'Robin Hood' is in it only for himself
Genshiro Kawamoto (Star-Bulletin, May 16
) is a wolf in a sheep's clothing, driving Kahala property values down by ghettoing down the neighborhood and lending the properties to people who will see this man as a saint, while at the same time turning potential buyers off because they expect, dare I say, people of a different financial class in their neighborhoods.
Soon, the property values will drop to a nice level and Kawamoto will keep buying the properties until he has what he needs for his master plan, and as long as he's buying, the values will decline.
I would be interested in seeing what loopholes there are in the contracts that these families had to sign in order to be granted rent-free mansions. No doubt, there will be a foolproof way of evicting them when the need arises. Until then, these families get to experience what it is like to live in luxury, sort of. However, they will not be happy when it is all taken away from them. Some of us will say "I told you so!" while certain politicians will have to rethink their careers for allowing this to happen.
I just hope that the state will not abandon these families when they again find themselves homeless but without their billionaire Robin Hood to save them!
Marshall G. Rieth
Only Hawaiians benefit from princess' gift
It saddens me to think how many people have no idea what Kamehameha Schools is all about. They see this prestigious building on the hill, yet, it's a school based on culture, heritage and the continuing Hawaiian legacy left by a special woman. Her dream was not to just educate children, but to help them nurture their culture through education; Hawaiian-based education.
Why would a child want to attend a school that is based on a culture he isn't part of, where Hawaiian language and chant are spoken daily ("Admission policy stands," Star-Bulletin, May 14)? Where Hawaiian pride rallies through the hallways and students are reminded daily of their mission to continue the legacy their princess provided?
What does a non-Hawaiian student have to gain by attending Kamehameha Schools? The name of Kamehameha Schools on their college application? What do they take with them once they leave, the satisfaction that they were there? A good education, certainly, but they could obtain that at Punahou or Iolani, could they not? They will take nothing with them in the understanding of the culture and love of the Hawaiian legacy left behind!
Fresh perspective on drugs is welcome
I am deeply impressed by Rich Figel's "Addicted to Life" column last Sunday
("History lesson: Prohibition didn't work then, and its killing us now"). His common-sense view of drug use is a refreshing break from the distorted perspectives that we often get from the media, our politicians and some in law enforcement who built their careers by persecuting the war on drugs.
Figel disarmingly presents uncomfortable truths such as 1. prohibition doesn't work, 2. most people can drink or take drugs without becoming addicted, and 3. some veteran police offices quietly acknowledge that legalizing and regulating drugs would reduce violent crime and save tax dollars.
I applaud Figel's call for an islandwide discussion about how to realistically deal with our drug problem and look forward to his future articles.
Executive Assessment & Development
Editors' note: Part 2 of Rich Figel's series on the history of drug use in the United States appears in today's Editorial section.
Legislators should give themselves pay cut
With more than $700 million in surplus, we taxpayers ended up with hardly any tax relief. Instead we are destined to fund our state legislators' 54 percent increase in salary (from $37,500 to $57,852) by 2014. If the legislators remain in session only a few months a year, why should they receive full-time salaries? Substantial raises should be earned and justified. Did the Legislature do an outstanding job this session? No.
The salary commission members who recommended the increases were appointed by the governor, Senate president, House speaker and the chief justice. Is there a conflict of interest? Absolutely.
Should the Legislature and commission have publicized the hearings and final report on the proposal? Of course.
What a sneaky way for the legislators to give themselves a huge salary increase at the expense of the taxpayers, and try to hide it. Thank you, Star-Bulletin, for informing the public.
The Legislature can call a special session or, in the 2008 session, revisit this important issue, amend the process and correct the situation. Legislators, your openness, honesty, integrity, service to your constituents and the public are in question. Please, do the right thing, right thing, right thing.
History will be kind to British leader
As Prime Minister Tony Blair leaves office, history will record him as one of the better leaders of Great Britain. He saved the Labour Party from becoming a permanent opposition by persuading its members to adopt new policies. In fact, much of it sounded like good British and American mainstream conservatism -- an independent Bank of England, an increased role for private enterprise in health care and education, more power to local and regional governments, a robust foreign policy.
I admire Blair for courageously supporting President Bush's Iraq policies. He is one world leader who decided to do the right thing.
Many world leaders would choose the politically expedient instead of following their conscience. Tony Blair's decision was a breath of fresh air in the cynical and suspicious times we live in.
Democrats, media insult U.S. voters
Before the last presidential election, the leaders of the Democratic Party decided the way to get the White House back was to campaign absolutely against the war in Iraq. Not only did they lose, we all lost, because this decision split the country. Friendships, marriages and business relationships suffered.
Unwilling to accept the results of the election, Democrats set out to change the minds of the vast pool of "clueless" voters. By using the news media, which seems to be 90 percent liberal, they beat and bashed President Bush, his policies and the Iraq war. Misinformation, sensationalism and all the other tricks were used. Truth, and the fact we are at war and should be backing our president and the troops, was not important. Oh, you say you support the troops, but are against the war? Kind of an oxymoron, isn't it?
Well, the plan worked, and now we have Democrats controlling Congress. We also have an emboldened enemy, who sees us as weak and divided. Meanwhile, on the battlefields, our service members and all volunteers must feel betrayed.
After change in ownership, I had hoped the "new" Star-Bulletin would be a refreshing change from the information manipulation we endured for decades in Hawaii. Unfortunately, most articles on the war are from the New York Times, and letters to the editor are dominated by certain writers who must feel it their duty to inform us dummies not only how to think, but especially how to vote.
Hawaii can easily produce its own fuel
Why isn't Hawaii growing sugarcane and turning it into ethanol? It's not like we don't know how to grow sugarcane.
Those who enter illegally should have limited privileges
Illegal immigrants should be treated fairly and accepted by the general public, but do not make them legal residents. Because there are 12 million illegal immigrants in our country, it is not feasible to find and deport them, so let them stay here to work under set conditions.
» Let them work and have their employers collect whatever is necessary for their own health insurance and their own Social Security plan. Perhaps their employers could cover half of the premiums.
» They should never be allowed to become citizens or given the right to vote. They should not pay into our Social Security and should not receive any benefits; they should not pay into other health insurance, only their own.
» Their children who are born here should not automatically become citizens; they should be considered illegal just as their parents are. Employers should deduct any money necessary to pay for their schooling.
The purpose is to let them stay here, without having to find and deport them, without having to separate them from their children, but discouraging any more illegal immigrants from coming here thinking they can eventually become legal and that their newborns automatically will be citizens. Their motivation in coming to the United States is to have a better life and to make money to send back to Mexico, so this would be fair to them.
This should be a win-win situation for all involved.
Francis K. Ibara
Don't reward illegals for breaking the law
I am appalled at what is happening to our country, perpetrated by members of Congress as well as millions of illegal immigrants.
Why should the millions of legal residents of the United States be smothered by the flood of illegal immigrants?
Why should illegal aliens from Mexico, because of their proximity to the border, be allowed to stay? Why should they be rewarded with amnesty for breaking the law?
Why should they be allowed to bring family members into this country when they should never have been here in the first place?
They only want to destroy the country, and our lawmakers are willing to let them. It's time to revolt. Write to all members of Congress by e-mail, and tell them to stop this runaway train now, before this legislation passes.