Don't be the Grinch who stole makahiki
The officers of VFW Post 849 want to keep us from practicing our beliefs by celebrating makahiki at Makua (Letters, Nov. 21
). This demonstrates their intolerance, arrogance and their lack of understanding of democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. It is unfortunate that a few denigrate Hawaiian culture, which we will continue to practice.
We also are veterans of foreign wars, one having served in Vietnam and the other in Korea. However, we believe in peace, not war.
Our makahiki prayers are for everyone to be tolerant, understanding and at peace. Our makihiki prayers are for all troops on foreign soil and in harm's way to return safely to their loved ones. Our makahiki prayers for all are that of peace, not war.
Lono I Ka Makahiki, Ke Ola Pono o Makua.
James Rodrigues Fred Dodge
Watada's actions violate cultural tenet
Jim Hennessy's letter (Nov. 23
) lashes out at the "race-baiting" letter of James Tanabe, saying that Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada's race has nothing to do with the case at hand.
I beg to differ. The fact of Watada's Japanese roots is the very reason there is controversy. Not because of race, but because of culture.
In Sen. Daniel Inouye's memoirs, "Journey to Washington," he relates the conversation with his father upon his induction into the 442nd. Hyotaro tells his son that the Japanese word "On" is the very heart of Japanese culture. "On" incurs a debt that is never canceled. That because America has been good to them, it was Daniel's responsibility to return that goodness to this wonderful nation.
Thousands of issei parents instilled these cultural traits upon those nisei of the 442nd/100th battalion. The results of this lecture on a never-ending commitment to this country is legendary.
Today, some of us AJAs feel that Watada's actions are a disgrace and violate what our issei forefathers had imparted upon us; the spirit of "On." And for that, many veterans amongst us consider Watada's actions an unfortunate disrespect upon the culture instilled upon us by our ancestors.
Damon M. Senaha
Retired Navy lieutenant commander
Congress has a duty to investigate president
On this past Thanksgiving, America should have been thankful that former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's pending book confirms that five of the highest ranking members of the White House, including President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Scooter Libby and Karl Rove, are involved in the coverup of the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
If nothing else this adds to the list of high crimes of the Bush administration, which is just cause to start impeachment proceedings against the president and vice president for violating their oaths of office.
Rather than profiting from a book on his inside knowledge, McClellan needs to testify before the congressional committee investigating presidential violations of the Constitution. This needs to be done soon, before McClellan succumbs to an unfortunate accident or sudden illness like the one that took the life of a key witness in the Iran-Contra investigation.
When the president violates laws, rather than tabling impeachment, it's Congress' duty to conduct investigations, a trial and to impeach. So contact your representatives to take action now.
Mutts are just as good as 'designer dogs'
I adopted an "unadoptable" dog from the Hawaiian Humane Society. After two years of training and bonding, Duchess is my best friend ever, and I wouldn't trade her for any "designer dog" from the puppy mills.
We, as the stewards of this planet Earth, should really look into more adoption. Thousands of unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized daily and it's a shame if we call ourselves civilized. Why anyone would pay thousands of dollars for a "designer dog" escapes me. If it is not an ego thing, I don't know what is.
The recent ruling on the puppy mill (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 10) shows that we are otherwise contrary to being civilized. The Legislature should look into monitoring these puppy mill operations. Just think about it -- how would you like it (if you are female, that is) to get pregnant every year and not be taken care of by your family? It horrifies me just thinking about the poor female dogs.
Test legislators for drug use
In the Nov. 18 Star-Bulletin
were two letters that caught my eye. In the first, Robin Uyeshiro bemoaned the drug testing for teachers while noting other important groups are not tested. The other, by attorney William Fenton Sink, discussed the generally low quality of legislators.
Both make good points. Why don't we put them together and see what results? Obviously, all legislators should be frequently drug-tested and results made public. To do otherwise is to say their duties are less important than teachers, they are self-serving to exclusion of all else or they are too dumb to get the connection. Perhaps all are true for many of them. We should demand better and replace most as soon as possible.
Richard O. Rowland
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii