If Only the Tea Partiers Were More European


Sitting at breakfast last week in Oslo, I opened the newspaper Dagbladet and did a Tex Avery-like double take. Is that a photograph of Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity and professional tax-hatin' bogeyman of the Rachel Maddow show, in a Norwegian newspaper? Indeed it is! And according to the article, Phillips recently spoke about grassroots organizing to members of the right-leaning Progress Party, prompting outrage amongst the country's intelligentsia. Raymond Johansen, party secretary of the Norwegian Labour Party, took to the Huffington Post to warn of the "Tea Party fear in Europe," pointing out, in wonderfully incoherent English, that Phillips and his sinister band of lobbyists "traveled the [United States] with a bloody hand logo to deny poor Americans the right to health insurance."

Most of the piece is unreadable. A few favorite lines: "Next week he shares the stage with non (sic) other then the Tea Party queen herself, Sarah Palin, to fight their common goal (sic) of tax cuts and limited government." Or this bit of Norwenglish: "I am truly afraid that our society will not be recognizable in 20 years if the right wing party comes to power, with the help of a speculative American lobbyist—far away from the real grass root." After you separate out the serious Google investigation—Koch! Astroturf! Disinformation campaigns!—Johansen and his comrades are merely suggesting that Tea Party-type protests have no place in the more placid European debate (Expect when you burn tires and riot in Oslo, protesting something-or-other related to the Middle East. But that's different).

Because in Europe, when you are mad at the banks, worried about austerity measures and rising unemployment, one wouldn't be so crass as to call people Marxists and demand that the government submit to the irrational will of angry taxpayers. After all, to pay taxes is the cost of being a member of the Folkhem.

But Tea Parties? Not in Europe. Never. The pitchfork-toting crowd is a peculiar byproduct of the misinformed, disturbed politics of the United States, where Lindberghs, Limbaughs, and Levins have always proliferated. Protest movements on the continent, like the May 1st protests in Kungsträdgården, under a sea of Cuban flags and photos of Marx and Mao, are a more civilized celebration of dictatorship and egalitarianism.

Or how about the protests in Greece, where Tea Parti…errr…left-wing protesters took to the streets again today to demand that, as the government and economy collapses, that no austerity measures be taken. The result? Three people dead in the firebombing of a bank in Athens. CNN has the chilling details:

Three people died after a fire bomb hit a bank in central Athens, the Greek fire brigade told CNN. The victims, two women and a man, were bank employees, they said.

Protesters were throwing bottles at police guarding the burned-out bank, shouting "torturers" and "liars" because they don't believe people were killed inside. Riot police were moving in to push the crowd away, CNN's Diana Magnay reported from the scene.

Thank god there is no Tea Party movement in Greece, right?

NEXT: The Myth of the Menacing Militias

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  1. Greece has been fine for years with their ‘over-the-top’ benefits. They had their own currency and their problems.

    Once, they joined the E.U., now someone else will dictate to them what to do.

    Had they NOT joined the E.U., they would have printed their own money one experiencing the collapse…like the U.S.A. does.

    People in America are worried over nothing. This will NOT happen here. We will NOT run out of Money as Money is COMPLETELY made up by some silly reports we put out monthly.

    The problem Greece has is that someone else is printing their money. They should leave the E.U., invest in their own printing machine…and move on.

    1. You do know that inflation is an extremely regressive “tax”, right?
      It’s going to hurt the poor far more than the rich. I’m not judging the merits of the inflation solution based on that (our poor would still be quite wealthy by current world- and U.S. historical standards), but that just seems out of character for you to advocate that.

      Inflation is essentially the Fair Tax without the prebates (and leaving the 16th Amendment intact). The gov’t prints money to pay for all its programs, ultimately resulting in higher prices on all goods and services (same outcome as adding a national sales tax, but with no exclusions on food, medicine, etc.).

      1. BTW, inflation will ultimately be the solution to our debt/deficit because the left will never agree to lower spending (or tax everyone) and there simply aren’t enough rich people to tax to pay for it all.

        1. ..because the left unions will never agree to lower spending wages…

        2. Inflation won’t help as the US govts’ budget problems are mostly inflation-protected spending.

          Yes, we may be able to inflate our way out of the public employee pension problem, but inflation won’t work on Medicare and probably won’t work on Social Security. (The public employees should have gone for inflation protection a while back.)

          Note that the public employee pension problem is mostly a state/local govt problem, and those govts can’t generate inflation. While DC might generate inflation to help itself, it won’t do so to help state and local govts.

          1. I hope you’ve been off to Home Depot to buy your wheelbarrow, because you’re going to need one to carry those Reichsmarks, er, Dollars to purchase that loaf of bread you wanted to buy….

    2. I wonder why no one has tried this approach before. You are some kind of genius.

      1. I did get my business certification from a local community college

        1. I don’t believe it! Only a person with an Ivy League education could possibly come up with such a perfect solution. Brilliant – and modest too!

      2. Actually the inflation approach was tried before, in Weimer Germany, with outsanding results. It worked pretty well for Argentina this century too. We came close to trying it in the USA too, in the 70’s when inflation reached double digits, but that forward looking progressive approach was stopped by 2 primitive reactionaries, Paul Volker and Ronald Reagan.

