CONSERVATIVE FORUM for HAWAII: IN
NRA president speaks in Hilo
November 14, 2012 http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/sections/news/local-news/nra-president-speaks-hilo.html
By PETER SUR Tribune-Herald staff writer
The day after the presidential election, in an interview posted on the National Rifle Association website, NRA President David Keene attributed Mitt Romney’s loss to the Democratic turnout machine.
“I thought we were going to win that race,” he said. But he added later that the right-to-bear-arms movement had lost “a battle, a very important battle, but we’re not going to lose this war.
“(Barack Obama) and his administration are going to do everything they can to gut the Second Amendment, and we’ve got to fight them step by step by step,” he said.
Monday night, Keene addressed a crowd of a couple hundred gathered at the Crown Room at the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort on how this war over Second Amendment rights will unfold. The speech was sponsored by the Conservative Forum For Hawaii, and it drew a mix of staunch conservatives, hunters and one elected official, Prosecutor-elect Mitch Roth.
They listened to Keene describe how Obama, no longer restrained by politics, would work to restrict the individual’s constitutional right to bear arms, either through the Arms Trade Treaty or by appointing judges who would overturn a 2008 Supreme Court decision recognizing that right.
“There has been from the beginning of the culture wars in the 1970s, a group that has felt that the Second Amendment symbolizes something they don’t like about the America we inherited from our forebears,” Keene said.
Keene, a native of Wisconsin, has a long history of involvement in presidential politics, dating to his time as special assistant to Vice President Spiro Agnew in the Nixon administration. From 1984 to 2011, he served as chairman of the American Conservative Union; he was first elected to the NRA Board of Directors in 2000 and rose to become its first vice president in 2011.
In May 2011, he was elected president of the NRA and its 4.3 million members, becoming head of one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying organization.
No constitutional right is absolute, Keene acknowledged, and that includes the right to bear arms. He agreed that firearms should not be in the hands of felons, children, drug dealers or those with certain mental disorders.
But he said every jurisdiction in the nation will need to reassess its laws to see how they comply with the Supreme Court’s rulings recognizing the right.
“In Illinois, and here in Hawaii, the restrictions in the way the laws have been written are under court challenge. That’s all going to continue. It’s going to be the shape of what’s going to happen in the next decade,” Keene said. “Unless, unless, for political reasons the nature of the Supreme Court has changed.”
In the last campaign, Keene said, he had traveled the country, warning people that the Obama campaign was moving to strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
Keene called Obama “the most anti-Second Amendment president in history.”
He cited a Reuters news article that stated the United States backed a U.N. committee’s call to restart negotiations on an international treaty to regulate the global arms trade, hours after Obama’s re-election was assured.
“That tells us what we’re facing,” Keene said, predicting that Obama will lose the coming fight.
The Reuters article in question states that U.S. officials say the treaty would have no effect on domestic gun sales and ownership because it would only apply to exports. It also cited an unnamed official who said “we will not accept any treaty that infringes on the constitutional rights of our citizens to bear arms,” but Keene said that’s “poppycock.”
It was a long day for Keene and his wife, who had engagements in Kona earlier in the day; after the remarks he returned to West Hawaii and flew to Oahu for more events there.
He also answered questions from the audience.
One woman asked how exactly Obama would take away gun rights.
Keene replied that the president could reinstate the lapsed Clinton-era assault weapons ban, which was unlikely; he could appoint anti-gun rights judges, or he could go through the United Nations for the arms trade treaty.
But the treaty must be ratified by the Senate. Keene predicts the Senate will reject it, “and it will wake up every Second Amendment supporter and those in the middle who haven’t realized what happened, and they’ll go into the next election loaded for bear.”
Keene’s remarks were preceded by a short but fiery speech by Forum President Walter Moe, who said that even though his side lost the election, he was still angry and promised to keep on fighting.
To whoops and shouts of appreciation, Moe declared: “Some of us, we like our guns. We love our guns. We like our God and and we love our country.”
Email Peter Sur at email@example.com.
VIDEO: NRA President speaks in Hilo
November 13, 2012
Video by David Corrigan, voice of Stephanie Salazar
HILO, Hawaii: National Rifle Association President David Keene spoke at the Conservative Forum for Hawaii on Monday evening, here at the Naniloa Hotel's Crown Room in Hilo.
"Today, guns are cool," Keene told the crowd of about a hundred.
This marks the first time a sitting NRA president has ever visited Hawaii in an official capacity, organizers say.
The Forum was opportunity to the talk on 2nd Amendment issues of importance to all citizens, which includes an individual's right to bear arms.
"Its about values,"� Keene said. "ts not about crime. Its not about gun violence. Its not about all those things. Its about what the second amendment represent's which is individual responsibility, freedom, and values that a lot of people don't like anymore."
However, the limits of that right are always being tested, according to Keene. The NRA president warns of a coming battle with newly elected president Barack Obama over the right to bear arms.
"And I can tell you that a politician who takes on a country with those beliefs on those issues is in for some rough sledding, and at the end of the day is not going to prevail," Keene said, "no matter how heady he thinks the winds may be just because he's been re-elected."
Earlier in the day on Monday, Keene was in Kona with Island of Hawaii Friends of NRA� for a briefing on the West Hawaii Public Range project, planned for Puuanahulu near the transfer station.
"We're very involved both in providing technical help to people that are setting up indoor and outdoor ranges,"Keene said, "and we provide grants" and Ibelieve a grant was just made here to help develop that rangeand I toured it."
"I flew over¦ there's a lot of black rock down there,"� Keene joked.
"When you open that range, I'll come and shoot with you,"� Keene promised.
Keene is the son of Wisconsin labor organizers, and is former chairman of the American Conservative Union. He is an attorney, columnist, political activist and lobbyist who has worked in the White House and Congress and has been involved in nearly every congressional battle over gun rights since the early 1970s.
Energy costs : It took long enough
“We’re not interested in more renewable energy. We’re interested in cheaper renewable energy. Unless it has lower rates, we will not support it,” Mayor Billy Kenoi, August 2012
We are glad to see an elected official finally doing the math. It took long enough.
Expensive energy is not sustainable.
Our energy policy should be CHEAP ENERGY.
That is sustainable.
On the Big Island, geothermal is the cheapest source available and it is both renewable and local. We need to go there, and nowhere else, as soon as possible for the entire island.
Everything else is more expensive and makes folks suffer as a result.
It is time to end the crony PUC-protected energy industry and its patrons who benefit at any cost, while everyone else has to pay for their inefficiencies.
“I can tell you that life without energy is brutal and short,” Dr. John Christy, Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, testifying to Congress March 2011.
Edward Gutteling, V.P Conservative Forum for Hawaii
The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is proud to announce the release of the eighth research paper in our “In Pursuit” series of policy analysis. The topic of this month’s review is the concept of bipartisanship and its negative impact in the political culture of our time.
Recently, we have been disturbed by meaningless calls for “bipartisanship” and “compromise” coming from persons running for public office. Consequently we asked our member and loyal supporter, Dr Ed Gutteling, to address the issue. Included is his wonderful reasoning which essentially says that bipartisanship has to be rooted by both sides in principle. Where might we find such principle? Look no further than the oath of office that each elected official swears to uphold. That oath is designed to stop “tolerance” / ”compromise” from eating away the substance of our individual liberty. Thus, it should never be recited as a meaningless step in a process but instead as a deeply meaningful reminder of just where compromise must end if we are to succeed in our continuing pursuit of individual liberty for all.
- Richard Rowland, President
The Dangerous Delusion of Bipartisanship
by Edward Gutteling
Once upon a time in a government long long ago and far far away, enlightened politicians held hands across the aisle, making wise bipartisan compromises, and the people rejoiced in the harmony, and they all lived happily ever after.
Unfortunately, good gentle voter, if that is your expectation then you should stop right now and read no further, as our reality is not such a happy ending. In fact there wasn’t much happy in the beginning, and truth be told not much happiness in the middle bits either, in our unfortunate, awful, horrid, vile, really bad, no-good, real-life history of governing.
This story is true both in Hawaii and nationally as well.
A touch of that unpleasantness of partisan discordance was evident in Hawaiian history, for example. We commemorate Kamehameha Day in honor of the enlightened ruler King Kamehameha (I) “The Great” who united the islands into one delightful kingdom of sustainable indigenous bliss. “United” by the partisan force of fratricide and massed slaughtering armies with modern arms supplied by Europeans, and punctuated by that charming but now lost natural tradition of throwing 400 of your enemies off the Pali cliffs.
Now gentle reader, as I’m sure you are tempted to interject, we in Hawaii are much more enlightened in these modern times, much more refined and evolved from those ancient days. Surely it is long overdue to get past such trivial peccadilloes and move along to more significant rainbow-enlightened images of aloha.
Besides, there was indeed peace in the land after those beguiling eccentricities, after all was said and done.
Jolly good then, we’ll move on and consider this.
America’s very birth and existence resulted from events of unavoidable partisanship, too.
Recall that spot of bother we remember as our revolutionary war? That happened because British loyalists felt that their parliamentary monarchy was the pinnacle of enlightened government, that gave everyone all the freedoms they needed, and kept most critical decisions out of the hands of those untrustworthy simpletons prone to emotional mob instincts and the increasingly selfish behavior of those bloody colonialists. That “bipartisan” consensus did not endure, and it took solidly “partisan” actions to reject the concept of state tyranny and cement individual liberty as the enduring core principle of our nation. It took courage, vision, and commitment to principle.
One item that was perhaps just a slight bit of bore, however, was that from out of the process also later came that charming “bipartisan” compromise leaving intact the legality of slavery. It took another 4-score and 7 years before the blatant “partisanship” of radicals in the Republican party achieved the ascendancy of power needed to end that evil and immoral bit of accommodation.
Nearly every major defining trajectory of enduring policy, every milestone in our history, has resulted from “partisan” actions and a rejection of the prior “bipartisan” status-quo.
FDR’s entire “New Deal” governmental legacy resulted from Democratic partisan dominance during the tragic government-induced poverty of the depression of the 1930s.
By pure partisan dominance, that enlightened Democratic progressive vision of centralizing government power into every aspect of business, labor, markets, banking, finance, trade, and taxation was the mantra that would lead to the promised land of economic recovery, fairness and prosperity. We’ll move quickly past the unpleasant item about how America only recovered 12 years later and after a World War sacrificed globally 25 million working age military men, 50 million civilians and trashed every significant competing economy on the planet except the United States before this miracle of enlightened government philosophy succeeded.
Whatever, centralized government power was the established “in” thing, and after it’s partisan birth it endured.
Since then, both parties have pretty much been on a balanced “bipartisan” glide path for the expansion of federal power. Republicans and Democrats compromised in serial harmonial rapturous actions resulting in the steady inexorable growth in government spending, laws, regulations and control.
Individual liberties got nibbled away bit by bit as well.
“There are two parties— the stupid party and the evil party. Every once in awhile the stupid party and the evil party get together and do something that is both stupid and evil. In Washington, that is called bipartisanship.” said former Republican Senate Leader Everett Dirksen.
This worked as long as our economy grew enough wealth for the government to increase spending.
Until it broke.
The trend is your friend until the end, when it bends.
Can we now all join hands together and say “unsustainable”? That “bipartisan” stuff don’t work anymore, and it never really did.
“If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” Margaret Thatcher
The June 2012 ABC News/Washington Post poll is quite revealing : only 13% of Americans approve of the job performance of Congress, and 84% disapprove – its worst ever ratings since they first began in 1974. Legislative and policy gridlock prevails. In much of the more traditional and so clearly more thoughtful, erudite and wise media, voices are raised forlornly looking for “moderates” who will “make compromises” and “just get the job done”. Many nostalgically remind us of President-elect Obama’s election night speech of November 4, 2008
"Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long."
