Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

LinkSwarm for January 29, 2014

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Lots of news from around the world, where the global economy is handing like a Kia that’s just started losing traction on an icy hill:

  • Bundesbank: Don’t look at us, broke PIIGS, you’re going to have to screw your own people.
  • Does a big default loom in China?
  • Russian bank halts all cash withdrawals?
  • Meanwhile, reports that Chinese banks have stopped allowing withdrawals turns out to be a false alarm.
  • European earnings outlook: Zero.
  • Problem: Greek economy still sucking wind. Solution: change how GDP is calculated.
  • Japan hits record trade deficit. Remember when they were supposed to take over the world?
  • The ruble flirts with record lows.
  • Obama and the Democratic Party’s numbers are worse than they were in 2010.
  • Planned Parenthood wonders what’s the big deal with a little statutory rape among friends?
  • Florida heroin kingpin is an illegal alien on food stamps.
  • Another Democrat convicted of that vote fraud that doesn’t exist. (Hat tip: Dwight.)

  • Democrats actually polling worse than they were in 2010. And that’s from Dem pollster/booster John B. Judis.
  • Target’s part-time workers get ObamaCared.
  • We have a winner for troll of the year:

    Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit.

    Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. It’s hard for me to believe it’s not just verbally placating these people so they don’t get in trouble with the mommy bloggers.

    Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average.

    Amy Glass, come down and collect your coveted Trolly! (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • “Woman Takes Short Half-Hour Break From Being Feminist To Enjoy TV Show”
  • In case you didn’t notice, Iran’s mullahs are still lying, violent scumbags.
  • Strangely enough, Israeli’s trust Netanyahu more than Obama. Funny how a mere 40+ years Palestinians breaking every agreement they’ve signed will sour people on the peace process…
  • Michael Totten wanders around Cuba some more, where he let’s us know that Cubans can be arrested for unauthorized shrimp.
  • California Court determines that disgraced serial journalistic liar Stephen Glass is too dishonest to be a lawyer.
  • In other news, Eugene Volokh stuns Washington Post readers with non-liberal thoughts on guns and other topics.
  • Have you ever considered the possibility that Woody Allen isn’t a child molester?
  • Drive a Fit, a Prius, a Yaris, or a Fiat 500? Hope you’ve made out a will.
  • Anthony Weiner forced to downsize to an apartment whose rent is a mere 6 times my mortgage.
  • LinkSwarm for September 13, 2013

    Friday, September 13th, 2013

    My schedule is finally close to getting back to normal after Worldcon, so here’s the latest Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Greek unemployment hits 27.9%. Remember: For all the mentions of “austerity measures,” they’ve never balanced a budget.
  • Why we were in Benghazi. Short answer: Smuggling arms to Syrian rebels. Remember: No Americans died in Iran-Contra.
  • Syrian rebels do what they do best: kill women and children.
  • Obama’s Syrian policy is “is an unmitigated cl*st*rf*ck.” And that’s from his friends at The New Republic.
  • Charles Krauthammer calls it epic incompetence.
  • Today is the 20th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, which, as we all know, finally brought long-lasting peace and stability to the Middle East. “Decadal stasis points to the sterility of the Arab-Israeli diplomatic process.”
  • Mark Steyn on ObamaCare.
  • Mickey Kaus is worried that Republicans can still snatch amnesty defeat from the jaws of victory.
  • How often does Defensive gun use occur? “From about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.”
  • PPP’s poll data showed Giron was in trouble, but they didn’t release the poll, ostensibly because they didn’t believe it. That may be the case, but their explanation is suspect, given they actually testified in court as part of the effort to get the recall effort thrown out. Also, they didn’t do Giron and the gun-grabber side any favors by suppressing the results (the Liberal Reality Bubble strikes again). Bonus: Pollster Twitter slap fight!
  • Is the House Republican leadership actually stupid enough to kill the sequester in a deal with Obama? Let’s hope not…
  • Jihadi rapper killed by fellow jihadis. And you thought Vanilla Ice’s reviews were brutal…
  • To a visitor from India, America looks like a classless society. “I’ve noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I’ve seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.” (Hat tip: Ace.)
  • How can Newspapers make money these days? How about by selling off their old photo morgues?
  • UK’s NHS: Now With Added Death.
  • Million Muslim March falls a mere 999,970 marchers short of their goal.
  • Rep. Peter King of Long island is running for President. Expect GOP voters to greet his campaign with the same enthusiasm with which they greeted Jon Huntsman’s.
  • Super-genius astronomer wants to name an asteroid “Trayvon”.
  • New Jersey police: hate crimes don’t happen to white people.
  • Police Chief meeting with Sheriff Joe Arpaio on his own time and money? That’s a suspension.
  • Austin: 13 murders in 8 months. “Otherwise known as a slow weekend in Chicago.”
  • Holly Hansen takes a look at Williamson County judicial races.
  • LinkSwarm for August 23, 2013

    Friday, August 23rd, 2013

    Another Friday LinkSwarm on Friday, to make your Friday seem more like Friday:

  • Why work when welfare pays better?
  • Europe’s Jews fear that their days are numbered.
  • Ted Cruz: traitor to his class. From the number of MSM attacks on Cruz, they obviously see him as the biggest threat to derail Hillary’s coronation in 2016.
  • And since there was a little mini-boomlet of “Ha, conservatives must hate that Cruz’s given name is Rafael!” stupidity from the leftosphere, here’s a video that reminds you that Ted Cruz’s father Rafeal is all kinds of awesome as well:

  • Surprise, surprise, surprise! Greece will need another bailout.
  • Hospital called LICH just can’t seem to die. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Well, this is lovely: The Department of Homeland Security employees a black supremacist preparing for a race war against white people and gays.
  • Forced sterilization of “mental defectives” returns to the UK.
  • Dear Jeff Bezos: Maybe the Washington Post could make more money if they didn’t alienate half their potential audience by hyping anti-Republican witch hunts.
  • Fail to wear a veil when you leave the house? That’s a dismembering.
  • “Bradley Manning Is Not a Woman. Pronouns and delusions do not trump biology.”
  • Foreign aid is destructive.

    To improve the socio-economic development of Africa, the continent desperately needs private innovations, empowered by rule of law and an ambience of free enterprise, free of restrictive government regulations.Economic growth and development is indeed a vital ingredient towards achieving prosperity and a free society. However, it takes a spontaneous market driven approach without state interventionist barriers to achieve the noble aim, not foreign aid.

  • Remember folks: Partisan redistricting is perfectly constitutional. And Texas Democrats of it were masters of it for decades.
  • Sears posts $194 million loss. In other news, Sears is still in business.
  • Basketball statistician kills himself, and leaves behind meticulous suicide website explaining why he did it. One reason (among many others): “Economic collapse is inevitable (see U.S Financial to the left). The United States’ annual debt and cumulative deficit is way beyond the “out of control” label usually associated with it. It’s spiraling into oblivion and it will take society with it. Today the deficit is $16.9 trillion dollars with another $125 trillion of unfunded liabilities such as social security, medicare, prescription drug and federal pensions. It’s hopeless.”
  • What happens when rats have all their food needs met and are allowed to breed without restrictions? Social death followed by physical death. Though usually interpreted as an indictment of overpopulation, it could just as easily be about the the pitfalls of a purposeless life…
  • State Rep. (and Appropriations Committee chair) Jim Pitts will not seek reelection. Pitts, one of Speaker Joe Straus’ allies, recently was accused of seeking preferential treatment of his son at UT law school. Pitts was also one of the legislators pushing for…
  • The Impeachment of UT regent Wallace Hall for the crime of actually investigating wrong-doing, such as the law school slush fund.
  • European Debt Crisis Update for July 22, 0213

