Faced with antisemitic riots, French government does what it does best: appeasement

**Posted by Phineas

"We surrender! Don't hurt us!!"

“We surrender! Don’t hurt us!!”

Muslims in France have been rioting, including attacking synagogues, in the wake of Israel’s retaliation against Hamas for months of attacks against Israeli civilians. Faced with growing antisemitic civil disorder, the French government naturally… condemned Israel:

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called Wednesday for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to end violence in the Gaza Strip which Palestinian sources say have left nearly 600 Palestinians dead.

Close to 30 Israelis, almost all of them soldiers, have been killed as Israel battles to stop Hamas rocket fire, thwart attack tunnels and weaken the Islamist group’s ability to launch attacks from the Strip.

“In Israel and in Gaza, the situation is very hard,” Fabius said as he arrived for a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

“Nothing justifies continued attacks and massacres which do nothing but only claim more victims and stoke tensions, hatred,” he said.

“France will act forcefully to demand an immediate ceasefire,” he added

Odd, but I must have missed the Foreign Minister’s demands for an immediate ceasefire when Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians, when three teens were kidnapped and murdered, and when rockets were fired at a nuclear reactor. And surely he condemned in the loudest terms Hamas’ use of women and children as human shields, hoping for casualties in order to get that all-important propaganda coup.

France: Leading the way in caving in since 1940.

PS: Yes, I know a Palestinian teen was murdered by Israeli thugs in retaliation for the killing of the three Jewish boys. Here’s the difference: the Israeli killers were arrested by Israel and will face trial for their crime. Palestinians celebrated the murderers of the three teenagers as heroes. Who is the civilized one, and who is the barbarian? You make the call.

via Jihad Watch

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#DDay70 veteran parachutes from plane 70 years after doing it the first time

Jim Martin - D-Day

93 year old U.S WW II veteran Jim Martin of the 101st Airborne, left, completes a tandem parachute jump onto Utah Beach, western France, Thursday June 5, 2014, as part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D Day.  (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

What an awesome story! (via)

Normandy, France (CNN) — Jim “Pee Wee” Martin acted like he’d been here before, like jumping from a plane is as easy as falling off a log.

Maybe that’s because he had — 70 years ago.

“I’m feeling fine,” Martin told reporters moments after landing in a French field. “… It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful.”

Martin was part of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division that parachuted down over Utah Beach in their bid to retake France and, eventually, the rest of Europe from Nazi Germany. They actually touched down in enemy-controlled territory a night before what’s referred to as D-Day.

His jump Thursday in the same area was different and — despite his being 93 years old now — a whole lot easier.

“It didn’t (compare),” Martin said, “because there wasn’t anybody shooting at me today.”

Every year, every day it seems, the number of surviving World War II veterans like Martin dwindles. He estimates there are only a few dozen members of his unit who took part in the now historic D-Day invasion who are still around.

It’s ironic, in a sense, because Martin was among the oldest of his bunch in June 1944 — at 23 years old — surrounded by others who were mere teenagers.

Together, they parachuted onto France’s northern coast in the dark of night not knowing what awaited them. Whatever it was, it would not be friendly or easy, they expected.

[…]

Seven decades later, Martin did it again — not fighting a bloody war but at least reliving his role in a military campaign that changed the course of history. Others joined him in this now daytime jump, though he was the only one from his generation.

[…]

Martin admitted that he was motivated by “a little bit of ego, (to show that) I’m 93 and I can still do it.”

“And also I just want to show all the people that you don’t have to sit and die just because you get old,” he added. “Keep doing things.”

God bless this American hero and all other members of “The Greatest Generation” who continue to demonstrate what real courage, dedication, and honor look like.   Same same to those who gave their lives that day, and to those who have passed on since. Our world would be a much different place if it weren’t for these brave men.  To say millions owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be fully repaid would be the understatement of a lifetime.  To them, I say: Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.

