Category Archives: France

Roma Are Still With Us

There is something very disconcerting about modern life. I was raised to be a Socialist whose goals in life were respect for human dignity and support for human rights. In America, the allegedly “liberal” Barack Obama boasts of spying on innocent people, and taps into phones of allies. In France the Socialist Interior Minister, Manuel Valles has police seize a child on the school bus, and send her to Kosovo because she was guilty of being a Roma who lacked the proper Papers! Thousands of Roma wander the streets of Europe, lacking papers they cannot obtain a legal job and they have been trained for hundreds of years to inhabit the fringe of society and do the work of those who live without means of getting legal jobs. Over these hundreds of years the culture of Roma leads individuals to become thieves or prostitutes or do whatever earns some money in order to obtain food and lodging.

Europe has yet to find a place for the Roma other than being fringe people who cluster in the shadows of fears in the dark places of cities. Yes, many are thieves. Yes, many do not have legal jobs. Yes, it is society which deprives them of the right to have a legal position in society.

Seize The Moment!

Once again, an offer from Iran to proceed along a path of peace has been rejected by western nations. In 2001,then President Khatami cooperated with American forces in Afghanistan and offered to resolve the conflict with the United States only to be termed by President George Bush as a partner in an “evil axis” of powers like North Korea. This weekend, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius refused to go along with other nations in agreeing with Iran on a process of working toward peace. France demanded that Iran must suspend the Arak heavy water reactor while negotiations proceed. He refused to go along with the Iranian “con game.” British Foreign minister William Hague urged a different approach. “We came to seize the moment and seize the opportunity to reach a deal.” So, do it.

Nothing in diplomacy is perfect. A conflict may not be resolved in one act. Iran was proceeding along a path of POSSIBLE success. There was need to allow this path to be followed. If Iran broke their word, it was fairly easy to resume hate and violence.

Are You Really Listening To Me?

During the past twenty four hours President Obama has claimed to lack knowledge of any problems facing launching of the Affordable Care Act, of spying on leaders of Germany and France and other assorted world leaders. The Spanish government has decided to get into the “why the hell are you Americans spying on the good guys” party. This followed a story in El Mundo which claimed the NSÅ was listening into phone calls of about 60.5 million Spanish people. Once again another European country told American ambassadors there was supposedly something about “trust” between nations. Naturally, American diplomats made clear these interventions into the lives of Spanish people was necessary to prevent them from serious harm from foreigners. Remember, under Barack Obama the magic words are NATIONAL SECURITY. Say those words and you can do whatever you desire.

One increasingly gets the image of a president playing with his children and occasionally being interrupted in order to pay attention to something about the government.

Spies Galore

Each day presents a new story about how the United States of America is spying on a friendly nation-IN THE NAME OF NATIONAL SECURITY! After stories appeared about spying in Brazil, Germany, France, now add Mexico to the list. President Obama is SHOCKED that American spies are spying on our allies. Gee, it is a big surprise to this innocent man from Chicago. He has enforced the most rigid policies of punishment toward those who leak stuff on grounds knowing about anything in our government is a threat to our very lives. The government of Mexico is a bit upset. “Mexico did not ask for an explanation. It asked for an investigation!” So, our president will get over his surprise and do something. I expect a meeting and an explanation, but how can those who engage in the act of spying investigate their own spying??

Barack Obama could use a good course on the topic of human rights. For some reason, this former professor of constitutional law never took his own class.

Snoop In Paris, My Allies!

Another day, another American ally furious at the Obama administration for its infernal spying and snooping into the lives of its citizens. The French government summoned the US ambassador to explain why American spies are spying on its French ally spies. Foreign Minister laurent Fabius sharply commented: “this sort of parctice between partners that invades privacy is totally unacceptable and we have to make sure, very quickly, that this no longer happens.” French Interior Minister Manuel Valls was even blunter: “if a friendly country–an ally– spies on France or other European countries, that is completely unacceptable.” I assume the Obama administration has got the “unacceptable” word?

