Tag Archives: Greece

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Help Celebrate Greek Independence Day

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama (C) delivers remarks marking Greek Independence Day with Archbishop Demetrios (L), Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in the East Room of the White House March 9, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama hosted the Greek Independence Day celebration two weeks ahead of the actual date, March 25, due to his upcoming trip to Asia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosted a reception at the White House in honor of Greek Independence Day. President Obama met with Prime Minister George Papandreou before the reception began.

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Papandreou Says Meeting with Obama was Successful

President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou during an event celebrating Greek Independence Day n in the East Room of the White House March 9, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America)

Greek USA Reporter~Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou expressed his absolute satisfaction over the results of his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, since not only did he find understanding regarding proposals on the joint handling of profiteers, but secured the visa waiver for Greek citizens visiting the United States as well which, as the prime minister said, President Obama decided on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Papandreou termed the visa waiver “a vote of confidence” to Greece and noted that the Greek government is determined to respond to its obligations and cooperate closely at international level on the tackling of terrorism.

I briefed President Obama on the state of the economy in our country and on the determination that we showed in taking difficult measures,” Papandreou said, underlining that with the institutional changes being promoted by his government not only in the economy but in other sectors also such as education, health and public administration the country is entering a course of sustainable growth and is becoming competitive and attractive.

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First Lady Michelle Obama met with Mrs. Ada Papandreaou, the First Lady of Greece on March 9, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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Filed under First Lady Michelle Obama, Greece, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Meets Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece

Posted by: Audiegrl

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou shake hands while speaking to the media after a meeting at the State Department on March 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. Prime Minister Papandreou and Secretary Clinton spoke about relations between Greece and the United States and the current economic situation in Greece. Tomorrow the Prime Minister is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)

AP~The United States says Greece is not looking for any specific help from Washington in solving its financial crisis. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke Monday after she discussed the crisis with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. The Prime Minister says Greece is exploring ways within the European Union of improving Greece’s borrowing prospects.

Clinton said: “Neither the prime minister nor Greece has asked the United States for anything.”

But both officials said they discussed the need for major economies to implement financial reform and clamp down on speculators. Greece blames speculators for exasperating Greece’s financial problems and benefiting from a decline in the euro.

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Filed under Greece, Hillary Rodham Clinton (Sec of State), Obama Administration, Politics, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Women's Issues

Tampa Police: Marine Reservist Attacked Greek Priest He Mistook for a Terrorist

Posted by Audiegrl

Marine reservist Jasen Bruce charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Marine reservist Jasen Bruce charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

St. Petersburg Times/Jamal Thalji—A Marine reservist armed with a tire iron beat and chased a man he thought was an Arab terrorist and even called 911 to say he was detaining the man, police said.

But the man he assaulted was actually a Greek Orthodox priest visiting from overseas who spoke limited English, police said.

That’s why police arrested reservist Jasen D. Bruce on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Police said they’re also investigating whether Bruce, 28, committed a hate crime.

The incident took place around 6:35 p.m. Monday, police said. The priest, Alexios Marakis, 29, is from Crete, Greece. He is visiting St. Nicholas Greek Cathedral at 17 E Tarpon Ave. but police said he was in the Westshore area to bless another retired Greek priest.

Lance Cpl. Jasen D. Bruce, seen with his wife Nichole, is accused of attacking the Rev. Alexios Marakis, 29, of Crete, Greece.

Lance Cpl. Jasen D. Bruce, seen with his wife Nichole, is accused of attacking the Rev. Alexios Marakis, 29, of Crete, Greece.

But Marakis apparently got lost and exited northbound Interstate 275 into downtown Tampa, police said.

The priest followed several cars into the Seaport Channelside Apartments on Twiggs Street. He got out of his car and asked Bruce for help.

Instead of offering help, Bruce struck the priest on the head with a tire iron, police said.

He then chased the priest for three blocks to the Madison Avenue and Meridian Avenue, police said, and even called 911 to say that an Arabic man tried to rob him.

