Tag Archives: Gerard Butler

This is not Sparta!

You might not realise it, but many of us have a Greek side in us. The gamers are all about ‘This is Sparta!’ as they slay their opponents Gerard Butler style (a Scotsman no less) in Diablo 3, more than a few of them would also consider becoming the consort of Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo), a woman who might be twice their age, but still looks better than the average 25 year old photo model. Some with a more academic approach will be confronted with the Socratic Method as they get through another Uni class. Some will love it, some will hate it. It seems there are no people in the middle ground here. Doctors still recite the Hippocratic Oath and we could argue that Prudence which comes from Phronesis, a Greek word, which got introduced by some old Greek with a beard. I remember the speech, this old guy suddenly making a speech, roughly 334BC, I was watching the Panathenaic Games and suddenly he starts deliberating (at himself) in a most bombastic voice. The man starts ‘ranting’ about something called Nicomachean Ethics, nice, but not while ‘I am watching a game!’ Someone told me his name was Aristotle. I reckon the fab never caught on. Let’s face it, public speakers and the virtue of practical thought, it will never catch on, I reckon. Guess what! It has been 2345 years and I was right! Take this Tsipras fellow, as I see it, he continues a long line of public speakers void of practical wisdom.

That we see in ‘Greece financial crisis: EU offers funds in return for urgent reforms‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/mar/20/greece-financial-crisis-eu-offers-funds-in-return-for-urgent-reforms). You see, this Alexis Tsipras has been in office almost 2 months now and as we can read in the article, he has nothing to show for it. He was supposed to show reform, he now has 10 days and the photo as printed shows away hiding his mouth behind his first. Is it agony, frustration, defiance? Is it all just theatre? The BBC with ‘Greece to draft new reform plan within days – EU leaders‘ (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31963952), which shows a ‘smiling’ Tsipras with the quote “Greece has agreed to come up with a new reform plan within days to secure the additional bailout funds required to prevent bankruptcy“, read those words carefully. It does not state, ‘will finalise’, or ‘will complete the current draft’, it states ‘to come up with a new reform plan’. So when we see the quote “I think that all the sides confirmed their intention to try to do their best to overcome the difficulties of the Greek economy as soon as possible“, I feel slightly miffed. You see Tsipras is all about the blame game. In one part, he has every right to be so, because the mess was not initially of his making. He did get into the elections as he saw he could ‘play’ the voters and now it is crunch time, he cannot deliver, because whatever defiant act he will attempt will cost the people of Greece dearly. As I see it, he’ll end up doing exactly what Antonis Samaras was doing, I wonder if that constitutes election fraud? Promising something, not doing it and doing what the opposition was doing all along. As I saw it (yes, a personal view), Antonis Samaras was a fine politician trying to decently play a really crappy hand that he got dealt. You see, in this regard, none of them have done anything  about holding to response the previous administrations that tailored the deal, that spend money an entire next generation did not have, not to mention the artful tax dodgers, none of that was as I see it done! I reckon that Tsipras would only have to arrest Kostas Vaxevanis to show that he is no better than any of the other previously elected politicians.

You see my emotion here is because I love Greece (Specifically Crete), I feel pain as I see that it is driven into the ground by elected officials, it is largely done so through inactions, which makes it even worse. It is sloth in its most profound form, not just spiritual and emotional apathy, it is done through additional decisive inaction. A form of treason of the worst kind. Almost like the captain of a ship who now INTENTIONALLY goes towards an iceberg expecting the iceberg to get out of the way. It reminds me of an advertisement where the captain of a cruiser (USS Montana) who decided to play chicken with a lighthouse (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYsdUgEgJrY), yet in this case it is not a person being handed ‘incomplete’ or ‘incorrect’ information. In this case we all know the object in front of the good ship Hellenic Republic and its captain(s) have not taken the measures they should have. This is how the news is reading to me. What should have been done is a list of continuing meetings non-stop with all parties. The Greeks were given a play, theatre of a mediocre level and soon they will not be left with any options. As I personally see it, politics of its very worst kind.

All this now reflects in a bad way, especially if we take the word of the NOS (Dutch News). Here we see “‘De verwachting was dat het goed zou komen’, zegt de Rabobank-econoom. ‘Maar het probleem is dat de Grieken steeds hun beloftes breken. Ze proberen steeds opnieuw over de voorwaarden te onderhandelen’” “‘The expectations were that everything would be fine’ said the Rabobank economist, ‘but the problem is that the Greeks break their promises and then try to renegotiate their deal again and again’{translated}” as well as “We zijn wel gewend van de Europese politiek dat oplossingen pas gevonden worden als we bijna in de afgrond stappen” “We are used that European politics will find a solution as we are about to step into the abyss {translated}”.

