Tag: France

Is This a Stupid Question?


It could be that the migrants to Europe — mostly Muslim males of military age — just can’t assimilate into Western culture. Or maybe Western culture turns out to be too racist, rigid, ungenerous, or unimaginative to truly welcome them in?

Leave aside, for the moment, the question of whose fault it is and consider only the evidence before our eyes: Is accepting large numbers of migrants into Europe actually working?

Quote of the Day: The Real Cinco de Mayo


“Today, you are going to fight for a sacred objective; you are going to fight for the fatherland, and I promise that this day we shall triumph in a day of eternal renown. I see victory in your faces.” —  Mexican Brigadier General Ignacio Zaragoza, May 5, 1862

Ever wonder why Latin America is called Latin America? Blame the French.

After years of revolutions, counter-revolutions, and counter-counter-revolutions, Napoleon III seized power. He was the nephew of his great namesake, but not nearly as clever. Three years after being elected France’s leader, he declared himself Emperor.

Quote of the Day: Francis Parkman


“If any pale student, glued to his desk, here seeks an apology for a way of life whose natural fruits is that pallid and emasculate scholarship of which New England has had too many examples, it will be far better that this sketch had not been written. For the student there is, in its season, no better place than the saddle, and no better companion than the rifle or the oar.”
American historian Francis Parkman (1823-1893)

My favorite era of American history is the first. Europeans arriving on the shores of a primeval wilderness, wondering if it’s a second Eden or a green hell. Native Americans stumbling upon pale creatures in bizarre clothes rowing to shore from floating wooden islands.

The earliest historian to fully document these encounters is Francis Parkman, a Harvard-educated Boston scion who set aside Yankee comforts to tramp over snowcapped mountains and muddy battlefields.

The Uniparty and Its Discontents: French Lessons


Emmanuel Macron, the recently re-elected president of France, faces a bit of a challenge in gaining a majority in the upcoming legislative elections. Readers will recall that when he burst onto the scene in the previous presidential election it was as a young, dynamic communicator with a good line in soaring if empty rhetoric and a strange spouse, and was something of a blank canvas upon which the chattering classes could project their own desires. Unlike Obama, who was a creation of his party, Macron created his own.

A vast array of “centrist” or “moderate” politicians, seeing which way the wind was blowing, flocked to join his creation, abandoning the traditional parties. Macron appointed ministers using a mixture of stunt-casting, rewarding treachery, and an eye for style over substance. It is now clear that he has all but succeeded in destroying the (French version of) the center-left and center-right institutions, absorbing those members of the political class more interested in power than principle – that is, most of them. Seizing the historical moment, he created the Uniparty. Mission accomplished?

What Democrats Don’t Want You to Know About France’s Election


Being in France the past week, I’ve paid more attention than usual to their presidential election, which occurs today. Not just the closing messages or the strategies and tactics employed in the final debate last Tuesday, although I give an edge to Macron. He was aggressive in their final debate and much is being made in the final days of LePen’s party reimbursing a sanctioned Russian defense contractor about $12 million in contributions. Putin is very much an issue here in France.

In one sense, it really doesn’t matter to most Americans who wins the election. French tour guides I’ve heard from are mostly disappointed that the election is a replay of five years ago, when Emmanuel Macron, the young “fresh face” leading the new “En Marche!” Party, swept into the Elysee Palace by a two-to-one margin over the “National Front” party’s candidate, Marine LePen.

‘It’s Time for Real Life’


Washington Dulles Airport buzzed with fully masked but not socially distanced travelers late on a rainy and unseasonably cold Monday afternoon. We were in the terminal that comprised mostly international flights, checked in and screened for a long flight over the Atlantic.

I had gotten used to not wearing a mask, and opted for glasses over contact lenses for the red-eye flight to Charles DeGaulle Airport in Paris. Ugh, I’d forgotten why I hated wearing masks with glasses. After all, every one of our nation’s 50 states, some since the beginning of the pandemic, had either eschewed or canceled most mask mandates, except for medical facilities and transportation. I had hoped that the CDC would allow their mandate to expire on April 18th, which was already the subject of a federal lawsuit from with support from major airlines and many others would win the day before our trip.

A Beautiful and Important Christmas Message from France


Eric Zammour/Getty Images

You’re forgiven if you’ve not heard of Eric Zammour. Head of the new “Reconquest” party, he’s polling around 14% currently in France’s 2022 presidential election. He’s often compared to Donald Trump (not kindly and not very accurately) since they seem to share the same general views on immigration – arguably an even bigger issue in France than in the United States. The proportion of America’s population (328 million) that is foreign-born (about 45 million, or 13.7 percent) is larger than France’s (a population of about 60 million with about 5.9 percent that is foreign-born).

