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Foreclosure mess has deeper roots

I was a bit dismayed to read Sunday’s editorial, which ascribed the foreclosure debacle to paper signing by untrained bank employees ("Fix broken foreclosure system, but not with a moratorium," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 17).

As Paul Krugman points out in his column in the same Sunday section, the problem goes much deeper. Banks have bundled mortgages and sold them off to trusts. As a result, it is often not clear who actually owns the deeds. Furthermore, in the rush to make loans and sell them off, much paperwork was either not done at all, improperly done, or lost.

Now, many courts, also under pressure, accept affidavits from banks assuring that their paperwork is in order. Often these affidavits are fraudulent.

It’s a mess, but one not at all limited to "Burger King" signers.

Ken Rubenstein


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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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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 your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.

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


‘Prickly’ cartoon unfair to workers

Enough! The Sept. 30 "Prickly City" cartoon, suggesting that stimulus spending supporting shovel-ready projects is "Obama’s make-work," was just another offensive attack on working people. How easy it is for those who sit behind desks to suggest that those who work building the nation’s infrastructure are unproductive if they don’t look busy every minute. Too bad the public can’t watch over the shoulders of managers, bankers, stockbrokers, CEOs and military contractors as they get paid — often with taxpayer dollars — for shopping online or checking Facebook pages.

Imagine the difference it would have made had we invested that money in rebuilding our decaying infrastructure, employing millions of people who would spend their income and spur the economy — instead of funneling it to global gamblers and high-flyers.

"Free marketeers" promise to invest in our country, if only we will cut taxes and deregulate. If not under George W. Bush’s radical administration, when?

Vicki Dunaway


Liliha renters grateful for help

The senior and disabled residents of Keola Hoonanea wish to thank everyone who assisted with our proposed 48 percent rent increase problem.

A special mahalo to the board president for announcing that the numbers will be reworked with the goal of reflecting costs after renovations and a significantly longer loan period.

We particularly enjoyed the online comments to the Star-Advertiser’s article ("Rent increase eased at Liliha site," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 10) — especially the coward who hid behind an anonymous name while referring to us as "vermin." We sure would like to meet with this person, as well the other cowards with similar feelings for us.

Much aloha for all who helped.

George Fox
Keola Hoonanea resident


Medical network should cut deal

As an HMSA member and a patient, I plead with Hawaii Pacific Health to please agree on a new contract. Do it for us, the babies and the mothers-to-be. The babies born too soon. The children with cancer and heart defects. Mama and papa and grandma and grandpa who need open-heart surgery. The people on the neighbor islands who need specialized care. The person who gets severely burned and needs a burn unit. Please think of all these people. Please come to an agreement with HMSA on a new contact. Do it for us!

Debbie Silva


Bonus for seniors would help us all

Everyone knows that food prices and prescriptions and everything else have gone up in price, regardless of being told that there is no official inflation again this year.

Be practical. If seniors who depend on Social Security to live are scraping by nationwide, just think of how the seniors in Hawaii are hurting as they face our high cost of living daily.

But lawmakers can authorize that a bonus be paid to seniors. Unlike the "stimulus package" paid to Wall Street, a bonus paid to seniors would be like a shot in the arm to the entire economy. Probably within 48 hours, it would be spent back into the local economy. It would be like Christmas to local merchants.

So, lawmakers, get a backbone and throw the seniors a bone.

Cullen Wortham


Assign Oi article to isle students

The column by Cynthia Oi, "Some people in the world are just dying to vote" (Under the Sun, Star-Advertiser, Sept. 23), in my opinion should be required reading in every middle school and/or high school civics class — with class discussion after the reading and extra credit for a written paper.

Pidgin English in the article is authentic in my view; standard English is lucid, at times, poetical: "his hopping from one black-rubber-slippered-foot to another … at the polling station …"; and the tragedy of the killing death of one of our people (military) evokes pain sadness, anger! Cynthia Oi, island journalist with aloha: Thank you, mahalo.

Kaupena Wong


Motorcyclists ruin Waikiki

I am a frequent visitor to Waikiki and I love this place. However, one thing that has made this trip very unpleasant is the noise of thoughtless motorcyclists riding along Kalakaua Avenue. Why do they need to make such a racket? Every time a group of them roars past our hotel, it sounds like bombs exploding on the city, and we need to pause in our conversations, because we cannot hear each other.

It would be nice to have some noise laws enacted with substantial fines for people who purposely assault the senses of others.

Ben Iwers
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Tax cuts are not the solution

Many of those seeking office in the coming election have argued that the growing national debt is the greatest threat to the future of the United States, and that the future of our children would best be served by reducing government services and spending across the board. They are flat-out wrong.

We have to be able to compete on the basis of our skills and our ability to produce and market the goods and services that we consume and sell to the rest of the world. Private enterprise surely must play the critical role in this process. But the best efforts of the private sector cannot succeed without a sound financial system free of conflicts of interest, a first-rate public education system, an efficient national transportation system and the means needed to assure homeland and national security. What we should be hearing from our candidates is their ideas as to how these fundamental objectives can best be accomplished, not how to finance tax cuts for the wealthy by further cuts to these critical basic services.

John Madey


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