Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, January 21, 2010

'Banksters' made profit from crisis

The only people who recovered from the financial meltdown are the people who caused the financial crisis: banksters. Not gangsters, nor bankers, but banksters.

Naomi Klein's book “;The Shock Doctrine”; has a premise that you shock a body of citizens, pretend to help—but rob them. The financial free fall was man-made. This created the fear needed to present the TARP bill, which was supposed to fix the problem, but in actuality was robbing us blind. The banksters lobbied—legalized bribery—to prevent the government from criminalizing this highway robbery. The Glass-Steagall Act that deregulated banks was repealed in 1999, and the Commodities Future Modernization Act of 2000 allowed the banks to trade their crooked insurance in secret and exempt them from all supervisory authority.

This problem is shared by all Americans. We should demand restitution. I agree with those who are demanding an audit of the Fed, are proposing a 50 percent tax on bonuses of $50,000 and over, and are trying to bring back Glass-Steagall.

Justin Hughey






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UH endowment makes difference

Mahalo to George Simson for his thought-provoking piece, “;Boosting UH endowment key to financial stability”; (Island Commentary, Star-Bulletin, Jan. 15). With today's headlines about budget cuts and deficits, it is easy to become discouraged about the future of public higher education. What we don't hear about are the steps we can take to turn the tide.

Even in challenging economic times, individuals make a difference and help good institutions become great ones. Private gifts and growing an institution's endowment are critical to providing the margin of excellence.

The success of the UH Foundation's Centennial Campaign for the University of Hawaii illustrates the impact dedicated, committed individuals can make. More than 93,000 donors contributed $336 million during the just-completed fundraising campaign. Of this, $75 million was endowed, ensuring an ongoing source of income for the university.

Today, the UH Foundation manages more than 860 endowed accounts with a combined market value of $166 million. These accounts pay out more than $6 million a year for scholarships, faculty support, research and programs.

As state and federal funds dry up, we must count on each other to provide the private support that can secure a healthy future for our university and our students and, in turn, our state.

Barry Weinman

Chairman, University of Hawaii Foundation


Gays deserve equal rights

The passage of House Bill 444 is required to assure that all citizens in Hawaii are protected and provided equal rights.

Regardless of sexual preference, this legislation assures that all couples and families are provided rights related to property, health care, family leave, adoption and state taxes.

Twenty years ago, I had a friend who passed away. His partner was denied entrance into the hospital room and was ostracized by family members who had previously “;written off”; their son. After sharing a 20-year relationship, the surviving partner was left with nothing. If HB444 had existed at that time, his surviving partner would have been protected and afforded an opportunity to say his final goodbye and been legally entitled to their home, savings and company.

Kelly Knowles



HB444 will be a big distraction

I agree with Gov. Linda Lingle and many others that efforts to pass HB444 will severely hamper the Legislature's ability to deal with much more critical matters.

Even if legislators were to pass HB444 immediately upon convening, the ensuing outcry and calls for repeal, offsetting counter measures and legal actions would literally cripple the Legislature from dealing with any other matters for the entire session. And, the scheme to place as much distance as possible between the dastardly deed and the fall elections will fail.

The message sent by passing HB444 would be that the Legislature places greater priority on the demands of the homosexual, bisexual and transsexual activists than the interest of the general public. It will send a message that the severe economic meltdown, the deterioration of infrastructure, the health care crisis, the public education crisis, foreclosures, mounting homelessness, etc., are all lower in priority to the granting of civil unions for homosexuals.

It appears our legislators would allow the state to crumble in order to cater to the desires of a few. Legislators, politically speaking, is this the hill you want to die on?

Dolan Waikiki



Isle zoo animals are too cramped

I am ashamed for not speaking up sooner.

While at the Honolulu Zoo on an excursion with my granddaughter's class last year, I was appalled at the cramped conditions and dirtiness at the zoo, and told myself I would write a letter to the mayor. But I failed to do so.

I found the elephants panting from side to side, as if saying, “;I am squeezed in a telephone booth and it's driving me crazy.”;

The twin black baby bears—one was circling in movement.

The water below the monkeys in the tree branches was disgustingly black with bubbles.

Leaves, leaves, leaves everywhere! I asked a worker how often they rake; he replied, once a month.

The tiger has a pen the length of a truck.

The pigs, five in all, had a pail of dirty muddy water to drink, and were cramped in a tiny space as well.

It's time to move the zoo to West Oahu where there is ample space to accommodate these animals—or simply don't have a zoo, if the animals cannot be housed properly. It is inhumane to cage these animals in tiny quarters that even we would not live in.

Louise M. Fleming

Hawaii Kai


Ray Kanemori will be missed

It was with horror and great sadness that I read of the death, by an alleged drunken driver, of Ray Kanemori on Jan. 18.

Mr. Kanemori, in his capacities with Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, was the embodiment of Hawaiian aloha to the many guests he served. His welcoming smile and eagerness to help in ways large and small added to the pleasure of my many visits to Hawaii. His death is a tragedy. The fact that it was Oahu's fourth pedestrian death in this young year is reprehensible.

Jenny Tesar

Bethel, Conn.