- You can quote me
One of the items allegedly requiring Greek parliamentary passage, either by this Wednesday or next, is a complete overhaul of the judicial system. We'll see how that works out.
It wasn't until I was talking to my OH last night, and reading over what had been said here already that I realised I ought to clarify that I am not Greek, I am from the UK, but I have been coming here for 15 years and lived here about a decade. I found it oddly ammusing that when I first read it I didn't even notice. I seem identify more easily with the Greeks than the English - my OH says I went native years ago!
It has always fascinated me how the different 'systems' work and are capable of helping or harming each other. I have also come to appreciate that what you see from the inside is not made to tally with what's reported from the outside. I know, for example, what the Greeks presumptions of the UK are, and how very wrong they often are. I am also now able to explain the present Greek situation to my friends in the UK by making comparisions they can relate to.
On that thought I would be all in favour of making the discussion as broad as possible, as I would greatly appreciate knowing how it is 'on the ground' from other people in other places too.
What I may do is start the forum and later change the title. Maybe we can have a discussion on what to call it with the caveat that it may be changed over time.
It will be on members to jump back to General Chat if they want things off the public board.
In the meantime, more for my own sanity than the benifit of anyone else I shall ramble on here for a while. Forgive me. It has to go somewhere.
I wish to offer up an analogy - well in my head it's an analogy anyway.
It has now been two years since I started to get sick. Nothing serious at first. Not symptoms that couldn't be dismissed or ignored. Nothing that I wasn't told wouldn't resolve itself. I continued to get worse. I was called a liar, a hypochondriac, lazy, mad and given medication that while supposedly addressed the symptoms actually allowed the disease (the 'imaginary' illness I 'didn't have') to survive and thrive.
Throughout this time, over 18 months, I carried on. Out of a sense of responsibility, obligation even, while the disease took hold of more and more of my body. I took pay cuts, worked longer hours, took on another job, all for the greater good.
I got rushed to ER when I collapsed at work. I couldn't walk, talk or think. I was told I was fine. I was told to go carry on.
At Christmas when my adrenal system finally crashed completely I had nothing left to fight with. And the response of the doctors was to finally admit that I was sick - but refuse to treat me for the disease I actually have. I had had all the 'treatment' they were prepared to give me. The very treatment that had allowed the disease to flourish in the first place. They could do no more.
And work? I didn't get sick leave and sick pay. I got the sack. And an accompanying text message that read ' THANKS FOR THAT!!!'.
It has been six months now since I started correct treatment under the guidance of a private doctor who I had to fly 2000 miles to see. Her waiting room filled with folks telling very similar tales.
I fight through every single day. The meds that will eventually bring about recovery cause some of the worst symptoms, or at least the toxins from the bacteria they kill do.
And all the while I feel guilty. Guilty that I am not working, not productive, not useful. Resentful that my life has been reduced to surviving, not living. Perhaps the worst part is that no one can even provide a time frame for when this will end. When the stuff that makes it worse will eventually make you feel better.
And yet the nub of it is that I know this is fundementally of my own making. I placed myself in a work environment where it was possible to catch tbe disease in the first place. Should I have been better prepared, better nformed, better protected? Yes. I was just ignorant. I had never even heard of Lyme before I caught it. Too late.
And the people I now stand with in an attempt to fight the disease on every level, who attempt to take on Big Pharma, are the same people who are shipping meds to Africa and getting arrested at anti-fracking demonstrations. I only wish I could say any of us were winning.
And so, rightly or wrongly, this is my analogy. The parallels drawn between a sick individual and a sick country. I am not sure if it makes sense to anyone except me?
Democracy is dead in the water. But I guess the majority of Americans realised that about the time President Gore wasn't? The economics behind troikas programme has been nothing short of catastrophic, and will continue to be so. Almost none of the money loaned to Greece has gone to anywhere other than payouts to the private sectors creditors and will continue to do so if this next deal is done. Too high a price has been paid by the people to preserve nothing more than banking systems. If you think you can convince a crushed nation to try harder to get less you have some extremely misplaced aspirations. This will not end well.
In years past I used to believe I had a voice which, rightly or wrongly, deserved to be heard. Now? I couldn't care less who, if indeed anyone, reads this.
I could wax lyrical about the regressive and punitive policies now being forced upon us, new austerity measures and privatization plans (I am a child of the Thatcher era, best not get me started).
Perhaps I will tomorrow. For now I just have to get through today.
ALERTS TO THREATS IN EUROPE
From JOHN CLEESE
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."
The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.
The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be right, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barby' this weekend!" and "The barby' is cancelled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.
John Cleese ,
British writer, actor and tall person
And as a final thought - Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.
I told you Monty Python would get involved....
- You can quote me
Your analogy is very well-put and makes perfect sense. Individuals, corporations and nations are all types of organisms, with strong parallels in disorders and in treatment.
Pig party, I sincerely hope you begin to improve soon.
For those who like history, I highly recommend "Truman" by David McCullough. There was a point in time when true capitalists believed in the profit motive strongly, but also believed that if you made foolish moves and risky loans and they failed, that you went under. No bailouts. No "too big to fail." Live by the sword, die by it and that served as something of a deterrent to mass exploitation. There was a time when Congress, or at least some of its members, listened to their constituents and rooted out and corrected some of the worst of corporate and financial fatcat behavior.
Unfortunately, apparently no more.
Bugs Mom - its either laugh or get yourself fitted for one of those jackets. The ones that fasten inconveniently at the back.
Personally I have no problem with this being moved. I figure in my head that anything I post on here is public, in as much as anyone who wasn't already here, and was that way inclined, could sign up and read stuff here anyhow.
That way I don't tend to say stuff here I wouldn't normally say to a load of folks I have never met - though its a shame cos I'd like to.
They are my own views and I stand by them. Bite me.
So while Athens 'riots' or 'demonstrates', depending on your degree of cynicism, and politicians procrastinate, I am personally at somewhat of a loss as to how this can be turned into something other than an ongoing farcical nightmare.
You poked the dog with a stick till it bit you, now you want it to give you a paw for a biscuit? Interesting idea, but I don't think even Caesar Millan would back it as sensible.
This post makes some interesting points, which will save me from having to go off on one about the comments I still see about 'Greeks', meant as sweeping generalizations directed at a nation as a whole -
Please understand that there is no benefit system to 'scrounge' from (which was a massive bone of contention when I left the UK, and I believe still is). The 19 year old, who lives with his parents, is the only employee where my OH works does not have a second job. And said place of employment is open 20 hours a day.
We know there are tax dodgers, the corrupt and unscrupulous amongst us. But, of course, the following bailouts were all also required as a result of sound, ethical, non-corrupt financial transactions by individuals with the welfare and economic security of the people in mind?
Citigroup $2.513 trillon, Morgan Stanley $2.041 trillion, Merril Lynch, $1.949 trillion, BOA $1.344 trillion, Barkleys PLC $868 billion, Royal Bank of Scotland $541 Billion, Deutsche Bank $354 Billion, Credit Suisse $262 billion, Dresdner Bank $135 billion. And the list goes on.
They were not paid by any tax payer and the full amount plus interest is being recouped in a timely fashion.
Of course. Just not in this reality.
Its just in these cases no one is out to blame a nation for the financial nightmare and punish them all for the actions of a few.
Or should that read - no one is out to blame a nation for the financial nightmare but will punish the underdogs for the actions of some w*nker bankers in more underhand ways using back door tactics??
I guess at least we got presented with a script that reads 'your s*rewed'. I should really write and thank then.