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Informing Hawaii's voters

Army Downsizing Could Be a Great Blessing

Kioni Dudley, Ph.D.

By Kioni Dudley, Ph.D.

Kioni Dudley is the president of the Friends of Makakilo and is active in the effort to save farmland and promote farming in leeward Oahu. He is vice chair of the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board.

Today, we stand at a threshold of another burst of growth on O’ahu. Kaka’ako is afire, racing to build as many high-rises as it can hold. Koa Ridge is prepped and ready to build 3,500 units. The City is rushing Ho’opili through the zoning process, chafing to build 12,000 houses on the best farmland in the world, farmland we will need for our survival.

So much building, all at once, will take more workers than we have. So we will bring workers from the mainland to build houses primarily for rich people who don’t yet live here, starting a whole new round of in-migration and of building to meet its needs.

And where will island people live? The City Council is considering changes to ‘ohana housing rules, so that more locals can be crammed together on less land.
Is all of this what the people want?

With developers, unions, banks, big business, and Pacific Resource Partners controlling our government, we can do little but watch as they pave over and destroy Paradise for their own profit.
Yet suddenly, there is a chance for change. The Army must reduce its numbers and its expenses. Installations in Hawai’i are extremely costly, training for troops is limited, and direct deployment to battlefields is impossible. Unless it meets with strong opposition, the plan is to withdraw 19,800 troops from Hawai’i in the next few years. Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield would be vacated.

What good effects could come from this? On-post at Schofield there are 3,600 houses that have all been built or refurbished in the last ten years that would suddenly be empty. Off-post, thousands more homes currently rented by soldiers would also be freed up. This could suddenly eliminate pressure to build in Kaka’ako, or at Ho’opili or Koa Ridge. There would be plenty of housing for years to come. With a surplus of units, house prices and rent prices would ease. Buyers and renters could have more money in their pockets for a better life. There would be no need to import building-trades workers from the mainland.

The housing on-post at Schofield could serve many needs. It could provide homes at affordable rent for young people now living with parents. Other on-Post houses might become legal bread and breakfasts, filling a need for alternative tourism, reducing the demand for more hotels, and keeping Turtle Bay traffic from growing. The barracks buildings themselves might become apartments, college dorms, new boarding schools, or nursing homes.

Businesses in Wahiawa would never have to worry about mass deployments again. And people living at Schofield who would finally shop in town.

A myriad of new business opportunities for locals would open up. Opportunities to take over gas stations, markets, motels, clinics, auto shops, craft shops, and pre-schools. Church buildings would become available. Office spaces for businesses. Cocktail clubs, a movie theatre, fields for all kinds of sports programs all would await entrepreneurs to purchase or run them.
The city would not need to provide fire stations, police stations, water and sewage, or maintenance yards. They’re already there, ready to use, as is a second access road to the Leeward Coast (Kolekole).

Wheeler offers a full airfield with possibilities for new flying schools, cargo flights, sight-seeing businesses, and inter-island carriers.

There are also acres of farmland where crops that thrive in the upland can be grown.

Best of all, perhaps, if there is no need for Ho’opili and Koa Ridge, people on the West side could be spared an additional 15,000 cars to freeway rush hour traffic, and saved from the daily gridlock that would come with it.

Downsizing is good for our people. But it must be all 19,800 troops or nothing. Keeping 10,000 might feel good, but Schofield would then stay open, and none of the advantages mentioned above would be possible. Everybody would lose. If you support army downsizing, let your voice be heard. Sign the petition at www.OC4AD.com.

MLK: An American Hero

Paul Craig Roberts

Where is his replacement?

PaulCraigRoberts.org

January 19, 2015

By Paul Craig Roberts

Today (January 19) is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday.

King was an American civil rights leader who was assassinated 47 years ago on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39. James Earl Ray was blamed for the murder. Initially, Ray admitted the murder, apparently under advice from his attorney in order to avoid the death penalty, but Ray soon withdrew his confession and unsuccessfully sought a jury trail.

Documents of the official investigation remain secret until the year 2027.

As Wikipedia reports, “The King family does not believe Ray had anything to do with the murder of Martin Luther King. . . . The King family and others believe that the assassination was carried out by a conspiracy involving the U.S. government, and that James Earl Ray was a scapegoat. This conclusion was affirmed by a jury in a 1999 civil trial against Loyd Jowers and unnamed co-conspirators.”

The US Department of Justice concluded that Jowers’ evidence, which swayed the jury in the civil trail, was not credible. On the other hand, there is no satisfactory explanation why documents pertaining to the investigation of Ray were put under lock and key for 59 years.

There are many problems with the official story of King’s assassination, just as there are with the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. No amount of suspicion or information will change the official stories. Facts don’t count enough to change official stories.

