Saturday, November 21, 2015

A lot has happened since the last post

Yes, it's been an eventful week, starting on Friday the 13th, in the evening. It was covered extensively in the news, so I am not going to rehash it, nor go into my feelings. I've been in touch with family and friends and gave some immediate reactions via Facebook.
I will say, however, that staying away from the constant live coverage on TV is good. It's not easy to avoid getting caught up in the frenzy of speculation, but once I decided that when the cycle was over and I was seeing or hearing the same thing again, I turned it off and didn't go back until later in the day. There's something to be said in favor of the old days, when the news was a program at a set time in the evening and that was it. Yes, it is convenient to be able to turn the TV (or internet site) on to the news as soon as you are aware of something happening, but very soon you realize that the journalists don't really know what's going on, just that it is going on. Once you know there is something going on, is there any real need to keep up with the speculation? Analysis is another thing, entirely, and French TV has some pretty good programs that do good analysis.
Avoiding the TV and not being able to concentrate on much else -- if I turned on the computer to write, I got caught up in facebook updates -- I knit. That has a very calming effect. I've almost finished the complicated jacquard sweater I've been working on.
President Hollande has made some good speeches. He does seem good in crises. One of his proposals is to rescind French nationality to dual nationals who threaten figures of authority (police, military,...). As a dual national and mother of dual nationals, I feel such a law is dangerous. I sympathize with the feeling that the terrorists who are dual nationals are taking advantage of their dual nationality, so I understand why this "quick fix" to the problem sounds so good, but in geo-politics the definition of friendly and enemy state is ever-changing. This law would make dual nationals of any dual nationality second-class citizens in France. Here is the letter written to the President by one of the children of an American friend of mine who holds elected office in Paris:

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