But then he said this, too: "Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won." That was three days later.
"I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess." That was August 2009.
That didn’t take long.
Where’s the love, the aloha, the kumbaya?
As “motorist” Rodney King said in 1992, after his beating sparked the weeks of riots and arson in Los Angeles, "Can we all get along?"
We have similar quaint dynamics here in Hawaii, too.
“I don’t understand both political parties - here at home and in Washington – who oppose bipartisanship, compromise and collaboration. I don’t understand them because the problems we face are not Democrat problems, they are not Republican problems, they are American problems and we will have to come together to solve them. This is what the people of Hawaii expect and this is what the people all across America expect,” ...I am running for the U.S. Senate because we need to stop creating Congressional gridlock which then becomes crises,” former Governor Linda Lingle said at the May 12, 2012 Hawaii GOP convention.
Bipartisanship for many, however, reminds us of what Gertrude Stein said about going back to Oakland, her home town: “there’s no there, there”. I’m sure this appeal to bipartisanship and compromise is a multi-nodal poll-tested demographically finessed, stochastically significant and media polished approach that Gov. Lingle and many others feel will be a path to electoral victory for a Republican behind the lines in the People’s Democratic Republic of Hawaii. It implies that the key portion of the electorate wants harmony above all else, that “bipartisanship” and “compromise” are the goals that will win their votes, not any boorish déclassé partisan principled policy unpleasantness.
Is that really what we are all about, gentle voters? Is that the heart of the matter?
Lingle emphasizes that when she was a Republican governor with a Democratically controlled legislature, they were “able to work together to get things done”. We’ll just airbrush out memories such as when her Superferry promotion, probably the biggest potential boost to struggling neighbor island economies and agriculture, got squashed by liberal-progressive-eco partisan activists and was abandoned by the Democratic party and their passive-aggressive business and union patrons. And who can forget the heartwarming “bipartisanship” for Republican Senator Fred Hemmings’ proposed Duke Kahanamoku Surfing Reserve? The Senate passed it unanimously, but the House killed it because no Republican could be allowed to take credit for such a beloved and popular act. Governor Lingle was forced to declare it by executive order.
As Sam Slom, the Hawaii State Senate’s sole Republican commented, politics may be the art of compromise but he had never seen “bipartisan” on any election ballot, never heard pleas for “bipartisanship” in any Hawaii Democratic Party convention speech, and he was puzzled to hear such talk at the Hawaii GOP Convention.
“Compromise and collaboration, does not mean turning away from liberty, limited government, individual responsibility, fiscal accountability, and equality of opportunity. In fact, I believe these are same values shared by almost everyone in the state of Hawaii,” Lingle said.
Ed Case, Democrat also running for US Senate said “...the sooner we get beyond the gladiatorial circus and get down to work together, the sooner we'll forge sustainable and workable solutions...”
Good luck with that.
This is the big divide right now:
do we as a nation move forward with bigger, costlier , more indebted and more powerful government, or do we go the other direction to smaller and more efficient and less controlling government?
Do you want the government to run your life more, and run it into the ground as it has been lately, or do you want to run your own life, and run the government too?
How does one compromise on that?
One cannot, and still be true to core principles.
Leadership is all about describing your vision and goals, and then persuading others to follow your cause and so empower you to achieve them.
“All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.” Edmunde Burke (1790)
“ It is only in regard to concretes or particulars, implementing a mutually accepted basic principle, that one may compromise. For instance, one may bargain with a buyer over the price one wants to receive for one’s product, and agree on a sum somewhere between one’s demand and his offer. The mutually accepted basic principle, in such case, is the principle of trade, namely: that the buyer must pay the seller for his product. But if one wanted to be paid and the alleged buyer wanted to obtain one’s product for nothing, no compromise, agreement or discussion would be possible, only the total surrender of one or the other.
There can be no compromise between a property owner and a burglar; offering the burglar a single teaspoon of one’s silverware would not be a compromise, but a total surrender—the recognition of his right to one’s property...
There can be no compromise on basic principles. There can be no compromise on moral issues. There can be no compromise on matters of knowledge, of truth, of rational conviction.” Ayn Rand (1966)
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile -- hoping it will eat him last.”
Winston Churchill (1938)
If business as usual is the road to destruction, then gridlock is not a bad thing.
The next elections cannot come too soon.
Dr. Gutteling is Vice-President of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii
April 30, 2012 http://new.grassrootinstitute.org/do-the-math/
Do The Math
by Edward Gutteling
April 27, 2012
“ I’m trying to think, but nuttin’ happens ! ”
Curly Howard, The Three Stooges: Calling All Curs, 1939
All too often it seems our political leaders take actions that just don’t add up. Perhaps they didn’t think it through all the way themselves, or perhaps they really did but they are deliberately hoping we don’t figure it out on our own.
Take for example the recent proud purchase of 5 Chevy Volt cars for the County of Hawaii by Mayor Kenoi. A recent news article shows him standing like a proud papa next to the shiny cars at the formal blessing and display ceremony, proclaiming “It couldn’t come at a better time, when we look at rising fuel prices....Hopefully we can grow the electric fleet and have it be the county fleet.”
These plug-in-electric / gas hybrids cost us $47,000 each, totaling $235,000 for five. They can go about 30 miles on electric power alone, then need recharging. When the gas engine kicks in, they get about 37mpg and require premium gas. Recharging the 16 kwH battery daily at our highest-in-the-nation electric rates, about 40 cent / kwH, costs about $6.40 / day.
For less than half the purchase price ($21,000) , a comparable sized and powered Chevy Cruze uses regular gas and gets about 30 mpg. Lets take an extreme case, and say gas is $5.00/gallon. That means that the Volt costs $1.40/day more than the Cruze to drive 30 miles, and costs twice as much to buy. For the same cost we could have had eleven Chevy Cruze, and saved on operating costs as well.
And we’re supposed to be proud and pleased about this? For spending more and getting less?
Somehow the thrill of being “green”, and “independence from foreign oil” doesn’t quite add up. This is especially so as the electricity is still being generated from mostly “foreign oil” and other “fossil fuels”, anyway.
The same sort of “logic” was driving the recent attempt to get approval for the Aina Koa Pono Ka‘ū Energy Farm, to cost $350 million on 13,000 Ka’u acres. They expected a guaranteed purchase price from Hawaii Electric Light Co. and also a 15% state tax credit. The bio-fuel would have cost $170/barrel.
Oil has never sustained a price above $110/barrel for more than 6 months, ever. This was expected to raise the electricity costs for residents by nearly $2.00/month if shared with Oahu, and much more if only the Big Island residents were to be responsible for the required purchase of 16 million gallons/year.
The State consumer advocate, who’s supposed legal remit is to look out for the interests of ratepayers, recommended that the contract be approved. Big Island politicians were notably silent about the whole deal. Fortunately, the state Public Utilities Commission unanimously rejected the contract saying that the cost of the fuel was “excessive, not cost-effective, and thus, is unreasonable and inconsistent with the public interest.” Hawaiian Electric issued a statement saying, "We are very disappointed by the Public Utilities Commission's decision”.
It makes one wonder about the perpetuation of “pono”.
As for why we are so dependant on “foreign oil” in the first place, it is because most of the crude oil used in Hawaii cannot be purchased from the US or even Canada for that matter, and instead comes from South East Asia. This is because of the Jones Act requirements of using only US built, flagged and crewed vessels for transport from the mainland. As there aren’t such tankers available, in Hawaii we are forced to rely on foreign vessels and they can only bring foreign oil. Who supports such a scheme, that costs us all extra as a result? Nearly the entire array of our political leaders in Hawaii.
All these schemes have a common element: the vast majority of Hawaii citizens end up with higher costs of living and lives that are just a little more difficult. This is what our leaders call “sustainable”.
This is what conservatives call a road to poverty and hardship.
Do the math.
Dr. Gutteling is vice-president of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii
also publised in:
The Ratchet Only Goes One Way
Politicians gone wild
By EDWARD GUTTELING March 5, 2012
Give us back some rights 30 March, 2012
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Unfortunately, these noble words are from the Declaration of Independence, not our Constitution. From these principles Americans claim a unique and revolutionary legacy: that every person possess their own sovereignty just by being born, and that these rights don't come from any government or person.
Individuals have all the rights and give a few of them up voluntarily to our governments. This is the basic principle on which our country was founded, but they are not the law. This is in direct contrast with an opposing view: that government has all the rights and powers and gives whatever it decides is appropriate back to individuals.
Note the incredible distinction: Who is the master, and who is the servant?
Most folks expect that our government leaders were elected with this concept in mind, to keep us safe, to manage our grouped resources most efficiently for our mutual benefit, but to otherwise respect our sovereignty to live our lives as we each choose. Nearly all of us grew up understanding this intuitively as part of American culture. Bit by bit, however, it's been turned on its head. Like frogs not noticing the boiling temperature if the heat is turned up slowly, our community lets our freedoms die progressively and allow politicians more and more power over our daily lives.
A small recent example is the Hawaii County ban on plastic bags. Apart from the bogus "voodoo environomic" claims about the benefits — all of which are contradicted by scientific fact — it is another small grab of power by our government. Five of the nine council members and the mayor tell 185,000 people another tiny detail of how to live their lives without even the courtesy of a referendum, where at least we'd all get a vote. This is the latest of many such laws micro-managing daily life: what light bulbs to buy, shower heads, toilet bowls, water heaters, windows, types of fat in our foods, salt content, what to pack our kids for lunch in school. Next up, banning paper bags and Styrofoam. There is even pressure to tell us what toilet paper to use.
At the other end of the rights spectrum is the Obamacare law mandating everyone obtain government-specified health insurance. If you are alive and breathing, you must obey — no exceptions. The Supreme Court will decide if this is unconstitutional, but if it stands the entire fabric of our country will be changed, forever.
There will be nothing the government cannot require or prevent us from doing. They would have the legal power to require anyone to do nearly anything: join a health club, buy vegetables daily, buy a new General Motors car yearly, etc. There would be no legal limit to prevent that, only the whim of the politicians. They are the master, we are the servants, and we will only receive whatever liberties they decide to dribble out to us. With enough public relations and spin to give them support, they can decide every detail of our lives. For our own good, of course. Because we're just not smart enough to know how to live our lives on our own. It takes a village, with them in charge.
There is no end to it, once the politicians taste the power of telling us what to do. When was the last time a law was passed giving us back an individual right or power? Never. The ratchet only goes one way — only towards less personal sovereignty and rights, and more government power and control. So what can freedom-loving Americans do? First, recognize the problem and resist at every turn. Demand accountability from our council members and mayor and that they respect our individual sovereignty and stop passing such laws. Change our county charter to put the power back in the hands of the people, for true consent of the governed. Refuse to vote for any politician who does not respect our freedoms, including President Obama and all the other Obamacare supporters. There is a better way. The founding fathers got it right.
Ed Gutteling, a Hilo physician, is vice president of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii.
Your Views for Jan. 25, 2012
Appetite for taxes
In reference to the county's review of their land tax policies, County Finance Director Nancy Crawford was recently quoted telling the County Council, "Ultimately, you charge the rates you need to get the revenue you need to run the county." Then, Ms Crawford, are there any limits to government's insatiable appetite to spending and taxing, or is it only matter of taxing to meet any spending level?
