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Informing Hawaii's voters

Army Listening Session, Hale Koa Hotel

Tuesday, January 27, 2015. The following footage skips approximately the first hour and a half of the testimony hearing, which included politician after politician in unanimous and tedious opposition to Army downsizing. To see that, go here.

HECO/NextEra Energy Merger Could Be Catastrophic for Hawaii's Cost of Living


By William Pentland

January 30, 2015

NextEra Energy, the holding company based in Juno Beach, FL, wants to buy all three of Hawaii’s electric utilities.

One aspect of the acquisition that has not attracted much attention is the limited applicability of federal energy regulation to utilities in Hawaii.

Except in a few minor instances, utilities in Hawaii are not regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). By contrast, Florida Power & Light (FPL), a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, is regulated by the FERC.

Read more . . .

PCR: Greece under Attack for Resistance to Looting of Country

Introduction by Paul Craig Roberts

Greece’s new Finance Minister is a highly intelligent person. His likes are not to be found in any Western government. As he stands in the way of those who are determined to complete their looting of Greece, the Western looters are out to get him.

The BBC, as the interview in the link below demonstrates, was sicced on him. Much more is to come. Moreover, if the new Greek government is able to stand its ground and to prevent the continuation of the horrific looting of the Greek people, assassination of its leading members is not unlikely. Washington will not permit any independent governments to arise in Europe. If a Greek government succeeds in standing up for the Greek people and actually representing them, the idea might spread to Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, and then into Eastern Europe. Washington’s control over Europe would unravel.

The BBC presstitute substituted a deposition for an interview. She reeked with hostility toward the minister, an indication of the fury that foreign financial institutions and their vassal governments feel toward the new Greek government. As I wrote the other day, if western elites hate something more than they hate democracy and truth, it is accountability for themselves. You can bet your life that presstitutes like the BBC will do the elite’s hatchet work on the new Greek government just as they do on the Russian government, the Chinese government, and the Iranian government, and just as they did on the Serbian, Iraqi, Libyan, and Syrian governments and on the Taliban.

Copyright © Paul Craig Roberts 2015


Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: How the U.S. Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions [Democracy Now! video] Nov 9, 2004

Army Downsizing Testimony at Hale Koa Hotel

The following footage covers the initial segment of the Oahu Army downsizing listening session at the Hale Koa Hotel this past Tuesday, January 27. The testimony started off with introductory comments from the Army and a Hawaiian prayer, followed with testimony by Governor David Ige and politician after politician, all against downsizing with no exceptions. No opportunity was afforded for any of the non-politician audience members to speak. It was politicians first. After listening politely, much of the audience lost patience and let their displeasure be known at the 1 hour 45 second mark. The Army had announced that the session would run until 9 pm and it was becoming obvious that the more the one-sided politicians talked, the less the audience members would be able to make their voices heard.

As it subsequently turned out, the Army graciously allowed everyone in the audience to speak, running the session until nearly midnight, three hours past its scheduled termination. All on the Army panel listened attentively throughout even as the hour crept toward midnight and they'd been sitting in the same chair without a break for five and a half hours. Their conduct at all times was exemplary, even when the Army was being raked over the coals by a testifier.

Click here for Part 2 of the listening session. The empty chairs are those of politicians who had departed by this time. The entire session, nearly 5 1/2 hours, is not entirely covered in the two-part video shown here. Hawaii Political Info hopes to make that available at a later time.

Hawaii House and Senate Turn Up Noses at $100 Billion in Assets for Oahu

Hawaii house and senate overwhelmingly pass resolution strongly opposing Army's proposed troop reduction

The House and Senate voted this past Thursday, just the second day of the 2015 session, on SCR 3 and HCR 3, strongly opposing the Army's proposed downsizing on Oahu. SCR 3 passed the senate with nary a dissenting vote.

It passed the house as HCR 3 with all except one voting in favor. Representatives San Buenaventura, Keohokalole, Jordan voted aye with reservations. Representative Ing, the lone exception, voted no. Representatives Cachola, Carroll, Kobayashi, Luke, Nakashima, Ohno, Thielen were excused. "Excused" means either the representative wasn't present or that they were excused from voting.

Rep. Kaniela Ing (D)

Lone 'no' vote: Rep. Kaniela Ing (D, Maui)

Representative Kaniela Ing, who cast the lone "no" vote among the state's 76 legislators, represents House District 11 (Kihei, Wailea, Makena [Maui]). At age 24 he is the youngest of our legislators.

Here's his official bio from the House website:

Representative Kaniela Ing was born and raised on Maui and was elected to serve the 11th House District (South Maui: Kihei, Wailea, Makena) in 2012. At 24 years old, Rep. Ing is the youngest member of the State Legislature and intently looks to the future of Hawaii in his policy-making. Rep. Ing believes that long-term planning must be emphasized more often in government with specific focus on education, sustainable and renewable practices, and economic diversification.

