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Old 05-07-2010, 02:07 PM   #31
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:51 PM   #32
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I'm attacking the methods as used per this discussion. If people want to protest the dictatorship in Iran then that is reasonable but I'm sticking with the topic of public sector workers protesting for lavish entitlements that can't be paid for. The same tactics are used all over the world and I've already posted copious examples of government union threats when legitimate cuts and wage freezes are needed. Agitprop becomes a kneejerk reaction. A lot of these same usual suspects also protest global warming and every scapegoat that can generate more tax funds. It's an overused method that should be more judicious in application. Agitprop leaves little room for intelligent debate as we can see in this thread.
I am for the most part pro-business, pro-entrepreneurship like yourself, and sceptical and critical of the public sector 'job-for-life' mentality that exists in some countries in Europe. But, setting the private and public sectors against each other does not sit well with me. I am still confused by why you think the sense of entitlement of some public sector workers (and I agree this is tiresome) is remotely comparable to burning down a bank with employees in it.

I observed some public sector workers on a march near my office in Dublin last year. I didn't agree with their protest, but I didn't see any of them burning any bank offices down.

My take is, in Europe, it's always the extreme far left, and not the moderate social democratic left, that is angling for the violence. It was the exact same in Europe back in the 1970's with Action Directe, Red Army Faction, and similar groups, and the threat is back now. In my view, it's completely and utterly different from the US, where the extreme right is, frankly, much more of a threat to legitimately constituted authority than the extreme left. I don't know about Canada.

To confront the threat from the extreme left in Europe, and deal with it, we first must analyse it properly.

And I'm coming from the perspective of someone that would happily have put bullets into the heads of this lot back in the day:

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Old 05-08-2010, 10:09 PM   #33
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:49 PM   #34
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My take is, in Europe, it's always the extreme far left, and not the moderate social democratic left, that is angling for the violence.

In my view, it's completely and utterly different from the US, where the extreme right is, frankly, much more of a threat to legitimately constituted authority than the extreme left. I don't know about Canada.

To confront the threat from the extreme left in Europe, and deal with it, we first must analyse it properly.
Agree word for word!
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:15 PM   #35
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Maybe it's because I'm studying about these leftists and their tactics (yes the far left pushes the envelope) but I'm getting the sense that this is brewing more and more because of how universities have so many far leftists. I'm worried that they are actually changing the minds of many ignorant people with different forms of agitprop. Some of the less violent measures create this us versus them attitude that eventually can lead to violence (not all of course) and that's why I'm focusing on it. If I was an instructor I would teach all points of view irregardless of my personal views simply because of the position of being a teacher. I can still vote and that's enough for me.

This is the stuff that might incite some to violence. At least if he was joking it would be okay. Unfortunately I don't think he's joking.

YouTube - UCLA Professor Calls for Mexican Revolt in the U.S.

In Canada we more into political correctness. Ann Coulter wasn't allowed to make a speech in the University of Ottawa because of violent threats but that's pretty rare. Most politics here is regional. We're a little like Belgium with our constant divisiveness and claims between English, French, and Aboriginals. Though as I've mentioned in my experiences in University there was definitely left-wing bias. We do have protestors that protest the Oil Sands like Greenpeace that do stunts and want it shut down. So far it's just a bunch of stunts because so many jobs would be lost if Canadians stopped exporting fossil fuels (that everyone is demanding) it doesn't appear tenable. Living in a conservative province I'm not worried about violence from the far left. The most violence I remember was a Canada riot in a strip with lots of pubs and anarchist leftists students (living near by the University) and there were some windows smashed and a hilarious media video of a student stealing a guitar.

I'm worried that brainwashing that could lead to thinking the end justify the means. Of course those who don't fall in with brainwashing (not just me) can slow it down or stop it.

YouTube - Brainwashing of the west by the far left (Part 1 of 2)

YouTube - Brainwashing of the west by the far left (Part 2 of 2)

This stuff reminds me of my history teacher who said he didn't see anything wrong in the Soviet Union when he went there in the 80s. There was a husband of a co-worker that went to Cuba and said the same thing that it was great.

