Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

LinkSwarm for December 14, 2018

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Welcome to another Friday LinkSwarm! Austin just had a wind storm, to top off a year of weird weather.

  • Apple to spend $1 billion on Austin campus. This is going to be a couple of miles from my house. Expect more detailed examination in a latter post.
  • This Andrew Sullivan piece is half-useful for it’s look at Social Justice Warrioring as a religious substitute:

    For many, especially the young, discovering a new meaning in the midst of the fallen world is thrilling. And social-justice ideology does everything a religion should. It offers an account of the whole: that human life and society and any kind of truth must be seen entirely as a function of social power structures, in which various groups have spent all of human existence oppressing other groups. And it provides a set of practices to resist and reverse this interlocking web of oppression — from regulating the workplace and policing the classroom to checking your own sin and even seeking to control language itself. I think of non-PC gaffes as the equivalent of old swear words. Like the puritans who were agape when someone said “goddamn,” the new faithful are scandalized when someone says something “problematic.” Another commonality of the zealot then and now: humorlessness.

    And so the young adherents of the Great Awokening exhibit the zeal of the Great Awakening. Like early modern Christians, they punish heresy by banishing sinners from society or coercing them to public demonstrations of shame, and provide an avenue for redemption in the form of a thorough public confession of sin. “Social justice” theory requires the admission of white privilege in ways that are strikingly like the admission of original sin. A Christian is born again; an activist gets woke. To the belief in human progress unfolding through history — itself a remnant of Christian eschatology — it adds the Leninist twist of a cadre of heroes who jump-start the revolution.

    Unfortunately, the second half is just Christian-concern-trolling as a way to bash Trump. Pace-Sullivan, there’s nothing new in his critique that couldn’t also be applied, to say, the “prosperity gospel” movement of the 1980s on, and it all boils down to “Those stupid Christians voted for Trump rather than the positions we enlightened betters believe in.”

  • “Census confirms: 63 percent of ‘non-citizens’ on welfare, 4.6 million households.” The ideal number there should be “zero.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Incoming New York Democratic attorney general vows to get Trump and his little dog Toto, too.
  • “Mexican National Sentenced to 8 Years for Trafficking Girls into U.S., Forcing Them into Prostitution.”
  • ICE workplace arrests up 700% in President Donald Trump’s first full fiscal year.
  • Think the Paris riots are bad? Just think what would happen if the biggest climate alarmists got their way:

    If Paris streets burned over a proposed 25 cents per gallon climate change tax, imagine the global conflagration over a $49 per gallon tax.

    That’s what a United Nations special climate report calls for in 12 years, with a carbon tax of $5,500 per ton—equal to $49 per gallon of gasoline or diesel. That’s about 100 times today’s average state and federal motor fuels tax.

    By 2100, the U.N. estimates that a carbon tax of $27,000 per ton is needed—$240 per gallon—to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

    Of course, that isn’t going to happen. The economic wreckage of such a punitive tax would plunge the global economy into a permanent depression—and that’s assuming politicians could enact such huge tax increases over the will of their voters.

    Keep in mind that the unrest in France was triggered by a looming 25-cent hike, which is a little less than 10% more in taxes than French drivers already pay. To meet the $49 per gallon tax hike recommended by the U.N., fuel taxes in France would have to go up 17-fold.

  • “When you said, ‘Paris is going to be so hot,’ I did not realise it would actually be on fire…’Eye-watering opportunities’ did not, in my mind, involve tear gas.”
  • The weirdness of the Huawei story.
  • How corrupt is the Chicago Way? A college student running against Democratic Party boss Michael J. Madigan’s hand=picked alderman Marty Quinn found out:

    To get on the ballot, Krupa was required to file 473 valid signatures of ward residents with the Chicago Board of Elections. Krupa filed 1,703 signatures.

    But before he filed his signatures with the elections board, an amazing thing happened along the Chicago Way.

    An organized crew of political workers — or maybe just civic-minded individuals who care about reform — went door to door with official legal papers. They asked residents to sign an affidavit revoking their signature on Krupa’s petition.