Rep. Andria Tupola compares Schofield and Wheeler to Barbers Point

AL Frenzel, a retired Army colonel who taught at the U.S. Army War College, specializing in force restructuring and logistics, is now a Waianae resident and head of the Oahu Council for Army Downsizing, the chief organization supporting the Army's proposal to downsize on Oahu. AL (yes, spelled with both letters capitalized) wrote in an email this morning, "Rep. Andria Tupola [R, Ewa, Maili] testifies in full support of the House's resolution against Army downsizing on Oahu beginning at the 7 minute 30 second point in the video below. She cites Barbers Point as the reason not to accept the billions of dollars of resources that could come to the state if Schofield and Wheeler downsize. Regarding Barbers Point, she cites that after 16 years 'the roads are not developed' and 'the city cannot absorb them.' She says the 'regulations are not up to par.' She's been receiving my emails on my downsizing advocacy regularly since July - at no time did she contact me with her concerns about the Barbers Point transition. I could have explained to her why that transition was bungled by the State, HCDA, Hunt Corporation and many of Hawaii's politicians who made stupid business decisions regarding the transfer. But the most stupid action was that of the state in accepting Barbers Point in an 'as is' condition — the state should not have accepted the property in the condition it was left in and should not have inherited any financial burden from accepting the base — all deficiencies should have been corrected by the Navy before the transfer. The state should not have turned its back on the transition and outsourced the issue to HCDA, Hunt and others. The state created this fiasco by being lazy and asleep at the wheel.

"Now Ms. Tupola cites the 'state and city don't have the funds to absorb it [Schofield and Barbers Point].' In other words the state and city can't afford to absorb billions in resources, including an already built second access road (Kolekole pass and road) worth a billion dollars in itself that would have directly benefited Ms. Tupola's constituents. This is very sad. Basically her logic is the equivalent of telling the Publishers' Clearing House that you refuse to accept the Millions in prize money because you don't want to have to pay the income taxes on the winnings. And just to be fair, Jo Jordan doesn't get a pass for voting in support of the same resolution, although "with reservations." What a bold step to take by agreeing to the status quo, 'with reservations.' Very sad, indeed."

Politicians need your guidance and input!

AL continues, "Most of the time, politicians take uninformed positions like this because of guidance given to them by their parties, their handlers and the Hawaii political machine without asking or listening to what their constituents want — this is why you have to communicate to your elected officials. They cannot guess what you're thinking and you cannot guess or hope they know what you want them to do. Call them: this issue is too important to turn over to the Hawaii political machine."


Oahu Council for Army Downsizing website

Petition to downsize Army on Oahu

Freedom? Not in America or Europe

Paul Craig Roberts

January 25, 2015

By Paul Craig Roberts

When the former Goldman Sachs executive who runs the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that he was going to print 720 billion euros annually with which to purchase bad debts from the politically connected big banks, the euro sank and the stock market and Swiss france shot up. As in the US, quantitative easing (QE) serves to enrich the already rich. It has no other purpose.

The well-heeled financial institutions that bought up the troubled sovereign debt of Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain at low prices will now sell the bonds to the ECB for high prices. And despite depression level unemployment in most of Europe and austerity imposed on citizens, the stock market rose in anticipation that much of the 60 billion new euros that will be created each month will find its way into equity prices. Liquidity fuels the stock market.

Where else can the money to go? Some will go into Swiss francs and some into gold while gold is still available, but for the most part the ECB is running the printing press in order to boost the wealth of the stock-owning One Percent. The Federal Reserve and the ECB have taken the West back to the days when a handful of aristocrats owned everything.

The stock markets are bubbles blown by central bank money creation. On the basis of traditional reasoning there is no sound reason to be in equities, and sound investors have avoided them.

But there is no return anywhere else, and as the central banks are run by the rich for the rich, sound reasoning has proved to be a mistake for the past six years. This shows that corruption can prevail for an indeterminable period over fundamentals.

As I demonstrated in my book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism, first Goldman Sachs deceived lenders into over-lending to the Greek government. Then Goldman Sachs former executives took over Greece’s financial affairs and forced austerity upon the population in order to prevent losses to the foreign lenders.

This established a new principle in Europe, one that the IMF has relentlessly applied to Latin American and Third World debtors. The principle is that when foreign lenders make mistakes and over-lend to foreign governments, loading them up with debt, the bankers’ mistakes are rectified by robbing the poor populations. Pensions, social services, and public employment are cut, valuable resources are sold off to foreigners for pennies on the dollar, and the government is forced to support US foreign policy. John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man describes the process perfectly. If you haven’t read Perkins book, you have little idea how corrupt and vicious the United States is. Indeed, Perkins shows that over-lending is intentional in order to set up the country for looting.

