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Putting the “Hammer” Down in Greece: More about Fascists in the New Government

COMMENT: From Mark Ames comes an important new post, supplementing information about fascists in the new Greek government. Recall that Greece was under the rule of a fascist junta that came to power in 1967.  Makis “Hammer” Voridis, the current minister of  “Infrastructure, Transport and Networks” in the Greek Government, is a doctrinaire fascist and unabashed supporter of the junta. Voridis derived his nickname from his habitual  fondness for using hatchets and hammers on political opponents, honing those skills as a street thug for fascist causes and organizations.

As discussed in Martin A. Lee’s book The Beast Reawakens, the fascists who overthrew Greek democracy were drawn from the residua of the collaborationist government that ruled during the Nazi occupation during World War II.

Those fascists were preserved as an anti-communist cadre as part of “Operation Stay Behind”–a NATO program that utilized fascists as reserves in the event of a Soviet invasion of Europe. In several countries, they actively destabilized democratic forces. (The Italian component of Stay Behind was the Gladio program, discussed in Miscellaneous Archive Show M49.)

“Austerity and Fascism in Greece: The Real 1% Doctrine” by Mark Ames; smirkingchimp.com; 11/17/2011.


EXCERPT: See the guy in the photo there, dangling an ax from his left hand? That’s Greece’s new “Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks” Makis Voridis captured back in the 1980s, when he led a fascist student group called “Student Alternative” at the University of Athens law school. It’s 1985, and Minister Voridis, dressed like some Kajagoogoo Nazi, is caught on camera patrolling the campus with his fellow fascists, hunting for suspected leftist students to bash. Voridis was booted out of law school that year, and sued by Greece’s National Association of Students for taking part in violent attacks on non-fascist law students. . . .

. . . . This rather disturbing definition of what counts as “non-ideological” or “technocratic” in 2011 is something most folks are trying hard to ignore, which might explain why there’s been almost nothing about how Greece’s new EU-imposed austerity government includes neo-Nazis from the LAOS Party (LAOS is the acronym for Greece’s fascist political party, not the Southeast Asian paradise).

Which brings me back to the new Minister of Infrastructure, Makis Voridis. Before he was an ax-wielding law student, Voridis led another fascist youth group that supported the jailed leader of Greece’s 1967 military coup. Greece has been down this fascism route before, all under the guise of saving the nation and complaints about alleged parliamentary weakness. In 1967, the military overthrew democracy, imposed a fascist junta, jailed and tortured suspected leftist dissidents, and ran the country into the ground until the junta was overthrown by popular protest in 1974.

That military junta—and the United States support for it (for which Clinton apologized in 1999 [3])—is a raw and painful memory for Greeks. Most Greeks, anyway. As far as today’s Infrastructure Minister, Makis Voridis, was concerned, the only bad thing about the junta was that it was overthrown by democracy demonstrators. A fascist party was set up in the early 1980s in support of the jailed coup leader, and Voridis headed up that party’s youth wing. That’s when he earned the nickname “Hammer.” You can probably guess by now why Greece’s Infrastructure Minister was given the nickname “Hammer”: Voridis’s favorite sport was hunting down leftist youths and beating them with, yes, a hammer.

After the hammer, he graduated to law school– and the ax; was expelled from law school; and worked his way up the adult world of Greek fascist politics, his ax tucked under the bed somewhere. In 1994, Voridis helped found a new far-right party, The Hellenic Front. In 2004’s elections, Voridis’s “Hellenic Front Party” formed a bloc with the neo-Nazi “Front Party,” headed by Greece’s most notorious Holocaust denier, Konstantinos Plevis, a former fascist terrorist whose book, “Jews: The Whole Truth,” praised Adolph Hitler and called for the extermination of Jews. Plevis was charged and found guilty of “inciting racial hatred” in 2007, but his sentence was overturned on appeal in 2009.

By that time, Makis “Hammer” Voridis had traded up in the world of Greek fascism, merging his Hellenic Front Party into the far-right LAOS party, an umbrella party for all sorts of neo-Nazi and far-right political organizations. LAOS was founded by another raving anti-Semite, Giorgos Karatzeferis—nicknamed “KaratzaFührer” in Greece for alleging that the Holocaust and Auschwitz are Jewish “myths,” and saying that Jews have “no legitimacy to speak in Greece.” . . . .

