“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Greeks Should Tell the Germans and the French, "No, No, No!"

Eurozone's ultimatum to Greece: put up or get out

France and Germany insist referendum must be held within six weeks, as Greeks told that all EU financial aid will be cut off unless they vote 'yes'

France and Germany gave Athens a stark warning last night: we will switch off your financial life-support machine unless Greek voters decide to stay in the euro within six weeks.

The Greek government was reported to be scrambling to accommodate this ultimatum. Sources in Athens said that the planned referendum on the eurozone bailout, which stunned European capitals earlier this week, would now take place in mid-December, not the new year.

The sources also claimed that the referendum question would be phrased in broad or cataclysmic terms. Greeks would not be asked whether they approved the terms of the EU and IMF bailout package negotiated in Brussels last week. They would be asked, Yes or No, whether they wanted to stay in the European Union and the euro. But, adding to the sense of chaos surrounding the latest crisis, that suggestion was contradicted by a government spokesman, Angelos Tolkas, who said: "No, this will not be the issue. It will be the bailout plan." The wording of the referendum question would be crucial to the outcome of the vote: polls indicate that most Greeks are hostile to the terms of the deal but also want to stay in the euro.
It was the eurozone question that the French and German leaders were expected to put to the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, in emergency talks over dinner ahead of the G20 summit in Cannes last night.

French sources said if Greece delays the referendum or if Greeks vote against the terms of the bailout, the EU and the IMF will refuse to hand over the next €8bn (£7bn) instalment of the aid that has been propping up Greek state spending. The effect would be to plunge Greece into default and force it to leave the eurozone.

This is a calamity that President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel have fought to avoid for almost two years. They now believe that a Greek "train crash" is preferable to a prolonged period of market uncertainty that could increase speculation against Italian and French debt, destroy the euro and plunge the world into a recession.

The French Prime Minister Fran├žois Fillon told his parliament yesterday: "Europe cannot be kept waiting for weeks for the outcome of the referendum. The Greeks must say quickly and without ambiguity whether they choose to keep their place in the eurozone or not."

French and German officials said that Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel would be demanding two things at last night's crisis talks with Mr Papandreou. First, his promise of a referendum, which took the whole of Europe by surprise on Monday night, must be organised by mid-December. Second, the phrasing of the referendum vote must make clear that it is not a matter of improving the terms of the deal, but of defaulting on the national debt. Reports from Athens that Mr Papandreou had been authorised by his cabinet to concede both demands appeared less clear-cut after the spokesman's denial. Mr Papandreou did gain some authority earlier yesterday when, after a six-hour meeting that wrapped up at 3am, his cabinet decided unanimously to back his plans for a referendum, even though its own party has shown scant appetite for the proposal. But it was reported that several ministers voiced their opposition to the decision.
The parliamentary debate in Athens on the confidence motion began yesterday afternoon amid open hostility to the plan from the media and many politicians.

The Conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras said Mr Papandreou had "put the country in the centre of a global storm". On its front page, the left-leaning newspaper Eleftherotypia described the Prime Minister as "the Lord of Chaos". Mr Papandreou's hopes of prevailing in the confidence vote hang by a thread. With the nominal support of 152 of 300 seats, it would take only a small rebellion to thwart his plans and force elections.

The minds of Greek legislators were concentrated by the news that the EU and IMF may hold back €8bn of aid due to be paid to Greece this month. Brussels believes that Greece has enough funds to struggle on until December. An EU official told Reuters: "The sooner Greece holds the referendum, the sooner the sixth tranche will be paid. But right now, it isn't going to be paid."

Opposition fury over Greek army chiefs' sacking
Greek opposition leaders reacted with outrage yesterday to the sacking of the country's military chiefs, calling it a bid to stack the armed forces with party loyalists before a possible government collapse over Greece's debt crisis.
Late on Tuesday, the socialist government replaced the heads of the army, navy and air force and the leader of the joint chiefs-of-staff. Officials said the move was planned long ago and unrelated to political turmoil. But the main opposition, the conservative New Democracy party, said: "We won't accept this decision."

