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Things Are Good: In France New Buildings Need Green Roofs

Green roofs or solar panels are now required on all new commercial buildings in the country of France. This is great because now buildings can have either a zero energy impact or contribute to their local environment.

Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday.

Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer

Read more.

Bill Longstaff: French hold most favourable views of Jews and Muslims

How the French view their minority populations after the violent events earlier this month will probably take a while to sort out. But a poll conducted last year suggested they were about the most tolerant in Europe.

Eighty-nine per cent of French men and women hold a favourable view of Jews and 72 per cent hold a favourable view of Muslims. The British were second, with 83 per cent and 64 per

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – MisterDeity responds to the Pope.

Sometimes the Pope makes a error when speaking. We all do. But this was not one of those times and Mr.Deity unabashedly and quite colourfully rips into the perfidious pontiff over his comments about the recent murders in France.

*Strong Language Warning*

I’m not sure what the pope was thinking on this one, but I think rightly he deserves the chastisement Mr.D brings to the table.

Filed under: Religion Tagged: France, Mr.Deity, Pope Francis

Politics and its Discontents: What’s Next? Thoughtcrime?

Yesterday I wrote a brief post on how the French government, despite massive outpourings in defense of free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, is moving to severely curtail that right for those with whom it disagrees.

The Toronto Star has an editorial strongly condemning the French action, using the following examples to bolster its expression of odium: …the French authorities have arrested comic Dieudonné M’bala M’bala and more than 50 others including several minors for voicing unpopular views of their own.

Not accused of any acts of terrorism, they ran afoul of France’s tough laws against (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Have The Terrorists Already Won?

Much press has been devoted to the aftermath of the cowardly massacre at Charlie Hebdo; strong displays of solidarity both in defence of freedom of expression and disdain for the jihadists’ efforts to squelch it, have been widespread. But despite these demonstrations, one can legitimately ask if the terrorists have already achieved victory.

I offer but one example here of the egregious irony/hypocrisy of a state-sanctioned suppression of the very right that so many are so staunchly defending against attack.

Associated Press journalists Lori Hinnant and Angela Charlton report the following: In a sign that French judicial authorities were (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: The Eurozone’s ‘New Austerity Model’ » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

The Eurozone’s ‘New Austerity Model’ » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.

by Jack Rasmus

In the coming weeks and months, as the Eurozone economy weakens still further, it is likely that debates and splits within the Eurozone capitalist elites will continue to intensify.

The Eurozone economy has never really recovered from the 2008-09 financial crash and recession. Austerity policies—that played a major role in preventing a sustained Eurozone economic recovery for the past five years—are now evolving into still newer forms.

Events in the recent past in Spain, measures approved in just the past week by the newly (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Front National wins seats in French senate for first time | World news | The Guardian

Front National wins seats in French senate for first time | World news | The Guardian.

Marine le Pen hailed her party’s success as ‘an absolutely historic victory’ and a ‘breath of fresh air in a rather sleepy chamber’. Photograph: Phililppe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

The far-right Front National (FN) scored a historic victory in elections to the French senate on Sunday, winning its first ever seats in the upper chamber as the ruling Socialists and their leftwing allies lost their majority to rightwing parties.

The shock victory of Stéphane Ravier from Marseilles and David Rachline from Fréjus confirmed the party’s political (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Eurozone fears of stagnation grow as France and Italy suffer | World news | The Observer

Eurozone fears of stagnation grow as France and Italy suffer | World news | The Observer.


Francois Hollande and Paris’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, at a ceremony on 25 August marking the 70th anniversary of liberation. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

François Hollande removed his government’s leading anti-German, anti-austerity leftwinger last week. By the following day the French president had already co-opted part of the message of the departed disloyal firebrand, Arnaud Montebourg.

