Friday, March 27, 2015

The Brookings Institute held a forum to bring about reform to keep the US Postal Service as vital part of American life.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) (click here) is one of the oldest and most revered institutions in the U.S. government. Despite this storied past, USPS now faces substantial financial challenges and threats to its survival, including unfavorable economic conditions, an evolving business environment, and declining mail volumes and revenue. And to add to the agency’s woes, Congress has failed repeatedly to act on postal reform.

On March 25, the Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings hosted a discussion to address the current health of the USPS and reform efforts to modernize and improve the financial condition of this government institution....

I have to thank General John Allen.

He used very good language at the US House Committee Meeting. 

He uses words like, "...I am concerned how that will sound to the American people."

The Congress tends to forget who elected them to office and I appreciate the use of the words "...the American people." It is good to hear those words in respect to the will of the country. The Congress forgets we are the people that pay the bills and have children that become soldiers and some go on to be generals, too. So the respect for the will of the people is very important.

He uses words like, "We are there to assist the Iraqi military to protect their country. We are not there to confront or have a war with Iran. That is a very clear distinction for the role of our advisers in Iraq."

Thank you. 

We live in a world whereby the Congress uses the military as a political toy to the outcomes in elections. There are many times I believe the candidates to office need to apologize to the military for the use of them as an icon to elections. That is not the purpose of the military The USA military may very well be iconic, but, it is a function of the people of this country and it should never be used to banter about for power struggles.

All to often I think the focus of our military in elections distracts from the country's problems. The one problem no one ever addresses in elections is how old our military infrastructure has become because politicians don't care enough about the real readiness of the USA's military. Perhaps the next time Congress freely uses the iconic military as an election focus, the Joint Chiefs should speak easily and graphically about the disrepair of our infrastructure while candidates are on the subject.. 

At any rate, I thank you, General Allen. I appreciated the testimony you gave, yesterday.
This is from Wikipedia. The Warsaw Ghetto was ground zero to the resistance in Poland. Poland was ground zero to the German annihilation of millions. But, it also served as a link to escape from the Nazis. There were many Jewish people that escaped through Poland. 

A Polish resistance movement began organizing soon after the invasions in 1939. Its largest military component was a part of the Polish Underground State network of organizations and activities and became known as the Home Army. The whole clandestine structure was formally directed by the Polish government-in-exile through its delegation resident in Poland. There were also peasant, right wing, leftist and Jewish partisan organizations. Among the anti-German uprisings waged were the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Warsaw Uprising. The latter was a late (August–September 1944), large-scale and ill-fated attempt to prevent the Soviet Union from dominating Poland's postwar government.

It was Russia coming through Poland that ended the war. This region is pivotal to global peace and it has been for a long time. The leaders of these countries need to reflect on their importance not to just each other, but, to the world. What if Poland never found the moral fiber to stand up to the Nazis; where would we be today? Russia the same thing. The Russians could have surrendered and fallen in with Hitler, that wasn't the case. They knew it was better to fight and end the Nazi regime. 

Their history is important as well as their autonomous states today. There is nothing to hate here or to believe there is such a monster one has to win some kind of power over the others. It is nonsense.

There is no such thing as exclusive standing in one form of government over another. Strategically, Russia is better as a communist state. It is an enormous country. It is very difficult to defend such large land masses. China has over a billion people to feed and maintain domestic peace. Communism serves them well. The governments aren't the problem, there is no magic wand to democracy. Democracy is difficult and it takes time to establish. It is not granted by a magic fairy. 

Human rights is the focus to the quality of life of the people. Human rights is important to every country. How a country achieves that is intricate to understanding the government and the people and their relationships. Human rights has to be important to countries. If it is not we end up with Hitler all over again.

Look at the monster the USA has become to so many other nations in the world in the years of Bush and since. Domestically, the USA is a mess. There are all kinds of issues we are finding the people have lost control over. The police have become a monster to our streets. We have problems. The Congress under a Republican majority is turning on the poor and depersonalizing them for a political strategy. If that is not a monster I don't know what is. 

We cannot turn out backs on the monster called greenhouse gases either. It is getting far worse and quicker than most scientists have estimated. They didn't expect the huge and growing upper tropospheric vortexes and fires. Dear god, the fires are pushing the growth of the climate crisis beyond any acceleration the vortexes alone could have caused. Russia knows this. They know they lost 50 thousand people to fires. Australia. It has been a growing disaster.

And what good has democracy and capitalism done to end the use of adverse sources of energy in the massive amounts it has been used? Capitalism has been used against the best interest of the people. 

There is no simple answer by stating democracy is perfect for all people. That is not the case. The answer to quality of life is the emotional and intellectual growth of the people. The more they understand how important they are to a movement for good and decent lives the faster the development of the country. But, an organized goverrnment cannot be sacrificed because it makes for good politics. That is a matter of growth of the sophistication of the people.

Every country has to find a way to improve the lives of their people and be a part of a greater understanding of life and the impact of those lives on the planet. 

