Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Dale’s Latest on Transit, Energy, and the Rest by maliab
August 30, 2011, 6:11 pm
Filed under: Economy, World | Tags: , , , ,

Dale of Charley’s Taxi is back with the latest headlines on transit, funding, energy, zoning, and highways.  Highlights for this week include yet more eye-opening material on what I’m going to have to start calling “the Honolulu Rail Debacle.”  (One tiny bright spot in the whole mess–we’re bringing back the word “debacle”, which is just plain darned fun to say.)  And then there’s the not particularly surprising news that most legislators have no background knowledge of business.  I don’t know whether I should be relieved that the incompetence and obstructionism comes from ignorance and lack of experience or not, but it sometimes seems like our elected officials would have to know a lot about business to be able to muck things up so thoroughly.


PBN has long been in favor of mass transit, and we continue to be. We’re not saying, “Don’t build something.” We’re saying, “Don’t build an elevated rail project, and don’t build anything as it’s currently proposed.” This project cannot be fixed, and we are extremely concerned that its enduring legacy — should construction ever start — will be as our “rail to nowhere” effort. — Pacific Business News Editorial

I guarantee you this – I’m going to do my damndest to see that money [$1.5 billion from feds] comes in. It should be okay. But to predict an absolute outcome, only a fool would do that.” — Sen. Daniel Inouye to HART board

“ tracks out progress on the administration’s efforts to create a government that is more effective, efficient, innovative and responsive. Importantly, the site is also a valuable tool for sharing best practices across the government – supporting learning and coordination across agencies.” — Jeff Zients, OMB

Green Scissors: Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending 2011, Heartland Institute, 8/24/11

Study shows traffic accidents in Michigan costs the state US $4.4 billion more than crime, Traffic Technology Today, 8/25/11

The Henry Ford of Our Time, John Steele Gordon, American Enterprise Institute, 8/26/11

Is the Country on Empty?, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Special Issue, Inside ALEC, July/August 2011

U.S. has 200-year supply of coal, and 100-year supply of natural gas.

Impacts of Potential Oil Shale Development on Water Resources, Anu K. Mittal, GAO 11-929T, Testimony to House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Committee on Natural Resources, 8/24/11

US Geological Survey estimates that Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, about half of it recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions. Equals entire world’s proven oil reserves.

News in Hawaii

Elevated rail project leads Oahu in wrong direction, Pacific Business News Editorial, 8/26/11

Inouye to HART: “I’ll do my best.”, Hawaii News Now, 8/25/11

How the city misled the public, Walter Heen, Benjamin Cayetano, Cliff Slater, Randall Roth, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 8/21/11


Harkins: Upgrading U.S. infrastructure more important than cutting deficit, Jennifer Jacobs, DesMoies Register, 8/26/11

Nation’s economic growth slides down to 1 percent, Peter Schroeder, The Hill, 8/26/11

What’s Better for the Environment: Raising the Gas Tax or Fuel-Efficiency Standards?, Infrastructurist, 8/25/11

Labor chief: Obama needs to focus on job growth, not cutting the deficit, Kevin Bogardus, The Hill, 8/25/11

Green Scissors 2011: Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending, Eli Lehrer, Autumn Hanna, Benjamin Schreiber, Tyson Slocum, Heartland Institute, 8/24/11

Office of Management and Budget puts accountability online, Joe Davidson,Washington Post, 8/24/11

CBO estimates show Congress faces huge test on debt, unemployment, The Hill, 8/24/11

Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Secret Loans at Lowest Rates, Bradley Keoun, Phil Kurtz, Bloomberg, 8/22/11

U.S. Travel: Overseas visitor spending driving growth, Danny King, Travel Weekly, 8/20/11

Forget Corporate Jets. Government Limousines Show They’re Stealing You Blind, Iain Murray, Competitive Enterprise Institute, 8/19/11


DUI, Uninsured Motorists, Tolling, PPPs, Variable Pricing, RUCS and Sustainable Transportation

Study shows traffic accidents in Michigan costs the state US $4.4 billion more than crime, Traffic Technology Today, 8/25/11

Drivers not happy about toll hike, Steve Metsch, Casey Toner, Chicago Sun-Times, 8/25/11

Big Brother Bloomberg, Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review, 8/25/11

Interview with Donald Shoup: Los Angeles Making Strides with ExpressPark, Damien Newton, LA.StreetsBlog, 8/24/11

HNTB survey shows Americans top concerns are poor road conditions and congestion, Traffic Technology Today, 8/23/11

The Wrong Road to Transportation Solutions, Benita Dodd, Georgia Public Policy Foundation, 8/19/11

Watchdogs seek cost information on Dulles Metro line, Dana Hedgpeth, WashingtonPost, 8/27/11

Should a ‘Walker’s Paradise’ Save Plenty of Room for Parking?, Saqib Rahim, NYTimes, 8/25/11

