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  • french riots

    Hi all,
    Just a few comments about a broadcast on CNN seen on French TV recently.
    Despite the fact that the cities location was "amazing" (Toulouse in Switzerland, Strasbourg in Germany, ..)more alarming was it sounds like if we were at war and all the country became like in “under fire�.
    It's not my goal to justify riots, which began a couple of week ago when two kids killed themselves in a high voltage plant escaping to the police. I think the origin is a kind of badly-to-be, faintness, with deep roots.

    We have here many people from various ethnics, from Poland, Asia, Italy, Portugual, Magrheb, including Algeria.
    Polish , Portuguese and Italian were relatively well accepted, likely because of religious affinity, and they agreed working in hard jobs like coalmines, agriculture.
    Religion.
    Meanwhile with Arabian, religion is a subject of argument. Islam is the second religion in France. The instauration of coran strict precepts leads to extremes (the history of the hijab wearing at school for example).
    Politics.
    History also shows that first North African generation came from the old French colonies, so a spirit of revenge could have occurred, remembering that they were parked in far out suburbs and in precarious bungalows , with bad hygiene settings, children playing in mud and scum. That happened in the seventies, so my (too late) opinion : shame on the French who allowed that.
    Others political reasons are possibly the fact that they live in strong socialists counties, and as it’s an right-wing opposing government they don’t care about, they are not voters.
    Racism.
    Today people represent the third generation, and issues still persist. Unemployment, cultural clash, religion, certain xenophobia, lead to make them feel rejected. Traditionally most of French tried to find scapegoats for their own problems. So, North Africans are suitable for them.
    Racism is a too strong word. In 1830 there was such “English, go home “ against. But nevertheless how can we explain the so many marriages between French and English! My ancestors were Nottingham lace makers who installed in the north of France, and I'm proud of them.
    Solutions (attempt to )
    The solutions should be great changes in the French model. It helps a lot for Medicare, social security; the price to pay is heavy. On the other hand don’t throw the baby with the water of the bath as it’s said in Quebec. Take an example on England and Germany. Less administration, less assisted spirit, assign small jobs for unemployed people, send experience teachers in hot zones, open police to naturalized foreigners, change our elite education, it’s not reasonable to target 90% of the people to a-level graduate . It’s not dishonouring to be a plumber or carpenter, or lace maker. Thinking to second chance school is a good thing too.
    The media.
    Last and least , return to the first thing, how I feel the influence of the media.
    When entire North African families died in fire in the centre of Paris, there were daily headlines on TV. Now it’s riots. Be careful with the media. See things by yourself. What we�ve got here is failure to communicate.
    Personally I spent two years in Algeria in the eighties as a teacher. What I found was people with high skill, under the influence of the former conflict in 1962, and keeping on wasting their time in current problems. West countries now are putting pressure to force Africa to reimburse the debt? What debt, where are the coins? in the multi-national industries pockets.
    We need to change mentally.
    Alian.

  • #2
    Alain, thanks for your comments on the situation, getting info from individuals helps balance what is presented through organized news and blogs. :up:

    Alian, sorry about mis-spelling your name, had just watched Le Samourai and my fingers betrayed me. :)
    "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

    Comment


    • #3
      A good friend of mine who is working as an English-laguage assistant in a school in Paris has had a lot of interesting things to say about the events there. The government has been backtracking on a lot of their financial cuts to youth and employment organizations, etc.

      The treatment of the riots in the French media is also quite interesting. Apparently there was very little coverage of events outside Paris, adn when there was, it provoked a debate on whether or not the media coverage was encouraging riots to spread, with rioters trying to outdo their neighbours.

      The biggest bone of contention in the French media seems to be the fact that they are largely of the opinion that the Anglo-American media have been blowing everything out of proportion and trying to deny that there is anything seriously wrong.

      (I should point out that the above is taken from an e-mail written about a week ago. Here is a link to the Wikipedia page on the riots; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_ci...rest_in_France).

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks to your comment, I read this article on the french riots in Shakespeare's language , as you see "the shoemaker always goes bare foot", but it's ok.


