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Tuesday, February 16, 1999


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Is military budget supposed to be pork or protection?

The logic of Sen. Daniel Inouye's comment on military bases eludes me. Since when should the defense budget be used to play an important role in communities all over the United States? I thought the defense budget was to provide for a military force to protect the country against foreign enemies.

The feeding of states at the federal trough called the defense budget is one of the problems with our national budget. Why don't we save up for the lean times or, better yet, reduce the deficit instead of spending whenever we have supposed surpluses?

Let's make the federal government more efficient instead of using the defense budget as economic welfare for states.

Henry LePage
(Via the Internet)

Legal blood-alcohol should be lowered to save lives

I commend the legislators backing SB 31, which would lower to .04 percent the legal blood-alcohol level for driving. However, I am surprised at the response to this proposal.

In your Jan. 27 article, lobbyist Kathleen Masunaga said the legal blood-alcohol level should be set according to how many drinks a person has. Another lobbyist, Richard Botti, believes this bill is overkill and sends a bad message to our tourism industry. One of your letter writers assumes the Legislature is bent on restricting our individual freedoms.

It is well documented in medical science that people are impaired at a blood-alcohol level of .04 percent. Whether a person reaches this limit in one drink or 10 is irrelevant; the person should not be driving.

I know many people who have taken a vacation, and not one of them picked a destination based upon the legal DUI limit of the state. As for our freedoms, the last time I checked, driving under the influence of alcohol and putting the lives of everyone else on the road in jeopardy was not a constitutionally protected right.

SB 31 could save your life or the life of a family member. Would you throw that away just so you could have one more beer before you hit the road?

Wesley Miller
Ewa Beach
(Via the Internet)



Bullet "I think I know more now. I've matured. As you get more knowledgeable, you understand issues more."

-- Rep. Neil Abercrombie on his support for defense spending.

Bullet "I didn't know there was a political reason for our performances. I only knew I didn't have to go to school."

-- Actress Lee Chun, recalling her childhood in China.

Bullet "I can't pretend to tell Mr. Starr what his legal options are but, from a pure political standpoint, it's time to move on."

-- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., opposed to independent counsel Kenneth Starr seeking an indictment of President Clinton, at least while he is in office.

Bullet "Isn't this the biggest heart you ever saw in your life? This is a better kind of heart of darkness."

-- President Clinton, passing out chocolates to the press from a heart-shaped box.

Tinky Winky accusation is example of homophobia

It is with intense pleasure that we have watched the Rev. Jerry Falwell set out to defend the faith and morals of the republic from the sub-juvenile antics of Tinky Winky and his fellow Teletubbies.

The dictionary informs us that homophobia is an "irrational" fear of or distaste for homosexuals. It is seldom that this definition is so clearly demonstrated.

George Vye, Ward Stewart

Impeachment trial needed a Judge Judy to find truth

When it came right down to it, it didn't matter which side presented the best case, what the public thought, or if President Clinton was guilty of any crimes. This was strictly a Republican vs. Democrat feud at the taxpayers' expense. Just look at the final vote.

In a perfect world it would have been ideal for television's Judge Judy and Judge Mills Lane to preside over these high-profile cases. They would see through all the lies and games to actually get to the truth to exemplify the true meaning of justice.

Colin Kau

Clinton was guilty of all charges

Clinton acquitted? Did he lie to the American people? Yes! Did he commit adultery? Yes! Did he try to cover up the scandal and tamper with witnesses? Yes! (By calling Ms. Lewinsky at 2:30 in the morning.)

It's a shame that all this turned into a partisan vote. Shame on Senators Akaka and Inouye for following the partisan line.

Roy Matsuyama

Hawaii GOP must distance itself from national party

UH Law Professor Jon Van Dyke is absolutely correct (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 13): The House impeachment was partisan and therefore improper. The offenses should not have been dealt with through impeachment.

The impeachment has polarized public opinion with overwhelming sentiment highly critical of Kenneth Starr and the House prosecutors. Shocked House Republicans still cannot believe the public understands their case against the president, so they will continue their arguments at higher volume in hopes that shouted repetition may win the 2000 elections 20 months away. In so doing they will ensure loss of one or both houses, as well as the presidency.

This is an unfortunate prospect for Hawaii's Republicans. If their candidates are linked to congressional Republicans, they will surely be carried to defeat with the national party.

The only hope of the Hawaii party is to follow the lead of some other Republicans, typified by George and Jeb Bush. Reject extremism. Eschew fundamentalism and the right wing. Present a moderate, middle-road course. Let the Democrats defeat themselves.

In Hawaii, the party of privilege and special interest is the Democratic Party. Republican reformers can only be elected by good Democrats grown weary of poor government.

Scott Allen

Media need to reflect on their role in Clinton debacle

The news media have suffered considerably at their own hand, and need to set some new standards and stick to them.

Fox News, a cable television network, has tried for a year or more to pass its anti-Clinton talk shows off as "news." Fox talk show hosts have portrayed themselves as "journalists" and Fox and others have had the audacity to suggest that what they were "reporting" was unbiased and news.

Newspapers and magazines have damaged their own credibility by their own actions -- and often just by their choice of words.

Saturday's misleading headline on the Star-Bulletin's lead editorial is a good example: "Clinton is acquitted but not found innocent." It is well-known that our courts (and in this case, our Senate) finds people NOT GUILTY.

We all know he is guilty of sin, but not of crime. In our country we are all "innocent until proved guilty."

For the record, Bill Clinton was found not guilty by the Senate, and so proclaimed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. He was acquitted. He is innocent of any crime, and that is how it should be reported.

Keith Haugen


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