strikes continue, this country is exhausting

Like last December, my Christmas blog posts are interrupted by violent social movements going on all around me; last year it was the gilets jaunes, this year it’s the unions and general strikers. All I really want to talk about is Christmas: the beautiful lights and decorations, the gaily-decorated department store windows, my modestly-priced holiday gift guide that I’m compiling … But I can’t even get to the department stores because, other than two automated metro lines, all the other lines are closed.

Yesterday (Thursday) was freezing cold and very damp. Some of my office colleagues walked for one hour and a half to get to work in the morning, and an hour and a half to go back home in the dark and the cold. Today (Friday) it is forecast to rain all day. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m lucky: I can walk to work (or take the number one metro line which is driverless and fully automated.)

Here’s a conversation I had yesterday with a colleague: “But I thought the office had organized a car-pooling scheme. Can’t you find someone who lives near you with a car?”

My colleague, who had walked an hour and a half to work: “Yes, that’s my boss who set up the car-pool thing,” (the Human Resources and Communications Department Director)

“Yeah, so, is there someone who lives near you with a car?”

“I don’t know, that information is confidential, and I don’t want to ask my boss.”

?????  Geez, I thought to myself, for the Communications department, they don’t seem to be very communicative. It’s true that the French have never taken to the carpool concept, called covoiturage in French, preferring to selfishly drive to work alone so they can brood and glower in the solitary comfort of their car.

Here’s a video and an article in The Guardian which explains the situation, I’m too fed up to talk about it. I’m exhausted by the constant whining of the French: moan, moan, moan because they might have to work beyond 62 years of age. Moan moan moan because they haven’t put money aside in a retirement savings account. Why not? Because they depend on the government to do everything for them. The worst are the transportation strikers: some of them get to retire at 55 years of age with a nice pension. Those are the ones who are protesting the hardest, egged on by their Communist union leaders.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/05/anti-macron-protests-held-in-france-with-strikes-set-to-continue

a waste of two beautiful lives – London’s terrorist attack

I’m sitting here – furious and profoundly sad – while reading the article below about the violent stabbing death of a human being on London Bridge last week. Jack Merritt, was his name, and he succumbed to knife wounds following an attack by an Islamist terrorist.

Part of a gang of nine extremists who were sentenced in February 2012, the ‘jihadist’ had planned to establish a terrorist military training facility on land owned by his family in Pakistani Kashmir before returning to Britain and carrying out terrorist attacks. His jail sentence was supposed to be from 16 to 18 years. He was freed and out on the streets six years later in December 2018. WHY?

Our governments do not sufficiently protect us, but rather put us in danger by their leniency and inattention towards Islamist ideology and radicalization. And I’m sick and tired of hearing officials say “Our condolences, our thoughts and our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families.” Not good enough. Here in France, 263 innocents have been brutally killed in Islamist attacks since 2012. And there will be more.

The second victim of the London Bridge attack was Saskia Jones, a former Cambridge University student from Stratford-upon-Avon. 23 years old, she had her whole life before her. What a waste. And for what?

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/dec/01/london-bridge-attack-victim-jack-merritt-tributes

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/dec/01/second-london-bridge-victim-cambridge-university-student