DipNote: The Week in Review

Posted by Luke Forgerson
July 4, 2011
Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at Lantos Institute Inauguration

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Hungary, Lithuania, and Spain June 29-July 2, 2011. In Hungary, Secretary Clinton met with Prime Minister Viktor Orban and participated in the inauguration of the Lantos Institute. The Hungarian government has supported the establishment of the Lantos Institute to promote Hungarian-born, U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos' commitment to democratic principles and the protection of human rights.

During the dedication of the Institute, Secretary Clinton said, "Tom's past served him...as a call to conscience, a permanent vigilance against anti-Semitism, discrimination, oppression, and genocide. In the bookmark that appears at each of our seats, there is one of his most memorable quotes: 'We must remember that the veneer of civilization is paper thin. We are its guardians, and we can never rest.' Tom not only tried to live by those words, he tried to hold other people's feet to the fire, when he didn't think they were."

Secretary Clinton continued, "...He had a full life that we honor and celebrate. But it would be a disservice to him if we did not look forward to what I am sure he expects from us. Democracy is struggling to be born around the world today. The nations of Central and Eastern Europe have so much to share from their own struggles and triumphs. So, the timing of this institute could not be more opportune. On Europe's doorstep -- across the Middle East and Northern Africa -- citizens are demanding what so many others have before. From the United States in the 18th century, to Chile and Tunisia, South Korea, East Timor, post-Soviet countries over the past 30 years.

"What are they demanding? That their voices be heard. That they have the opportunity to fulfill their own God-given potentials with enough freedom to make responsible choices for themselves, their families, and communities, that government become more effective, more responsive, more transparent, more open."

Secretary Clinton then traveled to Lithuania, where she participated in the Community of Democracies' 6th Ministerial Meeting. Assistant Secretary Michael Posner described how this forum reflects "our deep commitment to promoting democracy worldwide and broadening a global coalition for the protections of universal freedoms." Ambassador Melanne Verveer shared how the forum presented an opportunity for prominent female leaders to come together to increase support for women's participation in the public sphere. Ambassador Verveer also underscored the importance of investing in women in agriculture, while Ambassador Ertharin Cousin explained the importance of secure access to and control of land and land-based resources to women's economic empowerment, food security, and agricultural development.

While in Lithuania, Secretary Clinton also met with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, participated in the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society and "TechCamp: Vilnius,"commemorated the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of Baltic independence, and joined representatives from twelve other nations to launch the Lifeline: Embattled NGOs Assistance Fund.

In Spain, Secretary Clinton met with Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez and underscored the enduring relationship between the United States and Spain. Secretary Clinton said, "...Spain can count on the unwavering friendship, not only of the United States Government, but of the American people. Spain is the second-fastest growing investor in the United States, and the United States is one of Spain's largest trading partners."

Secretary Clinton continued, "...Our interests and our values converge, and I thank [Foreign Minister Jimenez] again for your hospitality and friendship. And I thank also the Spanish people for their commitment to our very strong alliance."

In Washington, Secretary Clinton released the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the "Stop Human Trafficking App," an initiative that seeks to apply mobile technology toward efforts to end modern day slavery. In recognition of LGBT Pride Month, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks highlighting diplomatic efforts to stand up for the rights and well-being of LGBT people around the world. Throughout the month of June, we also highlighted refugee issues. Former refugee Sauth Lim described his remarkable journey from the killing fields of Cambodia to freedom.

In the South Pacific, Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell led a high-level delegation to Samoa, the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea (PNG). During their visit, the delegation announced that USAID will open its Pacific headquarters in Port Moresby, PNG. Meanwhile, Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia Daniel Rosenblum described his travel to Central Asia, where he visited Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic to observe U.S. assistance programs in action.

Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Marc Grossman traveled to Kabul to participate in the International Contact Group Meeting, where he echoed President Obama's June 22 speech and emphasized the U.S. commitment to a long-term partnership with Afghanistan. In other regional news, young Pakistanis prepared to depart for study in the United States under the auspices of the Fulbright Program.

Educational programs in Jamaica and El Salvador offered at-risk youths opportunities to become generators of positive change in their communities. Assistant Secretary Mike Hammer spotlighted broader U.S. foreign policy in the Caribbean during a Washington-based conference to engage the Caribbean diaspora.

Meanwhile, the "Egypt: Forward Forum" in Washington brought together representatives from Egypt's energy, information and communication technology, transportation, and agribusiness sectors to discuss trade, investment, and commercial opportunities with the public and private sector in the United States.

In Vienna, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) convened its Annual Security Review Conference, while the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reached an agreement on Internet policymaking principles, highlighting commitments to promote and protect the global free flow of information. In a similar spirit, the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) launched its new portal on iTunes, making UNESCO's audio, video, and published content more accessible to people all over the world.

Under Secretary of State Maria Otero will address global efforts to promote open government and transparency during a "Conversations With America" webcast on Thursday, July 7. You can submit your questions to her in advance of the webcast here. Last week, Under Secretary of State Judith McHale responded to your questions -- on topics ranging from recent events in Sudan to the celebration of U.S. Independence Day -- in English, Arabic, Farsi, and Spanish during our first Global Twitter Q&A.

