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Basically, keep it in mind when you sign-up for jet lag that Europe’s a spider’s web of death traps for Americans. Flat out simple, if you do survive being squashed alive in your seat or poisoned by the-this is not food- on your plane, London is waiting for you. There you’ll encounter a million cars ready to run you over as you step off the curb and look left for on-coming traffic as you might in America*…..Thing is, somehow, someway, the English still insist on driving on the wrong side of the road. It all makes sense if you accept that this wrong-side-of-the-road custom dates back to the 1700’s and therefore should be continued. It seems horsemen busy dueling for any reason they might conjure up were mostly right-handed so they needed to pass their foe with swords drawn and their enemies on the right side of their horse for better body piercing.  Today, the English continue to charge ahead the wrong way.

Another warm greeting awaiting you in London is the plethora of pelting rain drops that will anoint your sun-searching eyes should you look up from the puddled streets.

In truth, it doesn’t rain everyday in England once, but many, many times per day. But don’t worry if you leave your umbrella in that last cab you took-you’ll find someone else’s umbrella in about the exact same location on the back seat of the next cab you get.

Be forewarned: those four dollar umbrellas offered for sale in London last about as long as it takes to buy them…

Moving on, bypassing the flood gates of England, you may find yourself swilling in Ireland, Dublin, to be exact. This country has a completely different slant on how to undo the American. It’s called Guinness. You may have tried what you thought was Guinness here in the States and that would be all wrong. No, in Dublin where Guinness has submerged an entire country it’d be wrong to think of the drink as anything but a prelude to another and then ten more. Not that I had so many-I don’t think, maybe.

Typical roadside stop in Ireland**.

So, you missed Ireland completely but for unloading a bunch of money between random trips to the loo. Now it’s on to France with low expectations of seeing lots of underpants. The Follies were not showing during my visit and it was Fall so the sexy part of France was underwhelming- a minimalist’s expose’ of very little, a slip-up with regard to this undertaking. And if you’re hoping to make friends in any of these countries or amends for two hundred years of American warfare forget it. The fact is most people I almost saw as we passed one another along the street had their faces glued to whatever electronic device they held in hand. Those sparkling eyes of all those I’d hoped to meet in foreign countries had converted to bent down heads…

France, or what I imagined to be the land of lingerie, turns out to have its own angle on killing Americans that doesn’t involve deploying undergarments. Yep, it’s the French in Paris with the baguettes-mystery solved. You can’t imagine unless you’ve been, but there’s a quality to French pastries, breads, heck even hamburger buns that will drive even the most savvy American palate crazy. Figure on gaining weight and ordering a larger coffin as you decide what desert to devour next while in France.

I’d once heard the Eiffel tower was erected to reflect the state of most men while in Paris, and that it was fittingly a temporary construction to boot. Now, I don’t know.

History records that the Mongols invaded Paris and ate the baguettes which caused them to run to Ireland and jump off the Cliffs of Moher.*** Those Cliffs are renowned to this day for this reason-I heard this while in Ireland but only truly understood the history once I’d eaten various breads in Paris. I didn’t even care about the missing underwear after that.

Random idea:

The Cliffs of Moher have very little in common with the sunflower fields of Tuscany

Mind you, I loved Ireland so much there’s at least an entire glob coming on that country-and London and Paris and Germany as well.

It’s time to move on to Germany but first I have to end this glob….see you next time through a vat of beer and what about those Oktoberfest outfits!?!?!? New Orleans’s Mardi  Gras has nothing on German’s celebration– honest.

I found the size of the Oktoberfest beers distracting.

cheers

Franque23

  • Sadly, this has happened.
  • A cab driver explained that ten was the magic number of Guinness-just enough to make you forget the night before as you awake the next morning so you have to investigate Guinness all over again the following night. See? It’s the circle of life.
  • This matter is still debated in pubs.
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On the street, that is. The French work force is boiling mad and marching on the street. It’s true, these protests have been quietly covered by some US media, but for the most part the  big news has remained the terrorist’s attacks, especially those in France and Brussels. Thing is,  terrorism remains a threat full of horrendous attacks that end lives, but the threat French workers are marching against this week isn’t coming from Isis. No, the young, the middle-aged and the old are marching in force against their government’s plan to change the labor laws.

We're not gonna take it....we sing it, the French mean it.

We’re not gonna take it….we sing it, the French mean it.

April 6th, 2016....Every worker should know about this threat...

