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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Welcome to Hawai`i...


I remember when I came back to Hawai`i after an extended trip to Japan. When I walked off the plane, with many Japanese tourists. The first sight which greeted us as we entered the terminal was a gauntlet of U. S. Customs Agents, U.S. Marshalls. U.S. Immigration, DEA and other intimidating enforcement agents. All standing with big body, hands on hips or guns. Staring down everyone. Trying to profile the nervous passenger who might be smuggling contraband or entering the U.S. on illegal or forged documents, for a friendly walk and talk, search or seizure. This was way back in 1996. Way before 9/11. I thought it was such a bad first impression of America for these visitors. And truly such a bad first impression of the Aloha State. Hawai`i. I was mad and embarrassed for what they did to my home. Certainly not the Aloha State my grandmother shared with visitors back in her time...

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