September 29, 2014
Key votes on the city rail transit project and other issues might be invalidated because Honolulu City Council members failed to disclose conflicts of interest after being wined and dined by lobbyists.
City Ethics Commission records show that former council members Romy Cachola, Todd Apo, Nestor Garcia and Donovan Dela Cruz as well as current council members Ikaika Anderson and Ann Kobayashi were treated to meals worth more than $200 each several on several occasions by lobbyists between 2006 and 2012. The city lawmakers then voted on rail transit stations, the rail project and rezoning land but none of them apparently declared a conflict as required by law.
So the ethics commission is now looking into a key issue.
"Whether there are any unlawful gifts that required disclosure and the disclosure did not occur, making council members' votes null and void," said Chuck Totto, executive director of the city Ethics Commission.
Get to know these five constitutional amendments up for vote across the state. Plus, seven county charter amendments on the Big Island, Maui and Kaua‘i.
By Honolulu Magazine staff
September 29, 2014
This year, there are five constitutional amendments up for vote across the state. Here are the questions as they will appear on the ballot, with links to the full text of each proposed amendment at capitol.hawaii.gov. Any questions should be directed to the appropriate clerk's office: House, 586-6400; or Senate, 586-6720.
H.B. 420, H.D. 1
CON AMEND: Relating to Disclosure of Judicial Nominees
“Shall the judicial selection commission, when presenting a list of nominees to the governor or the chief justice to fill a vacancy in the office of the chief justice, supreme court, intermediate appellate court, circuit courts or district courts, be required, at the same time, to disclose that list to the public?”
...and a Living Wage Possible
Campaign ad published on YouTube September 26, 2014
October 5, 2014
After 13 years of war in Afghanistan – the longest in US history – the US government has achieved no victory. Afghanistan is in chaos and would collapse completely without regular infusions of US money. The war has been a failure, but Washington will not admit it.
More than 2,000 US fighters have been killed in the 13 year Afghan war. More than 20,000 Afghan civilians were also killed. According to a study last year by a Harvard University researcher, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost in total between four and six trillion dollars. There is no way of looking at the US invasion of Afghanistan and seeing a success.
So in light of this failure, what does the Obama Administration do? Do they admit the mistake? Do they pull the remaining US troops out of Afghanistan and try to avoid making matters even worse? No! As with all US government programs, if the desired result is not achieved they just pump in more resources and continue with the same policies. The past 13 years have been an utter failure, so this past week the US government signed on for ten more years of war!
US troops were legally required to be out of Afghanistan by the end of this year, according to a status of forces agreement between the US and Afghanistan. The US was unsuccessful in negotiating a new status of forces agreement with outgoing president Hamid Karzai. The Afghan leader had grown critical of the US military presence – which has actually increased under President Obama. So, the US needed a new puppet in government.
As international correspondent Eric Margolis pointed out recently, the elections in Afghanistan earlier this year were a farce. The candidates were hand-picked by the US government. Furthermore, wrote Margolis, “[t]he largest, most popular party in Afghanistan, Taliban…[has] been excluded as ‘terrorists’ from the current and past elections.”
But they got their new status of forces agreement. US troops will remain through 2024.
The United States’ war on Iraq has also been a failure. The neocons want to blame the current disintegration of Iraq on President Obama for pulling US troops out. This is historical revisionism at its worst. The real blame goes to those who put the troops in in the first place.
In fact, President Obama didn’t even want to pull US troops out of Iraq. He had tried to re-negotiate a new status of forces agreement with the Maliki government in Iraq, but Maliki hesitated to extend immunity from prosecution to the remaining US troops. The US responded by turning on Maliki, eventually demanding that he step down even though he had been elected.
Maintaining US troops in Iraq would not have prevented the current unrest there for the simple reason that it was the presence of US troops in the first place that caused the unrest. It was the US invasion that led to the emergence of al-Qaeda in Iraq and other extremist Islamist groups. This should not have been a surprise to war planners: Saddam Hussein had been using brutal means to keep these groups at bay for decades. The same is true with Afghanistan.
The Taliban government of 2001 in Afghanistan did not attack the United States. Al-Qaeda did. But the 2003 US attack on Iraq under false pretenses removed a leader who had fought ruthlessly against al-Qaeda and other radical Islamist fighters. The result was that the al-Qaeda we were supposed to be fighting in Afghanistan flourished in post-invasion Iraq, along with other even more brutal groups. Will our government ever learn that invasion and occupation are not the solution, but rather the problem? No new status of forces agreement can change that basic fact.
