Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, July 11, 2009

Waianae court bathroom a mess

The Nanakuli-Waianae courthouse building looks like something from a Third World country, and it's even worse inside. I can live with this, but the bathrooms are despicable and no one should have to use facilities like these, but options are not always available. Do the judges and staff use the same two bathrooms?

Never once in over 10 years of going out there have I found paper towels in the dispenser. Once in a while you'll find a few seat covers, but sometimes not, as people use them to dry their hands. What you do find, however, is urine on the seats and in front of the toilets. The real fun part is the toilet paper that is dispensed, if there is any, from that little silver box that comes out one “;postage stamp size square”; at a time.

I realize we are currently in poor economic times, but it hasn't been that bad for the 10-plus years I've been going to Waianae court. I've been in every courthouse bathroom on the island over the years, and I've never seen anything this bad on a continual basis.

Doesn't the state care? Don't the people who go to court there care? Unbelievable.

Kedric Dean


McNamara's approach ended up a mistake

Bob Herbert's column “;McNamara wreaked havoc, now he's dead”; (Star-Bulletin, July 8) places much of the blame for the Vietnam War squarely on the shoulders of recently deceased former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara.

Herbert claims that the 1964 attacks on U.S. Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin, which he asserts McNamara used to convince President Johnson to escalate the war, “;did not happen.”; While historical documents concluded that the American ships were not attacked on Aug. 4, there was considerable evidence that a North Vietnamese naval attack did occur two days earlier, justifying McNamara's subsequent reaction.

The half-truth allegations concerning the actuality of the Gulf of Tonkin incident is indicative of the myth that McNamara was the mastermind behind the Vietnam War. Following his election victory in 1964, Johnson had the public and media support to escalate the war in Vietnam, which he did with unchecked swagger and confidence.

McNamara was not so much the planner and architect of the war as he was the caretaker of the Johnson administration's momentum for a quick military resolution to a nagging crisis.

McNamara's fundamental mistake came in his approach to the nation's marching orders for war. In lieu of a well-formulated geopolitical strategy, he utilized statistics, logical reasoning and measured response in a vain attempt to systematically manage the situation. “;There is no longer such a thing as strategy,”; McNamara said, “;There is only crisis management.”;

The ramifications of McNamara's approach to the war outline a relevant lesson for today. Crisis management in a strategic vacuum can lead to catastrophic and regrettable consequences.

Ronald R. Shaw Jr.


Bargaining must focus on best use of workers

Hawaii public service employees have envious wages and benefits, and the time has come for some sacrifice and giving in return for all that we own as active employees and retirees. Every employee's position is essential to public service; therefore each, from governor to lowest paid, must step up and be willing to provide work without pay.

Furloughs are out of place when there is enough work to go around and promise nothing for the citizenry except suffering the inconvenience of workers forced not to work. Bargaining must focus upon how best to use, not idle, the state's huge work force during its worst budget crisis ever.

A negotiated “;working furlough”; will reduce the budget deficit significantly and bring “;pay”; through public good will, gratitude and respect for employees, top to bottom, doing right by truly serving the public.

Joe Tanaka


Lessons to be learned from Madoff debacle

I am by nature more merciful than just, which is why I cannot find it in my heart to hate Bernie Madoff. Why would a man who was already rich in his own right feel compelled to bilk others? My guess is that he never meant for it to happen. Flattery got the best of him, that's what I think. In the course of extending his protective wing, grateful investors overwhelmed him with praise.

Wall Street has done a first-rate job of convincing us we are incapable of investing for ourselves. As long as we fall for that con, the wealth will always trickle up. There are more mutual funds than publicly-traded companies in the U.S., all of which charge hefty fees that pay the six-figure salaries of their so-called fund managers.

Madoff is nothing more than a symbol of our own economic naivete. H.L. Mencken said it 75 years ago, but the maxim still applies: “;Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”;

Ted Pizzino





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