Homeless know how to fill out tax forms
Why is it that certain government officials believe that people from Waianae are somehow less intelligent? I remember when the voting machines were first used and the position of the state was that the machines were not wrong; it was the people of Waianae because of their education level and economic status.
Now Fred Hemmings, the Republican leader in the state Senate, says, "You think the poor living in tents in Waianae have the wherewithal to fill out a tax return; I don't think so" (Star-Bulletin, May 4). For someone who passed himself off as "Sonny from Kapolei" to get on a radio program, he has a lot of nerve.
Hawaii used to be such a welcoming place. Now we have radio talk show hosts insulting a senator born on the mainland, and Sonny from Kapolei saying the homeless on the beach are less smart.
The sad part is how many people agree with them. Where is the Hawaii we grew up in?
Polly "Granny" Grace
Teachers' drug tests will help students
I don't see the reason for all the fuss about drug tests for teachers. Many educational departments across the country require this as a term of employment. If you got nothing to hide, then what's the big deal? Personally, I think all state employees should have to go through random drug tests as it makes the workplace safer. If I had kids in the Hawaii school system I'd be clamoring for this kind of action. I was rather surprised to find that teachers weren't required to do this. From what I've seen of the lackadaisical school system here maybe this is just what is needed.
Imagine how much more students could accomplish if their teachers weren't more stoned than the students.
Is pakalolo worse than guns and toothpaste?
I have a few thoughts about the drug-testing provisions in the new public teachers' contract. Are we supposed to lie to the children and tell them that cigarettes are OK when they're old enough and that marijuana is the killer weed? I do not intend to send out a message that all drugs are cool. But what are we to do when we get contradictory messages from the government, like we have a right to bear arms but taking too much toothpaste on an aircraft is not cool?
Is the government now going to tell us that booze is cool, if you are of age, but other useful medicines are taboo? What should we believe when they lie to us about nicotine and marijuana, have contradictory messages on any sort of right to bear arms, and half the stuff in their speeches is political rhetoric for the benefit of the voters?
If I ever have children, and I want to, I will teach them that marijuana is OK, when used with discretion.
U.S. can regain respect of world
What if we just told the Iraqis that we were going home tomorrow? Yes, there would be civil war. It is happening now anyway and will happen when we leave, tomorrow or 10 years from now. They will eventually find their own kind of stability without us, after a lot of bloodshed ... but it will be theirs. We will apologize sincerely for trying to impose our values on them and simply withdraw.
Then, we will spend one-half of the money we were spending on the war to strengthen our defenses at home. To repair our image worldwide, and because it is the right thing to do, we will take the other half of the money and send medical missions around the world in unprecedented numbers. People will say we have gone crazy, soft, politically suicidal maybe, but we will be making true friends one human being at a time, and no one will be able to doubt our motives. No oil, no natural resources in return ... just free medical help.
After a year or two of this, nations will be inspired by our altruism and might get on board, too. The boldness of this move might just be irresistible to the vast numbers of decent human beings on earth, inspiring positive political changes from within each country. The terroristic nations will go on with their insanity, but we will have taken a humanitarian stand that will be undeniable and indelible in history. Who knows, maybe some of the people in countries like Iraq will be inspired too. It might just change the world, for real. Imagine ...
Big stories don't show Hawaii's best side
How ironic that three of the biggest local stories in the paper this year, (the Waikele parking lot incident, the Perry and Price gaffe and now Monday's huge, bold headline "Admission policy stands") are really all about the same thing. Auwe! The Aloha State is tainted with real racism, and it's out there for the world to see.