July 20, 2015 at 1:08 am #42575
Proteus 55: How does Monday look?
RobinJuly 20, 2015 at 10:46 pm #42592
so far everything seems to be fairly quiet as the banks have opened for limited transactions and only some of their normal business, as the capital controls are still in place but now allow for a bigger sum of money to be withdrawn. There are several limitations as yet, but the people seem more depressed and absent-minded than causing trouble. However in several spots one can hear complaints as they voice their worry and uncertainty about the future.July 23, 2015 at 4:39 am #42646
I did a fairly substantial search of Google News and other sources today, and cannot find ANY stories about your raging fires past early last weekend (one on 19 July, the rest before that). And I’ve learned over the years to notice what is NOT in stories. In this case, most don’t even mention even a speculative cause for the fires (an odd omission, I think, based on what happens when we have large fires here – there is ALWAYS some comment about possible origin). All they say is that they’re bad and that the winds are equally bad, thus whipping them up into a far more dangerous situation.
Second, the very few mentions of arrests refer ONLY to a couple of beekeepers in one fire, and a single beekeeper in another fire – all three arrested for NEGLIGENT behavior, not overt arson. Based on those stories, one would think that Greek beekeepers are among the most careless individuals in the world, devoid of an ability to foresee possible consequences of their actions. The most recent mention of an arrest simply mentioned that “an” arrest was made (no mention of profession or other personal details), but with the specification that it was UNintentional setting of that particular fire. I’ve seen NOTHING of the reports you mentioned about the strategic stationing of government personnel in potentially vulnerable areas in order to hopefully thwart true arson.
So I’m wondering what else has been happening and coming to light with respect to the fires, since your initial reports – it’s just absent from the traditional news sources, except for the mere fact that fires are raging and winds are blowing. And how are things going in cities, now that banks are allowing at least token withdrawals? I do see where even more opposition members of government are being systematically removed from government positions, in order to facilitate the agreement that 61% of your people voted against (so much for the will of the people who put them in office – but we know that all too well here on this side of the pond also).
Thanks for your insights and helping at least a few of us keep up on more than what’s going on in our own front yards.July 23, 2015 at 7:03 am #42649
The whole issue with these fires is suspect, and similar things have happened for at least two decades. The greatest example of arson attacks happened in 2007 where over 300 hot-spots appeared all over the country within days (!) Obviously the arsonists are in the form of organized groups – their favored method using gas canisters and either remotely exploding them or use cross motorcycles to reach various areas with difficult access in order to set fire. Several witnesses have spotted these bikers and other, weirder things as well (for example 2-3 people on a small motorboat had a launcher and were setting fire on a forest not far from the seafront through incendiary shells (!) The coastguard had managed to arrest those people and then the main culprit was identified to be a member of the Armed Forces (the Navy if I am not mistaken). A few days later, despite all the evidence as they were caught red-handed, the charges were dropped and they were let to go. Similar endings have all the rest of the arsons; very few convictions, most are let go supposedly due to lack of evidence (or due to corruption – all it takes is a few phone calls and they are free to leave).
In this case, more than 60 hot-spots flared up in diverse areas, all around the country; to speak of bee keepers is, quite frankly, insulting to the people’s intelligence; the same useless spiel about forest fires occurring through lit cigarettes or faulty electricity pylons…it’s possible, yes. But when a large number of fires occurs simultaneously, especially with testimonies of people speaking about explosions or seeing suspicious persons moments before the fire, it’s a safe bet that’s foul play and no mere chance. Most of the times those arrested are a mix of Greeks and other nationalities from the wider area of the Balkans that ruthless people employ to burn the forest so as to build on that land. Despite the current satellite mapping and the logging of all land property as well as the mapping of forest areas, these arsonists continue to destroy without fear of getting in trouble. One can see evidence of their activities in the manner of the fires occurring, as well as the locations: they usually aim to burn a zone adjacent to already built land, sort of expanding the area that has no trees so as to utilize it. Commonly it doesn’t go according to their plan, due to strong winds and far more than the area intended is being burnt. Of course, these kinds of people don’t care, all that matters is that they get what they wanted. If more damage happens along the way, they don’t lose any sleep over it. The newspapers hardly ever pursue the matter beyond the superficial vivid imagery of fires burning, sensationalizing the whole event. Occasionally there are reports of some people arrested, but due to negligence or unintentional burning… these are only a handful and do not account for the vast number of forest fires occurring at the same time.
