ATHENS — Retirees throughout Greece mobbed banks as they tried to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) in pension payments on Wednesday, as the country teetered on the brink of economic collapse hours after an international bailout expired.
Emotions ran high outside a Piraeus Bank branch in downtown Athens as some 60 customers jostled impatiently after waiting for hours in the sweltering sun.
“This is humiliating,” said Athanasios, an 80-year-old former army officer. “I used to receive a monthly pension of 1,500 euros and now I have to line up for hours to receive 120? This is unfair.” (in part from The Ultimate Answer To Kings)
I’m reminded of the junior high boy’s joke about the guy being forced to slide backwards down a giant razor blade (using his b***) for brakes, and landing in a bucket of iodine.
And like dominoes, I fear Greece is only the beginning.
Our own government has already made noises about ‘acquiring’ 401k funds, and pensions, and increasing both the amount and items/services being taxed. And other banks in the World have ‘acquired’ ATM funds and savings of individuals!
The long slide is beginning, my friends, and unless you live largely off the grid in the middle-of-nowhere, bartering gold coin, ammo and water (Joel?), you (we) are in for a wild ride.
If anyone out there thinks bread lines, runs on banks and gas rationing are not in our future, I’d like to heard your predictions.
And ‘domestic violence’ as a result? A forgone conclusion, I’m afraid.
I truly hope I am completely wrong.
Yep. This is unfair. But no one said Life would be.
Bayou Renaissance Man (from whom I rarely
steal quote, as I’d be doing it DAILY! – translation – you should be reading him, daily!) expresses most eloquently this conundrum…
I’ve written about the military side of dealing with fundamentalist Islamic terrorism in these pages from time to time. The trouble is, a military solution isn’t a solution, because it can’t target the mindset that produces legions of suicidal fanatics. The Russians developed a very direct, pragmatic and utterly ruthless approach to Iranian-sponsored terrorism during the 1980’s. It worked, because those ‘at the top’ who were controlling the terrorists could be threatened into compliance. That doesn’t seem to be the case with an organization like ISIL in Syria and Iraq. When you believe – truly believe, with all your heart and soul – that death in battle, or by assassination, earns you a martyr’s reward in Paradise, death isn’t a threat. It’s a promise of greatness that you embrace eagerly. The same applies to Hamas and its extreme attitudes towards Israel. How can you reason with a movement that celebrates death in combat, that indoctrinates its youngest children with lessons about the praiseworthiness of martyrdom and hatred for Israel? There are many other fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups who’ve adopted similar outlooks on life.
So, how do we deal with them? It’s easy to say “Kill them all” – but it’s also completely impractical. Despite losing thousands of its fighters in combat, ISIL appears to have a limitless supply of replacements. Young women in Europe and America even travel to areas it controls out of a desire to become brides of ‘jihadists’. Fanaticism is an inbred streak in the human race – not confined to Islam by any means – and as long as there are fanatics, there’ll be those driven to join fanatical movements. We can’t kill them all without killing the entire human race. Speaking as a member of that race, I have a profound objection to being included in that process! There is no way to completely destroy fanaticism.
The mistake politicians make is to assume that they’re dealing with rational human beings. Rationality is relative. ISIL’s leaders and its wannabe martyrs are entirely rational, according to their system of thought and belief. To change their behavior, we have to change that system. To do that, we have to radically reform the society and culture that have produced it. Attacking and militarily overrunning that society won’t inculcate contrary values – we’ve proved that time and time again, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. The solution has to include methods of changing the situation on the ground. However, that requires a long-term commitment and huge amounts of money, neither of which are available right now.
The only answer our politicians and leaders appear to have is to keep killing as many Islamist fanatics as possible in order to ‘control the infection’ in their society and culture, even though they must know that doing so will produce still more fanatics. Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. That perfectly describes how we’ve tried to control radical Islam for the past few decades. When will we learn from our failures and try to find a better solution? Is there, in fact, a better solution? In my darker moments, I fear there may not be one at all. History suggests that may be the case, and that the struggle against fanaticism in all its forms may be a Sisyphean endeavor.
Your guess is as good as mine . . .
…or Send In The Clowns!
I cannot decide which meme is better.
There have been many blog postings of late, some of which even on this humble blog, writing of the growth in worldwide anti-Semitism, government-sponsored violence, religion-sponsored violence, massive surveillance, and wholesale Statism.
And there appears to be a modicum of support against such things.
There is a tendency to view such things as off-shore. Somewhere else. Another countries’ problem. And to turn a blind eye to our own versions of such things.
Until it’s too late.
Some folks write as if it IS too late. That civil upheaval is inevitable. Others clamor for constitutional conventions. As though people who control such things can keep the outcome constitutional.
And this new world order of constitution will certainly
include or delete a second amendment.
Depending on the flavor of the new constitution’s founding fathers.
What to do, what to do.
Sit on our hands and whine? Join the convention(s)? Join the revolt?
DON’T BOTHER – THEY’RE HERE!
Military watchers – from both the Left and Right – have been watching, warning, and expressing (how do I state this with delicacy?):
It has been reported that regular military folks will be conducting a ‘training operation’ in Texas, beginning July 15. The Texas governor has even ordered the National Guard to observe the ops, just in case things get hinky.