    Revocations are serious legal documents, signed and notarized. Lying on a legal document is a felony and can lead to a charge of perjury. If you’re convicted of perjury, you may not work for a government agency. And I know that there are many in the 13th Ward on the government payroll.

    More than 2,700 revocations were turned over to the elections board to cancel the signatures on Krupa’s petitions. Chicago Board of Elections officials had never seen such a massive pile of revocations.

  • Mark Steyn: “If you’re having trouble keeping track, the French protests, Trump, Brexit, the Austrian and Italian elections, and the sudden cancellation of the ‘Murphy Brown’ reboot are all the work of Russian bots. Whereas the Tijuana caravan, the UK grooming gangs and that rental car heading toward you on the sidewalk outside the Berlin Christmas market are the authentic vox populi.” Plus some Max Boot bashing, which is now a year-round pursuit. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • 1. Google gets accused of anticompetative practices. 2. Google donates money to the American Enterprise Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. 3. Same think tanks write pieces defending Google. 4. Google boosts those studies in its search results. It’s like the human centipede of political policy studies…
  • Another drawing Mohammed death.
  • Boy Scouts file for bankruptcy. Get woke, go broke.
  • Texas constitutional carry bill introduced.
  • Nike: It’s fine to insult patriotic Americans by kneeling at NFL games, but criticize Islamist scumbag Recep Tayyip Erdogan? That’s not allowed.
  • Janitor in Greece is facing a decade in prison after 18 years on the job for lying about the years of primary school she completed.
  • Keith Richards gives up drinking. And I saw seven angels blowing seven trumpets… (Hat tip: Iowahawk.)
  • Scott Adams nails it:

  • Brexit Is Served

    Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

    The UK has officially invoked Article 50, kicking off the official 2-year Brexit countdown:

    Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday sent formal notice of the country’s intention to withdraw from the European Union, starting a tortuous two-year divorce littered with pitfalls for both sides.

    Speaking in Parliament, Mrs. May said she was invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, putting Britain on track to leave the European Union in 2019 and raising a host of thorny issues involved in untangling a four-decade relationship.

    In addition to a welter of trade and customs matters, the Conservative government faces the prospect of a new independence referendum in Scotland, where a majority voted to remain in the European Union, and deep worries about the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland.

    Just before 12:30 p.m., Britain’s top envoy to the European Union, Tim Barrow, walked to the office of Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, and handed him a letter with the official notification. Mr. Tusk then posted on Twitter acknowledging receipt of the letter.

    This is filing the divorce papers on your wife after she’d already been moved out and shacked up with a bongo player for six months. Even Labour is talking about devolution of power to Scotland and Wales rather than trying to derail Brexit.

    Text of Article 50 here, and here are the Brexit negotiators for both the UK and EU.

    The UK was the first, but won’t be the last, as the EU’s democracy deficit, the economic distortions and stresses engendered by the Euro, and the disasterous effect of unassimilated Islamic immigration have Euroskeptic parties gaining in the polls and other countries eyeing an exit. Betting odds currently have Greece, Italy and France as the countries most likely to leave the EU. Greece leaving would probably be a relief to the rest of the EU, whereas a French exit would likely end the EU entirely.

    8 Parcel Bombs Intercepted in Greece

    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

    Here’s a story that seems to have largely flown below the media’s radar: eight parcel bombs intercepted in Greece:

    ATHENS — Greek counterterrorism officers have uncovered eight parcel bombs resembling those sent last week to the German finance minister in Berlin and to the Paris offices of the International Monetary Fund, a police official said on Tuesday.

    The devices were discovered on Monday during a search of the Hellenic Post’s main sorting office, north of Athens, according to a police spokesman, Theodoros Chronopoulos. “The packages were destined for European countries,” he said, calling them “similar” to the ones sent to the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, and to the I.M.F.’s offices.

    According to reports in the Greek news media, which Mr. Chronopoulos did not confirm, the packages intercepted at the Athens sorting office were addressed to European Union officials and to multinational companies. The targets reportedly included the leader of the eurozone group of finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who coordinates meetings on Greek bailout talks, and an unidentified official of the European Central Bank, one of Greece’s three main international creditors.

