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Iraq war opinions

Rusti the orangutan belongs in a sanctuary

I was impressed by your coverage of the City Council Parks and Economic Development Committee hearing in your Feb. 12 edition ("Zoo privatization plan criticized," and "Rusti the orangutan lands a home at Kualoa Ranch"). However, a couple of things should be added.

First, Rusti's planned move to Kualoa Ranch should not be characterized as "landing a home," since this implies something positive. Zookeepers are outraged that Rusti is being released to a non-accredited roadside zoo (i.e., Kualoa Ranch), where a poor spider monkey now lives in a small, barren cage.

To keep these highly intelligent and social animals in such conditions is nothing short of cruel. Rusti was rescued from a roadside zoo in New Jersey. He has suffered greatly and deserves to live out his remaining years in a real sanctuary.

Second, in response to a testifier's characterization of Zoorotica as "smarmy," the Honolulu Zoo Society's Mark Bogart said the event is straightforward science on animal reproduction. However, the zoo staff is upset by the way the animals are disrespected. On the tour, the guide compares an elephant's penis to a Volkswagen Bug. Straightforward science? No, and not wholesome either.

Pam Davis

Use a cell phone? Thank an astronaut

As I send this e-mail to the Star-Bulletin, I reflect on the many modern conveniences I use daily.

On a recent film shoot, I "Nextelled" a co-worker on another island, made numerous calls on my cellular phone, looked at satellite images of the weather, downloaded pictures from the mainland, installed a satellite dish on an actor's trailer and faxed contracts to a vendor. These everyday devices would not work without the satellites that orbit our planet. We rarely think about how they got there.

I am extremely grateful to those intelligent and brave individuals who have made space exploration their life's work. My heart goes out to the families of the astronauts who never made it home. May we support those who will continue to venture into that final frontier.

Irish Barber-Kanakaole

Coble unfit to guide homeland security

As a former legislative assistant for the late Sen. Spark M. Matsunaga in the early 1970s, I thought the mentality that allowed the wholesale incarceration of loyal Americans during World War II had long been eradicated.

Matsunaga, a veteran of World War II, fought long and hard to educate his fellow lawmakers about the injustices of internment. I thought he succeeded. But now comes North Carolina congressman Howard Coble and his insensitive, ignorant statement implying that the relocation of 110,000 Japanese was for their own good. His further suggestion that Japanese Americans were disloyal is an affront and an insult to the thousands of Japanese Americans who fought and gave their lives and limbs to defend America against both Germany and Japan, while their parents and siblings were imprisoned behind barbed-wire fences in camps throughout the country.

His ignorance requires his immediate resignation as chairman of the Homeland Security subcommittee. This sensitive position requires the respect and trust of all Americans in our battle against our enemies. He has lost any credibility to serve in that capacity.

Francis M. Nakamoto

Note to Coach Wallace: Help Shimonovich

"UH Warriors fall on the road again" is a headline all too familiar in the misfortunes of the University of Hawaii basketball team. Where are the players coming up short?

Simply, it has to do with scoring points, and this is not meant to be facetious. Look at these points scored on the road by one of the Warriors: San Jose State, 5 points; Fresno State, 4 points; Nevada, 2 points; Louisiana Tech, 2 points -- a total of 13 points for four road games.

This was the box score for Haim Shimonovich, the center. He is a junior this year and at this stage of his game, he should be doing double-digit scoring every night. Had he done that, UH would have won every game they played on the road.

But it's not his fault. He is not athletic or a leaper and should have been taught "the moves" of a center who plays with his back to the basket. There is no center in college or the NBA who plays 30 minutes a game who should score in single digits consistently, even on the road. The big guy has to emerge.

That inside scoring is essential. When you have scoring almost totally from the outside, then nine out of 10 times you lose, especially the close ones. That's heartbreaking and devastating on the road.

Hank McKeague

Quarantine is about politics, not safety

I lived in Hawaii for 11 years and moved to Seattle with my husband in 1996. We have a wonderful family member, a Gordon setter named Chase that we bought in 1992 in Honolulu.

We both have careers that allow us to contribute to the economy. Hawaii certainly could benefit from this. We are ready to move back to the islands but will not leave our dog for one moment in the hands of workers and the confinement of quarantine.

Governor Lingle, make the change that you promised. Abolish quarantine. Bring an end to this unacceptable, archaic system the state has supported just so a few people can be employed. Its not the concern for rabies that supports quarantine -- it's politics, and the money the quarantine system brings into the state.

Vaccines have been around for years. Let's get on with other, honest ways of improving the economy of the islands.

Linda Rowe-Oneal
Des Moines, Wash.
Former Hawaii resident

Lingle right to cancel airport contracts

I'm glad that the two Honolulu Airport security consultant contracts were cancelled ("Lingle cuts 2 Cayetano contracts," Feb. 11, Star-Bulletin). I don't think they were earning their pay. The situation that has been unearthed came to light only after certain people started writing the newspapers and making noise to higher officials and law enforcement.