In a recent Tribune-Herald article, County Real Property Assistant Administrator Michael McCall is quoted as saying that the agricultural property assessment exemption program, which accounts for approximately 14 percent of property taxes that could be collected annually, is "very lucrative," as if it were the government's money in the first place.
In that same article, consultant Jeff Melrose noted that agricultural land for "a retirement home for a couple of sheep and a llama" is somehow not a bona fide farm. If so, than what other zoning classification would be more (legitimate) for the freedom of a retired American?
What has happened to our republic? Since when did owning private property become a liability, subject to the taxing whim of progressive bureaucrats? When did we become a people of the government, by the government and for the government?
Rick Toledo Jr.
(Mr. Toledo is a Director of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii)
19 December, 2011
We have one last chance to persuade our County Council NOT to go ahead with Pete Hoffman's plastic bag ban.
Your help is needed. If everyone adds a voice, the impact will be felt. Recent public feed-back has been very much against this law, and momentum is building.
Most councilmen have re-election on their minds, and are sensitive to the people's voices.
The next and final council meeting on this is Wed, 21 December.
Please let them know how you feel, immediately, by sending them an email or fax. (Too late for US mail.)
Mr. Pilago is the key swing vote, and he can indeed be influenced for the better.
Please do NOT let this drop.
It is just like the "broken window" theory of police work: allowing small crimes to go unpunished, like breaking windows, leads to massive larger crimes becoming common.
Allowing even the small loss of liberties to go unchecked inevitably leads the ratchet to go only one direction towards our loss of even greater liberties.
This has got to stop, and you can and must help.
Our position as conservatives is that this bag ban law is another unwarranted micro-management of our lives that should not be the purview of our elected officials.
We also feel all the arguments by the progressive activists pushing this are all wrong, and the net effect would actually be harmful.
- We feel that litter is a behavioral problem, not an item problem. For example, we cannot reduce car accidents by banning just Toyotas.
- Plastic bags will be replaced by paper, which is less environmentally kind than plastic, takes even more landfill room, and actually introduces more carbon into the air than plastic bag production and use.
- Plastic bags do NOT contribute any significant content to the vast mass of sea-borne plastic debris.
- NO scientific studies show plastic bags are a significant harm to wildlife. None. Only a very few, rare, isolated and over-hyped photos contradict this, not any real science.
- Plastic bags will be replaced by paper, or re-usable bags, which are much less useful for the full spectrum that bags are currently used for (transparent, cheap, light, and water-proof)
- Paper bags will be more expensive than plastic, costs that the poorest among us can afford the least.
- Our government should be making life easier and cheaper, not harder and more expensive.
- These sorts of details of daily life are for individuals to decide, NOT the nanny-state government. Personal liberty is again lessened by this ban.
Time to take a stand and STOP this sort of bad government behavior. If not, they will just continue and repeat this again and again. It started with light bulbs and low-flow toilets and shower heads, and many more items. Next up: banning all Styrofoam.
Your help is needed !
2 Novemeber, 2011
28 October, 2011
http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/5333/Fundamentals-Matter-Capitalism-not-the-Problem.aspx 29 Oct 2011
Capitalism not the Problem
By Edward Gutteling
I’m writing this on the 44th anniversary of the execution of that poster-boy of “social justice”, Dr. “Che” Guevara, viewing articles of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in Hawaii and the mainland. Some proudly wear T-shirts with Che’s image. Many wave slogans, reflecting their fundamental beliefs. That’s where the problem lies, as that matters. Screw up the fundamentals, and badness follows.
There are many signs like “We ARE the 99%” and “Blame Wall Street Greed”. Tea Party and conservatives can support that. But there’s also “Jobs are a Right “, “Capitalism is the Problem“, “People, not Profits”, “Tax the Rich” and even “Eat the Rich”.
They want to mobilize opinion against the institutions at the heart of our current economic problems. They see correctly that some big banks are government protected villains that have mostly avoided punishment, that the financial system’s failures hurt everyone and the poorest the most, and the badness can happen again. They see bleak futures ahead. No hope, no change.
Some understand the fundamentals of how money works: labor is stored as money, pieces of paper in which we trust government to maintain the value of our efforts. Our government has failed at that responsibility, under both GOP and Democratic administrations, repeatedly. Major financial institutions still profit from that mismanagement while the economy tanks, jobs vanish, the value of our labor shrinks, and we are further impoverished. The TeaParty and conservatives agree.
But we don’t see tearing down capitalism as they way to create wealth for everyone.
So what are these protestors’ solutions?
>From the Occupy Wall Street website:
• “Immediate debt forgiveness for all,
• Guaranteed living wage ($20 / hr) regardless of employment.
• Free college education,
• Fast track to end the fossil fuel economy
• One trillion dollars infrastructure spending now,
• One trillion dollars ecological restoration… ”
They’ll spread the wealth and get that “free stuff”.
But they say nothing about making the wealth.
Now we learn MoveOn.org and government unions such as SEIU and United Federation of Teachers are supporting the protests, and the DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition paid some non English-speaking Hispanics to demonstrate. Iran's Gen. Jazayeri praised “America’s Spring. The last phase will be the collapse of the Western capitalist system.” When Venezuela President “socialismo o muerte” Hugo Chavez broadcast his support, New York protestors cheered and hoisted a hammer and sickle.
What gives with all that?
My up-the-road Hamakua celebrity neighbor Roseanne Barr, a protest supporter, told Russia Today television’s Keiser Report: "I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million.” (Roseanne at a mere $80 million safely misses the cut) “And if they are unable to live on that amount then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps and if that doesn't help, then being beheaded," "I am in favor of the return of the guillotine and that is for the worst of the worst of the guilty.… Because it teaches children, you know,”
No, I’m not making that up.
Dr. Guevara became President of the Cuban national bank, supervised forced redistribution of all private land, personally killed scores of imprisoned “counter revolutionaries”, and enforced codes of permitted behavior. “For all the people”. You know, better than the “99%”. Poverty blossomed, and some protested. Che said in 1961: “Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates.” “Instead, they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service, should learn to think and act as a mass.” Those who “choose their own path” were “delinquents.” Che promised “to make individualism disappear from Cuba. It is criminal to think of individuals !”
No, I’m not making that up, either.
Replacing capitalism with the tyranny of the state is not the way to “social justice”, nor “sustainability”, and certainly not to wealth.
Conservatives do see the problems, and fundamental principles guide real solutions. Stable money not a politically manipulated facade, free honest markets not state crony-capitalism, limited government and responsible individual sovereignty. Consenting adults should be allowed to commit acts of capitalism in the privacy of their own domains, without the state or the mob butting in.
Cherish liberty, thrive and prosper.
Dr. Gutteling is Vice President of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii
Hawaii Island Residents Should Have a Choice Over Whether to Use Plastic or Paper Bags
photo courtesy of The Daily Feed
BY WALTER MOE AND DR. EDWARD GUTTELING - 28 Sept 2011
Our Hawaii Island County Council is still considering a law banning plastic bags from retail stores, forcing us all to either paper or reusable shopping bags instead.
This is supposedly in our best interests from litter and environmental reasoning, despite that it will definitely increase our cost of living, increase the hassle levels of daily life, increase the volume of our land fill, and is unproven in any venue to actually have decreased the net level of litter.
In fact, many communities have faced lawsuits based on increasing damage to the environment as a result of increased use of paper over plastic bags.
Plastic bag use is widely considered a cheap and valued convenience by our community. This sort of micro-management of our daily lives is unwanted by most citizens, as they correctly view this sort of manini intrusion as excessive, and beyond the proper role our government should take.
The implications are that many Councilmen consider most citizens too stupid to act in their own best interests, and so must be forced in to details of behavior by the more enlightened wisdom of a mere majority of the council.
These sorts of decisions should be made by the community as a whole, and should be submitted to the people as a referendum.
All citizens who vote are capable of weighing these pros and cons, and making their own decisions on these matters. This isn’t that hard.
Stop passing laws that increase our cost of living and make our lives harder, without asking our permission first.
We therefore urge the council to put this and all similar measures to a vote by referendum, and allow the community as a whole to decide.
Walter Moe is the President and Edward Gutteling is the vice president for The Conservative Forum for Hawaii
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
LETTERS AUG 31, 2011
Code needs scrutiny
The eyes of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii have been on the Hawaii County Council lately in regard to Bill 270, which proposes the adoption of international building and energy codes on the island.
I was pleased to learn on Sunday from the panel of speakers -- Conservative Forum members Bob Ernst and Tim Rees and county planning examiner Neil Erickson -- that due to the intrepid action of the Stakeholders Group, the council has agreed to postpone final vote on the proposal for a limited time, inviting further public input on the matter, while it gets down to reading and properly interpreting the nuts and bolts of the International Building Code (pun happened on its own) as they apply to the council's constituents, the people of Hawaii Island.
After all, what works in Paris, France, or what is required in Tampa Bay, Florida, or New England might be unfairly burdensome -- even ludicrous -- here.
For example, our risk categories are earthquakes, molten lava and tsunamis, not hurricanes.
Hawaii Island is different from our neighbor, Kauai, which suffered the brunt of hurricanes in 1982 and 1992. The last recorded hurricane to hit Hawaii Island was in the 1870s.
I was further pleased to note that members of the public, spearheaded by individuals of the Conservative Forum, have grasped the meaning of due diligence as a form of civic responsibility and are, therefore, carefully drafting clarifications to Chapter 5 of the County of Hawaii Building Code ... which will be offered to the County Council for consideration. If agreed to, they would then be added as amendments to the state uniform building code. A website is being coordinated. Access www.conforhawaii.com for precise information as it becomes available.
The bottom line is that Bill 270 affects us all, whether we are or become homeowners someday, or do not plan to own a home, or are building contractors, architects or engineers. An aware citizenry is the best "safe room" to prevent governmental disaster.
(Used with permisson of author)
Building code questioned
Opponents urge council to reconsider costly requirements
By JASON ARMSTRONG Tribune-Herald staff writer
Convincing the County Council to rethink its approval of new building standards has given bill opponents hope that hurricane-resistant designs and other costly requirements won't be made mandatory.
After an initial 9-0 vote, lawmakers last month voted 5-4 to pass a comprehensive update to Hawaii County's 1991 Uniform Building Code.
"We thought that was the end of it. We lost the vote, and thought we'd be living with Bill 270," said Bob Ernst, a retired builder from Mountain View and member of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii.
Rather than accept further increases to what he claims are the nation's highest construction costs, Ernst and others urged the council to take another look....
To view a copy of Bill 270, Draft 3, go to http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/weblink/0/doc/756796/Page1.aspx.
The current Hawaii County Code, Chapter 5, relating to building, is available at: http://co.hawaii.hi.us/countycode/chapter05.pdf
To view a free copy of the International Code, go to http://www.iccsafe.org/Store/Pages/OverviewFreeCodes.aspx and http://www.iccsafe.org/Store/Pages/FreeCodes.aspx.
READ MORE : http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/sections/news/local-news/building-code-questioned.html
31 July, 2011
We would like to emphasize the single most important major concern about the recent County Council’s narrow decision (5 to 4) regarding building codes. Every citizen needs to be alarmed by this whole process.
The new law on building codes adopts entirely the 2006 International Building Codes and International Energy Conservation Codes, and now with criminal penalties for violations.
Councilmen Blas, Ford, Hoffmann, Pilago and Smart voted “aye” without having read these codes, without even possessing copies of these codes, without knowing the impacts of these codes, and not even caring what impacts this law would have. They would not even agree to a 2 week extension so that community building professionals could give a complete detailed list of their concerns about the impact. They just do not care. The laws are not even readily available for any one else to read either, as they must be purchased at significant cost.
