Your friendly reminder that France does not have a Bill of Rights.

Note that I am not upset, in the specific case.

But there is in fact a legitimate reason* why we won’t do something similar in this country. And it’s that we’re always only one bad election cycle away from having the definition of ‘where hate is preached’ be up to somebody like, say, Nancy Pelosi. Remember what happened the last time we let people from the Democratic leadership redefine terms?  We’re still trying to clean the excrement off of the walls.

Moe Lane

*Well, there are several legitimate reasons, but it’s a touchy subject and I don’t want it to end up with me banning somebody.

Jihadi dragged into French courtroom, blindfolded and barefoot.

The French are being merciful.

Seriously, the guy’s still alive and has all his parts. Although I imagine that he’s had an exquisitely unpleasant time the last few days before whatever French counter-terrorism agency has possession threw some clothes on the jihadi and took him to be arraigned. Mind you, the fact that they’re actually charging him means that my earlier assumption that the fellow would go into in a French rendition black site and never, ever come out again is probably incorrect.

Which is just as well. Such places… well. They’re kind of poisoned fruit, really.

Moe Lane

French wisely fast-track Lassana Bathily for citizenship.

Reward the behavior that you want to see.

A 24-year-old Malian immigrant who hid a group of hostages during a terror attack at a kosher supermarket was awarded French citizenship Tuesday in a ceremony that showcased his courage and selflessness.

…[Lassana Bathily] stepped slowly to the podium. “People tell me I am a hero. I am not a hero. I am trying to stay myself,” he said, visibly moved. He expressed his desire to see and help his family back home. He received a standing ovation when he finished with: “I am very happy. Long live liberty! Long live friendship! Long live solidarity! Long live France!”

I can only hope that, if I’m ever in similar circumstances, I can act as clear-headedly and effectively as Monsieur Bathily did. I wish the man good luck in his new country and new life.

So, President Barack Obama skipped the French anti-terror unity march.

There is a very simple explanation for this: “President Barack Obama will not join other world leaders at Sunday’s Paris march in tribute to the victims of this week’s Islamist attacks in France, a US official told AFP.” Basically, President Obama legitimately and genuinely does not understand why it is necessary for him – or a sufficiently dignified surrogate* – to represent our country at an activity such as this.  From Obama’s point of view, since no American was attacked, no American was killed, and no American was involved he clearly thinks that our involvement in this matter is thus unnecessary. And since the formal solace and condolences from foreign dignitaries would offer no comfort to him in similar circumstances, Barack Obama apparently feels that offering his own detached sympathies would be essentially equally pointless. Continue reading So, President Barack Obama skipped the French anti-terror unity march.

You know, when I visited France it was a civilized place.

True, that was twenty years ago, but it was still, you know, cultured and everything. Now, it’s… becoming something else.

Barack Obama takes baby steps on the ambassadorship front.

At least the major Democratic donor (Jane Hartley) that Barack Obama is nominating for the ambassadorship to France is reported to actually speak French. I know, I know: it’s a low bar to jump.  Then again, Barack Obama has been having trouble clearing bars that are actually recessed into the floor, so every little bit helps.

Moe Lane Continue reading Barack Obama takes baby steps on the ambassadorship front.

France’s frightening fascist flirtation.

There is precisely one bright spot in this depressing story about the rise of anti-Semitism and national socialism* in France.

…people debating the issue of a resurgent anti-Semitism would resort in good faith to the reassuring remark that “after all, Nazis were not marching in Paris.”

Since the Jour de Colère rally, even die-hard optimists must recognize that this is no longer true. Nazis are marching in Paris, unchecked.

Postmodern Nazis, to be sure: no brown shirts. But Nazis nevertheless — nazis who relish in anti-Jewish paranoia and are eager to spread it everywhere.

Radical politics usually develop when classic politics fail. According to an Ipsos/Steria poll published on January 21 by Le Monde, 8% of the French — only 8%! — trust the political parties. Only 23% trust their National Assembly representatives. Trade unions do not fare much better: 31%. Nor does the judiciary, at 46%.

Real confidence starts only with local powers: 63% of the French trust their mayors. The increase culminates with such last-resort players as the police and the army, credited, respectively, with a 73% and a 79% confidence rate.

Continue reading France’s frightening fascist flirtation.

Our unfolding adventure in Mali.

These three quotes, when taken in all at once, seem to somehow resonate.

Byron York wants you to read the two NYT pieces in reverse order than I do… which pretty much illustrates the current foreign policy disagreement in the Republican party.  Byron presumably wants people to note that we’re being drawn into intervening in Mali despite the fact that the country is falling apart, and he presumably is against intervention on those grounds; I want people to note that Mali is at least falling apart because we – and by ‘we’ I mean ‘the Obama administration’ – messed up our commitments there, and now an actual American ally* is going in their to clean it up. Continue reading Our unfolding adventure in Mali.

Sarkozy’s out.

Close-run thing, but close only counts with horse shoes and hand grenades.

Socialist François Hollande was elected president of France on Sunday, defeating conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in a race that focused heavily on the country’s economic woes.

Sarkozy conceded defeat shortly after the polls closed, wishing Hollande “good luck” as the nation’s new leader.

He’s gonna need it.

Moe Lane

PS: Your guess is as good as mine as to what’s going to happen now.  Except that France – like most of the rest of Europe – is pretty much hosed, but then we knew that going in.