Letters to the editor


POSTED: Saturday, October 10, 2009

U.S. trails world in health care

The health care reform battle is sickening. Many people in Congress adore their superlative health care plans, while constituents are dying from lack of insurance or going bankrupt from medical expenses.

Health insurance companies are not benevolent institutions. They contribute heavily to many congressional campaigns, including Max Baucus'.

They want no competition from a public option. They prefer raising premiums, denying claims and refusing coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

Health insurance companies are in the business of providing profits to their stockholders. Your health care is secondary.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof notes that Republican President Teddy Roosevelt fought for national health insurance in 1912. Republican President Richard Nixon supported universal coverage in 1974. Democratic President Bill Clinton fought for health care reform in 1993.

The most civilized nations have health care for all. It is tragic that we lag behind.

Bambi Lin Litchman



Obama should turn down prize

For many, like the religion that is “;climate change,”; it's tough to tolerate anyone denying that our new and young president is not a deity, despite his having done little of import in his life other than peddle ill-defined notions of hope, while earning royalties from two quasi-autobiographical books.

So, it's probably no surprise to many that Barack Obama would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize based on less than two weeks of service as our president (nominations closed on Feb. 1, 2009).

Or perhaps, if one harbors doubts that Obama is God-on-Earth, could the Norwegian nobility again be seeking to manipulate what they habitually consider a declasse United States?

It's worth remembering that in recent years this award has gone to Euro-agenda Americans such as Al Gore and Jimmy Carter—in addition to Yasser Arafat. Indeed, is it possible that finally even some of Obama's supporters may start to recognize what a one-world-government marketing-mirage so much of Obama-mania really is? That it might all be an incredible con job?

If our president had good sense, he'd turn down this award and rebuke it as a transparent attempt to manipulate the United States. But he won't because he probably thinks he deserves it. And in light of what the Nobel Peace Prize has become, he does.

Michael P. Rethman



UH faculty union must face reality

I am very disturbed by the fact the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly rejected the state contract proposal. These are people with high five-figure salaries who are unwilling to make sacrifices in this tough economy.

The suggestion to raise the general excise tax is just ludicrous. State tax revenues are down because no one is spending and tourism is down. If the GET is raised, who will feel the brunt? All of us, especially the ones who 1don't make the pay that they do.

V. Fernandez



Get the vagrants off the sidewalks

To Romy Cachola, and those members who shelved the no sleeping on sidewalks bill, apparently out of some kind of misguided notion of “;aloha,”; can you please detail what actions you have taken to reduce the growing and chronic problem of derelicts taking over Honolulu?

Are you familiar with the any other Hawaiian sayings, like “;'Akekeke ki 'o pahulu”; which can be translated, “;The akekeke relieves itself in former food patches”;?

The akekeke is a bird from the north that comes to Hawaii to take advantage of the bounty and leaves a mess.

This saying expressed contempt to idle vagabonds who eat and depart, thinking nothing of the land. Another term used by Hawaiians for vagrants was, “; 'Olemu ka'a,”; a rolling buttocks.

It is time we practice values of old with more wisdom and practical sense, and also keep sleeping buttocks off our sidewalks.

Shelly Brown



TV conglomerate bad for Hawaii

As a public interest group, we're alarmed by the desire of our three television stations to merge their news operations.

We agree with the FCC commissioner who said, “;If media policy isn't your number one issue, it should be your number two issue. Without localism in media, your number one issue might not get heard!”;

To explore the serious issues we face as a community, we need greater diversity and better reporting, not the opposite.

Some may think the Honolulu Media Council's suit against the stations is quixotic.

However, we remember that community action preserved the separate voices of the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser.

The obligation of the stations to serve the community without collusion is even more explicit under the terms of FCC licensing.

The airwaves belong to us, not them.

Donna Wong

Executive director, Hawaii's Thousand Friends





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