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‘Faux Passeport Syrien’: Paris Stadium Attacker Got to Europe Using Fake Syrian Passport 

Greece’s migration minister, Yiannis Mouzalas, during a news conference in Athens on Sunday. Greek authorities say the man posing as Ahmad AlMohammad took a ferry to the port of Piraeus, arriving on Oct. 8, before traveling north through the Balkans. Photo: angelos tzortzinis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

ATHENS — Marcus Walker and Noemie Bisserbe report: Mystery deepened over a Paris attacker who traveled to Europe via Greece and the Balkans, after French officials said Monday that the Syrian passport he had used was indeed a fake.

“Greek authorities on islands such as Leros, Lesbos and Chios have confronted thousands of arrivals every day in recent months as refugees and other migrants make the short sea crossing from Turkey in inflatable boats.”

Authorities in France and Greece have said that fingerprints taken from the remains of a suicide bomber outside France’s national sports stadium, the Stade de France, match the prints of a man who entered Europe via the Aegean island of Leros on Oct. 3.

“Short of staff and equipment, Greek police carry out only a simple procedure that involves taking people’s data and fingerprints, and sometimes asking them a few questions, before giving them permission to travel onward, deeper into Europe.”

Police on Leros registered the man under the identity in the passport he showed them: Ahmad AlMohammad, 25, from Syria. The same passport was found near the man’s body outside the stadium on Friday night.

[Read the full story here, at the WSJ]

Whoever the man was, he posed as one of the many refugees fleeing Syria’s war—including the violence of Islamic State—to enter Europe through its lightly controlled frontier in the Aegean Sea. Read the rest of this entry »

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OH YES HE DID: Paris Terrorist Was Migrant Who Registered as a Refugee In Greece

The Greek government has announced one of the terrorist gunmen who had a part in killing over 120 in Paris on Friday evening entered Europe while masquerading as a refugee just six weeks ago.

“The news will come as a major shock to the European establishment who have mocked and derided those who have warned that the migrant route into Europe would be exploited by those wishing to do harm to Europe.”

Reports early on Saturday that one of the gunmen was found to have been carrying a Syrian passport have been followed by an announcement by Greek minister for citizen protection Nikos Tosca that the individual was masquerading as a refugee, reports Greek Antenna news.

“Latest United Nations estimates show over 800,000 migrants have passed through the Mediterranean on their way to Europe this year, with 660,700 landing in Greece and 142,400 in Italy.”

The unnamed killer was registered on the Greek island of Leros in the southern Aegean sea on the third of October. The Island is just ten miles from the Turkish coast and has been a major point of ingress for so-called ‘refugees’ into Europe, alongside neighbour island Kos.

Having come ashore in Europe in October, the killer spent just six weeks as a refugee before killing in Paris.
Read the rest of this entry »


PEOPLE POWER! #SOCIALISM WORKS!


Important Correction: Headline Should Read ‘Greek Prime Minister Purges Left-Wing Rebels to Bolster Divided Government’

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We Apologize for the inconvenience.


#Greek Prime Minister Purges Left-Wing Devils to Bolster Divided Government

ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 15: Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Panagiotis Lafazanis (R) speaks with President of the Greek parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou (L) attend SYRIZA's Parliamentary group meeting in the Greek Parliament in Athens, Greece on July 15, 2015. On the right is Syriza MP Nikos Manios. Debate on reforms that are key to a preliminary agreement with creditors to keep Greece out of bankruptcy began in the country's legislature, but fissures were already beginning to show among the ruling SYRIZA party. The third Greece bailout agreement that was agreed on by the Eurozone leaders on 13 July morning after 17 hours of negotiations has to be approved by several national parliaments, including the Greek. (Photo by Ayhan Mehmet/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Meanwhile in Germany, Merkel pushes through support for unloved bailout despite repeated suggestions by her finance minister that Greece should quit the Eurozone.

Geoffrey Smith writes: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sacked some prominent left-wing rebels from his government Friday in a cabinet reshuffle following a party revolt against a tough new bailout deal adopted this week.

The 40 year-old prime minister dismissed Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and two deputy ministers after 39 Syriza hardline lawmakers refused to back the government over the measures, which were demanded by Eurozone partners as a pre-condition for beginning talks over a new bailout.