        Again, it's sad to say but young suburbs perps , throwing molotov cocktail to put their schools under fire, act in a stupid way, for it's like if they were "shooting a bullet at their own feet". Second chance can't occur if they are not managed to respect education. First , safety and mutual estime must be restored. Helping is not incompatible with pulling an ears.
        I've not been a "righty" so far, not more a socialist, but I would find it bitter taste if I saw my car burned by a band of that brainwashed idiots. Fortunatly they are few % of total young people.

        On the media comment, it's a chestnut to say that they are far out of the reality. Not only like the Anglo-American media showing a medieval map of main french cities, but also looking at the events by the small tip of the binoculars. We bare the thing in every country, including France of course. Perhaps written news are the last rampart wall against poor intellectual levelling of the media.

        On the parisians it's true that they have always drawn the cover with themselves. That was already the case during the old napoleonian time. I'm more suspicious about the idea that kids from outskirts would show to parisian suburbs rioters that they could win a mess competition.
        The only object of interest for me is that sign of something actually working wrong in the "french model".
        All the side effects that have been seen or seem should be triggers to change deeply mentally..
        And it's not the last news from Chirac that would help us: unleash 50,000 new public service job applications, then ask city mayors to back 20% of social public housing project, and state of emergency for three month more. "Pigs may fly" ("chicken may have teeth" as we say in french) before we get social habitations buildings in Neuilly (imagine Manhattan) , or Nice ( Miami).
        As usual we try to wipe out the flood with a tea-spoon, and suburbs kids will carry on to lag far behind the well logged middle-class children.
        EU should help backing funds to education and research & development, instead of corn and milk production support granted, but whatever they are left-wing or right-wing, our politicians don't have guts to make it.

        I believe it's one of major problems in our world: the politics behaviour is light-years far from reality.
        Everything that took time to turn into bullshit could take time to find the antidote.
        The topic is wide open.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Talisant
          Alain, thanks for your comments on the situation, getting info from individuals helps balance what is presented through organized news and blogs. :up:

          Alian, sorry about mis-spelling your name, had just watched Le Samourai and my fingers betrayed me. :)
          Actually 'Alian' is my avatar, 'Alain' is my real name, like the Samurai's :) you know, both are ok for me. I was abroad in China, in the past for my job; people was asking for my name (it has always been rather difficult for a french to speak understandable english ) , I said it, then they said "-like A. Delon ? " -Yes" I replied, it was cosy !I like also 'Ailin', irish cognate of my name. See you ..

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm just wondering if this could be a boost for multiculturalism a l'Anglais rather than the 'French model' of expecting immigrants to conform to 'French' values.

            Multiculturalism has come in for a hammering since 7/7, and I heard a French politician on the radio at the time talking about the UK being too tolerant of Islamic extremists - 'Londonistan' and all that.

            Or maybe the two things together will just fuel the Far Right - I heard Le Pen on Radio 4 again at the weekend (they must be forever 'phoning him up, he was also called to comment on the rejection of the EU Constitution).

            How is the debate is going in France? Is it all anti-immigrant hysterics, or is multiculturalism being talked about as a means of integrating rather than assimilating immigrant populations? (By which I mean that the host society has to make some adaptations as well - not just the immigrants themselves).
            \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mikey_C
              I'm just wondering if this could be a boost for multiculturalism a l'Anglais rather than the 'French model' of expecting immigrants to conform to 'French' values.

              Multiculturalism has come in for a hammering since 7/7, and I heard a French politician on the radio at the time talking about the UK being too tolerant of Islamic extremists - 'Londonistan' and all that.

              Or maybe the two things together will just fuel the Far Right - I heard Le Pen on Radio 4 again at the weekend (they must be forever 'phoning him up, he was also called to comment on the rejection of the EU Constitution).

