Clinton also lacked relevant experience
I find it really interesting that Democrats criticize Republican V.P. candidate Sarah Palin as a state governor who lacks foreign relations and national security experience when they elected an Arkansas governor with no foreign relations experience (unless you count the time he ran to Europe to dodge the draft) and no national security experience as the president of the United States in 1992.
Palin an authentic choice of candidate
I am one of the voters energized by the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate. I share many of her values: cherishing family, loving God, anti-corruption, fiscal conservatism. I don't own a gun and don't hunt, but I sincerely believe in the right to bear arms, as a constitutional protection for our citizens. As a mother with a son in the Army, I know that she has taught patriotism to her children, as I have. Her selection leads me to sincerely hope that she will have a voice in helping to shape McCain's policies.
I personally would rather have her as president than either Barack Obama or Joe Biden, neither of whom I would trust to lead this nation in a positive direction. I'm still not too sure about McCain, but considered him to be a lesser of the evils. I believe Sarah is an intelligent woman, who will learn all that she needs to know quickly. Her decision to have a large family makes me trust her all the more, because much is learned and experienced by that very fact, which those with small families never know. As for her daughter's situation, many of us know what is to disappoint our parents, or to be disappointed by our children's actions. This situation is just raw reality, no spin. I feel for her all the more.
Maybe Republicans have another motive
After hearing various Republicans gush praise over Sarah Palin's qualifications, I wonder if John McCain could have found anyone - anyone at all - that the GOP would have panned. Does the fact that Palin's sports nickname was "Barracuda" somehow qualify her to be veep? And since when did membership in the NRA constitute a major career accomplishment? Is moose hunting really a reliable indicator of political savvy and leadership?
But perhaps Republicans secretly know that Palin's resume is meager and that their praise is hollow. Perhaps they are guided by a deeper force. In a recent speech, Palin referred to Bush's Iraq invasion as conduct of God's plan. She also proclaimed that it was God's will that a gas pipeline be built in Alaska.
Maybe this explains the right wing's giddiness. McCain's choice has delivered the ultimate trifecta: God, guns and all that Alaskan crude.
Find affordable, viable transit alternative
I wish rail supporters would take a ride along the rail's route, snaking its way through the city and down narrow streets, displacing hundreds of families and businesses. I wish they would realize that cities like San Francisco have millions of people to subsidize their rail, which cost far less than ours will, that this island has no money to fix existing road and infrastructure problems, let alone a multibillion-dollar new project that the city itself admits will not solve the traffic problem!
While gas prices are going up, I can choose whether to drive, carpool or take the bus, but I will have no choice when my property taxes go up. There are many alternatives to rail that will be cost-efficient and not bankrupt our island. I found Panos Prevedouros has some compelling arguments against the rail and some viable alternatives. Take the time to get informed.
Calendar switch will benefit students
In Scott Gruzinsky's Aug. 26 letter
, he expressed his preference for the current 1-3-2 calendar for Hawaii's public schools. On Aug. 21, the Hawaii State Board of Education approved the education department's recommended calendar for the 2009-2010 school year. Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto proposed the new 1-2-1 calendar based on:
» Reduced learning loss. The 1-2-1 calendar reduces intercession and vacation times between grading periods, thus creating a longer summer for extended learning opportunities for both students and educators.
» Additional instruction before testing. The new calendar will allow for two additional weeks of instruction for grades 3 through 8 and 10 in the spring prior to the Hawaii State Assessment test and for secondary students taking Advanced Placement tests.
» Prior and recent school survey results. Two parameters that were not negotiable were first semester ends at winter break and a break between each grading period. With this in mind, school calendars will always start either late July or early August.
» Increased learning opportunities. Switching to a nine-week summer adds two weeks for summer school and other learning options.
The superintendent presented both the 1-3-2 and 1-2-1 calendars to the board. By comparison, the 1-2-1 calendar will better support student learning and will increase contact time between teachers and students.
Gruzinsky also wrote about a 2004 calendar survey distributed to schools, parents and community members. The 365,000 surveys cost $25,000 to produce and process, not $200,000 as he indicated.
Director, Federal Compliance and Project Management Office
State Department of Education