Recent Items

Mark Ames: How UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi Brought Oppression Back To Greece’s Universities

Posted on by

Yves here. Reader sidelarge raised the issue yesterday in comments, of UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi’s role in abolition of university asylum in Greece. The story is even uglier than the link he provided suggests.

By Mark Ames, the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine. Cross posted from The eXiled

A friend of mine sent me this link claiming that UC Davis chancellor “Chemical” Linda Katehi, whose crackdown on peaceful university students shocked America, played a role in allowing Greece security forces to raid university campuses for the first time since the junta was overthrown in 1974. (H/T: Crooked Timber) I’ve checked this out with our friend in Athens, reporter Kostas Kallergis (who runs the local blog “When The Crisis Hits The Fan”), and he confirmed it–Linda Katehi really is the worst of all possible chancellors imaginable, the worst for us, and the worst for her native Greece.

First, some background: Last week, The eXiled published two pieces on Greece’s doomed struggle against global financial institutions—an article on how the EU and Western bankers essentially overthrew the nearly-uppity government of prime minister George Papandreou, and replaced it with a banker-friendly “technocratic” government that includes real-life, no-bullshit neo-Nazis and fascists from the LAOS party, fascists with a banker-friendly fetish for imposing austerity measures. One of those fascists, Makis “Hammer” Voridis, spent his early 20s “hammering” non-fascist students for sport. Voridis was booted out of Athens University law school after ax-bashing fellow law students who didn’t share his fascist ideology. Today, Mikaes Voridis is the Minister for Infrastructure in the “technocratic” government. Imagine Lt. John Pike in leather and an 80s hairdo, carrying a homemade ax rather than a pepper spray weapon, and you have Makis “Hammer” Voridis.

We also published a powerful and necessary history primer by Greek journalist Kostas Kallergis on the almost-holy significance of the date November 17 in contemporary Greek history. On that day in 1973, pro-democracy students at the Athens Polytechnic university were crushed by tanks and soldiers sent in by the ruling junta dictatorship, which collapsed less than a year later, returning democracy to Greece. With CIA backing, the generals in the junta overthrew Greece’s democracy in 1967, jailed and tortured suspected leftists (meaning students and union leaders), and even went the extra-weird-fascist mile by banning the Beatles, mini-skirts, long hair, along with Mark Twain and Sophocles. The student rebellion at the Polytechnic, and its martyrdom, became the symbol for Greeks of their fight against fascism and tyranny, something like the briefcase man at Tiananmen Square, or the slaughtered rebels of the Boston Tea Party Massacre. That is why, as soon as the junta was overthrown and democracy restored in 1974, Greece immediately banned the presence of army, police or state security forces on university campuses. This so-called “university asylum” law turned Greece’s university campuses into cop-free zones of “political asylum,” where no one could interfere in the students’ rights to dissent against the government.

Athens Polytechnic uprising against junta: Try to find Linda Katehi in this photo

Today, thanks in part to UC Davis chancellor “Chemical” Linda Katehi, Greek university campuses are no longer protected from state security forces. She helped undo her native country’s “university asylum” laws just in time for the latest austerity measures to kick in. Incredibly, Katehi attacked university campus freedom despite the fact that she was once a student at the very center of Greece’s anti-junta, pro-democracy rebellion–although what she was doing there, if anything at all, no one really knows.

Here’s the sordid back-story: Linda Katehi was born in Athens in 1954 and got her undergraduate degree at the famous Athens Polytechnic. She just happened to be the right age to be a student at the Polytechnic university on the very day, November 17, 1973, when the junta sent in tanks and soldiers to crush her fellow pro-democracy students. It was only after democracy was restored in 1974–and Greek university campuses were turned into police-free “asylum zones”–that Linda Katehi eventually moved to the USA, earning her PhD at UCLA.

Earlier this year, Linda Katehi served on an “International Committee On Higher Education In Greece,” along with a handful of American, European and Asian academics. The ostensible goal was to “reform” Greece’s university system. The real problem, from the real powers behind the scenes (banksters and the EU), was how to get Greece under control as the austerity-screws tightened. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that squeezing more money from Greece’s beleaguered citizens would mean clamping down on Greece’s democracy and doing something about those pesky Greek university students. And that meant taking away the universities’ “amnesty” protection, in place for nearly four decades, so that no one, nowhere, would be safe from police truncheons, gas, or bullets.

Thanks to the EU, bankers, and UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi, university freedom for Greece’s students has taken a huge, dark step backwards.

Here you can read a translation of the report co-authored by UC Davis’ Linda Katehi–the report which brought about the end of Greece’s “university asylum” law.What’s particularly disturbing is that Linda Katehi was the only Greek on that commission. Presumably that would give her a certain amount of extra sway–both because of her inside knowledge, and because of her moral authority among the other non-Greek committee members. And yet, Linda Katehi signed off on a report that provided the rationale for repealing Greece’s long-standing “university asylum” law. She basically helped undo the very heart and soul of Greece’s pro-democracy uprising against the junta.

And perfect timing too, now that one of Greece’s most notorious pro-junta fascists is a member of the new austerity government.

Popular Greek cyber-graphic: “Bread. Education. Freedom*”

One more thing: Kallergis did a search in the Greek language of Linda Katehi’s interviews to see what she had to say about her experience at the Polytechnic in 1973, what she remembered of it, and how it affected her. What he found was troubling to say the least.

The interview in Greek with Linda Katehi can be found here at this American Greek site. Our man in Athens, Kostas Kallergis, picked out two specific questions about November 17, 1973, and Linda Katehi’s answers–if you can call these answers. Here are the questions and answers, with Kallergis’ translations and comments, which he provided to The eXiled:

Σπουδάσατε σε περίοδο έντονης πόλωσης στην πολιτική στην Ελλάδα και πολλοί συμφοιτητές σας δεν έμειναν αδρανείς. Εσείς αναμειχθήκατε στα πολιτικά πράγματα;

-Φυσικά, όπως όλοι άλλωστε. Πως να σε αφήσουν αδιάφορο όλες αυτές οι αναταραχές;

Q: “You studied during a very politically polarized period in Greece and many of your fellow students did not stay still/dormant. Did you get involved in the political developments?”

Linda Katehi: “Of course, as everybody else. How could that upheavel leave you indifferent?”

Kallergis comments: “Katehi is offered an opportunity to give an account of her political activities of that time, and yet she only replies with a vague, very general answer. It seems very odd.”

Second question:

Δραστηριοποιείστε πολιτικά;

-Ποτέ δεν έχω αναμειχθεί στα πολιτικά.

Q: Are you involved in politics now?

Linda Katehi: I have never been involved in politics.

Kallergis comments: “I guess you can see the contradiction… they are both from the same single interview.”

She’s the right goon for the right time: As Yasha Levine reported two years ago, UC students have been battling against rapacious austerity measures jacking up their fees in order to pay back Wall Street bankers who bet and lost UC pension funds. That’s a big reason why UC students are fed up and Going Occupy. And “Chemical” Katehi’s answer is the sort of answer banksters like hearing: Stomp out dissent and squeeze every last drop of juice out of them that you can.

You always expect your monsters to look like monsters and talk like monsters; but the best, most effective vehicles for evil are always these anti-matter humans, these hollow voids, the “nothing person” that the great Russian writer Yuri Trifonov described so mercilessly and perfectly in House on the Embankment.

For more on “Chemical” Linda Katehi, watch this stunning silent protest by UC Davis students (H/T Lee Fang):

Also, watch Linda Katehi telling ABC’s Good Morning America that she refuses to resign, claiming, “The university needs me.”

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Indeed, just like Greece. How can anyone live without you people.

Print Friendly
Twitter56DiggReddit0StumbleUpon0Facebook858LinkedIn0Google+13bufferEmail

124 comments

  1. Richard Kline

    Q: Are you involved in politics now?

    Linda Katehi: I have never been involved in politics. [I mean, I'm out for myself, so I really don't have time.]

    There, fixed that for her. ‘Nothing person’ is exactly right. The only ideology she and her ilk have is getting theirs to the last drachma. Which is why they are perfect administrators for the corporations and the concentration camps.

    1. Commiemaniac

      Thanks for the link David, I hadn’t read that one. Mark Ames might be repulsive and disturbing (and from a disease perspective, dangerous) to some but you can bet your last dollar that his whore stories meet the highest standards of journalistic truth and integrity!
      There are no other journalists I would trust to give me an accurate account of screwing nine whores in nine hours.

      This is apart from him being a genius and de-facto God.

      1. Fr. Keene

        Normally I don’t agree with censorship, but in the case of Ames, I’m with David and CommieMac. We should not give venue to writers like this repulsive man. And I say this not because I disagree with what he writes, though I do–I for one believe in allowing different opinions and viewpoints, even those that we find offensive or repulsive. However, in Ames’ case, it’s not that I disagree with him so much as I find his old work morally repulsive, and that is why I think it’s reasonable to, as you might put it, “censor” Ames. I have heard the excuse that his writing in Russia was considered “satirical” and “gonzo” but that is no excuse for being morally repulsive.

        Another reason why I am with Commiemanic and David is the Vanity Fair puff piece showering praise on Ames like he was the Second Coming of Hunter Thompson. I canceled my subscription after that. I don’t see why this site should further validate his work and give it respectability just because other media do. Serious blogosphere media like this was not not meant as a venue for all sorts of crazy opinions or “Vanity Fair approved” writers.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Your sanctimonious is remarkable, given the actual history. Ames was in fact never censored in Russia. There was a censorship effort, which backfired.

          Michael McFaul–in the 90s Clinton’s top cheerleader in Russia–pushed hard to get eXile articles censored from the most influential list serv for Russia watchers, journos, diplomats, bankers, etc, called “Johnson’s Russia List.” McFaul went so far as to threaten to pull Carnegie money. McFaul used the “sexism” argument and the Johnny Chen club reviewer character (an over-the-top burlesque of USAID Deloitte Touche consultant/degenerate). The real problem was that Ames and Taibbi were zeroing in on the utter failure of Clinton’s and the Young Reformers’ rule. Ames wrote in the spring that like it or not, the financial system was going to collapse.

          David Johnson, who still runs that project, decided that rather than pull their articles from the list (they were the only reporters predicting collapse and laying the blame on reform–only Western reporters I mean, the Russians were on top of it), he’d canvassed his readers in a poll. Amazingly enough, despite all the satirical abuse eXile hurled at the Western reporters, most demanded we not be censored. The strongest voice came from a rather ridiculous and self-important lesbian “intellectual” named Masha Gessen. eXile published fake movie ads like “Driving Miss Gessen” because of her absurd columns about her chauffer…but she stood up and supported them and was frankly shocked that any American could even talk about banning anything for any other reason other than it lacks relevancy.

          That shamed people. Bottom line: the argument Americans used against them was: You can’t combine comedy/satire (especially offensive black comedy) with real investigative journalism. That both offends Americans’ bizarre adherence to rules, and gave people who hated their reporting on corruption a “moral” or “professional” rationale for banning their relevant investigative pieces.

          And this is pure ad hominem. None of the people hyperventilating about him have give a SINGLE criticism of his information or his arguments.

          I’ve met Ames. He’s articulate and vastly better read than I am, which I assure you puts him well ahead of the overwhelming majority of the NC commentariat.

        2. Naseer Ahmad

          Could all those sanctimonious “I am all for allowing all sorts of views but definitely think Mark Ames ought not be published on this blog” say why? Besides you find him repulsive? But, is he right?

    2. hondje

      Can’t attack the message so you attack the messenger. Can’t even come up with a real attack, just ‘ohnoes Mark wrote a piece about banging hookers! How improper!’

      Troll Grade: D-

    3. Southern Cross

      I’m with David on this – what an utterly repugnant individual. Please Yves, your work is too important to co-habit with the producer of such misogynist trash. The veneer of leftist pretension only makes the material even more odious. David’s link says it all.

        1. Southern Cross

          Commiemaniac – I may not have been clear, the ‘odious leftist pretension’ referred to the contents of the ‘whores’ article, not the featured piece. We differ in our attributions of truth, integrity and accuracy – I would expect none of these from the writer of that ugly contempt filled rant. Anything else the man has to say becomes questionable if this reflects his character and values.

          The topics covered in this excellent blog are too important, the educational function too vital to be compromised in any way. Postings are usually of excellent quality, and this builds trust and repeat visits. Just my two bob’s worth.

          1. Sophia

            I checked my odious leftist pretension handbook and there is nothing about stray dogs being of higher esteem than the “fucking homeless.”

          2. EH

            I would expect none of these from the writer of that ugly contempt filled rant.

            Hey, it’s not our role to adopt your prejudice. Blind squirrel, etc.

          3. Binky the Bear

            If you don’t like the real world, the convent is always open and waiting to protect you from unfortunate realities.

            Unless you believe the lawsuits against the church, in which case Ames looks pretty clean.

    4. billwilson

      Not half bad writing … and he helped stimulate the Russian economy a bit as well. More than can be said for most investment bankers, who generally just f%^& things up.

    5. William

      You need to drop some LSD or eat some shrooms, man, because you need your mind opened up and awakened before you die (or just read the Gospels, since you’re obviously a highly moral Christian type). You don’t want to die this way, do you? There in your dark little world?

      Loved Ames Exiled article! Thanks for the link.

    6. sidelarge

      Thanks for the link, David. The article is far more informative and thought-provoking than the ones about Russia that I read on the WP, NYT, the Guardian, the Telegraph, Asahi Shimbun, etc. around that time. Even better than Der Spiegel. That’s some serious journalism, if you ask me, lol.

    7. Sophia

      And yet, Linda Katehi signed off on a report that provided the rationale for repealing Greece’s long-standing “university asylum” law.

      Based solely on reading the linked translated report, this is a bit of a stretch. From that link, on first read through, this looks bad:

      politicization of the campuses – and specifically the politicization of students – represents a beyond-reasonable involvement in the political process. This is contributing to an accelerated degradation of higher education.

      That’s in the findings section. The suggestions section has no mention of the asylum law or apparent restrictions on student behavior. I don’t know if it’s a formatting problem on the blog or my settings, but there appeared to be missing portions of the text. Mostly intro words like “the” or “there.” On second review, highlighting the text revealed the following “for example” sentence that offers more context for the politicization of the student body:

      For example, students have 40% of the vote in the selection of university administrators.

      The suggestions section does recommend that administrators be chosen by dedicated search committees composed of representatives of assorted stakeholders (including students) instead of whatever the current system is that allows the students a 40% vote.

      This also looks bad:

      · Greek university campuses are not secure. While the Constitution allows University leaders to protect campuses against elements that seek political instability, Rectors have been reluctant to exercise their rights and responsibilities, and to make decisions needed in order to keep faculty, staff and students safe. As a result, University leaders and faculty have not been able to be good stewards of the facilities they have been entrusted with by the public.

      I don’t know the extent to which this is even true, but it could be used by others as a rationale for suspending the asylum law. But what this committee uses it for is to argue for greater independence among administrators to better exercise the authority they already have.

      The link to the ScienceGuide article describing the repeal of the asylum law expressly states that the Conservatives who were pushing for repeal of the asylum law were also firmly opposed to austerity measures. The reasoning for repeal offered was that criminals were taking advantage of the law during otherwise lawful protest activities. This is consistent with the committee’s finding that the administrators were failing to keep the campuses secure, but it is not apparently dependent on that finding. They were probably all working from the same reports, but the Conservatives aren’t name checking the committee in that article.

      Basically, Katehi may well be a horrible human being but it seems sloppy and simplistic to suggest based on this evidence that she was knowingly and gladly ushering in an end to the asylum laws.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Your view are likely to prove to be premature. At a minimum, Katehi was a willing tool, too willing. And Ames is doing further digging into the depth of her involvement in the report.