Bruce said he was going to take the Arab into custody. When police arrived, Bruce told them the victim was a terrorist.

The priest was taken to Tampa General Hospital. There, a translator helped Marakis speak to police.

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The Rev. Alexios Marakis, 29, of Crete, Greece, is carried to an ambulance after being beaten.

The Rev. Alexios Marakis, 29, of Crete, Greece, is carried to an ambulance after being beaten

SunCoastNews/Josh Poltilove—In a 911 call, Bruce made a derogatory comment about a man he said was a terrorist and was trying to rob him and had grabbed him in a sexual manner, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

When officers arrived, police say, Bruce told them he heard the man say “Allahu Akbar” – Arabic for “God is great.”

That’s what they say before they blow you up,” Bruce said, according to police.

But at a news conference today, Bruce’s attorney said his client didn’t understand what Marakis said.

Lance Cpl. Bruce defended himself with the full legality of the law for being sexually attacked and potentially robbed,” lawyer Jeffrey Brown said.

Bruce, 28, faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was released on $7,500 bail.

McElroy said Bruce “teared up when we told him that (Marakis) was a Greek Orthodox priest and not a terrorist.”

Rev. Alexios Marakis at St. Gregory the Theologian Parish in Mansfield, MA 2007

Rev. Alexios Marakis at St. Gregory the Theologian Parish in Mansfield, MA 2007

Marakis, 29, was treated at Tampa General Hospital and released. He told investigators he’s visiting St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs.

Marakis declined to comment today, saying he does not speak much English. The Rev. Michael Eaccarino of St. Nicholas said Marakis is doing well.

Before deciding whether the incident qualifies as a hate crime, police will determine whether Bruce’s motive was based on a belief that Marakis was Arabic.

The Marines Reserve will wait for the investigation to conclude before taking any action, an official said.

In 2007, Bruce was accused of pushing a tow truck driver in the back and chest when his Jaguar was about to be towed, records show. Bruce told police the truck driver had grabbed him to stop him getting in his car.

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Alexios Marakis Assaulted: Greek Orthodox Priest Attacked By Marine Reservist In Fit Of Anti-Muslim Hysteria

Marine reservist chases, assaults Greek Orthodox priest who he mistook for an Arab terrorist

Greek priest seeking help is assaulted as ‘Arab terrorist

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Is Glenn Beck the Reincarnation of Cleon from Ancient Greece?

Posted by Audiegrl

Perfecting the Paranoid Style in 500 BC and 2009 by Peter Struck

Socrates

Socrates

From Buckley to Beck

by Peter Struck Back in 1996, I had a correspondence with William F. Buckley, Jr., who, like many of those on the Right at the time, had a habit of claiming ownership over the ideas and spirit of the classical past. So it wasn’t altogether surprising to see him on television aligning himself with Socrates and pressing for the triumph of absolutes over relativism. What did catch my ear was that Buckley was arguing in favor of the death penalty, and was using Socrates to make his case. I couldn’t resist writing the man about the cruel irony of holding up as a poster boy for the death penalty the Western Tradition’s most famous victim of it. Buckley responded promptly, but never really engaged the most challenging issue: that Socrates, the paragon of classical rationalism, was deeply suspicious of that other signature legacy of his countrymen, democracy. He saw it as a system of government whose weakness was precisely that it rewarded those who could most artfully whip up a bunch of hot-headed boobs with the power to kill whoever displeased them. At its worst, it was rule by mob.

