Friday, November 11, 2005

STILL UNPOPULAR

This is my 100th post. Happy blogging celebration to me. According to the new European Social Survey, Greece is the least welcoming country in Europe as far as foreigners are concerned. We already knew that though, didn't we? When asked if foreigners make the country worse, 64% said they did. Double the average. When asked whether migrants should be allowed to settle here, 27% said none. Double the average. When asked whether foreigners from poor countries should be allowed to come and live here, eight out of ten said no. Double the average. 60% of europeans said that immigrants were good for the economy. Almost 60% (57%) of Greeks said they were not. This is not a recent change of heart. The last European Social survey in 2002 was pretty much the same. So, not much of that famous greek φιλοξενία (hospitality) if you are foreign and actually want to live here. Yes, I know; "if you don't like it go home", "you know where the airport is" etc. (just thought I would save you the trouble of writing it) Greece is relatively new to multiculturalism and has not had decades of discussion and education on the issues. Many people are starting to have these debates which is positive to see. Unfortunately, for the foreigners here now, the majority opinion seems to be against them. I just hope our efforts will make things better for our children. By the way, November 16th is International Day for Tolerance

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At 11/11/2005 06:47:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Very interesting find, dd, and I have to say, I’m gobsmacked. I’ve always regarded the Greeks as very tolerant. Although, to be honest, most of my experience, up until relatively recently, has been as a tourist bringing money in to the country during a short stay.

To be fair, and correct me if I’m wrong, most of the immigrants in Greece seem to be either from nations who were enemies of Greece (long memories, huh?) and/or who are Muslims. I don’t think ‘Islamic’ extremists responsible for the atrocities in - well the list is getting tooooo long - are doing the vast majority of peaceful, hard working Muslims any favours, anywhere.

And whatever the opinions of Greeks may be, we’ve yet to see any large-scale sign of this ‘on the street’, unlike in some other European countries.

However, perhaps it raises the question: should the government listen to the people and restrict immigration, or should it do the ‘right’ thing (by recent multi-cultural, politically correct thinking)?

I wouldn’t like to see ethnically motivated violence repeated in Greece.

If it's ok with you, I'll link to here over at ELSOKAI?

PS Today is Remembrance Day in the UK. Just thought I’d mention it, seeing as how Wednesday was the International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism. Hm, does it seems as though some folk in the UK have shorter memories than those in Greece?

 
At 11/11/2005 07:26:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Hi mike, thank yu for your comments as always. You wrote:
"However, perhaps it raises the question: should the government listen to the people and restrict immigration, or should it do the ‘right’ thing (by recent multi-cultural, politically correct thinking)?"

It's one thing to tighten immigration laws and each country has to take it's own measures as it see fit ( and in accordance to international laws) However, what about the people who are already here? Some 10% of the population. Most of those are here legally and trying to make decent lives for themselves and their families.

In my personal opinion, problems arise in the immigrant populations when they have been marginalised, discriminated against and denied access to basic human rights. I will be accused of being a loony lefty liberal (saving people's time again) but that is what I think. I was talking with a friend the other day who, I think, put it really well. "How long do you beat the dog before it turns rounds and bites your ass?"

Unless we are going to have mass repatriations, deportations etc, Europe must face the fact that it is multicultural and that it has a responsibilty to provide equal rights to ALL it's citizens. I personally do not think it is right that when Europe needs immigrants, for work or for the economy, everything is hunky dory. But when things get rough, we say let's blame the foreigners. It's easier for some people to think like that. Blame all your ills on someone else (usually someone with less power than you).

Deep breath. I'll finish there. I've got to get on with that other thing... real life!

Oh btw Mike I don't mind at all if you link to this post. Quite the opposite, I am honoured. Thanks

 
At 11/11/2005 09:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Northern Greece for 5 and a half years... here's a quick insight into a few of my experiences:

- On more than one occassion I have seen Greek people demand a seat on the bus that was taken by a foreigner (most of the time black people)

- I was told by an employee at the local tax office that I shouldn't be given a job because jobs in greece are for greek people

- Street selling is very common in Greece; especially the selling of CDs and DVDs. 99% of them are from Africa and are given 0% respect.

- There are quite a few Albanians living in Greece. Some of them (not all!) are highly motivated people, especially the kids who are keen to become educated. Most foreign school top achievers are rarely recognized.

I could go on...

 
At 11/11/2005 10:16:00 PM, Blogger melusina said...

Well, one thing about the Greeks, at least they are honest. I've always doubted such opinion polls in the past because I think some people (in America at least) give the polite opinions, and not their real ones. Immigrant loathing (at least in my little corner of America) seemed pretty high when I lived there.

This may be how Greeks feel, but how often do they act on it? My block here in Thessaloniki seems to have a few immigrants and for the most part people here seem to be friendly towards them. Of course, I'm not following them on a day to day basis to see how they are being treated, but I don't get a general sense of rampant racism against immigrants here. As long as the environment stays pleasant, I suppose it doesn't matter how people *really* feel. Obviously - you've seen our "discussions" with Ethno and others like him, we won't be changing their minds any more than they will change ours.

Throw whatever "isms" at me that you like, but I think it is a really sad day when people of the world can't learn to live together and befriend one another. And I don't just mean from the "white" point of view - there are plenty of "nationalist" Muslims and people from other countries who will never get along with the rest of the world, only "their" kind. It is that attitude that makes me think that ultimately, whatever the point of life on this earth is, whether it comes from a higher authority or not, it means game over, we lose.

I mean really, how hard is it for human beings to get along? To respect one another? And if someone throws the religious crap in my face I am going to eat puppies. There is no real reason Muslims, Christians and Jews can't get along. Each of those religions comes from the same damn base.

 
At 11/12/2005 12:58:00 AM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Hi there Mel. Always welcome, your comments and input.

Well, I think it goes without saying (so maybe I shouldn't say it?) that I think people can and do get along (as you read in "my neighbourhood story") The point is when it becomes "them" and "us", we have problems. There are nationalists on all sides (greek, muslim, black, white, bla bla)but the vast majority of us are not nationalists. When it comes to whether Greeks are more honest? Hmm I don't know. If this is how everyone really feels but are not honest enough to say it, that seems more depressing, to me.

I really think that most people do not act on their prejudices. But if the current trend towards people like ethnocentrist prevail, we don't really know how poeple will respond. My fear is that they will swing towards nationalism because it is convenient, easier and explains their problems in "black and white"

I agree, it is not that hard for people to get along. We do it all the time without turning a hair. What gets confusing is when people throw crap in our faces about difference. About them and us, about better and worse, about superior and less.
Sorry mel, can't write anymore right now. Long week. I'm knackered. Goodnight for now.

 
At 11/12/2005 03:31:00 AM, Blogger Eff said...

I wouldn't blame this on nationalism, though that depends on how one defines it. I don't think nationalism is inherently bad, it is a choice to think favorably upon one's nation. The problem comes when it is so fervent that it turns into jingoism. Fear of new cultures, of their willingness and ability to integrate with the existing culture obviously is a major cause for extreme, jingoistic nationalism among the natives of that culture. I'm not strongly nationalistic, though I do, especially since I live here (America), want my nation to do well.

 
At 11/12/2005 03:46:00 AM, Blogger melusina said...

I don't know. Overall if you look at the world right now, it seems that more people are racist, anti-immigration, etc. , certainly more than what is considered average via polls. But maybe that is just me being depressed about the state of the world right now.

It just seems that for every one thing the "liberal Marxists" say there is some reason we are wrong and look at this and this and this. France didn't help. And I think as time goes on, the "us and them" attitude will just keep expanding, from what is is now to every little damned thing. It isn't even black and white anymore, or Christian and Muslim, or whatever. It is a divide between those that have and those that don't have. Between those who think one way and those who think another, hell, there may be prejudices against right handed people and southpaws for all I know. All I can see is that the lines are getting broader and more divisive. And then what will have left? Is this *really* our lot? Or will this eradicate us like the dinosaurs?

Sure, I see how that if people think this way, things could get worse. But I am all out of ways to fix it. I don't see changing anyone minds. Not until every immigrant does right by the law and doesn't prove the other side right by breaking the law, riotous violence, or any number of things that happen. And those things aren't going to stop either. Because noone can think about this on a human level, they have to see the issues as racial, or economic, or whatever they are. They can't see it as simply human nature. Some human beings do these things. Others don't. Obviously, not ALL crimes are committed by immigrants, blacks, Muslims, etc. But if ONE crime is, or two, or a few dozen, that is all people will see. Not that it is just some fucked up human beings committing crimes.

It is a subject that really frustrates me, because the "right" or the "nationalists" or the "supremacists" or whatever you want to call them will never see past what they already see. And I will never break down and say "ok, fuck immigrants, fuck everyone else but me and my white heritage". People are people. I highly doubt the world would be a better place if everyone was white. Or if no one emigrated. Or whatever.

Sorry for the language, but it just fits into my frustration with this issue.

 
At 11/12/2005 06:27:00 AM, Blogger Eff said...

Many people might be racist, and that could be a large basis for their anti immigration stance, but I think we should be careful about committing strawman arguments, assigning a basis of racism for all or most objections to immigration. I am all right with immigration to a large degree, but I don't feel absorption is limitless, nor do I think the economic effects, whether used to support or contest immigration en masse, should be ignored. I don't think it's as simple as saying a nation has a moral obligation to agree to let persons x, y and z in based on its own tenets or always on the circumstance of the person trying to enter the nation, and I am not certain that all cultures can mesh. It's idealistic to think so. Granted, it's noble too, but nonetheless idealistic. Many contend that there exists equal extremism, but evidence is not offered. We only have our experiences. Until recently, my own experience has been that leftist leaning persons were guilty of irrationality, as I see it, far more often than those on the right. Pat Robertson has gone a long way to balancing that out, such is the power of the man. The important thing there is that the actual ability of people to merge into a cohesive model of citizenry is dependent on many things, I think mostly being accustomed to a similar culture, but merely believing it possible won't make it so, but it's a healthy outlook. Considering the most controversial of immigrants to the US, those from Middle Eastern nations, would it be an unreasonable expectation that people from Turkey or Jordan are more likely to think well of their host nation than those from regions like northern Pakistan? I don't advocate for halting immigration by people from there, but I do think the more Western accustomization of some nations makes their peoples more favorably disposed toward the norms of America, et al, which someone from cultures less experienced with Western customs might not be. I do feel some empathy for immigrants, since I am a believer in keeping one's home customs strong. How much immigrants should have to adapt is not an easy issue. Well, I'll have to elaborate later, if I can.

 
At 11/12/2005 01:21:00 PM, Blogger scarfalonius said...

Diva, in the predictability index, my posts score higher than yours. I should have my own sound effect.

It's my firm belief that immigration cannot be stopped, it can only be managed somewhat. People are going to be crossing borders for a long, long time to come. Minefields won't keep them out. The most we can do is build systems flexible enough to change with time and circumstance, simple and fair enough to absorb most people, that protect societies from falling apart. This comes through dialogue - with the migrants but also with each other. And whether you or I really believe it or not, that's exactly what we're doing by bothering to write on these blogs. Just maybe some policy wonk is reading.

It's clear that racism and ethnocentrism are dead ends, they don't propose anything other than barbed wire and guard towers. Looking at that Spanish enclave in Morocco, and all the suicide bombings all over the place, you might observe that deterrence isn't what it used to be. When violent death doesn't frighten desperate people, there should be a Plan B.

I have a Greek friend who lives in France. She says the kind of racism and xenophobia she experiences there make Greece's versions seem like a walk in the park (how would she know, of course). She says Greek culture has so many contradictions that its sense of normality is a thousand times more human and forgiving than anywhere else in Europe. How many people do we know who say they hate Albanians, except for the guy on the corner with the kiosk? Or they hate Jews except for so-and-so who is one of 'ours'? How many people do we know who would never break the law except when they have to, which is every day? She says that Greek society, for all its chaos, doesn't have the cold brittleness built into it that makes things erupt as they have in France. I'm not sure, we'll see how the economy goes.

The worldwide malaise. I'm there. Sometimes all this talk about immmigration seems so silly - the real enemy isn't the guy selling pirate CDs. It's the polar ice caps, they're melting and the sea is rising.

Where's my sound effect?

 
At 11/12/2005 01:56:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Well, if it's possible to, and if I knew how to, I'd post a little smiley clapping his (her?) hands. The thought's there.

 
At 11/12/2005 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Jesus Christ! This isn't a blog, but a goddamn propaganda site. I guess Diva found this bit of tripe more fitting to blog on than THIS from the extreme leftist garbage in Greece's midst. There is a reason for the perceived rise in "racism" or "xenophobia" that some commenters here state. The reason is that it is a natural and instinctive phenomenon to want to be with others of like kind. This has been memed to be "racist" and "intolerant" in our day and age. The more influx of different people, the more outcry you will see. Ideology and legislation cannot temper instinct no matter what you call it.

It's one thing for a nation and a people to accept and be tolerant of a small group of immigrants that are forced to eventually assimilate and a totally different concept where you have a free for all migration of peoples who are so different and so many and so intolerant of native cultures. The latter is happening right now in all western worlds. You are seeing the effects of this "enlightened and tolerant" view of the western leftist. Thank God for the Muslim who has been eager to show the world his intolerant face and hopefully awaken the slumbering masses to this catastrophe that will befall us. The numbers are still small enough to prevent decade long warring. And make no mistake, warring WILL happen and it will NOT be initiated by the "lunatic right" either.

To anonymous above: You say those things as if they are bad. You must expect complete genuflection from Greeks towards their "guests".

To Nationless and Borderless Scarfi: LOL Grow up, will you! You make less sense than my 6 year old nephew and my 1 year old nieces. Ethnocentrism a dead end? We can't stop immigration? Deterrents are no longer working? You're one screwed up extreme leftist. First off, if the Establishment wanted immigration stopped, it would be stopped today, immediately. The New World Order wants immigration and chaos and that is why it is occuring AGAINST the will of the people. Don't worry Scarfi, we'll let you leave and join your "huddled masses" on their way back home. Maybe you can teach them the way of the leftist and his colorless, raceless, borderless ideals. I'm sure they'll just lap it up. But don't forget to bring your "bat"...just in case they don't take too kindly to crazy talk.

 
At 11/12/2005 03:33:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Hi ethnocentrist. If you want a blog on the news24.com article, go to Phylax – no propaganda there.

“The reason is that it is a natural and instinctive phenomenon to want to be with others of like kind. This has been memed to be ‘racist’ and ‘intolerant’ in our day and age.” Yup. I’ve often heard it said that immigrants don’t want to integrate. Like you say, it’s just natural to want to be with others of like kind.

I must have missed the call for a free-for-all on immigration. I don’t think any European country has this policy. Although I’ll agree that in many countries this is perceived to be, in effect, how it is. Perhaps you haven’t seen dd’s blog on ‘Don’t believe the type’?

If you think all Muslims are evil, perhaps you might read this article at Yahoo! News

Although maybe this article at the Telegraph will have more appeal?

 
At 11/12/2005 03:49:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

I did read about the "anarchist" response to the riots in Paris, ethnocentrist, but whatever their agenda might be it is not mine. I wrote about this kind of thing when the youth took to the streets to protest the hatewave gathering here at
PROTEST HIJACKED
. I cannot blog on everything that might be of interest to me. I have to be selective because I don't have unlimited time. As I have pointed out many many times, my main reason for blogging is to have a dialogue about human rights issues. I certainly do not blog about subjects to please you. If you don't like my choice of what I post, don't respond. It is not obligatory.

As to what you have written. We will have to agree to disagree. The way you see the world is not the way I see it. We cannot see eye to eye because of how we interpret the same situations. I see the threat to humanity is from people like you. You see it from people like me. How can we talk when we do not speak the same language?

Once again, resorting to insulting people on my blog does not help your argument at all.

 
At 11/12/2005 03:56:00 PM, Blogger scarfalonius said...

"... it is a natural and instinctive phenomenon to want to be with others of like kind."

Ethnoc is being funny again.

OK, pop quiz: what does Lancaster County, Pennsylvania have that is so special?

Answer: The highest number of six-fingered, left-handed Amish dwarves in the world.

The 25,000 Amish residents are all descended from an original group of 200 Swiss immigrants.

 
At 11/12/2005 04:11:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Hi Mike,

Ted's site is where I found the news24.com article.

Mike, when you have Canada saying that they "need" more immigrants and are increasing their numbers from a little over 200,000 per year to over 350,000 per year and want to hurriedly dispense the 700,000 waiting to immigrate in their queue, then it is a free for all.

When you have the US taking in ~1 million legal immigrants per year and over 1 million ILLEGALS from Mexico per year while the populace is quite angry at the state of affairs and wants immigration stopped, it is a free for all.

When you have Europe maintaining that there is this drastic need for immigrants to do the work the natives won't do, despite calls of just the opposite from the populace as well as rising unemployment in many European nations, then it is a free for all.

There is no secret that there has been a significant calculation by the Establishment to allow all sorts of people into western nations against the will of the people and despite the absence of need.

As for the two articles you linked, two things come to mind. "Day late and dollar short" and sycophant Blairite.


Diva,

I do not view people like you as a threat to humanity. I view MILLIONS of people like you who have their own separate interests from their host countries that have no intention of assimilation as a threat to humanity.


Scarfi,

Wow. Thanks for that real gem. The inbreeding strawman. Who would have thought YOU would bring that up? As to the statement of mine that you quoted, it is fact. You should widen your reading material outside the usual "bleedingheartleftistbullshit.com" sites you frequent.