Greek governments have kept a tight rein on the armed forces since a seven-year military junta collapsed in 1974. Army chiefs are often selected on the basis of their party loyalty. The outgoing military leadership was appointed in August 2009 by the previous conservative administration, just before national elections were called. REUTERS


  1. Nicolas Sarkozy could not wait to start bombing the Libyans because they were not getting their democratic rights. It was a pair of French fighter aircraft along with a US hellfire missile that got Gaddafi, all to protect democracy in the Arab world.

    Now we have a working example of the democratic process and the Germans and French want to crush the decision of the Greek people. I will remind everyone that it was the Fascists, first with the incompetent Italians and then the Germans who attacked Greece in WWll , an attack that ended with 300,000 Greek deaths.

    The video with Nigel Farage is right on the mark today as Maggie Thatcher was when the British Labor party wanted to drag the UK into the Euro a generation ago.

    Let the big banks take it in the shorts and break them into rubble that can be used to form new healthy and smaller local banks who should focus on their local communities and countries.

    I hope the Greeks show courage and send the Germans and French packing.

  2. REYKJAVIK: Iceland hiked its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point on Wednesday to 4.75 percent in a bid to rein in inflation as the economy continues its steady recovery from the global financial crisis.

    "Recent data and the central bank forecast published today ... confirm that Iceland's economic recovery continues, despite weakening global growth and increased uncertainty," Sedlabanki said in a statement.

    The increase was only the second since October 2008, when the rate sky-rocketed from 12 to 18 percent as the country's economy and banking system collapsed after US investment giant Lehman Brothers imploded.

    Iceland was particularly hard hit by the financial crisis, with its three major banks becoming insolvent within a matter of weeks and it was forced to seek a $2.25 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

    Since then, the North Atlantic island nation has struggled to return to growth but the central bank felt confident enough to raise rates for the first time since the crisis in August, also by a quarter of a point.

    Sedlabanki, whose rate hike comes as many developed countries are slashing borrowing costs, said the "ominous global economic outlook has not as yet made a significant impact on the domestic economy.

    "Output is expected to grow slightly faster in 2011 and 2012 than was forecast in August, and inflation is projected to be somewhat lower in coming quarters as a result of a stronger krona and lower imported inflation," the bank explained.

  3. There is life after the death of big zombie banks.

  4. Countries, almost invariably, go bankrupt because their currency was held artificially "Strong" for too long. That, unfortunately, is the situation Greece is in.

  5. The fact is Greece is being kept alive to help preserve the myth of bank solvency. The banks are insolvent. The money is already lost. The bankers lost the money. The money that they lost was not theirs to lose but they did. The politicians allowed that to happen and probably made it happen with their own criminal stupidity. Take the loss now and Greece as a nation state will be better off in a few short years.

  6. All I can say is, while we're being all high and mighty, we might want to be careful what we pray for.

    Our currency, also, has been held a little too strong by our Chinese trading partners. We're, probably, not in the same shape as Greece, Italy, and Portugal, but we ain't Germany, either.

  7. The perverse thing is, if the Euro folds, the Deutschmark will, probably jump immediately to $2.00, or somesuch, causing an immediate hard crunch on Germany's Export Business, and thus "their" economy.

    No one will come out unscathed.

  8. If all of our banks don't "go bust" in the first round (by some miracle) we "could" come out winner on the deal. We'll become much more competitive against Germany in the Global Market, and with Germany's currency strengthening, China might not be so loathe to let their currency rise a bit.

    Or, we might all go into Worldwide Depression II. :)

    you pays your money; you takes your chances. :0

  9. Sarkozy-Merkel's strategy is very, very dangerous.

    I suspect the Greeks will not meekly surrender.
    Better a Greece headed by the Colonels than a Greece headed by Franco-German gauleiters.

    The clear bullyboy tactics of Sarkozy-Merkel will bring the whole misbegotten Eurozone experiment down around their heads, and France, in particular, will pay a truly terrible price for its arrogance.Being dogmatic with Greece will not help the situation it will make things worse.

    The appalling display of arrogance by Sarkozy is enough to make the whole of the EU request the referendums they never had.