Last week, Canadians commemorated their country's birthday on July 1, and Americans will celebrate U.S. Independence Day this week on July 4. Our colleagues at the U.S. Embassies in Ottawa, Canada and San Jose, Costa Rica shared how these national holidays served as opportunities to share our respective cultures and open our doors to new friends and partners. In the week ahead, our embassy colleagues will share additional stories of how Americans marked the Fourth of July overseas.

In a video message for U.S. Independence Day, Secretary Clinton said, "Today is a time to celebrate the birth of our nation and the values that have sustained us for 235 years -- equality, opportunity and the rights enshrined in our founding documents. This year, we have been reminded again that these are not just American values, they are truly universal values. And as people across North Africa, the Middle East and around the world risk their lives to claim these universal human rights and freedoms, Americans are proud to stand with them. We are united by our common hopes and aspirations for a better world."

Happy Fourth of July!

Comments

Comments

donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
July 4, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

4th July 2011

In reference to the National Deficit and President Barack Obamas plan to tax the rich and wealthy in the United States.

First of all, I am no way rich and wealthy but I wanted to make a comment on this that even the President might find interesting.

If you continue to tax the rich in my opinion your going to cause some problems. Sure I think we all like to see the rich taxed but keep in mind "for every action theres an equal or greater reaction that happens" meaning that they would be looking at moving to a new country, spending off their fortune, or finding better places to hide the money.

We need new businesses in the United States, the over 20 million people without jobs, need work.

If I was the President of the United States, I would start streamlining Government positions. There is far too many people duplicating the same jobs in our country. We have how many Zahrs now and they do what again? When you appoint a Deputy to a job, he/she should be able to do the job, if they cannot you let them go. I would like to see all US Government Agencies foward a copy of a report on how they save the Government a billion dollars a year, can they do it? Or will we find out they been spending a billion dollars at the tax payers expense. The point I am trying to make is, we need a US Government that knows how to manage, lead and streamline when needed. All the extra baggage is what is bringing our nation down. We need thinkers, doers, people of action. We need to build planes, ships, tanks, bridges in our country. Its about time we stop building or rebuilding in other countries, when our own country is falling apart. I think its time for our President to start realizing that we are not beholding to the Chinese or to the Arabs. The choices are hard, and the resolve is what counts. I would also like to see how the State Department becomes the first office working for the US Government that shows all the other agencies how a billion dollars can be saved. How the US State Department can make it work, without having to borrow from Congress in future. This in my opinion would show determination, a skillful manager, and one that knows what they are doing. A challenge.

palgye
|
South Korea
July 4, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

To summarize briefly, the former President George Walker Bush-era economic situation is similar. Financial and enterprise cartel, mortgages - subprime, wandering without a job as a citizen.

I feel South Africa South Korea to host the Winter Olympics is not a time for taxes to be ruthless,

Maintenance of the river to South Korea in 2011, Korea had to invest 22 trillion won into the money (however, many accidents occur as a side effect is) for him elsewhere, welfare and should be used as a side effect was gone for the budget, people with a lot of pain believe that being. South Korea's budget in 2011 to 309.1 trillion won in Korea is the money. Nearly 10 percent is close to the scale. Approximately 10 percent of the overall budget is close to the money, not create new jobs, where people do not create jobs when the investment, the rest of the people to suffer side effects,

Korea's export-lined, the story has garnered a lot of foreign currency, but not enough money to the people, their home mortgage loans were more people that takes life (in Korea mean the house - the legacy that they earned a lifetime house to buy.) perceived inflation is thought that almost 200% increase. When you try to buy things in supermarkets, I feel almost at 30% Rate of inflation close to thought. The biggest problem with the large number of export in the archive will safe their money, and did not invest in the domestic money, the flow is blocked, leaving the middle class falls in the lower-class people, back to the way that middle class nearly disappeared feel abandoned.

In such a situation, go overseas, international sports to attract the domestic game to activate a temporary solution, rather than the investment guidance, and to the public the benefit back to find a way to still the elite and one of someone to remember the elite sports and Only companies that got rich - by committing tax - how to choose.

South Korea's Olympic moment to attract the attention of the people to focus externally and domestic awareness of the problems that prevent high-impact event I think. I'm Korean, but the opposite. South Korea to host the Winter Olympics, now the money that they use colorful hambodaneun domestic citizens time to find a way to live comfortably I think.

To attract international sporting events in South Korea, the football World Cup, except is always a deficit, a deficit occurs, to have to pay back taxes,

Now in Durban, in South Africa, the people, not taxes, beginning with their own personal money, running game, and the money to pay off debt if they never occurs, the Winter Olympic Games do not think there are unlikely to participate in .

Please, if power, they'll let you advise, please stop attracting. In South Korea, once a day, citizens are demonstrating that life is difficult. Some people also find a way to radical, but real life is the most difficult people, anger, and think that attending.

John P.
|
Greece
July 4, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Donald M. in Virginia

It’s obvious one world! Different countries, one world!

It’s amazing, but we face similar dilemmas here in Greece.

One World – same "Questions"!

And thanks to this extremely powerful podium called DipNote, we have the amenity to exchange views and ideas, proving this global theory, day by day.