Then you add moronic eco-world government crap that just keeps bubbling in different forms. I don't want constant crisis (caused by Marxists and their ideas who love crisis) because lots of violence often happens afterwards. Anyways I hope I'm just paranoid and these old videos are outdated but events keep happening in that direction. That's why I was so argumentative with cap and trade and this global warming crap. The propaganda and agitation (I also witnessed in University) was so in my face I couldn't ignore it. It looked exactly like this defector describes. A demoralization and hatred for western civilization.
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:21 AM   #36
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Maybe it's because I'm studying about these leftists and their tactics (yes the far left pushes the envelope) but I'm getting the sense that this is brewing more and more because of how universities have so many far leftists. I'm worried that they are actually changing the minds of many ignorant people with different forms of agitprop. Some of the less violent measures create this us versus them attitude that eventually can lead to violence (not all of course) and that's why I'm focusing on it. If I was an instructor I would teach all points of view irregardless of my personal views simply because of the position of being a teacher. I can still vote and that's enough for me.

This is the stuff that might incite some to violence. At least if he was joking it would be okay. Unfortunately I don't think he's joking.

YouTube - UCLA Professor Calls for Mexican Revolt in the U.S.

In Canada we more into political correctness. Ann Coulter wasn't allowed to make a speech in the University of Ottawa because of violent threats but that's pretty rare. Most politics here is regional. We're a little like Belgium with our constant divisiveness and claims between English, French, and Aboriginals. Though as I've mentioned in my experiences in University there was definitely left-wing bias. We do have protestors that protest the Oil Sands like Greenpeace that do stunts and want it shut down. So far it's just a bunch of stunts because so many jobs would be lost if Canadians stopped exporting fossil fuels (that everyone is demanding) it doesn't appear tenable. Living in a conservative province I'm not worried about violence from the far left. The most violence I remember was a Canada riot in a strip with lots of pubs and anarchist leftists students (living near by the University) and there were some windows smashed and a hilarious media video of a student stealing a guitar.

I'm worried that brainwashing that could lead to thinking the end justify the means. Of course those who don't fall in with brainwashing (not just me) can slow it down or stop it.

YouTube - Brainwashing of the west by the far left (Part 1 of 2)

YouTube - Brainwashing of the west by the far left (Part 2 of 2)

This stuff reminds me of my history teacher who said he didn't see anything wrong in the Soviet Union when he went there in the 80s. There was a husband of a co-worker that went to Cuba and said the same thing that it was great.

Then you add moronic eco-world government crap that just keeps bubbling in different forms. I don't want constant crisis (caused by Marxists and their ideas who love crisis) because lots of violence often happens afterwards. Anyways I hope I'm just paranoid and these old videos are outdated but events keep happening in that direction. That's why I was so argumentative with cap and trade and this global warming crap. The propaganda and agitation (I also witnessed in University) was so in my face I couldn't ignore it. It looked exactly like this defector describes. A demoralization and hatred for western civilization.
Here is why I think you are just paranoid.

Without getting into a statistical discussion, the extreme left and the extreme right are about equal in number, for all intents and purposes.

Combine the two groups and you'll get about 5%. Of that 5, maybe 1 are violent or tend toward violence.

These videos that make both of us shake our heads are talking about an extremely small yet vocal portion of the population. The "us versus them" mentality can be the same way on the right- "liberals, blacks, clintonistas, socialists versus real Americans," hell just listen to Rush spouting his crap about the "liberals want to automatically legalize 35 million illegals so they can get 35 million more Democrats." Ignore for a second that no one is automatically legalized, that we are actually closer to 10-12 million illegals and not 35 and finally that we have no idea how most of these people will vote and lets agree, that is an "us versus them mentality."

Back to the left. The professors you talk about exist, but the UCLA guy? Lets face it, he and his ilk are few and far between. Yes, most of academia leans left, but its not like anywhere near a majority of them are extreme and of the few that are, an even smaller subset is given to pushing their views on everyone. I went to a very liberal school in Vermont, and though the campus probably voted 9-1 for Obama, there was only one die hard radical in the entire faculty and he was well respected by all, myself included, but very few took his views seriously or appreciated them. This particular gentleman made his views known, but he did not push them on people. You could tell he had his favorites and did not think moderate thinking was too much of a virtue, but I remember him assigning one author in particular who was quite the opposite of him. This guy was not a die hard conservative, but he was all about the Kennedy/Bush/Democrat/Republican/Trilateral commission/Think Tanks/ dynasty capitalist nexus being the machinery of our government and thought that was great. Contrast that to the Professor, who loved Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky.

