Friday, November 30, 2012

What you didn't know about the Feinstein NDAA amendment

I am extremely thankful for the Tenth Amendment Center bringing my attention to this, earlier today they sent me a link to an article by TAC legal analyst Blake Filippi which explains the loopholes in the Feinstein NDAA amendment. The article was so good that we reprinted it at TWTC, please be sure to read it and share it to as many people as possible. (And talking it over with your family and friends one on one is always a good idea too, incidentally.)

Just to give you a snippet, Filippi writes:

The operative language of the Feinstein amendment is this:
“(b)(1) An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or a similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charges or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.” . . . .(b)(3) Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to authorize the detention of a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident of United States, or any other person who is apprehended in the United States.”
How does the Feinstein’s amendment actually affect the 2012 NDAA? It still allows indefinite detention upon the express authorization of Congress, and it says that the amendment should not be construed to authorize such detention. Yet, section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA, intended to clarify the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, specifically authorizes such indefinite detention.
Section 1021 applies broadly to include all persons, including those within the United States (as advocated by the Obama Administration and numerous members of Congress). Thus, section 1021 may still be interpreted as a specific enough authorization under the Feinstein Amendment for indefinite detention of persons within the USA, making the Feinstein Amendment worthless.

Watch Aurini's historical lecture on the West and share it everywhere

Definitely make it a point to check out my good friend Davis Aurini's incredible lecture on YouTube about the history of the West. There aren't any words I can add to this video except to say WATCH IT NOW. The discerning mind will certainly enjoy this (and if you haven't already, be sure to purchase his book, As I Walk These Broken Roads from Amazon, as I said in my national column it is the must read book of this year):


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama share chili together

The White House issued a press release and an official photo of former Massachusetts governor and this year's Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shaking hands with President Barack Obama today.


The press release reads:

"This afternoon, President Obama and Governor Romney visited for an hour over lunch in the Private Dining Room adjacent to the Oval Office.  Governor Romney congratulated the President for the success of his campaign and wished him well over the coming four years. The focus of their discussion was on America's leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position in the future.  They pledged to stay in touch, particularly if opportunities to work together on shared interests arise in the future.  Their lunch menu included white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

President Obama on the Middle Class

In case you missed it, President Obama gave this speech earlier concerning taxes and the middle class ...


The fall of the West?

My good friend Davis Aurini posted this YouTube documentary over at his official blog, Stares at the World. I hadn't seen this series before but wow all I can say is you guys definitely need to watch it. I can't believe this is what our society has come to and it terrifies me to think of what will happen when the dollar collapses.


Stats on high school graduation in America

In case you're interested to see based on DoE data how the states stack up for high school graduations, check out this very interesting chart in PDF format, direct from the Department of Education's latest press release. Hawaii in particular reports 80% graduation of all students, 60% Alaskan/Native American, 81% Asian/Pacific Islander, 77% Black or African American, 79% Latino, 78% White, 59% Children with Disability, 60% Limited English Proficiency and 75% Economically Disadvantaged Students. My question is why aren't these numbers all 100% across the board? We sure pay enough in tax dollars to ensure student success - FY2013 Hawaii Department of Education gets $1.78 billion for FY2013 alone, more than even some Federal agencies.

Is the purpose of life really just to pay taxes?

I always find it ridiculous when legislators and their fawning press go on these rants about how they need to have the "freedom" to raise our taxes. The latest is all the anti-Grover Norquist rage and calls for Republicans to denounce him in the continuing wake of Mitt Romney's shocking loss. ABC News contributor Matt Dowd was among the most recent, in which he said that Norquist was an "impediment to good government" and went for the cheap shot that ATR's leader only had the redeeming virtue of being named after a Sesame Street character. (I still don't know what it is with these liberals and their irrational fixation on Sesame Street.)

In my column at TWTC I explained this is symptomatic of the moral mutation (and social decline) of America's values: today we as American citizens are just reduced to being tax sources, not human beings. The idea inside the Beltway though they would never admit it is essentially one of "You're not here to live and enjoy life, you're here to pay the bills for your government!" We are now officially living in the Twilight Zone's "Obsolete Man" episode where we all serve the state.

