The banksters and technocrats, pushing austerity in Greece, now have blood on their hands

On Wednesday – a 77-year-old retired pharmacist walked up to the Greek Parliament building and shot himself in the head to protest the crippling austerity measures that are ripping apart that nation. The man – whose name has not been released – left behind a note reading, “I have no other way to react apart from finding a dignified end before I start sifting through garbage for food.”

His suicide prompted thousands of Greeks to take to the streets in central Athens in fresh new protests against trickle-down austerity. Since trickle-down austerity began in Greece – suicide rates have jumped up 40%. Not only is trickle-down austerity bad economically – it’s bad morally as well. Yet it’s just the thing that the Republican budget written by multi-millionaire Congressman Paul Ryan would bring to the United States.


Diablobo 10 years 50 weeks ago

Shooting oneself in the head in such a public manner is hardly dignified. It does deliver a powerful message, though. I believe there will be more such protests to come if we allow these austerity measures to continue to spread. The questions are, who will report it, and will the media outlets give it the coverage it deserves?

XRanger's picture
XRanger 10 years 50 weeks ago

Austerity measures in a heavily armed population where every side concerned is pissed off and convinced of the inviable validity of their respective ideologies? Wow. I mean, Wow! Did I mention, "Wow"?

While I agree there may be more of the same sort of tragic protests when such measures eventually make their way to us here, it would seem that poor people shooting themselves on the steps of Congress may be the least we have to worry about. The sheeple have gone stark raving mad and they are arming themselves to the teeth.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 10 years 50 weeks ago

I would hope that instead of using a public suicide as a technique, we can stop those who call for austerity (i.e., the Repunlicans) by massive, peaceful demonstrations in the streets. I think we will see those demonstrations at the political conventions later this year. However, given the country's militaristic turn toward a police state (e.g., the NDAA, the recent tear gassing and pepper spraying of students at several universities and in certain cities like Oakland, and this last Supreme Court decision on strip searches), the demonstrators will need to be careful that they do not start any violence. However, I do think these demonstrations may well cause the police to riot, so good and thorough camera work will be needed when the police and demonstrators meet in the streets. We will need proof that the police started the riot, if one occurs.

On a more hopeful note, we need a strong, tough, and smart campaign by the Democrats to show unequivocally to low-information voters what kinds of austerity Republicans are calling for. The nation needs to turn the Tea Party and their Republican enablers out of office and put true progressives in their places. Then, I hope we won't need the demonstrations.

TruthAddict's picture
TruthAddict 10 years 50 weeks ago

I posted before that I thought it had to get worse before it got better. I even considered voting Republican to help crash the system quicker. I’m afraid my cynical thinking got the better of me. We don’t have time to wait. We need to occupy the Democratic party just like the Tea Party has occupied the Republican party. We need to force the President to follow our lead! The Occupy Movement has started the process. I suggest that at each Democratic precint we have the party leadership acknoledge that corporations are not people and a constitutional ammendment is needed to address this fact. This acknowledgement can occur at the city and county level as well. There should be a stark difference between the platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties. Right now the Democratic party is Republicn Light, all the corporatism with a little less fat cat. Not a good enough reason to vote.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 50 weeks ago

You got it!

Look, I said it before : even Karl Marx couldn't make left-wing policy as president with that Congress. And if Americans really get it this time and present president Obama a Congress with a really progressive majority (I don't mean blue-dogs!) -- there would be no other way for this president than to make progressive politics.

Well, I never met him personally, but I guess he'd love it........

But all the misery we have right now is really to blame on the voter. Okay, some voted progressive, but it ain't enough!

George D. Todd's picture
George D. Todd 10 years 50 weeks ago

Anyone deciding to shoot themselves in the head in response to a government policy of imposed thrift, espousing restricted access to consumer goods, needs access to mental health professionals. The gross misuse of such a tragedy to attack republicans is a typically twisted and low tactic common of leftists.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 50 weeks ago

I wonder if there are any wealthy right-wingers out there who would volunteer to shoot himself on the steps of Congress because being rich is just too much for him or her to take. Wouldn't it be grand if we had a plethora of volunteers from that 1%? Save us the trouble when the time comes...which may be very soon. Damn Republicans and Tea Partiers can talk tough and carry their weapons strapped to their hips when attending rallies.

I am so sorry that this poor man was driven to do this. At least he didn't set himself on monks have done. But he still died for a cause...and that cause should be revered. Instead of belittling him we should make him a martyr...a rallying cry for change. Many of us will eventually wind up like this man...hungry and destitute...but most will just take it and suffer the humiliation and degradation...struggling any way we can to survive. Instead of calling this man crazy we should put his picture on placards and parade them through the streets and at rallies and protests.

The people that are "twisted" are the criminally insane greedy and selfish rightest bastards.