However, to clean up mismanagement in our airport system, one must look at how it started and remove those who benefit. Contractors donate money to political campaigns. The governor restipulates the qualifications for the airport administrator position to ensure that his friend or supporter gets the job. Then the airport managers and superintendents are hired by these "yes" men on the basis of friendship.

To ensure that wrongdoing is not continued, I suggest that all positions related to contract management and issuance be reviewed. Some of the new people still continue their nefarious ways, ensuring that the incompetent contractors get the business based on political leverage.

Christopher Murphy

It's time to replace that tattered flag

As the son and nephew of combat veterans, I was raised to respect the U.S. and Hawaii flags, and I learned the proper way to display them. While attending Farrington High School, I was a member of the JROTC Color Guard.

Often, while traveling around town, I'll look up and see the U.S. and Hawaii flags flying over buildings. Since 9/11, I have noticed more flags flying than before the attacks. However, it seems that some people are not familiar with the proper way to display and care for their flags.

What I often see are flags that have become worn with daily use. I've seen flags whose colors have faded and flags that are actually falling apart, yet they are still hoisted onto flagpoles every day. It is a sad sight to see a U.S. or Hawaii flag with a portion of it torn loose and the fragment whipping about in the wind.

If you are going to display a flag, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

>> If a flag's colors are faded, it should not be flown. You should dispose of it, and buy a new flag to display.

>> You may wash a flag if it gets soiled, as long as the colors of the flag are not altered.

>> If your flag becomes torn along a seam you may mend it, but a flag that is torn through the fabric should not be flown. It should be disposed of by burning and a new flag acquired for display.

Remember, flags are made of cloth that wears out from use and lack of proper care. You should no more display a torn flag than you would wear clothes that are torn to shreds and hanging in pieces from your body.

Before you hoist your flag, look it over. If it's in bad shape, don't fly it that day. Go get a new one.

Duane Browning


Readers sound off
about war in Iraq

Social workers oppose action against Iraq

Jane Addams, co-recipient of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize and a pioneer social worker, said, "We believe that war, seeking its end through coercion, not only interrupts but fatally reverses the process of cooperating good will, which, if it has a chance, would eventually include the human family itself."

Today, social workers still believe that the human, social and economic costs of war are immense. The National Association of Social Workers opposes unilateral, pre-emptive military action against Iraq.

NASW policies have long advocated the abolition of all chemical, biological and nuclear warfare. We support U.N.-sponsored multinational efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, as well as efforts by countries to cease production and destroy stockpiles of such weapons. We strongly urge the nonviolent resolution of international conflicts.

NASW policies also support the premise that the welfare of all people, and balanced economic and social development of all nations, should be the goals of U.S. foreign policy. Social workers, who work with immigrants and refugees, are acutely aware of the frequent connection between war and poverty. We know that those who are already poor and powerless are further victimized in violent confrontations. Therefore, NASW calls for the United States to foster cooperation and collaboration with allies and international bodies in all its foreign policy initiatives.

Palama Lee
President, Hawaii chapter
National Association of Social Workers

War protesters should think about children

There are a few things that are becoming apparent to me about the liberals protesting war with Iraq. First, they obviously do not understand the facts behind the entire situation. If they did, it would scare them to death and they would be supportive of our leadership and trust that we are making the right move by forcing Saddam to disarm.

Second, they evidently have no children or plan to have any children, because if they did they would want their futures protected. If we don't stop Iraq and Osama bin Laden or get them first, they will get us!

I have three stepchildren (all draft age), and I want them protected against terrorism and attacks of mass destruction that will come if we allow Iraq to continue its actions. The longer we wait to fix this problem, the more power we give them. If I fail to support my leaders and condone the actions of Iraq and al-Qaida then I feel certain that my 6-month-old granddaughter will suffer later in a much more dangerous world than I live in.

I say again, if we don't stop them, they will attack and kill the American people.

Laura Carlisle

Iraq policy aims to please oil companies

Now is the time for all patriotic citizens to speak out and defend our threatened democracy. Almost daily, our civil liberties are being compromised in the name of national security. Outrageous threats and acts of war are being forced on an unwilling world. The current administration has egregiously exploited the fear and terror of the 9/11 tragedy to fulfill it's vision of imperialistic conquest.

The Bush/Cheney oil team is trying to deliver big-time to its constituents -- the worldwide multinational oil companies and their associates.

The United States has troops in Afghanistan near the Caspian Sea, which has one of the world's largest untapped deposits of oil. We have a military base in Saudi Arabia, which has the world's largest deposits of oil. We are moments away from invading Iraq, which has the world's second largest deposits of oil. And we have an almost permanent military force in Korea in case China or Russia get the oil addiction (they might all want SUVs) and cast a covetous eye toward Middle East oil.

We, the gullible citizenry, are bankrolling this imperialistic conquest and I'm afraid we will have to pay for it with blood, money and our future.

Ralph Wheelock

Those who protect nation deserve support

I certainly hope that war does not develop with Iraq. However, if it does, then the protectors of this great nation have my full support. For those who have a problem trusting our nation's leaders to make these decisions for us, I suggest they watch the movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still." It says it all.

Jake Kaio Jr.

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