        1. Sophia

          My comments were expressly limited to analyzing whether Ames’ claims were supported by the materials he linked to. Further reporting may convince me that Katehi drafted/signed off on this report understanding it would support an end to amnesty, but it will not change my mind that this argument/post is poorly supported. I’m supposed to believe that this report supplied the rationale to end amnesty so that opposition to austerity measures could be better managed and/or crushed. But the link Ames offers to the repeal of amnesty states that it was the conservatives who were pushing it and the same conservatives strongly opposed austerity measures.

          Perhaps they were hoodwinked, useful idiots, whatever. But I see no reason, based on the supporting materials offered here, to believe that they were looking for sneaky ways to support austerity measures or that they required cover from an academic committee to form an opinion on the sustainability of amnesty.

          My view isn’t premature, it is measured. Analysis of the language and what little I know of the context. I don’t need to hear about reforming universities in Greece to know that Katehi is a lackey to power, she’s provided enough evidence of that in the past week. I do need to see more evidence to support Ames’ theory that she was playing handmaiden to repeal of amnesty. And it doesn’t matter how much of a role she had in the drafting of the report, because the report does not support or even mention repealing amnesty.

          Where is the evidence that the report was used in anyway to support the repeal? Where is the evidence that “shit, we’ve barely got control of our campuses” did not exist as a rationale for repeal prior to the report? It seems like the lack of campus security would be the sort of thing that would be wide out in the open, not something it takes a blue ribbon panel with subpoena power to figure out.

          Perhaps Ames is busy tracking down this sort of relevant evidence. But if he’s already convinced himself that this is how it all went down (with quotes from some random interview more important to him than the text of the report he credits with providing the rationale) I sort of doubt it. Skepticism isn’t premature.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            You are arguing trees to ignore the forest.

            It should not be surprising that the report mounts the classic “public safety” arguments against civil liberties. That’s what we see used against the Occupations, which as we know too often based on trumped-up charges.

          2. Sophia

            Sorry, can’t find the reply button to your comment.

            You are arguing trees to ignore the forest.

            Not at all. I’m asking the lumberjack to bring me something worth setting on fire before I give him credit. I have no problem agreeing that Katehi is… sold-out almost gives her too much credit, corrupt gives the system too much credit by implying that she’s actually breaking laws in all of her support the dominant paradigm actions.

            Katehi is not on the side of the light. And EU bankers are interfering with Greece in some disturbing ways. It’s not that I’m arguing that there aren’t some profoundly anti-democratic — crush the weak for the oligarchy — things going on in Greece. I just don’t see the benefit in prematurely assuming that’s what happened here. Greece is not the U.S. They have their own culture and context; it’s vain and dangerous to just airdrop a few snippets about politicization into what it would mean in the U.S. and conclude that is what is happening in Greece. I just figure there are enough bad people doing bad things, we don’t need to invent them. People in Greece could have their own legitimate reasons for wanting to end asylum. The austerity brigade may benefit from that, but that doesn’t mean the people in Greece were collectively acting the patsy.

          3. Yves Smith Post author

            Sophia,

            You are on thin grounds here. From your longer remark above:

            My comments were expressly limited to analyzing whether Ames’ claims were supported by the materials he linked to. Further reporting may convince me that Katehi drafted/signed off on this report understanding it would support an end to amnesty, but it will not change my mind that this argument/post is poorly supported. I’m supposed to believe that this report supplied the rationale to end amnesty so that opposition to austerity measures could be better managed and/or crushed.

            Nowhere did Ames say that she signed off on the report “understanding it would support an end to amnesty.” What he wrote is that the report was used as the rationale for ending the amnesty. I would not be surprised that Katehi knew what the effect of her report was when she signed off on it, in fact I’d be surprised if she didn’t. But what Ames did say explicitly and upon inquiry, still stands, given his local Greece sources, (namely Athens-based journalist Kostas Kallergis), is that this report that Katehi signed off on provided the rationale for the eventual repeal of the “university amnesty.”

            So you’ve twisted his words or meaning.

            BTW, John Quiggan, economics professor at the University of Queensland in Australia and columnist for the Australian Financial Review, came to the same conclusion as Ames. Quiggan’s interpretation of Katehi’s report and the role it played in ending the amnesty came from his discussions with John Panaretos, a U. Athens business professor, visiting professor at Stanford, and former Deputy Minister for Education. Here is what Quiggan wrote, which I linked to in my post, which you for some reason either intentionally ignored or else failed to see for merely by clicking on the links I provided. So you compound the dissimulation by asserting that Ames provided no backup:

            University asylum was abolished a few months ago, as part of a process aimed at suppressing anti-austerity demonstrations. The abolition law was based on the recommendatiions of an expert committee, which reported a few months ago (report here, in Greek). There’s an English translation here, but it doesn’t work well for me.

            Among the authors of this report – Chancellor Linda Katehi, UC Davis.

            Some advice: Before attacking the credibility of a piece, particularly a piece that exposes some of the ugly workings of banker-political-academic power, at the very least you need to press the “click” button on your mouse and read the links and other evidence provided, if only to bolster the credibility of your own attack.

            This message from Ames:

            The real question for me is, what makes “Sophia” so stubbornly, defiantly protective of Linda Katehi, a woman who has thoroughly discredited herself in the eyes of most Americans by her brutality, and now her link to a dark episode in Greece?

            Considering all of the personal attacks on me in the comments section here, and the fact that I provided several links and sources for evidence; and given the mischaracterization here of my position, it’s hard for me to read “Sophia”‘s comments without seeing another agenda here at work. For better or for worse, I’ve been dealing with these sorts of attempts to discredit my work for a long time now. It’s what happens when you take on power without playing by their rules of polite discourse. Usually it’s a sign that I’ve tweaked the right people, which strikes me as the only reason to be working in this miserably underpaid profession of mine. I dealt with this in Russia, and I’ve been dealing with it from the Koch-trolls ever since I broke the first story about the Kochs funding the Tea Party, and I expect it here if I’m writing about something as sensitive as the Greece story and police brutality, and not writing it up in the nice polite ineffectual way they want it written up. Thus ends the sanctimonious part of my response.

          4. Sophia

            ok. you’ve put me into moderation. That… reminds me to stop caring about politics because where the fuck would I get off thinking that anyone with any power would care what I think.

            Thanks.

          5. Yves Smith Post author

            No, I most assuredly did not put you into moderation. You will probably notice your comment above appeared immediately. I very rarely put people into moderation. I generally ban them outright.

            You may not have seen it, but I have repeatedly said what will get a comment moderated: the use of particular words and phrases. I have filters that are designed to pick up comments that are out of line. Yours hit the tripwire.

            But instead you took it personally and started bitching in the moderation queue. That is going to assure that that comment is NOT gonna get approved.

          6. Sophia

            I’m sorry this is long, and for the frustrated moping of my previous comment. But I actually want to try and get through here.

            Here is what Quiggan wrote, which I linked to in my post, which you for some reason either intentionally ignored or else failed to see for merely by clicking on the links I provided.

            Quiggan refers to the same two sources I dealt with, except he doesn’t seem to have read the English translation of the full report. (I assume what he means by “it doesn’t work well for me” is that the link didn’t work). His comments appear to be based on a snippet his friend provided that Quiggan cites as “key recommendations.” The quoted portion is actually in the findings section, not the recommendations. And I addressed the portion he quoted in my original comment.

            While appeals to authority are frequently persuasive they are not logically valid. I see no reason to give greater weight to “Professor with a Greek friend who read two paragraphs of the report” than to my own analysis based on reading the full document (in which the recommendation is to strengthen the independence of administrators, not end asylum). And suggesting that Quiggan’s post bolsters Ames’ reminds me of the xkcd comic on where citations come from.