    Monday, July 22nd, 2013

    It’s shaping up to be another busy week, so here’s a quick update on the European Debt Crisis front:

  • EU Debt burden hits an all-time high.
  • Greece shuts down its bloated, money losing ERT public television/radio network. “Problems with Greek democracy are not the reason that ERT was shut down. ERT was an extravagant public company. Many, though not all, employees were hired under suspicious conditions, due to favoritism and nepotism, and receiveddisproportionately large wages (8000 Euros per month through the financial crisis and 13000 Euros per month before).”
  • Taki (who is Greek) offers some pungent assessments of his home country’s continual crisis.
  • In Europe, the law is seen is “an obstacle rather than a foundation.”
  • Spain steals from tomorrow’s retirees to pay for today’s retirees.
  • Portugal refrains from blowing up for a little while longer.
  • Germany’s finance minister tours his vassal state.
  • Don’t expect the EuroZone to explode before German elections on September 22. Plus calls for an “EMU Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
  • First review of UK’s relationship with EU comes to the conclusion that everything is just hunky dory.
  • European Debt Crisis Update for July 10, 2013

    Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

    The ongoing European Debt Crisis hasn’t ended, it’s merely undergoing a summer hiatus while the various bankers and Eurocrats involved in the shell game take their customary 8 week vacations. As such, expect a new round of crisis headlines to come rolling in during the fall.

    Remember: The purpose of the shell game is to let insiders unload their bad debts onto taxpayers. (Look how it was done in Ireland for pointers.) The shell game will continue as long as the insiders can get away with buying off restive electorates with an unsustainable cradle-to-grave welfare state.

    Europe’s present is our future.

  • Once again, Greece is being given money to pretend to reform. Look for more fake austerity, and another bailout in six months.
  • “Greece will never repay the money it’s been lent to ‘save’ it. The current debate over whether Greece has done enough by way of reform, tax hikes and spending cuts to have earned the next tranche of bailout funds is largely beside the point. If Greece is cut loose, or walks away, its euro-zone creditors will lose their money. The Greeks and the Germans are surely both aware of this. They’re also aware that Greece’s external debt position is far worse than when the bailouts began—when its debt stood at a mere 129% of GDP—and that any talk of debt sustainability in Greece has become a joke.” It’s now at 157% of GDP.
  • Predictably, Greek unions respond to more fake austerity and staff cuts by extending strikes.
  • Europeans realize that their governments are corrupt. Those who think they’re not corrupt? “In Spain that number is just 8 percent. In Italy, it’s 13 percent. And Greeks and Portuguese have the least trust in the world regarding their governments’ efforts: Just 1 percent of respondents say their government is making strides against corruption.”
  • And just how corrupt is Greece? “Politicians and journalists are viewed as on the take by most Greeks with 50 percent also saying they’ve had to bribe public officials to get services.”
  • Eurozone unemployment hits all time highs.
  • The EU is preparing a banking union bill. No word on whether it will require depositors to take haircuts like those in Cyprus in the event of a bank failure.
  • And speaking of bank failures, there are rumblings that Slovenia will require a bailout.
  • Portugal is still trudging through their own bank bailout…
  • …despite which they may still need another bailout.
  • Italy could be forced to beg for a bailout in six months.
  • UK actually proposes to roll back some 35 EU laws. This may be the first sign that Cameron’s wet Tories have actually noticed how effectively Nigel Farge’s UKIP is eating into their base…
  • UKIP itself says it’s a threat to the entire political class Well, let’s hope so…
  • Latvia is now set to join the Euro on January 1, 2014.
  • LinkSwarm for June 28, 2013

    Friday, June 28th, 2013

    It’s supposed to hit a 106° in Austin today. Sadly, not all of these links will help you keep your cool…

