Obama offers only chance at real change
Remember the excitement, hope and enthusiasm of the '60's? Remember how we all came together to change the country's views on civil rights, gender equality and an unjustified war?
It is this passion for change coupled with the experience, wisdom and courage to discard the "politics as usual" practices that make Obama the "real" candidate for change in Washington.
I am supporting the new generation that inspires all of us with their dreams and visions and who have found a viable alternative to the political machine that exists in Washington.
Donald F. Lamutis
Women have fought for every opportunity
My great-grandmother left England to join the U.S. suffragettes. In 1920 women won the right to vote -- less than 100 years ago.
The courageous suffragettes, who often were jailed and beaten, would be saddened that many young women today discount the struggles waged before them. Many young women today view the word "feminist" abhorrently, yet support equal pay, reproductive choice and freedom from violence.
This election is historic. Voters may choose the first black or first woman president. Statistically, older women support Hillary Clinton. Younger women support Barack Obama.
Many of us simply see Clinton as most qualified, with 35 years of solid experience. She happens to be a woman.
Democrats have two gifted minority candidates. However, I suggest voters can only name a few women world leaders. In some countries women still can't leave home without a male escort.
Men have dominated world politics for several millennia. Isn't it time for an intelligent, incredibly competent woman to lead the most powerful nation on earth? That's colossal change.
Bambi Lin Litchman
Americans can only bear so much
Most of us don't even look at the horizon anymore, but take a look and you will see some beautiful sunsets at this time of the year. Meanwhile, the national horizon can look bleak. We've been told to lower the deficit by reducing among other things Medicare. But it doesn't stop there. The Republicans foresee an occupation force of some 120,000 troops at the cessation of activities and the actual number of returning men won't amount to more than about 30,000. So the deficit will still be hanging around.
Who's going to be supporting the troops? You are! Meanwhile, our men will still be laboring in the Far East, Pacific Ocean, Somalia, Philippines and elsewhere. The men will hardly have time to unpack at home before receiving orders to leave again. Something is very wrong with this picture. We simply cannot police the world! All of this, combined with problems at home such as general public health, and the simmering recession, is too much to bear.
Council should pursue war on plastic bags
I commend the City Council for its consideration of a bill to ban plastic bags. Plastic bags are made from crude oil, take an estimated 1,000 years to degrade and can often be found lying discarded on our streets and beaches. It is undeniable that such a ban would dramatically reduce our impact on our island environment.
All around the world, countries and cities are taking a variety of steps to reduce the use of plastic bags. Although success is varied, one success story is Ireland. In 2002, Ireland passed a tax on plastic bags. It did not prohibit the use of these bags, but customers who want one need to pay 33 cents at the register. The use of plastic bags dropped 94 percent in a matter of weeks. Even more incredibly, it became socially unacceptable to use plastic bags.
The point is, no matter what the approach, the world over concerned citizens are eliminating the plastic plague. I have reusable bags, which are actually much more convenient for groceries. A couple of them came from the supermarket itself.
One thing is clear: We need to reduce and move to end the use of plastic bags. I support your efforts to address this in whatever legislative form will accomplish the task.
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie
D, Urban Honolulu
Many factors go into aircraft purchase
Regarding Sam Long's Feb. 9 letter about Hawaiian Airlines: Hawaiian Airlines' primary responsibilities are to ensure that their customers are satisfied, their employees are taken care of and their shareholders receive an adequate return on their investment.
It is not their responsibility to ensure that everyone in Everett, Wash., is employed.
I am sure there were countless factors such as purchase price, operating costs, performance and availability that were factored in the decision to purchase the Airbus planes. To base a decision of this magnitude on "sour grapes," as he puts it, is myopic and irresponsible.
I'm curious to know if Mr. Long will only fly American-made planes, does that mean he only drives American cars and none of his clothes or TVs are made overseas?