As France’s ambassadors from around the world converged on Paris for their annual presidential pep talk, Hollande launched a fresh broadside against Berlin and Brussels. He called for (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: An austerity revolt has broken the French government. Will the EU follow? | John Palmer | Comment is free |

An austerity revolt has broken the French government. Will the EU follow? | John Palmer | Comment is free |

If there were any lingering doubts about the seriousness of the crisis hanging over the future of the euro – and potentially of the European Union itself – the shock announcement of the dissolution of the French government should remove them.

The tensions within the French socialist government have been building up for months as the economy has threatened to “double dip”. But it has been public criticism by the French economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, of Paris’s compliance (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Supermarket Loves Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Just because it’s not good looking doesn’t mean it tastes bad. Growers take their odd-looking fruit and usually sell it to juice, soup, or canneries instead of grocery store. One grocery store chain in France decided to take the produce usually rejected by consumers and make something fun out of it. This marketing synopsis covers what they did:

Intermarché launched the Inglorious Fruits&Vegetables, a film, print, poster and radio campaign, celebrating the beauty of the Grotesque Apple, the Ridiculous Potato, the Hideous Orange, the Failed Lemon, the Disfigured Eggplant, the Ugly Carrot, and the Unfortunate Clementine. Now you can eat (Read more…)

Things Are Good: France Pays People to Cycle to Work

France is experimenting with new way to subsidize transportation by getting more people to bicycle to work. Traffic in Paris is particularly awful and with ongoing population growth and car-focused infrastructure the transportation problems are only going to increase. France is hoping that getting people to ride bicycles will stymie the growth of transportation issues.

French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier, noting that commuting using public transport and cars is already subsidized, said that if results of the test are promising, a second experiment on a larger scale will be done.

The ministry hopes that the bike-to-work incentive scheme will boost (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Britain’s, Not France’s, Middle Class Is Being ‘Run Into The Dust’

Filed under: Capitalism Tagged: Britain, Capitalism, France, investment, productivity

Parchment in the Fire: Five Theses on the French Left

Reblogged from thecurrentmoment:

As an antidote to the snide gossip that passes for analysis of French politics at the moment, and in line with our broader reflection on the state of the European left, here are five theses on the French left that we hope might go some way to explaining the present impasse.

1. The French Socialist Party remains haunted by François Mitterrand’s u-turn in 1983-4.

Read more… 1,096 more words

Molly'sBlog: CNT-f Faces Eviction


     The CNT-f is the larger of the two anarchosyndicalist/revolutionary syndicalist union federations in France. They have traditionally been called the ‘CNT-Vignoles’ after their headquarters at 33 rue Vignoles in Paris. They have survived a previous attempt to evict them in 1996, but now they are facing a fresh attack from the Mayor of Paris.     The following is their statement on the events. The original French version can be here. You can follow events from either their website or from the site of their newspaper Combat Syndicaliste. These events seem reminiscent of the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: France Bans Child “Beauty” Pageants

The bizarre practice of over-sexualizing prepubescent girls on stages in front of people has now been banned in France. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind these pageants and it’s nice to see that other people see the problematic behaviour behind them. Hopefully other countries will follow France’s example.

The Senate agreed to adopy tough sanctions to anyone flouting the law.

Under the new law, organizers of pageants under the age of 16 may now face up to two years in prison if they fail to comply with the ban and a fine of up to €30,000 ($40,000).

“Let’s not let (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: How will the West react when the Sauds turn on their people?

Various Western nations, including Great Britain, the U.S. and France, are exhibiting great outrage against Syria’s assaults on its own people. And outrage is indeed called for. Yet there is no small measure of hypocrisy about the West’s righteous anger.

Another dictatorship in the Middle East, the misogynous Saud family of Saudi Arabia, may in the not too distant future see its people rise up

The Disaffected Lib: And the Walls Come Tumbling Down

Another look at the century old and ongoing, lethal aftermath of the way Britain and France carved up the Middle East following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire post WWI.  It’s a topic addressed here in several posts, the most recent just yesterday.