As for the report regarding the deployment of military personnel, 3-4 internet papers including blogs (reprinting the post) mentioned about it. I can’t find all of them but here’s one of those, albeit in Greek (in google translate one could read more or less what was stated):
Unfortunately it hasn’t done much good, from what it seems.
As to your other question, since the government seems to ignore the will of the people, they are bound to lose support and members opposing these policies. It is likely that elections will occur some time in September. Also, with regards to the banks, there has been some minor boost through ELA but this serves only the banks, not the people. Most of those I’ve seen seem shocked or stunned and have difficulty to adapt to even greater austerity. And of course, the suicides are still happening, increasing the total number, week by week.July 23, 2015 at 5:12 pm #42655
” Most of those I’ve seen seem shocked or stunned and have difficulty to adapt “…a telling observation, Proteus. I think this will cause the demise of many in this country in times to come. Cognitive dissonance. Hopefully those on this forum will have preps and plans for similar (or worse) situations and be able to act with intelligence.
Another comment: When the Crash came that caused the Depression, my grandparents were humble immigrants living in a small town surrounded by super-wealthy estates. My grandfather made his living by cabinet making (furniture in 18th century style–fine craftsmanship…) and his customers were the wealthy. One of his customers lost it all on the stock market and was contemplating suicide by jumping out of his mansion window. The man’s maid realized what he was about to do, and chided him: Mr T doesn’t have anything, and you don’t see HIM killing HIMSELF, do you?
Saved the man’s life… Moral of the story, if you are poor, crashes don’t change much and life goes on. Those who are used to luxury, civilized amenities, and dependent upon the grid will be “shocked, stunned, and have difficulty to adapt.” Those of us who grew up with hand pumps and outhouses, killing our own chickens, will just fall to our previous level with the knowledge to survive. Others, not so much… A lot to learn from this thread.July 23, 2015 at 10:35 pm #42659
Very true, Wildartist. The problem is much greater for the couple of generations that have lived away from the countryside and the more self-sufficient way of life. Until before the 1980s, most people in Greece lived in very poor conditions and many had emigrated to other countries at various times this century, seeking a better life (as a lot of them lived in squalor but on the other hand, were eager to work hard for a better future). The collective move to the cities (mostly Athens) caused huge issues as several people abandoned the countryside and the farms/fields, opting to work in the city. Work opportunities were cited… the same deal with the reasons of emigrating. Nowadays there’s plenty of incentive for moving back out to the countryside, but there are no more opportunities as they are clueless of how to work the land or sustain a farm, their bodies are not used to manual labor due to work in the city, and also there are limitations / restrictions to cultivating certain things as members of the EU… the land itself in the fields is no longer arable and would require extensive work with machines and other methods before it’s usable. The reason for this is two-fold; one is the long period of inactivity that roots and forests moved in, and now the owners are not allowed to cut it unless they get special permit; the other is that the soil in Greece is rocky with only two notable exceptions: Thessaly and Messenia. These are where the majority of agriculture takes place. All other places are problematic and allow for very small production. The same issues go for cattle ranches or goats/ sheep etc.
The problem now is lack of opportunity; a huge number (over 1 in 3) is currently unemployed and there simply are not a lot of jobs available. On top of that, due to the austerity measures, a large number of people are sacked each month, as well as minor businesses are no longer sustainable. After WW2, Greeks invested in higher education (both in the country and those that went abroad). However, it reached to a point in the 1990s that there was an over-abundance of degrees and diplomas and very few job posts in comparison. So that meant: a) those that could, left Greece to work in another country as skilled workers utilising their education. b) those that stayed, were forced to work on other fields, essentially not using their education (for example a physicist could work taxi, or a molecular biologist worked as a grocer), c) those with the financial capability got into post – grad diplomas and doctorates etc, but even that wasn’t good enough after 2005; the work market was saturated with overqualified people. So as you can imagine, there was a second round of people leaving Greece after the beginning of the economic crisis on 2008. Those who stayed either couldn’t leave due to financial difficulty or some other attachment that forced them to stay, and there were those who managed to find work settling for much less and working long hours while being paid peanuts; but they stayed in order to survive. Nowadays even this group is found jobless and hopeless due to this mess.
