Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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March 14, 2007 - MidWeek
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Good riddance

I am surprised at the article by Jerry Coffee, who is in total and complete defense of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.

While taking visiting Mainlanders to my favorite place on Oahu, I have been angered and insulted to hear vendors in Patrick Brent’s tent hawking pearl jewelry with the line “How better to honor the fallen but with a pearl from Pearl Harbor.” What an insult to this hallowed ground! I’ve heard it more than once, so I know it was not a fluke. I’ve overpaid for cheap food and drink there. I’ve been hounded by vendors to “try this out” or “use this key to open our treasure chest.” Sickening. I gladly guide my guests and others to spend their money with the blind association and at the museum gift shop within the memorial.

A few hours wait to walk around the museum and the outside displays at Pearl Harbor gives one time to contemplate the events of not only that day but the many days following this attack. Must we have our senses assaulted every moment with retailers and food vendors? I for one am very, very glad to see this abomination go. It’s none too soon.

Peggy Sucher

Honolulu (daughter of a WWII lady riveter)

Customer is last

If the other visitor attractions at Pearl Harbor had been more customer-friendly, Patrick Brent’s visitor center would not have been necessary. With friends in town recently, we checked in at the Arizona Memorial and were told it would be a three-hour wait. We walked over to the visitor center and found it more comfortable, and with better and more food offerings. I, for one, will miss it.

Alice Lee


Biased flunkies

A quick note to compliment Jerry Coffee on his cover story outlining the terrible situation at the Arizona complex, and for highlighting the long-standing prejudicial and high-handed management by the National Park Service from its biased local flunkies up through the Washington bureaucrats. This is one more reason to fault our Congressional members for their lack of strong support.

Bill Griffith


True local style

Re: Rick Hamada’s column “A Vicious Attack, Not Road Rage.”

How brave of Gerald Paakaula and his 16-year-old son to attack a woman.

It makes you wonder, would they have used the same tactics if the individuals were, say, large Polynesian males the size of UH football players? Would they have come out of their vehicle yelling “You f———Polynesians!” and then proceed to charge and attack them? Or would they have said “Oh, brah, no problem, only minah, no worry, no need call the cops, we take care.”

For future reference: Before any other cowards attack anyone smaller and weaker than themselves, they should ask the question, “Would we beat this person or persons if they were bigger and stronger than us or if we thought that they could kick our butt?” I bet the answer would be “Oh, brah, no problem, we take care.”

John Cabral Local Portuguese, but look like haole

President’s tragedy

In her column “A Shakespearean Tragedy Unfolds,” Susan Page goes to elaborate and convoluted ways to describe behavior she condemns, by way of Shakespearean plays’ titles.

But when she says that “Richard III is a brilliant study in the art of manipulation and how willingly we fall for it. Its themes of ambition, power and the end justifying the means ...” I have only one syllable ringing in my ear: Bush, Bush, Bush!

Iska Rabeendran


Critical thinking

I wholeheartedly agree with Jerry Coffee’s column “Critical Thinking About Real Threats” - about how the dissent by our leadership in government really does strengthen our enemies.

What if Al Jazeera broke a story that Ayman al-Zawahri no longer felt Al Qaida was doing the right thing in Iraq and adamantly demanded of Osama bin Laden that all of their operatives needed to be pulled out immediately? What if other members of the Al Qaida leadership began questioning their motives and began airing all their disagreements through the press?

Would our military be encouraged or emboldened? You betcha they would!

Would such an event demoralize Al Qaida operatives? You betcha it would!

What if high-profile leaders in the U.S. such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy and the Johns (Kerry and Edwards) did the same thing? Oh, that’s right, they already have. Thanks for nothing.

Norio Hataye


Critical of surge

Instead of criticizing our dissenting Congressional leaders, Jerry Coffee should apply his critical thinking skills to explain how sending more U.S. troops to risk their lives in an unnecessary Iraqi war “supports our troops.” But he can’t. After all, Bush said Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, and emerging reports indicate our presence in Iraq is encouraging more terrorists making matters worse. So it’s completely irrational to stay in Iraq and send more troops there. Consequently, Coffee is left with simply parroting empty right-wing talking points, creating “meaningless sound and fury.”

The Congressional dissent to Bush’s surge is not “meaningless sound and fury,” but rather rational critical thinking that truly “supports our troops.”

Adam Lee


Sad soap opera

Regarding Jade Moon’s column on the Anna Nicole Smith “sad soap opera,” I agree with much of what Jade said.The media fixation on Anna’s story is itself sick-ening.We don’t want to watch. I’d like to see a groundswell of people notifying the television news stations and other media that we want them to knock it off. As Jade says, “I am sick of it!”

I blame this type of “extended soap opera” coverage on the Rupert Murdock-inspired entertainment media, not on the public’s desire to “eat it up.” The entertainment media create, sensationalize and sustain these stories with their enormous influence and power. They flood the air-waves with them, deliberately trying to create a public appetite, a market for this sad trash, for profit. But how do we know they are truly doing that? Maybe nobody’s watching. I don’t know anybody who enjoys this Anna Nicole Smith coverage. They just turn the TV off, or change the channel.

Without the entertainment news focus and its influence on Anna Nicole Smith’s life, both she and her son would probably be alive right now. Historically, television media especially have used, exploited, and thereby damaged and destroyed, many individuals who didn’t deserve it. Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana, to name a few, were media victims. Some of them might have been naive, hapless and manipulated by others, but they didn’t deserve to die.

Anne Miller


Senior bus passes

The Honolulu City Council and Mayor Hannemann should take a page out of Mayor Fasi’s book and extend free bus passes to all senior citizens over the age of 50. This would encourage fewer cars on our roadways and in parking lots, improve pedestrian safety, lessen carbon emissions into our atmosphere and be quieter than a rail system.

Michael Chun


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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