Skip navigation.
Home
   Candidate & issue information
Informing Hawaii's voters

Budget Cuts are Meaningless without Fed Transparency

by Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)

Congress focused on issues surrounding government spending this week as talk of deficits, the national debt, and the debt limit saturated the airwaves. This is a positive development. In years past, there was very little concern over how much was spent here in Washington, how it was spent, or how much of our gross domestic product was being consumed by government. That blissful ignorance naturally resulted in decades of government spending with impunity, bringing us to where we are today: trillions in debt with astronomical entitlement obligations that will be impossible to fulfill in the not too distant future. So it is a good thing that there is so much political pressure now on our leaders to actually put the brakes on runaway spending.

However, even the most generous estimate of the spending cut passed this week – $38.5 billion – is a paltry 3.5% of the $1.05 trillion in spending through the next 5 months. This hardly makes a dent in our government's mountain of debt. Even worse than that, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stripped away the accounting sleights of hand and scored it as only $352 million in cuts, which works out to less than half of one percent of spending. Still, the tiniest cut is better than the massive increases we have become accustomed to in federal budgets.

Of course, our disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not even included in this budget as they are considered emergency spending. They constitute $3.3 billion in spending in the same period of time, so they more than cancel out any small cuts the warmongers may crow about.

I voted against the legislation funding government for the remainder of this year, as well as next year's budget because, as in years past, government spends far too much on unconstitutional programs. In spite of any rhetoric about fiscal responsibility, a point three percent (0.3%) cut does not suddenly make the rest of the spending constitutional or responsible. And, if the American people do not continue to hold the politicians' feet to the fire, you can be sure we will see massive spending increases again in the future.

In addition to Congress' spending, many Americans are finally paying attention to the spending done by unelected banking cronies at the Federal Reserve. Recently the Fed was forced to reveal some details of loans given out during the financial crisis of 2008 and they are truly shocking. Matt Taibbi points out in a recent Rolling Stone article that two very well-connected Wall Street wives got together and formed a real estate investment company that garnered $220 million in so-called "loans" (free money) from the Fed. Compare this number to the $352 million in spending cuts the CBO says are in the current budget! A few months later, one of the wives bought a $13.5 million personal residence with her husband, the CEO of Morgan Stanley.

The unelected, unaccountable Fed hands out as much or more money this way as our federal government spends, and yet receives hardly any attention. This is why I believe transparency of the Fed is a critical step to regaining control of our financial situation in this country. We can never get meaningful reforms if all eyes are on the $352 million so-called cuts, and transactions like the $220 million given to Wall Street cronies are done in the shadows. This is why I have reintroduced my Audit the Fed bill to this Congress. HR 1207 is now HR 459 and is essential to true fiscal reform and responsibility.

Ron Paul on Lou Dobbs

This is a radio interview, so there's no video.

Tsunami-Ravaged Towns Ignored Ancestors' Warnings

Japanese of long ago took pains to warn their region's future generations about tsunamis, carving their exhortations on hundreds of large stones dotting the countryside. The messages, centuries old, were forgotten by all too many when the deadly tsunami struck.

One large old stone in the tiny village of Aneyoshi in Iwate prefecture was heeded, and saved the day. Its inscription reads,

High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants. . . . Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point. — AP

The village of 12 or so families had followed its advice, and emerged unscathed by the tsunami while other nearby coastal towns were devastated.

One old stone in the town of Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, gave these important words of advice:

Always be prepared for unexpected tsunamis. Choose life over your possessions and valuables

Many who ignored that advice perished. In the following video you will see people in imminent danger of being swept away by the tsunami tarrying to bring along possessions. Two words you will hear several times are yabai (dangerous!) and isoide (hurry!). The video is being shot from Shizu River High School in the town of Minami-sanriku-machi in Miyagi prefecture. Out of 17,800 residents, 10,000 were missing in the aftermath of the tsunami.

Tsunami strikes town of Minami-sanriku [YouTube]

See photos of the stone warnings [Yahoo! News]

Link:

Japanese Coast Guard vessel rides over tsunami waves [YouTube]

'Arab Countries Wouldn't Even Exist if It Weren't for Us!'

Donald Trump has been zooming up the polls and is now either the front runner or one of the front runners among Republicans. He hasn't declared his candidacy, at least so far, but he's obviously giving it some serious thought.