Even when you get a radical leftist professor, there is a built in defense mechanism against college students who are liberals getting taken in by them. College students, by and large, are an affluent group. They at least aspire to the middle/upper middle/lower affluent standards that they grew up in. They are not going to have any use whatsoever for the guy on my campus who questioned people who wanted to have a good job, a nice house, etc. They spend money on college, work hard, and expect to be rewarded. They are liberal people, but that does not mean they will be in any way attracted to communism or radical leftism. There will always be the few hippie types who get taken in by these radicals, but in my experience, they are hypocritical to boot because they are more often than not trust funded and will be going right back to those trust funds as they knock everyone else's "shallow aspirations." Again, even in very liberal Vermont on a very liberal campus, these few kids were not much more than the butt of jokes at best, an object of scorn at worst.

As for the Cuba and Soviet Union comments, you'll always get those. People are not, as a whole, too well informed on things. The person in Cuba could have just seen the beautiful pre Castro palaces(think mafia movies). Same for the Soviet person. If you want to isolate yourself from the reality of the situation in a place you are visiting, this is quite easy. Think of all the people from America that vacation down in Mexican or Dominican resorts. Or all the business people who frequently travel to Beirut Lebanon and see nothing wrong.

I think you are taking a few isolated experiences, combining them with extreme examples and then misidentifying what you see as a widespread mainstream phenomenon .
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:33 AM   #37
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Even when you get a radical leftist professor, there is a built in defense mechanism against college students who are liberals getting taken in by them. College students, by and large, are an affluent group. They at least aspire to the middle/upper middle/lower affluent standards that they grew up in. They are not going to have any use whatsoever for the guy on my campus who questioned people who wanted to have a good job, a nice house, etc. They spend money on college, work hard, and expect to be rewarded. They are liberal people, but that does not mean they will be in any way attracted to communism or radical leftism. There will always be the few hippie types who get taken in by these radicals, but in my experience, they are hypocritical to boot because they are more often than not trust funded and will be going right back to those trust funds as they knock everyone else's "shallow aspirations." Again, even in very liberal Vermont on a very liberal campus, these few kids were not much more than the butt of jokes at best, an object of scorn at worst.
Well this certainly gives me hope. When the Al Gore types stop with their world bureaucracy to save the planet I'll feel better. It seems to be possible to have social democracies without going too far. Of course both of us are extrapolating within narrow spans of time spanning our own lives and there could be new threats unforeseen by our generations and future generations will have to deal with. Then there's the cultural aspect of what people will tolerate.
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:39 AM   #38
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I would like to just say that purpleoscar's experience on a Canadian university campus (with respect to apparently insane, rabid leftist professors) sounds completely bizarre to me. And I attended two of the largest Canadian universities (including the largest and top ranked one), for first a Bachelor's degree and then a JD. At no point did I ever experience anything of the sort that he's ever described here, and I say that retrospectively as well. As somebody who works in corporate law. Ie. just about as far away from socialist anything as you can possibly get without joining the tea party.

It would be interesting to have others here who went to Canadian schools comment on purpleoscar's observations. I have no idea what university he attended, perhaps it's a local problem.
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:46 AM   #39
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Well this certainly gives me hope. When the Al Gore types stop with their world bureaucracy to save the planet I'll feel better. It seems to be possible to have social democracies without going too far. Of course both of us are extrapolating within narrow spans of time spanning our own lives and there could be new threats unforeseen by our generations and future generations will have to deal with. Then there's the cultural aspect of what people will tolerate.
The best way to sum up how I feel most registered Democrats feel about the radical leftists is with a story.


I was good friends with a gorgeous Abecrombie/flip flop wearing soccer playing blond at school who was incredibly smart and a big supporter of Obama. She had a good amount of money(dad had some big job) was relatively moderate in her views, and every time she opened her mouth with a clearly more informed, well thought out and reasoned argument than these radical leftist kids, you could almost feel the white heat coming off of them as they stared her down. You could tell they were thinking "fake, sell out, bitch, spoiled brat, conceited rich girl" what have you. IT. PISSED. ME. OFF. SO. MUCH. This girl was one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever met, would help you up while these hippies stomped over you in their birkenstocks on their way to their next hemp fest, and was again, much smarter than all of them put together.

I asked her once if she noticed this, and if so did it bother her. I'll never forget her answer. Yes, she noticed, and no it did not bother her. Her explanation was something like this: "The way I see it, when we walk out of that classroom, I'll be happy with my life and confident I can make a difference in the world, and these kids will still be angry and bitter, chasing phantoms and expending their energy on some perceived enemy that by and large does not exist."

