Letters for Tuesday — January 24, 2006

• Send the right message

• A novel response

• Keep seeking the answers

Send the right message

Legend has it that Americans in the past have drawn lines in the sand to define a battle line that must be defended and not breached. This election year, Hawai’i has a unique opportunity to draw such a “legendary line” concerning Hawai’i’s tax surplus. Just as one must make a commitment when dealing with drug abuse, it is time to establish a line that must not be compromised when dealing with an out-of- control bureaucracy.

Instead of encouraging a drug addict to have another fix, an alcoholic one more drink, or allowing an overspending governmental bureaucracy another opportunity to spend, rather than return a surplus of tax revenues it is time to stop capitulating and to dig in and defend that “line in the sand” which we cannot afford to have violated.

Hawai’i’s tax surplus, be it big or small to each recipient, must be returned to the taxpayers of this state in order to send the right message to our elected officials. Elected officials need to begin living within our means and stop overspending which necessitates over taxing. Allowing Hawai’i’s elected officials the opportunity to use our present surplus to fix schools, build transit projects, provide affordable housing, repair our roads and highways, Hawai’i’s taxpayers and voters will be sending the wrong message.

Allowing Hawai’i’s tax surplus to be spent on failing government programs is to send the message that you, the taxpayer, have not reached your “overtaxed threshold,” that you can actually tighten your “family budget” even tighter and can even endure more tax bites and spending increases. You are sending a message that the limit on taxation and spending has not really reached a maximum level, that you can bear even more taxes, and that our elected officials can continue on in the “same ole, same ole” manner of endless taxation and spending as in the past. That is the wrong message to be sending this group.

This election year, draw a line and “Remember the Almost Surplus!” Not the Alamo, the “Almost Surplus” that was almost in your hands, almost back in your family budget, but that you let slip away from you simply because you did not stand up and fight to fix the real issues and problems in Hawaii by voting for what you want for your family, your children and their futures.

The tax rebate has been related to buying “a few more loco mocos.” This is flippant and ridiculous. This rebate is related to excellence in government, something long yearned for in Hawai’i. Governor Lingle is correct in her desire to return the tax surplus via the means of tax credits to taxpayers that paid taxes. Her plan sends the right message.

  • John Hoff

A novel response

In response to the novel … it was 25 inches long … that appeared recently in the Forum, I am tempted to refer to St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas believed that one should never listen to an arguments (about religion) unless it enforced the believer’s belief. I think many of George’s fans follow the same reasoning when it comes to politics and the Iraq war.

In the first paragraph … 4 inches long … the writer, who has named a previous writer with whom he disagrees, accuses him of reciting “talking points found on a number of left-wing web sites.” And, as everyone knows, those opposed to the war are always left wing and since left wing is always un-American it follows that those opposed to the war … for any reason … are un-American. Peace is as un-American as vodka on the rocks.

In the next paragraph he speaks about a “web of decentralized Muslim extremists” and this is certainly a true observation. However, I would remind the writer that Iraq was a secular country despised by its fanatic Islamic neighbors. Further, not one Iraqi was involved in the 9/11 attacks or any of the other attacks he mentioned. At least that we know of. Fifteen of the 19 terrorists were Saudis. If one wants to carry this argument to its ridiculous conclusion: Roosevelt would have had to declare war on the Philippines which would then become “our theater of war.” This is nonsense of course, since I doubt the Japanese would have stopped their island hopping across the Pacific to do battle in the Philippines.

Neither Iraq nor the Iraqi people posed a threat to us or to the world. And by invading, unilaterally, a defenseless country and killing tens-of-thousands of innocent people we are only enlarging the “web of decentralized Muslim extremists” who, allegedly, we are trying to defeat.

The Forum novelist then goes to considerable length to scare the pants off us about the damage these extremists could do to our country. He’s right there, too. Therefore, does it not follow, that we should bring our troops home to defend the home front?

I agree with Walter Cronkite. Support our troops. Bring them home now. The only disagreement I have with Walter is his statement that we can “win with honor.”

Wait! I know! Put George in a cute little uniform, give him a carrier deck to land on, string enormous banners everywhere screaming to the world: WE WON WITH HONORS. I’ll lead us all in a patriotic Second World War ditty, “He did it before and he can do it again.” Care to join me?

  • Bettejo Dux

Keep seeking the answers

The letter from Linda Saker in the Jan. 17 The Garden Island just begs for a response. I will be brief and only address a few of her “questions.”

Ms. Saker points out that several planets and moons rotate in different directions. Courses in physics, astronomy and geology will explain subjects such as prograde and retrograde motion, tidal friction, synchronous rotation, and the conservation of angular momentum. That would help Ms. Saker to understand the various movements of the moons and planets in our solar system.

Ms. Saker then states that “if you adjust any of the following even a little bit, life is impossible.” (My italics.) Among these items are:

1. “The mass of the Earth.” — It is estimated that the mass of the Earth increases as much as 25,000 tons per year … yet life exists!

2. “The speed of the Earth’s rotation.” — The Earth’s rotational speed has been steadily decreasing. It is estimated that the length of the day about 400 million years ago was only 22 hours long. The day was only 18 hours long about 900 million years ago … yet life exists!

3. “The combination of oxygen to nitrogen in the atmosphere.” — Studies show that the oxygen levels in the atmosphere have been continuously changing due to seasonal influences (such as photosynthesis) as well as human influences (such as the burning of fossil fuels). A recent estimate places the annual loss of free oxygen from the atmosphere at 2 parts per million … yet life exists!

While Ms. Saker brings up some interesting questions, one must not fall into the trap of saying, “Gee, I don’t know the answer to that question … so it must be God.” Instead, one must say, “If I don’t know the answer to a question then I must continue to search until I find it.” This is what I implore everybody, especially school children, to do. Don’t give up and take the easy way out. Study! Research!

  • Brian Christensen

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