TTC may ban criminals who assaulted transit workers, Metro Mag, 8/25/11

California’s Goofy Train Fixation Could Bankrupt the Country, Roger Hedgecock, Human Events, 8/26/11

No tram line for city centre and 4m-a-year loss, Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman, 8/26/11

What Does Opposition to Government Rail Projects Have to Do with Individual Liberty?, Matt Welch, Reason, 8/25/11

San Francisco High Speed Rail on Varney & Co., FoxNews, 8/24/11

Traveling back to the future on intercity buses, Michael Barone, Washington Examiner, 8/23/11

Dulles Metrorail Silver Line vs Bus Rapid Transit, Steve Lafleur, New Geography, 8/19/11


TODs, Eminent Domain, Property Rights

How To Save The Housing Market: Destroy Houses, Massimo Calabresi, Stephen Gandel, Time, 9/05/11

The Evolving Urban Form: Beijing, Wendell Cox, New Geography, 8/29/11

America’s Gambling Craze: Playing with Fire, Neal Peirce, Citiwire, 8/25/11

Suburbanized Core Cities, Wendell Cox, New Geography, 8/26/11

Universal Principles for Creating a Sustainable City, Sven Eberlein, Planetizen, 8/11/11


Rigged For Failure, Investors Business Daily, 8/24/11

Last year, 3 oil rigs moved out of Gulf of Mexico. Now, it’s 10.

Is the Country on Empty?, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Special Issue, Inside ALEC, July/August 2011

U.S. has 200-year supply of coal, and 100-year supply of natural gas.

Impacts of Potential Oil Shale Development on Water Resources, Anu K. Mittal, GAO 11-929T, Testimony to House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Committee on Natural Resources, 8/24/11

Not Free to Choose: The Reality behind Clean Energy Standards, Kenneth P. Green, American Enterprise Institute, 8/23/11

Cities Mean Coal, Energy Facts, 8/23/11

What New Emissions Standards Will Mean to Automakers, Mike Orcutt, MIT Technology Review, 8/22/11

The EPA’s giant green jobs-killer, Michael A. Walsh, NYPost, 8/21/11

Ozone Standards Not Scientific Either, Adam Peshek, Reason, 8/19/11

Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises, NYTimnes, 8/18/11

Where to put spent U.S. nuclear fuel, Robert Bryce, Politico, 8/18/11

Climatology Professor Rebuts Smear on Skeptical ScientistJames M. Taylor, Heartland Institute, 8/15/11

The Wind-Energy Myth, Robert Bryce, National Review, 8/12/11

New Study Touts Benefits of Expanded Oil Trade with Canada, Christine Hall, Competitive Enterprise Institute, 8/09/11

The Economic Opportunities of Shale Energy Development, Timothy J. Considine, Robert W. Watson, Nicholas B. Consodine, Manhattan Institute, Energy Policy & the Environment Report No. 9, June 2011

Global Carbon Markets Dirty Secret, Will Evans, Center for Investigative Reporting, 5/21/11

Lawsuit by low-income groups may delay climate law, Sarah Terry-Cobo, CaliforniaWatch, 2/09/11


Perry: Gates Gave China Fighter-Jet Superiority, William chedsey, Newsmax, 8/27/11

49% of Newborns on Food Assistance Programs, Newsmax, 8/27/11

How to Keep Your Cell Phone going as Long as Possible, Christopher Mims, MIT Technology Review, 8/27/11

Crime and the Great Recession, James Q. Wilson, City Journal Summer 2011 vol. 21. No. 3.

The minister of magic steps down, The Economist, 8/27/11

The Henry Ford of Our Time, John Steele Gordon, American Enterprise Institute, 8/26/11

Cheeky: Rick Perry Bills the Feds for Illegal Immigrant Imprisonment Costs, Erika Johnsen, Townhall, 8/26/11

Arming the Cartels, Geoprge H. Wittman, American Spectator, 8/26/11

Astronomers discover planet made of diamond, Ben Hirschler, Reuters, 8/25/11

Study: 80 Percent of Lawmakers Lack Academic Background in Business, Economics, FoxNews, 8/25/11

Employment Policies Institute found that 55.5 percent of lawmakers majored in a government-related field or “humanities. Only about 8 percent majored in economics, 14 percent studied business or accounting in college. These numbers raise questions about legislators’ ability to tacke otuch economic challenges.

Let’s Put a Stop to the War On Salt, Luke Pelican, Jacqueline Otto, Fox News, 8/15/11


Scoring the Hawaii Delegation by maliab
August 26, 2011, 7:14 am
Filed under: HawaiiVotes | Tags: , , , , , , ,

How conservative are Hawaii’s Senators and Congresswomen?

Hey!  Stop laughing!  I mean it.

Ok, I’ll just give you a moment to get a hold of yourselves.