Anyways, read my column:

For nearly three centuries, private citizens and small business owners in America have treated proposals for tax increases with contempt. The American Revolution began with people enraged over far less tax hikes than what the current regime inside the Beltway is proposing to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Yet today, a evil ideological shift is occurring in our country: while fighting taxes was once considered the most patriotic thing a person could do, today the political-media complex has successfully perverted America’s two parties into believing that we can tax and spend our way to reform.

Today, if you dare to think that the purpose of life is to grow up, thrive, work in a profession that pleases you and enjoy the fruits of your labor with your family, you are considered a dangerous extremist, a heretic and an obsolete man. If we think like our elected members of Congress, the real purpose of human life is to ensure positive revenues for the government and its bond selling apparatus.

ATR’s Grover Norquist, along with his Taxpayer Protection Pledge, has been demonized and slandered by members of both major parties for his relentless stand against taxation, called “a dark wizard” of a “cult” by liberals, implied as a terrorist sympathizer by decepticon Republicans and even recently mocked by ABC News commentator Matthew Dowd as being “an impediment to good government” whose only redeeming virtue is that “he was named after a character from Sesame Street.”

The worst part of this saga of American decline is that a growing number of Republicans, from elected members of Congress to armchair admiral trolls that haunt online social media have attempted to place Mitt Romney’s defeat on the head of Norquist, suggesting that if the Republican Party had been more aggressive in its pursuit of taxation and entitlement spending, Romney might have won.

God forbid that Republicans should be made to keep their promises, or that members of Congress should actually honor commitments made during their campaigns!

Let me say this: if the only way that Republicans can win a presidential is to advocate shaking change out of pockets, compelling people to subscribe to crummy government services and supporting higher levels of government spending at the expense of future generations, then America is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Where exactly does the tax and spend mentality end? Thanks to inflation, we no longer have a stable currency, which means that the cost of everything will increase uniformly every year. Will our members of Congress and local legislators really vote to raise taxes every year? Where does this end? If no one holds the line and says “no new taxes, no new spending” what will become of the American taxpayer? Are we really just government-owned creatures to be farmed and taxed?

What does it say when the Great Experiment in freedom, a nation that once bravely rebelled against colonial taxation, is now the world’s leading advocate for big government and theft of income?

America is collapsing around us and we are seeing a moral mutation of our values and our way of life. There is a cancer on this country and it is growing every day. People like Grover Norquist are the last shout of conscience and his Taxpayer Protection Pledge is an important reminder of what our responsibilities should be to one another.

Let us not join the ash heap of history of imploded empires, fallen republics and destroyed democracies. America needs all the voices of wisdom and courage it can get right now, and to be sure, Grover Norquist leads the way to real reform.

Rise of the Decepticons

Today's word and thought of the day: decepticons. I've used the term several times over the last two years, some of you still give me weird looks when I mention it but for clarification a "decepticon" is a conservative Republican who as a candidate claimed to support limited government, low taxes (or no new taxes, which is a quaint way of saying they support the status quo) but as an elected member of Congress advocates having "flexibility" to side step the ATR no tax pledge and advocates - through their voting record - essentially the same thing as hardcore progressives. That is a "decepticon" ... because those Republicans "transform" in office as there is truly "more than meets the eye!" (They are often prone to calling themselves "moderates" when called out by conservative media for their voting record and if they persist in siding with tyranny, they'll go so far as to rebrand themselves as "independents.")

Ironically, for all the flak that President Obama took for his off-mic gaffe in which he claimed he would be more flexible in his second term, it was actually the decepticons who first invoked the need for "flexibility" when it came to breaking the ATR pledge.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fiscal cliff

There's been a lot of talk lately about this fiscal cliff. Sadly, I have yet to see wisdom coming out of the pundits analyzing the ongoing crisis: only reckless, trivial knowledge unsupported by experience in government or actual acumen in fiscal policy. It's essentially the moral equivalent of listening to a bunch of degenerate sexual deviants trying to explain how to be abstinent and upstanding when it comes to hearing and reading what people in the media have to say about the fiscal cliff. The politicians of course are totally reactionary on this and what they do actually know about the "fiscal cliff" (which, in fact, is a by-product of their failed attempts to boost aggregate demand in hope of "saving" the economy) they won't be transparent about it because it's better to use talking points and heuristics rather than sit down with the American people and come clean about this whole thing.

