For Monday, June 21, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 21, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 1:42 a.m. HST, Jun 21, 2010
My partner and I celebrated our 28th anniversary this year with our sons and their children. All families, like ours, deserve the equal dignity and respect that civil unions offer.
If our sons can get past the hard part of having "gay parents," then the rest of the people should be able to also. We are workers and taxpayers, supporting our state and our homes. We need the protections of property rights, state taxes and health care.
It is simply wrong to deny any family in Hawaii basic protection. I urge Gov. Lingle to let the bill pass. Don't sign it, Gov! Just let it pass quietly.
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It is bad enough to be besieged with the nation's worst oil spill in history with seemingly no end in sight, but to be insulted by Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton's idiotic apology to British Petroleum for the $20 billion compensation is outrageous and shameful. It is no secret that the GOP protects big oil companies, but Barton is so corrupt that he appears to be oblivious to the thousands of his fellow Americans who live along the Gulf Coast, including his own state, who have lost their livelihood. Although he later apologized because of pressure from the Republican leadership, it is clear that he meant what he initially said. It is, indeed, a sad and shocking disappointment to be betrayed by our leaders when our nation should be united, regardless of party affiliation, to stop companies like BP from destroying the beauty of our waters and shores and creating economic havoc.
It is puzzling that the head of the Department of Public Safety continues to defend the operators of mainland contract prisons even when a Hawaii inmate is murdered in a supposedly secure part of the facility. Bronson Nunuha was found dead from multiple stab wounds. Clayton Frank claimed the department's investigation found "that the facility did whatever it could have done." There must have been a lapse in security somewhere.
It is the responsibility of the investigators to find the lapse, not defend the contractor. This lack of oversight is why an independent audit of prison contracts is imperative.
When three members of the Legislature - Reps. John Mizuno, Rida Cabanilla and Maile Shimabukuro - came to a beach on the Leeward Coast to ask homeless people how they got there and what the Legislature could do to ease their plight, it reeked of a political stunt.
When the politicians were told by the homeless that rents were too high and the cost of housing was the cause of their predicament, these three legislators added fuel to the fire by advocating that condominium and townhome owners should pay a new tax on their maintenance fees. This vote on Senate Bill 2402, on April 6, was a vote to favor taxing maintenance fees that in turn, owners would pass on to their renters.
If legislators want to help the homeless, they would never have drummed up the housing tax that exacerbates the problem.
For an entire week, every day I came home from work I got this message in my home phone recording: "Charles Djou. Do you believe that government is spending too much and hindering the economy? Charles Djou." I bet many other registered voters have received the same message. I can understand politicians reaching out to voters, but, please, not by means of repetitive, annoying crank phone calls like that. This technique is intrusive and crass, like Viagra and Rogaine telemarketing. C'mon Congressman Djou, there's got to be a better way to market yourself.
I have great concern about the Hawaii Business Roundtable's latest action, writing our governor to encourage her to veto House Bill 444.
Many businesses of high regard belong to the HBR. I hope the individual companies speak up for themselves, in support of HB 444.
It strikes me that this is a last-minute negative tactic meant to negate equal civil rights for all people from corporate Hawaii. I can't imagine that the majority of HBR members would want such an action to be reflective of their place in our community.