    3. Alice Bowie. The Organic Girl of economics.

      1. I love all u people.

        So what we have inflation. We just print more money.

        1. This week’s special: Medium eggs, $12/dozen!

        2. And have more inflation. So then we print more money. And have more inflation. Then the starving billionaires get pissed off and riot, the currency collapses, and we have a lengthy depression as the economy readjusts. Fun!

          1. Why would billionaires starve?

            Is it because the money in the bank would become meaningless to them because of inflation.

            Once inflation wiped out their net worth, they can go out and get a job. Or, if they can’t get a job, we (the rabble) would be just as generous giving them the welfare benefits as they were generous to us.

            Besides, it wouldn’t be much of a riot since less than 1% of the country owns more than 99%.

            1. One can prepare a meal of banker, CEO or billionaire investor using essential the same prep times and spices found in any pork recipe.

              After all, those evil, wage expecting cops aren’t going to hang around and defend them for peanuts.

            2. Funny statistic you cite there Alice. I wonder where you got those numbers from. The Internationalist?!

            3. I am sorely amused you think the billionaires don’t have jobs and should be more generous to us. Who the heck do you think hires us??? Not a needy, greedy poor person. Time to grow up and face reality.

        3. Then old people die in the streets because their life savings are worthless, and the poor have a Year of Darwin themselves while wages very slooowly adjust to the new food prices that no one can afford, and the dollar goes from Coin of the Realm of the world (that’s “the world”, not a metonym for Western Europe) to a worthless piece of paper that makes Americans pariahs in most countries. And then the cost of everything goes up again (in real terms) because no one in the world wants US dollars anymore…am I missing anything?

      2. Hazel wins.

    4. “I feel an obligation toward my co-workers who have so unjustly died today to speak out and to say some objective truths. I am sending this message to all media outlets. Anyone who still bares some consciousness should publish it. The rest can continue to play the government’s game.

      The fire brigade had never issued an operating license to the building in question. The agreement for it to operate was under the table, as it practically happens with all businesses and companies in Greece.

      The building in question has no fire safety mechanisms in place, neither planned nor installed ones ? that is, it has no ceiling sprinklers, fire exits or fire hoses. There are only some portable fire extinguishers which, of course, cannot help in dealing with extensive fire in a building that is built with long-outdated security standards.

      No branch of Marfin bank has had any member of staff trained in dealing with fire, not even in the use of the few fire extinguishers. The management also uses the high costs of such training as a pretext and will not take even the most basic measures to protect its staff.

      There has never been a single evacuation exercise in any building by staff members, nor have there been any training sessions by the fire-brigade, to give instructions for situations like this. The only training sessions that have taken place at Marfin Bank concern terrorist action scenarios and specifically planning the escape of the banks’ “big heads” from their offices in such a situation.

      The building in question had no special accommodation for the case of fire, even though its construction is very sensitive under such circumstances and even though it was filled with materials from floor to ceiling. Materials which are very inflammable, such as paper, plastics, wires, furniture. The building is objectively unsuitable for use as a bank due to its construction.

      No member of security has any knowledge of first aid or fire extinguishing, even though they are every time practically charged with securing the building. The bank employees have to turn into firemen or security staff according to the appetite of Mr Vgenopoulos [owner of Marfin Bank].

      The management of the bank strictly bared the employees from leaving today, even though they had persistently asked so themselves from very early this morning ? while they also forced the employees to lock up the doors and repeatedly confirmed that the building remained locked up throughout the day, over the phone. They even blocked off their internet access so as to prevent the employees from communicating with the outside world.

      For many days now there has been some complete terrorisation of the bank’s employees in regard to the mobilisations of these days, with the verbal “offer”: you either work, or you get fired.

      The two undercover police who are dispatched at the branch in question for robbery prevention did not show up today, even though the bank’s management had verbally promised to the employees that they would be there.

      At last, gentlemen, make your self-criticism and stop wandering around pretending to be shocked. You are responsible for what happened today and in any rightful state (like the ones you like to use from time to time as leading examples on your TV shows) you would have already been arrested for the above actions. My co-workers lost their lives today by malice: the malice of Marfin Bank and Mr. Vgenopoulos personally who explicitly stated that whoever didin’t come to work today [May 5th, a day of a general strike!] should not bother showing up for work tomorrow [as they would get fired].”

      1. You sir are one of the most evil posters I’ve encountered on the internet. Faced with the blank incontrivertial evidence of murder, you blame not the ones throwing fire bombs but the managers of the bank? Good God I hope you are not my neighbor, because I have a feeling you’d happily see me burn as well.

      2. By all means lets have an investigation and find out exactly what happened. And in the meantime, shoot people who throw flaming molotovs at the authorities. Or will eu crony drones reserve their phony ire for citizens who demand accountability?

      3. If you can get fired, it is not ‘your’ job.

        Your co-workers did not ‘lose’ their lives. They were murdered, totally different. No one else is responsible, save the murders. Try to man up and assign guilt to the true, actual, living actors instead of using these murders to advance your pathetic notions.

