We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Eleven straight days of worsening rioting and French authorities are still "vowing" to restore order. A first fatality was reported today, yet as VFR notes, the AP stories on the topic all follow the same structure, calling the rioters simply "youths" or "French youths" and blaming the violence on unemployment and racial discrimination. Chirac, in a latter-day imitation of Emperor Nero, has simply stood by for 10 days while the city burned, only emerging to issue feeble calls for calm when it became clear that closing his eyes wasn't going to make the problem go away.
The entire government seems to be paralyzed by a fear that tough action will only inflame the rioters, but the conciliatory rhetoric and promises to deliver special, affirmative-action style privileges to African and Muslim immigrants - in direct opposition to France's cherished equalité - worsens the situation still further by legitimizing the use of violence to achieve political ends. If the government is willing to be blackmailed so easily, who can blame the rioters for escalating the violence?
Now, Anonymous, I was not saying that violence is "merely the prerogative of "fascists"". Fascists historically used social misery and violence as the excuse to take power. Who wouldn't be frightened of a rioter? But a stormtrooper is worse.