Unions have gained too much
I don’t believe that most people find fault with government employees. However, I think that Randy Perreira, executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, has missed the point about what is happening in Wisconsin ("Randy Perreira," Star-Advertiser, Name in the News, March 4).
Government employees have gained far too much in a combination of wages and pension and medical benefits due to collective bargaining.
When the unions are bargaining with the government, they are bargaining, essentially, with the legislators to whom they have given large donations to get them elected.
We should look at that here.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie named a union leader to be the state’s chief labor negotiator. What kind of negotiations are those going to be?
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War not just about invasions
Although our military can easily defeat Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s tin-pot armed forces, and his opposition may welcome our help, the American taxpayers should be concerned by the lack of discussion of what follows his downfall.
All of the publicly identified opposition leaders are former regime members and the opposition fighters are fighting along tribal lines.
We remove him from power and we inherit responsibility for the chaos, death and destruction that follows.
Do we have a plan? Will it really help the Libyan people? Can the taxpayers afford a new nation-building operation? Are they willing to pay for it?
Someone should ask.
Replace Akaka with Soetoro-Ng
Now that much-beloved U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka has announced he will not be a candidate for re-election, it is time to decisively turn to the future.
This state needs a progressive voice who will continue not only the good work that our universally respected senator has been doing on our behalf, but also someone who could excite the people and re-invigorate national politics with bold new ideas for moving this country forward.
Let’s create a grassroots movement to convince the honorable Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Barack Obama’s half-sister, to throw her hat in the ring.
Seriously, does any one of us believe we will be best served by the tired old politicians who jump at the chance to run for any (usually higher) office that comes open?
No, it is time for a fresh face, a longtime advocate of social justice and a world-renowned peace educator.
What a fitting statement of our values we can make as a people, by electing a teacher to succeed another teacher — who has served us so well — to occupy one of our state’s most honored positions.
New ‘Akaka Bill’ needs vetting
The comments on Senate Bills 1 and 1520 were good and appropriate (State ‘Akaka Bill’ needs work," Star-Advertiser, Our View, March 9).
Why do we need to rush to judgment when this issue has been around for years? It would be nice to get it right the first time for a change.
What would be even nicer is an appropriately worded resolution put to a public vote in a general election.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Whatever the rights of the Hawaiian people to income from ceded lands, the money derived from that source should be distributed equitably among all citizens of the state.
How this could be done should be explained clearly before any vote or decisions are made.
Photo of family was inspiring
Suzanne King, Tambry Young and their daughter, Shylar Young, are the face of the movement for equality for all families in Hawaii.
Their struggle for full equality is inspirational.
Vicki Viotti aptly captured their dedication and success ("Civil unions: the road ahead," Star-Advertiser, March 6).
Special funds aren’t so special
I see that the Legislature is planning to raid the rail tax fund to balance the state’s budget deficit.
Legislators promise they will reimburse the fund when needed with interest.
And how do they expect to restore the funding?
Probably by raising taxes again.
That’s what they did when they raided the state highway fund — they raised car registration fees and gas taxes to replenish the fund. That means we are paying into the funds twice.
Get real, folks.