Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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February 08, 2006 - MidWeek
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Defending Lingle

Keith Haugen can always be counted upon for some loaded partisan rhetoric, and his recent anti-Lingle letter was more of the same. Here’s some counterpoint, for those who enjoy the music of politics:

1) In a war zone, every trip must be more or less clandestine. If Lingle had announced her destination, terrorists prowling the Internet would likely have considered the state governor a high-value target.

2) The left wing attack on the First Amendment’s guarantee of our free exercise of religion continues with Haugen’s snide deprecation of Lingle’s Israel trip as “religious.” Since when must a governor give up religious rights in order to serve the public? And isn’t Israel a key to most of foreign policy today? Don’t Democrat state politicians take trips to key foreign locations? If you don’t like Lingle’s travel choices, then elect a governor who’ll go somewhere you prefer.

3) Smearing the Bush administration for not being “open” forgets the “shoot yourself in the foot” Clinton administration policy of not allowing the military intelligence and FBI to even communicate, hence no connecting the dots allowed, leaving us wide open to 9-11’s worse-than-Pearl Harbor attack. At least Bush’s secretiveness actually helps protect us: Clinton’s was willful blindness to imminent harm. A chief executive who kept no secrets would be a fool.

Boyd Ready

Haleiwa

It’s syrup slander

Regarding Bill O’Reilly’s column “So Much For Vermont Maple Syrup,” what does Vermont maple syrup have to do with the sentencing of a child abuse criminal? I don’t see Kona coffee, pineapples or hula associated with the numerous violent crimes in Hawaii. (e.g. Galen Fox’s groping of a woman on an airline flight)

I am a Vermonter who comes to Hawaii every winter for a few months, and I was furious to see the headline associating Vermont maple syrup and the issue of the jail time Judge Cashman awarded Mark Hulett.

Our Vermont maple syrup is the best in the U.S. and has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Any Vermonter, as well as any U.S. citizen, familiar with the case would be appalled at Judge Cashman.

And why would Ben Cohen comment on this issue? Ben and Jerry don’t even own Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream anymore. Yes, they have a progressive, non-partisan social mission, but ice cream and maple syrup have nothing to do with an abuse case. Can’t we be positive about the good things in life coming from Vermont and give them the justice that is due to them and not hang them out to dry with an abuse case and sentencing, that is ridiculous and absurd, to say the least?

Fortunately, with the publicity this case received in the media, and the public reaction, the sentencing has been reversed, giving Hulett three to 10 years.

The main problem here is with our court system. There is no deterrent, and it often favors the criminal. Sentencing takes too long, and appeals are a dime a dozen. Until we start giving harsher punishments for crimes, we can probably expect this kind of sentencing to continue. Judge Cashman was dead wrong - thank heavens our nation rebelled against him!

As far as the Vermont maple syrup headline, please keep it related to maple syrup, whether it be good or bad, and not to a very sad child abuse case.

Elizabeth Campbell

Colchester and Punaluu

Fix Megan’s Law

What do Pittsburgh Penguins’ hockey player Billy Tibbetts, former Hawaii state Rep. Galen Fox, and rock band member Nate Kinsella have in common? They’re all registered sex offenders. Billy Tibbets, 17, had sex with his 15 year-old girlfriend, Galen Fox caressed a woman’s crotch, and Nate Kinsella flashed a crowd at a concert. This is what’s wrong with the sex offenders registry.

Megan’s Law was created to warn parents of possible child molesters in the neighborhood, but it does nothing to protect children. The entire registry is bogged down with hundreds of names of people who are no risk to children or anyone. The real victims of this “sex offender registry” are our underage sons who end up on this list for the rest of their lives for having sex with their underage girlfriends.

As long as politicians are more interested in their public image rather than public safety, Megan’s Law, which was created to protect children, will not protect children at all. Child predators can simply move to another zip code.

Ryan Anakalea

Kapolei

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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