Many Americans will continue to believe that having failed to tar King as a communist and womanizer, the establishment decided to remove an inconvenient rising leader by assassination. Many black Americans will continue to believe that a national holiday was the government’s way of covering up its crime and blaming racism for King’s murder.

Certainly, the government should not have fomented suspicion by settling such a high profile murder with a plea bargain. Ray was an escapee from a state penitentiary and was apprehended at London’s Heathrow Airport on his way to disappear in Africa. It seems farfetched that he would imperil his escape by taking a racist-motivated shot at King.

We should keep in mind the many loose ends of the Martin Luther King assassination as we are being bombarded by media with what Finian Cunningham correctly terms “high-octane emotional politics that stupefies the public from asking some very necessary hard questions” about the Charlie Hebdo murders, or for that matter the Boston Marathon Bombing case and all other outrages that prove to be so convenient for governments.

Those gullible citizens who believe that “our government would never kill its own people” have much understanding to gain from knowledge of Operation Gladio and Northwoods Project, about which much information is available on the Internet and in parliamentary investigations and officially released secret documents.

The Northwoods Project was presented to President John F. Kennedy by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. It called for shooting down people on the streets of Washington and Miami, shooting down US airliners (“real or simulated”), and attacking refugee boats from Cuba in order to create an atrocity case against Castro that would secure public support for a full-fledged invasion to bring regime change to Cuba. President Kennedy refused the plot and removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, an action that some researchers conclude led to his assassination.

Operation Gladio was revealed by the prime minister of Italy in 1990. It was a secret operation coordinated by NATO and operated by European military secret services in cooperation with the CIA and British intelligence.

Parliamentary investigations in Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium and testimony by secret service operatives have established that Gladio, originally established as a “stay-behind” secret army to resist Soviet invasion, was used to commit bombing attacks on Europeans, especially women and children, in order to blame communists and keep them from gaining political power in Europe during the Cold War era.

In answer to questioning by judges about the 1980 bombing of the central train station in Bologna resulting in the deaths of 85 people, Vincenzo Vinciguerra said: “There exists in Italy a secret force parallel to the armed forces, composed of civilians and military men . . . a super-organization with a network of communications, arms and explosives [which] took up the task, on NATO’s behalf, or preventing a slip to the left in the political balance of the country. This they did, with the assistance of the official secret services and the political and military forces.”

Vinciguerra told the UK newspaper The Guardian that “every single outrage that followed from 1969 fitted into a single, organized matrix . . . mobilized into the battle as part of an anti-communist strategy originating not with organizations deviant from the institutions of power, but from within the state itself, and specifically from within the ambit of the state’s relations within the Atlantic Alliance.”

There is no doubt about Gladio’s existence. The BBC did a 2.5 hour documentary on the secret terrorist NATO organization in 1992. There are a number of books, articles and reports in addition to the parliamentary investigations and testimonies from participants.
There are reasons to believe that, although exposed, Gladio is still in operation and is behind terrorist attacks, such as Charlie Hebdo, in Europe today. Of course, today Washington has such control over Europe that no parliamentary investigations comparable to those that exposed Operation Gladio are possible.

With the documented and officially admitted existence of many official government conspiracies against their own peoples resulting in numerous deaths, only witting or unwitting agents of government conspiracies respond to valid questions about alleged terrorist events by trying to shout down truth-seekers.

The function of shutting down suspicion of official stories has been well performed by the “mainstream” print and TV media in the Western world. This presstitute function has been joined by many tabloid internet sites, such as Salon, and other such sites that originate in money or desire for profit.

Money flows to those who serve the establishment. The way to riches is to cover for the powerful private interest groups that comprise the One Percent and control the government.

Many websites unwittingly contribute to the power of the One Percent to control explanations and to discredit truth-seekers. This is the main function of comment sections on Internet sites where paid trolls operate.

Studies have concluded that the largest percentage of a population is too insecure to take a position different from peers. Most Americans simply do not know enough to have confidence in making independent decisions. They go with the flow and rely on their peers to tell them what is safe to think.

Trolls are hired for the purpose of making disparaging and ad hominem attacks on those who diverge from accepted opinion. For example, I am constantly attacked in personal terms in comment sections by people hiding behind first names and aliases. Others employ left-wing and progressive hatred of Ronald Reagan to discredit me on the grounds that anyone so wicked and evil as to serve in the Reagan administration cannot be trusted. Many of my denigrators worship the ground that Hillary Clinton walks on.

