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Kawai's Journal

28th March, 2006. 10:09 am.

The other day, I posted something here. I was upset and for a few moments was vindictive. Although it was fictitous, the intent was to piss someone off. That was wrong and I regret it.

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27th March, 2006. 1:27 pm.

Happy Jonah Kuhio Day.

I swear Hawai'i must have the most state holidays.

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17th March, 2006. 9:38 am.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

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14th February, 2006. 9:12 am.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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30th June, 2005. 6:47 pm. idiotic Bush

My friend sent this to me through e-mail. It is a critique of Bush's speech.

Bush's Iraq Speech: Long On Assertion, Short On Facts
Bush says "progress is uneven" in Iraq, but accentuates positive evidence and mostly ignores the negative.
June 30, 2005


Summary
Standing before a crowd of uniformed soldiers, President Bush addressed the nation on June 27 to reaffirm America's commitment to the global war on terrorism. But throughout the speech Bush continually stated his opinions and conclusions as though they were facts, and he offered little specific evidence to support his assertions.

Here we provide some additional context, both facts that support Bush's case that "we have made significant progress" in Iraq, as well as some of the negative evidence he omitted.

Analysis

Bush's prime-time speech at Fort Bragg, NC coincided with the one-year anniversary of the handover of soverignty to Iraqi authorities. It was designed to lay out America's role in Iraq amid sinking public support for the war and calls by some lawmakers to withdraw troops.


The Bloodshed


Bush acknowledged the high level of violence in Iraq as he sought to reassure the public.


Bush: The work in Iraq is difficult and dangerous. Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying and the suffering is real. Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it?


What Bush did not mention is that by most measures the violence is getting worse. Both April and May were record months in Iraq for car bombings, for example, with more than 135 of them being set off each month. And the bombings are getting more deadly. May was a record month for deaths from bombings, with 381 persons killed in "multiple casualty" bombings that took two or more lives, according to figures collected by the Brookings Institution in its "Iraq Index." The Brookings index is compiled from a variety of sources including official government statistics, where those are available, and other public sources such as news accounts and statements of Iraqi government officials.

The number of Iraqi police and military who have been killed is also rising, reaching 296 so far in June, nearly triple the 109 recorded in January and 103 in Febrary, according to a tally of public information by the website Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, a private group that documents each fatality from public statements and news reports. Estimates of the total number of Iraqi civilians killed each month as a result of "acts of war" have been rising as well, according to the Brookings index.

The trend is also evident in year-to-year figures. In the past twelve months, there have been 25% more U.S. troop fatalities and nearly double the average number of insurgent attacks per day as there were in the preceeding 12 months.


Reconstruction Progress


In talking about Iraqi reconstruction, Bush highlighted the positive and omitted the negative:

Bush: We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. . . . Our progress has been uneven but progress is being made. We are improving roads and schools and health clinics and working to improve basic services like sanitation, electricity and water. And together with our allies, we will help the new Iraqi government deliver a better life for its citizens.


Indeed, the State Department's most recent "Iraq Weekly Status Report" shows progress is uneven. Education is a positive; official figures show 3,056 schools have been rehabilitated and millions of "student kits" have been distributed to primary and secondary schools. School enrollments are increasing. And there are also 145 new primary healthcare centers currently under construction. The official figures show 78 water treatment projects underway, nearly half of them completed, and water utility operators are regularly trained in two-week courses.

On the negative side, however, State Department figures show overall electricity production is barely above pre-war levels. Iraqis still have power only 12 hours daily on average.

Iraqis are almost universally unhappy about that. Fully 96 percent of urban Iraqis said they were dissatisfied when asked about "the availability of electricity in your neighborhood." That poll was conducted in February for the U.S. military, and results are reported in Brookings' "Iraq Index." The same poll also showed that 20 percent of Iraqi city- dwellers still report being without water to their homes.


Conclusions or Facts?


The President repeatedly stated his upbeat conclusions as though they were facts. For example, he said of "the terrorists:"

Bush: They failed to break our coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies. They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war..

In fact, there have been withdrawals by allies. Spain pulled out its 1,300 soldiers in April, and Honduras brought home its 370 troops at the same time. The Philippines withdrew its 51 troops last summer to save the life of a Filipino hostage held captive for eight months in Iraq. Ukraine has already begun a phased pullout of its 1,650-person contingent, which the Defense Ministry intends to complete by the end of the year. Both the Netherlands and Italy have announced plans to withdraw their troops, and the Bulgarian parliament recently granted approval to bring home its 450 soldiers. Poland, supplying the third-largest contingent in the coalition after Italy's departure, has backed off a plan for full withdrawal of troops due to the success of Iraqi elections and talks with Condoleezza Rice, but the Polish Press Agency announced in June that the next troop rotation will have 200 fewer soldiers.

