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From the Forum


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POSTED: Sunday, March 01, 2009

Online readers are able to respond immediately to Star-Bulletin stories through our Web forum, which can be accessed at the end of stories, editorials and columns at starbulletin.com. Below is a selection of forum comments that appeared last week. Most forum contributors use pseudonyms; their “;names”; have been omitted here.

“;State and OHA spar before U.S. Supreme Court,”; Star-Bulletin, Feb. 25:
Justice Ruth Ginsburg has it right, the state is using the federal law as a crutch. This is a matter for the state of Hawaii. It has already been ruled on in Hawaii. Why is this before the United States Supreme Court? This is not a federal matter. This is a local political decision that has been taken to the extreme. This is shameful. Our state Supreme Court has decided, enough already.

Yes, let us mandate race-based programs because a few crybabies think that the world can be turned back a hundred years.

The Hawaii state Supreme Court ruled and that is it. Ceded lands are for the Hawaiians, not the state to sell and then what is left for the Hawaiians? 40 acres and a mule for all who can prove 50 percent blood quantum back three generations. Every one else is just a never was ...

Justice Ginsburg's questions should worry OHA. For those of us who have studied the Supreme Court, when a justice like Ginsburg, who should be in some manner disposed to favor OHA, asks questions about how the case might be decided on the narrowest possible grounds, what that suggests is that there are other justices not as favorably disposed who are considering deciding it on much more sweeping grounds.
Ginsburg was signaling that OHA is going to lose, and the best it should hope for is a decision that says simply the Hawaii Supreme Court should not have relied on the Apology Resolution since it lacked the force of law, and send the matter back to Hawaii for political resolution.
What might also be in play is OHA itself - the whole idea of whether it's constitutional to have a government entity whose sole reason for existence is to benefit one ethnic group at the expense of all other ethnic groups.
Ginsburg is really playing to her colleagues with her questions - that the OHA issue need not be addressed because the Hawaii decision can be reversed simply.
We'll see if she has five votes for that outcome.

”;Bill would put calorie counts on menus,”; Star-Bulletin, Feb. 25: Looks like Big Brother is alive and well in Hawaii.

There are restaurants failing everyday in Hawaii, so why don't we just add more cost and burden to their business? Does the Legislature lives in the real world? I can't wait for the session to end. Maybe we will escape without too much damage.

Make it available upon request. I really don't want it thrown in my face when I am grinding a Triple Bacon Sirloin Angus Burger.

To the average person, calories should not matter. The reason is simple. The average person will stop eating when they get full. The average person will burn off the calories when they exercise. For the folks who do not exercise, even one calorie will be too much.

”;Libraries closed for 3 days due to union deal,”; Kokua Line, Star-Bulletin, Feb. 25: I live out in the country on the Big Island. First they took away the bookmobile so you have to drive many miles to a library. When you do get there it's often been closed by one of these three-day vacations. After enough disappointments, you just give up on the state libraries and find another, more reliable source for reading.

Would this ever happen in the private sector? Could a company competing for business survive by setting its opening hours according to what is convenient for its employees as opposed to what its customers want? Of course not. This is a great example of why so many people see Hawaii's state workers as nothing but a bunch of lazy slackers.

They get three days off from work while most of us get one? Who is negotiating these contracts? Maybe the system wouldn't be crying for more money if they managed the resources better.

”;Political financing bill is shelved,”; Star-Bulletin, Feb. 26: There are already companies that skirt the present campaign laws by giving money to kin and employees to contribute to a political candidate. Companies contribute money to a political campaign for only one reason: to gain political favor, not because they believe in that candidate's platform or the party platform.

It is amazing that Riki Karamatsu would be stupid enough to let this bill leave committee. There is enough of a public perception that politicians are bought and paid for. We have already seen what has happened in Congress since the Supreme Court, in a moment of mental and judicial flatulence, ruled against campaign contributions because they would violate First Amendment rights. Do you think congressional delegations are working for their constituents? Take a look at political contributions and expenditures and guess again.

Hard to believe the Legislature did the right thing for a change. Watch this one come back and sneak in under the radar.

”;State hopes stimulus can ease school cuts,”; Star-Bulletin, Feb. 27: Great idea, then what do you do next year and the year after? How about bite the bullet and align the spending now, then you don't have to worry about holding out your hand to President Obama every year. He is not going to be around forever, least I don't think he will anyway.

Save some of the cut programs? It seems most of the programs are useless since most of the students in Hawaii scored very low in comparison to the rest of the United States, so why save any of the failed programs? The problem lies within the Board of Education and the Department of Education. For the sake of the children, please get rid of all these incompetent administrators.