As you know from the news, Greece has become a financial “experiment” for “observation”. (I wish everything will go OK! for the country I live in)

However, you got a logical thesis/question for debating:

QUOTE:
"for every action theres an equal or greater reaction that happens" meaning that they would be looking at moving to a new country. END OF QUOTE.

We have to face (in Greece) the same political decision making "questions" concerning “tax strategical thought” &“production/development”.

Tough questions!
I have to say that after years of thought,

1. I would not care so much for those so-called businessmen that will move to another country. History has proved that products MADE IN USA are extremely better than products that begun in the States and then left the country.

Actually most of them “died” after some years. I don’t remember if it was Eric in NM, or Joe in TN who has written in the past something very special: “America has the best workers in the world”. That’s one reason why MADE IN USA products are the best in the world. You can also add to the argument: technology, know-how, education for how to do it, great materials, etc…

Well, I know my good friend Donald, that it may be too difficult for you to understand my argument, because you live “in the house of plenty” (chuckle) and you enjoy real American products and services. But, believe me, that MADE IN USA products are the best in the world, as long as they are produced in the NEW WORLD.

2. (this the same with my local tax- dilemma)

When you reach the bottom line of taxing the middle and lower class of the “population’s pyramid”, it’s better to start looking a little bit to the top. Otherwise you may have a “social earthquake”. And then, you know, there will be no top, no pyramid. No nothing!

However, I absolutely agree with you that Government Agencies can become more sceptical, concerning the way they use tax payers’ money. But, I’d keep security, military and foreign policy budgets safe and strong. It’s our WESTERN security.

Nevertheless, I am not the President, or a Congressman.

Thank God for all of us, I am not... (LOL)

I may be wrong...

But I am sure you see how difficult decission making is!

Best Regards and stay PROUD!!! You are an American!!!

donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
July 4, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@ John P. in Greece

My friend I did notice on the news Greece was also having problems. Before a country can aid or assist another country, they themselves need to be solvent. If not a multitude of risks happen. I hope that the Government of Greece can find solutions to its money problems just like the USA. As we have seen in California how a State was mis-managed by its leaders, and now drowning in debt just shows the wrong people in office, how it impacts the public. We need smart people in Government offices that can make wise decisions, when we build future homes, they can last a Hurricane or tornadoes, and the problem is after many homes destroyed, floods, or natural disasters happen, we continue to do the same things, repeating history. When our country should of stepped up and built smart homes for people, safe homes. Without costing an arm and a leg. Hopefully, someone will make better decisions about how the country will survive this deficit issue. If your spending more dollars than what you have coming in, should tell you to spend less NOT spend more.... If its our responsibility as citizens to watch how we spend, then it should also be equally for all the people of Congress and their should be NO excuses why they cannot follow the same guidelines. If they do overspend, there should be some consquences for that overspending. If someone bounces a check, you get a fine. What fines are given to our people in Congress when they over spend the Tax Payers money? Shouldn't there have been check and balance in place for our law makers? I still think there should be a review in Congress checking the accounts to ensure there isn't double dipping going on. The point I'm making is, people we elect into office, should be held to a higher standard, and they need to be responsible with the handling of tax money. If they are careless or act irresponsible there should be some kind of consquence that goes with it. Otherwise you have a continuing trend of overspending, and our Government would be "OUT of Control" and I certainly wouldn't want to wake up and find out that our Nation is owned by China or any other country in the world.

peace38
July 5, 2011

W.W. writes:

a Cfr reform is needed

play17
July 5, 2011

W.W. writes:

Extending International cooperation to Brics on following topics as Freedom Promoters

Unofficial

many88
July 5, 2011

W.W. writes:

Ok Yes To NGO'S if supervised from international and neutral nations

Starting with Freedom Promoters International
Working for a common educational project which will come to fruition if not speeded up in not less then 40 years

Brics is counterbalancing NATO but together are not counterbalancing the internet society new in the global chess board

John 1.
|
Canada
July 5, 2011

John in Canada writes:

@ Donald M and everyone else – we have a lot of people with good ideas. A lot of people that would like to do and could do – however the roads to reach success have either been blocked or are not yet been built for the success every nation needs.

The greatest change needed to our societies is to our debt systems (chuckle) otherwise all the great Ideas are for nothing.

Now, so I am clear what follows is critical but I am not suggesting an over throw of the financial systems – I see value there. But I like to get people thinking – sorry for the long post – its all about the money or debt that will define our futures globally in every way.

Debt ceiling -It’s a lose/ lose situation that has nothing to do with republicans and democrats – the problem is the vehicle in a manner of speaking that we all drive in – cut, tax, spend doesn’t matter what they do -it will all lead to the same place eventually. No one and I mean no one seems to understand how things work. Better yet perhaps they just refuse to see it. The arguments that are being made by both sides are like lipstick on a pig – no one is addressing the pig.

Cut, tax, spend all they want – is this not what has been going on for years? Has the problem not just been growing no matter what they do for years? Good times, bad times have you ever seen the debt actually go down?

Really what we are saying when we are balancing the budget is that we are counter balancing the debt at the moment (like swimming in a stream and not going forward or backward) but it never holds. Republican or democrat will eventually end up holding the hot potato – it’s the name of the game and if either of the political parties doesn’t wake up to the game being played they will all lose.

