Funding experiment could improve elections
Many thanks to the Hawaii County Council for taking the lead on supporting a pilot program for publicly funded elections.
States and municipalities around the country have seen publicly funded elections work to increase voter turnout and create a new interest in the political process.
The state and county of Hawaii, with some of the lowest voter turn out rates in the country, will certainly benefit from the program. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Hilo , Hawaii
Kamehameha III an honorary Irishman
King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III chose March 17 to be his "official birthday" for public celebrations, in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Both Ireland and Hawaii were island nations with legends of "little people" (leprechauns and menehune). It was also his token of his respect for the missionaries of Irish descent.
Kauikeaouli was a great king. He proclaimed Hawaii's first constitution, established private property rights and twice tried to get Hawaii annexed to the United States (1849 and 1853).
One sentence he spoke became today's state motto: "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono."
I believe the most profound statement he ever wrote was the first sentence of his Constitution: "God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the earth, in unity and blessedness." Kokokahi. Imagine that! If only today's Hawaiians could embrace that sentiment. 'Ae; 'tis no blarney.
So now I, as an Irishman, hereby proclaim Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III an honorary Irishmen, and ask all who are Irish by descent or at heart to celebrate his memory this day.
Kenneth R. Conklin
Media have treated Obama too tenderly
Some feel Hillary Clinton should disappear so Barack Obama can be coronated.
Factually, neither candidate can win the nomination without the superdelegates, yet Obama's camp wants Clinton to surrender.
Some complained Clinton's ads about national security were unfair. If you thought national security wouldn't be an issue for the Democrats against John McCain, think again. Hillary Clinton has been endorsed by many high-ranking military personnel, and serves on the Senate Armed Forces Committee.
Obama claims superior judgment about national security, stemming from a speech he gave about the Iraq war measure before he was a U.S. senator. He never had to vote on the false information provided to Congress. Apparently many congresspeople were convinced by the false information or we wouldn't be in Iraq today.
Both Obama and Clinton are gifted candidates. However, many feel the print and TV media have primarily approached Obama with kid gloves and uncritical devotion. It took recent "Saturday Night Live" parodies of the press fawning over Obama to illuminate the issue.
Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island resisted Obama's momentum despite a TV advertising budget that dwarfed Clinton.
The pundits and press repeatedly count Clinton out, but she's a fighter. That's a good thing.
Let the voters vote, and the superdelegates vote their conscience on behalf of the public good. We elected them for that reason.
Bambi Lin Litchman
Torture of past war recalls today's battle
Many people are rightfully concerned about the failure of the United States to live up to its promise to provide benefits to Filipino soldiers who served alongside their American comrades fighting the Japanese in World War II.
Another set of Filipino soldiers who are forgotten are those slain by American soldiers when the United States stymied efforts of an independent Philippine republic after the Spanish-American war.
The Feb. 25 issue of the New Yorker in the article "The Water Cure," by Paul Kramer, an associate professor of history at the University of Iowa, deals with that ghastly 1899-1903 war. He writes, "The conflict cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos and about 4,000 U.S. soldiers." Kramer's discussion of water torture of that day has echoes today in waterboarding in Iraq, but the parallels are so strong he does not need to mention the current war.
Charles E. Frankel
Tell lawmakers to pass bill protecting pets
State Sen. Fred Hemmings' assistant called to say that they had read my March 10 letter to the editor
regarding cruelty to animals.They wanted to let me know that SB 3146, making it a misdemeanor to consume a cat, dog, or horse, had passed the Senate and was being heard by the House Judiciary.
I called Rep. Tommy Waters, who is chairman of the Judiciary, and told his assistant that I was in favor of this bill.
If you feel the same way I do, please call Rep. Waters at 586-9450.
Glenda Chung Hinchey
Some don't understand need for sacrifice
Janae Rasmussen, at such a young age, already appears to be guided by selfishness. In her March 9 letter
, the 8th-grader scoffs at the idea that she should pay taxes for causes she herself does not believe in (this, I assume, is a purely hypothetical argument, since I doubt Janae pays any taxes at all).
She apparently does not believe in the concept of community, where people sometimes are called upon to make personal sacrifices for communal gains.
Janae said she fears the United States may make a nasty turn to socialism, but she has no qualms about a society fueled by absolute selfishness.
School lunches should be healthy and tasty
I just received a text message from my 12-year-old that reads "I'm hungry. Lunch is bad." What do we have to do to fix these school lunches? I told my daughter that we had food at home and to tell the principal.
It's about time schools were part of the program in teaching our future generations to live and eat healthy. We can start by leading by example with our school lunches. Now the school Nazis will crack down on students text messaging so they can't tell their parents.
Rodney W. Evans