            The commentary from Ames that you include in your comment is just silly. I don’t consider calling someone a lackey to power and saying they are not on the side of the light (aka they are on the Dark Side) protective. My stubborn insistence on making these comments is based on seeing intelligent people that I respect getting played. I don’t like that. Everything that I’ve read suggests the situation with asylum is more complicated than presented by Ames and I don’t see the benefit in running with his narrative or encouraging people to let their pre-existing positions fill in all the blanks of an argument when evidence should be available.

            For better or for worse, I’ve been dealing with these sorts of attempts to discredit my work for a long time now. It’s what happens when you take on power without playing by their rules of polite discourse. Usually it’s a sign that I’ve tweaked the right people,

            I am so the wrong person. I am arguably allergic to the right people. And I completely ignored style issues and the 9 whores in 9 hours link. My criticism of this post can be used to make this story stronger. I want people to take on power! And I want them to do it with better arguments than what Ames is packing here.

          7. mch

            Weird, this is. Sophia seems to me to be arguing from an informed place that is not fundamentally hostile to Yves’ in the big picture, just one that seeks more nuance about the complexities of Greek university issues, since those issues clearly matter a lot to Sophia day to day (quite apart from Katehi and UC Davis). Greek universities don’t exist for the sake of American-European bloggers/floggers, after all. The Greek university system needs massive reform, it really does, and the left of all perspectives should respect that fact! Weird, weird, weird if Katehi’s role at UC Davis should somehow obscure that fact to Americans just discovering that Greek universities even exist.

    8. Harry

      David,

      I have followed both Taibbi and Ames since they were in Moscow. I have read a lot of their work. And yes, they have no problem admitting that they took lots of drugs and slept with lots of Russian girls. At the time it was very common among Western expats. I wonder whether Professor Sachs would care to admit anything about his time in Moscow. Or Hayes. Or the staff of every Western bank in Moscow.

      What Ames and Taibbi wrote was the truth. They also wrote some very excellent analysis of the state of Russian politics – characterised by extreme corruption, moral vacumn, and covered up by vast amounts of propaganda. Today, American politics is in pretty much the same condition. Im not disgusted by people sleeping with hookers. Im disgusted by the hypocracy and corruption I see around me everywhere.

      DSK is back safe in France now. I wonder if he always paid his bills on time.

      1. JamesW

        Outstanding points! Jeffrey Sachs, in his political repositioning, still hasn’t come clean on his time in Russia on the econ “shock and awe” team.

        Yup, Larry Summers, Sachs and the others, just guys screwing countries and citizens, instead of women (who probably have much better taste and focused on Taibbi and Ames?).

    9. Yves Smith Post author

      I don’t see what you find wrong with the story you linked to. Seriously. If this is the best you can do as a reason to reject what Ames writes, you are going to have to try a lot harder to get any sympathy here.

      1. David

        Thanks for replying, Yves. Love your blog. Sorry we disagree so fundamentally on this. A number of commenters have made the points I would, so I won’t go on.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          “A number” is a grand total of two who have never commented here before (often a sign of trolls), versus fourteen in favor, most of whom are regulars. And neither of them were able to make substantive complaints either.I don’t take a repetition of an ad hominem attack as worthy of consideration.

          Clearly, you’d rather be taken advantage of well spoken men in nice suits who rape and pillage entire economies rather than listen to and learn from Ames, who has to plumb the limits of discourse to describe the moral turpitude of the soi-disant elites adequately.

        2. JCC

          David says: “This is not concern trolling: seeing the man’s name at a site I respect makes me feel ill.”

          Actually, it looks like classic trolling. The only possible way that this article would justify an ad hominem attack according to this article ( http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=character-attack ) would possibly be that Linda Katehi was one of the Nine and Mr. Ames was looking to revenge a wasted night.

          Not to mention that it helps to read *completely* the article *before* you use it as an example of why everything Mr. Ames points out here is meaningless and why it was bad form for YS to post it, since he points out some pretty salient reasons why and what this particular escapade was all about, both prior to and after the fact.

          Personally I found this article very interesting particularly in the light of her recent back-pedaling.

  2. ambrit

    Dear Sir or Madam;
    “The slaughtered rebels of the Boston Tea Party?”
    If I remember my history, no one was seriously hurt during and right after the original Boston Tea Party. Also, ‘slaughtered’ suggests an element of helplessness. May I suggest a perusal of “My Kinsman, Major Miloineux” by Nathaniel Hawthorne for a more accurate evocation of that era?

      1. ambrit

        Dear Sylvester;
        Ah, yes! I’m going to up my dosage of Ginko Biloba. The two did get conflated. Thanks for the catch.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Ames sent me the correction after I had turned in, so it’s been up longer with the error than it should have been.

  3. Schofield

    Talking about the Boston Tea Party why is it considered mythically heroic to steal somebody else’s property and throw it into Boston Harbor but not pitch tents in a public park to protest about the stealing that is and has been going on in Wall Street?

      1. ambrit

        Mz Ackermann;
        I can assure you, Gen. Gage was not in the least amused. If he had had the proper information, those rascally pseudo-indigenes would have paid for their ‘profound disrespect’ for the Crown.

    1. patrick

      History is written and sanitized by the winners. Initial opposition to the Tea Act came from smugglers like John Hancock and Samuel Adams who were trying to protect their economic interests by opposing the Tea Act, and Samuel Adams sold the opposition of British tea to the Patriots on the pretext of the abolishment of human rights by being taxed without representation.

      I’m sure that there were many conservatives who opposed this action by the Patriots and Smugglers. But over the centuries there comments, along with the active leadership of smugglers, have been expunged from the narrative. Similarly if occupy is successful then the actions of the authorities and the police will be removed from the story line.

      1. EH

        I think you may have it backwards: according to your narrative, it’s the windows smashers and poop-in-public people who will be left out of the history if OWS succeeds.

        1. ambrit

          Dear EH;
          I beg to differ. Slip or not, the original idea has merit. The size and strength of the original opposition to the #Occupy movement would have to be downplayed to ‘establish’ a narrative of ‘massive public support’ for the movement FROM THE BEGINNING. Thus would complete legitimacy for the movement be ‘established.’

        2. patrick

          No, it’s not backwards. Popular historians always sanitize the reality of the actual event to make the result seem more certain. Take for instance the Civil Rights movement. Now lionized as a great affirmation of the American spirit. Yet at the time there were many voices who condemned the demonstrators, not the racists. Now of course it is portrayed as a movement that couldn’t be stopped. Merely the kicking in of a rotten door. It didn’t seem to be that way at the time.

          So it will be if the OWS movement is successful. Then the mythology will be how first amendment rights were asserted, a triumph of American exceptionalism, while the efforts of the bankers and their political masters to squash the movement will be exorcised from the record.

        3. different clue

          I think if OWS succeeds, I mean seriously sucCEEDS; that the window smashers and public poopers will have their IDs and connections very very very carefully scrutinized to see whether any of them were undercover police agents at the time of their window smashing and public pooping.

    1. patricia

      Thanks Jane!

      There is little difference between the creators of the putsch in the “Seven Dark Years” film (thanks also to Adam Curtis) and those we see today—the only difference is that ours have not yet fully flowered.

      We must not forget there are always some people willing to do anything for power and power’s approval. And there are always those few who, if given the chance, enjoy torturing others to whatever limits they are allowed. We don’t want to believe it (we haven’t seen it!) and so we don’t. But I know because I’ve been a recipient of it. I know what some people can do to others. And it is best we face it. It is best not to continue along like dear little hobbits, assuming we are protected by our insistent good-will.

      The opinion that we, the dissenters, have taken up, regarding the incident at UCDavis, is that the students triumphed by embarrassing the police into going away. We dearly want to believe we have that kind of authority over people of this ilk.

      But we don’t. The police came with a maneuver and it was carried out, beginning to end. It was intended to frighten potential protesters, to show that societal law is not important, and to exhibit what they considered to be the strength of their power to do as they please. It was an exercise planned by people who enjoy holding the kind of power that hurts others. You don’t change the minds of people like that.

