U.S. troops' blood is on activists' hands
The increase in deaths of Hawaii soldiers from IEDs (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 15
) can certainly be attributed to Earthjustice and Hawaiian sovereignty groups.
They spend their time blocking our military from training for war. Lack of training causes unnecessary deaths, and I blame Hawaii and its left-wing socialist residents.
I pray that our military commanders have the guts to move our military back to America where it belongs.
'Do-nothings' don't have a plan for Iraq
Alan Murakami ("Letters," Jan. 15
) must know something the rest of the country does not.
The Democrats must stop the president's war plan. OK, then, where is the Democrats' plan? To keep criticizing everything that is laid on the table without a proposed alternative is irresponsible. That is why the Democrats can be called the "do-nothings" at this point.
Our own Hawaii congressional delegation is a group of partisan, biased, lifelong politicians who are badly out of touch with their constituents.
At least with Ed Case, there was some hope of getting something done. Now they have Mazie Hirono, a product of the Hawaii Democratic machine who will toe the party line and bow to the senior "do-nothing" statesmen. If I have ever seen a case for term limits, it is from this delegation.
Insurance company burdens its customers
The Lingle administration has approved a rate filing by State Farm that has resulted in a huge increase in premiums for hurricane insurance -- as much as 45 percent in one year! State Farm states that the reason for this increase is "the amount of losses State Farm has encountered due to our nation's hurricanes that caused damages around the country." According to State Farm, "this rate increase has affected many across the state."
It is unfair for Hawaii's consumers to have to pay for State Farm's poor business judgment elsewhere that resulted in its overexposure to losses. Following this logic, another rate increase might be in store because State Farm is facing lawsuits that could cost it hundreds of millions of dollars for not fully paying its insured for homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
If others in Hawaii have suffered similar premium increases and feel aggrieved, I suggest they contact J.P. Schmidt, state insurance commissioner; the Governor's Office; and/or your state senator and representative and let them know how you feel. It's time to say "enough awready!"
Mark J. Valencia
Is this supposed to be an economic boom?
"Hawaii's wages lag inflation, U.S. average" (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 12
) increased my confusion about recent economic news. Specifically, even though both political parties claim credit for an economic boom, neither offers a way for me to reconcile that claim with the following:
The number of homeless exploded during the last four years. Aren't booms supposed to lessen homelessness?
Hawaii has a large surplus, yet when I look at the school budget, half of the increase comes from more borrowing. If an economic boom, coupled with a huge surplus, isn't the time to pay down debt, when is?
Today I read that Hawaii's wages can't keep up with inflation. But aren't booms supposed to create wage demands that drive inflation up, not vice versa?
One explanation is that there is no boom, just a debt-financed real estate bubble. Don't forget that while a condo is under construction, the hundreds of millions of construction loans used to build it does not require repayment of any principle or interest. Those loans are a discretionary spending spigot turned wide open. That changes when the units close. Then, individuals take out mortgages that do require principle and interest repayments, and those loans are a giant discretionary spending vacuum cleaner.
I sure hope someone else has a better explanation.
George L. Berish
Using bad grammar is a local value
Walt Novak's criticism of the public schools and of "education leaders" completely ignores the mission of Hawaii's public schools ("Gathering Place," Jan. 11
). Overwhelmingly, most public school students do not go on to college, and most do not move to the mainland. They will stay and work in Hawaii. Niceties of grammar such as the agreement of subjects and predicates are considered pretentious and elitist by some employers.
Education leaders who say things like "the student should have went to the office" or "share what you have wrote" are serving as important role models both to those who want to preserve local values and to recent immigrants who want to fit in. I am confident Novak would find his job much more rewarding and comfortable if he would simply follow the examples of education leaders.