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Susan Estrich
8 Oct 2014
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It's Greek to Me

Comment

It's Greek to Me

It really is. Take a look at the front page of Drudge today, or any of the news broadcasts, and it's enough to break the heart of all of us who love almost all things Greek.

I don't travel much (at least not to places that don't have electoral votes), but some years ago, I spent a family vacation on the beautiful Greek island of Skiathos, where old friends had a house. It was magical — the place, the shops and restaurants, and most of all, the people, who were warm, generous and open.

I wasn't surprised. Back in 1987 and 1988, when I traveled around this country with Michael Dukakis, the first Greek-American to run for president, I met other Greeks from every walk of life, some of them new immigrants, some of them longtime citizens and some of them visitors from Greece; and almost to a person, they impressed me with their generosity and unbelievably strong work ethic. My old friend Gov. Dukakis was frugal, sometimes to a fault, as his wife would be the first to tell you; economic responsibility seemed to be bred in the bones.

Which is why it is so hard for me to look at those awful pictures, of policemen literally in flames, buildings burning, bank employees murdered by rioters in the streets.

It is Greek to me, by which I mean it is almost incomprehensible, and horribly tragic.

The economy of Greece is not on the verge of collapse: for all intents and purposes, it has collapsed. The nations who are bailing them out, and there is no other word for it, have every right to expect that Greece will make fundamental changes to deal with the crisis they brought on themselves.

I understand the frustration of hardworking people who are upset about having their wages cut or their pensions reduced because of economic forces larger than themselves, mistakes made by others, greed, corruption and excess at almost every level.

But burning buildings, rioting in the streets, raising communist flags and killing innocent people will only make all of their problems worse.

Don't they understand that?

The rest of the world will not sit by and dig into their own pockets to help people who are not willing to accept responsibility and help themselves.

The rest of the world will not finance the bailout of a nation whose people they see as violent and greedy.

I have no doubt that many of the people I met in Greece are working hard today, not rioting in the streets and burning buildings. But I won't be seeing them anytime soon. Would anyone schedule a trip to Athens, or even Skiathos, as long as buildings are burning, policemen are on fire and bank employees are under attack? My heart aches for the people of Greece, but frankly, not enough to want to visit in the midst of this.

In a world of instant communications, streaming video and nonstop news, the world has literally shrunk. No one can get away with anything. It is time for the decent and hardworking people of Greece to take responsibility for their country and for this crisis, to restore calm, renew their commitment to work their way out of debt and not try to riot and rebel. One of the most beautiful and historic countries in the world is in danger, and the ultimate answer is not a foreign bailout, but a resurgence of the spirit that brought democracy to the world.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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Comments

