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Tolérance Zéro

photo, pool, luxembourg

Boats and ducks meet at Luxembourg.

Plague of Pigeons

Paris:– Monday, 31. October 2005:– The campaign for president of France is heating up. Fourteen months before the campaign officially begins the self–proclaimed leading right–wing candidate, Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy, took his quest to the platform at Agenteuil last Tuesday night and promised to 'eradicate the gangrene.'

Residents, on hand for the scheduled midnight visit, responded with catcalls, beer cans and rocks. City–suited aides accompanying the short minister held up document cases to protect him from flying missiles, and another attempted to raise an umbrella, while CRS troops in riot gear deployed to circle the ministerial wagon.

Thus, the ongoing 'Sarko Show,' was given a prime spot on Wednesday evening's national TV–news.photo, october terrace Saying that he was there to 'throw out the rabble,' once the news cameras were rolling, while others in his group noted that some residents in Argenteuil supplied the hoped–for reaction.

October's rays on a café terrace.

Imagine if you will, the likely reaction to an attorney general visiting South–Central Los Angeles and saying that he's going to 'clean up the gangrene' and get rid of the rabble. It wouldn't be called provoking the peace.

Just so that you don't get an idea that this is another French 'exception,' there have been some members of Sarko's party who have been expressing mild doubts about his tactics. However, the short minister insists that his personal presence, as Monsieur Law and Order, is necessary to show who's boss.

Then while we are digesting this, events get strange on Thursday evening when some kids in Clichy–sous–Bois, avoiding police identity checks, hop over a barb&ndash,wire topped wall into a France Electricity transformer station, and two of them are electrocuted and the third lands in hospital in intensive care.

When word got out, all the other kids turned out to the streets in Clichy–sous–Bois and had a major riot, and mutinied, for hours and hours, pushing a truck into a social security office, attacking a police station, burning up 20 cars and generally running the police, firemen and armored CRS troops ragged. For three or four nights in a row.

There is debate about whether the kids were being chased by police, but the police contention that they were elsewhere when the kids picked out the transformer station as a place to hide, seems dubious. Today the parents of the dead kids declined a meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy.

According to Le Parisien, Sarkozy was on TF1 TV–news last night. On the broadcast he proclaimed 'zero tolerance' for 'those who don't respect Républican order,' and the paper repeated this with its major headline of Tolérance zéro on today's front page.

While the mayor and religious leaders in Clichy–sous–Bois try to calm things down, reports say the parents of the dead kids will be pressing charges of 'non–assistance for persons in danger' at the court in Bobigny, which has jurisdiction.

Both Clichy–sous–Bois and Argenteuil are socialist–type vertical–style bedroom communities heavily populated with unemployed kids with nothing to do, no money to spend and nowhere to go. On Saturday Le Parisien published a list of similar communities sprinkled around Paris' outskirts, naming 43 'sensitive' localities plus four within the Périfreak.

Plague of Pigeons

Instead of having a nightmare or any dreams at all I woke up thinking about pigeons on Wednesday. I rememberedphoto, palace, lux pool Matt Rose saying they've been acting kind of strange lately. Which led me to wonder about the gang of pigeons sitting on the lamp mast outside on the corner, where they make a horrible mess of any car parked beneath.

Not a single pigeon in the pool on Wednesday.

There used to be about thirty of them, with the overflow perched in a tree in the cemetery across the street. Drivers, especially at night, don't notice them and park clean cars underneath and come back in the morning and find them looking like rich lumps of ripe, oozy guano.

By the time I got to the shower I was convinced that the pigeons were gone. Everybody knows that pigeons hang out with wild ducks, right in the city, in the big pool beside the Senat in the Luxembourg, yes, and in all the other parks too. While France is locking up its free chickens to protect them from sicko migrating birds, Paris' pigeons are hobnobbing with the visitors right out in plain sight.

So I thought, shower water dribbling on my head, so the city has had its bird goons come along in the dark of night to nap the pigeons while Brigitte Bardot and the 30 million 'friends of animals' are dreaming of bambis. About Brigitte, the TV–news had a correction on Wednesday evening, to say that she wasn't speaking on behalf of '30 million friends' but the Brigitte Bardot Foundation Tuesday night, when she was complaining about the Chinese slaughtering dogs and cats to eat.

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