Thursday, June 30, 2011

Advice Illustrated

Letter 1 is from the father of two hot teen girls who mow the lawn in bathing suits. Repressed and repressive neighbor has caught his home-schooled sons (among his litter of EIGHT) ogling the girls, and wants LW to make them cover up.
My answer: fuck off. You want to remove your kids from the temptations of the world? Make them wear blinders. Paint their bedroom windows black. Poke their eyes out. But don't impose your negative, hateful values on your neighbors. Don't like the scenery? MOVE.
Now what does Prudie say?
Prudie agrees, in a less violent fashion. (And just what kind of will power or faith or whatever is it when there are no temptations to test it?)

Video letter is from a college guy who keeps mooning over a girl he fell in love with in high school. Should he try to find her and finally tell her he LURVES her. Prudie says that he has invested far too much in this fantasy, and to start dating some girls from his own college. I say, yeah.
(When I did an image search for "daydreaming", almost all the images were of girls. "Interesting".)

(evil cousin)
Letter 2 is from a woman who's husband's married cousin has a thing for hubby. Turns out that when he was a child, cousin molested him. He doesn't want to make a scene and is too "easy-going" to do anything. LW wants to take action, but what? I say, kill her.
What does Prudie say?
She says to get her husband to therapy (agree), and to protect him from the cousin (agree). Give him the words he needs to make clear to her that she is to stay as far away from him as possible at future family gatherings.
I say, yes. And add that if she doesn't, his wife will kill her. His is not the only family with crazies.

Letter 3 is from a woman with a somewhat detail-ridden problem that involves her missing her hometown now that she lives in Texas with her new husband. I got nothing. Get over it?
What does Prudie say?
She says to make the most of her good fortune in finding someone to love, and to enjoy her new city life, and share it with friends from back home. Basically tells her to get over it. I agree.

Letter 4 is from a person in a training camp (or something... too much pointless detail) who has to work with a guy who picks his nose. How can she get him to stop while still keeping a relationship that allows them to work together? I would say: "Stop that!" I was told by a friend in college to stop sniffing. While I was mortified at the time, I am glad that I was made aware of this annoying habit.
Prudie says to narc on him to a superior, that he may be mentally ill, that his future students will appreciate it. Whatever. There's an Iranian sports photographer who has been disappeared by the authorities on route to the Women's World Cup in Germany. That's a problem. You can sign a petition calling for her release here:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sans HADOPI, pas de création ! L'artiste du jour qui n'a pas fait carrière, faute d'HADOPI

Hélas, parce qu'ils n'ont pas bénéficié de la protection d'HADOPI, les habitants de la grotte Chauvet n'ont pas peint les murs de leur grotte.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sans HADOPI, pas de création ! L'artiste du jour qui n'a pas fait carrière, faute d'HADOPI

Hélas, parce qu'il n'a pas bénéficié de la protection d'HADOPI, Rembrandt n'a pas peint la Ronde de nuit.

Advice Illustrated

Letter 1 is from a guy who is now in a relationship with a younger couple with a child. They live with him (I guess, it's not clear). Now his own son is out of work and looking to move in with his whole family. Should LW tell the son about his poly life?
Before reading the answer, I am willing to wager that Prudence will not approve of this relationship. Let's have a read.
Actually, Prudie was pretty cool, and avoided too many snarky puns. She says to tell the son and be as discreet as possible. I agree.

Video letter is from a woman who has the hots for her BIL. Prudie mocks her mercilessly, and LW deserves it.

Letter 2 is from someone who works in close quarters in a hard-to-get resume-building job with a couple. The couple are verbally and possibly physically abusive to each other. LW is shutting down as this reminds him too much of his own family. What to do "in this economy"?
Prudie says that if he can't deal with crazies, he shouldn't be in his business (film). She says that the abuse isn't aimed at him, so he should stick it out and use this as material for a future film.
I say, yeah. Just what did LW expect Prudie to say? He's the only one who knows if it's worth it to him to stay in the job.

Letter 3 is from a woman who cries at the drop of a hanky. Prudie references John Boner. She says to see a doctor, but she may need to just accept this, and by worrying less about it, end up sobbing less often. I know I want to cry when I'm on the line with customer service. What I want to know is: does it get results?

Letter 4 is from a patron of a non-tipping restaurant who enjoys the service of one of the staff. She knows he has a tough life, and is expecting his first child. Can she give him a check or gift card for the baby? Prudie says duh. And do duh I.

Let me fix that for you: la fuite des sujets du bac

Encore une fois, mais plus encore que d'autres années, les sujets du bac auront fuité. Je ne sais comment l'éviter s'il s'agit d'imprimer et distribuer en milliers d'exemplaires à travers le pays et le monde. Le lamentable ministre de l'éducation Chatel promet des "enquêtes" et des "plaintes", mais semble incapable de voir au delà du dispositif actuel pour une réforme réellement capable de limiter les fuites.

Si l'on prend comme point de départ l'idée que les fuites proviennent du circuit impression-transport d'imprimés, la solution semble évidente : supprimer l'impression, ou plutôt la reporter plus près des salles d'examen.

L'essentiel de notre solution est d'imprimer sur place dans chaque centre d'examen les copies des sujets. De nos jours des imprimantes ou photocopieurs sont capables de produire des tirages de haute qualité en grand volume à des prix intéressants. Il suffit au responsable de chaque centre d'insérer sa clé USB avec les sujets à tirer.

