Stealing free speech is no small matter
I found Mufi Hannemann's comment that stolen campaign signs are a "minor matter" enlightening. Maybe it's a minor matter to him, but not to us. We've had Duke Bainum signs stolen right off our property, while Mufi's signs across the street were left untouched.
I understand that Duke has lost thousands of dollars in signs. While that might be true, the real loss shouldn't be measured in terms of dollars. Yes, thieves stole my signs but more than that, they stole my constitutional right to show my support for the candidate of my choosing. Now, that's a real crime.
Bruce H. Kinoshita
Campaign funding bill deserves support
The United States needs federal funding of political campaigns to preserve democracy.
The Public Campaign Financing Act of 2003 (HR 1878) includes:
» a prohibition against acceptance by qualifying U.S. House of Representative candidates of any contribution other than those that total not more than $100 per individual per election cycle with an 80 percent in-state contribution requirement;
HR 1878 was introduced and referred to the Committee on House Administration.
» rules restricting public funding to specific purposes such as buying broadcast time; and
» public funding for qualifying candidates, up to a maximum of $750,000.
Please urge your U.S. representative to pass HR 1878 soon. Please reduce the time of campaigns, since there will be less funding and people think the campaigns are much too long.
Hawaiians are the best thing about islands
Two weeks ago was my first visit to Hawaii. I was accompanying my son to Judo Jr. Nationals. For 40 years I have listened to friends and neighbors rave about Hawaii, so the shock of Waikiki became all the more horrific.
Noise 24/7, exhaust twice as foul and thick as L.A., clouds of cigarette smoke, and every time you were in need there were flocks of predatory vendors ready to bleed you for every penny they could. Worst of all are the buildings, so ugly they stab the soul. The best thing you can say about Waikiki is that it is grotesque.
However, there was a bright spot to my visit and it was a big one: the native people. A gentler, kinder, more beautiful people I cannot imagine.
I mentioned to my brother-in-law that I'd been to Oahu. He said, "Oh yes, I was there last in 1975 and I want to go back." I asked him why and he said, "To be with the native people. They are incredible."
To the governors of Hawaii: You've done enough for the tourists. It's time to stop.
To the Hawaiians: Please do everything you can to preserve your culture. This task is not pretty and it's not fun. The Jews did it for 2,000 years. So can you. Sometimes winning just means surviving. You have my deepest and most heartfelt support.
Palo Alto, Calif.
Entertainers, media are the real enemy
A principled statesman is rare in this age of political spin and poll-driven campaigns. Especially when our general media can no longer be trusted because of their patently liberal and Democratic filters, our president stands remarkably tall in his efforts in Iraq.
Your July 18 story "Shadows of failure" likens Iraq to another Vietnam quagmire, despite the fact that we did stop the North Vietnamese Tet offensive cold, and that we abandoned a country that became victim of a cold-blooded, North Vietnamese breach of a peace accord. South Vietnam could have been another prosperous South Korea; instead, we left millions to become boat people fleeing the communist killing fields.
Surely Iraq's fragile democracy could become another abandoned South Vietnam, if we let the surly partisan politics and ideologically blind left convince us with its patent lies as exhibited in "Fahrenheit 9/11."
The deplorable efforts to undermine our cause in Iraq stems from an entertainment industry showcasing decadence and amorality in our living rooms.
Gene J. Dumaran
Arroyo was no coward to pull out troops
Is it just me? I'm quite shocked that some people are calling Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a coward for withdrawing 51 Filipino police officers and soldiers from Iraq to save one Filipino citizen from death at the hands of his captors. I wonder if these people would feel the same way if their head or the head of someone they loved was on the chopping block.
Whether it was to save one person or a thousand, Arroyo made the right decision.
Filipino workers have no business being in Iraq in the first place. This unethical and unjustified occupation was based on a lie that has cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars. The only people benefitting are the defense contractors, rebuilders and some politicians and power brokers who created the war.
If these people wanted to help others instead of killing them, they would have devoted all of their efforts and money to starving, unstable countries. They would have saved millions of lives instead of killing thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of American soldiers, and making terrorism and the hatred of America as bad as it has ever been.