Heartbroken over representative's vote
(The following letter was sent to Rep. Mele Carroll.)
I have called, e-mailed, testified in writing, Tweeted and even Facebooked you. You chose to never respond. In your speech at 9 p.m. on Nov. 8, you spoke of aloha and pono. Not responding is not aloha or pono! I feel like you have not listened to me or many people who were, and are, in support of equality for all.
You, by your words tonight, have said to the world, "Hawaii's 13th District believes that it is okay to discriminate against same-sex couples."
My heart is broken because you, Representative Carroll, have said, "It is okay to discriminate." This is a bad message to teach our keiki. I am afraid you may have forgotten the principal of Hawaii's aikane!
The old Hawaiian saying "Polena pa'a 'ia iho ke aloha i kuleana like ai kaua" translated means: "In love tightly bound, you and I share equal rights." This ancient Hawaiian philosophy should ring true today, but you have silenced it.
I chose to marry my spouse because we believe in the sanctity of marriage. Representative Carroll, by your words tonight, you have said my spouse and I do not matter, and that we are not 'ohana.
Where is the pono and aloha you spoke of? Representative Carroll, my spouse and I matter. We simply want to live a calm, safe, pono, aloha and equal life. That is all we were asking by wanting marriage equality. I am saddened and ashamed of your "no" vote.
DR. TIM RILEY What do Republicans and Democrats look like?
I've heard a lot of discussion about political profiles in recent days.
The Republicans supposedly are the corporate greedy CEOs, and the Democrats supposedly are all those standing in the government entitlement lines. Not true.
Looking back, I can say my father was a hardworking Christian Republican. My mother was a hardworking Christian Democrat. Together, they built a house, raised five kids, entertained family and friends and both lived to be 85.
They were not wealthy in retirement, but they did fine.
If only all Republicans and Democrats today could be as blessed. Imagine what our states and nation might accomplish if we worked together?
These are tough times. We have to make some unpopular decisions in this country. People are hurting, stressed to the max and even in the streets hungry.
We cannot go on with the "us against them" syndrome. If we do, we are only going to lose more jobs, incur more national debt, lose more corporations to other countries, increase taxes and watch our communities drown in drugs, violence and poverty.
Abraham Lincoln quoted the Bible when he said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
Train is too loud
What the heck is the deal with the train? I'm 89 and would like to take a nap in the afternoon... or hear my TV, or talk on the phone, or visit with my neighbor out in the yard!
I just counted 11 people on the train. Why do the train people get to disturb the hundreds that live along the track so they can make a buck?
I understand that every so often, they use alternate power that is much louder, but this is going on three weeks.
Jo Anne Johnson-Winer, Mayor Alan Arakawa, Lahaina Police, do something!
If it were a restaurant with music too loud, or a scooter... I take that back; zero enforcement for scooters regardless of the hour, or for kids in cars with "music" so loud my house dances on its foundation.
Lahaina has gotten worse every year. Time to do something - and I hope it doesn't take as long as the bypass.
NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST
Did members of Congress exempt themselves from ObamaCare?
On Nov. 1, each member of Congress - in a most quiet process - chose whether they and their staffs accepted the Obama exemption to them having to live under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. If lawmakers didn't act, staffers were exempted by default - automatically. Do you know how your two U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives voted?
Most people were not supportive of ObamaCare when first formulated. Today, if a vote were taken, most people would vote against it as well, especially in light of the now-established fact that most will have rate increases and higher deductibles.
Although promised otherwise by President Barack Obama, most will not be able to keep their doctors or providers. Big business and unions are opting out of it as fast as they can. In what appears aimed to mute congressional opposition to the forced healthcare law, Obama has allowed Congress to opt out, leaving only the American people enslaved by the legislation that they created.
Again, do you know how your two U.S. senators and House members voted?
At first, some members of Congress convincingly denied that they had received an exemption, but Sen. David Vitter published the ObamaCare language next to the Obama exemption.
The president, who has no constitutional authority to make law, unilaterally changed the law and voided otherwise mandatory congressional participation. This was presumably to grease the skids for members of Congress accepting what in any other setting would be called a bribe. Now they defined their employees as "official" or "not official" to determine whether or not staff members had to enter the exchanges (with the designation of "not official" not having to accept ObamaCare).
The hypocrisy of forcing the people to live under what they will not is beyond description and at the height of political corruption. If the president is going to lead us into socialized medicine, then he must accept it for himself. If the Supreme Court is going to rule it constitutional, they must live under it.
This should be the litmus test for the reelection of every U.S. senator and member of the House of Representatives for the next several years - to flush out of office those who exempt themselves from the laws that they make for others.
All members of Congress made this decision on Nov. 1. Did they choose to live above the law? If so, corruption has never been so clear and stark.
Most House Republicans have opted to submit themselves and their staffs to the costly provisions of the law, although they despise the law and played virtually no role in its inception.
But so far, ironically, Senate Democrats, who all voted for it, appeared hypocritically split on the issue. Still, we believe that no exemptions should be made for anyone who works in government. How will they govern correctly if they have immunized themselves from the pain they cause others?
Sen. Vitter is leading a Senate fight to nullify the exemptions for lawmakers and their staffs. His bill would require all members of Congress and the executive branch to purchase health insurance without taxpayer-funded subsidies - just like everyone else. No exceptions. If this lacks sufficient congressional support, we support Sen. Rand Paul's Constitutional Amendment designed to require our government to live under the same laws that they make for us. They are not our masters but our servants.
As this automatically goes into effect without a member of Congress doing anything, and as many will let that just happen, it is imperative that you carefully phrase your question to them, leaving no wiggle room.
We suggest, "Are you, or any of your staff, exempted from or receiving any subsidization from ObamaCare?"
DR. HAROLD PEASE