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Informing Hawaii's voters

Once-Peaceful Canada Turns Militaristic, Gets Hit with Blowback

In 1968 the government of Canada decided to openly admit Americans seeking to avoid being drafted into the US war on Vietnam. Before, would-be immigrants were technically required to prove that they had been discharged from US military service. This move made it easier for Americans to escape President Johnson’s war machine by heading north.

Although a founding member of NATO, Canada did not join the United States in its war against Vietnam. The Canadian government did not see a conflict 7,000 miles away as vital to Canada’s national interest so Canada pursued its own foreign policy course, independent of the United States.

How the world has changed. Canada’s wise caution about military adventurism even at the height of the Cold War has given way to a Canada of the 21st century literally joined at Washington’s hip and eager to participate in any bombing mission initiated by the D.C. interventionists.

Considering Canada’s peaceful past, the interventionist Canada that has emerged at the end of the Cold War is a genuine disappointment. Who would doubt that today’s Canada would, should a draft be re-instated in the US, send each and every American resister back home to face prison and worse?

As Glenn Greenwald pointed out this past week:

Canada has spent the last 13 years proclaiming itself a nation at war. It actively participated in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and was an enthusiastic partner in some of the most extremist War on Terror abuses perpetrated by the U.S.

Canada has also enthusiastically joined President Obama’s latest war on Iraq and Syria, pledging to send fighter jets to participate in the bombing of ISIS (and likely many civilians in the process).

But Canada’s wars abroad came back home to Canada last week.

Though horrific, it should not be a complete surprise that Canada found itself hit by blowback last week, as two attacks on Canadian soil left two Canadian military members dead.

Greenwald again points out what few dare to say about the attacks:

Regardless of one’s views on the justifiability of Canada’s lengthy military actions, it’s not the slightest bit surprising or difficult to understand why people who identify with those on the other end of Canadian bombs and bullets would decide to attack the military responsible for that violence.

That is the danger of intervention in other people’s wars thousands of miles away. Those at the other end of foreign bombs – and their surviving family members or anyone who sympathizes with them – have great incentive to seek revenge. This feeling should not be that difficult to understand.

Seeking to understand the motivation of a criminal does not mean that the crime is justified, however. We can still condemn and be appalled by the attacks while realizing that we need to understand the causation and motivation. This is common sense in other criminal matters, but it seems to not apply to attacks such as we saw in Canada last week. Few dare to point out the obvious: Canada’s aggressive foreign policy is creating enemies abroad that are making the country more vulnerable to attack rather than safer.

Predictably, the Canadian government is using the attacks to restrict civil liberties and expand the surveillance state. Like the US PATRIOT Act, Canadian legislation that had been previously proposed to give the government more authority to spy on and aggressively interrogate its citizens has been given a shot in the arm by last week’s attacks.

Unfortunately Canada has unlearned the lesson of 1968: staying out of other people’s wars makes a country more safe; following the endless war policy of its southern neighbor opens Canada up to the ugly side of blowback.

Gas Prices Falling Sharply All over the U.S. (Except for Hawaii)

Hawaii Political Info introduction: A Forbes article shows gas prices falling dramatically all over the U.S., but Hawaii is dead last in the percentage the price a gallon of gas has fallen. Hawaii's price is $4.07, the only state where gas is over $4, while across the U.S. prices are considerably lower, all the way down to $2.77 per gallon in Missouri.

A portion of Hawaii's higher gas price is the hidden taxes included per gallon: 66.29 cents compared to Missouri's 35.7 cents. The national average is 49.2 cents. These taxes proportionately affect more heavily the poorest among us who drive cars, with more and more having to give it up.

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Forbes

By Christopher Helman

October 22, 2014

Thanks to falling oil prices, America’s motorists are enjoying gasoline prices about 20 cents per gallon cheaper than this time last year. The big move has come since July, with prices down about 15% nationwide — or nearly 50 cents — to an average $3.14 a gallon, according to data from Gasbuddy.com (find your state on our map below). Naturally, this has a stimulus effect on the U.S. economy — saving us about $100 billion in annualized fuel costs, according to economist Ed Yardeni. That works out to about $300 in annual fuel savings for every American. Just in time for the holiday season.