    The Paris bomb injured a worker, but none of the bombs have caused fatalities.

    As tempting as it is to pin any bombing jihadists, the targets suggest this was a bombing campaign carried out by the radical Greek left in advance of the Greek debt farce playing out again this summer. “A fresh crisis over Greek debt could be triggered as soon as in July when Greece is due to repay some 7bn euros to its creditors – money the country cannot pay without a fresh injection of bailout cash.”

    I would say “stay tuned,” but I think we all know exactly how the current round of the farce will play out this summer…

    Yazidis That Fled to Greece Still Being Attacked by Muslims

    Thursday, August 11th, 2016

    Remember the Yazidi, the ethnic/religious minority that the Islamic State tried to wipe off the face of the earth?

    It turns out that Muslims are still attacking them in European refugee camps:

    “One hundred and thirty Yazidis arrived to Petra just last night from Cherso camp. Muslims were attacking them.”

    Petra is the only refugee camp in Greece exclusively for Yazidis, a religious minority in Iraq who have suffered brutal treatment at the hands of ISIS. After the borders closed in March, about 3,500 Yazidis were trapped in Greece. Petra was created around that time to house about 800 Yazidis who were being harassed by some Muslim refugees in Idomeni, on the Greece-Macedonia border.

    But because of ongoing situations like the one at Cherso, its numbers have swelled to almost double that amount.

    Snip.

    Ezidi updates me on recent incidents in various camps where Yazidis have been harassed by Muslims.

    Besides the refugees from Cherso, they are very worried about a group of 200 Yazidis in Katsika camp. “I talked with an old man. He was crying and begging for help.” Ezidi says the man told her the harassment was so bad that the Yazidis where afraid to go to the area where they could charge their phones. It was also dangerous for them to go to the bathroom. Several Yazidis at both camps were punched or attacked at knife point.

    The Yazidis at Katsika eventually left the camp on their own with no clear destination. More recently, another group of Yazidis left Nea Kavala camp because they felt unsafe. Yazidis have been attacked in the detention center on Leros island, as well.

    It’s difficult to get comprehensive data on violence against Yazidis in Greece. “We are aware of what Yazidis have been through and that they are subject to harsh forms of persecution,” a UNHCR spokesperson told me. “If and when we are approached, we try to be of help.” But UNHCR doesn’t keep stats on refugees by religious group and the group doesn’t monitor Yazidis specifically. I was able to confirm the incidents at Cherso, Katsika and Nea Kavala with the UNHCR — but it’s generally the network of Yazidi refugees and activists inside and outside of Greece who have the most up-to-date information.

    “We get calls daily from Yazidis at other camps asking for help,” Ezidi says.

    The Yazidi are real refugees, and had the current wave of “refugees” flooding Europe been of their ilk, very little opposition would have arisen. But given that a disproportionate number of the so-called refugees are young men of military age, and which contain a strong Islamist component, that’s obviously not the case.

    “Greece, EU/IMF lenders resume talks over bailout reforms”

    Monday, April 25th, 2016

    That’s an actual headline today. I throw in “today” because that same headline could have been run just about any time over the past five years, because Greece is endlessly willing to talk as long as they keep getting bailout money.

    The one thing they have proven absolutely unwilling to do is actually implement reforms, at least any reforms that would involve the government spending less money than it takes in. Instead they’ll ask for more debt write-downs, write-offs and haircuts for lenders rather than stop spending other people’s money.

    And I could have written the preceding paragraph any time over the last five years or so as well…

    LinkSwarm for February 8, 2016

    Monday, February 8th, 2016

    I emptied the link bucket on Friday, but lo and behold, a whole new torrent of news has come rushing down the pipes:

  • You know all that “Ted Cruz is too unpopular to win” talk? Cruz is killing it with blue collar voters:

    According to entrance polling, among the roughly half of all Republican voters without a college degree, Cruz won 30 percent of the vote, eclipsing Trump’s 28 percent. Marco Rubio was a distant third, winning the support of just 17 percent of voters without college degrees. Cruz did 5 points better among voters without college degrees than among college grads (30 percent to 25 percent), while, among all candidates included in the entrance polling (Cruz, Trump, Rubio, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders), Rubio was the candidate who had the lowest portion of his support come from those without college degrees—he did 10 points worse among voters without college degrees than among college grads (17 to 27 percent).