I must say, this situation is truly intolerable. "The best lack all conviction while the worst are filled with passionate intensity." 2012 probably isn't the end of the world but it's quickly shaping up to be the end of solid American wisdom and leadership.

Apologies for the griping tonight, I made the mistake of actually reading punditry this evening, that was my bad. Whatever you do, remember as this 24/7 news cycle rolls on:

-Just because someone elected said something doesn't mean its true;
-Just because you read something in the newspaper doesn't mean it's authoritative; and
-Just because everyone chooses to be afraid of something doesn't mean that you should either.

Hang in there, friends! We'll get through this yet.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wolfgang's ribeye is AWESOME!

I got to celebrate a belated 32nd birthday today at Wolfgang's in Honolulu and their ribeye was absolutely delicious, I definitely recommend eating there for lunch or dinner or any time you get a chance to visit them. I had a ribeye along with German potatoes and lobster macaroni and cheese. Very tasty, very enjoyable experience.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Reset after Thanksgiving: Bacon.

Sometimes its necessary to get a food reset after a day like Thanksgiving. A word: bacon.


Grassroot Institute Perspective for 11/23

The Grassroot Institute Perspective for this week - my weekly liberty briefing - is now out! For those of you who have not read my earlier reports, the Perspective is basically a news digest of three top Hawaii stories and three national/international stories and I do an analysis of what to take away from the days events.

Today's Perspective is entitled Twinkie Extinction, the Solyndra Fiasco Continues and "Can You Count, Suckas?"

The "Suckas!" thing of course comes from the 1979 movie The Warriors ... the idea here is that someone in these fiscal cliff budget talks should stand up and point out the fact that the math doesn't add up by saying the famous line, "Can you count, suckas?!"

Anyways, be sure to check it out! Have a great post-Thanksgiving digestion or Black Friday or whatever it is you do today. Be safe on those roads and mind the people around you, don't get caught up in store rage!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Aurini on the impact of the Jones Act on Hawaii

Definitely make it a point to check out the very preeminent D.M.J. Aurini's recent analysis of Hawaii's place in the world and his policy recommendations for how to improve the quality of life here, chiefly the repeal of the Jones Act. As always, it's a joy to read this man's perspective on very complex issues and see how he integrates it into a strategic vision. Be sure to also check out his YouTube channel!

My secret to happiness in life


Since its Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share the secret to happiness in life:

-Always give more than you receive.
-Whatever it is you want in life, make it happen for someone else.
-Tell the truth. Or don't speak at all.
-Ask. Don't demand. Compromise, don't insist.
-Love unconditionally and forgive graciously.
-Don't break promises, even when other people break theirs.
-Remember everyone is only human and everyone needs food, water, clothing, shelter and especially acceptance and love.
-Be good to people who don't deserve it.
-Never confess over yourself or the people in your life bad things. Always speak good words and believe the best for everyone.
-Be a peacemaker in all things. Be the one that calms a situation.
-And above all else: know what it means to be loved by God and forgiven by God through Jesus Christ. "He who has been forgiven little loves little but he who has been forgiven much the same lives much."

Happy Thanksgiving!

President Obama's Thanksgiving Address

In case you missed it, this is President Obama's Thanksgiving Day address to the nation:


I fried a turkey!

Check it out. I fried a turkey today for Thanksgiving.



Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

For more than 400 years Americans have taken a moment of pause to reflect on their lives, their family and the manifold blessings God has bestowed upon them. Today, I am thankful for all of you and for the many memories and opportunities we have shared together. Captain John Woodlief, in celebrating a thanksgiving service, said "We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God." That spirit of humility and reverence for hand of Providence set the way for America's rise and today ought challenge you and I to remember no matter what we face, there is nothing impossible for us when we trust, obey and love God to work all things together for our good. God bless all of you, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Busy news day today as you can imagine ...

