There are millions of Christians in America’s churches that couldn’t tell you what’s in the Bible to save their lives. They couldn’t quote the Ten Commandments; they couldn’t quote the Golden Rule; they couldn’t name Christ’s apostles; they couldn’t quote five verses of Scripture from memory if their lives depended on it.
In all ages the people of the world, equally with individuals, have accepted words for deeds, for THEY ARE CONTENT WITH A SHOW and rarely pause to note, in the public arena, whether promises are followed by performance.
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just. —Shakespeare, British playwright But four times he who gets his blow in fust. —Josh Billlings, American writer
MIT economist Jonathan Gruber’s factually impoverished testimony on Obamacare [before the House] didn’t get nearly the attention it should have, as congressional Democrats cleverly decided to release a report on CIA torture abuses on the same day.
"... there is NOTHING that can’t be reached by the state legislative power. They can correct the manifold violations of every provision of the constitution that occur every day in every state by federal agencies exceeding the scope of the authority granted to them by the states, in the Constitution. The problem has not been that there aren’t plenty of violations to correct. The problem has been that most States are befuddled into thinking that they get run by Washington, D.C. The press tells them this every day.
Russia has a nuclear arsenal as large as Washington’s, and Russia is very much aware that for 13 years Washington’s lies and demonizations of countries are the preludes to launching military attacks on the countries.
Throughout my career, the political ruling elite has been enacting piecemeal a version of “universal” healthcare coverage to satisfy the demands of an increasingly vocal, but also increasingly disenfranchised citizenry. Our overlords, of course, have been more motivated by enhancing corporate bottom lines and enriching themselves, than in genuinely helping the peasantry.
Russia Today introduction: Living in a border area disputed by two nations may be hard enough, but the Druze community in the Golan Heights are now facing another difficulty - that of oil exploration on their doorstep. An American company has started drilling wells there with Israel's approval, but locals fear they won't reap any benefits.
Hawaii Political Info note: Afek Oil and Gas is described by Russia Today as an American company. What they don't say is that its top executives areJews.
Brave New Films introduction: War on Whistleblowers highlights recent cases where American government employees and contractors took to the media to expose fraud and abuse. In all cases the whistle-blowing was to the detriment of their professional and personal lives. SUBSCRIBE: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c... WATCH MORE FILMS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N8y2...
With President Obama's commitment to transparency and the passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, there was hope that whistleblowers would finally have more protection and encouragement to speak up. But according to the film, times have never been worse for national security whistleblowers. Obama's administration has attacked more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined.
2:30 After the death of Major Megan McClung who was killed by an IED while riding in a Humvee, Franz Gayl asked himself, "If not me, then who? If not now then when?" Gayl blew the whistle on the Military Industry who were dragging their feet to provide MRAPS, a vehicle that could replace the Humvee and prevent unnecessary casualties amongst American Soldiers in Irag.
11:53 "Why didn't they do the right thing?" , asks Gayl. It comes down to money and reputations. The Humvee, though not the safest choice for our soldiers, is backed by millions of dollars and powerful lobbying. Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President of the National taxpayers Union stresses the need for more accountability in our spending.
13:18 The more powerful our National Security State becomes, the greater the need for Whistle Blowers and as our need for Whistle Blowers has increased, so has the aggression towards and attacks on them via the Obama Administration.
"We talk about a National Security State that pretends it's interested in our National Security when in fact it's interested in the security of corporate interests, of agency interests, of politicians keeping their jobs..."
-Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers Whistleblower
16:24 Meet Thomas Drake, Former Senior Executive of the NSA. WhistleBlower.
18:23 Meet Michael Dekort, Former Lead Systems Engineer of the Deepwater Program. Whistleblower.
20:40 Meet Thomas Tamm, Former Attorney in the Department of Justice. WhistleBlower.
23:21 Hear how Drake, Dekort and Tamm arrived at their fateful decisions to brave the risk and blow the whistle.
"...we nickname whistleblowing the sound of professional suicide."
Tom Devine, Legal Director, Government Accountability Project
32:26 Michael Dekort uses YouTube as a last resort tactic to be heard. It worked.
35:26 Drake recounts the day they came for him, the charges made against him and the severity of punishments he faced under the Espionage Act.
"I met the Chief prosecutor at a secret FBI facility in Maryland where the prosecutor threatened me with spending the rest of my life in prison..."
39:55 The Obama administration began with promises of transparency and accountability to the American people, yet turned very quickly in to an administration that has cracked down on Whistleblowers harder than any other. Thomas Tamm also finds himself charged under the Espionage Act.
44:55 Jesselyn Radack writes an article in the L.A times on behalf of Thomas Drake calling attention to the differences between "leaking" and "whistleblowing". The tide turns for Drake who begins to receive long overdue recognition for telling the truth.
47:10 Thomas Tamm recalls his moment to speak and be heard in the press.
51:12 It's a bittersweet moment when Thomas Drake is vindicated.
52:49 The Obama administration prosecutes, prosecutes, prosecutes some more.
