American should move beyond GOP mistakes
After 12 years of a Republican majority in the U.S. House, it seems Republicans are finally ready to work with Democrats. I think what we can learn from last week's election is that America is tired of where the Republicans have led this country, and also that they have not been willing to work with Democrats. It's like you've won the lottery and now everyone wants to be your friend.
Where was the working together attitude before Nov. 7? All that has happened under Republican majority in the House has been a witch hunt of a president, lowering taxes for the top 2 percent wealthiest, zero legislation to better the middle class, zero oversight of spending and war profiteering and almost 3,000 dead U.S. troops in Iraq.
I hope our country can move forward and away from the greed of the past six years.
On his last visit, Bush shielded from protest
Your Nov. 10 story about the upcoming visit to our island home of George W. Bush failed to mention that on his most recent visit in October 2003, his handlers would not let him see the thousands of constituents who were protesting his unwarranted attack on Iraq, which posed no threat to our country. (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 10
I recall that while thousands of us peacefully demonstrated outside the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel, Mr. Bush was sneaked into the GOP fund-raiser via a back entrance, hiding in an unmarked van so he would not see Hawaii's opposition to his war.
It was shameful that he did not see how we felt about his actions, which have since been proven to be wrong, illegal and probably criminal, and which have since cost the lives of nearly 3,000 of our own fighting men and, by one estimate, 655,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children.
Rumsfeld should have listened to Shinseki
Every action the United States takes to correct a problem is called a war, like a "War on Drugs," "War on Crime" and so on, which are all police actions. We have a war in Iraq, and it looks like a war because we see military personnel and vehicles, but it's conducted like a police action. After our personnel are bombed or shot we go out looking for the culprits and arrest them if they can be found. There are no battlefield confrontations with enemies being killed on sight.
Retired Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki made statements anticipating the very insurgency we are seeing, and was correct on the number of troops required. I wouldn't be surprised that if he had remained and had his way that he would have first declared martial law and made sweeps to confiscate all weapons and materiel like ammunition and explosives. That's what Gen. Douglas MacArthur did in Japan.
But his boss, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who had not one iota of military knowledge or experience, publicly ridiculed Shinseki's prophetic estimate of the number of troops required. That led to his retirement. I believe that if Shinseki had been allowed to conduct operations in Iraq that we would be out of there by now. Rumsfeld's tactics allowed the insurgency to build up.
I hope Rumsfeld's replacement does one heck of a lot better, and is allowed by the politicians and peaceniks to conduct a real war. Just doing better is not saying much!
Let taxpayers vote on rail transit system
Mayor Hannemann projects that a light rail system will achieve its ridership goals by 2030. By 2030, if it is built and maintained like our streets have been since Mayor Fasi left office, I project that it will fall apart. It's easy to make projections far enough out that people will forget them.
I also project that more than 20 government and elected officials will be investigated for fraud or graft relating to this boondoggle before 2020.
Don't allow the Silly Council to build this monument to waste in motion. Put this pie-in-the-sky project to a popular vote. The public isn't as gullible as our leaders might think.
BOE owes explanation about Shon firing
Regarding the Nov. 4 editorial
"School board should release Shon firing info," about the Board of Education's dismissal of Jim Shon as executive director of the Charter School Administrative Office:
The editorial says the "Office of Information Practices ordered the school board to immediately disclose which members voted to oust Shon, but the board has declined to do so." The question is then asked, "What is it about immediately that the board does not understand?"
I propose that the answer to that question is the same answer to the following question: What is it about education that the board does not understand? Everything.
Citizens can spend surplus more wisely
I'm getting tired of hearing about our state's $760 million budget surplus. It only means the government had too much of your money for too long. And now our elected officials will decide how to apportion this windfall?
We do not have a reasonable plan for affordable housing. We're still getting hosed on gas. A proposed rail system will cost around $4 billion. The Department of Education can't get our schools out of the national cellar on $2.2 billion a year -- all while the untouchable Princess' schools sits on greater billions, selectively catering to some Hawaiian children rather than the children of Hawaii.
I don't believe our elected officials (of any party) can spend this money any better now than they have in the past. With a swag of 500,000 taxpayers, please just send me my $1,500. I'll give one-third to a local school, spend one-third at local businesses, and save one-third because more taxes are probably coming.