Bush is of course entitled to argue that these withdrawals don't constitute a "mass" withdrawal, but an argument isn't equivalent to a fact.

The same goes for Bush's statement there's no "civil war" going on. In fact, some believe that what's commonly called the "insurgency" already is a "civil war" or something very close to it. For example, in an April 30 piece, the Times of London quotes Colonel Salem Zajay, a police commander in Southern Baghdad, as saying, "The war is not between the Iraqis and the Americans. It is between the Shia and the Sunni." Again, Bush is entitled to state his opinion to the contrary, but stating a thing doesn't make it so.


Terrorism


Similarly, Bush equated Iraqi insurgents with terrorists who would attack the US if they could.


Bush: There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. . . . Our mission in Iraq is clear. We are hunting down the terrorists.


Despite a few public claims to the contrary, however, no solid evidence has surfaced linking Iraq to attacks on the United States, and Bush offered none in his speech. The 9/11 Commission issued a staff report more than a year ago saying "so far we have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States." It said Osama bin Laden made a request in 1994 to establish training camps in Iraq, but "but Iraq apparently never responded." That was before bin Laden was ejected from Sudan and moved his operation to Afghanistan.

Bush laid stress on the "foreign" or non-Iraqi elements in the insurgency as evidence that fighting in Iraq might prevent future attacks on the US:

Bush: I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country. And tonight I will explain the reasons why. Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by ruthless killers who are converging on Iraq to fight the advance of peace and freedom. Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and other nations.

But Bush didn't mention that the large majority of insurgents are Iraqis, not foreigners. The overall strength of the insurgency has been estimated at about 16,000 persons. The number of foreign fighters in Iraq is only about 1,000, according to estimates reported by the Brookings Institution. The exact number is of course impossible to know. However, over the course of one week during the major battle for Fallujah in November of 2004, a Marine official said that only about 2% of those detained were foreigners. To be sure, Brookings notes that "U.S. military believe foreign fighters are responsible for the majority of suicide bombings in Iraq," with perhaps as many as 70 percent of bombers coming from Saudi Arabia alone. It is anyone's guess how many of those Saudi suicide bombers might have attempted attacks on US soil, but a look at the map shows that a Saudi jihadist can drive across the border to Baghdad much more easily than getting nearly halfway around the world to to the US.


Osama bin Laden


Bush quoted a recent tape-recorded message by bin Laden as evidence that the Iraq conflict is "a central front in the war on terror:"

Bush: Hear the words of Osama bin Laden: "This Third World War is raging" in Iraq..."The whole world is watching this war." He says it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation."


However, Bush passed over the fact that the relationship between bin Laden and the Iraqi insurgents - to the extent one existed at all before - grew much closer after the US invaded Iraq. Insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi did not announce his formal allegiance with bin Laden until October, 2004. It was only then that Zarqawi changed the name of his group from "Unification and Holy War Group" to "al Qaeda in Iraq."

In summary, we found nothing false in what Bush said, only that his facts were few and selective.

--by Brooks Jackson & Jennifer L. Ernst

Researched by Matthew Barge, Kevin Collins & Jordan Grossman


Sources

Paul Richter, "No 'Timetables' for Iraq Pullout, Bush Promises Visiting Premier," Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2005: A1.

Michael E. O'Hanlon, Adriana Lins de Albuquerque, "Iraq Index; Tracking Variables of Reconstruction & Security in Post-Saddam Iraq," Brookings Institution, 27 June 2005.

US Department of State, " Iraq Weekly Status Report," 22 June 2005.

National Commission On Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States, " Overview of the Enemy ," staff statement No. 15 released at Twelfth Public Hearing, Wednesday, June 16, 2004.

BBC News, "US chides Spain for Iraq pull-out," 20 April 2005.

Robin Wright, "European Bitterness Over Iraq Dissipates," Washington Post 5 Feb. 2005: A21.

PAP Polish Press Agency, "Next Rotation of Polish Soldiers In Iraq Smaller," 25 May 2005.

"Ukraine 's Defence Minister Says His Troops Will Be Out Of Iraq By Year End," BBC Monitoring International Reports 17 June 2005.

Nick Childs, "Iraq 's Strained Coalition," BBC News World Edition 16 March 2005.

Sara Toms, "Manila 's Difficult Dilemna," BBC News World Edition 20 July 2004.