      4. Greece is a third world country pretending to be part of modern Europe. Management bears plenty of blame for not protecting employees from the mob and not providing fire safety. But sometimes you have to be an adult and look after yourself. Ever hear the expression, “Lets roll?” It’s no secret that the commie mob enjoys trashing banks and that the police can’t be relied on in a riot. You people are going to have to cowboy up and get lots of guns and ammo. The commies are just getting started.

        1. Have some sympathy. The commie mob just wants social justice.

          If you want to dispense some social justice to them yourself, I have some hardware you can purchase for the job.

      5. My god, this idiot (or simulacra) is serious??!

        The Greek communists are spambotting the web, claiming the BANK was the culprit… priceless.

        Still, not so shocked that no one on the left has issued any mea culpas.

    5. Greece was not ‘fine’ pre Euro joining.

      That is why they did, begged, fluffed the books to join.

      Joining the EU gave them time and cover. Basically they doubled down.

    6. Alice, May I suggest that you don’t know what you are talking about, and that anyone with a clue knows that simply printing money does not solve a financial crisis. In fact, take a gander at Zimbabwe, or peruse a history book about Germany, pre-Hitler.


  2. You know, if you removed the text from this article, it would be arguably more effective.

  3. If only there were some libertarian axiom that explained why statist mobs are more readily led to violence than America’s heavily armed hicktard hordes of raging libertarians-in-comparison are.

    Too paleo?

    1. Not buyin’ it!

    2. I don’t know that it’s libertarian, but educated 30-50 year olds are not as prone to violence as 18-29 year olds are. Thanks to the media’s incessant bed wetting, we’re all aware of the demographics of the Tea Partiers. I’m guessing that the Greek rioters were in the second demographic group I mentioned.

    3. If only there were some libertarian axiom that explained why statist mobs are more readily led to violence than America’s heavily armed hicktard hordes of raging libertarians-in-comparison are.

      “An armed society is a polite society.” Robert A. Heinlein

    4. Uh, it might have something to do with the specific philosophy they espouse (Marxism) being one that advocates violent revolution.

      There is no specific “orthodox” libertarian camp, and no prominent libertarian thinker who has advocated violent revolution.

      By comparison, virtually ALL well known leftist thinkers and leaders have been violent revolutionaries.

      1. Okay, fine I amend that not all leftist leaders have been violent. Ghandi and Martin Luther King come to mind as counter examples.

        But there are a hell of a lot more advocates of violence among the followers of Marx.

        1. But… but… G20 protesters aren’t tea-baggers! I’ve based my whole program strategy on teabaggers = anarchists!

          Shit, my viewer is going to hate me now.

          1. Everybody hates you anyway, Keith.

          2. Is that were that shit has been coming from? There’s been a noticeable up tick of libs accusing their political rivals of being anarchist (which is ludicrous, obviously). I guess if the right gets lo call their rivals socialist and communist the libs should be able to call the right anarchist (which also implies socialist), fuck.

            1. We may have to come up with new language. The original Tea Party was the work of the Sons of Liberty doing a good imitation of anarchists as a tactic, not a creed. Lord Obama is a product of Marxist and Black Liberation indoctrination but he’s not a textbook communist. His gang collaborates with monopoly capitalists while he publicly trashes them. Maybe it will take a few years before people can define Obamaism. Meanwhile we better get our act together.

        2. Ghandi had the good sense to be non-violent against the British. May not have worked against Mao.
          MLK got killed.

          1. Ghandi and King knew passive nonviolence would challenge the conscience of the public and they were right. It won’t work against a dictatorship or against the Jihad.

        3. I wouldn’t call Ghandi or MLK leftists. I don’t think MLK promoted race-pimping servitude and government handouts. Likewise, Ghandi didn’t continuously reiterate the “racist colonist” doctrine used by so many 3rd World kleptocrats to justify their own corruption.
          Rather they promoted dignity, self-reliance, virtue, and a sense of justice. Values which are quite conservative by my standards.

          1. Which is why conservatives loved both sooo much. And both hung out with socialist, but hey, whatever helps you sleep at night.

          2. I’m not sure Gandhi’s actions in South Africa would be considered leftist to leftists…

        4. Ummm… Martin Luther King was a registered Republican. Being in favor of individual rights is not a leftist position.

          1. Uhm, MLK was a self-avowed democratic socialist. Don’t co-opt people you’d have hated 40 years ago. 😉

  4. In other news :The Boxer amendment to the Dodd-Shelby financial reform bill has been approved. FTA:
    The plan excludes a $50 billion liquidation fund previously proposed, opting instead to cover the costs of liquidations from asset sales and, in case of shortfalls, from fees assessed against other large firms.

    While I think this is better than the original idea, isn’t this mostly covered in existing bankruptcy law? So what’s the point, except maybe to ensure congress gets to oversee everything?

    1. It’s also a “See, we did something!” bill.

  5. Left wing protests are always more violent than right wing protests. The foundation of left wing philosophy is the use of force to acheive goals.

