Tag Archives: France

France’s Death Spiral, by Guy Millière

How France has slowly committed suicide, by Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org.

• In 1990, the “Gayssot law” was passed, stipulating that “any discrimination based on ethnicity, nation, race or religion is prohibited”. Since then, it has been used to criminalize any criticism of Arab and African delinquency, any question on immigration from the Muslim world, any negative analysis of Islam. Many writers have been fined and most “politically incorrect” books on those topics have disappeared from bookshops.

• The French government asked the media to obey the “Gayssot law.” It also asked that history textbooks be rewritten to include chapters on the crimes committed by the West against Muslims, and on the “essential contribution” of Islam to humanity. All history textbooks are “Islamically correct.”

• In hospitals, Muslims are increasingly asking to be treated only by Muslim doctors, and refusing to let their wives be treated by male doctors.

February 2, 2017: A “no-go zone” in the eastern suburbs of Paris. Police on patrol hear screams. They decide to check. While there, a young man insults them. They decide to arrest him. He hits them. A fight starts. He accuses a policeman of having raped him with a police baton. A police investigation quickly establishes that the young man was not raped. But it is too late; a toxic process has begun.

Without waiting for any further evidence, the French Interior Minister says that the police officers have “behaved badly.” He adds that “police misconduct must be condemned”. French President François Hollande goes to the hospital to give his support to the young man. The president says he has conducted himself in a “dignified and responsible manner.” The next day, a demonstration against the police is cobbled together. The demonstration turns into a riot.

Riots continue for more than two weeks. They affect more than twenty cities throughout France. They spread to the heart of Paris. Dozens of cars are torched. Shops and restaurants are looted. Official buildings and police stations are attacked.

The police are ordered not to intervene. They do what they are told to do. Few arrests take place.

To continue reading: France’s Death Spiral

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How Many Euro Crises Will This Make? It’s Getting Hard To Keep Track, by John Rubino

Sooner or later, Europe and its euro will collapse under its debt load. From John Rubino at dollarcollapse.com:

Every few years, it seems, one or another mismanaged eurozone country falls into one or another kind of crisis. This leads to speculation about the end of the common currency, which in turn spooks the global financial markets. Then the ECB conjures another trillion euros out of thin air, buys up and/or guarantees all the offending country’s bonds, and calm returns for a while.

At least, that’s how it’s gone in the past.

The latest crisis has more than the usual number of flash-points and could, therefore, be something new and different. Currently:

Greece. This charming but apparently ungovernable country only got into the eurozone in the first place because its corrupt leaders conspired with Goldman Sachs to hide the true condition of the government’s finances. It quickly blew up and has been on intensive care ever since. Now the latest bailout has become deal-breakingly messy:

‘From bad to worse’: Greece hurtles towards a final reckoning

(Guardian) – With another bailout set to bring more cuts, quitting the euro is back on the agenda.

The country’s epic struggle to avert bankruptcy should have been settled when Athens received €110bn in aid – the biggest financial rescue programme in global history – from the EU and International Monetary Fund in May 2010. Instead, three bailouts later, it is still wrangling over the terms of the latest €86bn emergency loan package, with lenders also at loggerheads and diplomats no longer talking of a can, but rather a bomb, being kicked down the road. Default looms if a €7.4bn debt repayment – money owed mostly to the European Central Bank – is not honoured in July.

Amid the uncertainty, volatility has returned to the markets. So, too, has fear, with an estimated €2.2bn being withdrawn from banks by panic-stricken depositors since the beginning of the year. With talk of Greece’s exit from the euro being heard again, farmers, trade unions and other sectors enraged by the eviscerating effects of austerity have once more come out in protest.

To continue reading: How Many Euro Crises Will This Make? It’s Getting Hard To Keep Track

A Tale of Two Cities. . . by Eric Peters

In Washington, President Trump is rolling back regulations. In Paris, the mayor is imposing cumbersome new regulations. It’s not much of a mystery why Marine Le Pen, the French equivalent of Donald Trump, is doing so well. From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

In Washington, President Trump announced that environmental regulations are “out of control” – and promised to get them back under control.

In Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo (which sounds about as French as fries) has issued a fatwa banning diesel-powered cars built before model year 2001 – and is hoping to ban them all the way through model year 2005.

That’s 32 million cars (14 percent of the vehicle fleet) rendered economically obsolete by legislative edict. Imagine if you owned one of those 32 million. Your car now worthless to you.

 

Libertarians (I am one) need to grok this.

We do not live in a perfect world and are likely never to experience such. Even if we could Jesus Hoover all the Clovers off the surface of the Earth and deposit them on Planet Clover. Because some of us would have kids and some of those kids would inevitably turn out to be Clovers, too. Plus, we Libertarians are far from unanimous on things.

The point is, who can doubt that we would not be hearing the words, “out of control” and “environmentalism” coming out of the mouth of a President Clinton?

I took flak before the election for urging that Libertarians vote for Trump, arguing that the alternative was far worse. The contrast between Washington and Paris at this moment bears this judgment out.

To continue reading: A Tale of Two Cities. . .

French Government Creates Illegal Database On Over 60 Million Citizens, by Anthony Torres

The French database sure looks like a prototype. From Anthony Torres at strategic-culture.org:

By setting up a single database centralizing information on the entire French population behind their backs, France’s Socialist Party (PS) government is giving the state vast repressive powers. Coming amid the state of emergency, it constitutes a fundamental threat to democratic rights, in particular to opposition within the working class to austerity and war.

The database, named “Secure Electronic Titles” (TES), was decreed into existence on October 30. It centralizes the personal and bio-metric data of all holders of passports or national identity cards. It concerns over 60 million people, that is, virtually the entire French population. The official launch of the database took place last Tuesday in the Yvelines area and will be extended across France at the beginning of 2017.

The database was prepared in violation of the law, behind the backs of the population. It was first proposed in 2011 at the National Assembly, during a debate on a secure national ID card, and sharply criticized by the National Commission on Information-Processing and Liberties (CNIL). While recognizing as “legitimate the use of bio-metric information to identify a person,” the CNIL ruled that “bio-metric data must be conserved in an individualized data system.”

The new TES replaces and combines a former TES, which contained passport data, and the National Management Database (FNG), which contained ID card data. It also adds data, including a digital photo of the face, fingerprints, eye data, and physical and electronic addresses. These data are conserved for 15 years (for passports) and 20 years (for ID cards).

The TES database violates legal limits on the use of bio-metric data, moreover, since fingerprints and retina scans are indelible and can be used to remotely identify individuals, and not simply authenticate that an individual presenting himself to the state indeed is who he purports to be. In 2012, the Constitutional Council invalidated an attempt to set up a similar database, ruling that such a database would serve not only to authenticate but also to identify individuals.

Thus, by creating the TES database, the PS government of President François Hollande trampled the recommendations of the CNIL and the Constitutional Council’s veto in 2012.

Having created the TES by decree, the government will find it easy to modify its functioning to increase its powers, as was the case for the national DNA database. According to Guillaume Desgens-Pasanau, a magistrate and lecturer and the National Conservatory of Arts and Professions (CNAM), “once the database of 60 million people is there, one can easily add a search function, for instance. It is quite easy, as it is regulated via a decree and therefore does not require new legislation.”

Beyond the risk that TES data could be pirated, the police, gendarmerie, customs and the intelligence services, as well as Interpol, will have access to tools that reinforce pre-existing surveillance infrastructure.

Speaking to Agence France-Presse (AFP), CNIL President Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin described her concerns regarding the TES: “It is very clear that we are not dealing with a database whose ultimate goal is to struggle against identity theft … This large-scale mechanism raises fears that it can be used for other purposes, not today, but in the coming period.”

The attacks on democratic rights, the police-state measures, and the pervasive domestic spying set up by the Hollande administration constitute an immense danger for the working class. A government even further to the right than the PS, armed with such powerful surveillance tools, could easily go even further than Hollande in repressing workers’ opposition to austerity and war.