 
At 11/12/2005 04:46:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

eff wrote "leftist leaning persons were guilty of irrationality, as I see it, far more often than those on the right"

hmm depends on which side your on doesn't it? i see multitudes on the irrational "right". Starting with your very own president. The left does not own the copyright on loony as far as I can see.

scarfalonius,

consider yourself well and truly sound-effected. Trumpets, bells, screams and moans, and a lone violin (obviously played by a short, six fingered, left-handed amish pennsylvanian)

Mike

I'm glad you made that point about posting on appropriate blogs. If you want to write about a particular news item or issue, there are thousands of blogs to choose from. I am not sure why ethnocentrist takes such offence to my webblog. I guess he just enjoys the argument.

 
At 11/12/2005 04:54:00 PM, Blogger scarfalonius said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_polydactyl_people

One violinist, Italian not Amish

 
At 11/12/2005 05:30:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

ethnocentrist wrote "I view MILLIONS of people like you who have their own separate interests from their host countries that have no intention of assimilation as a threat to humanity."

In what way do you consider that I am not assimilated? And what are my interests that are separate from the country I live in. That I care about human rights?
It seems, yet again, we are not on the same page.

scarfalonius,

and I thought it was just your quirky sense of humour not bleedingheartleftistbullshit.com! Great name for a new site though.

 
At 11/12/2005 10:21:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Hey, ethnocentrist, maybe my geography isn't so good these days - is Canada in Europe? Shoot, never knew that.

dd, going to a diffrent place: re forums - I just wish I could post the 'rolling on the floor laughing my arse off' smiley here in response to the "'Day late and dollar short' and sycophant Blairite" comment.

While I appreciate ethnocentrist taking his time to liven things up with his comments, in a forum I think he might be tagged as a troll.

 
At 11/13/2005 07:05:00 AM, Blogger Eff said...

eff wrote "leftist leaning persons were guilty of irrationality, as I see it, far more often than those on the right"

hmm depends on which side your on doesn't it? i see multitudes on the irrational "right". Starting with your very own president. The left does not own the copyright on loony as far as I can see.


Yes, and I think the rest of my statement basically stated that it is subjective. Even down to media what some might call liberal otheres might call straight forward and accurate. It's about perception and what's relevant to an individual.

My concern with the concept of all peoples being cooperative brothers and sisters isn't on a personal level, it's that I don't want cultural alterations to advance into national alterations where somethings risk being publically pressured away, perhaps something important. I don't define culture only by traditions and ethnicity, but also by laws, standards, rights, and so on. Whether or not any of those are truly endanger from a borderless world, I can't say, but I want to preserve somethings, and some nationalism could help to stave of their extinction. Case in point, guns. I happen to be very pro gun. Were we to be one, that might represent no danger to the 2nd amendment, but if we became one to the next level, it surely would, considering the global unpopularity of guns among the nations aside from America that would have influence on such matters. When we talk about loss of culture we most consider loss of nationality and if all that entails in some cases is better off lost or subject to public whim.

Being the brother to billions isn't a problem, having that brother in my home to lecture me about what my culture and further should be, is.

 
At 11/13/2005 06:44:00 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

How about a post on the Paris riots? Although I realise it is a bit early for that, I mean it's only what, the third week now, that the riots are raging. Early days still, obviously...

 
At 11/13/2005 07:15:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Sorry I don't understand why people keep asking for me to post about the Paris riots? I have posted elsewhere. If anyone wants to read about the riots and post comments there are hundreds of blogs out there writing about them. I choose what material I post and I choose what not to blog about. If I wanted to write about the riots, I would have. Maybe, I misread what you meant, Jason, but this came across as very sarcastic? Any reason? Perhaps you and the other commenters who have requested such a post, when obviously I have chosen not to, ( I deleted several quite nasty ones) could please explain why. That way, I don't have to second guess you all.

 
At 11/13/2005 07:25:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Jason, some of us may go a bit off topic once in a while, but, um, isn't this a blog about events in Greece? As dd says, there are loads of blogs about the events in France. If you want to air your views about them you can get a free blog at blogger.com

 
At 11/13/2005 07:44:00 PM, Blogger melusina said...

Yea, what is it with people suggesting blog topics? I'll blog about what I bloody well want to. And just because everyone in the blogosphere is blogging about something doesn't meant that everyone should.

Troll...it's whats for dinner.

 
At 11/13/2005 08:35:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

dd, feel free to delete this shameless ad:

Jason, or anyone else, is free to post on *just about* anything at elsokai

If you can give me until midnight (Greek Maybe Time) I’ll post my thoughts for you to respond to, anyway you wish. Or start a new thread in, e.g., Helios Hot Spot or International. Or the Guest Spot, if you don't want to register (free, easy & safe).

 
At 11/13/2005 10:48:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

PS Happy blogging, dd - keep on going, girl!

 
At 11/13/2005 11:45:00 PM, Blogger street spirit said...

hi it is nice to find you... for me the world is my country... ;)

 
At 11/14/2005 12:42:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

hey, street spirit, this IS going off topic... I didn't understand the text but you've got some beautiful photo's on your blog

hm, whatever happened to that idea of 'citizen of the world'?

 
At 11/14/2005 02:01:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Diva asks:

In what way do you consider that I am not assimilated? And what are my interests that are separate from the country I live in. That I care about human rights?

Well, let's take a look at your Blog title first..."This is NOT my Country". You are clearly showing to the blog world that you do not identify with Greece and you do not view it as your home. It also indicates that, despite being there over 10 years, you feel alienated because most people assimilate after several years to their new homes.

Secondly, you constantly blog about all sorts of real and perceived deficiencies about the country. Constantly pointing out this or that "human right" violation or simply what you do not like. Constantly take issue of why things are wrong with the place. If we take two other expats as examples, namely Melusina and SeaWitch, they blog about good AND bad things. They do not only focus on negatives which you do. They both have assimilated to varying degrees and enjoy the country, yet see the faults of it as well which is their right to do. You not only focus on ONLY the negative, but also attempt to twist the actual facts as negatively as possible. Case in point, this bullshit topic.

Thirdly, the reason I have prodded you into blogging about other current affairs is your apparent interest in human rights. Not that I want to hear your view per se, but more importantly to see how you will treat these other matters. The human rights violations that are happening in France while you ignore them, alone makes you a hypocrite about such matters. Granted, this is not happening in Greece, though it very well could be and might be in the future. By blogging about it and bringing it to light, you would be doing a service that you so want to do. We have a catastrophe in the making in Europe and you do not see fit to write about it, but rather a more important issue is how "unwelcoming" Greece is perceived. This to me, shows your not so subtle axe to grind against Greece and your total lack of "assimilation".

These are my reasons for "picking" on you, which is not picking at all, but more to do with a clear realization that you have issues with the place. Some may be legitimate and others wholeheartedly NOT.

Mike,

You started off strongish, then quickly petered out. Pity. The "is Canada in Europe" and "troll" comments were the real icing, I must say. The level of thought there was "astounding". Oh yes, the "keep on going, girl" comment was priceless. LOL Let me just say it was hilarious on many different planes.

 
At 11/14/2005 02:15:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Uh, that's what all the girls say. But a pleasure to amuse you, ec. That was the icing on the 'let them eat cake' ?

#1 rule - don't take life toooo seriously

 
At 11/14/2005 02:23:00 AM, Blogger scarfalonius said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/14/2005 02:27:00 AM, Blogger scarfalonius said...

Take your rage somewhere else, ethnoxious, or I'll hurt your feelings again. This Angry White Male act is so tedious, and now with the worldwide conspiracies pushing people to immigrate...what a joke. Find another place to proclaim your inadequacies.

Is it just me or did everyone else already know that Liam Gallagher has 12 toes?

 
At 11/14/2005 02:41:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

er, it might just be you that knows that, scarfalonius

and yes, the AWM act is a bit sleep inducing

still, nice to have a variety of opinion, even if I/we don't agree with ethnox.. nocentrist

 
At 11/14/2005 02:42:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Zzzzzzzzzzzz....

I'm sorry I don't live in your fantasy land, Scarfi. When the day arrives that you can actually prove what I say is incorrect, instead of your mewling pleas, then you will remain to be the butt of all jokes. ;)

Don't you have to get ready for some "Oh what horrors these po' Africans must be dealing with to throw themselves at wired fences" protest or something useful like that? Don't forget your "bleeding heart liberal", standard issue bat...LOL

 
At 11/14/2005 02:47:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

"Angry White Male" - Are those the new liberal buzz words for people who voice concerns with provable facts that are supported by current events?

 
At 11/14/2005 03:04:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

ec, I really am tired, not with you, just tired. Maybe we can have fun amusing each other tomorrow? Or maybe someone else is still around. Kalinixta

 
At 11/14/2005 12:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greeks are like that because we invented Western Civilization. Multiculturalism and communism were invented by Jews with Twisted minds! The Jewish media lies to the world and tries to call Greeks racist. This is a cheap shot by the Zionist at Hellenism. The ancient Greeks said whom ever isn't Greek is a Barbarian! The Zionist want to flood Greece with low life savages and pollute HELLAS with their sneaky attempt at multiculturalism which they invented as a safeguard NOT to get wiped off the face of the earth. But yet these Zionist Support Turkey, sell the Turks arms to kill Greeks in a potential Future war! WE Greeks are NOT STUPID people we are on to you Jews and we Don't fear you like the rest of the world. Any time you want to start a war with us we will kick your Jew ass! We don't need suicide bombers to fight you either! ZHTON H ELLAS!

 
At 11/14/2005 03:22:00 PM, Anonymous DelawareDeb said...

Hi, Devious Diva.

Geesh, I hardly know where to start in response to some of these posts. But I did want to tell you that I appreciate what you are doing with this blog.

I'm an American in Greece and I'm here because I am married to a Greek. Having just labeled myself as an American let me say that I really do prefer to think of myself as a "citizen of the world" though often that world scares and disappoints, as does "my country".

I have observed first hand attitudes towards immigrants, and Americans too for that matter. Rather disturbing to have anti-American demonstrations march past my balcony. But except for said demonstrations these are mostly subtle. Guess it is lucky for me that my Greek is still pretty poor (I am trying to learn though). I might hold a different opinion if I understood more Greek.

And I have observed that Greeks are not as hospitable as they like to claim. I find most pretty unfriendly compared to where I come from. Would it kill the Greek people to smile more?

Anyway, thanks again for the great job that you are doing here. What a difficult task to undertake. My deepest respect.

 
At 11/14/2005 03:35:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Welcome street spirt and delawaredeb, and thank you for your kind words. I hope you will keep coming back and contributing.

To the anonymous who posted the anti-semitic paranoid conspiracy theory comment, consider this your first warning. I am no longer willing to host extreme racist,anti-semitic,homophobic or misogynist comments on my blog. I am only leaving this up because I think it shows what kind of a person you are. It is unfortunate that you (as is often the way) have chosen to post anonymously as I have no way of knowing if the next vile diatribe is from you or someone else. I will just delete the next one.

 
At 11/14/2005 09:38:00 PM, Blogger melusina said...

Wow, I am amazed. Eric Cartman is a REAL person, not just a cartoon character on South Park! And he is posting anonymously here on DD's blog! Too bad he sounds like a maniac that makes no sense.

Hiya delawaredeb, I'm an American married to a Greek living in Greece too. I know exactly how you feel.

As far as ethno's reply to DD, well, I guess I can see his point, but I think we can't judge her based solely on what she chooses to blog about and what title she chooses for her blog. She is blogging to point out these types of issues in Greece, and while they are bad things, she HAS posted about good things on a couple of occasions. But again, that isn't the point of her blog. As she has stated before, the title of her blog comes from a song, and I think it works well for this particular type of blog. She has been in Greece for 10 years, and while she may not entirely like it, to me it sounds like she has integrated pretty well.

As to this particular post, well, how can we argue about it? This is what some Greeks feel. I'm curious as to how many Greeks they included in the survey, what age groups, and from what areas. Despite this data, I do feel that Greeks are tolerant, on some level, of immigrants.

No, I don't believe in mass immigration anywhere. Illegal immigration is a problem. But I don't see legal immigration as an issue. I just don't. Name all the upheavals and race riots and whatever you want, but normal, start-live-over-in-a-new-country immigration doesn't seem bad to me. Sure, I'd rather see fixes for the problems in these countries that people have to emigrate from, but for now, there are people who need a new chance at life.

Greece seems to get more than a lion's share of illegal immigrants, and that might be what people are opposed to in the polling data. Who knows.

 
At 11/14/2005 10:50:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

I am surprised that ethnocentrist can presume to know wether I am intergrated or not when he doesn't know me. He is somewhat blinded by what he thinks he knows about me. Many of us have blogs (still bites me that he doesn't have one where I can visit him) but how many of us have to defend what we blog about, what we don't blog about, the title of the goddam blog itself. I feel like I spend most the time defending myself instead of debating the issues.

I had just written a positive veiw of the tolerant, friendly Greeks in my neighbourhood when this survey was reported in the Athens News. I do say at the beginning of the post that the data is "According to the new European Social Survey" I must admit I was shocked by the numbers (and I don't know how accurate they are). What struck me most, and why I kept repeating it, was that whatever the true numbers are, Greeks were double the european average on most of the issues to do with immigration. (ie against)

I end by saying Greece is relatively new to multiculturalism (the modern reality) and the discussions and debates are only beginning to happen recently. It does take time and effort. I just feel that the rabid anti-immigration stance is simply negetive and is leading us the wrong way. As many people have said immigration is not going away. We have to deal with it. How is up to each country to decide. If Greece passes laws to send me (an EU citizen I state again) packing, then I will be obliged to go. Until then I am free to be here, legally and freely, to work, to pay taxes, to send my kid to school, to get healthcare, to seek legal protection and/or anything else an EU citizen is entitled to. And blog about whatever the hell I feel like. Good, bad, or mad as a bus.

 
At 11/15/2005 12:38:00 AM, Anonymous Ourword visitor said...

Many of the posts from Greek nationalists are filled with denial of the situation in Greece in terms of the economic necessity of immigrants from poorer countries and oppression.

THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATIONALISM AND PATRIOTISM. Be patriotic; be proud of your country. Don't limit the rights of "others;" don't dehumanize "the other." Be proud of your history, but recognize that your country didn't CREATE WESTERNISM. The ancient Greeks are ancient history and not that important to the modern world; sorry, it's a fact despite at least one nationalist's view.

 
At 11/15/2005 12:50:00 AM, Anonymous Ourword visitor said...

I can't tell if people want you to say "this is my country" or "this isn't my country." Do they want foreigners to assimilate or just to leave? My guess is your damned if you do and your damned if you don't. And I wonder...who are these "most people" who assimilate in a few years? Are they white? Do they speak perfect Greek? Do they have Greek ancestory and read the boring writing of ancient Greeks?

It seems like the argument of being anti-globalization is misplaced. The diaspora of people started with imperialism. So blame the imperialists, not those displaced by choice or force.

*Where do you find the time to respond and read all these comments.

 
At 11/15/2005 01:48:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Diva,

You say that I do not know you or if truly you are assimilated. To that I say, your words do betray you then. Either you are assimilated, yet have hidden anger towards the country, or are assimilated and only write negatively about Greece which seems a bit odd, or are not assimilated and resentful. Most people cannot hide themselves so well on these blogs and the ones that do, i.e. have one or more believable personalities from their "real life"one that they never waver from are sociopathic. You may be many things, though sociopathic is not one of them, for sure. I think you are angry at what you see as "unfairness" and you write about it. Though your anger has clouded your objectivity for the place you live in and you cannot see the good, nor even have the inclination to write about something good. I've read enough of your postings and comments to know that you write what you feel. If you want to deny this, then that is your choice and in reality, I am not 100% sure if what I say is correct, though I am fairly confident. But in the end, it really doesn't matter to me. What matters is what YOU really feel and how you live outside these blogs. If always miserable and looking at things negatively, then obviously that isn't good, is it? Only you know the truth regarding this.

Now, I do not know how you are interpreting my words as you read them, though I am not being dishonest, threatening, nor belittling when I write them, just so there isn't ANY misunderstanding. That isn't the case when I respond to "ourword visitor" shortly.

 
At 11/15/2005 01:56:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Many of the posts from Greek nationalists are filled with denial of the situation in Greece in terms of the economic necessity of immigrants from poorer countries and oppression.

This is ignorant, banal, and fraught with unoriginal, indoctrinated, leftist babblings. One needs to educate themselves with economic issues first, then immigration issues second, THEN politically motived mass migratory decisions third before one even thinks of spouting untenable dogma in MY presence. The west does NOT need immigration for mass immigration is a net negative in western welfare states. This has been looked at by economists from Harvard. George Borjas being only one. It is a negative economically, culturally, and has negative impacts on native birthrates. Simple as that.

As to "oppression", I presume you mean oppression of the immigrants by their own governments and not by their western hosts. This again is another impotent plea for "humanitarianism". It's not only stupid, but also illogical and naive. This incessant pleading of allowing wave after wave of poor, uneducated, culturally and genetically distant immigrants into the west to "help" them, which inturn destroys us is akin to trying to save a drowing person where the rescuer is a poor swimmer and both end up drowning. And it's not as if that scenario has never happened and we haven't heard it many times. Sorry, I'm not buying it.

Be patriotic; be proud of your country. Don't limit the rights of "others;" don't dehumanize "the other." Be proud of your history, but recognize that your country didn't CREATE WESTERNISM. The ancient Greeks are ancient history and not that important to the modern world; sorry, it's a fact despite at least one nationalist's view.

