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What's this?! Lingle's changing the rules

Shame on you, Governor Lingle, for appointing James E. Duffy Jr., a Democrat, to the Hawaii Supreme Court! As a Republican, you have shown disrespect to the standards set by 40 years of rule and power by the Democratic party machine.

What were you thinking when you appointed the best man for the job? How could you base this appointment on qualifications, experience and talent? You did not take into consideration any "old boy" or political connections! That is not how Hawaii has worked under the Democrats!

What's next? Fairness, openness and balance in the state government? Truth? Honesty? Respect for all of Hawaii's people, not just those with connections or money?

Governor, you have really upset the apple cart! If and when we have another Democrat as governor, he or she will have a tough job bringing the standards of the governor's office down to where it was when you took office.

Will the Democrats once again be able to fail to live up to the low standards they have set for themselves? I hope they never get the chance. The past 40 years have shown what they can and can't do.

Michael Sakalauskas

Peace ... it's a message kids need to hear

I am an administrator at a local faith-based community youth center. I was excited to hear of the student survival kits being passed out in schools ("Christian lobby hits schools," Star-Bulletin, April 24).

Youth today are given condoms, abortion information and more. It's nice to see that we are giving the kids alternate information, a package with the message title "peace." It's a beautiful word ... sometimes we have to fight for it.

Andi Whittaker

Adult were behind Christian survival kits

The distribution by students of Christian material at schools is perceived by the ACLU and Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church as the beginning of an era: "Anything goes now, as long as it's student-initiated."

However, I agree with the Kona mom who said, "This is not individual students whipping something out of a backpack to show friends. ... This is an organized event coordinated by adults."

And as an event coordinated by adults, schools are now facing a new set of standards: "What every student should know about religious fanaticism and political science fiction."

Leonard J. Wilson
Teacher, Radford High School

Shakeup needed in prison system

The Halawa prison warden should have been fired, not transferred.

The Hawaii state prisons are run so poorly that three prisoners escaped on April 5. One of the escapees had previously escaped from Oahu Community Correctional Center in October 2002. Inmates would be inmates and not escapees if our prison system were run professionally. Someone is not doing his or her job and is costing the taxpayers major dollars and endangering the safety of everyone in Hawaii.

The state should hire new people to replace the slackers who are running our prison facilities.

Kathleen Maynard

Why did judge set bail for prison escapees?

It was disturbing to see a judge set bail for three Halawa prison escapees. All three were serving lengthy terms, yet the judge actually set bail amounts for them. Bail for the "worst" of the three was set at $500,000, but the other two had bail of only $50,000 each.

Since it's possible to be bailed out for only 10 percent of the actual amount of the bail, it seems possible they could put up $5,000 and be released. These are prisoners who escaped, were deemed dangerous and then were recaptured. They all have many years to serve, even without the sentences that will be added for escape and crimes committed while they were on the loose.

It's probably just another automatic legal procedure to set bail, but it sets a bad example. It gives both prisoners and the public the perception that if you manage to escape and come up with some bail money, you actually might be released -- maybe for enough time to get to Mexico ... or Syria.

If they can't be released, why set bail at all? If they can get out, which I doubt, then the law needs to be changed -- now.

Bud Weisbrod

WHO's policy on SARs, Taiwan is illogical

SARS has become a global health crisis. The Chinese government has been faulted for not being forthcoming in reporting the illness. It was Dr. Carlos Urbani, a World Health Organization physician, who first alerted the world to the existence of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hanoi, Viet- nam. He died from the illness on March 29.

In contrast, Taiwan notified the Hawaii state Department of Health in Honolulu immediately after it identified a flight attendant from China Airlines who came down with SARS in Taiwan and noted that she had been in Honolulu. Taiwan, despite its proximity to the endemic area, has no reported deaths and no need to implement large-scale quarantine for SARS, due to its excellent national health alert system (similar to the United States').

The irony is that WHO has been refusing to inform Taiwan regarding SARS because Taiwan is not a member of the organization. Instead, Taiwan was told to get information from Beijing, which had been stonewalling the world about SARS in China until just a few days ago.

I believe the U.S. government should help Taiwan gain membership in WHO this year.

Naoky Tsai

Saddam Hussein was Iraq's chief WMD

Just imagine Senator Inouye having breakfast every morning, hoping for word on the television news of the discovery of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, to justify the coalition nation's going to war (Star-Bulletin, April 22). Incredible!

I am having a late breakfast, watching TV, waiting for Saddam Hussein to come out of his German-made bunker with his sons, to be chained together on a pedestal in midtown Baghdad, and apologize to all Iraqi citizens for the mass slaughter and other diabolical acts he has committed.

And then, while they're at it, Germany and France can move in to rebuild the city and improve their credibility.

In my view, Saddam Hussein is the weapon of mass destruction, much like his historical cousin Adolf, who also lived in a bunker.

John L. Werrill


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