Cela implique néanmoins une distribution préalable des sujets sous forme électronique. Mais on supprime toute la chaîne de production en amont du centre, ce qui réduit de beaucoup les possibilités de fuite.

Nous pouvons rajouter des options qui réduisent encore plus ces possibilités.

Une solution: publier quelques jours ou semaine avant l'épreuve une centaine de sujets pour chaque épreuve. Ces sujets sont chargés sur une clé USB. Après la fermeture des portes du centre d'examen, le responsable reçoit un SMS indiquant quels sujets doivent être tirés.

Autre solution semblable, mais plus sophistiquée, les fichiers des sujets sont transmis aux responsables avant l'épreuve, mais cryptés. Au moment de tirer les sujets, le responsable reçoit un SMS avec un code permettant de décrypter les sujets.

Dans ces deux cas, les sujets sont connus seulement quelques minutes avant l'épreuve, et sans que les élèves puissent les connaître avant de les voir arriver sur leur pupitre.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sans HADOPI, pas de création ! L'artiste du jour qui n'a pas fait carrière, faute d'HADOPI

Hélas, parce qu'il n'a pas bénéficié de la protection d'HADOPI, Mozart n'a pas écrit les Noces de Figaro.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Eva Joly, beuh

J'ai un peu de mal à supporter Eva Joly, suite à sa défense de Romain Polanski. C'est vrai qu'elle ne l'a pas vraiment défendu, mais elle a bien soutenu à plusieurs reprises (dont ICI) que si les Français étaient choqués, c'est que dans notre droit il y aurait eu prescription pour le cinéaste ("Ce mandat d’arrêt choque parce qu’il porte sur des faits qui remontent à plus de trente ans. Or, en France, un viol qui s’est déroulé il y a une trentaine d’années n’est plus punissable.") alors qu'en droit "américain", il n'y a pas prescription ("Mais aux Etats-Unis, comme en Suisse, la prescription pour la délinquance sexuelle sur mineur n’existe pas.").

Et là je dis AIE, surtout pour UNE JUGE.

En droit français, la prescription peut être interrompue ou suspendue. De Wikipédia: "Les actes interruptifs peuvent être : un acte d’enquête préliminaire, comme un procès-verbal ; un acte de poursuite, à l’initiative du parquet ou de la partie civile ou un acte d’instruction, sauf désignation d’expert ou acte réalisé par un juge étranger."
Polanski a été non seulement arrêté, mais jugé. Parler de prescription sur 30 ans est de toute évidence un non-sens.

Parler ensuite de droit "américain", alors qu'il s'agit du droit californien démontre une méconnaissance affligeante du droit international. Pour quelqu'un qui a enquêté sur le plan international, une telle méprise est consternante. Pense-t-elle que le droit suédois s'applique à travers l'Union européenne ?

Pire (enfin, tout est mauvais dans ces propos), cette notion qu'il n'aurait pas prescription en droit "américain" pour la délinquence sexuelle sur mineur. Elle a raison qu'en droit californien il n'y a pas de prescription pour le viol (et le fait qu'il y en aurait en France m'afflige), mais pour "unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor", le délai de prescription est de six ans.

Bon, si une femme peut raconter autant de bêtises sur un sujet qu'elle est censée connaître parfaitment, sur son propre métier, comment oser lui confier une quelconque responsabilité ? Joly sur Polanski et Sarkozy sur l'homophobie dans le sport, c'est un duo de cons.

PS : Tout ceci suppose que la demande d'extradition de Polanski choquait les Français... A part les artistes et les média, je ne sais pas s'il y en a eu tant de Français choqués que ça.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Morning at the Council of Foreign Residents/Matin à l'Assemblée parisienne des citoyens extra-communautaires

Despite my disappointment with the Council and its pointless existence, I was invited to the second waste of time (oops, plenary session). Once again at the Council chamber of the City Council at the Hôtel de Ville, this time in the presence of the Mayor. Last time we had breakfast pastries, coffee, warm milk, tea, juice, etc. in china cups. This time we had just coffee, self serve, in plastic cups, and store-bought cookies. Times are tough, as Delanoe said during his remarks. A violent bit of yelling took place between a member of the council and the deputy mayor in charge of foreign residents. No idea what that was about. Learned that a member of the committee I supposedly sit on (which hasn't met in months) is now a citizen, so this was her swan song on the Council.

Otherwise, I liked the theme, which was "learning French", an important topic, and one that was very timely as we work on our neighborhood council newsletter, the next issue of which will have the theme "reading in Belleville". So I'm going to get the report made by the woman from the city department, which was very informative, and really pointed out the complexity and lack of clarity of the offer in the city. I spoke of the guide to learning French produced by the Belleville neighborhood council. Otherwise, the time Delanoe gave to us was used by very long-winded commentaries/questions/sagas from a few guys of a particular nationality...

18 June 2011: News of the day

I've been too busy to react to the news, but this one calls for comment...

France has a bicameral legislature, but the Senate has little power: it's more a power to delay and annoy than a power to legislate. Still, it's a cushy job in a beautiful palace (Luxembourg) with a splendid garden. The elections to the Senate take place this year. Because in French political thought the National Assembly has primacy as the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE, it would be out of the question for the Senate to be directly elected.

