Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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November 18, 2009 - MidWeek
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Preventing learning

Guess why slaveholders were forbidden to teach their slaves to read or write. They didn’t want educated slaves who would ask questions.

Now you ask, why does our education bureaucracy and our legislators keep our kids short on education? Why has our public school system been on the bottom of the country for many years? Are our kids dumber than others? Are our public school teachers less qualified than those at our private schools? Does our government provide less money per pupil than at private schools?

The answer is no to each of those questions.

Why, then, do we stay at the bottom? It’s not that our public school system doesn’t care about our kids’ education. God forbid. They don’t want them to succeed, they want to make sure that our kids remain dumb. What would happen if they started to learn to read and write? They could start asking questions. God forbid.

There is an entire culture of deliberate non-performance that benefits from dumb kids - and later dumb adults. That culture has entrenched itself in their lifelong sinecures, a position that requires little or no work but provides a salary- and countless benefits. Good for them, but terrible for our kids - and our future!

That culture needs to be broken. Get rid of the entire Board of Education and the entire top layer of the Department of Education.

Unless parents start asking some serious questions and demanding better, Hawaii’s children will stay at the bottom.

Gerhard C. Hamm
Waialae Iki

Not public slaves

In regard to Nancy Calhoun’s letter “Do you share,” I found her ideas on the current furlough process and the state’s current fiscal woes thought-provoking. Her letter, while not new or unique, only adds fuel to a political bonfire which has already burned out of control.

May I respectfully remind Ms. Calhoun that our government employees are public servants not public slaves, which her letter indirectly implies. The attitude of her words suggests that public workers are to be available to her and the community on a 24-hour basis and beckon to your every call and need. Apparently the personal needs of public workers and their families take a back seat to herr personal wants and desires.

Public workers should perform a necessary service to the public and not act as slave labor.

Ryan Loy

Emily & Hanabusa

Regarding a recent Dan Boylan column: Emily’s List’s early recognition of Senate President Colleen Hanabusa as its endorsed candidate for Congressional District 1 in the 2010 election will be helpful to her in raising money. Given that all things are equal in an election, money can make the difference. It is the sad truth, but the truth nonetheless.

In 2006, Ms. Hanabusa narrowly lost to Mazie Hirono in a hotly contested race for CD2, the very seat that had been vacated by Ed Case. Out of the spotlight for several years, and with her last major run a loss, Hirono had the name recognition so important in Hawaii - money. Hirono had the endorsement of Emily’s List.

As Sens. Inouye and Akaka move toward retirement, Hawaii has to think about putting stand-out folks in Congress and the Senate. We can’t wait for seniority to rule the day. And it can be done: Look at our own Mr. President.

As Mr. Boylan has pointed out, Hanabusa is uber-qualified to move on to the national scene. What if Case decides he does-n’t like Congress again? And Djou’s a Republican - last I looked, we live in Hawaii.

Emily’s List hasn’t changed its qualifications since its founding. Last time it supported Hirono. This time, it is supporting Hanabusa. Its members have had the chance to watch Hanabusa since she appeared on their radar screen in the 2nd District contest. And they like what they see.

George DeRamos Jr.

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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