Burn, America, Burn


Here's to the Greeks!

Via commenter Smoovev comes the latest example of well-respected former war correspondent Chris Hedges advocating political violence in America:

Here's to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country. They know what to do when Goldman Sachs and international bankers collude with their power elite to falsify economic data and then make billions betting that the Greek economy will collapse. They know what to do when they are told their pensions, benefits and jobs have to be cut to pay corporate banks, which screwed them in the first place. Call a general strike. Riot. Shut down the city centers. Toss the bastards out. Do not be afraid of the language of class warfare—the rich versus the poor, the oligarchs versus the citizens, the capitalists versus the proletariat. The Greeks, unlike most of us, get it.

Greek rioters have killed three so far.

Hedeges' recent apocalyptic tear (which has resonance for at least some libertarians, not to mention Pagans) includes urging on sabotage two months ago, and calling corporations "little Eichmanns" last week. And this is no fringe character here–Hedges continues to receive respectful hearings in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Vancouver Sun, et al, and just last week he was named a finalist for the L.A. Press Club's Online Journalist of the Year. You will search in vain for any mention of Hedges by the scores of journalistic commenters who have been warning for more than a year now (inaccurately, in my opinion) about impending political violence, inciteful right-wing rhetoric, and borderline sedition.

Jesse Walker's classic piece on "The Paranoid Center" here.

NEXT: As Long As You Call It An "Emergency," You Can Spend As Much As You Want

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  1. The Greeks, unlike most of us, get it.

    They can have it.

    1. Good and hard!

    2. Here's to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country.

      There really isn't anything you can do to show people like this the error of their ways. It is best to just record their names and addresses for when the revolution begins.

  2. Meanwhile, this bit of lunacy:

    Associated Press
    Last updated: 6:15 a.m., Tuesday, May 25, 2010
    NEW YORK -- New York City bus drivers took an average of two months paid days off last year after being spat upon by upset riders.

    The indignity is considered an assault under the drivers' union contract. That entitles them to take a paid break.

    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Monday that 83 drivers were spat on last year. Of those, 51 took an average of 64 paid days off. One driver, the agency said, took 191 days of paid leave.


    Okay, spitting is assault. But one driver gets six months' paid leave for this?

    Oh, wait, here comes MNG to tell us why!

    1. If they don't like being spat on, maybe they shouldn't be such surly pricks to everyone.

      1. The incentive to do things to provoke people is definitely sitting right there. Half a year of paid leave for being spat upon is a pretty good deal for the driver. Get a willing accomplice and a job on the side, and you've got yourself a good old-fashioned scam.

        1. Union workers are doing God's work on some of the toughest routes in America.

          1. I feel bad for Blumenthal, who after arduous duty in Vietnam (caveat, as there was a civil war going on, and the borders were in contention, the term "borders" Blumenthal uses is not of the cartographical lexicon, but more of the social milieu of the time, in a deeper more spiritual meaning, indeed, much, much deeper than any sucker phyically there, as the reserve service in Washington DC entails, what with being hit upon by elderly matrons who wanted to handle his gun...whoops! rifle!!! a much more yucky ordeal), and being shot in the heart (metaphorically of course) returned to be spat upon, and than spat on again and again till verily he appeared like the blob, as he worked as a busdriver, transporting disabled vets and orphans (BLIND orphans).
            Yes, we should never forget...spitting

          2. BLASPHEMY!!!!!!!!!

    2. I wonder if they get early retirement if someone urinates on them. Hopefully we'll find out. Hopefully asparagus was consumded beforehand.

      1. I imagine if they get pooped on they get the whole country and every good looking woman between 18 and 30

    3. TallDave|5.25.10 @ 3:27PM|#
      Hey, hey, bus drivers struggle to get by, often making less than $100K/year, and many receive only limited pensions while some aren't even eligible for early retirement.

      1. Good Lord, I'd love to struggle by on something slightly less than $100k a year - even if it was by adding mine AND my spouses salaries together...and my last day at work will end in a black plastic bag with a toe tag.


  4. Its in their contract, and all you libertarians just love contracts, right?

    The fact that the contract amounts to collusion between the union and the City, both in its terms and its implementation, is irrelevant. Never mind that nobody would consider this an arms-length contract, or a commercially reasonable contract, or a contract that is the product of any kind of free market, its a contract, a CONTRACT, you libertards. So suck it.

    1. Three to six months paid leave for being spat upon, MNG Dean. Not being shot, stabbed, or beaten with blunt instruments.

      Honestly, what kind of candyass are you?

      1. Why are you using a Samizdata e-mail address, BTW?

        1. Because Will Smith writes at Samizdata?

          1. Wow! He's come a long way since the Fresh Prince of Bel Air days...

    2. It's not so much a contract as an illegal collusion between unions and elected officials to bilk the taxpayers.

    3. I smell troll.

    4. Well yes it is a contract... one drawn up between complicit crooks designed to defraud the taxpayers of NY. The people who negotiated the contract for the city should go to jail.

  5. For the love of God, will someone please set fire to Chris Hedges.

    1. Why dont you ask Special Sauce to do it, G?


  6. Even assuming his thesis is correct, how does setting fire to things on streets and hurling rocks at riot cops somehow punish at the evil capitalist overlords?

  7. Toss the bastards out.

    He's clearly motivated by racism.

  8. Hedges on a leftwing jerkoff fantasy.
    I have plenty of 30 round mags for my AR15 to answer leftwing violence to me or my property. So fuck you and your bused in SEIU goons.

  9. The Greeks got fucked by their government and now they are acting like naughty children because they can't have so much free stuff anymore. No one forced them to borrow money from the evil banks. And as it turns out, they clearly didn't deserve a better bond rating. They should never have joined the Euro.

    1. They should never have joined the Euro.

      They should never have been allowed to join the Euro either.

  10. And while Bush and Karamanlis, along with the corporate criminal class they abetted, live in unparalleled luxury, ordinary working men and women are told they must endure even more pain and suffering to make amends. It is feudal rape.

