Hawaii needs agency for status of women
I hope the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women is not eliminated. A national nonprofit I once worked for has a small women's department, which gets "reviewed" whenever there is a budget crunch. But in the end, the same realization prevents this: Without a specific entity to attend to and highlight women's issues, they inevitably fall through the cracks.
The commission gets a lot of bang for its (less than $100,000) bucks. I have worked with it a lot in the past, particularly around issues affecting single mothers and families who are barely making it. It seems like the least powerful always get their programs cut or eliminated.
How come, rather than cutting a few good programs that cost less than $1 million, even less than $1/2 million, we never ask those who can afford it to cut back?
If memory serves, the Hawaii Tourism Authority, which is not such an old entity, started out with $25 million a year and now it's up to $60 million, plus it likely will get an "extra" $8 million because of the war.
That $8 million could keep many commissions going. Cut from the fat, not the lean.
Lingle should realize commission's value
Although I didn't support Linda Lingle's gubernatorial candidacy, I considered her a moderate Republican woman who would be almost as committed to women's issues as state Reps. Cynthia Thielen, Barbara Marumoto and former Rep. Eve Anderson.
When she named Stan Koki to head the Governor's Office of Boards and Commissions, I was amazed that she would choose this former representative and lieutenant governor candidate so well known for his very conservative, anti-choice views.
Now she wants to cut the $95,000 operating budget from the already downsized Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women. As a former commission member, I am deeply hurt and disappointed to see such acts from Hawaii's first female governor.
I can only hope that a bipartisan coalition of legislators and community leaders will help her reconsider budgeting priorities which could destroy this state advocate for the health, well-being and equality of Hawaii's women and girls.
Animal abuse calls for stricter penalties
Hawaii, the Aloha State, needs to take a tougher stand against those who would harm the helpless. Whether it's the elderly, children or animals, we must stop violence.
Children learn what they see. When we do not punish violent people for the acts they commit, we are telling everyone it's OK to harm creatures who cannot defend themselves. When you look at the penalties given for animals that have been brutalized, we as a society should be ashamed.
It's time to tell our lawmakers to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Animal cruelty should be a felony.
3-strikes law would deter career crooks
Hawaii has a crime problem. It is infested with career criminals. Criminals feel the need to participate in criminal behavior for what reason? Hawaii's infestation of criminals will no longer be tolerated. I support Rep. Bud Stonebraker in his fight to get a three-strikes law established in Hawaii. It is long overdue.
California has a three-strikes law, which deters repeat offenders of felony crimes from committing more crimes. After passing legislation in 1995 and 1996, California saw a dramatic reduction in crime statistics.
This law is not about being a Democrat or a Republican. This law is intended to deter career criminals from committing crimes. Repeat offenders do not deserve a second or third opportunity to commit more crimes. Lives have been lost because we have allowed the justice system to become tolerant of deviant behavior.
Show your support of the establishment of a three-strikes law by calling your legislator.
Mario K. Macagba
Deejays should not talk stink about Iraqis
While driving to work Tuesday morning, I was listening to the radio and the deejays were discussing the news, much of which revolved around the war with Iraq. One of the deejays stated something about the stench in Baghdad being horrible, to which his partner jokingly replied something to the effect of "Yeah, those Iraqis stink; they need to take a shower sometime." There was limited commentary made after that with regard to the war.
Apparently, it is politically correct to promote racist Iraqi stereotypes under today's circumstances. Was it OK for media institutions to promote racist and sexist stereotypes of Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II? No. Was it OK for media institutions to make racist and sexist jokes about the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War? No.
But now we are encouraged to make racist jokes about a citizenry that is poor and under attack. Whether Americans support the war or not, there is no excuse for making racist jokes about the Iraqi people.
These jokes are perpetuating discriminatory images of Middle-Eastern Americans, who, like Japanese Americans during World War II, are now under unfair scrutiny and face intensified discrimination.