Tagged France

Quote of the Day

“How can anyone be allowed to paint a swastika on the statue of Marianne, the goddess of French liberty, in the very center of the Place de la République?” That was what the chairman of one of France’s most celebrated luxury brands was thinking last July, when a tall man in a black shirt and a kaffiyeh leapt to the ledge of Marianne’s pedestal and scrawled a black swastika. All around him, thousands of angry demonstrators were swarming the square with fake rockets, Palestinian and Hamas flags, even the black-and-white banners of ISIS. Here, barely a mile and a half…

The Decline and Fall of American Foreign Policy

American foreign policy is–to put matters bluntly–in free-fall. The United States is significantly less able to influence events around the world, it is not trusted or respected by allies, and it has undermined its negotiating position with Iran in the nuclear talks by making it abundantly clear that it is desperate for a deal. If you care about the state of American foreign policy, you should be very scared right now. Let’s start with the recently concluded Israeli elections. Benjamin Netanyahu won, and that made the Obama administration mad. So the administration decided to work to delegitimize Netanyahu’s election by…

Quote of the Day

At least part of the reason French waiters have such a bad reputation can be chalked up to cultural differences. The French garçon de café will not hesitate to correct your pronunciation, for instance, because he thinks you want to pronounce things correctly. He will not bring your check unless you ask him, because he considers it rude to intrude upon your party. He may speak to you with what—particularly to American ears—appears to be impenetrable coolness, because he is there to serve you, not to be your pal. Which is why, in mid-2013, the Paris tourism board launched its “Do You…

Quote of the Day

A journalist decided to test how safe the streets of Paris are for Jews – by wearing a religious skullcap and filming the public’s reaction using a hidden camera. Zvika Klein, a reporter for Jewish news outlet NRG, silently walked in the city for ten hours wearing a kippah – also known as a yarmulke – on his head and a tzitzit (knotted ritual tassels). And the shocking hidden camera footage shows antisemitism is rife in the French capital as he is seen harassed and intimidated. As he wanders around neighbourhoods wearing the garments associated with the Jewish faith, he…

Let’s Put Matters Bluntly

The Charlie Hebdo murders were caused by Islamist terrorists. They were not a false flag operation. Anyone who says otherwise is a lunatic. Any group of people who publish that particular anyone’s claims that the Charlie Hebdo murders were a false flag operation may be considered a group of lunatics. Any former politician whose name is used by that particular group of lunatics to also name the institute of the lunatics in question may have some ‘splainin’ to do. And finally, any son of the former politician in question who doesn’t say something along the lines of “the lunatics who…

Pope Francis Blunders

I actually like the pope. But this is just awful commentary: Pope Francis said there are limits to freedom of speech, especially when it insults or ridicules someone’s faith, in comments that the Vatican later said Friday did not mean justifying the attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines on Thursday, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one’s mind for the sake of the common good. But he said there were limits. By way of example, he referred…

More on the Charlie Hebdo Murders

Let’s run through a list of news updates . . . 1. Al Jazeera is not a real news organization: As journalists worldwide reacted with universal revulsion at the massacre of some of their own by Islamic jihadists in Paris, Al Jazeera English editor and executive producer Salah-Aldeen Khadr sent out a staff-wide e-mail. “Please accept this note in the spirit it is intended — to make our coverage the best it can be,” the London-based Khadr wrote Thursday, in the first of a series of internal e-mails leaked to National Review Online. “We are Al Jazeera!” Below was a list of “suggestions” for how anchors and correspondents…

The Charlie Hebdo Murders

George Packer’s response is precisely right: The murders today in Paris are not a result of France’s failure to assimilate two generations of Muslim immigrants from its former colonies. They’re not about French military action against the Islamic State in the Middle East, or the American invasion of Iraq before that. They’re not part of some general wave of nihilistic violence in the economically depressed, socially atomized, morally hollow West—the Paris version of Newtown or Oslo. Least of all should they be “understood” as reactions to disrespect for religion on the part of irresponsible cartoonists. They are only the latest blows…

“No Consumer Choice, Please. We Are French.”

Another day, another report about how taxicab cartels are scared of competition: Uber’s low-cost ride ride-hailing service will be banned in France from the start of next year, the government said Monday as hundreds of taxi drivers blocked roads around Paris to protest what they claim are its unfair business practices. A new law tightening regulations for chauffeured rides will effectively ban the UberPop service as of Jan. 1, said Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesman for France’s Interior Ministry. “Currently, people who use UberPop are not protected if there is an accident. So not only is it illegal to offer this service…