For Friday, August 6, 2010
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 06, 2010
The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.
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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813
Years ago, when I first read about shipping Oahu trash to Washington state, it was mentioned that the landfill wanted our trash. The city was against it because it was costly.
After years of wrangling, a local company found a way to make it nearly reasonable and get the feds to approve it. Now the Yakama tribe and others are against it.
Frankly, if the Yakama tribe didn't want our trash on its land, why didn't it demand that the landfill operators not solicit our trash in the first place?
So Sen. Lindsey Graham is pondering a bill to amend the Constitution to prevent "anchor babies" (babies of non-citizens who hope their American-born child will get them U.S. residency).
So we need to drop everything and pay huge amounts of money to amend the Constitution for a few thousand incidental cases?
Our economy is a mess, our environment is being destroyed and there are many more social-equity issues deserving more attention than this one.
This is not to say I am against amending the Constitution. That is the first thing we should do. We need to amend the Constitution to say that corporations are not citizens and money is not votes. Then we can reel in the corporatocracy that controls our government and holds power. Then we can turn our attention to solving the really important issues of this most critical of times.
I applaud the Outdoor Circle for its efforts to reduce the unsightly campaign signs. However, we must realize that here in Hawaii many vote not by merit or political view, but by name recognition.
As the curtain closes in the voting booth, most of the names on the ballot are names I've never heard of. Occasionally a candidate will drop by my home for a chat -- canvassing they call it. If I remember them as friendly, and I recognize their name on the ballot, that is where I put the "X."
Never mind Republican or Democrat, for or against civil unions, Superferry or rail; who can keep track? Just give me a name I recognize. I need those signs, the bigger the better.
Does Mufi Hannemann think the public is stupid? He's all over the media yelling that Neil Abercrombie cost Hawaii taxpayers $670,000 because he left office (legally) to run for governor, thus causing a special election.
Meanwhile, during Hannemann's tenure, he fought the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to not comply with an environmental law at a cost to Hawaii taxpayers of $10 million.
I'm no political strategist, but if I was, I'd tell Hannemann to clam up when it comes to wasteful government spending because his record "ain't da best!"
To all the politicians who quit without serving their full elected term: Why have you saddled the citizens you serve with the bill to fund the special elections to fill your vacancies?
About $670,000 was spent to pay for a special election for former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's spot. This amount should be paid back to the people and come directly from those contributing to the campaign.
Most politicians say they are fiscally responsible. How about each one of them putting the money they cost us back into the state coffers for better education for our children?
Tracy Ryan of the Libertarian Party of Hawaii makes the argument that tax cuts on higher incomes stimulate the economy through investment ("The point of tax cuts is investment, not consumption," Letters, Aug. 4). We have had tax cuts on higher incomes for 30 years and lots of excess capital has accumulated -- about $1 trillion in bank reserves and about $1.8 trillion in companies. This capital is waiting for profitable opportunities to invest in. In the meantime, it sits mostly in government bonds that cover our national debt, which the tax cuts created in the first place. Do we want to go further in that direction?
We just got home from a wonderful week in Waikiki. It was a magic holiday. Two of your gems are Waikiki Beach and Hanauma Bay. But the public toilets at both places are dreadful -- grubby and in disrepair. We've seen better in the boondocks of Turkey.
I, too, am embarrassed by the actions of the Hawaii State Bar Association. In a time when transparency and accountability are the touchstones of maintaining credibility and public trust, the HSBA chooses to hide behind its policy to not disclose its vote or reasonings.
The reason stated is to ensure candor in its proceedings. The HSBA board does not deserve such a privilege. It was elected to represent its membership -- but how will it be known if that is being accomplished when the board acts in secret?
The HSBA's bald conclusion of "unqualified" should be disregarded by the full Senate, and Judge Katherine Leonard should be appointed chief justice.