Thursday, June 26, 2008

Molotov Cocktails, Anyone?

They say wine is good for your heart and your blood pressure, and one assumes that it is usually good for your disposition. But some angry winemakers in France have dispelled that notion with a heated protest that resulted in violence and mayhem.

About 7,000 winemakers, in protest of falling wine prices and the cost of fuel, marched through the streets of Languedoc Roussillon on Wednesday afternoon. In the process they trashed wine aisles in local stores and turned policemen out of their cars, setting fire to the police vehicles.

Consider this:

Wednesday’s march followed a similar protest in Carcassonne and also a return to action by members of militant winemaker group, CRAV, earlier this month.

Militant winemakers? Apparently so. The CRAV has committed acts of vandalism and arson already and has sent threatening letters to President Sarkozy intimating that "deaths" resulting from his inaction cannot be ruled out.

France may be famous for its wine, but I think I am going to be shopping for some nice domestic California vintage from here on in.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Of Lemons and Courage

This story is about two people of entirely different characters. One is a shining beacon of enterprise and courage, the other one a disgusting example of opportunistic greed. It could be called "How low can you go?"

A 12 year old girl who was making some summer money running a lemonade stand with friends in Terre Haute, Indiana, found herself confronted by an 18 year old man who demanded she hand over her hard-earned profits. Taking the entire $17.50, the man then ran off. Little Dominique Morefield instinctively chased after him and when he ran into a house, she called police. After 45 minutes, the man finally surrended to police and was charged with robbery.

I feel guilty if I see a lemonade stand and don't stop to buy a cup and encourage young kids who have the drive and initiative to set it up and hope for riches. How could anyone sink so low as to rob a kid of their lemonade money?

It's not advisable for obvious reasons for a 12 year old to chase a robber down the street, and luckily she came to no harm. But Dominique showed courage well beyond her years in going after the man who took what she had rightfully earned and we hope that the perpetrator gets what he deserves too.