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france

Thanks, France, for voting for the only sane option and bucking the populist demagogue trend.

Macron, 39, a former economy minister who ran as a “neither left nor right” independent promising to shake up the French political system, took 66% to Le Pen’s 34%.

His victory was hailed by his supporters as holding back a tide of populism after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the US election.

This also makes me wish our political systems in Canada and the US had run-offs. How many Harpers, Marois or Trumps could have been avoided this way?

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Banksy: peace for paris

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for the TV show “The Wire”. And also some colourful language, such as you might expect when talking about terrorist bastards.

This week has been a bad one for the world. Unless, of course, you happen to be a giant terrorist asshole. Terror attacks in Beirut, Baghdad, and the deadliest attack in Paris since World War 2 have sent the world reeling. The group known by many acronyms — ISIS, ISIL, or what I’ll refer to in this post as Daesh, has claimed ‘responsibility’ (if such a word could even be used) for all three attacks.

All this has happened against a backdrop of unprecedented humanitarian crisis, as hundreds of thousands of refugees continue to flee Syria’s deadly civil war. Western governments are debating how they can cope with what they’ve dubbed a “migrant crisis”, as though the problem only started when desperate refugees started showing up in Europe. It happened on the eve of the G20 summit in Antayla, Turkey, and in the lead-up to a huge global summit on climate change taking place in Paris.

The responses to the attack, in typical format, have followed the Rorschach Test pattern; people see in tragedy what they want to see. More foreign aid. Less foreign aid. More military intervention. Less military intervention. More solidarity with refugees. Close our borders to refugees. It’s about Islam. It’s not about Islam. And so on, and so forth. French president Francois Hollande has taken a hard line, promising military strikes against Daesh, closing of borders, and crackdowns all around.

Everyone has an opinion on how to fight this so-called “war on terror”. But is this really a “war”?

It strikes me that this so-called “war on terror” bears a lot of resemblance to another misnomer: the so-called “war on drugs”.

Sure, this isn’t exactly an original observation. Plenty of people have pointed this out in analysis after analysis. But, other than depressingly similar tactics, sources of funding and consequences, these two so-called wars parallel each other in other ways. Here are just a few:

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Did French vegans kill their baby?

03.30.2011

A French couple has been charged in the death of their 11-month old baby, after allegedly feeding her an insufficient vegan diet and refusing to treat her illnesses, instead using “natural” (aka useless) remedies: The couple, Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou, are strict vegans who chose to feed their daughter, Louise, no solid food, giving […]

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Antisemitism is now a side-effect of drunkedness?

03.01.2011

Warning to those of you who like a few glasses of wine with your meal: Apparently, virulent antisemitic ranting is now a side-effect of alcohol consumption. First, Mel Gibson. Now John Galliano: The French fashion house Christian Dior said Tuesday that it had started procedures to dismiss its chief designer, John Galliano, following accusations that […]

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One-timers

01.29.2009

The new Montreal transit chief – get this – actually uses public transit! What a concept! He’s even promised to ride the bus out to the west island to see for himself what a disaster the system is out there. Will it lead to improvements? Stay tuned. Meanwhile in Ottawa, citizens who’ve been held hostage […]

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Catch-up time

09.14.2006

Believe it or not, other newsworthy things happened in the world yesterday and today. You’d never know it from watching the local news, of course, which has been covering Dawson nonstop since yesterday afternoon. But here are a few things that happened in the world outside our little corner: Sadaam’s judge doesn’t think he was […]

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Pop quiz: who said this?

07.27.2005

Here’s the quote: [Syria is a] threat to the stability of the region . . . [I have] great concerns about the Syrians. Their psychology cannot be comprehended.” Was it: a) George W. Bush b) Ariel Sharon? c) Tony Blair? d) Jacques Chirac? Believe it or not, the answer is d: Jacques Chirac. Yeah, I […]

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Sunday night musings

05.29.2005

Here I am on another Sunday night procrastinating going to sleep… because when I next wake up it will really be Monday and the weekend will be over. And there’s nothing more depressing than a Monday morning. So I’m determined to make it worse by being tired as a zombie. Makes perfect sense to me. […]

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How exactly is this funny?

01.12.2005

Prince Harry was forced to issue an apology, after he wore a Nazi costume to a party: Early editions of Thursday’s issue of “The Sun,” showed Prince Harry, the second son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, clutching a cigarette and a drink and wearing a swastika armband. The newspaper said the 20-year-old […]

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Mais non, l’antisémitisme n’existe pas en France !

08.23.2004

Here’s what Meryl has to say about it: A Jewish community center in Paris was burned down last night. The police suspect arson. But there is no anti-Semitism in France. [ . . . ] How can that be? Anti-Semitism is not a big problem in France. Chirac said so. He even chastised Ariel Sharon […]

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