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.

Friday, August 28, 2015


So I'm gettin' outta my car just outside my beautiful new home and this puffed-up 4"x6" piece of green plastic starts blowing down the driveway headed for the yard. It lands a yard past my feet and I go to pick it up and of course a wind gust lofts it once again and deposits another three feet away- a dynamic that repeats itself twice before I finally stomp on it and it goes "POP," as does my back.

I bend down anyway now that I've slain the Jabberwock and pick it up. And all it says on it, in big. black. bold letters, is "GREENEARTH" with "100% recycled material" in tiny letters below it.

I'm getting too old for this. Irony stopped existing decades ago- around the same time people's misuse of the term became ironic. Everything is ironic these days to the point where irony can only be found in the most sincere, mundane circumstance.

I'm taking a nap- a nice long one.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


There are two important measures on the Kaua`i County Council agenda this Wednesday. One bill, up for final approval, would repeal in its entirety the "incessantly barking dogs" ordinance passed last year after decades of debate. Even though every councilmember agreed that what if anything it really needs is amending, it appears fated for repeal.

The other is a resolution, up for a final vote, that would ask voters if they want to repeal the Kaua`i County Charter provision for term limits for councilmembers, which passed in a landslide in 2006.

Both are the brain-children of Councilmember Ross Kagawa and during the hours of council and public debate he dominated the discussions of incessant barks, making viewing as painful as any incising bites.

The law is apparently working well despite what can only be described as Ross' always torturous and sometimes tortuous attempts to misrepresent both the facts and the underlying issue.

According to testimony, including that of the Kaua`i Police Department (KPD), the Prosecuting Attorney (PA) and the Kaua`i Humane Society (KHS)- the latter of which handles the complaints- of 76 original cases filed with KHS since the law was passed last year all but eight have been resolved. almost all by getting dog owners to stop the barking. They all agreed that this has been because the law established "consequences" if owners of incessantly barking dogs do not make use of educational materials provided by the KHS.

None of the cases were linked to any abuse of the dogs, according to KHS.

Although Kagawa repeatedly tried to establish that "100%" of the cases that were adjudicated were found "not guilty." first off that number was exactly TWO- count 'em- TWO. Secondly Kagawa was adamant about not including a third dog-owner that plead "no contest," a plea that is "treated the same as guilty in the eyes of the law."

Five cases are still in the prosecutor's office awaiting processing.

When Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura and Gary Hooser brought this third case to his attention, Kagawa, at times doing his best Steve McGarrett cum Colombo impression, at others apparently portraying some sort of comical, tongue-tied, Bizarro-World Perry Mason, resorted to attempting to divine a reason for that no contest plea. He then simply discarded the case because no one could say exactly why the dog-owner had plead guilty (including the Prosecuting Attorney himself which Kagawa decided was occasion to verbally "spike the ball"), apparently rejecting the theory that it was because he actually might have been guilty.

Hooser said his operating theory of lawmaking, based on almost two decades as a legislator, including a stint as state Senate Majority Leader, is that the intent of passing a law is not to fine or even jail people. Rather, it's to discourage people from certain behaviors, likening it to establishing a speed limit to slow people down, not as a cash cow.

From the testimony, apparently Ross and the three other members of Council Chair Mel Rapozo's "Tea Party" faction either don't get that or are simply playing politics because they all voted for repeal when the bill passed out of committee almost two weeks ago.

Wednesday's council meeting beings at 8:45 a.m. and will be live-streamed on-line. Bills and Resolutions are generally taken up toward the end of meetings although there is no guarentee that that will be the case.

Hooser has posted a message on Facebook saying:

"I encourage Kauai residents to let all Councilmembers know how you feel about these two issues - repealing the barking dog ordinance and repealing term limits. PLEASE SEND IN YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY TO counciltestimony@kauai.gov, before Wednesday August 5, especially on the proposed repeal of Kauai's barking dog ordinance which is scheduled for a final vote that day. I share the concerns expressed by The Garden Island Newspaper and will be voting against both proposals. Both proposals have been introduced by Councilmember Kagawa and I respect his right to promote his values but disagree strongly with him on the these two issues."

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Star-Advertiser's Hurley Calls It "Setback For Opponents Of Mountaintop Telescope Development" But No TMT Personnel Or Trucks Were There.

by Andy Parx

(PNN- Parx News Net) In a somewhat bizarre display of a combination of sycophancy and laziness some corporate media called the arrests and citation of "Protectors of Mauna a Wakea " (Mauna Kea) early Friday morning "a setback for opponents of mountaintop telescope development," despite the fact that nothing else took place.

After being banned by DLNR from coverage, members of the corporate media- especially Honolulu Star Bulletin reporter Timothy Hurley- apparently did not even witness the arrests and seemingly just reported (paywall) what he was told by the Division of Conservation And Resource Enforcement (DOCARE).

Hurley's characterization of the arrests as a "setback for opponents" came despite the fact that there were no trucks or attempts at any actions related to development of the proposed "Thirty Meter Telescope " (TMT).