    This is a shrewd move by the Greek PM, a very shrewd move, but one hell of a gamble. If the Greek populous rejects the terms of the bailout then the ball is well and truly back in the EU court. They have a big problem if they refuse to fund Greece and both France and Germany knows this.

    For evidence of survival after bankruptcy all you have to do is look to little Iceland. They survived by going back to basics, as a result their little economy is improving now. They abandoned the ponzi scheme.

    Without Mr Papandreou leadership, the Greeks and the EU would not have got this far, if he is calling for a referendum there will be a good reason.

    This also shows the dangers of governments railroading their populations into agreements that they do not have a mandate for because when crunch time comes people will say, what is the basis for these agreements ?

    This is why it was very unwise for the EU governments not seek to have mandates from people for the constitutional changes and decisions they are taking.

    The end game is getting very close my friends, very close.

  10. I too hope greece does an "iceland"..the banks need to fail-thats capitalism banks can go out of is socialism when zombie banks are recapitalized WTF all the hedge fund casino operations credit default swapping ponzi scheme mother fuckers to big to fail centralized banking noboddy goes to jail massive fraud can go up in smoke! The EU is the suprapnationalist wet dream of heavy-metal bagpiping mutant maggot eggs; hairy-livered little fairy fops
    and billions in toxic debt with it -small depositors have power leave enmass and force change -go to local community banking.

  11. Re: The Assman Cometh:

    I thought it was Romney and it turns out to be that slimy Perry. Herman the Hiney tapper is not looking good and Romney has convinced the yankees in New Hampshire to vote in early January.

    Here is a political party that you really want to get behind? Christ, maybe it will be Gingrich. Or Trump.

  12. This morning’s big news is that the Greek prime minister’s plan for an in-or-out referendum on Greece’s membership of the euro has been openly challenged by his own finance minister and deputy PM, Evangelos Venizelos. In a written statement after he arrived back in Athens after last night’s crunch talks in Cannes with other eurozone leaders, Venizelos said: , Mr Venizelos said:

    “Greece’s position within the euro area is a historic conquest of the country that cannot be put in doubt … If we want to protect the country we must, under conditions of national unity and political seriousness and consensus, implement without any delay the decision of [the EU summit of] October 26. Now, as soon as possible … Internal political balances and the future of individuals and political parties of this country is not what matters. What matters is to save and recover the country through the only doable process which is included in the decision of October 26.”

  13. It isn't just the banks that will take it in the shorts. I just read this morning that Italy has half a million people under 50, retired with full pensions. They will average about 40 years retired

  14. They're trying to steamroll him. I hope he wins. Damn, I love Democracy.

  15. I was tickled to death to see the tea party take hold (even though, I disagree with a lot of their "policies,") and I get a kick out of the angst that the OWS is causing Wall Street, and the Banksters (again, in spite of the fact that they are, largely, slimey, unwashed commies/idiot.)

    I love anything that "afflicts the comfortable."

    I guess it's just the hillbilly in me. :)

  16. Now, if they'll just track down who stole (and, who approved the stealing of) the money at MF Global, and throw the dirty sonsabitches in jail it will do more for the country than anything Congress could do in the next Millenium.

  17. In Rufus-land it's just called, "Gettin' even." :)

  18. Deuce: Nicolas Sarkozy could not wait to start bombing the Libyans because they were not getting their democratic rights.

    Sure, that's what it was.

    French company Total said Monday that it resumed production on Sept. 23 in partnership with Libya's state-run oil company . . .

  19. "Gettin' even" is a wonderful, and smile-inducing event in Rufie-land. :)

  20. Rufus: I get a kick out of the angst that the OWS is causing Wall Street...

    Yeah, real big kicks all around. You've heard of Gettysburg re-enactments? This is a 1960s re-enactment.

    '...protesters with cloth wrapped around their faces to protect them from the stench of the gas marched through the area chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets." Some marchers wore gas masks. Glass covered streets and sidewalks from windows of area businesses that were shattered...'

  21. :)

    Yeah, taken "individually," the OWS'ers aren't your perfect citizens; but, hell, they're doing a tough job that we don't have the time, or will (or youth) to do.

    Collectively, they're raising hell with the power structure at a time that the "power structure" needs to be a little "hell-raised."

