Archive for February, 2011

What’s the UN for?


In the 1990’s there were the attocities in Rwanda and Bosnia.  The World stood by and did nothing.  In the UK at the time the then Tory government washed its hands and sat on them at the time.  Hurd, Major and Rifkind it was your fault, you stood idly by and let it happen.  Contrast the difference with Tony Blair in Sierra Leonne and Kosovo.  Now we have another government firing on and bombing its own people.  The UN delegation from that country have accused it of genocide and two pilots have defected rather than fire upon and bomb their own people.  And what has the UN done?  Reports say that the Secretary General has phoned the madman in charge telling him to stop.  And has he?

In 2005 at a World summit every country signed up to the UN signed a charter not to attack their own people.  Today we see the worth of such paper.  The UN needs to be able to enforce such a charter, with force when necessary.  Otherwise its just a chocolate teapot.

The Queen’s website and shame on First Post


I was talking to someone about the film ‘The King’s Speech‘ today and became unsure about who was the monarch before Edward VIII and, as a result, whether his brother and successor was George V or George VI.  I googled the royal family and came up with their website.  From there I was able to find a page where I could download a family tree and establish that the father of Edward VIII was George V and the subject of the film, and father of the current British monarch, was George VI.

OK, so what?  I thought it interesting that down the side there was a section headed ‘History of Current Reign’ and the three people pictured and named to highlight the history of the current reign are all dead.  What does that say about the author of the website’s view of the current reign?

Then I read about the horrific attack on CBS journalist Lara Logan on the First Post website and was quite shocked with the picture they chose to go with a story about a journalist being attacked whilst going about their work. I bet that is not the outfit that Ms Logan was wearing on the streets of Cairo when she was attacked.  What were they trying to say about a sexual attack upon a woman by accompanying it with a photo of someone clearly dressed up for a special occasion?  The picture accompanying the story on the CBS news site taken just before she was attacked shows she was not dressed like this, so why have this website chosen this picture?  What are they saying about the attack?  It’s not like there were no other pictures available because the Daily Beast has the picture below.  Shame on you First Post.


The mystery of who pulled the plug


As I commented before it happened, probably the most talked about event in Strasbourg over the last month was the visit of Guy Richie and crew to film Sherlock Holmes II.(StrasTv)  In this vein I reported on one mystery yesterday and then set about getting to the bottom of another mystery.  Although the full Holmesian powers were not necessary in this instance.  Travelling to work on the tram to Hoenheim Garre I had noticed some houseboats moored alongside the Rhine Marne Canal.   Then a fortnight ago heading to work I noticed that the boats, which usually are close up against the side,(As seen on Google Earth) were now in the middle of the canal that was almost empty.  Who had pulled the plug on the canal?

I passed the same canal elsewhere in Strasbourg. where it joins the Ill in the European quarter, here pictured with the European Parliament on the right and the European Court of Human Rights in the distance on the left, and there was no problem with it there.  The next picture is of the canal heading towards the first picture with the stand of the Stade du Canal, one of the homes of Sporting Club Schiltigheim, visible in the distance.  Here the canal is still full so utilising my Holmesian powers of deduction I surmised that whatever had caused the canal to empty out was closer to the site of the houseboats in the first picture.  So I pressed on along the Quai du Canal de la Marne au Rhin until I came to the point where the canal joins L’Aar before going off to join the Ill where I saw the lock, Ecluse 51.  Ah-hah I thought, this looks fishy.  After my earlier experience of work being carried out at a lock I thought to myself, “I know what this is!”  Eagerly I climbed the bridge, looked down and saw what you see in the photo alongside this text, an empty lock undergoing renovation.  This was why the canal under the bridge was nearly empty.   I had solved the mystery.  I carried pon up to the bridge to take pictures of the houseboats and to confirm my hypothesis was in fact true.  The last picture, and also the second in my romantic pictures of Strasbourg, shows the view towards Ecluse 50 a couple of Kms further on after which presumably the canal will fill up again, or does it? A cliff-hanger ending.