The County administration as represented by Public Works Director Warren Lee says the new codes will save lives, but deliberately refuses to do any kind of an analysis on the cost / benefit, or even the efficacy of the results. He claims they don’t have the resources to do so, but actually he does not want to know. He just doesn’t care about that, it is not important to him. Building Division plan examiner / architect Neil Erikson has told us it would be “no problem” to review all 667 pages and make appropriate changes that actually make sense for the Big Island.
Between these 5 councilmen and the County Administration, what we have is a total neglect of the responsibility of their offices, a total disregard to the impact of their actions, and an alarming laziness in their approach to their duties. Unfortunately, this is typical of what our government delivers more and more : they just do not care what effect their actions have, and refuse to even consider the effects before they pass laws.
As a result, our lives all become a bit more expensive, a bit more difficult, and a bit less free, every day.
Mayor Kenoi should veto this law, and all others similarly passed, unless responsible cost / benefit analysis are first done and considered fully.
Walter Moe, President
Edward Gutteling, Vice President
The Conservative Forum for Hawaii
Cellphone ban in cars a ruse
Your front-page article about the hand-held cell-phone ban clearly shows that some 25,000 otherwise law-abiding citizens are now law breakers, and county governments gathered $1.6 million from these same folks ("Cellphone-driving violations multiply," Star-Advertiser, June 29).
Clearly missing is any proof whether the new law is doing any real good in preventing traffic accidents. As in real data, not theory.
The Highway Loss Data Institute's study of last year shows laws banning the use of hand-held devices while driving have not reduced the rate of accidents in three states and the District of Columbia.
If the ban is doing nothing to reduce accidents in Hawaii, then this is all an excuse to take more revenue from newly manufactured law breakers, take away another personal liberty, all to feel good instead of really doing good.
VP, Conservative Forum for Hawaii, Hilo
Why Housing Costs So Much
by Edward Gutteling 21 July, 2011
“Ownership of private property is a constitutional civil right.” So stated UH Prof. David Callies, Hawaii’s land use law authority, at the June meeting of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii. “Hawaii is the most regulated state in the nation,” he said. And from that follows the devil in the details. Restricting this right has severe effects on our freedom and on poverty.
4,800 Big Island families (11%) are on the affordable housing waiting list.
Hawaii has the highest rental costs and lowest proportion of homeowners in the nation.
There are reasons for this.
Presently, the state Land Use Commission (LUC) requires developments have 25-30% ‘affordable’ units. Counties add on more.
The County defines an “affordable home” as $240,000. That is not affordable to most. No wonder there are no “affordable” housing developments. Maui requires 50% affordable units. Callies explains: “The LUC tried a 50% requirement 15-20 years ago. No development could afford that. Projects come to a halt or don’t even get started”. Massachusetts in 14 years built 1400 units by such set-asides. Such a minuscule contribution to the housing markets is just not worth it.
Walter Moe, owner-builder consultant, showed pending building code changes increase costs $25,000. “All they do is pass more laws, make costs go up”. Every new code requirement increases costs and difficulties. None lower costs, or make the process easier. This hits the lowest incomes hardest.
Real estate broker David Turner described the biggest problem of all: government delays of projects. “Time IS money.” He recounted the unnecessary county level permitting and inspection delays, in addition to state delays.
“No wonder the cost of housing goes up, with layers of requirements” said Callies. “It takes 10-14 years to get a project in Hawaii from green field to completion. Markets can absorb that somewhat, but eventually things stop. Every delay is costly. All projects are financed and interest accrues even without construction.” (Remember the Super Ferry bankruptcy from unexpected Environmental Impact Study delays?) Currently, entities such as the Sierra Club et al. win 90% of their State Supreme Court EIS cases, 65-75% by reversal of lower court findings. “The Supreme Court creates their own interpretations from the bench. We need EIS law but desperately need amending by the legislature.” If deep pocket developers with skilled attorneys cannot predict land use laws effectively, with these odds the only rational decision is not to start.
The LUC recently reversed Bridge Aina Lea’s development from urban to agriculture, negating all permits including the already completed 30-40 affordable units. The LUC has previously stated that agriculture was impossible due to extensive lava fields.
“This is wrong in so many ways” said Callies. The LUC is being sued for $35.7 million.
Callies adds another point: “The US Supreme Court ruled that any property regulation removing all meaningful economic use constitutes an illegal taking, requiring compensation. No excuse, no justification would prevail.” Currently, 2 of the 5 LUC conservation land designations (40% of all land) eliminate all meaningful economic use for owners. “In Hawaii we have a huge bulls-eye on our back” as a result. “There was a time when an LUC made sense to protect the state’s interest in preserving plantation agriculture. The state’s interests no longer have any need for protection. Counties do. Hawaii and California are nearly the only states in the nation where land use is regarded as a privilege to be bestowed by government.” In 2005 the US Supreme Court found (5:4) government may condemn one person’s private property for the use of another private citizen, for chance of any public economic benefit. 47 of the 50 states reacted to further protect citizens from eminent domain laws. “Increasing the protection of a civil right is always constitutional,” said Callies. Hawaii is not one of them.
“Government is not the solution. Government is the problem.” This quote from President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inaugural address illustrates why Hawaii has such high housing costs, why so many are unable to be home owners, and why our freedoms are so threatened. Meanwhile Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development signed a $34,000 consultant contract to study the mystery of why affordable housing is becoming less available.
Dr. Gutteling is vice president of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii
It's all about power
Another failed government program? I'm shocked!
The July 10 Tribune-Herald, front-page headline, notes that the state's recycling program is losing money -- going broke. Before government, we used to be able to recycle aluminum cans, phone books, newspapers, shoyu bottles, etc., and receive money for them at no cost.
Now that the government is in charge, we can't pay enough! Most of recycling is a political agenda anyway and has very little to do with "the environment." Much of the touted benefits of recycling have been debunked by the very people who started it. There was no cost vs. benefit analysis done by the county when they jumped on that political recycling agenda. There never is.
Progressives nationally wanted it, and Democrat marching orders went out -- like plastic bags, open spaces, "universal" building codes, etc. All of the aforementioned has less to do with improving our lives than it does with a ruling class obtaining more power over our lives.
The state's recycling law was passed in 2002, and in a mere eight years, expenses outpaced revenues. Initially, Hawaii's lawmakers sweetened the pie by giving numerous tax exemptions to the program because the program could not sustain itself, even with government's crooked-pencil accounting. However, unable to curb their greed and appetite for spending, Hawaii legislators ended the state's exemptions in 2009, which resulted in the program's largest cost increase. Imagine that.
Additionally, Hawaii lawmakers "stole" $1.3 million in 2009 to help balance the state budget, much like they did with the highway maintenance tax money that required near doubling of the state vehicle weight tax. Typically, the government solution is not to end or modify the ill-conceived recycling program, but to TAX US MORE. Naturally!
So, recycling is not about the environment or the women or the children or the poor, as we were conned into believing. State and county recycling efforts are all about taxes and the expansion of government.
Rick Toledo Jr.
Mr. Toledo is on the Board of Directors of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii
26 June, 2011
Truth about bags
The County Council wants to ban plastic bags, but their reasons are bogus.
They supposedly expect less litter, to save marine wild life, and to save the environment from the dangers of plastic in general.
But all the trash pick-up studies on this island show that plastic bag litter is a small minority of the trash problem.
There is no reason to expect litter to decrease, and all the more reason to expect plastic bag litter to be replaced by paper.
That so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch? They found zero plastic bags and only a handful of plastic particles after hundreds of miles of trolling.
Litter is a behavior problem, not an object problem. How about increasing littering fines instead making everyone suffer?
No studies show plastic bags are an actual (not a theoretical) threat to marine wildlife. None.
Only speculation, and a few famous, endlessly recycled photos of wildlife with a bag.
Studies proving the full wildlife threat, with data? None. Only unsubstantiated speculation.
Wildlife dies way more from fish hooks than plastic bags.
Is banning hooks next?
Plastic bags break down to nasty chemicals.
So do tires, machinery, shoe soles, road surfaces, plastic bottles.
Are they going to be banned, too?
Plastic bags are a tiny percentage of plastics in general, which activists deliberately ignore.
They are not a proven health hazard, and no study proves they are.
Again, only speculation and wild exaggerations.
Many actual scientific studies show replacing plastic bags with paper bags is a huge hit to the environment, in carbon dioxide production, landfill expansion and other aspects. How about due diligence?
In their haste for a politically correct bandwagon of “plastic bags are bad, and people are too stupid to know better,” our council should use real science and not make hasty decisions based on bogus pop-science and exaggerations by noisy activists.
Cheap energy policy
Increased electrical energy prices from HELCO are forcing the Hawaii County Water Board to increase water rates 18 percent.
Not stated is that this is in part because the use of "alternative energy" sources is more expensive than existing sources,
and will continue to worsen as further such mandated replacement occurs.
Instead of raising the cost of living, which increases hardship, poverty and suffering, we need policies that lower our costs, not increase them.
How about cheap energy as a state policy?
Wouldn't that be the best "alternative"?
Vice president, Conservative Forum for Hawaii, Hilo
Letters to Editor
Don't betray fundamentals
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/letters/20110504_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Your prominently featured commentary by Dana Milbank ("Obama: Man of Mystery," Insight, Star-Advertiser, May 1 2011)
describes President Barack Obama as "the very model of a complex thinker," able to simultaneously cons ider all aspects of an issue and all moral forces in play. He contrasts this with a "simple thinker" like Winston Churchill.
Perhaps a more accurate view is that if you view fundamental principles as less and less important in more and more situations, you will eventually believe in no principles, every time.
Conservatives believe that whenever basic fundamental principles are violated, freedom, prosperity, justice and human dignity will be harmed. Every time.
That's why we had a Declaration of Independence, a Constitution and a Bill of Rights.
Obama and the progressives don't realize that when you are too open minded, your brains fall out.
Conservative Forum for Hawaii
09 May 2011
By Ed Gutteling, M.D.
Which is one of the three biggest everyday lies:
- Save money, live better ! (Walmart)
- Spending less is saving money ! ( GEICO)
- I’m from the government and I’m here to help ! (American folklore)
* Hawaiian Electric, following Hawaii law mandating renewable energy, announces a contract to buy 16million gallons of yet to be produced Ka’u biofuels, every year for the next 20 years.
They stated: “any difference between the price of the biofuel and the fossil fuel it replaces would be spread among customers of our utility”. But they hope “in time, the cost is expected to be less than oil.” So our electric rates, already the highest in the nation, are going up even further, for certain, for everyone.
* The County Council is on the verge of banning plastic bags from most stores. Fred Blas, County Councilman for Puna, told me he favored the ban “because of litter”. “Education won’t work”, he said. So expect paper litter, already the most common form, to replace plastic bag litter. Paper bags are 10x the mass and cost 3x more than plastic. So Blas’s “aye” vote will make buying food more expensive and raise the cost of living on every struggling citizen in the district that already has the highest poverty and unemployment rates on the Big Island. Blas was elected in the hopes of being a more practical person than his more irrational and emotional predecessor.
* In 2010, Hawaii became the first state requiring all new homes have solar water heaters. The law passed unanimously in the House and 23-2 in the Senate. This increases the construction cost of a new house by $5000. On a $100,000 construction, that’s a 5% increase. “There are significant and quantifiable benefits,” said Sen. Gary Hooser, and “it will cost nothing in terms of the state budget.”