    OK, which one of you corporate criminal class types had a little bit of the primae noctis with Hedges' wife?

    1. Can we declare May 25th 2010 the day the word "corporate" ceased to have any meaning whatsoever?

      It probably happened long ago, it's just today I noticed...

  11. Unless the Greeks are lynching politicians and burning down government buildings, I'd say they don't get it. Since they're burning down banks, I'm forced to conclude they're just as dumb as Hedges is.

  12. Say, don't these Greek riots seem familiar... like, say, the way leftist anarchists were setting fires and throwing objects during G20 summits?

    1. As a responsible college-dropout still bumming around in Pittsburgh during the G20 summit I can say this.

      That shit was fun. Let's do it again.

      1. You have an odd sense of using the word "fun".

  13. Via commenter Smoovev comes the latest example of formerly well-respected former war correspondent Chris Hedges

      1. No, I'm not. I was never well-respected. I've suffered no fall from grace.

        1. Let me revise and extend -- you're hope is triumphing over the world's experience, sadly.

          1. Nevermind, I cant right.

            1. You doing OK, today?

                1. How many times have we told you Matt, you're not supposed to kiss hoookers.

                  1. But Dave. He paid for the girlfriend experience.

                2. I dont understand how the dead monkey from Raiders of the Lost Ark figures into this.

                  When H&R jokes go over my head, I really start to feel old.

                  1. Im guessing now that Matt has a serious hangover. Like the kind of hangover that doesnt even fully kick in until 3pm.

                    Or, i'm still missing the joke.

    1. I hate it when people beat me to the most simple and obvious jokes.

      Nothing personal, sugar

      1. "Simple and obvious" is my middle name, buster.

  14. I hope that is a wake up call to the Leftist:

    The Greeks, unlike most of us, get it.

    How many of them ten years ago would have regarded Greece as anything but a back asswards kleptocracy of competing spoil distributions and would urged us to look to Sweden instead for what Socialism can do when cultural contamination is not working against it?

    That was then, this is now, and they have been down that hole so Godamned long that even the worst slightly left leaning shithole looks like up to them.

  15. What's gonna happen first, worldwide depression or nuclear war in Korea?

      1. I am betting on a new global ice age.

        We are due for one.

        1. At least I will get to openly mock environmentalists before I die.

  16. A great advantage of fascistic systems is that potentially revolutionary rage that might, in a purer or more overt socialism, be aimed directly at the government can be turned against its business partners, one at a time, and dissipated.

    Every modern state gets it.

    1. Profound.

      And fucking scary.

      1. And fucking scary.

        Actually to be fair unrest against corporations tends to be less bloody and less successful then unrest against government.

        As much as i like the results of some revolutions to be honest they tend to fucking such and lots of people die.

        The incentives and results of such a scheme are not all bad.

  17. This is how Leftists end up killing people. For the leftist the personal is the political. Their entire identity and consciousness is invested in their politics. This makes it extraordinarily difficult for them to admit when their policies fail, which they always do. You see this in minature on the Reason boards. You will never see a true liberal like Tony or Joe Boyle ever admit fault on their side. At most in the face of irrefutable evidence of failure, they will fault their side for not being left enough and compromising too much. But they will never admit being left is wrong.

    So this prevents them from rationally looking at a situation. A rational person looks at Greece or California and sees the perils of a huge and highly paid public sector. A leftist looks at it and sees nefarious forces like bankers and corporations who have gummed up the works and prevented success. As things get worse they look harder and harder for scapegoats and place more and more blame on those enemies. Until, if left unchecked they start killing people.

    There is a famous story about the collectivization in the Ukraine in the 1930s. A man Kulak had starved to death in his hut. A Soviet Cheka agent found him and remarked how the Kulaks were such cleaver and strong enemies that they were willing to starve rather than admit where they were hoarding food. That is where this sort of insanity leads you.

    1. ^^^ this

    2. For the leftist the personal is the political.

      Isn't that a fascist slogan?

      1. Sort of. It started as a feminism credo.

        1. Are you sure? I thought it started as a leftist slogan, not particularly associated with feminism.

          1. The origins are murky, but is what about.com says (and a few other sources I found, this is just concise):

            The Carol Hanisch Essay

            Feminist and writer Carol Hanisch's essay titled "The Personal is Political" appeared in the anthology Notes From the Second Year: Women's Liberation in 1970. She is therefore often credited with creating the phrase. However, she wrote in an introduction to the 2006 republication of the essay that she did not come up with the title. She believed "The Personal Is Political" was selected by the editors of the anthology, Shulamith Firestone and Anne Koedt, who were both feminists involved with the group New York Radical Feminists.

            Some feminist scholars have noted that by the time the anthology was published in 1970, "the personal is political" had already become a widely used part of the women's movement and was not a quote attributable to any one person.

            Google links the first three pages of hits on the phrase to feminism, FWIW.

          2. It was also the thematic motif to Doctor Zhivago though not in the positive sense that Hanisch meant it later on. It should have been a clue to her that she was on the wrong side. Give to the body politique the personal and the politicians will destroy it.

            I see a lot of clap trap about Saul Alinksy on the occasions I visit right wing sites. The ideology of the modern left little resembles that of the anarchist who hated bureaucracies and apparatchiks with a passion.

            Marcuse seems to be more to their liking, in their day to day enforcement of extortions on the rest of us. He believed that decent from Socialism should not be tolerated because to allow others to speak or to act who were not voicing socialist affirmations was to reinforce the systemic oppression of the capitalist lapdogs.

            Stupid, yes, but common, unfortunately so.

    3. In an odd sort of way, I have to give guys like Hedges some credit for their honesty. Most communists and socialists have smartly adopted the Saul Alinsky tactics of deception and subterfuge to infect society and slowly foment their discontent and rage from within, and this has made them doubly dangerous to the health of civilization.

      Hedges is saying exactly what guys like Barack Obama and many of his friends and inner circle members think and say amongst themselves when they know nobody else is listening, but will never say out loud because of their cleverness and ambition.

      1. Alinksy was a bit late to this - more Fabian really

      2. Whoops, didn't see your Alinsky post before I wrote the short essay above. Don't take it personal.

    4. "A leftist looks at it and sees nefarious forces like bankers and corporations who have gummed up the works and prevented success."


  18. "Here's to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country. They know what to do when Goldman Sachs and international bankers collude with their power elite to falsify economic data and then make billions betting that the Greek economy will collapse."

    This quote from his article alone shows that he has very little understanding of what truly caused the "Greek situation".

    As for advocating violence...Those on the left and right who advocate violence as the solution of political or societal issues reveal just how oppressive they truly are and explains why most of them have no problem using the violence of the state to enforce their will.

    1. Wait, so advocating using violence to fight an oppressive state is, in itself, oppressive? One can draw a stark distinction between advocating violence against the state and its agents and advocating violence against one's fellow citizens. Unless you're claiming all violence is illegitimate, in which case you're just wrong.

      1. How is what the Greek government planning to do (Austerity measures) oppressive?

        1. Other than raising taxes, that is.

  19. Mark Steyn's article was pretty good http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/0.....k-funeral/

    The greek rioters are pro-government demonstrators looking for the entitlements.

    1. I am reminded of the H&R poster who collected disability claiming he couldn't do ANY kind of work, yet had the strength to post here all day. What was that guy's name again?

      1. brotherben

        1. Please tell me you are not being serious.

          1. No, really. bb was on disability when he was posting here. Severe back problems and chronic pain management.

            I don't remember him formally leaving, I hope nothing happened to him.

            1. Me to, I liked him.

            2. Yep, I remember that too. He used to be a truck driver, or was that someone else?

              1. That was him.

          2. Warty|1.15.10 @ 1:56PM|#

            Does that mean you can clap with your mantits?
            reply to this
            brotherben|1.15.10 @ 5:55PM|#

            Depends on how much cash you have there big fella ; }

            1. Where has that reprobate Warty been all day?

              1. Didn't he say he was in California this week?

                1. Poor California.

                    1. Sideways question, db. What's the legal status of smokeless tobacco in GB?

                    2. I have absolutely no idea. I don't smoke anything, nor do I consume any tobacco products.

                    3. I heard it was illegal, but the internet wouldn't give me a straight answer. Not even after I tore its fingernails out.

                    4. I shall make enquires on some undetermined future date.

              2. I spent the day at home sick, playing Fallout 2 on wine. I'm not ashamed. Fuck you, plane-virus.

    2. @Bingo

      From the article you link to:

      So they're objecting to austerity measures that would end, for example, the tradition of 14 monthly paycheques per annum. You read that right: the Greek public sector cannot be bound by anything so humdrum as temporal reality.

      Wow, no words for this really.

      1. That way september and october can truly be the seventh and eight paychecks of the year. It makes sense in a sick semantic way.

        1. Or, two checks could be deleted, ensuring that December's pay is the 10th paycheck.

    3. Awesome, if depressing and scary, article. None of the clowns in charge can say "we didn't see this coming."

  20. And then we have Merkel making nasty noises about the "speculators" (NOT 'cosmopolitans', heaven forbid!) dealing in Greek paper.
    And she has to know full well that if it weren't for those speculators, there wouldn't be any market at all for that paper.
    So, fool or knave?

  21. Government sure is great at deflecting blame. Not me! It's the capitalists/speculators/terrorists/Jews/libertarians/hoi polloi/Canadians/etc.!

    1. The Ring of Gyges myth was corrupted over time -- it didn't actually make you invisible, it just made you impervious to blame or accountability.

  22. Come on folks, learn the rules --

    * A few cranks phone in weak death threats to politicians during the health care bill debate's final hours (including some threats phoned in to those opposing the bill, but enough about that) = Media outrage! Teabaggerz are insane, violent psychopaths! Also, some flighty chick from Alaska used the term "targeted district", which is a death threat!

    * Actual intimidation and violence occurs, such as two Republicans being shit-stomped in New Orleans, a guy selling Gadsden flags at a rally in St. Louis gets smacked around by union thugs, 500 thugs (SEIU again) get a police escort to hang around on someone's lawn and intimidate the teenager at home, this schmuck Hedges lets loose some bile about the lighter side of rioting, etc. = Nothing to see here

    1. http://www.powerlineblog.com/a.....026383.php

      Check out the picture on this link. And remember these clowns got a police escort. Those people were tresspassing. As far as I am concerned the guy who owned the house could have turned dogs or a fire hose on them if he chose to. And certainly, should have been able to call the cops and had everyone of them who was in his yard arrested for criminal trespass.

      Instead they came with a police escort and if the owner of the house had raised a single finger in self defense the cops would have arrested him. That is straight out of the fascist playbook.

      1. Did you miss the "When can I shoot someone legally?" subthread when Reason originally posted that story, John?

        Good times.

        1. Yes I did. Sadly, I do occasionally have to make a living.

          1. Yeah, I mostly work nights, and miss most of the good conversations. I'll leave in an hour and all the threads I had comments on will be on the "previously" screen, or have 276 comments.

  23. The greek rioters are like the braindead zombie corpse of Marxism operating on pure instinct.

    What, no free money? BRAIIIIIINNNNS!!!!

    1. If the SEIU comes for you, make sure not to hide anywhere symbolic of capitalism or whatnot (banks, shopping malls).

      1. SEIU members are going to have to hide their jet skis, boats and Camaros.

    2. Heh. "Night of the Living Slackers." Where's my check?

  24. I don't see where I disagree with Hedges - people should be very angry in the US and out in the streets a lot more and angry about real issues not whether Obama was born in Transdienster, getting government hands off medicaid, etc. unfortunately the left is unlikely to do so cause Obama is in power and the Tea Party folks are useful idiots - we'll need things to be a lot worse economically for this to occur because most americans are still fat, happy and content with the bread and circuses

    1. As pissed off as I get about unions, I can recognize that quite a few people, maybe most, are in the union but not of it -- and that's even more true for low-level employees of banks or corporations. Accepting their murder is completely fucking amoral -- but it's par for the course with terrorism and political violence. Kill innocents because you're unable (or too lazy) to strike at the people in charge.