The OCD bin mystery


Thursday is bin day in our block.  They usually come early in the morning so I know nothing about them: I sleep so heavily that once under nothing wakes me, not storms, Serbian border guards* or even the mythical nuclear bomb heralding the end of the World.  So I was not surprised that yesterday morning I awoke to discover that the bins had once again been emptied but I hadn’t heard it.  I was surprised at the sight that faced me upon looking out into our courtyard; and I don’t mean that someone living opposite is so thoughtless to feed the verminous pigeons that seem forever trapped in our courtyard.  No, the bins.  They were jumbled and facing any which way.  If bins occurred naturally in the universe this is how they might be.  This was deeply shocking and I left for work feeling uneasy about what I faced in the day ahead.

Well the day was rather good with the sun breaking out in the afternoon to bring some warmth and to raise the spirits, even for the journey to fucking Bischeim where every time I have gone there I have experienced the worst weather of the week, before yesterday that is when it was the opposite.  Was the breakdown of order amongst the bins having its effect upon the World?  Could the old certainties no longer be relied upon?  Would Bischeim get to lose its appendage?

Well certainly one certainty could be relied upon.  On my return home the bins were all smartly in a line facing forward.  Ah, order restored to the World.  I do wonder who takes the time and effort to line up the bins in such a way.  Is it the resident who every Tuesday cleans the public part of the flats?  Is it included as part of his job description?  Or is it a resident with ocd who cannot bear to look out on the courtyard and see the bins in the way nature might have intended them?  Reader, I don’t know  but if I ever do crack this mystery you can be sure that I’ll tell you.

In homage to the approaching St Valentime’s day I publish a Strasbourg romance picture here.  Todays is of the sun setting behind the Hoenheim Garre public transport interchange.

Rassemblement contre les actes racistes


UPDATE: L’Alsace reports that racist tags, swastikas and the signs of the SS, were found on the walls of a football club-house and a house under construction for a Turkish origin French person at Riedseltz in Wissembourg.  Yesterday morning two 18 year old young men were arrested by the Wissembourg Police and are being held in custody whilst the Police pursue their enquiries.

Strasbourgeois – together against racism


As there is a report of another swastika being daubed on a house lived in by two families of Turkish origin in Hoenheim, after the story I reported ealier this week when two houses lived in by people of Turkish and Franco-Turkish origin were set on fire and also daubed with swastikas, the people of Strasbourg are being urged to stand up against racism at 18:00 at the Place de la Republique.

Today I received a message from the Parti Socialiste saying that racist, anti-semitic and hate acts have multiplied in the region, particularly in Strasbourg.  It then goes on to outline the events in Hoenheim and calls for all PS activists to join the demonstration caled by the League of Human Rights and congregate in the Place de la Republique on Wednesday ay 18:00.  I hope as many people who read this as possible join us to say they will not accept this hate in our city.

Rassemblement contre la haine – mercredi 2 février à 18 heures : Place de la République

Appel à la mobilisation

Depuis plus d’un an, des actes à caractère raciste, antisémite ou haineux se multiplient dans notre Région, et notamment dans l’agglomération strasbourgeoise. A chaque occasion, le Parti Socialiste a condamné ces actes et s’est joint aux initiatives visant à les dénoncer.

Dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi dernier, deux incendies criminels se sont déclarés aux 5 et 6 rue de Mundolsheim à Hoenheim. Les inscriptions laissées sur les murs ne laissent aucun doute quant aux motivations des auteurs. Le mode opératoire aurait pu tuer. Comme relevé dans la presse, les familles habitant ces maisons n’ont échappé que de justesse au feu déclenché par des poubelles incendiées placées devant leurs portes d’entrée.

Un rassemblement ne résoudra pas dans l’instant les problèmes posés par l’extrême-droite en Alsace, mais le Parti Socialiste ne peut se taire face à cette manifestation de haine. Tou-te-s les militant-e-s sont appelé-e-s à se joindre au rassemblement proposé par la Ligue des Droits de l’Homme :

Place de la République à Strasbourg,

mercredi 2 février à 18 heures

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