Obama-Clinton ticket would be sure winner
U.S. Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are to be commended for their dedication and commitment to public service.
In order for Obama and the Democrats to claim victory in November, it is imperative that he select a running mate with domestic and foreign policy experience, national name recognition and the heart to best serve our nation.
A Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton ticket would be the best option for America. The pairing of these two powerhouses will ensure that the White House is returned to the Democrats.
Hanalei Y. Aipoalani
44th House District
Candidate's race skews judgment of supporters
Your June 5 editorial is weak in so many areas. Because of Sen. Barack Obama's inexperience we should not elect him. Because he will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the burgeoning federal deficit; because he wants to weaken our military; because of his socialist views -- these are reasons he should not be elected president.
I'm afraid the historic element of an African American being nominated is clouding the judgment of many.
I would much prefer a third Bush term than a second Carter term. I'm sure there are many who would disagree, but just as sure there are many who wouldn't.
Don't call him biracial; Obama is a black man
As an African American, I was encouraged and thrilled by Barack Obama's victory. So, of course, I picked up our local newspaper, which featured a beautiful picture of the Obamas during their historic moment. I was floored when I read the subhead stating that Obama was the first "biracial" candidate for a major party. Why go to such lengths to avoid using the recognized racial identity of Obama, which is black or African American?
It seems that the Star-Bulletin is galled to report that a black or African American has made history, and preferred to "white-up" the article to suit a racist standard that prefers some white mix rather than a plain black man.
Hawaii's mix of races is an example for the nation
Regarding the Star-Bulletin's June 4 story on Sen. Barack Obama's nomination
as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate:
Thank you for your subhead:
"The Illinois senator becomes the first biracial candidate for a major party."
We have an opportunity to educate all of America about our biracial citizens. That is one of the reasons I am so proud to call Hawaii home.
Sharon S. McPhee
Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam in Council chambers.
Racial slurs seem to be OK with Council members
City Councilwoman Barbara Marshall's refusal to dismiss Rod Tam from his Zoning Committee chair (Star-Bulletin, June 5)
sends a clear message to Hispanics living in Hawaii.
You can just bet had Rod Tam used the N-word or slurred any other group he would not be holding his seat as committee chairman. Unfortunately, to be a Mexican in 21st-century America is to be a Jew in 1932 Germany. Mexicans have become America's favorite whipping boy. Why, to hear some people in the media, were it not for illegal immigration all the woes of this fine country would cease. Never mind the failed and shortsighted policies instituted by narrow-minded and bigoted politicians like Rod Tam.
I fear Tam's racial slurs and the Council's lack of outrage are indicative of the character and views of the people we have elected to the Council. I expect ignorant, bigoted remarks from men wearing hoods and burning crosses, certainly not from publicly elected government officials.
Joseph C. Chavez
We should avoid hiring illegal immigrants
Previous letter writers are correct, the dictionary defines "wetback" as offensive and refers to a Mexican laborer who enters the United States illegally, by wading the Rio Grande river. These immigrants have come into our country by the millions taking our jobs, health care and many are committing crimes.
U.S. taxpayers suffering because of illegal immigrants is far more offensive than what City Councilman Rod Tam said when he used the term "wetback." Tam was defining the kind of worker Oahu should avoid.
Why the hue and cry over Tam's remark? When Tam made the remark, he was looking out for Oahu's workers. But many business owners favor the use of illegal immigrants since it means no worker comp, no unions, no back talk, low wages and increased profits. So some of those representing the interest of business smeared Tam to enhance their chances of using illegal Mexican workers on the island.
I share Hispanic origins with Mexican immigrants and empathize with their plight but think we shouldn't hire illegals from any country to replace U.S. workers!
Using slurs can have unintended results
Wetback is a slur. As someone who grew up in the Southwest and traveled in the Southwest and Mexico, I assure you the word is not polite, a friendly jab, a casual term or slang. People might care about Rod Tam as their friend or hero or neighbor and so hope to lessen the impact. Sorry, it is a slur.
For every race, for every political group, we humans find a way to use language to belittle the other guy. When the dominant culture felt swamped by immigrant Italians, there was a slur name for Italians. Same for many others: Jews, Poles, Germans, Vietnamese and now those of Middle Eastern descent. As each group blends in, when that group is not a threat, the slurs are not heard frequently.
If, as a species, we humans want to survive, we have to quit putting our energy into belittling others and work together to solve big problems. The world has real problems we won't solve by calling each other names. Nothing is solved by stomping on the other guy. Most likely, as Tam has shown, you'll just hurt your own foot.
Why do some at IHS feel so entitled?
I think it is a wise decision to begin to charge clients who stay in the Institute for Human Services shelter for more than three months (Star-Bulletin, May 31).
Having a client learn to budget finances to pay for rent teaches responsibility and pride in his/her accomplishment.
The client who was highlighted in the article will never reach that level because she obviously has no drive or pride. She is 55 years old and has been eating, showering and sleeping at the shelter for the past two years and says she has no money, yet she was pictured smoking a cigarette. Where did she get the money for cigarettes, which we all know are very expensive? Now she hopes to find a care home that will take her in. She continues to have expectations that someone will take care of her. Why does she feel that this is owed to her?
