Sunday, April 30, 2017

CAPS: One disaster prevents me seeing the other.

I can watch hockey on four channels. For some reason, it was Channel 56's turn last night to broadcast the Capitals-Penguins game 2 of the playoffs. Except that channel 56 was riveted to the radar pictures as three tornadoes and all kinds of rotations (which did not touch down) rampaged through the Canton area of East Texas. So, I was spared the other disaster, the Caps game. The score that flashed on channel 215 was 1:1 and 220 broadcast a car race.

Thankfully, the storm petered out before it got to us so I did not see the final score till this (Sunday) morning. How much worse could the Caps do following Thursday's failure of the offence? Plenty. By a failure of the defense and goal tending as well. A shorthanded goal scored by the Pens, two on one breakaways and the goalie could not stop any of it. Holtby was pulled and his replacement promptly let in two more goals. And the team finished with an empty netter.

Some people thought that the Caps might do it this year, that they might get past Pittsburgh. It is not going to happen. It is ridiculous to play ice hockey into June. It was even 90 degrees in DC yesterday. That grape was probably (most likely) sour. Lucky I was not in Vegas. I would have lost my shirt.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

FOX is ready to self destruct.

AJ begins. FOX is still Conservative in the sense that it does not try to ridicule Conservatives and allows the Conservative viewpoint to be presented. However, that is changing. We see more and more Liberals espousing nonsense and trying to talk over everybody else. In addition, the younger Murdoch is aiming at personnel changes (such as the reacquiring of Megyn Kelley, a surely suicidal move). It is time for a change.  

 

EXCLUSIVE: Advanced Talks Underway For New Conservative Network Amid Fears Fox News Moving Too Far Left

Fox_News-2.svg_On the heels of major shakeups at the Fox News Network, an alternative conservative network is being actively discussed amongst conservative fat cats.
A well-placed source close to the proposal tells Mediaite that serious discussions are underway to create an alternative conservative cable network on the belief that the Fox News Network is moving too far to the left. The source, who is engaged in the talks, says a meeting is planned for today with two prominent high-powered television executives, some underperforming conservative networks and people who have an interest and the ability to fund a new network.
The potential aim? Putting “the old band” back together. There are certainly plenty of (out-of-work?) conservative powerhouses to pick from that could star on a new network, and perhaps even some executives from within Fox News who might be lured by the new opportunity. Could the new channel include stars like the ousted Bill O’Reilly, who didn’t waste much time hitting the podcast waves after he was fired amid a sexual harassment scandal? Could Tomi Lahren, the conservative mega star, who was recently sidelined at The Blaze also take on a prominent role? The exact “who” won’t be clear until the deal is more defined but the source says the pitch is that the network could immediately reach at least 85 million homes.
This news comes on the heels of a long profile in last weekend’s New York Times which paints a picture of a changing Fox News Network with Murdoch’s sons, James and Lachlan, CEO and co-chairman of parent company 21st Century Fox, at the helm. The piece struck fear into the minds of some Fox News’ hardcore conservatives with talk of the sons wanting to rid the company “of the old-guard culture on which their father built his empire” and bringing “a warmer and fuzzier workplace” that would move away from an “anti-politically correct environment.”
On Thursday, New York Magazine‘s Gabe Sherman, a constant thorn in the side of Fox News, reported that “sweeping management changes” may be coming to the network as well. Sherman’s report cited three anonymous sources that contend that the network’s co-President Bill Shine recently asked the Murdoch sons to release a statement in support of him amid the roiling lawsuits and scandals. Both Fox News and 21 Century Fox have vigorously denied that Shine made such a request but the report by Sherman prompted a rather mysterious tweet about the “total end of the FNC as we know it” by the network’s biggest remaining star, Sean Hannity:
“I just don’t see Fox News and Sean having a long relationship. If Sean becomes available, you have 100 percent turnover in primetime and a huge opportunity,” a television executive, who didn’t want to be identified, but is involved in some of the talks, told Mediaite.
“I’m working on it (the new conservative channel) hot and heavy,” the source said. “It’s live, it’s real.” The new channel could come to fruition within the next 10 to 12 months, the executive said.
It is no surprise that a savvy investor would see the turmoil within Fox News as a major opportunity. As The Times piece noted, analysts estimate that Fox News produced 25 percent of 21st Century Fox’s operating income last year or a whopping $6.6 billion. Conservative news remains a cash cow for investors, but the media landscape is quickly changing with younger viewers “cutting the cord” and turning to alternative over-the-top live streaming platforms like Hulu, Amazon, Roku and YouTube TV. Could a conservative alternative channel with some big names have an edge on the 20-year-old conservative network? Stay tuned. Our source is convinced it can happen.
Update 12:58 p.m: This article has been updated with a quote from a television executive who is involved in the talks.
 

