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.

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.

Paris — July 19, 2008: The American press is upset that France denied citizenship to a fundamentalist Moroccan Muslim woman who wears the niqab, a facial mask which only lets the eyes show. First, there is the question of what it means to be a French citizen. Second, there is the European fear of letting the wolf in the back door.

Paris – July 10, 2008: Our intrepid leaders just wrapped up the mother of all summits.  They condemned Human Rights abuses in Zimbabwe and in the same breath Bush and Sarkozy announced they will attend the opening of the Olympic Games in China and while prisoners in Guantanamo are still denied US Constitutional rights to a fair trial and Habeas Corpus.

Trikiri, The Pillion, Greece – June 15, 2008: Kiriaki is a small cove three hundred meters below the village of new Trikiri at the far tip of the Pillion.  It is a small fishing village with a working harbor and busy little shipyard. The village will be ruined soon by the new road just built to it with tourist bus parking at the edge of town and all thanks to EU money.  But for the moment only adventurous foreigners make it here.  The village is still fairly isolated.  I am told electricity arrived here in the 1970s and a small winding road from Trikiri opened the town up in the early 80s.

Paris — Once again the question of law and an individual’s right to privacy is taking center stage in France where the media hungry President Nicolas Sarkozy and his top model girlfriend are suing Ryanair for using their photo in a print advertisement.