Even more ignorant than the first statement. No one is "dehumanizing" when one does NOT want mass immigration or any immigration for that matter. The connection is tenuous at best and an outright lie at worst. We, the west, are not a collective "Jesus" that we have die in order to save the poor masses. We have no obligation for that whatsoever. If we decide to help, it is out of choice and not out of obligation or guilt.

What does "creating westernism" have to do with anything? Though Greece did contribute more than its fair share, without a doubt, though what if we didn't? So? Should the countries that didn't create the airplane, automobile, telephone, farming, etc. NOT be allowed to use them? What about India, China, Japan, Israel, the Middle East, and most sub-Saharan African nations? They didn't create westernism, yet they do not allow immigration into their countries. Why are we forced to?

As to the "ancient Greeks are ancient history and are not that important" statement. This is beyond moronic. Ummm, math, science, medicine, philosophy, logic (which you seem to have quite of dearth of) are all used today more than in the ancient world, you idiot. Tell me where we would be without those contributions?

However, the final point that is irrefutable is SO WHAT? Even if your tripe was 100% correct instead of 100% wrong, why on earth should we move towards national suicide? Why should we follow the paths of the US, Britain, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, and France? Any reason aside from pleading to the God of Humanitarianism? LOL

 
At 11/15/2005 03:58:00 AM, Anonymous uneducated said...

Hospitality is dependent on one's hosting ability.

Nothing had been done throughout the last 25years for managing a possible immigration towards Greece!!!!! Total lack of immigration provision/providence.

Large groups migrated uncontrollably (11% of the population already!!)

What was the result?

Xenophobia, economic instability, racist incidents. Local societies currently being at a deadend.

Italy and Holland have set a maximum potential percentage for immigrants as a part of their societies. 3% maximum I think it is. Hellenic economy is much weaker. Do you think it could handle the situation?

I think the society generally responded very well (please have a look at the recent comments of politics concerning a similar situation to the French one). There were some unfortunate excemptions as well, like everywhere else.

We should not blame residents. We should blame real responsible people.

 
At 11/15/2005 10:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a scruffy looking American living in Greece, I hear many times Greeks gawking at me and saying things like "Foreigner" or "foreigners ruin it here" etc. If they have to gall to confront me on where am I from, I tell them "I'm an immigrant from the country with the most Greek immigrants" and then what can they say, eh! They usually seem flustered after that.

 
At 11/15/2005 03:44:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Hello again uneducated, I agree with you. Governments should have behaved responsibly from the beginning but they didn't. So now what? Now they must deal with the years of malaise and "burying their heads" and deal with the situation. Wouldn't it be better to have an immigrant population that is involved, able to use the skills they have and contributing than one that is marginalised, ignored and blamed for all societies wrongs?

ethnocentrist. You angrily came back at people when they attempted to judge you by what you have written here. I would suggest you don't try and analyse me (or anyone else) in the same way. None of us know each other personally and, as always, we might be surprised by what we found if we did. Leave your mind open about me and others. In that way we can allow better discussion. You (and others) often write things that make me angry and I think that's what comes through for you when I write back to you. My actual posts on this blog are, for the most part, articles from various sources, collected in one place, to give a general idea of the situation here in Greece for not only immigrants but for other citizens who find themseves discriminated against or marginalised. Most of the time, my reponses to what people have written, although they make me angry, are polite. I have never resorted to insults or name calling. How I interpret your words (or anyone elses) is complicated. How we interpret what people write is surely dependant on our experiences and where our beliefs are? If people constantly refered to you as "them" or as savages or barbarians or huddled masses or as less than them, how would you interpret that? This is how I read you (and the others who have written such things).

To "scruffy american", welcome. You say people seem flustered by your statement. Has anyone actually responded to what you say? If so, what do they say?


To Ourword visitor, thank you for your response. I am not sure who the "most people" who have assimilated are.When I look around I see that most foreigners here are trying to assimilate and are working hard to make better lives for themselves and their families. I think some people, who post negative responses here, see the opposite.
Personally, I feel I am very well assimilated in my life here (contrary to what people say) Yes, I struggle with the language, I've admitted that, but I am improving without the aid of classes or courses (no spare cash for them). I feel very much part of this community despite difficulties with language. I belong to the school parent's association where I meet many parents who are trying to improve things for all children at the school. Trying to right some of the shortcomings in the state education system. There are some very basic issues here like providing toilet paper and soap in the childrens washrooms, upgrading the dangerous playground (ongoing), getting a table and chairs for the children to eat there dinner at instead of having to sit outside in the mud. These are things we are having to pay for because our borough does not provide them in our school (which is attended mostly by greek children by the way). I am certainly not alone when I attend these meetings in feeling that the government is failing Greece and it's citizens, especially the most vulnerable ones. Ok, this has become off the topic now. But I think it says a little bit more about where I stand? Despite what people say, I am not anti-greece, just critical of what are failures of the system and government. If I was blogging about my life here my webblog would be very different to the one here.

 
At 11/16/2005 07:07:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Diva,

I think we are getting/gotten off topic here. Some of the things you say are true and some are not, though that is how they are perceived through your eyes. I think I'll just leave it at that because it is difficult to get absolute clarity on fuzzy and probably unimportant ideas through the net without spending a huge amount of time writing.

However one point I wanted to be clear on is the "interpretation" of my writing. I know that what I write is abrasive and hurtful, especially from your point of view. What I was trying to clarify with that last sentence at the end of my last comment to you was that I was not being sarcastic or belittling and I did not want you to read it that way. The times I am inconsiderate should be clear and the times that I am civil hopefully are as well. That's all that I was trying to say.

 
At 11/16/2005 08:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Diva,
from SCRUFFY AMERICAN:
First off. Great Blog. I'm glad I found you. After many years of living in Greece, it's nice to have a posting board like this. So, when you asked what the Greeks say when I tell them "I'm an immigrant from the country that has the most Greek Immigrants", most say nothing. I had one guy who was angry and said "don't say that". I told him it's true. You look at me like a interloper (dirty foreigner) but in my country (USA) we accepted all you dirty interlopers (sic) and now you have the audacity to discriminate against foreigners? If I really feel in the mood, I tell them if it wasn't for the generosity of Americans and the Marshall plan, this country (Greece) would be a ghetto worse than Albania today. Then, on occasion, I get the response. "Well, if you don't like it here, why do you stay" I'm prepared even for that. "I tell them in Greek, "O Monophthalmos einay vassilias sto hora ton tiflon" (The one eyed man is the king in the village of the blind). I speak fluent Greek, and these type of Greeks are shocked that any foreigner can respond back to them like that because they are used to verbally abusing foreigners who are afraid to speak up. Not with me! They usually get a shock when they talk to me! But, as a DISCLAIMER, obviously, not all Greeks are like this, and I don't show these "teeth" unless I'm provoked. SCRUFFY AMERICAN

 
At 11/16/2005 08:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Ethnocentrist: I enjoyed your post. I agree that Greeks did a lot years ago, but what I always tell Greeks I meet is this. Fine, your anscestors (if they are truly ancestors), did all these great things, but what have you done lately? Most don't have an answer. It's shameful that the Greeks of old did all these wonderful things, but the only things the modern greeks can do is look pretty and gossip in Kolonaki. The smart, truly educated greeks exit abroad to success, and not drown themselves in this sinkhole. Sorry, but it's true. I'm only repeating what I hear from so many Greek-American successful businessmen in the states. Once again, I hope you won't be too harsh on me with the response, but I will enjoy your comments no less. Peace, SCRUFFY AMERICAN

 
At 11/16/2005 01:51:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Scruffy American, I always liked that saying "The one eyed man is the king in the village of the blind". I think being fluent in Greek is a very key factor in how people are percieved. I am far from fluent. Not talented in the language department and I find Greek excessively difficult. I learned French and spanish much easier. It really is a shame that there are no programmes here to teach Greek. If you are rich, and I mean rich (classes are expensive) there are dozens of places to go and learn. Our budget just does not stretch to them. I am not asking for handouts here, in case some people get the wrong impression. I just think there should be language classes/programmes that were reasonably priced, that the average person could afford. That would be a good way of helping people to assimilate which is what most people on both sides want. My "supermarket" Greek, as I call it, doesn't suffice. I would like to become as articulate in Greek as I feel I am in English. For that I need help. Just the other day, I met an Iraqi biology teacher who overheard me talking to my kid in English and was so happy to be able to talk to someone. He doesn't know any Greek people so cannot learn the language from them. How can he learn and then perhaps, get a job that matches his skills/education? He felt he was doomed to work as a casual/low paid work from now on. Despite that he was not bitter or angry. Just grateful not to be living in Iraq. I don't know how long those feelings last though.

 
At 11/16/2005 04:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Diva,

From Scruffy American:
Actually some part of the Greek Government (not sure which one) actually does provide free Greek lessons to foreigners. I found this on the Athens News about 4 months ago and I was thinking of doing it but it was too far from my house. Not sure if they still have them, but you never know.

But, here's the info in case you want to post as a Blog one day:

FREE GREEK LESSONS:

Learn greek for free: Tel: 210-666-4788 or 210-666-4789
Point of Contact: Ms Antonopoulo

NOTES: Twice a week 3 Hours a week (TUE and ???) (6pm - 9pm)

Directions: (To Register)

- Bus 324 (from Aghia Paraskevi Area) (towards Pallini)
- Get off at stop (Ergatikes Polykatikies)
- The place to register is at: KEE (Leondariou # 4)

Directions (For Class)

- Bus 308 (Towards Peania)
- Classes held at Kendriki Plateia Peania
Cheers,
Scruffy American

 
At 11/16/2005 05:20:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Thanks for the information. I will try and find out more before I make a post about it.

 
At 11/17/2005 01:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the new European Social Survey, Greece is the least welcoming country in Europe as far as foreigners are concerned.

No offense but this is a shallow and meaningless statement, and for anyone who knows Greece or general immigration issues in the EU, utterly out of context.

At the time that Greece's borders were settled between the Balkan Wars and the post World War one period, it was the positon of the overseaing powers, US and the UK, that mono-ethcic states in the Balkans was the key to stability, and they promoted massive population exchanges to achieve this.

Today Greece has the longest border of any EU country. On top of that it borders more poor non-EU countries than any EU country.
It has gone from having barely any immigrants, indeed being a next exporter to having one the largest immigrant populations, a phenomena tha has occured in just a decade. this means that developing a legal and cultural system to deal with immigration is a bit premature (consider how the US has swung vastly on immigrtion policy and views over the last hunderd years)

Greece has accepted 10% immigrants. Spain and Italy have about half that number. By definition Greece is among the MOST welcoming countries in the EU.

In case you missed it, when Albania fell apart the Italians were shooting at Albanian refugees on boats, and then keeping them by the thousands in stadiums that make the squalor of the New Orleans stadium look tame.

As far as race is concerned, my guess is you have never considered the immigration in the US. Why is it that Haitan refugges on boats are turned back adn others less dark let in?

Now they must deal with the years of malaise and "burying their heads" and deal with the situation.

"years? are you kidding? It is ten years. that is a very short time. For France it has been 50 since the great waves of post colonial immigrants and they still are cacking it up! In the US we have open borders on one hand and fingerprint Europeans entering!

"malaise"? come on. the Balkans EXPLODED with change. the borders defined by the US as a line in te sand during the cold war. Over and over it was reinforced to Greece that the nations to the north were a threat. And then the borders opened, everyone on the otherside was poor, and many were escaping politcal violence. Greece's repsonse was to accept more Blaknan politcal and economic refugees per capita than ANY nation in the EU.

Are their problems? Yes. But the situation with immigration in Greece is brand new. For 100 years the only imigration was co-ethnics, almost soley out of European and US policy creating post-Ottoman ethnic states except for that Greece was a net exporter of immigrants.

When I go to Greece no one demands my fingerprint and I need no visa, yet if a Greek friend wants to come visit me they have to get a visa and they have to be biometricized.
DL

 
At 11/17/2005 08:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO DL from SCRUFFY AMERICAN:

The Greek government (ND) seems to want to help immigrants, and even PASOK wants to allow immigrants to vote here (from what I read). However, the vast majority of Greeks still don't like or want foreigners in their country. You can bring up all the comparisons to AMERICA and our immigrant history, but remember this is the year 2005, and not 1905. Further, Greeks pride themselves on being so sophisticated politically, socially etc, so using the excuse that they are not use to immigrants is not flying from where I sit. It's as they say in Greece (Thikeelogias--excuses). Call a spade a spade. Greeks for the most parts are racist. I see it on a daily basis. Maybe you don't live here, or if you do, you must be one of the "beautiful people" I see sipping coffee in Kolonaki and thus immune.
Scruffy American

 
At 11/17/2005 09:23:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

To Scruffy American,

You state...

Fine, your anscestors (if they are truly ancestors), did all these great things, but what have you done lately? Most don't have an answer. It's shameful that the Greeks of old did all these wonderful things, but the only things the modern greeks can do is look pretty and gossip in Kolonaki. The smart, truly educated greeks exit abroad to success, and not drown themselves in this sinkhole. Sorry, but it's true. I'm only repeating what I hear from so many Greek-American successful businessmen in the states.

I cannot argue with this. It is true for the most part. It is true that Greek society has been on a steady decline for some time and that it has only picked up speed the last couple or three decades. It is disgusting and disgraceful.

I surmise there are many reasons for this depravity and sloth that most Greeks seem to be mired in. As you rightfully state, the contributions of the ancients were great and abundant. Yet, pitifully little since though that is changing albeit slowly. Some significant advancements in the research fields of medicine are coming out of the Hippocration and Onassis centers. They are viewed as premier places of medicine and not only in Greece. This is a good start for the country. Hopefully this will continue and expand to other disciplines as well.

What is one to expect when a people have been essentially occupied and mixed to varying degrees for 2000 years? When they have been influenced, partially assimilated, and forced to accept different cultures and races of people? Prior to the birth of Christ to the end of the Ottoman occupation, that has been Greece's lot in history. As much as Greeks like to pretend they are pure, and we still see some purity amongst natives around the country, the reality is that there has been unfortunate admixture into Greek blood. Of greatest consequence has been the Turk and his repugnant genes that have infiltrated Greece when he viciously occupied for 400 years. To me, this is a clear indication that genes make the people and the culture. This to me this hypothesis has been proven and continues to be reinforced with each passing day and with each new genetic discovery. We had an elite civilation that has been ravaged by "barbarians" for 20 centuries and you want to know "what have Greeks done for us lately"? LOL Come on Scruffy. That's a bit ridiculous, don't you think? Are the modern Egyptians the same people of Ancient Egypt? Not in the least and the answer is quite clear.

Another reason for Greek unambitiousness is this steady move leftward since the second world war. With liberalism, comes excessive individualism, extreme feminism, and self gratification ideology. Greeks just managed to lap this bilge up and then run with it more than most other European countries aside from the Swedes and Dutch. In a cursory nutshell, that has been the cause of the decline in Greek culture.

You also state to DL, the other anonymous poster...

Call a spade a spade. Greeks for the most parts are racist.

Yeah, so what? So are the rest of the people of the world and no one is complaining about them. We have East Asians of all variations, South Asians, Arabs, Muslims, Africans, Blacks, Hispanics, Jews etc that are the most racist people on the planet and we focus on the stupid whites. As I mentioned above, it is natural and instinctive to be around others of like kind. It is hard wired into us. It is only due to the feculant liberal that THAT is somehow bad in society now. Let me tell you it is not. Let me tell you also that other cultures and races practice nepotism and racism while we altruistically are "above that" to our detriment.

But the bottom line is this, no matter how much admixture there has been in Greece, no matter how lazy Greeks have become, no matter how "racist" they are. Those are inadequate and unacceptable reasons to flood the country with all sorts of distant peoples and to FURTHER fuck the people up. Greeks have still managed to BE Greek despite all this. Further immigration with all sorts will deplete them of that as well. Then we'll have some other smart ass in 200 years saying "why don't you Greeks act Greek?" You and I will know the answer to that, won't we?

 
At 11/17/2005 09:39:00 AM, Anonymous DelawareDeb said...

Hi, Scruffy American.

I envy you your fluency in Greek. I struggle. Especially because my husband doesn't speak Greek with me and I'm stuck at home most of the time with small children. And thanks for posting info for DD re: Greek classes. I wanted to tell her that free ones exist but didn't have any local info for her. (I'm not in Athens.)

DD-
I have taken free lessons through two different organizations here. The first was a disaster. The teacher was fresh out of college and had no concept of how to teach. The second was much better, the teacher was fabulous. But the problem with both classes is that they are targeted at people who already have a degree of fluency and just want to learn to speak Greek more correctly, or even to read and write.

I don't really fit in this category. I don't have any fluency though I can write (ie. I know the Greek alphabet, but I can't really compose) and read at about a 3rd grade level. But as I mentioned the second teacher I had was fabulous and didn't make me feel stupid (unlike the first). The best thing about the class was getting out of the house and meeting others in a similar situation to myself. My best friend now, another American, I met in class.

To get more back to the topic of this blog, a man came from Athens to visit my class and evaluate our progress. I was singled out, I assume as an American (there was a South American girl who did much worse than I did in his interview), for his criticism. He ignored the fact that I had been here in Greece for a much shorter time than any of the others in the class. Anyway, he pretty much berated me for not speaking better Greek. His advice for improving my Greek: listen to Greek music! What a joke. I have a hard enough time understanding Greek when I watch TV without throwing in the background noise of music.

Having said that I still liked the class (it is supposed to prepare you to go to Thessaloniki to take the tests for the various certificates). When classes start again after the new year I will try to go again, if nothing else I get to practice my listening skills in a non-threatening environment.

 
At 11/17/2005 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Ethno:

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I have to admit, I really enjoy this group, because even though people may disagree, it appears that all are at least civil to each other. Thanks for that.