PITT vs WSH game 1: deja vu all over again.

The #1 and #2 teams in the NHL collided Thursday night and the #2 team won. I could say that but for a couple of slight mistakes, the Caps were the better team. They were. But they lost just the same.

This is how it went down.

Washington was pressing in the first period, but they did not convert. So, it was a shock when the second period Sidney Crosby scored two goals within a minute. Basically, the Caps allowed Crosby to skate in unopposed and take his shot. He buried them both.

Normally, a two goal deficit would be very hard to overcome, but the Caps scored once on a power play them tied the game in the third period. That's when the Caps did their third defensive error that resulted in a Pittsburg breakaway and goal.

The final 5 minutes of the game saw a tremendous pressure from the Caps. When the goalie was pulled the Caps began a continuous bombardment of the Pittsburg goal. There were bodies on the ice and Marc-Andre Fleury in goal with or without his stick. It is worth watching that sequence:

http://www.foxsports.com/nhl/story/marc-andre-fleury-makes-series-of-incredible-saves-to-help-penguins-stave-off-capitals-in-game-1-042717

Caps players swear that this is not "here we go again" and I think they are right. They are likely to win tonight's game. If I were in Vegas I would bet on them. But the series? The Caps have lost home ice advantage. That means they have to win one game in Pittsburgh and all their home games. Can it be done? Of course. But, they have not done it before. Chances are they will fail again.

Friday, April 28, 2017

How Obama created ISIS.

Global Research, August 20, 2014
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Dead American Journalist: The Latest Ploy to Cover-up Regional Genocide Years in the Making
American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly brutally murdered on video by terrorists of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS). The development would at first appear to portray a terrorist organization openly declaring itself an enemy of the West, but in reality, it is the latest attempt by the West itself to cover up the true genesis of the current region-wide catastrophe of its own creation now unfolding in the Middle East.
As early as 2007, the stage was being set for the regional genocide now unfolding from Syria and Lebanon along the Mediterranean to northern Iraq. The “sudden” appearance of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, otherwise known as ISIS, betrays years of its rise and the central part it played in Western-backed violence seeking to overthrow the government of Syria starting in 2011 amid the cover of the so-called “Arab Spring.”
While the “Free Syrian Army” brand was created and used to obfuscate the hardcore, sectarian extremism that pervaded mercenary forces raised against Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had warned starting in 2011 that it was neither a pro-democratic uprising, nor a moderate, secular rebellion – but rather hordes of foreign-backed terrorists with ties to Al Qaeda.
The US State Department itself would admit that Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra (an offshoot of ISIS), was among the most prominent armed militant groups fighting the Syrian government, beginning in 2011 onward. The US State Department’s official press statement titled, “Terrorist Designations of the al-Nusrah Front as an Alias for al-Qa’ida in Iraq,” stated explicitly that:
Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.
It was clear that the nationwide, extensive operations of al-Nusra were more than an apparition – instead they constituted the true nature of the armed conflict ravaging Syria – an armed enterprise that was clearly state-sponsored and the realization of long-laid plans by the West to reorder the region through chaos.
Rise of ISIS Portended in 2007
But even before 2011, analysts and journalists warned of an impending regional sectarian war being intentionally engineered by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other regional partners. The goal was to undermine and overthrow the government of Iran by first using covert violence to eliminate its arc of influence from Baghdad to Damascus, and of course in Lebanon.
 
