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24 April 2017

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SRW

Great article about the French and the French election. I have only been to France for a day trip twice. I will definitely think about an extended visit to the country we own a lot of gratitude to for our independence.

Jack

It looks like Bordeaux however went for Macron. The Pinot vs Cab/Merlot battle.

PeterHug

Now that I think about it, mandating that anyone planning to vote should drink heavily enough the night before to be severely hung over when they vote might encourage a certain amount of cynicism on the part of the electorate.
:)

On a more serious note, this election's vote-counting once again exposes the American approach to running elections as a complete disgrace. There is absolutely no excuse for any uncertainty in the votes.

charly

You mean the DM following franc? The Euro is not the problem but the 3% budget deficit rule (which doesn't apply to France/Germany)

And about the Swiss custom union arrangement. It comes down to following EU rules, paying EU budgets and not be part of the decisions. It is workable for Switzerland with a population less than 1% of the EU because it wouldn't change a thing but it wouldn't work for France.

kooshy

Colonel, on the other hand,this fellow marrying his 24 year older high school teacher, at age 15? it could be they were stucked in one of many Parris' islands on the river seine. Sorry couldn't resist that either.

The Beaver

Colonel,
Fake News
It was started by a Russian website:
http://www.zeit.de/politik/2017-02/fake-news-emanuel-macron-russia-history

b

If Macron goes for the "young vote" he will fail:

30% voted for the hard left candidate
21% for Le Pen
18% for Macron

https://twitter.com/ianbremmer/status/856557003816263681

Find it hard to believe that those 30% anti-globalists will turn to Macron now.

keninparis

Colonel, those are the rumors that have been adressed and denied in the press by the candidate.

"If I were homosexual, I would say so and I would live so."

Moving on...

mauisurfer

Valerie Giscard d’Estaing, shortly after being elected in 1974 was involved in a dawn collision with a milk float while driving home a woman who wasn’t his wife.

Giscard D’Estaing’s poll ratings soared, possibly because female as well as male voters warmed to the chivalry of a French president who would give his mistress a lift home.

F5F5F5

There were persistent rumours about gay relationships, which Macron denied and the French shrugged off as usual when it comes to the bedroom.

However, Macron seems psychologically dependent on his wife. She discreetly but actively participated in his grooming, and she is the main intermediary between her husband and his advisors.

Macron doesn't strike me as very stable. He went off the rails several times, howling in exaltation at the end of speeches, having bouts of overexcitement during interviews, etc.

Bill H

Don't know how pertinent this is to the subject, but my grandmother, whom I adored, was wont to say that her side of the family was "pure English." I worked hard to keep a straight face, considering how many times England was overrun and plundered by Romans, Vikings, Normans... Did I leave anyone out? Anyway, and had French kings.

Kutte

Good luck to the French with their little-baby president and his mum.

robt willmann

This brief article from the Stanford University Computer Science Department in 2007 says that electronic voting machines were used in the French presidential election for the first time in 2007--

http://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs201/projects/2006-07/electronic-voting/index_files/page0005.html

I do not know if the electronic voting has continued, and how extensively, or whether it has been declared illegal. If electronic voting machines are used at all it is bad news.

Here is a different article indicating that the machines were used, and an explanation of the paper voting system--

http://www.pcworld.com/article/148112/article.html

Wunduk

Good background reading: Return to Reims. French sociology professor explores his family roots in the deindustrialized North, and finds a huge split between the former leftist base and its leadership.
http://frenchculture.org/books/new-titles/returning-reims
Bit like the Hillbilly Elegy.

@ SaDudexcellence: Margins between the four leading candidates are small nation-wide, but distinct on the ground. Rural Northern France has clearly yielded a plurality for Marine LePen, as did a belt along the Mediterranean. How realistic would it be to assume that the Fillon and Melenchon votes would rally behind Macron? Declared intentions to vote for Macron as the second best candidate might be taking into account what is perceived as the socially acceptable opinion. And declaring support for LePen is not part of the 'habitus' for the majority of French, though protesting against the Front National is no longer a obligatory part of it, neither.

@MartinJ & James: Filllon is the Thatcherite, not Macron. Rural France is in economic decline for about 30 years. Pinning it all on the Euro is leaving out the deeper roots for the decline. The sociaty has split not only into haves and have-nots. The pension system (25 differerent pension funds) is making it pretty much impossible to change careers once you have one. French businesses do undervalue the average worker input, have not apprentice-journeyman-master system, and maintain steep hierarchical steps. This results frequently in sloppy workmanship as the bosses do not check, and the workers do nor care. French bosses are very interested when they come to my part of South-West Germany to learn about the qualifications of the workers, but once the demonstration of the education part is over, and the tour starts with the co-directorship of the workers, they switch their ears off. I expect the same thing to happen with all the Republicans (including Invanka) who are now coming to Germany to learn about the dual system. The business leadership of France which I have so far met refuses to enter into partnership with the employees to create better products. A trade arrangement like Switzerland won't help as it does not improve neither quality of the products nor productivity.

