I confess that I havent followed in detail the death of 10,000 people in France. When I first heard of the problem, it was said that 3,000 had died in the heat wave and I thought it an exagerration. And for the last week or so the press has been talking about 10,000 people having died. I find it almost unimaginable. This USA Today article from a few days ago mentions some possibilities, including one big one: everyone was on vacation! Now, this may all be too serious for anti-French jokes. What could this mean? What is going on? Is it simply not enough air-conditioners? Is it possible that this is the result of a certain understanding of labor and value, of work and vacation, of socialist medicine even? The Le Parisian headline "Everyone is guilty," as reported in the Kansas City Star is not especially helpful. It may be useful to note that in articles about this problem the phrase "Frances widely respected health system" appears over and over, including in todays Guardian.