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TreizeVents's Achievements


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  1. Someone told me about your comment, so outrageous news of it spread.  You repeated it TWICE in the blog report you wrote.  You say "no harm done", and that is true.  You didn't actually cause a crash just so you could have a bit of excitement.  Sounds like you picked your spot for that though.  Of course you are not alone, there are many people who anticipate the pleasure or thrill of a car crash on a dangerous curve, a hurdler who trips over a hurdle, a skier who misses a flag and flies into the fences.  But let me be direct, as a cyclist, a car driver and (maybe) a slightly thoughtful human being,  if I ever pass your house (and of course I have no idea who you are or where you live), I shall spit in your drive, and if I have the courage, cut some of your flowers.  I am  not a violent person, but comments like yours are really sad.  The fact that you brush it off with a "no harm done" and blithely go on thinking like you do is worse than sad.  How about a little apology for having such casual thoughts about crashes?   A humble admission that it was over the top, out of order.  You might not know this, but if you looks carefully on YouTube, you will be able to find many replays of cyclists crashing.  Since you missed the crashes you appear to desire in the Tour live, perhaps you might like to look at the aftermath of the crash that killed Fabio Casartelli.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH1zMxGwJJ0   Sorry there is no footage of the actual crash.  The commentary is in French, but maybe you can understand it.  Look at the faces, look at the eyes.  I am not totally sure that they have live footage of the woman spectator being killed this year by walking across the road at a bad time.  But maybe you can find some other things to satisfy your need for crashes and injury.  I just didn't believe it when I was told about your comment, both on this forum and twice in your blog.  I just fumed, and now you know what I think.  Not that it will matter.  But it helps me a bit.  Do you actually have any freinds who cycle?  Most of them will have crashed at least once.  It goes with cycling.  Tell them how you look forward to the crashes and are a bit disappointed that none happened at your chosen spot.  See what their reaction is.
  2. What an excellent video.  Well done.  something people who don't go to see the tour simply never get to know. I have made alink to it on my Tour blog. Thank you.
  3. Actually, you might find it interesting that Google has a special feature where you can follow the Tour at street level for the entire route, all the turns, all the buildings, all the scenery.  Around us they took the photos about two months ago, although you will be able to tell when they did it around your area;  totally hard to believe.  Look here and on the left side is the Tour Map option.  You have to fiddle a bit to learn to work it.  But its fun.
  4. [quote user="newbiee"] I love the Tour , my partner explained a lot of the tactics to me over the years ... so some of the following info may add to your enjoyment... There are unspoken rules when riding ... whether in the peleton or off the front .... riders take it in turns to ride at the front, this takes more energy so they do it in short bursts .. a minute or so .... sometimes you'll see the rider in the front jerk his elbow up and down which means "come and take your turn at the front" .  However, if a group break out of the main peleton to chase down the leaders, if someone in the group has a team member in the lead group, they will not (and not be expected to) take a turn on the front, because they don't want their team member to be caught.  So they will just sit on the wheel of those trying to catch up the leaders. Does anybody know what's happening with the team time trials?  There hasn't been one for a few years. [/quote] Clearly a lover of the Tour, like me.  Actually I am more like obsessed. The last team time trial was in 2005.  Usually there is one, but they can have one or not, the ASO chooses (Amaury Sports Organisation, the owner of the Tour).  The more unusual thing is that this year there was no Prologue, the short time tiral that normally decides the yellow jersey for the start of the real racing.  This yeer they just started racing. As for riding in front, although it is riders who do the actual riding, it is usually teams who decide if they work in front or not.  This depends on many factors, and it is really great challenge to try to figure out why, exactly why, a particular team has riders in front of the race at a particular time.  Often the riders are more or less spread out across the road, that is, no one is really "in front" riding hard.  But when they do, try to figure out why a team is riding.  Great fun.
  5. Team.  Actually it is slightly more complicated for the team competition.  The team competition has been, up to this year anyway, decided as follows.  You take the top three guys on each team, for each stage, and add up their times. That gives the team totals and standings for the first stage.  You then repeat this for each stage, adding the top three times for each team, to the total for the previous stages.  That gives you the team prize.  I will look it up to make sure they have not changed that rule.  They can change any rule they want, anytime they want.  The Tour de France is a race owned by a multi-million euro multinational corporation, who also own part of the Tour of Spain, the Tour of California, several classic races and the best selling daily paper in France, L'Equipe. Points get awarded for the finish in every stage (mountains included), as well as a few points for intermediate sprints during the course of every stage.  So there have been cases when a non-sprinter has won this jersey, although usually it is called the "sprinters' jersey", and is usually won by a sprinter.  At present, for example, there are three non-sprinters in the top ten for the green jersey AND we have not even got to the mountains, where the sprinters DO NOT score any points.  This MIGHT be a year when a non-sprinter wins that jersey.  The points are the same for each stage 35 for first down to 1 for 29th. Intermediate sprints are 6-4-2 for the first three. Polka dot or climbers’ jersey is ever so slightly more complicated.  The points awarded for the last climb, if it is a mountaintop finish, are doubled.  So you reward not only those who break away and go over the earlier climbs, but those who save enough energy to attack on the last climb to win or place highly on the stage.  You also get “points” for the finish of a mountain stage, which help a rider to rise in the standings for the green jersey (sprinters' jersey).  The guys who are one two three in the Tour are always high in the points standings, even if usually a sprinter wins. Young rider, essentially right.  It is simply the highest placed riders on the General Classification who are 25 or less.  There is an exact cutoff date but it’s not too crucial for understanding.  This year there are at least five young riders who could be in the top ten at the end.  It is a fine crop of young’uns.
