Monday, September 30, 2013

Greek ruling parties arrest their political opponents  (Greece is ruled at the moment by a Left/Right coalition)

Greece is sliding into Fascism. And the Fascism is not coming from the alleged Fascists. It's thoroughly  Fascist to  arrest your political opponents on trumped-up allegations.

Despite various accusations, Golden Dawn is primarily an anti-illegal-immigrant party,  which makes you "Fascist" or "Nazi" to the Left dominated media.  Golden Dawn describe themselves as patriotic socialists. See here. Greece shares a border with the Muslim world so is heavily impacted by illegal immigration.  Greek dislike of that gives Golden Dawn its support

The arrests are plainly unconstitutional.  There is a technical exception in the Greek Constitution that allows for the arrest of MPs for flagrant crimes but how a crime  committed by a supporter acting alone falls into that category is obscure to say the least.  The arrests present Greek democracy in a very poor light.  Anything is better than sending illegals back whence they came, apparently.  Australia is doing so but it seems to be the only country with bipartisan support for such a policy

Greek police arrested the leader and more than a dozen senior members of the far-right Golden Dawn party early on Saturday after the killing of an anti-fascist rapper by a party supporter triggered outrage and protests across the country.

The arrests, which are the most significant crackdown on a political party in Greece since the fall of a military dictatorship in 1974, are the biggest setback to Golden Dawn since it entered parliament on an anti-immigrant agenda last year.

"Nothing can scare us!" shouted a handcuffed Ilias Kasidiaris, spokesman of the party, as he was transferred to the prosecutors' office flanked by hooded anti-terrorism police officers carrying machineguns.

Kasidiaris and the party's leader, Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, three other lawmakers and 13 other members of the party were arrested on Saturday on charges of founding and participating in a criminal organization.

Police also confiscated two guns and a hunting rifle from Mihaloliakos' home, saying he did not have a license for them.

Ranked as Greece's third most popular party, Golden Dawn is under investigation for the murder of rapper Pavlos Fissas, who bled to death after being stabbed twice by a party sympathizer last week.

The party has denied any links to the killing of Fissas.

The anti-terrorism force, which is handling the case, was looking for one more senior party official and lawmaker, police spokesman Christos Parthenis said. Two police officials were also arrested on Saturday, he added.

Late in the evening, the detainees were taken under high security to the prosecutors' office and charged officially on evidence linking the party with a string of attacks, including the stabbing of the rapper on September 17 and the killing of an immigrant earlier this year, court officials told Reuters.

Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias hailed the arrests as "a historic day for Greece and Europe."

"I want to assure Greek citizens that the investigation will not end here," Dendias said. "There is no room for criminal organizations in Greece."

Mihaloliakos has warned that Golden Dawn could pull its 18 lawmakers from parliament if the crackdown does not stop.

If potential by-elections were won by the opposition, as some polls indicate, Greece's fragile two-party coalition would become politically untenable, Mihaloliakos has argued. But a government official said Greece might be able to avoid such by-elections depending on how the constitution is interpreted.

The party called on its website for protests in solidarity with its jailed leader and members.

Several hundred of its supporters gathered outside police headquarters waving Greek flags and chanting: "Long live the leader!" and "Blood, Honour, Golden Dawn". About 200 protesters unfurled a banner reading: "Golden Dawn" outside the party's headquarters in Athens.

"Golden Dawn is here. It will not back down. You cannot jail ideas," Golden Dawn MP Artemis Mattheopoulos, who is not among those detained, told reporters.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' government has so far resisted calls to ban the party, fearing it could make it even more popular at a time of growing anger at repeated rounds of austerity measures. It has instead tried to undermine the party by ordering probes that could deprive it of state funding.

Samaras ruled out snap elections after the arrests. The government has also played down talk of political instability and promised all Golden Dawn members would receive a fair trial.

Golden Dawn controls 18 of parliament's 300 seats and had so far appeared immune to accusations of violence and intimidation, scoring 14 percent in opinion polls before the stabbing. Two polls this week showed support had fallen to as low as 6.7 to 6.8 percent.

Greek lawmakers do not lose their political rights or seats unless there is a final court ruling against them. But the government has proposed a law that could block state funding for Golden Dawn if police find links to Fissas' murder.

The party, whose emblem resembles a swastika, rose from obscurity to enter parliament last year after promising to mine Greece's borders to prevent illegal immigrants from entering. Its members have been seen giving Nazi-style salutes and its leader has denied the Holocaust. The party rejects the neo-Nazi label.

Human rights groups have accused the party of being linked to attacks on immigrants, but this is the first time it is being investigated for evidence linking it to an attack.

It is not the first time its leader is being prosecuted. In 1979, Mihaloliakos was convicted of possessing explosives.

Mihaloliakos' daughter rushed to kiss her father as he entered the court, on his way to the prosecutors' office.

"I'm proud of my father, like any child would be if its father faced such political charges," Ourania Mihaloliakou told reporters. "We are stronger than ever."



Democratic Party Loves Ill-Informed Voters

Larry Elder

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is worried.  In a recent speech at Boise State, O'Connor said: "Less than one-third of eighth-graders can identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence, and it's right there in the name. ... The more I read and the more I listen, the more apparent it is that our society suffers from an alarming degree of public ignorance."