The Barry Bonds Trial

HPI note: The following article by Roger Roots about the recent Barry Bonds trial points out some alarming behavior on the part of federal prosecutors: behavior that is reminiscent of life under the dictatorships of the old USSR and East Germany.

Bonds is one of greatest players in the history of baseball, with records that Roots says will probably never be surpassed.

---
by Roger Roots

Dr. Roger Roots, J.D., Ph.D. [send him mail] is a lawyer, writer and sociologist originally from Montana.

On Wednesday, after four days of deliberations, a jury of twelve San Franciscans convicted baseball slugger Barry Bonds of one count of "obstruction of justice" while deadlocking on three federal perjury counts. So ends one of the most expensive – and by far one of the most trivial – federal trials in U.S. history. The crime of "obstruction of justice," a catch-all offense defined as "an attempt to interfere" with the judicial system, was apparently applied to Bonds because his approach to grand jury inquiries regarding prior steroid use had been less than appropriately groveling or confessional. Bonds remains innocent of any offense directly implicating him in the use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

The Bonds trial was the culmination of almost ten years of investigation and intimidation of Bonds and his supplement supplier(s). (And, of course, the case may continue for years as the parties retrench and relitigate their claims on appeal and/or retrial.) The government pursued a case where no private complaint was ever made and where no direct witness to Bonds’ alleged offenses ever voluntarily presented himself. The government jailed one prospective witness repeatedly in an unsuccessful attempt to coerce him into testifying against Bonds.

Bonds is not just the all-time home run champ. He holds more than a dozen important major league records including records for single-season home runs, home runs against different pitchers, all-time walks and intentional walks, single-season walks and intentional walks, single-season on-base percentage, highest single-season OPS ("on-base plus slugging" ratio), single-season slugging percentage, consecutive walks, consecutive games with a walk, consecutive plate appearances reaching base, most MVP awards, most consecutive MVP awards. Bonds is the sole member of the 500/500 club, meaning he is the only player in Major League history to both hit 500 home runs and steal 500 bases. Bonds’ achievements will probably never be surpassed.

It is a safe bet that Bonds would never have been prosecuted at all if he had been an average or forgettable player. (Similarly, pitching great Roger Clemens is almost certainly being prosecuted solely because Barry Bonds was prosecuted.)

The costs of the Feds’ obsessive pursuit of Bonds were estimated at $55 million in early 2009. These costs have doubtlessly grown substantially in the two years since. (One estimate is that costs of the Bonds prosecution now approach $100 million). Compare these figures to the costs of the Clinton/Lewinsky investigation, $40 million, or the total costs of the 9/11 Commission investigation, $14 million. Remember that steroids are considered only a "Schedule III" controlled substance under federal law and are legally purchased with a prescription. MLB players were never tested for steroids until 2002 – after some of the alleged steroid use that Bonds was accused of lying about before a 2003 grand jury.

Normally, prosecutors do not initiate a prosecution until they are in possession of evidence to support their claims. In the Barry Bonds case, federal prosecutors indicted first (probably because they were approaching the end of a five-year statute of limitations period), and then continued to investigate the case in hopes of substantiating claims they had made in the indictment. Bonds’ friends, trainers, girlfriends, relatives, relatives of trainers, girlfriends of trainers, etc., etc., etc., were all questioned.

The Feds repeatedly turned to one of Bonds’ trainers, Greg Anderson, to substantiate their accusations. What physical evidence existed against Bonds – some entries in some notebooks and three urine samples – could not be introduced without the testimony of Anderson that it pertained to Bonds. But Anderson had himself been targeted and abused by the federal court system and could not be made to cooperate. Without Anderson’s testimony regarding the chain of custody of the urine samples and the notebook writings, the evidence amounted to nothing but three random jars of urine and some scribblings.

In response to Anderson’s silence, the Feds made Anderson’s life a living hell. Anderson was found in contempt of court and sent to prison in July 2006 when he initially refused to testify against Bonds before a grand jury. He was released a couple of weeks later after the grand jury term expired without indicting Bonds. When federal prosecutors convened another grand jury to investigate Bonds, Anderson was again imprisoned for contempt of court. He was released after spending over a year in federal prison.