              How is the debate is going in France? Is it all anti-immigrant hysterics, or is multiculturalism being talked about as a means of integrating rather than assimilating immigrant populations? (By which I mean that the host society has to make some adaptations as well - not just the immigrants themselves).

              hi Mikey,
              "model" sounds strange word because I'm more involved in "scientific" models. People aren't stat variables.
              in science a model must be compared to reality, and if it doesn't work , then garbage it.

              for me It's enough to speak of second generation of North-African, third generation , etc.. Do we speak of nth french generation since Charlemagne ? if we put people into categories, then it's the beginning of xenophobia.
              I totally agree with you saying:
              (By which I mean that the host society has to make some adaptations as well - not just the immigrants themselves).
              For instance, all religions are available here, islam is the second after catho, There is no contradiction living in France with your own culture.There is an african credo: "you in vain soak a stick in the pond it will not become a crocodile"; this was quote by the rare North-African French representative and president of a city hall town in Brittany.
              Instead of great philosophical chat, I prefer to mention a story when I was in Aslace (east area of France, known for cooking, and having a german-like special language named "alemanic"). An Arab who learns to speak alsacian is more considered than an insider French; and he can keep on living in a oriental way, go to the "mosquأ©e", ...even if alsacian have the highest score in extreme righty-pro-whity Le Pen.
              things don't run hysterically; Le Pen is an ultra-right nationalist, meanwhile it's sad to me that he got 20% on last elections in 2002. I guess it's more by demonstration than by adhesion. Or I'll despair of my country.


              Also interesting but more confident is what youth in the "bad-to-be" suburbs is eager to learn:
              how to write a cv
              how to get funds for association
              how to give a second chance school
              be evolving: cultural art exhibition is not for "rich" only, impulse to build museum in suburbs !
              mentality is changing , but slowly !

              the other issue is accomodation : rents are huge, median salary between 1000 and 1500€ . One 60 m2 flat 40 km in outskirts of Paris that costs 600 € would cost 1300€, plus advance, plus twice or thrice for a guarantee, if it's located in Paris and nearby places.
              In this view I'm sick to see families from Africa with french papers, working by the rules, forced to living in scum-flat at such rent !
              Otherwise multicultural ethnies are present in high school, or in the adminitration. Young people from suburbs would prefer to see (not too much indeed !) policemen from their ethnic. That's the case in Great Britain.

              Last if you don't afraid of french hip-hop (say "rap" in US ?) Kerry James is what I could qualify *not so bad*, real life in suburbs permeates in big sound poetry, without 'f' word every second [usually I can't bear RAP, but for a time I made an exception, my taste is more in trip-hop, or metal, or else I talk about in my journal].
              ciao !
              best wishes,
              Alian, France, 91.

              Comment


              • #8
                'Model' is a word that gets used in social sciences as well. As you say, if it doesn't fit reality, we need to adapt it, or find a new one.

                My guess is that the problems are probably more to do with economics than with 'culture'; poverty and lack of opportunity. I've seen that great movie 'La Haine' and own the album of music inspired by it - some brilliant French rap. I hope that good sense and humanity prevails, and le Pen crawls back into his hole.
                \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mikey_C
                  'Model' is a word that gets used in social sciences as well. As you say, if it doesn't fit reality, we need to adapt it, or find a new one.
                  Social sciences are not a concept I use to know well ; I try to understand people more individually than "globally modelling"; I guess misunderstanding begins when people are boxed into categories: the men, the women, the young, the old crow (like me) , the blacks, the whites, etc
                  My guess is that the problems are probably more to do with economics than with 'culture'; poverty and lack of opportunity.
                  *poverty and lack of opportunity * is the sledgehammer argument of the french socialists; but look a minute at what they have done to change this situation in the troubled suburbs whom they were elected ? I don't specially enjoy the right, but the truth is that it's first time since 20 years that banking funds are invested in new social buildings, promoting arts & cultural events. I watched a report on TV 5 channel on Liverpool if I remember about new re-construction of the city, it should have inspired our politics !

                  I've seen that great movie 'La Haine' and own the album of music inspired by it - some brilliant French rap.
                  There is good rap music play on Generation 88.2 radio. I put some hip-hop and rap to clean my boosters sometimes, but mostly I prefer Archive , or Pink Floyd...

