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Informing Hawaii's voters

Obama Endorses Abercrombie in New Ad

President Barack Obama endorses Neil Abercrombie (D) for governor of Hawaii in the following 30-second political commercial. The former congressman is running against Republican Duke Aiona, who is presently Hawaii's lieutenant governor.

From: Barack Obama []
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2010 1:55 PM
Subject: Stand with Neil Abercrombie

Neil Abercrombie has long been a champion for the people of Hawaii, and I am proud to stand by him as he runs for governor.

I've known Neil for a long time -- he was friends with my parents in school at the University of Hawaii at Manoa -- and there isn't a doubt in my mind that he'll do a great job.

In Congress, Neil fought tirelessly for the environment, military families, and Hawaii jobs. He helped fund the conservation of valuable land on Oahu, introduced the Small Business Credit Card Act, and received the Harry S. Truman Award -- the National Guard Association's highest honor.

I need allies like Neil fighting for change across the country -- please sign up to support his campaign for governor.

During his career in Washington, Neil was known as a true leader, consistently working across the aisle to get things done for Hawaii.

And I understand how important good leadership is for you. Hawaii has special meaning for me, and I want to make sure it gets the governor it deserves.

It's going to be a close race, but with your support, Neil can win.

Please sign up to knock on doors, make calls, or help out at one of his campaign offices to get him to victory on November 2nd:

Thank you,

President Barack Obama
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article or on this site are not necessarily those of management.

Why You Should Vote NO on the Transit Authority

by Cliff Slater

Cliff Slater is chair of, "Offering cost-effective solutions to traffic congestion."

There is a rather confusing City charter amendment on the ballot this year concerning a “Transit Authority”. The ballot question is:

"Shall the revised City Charter be amended to create a semi-autonomous public transit authority responsible for the planning, construction, operation, maintenance, and expansion of the City's fixed guideway mass transit system?"

Our response is a resounding “NO”.

Creating a Transit Authority would buffer the City Administration officials and the City Councilmembers from rail transit decisions and leave the blame for cost overruns, revenue shortfalls, ridership shortfalls, on the semi-anonymous “Authority” rather than the elected politicians.

There are several “Transit Authorities” around the country, and in every case the rail transit decisions have led to huge cost overruns which must result in increased taxes on hard working families, and no decrease in congestion. Through all of this, the politicians remain blameless.

As politicos ask you to vote for the “Transit Authority,” look at what they have to gain, and who their supporters are. Politicians must be responsible for their decisions, not a hidden bunch of bureaucrats.

The bottom line is this: It is your money. Vote NO.

For more details on this issue go to:
HPI note: For more on the amendments that will be on the ballot, click here and scroll to the bottom.

To see the amendments that will be on your ballot, click here, then fill in the blanks and click "Search," or select your precinct, if you know it. Next click the "View Ballot" button.

BoE: Our Most Important Vote?

Ed Case

by Ed Case

What’s more important? Who serve as our next Governor and Members of Congress? Or whether we’ll give ourselves a fighting chance at real progress in public education over the next generation?

Of course, they’re all crucial. But the question on the ballot of whether to move from an elected to appointed Board of Education is at least as important as the selection of any officeholder.

My vote will be yes on the proposed constitutional amendment: “Shall the Board of Education be changed to a board appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, as provided by law?” My reasons: accountability; expertise; and reform flexibility.

On accountability, imagine you’re piloting a container ship into Honolulu Harbor at flood tide; someone’s got to be in charge. But our governance system (and the real problem is governance, not money) is just the opposite, with everyone responsible for a part but no coordination and everyone able to lay the blame off on someone else. That hasn’t worked and won’t work; providing accountability from the BOE to the Governor and from the Governor to the voters will help greatly.

On expertise, most BOE members and candidates over the decades have been good citizens who care about education. But let’s face facts: they largely haven’t been experts in public education and, maybe more important, we really haven’t known who or what we were (or increasingly aren’t) voting for. Yes, if the BOE was more of an advisory body there’d be a better argument for citizen oversight. But the BOE in practice runs the Department of Education, and that won’t work without hands-on expertise which can be insured by appointment.

On reform, let’s again face facts: the current system has allowed entrenchment of the status quo in the DOE and BOE and resistance to any real semblance of reform. The few BOE reform candidates who beat the odds in elections that only the status quo pays any real attention to find themselves quickly isolated. Reform can only come from somewhere other than the current elective system.

