Thursday, June 5, 2008
And yet a substantial majority of the French (77%, up from 73) worry about "social conflicts" to come. If and when they do come, you can bet that Sarko's soft support will solidify very quickly. Just as people who saw de Gaulle as usé in early May of '68 were rallying around him by the end of the month, many who mocked Sarkozy as a buffoon will be the first to close ranks in a crunch. Yet lurching from cynicism to reaction is not a sign of political good health, even when leavened by velleities of revolutionary bonhomie
And so the Socialists continue in their petty squabbles. If they really want to see full-blown liberalism in the European sense, they of course need to turn their attention to the United States (where the word is used differently, but the thing itself flourishes). A case in point (via Marginal Revolution):
A small number of California jails have begun to offer pay to stay programs. These programs allow inmates in for minor crimes to "upgrade" to a private or public jail with better facilities. Evidently the fees are profitable to the jails. Take a look at how Santa Ana county advertises it's
The Santa Ana Jail is pleased to host a full range of alternatives to traditional incarceration. Our offerings include weekends in jail, non-linear jail sentences, and a variety of work release options. Our philosophy is designed to allow our clients (!, AT) to serve their obligations to the court in a manner that respects them as human beings and permits them to continue to provide for themselves and their families....
- Programs that include 2-day or 3-day weekends with minimal impact on the client’s professional life. Work on Saturday and Sunday? No problem...
- Programs that permit jail sentences to be served in multiple parts. Perfect for clients that live out of the area or clients with frequent business travel.
- Programs that permit the client to leave jail for work everyday. We have helped everyone from 9 to 5 business people to oil-rig workers, so no work schedule is out of the question.
The Santa Ana Jail is the most modern and comfortable facility in the region. Our housing areas are a world away from cement and steel bars....
Most clients can be approved immediately, over the phone. We can also provide same-day acceptance letters for the court.
The fate of the two individuals at the heart of the matter is of course buried beneath the avalanche of passions. In an interesting aside, Eolas remarks that he believes the reason the couple did not seek divorce by mutual consent is that the law requires both parties to appear together before a judge before such a divorce can be granted, and neither party wished to be in the presence of the other. If the defense of the Republic requires that a court insist that such a marriage remain legally intact, then one might be tempted to conclude that there is something wrong with the idea of a Republic that requires such a defense. The ultras are unlikely to find such an argument persuasive, however.
ADDENDUM: The flood of readers coming here from Andrew Sullivan's site may want to look at this earlier post on the subject. I think commenter ejm gets it about right.