Banning cell phones is going too far
In response to your June 7 editorial titled "Hawaii should restrict driving with cell phones,"
I have to point out that nearly every study shows that actually using a hand-held device to talk while driving was not the cause of distraction or of accidents. In fact, it was the talking in general. Studies have shown that talking to a passenger or talking through a "hands-free" device is what distracts drivers. Not holding a phone.
Simply banning hand-held cell phones in general is nothing more than an invasion of privacy and an empty attempt to appease interest groups. It is nothing more than government intervention where it does not belong. What's next, banning all talking and sound in cars? While the government is at it, why not bug our vehicles and make sure we aren't talking, or perhaps just pass a law eliminating passengers ... or cars altogether!
Scott Nolan Smith
Formerly of Kaneohe
It’s easy to express pride in our country
Watching the Fourth of July program at my children's school on Thursday morning reminded me once again of how fortunate I am to be a citizen of the United States of America. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance and singing "America the Beautiful" also helped me to realize how extremely proud I am to be an American.
I am certain there are many other people out there who feel the same way but do not know how to express this pride.
I believe the answer is really quite simple and something everyone can do. The next time you attend a sporting event and the announcer asks you to please rise for the national anthem, stand, place your right hand over your chest and sing loudly, proudly and from your heart.
Proud to be an American and lucky to live Hawaii!
Ending violence begins with Arab governments
In "A neglected bridge for peace in the Middle East" ("Palestinian Perspective," Star-Bulletin, June 22)
, Hatim Kanaaneh complains about secondhand citizenship in Israel's apartheid system. The Jews, on the other hand, have no citizenship in Arab countries. They are not allowed to live in them. Confronted with such hostility, how can the Jewish state be more generous than they are to the Arab Palestinians?
Until the Arab governments accept the existence of Israel and stop inciting violence against it, the situation is a catastrophe but not solely attributable to the Israelis.
Marion R. Colton
Legal self-defense will lead to safer society
Hawaii's law-abiding residents are living in a prison while the real criminals are free to roam our streets and beaches. The government is closing down four more beach parks at night, and we all know which streets to steer clear of when the sun sets.
When I was a child, my family and I would often go to these same beaches for a day in the water, a late-night barbecue and fruit punch - with some beer for the older folks - all day and late into the night. Now we dare not venture out for fear of assault and robbery. We live in gated communities, if we are lucky, and behind steel-barred windows with steel-reinforced doors because we are law-abiding citizens.
Why the change? One of the reasons is that we are not permitted to defend ourselves. Criminals and thugs have no reason to fear us. We can purchase firearms, but because of "may-issue" laws, law-abiding civilians are not permitted to carry their protection with them. The simple fact is that most criminals are cowards and will not attack someone who might likely be armed.
If our government would get its head out of the sand and allow us to defend ourselves, perhaps we could walk freely in the sand again.
History does not justify Akaka Bill
Continual spending of public funds in lobbying for passage of the Akaka Bill, such as millions of dollars by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, seems difficult to justify.
The bill is designed to create a separate government for native Hawaiians with at least a trace of Hawaiian ancestry, regardless of place of birth or domicile. With a reported 90 percent of so-called native Hawaiians having less than 10 percent native ancestry, the population of the proposed government would likely consist primarily of people with very little native ancestry.
A primary justification for the Akaka Bill is the Apology Resolution of 1993, which speculates on historical events to implicate the U.S. in the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani in 1893. Contrary to this, the comprehensive 1894 Morgan Report to Congress indicates that the overthrow was instigated entirely by subjects of the queen and not by American representatives. The Morgan Report, furthermore, negates the earlier Blount report ordered by President Cleveland, which emphasizes the views of the deposed queen and largely avoids reasons for the overthrow.
Unfortunately, no review of accuracy of the Apology Resolution was conducted either in Hawaii or by the U.S. government. Thus such a document would seem to be of questionable basis for justifying further legislation, such as the Akaka Bill.
There certainly is justification for legislation in support of people of predominantly native Hawaiian ancestry. But the ill-conceived Akaka Bill, with its questionable interpretation of historical events, provides essentially no information as to how the proposed new government would function in relation to the state of Hawaii.