Letters to the Editor

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Let more die for Bush's mission in Iraq

The Aug. 24 Associated Press article about the American Legion's take on the Iraq war needs to be taken seriously. As the legion's national commander pointed out, traitors like Jane Fonda lost America's war on Vietnam, and Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier who died in Iraq, is trying to do the same to our heroic efforts in that country.

Fortunately, as I write this, our courageous president is sending 1,500 additional troops to Iraq to help those grateful people embrace the American-approved Iraqi constitution in their coming election.

No way will any Jane Fondas or Cindy Sheehans prevent President Bush from staying the course. As he has pointed out, 1,800 or so dead Americans is a small price to pay for bringing peace, prosperity and democracy to the grateful Iraqi.

And I have enough faith in my president to know that he won't hesitate to send more of our young men and women to Iraq in order to further the "Mission Accomplished" that we achieved more than two years ago.

John A. Broussard
Kamuela, Hawaii

Lawbreakers got their way on cockfighting

The Star-Bulletin's editorial, "State inaction requires federal cockfighting felony" (Aug. 25) is right on point.

The editorial states that "former Big Island Rep. Eric Hamakawa blocked proposals to make cockfighting a state felony in 2002 and 2003, explaining that he had 'a lot of cockfighting constituents.'"

I wonder if Hamakawa had "a lot of ice-using constituents" and so supports his island's drug dealers?

It's because county and state lawmakers cave in to lawbreakers that we need to have the feds intervene so often in our affairs.

Larry Geller

Responsible drinkers need to tag abusers

All alcohol drinkers at Aloha Stadium share a common reputation, so responsible drinkers should do whatever they can to protect their good name.

Those who feel they are being punished for the actions of the terrible few should encourage others who drink with them to be just as responsible, call authorities when someone begins to get out of hand and step forward to identify and testify against any abuser to make sure they are punished to prevent the abuse from happening again.

Responsibility goes beyond one's own drinking behavior. Until all drinkers truly take full responsibility, I cannot see a ban on alcohol as being unreasonable.

Ricky Higashide

Humans more danger to seals than sharks

Thank you for covering the "Teachers at Sea" trip to Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. My husband and I looked forward to reading the dispatches from the Star-Bulletin's Diana Leone each day.

We were, however, shocked to read that sharks and monk seal mothers weaning their pups early are being blamed for the dip in the Hawaiian monk seal population. We could hardly believe that National Marine Fisheries Service scientists are suggesting that sharks need to be controlled (i.e., killed) to protect the seals.

Sharks are a natural predator of Hawaiian monk seals and, most likely for the past 15 million years, newly weaned pups have competed with the full-grown seals for their meals. If the sharks' and seals' behavior has changed, doesn't it make sense that it's because their environment has changed, causing these animals to adapt?

We have just spent the last five years researching anthropogenic impacts on Hawaii's marine life for a documentary, and this research has shown that NMFS and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council mismanagement of the now-closed lobster fishery in the NWHI was one of the main reasons for causing the monk seal pups to starve. The lobster fishery not only decimated the lobster population that monk seal pups depend on, but killed thousands of other animals of different species that the monk seals eat. Wespac and NMFS continue to deny this even though the fisheries service was sued over the issue, and the fishery was closed in 2000 as a result.

It may be too late for the Hawaiian monk seal. No one really knows if the species will survive, even if Rep. Ed Case's fantastic proposal for a refuge becomes law. But killing a species (the sharks) to stop them from eating their natural prey, even if it is endangered, is just adding to the problem.

Marie Le Boeuf

Bikeways are great for residents, tourists

Rep. Cynthia Thielen's suggestion of building a comprehensive bikeway system on Oahu (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 21) is brilliant. While bike riding as a form of transportation is ideal in the islands because of our constant summer-like weather, the reality is that without designated bike lanes it is downright dangerous. Imagine bike lanes around Oahu; not only would these greatly reduce our traffic woes, they would also attract more environmentally conscious tourists to our island.

Fewer cars, healthier people and a new appreciation of our beautiful island. Sounds like a smart solution to many of our problems.

Eleanor Thurber

Whatever happened to 'Thou Shall Not Kill'?

Earlier this week, the leader of the Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson, said that the United States should assassinate the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.

If a Muslim cleric had called for the assassination of anyone, he'd be deported if he wasn't a citizen and condemned, ostracized and investigated if he was. Yet nothing so far has happened to Robertson. TV news anchors laugh it off, and the White House hasn't said a word.

The Sixth Commandment says that "Thou Shall Not Kill"; however, if you're the leader of the Christian Coalition and have your own TV show, I guess the commandments don't apply to you.

Frank Brockerman

There's no rest from political spin

The gravestones of dead American soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery during the Iraq war show a change in style from earlier wars. Unlike earlier wars, new gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are inscribed with the operation names, such as "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and "Operation Enduring Freedom." The Pentagon does this in order to promote public support for these wars.

How tragic it is that the final resting place for these soldiers has turned into a public relations campaign. I wonder how many innocent dead Iraqi children have "Operation Shock And Awe" inscribed on their tombstones?

Michael Lauck

Blame the Democrats for high cost of living

The latest Hawaii census shows a continuing decrease of native Hawaiians in the state. They're all moving to the mainland because of the high cost of living and high tax rate.

It's no wonder why we have practically lost the aloha spirit in Hawaii. Genuine aloha spirit only comes from Hawaiians.

I blame the Democratic Party, the party of the rich and greedy, for making it difficult to raise a family in Hawaii. Every time they raise some kind of tax, more people move to the mainland or become homeless.

This year the Democratic-controlled Legislature gave our promised tax break to their supporter unions' pay raises.

The mayor and the other Democrats on the City Council not only double the vehicle weight tax and the sewage fee, they approved an increased in the excise tax. They say the excise tax will be in effect only for a few years. Do you really believe this? The Democrats are known to raid other funds to pay for their union pay raises.

I hope when the next election rolls around, we vote every Democrat out of office -- the Legislature, the mayor and those on the City Council.

Melvin Partido Sr.
Pearl City

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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.

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