So obviously, the answer to that question is “not very.”  But even if you think of your Congressional delegation as slightly to the Left of Che Guevara, it still helps to know the particulars.  So no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, you may be interested in Heritage Action’s new legislative scorecard, which calculates how each Senator and Congressman/woman scores compared to their preferred stance on specific legislation.  And while it’s no surprise that Senators Inouye and Akaka each scored a big fat 0%, it may interest you to know that Congresswomen Hanabusa and Hirono are exponentially more conservative than the Senators, with each coming in at an anemic (but comparatively huge) 10%.  Moreover, Hirono’s and Hanabusa’s slight toe-dip into the waters of the right came primarily on fiscal issues:

  • Both voted “No” on the Temporary “Kick the Can”  Spending Measure (Legislation provided for the continuing appropriations for the federal government through April 8, 2011 – a short-term funding measure that “kicked the can down the road.”)
  • Hirono voted against the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (which would overhaul the U.S. patent system, changing how patents are awarded, reviewed and challenged.)
  • Hanabusa voted against reducing funding for missile defense (as part of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 that would reduce authorization for ground-based midcourse missile defense systems by $100 million.)
  • Both voted against an effort to increase the debt limit with minimal cuts ( Budget Control Act of 2011 – would provide for a two-step debt limit increase of $900 billion and $1.6 trillion, in exchange for various “cuts” and statutory spending caps.)  (Alas, however, they did vote the wrong way on the final debt limit legislation, so the promising start was for naught.)
So there we are.  We’re 10% of the way towards a perfect conservative record on spending, family issues, and national defense.  Or 5%, if you average in the Senators.  We have almost nowhere to go but up.

Dale’s Energy, Transit, Taxes (and More) Update by grassroothawaii
August 12, 2011, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Economy, Hawaii Sunshine, World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today, we have another update for you from Dale of Charley’s Taxi on the latest headlines in transit, taxes, energy, zoning, and more.  Some highlights (or lowlights, depending on how you look at it) from this edition include the questionable relationship between the rail project and the unions, the probability of a “double-dip” recession, an analysis of what causes cities to grow or shrink, and the effort to empirically demonstrate the existence of media bias.  Enjoy:


The bulk of [budget cuts] will have to be found by cutting real military capability and as a result, accepting real additional risk to the country’s security. — Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institution

“I drank so much vodka I could barely stand up. But I had to get home somehow and decided to do something I had never done before. 

I took a bus.     And here’s the good news. I arrived home safe and sound, cozy and warm, and able to go to work the next morning.  

All of which is remarkable because I had never driven a bus before.” — Henry at AA meeting

The effect of the people’s agreeing that there must be central planning, without agreeing on the ends, will be rather as if a group of people were to commit themselves to take a journey together without agreeing where they want to go; with the result that they may all have to make a journey which most of them do not want at all. — F.A. Hayek

The al-Qaeda network is fully prepared to continue the jihad against the American infidels by launching deadly attacks, but your outdated and rusting transportation infrastructure needs to be completely overhauled for those strikes even to be noticed.— Ayman al-Zawahiri

The Debt-Limit Debate: Addressing Key Concerns, Veronique de Rugy, Jason J. Fichtner, Mercatus Center, George Mason University, 5/26/11

The Debt Ceiling: What is at Stake? Vernoique de Rugy, Jason J. Fichtner, MercatusCenter, GMU, 4/28/11

Glimpse into daily life in North KoreaJean H. Lee, David Guttenfelder, MSNBC, 7/23/11

Journey into North Korea, MSNBC PHOTOGRAPHS

The Official 1984 Reagan ScorecardJonathan Rowe, Paul Glastris,Washington Monthly,

How Government Regulation Affects the Price of a New Home, Paul Emrath, National Association of Home Builders, July 2011

Obama Undercuts Case for HSR and Rail Transit, The Antiplanner, 8/04/11

What the Budget Control Act Means for U.S. Defense, Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institute, 8/02/11

Why Did America Destroy Its Great Cities?, Frank Gruber, Huffington Post, 8/02/11

CBO: Federal Loan Guarantees for the Construction of Nuclear Power Plants, August 2011

Intoxicated on Independence: Is Domestically Produced Ethanol Worth the Cost?,Scientific American, 7/28/11

The U.S. May Need More Lawyers!, Clifford Winston, Robert W. Crandall, Huffington Post, 7/29/11

The Obama EPA’s Brave New Future, Heritage Foundry, 7/28/11

Higher fuel standards mean higher death toll, Washington Examiner EDITORIAL, 7/28/11

When it comes to population growth, Houston is No. 1, Rice University, 7/06/11 

News in Hawaii

CEO of troubled rail car company that won Honolulu bid steps down, Gene Park, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 8/05/11

Inouye, Akaka, Cantwell and Johnson Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Facilitate Business Travel, Trade with Asia-Pacific Region, Hawaii Reporter, 8/04/11

‘Sinkhole State:’ Hawaii is in the 47th Worst Financial Position of All 50 States,Hawaii Reporter, 8/03/11

Trains Helped Kill the Greek Economy – They’ll Kill Hawaii’s too, Panos Prevedouros, Fix Oahu, 8/01/11

The New Airline & Air Service Strategy Metrics, Boyd Group International, 8/01/11

American Airlines is dropping SFO-Honolulu this fall.