  25. Property rights are meaningless without the corresponding right to defend your property.

    qwerty's Self Defense Amendment: A person shall have the right to life, liberty, and property, which cannot be taken without due process of law. Persons shall have the right to defend their life, liberty, and property with whatever degree of force necessary to negate the threat.

  26. Eh. "Truthdig"? Really? They be getters after de truth?

    I checked out the comments over there. Raving. "help help I'm being oppressed" level crazeology.

    1. After reading your comment, I made the mistake of reading some of the posts to the linked article. The stupidity is actually physically painful.

      The old dude needs a lobotomy, for his own good, and I'll give good odds that the poster "Eugenio Costa" is a 17 year old upper-middle class white kid.

      1. Heh.


        1. AARRGH!

          That had me shaking my fist at the sky, shouting; "The sixties are over fuckwad, just die already"


      2. I also was tempted to see who read his article and what they thought of it.

        It was a mistake. My feelings about mankind as a whole have taken a hard kick in the nuts. They are the kind of dumb that can not be cured; you can only hope to contain it.

        1. I thought your post @2:05 was written after reading those comments. What you wrote pretty much sums up the viewpoint of the linked article's author, and readers alike.

          What kind of world does one have to inhabit to blame Greece's problems on the banks. Really?

          1. Yeah, you'd think so wouldnt you?

            No, they were even WORSE than I thought.

  27. The whole problem with the Mediterranean community is the ridiculously strong coffee. Makes 'em all crazy. Ever had Greek/Turkish/etc. coffee?

    1. Man, I could go for a cup of some spiced turkish coffee right now, that sounds good.

      1. Don't! Eventually, you'll be rioting!

        1. I like Turkish coffee. Never rioted once. Thought about it, then said, "Too far..."

          1. It's a slow, incremental build-up. Ever notice that a disproportionate amount of the crazy in the world comes from that region?

  28. "They know what to do when they are told their pensions, benefits and jobs have to be cut to pay corporate banks, which screwed them in the first place. Call a general strike. Riot. Shut down the city centers. Toss the bastards out. Do not be afraid of the language of class warfare?the rich versus the poor, the oligarchs versus the citizens, the capitalists versus the proletariat."

    Tust a liberal twit to mistake a bunch of spoiled brat public sector sponge, leech and parasit union types for noble freedom fighters.

    1. "Call a general strike. Riot. Shut down the city centers. Toss the bastards out. "

      Which bastards? The Germans?
      Are they proposing to invade Germany and force them to give them money?

      1. Greece invading Germany??

        i'd actually pay to see that

  29. It was that teensy speck of capitalism in that sea of socialism that caused socialism to fail.

    Who knew socialism was such a delicate flower?

    1. Leftist have the "one drop" rule.

      1. And yet, leftists claim many of the problems of Cuba are blamed on the evil USA having an embargo and refusing to practice capitalist free trade with them. Their excuses are very flexible.

        1. Yet, they will also say that the problems in a place like Thailand, where we trade a lot, are all caused by the evils of global trade. If you just listened to the anti-global trade arguments you would think that Cuba and North Korea being two countries that escaped the ravages of globalism, would be the two nicest places on earth. They really are insane.

      2. What are you? Some kind of a free market fundamentalist!?!?!?!? ARGBLARGARG!

  30. How can Chris Hedges be considered a good war corespondent when he can't even figure out who's rioting against whom?

  31. "...well-respected former war correspondent Chris Hedges"

    I think you meant, "former well-respected war correspondent, Chris Hedges"

    I actually liked that guy for 5 minutes when he wrote his 'War is a force...' book. (i admit, i never read it) He did the rounds of talk shows, and I sort of took him at face value as a traumatized war correspondent, like Michael Herr & vietnam...

    Then he said something not having to do with being a war correspondent, and I realized he was a complete brainwashed fucktard with a persecution complex.

    Here's to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country

    Yeah, corporations 'pillage and loot'...by buying their debt?? only because its been backed by the EU with tons of public money?? Its all a big scam! They "faked" the economic data! Jesus, this is almost as sophisticated as that vast right wing conspiracy to steal all of Iraq's oil!

    (jesus... how can ANYONE take this kind of ranting seriously?? How can you believe that its all a conspiracy of 'big banks'? Like they even WANT to get involved in this POS country! Why do you think their debt would have cost 15% a year without EU backing?.. there's probably 100+ different institutions backing up the bailout... and none of them would be doing it if not for the intervention of the EU... and the EU wouldnt be doing it if there wasnt a major risk of Greece taking down Spain, Portugal, Ireland etc, causing a massive tanking of the Euro, etc. Point being, if anyone thought it was a 'scam' and the Greek economy was actually putting up secret- "hidden"-but-sweet fundamentals ....Where the hell were the people on the other side of that trade???! You think at least one person who agrees with hedges might be out there cleaning up, right? Because not everyone is a complete dupe... or ARE they?

    Thats what bothers me the most about uberliberal anti-capitalist dickwads... They dont even vaguely understand the thing they pretend to criticize. The arguments they make dont make any sense in the real world. I mean, come on. At least Marx understood economics *before* he turned it into a pile of gibberish. These guys are almost willfully ignorant of basic facts about the connection between debt as a % of GNP, interest rates, etc. Anything having to do with economics basically lives in a fantasy world for them, where Daddy Warbucks shoots the poor with bullets made of compressed money from the balcony of his mansion on the hill overlooking the ghetto.

    Or something like that.

    I almost want to help them out and be like, "look, if you want to criticize international finance, here are 3 key points to make".... JUST SO THAT THEY WOULD MAKE SOME KIND OF SENSE BEFORE I TOLD THEM HOW RETARDED THEY ARE.

