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ALOHA KE AKUA ( ~'GOD' IS ~'LOVE' ) : ETERNAL, COLLECTIVE SOUL
BEWARE BENEVOLENT DESPOTISM: POWER CORRUPTS & ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY - ALL THAT WE CAN EVER KNOW IS THAT WE CAN NEVER KNOW ALL
 

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PHILOSOPHY  

CAMPAIGN 2006  

CAMPAIGN 2004  

REX IN HAWAII  

KEY ISSUES  

ALLDONNE.COM IRAQ  

 


KEY ISSUES

"WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY,
NOT AN ECONOMY !"

 

 HEALTH CARE REFORM

In America we spend twice as much per capita ($6000) for Health-Care than the rest of the developed world and, while every Canadian and European has Health Coverage, 47 million Americans don't and at some point in any 2-year period 25% of Americans (75 million) don't.  This is deplorable, Health-Care is a basic human right, not a privilege.  Critics ask how will we pay for Universal Health Care, the truth is what will we do with the savings !  $6000 per capita !  That is $2 Trillion, greater than any other country's entire GDP, except Japan and Germany !  Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies are inefficient and wasteful at best, and often corrupt.   Seniors are especially hard-hit by rapidly increasing Prescription Medication costs (grossly outpacing inflation 4-fold) and now Sky-rocketing under the "Medicare Card Scheme", which effectively makes recipients captive customers to a particular vendor, thus allowing each to increase costs without fear of free market competition.

I have a colleague who has two children and she must pay $700 per month in our company-sponsored health care plan ! This is one of her 2 paychecks ! This is wrong. Two decades ago Hawaii used to lead the USA in Health Care coverage, now HMSA and Kaiser are two of the most profitable investments, while many Hawaiians go with substandard or no health care.   On July 11, 2006 the Governor vetoed 27 of 28 bills, "
Among the 27 bills vetoed ... was House Bill 3116, which would have extended basic health care insurance to uninsured children." (from Honolulu Star Bulletin).  We need to introduce a plan in Hawaii to ensure that all Hawaiians have decent and affordable Health Care coverage, especially children.

One must be alive, healthy and well-educated to contribute their best to society.

Let's reverse this recent trend of the last few years and let's make the mainland more like Hawaii !

 

 EDUCATION REFORM 


In America, 30% of our students drop-out and don't receive their high school diploma - again deplorable for the richest country in the world.  In our increasingly unfair society of a few "Have's" and many "Have-not's", it is very "convenient" for big business to have so many drop-outs who then serve as a cheap labor source.  We need to invest in Education to ensure that there is a qualified teacher in every classroom (currently 18% of classes are taught full-time by substitute teachers) and we need to maintain a sensible teacher-student ratio (18 to 1 is suggested by the HSTA).

We need to offer a professionally competitive salary to recruit and retain the best possible teachers, the mentors of our youth and future.

We need to make sure adequate maintenance is up to date at our schools and should provide air-conditioning, as a cool, dry environment is most conducive to teaching and learning (it also reduces the likelihood of temper flair-ups quite common in hot, sticky environments).

We should look into an incentive program to attract our young adults into the Education Profession, especially as we are entering a retirement bubble and face an even greater shortage of qualified teachers in the immediate future.

One must be alive, healthy and well-educated to contribute their best to society.

 

 TAX REFORM / SIMPLIFICATION


Income Tax was only introduced a century ago and today we seem to be doing the same things that caused our founding fathers to throw the English Tea into Boston Harbor:  The modern form of Taxation Without  Representation.  Our tax code is too lengthy and complicated, the rich and huge corporations pay little or no tax with the help of this code, their lawyers and accountants, while the average man pays a heavy burden.  The HSTA informs me that the bottom 20% of Hawaii's workers pay $12.60 tax for every $100 they make, 12.6%; meanwhile the top 1% only pay $5.80 for every $100 they make, only 5.8% !  They say, "The longer a warranty is the less you get", well I say, "The longer the Tax Code is the less the working man gets !".  Again this is deplorable, we need to greatly simplify our tax code and make it fair, sensible and equitable.

We should eliminate the 4% State Excise (Sales) Tax on staple items such as bread, milk, eggs, etc. and prescription medication, as they do in other states and most of the developed countries in the world.  Tax on these items places an unfair burden on the working man.

We should set a budget for total Property Tax needed, then adjust that tax rate up and down with the highly volatile real estate market to maintain stable payments for the majority of us whose incomes vary little, year to year.  We live in a world headed in the wrong direction:  The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; common sense tells us that this must stop or there will be revolution.  I say to the rich as the Indians said long ago, "you can not eat your gold", and I say now  50% or 60% of something is a heck of a lot more than 80% or 90% off nothing, Wake up !