Macron might be the one who could offer some good ideas to solve this long-standing economic decline, and make France function again. And in order to finance this, he's going to sell several billion Euros worth of assets. So yes, banks will be happy (Patrick above noted it). But reducing Macron to the offspring of the global financial aristocracy does not do justice to the French situation.

YT

Mr. Solomon, sir,

Yes, this age difference 'tween [globalist] m. macron and his Mrs. most probably attracts the attention of those that under mahomet influence.

I recall M. "Redingote Grise" left quite an impression on the Marmelukes for his Josephine was 8 yrs. his senior - reminding 'em of the age gap 'tween their prophet and his first wife.

My memory fails me like never before... (even tho I am but a year younger than m. macron) but were('nt) the Marmelukes later disillusioned with M. "Redingote Grise"?

I wonder if m. macron too shall [eventually] disappoint those under the influence of mahomet in future...

Dubhaltach

The Daily Telegraph has a good overview here: Can Le Pen beat Macron in the French election, despite losing in the first round?

Dubhaltach

In reply to James 24 April 2017 at 06:54 PM

Except of course that in the unlikely event of a French exit from the EU the UK's economic interests vis-a-vis the EU and the French ones would be diametrically opposed.

Honestly where do you people dream up this stuff? What material do you ingest first? Can I have some? I've never actually experienced escapist fantasy as real and wouldn't mind trying it out for fun.

LG

yes. Rumours galore that his marriage to the older lady was a front to get middle aged women's votes and his not so hidden affair with a man would help gather the gay vote.

Eric Newhill

Je pense que Le Pen et Trump seront allies.

Macron est un caniche, mais il ne gagne jamais.

Bill Herschel

I wonder whether you mean Hendaye or a little farther north. It's all beautiful, although I prefer the completely undeveloped beaches farther north still, from Lacanau Ocean on down. Too many surfers, many too many, but still wonderful. Nothing like that exists elsewhere on the planet. Breakfast or dinner at Le Kayoc, Lacanau Ocean, on the ocean is spectacular. Sort of anti-matter to the Riviera.

Macron is a French-cut Tony Blair, and I give the vampire squid an enormous amount of credit for getting him in. They know the electorate better than it has ever been known before. They have taken DT to school in the first hundred days, and he is an avid learner. Yes, vampire squid has heretofore referred to Goldman Sachs, but they are only one tentacle. Jamie Dimon, Petraeus, Clinton, etc. etc. Many tentacles, all well paid, all obedient. The Saudi's must be beaming. They have probably beheaded a half dozen immigrants just to celebrate.

JRenard

Macron, the son of secularists who admits to gay relationships, is pro-immigration, pro-globalism, pro-EU, pro “discrimination positive” (affirmative action), anti-Russian, and said Hillary was victim of a vicious Kremlin plot.

France went from Land of the Saints and Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence to Camp of the Saints and Submission all in one generation.

English Outsider

Sarkozy might have got away with a scooter. Hollande - no chance. His 5% approval rating was kind to him. The French are all at sea with their politics but they still know what's what when it comes to style. Macron would do well to kit himself out with a Harley-Davidson if he's given to playing away. They might be old hat in America but those machines retain a certain cachet amongst my continental friends and a plastic politician like Macron is going to need all the help he can get.

Moving away from the train crash of the French presidential election - bye-bye, France, every Englishman's second country but no longer the Frenchman's first - the real action, as so often nowadays, is a little further away. I've been delving into stumpage fees and the like and it seems that with the proposed Canadian tariffs the American public, or some of it, is beginning to wake up to the big untold secret of the Trump election campaign. If tariffs are put on imported goods prices will go up.

How much, and to what extent exchange rates might alleviate the inflationary effect, is currently being debated in their usual foul-mouthed and rambling way by the habitues of the ZH website. But amongst all the internet clutter on the site you find some who get it. If the proposed tariff on Canadian lumber does bite, one section of the American public at least is getting to grips with the fact that Fair Trade is not "Free Trade" and if you want Fair Trade it costs.

"Free Trade" as currently practised means that cheap or subsidised foreign labour must win against home labour. Prices go down, which is nice for us all. So do wages, at least for the jobs left to pay wages on. It's profitable for those doing the off-shoring but disastrous for those whose jobs are off-shored.

