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Aloha resolution defies explanation

Regarding the letter "It took courage to pass 'aloha resolution,'" by Pat Blair (Star-Bulletin, April 12):

Blair's comment applauding "Hawaii legislators (for) passing a resolution against the war in Iraq" is less than 50 percent correct.

That's because many more than 50 percent of us believe that the legislators are full of too much French wine and cheese. If the local politicians can't solve our problems, how can they be trusted on the world scene?

Don Neill

Save time and money -- visit Syria next

In the middle of the Pacific one must expect to find a preponderance of pacifists insisting that if the United States is willing to eschew war in favor of negotiation, that solves the entire problem. They myopically ignore that one dancer does not a tango make.

Options like negotiation are available only to reasonable people; a sick mind such as Saddam Hussein's allowed none. To me, logic and practicality indicate we should remember Gen. George Patton's desire to march on Russia at the end of World War II, while he conveniently had the men and equipment in Europe. We could have spared ourselves the entire Cold War.

I think we should seriously look at Syria in the same light.

Richard Mealey

Americans are pawns in a New World Order

Watching the televised war on Iraq proves the Bush administration has abandoned the rule of law and replaced it with cluster bombs and depleted uranium weapons. Jesus himself would weep at the slaughter of innocents on both sides. I understand now what a terrorist is: a person who defends what is his against our superior force.

An American citizen who kills his neighbor in order to steal his valuables will be tried, convicted and sentenced to prison because that person is a criminal who has broken our laws. If the laws that bind citizens do not apply to government, then Congress has gone over the heads of its citizens and allowed the rule of law to be hijacked by a handful of corporate hawks.

Not only is Bush Inc. making war on all those who resist its will in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is turning inward and focusing its wrath and suspicions on American citizens if we do not toe the Bush party line. It is clear the New World Order envisioned by Bush Inc. intends to dominate us through fear and, if allowed to succeed, our children and grandchildren will be what they want us to be -- an unthinking corporate army.

Marisa M. Plemer

Can we try our leaders for starting this war?

Our gallant young Americans have not put themselves in harm's way. George Bush and his inept ill-advised handlers have put them in harm's way. Tell me, is it possible to put our joint Joint Chiefs of Staff and those idiots in the Pentagon and the White House on trial for stupidity?

Sign me a very angry dove.

Bettejo Dux
Kalaheo, Kauai

Waive taxes for troops when war is over

We should reward the U.S. military troops in Iraq for their sacrifices by asking Congress to set aside five years of tax-free income after the war, and to those who died for us, a lifetime tax-free income to the family or the nearest kin. Let's do something for them.

Al Shinkawa
Veteran, Unites States Air Force

Talking Turkey about smelly Baghdad

In response to the following letter, "Deejays should not talk stink about Iraqis," (Star-Bulletin, April 10):

Apparently the letter writer has never been to the Middle East. No, I don't believe we should be making racist jokes about anyone, however we in the United States tend to take personal hygiene very seriously, while in parts of the Middle East, it's an option.

Let's just say you gotta be there to appreciate just how good we have it. When someone says the stench in Baghdad is horrible, that's an understatement! Whether it was meant as a joke or not, the simple truth is that the air in the Middle East is rich in scent, especially in the urban areas. For me, it was overwhelming and that was just Turkey.

Craig Watanabe

Women's commission must prove its value

I am bemused by the letters about Hawaii's Commission on the Status of Women. The writers have implied that since our governor is female, she should automatically support funding for this commission, whether or not its work is worthwhile.

I checked out the commission's Web site, hoping to find some statistics on its accomplishments. The last update was in early September 2002, and it was touting Women's Month activities taking place at that time. I did find it has received federal money for use in school programs, largely to educate students about abuse. I didn't find what actually has been accomplished.

Of particular interest was a section on the Hawaii Women's Coalition, whose members follow legislation on women's issues and provide support for favorable legislation and agencies involved with women's issues. This group works with our large bipartisan Women's Caucus in the Legislature.

There is also a group at the University of Hawaii-Manoa's Office of Women's Research, that seems to be doing some of the statistical things the commission claims to be doing.

I wish I didn't have the feeling that this is just another group trying to cling to its funding to perpetuate itself. Instead of moaning over the loss of funding, those who say the commission has a purpose should say exactly what that purpose is and how it is being achieved.

Shirley Hasenyager

Dems left children behind long ago

Hawaii House Democrats passed a resolution Friday to not participate with the federal education program "No Child Left Behind" and to refuse federal funding for our schools. They claim our schools will never meet federal requirements. Under their leadership they are right.

No Child Left Behind requires testing and teaching. Testing is already required by state law (Act 197, 2002), the one the Department of Education is breaking because it says its $1.7 billion budget is not enough to cover testing our children.

Democratic solution: Give back the federal funding.

The expected result: The only thing left is teaching, so we must assume they want to cut that.

Randy Prothero

Feral cats can transmit diseases to humans

A March 28 letter to the editor asks "What other diseases?" besides rabies and feline leukemia are spread by feral cats in Manoa. These predators live in large colonies, supported by a continuous food supply. In a recent paper the Environ- mental Health Administration of the Department of Health noted that cats are hosts to numerous human infections, including leptospirosis, murine typhus, plague and cat scratch fever (Bartonellosis).

The many cats on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus are more victims than invaders. They were introduced and abandoned on these public lands by their owners and other misguided cat caretakers.

Other diseases can be transmitted by the specific fleas that live on cats. Of particular interest in Hawaii is murine typhus, usually transmitted to humans by rodent fleas. In conditions where rat and cat populations are dense, such as around cat colonies where excessive food is provided by the cat feeders, cat fleas become infected with the typhus organism (R. typhi) and can then transmit it to humans.

Recently the UH-Manoa's children's center, where 84 children of our faculty members are cared for, had to be closed for two weeks because the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis, an effective vector of epidemic murine typhus, was attacking the keiki. Imagine what could have occurred if just one of those 2- to 4-year-old children had come down with typhus!

UH administrators have allowed faculty and staff to create and expand the colonies from about 100 cats circa 1986 to more than 1,000 today. It is unfortunate that rational argument, sound public health policy and the logic of due diligence have failed to stimulate the UH authorities to act decisively.

Michael M. Kliks, Ph.D.
Medical Parasitology and Entomology

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