This is what Goldman Sachs did to Greece, intentionally or unintentionally.

It took the Greeks a long time to realize it. Apparently, 36.5 percent of the population was awoken by rising poverty, unemployment, and suicide rates. That figure, a little over one-third of the vote, was enough to put Syriza in power in the just concluded Greek election, throwing out the corrupt New Democracy party that has consistently sold out the Greek people to the foreign banks. Nevertheless, 27.7 percent of the Greeks, if the vote reporting is correct, voted for the party that has sacrificed the Greek people to the banksters. Even in Greece, a country accustomed to outpourings of people into the streets, a significant percentage of the population is sufficiently brainwashed to vote against their own interests.

Can Syriza do anything? It remains to be seen, but probably not. If the political party had received 55% or 65% or 75% of the vote, yes. But the largest vote at 36.5% does not show a unified country aware of its plight and its looting at the hands of rich banksters. The vote shows that a significant percentage of the Greek population supports foreign looting of Greece.

Moreover, Syriza is up against the heavies: the German and Netherlands banks who hold Greece’s loans and the governments that back the banks, the European Union which is using the sovereign debt crisis to destroy the sovereignty of the individual countries that comprise the European Union, Washington which backs EU sovereign power over the individual countries as it is easier to control one government than a couple of dozen.

Already the Western financial presstitutes are warning Syriza not to endanger its membership in the common currency by diverting from the austerity model imposed from abroad on Greek citizens with the complicity of New Democracy.

Apparently, there is a lack of formal means of exiting the EU and the euro, but nevertheless Greece can be threatened with being thrown out. Greece should welcome being thrown out.

Exiting the EU and the euro is the best thing that can happen to Greece. A country without its own currency is not a sovereign country. It is a vassal state of another power. A country without its own currency cannot finance its own needs. Although the UK is a member of the EU, the UK kept its own currency and is not subject to control by the ECB. A country without its own money is powerless. It is a non-entity.

If the US did not have its own dollar, the US would be of no consequence whatsoever on the world scene.

The EU and the euro were deception and trickery. Countries lost their sovereignty. So much for Western “self-rule,” “freedom,” “democracy,” all slogans without content. In the entire West there is nothing but the looting of people by the One Percent who control the governments.

In America, the looting does not rely on indebtedness, because the US dollar is the reserve currency and the US can print all the money needed in order to pay its bills and redeem its debt. In America the looting of labor has been through jobs offshoring.

American corporations discovered, and if they did not they were informed by Wall Street to move offshore or be taken over, that they could raise profits by moving their manufacturing operations abroad. The lower labor cost resulted in higher profits, higher share prices, huge managerial bonuses based on “performance,” and shareholder capital gains. Offshoring greatly increased the inequality in income and wealth in the US. Capital succeeded in looting labor.

The displaced well-paid manufacturing workers, if they were able to find replacement jobs, worked part-time minimum wage jobs at Walmart and Home Depot.

Economists, if they are entitled to the designation, such as Michael Porter and Matthew Slaughter, promised Americans that the fictional “New Economy” would produce better, higher-paying, and cleaner jobs for Americans than the “dirty fingernail” jobs that we were fortunate our corporations were moving offshore.

Years later, as I have proven conclusively, there is no sign of these “New Economy” jobs. What we have instead is a sharp decline in the labor force participation rate as the unemployed cannot find jobs. The replacement jobs for the manufacturing jobs are mainly part-time domestic service jobs.
People have to hold 2 or 3 of these jobs to make ends meet. These part time jobs offer no medical or pension benefits.

Now that this fact, once controversial believe it or not, has proven completely true, the same bought-and-paid-for spokespersons for robbing labor and destroying unions claim, without a shred of evidence, that the offshored jobs are coming home.

According to these propagandists, we now have what is called “reshoring.” A “reshoring” propagandist claims that the growth of “reshoring” over the past four years is 1,775 percent, an 18 times increase.

There is no sign whatsoever of these alleged “reshoring” jobs in the monthly BLS payroll jobs statistics.

What reshoring is all about is propaganda to counteract the belated realization that “free trade” agreements and job offshoring were not beneficial to the American economy or its work force, but were beneficial only to the super-rich.

Like people throughout history, the American people are being turned into serfs and slaves because the fools believe the lies that are fed to them. They sit in front of Fox News, CNN, and whatever. They read the New York Times. If you want to learn how badly Americans have been served by the so-called media, read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States and Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s The Untold History of the United States.

