Category Archive 'France'
26 Jul 2017

French Philosopher Anne Dufourmantelle Dies Attempting to Save Drowning Children

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Anne Dufourmantelle

New York Times:

A French philosopher and psychoanalyst, known for her work that praised living a life that embraced risk, died last week as a result of following her own bold philosophy.

The philosopher, Anne Dufourmantelle, 53, drowned on Friday as she tried to save two children who were struggling to swim off the coast of Pampelonne beach, near St.-Tropez, France, according to a report from French public television.

Ms. Dufourmantelle was on the beach when the weather began to change and the previously safe swimming area became treacherous. She saw two children who were in danger and leapt into the sea to help, according to France 3, before being caught in the rough surf.

She was pulled unresponsive from the water by two other swimmers, and attempts to resuscitate her failed.

Both children survived.

Ms. Dufourmantelle’s action harkened back to her own words.

“When there really is a danger that must be faced in order to survive…there is a strong incentive for action, dedication and surpassing oneself,” she said in a 2015 interview.

RTWT

HT: Frank Dobbs.

03 Jul 2017

France: Then and Now

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08 Jun 2017

French Serving Knife

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French Serving Knife, c. late XVIth century. Designed to joint, slice, and serve venison.

20 May 2017

Chateau de Morsan

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7 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 9-10 acres. Only €1,000,000 for the Chateau de Morsan, nestled in the midst of the forests of Normandy, one of the few remaining folies in France. Originally built around 1760 as a hunting lodge by the Marquis de Morsan, a confidant to Louis XV, for the King’s visit. The architect was Ange-Jacque Gabriel who was also the architect of the petit Trianaon at Versailles and the Folie of Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of the King.

The current owner rhapsodizes:

The house is a national monument, a summer house, not built for all seasons. There are two Renaissance towers, standing and three stables, all needing to be restored, and the windows and shutters on the house should be replaced by double glass, etc. The roof which is slate, needs rebuilding, as it is original, that can be done correctly with slate for around 200,000 euros. It has a nice servants cottage and quite a lot of land, it is very safe and protected there, two hours from Paris, and no one could find it. The land is quite fertile for growing vegetables, flowers, and herbs, and there is a very choice parcel of land with trees to build a large guest house, There are about nine or 10 acres, and is great for horses, it is horse country. It has everything.

With a good and responsible buyer who loves the l8th Century, and period furniture, the house can be sold more or less furnished at a very reasonable price. The furnishings are the right period for the house, so it could be sold furnished or semi furnished, to the right person.

A lovely couple reside onsite as caretakers. We have known their family for years, and the young man can do everything, he is very skilled and diversified, and does extra projects. She is very artistic, and keeps the house up.

It has important wood paneling and fireplaces, and it should not be changed or damaged, We can not sell the property to anyone who would destroy any of the original details, it has been maintained for nearly 300 years, and is a summer house. Central heating can be revived, there are radiators that function, and the plumbing should be brought up to date. This is not a house for the faint hearted, it is for a French history buff, and someone who wants to live in the beauty and charm of the l8th Century. I think that it would not appeal to most Americans, it is a romance with the past, and absolutely incredible in the summer… let’s say to die over… and absolutely unique. There are less than six of these l8th Century folies left in the country.”

Handsome Properties International has the listing.

04 May 2017

Easy Choice

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The Week:

Le Pen claims the French presidential election is actually a choice between her and Angela Merkel.

Marine Le Pen, France’s far-right presidential candidate, pulled out a snappy line against centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in a head-to-head presidential debate Wednesday evening. Le Pen, claiming Macron will cave to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s will if he is elected, argued the contest was really a choice between which of two women would lead France: Either her or Merkel.

22 Apr 2017

A Populist-Nationalist Revolt is Coming in France, Too

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Christopher Caldwell, in City Journal, discusses the untranslated three-book oeuvre of French commentator Christophe Guilluy, a specialist observer of French demographics, real estate, and economic developments, who describes the development, in France, of a similar practical separation and conflict of interests between the prosperous urban community of fashion elite and La France périphérique, the Gallic equivalent of Fly-Over America.

