Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Monday, January 26, 2009

Give president our praise and empathy

Praise the new president and his new cabinet officials. Although not time-tested, we know that there is now more intellect, pragmatism and practicality in the new administration.

Empathy to President Obama for the anguish and struggles he will encounter to solve and resolve the quagmire and difficulties left behind by the previous presidency.

Knowing that the new president will not be able to overcome all of the problems ahead of him, we can take comfort in knowing that he is a smart, capable, ambitious commander in chief who will persevere diligently to restore faith in our nation, the United States of America.

Tetsuji Ono

Business as usual at Hawaiian Telcom

I was a Hawaiian Telcom customer during the “;change-over”; a couple of years ago. That was a tough period—nearly impossible to get through, incorrect bills and so on.

Now HiTelCom is in bankruptcy reorganization proceedings. It assures its customers that no disruption of service will occur, but it's the same thing all over again—can't get through, incorrect bills, etc. Great job, Hawaiian TelCom. If I could get through to Hawaiian Telcom, I would ask, “;Why, why, why should I remain a customer?”;

D.M. Jahn

Our best institutions failed us miserably

How is it possible that some of America's best schools sent some of their ablest students to some of Wall Street's outstanding institutions only to have them end up corrupting or being corrupted by the system? How could many of the supposedly sound students end up morally bankrupt and destructive beyond belief?

Barack Obama's life thus far reminds us: A life of service to your fellow man is the best immunization against the ravages of narrow self-interest. That the best remedy to restore the nation's economic health is to restore democracy's preeminence over capitalism in order that both will thrive together and we will overcome what ails us now.

Richard Y. Will

Prosecuting war crimes isn't a witch hunt

Republican senators, led by Sen. John Cornyn (R, Texas) are delaying the confirmation of Eric H. Holder Jr. as U.S. attorney general. What has apparently prompted their tactics is Holder's unequivocal response to a question about the legality of waterboarding. He said without hesitation that it is torture and illegal under both international and U.S. law.

Cornyn stated publicly that he was looking for assurances that the new administration would not engage in “;witch hunts.”; He appears to be seeking a promise not to prosecute any Republicans for having ordered or committed acts that are war crimes under U.S. law. Such prosecutions cannot in any way be called witch hunts. Witches are imaginary creatures; war crimes, such as torturing prisoners, are real crimes. If members of the Bush administration are concerned about their legal liability for acts they committed while in office, I can only say they should have thought about that when they were so arrogantly asserting the Nixonian claim that “;When the president does it, it's not illegal.”;

Richard Nixon's claim did not prevent his impeachment and forced resignation, and he had to accept a presidential pardon to avoid prosecution his crimes. The same applies to those who committed crimes during the Bush administration. George Bush passed up the opportunity to pardon his minions, so now they might have to face justice.

Thomas Graham Gans

Right to sue belongs to every American

Columnist George Will relied on inaccurate anecdotes in his Jan.18 column (”;Litigation Nation”;) to malign trial attorneys and the civil justice system. The real facts and data contradict his every assertion.

The Constitution ensures that all people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system, even when taking on the most powerful corporations. Will insists that all lawsuits are “;frivolous.”; Try telling that to someone when their insurance company refuses to pay a just claim when they are injured by a drug the manufacturer knew was dangerous, or a family loses their life savings to an unscrupulous investment banker.

In reality, the number of civil filings has been decreasing for more than a decade; and trial attorneys, who must pay for all expenses up-front out of their own pockets, have no incentive to file a “;frivolous”; claim when they know a jury would not rule in their favor.

But that doesn't stop Will from peddling propaganda that tries to insist that litigation is out of control. Will's propaganda solely benefits big corporations that don't want to be held accountable for their negligence, and serves to the detriment of everyday Americans whose only recourse is the court of law.

Wayne Parsons

Legalizing gambling is asking for trouble

If we allow casinos in Hawaii, tourists will have a grand time spending their money in paradise. Our state and city might not worry about deficits, but crime and family break ups will rise. The family bread winners could become addicted to gambling, and there will be a lot of children without food on the table because their fathers gambled their money away. As a result, divorce, crime and uncalled for heartaches will occur.

Therefore, gambling is not good for Hawaii. And our state and city legislative bodies should not tolerate gambling in any way, shape or form.

Bernardo P. Benigno

Swindler deserves public punishment

To clean up Wall Street, take the likes of Bernie Madoff and put them in the stocks. Pelting them with excrement is optional.

Bill Brundage
Kurtistown, Hawaii

Hawaii getting smart about renewables

Having graduated as a EE in engineering in 1952, I have always been interested in science, especially in our state of Hawaii. Alternate sources of energy are now being sought and you see it all around you these days. Solar water heating, self-contained PV panels on personal homes, the industry is booming on the mainland and I daresay, you couldn't get delivery of a home-system anytime soon.

Just the other day in the Star-Bulletin, a local company was trying to drum up PV panel systems for home roof-top installations. The word is getting out.

I maintain that the PV panel systems are more sound and structurally stable than alternatives such as wind turbines or ocean-wave or thermo-temperature systems. And as for a system using under-water submarine cables for power distribution, I can't go that far.

Leonard Chun



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