Monday, June 20, 2011

Philosophical Overload

It seems that the number of French teachers of philo has been cut so much that there aren't enough around to correct all the bac copies that need correcting. As it is, teachers are expected to grade 130-140 copies each in 11 days. Apparently, fewer teachers can teach the subject to an ever-increasing number of students, but they can't handle the resulting paperwork. A good subject for next year's bac en philo: "Can an insufficiency of means compromise a worthy end?"

Deserting the Sunken Ship

The first Strauss-Kahnian to transfer his allegiance is J.-C. Cambadélis, and his vote goes to ... Martine Aubry.

The Unpopularity of Trade Unions

The media often note that President Sarkozy's approval rating is below 30%. What is less often reported is the unpopularity of other institutions, such as the trade unions:

 En décembre 2010, le baromètre annuel du CEVIPOF montrait que la confiance que l’opinion accordait aux syndicats était en recul de trois points par rapport à l’année précédente ; elle se situait à 33% contre 61% d’avis négatif. Les syndicats se positionnaient ainsi loin derrière des institutions comme les hôpitaux (78% d’avis positifs) voire les grandes entreprises publiques (43%) ou l’Union européenne (40%).

Bayrou Still Incarnates the Center

Despite all the publicity that Jean-Louis Borloo has received since breaking with the UMP, he has not persuaded the French that he represents the values of the center. That honor still belongs to François Bayrou.


Laurent Ruquier has changed his mind and will now have Audrey Pulvar and Natacha Polony as replacements for Zemmour and Naulleau (Polony was chosen instead of Jean-Jacques Bourdin, as originally reported). Polony's blog is here. And here is Richard Descoings's opinion of her.

Here is Polony denouncing feminism and praising machismo, with Jean-Marie Le Pen, Jacques Julliard, and Franz-Olivier Giesbert looking on (a rather depressing performance, to my eyes):

Natacha Polony L'homme est l'avenir de la femme by CyberPeople

Ironies of History

With Mélenchon's designation as the official candidate of the PCF, now subsumed in the Front de Gauche, students of the left can savor the irony that the Communists will be represented by a former Trotskyist:

Mais le rapt du PCF par Jean-Luc Mélenchon n'en reste pas moins chargé de symboles. Fin d'une période ; fin d'une histoire; extinction définitive d'une puissance. Nous avons tant combattu le stalinisme qu'il ne faut pas le regretter. Mais de Jacques Duclos à Jean-Luc Mélenchon, un pan de notre histoire vient de se refermer.

Voter ID

Jean-François Copé has been fulminating about the "risks to individual freedom" if the PS compiles lists of people who vote in its primary. I guess that we Americans live in a totalitarian state, then, since voter lists in most states identify the party affiliation of each voter in order to prevent crossover voting in primary elections. But all's fair in love and war, and Romain Pigenel has compiled a useful list of his own: remarks that right-wing politicians can use to denounce the Socialist primaries under any number of hypotheses.