It Was Cleon Who Shouted the Loudest

The 2,400-year-old temple of Ifestos, which sits in the ancient Agora of Athens, where ancient Athenian statesman Cleon placed shields captured in a victory over Sparta

The 2,400-year-old temple of Ifestos, which sits in the ancient Agora of Athens, where ancient Athenian statesman Cleon placed shields captured in a victory over Sparta

The archetype for Glenn Beck is a fifth century B.C. Athenian figure named Cleon, our first well-documented populist. Cleon represented a new class, made possible for the first time in democratic Athens. The notion that the whole people of Athens should participate in decisions collectively allowed for the rise of figures who presumed to speak for them. Cleon became wildly famous and successful not by coming from a powerful family, or by serving in regular office, but by delivering fiery speeches to thousands of Athenians in public. The Greek sources leave behind an unsparing portrait of an impulsive, histrionic bully. Aristotle tells us that “he was the first to use unseemly shouting and abusive language in the public assembly; and while it was customary to speak politely, he addressed the assembly with his cloak lifted up.” In Thucydides’ version, Cleon’s own lack of a pedigree provided him a plentiful source of resentment against those that had one, and he cast every self-aggrandizing gesture as a motivated by a love of the people over the aristocrats. He flattered his audience as being more capable of governing than the supposed experts in power. He personalized politics and under his influence those who disagreed with the state were referred to, for the first time in ancient Greece, as “haters of the people.” The comic playwright Aristophanes vividly portrayed him on stage as a man in a constant state of anger, his voice resembling the squeal of a scalded pig.

From Beck to Buckley
William F. Buckley, Jr. and Glenn Beck

William F. Buckley, Jr. and Glenn Beck

In the line from Cleon to Beck there is hardly a wiggle. Less obvious but telling is the connection between both these figures and Buckley. Driven by an unyielding sense of their own correctness, all three are experts in the trade of absolutes, always pressing toward a higher-contrast world of black and white. While it has become utterly common to see people in the public sphere assume such a posture, it does not stand to reason that they must. Among Republicans, for example, one used to see a strain based on intellectual modesty, of resistance to grand theories and attempts to explain everything. Eisenhower built a coalition around such principles that held up for decades. Obama may well be up to doing the same. In order to get on with fixing what it was possible to fix, they recognized the usefulness of an ability to live with a degree of uncertainty, a quality that Goldwater, and later George Bush and Karl Rove, vanquished from the Republican Party.

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Tea Party Protesters in Washington,DC

This Republicanism of certainty has had a good run, but it has likely reached the end of its appeal. David Brooks, whose sympathies attune with refinement to Eisenhower Republicanism, sounded its death knell in a recent column in the New York Times. If Beck’s days as the center of attention are numbered, as Brooks claims they are, it will not be because of his coarseness or his rejectionism, but because of his imperviousness to doubt. Intellectual hubris is tiresome in any case, but it is an especially odd standard to use to rally people who understand themselves as conservatives. Certainties are what one needs to upend things, and at a some point conservatives grow uncomfortable with that sort of thing. Cleon, that ancient voice of certainty, was not among the conservative lot at all, but a radical through-and-through.

While Buckley was of course right to point to Socrates as someone who endorsed the idea that there are absolutes, he missed the most important part of the story. The Greek philosopher was equally convinced that only a fool and a demagogue would claim to know them. If only Buckley were around to teach this lesson too.

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coinsFounded and edited by Lewis H. Lapham, Lapham’s Quarterly is a New York-based journal of history that seeks to revitalize both our excitement and familiarity with the past. History, as Mark Twain supposedly said, may not repeat itself—but it does rhyme.

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Papandreou Wins Greek Elections, Gains Majority

Greek Socialist Party leader George Papandreou, bottom right, is greeted by supporters

Greek Socialist Party leader George Papandreou, bottom right, is greeted by supporters

ATHENS, Greece – Two years ago, when George Papandreou led Greece’s Socialist party to its worst election result in three decades, he was widely derided as an ineffective politician.
The son and grandson of Greek prime ministers, Papandreou was seen by critics as a pale shadow of his dynamic and charismatic father, Andreas Papandreou, who founded the Panhellenic Socialist Movement party, or PASOK, and led it with an iron fist to three election victories from 1981-1993.


Now, at 57, Papandreou has come into his own after leading his party to a resounding victory over Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis’ conservative New Democracy.
Many consider this more a rejection of a failed government than a personal endorsement of Papandreou, but he won Sunday’s vote by an unexpectedly wide margin and a secure parliamentary majority.

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Final Rally before election:

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