As a member of the Joint Legislative Access Committee, I would like to respond to Rep. Cynthia Thielen's Dec. 19 letter headlined, "Legislature is lagging badly in Internet access."
Rep. Thielen should stop
politicizing Internet issue
First and foremost, Thielen constantly confuses the migration of the Legislature's internal computer system with the establishment of a legislative Internet service to meet the communication and educational needs of our constituents.
The Legislature is currently following a procurement process to replace the existing software internal computer system with a more flexible and technologically current PC-based internal computer system to meet research, drafting, budgeting, tracking, front office and history needs of both chambers. That new system will be installed and operable in 1998.
The joint legislative Internet project is alive and well. The infrastructure - including the necessary security "firewall" - is in place. In fact, at the next Joint Legislative Access Committee meeting, we will be discussing naming conventions, staff training and user guidelines to prevent the abuses being reported by government agencies.
Thielen could have ascertained this information by contacting one of the committee members. Let's stop using the press as an intermediary. Computer-related issues are far too important to politicize.
Rep. Ken Ito
House 48th Dist.
Paul Arnett's Dec. 2 article, "Holy Cheeses!", attempts to place all of the blame for the decline in the University of Hawaii at Manoa football program on President Mortimer personally, and on any attempt to apply reasonable academic standards. May we point out:
Good football players
want good education, too
The decision to no longer admit either partial qualifiers or non-qualifiers was made in 1990, before Mortimer became president.
The story's claim that Mortimer cut $1 million from the budget of the Athletics Department must refer to the decision to reduce the general funds appropriation, a reduction which is being phased in over three years, not all at once.
The article alleges that $1 million is being spent on gender equity. That $1 million is being phased in over six years, and only $152,000 is being spent on the plan this year. This figure does not include the amount being spent on the softball stadium, and does not include the water polo team.
Mortimer had nothing to do with the minimum course load requirement; it is an internal Athletics Department policy.
The story's position on academic standards is based on the patronizing assumption that good football players must necessarily be academically marginal students.
What about the good students that we are losing? Good football players might actually want a good education, but might choose to go to Ohio, Michigan or Stanford if UH is academically inferior. How many academically strong football players do we lose each year?
Wouldn't the best way to field a better team be to invest enough in the university overall, so that we could promise, and deliver, an education that is, as someone once promised, "second to none?"
UH Political Science Dept.
UH Math Dept.
Gay population is far fromThe Dec. 11 letter by Alan Light claims same-sex marriage opponents are unfamiliar with laws to protect minorities.
being oppressed minority
Homosexuals don't meet any of the criteria established by the U.S. Supreme Court to determine how a group qualifies for special minority class protection.
First, the group must be defined by an immutable characteristic like race or gender. Having sex with members of the same gender is a behavior, not an immutable trait. Thousands of ex-gays personally testify that even the desire for same-gender sex can be completely changed.
Also, the group must have suffered a history of discrimination making it impossible to earn an average income. A nationwide survey by the Wall Street Journal found that homosexuals earned an average household income of $55,430 compared to $12,166 for blacks.
Finally, the group must demonstrate political powerlessness. Unlike blacks and women, homosexuals have never been denied access to the political process. Though they constitute only 1-3 percent of the population, their political presence is strongly felt because they are one of the most politically active forces today.
Homosexuals' claim for "civil rights" is undoubtedly the political hoax of the century.
Same-sex marriage proponents have argued that because of "freedom of religion" and "separation of church and state," religious principles cannot be considered in making social policy.
Strength of this nation
is based on its morality
However, our government was founded on religious principles. The reason for the very existence of this nation is that people wanted to freely worship God without any destructive influence from government.
The First Amendment prevented the government from favoring one particular Christian denomination over another.
The perverted interpretation of today - that government should not use any religious morals in making policy - was not the intent of the founders. Can you imagine a legal system that disregards the religious principles of truth, justice and kindness?
Contrary to popular myth, the term "separation of church and state" is not found anywhere in the U.S. Constitution or any other founding document. The term was used in a personal letter by Thomas Jefferson to assure a group of Baptists that an official state denomination was not going to be established.
Far from banning religious principles from government, our founding fathers built religious principles into every aspect of government - from classrooms to courtrooms to currency.