Letters to the Editor

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Boycott Japanese cars
until whaling stops

Thank you for publishing the July 20 article on the Japanese strategy of purchasing votes on the International Whaling Commission through its use of foreign aid, so that one nation effectively controls not one but as many as several dozen votes on the commission. Small Pacific nations such as Palau find the temptation irresistible; the money is too tempting.

Recently, Japan has pushed for secret voting by members, so that its purchased votes cannot be traced. Japan is attempting to bring back the wholesale slaughter of whales that was last seen in the 19th century. The balance of pro to con votes on the commission is close: 27 to 29. It could shift at any time.

I hope the Polynesian Voyaging Society reconsiders its plan to visit Japan in 2006, right in the middle of the Japanese summer whaling season. In defiance of the whaling commission, the Japanese fleet in 2002 killed 50 Bryde's whales, 39 endangered Sei whales, five sperm whales and 540 Minke whales, all under the guise of scientific research. Oddly enough, the "research" ends up in Japan's fish markets each year. Who knows what the catch will be in 2006. The postponing of a visit by the Hokule'a would undoubtedly be noticed in Japan.

As for the rest of us, I suggest Hawaii car buyers look elsewhere for autos until Japan junks its factory whaling fleet. Because Hawaii is the largest market per capita for Japanese cars in the United States, a significant reduction in sales in this state might have more of an effect on Japanese whaling policies than we all realize.

Jan Becket


Democrat politicizes homeless problem

Gov. Linda Lingle's call for 17,000 lower-cost rental units to deal with the homeless problem should be greeted with favor by all people, regardless of political leanings. Unfortunately, the chairman of the Democratic Party, Brickwood Galuteria, made it a political issue by responding that "it's about time" and "these are issues Democrats have been calling attention to for years" (Star-Bulletin, July 19).

The Democrats have controlled Hawaii government for decades. Although they may have been calling attention to the problem for years, they lacked the leadership and vision to do anything about it. Now that Lingle has taken the lead to address the problem, Galuteria says, "I sincerely hope the governor is not going to politicize the homeless."

Galuteria has done what he hoped the governor wouldn't. He reminded us that the Democrats did nothing about homelessness, and they aren't stepping forward to support the governor now. If we are to solve the homeless problem, Lingle will need people in the Legislature who are willing to work with her. That means voting for Republicans to replace those Democrats who were "calling attention" to the problem but never fixed it.

Kelli Yuen

Waikiki will shine while schools suffer

The Waikiki district is the engine that drives our economy, so I understand the desire by city government to feed the machine by pouring cash into the area for new sidewalks, greenbelts and so on.

However, little to nothing is spent on what should be considered our real future beyond tourism -- our children who go to dilapidated schools with under-paid teachers and go home to old worn-down neighborhoods that are neglected for the sake of keeping our cash cow presentable to tourists.

We are coming up on an election, and I urge you to call on candidates to redirect their interests to these real concerns that are overdue for attention.

Timothy A. Cook

Dems disingenuous on campaign reform

Rep. Scott Saiki's July 14 letter is an astounding example of Democratic shibai.He claims Governor Lingle should have signed the majority party's campaign spending "reform" bill. He also claims Democrats are trying to institute reforms, but the governor is stopping them. The truth is the measure was so poorly written that it would have been impossible to implement.

It took a lengthy legal analysis to describe the many flaws that made the bill unconstitutional and unenforceable. Among the errors were provisions clearly prohibited by numerous federal court decisions.

Saiki ignored all those legal flaws and only admitted that the Legislature left out the word "not" in the bill. He said omitting "not" was just a "typo" and that the governor should trust the Legislature to fix it next year. Saiki is flat wrong.

Omitting "not" from a law that is supposed to prohibit conduct is more than a "typo." By omitting "not," the bill allowed the type of conduct that was supposed to be prohibited.

This means Democrats either did not read the bill when they passed it, or they did not want reform and knew the governor would exercise her veto authority. If they did not read the bill before voting, that was irresponsible. If they actually opposed campaign spending reform, they should have said so.

As for Saiki's argument that the governor should have trusted legislators to fix the bill in 2005, that makes no sense. The veto did nothing to stop the next Legislature from passing a new bill free from gaffes or unconstitutional provisions. But if she hadn't vetoed the legislation, the state might have faced lawsuits costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend.

Democratic legislators sent former Governor Cayetano a heavily flawed bill two years ago that established strict campaign spending rules for everyone except them. He vetoed that bill because it was fake reform. They complained then that Cayetano was stopping reform; now they're doing the same thing with Governor Lingle.

If Democrats really want reform, they should get to work right now so they'll have a legally sound and typo-free bill for the governor to consider in 2005.

Lenny Klompus
Senior adviser Office of the Governor

Bush is due respect, as are all presidents

As I listen to one liberal leftist after another bash President Bush, vehemently, hatefully and disrespectfully, and then call what they are doing patriotic, I am reminded of an anecdote I read in Adm. Chester Nimitz's biography by E.B. Potter. Just prior to World War II, one of Nimitz's daughters developed strong leftist, pro-Soviet views. Shortly after the war broke out, Nimitz and his family were on the Potomac one Sunday on a yacht as guests of the secretary of the Navy.

The president's yacht came abeam, and everyone on the yacht scrambled topside to salute the yacht as it passed. At this point, Nimitz's daughter told him she did not want to salute Roosevelt. The admiral replied, "Whether you salute Mr. Roosevelt or not is your business, but you will salute the president."

My point is whether you like Bush or not, he still deserves the respect that the office of president of the United States of America commands. That is true patriotism.

James Roller

Bush acts lackadaisical about 9/11 report

In response to the publication of the 9/11 Commission's report, President Bush said that he will carefully study the recommendations. "Will study" is future tense. I wanted to hear him say he "is studying" the recommendations. He needs to speak in the active tense if he wants me to believe that he is taking the report seriously. Instead, I wonder if he has even started to read it!

Wendy Pollitt




Hawaii's police officers are forced to endure the tropical heat and humidity in dark blue uniforms. It must get pretty uncomfortable, especially for the solo-bike officers. So this month's question is: If you could design a new uniform for our hard-working public safety officers, what would it look like? (Be nice!) Think about material, color, footwear and the different departments (patrol, detectives, solo bike, bicycle ...). We'd love to hear from members of our police force for this one, too.

Send your ideas -- include your name, address and phone number -- by Aug. 20 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.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

E-mail to Editorial Editor


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