So who elects Senators? Other elected officials. The electoral college is made up of all MPs, members of the regional and departmental councils, and, most important, members of municipal councils. This gives a huge advantage to the countless tiny municipalities of rural France, ensuring that the Senate is solidly conservative.

Paris is a special case: it is both a city and a department, and there aren't enough elected officials to make up the electoral college for this Senatorial district. So yesterday the city council elected 2000 extra people (!) to sit on the electoral college. (Why not just give the votes of members of the city council more weight, I don't know...).

Then they do stuff with lists and all sorts of other crap. And they dare laugh at the US electoral college...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Advice Illustrated: Father's Day special

Letter 1 is from a guy who thought he might have a child by an old girlfriend. He told his present wife that this might be the case. Now the child has come looking for him, he is pleased to meet her, but his wife is nutso: I was open about meeting my daughter the first time, but when I got back, she was in tears about my "new family." He now keeps seeing his daughter, but in secret, and he feels sleazy. And how can he introduce her to his sons without making wife freak again?
I say: Good thing you've got a "new family", cuz the old one sounds like you're better off without her.
Prudie says to make sure she really is his kid, and to lay it on the line with wifey, going to counseling if needed.
Score: 9/10.

Video letter is from a woman whose single friend was hurt by a photo from a wedding the LW posted to Facebook. Prudie says to apologize.
Score 8/10.

Letter 2 is from a woman who owns the house her father lives in. They aren't close. She has learned that he is a hoarder/filthmonger who is making the house go to rot. She's worried about the house, but even more worried about her father's mental health.
Prudie says to see a lawyer about getting him out of the house and into treatment.
Score 8/10. So glad it wasn't Cary Tennis answering.

Letter 3 is from a woman (I'm guessing) who is planning her father's (surprise) 80th birthday with her five siblings. Which means no one is planning. They are fighting a lot, about everything (when? where? how? what? who?).
Prudie says first, try to get along, second, dump the surprise party, and third, bla bla bla about the details.
I give Prudie 10/10 just for ixnaying the surprise party. Never a good idea, a worse idea for a very old person, and hurtful to make him think you have forgotten him, or make him live in fear every time he enters a room.
As for the details, Prudie was wrong to indulge the LW. But LW is an doof for thinking that it's important to have the party on his birthday rather than on the nearest weekend. If you want people to come, it's on the weekend, LW. And Prudie's other advice is wise. I do not want to go to a restaurant with you and your swarms of grandchildren. There could easily be about 80 guests: why don't you just rent a hall (with A/C) and get it catered?

Caption: Just because this is the photo that came up when I searched for "Stepfather". Really!
Letter 4 is from a woman whose husband has been a model stepfather to her adult sons, who refuse to acknowledge him on Father's Day or his birthday. Prudie says to tell them what she expects of them.
Socre 9/10: Sure the kids are ingrates, but just where has LW been all these many years?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

15 June 2011: News of the day

Reading the good ol' Parisien.

Top story is a 6-page special on the disgruntled young people of various European countries. No future!

The Banque de France is worried about the housing market bubble. It's particularly grotesque in Paris. Correction or crash ahead?

Who will replace Christine Lagarde as Minister of Finance? François Baroin, currently minister of budget, knows the place, but that might not be a good thing, because if he keeps the budget portfolio, he would be very powerful. And he doesn't speak English. Maybe Valérie Pécresse, currently Education minister. Or the rising start Bruno Lemaire, but he's doing too good a job as minister of agriculture to let him move.

The Greens will also be doing a presidential primary, and it sounds just as fucked up at the one the Socialists will painfully attempt.

The bill for marriage equality failed in the National Assembly, which was no surprise. I smirked a bit at the "abstention" of François Bayrou, who wants to appear modern and moderate, but who just can't make a choice, and can't forget the origins of his party as the Christian Democratic party. (I just saw a video where he says he's TOTALLY cool with equality, as long as it's called something other than marriage. And so we will patiently wait for Mr Bayrou to introduce a bill calling for this separate but equal regime.

A report on the commission on cults says there are serious risks of incidents in 2012 with apocalyptics.

A complaint has been filed by relatives of victims of the Karachi attack on French naval shipyard workers against media star "anti-terrorist" judge Bruguière. His investigation blamed the attack on local terrorists, when it's clear that it was related to corruption in the Chirac/Sarkozy party (the party for which Bruguière stood in recent elections).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

14 June 2011: News of the day

Reading Le Parisien:

Top story gets four pages: crime in the dreadful suburb of Sevran, where half the population lives in housing projects.

  • Story 1: A city where children can't go outside for recess for fear of a stray bullet. A mayor who calls for UN peacekeepers.
  • Story 2: A center for drug dealing, with clients coming from far and wide, where grass is smoked in plain view, near kids.
  • Story 3: Heavy police presence, with choppers, etc.
  • Story 4: Fears of schoolkids.
  • Story 5: Some buildings, those with former youth "leaders", manage to clear out the dealers, but they just go to the next building.
  • Story 6: Residents keep their mouth shut for fear of reprisals.
  • Story 7: Residents feel abandoned by politicans and civil servants.
  • Story 8: Map and key figures.
  • Story 9: The closing of the Kodak and Westinghouse factories has made poverty and unemployment a way of life.
  • Story 10: People want to leave, while others have hopes for the urban renewal projects underway.
  • Story 11: Within the city, the residents of each project keep to themselves.
  • Story 12: Some neighbors work together, including on new community gardens.
  • Story 13: The president of the business association says things aren't so bad: "It will never be Harlem" (which shows he doesn't know Harlem).
  • Story 14: The municipal cinema and other culture venues are places of stability and security.