Discussion

25 comments for “Putting the “Hammer” Down in Greece: More about Fascists in the New Government”

  1. Thanks for putting up this valuable info, Dave………also, thanks to GrumpusRex and Terrafractyl for their further contributions. =)

    Posted by Steven l. | November 17, 2011, 7:03 pm
  2. Here’s an even more depressing take on the situation in Greece…that making LAOS part of the government has actually weakened its popular support:


    One loser from the process has been LAOS, the far-Right party — a split off from New Democracy, which then attracted several fascists from the “Golden Dawn” movement, wanting to go mainstream. LAOS’s entry into government, in pursuit of respectability, appears to have cut it off from support that polls suggested it could have gained, as an anti-systemic party. One leftist said to me that LAOS’s entry to the interim government was “an enormous relief — they lost their chance to become a Le Pen style party”.

    Aaaarrgh, the stupidity…it hurts!:

    Harsh reality on the streets of Athens

    By , Foreign Correspondent online assignment

    Updated November 09, 2011 16:49:52

    With Greece in turmoil, world attention has focused on a nation wracked by strikes and austerity measures.

    Violent marches on Parliament have become routine.

    On assignment for Foreign Correspondent earlier this year, I watched as public servants joined ranks with anarchists and railed against declining living standards, government cuts and the harsh demands dictated by Greece’s de facto masters – the politicians and bankers of the European Union.

    But once the rage was spent, the broken glass swept away and shops re-opened, many of the faces in the street clearly weren’t of Greek origin.

    Athens has undergone radical demographic change in recent years.

    In the Plaka, under the shadow of the Acropolis, tourists were mobbed by hordes of Nigerians selling fake designer handbags, while Pakistanis and Afghans flogged pirated DVDs on the pavements of the downtown commercial district.

    There was an air of tension that didn’t exist a few years ago when times were good. Greeks blamed undocumented immigrants for a sharp rise in violent crime. With unemployment running at 16.5 per cent, migrants were accused of taking Greek jobs and were targeted in savage attacks by neo-Nazis of the ‘Golden Dawn’ movement.

    So the Greeks needed to include a bunch of neo-nazi “Golden Dawn” buddies in order to keep them from gaining more power. It’s like a Catch-22 fused with a Pyrric victory.

    I think “Golden Dawn” & Friends boosters maybe be a little confused. The thugs they’re supporting are actually called “The Goldman Dawn” and they are very thankful for the support.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 17, 2011, 10:07 pm
  3. I wonder how these new government partners are being received by the local media:

    Personal interests ahead of national good

    By Pantelis Boukalas

    No one has the right anymore to claim that PASOK betrayed its founding charter or that it broke its fundamental promises. Sure, it took some time, but the Panhellenic Socialist Movement’s foremost pledge made when it first came to power in 1981 has finally materialized. “PASOK in government, the people [‘laos,’ in Greek] in power,” the party’s late founder Andreas Papandreou promised at the time. And here we are, 30 years later, thanks to Andreas’s son, George Papandreou. Well, almost. You see, the new slogan is “PASOK in government, LAOS in power.”

    Don’t underestimate the threat. Strangely, most media have presented the involvement of the ultranationalist LAOS party in the transition administration not only as natural and painless but also as constructive and productive.

    It almost feels like LAOS is a group of colorful politicians with a soft spot for smart sound bites who spend most of their time parading through Greece’s television studios — instead of what it really is: a political party that accommodates the worst kind of nationalists, apologists of Greece’s military junta (as well as late Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas), immigrant bashers, anti-Semites, former members of the nationalist Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) organization, and bigoted preachers of the notion that building a mosque in Athens — with or without a minaret — would signal an attack on the Hellenic nation.
    ….