      I think the protesters embarrassed a few in the group who are essentially good-hearted (but went with the program anyway). That’s as far as it went. The Occupiers did triumph this past weekend. Their courageous and wise behavior exposed police tactics for what they were. They have called, in the best way possible, to all those who have integrity to open their eyes and get their bodies moving.

      This is very important to understand. We need to realize what we are up against. The proposal for “updating” Greek higher education is stereotypical and very useful. Nestled among all the jingly words are two important concepts: education is for better money-making, and political freedom only causes chaos which gets in the way of better money-making. Thus Katehi sends tiny tendrils of Papadopoulos’ dictatorship into a university in California 40 years later.

      The new form of dictatorship appearing across the globe is not as raw as the Greek one. It is worse because it is world-wide. It is worse because it has been quietly subverting human systems for quite a while. It is worse because it is hidden within the economic structures. And unfortunately for Americans, it was birthed here, supported by our tax monies.

      But the very things that make it worse also are its downfall. Because it chose to run through the economic structure, it carries the same assumption as the banks and transnational corps (well, they are the same people, and they’re not all that bright—dictators never are), that it’s “too big to fail”. Hubris writ as large as it can get.

      Which is why the story that Yves has been telling is so vital. We can see them clear as day. And it is early enough yet, perhaps, to stop them. But only if more and more of us wake up and get to work.

      Sorry for the lengthy post. I won’t do it again. :-)

      1. fp3690

        Please have some perspective. Disgusting as the incidence was, there was public outcry and probably the people involved will be fired and even prosecuted. During the junta the perpetrators would have been given medals for the commie-fighting actions. It’s not the same thing.

        1. patricia

          It is not the same thing, you are right, and I did not say it was.

          Perspective: 1. a way of regarding situations, facts, etc., and judging their relative importance. “It is useful occasionally to look at the past to gain a perspective on the present” (Fabian Linden).

          Wouldn’t it be great, fp, if, instead of fighting a fait accompli, a people could head off approaching trouble of this sort? Have you been reading the news?

          1. fp3690

            I’m sorry, but I’m used to dealing with Greeks on this issue, and not having perspective is sort of a national pastime. But I’m confused – what do you mean by reading the news? Regulation of some sort (vis-a-vis preventing stuff)?

  4. John

    While I agree with the sentiment of the article, I would say that there is more to the uc pension problems than wall street making bad bets. Like the fact that there had been zero employee contributions to the plan for almost two decades. Justified, of course, because those masters on wall street will always make sure our equities go up 10% per year. The uc pension managers, as well as those at calpers, handed out extremely generous pension packages from 1999 onwards and justified them based on insane return projections. If they were the victims of wall street, they were quite willing ones.

    1. nowhereman

      I can’t help it. I get so upset at attempts to rewrite history, and apportion blame.
      Does anyone else remember the high interest rates of the late 70′s. Interest on investments went as high as 20%. Investments doubled in 3.5 years. Think about that. A pension fund sitting on $1 billion, without any contributions from employer or employee would double to $2 billion in 3 and a half years.
      So with this wind fall, why would pension managers not give a contribution holiday? After all the decade of high interest rates tripled or even quadrupled their base assets.
      Don’t kid yourselves the squid noticed and made it their mission to get at these monies, and they were highly successful in selling toxic investments to these funds thanks to the FED’s collusive ZIRP.

    2. Benedict@Large

      The idea that there were “zero employee contributions to the plan for almost two decades” is revisionist nonsense. Employee contributions are ALWAYS 100% to EVERY pension plan. They are (by contract or otherwise) simply deducted pre-tax from agreed upon total employee compensation, and as such, are not generally listed on employee pay stubs. But this is NOT the same as saying employees do not make contributions. It is simply a part of the vehicle by which these EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS avoid taxation until their subsequent distributions from their pension plans.

      1. John

        So, what would you call it when calpers takes money from the general fund to meet their shortfalls? These too are “employee contributions”?

        1. bob

          The singularity of blame.

          Pension contributions take place on an ongoing basis.

          Taking money from the General Fund happened when?

          They are not the same thing, and happened at two different times, with differing circumstances, and TIME between them.

          Your statements seem to boil down to-

          The pension fund was “bailed out” (effect) because no one was contributing (cause).

          Prove the cause, not the effect.

      2. citizendave

        Good clarification. Similar obfuscation was used by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker when he said that public employees should begin to contribute to the pension fund and to their health insurance. His deliberately misleading (or ignorant) frame was calculated to enrage the (almost exclusively conservative) bloc of critics of public employee unions. A precise wording of his agenda would have said that he wanted to alter the percentages of the total compensation package, while the contractual total would net out the same. The percentage going to wages was cut, and the percentages going to health insurance and the pension fund were increased. Instead of negotiating with the unions, the Republican-controlled legislature passed a bill to effect the changes, and the gov signed it. But you probably already know that story. The Recall Walker campaign is underway.

  5. Clonal Antibody

    Yves,

    You said “What’s particularly disturbing is that Linda Katehi was the only Greek on that commission.”

    I presume that you meant “Person of Greek Origin.” Katehi is a US citizen. However, it is possible that she retained her Greek citizenship.

    1. Tenney Naumer

      The Greek government considers Americans to be its citizens even if they are grandchildren of immigrants. Well, that is how it was in the 1970s anyway. A congressman had to go over to Greece to gain the release of such a person because he had been forced into compulsory service in the military (which is for 2 years and 9 months), due to the fact that he was a grandchild of immigrants to the U.S.

      I lived in Greece in 1977 and 1978. I first went there as a student of ancient history and archaeology with Lake Forest College. I met people who had been at the University of Athens when it was attacked by the forces of the military junta. Deaths were vastly under-reported. Ambulances that arrived at the scene and picked up injured gave up the injured to the military police, and students were sent to jail where they were tortured. Tanks roamed the streets. It is truly disgusted that this woman is a chancellor of an American university in California.

    2. fp3690

      Let’s not split hares here. She left Greece when she was 25, she is still Greek. I’m an expat myself, having lived all my adult life abroad, but I’m still very much only Greek.

  6. wunsacon

    Have the young students in the UC system thought about quitting school and learning on their own from home, via Wikipedia and OpenCourseware? They can learn as much as they want and keep more of their parents’ money (or not go into debt).

    1. indio007

      That would be great in theory. In today’s world , it’s the piece of paper you get at the end not the actual knowledge in the head that matters when it comes to getting a job.

      It ain’t right but that’s the way it is.

      1. EH

        Eh, in my line of work, software development, employers are already moving to non-degree measures of competence, such as contributions to public (open-source) projects and information (Q&A sites, blogging), as well as self-made software.

        1. ambrit

          EH;
          But that’s at places where success can be measured by the success or failure of discrete programs and systems. Most of the “New Economy” is solidly rooted in the morass of financial/service sector thinking. Quantity trumps quality, and ‘word of mouth’ which includes the ‘paper chase,’ dominates the decision making process.

      2. wunsacon

        Imagine you receive a resume that under “Education” mentions “OpenCourseware”, the candidate’s “major”, and the number of courses audited. Wouldn’t you invite that kid in for an interview?

  7. sidelarge

    It’s a universal theme, isn’t it? The other article on Greece 1973 over at the exiled features Maria Damanaki, a symbolic person of that rebellious ethos, turned into a EU spokeswoman to impose the status quo, as a politician = public figure. And this one features another one who was also in the movement, sort of a lurking figure, and who found herself in a spot light pretty much by accident. But she also did almost equally important “ground work” for the status quo, not in any conspiratorial way.

    It’s easy to spot those “sell-outs,” because they were well-known already when they were younger, and they are still well-known. But there are also countless anonymous people who were also there, and have been dispersed in the society to “corrupt” it in the way their younger selves would resent.

    Thus it goes around, around, around, around…

  8. psychohistorian

    As goes Greece, so goes the 99%

    This background info on Linda Katehi is just another example of how the battle against the global inherited rich is not just based on American empire but a Western “democracy” empire run by those I wish to see held and prosecuted at the Hague.

