Letters for Sunday, February 4, 2007

• The real killers?

• Conflict of conscience

• Class action

• Money well spent?

• The root of it all

Dennis Chaquette


The real killers?

I had the pleasure and privilege of uniting with fellow Kauaians last week to protest the war in the Middle East. It was a wonderful day of solidarity for like-minded individuals across the U.S., and I am thrilled to have met so many concerned people and to appreciate the support of many drivers who honked and gave us the thumbs up and peace signs in support.

As such, I just had to respond to Mr. Oswald’s letter (“Heavy things,” Letters, Feb. 1) in which he describes the Kaua‘i peace protesters as reminiscent of the “drugged-out hippies” of the Vietnam era whose protests, and not the war itself, were responsible for the deaths of millions of innocents in the invaded country. I cannot even understand this line of reasoning.

Historically, wars have been waged for the purpose of building empire, reappropriation of resources, and to quell political movements seen as unfavorable by the dominant country. Waging war to preserve and protect human rights is largely fiction. The reasons for war have not changed much, but the packaging of war has become very slick indeed in order to sell it to the people who pay for it with their dollars and their lives. I must say that the corporate-controlled mainstream media is doing a very effective job in their media spin if sentiments for peace are seen as the real killers!

Krisztina Samu


Conflict of conscience

This whole thing is heinous. I will not disclose my personal feelings towards Ebinger. As I know it’s not right to judge people. “Now those boys will live with the fact that Ebinger once again doled out his own form of justice.” (“Where is the justice?” In Our Voice, Feb. 1) Should they have to live with that fact? Should we say that out loud to them? Ebinger took his own life. I’ll leave it up to a Higher Power or God at this moment. That’s where the justice is.

Tiffany C.R. Woodard


Point, counterpoint

Regarding Ron Fleet’s letter “Lions and tigers and 288 cars, oh my!” (Letters, Jan. 28), all I have to say is if Virginia Beach used to be rural and now has high rises and you say, “It’s inevitable — accept it and move forward,” then why did you move here? Why didn’t you deal with it and stay there?

E. Kaneshiro


Class action

As you may or may not know, some of the golfers that play at the Wailua course have petitioned against the proposed alignment of the section of the coastal pathway along Kuhio Highway from Ahukini Landing to Lydgate Park.

What you may not know is the real reason behind their efforts. While they want us to believe that they have our best interests in mind, it is obvious that could not be further from the truth. The following is exact wording from the golfer’s petition: “The Golfers of Kaua‘i desire not to have a bike path built along the perimeter of the existing Wailua Golf Course. We would like to enjoy a round of golf without any distractions of any sorts. We currently have the sound of the traffic along the areas where the bike path is to be built. We wish not to have added distractions like the type of noises that comes with bicycle riders talking or laughing and who knows maybe horses as proposed at one meeting.”

First of all, this is the most selfish thing I’ve ever seen. In case you didn’t notice, golf is an outdoor activity — if you want peace and quiet, go to a library! Second, horses will not even be allowed on this section of the pathway, so that is completely irrelevant. Two more reasons to support the pathway: (1) Not everyone that lives here can afford a car — some of us have to walk or bike to work; and (2) it could be used as an alternative route in the event of an emergency (tsunami, hurricane, etc.).

This is just another example of how the affluent are trying to deny average people a great opportunity!

Betsy Rivers


Money well spent?

I think by now we’re all pretty familiar with Mr. Mickens and his campaign against the bike path. My understanding is his primary objection is that it is a waste of taxpayer money. Fine.

Now I read that in Iraq that the Bush/Cheney crew has wasted tens of millions of dollars doing things like building an athletic training camp complete with an Olympic-sized swimming pool in Baghdad. Currently this entire facility sits unused.

So to summarize, here in Kaua‘i, we have no Olympic-sized pool even though we live on an island with extremely rough ocean conditions and few places for keiki to learn to swim; in Baghdad the U.S. government has built an unused pool for those water-lovin’ Iraqis. Meanwhile, folks like Mr. Mickens complain when federal tax money is used to build projects like the bike path or the Olohena Bridge for the U.S. taxpaying residents of Kaua‘i.

For a little perspective, the U.S. has already spent enough of your tax money in Iraq to give every man woman and child in the State of Hawai‘i $250,000 in cash — did you get yours yet?

John Patterson


The root of it all

In her State of the State address, Gov. Lingle called for malpractice tort reform to limit non-economic damages for pain and suffering and for other action to help the medical community.

We have heard far too much from tort reformers about so called “jackpot justice” and “frivolous” lawsuits and far, far too little about the root of the problem: medical malpractice.

The majority of doctors, insurance companies and politicians beholden to them have been putting the proverbial cart before the horse to the detriment of medical malpractice victims. Fortunately, enough Hawai‘i legislators have not been led down the garden path cultivated by tort reformers that leads to a cap on non-economic damages that serves the interest of doctors and insurance companies but not victims of medical malpractice.

It is a monstrous irony that the third-leading cause of death in this country after heart problems and cancer is adverse reaction to medical treatment and medical mistakes. Can anyone doubt that this outrage needs to be addressed?

There are, of course, good doctors, more good ones than bad ones, but they lose their luster when they stand behind that lamentable white wall of silence and do nothing to rid the medical profession of doctors who do far more harm than good.

It is my hope that Hawai‘i legislators will eschew the usual debate on tort reform and consider what to do about medical mistakes, the adverse reaction to medical treatment, a way to weed out bad doctors and a way to make health care more affordable for the citizens of Hawai‘i.

Jane Marshall

Dover, Tenn.


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