* Statewide building codes adopted in April include new electrical requirements that could raise that component of home construction cost 30% and a costly self-supporting hurricane “safe room”. Hawaii’s counties have two years to partially amend them. Expensive solar panels, roof and ceiling insulation, double-wall construction and other items could be non-negotiable. Another state law teed up right now requires fire sprinkler systems in homes, another $5000 (5%) cost increase.
Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development signed a $34,000 consultant contract to study why affordable housing is becoming less available, since they are so completely mystified. Meanwhile 4,800 Big Island’s families (11%) are on the affordable housing waiting list, increasing 1,800 families in two years.
* While campaigning, Gov. Abercrombie said repeatedly that he would not raise the GET tax. “I’m against raising the GET tax without equivocation.” But later he says “I’m flexible” and “will of course consider it as the people’s will.” They just passed an increase in GET for a variety of businesses previously exempt. Seven noted local economists stated jointly: “An increase in this tax is counterproductive to meaningful economic growth, job creation, and maintenance of a positive standard of living”.
Hawaii ties for the highest underemployment rate in the nation, 24.9% (unemployed or working less than 30hrs / week), and is among the most sleep-deprived states in the nation. Dr. Ford Shippey, sleep specialist, said “A lot of people in Hawaii work more than one job or are working seven days a week. There are many families with children where both parents work. That eats away at the time they’re able to sleep. We’re all overworked.”
Now re-read my opening sentences above.
Can you remember last when a law actually made life easier instead of harder; less expensive instead of more costly; more flexible instead of more constrained; gave us back a freedom, instead of removing one?
Politicians are hurting us, not helping us.
As President Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural address (1981) “government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem.”
Way true in Hawaii, too.
Edward Gutteling, M.D is the vice president of Conservative Forum for Hawaii, and one of the last endangered orthopaedic surgeons on the Big Island.
Opinion > Your Views
Published: Saturday, April 16, 2011
It is astonishing to me that our elected county government is seriously promoting spending even more of the citizens' hard-earned money during the worst economic downturn in decades. With families desperate to make ends meet, mortgages foreclosing, bankruptcies widespread, unemployment at record highs and everyone pinching every penny, working every angle and praying for something to change, our county wants to extract even more from everyone.
Getting polished for passage right now is another $56 million bond purchase for new spending. This will also add $27 million in interest, so we'll be paying $83 million eventually.
This is after the county budget required cuts each of the last three years, raising property taxes, and projecting another $29 million deficit this year to be "rolled over" to the next fiscal year, as the 2012 $366 million budget isn't enough. And now they want to borrow and spend another $56 ($83) million?
Every government dollar spent eventually comes from the citizens' pockets, plus interest. Your "free" park or "free" road is not "free." It's not the government's money, it's our money.
When politicians so easily spend "their money," they are taking it from everyone else. Do the math: the 2012 $29 million deficit, plus $56 million bond, plus $27 million interest, equals $112 million additional spending we'll be asked to pay for, like it was nothing. When is it too much already? Long ago.
Government greed is the appropriate description. As Gov. Linda Lingle first said, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie since repeated, "we have a government we can no longer afford."
I urge every taxpayer to call, email, fax, write and testify to our politicians: Stop the borrowing and spending before it bankrupts everyone.
Every family knows how to cut back and stop spending. The county needs to do so also.
President, The Conservative Forum for Hawaii
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Panos on Geothermal: Can Hawaii catch up with Philippines and Iceland?
HAWAII’S RENEWABLE ENERGY MANDATES, and HOW IT AFFECTS EVERYONE
from conforhawaii.com FEBRUARY, 2011
We were honored to be addressed by two distinguished speakers at our Feb 27 forum: Michael Kaleikini, manager of Puna Geothermal Ventures, on “Geothermal Energy in Hawaii" and Dr. Panos Prevedouros, Professor of Civil Engineering at University of Hawaii, on “Statewide Implications of the Mandates". Questions were entertained after both speakers concluded....
Officials: Geothermal is the future
State's energy needs addressed before Conservative Forum
by Jason Armstrong
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer
February 28, 2011
Producing more electricity from lava-heated steam is the best way to meet Hawaii Island's future energy needs, according to one civil engineering professor.
Speaking Sunday before the Conservative Forum for Hawaii, University of Hawaii at Manoa professor Panos Prevedouros offered a critique of Hawaii's energy use and sources.
"We are off the charts in the amount we pay per hour of kilowatt energy," Prevedouros, a former Honolulu mayoral candidate, told the more than 80 people who attended the group's monthly meeting in Hilo.
He called wind energy "junk" because it's too intermittent, said corn and other ethanol-producing crops should be reserved as food sources, and noted Hawaii's nuclear energy prohibition.
"For the Big Island, without a doubt, the key is geothermal," Prevedouros said...
read more here:
Opinion > Your Views
Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 9:34 AM HST
For the purpose of Richard Niimi's edification (Your Views, Feb. 17), (see posted immediately below this), some clarification is needed.
Mr. Niimi states that we are in a recession, at least in part, because banks were unregulated. Is he kidding? The banking industry is one of the most regulated businesses in America. Nearly every form, loan program, money transfer, etc., must be done according to a federal law or procedure, and is subject to audit.
The housing bubble was caused principally because of government regulations, promulgated by the very people in Congress charged with oversight of the banking industry. Any claim of deregulation was, in fact, re-regulation. Additionally, had government stayed out of the risky loan business, market forces would have limited investor exposure way before massive problems occurred.
What caused the dangerous equity shortfall of sub-prime loans was the involvement of taxpayer-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both heavily politicized and progressively managed organizations. It wasn't the often heard "boogyman" of corporate greed that caused the housing bubble to burst, but the government's involvement in the political agenda to put otherwise unqualified people in homes they could not afford. There is a revolving door between the upper echelons of the Wall Street decision makers and the policy makers of Washington, D.C.
Mr. Niimi is correct, however, when he said the better time to trim government is when the economy is doing well. But, what happened during the approximately 10 years we were living high on the hog? Both state and county governments grew exponentially. Surplus state tax receipts, required to be returned to taxpayers after two consecutive years of excess collections, were expediently "spent" by the Democrat state Legislature with the insult of returning a dollar ... if we wanted it.
Government has grown too big, from the feds to the local level. The U.S. government is now the largest employer in the U.S., having added over 200,000 federal employees in the past two years. And it is broke! As Treasury secretary tax cheat, Tim Geitner, told Sen. Sessions, the president's proposed 2011-2012 budget includes interest payments that are "unsustainable," so what's your alternative? We have indeed "run out of other people's money" and can expect the resulting socialist consequences.
Richard Toledo Jr., Hilo
Mr. Toledo is a Director of The Conservative Forum for Hawaii
Opinion > Your Views
Cutting the deficit
Published: Thursday, February 17, 2011 9:53 AM HSThttp://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/articles/2011/02/17/opinion/your_views/letters01.txt
This Is In Response To Ed Gutteling's Column In The Feb. 13 Tribune-Herald.(see below)
Since When Does The Economy Respond Differently To Union Incomes, Government Incomes Or Private Sector Incomes?
I'm sure that business will welcome all income that shows up at its doorstep, and all income injected into the economy stimulates that economy.
Oh, and Dr. Gutteling forgot to include all the road materials that went into the project.
Dr. Gutteling seems to have forgotten why we are in a recession. Unregulated banks went out of control, causing a bubble-and-burst of the housing market. And it is the same fear that Dr. Gutteling is talking about that caused people to have lock-jaw on their wallets. With the private sector refusing to spend to jump-start the economy, it is the job of government to help via stimulus spending.
Dr. Gutteling also forgot that I said "when properly proportioned" and "when not excessive," regarding unions and government. Of course government spending can go over the limit. A better time to trim government is when economic growth and mild inflation begin to emerge. We can streamline government, reduce the deficits and cool inflationary pressures all at the same time.
Richard Niimi, Mountain View
On Big Isle, some are more equal than others
In Hawaii, Everyone Pays So a Few Can Benefit
Thursday, February 24th, 2011
By Edward Gutteling
A recent news article described the amazing medical account of a woman with a rare brain lesion who "literally knows no fear." She lacks that brain part that enables her to be afraid. Ever.
Superficially, this may be a good thing, but all parents understand absence of fear can be dangerous, too. Naivete can be costly, can get you hurt and even dead.
Collectively as a community, perhaps we also have a very specific brain lesion, one that prevents us from seeing danger clearly.
Examples: Our Hawaii County Council is considering a $56 million construction bond. "We can put people back to work," Mayor Kenoi said. "It's part of our economic stimulus program."
Isemoto Contracting's president testified: "People need jobs." Wallace Ishibashi, business agent for the ILWU, echoed that sentiment.
But a West Hawaii Today article explained: "Experience with other Big Island projects that were meant to stimulate the economy shows large construction projects don't make much of a dent in the island's 9.5 percent unemployment rate. The $33.8 million for the Ane Keohokalole Highway in Kona resulted in only 19.3 full-time equivalency jobs. In comparison, 7,785 Big Island residents were looking for work."
That's right, $33.8 million for 19.3 net jobs.
The wisdom of acquiring extra debt is one thing, on top of next year's projected $21 million deficit. It is another to claim, during a recession, that it is a good thing for us all to commit to taking an extra $56 million, plus interest, from the taxpaying people so the county government can spend it on hiring just a few.
Doesn't anyone object to that "logic?"
Maybe most folks, given the choice, would rather keep their money for themselves instead. And maybe they would make more net jobs than the government could, too. Perhaps the community needs these projects, or maybe not, but to justify them as job generators seems dangerously bogus.
Another example: Young Brothers Ltd. recently filed for a 24 percent shipping rate increase, threatening to cut services if it's not granted. It said three-quarters of the request is due to a decline in business, the rest in anticipation of loss of revenue when Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines enters the interisland cargo business.
Young Brothers claims it will lose money on shipping to Molokai and Lanai, and will now lose even more overall in competition. As nearly everything on the Big Island gets here by barge, every citizen will end up paying more so that Young Brothers can subsidize both itself and the folks on Lanai and Molokai.
And there's the letter to the editor in the Jan. 8 Tribune-Herald: "When properly proportioned, government employees' incomes work the same as union incomes and help all sectors of the economy grow. The Tea Party's agenda for wholesale reduction of both unions and government will create falling incomes. And, yes, even non-union or government workers will be impacted by falling incomes." So the author wants us to believe that if unions take a cut in income, everyone else will suffer, too. And if taxes go up so that union wages go up, every taxpayer will benefit. Seriously?
The common theme? Everyone pays so that a few can benefit, but that is not what we're told to see.
George Orwell said: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" (Animal Farm," 1945).
When we as a community actually see that danger clearly, we'll demand things get done differently.
Dr. Gutteling is a Big Island orthopedic surgeon and vice president of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii.
Saturday, January 29, 2011 6:59 AM HST
Opponents to training flights are a disgrace
I am writing in regards to the proposed expanded high altitude helicopter training plans for the Big Island. Our priority as a community is that the safety of our professional warriors, our sons and daughters, always comes first. Quite frankly, those among us who do not are a disgrace to us all.
As maximizing and maintaining their war fighting skills is essential for their safety in battle, please know that we will support any necessary changes needed so that they will be as ready as possible to stand in to danger on our behalf. Whatever small sacrifices we need to make in this regards for them, it is nothing compared to what they do for us.
We are more than willing to put up with some changes and discomforts if it can assist them in what they need. This includes any other necessary modernizations of the training areas and ranges, also.
We do appreciate the military's ongoing sensitivity to our concerns, and reasonable accommodations for us are always welcome. But rest assured, we support our troops.
