Susie at No Damn Blog has kindly nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award. Susie is an accomplished writer, author of several travel books where she puts herself through hell on foot, bike or other mode of transport and recounts her adventures in a highly readable and entertaining way.
Her blog is indeed a versatile collection of writing on subjects ranging from the time she nicked a dress, to the shock of insurance company home truths, her favourite book reads and her love of animals.
This is the second time I've been awarded this title. The last time was in November 2010 and if you'd like to read the way I stuck to the rules then, click here.
It was all about revealing more information about yourself, but I've done that recently, so I'll just go on to linking to some interesting blogs. I've been trying to widen my sources of news recently. This is because my free subscription to the Times Online ran out in December and I'm buggered if I'm going to pay £120 to continue it, and the Telegraph Online now only lets you read 20 pages for free before they are blocking your reading with a big notice advising you on how to pay to read more.
Yeah, right, so I know I should be supporting these worthy journalistic types, but I'm not giving any money to that bastard Murdoch, so the Times can get stuffed, and I don't like the Telegraph sufficiently to sign up financially either. On the other hand, as I'm in France, and have been for a long time, maybe it's time to dig out some interesting websites on the increasingly dire situation here. While most of the following are written in French, the last one is written in English.
Here is the fruit of my labours:
Nouvelles de France which is a site written by journalists who are "droite, libéraux et conservateurs". An interesting post was written on Friday about the TF1 news appearance by Christiane Taubira, ministre de la Justice, Garde des Sceaux, who spoke about the mariage pour tous projet de loi. In front of millions of viewers she said that the words 'mother' and 'father' would not be removed from the Code Civil. She said « C’est un texte de loi qui n’enlève strictement rien à personne, qui ne supprime pas les mots de « père » et de « mère »».
I'm not sure if she's actually read the projet de loi, but the writer of the post had, and found that "Il comporte 9 pages, 23 articles. Eh bien, les pages 2 à 9, les articles 4 à 21, consistent en la chasse aux mots « père » et « mère » dans tout le corpus juridique français" which basically means that throughout the projet, the words 'mother' and 'father' have been systematically removed. And it's just the start, so basically, she's been caught lying on television in front of millions of viewers.
La Reforme Sabotée is a website dedicated to taking the piss out of François Hollande's U-turn over a reform of the banking system. He made a pre-electoral promise that he would separate commercial banking from speculative banking in order to protect the public. Well, the banking lobby apparently got to work on him, and his new projet de loi is a mealy-mouthed sop to the idea of change while not really changing at all. The banks love it, the media declare he's wimped out. Here's an example:
More seriously, LIESI is a bi-monthly blog where "Une analyse très pointue de l’actualité est proposée tous les quinze jours par la LETTRE d’INFORMATIONS ÉCONOMIQUES et STRATÉGIQUE." Two recent blog posts have been written by Pascal Roussel, "analyste au sein du Département des Risques Financiers de la Banque Européenne d’Investissement (BEI)" on the announcement of end of the euro, and suggesting that it is hiding a different objective.
For nitty gritty and often sensational news that is difficult to access in the MSM (main stream media) because they have politically correct instructions not to talk about certain things, I read Dreuz.info. I don't always appreciate what they write, they can get a tad extreme (they are very anti-Obama), but it is a useful source. One article that had me absolutely gob-smacked was this one on the French justice system dealing with a recidivist criminal, Icham Dapchi, whose latest escapade was taking his girlfriend hostage during 7 hours, necessitating the intervention of the GIPN with helicopters.
Despite telling the judge that he was dangerous when drunk and on drugs, he left the court on the arm of his girlfriend: "Condamné à 30 mois d’emprisonnement, dont 24 mois avec sursis et mise à l’épreuve, obligation de soins, de travail et de formation… mais sans mandat de dépôt."
I'm sure he'll be a good boy from now on...
Finally, for some light relief, in English, I can strongly advise you read MulitfariousMeanderings written by a jolly lady who lives somewhere in Hérault and has a highly individual and humoristic take on life. Her most recent hilarious post is on 'Nesting and migration in the lesser-spotted boob' which I strongly recommend.