The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

I'm back

My blog is back!

Nothing serious, just technical problems.

I will be back to normal blogging from Monday.

Thank you to those who emailed their concern.

And thank you all for your patience…

26 Comments

  1. Cinzano
    May 18, 2010    

    Once again, your “leave of absence” conveniently coincides with the terrible events which happened in Greece. You always seem to disappear when the human rights of Greeks are being trampled on and petrol-bombed. Now that you’re back, i’d like to know why you aren’t highlighting the enormous upheaval in employment and pension rights that have happened over the last few weeks in Greece.

    You’ve covered the issue of overtime pay for a few dozen Phillipino workers in Greece. Why aren’t you covering the massive cuts in employment rights for millions of workers in Greece which has become INTERNATIONAL NEWS everywhere else accept on your blog which is “about Greece”?

    Don’t you think that’s it’s a bit strange not to even mention the swathing cuts in Greek employment rights in your blog? I’ve seen the Greek debt issue raised in human rights blogs about Ireland and about Africa which have nothing to do with Greece but people thought it was important to mention what’s going on over there in Greece. But your blog, which pretends to be “about Greece” doesn’t even mention it – it’s like the biggest event in modern Greek history didn’t even happen according to you.

    Your total ignorance of the events and your refusal to even mention it on your blog tells me that my suspicions for your blog are true. Your blog is more about stroking your inflated ego and unfairly criticising Greeks for their treatment of people of colour, rather than addressing and highlighting the real issues of all people living in Greece.

    The majority of Southern Europeans are the most tolerant and hospitable people in Europe and your attempt to portray them as something different is totally unfounded and wrong. You’re barking up the wrong tree if you think that by bombarding the net with negative and one-sided articles about Greece you will change the fact that Greeks are wonderfully tolerant people. You should be directing your attention to our British Embassy and telling them to stop dropping bombs on Afghanistan and Iraq and then there would be no reason for the refugees to leave their countries. Ask any Afghan of Iraqi in Greece who they think is the “racist” or “intolerant” and they wouldn’t say “it’s the Greeks” they would say it’s the “Americans and British who are occupying my land and killing my people”…That’s a fact.

    Why don’t you ever mention that OUR COUNTRY (and American foreign policy) is the source of the problem? I’ll tell you why, because if you really asked the question about who is really responsible for the human rights abuses of the poor people who have had to flee their countries, you’ll find that it’s OUR COUNTRY who is responsible and you just can’t bring yourself to accept it because you’ve done sweet f.a. to bring our country to account for the mess. You can’t handle the fact you have done NOTHING to rectify a problem that WE CREATED. It’s OUR COUNTRY who is causing the death and destruction in these refugees’ lands and as a brit, you have done NOTHING to protest about these human rights abuses – instead of constantly criticising the Greeks’ inability to provide jobs and education for thousands of refugees, why don’t you take your protest of human rights abuses to OUR BRITISH EMBASSY in Greece and demand we stop the occupation and bombing of their country and the stealing of their natural resources and demand we use the Billion$ of dollars we spend on cruise missiles and drones and demand we use it on building an infrastrure for jobs, schools and hospitals so that they can provide a better life for themselves and their families so they wouldn’t have to flee their country to another poor European country. Greece, like all southern Euopean countries, has all the love and hospitality in the world but they simply don’t possess the infrastrcuture to cope with the hundreds of thousands of poor refugees which are coming to their countries.
    Your attempt to paint Southern europeans as somehow intolerant because they can’t cope is totally wrong and your refusal to accept OUR COUNTRY’S role in destroying these refugees lives in indicative of your sanctimonious holier-than-thou little Englander attitude.
    Do us a favour and take another leave of absence. The blogosphere can do with a break from your one-sided distortions and snide attacks on good honest journalism.

  2. Cinzano
    May 18, 2010    

    Why don’t you mention the huge cuts in employment rights of millions of Greeks but you mention the overtime rights of a few dozen Philipino workers?

  3. Cinzano
    May 18, 2010    

    You refuse to answer any questions. Let’s take each question one at a time.

    Why haven’t you mentioned the historic and unprecedented events which are happenbing in Greece? Ohter human rights blogs about Ireland have mentioned it. Why not yours, which is purportedly “about Greece”? Your blog is not “human rights abuses in Greece” – it’s “about human rights abuses caused by Greeks on people of colour”. You constantly try to portray Greeks as intolerant when the truth is, they are the warmest most hospitable people in the world.

