One Year Later: Still no justice for victims of MH17

One year ago today, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was blown out of the sky by a missile that killed all 298 passengers aboard. The evidence increasingly shows that the Boeing 777 was annihilated by a Russian Buk missile launcher that has a total range of 82,000 feet. There has be no justice for that atrocity. There has not been a change in the policies of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine. Buck Sexton spoke with World Chess Champion and political activist Garry Kasparov about the crash, Putin, the Ukraine, and more.

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it may contain errors:

BUCK: One year ago today, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was blown out of the sky by a surface two air missile that killed all 298 passengers aboard. This Boeing 777 was annihilated by a Russian Buk missile launcher that has a total range of 82,000 feet. The MH17 flight was hit at 33,000 feet. That was a year ago today.

There has be no justice for that atrocity. There, in fact, has not been a change in the policies that led to it. The policies of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.

I wanted to bring in somebody who can speak with us about this with tremendous knowledge. Garry Kasparov. He's an author, political activist. His latest coming out in just a little bit. Pardon me. Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped. It's out October 27th. It's available for preorder now. Garry, thank you very much for joining.

GARRY: Thanks for inviting me.

BUCK: Garry, it seems almost unfathomable that this kind of an atrocity could happen and that there would be no justice and, in fact, no real investigation at this point in time. And the latest from Putin is that he's rejecting calls for the establishment of the UN tribunal to prosecute any suspects. He's essentially saying, nothing is going to happen here. And I think he's right. Nothing is going to happen. How is it possible that he can get away with backing a policy and putting separatists in this region that shot a plane out of the sky and the international community essentially yawns?

GARRY: No, the very fact that Russia is the only state that categorically rejects the idea of international tribunal tells us that Putin knows who did it and he wants to cover it. Every other country, including Ukraine is inviting this idea because they have to find out who did it, and these people must be brought to justice.

But this tragic -- this tragic event, 298 lives are lost in the skies of Ukraine, brought down by a Russian-made missile and naturally fired by either pro-Russian forces or maybe the Russian regulars (phonetic). It's a result of Putin's unarmed aggression in Ukraine.

Everybody who talks about engagement and diplomacy and all sorts of attempts to bring dictators to the bargaining table, they ignore the fact that dictators never ask why. They always ask why not. And we would hate to hear about isolation (unintelligible). But, at the end of the day, if we don't stop them at an early stage, we pay more and more. The price goes up. And in this case, it's nearly 300 lives.

BUCK: It seems like Putin has taken the measure of the international community's response time and again and keeps finding the response to be wanting. Meaning that he doesn't think it's enough of a -- we don't pack enough a counterpunch with sanctions, with anything else to stop the policies. In fact, every time he seems to test our metal, whether it's in Georgia or the annexation of Crimea and now the continued aggression in eastern Ukraine, that as we know, it's one thing to say that this is a -- as I'm sure many do, and I know many do in Russia -- this is an internal dispute. Once you start shooting planes out of the sky with the international contingent of civilians, it should be the world's problem. There should be more of a focus on this. But, again, nothing happens here. What should be done? What could be done to make Putin actually stop?

GARRY: I've been saying for a long time that Putin was at one time Russia's problem. But it would be everyone's problem. Putin is a dictator. And he has enormous potential, Russian military and also Russian nuclear, to blackmail the rest of the world. And unless he's given an ultimatum, unless he sees a strong response from the West, start with the United States of America, nothing will happen.

And I have to say that, you know, NATO -- we could see American and NATO tanks in Estonia and Latvia. It's a small country bordering Russia. Again, the overall climate, political climate now, it's insane to stop Putin. And especially after what's happened now with Iran, where Putin has praised for helping Iran to get a phenomenal deal, I think Putin will become more arrogant because he sees nothing but weakness.

BUCK: Garry, you're actually taking me exactly where I wanted to go next. Which is, given this deal, as you said, Putin -- the Obama administration is high-fiving Putin for his help. Meanwhile, I think we know that the conventional and ballistic side of this agreement had to have some Russia collusion in here. Because where will they be buying this kind of missile technology and stuff? The most likely sellers of this will be Chinese and Russian. So it's good for the Russian arms market. And they're perfectly happy to sell them the S300. What does Putin do now that this is done? Now that he feels emboldened by this. This treaty is signed. What is Russia's policy under Putin going to be, vis-à-vis Iran?

GARRY: He sees this agreement as a step towards a big war in the Middle East. Iran now will get tons of money. It has international recognition. Iran's nuclear program, unlike was promised by the Obama administration to dismantle it, it's simply slowed down. And they can restore it at any moment. And of course, a big chunk of this $100 billion cash that Iran will receive under the terms of the agreement will go into Putin's pockets because as you said correctly, Russian weapons will be sold there.

And I believe that in this case, Putin and Obama, they're allies. Because both believe that America's power is something that should be reduced. Obama doesn't think that America should be involved in global affairs, and Putin agrees with him.

