Pick me! Pick me!

Some guy quotes Cliff May who asks:

And, BTW, much less than the more than 35,000 killed by a heat wave in Europe two summers ago.

You recall the debate that set off about European heartlessness, racism and discrimination? No, neither do I.

We give you… Mark Steyn:

France isn’t on the edge, it’s in the abyss. […] Yet in France the entire health system ? or that percentage of it not spending August at the beach ? is stretched beyond its limits (35 hours a week, 44 weeks a year). Why aren’t M?decins Sans Fronti?res demanding to be allowed in to take over?

But 10,000 French can die, and even the French don’t seem to care ? or not too much, and not with any great urgency. […]

By contrast, if those thousands of French pensioners had been captured by the Marines and detained by Rummy in Cuba, they’d be alive today.

Or this guy:

I’m trying not to wish another heat wave on France, because that just seems immoral of me, but my resolve is slipping.

Or that:

Enough to almost replace the heat wave, and other victims, of French socialised medicine.
America is drawing the best and brightest of French innovators, due to the R&D money available here.

Or that other thing:

In large measure, France and Germany have trapped themselves, via their own welfare states. Their citizens have become accustomed to, and dependent on, the massive giveaway programs and anti-market policies that dominate their economies. The slew of deaths among French elderly during her recent heat wave illustrated what it can cost a people to take the whole month of August off. France?s unemployment problems and lack of economic growth are chronic bedevilments.


Comments: 10


The differences between the French/German healthcare system and the American healthcare system is that the French/German one actually works. Doctors have better technology, better infrastructure, people live longer, infant mortality is lower…AND treatment and drugs are considerably cheaper, too.

You can argue the same about the welfare systems: Taxes may be higher, unemployment, too, but poverty is WELL below the level in the US and so is crime.


As it happens I just saw a nice example of “the system’s fine, the problem is the voters themselves”: intellectual conservative (sic)


“By contrast, if those thousands of French pensioners had been captured by the Marines and detained by Rummy in Cuba, they’d be alive today.”

Yeah, but I’ll bet they’d need a shitload of Preparation H, no pun intended1


The other thing is Europe almost NEVER gets as hot as it got, and there literally is no air conditioning ever. So there is one thing about not being prepared fo an absolutely unprecedented event, and being unprepared FOR A COMPLETELY PREDICTABLE EVENT.

And if yur point is this kind of failure is an indictment of particular forms of govt. what the hell does that say about Bush? The logical fire you have just played with has burned your houses down, mes cherise or some such thing.


“America is drawing the best and brightest of French innovators, due to the R&D money available here.”

I have a feeling the response to this is a “Sadly, no!”, but I’m too lazy to look up the figures…


This “analysis,” just as the WSJ opinion “analysis” shows a lot of judgment and not too much facts to support it.The claims made are outrageous and wrong:

– The unemployment, which is a serious problem, went back considerably under red-green and not until the collapse of the new market it rose again. Right now it is not even 5% higher than when red-green took over in 1998.

– The SPD, Schroeder’s party, is definitely not more to the left than the US Democrats. During their government, they have considerably lowered the taxes (by 20% for top and nearly 40% for lower incomes, also significantly for enterprises) liberalized and deregulated the markets for telecommunication, energy, postal service, cut back unemployment and healthcare benefits, introduced private investment accounts for social security, a demographic factor for the pensions and provided incentives to start enterprises.

– The stagnation is for a big part owed to the constant struggle between the SPD and Merkel’s conservative CDU. In the senate, the CDU blocked a big part of the SPD’s reforms including proposals to cut back on subsidies. This made the government virtually impotent…the exact reason why Schroeder called for early elections.

– The voters did not vote the way they did because they are stupid or lazy, but because they are tired of the politics of mutual blocking and sabotaging between parliament (Bundestag) and senate (Bundesrat), between SPD and CDU. They expect the big parties to get their act together, join their forces and COOPERATE for the sake of the country. This will mean TOUGHER reforms, because the CDU won’t be able to block SPD reforms anymore and the SPD has an “excuse” (the grand coalition) to move on to the bolder reforms the CDU suggested (and the SPD partly suggested, too, but did not have the support of its blue-collar voters).


sounds good to me Jan. The most perverse analysis of the german election I saw was actually in Haaretz (which I read every day in the eng-lang web edition,) which targetted the unfortunate gregor Gysi : here. They also had a really nasty cartoon of Gysi as a dog in cage, yapping that his grandmother was Jewish. Go figure that…


Um… Were the people who died in the French heatwave disproportionately minorities?

Because if they weren’t, I expect there wouldn’t be much talk of racism.


Where is that handy apples and oranges chart you put up from time to time?
Seriously the two situations are so completely different, yet even now, at long last they have found a way to make the french look bad for FEMA’s fuckups. Pretty soon America will be blaming the french for it’s obesity rates because of their delicious cheezes and pastries. Not to mention their fries (yes I know not really french) which will be immediately renamed (once again). Now if you frenchies want to order your deep fried terrorism you’ll have to call it by it’s true name “Osama sticks”. (terrorism taters?)


Most of the dead in the French heatwave were the elderly in retirement homes and care facilities.

There are no HVAC companies on every corner, like there are in American cities. The office buildings, the hospitals, NOTHING is air conditioned, especially in the north and eastern portion of the country. There arn’t walmarts just down the street where a nice 50,000 BTU cooler can be bought for the new low price of $150 euros. They just NEVER expected the type of heatwave that swept over the entire country.


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