To continue reading: French Government Creates Illegal Database On Over 60 Million Citizens

France Just Set a Very Scary Precedent, by Don Quijones

Grand frère (Google-French for Big Brother) has arrived in France. From Don Quijones at wolfstreet.com:

On October 30, the French government announced, as quietly as possible, the creation of a massive new database that will collect and store personal information and biometric data on nearly everyone living in the country. As tends to happen whenever a government seeks to enact this type of “reforms,” the law wasn’t passed by parliament but by decree on the eve of a national holiday.

As France 24 reports, the new decree will affect 60 million people and “marks the first time the country has collected population data on such a scale since the start of the Nazi Occupation in 1940.”

“Unacceptable Excesses”

The move has sparked outrage from civil rights groups as well as French media, with weekly magazine L’Observateur describing it as “terrifying,” and daily newspaper Libération dubbing it a “mega database that will do no good”. The National Digital Council (CNNum) “laments” the government’s lack of prior consultation and highlights the “many concerns” the new decree raises. “In a digital world where code is law, the existence of such a database leaves the door wide open to likely and unacceptable excesses,” it said.

The new database, known rather optimistically as Secure Electronic Documents (Titres électroniques sécurisés or TES) will store an individual’s name, date and place of birth, gender, eye color, height, address, photograph, digitized fingerprints, facial features, e-mail address, and the names, nationalities, dates and places of birth of parents. The aim — according to the government — is to make it easier to obtain and renew identity documents, and to aid in the fight against identity fraud.

Unlike a similar law proposed by Nicholas Sarkozy’s conservative government in 2012, which was shot down, the new database will only be used to authenticate individuals, not to identify them. In other words, it will be used to confirm that someone is who he or she claims to be, not to discover, say, the identity of someone whose biometrics have been found at the scene of a crime.

However, the potential for mission creep cannot be discounted. As an article in NextInpact points out, once the database exists, it is highly likely that there will be calls for it to be used for identification purposes, simply “because it is there.” There’s also good reason to suspect that a future government “will modify the aims,” as warns Gaëtan Gorce, a French senator and member of the National Commission for Information Technology and Civil Liberties (Cnil) who likened the TES to a “sort of monster.”

According to today’s government, the biometric data stored on the database could be used to identify criminal suspects only if “violations of the fundamental interests of the Nation and acts of terrorism” are involved. But who gets to decide what constitutes a “fundamental interest of the Nation” or, for that matter, “an act of terrorism”? [That was a rhetorical question, of course].

To continue reading: France Just Set a Very Scary Precedent

Why the EU Is Doomed, by Alasdair Macleod

The Europeans are having a tough time making the economics and finance of union work, but it will probably be noneconomic and financial factors that cause the EU’s downfall. From Alasdair Macleod at mises.org:

We are accustomed to looking at Europe’s woes in a purely financial context. This is a mistake, because it misses the real reasons why the EU will fail and not survive the next financial crisis. We normally survive financial crises, thanks to the successful actions of central banks as lenders of last resort. However, the origins and construction of both the the euro and the EU itself could ensure the next financial crisis commences in the coming months, and will exceed the capabilities of the ECB to save the system.

It should be remembered that the European Union was originally a creation of US post-war foreign policy. The priority was to ensure there was a buffer against the march of Soviet communism, and to that end three elements of the policy towards Europe were established. First, there was the Marshall Plan, which from 1948 provided funds to help rebuild Europe’s infrastructure. This was followed by the establishment of NATO in 1949, which ensured American and British troops had permanent bases in Germany. And lastly, a CIA sponsored organisation, the American Committee on United Europe was established to covertly promote European political union.

It was therefore in no way a natural European development. But in the post-war years the concept of political union, initially the European Coal and Steel Community, became fact in the Treaty of Paris in 1951 with six founding members: France, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy. The ECSC evolved into the EU of today, with an additional twenty-one member states, not including the UK which has now decided to leave.

