Your Views for February 5


More than ‘pot’

I would like to answer the accusations by Mr. Larry Thurman (in the Jan. 27 Tribune-Herald). I submitted 24 bills to the Legislature, including support for farmers, new schools, highway improvements, restrictions on new GMOs, and returning home rule to the counties in a repeal of Act 97. In addition, I co-sponsored other bills, including the two you mention.

I sent a press release about the 24 bills I submitted to all media outlets. The Tribune-Herald chose to run a story about a cannabis bill which I co-signed, which is understandable because controversial stories make good press. I do hope the other issues get publicity, as they are equally important. I thank the Tribune-Herald for the excellent coverage of my other issues on Christmas day.

I have no hidden agenda, as Mr. Thurman suggests. I ran on a promise to represent my constituents, which I am doing. My constituents are overwhelmingly in favor of cannabis decriminalization, so I supported that bill. I met hundreds of people during the campaign who expressed their views, and get many emails each day. As for the soda fee, I encourage a public discussion. This is a way to reduce taxes, which Mr. Thurman wants.

I invite Mr. Thurman to get involved constructively, instead of making inaccurate accusations. Like all legislators, I am very interested in my constituents’ views. I hope he and others will email me at senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov.

Russell E. Ruderman

Keaau

Drone warfare

I have recently had the honor and privilege to attend a talk in Hilo by retired Col. Ann Wright, who served 29 years in the military and 19 years with the State Department. She provided credible information regarding the drone warfare that is being conducted by the United States in our name.

The drone warfare we are engaging with countries we are not at war with needs careful scrutiny and oversight, not to mention transparency. The information that is coming forth from Stanford, Columbia and New York University … is disheartening. A special United Nations investigations unit has been organized in Geneva to further investigate the alarming trend of civilian fatalities, including many children.

An increasing pattern of “double-tapping” (striking a target twice within a short interval), which eliminates rescue workers running in to assist the injured, has instigated the special commission on extrajudicial killing to determine the violation of human rights and international law.

Reducing the civilian casualty count by revising the definition of enemy targets (all males over the age of 16 years) is quite incredible. We are too often told that this program is saving American lives when in reality it is creating far more enemies than we could ever kill and creating deep anti-Americanism.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is a member of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Caucus, and I am confident she would appreciate hearing from her constituents. Americans need to be informed about what is being done in their name.

Arlene Buklarewicz

Volcano

 

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