Over the next 10 years, the Bush administration's plan (Bush era Tax cuts of 2001 & 2003, etc.) will give $1 Trillion to those making $200,000/year and more (the per capita income in District 23 is $29,613, so very, very few here will benefit). With sensible reform, we could use that $1 Trillion on quality Health Care and Education for all ! Give 1,000,000 people $1,000 and they will spend it and stimulate the economy, give 1,000 people $1,000,000 and they will spend a few thousand and hide the rest in a private bank account ! It is cut and dry, do we want to give $1 Trillion to the rich or do we want to spend it on Health Care and Education for All ! You are un-American if you don't want to give it to the people !

 

 AFFORDABLE HOUSING


A quality job is one which affords the employees the ability to live in the same area in which they work.  If we ensure decent wages and benefits to workers, then more housing will be affordable to all.  Still, in Hawaii's volatile and expensive real estate market, we should consider some form of commercial/residential rent stabilization and a property tax similar to that of Washington State, where the rate (%) varies inversely to market fluctuations, thus providing both stable owner payments and government receipts.  I am skeptical of condo-conversion, as it seems to be more of an attraction for investors, while cutting jobs and pushing lower income residents out to less expensive areas.

 

 TRAFFIC AND NOISE  -  LIGHT RAIL  / SUPERFERRY


Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kewalo and Kaka'ako make up District 23, the engine that runs the whole tourist industry here in Hawaii and those of us who live here must endure the horrible traffic congestion, waste disposal, pollution and noise resulting from this. With China and all of Asia booming, Hawaii is set for even far greater traffic during the next 50 years. We must sensibly and pro-actively plan ahead for this.

We live on a volcanic island where most of the traffic is linear along the periphery. Most of the people who work here live elsewhere and commute in while many of those who live here work downtown and elsewhere; this all creates a massive contra-flow of traffic.  A quality job is one which affords the worker the ability to live in the same area in which he works; too many jobs in our district do not and this leads to major traffic congestion and the associated noise as workers commute back and forth across the island every day.  While it is not popular with all, Light Rail is a sensible addition to our infrastructure: The combined benefits of rail (from reduction in traffic congestion, commute times, noise, pollution, etc.)  outweigh the negative aspects.  Every other major city in the USA, with traffic levels like Honolulu's, already has some sort of rail system: Like it or not, it is coming and so it is better that we participate in its design, than have one dropped on us.  We must work with both the State Department of Health and the City Council to make sure that all is being done to minimize noise.

The most sensible rail design for Oahu is Light Overhead Rail, similar to what they have in Las Vegas. This would add a second dimension to traffic, keeping the current vehicular lanes open and available on the street. This will require a coordinated long-term multi-partisan effort from the City & County, State and Federal Governments extending long past the terms of any individual politicians.

In the mean time, we could promote the use of public transport by lowering ticket costs, especially monthly and annual passes, make HOV lanes accessible for car-pools of 2 passengers (currently 3 or more) and add Park and Ride lots.

Though rather controversial, we should consider the construction of a Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge over the Ala Wai, which would promote healthy walking and cycling, while also alleviating vehicular traffic on our roads.

Long-term, we must have a Light Rail Network and it should be developed in such a way to be a major tourist attraction in and of itself.

The Superferry will not only provide an affordable means to travel with one's own vehicle, but also promote healthy fun !

 

 CAMPAIGN SPENDING REFORM 


I have agreed to and strongly support Campaign Spending Limits ($12,800 per election in 2004), preferring to run a grass-roots campaign.  I was one of less than 5% of candidates who received Hawaii State Matching Funds and am very proud of this, meanwhile some of my opposing candidates are reeling in one $2000 (the maximum) contribution after another; if you elect them, they will surely have to answer to big business and the rich more often than you, the constituents - Is that what you want ?  I don't think so. 

Ultimately I look forward to the day when campaigns are fully funded by the State, thus removing expensive advertising, opponent-bashing and showmanship from electioneering, thus returning the decision making basis to the issues.

With the rapid growth of the Internet, grass-roots campaigns are becoming ever more affordable. Please help us by spreading the word !

 

 TERM LIMITS FOR ELECTED OFFICE


I believe in Term Limits for Elected Offices: if one has not accomplished what they set out to in a few terms they need to step aside and let someone else try, if they have they should move up to a higher office and start improving matters from there ! 

 

 CRIME PREVENTION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT 


The title says it all: I am for Crime Prevention through Positive Reinforcement while others push Law Enforcement through Negative Reinforcement !

We have recently had a spat of violent crime here in Kapiolani Park. Some want to make crimes against tourists be more severely punished than the same crimes committed against us Kama'aina, the constituency. How ridiculous is that, this blatant and shameless pandering to the Tourist Industry Lobby ! All crime should be treated equally serious, regardless of the race, creed or origin of the victim !

