Friday, February 5, 2016


It may in the future be looked upon as the worst political blunder in presidential campaign history when Hillary Clinton in last night's debate tried to deny that the millions flowing to her from Wall St, Big Pharma and the like in speaking fees and SuperPac contribution might just effect her position on issues that concern her donors

Though Republicans and Democrats may disagree as to whether "it's the government" or "it's the corporations" that have run amok and essentially "wrecked the economy" ended republican democracy in America you'd be hard pressed to find one that doesn't think politicians listen to those who give them lots of money.

Calling it an "artful smear" on Bernie Sanders' part to dare to intimate she's in the pockets of those who have given her millions of dollars will no doubt have the affect of causing people of all political stripes to wonder if she's just grasping at straws looking for a response to those charges or if she's really that out of step with the thoughts on the issue- thoughts held by 99% or more of the electorate

You hear it from every "retired" member of congress- the ones who don't immediately go into the lobbyist profession- regarding how they had to spend all their time raising money for reelection and were therefore under pressure to do the bidding of their biggest contributors, even allowing lobbyist to write legislation.

All Hillary did was play right into Bernie's wheelhouse, allowing him to simply restate his populist stump speech about money in politics- a message that appeals to just about everyone and at the same time makes clear that the shaky ground upon which she is standing is giving way like a sink hole.

Time will tell. But you've gotta think that HRC has assembled the worst political advisers ever as she slides down the razor blade to the nomination of someone else... once again.

Monday, January 25, 2016


(PNN) Jan 25-- Syngenta spokespersons have refused to dispute accounts that say that the 10-12 Syngenta workers who were poisoned by the chlorpyrifos pesticide Lorsban last Wednesday were not just "treated and released" but were actually admitted to the hospital and that two were confined in the intensive care unit (ICU).

The claims were made in social media and in comments on a Civil Beat article, one of three articles that merely reported carefully worded public relations statements from Josh Uyehara, Syngenta station manager and Beth Tokioka, Community Outreach Manager at Syngenta.

Both Uyehara and Tokioka have refused to release any information on the injuries and/or treatment of the workers citing "HIPAA privacy rules" even though the law pertains only to information regarding individual patients, not general details of industrial accidents provided by employers, according to multiple health care sources and any reading of the HIPAA itself.

PNN has spoken to reliable sources who have spoken to eyewitnesses that said that, although, according to a statement from Tokioka that "(t)he workers were offered the opportunity for a medical evaluation if they wanted (and t)en (10) requested this and Syngenta provided transportation," an ambulance showed up to transport the workers and their services were refused, potentially exacerbating injuries by delaying medical treatment.

More importantly although both Uyehara and Tokioka stressed how some workers had their evaluation completed the same day and that three stayed overnight, none of the three media stories- in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (S-A), Honolulu Civil Beat and The Garden Island (TGI)- specifically pressed them to answer the questions regarding admission to the hospital, which would indicate serious injury, and/or admittance to the intensive case unit (ICU), which would indicate a life-threatening condition.

None of what can only be called Uyehara's "spin" on what occurred indicated how the workers- supposedly skilled and knowledgeable about safety- all wound up in the field that had been sprayed 20 hours previously instead of the required 24 hours, making it sound as if the workers sort of wandered into the field on their own.

None of the articles indicated whether they all collectively decided on their own to do so or whether higher-ups at Syngenta ordered them into the toxic field.

In the S-A Uyehara is characterized as having said that "within a few minutes of being on site, a manager informed the farmworkers that they should not have entered the area, ushered them out and offered immediate access to medical care."

Civil Beat said that the workers simply "walked onto a corn field only 20 hours after the application of chlorpyrifos" adding that "i)t’s unclear how many workers entered the field (and that) the incident is still under internal investigation."

The Kaua`i newspaper reported much of Uyehara's phone conversation with Editor Bill Buley as factual without attribution, but quoting Uyehara as saying the workers "strayed into" the field.

Buley also quoted Uyehara as saying the workers were there to "plant some identification tags" indicating that someone sent them there to do the work.

Buley further quoted Uyehara: “Unfortunately, some of the workers strayed into a field they were not scheduled to work and they were not supposed to be there. A field supervisor noticed they were there within a few minutes — perhaps 10 or 15 — and the employees were quickly told to leave the area."

Buley told a caller on Friday that he was fully unaware of the event at that point in time.

