Well, Greece is a shambles now. I've been watching this unfold a bit lately, as the debt crisis is affecting the stock market in general and this is just what the world doesn't need as it tries to recover from the worst recession since the 1930s. Thanks a lot, Greece! We can now blame you for yet another atrocity against history, up there with:
1) War crimes against Troy. (The city, not the Dallas quarterback. So far his claims against the Greeks are unverified)
2) Destroying the Persian culture. Gotta admit, Persian food beats Greek any time.
3) Inventing democracy over two thousand years ago, and then completely abandoning it until 1974.
4) Making it so no one can say "I really want to get some sheep on my property" without getting a bunch of childish giggles.
5) That underwhelming Nia Vardalos movie.
Apparently, the Greek social welfare system is overly generous, especially considering their tax system is chock full of holes and hopelessly corrupt. They earned up some massive debt, and now are likely to default without major bailouts (or even with major bailouts, their situation's pretty bad and the olive and feta industry just isn't going to cut it). And when their government takes action to try and fix it (and not bring down the entire EU in the process, thank you very much) the more vile citizens decide to riot and some people even get killed. Lovely.
The fact is, peaceful protests are just fine, if often tacky and stupid. No one gets hurt when you walk around with a sign or even wear a crazy costume. Hey, some chicks are into costume play (or so the Internets tell me!). But the minute you get violent is the minute I get all law and order about it and root for the cops to deliver a case of whoop-ass all over your thuggish head. Because you know what it does then? It gives justification to every quasi-fascist regime that cracks down on peaceful gatherings.
One would think the so-called inventors of democracy would know this.
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