Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stand for people, not corporations

Democracy is down for the count. Corporations are not people. Corporations are business entities, shielding individuals from liability.

The U.S. Supreme Court has made the most reprehensible decision since the Dred Scott decision upheld slavery in 1857.

Asserting that this recent campaign-financing decision upholds free speech is false. It upholds the ability of the rich and the powerful to influence elections and buy our government — a government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people. Corporations are not people.

We have already seen terrible hardship wrought on the American people by large banks, insurance and other business giants who care far more for profit than they do for the average American citizen or for democracy itself.

Corporations are not people. If they were, one might be tempted — due to the experience of the American public — to suspect them of tending toward sociopathy. As a New York Times editorial noted, “;With a single, disastrous 5-to-4 ruling, the Supreme Court has thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century.”;

Bambi Lin Litchman






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Polls compared apples, oranges

Richard Borreca's article on the recent favorability poll on Gov. Linda Lingle is skewed (”;State's labor, fiscal woes cut Lingle's popularity,”; Star-Bulletin, Jan. 19).

Borreca compares the governor's 38 percent favorable rating in the Star-Bulletin's poll to a 64 percent favorable rating in a 2004 Honolulu Advertiser poll and a 51 favorable rating in a June 2009 poll by the Daily Kos, a Democrat blog. By putting the Bulletin's poll results next to the results of the two previous polls, Borreca attempts to show that the governor's favorability has somehow dropped.

However, this is clearly comparing apples to oranges.

The Advertiser poll offered respondents only three possible answers to choose from, while the Bulletin offered four possible responses. The Daily Kos poll offered five choices, but combined the “;very favorable”; and “;favorable”; responses to total 51 percent. By nature of each poll's methodology, the results are different and cannot be accurately compared.

Regardless of what any polls say, Gov. Lingle makes her decisions based on what is in the best interest of the people of Hawaii and the long-term future of our state. Many of the decisions she has made in this challenging economic environment were difficult, but they reflect the kind of decisive leadership Hawaii's people expect and deserve from their elected leaders.

Lenny Klompus

Senior adviser-communications, Office of the Governor


Lingle playing games with rail

The governor's comments about rail—the plan costs too much, the city failed to examine alternatives, and elevated tracks would be ugly (”;Lingle calls city's rail plan costly, elevated tracks ugly,”; Star-Bulletin, Jan. 9)—has to be the most irresponsible comments from the governor in her eight years in office.

Instead of taking care of the people of the state, she continues to play games with their lives, productivity and quality of life. She has ignored the roads and their maintenance, the social services of the people in the state, the education of the students and now the citizens' ability to transport themselves to work.

To say that the city needs to build rail at ground level means she still thinks she lives on the mainland with endless resources of land at her disposal. What a joke.

Carolyn Martinez Golojuch



All of us have a right to speak

Social studies teacher Dennis Tynan believes that religious zealots should stay home and keep their mouths shut when it comes to government laws (”;Church and state must be separate,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, Jan. 22). He, above all others, should know and teach that the First Amendment to the Constitution gives every American the right to freely express his opinion in public with regards to government laws or any other topic. It does not matter how repugnant that opinion may be to others, nor does it matter on what basis that opinion was founded, religious or secular. The fact that this man is molding young minds by teaching social studies in America is truly disturbing.

Rhoads E. Stevens, M.D.

Hawaii Kai


Church and state should not mix

Recently two prominent persons have spoken out against House Bill 444 granting legal recognition to civil unions: Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Catholic Bishop Larry Silva. The mayor made his remarks in support of “;traditional marriage”; at a Jan. 17 rally at the Capitol. He failed to explain how civil unions or same-sex couples in civil unions would undermine marriage. The mayor served us poorly by lending his voice to these biased and backward efforts to deny the expansion of civil rights.

The bishop made his unsavory and disturbing remarks in his letter to Catholic parishioners (”;Bishop's call to block civil unions offends bill advocates,”; Star-Bulletin, Jan. 13). The bishop wrote that not allowing same-sex couples to marry is “;discriminatory, but not all discrimination is unjust. Some of it is quite justified because it is based on reality and truth.”; What reality and truth guided him? And doesn't the bishop realize the term “;civil unions”; was devised so as not to offend those who think that allowing same-sex couples to marry would alter the definition of marriage?

Separation of church and state is a vital tradition that needs to be safeguarded.

John Witeck