comscore Letters: U.S. can’t support flood of migrant children; Legislature should shut down aquarium trade; Raising taxes on rich would boost consumers | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: U.S. can’t support flood of migrant children; Legislature should shut down aquarium trade; Raising taxes on rich would boost consumers

Thanks to our current political party in power, untold numbers of unaccompanied children are ready to or are already crossing our borders from the south.

It’s sad and unfortunate that they are coming to our country because of the conditions where they live. Before anyone accuses me of being heartless, don’t think for a moment I don’t feel or care about these children. But our country can barely take care of our own citizens.

Millions of Americans are living in poverty and millions more are barely making a living. How are we as a country going to take care of, feed and house these kids, perhaps for the rest of their lives, if they are granted asylum? Who is going to pay for it?

Cliff Toyama



Legislature should shut down aquarium trade

Mahalo nui loa to Democratic Party Chairman Tyler Dos Santos-Tam for the excellent commentary on protecting our reef wildlife from the deadly aquarium pet trade, whose impacts I’ve personally witnessed (“Additional protections are needed for our precious reef wildlife,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, March 7).

Unfortunately, the state House’s new Water and Land Committee Chairman, Rep. David Tarnas, refused even to schedule a hearing on a modest bill introduced this session — and supported by dozens of businesses, organizations and Native Hawaiian groups — that would have ended the massive commercial trade, less exemptions for public aquariums, aquaculture, research and special activity permitting.

Tarnas ignored the will of the people — 84% in recent polls said they want to end the destructive trade — and his own party, which since 2018 has passed similar resolutions against the trade.

The courts have done all they can to shutter the trade, pending environmental review. It’s time the Legislature acts, with or without Tarnas.

Gregg Gruwell



Manchin supported constituents, not hacks

Marc Thiessen got it all wrong and argues against himself in trying to criticize U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III (“Manchin cuts loose his ‘Republican friends’,” Star-Advertiser, March 12).

Manchin cuts off his Republican political hacks, not his friends. Manchin voted to help the people of the red state of West Virginia, with his vote to approve the COVID-19 American Rescue Plan.

More than 75% of the American people wanted the rescue package, and I would venture to guess more than 75% of the people of West Virginia need the help that Manchin voted to provide. Manchin kept his promise to the people who voted for him and cut off the GOP Trumpsters at the knee.

Thiessen begs for unity and compromise, while at the same time reminding us of the power of one man, Manchin. Thiessen reminds us that Republicans are interested in unity and compromise only when the Democrats are in power. When President Donald Trump ran roughshod over the rule of law, the Republicans laughed. When President Joe Biden returned America to the rule of law, the GOP cried.

Benjamin Toyama



Raising taxes on rich would boost consumers

Chip Davey was correct in saying that commerce and business will lead the recovery (“Private businesses will lead economic recovery,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 12). However, those businesses need consumers. Public employees and other families are consumers. Love’s Bakery did not close due to a sudden tax hike or minimum wage jump. It lacked sufficient consumers.

I am most disturbed by House Speaker Scott Saiki’s quadruple committee assignment to Senate Bill 56, a progressive tax bill. Requiring the bill to be heard in four committees is a subtle way to kill the bill. Does he think he is protecting business?

Taxing top income earners makes sense. They are not hurting in this economy. They are profiting handsomely. According to public radio’s Marketplace Report, the wealthiest 100 people saw their wealth increase by $589 billion during the pandemic.

To save businesses like Love’s, we need to shift tax burden away from consumers who drive commerce, to those who earn so much they save a lot. While saving is good, now is the time to get consumer spending back.

John Bickel

President, Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii


Photo commemorated abusive cockfighting

Regarding “Back in the day 2/5/72” and its reference to “secure boxing gloves made of heavy leather to the spurs of a fighting cock” (Star-Advertiser, March 12): What a surprise that this usually nostalgic photo section of the newspaper would choose animal abuse to commemorate.

Cockfighting has long been either illegal or viewed as wholly unethical. It was a major error on your part to feature such a sad and just-plain-wrong kind of “sport.”

Please take this opportunity to print a withdrawal and statement of regret on your choice of photo, to help educate us in the present on that dishonorable activity.

Roberta Pauer



America is a democracy, not a Christian nation

One of the founding tenets of our country is the separation of church and state. A letter lamenting a lack of promoting Christian values insinuates they should be the law of the land (“Loss of Christian values seen as nation suffers,” Star-Advertiser, March 10).

The United States is a democracy, not a theocracy. It was founded as an oasis for religious freedom and diversity of faith. It is not a Christian nation, but rather one that respects all religions.

Prayer and dogma from one religious faith in public schools and offices is the antithesis of religious freedom. It is profoundly un-American as well.

Ernie Saxton



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