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Tuesday, June 29, 1999


Posting commandments will be daunting task

Why did Jefferson and Madison fight, till their dying day, against religion in government? The recent antics of the U.S. House help answer that question.

Representatives passed a law allowing the posting of the Ten Commandments in schools. Great. Which Ten Commandments? A Buddhist's? An atheist's?

No, you say, the Bible's, of course. Fine. Which Bible? Jews have one list of Ten Commandments. Catholics have another. Protestants have at least two. And various denominations have different translations of their different versions.

So now the government is going to decide which religion's list to use, and which not to use. Great. And the Republicans say they want to get government off our backs and out of our lives?

Bob Stauffer
Via the Internet

Jacob Adler was noted author, too

Your June 22 obituary on Jacob Adler, professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii, failed to note that he was the author of the definitive biography, "Claus Spreckels, the Sugar King in Hawaii" and co-author of "The Fantastic Life of Walter Murray Gibson, Hawaii's Minister of Everything."

Adler liked to write in the bustling lobbies of Waikiki hotels rather than in more academic surroundings. He was the only professor of accounting I met who had a sense of history and a sense of humor.

In my Aug. 3, 1988, review of the Gibson book in the Star-Bulletin, I wrote that it is "a valuable contribution to the history of Hawaii...There are so many Hawaii junk books -- fast books like fast food -- that it is nourishing to read a history book with real meat on it."

Charles E. Frankel
Via the Internet

Editor's note: Charles E. Frankel is a former Star-Bulletin editor.

Intolerance doesn't fit with aloha spirit

I read your June 12 article, "Many reasons found for isle intolerance," with much sadness in my soul. You see, I am a black American who lived in Hawaii for more than nine years. I taught in the public school system as a substitute and was a full-time JROTC instructor.

In all the years I spent in Hawaii, I never got the feeling that society had given up on some members of its population. I always thought it was a place where tolerance for all other groups was the norm.

After reading the article, however, I am sad to say that I was wrong. Now I can see some of the intolerance practiced in your community. For example, if you do not attend private school, your education is suspect.

Being a black from the South, I have witnessed first hand what can happen to a people who are denied freedoms taken for granted by others. In Hawaii you have a unique opportunity to create a society where all are free to climb the ladder of success based on their abilities.

Do not spoil it by placing artificial barriers where some can succeed while others cannot. By keeping opportunities open for all of your people, you will have attained the true spirit of aloha.

Sidney Lloyd Sider
Lt. Col., USAF (Retired) Dacula, Ga.
Via the Internet


"Karate has built my
character. There's always more
to learn; I haven't learned
anything yet."

Elisa Au
On winning World Karate Federation titles in women's kata (forms)
and kumite (sparring), and leading Hawaii's International
Karate Federation team -- tops in the nation -- to gold
and silver medals in Germany

"The state takes the position
that we can do all this stuff to you --
screw up your life, ruin your credit,
take food from your table -- but you
can't do anything to us. This isn't
state money, this is children's
money. When they don't do
their job, kids don't eat."

Francis O'Brien
Who has filed a class-action suit against the state
Child Support Enforcement Agency on behalf of an
estimated 10,000 people who received child-
support payments

The way we talk begets violence

The recent school shootings on the mainland should make us all aware of the power that words and images have in our society. A quick glance at how some of these are used in the media -- terms such as "going postal" or "nuke 'em"-- should illustrate how pervasive words of violence are in our everyday language.

Politicians, civic leaders and citizens trying to determine the cause of our nation's propensity toward violence should look to the many small insults to human decency, which add to a larger culture of social insensitivity and degradation of values.

Laurence Raine
Via the Internet

Ewa Beach needs traffic flow help

Is the state Department of Transportation ever going to do something about the traffic in the Ewa Beach area? In the morning and afternoon, a normal five-minute trip in and out of Ewa Beach takes an average of 15-20 minutes.

We need another exit out of the Ewa Beach area. With the boom in population here, it is only going to get worse. It would also be nice if the DOT would expand Fort Weaver Road to three lanes in each direction to help displace some of the traffic as is being done right now at the north end of Fort Weaver Road by the freeway.

But expanding to three lanes is not a real solution. Another lane just spreads the traffic out, not moving any faster or slower.

There should be a ramp where the traffic would just flow in and out of Ewa without traffic lights on Fort Weaver itself. The ramps would be where the lights are now and cars could get on and off Fort Weaver by merging with traffic. The city of Houston has some excellent examples of this.

Luke Meyer
Ewa Beach
Via the Internet

Columnist insulted great humanitarians

I sighed with frustration as I read yet another useless Cal Thomas column (June 18, "Unfair ruling on abortion demonstrations"). This time, Thomas managed to insult history as well as the intelligence of readers with his ridiculous analysis of the recent legal events leading to a $600,000 fine for Randall Terry's Operation Rescue.

Thomas compares pro-life protests to the civil disobedience practiced by Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., declaring that Terry's pro-lifers have a responsibility to protest unjust laws.

Civil disobedience is characterized not by attacking an offending organization but by peacefully refusing to obey an unjust law and by a calm acceptance of whatever penalties this entails. Gandhi and King were pacifist heroes who, through incredible personal sacrifice, brought justice to the oppressed.

To compare them to a man whose followers throw rubber babies filled with red corn syrup at defenseless, frightened women is unimaginable, even by the standards to which Thomas typically subscribes.

Whose memory will Cal Thomas defile next?

Bret Heilig


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