Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Sunday, June 14, 2009

Akaka Bill stance weakens Obama

In his very moving inaugural address, President Barack Obama said, “;... We cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself. ...”;

How can these noble words be reconciled with Mr. Obama's support of the Akaka Bill, which will establish a new native Hawaiian “;tribe,”; will divide Hawaii's people along ethnic lines and will stir up old hatreds?

Tom Macdonald


Military recruiting benign

Last month, a writer mentioned she once wrote in opposition to military recruitment in our public schools, but now that her son has joined the Marines, she feels “;blindsided”; (Letters, Star-Bulletin, May 20). Let me help her out.

You see, the majority of us already knew the military isn't just a bunch of guys who destroy stuff for fun. In fact, most of us know most military members don't take destroying things lightly. Their goal is only to destroy possible threats to our homeland.

While some oppose our military recruiting in our public schools, there's a more dangerous recruitment in our public schools. In fact, gangs, drug pushers and pimps recruit within our public schools without much public protest. Those who are recruited by such people end up in a life of prison, drug addiction, sexual abuse and physical abuse. They end up living a life of regret, knowing they blew their chance for a higher education and a productive life.

Meanwhile, many have gained positive opportunities through the military they might not get otherwise. They include economic, educational and career opportunities as well as the pride that they did what they could in protecting our homeland.

While I have never been in the military, I proudly support our military recruiting in public schools. It is a lot better than having only the gangs, drug pushers and pimps recruiting our kids.

Pablo Wegesend


History lesson is in order

Discovering President Abraham Lincoln's handwritten documents here in Hawaii is a surprising pleasure (”;Letter from Lincoln found in state archives,”; Star-Bulletin, June 9). His order regarding the Emancipation Proclamation, dated 22nd September, 1862, and which ultimately took effect on Jan. 1, 1863, is particularly significant. However, the article makes a common error regarding this famous document. (Editor's note: A correction appeared the day after the article.)

The Proclamation did not “;outlaw slavery in the United States,”; for it was neither a “;law,”; nor did it apply to the entire nation. It was an executive order issued by the president in his constitutional capacity as commander in chief of the Army and Navy, and it was issued in pursuit of the war against the Confederacy.

Further, it did not apply throughout the nation, but only to the slaves in those states that were still in rebellion against the Union. Lincoln issued it in the hope that it would serve to destabilize those states and hinder their ability to resist advances of the Union army. In fact, it didn't even apply to those slaves who were in areas of the Confederacy that had already been occupied by Union troops.

Legal abolition of slavery in the United States had to await the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865.

Ralph E. Burr

Adjunct instructor, Political Science and Constitutional Law




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