    I think we’re in need of a new term for journalists that kiss fascists ass because I’m not sure “sycophant” captures it. This could work.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 17, 2011, 10:49 pm
  4. When Democracy fails try, try again:


    LAOS party leader, Giorgos Karatzeferis (whose popular nickname among Greeks is KaratzaFührer) once said in an interview to Ethnos newspaper (26/10/10) in an attempt to justify why Voridis wasn’t the party’s candidate for the Athens regional governor in the 2010 local elections:


    Giorogos Karatzaferis: I was simply afraid that Voridis has a history which I have managed to cover after considerable effort…
    Christos Machairas (journalist): What exactly do you mean by “history”?
    Giorgos Karatzaferis: About his relation with Jean Marie Le Pen, the axes and all the rest. I am just thinking that suddenly, on the 30th of October (i.e. a bit before the local elections) some guy from New Democracy or from Tsipras’ team (i.e. SYRIZA leftist party) can throw a video on the air and drag me explaining about all these things.

    Makis Voridis is now the new Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 17, 2011, 11:03 pm
  5. It is so sad what is happening to Greece. And it is even more sad for Israel, as it is now completely surrounded by anti-semites with all those regime changes in the region.

    For those who would like to watch a good documentary on Operation Gladio which Dave refered to, here is a post by PublicRecord website. The interviews are great as they feature people who are in a position to talk about it from the inside. Don’t miss it. Original Italian with English subtitles.

    http://pubrecord.org/commentary/7333/gladio-conspiracy-demands-attention/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gladio-conspiracy-demands-attention

    Posted by Claude | November 17, 2011, 11:29 pm
  6. Here’s a Krugman piece on the US’s psychophants. It’s just one the parallels between the US “Super Committee” and the new Greek government:


    So the supercommittee brought together legislators who disagree completely both about how the world works and about the proper role of government. Why did anyone think this would work?

    Well, maybe the idea was that the parties would compromise out of fear that there would be a political price for seeming intransigent. But this could only happen if the news media were willing to point out who is really refusing to compromise. And they aren’t. If and when the supercommittee fails, virtually all news reports will be he-said, she-said, quoting Democrats who blame Republicans and vice versa without ever explaining the truth.

    Oh, and let me give a special shout-out to “centrist” pundits who won’t admit that President Obama has already given them what they want. The dialogue seems to go like this. Pundit: “Why won’t the president come out for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes?” Mr. Obama: “I support a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes.” Pundit: “Why won’t the president come out for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes?”

    You see, admitting that one side is willing to make concessions, while the other isn’t, would tarnish one’s centrist credentials. And the result is that the G.O.P. pays no price for refusing to give an inch.

    Well, I don’t know if the GOP is refusing to give an inch here and there:


    At the very end of the debt limit fight, Republicans crowed that the Super Committee’s inherent design would make it difficult for the panel’s Democrats to insist on tax increases. Because of how the Congressional Budget Office typically scores legislation, they argued, any attempt to raise marginal tax rates from their current Bush-era levels would actually score as a big tax cut and thus a budget buster — a fact that would make it difficult for the Committee to hit its $1.2 trillion target.

    The CBO defaults to what’s known as a “current law baseline.” It weighs how proposed legislation would impact the budget compared to what would happen if Congress does nothing. Well, if Congress does nothing, all the Bush tax cuts will expire automatically at the end of 2012, largely eliminating the country’s medium-term deficits. As a result, Democrats on the Super Committee have been unable (and perhaps unwilling) to insist that the Bush tax cuts for top earners expire — if the rest of those tax cuts become permanent, it scores as a huge tax cut.

    For that very reason Republicans insisted to reporters that they’d hold the Super Committee to the current law baseline. I know. I was one of those reporters.

    Fast forward three and a half months, Republicans now want to use the Super Committee report as a vehicle for making all the Bush tax cuts permanent. But compared to current law, that scores as an even bigger tax cut — it drops trillions of dollars in projected revenue off a cliff.

    So to make the math work out, they want to revert to what’s known as a “current policy baseline.” Since the Bush tax cuts are in effect right now (i.e. they’re “current policy”), extending them forever is budget neutral compared to that baseline. The only difference, as far as deficits are concerned, is about $4 trillion over the next decade. But what’s $4 trillion between friends?