  6. I buy, once every 18 months or so, ink refills from Tinkco.  The ink works fine.  Its cheap.  So far I have used the same cartridge on my Canon for nearly three years without any problem.  They send the ink in no time.  They provide wee surgical type gloves so you can avoid one or two ink stains on your hands.  They have a little hypodermic needle type refill system which anyone could use.  I saved another old cartridge in case the one I now have gets clogged or whatever.  So far no need.   However cheap the cartridges, it still takes energy and plastic and postage to send and use them, then you throw them away.  Although the refill ink is in plastic bottles too.  Why buy new cartidges and throw them away, however cheap they are?
  7. I have never in my life heard such advice.  I think you might have misread it.  You can have a bank account anywhere you like, especially if you declare it to the fisc, which you are meant to do if you have any interest (which is income) that comes your way.   It is very handy, now and again, to have a British bank account.  Don't give it up.  I have no idea how or why Blevins would say that.  Did he say why?  Both my wife and I have kept at least two bank accounts in the UK.  One of hers turned out to be VERY useful for money transfers, that is especially cheap.  But you do have to fillout tax forms in France if you live here, even though some immigrants think they can "choose".
  8. Hey Gluestick, "Personally, I feel it's very much the same argument, TV and hugely critical to it!" I don't actually understand this first sentence, so I won't say anything about it.  I never thought "the right to assemble and demonstrate" was anything other than a crucial ingredient for democracy of even the most basic sort.  Not really left or right.  I think you can do this in most countries that remotely claim to be democratic.  So what it has to do specifically with Socialism would require a bit of explanation for me.  Even the early USA founders thought it was a good idea.  Some unions are right wing and some left, as in most countries. Surprisingly, France has one of the smallest percentages of unionised worker in Europe.  I am not sure how much they actually influence policy, but I agree they certainly do, like all the other interest groups and associations in France, including the Employers' union.  Mind you I reckon the employers' union has a lot more influence and always has.   Sorry, I know nothing about this book you cite, nor about who gave whom the most trouble for what reasons in WW2.  In fact I am not sure if it has anything to do with my small point that the Socialists or the left simply have not been in power much, in fact hardly at all.  I would love to see your evidence for the majority grass roots socialist voters, and the conservative politicians, although I tend to agree that most politicians are pretty conservative, whatever their party.  In fact I am sure the Socialist Party would love to see that evidence, as they seem to be pretty big losers at the national level, although not total losers.  As for France "turning Communist" after WW2, many people agree with Truman and Churchill.  However, they were all wrong.  The role of the PCF in formulating French  policy over the last fifty years has to be pretty pathetically negligible, although like all political groups they had some influence at some times.  I just don't think there is much evidence for this "leftist France" or "communist France" we hear about.  And I think the policies of France over the last few decades have been overwhelmingly right wing, but in a European/French way of course. For example, compared to American parties, the conservatives are quite leftist or Socialist.  The last "socialist" government more or less moved in the same direction as all the other Euro market-oriented parties, although with a few innovations that true conservatives didn't like.  However if you think New Labour is socialist or communist, then I guess France is more leftist or socialist.  I think Blair was always a nice mild kind of social democrat who had little to do with socialism as I learned about it.  Where was the PS during the strikes?  I didn't notice them much, but maybe I missed it.  Good old Olivier B was there, and seems to be more popular than François, whatever that may mean. All the best.
