Letters for Friday, May 13, 2011

• Full-face veils are not a right • The

little Kaua‘i school that could • Big Island’s bus

budget • It’s about much more than

taxes!

Full-face veils are not a right

On April 16th, this paper published an article from The New York Times in the Editorial Roundup section on France’s ban of full-face veils. This article concluded by saying it is not the business of the government or the police to ban full-face veils. These conclusions are just more “political correctness”. In every city you will see video cameras on streets, in government buildings, especially court houses, and in department stores, banks, jewelry stores, and many more places of business.

If there is a crime committed, the police immediately set out to get copies of the video tapes to help them identify suspects in order to solve the crime.

How can you identify anyone in a full face veil? You may not even be able to identify the sex of the person. Would a jewelry store owner be comfortable with a customer wearing a full face veil, or a ski mask? Or anything that completely covers their face? I think not.

About three years ago, I walked into my credit union in Lihu‘e, a nice lady came over and asked me to take off my hat and sunglasses. I complied with this very reasonable request. I then looked around the bank and noticed several video cameras. Obviously, they want to be able to identify all their customers.

The New York Times is apparently more interested in satisfying the sensibilities of Muslims than it is in the safety of the general public.

Mike Lyman, Lihu‘e

The little Kaua‘i school that could

On May 7th, I had the privilege of attending the musical play “Beauty and the Beast” directed by Ms. Marly Madayag and performed by the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders of the drama club of Kalaheo Elementary School.

The audience was treated to an extraordinary performance. The scenery was outstanding, the special effects dazzling and the costumes were brilliant. The enthusiastic singing, dancing and acting of these young thespians were truly inspiring.

This unforgettable performance was rewarded by a standing ovation.

Thank you Kalaheo School, parents, volunteers and supporters who helped to make this play so memorable. You are truly the little school that could.

Roy Ishimura, Honolulu

Big Island’s bus budget

As a point of clarification on Mr. Mickens very good letter of May 10 (“Explore proven alternatives”), the Big Island provides the voucher supported taxi system in  addition to, rather than in place of, a regularly scheduled bus service.

The budget on the Big Island for all of this during 2010 was $4,820,711 (page 33 of the Big Island 2009-2010 annual report). That is $4.8 million dollars and includes both scheduled bus service and the voucher based taxi system.

Interestingly $1.5 million in federal funds offset that amount. Bus ridership was 1.1 million rides. Hmm, does sound like the buses are being used?

So it is not a question of replacing the current bus system with a tax supported voucher based taxi system, but supplementing our current bus system with door to door taxi service for the disabled in our community who cannot drive and seniors.

I will point out that the bus system is not only for those who cannot drive, but also for those who choose not to drive for environmental and economic reasons, or just plain convenience.

Kurt Rutter, Kapa‘a

It’s about much more than taxes!

While I appreciate the tone of Mr. Zwiebel’s letter (May 12 “You’re just afraid your taxes will go up”) his response to my letter is a clear case of convenient perception.

The author defines the result of his research into what’s a “right” as “something demanded by an individual and granted by the group”. He then goes on to say, and I quote, “So why is health care a “right”? Because our current method of health care delivery is broken”. Huh? Fortunately for us, “the group” has not granted a “free health care for all” right just yet; nor have they created the “right” of a “free car for all” because the government run “cash for clunkers” program is broken.  Not yet.

Of course the left loves to point to the Netherlands and other countries that have almost no Defense Budget, contain a finite amount of land, and have a small homogeneous population of people who eat a lot of fish and otherwise take pretty good care of themselves as the standard for America. Unfortunately, America with its record breaking amount of racially mixed, drug addicted (legal and illegal), obese (6 out of 10), illegal immigrants (70 percent of whom are already on some form of U.S. funded welfare), and growing percentage of “it’s all about me” loons on the left is not that.

It really has little to do with taxes Mr. Zwiebel, though they will certainly go up for you. The 47 percent of our households who pay no federal income taxes at all will have to start, while the top 5 percent of all income earners who paid 59.2 percent of all federal income taxes collected last year will pay more. It has to do with fairness, and understanding the fiscal realities that contribute to a functioning economy for all, including the “free stuff” crowd you belong to.

The author is correct that our current health care system is broken. So is every single Government run institution in the United States including Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Amtrak, Social Security, the United States Post Office, Medicare, Medicaid, and the cash for “clunkers” program. Government is just as incapable of running the health care business as it has proven it is incapable of running every other program under their control. They have the power to raise taxes and print money at will, and still can’t get it right!

I simply do not believe that a colossal (17 percent of our economy) government run “fix of free stuff” will work in a country where health care costs rise dramatically with every new “miracle” medicine invention, and one that is already on a socialist fast track of high unemployment and bankruptcy. It’s about much more than your taxes going up Mr. Zwiebel.

Gordon Oswald, Kapa‘a

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