Saturday, January 18, 2014

Good-Bye, Friend — Georges Lautner, Director of “Les Tontons Flingueurs"

A "prolific French director who specialized in comedy and crime — often in the same movie —" died several weeks ago on the outskirts of Paris, writes the NYT's Bruce Weber. Georges Lautner was 87.
In paying tribute to Mr. Lautner, President François Hollande acknowledged his cultural stature, saying he made “great popular comedies that became cult films of our cinematic heritage.”
From the late 1950s through the 1980s, Mr. Lautner churned out an average of more than a film a year. He made more than 40 over all, often also serving as co-writer; his frequent collaborator was Michel Audiard. 

His movies, generally fast-paced and cleverly plotted, often starred one or more of France’s celebrity actors, including Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon, Bernard Blier, Miou-Miou and Mireille Darc. And though Mr. Lautner’s films were not as well appreciated critically or internationally as those of the high-minded auteurs who were his contemporaries and countrymen, he made reliably appealing and profitable movies that reached a wide audience in France, many of which remain in frequent circulation on French television. 

Among Mr. Lautner’s best-known films are “Les Tontons Flingueurs” (1963), a sendup of organized crime, known to English-speaking audiences as “Crooks in Clover” or “Monsieur Gangster,” with Mr. Blier and Lino Ventura; “Mort d’un Pourri” (“Death of a Corrupt Man”), a 1977 thriller starring Mr. Delon, Ms. Darc and Stéphane Audran, about the murder of a blackmailer; “Le Professionnel,” a 1981 suspense thriller about the corrupt machinations behind a political assassination, starring Mr. Belmondo in a jaunty, James Bond-like turn as a rogue secret agent; a 1983 comedy about a woman (Miou-Miou, in “a lovely, confident performance,” Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times) maintaining two separate families, known in English as “My Other ‘Husband’ ”; and “La Cage aux Folles 3: The Wedding” (1985), the final installment of the series about the comically tortuous relationship problems of a gay couple.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Separation and Divorce? Initiated by the Wife? It's Always the Husband's Fault

Xavier Gorce's penguins

 • My wife wants to leave me!

• I am so angry at her!

• You're right: That way, you can avoid being angry against yourself…

Thursday, January 16, 2014

François Hollande's effort to recast and revive France’s influence in Africa

The imagery is likely to be the same as it has been for decades 
writes, perhaps somewhat wearily, Alan Cowell in the New York Times
— foreign troops in battle fatigues lugging backpacks and assault rifles, confronting mayhem.

But when French soldiers reinforce their small existing garrison in the Central African Republic in coming weeks, their presence will probably be depicted as a departure from a long tradition of military muscle as the prime instrument of postcolonial power. 

The Central African Republic — its territory larger than metropolitan France, with only a small fraction of its population — has occupied an anomalous place since independence from Paris in 1960, ruled by a procession of despots and even an emperor — Bokassa I — who was accused not just of profligacy but of cannibalism, too. 

But in more recent weeks, it has become the newest focus of an effort by President François Hollande to recast and revive his nation’s influence on a continent where its erstwhile clout has been challenged by the growing ascendancy of China and others eyeing Africa’s natural resources from oil to diamonds.

 … “The challenge of this intervention,” wrote Pierre Haski, a co-founder of the Rue89 news website, “lies in the ‘return’ of France to the dark continent after decades of interference followed by a period of relative indifference or misstatements.” 

“If France succeeds in its Central African mission, it will have recovered a good part of its influence,” he said, “positioning itself as an indispensable partner in those places where it risked becoming a vague memory.”

 … The Mali campaign at the beginning of the year drew France into a struggle against Al Qaeda and its affiliates, as well-financed and ideologically committed Islamist insurgents from the north pressed on the capital, Bamako, meeting no challenge from ineffective government forces. 