Conservative Forum for Hawaii
Yagong: Time to cut costs
Council chairman says county needs to freeze hiring and reduce perks
by Jason Armstrong
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer
Hawaii County can't borrow its way out of debt, which is why local government should shrink, cut labor costs and end its "culture of entitlement," County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong said Sunday.
"We owe it to the public to scrutinize every single expenditure," the Hamakua lawmaker told about 50 members of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii....
December 17, 2010
Contempt of the Governed
By Edward Gutteling
On November 17, I was struck by 3 news items that collectively turned my head around.
In the Hilo Tribune-Herald, front page: “Some isle drivers still haven’t got the message” about illegally driving while using a hand-held cell phone.
700 citations, $119,800 fines “and yet people continue to drive in violation”.
“When the police aren’t around, I do it. When they are, I don’t”.
Police are among those exempt from the ban.
The article concludes :“A 2006 study found that drivers talking on cell phones, whether hand-held or hands free, are just as dangerous as drunk drivers.”
Same day, front-page, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: “State gets tougher on farm, fair taxes”.
“A chaotic scene broke out at the Kailua (Oahu) Open Market when tax agents clamped down on so-called ‘cash economy’ businesses”.
The crackdown came from the Tax Department’s year old Special Enforcement Unit on dozens of vendors and small businesses, state-wide.
An egg merchant in business for 33 years with a valid GET license was cited for not having individual sales receipts.
The $670 fine wiped out 2 weeks profits, and prompted spontaneous reaction from the crowd.
Police were called as the tax agents were yelled at, and one customer was cited and fined $2000 for “running around and telling vendors ‘the tax guy is here’“.
State tax director Stanley Shiraki said that the man was cited although other shoppers also yelled at the agents as “he was the most egregious person that was wrong”.
The egg farmers then bought a new $200 sales machine that makes duplicate receipts, but it so slowed down each sale that at the next market they lost ⅓ of business as impatient customers walked away.
Same day, national news: “Security measures cause airport unrest” from wholebody enhanced scanners.
“Federal officials were struggling to reassure rising numbers outraged by new procedures they consider invasive and harmful.”
''It's all about security,'' Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said. ''It's all about everybody recognizing their role.''
Refuse the scan, and endure an “enhanced pat down” including genitalia and breasts.
“If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested” was one now famous response.
He’s been threatened with a $10,000 fine.
What’s the common theme here?
It’s not criminal selfish scoff-law behavior, it is the widespread and correct perception that our laws are increasingly both unjust, illogical, and harmful.
A very large number of rational citizens view cell phone use in cars as both a safe and productive use of their time.
When the ban is supposed to prevent dangerously inattentive driving, but scientific studies show no difference between using hand-held and hands-free cellphones, or a claim is made that each is as dangerous as drunk driving, all credibility is lost.
Will the state ban conversation in vehicles next?
When taxes get too high and too pervasive, wide spread cheating becomes the norm.
The tax Special Enforcement Unit has gone to restaurants, gas stations, contractors, farmers’ markets, florists, shopping centers, and next to bed & breakfasts.
The dirty little secret lately is that nearly every business that deals in a cash transaction now hides their receipts.
It’s not greed, it’s survival.
When the public correctly see the US “security theater” approach as both an ineffective way to keep them safe, and needlessly compromising personal dignity,
an “emperor has no clothes” moment arrives.
When the state loses credibility, when folks no longer trust their government to do the right thing, then they lose their moral authority and society starts to unravel. When the state makes “the consent of the governed” into “contempt of the governed”, we’ve got a problem.
It is time to turn things around.
Edward Gutteling, a Big Island physician, is
vice president of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii
$56 million loan up for vote
Group: Bill 'extraordinarily irresponsible'
by Jason Armstrong
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer
Published: Monday, November 29, 2010
Before ending its term next week, the lame-duck County Council is poised to make one final policy decision that could impact taxpayers for the next 20 years.
That's how long it would take to repay the $56 million loan lawmakers will consider reaffirming during a special meeting set for 9 a.m. Tuesday in Hilo.
Requested reconsideration of Mayor Billy Kenoi's funding bill is the only item listed on the meeting agenda.
Lawmakers approved Kenoi's loan-request bill, by a 7-1 vote, on Nov. 17. That action typically would have allowed him to sign the measure into law....
The likelihood of increasing the county's debt -- expected interest payments would total $27.25 million -- has caught the ire of the Conservative Forum of Hawaii.
For the first time in its yearlong history, the 300-member group has taken a public stand on a local issue, President Walter Moe said. "I'm appalled at the conduct of our elected officials," he said Sunday.
Moe said the group hasn't testified on the bill because members expected that "common sense would prevail" and the council would reject the loan request. Now, Moe is urging members to oppose the bill at the 11th-hour because "it really attacks what our group stands for."
"The Conservative Forum for Hawaii finds this extraordinarily irresponsible, financially dangerous, and an outrageous taking of the citizens' hard earned efforts," Moe wrote in a letter the group recently sent to all its members. "If citizens do not demand respect, they will not get it."
Moe suggested the motive to approve the loan is more political than economic.
"It's buying votes," he added....
25 November, 2010
FROM: Walter Moe, President, Conservative Forum for Hawaii
TO: all fellow Big Island citizens
RE: Think global, act local: $56 million
Please be aware that our current lame-duck County Council is preparing to ram through a $56 million bond issue (i.e.: a promise to extract this in taxes from us in the future) at the request of Mayor Kenoi, to finance various construction projects that are not fully specified. This is promoted during an economic quagmire where the county is projecting a $40 million budget shortfall next year, and where the county is already in debt for $291.4 million.
The Conservative Forum for Hawaii finds this extraordinarily irresponsible, financially dangerous, and an outrageous taking of the citizens hard earned efforts.
It is not their money, it is ours. It is not their efforts that produced it, we did.
Every citizen is urged to help stop their county government from doing this.
Please attend and speak against this at the Council meeting on Tuesday, November 30, 9:00 a.m. at the County Building. I’ll be there, please join me.
If you can not attend, submit testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: Tuesday, November 23, 2010
In response to Ed Comstock's letters on Medicare and Obamacare, clarification is sorely needed for readers to get the full picture he and others wish to distort.
On Medicare, he promotes that because of the legal language of health care laws, $500 billion will NOT be taken from Medicare (which we all pay for) to go towards Medicaid (for low-income persons in need). Despite his slippery legal quotations, the full picture is exactly this: Obamacare has been specifically designed to cut $500 billion from the growth of Medicare.
(The Congressional Budget Office actually finds this a low-ball estimate, projecting cuts on Medicare and related programs by $1.1 trillion over Obamacare's real first decade, 2014 to 2023). Most of these cuts would come from lowering Medicare reimbursement rates for hospitals, hospices and doctors, and from cutting Medicare Advantage where CBO projects cuts by about $25,000 for each of the 10 million seniors who are enrolled, 1 in 4 Medicare patients. These "savings" (cuts) are then deliberately used to "pay for" Obamacare's other expansions, projected to increase the Medicaid roles by 30 percent.
On Obamacare, he and others have also said, in effect:
The "universal mandate" requiring insurance purchase by ALL citizens has exceptions, so it's OK as it's not really "universal";
There's a "penalty" but violation has no consequences so it's OK;
It's NOT an unconstitutional federal "penalty," it's really an OK constitutional "tax";
Required participation in "qualified" insurance plans doesn't mean you HAVE to terminate existing insurance.
Using the common theme of deception by verbiage, all of these are exercises in deceit:
deliberate attempts to mislead by telling only part of the truth.
It is NOT OK if you aren't lucky enough to be exempt from the required purchase, and every citizen IS obligated by the law. Whether it's a penalty or a tax, and despite the language, it WILL end up as an IRS obligation.
If the IRS comes after you for ANY reason, and you refuse, you WILL risk prison as an ultimate result.
To be "qualified," insurance plans MUST BE government approved or citizens can be penalized.
More importantly, the above are elaborate attempts at deliberately missing-the-point:Obamacare affects everyone, by coercion and force, and also by deception as well.
Is this what we want in America?
Edward Gutteling, M.D.
vice president, -Conservative Forum- for Hawaii
A Matter of Individual Sovereignty
published October 15, 2010
Edward Gutteling, M.D.
I write today regarding an issue affecting the sovereignty of all Americans, potentially re-structuring our entire way of government, way of life and national idea. Other than the near cratering of our economy, absolutely the single most important recent issue critical for all Americans is the legality of the “individual mandate” requirement of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” a.k.a. Obamacare.
If allowed to stand, this Act requires all U.S. citizens to obtain government-approved health insurance. Most working Americans will be required to pay up to 2.5% of their income for private health insurance, or pay a fine to the IRS for not doing so. Not commonly stated is that the ultimate outcome of non-compliance is citizens can be imprisoned for failure to pay their taxes as a result. That is to say, ultimately, imprisoned as a crime against the state for failure to buy personal private health insurance.
Health insurance will no longer be an individual choice, it will be a societal obligation, mandated by law and threat of force from the state.
As a physician, I deplore our present health system where many don’t have access to affordable health care, but the ends do not justify the means. There is a better way.
The significance of the government assuming and keeping the legal power to do this cannot be overstated. If allowed to stand as law, this power can and will be used by the government to regulate all human enterprise and activity, or even inactivity. The state can then require citizens to purchase anything the state wishes them to. Never in its history has any federal court ruled that the government can regulate economic inactivity and require every citizen to buy a product or service.
The central issue is this:
Are we citizens that collectively form a government, or are we a government that owns citizens?
Our Constitution was fashioned on the ideal of limited government, stipulating that Federal powers are enumerated, not limitless, and that sovereignty resides with the States and with the people (see the 10th Amendment).
However, this individual mandate crosses a fundamental line between a limited constitutional government and limitless federal power constrained only by the vagaries of political will. Which is to say, not constrained at all.
Supporters claim the Commerce Clause of the Constitution gives the federal government the authority to regulate interstate commerce, and so allows for the individual purchase mandate because individual actions will collectively influence healthcare costs and so influence interstate commerce. Detractors claim that by this logic there is no activity or inactivity that does not ultimately affect interstate commerce somehow, so there would be no limit on federal power. If the federal power to enact “economic mandates” were upheld, Congress would be free to require anything of the citizenry in the name of a regulatory plan, and fundamentally alter the relationship of the state to the people. Nobody would ever again be able to claim plausibly that the Constitution limits federal power.
Most American’s think they have a right NOT to buy health insurance, or anything else for that matter, if they so chose not to.
President Obama disagrees, and no surprise “progressive” Neil Abercrombie does too.
“Progressives” have the alarming view that citizens should be extensively regulated—but never interpret anything as additional limits on government powers.
20 State’s Attorneys General filed a Federal lawsuit claiming unconstitutionality.
(A supporting Amici Curiae brief http://www.cato.org/pubs/legalbriefs/VirginiavSebeliusMSJ.pdf nicely summarizes the legal arguments.)
On October 14, Florida District Judge Roger Vinson allowed some aspects of the suit to go forward.
It is disheartening that Duke Aiona, attorney and former judge, says he is “undetermined” whether as Governor he would join other states challenging the constitutionality.
Hawaii’s Attorney General Mark Bennett does not believe the case has legal merit, and so “not in Hawaii's best public interest to participate”.
He believes it is “unfair to blame anyone else for his decision, as he has this authority.”
Governor Lingle wants an exemption from Obamacare for the current Hawaii Prepaid Healthcare Act and doesn’t want to get involved otherwise. It seems outside her comfort zone.
Presently, the senior leadership of both Hawaii parties has abandoned citizens’ rights, and we have no one to defend us locally.
We are left to hope those on the mainland will fight for us successfully.
