Letters to the Editor – 10/1/14

True entitlement

So letter writer Edith Lee resents that “conservative” politicians refer to her Social Security benefits as an “entitlement.” Of course, this is exactly what they are. She is entitled to receive them by virtue of her having paid into that system.

What are not entitlements, but are constantly referred to as such, are welfare benefits handed out to people who have not earned them, in many cases do not deserve them and are only “entitled” to them because liberal politicians passed laws forcing the rest of us to pay them. Ms. Lee clearly doesn’t realize that it was liberal politicians and government bureaucrats along with their hacks in the media who first began calling welfare and other giveaway programs entitlements in an attempt (successfully, so far) to make the rest of us believe that there is no choice but to hand them out. Words now mean what liberals want them to mean.

Jack M. Schmidt Jr.

Waikiki eyesore

Regarding Bob Jones’ column, “Lets’s Face It: Natatorium Arch Is Ugly” — I agree that the arch is an eyesore and does not honor anyone.

I’ll vote for and support a lovely flowering tree in its place, with a plaque as a fitting memorial.

Families playing and laughing on a beach in the arch’s place will be a lovely tribute.

Rev. Toni Baran

Waikiki treasure

In Bob Jones’ column “Let’s Face It: Natatorium Arch is Ugly,” he derides the War Memorial Natatorium as “cheesy.” But in 2013, the local chapter of American Institute of Architects describes the Natatorium as “an icon of the Waikiki shoreline,” “one of the “few remaining examples of Beaux Arts architecture in Hawaii” and “an essential piece of our soul.”

As a retired enlisted leader of our Navy men and women, however, I take great umbrage at his casual dismissal of 10,000 World War I veterans from Hawaii as “very few” and somehow insignificant. That was 5 percent of the territory’s population at that time.

They were significant enough to fight. Many of them were significant enough to die for our country. They were significant enough that the people of Hawaii came together and honored these hero volunteers by building and opening the natatorium in 1927.

Who are we, just a century after their sacrifice, to dismiss these men and women as just a “very few”? Who is Mr. Jones to say that their wives and sons and daughters, and their descendants, “did not suffer heavily in that war”?

As the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission recently said, “In no instance that we know of has a state or U.S. territory significantly altered, let alone demolished, its official World War I memorial.”

Let’s not be the first. Let’s not commit what the commission said would be “widely regarded as a gross disservice to the memory of the people for whom the memorial was erected.”

Maurice “Mo” Radke President,
Friends of theNatatorium

Glorifying war

I agree with Bob Jones about taking down the Natatorium arch, but for entirely different reasons.

War ceased to be an “honorable” profession the day an A-bomb was dropped on Japan. Since then, war has been simply a competition (primarily among American, Chinese and Russian billionaires) to promote conflict around the world, which ups the sale of arms and ammunition.

Weapons of mass destruction create jobs and substantial profit for billionaires in the construction industry, so the last thing we — or any nation — need is another monument to war!

In a world where children are kidnapped, raped and executed for attending school, and wives are knocked out and dragged from elevators, and YouTube viewers delight in seeing graphic bullying, very clearly the greatest need is for everyone to learn how to resolve differences without violence.

I am a Vietnam vet who refused to accompany the body of his best buddy back home because I dreaded facing his mother and inadvertently revealing his painful, desperate and final moments spent trying to push and pull his intestines back where they belonged.

No more monuments to war!

Rico Leffanta