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Economic crisis: Should the U.S. brace for European-style riots? [Most Commented]

Protesters hurl stones at riot policemen in front of the Greek parliament building. Credit: Orestis Panagiotou / Ana-MPA The European Union is suffering on a scale much larger than just the crisis in Greece. Timothy Garton Ash, a contributing editor to Opinion, says it’s because the old political and emotional motivators of the EU have faded.

While Greece is urgently in need, anger is beginning to stir among those in other countries who are also bearing the brunt of irresponsible lending and leadership. There’s also panic about immigration from North Africa and frustration over underdeveloped military forces in Libya.

Ash suggests Angela Merkel's leadership and the German economy are the key to recovery. Here's an excerpt from today's Op-Ed.

Those powerful driving forces included searing personal experiences of war, occupation, holocaust, fascist and communist dictatorships; the Soviet threat, catalyzing west European solidarity; generous, energetic American support for European unification; and a West Germany that was the mighty engine of European integration, with France on top as the driver. All these are now gone, or very much diminished. While there are intellectually convincing new rationales for the project, including the rise of non-Western giants such as China, rationales are no match for emotional motivators.

The key to so much of this, especially on the economic side, is Germany. For much of its history, what has become the European Union pursued political ends by economic means. For [German Chancellor Helmut] Kohl and [French President Francois] Mitterrand, the euro was mainly a political project, not an economic one. Now the boot is on the other foot. To save a poorly designed and overextended monetary union, the political must ride to the rescue of the economic. […]

For no one has more to lose from the disintegration of the Eurozone than the Continent's central economic power. It may soon be too late.

On our discussion board, the conversation has spun off with readers examining the EU's ideologies and comparing the EU's situation to the economic crisis here.

There's no unity in European Union

An economic union without a unified Federal Government is worse than a fool's errand.

Europeans do not view themselves as Europeans, and this sentiment is only getting stronger.  Greeks are Greek; Germans are German; etc.

And very few of these people see any reason to change.  And just because you say "it's better for them" doesn't make it so.  The proof of your error is right in front of you: European culture is far more balkanized than even the Europeans thought.  To bridle them to the same wagon makes less and less sense.

The answer for Greece is a "temporary leave of absence" from the Euro, as Feldstein wrote about.  Ditto Portugal, Ireland, and possibly Italy or even Spain.

No bailout will work at this point.  The point spreads would be absurd.  Anyone paying attention could see that Greece was doomed before the first bailout.  Austerity is often the only way out, but even austerity has its limits.  When you are as far gone as Greece was/is, then default is certain.

Greece must float a new Drachma.

And, btw, the USA is much closer to a Greek situation than people like to admit.  Austerity will work here, still, but just.  Much more debt, and we will be in a situation where no conceivable amount of economic growth - particularly given the Baby Boom demographics - could pull us out.

-- RobM1981

American cities will soon see protests and riots too

The violence in the streets of Europe will be in American cities before the end of summer.  None of this is an accident.  The same groups calling for riots there are based here.  Wake up.  The hard left is trying to fundamentally transform America and many of us don't like their new model.

-- JamesAndrews

Greece is in danger of becoming the next Lebanon

The problems in Greece are a reflection of the structural problems with the EU. The EU has created a system where local elected leaders were no longer fully accountable to their people. Instead, all important decisions are made in Brussels by an army of technocrats. Local politicians are expected to rubber stamp and implement those decisions. Greece has overextended itself on credit because their politicians told the Greek people that they could have everything they wanted and wouldn't have to pay for it. They tacitly assumed Brussels would fix it for them if they ever ran into financial problems. For 10 years, it worked wonderfully for the Greek political class and for the Greek workers who had a union or public-sector job, it sucked for everyone else in Greece. So now the situation is so extreme that Greece no longer is a sovereign state. Brussels is dictating to Greece and the Greek government are doing. Brussels priorities are first to protect banks who made bad loans. They don't care about the Greek people. The danger is that the Greeks are being asked to ruin their lives and business and aren't being offered any hope in return. Greece is in danger of becoming the next Lebanon. What the EU and Greece are doing is unsustainable. The EU needs to be abolished to fix this because it would force countries to reinstate democratic structures and accountability.