Honolulu Rail in Illegal Pact with Local Unions, Panos Prevedouros, FixOahu, 7/29/11

Ansaldo Honolulu’s parent firm rethinking rail car business, Gene Park, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 7/29/11

Rail Bid Judges Ignored Ansaldo’s Past Problems, Michael Levine, Honolulu Civil Beat, 7/28/11

New vehicle charging station powers up at Capitol garage, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 7/28/11

Solar Power Plant on Oahu Does not Pass Muster, Panos Prevedouros, Fix Oahu!, 7/27/11

Traffic Accident Investigation on Oahu: Stuck in the 1980s, Panos Prevedouros, FixOahu!, 7/28/11


Brutal: Dow Plunges Amid ‘Double-Dip’ Recession Jitters, Guy Benson, Townhall, 8/04/11

Editorial: An Unwelcome Debt Milestone, Investors Business Daily, 8/04/11

US debt exceeds entire economy GDP, markets alarmed

Academic Panel Sees 50% Chance US to Plunge Into Recession, MoneyNews, 8/03/11

Political DerivativesNicole Gelinas, National Review, 8/03/11

Moody’s, Fitch: US Must Do More to Avoid Rating Downgrades, MoneyNews, 8/03/11

Where’s Your Budget, Mr. President?, Paul Ryan, Wall Street Journal, 8/03/11

Meredith Whitney: US Headed for Double-Dip Recession, Forrest Jones, MoneyNews, 8/02/11

What the Budget Control Act Means for U.S. Defense, Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institute, 8/02/11

Military Spending and the Budget Deal, Christopher Preble, Cato @ Liberty, 8/01/11

When a cut is not a cutRep. Ron Paul, The Hill, 8/01/11

Europe Declares War on American Ratings Agencies, Soeren Kern, Pajamas Media, 7/30/11

Finish the 710 Freeway, James E. Moore II, LA Times, 7/29/11

Crumbling transportation infrastructure could cost US $3.1 trillion, Metro Magazine, 7/28/11

African American Middle Class Eroding As Unemployment Rate Soars, John Roberts, FOX News, 7/28/11

Motorists’ Group Endorses “Trip Bonds” Legislation, American Highway UsersAlliance, 7/28/11

Solving the Long-Term Jobs Problem, Arnold King, Nick Schultz, The AmericanEnterprise Institute, 7/27/11

Greenspan: Fed Should Have Let Banks Fail, Greg Brown, MoneyNews, 7/27/11

Herman Cain Interview on Creating Jobs, Dick Morris, 7/27/11

Behind economic hard times, fear of the new, Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, 7/22/11


DUI, Uninsured Motorists, Tolling, PPPs, Variable Pricing, RUCS and Sustainable Transportation

China falls in love with SUVs, Malcolm Moore, Telegraph UK, 8/04/11

Busting Congestion in Chicago (or Any other City), Reason TV, 8/03/11

Top 10 New-Car Deals for August, Jim Gorzelany, Forbes, 8/03/11

Taking transit – a testimonial at AA meeting, TollRoadsNews,  7/28/11

Golf cart drivers aim to be legal in small town, The Tennessean, 7/28/11

INRIX launches its Traffic app on Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry cell phone platformsTraffic Technology Today, 7/25/11

New traffic camera website aiming to drive down congestion across the UK, Trarffic Technology Today, 7/25/11

6 Reasons Driving Has Peaked in U.S. CitiesEric Jaffe, Infrastructurist, 7/14/11

Replacing the Tappan Zee BridgeManhattan Institute, 6/22/11

INRIX TRAFFIC! App Now Available on App Store

Frustrating, dangerous Metro problems for the disabled, Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, 8/06/11

Driving services help senior mobility without spending public money, Pamela M. Prah, Stateline, 8/04/11

Antonio Villaraigosa pushes bus-only lanes as MTA chairman, Ari Bloomekatz, Cornelius Pollmer, Los Angeles Times, 8/04/11

Low-Fare, Curbside Bus Operators Picking Up Amtrak Market Share, Don Stacom,Hartford Courant, 8/01/11

Chinese rail crash scandal: ‘official steals $2.8 billion’, Malcolm Moore, Telegraph UK, 8/01/11

China Imposes Blackout on Train Wreck Coverage, Sharon LaFraniere, NY Times,  8/01/11

With 210 injured, 35 fatalities, more concerns that government sacrifices people’s lives and safety for world’s largest public works project and cloaks failures in secrecy or propaganda.

A new third rail, The Economist, 7/30/11

Japan has operated bullet trains for 47 years without a fatal accident.