    1. That’s very true. The LEFT WING has always been the party of the RABBLE and the RIGHT WING is the party of the RICH…and guess who wants peace?

      1. Jews?

      2. That may have been true in the past, but the left wing now includes George Soros, John Kerry, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Al Gore, Arianna Huffington, George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, nearly all of Hollywood, …need I go on?

        1. Not really. Not Marx’s old man was a lawyer, and Engels’s father was an evul capeetaleest. Rich brats with too much time on their hands seem, paradoxically, drawn to the left wing, even though if the left ever achieved its goals, they would be the first “up against the wall” so to speak.

      3. Yep! Every Democrat is so poor, they don’t even have lint in their pockets!

        1. Actually I beg to differ. Most leftist Democrats are from wealthy families and attend all the right schools. I think there is some sort of pathological guilt that comes from doing nothing and inheriting great wealth. The lefties espouse great concern for the little people, yet would never fraternize with them and even hold them in contempt.

      4. More accurately, the modern left wing is the party of rich college kids who like to pretend to be part of the rabble.

        1. What I think he means is, liberals bitch about the rich all the time, thereby perpetuating an image that there is no such thing as a wealthy liberal.

          1. This.

            Isn’t amusing to watch the rich bitch about the rich?

      5. The left wing is the party of the sinister members of society.

        1. The left wing is 1/2 of the party of the sinister members of society.

          1. No, I was making an etymological joke, but thanks.

      6. You know people, I said the LEFT WING is the party of the POOR…not that they are poor, per se.

        1. Because it’s so great to be poor in Zimbabwe and North Korea?

          1. Heck, for that matter it sucks to be RICH in Zimbabwe and North Korea.

            P.S. If you want a good book to read on N. Korea, read “Nothing to Envy” by Barbara Demick. It is amazing.

        2. It’s true. They do create a lot of poor people.

        3. I guess since Alice’s overlords love entrenching programs and doctrines that perpetuate poverty, they do have the market cornered on the poor.

          Of course, the right’s general strategy for the poor is to let them all be funneled into the military and used as cannon-fodder in some shit-filled land. As usual, we have to flip a coin for two different yet horrible outcomes.

          1. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.
            [Matthew 26:10-12]
            The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. [Mark 14:6-8]
            You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
            [John 12:8]

            1. “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. [Mark 14:6-8]”

              Sounds like charity to me.

              Moreover, I think anything that says crap like this:

              EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

              ROM 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

              needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Apparently God has multiple personalities.

              1. Apparently God has multiple personalities.

                That’s the problem with monotheism.

          2. Yes, that’s right. The right forces the poor to walk into the military at gunpoint… oh wait, wasn’t it Milton Friedman who was the main person responsible for the abolition of the draft? Whoops.

        4. And soon, they will bring the awesomeness of poverty to everyone! Caloo callay!

        5. That is marketing. In reality it is conservative ideals that support the common man. it doesn’t matter where you come from, or where you go to school, it doesn’t matter who your parents are, and it doesn’t matter who you know. what matters is what you yourself can create, and you are in control of your own destiny. it’s the conservative that believes in the autodidact, and the self made man. it’s the liberal democrats that grade people, and put them into varying categories of value or victim-hood. it’s the liberal democrats that look down their collective noses at someone who pronounces a word incorrectly,etc.. it’s the liberal democrat that actually thinks an A means you are smart. the liberal democrats only use the poor to gain political power, they do not promote ideals that are of any benefit to them.

    2. “The foundation of left wing philosophy is the use of force to acheive goals.”

      you really have no idea what you’re talking about.

      1. “Pay your taxes, or else. Hire this person over this person, or else. Drive this kind of car, or else.”

      2. Really? Actually I’d say that that was a direct quote from Alinsky himself. It’s spot on.

  6. Hilarious. Well done, sir. Well done.

    “Buildings are burning, people are dying. But at least we don’t have those bogeymen of the HuffPo and MSNBC – the dreaded tea parties – in Europe! That would be the end of our civilization.”

  7. Honestly, we should just invade Norway, expropriate their oil, feast on their lutefisk, and import the Bikini Team to serve as our nurse-assistants…

    1. It was the Swedish bikini team. You’d have to build the Norwegian one from scratch.

      Which doesn’t sound like a bad idea, actually.

    2. You forgot their sweaters, we must take their nice sweaters.

      1. Keep the sweaters, leave the lutefisk.

    3. I could use some of those fjords here in Texas. Let’s take those too.

  8. Current headline at huffpost: “Senators Defend Letting Suspected Terrorists Buy Firearms”

    Right, because suspected terrorists obviously shouldn’t have any constitutional rights, even if they are American citizens.

    1. As long as they were “properly suspected”, they don’t have rights.

    2. Yet, they want rights for actual admitted terrorists. I’m not against that, just noting the inconsistency.

      1. I’m not really a black right wing extremist – just used that as a joke name once and it keeps coming back to my browser.

  9. Greece is the perfect storm born of all the ills of Western European economies. It has France’s unions, Germany’s taxation, Italy’s corruption and Spain’s efficiency.

  10. Expect when you burn tires and riot in Oslo, protesting something-or-other related to the Middle East. But that’s different

    Johansen is not a native speaker. What is your excuse?

