Letters To The Editor

Crossing a line

I’ve always considered elected officials to be fair game when it comes to political commentary. But the decision by MidWeek columnist Bob Jones to single out and attack members of my staff crosses a line.

This is particularly true when his column “Neil Puzzles With Some Staff Picks” was based on third-party speculation, and when you consider that several of the individuals he targets have only been on the job for a few weeks, they’re hardly deserving his criticism.

Each of the women he named is an example of the high-quality, skilled professionalism that Hawaii can produce. They each could be earning far greater salaries in the private sector but instead have chosen to serve the people of Hawaii – an honorable choice of public service that should be encouraged, not targeted in pursuit of attacking the governor.

Mr. Jones’ column was mean-spirited and unfair.

Bruce A Coppa
Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor

Teachers, not kids

I can confirm from personal experience Jerry Coffee’s comments about the teachers union, HSTA, is his column “Union Strong, Students Suffer.” In short, school improvement is nowhere on HSTA’s agenda.

To quote my union representative in 2001, in the midst of the Department of Education’s retaliation against me for my whistle-blowing: “John, you are bringing this on yourself by advocating for your students. If you keep speaking up for your students, next semester (the district office) is going to hold your feet to the fire and make sure you get terminated. And when they do, the union won’t help you, because student welfare is not the business of the union, teachers’ welfare is the business of the union.”

It is naive to expect HSTA to make any kind of contribution to school improvement.

John Mussack

No Iran interests

In his column “What Is U.S. Self-interest In Israel?” Pat Buchanan offers his usual patriotic, U.S.-centric geopolitical analysis, and I commend him for it. While he doesn’t come right out and write it, the conclusion one must draw from his headline question is “None!”

Hard-line foreign-policy realist (and another U.S. patriot) Zbigniew Brzezinski, in a coincidental Nov. 26 statement that can be Googled easily, provided his own tart answer to Buchanan’s question: “(There is no) implicit obligation for the United States to follow like a stupid mule whatever the Israelis do … the United States has the right to have its own national security policy.”

Quite so.

Robert H. Stiver
Pearl City

Send your letters to dchapman@midweek.com.