Na`au News Now, an alternative news outlet organized on behalf of the presence of the "Protectors" on the sacred mountain, reported in a Facebook video Thursday from the mountain, interviewing kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiians) cultural and religious practitioners who said that they expected arrests and citations as soon as that night and were prepared.

Thursday afternoon PNN had reported that "(DLNR spokesperson Dan) Dennison said the state has also decided to restrict the media’s access during any enforcement action. The decision, he said, was made in part because of the difficult logistics of carrying out a mission late at night," via a statement buried at the end of a Star-Advertiser. article that day.

Instead DOCARE took their own video and apparently handed it out to corporate television and print news outlets such as one broadcast on KHON, Ch 2

Although Hawai`i News Now (HNN) used Hurley's language in an early report, reporter Jim Mendoza later filed a report using a "MAUNA KEA, HAWAII" dateline, describing the arrests at the 9,000 ft level (by the visitor center) that left ambiguous whether he actually had visited and witnessed what happened at the arrest site or just saw the DOCARE video.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


(PNN) July 8-- A lawsuit has been flied in US District Court challenging restrictions placed upon faith practitioners who hold Mauna a Wākea (Mauna Kea) to be sacred, according to a press release from Hawai`i Island attorney Lanny Sinkin.

Practitioners consider the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on the Mountain to be a desecration of a sacred site.

A hearing is scheduled on a temporary restraining order (TRO) at 9:00 a.m. Thursday (7/9/15) before Judge Derrick Watson, United States District Court, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu.

The petition for the (TRO) is directed to Governor of Hawai`i David Y. Ige; Suzanne Case, Chairperson, Department of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawai`i (DLNR); Kekoa Kaluhiwa, First Deputy, Department of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawai`i; Gregory Moerrs, Chair, Maunakea Management Board; and Donald Straney, Chancellor, University of Hawai`i at Hilo.

The release says that the TRO seeks to prevent the imposition of severe restrictions on the rights of those practicing Hawaiian traditional faith. Those restrictions include allowing faith practitioners to ascend the mountain to their sacred sites only at 1:00 p.m. daily for a limited time, limiting the number of practitioners that can ascend to ten and requiring the presence of a Ranger from the Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) to accompany the practitioners.

The suit alleges that these limitations violate the US Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of rights to religious practice and that differential treatment amounts to religious discrimination against the traditional faith under the US Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection of the law.

Astronomers, water trucks, nitrogen trucks, and others freely access the road to the summit with no restrictions.

The suit was filed Monday, July 6, on behalf of plaintiff Frank Kamehaloha Anuumealani Nobriga, Kahuna of the Temple of Lono according to the filing.

In a statement filed in the case, Nobriga said that “in the eyes of the Temple, the disrespect shown for the traditional faith of the Hawaiian people is a matter of record for more than 100 years and most recently found expression through State of Hawai`i actions that either suppressed the traditional faith, limited traditional faith practice, or relegated traditional faith practitioners to a second class citizenship unprotected by the Constitution and laws of the United States."

According to the release the case also brings to the attention of the court new rules issued by the OMKM and DLNR which, taken all together, are designed to drive the "Protectors" off the Mountain and prevent another blockage from stopping the desecration.

On June 24, 2015, the Protectors of Mauna a Wākea, numbering around 750, prevented the construction workers for the TMT from ascending the Mountain. The Protectors have kept a 24 hour vigil at the 9,000 foot level for more than 100 days.

The new rules include shutting down the Visitor Center at the 9,000 foot level, closing all the bathrooms at that level, cutting off the water at that level, no camping, limiting groups that can access the Mountain to no more than ten people, creating a zone within one mile around the road up the Mountain that essentially excludes anyone not specifically allowed up by the OMKM, and otherwise limits activities in a manner specifically designed to prevent the Protectors from once again being successful.

For more information call Lanny Sinkin at (808) 936-4428.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015



Today a few of my favorite activists ridiculed media coverage of the transgender "coming out" by the former Bruce, now Caitlyn, Jenner, basically saying there are bigger environmental, economic justice, etc, stories for the corporate media to report rather than this "Kardashian" infotainment.

And I suppose if you aren't transgender perhaps the issue is not important to you... or perhaps the murders and suicide rates are so high among trans people that you don't hear about it enough to care.

But the story of a famous person going public about who she is attracts the kind of media attention that is essential to spreading a message of acceptance of transgender- the "T" in LGBTQ- community members in a world that has been and still is for the most part, hostile to them.

At a time when the same acceptance and civil rights they seek are finally on the verge of being won by lesbian, gay and bisexual persons, it's a story that is just as important as "same sex marriage" or any LGB story was one, five or ten years ago... whether it was "Ellen" or your neighbor down the block.

This is a crucial time for transgender persons, especially children. We don't need another generation growing up with an almost 50% suicide rate. And seeing themselves positively portrayed on TV is the beginning of the end of discrimination and the kind of religious atrocities that directly cause those deaths.

It could take years before laws fully catch up and it will take a sea change in attitudes to get there. But until then reporting the story with sensitivity and acceptance- as most if not all media are doing now- will remain as important as anything. If it takes a "Kardashian" to move the issue to a new level it will be following the same path that LGB and before that racial integration stories took when famous people "came out" to help reverse bigotry and make acceptance the norm.