Zammour is a proud French nationalist and ardent defender of Western Civilization. The left-wing media tags him as “far-right.” Funny, they never tag anyone as “far-left.” His Christmas message indicates suggests that he subscribes to French Exceptionalism, but it should inspire the citizens of any country that embraces our divine rights of life and liberty (see: Declaration of Independence). Americans, as Barack Obama suggested, are not the world’s only exceptional nation, even if he utterly and embarrassingly failed to grasp what made America truly exceptional.

Join Jim and Greg as they are glad to see a poll definitively showing Americans are paying close attention to some of our nation’s biggest problems and concluding the Biden administration is handling them poorly.  They also fume as more evidence piles up, this time from Japan, that President Biden has no desire to assign responsibility for the outbreak of COVID-19 and made sure our intelligence review remained inconclusive.  And they discuss John Kerry saying that President Biden had no idea the French were furious about the recent nuclear submarine deal with the UK and Australia and White Press Secretary Jen Psaki claim Kerry didn’t mean that.

Mon Cher, We Will Never Be Second: Phillipe de Rothschild’s Wine Bottles and the Beauty of Capitalism


Wine is an art in France. And a business. Considering its dual nature, perhaps there was no one better to revolutionize both aspects of the French wine industry than a Rothschild. One from a family that has been entwined for centuries in Europe’s money and its art, as patrons and creators.

Nowadays, to the extent that he is remembered at all in the Anglophone world, Baron Philippe de Rothschild is remembered as a race car driver or the husband of style icon Pauline. However, the Baron was also a poet, film and theatre producer, playwright, translator, and vigneron of almost unparalleled success.

Château Mouton Rothschild, a wine estate located in Pauillac, southwestern France, has been in the Rothschild family since 1853, when it was purchased by Nathaniel de Rothschild and renamed from Château Brane-Mouton. Nathaniel was actually an English, not a French, Rothschild, though he spent the majority of his life residing and working in the country with the French branch of the family, and Phillipe believed that this is why the vineyard was denied Premier Cru status despite meeting the price standard. (The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was based on each château’s trade price and reputation, which at the time was closely related to the quality of the wine that it produced. Even in the face of significant criticism, the classification list remains in force today). Despite Nathaniel’s love of it, Château Mouton Rothschild little interested James Mayer de Rothschild, the heir, or his son Henri.

A Modern Day Medici: The Life and (Tumultous) Times of Pannonica de Koenigswarter, Bebop Baroness


When we think Rothschild, it is almost inevitable that banking and high finance are the first things to spring to mind. Conspiracy theories come in a close second. But beyond their involvement in shaping the monetary map of modern Europe, or leading the lizard people, the Rothschilds were also major contributors to culture. (Baron Phillipe alone was a prolific vigneron, race car driver, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and poet). Even the family rebels had much to help give the world.

Charles, son of the first Baron Rothschild, was a Harrow and Cambridge educated banker who loved nothing quite so much as chasing after insects in the English countryside and around the world. In the Sudanese town of Shendi, a former stronghold of the Nubian Ja’alin tribe, he discovered and named Xenopsylla cheopis; what we know as the Oriental rat flea, the primary vector for the bubonic plague which devastated Asia, Africa, and Europe in the 14th century. He was a dedicated partner at NM Rothschild and Sons, though, and never missed a day at the bank. Instead, he used his scientific bent to the family’s benefit, keeping a close watch on the company’s gold refinery and working on new inventions for the extraction, location, and refinement of the precious metal. 

France Fell, or How Liberalism Dies and Kills Democracy


As time goes by — The Marseillaise — Perfidia, that’s the music. We’re coming up on the 80th anniversary of the fall of France, surely the most shocking, most contemptible moment in the history of modern democracy. Hard to find a better way to remember that than Casablanca. Of course, there’s also Churchill, de Gaulle, and Raymond Aron–read Dan Mahoney on the moral-political collapse of anti-fascism and pacifism.

A New Look at a Global Conflict


The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars was the world’s first truly global conflict. Although the Seven Years’ War and Wars of American Independence were fought globally, the round of fighting triggered by the French Revolution saw major campaigns on a wider geographic scale than seen previously or since. No war, including World War II saw major fighting in as many different continents.

“The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History,” by Alexander Mikaberidze examines the conflict from a global perspective.

Mikaberidze links all of the different wars fought between 1792 and 1815 into a greater global whole. It reveals answers to puzzles that seem inexplicable when focusing just on the wars directly involving France.

