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Informing Hawaii's voters

Neighborhood Boards Are Real Democracy

Kioni Dudley, Ph.D.

by Kioni Dudley, Ph.D.

Neighborhood Boards truly are the place where the government and the people meet.
Every month, they provide a venue for community members to bring concerns, and a forum for those proposing projects for the area to discuss them and get community input and support, or rejection.

The Governor, Mayor, and area City Council members, Senators, Representatives, the military, HART, police and firemen attend every meeting on the island, either in person or through representatives who report back. The Boards are a principal place where they learn what is happening in their community. ‘Olelo televises many Boards, and community members do watch. Board meetings truly are democracy in action.

Members are elected by small areas of the island, and are the voice of their people. While Board decisions are only advisory, they are weighty evidence to take to Legislative and City Council meetings.

Many in higher office first gained community favor and support serving on Neighborhood Boards.
Don’t mess with Neighborhood Boards.

Kioni Dudley, a retired educator, is president of the Friends of Makakilo and a member of the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board. He is active in the effort to ameliorate leeward Oahu's worsening traffic gridlock.

Shawn Hamamoto Explains Oahu's Neighborhood Boards

Surprisingly, Shawn Hamamoto, who is the Executive Secretary of the Neighborhood Commission Office, which runs the neighborhood board system under the auspices of the City & County of Honolulu, doesn't mention in the interview below the move afoot to do away with the neighborhood boards.

According to a May 23, 2016 email from Shawn,

On May 16, 2016 a Permitted Interaction Group of the Honolulu Charter Commission recommended that the Charter Commission place on the general election ballot the following question: “Should the City increase citizen participation in the decision of government though the use of electronic communication, such as television, Internet, and email, and eliminate the Neighborhood Board System?’

Shawn made it clear that he'd like to see the neighborhood boards continued. You can see the May 26 Charter Commission agenda here. The item is right at the top, Agenda Item III. It reads:

Agenda Item III

DISCUSSION AND ACTION

Discussion and action on the Findings and Recommendations by the Permitted Interaction Group established to review proposals relating to Open Government/Citizen Participation pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes §92-2.5(b).

You may submit testimony online here. Be sure to indicate at the top that you are testifying on agenda item III.

The Charter Commission canceled the meeting scheduled for last Thursday during which this item was to be considered.

Government Can't Help

It can only hurt.

Three recent stories regarding three government agencies — the IRS, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) — show why we should oppose big government for practical, as well as philosophical, reasons.

In recent months, many Americans have missed their flights because of longer-than-usual TSA security lines. In typical DC fashion, the TSA claims the delays are because of budget cuts, even though Congress regularly increases the TSA’s funding!

The TSA is also blaming the delays on the fact that few Americans have signed up for its “PreCheck” program. Under PreCheck, the TSA considers excusing some Americans from some of the screening process. Those who wish to be considered must first submit personal information to the TSA and pay a fee. Only a bureaucrat would think Americans would be eager to give the TSA more information and money on the chance that they may be approved for PreCheck.

The TSA is much better at harassing airline passengers than at providing security. TSA agents regularly fail to catch weapons hidden by federal agents testing the screening process. Sadly, Congress will likely reward the TSA's failures with continued funding increases. Rewarding the TSA’s incompetence shouldn’t surprise us since the TSA owes its existence to the failure of government to protect airline passengers on 9/11.

If Congress truly wanted to protect airline passengers, it would shut down the TSA and let airlines determine how best to protect their passengers. Private businesses have a greater incentive than government bureaucrats to protect their customers and their property without stripping their customers of their dignity.

The head of the VA also made headlines last week when he said it is unfair to judge the VA by how long veterans have to wait for medical care, since no one judges Disney World by how long people have to wait in line. Perhaps he is unaware that no one has ever died because he waited too long to go on an amusement park ride.

For years socialized medicine supporters pointed to the VA as proof that a government bureaucracy could deliver quality health care. The stories of veterans being denied care or receiving substandard care demolish those claims.

If Congress truly wanted to ensure that veterans receive quality health care, it would stop forcing veterans to seek health care from a federal bureaucracy. Instead, government would give veterans health-care vouchers or health savings accounts and allow them to manage their own health care. Congress should also dramatically reduce the costs of providing veterans care by ending our militaristic foreign policy.

Another story last week highlights the one thing government does do well: violate our rights. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over his role in the IRS's persecution of conservative organizations.

Those who value liberty and constitutional government should support impeaching Koskinen. However, truly protecting Americans from IRS tyranny requires eliminating the income tax. Despite the claims of some, a flat tax system would still require a federal bureaucracy to ensure Americans are accurately reporting their income. Since the income tax is one of the foundations of the welfare-warfare state, it is folly to think we can eliminate the income tax without first dramatically reducing the size and scope of government.

The TSA, VA, and IRS are just three examples of how government cannot effectively provide any good or service except authoritarianism. Individuals acting in the free market are more than capable of providing for their own needs, including the need to protect themselves, their families, and their property, if the government gets out of the way.

Copyright © 2016 by RonPaul Institute

Ron Paul Declines to Endorse Donald Trump

How Jews Talk


Hawaii Political Info note: The first interviewee in this video was Elie Wiesel.

Transcript

To Those who Gave the Last Full Measure of Devotion

US Troops Used as Lab Rats

Paul Craig Roberts

Source: PaulCraigRoberts.org

May 27, 2016

Alas! It is Memorial Day weekend and the bloviations about America’s just wars for freedom and democracy and our brave soldiers who gave their iives to keep us free have begun.

Civilians, not soldiers, are always the vast majority of war’s casualties. People die not for freedom and democracy but in order for armaments manufacturers to make large fortunes. General Smedley Butler said that his US Marines died for the sake of the profits of the United Fruit Company and some lousy bank investment—truth that you never hear on Memorial Day or July 4th.

I still see bumper stickers: “Support the Troops.”

I would like to see one that reads: “Damn the Government for NOT Supporting the Troops!”

Perhaps what we need is another Memorial Day commemorating the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers that the wicked and cruel government in Washington used for radiation and chemical weapons experiments.

The greatest mainstay of the official 9/11 narative is the belief of gullible Americans that “the government wouldn’t kill its own citizens.” Oh, yeah?!

Well, gullible American watch these two 15 minute documentaries presented by Abby Martin: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44739.htm Reality will enter your life.

The United States government and the small elite to whom it reports look on the rest of us as cattle. And so do the police, a government agency that kills its own citizens every day. During eight years of Washington’s war in Iraq, American police killed more Americans in their homes and on their streets that the number of US troops killed in combat.

A Memorial Day in memory of the victims of American police violence would help Americans realize that the real threat is right here in our own government, not in faraway Russia and China.

Copyright © Paul Craig Roberts 2016

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.

War Is a Racket

General Smedley D. Butler

Major General Smedley Butler's (July 30, 1881-June 21, 1940) 7500-word book, War Is a Racket, was published in 1935.

General Butler was a U.S. Marine Corps two-star general, the highest rank attainable at the time. At the time of his death, General Butler was the most highly decorated Marine in U.S. history.

by General Smedley Butler

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

Read more . . .

Some Thoughts on Our Prospects against the Russians and Chinese in World War III

Paul Craig Roberts

PaulCraigRoberts.org

by Paul Craig Roberts

May 28, 2016

The Saker reports that Russia is preparing for World War III, not because Russia intends to initiate aggression but because Russia is alarmed by the hubris and arrogance of the West, by the demonization of Russia, by provocative military actions by the West, by American interference in the Russian province of Chechnya and in former Russian provinces of Ukraine and Georgia, and by the absence of any restraint from Western Europe on Washington’s ability to foment war. http://thesaker.is/how-russia-is-preparing-for-wwiii/

Like Steven Starr, Stephen Cohen, myself, and a small number of others, the Saker understands the reckless irresponsibility of convincing Russia that the United States intends to attack her.

It is extraordinary to see the confidence that many Americans place in their military’s ability. After 15 years the US has been unable to defeat a few lightly armed Taliban, and after 13 years the situation in Iraq remains out of control. This is not very reassuring for the prospect of taking on Russia, much less the strategic alliance between Russia and China. The US could not even defeat China, a Third World country at the time, in Korea 60 years ago.

Americans need to pay attention to the fact that “their” government is a collection of crazed stupid fools likely to bring vaporization to the United States and all of Europe.

Russian weapons systems are far superior to American ones. American weapons are produced by private companies for the purpose of making vast profits. The capability of the weapons is not the main concern. There are endless cost overruns that raise the price of US weapons into outer space. The F-35 fighter, which is less capable than the F-15 it is supposed to replace, costs between $148 million and $337 million per fighter, depending on whether it is an Air Force, Marine Corps, or Navy model. http://www.cnbc.com/2014/07/31/how-dods-15-trillion-f-35-broke-the-air-f...

A helmet for a F-35 pilot costs $400,000, more than a high end Ferrari. http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/10/26/f-35-helmet-costs...

(Washington forces or bribes hapless Denmark into purchasing useless and costly F-35: http://sputniknews.com/news/20160528/1040395012/denmark-f-35-military-na...)

It is entirely possible that the world is being led to destruction by nothing more than the greed of the US military-security complex. Delighted that the reckless and stupid Obama regime has resurrected the Cold War, thus providing a more convincing “enemy” than the hoax terrorist one, the “Russian threat” has been restored to its 20th century role of providing a justification for bleeding the American taxpayer, social services, and the US economy dry in behalf of profits for armament manufacturers.

However, this time Washington’s rhetoric accompanying the revived Cold War is far more reckless and dangerous, as are Washington’s actions, than during the real Cold War. Previous US presidents worked to defuse tensions. The Obama regime has inflated tensions with lies and reckless provocations, which makes it far more likely that the new Cold War will turn hot. If Killary gains the White House, the world is unlikely to survive her first term.

All of America’s wars except the first—the war for independence—were wars for Empire. Keep that fact in mind as you hear the Memorial Day bloviations about the brave men and women who served our country in its times of peril. The United States has never been in peril, but Washington has delivered peril to numerous other countries in its pursuit of hegemony over others.

Today for the first time in its history the US faces peril as a result of Washington’s attempts to assert hegemony over Russia and China.

Russia and China are not impressed by Washington’s arrogance, hubris, and stupidity. Moreover, these two countries are not the native American Plains Indians, who were starved into submission by the Union Army’s slaughter of the buffalo.

They are not the tired Spain of 1898 from whom Washington stole Cuba and the Philippines and called the theft a “liberation.”

They are not small Japan whose limited resources were spread over the vastness of the Pacific and Asia.

They are not Germany already defeated by the Red Army before Washington came to the war.

They are not Granada, Panama, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, or the various Latin American countries that General Smedley Butler said the US Marines made safe for “the United Fruit Company” and “some lousy bank investment.”

An insouciant American population preoccupied with selfies and delusions of military prowess, while its crazed government picks a fight with Russia and China, has no future.

Copyright © Paul Craig Roberts 2016

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.

Take Back Your Power

HECO has already started installing smart meters, despite widespread health concerns. If you missed Take Back Your Power, a movie about smart meters and their alleged ill effects on human health, here it is for your weekend viewing pleasure.


For the HECO smart meter installation schedule and what to do if you don't want one of them at your home, click here.

Link:

Smart Meters Screening May 26 [Hawaii Political Info] May 22, 2016

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