France

France Paralyzed by Strikes, Violence

Featured image France is a country where, politically speaking, no good deed goes unpunished. Thus, protests against President Macron’s plan (as yet unspecified) to deal with that country’s unsustainable pension obligations have brought France to a near-standstill. Far-left activists attacked police and started fires in central Paris today as protests against President Macron’s plans for pension reform descended into violence. Officers came under a hail of bricks and other objects from extremists »

Trump and Macron, a bromance renewed?

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about what I called “Macron’s stunt” — the high-level meeting between French and Iranian officials that occurred while France was hosting the G-7 conference. I viewed the meeting as an affront to President Trump. Not because Trump doesn’t want France and Iran to talk, but because holding talks in the midst of the summit, and without Trump’s prior approval, seemed like grandstanding and an attempt to show »

Macron’s Iran stunt

Featured image French president Emmanuel Macron invited Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, to Biarritz, France, where the G-7 summit is convened. Zarif reportedly met for several hours with Macron, his foreign minister, and diplomats from Great Britain and Germany. Macron’s stunt didn’t just catch President Trump off guard. At least some leaders of other G-7 nations apparently weren’t told in advance about Zarif’s visit, either. Macron disagrees with the Trump administration’s »

About that Fourth of July parade

Featured image Steve has heaped deserved ridicule on the left’s hysterical reaction to President Trump’s decision to roll out tanks and other weaponry for a Fourth of July parade in Washington, D.C. As Steve noted, Larry Tribe sees a “chilling resemblance to the days before the Tiananmen Square massacre. Joy Reed thinks Trump is threatening his critics with tanks. But the inspiration for Trump’s parade isn’t China or any other dictatorship. The »

Yellow vest thuggery continues in Paris

Featured image France’s Yellow Vest movement began as a grassroots protest movement with legitimate grievances, especially one over a government tax on fuel. For quite some time, though, the movement has been dominated by assorted thugs, including political extremists and anarchists, who get high on smashing windows and damaging property. On Wednesday, May Day, the thugs once again took to the street, and not peaceably. In one incident, demonstrators entered the Pitie »

Leftists upset about donations to rebuild Notre Dame

Featured image Within hours of the fire that destroyed much of the Notre Dame Cathedral, donors pledged more than $1 billion to restore this magnificent, iconic structure and place of worship. So reports the Washington Post. In the same article, the Post also reports on a backlash against this amazing generosity. A leader of the Yellow Vest movement says that if donors can give so much money to rebuild Notre Dame, “they »

I can’t picture Paris without Notre Dame Cathedral [UPDATED]

Featured image I can’t put into words how sad I am that Notre Dame Cathedral is burning. It’s my favorite building not just in Paris but in all of the places I’ve traveled to. At NRO, Jonah Goldberg, David French, and Marlo Safi do a good job expressing what the Cathedral means and why the fire is so tragic. I feel particularly bad for those who never visited Notre Dame. Those of »

The Champs Elysees becomes a war zone again

Featured image Today’s Yellow Vest protesting in Paris produced violence on a scale not seen since the early days of the movement. AP reports: French yellow vest protesters set life-threatening fires, smashed up luxury stores in Paris and clashed with police Saturday in the 18th straight weekend of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron. Large plumes of smoke rose above the rioting on Paris’ landmark Champs-Elysees avenue, and a mother and her child »

Some “Yellow Vests” turn on the Jews

Featured image Anti-Semitism is on the rise in France. The French Interior Ministry reports that instances of anti-Semitic violence increased by 74 percent in 2018. Anti-Semitism has been increasing for some time in France. The rise corresponds to the increase of the Muslim population and its growing radicalization. However, recent developments suggest that anti-Semitism is also percolating up from France’s native population. The “Gilet Jaune” (“Yellow Vest”) movement is a mini-rebellion by »

France faces lawsuit for rescinding harsh carbon tax

Featured image Four NGOs, including Oxfam and Greenpeace, have initiated legal proceedings against the French government, claiming that France has defaulted on its environmental obligations by eliminating, under intense pressure from “Yellow Vests,” the stiff carbon tax it had imposed. The initial filing gives the government two months to formulate a response, after which the organizations can choose to move forward with their lawsuit in administrative court. To an American lawyer, the »

Jean Gabin, the Actor who was France

Featured image A few months ago, I wrote about the long and winding career of French actor Marcel Dalio. He’s best known for his role in “La Grande Illusion” (1937) in which he plays a wealthy French Jew prisoner of war (World War I), alongside Captain de Boeldieu, an aristocrat, and Lieutenant Maréchal, a working-class mechanic who serves as a stand-in for the ordinary Frenchman. Maréchal is played by Jean Gabin. He »

Well Houellebecq That!

Featured image You may have to go all the way back to the late 20th century to recall an article in Harper’s magazine that was worth reading, but the current issue features an article from the controversial French novelist Michel Houellebecq that defends Donald Trump (“Donald Trump Is a Good President“) in ways that will drive just about everybody out of their minds. Houellebecq is the author of, among other works, a »

Europe on a Knife Edge

Featured image A few hours from now British Prime Minister Theresa May will face a no confidence vote from her own party, and as of this moment I’d bet she will lose the vote and be ousted. Whether this will lead to a general No Confidence vote of the entire House of Commons, which would result in an immediate general election, is harder to forecast. Much will depend on whether the Tory »

Macron responds to the yellow vest protests

Featured image Emanuel Macron finally responded today to the protests and riots that have roiled France. In his speech, he declared that he’s heard the anger of those whose economic suffering prompted the protests and will take immediate steps to relieve their hardship. What steps? An increase in the minimum wage, for one. Macron announced that those earning the minimum wage will receive a supplement of 100 euros per month, or about »

Vive la France!

Featured image Here in America we have Civil War re-enactors, and it seems France has 1968 Paris Riot re-enactors. The only thing missing is Charles de Gaulle. Emmanuel Macron isn’t even fit to be de Gaulle’s stand-in poodle. I notice his public approval ratings are around 18 percent. No wonder Trump smiles when they stand together at G-20 meetings. I’ve been wanting for months to write up a retrospective look at the »

Identity populism

Featured image On Sunday, I wrote about the riots in the heart of Paris. As a source for how the riots disrupted life in some of the areas where they occurred, I used the report of a friend who lives in the center city. That friend has called my attention to comments critical of my reliance on him. The complaint is that my source, because he lives in a well-to-do neighborhood, is »

France suspends fuel hike

Featured image The French government announced today that it will temporarily suspend the carbon tax plan that triggered weeks of protests nationwide. Two weekends of mass protests didn’t move the government. Only after the protests turned violent during the third weekend — owing to the behavior of thugs, not the main body of protesters — did the government relent, at least temporarily. The announcement came not from President Emmanuel Macron, but from »