Letters to the Editor

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Can internment, racial
profiling be justified?

On Monday, the Star-Bulletin published a provocative column by syndicated writer Michelle Malkin in which she argued that the internment of ethnic Japanese -- including Japanese Americans -- during World War II was "not the result of irrational hatred or conspiratorial bigotry," but a necessary precaution against the "real and urgent" threat of "espionage by ethnic Japanese in support of the Japanese emperor's war effort." In her new book, "Defending Internment," Malkin uses similar reasoning to justify racial profiling in the war on terrorism. Her Monday column was accompanied by a rebuttal from David Forman, a member of the Hawaii chapter of Japanese Americans Citizens' League.

Tell us what you think about World War II internment and whether racial profiling is necessary to combat terrorism today. We'll print the letters in the Sunday Insight section.

Both the Malkin and Forman columns can be read in the Star-Bulletin's on-line edition at:

Send your comments to the addresses listed below in our "How to write us" guide.

Mark's wasted life is tragedy for his family

Regarding the story "Mark sentenced to life in prison," Star-Bulletin, Aug. 3: I remember Shane Mark as a young boy of 8. He was bright-eyed and curious. His father and grandparents came to help us when we were fish farmers at Lokoea pond. They were friends who freely gave of their limited resources to help us bring an ancient fishpond back to production.

Through the Mark family I learned Hawaiian traditions and a deeper meaning of aloha. My husband, Jim, learned fishing techniques and together, Jerry Mark, Lono Kanakaole and Jim caught a 56-pound ulua in the fishpond. Eddie Miranda, another family member, taught Jim how to throw net. We could not have survived at Lokoea without their generosity.

As a young haole Ph.D. just graduated from the University of Hawaii, my husband was green to the commercial world and to fishing. The Marks took us in as ohana and we continue to be blessed by their graciousness. My heart grieves for Shane Mark, for in my memory, he is a young boy with a winning smile and a world of opportunity in front of him.

Carol Araki Wyban
Kurtistown, Hawaii

9/11 panel's unity is refreshing

How refreshing it has been to hear from the 9/11 Commission. In a time when trust in elected representatives has been severely damaged by party politics, and when divisive political rhetoric has gotten completely out of control, along comes this little group to show us how it works when politicians place the good of the people above their own political parties.

This group's fair, honest and open assessment of the government's role in the events leading up to the tragedy should serve as a model of the approach we want our elected representatives to take. Contrary to the overwhelming trend of Congress in recent years, they resisted what must have been tremendous pressure to use this issue as yet another example of political warfare; they remained true to their commitment -- as a group and as individuals -- and to the task of improving the safety, security and liberty of Americans.

Larry and Shammy Dingus

Shock-jock produces Bush sympathizers

Until recently I had been completely undecided about my choice for president. The pros and cons of each candidate outweighed each other.

Yesterday, however, my mind was made up for me by Howard Stern, when he came out strongly against Bush and urged all his listeners to vote for Kerry. That did it ... I will now vote for Bush.

The best endorsement Stern could possibly make for Bush is to come out against him.

W.W. Robinson

Audubon Society was right to cull birds

I write to defend the National Audubon Society over the conflict around the culling of the peacock population at Waimea Valley. Yes, the Audubon Society works to preserve habitat for birds and to educate the public about them. But it puts the emphasis on native birds.

Peacocks are decidedly not native to Hawaii and, while visually striking, can become pests, as residents of Mililani Mauka can attest.

At Waimea Valley, the peacock population had reached a level that required action. The peacocks were damaging the essential collections of rare native Hawaiian plants in the valley. Large gallinaceous birds like the peacock, a fancy pheasant, can act as repositories of infectious diseases, such as avian influenza, that can also infect humans.

The territorial males can become aggressive, as was noted with some of the birds in Waimea Valley. Moving the birds to another area just moves the problem.

This was more than just too many peacocks; it was a potential human health problem. Kudos to the Audubon Society for taking action before the situation became worse.

Richard Palmer

Hurry up with that gasoline price cap

I have always been against price controls -- until I drive up to the gas pump and gasp for air. I am pleased that Gov. Linda Lingle will permit enactment of the gas cap legislation.

Why? Because in a recent news article, it was noted that in July the price of gas fell about 7 percent in 21 major cities. However, Honolulu was the only market that experienced an increase in July gasoline prices. Is this insane?

Why didn't the Hawaii petroleum industry pass along a similar price decrease? Instead, it raised prices.

I think I know why they didn't lower prices. They didn't have to. It's that simple. No competition, only two refiners, an isolated geographic market.

So, Governor Lingle, thank you. Neither you nor I favor controlling prices, but sometimes you have to stand up for what is right.

Richard Dinges
Hilo, Hawaii




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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