Today in the so-called “western democracies,” it is permissible to be politically incorrect against Muslims and to invoke denigration and hatred against them. However, it is not permissible to criticize the government of Israel for indiscriminate and murderous attacks on Palestinian citizens. The position of the Israel Lobby and its obedient and well-intimidated presstitutes is that any criticism whatsoever of Israel is anti-semitism and an indication that the critic desires a new holocaust. In other words, the Israel Lobby defines any critic of any Israeli government policy as an incipient mass murderer.

This effort to silence all critics of Israeli policies applies also to Israelis and Jews themselves. Israelis and Jews who legitimately criticize Israeli policies in hopes of steering the Zionist State away from self-destruction are branded “self-hating Jews” by the Israel Lobby. The Lobby has demonstrated its power to destroy academic freedom and to reach into private Catholic universities and public state universities and both block and withdraw tenure appointments of candidates, both Jews and non-Jews, who have incurred the Lobby’s disapproval.

I see Martin Luther King as an American hero. Whatever his personal failings, if any, he stood for justice and for the safety of every race and gender under law. King actually believed in the American dream and wanted to achieve it for everyone. I am confident that had I confronted King with criticism, he would have considered my case and responded honestly regardless of any power he might have held over me.

I cannot expect the same consideration from any western government or from the trolls that operate in comment sections provided by Internet sites in hopes of boosting their readership.

Gullible and credulous people are incapable of defending their liberty. Unfortunately these traits are the principal traits of western peoples. Western liberty is collapsing in front of our eyes, and this makes absurd the desire by Vladimir Putin’s Russian opponents to integrate with the collapsing western states.

Copyright © Paul Craig Roberts 2014

About Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments and his Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

Western Politics Mask Reality behind French Mass Killings

PressTV [owned by Iranian government]

By Finian Cunningham

So America's top diplomat John Kerry wants to give France "a big hug" to condole over the recent spate of alleged terror attacks in that country. Speaking in Paris while laying a wreath for the 17 victims of violence, Kerry said that "America feels the pain of our oldest ally."

Kerry's words, accompanied by James Taylor's mawkish song 'You've Got a Friend', is typical of the new politics of high-octane emotion that is inducing people to take leave of their senses.

Since the violent attacks that hit Paris last week, the French authorities have orchestrated full-court national and international mourning. Massive marches for "unity" and "free speech", candlelit vigils, medal-of-honor ceremonies, and somber eulogies and paeans to "French values" - all such events and media coverage have sought to bolster the support for state authorities.

The trouble with this "high-octane emotional politics" is that it stupefies the public from asking some very necessary hard questions of the authorities. By buying into weeping and self-indulgence, the public are at risk of being manipulated like never before.

Just as John Kerry was offering a big hug "to all of France", the US government this week announced a significant step-up in its military involvement in Syria. The Pentagon unveiled plans to send 500 military personnel to train "moderate rebels" to fight against the elected government forces of President Bashar al Assad.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are to provide the US with training grounds on their territories to furnish a "new rebel army" of 15,000 fighters. The previous "moderate rebels" became subsumed into the ranks of the extremist Al Nusra and ISIS, taking their American weapons with them.

It is widely acknowledged, even in the Western mainstream media, that the conflict in Syria has fuelled extremism across the Middle East, which is finding its way into Europe. As troops go on high-alert counter-terror operations in France and Belgium this weekend, there is an unequivocal correlation between the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Iraq - and new threats of terrorism in Europe.

The latest troop dispatch by the US to train "rebels" in Syria will inevitably lead to more conflict and terrorism. So much for John Kerry's big hug and emotive pleas of "you've got a friend". Kerry is like an arsonist paying his respects to families of charred victims.

That conclusion should be a no-brainer. But as the masses are swooning with emotion - and a lot of that crocodile tears too - some basic facts become blinded, conveniently for the authorities.

One basic fact is that the Western states' covert war for regime change in Syria is criminal and in violation of several international laws. Western political leaders crying over victims in Paris should be prosecuted for war crimes from their four-year-long military adventurism in Syria involving proxy extremist networks. These terror networks are feeding directly back into European societies. American and Western media deception of "training moderate rebels" should be dismissed with the contempt that it deserves. Washington and its European allies are up their necks with terror networks.

Days after the apparent terror killings in Paris, French President Francois Hollande made one of many emotive speeches that week proclaiming the supposed virtues of Western values - while on board the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle. The largest vessel in the French fleet was then deployed to join NATO forces in the Persian Gulf to step up bombing campaigns in Syria and Iraq "to defeat terrorism".

With tears running down the nation's cheeks, the French authorities are thus stoking more violence in the Middle East than they have already done along with their Western allies. How crass can it get? But in the new lachrymose politics of emotions, the public surrenders to the crassness.

However, it is precisely at this juncture that we need to avoid emotional over-reaction and instead to pursue rational, critical questions. As several respected commentators have already noted there are gaping doubts in the official French version of what took place in Paris last week.

