Letters for Friday, September 9, 2011

• Remembering Sept. 11 • Human needs,

not corporate greed • Something is better than

nothing

Remembering Sept. 11

Here we are, coming up on the 10th anniversary of that horrible day. Do you remember what you were doing when the worst terror attack happened on American soil?

I was at home readying for work when my wife yelled for me to come look at the TV. I was completely stunned. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing unfold. I remember a jumbled flood of emotions from grief, disbelief, despair and anger.

From the moment the first airliner hit, our world as we knew it changed forever. The ugly reality of mass hate was now at our doorstep with a bang on the door so loud it was heard around the world.

We can never again take for granted the freedom we enjoy every single day is free. No it’s not free, it never was.

Our citizens have paid the ultimate price and will continue to do so whether in civilian garb or as a uniformed armed services member.

It does bother me, I must admit, when I hear people say that going to war was just a move to grab oil. Baloney. Tell that to the poor souls that decided to jump out of their office windows a hundred stories up so they didn’t have to burn to death. That is the single most graphic image I will never, ever forget.

There will always be debates, controversies and a difference of opinion on the merits of the Iran and Afghan wars. Let’s not let those issues cloud the reasons why we should remember and honor those that have fallen — not just on Sept. 11, but anyone who has fallen in the fight against terror since then.

 

Stephen Shioi, Kapa‘a

Human needs, not corporate greed

Prior to checking out the website October2011.org, I had become so disgusted with the antics of our government that I had decided to not even bother playing their voting game.

Clearly, the opinions of the people carry no weight with our politicians — it’s government for and by corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.

In the austerity program the Super Congress will be working on, there’s been talk of changing, reducing or even eliminating social security and Medicare. This is not an entitlement program — the working people and their employers fund this program. 

If there’s any concern about solvency in future years, it would be easy to raise the limit on the taxed amount to $2 million. As it is now, the lower-income workers pay a disproportionate amount of tax. 

The money collected should also be in a separate account as opposed to the general fund.

If the politicians retired on social security like the rest of us, you can bet it would be a Cadillac plan.

Let’s cut the budget deficit by putting politicians on social security, Medicare and/or Obama Care. It’s time to make our priority human needs, not corporate greed.  

Please check out October2011.org and, if you possibly can, come join the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. This may be our last great opportunity to turn things around.

Judie Hoeppner, Kapa‘a

Something is better than nothing

I read with dismay the recent well-written article “Both food banks charge agencies.”

It comes down to economics 101. Every business, whether for profit or nonprofit, has operating expenses. Rent, electricity, water, gas, general maintenance, phone, Internet and employees. Even a volunteer costs money to have around because all businesses are required to have insurance.

As long as people are benefiting, let it go. There’s bigger fish to fry out there than a couple of agencies trying to help the needy.

For those concerned about where their charitable donations are going, you can do what I do: I always give directly to someone in need. I will see a hungry guy and slip him a few bucks or anonymously leave things for people I feel need things. 

Here’s what happens. Let’s say for instance you give money to the American Cancer Society. How much of that donation actually goes to fight cancer verses paying an executive director, renting a nice office space, business lunches, mileage expenses, etc.? Quite a bit.

Don’t get me wrong. I am happy for these charities and food banks, but there is not one nonprofit out there that does not have operating expenses. If you don’t like it, find another way to give because giving something is better than nothing.

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa’a

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