What’s Greek for “The definition of insanity…”

“…is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results?”

Alexis Tsipras has hailed a “victory of the people” after his left-wing Syriza party won Greece’s fifth election in six years.

He said Greeks faced a difficult road and that recovery from financial crisis would only come through hard work.

Although at least they’re not trying to play anti-austerity again.  Or trying to get the Germans to bail them out. I guess that this is turning out to be a bad time period for appealing to pan-European solidarity?

Greece discovers that the European Union has altered the deal.

I am really and truly trying not to laugh at this. No, seriously. I’m totally trying to cut out the schadenfreude this week.  But Greece refuses to make it easy for me:

A week ago, Greeks partied in the streets after voting to resoundingly reject terms of a new European bailout. On Sunday, those same streets were filled with a dazed and confused populace struggling to understand how they were now faced with swallowing a deal even tougher than the one they had just snubbed.

Continue reading Greece discovers that the European Union has altered the deal.

Greece votes no on referendum, Euro, probably EU membership, long-term stability as a nation-state…

Said referendum being, of course, whether they should pay the bills that their government has been racking up for some time. The Daily Telegraph explains the situation that would arise from a No vote:

…it’s game over for Greece’s membership of the single currency. The country’s banks don’t have enough money to last for much longer, and there is little reason why the European Central Bank would wish to extend them billions more if it is snubbed by voters. Either the banks would have to stay shut, which means that the country will run out of food and essentials as it becomes impossible to pay for imports, or depositors would have to be bailed in, wiping out a large chunk of their wealth but recapitalising financial institutions.

The only other alternative would be for the Greek state to introduce IOUs and then a new physical currency, while re-denominating all Greek bank accounts into drachmas. The national debt, which is owed in euros, would explicitly be repudiated, triggering a major crisis and inflicting vast losses on the European Central Bank, IMF and other creditors. The new drachmas would, of course, plummet in value, and it would be hard to avoid widespread chaos and hyperinflation if the government is forced to crank up the printing presses to pay for its bills.

Continue reading Greece votes no on referendum, Euro, probably EU membership, long-term stability as a nation-state…

European Leftists flock to join in on being Greece’s Other People’s Money.

I don’t know whether to laugh, or cry. This Guardian piece on the attempt to crowdfund paying off a mere 1.5 billion portion of the debt that the Greek government has wracked up has it all: bad logic, worse economic theory, a smoking case of We have to do something. This is something; therefore, this is what we have to do, and of course the lingering suspicion that the guy who set up the crowdfunder has just the slightest bit of trouble seeing the Greeks as people, rather than amusingly ethnic animate cardboard cutouts that just can’t help but screw up in a wacky fashion.  Indeed, this is probably the most significant line in the piece:

But just think of the party!

…Yeah, that’s pretty much how the Greek government got into this mess. More accurately: it forgot to think of anything else. Even if you gave them the money, what’s going to happen when they need more? And more? And more? And more? – Since it appears that the European Left wants to enable this behavior, and everything. In fact, there’s a certain ring to it: since the Left loves spending Other People’s Money so much, they should be the first ones to do that.


Via Hot Air Headlines.

George Will just wants to watch a stealth-Marxist regime burn.

To mangle the John D. MacDonald quote: when it comes to the Commies* running Greece George Will is the iceman, and he’s going to make one delivery only.

This protracted dispute will result in desirable carnage if Greece defaults, thereby becoming a constructively frightening example to all democracies doling out unsustainable, growth-suppressing entitlements.

[snip a long passage in which you can almost hear George Will sharpening his knives on a grindstone]

It cannot be said too often: There cannot be too many socialist smashups. The best of these punish reckless creditors whose lending enables socialists to live, for a while, off other people’s money. The world, which owes much to ancient Athens’s legacy, including the idea of democracy, is indebted to today’s Athens for the reminder that reality does not respect a democracy’s delusions.

Continue reading George Will just wants to watch a stealth-Marxist regime burn.

Greece: the remarkably important looming financial crisis you’re not hearing about.

And when I say ‘looming,’ I mean: it’s almost a matter of looking at your watch.

I don’t suppose that the administration has any kind of plan regarding this?

Greece’s long-running standoff with its European creditors appeared headed on Saturday for an abrupt — and potentially cataclysmic — ending as the continent’s finance ministers rejected an emergency Greek request to help the cash-starved country meet a Tuesday deadline for paying back its debts.

The development, just hours after Greece’s prime minister stunned the continent with plans to hold a nationwide referendum on Europe’s latest proposals, makes it increasingly likely that Greece will default — and could soon crash out of the euro zone altogether.

…Because – and this is a bit of an issue, really – Greece is in fact a formal ally of the United States.  NATO, and all that.  It might not be in our country’s best interests to let Greece go take a swan dive out a penthouse window. Continue reading Greece: the remarkably important looming financial crisis you’re not hearing about.

So it looks like the Greeks are about to put into office…

…the hard Left party* who promised to renegotiate Greece’s extremely unpopular bailout. Private scuttlebutt among those of my peers who follow European news more closely than I do is divided over whether the Germans EU will sign off on that, but don’t be surprised if they at least try. The alternative is… well, the alternatives to austerity are as follows:

  • A bailout.
  • Removing Greece from the EU.
  • Placing Greece under direct political and economic control of Brussels.

Continue reading So it looks like the Greeks are about to put into office…

Supreme Court decides that towns can have opening prayers.

Sounds like Anthony Kennedy had a nice breakfast that day.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a town in upstate New York may begin its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month.”

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority in the 5-to-4 decision, said “ceremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond that authority of government to alter or define.”

In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said the town’s practices could not be reconciled “with the First Amendment’s promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share of her government.”

The case was Greece v. Galloway, for those interested: Not much further to say on this subject, except for one, probably rude, observation: the NYT has a picture of one of the plaintiffs, and she looks precisely like how I would expect a person willing to take her dislike of Christian opening prayers all the way to the Supreme Court would look like.  …And I’ll just stop there, before I get mean.  Or more mean.