Eventually the "social costs" (what a nice antiseptic phrase and how much misery it covers up) of unemployment, underemployment and inadequate wages outweigh the advantages. That's where we were at the time of the Trump election campaign. I say "we" although I'm not an American, because the same process has been underway in Europe, even Germany; it's just that we most of us haven't woken up to it yet and many Americans have. Trump also understands, or did, that "Free Trade" with exchange rates that can be monkeyed around with is just another name for subsidised labour.

The remedy was obvious. Bring the jobs back home. That was one of the themes of the American election. Looking on from outside it's difficult to be sure, but I think it was one of the main themes that accounted for Trump's victory.

But First World wages are and have to be higher than Third World wages. If you offered an American textile worker the same money as a Bangladeshi textile worker can live on he'd laugh at you. Until he and his family started starving. Prices must therefore also rise, in proportion to the amount of jobs brought back home and in proportion to the labour component of the final price.

Therefore real wages have to rise to take into account the rise in prices. If it's not going to end up with an uncontrolled inflationary disaster there's only one way that can happen. Real wages at the bottom have to rise. Real wages and incomes at the top have to fall. That must lead to a dramatic reduction of the income gap - back to levels we haven't seen since the 70's and 80's, if then.

That was the untold secret of the Trump election campaign. It wasn't just the super-rich and the cronies who'd have to pay for bringing the jobs back home. The top ten per cent of earners would find their real incomes cut. The deal for the top ten per cent was that they'd get less but live in a more stable country with a more sustainable economy. It was a deal that was never put on the table.

At the moment the deal's not going through anyway. There's been some tinkering with the H-1B visas - though that's about "internal offshoring" - some nice noises made about stopping American companies re-locating, and that's about it. But it's early days. If the Trump administration does in truth go for bringing the jobs back home, if Fair Trade is to replace "Free Trade", that deal's going to be on the table fair and square. If so, it'll be more than a few malcontents on an off-beat website who'll be examining it with some degree of concern.

LeaNder

What surprises me is that English survived the Norman conquest. Romano-British had not survived the Anglo-Saxon invasion

Pat, may I babble? following you off-topic? It may be related to the linguistic distance between the commoner and the court, plus elites over the ages, at least partly. Written and spoken language. Not that that does the trick, entirely. French was the polite language of the European courts for a long time too, way beyond its national boundaries. Latin survived even the Norman conquest as the language of English law. ... to cut matters short. Wordwise, both the Latin (plus Greek) and French have left strong traces. La cuisine, comes to mind. ...

A Swizz prof in English linguistics once used the term "bastard language" for English in his class somewhat provocatively. Probably this made it stick. The context was the difference between analytic and synthetic languages. The only prof in linguistics, who could have led me on the path to linguistics more generally, or historical linguistics more specifically. ;)

If one keeps Latin in mind, it's obvious that you need to be much more aware of grammar then on the surface for English. ... Similar with French. Noun male or female, the verbs, grammar. Steeper initial learning curves for every other language then English. ...

Maybe I should read this book. Our Magnificient Bastard Tongue:
https://www.amazon.com/Our-Magnificent-Bastard-Tongue-History/dp/1592404944/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Those who have learned English as a second language will recognize McWhorter's assertion that "English really is easy(-ish) at first and hard later"; for that, he says, we can "blame... the Danish and Scandinavian" influence.

Nice thing to be introduced to the ultimate culprit. ;)

Here is a review:
https://motivatedgrammar.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/book-review-our-magnificent-bastard-tongue/

The second half of the book is an interesting corollary to McWhorter’s “English is a bastard” proposal; since the English we revere today is the result of having essentially incompetent speakers mangle it thoroughly a millennium ago, why would we protect it now? It’s a strange twist when suddenly the book starts talking about grammar rules after discussing the details of language change, and it’s not entirely fluid. But he makes a good point, and I think it’s an argument worth having in battles against prescriptivists; language is much more resilient than it is given credit for.

So, on the whole, a pretty good book, if occasionally a bit too insistent for my taste. It’s worth a read, especially if you’re into this kind of stuff.

All I can say, the Britons did a good job to not follow any or the peculiar 19th 'learned' suggestions to move written and spoken language visibly closer together. It would have changed it beyond recognition. But since it surfaces grammarwise. Not too long ago, I wondered if I had left a grammatical blunder concerning who versus whom. ;) Maybe I should stop to worry.

LeaNder

Would make sense, strategically. Mélenchon converges with her on some issues. I actually had something similar in mind too. Was France ever "reigned" by a coalition?

Syriza's government partner? The odd absence of the British Socialists in the Brexit for or against campaigns? Larger Zeitgeist trends ...

Her AfD (Alternative for Germany)female counterpart over here, recently lost inside her party in what feels like a comparable move.

Willybilly

Even teens knew years ago that Emanuel Macron is gay.... this woman is his Mossad minder..... The whole marriage business of Macron the Maquerau is an utter charade.

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