Last but not least, a beautiful, movingly poignant picture tweeted by the French Embassy on the 70th anniversary of D-Day:


Says it all. :) **==

Socialist French government finds there really is such a thing as being “overtaxed”

Via the UK Telegraph comes a report that France’s Socialist government, famous for burdening their “rich” with extraordinarily high taxs, have come to the conclusion that they can’t tax their people (the rich and middle class) anymore without bleeding them dry (via Memeorandum) :

France’s Socialist government has admitted that the country cannot cope with any further tax rises and promised no more hikes just days ahead of the country’s largest ever tax bill.

In an unfortunate piece of timing, however, the pledge came just as the environment minister announced the creation of a new “carbon tax” and amid reports that the overall tax pressure on French households will rise even further next year.

Returning from their summer break, the French are about to discover stinging rises in tax bills in their letter boxes – the result of a series of new levies enacted by President François Hollande as he seeks to plug the French deficit and bring down public debt – now riding at 92 per cent of GDP.

But the extent of the hikes has apparently even shocked the very Socialist ministers who implemented them.

The total tax pressure (taxes and social security contributions) will account for 46.3 per cent of GDP this year – a historic high – compared to 45 per cent in 2012.

Some 16 million households will see an automatic 2 per cent rise in income tax as calculations are no longer mitigated by inflation. Family tax breaks will be cut.

The rich will see the highest rises, following Mr Hollande’s decision to raise the rate to 45 per cent for those earning more than 150,000 euros – effectively 49 per cent due to an additional levy.

Amid discontent at the forthcoming rises, Jean-François Copé, head of the opposition Right-wing UMP party today pledged to enact “massive tax cuts” and to slash state spending by ten per cent should his party win power in 2017.

In a clear damage limitation exercise, a chorus of top Socialists spoke out against any more rises.

Pierre Mosovici, the finance minister, told France Inter radio: “I’m very sensitive to the French getting fed up with taxes We are listening to them.” Laurent Fabius, the foreign minister followed suit, warning Mr Hollande to be “very, very careful” as “there’s a level above which we shouldn’t climb”.

One Socialist told Les Echos newspaper that the hand-wringing was totally hypocritical as “they are crying wolf, but the wolf is us.”

The topic was top of the agenda at the Socialists’ annual “summer university”, which opened today , and where Ségolène Royal, Mr Hollande’s former partner, called for a “moratorium on new taxes.” Even more categorical was Bruno Le Roux, Socialist leader in the National Assembly, who declared: “There will be no new taxes” for the rest of Mr Hollande’s five-year mandate.

I’d like to think Socialists somewhere (in this case, France) have finally had their wake up call on how high taxes stifle growth by cutting off job creators and potential workers at the knees, but we know they haven’t.   As PJ Tatler’s Rick Moran notes:

Jeez, what a bunch of hypocrites. They stick it to the people least able to absorb a tax hike without a decline in their standard of living, and then declare a de facto moratorium on tax hikes — at least until they think they can get away with more tax increases politically.

The net result of the tax increases will be slower growth, which, considering all the new spending that Hollande has proposed probably means the deficit will go up, rather than shrink. The French president was one of the biggest boosters in Europe of getting rid of “austerity” budgets, so now we’ll see just how “Hollandonomics” plays out in the real economy.

Sound familiar?

Overtaxed

Will the American left soon come to the same conclusions when it comes to overtaxing? Don’t count on it!

French minister commits unpardonable sin of telling truth: “We’re broke.”

**Posted by Phineas

And he’s deep in la merde, for it:

Michel Sapin made the gaffe in a radio interview, which left French President Francois Hollande and other ministers racing to undo the potential damage to the country’s reputation as a solid economy for investors.

On Monday, Mr Sapin said: “There is a state but it is a totally bankrupt state. That is why we had to put a deficit reduction plan in place, and nothing should make us turn away from that objective.”

The comments came as Mr Hollande attempts to improve the image of the French economy after pledging to reduce the country’s deficit by cutting spending by 60bn euros (£51.5bn) over the next five years and increasing taxes by 20bn euros.

