Mar. 27th, 2006

rfmcdonald: (Default)
The country is booming. The pragmatic policies of the new coalition government--a highly and increasingly popular government, incidentally--has ensured that GDP per capita has grown by a fifth in the past five years. With so much more well-spent money, France has been gleefully going about, doing things like building a prosperous Titan colony, accelerating the arcologisation of the French population, and the designing new colonies on Mars and in Alpha Centauri in association with its European allies. It's very good indeed to be French now that the malaise of the past years has been shaken off.

Yes, fine, it's true that the French economy has become so efficient that it doesn't have much money at all left for surplus spending. The demiurge does say that France must either engage in cutbacks, increase taxes, or stop building grand projets. "Historic experience suggests the French, when presented with economic choices requiring something to be sacrificed, are never happy."

Me, I'm thinking lots more new arcologies, and at least one more terraformed planet. Allons les enfants de la patrie ...
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Southbound on the Dufferin bus reasonably late on a week end party night, a more-than-presentable man 40 years old with the simple rectangular wooden head of a cane grasped in his hand on one side of the aisle, an attractive woman in her late 20s wearing a skirt that ran just above her knees on the other.

He was talking to her, politely and with smiles, about a party at a place near me. He named a boutique hotel with a name that's probably excruciatingly familiar to most of the Torontonians reading this post, and went on to talk about how his friend had managed to reserve the place. She smiled back and talked with him, non-commitally but even so.

- You can't come, he said. He's buying a round for everyone, and he gave out tickets before so he wouldn't end up paying for everyone.

He got off shortly afterwards at my stop. I didn't turn to look at the woman.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Events in Belarus after that country's recent election can perhaps best be summarized, by The Financial Times, as bad: "In Belarus, the liberal opposition failed to make any inroad on the ruthless machine of Alexander Lukashenko, the country's irascible and autocratic ruler. His massive security machine - employing an estimated one in 10 of the population - ensured that the entire electoral process was heavily skewed in his favour. Even if it had not, most observers reckon that the maverick dictator would have won." The resultant crackdown has seen a sweeping series of arrests in response to protests in the capital city of Minsk by members of the opposition. Here's hoping that the space they carve out today and in the days ahead will last and can be put to good use. In the meantime, check out Belarusian blog br23 for the latest news.
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