Letters to the Editor

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Silence speaks volumes for students

I want to commend the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students, friends and family who participated in the National Day of Silence on April 13. By not speaking in their schools and workplaces these courageous individuals called attention to the harassment faced by GLBT students in our schools every day. Concluding their day of silence with a "speak-out" provided these courageous students, as well as their teachers and supporters, a chance to reflect on their day's experience. For several students this was a chance to find their individual voices and to reap the support from the more than 60 people who attended the event.

There were all-too-frequent stories of rejection, hate speech and physical abuse just for being "out" at school, but there were also stories of love, acceptance, alliance, empowerment, friendship and strength. These youths are today's revolutionaries -- they embody the spirit that drives all movements striving for justice, equality and acceptance.

Jacce Mikulanec

Don't make outer isles pay for Honolulu's rail

There shouldn't be a statewide general excise tax increase to pay for mass transit projects. Moving from Honolulu to the Big Island made me open my eyes to the fact that Honolulu gets more of everything than the neighbor islands.

Increasing the GET would be unfair to those on the neighbor islands who will not be able to utilize those projects because of their isolation. Realistically, it should be a county tax increase with federal aid.

Craig Watanabe
Keaau, Hawaii

New pope should rethink birth control

Jesus was a reformer, a radical reformer who preached a new testament of love. He taught that if a sheep should go astray on the Sabbath, save it, and that he who is guilty cast the first stone; he turned tables, loved sinners and rebuked hypocrisy.

For these reasons I can't understand why effective birth control is banned by the Catholic church. I've seen too many of the most faithful women in Tijuana, Mexico, begging with and for their too many children because of that dogma. All around the world people are dying of AIDS partly because of that dogma. It also seems that "Be fruitful and multiply" has been fulfilled and that we ought to have "dominion" over the Earth by treating it responsibly and not overpopulating.

If the church and Pope Benedict XVI would allow birth control they would be not on the road to "moral relativism," but closer to the spirit of Jesus Christ, love and lives led much more abundantly. Amen.

Daniel Laraway

Why do we give blood so much importance?

Discussions as to "pure" blood or what "percent" blood a person is remind me of an incident in Oxford, Miss., in 1943. An army buddy and I got on a bus, paid our nickel and took a rear seat. The driver came back and told us, "Y'all cain't set back 'ere." When we asked "Why?" he said, "The back seat's fer nigras." On further questioning we were told we couldn't qualify because we didn't have "nigra" blood.

I'm wondering now if a person with "50 percent Hawaiian blood" would be disqualified from certain benefits if he/she received a transfusion of haole blood?

John H. Cort
Pahoa, Hawaii

Filibusters are steroids of Congress

I was listening to Nevada Sen. Harry Reid lay out his analogy that the Senate Republicans' intended rule change to prohibit filibusters on executive branch nominees to facilitate up or down votes on judicial nominations. Reid claimed that the rules for baseball haven't been changed for the last 34 years and analogized the Republicans' intended action to changing the distance between the bases or the number of balls or strikes in the game.

As I understand it, no executive branch nominee had ever previously been filibustered before this Congress. That conjured up a different baseball analogy.

It occurred to me that the Senate Democrats that inserted filibustering of judicial nominees into this Congress are more like the baseball players that started taking steroids to get an advantage over the other players in the game. What happened? The rules got changed to prohibit use of steroids.

Jim Hochberg

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