  • 12 different IRS offices targeted conservatives.
  • Over 1,100 patients were starved to death at NHS hospitals in the UK. Funny, I don’t remember that being mentioned in the Olympic tribute to how awesome NHS is…
  • Marco Rubio aide: We need illegal alien amnesty because American workers suck.
  • Blue collar Americans having trouble finding jobs. I’m sure that has nothing to do with our ruling political elite’s decision to allow unlimited illegal immigration of unskilled workers…
  • Every Republican voting for amnesty better get ready for a primary challenge.
  • Obama camapign workers convicted of voter fraud in Indiana. This was for the 2008 Democratic primary, so it will likely be many years before see starting seeing convictions for the Obama campaign’s various 2012 voting fraud efforts…
  • Noam Chomsky attending the opening of Hezbollah’s “Death to Israel” theme park.
  • People told me that if I voted for Romney, the U.S. military would start blocking access to liberal news sources. And they were right!
  • The Atlantic says that Obama “succeeded” in Libya but is failing in Syria. If Benghazi was success, I’d hate to see what failure looks like.
  • And speaking of Benghazi, Libya just let one of the suspected attackers walk. Thank God we have Obama’s smart, sophisticated diplomacy in the Middle East…
  • Beer now unaffordable in Greece. And you thought they had riots before…
  • Second Colorado Democrat faces a recall election over gun control.
  • Magpul to give away 1,500 30-round magazines just two days before Colorado outlaws them.
  • By the way, there’s a Facebook page to show support for bringing Magpul to Texas. But most of the rumors I hear have them moving to Wyoming.
  • The Amarillo Globe-News has a message for gun manufacturers thinking of relocating to Texas: Come on down!
  • Texas executes its 500th murderer. Don’t mess with Texas. Or we will end you.
  • Speaking of ending you: Don’t try to commit armed robbery in a concealed carry state.
  • Nurse Bloomberg continues to underwrite anti-gun ads, shoot himself in the foot. (Hat tip: Alphecca.
  • In order to prove vegans aren’t a creepy cult, website seeks to out and harass lapsed vegans.
  • The Onion channels Jay Carney: “Well, Time To Go Out In Front Of A Bunch Of People And Lie To Them.”
  • The mystery of Lori Ruff, AKA Becky Sue Turner. No one know who she actually is…
  • Greece: More Bailouts, More Fake Austerity

    Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

    While attention was focused on the Boston bombing, Gosnell, and gay marriage, Greece just got another bailout. This is in exchange for further “austerity.”

    What sort of “austerity” is Greece practicing? The sort that involves deficit spending at 10% of GDP, which is up from 9%. It was supposed to be cut to 7.5%.

    So Greece wants more money because it can’t even keep to its previous promises on its fake austerity goals.

    Let me explain it once again: Real austerity is cutting spending until it matches incoming receipts. Not reducing the rate of deficit spending. Not raising taxes so politicians can continue to spend.

    No country in the EU (at least outside the Baltics) has practiced real austerity. That Forbes piece on the Baltic nations includes a lot of good advice that EU nations are largely ignoring:

    Don’t run up big debts. It is a lot easier to manage when things go bad if you aren’t overextended to start. Observed Rosenberg: “Estonia’s experience shows that prudent policies during the boom may not avoid a bust, but they can put the country into a better position to deal with shocks.”

    Don’t engage in an orgy of “stimulus” spending. That will run up big debts without generating long-term growth. When budgets eventually are cut, as they will have to be, the economic loss and political pain will be even greater.

    Make tough decisions early. People typically are ready to act after the crisis hits. In the case of Latvia, argued Asmussen, by acting swiftly “most of the required painful budgetary decisions could be passed before the so-called ‘adjustment fatigue’ kicked in.”

    Maintain fiscal responsibility. Otherwise any progress will be transitory. Growth is the natural result of reform. Delaying reform exacerbates the problem while prematurely terminating reform short-circuits the recovery.

    Emphasize budget cuts. Expansive and irresponsible public outlays usually contribute to economic crisis. Moreover, the state as well as citizens should sacrifice after a crash. The answer is to cut expansive and irresponsible public outlays. In fact, economists Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna found that “spending cuts are much more effective than tax increases in stabilizing the debt and avoiding economic downturns. In fact, we uncover several episodes in which spending cuts adopted to reduce deficits have been associated with economic expansions rather than recessions.”

