If a nuclear reactor were to go into meltdown one would expect management to interrupt its vacation and get back to work to fix the problem. Not so with our elected officials who have gone into recess despite the fact our world economy is crumbling and cannot wait until September. Europe is no exception to the lets-go-on-vacation-and worry-about-it-in-September rule.

Sometimes ‘little’ people can make history too.  When Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia last December he started a blaze that created the Arab Spring. The same may happen with Roland Désiré Aba’a who is on hunger strike against “the French occupation” of his country.

“There is no way this is going to end up well for the United States.  Every tribe in Yemen has received missiles from American drones.  The US aided and financed Saleh all these years.  They covered for him up to just two weeks ago.  The Yemenis won’t forget this.  The crack troops we saw Friday fighting the tribes are the anti terrorist forces equipped and trained by the United States.”

The idea of a universal, government run, health care system seems from this side of the Atlantic a ‘no-brainer’. At 17% of GDP, or more than $7,500 per American per year, you are paying double what any of the other industrialized nations pay where everybody is insured, while in the US 46 million go without health coverage.

Moundou, Chad, June 7 – 12: A Chadian was stopped by a corrupt Ivorian policeman who told him « I’m going to give you problems. » The Chadian responded “and I will give you solutions.”

When President Idriss Deby in January told his security forces to impose a draconian ban on the use of charcoal in Chad in a bid to fight desertification, he did nothing to help people find alternative means for cooking. Deby responded to his critics by saying Chadians are people who find solutions to everything. He insisted nobody is starving in the country.

Paris – July 28, 2008 : I suppose if I had to describe this past year I would say it is a bad remake of the sit-com ‘Dallas’ with Sarkozy in the role of J.R. Erwing.  The rich and the beautiful, love and hate, intrigue, anger and insults, everything except the oil and nothing of what a level headed President is supposed to be.