Hawaii's lone Republican state senator (out of 25), Sam Slom, interviews University of Hawaii civil engineering professor Panos Prevedouros on Hawaii's traffic woes. Prevedouros' specialization is traffic.
September 4, 2014
A caucus of one: Hawaii’s lonely Republican [Jewish Telegraph Agency] May 2, 2014
September 18, 2014
October 2, 2014
PBS Hawaii introduction: On the Windward side of Oahu, last year's special legislative session on same-sex marriage has been a major driver in the general election contest to represent House District 51 (Kailua and Waimanalo). Incumbent Representative Chris Lee, who championed the marriage equality legislation, is being challenged by insurance executive Wayne Hikida, whose opposition to the new law drew him into the political ring.
The program's second half features candidates for House District 4 – Puna on Hawaii Island, which was first battered by Hurricane Iselle and is now under threat from lava. Democrat Joy San Buenaventura and Republican Gary Thomas are trying to fill controversial Representative Faye Hanohano's seat after the incumbent was unseated in the Democratic primary. Daryl Huff moderates both discussions.
Backed by U.S. public opinion, the U.S. Congress, and U.S. cash
Paul Craig Roberts introduction to the Noam Chomsky commentary below: Noam Chomsky, a moral voice in the West, is 86 years old. Former President Jimmy Carter, another of the rare moral voices in the West turned 90 on October 1, three days ago. What will become of us in the West when these great men pass away and the moral voice in the West goes silent? Who can take their place? Obama? Biden? Jeb Bush? Hilary Clinton? Mitch McConnell? Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi? John Boehner? Jack Lew? Lloyd Blankfein? Jamie Dimon? Janet Napolitano? Phyllis Wise? James Clapper?
There are no replacements. The total evil that America has become will soon be apparent to the world.
Facts on the Ground
By Noam Chomsky
Hawaii Political Info introduction: Noam Chomsky, MIT professor emeritus in linguistics, grew up as the child of two Russian Jewish immigrants in Philadelpia. His father was a professor of Hebrew at Gratz College. Chomsky is well-known as one of America's prominent activists.
October 04, 2014 “ICH” – On Aug. 26, Israel and the Palestinian Authority both accepted a cease-fire agreement after a 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza that left 2,100 Palestinians dead and vast landscapes of destruction behind.
The agreement calls for an end to military action by Israel and Hamas as well as an easing of the Israeli siege that has strangled Gaza for many years.
This is, however, just the most recent of a series of cease-fire agreements reached after each of Israel’s periodic escalations of its unremitting assault on Gaza.
Paul Craig Roberts on corporatism and Mosler on the economy [YouTube] (28 min 1 sec) Oct 2, 2014
PCR interviewed by blogtalkradio [PaulCraigRoberts.org] Oct 3, 2014
By Mike Adams
October 1, 2014
All the disinformation being spread about Ebola by the U.S. government and the complicit mass media will unfortunately make the Ebola pandemic far worse. That's because the public isn't being told the truth about how Ebola spreads and how individuals can help prevent transmission of the disease.
At every level of media and government, protecting the financial interests of drug companies appears to be far more important than protecting public health. So people aren't told the truth about how Ebola spreads and how they can increase their ability to survive a global pandemic.
Here are five of the biggest lies being spread about Ebola right now. Once you've reviewed the lies, learn the truth at www.BioDefense.com
'CDC Is Lying': Doctor Wears Hazmat Suit to Airport to Protest Government's Handling of Ebola [Fox News Insider] Oct 2, 2014
Harvard University introduction: On Thursday, October 2, 2014, the 47th Vice President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden Jr., delivered a public address on foreign policy to the JFK Jr. Forum. He spoke of the importance of America's international role, discussing conflicts in the Middle East, Russia and Asia. He also emphasized the need for a stronger American economy and greater trade. The Forum was moderated by David Ellwood, the Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy and the Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School.
Published on YouTube October 3, 2014
(1 hr 31 min 45 sec)
Biden Swims Naked, Upsetting Female Secret Service Agents, Book Claims [US News] Aug 1, 2014
Ron Unz: Controversial Writer and Funder of Anti-israel Activists [Anti-(Jewish) Defamation League] Jan 20, 2014
Hail Columbia (Entrance march for US VP) [YouTube] Feb 5, 2010