The day after Anderson was released from prison for his second contempt charge, his wife Nicole Gestas received an intimidating "target letter" from the U.S. Attorneys Office, threatening to charge her with "criminal conspiracy" if she refused to cooperate with the feds. Unbeknownst to Gestas, the Feds had been surveilling and stalking her for weeks, and had even planted an undercover agent in the local Powerhouse Gym where Gestas worked. The agent’s objective was to befriend Gestas and get her to talk about Bonds and steroids. The covert operation proved fruitless.

Then a team of twenty federal agents raided the home of Gestas’ mother (Greg Anderson's mother-in-law). The search warrant was purportedly aimed at developing evidence that Anderson’s mother-in-law was involved in tax improprieties. But Anderson's attorney Mark Geragos openly accused the Feds of using the raid to intimidate Anderson’s family members in retaliation for Anderson's continued refusal to testify against Barry Bonds.

Immediately prior to the Bonds trial, the Department of Justice again had Anderson imprisoned for contempt of court a third time. Anderson may in fact be the only person in American history jailed three times for contempt for refusal to testify about a single matter.

During the five-year period between 2003 and 2008, Justice Department "anti-doping investigators" violated search-and-seizure standards repeatedly as they sought to obtain confidential records of a private steroid survey conducted by Major League Baseball (MLB) in 2003. The 2003 survey testing was supposedly done so that MLB could determine what percentage of players were using steroids. Every assurance was given to the players that the survey tests were anonymous. Not only would the samples be stored separately from any identifying information, but different companies would be doing the surveying and the data analysis. A player’s name was never to be attached to a sample – and no one, not MLB, not the players’ union, not the staff who drew the samples – not even the company that "coordinated" the survey – was supposed to be privy to the two sets of information.

After learning of MLB’s private steroid survey, the Justice Department immediately subpoenaed the survey results (in pursuit of Bonds as well as several other high-profile MLB players). But when prosecutors learned that MLB’s contractor companies would challenge the subpoenas in court, the government launched a violent multi-jurisdictional raid (complete with guns drawn) on the firms. If you believe federal prosecutors (and I don’t) the company that promised complete anonymity just happened to have a piece of paper at its Long Beach office matching test results to names of players when the search warrant was executed at the company’s offices.

The government’s blatant disregard for Fourth Amendment law was denounced and invalidated by multiple U.S. district courts and two opinions of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This did not stop the "anti-doping" agents from illegally leaking a concocted list of baseball players who had allegedly failed steroid tests to the media. Sports Illustrated famously outed Alex Rodriguez in 2009 citing unnamed government sources. As of this date, not a single investigator has been punished or prosecuted for this misconduct. In fact, one of the most lawless violators, Jeff Novitsky, was promoted to work as a senior investigator with the FDA.

There are still those who claim to be shocked at the notion that top-level athletes might use the latest performance-enhancing training methods and substances. But "fan outrage seems to have diminished" as the government has taken on the role of omnipotent umpire. Wednesday’s mixed-bag verdict in the Barry Bonds trial may take some of the wind out of the sails of America’s steroid witch hunters. Several commentators are depicting the Bonds verdict as a vindication of Novitsky and the federal muscle hunters, or even claiming (as WND’s subtitled link does) that the verdict proves Bonds "Lied to federal grand jury about knowingly taking performance-enhancing substances." But the jury’s throwaway obstruction-of-justice conviction represents an astounding defeat for the U.S. Justice Department.

Since the first grand jury inquiry, the baseball steroid investigations have been typified by investigator misconduct, prosecutorial overreaching and fake grandstanding over infidelity to the rule of law or fair play in sports. Baseball’s ongoing steroid self-inquiry is in fact a ten-year record of warrantless searches, coerced statements, illegal leaks, and strong-armed threats and intimidation.

Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com


Links:

Sou Brothers Plea Agreement Rejected by Federal Judge [HPI] The Sou brothers are the owners of Aloun Farms, the second largest farm in Hawaii. Read how the federal prosecutor handled their case and the motivations of the brothers' accusers.

The Sting — 2010 [HPI] The federal case against the Aloun Farms owners, with highly questionable moves by the federal prosecution, backed by highly questionable federal law.

Multi-State Caucus Formed to Oppose TSA Outrages

Hawaii included

Hawaii state senator Sam Slom (R-Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina, Kahala & Diamond Head) is part of a caucus that includes legislator members from Alaska, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. The caucus was formed to oppose the outrages the TSA is perpetrating on the public.