Chirac's "joke" about voting for a Socialist candidate for P12 still making news.

A page on a new campaign against spousal rape will be making waves.

It's national blood donor day. But I can't give, because I'm gay, and France has a crazy policy not based on risky behaviors, but on identity. That said, I would rather the activists who attack the ministry of health on this discrimination devoted their energy to reducing the prevlance of HIV among gay men, in particular among young men. Do that, and there's no excuse for discrimination.

The Sarkozy government is plowing ahead with its pseudo-populist law on bonuses. Companies that paid bigger dividends in 2010 than in recent years must negotiate a deal for a bonus, which will be exempt from payroll taxes. So only employees in listed companies, and only the ones that paid dividends in the required way, are eligible, creating huge and unfair disparities based on the accident of the company they happen to work for. Unions and employer organizations are both opposed.

France is going to require new testing for foreign-educated physicians. The result will be fewer doctors for night shifts, rural areas, and tough neighborhoods, where French doctors don't want to work.

All is well in the Marais, where all were freaking out at the thought of a McDonald's opening. Instead, it will be a home decor store.

Rick Santorum's Google problem

Here is is: is the site to link to for news about "santorum", that frothy mix of lube and fecal matter following anal sex.

Monday, June 13, 2011

13 June 2011: News of the day

Reading Le Parisien:

Drought in the news. There would likely be no shortages if farmers stopped planting corn in places it has to be irrigated.

Interesting article on the reproduction of the Grotte Chauvet being made near Paris.

Lots of stories about a non-story that's been in the news all weekend. Former president Chirac (UMP) said he would vote for François Hollande (Socialists), rather than his own successor Sarkozy (UMP) in P12. Now claims it was "Corrèze humor" (both Chirac and Hollande have built their political career in the Corrèze.

I'm delighted to see a real rival to Christine Lagarde for head of IMF, in the form of the Israeli finance minister. Lagarde is such a huge time bomb, and I don't see why France deservees "its" candidate to get the job. Remember Jacques Attali, who invented the EBRD so he could run it, only to be forced out over his extravagant spending (the French were very keen to get the job for a "Frenchman", and let the bank be located in London in exchange... Attali is gone, and the jobs are still in London)? Remember... DSK? Remember Christine Lagarde, named to the IMF only to have to resign in disgrace weeks later when she was indicted for abuse of power?

Raymond Domenach is a candidate to coach the Algerian national football team. Didn't France do enough harm to Algerian in all its years as a colonial power?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

12 June 2011: News of the day

Reading Le Parisien, a bit late:

Former Minister of Education, "philosopher", media whore Luc Ferry thought he would get some nice media luvvin by accusing, without naming him, a "former minister" of being caught in a pedophile orgy in Morocco. Alas, it just brought attention to him, and not in a good way. Among those taking note of Lucky Luc was his employer, a university president, who sent him a letter reminding him that he was in theory a university professor, but that he hadn't been doing any actual teaching.

To try to cover the story, the Prime Minister's office decided to cover the cost of his salary, because he was in theory working for a commission under the authority of the Prime Minister.

Alas for the Prime Minister, that has people wondering just what this fictional commission was supposed to be doing. France has any number of commissions created mainly as make-work schemes for friends of the powerful, for politicos who lose a race, or to quietly get people to go away.

In 2003, Eric Woerth, minister of the budget (who has since resigned over suspicions of illegal campaign finance... it finally occurred to Sarkozy that having your minister of the budget be the treasurer of your political party could raise some questions) said he would reduce the 650 commissions by half. There are now nearly 800 of them.

Here are some: Committee for Prevention and Precaution, Consulting Committee on Household Packaging Waste, Committee for the Polar Environment, National Committee for the French Initiative for Coral Reefs, Consulting Council for Amerindian Populations, Committee for Industrial Mobilization, National Committee for Intensive Calculation, Permanent Consultating Committee on Oenology, and a great double play: The National Council for Associations and the Council for the Development of Associations. There's also the National Council for Facilitation, or the Strategic Committee for Modernization. Luc Ferry's was the "Council for the Analysis of Society".

Luc Ferry says that it's a PLOT, a CONSPIRACY by his ENEMIES!!! He says that this council, which he presided, did important things! Like writing the law on volunteer firefighters, and the civilian service for young people. (That's all he was able to come up with.)

Ferry also claims he would LOOOOOVE to return to teaching, but he's such a celeb that the security would be impossible to manage.

The Socialists are pouting because their "friends" on the left, the Communists, aren't helping them organize their semi-legal presidential primaries.

Although it's the Left that has the tax-and-spend reputation, I have the feeling the Right is even better. They're still pushing for another day of slavery to pay for old people. The PM who let those old people die in the heat wave says the French still have too many days off.

The MPs are still putting pressure on Air France to buy Airbuses rather than Boeings. Idjuts.

In an article about the human-milk-producing cloned cow, the journalist manages to claim that this cow produces human antibodies which are so useful for babies' health. Um, no.

It's in the middle of the paper, but DSK still gets a page, with a big article on Tribeca and the stars that live near DSK. Also, DSK has the support of our doddering rocker national Johnny H.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

10 June 2011: News of the day

Reading yesterday's Le Parisien:

Top story is about the gambling clubs in Paris. Casino's are banned in a 100km radius of Paris (except for Enghien), nominally to protect resorts, and to protect Parisian gamblers from themselves.