Globally we have system that has entities that create both cash and debt at the same time.

ALL governments, ALL corporations, ALL people are chained to this dysfunction. Those that give you debt expect cash to be paid for that debt. The ability to pay that debt is dependent on the cash flowing from the same sources that gave the debt to begin with. If they stop the flow of cash, every person, corporation, government that has debt cannot pay – everything collapses.

When you agree to debt at the financial institutions, do they guarantee that they will provide enough cash flow into the system for the debts to be paid? No.

Cash enters the system in one of two basic ways –from the central bank or trade. If your country is not selling anything then your country is not bringing in cash. The only way to make up for this is to print more money – otherwise under this dysfunctional system we are dead in the water.

Imagine for a minute the very place that indebts everything is also in the position to control if that debt can be paid. Talk about a scam.

There is not enough cash in the system globally to pay for the debt that is expected to be paid. So how can this debt ever be paid?

Debt is being created faster than the money needed to pay it.

Because of this dysfunctional system, financial systems across the world have been given more control than our elected officials over our lives.

What Chinas financial system does economically can impact American lives more than any politician republican or democrat. Talk about giving up you freedom.

Next….

John 2.
|
Canada
July 5, 2011

John in Canada writes:

All spending represents debt. When you go to the store to shop; whatever goes into your basket is debt – debt that you have to pay.

Debt creates the need to spend and generate cash – should we have no debt, so to speak we would not need cash – example a trade and barter system (not recommending it but our so called cashless society is a perversion of this model more or less) .

When an employee works for their employer that employer is in debt to the employee. The employer is often also in debt to their suppliers, financial providers etc. That indebtedness creates more pressure to acquire more cash to pay for that debt or what happens? Collapse.

The only way to keep it going is to keep spending and in turn create more debt

What would happen if globally we all stopped spending? Everything would collapse, governments would fall, and the largest corporations would disappear. Our economies are designed to constantly grow or spend.

Cash is the carrot that makes the donkey run; debt is the donkey we are all forced to ride.

The relationship to cash and debt is irrefutable - Spending is the action needed to keep it all going continually fueling more debt. – That spending is with cash and cash creates boat loads of debt. Yet they complain of debt, talk about people that don’t understand – if you grow carrots should you be shocked that carrots grow?

Go to the source of where cash is created and instantly debt is created. Think of it like this. You require cotton for your business to run. I am the only place where you can get that cotton. I say to you look, I’ll give you 1 pound of cotton; but I want you to pay me ¼ pound extra in return (interest).

Instantly you should be asking yourself a) how I get the original 1 pound. B) How do I get the ¼ pound if the only place I can get the cotton from is you? You will be forced now to come back to me becoming forever perpetually indebted.

This is what is happening between central banks and national banks today. The national banks pass on their indebtedness to you or they are out of business; but they are perpetually in debt and so are we.

Now of course through globalization of the financial system (the first globalized business) this becomes less obvious to most but once you understand, you can see how important trade deficits are and why they have and can lead to war. It is not unlike economic war, even between friendly nations.

Good times bad times the debt never goes away. You can shift responsibility for it but it is never is eliminated. Right now the trillions of debt must be shifted, essentially we have to convince someone to take our debt and we must do that by trade.

Our system is a debt system – debt is power. When you have someone in debt, business and government - you own them like a slave.

Whatever political system is running worldwide, they are experiencing the same effects.

Our current system is systemically flawed. A return to the gold standard is equally disastrous but I understand those that do want it or better yet why – the why part is right, the rest is not.

Do you not think that after 100 years or more we could come up with something that works for business, governments and people;

Something that will fuel growth, innovation and true prosperity? After all business is expected to change or die – are our financial apparatus exempt from this change? Or must we all die for it -

Some used to believe the world was flat; perhaps we should just carry on believing it because it makes us feel safe. Or better yet open our eyes to what we are actually working with and do something real, constructive and long lasting for the sake of our shared future.

Love this quote, seems fitting.
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free”
Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
July 5, 2011

Donald in Virginia writes:

7 5 11

Suggestion for US Currency being overhauled to reflect the value of the 100 US Dollar bill.

The value of the US dollars are shrinking with our high debts. Heres an idea, why not have the Federal Reserve produce a 100 dollar bill that is printed with 14 ct gold. A brand new currency that when you get a 100 dollar bill its worth its weight in gold. The value of the 100 dollar bill would be legal tender and it would increase the overall picture of currency. Who wouldn't want a 100 dollar bill with 14 carrot gold printed. This could spark something good for Congress and the US Federal Reserve.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
July 5, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I was thinking about this quote and the reality it points to.

'We must remember that the veneer of civilization is paper thin. We are its guardians, and we can never rest.'

Seems to me while it may be paper thin, it happens to be made of kevlar, otherwise it would have desintegrated from every terrorist and dictator's attempts to destroy its form and function by now.

It is my guess that everyone that wears it outside the wire knows what I'm talking about.

EJ

John P.
|
Greece
July 5, 2011

John in Greece writes:

@ Donald M. in Virginia

I agree with this paragraph of yours, among plenty of things you post from time to time.
However, I also disagree on some points.