April 6th, 2016….Every worker should know about this threat…

It may be well-known that by law the French full-time work week is currently 35 hours. In truth, this law has only benefited about 30% of the work force. From the get-go, around 2000 when this 35 work week law was put in place, owners, politicians and back room deals have worked to avoid this law, to skew and bury those parameters under a thinly veiled montage of exceptions.

So why then, if the French truly average about a 40.5 hour work week under the 35 hour work week law, do the French workers care so much about changes in the labor laws? It really comes down to the “Foot in the door” syndrome. The French hear their government saying what the German government had said a while back, that a longer work week is needed for the economy, that the longer hours will lessen unemployment and make rainbows appear in the sky. Trouble is, those rainbows in Germany now hang above a work week that averages 48 to 60 hours per week in that country. The fat cats feast while the workers strain under long work weeks with little protection from being fired, laid-off or given reduced hours should demand of goods require the change.

People gather on the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, Friday, April 8, 2016. Thousands of protesters have been camping out, holding night-time demonstrations since last week at a symbolic rallying point on the Place de la Republique, to express anger at a proposed labor law and social conditions in France. The social media-driven movement, called "Nuit Debout" or "Rise up at Night," sprang from nationwide strikes and protests last week. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

“People gather on the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, Friday, April 8, 2016. Thousands of protesters have been camping out, holding night-time demonstrations since last week at a symbolic rallying point on the Place de la Republique, to express anger at a proposed labor law and social conditions in France. The social media-driven movement, called “Nuit Debout” or “Rise up at Night,” sprang from nationwide strikes and protests last week. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)”

The French workers know their way of life is under attack, and they are fighting back. Reports on the issue backed by the French government and business owners are sometimes laughable.

This is from the owner’s PR point of view, fully backed by the Socialist government (more on that-it’s an odd twist that has socialist supporters scratching their heads.).

“There is probably no longer any need to keep the 35-hour week law on the books. It has helped lower-income women in France find more time for their families, it may have contributed to cutting unemployment at some point, and it may have shifted some of the work burden to people who were able to dispatch it more rationally. It has, however, failed to establish a universal social norm as strong as the five-day, 40-hour week.”

Here’s what I get from the above….”There is probably….” “It has helped…women…more time for their families” Blah, Blah, Blah, right? And… “It may have contributed to cutting unemployment…” So what? We want at least a forty hour work week out of our workers. Period.

The real problem, as PR reports from the government stress is this…””France is still one of the world’s most productive economies,  way ahead of Germany, the U.K. and most other European countries, but others could catch up.” (Watch out-there might be ghosts in the closet!-my add.)The report continues…..”The political answer is that French voters have constantly supported the 35-hour week. So now that the government has recognized the law might be bad for the economy…” Really, “Might be bad for the economy?”  Maybe, in some twisted way of thinking…as twisted as the report above that reveals workers want a 35 hour work week so the government has decided it might be bad…..blah blah splat, fart, poop on the people, what France needs is leadership! Please pass the caviar.

Power knows how to fight back, and tell the workers what’s good for them.

French rulers don't want to talk about the changes in labor laws.

French rulers don’t want to talk about the changes in labor laws.

Has there ever been a time when workers didn't have to fight for their rights....

Has there ever been a time when workers didn’t have to fight for their rights….(last week in France- a discussion about the change in labor laws.)

It comes down to owners and rulers wanting the people to work longer hours so they can make more money,,,,and the French workers know it. They see they are out producing neighboring countries that work up to a 60 hour work week while working under a 35 hour per work week law and call these proposed changes in their way of life a load of BS.

Students march during a protest in Paris, Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Angry unions and youth have entered a show of force with French President Francois Hollande in a day of protests against the government's effort to tamper with the country's 35-hour workweek to create new jobs. Several union and student organizations called protests across France on Wednesday to try to kill the bill which has even divided Hollande's Socialists. The banner reads: " No to the law". (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

“Students march during a protest in Paris, Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Angry unions and youth have entered a show of force with French President Francois Hollande in a day of protests against the government’s effort to tamper with the country’s 35-hour workweek to create new jobs. Several union and student organizations called protests across France on Wednesday to try to kill the bill which has even divided Hollande’s Socialists. The banner reads: ” No to the law”. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)”

Yes, Isis is a threat, but maybe, just maybe, a government in the pocket of Big Business is even worse. The last attack in Paris and then in Brussels is still new history, but look what the French are marching against?