    Its not fun when they dont even seem to grasp the basics of the things they rant about. Its like boxing with a paraplegic. And even that would be fun, if only the cripple didnt lie down and start peeing himself before you got a shot in. I dont even *hate* hedges. This kind of nonsense doesnt even deserve that. I hold him in contempt as being completely unqualified to even comment on topics like this.

    Its bad enough that idiots like this fail to see the insanity of the greek protests (oh, that will REALLY help inspire confidence in your debt rating).... its that he thinks its a GOOD thing. With a body count! I was pissed off that a lot of mainstream media first ignored the Greek violence (or at least downplayed it).... But now we have idiots *celebrating* it. Just when I think I can't be surprised....

    1. You are right. They are so ignorant you don't even know how to correct them.

    2. I hereby decree this lengthy post to be THREADWINNA!

    3. At least Marx understood economics *before* he turned it into a pile of gibberish

      My only bone to pick with this is, no he didn't.

      If you read about the fundamentals of Marx's economic theories, they're bunk. To be kind to Marx, one could say he was laboring with HUGE blind spots.

      1. U'r nitpicking.

        My point was that the guy was informed at least, no matter how bad he funged everything up.

        His progeny, on the other hand, can't so much as fucking figure out the difference between nominal and real $ terms.

        1. U'r nitpicking.

          I admit I am.

          Most of us are still stuck at explaining the difference between money and wealth to the average liberal reactionary.

  32. Tea Parties bad, lynch mobs good.

    1. only if you are lynchin' the rich and the not dark. God help their brains if a Greek lynches a black banker.

      1. "Worlds are colliding, Jerry!"

      2. might be kinda interesting to see their heads explode trying to explain that one. "Racist!! FASCIST!! OLIGARCHIST!!"...POP!

  33. Here's to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country

    And here I thought Greece had been pillaged and looted by the Greek government.

    1. You vile racist.

      1. One could say the Greek government has been pillaged and looted by their citizens.

        1. But really, that money had to come from somewhere. They raped and pillaged their local businesses. Then Atlas shrugged. Whoops.

          1. Actually, Atlas got burned to death in the lobby.

  34. The photo is deceiving.... the riot police are just cooking a huge block of Saganaki cheese. Opa!

  35. For a good dose of leftist insanity I suggest checking out the post of Eugenio Costa in the comments. Apparently, those greedy bank tellers deserved to be burned to a crisp.

    1. Opps, somebody else already pointed him out.

      1. It's okay, pointing out eugene's stupidity cannot be done enough. I wish I knew his real name, I'd call his parents and have them check out all the hateful things eugene posts on the interwebz. Maybe they'd limit his internet privileges.

  36. The "Taxes are theft" meme generates a lot of sneers outside of libertarian fundamentalists.

    But theft is exactly what the Greeks are agitating for. They want to take the wealth of others to preserve their Government jobs. Their sole justification is that they want it.

    It's disgusting.

    1. Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor isn't theft.

      1. Is it theft if the rich steal from the rich?

      2. "Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor isn't theft"

        how, pray tell, is stealing not theft??

    2. And yet, it's wonderful. Oh so wonderful. Their unsustainable welfare state is coming to an end. Maybe we can finally stop hearing about how progressive and functional those Europeans states are.

      1. Maybe we can finally stop hearing about how progressive and functional those Europeans states are.


        They are already blaming "speculators", and "greedy bankers" for this calamity. The entitlement class is so set in its ways that cognitive dissonance is preferable to retraction.

      2. Maybe we can finally stop hearing about how progressive and functional those Europeans states are.

        You will not. As I've said before, you can have an island of capitalism being drowned in a sea of socialism, and when socialism fails, it was capitalism's fault.

        There is no "Aha!" moment. You could fast-forward the clock to Oceana and the progressives would blame it all on the free market*.

        *knowing that free market having little to do with capitalism blah blah blah.

      3. Maybe we can finally stop hearing about how progressive and functional those Europeans states are.

        Just like the election of Obama stopped all those accusations of racism.

  37. This feeling lurks in the hearts of most leftie liberals I've met...they get all aroused and tumescent, even the women, at eugenics as well.

  38. Wow what a unique way of seeing the fall of a socialist backwater country that denied itself a free market, created an unsustainable culture of life long entitlement and had been borrowing to prop up the Fantasy of the successful socialist society for ages.
    History repeats the same way in every socialist society...BANKRUPT due to disconnect with the real world, a preview of Obama's USA.

  39. When the crooked unions riot over here, they will be met with semi-automatic weapons fire from business owners protecting what they have built. PLAIN AND SIMPLE! If they want to redistribute wealth, THEY WILL HAVE TO TAKE IT!

    1. Uh...

      Dude, we dont need any extra helpings of crazy talk today.

      1. That guy is straight outta the Breitbart.com comments section.

      2. his crazy talk aside, it probably is true that if this kind of stuff happened here, there would be more bussinesses and home owners defending themselves. We are just a wee bit more armed then the greeks are.

  40. Though I don't believe in killing innocent people, I like the sentiment in that passage.

    If people were truly aware of how much the wealthy elite have screwed them over, their would be blood in the streets, and though it wouldn't be justified by law it would be vindicated by history. As punishment for their destroying the economy the elites in America were handed a sentence of fat golden parachutes and congress tsk tsking them.

    Massive fraud is what has been committed in the name of free enterprise, and everyone is so confused by the media arm of the parasitic wealthy that they think the fault is poor black people. That's what this country has that others don't: a well-oiled machine that deflects blame from the powerful to the powerless whenever anything goes bad.

    1. Really?

      Tony, please explain to the good folks at home how oppressed you are. Tell them how you don't like to see innocent people killed yet roll around in the shit of an article that relishes just that. Maybe you are right though, mass murder, because bus drivers made $25 an hour rather than $30, and only had 2 months paid vacation per year, will be vindicated by history.