Many of the field workers are reportedly foreign, usually on three month contracts to avoid providing them with health insurance and most do not speak English. Many reports contend that most field workers have never read "the label"- which lists the laws regarding application of restricted use pesticides as well as safety information. Witnesses have seen some leave work wearing the same clothes they worked in, some greeting their children at the gates.

HIPAA privacy rules provide that the right to privacy is an individual one and restricts health care workers who treat individuals or have access to their records from releasing medical information specifically about that patient. When challenged on this by PNN Tokioka simply said, in a comment on the Civil Beat article, "My understanding of HIPAA is different from yours."

After 48 hours she still has not responded to the followup question: "Can you confirm or deny that up to 10 of the injured workers were actually admitted to the hospital and two were admitted to ICU?"

Because of the sensitivity of the information provided, PNN has chosen to protect the identities of those who provided information for this article.

Friday, January 22, 2016


The butchering of the English language in our local Kaua`i newspaper aside, the actual reporting is atrocious.

An article headlined "Judge OKs suspect’s statements to KPD" in today's edition goes on and on for 518 words about how the judge rules a defendant's statements admissible, only to reveal 37 words before the end of the article that one of his statements was ruled INadmissable,

You would think that the fact that there were statements that were "thrown out"- usually indicating that the police goofed-up in providing a suspect's his or her Miranda rights- would be contained in the "lede" where the rules of the "inverted triangle" call for the most important facts to appear... at the beginning, not buried at the end of an article.

This is basic "dog bites man" vs "man bites dog" type stuff here... Guess which one is "news" and which is not. If you can't. don't worry- a job in newspaper reporting awaits you on Kaua`i.

At the risk of being called the Journalism Nazi, let me say "Back to J-School. No Pulitzer for you. Come back four years."

Thursday, January 21, 2016


I've had it with the theft of my beloved 1960's counter-culture terms "Establishment" and "Anti-Establishment."

I never thought I'd live to see that day when we hippie-revolutionaries' favorite term used to denigrate the whole freakin' capitalist-military-industrial-governmental machine is used by political parties and presidential candidates to attack each other as if each were Che Guevara himself?

The most "anti-establishment" Democrat is, though a self-declared "socialist," (not even a Marxist much less a Yippie) an incumbent US Senator. And on the Republican side the "anti-establishment" candidates are a billionaire mogul- a veritable embodiment of the fiscal ruling class- and another sitting senator.

What began as a perhaps tongue-in-cheek joke from the talking-head pundocracy has been flushed into the cesspool of charges and cross-charges that would-be "leaders of the free world" don't have a significant enough repugnance for the "powers that be"- in this case, power that be THEM.

Many of us continue to cringe at the way our beloved terminology is now used, not to belittle an even more abominable, ripe-for-removal-by-revolution power-structure than it was back in the day, but has become yet another political phraseological pronouncement pimped by pragmatic presidential populists.

Gag me with a lava lamp.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


   The Mark Zuckerberg clan was kind enough today to post to my Facebook "Timeline" what appears to be a "Seasons Greetings" note reading:
   "It's the first day of winter, Andy! We're sending warm wishes your way today and throughout the season."
   Can't ya just feel the corporate love? I look forward to that sort of analytics-derived sincerity from, no doubt, the very bottom of Mark's and Priscilla's altruistic, silicon-based, little hearts. (The informality of the exclamation point following my name was really special touch "Mark"... if I may be so bold)..
   I'm sure Mr Z and Ms Chan will want to personally take some time-out from their busy schedule of writing checks with eye-popping numbers of extra zeros on the end buying-up a kuleana or three- all the while constructing fences that block points along the thousand-year-old "ala loa" shoreline-access-trail and posting "no trespassing" signs at Lepa`uli beach. Then they will have all the time- and privacy- they need so as to sort through all that mega-data to generate notification of these vitally informative messages of Aloha on my list of all the other "events" I didn't ask to be made aware of but will nonetheless be there for my perusal "throughout the season." .
I'm sure that wouldn't be the season of genocide. No- I guess you just meant the winter.
   Your Kaua`i Pal,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