We need to make sure that our friends, the local police, have the tools necessary to keep our neighborhoods safe; however and more importantly, we need to work at Crime Prevention. The police are our soldiers on the front line and have to deal with the excessive crime created by the inadequate policies of our increasingly unfair society of "Have's" and "Have-Not's".  We can achieve vastly improved Crime Prevention if we provide all citizens equal and fair opportunity to Health Care, Education & Vocational Training, Employment and Recreation; thereby creating a healthier society with minimal crime. "Happy" people rarely commit crime !

If, however, we allow ourselves to be blindly swayed by our selfish greed and pursue an economy driven society with greatly unequal income and wealth distribution, then we will continue to have an ill society with excessive crime.  We have over 3 million people in jail every day, more than any other country in the world !  Just pushing for greater Law Enforcement, as some suggest, will lead to the lessening of, infringing on and eventual destruction of our Constitutional Rights such as with the oxy-moronic "Patriot" Act.  This leads us to the "Police State" that we so rightly feared in the last century, but now appears to be paraded in front of us under the hypocritical guise of "Democrazy" .

The bottom line is that everyone should be given a fair shot at life, including quality Health-Care, Education and a decent minimum wage; then there would be much less crime.

 

 SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS

We need to Make Hawaii More Small Business Friendly and protect local businesses from Mainland and Foreign competition, which are not always forced to adhere to all of Hawaii's laws.  Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely - I am big on small business and cautiously keep an eye on big business .  It is easy for leaders of huge corporations to loose touch with reality; these corporations are often run by accountants and the financial bottom-line - to the detriment of the environment, natural resources and all living things including humans and the rich themselves.  When big corporations merge, the CEO cuts half the people, makes the other half work twice as hard (the productivity factor is akin to a "slave" index) and pay themselves huge bonuses.  5 years down the road, they are long gone, the company has lost its niche that made it successful, worker moral of those who remain is way down and soon that business becomes uncompetitive.  As Lou Dobbs (CNN) famously says, "we are exporting America".   These rich don't see the light in front of them, not even for their own children sometimes.  We need to spread the spirit of Aloha and sensibility to the mainland - let's start making the mainland more like Hawaii and stop making Hawaii like the mainland.

 

 FREEDOM OF CHOICE ISSUES 

Understandably, a lot of people talk about less government, but many contradict themselves by wanting government to tell citizens what do in their private lives !  When it comes to freedom of choice issues, as long as no one is hurting another, it is best to leave these decisions to the individual (otherwise we stir contempt between the individual and one's government).  How is it that some people who refuse to allow the use stem cells in research to help develop cures and save millions of lives, have no qualms about sending our innocent soldiers into battle to be killed, in what most consider to be an unjust war ?

This topic really boils down to the fundamental issue of the conflict between the individual and society. We must all sacrifice some of our individual liberties for the benefits which society affords us. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, the individual within us resents having to sacrifice these liberties; therefore we must keep this personal "sacrifice" to an absolute minimum. At the same time we must maintain order to thus prevent chaos, however the sacrifice of personal freedoms need not extend to our private lives, such as marriage and early-term abortion.

This reasoning also makes sense on the plateau of practicality:  We are legislators,  NOT theologians;  furthermore we can not legislate a value system. If you tell someone that they can not drink alcohol, they surely will drink alcohol; but if we educate them they to drink responsibly then they are more likely to do so. If we tell someone that they must do this, they surely will not: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink". Our country was founded on a very sensible principal of the separation of Church and State.  Many proudly proclaim that they stand for a small and decentralized government; why then do they want to tell us what we can and can not do in the privacy of our own homes ?

As I have said previously, I strongly promote the introduction of a Philosophy & Ethics class from Kindergarten to 12th grade in order to teach the basic principles.  Elders should lead by example -  and Individuals should be free to make their own personal choices. Parents and Guardians should be their children's greatest heroes and in the end, for the adult: "Be your own hero !" and just simply follow the "Golden Rule".   This is the best path to a rock solid and healthy society.

 

 FOREIGN POLICY, IRAQ & THE MIDDLE EAST


I want to say out loud that I support our troops 200% and more !  However, as Teddy Roosevelt famously reminded us: not only is it the right, but the duty, of we American Citizens to constantly question the actions of our government.  As a Humanitarian Volunteer with JET (Japan Emergency Team) in Iraq (March to June 2003), I know all too well the cost our administration has levied upon us, shipping home dozens of our children in body bags each week.  All this so that we may all pay more than $3 per gallon for gasoline, helping Major Oil Corporations make up to $40 billion profit per year and making a few people grossly rich, while most of us loose $1000's per year or more.