My 32nd birthday was a busy news day for me, in case you missed it, you can check out my interviews in these articles from various outlets ...

ABC News
Arkansas Online
Austin Statesman
Bloomberg Businessweek
Boston Globe
Brietbart News
Christian Science Monitor
CNBC
CNS News
Denver Post
Hawaii News Now
Huffington Post
Houston Chronicle
Ledger Enquirer
Lexington-Herald Ledger
Motley Fool
MSNBC
New York Times
POLITICO
San Francisco Chronicle
San Luis Obispo Tribune
Seattle Times
The Business Journal
The Republican
The Street 
Tri-City Herald
U.S. News and World Report 
U-T San Diego
Washington Post
Washington Times
Yahoo Finance

I'm fairly sure I probably missed a few (dozen) others but do check it out and please share!

NATO commander announces Turkey seeks interceptor missiles

This morning Admiral Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander of Europe (SACEUR) posted an update on Twitter and Facebook that Turkey is now requesting defensive missiles:


NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen likewise announced:
"I have received a letter from the Turkish government requesting the deployment of Patriot missiles. Such a deployment would augment Turkey’s air defence capabilities to defend the population and territory of Turkey. It would contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along NATO’s south-eastern border. And it would be a concrete demonstration of Alliance solidarity and resolve.
In its letter, the Turkish government stressed that the deployment will be defensive only, and that it will in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation.
NATO will discuss Turkey’s request without delay. If approved, the deployment would be undertaken in accordance with NATO’s standing air defence plan.  It is up to the individual NATO countries that have available Patriots - Germany, the Netherlands and the United States - to decide if they can provide them for deployment in Turkey and for how long. Next week a joint team will visit Turkey to conduct a site-survey for the possible deployment of Patriots.
The security of the Alliance is indivisible. NATO is fully committed to deterring against any threats and defending Turkey’s territorial integrity."
I may write an article on this in my column at TWTC depending on how the story develops. Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oh, how the world changes in so short a time!

Time is just flying by! Tomorrow is my birthday and it sure has been quite a journey in this short time. I feel very blessed to have so many great fans, friends and family. I could list all of the wonderful and terrible things alike that I've witnessed since 1979 - things like the Challenger explosion, seeing images of Neptune and the outer planets for the first time when Voyager 2 passed through the Solar System, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the liberation of Kuwait, the explosion of Mt. Pinatubo, the election of Vicente Fox, the tragedy of 9/11, the rise of the information society, the 2008 financial crisis, the election of Barack Obama and more.

Some things do stand out more than others though - like standing in a hangar in Guam and seeing first person the now-famous In HARM's Way B-52 that had its tail blown off by friendly fire or shaking hands with USAF F-16 pilot Scott O'Grady after he'd been rescued. I could go on and on. It's also quite strange growing up in a world where we had to wait six to eight weeks for delivery, carry quarters in our pockets to make phone calls, pass notes in class, stuff love notes in lockers and build up the courage to ask for someone's phone number for the first time only to now live in a world with friend requests on Facebook, text messages, e-mails, cell phones and the ability to instantly find out something just by "Googling it." It's even more bizarre to remember a world where the West was in its prime, only now to see all our nations imploding and bankrupt. These are strange times. But truly, these things aside, all that really matters is that all life is precious and all relationships - short term and long, good and bad - show us just how small and tightly connected we are as a people. The world sure changes in such a short time.

There are some people out there I wish I could give a special message to today, if only to tell them I thank God for them and the times they added to my life and to say I regret absolutely nothing, even though the passage of time and misunderstandings alike have brought space and separation. I hold no grudges, no hostility, no anger toward anyone; I freely forgive all and love all. All men are like grass and our lives are but a mere vapor; one might as well go through life with a heart of peace towards one's self and one another. If you're reading this blog and you know who you are - know that I appreciate you and I love you unconditionally because you are you, in spite of anything you think you might have done or said.

