Maîtres mots

  • Il y a longtemps que notre pays est beau mais rude.

       --Newspaper editor Olivier Séguret, 25 January 2012

    The USA are entirely the creation of the accursed race, the French.

       --Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), writing to Nancy Mitford, 22 May 1957

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French Freedom of Speech

Today the cheminots are:

  • "À nous de vous faire préférer le train!"
    "Voyager autrement"
    "Avec le SNCF, tout est possible"
      --Former ad slogans of the SNCF (French national trains), each in turn quickly dropped

Fun French words

  • ouistiti

    (literally: marmoset)
    Etymology: onomatopoeia from the sound a marmoset makes. Actual meaning: this is what you say in France when you want people to smile for the camera.

    Selon une étude réalisée par le fabricant d’appareils photo Nikon, le « ouistiti » utilisé en France au moment de se faire prendre en photo est le petit mot le plus efficace pour s’assurer un joli sourire.

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    First strike in 43 years at an aeronautics company in Toulouse, Latécoère

    Public sector

    The SNCF (toujours eux), regional train employees in the Lyons area guaranteeing unpleasant travel from the 17th-21st December
    Also yet another strike by Sud-Rail, a particularly truculent SNCF union in the south of France, this time five days in January: 6,7, 21, 22 and 23. "We have no choice." Right.

    Marseilles trams on strike until February

Go back to school in Paris!

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« Anomalies of French life: the code | Main | Siberia in Paris »


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We were in Spain just before the 2004 election. We couldn't accomplish anything with anyone (shopkeeper, waiter, desk clerk, etc.) until we'd established that were not going to vote for Bush. Then they'd help us.

Yes! That's exactly what I mean. It's not just in France.

I know a number of French people who worked harder for Obama in 2008 than many Americans who voted for him!

I still think Obama stands a better chance to get re-elected in the US than Sarkozy in France during the upcoming elections! ;-) I am a French person who voted for Obama, and I will be glad to do so again. As for Romney being a Mormon, most French people do not vote based on candidates' religious preferences. Religion and politics don't really mix in France - the French Revolution made sure of that - and as far as I am concerned, that's a great thing. ;-) Veronique

Je ne sais pas, Véro, I think a lot of people are prejudiced against Mormons, Scientologists, Jehovah's Witnesses and other non-mainstream religions in France (and in the U.S.). Here's an article about the Mormons' trying to build a temple in a suburb and the locals are up in arms about it. I can't imagine they would care this much if it were a large mainstream-Protestant or Catholic church.
What do you think?

Do you have a reason to vote for him again or do you just always vote Dem? I could give you trillions of reasons to vote against him if you are interested. And please don't say say that mean old Republican House won't let him do anything. He had a Dem congress for 3 years. And don't say he inherited a mess because he's made a much bigger one. What a shame so any people voted for the idea of him without knowing or caring there is no there there. The. Worst. President. Ever.

Here's why I like Pres. Obama (I didn't write this, but I'm happy to pass it around....) President Barack Obama's record: 1) Got Osama bin laden...check. 2) Unemployment rate 8.5%...check. 3) 1.6 million jobs created with no GOP help...check. 4) 22 months of job and economic growth with no help...check. 5) Ended war in Iraq...check. 6) DADT repeal...check. 7) Not one tax hike in 3 years....check. 8) Brought out of racism in the Gop...check. 9) Still carrying 80% of the black vote...check. 10) SAME wife for 15 years with NO extra marital affairs...check. 11) Save auto industry and 1.5 million jobs... check. 12) Assisted in ousting Khaddafi...check. 13) Only active President to receive Nobel Peace prize while in office... check. 14) Mortgage modification to prevent home owners from losing their home... check. 15) STILL fighting for middle class families... check. 16) Reformed Affordable healthcare... check.

Not one tax hike in 3 years? WRONG! ObscumboCare is Taxation in disguise and he is not fighing for anyone except to financially weaken the United States - It is simply sad that you are so blind and dumb to his Socialist Democracy which has no place in our UNited STates of America. Bin Laden? JOKE! Bin Laden was in the sights of Green Berets NINE times during Clintons admin and coward Sandy Berger called off each special operation. You are so misinformed but I am happy to nullify your crappy wasted vote on this pathetic, worthless and ineligible bungler - the lying sack of S%&$-in chief that you admire so much wont suit you when you wake up.

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Today's quotation

  • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

      –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

    À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.

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