Letters To The Editor
April 04, 2007 - MidWeek
Since the 1998 vote on the concept of same-sex marriage, I’ve often heard opponents, like Jerry Coffee in his column “Gay Marriage and Majority Opinion,” claim that the majority of “the people of Hawaii” have spoken on this issue.
I would like to point out that this majority is not as cut and dried as Mr. Coffee (“more than 70 percent”) and other would like to believe. This often-quoted 70 percent figure is really 69.2 percent of those who went to the polls and voted the amendment down. But some could argue the wording of the amendment may have confused some voters, plus the “blank-is-no” rule muddies these figures even more.
Furthermore, only 47.4 percent of registered voters - 32 percent of eligible voters, or 23.4 percent of an estimated 1998 Hawaiian population - ultimately had a problem with same-sex marriage. (Figures quoted here are from state of Hawaii Office of Elections and U.S. Census Bureau.)
I’m not seeing the stunning majority that precludes compromise or periodic re-examination of the issue. And remember, majorities in the past have held onto outdated values that have prevented the timely civil rights eventually afforded to African Americans and women, and therefore, are not always right.
Just what we need!
Regarding Dan Boylan’s cover story Mazie Hirono: Just what we need in Washington, another liberal Democrat. Gee, she believes in growing the size of government and surrendering in Iraq - what a surprise. What wasn’t mentioned is that Hirono was simply the default choice of the Hawaii Democratic Party owing to the political ineptness of Ed Case. All Hirono cares about is collecting her nice Congressional paycheck and retiring to a generous taxpayer-funded pension with benefits. Way to go, Mazie. You paid your dues and now can collect your reward.
We need military
I would like to comment on Andy Rooney’s article about Army/Navy that appeared in the 14 March edition of the MidWeek. I am shocked and appalled that there are Americans who would actually have this kind of mind-set - why don’t we get rid of the Army and Navy? Well, let’s see ... because then there would be nobody to deter an attack on America, and nobody trained enough to fight back. The United States of America would have no fire power!
I suggest that Mr. Rooney get out and meet some of these soldiers and sailors and thank them for what they do, willingly, each and every day.
Stacey E. Hopfe,
Yeoman First Class (Aviation Warfare), USN
Inouye let us down
Hawaii hosts what may be the largest military population, as a percentage of permanent residents, of any state in the nation. And one of our senators holds the nation’s highest military decoration as a result of his courageous service in WW II. During that service he enjoyed unwavering support on the homefront. That’s why it is such a stunning disappointment that Sen. Dan Inouye, in fact our entire Congressional delegation, voted to undercut our troops and impose on them a military defeat.
The recent supplemental funding bill to continue financing the troops was loaded with unacceptable pork and contained, incredibly, a specific date for our troops to retreat from the Iraq battlefield and accept a defeat in the war on terror.
Predictably the vote split along party lines, with a couple of exceptions on each side. The Democrat majority passed this disgraceful legislation knowing it was destined for a presidential veto.
The intent, of course, was to create a problem for our president, irregardless of the message received by our brave troops and their battlefield enemies. Unfortunately, that message was “Defeat at any cost.”
Those who voted for this bill will try the “we support the troops but not the mission” shibai, but we now know how they all really feel. And that includes our very own, very disappointing, Sen. Inouye, who never heard that kind of message when he served.
Our troops are doing a fantastic job on the battlefield. They shouldn’t have to worry about their backs at home.
Robert R. Kessler
Commander, USN (Retired)
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