Tag: France

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.

This Week’s Book Review – Code Name: Lise

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday.

Book Review

“Code Name: Lise” reads like a thriller and a romance, yet is solid history

By MARK LARDAS

Apr 9, 2019

The Problem with No Name

 

Confused about what is going on in France?  You should be.

Fortunately, former Ricochet editor @claire has made an ambitious and, in my view, largely successful attempt to clarify the who, what, when, where, why and how dare you of the Yellow Vest Revolution and has published the article in The American Interest, I strongly recommend reading it.

Daniel Foster of National Review Online and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the French people for forcing their government to suspend implementation of new fuel taxes, although their tactics leave a lot to be desired.  They also shake their heads as Congress punts any tough spending decisions to Dec. 21 and appears unwilling to do much of anything to rein in spending.  And the liberal site Slate draws an avalanche of condemnation for trashing the late Pres. Bush’s service dog, suggesting there should be no sentimental reaction to the dog since Bush only had him since June.

Member Post

 

I’m not the brightest light in the harbor, but I’m trying to follow this. They elect a socialist-globalist. The socialist-globalist enacts a socialist-globalist policy. They get mad and burn down the capital because they don’t like the socialist-globalist policy they voted for. What am I missing?? Preview Open

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Remembrance Day Weather: Rain in France

 

mediaThe official observances in France, were under rain. Indeed, the rains were heavy enough to repeatedly interfere with the satellite TV transmission signal back to C-SPAN. You see that in the multi-national ceremony and in President Trump’s address at a war memorial for Americans. The rain, and the disruption, is so appropriate to the commemoration of a war in which men lived in muddy trenches, never really dry, for years. Feet, constantly wet, started disintegrating. It was called “trench foot” and is called “immersion foot syndrome.” [Emphasis added.]

Trench foot, or immersion foot syndrome, is a serious condition that results from your feet being wet for too long. The condition first became known during World War I, when soldiers got trench foot from fighting in cold, wet conditions in trenches without the extra socks or boots to help keep their feet dry.

Trench foot killed an estimated 2,000 American and 75,000 British soldiers during WWI. 

Eliminating War?

 

Today is the 100th anniversary of the armistice, ending fighting in the Great War. It is the concluding centennial observance of a war that started in 1914, with the United States of American entering the war in 1917. Entering the war, there was talk of ending the threat of German militarism, ascendent since the Franco-Prussian War. In the face of the industrialized slaughter, the horror of the trenches, and with faith in man’s ability to mold more perfect institutions not yet confronted with the far larger horrors to come, people dreamed of a lasting peace. The phrase capturing these aspirations was “the war to end all wars.”

We see now, as the people, who first heard those words, knew by the 1930s, that the phase is as mockingly empty as the ancient cry, recorded in Genesis 11:4

“Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (NIV)

Member Post

 

A Nameless Graveby Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “A Soldier of the Union mustered out,”Is the inscription on an unknown graveAt Newport News, beside the salt-sea wave,Nameless and dateless; sentinel or scoutShot down in skirmish, or disastrous routOf battle, when the loud artillery draveIts iron wedges through the ranks of braveAnd doomed battalions, storming the redoubt.Thou unknown […]

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A Call to Members: Commemorating the End of the Great War

 

WW1 Centennial (@WW1CC) | TwitterPlease forgive this very belated call from a fellow Ricochet member. I intend to write, marking the centennial of the Armistice of 11/11/1918. However, I am well aware that most of the burden of that terrible war, on the Allied side, was borne, in the meat grinder of the Western Front, by citizens of the British Empire, and the French Third Republic. We are barely aware of the Russians, the Italians, and even Japan.

So, fellow Ricochetti, I invite, I encourage your postings this weekend. Have you a family story? Photographs of a visit to a battlefield? Images from the home front, or the aftermath? Will you attend ceremonies, as a matter of annual observance or as a special centennial event?

Peter Jackson, of the Lord of the Rings movie fame, has produced an apparent masterpiece, They Shall Not Grow Old, taking actual footage, colorizing and adding the voices of the men who lived it. Is anyone attending a screening?