    $4 trillion in extra cuts? This sounds like a job for “The Hammer!”. Oh wait, he’s busy.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 17, 2011, 11:44 pm
  7. Caveat: i don’t agree with all the opinions in this editorial, but it’s noteworthy to see the obvious being stated regarding the ascendant far right here, despite some “iffy” conclusions.

    http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/industry-insights/economics/the-extreme-right-benefits-most-from-euro-zone-failure

    The extreme right benefits most from euro-zone failure
    Dani Rodrik

    Nov 16, 2011

    As if the economic ramifications of a full-blown Greek default were not terrifying enough, the political consequences could be far worse.

    A chaotic euro-zone break-up would cause irreparable damage to the European integration project, the central pillar of Europe’s political stability since the Second World War. It would destabilise not only the highly indebted European periphery, but also core countries such as France and Germany, the architects of that project.

    The nightmare scenario would also be a 1930s-style victory for political extremism. Fascism, Nazism and communism were children of a backlash against globalisation that had been building since the end of the 19th century, feeding on the anxieties of groups that felt disenfranchised and threatened by expanding market forces and cosmopolitan elites.

    Free trade and the gold standard had required downplaying domestic priorities such as social reform, nation building and cultural reassertion. Economic crisis and the failure of international cooperation undermined not only globalisation, but also the elites who upheld the existing order.

    As my Harvard colleague Jeff Frieden has written, this paved the path for two distinct forms of extremism. Faced with the choice between equity and economic integration, communists chose radical social reform and economic self-sufficiency. Faced with the choice between national assertion and globalism, fascists, Nazis and nationalists chose nation building.

    ( … )

    The result is that mounting concerns about the erosion of economic security, social stability and cultural identity could not be handled through mainstream political channels. National political structures became too constrained to offer effective remedies, while European institutions still remain too weak to command allegiance.

    It is the extreme right that has benefited most from the centrists’ failure. In Finland, the heretofore unknown True Finns party capitalised on the resentment around euro-zone bailouts to finish a close third in April’s general election. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom wields enough power to play kingmaker; without its support, the minority liberal government would collapse. In France, the National Front, which finished second in the 2002 presidential election, has been revitalised under Marine Le Pen.

    Nor is the backlash confined to euro-zone members. The Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-Nazi roots, entered parliament last year with nearly 6 per cent of the popular vote. In Britain, one recent poll indicated that as many as two thirds of Conservatives want Britain to leave the EU.

    Political movements of the extreme right have traditionally fed on anti-immigration sentiment. But the Greek, Irish, Portuguese and other bailouts, together with the euro’s troubles, have given them fresh ammunition. Their Euro-scepticism certainly appears to be vindicated by events. When Ms Le Pen was recently asked whether she would withdraw from the euro, she replied: “When I am president, in a few months’ time, the euro zone probably won’t exist.”

    Economically, the best of the bad options is to ensure that the inevitable defaults and departures from the euro zone are carried out in as orderly and coordinated a fashion as possible. Politically, too, a similar reality check is needed. What the current crisis demands is an explicit reorientation away from external financial obligations and austerity to domestic preoccupations and aspirations. Just as healthy domestic economies are the best guarantor of an open world economy, healthy domestic polities are the best guarantor of a stable international order.

    The challenge is to develop a new political narrative emphasising national interests and values without overtones of nativism and xenophobia. If centrist elites do not prove themselves up to the task, those of the far right will gladly fill the vacuum, minus the moderation.

    That is why George Papandreou, who has just stepped down as Greek prime minister, had the right idea with his abortive call for a referendum. That move was a belated attempt to recognise the primacy of domestic politics, even if investors viewed it, in the words of a Financial Times editor, as “playing with fire”. Scrapping the referendum simply postpones the day of reckoning and raises the ultimate costs to be paid by Greece’s new leadership.

    Today, the question is no longer whether politics will become more populist and less internationalist but whether the consequences of that shift can be managed without things turning ugly. In Europe’s politics, as in its economics, there are no good options – only less bad ones.

    Dani Rodrik, a professor of international political economy at Harvard University, is the author of The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy.

    Posted by R. Wilson | November 19, 2011, 1:24 am
  8. I wish I could bring a hammer down on this Makis son of a bitch.

    Posted by Josh | November 19, 2011, 1:49 pm
  9. @R. Wilson: Yeah, it looks like we’re already seeing the right-wing make the predictable electoral gains.