The 35 hour work week has created tremendous productivity, given women more time to be home, boasted morale and cut unemployment. Still, the back room dealers in France call it a bad deal.

I say, Vive La France. Workers unite for a better way of life. As for the French  President, Hollande and the muscle that pushes for these so-called Labor reform laws? Give them baked beans.

Franque23


The Isis and other extremists may be shifting world power, but not in their direction. No, it’s the Russians who are emerging center stage, not just in the Middle East, but on a world-wide front.

Putin has shown his ability to lead his army in the direction he chooses-Detente be damned-he flips the switch and the bombs fall.

bomb-2_3459908bThis picture is captioned: Russians bomb US-backed Syrian rebels.

So yeah, while America remains grid locked on who to blame for just about anything that’s ever happened in our country or elsewhere, Russia has its eye and muscle on its soft southern underbelly, where newly formed countries feature large Muslim population. As a well read, knowledgeable, and longtime friend wrote- “Putin has many dogs in this fight.  14% or so of Russians are Muslims and some, like the radicals in Chechnya, are already terrorists. The vast majority of Central Asia is Muslim.  This includes the so called independent republics of the former Soviet Union like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. “ *

Russia’s southern frontier and even it’s internal populations have large Muslim populations, and Russia intends to rule these populations with an iron fist without apology.

It's another no brainer.....a hoax head's up!

It’s another no brainer…..a hoax head’s up!……

There is currently a huge hoax e-mail circulating among FB and other sites that fictitiously put very harsh words in the Russian President’s mouth , words that pertain to immigration into Russia…forget those posting….those are bogus.

Still…

Putin clearly drew a line in the sand for Muslim populations and other minorities back in 2012…

“On the whole, the adaptation of guest workers is a separate and comprehensive issue. We must create the conditions for immigrants to normally integrate into our society, learn Russian and, of course, respect our culture and traditions and abide by Russian law. In this regard, I believe that the decision to make learning the Russian language compulsory and administer exams is well grounded. To do so, we will need to carry out major organizational work and introduce corresponding legislative amendments. I’d like to ask the Federal Migration Service and other departments to submit specific proposals to the government. These proposals should be openly discussed with ethnic minorities as well as public and religious organizations. This should be mandatory for all guest workers regardless of their future employment.” Putin 2012.

See, Putin’s words don’t exactly throw a warm blanket on the opportunity for immigration into Russia.

No, the Russian stance on immigration into their country reads more like, my way or the highway.

I find myself wondering how the French are feeling about immigration right about now. In America, for sure, we have trucks, planes and ship loads of people who hope to build fences high enough to keep Mexican’s out, and think Muslim is short hand for hooligans, murders and religious fanaticism.

What to do in a world seemingly gone mad? Russia has answered the bell, and may not stop fighting until the entire Middle East is riddled with pot holes the size of bomb blasts. Remember also, Russia has a 1980 score to even in Afghanistan.

President Obama has done an about face on his, “No Boots on the ground,” philosophy toward conflict in the Middle East, but the forces he can command through the America people are minuscule in comparison to the turmoil he hopes to quell. Russia, on the other hand, is willing to bomb the piss out of anyone in the region, and maybe beyond.

In my mind, two scary prospects are building in the Middle East at this time. One, Putin is equipped and well-disposed to take the lead in the fight against terrorism in The Middle East; Two, Halliburton has been pushing the US to safe guard its oil resources located in the Middle East, and all of its future pipeline construction plans.** Is it possible that this money driven world power-Halliburton- might get in bed with another country if America proves too ineffective at maintaining peace so it can go about business as usual? It’s a thought, and maybe you think this idea an impossibility, but Halliburton has never been about America, only about using our country’s troops to build and safe guard its fortunes.

In the end, maybe never soon enough, it does seem America and the world will have to stop talking about terrorism and flat out fight it, house to house, passport to passport, and wiretap to outer space eavesdropping. Russia already has. Terrorism is not a game, but there’s a saying- follow the leader.

Some would say we can educate and feed the Terrorists organizations out of desperate acts and into prosperity. That is certainly taking the high road, and the very long road with regard to the situation. For now it seems the world can’t effectively keep the terrorist out of our places of worship, living and businesses. What to do? Russia will drop bombs-more.

Franque23.

*Thank you reader Marc

**Here’s the low down blog on Halliburton…https://franque23.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/military-maneuvers-and-the-future-of-the-middle-east/

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