I admire those who temporarily use the services at IHS and can move on from there.
Little white dog was more than a Mirage
On June 2, I took my final trip and I won't again be seeing the hundreds of people I met on my walks and the thousands of people who drove by. I'm the small white dog who walked around lower Punahou area this past 12 years. My servant, the guy with the white T-shirt and white shorts, was always behind me taking care of my junks.
I want to say goodbye to all my friends. Now I have to wait for my servant to join us, his other masters Lady, Poochie and Munchkin. By the way, my name is Mirage. Goodbye again to all my friends.
GOP leaders perform tough jobs very well
Garry Smith's June 2 letter,
regarding recent GOP leaders, implies that the director of Hawaiian Home Lands, the director of the Department of Transportation, the director of Department of Labor and others have all been handed "cushy" jobs after serving as GOP party chairmen or in other supportive positions.
I remind him that these eminently qualified people had to undergo the scrutiny of, and be approved by, the Legislature. Micah Kane, in his work on behalf of DHHL, has received recognition for the outstanding job he is doing. Brennan Morioka, DOT, is a Ph.D. engineer and is exceptionally qualified for this demanding, frustrating task. Darwin Ching, Department of Labor, is a lawyer specializing in labor law, and is well qualified for his job.
Oh, I almost forgot. Linda Lingle was also party chairwoman, and the people of Hawaii promoted her to the cushy job of governor.
From previous conventions I know that Ching is a thoughtful and considerate platform chairman. The behavior of some attending the GOP state convention as described by Ching (Letters, June 1) is unacceptable anywhere and obviously was rejected by the majority of those present.
I share Smith's frustration at not having more GOP legislators. However, since this has been the situation in Hawaii for more than 40 years, I cannot understand his placing the blame on recent leaders. All of the party chairmen I have known have given of themselves 100 percent, including our current one, Willes Lee. Willes has served his country and is now serving his party and, in turn, the state. We need to support his efforts and continue working to achieve a true two-party system for the good of Hawaii.
Lingle should release Act 28 money
The Hawaii Medical Association's hard work on behalf of health care reform deserves praise and should be continued, but Dr. Cynthia Goto ("Health care advocates must unite to fix the system," Star-Bulletin, June 5)
overlooks something that could be done today to affect thousands of lives.
Act 284 mandated $8 million in state funds, to be matched by about $10 million federal dollars, to increase payments to physicians caring for the most vulnerable patients -- the elderly, the blind and the disabled under Medicaid.
Although this became law almost a year ago, Gov. Linda Lingle still has not released the money ... and time is running out. If action is not taken by June 30, the chance to use $18 million in state and federal funds will be lost forever.
Here's a chance for the state to double its investment while fixing our broken health care system, starting with fee schedules that at least cover costs. Having the doctors and specialists available when you need them -- that is a big first step to helping the neediest patients.
The governor only needs to carry out what is in the law.
Geri Young, M.D.
Chief medical officer
Kauai Medical Clinic
Too many businesses are becoming ghosts
I was cleaning out the garage recently and came across a terra cotta container from the old Pottery Steak House Restaurant. Then I found some assorted screws and nails in an Arakawa's of Waipahu shopping bag. Some of you might remember the steak house in Kaimuki, long before there was a Ruth's Chris Steak House or Morton's. It was one of my favorite places and I got to know the staff pretty well. And Arakawa's was the neatest store that had everything you ever needed, before Home Depot, Costco, Sam's or Lowe's came to Hawaii. These businesses were all about customer service and helping people.
This made me sad to think that the things that made Hawaii special are disappearing and dying away to corporate America. Then I read your article about the auction of the Aloha Airlines lawsuit, which, like the liquidation of its other assets, is all about money, not people. And I wondered what would happen to all those good employees. Someday we'll all be thinking about that great local company and wishing it was still around, too.
Constant development eats up more energy
The mayor would like us to believe that his monstrous rail project will "further protect our environment" because it will encourage "transit-oriented development" (Letters, June 1).
The mayor is right to believe that reducing time spent in cars will reduce Honolulu's overall carbon footprint -- but what he might have missed in the recent Brookings Institution report is that Honolulu's residential energy use is so much lower than other metropolises not for anything Honolulu does, but for something it doesn't do: burn heating oil. Despite that, Honolulu's residential energy use increased roughly seven times faster than the national average. So even if Honolulu isn't burning heating oil all winter, the thousands of new homes in the "transit-oriented development" areas will make up for that.
If the mayor really wants to "further protect our environment," he would be wise to do more of what made the city No. 1 in the first place: nothing.
Removal of trellises made area safer
I and many others were happy to see the city remove the old trellises along Nuuanu Stream in Chinatown, as so many in the neighborhood had requested.
For far too long, these areas have been monopolized by gamblers, drug dealers and loiterers. In addition, the areas were filthy from public urination and defecation. Many of us who patronize the restaurants at the Chinatown Cultural Center were afraid to bring our families and grandchildren to the Sun Yat-sen Mall, even though that is the site of a beautiful statue honoring Dr. Sun, the father of modern China.
The promenade is once again becoming a family-friendly place. Thank you to the city and the mayor for listening to us and for the continuing effort to improve our Chinatown neighborhood.
President United Chinese Society