Letters for Tuesday — January 31, 2006

• Send a message of hope

• Wiretapping Americans without a warrant

• Was article necessary?

• Spend more per student

Send a message of hope

Mr. John Hoff is beating the Republican drum for Gov. Lingle, by stating that if she is voted back in for a second term, we will all receive a payoff, in the form of a little tax refund.

It seems that the Repblican Party thinks that All Americans can be bought off cheaply, and that we would all be as corrupt as the Republican Party is continually proving to be, day after day.

I would instead, urge everyone to vote with their heart. Which party is going to do the most for you and your family in the long run.

Which party actually cares more about your health benefits, those of us who need social help for our children and cares more about our environment?

If the Republican party gets a foothold in Hawai’i:

1) We can all forget about our medical and dental insurance.

2) They will sell off more and more oceanfront land to the wealthy, cutting off our beach access, or making ting it difficult to get there, or ugly because of the houses surrounding it.

3) They will cut funding for our libraries, schools, and everything else that we need as a people, putting the money into our already inflated military, to make us more enemies.

4) They will continue the job that Reagan started, which was to inflate our national debt, and wait for the crash to come.

Vote responsibly this year and with your heart. Please do not vote selfishly.

You will not get rich, and you will not become a tougher individual if you vote Republican.

You will merely show your charactor.

  • Dennis Chaquette

Wiretapping Americans without a warrant

The abuse of power by President Bush should be disturbing to all Americans. His illegal wiretapping is a clear violation of the Constitution and he should be held accountable.

A few facts:

1. This is not about tracking terrorists, it’s about a potential breach of the Constitution. The administration says the spying program is tion narrow, and even said it’s limited to people with ties to al Qaida. But the president already has the authority to track terrorists. Further, The New York Times reports the facts differently, saying the data was overwhelming and often led to innocent Americans.

2. Republicans and Democrats believe the president may have broken the law. The White House is claiming that Democrats are the only ones objecting to the program, but there is strong bipartisan concern. Republicans like Lindsey Graham, Sam Brownback, John McCain and Arlen Specter have offered some of the harshest criticism of the program.

3. Congress did not give the president authority to conduct the secret program. The White House has claimed the authority to conduct secret wiretaps because of a Congressional resolution passed after 9/11. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service found that the resolution didn’t authorize the program, and found it “unlikely” that any court would agree with the White House’s justifications.

President Bush is NOT above the law. Wiretapping Americans without a warrant violates the Constitution and the president has admitted to doing just that.

Our civil rights are being violated!!

We all should be concerned and outraged!

  • Joseph Savino

Was article necessary?

It saddened us to read Duane Shimogawa’s article “Letting his teammates down” about the soccer player mates who let his teammates down because of his “own selfishness.”

While we totally agree that what this player did was wrong, what was the point of writing an article with such a tone? The student had already been given consequences by the school, the Athletic Director, and his parents. He is no longer a part of the team. While it is definitely important for all to understand that cheating is not right, was it really necessary to publicize the wrong that he did? What good could possibly come from further damaging this player’s selfesteem and publicly humiliating him? Sometimes we do things without realizing the consequences our actions may bring. We’re sure this player did not realize that his actions would hurt the entire team and that he regrets what he did. Do you really think that the player would purposefully “jeopardize his team’s chances to play at the next level?” Unfortunately, the athlete cannot “undo” what he did and make it up to his teammates.

However, we know for a fact, that one of his teammates called him before he was allowed to return to school and tried to make him feel better.

If this 17-year-old senior (who has lost his chance of ever winning a KIF soccer championship) could find it in his heart to forgive this player, maybe it’s a lesson we adults could learn something from.

  • Hazel Fujimoto
    Waimea High soccer parent

  • Jane Kato
    Kauai High soccer parent

Spend more per student

The Garden Island newspaper recently printed an article stating that the State of Hawaii calculated that it costs approximately $4200 per student per year to receive public education. That figure seems ridiculously low considering that $4000 per year doesn’t go very far for anything in Hawai’i. There is concern from public school administrators that it will be “challenging” to operate a school on a further reduced budget.

“Challenging?” That’s too gentle a word. It makes it sound possible.

Last year, Jan. 24, 2005, the Honolulu Star Bulletin printed an editorial about Gov. Lingle’s concern of the high cost of incarcerating prisoners in Hawai’i.

According to the article, the governor was looking for funds to ship prisoners to the mainland because it’s too expensive to keep them here. In 2005, it cost approximately $37,000 per inmate per year in Hawai’i compared to approximately $17,000 on the mainland to take care of Hawai’i’s prisoners. Preventive measures are encouraged in several areas of society from health to finances. Here’s the idea:

Spend $17,000 per student per year in public education to prevent the need for overcrowded, expensive state prisons. $4,200 per public school student, $37,000 per prisoner. It just doesn’t seem right. With support for public education…

  • Terese Barich

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