France

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 »

The Post gushes over “rock star” Macron

Featured image At the end of last month when the tag-team of Anne Gearan, Philip Rucker, and Anthony Faiola wrote a story for the Washington Post about the arrival of Donald Trump for the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, they didn’t have any real ammo with which to bash the president that day. As they acknowledged, he “began the day on a triumphant note, ceremonially signing a hard-fought trade agreement with Canada »

In Paris, the worst riots in a generation

Featured image Last week, after the second consecutive weekend of mass protests throughout France, I offered ten observations about these protests. This weekend saw more protest, with a significant and troubling turn towards violence. As one of my sources in Paris puts it: The first two weekends were marked by some conflict between the police and smallish groups of hoodlums who integrated themselves into the demonstrations, but were fairly classic for France. »

Ten observations about the French protests

Featured image John has written about the protests against the French government of Emmanuel Macron, protests that turned violent this weekend. I want to add the following observations: First, the protests weren’t just this weekend, although that’s when they turned up on the U.S. radar. One of my daughters was in Paris on business last weekend (the weekend before Thanksgiving) and observed some of the disruption. It’s estimated that 280,000 people protested »

French Riot Against “Green” Policies

Featured image Protests and riots against the Macron government’s economic policies have been going on in France for the last week. In Paris, the demonstrations have turned violent and police are using tear gas and water cannons to disperse rioters. The demonstrations are referred to as “yellow vest” protests because demonstrators are wearing the yellow vests that French drivers are required by law to carry in their cars as a safety measure. »