Obama expressed his values, patriotism
Susan Page, a John McCain supporter, says the coverage of Barack Obama's visit to Hawaii was "fluffy" (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 15)
. However, in one short visit, Obama paid his respects to his grandfather, Stanley Dunham, at Punchbowl National Cemetery. No doubt veterans, and everyone else in Hawaii, will appreciate that Dunham is buried at Punchbowl because he served in World War II.
Obama also has frequently visited his tutu who raised him. He also paid his respects to and meditated on his late mother at the Halona Blowhole where her ashes were scattered. The poignant photograph of him casting flowers from a lei into the ocean was very touching.
Moreover, Obama took his wife and children to the Arizona Memorial to pay their respects and be educated about the meaning of Pearl Harbor. Obama's children have accompanied him most of the time. Thus, the entire vacation was characterized by family values and respectful patriotism. Try as hard as the McCain forces may to besmirch and sully him, it is crystal clear that Obama is a man of substance and character. Where's the fluff?
Candidate took risks on last day in Hawaii
I hope the nation takes notice of three important things we learned about Sen. Barack Obama by his actions on just one day here in Honolulu.
1. He is a man who can ask others to make difficult sacrifices but will also endure those same sacrifices himself. (He asked kids to only get a small-size shave ice, and limited himself to this size also).
2. He is a brave man. (He bodysurfed at Sandy Beach, which frequently has the nation's highest rate of broken necks).
3. The Secret Service really doesn't care if this man lives or dies. (Bodysurfing Sandys, and then standing in wave-beaten cliffs at Halona Blowhole where many have been washed into sea and killed.)
Shelly R. Brown
Obama’s visit to Oahu was a strikeout
Let's see now, according to reports in your paper regarding presidential candidate Barack Obama's visit to Hawaii for 10 days: no aloha shirt, no flower lei, no church on Sunday. For a Hawaii-born self-acclaimed Christian, I think the three strikes and you're out rule applies in this case.
Mag-lev is rail too; it should be considered
Jonn Serikawa (Letters, Aug. 16)
states steel-on-steel systems are quieter than highway noise or a city bus. He does not mention magnetic levitation (mag-lev), which is at least twice as quiet as steel-on-steel and requires no noise mitigation measures as needed for steel.
The mag-lev guideway construction costs will be $460 million to $480 million less than steel-on-steel for the 20-mile segment, and operations and maintenance costs are $15 million to $20 million less per year. The HSST mag-lev in Nagoya, Japan also has a reliability rating of 99.997 percent. Steel-on-steel, no matter how modernized, is still based on 19th-century technology.
Joe Lee reports the majority of people favor rail (Letters, Aug. 16). The city, under the general term of rail, included other technologies throughout 2006 and 2007 that the Federal Transit Administration considers rail. This year, the city started referring to rail as steel wheels on steel rails, the "industry definition." Does the city Department of Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka know more than the FTA, which considers any automated guideway transit system (e.g., monorail, mag-lev) as rail? The city's goal is to limit the technology competition.
Is the city afraid of allowing the HSST mag-lev to compete? The mag-lev is rail, and the city must acknowledge that fact if we are going to get the best transit system at the best price.
Teachers shouldn't give up their rights
As a Social Studies teacher and a former military police supervisor, I would like to add my comments on the issue of "search and seizure" in terms of random drug testing of 13,500 teachers.
I had the honor of voting "no" on the contract for drug testing, resulting in a vote of "no" for pay raise and a "no" to give up my Fourth Amendment rights. It is the basic freedom that my father earned, while serving during World War II, as he liberated a concentration camp called Dachau.
I had the honor of voting "no" for my mother, an American citizen who lost her right of "habeus corpus" and was placed, along with 110,000 Japanese-Americans, in concentration camps in the western U.S. She spent her high school days behind barbed wire at Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming.
In keeping with legal precedent governing "search and seizure," we have used the concept of "probable cause." The courts have allowed random testing search for police with arms, nuclear power plant operators, and air traffic controllers and areas of public safety to warrant such action. Although important, teachers do not meet the test of a job "dealing with life or death issues."
You cannot give away the very freedom men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan protect daily for you. No contract should give away our liberties, which have already been paid in full.
Conklin’s comparisons, premise unfounded
I'm beginning to think that the two local daily papers should be renamed the Conklin Star-Bulletin and the Conklin Advertiser. We are always subjected to his twisted interpretation of history and current events. In his Aug. 14 letter in the Star-Bulletin
, he quotes a speech Sen. Barack Obama made where he mentioned places such as Belfast, Ireland, South Africa and the Balkans. These were places where people were enslaved, tortured, terrorized, murdered, gang-raped and suffered immensely.
Somehow Conklin is able to equate the Akaka Bill with ethnic cleansing, torture, murder, apartheid and the like. That seems to be the modus operandi with Conklin and his ilk. Hawaiians seeking a measure of justice and self-determination are compared to Nazis and Klansmen. They've never lynched anyone; never gassed anyone or placed anyone in a concentration camp, but there they are ... those awful Hawaiians again ... we all need to stay in doors because we may be met with some hostility.
I have lived in California, Oregon, Washington and Arizona. Guess what? None of those states have an annual holiday at all for statehood/admission to the union. So for Conklin to make such a fuss over the fact that there was no big celebration Aug. 15 and to assert that we don't have one because government officials are afraid is just plain disingenuous.
Michelle U. Pokipala