Report casts doubt on forecasts for California high speed rail, Dan Weikel, LA Times, 7/29/11

Cambridge used a now-obsolete survey method, made unrealistic assumptions, failed to properly analyze what would happen to ridership for varying levels of train service, and did not consider the impact of airline competition…But the bigger take away from all this is that there are now two independent reviews that show things are lacking here.

Al-Qaeda Claims U.S. Mass Transportation Infrastructure Must Drastically Improve Before Any Terrorist Attacks, The Onion,  7/28/11

Significant repairs and upgrades are needed for the militant group to consider destroying any roads, bridges or railways with terrorist attacks.

Using Market Processes to Reform Government Transportation Programs, Report No. 2: Improving Transit with Competitive Contracting, Wendell Cox and Ronald Utt, Heritage Webmemo #3312, 7/07/11

Public transportation has to change to remain viable, according to a new Heritage Foundation analysis. For decades, transit’s principal problem has been insufficient cost control rather than insufficient revenues. Over the past 25 years, transit’s operating cosdts have been approximately $15 billion (on a passenger mile basis). Had transit agencies kept costs within inflation – as most businesses do – transit would have been able to provide 40 percent more service in 2009. Without government unable to provide more subsidies, a much better solution is for transit systems to use competitive contracting to reduce costs and improve quality of service.  — Wendell Cox and Ron Utt

John Charles responds to Portland Mayor Sam Adams, John Charles, Cascade Policy Institute, 7/25/11

Los Angeles Metro Bus System Compares Favorably With Its Peer Group, Tom Rubin, New Geography, 7/28/11

KRM dead, Racine County to get back $300,000 in past rental car fees, Stephanie Jones, TheJournalTimes, 7/25/11

MetroAccess Knowingly Places Hundreds of Disabled Paratransit Passengers at Risk, Bus riders Union of Austin, TX, 4/02/11


TODs, Eminent Domain, Property Rights

Plant a Garden, Go to Jail for 93-Days?! Nanny of the Month, Korchula Productions, July 2011

Growth controls = Housing Collapse, Sterling Burnett, National Review Online, 8/05/11

How Government Regulation Affects the Price of a New Home, Paul Emrath,k National Association of Home Builders, July 2011

Rural US disappearing? Population share hits low, Hope Yen, Associated Press, 7/28/11

Moving From The Coast, Wendell Cox, New Geography, 7/28/11

Program Offers Cash Incentives To Live Downtown, CBS Detroit, 7/25/11

In the five-year, $4 million “Live Downtown” program, first-time home buyers will get a $20,000 forgivable loan. Renters will get a $2,500 first year allowance, and $1,000 the following year. Employees who already own a home in the city will be given up to a $5,000 grant for exterior improvements.

Why Amnerica’s Young and Restless Will Abandon Cities for Suburbs, Joel Kotkin, Forbes, 7/20/11

When it comes to population growth, Houston is No. 1, Rice University, 7/06/11

Why Some Cities Are Growing And Others Shrinking, Dean Stansel, Cato Journal, Summer 2011


Beaver Fever Fanaticism: EPA Eco-Radicals Are Hurting Families at the Tap, Christopher Coffey, Pajamas Media, 8/07/11

Blame the Washington Bureaucracy for High Gas Prices, Rob Bluey, Heritage Foundry, 8/04/11

New Process Could Make Canadian Oil Cheaper, Cleaner, Kevin Bullis, MIT Technology Review, 8/03/11

GM Confirms Slow Chevy Volt Sales, Mark Modica, National Legal and Policy Center, 8/02/11

CBO: Federal Loan Guarantees for the Construction of Nuclear Power Plants, August 2011

Higher fuel standards mean higher death toll, Washington Examiner EDITORIAL, 7/28/11

Issa launches investigation into Obama’s new fuel economy standards, Andrew REstuccia, The Hill, 7/29/11

Grow Our Way Out, IBD, 7/29/11

President Obama Announces Historic 54.5 mpg Fuel Efficiency Standard, US DOT, 7/29/11

New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole in Global Warming Alarmism, James Taylor, Forbes, 7/27/11

America’s power grid too vulnerable to cyberattack, US report warns, Mark Clayton, Jewish World Review, 7/28/11

The Obama EPA’s Brave New Future, Heritage Foundry, 7/28/11

Intoxicated on Independence: Is Domestically Produced Ethanol Worth the Cost?,Scientific American, 7/28/11


Obama’s War on the Welf-Made Man, Lurita Doan, Townhall, 8/08/11

2011 Hall of Fame Shannon Shane speech, 8/07/11

Parents: Hone Your Kid’s BS Detector!, Doug Giles, Townhall, 8/07/11

DEA Letting Cartels Bring Drugs Over the Border, Helen Whalen Cohen, Townhall, 8/06/11

