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Not an offensive form of intolerance -- a scary one

You've got to hand it to the French (and if you don't they'll handle it themselves anyway, eh Thierry?) They seem to have a bracing disposition to cut through the bullmerde around some of the more fraught questions about national identity and what constitutes acceptable public display of fealty and devotion.

The kind of angst-ridden, self-flagellation around minority sensitivities that is, for instance, the British starting position on these questions, has never been a la mode in la belle France.

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