Michel Chossudovsky has pointed out that the French police chief, Elric Fredou, who was looking into the attack on the Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed, was himself found dead in an apparent suicide on the night following that incident. The timing is highly suspicious, but the wider public, misled by the non-inquiring media, appear to be disinterested in the circumstances of the police commissioner's untimely death. Was it really suicide? Was he being shut-up over damaging revelations about who were the real perpetrators of the attack on Charlie Hebdo?

Paul Craig Roberts has also pointed out several incongruities in the official narrative, including the way that the French state security forces executed the Kouachi brothers and the kosher supermarket gunman Amedy Coulibaly, instead of capturing them, thus removing any possibility for the public to hear their accounts. Were they set up by French military intelligence to take the rap for the earlier terror attacks? Roberts notes that the professional behaviour of the masked gunmen in the Paris attacks does not match the bumbling behavior of the Kouachis at the later, fatal shoot-out.

Also, as Peter Koenig recently argued, the spate of French alleged terror attacks, as well as the recent fatal incident in Belgium this weekend, is being used as a "shock and awe" device to manufacture public opinion into accepting more coercive state police powers and foreign military interventions - the very policies that are fueling terrorism.

Western governments and their pliable news media are audaciously playing politics with public emotions. Proven Western state involvement in Middle East conflicts and false flag terrorism needs to be rigorously interrogated and exposed more than ever.

But the public seems too occupied shedding tears, singing the Marseilles, and accepting big hugs from the likes of John Kerry, to otherwise be able to think straight and to hold the authorities to account. Ironically, in the political climate of high-octane emotions, the people are turning for protection from the very authorities who are placing them in increasing danger.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Originally from Belfast, Ireland, he is now located in East Africa working as a freelance columnist for Press TV and Strategic Culture Foundation (Moscow).

Links:

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion

War through Deception [Hawaii Political Info collection of articles]

If the Fed Has Nothing to Hide, Why Is It Fighting an Audit?

Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the dollar has lost over 97 percent of its purchasing power, the US economy has been subjected to a series of painful Federal Reserve-created recessions and depressions, and government has grown to dangerous levels thanks to the Fed’s policy of monetizing the debt. Yet the Federal Reserve still operates under a congressionally-created shroud of secrecy.

No wonder almost 75 percent of the American public supports legislation to audit the Federal Reserve.

The new Senate leadership has pledged to finally hold a vote on the audit bill this year, but, despite overwhelming public support, passage of this legislation is by no means assured.

The reason it may be difficult to pass this bill is that the 25 percent of Americans who oppose it represent some of the most powerful interests in American politics. These interests are working behind the scenes to kill the bill or replace it with a meaningless “compromise.” This “compromise” may provide limited transparency, but it would still keep the American people from learning the full truth about the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy.

Some opponents of the bill say an audit would somehow compromise the Fed’s independence. Those who make this claim cannot point to anything in the text of the bill giving Congress any new authority over the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy. More importantly, the idea that the Federal Reserve is somehow independent of political considerations is laughable. Economists often refer to the political business cycle, where the Fed adjusts its policies to help or hurt incumbent politicians. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Arthur Burns exposed the truth behind the propaganda regarding Federal Reserve independence when he said, if the chairman didn’t do what the president wanted, the Federal Reserve “would lose its independence.”

Perhaps the real reason the Fed opposes an audit can be found by looking at what has been revealed about the Fed’s operations in recent years. In 2010, as part of the Dodd-Frank bill, Congress authorized a one-time audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities during the financial crisis of 2008. The audit revealed that between 2007 and 2008 the Federal Reserve loaned over $16 trillion — more than four times the annual budget of the United States — to foreign central banks and politically-influential private companies.

In 2013 former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar publicly apologized to the American people for his role in “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time” — the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program. Can anyone doubt an audit would further confirm how the Fed acts to benefit economic elites?

Despite the improvements shown in the (government-manipulated) economic statistics, the average American has not benefited from the Fed’s quantitative easing program. The abysmal failure of quantitative easing in the US may be one reason Switzerland stopped pegging the value of the Swiss Franc to the Euro following reports that the European Central Bank is about to launch its own quantitative easing program.

Quantitative easing is just the latest chapter in the Federal Reserve’s hundred-year history of failure. Despite this poor track record, Fed apologists still claim the American people benefit from the Federal Reserve System. But, if that were the case, why wouldn’t they welcome the opportunity to let the American people know more about monetary policy? Why is the Fed acting like it has something to hide if it has nothing to fear from an audit?

The American people have suffered long enough under a monetary policy controlled by an unaccountable, secretive central bank. It is time to finally audit — and then end — the Fed.

Copyright © 2014 by RonPaul Institute.

