The French have been asked to debate on what being French is when what they really want to talk about is what being French is not: Muslim.
Ndjamena: Dec. 6 – 12, 2009: Lake Chad is drying up faster then feared and water reserves are dwindling with famine predicted in the north in 2010 due to a short rainy season and over grazing; the 2009 census shows that the population of Chad has doubled in just 15 years although it was widely criticized when the authorities rigged the figures to favor the Muslims of the north to the detriment of the Christians in the south; 80% of the population is illiterate; the war in the east continues — but hey, lets hold elections!
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.
I have just returned from 3 weeks of hiking in the Dolimites and as an aged beginner, I […]
Paris, June 18 : When I was invited to debate on French TV this week about the late Gabonese President Omar Bongo, I thought hard about something good to say about the guy.
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.
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.