If people want to make bad choices, let them
In response to Herman Ventura's Jan. 28 letter
, "We must ban riding in back of pickup trucks," I disagree completely. Making a law to enforce an individual's personal safety is absurd. If people want to be dumb and reckless and not wear seatbelts, or ride in the back of pickup trucks, they should be free to do so. Yes, it's important to be safe, but that should be up to individuals. If someone wants to go down the freeway on a Harley with no helmet, smoking cigarettes and chowing down on a triple Whopper, they should be free to make bad choices, as long as they don't hurt others.
Give power to the people and give them freedom in their choices. Nannies are for tiny children, not adults -- though quite a few of the politicians passing these collectivist laws could benefit from close supervision.
Eighth grade University Lab School
Worker's medication not company business
The Star-Bulletin is right to call on Hawaii's Legislature to pass workplace protection for medical marijuana patients (Editorial, Jan. 28
). There is simply no reason to discriminate against hard-working, productive employees based on what medicine their physician feels they need.
This issue is not use of marijuana on the job -- no one questions the right of employers to have reasonable rules regarding workplace safety. But millions of Americans take prescription drugs, from antihistamines to painkillers, that are more intoxicating and far more addictive than marijuana, without being subject to arbitrary loss of employment. Employers and employees simply use common sense to ensure that these medicines don't interfere with job performance.
Medical marijuana should be treated by employers like any other medication needed by an employee. Lots of drugs can be misused or abused, but a worker using medicine according to his doctor's instructions shouldn't be subject to arbitrary punishment for no good reason.
Director of communications
Marijuana Policy Project
$4 million flower pots bound to be removed
The project to "beautify" a portion of Kahekili Highway in Kaneohe by installing $4 million worth of flower pots in the median is typical of the absurd thinking of the Department of Transportation. That stretch of Kahekili goes from six lanes down to two lanes, creating major traffic tie-ups in the morning and evening. Rather than investing transportation dollars to improving the flow of traffic and improving driving conditions, the DOT makes a bad situation worse by buying and installing flower pots in the right of way. Eventually, the flower pots will be removed due to the obvious stupidity of the decision, wasting $4 million that could have improved our roads. Whoever approved such a project should be fired.
Obama understands poverty, diversity
When I first heard that Barack Obama was a Punahou School alumnus and that we shared a common birthday, I immediately felt obligated to support him although I really didn't know much besides that. However, after I watched his speeches and read his plans to change America, his intelligence, strong character and integrity touched me.
Obama reaches out to all Americans. He understands the troubles that real Americans face -- unaffordable health care, Social Security, education and poverty.
Obama's passion and character define him as someone who genuinely cares about his country and its people. He believes in one America, not divided by race or social status or party affiliation. And he believes that in today's America, people can come together behind a common purpose. He has the ability to touch the hearts of Americans everywhere and has the leadership our country needs to move forward. His multicultural background inspires a whole new generation of Americans and validates that in America, everyone has the opportunity to achieve greatness.
I support Obama not only because of his policies but because of what he represents. He represents the hopes of all cultures and ethnicities that have never felt a part of the political process. He represents America's prospects for a greater and better tomorrow.
Punahou School student
North Shore land could save way of life
Let's support and stand behind Gov. Linda Lingle's bold and wise invitation to purchase 850 acres of shoreline on Oahu's North Shore. Let each of us do our part to preserve this beautiful area for generations to come. If we are successful, this might be the beginning of claiming pristine and priceless lands around the state.
Let Hawaii take back Hawaii from out-of-touch businessmen from the mainland. May the state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs be wise stewards and use this soon-to-be-acquired land and others to preserve our island way of life and provide for the basic needs of our residents: food production, homes and renewable sources of energy.