Peace to all.
Harry Reid is going to retire? If he is making that kind of decision it has to to somewhat with his fall and subsequent injuries. No one is happy about any of this. He will be missed. 

He should consider delegating some of his leadership duties to others to make his burden lighter. He needs to heal. Eyesight is very important and a significant stress when disturbance occurs.

March 27, 2015
The job of minority leader (click here) of the United States Senate is just as important as being the majority leader. It gives you so much opportunity to do good things for this country. And that’s what I am focused on. But this accident has caused us for the first time to have a little down time. I have had time to ponder and to think. We’ve got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than us. And as a result of that I’m not going to run for re-election.

Russia should consider restructuring Ukraine debt.

Ukraine is in an impossible position. How does The West or Russia expecting a war torn country to pay it's bills when the economy is nearly destroyed. The Ukraine needs peace and time to rebuild both it's infrastructure and it's trade relations. 

The Minsk Agreement should have included debt restructuring.

March 27, 2015

Ukraine’s $3 billion debt to Russia (click here) could undermine the IMF’s four-year multibillion dollar bailout program. If the debt is considered official, it will breach the terms of providing financial assistance, said IMF spokesperson William Murray.
The Ukraine debt includes $3 billion in Eurobonds lent by Russia to the country’s previous government in December 2013. IMF rules say a bailout cannot be provided to a country if it defaulted on a loan from a state institution.
"We have a non-tolerance policy," William Murray told reporters at a news conference on Thursday, adding that Ukraine's debt to Russia should be considered state debt. 

"If I'm not mistaken, the $3 billion Eurobond comes from the Russian sovereign wealth fund, so it's official debt," he said....

There is also problems with Ukraine oligarchs and their private militias. If they don't come in line with the Minsk agreement and disarm, they can wage their own war.

The Ukraine oligarchs need to assist in restructuing the country's debt and then they'll know where they belong in the country's economic rebuilding. They have to disarm their private militias. They are too dangerous to regional stability. Russia has had to deal with private oligarchs and this is no different.

March 27, 2015

Ukraine’s president (click here) just dethroned Ihor Kolomoisky from his post as regional governor—but with his personal militia and billions in the bank, Kiev might have a new opponent on its hands.
Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko won the latest round in his longstanding fight this week against iron-fisted billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky, the governor of Dnepropetrovsk, the country’s stronghold in the war-torn east.

It was a crucial duel for the 49-year-old president and the 52-year-old oligarch for financial and military influence, which essentially means the power to rule Ukraine.
On Wednesday, in the latest stage of the battle, the two men sat down at the same table and looked each other in the eye. The president then sacked the tycoon from his post of regional governor. In response, four of Kolomoisky’s supporters from Bloc Petro Poroshenko quit the parliament in protest....

Mr. Kolomosiky is providing an excuse to the rebels to continue the killing. The entire Ukraine military has to be reconstituted. There can no longer be private militias.

...In an effort to fan the flames of strife between Poroshenko and the oligarch, the leader of the rebellious Donetsk People Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, suggested this week that Kolomoisky—one of Ukraine’s richest tycoons worth over $1.3 billion— would create his own breakaway Dnepropetrovsk Republic of Kolomoisky.

“He is de facto the master of that territory, the real power and Kiev has to agree with him,” Zakharchenko said earlier this week at a press briefing in Donetsk....

The stability of Ukraine has to be returned so it's economy has a fighting chance to pay off debt. How can it pay off debt with an absent economy due to attacks by rebels. All this has to stop and the people have to go back to being productive and rebuilding their country. There is no reason for hate, fighting and killing.

The post Soviet states have to establish themselves as productive economic partners to both Russia and Europe. It is their reality and their people will always have a history connected to Russia. Russia will never be completely alienated in their countries. 

I can never understand the tensions between Poland and Russia. They have a proud history together. Does Poland's leadership realize the role they played with Russia in saving the lives of so many Jews during WWII. That is not a minor reality. They were great together.

The region has to re-establish their history and that includes how they became autonomous countries. The post Soviet countries while they want to be a part of Europe, they cannot ignore the fact their countries are pivotal to regional peace and stability. The anger and hatred has to stop. There can be no ethnic tensions. The greatest economic stability can be realized by first embracing their ethnic heritage and building on that for tourism. No tourist is going to come to South Ossetia if there are tensions and war. 

The world is missing out on the understanding of these people through tourism. Russia has to provide at least that aspect of the economy so they have pride in their people. When Russia embarks on creating small countries with ethnic divides it is empathetic, but, also economic instability. All that has to be realized and appreciated. 

What kind of country is going to be nothing but a Russian satellite? That is hard on people. That is a big pill to swallow. The people have to be safe, but, they also have to have their ethnic identity. Many people want to understand all these people and the region and the vital role it has played in world affairs for so long. These are very intelligent people. We want them and Russia cannot keep them to itself. 

Enough already.