It came as several high profile individuals, including the actor Gérard Depardieu, have left the country to avoid punitive taxes. Last week it transpired that Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man, had transferred his entire fortune to Belgium, where he hopes to gain citizenship.

Pierre Moscovici, the finance minister, said the comments by Mr Sapin were “inappropriate”. He added: “France is a really solvent country. France is a really credible country, France is a country that is starting to recover.”

Why do Moscovici’s claims remind me of Baghdad Bob?

Sapin later tried to “clarify” what he meant, saying France could still pay its bills, and he’s technically right; they’re not in danger of defaulting,  yet.

But what’s truly interesting is the public reaction to Minister Sapin’s description of France as a “bankrupt state”  — most of the public agrees with him:

But it now transpires that a large majority of his fellow countrymen share Mr Sapin’s view. In all 63 per cent agree that “in France, the state is bankrupt”, with 45 per cent saying the claim was “more or less justified” and 17 per cent feeling it was “totally justified”, according to a CSA poll for BFM TV.

You would think that, realizing that their nation is in a fiscal mess, French voters would not have voted for a government who only solution was to jack up taxes to confiscatory levels, leading to an exodus the most productive members of their population. Instead, they throw public fits over the least adjustment to their unsupportable welfare state. They see the problem, but they don’t see that it is them.

But before we in the States point and laugh too hard at France (some is always justified), keep one thing in mind: their debt-to GDP ratio (how much they owe vs. how wealth the nation creates) is at 91 percent. Imagine your credit card debt amounting to nine-tenths of your annual income, and you can see why someone would say they’re broke.

And in the United States? As of 2012, that same ratio stood at an estimated 100.8%, skyrocketing under Obama.

Merde, indeed.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Sanity in France: French court tosses 75% “millionaires’ tax”

France doesn’t often get it right, but a French court did in this case:

France’s Constitutional Council on Saturday rejected a 75 percent upper income tax rate to be introduced in 2013 in a setback to Socialist President Francois Hollande’s push to make the rich contribute more to cutting the public deficit.

The Council ruled that the planned 75 percent tax on annual income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million) – a flagship measure of Hollande’s election campaign – was unfair in the way it would be applied to different households.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would redraft the upper tax rate proposal to answer the Council’s concerns and resubmit it in a new budget law, meaning Saturday’s decision could only amount to a temporary political blow.

While the tax plan was largely symbolic and would only have affected a few thousand people, it has infuriated high earners in France, prompting some such as actor Gerard Depardieu to flee abroad. The message it sent also shocked entrepreneurs and foreign investors, who accuse Hollande of being anti-business.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the rejection of the 75 percent tax and other minor measures could cut up to 500 million euros in forecast tax revenues but would not hurt efforts to slash the public deficit to below a European Union ceiling of 3 percent of economic output next year.

“The rejected measures represent 300 to 500 million euros. Our deficit-cutting path will not be affected,” Moscovici told BFM television. He too said the government would resubmit a proposal to raise taxes on high incomes in 2013 and 2014.

The Council, made up of nine judges and three former presidents, is concerned the tax would hit a married couple where one partner earned above a million euros but it would not affect a couple where each earned just under a million euros.

UMP member Gilles Carrez, chairman of the National Assembly’s finance commission, told BFM television, however, that the Council’s so-called wise men also felt the 75 percent tax was excessive and too much based on ideology.

Note the unmistakable “what’s the big deal about it?” bias from Reuters with this sentence: “While the tax plan was largely symbolic and would only have affected a few thousand people…”, and the Associated Press couldn’t help itself either here with a similar dig:

The largely symbolic measure would have only hit a tiny number of taxpayers and brought in an estimated €100 million to €300 million – an insignificant amount in the context of France’s roughtly €85 billion deficit.

Our left wing media simply can’t help themselves when it comes to wanting to punish “the rich”, can they?

Anyway, three cheers for the French court, but I can’t help but wonder: How soon before the United Socialists of America aka the Democratic Party proposes something similar here in the US?  Since the leader of their their party – our celebrity President –  believes “at a certain point you’ve made enough money” and all …

(Video) A sign of real Hope and Change?