This amendment alone won’t solve it all; that’ll take far broader structural reform. (In my last term as a state legislator (‘01-‘02), for example, I introduced a package to abolish the BOE, move most school administration responsibility from the DOE to county/district school boards and superintendents, retain the DOE for limited statewide coordination under a Superintendent appointed by the Governor as a full cabinet member, take principals and vice-principals out of unions, and eliminate the caps on charter schools.) But this amendment at least starts us in that direction.

What it really comes down to is this: are we going to try new paths rather than stay on the same old broken one. This vote is a referendum on that one question; I vote yes.

For more information, see Hawaii’s Children First.

America: Nation of Sheep?

The Health Ranger, Mike Adams, who writes great articles on healthy living, tells about his experience opting out of an airport naked body scanner in California. Unbelievably, he writes,

"Although I must have watched at least a hundred people go through this particular security checkpoint, there wasn't a single other person who opted out of the naked body scan.

"They all just lined up like cattle to have their bodies scanned with ionizing radiation.

To me, that's just fascinating. That when people are given a choice to opt out of being irradiated, they will choose to just go along with the naked body scan rather than risk standing out by requesting to opt out.

Read the article []

49 Hawaii Candidates Sign Taxpayer Protection Pledge

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Growing Interest in Pledge Reflects Emphasis on Fiscal Responsibility

Honolulu, Hawaii—An impressive 49 candidates from Hawaii in the November 2nd election have have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising to “oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

The Tax Payer Protection Pledge is a national project of Americans for Tax Reform in Washington D.C., which offers the Pledge to all sitting elected officials and candidates for public office at the state and federal levels. Grassroot Institute of Hawaii sponsored the effort to bring the pledge to Hawaii in time for the 2010 election.

“This is a watershed moment for the future of fiscal responsibility in Hawaii governance,” stated Nacia Blom, Director of Advancement at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.  “With almost fifty of Hawaii’s current candidates for public office taking the important step of signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, we are taking an important step to help the state’s economy, budget, and the pocketbooks of all Hawaiians.”

Out of the 300 candidates for county, state and federal positions in Hawaii this election cycle, more than one out of six demonstrated their dedication to the taxpayers of Hawaii by signing the Pledge.  Since 2002, more than 1100 candidates across the nation have signed the Pledge each election year. Candidates who sign the pledge are bound for the duration of their tenure in the office they are seeking.

“The 49 courageous Hawaii candidates who signed the Pledge join others across the country who are dedicated to sound economic principles and stopping out-of-control government,” continued Ms. Blom. “That so many have joined this campaign demonstrates that they are listening to their constituents, and that the citizens of Hawaii are ready to demand more fiscal responsibility and consideration of our tax burden from our elected officials.  We applaud these candidates as a true example of Hawaii’s Aloha spirit.”

These are your 2010 Tax Payer Protection Pledge Signers:

State House:

Eric D'Almeida (District 1, R), Marlene Hapai (District 4, R), Soloman Singer (District 4, Non Partisan), Fred Fogel (District 5, Libertarian), Scott Henderson (District 7, R), Dean Schmucker (District 8, R), Jeff Hoylman (District 9, R), Roman Madden (District 10, R), George Fontaine (District 11, R), Laurie Rinaldi (District 12, R), Meiling Akuna (District 13, R), Phil Sterker (District 16, R), Gene Ward (District 17, R), Chris Baron (District 18, R), Barbara Marumoto (District 19, R), Julia Allen (District 20, R), Greg Cuadra (District 22, R), Thomas White (District 23, R), Isaiah Sabey (District 25, R), Norm Katz (District 26, R), Corinne Ching (District 27, R), Carole Kaapu (District 30, R), Garner Shimizu (District 31, R), Aaron L. Johanson (District 32, R), Sam Kong (District 33, R), William Kong (District 34, R), Sam Curtis (District 39, R), Tom Berg (District 42, R), Kimberly Pine (District 43, R), Jadeen Meyers (District 45, R), Gil Riviere (District 46, R), Mo Radtke (District 48, R), Cynthia Thielen (District 50, R)

State Senate:

Eric Siebert (District 4, R), Joanne Georgi (District 7, R), Sam Slom (District 8, R), Erid Marshall (District 10, R), Suzanne Chun-Oakland (District 11, R), Judy Franklin (District 13, R), Peter Dudek (District 14, R), Ben Pascua (District 15, R), Aaron Bonar (District 19, R), Charles Aki (District 22, R), Virginia Enos (District 25, R)

Lt. Governor:

Lynn Finnegan (R)

U.S. Representatives:

Charles Djou (District 1, R), John Willoughby (District 2, R)

U.S. Senate:

Jeff Jarret (Non Partisan), Cam Cavasso (R)

More Inflation Fears

by Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)

Inflation fears are heating up this week as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a speech in Boston on Friday, causing further frantic flight into gold by those fearful of the coming “quantitative easing” the Fed is set to deliver in November. Others who view gold as a short term investment engaged in immediate profit-taking after Bernanke's speech.

