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Man Sues for Being Tazed in His Own Home

Sixty-four-year-old tazed three times by Marin County sheriff's deputies in his own home.

The Real Cost of the War in Iraq

In a war, while one side may ultimately be able to claim victory, both sides lose. — Anonymous
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

by Paul Craig Roberts

Mr. Roberts was the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury during the Ronald Reagan administration, becoming known as “the father of Reaganomics.” He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and a syndicated columnist for creators.com. A Republican, he has gone public in his criticism of the Republican Bush administration and now, the Democratic Obama administration.
 
Obama's "end of Iraq war" speech must have shattered any remaining belief in him. Forced to appease both his supporters and the warmonger right-wing, who denounce him as a Muslim and a Marxist, Obama resorted to Orwellian DoubleSpeak. He could only announce an end to the war by praising the president who started it and the troops who fought it. Yet, as most earthlings, if not Americans, surely know by now, the war was based on a lie and on intentional deception. The American troops died for a lie.

President Obama spoke of the cost to Americans of liberating Iraq, but is Iraq liberated or is Iraq in the hands of American puppet politicians and still occupied by 50,000 American troops and 200,000 private mercenaries and "contractors," governed out of the largest embassy in the world, essentially a fortress?

Read more . . . [LewRockwell.com]
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Links:

Iraq — An End or an Escalation? [HPI]

How to Start a War [HPI]

Embassy of the United States • Baghdad, Iraq

Opening Day for Enormous New US Embassy in Iraq [Time]

Sheriff: Drug Cartels Now Control Some Parts of Arizona

Sheriff says his deputies are outmanned and outgunned. One unsafe area is more than 100 miles north of the Mexico-U.S. border.

"Mexican drug cartels literally do control parts of Arizona," he [Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu] said. "They literally have scouts on the high points in the mountains and in the hills and they literally control movement. They have radios, they have optics, they have night-vision goggles as good as anything law enforcement has."

Babeu continues that he asked the Obama administration for 3,000 National Guard soldiers to patrol the border, but what he got were 15 signs.

Read more . . . [The Washington Times]

Financial Panic at Afghanistan's Biggest Bank

Hopes for U.S. to act as guarantor of the $1 billion in deposits

Depositors swarmed branches of Afghanistan's largest bank today as President Hamid Karzai publicly reassured, "Kabul Bank is safe." His brother, Mahmoud Karzai, a major shareholder in the bank, wants the U.S. "to do something," such as, he suggested, guaranteeing the $1 billion in funds in the bank.

Speaking in his first interview since his ouster [as the bank's chairman] Monday, [Sherkhan]Farnood, who remains a substantial shareholder, said he hoped the bank could weather the storm without U.S. help. "If we survive Saturday and Sunday, we will be okay," said Farnood, who spoke at his luxury waterfront villa in Dubai shortly after his return to the Persian Gulf emirate from Kabul. Friday is a holiday, and all Afghan banks are closed.

"If Kabul Bank collapses," he added, "it will be a disaster."

Read more . . . [The Washington Post]

Honolulu City Council Chairman Apo Accepts Disney Job

Todd Apo

Todd Apo's resignation effective in November. Special election to replace him to cost taxpayers big bucks.
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The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

The Council chairman's departure in November will trigger a special election

The City Council will have a new look and a new leader in 2011.

Soon after voters decide the four new members of the Council in the Nov. 2 general election, Council Chairman Todd Apo's resignation will become effective, leaving the remaining members to call a special election for a new member and organize behind a new leader.

Apo announced yesterday his intention to leave office Nov. 8 to take a job as public affairs manager in Hawaii for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Apo will be in charge of media relations as well as community and government affairs for the Disney resort, Aulani, which is scheduled to open at Ko Olina next year.

"This wasn't a position that could be waited for," Apo said. "A lot of the work that needs to be done is preparing for that opening and seeing through the first phases of that opening."

