It's troubling to put brave soldiers on trial
Regarding the story on Spc. Christopher Shore, "Jury takes over in soldier's court-martial," (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 20):
Are we not at war in Iraq? Were there any soldiers put to trial for fighting for our country for justice and freedom, eitherin the Vietnam War the Korean War, World War I or II?
I understand that soldiers who volunteerand then disobey their commanders or desert their country should be put on trial, but I strongly disagree with the treatment of soldiers who bravely put themselves in harms' way and are put on trial as if they are common criminals.
I cannot imagine or even comprehend what these brave men and women soldiers endure; they may or may not willingly go to battle, but they are still fighting for the good of all of us who enjoy our liberty and freedom back home.I am sure this war in Iraq is not the same as pictured in movies where you know who your enemies are.
I am deeply troubled by the treatment of these soldiers when they are brought back home, and I'm sure they and their families need our support.
Without medical help legislators might reform
The thoughtfulness of Judiciary Chairman Tommy Waters, House Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell and the chamber's Democratic leadership in providing us with "The death of tort reform" (Star-Bulletin, March 7) should be amply rewarded by every doctor practicing in Hawaii. In other words, when any -- and I mean any -- politician or attorney requires any -- repeat any -- medical treatment whatsoever, just say "no." And that should include no emergency treatment!
Lawmakers should target dog killers
Two incidents of cruelty to animals were recently reported. In one, a pro golfer was charged with killing a protected migratory bird in Florida by hitting golf balls at it (Star-Bulletin, March 6). In the second, an unidentified Marine was shown allegedly tossing a puppy over a cliff in Iraq (March 4). In both cases, the perpetrators should be brought to justice and punished.
However, I want to ask why people who kill and eat dogs in Hawaii are not being arrested and incarcerated under the law against cruelty to animals. My sister, who used to live in Kalihi, told me that her neighbors often slaughtered, barbecued and ate dogs. Not wanting to be harassed by her neighbors, she never reported it to the police, which is a shame. But surely other people could step up.
A bill to criminalize the killing and consumption of dogs was drafted by a state legislator in 2005, but it was controversial. Opponents declared that in certain cultures dog meat is considered a delicacy. To prevent these people from eating it would be unfair.
The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee only to be killed when it was not given a hearing in the House.
Since many of us own dogs as pets, this custom is especially heinous to us. Can't something be done about this?
Glenda Chung Hinchey
Steel-on-steel system will have staying power
The controversy over the choice of transit system technology is really a no-brainer.Ask any civil engineer or metallurgist on the subject of material hardness and friction. All will tell you that steel wheels against steel rail will result in the least friction and therefore less wear or abrasion. This could result in less overall mechanical wear; thus less maintenance and wheel (tires) replacement. Makes sense.
Average citizen doesn't need sniper rifle
As a member of the National Rifle Association and a lifelong gunowner and hunter, I support the ban on the .50 caliber sniper rifle built by Barrett Rifles.
These weapons are designed and built specifically for use by trained military and police personnel in response to serious threats and should only be used by qualified and trained snipers and sharpshooters in the course of their official duties.
When these rifles were first deployed during the Gulf War, snipers were ordered to only use them to fire at non-living targets as the damage they could do to a living person would be considered a violation of the Geneva Convention. The rounds these rifles use are six-inch long 661 grain bullets with a range of up to 1,000 yards.
My question is, what does the private citizen need that much firepower for? Hunting? Sure, if you want to kill, clean and basically cook what's left of an animal in one shot!
Target shooting? At what? Cinderblocks? Anything else would be utterly destroyed. Let's use common sense and leave weapons like these to the professionals!
Directive will make a tough time easier
Imagine you are headed to the grocery store. Driving within the speed limit, your seat belt is buckled. Suddenly, another driver runs a red light while you are crossing the intersection. Your life changes in an instant.
Your family receives a call from the hospital informing them that you have been in an accident. Your loved ones learn that you are comatose, unable to speak. The hospital asks what treatments you want. They ask whether to keep you on life support. They ask about your health care wishes. Your family has never spoken with you about this before; after all, you were in good health! They do not know what to say or what to do. They are devastated.
April 16 marks the first annual National Healthcare Decisions Day. This day promotes the use of advance directives for every person age 18 and older. An advance directive is a priceless gift that allows you to document these important health care decisions ahead of time, so if you are unable to communicate, health care personnel and your loved ones will know what your wishes are.
An advance directive (living will) is the legal document that contains options, including whether you choose to receive mechanical ventilation, CPR and artificial nutrition (tube feedings). By completing your directive, you are sharing your wishes and preventing additional stress for your loved ones.
While we will have informational booths set up in Hilo, we invite all Hawaii residents to make April 16 the day you fill out an advance directive form. Our hope is to help families prevent tough decisions and hardship in the event of a tragic incident. Even if you do not complete your directive, we encourage you to speak to your family and loved ones about your wishes in these matters. It is one of the most important conversations you will ever have. Completing your advance directive and sharing your wishes is a priceless gift for your loved ones. Please go to www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org for more information and to download your free advance directive.
May Luis and Amy J. Velsko
University of Hawaii-Hilo