    1. I noticed that, too. I don’t get your gimmick handle, though.

      1. Apparently John Force of NHRA fame has something to say about typos. With his anus.

    2. He’s prolly one of those brown people –

      what else is there in Oslo to do besides riot and receive great healthcare?

  11. just goes to show that the euros are the real barbarians of the world…not much progress since WW I and II. Love to see some stats on # dead at protests in the US since, say 1980, vs those in euroland

  12. My Dad and Stepmom just spent 2 years in Zimbabwe on a church mission teaching them how to set up and run small businesses. The entire concept made no sense to them. For instance a laundry delivery service had to be explained on every basic level. That is generational international handouts at work.

    Inflation there is crazy! They would only take out from the bank exactly how much they needed for that day of shopping. Because two weeks later all the prices will have doubled again. So all the money out is worth half.

    Once international confidence abandons a currency the collapse is incredible and over a period of a few months.


    1. Why would anyone in Zimbabwe bother setting up a business? Considering that you probably have to bribe a few officials just to get a license, and your investment is only secure as long as the party that favors you is in power, I highly doubt that most Zimbabweans would be able to see a reason to take the risk.

      1. actually it sounds to me like you are describing chicago.

    2. That is generational international handouts at work.

      Zimbabwe was once a self-sufficient food exporting country. “[G]enerational international handouts” are not the cause of its problems.

      1. And by “once”, I mean that “Zimbabwe was a self-sufficient food exporting country less than one generation ago.”

  13. Anyone ever seen the movie “The Last Supper”?

    The premise was a bunch of liberals decided that the problem with left wingers such as themselves is that they are pussies and right wingers control the world by not being pussies.

    So they decide to stop being pussies and poison right wingers they invite to dinner.

    I assume the premise was meant to sound reasonable to people who have never heard of the 20th century.

    1. That was great indie flick.

      I think Cameron Diaz was in that?

      I’ll never eat anything while sitting under that painting though, whew!

  14. So it looks like we have a death count of Ouzobaggers 3, teabaggers 0.

    Communists are worthless scumbag losers everywhere on earth that they exist. It’s too bad that the cops didn’t open fire and take some of these shitheads out in time to save the lives of these innocent bank employees.

  15. I think the real difference between the Greeks rioting in the streets and Tea Party in the USA is mostly just the extreme nature of the problem in Greece. If the United States had to pull our belts as tight as the Greeks are having to, we’d see the same things here too…

    But I think we have to compare apples to apples, and I don’t think comparing the Tea Party to the Greeks rioting in the streets is a direct comparison. The Tea Party is a reaction to being made to pay for government bailouts–the Greek rioters are a function of government employees getting kicked off the gravy train.

    If you want a direct comparison, it should be to American teachers or government workers. The Tea Party is about fiscal responsibility, in other words, and the Greek rioters are rioting because they don’t want fiscal responsibility–and that’s a big difference.

    We should remember this here in the US. When you see government employees screaming bloody murder and marching en masse, that’s when you know things are goin’ in the right direction. I think I might like to see the UAW acting like that–what if that was the only option they had left?

    Oh, what a wonderful world that would be!

    1. The Tea Party is a reaction to being made to pay for government bailouts–the Greek rioters are a function of government employees getting kicked off the gravy train.

      It’s not quite that simple. They’re also a function of the elite (government workers, too, but mostly others) not being kicked off the gravy train that is tax evasion without consequences, while the lower classes are supposed to pay for the “austerity” measures (23% VAT? Yes we can!)

      1. Exactly. The major difference is that the Greeks evade taxes quietly.

        And I’m not buying that “‘Cause it’s so bad” bit, neither. A few years back, there were riots with property damage and fires because the govt was
        thinking about discontinuing free college for every citizen; while in the country, I was told that the schools are designed for the reality that many enrolled students won’t come, so that were every Greek collegian to actually come to class, people would have to sit in the hallways.

    2. I agree Ken. The TP would explode the day we actually *tried* to balance the budget.

      A VAT, a carbon tax, or other major tax increases, as well as increasing the retirement age by at least three years and slashing the military budget are ALL necessary. Anyone who says otherwise is delusional.

      1. You know Chad, I am all for slashing the military budget, but there is an unfortunate consequence (at least in the short term) that most people never acknowledge. The military is essentially a big jobs program at its best (being used loosely here), and well, a wager of unjust wars at its worst. If you slash a government program, there is a good chance some “private” military contractor working on the program will go belly up, or have to fire many of those poor hog-riding bastards who suckled at the public teat without really acknowledging it. So then the byproduct of the necessary military cuts is increased unemployment. Most of the unemployed will be engineers, logistics people, and the like who will have a very hard time swallowing their pride and limping over to work at starbucks to make sure they don’t starve. So what’s your solution Chad? Give them government supplied green jobs? Give them welfare? If that is your “solution” then very little would have been accomplished in reducing the size and scope of the government. But of course, you never wanted to do that in first place.

