Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Worthy of note in the blogsphere: A Miquelon post that hits back French bashers with facts and figures
Enough with the “SURRENDER MEME” in the comment sections every time the Huffington Post has an item about France.
For over five years, we - French expatriates in America - have had to endure all kinds of harassment, public humiliation and ridicule, all because our government refused to follow the Bush / Cheney in lock and step over the invasion of Irak.
Mocking the 1940 armistice by Marshall Pétain show lack of understanding and respect. 92,000 men died fighting in 1939-40 and 20,000 French resistance fighters and 40,000 POWs died from 1940 to 1945. Civilian losses include 120,000 killed due to military action and 230,000 victims of Nazi reprisals and genocide including 83,000 FRENCH Jews.
This is no laughing matter, yet day in, day out, Monday morning quarterbacks spew their hatred of the French here and elsewhere with the impunity that comes with remote disconnection.
Once again I shall maintain that mocking the 1940 deblacle is as funny to the French as 9/11 is to Americans. It’s time to get past the Jonah Goldberg / Grounds keeper Willie zingers and show some mutual respect between our sister republics.
Marc A. Cormier
The title of this post should have been: News that Michelin France "Le Guide Rouge" is German draws a mocking appraisal of a purported French reaction from The Independent.
British 'tabloid' The Independent reports that French find German's role hard to swallow.
The world of Teutonic gastronomy is in shock following the surprise announcement by the board of Guide Michelin France that a 38-year-old German woman has been chosen to run the male-dominated culinary bible for the first time in its 108-year history.
We say, "Bullocks!"
[...] Julianne Caspar is the first woman and - it goes almost without saying - the first German to run Michelin's legendary "Guide Rouge". She was previously responsible for Michelin guides on Germany, Switzerland and Austria but will take over the French Guide from January next year.
So, why should the appointment of Ms Julianne Caspar, someone who is clearly a hugely qualified traditional French cuisine proponent to the most influential restaurant guide in the world, shock the French? The Independent is treading in dangerous French bashing waters by unecessarily misleading their readers with their sensationalism driven treatment of this news.
Michelin France yesterday described the deliberately publicity shy Ms Caspar, who hails from the German industrial city of Bochum, as a "polyglot who speaks four languages fluently." The publication added: "She is the first foreigner to run Guide Michelin France". [...]
Welcome aboard Ms Caspar!
[...] Time magazine named US President-Elect Barack Obama its 2008 "Person of the Year", in what must have been one of the easiest decisions its editorial board has had to make. [...]
Former UK PM Tony Blair writes:
[...] There are times when Nicolas Sarkozy resembles a force of nature rather than a conventional political leader. He has energy, ideas and vitality in abundance, as he showed in such matters as his handling of the Georgia crisis and the global economic downturn. Of course, as with any new leader, 18 months — Nicolas was elected President of France in May 2007 — is insufficient time to make a final judgment. But certain elements are already clear.
First, Nicolas has the hallmark of any true leader: a capacity to take decisions and implement them. He sees a problem and wants to solve it. What's more, he believes he can.
Second, he is prepared to think outside the box. Reflect for a moment, and the construction of his government in France is a remarkable achievement. His Foreign Minister — the immensely capable Bernard Kouchner — is a Socialist, as are several other ministers. Nicolas has adopted bipartisanship with not only a natural grace but also a wholehearted and sincere embrace. He stands in the modern postideological mold. He wants to get things done, and he wants the best people to do them. [...]
Friday, 12 December 2008
No one lives on credit in France and don't allow overdrafts, etc., etc.? Utter falsehood. My brother, who is a student in an Ecole de commerce in Paris, survives virtually on his credit card overdrafts. I can tell you right here and now that my parents have just (very recently matter of fact) paid off his 1500-euro overdraft after his bank threatened to do something drastic about his burgeoning debt.
Lanvin- 40% sur le prêt-à-porter automne-hiver, les chaussures, les sacs et les ceintures sauf manteaux en fourrure et certains bijoux cristaux, colliers plastron et perles. La bonne affaire: la sublime robe longue du soir en jersey gris chiné retenue par de fines bretelles, avec sur le devant un nœud de velours noir à 925 € au lieu de 1 540 €. Ou bien, petit «must-have» de la collection, les ballerines plates à 330 € soldées 198 €. 15, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, VIIIe. 01-44-71-33-33.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
The commentator followed up the report with a shocking revelation: 7 out of 10 Americans are obese. My goodness me. That's a lot of fat. No wonder, they say Americans are too fat for x-rays!
[...] An estimated two-thirds of the entire U.S. adult population is overweight or obese, and an estimated 23 million children fall into one of the two categories. [...]