Perhaps, President Obama can send a secret document which is titled: “AMERICAN SECURITY.” Once anyone comes across the word, “SECURITY” then it is American law they must cease to gaze at the document. Don’t they understand it is against the law to read anything classified as “Security?” After all, only one million people have that clearance and none lives in France!

Students For Democracy

French students have always been engaged in the fight for human rights so it is not surprising they are standing up for the rights of oppressed Roma people. Thousands of students in Paris and throughout the nation rose up in anger at the deportation of a Roma high school students. Fifteen year old Leonarda Dibrani was detained and deported back to Kosovo with her family in an example of disregarding human rights. The Socialist party is divided since many believe it is the historic responsibility for France to respect human rights even though it means allowing a foreigner to remain in the country without legal right to be present. The students shouted: “Leonarda isn’t going to class, nor are we.”

This is shocking. The Roma girl, no, the human girl, was going to school, working hard and on the path to becoming a responsible citizen. Enough with “rules,” let us respect human dignity!

Le Pen Rides Hysteria

French President Francoise Hollande has certainly accomplished a great deal for the people of France. His inept government botched up the economy, it lacks any sense of economic planning other than shouting abour the wealthy and taxes. Yes, there is need for additional taxes, yes there is need for stimulating the economy and there is certainly need for a new economic plan. But, now clear that forces of hate are using this inept government in order to foster their ideas of right wing extremism in France. The National Front, a party of Le Pens, gained an important victory in a by election by riding the forces of discontent with the Hollande government. Lauent Lopez gained 54% of the vote in a by election and now raises the prospect of allowing the National Front to come to the front of the government with new power.

Marine Le Pen took over dad’s right wing nutty party and is attempting to make it respectable in the eyes of French people. Just another example of Tea Party hate gaining attention at a time of fear.

Cluck, Cluck In French

A recent incident in the French Parliament indicates the American disease has spread to
Europe. MP Veronique Massonneau was speaking about the topic of ecology only to be continually interrupted by MP Philippe Le Ray who made clucking sounds like thost made by chickens. Apparently, he considered her to be a chicken. She became upset and shouted to him, “that’s enough..I’m not a chicken.” The word “chicken” in French when directed towards a woman refers to someone who walks the streets in search of money. Le Ray was fined for his remarks, but felt unjustly punished. He insisted that he was only admiring her beauty.

I wonder if Le Ray knowns Anthony Weiner?

Vote For Beauty

There are few pleasures in modern life that are free to behold and offer a momentary respite from the toils and tribulations of our modern exitence. A beautiful face and form is truly an opportunity to simply gaze at something attractive in our modeern world. The upper house of the French Parliament has voted to ban beauty contests for girls under 16 years of age. It is part of a bill dealing with gender equity.”Don’t let us allow our girls to believe from an early age that their only value is their looks.” Anyone who holds such beauty contests faces jail time. OK, so we do not wish our youth to believe their looks are part of their lives. So, what about the boy or girl who believes their value stems from athletic capacities?

Reality is that looks or athletic ability or a good mind DO become part of the persona of young people. Why is beauty different from brains?

Much Ado About Nothing

I was raised in an east European Jewish community in the Bronx, New York in which many Orthodox Jews dressed in a east European style and spoke Yiddish in their daily life since they avoided contact with non-Jews. Life went on, the sky did not fall,and no one felt any fear or concern about actions of a minority. In 2011,France passed a nonsense law which made it a crime for a Muslim female to wear a niqab in public. The past year resulted in 354 cases involving women who wore the niqab in public. All made this decision and were not forced to dress in this manner.The end result of this silly law is to encourage angry non-Muslims to insult and threaten women. In one small town, in one month, the courts heard cases in which angry men shouted:”Dirty Arab Muslims”because women wore a niqab!

This is nonsense. Current estimates indicate that of over 2,000,000 Arab females in France less than 2,000 have an interest in wearing the niqab in public. Let them wear it,and end this violence over a non-issue in daily life!