This all directly reflects back to the days of the SNS-bank debacle ‘too big to fail‘. It seems that Tsipras is taking the ‘let’s take this over the abyss, so I can blame someone else‘ approach. Not the most subtle path of the blame game, but a blame game tactic none the less. When did we see any serious step to address reform from Greece? It seems to me that the ‘let’s be nice one more time to Greece‘ is counted upon, yet no clear and decisive act from the Greek elected officials is coming. So as the possible mark of bankrupt is looming no more than 2 weeks away, did the Greek population consider that if the government is out of money, how much money is actually available at a bank? When the run on the bank starts, how quickly are those coffers empty and where will the people get cash to pay for the average need like food, water and electricity?

That part seems not addressed in any way!

Actually it is (at http://www.afr.com/news/world/greek-coffers-running-on-empty-bring-accident-threat-closer-20150320-1m3nym), the Australian Financial Review is not the only Financial Review paper, so there will be more, but for the most, we see little about this little part: “While Mr Tsipras isn’t saying what’s left in the bank, he acknowledges Greece is facing ‘liquidity pressure’. The country’s cash shortfall is projected to hit 3.5 billion euros in March“. So even if that part might be ‘virtual’ to some extent, how much money is actually available to banks? That part might be seen when we consider “The Bank of Greece has plugged cash shortfalls by tapping the reserves of other public sector entities, including pension funds, hospitals, and universities“, as well as “The Bank of Greece and the European Central Bank won’t report official cash outflows for January until the end of the month. But sources in the Greek banking sector have told Greek newspapers that as much as 25 billion euros (US $28.4 billion) have left Greek banks since the end of December“, which comes from http://www.cnbc.com/id/102439432. So in two weeks, how will things get paid for?

That is a question Greeks (the population at large) should be asking, because when the money is gone, how will they address the bills with the cash of their savings whilst the banks had pushed them in possible other none profit making endeavours? At least, if things really collapse, we can always opt ‘at least it was due to a radical left vision’, in the past (read 70’s), the radical left visions gave way in Italy to Brigate Rosse and in Germany to the Rote Armee Fraktion. Their economy was never this desperate, so I wonder what the Greeks will come up with, I am however sure that it will be blamed on the Germans (again).

In my view, I wonder, was I correct two years ago? Could an independent Crete have created at least a partial economic growth? Would Crete have been better off in a state of independence? I do not proclaim to have the evidence, but I feel that my feeling back then was spot on. Now the rest of Greece could drag down this island against their will.

It seems very unfair, but then in the politics of Tsipras (and that of politicians at large), fairness never had anything to do with it.


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Double Jeopardy!

Let’s take this article in a different, artistic, free for all spin, where we (reader and writer) need to look at the facts and see what seems to be behind it. Now we all agree that when I say ‘what seems to be’ is of course open to some interpretation and it is JUST one view. For example, if we take Dr Who and his TARDIS, or as some know it the story of a mad man and a box, we are left with two thoughts ‘Is it bigger on the inside?’, or is it ‘Smaller on the outside?’, so: ‘Run you clever boy!’ (girls too) and get to the end of this steeple chase!

When we look at how the news was given yesterday as voiced by Sarah Butler and Sean Farrell (not related to Gerard Butler or Colin Farrell as far as I can tell), we see a strange change in pace. Now the issues we see here call in for some additional worries and considerations.

Business for £100!

In light of the write off of 250 million, we see that a loss of 3 billion due to stock pressure has been found, whilst rating agencies like Fitch are now calling for a lot more transparency“.

