Letters to the Editor
Wednesday, January 29, 1997

Overthrow documentary
left out important details

That was a nice piece the Star-Bulletin printed Jan. 27 about the documentary on Queen Liliuokalani produced by Vivian Ducat, although I personally think the documentary itself is biased and one-sided. It also distorts major elements of Hawaiian history.

The foremost distortion is the way it starts out by stating that the queen was removed from her throne by U.S. Marines. It's the kind of shortcut that's customary with television, I suppose, but the evidence is clear that she was not removed by U.S. Marines. She saw them marching along King Street by her palace, where they dipped their colors.

But contrary to the article, they did not go into position where she could see them. Their officers deliberately kept them out of view of the palace, behind a building that itself was behind the opera house at Mililani and King where the former main post office building is today.

They were not in a position even to see the proclamation establishing the provisional government being read on the front steps of the Aliiolani building (today's courthouse) the next day. They were ashore to protect American lives and property, if needed, but they were ordered to remain neutral, and they did. They never pointed their guns at anyone.

Furthermore, contrary to the documentary, the revolutionists were not "wealthy European-American sugar growers." Some owned a few shares of sugar company stock, but none grew cane or worked for or owned any plantations. They were all residents of the kingdom; most of them also were subjects of the monarchy.

They and many of the queen's closest supporters, felt she was going too far with her determination to promulgate a new constitution which would have taken back many absolute powers for the monarchy. It would have disenfranchised everyone but native born voters, and given the queen the power to appoint the upper house, which had been an elected body for 50 years.

The revolutionists wanted democracy instead of a more absolute monarchy and, yes, they did seek annexation to the United States as a way of stabilizing the government of these islands. Lucky for all of us, they were successful.

Thurston Twigg-Smith

It’s laughable that
HVCB tries to sell ‘paradise’

How ironic that a preview of the new multimillion-dollar Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau video to "sell" Hawaii and its aloha was shown on the same TV newscast as the British tourist lying in her hospital bed in Honolulu. She had been stabbed by a 15-year-old boy trying to rob her.

I guess this punk didn't learn much from the recent case of two other teens who viciously attacked another tourist, a Chicago cop, also visiting on the North Shore. Or did they? Is anybody getting the message?

Come on, lawmakers, pass some laws that will protect us and our visitors, not just the punks. Come on, judges, keep these punks off the streets for more than just a few months. They're probably so dizzy from going around the revolving door at the youth correctional facility that they couldn't walk straight even if they wanted to.

Come on, Governor Cayetano, provide the needed bed space at the youth facility so these kids are safe and secure. Then the Family Court judges will be able to impose fitting consequences for heinous acts.

Then maybe the images of "paradise" won't be only on a video.

Lehua Ecumene

Atonement won’t wor
because criminals are jerks

The Jan. 10 View Point column by Judge Marie Milks surely carries some idealist attitudes. Restorative justice supposedly sows the seeds of goodness by making a solid community-wide effort to cause the offender (i.e. criminal) to atone for his/her act.

Let's try an example. A hoodlum from Ewa (with a past record of several arrests) steals a car in, say, Pearl City. Driving recklessly through Honolulu, the naughty one collides with a Manoa resident; then gets chased by HPD over the Pali to Kailua, where the offender injures a pedestrian; then boils through a red light damaging a car from Waimanalo and one from Kaneohe. Eventually, the no-good is captured after the stolen car is wrecked.

As I understand the system, all the people who were directly victimized during this scenario, and a seemingly endless number of community members, must sit down with this jughead and, eyeball to eyeball, politely show the offender how such faults might be corrected.

There's more. The community has to recognize its faults for having let him or her become a no-goodnik in the first place.

You really believe restorative justice works, Judge?

Ray Thiele

Where are the stories
lambasting gay marriage?

Your editorial position supporting homosexual marriage is well known. As long as it remained on the editorial pages where it safely could be ignored, it was no more an imposition than anyone else's opinion.

But when you publish gushy, sympathetic full-color jeremiads on the front page as you did last week in your three-part "I Do" series, your objectivity and responsibility to report on the news dispassionately are called into question.

Tone and nuance are critical here; you have done your reputation no good by this series. We still haven't seen articles about the 70 percent who oppose gay marriage. Wouldn't this be necessary for any kind of proper balance?

Pamela A. Magee

Series about Denmark
insulted people of Hawaii

The Star-Bulletin gives the word "bias" new meaning! Which part of "NO" do you not understand? The people of Hawaii have spoken: No, we do not want same-sex marriage! Your three-part series last week was outrageous! We demand equal time!

Opposition to same-sex marriage does not equal hate. It's the behavior, stupid! The behavior is a crime in 23 states. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld those laws.

Even the Hawaii Supreme Court has said "same-sex couples do not have a fundamental constitutional right to same-sex marriage arising out of the right to privacy or otherwise," Baehr v. Lewin, 74 Haw. 530,566-567 (1993).

Sodomy is not a civil right!

Marie A. Sheldon

Same-sex archive

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