to the Editor

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Ship terrorist deserves severe punishment

Kelley Ferguson, the young woman who allegedly left threatening notes on board the Legend of the Seas cruise ship, should be prosecuted to the maximum extent the law provides, if she is found guilty ("No slack expected for cruise suspect," Star-Bulletin, May 1). She confessed, according to authorities. How dare this arrogant, egocentric person threaten innocent people!

What do her family members who were on the cruise with her have to say about her behavior? I can only hope, as I'm certain a majority will, that she is held responsible for her extremely self-serving irresponsibility.

Catherine Bruning
Apache Junction, Ariz.
Former Hawaii resident

GOP is good at halting wheels of justice

Michael Sakalauskas' April 28 letter was right on the mark when he praised Governor Lingle for appointing James Duffy, a Democrat, to the Hawaii Supreme Court. Duffy is highly qualified and surely will be an outstanding justice.

But Sakalauskas' attack on the Democrats for their judicial appointments -- allegedly for "old boy'" or "political" connections -- shows nothing if not Republican hypocrisy.

Lingle's appointment of Duffy made up for a grievous failure of the Senate Republicans in Washington even to hear President Clinton's nomination of Duffy to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and for President Bush's withdrawal of Duffy's name about two years after he was nominated and replacing it with a lawyer who had served the Republican Party.

Currently, Bush has any number of extreme right-wing candidates for judicial appointment waiting in the wings. These are people who would rewrite the law and the Constitution to impose their far-out conservative values on a people the majority of whom do not support those views. To paraphrase Saka-lauskas, when will Bush begin to base his appointments on "fairness, openness and balance in the (federal) government? Truth? Honesty? Respect for all of (the nation's) people, not just those with connections or money" or his wealthy and far-right supporters?

Richard S. Miller
Professor emeritus of law
University of Hawaii

'Christian lobby' has negative implication

I was dismayed at the headline in the April 14 issue "Christian lobby hits schools." I looked in my Webster's to see if I had a limited understanding of the word "lobby." No, indeed. Lobby, in its dictionary definition, means what its past normal use has implied. So, the connotative misuse of a word to have a negative effect (or to sell newspapers?) seems intended. Even the verb used, "hits," carries a connotative meaning that nothing in the article indicates is warranted.

How could the efforts of Christian teenagers, who desire to share their faith with anyone who might be interested, draw such a negative response?

Why couldn't a simple act, motivated by heartfelt beliefs and voluntarily implemented, be acknowledged in the positive light it deserves?

Bonnie Melton

Ginoza is forceful advocate for teachers

The story regarding the Hawaii State Teachers Association elections greatly disturbed me ("HSTA's Ginoza is facing a runoff," Star-Bulletin, April 30). I get the sense that the current union leadership is being criticized for being too vehement in its defense of teachers, students and public education. Collaboration only works when both sides operate openly. The legislators were the ones who took away the VEBA (Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association) health plan, while the teachers were on strike.

I have observed President Ginoza and the leadership team many time. I find them to be a dedicated group who forcefully advocate for the needs of teachers and students. That is what a union president should do.

Chris Lewis

Headline showed paper's left-wing bias

A headline on the front page of the April 29 Star-Bulletin, "Troops fire on protest," is a prime example of what bothers many of your conservative readers. The proper headline should have been, "Troops return protest fire." The first paragraph of the story says that the U.S. troops in Iraq "opened fire after people shot at them"; should not the headline reflect that?

I fear your liberal headline writer got his or her licks in again. It's very disappointing indeed.

Don McDiarmid Jr.

If I had a hammy, would people like me?

It is not easy being an older gentleman, forced to nod and smile tolerantly when younger people are throwing around words and symbols that you have not a clue about.

Take that business about a hammy. Every day there are men on TV driving huge trucks and silly cars and talking about having a hammy.

What the hell is a hammy, and should I have one to make myself more desirable? Is it expensive? Where do I put it? Is a car required or can one just carry it about?

Arnold Van Fossen


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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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