Letters to the Editor

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Genetic tampering raises public concern

I had the dubious pleasure on April 2 of listening to a dozen industry zealots explain to the Maui County Council why any local review of genetically modified (GM) crop proposals was a terrible, even dangerous idea.

They presented themselves as proper scientists who know better than the ignorant, emotional, untrained fools who have the audacity to raise questions about technology and would dare to lift the blanket of secrecy that covers local GM open field experimentation.

Their united front seemed like rigid dogma, not science.

I was taught that science is about keeping an open mind. Findings that contradict accepted theories are fertile ground for new discoveries; to ignore them is to arrogantly court disaster.

Genetic splicing is an infant technology that is being rushed into a world where life as we know it developed because of the relative inviolability of species-specific DNA. Common sense dictates we should tread carefully when entering the garden of creation.

Daniel Grantham
Haiku, Maui

All sides in Iraq are united against us

When we invaded Iraq a year ago one of our chief concerns was preventing a civil war between the Sunnis and the majority Shiites. Well, our "brilliant plan" for revenge in Fallujah this past week has forged an unprecedented alliance between the two.

Convoys of pick-up trucks waving black Shiite flags are streaming to Fallujah carrying much-needed food for their Sunni countrymen.

This unheard of cooperation is the result of our plan of "winning the hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people. The Sunni-Shia partnership's common cause now is killing our brave men and women fighting for the Iraqi people's freedom.

It is time for President Bush to get back to the White House, quit screwing around on his ranch in Texas and take responsibility as commander in chief for the lives of every man and woman he has sent into combat. He should be attending fewer fundraisers and more funerals.

Bryan Hefner

Why didn't Bush heed Clarke's advice?

The round-and-round discussion on whether 9/11 could have been prevented if all of Richard Clarke's recommendations had been followed avoids the question: Why didn't anyone listen to him?

Wouldn't you pull out all the stops to prevent a catastrophe?

I shudder to think what the administration will do -- or not do -- with the next set of recommendations to prevent a terrorist attack. Still, I have hope that the commission will provide a sharper focus and spark a relentless pro-active approach in our war on terrorism.

James Tetsuji Tanabe

Condi Rice served up a lot of nonsense

A variation of Hawaii's popular spam musubi appeared in Washington last week. President Bush's national security adviser fed the 9/11 commission a different kind of musubi -- Condi Rice with baloney!

Remember that:

» The governments of least four countries -- Egypt, Russia, Israel and Germany -- warned the United States of an impending terrorist attack in the months preceding 9/11. These warnings, while incomplete, not only forecast the scale of the attack and its primary target, but indicated that hijacked commercial aircraft would be the weapon of choice.

» Bush attempted to block the Rice testimony before the 9/11 commission to cover up the fact that there was a pre-9/11 presidential briefing titled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States," that apparently had no impact on the White House!

» Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, a Republican, reported that six months before 9/11 the president was deciding how to allocate control of Iraqi oil to Bush supporters!

Unbelievable? Check out these facts!

Smoky Guerrero

Critics should accept war as inevitable

I am sick of hearing antiwar activists cry about what the president should or should not have done about Saddam Hussein. The bottom line is there was a serious threat not only to the United States, but the whole world as long as Saddam was in power.

In regards to Paul D'Argent (Letters, April 7) and other Bush-U.S. critics, why don't they try running the country or better yet, enlist and go help fight terror in Iraq?

The United States had overwhelming evidence that Saddam had WMD, and with that knowledge the president acted for the well being of our country. I do not like war or seeing so many of our soldiers die. But it is unavoidable; the United Nations tried for a peaceful result but to no avail.

Antiwar activists holding signs or writing to the newspaper expressing pessimistic views, should stop crying. Instead, the focus should be on supporting our troops with optimism. Be proud of your country and what our soldiers, including the president, are doing for you. Stop the whining and let them do their job.

Shawn Perez
Ewa Beach

Gruesome war footage should be aired

Television news executives decided, almost unanimously, to limit or exclude footage showing the charred corpses of the four American contractors in Iraq last week. Their reasons were that the pictures were too awful, too gruesome, even for grown-ups. Are we supposed to thank them for protecting us from reality?

At this same time, the movie, "The Passion of the Christ," is being shown worldwide with terrible scenes of torture, suffering and despair. The movie is declared to be an actual depiction of what happened at that time. So, what's really different about man's inhumanity to man 2,000 years ago or now? Why should we be kept from seeing this latest horror?

Americans don't need to be babied.

Robert W. Levy

Government workers expect too much

It is appalling to hear whining from government employees about their pay raises. They should realize that public service is not a money-making enterprise; government has a finite budget.

If they want to make more money, then they must leave government service or find a second job. To not understand this simple fact is clear proof of a failure to properly analyze what you want out of your job and life.

Bruce Schaper




Hawaii is popularly known as "The Aloha State." What might be a better slogan?

To get started, think about what you might see around the islands -- rainbows, waves, sand, traffic jams, homeless orangutans ...

Send your ideas by April 21 to:

Or by mail:
c/o Nancy Christenson
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Or by fax:
c/o Nancy Christenson


How to write us

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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