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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dempsey is a Golden Retriever puppy who is in training to become a Helping Paws service dog for an individual with a physical disability. He lives with his parents Doreen and Paul, and Bailey the cat. None has ever trained a puppy before. These are their adventures. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author. The contents of this blog have not been reviewed or approved by Helping Paws, Inc.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The European Constitution

Well, it turns out the "strike" I saw yesterday at the train station was not a strike after all. It was a demonstration against the proposed European constitution. Thank goodness for the New York Times, or I wouldn't know what's happening here in Paris. Sometimes the Internet makes things too easy.

I've actually noticed quite a few posters and stickers saying "Pour moi, c'est non!" -- for me, it is no! -- but I thought they were mostly put up by lunatic fringe groups like the National Front. Of course, the National Front isn't really a fringe group anymore, since Jean-Marie Le Pen won an upset in the first round of voting in 2002. The latest opinion polls show a slim margin opposing the constitution. It'll be interesting to see how the vote goes in May.

I thought the NYT article was interesting, though it's written from a distinctly American perspective. My favorite quote is from the editor of Elle magazine: "For us 'no' is completely part of the national culture. It's a sport and a hobby. Small kids learn it from the cradle." After dealing with the immigration authorities, the banks, the trains, and the management company of our apartment, I can say that her statement appears to be true. There are many things I love about France, but the constant "it is not possible" I get from people drives me crazy.