Gold is more correctly viewed as insurance against bad monetary policy decisions that erode the value of savings. Those bad decisions keep coming at an ever faster clip these days and we hear more and more talk of currency wars especially between the dollar, the Chinese yuan, the Japanese yen, the Australian dollar, and the Euro. As the economies of the world continue to stagnate or contract, monetary policy decisions become more relevant to people who once thought this topic arcane. We have several examples this week of major fumbles on the part of the US Central Bank:

· The Federal Reserve continues to insist that inflation is too low, even while the monetary base remains at record levels, and food and gas prices continue to climb.

· As the Fed continues to drive down the value of the dollar, the government accuses China of deliberately devaluing its currency, and the House has passed legislation aimed at punishing China for this alleged devaluation.

· Low returns on US bonds are driving investors into higher-performing foreign bonds. Some of these countries are responding by reinstituting capital controls to guard against hot money and the carry trade.

· The spat with China and reemergence of capital controls have led some to fear that we are in the first stages of an all-out currency war.

· The instability in the international monetary system, the decreasing value of the dollar, and the large amounts of new US debt could lead the IMF and countries such as China, Japan, Russia, India, and Brazil to abandon the dollar and adopt a new multinational currency.

While the big players in these currency games sort everything out, the people hurt the most are the savers, the workers, and those on fixed incomes as their money buys less and less. Make no mistake – the Fed and the Treasury Department are playing games with our money, especially in how they report statistics like unemployment and inflation. These games erode our standard of living and hide just how much damage their inflationary policies are doing.

Official core inflation for the US is only 1.14%, but that excludes such crucial day-to-day goods such as food and energy. Real inflation certainly is higher, maybe much higher. John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics calculates true inflation at a whopping 8.48%! But manipulated inflation statistics give the government cover when they again deny seniors a cost of living increase in their social security checks. They also serve to convince the public that further expansion of the money supply will boost the economy without causing any real pain, which has essentially been the core argument of Greenspan-Bernanke fed policy for the last 20 years.

Of course, the United States is not alone in its disastrous monetary policy decisions. These pressures are inherent in any fiat monetary system where money is created at will, for the benefit of the special interests. As all these currencies race to the bottom of the inflationary barrel, the only security to be had will be in honest money like gold as the system falls apart. My hope is that we can return to the wisdom of the Constitution and get back to sound, commodity-backed money before our dollar suffers a wholesale collapse.

Pilot to TSA: 'No Naked Photos and No Groping'

October 15, 2010

My name is Michael Roberts, and I am a pilot for ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., based in Houston (that is, I still am for the time being). This morning as I attempted to pass through the security line for my commute to work I was denied access to the secured area of the terminal building at Memphis International Airport. I have passed through the same line roughly once per week for the past four and a half years without incident. Today, however, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at this checkpoint were using one of the new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) systems that are currently being deployed at airports across the nation. These are the controversial devices featured by the media in recent months, albeit sparingly, which enable screeners to see beneath people’s clothing to an extremely graphic and intrusive level of detail (virtual strip searching). Travelers refusing this indignity may instead be physically frisked by a government security agent until the agent is satisfied to release them on their way in what is being touted as an "alternative option" to AIT. The following is a somewhat hastily drafted account of my experience this morning.

As I loaded my bags onto the X-ray scanner belt, an agent told me to remove my shoes and send them through as well, which I’ve not normally been required to do when passing through the standard metal detectors in uniform. When I questioned her, she said it was necessary to remove my shoes for the AIT scanner. I explained that I did not wish to participate in the AIT program, so she told me I could keep my shoes and directed me through the metal detector that had been roped off. She then called somewhat urgently to the agents on the other side: "We got an opt-out!" and also reported the "opt-out" into her handheld radio. On the other side I was stopped by another agent and informed that because I had "opted out" of AIT screening, I would have to go through secondary screening. I asked for clarification to be sure he was talking about frisking me, which he confirmed, and I declined. At this point he and another agent explained the TSA’s latest decree, saying I would not be permitted to pass without showing them my naked body, and how my refusal to do so had now given them cause to put their hands on me as I evidently posed a threat to air transportation security (this, of course, is my nutshell synopsis of the exchange). I asked whether they did in fact suspect I was concealing something after I had passed through the metal detector, or whether they believed that I had made any threats or given other indications of malicious designs to warrant treating me, a law-abiding fellow citizen, so rudely. None of that was relevant, I was told. They were just doing their job.

