Grassroot Perspective: Hawaii Leadership, Ron Paul Was Right and Using Sin Taxes For Credit Ratings

by Danny de Gracia, II A weekly liberty briefing and news guide to keep you informed and prepared on what’s UP to more freedom or DOWN to bigger, more intrusive government. Quote of the Week: “We have depended on government for so much for so long that we as a people have become less vigilant of our liberties. As long as the government provides largesse for the majority, the special interest lobbyists will succeed in continuing the redistribution of welfare programs that occupies most of Congress’ legislative time.” – Rep. Ron Paul Local News After Akaka: The Next Generation of Native Hawaiian Leaders (Civil Beat, 10/25) Michael Levine of Civil Beat reports that the retirement of Sen. Daniel Akaka –  the only Native Hawaiian ever elected to the upper chamber of Congress – leaves an unknown future.  “With nobody ready to take Sen. Daniel Akaka’s place, will the void created by his departure provide the kick in the pants the Native Hawaiian community needs to incubate and organize a deeper “bench” of leaders?” Levine writes. ANALYSIS: The “reset” that comes with the departure of long-standing leader of an organization indeed creates uncertainty, but it is also a golden opportunity to change the atmosphere and bring about new reforms and higher levels of excellence. Leadership consultant John C. Maxwell writes in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership that the major barriers to successful planning are “fear of change, ignorance, uncertainty about the future and lack of imagination.” Whoever wins the November 6th election will need to recognize thatHawaiineeds a paradigm shift in both leadership and representation that makesHawaii’s congressional delegation...

In Pursuit: Voter Fraud

Click here to download this In Pursuit on Voter Fraud as a PDF. Voter Fraud: The Crime that Disenfranchises Us All The issue of electoral (commonly—if slightly inaccurately—summed up as “voter”) fraud stands at a curious place in our culture.  No one denies that it’s part of our history, and many acknowledge that it remains a reality.  But despite the fact that voter fraud ought to be the ultimate in bipartisan issues, it has become a surprisingly contentious political topic, with some claiming that it is a nonexistent ruse designed to “intimidate” or even opposing the most basic legal protections against it.  In truth, electoral fraud disenfranchises us all, making it worthy of rooting out on principle alone, as even a single instance undermines our political system and our freedoms. An Introduction to Electoral Fraud Though the classic example of voter fraud in the public imagination may be the image of people fraudulently voting in the names of dead or fictional citizens or being turned away from polling places via intimidation and threats, electoral fraud is both broader and more insidious than its Hollywood image. Organizational fraud is the systematic effort by a group (or groups) to sway an election through vote buying and incentivization, obtaining and mailing fraudulent absentee ballots, and/or affecting the vote count by tampering with ballots, destroying ballots, etc.  Individual fraud occurs when a person misrepresents himself (or others) as eligible to vote, registers or votes multiple time or as other persons, etc.  Because of our system of voting, which separates registration and eligibility from the actual point of voting (and then further splits voting into absentee...

Grassoot Perspective: Don’t forget to vote, Stinky Deals for Taxpayers and How To Help Small Business

This article was originally published here in the Hawaii Reporter. A weekly liberty briefing and news guide to keep you informed and prepared on what’s UP to more freedom or DOWN to bigger, more intrusive government. Quote of the Week: “In America we have a creed which comes to us from the deep roots of the past. It springs from the convictions of the men and women of many lands who founded the nation and made it great.” – General George C. Marshall Local News Don’t forget to vote in ALL contests on your ballot – Federal, state and municipal! Voting has begun with mail in absentee ballots and walk-in voting will commence in just a few days. But many people both in Hawaii and all across the U.S. are registered to vote but never vote! Other people will vote, but they only choose two or three of the most “exciting” contests and then leave the rest of their ballot blank. While we wouldn’t dare to tell you what to vote for, we do want to encourage all of you to make sure that you do vote and not skip any of the contests. ANALYSIS: Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” You owe it to yourself to vote – the experiment our Founders called “a Republic, if you can keep it” began with the concept of no taxation without representation.  If you don’t vote, you deny yourself a vital right that was given to you at great...

Grassroot Perspective: Absolute Power at UH, Guilt Taxes and A Dissenting View On The Nobel Peace Prize

A weekly liberty briefing and news guide to keep you informed and prepared on what’s UP to more freedom or DOWN to bigger, more intrusive government. Quote of the Week: “Responsibility is a unique concept … You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you … If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you never had anyone really responsible.” – Admiral Hyman G. Rickover Local News University of Hawaii Board of Regents Aim to Silence Peers, Media, with ‘Confidentiality Covenant’(Hawaii Reporter, 10/11) Malia Zimmerman reports “University of Hawaii Board of Regents could face criminal or civil penalties if they disclose to media or the public information they learned in closed door meetings. That is according to a new “Confidentiality Covenant” regents must sign if they serve on the Advisory Task Group on Operational and Financial Controls Improvement, a team of five regents and four accounting and auditing professionals recruited in recent weeks to examine the University’s management and fiscal control systems.” ANALYSIS: Most rational observers might look at that and say “How can they arbitrarily decide something like that? Isn’t that a violation of the First Amendment? Shouldn’t we allow whistleblowers?” and the answer to that is the Hawaii State Constitution establishes the University of Hawaii under Article X and stipulates in Section 6, “The board shall also have exclusive jurisdiction over the internal structure, management,...

Grassroot Perspective: When Pickpocketing Is Called Investment and The Economics of Stupid

This article was originally published here on Hawaii Reporter. A weekly liberty briefing and news guide to keep you informed and prepared on what’s UP to more freedom or DOWN to bigger, more intrusive government. Quote of the Week: “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” – John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money President Obama calls for more “investment” into education during debate(10/3) During the first presidential debate, President Barack Obama stated that his priorities were to use taxpayer money to continue and increase “investment” into education, energy and other important things that America needs but has been neglected by leaders over the years. Obama commented that children using textbooks that are “ten years old, if not older” was unacceptable and education must be prioritized for investment. ANALYSIS: “Investment” in the purest definition can be explained as the transfer of resources to the formation of capital goods.  The purpose of investment in a market is to produce future profits for the investor. Politicians like to claim that they are “investing” the public’s money into worthy causes, but the problem with this is all individuals value some things more than others and public goods are not always privately tangible.  Said another way, if I invest in funding a company that wishes to sell an improved light bulb, once those new bulbs go on sale, I will get a return...