Now for your post:

You say, "Some significant advancements in the research fields of medicine are coming out of the Hippocration and Onassis centers. They are viewed as premier places of medicine and not only in Greece. This is a good start for the country. Hopefully this will continue and expand to other disciplines as well."

I agree that Greece has some wonderful doctors and some exceptional "private" hospitals. Personally, I find YGHEIA hospital and IASO (Hollargos) to be as good as USA hospitals if not better in some cases. And my baby daughter was born in MITERA hospital a few months ago, and the single room suite that my wife was in probably would not have been affordable in the states. So, we agree on that! Further, I find that Greek doctors appear to actually listen to me when I talk to them and not look at their watch and try and get me out of there like some doctors in California I've been to. And finally, in the states, my HMO insurance would not allow me to get the quality of specialists that I find in Greece for rock-bottom prices. For example, my dermatologist in Greece (one of the best in the country) studied at the same place that some Cedar Sinai American doctors studied at, but at least here I can afford him!!

So, yes, Greeks have done something lately. I just won't let them hear that from me when they are insulting me. That was my point. I don't have a beef with all Greeks, just the obnoxious ones.

Also, you say: We had an elite civilation that has been ravaged by "barbarians" for 20 centuries and you want to know "what have Greeks done for us lately"? LOL Come on Scruffy. That's a bit ridiculous, don't you think? Are the modern Egyptians the same people of Ancient Egypt? Not in the least and the answer is quite clear.

I think we agree in principle because you know that anyone that believes that a race of people can keep their "ethnic purity" for a couple of thousand years needs a good course in genetics because it is scientifically impossible.

Also, The "civilization" (GREEKS) of which you are talking about was the Golden Age of Athens which lasted about 80 years. It had disappeared well before Christ was born. The same was true back then as it is today, the worst enemy of the Greeks is the Greeks. Even Demosthenes referred to Alexander as a "barbarian".

Ethno also said paraphrased "Greeks are racist so what?"

Well, maybe if you were on the receiving end of that racism, you would think different. As a blond haired, blue eyed scruffy looking American male, being discriminated against is something that I'm just not used to in the states, but in Greece it happens time after time. And when I tell my African-American friends back in the states about this, they tell me, "Welcome to our world". Yes, all countries do discriminate sometimes, but since I live in Greece, I'm complaining and acting against it here.

 
At 11/17/2005 12:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DelawareDeb said...I envy you your fluency in Greek. I struggle. Especially because my husband doesn't speak Greek with me and I'm stuck at home most of the time with small children. And thanks for posting info for DD re: Greek classes. I wanted to tell her that free ones exist but didn't have any local info for her. (I'm not in Athens

Scruffy says: Well, you should only speak to your husband in Greek and maybe he'll do that as well, but I realize it's hard because there are so many things that just don't translate well from English to Greek, especially jokes, and I usually just speak English with my wife also.

 
At 11/17/2005 01:03:00 PM, Blogger BallAndDust said...

To the anonymous poster who said:

"these Zionist Support Turkey, sell the Turks arms to kill Greeks in a potential Future war!..."

Please take your anti-Semitic garbage elsewhere. Karamanlis, Mitsotakis, and Papandreou (even with all his anti-American propoganda) did not exactly turn down the military loans from the United States, which was negotiated to be 70% of what Turkey received. No Greek government has done ANYTHING to release itself from the grip of the eagle's claw. Greece has only to blame itself for that situation.

To the scruffy American living in Greece,

It has been stated earlier regarding the difference in need for immigration between the United States and Greece. Please compare the differences in population densities between the US in the mid 1900's and Greece today and the needs for labor.

In addition, let us not forget the meddling of the United States in Greece starting on March 12th, 1947. For those who don't know, that is the day in which Truman gave his famous speech which was coined to be the Truman Doctrine. The civil war in Greece was in fact also the first proxy war fought between the United States and the Communist Bloc. In addition, the Kennan Corollary was not reserved to just Latin America. It was during the civil war in which my papou was tortured simply for his ideas as he was not a member of any insurgency, he just did not approve of the return of an oppressive regime condoned by the non-Greek monarchy. The oppression of that regime was well known and accepted by the US government.

Now it is true that America did save the lives of millions of people via the Marshall Plan. My own mother remembers the powdered milk that was likely supplied by the Marshall Plan, as well as a number of other Greeks from my mother's generation. But make no mistake, this was not a simple act of benevolence, but rather an attempt to check the Soviet influence into Western Europe. Following the Second World War, there was massive investments by American oil companies in the Middle East, and access via the eastern Mediterranean had to be protected. At any cost.

However, its been a bit downhill since. I would invite you to read Howard Jones's "A New Kind of War: America's Global Strategy and the Truman Doctrine in Greece." Believe it or not, I have the State Department's publication, Volume 16 (Cyprus, Greece, Turkey for the years 1964-1968). Want to guess who's idea it was to partition Cyprus via a Turkish invasion?

During the Eisenhower administration, in order to continue to receive loans from the US, Greece had to spend 50 percent of its budget on defence (just under 7 percent of its GNP) which was second only to South Vietnam (who's regime was backed by whom?). Most Western European nations at that time spent about three percent of their GNP on defence while enjoying a per capita income that was five times greater than Greece.

Would you like to discuss the CIA-backed coup that put the Colonels in power? My guess is that no one in your family has had the misfortune of living under martial law. Well, again my papou had one more opportunity to suffer the consequences of American foreign policy. You see, it is very difficult to get medical care after curfew. When he had a heart attack, he had to be snuck out to a hospital. Luckily he and his son (my uncle) were not shot. Of course, the hospital did not have blood of his type. So my uncle then received a red cross sign and a flashlight with which to light it in order to avoid being shot as well (there was no energizer bunny back then) as he retrieved the blood from another hospital. Luckily, my papou and uncle both lived. So when you show your teeth and say "if it wasn't for the generosity of Americans and the Marshall plan, this country would be a ghetto worse than Albania today", just keep these things in mind. Don't be selective of America's actions.

As far as your question regarding what has Greece contributed lately. We all know it isn't much. However your question indicates a severe lack of understanding of history. Not only did the Byzantine empire have to hold off the advance of the Ottoman empire (which ironically enough they contributed to at times), but they also had to deal with the consequences of the schism of 1054. 1204 is a great example of that.

Your comment that Greeks are racist is true. I won't disagree with that. I have learned recently (and was greatly disturbed) that Greece unfortunately does have a few fringe white power groups, just like the United States. But is America any different with regards to being racist? While you live in Greece, I live in the United States. Do you think that Americans have no problem with the illegal immigration from the south. You know about the Minutemen movement, right? You do know that despite being one of the largest economies in the world by itself, the state of California's health care system is dire straights? (I used to live there, btw). Surely you cannot believe that Americans do not resent illegals?

And please, Greeks were not exactly welcomed in the United States with open arms. The southern European and Irish immigrants were all heavily discriminated against when they arrived. Remember that a number of Irish immigrants were conscripted right from the boats to fight in the Civil War for the north.

To everyone else,

I would like to offer up this one thought. Greece is heavily criticized for not accepting asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. Now these people are often fleeing horrible conditions. That is a fact that cannot be denied. However, I would offer that the previous imperial powers bear the brunt of the burden of the asylum seekers and the illegal immigrants. While Greece was struggling with its new independence from the Turks and absorbing Greek refugees fleeing the Hellenic genocide, countries such as the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands (the country in which I am a citizen) were reaping the financial benefits of colonialism (with the exception of the US) and pursuing oil (of which the US not an exception). So why exactly should Greece absorb these immigrants? Some may argue that they provide cheap labor, which is certainly true. But there is a financial cost in terms of providing services to them as well. The stockholders who receive the larger dividends are certainly not the ones who compensate for the financial burden. That burden lies with the taxpayer. Just look at California's health care system and tell me I'm wrong.

I wish Greece was economically strong enough to absorb these people. I certainly have nothing against them. However, I don't believe that Greece can afford it.

Kosta

 
At 11/17/2005 06:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mr. Kosta (and any other posters who wish to read):

From Scruffy American. An observation before my comment on your (Mr. Kosta) post:

It never ceases to amaze me how similar your (Greek) views are on any Greek related topic. By contrast, in the USA, when it comes to American foreign policy, generally there is always at least two points of view, some favoring our leadership, and some against. However, in Greece, whether it's the local kiosk man or an educated, expat Greek such as yourself living abroad, "conspiracy theories" against Greece are always in the air. It is never even questioned if the Greek position is 100% correct. It's always the non-Greek country's (USA) fault. I have a name for this. I call this the Greek "KAF Factor". "KAF" stands for "kapios allos ftai" (Someone else is at fault) other than the Greeks. I'd like for once to see a Greek, or Greek media report a differing point of view against Greek foreign policy. It just doesn't happen. Whether it's the country of Macedonia calling itself by it's legal name, or if the foreign media was too harsh on Greece about the Olympics, Greek views are always one sided in the truth that "GREECE IS ALWAYS RIGHT". Just amazes me. You couldn't get two Americans to agree on anything let alone something as important as foreign policy. Sorry Mr. Kostas, but I'm sure I'm not the only foreigner in ELLAS who notices this. Maybe you have some interesting history or a book title to throw my way that can explain this. I'm eager to hear about it!

Mr. Kosta, I'm heading out the door and will respond point by point to your post when I return.

Good night, from Athens, Greece.
SCRUFFY AMERICAN

 
At 11/17/2005 06:41:00 PM, Blogger BallAndDust said...

Mr. Scruffy American,

You have become very defensive. Did you not notice this statement early in my post.

"No Greek government has done ANYTHING to release itself from the grip of the eagle's claw. Greece has only to blame itself for that situation."

Do you not notice how this statement puts blame on the Greek government? Instead you responded with a strawman. That simply disproves your statement that I think "GREECE IS ALWAYS RIGHT" so you may want to let go of your amazement.

I certainly do not blame the United States for everything, but they certainly have been a player, not only in Greece, but in many countries. Guatemala in 1954. Iran 1953. Venezuela 1958. Dominican Republic in 1965.

The list is very long my friend. Each of those countries has its share of who have collaborated with the United States at the expense of their countrymen.

The Greek governments have pretty much played along with whatever the US wanted in order to maintain that military aid from the US. There have been lots of shouting about closing down American bases. Papandreou did that a lot. But that was simply lip service, as the military aid continued to flow.

From the perspective of government actions, Greece has pretty much never been right. Even the most revered Greek Prime Minister, Venizelos, brought Greece to the brink of ruin in the Turko-Greek War of 1919-1922. The Greek army (ignoring the lessons of Alexander the Great) completely overstretched their supply line in the attempt to drive the Kemalists out of Anatolia. What was the result? The destruction of Smyrna for one. Greece bears the greatest blame for that. Its actually one point that the US Consular General in Smyrna, George Horton, misses in his book, Blight of Asia. He casts blame at the Allied warships (Britsh, American, French, and Italian), for not intervening as innocent civilians were being slaughtered. Now they did not as they were all jockeying for influence with the Turks for access to the oil fields of the Middle East as the Great War proved its importance of it for a mechanized army.

Do you deny that the quest for oil does not play a significant role in American foreign policy? Is this not why the US abandoned the Armenian mandate during the Harding administration? Is it merely coincidence that his Secretary of State, Charles Evan Hughes, who previously had been an attorney for Standard Oil as well as a Vice President of the New Jersey region? Or how about the Interior Secretary Albert Fall? You remember him for the Teapot Scandal.

I look forward to your response, if you can debate me on the points I offer and offer new ones based upon facts, rather than throw around accusations like "kapios allos ftai" (very cute). Please stick with facts, okay?

Kosta

PS. You fail to understand the issue regarding the name of Macedonia, but that is for another debate.

 
At 11/17/2005 07:58:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

OK, this has now gone way off topic. But I am going to let it continue as some of the issues being brought up are interesting. However, I would encourage people to also post about the original topic too. Maybe, I should start another post for this discussion? Hmm, I don't know. For now, I am going to leave it be.....

 
At 11/17/2005 08:46:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

To anonymous (DL),

I wrote "According to the new European Social Survey, Greece is the least welcoming country in Europe as far as foreigners are concerned"

You wrote "No offense but this is a shallow and meaningless statement, and for anyone who knows Greece or general immigration issues in the EU, utterly out of context.Greece is relatively new to multiculturalism and has not had decades of discussion and education on the issues"

This is taken directly from a survey called the European Social Survey. I do not claim that it is completely accurate. What suprised me was the difference between the anti-foreigner feeling in Greece compared with the rest of Europe. I also wrote at the end of the post, my opinion.

"Greece is relatively new to multiculturalism and has not had decades of discussion and education on the issues."

The articles I post here, are generally things that are available online for all to read and debate. The next line I wrote was

"Many people are starting to have these debates which is positive to see."

I really believe that until a dialogue starts, there can be no solutions. That is what I am trying to do here and I am happy that this is happening. It is hard to read the negativity but my desire to get people talking overwhelms this factor.

All I ask is that we read carefully what people write (and I mean ALL of it) even if that means going back to the beginning of the debate and reading the whole thing over. And responding accordingly.

 
At 11/17/2005 10:41:00 PM, Blogger The SeaWitch said...

Diva, I've been thinking about how to keep people on topic in some of my blogs too and I came up with this idea.

Blogs are great to start off a dialogue but once you get over 10 comments, then I find that the discussion takes on a life of its own. So...here's what I was thinking...
Since your email inbox probably looks like mine after my Oxi Day blog, plus having to monitor the content of all those posts is really time consuming...why not add a chat link to the blog? It's a better tool for connecting people who want to discuss your blog topics without clogging up your inbox. Or is that too difficult to do? I wouldn't know. My blog is nowhere near as fancy as yours. :-)

 
At 11/17/2005 10:58:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Hmm. Great thought. I'm not sure how to do it. Generally I personally don't like chat because unless you are there at that moment you miss the gist. But that's kind of selfish because people should be able to debate issues without me and my 2 pence worth. I'm going to look into it right now and see what can be done if people are keen on the idea.

As to "My blog is nowhere near as fancy as yours" Fancy smancy. It's the basic template that I farted around with because I know about five things to do with html and I messed with the template! If I can help you with anything, which I doubt, feel free to ask.

 
At 11/17/2005 11:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Scruffy American:

Mr. Kostas, (and anyone else interested)

My initial post (if I can remember now) was commenting on how I address Obnoxiuos Greeks when they attempt to insult me based on my foreign status. I use my knowledge of American aid to Greece as a starting point to put them in their place. Now, remember, my post is not about defending America but rather letting a certain population of Greeks know that they may be wrong in discriminating against foreigners since they themselves have been foreigners (immigrants) in my country.

Further, when you say I'm throwing around accusations and not sticking to facts, I don't believe that I'm accusing anyone, it's just an observation as I said in my last post. In fact, you did not comment on the topic I discussed which was about Greeks and the "kapios allos ftai" factor. In fact, you proved my theory by pointing fingers at America, which is what a lot of Greeks I meet do. It's not an accusation, it's merely a fact that I experience each and every day. I must remind you, that my comments to you are not to debate anti-American propanda. This blog is mainly about life in Greece. If you'd like to debate that, I'm also willing.

However, If you find that I'm defensive so be it and if you choose not to debate me, that's your right, but I'm certainly not going to cower my opinion in some corner so that I can appease your thought that I'm not sticking to facts and merely defensive.

Now, if you are still reading this, here's my response to your initial post to me. Now, I know that you say that you hold Greece accountable for some of their own mistakes, but you got me on a roll, and I just can't stop.

Regarding your comment on the "meddling" of the US in Greece:

- As for the "meddling" the US did in Greece, it was to stop the killing of each other which began in December 1944 and you neglected to mention. The UK had to pull a couple of brigades of their troops from the war against fascism to put down the infighting between the Greek communists and the rightists. In 1947 Britain was no longer able to bear the cost of keeping these animals pacified and that is why the US had to step in with the Truman Doctrine etc. (Do not forget the Truman Doctrine also applied to other countries besides Greece.)

- Your statement about the Marshall Plan indicates a grudging acknowledgment of feeding not only the Greeks but all of Europe. You also referred to "Soviet influence". If you want to say that countries like Albania, Czechoslavakia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary, etc. came under "Soviet influence" peacefully through democratically elected governments then you have not read the same history books I have read. Looking back, perhaps you are right. Maybe the US should not have assisted Greece back then. Fifty years of Soviet socialism and totalitarianism would have done them some good here like it did to the rest of the Eastern Europeans. Today's Greeks would be like the rest of the East Europeans here - the men would be handymen and waiters, the older women would be scrubbing apartment building staircases and their daughters would be prostitutes. Only then would they be more appreciative of what the US has done for the world. Ask some of the Poles, Hungarians etc. which country was their beacon of hope during the Cold War.

- As to Greek defense spending, if they are dumb enough to fall into the trap they deserve what they get. No one put a knife to their throat telling them they had to buy all that weapon junk. Greece does not even need a big air force. Besides their ability for flying their aircraft into mountains during IFR conditions, they would be wiped out in the first few hours by any enemy because the country is so small there is no place to hide their fighter aircraft. Putting them underground would be cost prohibitive. A more cost effective defense would be a reserve system whereby a million troops could be called up in 24 hours. The troops would be trained in guerrilla warfare in which Greeks can be very effective. But then Greek politicians and middlemen would not be able to stick their fingers in the honeypot called the Greek taxpayer's money.

