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Archive for October 2010

The French strike back

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It seems the French are at it again. In the light of slowing economies and job growth, governments are looking for ways to cut down on spending.

The French government has proposed a plan to increase retirement age in France from 60 to 62. The result? Total chaos.

French workers are going into the streets over the proposed increase in retirement age,  shutting down oil refineries and universities across the country.

Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux has told police to “limit the use of force to what is strictly necessary” when dealing with any student unrest at Saturday’s protests, the fifth in less than six weeks. Over 340,000  protested in Paris alone, and over a million nationwide.

“We’re prepared to demonstrate under the snow if it takes that long,” Airbus worker Stephane Thibault, 37, told AFP at a demonstration in the southern city of Toulouse.

“We’re mobilized, everyone seems motivated. With right-wing governments, we know you have to resist,” he said.

Strikes have closed down 10 of 12 oil refineries in the country, despite riot police being dispatched to keep the peace.

The lack of fuel has closed down two of France’s main airports.

This is all kind of amazing considering how much solidarity there is amongst french workers. Even when there is discussion of change to policy, 1 million people go into the streets and the government must either concede or come to a middle ground with the people’s will.

Are American’s pouring into the streets to protest lack of health care or wall street reform? No.  It is amazing to see when people come together they can actually get things done, too bad its in another country.

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Written by lollingvagabond

October 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

‘Multikulti’ just ain’t cutting it no more

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According to comments made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a gathering of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Potsdam, Attempts at building a multicultural society in Germany have “utterly failed”.

She said the so-called “multikulti” concept – where people would “live side-by-side”  did not work and immigrants needed to do more to integrate by learning German.

She stressed though that immigrants are welcome in Germany.

Germany is Europe’s most populated country with 81 million inhabitants and the fourth largest economy by nominal GDP in the world. It is also third in the world for migrant workers with over 10 million, a large segment of which are of Turkish decent.

These comments come at a time when immigration has become a hot-button political issue within Germany and the rest of Europe.

The debate first heated up in August when Thilo Sarrazin, a senior official at Germany’s central bank, said that “no immigrant group other than Muslims is so strongly connected with claims on the welfare state and crime”.

It is sad Muslims and immigrants are getting the brunt of the anger from the middle class when the primary cause of the great recession of 2008 was irresponsible trading by banks and other financial firms.

People should have the right to express themselves and retain their cultural identity where ever they go, but for the sake of comfortably should learn the language of the country they are living in. Otherwise, you become ostracized within your own environment,  limiting integration and cultural exchange.

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Written by lollingvagabond

October 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Price Of Bias

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On Planet Money they discuss how even though we view the media as becoming more partial, those outlets that are known to be partial are nowhere near as bad as newspapers were in the past.

Newspapers we very open about their political leanings in the mid 1800’s  and were openly biased, accepting political contributions and writing stories in hopes of winning government contracts.

The main reason for this was the fact newspapers were printed on cloth until the invention of the wood pulp  in the 1860’s. The price of newspapers went down and the readership went up. The number of newspapers boomed, and because they had a larger reading base it was more economical for papers to appeal to their readers needs: more unbiased reporting instead of political banter.

It seems since newspapers are losing readership to the internet, blogs are becoming more popular. Instead of relying on a stoic regiment of newspapers that were claimed to be the “record of truth”, people have the internet to search for the news they want to read, instead of the news they need to read.

Furthermore, since a large number of us don’t even reads anymore, media outlets like CNN , MSNBC, FOX, etc, must rely on flashy graphics and now degrade news to a lewd form entertainment, disregarding certain news stories to focus on others that are more “appealing” to their viewership.

It it also important to point out that the philosophy of free might over take media and turn make them more biased of a beast them they were before.

We can only hope.

Written by lollingvagabond

October 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized