Grassroot Perspective: The Continuing PLDC Saga, Hirono on Judiciary and Susan Rice Withdraws From Nomination

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: “Small business is the gateway to opportunity for those who want a piece of the American dream … that’s where miracles are made, not in Washington, D.C.” –Ronald Reagan   LOCAL NEWS Money, power and moral hazard: Is Hawaii’s Public Land Development Corporation above the law? (TWTC, 12/11) Many people in Hawaii are wondering just how an organization with such broad sweeping powers as the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) was able to clear the Legislature in 2011. Exempt from taxes and regulations and even able to issue revenue bonds all on its own authority, the PLDC is perhaps one of the most controversial organizations to ever be created in the State of Hawaii. I was very fortunate to interview with Hawaii State Representative Jessica Wooley – a legislator who was one of only nine who voted against the PLDC – to get a better understanding of just what happened behind the scenes and where the system failed on Act 55. Rep. Wooley mentions in our interview that “When this bill passed, the legislative hearing process itself was rife with abuse and public input was bypassed. The irony could not be worse. There was no public input on the elimination of public input. Major new language appeared in the House amendment of the bill. There was only one opportunity for the public to comment on many substantial changes, including the county zoning, subdivision, and permitting exemptions. Notice to the public of that single...

Grassroot Perspective: The One You Love, Solar Tax Credits and Ron Paul says America is off the cliff

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: “A free market grants no authority or privileges to labor unions or business. All contracts between workers and businesses must be mutually agreeable and without government mandates. No one is forced to work, no one is prevented from quitting, and the wages are to be set by mutual agreement. All workers are free to organize and collectively negotiate with employees. Employees have a right to participate or not. Government workers have no power to force obscene wages on the taxpayers and should not be given a contractual right to strike and hold the taxpayers hostage.” – Rep. Ron Paul Local News Election 2012 Is Over, What’s Next? Once again, another election is finally over here in Hawaii and across America. So much time, emotion and money often hangs on these races, and more often than not our future leaders are determined by capricious voting and sometimes sheer luck. But just as the 1980s Glenn Frey song goes, “someone’s gonna cry when they know they’ve lost you, someone’s gonna thank the stars above.” Some are overjoyed, others are angry at the results from this week’s election, but what does it mean for you and me? ANALYSIS: Personality politics aside, both Hawaii and the United States at large are in deep fiscal trouble. The Federal government is pushing close to $17 trillion dollars in debt and in spite of talk of “cutting spending” new mandates both in Washington and here in Hawaii will...

Voting: Party or Principle?

The Problem: Fat and Sassy Many of our so-called “political leaders” are concerned about the obesity of individuals out there in the public. They seem intent on saving them from their own “misbehavior”.  Yet, the governments that these folks operate are so morbidly obese in their own right that they are close to death—which for a government would be akin to going bankrupt and disappearing. But the politicians who are so eager to govern people’s personal choices are not taking any action on the size of government. Why? Well, because it doesn’t feel good and the solutions required involve hard, unpopular decisions. Here’s an example: Mayor Bloomberg of NYC decided to restrict sizes of soft drinks sold in the city. He could have spent that time and energy assuring that the city was ready for a natural disaster, not to mention a man-made financial crisis caused by debt and overindulgence created by his honor himself.  It doesn’t take the benefit of post-hurricane hindsight to know which would have been a better use of his time and influence. Who did this? We the People, that’s who. We elected these folks. Plato tried to warn us that, “One of the penalties of not participating in politics is that you will be governed by your inferiors.”  No one can deny that voting without knowledge of the issues or candidates (or for one’s own immediate gain) is the same as not truly participating at all.  And right now, that lack of true participation could signify the end of the American Dream. Who would be accountable, forced to accept the consequences of this abdication...

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...

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...