USPS Bailout on the Horizon, Trey Kovacs, Open Market, 8/04/11

Anti-terror plan allies White House with Muslim groups, Neil Munro, Daily Caller, 8/04/11

Documents: Feds allegedly allowed Sinaloa cartel to move cocaine into U.S. for information, Diana Washington Valdez, El Paso Times, 8/04/11

Communist Party USA Officially Endorses Barack Obama, Vision to America, 8/04/11

Policing Beltway Lobbyists, Jonathan H. Adler, National Review Online, 8/02/11

UCLA professor’s new book empirically demonstrates liberal media bias {VIDEO],Jamie Weinstein, 8/01/11

Plug-and-Play Batteries: Trying Out a Quick-Swap Station for E.V.’s, Bradley Berman, NYTimes, 7/31/11

The U.S. May Need More Lawyers!, Clifford Winston, Robert W. Crandall, Huffington Post, 7/29/11

Gunwalker: William Newell Circles the Wagons, Patrick Richardson, PM, 7/28/11

NHS delays operations ‘as it waits for patients to die or go private’, Martin Beckford, Telegraph UK, 7/28/11

3D printing: the technology that could re-shape the world, Shane Richmond, TelegraphUK, 7/28/11

Obama to Banks: We’re Not Defaulting, Charlie Gasparino, Fox Business, 7/25/11

Germany’s Choice – Part 2, Stratfor Global Intelligence, 7/26/11

Grassroot Institute Pres in Star- Advertiser by maliab
August 4, 2011, 6:44 pm
Filed under: Akaka Bill | Tags: , ,

Dick Rowland, our President and Chairman recently had a letter published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on the issue of Native Hawaiian Re-organization (and the message it supposedly sends to the rest of the country on the issue of sovereignty).  Mr. Rowland is nearly unique among critics of the Akaka Bill (and similar proposals) for raising the unseen issues and parallels to the American Indian experience (and pitfalls therein) in the mainland.  Here is the letter in its entirety (the Star-Advertiser made a few small changes):

On Sunday 7/31/11, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published an essay “New state law sends clear message to Congress about Hawaiian sovereignty” by Colette Machado, chair of OHA. She says that the message of the law to our nation is that “the re-establishment of a Native Hawaiian governing entity” must be endorsed. That means the following:

  • She wants a tribe to be authorized for a Native Hawaiian government.
  • Tribes come under the authority and jurisdiction of the US Department of the Interior.
  • The US Department of the Interior treats tribal members as wards of the federal government even though Indians were supposedly granted citizenship in 1924.
  • By and large, individual Indian “wards” do not do well financially or socially in US society.

Ask any American if they would like to be an Indian on an Indian Reservation and you get a “no way” answer.

Here’s the puzzle: Most of us do not want our fellows of Native Hawaiian ancestry to be treated as American Indians are in 565 federally recognized tribes in the USA. Why does Colette want that? And, if she says that is not going to happen, how can she give us a solid guarantee? It has already happened 565 times! Do we want to risk their individual freedom to a throw of the dice otherwise known as Congress? In addition, do we really want another government inside our Hawaii? Don’t we have enough of those already?

Richard Rowland

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Plenary Power Through Legislation by grassroothawaii
July 6, 2011, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

By Cannon Brooke

Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law SB1520 recognizing the official status of native Hawaiians. The legislation by the name of “First Nations Government Bill” will approve the formation of a Native Hawaiian governing entity.

The legislation recognizes Native Hawaiian people as “the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawaii,” and further, requires an appointed five-member Native Hawaiian commission to create and publish a list of people who are of “native” descent.

Whatever good intentions the authors of this bill had, in reality, it represents the acquiescence to the Federal Government.

Whenever there is any legislation that classifies people into categories and sub-categories, I get a little reluctant. After reading the bill, there are some questions that I feel need to be raised.  One instance is in article (3) section A where the bill states:

(i)               An individual who is a descendant of the aboriginal peoples who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian islands, the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii; or

(ii)             An individual who is one of the indigenous, native people of Hawaii and who was eligible in 1921 for the programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, or a direct lineal descendant of that individual;

The language of the bill raises some red flags as well. First of all, why is the cut off of eligibility at 1778? To me, it seems since this is an historic period, the date is meant to impose racial restrictions on citizens of Asian and European-mixed descent.

Additionally, the language of the bill is nebulous and the racial connotations are questionable. For example, SB1520 notes that in order to be qualified you have to be an individual who is one of “indigenous, native people of Hawaii.”

This notion is most problematic. The word indigenous means originating in and characteristic of a particular region.  Under this definition, then NO ONE is native to Hawaii. Different dates have been thrown around, however; it can be generally accepted that the original settlers of the archipelago arrived around 1500 years ago. Therefore, there are no truly “native” people that sprang up here. Another way to look at this issue is, since under the Federal Government I am classified as “Caucasian” and of English-isle decent; therefore, I am indigenous to England (since the Anglo-Saxons arrived around 400 AD) and consequently, deserve a special title and hyphenation after my name by this logic.