  4. Cinzano
    May 18, 2010    

    Article after article of miserable negativity about the wonderful southern European people of Greece. It wouldn’t be so bad if you at least acknowledged some of the pain and hardship which is being felt by the ordinary Greek worker right now and for future generations. You should be ashamed of COMPLETELY IGNORING the shattering of Greek workers’ rights which they have acquired over many years of struggle and strife. Shame on you.

    The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing.

    You have done absolutely NOTHING to highlight the issues for the ordinary Greek worker who will suffer for generations to come.

  5. Cinzano
    May 18, 2010    

    My blog has been down for a few days because I had forgotten that payment was due.

    You should have used the 50 Euros i sent you. When you asked for donations a while back, i sent you money via paypal. I support many sites and blogs which highlight human rights issues. Unfortunately, i have since discovered that your blog is incredibly one-sided and negative towards Greece and its’ people. It’s not the sort of human rights blog which i thought i was contributing financially to. You don’t address human rights issues of the people living in Greece, you highlight human rights abuses caused by Greeks. I find this incredibly offensive because it is not very helpful and does not correlate with your statement that this blog is “about human rights issues in Greece”.

    This place only pays for itself, not the lardy dah lifestyle you think I’m striving for!

    I didn’t say anything about your lifestyle. I said your attitude is that of a sanctimonious little Englander. When you said you might have to leave Greece because you’re struggling to put food on the table (apart from lentils) and can’t find a job yada yada yada, i suggested you get a job at pizza hut to help tide you over and put food in your son’s belly (i’ve worked for pizza hut, no shame in that). You apparently are too good for pizza hut because you’re obviously still out of work and struggling to pay for your blog. Your lifestyle isn’t in doubt, it’s your attitude to honest work that’s in question. Spending your time looking for negative articles about a country surely doesn’t pay the rent.

    I have a kid doing exams, a husband whose away trying to find work and hardly ANY news of Greece apart from financial news…

    I don’t understand this sentence. What’s your point?

    yet you find me guilty of EVERYTHING within a few hours of posting.

    No, i find you guilty of double standards and one-sided negativity towards a nation and its’ people. I have been very specific in my accusations against you and i have asked you many times to address these concerns. I have asked you many specific questions which you refuse to answer or enter into any menaingful debate with. You just ignore the issues i’ve raised. Even when i’ve asked you in a very reasonable and toned-down way, you completely ignore the points i’ve raised. So don’t be surprised if my tone towards you has become more accusatory.

    I find you boring, paranoid, repetitive and quite frankly, rude.

    I am completely ok with this.

    And from the stats that I’m seeing in the last few months, so does everyone else.

    Why don’t you enter into a debate and explore the issues i’ve raised rather than enter into childish “i have more support than you” games. Please answer the questions i’ve raised so that we can perhaps address the issues which i find contradictory on your blog. As a fellow human rights advocate and a financial donor to your blog, i think i deserve at least an answer to my concerns about your blog and the issues i’ve raised.

  6. Cinzano
    May 18, 2010    

    Because one is about human rights in Greece and one is not. It’s very clear.

    Excuse me, but what is so “human rights” about what you wrote about the Philipino workers? The Philipino workers weren’t getting a pension because there was no bi-lateral agreement between the Phillipines and Greece. This is a point of legal relations between the two countries, not one of human rights. But you mentioned it anyway because it showed the Greeks as somehow denying Philipino workers their employment rights.

    When millions of Greek workers are being denied their pension rights and will suffer massive abuses of their employment rights for generations to come, you are strangely silent. Why the double standards?

    If only for the memory of those people who died in the Greek bank, you should say something….this is a blog about Greece.

  7. Cinzano
    May 18, 2010    

    I am again in need but would very happily pay you back your 50 euros in a heartbeat.

    I will happily give you another 500 euros if i thought you’d address the human rights issues of EVERYONE in Greece and not just the human rights abuses perpetrated by Greeks.

    Your 50 euros tried to buy me more than anyone else has ever had (apart from physical threats).

    ??? I don’t try to buy anyone. I try to help those who are trying to highlight human rights abuses in any way i can. I don’t have the time to get involved personally in many of the issues but i am in the fortunate position to be able to spare a bit of money to help activists with their expenses.

