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Wednesday, March 10, 1999


Law doesn't need to be changed by Legislature

The more important issue in the Kimberly Pada attempted murder trial is whether the judge should have given the jury any instruction allowing murder to be mitigated to manslaughter, if the defendant had acted under severe emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation.

The evidence and inferences from the evidence did not appear to provide any rational basis for the mitigation. Hence, there should have been no instruction at all that would have allowed the jury to decide that issue.

The Legislature should not tinker with the mitigation provision simply because it was misapplied by the court. This provision has historically been recognized as a mitigation for murder committed "in the heat of passion" and there are many fact patterns under which it makes good sense.

It was never intended to be applied as it was. Eliminating it because it was misapplied in one notorious case is unwise.

Paul de Silva
Hilo, Hawaii
(Via the Internet)

Matsuura shouldn't be promoting Christianity

As a non-Christian constituent of Sen. David Matsuura, I am concerned about his promotion of one particular religion with his display of the Christian fish icon in the public hallway of the state Capitol. Hawaii demographics show 49 percent are non-Christians. Am I welcome in his office?

Matsuura defends his door sign by saying, "If you notice other senators' doors, they have other things there they wish to promote." Promote, indeed! That's the whole point of contention here.

The senator is a government employee of the people who elected him. His senatorial job description does not include the promotion of one religious belief over another -- at least not in our American, pluralistic society, whose strength comes from diversity.

Don Bremer
Keaau, Hawaii
(Via the Internet)

Let senator display symbol on his door

I support the right of a legislator to place a religious symbol on the door of his office. He is declaring his love for Jesus Christ. This great country of ours is supposed to have a right to religious freedom.

The so-called separation of church and state is a fiction that the atheists of this country have perpetrated upon a complacent public. If the founding fathers knew that we were restricting the freedom of expression of our Christian faith, they would be upset.

Congress opens up its sessions with a prayer! Let Mitchell Kahle know that Christians should not be abused by men as small-minded as he is!

Philip Park
(Via the Internet)



bullet "This is ripping us off. My 4-year-old loves his pet. They know people will continue to pay."
-- Jill Eastman, objecting to the state Department of Agriculture's proposal to raise the cost of a 30-day pet quarantine in Hawaii from less than $300 to $755 a month.

bullet "I've always felt that it wasn't my business running any of these things. I've never thought really that the solution is to build more prisons."
-- U.S. District Judge Samuel P. King, lifting a 15-year-long federal supervision of the Oahu Community Correctional Center because of improvements in the prison system.

bullet "Some people don't have time or don't want to go to another country (to discuss orangutans). Everybody wants to go to Hawaii."
-- Steve Carbank of the Galdikas' Orangutan Foundation International, on a sanctuary for captive orangutans that will be built in Hilo and which will host conferences.

Screwy anti-business ideas are coming out of House

I can't believe what I am hearing from the state House. Can it be true that someone on welfare cannot be made to work for their money if, and I mean no disrespect to those unable to work, they are able to work? How can anyone not see the benefit to overburdened taxpayers?

And what about the idea that, should I decide to buy a business in Hawaii, I MUST keep its employees for a year whether qualified or not?

Our Democratic representatives are following their big brothers in Washington by voting along strict party lines, regardless of whether it makes any sense. Witness the vote to remove the president: 100 percent of the Democrats voted "no" while Republicans at least broke ranks and voted their conscience.

Dick Skarnes
(Via the Internet)

Review of 'Blue Dolphins' demeaned native peoples

As the playwright, I have never before in my career responded to a critic, but I feel a duty with respect to the Star-Bulletin March 4 review of Honolulu Theatre for Youth's production of "Island of the Blue Dolphins."

I do not believe that the reviewer, John Berger, particularly seems to be in argument with either Mr. O'Dell (the original author of the classic novel) or myself, but rather with the struggle of native Americans.

Berger takes issue with the historical facts of the true incident, in fact, suggesting that the massacre of an entire race and the lone female survivor trying desperately to maintain her cultural identity is not worthy subject matter for theater.

The coastal native Americans of California, much like native Hawaiians, have disappeared -- the victims of plague, massacres and cultural annihilation. Berger's message seems to suggest "not in front of the children," when indeed, children are the very source of our future. They deserve not only the truth of history, but also the opportunity to overcome it.

Berger's condescending and flippant phrasing reminds me of the historical revisionists that have plagued much of this century, conveniently dismissing ethnic minorities' participation in everything from the Civil War to Vietnam.

It is particularly surprising to discover this appalling lack of cultural sensitivity in a state that prides itself on its tolerance and celebration of ethnic diversity.

Burgess Clark
New York, N.Y.
(Via the Internet)

Waste of time to watch Monica on tell-all special

No, I did not watch "The Interview." Neither, I hope, did my American government students. I wouldn't want my seniors to waste their valuable time listening to a woman whose only claim to infamy is that she performed oral sex on the president.

Instead of watching the Barbara Walters' special, I spent my evening reading Linda Kerber's work, "No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship." I'm not going to hold my breath for a prime-time special on this topic.

Claire McCaffery Griffin
(Via the Internet)

Beautiful view is better tribute to war veterans

The Natatorium should be torn down and the site restored to a natural beach front. Just as Kuhio Beach has no memorial structure, there should be no memorial structure at the Natatorium, simply an identifying plaque.

There is no better memorial to the veterans of World War I than an unobstructed view of the beach, ocean and spectacular sunsets.

Margaret J. Durbin
(Via the Internet)


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