"Poll shows dissatisfaction with Iraq War," CNN.com, 21 June 2005. Donna Miles, "Military Tops Public Confidence List in New Gallup Poll," American Forces Press Service, 3 June 2005.

"Few foreigners among rebels captured in Fallujah," Associated Press/USA Today, 15 November 2004.

Susan B. Glasser, "'Martyrs' in Iraq Mostly Saudis," Washington Post, 15 May 2005.

"President Addresses Nation, Discusses Iraq , War on Terror," Transcript, The White House 28 June 2005.


Bush's Iraq Speech: Long On Assertion, Short On Facts

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27th June, 2005. 8:42 am. Mass Murder of Iraqi Teens? Not for the Squeamish

CHECK THIS OUT! I CANNOT BELIEVE IT

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26th October, 2004. 7:42 pm. Eminem vs. George Bush

I gotta tell you.... Eminem never ceases to amaze me. His latest video for his rap Mosh has been available online for viewing since earlier today before it was shown on MTV. to anyone who reads this, and most likely, few will, but I encourage you to check it out at http://www.gnn.tv/videos/video.php?id=27

It's animated and not like his other videos, but it's quite impressive and he strongly encourages people to vote.

http://www.gnn.tv/videos/video.php?id=27

Here are the lyrics as provided at http://geekgirl.typepad.com/
[I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
And to the Republic for which it stands
One nation under God
Indivisible・
It feels so good to be back..]
Scrutinize every word, memorize every line
I spit it once, refuel, reenergize, and rewind
I give sight to the blind, mind sight through the mind
I ostracize my right to express when I feel it's time
It's just all in your mind, what you interpret it as
I say to fight you take it as I知 gonna whip someone's ass
If you don't understand don't even bother to ask
A father who has grown up with a fatherless past
Who has blown up now to rap phenomenon that has
Or at least shows no difficulty multi task
And juggling both, perhaps mastered his craft slash
Entrepreneur who has held long too few more rap acts
Who has had a few obstacles thrown his way through the last half
Of his career typical manure moving past that
Mister kiss his ass crack, he's a class act
Rubber band man, yea he just snaps back

Come along, follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark, that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength,
Come with me, and I won't stear you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
Till the light, at the end, of the tunnel, we gonna fight,
We gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march through the swamp
We gonna mosh through the marsh, take us right through the doors

To the people up top, on the side and the middle,
Come together, let's all bomb and swamp just a little
Just let it gradually build, from the front to the back
All you can see is a sea of people, some white and some black
Don't matter what color, all that matters is we gathered together
To celebrate for the same cause, no matter the weather
If it rains let it rain, yea the wetter the better
They ain't gonna stop us, they can't, we're stronger now more then ever,
They tell us no we say yea, they tell us stop we say go,
Rebel with a rebel yell, raise hell we gonna let em know
Stomp, push up, mush, fuck Bush, until they bring our troops home come on just . . .

Come along, follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark, that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength,
Come with me, and I won't stear you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
Till the light, at the end, of the tunnel, we gonna fight,
We gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march through the swamp
We gonna mosh through the marsh, take us right through the doors, come on

Imagine it pouring, it's raining down on us,
Mosh pits outside the oval office
Someone's trying to tell us something, maybe this is God just saying
we're responsible for this monster, this coward, that we have empowered
This is Bin Laden, look at his head nodding,
How could we allow something like this, Without pumping our fist
Now this is our, final hour
Let me be the voice, and your strength, and your choice
Let me simplify the rhyme, just to amplify the noise
Try to amplify the times it, and multiply it by six
Teen million people are equal of this high pitch
Maybe we can reach Al Quaida through my speech
Let the President answer on high anarchy
Strap him with AK-47, let him go
Fight his own war, let him impress daddy that way
No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our soil
No more psychological warfare to trick us to think that we ain't loyal
If we don't serve our own country we're patronizing a hero
Look in his eyes, it's all lies, the stars and stripes
They've been swiped, washed out and wiped,
And Replaced with his own face, mosh now or die
If I get sniped tonight you'll know why, because I told you to fight

So come along, follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark, that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength,
Come with me, and I won't stear you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
Till the light, at the end, of the tunnel, we gonna fight,
We gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march through the swamp
We gonna mosh through the marsh, take us right through the doors


And as we proceed, to mosh through this desert storm, in these closing statements, if they should argue, let us beg to differ, as we set aside our differences, and assemble our own army, to disarm this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president, for the present, and mosh for the future of our next generation, to speak and be heard, Mr. President, Mr. Senator


http://www.gnn.tv/videos/video.php?id=27

http://www.gnn.tv/videos/video.php?id=27

http://www.gnn.tv/videos/video.php?id=27

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19th October, 2004. 4:53 pm. Jon Stewart is the man!!

