Letters for Monday — February 20, 2006

• Odd bedfellows?

• Why all the hubbub?

• Foreign debt danger

• Keep on voting Democrat

Odd bedfellows?

One of the more entertaining aspects of an election year is speculating on who will run for office. This year is especially intriguing because it marks the first time in two decades in which a candidate other than Ezra Kanoho will be elected to the state house in District 15.

Kanoho’s retirement gives voters in that district the rare opportunity to elect someone not associated with the so-called “Old Guard.”

The only candidate in the race, so far, is councilman Jimmy Tokioka, the born-again Democrat, who will have to overcome the stigma of switching parties if he hopes to compete in the Democratic primary. Tokioka, an experienced politician, is well aware of the fact that no Republican has ever served in a Kaua’i state House seat, which is presumably why he developed such a strong aversion to GOP politics.

The power brokers betting that Jimmy will be Kanoho’s replacement in the Legislature may have underestimated the level of voter disdain caused by Tokioka’s celebrated case of political schizophrenia.

The party of the “Big Tent” will need to open its flaps for at least one more candidate come September — preferably a squeaky-clean, true-blue Democrat who can fit into Ezra’s shoes just in case their recycled Republican gets the boot.

  • Fred von Wiegen

Why all the hubbub?

I am so outraged at the carelessness exhibited by Vice President Cheney in accidentally shooting his friend. I mean, couldn’t he at least have hit a policeman instead? Hillary Clinton did that. In October 2001, Clinton’s Ford van sped through a security checkpoint at Westchester County Airport. The police man she hit (who was unable to return to work for weeks) said later that he thought it was a 9/11 attack all over again. When he was asked if Mrs. Clinton or her office bothered to apologize or even check on him, he said “I can tell you, no.”

Besides injuring policemen, there are many other better things Cheney could have done. How about get paid by the Haliburtons of the Middle East to fly to their country and bash America? That’d be much better, plus it would help build America’s reputation! State-run Saudi news outlet Arab News reported last week that the Jeddah Economic Forum, where former Vice President Al Gore spoke, was funded by a long list of big companies tied to the Middle East. This includes the Saudi BinLadin Group which happens to be Saudi Arabia’s largest construction company. It is coincidentally run by Osama bin Laden’s brothers and family. Jeddah, the site of the forum attended by Gore, is also Osama bin Laden’s hometown.

WHEW, for a minute there I thought that would start a ruckus in the news. I was afraid Gore might have received tainted funding from Abramhoff, but it was just money from the Bin Laden family so it’s OK!

In summary, Mr. Cheney, the next time you do something by accident, please make sure it’s something safer. Maybe get the terrorists to buy your gun pellets next time. Or turn a funeral for a wonderful leader, such as Coretta Scott King, into a selfish political self-promotion. It would make it much, much more newsworthy.

  • Joshua Duvauchelle

Foreign debt danger

The Bush administration has asked Congress for another $120 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan, which would be a current total of just over half a trillion dollars, or $520 billion.

The Bush administration will also ask for just $18 billion for the havoc wreaked on the Gulf Coast, to help the American people.

Some $520 billion to bring “freedom” and looking for “WMD” in Iraq.

Some $18 billion for the American People.

Where is all of this money coming from, the enlightened ask?

One way to raise capital is to sell U.S. government bonds. The People’s Bank of China — that country’s central bank — said on Jan. 14, that its reserves expanded 31.3 percent to U.S. $249.9 billion.

Two Nobel Prize winning economists have called America’s growing foreign debt “the greatest potential danger facing the economy in the years to come.”

The Treasury planned to sell $10 billion of 20-year inflation-linked bonds on Jan. 24, then auction two-year notes on Jan. 25, three-year debt on Feb. 7, 10-year notes on Feb. 8, and the first 30-year bond since October 2001 on Feb. 9.

A group including foreign central banks bought 28.5 percent of five-year Treasuries sold in the first Treasury auction this year, on Jan. 11, the least since November and below the six-month average of 36.2 percent.

Fannie Mae recently reported non-U.S. investors bought 49 percent of its $3 billion five-year note sale, up from 45 percent at a November offering.

So let’s all wait for the crash, unless you think just like people did in 1929.

We can do something now, or we can ignore the problem until it hits all of us.

  • Dennis Chaquette

Keep on voting Democrat

After reading the two letters in The Garden Island newspaper Forum page (Letters, Jan. 31) I must agree that if Hawaiians are happy with what the Democrats did for them over the last two or three decades then by all means, keep voting Democrat.

Let’s see, we have one of the worst school system in the U.S, even though Governor Lingle tried to fix it, but the Democrats in the State Congress wouldn’t let her. Aren’t unions wonderful ? We have some of the highest and most regressive taxation in the U.S. We have some of the worst roads and highways in the U.S. and we don’t even have freezing and thawing conditions. We have a considerable number of homeless, we have a considerable number of people living with way too many persons per home. Our young can’t afford to buy their own homes and they can’t really afford to rent, either.

So, let’s just keep on keeping on with the wonderful Democrats that we’ve had for the last few decades. Then only the well-off from the Mainland will be able to afford to own here and they and the “rich” Hawaiians will continue to inflate the cost of living as those “rich” and “poor” Hawaiians continue to vote for the Democrats. I love it. Pretty soon my home will be worth well over a million dollars even though my neighbors only paid roughly $200,000 for theirs 6 or 8 years ago. Oh, by the way, they will be paying real estate taxes on a million-dollar property too. Even though the only way they could realize the increase is to sell. Then what? Move to Louisiana where property is real cheap. And they will feel right at home there since it is a mostly Democratic state, with terrible schools and terrible roads

So, I will continue to vote Republican, ’cause I care about the Hawaiians and would like to see them have good schools, good roads, lower and less regressive taxes. But if the Kauaians want to continue down the same old roads and schools then, by all means, keep on voting Democrat.

And “wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which fills up first.”

Mahalo for this wonderful place to live, God is good. I just hope it gets better for the locals.

  • Gordon “Doc” Smith

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