Ed Snowden Appearing via Video Link at Hawaii Convention Center

ACLU of Hawaii Foundation

January 16, 2015

Screening of the award-winning documentary “Citizenfour” followed by a live conversation with Edward Snowden (via video link from Moscow, Russia) and his attorney Ben Wizner will be held next month in Honolulu. The ACLU of Hawaii Foundation is presenting the Davis Levin First Amendment Conference featuring the topic Can Democracy Survive Secrecy?

  • Sat., 2/14/15, Hawai‘i Convention Center, Kal?kaua Ballroom A, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

  • $5.00 entry fee (student scholarships available)

  • Program: 9:00 a.m. Registration

  • 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Screening of Snowden documentary, Citizenfour

  • Noon to 1:30 p.m.: Live conversation with Edward Snowden, Ben Wizner

HONOLULU – Can democracy survive secrecy? What is the future of the First Amendment in a surveillance society? These questions will be the focus of a rare and provocative public discussion at the Davis Levin First Amendment Conference (“Conference”) happening Saturday, February 14th in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Edward Snowden’s release of documents detailing massive government surveillance sparked a raging global debate which continues to this day. Choosing not remain anonymous, Snowden traded home and career for a life in exile, fleeing the U.S., and eventually taking residence in Russia.

A high-level intelligence analyst based in Hawai‘i, in 2013, Snowden provided documents to the press proving the existence (previously shrouded by government as highly sensitive state secrets) of multiple NSA programs that even today collect and use data on ordinary Americans on an extraordinary scale.

The program will also feature Snowden’s attorney and Director of the national ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, Ben Wizner. Speakers will share their views on whistleblowing, balancing government secrecy in wartime against the public’s right to know, and the possible futures facing free speech in America. Moderated by Aviam Soifer, Dean of the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law.

Seating is limited. Tickets are $5.00. RSVPs are requested no later than Tuesday, 2/10/15. Pay by check to the ACLU of Hawai‘i Foundation, or via Visa or Mastercard by phone. To reserve, call (808) 522-5906, neighbor islands call toll-free, 1-877-544-5906. Email office(at)acluhawaii(dot)org, or mail reservations to First Amendment Conference/P.O. Box 3410, Hon., HI 96801. Parking at the Hawai‘i Convention Center is $10.00, also served by major bus lines. Please visit http://www.thebus.org for more information.

The Hawai‘i Convention Center is ADA-accessible. Request special accommodation no later than Tuesday, 2/10/15. The ACLU of Hawai‘i will always try to meet requests.

The Davis Levin First Amendment Conference is a lively, civil discussion between prominent constitutional thinkers fostering awareness & dialogue about the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, underwritten by the Davis Levin Livingston Charitable Foundation. Established as a public education project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i Foundation in 1997 with grants from the Robert M. Rees Trust & the law firm of Davis Levin Livingston, the Conference is named for attorneys Mark S. Davis & Stanley E. Levin for their work defending the First Amendment in Hawai‘i. Prior speakers: Daniel Ellsberg, Kenneth Starr, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Ralph Reed, Nadine Strossen, and Jay Sekulow.

More Fodder for the Gullible: Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot

By Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman

January 16, 2015

The Justice Department on Wednesday issued a press release trumpeting its latest success in disrupting a domestic terrorism plot, announcing that “the Joint Terrorism Task Force has arrested a Cincinnati-area man for a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.” The alleged would-be terrorist is 20-year-old Christopher Cornell (above), who is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as “Mommy” and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as “a typical student” and “quiet but not overly reserved” by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012.

The affidavit filed by an FBI investigative agent alleges Cornell had “posted comments and information supportive of [ISIS] through Twitter accounts.” The FBI learned about Cornell from an unnamed informant who, as the FBI put it, “began cooperating with the FBI in order to obtain favorable treatment with respect to his criminal exposure on an unrelated case.” Acting under the FBI’s direction, the informant arranged two in-person meetings with Cornell where they allegedly discussed an attack on the Capitol, and the FBI says it arrested Cornell to prevent him from carrying out the attack.

Family members say Cornell converted to Islam just six months ago and claimed he began attending a small local mosque. Yet The Cincinnati Enquirer could not find a single person at that mosque who had ever seen him before, and noted that a young, white, recent convert would have been quite conspicuous at a mosque largely populated by “immigrants from West Africa,” many of whom “speak little or no English.”

Read more . . .

Book Review: Captive Paradise by James L. Haley

The book was published in November 2014, and copies are available at various branches of the Hawaii Public Library.