The main economic ministries remain unchanged, with Euclid Tsakalotos remaining in place at the finance ministry and George Stathakis staying at the economy ministry.

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But Labor Minister Panos Skourletis, one of Tsipras’ closest allies, will replace Lafazanis in the key energy portfolio, where he will be responsible for sensitive privatization dossiers. Administrative Reforms Minister George Katrougalos will take over at the labor ministry.

The reshuffle had been expected ever since the party rebellion left Tsipras dependent on the votes of pro-European opposition parties to pass the bailout deal but it is not likely to change the uncertain overall outlook for the government.

Former Deputy Finance Minister Nadia Valavani, another bailout opponent who resigned earlier this week before the vote, was replaced by Tryfon Alexiadis, a leading member of Greece’s tax experts’ union.

The new ministers are expected to be sworn in on Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »


Greek Anti-Reality Protests Turn Violent

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Groups of youths among the more than 12,000 anti-reality protesters smashed storefronts and set at least one car on fire

(ATHENS, Greece) — Elena Becatoros and Derek Gatopoulos report: Rioters hurled petrol bombs at police who responded with tear gas as an anti-austerity demonstration outside parliament turned violent Wednesday, while Greek lawmakers began debating contentious measures needed to start negotiations on a new bailout and avoid financial collapse.

Protesters gather in Athens yesterday(Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty)

Protesters gather in Athens yesterday(Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty)

“I must tell you, that Monday morning at 9:30, it was the most difficult day of my life. It was a decision that will weigh on me for the rest of my life.”

Groups of youths among the more than 12,000 protesters smashed storefronts and set at least one vehicle alight. The clashes were the first significant protest violence since the left-wing Syriza government came to power in January promising to repeal bailout austerity. Police said at least 50 people were detained.

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“I don’t know if we did the right thing. But I know we did something with the sense that we had no choice. Nothing was certain and nothing is.”

— Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos

The protest was timed to coincide with the start of debate on the bill, which includes consumer tax increases and pension reforms that will condemn Greeks to years of more economic hardship.

[Also see – Protestors gathered to remember an unarmed teenager killed by police, before demonstration erupted into violence]

The bill has fueled anger among the governing left-wing Syriza party and led to a revolt by many party members against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who has insisted the deal forged early Monday after a marathon weekend eurozone summit was the best he could do to prevent Greece from crashing out of Europe’s joint currency.

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“I must tell you, that Monday morning at 9:30, it was the most difficult day of my life. It was a decision that will weigh on me for the rest of my life,” said Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos.

“I don’t know if we did the right thing. But I know we did something with the sense that we had no choice. Nothing was certain and nothing is,” he said as the debate kicked off.

Civil servants protested with a 24-hour strike that disrupted public transport and shut down state-run services across the country. Read the rest of this entry »


Greek Newspapers Running Out of Paper; Emergency Plans Underway to Substitute Delicious Surplus Layers of Baked Filo Dough

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ATHENS (Reuters) – Lefteris Karagiannopoulos reports: With banks shut and the economy seizing up, some Greek newspapers like the Empros daily on the island of Lesvos are running out of paper and could be forced to stop sales altogether until the banks open again.

“There is a definite problem with paper supply. Our supplier can’t provide us with it, as it is stuck in customs. He can’t pay the foreign suppliers, as bank transfers are blocked and there’s very little cash to continue operations”.

Empros chief executive Manolis Manolas

The island’s biggest selling newssheet, Empros has already reduced the number of pages to 16 from 20 and its chief executive Manolis Manolas hopes he won’t have to make further cuts as the country’s cash crunch worsens. Greek banks have been shut for almost two weeks after capital controls were imposed.

A man reads newspaper headlines in Athens, Greece July 8, 2015.  REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

“There is a definite problem with paper supply,” Manolas told Reuters by phone. “Our supplier can’t provide us with it, as it is stuck in customs. He can’t pay the foreign suppliers, as bank transfers are blocked and there’s very little cash to continue operations”.

“The newspaper you hold in your hands numbers only 32 pages because the stock of printing paper will last for just a few days and it will not be possible to get a fresh supply through customs because of the bank holiday.”

Curbs on money withdrawals and transfers have made life miserable for millions of Greeks, whose government was scrambling on Thursday to devise a new set of proposals for a bailout with its creditors to stave off imminent bankruptcy.