    As you know, my relationship with you was very friendly and amicable in the beginning. We exchanged emails and i was very happy to assist you and your blog in any way that i could. But when i researched your blog going back five years i was able to see the pattern of your negativity towards Greece and your tacit acceptance of anyone who criticised Greeks. You even tolerated racial abuse and cultural abuse towards Greeks which i find the most disturbing.

  8. May 18, 2010    

    Why are you so paranoid?
    My blog was offline because I didn’t have the money to pay for it. It’s back on now. Moan away.
    .-= deviousdiva´s last blog ..Racial Tensions in Greece =-.

  9. Cinzano
    May 18, 2010    

    please refer to the hundreds, maybe thousands of blogger and tweeters referring to Greek workers and the tragic situation going on here.

    What about YOUR Blog? Isn’t it about Greece? Why are you ignoring the massive events over the last few weeks? What’s the matter with you? People have died because of the massive employment and pension cuts and you are strangely silent. WHY? If it was an Afghan employment centre being firebombed and not a bank you wouldn’t have hesitated to post about it on your blog, would you? Why the double standards?

  10. Kat
    May 18, 2010    

    @Cinzano, if you cannot tell the difference between austerity measures and human rights abuses, then there is frankly no need to exchange views. Cheap relativism -the kind that characterizes all your posts- does not contribute anything to rational exchange of thoughts.

  11. May 18, 2010    

    Goodness… that’s a lot of anger in the few hours I’ve been back. My blog has been down for a few days because I had forgotten that payment was due. This place only pays for itself, not the lardy dah lifestyle you think I’m striving for! I have a kid doing exams, a husband whose away trying to find work and hardly ANY news of Greece apart from financial news… yet you find me guilty of EVERYTHING within a few hours of posting.

    I find you boring, paranoid, repetitive and quite frankly, rude.

    And from the stats that I’m seeing in the last few months, so does everyone else.
    .-= deviousdiva´s last blog ..Racial Tensions in Greece =-.

  12. May 18, 2010    

    Cinzano

    If you do not like the choice of topics here then please go read so many other blogs that you may find of your liking. You stated your case clearly and DD replied with her arguments which simply describe the excellent work on human rights in Greece she has been doing. And you will find in the specialized reports of the UN, Council of Europe, Amnesty International, etc. a similar or in fact stronger criticism of the dismal state of human rights in Greece. You are entitled to disagree with all that as you do. Then just please let those of us who appreciate this blog continue doing so without more such comments from you.

  13. May 18, 2010    

    Why don’t you mention the huge cuts in employment rights of millions of Greeks but you mention the overtime rights of a few dozen Philipino workers?

    Because one is about human rights in Greece and one is not. It’s very clear.
    .-= deviousdiva´s last blog ..Racial Tensions in Greece =-.

  14. Cinzano
    May 18, 2010    

    GHM,

    As a donor to GHM as well as Devious’ blog, i reserve my right to express my views on something which i feel strongly about. You, of course, reserve the right to ignore my comments and concerns (although it isn’t very polite to ignore the concerns of your contributors).

    As a human rights activist, i would have thought that you of all people, would value freedom of speech and realise the value of feedback from your donors. Instead of trying to silence and ignoring those who give feedback, you should be actively encouraging your contributors to offer their opinions about what you’re doing and how you’re going about it.

    You never know, you might actually improve what you’re doing and make your message much clearer.

  15. melusina
    May 18, 2010    

    Unfortunately, the state that Greece is in right now isn’t just the fault of the government – every Greek is accountable. I think it is extremely twisted that the poor in Greece are facing the brunt of the punishment for abuses that everyone from the top government officials to the regular “joe” have tolerated and maintained throughout the years. If so many people hadn’t under reported their income, if so many people hadn’t allowed the system of bribes to continue, if so many people hadn’t allowed the cavalier attitude of spending money for nothing, if so many people hadn’t allowed public servants to collect salaries for not working, if so many people hadn’t allowed some salaries to get out of control while others wre making crap, maybe things wouldn’t be quite so bad today. Sure, they’d still be bad, but I doubt they would be this dire.

    Calling all these austerity measures human rights issues is a bit erroneous. Greece has had an extremely unbalanced economic system for quite some time. The only hope is that these measures (however much I disagree with some of them) can somehow restore balance. Greeks need to start learning how to get angry about the right things, and demand that the government not allow practices that are unfair to continue – and they need to understand that getting something for nothing is not how a good economy works.