[T]he urban real-estate market is a pitiless sorting machine. Rich people and up-and-comers buy the private housing stock in desirable cities and thereby bid up its cost. Guilluy notes that one real-estate agent on the Île Saint-Louis in Paris now sells “lofts” of three square meters, or about 30 square feet, for €50,000. The situation resembles that in London, where, according to Le Monde, the average monthly rent (£2,580) now exceeds the average monthly salary (£2,300).

The laid-off, the less educated, the mistrained—all must rebuild their lives in what Guilluy calls (in the title of his second book) La France périphérique. This is the key term in Guilluy’s sociological vocabulary, and much misunderstood in France, so it is worth clarifying: it is neither a synonym for the boondocks nor a measure of distance from the city center. (Most of France’s small cities, in fact, are in la France périphérique.) Rather, the term measures distance from the functioning parts of the global economy. France’s best-performing urban nodes have arguably never been richer or better-stocked with cultural and retail amenities. But too few such places exist to carry a national economy. When France’s was a national economy, its median workers were well compensated and well protected from illness, age, and other vicissitudes. In a knowledge economy, these workers have largely been exiled from the places where the economy still functions. They have been replaced by immigrants. …

Top executives (at 54 percent) are content with the current number of migrants in France. But only 38 percent of mid-level professionals, 27 percent of laborers, and 23 percent of clerical workers feel similarly. As for the migrants themselves (whose views are seldom taken into account in French immigration discussions), living in Paris instead of Boumako is a windfall even under the worst of circumstances. In certain respects, migrants actually have it better than natives, Guilluy stresses. He is not referring to affirmative action. Inhabitants of government-designated “sensitive urban zones” (ZUS) do receive special benefits these days. But since the French cherish equality of citizenship as a political ideal, racial preferences in hiring and education took much longer to be imposed than in other countries. They’ve been operational for little more than a decade. A more important advantage, as geographer Guilluy sees it, is that immigrants living in the urban slums, despite appearances, remain “in the arena.” They are near public transportation, schools, and a real job market that might have hundreds of thousands of vacancies. At a time when rural France is getting more sedentary, the ZUS are the places in France that enjoy the most residential mobility: it’s better in the banlieues.

In France, the Parti Socialiste, like the Democratic Party in the U.S. or Labour in Britain, has remade itself based on a recognition of this new demographic and political reality. François Hollande built his 2012 presidential victory on a strategy outlined in October 2011 by Bruno Jeanbart and the late Olivier Ferrand of the Socialist think tank Terra Nova. Largely because of cultural questions, the authors warned, the working class no longer voted for the Left. The consultants suggested a replacement coalition of ethnic minorities, people with advanced degrees (usually prospering in new-economy jobs), women, youths, and non-Catholics—a French version of the Obama bloc. It did not make up, in itself, an electoral majority, but it possessed sufficient cultural power to attract one.

It is only too easy to see why a populist and nationalist revolt against the elite urban community of fashion is an international development.

A must-read.

02 Mar 2017

Better than the War on Drugs

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French Opium Party, 1918

22 Feb 2017

French Air Force Training Eagles to Take Out Terrorist Drones

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Daily Mail:

Birds of prey are being trained to prevent terror attacks in France, after being recruited by the country’s air force.

A team of four eagles is being trained to bring down remote-controlled drones when they stray into unauthorised airspace.

It is feared that terror groups could use drones – types of which can be bought from toy stores – packed with explosives to target civilians or military landmarks.

Experts believe training eagles to deal with threatening drones is far safer than using bullets to shoot them down.

Air force general Jean-Christophe Zimmerman told Reuters: ‘These eagles can spot the drones several thousand metres away and neutralize them.’

He said the idea came from police trials in the Netherlands.

The birds are being trained to grab or halt the drones. Before they hatched, they were placed on top of drones before being kept there during their early feeding period. …

Eagles have a grip 10 times more powerful than a human, making them ideal to deal with large unmanned drones.

05 Feb 2017

Leonardo Drawing Found in French Estate

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Kovels:

A retired doctor from a remote town has discovered his father had a collection worth millions and he could sell it. The doctor went to a Paris auction house and showed them 14 ink drawings. One 7 1/2-inch by 5-inch piece of paper with a sketch on each side was interesting. The auction house’s expert on old master paintings realized the drawing might be from the 16th century. Three months and three art experts later, the sketch has been authenticated as the work of Leonardo da Vinci, drawn about 1482-85. The handwriting, inscription, and the subject are all related to a known drawing of St. Sebastian by da Vinci. The good news for the owner is the sketch is estimated at about $15.8 million. The bad news is that the French government has put an export ban on the art work because it is “a national treasure.” The owner would like to offer it to an international market where it could sell for much more. The French government has 30 months to buy the sketch at market value.

03 Sep 2016

French Catholic Clocks Muslim For Interfering With Rosary Prayers

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Mad World News:

A group of around 20 French Catholics was quietly praying the rosary in Paris just hours after the funeral of Father Jacques Hamel, the priest who was recently “beheaded” by Muslims in Normandy. The worshipers were peacefully protesting the closing of the Association of Catholic and Apostolic Chapels when suddenly a man, who is reportedly Muslim, walked up and purposefully attempted to shut down their demonstration.

Blog Catholique reports that the unknown man approached the group and began blasting music to stop the Catholics from completing their prayer. It was then that one of the worshipers rose from his knees and turned to confront the man before delivering a monstrous punch that instantly knocked out the Muslim.

The Muslim man hits the ground as spectators and demonstrators appear confused and horrified. The protester grabs the unconscious man and pulls him from the sidewalk before the footage cuts off.

According to the Daily Mail, there have been no arrests and it is unclear whether the Muslim man suffered any severe injuries.

The French blog states that the man was “chastised for his rudeness” by “a soldier of Christ.”

23 Jul 2016

France To Ban Gauloises and Gitanes

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CamusSmoking
Albert Camus

The Guardian reports:

The news was enough to have French smokers choking on their morning cigarette: France is considering banning some tobacco brands because they are just too cool.

Among those threatened are Gitanes and Gauloises, beloved of Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre and Serge Gainsbourg, who was said to puff through five packets of filterless Gitanes a day.

The ban, which could also cover the Lucky Strike, Marlboro Gold, Vogue and Fortuna brands, is the logical conclusion of a new public health law – based on a European directive – which stipulates tobacco products “must not include any element that contributes to the promotion of tobacco or give an erroneous impression of certain characteristics”.

Reporting the ban, Le Figaro said that while the directive was “relatively vague”, it clearly covered anything suggesting “masculinity or femininity, physical slimness, youth or sociability”.

Alarmed cigarette companies have written to the French prime minister, Manuel Valls, demanding a meeting “given the seriousness and urgency of the situation” and asking for clarification and the chance to appeal against any ban before the new health code article, currently being considered by the council of state, is published in 10 days’ time.

I can remember the young Strobe Talbot, then editor of the Yale Daily News, stalking around campus in trenchcoat & beret, smoking a Gauloise.

16 Jul 2016

Nice (Unpixilated)

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Hat tip to Vanderleun.

16 Jul 2016

No Possible Way To Tell

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Mohamed_Lahouaiej_Bouhlel
Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel who killed 89 and injured hundreds on Bastille Day in Nice.

Mark Krikorian:

The local paper reports that the terrorist was “of Tunisian origin,” which surprises no one, of course. But since he was killed by police, President Obama may never know his real motive.

15 Jul 2016

French Government Covered Up Torture/Mutilation of Living Victims at Bataclan Theater

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Bataclan02

Heat Street:

A French government committee has heard testimony, suppressed by the French government at the time and not released to the media, that the killers in the Bataclan tortured their victims on the second floor of the club.

Police witnesses in Parliament said they vomited when they saw the disfigured bodies.

Wahhabist killers apparently gouged out eyes, castrated victims, and shoved their testicles in their mouths. They may also have disemboweled some poor souls. Women were stabbed in the genitals – and all the torture was, victims told police, filmed for Daesh or Islamic State propaganda. For that reason, medics did not release the bodies of torture victims to the families, investigators said.

But prosecutors claimed these reports of torture were “a rumor” on the grounds that sharp knives were not found at the scene. They also claimed that maybe shrapnel had caused the injuries.

Read the whole thing.

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