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Monday, January 22, 2001


Forbes' presentation was mostly upbeat

I'm sure that I speak for most of 300-plus people who attended the 25th Annual Small Business Hawaii Business Conference on Jan. 10 when I convey my disappointment with your next-day coverage of Steve Forbes' speech ("Forbes slams Hawaii again").

While Forbes did refer to political monopoly and well-documented political intimidation in this state, those remarks made up maybe a couple minutes of a 45-minute presentation focusing on Hawaii's positive resources, its many benefits, opportunities and bright future.

He spoke of Hawaii in context with the mainland and Asian economies. He also stressed progress made by this state since the "People's Republic" article was printed in Forbes magazine in 1997.

The title of his talk was "Hawaii's Potential for Real Prosperity." He also discussed the U.S. economy, federal monetary policy, the possibility of inflation or recession, and many other issues. This did not come across in the story.

What did come across was the way your headline writer and reporter went of their way to bring the governor's newly appointed press secretary into an artificial controversy. She willingly responded and attacked me personally, as well as Forbes, describing undefined "extremist political views" without benefit of being at the event or hearing what he said.

To imagine that someone of Steve Forbes' caliber and international reputation, and that he would fly 12,000 miles round trip in less than 30 hours to speak to a special conclave of business owners, just to complain or be negative is ludicrous.

We were fortunate that Forbes thought Hawaii and its future important enough to make the extraordinary effort to be with us. Shame on the Star-Bulletin!

Sam Slom
President, Small Business
Hawaii State Senator, 8th District (R)

Dictionary proves truth behind euthanasia

This is an addendum in support of A.A. Smyser's Jan. 9 column, "Doctors must support physician-assisted death." The definition of the world "euthanasia," as given by the Oxford-American dictionary, is: "Bringing about of a gentle death in the case of incurable and painful disease."

T. Ono



"As an elected official, I accept being held to a higher standard. Unfortunately, these things come up."
Marshall Ige
Facing new charges of first- and second-degree theft, money laundering, tax evasion and extortion

"It's fair to say Rene is distracted by everything else going on in her life."
Steve Holmes
Noting that Councilwoman Rene Mansho is being investigated by both the state Campaign Spending Commission and the city Ethics Commission regarding use of her campaign funds and Council staff. Mansho failed to accept public testimony on the city's supplemental budget bill, which may lead to her ouster as head of the important Budget Committee.

Even ministers appear to be homophobic

A group of Oahu Christian ministers held a press conference on Sunday to protest the participation of the civil unions/civil rights movement in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in Honolulu.

This illuminates the power of homophobia, as it has the power to corrupt spiritual leaders -- placing stones in their hands to be thrown at God's children.

Not so very long ago, Christianity was used to defend racist laws and traditions. Despite the hard-learned lessons of the civil rights movement, some of our leaders and faith communities still find it acceptable to defend homophobic laws and traditions.

They claim righteousness in religion, even as they demean basic humanity through the denial of equal rights and justice for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people. This is an illegitimate morality dividing our families and communities.

There is a compelling need to stop the hatred, fear and ignorance that sustains homophobia in our society. That is why I joined men, women and children in a march around Oahu to raise public awareness about its destructive power.

We are following in Martin Luther King's footsteps, are committed to the principles of love and nonviolent resistance, and appeal for support and aloha as we work for equality in Hawaii.

Eduardo Hernandez

Gay activists are worst bigots of them all

I recently witnessed gay activists demonstrating in front of a local store, yelling through a bull horn, "We will not tolerate Mike Gabbard! We will not tolerate homophobes!"

The theme of the march was tolerance.

These demonstrators advertise themselves as promoters of tolerance. The media have portrayed them as advocates of tolerance.

And here they are yelling out slogans that say they have no tolerance for anyone who disagrees with them on the morality or immorality of homosexual behavior or same-sex marriage. These people obviously believe in tolerance only of those who agree with them.

Mike Hinchey

Use words that most people understand

Just a note to gently chide you about the Jan. 11 write-up on the newly released video, "Once Upon A Time In China."

Surely you would concede that the vast majority of people in Hawaii don't understand a word such as "ascetic," describing a self-denying character in the film. But to then misspell it as "acetic," relating to vinegar or acid, compounds an unnecessary problem.

How about using words that most people can understand, particularly when describing an event relating to entertainment?

Steve Platt

Makua Valley isn't vital to U.S. military

Sen. Dan Inouye's recent attempts to keep the Army at Makua are counterproductive (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 10). If we lose ground troops stationed in Hawaii, it's for the excellent reason that these dispositions no longer make strategic sense.

All recent combat deployments of these units have been to the Balkans or the Middle East, and would have been easier, faster and more cost-effective if the units had been stationed on the mainland.

More to the point locally, however, the Army at Makua -- with its barbed-wire topped steel fences, its searchlight-equipped guard towers, its periodic shelling of a slope that certainly includes one bona fide and clearly visible ancient Hawaiian heiau, and its periodic attempts to run amphibious landings over one of the more outstanding scenic resort beaches on the island of Oahu -- has been a first-class and relentless political nuisance.

The de facto and undeclared martial law at Makua is certainly the basis of the inflammatory rhetoric that we constantly hear from the Hawaiian left about "U.S. occupation forces."

Like the senior senator from Hawaii, I am a military veteran and don't have a fundamental problem with military reality. But Makua is a world-class sacred site, not a training zone.

That land will never support what the Army has been trying to do with it.

If the locals were Chinese instead of Hawaiian, you'd get exactly the same opposition and for the same reasons.

Mike Keolomakapuu Pettingill

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