BUCK: Now, there's some places that people are already pointing to as possible flash points with Russia that have not yet flared up. People are saying the Balkans are getting quite a bit nervous. And there's been some NATO activity, where they're sort of prepositioning forces. They say it's for training forces. But to some of us, it looks like, well, it also is sort of a tripwire purpose. If not a quick reaction force purpose to have these NATO forces here.

Can you see within, let's say, a 12 to 18-month time frame from now, Russia backing another one of these -- this seems to be sort of the playbook. They find Russian speakers. Whether it's in the Baltics in the future or Transnistria or one of these places, and they'll try to push from some kind of a -- again, this separatist movement. They have swoop in. They'll be peace keepers for the Russians or something. Can you see that going, or will they just focus on Ukraine?

GARRY: We don't know what's exactly in Putin's mind and where he's going to hit next. But what I know is that when you deal with Putin, when you deal with Iran, when you deal with all sorts of dictators, you should understand that the nature of their regimes is quite different from the democratic institutions in this country or in Europe. They need enemies. And the moment they run out of enemies inside the country, they look for it outside. It's ridiculous to talk about Iran changing its behavior because the whole idea of Iranian revolution, you know, Saudis 1979 under Khomeini (phonetic) was to export revolution (unintelligible). Same for Putin. The moment he stops his aggression, foreign aggression, he will lose the rationale of staying in power in Russia. So dealing with these countries, you must understand that they will never change their behavior because it simply means they will have to relinquish their power.

BUCK: Now, Putin's popularity inside Russia at this point with this conflict that's been going in eastern Ukraine, it's increasingly clear that there's -- there's -- they say they're Russian volunteers. Then we find it's actually GRUs. And it's Russian Spetznaz. And some of these so-called separatists that are claiming they're Ukrainian or claiming that they're Russian volunteers. Or straight-on orders from the Kremlin. It doesn't seem like he's taking a hit when it comes to popularity at home. It seems like his aggressive ways and his sort of bellicose policy and the playing of the West and the United States has resulted in some pretty strong numbers for him. The polling numbers I see are astronomical compared to what a US president would expect after this many years in office. Is that still the case? Where is the sort of opposition movement?

GARRY: It's a big mistake to compare any polls taken in the United States or any democratic country compare them to opinion polls taken in the countries run by dictators. It's an element of fear. I mean, how many people are comfortable saying that they're not happy with Putin's rule? It's a country run by the KGB. And every day we see new laws being posted, Draconian laws being posed in Russia. And it would be the lost elements of civil rights and freedom disappearing, rapidly disappearing from the surface.

We don't know how popular is Putin. I mean, we don't know how popular is Kim Jong-un or how popular is Bashar al-Assad because running polls there means that you are calling people anonymously and you ask them to confess about a dictator. And they do understand this kind of information could be used against them because they were born and raised under the KGB rule.

BUCK: Garry, I know your book, Winter is Coming out in October. I assume in that book, based on what you're tackling, which is western appeasement since the end of the Cold War and the empowerment of Putin, I assume that you come out with some recommendations.

Before we close out here, Garry, what are your recommendations for how to deal with Putin and other dictators, including the Guardian Council of Iran and as you said Assad and elsewhere.

GARRY: Unfortunately, as much as we want to know to move with the globalization with peace, with trade, with development, with new ideas, we have to recognize that we are at war now. I named the book Winter Is Coming because we are entering the new Cold War. And it's up to us to stop it. There are many dictators from the world that could stay in power only being at war with the free world. And of course, America is the number one target. And the tragic events yesterday in Chattanooga, they proved that no one is safe. So we just have to understand that unless we take the challenge at an early stage, the price will go up. And whether we like it or not, we are in. And we have to defend the values of the free world again. And I believe that in this country, we must take a lead. And hopefully that in 2016, we'll see a new president who will change this suicidal course taken by the current administration.

BUCK: Winter is Coming is available for preorder now. It's out in October. The author Garry Kasparov. Garry, thank you very much for joining us. Good to have you on board here today.

Featured Image: A picture taken on October 15, 2014 shows the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near the village of Rassipnoe. The flight MH17 was shoot down on July 17, 2014 with 298 people on board. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck, Stu Burguiere, and Pat Gray discussed the Trump defense team's arguments in the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

"This is different than what the Democrats were doing," Glenn said of the Trump team's impeachment defense. "We know the case of the Democrats, they just kept going over and over and over, for three days, the same stuff. The Republicans, at least on Saturday, did not ... and I thought it was really, really good."

Glenn added, "The president's defense was very compelling."

Watch the videos below to hear Glenn's top takeaways from the president's defense team:

Part 1: Why the president's defense is 'very compelling'

Part 2: Top takeaways from president's impeachment defense

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Americans are getting crushed by healthcare costs. In 2018 alone, we spent $3.6 trillion on healthcare — that's more than $11,000 per American and nearly a fifth of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It's on everyone's minds, which is why it has taken center stage in the Democratic party's primary. Of course, the solutions offered by the current crop of presidential candidates would do nothing to help alleviate that enormous spending. In fact, it would only add to it — what with Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All and Joe Biden's proposed ObamaCare expansion.