    According to the entrance polling, Cruz also fared better than Trump or Rubio among younger voters. Among voters under the age of 30, Cruz won 26 percent of the vote to Rubio’s 23 percent and Trump’s 20 percent. Among voters in their 30s and early 40s, Cruz won 30 percent of the vote to Trump’s 23 percent and Rubio’s 21 percent. (Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton got clobbered among younger voters, winning less than 30 percent of the vote among those under the age of 45.)

  • “A couple of days ago on the ONT we were reminded that Ted Cruz is only five months older than Marco Rubio. That’s one month for every case he’s won before the Supreme Court. So don’t let anyone tell you Cruz has no accomplishments.”
  • Five New Hampshire state reps who backed Rand Paul are now supporting Cruz.
  • Des Moines Register: “What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy.”
  • At least one Iowa delegate was unilaterally changed from Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton.
  • Hillary Clinton’s minions push polling Democrats in Nevada.
  • Hillary is bad at faking sincerity.
  • Gee, look how tremendously unpopular the name “Hillary” became after 1992.
  • “Marco Rubio Is Diminished by a Caustic Chris Christie.”
  • If you’re an Iraqi “refugee” who hasn’t had sex in months, do you: A.) Hire a prostitute, B.) Wank to porn, or C.) Rape a 10 year old boy in a public pool?
  • Meanwhile, in Belgium, seven men (including five “migrants”) danced and sang in Arabic as the took turns raping an unconscious 17 year old girl.
  • UK Muslim rape gang sentenced to collective 140 years in prison for raping a schoolgirl.
  • “In the Safe Spaces on Campus, No Jews Allowed.”
  • Obama Administration reinstates “catch and release” for illegal aliens. (Hat tip: Doug Ross.)
  • First confirmed case of Zika virus in Travis County. It’s funny how, just as with Enterovirus D-68, novel pathogens have a habit of showing up just when illegal alien populations do…
  • The effects of immigration on unemployment: “None of the net gain in employment over the entire 14-year period went to natives.”
  • The world’s most miserable economies: Socialist paradise Venezuela ranks first (which is to say last), followed by Argentina, South Africa, Greece and Ukraine. (Hat tip: NRO’s The Corner.)
  • Welfare mom complains about the free food and room service. (Hat tip: Doug Ross.)
  • Cherokee artist arrested for not being a real Cherokee artist. I look forward to the coming felony indictment of Elizabeth Warren…
  • For fans of the art of newspaper headline writing: “Former London Zoo meerkat expert fined for glassing monkey-handler in row over llama-keeper.”
  • Downside to Bankrupting Your Nation?

    Monday, November 30th, 2015

    So go ahead, bankrupt your nation to keep your failing welfare state afloat a little longer! What’s the worst that could happen?

    Well, how about turning your daughters into prostitutes to survive?

    Young Greek women are selling sex for the price of a sandwich as six years of painful austerity* have pushed the European country to the financial brink, a new study showed Friday.

    The study, which compiled data on more than 17,000 sex workers operating in Greece, found that Greek women now dominate the country’s prostitution industry, replacing Eastern European women, and that the sex on sale in Greece is some of the cheapest on offer in Europe.

    “Some women just do it for a cheese pie, or a sandwich they need to eat because they are hungry,” Gregory Laxos, a sociology professor at the Panteion University in Athens, told the London Times newspaper. “Others [do it] to pay taxes, bills, for urgent expenses or a quick [drug] fix.”

    Correction: It wasn’t “six years of painful austerity” that brought hem to this pass, it was six years of avoiding painful austerity, and refusing to cut government outlays until they matched receipts, that turned all of Greece into Whore Island.