But there are these gambling clubs that are allowed. There are supposedly non-profit charitable organizations. After WWII they were authorized, and handed over to the Corsican mob in exchange for the Resistance work done in Corsica. They are still run by the Corsicans and are very shady. The police has started to crack down on them, mainly because of the explosion of poker there. As poker has become more popular, the gambling clubs have started in raking in even more money.

After failing to introduce marriage equality when they were in power, the Socialists did a stunt this week, with a sure-to-fail bill in the National Assembly. In preliminary sessions, a UMP (Sarkozy) MP compared gay marriage to bestiality. She then apologized, claiming her words were "taken out of context". As she is otherwise a great friend of the far right, her apologies were not taken seriously.

Two UMP MPs voted in favor of the gay marriage bill. One is the young mayor of Coulommiers, a rising star who is very cute, and apparently gay (but the French don't talk about this... his official website has a "Get to know me" section which speaks of his professional activities, but nothing about his private life. I'm not going to applaud the guy: he's UMP, and he was the lead MP for the repressive and absurd HADOPI "three-strikes" law on internet.

The National Assembly will be naming a house ethicist for the first time. Just one. Hah!

A group of lawyers are attacking websites that offer drivers help in getting back their licence. Of course, it's for the most noble of causes, and not protecting their selfish interests.

There's a story about footballer Kevin Gameiro. I have no interest in the story, but Kevin is cute as a button.

11 June 2011: News of the day

Reading Le Parisien...

Top story: the start of individual personal car rental. You can rent out your own car to other drivers.

Lagarde is still leading in the race to run the IMF, despite the fact that she is certain to be charged with abuse of power in the context of the Tapie case. I really wonder why the French (and Europeans) are pushing her. Two French heads having to resign for charges of illegal actions will be a bit much.

Her new rival, Agustin Cartens, is just too fat. A caricature of the fat cat banker. (There's a blog article making the rounds on this issue.) And I say this as an obese person.

The DSK affair has brought to light another embarrassment for the Socialists. One of their Senators, also mayor of a town near Paris, has been convicted for sexual assault, yet remains a member of the party. Why no action on this?

In a sidebar to an article about apartment concierges, we learn they don't want to be called "concierges", but rather "gardien(ne)s". "Concierge" has a connotation of a nosy gossip. In English, of course, it's much classier: the notion of high-quality individualized service, via the hotel business.

The Comédie Française will be closed for a retrofit for one year. So a temporary theater is being built between the colonnades of the Palais Royal. One might think that finding temporary host theaters for the troup would be a better solution, given how many public theaters are more often empty than not. And as it turns out, they will be performing some productsion at Le 104 and the Grand Palais.

The public inquiry into the renovation project for the place de la Répubique is open, and Le Parisien does a comparison between the city's project and a stupid counter project. The city's project is drastic, closing off one side of the square to cars, along with the adjoining access street, whereas the counter project doesn't change very much. The official project offers some interesting possibilities for using the place, which is pretty grim today, with lots of space for cars, and little space for pedestrians.

A big article on the first same-sex pairs DanceSport competition, part of our FSGL Tournoi international de Paris. This is just about the first time Le Parisien (or any mainstream paper) has shown an interest in the TIP. (The paper has done stories about the Gais Musette being refused accommodation for a workshop.)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

9 June 2011: News of the day

Cover story is the Baccalaureate school leaving exam. Everyone gets it today (87% success rate), so you really need to get it with honors for it to mean something. In 1989, about 25% of those earning their Bac get honors. Now it's nearly 50%. But it's important to know that prior to reaching the Bac, many students have been kicked out of the system. Only about 65% of a cohort will get the Bac.
The national high school graduation rate for all public school students remained flat over the last decade, going from 72% in 1991 to 71% in 2002. Nationally, the percentage of all students who left high school with the skills and qualifications necessary to attend college increased from 25% in 1991 to 34% in 2002. The finding of flat high school graduation rates and increasing college readiness rates is likely the result of the increased standards and accountability programs over the last decade, which have required students to take more challenging courses required for admission to college without pushing those students to drop out of high school. The state with the highest graduation rate in the nation in 2002 was New Jersey (89%), followed by Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Dakota (each at 85%). The state with the lowest graduation rate in the nation was South Carolina (53%), followed by Georgia (56%), Tennessee (57%), and Alabama (58%). There is a wide disparity in the graduation rates of white and minority students. In the class of 2002, about 78% of white students graduated from high school with a regular diploma, compared to 56% of African-American students and 52% of Hispanic students. There is also a large difference among racial and ethnic groups in the percentage of students who leave high school eligible for college admission. About 40% of white students, 23% of African-American students, and 20% of Hispanic students who started public high school graduated college-ready in 2002. There is very little difference between the number of students who graduate from high school college-ready and the number of students who enroll in college for the first time. This indicates that there is not a large pool of students who have the skills necessary to attend college but do not do so because of lack of funds or other non-academic factors.

The next big story is about Liliane Bettencourt's lawyer, who is under the threat of malpractice action. He has power of attorney for the richest woman in France, and used 143 million euros of her money (!) to finance the sketchy business of another of his clients, via the bank for which he is also the lawyer.

