Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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September 23, 2009 - MidWeek
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No to death pics

As an Army helicopter pilot who has spent two years in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, I find Bob Jones’ comments about the AP photo of the dying Marine highly disturbing.

Death is a private thing. I’ve had plenty of friends perish in this war. Were Mr. Jones’ family members to perish, and I run in to take snapshots, that would be all right with him?

Also, calling the war in Afghanistan a “dirty little war” diminishes the service our men and women are giving. Mr. Jones should get on a plane, embed himself with a platoon, then tell me when he gets back after a year how good he feels about taking a photo.

Jeff Newman

A dishonest rant

Michelle Malkin’s rant, “How Dare Obama Address Students,” loses all credibility when she fails to acknowledge that Republicans have been doing this for several administrations.

In fact, George H. W. Bush even included the suggestion that students write to him about how they could aid him, a suggestion for which Obama was pilloried.

And what was George W. Bush doing on 9/11? He was sitting in a classroom keeping young students from “learning something concrete.”

How dare they, indeed!

Jean Garcia

GOP woes

This is in response to Rick Hamada’s lament about the decision of City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle to officially quit Hawaii’s Republican Party in advance of his campaign for mayor. Perhaps the reason that the GOP is in trouble both in Hawaii and nationally is that it has strayed so far from the party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower or even George H.W. Bush. Far from offering local and constructive opposition, Republicans are the party of saying no to anything President Obama says. They are the party of twisting, or more frequently just ignoring, facts. Republicans are the party of the extreme religious right. And they are the party that rewards the rich at the expense of the middle class.

My father was a proud Republican who owned a small business, but I’m sure that he would not recognize the party today.

GOP: Grumpy Old Panderers.

Arlene Yip-Ryan

Killer healthcare

Thanks to Dan Boylan for writing about the overwhelming number of medical professionals who agree that our current healthcare system is killing America.

It just kills me when I see middle class Americans fighting for the right of mega-insurance companies to gouge us and deny us coverage. As for the argument that Obama’s plan would put the government between me and my doctor, there’s something even spookier and less compassionate standing between me and my doctor right now - my insurance company.

What happened to common sense, not to mention self-interest?

Alicia Lee

Fun with fins

For those of us honestly concerned about protecting people from sharks in the ocean, all reliable empirical and anecdotal scientific evidence suggests we should ban all near-shore human activity in the ocean, as opposed to deep-water activity like shark tours. This means all human activity in the reefs, the open-water inside the reefs, and the open-water just outside of the reefs. Virtually all shark attacks occur in the reefs or in the open-water just outside of the reefs. The victims are almost always surfers and swimmers, and to a lesser-degree divers, especially divers who are spear fishing and drawing blood from their catch.

If we are honest about doing something to reduce the danger to people posed by sharks, we need to ban all forms of near-shore surfing, all forms of near-shore swimming, all forms of near-shore diving and all forms of near-shore fishing. Of course, this ban would be ridiculous, just a ridiculous as the proposed shark tour ban.

Scott Suzuki-Jones

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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