    2. Yeah Tony that is why Greece is going broke massive fraud by the wealthy. Same thing with California. Huge government spending and unsustainable debt have nothing to do with it. What is happening here is your entire view of government is collapsing. The European social welfare state, the state that American liberals aspire to is collapsing under its own weight. Greece is just first. Spain, the UK, Ireland and others will follow. And those that don't go broke will have to completely redo their systems in the name of austerity.
      The game is up. Everything you support is being proven to be a failure.

      1. is being proven to be a failure

        For the umpteenth time.

        1. That is the problem. Liberals aren't exactly keen about learning from experience. It doesn't matter how many times they fail. They always find a way to blame it on someone else.

          1. Says the guy who enthusiastically supports land wars in Asia...

      2. John, everything you support has proven to be a failure. Social welfare states didn't cause the global financial crisis--the finance industry in the United States did. The EU is just having trouble digging itself out of the muck.

        You've fabricated a self-serving yet completely false version of reality here.

        Yes they have debt problems--caused by the financial crisis. A little Keynesian stimulus spending helped the US get out of its ditch. But the one lesson we should learn from the problems in Europe is that the global financial system is so interconnected that MORE controls and safety valves are needed, not fewer.

        1. Tony, Greece is going broke because it can't sustain its welfare state. This has nothing to do with the financial collapse of 2008. They can't pay their government bonds because their spending is so high.

          1. Well it's not the welfare state per se, just debts that were too high (there is a very high amount of tax evasion in Greece) and dishonest reporting. The 2008 crisis's role was in that it hit Greece particularly hard (tourism and shipping are two of its biggest industries, and both were hurt by the crisis).

            My thinking is that decreasing Greek citizens' spending power by adopting austerity measures will only compound the problem. Yes it spends money on a welfare state, and yes it has a debt problem, but that doesn't mean the welfare state caused it, it could just as easily mean taxes were too low or evaded too much.

            1. You have clearly never met the law of diminishing returns

              The rate of accessible taxation is not linear; the more you take, the less people have, the less they invest, the less they grow, the less you get tomorrow.

              Unsustainable. See: current situation.

              1. There is no evidence that beyond a certain large range taxation hampers growth. This is one of the fantasies of the free marketeers who let this problem happen.

              2. Why work at all? Just sit on your ass and let the state feed and clothe you.

                Geez, GILMORE... get with the program!

                1. Because there's absolutely no gray area between a free market and an all-controlling state...

            2. "and yes it has a debt problem, but that doesn't mean the welfare state caused it, it could just as easily mean taxes were too low or evaded too much"
              If that is not the words of a fool then there are no words to describe how a fool thinks.
              Taxes are too low...how high do they need to be risen before they are too high and still the welfare state is unsustainable?
              Taxes are evaded too much...And if every Greek citizen decided that they were not being duped and paid every penny of their taxes only to see taxes increased to support the welfare state howow high do they need to be risen before they are too high and still the welfare state is unsustainable?
              No it does not mean the welfare state caused a finical crisis anymore then my credit card debt has anything to do with my personnel finical crisis.
              I am just taxed too much is all.

    3. And yet, without government bailouts, the wealthy elite would have been less wealthy.

      Tony, you're right, but for all the wrong reasons. There should be blood in the streets, you're just confused as to whose blood should be running.

      1. I don't think so. Without the bailouts, we all would have been less wealthy. I wish we could have had the bailouts, then put the CEOs of the responsible companies in federal prison.

        1. Tony, for god's sake, I'm less wealthy because of the bailouts.

          1. Don't you just love how these Nostradamii can tell us, with 100% certainty, that we would have been doom'd if the bailouts hadn't been passed around?

            The odd thing is, it's coming from the side of the aisle that hates capitalism with a passion. How puzzling.

            1. You should look into the parallels with the Great Depression.

              You're doing a bit of disingenuous Monday morning quarterbacking. It's easy to criticize something so loathsome when you can pretend that doing nothing would have been perfectly ok.

              1. Odd, we did nothing in 1920 and it turned out ok.

          2. and then the Tony's of the world call US corporate shills

    4. Tony|5.25.10 @ 3:10PM|#
      "....they think the fault is poor black people...."

      Uh, poor black people are being blamed for this?
      Pretty sure you should be posting in the 'stupid comments by lefties' article.

    5. Tony, I'm being totally serious here.
      What is the narrative of the collapse in your mind? In other words, tell me the story of which events caused which other events and ultimately led to the financial collapse.

      1. United States housing bubble collapses. Real-estate-tied securities plummet in price, causing massive damage to financial institutions globally. Banks collapse, credit dries up, consumer confidence plummets, trade declines worldwide.

        So what caused the housing bubble in the first place? Low interest rates on the back of the dotcom collapse and subprime lending helped lead to it, but the scope of the collapse can only be accounted for by the rapid increase in financial innovation (derivatives), made possible by lack of sufficient government oversight.

        1. I wish we could have had the bailouts, then put the CEOs of the responsible companies in federal prison.

          Perfectly illustrating the real reason the bubble began in the first place, because only one of those two situations exists in reality.

          As long as people, rich or poor, connected or non-connected, government or private-sector, are insulated from the results of their decisions, you will have the kinds of decisions that lead to catastrophic failures.

          The Democratic super-majority bailed out these banks.

          You don't empower failure, and you don't give more power to those who help empower failure.

          Accountability is the only answer, and the accountability of world governments is approaching quickly.

          That's why the Greek government workers are rioting. Along with many on the left, they seem to completely fail to see that their confused worldview will not impede reality.

          But that's not actually true. They're just trying, like the bankers, to avoid accountability for the massive failures.

          That is the reason for the non-stop drumbeat of propaganda.

          1. I agree that in a vacuum the bailout (which happened under Bush) was morally abhorrent. It was necessary though, and could easily have come with strings attached (such as all the boards of bailed out companies replaced or the companies themselves nationalized).

