Sunday, October 21, 2001
Trask's speech creates sparks
LeMahieu's departure is disappointingAs a public school teacher, I am deeply saddened and disappointed to hear of the resignation of our superintendent, Dr. Paul LeMahieu.
I am saddened because I know that Dr. LeMahieu had a clear, beneficial plan set out for our public schools. He is a national expert on educational standards, a movement that other school systems already have in place.
I am disappointed because rather than try to persuade Dr. LeMahieu to stay, knowing that he has made improvements to our educational system and that his resignation comes when the possibility of federal receivership of the Department of Education is almost a reality, Governor Cayetano has chosen to say that Dr. LeMahieu has made the best choice for the educational system of Hawaii.
"The superintendent has done a great deal for the department. Several board (of education) members have clearly indicated ... that no one has done so much." Herbert Watanabe
Hawaii Board of Education chairman, on the resignation amid controversy of Superintendent of Schools Paul LeMahieu.
"We're very saddened by what has occurred. It has been unsettling, and there is that sense of loss." Pat Hamamoto
Interim superintendent of schools, on Paul LeMahieu's resignation.
Return hurricane fund to those who paidEvery day there are new ideas about how to use the Hurricane Insurance Fund.
This money belongs to the state residents who paid into the fund. How can the state Legislature take these funds from their legitimate owners?
All of the records are available to return the money to the rightful policy holders and fee payers. The prompt return of these funds would be the greatest tax break of all. The money would pour quickly into the local economy and assist many people who have lost their jobs.
Tell your legislators that you want these funds given back to the rightful owners.
Once again, Greenspan is right"Kaiser rates to go up," (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 18). Yep, here comes the inflation Arnold Greenspan was talking about.
Stupidity exposed by economic dropDo you remember when some sovereignty activists were telling tourists not to come to Hawaii because Hawaii didn't want them or need them?
We can now see the devastating effects on our economy and people's livelihoods when tourists do not come.
Stupidity is eventually exposed.
Larry A. Gardner
Terrorism won't end with quick victoryIt is without a doubt that the United States will win the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban, but this will not stop terrorist attacks as long as the causes are not resolved.
Some of the reasons for Muslims' hatred of the United States are its siding with Israel in the Middle East conflict and causing the death of millions of children in Iraq as a result of the Gulf War and U.S. sanctions against that country.
In other parts of the world, the United States is viewed as arrogant. It is believed that the the world's problems are primarily made by the United States. It has refused the Kyoto protocol, decided to spend billions of dollars building a missile defense system that other nations oppose.
The United States must change its strategy if it is avoid future terrorist attacks and war. It should take the lead in world disarmament, destruction of nuclear weapons and clean up nuclear waste and pollution. It should participate in equitable sharing, distribution and consumption of the world's resources.
How Tim Chang
Make strong links with other nations, not warIf you recall all of the hawkish rhetoric that occurred during the Vietnam War, claiming how righteous the war was and considered how it played out, you would think that we would have learned that everybody loses except those who make money off war.
Those who build the arms, munitions, aircraft and related supplies (oil) profited. This is not the by the people, for the people, of the people our forefathers had in mind.
Before it's too late, contact your congressional representatives and explain the situation to them like this: We need to think of the world as a chain, only as strong as the weakest link. The weakest link is the uneducated, oppressed Third World that believes we or our allies have been its attackers during the last half a century.
As on a bicycle, strengthen the weakest link and the chain will move through the sprockets of life and everyone gets to go where they want. Neglect or further impair that weakest link and the ride maybe over for all of us.
U.S. aid should stay at homeHas anyone done a thorough investigation of to whom the United States gives aid? How many of these countries are protesting against us?
I believe the aid should be distributed first and foremost here at home.
I think U.S. citizens should know to whom we may be giving aid.
America's 'allies' don't stand tallIsraeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a recent statement (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 5) compared the United States to Hitler, due to our efforts to work with Arab countries in eliminating terrorism.
I found his remark offensive and would remind the prime minister that if it were not for the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars given to his nation over the years, in financial and military aid, his country could not have continued to exist.