Again, we are not talking an arch conservative or any kind of conservative really. This girl was probably centrist fiscally and liberal socially for a total score of slightly liberal.
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:49 AM   #40
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When the Al Gore types .
I certainly get the point of the rest of your post, but Al Gore is not the guy I would hold up as an example of the radical left.

He was a moderate/conservative Democratic senator from Tennessee and then was the Vice President for the very moderate Clinton.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:25 AM   #41
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Maybe it's because I'm studying about these leftists and their tactics (yes the far left pushes the envelope) but I'm getting the sense that this is brewing more and more because of how universities have so many far leftists.
When you say "study" you mean you read some Glenn Beck published, right?

We've seen your study materials over the years.
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:25 PM   #42
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I certainly get the point of the rest of your post, but Al Gore is not the guy I would hold up as an example of the radical left.

He was a moderate/conservative Democratic senator from Tennessee and then was the Vice President for the very moderate Clinton.

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Old 05-09-2010, 08:40 PM   #43
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It would be interesting to have others here who went to Canadian schools comment on purpleoscar's observations. I have no idea what university he attended, perhaps it's a local problem.
There were definitely insane profs when I went to CEGEP (junior college) in Quebec. I would say most were more counter-culture than leftists. They were also government employees.

Two of Canada's top business schools that I've attended for undergrad and exec programs had virtually no wingnuts. Although during my commerce undergrad I also studied sociology extensively and there were huge contrasts in the faculties. Definitely more leftist tendencies in the Arts faculty but nothing I would ever cite as extreme or radical.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:28 PM   #44
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:40 AM   #45
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The far left in Europe is a dangerous animal with a long history of exploiting times of economic difficulty in a violent manner (and I've been predicting something like this would happen for some time now, and unfortunately have been proven right) but conflating legitimate protest with what is basically terrorism is complete tripe.
This latest wave of arson attacks in Greece dates back to late 2007, though; this was something like the thirtieth one, I think. We just don't hear about most of them because they don't generally harm anyone (nor are they intended to, and it's doubtful this one was either--it was unusual for employees to be in a bank during such a time). Firebombings of banks, politicians' offices, empty metro trains and (especially) police installations are pretty regular occurrences in Athens and Thessaloniki unfortunately. In fact, if you've been to Athens, you've probably seen some of the ilk these groups generally draw from--all those young squatters and vagrants who hang out around the Exarchia district, they're really quite a visible presence. Most of them don't identify as αναρχικός (anarchists), let alone Marxists, but rather as Αντιεξουσιαστική, "anti-establishment" I guess I'd translate it, and their public statements tend towards inscrutable rants about arson as 'artistic statement,' the transgressive glories of violent resistance against the instruments of state justice, etc. rather than ideological propaganda about class struggle and so forth.

That's not to dismiss any possible connections to other groups in Europe, and there certainly are a few more conventional far-left-activist types who occasionally join forces with the Αντιεξουσιαστική, but I guess basically my point is that this particular type of violence--from both left and right, though the latter has more often been the state-wielded variety, e.g. the '70s junta with its torture apparatus--has such a long and distinctive pedigree in postwar Greece that I'd wonder how predictive events there are really likely to be of what to expect anywhere else. I suppose perhaps in the sense that large protests in general can prove favorable places for these more sinister contingents to exploit an opportunity to wreak some havoc while the police are preoccupied.
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lol. Athens is full of great canine characters like that--often nominally owned by some taverna or shop employee, but given free rein to make the rounds of the area throughout the day as they see fit. No one bats an eye as they wander freely in and out of the Acropolis, meander through demonstrations, poke around the tourist shopping and dining districts, etc. By our standards (i.e. pampered, infantilized American dogs, with all their neuroses and dependencies) Greek dogs can seem eerily independent and self-contained. They all tend towards that same general type physically, too--wonderfully archaic-looking hounds from what are probably flock-guardian lineages. In fact, I remember seeing one of their country kin at work while hiking in the mountains in central Greece--over the course of about half an hour, as I ate my own packed lunch, I watched one of them emerge, along with a shepherd's wife, from their house, where she handed him a package, which he then proceeded to carry unmolested all the way up the mountain to the pasture where his master and sheep presently were. He handed it over to the shepherd, who immediately sat down with its contents--lunch--then went straight to work checking out what the sheep were up to.
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