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The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant has a nice background piece on the rioting: Rebellion deeply embedded in Greece. The end of the piece is a pretty good summary by a Greek:

One of the wisest observations has come from Nikos Konstandaras, the managing editor of Kathimerini, one of Greece’s more sober and respected newspapers.

In an editorial entitled “Anger’s teen martyr”, Mr Konstandaras wrote that Mr Grioropoulos’ blood would be “used to bind together every disparate protest and complaint into a platform of righteous rage against all the ills of our society.

“It will quickly become a flag of convenience for anyone who has a grudge against the state, the government, the economic system, foreign powers, capitalism and so on.”

“If Greece had already appeared difficult to govern, it will now be out of control.”

If someone is getting ready to throw a Molotov cocktail [petrol bomb] that is very definitely a “shoot”. If you had ever seen what a bottle of gasoline with a wick can do you would understand why.

When I spent a lot of time in Europe in the late 60s and early 70s Spain and Greece were under very repressive governments, but that is no longer the case, and hasn’t been for decades.

December 8, 2008   5 Comments

Godwin With A Twist

Over at CBS a bit of recognition: Nobelist: Blogs Might Have Stopped Hitler

(AP) The spread of information on the Internet has given the world a new tool to forestall conflicts, Nobel literature prize winner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio said Sunday.

In his Nobel lecture to the Swedish Academy, the 68-year-old Frenchman said an earlier introduction of information technology could even have prevented World War II.

“Who knows, if the Internet had existed at the time, perhaps Hitler’s criminal plot would not have succeeded – ridicule might have prevented it from ever seeing the light of day,” he said.

Are you ready for LOLHitler? Accompanying the story is a picture of Hitler with the caption: “I can has Sudetenland?”

December 8, 2008   2 Comments

The ‘Coup’ Changes Faces

The CBC is now reporting Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion will step down on Monday. This is to apparently allow a new leader to take over the Liberal Party and be in place when the parliament reconvenes in January.

The comments on the article are getting a little extreme. One person actually suggested that Canada move to the same system that the US has. “My friends”, look at the last 8 years and tell me: do you really want this system in Canada? Trust me, the ability to get rid of an unpopular government with a minimum of effort is a right to be cherished.

December 8, 2008   12 Comments

It’s A Matter Of Zoning

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on what happens when there are bad zoning decisions: Two dead, two missing in University City jet crash.

They allowed residential housing to be built at the end of a military runway, and when something goes wrong, people die. This is new housing, not an old, established neighborhood and MCAS Miramar was there for a very long time before the houses were built.

Apparently the engines failed [the FA-18 that crashed has two] and there were no options for the pilot other than ejecting. Without altitude or power you have very little control over an aircraft like the FA-18.

The remarkable thing is that these accidents are so rare, not that they happen.

December 8, 2008   4 Comments

John Lennon



December 8, 2008   2 Comments