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Democratic candidates should debate again

I was a bit disappointed to learn that a second televised debate has been cancelled because Mazie Hirono will not attend. I have heard many opinions about the first televised debate and am sorry I missed it. I think there are many other voters who would appreciate an opportunity to watch a second debate.

Many jaded voters, including myself, have only recently begun to pay attention to politics. Much of the interest is due to the recurring promise among all of the candidates to bring "change." I am excited about the upcoming election, but with a weak economy and so many problems in Hawaii, I am still not sure who would be the best leader. A second televised debate, including all of the candidates, would help me be certain that I am making the right decision.

Anne Lee

Dems haven't made any 'changes' so far

Until the other night, I thought that the best way to view a work of surrealism was to drive up Makiki Heights to the Contemporary Museum. A much better way is to tune your TV to the Democratic gubernatorial debate.

All three candidates are espousing "change," change from the "systemic problems" plaguing our great state. Excuse me? I thought these candidates were "the system."

This may be a naive question, but what exactly will they do in the next four years that they couldn't or wouldn't do in the last four years?

I've never been involved in government, but I have been involved with change in the corporate sector. The first commandment of corporate revival is: "True change to the system must come from outside the system" (you need a new CEO from outside the company culture). I have a feeling this applies to government as much as it does to the private sector.

The second commandment is: "True change has to begin no later than the day after the change of the CEO." I don't see this happening if the same gang gets another four years. If you want to see real change, look at the University of Hawaii. We need the same thing at the state level.

Joseph Kim

Attacking Iraq might encourage terrorists

President Bush has acknowledged that the decision to go to war with Iraq must not be made hastily and has given Congress the ability to choose, but many members of our legislative branch fear that voting against war would signal a lack of loyalty to our nation. But it is our job as patriotic Americans to state our opinions, and the fact remains that a majority of Americans do not want to go to war with Iraq.

An attack on Iraq will not deter any proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and instead could very well encourage potential suicide terrorists.

Let us not perpetuate the events of Sept. 11 by allowing them to be repeated. Our country is in economic recession, we are attempting war with a Middle Eastern country and Bush is president. Welcome to 1991.

Devon Lindsey
Kula, Maui

What gives U.S. the right to attack others?

Since when does America have the right to attack and kill citizens of another country? Is it enough to proclaim that Iraq is or will be a threat? Is it legal for a democratic country to attack other countries and kill their leaders? What country in the world is really safe from us, with a foreign policy like this? Citizens of other countries are asking this question. Do we not consider it terrorism when another country or group attacks and kills our citizens and leaders? Remember 9/11.

War and other violence are never good or final solutions. What is the motive for attacking Iraq? Are there chemical and nuclear weapons factories in Iraq? I do not endorse violence, but I would expect leaders that believe violence is the solution to send a special forces team to eliminate these factories. Or is there a larger, unspoken agenda calling for a full-scale war to control the region and install "our" leaders?

Democratic principles make this country great. Do not let your country be led down this path and become the bully of the world. Please look at these serious issues and let your representatives know that we want our foreign and domestic policies to be based on freedom and democracy.

Stephen Spears
Kapaa, Kauai

Disposable chopsticks killing China's forests

I was glad to see that on Sunday and Monday the Honolulu Academy of Arts showed "The Road Home," a lovely film set amidst the natural beauty of the aspen-birch forests in a mountain village in China.

These forests are disappearing, largely to meet the demand for disposable chopsticks. More than 25 million trees are cut down every year to produce 45 billion pairs of throwaway chopsticks. The problem is so serious that a number of Chinese cities and districts have begun restricting their use and encouraging alternatives. Student groups in China have started refusing to use disposables, and often carry their own reusable chopsticks with them.

I have found that it is easy to follow their lead and take my own chopsticks to restaurants. I am also trying to gather more information about the issue, which will be available online at

Let's all stop using throwaway chopsticks. Ask your favorite restaurants to provide reusable ones, and in the meantime try carrying a pair with you. If you saw "The Road Home," you'd want to keep those beautiful trees standing.

David Strauch

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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