-- bkmoore

Blame Socialism

The problems in Europe today just proves Margaret Thatcher's observation...

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

-- jjmart

Why does Obama want to model the U.S. after Europe?

Well, even though NATO is weak, and the military is running out of munitions due to its fight with the superpower called Libya, and the Eurozone is collapsing, at least you don't have to worry about a blitzkrieg from Russia suddenly overrunning all of Western Europe.   What man in his right mind would WANT to have Europe?    On the plus side, Obama still wants to model the U.S. after Europe, so it goes to show that Europe does not have a monopoly on brain-dead politicians.

-- JohnDD

Actually, Europe has modeled itself after the U.S.

The problem in Europe is that it is being Americanized through tax-cut type transfers of wealth from the middle class and poor to the rich.  That is why the people are indignant...the rich are doing just fine, but they are not bearing the debt.  They are trying to solve the debt by cutting deeply into the social contract.  They are proving that if you get half of the workers to resent the other half, the rich can get away with anything.  I, for one, am glad to see that the European working class are not so easily led down the garden path.

-- BillHarvey

*Spelling errors in the above comments were corrected.

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Protesters hurl stones at riot policemen in front of the Greek parliament building. Credit: Orestis Panagiotou / Ana-MPA

Find more photos at Framework.

 

Comments () | Archives (45)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Michael E

The times, they are a changing. I personally believe that if things continue, we will indeed see riots and even worse in the streets of American cities. What makes us think that we can "change that you can believe in" and not face up to the realities that we are broke.

Why are we spending 9 billion dollars a day in Libya and people are hungry here. Its a shame that the extreme liberals don't understand Communism...or we have more of them then I thought possible running this country into a deep hole.

But, it does not really matter, its all in his plan and I'm with him.

Ome-Coatl

The EU should just be renamed to the Franco-Germanic Union -- that's essentially what it is (with groupies).
Greece has no business being in the EU. The British were always semi-committal. Iceland has no business being an independent country. Ireland is suffering from a hangover. And the ultimate mockery has been the pipe dream of Turkey becoming a member.
What Rome, Napoleon, the Hapsburgs, and Hitler could not achieve/sustain, Brussels certainly will not accomplish through fiat -- economic or otherwise.

sacto43

"Why are we spending 9 billion dollars a day in Libya and people are hungry here. Its a shame that the extreme liberals don't understand Communism...or we have more of them then I thought possible running this country into a deep hole."

What is the point of talking with people when they have the facts so completely wrong? 9 bill a day in Lybia is off by oders of magnitude.

"The violence in the streets of Europe will be in American cities before the end of summer. None of this is an accident. The same groups calling for riots there are based here. Wake up. The hard left is trying to fundamentally transform America and many of us don't like their new model.

-- JamesAndrews"

Really? This is just beyond pail and actually encourages people to take violence against those on the left that they disagree with p0olitically. We didn't start the wars that broke our treasury. We didn't blindly support big banks and unfettered capitalism until they took everything that they could. Yet James blames liberals and insist that they are plotting riots here? Holy cow! Does James also yell "fire" in crowded theaters much?

Rich05

Yes we should be prepared for they will be here soon , We saw what was happing in Wisconsin with workers ( government ) lost there barging rights . Glen Beck has been ahead of the game in calling the problems in the middle east and he also called it in Greece . He has been dead on so far in spite of the main stream calling him crazy , racist and every name in the book . We should be prepared for some rough times in this nation for the times are changing and we are headed for disaster with this President in charge .

Richard

The EU was created as an entity to compete with the US.
The problem is, most people don't think of themselves as a "member"in the
way Americans think of themselves as citizens. We paid a terrible price to
make that happen, the civil war, and it still took a long time to fully happen.

All of the member countries use a single currency now to aid in trade.
I'm not sure how the individual states get the Euros to spend. At some point,
someone needs to pay back anything borrowed, so taxes have to be collected,
etc. I think they would have been better off having each state have its own
currency to prevent one state dragging down all the others.

me

With the republican plans of cutting Social Security and Medicare you will see millions of angry boomers and seniors !