Weinergate's in the news here. It's mainly of interest because the French believe that the DSK case is followed as intensely in the US as here (it's not), and that this story is the one that pushed DSK off the front page. And because it fits the cliché of puritanical America, the paper says that the only option for Weiner is to resign (they haven't heard of diaper whore Vitter).

The paper gives a lot of space to interviews with the victims of AltMed reflexologist foot fetishist former minister and still mayor Georges Tron.

A fan of the Jim Morrison who opened a small bar in his honor is being threatened by the Doors. Boo! The lawyers claim (ahem): "The musicians don't want to appear to approve the consumption of alcohol".

Advice Illustrated: Could Emily resist the Weiner jokes? Nope.

Letter 1 is from a man who finds himself compelled to go to strip clubs, brothers, etc. whenever he's away from his wife. He hasn't had sex yet, but fears he will. Can he just stick to strip clubs?
Before reading Prudie's answer, here's mine: NO. It is not wrong to go to these places, but this is clearly not healthy for you. It's a compulsion, you are unhappy when you do it, yet you keep doing it. You probably need professional help to kick this habit.
Now what does Prudie say? She too suffers from an unhealthy compulsion, to make inappropriate allusions and far too many puns. But she basically says the same thing.

Video letter is from a guy who has a mother with lots of issues, including a return to drug addiction late in life. She's now hooked on crack. How can their relationship be the same? Prudie says that his mother needs his help, not his disgust. Contact her case worker to offer your help. I say, yeah. Geez, dude, your mom made a huge effort to be a good parent and raise you as best she could. Maybe you could show her some of the love she gave you by helping her rather than being grossed out. And what's the deal with your freaking out over crack? Is it because it's a déclassé drug? Would you be cooler with vodka or cocaine? And before you go off on your mom again, remember it could be worse (see illustration).

Letter 2 is from someone who has a friend who's just become a teacher and who is behaving inappropriately with her high school students, exchanging personal text messages, attending their pool parties, etc. Prudie says friend is cruising for a bruising, and as a good friend, LW needs to warn her. I say, yeah.

Letter 3 is from a women who can't stay married who's married to a guy who's even worse, and who lets his mother run his life (and ruin his marriages). Prudie says to get counseling, and to be ready to jump. I say I really don't care, except for the kids involved. But LW is a fool, her current husband is a jerk, and her current MIL is a grade-A bitch. And frankly, people who talk about their family "heritage" and "bloodline" deserve only disdain.

Letter 4 is from a woman whose BF of a few weeks doesn't wash his hands after using the toidie. Prudie says to hold off a while until their more intimate, then tell him he needs to wash his hands. I say: if he's just peeing, I think lots of guys don't wash. And there are people who rarely do number 2 (I live with one... when we first met, it was like three times a week), so he may indeed only be doing number 1. That said, the next time he leaves the john, I'd say: "Hey, I didn't hear the water running in the sink. Did you forget to wash your hands?" I think if you are letting him put his thingie in your whatsit, you are on intimate enough terms to talk about hand washing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

8 June 2011: News of the day

The top story of the day? Social unrest? Rampant crime? DSK? The 2012 presidential election? Nope...

The next story is a full page on a missing teen in southwestern France. He texted his father at 10:45pm to say he would be home by 11 and that he hadn't had dinner. Then nothing. His bike has been found, locked with a lock that is not his. Localizing his last cellphone position has not yielded useful info. He had no problems, was well adjusted. His only problem was his Justin Bieber hairdo.

Former Socialist minister Emmanuelli gave PM Fillon the finger during a session at the National Assembly. Chirac has published the next volume of his memoirs, where he's not nice to Sarkozy. This gives the paper an opportunity to remind readers that Chirac will soon, after years and years of delays, be heading to court for corruption charges.

Rachida Dati is trying to protect "her" seat in the National Assembly (read HERE) from the covetous Fillon. She is crying sexism and "respect for diversity" (I guess that means that the National Assembly needs more people whose brothers have been convicted of various crimes).

It looks like dual nationality, a principle contested by the National Front and by those in Sarkozy's party who wish it were more like the National Front, is safe. Sarkozy has said so, perhaps because his wife has dual nationality (French and Italian).

There's a proposal to extend paternity leave, which is now only 11 days. Mothers have 16 weeks total, before and after birth. The new plan is to offer 12 weeks before birth to women, and 4 weeks to each parent after birth.

50 MPs presented a petition to Air France telling them the firm should buy Airbus plans rather than Boeings. I think the passengers and shareholders of the firm think the firm should buy the plane that offers the best product for the best price. And I wonder if Airbus is keen to engage in illegal favoritism that would immediately be attacked by Boeing.

UGH! It seems that convicted persons who are offered community service can do it BUILDING A CATHOLIC MONASTERY!!!! Please don't give me any "laïcité" bullshit. (And French people: you may now shut the fuck up about "In god we trust".)

After the most recent riots in Corbeil, near Paris, where media-military-industrial mogul Serge Dassault runs the show, there are complaints that the failure to make payoffs usually given to idle youth to keep them quiet is part of the "problem". Last year's crop of fake employees were fired after violence against city workers. These riots are one way to put pressure on the right-wing mayor to rehire the thugs for the summer. (Dassault is a supporter and a member of Sarkozy's "tough on crime" party.)

After rumor-mongering about a pedophile ex minister, Luc Ferry is now in trouble because this ex minister of Education is supposedly a university professor (at least he gets paid as one), but rarely shows up to give a class. He's now been summoned by the university president.