Eventually the airport police were summoned. Several officers showed up and we essentially repeated the conversation above. When it became clear that we had reached an impasse, one of the more sensible officers and I agreed that any further conversation would be pointless at this time. I then asked whether I was free to go. I was not. Another officer wanted to see my driver’s license. When I asked why, he said they needed information for their report on this "incident" – my name, address, phone number, etc. I recited my information for him, until he asked for my supervisor’s name and number at the airline. Why did he need that, I asked. For the report, he answered. I had already given him the primary phone number at my company’s headquarters. When I asked him what the Chief Pilot in Houston had to do with any of this, he either refused or was simply unable to provide a meaningful explanation. I chose not to divulge my supervisor’s name as I preferred to be the first to inform him of the situation myself. In any event, after a brief huddle with several other officers, my interrogator told me I was free to go.

As I approached the airport exit, however, I was stopped again by a man whom I believe to be the airport police chief, though I can’t say for sure. He said I still needed to speak with an investigator who was on his way over. I asked what sort of investigator. A TSA investigator, he said. As I was by this time looking eagerly forward to leaving the airport, I had little patience for the additional vexation. I’d been denied access to my workplace and had no other business keeping me there.

"Am I under arrest?" I asked.

"No, he just needs to ask you some more questions."

"But I was told I’m free to go. So… am I being detained now, or what?"

"We just need to hold you here so he can…"

"Hold me in what capacity?" I insisted.

"Detain you while we…"

Okay, so now they were detaining me as I was leaving the airport facility.

We stood there awkwardly, waiting for the investigator while he kept an eye on me. Being chatty by nature, I asked his opinion of what new procedures might be implemented if someday someone were to smuggle an explosive device in his or her rectum or a similar orifice. Ever since would-be terrorist Richard Reid set his shoes on fire, travelers have been required to remove their footwear in the security line. And the TSA has repeatedly attempted to justify these latest measures by citing Northwest flight 253, on which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab scorched his genitalia. Where, then, would the evolution of these policies lead next?

"Do you want them to board your plane?" he asked.

"No, but I understand there are other, better ways to keep them off. Besides, at this point I’m more concerned with the greater threat to our rights and liberties as a free society."

"Yeah, I know," he said. And then, to my amazement, he continued, "But somebody’s already taken those away."

"Maybe they have," I conceded, watching the throng of passengers waiting their turn to get virtually naked for the federal security guards.

As a side note, I cannot refrain here from expressing my dismay and heartbreak over a civil servant’s personal resignation to the loss of civil liberty among the people by whom he is employed to protect and serve. If he no longer affirms the rights and freedom of his fellow citizens, one can only wonder exactly what he has in view as the purpose of his profession.

The TSA investigator arrived and asked for my account of the situation. I explained that the agents weren’t allowing me to pass through the checkpoint. He told me he had been advised that I was refusing security screening, to which I replied that I had willingly walked through the metal detector with no alarms, the same way I always do when commuting to work. He then briefed me on the recent screening policy changes and, apparently confused, asked whether they would be a problem for me. I stated that I did indeed have a problem with the infringement of my civil rights and liberty.

His reply: "That’s irrelevant."

It wasn’t irrelevant to me. We continued briefly in the conversation until I recognized that we were essentially repeating the same discussion I’d already had with the other officers and agents standing by. With that realization, I told him I did not wish to keep going around and around with them and asked whether he had anything else to say to me. Yes, he said he did, marching indignantly over to a table nearby with an air as though he were about to do something drastic.

"I need to get your information for my report," he demanded.

"The officer over there just took my information for his report. I’m sure you could just get it from him."

"No, I have to document everything separately and send it to TSOC. That’s the Transportation Security Operations Center where we report…"

"I’m familiar with TSOC," I assured him. "In fact, I’ve actually taught the TSA mandated security portion of our training program at the airline."

"Well, if you’re an instructor, then you should know better," he barked.

"Really? What do you mean I ‘should know better’? Are you scolding me? Have I done something wrong?"

"I’m not saying you’ve done something wrong. But you have to go through security screening if you want to enter the facility."