    Finally, don’t rest on one’s laurels. There always is more to do. Even nations which have implemented serious reform programs, like the Baltic States, could make further improvements.

    As far as I can tell, none of the core EU states (and certainly none of the PIIGS) has tried this approach since the 2008 recession hit. They keep trying Neo-Keynesian pump-priming and deficit spending to keep both the Euro and their unsustainable welfare state afloat, and they keep experiencing endless recession. Their fake austerity comes in slightly reducing the amount of their deficit spending enough to pretend they’re in compliance to keep the bailouts coming. Ireland hasn’t practiced real austerity. Neither has Portugal, Spain, or Italy (though Italy has come closest).

    The shell game of bailouts and fake austerity will continue as long as the Eurocrats can keep getting away with it.

    LinkSwarm for March 14, 2013

    Thursday, March 14th, 2013

    This week we’ll do it Thursday rather than Friday:

  • Obama is trying to work the same magic on America’s economy that a half century of Democratic rule has worked in Detroit. More details here.
  • And Detroit’s former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is going to prison.
  • Since 2002, total federal spending has increased 89% while median household income has dropped 5%.
  • In Iran, 5 of top 10 porn search terms are for gay porn (no nudity, but NSFW-ish terms, and the usual warning that it’s (ick) Gawker).
  • Thanks to ObamaCare, your veterinarian bills are going up as well as your medical bills.
  • Thomas Friedman hates the Keystone pipeline because the oil is dirty, but love China, where industry is a thousand time dirtier than here in the U.S. And where will that oil go if the pipeline isn’t built? China. Maybe Friedman just wants all the jobs to be in China. That, or actual checks from the Chinese government or their business subsidiaries, would explain an awful lot of Friedman’s writing over the last few years…
  • “Most developed nations are fundamentally broke.”

    The degrees of broke-ness varies: from completely and utterly broke, like Greece or Italy; to wobbly, like the U.K., France, the U.S., or Japan; to getting poorer like Germany. But all of them are going to have to raise the percentage of gross domestic product they collect in tax — and many of them very significantly.

    The U.S. deficit is more than 7% of GDP. The U.K.’s deficit is just as high. There is very little sign that spending cuts to close gaps of that magnitude are on the cards, nor is there any sign that growth will be sufficiently strong to make up the difference — certainly not in countries like the U.K. or Japan.

    Huge sums of additional revenue will have to be raised.

    Willie Sutton once famously remarked that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”

    In the same way, governments will look to raise more tax from companies because that’s where the money is.

    Or they could, you know, actually cut spending…

  • I’ve not been following the Prenda Law case closely. Fortunately, Ken over at Popehat has. Exceptionally brief background: Scumbag copyright troll lawyers operate shakedown operation, filing dubious (at best) copyright infringement lawsuits. Then they compounded the problem by suing bloggers and lawyers in an attempt to silence them. As you might expect, that strategy isn’t working out very well for them… (Hat tip: Dwight)
  • Florida Democrats want mandatory anger management classes for people buying ammo.
  • From Popcap Games, the makers of Plants vs. Zombies, comes Trees vs. Rockets. Wait, did I say Popcap Games? I meant the Israeli Defense Forces.
  • White House journalists as Ring-Wraiths.
  • Third round of Climategate documents released?
  • Michael Totten says that Lebanon is ready to explode from the spillover effect of the Syrian Civil War.
  • News of the horrific 5-year old terrorist who brandished her fearsome Hello Kitty assault bubble gun (link fixed).
  • Texas vs. California: First 2013 Roundup

    Friday, January 4th, 2013

    Judging from the Fiscal Cliff votes, the United States appears to be eager to follow in the footsteps of Greece and California, rushing to unsustainable spending, crushing debt loads and inevitable bankruptcy, rather than following the lead of Texas and the Red State model of debt-free limited government and free enterprise. So let’s see where the two states are, shall we?