   There are no "radicalized" people, only the abused, the disaffected, the marginalized, the oppressed... and so, often, the deluded.
  If you have strong "beliefs,"- especially those made of whole-cloth- and will fight for them, you are the one you seek to wage war upon.
  Belief is a mental illness. Knowledge is the cure. There's nothing wrong with not knowing. The scourge is only in thinking you know when you don't.
  "It" is not a "warped view" or "wrong interpretation" of others' religions, it is rather your own religious indoctrination- your very need for religion itself- that clouds your mind and heart.
  And if you have deluded yourself into thinking you are only "spiritual" and that's any different than being religious (i.e. if you "believe" in and throw around the "G-word," use abstract concepts and call them knowledge), if your very lifestyle is offensive to the rest of the world and you think it's because they are "jealous" of your exceptionalism-induced "freedoms"  and finally, if you think there must be a "better way to wage this war," YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

  A more effective war does not lead to peace. The truism "you cannot simultaneously prepare for war and work for peace" always pertains.

    What a fool believes he sees, the wise man has the power to reason away...

  Please rejoin the "peace movement. It's a time for Peace- I swear it's not too late....

Saturday, September 19, 2015


(Read the Laurie Cicotello article below)

by Andy Parx

(PNN) -- September 19 -- An "Editorial Viewpoint" refuting articles and letters portraying State Representative James K. Tokioka's campaign spending violations conviction as being a result of nothing more than "a simple mistake" has been refused publication on the web site of the local Kaua`i newspaper.

Despite the on-line publication of three articles and a letter to the editor that were seen by many in the community on social media as slanted to be exculpatory in nature toward Tokioka's actions, the commentary by Kaua`i resident Laurie Cicotello was published in print on Sunday September 13 but was never posted in the on-line edition of The Garden Island's (TGI) thus preventing statewide distribution.

Tokioka's unsubstantiated and unconfirmed claim that he took and "passed" a lie detector test was given prominent play in all three articles, the first on June 28 and the final two on August 28 and September 1 upon his "no contest" plea. A September 16 letter to the editor defending Tokioka (D- District 15- Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihu`e, Puhi, Old Koloa Town) and condemning Cicotello was the only on-line indication that the commentary had been published in Sunday's print edition.

As of press time TGI Editor Bill Burley did not respond to a Friday morning email requesting comment. A source close to the paper told PNN that they never post so-called "Editorial Viewpoint" articles however it was apparently given that moniker by the paper and many other "one-and-off" commentaries have appeared on-line under Burley.

In the unposted piece Cicotello points out that the "Campaign Spending Commission (CSC) investigates dozens of 'mistakes' regarding the untimely or inaccurate filing of campaign spending reports... then assesses a $50 administrative fine for such an honest mistake.

"But in Tokioka's case," Cicotello explained "the Commission referred the matter to the Attorney General (AG) who investigated and then prosecuted Tokioka for violating campaign spending laws with criminal intent.

"In exchange for pleading no contest and accepting criminal responsibility for his actions, the Attorney General charged him with one count of 'reckless' untimely filing and inaccurate reporting," she reported.

Tokioka was sentenced to pay a $1,000 fine and make a public apology on his Friends of Tokioka Facebook page. He received a "deferred acceptance" to his plea that will clear his record if he stays out of trouble for six months.

Cicotello went on to describe the series of events following two Tokioka fundraisers in Honolulu that collected "$27,000 before the primary and then failed to report those contributions" and how, despite repeated attempts by the CSC to give him "the benefit of the doubt," he did not report collecting the money and/or file with the body in previous reports and/or by the final report deadline before the election, as required by law. He finally filed the report six weeks later, well after the primary election where the former Republican Kaua`i Councilmember faced his first serious challenge since changing parties and being appointed to the state post.

Even after the sentencing hearing where Tokioka told the judge that he took "full responsibility" for the matter, when meeting with reporters outside the courtroom Tokioka showed no remorse and attempted to blame it all on "his campaign volunteers and his CPA campaign treasurer," stated Cicotello, who attended the sentencing.

In the August 2014 Democratic primary election Tokioka defeated his opponent Dylan Hooser.

Cicotello was a volunteer supporter of Hooser's campaign and, with Maui "good government" attorney Lance Collins, pursued the case with the CSC and AG after she and others- including PNN- made repeated attempts to get Tokioka to acknowledge and file reports of the contributions with the CSC.

A press release from Collins following Tokioka's conviction and describing the case was ignored by TGI in its two post-conviction articles.

During the waning days of the campaign Tokioka repeatedly stonewalled attempts at communication regarding the fundraiser and the lacking reports.