"Efforts to target me have continued under the Obama administration which has been aggressively investigating whistleblowers in a way that will have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press in the United States."
55:07 The government uses selective leaking to release only the stories that cast them in a good light.
1:02 What kind of nation are we becoming? Edward Snowden encourages us to decide what kind of contribution we will make together, not just by saying, but by doing.
ABOUT BRAVE NEW FILMS
Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films are at the forefront of the fight to create a just America. Using new media and internet video campaigns, Brave New Films has created a quick-strike capability that informs the public, challenges corporate media with the truth, and motivates people to take action on social issues nationwide. Brave New Films’ investigative films have scrutinized the impact of U.S. drone strikes; the war on whistleblowers; and Wal Mart’s corporate practices. The company’s films have received more than 56 million views online.
Mahalo to Jack De Feo for alerting Hawaii Political Info to this documentary
Russia Today introduction: A list of reforms proposed by Greece has won the country a four month extension to its bailout program. However it's already clear that the ruling Syriza party has had to back down on a number of its pledges in a bid to secure an agreement.
It was one year ago last weekend that a violent coup overthrew the legally elected government of Ukraine. That coup was not only supported by US and EU governments -- much of it was actually planned by them. Looking back at the events that led to the overthrow it is clear that without foreign intervention Ukraine would not be in its current, seemingly hopeless situation.
By the end of 2013, Ukraine’s economy was in ruins. The government was desperate for an economic bailout and then-president Yanukovych first looked west to the US and EU before deciding to accept an offer of help from Russia. Residents of south and east Ukraine, who largely speak Russian and trade extensively with Russia were pleased with the decision. West Ukrainians who identify with Poland and Europe began to protest. Ukraine is a deeply divided country and the president came from the eastern region.
At this point the conflict was just another chapter in Ukraine’s difficult post-Soviet history. There was bound to be some discontent over the decision, but if there had been no foreign intervention in support of the protests you would likely not be reading this column today. The problem may well have solved itself in due time rather than escalated into a full-out civil war. But the interventionists in the US and EU won out again, and their interventionist project has been a disaster.
The protests at the end of 2013 grew more dramatic and violent and soon a steady stream of US and EU politicians were openly participating, as protesters called for the overthrow of the Ukrainian government. Senator John McCain made several visits to Kiev and even addressed the crowd to encourage them.
Imagine if a foreign leader like Putin or Assad came to Washington to encourage protesters to overthrow the Obama Administration!
As we soon found out from a leaked telephone call, the US ambassador in Kiev and Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, were making detailed plans for a new government in Kiev after the legal government was overthrown with their assistance.
The protests continued to grow but finally on February 20th of last year a European delegation brokered a compromise that included early elections and several other concessions from Yanukovych. It appeared disaster had been averted, but suddenly that night some of the most violent groups, which had been close to the US, carried out the coup and Yanukovych fled the country.
When the east refused to recognize the new government as legitimate and held a referendum to secede from the west, Kiev sent in tanks to force them to submit. Rather than accept the will of those seeking independence from what they viewed as an illegitimate government put in place by foreigners, the Obama administration decided to blame it all on the Russians and began imposing sanctions!
That war launched by Kiev has lasted until the present, with a ceasefire this month brokered by the Germans and French finally offering some hope for an end to the killing. More than 5,000 have been killed and many of those were civilians bombed in their cities by Kiev.
What if John McCain had stayed home and worried about his constituents in Arizona instead of non-constituents 6,000 miles away? What if the other US and EU politicians had done the same? What if Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt had focused on actual diplomacy instead of regime change?
If they had done so, there is a good chance many if not all of those who have been killed in the violence would still be alive today. Interventionism kills.
Russia Today introduction: Afshin Rattansi goes underground on the recent Israeli attack on Gaza. Norman Finkelstein, author of ‘Method and Madness - The hidden story of Israel's assaults on Gaza’, says the Goldstone report was 'devastating' in its conclusion that Israel was trying to punish and humiliate the citizens of Gaza, and that Israel has a 'maniac' for a head of state.
In 2008, after collecting millions of dollars in fees to help California sell its bonds, Goldman urged its bigger clients to place investment bets against those bonds, in order to profit from a financial crisis that was sparked in the first place by irresponsible Wall Street speculation. Alarmed California officials warned that these short sales would jeopardize the state's bond rating and drive up interest rates. But that result also served Goldman, which had sold credit default swaps on the bonds, since the price of the swaps rose along with the risk of default.
In 2009, the lenders' lobbying group than proposed and promoted AB1388, a California bill eliminating the debt ceiling requirement on long-term debt for school districts. After it passed, bankers traveled all over the state pushing something called "capital appreciation bonds" (CABs) as a tool to vault over legal debt limits. (Think Greece again.) Also called payday loans for school districts, CABs have now been issued by more than 400 California districts, some with repayment obligations of up to 20 times the principal advanced (or 2000%).
Ever wonder what the difference is between the different kinds of Judaism, such as Reform, Conservative and Orthodox? Brother Nathanael, a Christian American who grew up in the Jewish faith, explains in a nutshell.