    If some crooked-assed insurance company has to pay for a broken window I can live with it. As long as they don't start hurting people they've got "my vote." :)

  22. I've always been an "Anarchist" at heart. :)

    Course, we jest called it "Raising Hell."

  23. :) Makes me want to go out and buy a Shelby. :)

  24. Okay, Non-Manufacturing ISM 52.9.

    Above water. At this moment it looks like we're skimming along right above the trees.

    But, the "consumer comfort" index dropped some more. All the way down to - 53.2. That's just right above "suicide watch."

    I'm looking for the "Part-time for Economic Reasons" section in the Employment report, tomorrow.

    The latest month's tranche of economic statistics are just too far out of line with the consumer confidence surveys to make a lot of sense. All I can figure is they might be getting skewed by "increased employment, albeit "part-time."

  25. The Occupying Forces have thrown a wrench in the works, by not focusing upon the politicos, as they are "supposed to".

    They have by-passed the "cut out" men, and have gone directly to the source of the contagion that is at the heart of the current malaise.

    It has Newt in a fever.

    While the President is rebounding to his "natural" level of support.
    With him ahead of all Republican contenders, in most swing states.

  26. .

    If some crooked-assed insurance company has to pay for a broken window I can live with it...

    Like you I can sympathize with OWS. It's good to see someone actually getting out and being visible instead of just sitting around bitching about it. If support for the movement keeps growing worldwide, eventually someone in power may notice.

    On the other hand, I frankly think they would be better off merely marching every day rather than camping out. I think the positives would outweigh the negatives but I could be wrong.

    However, I disagree with you on those jerks that are out there just to cause trouble. You are going to get them in any group of young people. But they know the rules. If they are going to be out there breaking up property or throwing rocks, they should end up in jail. I have no sympathy for them.

    However, for what is now a world-wide movement there has luckily been very little of this shit reported. Nothing like the G-8 or G20 demonstrations.



  27. .

    The same applies to the peaceful protestors. Most of them have the required permits and are obeying the law.

    Those who don't and decide to break the law know the consequnces. If they are willing to break the law, they need to be ready to be arrested.

    If they break the law in this manner, peacefully and on principle and are willing to take the consequences, I have a lot more sympathy for them.


  28. CNN reports:

    Many want more transparency, pushing for the Fed to open its policymaking meetings to the public. They want it to be more "democratic" with regional Fed presidents being chosen by elections, or at least by elected officials.

    And are their complaints really based on misconceptions?

    Just last month, an investigation by the Government Accountability Office turned up numerous instances of conflicts of interest on the boards of the Fed's 12 regional banks.

    Among the findings, it identified 18 former and current members of the Federal Reserve who have personal ties to companies that received bailout funds from the Fed.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who spearheaded the report, called it
    "exactly the kind of outrageous behavior by the big banks and Wall Street that is infuriating so many Americans."

  29. The JPost reports

    Opposition party Kadima lambasted Netanyahu for the decision, saying his actions isolated Israel in the international community.

    "The time has come for Netanyahu to understand that his actions punish his nation more than they hurt anyone else," a Kadima spokesperson said in a statement.

    "Israel needs the international community by her side to deal with the surrounding threats," it continued. "The Netanyahu government is doing everything wrong."

  30. Re: Deuce's "criminal stupidity"

    Excuse me, it is possible to be a stupid criminal but it is impossible to be criminally stupid. That is why so many bright people play the dumb defense when brought to trial, proving the old saw, "there is no law against stupid."

    When some of the miscreants eventually come to trial, we will be given proof that it is possible to be as dense as a bag of hammers and still run a $15B business. It would not surprise to learn that classes are taught, now, at Harvard in the fine art of village idiocy - Basic Chum 101.

  31. Re: Kadima

    Kadima's hyperventilation is not unlike that of Ms. Pelosi.

    When the shooting starts, Israelis will rally, unlike the political parties of others. Geography and demographics do not give Israelis any other choice.

    But it is OK to keep dreaming about the demise of the Zionist entity. As George Kennedy said in an old John Wayne flick, "A man has to have a dream." That was shortly before he was thankfully put out of his philosophic misery.