It is not too late for our leaders to take the principled high road, and help protect the liberty of every citizen.
Freedom has ceased to be a birthright; it has come to mean whatever we are still permitted to do.
America as we know it is on the line.
(Dr. Gutteling is one of the last endangered orthopedic surgeons on the Big Island, and Vice-president of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii)
Violence and Threats of Violence in the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement
Submitted by Ken Conklin, Ph.D. on Mon, 08/23/2010 - 21:53
Halekoa — Iolani Barracks. Completed in 1871. Click for modern-day, larger view.
A scholarly lecture in Hilo on Sunday August 22 was disrupted by Hawaiian sovereignty activists. Ironically, the lecture focused on Islamist violence and raised the question whether Hawaiian sovereignty activists might become radicalized in the same way as the Islamists. The Hawaiian activists didn't like the topic or the facts being reported. Sovereignty activists have behaved in similar ways at other public events as documented later; including threats of bodily harm to schoolchildren and to adults at an attempted Statehood Day celebration.
Despite modern efforts to portray Queen Liliuokalani as a non-violent resister comparable to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the fact is that she instigated actual violence, resulting in numerous deaths, in 1889 and 1895. In 1893 she also vindictively insisted she would execute (reportedly by beheading) the leaders of the revolution of 1893 even though the U.S. representative who wanted to negotiate with President Dole to reinstate her monarchy told her very clearly that such insistence on bloodthirsty vengeance would mean he could not continue to support her reinstatement.
Dr. Thomas A. Curtis is Professor of Sociology and Chairman of the Social Sciences Division at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. On Sunday he gave the monthly lecture to the Conservative Forum for Hawaii in a meeting announced well ahead of time and open to the public. The speech, entitled "Home-Grown Terrorism," was a report on recent findings in his long-term research on violence and terrorism in politics.
Dr. Curtis' described in detail how Islamist terrorism in America and Spain has been perpetrated by ordinary local citizens of those countries who became radicalized as teenagers or young adults. He specifically discussed the issue whether Hawaiian sovereignty activists are likely to become radicalized through the same psychological mechanisms and social peer pressure as the Islamists, and whether the Hawaiian activists might use violence to achieve their political goal of sovereignty. He said his research includes "1-on-1 surveys of members of the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement, in which his research showed 94% were non-violent. That left 6% who could be."
Hostile comments interrupted him during his presentation. Increasingly angry disruptions during the followup discussion period forced a premature end to the event. An understandably intimidated Dr. Curtis later said he will continue his research but will no longer give public presentations about his findings. Interruptions during a scholarly speech, and constant angry harassment and shouting during a discussion period, are threats of violence whose effect is to intimidate the speaker and silence freedom of expression. When threats of violence force actual changes of behavior including premature ending of the discussion and self-censorship of future speaking engagements, the threats are, in fact, actual violence. It's ironic that what happened at Dr. Curtis' lecture was illustrative of his subject matter.
The Big Island Chronicle of August 23, 2010 has a 1200-word news report describing what happened, written by Dr. Ed Gutteling, an orthopedic surgeon who is Vice President of the Conservative Forum For Hawaii and an eyewitness to what happened. Dr. Gutteling writes that during the discussion period "a series of apparent Hawaiian Sovereignty supporters dominated the discourse very loudly, with growing audible anger. One asked why he did not include several western figures from Hawaiian history as terrorists. Another stood and rubbed an American flag on display, and shouted “this is terrorism,” indicating the US flag. Another [former OHA trustee and current independence activist Moanikeala Akaka] ranted for several minutes how she had spent 40 years working for Hawaiian Sovereignty and never come across any supporter advocating violence. She claimed only peaceful civil disobedience as her methods, in the spirit of Ghandi and with aloha, and accused Dr. Curtis of being an Agent Provocateur ..." For the full report in Big Island Chronicle see
A less detailed news report about the event was published in the Hilo Herald-Tribune of August 23. See
The Hawaiian islands were formed millions of years ago in the fiery violence of volcanic eruptions, still ongoing in limited form on Hawaii Island. The sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaii was also established through extraordinary violence which included centuries of warfare and religious/political human sacrifice. The violence reached its peak with Kamehameha The Great's use of modern weapons of mass destruction (guns and cannon) against enemies armed with clubs and spears.
Even after the Kingdom was firmly established there were occasional periods of sovereignty-related deadly violence, most notably in 1819 (Battle of Kuamo'o), and 1874 (rioting after Kalakaua's election as King)
Queen Liliuokalani, today's poster girl for non-violence in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, is put forward on a pedestal alongside Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi because she gave up without a fight in 1893. But she actually was a conspirator in two bloody political revolts using guns and bombs in which men died, in 1889 (Wilcox attempt to overthrow Kalakaua) and 1895 (Wilcox attempt to overthrow the Republic). Her bloodthirsty demands for revenge by beheading following the revolution of 1893 caused a U.S. diplomat acting as would-be mediator to back away from efforts to restore her to the throne. The Wilcox attempted counter-revolution of 1895 included a cache of guns and bombs which Liliuokalani had allowed to be hidden in the flower bed of her private home (Washington Place), even as she signed commissions appointing the cabinet ministers for the new government she planned to form. She was tried and convicted of that crime, and spent several months "imprisoned" in a huge room in 'Iolani Palace (with full-time maidservant and plenty of hobby supplies for composing music and sewing a political quilt).
A major webpage is entitled "Violence and threats of violence to push demands for Hawaiian sovereignty -- past, present, and future". See
That webpage includes detailed, well documented subpages including Liliuokalani's actual instigation of violence; threats of violence against schoolchildren and adults at an attempted Statehood Day celebration in 2006; threats of violence against an anti-sovereignty course at UH in 2002 that caused the course to be cancelled; threats of violence if the Akaka bill does not pass made by "Reverend" Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell and by Rod Ferreira (leader in three major ethnic Hawaiian institutions); actual anti-haole violence in school resulting in a federal consent decree and reported, along with other incidents, by the Southern Poverty Law Center in an article excusing anti-haole violence because of historical grievances; and many others.
Some anti-haole violence is merely "normal" racism; but some of it is motivated by real or imagined historical grievances regarding sovereignty which are constantly trumpeted in the schools, the media, and the political activism in pushing the Akaka bill. A recently published book displays how historical falsehoods are used to poison the minds and hearts of schoolchildren, thus building racial hatred and perhaps eventual violence: The book is "Ka Puuwai Hamama -- Volunteer Spirit" by Kim Hunter, and a detailed review of it refuting the falsehoods is at
For discussion of the "big picture" see the book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" at
About Ken Conklin, Ph.D.
Monday, August 23, 2010
||Terrorism? Sovereignty activists prove UHH Professor’s unspoken point
Dr Thom Curtis gave the August address to the Conservative Forum for Hawaii on the topic of “Home-Grown Terrorism” on Sunday, 22 August.
(Curtis is the Chair of the UH Hilo Sociology Department, he also led a student-run study of Native Hawaiian attitudes towards the Sovereignty movement. The 2006 study, which was published in the print edition of Hawai`i Free Press, showed that many Native Hawaiians felt intimidated into silence by thuggish sovereignty activists. Hawai`i Free Press will shortly re-publish our 2006 article on Dr Curtis’ study. His speech at the Conservative Forum of Hawaii dealt exclusively with Islamist terrorism, but….)
After his speech, the meeting was disrupted by many Hawaiian Sovereignty proponents who dominated the session with loud and acrimonious statements and prevented the usual civil discussion expected of the topic.
President Walter Moe began the meeting by greeting the 100 or so in attendance,....
Terrorism talk stirs emotions
Sovereignty supporters angered by study on homegrown violence
by Colin M. Stewart
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer
Published: Monday, August 23, 2010 8:57 AM HST
A speaker at a meeting of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii riled supporters of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, although he never actually shared his thoughts or research on the subject.
University of Hawaii at Hilo Sociology Department chairman and professor Thom Curtis gave a Powerpoint presentation Sunday afternoon at Naniloa Volcanoes Resort in which he discussed his studies of homegrown Islamic terrorism.
In a release provided to the Tribune-Herald and printed in the Thursday edition of the newspaper, Conservative Forum President Walter Moe was quoted as saying that Curtis would also be discussing his research "into the potential for the sovereignty movement to present a homegrown threat in Hawaii."....
In his discussion, Curtis gave several well-known examples of homegrown terrorists and presented their paths to terrorism. Common among almost all of the examples was a sudden conversion to Islam, followed by increasing radicalization....
Moanikeala Akaka, a former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and longtime supporter of Hawaiian rights, said Curtis should be ashamed of himself.
"You, sir, are a provocateur looking for money to discredit us. Our policy was one of peace. It was not us who brought the navy ships. ... We are a people of peace....
A man with a name tag that said "Skippy" and a T-shirt with the message "Don't Trust Whitey" walked out of the room saying to the crowd, "I thought we were here to speak truth!"...
Curtis appeared surprised and frustrated with the audience's reaction, eventually relinquishing the floor after several interruptions....
After Sunday's meeting, Curtis said he did not plan on speaking in the future about the study in public....
August 16, 2010
Effort to shackle county delayed
Proposal would make it harder for council to raise taxes, take away rights
by Peter Sur
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer
Published: Monday, August 16, 2010 9:40 AM HST
A conservative group that wants to put the shackles on government overreaching has abandoned its effort to change the Hawaii County Charter in November.
Facing looming deadlines to turn in some 13,500 signatures so the questions could be on the ballot, the Conservative Forum for Hawaii has shifted its focus to the 2012 election. Members hope a two-year window and perhaps a lower turnout in the upcoming midterm elections will translate to an easier path to getting their novel proposal onto ballots.
The Big Island-based group unveiled its proposal in March, launching an effort that would make it harder for the county government to take away their rights or to raise taxes.
One proposed amendment states that "any law passed by the Hawaii County Council" that removes a right or liberty currently enjoyed by the people can only become effective after it is approved by a two-thirds vote of the people in a referendum.
The other proposed amendment would subject any legislation that increases or levies a new tax or fee to the same referendum process.
Collectively, the two proposals are called the Consent of the Governed acts...
"I was made aware, of course, that this would be a radical change and we would face some kind of opposition," Moe said by phone Sunday evening from his home.
Moe said he was "flabbergasted" by the high level support for the proposals at one Tea Party rally along Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo, when the group received 160 signatures in a day. But when he checked the deadlines with elections officials, Moe decided to pull back for this voting cycle.
"I looked at the timeline and I saw no, we are not going to make it," he said. "We decided to crank it up, and to have (a) two-year timeline to get those signatures." Moe did not know the total number of signatures collected in the recent effort, but he's confident he can reach the required number next time.
Dr. Edward Gutteling, an orthopedic surgeon and vice president of the Conservative Forum, said the group received "several hundred signatures" with "a very token effort."///
Sunday, 11 July, 2010
Legitimacy of law, and its moral basis, MUST lie with the consent of the governed. Always.
Major societal changes will be illegitimate without ALL citizens having an equal voice in giving their approval to such a societal restructuring, by referendum.
For this reason, the governor's veto of House Bill 444 is correct: such a major societal change as requiring by law that our communities now value all sexual relationships as equivalent, that the traditional legal status and role given to heterosexual marriage since the first laws were ever written, cannot be forced on to our communities by a few politicians alone, especially by less than open legislative practices as recently occurred in Hawaii.
Only by referendum should our communities and society be allowed to be restructured.
Power to the people, always.
The ends do not justify the means.