Yet in a TGI article dated July 26, 2014 Tokioka admitted to holding the two fundraisers and failing to list the money collected but he apparently falsely, according to what he told the judge, claimed that leaving them off previous reports was a "clerical error" that he would correct.

But in the final report before the election he failed to do so.

The contributions were primarily from developers, corporations and their employees and lobbyists and included contributions from members of the "biotech" and chemical industry. such as DuPont.

Tokioka has been a staunch supporter of positions on state legislation supported by local subsidiaries of the international chemical cartel in their attempts to defeat proposed GMO labeling laws and, more importantly, to block local county governments from regulating Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) use and the growing of genetically modified foods.

Tokioka's ex-wife Beth Tokioka recently became a spokesperson for one of the self-styled "seed growers" in Waimea and Kekaha on Kaua`i after acting as an operative for and advisor to Kaua`i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. in his opposition to Bill 2491 which required disclosure of the location and amount of use of RUPs and imposed modest buffer zones primarily around schools, waterways and highways.

The bill passed over Carvalho's veto.

The issue was in the forefront of the campaign. Tokioka's opponent Dylan Hooser, was a prominent supporter of the bill and critic of the chemical industry. Hooser's father, long time Kaua`i Councilmember and former State Senate Majority Leader Gary Hooser, introduced Bill 2491.

The bill became Ordinance 960 but the industry sued the county and it was struck down by a federal magistrate with familial ties to the chemical/biotech industry. The ruling was based on supposed "implied" state preemption despite the fact that no state law explicitly prevents regulation by the counties. Tokioka has since supported failed attempts during the 2015 legislative session to have state law explicitly preempt county regulation of pesticides and "genetically modified" materials.

The decision is on appeal to the federal 9th Circuit court.

Watch for more on Tokioka's campaign finances, legislative votes and industry ties in an upcoming PNN articles.


The following is the article as submitted by Ms Cicotello

Representative James Tokioka pleaded no contest to a criminal charge of failing to timely file or provide accurate campaign spending reports during the primary election last year.

While he told the Honolulu court that he accepts full responsibility and has told the media that it was a “mistake,” his own actions say otherwise.

A mistake is “a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge or inattention.”

The Campaign Spending Commission investigates dozens of “mistakes” regarding the untimely or inaccurate filing of campaign spending reports.

In most cases, the candidate is dispelled of their faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge or inattention, and they correct the error. The Commission then assesses a $50 administrative fine for such an honest mistake.

But in Tokioka's case, the Commission referred the matter to the Attorney General who investigated and then prosecuted Tokioka for violating campaign spending laws with criminal intent.

In exchange for pleading no contest and accepting criminal responsibility for his actions, the Attorney General charged him with one count of “reckless” untimely filing and inaccurate reporting.

Tokioka held two fundraisers in Honolulu and earned more than $27,000 before the primary and then failed to report those contributions.

The Commission gave Tokioka the benefit of the doubt and directed him to correct his mistake immediately to ensure primary voters would be informed.

Instead, Tokioka did not make complete and full disclosure until six weeks later, after the primary.

What does reckless mean? Law Professor C. Stanhope Kenny said, “Intention cannot exist without foresight, but foresight can exist without intention. For a man may foresee the possible or even probable consequences of his conduct and yet not desire them to occur; none the less if he persists on his course he knowingly runs the risk of bringing about the unwished result. To describe this state of mind the word 'reckless' is the most appropriate.”

In other words, Tokioka was prosecuted because he persisted in a course of conduct knowingly running the risk that his actions would violate the law – to prevent the public from knowing his campaign's finances during the election.

That is criminal intent.

Tokioka told the judge that he was taking full responsibility during sentencing.

Then he went outside the courtroom to waiting reporters and blamed his campaign volunteers and his CPA campaign treasurer for his crime.

If they had committed a crime, they would have been prosecuted, but nobody else was prosecuted.

Tokioka's attorney then told reporters that the prosecution was motivated by Tokioka's opponents – insinuating it wasn't based on Tokioka's criminal conduct or the Attorney General's judgment to prosecute him.

Tokioka has shown no acceptance of responsibility for his crime. He has shown no remorse.

There were no mistakes, just reckless disregard for the law.

His statements to the media after his conviction demonstrates that he continues to show arrogant and reckless disregard for the law.

Tokioka should show some shame for the crime he was convicted of and stop trying to excuse it or blame others.