Read more . . .
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Link:

Todd Apo statement on resignation [Honolulu councilmember page] Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010

Notes on Candidates in the Primary

Kioni Dudley

by Kioni Dudley

Kioni Dudley is a retired professor who spearheads the battle against D.R. Horton-Schuler Hawaii in its bid to urbanize 1,500 acres of prime agricultural land in 'Ewa to build 12,000 homes. The company calls the community Ho'opili. Once those prime ag lands, considered the best in the world, are prepared for the homes to be built on them, they will be lost to Hawaii as farmland permanently.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet for an hour with both Duke Aiona and Neil Abercrombie. Both of them support our efforts to keep Ho'opili in agriculture, and to keep the rail from crossing the farmland.

Either of them would be good for Hawai'i.

Mufi Hanneman, as you know, wants to develop the Ho'opili farmland; he supports Mufi-rail; and he champions transit oriented developments on the Ho'opili property surrounding his train stations. Our biggest supports at the Land Use Commission have been the heads of the Dept. of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, and the State Office of Planning. If Mufi becomes governor, he can change the composition of the Land Use Commission to people who strongly support him, and put people into the Director positions in the other three departments who will deliver on developing Ho'opili and supporting his train. If Mufi gets in, we can kiss the 'Ewa farmland goodbye.

In the mayor's race, Caldwell and Carlisle both strongly support rail as planned and support the development of the 12,000 houses at Ho'opili. Caldwell is just as intent as Mufi was. Panos was one of the key witnesses on our side during the LUC hearings. We didn't get the chance to call him, because the Commissioners voted against further pursuing the case before we got to our witnesses, but he is strongly on our side. His stand is against rail. However, I have been on panels with Panos where he supported changing the route to the OR&L line, and putting it on the ground, as I have argued. My feeling is that people are becoming tremendously aware that we can't afford rail and sewers and fixing roads, which is Panos' mantra. And Panos, as a traffic specialist, will get us the best transportation solutions we can afford.

In the Senate race, Mike Gabbard was one of only three senators to vote against our legislation to save the farmland. Gabbard is head of the environment committee, however, and has done a good job. Mike Golojuch, on the other hand, is strongly pro-development. Never found a project he didn't love. I recommend Gabbard.

In the local Makakilo-Kapolei-Royal Kunia race, Sharon Har is a lovely lady but, being a developer's lawyer, she has become the point person developers go to to get their legislation through the House of Representatives. She definitely supports the development of Ho'opili.

Michael Doyle, on the other hand, supports us 100%. He has been coming to Neighborhood Board meetings for about a year, supporting our projects. I hope you will give him your support.

In the primary, one can take either a Democrat or Republican ballot, but not both, and you cannot cross vote. Since only the lieutenant governor Republican race is contested, I strongly urge Republicans to vote the Democrat ballot and vote for Abercrombie and Doyle.

What Did We Gain from Iraq War?


Swedish Prosecutors Reopen Rape Case against WikiLeaks Founder

Melanie Bailey, Board of Education Candidate

Melanie Bailey

“I want the people of Hawaii to speak with pride about our public schools.” — Melanie Bailey, candidate for the Board of Education, Oahu At-Large

Aloha, my name is Melanie Bailey. I am a candidate for the Hawaii State Board of Education and I want to let you know why I believe you should vote for me. As an At-Large candidate, all Oahu residents can vote for me.

Most people in Hawaii have not paid much attention to the Board of Education in the past. I have to admit I didn’t until this last year, when the decision was made to use Furloughs in our public schools. I could no longer sit on the sidelines. I had to get involved. I have always believed in positive solutions, so I began to read every thing I could about education in Hawaii and around the country. As the mother of a school age child, I knew I had to make sure that a situation like Furlough Fridays would never occur again.

I began researching legislative requirements throughout the country that mandate a minimum number of school days per year and hours of instruction per day. Did you know Hawaii was the only state that left the amount of days of school and hours of instructional time to labor negotiations? Did you know our instructional time per day was well below the average in other states?

I was instrumental in the passing of HB2486 which mandates the days of school per year and gradually increases the hours of instructional time per day until we will be in line with the rest of the nation. I followed the bill through the legislative process until it was signed into law by the Lt Governor in June. To pass a bill in one session is considered to be quite an accomplishment!

And now,

  • I want to make a difference on the Board of Education.
  • I want to make sure our children’s success is the basis for every decision.
  • I want to be a fresh set of eyes looking for positive solutions.
  • I want to be a supportive partner to the Department of Education.
  • I want to focus on improvement, not just setting goals.
  • I want the people of Hawaii to speak with pride about our public schools.