The mission of the caucus is to, “establish a centralized location to share information regarding

  • detailed information of federal security policies as they pertain to the right to travel freely;?
  • detailed information on how these policies affect the citizens of the United States of America;?
  • detailed information on methods of screening and the accumulative costs of these procedures.

Read more . . . [Hawaii Reporter]

Week's Wrap

Radiation disease — here are the symptoms and causes [Natural News]

Qaddafi Troops Fire Cluster Bombs Into Civilian Areas [New York Times]

Parents of 6-year-old Girl Patted Down at Airport Want Procedures Changed [ABC News]

TSA Agent Pats Down 8-Year-Old Boy [YouTube]

Washington Murdered Privacy At Home And Abroad [by Paul Craig Roberts]

CIA Rambo Escapes Pakistan [Eric Margolis]

Why Japan Chose Its Nuclear Godzilla [Eric Margolis]

25 Shocking Facts that Prove that the Entire U.S. Healthcare Industry has become one Giant Money-Making Scam [The American Dream]

Losing rail bidders might file protests [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

State information chief independent [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

Nominee says governor knew of his tax troubles [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

Political Statistics [by Thomas Sowell]

Laptops and Other Electronics May Be Seized on Entry to US [Yahoo News]

Public misled on HGEA deal [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

The Man Who Knows Gadaffi's Secrets [Eric Margolis]

Government Spending Is Bad Economics [Campaign for Liberty]

Life with the Fed: Sunshine and Lollipops? [Campaign for Liberty]

As online learning grows, debate flares about the learning [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

New developments show rail project way off track [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

'No safe levels' of radiation in Japan nor anywhere else, unless they're nil[Al Jazeera]

Portraits of the Fallen An artist named Kaziah Hancock paints portraits of fallen soldiers free of charge for their families as part of Project Compassion. [Military Times (video)]

Obama Raises American Hypocrisy To A Higher Level [by Paul Craig Roberts]

DOH confirms 4 cases of dengue fever on Oahu, more pending [KGMB & KHNL]

Dr. Philip Bereano on GMO's or Genetically Modified Foods [Mercola.com] Registration required (email address only, free)

Table self-serving 'ethics' bill   Editorial [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

Secretive judicial selections hinder trust in Abercrombie [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

Legal issue delays Laie hotel permit [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

Group seeks to maintain funding for Kupuna Care [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

Parents raise tots in tents rather than go to shelters [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

Gadaffi's Curse Keeps Haunting Washington [Eric Margolis]

They Got Away with It!

Who? Goldman Sachs! says former New York governor and attorney general Eliot Spitzer.


Same video as above but longer (15 min 15 sec.). Spitzer interviews on the same subject Henry Blodgett, a financial reporter and former Wall Street analyst, and then Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) about the "misleading" statements Levin says Goldman Sachs executives made to their customers and to the Senate.

How About Trickle Up?

Union members are protesting in droves the moves to meet local budgets by cutting down on worker expenses.

Mayor Virg Bernero of Lansing, Michigan, a Democrat, says the move by state and local governments to cut down on union wages and benefits is wrongheaded.

Eric Bolling, filling in for Glenn Beck, challenges the mayor's views and facts.

Libyans Likely Being Irradiated by the U.S.

Hawaii's own Mike Buck of radio KHVH's the Mike Buck Show received a call from a caller last week who was upset about the U.S. using radioactive munitions in Libya, particularly since our purpose in being there was purportedly humanitarian. Mike, possibly thinking of nuclear bombs, found the notion so monstrous and ridiculous that he wrote off the caller as a nut case and hung up. Unfortunately the caller, as this writer recalls, did not clarify that the radioactivity was from our country's use of depleted uranium weapons, which have brought radioactivity to a training area at Schofield Barracks on Oahu, the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island, Iraq, Afghanistan and more. Mr. Buck didn't give him much of a chance to do so.

The highly secretive military, which apparently believes that the best Americans are uninformed ones, speaks very little about depleted uranium weapons.

Conn Hallinan, columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus, says in the following video that depleted uranium weapons are almost certainly being used in Libya.


Links:

Battlefields Contaminated with Depleted Uranium Are Breeding Cancer [HPI]

Iraq Fallout: The Poisonous Wages of War [HPI]

Depleted Uranium Confirmed in Hawaii [HPI]

How Long Can the Pentagon Lie about Depleted Uranium? [Rense]

Syndicate content