        When it comes to implementing solutions to our overgrown and unsustainable Leviathan state, the less catastrophic solution would involve gradually winding down all the wasteful bullshit probably over a generation or two, since it took about that long for the bullshit to be implemented in the first place. However, I’m personally pessimistic and will probably just blow my brains out long before anybody gives enough of a shit to even think about this. Fuck, where’s my gun.

      2. “I agree Ken. The TP would explode the day we actually *tried* to balance the budget.”

        Just for the record, I was looking at the other side of that equation. I have no doubt the Tea Party (probably absorbed into the Republican Party) would become the dominant force in American politics if Obama and the Democrats added to the revenue stream substantially.

        But in terms of the Greek violence? I think what would make that happen is if they actually cut the budget in order to get to financial responsibility. That’s what would make the UAW riot. That’s when we’d see State and Federal employees going berserk in the streets.

        And quite frankly, that’s what I want to see. I want to see slews of government workers marching in the streets because they have to go get a real job and they’ll only get paid what they’re worth.

    3. Good point. The Greeks are bunch greedy spoiled children. It’s playtime but the EU has taken over the sandbox, so they throw a shit-tantrum. The same is happening in the USA, in New Jersey with Governor Christie. The difference is that people realize the sacrifices that must be made for the good of all, and have enough brain cells left to see through the unionized greed. Hence Christie’s sky-high approval ratings.

    4. Greece is our future, it would be us right now except for the dollar still being the world reserve currency. But it won’t be Tea Party riots. The usual suspects we saw on May Day will be joined by Obama youth and Al Sharpton.

  16. For American reds and regressives, seeing Tea Partiers speaking in the Scandi utopia, must be like Islamists seeing Jews enjoying a nice Passover dinner in Mecca.

    More Nordic tea parties please.

  17. The real question is how would the Tea Partiers behave if we actually began to IMPLEMENT cuts and tax increases large enough to balance budget.

    There would be blood.

    1. The real question is how would the Tea Partiers behave if we actually began to IMPLEMENT cuts and tax increases large enough to balance budget. keep our cronies and special interest supporters living in the style they are accustomed to while the private sector has to go eat cake.


    2. Maybe if you cut their “non-government” medicare and medicaid. And since the moverment has been co-opted by (if it wasn’t founded by in the first place) people who have no problem paying billions to blow up brown people in some desert hell-hole they might get a little pissed. However, since most of the people bitching would be too geriatric to actually do anything taxing without their government supplied heart medication, I doubt there will blood running in the streets. People in this country are lazy, hypocritical pussies for the most part (Full disclosure: I am not excluding myself since I am a lazy piece of shit, fuck I still haven’t found that gun).

    3. You think only “Tea Partiers” would react to that? You do know that they won’t be the only ones hurt by tax increases.

    4. tea partiers are not about levying taxes. they are about cutting taxes, which is what stimulates investment and growth. cutting taxes also leads to an increase in tax revenues. see, when you penalize production you get non production, when you reward production you get more production.

  18. Did you hear the new slogan of the Greek Tourism Board?

    “Visit Greece — It’s a Riot!”

  19. First of all, Europe is a continent, not a country. To compare Norway with Greece is like comparing the U.S. and Mexico.

    Second, judging an entire population based on one misguided and crazy group of people is not very bright. Just because I’ve heard clueless racists flaunting their ignorence at american tea-parties I don’t jump to the conclusion that americans in general are like that.

    Third, the crisis in Greece is caused by extensive corruption, people not paying their taxes, and the government trusting the likes of Goldman Sachs to “help” them.

    The tea-part movement is so far right compared to what most people in atleast Western Europe and definetly Scandinavia would tolerate. The Democrats in the U.S. is more right-wing than the biggest right-wing party in my nation so the idea of exporting your politics is strange to me.

    In the end, what people want is politicians they can trust, not some crazy right- OR left-wing nutters with a black-and-white view of the world. We’ve had our turns of both fascism and communism, most people are smart enough to realize neither is a viable option. Your country is still in it’s infancy, perhaps one day you’ll understand that too.

    1. Carl, you need to read Reason more often. When describing the TP you use European political terminology, as in extreme right and extreme left. In Europe, they are actually branches of socialism, both these extremes, ready to use the State for precise aims. The TP’s are about government restraint, an idea that exists in Europe under the classical liberal label. So there’s no alien import to worry about. I myself live in an EU country that is about to announce a VAT increase of 5%, and I tell you, the general feeling is that yet again, government rests it’s problems on the people. Some are even urging a return to 1989’s street protests, that is, a total regime replacement.
      (note: I live in Eastern EU…)

    2. The crisis in Greece is caused by extensive corruption, people not paying their taxes, and the government trusting the likes of Goldman Sachs to “help” them.

      Whatever country you hail from, you certainly seem to have the Ouzobagger narrative down to a T.

      We’ve had our turns of both fascism and communism, most people are smart enough to realize neither is a viable option. Your country is still in it’s infancy, perhaps one day you’ll understand that too.

      Unfortunately, we American infants are now getting our firsthand experience of what it’s like to be live under a communist regime. Believe me, I understand: it fucking sucks.