**Posted by Phineas

Busy day today, but I wanted to share with you this latest Afterburner, in which Bill Whittle compares the choices made in recent elections in France and Wisconsin, and finds cause for hope in the Land of Cheese:

On a smaller scale Bill could also have taken heart from recent elections in San Diego and San Jose, where voters overwhelmingly approved reforms to public pensions in order to save their cities’ finances. The margins were large enough that I’m certain there were pensioners and near-pensioners who voted for reform, in contrast to the self-deluded voters of France and Greece.

When one thinks about it, this global debt crisis may yet be proof again of American exceptionalism.

We hope.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Commence Operation “EU crack up,” phase two!

**Posted by Phineas

Phase One was the unending financial crisis that began in 2008 and the Europeans’ unwillingness to anything that would really address the problem, instead choosing to keep feeding the beast of debt and taxation. Sickened by the failure of their political class (and made delirious by their own addiction to the teat of the State), European voters are responding by throwing the bums out and putting radical bums in their places: a hack Socialist demagogue in France, and communists and neo-Nazis in Greece.

Now comes word that Phase Two, the bailout of banks in Spain has begun:

It was only a matter of time before the next bank bailout began despite all those promises to the contrary. Sure enough, as math always wins over rhetoric and policy, earlier this morning the shot across the Spanish bow was fired after PM Rajoy did a 180 on “no bank bailout” promises as recent as last week. From Dow Jones: “Spain may pump public funds into its banking system to revive lending and its recessionary economy, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Monday, signalling a policy U-turn. The government had pledged to not give money to the banking industry that is struggling in the wake of a collapsed, decade-long, housing boom. “If it was necessary to reactivate credit, to save the Spanish financial system, I wouldn’t rule out injecting public funds, like all European countries have done,” Rajoy said in interview with Onda Cero radio stations.

Spain is Europe’s fifth-largest economy, and its economic problems are huge, but bailing out the banks won’t make much of a difference, if any; it will merely transfer the debt burden from Spanish banks to the Spanish government, which will have to borrow the money or seek its own bailout, further burdening both the already over-taxed Spanish public — as well as German patience. It’s robbing Pedro to pay Pablo, but the bill will still come due — and it will be enormous.

With the EU’s fragile unity already threatened by a likely clash between Germany’s Chancellor Merkel and France’s new President Hollande, will the added pressures of a potential Spanish financial collapse (which would make Greece look like a block party) push the European Union and the Eurozone to the breaking point?

My guess is for at least a partial breakup within the next year, as Greece and other fiscally profligate Latin states leave the Euro so they can devalue their currencies enough to restart growth, while Germany and the other “adult” states are glad to see them go.

But with the rise of political fantasists in Greece, France, and elsewhere, one wonders if that will be enough?

via American Power

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

France may kill me yet — through an overdose of irony

**Posted by Phineas

I’m serious, you’d better have the paramedics ready; I’ll likely need them after reading this:

Libya conflict: France eyes new UN resolution

The French defence minister has suggested a new UN Security Council resolution may be needed for Nato allies to achieve their goals in Libya.

Gerard Longuet was speaking after a joint letter by the US, UK and French leaders said there could be no peace while Col Muammar Gaddafi was in power.

The current UN resolution makes no mention of regime change.

(…)

Speaking on French radio, Mr Longuet conceded that ousting Col Gaddafi would be “certainly” beyond the scope of the existing UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya, and could require a new council vote.

“Beyond resolution 1973, certainly it didn’t mention the future of Gaddafi but I think that three major countries saying the same thing is important to the United Nations and perhaps one day the Security Council will adopt a resolution.”

Oh, isn’t that just special? France is considering asking for a resolution authorizing regime change in an Arab state!