Here is the GOLDEN paragraph:
QUOTE: We might not always agree, but we can agree on this point, it sure feels good knowing we have the most powerful military in the world, the most brightest people in science, and the best security agencies in our country who fight against terrorism. We have the best Engineers in the world. There is nothing we can't do together, no Mountains are too high for the United States of America, may Old Glory be around for generations to come! When the sun rises Americans bond together like the most powerful glue on earth. We are all one big family across this Nation. END OF QUOTE.

But, with all the respect Donald, I have some debatable objectons:
First of all I’d like to thank for helping Greece, President Obama, the U.S. Administration, Congress and most of all, the People of U.S.A., all of which are the “PROUD NATION” we refer to in our writings. You guys helped us A LOT and you keep on doing it, from 1821 to now. I know that a few people in my region are brave enough to mention, or just say a simple “thank you America!”, but... I do it –representing myself-, wishing more people to start thinking.
Nevertheless, Greece is not the “focus” of this conversation.
You say that before a country can aid or assist another country, they themselves need to be solvent…
(You know and probably feel better than me that U.S.A. is not just a country. It’s a SUPER-POWER, a Global God we trust…)
So, how much solvent someone is, remains debatable, I’d say. That’s why I don’t think that Congressmen are not so naïve as you say. If Germany which is attempting to play the “big boss” role in Europe, among others (China, Russia, etc.) are not that solvent too, why come U.S.A. cannot play the game with the same rules others play?
That’s why we diagree on this.
I mean that when sometimes we think that they over spend Tax Payer’s money, do they do it on purpose, because they are “stupid”, or they do it “on scope”, because they are intelligent?
I vote for the second!
I agree with you! A strong America is a financially healthy America!
But is it that easy to achieve it without risking “other things”?
Would you risk security, military or foreign policy strength for just providing People a bigger TV set?
Anyway, I don’t want to take more of your time Donald and dear readers.
And I’m sure that I did not make my thoughts clear enough. It would take pages…
Just a few thoughts from a civilian…

P.S.: I read your last post concerning "Gold", just a few seconds ago, attempting to copy and paste my words from "Word". I'd keep on loving the $ we know...
After all, Eric, in a previous post some months ago, had an even better idea. If the Job was DONE as we think! in plenty of cases U.S. spend so much money to free the world. Let's cash some of the expences we spend. After all, they owe us! And we want it in paper $...

actually74
July 5, 2011

W.W. writes:

Actually in 100 Years from Now, from Today which equals Future, Mrs. Secretary Will be also Remebered as a person who shaked hand and meet with, what at the time was Actually a living saint, and now is among the blessed...

John
|
Canada
July 5, 2011

John in Canada writes:

@Eric in new Mexico - nice quote but let’s hope that the reality it points should never happen again.

I met a man a while back and he asked me “do you know why Lincoln was killed” I replied no (had my own thoughts, but when I meet strangers I like to listen –you can learn a lot) –he then stated “because of his ideas”

I’m afraid that some ideas sadly, live on in many ways in many people and will require far more than Kevlar to repel.

Kevlar provides no protection against the poisoning of minds, likely the greatest threat to peace and prosperity everywhere.

In this we don’t have any wires anymore and I am reminded of a wise man that once said that Americas greatest threat is not from outside but from within – true of every nation really.

Given hard times in the world, poisonous manners of thinking have a tendency to propagate faster than rabbits – likely out of fear, ignorance and anger – remove what causes fear – displace ignorance with truth and reason – anger will naturally subside. (Most are angry for the wrong reasons anyhow IMHO)

Of course a little hope and the realization of that hope into something concrete can do wonders for all people.

Zharkov
|
United States
July 5, 2011

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Regarding Greece:

"I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."— Benjamin Franklin

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
July 5, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

John in Canada,

Happy Canada Day bro.., thing about kevlar is it will stretch but not break, like minds generally do if they are healthy.

And in example of why your analysis may be sound in certain curcumstances and not in others; the poisoning thoughts of bin laden calling for the Muslims of the world to wage "holy war" have garnered very little support among 1.3 billion people who have in fact rejected the notion.

Therefore I would suggest to you that the fabric of society is indeed as tough as kevlar.

If the threat be from within, then it comes from those who would see this nation retreat from our obligations throughout the world, disengaging with civil societies on all levels of engagement, and ultimately to hide behind oceans that no longer protect us, while the rest of the world goes to hell, and the fool's think that won't effect us here at home?

Or folks in Canada for that matter?

Or anyone of our allies, never mind the millions that will simply starve to death due to our lack of develoment assistance and humanitarian relief efforts globally?

Everyone be lookin' for that "exit option", and the one I gave Sec. Powell ten years ago has proven to have withstood the test of time, as the goals outlined in it have been realized in Afghan society, due to the strategy and tactics layed out within, that made way too much sense for this goverrnment to ignore at the time. Which was why that letter I posted recently serves as a reminder to this administration that they might want to pay real close attention to what I've had to say over the years on this blog and review that over and over again until they get a true understanding of how integrated my thinking actually is with the goals they seek.