This bill does not legally recognize “Native Hawaiians” as equals, contrary to what Senator Solomon claims. Conversely, it does exactly the opposite. Senate Bill 1520 opens the door to a slippery slope of racial classification. I find it hard to believe there needs to be legislation in order to keep culture or civic connections. If anything, this is going to impact Hawaiian sovereignty.

I have posted a foreword to Voices From Across America written by Dr. W.B. Allen emeritus professor of political philosophy at Michigan State University and former Chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He articulately discusses the dangers of Congress asserting authority over tribes and warns of the implications of the “Akaka Bill.” I highly recommend reading it.

Please comment on your thoughts.

W.B Allen

Rights Before Rules: The People Speak

WE know the United States as a government of laws. We like it that way. It means that the settled deliberations of communities and not the arbitrary whims of officials fix our notions of public order and welfare. That makes the restraints and permissions of laws much more predictable – and safer. Even here, though, free citizens commit to law abidingness only because they can count on laws being narrowly tailored to defend and support the exercise of individual rights. For, it is the recognition that we have such rights that persuades us, in the first instance, to permit law making. If laws are the rules of community life, the preservation of rights is the game the rules aim to sustain. Voices from America reinforce the public’s awareness that those who make the rules must consistently consult the purpose or end of the rule making in order for the rules to serve their proper function. Yet, in too many instances (though not yet most), the opposite is witnessed, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of Federal Indian Law.

The 1924 blanket grant of citizenship to all American Indians proved to be the gift of an “Indian giver,” for a decade later Congress passed an Indian Reorganization Act, assuming a “plenary power” which no mere delegated authority can exercise over citizens. Congress reasserted authority over tribes as wards of the federal government. (1) But once tribal members had become U.S. citizens they were no longer “outsiders.” This claim of total power, then, means that Congress claimed authority under the Constitution to treat citizens as dependent wards. The implications for all citizens, and not merely Indians, are obvious. And if it were not obvious, the so-called “Akaka Bill,” still pending in Congress, would make it so. For that purpose law defines certain citizens in Hawaii as sub-category of citizens termed “indigenous,” and those who are therefore subject to federal ward ship. Persons who are “wards” can make no reasonable rights or claims; for them, rules for their conduct must come before any rights they can enjoy. While children have rights as human beings, they are in fact wards who cannot defend their rights. They benefit rather from adult proxies, whose own individual rights serve to protect not only themselves but their offspring.

Respecting people’s rights, the United States Constitution prohibits the government-classifying citizens by race, and the prohibition is absolute. Accordingly, the assertion of authority over Indians, per se, and Indian tribes in consequence, exceeds the authority of Congress every bit as much as it would if urged with reference to the Amish. That is why the emancipation of Indians from an excessive claim of political power is the necessary condition to protect not only Hawaiians but, indeed, all United States citizens from an aggrandizing federal power.

One area where we could see the effect of this danger is the federal government’s continuing campaign of transforming fee simple property rights into “sovereign Indian territory” – a major component in the growth of Indian gaming in recent years. When tribal recognitions require subordinating non-Indian municipal and state jurisdictions to manufactured sovereignties taking orders from federal officials, the rights of all citizens and not merely Indians have been invaded. This effect was well summarized in Carcieri pleadings:

This court finally applied the equal protection clause of the fourteenth Amendment to overrule Dred Scott in Saenz v. Roe, 526 U.S. 489, 502 Fn. 15 (1999). Removing land from state jurisdiction by placing fee lands into federal trust for one group of state residents because they are recognized as “Indians” completely removes the political process rights of all other state residents. Removing the state political process rights of the non-Indian people nullifies their exercise of local self-governance. Local self-governance is the political sovereignty to make their own laws and be governed by them

                                                  Williams v. Lee, 358 U.S. 217, 220 (1959).2 {2}

The plea voice in this volume is to recognize equal rights for all, and to limit rule making (or law making) to what reinforces equal rights. While federal Indian policy is and will remain for a time yet extremely complicated, there is no good reason those complications should reach into the rights commonly enjoyed by all by virtue of their very humanity. And none is more important than the common right of self-government.

Indian policy has its roots in the experience of the American Revolution and its aftermath. “The three types of colony-provincial, proprietary, and charter – exercised varying degrees of self-government.” (1 story, §159) By the time of the revolution, however, all the colonies maintained that their authority to govern themselves derived from the British Crown. They argued that they were subjects of the King rather than of Parliament, which latter, they claimed, could not rightfully interfere with their internal affairs. (Bailyn, 224-25) They did not borrow their relationship to the Indians from England, because that would tend literally to undermine justifications of American independence and, more importantly, to surrender the claim to recognize principles of human rights, newly enunciated.

