Petraeus sold out to Bush administration
I was most saddened to find out that Lt. Gen. David Petraeus volunteered to become a shill for the Bush administration ("Battle of the generals," Insight, Sept. 16). When I heard the testimony at his confirmation hearing, he assured Congress he could/would be an independent voice; my response was, Hooray, finally someone will be honest with the American people. Sadly, that did no happen based on his latest testimony. Oh, General! What did you do?
Pro-ferry opinions shaped by marketing
With regard to Hawaii Superfery, Donald R. Stiger (Letters, Sept. 17
) wrote, "It is time for all the unfounded emotional arguments that are inflaming those ignorant of the facts to be set aside." I respectfully suggest that Mr. Stiger chooses his words more carefully next time, as it is he who is ignorant of the facts. However, I will cut him some slack because, like many others, he most likely got caught up in Hawaii Superferry's marketing campaign. While it might be true that Fred Olson Line in particular has "never hit a whale or harmed any marine life" in the Canary Islands, whales have been struck and killed in the Canary Islands. For the facts, visit superferryimpact.com/WorldwideCollisions.pdf.
Hawaii is not in the dark ages, and arguments going through the courts are not "emotional arguments"; they are based on facts and presented by people who are qualified to speak on each issue of concern. I only hope that one day Stiger and others can appreciate the time, energy and expense that folks have invested in this process to make certain that if this venture moves forward, it does so responsibly, helping Hawaii to remain as a state where people love to visit for a variety of reasons -- one of which is whale watching.
Whatever the cost, drug tests worth it
Random drug testing of public school teachers has become a source of controversy ("ACLU will sue to halt teacher drug testing
," Star-Bulletin, Sept. 15). "Ineffective, costly and a violation of privacy rights." Whoa!
What is the purpose of the test program? I believe it is the protection of the students, who can and have become innocent victims of teachers who use drugs. Hopefully, the perpetrators are few and far between. However, the damage to minors who have no choice but to be in the school system can be major.
It is not the innocent teachers who have something to fear, only those on drugs whose usage might be revealed. It is a sad commentary on our society that drugs are used in the schools by any public school teachers.
Whatever the cost, it should be paid. The price of not testing for drugs is far greater.
Hawaii not the place for show of strength
Thousands, we are told, turned out Saturday to view the high and mighty Thunderbirds
buzz the skies off Waikiki in a showcase no doubt intended to evoke emotions of awe and to stir nationalistic fervor.
But is this the time or place for such martial displays? It might help to keep in mind that these "neato" jets are designed for one purpose: to kill and destroy. There's nothing glorious about them, unless of course America has regressed to the level of gladiator Rome. In that case, let's not make any pretense to being a peaceful democracy.
For Gov. Linda Lingle and the Air Force to choose Hawaii as the venue for this martial machismo -- Hawaii, whose history is fraught with military abuses, including the overthrow of its beloved queen -- and then to juxtapose this trade show of death with Hawaii's annual celebration of life, the Aloha Festival, would seem the ultimate insult.
It is sad that the intricacies of history and public sentiment are lost on our civic leaders. Let us recall the peaceful exhortation of Ke Aloha Aina spoken in 1898 during the Spanish-American War: "Hawaii must not become a death companion in this war." God help us.
Less wealthy stuck with results of NIMBY
Waianae gets more of Waimanalo Gulch Landfill and a threat of a new landfill in Nanakuli, and Kalihi gets Oahu Correctional Center, Laumaka and the Institute for Human Services. Meanwhile, Hawaii Kai, Kailua and other rich areas get nice wide bike lanes and sidewalks that continue into infinity. NIMBY.
People in rich areas don't know what they're missing. Every time some bozo scales the fence at Oahu Community Correctional Center or forgets his way back to Laumaka, we get to watch and listen to the police helicopter buzz our neighborhood. Who needs the "COPS" TV show? We have the real thing. The aroma wafting downwind of the landfill and the multitude of wildlife it attracts could make for a new series on Animal Planet Channel. NIMBY.