    All that being said, this is DD’s blog, and she has the right to discuss or not discuss whatever she wishes. Honestly, why should she give a voice to anarchist violence? Why should she give a voice to the effed up Greek economy? I have no doubt that if the Greeks were truly facing human rights violations in Greece, she would blog about it. But that isn’t what is happening here today. The austerity measures are an effed up fix to an effed up problem Greeks allowed to happen.

  16. May 18, 2010    

    I kind of thought you were the same person but I admit I was pleased by your donation because it kept this blog going at a time when I needed donations. I am again in need but would very happily pay you back your 50 euros in a heartbeat. Your 50 euros tried to buy me more than anyone else has ever had (apart from physical threats).

    I have learned another lesson. Thank you
    .-= deviousdiva´s last blog ..Racial Tensions in Greece =-.

  17. May 18, 2010    

    and you know what makes me most sad? That I thought you were the same as other people on my blog. Interested, curious, naive, intelligent, asking questions.
    Shame

  18. May 18, 2010    

    please refer to the hundreds, maybe thousands of blogger and tweeters referring to Greek workers and the tragic situation going on here.

    As for the article you keep harping on about it was here:
    http://deviousdiva.com/2006/11/02/losing-pensions/

    Please read and judge for yourselves…
    .-= deviousdiva´s last blog ..Racial Tensions in Greece =-.

  19. May 18, 2010    

    Cinzano,

    Here’s an idea:

    Instead of complaining about what DeviousDiva isn’t talking about, why don’t you go hit the “Back” button on your computer and visit a site where what you want will dictate the topics?
    .-= bint alshamsa´s last blog ..Keep it Classist, Paul SCHMIDTBERGER =-.

  20. May 19, 2010    

    For the sake of the other readers, whoever Cinzano is, s/he has never been a ‘donor’ of GHM.

    But we, like DD, value criticism from all bonafide sides -donors or not. That does not mean that we or DD have to sustain an avalanche of posts from the same person.

    Cinzano, your case was made and as others suggested go to other blogs you may like or even better start your own.

  21. May 19, 2010    

    And if you do not hear from us again in this thread it is because we are touring areas around Greece with Roma settlements to address inadequate housing and segregated education issues that are being aggravated as a result of the current crisis, on top of the traditionally prevailing (in Greece as elsewhere in Europe) anti-Roma racism.

  22. Cinzano
    May 19, 2010    

    For the sake of the other readers, whoever Cinzano is, s/he has never been a ‘donor’ of GHM.

    If you don’t know who i am, how can you possibly know that i am not a donor? Your bosses at Wickenburggasse know exactly who i am because i make regular donations:

    Bank Austria Creditanstalt
    Kontonummer: 022 1002 8300
    BLZ: 12 000
    IBAN: AT40 1100 022 1002 8300
    SWIFT: BKAUATWW

    I have a feeling that you will find out very soon who i am…

    But we, like DD, value criticism from all bonafide sides -donors or not.

    You insist that i’m not a financial contributor without even knowing who i am, then, you want to curtail my freedom of expression by insisting that i don’t make “such comments”.

    This stance does nor correlate with your postion as a human rights advocate. I thought you of all people would value and protect the right of free speech. Also, it’s very rude to disrespect and dismiss the opinion of your financial contributors.

    Although i think it’s vulgar to talk about money, i feel that i have been forced to defend my position as a donor to human rights organisations. FYI, I provide regular support to a group of organisations (which includes yours) from my salary which is deducted every month and i often make online payments whenever i get an email from smaller organisations who request further assistance due to low funds.
    I subscribe to a number of publications not because i have the time to read all of them – i subscribe to them because it’s a way to help these organisations financially.

    I make a sizeable annual donation at Christmas time to the main European Roma charity among others.

    You can check who i am – DD knows my real name.
    Check these accounts to confirm who i am.
    Account holder: European Roma Rights Centre
    Bank name: Budapest Bank, Lipótvárosi Fiók
    Bank address: 1054 Budapest, Báthori u. 1., Hungary
    USD IBAN: HU21-10103173-40268600-00000998
    EURO IBAN: HU54-10103173-40268600-00000307
    SWIFT code: BUDAHUHB

    You may be touring Roma areas this summer but do not be foolish enough to underestimate the financial contribution made by donors like me to help the Roma of Europe or the evicted tribes of Kenya or a myriad of other causes i support worldwide.