    The sad lesson of the day seems to be “When it rains pain, stupidity gains”:

    The people of the People’s Party
    The likely next Spanish prime minister is a man of some mystery

    Jun 16th 2011 | MADRID

    SPAIN will soon be a country for old men. Most new prime ministers are in their early 40s. But the next one will be a grey-bearded veteran. The choice will be between Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the Socialist deputy prime minister, who must lead his party into a tough general election due by next March, and Mariano Rajoy of the conservative People’s Party (PP). …

    Mr Rajoy has played watch and wait, being careful not to frighten voters with dramatic, drastic proposals. He has shed the “nasty party” baggage that damaged the PP in 2008. He has abandoned overblown claims that Mr Zapatero is tearing Spain apart by giving more autonomy to its regions or destroying the family. PP hints that the region of Castilla-La Mancha is bust or that Spain’s health system will not survive the year also look alarmist. Mr Rajoy also rarely mentions terrorism practised by the Basque separatist group ETA. Yet many in the party, especially on the right, wish he were more forthright and dynamic. Others offer the faint praise that he will be a better prime minister than opposition leader. Some blame Britain’s David Cameron, a fellow conservative: Mr Cameron scared voters by being too open about austerity, they say, and failed to win an absolute majority.

    All this leads to frustration about the PP’s plans. “I don’t think anyone really knows what he will do beyond balancing the budget, and that doesn’t help calm markets,” says Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania. “The degree of courage will depend on the size of the parliamentary majority,” says Lorenzo Bernaldo de Quirós, of Freemarket International Consulting. That the PP now runs many regions may not help, as some voters may start to see it as an incumbent rather than an opposition.

    Mr Rajoy is famed for a trait of his native Galicia: leaving people guessing about his real intentions. But he is also tenacious. Plots to dethrone him as leader have come to nothing. In a party that covers the spectrum of the Spanish right, somebody will always gripe. He and his economic team deny they are hiding their plans, pointing to numerous parliamentary motions.

    A Rajoy government will try to repeat the trick of the first PP government of José María Aznar after 1996. It met its deficit targets, cut taxes and enjoyed strong growth. Mr Rajoy will quickly pass an austerity package and cut corporate tax. He will push through more labour reform, with or without union consent. And he will hack at business-suffocating red tape. But this is not 1996. Spain has fewer public companies to privatise and cannot count so much on European Union money. How the Aznar model can apply now will depend largely on Mr Rajoy’s first finance minister. And who will that be? Like so much surrounding Mr Rajoy, it remains a mystery.

    This lesson in pain-induced stupidity brought to you today from Spain:

    Spain election: People’s party sweeps to crushing victory over Socialists

    Mariano Rajoy gains absolute majority with 16 percentage point win over José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s Socialists
    Giles Tremlett in Madrid
    guardian.co.uk, Sunday 20 November 2011 18.40 EST

    The conservative People’s party (PP) of Mariano Rajoy has swept to a landslide victory in Spain’s general election, inheriting sky-high unemployment and one of the shakiest economies in Europe.

    Rajoy’s PP gained an absolute parliamentary majority with a crushing 16 percentage point win over the Socialists of outgoing prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

    The Socialists lost a third of their seats as voters dumped a government that presided over a dramatic economic slump which has left 23% of Spaniards out of work.

    With the PP winning 186 of the 350 seats in parliament, 56-year-old Rajoy was given a free hand to carry out sweeping reforms and impose further austerity in an attempt to turn the country around.

    “It is no secret to anyone that we are going to rule in the most delicate circumstances Spain has faced in 30 years,” he said. He pleaded for time. “There will be no miracles,” he said. “We haven’t promised any.”

    They can expect an immediate dose of added austerity, with experts saying Rajoy must find at least €18bn (£15.4bn) through cuts or tax rises next year. “This could calm the markets, but until the new government does what it says it’s going to do, nothing will change,” said Angel Laborda, chief economist at the Spanish savings banks’ thinktank, Funcas.

    Zapatero has also extended the retirement age and changed the constitution to allow for a long-term deficit limit to be set on the budget. Rajoy has said one of his first measures will be to set that limit.