    (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)

    This Week in Jihad Part 2

    Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

    More links from the big bucket of Jihad news:

  • Obama’s Pentagon: We’re winning the war against the Islamic State! Whistleblowers: That’s because you’re cooking the books.
  • Scenes from the Pretend War: Obama blocks 75% of airstrikes against the Islamic State. Forget dying for a mistake, Obama is willing to risk American lives for a sham war he has no intention of winning.
  • Greeks say that it’s virtually impossible to screen terrorists out among incoming “refugees.”
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali says that feminists are focused on “trivial bullshit” rather than fighting real threats to women like radical Islam.
  • Third Paris stadium jihadist identified as a “refugee” who came through Greece.
  • Syrian refugees: neither Syrians nor refugees. Discuss…
  • Obama’s approach to the Islamic State is entirely too wimpy for that noted right-wing troglodyte war-monger Dianne Feinstein.
  • MSNBC’s poster boy for how horrible the no-fly list has been arrested in Turkey for being part of an Islamic State cell. It’s almost as though the liberal media have been lying to us about Islam being a religion of peace…
  • Must be frustrating for the Islamic State to repeatedly detail the Koranic justifications for their actions, only for liberals to go: “No, this has nothing to do with religion. You guys are just using religion as a front for social and geopolitical reasons.”
  • Larry Correia doesn’t foresee a happy ending:

    Europe has been following the liberal, progressive, pseudo-socialist path a lot longer than we have. Instead of doing little things that make sense all along, they’ll let the problem get really big and stupid, and then it is guillotines, gulags, and cattle cars. There’s a lot of really pissed off Europeans right now, and over the centuries we’ve got plenty of examples of what masses of pissed off Europeans do when pushed.

  • And the Eternal Greek Farce Starts Up Again

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

    Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that just two (or is it three, this past summer is one big blur) months after Greece voted through its third bailout, one which will raise its debt/GDP to over 200% on a fleeting promise that someone, somewhere just may grant Greece a debt extension (which will do absolutely nothing about the nominal amount of debt), its creditors have already grown tired with the game and are refusing to pay the next Greek loan tranche of €2 billion.

    Specifically, the payment of the first €2b tranche of €3b is now sait[sic] to be delayed because Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to implement reforms on schedule, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports, citing unidentified senior EU official.

    And evidently one of the latest sticking points is that Tsipras wants to prop up deadbeat home loans for houses worth as much as $331,185.

    Greece edges close to default. Greece’s creditors demand reform. Greece agrees to reforms at last minute. Greece gets bailout. Greece fails to implement reforms.

    Rinse. Repeat.

    Portugal Decides EU Mandates Trump Democracy

    Monday, October 26th, 2015

    Portugal has decided that EU economic mandates trump that pesky Democracy:

    Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EU-IMF Troika.

    He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.

    I’m not entirely unsympathetic to Silva’s plight. As in Greece, the anti-austerity movement is an economically illiterate coalition of looters who insist that the welfare state gravy train can never come to an end, ever, even when the country is dead broke. (Though note that author Ambrose Evans-Pritchard never once mentions “welfare state” in his piece.) Remember that Portugal has never practiced real austerity (cutting budget outlays to match receipts), never once having balanced its budget in the last decade. And if the commies (who are, thankfully, only a minority coalition partner) had actually promised to set up a dictatorship of the proletariat, I’d be cheering Silva’s intransigence.

    But Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. If Portugal thinks they can take cues from Greece’s anti-austerity tantrum and somehow not get slapped down just as hard, let them try. And in fact the leftwing’s coalition’s promises “to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro” are entirely rational and in Portugal’s self-interest.

    The EU has always been an explicitly antidemocratic union, one designed to prevent mere voters from overruling their bureaucratic betters. The fact that this time they’re opposed by idiots who think they can keep voting themselves goodies from other people’s wallets doesn’t change the problem of the EU’s deficit of democracy.

    Two of modern Europe’s central foundations (a monetary union and a cradle-to-grave welfare state) are not only unsustainable, they are incompatible with each other, and corrosive to both stability and democracy. And the EU leaders have no idea what to do about it.