With the original founders retaining their national characteristics, the EU resembles a political portmanteau, a piece of assembled furniture, each component retaining its original characteristics. After sixty-five years, a Frenchman is still a staunch French nationalist. Germans are characteristically German, and the Italians remain delightfully Italian. Belgium is often referred to as a non-country, and is still riven between Walloons and the Flemish. As an organisation, the EU lacks national identity and therefore political cohesion.

This is why the European Commission in Brussels has to go to great lengths to assert itself. But it has an insurmountable problem, and that is it has no democratic authority. The EU parliament was set up to be toothless, which is why it fools only the ignorant. With power still residing in a small cabal of nation states, national powerbrokers pay little more than lip-service to the Brussels bureaucracy.

The relationship between national leaders and the European Commission has been deliberately long-term, in the sense that loss of sovereignty is used to gradually subordinate other EU members into the Franco-German line. The driving logic has been to make the European region a protected trade area in Franco-German joint interests, and to protect them from free markets.

It was not easy to find the necessary compromise. Since the Second World War, France has been strongly protectionist over her own culture, insisting that the French only buy French goods. Germany’s success was rooted in savings, which encouraged industrial investment, leading to strong exports. These two nations with a common border had, and still have, very different values, but they managed to conceive and set up the European Central Bank and the euro.

To continue reading: Why the EU Is Doomed

Fury and Fear in Paris, by Porter

Multiculturalism is to be worshipped, until multiple cultures move into the neighborhood. From Porter at kakistocrcyblog.com:

If you’ve spent more than a minute reading the counter rhetoric of conservative cuckoldry, you will have noticed that one of their most cherished articles of comfort is the self-assurance that the alt-right opposition are sloppy impoverished juveniles foaming from THEIR PARENTS’ BASEMENT.

This last part is key, since the logic implies positions taken from below ground level don’t merit consideration beyond stock accusations of raysis. That’s why I make a point of always posting from elevation within my own house, which was acquired with funds accumulated from my own ample compensation.

If we had the figures, I think it would be fascinating to contrast the alt-right’s basement quotient with that of other political factions. Do dilapidated row-houses in urban democrat vote-farms even have basements? Or parents plural? Perhaps those metrics aren’t the best to establish political validity after all.

Though the puppets of Soros can take refuge in one irrefutable claim: that demographic most thoroughly removed from their parent’s basement (and their parents, their posterity, their former community, and their nation) is unreservedly anti alt-right. This being the super-rich.

If a single living member of this cohort has been friendly to the future of their people, they have kept the sentiment closely guarded. I’m talking of course about our plutocrats and not theirs, who are fanatically tribal as a general rule.

The first commandment for this community of silk vests and pocket monocles is Never let a penny escape your grasp. Though a close second is the eternal Diversity for thee, but not for me. It’s this second imperative that leads these people like bloodhounds to Good Schools and gated compounds from which they primly lecture the hoi polloi on the benefits of Somali colonization.

Samuel Johnson said the insolence of wealth will always creep out. And like a mucus trail behind it is the morality of wealth. That is to say, a flamboyant virtue with carefully shielded consequence. They’re such good people, they’re willing to let you suffer to show just how much. And you can’t do that from anyone’s basement but your own.

Though sometimes I think it must require extreme myopia to accumulate vast wealth. It’s as if the end of their nose lies beyond Neptune. The wealthy appear to believe they can flood their countries while decamping to ever-shrinking atolls and never get wet. Probably Gates, Buffet, and Zuckerberg can. Though tiers below them will increasingly get doused with the rest of us. And schadenfreude rarely tastes so sweet as that.

Fury and fear in Paris: Wealthy residents outraged as huge wooden migrant camp is built directly opposite £3m apartments in elite neighbourhood which is home to Carla Bruni, Russian oligarchs and foreign embassies

* Two wooden buildings have gone up in the upmarket 16th arrondissement
* It is situated next to palatial Paris apartments worth up to £3million each
* Furious neighbours have delivered a 50,000-signature petition to officials

I’m inclined to start a petition to require every migrant camp, Honduran shanty, and Levantine refugee accommodation to go up directly beside multi-million dollar residences. Nothing would better align architects with their creations.

To continue reading: Fury and Fear in Paris