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Letters to the Editor

For Saturday, November 19, 2011

LAST UPDATED: 02:05 a.m. HST, Nov 21, 2011

Teen mom's story was inspiring

Thank you for sharing Ariel Bunao's inspiring story of how, with the help of scholarships through the Wai'ale'ale Project, she overcame the challenges of being a teen mom and is now going to college ("Program helps teen mother earn degree," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 8).

It is truly remarkable what people can achieve when given the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

The University of Hawaii Foundation wants to thank Jim Lally, the visionary donor who has been so instrumental in the success of the Wai'ale'ale Project.

Private support coupled with the commitment from UH administrators, staff members and community volunteers give people access to a bright future they never considered possible.

This is an outstanding example of the impact we can make when we collaborate and leverage public funds with private support.

Donna Vuchinich
President, University of Hawaii Foundation

Teen parents are poor role models

I believe that the Star-Advertiser is once again doing a disservice to its readers by not presenting a contrary opinion to such an important subject ("Program helps teen mother earn degree," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 8).

Is it just because I am from a different era that I see a complete lack of responsibility on the part of both the teenage mother and the father?

I believe that these teens are wrong by 1) having the child in the first place, 2) not getting married, and 3) lacking the financial support by the father.

I think it was wrong that whole situation was glorified in the article, and nowhere did it present a suitable role model. It appears that the taxpayer once again ends up as the babysitter for the parents and the baby -- until they all grow up.

Ted Green

Kudos to Makana for singing truth

Thank you, Makana.

Kudos to a gentle person who had the courage to grace an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation dinner, not with what the delegates wouldn't be disquieted to hear, or just ignore as quaint Hawaiian slack-key music, but with a message on behalf of our brethren who are struggling to stay afloat in these perilous times.

Instead of thinking first of your career, you sang your heart, and the hearts of so many who are daily cheated out of the dream of a decent life.

It's probably too much to think that many of APEC's secrets will be flushed out here for the rest of us to see. But you've blown a strong wind through their closed doors, showing that Hawaii isn't, as so many think, just a bland and bucolic paradise.

In demonstrating our less-well-known honesty and strength, you've done us proud.

Don Hallock
St. Louis Heights

GMO lobbyists are in control

When Barack Obama was campaigning to be president, he promised to have all genetically modified organism (GMO) foods labeled. Yet, when he became president, he appointed Tom Vilsack, a staunch GMO supporter, to the position of head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He also appointed Mike Taylor, a former Monsanto attorney, as senior adviser to the Food and Drug Administration.

Couple that with the fact that many of our Hawaii politicians are "genetically modified" as well -- from Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Agriculture Department Director Russell Kokubun down, having accepted campaign contributions from Monsanto -- and it's no wonder that our GMO labeling bills are killed in committee.

Does anyone other than me remember when we elected politicians to represent the people rather than the corporations?