    Rajoy’s promises of major reforms, more austerity and strict deficit control are in tune with market demands and with those of Germany’s Angela Merkel, the European Central Bank and the European commission.

    Zapatero has also extended the retirement age and changed the constitution to allow for a long-term deficit limit to be set on the budget. Rajoy has said one of his first measures will be to set that limit.

    Wait, so part of their new reforms will involve setting constitutional budget limits. Yeah, I’m sure that will turn out well.

    Continuing…

    PP shadow finance minister Cristóbal Montoro has said the new government will act hard and fast, introducing reforms immediately. Rajoy must now name his future finance minister. He has said in the past that he is happy to choose someone from outside the party, so may end up naming a market-friendly technocrat.

    Further spending cuts on top of those already imposed by Zapatero risk tipping the country into recession. They may also be energetically opposed by the peaceful “indignado” movement that took over city squares earlier this year.

    “From a market standpoint, an absolute majority for the PP is just what the doctor ordered,” Nicholas Spiro, of Sovereign Strategy told Reuters in London. “The risk, however, is that more retrenchment pushes the economy back into recession.

    ….

    So the “free-market” friendly approach is to appoint “technocrats” to lead the austerity measures. Except the market is also concerned that their planned austerity will undermine the economy (which is what pretty much always happens).

    I never realize the term “free-market” included reality-free markets. Buyer beware.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 20, 2011, 8:00 pm
  10. Dear Mr. Thall;

    Perhaps this will help, at least as a starting point.

    Follow the links.

    http://spitfirelist.com/news/democracy-muslim-brotherhood-style/

    Use the “search” function.

    Posted by Dave Emory | November 20, 2011, 10:39 pm
  11. @Nelson: Hamas may not be anywhere near a major power, that is true, however, though, they DO exhibit some very fascistic characteristics, e.g. the scapegoating of the Jewish people for all the world’s ills, etc. As seen here, Dave has kindly provided one of his MANY quality pieces of research on these anti-Semitic pieces of garbage and their ilk.

    Posted by Steven L. | November 20, 2011, 11:27 pm
  12. Capitalism, in crisis, inevitable turns to Fascist enforcers to pound down resistance.

    Posted by stu | November 21, 2011, 1:48 pm
  13. Ahoy, Nelson!
    As far as Hezbollah goes, try this for openers:
    http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2057561_2252658,00.html

    What do you think these little charmers are doing?

    Auditioning for an anti-perspirant commercial?

    After that, use the website and look up the “devotees of islam”,
    Shiia offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that mentored Khomeini, et al.

    Also look up “francois genoud” and his links to Islamist forces.

    I think one of the stumbling blocks appears to be equating sophisticated weaponry with fascist realization.

    This is fallacious, in my opinion.

    A Nazi, Italian blackshirt, Muslim Brotherhood street goon or any other form of fascist is the same ideologically, regardless of the quality of his (or her) weaponry or funding.

    Makis “The Hammer” didn’t have much in the way of weaponry when he earned his nickname, and look where he ended up.

    Indeed, fasism represents itself to the disenfranchised as a path to redress of social grievance.

    In addition to the concept of the
    Corporate State, as articulated by Mussolini, one might think of fascism as “capitalizm on full-auto.”

    I think a greater understanding of the Islamist component of the postwar fascist international may derive from examination of FTR #498/499.

    Posted by Dave Emory | November 21, 2011, 3:04 pm
  14. @Dave: So true. Why, here in the United States, we have our own brand of fascists(and other suspicious figures) trying to appeal to the poor and disenfranchised….I believe one of them is called the ‘Tea Party’?(how ironic, right?) And let’s not forget the nutty Ron Paul, the Huey Long of the 21st century. =)

    (The good thing here, though, is that many people here in America have begun to wake up to the comings and goings of the Teabaggers & their bosses + benefactors, particularly the shady-as-all-hell Koch Bros. Let’s hope the people of Greece can do the same.)

    Posted by Steven l. | November 21, 2011, 3:38 pm
  15. I think “Mr. Thall” is trying to troll Dave.

    (1) I don’t believe that Mr. Thall works for the CIA — such a person wouldn’t drop that fact into the conversation. Think about it. Think about why that fact was dropped into the conversation, and what would justify it.