Like Lincoln, I guess someone will just have to put a bullet in my head to shut me up, because I know my ideas have been a source of destruction to the status quo, and very dangerous indeed, but not as much as the status quo that existed.

I knew full well what I was asking my government to do then, just as I do now.

You'll find that old letter here, posted to John in Greece on June 28, in the comments section;

http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/site/entry/clinton_senate_foreign_relat...

Best,

EJ

John
|
Canada
July 5, 2011

John in Canada writes:

@Zharkov in U.S.A - Funny enough I have observed this phenomena myself and it’s a huge problem that grows –– at the same time you see so called “public provisions” do you also see a rise with government regulation, that makes it difficult for a person to survive without public handouts?

Classic example - in most modern cities I have found – you can’t raise chickens; you can’t do a lot of self sustainability activities. Laws, bylaws forbid it. A little side note. In England it was customary for women to make ale or bear – men were not allowed, it was the ladies job and they earned income from it– that was thrashed with the advent of modern beer making – women lost a source of income – and the men lost diversity in their beer (chuckle). Was this transformation a success or failure – depends on how you measure success or failure.

In the USA I find it very interesting that most of the population contributed directly to their basic food survival by growing something 100 years ago – today not many do anything at all to provide for themselves in this way.This has caused a drop in the diversity of food we eat.

Let’s face it. If we have become totally dependent in purchasing our basic food stuff, necessary for survival and at the same time are becoming limited or outright forbidden to accomplish this on our own–then it stands to reason that we force a welfare state into being by taking away basic survival freedoms. Notwithstanding losing our food security at the same time.

The welfare state is not just made up of the poor.

A welfare state in my view is everything that suckles from tax dollars or avoids tax. Working welfare (public servants) or otherwise.

State welfare takes many forms from both taxes and tax breaks.

Corporations and the rich receive ample government welfare, arguably far more than the working poor or unemployed poor. The funny thing about welfare everyone wants to be rid of it unless it’s their own welfare.

The effects of our modern education, increasing poverty and welfare. I am supporter of being educated; however we seem to have reached a point that to shovel manure or serve coffee we need six degrees requiring some kind of hand out (grant) and accumulation of debt (loan) to supposedly succeed at this.

With that, think for a moment how education has actually provided blockades for us as a society rather than open up avenues that it should (in Europe it is not as bad as North America, yet)

If we marginalize such a huge portion of society – can we not expect then for this to contribute to the growing cost of the welfare state – what then is the true cost or hidden cost of education, beyond the indebted students?

Typical of the unintended consequences of those wishing to do good, but end up contributing to doing more harm. The young today are missing something from education that older generations still had.

Given the problems with debt in every nation, is it wise to encourage the accumulation of greater amounts of debt through student loans?

Come to Canada –you may have worked for over a decade or your entire life doing something, but they want you to go into debt and waste years of your life to get a piece of paper that states you know what you have already been doing for years – crazy and senseless when experience means nothing .

We need to think smart and use the resources we have to the greatest potential. I find it ridiculous to complain of problems that we seem to impose on our societies by choice.

Me I am for a welfare state (rich poor and everything in between) by creating one that pays for itself -contributes and becomes an asset rather than a liability that it currently is.

John P.
|
Greece
July 5, 2011

John in Greece writes:

@ Zharkov in U.S.A.
"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax".
-Albert Einstein

@ Eric in NM: great posts!
"You never know who is reading..." (Chuckle)

donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
July 5, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

I just wanted to say that its a pleasure reading all the posts. All the comments made. We as people can agree or disagree and do it in this forum. Above all "a think tank for the State Department." I have never been to Greece yet I hope it improves. I love a good argument like the next person. I think the true reason why we blog is because we can bring something to the State Department table for others to read. We debate fairly and we get a few chuckles in. I dont think were going to change the hearts and minds of people, but inform them that we can offer something that might make them think. Do I totally disagree on helping other countries, no way. I think its good to help others but you have to have a strong foundation base to help. Maybe in time our economy will improve, jobs will happen. Some luck they will figure out NAFTA is not working. Our jobs went south of the border once NAFTA was in effect. I just want to say that we as bloggers are a team that offer ideas, share stories, and above all tackle some of the toughest issues facing our Nation. If we were living in Cuba or Venz. you wouldn't be allowed to express the 1st ammendment rights. Thats why I'm glad to be an American. We can express our thoughts clearly and sometimes be humbled.

G'day everyone!

John
|
Canada
July 5, 2011

John in Canada writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico – you provide too much fodder for the mind, I agree with you on so much, but to clarify - OBL was just one of the many loons out in the world – I actually had others in mind this day (today) but chose to be discreet in my wording, rather than offend outright. Some folks are or can be a little sensitive.

Nice to hear your fire woes have ended or at least aren’t so perilous. Rain dance, crystals, voodoo or prayer what was your chosen ritual? (Going back to one of your old posts)(Laugh)

A little confused about the link you posted - earlier????? Perhaps I missed something.

@John in Greece – I suppose when someone like Einstein is working out the mysteries of time something like taxes would seem mystifying given the simplicity of the latter to the former. It can be hard to descend to such primitive thinking, it would be to the point of confusion – no one’s perfect.