We’re now witnessing the walls, built by the Brits and the French in carving up the region to suit their convenience, beginning to crumble.   Will the west now step in to shore up their malignant handiwork even as it collapses under the weight of irreconcilable ethnic and religious tensions?  From The Independent:

…for (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Avez-Vous Des Bigots? Je Pense, ‘Oui’

The last week or so my view of humanity world over has been severely soured. I’ve often expressed an attitude that Alberta is the ‘Texas of Canada’ when it comes to issues of equality and progressive society. Hidden in that stance is the inference that other places aren’t as backward, that in other civilized areas these issues are all but resolved. This inference, it turns out, is ill-founded. Hillbilly homophobia is running rampant even in “high culture” nations.

The French government in pushing through a bill that will legalize same sex marriage and allow same sex couples to adopt. It (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Bloody Battle for Gay Marriage in France

I can hardly believe what's been happening in France.Riot police battling homophobes, religious fanatics, and neo-Nazi groups.

Gay people being attacked over their right to be married.

In the streets of Paris, in the City of Love.Read more »

Paul S. Graham: Behind the invasion of Mali

Roger Annis at the Feb. 24, 2013 annual meeting of Peace Alliance Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Is the military intervention in Mali by France, with the assistance of the United States, Canada and others an example of a humanitarian intervention launched to protect a fragile democracy from the incursion of Muslim terrorists? Or is France meddling in the affairs of its former colony to protect its business interests and further the political and economic interests of its NATO partners?

Roger Annis, coordinator of the Canada-Haiti Action Network and longtime political activist, explored these questions at the Annual General Meeting

. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Behind the invasion of Mali

Things Are Good: France Wants Lights to be Turned Off

France has passed a law that will make it illegal to keep lights turned on over night in non-residental buildings. Starting in July the lights need to be out an hour after the last employee leaves. This is a great way to save energy while reducing light pollution.

The move, announced on Wednesday, is expected to save 250,000 tonnes of CO2 – enough energy to power 750,000 French households for a year.

The French ecology minister, Delphine Batho, said she hoped the law would change attitudes in France and help the country become a pioneer in reducing light pollution.


Art Threat: Art at War surveys creativity under Nazi occupation, from Picasso to Dubuffet

“History isn’t the lies of the victors … I know that now. It’s more the memories of the survivors, most of whom are neither victorious nor defeated.” – The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

On the last Sunday in the year, the Parisian bourgeoisie were out in force. The queue for the Impressionism and Fashion exhibition at the Musee d’Orsay moved in sudden leaps but still took over an hour to get to the security checks. For the Dali exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, those with pre-booked tickets queued for an hour, those without considerably longer

Meanwhile, (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Murky Mali Mayhem

Afghanistan could be characterized as a perpetual civil war waged by people who range from bad to worse.   Leaders change sides effortlessly, ally with and betray each other routinely.

But Africa’s Afghanistan, Mali, and the rest of the war in the Sahara is far more complex, far more confusing.   If Afghanistan is code for “quagmire,”  North Africa is the geopolitical equivalent of the Le Brea Tar Pits.   It’s a war that only recently surfaced in our newspapers but it’s been going on for decades, confounding Western leaders throughout.

Here’s an example.

Over the last few years, Washington’s

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Murky Mali Mayhem

Politics and Entertainment: The Unintended Consequences of Military Intervention:

The Roots of Mali and Algeria Crisis in Libya. And let’s not forget Canada’s gung-ho involvement in Libya – which might partially explain the interest in Mali now. what was unleashed in Libya is coming home to roost.

Eclectic Lip: The millionaire tax, American- and French style

(originally written Apr 19, 2012. Part of my Great Upload of 2013.)

The American “millionaire tax” plan

At the moment, Obama is facing stiff resistance from his proposal to tax all income above $1,000,000 per year at a rate of 30%. This, despite the support of one-time world’s-richest-man Warren Buffett, who wondered in a NY Times editorial last year why he, a billionaire, paid a lower tax rate than his secretary.

(Answer: most of Buffett’s income comes in the form of capital gains taxed at 15%, which is lower than income tax rates paid by all but

. . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: The millionaire tax, American- and French style