"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."  --William Shakespeare

Entries in politics (3)


Crow and Gull Attack the Pope's Doves



Crow and Gull Attack the Pope's Doves
(Aquarius Sun Square Saturn in Scorpio)


The wind howls all around the house tonight

while images flicker on the screen—everyone is rebelling!

Orthodox Jews, refusing to serve in the Israeli army,

dance like black-garbed crows,

waving hands in the air like gleeful children,

as state thugs on horseback beat them to the ground;


Chechens saying nyet to Putin,

willing to burn down their cities for freedom;

Bosnian workers fed up—

not enough bread to feed their families;

Tunisia’s constitution includes

protection of the earth.


The UN blasts the Vatican

for shielding predatory priests,

for failing to protect children;

social media explodes with women

speaking out against the men

who stole their innocence.


I open a window, marvel at the fierce wind

blowing in from the sea, where, to the west,

waves are flooding Brittany and England,

the air so warm you could float on it.

Freedom is in the air

and it is thrilling.


Even high above and beyond, the planets

are doing the same dance—take back your authority!

Claim the power stolen by the priests,

the pedophiles, thugs, tyrants, users,

warmongers, thieves, despoilers of the earth—

it never did belong to them. It is yours.


February 7, 2014 






Sarkozy, C'est Fini!


Sunday night, at Place Bastille, where at least a hundred thousand jubilant people gathered under an overcast sky to welcome a new president, it all came down to two chants.

Sarkozy, c'est fini! (SAHR-ko-zee SAY-fee-nee)!

Hollande gagne! (OH-lan GAHN-yea)!

"Sarkozy is finished," and "Hollande won."

So ended the hard-fought and often nasty election campaign which saw France turn for the first time in sixteen years to the Socialists, making the center/right Nicolas Sarkozy a single-term president. 

This was the scene a few seconds past eight p.m., when the TV station being broadcast on the stadium-sized screen at Place Bastille flashed François Hollande's photograph, over the percentage of votes (51.7%) that exit polls showed him receiving. The jubilation was reminiscent of Barack Obama's 2008 Grant Park rally on election night in Chicago:


In addition to our exclusive Paris Play video, here are faces of the evening captured in stills, with our impressions, and a word or two about what we think could come next.


A line of (mostly) women dancing and ululating with glee

A father and daughter celebrate


And plenty of time for silliness


Each time the screen showed a picture of the outgoing president, seen here conceding defeat, the huge crowd booed...


...or worse


The young and lithe climbed to the base of the famous Bastille column


Thousands upon thousands of revelers boiled out of the Metro stations...


...and boogied on to Place Bastille, swelling the crowd to at least a hundred thousand strong


He was disappointed that the police forbade him to ride his motorcycle into the huge crowd...


...while these folks on rue St. Antoine cheered the celebrants from their safe second-floor perch


The magazine L'Express was hot off the presses within two hours, while the president-elect didn't arrive to address the waiting crowd until 12:45 the next morning


There were plenty of homemade signs, and the crowd was overwhelmingly young


The ubiquitous image of Che Guevara, found wherever leftist internationalists gather


In 2008, when Obama and his supporters celebrated in Grant Park, they did so under a growing economic cloud, the result of the Bush administration's mishandling of the American economy, which meant the celebrations had to be short, because the United States was in crisis. The economy cast a pall that Obama still labors under; as he runs for a second term, the Republicans work to foster the lie that the Great Recession is the Democratic president's fault.  

Three-and-a-half years after Grant Park, incoming president Hollande labors under a similar cloud. The European economy is worse off than the United States' (though the entire world economy is yoked together), and France suffers from record high unemployment, as its citizens chafe at the austerity measures the European Union is demanding.

Hollande's victory flies in the face of that demand. He believes (as does American economist Paul Krugman) that austerity is a ridiculous policy in the face of a recession, and that economies must be nurtured with strong government measures to increase employment and strengthen social programs.

The UK newspaper, The Independent, which doesn't like Hollande, grumps that Sarkozy's defeat "...poses once again the question of whether any national leader, of any party, can impose the degree of austerity deemed necessary by the financial markets and remain electable." One of the messages that both left and right were united on this year was that "financial markets" were not governments; the French wanted French elected officials, not Brussels-based European Union bureaucrats, to make economic and political decisions for their country.

Whatever the next weeks, months, or years of a Hollande presidency have to offer, the basic question is, what kind of a world will this young will-be voter, carried by her mother to witness this critical historical moment, find herself in when she comes of age?





We Live In a Political World

Although this is an election year in France, our Dylan-inspired headline doesn't just refer to electoral politics.

Everywhere we turn in Paris, someone's making a statement about something, on sidewalks, walls, fence posts, Metro stations, parked and moving cars, etc.



We've collected some of the socio-political comments we've seen in the last year, which we present below without much comment, only simple translations. Given the fact that it would be rude and presumptuous for us, as immigrants to a new county, to pretend we're au courant on all the nuances, and capable of trenchant commentary, we'll let you simply see what we see.

We see that Parisians live and breathe in a climate where rights--of women, immigrants, minorities, corporations, animals, babies, etc.--are constantly being discussed, debated and argued.



France is reeling, as is the world, from the current economic crisis, and European radicalism being what it is, there's more anti-American and anti-capitalist sentiment on display. And, as we know from American politics, when the economy is bad, demagogues turn against immigrants and against internationalism. Environmental safeguards also take a turn for the worse.


Dechets: waste (toxic, nuclear). OMG: agribusiness, Monsanto. Marées noires: oil spills. 

We can report a few facts about French electoral politics:  Center-right incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy is running for a second five-year term as president, but he is running behind the Socialist challenger, François Hollande, by as much as fifteen points in some opinion polls. The first round of elections is April 22, with the second round on May 6, if no candidate gets a majority. No candidate ever has. The far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, whose father led the National Front party for years, ranks third in the polls with around seventeen percent, but she does not yet have the required number of signatures from local mayors around the country (yes, that's how you qualify) to get on the national ballot.




Please remove your brain before entering.



Notre corps nous appartient: Our body belongs to us. Autonomy, abortion and contraception, free and without charge.


Couples, parenthood, stays, change of civil state. Lesbians, gays, bis, transexual and intersexes want equal rights.


Abas, Nazis, Zionists, fascists, racists! Palestine will live! Will conquer!




Progress in the USA. (An electric chair)



Profits are big in order to pay for your health.


Advertising two days of anti-capitalism demonstrations.


To preserve our health and the future of the planet, leave behind nuclear power.


Get involved. Kick him out.


Do something for liberty at Place Stalingrad on May 28th.


You have to get tough, but without losing your tenderness.


No on the government's proposed austerity plan.



Solidarity with the revolt of immigrants against the borders.


"Banlieues" are the suburbs just outside Paris, many of which are heavily immigrant, and in which major protests and riots occurred in the last decade.




The financial sector is killing us.