Burn, baby, Burn !

jackwells

"Really? This is just beyond pail"

I'm sure this typo was unintentional, but in the context of bailouts, it's pretty funny. The expression is "beyond the pale." It's an old Anglo-Irish expression that fits right in with this thread. LOL.

I agree with your position though, sacto43.

Justin Z. Smith

"JamesAndrews" comment regarding protests in American cities should be the exact opposite. It's not the right who shall be rioting, rather the "hard left." The only way our country is being "fundamentally transform[ed]" is the way in which the rich are becoming richer and the poor are literally dying in the streets. Mark my words: when the first brick is thrown, it will be from the hand of one who actually cares about children, minorities, immigrants, workers and the poor. It will be from the hand of a Socialist. It will be from my hand.

weirdo2odriew

You betcha!

This is what happens when politicians promise too much than they can deliver. This is what happens when people don't have to earn anything anymore because they expect someone else to pay for it. This is what happens when people rely on the government to take care of them instead of themselves.

Back in the 60's my single parent mother was able to take care of her kids without all the before & after school programs and the free lunches. We didn't expect to be coddled and taken care of because the programs today didn't exsit. We had to find a way.

Mike Havenar

As the WTO "riots" in Seattle ("The Battle of Seattle")proved, you can demonstrate peacefully all you want; the government takes no notice. Millions turn out for peace demonstrations; the government takes no notice. Millions call for economic and political reform; the government takes no notice. Neither does the government-controlled Media. But let a few guys with masks on set fire to a few garbage cans, break windows in a fast-food joint, and turn over a car or two, and listen to the uproar! I hope like hell the American people catch whatever is going on in Greece. We need a riot: a big riot. It is the only thing that brings any attention. Demonstrate for human life and civil and human rights and the environment all you want. That's "democracy." But destroy a little property and throw the tear gas cannisters back at the police, whoa! That's "violence." The hypocrisy stinks like a mouldy bathroom.

Ali M. Hangan

The economy is getting more productive but, is producing less jobs. Computers and robots are becoming so cheap and efficient all while the American worker is becoming more expensive relative to the rest of the world. All of this translates to increasingly impoverished American workers and a more prosperous corporate elite. In addition, graduates are leaving college with little opportunity and large student loan debt, families face rising food and gas prices and all of working Americans face the specter of diminishing job benefits and safety net for workers due to state and federal budget cuts. All of the above is a formula for social instability. It is not a question of will working Americans riot but, a question of when.

BubbleFlow

Uh.....no. Tantrums are so European.

Verballistic

An alarming majority of Europeans are spineless appeasers who arent man enough to build strong militaries, so they have to "prove their manhood" by throwing rocks at (mostly unarmed) cops. The reason the Euro police always have these huge shields is because they are always on DEFENSE...afraid to liberally use rubber bullets, beanbag "bullets" or even tear gas.

Limp-wristed Euros' version of "manning up" is pelting garbage & bottles at "the man", but they roll over & play dead when it comes to allowing RADICAL Muslims taking over their countries.

Verballistic

Maybe if European cops started arming themselves then Euroweenies wouldnt be so eager to "show their manhood" by pelting cops with rocks, bottles & garbage.

Here is a disgraceful indictment on cowardly police...a chilling video which shows a RADICAL Muslim MOB literally chasing UNARMED British police through the streets of London:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp-lwSe2llg&feature=player_embedded&has_verified=1

Of course the video is an even bigger indictment of Sharia-infested British Muslims, many of whom OPENLY call for the destruction of Western civilization. And of spineless UK politicians afraid to challenge British Islamania...

PARENTAL ADVISORY: The above video contains repeated profanity, screamed out at the police, between the obligatory shouts of "Allahu Akbar".

Jorge2

Verbal,

Which Euro country has been taken over by Radmuslims?

misanthropicus

With the Vancouver policxe revelations about who really was behind that awful riot (anarchists, etc.), we can be pretty sure that the ACORN and Move.on Org cadres will strike next year -
By the way, do we really know how Seattle riots veterans have later became ACORN, MoveOnOrg or "Yes we can!" activists?