I'm reminded of what Ronald Reagan said: "Whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears." Our world has changed so many times over these last 32 years but truly it's been a great journey and I hope to continue to make a difference. But in the meantime, God bless all of you today with peace, favor and great joy. May all of us walk in the light and blessing that comes only from above and may we all find our proper and righteous place in this great mystery we call life.

Why Ron Paul deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Here's a thought for those of you still processing the results of the November election.

Much has been said about the Republican Party and the future of conservatism. Some of it I agree with, others I do not, but I'm not going to get into that right now. The bottom line: historians, not political pundits or candidates, will write the final analysis of just what happened in this last election and what it meant or failed to mean for American democracy. But when all is said and done, there shall forever stand but one man in the Republican Party who, love him or hate him, forever changed the way America viewed itself and its place in the world: Ron Paul.

Paul’s retirement from the U.S. Congress leaves a gaping philosophical void in the House of Representatives that will be difficult to follow, if not impossible to fill by future legislators. His Republican caucus might not have always agreed with him and his critics may not have understood him, but Paul’s insistence on holding the line on America’s Constitutional principles and his advocacy for minimum government, maximum freedom brought virtue to a near-virtueless process and hope to an increasingly hopeless nation.

President Ronald Reagan once spoke of our nation’s advance to the stars through “teamwork and excellence” and said “we can be proud to say we are first, we are the best, and we are so because we are free.” If there was ever a member of Congress who embodied those words through his pursuit of liberty and the preservation of freedom, it is Ron Paul.

Paul was more than just a congressman; he was a philosophical representative of an entire generation of 21st century Americans and a hero of our Republic. While he can now begin a much-deserved retirement and ease from the competitive strife of politics, I think America should send off the Gentleman from Lake Jackson, Texas with a special honor: President Obama should make it his top priority in his second term to award Ron Paul with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Such a move would not only help mend the partisan November divide, it would give America a lasting example to follow.

Aloha to all of you and a few updates

Greetings everyone, I just created this new "official blog" today which is probably long overdue for the fact that for years I've been writing both locally and nationally but never created a one-stop-site for my fans, friends and family to stop by. Exciting and unusual things are happening in the world today and I consider myself extremely blessed to have the opportunity to have a forum to discuss these things with you through my  national column and my other articles across the internet.

Just to keep you in the loop, today you might have noticed I did an exclusive interview for the Hawaii Reporter with new author and YouTube superstar D.M.J. Aurini on his new book As I Walk These Broken Roads and some really interesting topics. This interview is an indirect sequel to an earlier one I did with him in my national column last week, but of course for space limitations in that first article I couldn't ask him as many questions as I'd liked. So definitely check it out, buy Aurini's new book on Amazon and do be sure to subscribe to his video channel here. Aurini is one of the great minds of our 21st century and his perspective on generational politics and sociocultural trends is something I think more people need to be talking about these days. (Not only that, his videos are very entertaining to watch.)

So what's going on today? While you wait for my next column installment over at TWTC, in the meantime as a brief digest: Reason.com has an interesting article about the fiscal cliff and the recent authorization for $1.5bn in funds for our local mass transit project, The Verge talks about the possibility of corporations starting an eco-war (reminds me of something from Acecombat 3: Electrosphere, very interesting, do read it), my Politics section editor has a truly brilliant write-up and the sharpest analysis you'll read this week on the Susan Rice/John McCain controversy and last but not least, be sure in case you missed it to read my Grassroot Perspective from last week.

All this talk about the fiscal cliff reminds me of the "Can you count, suckas?" scene in The Warriors. Our wise overlords working the budget particulars I'm sure mean well but they just don't seem to get it (or maybe they can't get it). I'm probably going to mention that in my next Perspective article, but until then, you might want to read a  white paper the Council on Foreign Relations put out about two years ago which explores the increasing dysfunction of Congress.

Until next time friends, thanks for stopping by, be blessed and have a great day! You know I love all of you.