10 Comments | Post Comment
Keep watching. This chaos in Greece is coming to a city near you. Some of the same problems which caused the Greek crisis are here now and accelerating rapidly with every piece of deficit spending Congress creates. The difference, there is no one who will think we are too big to fail and bail us out. It's all on us to see if we have what it takes.
Comment: #1
Posted by: jbaugher
Fri May 7, 2010 5:35 AM
Finally a thoughtful and accurate analysis. Ms Estrich, you hit the nail right on the head with this op ed. If we, in the United States do not learn from this lesson then we will follow Greece down the road to insolvency. The path that will achieve the largest return is to reduce the overall size of our national and in some cases state governments. Reduce the burden to the citizens and our productive potential will explode.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Frankie Barbella
Fri May 7, 2010 6:40 AM
Don't they understand that?
The rest of the world will not sit by and dig into their own pockets to help people who are not willing to accept responsibility and help themselves.
The rest of the world will not finance the bailout of a nation whose people they see as violent and greedy.
I have loved your column for years . I rarely agree but I always love your style . It seems odd to me that what you write about the Greeks , you cannot bring yourself to say about the majority of the Democratic base ?
Why should tax paying Americans continue to support the non-taxpaying citizens ? What is the difference between Americans not wanting to supporting other Americans and Germans not wanting to support Greeks ?
Where is the demand for non-tax paying Americans to change their life styles ?
I would love for some one like you , on the left , to address this
Comment: #3
Posted by: Pat O'Rourke
Sat May 8, 2010 7:50 AM
Mr. O'Rourke, ditto.
suggestion; read Steve Forbes book "How Capitalism Will Save Us", why free people and free markets will save us in todays economy.
With all of capitalisms imperfections it preserves the values upon which our nation was founded that allows the US to function with greater fairness while creating greater abundance than any other system.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Hugh
Sat May 8, 2010 9:45 AM
"OUR" MOST CROOKED "CORPORATISM"!
OUR “MOST BELOVED” AMERICA'S MOST CROOKEDLY EVIL ANTI-AMERICAN “CORPORATISM”!
Most Respectfully, This Most Earnest Patriotic Appeal was also submitted to almost all of The Heads Our Churches and to almost all of The Presidents and Provosts of Our Universities – “personally”!
UNIVERSAL PSEUDO-CORPORATISM!!!
This Most-Loving Prayer was also addressed to Pope Benedict XVI – Most Faithfully!
THE WORST CRIME, EVER, AGAINST ALMIGHTY GOD'S HUMANITY – FOREVER?
(In True Honor to Dr. Martin Luther King's Most Patriotic Legacy!)
The Nucleus of Our Whole World's Ever-Growing Suicidal Nuclear Crisis is created by No Other than the most Defrauding and Most Greedy Ultra-Conservative and by the most Ultra-Libertine Politico-Religionism everywhere – Universally! Our Whole World has no True Religion anywhere!
The Nucleus of The Most-Dominant Over-Ambition of Our Universal True Atheism is none other than The Most Voracious Globally Inhuman “Corporatist” Economic Exploitation; all by the most Extreme Global Disregard to The Most Fundamental UNIVERSAL HUMAN LITERACY and also to The Most Fundamental UNIVERSAL GOOD-SAMARITAN HEALTH INSURANCE. These two together Indeed Constitute ALMIGHTY GOD'S TRUE UNIVERSAL ELEMENTAL DEMOCRACY'S Most Vitally Essential Means for TRUE INDIVIDUAL EQUAL OPPORTUNITY to reach THOSE INDISPENSABLE ALMIGHTY GOD'S INDIVIDUAL ELEMENTAL HUMAN GIFTS (RIGHTS), NO-MORE, NO-LESS!!!
All of Our Vast World-Wide Perpetually Shackled – AS ILLITERATE AND INFIRM – HUMANITY in Our Western World is ever more and more so “CRUCIFIED” as threatened with impunity by instilling in them “Our” Religionist-Inculcated Utmost Fear of “GOING TO HELL” if they have “NO FAITH” – that is, if disobedient to “Our” Politico-Religionist False “Leadership”; as just like telling them “THEIR ‘HEAVEN' IS LIVING IN OUR SATANIC EXPLOITATION”!
Our Totally Politico-Religionist Western World has always even tried to expand Our Most Voracious Greedy Corporatism to Our Islamic Eastern World's “Friendly” Governments, but I most-strongly suspect that Islamic Religionism has an opposite but Equally Religionist-Inhuman Self-Defense: when Our Western Corporatist Inhuman Intervention reach their Eastern Critical Religionist Level – as in Our Unending Warring Perplexity with The Islamic World – Their Islamic Religionist Counteracting General “'Inspiration'-To-Go-To-Heaven” is no other than Their Ultra-Terrorist “Salvific” Individual Self-Immolation!
ALL OF THESE, FOR SURE SO FAR, ARE THE IRREFUTABLE PORTENDING SYMBOLISM OF A-MOST CERTAIN-NUCLEAR ARMAGEDDON: THERE IS NOT THE SLIGHTEST DOUBT ABOUT THE CERTAINTY OF THE WHOLE WORLD'S TOTAL HOLOCAUST! MAY WE TRULY PRAY, SO THAT WE ALL – TRULY AND SOLIDLY HONEST AMERICANS – REALLY ENABLE THE ALMIGHTY GOD TO BLESS (SAVE) OUR MOST BELOVED TRUE AMERICA!!! OTHERWISE, ANY OTHER “CRIME” OR “ABORTION” IS AN INNOCENT BY-PRODUCT!!!