  32. .

    The GOP continues to struggle with the current field of candidates. When people start talking about Newt as the adult in the crowd, you know you are in trouble.

    I still think Romney will get the nod, although I couldn't vote for him.

    However, I noticed Doug said yesterday he would be voting for him.

    In my opinion, a wasted vote.

    Why? Because he has lost the PETA vote. Forty percent of Americans own dogs. When the story of him strapping his loyal pet to the top of his car for a 12 hour trip to Ontario re-surfaces, he will have lost the dog-owner vote.

    I know that Doug, in his bifurcated worldview, will counter with "what about cat owners?" However, that is a simplistic view of the PETA membership.

    No, the only ones who will be voting for Romney will be himself, his friends from Bain (sans pet owners), and Michael Vick.


  33. You're right, of course, Q. I hyperbolated a bit when I said I was "okay" with the OWS crowd "breaking a few windows." That IS criminal, and should be prosecuted.

    I gets carried away, sometimes. :)

  34. Yes, allen, those Europeon folk in the Levant, they are hostage to geography and demographics.

    According to "The Guardian"

    Israel's prime minister has ordered an investigation into alleged leaks of plans to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, it has been reported.

    According to the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida, the main suspects are the former heads of the Mossad and the Shin Bet, respectively Israel's foreign and domestic intelligence agencies.

    Netanyahu is said to believe that the two, Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin, wanted to torpedo plans being drawn up by him and Ehud Barak, the defence minister to hit Iranian nuclear sites. Tzipi Livni, leader of the opposition Kadima party, is also said to have been persuaded to attack Netanyahu for "adventurism" and "gambling with Israel's national interest".

    The paper suggested that the purpose of the leaks was to prevent an attack, which had moved from the stage of discussion to implementation. "Those who oppose the plan within the security establishment decided to leak it to the media and thwart the plan,"

  35. .

    At least you are not a Nickelback fan, Ruf.

    Jenny wouldn't have anything to do with you.

    Nickelback Voted No 1 Musical Turnoff


  36. .

    If Mel shows up again, I will have to point out that Justin Beiber only lost to Nickelback by a small margin.


  37. A Texas judge is a child abuser.

    Beating his teenage daughter with a belt.

    That boy should be in jail, for the excessive use of force he used in dealing with his daughter.

  38. I wonder what happened to Mel? Is she on vacation?

  39. The girl's mother, says it was not just a singular episode, but part of a pattern of abuse.

    Judge for yourselves

    A window on reality?

  40. Re: leaks

    Yes, there are leaks. I wonder why that would be? Hmm...

  41. Each system has its' own "Checks and Balances", how effective they are ...

    well ...

    Who knows?
    But the Shadow

    Or it's leaking as part of a coordinated misinformation campaign.

    Just depends upon one's perspective and predisposition, I suppose.

    I wonder how accurate the report from Kuwait is. More so than making assumptions as to the motives of those named in the report, if accurate.


  42. (Reuters) - A military raid on Iran's nuclear facilities would wreak such profound damage on global prosperity and security that other means -- principally a mix of sanctions and sabotage -- must remain the levers of pressure on Tehran.

    So says conventional wisdom among opinion-makers in Europe, who fear Iran could retaliate to an attack by lashing out in the Gulf and temporarily severing the marine and pipeline arteries supplying a large part of global oil and gas demand.

    "You are talking about creating a wounded bear with very unpredictable consequences," Malcolm Chalmers, research director at Britain's Royal United Services Institute, told Reuters.

    Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA analyst who has advised the Obama White House on policy in the region, told Reuters: "Sabotage and sanctions have set Iran back considerably. A military strike now would undermine the international consensus on Iran, achieve little and risk heavy retaliation."


  43. "There has been a very clear pattern of saber-rattling to coincide with efforts to tighten sanctions," Trita Parsi, an expert on U.S.-Iranian relations, told Reuters.

    "Israelis use the tactic of talking tough about a military option in order to pressure Washington to take further action on Iran. In turn, the U.S. and UK use the same tactic to pressure other countries to tighten sanctions."

    "The question is, to what extent can this tactic be used without becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy? At some point, the ability to carry out a strike may be called into question."