      1. How dare you call me an infant!!!
        If it wasn’t for us you’d be speaking Turkish or German!!! Greece– the cradle of democracy has slid far down the ladder. If anyone needs to learn and understand it is you—from us.
        Look at America’s quality of life index
        Look at our GDP
        Look at our per capita income: highest of any industrialized nation (expect for microstates like Luxembourg and Qatar)
        Look at our unemployment. (lowest of any industrialized nation)
        25% of the world’s GDP generated by less than 5% of the population
        Now look at yours.
        I’m sick of this Euro-chauvinism. If the great socialist experiment was a success then Greece wouldn’t be in this position today.

    3. Our country in its infancy has accomplished more than the majority of nations….I’d wager more than any nation extant.

      For my second point, you seem to have no real clue as to what American politics is like…instead it looks as though you’ve absorbed the Euromedia crazy funhouse mirror image of our country. This same version is peddled by MSNBC.

      I’ve lived in Europe for around 5 years. I’ve seen what passes for “knowledge” and “wisdom” that supposedly outstrips that of us Americans.

      I have news for you: it doesn’t. It never has. Get off your high horse, quit acting like you’re a golden child because of some accident of geography, and take the time to gain an actual understanding of the American political spectrum before you comment on it.

      Your arrogance is pissing me off so much I’m just going to go ahead and call you Eurotrash.

    4. “Your country is still in it’s infancy, perhaps one day you’ll understand that too.”

      Look, you patronizing dipshit, our Republic is older than most of Europe’s political regimes. (France is on what, its Fifth Republic now?) The democratic aspect of Scandinavia’s monarchies is at least half a century younger than American democracy. Etc., etc. You’re the infants here, dude.

      1. France has had about 20 or so constitutions since the French revolution, if memory serves me. The US has had two, the articles of confederation, and the current constitution which we are governed by today. This was ratified in 1789. Yes, we have a very stable political system that is quite workable in comparison to Europe, despite opinions to the contrary.

  20. “Your country is still in it’s infancy, perhaps one day you’ll understand that too.”

    And perhaps people in “your country” will realize that the Tea Parties are not advocating “fascism,” and your definition of right-wing has ceased to be relevant for the better part of 60 years.

    Given that hundreds of thousands of Tea Partiers voted on a platform, and this is what they came up with, I don’t see how you can even go there.

    Individual liberty? Limited government? Economic freedom? I think I can hear the footsteps of those Nazi brownshirts now.

    1. Those dastartly libertarians. They are looking to take over government . . . and leave you alone.

    2. *laughter*

      Buncha damn libertarian*spit* hypocrites. White grannies who’ve never done jack but siphon public benifits off their husbands accounts, along with geezer white men who benefitted from the WPA, public investment, the GI bill and the lingering economic jolt they got from official segregation and discrimination screaming “leave your gubmint hands off my medicare”.

      Hypocrisy and greed on parade.

      1. In leftist/statist world:

        If you want to keep the money you earn you are greedy. If you want take money from somebody who earned it and give it to to somebody who didn’t earn it, you are generous.

        1. you are right. do you ever notice how greedy the “needy” are? you take all the risk, start up a business, work 7 days a week, 14 hours a day for years, yet when you want to keep the fruits of your labor you are greedy.

      2. In leftist/statist world:

        If you want to keep the money you earn you are greedy. If you want take money from somebody who earned it and give it to to somebody who didn’t earn it, you are generous.

      3. They’ve already paid for it (Medicare), most of these folks. So they don’t want their money being diverted to the slush fund (although it already has) – what’s the problem with that? Admittedly, Medicare is NOT libertarian, the concept itself is pretty much anathema, but I can understand why they’d be nervous about it…the money for it has already been ripped away from them.

        1. Medicare-D is an exception to that though. That was never, even under the most dubious assumptions, “paid for.”

          You’d be surprised at the number of older people I tell that to who both don’t know that fact and after being informed actually want to get rid of it.

          Yeah they’re are some spoiled welfare queens everywhere, but the fact is that grandparents love their grandkids. Family ties are still important, and a lot of people aren’t thrilled now that they’re finding out how routinely their government (and their comrades in the media) has lied to them.

          1. s/they’re are/there are/

  21. “Protesters were throwing bottles at police guarding the burned-out bank, shouting “torturers” and “liars” because they don’t believe people were killed inside.”

    Is this the explanation the protestors gave for their muderous behavior or is it CNN rationalizing the barbaric actions of our more cultured bettors in Europe?

    1. A little from column A, a little from column B.

  22. Your country is still in it’s infancy, perhaps one day you’ll understand that too.

    The condescension just drips from that sentence.

    Well, Euro-snot, although we’re a young country, we’re one of the world’s oldest democracies. Portugal and Greece were military dictatorships not too long ago (and perhaps we’ll see a return sometime soon.) Not to mention the 20th century political history of Germany and Italy. France is on its fifth republic. Why should we take advice from a bunch of countries that are mere toddlers when it comes to democracy? Because you’ve managed to keep yourselves from slaughtering each other for 65 years (let’s just ignore the unpleasantness in the Balkans in the ’90’s, shall we?), you think you’ve discovered The Key to Human Happiness – having the populace suck off the government teat. Sorry, but nothing is more laughable than Europeans lecturing Americans about democracy. Those Tea Party yokels understand it better than any Euroweenie.