The Conservative Forum for Hawaii
Walter Moe, president
Edward Gutteling, vice president
Losing our rights
Published: Sunday, May 2, 2010 8:09 AM HST
How shocked and saddened we were to read that the County Council has passed the ban on smoking cigarettes in private vehicles with child passengers. Although we are not in favor of smoking, this law is but another removal of rights from citizens by these council lunas, all without asking the citizens to vote on the matter. I have heard widespread outrage from the community about this latest theft of our rights. Even Mynah Bird, on the radio recently, was calling them "a council out of control," and doing things that are "not their kuleana."
Where does this arrogance and micro-managing stop? I urge all citizens to express their outrage about this, for if we do nothing this behavior will never stop, and it will get worse as they tell us how to live every detail of our lives for us. Contact the Conservative Forum for Hawaii email@example.com about how to sign our petitions to amend the county charter, the Consent of the Governed Acts, to prevent this from happening again. See conforhawaii.com for more details.
President, Conservative Forum for Hawaii
Tyranny or Anarchy?
Your recent letter from Ms. Blankfield equating the Consent of the Governed Act charter amendments with “anarchy” sadly misses the whole idea. To claim there is no other alternative between “anarchy” and the present system of five abusive luna’s giving lip service to being our “representatives” is a false division.
We do believe in the efficiencies of representative government.
But our representatives should supervise the administration of our government, not control every aspect of our lives just because they want to. The county government presently has all the authority it needs to structure our communities, position man-power, expand or contract services, etc.
These acts would do nothing to hamper those present powers. They don't need any more.
What it would do, going forward, is forever stop them from taking away any more freedoms from us, without our permission.
This is neither unworkable nor expensive. Referendums every 2 years with the general elections already scheduled will cost a pittance to add a few lines to every ballot.
If a restriction on our liberties is so very important, then we all should vote on it.
The only other option of voting out politicians every 2 years is a clumsy and dangerously inefficient tool for protecting our individual choices in how we want to live. We have to wait 2 years, and then decide if these politicians were right most of the time or not, or to put up with the times they were wrong. And their competitors may be worse.
We should control our own lives, not them. Don't be afraid of demanding your rights.
See conforhawaii.com for details, and stay tuned for more to come.
Conservative Forum for Hawaii
Editorial by the Honolulu Advertiser Editor:
Big Island County Council is TOO INTRUSIVE
Posted on: Monday, March 22, 2010
Cigarette? Not in front of the kids
Speaking of laws that control behavior in motor vehicles: They're not all created equal.
The Hawai'i County Council appears poised to turn the regulation meter one click too far with a bill to ban smoking in any vehicle occupied by a juvenile.
Although exposure to secondhand smoke poses an indisputable risk, there are two major problems with Bill 216, which prohibits smoking in motor vehicles with anyone under 18 on board.
First, if police have a tough time enforcing the ban on cell phone use in the car, imagine how much harder it will be to catch someone smoking with the kids in the backseat. "No, officer, that cigarette butt was already out before I picked up my kids." Any number of ready excuses come to mind.
Second, and this is obvious, but should government really stick its nose that far into personal space? Protecting people from secondhand smoke makes sense in the public setting, but it's not necessary everywhere on the planet. If banning smoking in your car is OK, why not in your home?
Incredibly, the bill received a 6-3 thumbs-up last week to advance to the full council. Two more votes, and it becomes law.
If that happens, who knows what intrusive and unenforceable measures will come from the Big Island council next? A ban on trips through the fast-food drive-through, maybe? Everyone knows that stuff's not good for you, either.
Five (lunas) rule over many
How timely that we read ... the very day after announcing the Consent of the Governed project, that Councilwoman (Emily) Naeole-Beason wants to pass a law banning smoking in private vehicles if a child under 18 years old is present.
Of course, this would be without asking the people to vote on it, as only she and her colleagues are enlightened enough to know what's best.
Now this ban may or may not be a good idea, but it is alarming to continue to allow just five people (a majority of the council) determine what is good parenting, and make laws and criminal punishments about such, and how every citizen on the island should live their lives, all without asking our permission.
I personally know only too well the perils of smoking, as every patient I see attests to after receiving my lecture. However, this ban must be put before the people in a referendum.
These continued and accelerating edicts by a select few must be stopped, and sovereignty restored to all citizens. Only we should decide the details of how we live our lives, not just an elitist five. Support the Consent of the Governed Acts to amend the county charter: conforhawaii.com.
Conservative Forum for Hawaii
Group aims to protect isle liberties
by Peter Sur
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer
Published: Monday, March 8, 2010 6:57 AM HST
Big Island conservatives want to make it harder for the county government to take away their rights or raise taxes.
At a meeting Sunday in Hilo, leaders of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii unveiled two proposed amendments to the Hawaii County Charter. The catch is it's going to take a lot of work in the next few months before their proposals can land on the ballot in November.
One amendment would stipulate that any law the County Council passed that would remove a right or a liberty only be approved after a two-thirds vote of the people in a referendum in the next regularly scheduled election.
This would include such "rights" as the right to smoke cigarettes in public places and beaches, and the right to use a plastic checkout bag, said Conservative Forum President Walter Moe and Vice President Edward Gutteling....
The other amendment would also put to a two-thirds vote of the people any proposal by the Hawaii County Council to increase an existing tax or fee, or any new tax or fee......
"We do not have confidence that our elected officials are acting appropriately," Gutteling said.
Founded last December, the organization bills itself as nonpartisan, nonprofit, and unaligned with the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement.
Measures the County Council has previously approved are not affected by these amendments.
On the Internet: http://www.conforhawaii.com...
Dysfunctional Government Is Self-Perpetuating
Dr. Alton Okinaka, assoc. professor of sociology at UH–Hilo, addressed the February meeting of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii. Speaking on “The Inherent Contradictions in Representative Government,” he painted a troubling picture of our present system.
The near-capacity audience at the Naniloa Hotel’s Palm Room enjoyed a detailed exposure of the flaws of how our present representative government has removed power from the people, and that dysfunctional government has been allowed to flourish by the citizenries own flaws as well....(read more)
By E. Gutteling, 2/25/2010 1:37:07 PM
I have recently read articles in our local papers about how the state Department of Human Services has warned health insurance companies that the state may not make payments for Quest and Medicaid for the last quarter of the fiscal year, leaving insurers to absorb about $300 million in medical expenses until at least July. We docs are worried we won't get paid until July, also.
Your readers should also be aware that the "Obamacare" bills, as presently written and unanimously endorsed by all of Hawaii's present Democrat congressional representatives and senators, will cost our state an additional $300 million over the next five years as it expands Medicaid eligibility so that one in five Americans will be enrolled.
Most doctors already do not accept Medicaid patients, and more and more reject Quest also. It costs the docs more in overhead to see these patients than they receive in payment.I am the last private practice orthopedic surgeon on the Big Island who will see a Medicaid patient.
This check I just received, a timely expression of how I am valued by government health care, will cost me more just to open the envelope than it is worth. One cannot make this crap up. As the old Soviet adage went, "they pretend to pay us, and we'll pretend to work."
Our problem is not a lack of government involvement with health care, it is too much government meddling and damaging of what true private free-market health care can do. What we have now is seriously screwed up precisely because of how the government has made it. See here for the details on both the problem and the solutions, as presented in my recent address to the Conservative Forum for Hawaii: http://kappahi.wordpress.com/on-the-line-hawaii.
Reject socialism as it harms us all, and embrace liberty.
Edward Gutteling, M.D. is a resident of Hilo, Hawaii
Comparing health reform to the Berlin Wall
By Edward Gutteling
Monday, November 16, 2009 8:29 AM HST
On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, it is a sad reflection on our own country that a new wall is being proposed to control our own citizens by force. Ridiculous, you say? I disagree. It is our own wall of shame.
In 1961 the famous "Berliner Mauer" was put up to separate East and West Berlin. The officials of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik called it the "Antifaschistischer Schutzwall," the "anti-fascist protection wall," but, in the usual authoritarian double-speak, it was not to protect the citizens of the DDR from external threats, it was to keep them from fleeing the workers' paradise for freer greener pastures. Chancellor Willy Brandt and West Germany called it the Wall of Shame.
Before its erection, 31/2 million people had avoided the emigration restrictions of the DDR and escaped to the West, approximately 20 percent of the entire East German population. By 1960, East Germany was left with only 61 percent of its population of working age, compared to 70.5 percent before the war. The loss was disproportionately heavy among professionals and skilled workers. This became so damaging to the political credibility and economic viability of East Germany that the re-securing of the German communist frontier was imperative.
The communists called these folks "traitors to the working class," who by abandoning the country were in essence both stealing from those left behind (by taking their skills elsewhere) and selfishly avoiding their duty to work for the benefit of the community. The death penalty was therefore justified. The workers' paradise must prevail, at any cost. Even after its erection, around 5,000 people attempted to escape over the wall, with estimates of the resulting death toll varying between around 100 and 200. Such was the strong call of freedom.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan gave his famous speech at the Brandenberg Gate, calling out "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" But the communist system was already unsustainable, and in 1989, the walls did come down, and freedom and individual liberty was restored to those citizens. In the U.S., we also celebrate that day of freedom.
Why then is our government now trying to erect a state wall around its citizens, this time regarding health care? Ridiculous, you say? I am not making this up.
The recent health bill that passed the U.S. House is quite explicit about this. If made law, the state will force everyone to buy health insurance or suffer a penalty.
As recorded by ABC News' Jake Tapper on Nov. 9, President Obama said that penalties are appropriate for people who try to "free ride" the health care system.
"What I think is appropriate is that ... if you have the ability to buy insurance, and you choose not to do so, forcing you and me and everybody else to subsidize you ... there's nothing wrong with a penalty."
Without personal health insurance, one puts only oneself at risk, not others. But in the twisted doublespeak world of collectivists, in escaping from a government mandate one is burdening everyone else by refusing to contribute to their plan and "forcing" others to carry your load. Sounds a lot like Marxist "traitors to the working class."
A letter from the Federal Joint Commission on Taxation makes clear that Americans who do not maintain "acceptable health insurance coverage" and who choose not to pay the bill's new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5 percent of income) are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties.
The bill describes the penalties as follows:
- Section 7203 -- misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
- Section 7201 -- felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years."
If one willfully does not comply, then by law the state can use force to compel you to pay. If you refuse, then the state can by force put you in prison for five years.
And if you try to escape and go over the prison wall, armed guards can and will shoot you dead.
Health insurance will no longer be an individual choice any more, it will be a societal obligation, mandated by law and threat of force from the state, and attempted escape will put you behind walls with armed guards keeping you there threatening deadly force if you try to leave. A la the Berlin Wall.
That any U.S. citizen should face prison for not buying health insurance is simply incredible, but that is what the House Democrats have passed, as enthusiastically voted for by both Mazie Hirono and Neil Abercrombie, and endorsed by President Obama.
They do not care about the damage to personal liberty, or even the damage to the economy.
For the good of society, such sacrifices are necessary in order to move towards the ideal goal: universal state mandated health coverage whether you want it or not. The workers' paradise must prevail, at any cost.
Where are our courageous statesmen, our political leaders who will call out about this: "Mr. Obama, tear down this wall!"
I keep waiting.
In Hawaii, I don't hear any, and that is very sad indeed.
Edward Gutteling is a Hilo doctor
Isle Conservative Forum forms, sets meeting
Published: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:03 AM HST
A group of isle residents have formed the Conservative Forum for Hawaii, with the goal of "awakening and uniting of conservatives in our communities."
President Walter Moe says the forum serves as a gathering place for citizens to meet, interact, learn about and share views on issues and matters about conservatism....