However, what also deserves attention in discussions about plans that increase the government's role in health care is how religious organizations would be affected. Faith-based hospitals and health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) play an important role in America, often serving as a critical provider and/or facilitator of payments for medical services in many states. If plans like Medicare for All were implemented, these groups would be at risk of going bankrupt or being severely curtailed due to the elimination of choice that comes with these proposals.

Instead of imposing a top-down and expensive health care system overhaul, faith-based providers and groups should be allowed to continue offering a variety of plans that work as high-quality, often cheaper alternatives. And more Americans should consider them.

Instead of imposing a top-down and expensive health care system overhaul, faith-based providers and groups should be allowed to continue offering a variety of plans that work as high-quality, often cheaper alternatives.

As mentioned, one such option is a health care sharing ministry. In this model, individuals contribute money into a pool managed by a religiously or ethically-affiliated organization, and costs for medical treatment are shared by people who adhere to that organization's belief system. Typically, applicants are required to sign a statement of faith in order to be accepted. It's basically like a subscription service: consumers pay a set amount of money into the ministry every month. Then, when they have a medical need or incident, they submit a claim to the ministry. Members whose claims are approved are reimbursed by the ministry from that pool of funds. Note, these ministries don't cover procedures they deem immoral.

Because providers are often getting paid in cash under this model — and typically within 90 days — patients are able to negotiate significant discounts, in some cases slicing procedures' costs to a fraction of the initial price. Insurance companies, by comparison, tend to not pay dollar for dollar on claims, and certainly not in cash. Additionally, insurance companies usually have onerous paperwork requirements, forcing doctors to spend half of their time on electronic health records and desk work. This increase in demand for administrative work is partly responsible for the United States leading the world in administrative costs in healthcare.

There are various types of HCSMs, each offering different benefits depending on what the individual needs — and a lot of savings on monthly plans. Take Christian Healthcare Ministries, for example. It's resulted in enormous savings for its members. Whereas the average healthcare plan can cost about $400 a month on the low end (with high deductibles), CHM plans can run between $78-172 a month for a single person. These kinds of plans are particularly great options for people who are relatively healthy and young, where the need for doctors and prescription drugs is less likely.

HCSMs have seen explosive growth in popularity recently. In 2014, there were only approximately 160,000 members. By 2018, membership ballooned to about 1 million HCSM members around the United States who have shared over $1 billion in medical expenses. But unfortunately, many people still feel locked into the traditional — and expensive — health care insurance model. HCSMs provide a way out, and, depending on their belief system, people should research them and see if there's one that best suit their needs. If more people deviate away from the traditional health care insurance market, insurance companies would be incentivized to adjust their pricing. That won't be possible, of course, if plans like Medicare for All are implemented.

Health care is one of life's biggest expenses, and voters are understandably desperate for a plan that cuts costs without compromising quality of care or access to it. Alternative options to health care insurance such as HCSMs are practical, free-market solutions that saves money. Americans should sift through these options before subscribing to plans that will only break the bank.

James Czerniawski is a Young Voices contributor. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCz19.

Bill O'Reilly: Adam Schiff is in 'wonderland' during the Senate impeachment trial

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On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Friday, Bill O'Reilly gave his latest take on the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, and explained why he thinks House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is like "Alice in Wonderland."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

youtu.be


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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Friday to discuss the latest developments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

According to Cruz, Thursday was a "very consequential day" in the otherwise tedious and redundant impeachment proceedings.

"Yesterday, the House managers effectively threw Joe Biden under the bus," Cruz said. "They doubled down on what they started doing on the first day of arguments, which was making their entire case ... based on the proposition that there was zero evidence to justify investigating Burisma [the Ukrainian natural gas company that paid then-Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, $50,000 a month to sit on the board]."

Cruz went on to explain that every time the Democrats, namely House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), rehash the "zero-evidence" argument, they open the door for Republicans to present the overwhelming evidence that contradicts those claims.

"That proposition, that there's zero evidence to investigate Burisma, is utterly and completely absurd. So, I'm looking forward to Saturday when the president's lawyers will begin presenting his case. Because what the Democrats have done, is they have opened the door to this. And I hope the president's lawyers will stand up and systematically lay out the case," Cruz said.

"They've been arguing that Hunter Biden is completely irrelevant to this case. Well, the House managers have now, through their arguments, made Hunter Biden not only relevant — he was always relevant — but critical now," he continued. "They built the entire case, like a house of cards, on the proposition that there was no reasonable basis to investigate Burisma. And that's just absurd."

The two also discussed Cruz's new podcast, "Verdict with Ted Cruz," which he records with Daily Wire host Michael Knowles each night following the Senate trial.

"Last night's podcast went through systematically ... all of the overwhelming evidence of corruption from Burisma that any president, not only had the authority to investigate, but the responsibility to investigate," Cruz said. "And that, ultimately, is why President Trump is going to be acquitted at the end of this process."

Watch the video below for more details:

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