                  I hope that good sense and humanity prevails, and le Pen crawls back into his hole.
                  This is a great debate : wondering if we should carry on tolerating Le Pen and his unforgivable crappy words (some of his quotes so on to the point of causing nausea: "gaz chambers of the Konzentrationslagers were a detail in History". "I'm not a racist for I have a black domestic staff " ) or (exclusive OR) should we have his tongue bored through with a hot iron like poor James Nayler in 1656 for much less ?
                  Of course not even if it's hard to say; I guess perhaps the LePen-like are necessary suppurating scrofula in a democracy ?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by alian
                    Social sciences are not a concept I use to know well ; I try to understand people more individually than "globally modelling"; I guess misunderstanding begins when people are boxed into categories: the men, the women, the young, the old crow (like me) , the blacks, the whites, etc
                    Hi there Alian! It's a good thing of you to report on the "riot's" for those of us outside of france.

                    Well what I get from "social sciences" is that it's mainly critique (although sometimes to systematic as you say) and strategies for acting upon problems in society. I somewhat abstain from using it to launch violent attacks at the "upper class" who are mainly just acting on their own short-term interests. And mostly have problems with insight into the interests of the "lower classes". Racism serves a function within the modern capitalist system, and there are severe hindrances with trying inclusive measures by the state. As Chomsky said about "applying standards to someone else" alienates and tries (maybe also inadvertantly) to discontinue their "cultural" identity for something more "civilized" (aka Westernize).

                    Here is a good article on the subject of (racism in the social sciences) from a sociologist:
                    http://fbc.binghamton.edu/iwvienna.htm

                    Maybe you are mainly liberal in your opinions? Maybe not. I for one have a hard time with ideologies in general.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by "

                      Racism serves a function within the modern capitalist system, and there are severe hindrances with trying inclusive measures by the state.

                      [color=blue
                      We all are immigrants ; 7% of total french population is native from outer Europe. In my journal I tell the story of my English lacemakers ancestors; my family is the seventh saga of Leicestershire-1796 english generation whom the french in the north have overcome to their friendly invasion in 1834.
                      When times become tough it's always the same old song: there are always reeeaaaaal sob's who think you stole their job ; there were "English go home ! " in 1850 during the starving time of revolution, as there is today in Germany with turkish , in France with magrhebins, in Russia with almost everyone who is not Slavonic. If you are a big loaf those same accuse you to reap the benefits.
                      Ad contrario it's not a problem to integrate by the standards when there is more work to do than can provide men.
                      There are several type of racisms: there is the naif one but which makes shit: "ah! you are Moroccan, I like the couscous." There is ugly whitlow-face "LE-PEN" [meaning "the Head" in Britton . I'd rather call him "the ass-monkey" but I don't speak celtic], no comment . And then there is more subtle racism: rejection of the candidatures of black people for consonnance foreign, refusal to sell houses with maghrebins, always with a good large fallacious pretext . As long as this crawling racism will exist it will be necessary to sway the red flag. One still failed an occasion to stripe old bullshit in connection with Colonization: the french Parliament rejected the modification of the law of February 2005 whose opposition required abrogation. This article stipulates that "the school syllabus recognize in particular the positive role of the French presence overseas, in particular in North Africa, and grant to the history and the sacrifices combatants of the French Army resulting from these territories the eminent place to which they have right".
                      it is double crap: firstly to say that colonization civilized the African people, secondly the aforementioned combatants recruited overseas never saw the color of retirement pension, or very little, for their implication in the conflicts of the Second World War.[/color]

                      Maybe you are mainly liberal in your opinions? Maybe not. I for one have a hard time with ideologies in general.
                      It is a paradox (not specially french): socialism supposed to share humanity values does not work for whoever, liberalism reaches its peak with capitalism which leaves at the pithead 1.5 billion individuals subcontracting in low cost countries and pushing their despotic leaders to permeate zero-culture, zero freedom of press , zero democracy around the land.
                      I'm not a pure juice liberal, I feel closer to "Hubert Reeves" or "Albert Jacquart" or "De Gennes" than a "Marg Thatcher". But they credos looks like more "John Lennon"'s Imagine than a realistic new world organization, you know.
                      We live in a high tech world (not everyone indeed) with a wise mind though we still act yet with a cro-magnon brain. I do hope for the next generation will fix it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well this will be an all-nighter. :|
                        I really should go to bed but...


