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Informing Hawaii's voters

Greece Backs Down, Gains Bailout Extension

Published on YouTube Feb 24, 2015

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.

Ukraine One Year after the Coup

February 23, 2015

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.

Copyright © 2015 by RonPaul Institute

Finkelstein: Netanyahu Is a Maniac

Published on Feb 23, 2015

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.

How Local Governments Can Avoid Wall Street Rip-Offs

Paul Craig Roberts introduction: Ellen Brown, one of America’s most important reformist leaders, explains how governments can finance themselves without being bled dry by Wall Street firms.

This is an important article. If Americans intend a future for themselves, Americans need to become aware of the alternatives to being ripped off by Wall Street.

OpEdNews

February 21, 2015

Swimming with the Sharks: Goldman Sachs, Schools, and Capital Appreciation Bonds

By Ellen Brown

Remember when Goldman Sachs -- dubbed by Matt Taibbi the Vampire Squid-- sold derivatives to Greece so the government could conceal its debt, then bet against that debt, driving it up? It seems that the ubiquitous investment bank has also put the squeeze on California and its school districts. Not that Goldman was alone in this; but the unscrupulous practices of the bank once called the undisputed king of the municipal bond business epitomize the culture of greed that has ensnared students and future generations in unrepayable debt.

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%).

Read more . . .

Links:

State Loses Access to $1B of Its Funds [Hawaii Political Info] Dec 31, 2009

$1B in Hawaii State Investments Frozen [HPI] Aug 30, 2009

Setting the Record Straight: The State has not incurred any actual or real losses by investing in auction rate securities [Hawaii Reporter] by Georgina Kawamura, Director of Budget and Finance for the state of Hawaii, Sep 3, 2009

Lapses noted in fiscal reporting [The Honolulu Advertiser]

Auction rate security [Wikipedia]

Wall Street Betrayal Seen in $4.8 Billion Company Debt Losses [Bloomberg] August 28, 2009

AuctionRatePreferreds.org

The Collapse of Auction-Rate Securities [boston.com]

SEC Charges TD Ameritrade for Auction Rate Securities Sales Practices Settlement Enables ARS Customers to Receive All of Their Money Back [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] July 20, 2009

Ed Snowden Flick Wins Best Documentary at Oscars

Judaism's Five Faces

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.


Link:

Jews, Israel & Zionism [Hawaii Political Info] (Extensive collection of articles & videos)

Banned Documentary Portrays Boys Town Sex Ring for the Powerful

YouTube introduction: Conspiracy of Silence was a one hour video describing the Franklin Cover-Up originally due to be aired on the Discovery Channel in 1994. The documentary was pulled and the UK producers paid off to obtain all copies by unknown political figures in Congress. John DeCamp had obtained an in-house copy which he gave to Ted Gunderson in the late 1990s, which Ted made available from his Website and at his talks. The Conspiracy of Silence is the greatest testament to the victory of corruption and murder over innocence and justice ever seen in a modern times. This version was posted to YouTube on May 1, 2012. Paul Bonner was killed with a drug overdose shortly after being filmed for this documentary.

U.S. Can't Survive Current Immigration Policies

Townhall

By Phyllis Schlafly

February 17, 2015

We've had a lot of media comment about the bad effects of Obama's executive orders admitting millions (yes, millions) of illegal immigrants and giving them welfare, Social Security, driver's licenses and a path to citizenship. Like many Americans, I realized the importance of this when thousands of unfamiliar people from a foreign country, without any advance notice, appeared in my community.

Then I attended an education conference where the asylum racket to admit millions of foreigners (long ignored by the media) was described by a knowledgeable speaker, Ann Corcoran. She started by asking questions of her audience.

Did you hear about the El Cajon, California Iraqi man who was found guilty of murdering his wife after writing a phony note from supposed Islamophobes telling the family to leave the U.S.? Did you know that the Tsarnaev Boston Bombers came to our country with false claims of persecution and then cashed in to receive $100,000 in U.S. welfare handouts?

Read more . . .

U.S. Continues to Add to Its War Agenda

Last week President Obama sent Congress legislation to authorize him to use force against ISIS “and associated persons and forces” anywhere in the world for the next three years. This is a blank check for the president to start as many new wars as he wishes, and it appears Congress will go along with this dangerous and costly scheme.

Already the military budget for next year is equal to all but the very peak spending levels during the Vietnam war and the Reagan military build-up, according to the Project on Defense Alternatives. Does anyone want to guess how much will be added to military spending as a result of this new war authorization?

The US has already spent nearly two billion dollars fighting ISIS since this summer, and there hasn’t been much to show for it. A new worldwide war on ISIS will likely just serve as a recruiting tool for jihadists. We learned last week that our bombing has led to 20,000 new foreign fighters signing up to join ISIS. How many more will decide to join each time a new US bomb falls on a village or a wedding party?

The media makes a big deal about the so-called limitations on the president’s ability to use combat troops in this legislation, but in reality there is nothing that would add specific limits. The prohibition on troops for “enduring” or “offensive” ground combat operations is vague enough to be meaningless. Who gets to determine what “enduring” means? And how difficult is it to claim that any ground operation is “defensive” by saying it is meant to “defend” the US? Even the three year limit is just propaganda: who believes a renewal would not be all but automatic if the president comes back to Congress with the US embroiled in numerous new wars?

If this new request is not bad enough, the president has announced that he would be sending 600 troops into Ukraine next month, supposedly to help train that country’s military. Just as the Europeans seem to have been able to negotiate a ceasefire between the opposing sides in that civil war, President Obama plans to pour gasoline on the fire by sending in the US military. The ceasefire agreement signed last week includes a demand that all foreign military forces leave Ukraine. I think that is a good idea and will go a long way to reduce the tensions. But why does Obama think that restriction does not apply to us?

Last week also saw the Senate confirm Ashton Carter as the new Secretary of Defense by an overwhelming majority. Carter comes to the Pentagon straight from the military industrial complex, and he has already announced his support for sending lethal weapons to Ukraine. Sen. John McCain’s strong praise for Carter is not a good sign that the new secretary will advise caution before undertaking new US interventions.

As we continue to teeter on the verge of economic catastrophe, Washington’s interventionists in both parties show no signs of slowing. The additional tens of billions or more that these new wars will cost will not only further undermine our economy, but will actually make us less safe. Can anyone point to a single success that the interventionists have had over the last 25 years?

As I have said, this militarism will end one way or the other. Either enough Americans will wake up and demand an end to Washington’s foreign adventurism, or we will go broke and be unable to spend another fiat dollar on maintaining the global US empire.

Copyright © 2015 by RonPaul Institute

Constant wars an essential part of the world government plan, according to these two sources:

Aaron Russo on Council on Foreign Relations

Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion

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