  9. DP

    2 days in a row with a link to something written by this piece of garbage Mark Ames? What gives Yves, are you trying to move in on Zero Hedge turf?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m not impressed by ad hominem attacks. Is there something in the story that is wrong? My objection to ZH is that many of its stories are flat out wrong, not its writing style.

  10. the lives of others

    Low quality coverage, low quality, off-the hip responses.

    Regarding University asylum, see
    http://www.scienceguide.nl/201108/greek-university-asylum-abolished.aspx
    Excerpts:25 augustus 2011 – Greece abolished a law that restricted the access of police men to university campuses. For the first time in 35 years both Socialists and Conservatives agreed to vote jointly.

    “Until recently, the police was not allowed to enter university property even if they were in the middle of chasing down criminal offenders. Exceptions were only granted after a series of bureaucratic measures”
    “In the past months, however, criminals had repeatedly taken advantage of this law during the protests against the Greek austerity measures, Greek officials stated.

    “Giorgos Papandreou, Greek’s Prime Minister from the Socialist Party, therefore agreed with the conservative opposition party to abolish the law. It was the first time in 35 years that they agreed on voting together.
    The austerity measures, by contrast, are continuously opposed by the Conservatives despite calls from the European Union to show political unity in times of financial turmoil and the Greek debt crisis.”

    Blaming this on Linda Katehi taints the coverage of the UC Davis story.

    1. geerussell

      “Blaming this on Linda Katehi taints the coverage of the UC Davis story.”

      What she did do was provide ammunition and political cover for it in the report co-authored by her. Far from tainting coverage of the UC Davis story, it provides context for understanding her disposition in it.

      http://notthemajorityopinion.blogspot.com/2011/04/report-if-international-advisory.html

      “Greek university campuses are not secure. While the Constitution allows University leaders to protect campuses against elements that seek political instability, Rectors have been reluctant to exercise their rights and responsibilities, and to make decisions needed in order to keep faculty, staff and students safe. As a result, University leaders and faculty have not been able to be good stewards of the facilities they have been entrusted with by the public.

      The politicization of the campuses – and specifically the politicization of students – represents a beyond-reasonable involvement in the political process. This is contributing to an accelerated degradation of higher education.”

      This was used specifically to legitimize government crackdown on anti-austerity protesters. Katehi owns a piece of that and her contribution provides context for her disposition towards students at UC Davis.

      Further context can be drawn from her role as a member of the National Security Education Advisory Board. The statute creating it outlines a benign sounding program of scholarship for people interested in national security careers:

      http://us-code.vlex.com/vid/sec-national-security-education-board-19266479

      The FBI has a very different perspective on it, as a tool for counter-intel and surveillance:

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/counterintelligence/higher-education-and-national-security

      1. ambrit

        Dear geerussell;
        That last bit sounds like the way the ‘Company’ recruits ‘spooks.’ Best and brightest my a—!

        1. JamesW

          We (the political action group I was with at that time) wondered why in the ’80s and ’90s, the US intelligence community was recruiting some many substandard types (sorry Valerie Plame and Bob Baer, but you two still don’t get it!), such as actual former county cops and military police (standard Mental Category Level 4, as opposed to the normal Level 1A’s they usually recruited)?

          Now it makes sense, over the past ten years or so, when they’ve almsot complete privatized the intel establishment, moving on to highest-paid (and endless opportunities for embezzlement) contractor positions, while having staffed the gov’t jobs with the easiest and least able mentally.

          Now it makes sense…..

      2. fp3690

        Dude, I know how the politicisation of students might seem romantic to outsiders (it does to me even) but when you know what it actually implies you don’t like it. If there’s one demand that is consistent and broadly supported in Greece is to uproot parties from universities. If you don’t belong to a party you essentially have no voice. Party delegates even used to be represented in the university senate, under the pretense they represented students (they didn’t). Party partisans routinely get different treatment by professors aligned with the same party.

        And this had nothing to do with the protest crackdowns. On the other hand, for the first time in years, you didn’t have hooded groups getting refuge in universities (usually the old building of the Polytechnic or the HQ of the University Senate) and screwing the place up, looting, using computers as weapons etc.

  11. Jim3981

    Who thinks the USA is going to get the same treament as greece? A rigged US election to elect Gringrich or Hermain Cain would do the trick just fine….

    1. F. Beard

      Newt is a ninny.
      Thrice traitor is he
      to his wife, the South
      and to liberty.

      If I had the money
      and it weren’t no sin,
      I’d buy a Contract for America
      and his name append.
      The Unknown Poet

    1. EH

      That’s just her pivot to “piggy in the middle.” If the police are subject to her orders, she can do more than she has.

    2. ...

      If she can’t control her subordinates and prevent them from harming her students and faculty, she should be FIRED and sued for massive civil damages. In a fair universe, she should be stripped of her fat pension and be driven out of her office with pepper spray.

  12. craazyman

    Students of portrait photograpy can learn important lessons from the two photos of Ms. K.

    The top photo is unflattering, haggard and worn. I’d be pained to see myself so portrayed. The bottom one is, let’s be honest, pretty hot! She looks every bit as good as any of Mr. Ames’ Russian friends.

    The top shot is no doubt a wide angle lens — say 28 to 35 millimeters for a full-frame digital sensor — shot probably 8 feet away in bad daylight. The bottom shot is clearly a portrait lens, probably 100 millimeters or so, shot from 15 feet with considerable attention to light intensity and balance, probably through the use of reflectors of some kind.

    Don’t worry if you’re getting a bit haggard and ragged looking in the wrong light! It isn’t really you. A good photographer can make you sizzle like the beauty that you are! And even without tons of makeup.

    Not sure what to make of this article by Mr. Ames, except 9 prostitutes in 9 hours seems more like a hot dog eating contest than any thing having to do, even loosely, with romance. I just hope his editor paid the bills.

    And not sure what to make of Ms. K. She’s likely no different than most folks who intrude themselves into high offices — usually miserably out of touch with even the most basic realities around them and insulated in a fog of certainty that reality eventually pops like a balloon. Ecce Homo said Fred.

    1. ambrit

      Dear craazyman;
      Heavens to Murgatroyd! Ecce homo!?! I’m sure Fred is washing his hands of the whole thing.
      As for intruding into high office: wasn’t it one of the ancient Greeks who said, “Anyone who desires office should be banned from it.”
      Basic realities: Political power, or at least the striving for it, is as base as you can get. She’s got the bug my friend.
      Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. John

    One of the reasons I read this site and Zero Hedge regularly is the transgressive nature of some of the writing that points out obvious connections that people don’t like to talk about or reveal, but has some grounding in reality.
    Ames is pointing out the fact that Linda Katehi is more than just some little obscure academic administrator in California. And that she is connected to profound and antidemocratic changes taking place in Greece.
    In the eXile article on prostitution in Moscow, he is pointing out some very unsavory social aspects of life in Russia in 2006.
    One very positive role a court jester can fulfil is opening a tiny door to the truth while offending everyone.
    Thanks for the article, Yves.

  14. fp3690

    Guys you’re not quite right here. The asylum is, in my opinion, a relic. It is, in basically everyone’s opinion, misused over and over again, mostly by non-university elements right and left. And a good 80% of Greeks want it gone according to polls. I’m a big lefty for most things, the asylum is just not one of them. It might have been great for more mature and responsible societies, but Greeks have unfortunately failed to live up to it.

    That’s not to say that what Katehi did isn’t disgusting. But we’re really comparing apples and oranges here.

  15. Hugh

    Context is everything. Whatever Katehi did in Greece, the questions about what she did here remain. Why for example did UC-Davis campus police even have riot gear? It’s not like it’s some school that has fanatically devoted sport fans that will riot at a win or a loss, at least not that I have heard of. Nor is it some hotbed of student violence. If there were a disturbance on campus, then plans could have been made for backup from the wider community or the state police.