Comment: #5
Posted by: Octavio Saenz MD Sr
Sat May 8, 2010 10:24 AM
OUR “MOST BELOVED” AMERICA'S MOST CROOKEDLY SATANIC ANTI-AMERICAN RELIGIONISM!
Most Reverently, This Most Earnest Patriotic Appeal was also submitted to both All The Presidents of The Universities, and to Their Provosts – submitted to both personally.
UNIVERSAL RELIGIONISM !!!
This Most Loving Prayer was also addressed to Pope Benedict XVI – Most Faithfully!
This is about The Most Criminal, World Wide, RELIGIONISM – Ever!
All that Our Whole World has ever needed - and still presently needs, foremost and more than ever – is A TRULY AMERICAN National Incorrupt Reevaluation!
“HAPPY HOLIDAYS”!!!
“MERRY CHRISTMAS”!!!
“HAPPY NEW YEAR”!!!
“HAPPY NEW CENTURY!!!”
ALMIGHTY GOD'S “NUCLEAR” WORLD'S TRUE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY; THAT IS, UNIVERSAL INDIVIDUAL EQUAL HUMAN OPPORTUNITY TO ACHIEVE ALMIGHTY GOD-GIVEN HUMAN RIGHTS (HIS “BEST” “GIFTS”), - NO-MORE AND NO-LESS - shall never exist for us in “Our America”, and in our “Free” “Nuclear” World, UNTIL BOTH MOST CRUCIAL GOD'S DETERMINANTS – UNIVERSAL FUNCTIONAL LITERACY AND UNIVERSAL “GOD-SAMARITAN” HEALTH INSURANCE – are Legislatively COMPELLED (CONSTITUTIONALLY) as a Fully-Punishing TRULY HUMANITARIAN CRIMINAL LAW; that is, until Our Insatiable Ultra Filthy-Wealthy CORPORATIST “American” Government so give The True Example, OF SUCH A SACRED UNIVERSALLY HUMAN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, for the sake of Our Most Exploited and Most Suffering Illiterate and Sick “American” World!
Almighty God did not write HIS BIBLE just to “Inspire” The Implacable Religionist “Sacrosanct” Church-like Corporations of This World to use IT as toilet paper – that is, to use IT as Such a Globalized, Religionist, Materialist, PIOUSLY MUM, AND SO ULTIMATELY EQUALLY SUICIDAL-TERRORIST, SUBLIMINAL INHUMAN EXPLOITATION!
Why “THE TRULY UNIVERSAL CHURCH” - as “FREE AND SEPARATE FROM THE STATE” - NEVER TAKES ALL OF THESE, AS ITS TRUE DAILY PREACHING INITIATIVE – AS ITS TRUE RELIGIOUS LEADERS DID BEFORE???!!! BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ANY- MORE “THE TRUE SERVANTS OF ALMIGHTY GOD” (AS THEY SO “FERVENTLY” CLAIM) BUT OF THE GOVERNMENTAL “MOST COMFORTABLE” RAPACIOUS CORPORATIST MOST INHUMAN WORLD POLITICS OF EXPLOITATION!!!
WHY ABSOLUTELY NOBODY SAY ANYTHING – SPECIALLY AT THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTIONS' TIME -- ABOUT DENOUNCING AND UPROOTING ONCE AND FOR ALL OUR EVER ANTI-AMERICAN AND ANTI-DEMOCRATIC MOST SHAMELESSLY “HIDDEN” EVER HIGHEST LEVEL OF OUR WORLD'S ILLITERACY AND LACK OF “GOD-SAMARITAN” MOST BASIC HEALTH INSURANCE!
THE TRUTHFULNESS EVER MISSING IN ALL OF OUR POLITICAL SPEECHES PRETENDING TO “HONOR” OUR MOST BELOVED AMERICA – AND MOST SORELY MISSING FOR OUR SALVATION – IS THE TRULY POLITICAL AND TRULY RELIGIOUS TRULY DEMOCRATIC INSPIRATION!
WHY ARE WE SO SILENT AND OBSTINATE?
MAY WE TRULY PRAY THAT WE ALL TRUE SOLID AMERICANS REALLY ENABLE ALMIGHTY GOD TO BLESS (SAVE) OUR MOST BELOVED TRUE AMERICA!!!
OTHERWISE, ANY OTHER “CRIME” OR “ABORTION” IS AN “INNOCENT” BY-PRODUCT!!!















Comment: #6
Posted by: Octavio Saenz MD Sr
Sat May 8, 2010 10:27 AM
PAT, DOES YOUR DISTAIN FOR NON-PAYING AMERICANS INCLUDE THE CORPORATIONS[NOW PEOPLE ALSO] USING OFF-SHORE ADDRESSES TO GET OUT OF PAYING USA TAXES EVEN AS THEY RECEIVE TAX REBATES FROM US?
Comment: #7
Posted by: DRD
Sun May 9, 2010 6:19 AM
it seems like irony to me. being in the wholesale food business for a few years, i got to see hard working frugal
greek americans....up close. not only were they hard working, but frugal...extremely frugal bordering on cheap. so to see the country of greece spending their way into insolvency is extremely puzzling...to say the least. the only explanation i got came from a greek american who told me there were two kinds of greeks. ones that i came to know and the others who wanted something for nothing. these people are the descendents of the communists/socialists that were involved in the civil war in greece in the 1940s. they never left and came to be a controlling interest in greek government. it took 60 plus years but they did it....they ruined the economy of greece. hopefully we won't go down this path...but we don't have much time. mr obama is doing his best to spend us into oblivion...god save us!!

pieman
Comment: #8
Posted by: pieman
Mon May 10, 2010 5:00 AM
"The rest of the world will not sit by and dig into their own pockets to help people who are not willing to accept responsibility and help themselves."

Sounds like a Tea Party slogan here in the US, but they are unfortunately vilified by the pundits and politicians.

Comment: #9
Posted by: KG
Mon May 10, 2010 10:21 AM
Don't they understand that?

The rest of the world will not sit by and dig into their own pockets to help people who are not willing to accept responsibility and help themselves.

HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!

We just elected a president who believes, "At some point, you've made enought money", "we need to spread the wealth around", and is spending with no care as to where the money is coming from. We have democrats bankupting California, New York, and Illinois practicing their Robin Hood view of the world. We have democrats who have absolutely destroyed the industrial juggernauts of Michigan and Ohio.

And now a long-time democrat says this?

HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!
Comment: #10
Posted by: pb1222
Tue May 11, 2010 8:24 AM
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