Gimme a Jimmy Nolen pupu platter, please
In the style of e.e. cummings:
i got your D9
on the side
with an ice pick diddle
got the E7#9
in the middle
I got the whammo
to take it up and down
and got boots
to run you
this funky ass town
he was bad as he wanted to be
kept loaded pieces on the seat
paid maceo to decorate his fat back beat
we're going to miss the man
and the way
he laid it down
he was mighty
he was black
he was god's james brown
Let fireworks go the way of virgin sacrifices
It's that time of year again, when, being unable to afford an air-conditioner or a hotel room, thousands of people will suffer the results of the New Year's fireworks.
Since the City and County of Honolulu authorizes, approves and makes money (via permits) from fireworks, I think it's past time for the C&C to also set up various neighborhood (closed) environments for those of us who are made ill by the twice-yearly blanket of smoke created by fireworks on New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July.
With the new ban on public smoking, showing that the government is thinking of the public's health, it is time to also rethink the firecracker idea. I understand the traditions. It's also true that some traditions need to be altered or abandoned. We no longer sacrifice virgins to the gods. We don't set our clocks to the sun. Lincoln's birthday was moved to a "convenient" Monday.
I do not want to be sacrificed to tradition. I just want to be able to breathe, and believe I have that right.
Watada has made a significant difference
Thank you for your excellent choice and your excellent article concerning 1st Lt. Ehren Watada and his refusal to participate in an illegal war as the example of people who have made a difference in Hawaii and the country (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 25
). I am hoping that your article will prompt more citizens and military personnel to seek the truth about the war and international law, and say "no" to the continuing of the war and say "no" to the act of war as a means of settling conflict. Seeking peace through acts of war is never achieved. Those who participate are no better than those who attacked the World Trade Center on 9/11. We need a change of attitude in America. Thank you, Lt. Ehren Watada, for providing the example.
Destroy our enemies with emphysema
The morbid truth: More Americans die from tobacco products each year (440,000) than in our current war in the Middle East. The American tobacco companies can help end the war by sending all the cigarettes and tobacco products into the war zones. Drop cigarettes, not bombs, over our enemies.
Slain isle soldier deserves honor
Readers of Star-Bulletin, we need your help. On April 29, Steve Sakoda, born and raised in Hilo, was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb while serving his country as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. He was in Iraq because he volunteered for active combat duty after witnessing the violent attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. See the full story here on starbulletin.com
Prior to his deployment, Steve was a student at the University of Hawaii-Hilo. His classmates and friends are trying to have him honored as a Distinguished Alumnus from UH. He was nominated, but the selection committee denied his selection, opting instead to honor three administrators. Sakoda's friends and classmates feel his selfless sacrifice should be properly remembered by having him honored as a Distinguished Alumnus. This is where you, the readers, come in. We ask that you please send an e-mail to the UH-Hilo Alumni and Friends Association at: email@example.com
Tell them you think Sakoda should be honored as a Distinguished Alumnus. You might not agree with the Iraq war, but please remember that Sakoda was there not as a policymaker, but a soldier doing his duty for his country. He gave his life believing that his sacrifice would make our country a safer place. It is because of the sacrifices of men and women like Sakoda that the Star-Bulletin exists and that we as a free people may exercise our right to free speech.
Sakoda has continued the legacy of the Hawaiian soldier first started by the warriors of the 442nd in World War II. He has represented our great state honorably; the least we can do is to honor his memory and celebrate his life. It will only take a minute of your time. Please do not let Steve be forgotten.
What substance? Obama's all hype
There is a lot of hype surrounding Barack Obama
. But where's the beef? He has charisma and a great smile. Perhaps that's all that is needed to get the Oprah vote. The time in which we live requires a person in the White House with more substance than that.
Having never been a governor, a mayor or even a CEO, Obama lacks the executive experience that a 21st-century president needs to lead our great country. With seven years as state senator and only two as a U.S. senator, what record of leadership does he have? The answer: none.
Obama is all hype. Where is he on the pressing issues of today's America? Obama needs to do more than deliver banal bumper-sticker speeches and write a book to lead the country. He needs to get some leadership experience under his belt and establish a track record of substance and leadership. I find it interesting that his biography on the draftObama.org Web site is shorter than this letter to the editor.
If elected president in 2008, Barack Obama will be a bigger bust than that peanut farmer from Georgia.
Hawaii's not like it seems in the movies
From the sound of the rising tsunami of negative attitudes toward visitors from the mainland ("Pearl vet endured rudeness at airport," Letters to the Editor, Dec. 17
), it seems like Hawaii is no longer the welcoming paradise portrayed in the movies.
Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
Gas tax bump will send prices soaring
It's unfortunate but unsurprising that Hawaii will resume its position on Jan. 1 as the state with the nation's highest combined gasoline taxes. The jump in taxes will occur because a state excise tax exemption on each gallon of gasoline blended with ethanol expires at midnight, Dec. 31. Hawaii consumers paid more than $161 million in state and county taxes at the pump in 2005, and that's not even including federal taxes.
While it is impossible to predict what impact the restored tax will have on retail prices of gasoline, it is clear that state and federal taxes make up a significant portion of the price consumers pay for gasoline.
It's well documented that Hawaii gasoline prices are higher than mainland prices. Numerous authoritative sources, including consultants, economists and analysts have identified as contributors to this phenomenon the state's distance from the sources of crude oil and other petroleum products, the small size of the market, and, of course, the state's high taxes.
Those same experts also have identified a number of steps Hawaii could take to moderate gasoline prices for consumers, such as reforming government permitting and other regulations, eliminating rent control measures on service stations, encouraging investment in petroleum infrastructure and therefore competition, and lowering taxes.
Western States Petroleum Association
Readers, tell us about 2007
The Star-Bulletin would like readers to submit their thoughts, ideas and hopes for 2007. Tell us what you would like the year to bring or what you expect 2007 will be like. Feel free to get the family involved -- we'd like to hear from our younger readers, too. And you're welcome to express your feelings in a photograph or drawing rather than words, if you prefer.
Comments and observations may be personal or global, material or spiritual -- whatever is on your mind. We will publish your words on New Year's Day, along with some photos and other artwork you send.
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send mail to Editorial Department., Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI, 96813.
We look forward to hearing from you!