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New methods can keep isles safe from rabies

Our current quarantine system to prevent the introduction of rabies to Hawaii is archaic and a relic of out-dated science. It is burdensome on pet owners and harmful to pets.

We must join the rest of the modern world and use the science of the 21st century. Vaccination, not incarceration, of our pets will safeguard that they are free of rabies. With modern technology and computer chips, we can be assured that pets with proper vaccinations and paperwork from veterinarians are safe for entry into Hawaii.

Our present system even prevents Hawaii's pet owners from traveling out of state with their pets because of fear that they would have to quarantine them upon return.

The Legislature should pass legislation this session to address this problem. It is time we extend aloha to pet owners and their pets.

Rep. David A. Pendleton
49th District (Maunawili-Kaneohe)

Nothing like firsthand political experience

After Patsy Mink's posthumous re-election in the November general election, I decided to learn more about electoral politics in Hawaii. My tuition was $150; $75 to file to run for each of the two special elections for the 2nd Congressional District.

Here's what I learned:

1. If one spends or receives campaign contributions totaling more than $4,999 on a federal contest, be prepared to hire an accountant and/or an attorney to handle all the mandated financial reports.

2. It was interesting how many requests I got to advertise my candidacy in the local news media vs. how little interest these same media showed in reporting my views or on my candidacy.

3. The well-hidden Oahu elections office in Aiea is staffed with genuinely hard-working and helpful folks who deserve recognition after working through the costly mess left by Mink's death.

4. The Republican Party's failure to support any Republican running in either election for the 2nd District exposed as nonsense the notion that Hawaii is now a two-party state. Indeed, the Hawaii GOP missed seminal opportunities in these two elections. Its conspicuous non-involvement reveals much about how weak the Republican Party remains in Hawaii.

Despite being dismissed as a "fringe candidate," I know that if I had spent several hundred thousand dollars on campaigning for either election, I could have been a contender, even as a virtual "unknown."

I wish the best of luck to Rep. Ed Case. We badly need new leadership in Hawaii's congressional delegation. Here's hoping he doesn't become just another face in the long queue of Democratic Party hacks.

Mike Rethman

Americans are living in a state of fear

Freedom, taken for granted, is soon lost. Though many Americans are increasingly concerned that apathy and acceptance of the stances our country is taking, both domestically and abroad, still dominate public thought, not enough of us seem willing to demand a change of course.

Too many of the people we elected to defend freedom appear to believe that leadership is a function of control and fear. The process used to sustain this form of leadership enslaves those being led -- us.

Constant rhetoric about terrorism serves to keep Americans focused on being afraid. Airport security has become a tool to reinforce fear. Stop the charade at the airport and spend the effort on real needs.

We must recognize and come to grips with the fact that the attack against this country in September 2001 was executed by individuals whose hatred toward us was so intense that they were willing to sacrifice their lives. If we fail to heed the message delivered, these 19 individuals will be remembered as the people who changed the course of civilization.

It is time to speak out. Being complacent and supporting a regime that now threatens the world with terror, makes that terror inevitable.

Kelly Greenwell
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Bush's harsh rhetoric creates unease

Another terrorist emerged after 9/11. This one used his words to demoralize our economy and citizens, cause small and large businesses to close, airlines to go bankrupt, countless tens of thousands to become jobless, international chaos and an economic tailspin we may never recover from.

This shoot-from-the-lip terrorist is the president of the United States, George W. Bush.

Martin Halsey Grubb

Democrats are deaf to the wishes of voters

Senate Democrats didn't listen to the American people in November. Seeking to maintain power and continue partisan politics, Democrats have again put special interests and partisanship ahead of our nation's interests and progress. One senator said the Democrats' tactics were "tantamount to an attempted coup."

The Democrat's week-long refusal to turn over the leadership, because of a dispute over how to organize the new Senate, has delayed President Bush's efforts to create jobs and grow our economy by preventing the Senate from taking up his jobs and growth plan, as well as his nominee to lead his economic team.

The Democrats' activities have received little media attention. These tactics will only succeed if the American people who voted them out of the majority don't know about it.

Please report this outrageous behavior by the Democrats. People here deserve to know how their elected officials in Washington are acting.

Todd Smith

How to write us

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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