A Johnsonian smackdown

Featured image I awakened to the greatness of Samuel Johnson — eighteenth century England’s supreme man of letters — under the tutelage of Professor Jeffrey Hart, who required us to absorb Johnson’s magnificent essay on Soame Jenyns’s Free Enquiry Into the Nature and Origin of Evil. Memory of Jenyns’s otherwise forgettable book lives on thanks to the explosion it triggered in Johnson. Johnson’s essay is available online in a form edited by »

CRB: A certain idea of France

Featured image In the third installment of our preview of the new (Fall) issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here), Angelo Codevilla reviews Julian Jackson’s new one-volume biography of Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle was one of the great men of our time. As Professor Codevilla writes: Charles de Gaulle famously said of Henri Petain—the French Army’s savior in the Great War who then betrayed his country to the Nazis »

Macron’s cynical cabinet reshuffle

Featured image Emmanuel Macron is one the luckiest politicians I know of. Running as a candidate of his own party, Macron normally would have been a no-hoper in France’s 2017 presidential elections. But the Socialist Party imploded and the center-right party’s candidate was a caught in a serious scandal. Macron thus made the run-off election. There, he had the good fortune of squaring off against the vastly unpopular Marine Le Pen. Macron »

Macron’s popularity falls amidst bodyguard scandal

Featured image Let’s put our American political scandals aside for a moment and consider a scandal involving French president Emanuel Macron and his former bodyguard. Until recently, Alexandre Benalla, age 26, was in charge of Macron’s personal security during presidential trips. This seems odd in itself. Like the U.S., France has a security force tasked with protecting the president. Why did Macron have his own personal bodyguard? Is this customary in France? »

The Trump-Macron “bromance”

Featured image William Drozdiak of the Washington Post writes about the strong relationship between Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron. According to Drozdiak, the two speak to each other once or twice a week about policy, more than President Trump talks with any other world leader. Macron reportedly has influenced Trump on such key issues as expelling Russian diplomats and bombing Syria. Drozdiak finds this “bromance” surprising, and on a superficial level it »

Survived the Holocaust, Murdered In Paris

Featured image A Frenchwoman named Mareille Knoll was murdered in Paris last week: French authorities say the killing of an elderly Jewish woman in Paris is being investigated as an anti-Semitic murder. The woman, identified in French media as Mireille Knoll, was stabbed at least 11 times and her body was set on fire. The Paris prosecutor’s office said Monday two suspects have been put in custody. *** Leading Jewish group CRIF »

CPAC should not have invited Marion Marechal-Le Pen

Featured image John’s CPAC wrap-up post included a discussion of Mona Charen’s contribution to a panel on feminism. I didn’t see the panel (or attend CPAC). However, according to Yuval Levin’s account, Charen criticized CPAC for inviting Marion Marechal Le Pen to speak at the convention. She stated: [T]here was quite an interesting person who was on this stage the other day. Her name is Marion Le Pen. Why was she here? »

President Le Trump?

Featured image Over in France—enlightened, cosmopolitan, welcoming France; the country most American liberals wish we were more like—President Emmanuel Macron made the following announcement earlier this week: Migrants who cross the Alps from Italy to France face a year in jail under a tough new law announced by President Macron’s government yesterday. The bill, which is designed to curb illegal immigration, makes it a criminal offence to enter France without going through »

Assaults on Police Officers Horrify France

Featured image French officials are vowing to crack down–and also to send more cash to Paris’s immigrant-heavy suburbs–in the wake of a series of attacks that included the savage beating of a police woman in Champigny-sur-Marne: French political leaders have vowed justice and promised a crackdown after a shocking attack on a female police officer on New Year’s Eve was filmed and posted online. The attack in the eastern Paris suburb of »

Macron Cracks Down On Immigration

Featured image In Europe, hostility to immigration is by definition the province of the “far right.” But the reality is that most Europeans don’t want their countries overrun by people from other countries and cultures, imposing enormous social and economic costs. Thus French President Emmanuel Macron, no doubt a liberal by American standards, is starting to sound like Trump on immigration: Macron’s government is now tightening the screws: ramping up expulsions, raising »

Macron has answers, but not for France

Featured image Emmanuel Macron, who became president of France because a scandal effectively took down the front-running candidate, fancies himself the leader of the free world. This week he will host a climate summit. Last week he chastised President Trump for his decision to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Last month, he mediated a dispute over Lebanon. Meanwhile, back in France, Parisians are threatening a hunger strike if immigrants »

Macron the Meta?

Featured image I’ve been highly suspicious of Emmanuel Macron, France’s youngish, posterboy president. First of all, he’s French. Second, his “beyondist” positioning between or above the existing French parties—rotten as they are—seems dubious. And while not abandoning these or other suspicions, his interview published today in the German magazine Der Spiegel makes for some very interesting reading. One comment in particular jumps out: I am a strong believer that modern political life »

France Under Martial Law

Featured image Over at PJ Media, Patrick Poole is following the story that broke this morning in Paris of a car that rammed and injured several French military personnel. The driver, who fled the scene, was subsequently arrested, though as of this writing his identity has not been revealed. But French authorities are describing it as a “terror attack,” which means we can expect that CNN will say that “we don’t know »

Netanyahu in Paris

Featured image French President Emmanuel Macron hosted yet another prominent leader when Benjamin Netanyahu came to Paris this weekend. Netanyahu’s visit struck a more serous note than President Trump’s. The Israeli Prime Minister wasn’t in Paris for a parade. Instead, the occasion was the 75th anniversary of a Holocaust roundup in Paris in which thousands of Jews were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps in Eastern Europe. The occasion was also »

They’ll always have Paris

Featured image What should we make of last week’s love fest in Paris between President Trump and French President Macron? On the surface, it was improbable. In the French election just a few months ago, Trump seemed more favorably disposed towards Marine Le Pen than towards Macron. And Trump did the unthinkable, from the French perspective, when he withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Macron responded by attempting to ridicule »

Europe Moves to Ban Internal Combustion

Featured image The Independent reports that France will ban gasoline-powered vehicles by 2040. The Independent is foolish enough to think that this is good news: France plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, the country’s new environment minister has announced. Nicolas Hulot made the announcement as he unveiled a series of measures as part of newly elected President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make the country carbon neutral by 2050. »

Emmanuel Macron: The boy who cried “wolf”

Featured image Emmanuel Macron, the 39 year old president of France who has been in office for a few months, declared yesterday that “our world has never been so divided.” At the end of the G-20 summit, Macron intoned: “Centrifugal forces have never been so powerful; our common goods have never been so threatened.” I don’t know what Macron’s 64 year-old wife taught him when she was his high school teacher, but »