    As Tom Wolfe said, the chattering classes see the specter of fascism looming over the American landscape – but somehow it always seems to land in Europe.

    Of course, if we become good little European statists like the Dems want (and we’re already more than halfway there), our long run of good fortune will end. I hold out hope that won’t happen as long as there are Americans willing to turn out in droves to protest government expansion.

  23. Fascism — forever descending upon America, always landing in Europe.

    1. oops, Di beat me to the Tom Wolfe quote.

  24. I always ask my lefty friends this question: besides Oklahoma City, name me one act of conservative/right wing violence which justifies the narrative that Tea Baggers (I use that term only so they have a clear understanding of whom I mean) are violent. Just one. Some will refer to militias but can never name a specific act by one that can be labeled as violent. After stuttering for a few minutes, they fall back on the racist narrative.

    1. Antigovernment types get a free pass on OKC why?

    2. Say what you will about the incompetence of the Left, but they are 6-sigma blackbelts in managing the narrative process. Take for example the botched Times Square bombing:

      (1) Saturday night: when it was first reported, the narrative was it was “almost certainly” (MSNBC, Kos, et al.) the work of deranged terrorist teabaggers.

      (2) When it became obvious that, as any sentient being without a J-school degree could have predicted, another Islamist nutbag, the narrative quickly switched to “isolated nut with unclear motives.”

      (3) Now that it’s clear that he was part of a network of like-minded Islamist nutbags, the narrative has become, seamlessly, inevitably, “remain vigilant for a terrorist backlash against Muslims by the angry teabaggers.”

      Well played, narrativers.

  25. in the more placid European debate (EXPECT when you burn tires and riot in Oslo, protesting something-or-other related to the Middle East. But that’s different).

    Don’t you mean “except?” Stupid furriner! Gotta love irony, though.

  26. “Your country is still in it’s infancy, perhaps one day you’ll understand that too.”

    What I understand is that there wouldn’t be so much a single one of the European nations that would be in existence as an independent nation state today if they had not been getting military protection welfare from the United States ever since the end of World War 2.

    Infancy indeed.

  27. The comments from the Norwegian politician were indeed ridiculous, but the parallel here is pretty weak…Norway is not Greece. I know they’re both in Europe, but that’s like comparing Canada to El Salvador. It’s typical of Greek society and their political class to throw tantrums and blame others for their problems.

  28. you are the yin to david ingatius’ yang…

    “At the risk of taking contrarianism to extremes, let me offer this suggestion: The global economy needs a “tea party” movement in Europe to lobby for fiscal conservatism there.

    Many “mainstream” analysts deride the tea party agitators as a right-wing fringe group, and in many respects, that label is deserved. I wouldn’t want them running the Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve.”


    I like ignatius, but the context of his opening would suggest a rational man, trapped by irrational ‘friends’.

    For the record, I’d probably not want the tea partiers running the fed either, but then the tea partiers want to weaken the fed to a point of irrelevance, not take it over.

  29. Sorry, but nothing is more laughable than Europeans lecturing Americans about democracy.

    I don’t know, Europeans lecturing Americans about race relations comes close.

  30. Alice : ‘That’s very true. The LEFT WING has always been the party of the RABBLE and the RIGHT WING is the party of the RICH…and guess who wants peace?

    Ah , glad to see you admit that the ‘war’ protesters (that have dissappeared over the last 12 months or so) had no interest in ‘peace’ at all, but were only being rabidly hyper-partisan hypocrits.

  31. Fear of teabaggers is great. I’ve never been privileged to watch McCarthyism in action, and its a living example of the state run media trying to shape rabble-tudes. I love the Teaparty movement: pretty soon they will have to mow down Sara P. RINO protector and Karl Rove.

  32. The left would be slytherins at hogwarts

  33. The fundamental idea behind Tea Party activism is that it really doesn’t matter how wonderful the benefits of any government program may be,either in fact or in fancy, if a society or country can’t afford them. If the costs are simply too high, then you can’t have it, whatever it is. Borrowing money to pay for it, hoping that somebody else will be stuck paying it back, is not generally sound economic practice.

    In other words, limit your ambitions for the ideal society to something which you can afford.

    It’s really rather obvious. “Money out” can’t exceed “money in” except in special cases, like, say, World War 2. There are some niggling exceptions which don’t really change the essential truism – for instance, in a genuinely expanding economy, mild deficits can be supported. But enormous deficit spending is simply unsustainable and insupportable.

  34. Mr.Johansen has fallen victim in his own country. When I was a yearly visitor to Austria, I met the same people year after year. Many from Norway. Funny, but most of the people there get it. And, some are still young enough to immigrate if they choose.
    Mr. Johansen needs to learn that if Greece goes down, so will the rest of the EU, and it won’t be pretty. This is what happens when the gov’t is centralized and you “give” everybody what they should actually be earning. Socialism fails every time it is tried. It would suck to be Mr. Joahnsen.

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