- As to the 1967 Coup, unless you have documentation to the contrary, it was not CIA inspired. Yes, there were mistakes made in subsequent US lukewarm support of the junta but the US did not bring on the junta. It was brought on by the Greeks themselves. Greece had more than its share of military governments in the 19th and 20th centuries. Who do you blame for the military government of Panagalos in 1927, the Metaxa coup of 1934? It just happened that in 1967 the US was around and the KAF factor kicked in.

- Sorry to hear about your Grandpa having a hard time getting to the hospital but I am sure they would not have shot him as you state. Greek hyperbole is legend.

- As to the partition of Cyprus between Greeks and Turks, I shall not take the time to answer some State Department document which I have no intention of reading because I am well aware that your information has been taken out of context. My only point on the subject is that since 1974 the partition has worked. The killings between the hotheads from both communities, Greek and Turkish, has stopped. If the Greeks had not been so greedy and compromised, as is their ethnic trait (see Debacle of 1922 Imperialist Invasion of Turkish Interior by Greeks), perhaps the island would still be under one government today.

- As for the Byzantine Empire and the rest of that stuff, Greece was just a province of the empire then, and it was ruled by the Romans. Even Constantine the Great could not speak any Greek - only Latin. (As an aside, Constantine killed his first born son and his wife believing they were plotting to usurp the throne. This is indicative why many Greeks name their kids Konstantinos.) If you wish to learn more about the Byzantine Empire I would suggest that you pick up the trilogy of books written by John Julius Norwich or you can read the abbreviated version "A Short History of Byzantium." I found it fascinating. I learned that one of the Church Patriarchs was 16 years old (brother of the Emperor) and another was a eunuch.

- Regarding the Greeks treatment they received in the US when they immigrated: The Greeks who immigrated to the US in the early part of the last century came to a country which already had many immigrants from other countries. Government positions were already occupied by the Irish so that road was closed to them. The same thing applies to the East European immigrants that come to Greece today. There were two avenues of occupation for the Greek immigrants - private entrepreneurs or laborers. The East Europeans also have two venues but not quite the same as the Greeks in America.

The first is as laborers but the second is illegal entrepreneurship. I write illegal because the licenses issued by the Greek bureaucracy take ages and lots of money to procure. This necessitates illegal businesses such as making illegal copies of CD's and other items and in turn having the Africans sell them on the street.

The other item of historical interest to you is that the immigrant Greeks in the turn of the century had the highest crime rate of all the immigrants. You write that there was discrimination against the Greek immigrants. Of course there was, considering the fact that in the large US cities like Chicago and New York and other cities in the West where the Greeks worked on building the railroads, they had the highest crime rate. In 1909, for instance, a Greek shot and killed a South Omaha, Nebraska policeman after he was stopped for questioning. The killing resulted in the burning of 36 stores belonging to his countrymen by the citizens of S. Omaha who had had their fill of the Greeks with their stabbings, shootings, rapes, thievery. At that time Greece asked $140,000 compensation from the US, and the Congress gave them the $40,000. Greeks in America did not gain any stature in America not from what they did but what their countrymen did in 1940 in the mountains of Albania.

From all of the above I have concluded that:

a. Greeks are unable to govern themselves. This is why countries and empires have had to keep them on a short leash.

b. Greeks are very hypocritical. They accuse other countries of doing what they would like to do. The "Megali Idea" is a good example. Their dream in 1922 was to extend the frontiers of Greece to the same boundaries as Alexander the Great had achieved. They thought they were smart. What they did not count on is that there is always someone just a little bit smarter than they are.

c. Greeks are very irresponsible and politically immature. Even their political leadership admits this and does not trust them to make political decisions. Ask any Greek when was the last time he or she voted in a referendum. He did not vote on such issues as whether he wanted to join the European Union, NATO, or replace the drachma with the euro. Other Europeans had that choice.

d. During the PASOK government (which was in power for almost 25 years) the Archbishop of Greece told the then Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, "You may be the Prime Minister but we (meaning the Church of Greece) have been ruling this country for 17 centuries." Nothing has changed since then. The Church of Greece owns 34% of all Greek land. When an institution has that kind of wealth and does not pay taxes one has to be an imbecile to believe that foreign powers are the cause of its woes. They have all types of sexual perversions, and once in awhile some of their misdeeds come to the surface as did recently when the Bishop of Attica had over $3 million stashed away for his "old age." But the surface has not even been scratched. The Greek Government has been trying for the last five years to catalog all the land in Greece to determine what property belongs to who. The Church of Greece is against it and the EU, in spite of its directive and the money it has given Greece to do so, can do nothing about it. When the EU stated that all EU countries would have one identity card, without the individual's religion on it, the Church of Greece managed to get one million people out in the streets to protest. The government did manage to change it but the Church of Greece does not consider the issue closed, and at every opportunity the beards are out to change it back.

e. The EU came out with a study last month that in education Greece rates last in what the students learn but first in the number of classroom hours of attendance - average of 27 hours for the rest of the EU kids and 45 hours for the Greek kids. The Greek kids are learning useless subjects for making a living like theology and Ancient Greek. This is to the benefit of the Church since they are able to maintain their control over an uneducated public easier more than an educated one. This is why one hears idle conversations and theorizing about who did what during the Cyprus situation or about the Turks being at fault for everything wrong in Greece, and not how high technology is going to be used to make country more efficient and productive (Greece has the lowest percentage of internet connections in the EU.)

So you see, my friend, while you are sitting over five thousand miles away listening to one side of the story as related by some idealistic Americans of Greek descent who "know Greece" based on one or two trips they made here I am giving you the side that you will never experience until you decide to move here for good.

If you really want to help Greece hold their feet to the fire. Let them know you are not interested in their sob stories about what happened yesterday. Most, if not all of those people are dead. Ask what is going to happen tomorrow. Fingerpointing and the rest of that baloney is for the uneducated. You need to tell them that you have some money to invest and for them to give you reasons as to why you should invest your money in a country which is controlled by the Church and the labor unions? Where terrorism against American government employees is applauded by the populace and the Archbishop of Greece, the country's spiritual leader, pronounced on the 9/11 event "The powerful of the earth learned the wrath of God." This is the kind of climate which brought in only $47 million of foreign investment for all of 2003 - not what America did or did not do years ago.

It's time for the Greeks to mature and babying them will not accomplish anything.

Hope you learned something today.
from Scruffy American

 
At 11/17/2005 11:47:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Just a thought to Scruffy American and Kostas and Co. Why don't you sign in as your tags/nicknames rather than anonymous? It would make it easier for me (and maybe the rest of us?) to follow your arguments and comments without having to scroll down vast tracts to find out who is writing. Do not take this wrongly. You may post how you wish in the end. Just for us sad folks who have carpal tunnel syndrome and various wrist related problems (I tell no lies), it would help!

Thank you, though, for your contributions.

 
At 11/17/2005 11:48:00 PM, Blogger FLUX said...

Hey scruffy american, every word is on the mark, there is only one little thing you forgot to mention, the ministry responsible for education in Greece is the Ministry of Education and Religion! Cool ha? The Church has managed to make it so that for a Greek to feel Greek he has to also be Orthodox. Which means, so a Catholic Greek friend of mine tells me, being an outsider in his own country of birth. The Greeks complain a lot about the fact that in Thraki the citizens are leaning more and more towards Turkey. But see they are Muslim Greeks, even to visit them, or indeed for them to leave their area, they need to get a permit from the police. It is an enclave, in effect a concentration camp with bells on. How are you supposed to feel when you know you are Greek but your country won't accept you on the grounds of your religion?

 
At 11/18/2005 06:43:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Scruffy,

A few points...

I think we agree in principle because you know that anyone that believes that a race of people can keep their "ethnic purity" for a couple of thousand years needs a good course in genetics because it is scientifically impossible.

While I admit to admixture within Greece at the hands of 2 millenia's worth of occupation and intermingling, there are places that are relatively pristine in ethnic purity. Finland and Iceland are two in Europe. Sweden is as well relatively speaking, even with its genocidal socialist governmental policy that wants more and more immigrants due to some warped guilt complex and despite the TRUE unemployment rates in the high teens to low twenty percent. Then we have Japan and large swaths of China which are genetically undisturbed. There are a hanful or two more, but less so. But then again, the point remains that one is not arguing for genetic purity, but one of anti-Braziliazation and the human right to navigate our destiny as we see fit as an ethnic people without the imposition of leftist "do-gooders".

Well, maybe if you were on the receiving end of that racism, you would think different. As a blond haired, blue eyed scruffy looking American male, being discriminated against is something that I'm just not used to in the states, but in Greece it happens time after time. And when I tell my African-American friends back in the states about this, they tell me, "Welcome to our world". Yes, all countries do discriminate sometimes, but since I live in Greece, I'm complaining and acting against it here.

I'm sorry that you are discriminated against, though I am 100% certain that nearly all the people who do it are good at heart and are just reactionary instead of being more thoughtful. Actually, would you care to specify the nature of your discrimination? Out of curiosity.

We have felt discrimination in the US. At least my parents did. They put their heads down and moved on. They didn't dwell on it, nor burn and break things like some do. It does not matter so much of the discrimination as it does on how it is handled and what comes out of it. That is my belief. There are professional bitchers and moaners who shriek whenever the slightest whiff of discrimination is perceived. Others are not like that. Funny you mention black reactions to your situation in Greece. The American Black is a unique creature that has been selected for physical labor and has been kept in a slave mentality and perpetual "discrimination" at the hands of do-gooder leftists. Of course they are discriminated against because they neither want nor are capable of integration within the fabric of the US. They have been catered to for decades now with all sorts of racist, anti-white programs and it has only WORSENED their plight. Every failure and every slight is due to "white racism", they are told. They have become quite adept at repeating this now. Some is due to white racism, for sure. LIBERAL whites that is, who felt the appropriate way to treat a race of people is if they are incapable children. They will forever be the albatross around the US's neck. And of course no goddamn white will ever speak up about this truth now.

As for your response to Kosta, there are some things that are true and others, not. I will respond if Kosta does not, though not tonight. I am quite exhausted.

 
At 11/18/2005 08:01:00 AM, Blogger BallAndDust said...

Dear DeviousDiva,

I thought I was signing in with my tag and not anonymous. I thank you for your patience as this thread has gone off topic. However, I do think that a bit of history is relevant to the attitudes towards immigration in Greece today.

To the Scruffy American,

Though still personal, we are starting to get somewhere. I do not expect you to cower, I just ask that you do not get emotional, even if you are "on a roll." You did better this time around.

I can understand that some Greeks can be quite obnoxious, so now that you provide more context, it makes more sense. From that perspective of people who blame the xenoi for all the problems in Greece, you're response does have some merit.

Now you say I did not respond to the "kapios allos ftai" factor, while I thought I had with my statement of how the all Greek governments since the end of the Second World War have sought earnestly American aid in exchange for its sovereignty. That is the fault of the Greek government, not the American. Hopefully I have made that clear now.

What is the fault of the US government is how it played off Turkey and Greece against each other, which was certainly not a unique occurrence. You remember the Iran-Contra affair? How we were openly supporting Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq with arms, chemical weapons, and satellite intelligence while at the same time we sold arms at inflated prices in order to fund the contras in Nicaragua. You did not respond to the list of countries and years in which the CIA was active in overthrowing the governments of various sovereign nations. The point of my providing this incomplete list is to demonstrate how the US has intervened in the affairs of sovereign nations. For the case of Iran in 1953, it was driven by the democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh who was attempting to nationalize his nation's oil industry. I will offer this one piece of advise to any third world leaders reading this blog who are sitting on oil reserves supplying the West's energy needs: Don't F with the flow of oil! (note: humor is intended here)

Now getting into the Greek Civil War, the background is extremely complex. One portion of it was a reaction to the return of the non-Greek monarchy that condoned the Metaxas Regime (the way that Metaxas was able to seize power due to the deadlock between the Royalists and Republicans (for those interested, I'd recommend "Authoritarianism in Greece" by Jon Kofas). Also, there was a significant amount of collaboration with the Nazis by a number of royalsists. A large percentage of the Greek people did not want the King George II to reaquire the pre-war constitutional power nor for the royalists to once again rule Greece.

There was also extensive ethnic cleansing of the Muslim, Slavic, and Albanian populations during this time. Also, some of the violence had nothing to do with politics. Mark Mazower's "After the War Was Over" consists of a series of essays that are fairly balanced between leftist and rightist authors (I get the impression that Mr. Mazower is not very popular with Greek nationlists). One of the essays describes a vendetta gone out of control. It starts out in the Italian occupied part of Greece where a woman rejects a man's marriage proposal. In retribution, this man (and this is pathetic) then informs the Italian authorities that her family was hiding guns for the resistance. You can imagine how quickly this escalated into large portions of each family (including children) being massacred on both sides.

And this was no one's doing, but the Greeks. Stuff like this makes me question the genetic connection to the ancient Greeks.

Now you bring up the December Revolution of 1944. The British were supplying ELAS with arms as they were one of the more effective guerrilla factions. When the British entered Athens in December of 1944, they discovered that the Germans had already left. On December 3rd, a demonstration in Syntagma Square turned violent, resulting in the deaths of over 20 people. Churchill then ordered British troops to treat Athens as a captured city. Given the fact that many Greeks did not the monarchy/royalists to return to power and that demonstrators were killed which erupted into a civil war, I'm not sure why you bring this incident up. Can you clarify your point regarding the US/British meddling in Greece? Since it was the decision to of the British and Americans to restore an unpopular government, what would you expect to happen? Personally I would expect nothing less than what happened.

Initially the Truman Doctrine focused on Greece and Turkey, but primarily Greece at first. Of course, as the Cold War spread, it was applied to other countries as well. For those people interested, the text and audio of President Truman's speech can be found here: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/harrystrumantrumandoctrine.html.

You talk say that "Greek hyperbole is legend", but your statement about what would have happened to Greece had not the United States provided aid following the Second World War is pretty out there. With regards to countries that fell behind the Iron curtain, that was all negotiated prior to the end of the war. I do not think we need to discuss what could have happen, but rather discuss what did happen and why.

With regards to the Greek defense spending, it was stupid on their part. In all honesty, they probably should have pursued a more Nasser-like foreign policy, even though that did not serve Makarios all that well. I'm in total agreement that the Greek politicians and middlemen have been raiding (to this day) the country's coffers.

Now with regards to the military junta, my choice of words was poor. Though the KYP (the Greek intelligence agency) was trained and partially funded by the CIA and that Papadapoulos was a liason between them, that does not constitute instigation, unlike in other nations. Whether the coup would have been possible without CIA training and funds is in my opinion unlikely, but to debate that will be pointless. Now with regards to the likelihood of my uncle (and grandfather) getting shot, the whole purpose of the flashlight and the Red Cross sign were to avoid that occurrence. What do you think happens to people running around after curfew under oppressive regimes? Don't answer that, as that's likely a pointless debate as well.

Now you've made the accusation that I am taking things out of context with regards to the American plan to partition Cyprus. Well, I provided you with a reference to documentation that is published directly by the State department. You choose ignorance over knowledge, and that is your choice.

Though I don't see any point in your statements regarding the Byzantine Empire, I do find the comment about the alleged high crime rate by the Greek immigrants quite interesting. So what you are saying is that Greece should learn from the mistakes of the United States that allowed in the Greeks and end immigration? Or are you saying what comes around, goes around? As far as the former statement, what is in the best interest of Greece as a the country? (and thus DeviousDiva celebrates as we return to the original topic! ;)

I'd like to address your conclusion, but its late, and these debates do take a significant amount of time. I do appreciate the efforts you have placed in responding.

Ade ya,
Kosta (a.k.a. BallAndDust)

 
At 11/18/2005 08:18:00 AM, Anonymous SCRUFFY AMERICAN said...

To Kosta and Ethno (and anyone else interested in this thread).

That was quite a bit of info for more to digest and I'll have to get back to you in about a day. I'm going to be away from Athens on Friday, and will enjoy formulating my response on Saturday. And, I applaud both of you two for keeping it civil. I've been to many message boards where if you don't agree with folks, they use profanity to shout you down. So, even though I may not agree with you, I certainly enjoy your cordiality with me on these sensitive topics.
Cheers,
Scruffy

 
At 11/18/2005 11:49:00 AM, Anonymous Yitsok Issac said...

Last night, some 10,000 people attended the march in Thessaloniki, which turned out to be more violent as groups of anarchists threw firebombs at police before running into university grounds, which officers are not allowed to enter. Protesters also burned two American flags in front of the US Consulate.

Can I ask a dumb question? Ok, I understand that they can't enter the university (which is ludicrious, because the university is in essence harboring fugitives, and maybe the university staff should be prosecuted as accessories to harboring a criminal), but can't the police just wait outside the gate until these bozos come out and then just arrest them?

 
At 11/18/2005 12:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think too many greeks spend to much time talking about their glorious past, thousands of years ago. Etnhocentric talks about "brasiliation". Well, Brazil has a short history, they are far from being genetically pure, but they are a big nation, with a strong economy, and a vast and diverse culture, and lots of bad things, and lots of wonderfull things, but moving to the future. They are the exact opposite of Greece. I think greeks should move along, fast forward. I learned already almost everithing about Greek history, mithology, alexander the great, etc. I want to know more about Greece today.

Portuondo

 
At 11/18/2005 03:43:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

ethnocentrist wrote "The American Black is a unique creature that has been selected for physical labor and has been kept in a slave mentality and perpetual "discrimination" at the hands of do-gooder leftists. Of course they are discriminated against because they neither want nor are capable of integration within the fabric of the US. They have been catered to for decades now with all sorts of racist, anti-white programs and it has only WORSENED their plight."