Lots of them -

BubbleFlow

ACORNbots and Movers On won't riot, they'd soil the Che Guevara t-shirts and Palestinian scarves they bought at Diesel. That stuff's expensive!

Dick diamond

When people need food, have no jobs and are losing their homes, they become angry. When they see no hope and a greater separation of the middle and lower class from the very rich, they become angry.
The press never reported fully the rioting, especially the bread riots during the 1930's. Consider ALL the violence in the 1930's--in the rural areas (Iowa, the Dakotas) milk being dumped, the Farmer's Holidays, the food riots in small towns in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Consider the union riots in Michigan.
Consider the various "characters" coming out into prominence (Huey Long, Father Coughlin, JLK Smith, later the head of the Silver Shirts AND the lead assistant to Huey Long. If you look at people who don't want to over thow the system, but want to be part of it, you have the kindling for violence. Just needs the match.

Dick diamond

European leaders promised pensions and health insurance to workers. The workers believed them. We'll do the same. Please remember that in the period from 1905-1946, Europe went through a few small wars and two gigantic World Wars. In each they lost millions of people. It's still part of their psyche. Just like the Civil War is in the South.

Lee

What do you mean, "will" we see Euro style protests here in the USA? We've already started to see them... Think, Wisconsin folks.
Think to the summer protests for immigration "reform".
We are already seeing it and yes, it will get worse.
Gee. I guess that alarmist Glenn Beck was onto something after all.. His presentation may have been unplatable to many, but it would seem his message was not far off the mark.

Mark

Riots ?. No.
The republican party is beginning to see that placing a burden on the poor and middle class and representing the rich and corporations is not something they can sell any more. Trickle-down has dried up.
Their policies will begin to end tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. America's economy only works when americans are working and being paid a living wage. This is not to suggest every job will earn a person a six figure salary but that there will be a distribution of wealth. The rich will still enjoy being rich, the corporations will make more, and the stock market will reach new levels. In short America will be fine.
For those who think that a revolution and riots are the only answer you should consider you will be facing the National Guard and a mobilization of military forces. You will become the dying contestants on reality TV.

whamo

Michael, You don't understand communism yourself. This is capitalism at its worst. It's without civic responsibility. It's all about me, me, and me. The wealthy used to recognize a responsibility for the community. That's not apparent these days.

Shlomo

Yes. Shlomo Bernanke has been orchestrating the biggest ponzi scheme in history buy transferring trillions from American savers to the ilk of Blankshwein. When American people wake up, they are going to realize that middle class has dissapeared into the lower class and lower class is not going to have enough money to feed its children.
Wake up America, before it is too late.

jeffri

"The violence in the streets of Europe will be in American cities before the end of summer. None of this is an accident. The same groups calling for riots there are based here. Wake up. The hard left is trying to fundamentally transform America and many of us don't like their new model."
The first two sentences are accurate - the rest is inane - it isn't the HARD LEFT you dolt - it's the CORPORATE CONTROL of AMERICA that is the issue - the lack of benefits, the control of wages, the inadequate raises, the INSANE level of executive compensation and stockholder benefits, the TAX SHELTERS for the RICH - we no longer live in a representative government - our political leaders (ALL OF THEM) are beholden to the flow of MONEY that insures their careers. That money doesn't come from the vast majority of the voters - it comes from the UBERRICH CONSERVATIVE ELITES that run the USA - as I always say - if you vote GOP if you think CONSERVATIVE and you don't TAKE HOME IN YOUR POCKET AFTER TAXES $100K or more - you are a festering IDIOT! WAKE UP AMERICA AND GET ANGRY - DEMAND TERM LIMITS AND GET THE MONEY OUT OF WASHINGTON POLITICS! There will be riots when people get sick for lack of healthcare and hungry for lack of affordable food!

Dr No

Riots in the US ? No, because Americans are too dumbed down, pacified by junk food, and entertainment, and burdened with financial problems. The more likely scenario is a general increase in crime, and desperation, while the population is crushed by big brother, and the police state.