I further find it interesting that some European allies, whose okole we have pulled out of the fire in World War I and World War II have begun to backpedal on their initial promises to enter into the struggle against terrorism. Yet, on numerous occasions when terrorism has struck our allies, we provided many forms of relief and, as they have come to expect, financial aid.
Further, it wouldn't hurt to remind our illustrious allies, that only one nation, Japan, has repaid its wartime debt to the United States.
France, who I consider to be the most wishy-washy of nations, should also remember that had it not been for the loss of many American lives on its soil, its citizens may well have been subjected to Hitler much longer than they were.
Do these countries band with the United States as allies against a common foe or are we just a cash cow?
I am in no way recommending isolationism, however, it's time for our political leaders to solve problems at home, such as homelessness, education, job security and the aged.
As for Sharon, I say tread carefully and make sure your brain is in gear before you put your mouth in motion.
For our allies, the message should be as clear as it was to countries supporting terrorism: "You're either with us, or you're against us." If you are the latter, then don't expect further financial or military aid from the American people.
I'm tired of supporting the world with my tax dollars only to be sucker-punched by the same countries we've supported.
John L. Shupe
Stadium restrictions welcomed by someIf you sit in the Blue Section of the stadium and had the same couple in front of you open up their darn golf umbrella at the first sign of rain, you might view the new restrictions at Aloha Stadium differently. Oh sure, the couple is always apologetic, but the fact remans that these umbrellas are a nuisance and dangerous. There's nothing like having the runoff fill up your shoes or block your view of the field or stab you in the knee.
For years, the stadium has been putting up signs on the scoreboard about not using umbrellas in the stands. I am happy the new security restrictions are in place, and I can comfortably and safely watch the game without the fear of being impaled by the apologetic couple with the golf umbrella.
A few of my friends have just returned from New York and viewed the terrible destruction of the World Trade Center first hand. They all said it was an eye opener and something that they will never, ever forget. It's been well past a month since that tragedy and you can smell the smoke from the fires that are still burning.
Upon their return, they joined the rest of the gang for a tailgate party at Aloha Stadium. An hour before kickoff, some of the guys were sitting around and grumbling about the new security policies and wondering if it was just a ploy to stop us from sneaking in food and a little extra beer.
At that point, my friend said, "Gee, I wonder if the people in the WTC or on the airplanes that crashed into them would be griping about added security policies or people checking their bags?"
No one said a word. We all started walking toward the stadium, happy that we were still around to watch a Saturday football game and our favorite team beat the pants off their opponents.
There has been a lot of talk about the new security measures at the stadium. I for one am grateful that something is being done before a catastrophe strikes, and we are all sorry that we weren't more careful. When a bomb goes off or some nut case does something stupid, it's too late.
Yes, it's a pain to try to squeeze everything into a small fanny pack but today, everything is a trade off. Would people be happier if we all had to stand in line for two or three hours while each bag, purse of backpack was thoroughly searched? Until the situation with these terrorists is resolved, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Besides, the whole purpose of going to University of Hawaii football games is to support the team, to eat, drink, tailgate and picnic in the stands.
Quit your grumbling and focus on the team and the game.
Trask's speech creates sparks
Trask's voice needs to be heardBravo, Star-Bulletin, for the article regarding Haunani-Kay Trask's perspective of current events ("U.S. bears sole blame for Sept. 11, Trask says," Star-Bulletin, Oct. 18).
I don't always agree with her or her way of presenting things, but she is one tough lady and we all need her voice. She is a political version of Madonna, shocking at times, but she stirs our minds, holds a mirror in front of our faces, making us examine ourselves.
This country's history contains a lot of shadow and wounding we have never addressed. Perhaps now is the time for healing in ways we never considered before.
Speech reveals great flaws in thinkingThere are two points about Haunani-Kay Trask's anti-war speech that stick out in my mind as both stupifying and contradictory.