The title "Captive Paradise" is a red flag that this book has a strongly-held viewpoint and is not a fair and balanced history of Hawaii. But it is very well written and provides numerous fascinating tidbits that will probably be new information even for readers who are quite knowledgeable about the subject. What's below is a short summary of a much more detailed chapter-by-chapter book review on my website which includes lengthy quotes from the book, my comments, and related internet links.
http://tinyurl.com/q7nzswx

I give this book 2 stars instead of only 1, because it is very well written, filled with fascinating and little-known but important details, and has some valuable footnotes. I give this book 2 stars instead of 5, because the author began the project with the all-too-common academic prejudice already firmly in place that Hawaiian sovereignty was stolen by an imperialist United States which used religious and cultural indoctrination to colonize the minds of the natives and then used force to invade, overthrow the monarchy, and illegally annex Hawaii -- and then the author selected those facts which bolstered his prejudice while ignoring facts that would discredit it. Like Keanu Sai or Tom Coffman, James Haley has written a piece of propaganda whose nasty conclusion is couched in an appearance of scholarly inquiry.

Author James Haley is honest to describe his book as a narrative history, meaning it is a story told for a purpose and not a dry, neutral scholarly or academic footnote-studded recitation of facts. It's more accurate than pure fiction, and also more accurate than the mix of fact and allegorical storytelling found in what Hawaiians call "mo'olelo." But it's far from a straightforward scholarly history. It's not a pseudo-historical novel with made-up characters like James Michener's "Hawaii", but it's also not a thoroughly documented academic work like the three-volume book by Ralph S. Kuykendal, "The Hawaiian Kingdom." Haley's book is more detailed on many topics than "Shoal of Time" by Gavan Daws, and makes more interesting reading on those topics; but is less fair to the annexationists than Daws overall. There's a lot to learn from this book, but also plenty of caution to keep in mind that important parts of the story are going untold when they are contrary to the author's bias.

Fair warning to readers: When it comes to discussion of current controversies about Hawaiian sovereignty, this book is strongly biased in favor of the independence movement. The bias comes not in the form of bombastic rhetoric, but rather in the manner of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, by selecting which events and publications to report on while ignoring things from a different perspective. The first portions of the book describing history from 1778 to perhaps 1850 are reasonably balanced; but as history moves more toward the preliminary revolution of 1887 (Bayonet Constitution), the final revolution of 1893, and annexation of 1898, the book becomes ever-more biased in a low-key but insistent and increasingly strident way.

A more appropriate title for this book would be "How Hawaii Became Americanized" -- such a title would be more dispassionate and neutral, leaving open the possibility that Americanization happened in ways that were pono (righteous) even if controversial. But that was not a conclusion the author was willing to consider; and of course the title "Captive Paradise" fits the prejudices of most professors and students and is a more flamboyant title to bolster book sales.

In an introductory section Haley is honest to admit that he was warned by a "distinguished history professor friend" not to be overly critical of precontact Hawaiian cultural practices such as human sacrifice and infanticide, and not to criticize today's sovereignty movement; because then he would have trouble getting into graduate school where political correctness rules. Haley implies that he has written a fair and balanced book because, on the one hand he does display the courage to expose and criticize elements of the ancient culture, while on the other hand he pushes the conclusion about the sovereignty movement being well justified, as demanded by academia and by street activists. But balancing halfway between disappointing political activists on a minor point about the past and pleasing them on a major point about Hawaii's future is not the way a history book should be written.

In the first paragraph of the book's preface Haley shows his prejudice as well as his penchant for twisting the facts by writing such phrases as "the needs of American imperialism" and "how the United States got its hands on the Kingdom of Hawaii." Right there is a direct falsehood because what was annexed was not the Kingdom of Hawaii but rather the Republic of Hawaii five years after the Kingdom government was overthrown; and there is also an indirect falsehood of implying that the U.S. "got its hands" on Hawaii as though it was an act of reaching out and illicitly grabbing rather than an act of agreeing to accept an offer to be annexed that was initiated by Hawaii. On page 299 Haley actually uses more colorful language to describe "how the United States got its hands on the Kingdom of Hawaii." Discussing ex-queen Lili'uokalani's letter of protest and surrender, Haley says "By alleging American collusion in surrendering power, she had in effect slammed the lid down on the cookie jar with the American hand still inside it." With rhetoric like that, Haley need not worry about getting accepted into graduate school, especially at the University of Hawaii Political Science Department, or the Center for Hawaiian Studies -- they will love him!

Author Haley's bias is easily recognizable when he uses the ugly word "coup" to label the surprisingly non-violent revolution of 1893; and when he consistently and repeatedly uses the very ugly word "junta" to label the revolutionary Provisional Government and its internationally recognized successor, the Republic of Hawaii. Both of those governments were extraordinarily gentle in their treatment of the ex-queen and her royalist supporters even when they staged a violent attempted counterrevolution two years later. None of the rebels or their leaders got executed and nobody spent more than a year in prison. The royal family was not gathered together and shot like the Russian Tsar, and their supporters were not executed by guillotine as in the French revolution. Even the royalist newspapers were suspended only for about six weeks and then allowed to resume publishing royalist propaganda and personal attacks against the leaders of the revolutionary government. What "junta" has ever behaved so generously toward the people it ousted in a "coup"?

