For Tuesday, June 28, 2011
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 28, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 02:23 p.m. HST, Aug 05, 2011
Cost of wars too often comes home to roost
I join the mayors representing 1,200 American communities who at the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting passed a resolution requesting that President Barack Obama and Congress bring the war money home by ending the wars.
This is the first time since Vietnam that the mayors have taken a position on military spending. One of the sponsors, Mayor Kitty Piercy of Eugene, Ore., said that that every national decision that's made comes to roost in our communities, with our families on the ground here in our cities.
It is unfortunate that Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle was sightseeing in China instead of addressing the hard issue of the amount of money wasted on war that could be used to rebuild our state and our nation. President Barack Obama has again disappointed the people. I believe we need a new vision. Begin the mass return of troops and contractors now.
Let us heal America!
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Voting measures power of the people
Voter turnout might not be the concern of many, but Hawaii regularly ranks last. Our ancestors fought hard for the Declaration of Independence, civil rights and women's suffrage. Now that we have the right, many are not using it.
Many think that one vote can't make a difference. If everyone thinks that way, then how would our society advance? Hawaii residents have a responsibility to choose their government. We can't underestimate the effects of voter turnout. They are not just numbers showing how many people voted. They are the scales that measure how much control we have over our government. We must keep that number high if we don't want to become puppets of our politicians.
Changing your mind not same as lying
In his screed about lying and the moral decline of America, Cal Thomas uses the example of George Herbert Walker Bush's promise, "Read my lips. No new taxes" to make his point ("Lying is moral turpitude unless you're a politician," Star-Advertiser, June 22).
Since Bush did raise taxes, Thomas asks, "Were these lying lips?" The question is never answered. Not here, not anywhere in the article.
However, is changing one's mind a question of lying? Is compromise, the heartbeat of politics in a democracy, the litmus test of lying?
The real danger that Thomas poses is the simplistic distinctions he himself makes between right and wrong, good and bad, responsible and irresponsible. Herein lies the deeper threat to the political and cultural life of America.
Some now will not be able to buy medicine
Unfortunately, recent articles concerning the end of the State Pharmacy Assistance Program (SPAP) are not factual. Medicaid and Medicare recipients of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) programs whose income is below the federal poverty level are affected and they will now have co-pays for prescription costs.
The state's decision to stop SPAP will mean recipients living in community care foster family homes may have to spend their entire $50 monthly personal allowance on prescription medicine expenses, or they may not have enough money to pay their co-pays. Additionally, HCBS recipients residing in their own homes, who are balancing rent, food and living expenses, may now have to decide if their medication is needed more than food or rent money.
The result may be trips to emergency rooms or hospitalizations that could easily cost the state more money than the funding for SPAP.
Opposition to Bill 36 was mischaracterized
Mayor Peter Carlisle got his facts wrong when he vetoed Bill 36, which would have partially reinstated a discounted disposal fee for leftover residue from recycling operations. The mayor mischaracterized the recycling community's input when he said that "most local recyclers" testified in favor of eliminating the discount.
The fact is that four recyclers who participate in the program opposed its sudden elimination, and a number of small businesses whose livelihoods depend, in part, on the city's recycling incentive program testified in support of the discount. In contrast, only one recycler opposed the incentive program.
The City Council has recognized that this program has helped to clean up our streets and communities from abandoned automobiles and trash.