood is not the path to equality
What is the problem?
In the "Gathering Place" column "Recognition would bring Hawaiians justice, not special treatment" by Martha Ross (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 29), one sentence in particular was striking: "The eventual goal of many of these groups is to erode or eliminate all civil rights and affirmative action laws and policies designed to bring about equality."
That is one amazing sentence. Any thoughtful person, reading and thinking about it, should say:
» Absent those laws, in what specific way would citizens of Hawaiian ancestry not be equal to other citizens in Hawaii today?
» What is it specifically that calls for correction?
» If corrected by government, would any innocent persons be hurt? How could that be justified?
» The sentence implies that current laws do not bring about equality, but are "designed" to do so. Why? Is this perceived to be an uncorrectable perpetual situation?
Victims drive through life looking intently into their rear-view mirrors. Consequently, they crash and burn. Then they blame the road, the car or the obstacle, never their perverse behavior.
Ross wants to "help" them by encouraging such behavior. And she gets paid to do so by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state agency. That, it seems to me, is the root problem.
Richard O. Rowland
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Rail is the only option that doesn't add cars
I've been reading letters on traffic congestion that suggest everything from building new highways and charging tolls for drivers, to adding more bus stops to moving the downtown business district to Central Oahu. Traffic signal coordination and parking management have also been suggested.
While all these might merit more consideration, nothing will resolve traffic congestion if the only mobility choice we have is driving our automobiles. Buses will be stuck in the same traffic as cars, and HOT lane/toll roads just put more, not fewer, vehicles on the road. A rail system will provide commuters with an option that is separated from our roadway system and can move about freely and reliably, especially during rush hour, bad weather or daily traffic.
Traffic will get worse as more homes are built and our population grows. Rail makes sense and it is the right thing to do for our future. And I say this as a resident of the Windward side -- I really look forward to hopping on the rail whenever I need to travel along the south shore of Oahu, which is quite often!
Versace exemplified the American soldier
The induction and memorialization ceremony for U.S. Army Capt. Humbert Rocky Versace on Oct. 27
at the Hawaii Army Museum at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki
was a fitting tribute to an all-American with deep spiritual faith.
Versace was born at Schofield Barracks, Oahu. He was executed while in captivity as a prisoner of war in Vietnam on Sept. 29, 1965. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush in 2002.
It was obvious that his classmates from the Class of 1959 at West Point honor and revere their fallen classmate. I was impressed by the number of his classmates who attended the ceremony. There were at least 50 or more and many spouses. Presentations were outstanding. The ceremony was simple, well planned and executed. Kudos to his classmates, museum director and all those who made the event a most memorable one.
Tomorrow is Veterans Day. Let's all pay tribute, in our own little way, to those who have served and are serving our great country in the armed forces of the United States of America.
Lawrence M.O. Chun
Rainbow is big part of Warrior tradition
In their letter to the editor yesterday
, Karen and Mark Masunaga misrepresented my recent comments regarding University of Hawaii football coach June Jones.
I have great respect for June's coaching. I merely expressed the opinion that had he kept the name "Rainbow" attached to the name "Warriors," and kept the school colors of green and white for the team's uniforms, as basketball coach Riley Wallace has done, he would not have alienated a large number of fans who love those traditional trappings and the ties to the proud past they represent. I recognize that not all UH fans share that opinion, but many do.
This year's football team is the most talented I've seen at the UH, and I applaud the players and coaches for a great season. As I've done since the 1960s, I'll continue to enthusiastically cheer for them.
Go Rainbow Warriors !