Hesh Goldstein
Aina Haina

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DiverDave wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on November 19,2011 | 01:05AM
ehrhornp wrote:
While there is lots to disagree with Obama with, one thing he is not. I know frauds and Obama is not one. The worst fraud in my lifetime was committed by the republicans when they nominated G W Bush, not once but twice. It has been 10 years and still no stimulus from the tax cuts for the rich. I wonder if Diver Dave has complained to the republican party? Probably not.
on November 19,2011 | 02:09PM
nitestalker3 wrote:
hmmmm....let's not forget the number of years chris dodds and barney franks were at d.c. and all the problems they caused with their forcing of risky loans on banks that caused the bubble. oh, and let's not forget that dodds and franks stymied bush 17 times when he tried to rein in fanny and freddy. then there's the most recent financial legislation that didn't address hedge funds and dirivitives that also were partially the cause of the bank and financial failures as well as the housing bubble. gee...how you leftists and liberals forget all those things your side did with your constant mantra against bush. isn't it about time you gave it up and looked at the real, recent causes that your side pushed that really instigated the financial and bank failures. don't forget, obama's stimulus of $800+ billion only spent around $600 billion. where's the rest of the mony...waiting for election time to buy votes ???????
on November 19,2011 | 03:03PM
wiliki wrote:
Hesh Goldstein is wrong. Today genetic engineering is tested for safety-- both as a food and as part of the ecology of man. Genetic engineering is getting so pervasive that labeling is difficult.
on November 19,2011 | 02:08AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
So because something is difficult you don't do it? "tested for safety"? By whom wiliki? The people that stand to make a profit from it?
on November 19,2011 | 06:53AM
wiliki wrote:
That's the point of regulation. How can you have accountability if the manufacturer doesn't know anything about their own products? They have to do the testing to establish just what those properties are. The govt monitors the testing. So there's an incentive to do it right rather than risk criminal fraud in cheating.
on November 19,2011 | 12:41PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Ah, but you are assuming those regulations are being enforced and the actions are actually being monitored. Got it. Using your reasoning, if the manufacturer does the testing and knows their products inside and out, how come it is too "difficult" for them to label GMO products? Is it really that difficult to modify the label artwork? Are they confused? Or is it because they know many people do not want to eat or buy GMO food?
on November 19,2011 | 05:29PM
hilocal wrote:
wiliki, you believe what the genetic engineering industry tells us? It's like believing what Ansaldo employees/consultants tell us about their trains. There's research showing genetically engineered foods have some effects that should concern us. As for labeling, it's not hard. Don't believe what the ge industry tell us.
on November 19,2011 | 07:10AM
wiliki wrote:
Of course we do. They are accountable for what they say. Companies will go out of business if they cheat. As for Ansaldo, IIRC they are putting up a bond for completion of the project.
on November 19,2011 | 12:45PM
soundofreason wrote:
"I think it was wrong that whole situation was glorified in the article, and nowhere did it present a suitable role model. It appears that the taxpayer once again ends up as the babysitter for the parents and the baby -- until they all grow up.--Ted Green">>>THANK YOU TED!!! I "especially" like how the article stated how she "became" pregnant. "Became" - as if she accidentally caught a cold through no actions of her own which THEN qualified her for a taxpayer sponsored tutor which THEN "qualified" her to get into ANOTHER Kauai Community College "program" ALL while taxpayers paid for her medical bills for her THREE month premature baby through ANOTHER "program". ALL because she chose to have unprotected sex while, apparently, mom and dad were choosing not involved/care with where/what she was doing. This is more of a story of how our tax dollars are being used to help the people who are not willing to make the right decisions needed to help themselves.
on November 19,2011 | 03:28AM
soundofreason wrote:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ posted in wrong area -
on November 19,2011 | 03:33AM
LittleEarl_01 wrote:
That's okay soundofreason, if your post is in the wrong place, you make some very good points in your post. While I'm proud of this young lady for continuing her education, it once again points out that without taxpayer money, such would not have been possible. Again the taxpayers are paying for the immature decisions made by some of our youth.
on November 19,2011 | 03:46AM
soundofreason wrote:
Don't get me wrong - I like her focus but it's the focus she has NOW.....AFTER the fact - AFTER the tax money - and at everyone's elses expense. Let me see the promissory note she's willing to sign to pay all of this back - THEN she'll have warranted my respect as when somebody takes responsibility for their actions.
on November 19,2011 | 03:57AM
DiverDave wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on November 19,2011 | 06:21AM
DonGa-me wrote:
Same problem on the Mainland with Native American Indians. HOW?
on November 19,2011 | 10:08AM
soundofreason wrote:
I think our tax policy should be based the same way auto insurance is based. The higher liability you appear to be to our system - the higher your tax % should be. Quit school = 50% / Single parent +12%/ No medical insurance but have medical bills +8%. Arbitrary numbers but you get the idea.
on November 19,2011 | 10:47AM
DonGa-me wrote:
on November 19,2011 | 11:02AM
soundofreason wrote:
How's about using the 200k spent on this ONE individual and, instead, use it to fund a couple of poor Joe's who want to start up a business to create jobs for MANY
on November 19,2011 | 03:40AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Is that a "free market" principle? The government picking winners and losers in the business sector? C'mon Tea Party folks... I know you're on here, so when are you going to call it out?
on November 19,2011 | 06:56AM
soundofreason wrote:
I'm going to call myself out on that comment IF you are just going to look at that comment. My point was to appeal to the bleeding hearts - why so much to help one - when so many MORE could be helped IF there are those who operate within that principle of NON free market.
on November 19,2011 | 10:37AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
That's my point. Those that constantly advocate for the "free market" rarely acknowledge that there is no such thing. There has ALWAYS been government involvement in commerce in this country. Most just grumble when it affects their own pocket book negatively but are happy to take advantage of Medicare benefits or take the mortgage interest deduction off of their taxable income on their tax returns or any of the many other ways in which they take part in the "socialist" system.
on November 19,2011 | 10:44AM
soundofreason wrote:
The Medicare has been paid into by people. FORCED upon them. The mortgage deduction - a reward for making POSITIVE responsible decisions. But ya know what? Give me back the money I paid into medicare (WITH the compounded interest I would have made) AND take away my mortgage interest deduction ALONG WITH taking away the welfare entitlements these monies are being used to pay for. This WHOLE system has been set up to upease people on both sides. Give the poor something / give the others something different. Back and forth, back and forth. Take it ALL away and let the self sufficient rise again as they did before. And it's not about being poor or not. Many immigrants came over with nothing and MADE it without handouts. Maybe we could do a swap. Accept one immigrant who agrees to be self sufficient in trade for sending BACK 3 lazy welfare recipients that some country can TEACH to be self sufficent or use as cheap labor. I like it!
on November 19,2011 | 10:59AM
DonGa-me wrote:
You have money to talk? Seems only the rich have the power to pull strings. If you are not one of those 1% you have no power to control. 99% have their strings pulled and the Government made of various marionettes have someone's hand up their pants or strings being pulled. Only thing that does not happen is their nose does not grow long when they lie. If our Politicians became real people, maybe and only maybe, they would be able to cut those strings being pulled and they can make their own decisions.
on November 19,2011 | 11:09AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
The "self-sufficient" didn't rise under a TRUE free market. There has never ben one in this country. You might make the argument that we've had varying DEGREES of a free market, but totally? As in Adam Smith and Ron Paul kind of free market? No... never. The government has ALWAYS picked winners and losers in this country... and everywhere else. That's why it's incumbent on us to elect the best possible leaders that will make the best possible choices.
on November 19,2011 | 11:38AM
wiliki wrote:
There is no such thing as the "rising of the self-sufficient". If that were true, then we wouldn't have the 1%. They get theirs with the help of the govt. There will only be more "rising" if our society is made more "FAIR". We have a level playing field when everyone has a good education, good health care, and a decent place to live. That can only come if politicians do their jobs and not work for the 1%.
on November 19,2011 | 12:54PM
Toneyuki wrote:
DTG, taking the mortgage deduction or any other deduction is not taking part of the "socialist" system. And Medicare was forced on to the masses. It is nearly impossible to continue regular health insurance after the age of 65. It's another aspect of the government screwing things up by becoming too involved.
on November 19,2011 | 10:18PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
No one is forced to access either Medicare benefits or the mortgage deduction. When someone gripes about the govenment and the redistribution of wealth or subsidies or the free market, but then turns around and accesses it for their own personal benefit, it is disingenuous at best.
on November 20,2011 | 06:45AM
DonGa-me wrote:
Same as interjecting comments. No one is forcing you to comment.
on November 20,2011 | 08:47AM
DonGa-me wrote:
Same as interjecting comments. No one is forcing you to comment.
on November 20,2011 | 08:47AM
Toneyuki wrote:
DTG, No one is forced to access Medicare. Technically true, but like I said the alternative is paying for everything out of pocket because getting private insurance after the age of 65 is near impossible.