(I don't really know if this McDonald advert is for real but by gum, if it is, McDonald's is virtually committing a crime for inciting children to eat themselves to death!)
But let's face it. The trend towards putting on more weight that one can do without seems to be everywhere, even in France, home to the chic and slim. (Although I must say, I still have to see 7 out of 10 French that's obese.) Fortunately, the government has stepped up its campaign against obesity.
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Here's a report by The Daily Telegraph...
Britain's economy has been overtaken by France and could fall behind Italy's next year, according to leading economists.
By Ben Leach
Last Updated: 5:12PM GMT 07 Dec 2008
New figures show that the economic crisis has pushed Britain well down the international league table.
The UK is now the sixth largest economy in the world, behind America, Japan, China, Germany and France.
Economists said the fall reflected the pound's slump to record lows against the euro.
A year ago the UK economy was 8 per cent bigger than that of France, measured by gross domestic product (GDP).
Now it is 14 per cent smaller, according to figures from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). More here.
Saturday, 6 December 2008
2008, Year of the mixed race!
Last year, Valérie Bègue, a pretty mixed-race Miss Réunion was elected by TV viewers and a panel of pageant judges to become Miss France 2008.
Tonight, her successor, 19-year old Chloe Mortaud , a mixed-race beauty from Albigeois Midi Pyrénées bested a bevy of lovelies, including my pick, Miss Lorraine who came in 1st runner-up, for the title of Miss France 2009.
Chloe Mortaud, Miss France 2009
Place of birth: Lisieux
Studies: Bachelor of Technical Sciences in International Trade
Height: 1m80 (5'11") with dark brown eyes and hair Hobbies: dance, jazz and classical music, playing the piano and the theatre
Qualities: la joie de vivre, determined and hardworking
Video of the Miss France 2009 finalists...
Headline grabbers this week: Sarkozy-Dalai Lama meet, 2 million American jobs destroyed, US contempt for rule of law, cluster bombs
(Eric Feferberg / AFP)
[...] «Il convient de ne dramatiser aucun rendez-vous. Je suis libre de mon agenda», a tranché le président de la République, avant de s'entretenir avec le leader spirituel tibétain samedi en Pologne. [...] "There's no reason to over-react about any meeting. I'm free to do as I please", so decided the president of the Republic before meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader in Poland today.°[...] C'est fait. Après des mois d'attentes, de polémiques et de menaces de Pékin, le président français Nicolas Sarkozy a rencontré le dalaï-lama, pour la première fois, samedi à Gdansk, au nord de la Pologne. L'entretien entre les deux hommes a débuté peu après 16h30 et se poursuit actuellement. Peu avant, lors d'une conférence de presse, le chef de l'Etat français avait affirmé qu'il convenait de «ne pas dramatiser» cette rencontre. [...] Done. After months of waiting, of controvery and of threats from Peking, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama met for the first time on Saturday (today) in the Polish town of Gdansk. The meeting between the two men began at around 4.30 PM and is still going on. More here.
[...] THE HAGUE: Of the many issues that have soured relations between Europe and the United States under the Bush administration, few have been as poisonous as America's refusal to join the world's first permanent war crimes court here. The snub symbol of U.S. contempt for the rule of law.°In one of his last acts, Bill Clinton signed the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court, but the signature never led to U.S. ratification. On the contrary, President Bush withdrew the signature.
.../...°The effect of U.S. rejection of the court, combined with the trashing of habeas corpus at Guantánamo Bay, has been devastating. Allies from Canada to Germany that are court members have been dismayed by the U.S. dismissal of an institution they see doing evident good.°Other smaller nations from Latin America to Africa, browbeaten by the United States on the issue, have looked elsewhere for lost military or financial support. The American idea, grounded in legal principles, has been undermined. [...] More here.
In a surprising last-minute change of policy, the government of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan agreed Wednesday to join about 100 nations signing a treaty banning the use of cluster munitions, Afghan officials said.°The decision appeared to reflect Karzai's growing independence from the Bush administration, which has opposed the treaty and, according to a senior Afghan official who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, had urged Karzai not to sign it.°
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
EDF a proposé, mercredi 3 décembre, de racheter 50 % des actions du producteur d'électricité américain Constellation, pour un montant de 52 dollars par action, soit un investissement total de 4,5 milliards de dollars (3,5 milliards d'euros). Le groupe français entre ainsi en concurrence avec MidAmerican Energy Holdings, la société du milliardaire américain Warren Buffett. EDF offered on Wednesday, 3rd December to buy 50% of of the shares of American electricity company, Constellation, at 52 dollars per share representing a total investment of 4.5 billion dollars (3.5 billion euros). The French group is in competition with MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a company owned by American billionaire Warren Buffett.