  9. [quote user="Scooby"][quote user="TreizeVents"] It is the right wing governments who have helped create the mess. [/quote] [blink]???? [/quote] I know many British immigrants are surprised that the right has been in power since the Revolution, nearly all the time.  I have heard people say this is a communist country or a socialist country.  Neither could possibly be true, as it is so clearly a capitalist country (and getting more market oriented daily) that it is hard for me to know how to reply to such claims.  One historian I read recently, sadly I forgot who, said the left has been in power for just over 20 years in France since the Revolution (1789).  However, simplifying things to the Fifth Republic (1959), where both the President and the parliament have and have had varying power (but the same constitution), we come across the following actual objective data, although I could have made a slight mistake as I didn’t’ add up the months in power, but just copied the years.  Beginning with 1959 (the Fifth Republic, the present constitution), when we can assume that policies were made that still have repercussions today, especially in relation to immigrants, their housing and their children.  There has been one Socialist President, Mitterand, for 14 years.  During eight of those years he had a Socialist Prime Minister.  So there can be little doubt that during those eight years (separated by three years when there WAS NOT a Socialist Prime Minister/government) we can safely say, without any argument, “the Socialists were in power”.  Those years of Socialist power were 84-88 and 91-95.  There was also a Socialist Prime Minister (Jospin) from 97-02, but there was not a Socialist President.  So if you count the Socialist Prime Ministers only (ignoring completely the President, his power and his influence) you could say that the Socialists were in power for 13 years since 1959.  You could make it even more impressive for the Socialists by saying that in the last 23 years (the ONLY years the Socialists have had Prime Ministers) they have had 13 years in power.  That is just over half.  Given this information, when I hear immigrants from Britain or elsewhere talking of "years of Socialist power" or the things the Socialists have done, I just am gobsmacked.  Am I being unfair?  As far as I can see the Socialists are mostly losers in elections, and most other things.  I should add that I am not and never have been a Socialist in France or anywhere else.   There you are, the reasons I say there have been mostly right wing governments in power influencing the nature of contemporary France.  I recognise that governmental power is not everything.  But “normally” that is what people talk about, as other forms of power are quite complicated and require quite complex argument.  And some, including me, might say the other forms of power are actually way more important.  But that is another argument.
  10. [quote user="Gluestick"]Having looked at the core matter in greater depth during the past few days it seems that - perhaps! - the following is a reasonably accurate statement of the surrounding facts. 1.  The rioters are invariably of North African descent, and in the main sons and grandsons of original migrants post the Algerian crisis: 2.  The cars being burned are in the, vast majority, old decrepit cars of other residents of the ghettos, rather than those owned by non-migrant French families/individuals: 3.  The cars are illegally owned and used, with no insurance and thus are not captured by French insurance underwriter's stats: 4.  The areas where rioting occurs, are mainly the 1960s/70s High Rise Concrete Estates thrown up to accomodate the original migrants: 5.  It would appear that much of the motivation is, by Islamic agitators, many of whom are not old migrant stock, but either recent "Assylum Seekers" or illegals many of whom are connected with the global Al Qaeda network of  urban terrorists: 6.  The original "Ghetto Mindset" of the French authorities still holds true: i.e surround these ghettos with a Cordon Sanitaire of Police, Gendarmerie and CRS to prevent the troublemakers and criminals venturing out to where "The Nice People" live: 7.  The rioters are using any excuse to create a "Grievance" such as the earlier incident where two youngsters fleeing from the police after commission of a crime were burnt to death in an electricity sub-station where they were attempting to hide from pursuing police officers: 8.  Therefore where police are endeavouring to apprehand criminals in these areas, inter alia, riots will occur in order that police might be deflected from their legitimate duties: 9.  The troublemakers will invariably destroy their own social facilities and infrastructure such as their schools, shops, libraries etc: 10. Since it is a fact that the police authorities in France are known to be somewhat more "Heavyhanded" than elsewhere and the CRS even more so, it would appear that these authorities are targeted by the rioters as "Public Enemy Number One"; and that therefore any confrontation is bound to become excessively violent on both sides. (GS Stands by for the vitriol! [6])   [/quote] 1.  This is just plain wrong.  Watch TV and check out the skin colour.  Note especially the few white poor guys, and the numerous black guys.  Then tell me how one can tell the Algerians from the Tunisians and Moroccans at a distance, or better yet give me the source for the ethnic background data, as the French are not allowed to collect it.  The French do not ask origins in the census, and Morocco and Algeria are the same size, so I am not sure where this analysis comes from. 4.  Migrant are internal, immigrants are from outside a place.  So I guess your source thinks that Algerians are French, or were.  You all might be interested to know that in Montpellier the high rises were built to accommodate some of the pieds noir, and to some extent still have white people as well as brown and black.  Don't know about all the other cities. 5.  I find the terrorist plot reference a bit silly.  Never read that one anywhere else.  Although there are plenty of people trying to take advantage of the riots, no doubt among them the odd Islamist.  Quite normal.  But to suggest the terrorists had any significant role in starting the whole thing, or creating the conditions that gave rise to it is really quite silly.  The Islamists have not been in the French government for the last fifty years.  And the left hardly has.  It is the right wing governments who have helped create the mess. 6.  Actually the police are far more pro-active.  They DO NOT just sit around on the outside waiting to stop escapees, they go right in there and help create the situation. 7.  Nearly all riots start with small incidents, although in the two cases you mention we are talking about DEATHS, perhaps not caused directly by the police, but in which police were involved.  Don't forget the two youths were playing footie when they fled the arrival of the police in 2005.  Just scared kids, who knew that messing with the police is never a good idea, so scarper.  They picked a stupid place to hide. 8.  This seems confusing.  Are you suggesting that each time the police arrive to bust someone there is a riot?  Or just that if a bit of a local distraction can save a mate, the local lads try it on? The rest of it makes some sense.  You do neglect to try to draw conclusions or reprint analyses of what caused or might continue to cause these events.  It seems to be all about the details.  Its like describing a FA Cup Final and some disturbances in it, without the context of the UK and football as a business and so forth..  Why are these kids so pissed off and why does it take "so little" to set them off?  What is going on in France?  Does racism have nothing to do with it?