The media helps the government, and the private interests that profit from their control of government, control the brainwashed public. We have to invade Afghanistan because a faction there fighting for political control of the country is protecting Osama bin Laden, whom the US accuses without any proof of embarrassing the mighty US with the 9/11 attack. We have to invade Iraq because Saddam has “weapons of mass destruction” that he surely has despite the reports to the contrary by the weapons inspectors. We have to overthrow Gaddafi because of a slate of lies that have best been forgotten. We have to overthrow Assad because he used chemical weapons even though all evidence is to the contrary. Russia is responsible for Ukraine problems, not because the US overthrew the elected democratic government but because Russia accepted a 97.6% vote of Crimeans to rejoin Russia where the province had resided for hundreds of years before a Ukrainian Soviet leader, Khrushchev, stuck Crimea into Ukraine, at the time a part of the Soviet Union along with Russia.

War, War, War, that is all Washington wants. It enriches the military/security complex, the largest component of the US GNP and the largest contributor, along with Wall Street and the Israel Lobby, to US political campaigns.

Anyone or any organization that offers truth to the lies is demonized. Last week the new chief of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, Andrew Lack, listed the Russian TV Internet service Russia Today as the equivalent of Boko Haram and the Islamic State terrorist groups. This absurd accusation is a prelude to closing down RT in the US just as Washington’s puppet UK government closed down Iran’s Press TV.

In other words, Anglo-Americans are not permitted any different news than what is served to them by “their” governments.

That is the state of “freedom” in the West today.

Copyright © Paul Craig Roberts 2015

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.

German Journalist Admits He Wrote for the CIA

A well-known German journalist with a major German newspaper admits that he cooperated with the CIA for years in manipulating the news. He says he regrets the role he played and is willing to face any punishment that will be dealt him for going public.

Israel and Jewish Corrosive Influence on the United States

Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board Votes against Army Live Fire at Makua Valley

By Jack De Feo

January 20, 2015

(Nanakuli, Hawaii) At today's Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board meeting, Board members voted against the future use of Makua Valley for live-fire training.

In a unanimous decision, board members voted to take a position that the military should not use Makua Valley for live-fire training ever again. The Board's decision follows on the footsteps of Malama Makua's recent celebration of no live-fire in the valley for 10 years and the continued legal hold-up preventing the Army from resuming their live-fire training in the valley. In December, the Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board passed a similar motion; both Boards represent the Leeward Coast of Oahu.

Board members and community members supported the Army's need for live-fire, but felt that Makua does not provide an adequate facility for the Army's needs, particularly for the Stryker Brigade. One testifier cited specific limitations with the facility that prevents Army units from experiencing realistic training that the Army desperately needs at the company-level in a Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise (CALFEX).

The CALFEX range was built in 1988, many years before the Army developed the Stryker vehicle and stationed a Stryker brigade at Schofield Barracks. The current range does not accommodate off-road use of the Strykers and limits the Commander to employing only 5 vehicles out of the 21 vehicles assigned.

Moreover, the live-fire experience is crippled by nighttime restrictions, preventing commanders from practicing the critically needed task of integrating and coordinating a variety of weapon systems during periods of limited visibility.

One community member testified that Brigades deployed from Oahu in recent years in a combat ready status without using Makua Valley, contradicting the importance of the live-fire range at Makua.

Only one community member, who provided the historical importance of Makua for training Army units for WWII and Korea, testified in support of Makua live-fire. A testifier responded that today's company size units have ten to twenty times the combat power that units had 70 years ago and that Makua was just too small and inadequate.

The Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board's position has no enforceable effect on the military's use of Makua, but it sends a clear signal to the Army that the community wants it to find another place to train.

Petition to downsize Army on Oahu


Hawaii studies on Strykers, Makua done [Honolulu Advertiser] Jan 14, 2008

Stryker [Wikipedia]

Why Army Downsizing Is Good for Hawaii

Why the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and our Congressional delegates have it wrong

The Hawaii Independent

By Bart Dame

January 22, 2015

As the discussion continues over whether the U.S. military will downsize its Hawaii-based personnel, Hawaii’s Congressional delegation maintains that defense is a critical economic sector for Hawaii. In a recent article from Washington, D.C.-based outlet The Hill, members of the delegation talk about their strategy for regaining the defense and national security influence the Hawaii delegation once enjoyed under the leadership of Senator Daniel Inouye.

Senator Brian Schatz was recently awarded a spot on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, once chaired by Inouye, while Senator Mazie Hirono was named the ranking member on the Senate Armed Service Committee’s Seapower subpanel last week. In the House, U.S. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Mark Takai, have both been named to the “influential” Armed Services Committee and both are Iraq War veterans.

The Hill reports that Sen. Schatz said the members of the delegation are pleased with the opportunities they have to shape Pentagon policy, including the “pivot” in U.S. military forces toward the Pacific.

Read more . . .


Petition to downsize Army on Oahu

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