    Following next week's report, Israel is likely to repeat its message that arch-foe Iran is a global menace and a window of opportunity for a solution is closing.

    Israel test-fired a missile on Wednesday amid heightened public debate in the Jewish state over the possibility of a pre-emptive attack on Iran's nuclear sites.


  44. Chicago Tribune - ‎

    Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday it will seek an additional $6 billion from US taxpayers following its worst quarterly loss this year.

  45. The Iranians are not a global threat.

    They are not much of regional threat, in all reality, not from a military stand point.

    Sabotage & Sanctions are Sufficient

    More than.

  46. .

    TEHRAN — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad acknowledged Tuesday that U.S.-designed financial sanctions are causing serious problems for Iran’s banking sector, as he appealed to lawmakers to keep his government together despite a massive embezzlement scandal.
    “Our banks cannot make international transactions anymore,” the embattled president said in a speech before parliament to defend his minister of economic affairs and finance against impeachment charges related to the scandal.

    The minister, Shamseddin Hosseini, was spared impeachment after Ali Larijani, the influential speaker of parliament and a leading Ahmadinejad foe, came to the government’s defense. Larijani urged lawmakers to keep Hosseini in the cabinet, with a warning, on the grounds that Iran already faces too many problems. The parliament then voted 141 to 93 against impeaching Hosseini...

    Sanctions Hurting Iran?


  47. .

    Independance for Kurdistan? Probably not in the near future.

    It is arguable that KR is politically qualified to stand on its feet, but it is doubtful that the region is militarily or economically ready for such step. Throughout the KRG lifetime, the political consequences of independence have always been greater than the economic impediments, but now the table has turned. It is highly unlikely that the international community would recognise Kurdistan overnight, but the main issue remains, whether the economics of independence would work bearing in mind the geopolitical problems.

    Iraqi politicians may encourage Kurdistan to become independent, but Baghdad has repeatedly failed or refused to implement article 140 of the Iraqi constitution. The issue of the disputed territories defined by Article 140 is another obstacle because there are no consensuses on KR borders and the oil-rich areas of Kirkuk.

    The Kurds are known as a kingmakers in Iraq at the moment and enjoy a considerable amount leverage on Baghdad. They are like a state within a state without the responsibilities and burden of one. The region has a generous allowance form Baghdad and most of the revenue has been generated from oil sold from Iraq's southern regions.

    An independent Kurdistan would lose its current budget overnight and from being kingmakers in Iraq they have to go cap in hand to Turkey or Iran. Although the KRG has other streams of income, it is nowhere near enough to keep paying the bloated public sector salaries let alone keeping the investment and rebuilding programs and the day to day running of public services and the government machine.

    The economic impact could be devastating for the region where the whole economy could implode taking years to rebuild. The Kurds maybe yearning for independence, but when the public purse becomes empty, leading to cutbacks, high unemployment and a reduction in living standards, people will have different views...




  48. In January the recently retired Dagan, a hawk when he was running the Mossad, called an attack on Iran

    "the stupidest idea I've ever heard".

  49. Olympic HQ built in secret for SAS

    One cannot be too careful when dealing with Southern Baptist radicals.

    It is good to see the Brits will be using that go-to weapon, indispensable against terrorist targets, the teargas launcher. As a secondary benefit, it will prove its worth should the “Caribbean” lads get unruly again.

  50. The Japanese would not have been a global threat had they simply sought the occupation of Midway. It was all that other nasty business that gave pause. It's always the small stuff that gets in the way of a well conceived plan.

    If a regional war erupts in the ME, SW Asia and North Africa, Iran will become, instantly, a global threat. Given the unaccounted anti-aircraft weaponry from Libya. for example, it may already be.

  51. Greek PM scraps referendum plan

    This is why so many American politicians et al love all things EU: One can dispense with the unruly electorate with the wave of a hand.

    "The eurozone’s fate has become entwined with Mr Papendreou’s increasingly desperate struggle to maintain control of his government, which bristles with rebellious ministers fed up with his idiosyncratic style of leadership."

    Idiosyncratic? Well, I hope to shout!