Following the ease with which martial law was imposed on Boston (post the terrorist bombing), some folks are suggesting this might be the next step.
Practicing to handle civilian populus in a hostile environment (Texas versus Massachusetts) should martial law be imposed THERE!
And obvious comparisons have been made comparing The President to some Austrian-born Reichschancellor who engaged in similar behavior!
Much ado about nothing? Or should we be concerned?
h/t Theo Spark, The Political Commentator, Now The End Begins
The lovely and brilliant Tamara reminded us again of basics. And reminded me, as well:
I cannot speak for anyone else, but as much as I lecture others in these pages regarding complacency, I, too, can fall victim to it. (Duh)
Not just the almighty INDEX (NOT placing one’s index finger in the trigger guard until one is ready to shoot – and where exactly DO you place it? ALTHOUGH, I’M PRETTY GOOD AT REMEMBERING THIS PART!), but…
When was the last time you checked your weapon for function and safety? Are all the mechanical parts in good repair?
AND, appropriately lubricated?
How about the magazines (speedloaders or speedstrips)? Clean and functional?
And the ammunition? When was the last time you changed it out for newer stuff? Is your ‘one-up-the-spout’ (aka The Barney Bullet) seated correctly? Or has months of recharging your sidearm crushed the case mouth? Or seated the bullet farther inside?
How about the function and maintenance of the holster? When was the last time it was cleaned, oiled, inspected for damage? And the belt…
AND WHAT ABOUT YOU?
When was the last time you did a dry-practice exercise? Including a reload or two?
And do you know the latest nuances in your State’s criminal law statutes?
Not unlike driving a car – one does it every day. When was the last time you checked the tires? The oil? The transmission fluid? Your brakes? Reviewed the traffic code?
Do you always wear your seat belt? (I’m a libertarian, and I do!)
But I’ve not done everything above with regard to my sidearm and it’s equipment.
I need to, more religiously.
Well, here it is April 12 , and, I’ve not yet completed my taxes!
The truth is, I completed them last night!
Down-to-the-wire, true, but not on the 15th!
Of course, being on disability, with no other real income, it’s pretty simple.
And, since 2010, I’ve not gotten much money back.
(Many people dis Arizona for many things, but, if you don’t make enough to pay taxes, AZ does give you $25 to play with!)
Of course, E-filing was $21.99 !
A quick $3.01 ! WOO-HOO!
I awaken fairly early this morning, shower, dress, morning rituals…
And begin my day – with the Internet.
Specifically, my email accounts, news, almanac, and the Guffaw in AZ blog.
Or so I thought I would…
I’ve been having browser trouble, yet again. And today it was scary!
I received warnings like this one using Google Chrome and Opera browsers. I recently had switched back to Chrome, as Firefox had been giving me some different trouble! After ‘the troubles’ this morning, I ran both Windows Defender and Malwarebytes (the pay-for version). WD said there were NO problems, MWB recorded 22, which were then removed.
And Chrome and Opera still ran with ‘issues’. So I used Comodo Dragon and even reverted to Firefox to get my email and blogging chores done.
Word on the ‘Net is Firefox is going away (so, by extension, will her cousins Comodo Dragon and Comodo Ice Dragon!) Because Mozilla is lacking in support. And Internet Explorer is pretty much a ghost, now. I won’t even mention Netscape, AWOL since she was acquired by AOL.
So, the question remains: Is there a secure, modern browser with which one may check email, blog and even surf the ‘Net?
Or is accessing the Internet forever to remain a game of whack-a-mole, with regard to bugs, viruses and glitches?
This inquiring mind wants to know
Life doesn’t always go as we plan or desire. We certainly cannot control others in their personal plans or desires.
Especially, in matters of the heart.
Sometimes, we must let them go…
When love is good, it’s very, very good.
And when it goes away, it sucks.
This time at a STATE level! By FEDERAL officials!
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted found 44 cases of illegal aliens voting in Ohio and could find more but federal officials refuse to hand over crucial data.
Husted’s investigation used Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle data to cross check voter rolls. However, for a match, the BMV record must be self-identified as a non-citizen.More @ Minute Man ProjectIt just gets better and better, doesn’t it?h/t Brock Townsend
One of my fav blog reads is Not Clauswitz.
He recently shared his experience re: getting the equivalent of a 34 State CCW Permit!
The 34-State course material was presented in a friendly, instructive and inviting manner. 2-hours was spent on the Utah LE perspective that drives the acceptance of the AZ permit and produces the overall 34-state blanket of reciprocity. Utah being fairly different from California in attitude, acceptance, and emphasis was a welcome eye-opener. But mainly being able to complete the Utah and Arizona CCW fingerprint cards and application forms correctly is absolutely crucial, and after the step-by-step instructions I felt confident in the process.
“Utah being fairly different from California…” Duh. :-)
Of course, with a number of ‘Constitutional Carry’ States on the list ever increasing, and people who actually read and understand The Second Amendment, the radical libertarian in me wonders at the meaning of such an act.
Sadly, the realist in me understands that many states are NOT yet Constitutional Carry, and others are downright fascistic in their approach to civilians possessing and carrying firearms. (Illinois, New York and Maryland come to mind. Not gonna mention California. I loathe stating the obvious.)