First, she equates the comments of Malcolm X with the magnitude of the loss of life on 9/11. Well, Malcolm X was a great man of action and thought. But he recognized the pettiness of the platform of black nationalism under the leadership of Elijah Muham-med's Nation of Islam. Malcolm X recognized that there were other Muslims who were white, or Asian, and not just black.
For this thinking he was removed from the Nation of Islam and eventually shot dead. Trask makes no such distinction in her fight for an outdated and outmoded form of Hawaiian nationalism. The organization of the movement alone is shattered at best.
Second, the time-honored "tradition" of whining about the colonialist actions of the U.S. government has become cliched and downright annoying. Where would Trask rather live, under the Peoples Republic of China? She would never be able to be so critical of the PRC government.
The United States made mistakes in the past and that's where they should remain, as lessons of what not to do. The same should be said of this farce called the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. There is no clear direction, no clear leadership and most importantly no clear voice of what should be done.
So what of it then? Get rid of it and move on to the future as Hawaiian-Americans! The "movement" borders on toned down hate-speak against outside cultures. Hate is nothing but baggage, and life is too short.
Finally, the other teachers and professors can maintain their stance against the war. I look at them as no less American for doing so; it's their right.
Yes, we can turn the other cheek. But the way I see it, sometimes we must turn the other cheek with a sword in our hand. As of 9/11 that time has come.
Noah Kulilipokalani Ka'imi'aina Pekelo
(Former Waipahu resident)
We've heard this speech beforeAlthough personally, I'm beginning to take advantage of her TV appearances by using the time to go grab a beer or make a sandwich, I just gotta ask -- why does the news media including (ahem!) the Star Bulletin always cover the rantings of Haunani-Kay Trask as if it was news? All she ever does is try and shame or blame the United States for something in a rude and abusive manner.
I think it's about time news editors at papers, television and radio stations give coverage of her a rest, even if it is a slow news day. She always gives basically the same speech anyhow: "They" -- the United States, haoles, people of mixed race, whomever -- are always to blame for something horrendous.
Broken record already.
Robert "Rabbett" Abbett
Trask spews more stupidity and hatredOver the years, I have listened as the Trask sisters have said a lot of stupid and hateful things. I have always marvelled at their special dispensation. It seems they can say whatever pops into their heads (recall the "one armed bandit" remark about Sen. Dan Inouye?) without being challenged.
But the remarks of Haunani Kay-Trask reported in Thursday's Star Bulletin, may finally be over the top. How exactly did the thousands of innocent people cause their own deaths in New York? Does she really think they had it coming? Her remarks are outrageous. Now Americans are in harm's way in Afghanistan, helping preserve her freedom to say it is America's fault that madmen hijack airplanes. After these attacks, it was often said that there were no more hyphenated Americans. I guess whoever said that never met Trask.
Trask's remarks were irresponsibleHaunani-Kay Trask's comments on the United States and the cause of the terrorist attacks (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 18) were irresponsible and contradictory.
King Kamehameha also practiced imperialism in his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands against the will of the other island kingdoms. I mean no disrespect of Kamehameha, but if we are going to talk of imperialism or oppression, let's be honest about it. History teaches almost every nation on Earth has practiced some form of imperialism or oppression, so no one should focus solely on the United States.
American tax dollars (which she also pays) allow her to enjoy our freedoms. Could she live in Afghanistan and speak out as she is able to do in the United States? Does she think Hawaiian sovereignty groups can come together? And if so, to what end, go back in time to live in an oppressed society as her ancestors did. She couldn't even look an alii in the eye and live to tell about it back then.
The United States is not perfect, but 280 million people choose to live here.
Others paid in blood for her right to speakHaunani-Kay Trask should realize that the reason she can stand up in defiance of the United States of America is due to our forefathers support for military action around the world in the name of freedom. This gives her the right to her own opinion, whether it be right or wrong.
I can see what she might think that the United States should be taking care of its own people before taking care of someone else, but we need to realize that the United States of America gives every person irregardless of ethnic, religious or political affiliation, the tools to feed themselves and their family, all these people have to do is apply themselves.
Former Hawaii resident
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