I have this love/hate thing with regard to the French. And, it’s not for the same reasons most Americans hate them. Most Americans hate the French because they wouldn’t help us invade and occupy Iraq. Of course, we in America have never had our country invaded and occupied. There was a period in history when this happened to France every other week. And, they also have a hell of a lot more experience invading and occupying other countries than we do. Given the way Iraq turned out maybe we should have listened to what they had to say on the matter. I seem to remember they tried to tell us the same thing about Vietnam once, but we didn’t listen then either.

Then again, I can’t stand listening to French people. The perception of the French as being weak and cowardly stems mostly from the way they talk. The French have this thing with irony and subtlety in the way they express themselves that I just don’t think Americans (or a lot of other countries, for that matter) really understand. It also doesn’t help that they’re a bunch of dicks.

Their actions, however, are a different kettle of fish altogether. Most people don’t know this but pirates in Africa and Asia won’t go near a ship flying the French flag. Why? Because the French are fucking crazy. Two years ago African pirates grabbed a French freighter off the coast of Somalia. The French didn’t negotiate. They didn’t even talk to the pirates. They just stormed the ship and killed every single pirate, and a few hostages, in the process. Americans are always talking about how we don’t negotiate with terrorists. But, we almost always do. The French don’t negotiate because, frankly, irony and subtlety are kind of lost on a 12-year-old Somali with an RPG launcher.

The French have one of the most elite special forces/anti-terrorism units in the world. So elite, in fact, that we send our own Delta Force to train with them. And before you start yelling about Freedom Fries, consider that France not only has the atomic bomb but has a policy about using and testing it that is so aggressive and belligerent it would make George Bush look like a peace activist.

And the French worker? He’s crazy too.

“French trade unions said 2.5 million people took to the streets Tuesday to protest over pension reforms that President Nicolas Sarkozy says he is determined to implement on the way to elections in 2012. Tapping into growing unease over austerity as Europe emerges deeply indebted from recession, French union leaders demanded the center-right government heed their call to backtrack or run the risk of an escalation.

“If they don’t respond and they don’t pay heed, there’ll be a follow-up and nothing is ruled out at this stage,” Bernard Thibault, leader of the large CGT union, told a Paris rally.”

Thibault told TF1 news later that union leaders will meet on Wednesday afternoon and if they did not get a favorable response from the government, another strike was possible.” – Reuters

So what horrible affront was committed to bring 2.5 million subtle and ironic Frenchmen out into the streets in force? What exactly are these “reforms” they are so upset about? Reuters goes on to explain:

“…a rise to 62 from 60 in the legal minimum retirement age, and a rise to 67 from 65 in the age at which people are entitled to retire on a full pension…”

Yeah, well, in America we’re better because soon you’ll have to be 70 to retire and pensions don’t exist anymore… wait, what?

People in this country seem to forget that were it not for the French, this country would be called the Royal Protectorate of British Colonial States or something like that. There would be no America as we currently know it. And while I’m not in love with France the way some liberals are, I do have respect for them and the way they do things. Compared to the French Revolution, our Revolution was pretty tame. And before America got involved, a handful of French Resistance fighters were giving the Third Reich its first real losses in WWII.

And have you ever heard of a “boss-napping”? That’s another French thing. As defined by Wikipedia:

“The term ‘bossnapping’ began receiving widespread use in the media following a series of high-profile incidents in France in the spring of 2009 where managers were detained by their workers. In early March, 2009, workers in southwestern France held the Chief Executive Officer and Human Resources Director of Sony France overnight, demanding a better severance package for workers who had been laid off.[1] They barricaded the entrance to the facility with tree trunks, and held their hostages until the CEO agreed to a renegotiation of the severance package that laid-off workers were to receive. Later that month, workers at a pharmaceutical factory owned by 3M in Pithiviers held their boss in his office demanding similar concessions for laid-off workers as well as protections for remaining workers whose jobs had not been cut.”

It occurs to me sometimes that we might just hate the French because the French are doing what we’d be doing if we had the balls to do it. The last time 2.5 million workers in America did anything in unison it was when they got laid off, and then sat around complaining about how “someone should do something about this”. Hell, most American workers don’t even bother to vote. And it’s sad. Because if the American worker really flexed his muscles like that we’d run this place. And free market wieners would think twice about jacking up your health insurance rates or trying to freeze the minimum wage, let alone making you work an extra two years to get a full pension.



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