The price of gas has fallen fastest in Missouri, down 18% to $2.77 a gallon — which is also the cheapest gas in the nation. On the flipside is Hawaii, which suffers the most expensive gasoline at $4.07 a gallon, and has also seen the smallest decrease in price during that time, just 6%.

Read more . . .

Links:

Gasoline Taxes by State [American Petroleum Institute]

Car Buyers Beware, Cheapest And Most Expensive States For Unexpected Fees [Forbes] Jun 29, 2014

The Best and Worst States to Own a Car [Forbes] Jul 13, 2011

Vladimir Putin at the Valdai International Discussion Club

October 24, 2014

(Sochi, Russia) Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club, a forum that included world leading experts in foreign and domestic policy, then took questions afterward. This is looonnnnggg (2 hours 59 minutes), so a couple of excerpts from the session precedes the full video for those who won't be taking the time to watch it.

Putin: It doesn't matter who takes the place of the Evil Empire in U.S. propaganda — Iran, China or Russia

Putin on sanctions: The U.S. is sawing off the branch it's sitting on

Full-length Valdai video

Robert Helsham for District 33

Robert C. Helsham Sr. (R) is running for Hawaii House District 33 (Halawa Heights, Aiea Heights, Pearlridge, Waimalu Valley, Newtown, Royal Summit). Mark Takai (D), incumbent, has vacated the seat to run for U.S. Congress. Helsham's Democratic opponent is Sam Kong, who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican against Takai in 2012.

Mahalo to Olelo for making this video of Helsham available to the public.


Link:

2014 Hawaii Candidate & Amendment Information [Hawaii Political Info]

Raymond Banda III, State Senate District 18

Raymond Banda III, Libertarian, is running for Hawaii State Senate District 18 (Mililani Town, portion of Waipi‘o Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia). The incumbent is Michelle N. Kidani, Democrat.


Link:

2014 Hawaii Candidate & Amendment Information [Hawaii Political Info]

A Former Israeli Soldier Speaks Up

Published on YouTube Mar 8, 2014

YouTube introduction: The talk by Eran Efrati was filmed in Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014 as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind. Eran talk about his experiences in the IDF and then more broadly discusses Israel, its relationship to the U.S. and the global expansion of militarism.

Eran Efrati, 28, was born and raised in Jerusalem. After graduating high school he enlisted in the IDF, where he served as a combat soldier and company sergeant in Battalion 50 of the Nachal Division. He spent most of his service in Hebron and throughout the West Bank. In 2009, he was discharged and joined Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers working to raise awareness about the daily reality in the Occupied Territories. He worked as the chief investigator of the organization, collecting testimonies from IDF soldiers about their activities. He also guided political tours and to the West Bank and worked to educate Israeli youth about the reality of being a soldier in an occupying army. His collected testimonies appear in the booklet "Operation Cast Lead" and their most recent release "Our Harsh Logic". Since leaving Breaking the Silence, his investigative reports appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian. Today he is active with the Israeli groups Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott from Within.

Defamation

A Jew, Yoav Shamir, having never experienced anti-Semitism himself, makes a movie about it. He gains access to Abe Foxman and the Anti-Defamation League and shows us the indoctrination of the Jews themselves, right along with much of the rest of western world, about three concepts: Naziism, the Holocaust, and anti-Semitism.

The ADL later denounced the film.

2009

Edward Snowden Interviewed by Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessing

October 20, 2014

Climate Change a Proven Lie, Claims Top Meteorologist

Express (U.K.)

By Jason Taylor

October 23, 2014

John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, shocked academics by insisting the theory of man-made climate change was no longer scientifically credible.

Instead, what 'little evidence' there is for rising global temperatures points to a 'natural phenomenon' within a developing eco-system.

In an open letter attacking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he wrote: "The ocean is not rising significantly.

Read more . . .

MH-17: The Untold Story

Published on YouTube Oct 22, 2014

Russia Today introduction: Three months after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was violently brought down from the skies over Ukraine, there are still no definitive answers to what caused the tragedy. Civil conflict in the area prevented international experts from conducting a full and thorough investigation. The wreckage should have been collected and scrupulously re-assembled to identify all the damage, but this standard investigative procedure was never carried out. Until that’s done, evidence can only be gleaned from pictures of the debris, the flight recorders or black boxes and eye-witnesses’ testimonies. This may be enough to help build a picture of what really happened to the aircraft, whether a rocket fired from the ground or gunfire from a military jet.

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