Thursday, May 17, 2001
Democrats are driving away union workersThe year 2001 will go down in the local history as the year the Democratic Party committed political suicide.
In order to please what it perceives as the indomitable force of big business and its neo-liberal (anti-democratic) economics, Democratic legislators caved to business' interests and rolled back a half-century of hard- fought worker entitlements and benefits.
The Democratic Party, by laying waste to its most supportive voting population, has rendered itself unelectable for the forseeable future -- a fate that must leave the party's corporate masters laughing at their successful strategy. Laughing all the way to the bank, that is.
The best analysis of the collapse, ironically came from one of the architects of the demise of economic democracy -- State Rep. Galen Fox, who commented, "We are this big flashing sign that says, 'We need change.'"
For the working people of Hawaii the flashing lights spell G-E-T O-U-T. For all the phony rhetoric about "free-market reform," Hawaii legislators showed a remarkable inability to understand the workings of supply and demand. For years now, out-of-state government agencies have come to Hawaii in search of trained workers. They've had a tepid response, in part due to competitive wages and benefits in Hawaii.
I predict that Hawaii will experience in the coming years a massive exodus of its working-class population -- in both private and public sectors, as workers get fed up with the stagnation in living standards.
[Quotables]"I did my job, that's all."
Honolulu Police detective named 2001 Police Officer of the Year, after he posed as a crooked cop for more than two years to help crack a gambling and money-laundering operation in Chinatown.
"I felt his whole head on my fist, and he got up."
Waipahu-born flyweight, describing his opponent's comeback after being knocked down by Viloria in his professional boxing debut Tuesday night at the Hawaii Convention Center. Viloria won the bout by decision.
New evidence doesn't negate confessionThe FBI made a major error when it misplaced the thousands of pages of evidence on the Oklahoma bombing and failed to give them to Timothy McVeigh's attorneys. How significant are the documents? Will this affect his conviction? Will there be a new trial?
Despite these questions, McVeigh was given a fair trial, convicted by a jury, sentenced to death and confessed. This is justice! If it can be proved that others were involved, they should be given the death sentence if convicted.
Our society's concern and sympathy should be with the victims' families and friends, not McVeigh. He already was given special treatment, with all the public exposure and opportunities to express his opinion and motive. This has fulfilled his super ego. He has blamed the government for his bombing as vengeance for Waco.
Any profits from his book should go to the government to pay for his years of incarceration and the costs of his trial.
McVeigh should be executed.
How Tim Chang
Palolo wouldn't benefit by burying power linesAs a Palolo resident, I am concerned with some of the letters that I have been reading about Waahila Ridge.
Jim Harwood of Malama O Manoa writes, "We would rather not have the line at all, but if it has to go underground, putting it underground would not be burdensome to rate payers."
While it may not be a burden to Mr. Harwood, putting the line underground would be burdensome for Palolo residents with months and months of construction impacting our narrow streets. The recent construction on Kapiolani Boule- vard was a nightmare to those who travelled that area regularly, and that's a six-lane road.
Manoa resident Paul Berry suggests the solution to the Kamoku-Pukele power line is building "alternative renewable power generators in the back of Palolo."
I strongly disagree on any new power plant at the back of Palolo Valley, renewable or otherwise. Why fill Palolo's beautiful valley with solar panels or windmills? The line belongs on Waahila Ridge, away from homes and residents. That makes the most sense.
Cycle law is onerous to military personnelIt is unfortunate message the state has recently sent to our servicemen and women. The state changed the law a few years ago to allow prospective motorcycle riders to get a license upon satisfactory completion of the Motorcycle Safety Course (MSF). This was a good step. To get a license the state requires cyclists to complete a program that costs $150. The military mandates all motorcycle riders must take the MSF and offers the course free.
Both the military and state courses are certified courses taught by certified instructors, but the state does not recognize the military course, thus requiring our service personnel to pay for the course, even if they have completed it on base.
House Bill 824 and Senate Bill 748 were to correct this. The governor recently vetoed House Bill 824 stating it "may result in undesirable inconsistencies" with the Department of Transportation. He vetoed it even after many people testified in favor and it received legislative and military support.
This is a poor message to send to our service personnel and their families. The military brings a lot of support to Hawaii and we should support them and help where we can.
Japan is full of surprises latelyI am surprised to read about the ideas of the new prime minister of Japan, Junishiro Koizumi. Many are unusual.
As a first step, he selected five women to the Cabinet, which jolted a lot of people. That, in itself, may open the doors for women to enter into politics and help their country on the road to economic well-being. Women can contribute to education, health and balancing the budget.
Another was to change the name of the self-defense land forces to army. Realistically, that is what is happening, when it helps other countries in various United Nation's endeavors.
Other suggestions such as allowing a woman to ascend to the throne and the visits to Yasukuni Shrine are controversial and need to be discussed fully.
With recent events in which prime ministers go through revolving doors and change so frequently, our hope is to see more stability and let the prime minister serve a full four-year term. Those changes of prime ministers are confusing for the electorate and other people who are Japan-watchers.
Roy E. Shigemura
Polling story reveals conservative biasIf anyone needs further proof of your new paper's disappointing Republican bias, they should consider the Star-Bulletin's May 15 front-page story on polling results.
Faced with a poll indicating that 62 percent of those questioned felt that the Legislature performed "about the same" or "worse," with 19 Republicans, only you could come up with the boldly captioned "Many feel GOP helped politics," based on 24 percent holding this opinion.
Please keep up the good work so that all fair-minded readers can see how little objectivity or integrity you have.
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