    But there is another reason why these campus police should never have had riot gear. Training or rather the lack of it. How much training do you think these police get?

    But beyond this, why were police in riot gear sent to confront a peaceful Occupy protest? And who, I’m assuming this was Katehi, gave the order for the removal of protesters? What attempts were made to negotiate with protesters? What communications took place between Katehi and the head of campus police?

    What this looks like to me is that the university, not just Katehi, made the decision to follow in the footsteps of other forceful “sweeps” of OWS’ protests and used poorly trained police to accomplish this. They thought they could get away with it without much fuss or the rest of the world knowing or caring. It goes to show how out of touch the university leadership was. Forget for a moment the moral bankruptcy, and indeed criminality, of what was done. The OWS movement was born of social media and a hundred cellphone cameras ready to document anything. But Katehi and the rest of the university leadership still live in a world where none of this exists for them and they remain largely oblivious to its consequences.

    It’s not like anything that happened at UC-Davis wasn’t supposed to happen. It is rather that Katehi and the university weren’t prepared for what they sanctioned making it on to youtube.

    As for Katehi’s subsequent ass covering, she is a high level university administrator, sticking it to others and avoiding personal responsibility are practically part of the job description.

  16. m7^%$

    http://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/news/2011/ah_040611.html

    Katehi’s Q&A with the American Hellenic Council

    Q- Despite the rhetoric though, the political system is not addressing these issues. Why is that in your opinion and what is the solution to actually re-launching the next Apollo Program? Are President Obama’s goals realistic without a willingness on behalf of the broader political system and the American people?

    L.K.- The answer to this is very complex. For starters, our current political system is weak and true leadership is badly needed but lacking. We have a society that has created needs that are expensive. We are experiencing demographic changes such as the aging of the baby boom generation, advances in medicine that prolong the average lifespan, an expectation for better health care and a higher quality of life. At the same time, we have a societal crisis of values and an unwillingness to see that this course is unsustainable in the long-run. The result is the creation of serious political gaps, polarization along party lines and our leadership and voters losing the sense of what our country’s strategic goals should be.

    1. F. Beard

      At the same time, we have a societal crisis of values and an unwillingness to see that this course is unsustainable in the long-run. Linda Katehi

      Piss off, Linda. We don’t need foreigners telling us how the US should be run. What the hell do you know? Is Greece a shining example of how to run a country?

      He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty. Proverbs 22:16

      Ready for poverty, Linda?

        1. F. Beard

          She is not Greek?

          But even if she is nationalized, I do not appreciate new arrivals spouting off about what is wrong with the US. If their own countries were so great then why did they come here? And when they lean toward fascism, that is even worse given how fascist the US currently is.

          1. The lives of others

            I am sorry to see so much prejudice here. When somebody does something you don’t like, she becomes a foreigner. You natives, then, should get more doctorate degrees in engineering and the sciences so that “foreigners” don’t end up running your universities.
            Katehi is an American citizen and does not matter where she was born.
            The fact that she was born in Greece is not the reason for her behavior. After all, your republican favorites were not born in Greece, do you like them?
            I was also born in Greece and I chose to become an American citizen. Those who were born here are Americans by an accident of birth. They are not more deserving of citizenship that somebody who chose to become citizen.
            I am not supporting the policies of Katehi, but the reaction of this blog has become too much like right wing overreaction, the kind of thing once sees in HuffPost and the like.
            I am really sorry.

          2. F. Beard

            I am NOT anti-foreigner but I am against ambitious wanna-bes that suck up to the PTBs to gain acceptance. Today fascism is in vogue among the PTBs so that’s what an ambitious new arrival will spout if she wants to move ahead. Further, she is likely to be even more brutal than a native to prove her self worthy to them.

            But yes, our native fascists have even less excuse than the imported ones since we have not had the experience of hard core Communism in the US to drive us to the right.

            My apologies that I have offended you. Welcome to the US and long may you prosper.

  17. Cody Willard

    Search for the word “protect” in any report/bill to find the money quote. Here’s the key passage from the bill she co-authored that is indeed EVERYTHING Yves writes it to be:

    “Greek university campuses are not secure. While the Constitution allows University leaders to protect campuses against elements that seek political instability, Rectors have been reluctant to exercise their rights and responsibilities, and to make decisions needed in order to keep faculty, staff and students safe. As a result, University leaders and faculty have not been able to be good stewards of the facilities they have been entrusted with by the public.”

  18. EmilianoZ

    Katehi shouldn’t try to hold on to her UC Davis job. There are wonderful opportunities waiting for her at Glenn Beck University.

  19. MontanaMaven

    Teddy Partridge reports this story over at Firedoglakemy.firedoglake.com/teddysanfran/2011/11/23/ucdavis-chancellor-linda-katehi-moonlighted-abroad-to-end-campus-anti-austerity-demonstrations-in-greece/

    and adds in the comments this story from when Katehi was at U of Illinois:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-college-clout-ripples-19-jun19,0,487757.story
    Full article:

    California legislator calls for investigation of U. of I. provost who soon will be chancellor at University of California-Davis

    By Sara Olkon

    Tribune reporter

    June 19, 2009
    Advertisement

    The University of Illinois admissions scandal has rippled to the West Coast, where U. of I. Provost Linda Katehi is to become chancellor at the University of California-Davis in August. But questions about Katehi’s involvement in, or knowledge about, the so-called Category I clout list has prompted calls there for an investigation.

    In an e-mail to UC-Davis officials last week, Katehi denied any involvement in Category I, though she has overseen the admissions department since 2006.

    “I want to be clear to you and others at UC-Davis that I was not involved in the admissions decisions that were the subject of the Tribune’s ‘Clout Goes to College’ investigation,” she wrote in an e-mail. “The so-called ‘Category I’ admissions process was not part of the regular admissions system and was handled at a higher level in the institution.”

    Documents obtained by the Tribune show that Katehi was copied on at least 14 Category I-related e-mails over the last five years, and her name appears on a spreadsheet of offices inquiring about clouted students. However, records do not suggest that she overruled any admissions decision, pushed for a subpar applicant or played a key role in the shadow system.

    When contacted Thursday, Katehi referred a Tribune reporter to a U. of I. spokesman.

    California state Sen. Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) said he finds it implausible that Katehi would not know about the clout list.

    “How much more evidence do we need before you ask the questions ‘what did she know, and when did she know it?’ ” Yee said.

    On Thursday, he called on UC President Mark Yudof to investigate Katehi’s involvement. Yudof released a statement, saying Katehi has his full confidence.

    “I have spoken to Dr. Katehi directly and have been in communication with President B. Joseph White at the University of Illinois and have received assurances from both that she had nothing to do with the questionable admissions,” the statement said.

  20. Andrew

    Thank you for bringing this out in the open. Katehi’s advocacy for militarizing universities in Greece is a very striking image of her true self since she has tried to disassociate herself from the violence at UC Davis. First, she tried playing the victim of being threatened by unruly students. This was clearly exposed to be a lie. Now, she is claiming that the police armed in riot gear that she sent out were only supposed to use peaceful means to get rid of students. Despite the overwhelming calls for her resignation on behalf of students and faculty, she refuses to step down while President Yudof has been supporting her in this from the beginning. This is a horrifying message to administration at universities everywhere that you can violently suppress peaceful student movements in front of millions of people and get away with it.

  21. Mass Hysteria (Υστερία)

    I do not κνος Ames who wrote this article. But I know a lot about Greece, Greek universities, and the so-called academic asylum (a misnomer if there ever was one).