Now, where have we heard that idea before? Let me think… Oh, yeah, now I remember! It was in the last year or so leading up to the US-UK lead invasion and liberation of Iraq, when we pushed for UN sanction for regime change in Iraq, something for which there was far more immediate humanitarian and geopolitical logic, even with the errors regarding WMDs. And what did France do back then? Stand with their longtime ally who twice saved their croissants from the Germans and kept Soviet tanks from rolling into Paris? Support their friend whose military shield allowed them to gorge themselves on domestic entitlements to the point of a national coronary, all while letting them pretend they still were a world power?

Don’t be naive.

Lead by their corrupt president, Jacques Chirac, and their slimy, sanctimonious, Napoleon-worshiping foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, they repeatedly stabbed us and the Iraqi people in the back. Here’s just one example. We were double-crossed again and again, and an American Secretary of State was humiliated before the world. And lest anyone think France was acting out of noble principles (France?), think again.

And now France wants the UN Security Council, where they fought us tooth and nail, to approve doing the very thing in Libya we did in Iraq. Oh, and any new resolution requires at least our non-opposition.

Sweet.

Mind you, I don’t disagree with the idea in principle; having started a war in Libya, we have to see it through to the end, which means getting rid of Qaddafi.  As Emerson said:

“When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”

The worst outcome would be some sort of a stalemate in which Daffy Qaddafi survives in power, even over a rump state. I guarantee you he will have the money, means, and motive to take revenge. More Lockerbies, anyone? And Europe is dependent on Libyan oil, far more so than we, and yet they’ve launched a war against one of their key suppliers. Economic and strategic self-interest now dictates that France must wage …wait for it… a war for oil!

Never mind. I think I’ll have another heaping helping of irony, thanks. It’s delicious!

via Hot Air

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Al Qaeda plotting to kill French First Lady?

Not surprising. The last thing the Religion of Misogyny can tolerate is a self-confident, independent woman who doesn’t dress like a shapeless lump:

From Daily News and Analysis:

Security services believe President Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife is now “high up” on al-Qaeda’s hitlist of potential VIP victims in France, it was revealed.

Fears for Bruni’s safety come after Osama bin Laden issued a chilling personal threat to kill French citizens in revenge for France backing the war in Afghanistan and their new law banning the burqa.

The al-Qaeda terror chief released an audio tape last week warning, “It is a simple equation, if you kill, you will be killed.”

(…)

“Security has always been high around the First couple, but we have learned that it has now been heavily increased around Ms Bruni herself,” the Daily Mail quoted the website as saying.

“There is no question of her ever going out without an armed escort and details of all her movements are being kept secret until the very last moment.

It’s still a war, folks, and they’re still trying to kill us.

LINKS: My earlier posts on Islamic misogyny. And here’s a good book on the topic.

Via The Jawa Report.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Britain relies on France for its defence? What could go wrong?

Oh, how about a French aircraft carrier breaking down?

As President Nicolas Sarkozy prepares to use a historic London summit to announce the use of RAF jets off the Charles de Gaulle, his naval chiefs have told him she is no longer seaworthy.

“She’s meant to be heading to Afghanistan to support the war there but is instead in home port with a faulty propulsion system,” said a French Navy source.

“This is a carrier which is meant to be defending not only France but also Britain over the next decade. As far as the London summit is concerned, her breaking down could not come at a worse time.”

Following Britain’s strategic defence review last week, it looks certain that the UK and France will each have just one operational aircraft carrier each towards the end of the decade.

But Britain will have to rely solely on the Charles de Gaulle until at least 2020 while the Queen Elizabeth, a new carrier, is being built.

This follows the announcement of the scrapping of the carrier Ark Royal and its Harrier Jump Jets.

I earlier covered the sad state of the Royal Navy, which is being reduced to it’s smallest size since the 16th century. And now this: reliant on Britain’s most ancient enemy for naval security, yet that enemy is… incompetent.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of the US military under the social democracy the Democrats so dearly desire. Europe, when it went down this path, could rely on us to bail them out. Well…

Just whom do we rely on?

And, Anglophile that I am, I have to say it again: Nelson weeps.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)