Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Zbig Brzezinski - a political monster or a hero?


 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin engages U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski in a game of chess at Camp David  (Wiki)

Zbigniew Brzezinski's recent death sparked a lot of diametrically opposing commentaries. In Poland he is praised as a hero for being the first after Winston Churchill to have guts to stand up to the Soviets. In the West, many of the liberal commentators view him as a globalist as a manipulator who engineered and later encouraged the modern day plague of Islamic Fundamentalism.

What were Brzezinski's political views?

Quote

Financial Times
Zbigniew Brzezinski, US national security adviser, 1928-2017
(Note: Financial Times' links do not work - search the article title instead)



Right-hand man to President Carter from Iran hostage crisis to Salt Two arms treaty
...

Brzezinski, who has died at the age of 89, was far from his predecessor’s doppelganger, but his record in office can stand fair comparison. On his watch, under President Jimmy Carter, the US normalised relations with China, severing ties with Taiwan in the process, signed the Salt Two arms treaty with the Soviet Union, brought Egypt and Israel together in the Camp David accords and concluded the Panama Canal treaty, ceding control to Panama. In each decision he was an influential player.
...
On the downside, the US was caught flatfooted by the Khomeini revolution in Iran, allowing the deposed Shah refuge in the US, which eventually led to the Iran hostage crisis, a factor in Mr Carter’s election defeat in 1980. Brzezinski was also instrumental in arming the Afghan mujahideen after the Soviet invasion of 1979, a policy that came back to haunt the US two decades later (to prove his point, flamboyantly, he was photographed in the Khyber Pass pointing a rifle across the border).

In another departure, hardly surprising given his own background and his president’s natural inclinations, Brzezinski placed human rights far higher up the policy agenda than had previously been the case. That constituted a significant departure from standard US policy, which tended to tolerate, as in General Pinochet’s Chile, human rights abuses in return for fealty to the US.

After leaving office, he became, not unlike Dr Kissinger, a prolific commentator and author on foreign policy, but without ever quite achieving his predecessor’s level of access. He broke with the Democratic Party and endorsed President George H W Bush in 1988 and was critical of Bill Clinton’s long reluctance to intervene in the Balkans in the 1990s. But he was a fierce critic of the younger President Bush’s war in Iraq and fulsome in his praise of Barack Obama, even though he was never admitted into his policy circle.

An engaging conversationalist and avid tennis player, he is survived by his wife, the sculptor Emilie Benes, two sons and a daughter, Mika, the TV news host, who announced his death on Friday.



Another interesting article, Brzezinski's view on Trump.

Towards a Security Web by Zbigniew Brzezinski

Brzezinski: America’s Global Influence Depends On Cooperation With China (12/23/2016)

The danger I see is provoking antagonism in this foremost relationship of American foreign policy without any significant strategic accomplishment. It is not in our interest to antagonize Beijing. It is much better for American interests to have the Chinese work closely with us, thereby forcing the Russians to follow suit if they don’t want to be left out in the cold. That constellation gives the U.S. the unique ability to reach out across the world with collective political influence.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Brexit - more than the British bargained for

I favor the loosely tied confederate model of governance that the European Union has become.  It is modeled on past attempts at confederate states, examples of which are pre-Christian township of central Europe such as Lusitan, Prussian and Swiss Confederation (the only one surviving at present), Great Tartaria of Central Asia and Siberia, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and last but not least - the United States of America.    More often then not, adoption of the confederation model resulted in more civil rights because attempts by the local authorities to skew the system their way, could be challenged by the people using federal legislation. One interesting example was Ireland joining the EU which gradually washed away the autocratic rule of De Valera's theocrats resulting in more individual freedom.   Britain seems to be going the other way around, from a balance of power tied between the EU and the local government, towards giving all the power to the later.  That was probably the original intention behind the UKIP backers behind the scene as suggested by former prime minister Tony Blair in his recent "Open Britain" speech.     I am guessing, but that is the only reason that makes a sense  (actually there may be another non-exclusive reason that also makes a sense, see this post) .  Sure - British establishments wants more power and they will now be able to get it.  I guess they can hardly wait!.    The article I linked below describes some of the details of the process.  We can probably safely assume that it is just the beginning of the slippage towards authocracy in Britain, since once their elites taste the rule by decree it may be hard to revert to democracy.



The following article is the main reason I decided to post my today's rant:



What are Henry VIII powers? How Theresa May will use 'infamous' clauses to rewrite EU law


By Alice Foster (published Thu, Mar 30, 2017


Quote:



HENRY VIII powers will allow civil servants and ministers to change EU law without much parliamentary scrutiny before Brexit Day.


...

Prof Barnard, a senior fellow at the UK in a Changing Europe initiative, said it was a paradox because Brexit supporters voted to restore parliamentary sovereignty.

"People who voted to leave the EU thought they were taking back powers back to Parliament, to Westminster," she said during a briefing at King’s College London.

"What they didn’t think they would be doing is taking powers back to the executive - to the civil service, to the Government - over which there will be very little parliamentary scrutiny."

The huge volume of corrections needed to EU law mean that it would be impossible for each change to be done by Acts of Parliaments.

To solve the problem, the Great Repeal Bill White Paper published today said that the bill will "create powers to make secondary legislation".