This is good news for the left.  The ill-informed are more susceptible to emotional arguments. They are more likely to see life as a zero-sum game. They are more likely to believe that the prosperous become so only at someone else's expense.

Take my Twitterverse "discourse" on the proposal to increase the minimum wage:

Elder: Obama said a higher minimum wage is vital to "a rising, thriving middle class." Switzerland has no national minimum wage. Its unemployment is 3 percent.... U.S. had no minimum wage 'til 1938. How did it become so powerful?

Twitter respondent: America wasn't close to the super power it is until after World War 2 -- in 1939. And you're supposed to be a journalist?

Elder: The U.S. became a "superpower" because of minimum wage? Adjusted for inflation the first minimum wage would be $4. And I'm not a journalist -- I'm a commentator.

Twitter respondent: You asked how we're a super power. We don't recover from the Great Depression without military production in World War II and paying workers.

Elder: I repeat, prior to the 1938 introduction of minimum wage -- which today would be $4 -- how do you account for America's growth?

Twitter respondent: I guess you didn't go to high school like the rest of us to know there was no "growth" in the '30s due to the unemployment rate.

Elder: So far, I've politely asked questions. Before the '30s, we had a decade known as the "Roaring '20s" -- no minimum wage. Explain.

Titter respondent: We were "roaring" with a slave class. I don't accept that as good policy.

Once people resort to terms like "slave class" in a discussion on minimum wage, it's time to call the waiter and get the check.

Check out the "discourse" following my tweets on Aaron Alexis, the black man responsible for the Navy Yard killing spree. Did Alexis, as with killers Major Nidal Hassan of the Fort Hood massacre and former Los Angeles Police Department cop Christopher Dorner, receive  LESS scrutiny from authorities out of fear of being called anti-Islamic or racist?

Twitter respondent: There is no dearth of pathetic Negroes like (at)larryelder willing to spout unsupported race-based guesses!

Elder: In your world is calling someone a "pathetic Negro" a brand of argumentation?

Twitter respondent (compilation): Pathetic Negro, a definition: To pander to racists using unsupported, fact-less race-baiting, eg. Your statement "in my world" is another Negro dog whistle to his masters, proving my point. "In my world" facts matter and your baseless suppositions of what others thought do not. Further, Negroes like you are always on hand with "observations" that "legitimize" Fox News views. Unless you're lying about your background, I'm not from the ghetto, gangs or criminal, what "world" do you mean?

Elder: I mean in the world of people who don't know how to craft an argument and instead resort to taunts and name-calling. That world.... Interesting that even the term "your world" disturbs you. Yet calling people with whom you disagree silly names is not disturbing.

Twitter respondent: I typically don't waste time with Negro amateur journalists promoting (at)FoxNews race-baiting narrative. You have my opinion.

Elder: Are you so ill-informed that you don't know the difference between a "journalist" and a commentator? As for my "race-baiting" narrative, here's exactly what I wrote and said. (I gave him a link to my last column on the Navy Yard killer).

Twitter respondent: "Pathetic Negro" is not a taunt, it's a term that describes Negros who fit their behavior to racist audience expectations.

Elder: Use whatever term you want for "pathetic Negro," it is not argumentation. I attempted to engage you, but you'd rather name-call.

Twitter respondent: Let's be clear. I do not "disagree" with you, Your "report" was base conjecture used as basis for race baiting "conclusion."... Your term, "your world," does not "disturb me" in the least. Like I said, I identified it for what it is, a Negro dog whistle.... You are neither and whatever you think you are, you are a pathetic Negro used by @FoxNews for "cover."

Elder: This is what passes for discourse? I make an argument. You attack the commentator. And you don't even realize it.

Democrats win because their narrative works on an emotional level -- us against them. Bad, selfish people -- known as Republicans -- want to stop the good and the decent -- known as Democrats -- from their right to health care, right to a job, right to a job with a "livable wage" and the right to not only enjoy one's own lifestyle but to brand critics as racists, sexists or homophobes.

Former Justice O'Connor is worried. We all should be.



Al Gore goes off at the deep end -- and loses support

In his address to the liberal Brookings Institution, Al Gore used the term  "Political Terrorism" to refer to GOP threats to shut down the government and default on the U.S. debt in order to block  Obamacare

"Now I’m going to talk about the potential for a shutdown in just a moment, but I think that the only phrase that describes it is political terrorism. ‘Nice global economy you got there… Be a shame if we had to destroy it. We have a list of demands… If you don’t meet them all by our deadline, we’ll blow up the global economy’… How dare you. How dare you.”

"Why does partisanship have anything to do with such a despicable and dishonorable threat to the integrity of the United States of America?" Gore also asked

Laurence Jarvik of PBS was offended and heads a blog post:  "Al Gore's Brookings Hate Speech Made Me Quit Email List".  He  unsubscribed himself from Brookings saying:

"Shame on Brookings for passing on Al Gore's uncivil remarks, without condemnation.

Does Brookings want to arrest "political terrorists" now? Call in drone strikes? This rhetoric is simply beyond the pale of civilized discourse, a slippery slope of political dehumanization of the opposition.

As you know, Vice President Al Gore and the Republic survived a shutdown in the Clinton administration very nicely. There were shutdowns in the Carter administration, as well.  It is called the congressional power of the purse.

After reading this email, I no longer have confidence in Brookings' rationality, nor its commitment to civil political discourse."



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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