Alex James Andrews

The true culprit of the theft of the "Clinton Surplus" is none other than "Geo-rack". The expense of managing two full - fledged active military campaigns simultaneously, has "eaten" trillions of dollars in government funds over the past nine and a half years (Afghanistan) and eight and a quarter years (Iraq). Bush started the dual conflicts, and Obama has still not yet completely ended them. GW initially stole the surplus and Barack has been unable to reclaim the loot. There are several ways to recover economically. Unfortunately, none of them will be "pain free" to the average American worker, nor to the average American taxpayer! It looks as though we'll be paying the piper for quite a while, UNLESS the leaders of this country can shed their partisan Halloween costumes for a season to boldly prescribe the necessary bipartisan "financial medication" that will hopefully heal our "sick" economy, within a reasonable period of time. This is not going to happen, if everyone in the White House and on Capitol Hill, continues to dance to the same old, tired and politically correct tune. In essence, as a start, the President, and every member of Congress needs to get off of his/her fat “banker – loving” $#%@%#$ (polite way of stating "keester"), and return a sizeable percentage (say, at least 50%, perhaps) of his/her salary and ALL of his/her financial "perks of position" back to the American Treasury, in an empathetic demonstration of support for his/her constituency! Positive symbolic gestures can go a long way toward recovering trust in our elected officials! Legal financial self - aggrandizement, among the elected public servants of this country needs to be dealt a fatal and permanent blow through the enactment of powerful irreversible legislation. Personally, I think that the overwhelming majority of our nationally elected officials are sorely lacking and completely bereft in the following categories: honesty, integrity, ethics, forthrightness, selflessness, and altruism. As the American Monarchy continues to "party like its 1999", behind the closed doors of the White House and Congress, the rest of the country stagnates in devastated “monetary” blight, due to the financial damage of “economic arson” perpetrated by the failed policies of the mutant “two – headed hydra” monarch, known ignominiously as King Geo – rack. The fact that the world's gold and platinum standard of democracy, currently contains "innards" that are completely "riddled with rust" is a Shakespearean tragedy of Biblical proportions! We need a political American Moses to lead us back to the Promised Land of this country's Founding Fathers, namely an egalitarian - based democracy; where meritorious behavior and achievements are rewarded with multiple modalities of success and, simultaneously, the “non- able” citizens get viable protection from the vicissitudes of socio – economic failure, through a complex “airtight” multilayered vaccine, against the dreaded 21st century scourge, known as “Falling – Through – The – Cracks” syndrome.

Snakebellysg

90% of the media in the US is controlled by six corporations whose policies are dictated by the Council on Foreign Relations. Corporate media giants are silencing diverse voices, abandoning quality journalism and eliminating local content. There can be no freedom without freedom of the press and there can be no freedom of the press if only a few powerful corporations are allowed to own it. Mainstream media - Half truths, mistruths but 'nothing' about the real truths. More and more people are realizing this. Therefore, media outlets that fall under the category of 'mainstream' could be a target of maniacal rioters. By the way, who owns the Los Angeles Times?

Jon Healey

@Snakebelly -- 90% of the media, really? Which media would that be? Who controls what gets disseminated on Twitter? (Answer: nobody.) Who controls the news distributed on Facebook? (Answer: nobody.) Who controls Wikileaks? (Answer: one guy with an ax to grind.)

There is no mind control by a few powerful organizations. Instead, we have a proliferation of news and information sources. People have a smorgasbord of choices -- more than ever before. And it's not just an echo chamber; although much of what's online is just a rehashing of news reported somewhere else, there's an explosion in the number of sites actually gathering news.

Alex James Andrews

@Sacto43:
You incorrectly attributed Michael E's statements to me! Please retract and correct your citation!

Alex James Andrews

I just want to clarify that I do not agree with the indivdual who called himself "JamesAndrews"! Personally, I do NOT believe that the current riots in Europe will reach our cities by this Summer!
The individual members' governments of the much heralded( nonsensical political pseudo - architectural) superstructure known as the EU Federation(wannabe) has been "asleep at the wheel" for decades!
It has truly been a "Much Ado About Nothing" failed experiment in social engineering on a grand scale; which I call "Superstate - Building"(Transformer - style, no less)!

