Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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June 13, 2007 - MidWeek
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Hamada erred

Republican apologist and MidWeek writer Rick Hamada incorrectly states in his June 6 column that as chair of the Judiciary and Labor Committee I was responsible for the confirmation hearings on Peter Young, saying that “the treatment of Peter Young was unprecedented and delivered a big black eye to the Democratic-controlled Senate.”

Hamada should get his facts straight.

The Senate Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs, chaired by Sen. Russell Kokubun, and not the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, conducted the confirmation hearings of Peter Young.

Hamada should know that not only did I not chair the confirmation of Mr. Young, but that I did not publicly make any speeches or comments regarding Mr. Young during the decision making portion of the committee hearing or on the Senate floor when he was up for a vote.


While I cannot speak for the 14 other senators who voted against Mr. Young, for the record, the vote on Mr. Young was a most unpleasant one for me.

However, the ongoing investigations by the Office of the Attorney General and the State Ethics Commission into the department he was in charge of were important and serious considerations for me as was the failure of the Kaloko Dam, where innocent people died under Mr. Young’s watch. In addition, issues including complaints, transfers and outright resignations by many employees as well as numerous testimonies by local citizens unhappy with the manner in which Department of Land and Natural Resources is run were also important considerations for me.

The public’s expectation of accuracy from a “journalist” is not an unreasonable one. Unfortunately, Mr. Hamada let fundamental facts get in the way of his mean-spirited opinion.

Sen. Clayton Hee


Even more good

Since appearing on the cover of the June 1 MidWeek, my husband Evan and I have received so many comments. It allowed us to reach more of an audience and attract them to our shows on the radio, television and Internet.

The well-written article by Chad Pata highlighted our message of doing good in the community while balancing a busy life of work, family and friends. The article not only featured what we are doing, but inspired many who contacted us asking for assistance in finding a community group they’re passionate about, and inspired leaders to try to incorporate a social mission into their company philosophy.

Many of our interviewees have said that just a little bit from everyone will make a huge difference. Thank you for helping us to take this message to many more and for doing the greater good for Hawaii’s community.

Kari Leong Greater Good

Thank you, Cindy

My sincere gratitude to Dan Boylan for his tribute to Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost her son in a useless war brought to the grieving families of America and Iraq by useless people only consumed with greed and power.

I share Cindy’s disdain for the Democratic Party, who sold out their constitutional duty to impeach Bush and Cheney for crimes against the people. It is politics as usual. Ralph Nader was correct when he said that there is no difference in the parties. We all lose!

Pat Blair


That doggone NFL

Steve Murray’s column on Michael Vick’s repulsive hobby of felony animal cruelty has truly turned my stomach. The response and support of ignorant players such as Clinton Portis and Chris Samuels is also very disturbing.

In searching the NFL’s website, I could not locate an e-mail or phone number contact for a representative of the NFL to voice my disgust of the heinous crime of dog fighting. Do you have an e-mail address or contact number that you could forward to me?

Thank you for devoting your article of June 6, 2007, to open our eyes to the inhumane cruelty that exists.

Kevin and Shirley Malmud


Editor’s note: Steve Murray says that the U.S. Humane Society website http://www.hsus.org includes a link under “Take Action” to an electronic petition that will be forwarded to the NFL.

Religious ‘teaching’

In Bob Jones’ recent “Brainwashing Kids In Religion” column, he calls indoctrinating our children without cross-examination “troubling.” What troubles me is how Mr. Jones forgets that many ideals in our society have room for cross-examination, but at some point parents choose the ideals that are right for their children and their entire family.

Our society and our laws recognize a child’s inability to decipher among the many choices that are available to them. Our job as parents is to teach them the values important to our own family, and make the choices for them when they are young. When they are ready, they can decide how those teachings and/or values compare to other options that exist in our world. We can only hope and pray (and, yes, I did say pray!) that they make the decisions that will positively affect their life and the life of their own family.

Mr. Jones may call it brainwashing. I call it teaching.

Shame on Mr. Jones for casting a negative light on something that can have such a positive influence on our young children when there are other much more critical social issues that are actually negatively affecting our young people.

Grace Torres


Let God speak

Regarding Bob Jones’ column on religious brainwashing: If there really were an all-powerful god watching over human actions, don’t you think he/she/it would speak up somehow and tell people to stop killing each other in the name of religion - or at least to say, eh, this is what is right?

A god that cannot do that is not very powerful.

Marian James


Divisive religion

It’s a simple fact that our religion and politics have more to do with where we’re born on Earth than any other factor. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists all indoctrinate their young. People who will criticize Mr. Jones have obviously been thus indoctrinated.

It is also a fact that religion is one of the most divisive forces in the world, and always has been.

Eric Lee


Buddhist brainwash

No doubt Bob Jones’ religious brainwashing column will raise the ire of those who believe that somehow their religion and/or faith has been besmirched. But I write to you as a religious leader of a Buddhist temple that has been in Honolulu for the last 100 years. I can tell you that Mr. Jones is entirely correct.

I am 39 years old, a fourth-generation AJA and speak very little Japanese. I am involved in a religion that imports all of its priests from Japan, who speak predominantly Japanese to congregations that are so aged that it would not be an overstatement to assume that without massive changes, many local Buddhist temples will simply dry up for lack of participants. I bring this up because many of these seniors were indoctrinated into the religion just as Mr. Jones wrote. These people do not know why they attend service or why they perform certain rituals for funerals or memorials - they simply don’t know and don’t care to question the ministers. The seniors in Hawaii of Japanese ancestry have not only been indoctrinated in their religious beliefs, but in their belief that they are second-class citizens or, dare I say it, sub-human in comparison to Japanese nationals. It is frightening.

The indoctrination is so complete that these people in Hawaii have forgotten that they were the ones who built the temples that these Japanese national ministers live in and treat as their own private property. In Japan, the ministers do “own” their temples and it is necessary for them to have sons to take over, which is odd since absolutely strict Buddhism forbids marriage for practicing monks. It is, however, very convenient for the families who find their temples to be hereditary fiefs to pass down to their progeny and to keep it all in the family.

There is no such thing as good fundamentalism.

Reyn Yorio Tsuru Director, Shingon Shu Hawaii

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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