Why must Tesco Reinvent themselves?” (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/sep/26/tesco-must-change-culture-reinvent-brand)

Yes, that was indeed the correct question. Now, we see that actions are getting taken and overall, the top dog (aka Dave Lewis, not related to Inspector Lewis of the Oxfordshire police department) has been on top of this since the earliest moments. Yet when we consider the quote “On Friday shares in Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco all fell in response to further evidence of difficulties in the market and bearish comments from one of the UK’s most influential fund managers“. I have, to a partial degree, an issue with Woodford. Yes, he made billions and yes, he has called it a few times, yet overall, this came out of the blue (or so it seems). The fact that Woodford had no money in this does not make it a case, what is the issue is the entire trip of reinventing, whilst this was all an implied accounting irregularity. So is this more, or was that an assumption by some of the players? If the four managers are gone and this is about a lot more and for a lot longer, then the question become why? I stated before, what if this was not about the event, but about the orchestration? Investigations need to be completed before we can say anything of value here, but the facts seem to bear out that this, not unlike libor was about a few people and no transparency or oversight. This calls for alterations and modifications. When we hear the quote Dave Lewis made “Turning our business around will require change in our culture, as well as in our processes and our brand proposition. We want to work in a business which is open, transparent, fair and honest. We all expect Tesco to act with integrity and transparency at all times“, then we see an implied event that points towards the fact that there was more and must be dealt with too. The question then becomes what do we not know yet?

So, now we go to International politics for £250. “The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is calling for the UNSC to set a clear deadline for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank

Why has Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) entered into a joint government with Hamas?” (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/26/mahmoud-abbas-un-israeli-withdrawal-occupied-territories)

Yes, that is indeed the question, although the answer is less simple, Mahmoud Abbas keeps on ‘ignoring’ the simple fact that Israel reacted to missiles fired from the west bank into Israel. This is at the core why Israel has had enough, when you get a barrage which comes down to well over 3 missiles a day for an entire year, at some point people have had enough and they come calling with a rather large piece of Willow (aka Cricketbat). When we hear Mahmoud Abbas talk about “a just peace through a negotiated solution”, I recall that man in Liverpool who claimed to have invented a game that in certain respects is a bit like cricket. What he doesn’t know is that the England team has been playing it for years. Mahmoud Abbas is so bend on getting into as many organisations within the UN as fast as possible, also calls for questions that many are not asking. My issues with all that is that at present, Hamas (or Abbas) have broken every seize fire, only when they learned that no one was interested in their insincere crying, did Hamas realise that their extinction had become an international acceptable solution, proving the target is a terrorist organisation. Now we get the speeches, yet the underlying issue of missile acquisition and delivering them through tunnels has still not been dealt with. The additional side is what has had Israel ‘upset’ for some time now. Iran who claims to be peaceful and is so ‘deserving’ of nuclear power, shows the side we knew would come. Even though they talk about Nuclear power for energy only, the fear Israel had is shown with the quote “Two senior Iranian officials told an Arabic-language television channel on Monday that Tehran has supplied missile technology to Hamas for its fight against Israel“, So as other players up the ante for Israel, the consequences for Mahmoud Abbas seems clear as well, especially after the quote “There’s a reason that Abu Mazen entered into a joint government with Hamas“, which leads me to the question Why is Mahmoud Abbas allowed into the UN building, or into America at all. Was there now a clear consequence to be labelled a terrorist? This part gets another uncomfortable side (at http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4392/isis-gaza), I cannot vouch for the supplier of the news, so that part MUST be considered to be an issue. Yet, the quote “Hamas prevented local journalists from covering the ISIS rally in the Gaza Strip last month as part of its effort to deny the existence of ISIS in the Gaza Strip. But Hamas seems to be trying to cover the sun with one finger” gives ample weight to both the desperate (could just be frantic) acts by Mahmoud Abbas to get into bed with the UN as much as possible. If ISIS is indeed already active in Gaza, then the ante for Israel is now a lot higher than many thought it was (I am still having a question mark with the validity of that intelligence). I did cover the risk to some extent in ‘Puppet on a string!‘ on July 30th 2014, yet my disagreement with Lt. General Michael Flynn was not on that, the fact that he seems to have been spot on in regards to something worse is indeed coming to fruition, yet the fact that Hamas is losing to ISIS on their home turf is also a worry (one I did not see coming that fast), because we now see that changing the balance in the Middle East (or Arab Spring as some call it) seems to have had several adverse effects, changing the gameplay in a game many did not understand to begin with.

If this is all correct, then ISIS is now confirmed in both Gaza and Sinai, which means that the next step to this scenario is Jordan, before Israel becomes a target. Here we see a possible disaster in the making, as ISIS could have access to recruitment and slaughter of up to 600,000 refugees. The question becomes, how many would they recruit and where will they then head to next?

If this is a case of Double Jeopardy, then who is getting set on trial twice? The refugees, Israel of Palestine? In this game, people can get trialled twice, almost like a bad episode of Big Brother. The danger here is that the eviction will lead to housing in the cemetery, which might look cheap but the living space truly sucks!

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