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Eh, no shame talk pidgin li'dat

In her column on pidgin language ("Under the Sun," Aug. 17), Cynthia Oi reminds us of how lucky we are to call Hawaii home despite all the usual "hem and haw" about "dis and dat."

Where else in the world is there a language that so beautifully honors the world's distinct cultures yet so eloquently conveys the human experience in such rich and meaty oral textures and tones?

With words like "boroboro" or "ujee" or "k-den," our "hana butta" language efficiency expresses our thoughts and feelings. I hope we always treasure our pidgin language as it is a part of who we are and an undeniable source of pride for a special people living in a special place.

Das why no matta wat dey say, or wat dey do on the mainland, no be shame speak pidgin, because deep down inside, you know dat da visitor and da malihini wish they could speak da kine pidgin, too.

Rep. Marcus Oshiro
R, Wahiawa

Akaka Bill offers real hope to Hawaiians

Hawaiians who oppose the Akaka Bill as "not enough" should ask themselves realistically what they expect will happen if the bill does not become law. Will the United States leave Hawaii? No. Will the monarchy be re-established? No. Do they think that anyone in the federal government beyond our own senators and representatives is actually concerned with what happened to the kingdom of Hawaii 112-plus years ago? No.

The bill gives Hawaiians a legal framework within which to build the Nation of Hawaii. It also protects Hawaiian-first and Hawaiian-only programs, institutions and organizations from attack by those who say they are race-based. Status as indigenous people would end those attacks.

Those who say it is "not enough" should realize that the United States is under no obligation to recognize Hawaiians as indigenous people or to give them special consideration in any way. The Akaka Bill is on the brink of becoming law. It will create real, positive opportunities for Hawaiians to move forward.


Ben Bright

Benefits outweigh negatives of rail

Those who oppose rail transit because of the tax hike need to do their math homework. From 4 percent to 4.5 percent is not much of a burden to commuters compared to tangible benefits rail transit will offer: The tax will add a half-cent to $1, five cents to $10 and 50 cents to $100 transactions. It is not going to affect the pocketbooks of most citizens unless the transaction is in the millions. The benefits for the commuters who will use the rail are tangible, and the savings will cover the tax increase: lower gas consumption, less time on the road, alleviated traffic congestion, and Honolulu will go with the flow of a progressive city.

What major U.S. cities don't have rail transit? Even Las Vegas now has a rail transit for all the Strip's casinos and a high-tech rail inside the airport alone. While Hawaiians spend millions in Las Vegas, why would they complain of paying a little more for the city as a whole? The opponents had better find a very good and compelling reason for not having rail transit in Honolulu.

Mar M. Francisco

Cindy Sheehan a pawn of hateful liberals

I have compassion for and grieve with Cindy Sheehan as a parent who has lost a son. Although my son was not lost to war, but to drugs, the emotions of loss are the same.

However, beyond this, I cease to agree with Sheehan. Her son, as mine, had a choice. He enlisted in the armed forces, and hopefully he understood his obligations. If not, he had no business being in the armed forces.

In addition, Sheehan is out of her element when it comes to political issues. She is being coached by hateful liberal leftist organizations whose only interest is to use her as a poster child for their anti-war venom.

I pray that President Bush does not meet with her. It is evident that she would do nothing but name-call and criticize based on misinformation. The meeting would serve no purpose, but it would set a bad precedent, which would only detract our leader from a most crucial and pivotal job.

Sheehan will undoubtedly consider her son a hero, lost in a noble cause, when in 20 years the government of Iraq is the most stable and democratic in the region and the people there are enjoying freedoms they could only dream of in years past.

James Roller

Americans want truth about Iraq war

I support Cindy Sheehan's attempt to discuss the validity of the war in Iraq with President Bush.

Americans are well educated and hard-working, and we need to know the truth about what our "democratic" government is really doing.

Lynne Coburn

Makiki needs its neighborhood library

Gov. Linda Lingle has declined to release all or even part of the $4.5 million the state Legislature earmarked for Makiki Community Library.

The governor says that McCully-Moiliili Library (about a mile away from Makiki) should satisfy Makiki's needs. But our neighborhood's growing numbers of young families, elderly and immigrants, many of whom live in apartment buildings clustered near the library's location in Makiki District Park, need a library and learning center they can reach on foot.

Hui o Makiki, a residents group working to improve the quality of life in Makiki, supports the renovation of the library and the expansion of community services there.

If the state chooses not to provide Makiki with a library, surely it should support the work of volunteers who are trying to provide a greatly needed community resource.

The governor should change her mind and release the funds.

Elisa W. Johnston
President, Hui o Makiki

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