Thursday, November 17, 2005

Still unexplainable

"France back to normal after rioting." Depends on your definition of normal. In France, normal is "just 98 vehicles torched across the country," according to the article. It continues in much the same vein -

"In all, since the start of the troubles, 9,071 vehicles have been destroyed and 2,921 people apprehended."

Uh, forget the cars for a minute. The Renault is a piece o' crud anyway. How may people were injured? How many robberies? Businesses looted, churches or synagogues sacked? (How did the car become the established unit of riot severity, anyway? Probably a metric thing.)

"A state of emergency remains in place, after lawmakers on Wednesday voted to extend a law giving authorities the right to impose curfews and widen police search powers by three months."

Wha...? OH - the law was extended by three months. I think. Bad editing follows bad fact-gathering like night upon day, non?

"The peak of the violence was the night of November 6, when 1,408 vehicles were burnt."

Again with the cars. I thought les Americans were the selfish dolts who cared only for their cars.

"As politicians grappled with the root causes of the unrest in a bid to stop it exploding again..."

Yup, root causes. They're about the only things that weren't destroyed in the rioting. Maybe the politicians should just read the rest of the article:

"Initially sparked by the electrocution deaths of two teenagers of west and north African background hiding from police in an electrical sub-station in a poor neighbourhood northeast of Paris..."

Eureka. There's your root cause - some teens were electrocuted after hiding from the police. Naturally people blamed the poor gendarmes. At least here, we don't blame the police unless they actually shoot the fleeing suspect. Oh, yeah, and here, we put huge red warning signs on our electrical sub-stations - "High Voltage - Keep Out - Severe Injury or Death May Occur."

"Sarkozy, Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin all saw their popularity ratings get a boost in the Ipsos survey carried out November 12, with the interior minister benefiting most to garner 63 percent support."

Yeah, c'est frikkin magnifique. We blame our president for hurricanes, but they reward theirs for sleeping through three weeks of mob violence. French sensibilities are much subtler than ours.

And in related articles at the bottom - "French Rappers' Prophecies Come True." Nobody in the French government listens to the radio, either.

(big w/t to the Coalition of the Swilling)

update, 1:30 pm - "After weeks of national unrest, Jacques Chirac finally got tough on the car-broilers: he proposed job training for 50,000 of the unemployed malcontents. That’ll teach ‘em. Of course, job training is one thing; actual jobs are another...

"Too bad for Europe. Their modern vision – a post-national multiethnic welfare state linked by nothing but the language in which people curse one another – is fatally flawed."

Bless you, Mr. Lileks.

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