1950s Indian “self-determination” originated in the 1834 United States Trade and Intercourse Act” “That so much of the laws of the United States as provides for the punishment of crimes committed within any place within the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, shall be in force in the Indian country: Provided, the same shall not extend to crimes committed by one Indian against the person or property of another Indian” (1 Cohen 2-3). Primitive “self-government” was a federal license for Indian to abuse one another, even if it did convey by implication a kind of racially construed “sole and exclusive jurisdiction” over tribes themselves. U.S. jurisdiction must follow the power to punish crime by non-Indians against Indians and crimes by Indians against non-Indians; so tribes did not actually have “sole and exclusive jurisdiction” within their tribal lands. That is why “Indians Country” was defined to be “County within which Indians laws and custom and federal laws relating to Indians are generally applicable.” The concession that Indian tribes can handle crimes of Indians against Indians produces jurisdiction as to race alone. If that ever made sense (and I doubt that it did) it could only do so in the case that Indians were regarded as “outsiders,” not a part of the government of the United States and therefore not included within its guarantees of individual rights. When Indians became a part of US, everything changed.

The time has come for those lawmakers who have slept van Winkle-like through that massive change to wake up and redeem the promise of America – rights before rules!
W.B. Allen

Havre de Grace, MD

  1. See “The Wheeler-Howard Bill – Questions and Answers” in Bulletin, Mission Indian Agency, Riverside, California, April 16, 1934:

Q. Will this bill end Federal guardianship of Indians?

A. This bill specifically provides, in section 11 of title 1, that Federal guardianship of Indians and tax exemption of Indian lands shall be continued.

The Hardest Working Newspaper in Hawaii Gets Some Respect by maliab
July 5, 2011, 8:37 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Hawaii Reporter over here–and not just because they’re kind enough to reproduce our articles from time to time.  It’s all too easy to get cynical about the bias and elitism that is apparent in news services of all levels–from your giant media conglomerates to your infuriating hometown paper.  But Hawaii Reporter has consistently held to both encouraging a sense of community–of really belonging to the Islands–and to presenting fair, unbiased, and hard-hitting reporting.  And now they’re finally getting some of the recognition they deserve.  Fox News today has an article praising Hawaii Reporter for its willingness to dig deeper and take on the political establishment, presenting the stories and perspectives that might otherwise be ignored or shut out.  A few highlights from the article:

Malia Zimmerman has never been afraid to take on the political establishment in Hawaii.

She took on the former governor after she was fired from her journalism job — saying her employer was pressured by the governor to fire her. She exposed political corruption and refused to hand over sources. And she constantly takes on Hawaii’s notoriously tight-knit  business and political elite.

Her site, the Hawaii Reporter, is one of the few investigative online newspapers that digs deep into local issues and politics –and that has gained her national attention.

. . . .

She’s known for being fearless and tenacious in challenging assumptions and the status quo, says former Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii), and that has earned her some powerful enemies in Hawaii.

“Folks that work in the political status quo in Hawaii don’t really want any light shown on what they’re up to or why, and those folks don’t like Malia because she does shine a light. So they’d just as soon she go away, which she’s not going to do,” Case explains.

. . . .

Randy Roth, a professor of law at the University of Hawaii who served as senior policy analyst to former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, says readers go to Hawaii Reporter because of the reputation its built of doing the stories others aren’t and providing different points of view in a fair and balanced way.

“People who are less than happy with politics in Hawaii view the Reporter as an essential source of information and points of view. They are more inclined to hold the politically powerful accountable as compared to mainstream media,” Roth explains.

Asking tough questions, not backing down, and getting to the bottom of an issue, Malia says, is a reputation both she and her paper take great pride in.

“We really come at it from a tax-payer’s perspective, that it’s all about how your tax-payer dollars being spent.”

Congratulations to Malia Zimmerman and Hawaii Reporter.  They deserve a huge mahalo for all that they’ve done to stand up for the little guy in Hawaii.  Let’s all do what we can to support the kind of bold and courageous thinking that has started to make a real difference in Hawaii.

Read more:

Our Annual Report by grassroothawaii
June 20, 2011, 3:52 pm
Filed under: Hawaii Sunshine, HawaiiVotes, Limited Government | Tags: , ,

Consider it the curse of being active–by the time you finish describing all the accomplishments and activities of your previous year, you’re already well into a busy and productive new year.  And yet, it would be a shame not to draw attention to the recently published Grassroot Institute of Hawaii Annual Report for 2010.  We’re proud of what we’ve done to champion liberty and accountability in Hawaii over 2010, and we’re continuing that work now (and with your help and support) into the future.

From the Pork Report to our transparency efforts to our investigation into Special Funds, Grassroot Hawaii is doing work that no one else in the Islands has.  Please, check out our Annual Report and consider becoming a member of the Grassroot Institute today!  Joining is as little as $25-$50 and marks you as one of the few and proud defenders of liberty in Hawaii.  (Click here to go to our Join/Donation page.)

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