It’s not just obnoxiously high fuel taxes the French are rioting over. It’s also obnoxiously low speed limits.
Last year, the government of Emmanuel Macron decreed the equivalent of America’s ’70s-era Drive 55 regime – which afflicted American drivers until the mid 1990s – only it’s worse because it’s Drive 50 (80 kilometers per hour, maximum).
Sammy Hagar, rev up your Ferrari.
This time, it’s to Save the Planet – rather than (as here, back in the ‘70s) to Save Gas.
Both being mere excuses to stick it to the people.
There was an “energy crisis” In the U.S. back in the early-mid ’70s, but it was entirely artificial. Scarcity imposed by governments and their associated cartels. There was plenty of oil – it was just being withheld for political purposes.
Note that Uncle always had (and has) plenty of gas – regardless of the “crisis” – and used it as profligately then as he still does today.
Instead, it was hectored sonorously about imminent resource scarcity – you may recall the Peak Oil shibboleth. Tickets were issued, too – but not for using “too much” of the resources the ticketed person had just paid for with his own money. The victim was relieved of more of his own money for the newly created offense of “speeding” – which was brazenly mischaracterized as a saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety offense, even though the now-illegal speed had been legal (and so, presumably, saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe) the week prior to the signage change.
Macron ’s regime – but of course, not Macron himself – also insists on energy austerity for the sans culottes, but for different reasons. The Peak Oil scam has been exposed, almost everyone knows there is ample oil.
So a new scam – “climate change” – has been rushed onto the field to take its place.
Of course, Macron – like America’s elites – is not slowed down by concern over his carbon footprint.
He is not held back by any speed limit, either, when his special motorcade of highly fuel-inefficient armored vehicles hauls him and his entourage to Charles de Gaulle airport for a jet flight to the next conference about how to reduce the standard of living for the average Frenchman for the sake of the planet.
No tickets for Macron, et al.
And as here, Macron’s fuel bills – the gas and the kerosene – are paid for by the very proletariat he seeks to further proletarianize. He may use just as much of these resources as he pleases – and the French can afford to finance.
The peasantry, meanwhile, must be made to use less gas – as well as pay more for it.
But there is a difference, an instructive one.
While driving even 55 is now illegal “speeding” in France – and subject to even heavier fines than used to be the case here for driving faster than 55 – the French aren’t meekly accepting their mulcting.
Two-thirds of the automated speed cameras used to harass and collect have been physically destroyed by outraged French citizens – many of them burned to the ground.
In the Vaucluse region of southeastern France, it has been reported that 90 percent of speed cameras have been put out of action.
This is happening in spite of severe legal repercussions facing anyone caught terminating a speed camera. The guilty can be sent to prison for as long as five years – serious time. But the people have had enough – and aren’t going to take it anymore.
Dee Snider’s primal scream might be more appropriate accompaniment than Sammy’s song about it taking all day just to get to LA.
“The outcry is strong because it is such a tangible issue for ordinary people,” Jérôme Fourquet from the Ifop polling agency told the BBC. “Around 70 percent of the population is opposed” to the dumbed-down limits, he said. And “…there is no sign of that abating.”
No surprise there. Anyone over 40 today can remember how excruciating it was to drive no faster than 55 on highways that had been posted 70-75 and were designed (back in the ’50s) for routine speeds of 90-100 MPH.
Try to imagine driving 50.
But probably not even 10 percent of Americans are aware of any of this, because it is not being reported by the mainstream press – which is also very interesting. As if in collusion – to use the word they love to use when it serves their agenda – not one of the major organs has devoted page space or bandwidth or airtime of any real significance to what is without question among the most significant news stories of the day.
The French are literally revolting against a government that has become insufferable to them.
This is what they used to call in the journalism business, “news.” Instead, Americans get Buzzfed stories about unspecified, no-name-sourced pending bombshell allegations about the Orange Man’s latest supposed malfeasances.
Perhaps to keep them from thinking about their oppression – and possibly (like the French) doing something about it.
. . .
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