As our presence at the Capitol this year became noticeable we got a nickname “the moms”. And, this year it became quite evident that representatives of school age children are lacking on the Board of Education.

But, I have other qualifications as well. My degree and career have been spent in management in successful multi-million dollar companies. I am comfortable working with numbers, analyzing data, and making fiscally sound business decisions. We will always be working within a budget, we need to make intelligent “achievement oriented” financial decisions and I have the experience to help do that.

In Hawaii’s Race to the Top presentation it became clear that one of the primary reform efforts was taking place in the area of Human Resources, my specialty. I have experience evaluating effective employees (in this case teachers and principals), working with contracts (including labor contracts), and working with the complicated nuances of employment relationships to build consensus and achieve collaborative results.

As a volunteer, I have worked on crisis hotlines and with at risk individuals in various capacities throughout my life. I have also been the Treasurer of Aikahi Elementary School PTSA, Lanikai Canoe Club and the International Hawaiian Canoe Association.

My work in the legislature and with the community this year will be a big advantage as the Board of Education works to reform and improve the quality of Hawaii’s public education. Please vote for me on Election Day!

Mahalo,

Melanie Bailey
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Links:

Melanie Bailey — Kathy Bryant-Hunter campaign website

11 Board of Education Candidates [Olelo] Video, 48 min 45 sec

2010 Election: Candidates & Info   Statewide complete candidate list [HPI]

Kathy Bryant-Hunter, Board of Education Candidate

Kathy Bryant-Hunter

My name is Kathy Bryant-Hunter, and I am asking for your vote as candidate for At-Large member of the Hawai’i State Board of Education.

Last year, Furlough Fridays became part of our family life. Disappointed at those in power who failed our children, it was my call to action. I helped organize parents from our school, and we took our kids to the state capitol for the first Furlough Friday Rally. Determined to find a way to prevent school furloughs ever happening again, last legislative session, I, along with other “Furlough Moms”, helped pass a law that sets a minimum number of student instructional hours and number of school days.

Gaining more and more knowledge about Hawai’i public education made me realize that even though this new law is an important step in the right direction, our job is not done. Our commitment should be to safeguard the education of our children, and be passionate about the success of students. I want to change the culture of indifference toward our system, so that people truly care about what the BOE does.

If you elect me, I will:

  • Make decisions based on student achievement and growth
  • Advocate strongly for reform efforts such as the Race to the Top initiatives
  • Engage parents and community members in the success of our schools
  • Communicate the vision and direction of the public school system
  • Ensure that more resources make their way to the classrooms
  • Recognize and support our many great teachers, principals, and staff

I will get the job done. I am a professional mediator and facilitator. I work with diverse groups to assist them in building consensus, make tough decisions in a fair and collaborative way, and develop strategic plans. I was also elected to, and served ten years, on the Kailua Neighborhood Board, five of those years as the Chair. The skills I bring will be very valuable on a diverse and opinionated board.

A dedicated school volunteer, I have served on a PTSA board for eleven years, four as President. During my tenure, we started an after school enrichment program, doubled our fundraising income, helped create of a science and robotics program, and mobilized hundreds of parent volunteers. I’ve also served on the Boys and Girls Club Windward Clubhouse Advisory Board, working to provide a safe, fun and challenging place for our young people. These experiences help me understand the day-to-day challenges in a school, the hard work of teachers and principals, and the significance of positive parent and community involvement.

Finally, I’ve been a youth soccer coach for 10 years. Coaching keeps me young, and gives me a true appreciation of the importance of sports, extracurricular activities, and non-traditional forms of learning that keep students engaged and in school.

I’ve done a lot in my profession and community, and I’m proud of my contributions. Bringing the voice of parents and the community, I will encourage the Board of Education to embrace a common vision of success for our students, and work in concert with the Superintendent to move that vision forward.

Mahalo for your vote!

Kathy Bryant-Hunter
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Links:

Kathy Bryant-Hunter — Melanie Bailey campaign website

11 Board of Education Candidates [Olelo] Video, 48 min 45 sec

2010 Election: Candidates & Info   Statewide complete candidate list [HPI]

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