Phyllo-Dough

Filo (or phyllo) (Greek: φύλλο ‘leaf’) is a kind of very thin unleavened dough used for making pastries such as baklava and börek in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisinesFilo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of filo brushed with melted butter; the pastry is then baked.

As well as reporting on the capital controls introduced at the end of June – queues outside banks and cash machines are now a daily sight in Greece – the media also became a victim of them. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES HE DID: Greek Minister of Red Ink Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis Resigns

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 After ‘No’ Vote Against Bailout, Yanis Varoufakis Steps Down

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned from his post Monday after Greek citizens voted to reject further austerity measures the day prior, the Associated Press reported.

“I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”

— Yanis Varoufaki

Varoufakis said he was told shortly after the voters rejected Sunday’s referendum regarding demands by international creditors to impose further austerity measures in exchange for a bailout package for its bankrupt economy, that the other eurozone finance ministers and Greece’s other creditors would prefer he not attend the ministers’ meetings.

Varoufakis issued an announcement saying Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had judged that Varoufakis’ resignation “might help achieve a deal” and that he was leaving the finance ministry for this reason Monday.

Varoufakis is known for his brash style and fondness for frequent media appearances at the start of his tenure when the new government was formed in January. He had visibly annoyed many of the eurozone’s finance ministers during Greece’s debt negotiations.

“Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants… for my ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today,” Varoufakis wrote in a blog post, according to The Guardian.

“Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25th June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached,” the post read, according to the Athenian newspaper Kathmerini.

“It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms,” Varoufakis wrote. Read the rest of this entry »


Greek Banks Prepare Plan to Raid Deposits

ATHENS – Kerin Hope reports: IGreek banks are preparing contingency plans for a possible “bail-in” of depositors amid fears the country is heading for financial collapse, bankers and businesspeople with knowledge of the measures said on Friday.panic-betty

The plans, which call for a “haircut” of at least 30 per cent on deposits above €8,000, sketch out an increasingly likely scenario for at least one bank, the sources said.

A Greek bail-in could resemble the rescue plan agreed by Cyprus in 2013, when customers’ funds were seized to shore up the banks, with a haircut imposed on uninsured deposits over €100,000.

It would be implemented as part of a recapitalisation of Greek banks that would be agreed with the country’s creditors — the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

Drudge-Greek-Raid-Deposits

“It [the haircut] would take place in the context of an overall restructuring of the bank sector once Greece is back in a bailout programme,” said one person following the issue. “This is not something that is going to happen immediately.”

Eurozone officials said no decision had been taken to wind up any Greek banks or initiate a bail-in of depositors, a process that would be started by the ECB declaring the banks insolvent or pulling emergency loans.

greece

Greece’s banks have been closed since Monday, when capital controls were imposed to prevent a bank run following the leftwing Syriza-led government’s call for a referendum on a bailout plan it had earlier rejected. Greece’s highest court rejected an appeal by two citizens on Friday who had asked for the referendum to be declared unconstitutional.

cyprus-haircut

Depositors can withdraw only €60 a day from bank ATM cash machines, while requests to transfer funds abroad have to be approved by a special finance ministry committee in co-operation with the Greek central bank. Read the rest of this entry »


Actual New York Times: ‘Trillions Spent, but Crises Like Greece’s Persist’

DrStrangEyes

This NYT take on Greece’s financial trouble is jaw-dropping


It Was #Socialism, Not #Austerity or Alexis Tsipras, That Wrecked #Greece

Greece-hammer-and-sickle-star-socialism,-communism

Matt Purple writes: The stock market is getting walloped today and the reason is grave: Greece, dogged by enormous debt and an anemic economy, may be about to walk away
Marx-TVfrom its German creditors.

“Thanks to Greece’s socialist policies, its economy has long been creaking under the weight of crushing debt. It only endured in the debt-averse European Union because, with the help of Wall Street honchos like Goldman Sachs, it cunningly concealed its red ink for over a decade.”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for a referendum over the latest concessions demanded by Germany and the European Commission. Votes will be cast on Sunday and Tspiras is actively campaigning against Greek cooperation. Four days earlier comes Tuesday, which is the deadline for Greece forking over an additional 1.6 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund. It’s now unknown whether Tspiras intends to default.

