President's visit will be disruptive
Clearly George W. Bush doesn't have a clue, but if those planning his stopover in Honolulu can read, they must know what his brief visit will do to our small island community -- even disrupting interisland travel.
And, knowing the results of the 2000 election, when Bush lost to Al Gore in Hawaii, you'd think they would cancel his visit, simply refuel at Hickam and take him back to Texas.
I'm sure there are a handful of rich people here who would like to see Bush, and thousands of others -- veterans, elderly, poor, federal workers, union members and others -- who are planning to march, hold signs and protest in other ways to show disgust for his reign of terror and lack of planning, but his visit, heightened security and motorcade all the way to Kahala will disrupt ground transportation for tens of thousands of residents and visitors.
Bush does not deserve isle residents' aloha
The people of Hawaii are weary.
We are weary of being kept hostage to an administration that has enraged the world and instilled hatred and fear of our country -- an administration that has dictated policies that have thrown us into an even darker danger of terrorism.
We are weary of Bush's horrific war debts and corporate-welfare tax cuts, debts that even our grandchildren -- and their grandchildren -- will not be able to pay.
We are weary of seeing our children, our friends, our loved ones carted off to kill and be killed under a blatantly fabricated pretense of "defending" our nation.
We are weary of abandoning our rights and freedoms to people who are liars and enemies of democracy.
We are weary of grief. We are weary of lies. We are really, really weary of lies.
I urge all peace-loving people to make their voices heard this week. We have no aloha for Bush.
U.S. isn't 'loaning' any money to Iraq
All this talk about "lending" money to Iraq is nothing more than shibai. There are countries that still owe us money we loaned to them a century ago. Will Iraq be any different?
Whether a loan or a gift, the money will never be paid back, but will go to American CEOs for the great work they're doing there on a cost-plus basis.
So why the fuss?
John A. Broussard
Better to kill soldiers than other Americans
I am tired of hearing all the whiners complaining about the money and American lives being injected into Iraq and Afghanistan. If they haven't figured it out yet, all of the Arab freedom fighters have been running to go fight our professional soldiers in Iraq instead of remaining focused on taking over our airlines and blowing up our skyscrapers. Perhaps that's what they want. They would rather fight on U.S. soil and watch countless innocent Americans die and numerous American landmarks, bridges and buildings get demolished in the war against terrorism. I think President Bush has it right, even if the explanation was flawed at the start, that this war should be fought on their territory with them receiving all the collateral damage. Wouldn't want to see a terrorist blow up a mall or cathedral in America, now, would we?
Cannabis is medicinal gift of nature
The Drug Enforcement Administration would have us believe that medical marijuana is a myth. More than 60 cannabinoids are found in marijuana. There is no question that they have medicinal value. Why else would pharmaceutical companies be scrambling to create synthetic versions of them? These cannabinoids work in harmony to relieve pain and other medical problems.
Synthetic THC (Marinol) duplicates only one cannabinoid and comes in pill form, which is useless for someone vomiting from chemotherapy. But smoking isn't the only way to ingest marijuana. Patients can vaporize it, make tinctures or use it in teas and food. So the harmful effects of smoking are no excuse for our government's actions.
Studies from several nations, including our own, confirm the successful use of cannabinoids to treat multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and other ailments. Other nations are distributing cannabis and cannabis-based medications via prescription to those who benefit from its use. In America we incarcerate those who try to alleviate their suffering by using cannabis.
It's no coincidence that our brains are filled with cannabinoid receptors. Humans were meant to use this natural medicine. We should demand that our government end this insanity and list cannabis as a Schedule II or III substance.
Baton Rouge, La.
Proposal to close UH-West is outrageous
University of Hawaii regent Ted Hong's recent proposal to close UH-West Oahu (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 19) sends the message that the people who live in the West Oahu region do not deserve the opportunity to earn a B.A. degree from the state university. Most of the people here cannot attend the Manoa campus. Many are single parents, many do not have cars, some have physical limitations, and so on. Is Hong saying that these people don't count? I understand the problem with building a new campus at this time, and I am not advocating doing so. But to go one step further and say that there should be absolutely no baccalaureate campus for West Oahu residents is an insensitive, uncaring and even elitist attitude.
Many of my students question why Governor Lingle would appoint a regent who is so obviously biased against the continued existence of UH-West Oahu. News of Hong's motion to close West Oahu will inflame many of the 300,000 people in this region and I, for one, will make sure this comes up as an important issue the next time Lingle runs for office. Yes, Governor Lingle and Regent Hong, the people in West Oahu do deserve an education from the state university. They are citizens and residents of Hawaii, and they matter.
Gary Helfand, Ph.D.
Division of Professional Studies
University of Hawaii-West Oahu