    (2) Classic troll techniques include wild misdirection about Hamas — which is not the topic Mr. Thall came here to discuss. The topic that Mr. Thall came here to disseminate disinformation about is that old Neocon favorite, Iran.

    (3) Would an alleged CIA employee assert such a brazenly “confused” definition of what constitutes fascism? On so many levels?

    (4) Would someone who “values Dave’s opinion” not already know the links that Dave felt obliged to post, or already know the basic background facts that are a staple for For The Record listeners? I smell a fake, and a careless Rovian one at that.

    Nice touch with “The Marxists” … so Neocon.

    You know your radio efforts are hitting significant chords when you start getting trolls with such sophisticated creepiness that they smell like Michael Ledeen.

    Posted by R. Wilson | November 21, 2011, 8:16 pm
  16. @R. Wilson: Perhaps so. However, though, I must admit Mr. Thall credit for having been correct on one thing: The government in Tehran, is indeed fascist. Too bad pretty much everything else he said was bullshit, though.

    And yes, I agree: Dave is REALLY kicking ass these days. =)

    Posted by Steven l. | November 21, 2011, 9:53 pm
  17. That conversation is extremely interesting. Coincidentally (or not?), it happens that I am a previous listener of Mr Thall radio show, “Shock Talk With Bloom and Steele”. In the beginning I liked it but, little by little, I began to feel unsatisfied by it. The same thing happened when I was listening to Alex Jones. No offense Nelson, if that’s really you. Then I discovered Dave’s show, ironically suggested by you, “Lenny Bloom”, AKA Nelson Thall on your show…and then I realized what it was to inform the public with FACTS, detailed, precise, with documentation, analysis, all things Bloom and Steele can’t do, even if you do your best to put the best show you can. In the end, talent, work and competence make the difference and that’s why Dave belongs in a category of himself. There are several progressive radio hosts but there is only one Dave Emory.

    Even if I liked your show, Nelson, I always though there was something wrong but I couldn’t identify what. I agree with R. Wilson that an intelligence agent wouldn’t blow his own cover. It’s one of the basics. It’s like a baseball player who would forget to bring his bat at the plate. On the other hand, you defintely do “something” other than just a radio show. I don’t know what it is but there is something.

    On the question of islam, you know that Dave is right but you can’t admit it. If you are related to the owner of the Toronto Star, then you belong to the Left. As the Left can’t accept that Islam may cause problems and encourage people to behave like criminals, it tries to portray Hamas and Hezbollah like kindergarden mommies. And we all know that they are not.

    Anyway, I could continue but there is no point. It is the quality of the material that you put out that will give credibility to you, not the other way around. I don’t reference your show on my blog very often and it will stay like that until you begin being more serious.

    Think about it and stop “trolling” Dave with that ridiculous fishing expedition. We are all very busy with our lives and research. You should read the National Post. Maybe it would open your horizons.

    Posted by Claude | November 22, 2011, 12:53 am
  18. Sheesh, the Spanish right-wing just had a historic day at the ballot box and Spain is still getting killed in the bond markets because Spain’s new Prime Minister didn’t immediately give the details on just how exactly he’s going to impose austerity:

    No respite for Spain on markets despite election result

    By Paul Day and Sonya Dowsett

    MADRID | Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:55am EST

    (Reuters) – The election of a new conservative government failed to curb mounting market pressure on Spain on Tuesday with Madrid forced to pay the highest interest in 14 years on a sale of government debt.

    The auction of short term paper was seen as the first test of whether Prime Minister-elect Mariano Rajoy could reassure investors after his center-right People’s Party (PP) won the biggest victory for 30 years in Sunday’s election. The answer was a resounding “no.”

    The average yield on a three-month bill more than doubled to just over 5 percent from almost 2.3 percent a month earlier. The interest paid on a 6-month bill also soared to over 5 percent from over 3.3 percent paid in October.

    With Spain at the heart of a euro zone crisis that is escalating by the day, the final average yields on both bills leapt more than 70 basis points even from secondary market levels on Monday afternoon.

    The dismal performance in the auction piled pressure on Rajoy, who does not take power until just before Christmas, to give some detail on his austerity plans — something he refused to do on Monday night to the frustration of markets.