In the Central African Republic, by contrast, the overthrow in March of the previous government by rebel militias, many composed of Muslim fighters from Chad and Sudan, has precipitated growing lawlessness among rival warlords, raising the prospect of sectarian war spilling beyond its borders.
It is, of course, easier to deploy than to withdraw, as France discovered in Mali, where it still has 3,000 troops.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"No One Is!" Leftists and Their Calculated Lies Intended to Pacify the Bitter Clingers

The quickest way to find out what liberals have next on their to-do list is usually to pay close attention to what they tell you that they most certainly don’t want to do, and to what they assure you no one is actually proposing
quips Benny Huang.
Normally, you don’t have to look very far to find someone who is proposing, or has proposed, what liberals tell you cannot and never will happen. MSNBC’s Alex Wagner, for example, has assured the public that the second amendment is safe. “No one, anywhere, is talking about doing away with the second amendment, and no one, anywhere, is advocating stripping away gun ownership.”

So quit being hysterical, conservatives. Commentators generally don’t openly advocate for the repeal of the second amendment because that makes it sound as if they oppose fundamental rights spelled out explicitly in the Constitution. What they advocate is violating those rights while pretending that they are not. Rather than repealing the amendment, they just ignore the spirit and the letter thereof.

 Yet I can think of one person who has actually declared her support for repealing the second amendment. It’s the very same Alex Wagner. When Bill Maher asked her what changes she would make to the Constitution, she replied: “I think get rid of the second amendment, the right to bear arms.

So her assurances that “no one, anywhere” wants to take our guns was a calculated lie intended to pacify the bitter clingers. Why must liberals always employ this form of subterfuge? The answer is that whenever they tell us where this train is heading, people invariably demand to get off. So it’s in their best interest to keep mum and to name-call anyone who has enough prescience to see further down the tracks.

They call us paranoid, they call us wingnuts, they call us racists.

But we’re right.
Read the whole thing, especially the second illustration, in which Benny Huang discusses Sharia law and how we are all to "Rest assured though, [that] no one—and I mean no one—actually wants to bring Sharia to America."
These are but two examples. They told you, of course, that Obamacare would not cover abortions because it was not specifically provided for in the bill, and yet they adamantly refused to include a provision that would have explicitly forbade it. “No one” was suggesting that government fund abortion and yet that is exactly what happened. “No one” was suggesting that anti-bullying laws be used to censor speech that homosexuals find offensive, and yet it’s happening. “No one” is suggesting giving illegal aliens welfare and yet they keep getting it.

My advice to conservatives is to keep up your guard. You’re going to be called a nut for sounding the alarm bells. But you’re not a nut. You just have enough foresight to see the endgame that they so desperately want to keep hidden.
Read also Jed Babbin's So Many Intolerable Lies (Even the U.S. Marines have been corrupted):
Among the lies we’ve become inured to is that women can perform every job a man can, including those of combat infantryman and special operators. We’ve also been told the lie that the injection of women into combat arms has no effect on the warrior culture. The liberals insist that the culture isn’t of any value to combat effectiveness regardless of what the warriors themselves say.

And we have relied on the promises made by all of the military leaders, including the Marines, that they’d never diminish the physical standards that any prospective warrior had to meet simply to allow women into combat arms.

That virtually all women can’t meet the standards to do these jobs is so well-established a fact that only the liberal idiots who control Obama’s Pentagon could deny it. Twelve

 … There are so many lies coming out of the White House that we have become numb to them. But to concede that is to concede the debate. That is what is happening now across our political spectrum.

 … There are many certainties, many facts that have to be defended. And there used to be American institutions that could be relied on to defend those truths at all costs. How far has America fallen that the Marine Corps is breaking promises and implementing lies?

Too far.  No nation can long survive if it bases its continuation on lies.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The French President's Alleged Lover, Julie Gayet, and the Ethics Issues That Have Risen (Oui, Even in France) Over François Hollande's 'Mafia Flat' Trysts

Ever since the magazine Closer revealed that President François Hollande has a mistress (allegations which sent Valérie Trierweiler to a Paris hospital) — thus proving that in the internet age France can no longer hide their leaders' piccadilloes — a number of ethics issues have surfaced, write Le Monde's Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme: Notably reports of a 'tryst in a mafia flat'.

A lot of readers are defending François Hollande with regards to his relationship with the actress Julie Gayet, and I wouldn't be surprised if his (poor) polls go up over the affair (pun intended) — although Closer's own (non-scientific) online poll seems to say quite the opposite. (One Le Monde reader, David_Paris, even sounds downright — quelle horreur — American:  «La séparation "vie privée"-"vie publique" est stupide. S'il trompe la "femme de sa vie", pourquoi ne pourrait-il pas tromper son électorat?») Meanwhile, IBT's Samantha Payne tries to answer the question, Who Is Julie Gayet, Alleged Lover of French President Francois Hollande? (photos).