"Understood. I’ve been going through security screening right here in this line for five years and never blown up an airplane, broken any laws, made any threats, or had a government agent call my boss in Houston. And you guys have never tried to touch me or see me naked that whole time. But, if that’s what it’s come to now, I don’t want to enter the facility that badly."

Finishing up, he asked me to confirm that I had been offered secondary screening as an alternative "option" to ATS, and that I had refused it. I confirmed. Then he asked whether I’d "had words" with any of the agents. I asked what he meant by that and he said he wanted to know whether there had been "any exchange of words." I told him that yes, we spoke. He then turned to the crowd of officers and asked whether I had been abusive toward any of them when they wanted to create images of my naked body and touch me in an unwelcome manner. I didn’t hear what they said in reply, but he returned and finally told me I was free to leave the airport.

As it turned out, they did reach the chief pilot’s office in Houston before I was able to. Shortly after I got home, my boss called and said they had been contacted by the TSA. I suppose my employment status at this point can best be described as on hold.

It’s probably fairly obvious here that I am outraged. This took place today (now yesterday, when I wrote all this down), 15 October 2010. Anyone who reads this is welcome to contact me for confirmation of the details or any additional information I can provide. The dialog above is quoted according to my best recollection, without embellishment or significant alteration except for the sake of clarity. I would greatly appreciate any recommendations for legal counsel – preferably a firm with a libertarian bent and experience resisting this kind of tyrannical madness. This is not a left or right, red or blue state issue. The very bedrock of our way of life in this country is under attack from within. Please don’t let it be taken from us without a fight.

Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium
[I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery]

Michael S. Roberts
3794 Douglass Ave.
Memphis, TN 38111

October 18, 2010

Michael S. Roberts [send him mail] is a pilot for ExpressJet Airlines.

Copyright © 2010 by

Helen Thomas Retracts Apology to Israelis

Helen Thomas "resigned" from her job of many decades covering the White House after she was videotaped as saying Israel was occupying land that rightfully belonged to Palestinians. When asked by the rabbi videotaping her where the Jews on the land should go, she suggested back to the nations they came from, such as Poland, Germany and the U.S.

Thomas, whose parents were Lebanese immigrants, apologized shortly after the videotape was released, but was still fired, er, that is, . . . she still resigned.

Now she retracts her apology.

More on American tolerance for freedom of expression:

Billboard depicting Obama as game-playing DemocRAT comes down. Billboard owner and wife received death threats. [nbc11news] Grand Junction, CO

Photo of billboard, plus reader poll [NY Daily News] 72% say billboard should not have come down

Propagandizing and Tranquilizing the American People

Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, jogs our memories on the hogwash we were told about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars a few years ago.

He closes with a sarcastic, "Remember, they ["terrorists"] hate us because we have freedom and democracy, First Amendment rights, habeas corpus, respect for human rights, and show justice and mercy to all."
by Paul Craig Roberts

Does anyone remember the "cakewalk war" that would last six weeks, cost $50–60 billion, and be paid for out of Iraqi oil revenues?

Does anyone remember that White House economist Lawrence Lindsey was fired by Dubya because Lindsey estimated that the Iraq war could cost as much as $200 billion?

Lindsey was fired for over-estimating the cost of a war that, according to Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, has cost 15 times more than Lindsey estimated. And the US still has 50,000 troops in Iraq.

Does anyone remember that just prior to the US invasion of Iraq, the US government declared victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan?

Does anyone remember that the reason Dubya gave for invading Iraq was Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, weapons that the US government knew did not exist?

Are Americans aware that the same neoconservatives who made these fantastic mistakes, or told these fabulous lies, are still in control of the government in Washington?"

Read more . . . []

Japanese Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway [HPI] “From the time we were children, we were brainwashed to believe that war was good and that whatever Japan did was right.”

President Eisenhower Warns of the Military-Industrial Complex   video

Hermann Wilhelm Göring on how to start a war [HPI] " . . . it is always a simple matter to drag the people along [into war], whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, . . . "

Scientists: Cancer 'Is Purely Man-Made'

Scientists conclude that cancer is a modern phenomenon caused by pollution and adulterated food. They say a healthy diet, regular physical activity and maintaining a good weight can eliminate about one-third of today's most common cancers.
The Daily Mail (U.K.)

October 15, 2010

by Fiona MacRae

Cancer 'is purely man-made' say scientists after finding almost no trace of disease in Egyptian mummies

Cancer is a man-made disease fuelled by the excesses of modern life, a study of ancient remains has found.

Tumours were rare until recent times when pollution and poor diet became issues, the review of mummies, fossils and classical literature found.

Read more . . .

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