JimFun71's picture
JimFun71 10 years 50 weeks ago

If it was just the haves against the have nots republicanisim would have died out when they split from the democrats after the civil war. The problem is that they have very successfully intertwined the whole morality-god-democracy-freedom to choose "Your Baptist Church or the type of gun you wish to own" issues together. They keep banging that "Morality" drum so all the Holier than thou and self richus have a banner to follow.

I have spent so many hours talking to republicans that I no longer care to try. They believe in Republicanisim as deeply as they believe in God. Even when I have shown indisputable proof that they were wrong on a particular issue they don't care. They stick their fingers in there ears and go "la la la la la la la" I classify Republicans in the same group as Islamic Jihadists. They honestly believe that they each personally know how to get into Heaven and how to save the nation from the Democrats which have caused every single thing wrong with the world.

Sorry for the rant but I felt it necessary to understand what were up against. Even when the 1% has 99% they will still blame the Democrats. Even when goverments are long gone and we all pledge to corporate logo, Republicans will still believe.

Are we willing to go as far for our beliefs???

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 50 weeks ago
Quote FimFun71:I have spent so many hours talking to republicans that I no longer care to try. They believe in Republicanism as deeply as they believe in God.
I made exactly the same experience. These people just kill your time and keep you away from spreading liberal goodness. They're really able to fill you up with political numbness.

I'm always wondering about people who all the time are like, "We're all one, let's discuss our differences." The stuff republicans babble is toxic! They're only going to politically poison us. I'm very much afraid, if liberals talk long enough to these idiots, they finally end up entirely depressed....

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 10 years 50 weeks ago

So as i have stated here many a time now ,the only way life can work to produce the desired outcomes and a life that works for the highest good of all is to end our separations and come from oneness in everything we do ,politics,education,economics,ecology and spirituality and most importantly the education of our offspring and EVERYTHING that we put in place in our society.

This is the solution to our problems and the fact that we are trying to co-create life apart will never work ,it can NEVER work that way ,just look at the history of our planet for an observation.

The great human truth is that we are all one.We are tearing ourselves apart through our belief in apartheid-separation and segregation,a tearing at the very fabric of Life itself-FOR LIFE IS WHAT WE ARE.Made manifest in physical form for the purpose of experiencing Life itself.We are life experiencing life,yet we cannot experience it abundantly,joyously,fruitfully,or harmoniously if we do not recognize that and accept THAT WE ARE ONE.

We are talking species survival here and we must understand this our insistence on being separate has created separate families,separate neighborhoods,separate communities and separate nations,imagining that this is the best and only way for us to co-exist-and yet,it is the only way that we cannot co-exist..For this is not co-existence at all,but UN co-existence and can only lead to the end of our existence.

Our history has shown this and like Rome ,like the civilization of Atlantis and the land of Mu we will simply disappear ourselves.We will either do this through our own greed or our own violence-or with a combination of both.

Its time to build a new society its long over due .If not now when?If not you,who?


Recovering conservative2's picture
Recovering cons... 10 years 50 weeks ago

George, anyone who writes what you did is either amoral, dead inside, or never had live through a difficult situation (Hopeless).

Suicide is not about dying to escaping pain and/or hopeless situation. In the gentleman’s suicide note, he mentioned he wanted to preserve some dignity instead of digging through garbage cans. Did you read the note he left pointing out that he had paid into retirement all his life.

The "thrift" being imposed is not by an elected government but the banking industry of Europe (Germany).

Frankly Greece would be better off pulling out of the EU and taking over its own currency again and following Brazil’s example of recovery see (the “Real Plan”)

If the Paul Ryan budget passes in any form, we will see many seniors in the same situation as the gentleman in Greece. The Romany/ Ryan plan for health and senior care is truly “hurry up and die”. Did you know the number 1 reason for bankruptcy in this country is medical costs which will only increase with the cut in services? Do realize that all the seniors have spent their lives paying into Medicare, and Social Security and most of them protected and served this country in World War II, so George are you ready to ignore their contributions and service and throw them on the street.

You apparently have not dealt with having parents in senior living situations where it costs range from $6,000 to 8,000 or more a month and that don’t include medication even under Medicare part D.

I am sure Maria Antionette would have posted the same comment as you did before the revolution.

Alan Lunn's picture
Alan Lunn 10 years 50 weeks ago

Small-r republicanism, going back to Machiavelli and Plato, is always the assumption that only the wealthy know how to rule. It was still the basic assumption that was forged in the original Constitution. America kicked off with what a Princeton professor emeritus of politics called "managed democracy." The assumption was always that you can't just hand the reins of government to the rabble. So that elitism was always subtly there.

The era of industrial revolution brought the specter of predatory capitalism and labor exploitation so that progressivism became a force to be dealt with and the Constitution took on the form of a living document on its way to something better.

