Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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December 01, 2010 - MidWeek
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Polar opposites

It’s quite apparent that Bob Jones and Rick Hamada can’t agree on anything. One week they’re 180 degrees apart on the new Hawaii Five-0, the next week they’re polar opposites on the TSA screening methods.

I’m with Bob on Five-0 and with Rick on “TSA’s Peep Show And Grope Fest.” (Great headline, by the way - says it all.) Thanks to MidWeek for providing such disparate opinions.

Kimo Lee

Out of touch

In a letter responding to a Rick Hamada column, “Hawaii Out Of Touch With Nation,” Kenneth Yamashita wrote, “Could it possibly be that instead of being out of touch, we are actually at the forefront of something great?”

With all due respect, he must be joking! With Hawaii having a Democratic governor again, instead of the change that Abercrombie promised, it’s back to business as usual in Hawaii: union-controlled big government, big spending and high taxes. Mr. Yamashita further states that Republicans need to “put out some viable candidates who showed that they can work between party lines instead of always voting no.” If more Republicans had been elected into office and voted no, we wouldn’t be in the financial mess we are in today. As far as how to get out of it, a good place to start would be reading the Pork Report by the Grassroots Institute of Hawaii to find out where the waste is. The only way that Hawaii could be at the forefront of something great would be if we were serious about changing the direction the state has been heading by changing our ways of doing things.

Peter Junker

China is scary

Pat Buchanan’s column “China Taking Aim At U.S. Bases” is one of the spook-iest things I’ve seen since ... oh, since the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. China seems to have a plan to be the greatest power in the world. China is clearly putting China as No. 1. It’s time for the U.S. to start acting with more self-interest as well.

Ed Matsuzuki


I am perplexed. I know Jerry Coffee spent years in the Hanoi Hilton and was often and brutally tortured, and I respect his service and sacrifice. But then in his column “The Wrong Way To Try Terrorists,” this great American who is obviously very intelligent defends the use of “enhanced interrogation” methods with terrorists, including water-boarding, which sure looks like torture to me.

What am I missing here?

Lisa James
Ewa Beach

Irons memorial

Thanks for the great coverage of the Andy Irons memorial on Kauai, and news of the one here on Dec. 8 at Pipeline. Fantastic photos too.

Micah Gomes

Which is it?

Few things bring me more joy than reading Susan Page’s column in MidWeek. Not because I agree with her politics. No, I enjoy her writings because they reveal the human condition in all its glory, well-meaning but bursting with foibles and inconsistencies. I have noted this in a previous letter, when Ms. Page claimed health care was a crisis one month, but in a later issue berated the media for depicting health care as a crisis. Evidence of such human frailty has again reared up. Several weeks ago, Ms. Page opined that “just about everybody with half a brain” knows Obama is to blame for the poor economy. Just last week, however, she urged Americans to be “more united.” Am I to understand that, even though I disagree with her about the economy, she is willing to reach out to half-brained people like me? It is truly comforting to know that she, who is apparently able to judge intelligence so clearly, can overlook stupidity in others and invite them to accept her world view as the absolute truth.

Todd Shelly
Hawaii Kai

PBS/NPR value

Pat Buchanan’s call for the elimination of PBS and NPR (echoed by Bill O’Reilly) is nothing new. As Mr. Buchanan points out, conservatives have been trying to dismantle the services since the days of Richard Nixon. It bothers them to no end that they can’t use the power of their purse to control what people see and hear.

When I was executive director of Hawaii’s PBS system (1980 to ‘93) I got two kinds of complaint calls: First from people who complained that their viewpoint had not been represented (the liberals), second from people who complained that a viewpoint they disagreed with was represented (the conservatives). It made no difference that our program manager at the time was more conservative than Attila the Hun.

For some reason, conservatives have a hard time with the idea that public broadcasting strives to represent a full range of fact and opinion - including fact and opinion that doesn’t meet the “commercial” test. Their idea of “Fair and Balanced” is Fox News, which is commercially successful, but by any reasonable journalistic standard is pure propaganda. At a time when commercial “news” broadcasts have largely succeeded on their entertainment value, public broadcasting focuses on facts and viewpoints that commercial news operations ignore.

A well-functioning democracy depends on a well-informed electorate. We are unlikely to get the full, unbiased story by watching today’s commercial newscasts. They must go where the money is. Public broadcasting fills in where they leave off. To me,that it needs some taxpayer support to do so is well worth the price - and in our country’s best interest.

James B. Young

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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