And you wonder why I get angry with you? Black Americans are not creatures for a start. Let's start, at the very least, from the basis that we are all people. Surely, even you cannot deny that is true. Black people were brought to America as slaves and were treated with unbelievable cruelty and discrimination. Treated in ways you or I could not even imagine. Freedom from slavery was hard won by black people themselves with the help of some white people (in the same way womens emancipation was gained by women themselves with the help of some men). The slave mentality you speak of is long gone and what you are seeing (and are afraid of) is black people wanting equal rights in all aspects of society in America (and that does take legislation because there are still so many who would rather they were still slaves) You say black people "neither want nor are capable of integration" Can you not see how racist you are? How is working towards equality for ALL americans be racist and anti-white? DO you say the same about programmes and legislation that enable women to be treated fairly and equally is anti-men? This kind of post is only worthy of the white nationalist boards elsewhere on the internet. Not here.

 
At 11/18/2005 06:38:00 PM, Anonymous Yitsok Issac said...

And don't forget that the Greeks were the ones who first brought slaves to the US via their ships. Don't believe me? Go to New Orleans and ask around. The first Greek Church in America is in New Orleans.

 
At 11/18/2005 06:44:00 PM, Blogger BallAndDust said...

Scruffy American,

Please hold off on your response until I finish responding to your conclusions. Hopefully if we are mainly responding to each other's previous post, our discussion will be much more readable and easier to follow.

I enjoy a good debate, and you sir have challenged me and my resources. In some cases, I still sincerely believe that you are wrong, but I will address that in my next post. On the other hand, I did more digging regarding the alleged US support of the 1967 coup and found this little gem of a paper: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/hellenicObservatory/pdf/Klarevas.pdf, which basically uses released government documents to show that the US did not in fact directly overthrow the Greek government in 1967. Indirectly yes. I will say the comparison in the paper for teachers being responsible for the crimes of students a bit weak. But that is a matter of opinion, not fact.

I will continue with another post sometime this weekend in which I will address your previous conclusion.

Portuondo,

Everyone agrees that Greece has a glorious past, and modern day Greeks should be proud of that.

However (and this is my opinion), this pride has been abused. Irredentism and nationalism have been tools used by so many Greek governments as a mechanism to distract the people of the country's real economic problems and the government's inability to address those problems. And sometimes, this gave them the opportunity to embezzle from the country's funds. This is especially true of the Metaxas Regime and the military junta. The educational curriculum was changed during these periods to focus more on history and ancient Greece, rather than on mathematics and science, i.e. the knowledge necessary for Greece to enter the modern world. In my own view, Greece does not quite qualify as first world nation. Where's the industry? Where's the economic stability?

But that is my opinion.

Kosta, a.k.a. BallAndDust

 
At 11/18/2005 06:53:00 PM, Blogger BallAndDust said...

Yitsok Isaac,

Well I learned something new this morning.

http://www.holytrinitycathedral.org/history.html

But as indicated in that page, Greeks did not arrive in New Orleans until the early 1800's. Slavery in the Americas had been going on for hundreds of years. How could they have possibly been the first? I actually doubt that they were involved at all in the slave trade (though there might have been a few individuals), given the fact that Greece did not have achieve independence until 1829 after eight years of fighting.

The slave trade was banned in 1807 by both Great Britain and the United States. http://amistad.mysticseaport.org/timeline/atlantic.slave.trade.html

Kosta, a.k.a. BallAndDust

 
At 11/18/2005 07:41:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Diva,

I do not have time to comment in detail and will do so later. By using the term "creature", it was not meant to imply some sort of "animal" and not human. I could have easily said the Swede is an interesting sort of creature or Greek or White or European or whatever and it wouldn't have registered with anyone. Blacks are hypersensitive to this and always see racism. Part of it is real and the other part is simple anti-white indoctrination. More later.

 
At 11/18/2005 08:00:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Well, if you know that black people are hypersensitive to this, why choose to write it on a blog belonging to a black person? Anyway, coming from someone who also said we were savage, it's hardly surprising I take offence.

 
At 11/18/2005 08:11:00 PM, Anonymous Doug Dangur said...

As a gay man and a gay journalist, I'd like to way in on this debate. Many people discriminate against gays also. Even in Greece, although Mykonos is known as the gay haven, Greeks are generally very hostile. And remember, I'm saying this as a gay man and a gay journalist.

 
At 11/18/2005 08:17:00 PM, Anonymous Scruffy American said...

Ethno and Kostas: I will wait for you to finish my post but overall it's so tiring to debate poiont by point. In a nut shell, this posting blog is about Greece and our experience about Greece and predjudice. I don't really want to debate the USA on this post. There are other avenues out there for that if you'd like to do that. I will say this last comment on my America.

"America is only doing what any other country would do if they were able. Conducting it's foreign policy for it's own interests. Which country does not conduct foreign policy for it's own interests?"
- Scruffy American - 2005

 
At 11/18/2005 08:23:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Welcome, Doug Dangur. Please feel free to wade in. Your insights will be very welcome to me.

 
At 11/18/2005 08:58:00 PM, Anonymous Doug Dangur said...

Hello Deviousdiva, Thank you for the welcome. One of the things that gay men have is what we call "gaydar" which is sort of like radar, and works just the same. It allows us to be able to see things that straight people miss. For example, when I met some nice young straight men in Mykonos and tried to explain that there was nothing wrong with Alexander the Great being a gay man, I was verbally accosted and they treated me very rudely. I asked them why they would be so upset. Being gay is not a crime, and certainly they should be proud of Alexander regardless of his sexual identity. We gay men are just darn proud of the ancient Greeks. Plato, Socrates, and many others were purported to have been gay. Additionally, ancient Greece was full of gay men, and it just gives me a chill when I visit all those ruins and think of how those times must have been. But, unfortunately, it's not just the country of modern Greece that is homophobic. Even in the USA, people have been against gays. With me specifically, in my weekly column, I once reported in the year 2000, that the ABC news organization refused to air a show with Leonardo DiCaprio interviewing President Bill Clinton. I wrote that they didn't air the interview because there was way too much sexual tension between the two men. I received a bit of hate mail for that column. On another occasion, in 2002, I stated that gays across America will rise up and revolt if there is not a "Big Gay Win" at the Oscars that year. In addition, I have the dubious honor of being first gay journalist to sit within 10 rows of the stage during the academy awards in 2004. Anyways, I'm in Greece til the summer and look forward to more postings.
Kisses...

 
At 11/19/2005 12:58:00 AM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Heard of the "gadar". That gives me away doesn't it? LOL! While I don't give a sh**t,there are lot's who do. That was a real eye opener about LDC and Bill. Too much sexual tension eh? Would love to have seen that!! Who do you write for? Do you have your own blog? Of course, you don't have to answer but I am intrigued! I want to read more. I wish I could post my email adress for you but I can't. Anyway, please write more. Filakia DD

 
At 11/19/2005 01:52:00 AM, Blogger melusina said...

Unfortunately, racism these days comes in all forms. It really astonishes me how many things people can find to be prejudiced about. Love is love, and the gay stereotype - the one where people assume all gays are promiscuous and try to influence other men to be gay and whatever is so ignorant. I highly doubt there are any more promiscuous gays out there than there are promiscuous heterosexuals. But still, who cares? Why should we judge people based on their sexual tendencies? You don't see homosexuals pointing and laughing and being prejudiced against straight people, do you? Of course not. Perhaps they should, to put it into perspective for some people. I guess it all goes towards the question of what we call tolerance, apparently, the world doesn't tolerate much.

By the way, the whole Greece and America foreign policy thing, and what America was involved with, etc., is fascinating to me but not something I am very familiar with, so I'll stay quiet on the subject.

 
At 11/19/2005 07:21:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

OK, now I'm a little pissed. Diva, I dropped this subject on SeaWitch's blog about the European/Black/Jamaican thing but since YOU brought it up again, I am compelled to complete my thought on this subject. You state that you are "black" and why would I have the audacity to bring up something that may "offend" blacks? Well, first it has to do with speaking the truth about matters and I do not care if people are "hypersensitive" to topics or not. To me, American black's hypersensitivity to anything critical of their behaviour is simply a weapon that is used to suppress any constructive dialogue and any possible solutions to their plight and the plight of the US in general. I stated...

The American Black is a unique creature that has been selected for physical labor and has been kept in a slave mentality and perpetual "discrimination" at the hands of do-gooder leftists. Of course they are discriminated against because they neither want nor are capable of integration within the fabric of the US. They have been catered to for decades now with all sorts of racist, anti-white programs and it has only WORSENED their plight.

There is nothing inaccurate nor racist about that statement. The racism comes from the overindulgence given to blacks by liberal whites that allows them to ignore any criticism and to behave in primitive, violent fashion when "upset". Who the hell acts this way? Who accepts this behaviour from anyone else? Children aren't allowed to behave in this manner and we are supposed to look the other way when blacks do this and brush it off on "slavery". Sorry, that is bullshit. Blacks behave in this manner in countries that have never had slavery. Canada is first on that list. If they are allowed to believe their failures and inadequacies are due to white racism, then that does not do anyone any good. It only propagates their antisocial behaviour.

You state...

Black people were brought to America as slaves and were treated with unbelievable cruelty and discrimination. Treated in ways you or I could not even imagine. Freedom from slavery was hard won by black people themselves with the help of some white people (in the same way womens emancipation was gained by women themselves with the help of some men). The slave mentality you speak of is long gone and what you are seeing (and are afraid of) is black people wanting equal rights in all aspects of society in America (and that does take legislation because there are still so many who would rather they were still slaves) You say black people "neither want nor are capable of integration" Can you not see how racist you are? How is working towards equality for ALL americans be racist and anti-white?

This is absolute rubbish on many levels. This is the afrocentric, anti-white version of slavery my dear. The real version is that blacks enslaved and sold their brothers into slavery. Blacks to this day in Africa STILL practice slavery and enslave other blacks. Blacks treated their slaves inhumanely and went as far as eating them. Arabs also enslaved blacks and their treatment of them was far worse than African blacks themselves. They worked them until they dropped, tortured them, and killed them on a whim. Most slaves went to the Arab world and South America. Some went to Asia(China) and were castrated in order to not procreate. Out of the 6 million slaves during the slave trade, only 600-700 came to the US. If Americans were killing slaves and mistreating them so, why then only 600k went to the US in the 300 years? Why weren't more needed to replace the ones being killed left and right? Why did the rest of the world need the 5.4 million or nearly 10 TIMES the amount the US received? The US bought their slaves, not enslaved them. I reject the notion that THIS was still evil because we did what was common for the time and considering it is still going on in Africa now with not a single complaint from anyone, it does not hold any water with me that we must judge white people of yesteryear by today's standards. Especially when in this day and age, the standards are different for different groups. Blacks were considered property, the same as a horse or wagon or any other bit of property, whites bought it and used it. Who would buy a horse and then beat it until dead? Who would buy a wagon and misuse until it no longer worked? Why would they then buy blacks and mistreat them? Simply for sadistic reasons? Hardly. Now, I know that a minority few, and the key words are "minority and few", probably mistreated their slaves and raping some slaves was inhumane as well, however I argue that that was the minority and not the overall practice. With all this, ONLY whites are demonized for slavery. No one else. No else gives a shit, that's why.

I suggest you read up on the Civil War before you ever repeat again that "blacks won their freedom with the help of a some whites". This is a disgrace to the memory of the young white men who fought against each other. The war was not solely for freeing the slave, but it was one of the consequences. Many whites died for this freedom. Few blacks did.

As to integration into US society and wanting "equality", blacks should be first in line NOT wanting favourtism such as Affirmative Action, quotas, set asides, racial preferences for universities but they are not. They scream when it is contemplated that it may be done away with. Again, how is this "equality"? Why would anyone view them as equal when it is extemely unequal that they are allowed to hold society at large hostage like this? What other race or culture has enjoyed so much favouritism with so little to show? None. It has nothing to do with slavery either. ALL races have been enslaved at one time or another in human history. ALL. Are we to believe only the black race is special? I could go on ad infinitum, but why bother? The evidence is clear and for all to see who want to see it.

You keep repeating I am racist. If the definition of racist to you means to have the audacity to repeat facts and stats that are available on government sites? Then I'm racist. If it means having enough nerve to point the finger at people who are not held to the same level of civility as the rest of society? Then yes, I'm racist. If it means not being content enough to turn a blind eye to INequality? Then yes, I'm racist. If it means what the true meaning is, which is viewing my race superior and wanting to oppress others? Then NO, I'm not racist. Racist is an amorphous term that has all sorts of meanings to whomever wants to squash any debate by simply calling their detractors, racist. I reject it.

Now getting back to the first paragraph about you being black. You seem, to use the American colloquialism, to want to cover all bases. You've mentioned you are black, European, British, Jamaican. My, my how lucky you are. You use black when it suits you, British and European when it suits you, and Jamaican when it suits you. Which is it? Or are you all of the above? If it is the latter, then which takes precedent, if any? Are you black first, before British? Or British before Jamaican? If you're British, then why do you get upset about me speaking about AMERICAN blacks? Are you all brothers and sisters? If so, how can you be European? European is more than just a passport, you know? This is a glaring example at the abject failure of "multiculturalism". For it shows that people are true to their race first and foremost. Everyone except whites that is. You're European, yet have no affinity towards a European country that you reside in currently. If someone is black(or Asian, Arab, Muslim, etc), then they are black first and want what is best for blacks, including all the minority goodies heaped upon them. This comes at the expense of the rest of the British or Europeans. You see, at SOME POINT, ethnic interests DIVERGE from the host majority, don't they? You can go on and on about equality and humanitarianism, yet when push comes to shove, you've never gotten upset when I've railed against all sorts of people, except black ones. That, unfortunately, is the truth. It shows where your deep loyalty is and it is not European nor British. However with that, you are only being NORMAL. It is NORMAL to want what is best for oneself and then for one's ethny. This is genetically instilled. What is not genetically instilled is multicultural slop that forces all sorts of different groups together, muzzle the white majority with PC speak so they are forbidden to complain, sacrifice future generations of the majority with unfair educational and hiring practices, depress the majority birthrate with excessive immigration that has been shown to be a net drain on the host, and pretend all is well.

 
At 11/19/2005 07:31:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Regarding Homosexuality:

While I am a firm believer that homosexuality is from nature and not nurture, I have reservations on the extent it is flaunted on the collective society. When my daughter, who was ten at the time, had to CONSCIOUSLY come to the conclusion on her own that "she was not bi but only liked boys", then the influence of homosexuality and bisexuality is a wee bit too much. No? I do not think preteens and children need to have this thrown at them all the damn time, if at all, where they might get confused. I do not think this will "turn them gay", however we all know the hormones and near psychosis that IS the teen. During these confusing times, some MAY want to experiment because apparently it is "normal" just "different", and with this can screw them up royally. It is not normal, nor should it be taught as such. Period.

 
At 11/19/2005 07:56:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Scruffy states:

"America is only doing what any other country would do if they were able. Conducting it's foreign policy for it's own interests. Which country does not conduct foreign policy for it's own interests?"

Then America should drop the "freedom" charade, shouldn't it? America, in reality, is far from the champion of human rights and freedom and more in line to being an imperialistic, global bully. More so with "Bush the Dumber" in charge. What's even worse is that it is doing this with our money and our future, indebted to this cause. There is no fighting for democracy or for human rights or even for global safety. It is manipulating lesser countries for its own gain and to enrich and empower an oligarchy of overly privileged.

 
At 11/19/2005 09:12:00 AM, Anonymous Scruffy American said...

Ethno, freedom is something that America espouses, especially among countries that it has occupied. For example, Germany and Japan are now two of the richest countries in the world. By contrast the former Soviet Union did not have that same mentality. Would you like to compare two of their bloc countries assets? I think not! America will always have foes who are just plain jealous. Jealous, jealous, jealous! In most societies, the poor people are jealous of the rich people. If you don't like what America does, then get a richer, bigger, more powerful country and impose your will on the world. I'd much prefer America ruling the world because the results (proven above) are much better. How about we wait til China gets to be in charge, and let's see if they don't make chop suey out of Greece and the rest of the world. Enjoy the days of being able to critize America, because I doubt China will be so accomodating. That's why I love living in Greece though. The Greeks are so brave (sic) when it comes to demonstrating against America for whatever ails them. (my KAF factor--see previous posts) Not one American soldier has ever killed a Greek in any war or battle, but still the demonstrations continue. By contrast, the Turks continue to invade your airspace on daily basis and I've not once in the 20 years I've lived here seen a demonstration at their embassy. Why? Because they are afraid!!! That's why. They know that demonstrating against America is safe because we won't hurt them. Try that at the Turkish embassy and see what happens. And, The Germans killed over 500,000 Greeks in WWII. How about a demonstration at their embassy? Or is it that they (Greeks) forgot? And finally, I'm venting aginst Greeks now, but that's what this blog is about I thought. I'm tired of hearing (from Greeks) about how stupid Americans are for voting for Bush. At least Bush will leave in a few years. By contrast, the Greeks voted for Pandreou and PASOK for 20 years and we know what they did to the Greek economy. Who is more stupid?

 
At 11/19/2005 10:04:00 AM, Anonymous Doug Dangur (A Gay Man and a Gay Journalist) said...

Darling Diva,

Thank you so much for the wonderful comments... By the way, your photo is just fabulous. I love that hair!! You have been in L.A. haven't you. I've seen you somewhere. Anyways, I'm sort of on the run here in Greece and avoiding certain peeps from Los Angeles. My previous Blog, "As a Gay man and a Gay Journalist" is not currently up, but will be soon.