Have a good week guys.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
July 5, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Canada,

Oh Geez whiz,...and you are so kind to keep us guessing who you might have been thinking of...(chuckle), right?

Besides, when have I ever been descrete in adressing the dysfuntionality of the loony-toon's of the world , eh?

Go on.. I know you want to.

(Lol!)

My methodology ?

Ok, let's kill two birds with one stone here...you say you are confused by the link...look down the page till you come to an email header ...note the date on it, because while it is my opinion that it represents a case parallel thinking with my government, a very reliable source has informed me several years ago that that particular emailed letter having been read about 4 hours after I sent it, was passed among at least a half dozen folks @ State and the White House, which is extrordinary in and of itself.

These things are not all that hard to understand being that civilization itself is a construct of ideas become manifest in the real world.

Now rather than get all conspiratal, or mushy-mush in new-age limbo, or even spiritual in implication, I've been testing a theory for a very long time that one can indeed create their own reality if they know what to ask for.

Simply by putting words to work to invoke change.
Attitude is everything, and all that becomes manifest flows from that mindset, whether it be one of war or one of peace, one does not exist without the duality of the other to provide perspective on the nature of the reality invoked by the words used to describe intent of one form or another, or simply stated in asking for all the help one can get to solve a problem, as was the case.

Apparently it worked.

Go figure,

EJ

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
July 5, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece,

Thanks for this,

"@ Eric in NM: great posts!

"You never know who is reading..." (Chuckle)"

It was actually, "You never know who reads these things... (chuckle)."

(Because no one's authorized to say.)

At least that's my understanding based on experience.

Best,

EJ

pattern85
July 6, 2011

W.W. writes:

"who is the wisest man in Greece?".

is He on Vacation? please come back...

John P.
|
Greece
July 7, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

Dear ww.; I don’t know if you referring to me expecting an answer to your “non-question”.

I don’t represent Greece in this Blog and certainly I am not wise;

Actually, I can trace very few the last decades...

Even a child can understan that your comment is a bit provocational.

Anyway,

What I know is that you can’t ask a question providing the answer as you do, when you don’t know the answer.

All of which means:

do YOU know "who is the wisest man in Greece?"

No!

So, how could you elaborate an answer to a non-question for which you have no answer… all of which makes it a NO-Question?

And I have the answer: the wisest man in Greece is the wisest in Greece!

Can you show him to me?

No.

Because politics is not a "one man show". It takes both the wiseMEN (plenty) and the educated audience for a good production, if you understand what I mean.

That simple!

If I meet him, I will tell him to come back, but it's rather unexpected.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
July 8, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

John in Greece,

Pretty self evident that Greece could use a few more wise men like you.

Been a long time since you all had an oracle at Delphi to call upon eh?

Never mind those tilting at pillars in decay, when there's more pleasent works of art to tilt one's attention towards.

(chuckle)

Anyway, such a void has its own intrinsic way of finding someone to fill it naturally.

Wait for it,

EJ

deal56
July 8, 2011

W.W. writes:

@ John P. in Greece ...lol !

'who is the wisest man in greece?' was a citation which perfectly fit in this period massive huge big enormous great TRIBULATION the whole world globe is passing. Just trying to be some random crazy conspiracy theorist.

Socrates was a poor illiterate who lived in Athens, Greece. He was a good fighter who fought at the gymnasium, but he knew he was no thinker, and certainly not an intellectual. He wanted to learn from the wisest man in Greece, so he went to the famous oracle of Delphi to ask who was the wisest of the Greeks.

The priestess of the oracle heard his question on her seat in the Delphic cave. Then she inhaled the vapors coming from the rocks and went into her trance to communicate with the gods.

Socrates:
"The wisest of the Greeks is Socrates." was the answer she gave.

"But, but that's impossible!" he stammered. "I am a fool."

So plato learnt from socrates and he wrote the republic ...Basically what 'ELECTED' governors are following now...

But how people can possibly Believe a guy who says to his people ' I am gonna end Slavery , Corruption, or other issues that last for more then 2000 years?'
See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter
R u guys voting or choosing administrator or leaders?

John P.
|
Greece
July 8, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ W.W.

If you had read my last post (concerning NASA) you’d have understood that “the future is now”.

This is one of the wisest phrases I’ve read in DipNote and it’s not mine.

I told you, I am not wise! (believe me)

I also told you once again that I don’t represent Greece here, but you keep on cruising/teasing for your historical “non-questions” -again.

Sorry but, not only I don’t want to engage in your game, but also I don’t care about your “historical time buttons” starting Greece with Socrates, “passing” to Plato and ending to now.

Actually I don’t understand why there was no “Greece” before Socrates and no future for Greece after NOW…

I think that you should get back to 101 and start rethinking your love for history, which cannot teach you the future.

A good start would be to realize what real time is:

IMPORTANT and ACCURATE! (that's why some wise guys say "Taget inside+")

What’s the first thing a man did getting out of his first cave (that obviously had no “cave name”)?

He made his best to build a new and better one…

He did not worried about the “neon lights”, or who invented electricity…

His future was a better cave for everyone!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
July 8, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece,

Speaking for myself I honestly had no clue at the time why "the oracle at Delphi" popped into my head as I was writing my last post to you, but WW just blew my mind with his enlightening reference to it, one learns something new every day around here.

