Tag: Paris

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Does anyone have any suggestions for enjoying Paris solo? I’m going to be there next week on business, and thought I would visit Versailles on Sunday (I arrive on a Saturday), because that’s the one major sight around Paris I haven’t visited on my previous two trips. I have corporate training from nine to five during the […]

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Was Kim Kardashian Really Robbed at Gunpoint in Paris?


KimAs you know unless you’ve had every electronic device shut off for the past two days, Kim Kardashian was robbed in Paris at 2:30 a.m. on Monday evening. Her assailants, she says, were masked men who posed as police. They tied and gagged her, stuck her in the bathtub, and escaped with some $10 million in jewelry. She was apparently unharmed, but very shaken up. So just for today, for a change of pace, let’s consider the travails of a vulgar, attention-seeking, over-hyped reality-TV star.

Yes, okay, point taken. But this is a different star. The news immediately gave rise to conspiracy theories, even in places as august as the United States Supreme Court.

The justices were hearing oral arguments in the case Lawrence Eugene Shaw v. United States, in which a California man who drained another man’s bank account is arguing that he didn’t commit bank fraud because the bank was insured and didn’t lose money.



So, we just had another big terrorist scare here — a million sirens, helicopters, frantic reports on Twitter of churches attacked, gunshots, hostages taken, the police warned everyone to stay away from my neighborhood, the world media was gripped, churches received a special “terrorism alert” — not exaggerating at all — but it all turned out to be a false alarm. 

Everyone’s feeling a bit embarrassed, now.

The Thwarted Notre Dame Attack: A Question for our Experts


imagesYou may have heard that yet another terrorist attack was thwarted in France. Police were tipped off by the presence of a suspicious vehicle outside Notre Dame cathedral:

The group’s first attempted attack involved parking a Peugeot 607 car packed with gas cylinders near the cathedral in the heart of Paris and trying to blow it up. The car was also found to have contained diesel canisters and a barely-smoked cigarette had been thrown into the car near a canister with traces of hydrocarbons. Molins said the perpetrators had clearly tried to blow the car up and if they had succeeded it would have led to the explosion of the whole vehicle.

The car had no plates and was left with indicators flashing in a narrow alley. From the insurance sticker on the car, police traced it back to a father of five daughters originally from the Seine-Saint-Denis area north of Paris.

The Grand Gathering for a Free Iran


Today I’ll be attending a roundtable discussion for journalists in Paris prefatory to tomorrow’s Free Iran event. Some 100,000 people are expected to attend tomorrow, including Iranian expats and their international supporters, along with “hundreds of political, social, and cultural dignitaries from the world over.”

Victims of Paris Terror Attack Not Allowed to Perform in France


EoDMThe band Eagles of Death Metal, which survived the terrorist attack on the Bataclan theater six months ago, has been disinvited from two French music festivals. Why? Because for some reason, frontman Jesse Hughes isn’t a fan of those Muslims who celebrated the attack.

The California-based band was scheduled to play Le Festival Cabaret Vert, in Charleville-Mézières, on Aug. 25, and Rock en Seine, just west of Paris, a few days later, The Daily Beast reported.

“Being in total disagreement with Jesse Hughes’ recent allegations given in an [interview] with an American media, both Cabaret Vert & Rock en Seine festivals have decided to cancel the band’s performance,” the festivals announced Friday. “We thank you for your understanding.”

The Honor of Thieves in the Paris Métro


This video has gone viral in France. I couldn’t find a version subtitled in English, so I’ll walk you through it with a rough translation.

A particular kind of pickpocket works the early-morning shift in the Métro. They target passengers who are trying to get a few extra winks in before work, or people who are still drunk after partying all night. “The corpse robbers of dawn,” the cops call them.

After the Paris Climate Deal…


RTX1YJBR-paris-e1450110046927Not surprisingly, perhaps, many on the right dismiss the big climate agreement reached in Paris. But here is a dour take from activist and author Bill McKibben in the New York Times:

So the world emerges, finally, with something like a climate accord, albeit unenforceable. If all parties kept their promises, the planet would warm by an estimated 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 3.5 degrees Celsius, above preindustrial levels. And that is way, way too much. We are set to pass the 1 degree Celsius mark this year, and that’s already enough to melt ice caps and push the sea level threateningly higher.

The irony is, an agreement like this adopted at the first climate conference in 1995 might have worked. Even then it wouldn’t have completely stopped global warming, but it would have given us a chance of meeting the 1.5 degree Celsius target that the world notionally agreed on.…

They Saved the World?


This is a preview from Monday morning’s The Daily Shot newsletter. Subscribe here.

TDS-Logo-BThe 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (aka “COP21,” aka “CMP 11,” aka “Martha Stewart’s Cookware Extravaganza!”) has concluded and produced a 31-page plan to save the world. (That’s what they tell us anyway.)