  11. [quote user="raindog"] I can understand why a young immigrant with no future would want to burn a car, but only a rich man's BMW or Mercedes, not their poor neighbour's second hand Renault. I remember during the riots in '05 they showed a guy standing crying in front of his burned out builder's lorry. He'd saved for years to buy it so he could get a small business off the ground. It was heartbreaking. I also have trouble understanding why they would want to burn down a local library or children's nursery. [/quote] I do agree that rationally speaking, in terms of "targets", the rich cars would make a "better target".  But of course the minute the lads marched out of "their zone", they would be in strange territory, unprotected, get immediately busted and jailed.  It is really tragic that all over the world, "they" burn down their own cars, their own libraries and their own buildings.  Really makes no "sense" in some ways, yet it is easy enough to understand why the poor youth don't assemble in large groups, or even small ones, in the rich neighbourhoods.
  12. 2006  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article607860.ece 2005  http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/490 2005  http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=9066 2007 after elections http://www.liberation.fr/actualite/societe/252217.FR.php 2007 after elections http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/speciales/politique/20070507.OBS5884/730_voitures_brulees592_interpellations.html Of course I have no more idea what data to believe than any of you.  All the articles I found quite easily might not convince anyone (google burning cars France or voitures brulees).  It could all be a police plot to get more money.  You would think  that the insurance companies might know exactly, but I have failed to find out where they publish their data on the web.  Certainly it is pretty obvious where most of the cars are burned, in the car parks of the banlieu.  They are poor people's cars.  My guess is that many of them are not insured, given the estimates of the million or more drivers who are uninsured in France.  therefore those cars of poor peopple are not insured, not reported to insurance companies and affect nothing about insurance rates. Presumably poor people.  So the utterly accurate numbers are never going to be known (if you don't trust the police figures), nor are some of you going to be convinced that cars get burned regularly.  Certainly during the riots of recent years, like 2005, there were counts given on French TV every night.  I thought some social scientists would take that rising or falling number as a good "indicator" of intensity of riots in various places.  In Montpellier, for example, there were way fewer burned and way fewer riots than in other big cities (Montpellier is eighth biggest in France). In any case I did think it was well known that the French (well OK, young poor French lads) are particularly keen on burning cars, more than anywhere else.  The biggest night is New Year's Eve, has been for years, and no doubt will be this year too.  Although I suppose some of the hot riot nights might have been higher. I just can't figure out why you don't all know this is happening, or have never seen a burnt out car.  I really did think this was common knowledge.  Maybe you don't go into the right neighbourhoods?  I can believe that, as these events happen in the tower block areas which is not where most of us regularly drive to do our shopping, and certainly not a place to take short cuts.  I only see them when I take a particular short cut in Montpellier, or when I get lost trying to remember that shortcut.  Otherwise I would think there were no burned cars either.  Although I do believe the data given by the police on this one.  And there were even two burned cars recently in our small town. Besides, without much trouble, I can see exactly why young poor pissed of lads would burn a car.  Or throw a rock through a window.  Easy to imagine.
  13. Its not quite a matter of mere semantics, and I think that Catalpa and Chessfou have made the relevant points.  Have any of you heard of immigrants from the Mahgreb being called or calling themselves "expats".  It is not merely semantics, and the names people use for themselves (and for "others") often reveal more than they know.  It is important to secure our medical care, as well as getting the terms right.  We, those of us who actually live here, not second homevisitors; or temporarily working here for a bit, are immigrants.  On average we are just a bit more well off than the poor ones.  And usually white.
  14. I have just signed the health petition.  Don't know who wrote it, but I find it lamentable that the only category available for those who haved moved here is "expatriate".  Very controversial.  I signed anyway, but surely with all the debate that has happened, it would have been courteous to put "immigrant" as a possibility.
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