Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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November 24, 2010 - MidWeek
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Out of touch?

I read Rick Hamada’s column and sometimes sort of agree with his views. But this time I was totally offended by his column “Hawaii Out Of Step With The Nation.”

He states that because Hawaii voted Democratic we are out of touch, which basically was one step from calling us stupid. Just because we did not vote Republican, which Mr. Hamada obviously is, the majority of us are wrong?

Could it possibly be that instead of being out of touch, we are actually at the forefront of something great? No one can predict what is going to happen in the next few years, but apparently Mr. Hamada has a crystal ball because he knows that Hawaii made a huge “mistake” to vote Democratic. Just because we are not in the majority with the rest of the U.S. does not make us wrong. Different, yes. Maybe if the Hawaii Republicans put out some viable candidates who showed that they can work between party lines instead of always voting no and often spewing religious overtones to issues, some of us might have been persuaded.

Kenneth Yamashita

Save natatorium

I am a veteran of 30 years service and a Persian Gulf War veteran. With a four-paragraph sound bite on the Natatorium, Bob Jones disrespects the citizens who most deserve our thanks and gratitude. Volunteers from Hawaii for World War I far exceeded the quota asked for by the War Department. In 1921, Act 15 of the Territorial Legislature sought to honor that service by creating a memorial to their service; just as in 1998, when community leaders sought to honor Gulf War Veterans by renaming Triangle Park (Ruger Park) to Operation Red Wing-Medal of Honor Park.

Let’s honor the value of volunteerism, service and devotion by caring for our memorials, not destroying them, letting them fall into disrepair or making political statements.

Mo Radke, USN (Ret.)

Right again

In a recent MidWeek column, conservative Pat Buchanan accurately and plainly states of the pre-Iraq war period: “We were lied to.”

In another column, he suggests the Pentagon budget, which has more than doubled in the last 10 years, be placed on the table for spending cuts.

And now in his most recent column he makes the argument for not going to war with Iran. Perhaps he should change the name of his column “From the Right” to “Totally Ignored,” unfortunately.

Daniel Laraway

Detail the cuts

In reference to Armando Mejia Takara’s letter regarding the size of government, it would be great to see if he or others could actually provide an accurate breakdown of which services to eliminate as well as its economic and social impact to the community. It’s easy to simply point at something and complain that it’s “too big,” but it takes hard work to actually properly analyze and make accurate determinations before anything is implemented. Unfortunately, everyone shies away from this part.

Ryan Loy

Praising NPR

Pat Buchanan ought to listen to NPR now and then. With all the mean-spirited, anti-liberal rhetoric I hear on AM radio broadcasts, public radio is a breath of Fresh Air. Public radio manages to program shows with contrasting viewpoints without frothing at the mouth, and when they are political, it is often with a sense of humor. Some of the programming on public radio is eclectic, but I get tired of hearing “conservative” radio talk-show hosts referring to NPR and PBS as “elitist.”

I think it is dangerous to think of individuals who are well-read or trained in the arts or possessing a college education as elite. By that definition, there are tens of millions of elite Americans out there. Classical music programming and programming that allows the listener to actually hear how people outside of the United States see us are valuable, even if not commercial. Regarding the premise of the “From the Right” article, NPR member stations are funded more by corporate philanthropy (21.3 percent) and by “listeners like me” (32.1 percent), than by government subsidy. Federal, state and local governments support NPR member stations with 5.8 percent of the pie. The firing of Juan Williams was not a sudden, out-of-the-blue event. His comments on FOX regarding his discomfort seeing Muslims dressing and identifying as Muslims at airports was the last straw. NPR executives have an operating philosophy. He violated it, so he was fired.

Warren Cone

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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