So, on Sunday, some friends of mine had asked me if I watched Jon Stewart's appearance on CNN's Crossfire. They told me all about it and I was upset that I missed it.

Anyhow.... Jon Stewart is the man!!!!! I recommend that you watch the CNN Crossfire clip of the show. check it out here. He even called Tucker Carlson a dick!!!!

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30th August, 2004. 11:20 pm. Third meanest to homeless?

www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/08/30/hawaiis_homeless_law_fuels_tension?mode=PF


The Boston Globe
August 30, 2004


Hawaii's homeless law fuels tension

State to debut at 3d on list of 'meanest'


By Pat Bigold, Globe Correspondent

HONOLULU -- Despite a strong state economy, the homeless rate in Hawaii has nearly doubled over the past four years, and the majority of the new homeless are native Hawaiians and those with some Hawaiian ancestry.

From fabled Waikiki Beach, one of the places where the homeless congregate on Oahu, to the neighboring islands that conjure the image of paradise to planeloads of tourists who arrive daily, there is increasing tension between the
thousands of homeless people, their advocates, and state, city, and county governments.

Darlene Hein, a homeless advocate who works at Waikiki Health Center, said there's an inevitable tension between homelessness and tourism.

''Obviously if visitors go to the beach and see homeless people, it just doesn't suggest the image of Hawaii and aloha," said Hein.

Fueling the ill feelings is a new state law that went into effect in May allowing police to arrest homeless people if they return within a year to a spot from which they were rousted.

It's why Hawaii will make the National Coalition for the Homeless ''Meanest States" list for the first time next month, debuting at No. 3,according to coalition cofounder Michael Stoops. Meanwhile, Honolulu will jump from No. 19 on the
''Meanest Cities" list to No. 9.

But Sandra Miyoshi, the homeless programs section administrator for the state Housing and Community Development Corp., takes exception to the
coalition's rankings.

''I happen to know that the way they did their rating was to interview a couple of people, and those couple of people had a lot of negative things to say," said Miyoshi. ''I think Hawaii could be friendlier to the homeless, but I think
we're making a great deal of progress."

Stoops said much more is considered for the rankings than just the opinions of two people. Stoops said he is in frequent contact with care providers in Hawaii and monitors news coverage from the 50th state. A 2003 state survey indicated that there are more than 6,000 homeless people on any given day in Hawaii, but as many as
14,595 experience homelessness during the course of a year.

He cited not only the new state law, but earlier actions, such as police sweeps of beaches and parks, the removal of benches where the homeless slept in Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, and the installation of razor wire under viaducts.

''When we first got the [Meanest Cities] designation I didn't agree with it," said Lynn Maunakea, executive director of the Institute for Human Services, Hawaii's largest homeless shelter. ''They weren't seriously kicking people out of places then. I think we have definitely earned the designation now."

Lois Perrin, legal director of the ACLU of Hawaii, said the new state law is the most severe of its kind in the nation.

She said it was ''patently unconstitutional" and indicated the ACLU would challenge it if a credible case is brought to her office.

But Governor Linda Lingle, who signed the law, sent a different message to the homeless on July 15 when she emphasized their plight and called for 17,000 affordable rental units over the next five years.

Miyoshi said 1,800 of the units will be ''specifically for the chronically homeless."

The 2003 state survey found that 41 percent of Hawaii's homeless population had been previously evicted for nonpayment of rent. The monthly rent for a standard studio apartment in Honolulu often costs about the same as what the city's Section 8
program subsidizes for a two-bedroom apartment ($995).

Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris addressed the problem Aug. 9 when he said a federally financed transitional housing complex will be built for 150 homeless people on the Waianae Coast, about 30 miles from Waikiki Beach.

Stoops commended the housing plans announced by Lingle and Harris, but said they are ''too late" to keep Honolulu and Hawaii from moving up the Meanest lists. The Waianae project is expected to be complete by the end of 2005.

That is little comfort for the homeless, about 675 on an average day, on Waianae Coast.

Some 61 percent are Hawaiians, according to the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. Hawaiians represent only about 18 percent of the state's population, but the state survey suggested they make up 37 percent of the state's homeless population. Caucasians are next, at 32 percent.

© Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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3rd February, 2004. 11:15 pm. 200 year old Hawaiian skull

Yup.... supposedly, someone is selling on E-bay, a Hawaiian skull that's 200 years old. Check it out here, http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3271708941&category=413

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