    Without wishing to blow my own trumpet, i have to tell you that without financial contributions from people like me, which allow a constant trickle of funds to keep humantiraian projects going, people like you wouldn’t have the resources or funds to go on your “tours of Roma housing”. So please, be a little more humble when talking to others, you never know who they are and how they are helping you to carry out the essential humaitarian work you are doing.

  23. May 19, 2010    

    I have been informed of your post and have decided to comment as soon as I came back from Lamia and Atalanti.

    I am the founder and manager of GHM, a Greek NGO, and we have no bosses anywhere else. Anyone who knows GHM knows that. As s/he knows that GHM’s funds in the last ten years have come from the Greek government and the EU.

    If you give money to other European NGOs is of no concern to us.

  24. Cinzano
    May 20, 2010    

    GHM,

    Are you trying to tell me that you have never been sponsored by the organisations which i am a regular contributor to?

    Not only have you been given financial assistance by the IHF and EERC, organisations which i regularly contribute to, but you have also been granted various funds as part of “pathways out of poverty” initiatives to which i regularly donate funds. I know this for a fact because i receive regular correspondence from the various Humanitarian Foundations i sponsor detailing their funding projects.

    EVEN IF I DIDN’T DIRECTLY DONATE MONEY TO YOU THROUGH THE ORGANISATIONS WHICH I SPONSOR, YOU OWE YOUR SURVIVAL TO EVERYONE WHO LIVES AND WORKS IN THE EU BECAUSE WE FUND YOUR ACTIVITES THROUGH OUR TAXES.

    so please have a little more respect for people who provide you with financial assistance and don’t try to silence your regular contributors’ comments – we are the reason for your existence. Even if we didn’t pay your wages and fund your activities, we have a right to express our opinion because this is a FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT.

    Start acting like the human rights advocate you purport to be, instead of the ungrateful free speech denier you’ve shown yourself to be in this thread.

  25. May 20, 2010    

    We will continue to state the record straight so that other persons can draw conclusions.

    GHM funded sources in recent years have been explicitly listed (Greek government and EU).

    ERRC programs we participate in are EU funded.

    We have never received funds as part of “pathways out of poverty” initiatives.

    IHF has regrettably gone bankrupt years ago.

    Finally, when one it told that their views have been heard and s/he should not insist on repeating them and calls that “silencing” s/he needs to get examined. The fact that s/he may have once contributed 50 euros to some NGO or human rights blog does not give him/her the right to harass DD or us.

    So Cinzano, you do not like us and the feelings are reciprocal. Get your case elsewhere.

  26. Cinzano
    May 20, 2010    

    “ERRC programs we participate in are EU funded.”

    i.e. paid for by us. Correct?

    “We have never received funds as part of “pathways out of poverty” initiatives.”

    Are you telling me that you have never received funds from the C.S. Mott Foundation?

    “Finally, when one is told that their views have been heard and s/he should not insist on repeating them and calls that “silencing” s/he needs to get examined.”

    So, if someone tells you that you should not insist on repeating your views on the human rights breaches of Greece, you will accede to their wishes and stop repeating your views? You shouldn’t even contemplate telling someone to “shut up” never mind telling them personally, especially when you purport to be a human rights advocate who should understand the importance of FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

    “The fact that s/he may have once contributed 50 euros to some NGO or human rights blog does not give him/her the right to harass DD or us.”

    I have donated much more than 50 Euros to various organisations but the amount is not the point. i give whatever i can afford to human rights charities (including your sponsors).
    You may not want to hear my concerns about this blog or about any other human rights organisations but i RESERVE THE RIGHT to voice my opinion. If i believe that ANY organisation is employing double standards or is not acting according to their policy statement, i reserve the right to express my opinion EVEN IF I WAS NOT A DONOR.
    Freedom of Speech is a fundamental human right so if you don’t like to read my opinon then i suggest you go elsewhere but don’t suggest i should refrain from making it.

    You don’t have to accept my feedback or opinion but please don’t tell me that i must “stop making such comments”.

    Start acting like a human rights advocate who values freedom of speech and stop telling people what they should say and what they should stop saying.
    Have a little respect for your donors or you may go the same way as the other bankrupt organisations who became too high and mighty for their own good.

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