                        [quote=alian]
                        Originally posted by "

                        Racism serves a function within the modern capitalist system, and there are severe hindrances with trying inclusive measures by the state.

                        [color=blue
                        We all are immigrants ; 7% of total french population is native from outer Europe. In my journal I tell the story of my English lacemakers ancestors; my family is the seventh saga of Leicestershire-1796 english generation whom the french in the north have overcome to their friendly invasion in 1834.
                        Yes, of course we are all immigrants. It's weird really that we have such a word to replace 'people' in the first place.

                        Originally posted by alian
                        As long as this crawling racism will exist it will be necessary to sway the red flag. One still failed an occasion to stripe old bullshit in connection with Colonization: the french Parliament rejected the modification of the law of February 2005 whose opposition required abrogation.
                        If immigrants get a job or are living on welfare. They keep getting the same shit tossed at them. I try to explain this to people who sadly don't have the brain capacity or wisdome to want to understand or do something about it. I've heard stories about people helping "pickey immigrants" who don't accept used free furniture for their apparments et al. This might be just an isolated instances. But it 'has' to work both ways! otherwise helping immigrants or rather refugees will be scorned by the people in the country.

                        Originally posted by alian
                        This article stipulates that "the school syllabus recognize in particular the positive role of the French presence overseas, in particular in North Africa, and grant to the history and the sacrifices combatants of the French Army resulting from these territories the eminent place to which they have right".
                        it is double crap: firstly to say that colonization civilized the African people, secondly the aforementioned combatants recruited overseas never saw the color of retirement pension, or very little, for their implication in the conflicts of the Second World War.[/color]

                        Do you mean the article I forewarded to you? Or do you mean the law you where discussing earlier? Any links or so? :?

                        I only read into this more of those liberal-conservative notions of the "civilizing mission".

                        Nice thing of those so called christian missionaries to screw things up in Rwanda.


                        Originally posted by alian
                        It is a paradox (not specially french): socialism supposed to share humanity values does not work for whoever.


                        Yes.. I'm mainly just interested in socialist ideas, and not dogmatic notions of a happy utopia. Which leaves us with too much restraint.
                        I think Bakunin was right on most aspects in his criticism of communism and certain socialist ideas.

                        Originally posted by alian
                        liberalism reaches its peak with capitalism which leaves at the pithead 1.5 billion individuals subcontracting in low cost countries and pushing their despotic leaders to permeate zero-culture, zero freedom of press , zero democracy around the land.
                        I'm not a pure juice liberal, I feel closer to "Hubert Reeves" or "Albert Jacquart" or "De Gennes" than a "Marg Thatcher". But they credos looks like more "John Lennon"'s Imagine than a realistic new world organization, you know.
                        We live in a high tech world (not everyone indeed) with a wise mind though we still act yet with a cro-magnon brain. I do hope for the next generation will fix it.
                        Well if we can't "fix it" nothing is going to change.
                        I don't think anyone will be able to sit on the sidelines, or take a rain check, when the structural cracks really begin to show.
                        To many people have done that while leaders "change everything so that nothing changes."

                        Gramsci might hold some keys to that, and maybe not.
                        And governements rarely apply the reforms to themselves that they apply on the people they govern.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [quote=Theocrat]Well this will be an all-nighter. :|
                          I really should go to bed but...


                          Originally posted by alian
                          Originally posted by "

                          Racism serves a function within the modern capitalist system, and there are severe hindrances with trying inclusive measures by the state.

                          [color=blue
                          We all are immigrants ; 7% of total french population is native from outer Europe. In my journal I tell the story of my English lacemakers ancestors; my family is the seventh saga of Leicestershire-1796 english generation whom the french in the north have overcome to their friendly invasion in 1834.
                          Yes, of course we are all immigrants. It's weird really that we have such a word to replace 'people' in the first place.