And in my not so wise opinion you are still one of the wisest men in Greece whether you represent her or not.

So that said, I don't think WW means to tease you, but rather was trying to explain his reference to his question, but as for the rest of WW's post I'm not qualified to have an opinion on, (not enough data) one way or another.

But as you've never in my recolection even posted a thought on Greece in any of our many conversations I for one never thought you were trying to represent her, for your longstanding support of US policy as an American ( whether that be by birth, naturalization , or simply via attitude)

I'm sure WW can speak for him/her self on all my conjecture here re: WW's intent, but if it's a verbal nuking he's looking for from you, I think you just delivered it.

Anyway I'm tempted to ask if WW would like fries with that...or if his apparently now "glow in the dark crispycritteredness" has satiated his curiosity?

(chuckle)

@ WW I'm teasing you of course, but this has been all in good fun , eh?

I really did appreciate that reference, very few folks here have had me ROTFLMAO at myself with a little history lesson.

Thanks, I needed that priceless moment of "What the....?!"

EJ

John P.
|
Greece
July 9, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

Thank you very much Sir for your kind words.

There is no personal problem with W.W. and he has every right to express his opinion.

Of course I disagree concerning the argumentation path he uses.

I think that I understand what he’s trying to say, according to me in a very wrong way though. If I am wrong he can correct me.

He is attempting to say that “Socrates was no thinker and certainly not an intellectual”.

Then he passes to Plato by attempting to present that “Plato learnt from Socrates and he wrote the Republic...

Ending by concluding that “Basically what 'ELECTED' governors are following now...”.

All of which means that he is calling today’s Greek politicians as non-thinkers and certianly not intelligent enough to govern the country.

This is how I personally understand his comments. Maybe I‘m wrong, but it’s up to her/him to make it clear if I didn’t get it clear.

Why her/his path is wrong?

When someone’s argumentation begins by saying that Aristotele and Plato were no-thinkers and certainly not intellectuals, the debater automatically loses any chanse to prove his thesis.

I absolutely agree with you Eric and I am also not qualified to protect the “spirit” of Aristotele and Plato due to lack of data. I was not born back then… But I do not think that they would need such a back up, as long as they are fully accepted by the academic community all over the world. So, it’s a bit canceling for the whole argumentation of WW to use as presequisite something that the majority of thinkers cannot certainly accept.

So, the only way is NOW. Today!

Concerning today, it’s not my job to protect the image of the Greek politicians, especially if this logistic contains more than 2000 years of history. I think that the Greek Foreign Ministry should give her/him an answer. It’s their duty. Not mine. After all, I am not authorized to.

As you wiseful have written in the past (among other hudreds of wise suggestions you have offered), politicians, diplomats and decision makers around the globe (not only Greeks – everyone/everywhere!) should engage in this great dialogue and take advantage of the unique opportunity that the United States government offers them, through DipNote, to exchange views and ideas in a non-formal way. After all, it’s a dipnote, nothing official.

That’s why I hope they “read”.

And now, between me and you and a couple of millions reading the Blog daily; I say that you are wise and you say that you are not so wise.

I say that I am not so wise and you call me wise.

All of which creates a problem, because either we are both wise having the power to detect what wise is, or we are both “silly” guys. (LOL!!!)

However, I am sure that you are wise and as long as this comment -for once- has some lines for my locals here, I have to say –believe me, I honestly mean it- that when I am with friends and we discuss about local politics they often ask me “what/who could help our country?”.

And then my answer is: “Well I got a guy in Alba, in a state full of tall, intelligent antennas. He could help a lot, probably in just a few weeks. But you won’t hire him, ‘cause he is a great thinker”. (Don’t you worry, I don’t call him EJ, for security reasons –chuckle!)

I mean they use so many international analysts, special advisors and people that could not run a business for more than a week due to bad decisions, small brain and lack of talent. And they pay them a lot of money…

So, I think that you’d be a brain diamond!

Of course, I have no power to make this suggestion officially, but,

"You never know who reads these things... (chuckle)."

good75
July 11, 2011

W.W. writes:

YES WEEK END :

Well Actually My followers(readers) Knows I begun to Promote Future is now - actandlead and more..

Even Future is now which equals Future start today is a citation.

more I m informing you and the most Y'ALL understand that everything it has already been said or passed by Humanity.

It is just a matter to be able to fit current period of TIME with what already happened.

for this reasonas an example I m wirting that there were also an infinite number of Gardens of Eden:

I can imagine an infinite number of worlds like the Earth, with a Garden of Eden on each one. In all these Gardens of Eden, half the Adams and Eves will not eat the fruit of knowledge, and half will. But half of infinity is infinity, so an infinite number of worlds will fall from grace and there will be an infinite number of crucifixions.
Therefore As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live. Young people are threatened... by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire.One day they ll be adults. It is beyond history, beyond memory We are deeply saddened by the behaviour of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant.
On my knees, I beg of you to turn away from the paths of violence and to return to the path of peace... Those who resort to violence always claim that only violence brings about change. You must know there is a political, peaceful way to justice.
In conclusion Future start today not tomorrow.

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