Greeks protest in Athens in 2010. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis, AP, 2010)

What is known is that the uncertainty is causing Greeks to party like it’s 1930. NBC News reports:

Greece imposed restrictions on money withdrawals and banking transactions to keep its financial system from collapsing due to a run on the banks.

Anxious Greeks rushed to ATMs to withdraw cash after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called late Friday for a referendum on the creditors’ reform proposals. …

Meanwhile, retirees lined up just after dawn at bank branches hoping they would be able to receive their pensions, which were due to be paid Monday. The finance ministry said the manner in which pensions would be disbursed would be announced later in the afternoon.

The euro tumbled to a nine-year low Monday as new worries flared over Greece, where a woman in Athens passed a currency-changing business. Associated Press

The president of the European Commission has declared that Greece’s departure from the euro is not an option, but even the most impenetrable of Eurocrats must comprehend that their little science project is falling apart.

[Read the full text here, at Rare]

This weekend’s referendum isn’t just about the current bailout package; a “no” vote will effectively jettison Greece from the euro and resurrect their old drachma currency. A “Grexit,” the prospect of which has long triggered dramatic sting music in the minds of European financial ministers, is looming over the Continent.

karl-marx-money

“That debt is often attributed to the fact that ‘Greeks don’t pay their taxes,’ which has now reached near-aphorism status among economic writers. But rarely does anyone explore the reasons for all this tax dodging.”

And why not? The referendum is likely a leverage tactic by Tspiras—who’s resorted to such risibly desperate measures in the past as calling on Germany to pay Greece Nazi war reparations—but it intersects with one of the seminal themes of his election campaign last year: giving the Greek people a choice. Why should Athens, fuzzily remembered as the “birthplace of democracy,” have its finances determined in the back room of a foreign accounting office? Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Athens now. #Greece

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Zacharias Zacharakis on Twitter


[PHOTO] Waiting in ATM Lines in Athens to Withdraw Money: Who Are They?

greek-parl

“…Bank runs are expected on Monday, and a friend in Athens reports almost all the ATM machines have already run out of cash. Obviously, even those who work at the Greek parliament don’t have confidence in the system…”

Read more…

via John Fund

Photo via Zacharias Zacharakis, Twitter

National Review Online


Greece: This Can’t Be a Good Sign

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Happening in Greece right now-almost 3am-people withdrawing as much cash as they can.

via , Twitter


Celebrities as Neoclassical Paintings

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Celebrities as Neoclassical paintings by Replaceface

More at society6.com


The Republican Party Is Not Your Friend

GOP-not-your-friehd-Federalist-Jay-Cost

The Roots of the Republican Party’s Conservative-Establishment Divide, Revealed

Cost_Jay.SENT_.bio_Jay Cost writes: I had a bad dream the other night that I still cannot get out of my head. It’s January 20, 2017. Inauguration Day. The Republican candidate for president has triumphed over Hillary Clinton, ushering in the largest Republican majority since 1929. The inaugural balls are finished, the parties over.

[Read the full text here, at The Federalist]

The new president retires to the Oval Office, and sits down with the top leaders of Congress to ask: “Okay. We have the largest majority we’re ever going to see again. What do we do with it?”

“Let’s accelerate depreciation!” somebody says

“Let’s repeal the inheritance tax!” another chimes in.

The new president, nodding solemnly, responds, “Okay, okay. These are good. But what we really need to do is quadruple our guest-worker visas.”

Joker-billionaire-burning-money

“The last time the GOP had complete control over the government, 2003-07, it massively expanded Medicare and enacted more pork-barrel spending than any prior Congress in history.”

Nightmarish? Yes. Fanciful? Maybe a little (bad dreams are like that), but it still derives from a stark truth: the Republican Party, while far preferable to the unchecked liberalism of the Democrats, is not all that conservative.

Sure, it has conservative members, important ones who cannot be ignored. And it talks a good game about small government; just about every Republican candidate 510xdRr8ICL._SL250_for every office is duty-bound to aver his fidelity to Ronald Reagan’s brand of conservatism.