Melusina-- you are so right girl! We gay men do make fun of straight people, we're just more discrete. For example, I was sanctioned for this comment I made on a local radio show in Los Angeles. I said, "Looking at straight marriage is like looking at a retarded child trying to take apart a Buick.". Now, I have nothing against retarded children, and was only using it as a metaphor. Anyways, with so many people against gay marriage, I have for one advocated a constitutional amendment banning straight divorce. Honey, let's see how they like that huh!

I saw the other post (ethnocentrist) regarding homosexuals and his daughter choosing to be straight. Isn't that just nice that Greek parents allow their children to make choices. I wish more American parents were that liberal in their views. It's just amazes me how homophobic some people can be. Wow, I’m rambling now.

Here's some topics I've discussed in the past years:

In 2000, I claimed that gay guys watch Friends for David Schwimmer because he has such a great body. Does he still though?

In 2002, when Ben Affleck was voted Sexiest Man in People magazine, I said that women are really attracted to losers. Can anyone disagree?

In 2004, I had the inspiration to come up with my own list of the "Top 100 Most Influential Country Artists Of All Time". I believe that it takes a gay man and a gay journalist to finally come up with a truthful, correct list.

By the way, did I also menion that I'm a movie critic, and with my special power of "Gay-Eye", I can tell if a movie stinks before I even see it!

 
At 11/19/2005 12:24:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Hi GMGJ!Looking forward to your blog. Nice to have someone here with a sense of humour! sadly lacking rounds these parts (and I include myself in that comment.) No, never been to LA, but if I did I'm sure to be an overnight sensation? See you around.
Hi Mel, Absolutely.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:09:00 PM, Blogger The SeaWitch said...

Ethno says...
You seem, to use the American colloquialism, to want to cover all bases. You've mentioned you are black, European, British, Jamaican. My, my how lucky you are. You use black when it suits you, British and European when it suits you, and Jamaican when it suits you. Which is it? Or are you all of the above?

I still don't see why you must single out Diva for stating that she's black? She didn't lie. So what's the big deal? If I were to state that I'm white would you then expect me to choose whether or not I'm Canadian, or white or of German/French/Scottish/British descent. I am all of those things. I just don't expect to have to post my genealogy every time I want to make a point. If a someone tells me that all women are stupid then as a woman, I would be offended. If someone would tell me all whites are rednecks, I would probably say I'm white and I'm offended because I'm not a redneck. I don't see why I have to choose any part of my ethnic background...it's all part of what makes me "me". I can't separate them. Neither should Diva have to.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:24:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Hi SeaWitch, I was going to address ethnocentrists last comment to me but there was just too much and I don't have time (or maybe, more accurately, the inclination). I also did not want this to fall into a slanging match between the two of us again. People can see for themselves what his stance is and I welcome anyone and everyone to respond.
Now that you posted about that particular part of the comment,I don't feel it is necessary for me to do so. You put it extremely well. I think he will find it easier to take coming from you. Thank you.

 
At 11/19/2005 03:53:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

SeaWitch states:

If a someone tells me that all women are stupid then as a woman, I would be offended. If someone would tell me all whites are rednecks, I would probably say I'm white and I'm offended because I'm not a redneck.

Bingo! If you read my entire post, you would have seen that I said that this is NORMAL and Diva is acting NORMALLY. That is why she is offended when I criticized AMERICAN blacks even though she is not American. Diva and now SeaWitch, in coming to her defense, showed it.

Race trumps all my dear people wether people want to admit it or not. Then subsequent subgroups fall in order of importance. The ONLY reason it isn't near the top of importance to whites is because we have been droned into not putting it there.

 
At 11/19/2005 04:02:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Scruffy,

You're smarter than your typical American, so act that way EVEN IF the topic of America comes up. I know the knee jerk, patriotic reaction is to do what you just did, however, let's call a spade a spade, shall we? The only difference between American hegemony and a Chinese one would be the number of dead. America has killed for simple power and money.

As to the disgusting commie demonstrators, well yes, I agree completely with you. Chicken shits, all of them.

 
At 11/19/2005 04:50:00 PM, Anonymous Scruffy American said...

Ok Ethnos, we finally have common ground. If we both don't like commies, then why can't we agree that at least with America they do things which leave some sort of freedom in place. Do you really think that the only difference between China and US would be the number of dead. Now, I could ask you to be smarter than the average Greek, but I won't. How about just repeat that if you truly believe it. I think you won't. China is an oppressive country where they wouldn't even allow people to disagree with the government. Has America done that? Not even with Iraq have we imposed any restrictions on their freedoms except for the normal martial law things that all invasions have at the beginning. I know because I have friends (USAF) in Iraq at this moment. Regular American guys risking their lives so some Iraqi is not afraid to get milk at the store wihtout being harassed by Sadaam and his type of thugs. It's more dangerous there now than before I realize but that's part of freedom. Under Sadaams rule, people were afraid just like any Junta. It's one thing to be an armchair quarterback, and it's another to actually know what's going on in Iraq. So, please be honest, and let's move on (or Se-Cola) as you all say in Ellas. Or are you just egging me on all the while knowing that you (as a Greek-American maybe?) are just excercising your right to disagree. How about going to any Muslim country and try that. Get back to me and let me know how you fared?

 
At 11/19/2005 05:19:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Scruffy,

Yes, I am a Greek American. I view the US as a big hypocrite. The US is not in Iraq for "freedom", nor for the "war on terror". It is there for purely selfish, Zionist reasons. Pure and simple. Also, as mentioned in a post on Phylax about Serbia, they bombed a country they knew they could get away with without any significant backlash under the guise "humanitarianism". BULL-FUCKING-SHIT! How about the ethnic cleansing and inhumanity that occurs in North Korea and China? Why isn't the "Champion of Freedom" invading those places? Why? Because they would lose and there isn't the incentive for them to waste their time. It's all a ruse, my dear friend. It's all about power and money. Not for freedom, nor for people.

Don't take this as a vote for liberalism or communism, because it is not. I just think that America's ideology is no different(as you stated in your question) than these other places and the only difference is they try and maintain a facade of global protector. What I am seeing with Bush the Dumber is not very encouraging because he has done tremendous damage to the Constitution and the freedoms most Americans enjoy with this "war on terror" bullshit. The Constitution is being chipped away slowly but surely and eventually, a military Junta will be in place if allowed to go far enough.

 
At 11/19/2005 05:22:00 PM, Anonymous Doug Dangur (A Gay man and a Gay Journalist) said...

Wooeeey Diva, As a gay man and a gay journalist, I noticed that your site attracts quite a bunch of testosterone filled men does it not?

To the boys arguing, "Can't we just all get along like the men on Star Trek". I have an idea, why don't we all get together for a nice cobb salad, white wine, and listen to a few old Judy Garland albums. This would be much more fun than arguing politics. We could dress up as our favorite characters from Star Trek. (I get to be Capt Kirk--I just love that man)

Sounds like that Ethnos and Scruffy really need to just chill out.

 
At 11/19/2005 05:24:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

To Gay Doug,

Isn't that just nice that Greek parents allow their children to make choices. I wish more American parents were that liberal in their views.

I think the more correct interpretation was that we were horrified that she even had to come up with a "choice" at all. She obviously made a "choice" that was genetically predisposed to her being heterosexual. The issue is the homosexual indoctrination that children are exposed to. That needs to stop.

Don't tell me you are the only homosexual that "chose" to be gay, are you?

 
At 11/19/2005 05:43:00 PM, Anonymous Doug Dangur (A Gay Man and a Gay Journalist) said...

Now you listen here ethni, you big bully! How dare you say that children shouldn't be exposed to homosexuals. Where should we go and live? Should we just stay in our homes and hide? Maybe we should be moved to a Greek Island in exile? Are we not allowed to have a life and the right to coexist with children, adults, and animals on this planet. I would have thought that a Greek man knowing so much about the history of Greece and with all those foreign invasions (and handsome invading men no less) would have an understanding of what the gay man has gone through in this day and age.

Generally, when I see a person that is so much against homosexuals, I have to ask if that person is comfortable with their own sexuality. Now, I'm not saying that you are a closet gay (are you?), but some of my most best gay friends were men who initially fought against our movement to conceal their own gayness. So, maybe you need to do some soul searching yourself. Or maybe you do not. I don't know, but it seems you are becoming quite aggressive with your comments on this blog, not only homophobic, but against blacks, and misogynistic as well. If I'm wrong, then I apologize, but at least why don't you just calm down and let's talk about this. My offer for white wine and cobb salad still stands if you are interested. By the way, I'm supposed to meet with famed Greek (gay) fashion designer Lakis Gavellas if my agent can get in contact with him. Do you know him or where his office is?

 
At 11/19/2005 05:50:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

If I'm wrong, then I apologize

You're wrong. Apology accepted. Funny thing is, I beginning to get the impression you're just a gay caricature looking to yank chains.

 
At 11/19/2005 05:57:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Hi GMGJ,
Don't I get to come to the Star Trek party? I'm coming as Scotty.

"Even if we were under full scale attack I couldn't move any faster, not and maintain a safety factor." -- Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.2, Episode 7

I don't even understand ethnocentrist's last comment to you, do you?

 
At 11/19/2005 07:17:00 PM, Blogger BallAndDust said...

Now this thread all began with:

According to the new European Social Survey, Greece is the least welcoming country in Europe as far as foreigners are concerned.

In essence, philoxenia has morphed into gamoxenia.

Some of the knowledge I seek is to understand how Greece came to the situation which exists today. Part of this is how Greek society treats non-Greeks living inside its borders. I think I understand that the motivation is fear of a Slavic or Bulgarian Anschluss. I'd like to think that the years in which this is a possibility are over. There are a large number of Slavs, Bulgarians, Albanians, Turks, and others living in Greece. They have been persecuted, which I hope will stop. I am so very disgusted that Greek adults were spitting on Albanian children that had the honor of carrying the Greek flag on Oxi Day. Does the savagery that burned so painfully during the civil war is still simmer in the hearts of Greeks today? My guess the reason why Greece has not had any significant problems in the past with Armenian immigrants is due to the similarity in culture and shared hatred of the Turks.

Scruffy American,

I tell you, I'm having a tough time putting together a response that flows well as there are so many things being thrown out that I'm trying to address.

On one hand, you have extolled the virtues of American foreign policy with the Marshall Plan and the liberation of Europe. However, you want to discard the immoral actions the US has taken since. You say "If you don't like what America does, then get a richer, bigger, more powerful country and impose your will on the world." Well then, I hope you are not upset by the tragic events on 9/11, as America's policies had a fair amount to do with it. If you want to argue this point as well, please read Michael Schurer's "Imperial Hubris" first. The author is a former member of the bin Laden team in the the CIA's Near East division, so he has the credentials. If you feel it is okay for people to suffer throughout the world as a side effect of the pursuit of a superpower's interests (because "that's how things work"), then you must feel its okay for people to fly hijacked planes into buildings, killing thousands of people because that's also how things work. I don't feel either is okay.

Please do not use Iraq as an example of America's benevolence. After all, we armed Saddam and looked the other way when he was gassing Kurds. Part of the reason of Rumsfeld's first visit to Iraq during the Reagan administration was to assure Saddam that despite his egregious human rights record, he still had the Reagan administration's support. Where did Saddam really go wrong? He messed with our oil supply by invading Kuwait. That is how he signed his own death wish. Now when the US encouraged the Shias to rise up to overthrow Saddam, what happened? The Iraqis requested the use of helicopters in the southern no fly zone. Much to their suprise, Bush sr. granted the request, so Saddam's forces was able to use helicopter gunships to slaughter the Shias and end their rebellion. Funny (not) how Rumsfeld testified before congress prior to the invasion of Iraq that the US would be greeted as liberators. Did he really think the Shias in Iraq would forget how they were abandoned only twelve years earlier? I know Americans would, because they have the shortest memory of any people I've ever had contact with, and I've had all sorts of political discussions with people from all inhabited continents from my travels and in this country. You are one of the few Americans I've been able to have any sort of discussion on American foreign policy.

While I support the American troops, I do not want any more young men or women to die or be maimed. I don't want any more innocent Iraqi civilians to die due to "collateral damage" (I hate that euphemism as its desensitizes the fact that innocent people have died). In the first war with Iraq, the reasons given for not removing Saddam from power were that it wasn't part of the UN resolution, that there was no one to replace him, and that the country would erupt in civil war. Nothing has changed in fourteen years. I've spoken with a number of soldiers who have returned from Iraq. Their accounts vary based upon where they are stationed in Iraq. One common thread is that they are motivated to make a positive contribution to the lives of the Iraqi people. And I cannot respect a person more than to be willing to sacrifice his or her own life in order to help another human being.

But that is not why they were sent. We were first told it was because of WMD's. That was debunked. So the administration moved on to Saddam's connections to terrorists. That too was debunked. Now its to "spread democracy" in the Middle East. I won't even address that one. Its funny how told Ethnocentrist to go to a Muslim country and express his right to disagree. Well, let's see, Saudia Arabia has a horrible human rights record, but it still is backed by the US and the ruling family has ties with the Bush family. If we could go back in time, we could see what it was like to disagree with the Shah in Iran, put in power by the CIA in 1953. If I'm not mistaken, Hussein had the assistance of the CIA when he seized power in 1968 (not sure about the year). What's common with all these countries? Oil. Let's look at the second largest recipient of military loans from the US, Egypt. They don't have any oil. Ah, but they control the Suez Canal in which oil tankers pass through. Bad human rights record there too.

So what is the point of telling Ethnocentrist to go to a Muslim nation to express his disagreement when the US pretty much backs or has backed every single totalitarian regime? You may want to spend some time reading juancole.com. Trust me, you'll learn something. A lot actually.

Though no American soldier has killed any Greeks, there have been many deaths by proxy in Greece and other nations. If you support a regime that tortures and murders its citizens, you bear some responsibility. My guess is that you disagree with this point, but my guess is that most people in the world would agree with me. For example, I do feel that the United States bears responsibility for training right-wing death squads in El Salvador during the 1980's (via Green Berets) as well as training the Greek KYP.

Ethnocentrist put it very eloquently when he said:

Then America should drop the "freedom" charade, shouldn't it? America, in reality, is far from the champion of human rights and freedom and more in line to being an imperialistic, global bully. More so with "Bush the Dumber" in charge. What's even worse is that it is doing this with our money and our future, indebted to this cause. There is no fighting for democracy or for human rights or even for global safety. It is manipulating lesser countries for its own gain and to enrich and empower an oligarchy of overly privileged.

I simply could not have said it better myself.

Now you comment about the stupidy of Americans for voting for Bush. Typically, there are not significant differences between the Republican and Democratic parties, just as there is very little difference between Nea Democratia and Pasok. Its mainly an issue of which corporate and special interests are going to be served. In the 2004 presidential election, Americans had a choice to not continue the country's insane foreign policy. Voters in both countries are stupid if they are ignorant of what truly is going on. The outcome of elections is often the result of who the voters think is the lesser of two evils, who will screw up the country less. America did have an opportunity for change of its foreign policy. Now only one year later, what is Bush's approval rating? It has sunk so low, and my only question would be for those who approved earlier and disapprove now, what in the hell were they expecting by reelecting Bush?

Now I am in complete agreement that China is likely going to be a far more malevolent superpower than the United States, all the more reason for the United States to tone things down a bit. I say this because the French are foolishly giving China technology in order to counter the American influence in the world. I don't think the French are going to like the taste of the fruits of their labor.

Now you ask why do Greeks not demonstrate in front of the German embassy for the deaths of 500,000 Greeks during World War II, instead of demonstrating in front of the American embassy. That's easy to answer. Since the liberation of Greece, the German's have not been meddling with Greek internal affairs. The British did for awhile, but they simply could not sustain their empire as they nearly went bankrupt in the Second World War. Also, the punitive actions by the United States in response to the British and French invasion of Egypt in an effort to reclaim the Suez Canal from Nasser made it clear the the US ultimately decides what interventions will take place by the West (Eisenhower blocked IMF loans and dumped its holdings of British Sterling on the market. The British had no choice but to capitulate). The Americans on the other hand still have a heavy influence on the Greek government (which as I said before is largely the fault of the Greek government). Demonstrating for past behavior that does not continue would be stupid. Demonstrating for past behavior that does continue does make some sense.

However, a couple of things do not make any sense to me. The first is how the Greek government supports Turkey's entrance into the E.U.. That just completely blows me away. How can Greece just lie down in the face of continued aggression? What are the Greek government officials smoking? It has to be some pretty powerful drugs. And I don't understand why the Greek people tolerate this. They should be demonstrating outside their own government buildings, demanding that their government stop the insanity. The second thing I never understood was a couple of anti-American/pro-Soviet demonstrations I saw during the 1980's. All the demonstrators looked pretty well off to me. I don't see how communism would have been a better alternative for them. Of course the real motivation was demonstrating against American manipulation of Greece's internal affairs. But still, on the surface, it looked and looks pretty silly and stupid. They belong in front of the Turkish embassy, demanding that they respect the Treaty of Lausanne and stop their aggression. Just as Greece has (hopefully) dropped its irredentist desire for Asia Minor, Turkey must drop its irredentist desire for previously occupied Ottoman territory.

Now I haven't even gotten to the concluding remarks you made earlier, and I won't here for the sake of time. I believe that the American intervention does play some part in the attitudes of Greeks today. Back in the 60's, when my father first visited Greece and met my mother, Americans were loved so much (like many other Greeks, my mother cried when Kennedy was assassinated). Being over 6 feet tall and blond, my father was assumed to be American. And he experienced the philoxenia of the Greeks had towards the Americans. That changed. My theory is the junta had a lot to do with that change. I believe you discount that. Though you have spent more time in Greece than I, you appear to have no connection to what transpired before your arrival. Maybe if you lived under the junta you'd think differently.