  • Via Reason comes a link to the website Pension Tsunami, which contains much of interest for those charting California’s decline.
  • One method California cities are using to continue funding their heroin outrageous pension spending habit is issuing Pension Obligation Bonds, where they sell bonds to pay for pension obligations and then invest them. Indeed, some that got burned by the tactic in the 1990s (like Oakland) are trying again. “Bonds issued in 1997 were, on average, underwater in 2007, even before the stock market crash…’That’s like a compulsive gambler telling you that he has to bet it all on red to make up for his past losses.’”
  • Bankruptcy is the best bet most cities have for getting out of their crushing health and retirement obligations to public workers….Government employee compensation, mostly for health and retirement, is at the heart of nearly all the current and looming municipal bankruptcies across the country.”
  • Federal judge to Calpers: No, you can’t rewrite bankruptcy laws to save outrageous union pensions. Not yours.
  • California: Pensions or Police? Pick one.
  • Stockton attempts to pull a Chrysler, attempting to screw its bondholders in a bid to leave outrageous union pensions untouched.
  • While California wonders how to fill it’s perpetual budget shortfall, Texas debates what to do with its surplus.
  • Over at TPPF, Chuck Devore wonders why Californians don’t stage a tax revolt. “In the meantime, Texas will be more than happy to receive into its welcoming arms people who want to work hard, invest, and create jobs.”
  • Want a glimpse of California’s future? Spain is running out of pension fund to raid.
  • Dave Barry’s 2012 Year End Roundup

    Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

    Just in case you hadn’t seen it before, here’s Dave Barry’s 2012 year-end roundup, to spread some light and cheer in a very dismal year.

    In Europe, the economic crisis continues to worsen as the government of Greece, desperate for revenue, is forced to lease the Parthenon to Hooters. Meanwhile Moody’s Investors Service officially downgrades the credit rating of Spain to “putrid” after an audit reveals that the national treasury consists entirely of Groupons.

    Abroad, a closely watched attempt by North Korea to test a long-range rocket capable of carrying a nuclear warhead ends in an embarrassing failure when, moments before the scheduled launch, the rocket is eaten by North Korean citizens.

    In finance, Moody’s downgrades Spain’s credit rating from “putrid” to “rancid” when the Spanish government, attempting to write a check, is unable to produce a valid photo ID. Meanwhile the Greek parliament, meeting in an emergency session on the worsening economic crisis, votes to give heroin a try.

    Voters in the French presidential election, rejecting the austerity program of incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, choose, as their new leader, Charlie Sheen. In other European economic crisis news, Greece, seeing a way out of its financial woes, invests all of its remaining money in the initial public offering of Facebook stock, which immediately drops faster than Snooki’s underpants.

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, having dealt with all of the city’s other concerns – disaster preparation, for example – turns his attention to the lone remaining problem facing New Yorkers: soft drinks. For far too long, these uncontrolled beverages have roamed the city in vicious large-container packs, forcing innocent people to drink them and become obese. Mayor Bloomberg’s plan would prohibit the sale of soft drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, thereby making it impossible to consume larger quantities, unless of course somebody bought two containers, but the mayor is confident that nobody except him would ever be smart enough to think of that.

    Tensions continue to rise in the Middle East when Iran unveils a new surface-to-surface ballistic missile named “Conqueror,” which, according to an Iranian spokesman, will be used for “agriculture.” Elsewhere in the troubled region, an unmanned Predator drone hacks Waziristan’s Twitter account and posts pictures of itself naked.

    In the European economic crisis, an increasingly desperate Greece offers to have sex with Germany.

    In labor news, Chicago teachers go on strike over controversial proposed contract changes that would allow the school board to terminate teachers who have passed away.

    I don’t even need to tell you to read the whole thing, do I?