There are numerous references to the Blount Report including links to the internet. The Blount Report was written by one man with royalist sympathies at the request of royalist supporter President Grover Cleveland. Blount spent his time in Honolulu living at the royalist hotel next door to the Palace, conducting only informal private interviews mostly with royalists and not under oath. But Haley's book treats the Blount report like dogma, whereas his book has only a couple of dismissive disparaging brief mentions of the Morgan Report even though it mostly contains testimony under oath before a committee of the U.S. Senate in open session with severe cross-examination of witnesses by Senators on opposite sides of the issue. The Morgan Report directly discredits the Blount Report, including sworn testimony from witnesses who said that Blount had falsely reported things which the witnesses said they had never said to Blount when Blount had interviewed them privately in Honolulu. The 808-page Morgan Report should have been given at least equal weight with the Blount Report in Haley's book; the pros and cons should have been discussed; and readers should have been provided with the internet link to the Morgan Report
http://morganreport.org

Jon Kamakawiwo'ole Osorio's book "Dismembering Lahui" and Michael Dougherty's book "To Steal a Kingdom" are references, but Haley never mentions Thurston Twigg-Smith's book defending the 1893 revolution and 1898 annexation: "Hawaiian Sovereignty: Do the Facts Matter?" now out of print but available in pdf format at
http://bigfiles90.angelfire.com/HawnSovDoFactsMatterTTS.pdf

Haley's bibliography mentions two scholarly journal articles by William A. Russ dealing with Hawaii immigration, labor, and the sugar industry in the 1890s. But Haley does not include the two very important major scholarly books by Russ which would provide strong rebuttal to some of Haley's writing: "The Hawaiian Revolution 1893-1894" (302 pages); and "The Hawaiian Republic (1894-98): And Its Struggle to Win Annexation" (398 pages).

The book follows a roughly chronological order from a time somewhat before Captain Cook's "discovery" until annexation; with a final chapter of 16 pages briefly outlining the Territorial period and statehood focusing mostly on Caucasian racism (but not Hawaiian racism), the native renaissance, and native quest for self-determination. Throughout the book certain themes are emphasized where Haley clearly displays why his book is a historical narrative, i.e. storytelling, rather than a scholarly recounting of facts.

The book contains several flat-out falsehoods and many half-truths, along with biased selections of what to report, and slanted interpretations.

Perhaps the most outrageous falsehood, stated in its most blatant form, is on the book's dust jacket flap: "But the success of the ruthless American sugar barons sealed their fate, and in 1893 the American Marines overthrew Lili'uokalani, the last queen of Hawaii." Anyone who has studied the events of January 1893 knows that the American Marines did NOT overthrow Lili'uokalani. They marched past the palace on their way out of town to where their officers hoped the troops could spend the night, and dipped the U.S. flag in respectful salute to the Queen who watched them from her palace balcony. They returned to a building located down a side street away from the palace, and stayed in that building for the rest of their time in town except for two small groups who went to guard the American legation and the home of the diplomat Minister Stevens. They never patrolled the streets, did not point their guns at the palace or any person, did not take over any buildings, did not enter the palace grounds, and gave no food or weapons or ammunition to the revolutionaries. They were there as peacekeepers in case rioting or arson threatened American lives or property; but those things never happened and they were not needed. Testimony under oath and cross examination, before a Senate committee, confirms these facts as can be seen in the Morgan Report.

Another obvious falsehood on page 320 says "The Morgan Report held the provisional government blameless in the coup and laid all the fault on the queen, without ever sailing to Hawai'i or interviewing a single witness who was not partial to the revolution." The most obvious falsehood is the statement that the Morgan committee did not interview any witness who was not a supporter of the revolution. Minister Blount himself, author of the infamous Blount report highly favorable to the royalists, gave lengthy testimony in person before the committee (and other witnesses testified under oath that Blount had lied in the Blount report about what they had said to Blount in Honolulu). The most lengthy and detailed testimony before the Senate committee was from W.D. Alexander, a scholar and administrator who had held high positions under several kings. There were democrat Senators on the committee who opposed annexation and severely cross-examined pro-annexation witnesses, and men from the USS Boston, under oath.