(Please watch at least one of the three "Transformers" movies for more info).

Now, the EU's 500 million+ citizenry find themselves being overrun by hoards of Muslims(supported by European native - born Anarchists), demanding their rights(aka, code for the supersession of local civil law, and imposition of Sharia Law as "The LAW" within ALL Islamic communities scattered throughout Europe).

Basically, the initial series of "flashpoint skirmishes" is now occurring; which will eventually come to fruition, with the soon - to - accelerate, expansion of the conflict to different fronts, coupled with multiple levels of increasing "flux" and violence, culminating in an outright world-wide military "global clash of civilizations" campaign. What the Ottoman Empire was unable to accomplish over the course of five centuries through outright military conflict and eventual conquest, is now on the verge of taking place, through the changing demographical dynamics, across the entire spectrum of the EU landscape.

The United States of America is NOT the EU; and will NOT suffer the same fate as the currently besieged EU.
The "EU" experiment can be still be rescued, by the sustained political intervention of their allies, over the next decade or so, starting with the complete revision of their currently outlandish Charter!
These are only my own personal and humble opinions.

tangledsynapses

America must deal with their social problems in a civilized manner. Riots only call for civil rights constrains. America is well known in the world for its uncanny ability to pacifically protest.

ManChild

Time to end the euro. Give countries back their sovereignty.

Cheese Wonton

There will be no rioting here. Americans are passive. There was no nation wide upheaval during the Great Depression when a quarter of Americans were out of work and there was no unemployment protection then. People lived in Hoovervilles, LAPD rousted people coming west from Oklahoma, but never a hand was raised against the government.
Today, median family wealth has declined a full 25%. This is a breath taking loss of personal wealth, due to the combined effects of loss of property value and the decline of the stock market, which nuked most IRA and 401k savings. People have nothing, and older Americans have no hope of ever making that money back. Yet we see no one marching. We are a timid nation enamored of our comforts and deathly fearful of any uncertainty.

Cheese Wonton

I also think there is a great fear that, were there to be a social upheaval in this nation, the outcome would be far worse than what we have now. Real power in this nation is wielded by corporations and government at all levels acts at their behest, as does the press. My gut feeling is there is a great fear that any upheaval would be used as an excuse to impose something along the lines of a harsh fascist theocracy where the poor really would have nothing and no hope while the rich and their corporations would control everything.
The police powers of this nation are scary, and the ability of business to pay for what it wants is almost uninhibited. A big enough social upheaval could give them the excuse to exercise their powers fully, and some other actors in this society would then be unrestrained, and the outcome might look more like Saudi Arabia or China than what any of this nation's founders ever envisioned for us. Notions of freedom and democracy sound powerful but maybe are not compared to the power of international corporations and their supporters. Democracy could be crushed in this country and our freedoms curtailed grossly, and my gut tells me many on the left and among the poor sense this possibility.

geek

if useless for society banks will continue to enslave US people instead of providing financial services, such as protecting savings and lending money to businesses and paying interest to their customers, sooner or later people will not be happy.

does not make sense for a country as US with so much resources to allow banks to tell us what we should or should not do.

Spence

Rioting in the US? Only if Dances With The Stars or American Idol is cancelled. Don't expect Boobus Americanus to get off their fat *** other than to grab a beer from the fridge.

wowlfie

Nope.

USA style riots which have racial undertones.

wowlfie

Sacto43: Yes we did start those wars. Bush rushed into Iraq without provocation. Bush rushed into Afghanistan without provocation from the Taliban. He was after Al Queda but he made it a USA/Taliban war. Yes we did start the Libyan conflict as a 3rd party butting in where we shouldn't.

What the hell planet have you been living on (or I should say what have you been smoking?)

Windfall

Yes, when the Marxist Democrats run out of other peoples’ money, they will incite their government dependent handout-seekers to riot, loot, strike and cause general chaos.