            The whole point was we couldn't let a market correction happen because it would have sent the economy into a depression. That's the essence of too big to fail. Either a corporation shouldn't be too big to fail or if it has to be it should be owned by the people.

            1. You're calling for nationalizing things, Tony, with a straight face no less... and you claim to not be a socialist.

              Yikes. Just yikes.

              1. liberals arent socialists... they just want a nationalized healthcare industry and nationalized pensions and nationalized financial instutitons and government controlled energy companies and... but they arent socialists at all.

              2. I've never claimed such a thing.

                1. What you say has very little to do with any sort of reality, so why start now?

                  Either a corporation shouldn't be too big to fail or if it has to be it should be owned by the people.

                  Of course. Government 'regulation' creates chosen corporations by preventing competition, which leads to said chosen corporations growing to unfathomable size, which then leads to the 'necessity' of nationalization.

                  Apparently the reason you've never claimed you're a socialist is because you're a totalitarian.

            2. The whole point was we couldn't let a market correction happen because it would have sent the economy into a depression.


              1) You're awfully confident that a depression has been avoided, rather than postponed. Care to quote more bogus 'recovery' numbers? Just leave out the dow, which seems to be problematic.

              2) What had to happen was that politicians, of both corrupt parties, had to protect the people who were friends/donors/connected, and especially - without a doubt - those who might 'rock the boat' by explaining the role of government in the financial disaster. It was hush money, pure and simple.

        2. OMG! There was all this "innovation" and the SHIT BLEW UP!

          Stop the Innovation!

          Come on, surely there's a more coherent argument beind the "derivatives caused it" line than that, right?

          You mgiht suggest that basically the shit got so complex that nobody knew what was going on. Or you could track what the financial incentives and risk were, or what they appear to be, that led investors to chase after mortgage derivatives. IMO "animal spirits" is a bit thin.

          You could, for instance, look at how and why the risks of these securities were so wildly misrated. Beyond, you know, a cursory, "there must have been some greed involved!" summation.

  41. Mr. Hedges is way off. The people in Greece are not rioting for the reasons he states, but because their were cutbacks to their welfare system. What Mr. Hedges refuses to notes is that while corrupt politicians in bed with corporations are PART of the problem - the much larger problem is that Greece has had one of the worlds must luxurious (and underfunded) welfare systems in the world. What has driven Greece to brink is indefatigable government spending and and a culture of what my mother used to call the "gimme, gimme's... I want, I want, I want's". Fix the culture of laziness and profligate government spending and you fix the problem.

  42. Is Chris Hedges referring to the corporations that paid most of the taxes, and provided jobs to people to pay the taxes, that support all of the socialist agendas? Should we just eliminate all employers? Everybody works for the state? Then who pays the state . . . Seems like a country tried this before . . . Oh, yes, the USSR . . Once the population recovered from the 150 million Stalin killed to make his "utopia" work, it failed didn't it.

  43. Hey, hey, bus drivers struggle to get by, often making less than $100K/year, and many get receive only limited pension funds while some aren't even eligible for early retirement.

  44. We do have people taking to the streets in the good old USA. The difference is that unlike the Greek protesters they tend to be conservatives and libertarians go by the name tea partiers and generally look and act like poeple going on a picnic.

    1. Rage against the machine, man!

    2. Yes...

      A Very Racist and Classist Picnic. A Picnic Foreshadowing The Coming Class War.

    3. But we alseo have SEIU union goons taking to the streets to intimidate and beat people up.

      Of course according to the media, this is either:

      a. not actually happening.


      b. doesn't count even if it is.

      1. No, Gilbert, the nurses and busboys aren't out to get you.

        1. Not him, personally, but they do have their fair share of thugs in their ranks.

  45. Rage Against My Allowance.

  46. Ragism.

    1. Or perhaps I should've said, "Ragist!"

  47. I wonder what all the anti gun zealots will do when this comes knocking on their door....

  48. Chris Hedges is a disgusting little man. He is truly what the Left is all about in America.

    May someone drop an anvil on his rotten effing head.

  49. OK, I put on my gas mask and went back to the Truthdig crazy chamber... and i did find at least one accidentally accurate & amusing point:

    By Eugenio Costa, May 24 at 2:56 pm #
    Meanwhile Communist China has already recovered from the world wide depression and is moving on to the next step economically with a high growth rate.

    Plus you Americans owe them trillions because your friendly neighborhood financial elute sold out the whole of US industry, heavy and light, to them decades ago.

    And you idiots are worried about Mexicans?

    It made me think of LoneWacko. I miss him so.

  50. Okay folks.

    The average Greek is NOT lazy. He works the longest workweek in the EU for half the wage of a German (for example). Even many of those government workers had second jobs in the private sector.

    What Greeks appear to be justifiably horrified about seeing is the prospect of living through decades of depression and debt-peonage so that foreign banks can reap where they never sowed. How much of that money do you think the average Greek making 700 euro a month ever saw, and he having to pay bribes to see a doctor in a public hospital?

    If I didn't know any better I'd suggest Greece follow Murray Rothbard's suggestion and declare the "theft bonds" null and void, and tell the German bankers that if they want Corfu they can damned well come get it. Unfortunately, I do know better. A default would mean the bloated Greek army's paychecks would bounce---and that would be the end of Greece's democratic government. The Greek army have a very nasty habit of taking matters into their own hands whenever the natives get too restless. A fresh military government would be a far, far greater threat to the freedom of the Greek people than a few old communists and rock-throwing adolescents ever could be.

    So no, the EU really isn't doing enough. The EU needed to be discussing restructuring that debt alongside talk of cuts, so banks who made bad bets would be seen to be taking losses as well on debts they should have known would never be paid.

    Meanwhile Greece's superwealthy move their assets offshore, buying condos in London where they can hide out for a few years and cheer the next generation of colonels on as they save Mother Greece from "Communists" and anything resembling a liberal opposition. Again.

