Letters to the Editor – 4/16/14
Try a staycation
In his column “Obama, Lincoln Travel Costs Draw Ire,” Dan Boylan notes that “Obama has taken a truckload of grief for every one of the five yuletides he’s spent in the Islands … Outraged critics cite the cost to the overburdened taxpayer, in excess of $7.5 million.”
For the record, I understand that Hawaii is Obama’s one hanau (birthplace) and that he “is commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful military.” Still, the national debt remains at $16 trillion, while in Hawaii money issues compromise security in public schools, leave Hawaiians homeless in their one hanau, and keep veterans on sidewalks. On the surface, Oba- ma’s visits seem to be a reward for services rendered. Critics, however, point to “the bad example the Obamas set for countrymen still suffering from the Great Recession.”
President John F. Kennedy was my first commander-in-chief. His inaugural words of Jan. 20, 1961, still ring clearly in my head: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Kennedy lived by these words and was one of two U.S. presidents who did not accept a salary.
Obama’s Hawaiian vacations at taxpayer expense do not compare well.
I’m sure this is the first time I’ve seen the word “oli- garchs” in two columns in the same issue of MidWeek. I found it interesting that one was written by a conservative, Patrick Buchanan, and the other by a more liberal commentator, E.J. Dionne.
That both see danger for America in so much political clout now being in the hands of so few billionaires is at the least disturbing, and more so because the Supreme Court is paving the way. According the court, free speech is now something to be purchased, and some people can purchase more than others.
Yu Shing Ting’s column on Kalanianaole Athletic Club brought back a lot of wonderful memories of my childhood. Sometime back in the middle of the 1950s, KAC was born through the vision of Mr. George Kellerman. He started a Little League for baseball for the kids in the area from Kaimuki, Waialae, Kahala, all the way to Lunalilo Home Road. It became a big success with a lot of the local merchants in the area like Ranch House, Hi-Ho Liquors, Nii Nursery, Aina Haina Chop Suey and many others that are now long gone. It eventually expanded into T-ball and into different age brackets from 9-17. It was not until later that other activities were added to the KAC. Mr. Keller-man, I believe, also wrote a column on stock trading for the Advertiser.
Hopefully, one day there will be a plaque somewhere in the neighborhood in his honor.
Wayne T. Holu