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.

Quit wasting money on the Natatorium

So let's throw a few million more dollars away on this Natatorium face-lift project, a structure that has long outlived its worth as either a tourist attraction or a public interest.

This is more of the sickening abuse of our tax dollars by brain dead Waikiki beautification planners who want to assert their legacy at our expense.

They would never spend this kind of money on a foolish project if it were their own money, but what the heck, it's not their money -- it's yours.

It will never end.

Timothy A. Cook

On a motorcycle, being loud equals safety

This is a letter in response to Dan Weyant's Aug 3. letter on loud motorcycles, "Put a muffler on that thing."

As a motorcycle rider, I have an exhaust system on my bike that you would feel is loud. It is there not to make up for anything you may think is lacking in my personality or physique (you can ask my girlfriend), but is there for self-preservation.

Too many of the people on Oahu's roads have no clue about what is going on around them, with cell phones being the No. 1 distraction. As we go down the road, I want you to know that I'm there next to you. I would hate to see you spill your latte in your lap when you try to change lanes on me.

Mike Wilcox

Marriage amendment is just political talk

On Aug. 10 James Roller of Mililani wrote how Rep. Ed Case didn't support the Federal Marriage Amendment. I do not believe in same-sex marriage, but I do believe in giving all Americans equal rights. If passed, a gay marriage ban would be the only constitutional amendment that denies, rather than grants, rights to citizens of the United States.

I find it amazing that Republicans say they are trying to preserve marriage with this amendment. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich divorced his wife who was dying of cancer. Neil Bush, the president's brother, is divorced. Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh and his current wife Marta have six marriages and four divorces between them. Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, not yet 50 years old, has been married three times. Barr authored the "Defense of Marriage Act." The joke making the rounds on Capitol Hill is, "Bob Barr ... which marriage are you defending?"

The Republican Party is playing politics with this issue and continues to polarize the nation. With one out of two marriages ending in divorce it is obvious that currently marriage isn't being defended very well. Maybe we should have an amendment that doesn't discriminate against people who want to get married, but against people getting divorced.

Ted Obringer

Why no public hearing on sale of Verizon?

Last Friday, the Public Utilities Commission announced that it would accept input on the proposed sale of Verizon Hawaii to The Carlyle Group by letter and e-mail. This unusual approach means the PUC intends to keep the public at arms length, rather than hear from those it is charged to protect on a face-to-face basis.

In the past, important matters affecting Verizon Hawaii, or its predecessor GTE Hawaiian Tel, such as rate changes, conversion to digital switching and the possible sale of land on the Big Island, all were discussed at public hearings. The best way to serve the public interest is to have public hearings to ensure participation by everyone.

The unusual approach of using e-mail and letters to obtain public comment seems slanted toward a closed decision process. This approach really gives the impression of ducking the public's opinion when you consider the announcement was made as the PUC chairman left for a two-week vacation and is therefore unavailable to explain his decision. Not much chance to hear from the public when you are out of town!

Because so many Hawaii residents depend on Verizon for their phone service and their jobs, it seems like the best course of action is to open the process for public participation and establish an open dialogue. In this way, the PUC can do the job it has been entrusted with and serve the public interest on such an important matter.

George M. Waialeale

Grads, it's time to go back to kindergarten

We must support our public elementary schools. Because a student learns about our educational system initially through the elementary school, his impression and drive to succeed starts there. If we give him or her the incentives and support from teachers, parents, friends and interested parties; then surely every student will thrive in our local system.

If you have gone through 12 years in our public schools, call your alma mater elementary schools and see if you can help. There are many ways for volunteers to participate, and there are many opportunities. Call your old school and find out how you can help.

Roy E. Shigemura




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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