My Two Cents: French: fries, cars and resistance in the U.N.

Since I couldn’t come up with a topic for this week’s column per se, I thought I’d comment on some of the news briefs I’ve read over the last week or so.

– In the always exciting world of lawsuits, a federal judge has certified a $10 million settlement between McDonald’s Corporation and a group of vegetarian and Hindu plaintiffs who claimed the fast-food chain used animal byproducts in its french fries.

Even vegetarians couldn’t pass up the cash cow that is this class action lawsuit, as when the deal was first announced in May, more than 100 organizations – including a Pennsylvania cow sanctuary and a yoga meditation center – applied to be part of the settlement.

Considering all the legal complexities and ramifications of a case involving french fries, I have just one question: What the heck is a cow sanctuary?

– Meanwhile, in Paris, inventor, car enthusiast and environmentalist Guy Negre has built a car powered by rudeness to foreigners. Okay, not really. He’s built a car powered by compressed air.

While not as cool as the flying cars we’ve all seen on “The Jetsons,” Negre’s car features no combustion, and thus no pollution.

There’s no pollution due to the fact that inside his car, cold air is compressed in tanks to 300 times the atmospheric pressure and then heated and fed into the cylinders of a piston engine.

– And speaking of hot air, France is at it again, annoying the United States. I am, of course, referring to France’s foot-dragging with regard to the United Nations Security Council adopting a resolution for Iraqi arms inspections.

Not surprisingly, France is worried about the United States taking unilateral military action against Saddam Hussein’s regime. What France is really upset about is the fact that they are not a world power (Can anyone remember the last time France won a war?), and have not been for a long time.

Even more upsetting to the French is the fact that America – the nation that turned the word “croissant” into “croissandwich” – is the most powerful nation on earth.

The fact that most Americans think of France as a nation of cheese-eating, wine-swilling, Jerry Lewis-worshipping, surrender monkeys not fit to tell the United States how to defend itself doesn’t help.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who enjoys needling countries that take themselves way too seriously – gets in his two cents worth despite the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.