                          Originally posted by alian
                          As long as this crawling racism will exist it will be necessary to sway the red flag. One still failed an occasion to stripe old bullshit in connection with Colonization: the french Parliament rejected the modification of the law of February 2005 whose opposition required abrogation.
                          If immigrants get a job or are living on welfare. They keep getting the same shit tossed at them. I try to explain this to people who sadly don't have the brain capacity or wisdome to want to understand or do something about it. I've heard stories about people helping "pickey immigrants" who don't accept used free furniture for their apparments et al. This might be just an isolated instances. But it 'has' to work both ways! otherwise helping immigrants or rather refugees will be scorned by the people in the country.

                          Originally posted by alian
                          This article stipulates that "the school syllabus recognize in particular the positive role of the French presence overseas, in particular in North Africa, and grant to the history and the sacrifices combatants of the French Army resulting from these territories the eminent place to which they have right".
                          it is double crap: firstly to say that colonization civilized the African people, secondly the aforementioned combatants recruited overseas never saw the color of retirement pension, or very little, for their implication in the conflicts of the Second World War.[/color]
                          Dear Theo,
                          maybe my english isn't as clear as yours, should I stress that I was speaking about the french law article which left-representatives wished to bannish. And the right wing majority parliament put a veto. So the law's still in application, and it's real f* law. That's tough job for the next gen to act more wisely but you know we french are a little sluggish when it comes to act some significant changes in our society.
                          I hope we are again friends....
                          A.

                          Do you mean the article I forewarded to you? Or do you mean the law you where discussing earlier? Any links or so? :?


                          I only read into this more of those liberal-conservative notions of the "civilizing mission".

                          Nice thing of those so called christian missionaries to screw things up in Rwanda.


                          Originally posted by alian
                          It is a paradox (not specially french): socialism supposed to share humanity values does not work for whoever.


                          Yes.. I'm mainly just interested in socialist ideas, and not dogmatic notions of a happy utopia. Which leaves us with too much restraint.
                          I think Bakunin was right on most aspects in his criticism of communism and certain socialist ideas.

                          Originally posted by alian
                          liberalism reaches its peak with capitalism which leaves at the pithead 1.5 billion individuals subcontracting in low cost countries and pushing their despotic leaders to permeate zero-culture, zero freedom of press , zero democracy around the land.
                          I'm not a pure juice liberal, I feel closer to "Hubert Reeves" or "Albert Jacquart" or "De Gennes" than a "Marg Thatcher". But they credos looks like more "John Lennon"'s Imagine than a realistic new world organization, you know.
                          We live in a high tech world (not everyone indeed) with a wise mind though we still act yet with a cro-magnon brain. I do hope for the next generation will fix it.
                          Well if we can't "fix it" nothing is going to change.
                          I don't think anyone will be able to sit on the sidelines, or take a rain check, when the structural cracks really begin to show.
                          To many people have done that while leaders "change everything so that nothing changes."

                          Gramsci might hold some keys to that, and maybe not.
                          And governements rarely apply the reforms to themselves that they apply on the people they govern.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alian
                            Dear Theo,
                            maybe my english isn't as clear as yours, should I stress that I was speaking about the french law article which left-representatives wished to bannish. And the right wing majority parliament put a veto. So the law's still in application, and it's real f* law. That's tough job for the next gen to act more wisely but you know we french are a little sluggish when it comes to act some significant changes in our society.
                            I hope we are again friends....
                            A.

                            .


                            Sure.. :) I didn't think we where enemies to start with.
                            Hey my english screws up sometimes too. I often have to punch in words that still don't fit inside my head into the on-line dictionary.
                            So youre not alone in that..

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Theocrat
                              Well this will be an all-nighter. :|
                              I really should go to bed but...
                              You mean that it's polarnatt already ? :)

                              Originally posted by Theocrat
                              Yes, of course we are all immigrants. It's weird really that we have such a word to replace 'people' in the first place.
                              Yeah, it's a strongly deviant mental credo of the white people willing always to be first-in-last-out. The former first-in are labelled 'people' by themselves, the later are called 'immigrants' by the first guys.
                              It's nice having debate with you.
                              ciao & good night !

                              Comment

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