Sunday, May 22, 2011

22 May 2011: News of the day

Reading Le Parisien Dimanche...

DSK of course is still a big story, but a normal big story.

According to Le Parisien, DSK is living at "71 Broadway Street". They add "street" to show how in-the-know with all things American they are. They are dipshits.

DSK is allowed 4 visitors. Yesterday, that was his wife, two lawyers, and probably his daughter. Now it's 4 persons in addition to his wife and lawyers. Which is it, Le Parisien?

Like just about every French media outlet, Le Parisien keeps telling us what the US justice system is like, and how it differs from the French system. Among the signs that they are talking out of their ass, is the fact that they keep talking about "US law" and "US justice", when DSK is being tried in a NY State court, under NY law. And they say crap like: "Dans le système américain, c’est à l’accusé de contribuer à apporter les preuves de son innocence." They point this out, because for some laughable reason, they are convinced that the French justice system has an impartial agent searching for truth, when in fact, it's all one big set up against anyone unfortunate enough to be targeted by the "justice" system. (This is even more true since a recent reform designed to "streamline" justice, by which they mean steamrollering the accused.) In any case, they don't get that in American justice, the State has to prove its case, and the defendent has no requirement to prove his innocence.

Christine Lagarde is favored as the "European" candidate for DSK's old job at the IMF. That of course will not (in any case should not) happen, as she is under investigation for abuse of power in the Tapie case. And frankly, why would Europeans trust a French candidate? In any case, Lagarde is the most American of Europeans, having spent her career in a top US law firm.

Avignon has created a "sidewalk tax", aimed first at the sandwich shops where customers make their purchases (and often eat) on the public domain. The new regulation applies to banks for their ATMs. I like it: they're using public space to do business, they should pay for that use. But if the system is anything like the Paris regulations on the use of public space by businesses, they won't be respected by businesses, and won't be effectively enforced by the city. (The Avignong tax is pretty high. A sandwich shop claims it's 900 euros a month for him, and an ATM costs a bank 1500 euros a year.) Shops claim that it's all because the right-wing mayor wants to limit the number of kebab shops. They are smelly, dirty, their clients create noise for neighbors, they leave their litter everywhere... I'm for restricting them too.

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