It said: "The Great Repeal Bill will provide a power to correct the statute book, where necessary, to rectify problems occurring as a consequence of leaving the EU. "


Update 30-April-2017 - "May lives in parallel reality" article

Brexit negotiations began with a blazing row yesterday as Brussels flatly rejected Theresa May’s negotiating position and accused the British prime minister of living in a “parallel reality”.

The other 27 EU member states took just four minutes to agree a hardline stance on Brexit at a summit meeting in Brussels before Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission, and Michel Barnier, the chief European Union Brexit negotiator, rounded on the British prime minister.

They told EU leaders that May had used a meeting with them on Wednesday night to demand that a “detailed outline” of a future free trade deal be in place before the UK agrees to pay any money to Brussels as part of the Brexit divorce deal. An EU diplomat said: “This was a rather incredible demand. It seemed as if it came from a parallel reality.”

Juncker warned yesterday that that approach would lead to an “early crash”, with Britain leaving the EU without a deal.

In an eight-page document outlining their position, the other 27 countries said the EU would “prepare itself to be able to handle the situation if the negotiations were to fail”. The guidelines also include offering Northern Ireland automatic EU membership should it join the Irish republic - a move seen as provocative in London - and giving Spain a veto over Gibraltar’s future relationship with the bloc.

Juncker and Barnier told leaders that the Wednesday dinner at May’s country retreat, known as Chequers, had also revealed huge differences over plans to recognise the rights of British citizens and EU nationals in each other’s countries.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said a “serious offer” was needed on migrant rights from the UK before trade talks could begin.

An EU diplomat told The Sunday Times: “The UK’s position is miles apart, both on their financial obligations and on the EU citizens’ rights. The UK government simply wants to create a new category of ‘former EU citizens’ in their migration law, but our position is that we must go much further than that.”

The British prime minister’s stance that trade must come first was met with incredulity by EU officials, who said her chief EU sherpa, Oliver Robbins, had already agreed that the methodology for agreeing the Brexit bill would be ironed out first - along with the rights of EU citizens in Britain and the issue of the Irish border.

“She took a firm position against something we thought we had agreed,” a diplomatic source said. “It was completely unreal.” The source said the prime minister’s views on the financial settlement “border on the delusional”.

Over dinner, Juncker slapped down May by pulling out a copy of the EU-Canada trade deal, a 2,000-page document that took nearly a decade to negotiate, and recommended that the prime minister study its complexity.

Juncker’s aides said he then called Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, and complained that May appeared unaware of issues communicated to her staff. According to one of Juncker’s aides, he told Merkel: “It went very badly. She is in a different galaxy. Based on the meeting, no deal is much more likely than finding agreement.”

--------

Update 3/06/2017




(watch all or from 13:30)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

How Canadian political elite extracts money from the private sector

By first throttling the private sector with manufactured regulations, red tape and taxes to trigger recession, then by offsetting the deflationary trend by lowering the interest rates, generating money and credit - benefiting through their own controlled banking  and public sector system!

 A normally inflationary effect of the government stimulus, is balanced by the apparently intentionally engineered contraction in the private sector , such that the net effect is the overall stable currency.   However the net effect on the economy is anything but balanced - since the people working in the private sector, end up somehow earning less and less while people employed (I intentionally didn't put "work") in the public sector get paid more and more.  Especially in the high echelons of government departments and in the management of state or semi-state corporations.  The lavish pay is not only limited to the higher management but to the mid-ranking staff.  As anybody living in Canada, sooner or later notices the six-figure salaries of the employed firefighters, police officers, and doctors.

This is basically the applied Keynesian economics at it worst.

Originally   Keynes postulated, among other things, that during a recession, the government ought to stimulate the economy by investing counter-cyclically, using state reserves or debt, during the time when private sector is contracting.  Conversely, during economic expansion, the government ought to accumulate budgetary surplus by collecting higher taxes which also works to slow down the growth but will then serve as the resource to re-stimulate the economy during the next down cycle.

Our present Canadian oligarchs have improved the Keynesian system.  First they must have noticed that the flow of stimulus money and credit during recessionary time, flows mostly through their own government controlled institutions, enriching their personnel and management first, subsequently it may trickles down to the rest of the economy, if there is anything left, including the private sector (if lucky).

The must have noticed that the biggest post-WWII expansion of the government+banking sector in Canada and in the USA occurred during 1970-ties - at a time of severe oil crisis and recession - for the reason stated above!

The corrupt elites probably realized that they do not necessary have to wait each cycle for a next recessionary downturn to enjoy an opportunity associated with the "stimulus",  but they could simply manufacture such occurrences bu manipulating interest rates and spewing the red tape!

How did it happen in the 1980-ties and 1990-ties that the investment capital begun flowing out of the North American economies into China and elsewhere, creating local unemployment and rendering the large portion of Canadian and American working class destitute?

     When private business cannot make a profit by investing in certain countries, they of course don't invest there, their capital simply moves elsewhere!    But the interesting question is not "why" but "who"!

 Who set up the dis-incentives in the private sector to slow all productive investments?  Who set up the red tape, tax structure, labor and environmental laws to make it difficult to conduct business here?

  Who really benefits from government-imposed carbon tax and government engineered energy disaster in Ontario (and Alberta) resulting in the highest electricity prices in North America!

I submit the thesis that the government elites did engineer the crises in the recent times, and they are the main beneficiaries of their policies, while everybody else has to pay higher taxes and earns less!

Stan Bleszynski
11-March-2017