Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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December 27, 2006 - MidWeek
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Preacher Hamada

Rick Hamada missed his true calling. He’s so preachy and holier-than-thou, he should have become a minister with a real pulpit, not the media pulpit he claims on the radio and in the pages of MidWeek.

Tom James

Honolulu

Black? So what

Rick Hamada’s Dec. 20, 2006 analysis of Barack Obama’s chances to capture the Democratic presidential nomination and to subsequently win the presidency is missing one key point. Although his skin is black, Barack Obama’s life experiences have not been those of an African-American.

Barack Hussein Obama is the son of Ann Dunham, a native of Wichita, Kan., of European ancestry. His father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., is not an American black man, but a Kenyan national who was studying in the United States at the East-West Center. His father left Honolulu for Kenya when young Barack was 2 years old, and he was raised here by his mother and his maternal grandparents until he was 6 years old, far outside the black mainstream.

At the age of 6 he moved with his mother and stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian national, to Jakarta where his half-sister was born. At 10, he returned to Honolulu to attend Punahou School, and lived with his maternal grandparents. It was only after graduating from Punahou that he began to deal firsthand with the issues of American blacks, as an adult, when he attended Occidental College in California, Columbia University and Harvard University Law School.

If Republican pundits can seriously consider Colin Powell, of Jamaican ancestry who was raised in Harlem and the South Bronx, or Condoleeza Rice, who hails from the Deep South, as strong potential presidential candidates, why does Rick Hamada conclude that a native of the state of Hawaii will be judged solely on the color of his skin, since he had no ties to the black community until he worked with community groups and married his African-American wife in Chicago?

George Casen

Honolulu

Preserve JROTC

Alphonso L. Largo’s letter agreeing with the San Francisco Board of Education’s decision to end JROTC in high school implies that this will end the U.S. military-industrial complex we have become. In fact, eliminating JROTC in high school will only increase the ignorance that people have about the military and how it contributes to the freedoms and way of life that we enjoy.

America’s military must continue to exist to protect the lives and interests of American citizens at home and abroad. History has shown that when we reduce our military capabilities, we experience increased military, political and diplomatic attacks on our military forces, U.S. citizens and American interests. San Francisco’s BOE action reflects a selfish way of not doing its share for the defense of America. More so, it denies its high school students information of an honorable way to serve the country and to perhaps make the military a career.

People give up the best years of their lives in the military defending America and our way of life. I wonder what sacrifices Mr. Largo has made for this noble cause.

Russel Noguchi

Pearl City

Save memorial

Bob Jones has done it again! Several years ago at Punchbowl National Cemetery, for the final annual service to honor Ernie Pyle as the World War II highly respected journalist, Bob Jones was asked to say a few words.

At that time, he announced it was high time to “forget that older generation of journalists” and concentrate on the ‘new’ - meaning himself, hardly in the same class as Ernie Pyle in manners or quality of journalism!

Now that most World War I veterans are dead or dying, he cites that as the reason to tear down the Natatorium.

Granted, the actual pool no longer meets modern health regulations, but leave the beautiful structure.

Wait a few years, Bob. You’re aging also!

Joan Huber

Honolulu

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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