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‘Don’t ask’ policy an improvement

In all of the clamor to repeal the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" compromise, it seems that many do not recall what happened to gays and lesbians before this deal was struck.

Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice — Sodomy is clear that homosexual acts are punishable by court martial. Perhaps a hotshot lawyer will attempt to get a segment of the UCMJ declared unconstitutional. Perhaps an activist judge will even hear the case.

I’m not sure that civilian judges meddling in the military court system would go over too well. Cooler heads need to prevail on both sides. 

Al Coleman
Ewa Beach


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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Sex-orientation bias will end

The Senate’s rejection of an amendment to repeal the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy demonstrates that bigotry remains alive and well in efforts to continue highly discriminatory policies within the U.S. military.

Racial integration was not required until President Harry Truman issued an executive order over the objections of an array of military and civilian leaders. There was also active resistance to gender integration, as when Secretary of the Army Howard Callaway warned: "Admitting women to West Point will irrevocably change the Academy. And … the change can only be for the worse."

Sexual-orientation discrimination in the military will end. History will record (as it already had in allied military units) that combat effectiveness didn’t deteriorate. 

David Cleveland


Krugman correct about economy

Anyone who has read Paul Krugman’s recent books and columns would know that his message of driving forward rather than reversing is more likely to solve the severe economic problems facing our country. It is Tom Freitas rather than Krugman who concludes that Republicans are bad ("Krugman is a broken record," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 1).

It really is up to every voter to decide whether excessive and costly tax breaks for the top 2 percent of taxpayers, slashing government programs, cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, de-funding health insurance, impeaching President Barack Obama, etc., will help solve our country’s economic problems or compound them.

Susan J. Chamberlain


Act to prevent anti-gay bullying

In the month of September alone, Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown and Billy Lucas killed themselves because of the anti-gay bullying they were suffering from their classmates.

In the near future, I would love to hear that the state Board of Education and our future governor will be taking steps to prevent incidents like these here in the Aloha State. Let these four tragedies motivate a call to action. Don’t wait for it to happen locally before something is done. 

Braddoc DeCaires


Jobless benefits discourage work

Your recent article "Jobless Americans shunning farm work" (Star-Advertiser, Sept. 28) was very telling. It shows the unintended consequence of government handouts. It’s much easier to take unemployment compensation than to work, especially if it is extended endlessly. 

Richard Greenamyer


Most politicians vote party line

I saw an interesting commercial sponsored by the Hawaii Democratic Party. It criticized U.S. Rep. Charles Djou for "voting Republican 90 percent of the time." The people of Hawaii and the D.C. and state Capitol fat cats and old boys have voted Democrat 100 percent of the time. And why would that be surprising? Show me one politician who doesn’t vote along party lines and I’ll show you a guy named Ralph Nader. 

Shawn Lathrop


Housing project is about greed

I am very disappointed by the decision to give the green light to the Koa Ridge housing project.

This is not about jobs; it is about greed, pure and simple. It is about losing some of the state’s most fertile agricultural lands forever to line the pockets of Castle & Cooke. The infrastructure improvements that are proposed do nothing to offset the increase in traffic to an area (H1/H2 merge) that already is near gridlock.

In order for us to be greener and support our local farmers, we need common sense approaches to sustainability. It is clear that this project simply does not pass that litmus test.

Where are you when we need you, Mr. Omidyar? 

Steve Jennings

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