Member Post


Andrew Cuomo, in combination with the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey, is hiring consulting firms McKinsey and Deloitt to develop a “Trump-proof” plan for reopening the three states. (The phrase “Trump-proof” apparently comes from NJ governor Murphy.) These three governors, in putting this plan-for-a-plan together, seem focused on their hostility to the Trump administration […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see France, Germany, and the UK conclude that Iran attacked Saudi Arabia earlier this month and that there is no other plausible explanation.  They also groan over the political circus about to begin as House Democrats appear to be moving en masse towards impeachment and even President Trump seems to like the idea of getting impeached because it would help him win re-election.  And they discuss the dystopian world Bernie Sanders wants us all to live in as he proposes a ludicrous wealth tax to pay for the massive expansion of government that he envisions.

A Tale of Two Tales Following Morsi’s Death


Mohammad Morsi, who was elected president of Egypt leading an Islamist party, died in court late Monday. He had been deposed by the military after imposing an Islamist constitution and showing his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood more clearly. The military acted after a second wave of popular unrest showed people wanted change, but not quite the change Morsi seemed to be delivering.

France24 reports Morsi was buried Tuesday, in keeping with the custom of burial as soon after death as possible:

Egypt’s public prosecutor said Morsi was pronounced dead in hospital at 4:50pm local time. He said the medical report showed no apparent sign of recent injuries.

Memory and Forgetfulness: Part 3


The Normandy D-Day Ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery was absolutely first class. The staging, audio and video production were excellent. Both presidents gave exceptional addresses. While each reflected their own nation’s character and perception of the good, they both kept the focus on the surviving veterans, there with them, and those who have long laid to rest in this consecrated ground. Warning: this is at least a two hanky event.

The ITV YouTube channel carried the Normandy American Cemetery ceremony, with President Trump and President Macron. President Macron helicoptered in just before the ceremony started, as he had started the day in the British beach sector with Prime Minister May, and with representatives of the British royal family at a church service. He, and the French people, did a fine job as grateful hosts. Don’t miss the WWII cargo aircraft formations towards the end of the American ceremony, with the two presidents and their wives side-by-side looking out over the beach to the sea. That rumble is the sound of liberty.

What Genocide? The First State-Directed Mass Murder in a Bloody Century


France24 has topics for both Sri Lanka and the Armenian Genocide. No stories on the Armenian Genocide 104th anniversary appear on CNN’s website. Then again, CNN is in good company with Fox News, also silent on the anniversary. As a brief refresher, the Ottoman Empire, almost on its death bed—before a group of younger officers dragged the Turkish nation into secular modernity—launched a campaign against Armenian communities. This ethnic cleansing and mass murder campaign was not only ethnic but also religious.

The Ottoman sultan would no longer tolerate the existence of some of the most ancient Christian communities in the world. There was much unrest in the larger region over borders and nations. The rationale offered by the Turks’ German allies, at the time, was that there was only room for one people on the land. Americans launched large humanitarian relief efforts, but no nation stepped in to stop the atrocities. Indeed, who could, as war raged in Europe, then gave way to the task of rebuilding and redrawing maps.

Red-Green Coalition vs. Church [Updated]


Stories arising from the fire at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, France, seem to avoid too much or impute too little. The usual suspects on the left, and the anti-Trump (because somehow this distorts everything) personalities at Fox News and Fox Business News, demanded that we immediately look away and ask no questions. Mind you, they have shown no such standard in any other stories. The usual suspects on the right were similarly rolling outlooks/swims/quacks like” stories. And … both have avoided and obscured the red-green coalition’s full expression.

We can all agree that Shepard Smith, a Trump-hater who launched his brand with his Hurricane Katrina hysterical on-camera performance, and Neil Cavuto, the leading anti-Trump Chamber of Commerce voice on Fox Business, were outrageous in their silencing of the factual reports about the long string of significant vandalism, desecration, and arson attacks on Roman Catholic churches in France. These attacks have been on top of the now routine assaults on Jewish persons and places in France. Smith and Cavuto cut off guests because they want their audiences to hear nothing of either set of facts, except when spun as indicators of “right-wing” violence that can be smeared onto President Trump.

At the same time, we get “it sure sounds like Islamist terrorism again.” Yet, the individuals and outlets who turn to this source of violence somehow are blind to a mass murder in a Texas church, by an anti-Christian atheist, or the other news this week of the arrest of the son of a sheriff’s deputy, a white pagan, for torching three churches with black congregations in Louisiana. This registered Democratic voter is apparently into music that had a brief connection, in Norway with church burnings. Our blinkered focus, since that infamous autumn day in 2001, blinds us to the actual history of Europe.

Notre Dame Cathedral Is Burning


This is a fast-moving story, and absolutely devastating development during Holy Week. The BBC reports:

A fire has broken out at the famous Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, firefighters say.
The cause is not yet clear, but officials say it could be linked to renovation work.
Images on social media show plumes of smoke billowing into the air above the the 850-year-old Gothic building.