In DSK news, the victim's lawyer has called on all women abused by DSK to come forward. One who won't be is the "journalist"/novelist who turned DSK's attempted rape into such delightful cocktail chatter, before trying to get another 15 minutes of fame by recalling it after DSK's arrest. (I'm convinced he assaulted her, but have no respect for a victim who did not file a complaint at the time, and has since been dining out on her story, and now repeats it, while still refusing to file a complaint. One reason she wants to avoid testifying in the US is that she would look pretty crappy on cross examination making light of this crime on TV.)

The police came with an investigating magistrate yesterday morning to interview the richest woman in France, Liliane Bettancourt, on her illegal financing of right-wing political campaigns. She refused to respond to summons to testify on medical grounds, and now her physician and a clinic where she was treated are being investigated.

A while ago I said I was surprised at some good initiatives by Frédéric Lefebvre since he was named minister of commerce and small businesses. But he's back to his old tricks as a creepy demagogue, supporting shops in Montmartre that open in total illegality on Sunday. Should a minister be supporting an illegal action? Among the reasons for the Mayor's refusal to make an exception is the (true) argument that it will only encourage the transformation from traditional shops to endless clothing stores.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

7 June 2011: News of the day

DSK again gets top place in Le Parisien, with three pages devoted to his hearing yesterday, where he (surprise!) pleaded not guilty.

DSK has liberated discussion of sexual assault and harassment. A couple of women MPs have launched a counteroffensive against their colleagues who complain of the sexism of the men of the National Assembly. These are the tough cookies, who, if a guy wolfwhistles them in a skirt, smack the guy in the schnozz. Yep. They do have a point that the right to wear a skirt without being treated as a whore is less of a problem in the National Assembly than in French housing projects, where Islamist repression treats girls that dare show any skin as willing victims of gang rapes (yes!).

On the other hand, other woman point out the widespread harassment or worse that parliamentary assistants suffer at the hands of male MPs.

Things are heating up for the Green Party's presidential primaries, where three of the four candidates are not actually members of the party. Yep. A leading candidate is a former TV nature show host. Whatever the candidate, he or she will not reach the second round of the election, so this is all very theoretical, but people (well, the press) treat it as if it were important.

Gilbert Collard, the media whore lawyer currently in the news (he's always in the news for something) for attacking former foot-fetishist minister Tron, is now considering representing Khaddafi in a case against France for killing his son.

Work begins today on the Palais de Tokyo, the site for never-ending renovations and changes of occupants. The "center for creation" will go from 9000 to 20000 square meters. It's supposed to cost a mre 20 million euros...

The wasteful, pointless renovation of the Forum des Halles has made another victim: massive leaks during the recent rains in the Forum des Images and neighboring shops.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dear Prudence: Monday Middens

Revenge of the geek? This does sound very ABC Movie of the Week meets ABC After-school Special. And changing schools is always an option.

Grabby husband
Raping a chambermaid and fondling your wife are not the same thing, Emily. Given the number of letters complaining about a lack of sexual attention and attraction, I think you should enjoy this. But feel free to pinch his ass. And if you really want to get your message across, grab his balls.

Daughter too immodest
This sounds rather fake. But let's say it's true. Yes, she gets to wear what she wants. And yes, you get to say you don't want her dressing like a pole dancer around you. Those are not incompatible. If she dresses in such a way that you cannot be in her presence, then leave, or ask her to leave. She is an adult, and so are you, and adults get to choose who they want to associate with. That said, a hot 20yo wearing a bikini on a beach is hardly shocking. And your husband, another adult, may decide he prefers the company of his daughter to the company of his prudish wife.

Love letters of parents
Stupid question. Of course you keep them. And try to live up to them in your own relationships.

Employee's R18 pic
What Prudie said. I don't know whose reputation the creep is trying to ruin, but he's doing a great job ruining his.

I just want to be friends this time
"I realized I was wrong, and so I tried to do the same thing again." Right.

Silly woman. Of course he's cheating on you. Ever heard of a "nooner"?

Dark Family Secret
Wow. Yes, contact a lawyer. And do your best to find a way to stop him. I think picketing in front of his business would be a good way. Can he sue you for slander? Maybe. But I think truth is always protection against those charges.

Self esteem
I like you less than your twin, but only because you write "with my twin sister and I". That makes you one ugly, ugly person.

To the Bully Mother...
Not a question. And of course she doesn't remember what she did. The victim has much more reason to remember the details than the bully.

For the Ex Bully
Not a question.

What's the "first of 2011"? Do you mean the first of January? You are free to issue an ultimatum. Being engaged means an intent to marry. But whatever.

God. He didn't say he loved you because he didn't love you. Did you love him? Silly person.

Friendship and children

Emailed Photos
Not a question.

Re: condoms
Not a question. I don't think he's using condoms to cut down on the mess.

Household rivalries
Given your apparent mental abilities, I assume this is some sort of dog-grooming establishment. Do they have even have sports teams?

6 June 2011: News of the day

It's DSK-plea-hearing day! Joy! He's back as the top story of Le Parisien. Within the cornucopia of crap in the three pages devoted to him, we find what has to be the worst story of all time. Le Parisien retraces the taxi journey of DSK from the hotel to the airport. After failing to get the taxi driver (who they take pains to identify fully), they go off on their own. Which bridge or tunnel to take? It's a veritable GPS-fest.

