For Monday, November 8, 2010
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Nov 08, 2010
I was disappointed to see California's Prop. 19 regarding the legalization of marijuana fail in the recent election. Currently, 46 percent of the country favors legalization of marijuana and 80 percent favors medical marijuana.
In the upcoming legislative session in January, lawmakers should enact laws that provide for a limited number of "compassion centers" on each island for medical marijuana patients to obtain their medicine. We would also need provisions for the marijuana growers to be legally able to sell their product to the compassion centers without fear of legal consequences.
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I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read the commentary on former President George W. Bush's new autobiography.
What planet does he live on? Did he read any international news in the last two years? When he writes that he does not regret attacking Iraq, and thus he has saved Iraqis from a monster, has he no compassion or regrets for the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis?
What about the millions of Iraqi refugees? What about the daily killings? What about the lack of services? What about the starving children?
At least before the U.S. invasion, most Iraqis had security, electricity, clean water and sewage disposal, and had it not been for the American embargo, they would have had pretty decent lives.
What have they got now?
It should come as no surprise that Robert Pape, after an exhaustive research on more than 2,200 suicide attacks worldwide since 1980, concludes that the "primary driver of suicide terrorism is foreign occupation" ("What triggers a suicide bomber?" Star-Advertiser, Oct. 26).
But even back in 1999, in his prophetic volume, "Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire," Chalmers Johnson already had detailed how the militaristic U.S. foreign policy was so provocative that it was setting up the United States for likely retaliation.
Has the Washington political-military elite learned any lessons in the intervening years? Well, from the two bloody invasions-turned-occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the inescapable answer is that the neocon GOP and the neolib Democrats are still dead-set on continuing their imperial "Operations Enduring Fiascos."
Whew! An Oahu rail supporter in the governor's office and passage of the transit authority ballot measure.
My wife and I had a wonderful cruise around all the islands some years ago, but the one killer for us was the tangled traffic and hard-to-navigate spaghetti in and around Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. We had planned the initial two days to be on our own, but spent most of it just trying to figure out how to get to things we wanted to see. We would have loved to take a train to catch the boat to the USS Arizona.
I hope that Hawaii will now expedite construction of the Oahu rail. It's only about 40 years overdue.
Congresswoman-elect Colleen Hanabusa had a campaign ad about Social Security and the need to protect the kupuna and keiki. She can now replace the rhetoric with substance. All she needs to do is sponsor legislation requiring members of Congress to put themselves under Social Security and Medicare like the rest of us.
U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono had that chance as did Neil Abercrombie and U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka; however, to date, their silence on those subjects is deafening.
For the past eight years, unprecedented in Hawaii, the legislative and executive branches of government were kept in check because they were headed by two parties with differing principles.
Alas! This is longer the case. One party now has absolute power in both those branches. The other party is hopelessly outnumbered, which means bills can be discussed behind closed doors. Politics will carry on as usual, the "old boy" network has prevailed and is back in business. This does not bode well for Hawaii.
The blame for this lopsidedness rests with the Hawaii GOP, which has been unable to get its act together and field viable candidates, the lone exception being Gov. Linda Lingle.
Hawaii desperately needs a two-party system!