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Letters to the Editor
Anderson's criticism indicates sour grapesFormer Senate Minority Leader Whitney Anderson's attempt to chastise me (Letters, Jan. 24) demands a response. For the record, in the 2004 election I campaigned very vigorously for people I believed in. That election is history, and I am preparing to work with everyone who, regardless of their political label, makes good things happen for the people of Hawaii.
What the readers of your paper should know is, in the 2000 election the people of the 25th Senatorial District honored me with more than 75 percent of the vote against Whitney Anderson. I think this may be what really motivates Anderson. We are not sure what political party Whitney is affiliated with. He claims to be a Republican, but spends all his time and energy attacking Republicans, such as Governor Lingle and myself. Life is too short for petty bickering.
Sen. Fred Hemmings
Senate minority leader
Blame owners, not dogs, for bad behaviorRegarding "Dog owner skips out on court appearance" (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 25): The dog has been conditioned to attack and you can thank the owner for that. Humans have to stop blaming pets for their owners' woefully lame job of raising and teaching them.
This leads to another shortcoming in our society. Raising a pet is no different from raising a child. If this is indicative of the way we have been raising our children, then it's no surprise we have ever-higher spiraling violence, crime and drug-related statistics among students from elementary school through college. Our failed obligation to our pets and society parallels our failure in child-rearing.
Kent T. Tamura
Bush wants to build empire, not democracyIn his inaugural address, George W. Bush has declared himself to be a champion of democracy. If this is true, we should expect to see him ending U.S. military aid to vicious dictatorships such as Egypt, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. We should expect to see ties cut with an Israel which has been oppressing the Palestinian people for years. And of course Bush will be honoring the wishes of the majority of the Iraqi people and ending the U.S. military occupation of that country.
If none of this happens, we will know that Bush's rhetoric about "democracy" is only a cover for the determination of the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz gang to reshape the world to privilege American interests. The word for that is "empire," not "democracy."
Noel Jacob Kent
Privatization would kill Social SecuritySyndicated columnist Paul Krugman's articles on the privatization of Social Security, which was passed by President F.D. Roosevelt in 1935, are very informative. The Republicans think that they have finally persuaded Americans to approve privatization this year. I urge Americans to ask their Congress members to oppose privatization because it would result in the abolition of Social Security. The countries that privatized their Social Security systems have all failed. England realized their old people would be in dire poverty so their government added money to their pensions. Argentina is now in a severe economic crisis.
Please urge your Congress members to oppose the privatization of Social Security to keep the American dream alive.
Firecrackers cause too much damageI have a valid reason why firecrackers should be banned completely in our state. Firecrackers ignited during New Year's Eve and July 4 caused pain, anguish, loss of properties and personal injuries.
Those who allow firecrackers to be imported and sold for economic reasons should have their heads examined. Our government should not allow this insanity to prevail in our community. It is about time to re-think and stop this uncalled-for and mischievous part of our culture.
Bernardo P. Benigno
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