    Your average Greek could easily be forgiven for thinking he's being robbed in broad daylight, of his wealth AND his liberty. And being outraged beyond belief.

    1. I think a little Occam's razor is due here: The Greek government pays people to not be productive. Results are expected.

    2. I don't see any signs screaming "Abandon the EU, default on all foreign debt". All I see is "I didn't get my damn paycheck and you owe me a living wage"

      If Greece were like Iceland, we wouldn't see rioting in the streets, we'd see organized economic rebellion. Sadly the Greeks rioting are no better than the worst union thugs.

    3. So what you are saying is that profligate irresponsibility should have no costs, and should be completely distributed amongst Greece's creditors, much like the way Obama burned the shit out of GM debt-holders, who despite knowing the company was a piece of shit, believed in the rules governing finance that made them the primary secured lenders and thus could reasonably (to some degree) expect at least their principal back in the event of default.

      I dont entirely disagree with some of your points, but you seem to be dancing around the issue of how the @(*$@ Greeks got where they are in the first place, which is exactly the reason no one wants to lend them money at any reasonable rate, because they behave like insane drunken sailors with their public finances.

      Let me give you a thought experiment:

      1) A good friend you've known for years as a responsible guy loses his wallet and needs $100 to cover daily expenses until he gets replacement cards, etc. Do you lend him the money?

      2) someone you vaguely know though an acquaintance who recently got out of rehab shows up on your doorstep at 4AM with cracked out lips, scratching his armpits, smelling like pee, and asks for $100. There are police sirens in the distance and the smell of smoke in the air. Do you lend him the money?

      This is not incredibly different than how sovereign debt is rated. Its not the most complex financial analysis in the world. You can't 'hide' the ability to be able to pay your bills the way say an individual company can... (or as we have seen in the recent past). At least when a company fails, it can liquidate. Governments, not so much.

      If you expect the EU to "do more", then you are simply setting the stage for repeat scenarios with other profligate and debt ridden countries in the EU, of which there are a pretty significant handful. If there are no costs to default, then why not default? If your solution for Greece is so generous, what prevents any of the other members from expecting the same largesse? Follow this logic - you've killed the entire regional economy and currency and created a continental depression. You've taken a regional problem and just made it a massive systemic problem.

      Is there something I'm missing?

      1. You've taken a regional problem and just made it a massive systemic problem.

        Is there something I'm missing?

        Kickin' it upstairs. It's the catchphrase that's sweeping the nation.

        I will admit that here in Washington, King County was one of the first governmental entities that tried to kick their budget woes downstairs.

      2. Is there something I'm missing?

        Elected office or appointment to the head of a central bank.

        1. har har

  51. So, while perusing the largely incoherent comment section on the article, I found this gem.

    It would appear all of us libertarians are sufferingg from a mental disorder: 1776 syndrome.


    Enjoy lads and lassies!

    1. Wait...IT'S A TRAP!!

    2. That was worse than the Hedges piece.

      If possible.

  52. Ok,a leftist government runs leftist policies that create so much debt they collapse an economy. Then a leftist reports makes a statement that leftists should riot and cause more damage?

    Yeah, damn businesses making money but not making enough for the government to give bread and circuses to everyone forever... blame them. Not the government that couldn't manage to balance a budget. The Government is your friend, even when it's causing an economic collapse that puts you out of work starving on the street.

    Yeah, corporations are useless; the Government is so productive it can fund itself... end all business... right?

    If idiots like this have any say we're going to have to watch Communism kill another couple hundred million civilians before people re-learn this lesson aren't we?

    1. Unless those civilians don't play along.

  53. There is an extensive historical record of violence begetting opposing violence. The outcome has not always been bad.

  54. Come and get us; there are 99gazillion gun owners in the USA: Come riot in my neighborhood and DIE in the streey!!

  55. I am ready. Started prepping after Otraitor was elected. Come down our street and get a big surprise LOL.

  56. A Big LOL.

    The Hoi Poloi throw a tantrum. So what.

    They don't have the education or sophistication to even ask the basic question: How is money created? How is it related to wealth and prosperity? Who is really in charge here?

  57. Maybe we could start at his place.

  58. Does the left not see that they are the 'Useful Idiots' in a union of Big Corporation and Big Government? Can you REALLY be this stupid? Government is your 'friend' against Big Business? Really? Just how far down is your head in the sand? Riots help this? Riots empower both the Corporations and Government with even more power - What a fool!

  59. Matt Welch represents the intellectual and ethical collapse of the libertarian right quite clearly when he links me with support for Hedges' endorsement of violence, given that the essay I recommended had nothing at all to do with Greece.

    As a former subscriber to Reason who cancelled when it started arguing environmentalists were planning to destroy humanity with an engineered virus or bacteria, he should be utterly ashamed of himself.

    But I doubt that he is.

    1. drink, boringly

  60. The thing that most of these intellectuals don't seem to get is that if there are riots, they and their institutions are as likely to be targeted as those evil greedy bankers.

  61. Hedges writings, as well as those that he closely follows (Ward Churchill) have a less than concealed anti-semitism to them. In fact, it's difficult to read Hedges rants without recognizing that "Goldman Sachs and international bankers" is code for "Jews."

    For some analysts, this helps explain the strong correlation between the progressofascists and the militant Islamic fundamentalists: both seek "reason" through the eradication of post-modern forms (equality, recognition of the other - particularly the Jew other, tolerance, open discourse, representation of oppositional ideas) through the advocacy of violence and extermination of opposition.

    Unless this hateful advocacy (which does resonate with the mass murdering shooters, as evidenced in our recent Arizona and Fort Hood shooting illustrate) is exposed and ridiculed, we've got a dangerous path ahead.

  62. He is currently the F. Ross Johnson-Connaught Distinguished Visitor in American Studies, Centre for the Study of the United States at The University of Toronto. Living in Canada I'm not surprised that this left-wing piece of excrement has found a home in Canadian academia.That my tax dollars go to support this place and this buffoon makes me ill!

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