Taking a tax deduction is not the same as getting a subsidy. Period. The premise is completely false.

on November 20,2011 | 04:36PM
mrluke wrote:
Wait until just before Christmas. We'll start getting the sob stories about "Nineteen year old XXXXX, single mother of three, who needs help this year."
on November 19,2011 | 06:57AM
soundofreason wrote:
No fair looking into the future OR I would have brought the the food stamps and medicade that her AND her new baby will qualify for - discount school lunches ............and another generation of dependents to come.
on November 19,2011 | 11:20AM
Peacenik wrote:
Yes, not to mention those who wanted to "experiment" with drugs, then get hooked.
on November 19,2011 | 07:56AM
serious wrote:
The problem, as I see it, is that we knew Obama was lying in his campaign, but we wanted to believe him.
on November 19,2011 | 04:18AM
LittleEarl_01 wrote:
Now that's a revelation! A politician who lies? Surely you jest. The most recent example is our administration stating that we would have 20,000 attendees and "x" amount of millions spent by APEC attendees. Well, it didn't happen. To cover their okole, now they're saying that we should look at the long term. Excuse me! If a short term promise fails, they will always say we must look at the long term investment.
on November 19,2011 | 05:28AM
wiliki wrote:
Do you read the papers? SA reports that APEC came in $10 million below the funding for the event. Attendence was a little low but still good.
on November 19,2011 | 02:00PM
wiliki wrote:
The SA reports that the event used $10 million less than budgeted and we had good attendance even if there was some who could not make it.
on November 19,2011 | 02:03PM
ehrhornp wrote:
What lies are you referring to? He did what republicans were unable to do and that was to get Bin Laden. I still remember GW saying that he would not rest until Bin is captured dead or alive. Remember that? Then six months later saying he couldn't be bothered. He campaigned on making Afghanistan the center of attack, not Iraq. He has accomplished this to a certain degree.
on November 19,2011 | 02:13PM
Pacej001 wrote:
What lies? Since the SA probably has space limitation, here's a link to a pretty good list: http://obamalies.net/list-of-lies
on November 19,2011 | 03:57PM
Toneyuki wrote:
I'll start by listing a few. Transparency. Lobbyists, End no bid contracts for over 25K jobs. No earmarks in the stimulus. Healthcare debate on Cspan. Wouldn't raise taxes on anyone making less than 200K.
on November 19,2011 | 10:30PM
DonGa-me wrote:
One reason you are not our government leaders. You wouldn't need any advisors you can just google.
on November 20,2011 | 08:28AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Sorry for injecting off topic stuff, but I keep finding interesting things that never make it into this paper: "So it turns out that Solyndra may be just the tip of the iceberg that is the Obama administration’s politically charged energy-loan scandal. Even as Energy Secretary Stephen Chu was on Capitol Hill this week, claiming — against all the e-mail evidence — that the White House played no role in the Solyndra debacle, came word of an even bigger potential scandal. Turns out a California-based “green jobs” firm with a troubled financial history got a $1.4 billion Energy Department loan guarantee — three times the size of Solyndra’s jackpot — despite mountains of debt."---(http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/greasing_the_solar_skids_yf8pKoJEcktj7gUSFOWurO#ixzz1eAhevx00)-------- PS: Makana's protest represents the Occupy movement; vaguely sounds like music, can't make sense of the lyrics.
on November 19,2011 | 06:06AM
mrluke wrote:
"never make it into this paper" What a surprise! The SA is woefully short on reporting or running any articles of substance regarding national issues.
on November 19,2011 | 06:54AM
OldDiver wrote:
Solyndra like the Iraq invasion was begun by the Bush administration. In fact the Solyndra project was being pushed for two years by the Bush administration before it finally broke ground eight weeks into the Obama administration. Actually pushing green projects was on of the few things Bush did right. Sure the Solyndra was a bust but taken as a whole it was only a small percentage of the alternative energy budget Bush started. But like the right wing always does, instead of giving Bush credit for something he did right, they blame Obama for something Bush did wrong.
on November 19,2011 | 09:25AM
nitestalker3 wrote:
hmmmm....you're correct in that solyndra started during bush's term. HOWEVER, it was denied any funding by bush's administration. it was OBAMA who pushed solyndra and ensured the company got the gov't backed loan. amazing how you always seem not to see what obama and the democrats are doing and everything that happened since the big bang are bush's fault. you really should read other sources other than this rag...you know, some real newspapers with real investigative reporters.
on November 19,2011 | 03:14PM
Toneyuki wrote:
More lies from Democrat TV OldDiver? It was discussed by the Bush admin, but not approved. They realized that it would be a bad idea to give Solyndra half a Billion dollars. However the Obama admin had to pay back all those huge campaign contributions.
on November 19,2011 | 10:35PM
DonGa-me wrote:
Non interesting things appear as off topic comments.
on November 19,2011 | 09:46AM
kainalu wrote:
I would advise Ted Green, that my wife and I are approaching our 37th wedding anniversary. Married as teenagers, we raised two wonderful children, and now have been blessed with two wonderful grandchildren, all along being positive contributing members of our society.
on November 19,2011 | 07:34AM
Graham wrote:
Congratulations. You and your wife are one of the few that made it work.
on November 19,2011 | 08:12AM
kauakea wrote:
Ted Green's letter was specific to the situation presented in the article. In fact, he suggested that the teen should have gotten married. Had the teen done what you did, along with other responsible measures, the positive result that you experienced may have been visited upon her.
on November 19,2011 | 08:27AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Tell us, Kainalu, how much money did you and your wife receive from the state and federal governments before and after you had your children out of wedlock? Some people like you and your wife make it right, but many more do not and end up being totally dependent on our welfare system.
on November 19,2011 | 08:17PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Ted green's letter is one of the first that I have read that has it right. Instead of glorifying teen pregnancy and single and unwed parenting as the news media so often does, we need to call it as it is - it is wrong, it is a shame and it is a burden on taxpayers.
on November 19,2011 | 08:03PM
kailuanokaoi wrote:
I can't believe how heartless and negative people can be. Instead of focusing on her recent accomplishments and that higher education could get her out of relying on the system you instead "choose" to focus on her choices made in the past. Who are we to judge her decisions and situation? Have some compassion and positive reinforcement for her and many others for which programs like this were created - which is really the reason for the article - so many more can turn their lives around!
on November 22,2011 | 12:09PM
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