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Prolonging suffering isn't humane either

Dr. James McKoy, a pain specialist, said: "Killing isn't caring" (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 7). "When I went to medical school, I didn't sign up to kill a patient."

Conversely, then, Dr. McKoy is implying that it is more ethical and humane to prolong the suffering of a moribund patient who has not a chance of recovery, and who also has asked for the mercy of death, is he not?

Tetsuji Ono
Hilo, Hawaii

Case will serve Hawaii well in Congress

The recent election of Ed Case to the 2nd Congressional District is a signal to the voters of Hawaii that the Democratic Party is alive and well. Not only was Case an overwhelming winner, but Democratic candidates received more than 80 percent of the total special-election vote, finishing first, second and third.

The voters wanted a strong voice in Congress, and a trustworthy steward of Hawaii's interests. Case has a rare combination of intelligence, creativity and drive that will serve our state well. He will not be a rubber stamp for the president's far-right agenda. Rather, Case will fight for federal funding of school programs, rebalancing of the federal budget without raising taxes or raiding Social Security, maintaining our federal park lands, preserving the Patsy Mink Act, Medicare and Medicaid, obtaining federal recognition of Hawaiians, and so much more.

It has been said that you get the government you deserve. The 2nd Congressional District must have deserved something special to get Ed Case as its newest member of Congress. He will honor the philosophy of putting people first in Washington, no matter their color, creed, or capital portfolio.

Joshua Wisch

Case places too much stock in his victory

Am I the only one who finds it amazing that Ed Case presumes to tell Democrats that they must become more centrist to win elections?

Is this the same Case who lost the gubernatorial race to Mazie Hirono, albeit narrowly, and called it a "landslide" when he made it to Congress with 9 percent of eligible voters (based on garnering 43 percent of the 22 percent who went to the polls)?

He'd do well to keep his ego in check by remembering the winning ways of legendary liberal Patsy Mink and hoping for the success of our current congressional team. I don't think Senators Inouye or Akaka or Congressman Abercrombie need re-election advice from this novice.

Tom Peters

Lingle's education plan has merit

Jerome Manis is a bit hasty in his criticism of Governor Lingle's proposals to reform the Department of Education (Letters, Jan. 8). Hawaii taxpayers support one of the most expensive governments in the United States. Waste and fraud in the University of Hawaii and Department of Transportation are not arguments for similar taxpayer abuse by the DOE. It is a mistake to use the fraction of total state and local expenditures devoted to government schools to measure the government's commitment to education. Another problem with state-to-state comparisons of aggregate budget or per capita expenditures is that a smaller fraction of Hawaii's population is of school age, and a larger fraction of the school-age population attends independent schools. Taxpayers have no obligation to students who do not exist.

The relationship between per-pupil spending and performance is weak. The world's top-performing countries are not the top-spending countries. The top-performing states are not the top-spending states.

Decentralization is no barrier to funding equity. The state DOE could have one job: allocating funds to local districts on a per-pupil basis. "What works?" is an empirical question. The statewide DOE cartel is like an experiment with one treatment and no controls; a retarded experimental design. Across the United States, small school districts cost less, per pupil, to operate and do a better job.

Malcolm Kirkpatrick

Airport drug arrests waste resources

Mahalo so much for the informative article about the narcs at the Honolulu International Airport ("Airport drug arrests take off," Star-Bulletin, Jan. 10). Before I read your article I had no idea that we were wasting so much time, energy and taxpayer money busting small-time users with tiny amounts of marijuana.

It was especially disheartening to read that the supervising narcotics investigator was actually proud of the arrests of sick people from California who had a doctor's authorization for marijuana use. He's proud of increasing the pain and suffering of people already burdened with a serious illness.

The real shame here is that while narcotics officers clog our courts with petty marijuana cases from the airport, real criminals are robbing our homes and stealing our cars. Car thefts are up 43 percent and burglaries 15 percent over 2001's already high rates. It's a lot easier arresting the sick and infirm than to protect the public against hardened criminals who fight back.

Alex Miedzwiadok

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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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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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