[Check out Jay Cost’s book “A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption” at Amazon]

However, if we understand conservatism as advocating smaller government that treats people impartially, many in the party struggle mightily not to act on those principles. Instead, the recent history of “conservative” governance has been one of ever-larger government, and an expansion of the cronyism and corruption built into the system. The last time the GOP had complete control over the government, 2003-07, it massively expanded Medicare and enacted more pork-barrel spending than any prior Congress in history.

Franklin Roosevelt

“Conservatism really began to develop as a political force in the wake of the New Deal, which effectively inverted the constitutional schema. Previously, the federal government was only allowed to do what the Constitution expressly authorized…”

Political parties are not coterminous with ideologies. They are big, broad, unwieldy coalitions that contain lots of factions and varying traditions. Oftentimes, these forces are in direct conflict with one another.

William F. Buckley Holding Book

“…From the New Deal onwards, the government could more or less do anything that the Constitution did not expressly forbid. This inversion gave birth to the conservative movement.”

Conservatives are part of the Republican Party, but so are other forces that—while they might call themselves “conservative”—are actually something quite different.douglas

From Slavery Defeaters to Business Defenders

Conservatism as we know it today did not really exist before the twentieth century. Prior to that, it was just the way things were done. The powers of the federal government were limited, states and localities were dominant, and people did not look to Washington DC to solve every last problem. Granted, the scope of federal power increased during the nineteenth century—for example, during the Civil War—but conservatives today are wont to celebrate those expansions.

Conservatism as we know it today did not really exist before the twentieth century. Prior to that, it was just the way things were done. Read the rest of this entry »

Thomas Seddon, 1821-1856: ‘Penelope’

penlope
THOMAS SEDDON
1821-1856
PENELOPE ‘THEN DURING THE DAY SHE WOVE THE LARGE WEB, WHICH AT NIGHT SHE UNRAVELLED’ THE ODYSSEY
signed and dated l.r.: T Seddon 18/52
oil on canvas
91.5 by 71cm., 36 by 28in.

PROVENANCE

George Wilson of Redgrave Hall, Suffolk and thence by descent to Mr P.J. Holt Wilson, by whom sold Sotheby’s, 28 November 1972, lot 49

EXHIBITED

London, Royal Academy, 1852, no. 339;
London, Society of Arts, Thomas Seddon Memorial Exhibition, 1857

LITERATURE

John P. Seddon, Memoir and Letters of the late Thomas Seddon, artist, By his Brother, 1859, pp. 16-17;
The Journal of the Society of Arts, May 1857, pp.360-362;
The Art Journal, 1857, p.198

CATALOGUE NOTE

This is the first recorded work from the hand of the short-lived and very remarkable Pre-Raphaelite artist Thomas Seddon. Thought of principally as a painter of eastern landscape subjects, the present beautiful and important work provides a fascinating clue to his artistic training and formative years. Although quite unlike the type of work for which he did become known, it reveals the instinctive creative talent and natural skill that he possessed. An unusual subject for an English painter to take in the 1850s, and therefore possibly reflecting his knowledge of contemporary French art, it shows Penelope looking out as the dawn breaks – her companions still sleeping – after a night spent undoing the previous day’s work on a woven shroud. Her reason for doing this was because – according to the story told in Homer’s Odyssey – during the long period during which her husband Odysseus was away, assumed by most to be dead, she remained faithful to him and, when pressed to give herself in marriage to another, always said she could not until the shroud was finished, a subterfuge which she maintained for ten years until a maid servant revealed how it was that the garment was never completed. Read the rest of this entry »


No More Success Stories: Students Protest ‘Excellence for Social Justice Week’

crying college student

Because it might make unsuccessful students feel bad

Kyle Becker reports:  Life is truly beginning to imitate art. According to prevailing progressive “wisdom,” success is just becoming downright… unfair. The University of Georgia’s Student Government Association (SGA) held an unusual “dinner and dialogue” during Social Justice Week in opposition to the notion of “success stories.

The event “No More Success Stories: Dinner, Dialogue, Making A Difference” was scheduled for October 23rd (pace the flyer), and listed panelists for the “final event of Raise Your Hand for Equality!” Day at the U. of Georgia. The premise of the forum is that minority “success stories” diminish the stature of other minorities. The flyer, for example, features the openly gay CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper in the background, and poses: “1 in a Million Means 999,999 left behind.” Read the rest of this entry »