So republicanism will always tend to some degree to create what we see so obscenely now: the takeover of government by plutocrats accompanied by poorly run government or fascism defined as corporate-owned government (Wall Street Washington). Because of the tendency of a military-industrial complex to bankrupt a government, the plutocratic right-wing always goes for austerity, thus gutting the economy that made them great (and calling it "patriotism").

Germany in the early part of the last century gave the most glaringly evil example of this in the road from austerity to the totalitarianism of Hitler. America has all those machinations in place. This is when the right-wing -- which should serve as a conservative force in a true democracy with a benevolent government -- becomes prone to a suicide pact with greed and the trammeling of the lower classes.

The idiocy of Glenn Beck was to envision an evil "communist" global takeover, which is probably what the Kochs also think. It is really quite the opposite taking place. It is as if the 1%, stricken with fear of the old world crumbling, is resorting to every trick at their disposal to grab and hoard all the money they can by any means. Again, Machiavelli. It is more like genocide for the middle class by slow degrees with an "inverted totalitarian" model. And it is the average Foxnotized Republican that is unaware they are cheering for their own demise.

The Real World's picture
The Real World 10 years 50 weeks ago

Right on George! And speaking of censorship, they seem not to want to post my comments on this site. I think they are afraid of intelligent dialogue.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 10 years 50 weeks ago

"I suggest that at each Democratic precinct we have the party leadership acknowledge that corporations are not people and a constitutional amendment is needed to address this fact."

I'm a precinct chair, and I can tell you that this actually did happen.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 49 weeks ago

I only wish he had, since he decided to end his life anyway, that he would have shot a few of those arrogant capitalist twerps who have created the corrupt system that drove him to suicide. What the heck, right-wing idiots are going to belittle this guy for shooting himself anyway. The one thing that is hardly ever talked about in the news when something terrible school that the shooter was usually driven to this horrible action by bullies and others who thought they would get their jollies by constantly putting people down and rejecting them from their social acceptance. I believe the snobbish wealthy, and their children, lead in this very destructive practice. One could say that blowback is alive and well and if you want to help make our schools or businesses or other places where people must deal with each other...we need to concentrate on coming down hard...very hard..on those bullies and snobs who create those problems.

The Korean guy in Oakland, who killed and injured all those people, was obviously a time bomb waiting to go off due to the pressures and losses he suffered...and the faculty or fellow students made fun of the guy.
When you have irresponsibility like this you can expect trouble. Our schools should be teaching, above all, a good course in acceptance of others. And, this was a Christian school??? It might be easy to say that, if the shooter managed to hit only those who tormented him..then, maybe, they tended to deserve it. But, unfortunately, lots of innocent people also get hurt or killed not to mentioned damaged psychologically.

So, all you arrogant snobs out would do yourself a favor by watching what you say and don't come off as an arrogant snob.

smroog 10 years 49 weeks ago

WE, the 99%, need someplce to get bullet-point type info to help us in our discussions with friends and family when we try to make a point on why things are so slanted toward the 1%.. I have been looking for something about how Reagan and Bush were the biggest spenders in history. I need something simple to make this point. Where do I go? smroog

libertyczar's picture
libertyczar 10 years 49 weeks ago

Back to the title of the piece...banksters and technocrats...This evil is beyond the blue or red. They OWN the blue AND the red. They do what they always do. And they will do it to the US if we dont recognize this evil, and stop being divided and pointing fingers and cheering on "our" side of the professional wrestling match. JFK and Lincoln would both agree that we are wasting time arguing with one another. These two tried to truely do what was best for the people. If we join to fight a mutual enemy, THE mutual enemy...the Federal Reserve, we can resume discussions of philosophy afterwards. I do not think you can even have a philosophical discussion about politics, systems of governance when our system is so corrupt. Its a looting of the people. I've spent days at OWS and Tea party rallies as well. I'm for THE PEOPLE. And when EITHER get marginalized by Washington or the media as being {insert grossly negligent generalization description here} with propoganda, im there to try to defend. Im no fan of progressivism, not here, not now, no way. If you had a few more Kucinich's...maybe it would be worth at least a little discussion. But they wanted his ass out. Sad. I just want to say...dont always look for a solution within the party. By even declaring that you subscribe to a party gives them power over you, your mind, what you "should" be thinking. Dont buy into it.

Anulap's picture
Anulap 10 years 49 weeks ago

What happened when a man set himself on fire in Tunisia?

George Todd's picture
George Todd 10 years 49 weeks ago

To: The Real World.

Interestingly, today when I attempted to log on to respond to a particularly nasty comment directed at me, personally, I found that I had been "blocked", just as you said had happened to you. So much for having a "dialog". Respectively state an opinion with which they disagree and they pull the plug. I hope people taking their time to submit comments on this site realize that it is censored and only like-minded individuals are tolerated.

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