    “Rajoy has to hurry with the measures. The market will not give him much time,” said a senior Spanish banker, who asked not to be named.

    Fitch ratings agency said the incoming government must outline additional measures to cut Spain’s deficit.

    “It must positively surprise investors with an ambitious and radical fiscal and structural reform program,” it said in a statement.

    Jo Tomkins, a strategist at consultancy 4Cast, said borrowing costs were at “eye-popping levels.”

    The lack of relief on the back of Sunday’s election speaks volumes despite what was a very solid majority win for Rajoy. No doubt about it he will have his work cut out, but a bold if not brazen message could be what is needed to shore up confidence in Spain,” she said.

    Rajoy says he will hold his first cabinet meeting on December 23, and has resisted pressure to at least give some crumbs to nervous investors on precisely what he intends to do to cut the deficit and restore market confidence.

    The PP’s manifesto was short on detail, as Rajoy sat back and relied on anger over a grinding crisis that has put one in five Spaniards out of work — the highest rate in the European Union — to rocket him to overwhelming victory.

    As Krugman has been saying, to some extent what we’re seeing is neo-Calvinism become the only viable solution as the crisis takes the form of a larger morality play. Then again, with folks like “The Hammer” in the picture and the markets threatening national death if leaders don’t promise more blood, this is starting to look like another type of story.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 22, 2011, 9:22 am
  19. Yes indeed, well said Dave. This becomes especially acute in a political environment lacking a credible progressive alternative.

    In pre-WWII Germany the rise of Hitler was aided and abetted by the inability of socialist and progressive forces to establish a viable alternative. Stalin and his agents worked to consciously suppress such a “united front” with disastrous consequences for Germany and the world.

    =========

    Indeed, fascism rep­re­sents itself to the dis­en­fran­chised as a path to redress of social grievance.

    In addi­tion to the con­cept of the
    Cor­po­rate State, as artic­u­lated by Mus­solini, one might think of fas­cism as “cap­i­tal­izm on full-auto.”
    ===========

    Posted by stu | November 22, 2011, 10:52 am
  20. @Claude: Just remember that not all of us lefties are naive…….check out Democratic Underground some time. =)

    Posted by Steven l. | November 22, 2011, 11:32 am
  21. @Stu: Nicely put, Stu. =)

    Posted by Steven l. | November 23, 2011, 10:55 am
  22. The Greek connection to UC Davis “Chemical” Linda Katehi

    Its interesting how she left Greece after democracy was restored. Good timing?

    Posted by grumpusrex | November 29, 2011, 9:34 am
  23. @GrumpusRex: I’ll have to look this up…….

    Posted by Steven l. | November 29, 2011, 12:08 pm
  24. Probably nothing, but she seems to have more than survived the University of Illinois clout scandal, moving up and on to her new position at US Davis.

    Before coming to UC Davis, Katehi served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She oversaw the admissions office during much of the time period that came to be investigated as part of the University of Illinois clout scandal. Katehi denied involvement, saying the “Category I” decisions were made at higher administrative levels.[9]
    Her immediate ‘boss’ was Chancellor Richard Herman.
    President Bush appointed Dr. Herman to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, serving on subcommittees which advised the President on nanotechnology, networking and information technology and university-private sector partnerships. He co-chaired the High Performance Computing Inititiative for the Council on Competitiveness as well as serving on the steering committee for its Energy, Security, Innovation and Sustainability Initiative and the Council’s Executive Committtee.
    He has some big oil contacts, too.
    In addition to abetting an increase in the research profile of the university, Herman promoted private sector partnerships by supporting the creation of a Research Park and, in particular, by helping to secure a $500 million grant from BP in partnership with Berkeley [3][4][5]. Commitments to the creation of the Institute for Genomic Biology and the garnering of the Petascale Award with IBM from the National Science Foundation ensured continued scientific and technological leadership for the university [6]

    Posted by grumpusrex | November 29, 2011, 4:22 pm
  25. @StevenL: There is supposed to be links in that last post. (I haven’t quite figured out all the formatting conventions here) Nevertheless, all that info is from Wikipedia. Just first glance stuff.

    Posted by grumpusrex | November 29, 2011, 4:29 pm

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