An example of a very important misleading half-truth is this quote from page 300: "At the new government headquarters [Ali'iolani Hale] Sanford Dole endorsed the queen's provisional cession of authority. He could have rejected it and insisted on an abdication, but it didn't occur to him that by accepting her wording, he was submitting the revolution to American approval and setting in motion another year's controversy." Really? Did President Dole actually sign the document? (Haley provides no evidence or citation.) Did he merely "endorse" it meaning only that he acknowledged receiving it? Haley seems to be saying that by signing it Dole agreed to what it said, meaning that he agreed that the U.S. would have the authority to reinstate Lili'uokalani as queen. Clearly that is not what Dole had in mind; but it is Haley's wishful thinking and Haley's attempt to spin the story so the reader will believe that Dole agreed to a U.S. binding arbitration of the revolution as though it was a dispute to be settled rather than an accomplished fact. Neither Kuykendall nor Daws reported anything other than the fact that Lili'uokalani had her surrender/protest delivered to the Provisional Government at Ali'iolani Hale where it was time-stamped [but it was not delivered to any U.S. representative despite her assertion in the document that she was surrendering to the U.S.].

An example of Haley portraying something as an injustice when it was actually normal practice still observed today: Haley complains that the election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention to write a Constitution for the Republic of Hawaii required voters to be Hawaii-born or naturalized citizens of Hawaii [thus disenfranchising nearly all Asians], and to affirm allegiance to the government [something native royalists refused to do]. But there's nothing wrong with such requirements for voting. The U.S. today, like most nations, allows only native-born or naturalized citizens to vote [not illegal Mexicans, for example]. And when someone is "sworn in" to become a government official, even as low as a one-day clerk handing out or collecting ballots in an election, he/she must raise the right hand and swear "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States [and of the State of Hawaii] ..."

Haley makes many attempts to sway readers' opinions not by the concepts or facts he describes but by the use of pejorative language. A minor example is his persistent use of the word "coup" to refer to the revolution of 1893. A more nasty example is his persistent use of the word "junta" to refer to the revolutionary Provisional Government and his continued use of "junta" to refer to the permanent, internationally recognized government of the Republic of Hawaii, whose leaders had never been military officers (except in the way President Obama has authority over the U.S. military -- would we describe the U.S. government as a "junta"?). At least 20 nations on 4 continents formally recognized the Republic of Hawaii as the de jure (legitimate) government, as can be seen in letters personally signed by their Emperors, Kings, Queens, or Presidents in 11 languages. The letters are in the Hawaii archives. Photos of those letters and accompanying documents (most also have English translations) can be seen at
http://tinyurl.com/4wtwdz

In conclusion: I'm awarding this book two stars out of a possible five. It deserves credit for being well written and providing fascinating information which most readers probably didn't know. However, it has a strong bias in portraying the initial revolution of 1887 (Bayonet Constitution) and the final revolution of 1893 (overthrow of the monarchy) as being legally and morally wrong and the work of Americans hell-bent on annexation. That bias pervasively shapes the way Haley tells about earlier periods of Hawaii's history where Haley over-emphasizes facts or opinions which help build to his final conclusion while ignoring or downplaying others that would lead to a different conclusion.

I have no problem recommending the book for people who have already read other books on Hawaii's history and are familiar with arguments favorable to the view that the revolution and annexation were historically, legally, and morally justified. But it would be very unfortunate if this were the first or only book someone reads about Hawaii's history. The independence movement, along with efforts to create a fake Indian tribe and give it federal recognition, are so virulent in today's Hawaii, and so pregnant with evil for our current dialog and hope for a future of unity and equality, that we do not need a book like this one to pollute the minds of people who read it when they are uninformed or innocently suggestible. The universities, public schools, and news media are already fully cranked up as propaganda machines even without this book. To understand the danger, read my own book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State."
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

Marine Colonel's Ex-Wife Dishes on the Service and Her Ex-Husband

(7 hours 44 minutes)


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Defense Contractor Pleads Guilty in US Navy Bribery Case

The Washington Post

By Craig Whitlock

A Malaysian defense contractor pleaded guilty Thursday in a corruption scandal of epic proportions, admitting that he bribed “scores” of U.S. Navy officials with $500,000 in cash, six figures’ worth of sex from prostitutes, lavish hotel stays, spa treatments, Cuban cigars, Kobe beef, Spanish suckling pigs and an array of other luxury goods.

Leonard Glenn Francis, a businessman who charmed a generation of Navy officers while resupplying their ships in Asia, admitted in federal court in San Diego to presiding over a decade-long corruption scheme involving his Singapore-based firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

The investigation has steadily escalated into the biggest corruption case in the Navy’s history, with Francis admitting that he bilked the service out of tens of millions of dollars by overcharging for food, fuel and basic services. Five current and former Navy officials have pleaded guilty so far, and prosecutors have made it clear they are targeting others.

Read more . . .

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