In Iraq, I helped to procure and deliver one of the first truckloads of humanitarian aid to Baghdad and Iraq, surveyed every major city by public transport for health, sanitation and safety, attended daily CMCC, UN and other meetings, etc.  We were welcomed as heroes at first, but quickly warned that if they were not given their country back in 6 months as promised, that we would be recognized as occupiers and all "heck" would break loose. I left in June 2003 and that is exactly what has happened.

It is no wonder that so many members of the current administration never, for whatever reason, served in war. War is, and should only be, the last resort.

There were no weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein has been gone for years and yet we remain against the will of 90% of the world. This is insane and dangerous. There is only one sensible exit strategy and that is to turn this over to the UN, where we may take the lead role, but do so under the auspices of the world community.

John Donne said that no man is an island, and so neither can a small oligarchy dictate over the world. The era of imperialism has long vanished with the advent of mass affordable travel and communication. The world has become one and all those who try cling to the past will eventually sink to their own demise. I put up, twice, a now very famous sign on the pedestal of the Saddam Statue at Firdos Square (by the Palestine Hotel) in Baghdad: "ALL 'DONNE' GO HOME - Rx".

Our current administration is alienating us from the rest of the world by ignoring and acting against 90% world opinion and at least 50% of public opinion here at home, thus eroding what little diplomatic respect they have not already destroyed. Don't let us forget the record 50,000,000 anti-war (Iraq) protestors in 2003 !

 

 WEALTH AND INCOME INEQUALITY


In 1970 the ratio of the average salary of a CEO to worker was 20:1, in 1998 an astronomical 419:1 !, today over a 1000 !

0.1% of Americans own 23% of our wealth, 1.0% own 43% and 14% own 90% ! This is ridiculous and grossly unfair. Furthermore this is a foolish and unsustainable policy, long-term.  I'm BIG on Small Business, the backbone of America, and small on Big Business, often the scourge of America.

Over the next 10 years, the Bush administration's plan (Bush era Tax cuts of 2001 & 2003, etc.) will give $1 Trillion to those making $200,000/year and more (the per capita income in District 23 is $29,613, so very, very few here will benefit).  With sensible reform, we could use that $1 Trillion on quality Health Care and Education for all ! Give 1,000,000 people $1,000 and they will spend it and stimulate the economy, give 1,000 people $1,000,000 and they will spend a few thousand and hide the rest in a private bank account ! It is cut and dry, do we want to give $1 Trillion to the rich or do we want to spend it on Health Care and Education for All ! You are un-American if you don't want to give it to the people !

A quality job is one which you work 40 hours per week and can afford to live in the same neighborhood in which you work. Most people can not do this in Waikiki and District 23. What we have is the modern evolved form of servitude and this in turn creates the massive traffic problem. Just go to your local convenience store or fast food restaurant and see who is working there, this is a grossly flagrant abuse of humanity. Most of the people who work here can not afford to live here and therefore must commute from other parts of Oahu, while many of those who live here work downtown and elsewhere, further compounding the traffic problem. We need not preoccupy ourselves with how much the richest make, but we most necessarily should provide a decent minimum standard of living for the working individual.

In 1970, most Democrats were on the left, most Republicans on the right; now everything has shifted drastically to the right with most Democrats standing firmly in the middle on the side of Common Sense, while some Republicans have gone off the deep end led by blind greed. Don't let them drag us down there into their quagmire.

My opponent wants to expand these same policies, escalating the inequity and dictate this by creating a Fortress America, led by the loss of our constitutional rights coinciding with the "Patriot Act". The Police don't like this, as they have to be the soldiers on the local front.

Answer that question, are you better of than 6 years ago ? What has gone right for goodness sake !  We appear to be returning to the days of "Stag-Flation" (a stagnant economy with high inflation, last experienced a quarter century ago).  Well that is the case for the working man, for the heartless investment markets plow ahead without concern for the working man, indeed rejoicing in the profits of our exploitation.  Indeed, while Congress votes itself a significant raise year after year, they have not increased the Federal Minimum Wage for a decade !  What's up with that ?

Friends if we have any more years of this inept non-sense there will be nothing left. To the many affluent people in our district I say, "60% percent of something is a heck of a lot more than 90 or 100% of nothing". Think about it. Perhaps the top 1 out of a thousand may be able to disappear during disaster, but the rest of us will suffer. Let us not find out the hard way.

"UNITED WE STAND,

DIVIDED WE FAIL !"

 

We live in a world unfortunately controlled primarily by wealth, which is most unfortunate as the qualities, values and desires necessary to accumulate assets rarely are the same as those which make people fit to lead society. Indeed, the financial bottom-line does not account for "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" - lest we forget what America was founded on (look at the face of a new $10 bill: "We The People ...."). Yet it is the wealthy who are most empowered. So we must all, whether culturally, philosophically or materially rich, work together to better society.  The first step is to always remember:

"WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY,

NOT AN ECONOMY"

  We Demand the End of Political Corruption on All Levels 

 


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