Friday, May 13, 2011

13 May 2011: News of the day

My comments as I read Le Parisien.

Well, for the last two days, Blogger has been offline at various points. This is a first, and surprising for a Google product. You can view Blogspot blogs, but can’t edit them (which is what Blogger is for).

Gosh, there must be nothing happening today in the world if Le Parisien can devote the first two pages of the paper to a major lead story: it’s Friday the 13th.

Another full page is devoted to the 500-day anniversary of the kidnapping of two French TV journalists (and their anonymous translaters, assistants, crew…) in Afghanistan. They seem to be the only kidnapped persons in the world, since we get an update on every newscast on every network every day. Not that this is unimportant, but the fact that the media is obsessed about the media to the exclusion of equally worthy stories.

On the political front, the somewhat-left-of-Sarkozy “Radicals” (that’s another story: the Radical Parties of France… you’ve got Radicals of the Right, Radicals of the Left, Radicals of the Center… they’ve merged and split and joined and unjoined for decades, nay centuries now) are leaving the fold, under the banner of the mysteriously popular Jean Louis Borloo, who remains popular (so the media tell us) despite not ever having done much when he was a minister, except marrying a sloppy newscaster and appearing slovenly and drunk in public.

Anyway, they look like they’ll be officially leaving Sarkozy’s UMP this weekend, a move precipitated by Borloo not getting the Prime Minister post in the last government shake-up/musical chairs. Who will join him? How many center-ish rivals does Sarkozy need in the 2012 presidential race?

An amazing number of former ministers close to Borloo have left the UMP, and suddenly discovered it is polarizing and anti-social (because in a government known for attacking the rights of workers, promoting the rich, etc., Borloo and friends somehow kept a “socially progressive” image).

Marine LePen of the National Front is using the language of the far left. Surprise! Populist extremist movements all appeal to the disaffected poor and working class.

There have been cases recently of fraudulent admission of Chinese students to French universities. Now a professor involved in short-circuiting the admissions process as part of this fraud has been punished: he is suspended without pay for three years. But afterwards, he’ll be welcomed back. Huh?????

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