Ann Coulter has it exactly right.

From Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America...

"The Democratic Party is the party of the mob, irrespective of what the mob represents. Democrats active mobs, depend on mobs, coddle mobs, publicize and celebrate mobs - they are the mob. Indeed the very idea of a “community organizer” is to stir up a mob for some political purpose. “As so frequently happens when a crowd goes wild,” historian Erik Durschmeid says, “there is always one who shouts louder and thereby appoints himself as their leader.” Those are the people we call “elected Democrats.”

http://www.amazon.com/Demonic-How-Liberal-Endangering-America/dp/0307353486

Windfall

Yes, when the Marxist Democrats run out of other peoples’ money they will incite their government dependent handout-seekers to riot, loot, strike and cause general chaos.

Ann Coulter has it exactly right.

From Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America...

“The Democratic Party is the party of the mob, irrespective of what the mob represents. Democrats activate mobs, depend on mobs, coddle mobs, publicize and celebrate mobs - they are the mob. Indeed the very idea of a ‘community organizer’ is to stir up a mob for some political purpose. ‘As so frequently happens when a crowd goes wild,’ historian Erik Durschmeid says, ‘there is always one who shouts louder and thereby appoints himself as their leader.’ Those are the people we call ‘elected Democrats.’”

http://www.amazon.com/Demonic-How-Liberal-Endangering-America/dp/0307353486

AimeeX

The United States is too civilized, patriotic, and independent to degenerate into rioting over political and social policies. Though too many violent individuals live here, collectively we're too principled and love the land too much to start acting like savages and tearing things apart. The American response when government fails and disappoints is to disregard its dictates and policies and launch out resourcefully on our own, like the pioneers. The U.S. is self-sustaining; everything we need to prosper is here within our borders, and we know it. We brainstorm and find our own creative ways to succeed--if that includes breaking a government mandate, so be it, as long as we don't hurt anyone. This is OUR country; we don't attack officials; we just ignore them and do our own thing.

Verballistic

@Jorge 2

Several European countries are in the PROCESS of being taken over by Muslims, primarily by demographic means. But the UK in particular is seeing increasingly troubling RADICALIZATION & rising political power by RADICAL Muslims.

Here is a chilling video of an angry Muslim MOB literally chasing unarmed British police through the streets of London:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp-lwSe2llg&feature=player_embedded&has_verified=1

PARENTAL ADVISORY: Repeated profanity is screamed intermittently between the obligatory shouts of "ALLAHU AKBAR".

Dr No

I love the video of cops being chased through the streets. In contrast, in the US cops are fully militarized, and eager to use weapons on people, on the other hand citizens in the US are armed too. Ultimately, Americans are too pacified, and dumbed down, to stand up against their oppressors.

Patrick

Not sure if anyone will read this, but Americans will not and do not riot a la Europe.

Firstly, American government is essentially sound and fairly responsive to its citizens' needs. The European model is based around a sorta-British parliamentary system which is more aloof from the populace. Equally aloof are the rulers of the countries. (Sarkozy et al) The Europeans, while getting (not in all EU nations) free healthcare, schooling, etc, pay a lot in taxes...much more than Americans pay.

Europeans have grown accustomed to a sense of entitlement. Some Americans would find living in France luxurious...the Welfare State in all its glory. Many Americans including myself do not have health insurance. America is a mess, but bless this mess. European countries are falling apart, and the smug citizens prefer to riot and scream than do anything constructive socially.

If Americans rioted, there would've been riots all over America since the Bush days....and the economy was better during Bush's reign than now. There were demonstrations, but peaceful ones. If there were riots, the National Guard would be called and the riots would've been quashed. In Europe the police are useless. A paradox.

It is interesting to note that while Frenchmen may riot over the retirement age going up two years (only two! not ten!) they sure don't mind the Muslims overrunning Christendom. When I went to England lately, I was stunned at the hordes of Muslim children running wild in the streets. Massive immigration is the real problem here.

[/rant]

John Gabriel

The problem with capitalism is that capitalists eventually run out of your money.

This is what happened in Greece and what is happening here.


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Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »

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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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