Archive for August 16th, 2010

This Wheel’s On Fire

In 2007 the French people mistakenly elected Nicolas Sarkozy president. Now, in a transparent attempt to strengthen his 2012 re-election bid, by scooping up Gallic rightists who ordinarily cast ballots for perennial presidential contender and flaming bigot Jean-Marie Le Pen, Sarkozy has decided to whomp on the Roma.

Specifically, he has publicly condemned what he claims are “the problems posed by the behaviour of some of the travelling people and Roma,” ordered the dismantling of some 300 Roma campsites his government has declared “illegal,” and apparently approved the deportation of all Roma who cannot properly produce ze papers.

The government has said that Roma and Gypsies from outside France—many, including those kicked out of the Saint Etienne camp Friday, are from Romania—that commit crimes will be expelled back to their countries of origin.

However the top French official for the region said that all Roma without proper papers were being ordered to leave France.

“It is clear what I did this morning was in line with presidential instructions,” Loire region prefect Pierre Soubelet told journalists.

“There have been recent instructions to ask Roma to return home. There is no future here for Roma whose papers are not in order.”

Sunday the Roma responded by twice blocking a major highway in Bordeaux and a bridge over the River Garonne, seriously snarling traffic at the close of a major holiday weekend.

Tying up traffic to protest government dunderheadedness is a peculiarly French institution. French truck drivers, for instance, routinely close the approaches to the city of Paris whenever they Feel The Need. In this, therefore, the Roma have proven themselves to be quintessentially French. So Sarkozy should be instructed to return to his bunker, where he can continue to fret over his lost popularity, while the Roma should be permitted to remain.



Sometimes The Magic Works . . .

. . . sometimes it doesn’t.

Chief Dan George, as Old Lodge Skins, said that, in Little Big Man. And it’s true.

It is also true that, as in many things in life, sometimes the magic sorta works, and sorta doesn’t.

Thus we have Cheryl Carroll-Lagerway, an Australian Aboriginal woman who notified police after dreaming that the body of a missing child, Kiesha Abrahams, could be found at a sacred Aboriginal site, Nurragingy Reserve, at Doonside in western Sydney.

When the Aboriginal elder and police authorities journeyed to the remote creek, they indeed found a body. But it was not that of the child. Instead, they located a dismembered torso wrapped in plastic, which, pending formal identification, is believed to be that of Kristi McDougall, a 31-year-old woman missing since June.

Caroll-Lagerway, who dreamed of the child crying out to her, believes that Kiesha’s remains are still somewhere in the reserve.


When I Worked

August 2010
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