Lack of opportunity is the main reason why they are shocked and stunned; they feel hopeless as they no longer trust any politician’s lies regarding improvement in the foreseeable future.July 24, 2015 at 12:14 am #42662
wildartist, you are a wise woman. Very well stated.
One of my great-grandfather’s did jump during the depression. They were solidly middle class and used to nice things ( I have a photo of my grandmother & her parents in their new car in 1909 or 1910 for example), and then he lost his job. Given the stigma of suicide, my grandmother always maintained that he was drunk and fell off the building roof, but his death certificate says otherwise.July 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm #42680
Sorry about your great-grandfather, MountainBiker. Just a tangent observation: Nowadays there seems to be no shame or stigma about anything…even when foreign countries snicker at our govt and its submissiveness to Islam, we have no clue as to what “honor” and “shame” mean any more.
Proteus, your post about going back to the land triggered an old but seething rant. “Nowadays there’s plenty of incentive for moving back out to the countryside, but there are no more opportunities as they are clueless of how to work the land or sustain a farm, their bodies are not used to manual labor due to work in the city, and also there are limitations / restrictions to cultivating certain things as members of the EU… the land itself in the fields is no longer arable and would require extensive work with machines and other methods before it’s usable. –
When I grew up on a farm in New Jersey, we were close enough to NY City, that we could see its lights on the north horizon (across the Highlands hills and Raritan Bay) 40 miles away. Then the flood of ‘development’ came…now people mock the speech of “Joisey” which is actually the accent of city N’Yawkers who came into the state. (I’m sure most of them were nice people BUT…) Cardboard houses went up by the thousands on prime farmland, with just enough space between them to run a lawnmower. Colonial homes and barns were bulldozed to make way for the onslaught. (How I missed those adze-hewn beams, mortise-and-tenon joints, blacksmithed strap hinges on the doors…) Our once icy-cold, burbling springfed brook (with wild trout) became a torpid drainage ditch due to the ‘custom homes’ that were built around the spring source. My family sold the place to Mafiosos for a horse farm and moved on…
I have often wondered what the USA would do post-apocalypse…to raise its own food, without petroleum fertilizers and pesticides, and most of all–WITHOUT all the prime arable land it once had. Even when my husband and I lived briefly in Idaho, we saw that all the (extensive) agriculture is dependent upon deep wells and pivot irrigation systems. The big farmers program their irrigation computers through their cellphones. I don’t think the land would support even 1% of its current output if things went ‘down’ due to lack of available water. Something tells me that the few survivors of an economic collapse would no longer look overweight…
(BTW, having been overseas quite a bit, I have noticed that only in America, are the poor grossly overweight, and the rich thin and fit. One due to high-carb cheap food via EBT, and the other thanks to personal trainers and expensive gym equipment. Neither translates to the endurance and muscle memory necessary to work land by hand…)July 25, 2015 at 1:29 am #42682
wildartist, I too was a witness to the growth of the suburbs. When I was a kid, in a 10 year span our town went from 5,000 people to 35,000. 100% of the farms became McMansion subdivisions, mostly populated with clueless people who have no idea where their food comes from while viewing themselves as superior due to their fiscal wherewithal.
When I travel, I look at the land and the manner in which people live, absorbing the minutia and viewing it all through the eyes of a prepper. Proteus55 seems to see conditions in Greece very clearly, and he is right that most won’t be able to easily just return to the land.July 25, 2015 at 2:55 pm #42683
I agree, MountainBiker. The few who think they can return to gardening believe all you need to do is scatter some seeds, sit back sipping your tea, and reap a bountiful harvest. This is also promoted, by inference, in the organic magazines.