I'm not sure I will continue posting as I thought for a moment we were getting to a reasonable discussion but I no longer feel that is the case. I fear that this thread will start to look like the thread on Seawitch's blog regarding Oxi day. On the bright side, neither of us has made some comments along the lines of the other person's mother fornicating with farm animals.

Ade ya, its Saturday morning here, and I have a full day ahead of me.

Kosta, a.k.a. BallAndDust

 
At 11/19/2005 07:47:00 PM, Anonymous Doug Dangur (A Gay Man and a Gay Journalist) said...

Hi there Diva,

I believe Ethni was trying to say that he believes that I am playing up my gayness in sort of an exaggerated way i.e. caricature. In some ways, he is correct. When I first came out of the closet years ago, many "silly queens" as they are called were hated even by mainstream gays as making the gay movement look bad. But, in the year 2005, I refuse anyone to tell me what being gay means to me, and if I want to be a silly queen, and slur my speech with a lisp and walk with a bent wrist, by golly I'm going to do it.

What caught my attention more on Ethni's last post was his reference to a little known gay code phrase known as "yanking chains". Now, I won't go into what that means on this post, but it's not something that a normally straight individual would come up with. By all means, I'm not saying that Ethni's gay, but I'd be darn curious to know where he has heard that expression before and especially using it in context with a comment to a gay man and a gay journalist. Again, as a disclaimer, if I'm wrong, then I apologize, but the signs indicate something might be there.

Kisses from my friend's castle in Kastri....

 
At 11/19/2005 08:14:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

LOL

Gay Doug, you're funny and we both know the term "yanking one's chain" was not invented by homosexuals. Enough of the not so covert innuendoes and goading. If you have anything of substance to say, then say it. Otherwise, the Queen act becomes a bit tiresome. You never did answer if you think homosexuality is a "choice". Do you?


Kosta,

Great post and I agree with nearly everything you said. Including the part about China being such a malevolent global power WHEN the US becomes a second, or third world nation. I was simply yanking Scruffy's chain just a little bit(oops, there goes my closet homosexual tendencies acting up again). As to Turkey and the Greek elites, this goes to the selfish nature and corruption of them. The borderless, nationless, One World Government ideology that the left envisions. It confused me for a while as well until I looked at the entire picture.

 
At 11/19/2005 08:28:00 PM, Anonymous Scruffy American said...

Ethnocentrist: If you have such bad feelings about the US and wish to see it become a 2nd or 3rd world country, why don't you go down to Vas. Sofias 91 and turn in your US Passport. Oh, I forgot, you like a lot of Greeks have that passport so you can save your butt when the Turks invade. I'm always amazed by the anti-americans who expect us to save them in a time of need all the while bad mouthing everything we stand for. Since you are just pulling my chain then, I won't respond anymore to your nonsense. Unless of course, you were just pulling my chain about actually pulling my chain. Wow, don't I feel real gay now! Let's have that white wine!

 
At 11/19/2005 11:38:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

LOL

Scruffy, I like your style, for sure. I don't hate the US, nor am I anti-American. What I am is mature enough to know hypocrisy when I see it and the US is hypocritical. The US has always(this past century is my timeline) been this way, though I either didn't know, didn't care, or simply believed the mantra. I used to spout the same mantra..."America, love it or leave it". Well, now I think it is MUCH more productive to spot problems and try to correct them or at least bring light to the subject. I'd appreciate it if you did not lump me in with all the anarchists that demonstrate against the US with violence and Molotovs. I would never do that nor do I condone it. The US is a wonderful place overall, though it does have its problems and being honest about it does not make one anti-American.

As to wishing 2nd and 3rd world status on the US, that is exactly what I do NOT want, yet that is the direction we are heading. Mass, non-assimilating immigration, increased debt, middle class evaporation, and jobs being exported to the lowest third world bidders will simply devastate the US and will wreak havoc on society. This, quite sadly is coming. I see it. It can be stopped, though it is NOT in the interests of the elite to stop it.

How long has it been since you've been back to the US and have seen the drastic changes that have occurred in the last 5-10 years?

 
At 11/20/2005 10:12:00 AM, Anonymous Scruffy American said...

Ok Ethno,

Thanks for throwing me the olive branch and also for clarifying your position. Ok, good, you are not Anti-American and in fact, you are just an American who is questioning things. Ok, now that I know that I will not treat you as a GREEK (which is what I thought you were initially). What you are is a GREEK-AMERICAN and I actually respect their opinions more since they (you) actually have lived there or at least have been to the states.

I cannot count the number of times that a local Greek will start complaining about the states, and when I ask the "baiter" question of "Wow, you seem to know so much about the states, how many times have you been there or where did you live in the states". More times than not, they say they have NEVER been to the states, but have a friend who has been there, etc. So, I say "OH, I SEE, YOU ARE BASING ALL YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF AMERICA ON WHAT YOUR FRIEND SAYS BUT YOU HAVEN'T BEEN THERE HUH". I have so much fun when they fall in that trap.

Ethno, I also realize that the states is not perfect. My wife and I have a home in Greece and also a home in Newport Beach, California. The people in Newport Beach (where the OC television show is based) are very shallow and generally do not know a thing about foreign policy or anything more than local news. It frustrates me. People don't react or even realize that the US is changing right around them. Now, I'm not one of these people who will say that Americans are dumb and uninformed. What I will say is that most Americans CHOOSE to be uninformed. Because with the click of a mouse you can access internet sites such as CNN, FOX, BBC, AL-JAZEERA, CBC, Australian news, and I can go on. If the average American wanted to be informed, he could. As my mother once put it. "World opinion, who cares? Do these other countries pay my bills? NO!"

By contrast, most Local Greeks (even if they speak English) rarely check out foreign news sources. They may watch their channels commenting on what a foreign news source said, but in those cases, the local channels have selected very carefully what comments get broadcasted. (Case in point, whenever they interview a foreign tourist about Greece, it's always positive, you never hear anything negative). So, local Greeks are really hostage to their bias news sources. They never get the other side of the story.

So, in closing, I think that our debates in the future will be less abrasive now because I will remember that you are an AMERICAN who happens to have Greek ancestry and that you are not one of the local knuckleheads I encounter on the Bus or Metro in Athens every day.

God Bless America!!!

 
At 11/20/2005 10:58:00 AM, Anonymous Scruffy American said...

First for Ethno: (and anyone else who's interested)

I was at the local bakery a few weeks ago, and I was speaking English to an American friend who didn't know Greek. The clerk (an attractive 30 something blond), when we brought our stuff up to the counter said "Deio Ekosi" (TWO-TWENTY". I said to my friend "TWO-TWENTY" in English. The clerk looked at me and said in ENGLISH "NOT TWO TWENTY" and pronounced it in ENGLISH with her Greek Accent. I reiterated the American accent "TWO TWENTY". She then started telling me in GREEK that she did not like the ENGLISH accent. I told her, that's ok, because I'm American. She then said, "that's even worse" and "DEN HONEVO Tous Americanous" I am not fond (or don't like) Americans. I said, WHY NOT. She said, YOU PEOPLE START WARS. I told her I didn't start any war today? I just wanted some bread. But, as I put the stuff back on the counter, and decided not to buy it after all, I told her, (IN GREEK) "You know what I'm going to do lady, I'm going to call President Bush and tell him what you said, and I'm sure he won't be able to sleep tonight worrying about what you said". She then gawked and me and we left. I'm not going back there again. And I tell everyone I know (Greeks included) not to go there. So far, I've got 10 people boycotting that jerk!!!

Now, for Kosta (cc: Ethno) and anyone else who'd like to see.

So, as a way to keep it less abrasive, I'm only debating issues based on things I see in Greece, and if you wish to explain why that is by saying that "AMERICA" or "KAF FACTOR" or what have you, I won't disagree, but I'd like to press on anyways.

So, Kosta, regarding the way things are between Greece and America: Why doesn't Greece have a referendum which asks the Greeks one simple question, "Do you want to sever all relations with the United States of America, to include importation of all US products, services and Cultural exchanges?" They should get out on the streets like the dogs and demonstrate until this referendum is put to the people. But, I think we know the answer to that. Greek leadership, as I've said before, realizes the people are politically immature and thus does not allow them to vote on a referendum.

Regarding the comment about the Greeks and Turks being so dumb as to have been played off each against other then they deserve what they get. Your reasoning over Turkey and Greece has nothing to do with Iran-Contra where President Reagan stood up and admitted he was misled. When was the last time you heard a Greek politician admit to a mistake. It's always KAF.

As to the oil argument (about US and the flow oil) nothing in the world operates without oil. Where does Greece get its oil from? From olive trees? I have seen how Greeks generated electric power without oil. They turned the once beautiful landscape around the Arcadian city of Megalopoli into a moonscape from the coal mining operations. They destroyed the environment which future generations of Greeks will pay for dearly. Simplistic arguments about the US wanting to buy oil from different countries just do not wash.

The US has never invaded countries to confiscate their land or gain their minerals without paying for them. Kosta, can you point out one instance whereby the US fought for land and minerals. The same cannot be said for the Greeks - a good example was the Asia Minor debacle to which you admitted.

I know we agree on this Kosta, but as to the Greek governments not releasing themselves from the eagle's claw this will never happen because:

a. No Greek government is capable of governing without some country, be it the US, Britain, France, or the EU looking over its shoulder. Greeks are politically immature and until the Church of Greece releases its grip on power Greece will always be looked upon as a third world country by the West.

b. The Church of Greece will not permit the loosening of the ties with the US. Reason? Money.

c. And if they were loosened who would be their protector? Russia? Iran? China? Who would come to their aid every time they got into a tiff with Turkey? It just might be good for the US to loosen its ties with Greece because the gain is only one sided. No US investment in Greece. No more American tourists come because of the anti-Americanism, so why even
waste our time here?

Also, Kosta, it may be of interest to know that Greece's military weapons come not only from the US but from Germany, China, Czech Republic, Russia, and France. This is costing the Greek taxpayer plenty because parts and maintenance from multiple sources like this cost more than from a single source.

As for Prime Minister Venizelos and the Asia Minor debacle, Venizelos was voted out of office because of his opposition to the Greek trek into the Turkish interior. This is another example of Greek immaturity. By the way, after the Greeks were chased out of Turkey the Greek government put six of their own military generals and politicians up against the wall and
executed them accusing them of being the cause for the loss in Asia Minor. More nonsense. The entire electorate was equally responsible.

As for the US collaborating/cooperating with other countries to promote their policies for the welfare of the American people, my question is why not? The Greeks will sell their own mother if it's for their personal gain and to hell with their country. You should come and see the villas built by the dirty money gained by the politicians and middlemen who gained from the weapons sales.

Regarding the name of Macedonia. The Greeks are unsure of themselves on the point. For years they were sending their children to the "University of Macedonia" in Skopje but when the area became an independent country the name issue all of a sudden became a cause celebre. I understand very well the significance of the name issue. The Greek presumes that acknowledging the name will encourage the Skopje government to have designs on Greek real estate in the area now known as the Greek part of Macedonia. If the Greeks believe that the issue is so significant to Greece's Existence and it is a casus belli (cause for war) then they should go ahead and invade. However, they should be made aware that if the Turks come in on the side of the Macedonians the US will not be there to pull their coals out of the fire.

So, I feel I've said what I have to say, and again, if you disagree and point out my flaws, I won't keep counter arguing. I'll just move on to a new topic so we can save time and not get too confused on any one issue.

 
At 11/20/2005 12:16:00 PM, Anonymous Scruffy American said...

Oh, and Kosta. Thanks for saying that you can at least debate with me. The reason you may find most Americans unwilling to debate you is because we're taught that you don't argue (debate) Religion or politics, as it's just not nice. I have a few friends here (Americans) who tell me "Why do you bother arguing with people here, you aren't going to change their mind and will only escalate your blood pressure". Some Americans just smile and agree with you all the while considering the source. I'm not saying I agree but at least you know where they are coming from. I'm more like a Greek in that I'll tell you how I feel if you ask about politics.

 
At 11/20/2005 02:40:00 PM, Blogger adfjkaj said...

oh, and i have a blog now. Now, my views will have be more mild now, huh

 
At 11/20/2005 03:25:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

OK boys, I think it might be time to try, at least, to get back to the original issues here. It seems we've spiralled into a debate about america and anti-american sentiment and american history. While it is interesting, it doesn't really belong here. Can we get back to the issues of immigration and xenophobia, or are people not interested in that any more?

 
At 11/20/2005 05:40:00 PM, Blogger adfjkaj said...

Sorry Diva,

I'll work on getting back on track. And I'll post more stuff on my site so that Ethno and Kosta can post on my site if they wish to continue this off-post discussion. Thanks for having the patience so far.

 
At 11/20/2005 05:59:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Thanks scruffy american. Good luck with your blog. If you need anymore help I will gladly answer anything I can. Just post questions on your blog. I have added you to my site feed reader so I will see when you have new content.

 
At 11/20/2005 07:11:00 PM, Blogger BallAndDust said...

Scruffy,

Though we do have differences in opinions, I must say, I absolutely love the way you said at the bakery. Especually the calling Bush remark. That's absolutely hilarious.

I'll probably have one more set of comments, but as we've obviously gone off topic to DeviousDiva originally posted, I'll head over to your blog.

Ade ya,
Kosta a.k.a. BallAndDust

 
At 11/20/2005 08:03:00 PM, Blogger BallAndDust said...

Scruffy,

One last thing. You did make one point I had never considered before, and that is the power (and abuse of it) by the Greek Orthodox Church (after all, when Jesus talks about the hypocrisy in the Bible, he's talking about hypocrisy within the Church). I'm fairly devout, but I'm not blindly devout. In fact, I have to run as I'm heading of to Church right now.

Hey, can you open up a thread over on your blog? I hope I'm not wearing out my welcome over here, but I'd rather now push my luck. Then we can continue our "smackdown". ;)

Kosta a.k.a. BallAndDust

 
At 11/20/2005 09:24:00 PM, Blogger adfjkaj said...

Kosta, (ethno found it already). I'll add a thread by the end of the day.

Scruffy

 
At 11/20/2005 09:49:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Ok, now the history boys are off to Scruffy American's site, please post anything else on the subject of greece versus america over there. (all comments on that issue from now all will be deleted. You have been warned.
Now can we please get back to the subject....the last comment on the topic was from BallAndDust, I hope you don't mind but I am reposting it here.


"Now this thread all began with:

According to the new European Social Survey, Greece is the least welcoming country in Europe as far as foreigners are concerned.

In essence, philoxenia has morphed into gamoxenia.

Some of the knowledge I seek is to understand how Greece came to the situation which exists today. Part of this is how Greek society treats non-Greeks living inside its borders. I think I understand that the motivation is fear of a Slavic or Bulgarian Anschluss. I'd like to think that the years in which this is a possibility are over. There are a large number of Slavs, Bulgarians, Albanians, Turks, and others living in Greece. They have been persecuted, which I hope will stop. I am so very disgusted that Greek adults were spitting on Albanian children that had the honor of carrying the Greek flag on Oxi Day. Does the savagery that burned so painfully during the civil war is still simmer in the hearts of Greeks today? My guess the reason why Greece has not had any significant problems in the past with Armenian immigrants is due to the similarity in culture and shared hatred of the Turks."


Further insights or comments on this subject are very welcome.

 
At 11/21/2005 11:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the ultimate problem is the twisitng of what has happened in Greece.
According to the new European Social Survey, Greece is the least welcoming country in Europe as far as foreigners are concerned.

This is not what the study shows. What studies on migration showis that Greece is the most welcoming country in Europe, and that there are tensions as a result.

Greece has more immigrants than other southern EU countries, on average TWICE the proportio of the average of Spain, Italy and Portugal. Are they more welcoming? NO. so the thesis is is per se absurd.

That this post invited a bunch of invective against Greece (almost all of it factualy wrong) is of some interest. It is the the ugly American thing. It has been going on with Americans visiting Europe for decades.

 
At 11/22/2005 12:02:00 AM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Well, you are, of course, entitled to your opinion on what the survey means. The numbers may not be accurate as is true of most statistical studies I've seen. As I said before, twice... "This is taken directly from a survey called the European Social Survey. I do not claim that it is completely accurate. What suprised me was the difference between the anti-foreigner feeling in Greece compared with the rest of Europe. I also wrote at the end of the post, my opinion...

"Greece is relatively new to multiculturalism and has not had decades of discussion and education on the issues"

Greece is changing, very rapidly, and with that rapid change brings fear and insecurity. I do not think the people here are anti-greek or greece. We are trying to discuss the issues here. It is hard. We disagree. But just saying "you are wrong and I am right" does not further the discussion. I had a poster from Portugal a while back who would disagree with you that Greece is more friendly than his country. I know little about the other South European countries so I will not attempt to make comparisons. I realise surveys and statistics are controversial. What I am trying to do here is stimulate dialogue. It is lively, interesting and sometimes downright irritating when people write things I disagree with. But the debate must be had.

In my opinion, the first step in making any positive progress is to acknowledge that there is a problem.

 
At 11/22/2005 12:29:00 AM, Blogger adfjkaj said...

Anonymous said,

That this post invited a bunch of invective against Greece (almost all of it factualy wrong) is of some interest. It is the the ugly American thing. It has been going on with Americans visiting Europe for decades.

Are you talking about me? I know my photo is fairly ugly, but I don't believe I'm that bad. Plus, it's sort of cavalier for you to jump in and say that info is factually wrong when you don't provide any concrete facts yourself. In fact, the ugly american is actually a cliche, so maybe you should get some new material as well.

 

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