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On Monday, Barack Obama gave a “powerful rebuke” to ISIS terrorists by telling them that it’s pretty much too late for them to do us in because western civilization is already doomed. And, unsurprisingly, it’s largely the fault of stinking, greedy, energy-guzzling Americans like you. Specifically, the Prophet Obama spake thusly: “I’ve come here personally, […]

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Paris – I miss the days when the circus rolled into town on a sleepy train in the middle of the night rather on luxury private planes and chartered jets in the middle of the day. But then again, this is no ordinary circus, kids. It’s the Climate Circus! Where the folly of group action […]

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Paris Surreal


As you’ve probably read, here in Paris we’ve got a few terrorists on the loose and some 195 heads of states from around the world in town to begin 12 days of negotiations to try to reach an agreement on restricting greenhouse gas emissions. I just walked with my brother up to Montparnasse. Everything looked normal enough. We walked back; I dropped him off at my father’s apartment, and I walked back to mine. Now, my brother isn’t going to believe me, because the part of the city we walked through looked normal, if maybe a bit subdued. It was the stretch back over the Seine and to my apartment that was surreal.

For obvious reasons, I’m not going to say exactly where I live, but it’s a neighborhood that usually has a fair share of winos, a few louches hanging out on the corners, maybe a few local petty drug dealers.  In the past few years, since what the French call la crise began, it’s  also been home to a growing number of homeless people and panhandlers. They’re harmless. I share what I can with them — when I buy bread, I try to remember to buy an extra loaf, and if I forget to do that, I just give them mine. And I must say, French winos are the best in the world: I’m on friendly terms with all the winos in my neighborhood; we make small talk; and sometimes they want to read to me from some lousy volume of French wino poetry, and sometimes, if I’m feeling indulgent, I’ll have a long, serious talk with them about their wino poetry and what it means to them.

Obama’s ISIS Paralysis


Obama FrownThe recent events in Paris and elsewhere have led the leaders of the civilized world to search for an appropriate response to the barbaric actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The toll of deaths, injuries, and property damage all point to a single conclusion: something powerful must be done, and done now. In spite of this, during an intense press conference in Turkey, President Obama doubled-down on his current strategy, despite the pushback from an ever-more skeptical press corps: “The equation,” Jerome Cartillier of AFP said, “has clearly changed. Isn’t it time for your strategy to change?” The centerpiece of Obama’s flawed strategy is the refusal to commit American ground troops to more than a marginal role in seeking to drive ISIS from the extensive territories that it occupies in Syria and Iraq.

The President’s policy stems from an emphatic rejection of Pax Americana, or the view that the United States’ military force is the anchor of the free world’s security. Indeed, my own decidedly pessimistic appraisal of the dire consequences of Obama’s ISIS policy sadly underestimated the massive level of dislocation and violence that would follow from the President’s insistence that patience is required before an entity like ISIS is “ultimately” destroyed.

But what horrors must innocent people endure in the interim? How many more of them have to be slaughtered because of their religious beliefs? How many millions of refugees have to be driven from their homes to escape death and subjugation at the hands of ISIS? How many tens of millions of people in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East have to sit on tenterhooks not knowing where or when the next terrorist attack will take place? How long must Brussels stay under lockdown? Of these realities the President says not one word. His current aloofness cannot be defended to an international audience on the pious ground that the likelihood of an immediate terrorist attack on the United States seems to be low.

Left and Right Agree: Obama Is Out of Touch on Terror


President Obama thought he could issue a shrug of support to Paris then go right back to fighting the only enemy he knows: those dastardly Republicans. As he flitted around Antalya, Manila, and Kuala Lumpur, Obama mocked conservatives for being little crybaby scaredy cats and reassured the world that the JV team that just slaughtered 100+ in the French capital were just social media managers who woke up on the wrong side of the prayer mat.

Perhaps the political reality is dawning on the White House now, since post-Paris polling is coming in and it’s … not good. According to a Fox News survey, out of registered voters:

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In the face of increased terror activity in Europe and threatened terror activity domestically, Barack Obama has cinched up his big boy pants and made his strongest rhetorical attack to date…on Republicans. “Apparently, they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America,” the president said of concerns about terrorists hiding among […]

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The question is a paraphrase of Walter Russell Mead in his article, President Obama’s Cynical Refugee Ploy (Nov 17 2015, The American Interest)  Mead’s point is simple – “Things can and will get worse as long as American policy continues to flounder; instead of arguing about how to shelter a few thousand refugees we need […]

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Despite the carnage of the terrorist massacres in Paris, Barack Obama is continuing to treat the war on terror as a game. A game which combines “Where’s Waldo?” and Russian roulette. Specifically, the president is doubling down on his desire to bring large numbers of Syrian refugees into the United States as quickly as possible, […]

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