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Letters to the Editor


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POSTED: Monday, September 07, 2009

Obama speech is indoctrination

I took the time to call all of our congressional offices to register my intense opposition to President Barack Obama broadcasting a speech directly into our school classrooms tomorrow. Before I did that, I took the time to download and read the various “;suggested discussions and activities”; that pre-K through grade 12 could engage in after hearing the president's speech.

If the camel's nose gets in the tent, the hump will follow, and I'm sorry to say this Obama speech directly into our schools looks like a political indoctrination attempt and I won't tolerate it. Many may disagree, believing instead that Obama wants to engage with our young. I don't buy that. I already saw the White House Web site soliciting “;fishy”; stories about folks, which meant that they wanted us to e-mail if we thought our fellow citizens were engaging in activities that didn't fall in line with current Obama policies.

No, I'm sorry to say I'll be pulling my children out of class that day, and I'll spend time explaining the Bill of Rights, our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence to them on that day. Will my children ever be politically indoctrinated? Over my dead body!

Loren C. Divers
Honolulu

Apply simple rules to budget cutting

This is getting ridiculous! The governor needs to actively manage the budget situation, not pass the buck. The rule of thumb is simple: Keep what works, trim needed but inefficient services, and cut areas that aren't needed. Examples:

1) Film Office: Employs only five people, brings in millions of dollars.

Don't touch.

2) Department of Education: Has to be kept; we can't drop public education. But nearly half of the DOE budget is spent outside the classroom. Don't lay off teachers and reduce school days. Cut administrative staff and costs by 40 percent. (For instance, in the last DOE budget, nearly $40 million dollars was spent on computers and phone service for non-teachers. Cut that to $4 million.)

3) Payroll/human resources: The state payroll services are notoriously slow and error-prone. Cut all in-house payroll staff and hire a private payroll company (at one-tenth the cost).

“;Share the pain”; is another way of saying “;I'm too lazy to make choices.”; We need to make choices right now.

Peter Webb
Honolulu

Excuse the aroma of a hard day's work

To the citizens of Honolulu who complained about body odor on buses: I sure hope you are not offended by the builder, plumber, carpenter, roofer or other person who may have to work in the hot sun all day.

Some of these people are building your future homes, schools, hospitals, etc. Maybe you can be uncomfortable long enough for your short ride home after a hard day's work. I know many people use buses to commute, and we don't all smell fresh as roses after working a long day.

If this is all you've got to complain about, then count your blessings. Many people have lost their jobs. I would think your city leaders would have bigger worries than those who may have a little odor after a hard day or night's work. I love to use buses when I can and would never deny that to other citizens of my community just because they may smell bad after working.

Vince Murphy
Ruskin, Fla.

Tam and Garcia clearly out of a touch

A simple reminder to City Council members Nestor Garcia and Rod Tam: You need to know that not everybody has a reserved parking stall and is working in an office where the room temperature is set at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, sitting in a leather chair with a lei around their neck.

Some people have to sweat to put food on the table, so please stick to the economy to give those people who elected you a more pleasant life. If you want to gain fame, do it with some good intention, not with a stupid idea like this.

Guy Belegaud
Kakaako

Smokescreen clouds health care debate

Health care is as basic a need to our country, our community and our people as is fire protection—yet the progress we have made in fire protection since the “;shield”; system disappeared from the U.S. has been denied us for health care.

Probably no one alive today was around when the shield system existed: Fire brigades financed and operated by competing insurance companies, and each one deciding which fire to deal with if there was more than one at a time, since there was only one company brigade in a city.

Not even an insurance company would suggest going back to the shield system. They now make their money by selling insurance to deal with the aftermath of a fire, rather than fighting one.

Yet health care is just as the shield system was for fire protection, and insurance companies are fighting to keep their hands in our pockets—and around our throats—for profit. They fight using fear in place of fact with terms like “;death panels”; and with money in the pockets of politicians and parties who care more about elections than people's lives.

When will we see through this smokescreen and recognize that “;the public option”; is the only way to end this system?

Harry Swensen
Honolulu