  52. I would love to see the polling on how the Greek in the street feels and the latest move. Personally, I think they promised a divorce and terms of a settlement, but on French time, not Greek.

  53. All the people calling Papandreou a "hero" yesterday must be feeling very, very stupid today. We now have the financial markets dictating policy to the members of the Euro. Democracy be damned, do what the bankers tell you or there'll be trouble.

    I understand that Mr. Papandreou's call for a referendum was not an exercise of his democratic instincts but rather political brinksmanship. However any glimmer of democracy, however dim, is anathema to bankers and they have made their position clear to Mr. P. - withdraw the threat of a referendum or we will bankrupt your country. If you can look at this preposterous mess and see a future for the euro, you need stronger glasses.

  54. The Greeks should be in the streets and be good little Eurozoners and just put up with a lifetime of poverty - as Mississipi does in the US - as the cost of the privilege of belonging to the exclusive Euro Club. Not much grumbling in 'ol Miss these days.

  55. No real person believes a word emanating from anyone involved in this fiasco.

  56. Well democracy does not seem to be working too well for the Greeks today but certainly it must be starting to blossom in the Arab Spring. Let's check the tape:

    Oh dear, NATO wasn't around to help…

    Arab Spring, Egyptian edition: a 17 year old Christian in a high school in Mallawi was ordered by his teacher to cover up a tattoo of a cross on his wrist. True to his faith, he refused to do so and instead exposed a crucifix that he wore around his neck. He was then beaten to death by his teacher and two Muslim students.

  57. The analogy, 'tween Iran and Japan, far from reality.

    The Japanese had beat the Russians, in 1904 & 5 and had occupied most of China and Indochina, well before Midway was ever thought of as a target, by the Japanese.

    Pearl Harbor, for that matter.

    Indeed, the Japanese had raped Nanking, in 1937.

    Where is an Iranian Army on the march?

    No, the Japanese were an expanding military Empire of the Sun.

    The Iranians, they cannot even cash a check.

    They only become a real threat, if attacked. Then that threat is of asymmetric attacks, against targets that would imperil the Eurozone economy even more than the prospect of default by the Greeks.

  58. I wonder how my guy Nigel Farage feels about the health of democratic freedoms in the UK? Can't we draft him? He can certainly get a Hawaiian passport , I am sure.

  59. .

    Follow-up to an earlier post.

    Detroit Fans Start Petition To Keep Nickelback From Performing

    The Detroit Lions are scheduled to play the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day in what should be an NFC North showdown. Fans, however, are reportedly up in arms over the slated half-time show to be performed by Canadian rock band, Nickelback, according to various media reports.

    One Lions fan, Dennis Guttman, has created an online petition to remove the band from the halftime performance schedule, stating that the Lions’ faithful do not want to be associated with it.

    “This game is nationally televised, do we really want the rest of the US to associate Detroit with Nickelback?” Guttman asks in a petition letter. “Detroit is home to so many great musicians and they chose Nickelback?!?!?! Does anyone even like Nickelback? Is this some sort of ploy to get people to leave their seats during halftime to spend money on alcoholic beverages and concessions? This is completely unfair to those of us who purchased tickets to the game. At least the people watching at home can mute their TVs. The Lions ought to think about their fans before choosing such an awful band to play at halftime."


  60. .

    Nickelback are dicks.

    Keep it real.


  61. He has barely begun the fight, Deuce.

  62. MeLoDy said... I am a person with simple taste

    You prefer "tastes great" I prefer "less filling".

  63. I never left.

    ; )

    That would be a double wink.

    How ya feelin' T?

  64. MeLoDy said... How ya feelin' T?

    Still draining more than 30ccs of juice a day, I hope to get the tube ripped out on Tuesday, then I do radiation. Working on a light-duty "pussy chit".

  65. Egyptian spring has sprung?

    "Our impression is that the people are fatigued and want things to return to where they were before," said Hossam Bahgat, a prominent rights activist. "Generally, people support the military council, which seems to believe that the opposition to its rule is restricted to a small elite minority."

  66. .

    Nice tune Mel.

    Is your daughter in New Zealand? If so, how's she like it?


  67. This can't have effect in actual fact, that's exactly what I suppose.