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I miss France very much.  I have worked there in its Universities and research establishments many times over the years.  NPR just played Berlioz's version of the La Marseillaise which is so moving.  My French scientific colleagues were mostly Communists.  They ran the Unions in the Universities.  I was there through more than one General Strike when workers shut down the entire country.  The villages where my friends lived were run by elected Communist governments.   I actually sat through the counting of ballots during one election and was impressed by the cordial style of the French as each faction monitored the process to see that it was fair.  This will be short because I don't want to dwell on these experiences too much.  The contrast with my own country is stark.  My friend Claude and I shared many an evening discussing politics.  He and his wife jokingly referred to Americans as "barbarians".  I'm afraid it is no joke.  The french have their faults.  I still had culture shock every time I returned to the US after living there for any time.   I remember a discussion of French racism on NPR ended by Cokie Roberts proclaiming that the French were not racist at all.  They simply believed that they were superior to everyone else.  So Happy Bastille day!  Bastille Day in France

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