    In fact, I was at a conference a few days ago when I met some Greek Professors who had some choice words about the value of the recently abolished “academic asylum”. They also had stories of terror from the university that is run (from top to bottom) by gangs of renegade “political youth organizations” controlled by … tenured students. These remarks were from the type of professors who work, publish, get patents, and try to connect their research with the production needs of the country. for that they are branded “enemies of the people”, “junta lovers”, “cold technocrats”. The students control the universities through intimidation and often actual terror (professors have been “built-in” their offices, or beaten, or suffered the famous “propelakismos” which may include spitting, egg and yogurt throwing, and insults such as “Quisling” and “slavery lover” and “corrupt” and “German/American/etc. slave”. The provocation is usually the poor professor having the nerve to ask a student to get some work done and not give him a passing grade just because he/she leads one of the political organizations. The presidents and deans are ultimately selected by the student organizations (not the students, the majority of whom dislike and avoid such organizations) and in their majority are lazy incompetents (OK I am sure there must be some who only pretend that they are lazy and incompetent).

    I assure you that the majority of the Greek citizens, students, and professors are relieved that the system was changed. The law to reform was passed with votes from 4 parties and groups commanding well over two thirds of the votes in the Parliament, though that was before anyone had mentioned “coalition government”. For Greece, this was very uncommon. But do not pop the champagne yet. The law has passed but who will enforce it? The student-gangsters are still in control and there has not been much of a change anywhere!

    Now this Ames guy who wrote the disingenuous and defamatory article is obviously trying to terrorize an academic in the US who had the temerity to help her old country at a very difficult juncture! [I do not know Katehi nor can I judge her actions -- but what Ames is doing is perfectly obvious.] I will adopt the language you hear from the indignant youths (some closer to 35 than 20) who still control the Greek universities: “This fascist pig has no shame. He is a freedom-hater, one who has sold his soul to foreigners, and follows orders to enslave us. What he writes violates all our freedoms etc. etc.” Colorful, eh?

    1. Elizabeth Cook

      Um, nevertheless, what Katehi has done at UC DAvis is vile, sadistic and she deserves to go. In addition, it appears students had ample reason to protest the university. They took a hit, as we all have, from greedy bankers that get a bailout, and we get sold out…etc. About those Greek students…if the Greek university system is anything like the American system, professors are increasingly selling out to the highest bidders. Few of them spoke out here on the Gulf coast, for example, when BP was dumping Corexit everywhere. There should be a great deal more rebellion against this corrupt system.

    2. salvo

      according to this post you’are simply lying

      “The document, a 23 July 2009 CONFIDENTIAL dispatch from Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard, the Obama administration’s man Athens makes Washington’s displeasure with the law crystal clear.

      What is of particular interest is this section:

      Minister of Education Anna Diamantopoulou responded on behalf of the government, condemning the attack on Rector Kittas but stating that the current legislation regarding university asylum is sufficient as written, since it provides for universities to choose how best to protect their premises and allows for police involvement on campus at the invitation of rectors. Diamantopoulou also recommended the establishment of a duty rector on a daily basis in order to coordinate better with authorities in case of a sit-in or violence on campus.

      While the tale spun by the cable of violence and disorder on campuses is dramatic, Diamantopoulou made clear that the law didn’t bar police from campuses. If there was any fault at all with the system, clearly responsibility lay with college rectors, and now the existing legislation.”

      http://richardbrenneman.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/wikicable-washington-hated-greek-asylum-law/

      So the abolishment of asylum law seems to be explicitely done in order to allow the authorities to use police force at will against political dissent at universities

      btw it may be true that you ‘know Greece’ very well, maybe better than I do – being Italo-German – so does any of the laos fascists, so your viewpoint reflects nevertheless your ideological affinity

      1. Mass Hysteria (Υστερία)

        Salvo,
        You are definitely clueless and if you think you understand a country just by reading something on the internet and then filtering it though your prejudices, then you are also stupid. Greece is a complicated country where complete freedom has turned into what is one of the worst tyrannies! The tyranny of the decentralized mob. I very recently talked with a TEI of Athens professor who had a disagreement with a student over a grading issue. (The professor was young and perhaps naive and did not know how to behave properly.) The next day, a small group of students waited for the professor outside of his office and one of them hurled a yogurt cup on the prof. The student in question was standing on the side and asked something ironic like “how is you day professor?” The professor knew he was beaten after he asked his colleagues and realized that the only reasonable option was to just let it pass.

        Just buy a ticket and go spend a few days in Greece, preferably at a Greek school. You may decide to stay. It is so lovely there …

        Readers (not you Salvo) may want to visit
        http://filonohpontou.com/2011/08/26/assylo/

        to see some evidence of what has been happening. You may use Google to translate some parts or ask a Greek friend to do the translation.

        But admittedly the universities is not the only place where intimidation is taking place. In summer 2010, I was with my wife at a cafe where someone was preaching that 100% of the taxes go to pay interest on the debt, that the Greek banks made two hundred billion in profits last year, and other incredible nonsense. I started saying that these numbers were not exactly right and the speaker and the crowd turned hostile. Fortunately, my wife pulled me out and we left the cafe in a hurry!

        1. salvo

          thank you for sharing your viewpoint which may be better advance by not insulting who is supposed to listen. Anyway, the discourse you use – picturing students as gangsters and protestors as mob – reminds me of the way some influential media describe OWS in order to descredit it.

          1. Mass Hysteria (Υστερία)

            Salvo, to call someone a liar is a worse insult than to call him stupid. After all, stupidity is congenital while lying is by choice, except in pathological cases. So you started the insulting. If you run out of arguments, remember that you can always throw a yogurt!
            But you clearly have a problem understanding what I have written. The majority of students want to get rid of the gangs.
            Anyone who is genuinely interested in human rights, democracy, and progress, should also exercise more critical judgement in evaluating the information they get and not just accept what seems to fit some convenient prejudices and romantic notions. I am reminded of the enthusiasm the American Left had for the Iranian revolution.

  22. salvo

    btw

    I found another Greek voice on the abolishment of the asylum law

    “In academic asylum my whole life.

    I was born in the year 1982. The year when the first CD player came out, when TIME magazine would name the computer as its “man of the year” and here in Greece, the year when Academic Asylum came into law. It is strange to think how seemingly inane objects and conventions shape so much of our being: just like us and our coevals in countries across the world couldn’t perhaps imagine life without a computer these days, I could equally not imagine life without academic asylum, this peculiar little piece of legislation. But waking up this morning, the asylum was gone.

    Growing up in what felt as the turbulent nineties, we had always known spaces of academic asylum had our back: during the high school student occupations at the turn of the decade ours was the last school standing, located as it were just inside the local university’s campus – therefore just outside the reach of police. Such a strange concept, this demarcation of the spatial boundaries of power, and yet one that we had entirely accustomed ourselves to. As we continued to grow up I cannot even recall how many times we found refuge in a university building, chased or beaten by riot police, demonstration after demonstration. And I cannot begin to think what would have happened if the asylum wasn’t there.

    The Asylum was introduced in response to the junta killing of university students during the Polytechnic Uprising of 1973. Rather than a kind commemorative gesture, this was a testament by power that it had gone too far; an effort to curtail its reach for its own good, to preserve its perpetuation. This idea, after all, is far from new: a few millennia ago those chased by authority would seek asylum in spaces of religious worship. To violate this asylum was a hybris that was expected to be crushed by divine nemesis. This religiously veiled conceptualisation hid a very plain truth: ram your power too far down peoples’ throat and they will fight you back. The asylum was a two-way social contract. For all their declared love for all things Ancient Greek, the masterminds of its abolition in Greek parliament yesterday didn’t seem to realise this.

    As of today this social contract is void. It is an eery, even chilling feeling. Not quite like losing a loved person, more like losing a solid certainty about your ways of acting and interacting with the world. But the staggering reality remains: one of the most rigid social agreements of the post-dictatorial times was breached overnight, an abrupt political hybris calling for its social nemesis.”

    http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/08/25/in-academic-asylum-my-whole-life/

  23. pirateninja

    nice hate on ames… i wonder how much they get paid, like a pack of intellectual prostitutes… out of the woodwork, termites and cockroaches…

    3 cheers for real prostitutes who are at least honest in their business

  24. Suzan

    Thanks from the heart, Yves.

    I’m running you at my blog for my international visitors’ (and there are a few there) edification.

    You rock!

    S

Comments are closed.