There seems to be a large disconnect between US President Barack Obama and the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, especially on foreign policy positions. From Clinton’s realpolitik views to Obama’s humanitarian and democratic goals, the two seem to be talking-up different agendas. US Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich from Ohio explained both need to look at common sense principles. These principles are based on all humanity not individual nations; everyone must be empowered, he argued. Notions like the invasion of Iraq are an example of realpolitik where true principles were set aside by America.
“Despite the situation in Libya remaining unresolved, one thing is now certain: the president of the United States is now in control of the money, and this gives him a powerful tool … ‘Most countries consider the freezing of their assets an act of economic warfare’” — ‘Money as a weapon in West’s war on Libya‘, RT, 7 March 2011
Public sector man sitting in a bar: “They’re trying to take away our pensions.”
Private sector man: “What’s a pension?”
– Cartoon in the Houston Chronicle
As states struggle to meet their budgets, public pensions are on the chopping block, but they needn’t be. States can keep their pension funds intact while leveraging them into many times their worth in loans, just as Wall Street banks do. They can do this by forming their own public banks, following the lead of North Dakota—a state that currently has a budget surplus.
I have walked through the barren remains of Babylon in Iraq and the ancient Roman city of Antioch, the capital of Roman Syria, which now lies buried in silt deposits. I have visited the marble ruins of Leptis Magna, once one of the most important agricultural centers in the Roman Empire, now isolated in the desolate drifts of sand southeast of Tripoli. I have climbed at dawn up the ancient temples in Tikal, while flocks of brightly colored toucans leapt through the jungle foliage below. I have stood amid the remains of the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor along the Nile, looking at the statue of the great Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II lying broken on the ground, with Percy Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” running through my head: