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Make legislators sacrifice, too

My wife and I are Hawaii Government Employees Association members. Our salaries are decreasing while our cost of living is increasing. The governor spoke of "shared sacrifice." It is disheartening that sacrifices are being made only by workers.

The governor, lieuntenant governor, Judiciary and Legislature will not be taking a pay cut like the rest of us. They should take a pay cut based on pre-36 percent pay raises. Anything less is a net pay increase. Do away with pension and medical benefits for legislators, who are part-time workers. No other entity provides full-time pension and medical benefits to part-time workers. Require constituents to vote on any raises that legislators receive. Lawmakers’ raises should not be determined by a salary commission and vote by legislators.

How can one expect others to sacrifice when our own legislative leaders won’t lead by example?

Jon Okimoto


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We can handle seeing photos

If all the world can watch our great President John F. Kennedy’s assassination over and over through films and documentaries, the hanging of Saddam Hussein, our soldiers dragged through streets in foreign lands, and all other horrible moments in history, why can’t we handle a picture of Osama bin Laden on a stretcher?

Clarifying a fact in a court of popular opinion is not gloating. Stating on national television that one ordered what amounts to an old-fashioned elimination of an enemy of America is gloating. The citizens of this nation only doubt because we are free to ask and demand to know.

Scott Andras

Vigilante justice is worrisome

What happened to innocent until proven guilty? How could the U.S. take a suspect, summarily execute him and take innocent lives with no due process? How could the U.S. use vigilante justice in another country? Was Osama bin Laden ever tried for his alleged crimes? Where is the evidence? Small wonder that so many are so angry at our wonderful democracy.

Charlene Hosokawa

Bin Laden given undue respect?

I find it utterly disgraceful and incomprehensible that Osama bin Laden was accorded a full Muslim burial, with body washing and a prayer service, before being thrown in the sea. The order for that could only have come from the White House. A full inquiry should be made as to the reason for this action.

This man ordered the killing of thousands, and his followers certainly didn’t give anyone a Christian or Jewish burial. Rather his followers beheaded them, dragged their bodies through the streets and hung them from bridges. This murderer’s body should have been brought back to the United States, fully identified and then placed on display with a placard round his neck.

Bryan Geoffrey

Stop giving aid to Pakistan

Trust cannot be bought; it must be earned. Our tax dollars are being given to a country that was harboring Osama bin Laden. That gravy train has to stop.

What did $20 billion of our hard-earned money get us? Pakistan did a half-hearted attempt in helping us find that murderer.

It has to learn that you cannot bite the hand that feeds you. We cannot afford to give Pakistan $1.2 billion every year. This country needs to get its fiscal house in order first.

Nora Santiago
Ewa Beach

Drug tests won’t solve welfare

What happens when the welfare recipients test positive for drugs ("Drug testing for public welfare," Letters, Star-Advertiser, May 4)? Do all benefits cease or just the cash payment? What if the person testing positive has children in the home? Does the state swoop in and take them away? If so, where does the state put those children and at what cost? If the benefits are lost and the recipients lose their homes, shall the state offer them rides to the nearest shelter? Will the individual found positive for drugs be forced to go to substance abuse treatment? Who is going to pay for that?

Drug testing for public welfare recipients is a great public relations slogan for election-year politics, but solutions are always vague or never mentioned.

Joe Chavez

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