Everything takes a LOT of work. I grew up on a small farm (noted above). We had a variety of livestock, all my responsibility. If a calf got sick, a big investment was at stake. And other livestock often contracts whatever it is, unless you have antibiotics. Life as we know it is easier than it has been since the beginning of time, and we do not appreciate that fact*. Hardship has been the norm for millennia. I fear it will return to that all too soon. We are living in a house of cards…
*(I am so tired of those who bemoan ‘today’, and desire to return to ‘simpler times’, which they have never experienced. Simple, yes, because there was not the information overload, nor material possessions and conveniences/toys we have today. Nor the commonplace debt. But simple meant hard manual labor from dawn to past sunset, just to survive and keep things going. Hauling water from a spring or creek, lucky if you had a good well, washing clothes by hand, grinding your own flour….raising your grain in the first place, hoping for a good harvest. If not, hunger followed swiftly. I fear Greece may eventually fall back into this, with our country not far behind.)July 26, 2015 at 2:00 am #42689
Wildartist and MountainBiker, very good points indeed. The information I have from grandfather and stepfather (who grew up in a small village) matches all that you said. Life on a farm is hard, there’s no easy way to get what you want. Hard work and then even more hard work. Stepfather used to wake up at 4.30 approx to tend to sheep. He was given responsibilities at the age of 7. By the age of 10, he was expected to bring back the herd of sheep and assist his father with farm tasks. They were quite poor, his siblings and himself had no shoes at some times, and other times were wearing mismatched clothing that they managed to get cheap. Their plow in 1940s was wooden! (not iron) and when the animal that pulled it got sick, they almost starved before getting another, as due to health complications they couldn’t pull the plow themselves (although they tried with minimal results; I’m told it was exhausting). There were no cars in the village. Everybody went about on foot. The nearest city was about 30 km away, accessible through footpaths over harsh terrain, but those that had coins to pay could get a bus that passed on another road fairly close, once a day or so. The rest had no money, but exchanged goods and their produce to get by. Survival in that village meant working from dawn til dusk, as hard as you could. Otherwise your own survival could have been at risk. So in my eyes, all this modern talk of easy organic farming and how a city person could easily adapt to the farm life is a bit of a joke. It could happen provided one has proper training, plenty of money to purchase the right equipment and all the modern ways to assist his work. Take all that away, and this person would most likely fail in a rather dramatic and potentially final way.July 26, 2015 at 3:17 am #42693
Only too true, Proteus.August 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm #43155
It’s been almost three weeks since my last update, so I figured I’d update you all with what little has been going on. With regards to news from Greece, not much of true interest is reported lately. Usually this under-reporting is a bad thing, since they always do that when they can’t face the music. While waiting to see some reactions from the voting in the parliament, most I see is bickering and division in the government party. Things are tough but they try to hide it pretty well; most of the local news are filled with about summer beaches, the weather and ’enough doom and gloom’ which of course is a front to hide the real mess. There have been a couple of attempts to send Varoufakis to High Court on counts to Treason with intent etc etc but so far various factors are stalling. The heat is up with regards to airspace violations from Turkish fighter planes, but nothing uncommon there. The immigration problem is almost reaching boiling point in Kos and other islands where the refugees are trapped in regulations and facing poor prospects after being promised a better life abroad. It costs about 1100 euro per capita to make it across to Greece, so you can see someone is making big money out of this “trade”. Among the refugees there are some undesirables like terrorists; it’s quite interesting, as according to a previous statement from ISIS member, Greece has been used as transit for these guys from Syria to Europe and then back to Syria – although that cannot easily be confirmed. This and other topics are issues of contention between various politicians and the people are struggling on, feeling much deflated and looking towards the next election which is rumored to be in September, according to some journalists… Capital controls remain although there are more things allowed to be done at the bank…still no paypal and no ability to purchase from abroad (like Ebay), although some internet purchases are allowed as long as the company that sells the product has an account in a Greek bank… (not much chance of that!)August 16, 2015 at 3:13 pm #43156
It is coming to a point shortly , where refugees and immigrants are not going to be welcome anywhere in the world . It is also very important for a country to screen WHO is allowed into their country , along the lines of cultural and political , and ethnic criteria . Sweden is killing itself with those people . Another reason to get out of the EU and protect a nations sovereignty , to give up sovereignty , is to doom a nation to turn into a mixed bag of crap with no identity or future . The US is slowly dyeing from not being picky enough about who gets in .August 16, 2015 at 8:02 pm #43162
With the exception of capital controls Proteus could be writing about the US. Government stalled by bickering. Sound familiar? Our borders are a sieve, with terrorists being able to come in with impunity. Our President can’t say the words terrorist and Islam in the same sentence. Resentment of illegal immigrants continues to grow and is another wedge issues used by cynical politicians.
Tolik: Could not agree with you more.
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