We've just got a news flash: DSK has pleaded not guilty. Like he was going to plead guilty. Sheesh.

During a radio interview, Paris mayor Delanoë spoke of "the tragedy in New York". GAG. I do hope he was speaking of the victim, and not of DSK. Unless his tragic flaw is being a rapist.

Everybody wants to play footsie with Borloo. Just why I have yet to figure out.

The government keeps fiddling with the wealth tax (it's like a living estate tax). They are considering re-including works of art in the calculation of the tax base. In a man-in-the-street interview, we get some gems, including this one from Dorothée Leonardi, age 48, jobless:
"I'm against all attacks on liberty. For me, art is a form of liberty, as is the way one appreciates it. It's something that should stay outside our norms and not be caught up in economic or tax considerations. And I think it would create suspicion for people who have owrks of art. Everyone would wonder if they declared them or not."

Stupid cow.

It's dictionary season, and among the English words entering common dictionaries are the noun "tweet" and the verb "tweeter", "e-learning", and "cougar". The article is total crap, because their "expert" says he doesn't mind the "e-" prefix, as long as it's not mixed with a French word, as in "e-commerce". Which is of course a perfectly English word. And "Le Parisien" explains that "cougar" is in fact a modified form of the word for the annimal, which they claim is "couguar", just like "jaguar". ("Couguar" is a French word, but so uncommon that Le Parisien gives the French definition, "puma"... and ignores the English "cougar" in this section about Anglicisms...)They have very commodious asses, these folks at Le Parisien, because they never fail to find things to pull out of them.

Le Parisien gives you advice about avoiding potentially harmful radiation from cell phones, including a recommendation that pregnant women avoid storing their phone in their vagina. Or something like that.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Le grand prix de la casserole parisienne... - Paris - France 3 Régions - France 3

Le grand prix de la casserole parisienne... - Paris - France 3 Régions - France 3


5 June 2011: News of the day

Reading Le Parisien, and puking a bit. DSK is back in the news (I guess because his plea hearing is tomorrow), which gives us a two-pager "A DESTINY BROKEN IN 30 MINUTES". Yeah, and it took about the same time for him to choose to destroy a woman's life. I'm getting tired of the moaning over this creep. Let him be judged, but if the only way he is found non guilty is by attacking the woman, he is an even bigger creep than I think he is.

Elections now for the Muslim Council of France. It's a gadget invented by Sarkozy to make Islam more like other religions in France that have official organizations to represent them (although the logic of "laïcité" that Sarkozists use to attract far-right voters would presume that there be no religious organizations "recognized" by the State). Of course, it's very political. And crazy: delegates are chosen according to the physical size of their mosques (huh?). Because of course it's illegal in France to ask anyone their religion in a survey or census. It's craaaazzzzy.

Antiterrorism operation lead to arrest of some Kurds. Police chose to make the arrests during a festival, with kiddies doing traditional dances. The Kurds did not approve. Riots, great destruction.

Friday, June 3, 2011


My top peeve remains "I" for "me". With the recent example of "John and I's new boat", urgent action is needed.

Anne Louise Marquis's recent FB post from an article which used "misnomer" for "misconception" reminds me of this rarer but almost as annoying peeve.

I'm not a professional peever: I don't get hot and bothered about people using "decimate" to mean more than the destruction of 1/10 of something. I am a fan of the singular "they". And I certainly don't go for supporting rules that were made up recently on the basis of nothing more than a whim, like ending sentences with a preposition or splitting infinitives.

So trust me when I peeve!

3 June 2011: News of the day

E-Killer-Koli is the top story. Yikes!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Advice Illustrated: not much to add

Letter 1 is from a woman whose family was the victim of a CPS investigation thanks to the neighbor girl who said that she and LW's daughter did some naughty things. The families were cleared, but LW is angry that the neighbors knew about the accusation and said nothing. She doesn't want to take the risk of further trouble. Her husband says bygones. Prudie agrees the risk is to great, and to limit contact with the family. I agree. There are plenty of children to play with, and this one is just too great a risk.

Video letter is from a guy who has a great personal trainer with bad breath. Prudie says not to worry about hurting her feelings. Tell her she needs to chew some minty fresh gum. I say: yeah. And it's good for her business to tell her this. Many potential clients would simply not use her services.

Letter 2 is from someone whose great aunt is dying, and doesn't mind it so much. Great aunt wants a fun funeral, including party hats and confetti. Many family members are horrified. Prudie says to find a happy medium. So do I.

Letter 3 if from a stupid woman who lived with a guy for five years before discovering that he was two-timing her in a huge way. It's now one year on, and she claims to have forgiven him, and to accept that he is trying to be a better person. She claims they are friends again. But sometimes her pain comes back and she lashes out. He is confused, because she claims to be over him. Prudie says he has no place in her life, and to DTMFA. I agree. But since she seems to be enjoying causing herself pain, maybe she should keep the louse in her life just for the fun of it.

Letter 4 is from a job-hunter who has a typo in their CV (2010 for 2011). Prudie says to send a correct version to those who received the wrong one, explaining that no-one is perfect but they're constantly striving to get close. I say, yeah, if it's important, what else are you going to do? The only way it would be significant is if you indicated a job ended in February 2010 instead of February 2011, which would lead them to wonder what you were doing for a year. In fact, you are so stupid, you shouldn't get any job.