Everyone in the Élysée is concerned with how much time questions on the matter will take during le président's press conference Tuesday.
L'affaire de la liaison supposée de François Hollande avec l'actrice Julie Gayet soulève de nombreuses questions. Le Monde a enquêté sur les dysfonctionnements à l'Elysée liés à cette affaire.
  • A qui appartient l'appartement parisien de la rue du Cirque, dans le 8e arrondissement ?
… La comédienne Julie Gayet, amie d'Emmanuelle Hauck, travaillait régulièrement dans cet appartement, depuis que ses bureaux de la rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré faisaient l'objet de travaux. François Hollande s'est rendu une dizaine de fois dans cet appartement depuis l'automne 2013, d'après des éléments recueillis à l'Elysée par Le Monde. Le président, amateur de deux-roues, a utilisé, comme passager, un scooter appartenant à la flotte de l'Elysée, conduit par un membre de sa sécurité. Un second équipage assurait en outre la protection de M. Hollande.

  • Quel est le lien éventuel avec le banditisme corse ?
Il est indirect et fortuit. Il se trouve qu'Emmanuelle Hauck, née à Bastia, a vécu avec l'acteur Michel Ferracci, apparu notamment dans la série « Mafiosa », diffusée depuis 2006 sur Canal+. Or M. Ferracci a été condamné, au mois de novembre 2013, à dix-huit mois de prison avec sursis pour abus de confiance dans l'affaire du cercle Wagram. Il fut directeur des jeux de cet établissement, théâtre de détournements de fonds au profit de membres du gang corse de la Brise de mer.

  … après sa rupture avec Michel Ferracci, Emmanuelle Hauck était devenue la compagne de François Masini, au profil éminemment sulfureux. François Masini a été tué par balle, sur une route de Haute-Corse, le 31 mai 2013. …
  • Le service de sécurité du président a-t-il été défaillant ?
François Hollande est constamment protégé. Il a notamment à ses côtés deux hommes, des policiers de confiance qu'il a personnellement choisis.   Ceux-ci l'escortent dans tous ses déplacements privés. C'était le cas lors de ses visites rue du Cirque. Mais ces policiers n'ont pas enquêté sur le passé de la locataire de l'appartement, ni sur ses liens avec des individus au profil sulfureux. Ils n'ont pas su, non plus, repérer les paparazzi qui traquent François Hollande. Ceux-ci auraient loué un appartement à proximité pour les besoins de leur reportage.

Cela faisait de longs mois, déjà, que la rumeur parisienne propageait l'existence supposée d'une liaison entre M. Hollande et Mme Gayet. …
  • Que savaient exactement François Hollande et Manuel Valls ?
François Hollande, d'après l'Elysée, n'a jamais eu connaissance des liens entre la locataire de l'appartement, Emmanuelle Hauck, et certaines personnes réputées proches du banditisme corse. Ainsi, fait observer l'entourage de M. Hollande, le nom de Ferraci n'apparaît pas sur l'interphone de l'appartement. Le président n'avait connaissance que de l'identité de la locataire du logement, Mme Hauck, amie de longue date de Mme Gayet.

Lire l'analyse : Scénario catastrophe pour le président avant sa conférence de presse
  • Le magazine Closer a-t-il pu être instrumentalisé par des rivaux de M. Hollande ?
C'est une interrogation majeure, à l'Elysée, où l'on se penche sur le processus mis en œuvre à l'occasion du reportage de l'hebdomadaire people. A Paris, ces derniers mois, les rumeurs sur la liaison supposée du président ont été relatées par plusieurs relais sarkozystes de premier plan.
Or François Hollande a toujours considéré Nicolas Sarkozy comme son principal rival, en vue d'une future réelection, en 2017. Il lui a toujours prêté aussi un fort pouvoir de nuisance, lié à son passé Place Beauvau et à ses amitiés avec des responsables policiers de premier plan. En effet, l'ancien locataire de l'Elysée a conservé de puissants soutiens au sein de la police, dont une partie des effectifs resteraient acquis à M. Sarkozy.