Image: The war in Syria was always against foreign-backed sectarian extremists – just as was warned by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2011. The reason why despite hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, weapons, and equipment flowing to “moderates,” Al Qaeda has still managed to become the most prominent militant group now on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border, is because there were never any “moderates” to begin with. 
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
Veteran journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh warned in a prophetic 2007 New Yorker article titled, “The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” that (emphasis added):
Also in Hersh’s 2007 article, was mentioned ongoing support by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood for the purpose of creating the networks necessary to execute the coming violence that would be unleashed in 2011. He reported (emphasis added):
There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.
Both the “Arab Spring” cover, and the networks of armed extremists were being built simultaneously in 2007, and unleashed in earnest in 2011 amid a regional political conflagration.
Image: Just as was predicted, the West’s premeditated plan to arm and back sectarian extremists would cause regional genocide. Also predicted was that these targeted minorities would seek Hezbollah, Syrian, and Iranian protection. 
Hersh would also touch upon the coming sectarian nature of the West’s designs, noting that even former CIA officers knew it would be precisely the Iranian arc of influence that would end up protecting religious minorities from the legions of terror the West was preparing to unleash. Hersh reported:
Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites.
It would be difficult for anyone today to read Hersh’s 2007 report and interpret as anything less than a verbatim outline of what the West had planned and now, since 2011, fully executed. It would also be difficult to claim that the regional presence of ISIS is not the full realization of the conflict Hersh warned the world of in 2007.
ISIS’ Multinational Military Force the Product of Years of Western State-Sponsorship 
It is confirmed that since 2011, the United States, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have been heavily arming terrorists along both Syria’s border with Turkey in the north and with Jordan in the south. While official speeches from behind podiums have expressed a reluctance to assist militants fighting in Syria, the presence of the militants are entirely a product of foreign backing.
Image: ISIS began its invasion into Iraqi territory from NATO-member Turkey, through Syria and riding in Toyota Hilux trucks – identical to those provided to “moderates” by the US State Department as part of multi-million dollar “non-lethal” aid packages. ISIS did not take these trucks from “moderates,” the moderates never existed to begin with. From the beginning, it was the West’s plan to raise a mercenary army of sectarian extremists operating under the banner of Al Qaeda.  
…3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November. In the Telegraph’s 2013 article titled, “US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’,” it is reported:
 The story confirmed the origins of ex-Yugoslav weapons seen in growing numbers in rebel hands in online videos, as described last month by The Daily Telegraph and other newspapers, but suggests far bigger quantities than previously suspected.
The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States, with assistance on supplying the weapons organised through Turkey and Jordan, Syria’s neighbours. But the report added that as well as from Croatia, weapons came “from several other European countries including Britain”, without specifying if they were British-supplied or British-procured arms.
British military advisers however are known to be operating in countries bordering Syria alongside French and Americans, offering training to rebel leaders and former Syrian army officers. The Americans are also believed to be providing training on securing chemical weapons sites inside Syria.
Additionally, The New York Times in its article, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid,” admits that:
With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.
The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.
The US State Department had also announced it was sending hundreds of millions of dollars more in aid, equipment and even armored vehicles to militants operating in Syria, along with demands of its allies to “match” the funding to reach a goal of over a billion dollars. The NYT would report in their article, “Kerry Says U.S. Will Double Aid to Rebels in Syria,” that:
With the pledge of fresh aid, the total amount of nonlethal assistance from the United States to the coalition and civic groups inside the country is $250 million. During the meeting here, Mr. Kerry urged other nations to step up their assistance, with the objective of providing $1 billion in international aid.
The US has also admitted that it was officially arming and equipping terrorists inside of Syria. The Washington Post’s article, “U.S. weapons reaching Syrian rebels,” reported:
The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.
More recently, scores of Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks were delivered to terrorists along the Turkish-Syrian border, which would later be seen among ISIS convoys invading northern Iraq. In a PRI report titled, “This one Toyota pickup truck is at the top of the shopping list for the Free Syrian Army — and the Taliban,” it stated:
Recently, when the US State Department resumed sending non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, the delivery list included 43 Toyota trucks.
Hiluxes were on the Free Syrian Army’s wish list. Oubai Shahbander, a Washington-based advisor to the Syrian National Coalition, is a fan of the truck.
It is clear that ISIS did not materialize from sand dunes in Iraq’s northern region, nor are they procuring immense armories of weaponry by picking Kalashnikovs from date trees. They are the visible materialization of years of material support openly reported by the Western media allegedly sent to “moderate rebels” who do not exist. If they did exist, there has been no plausible explanation to account for how ISIS has managed to procure more weapons, cash, fighters, and influence throughout the region than “moderates” receiving backing from the combined resources of the US, Europe, Turkey, the Saudis, Qataris, and Jordanians.
Maintaining Plausible Deniability 
Image: American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly beheaded by ISIS terrorists. Before his execution, a masked terrorists with a British accent threatened the US, the same US that in fact has created, armed, funded, directed, and to this day perpetuates ISIS’ activities across the region. The depraved propaganda ploy is designed to create plausible deniability for the West, creating the illusion that ISIS and the US are enemies, not allies.  
To deflect the general public from ever arriving at this obvious conclusion, a myriad of public relations ploys have been designed to portray ISIS not as the armed fist of Western hegemony in the Middle East, but a villain not only beyond its control, but posing as a direct threat to the West itself. Token bombing in northern Iraq and the arming of Kurds served dual purposes. The bombings made it appear that the US was fighting, not backing ISIS, while arming the Kurds helped further Balkanize Iraq as part of the classic hegemonic stratagem of “divide and conquer.”The logical conclusion to be drawn by those observing the last 3 years of immense funding, weapon deliveries, political, diplomatic, and even military training for terrorists fighting in Syria and now in Iraq, is that there were never any “moderates” to begin with. It was, as veteran journalist Seymour Hersh had warned in 2007, always sectarian extremists ideologically aligned with Al Qaeda that the West had planned to utilize against its enemies in the Middle East.
More recently, in what is obvious propaganda, American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly abducted,then murdered on video by ISIS terrorists. Throughout the video, before the alleged execution, a man’s voice, apparently the masked individual about to carry out the execution, speaks with a British accent, condemning the United States, threatening US President Barack Obama, and promising retaliation against the West.
Regardless of the veracity of the events portrayed in the video, the fact that it was created in the first place indicates a need by the West and those directly handling, arming, and funding ISIS’ activities both in Syria and in Iraq, to create “distance” between the West and the ISIS mercenaries executing their foreign policy in their long-planned regional sectarian bloodbath. Videos like those featuring Foley, splashed sensationally across the front pages of Western websites and newspapers when US casualties in wars gone bad are otherwise buried, indicate a concerted propaganda campaign aimed at manipulating public perception, not honest, responsible reportage.
The predictable reaction of Americans is to recoil at ISIS’ barbarism, despite similar barbarism being carried out for years in Syria and Iraq by Western-backed terrorists. With the apparent death of Foley, the US has created in the minds of many, plausible deniability regarding its well-documented role in the premeditated creation and continued perpetuation of ISIS. For Western special interests willing to lie to invade and occupy Iraq at the cost of over a million lives, including thousands of Americans, what would one more murdered American mean in an attempt to continue advancing its destructive, misanthropic agenda?
It should be remembered that Western designs in the Middle East are but one stage of a greater agenda. The reordering of the Middle East with immense standing armies of terrorists answering to Western dictates, will be used to move against Russia in the Caucasus region, and against China within and along the boundaries of Xinjiang province.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Stroll Through the 1950s.

Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan, or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,

For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.

We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since.

We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.

And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice..

We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.

We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn't talk yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson, and Zeppelins were not Led.

And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees,
Madonna was Mary in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars.

And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never co-Ed in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.

And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.

T-Birds came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.

And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me.

We had no Crest with Fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for those dysfunctions in the Land That Made Me,
Me.

There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill

And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three,
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.

But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.
They send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.

So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.
And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.


I do not know the Author of this poem, but the subject is familiar. I was fortunate to arrive in the US in the 1950s. This was a wonderful country then. It has been downhill ever since.



The deperation of the French Elite.

French elites were always out of touch with the plight of the French working class. The classic was the phrase uttered by Marie Antoinette, who upon being told that the French peasantry had no bread replied 'then let them eat cake.'

The current scare of the Elite is that Marine Le Pen will get elected President. That is why the Elite are pulling every trick in the book to fool the electorate. The first trick is the "fresh young face" of Emmanuel Macron, the 'independent candidate' and opponent of Marine Le Pen. Mr Macron was the Finance Minister of the Socialist Hollande and is a supporter of the EU and the continuation of stuffing France with North Africans and Muslims.

But the next "trick" shows that Marx was right at least on one thing when he said that "history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce." French 'journalists' are 'reporting' that the same Russian forces that hacked Hillary's campaign are trying to hack Macron's. So, the Elite is trying to convince the French that Le Pen is a Russian puppet.

A few years back, the Elite would have rejoiced in the possibility that the Russians might gain influence in France. What happened that the American and the French elites now speak of Russia with hatred and loathing?

Play close attention to the Moscow Parade of 2015. It begins in a fashion dear to Left wingers: the elite Kremlin guards goose stepping a red flag and a Russian flag then stop at their appointed space. But, it is the next sequence that no doubt enrages every red-blooded Liberal in the US and France. At 6:29 of the tape, the camera switches to Minister Seguin, With a cathedral behind him, he rides in a staff car bare headed, crosses himself then puts his cap back on. Any left winger no doubt screamed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrSzCnz9Sic

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The French election - a backgroud.

AJ begins.

In France, as in the United States, the elites have decided that the white working class no longer supports them. So, they adopted policies that are anti white male. At the same time the elites are labeling anyone who protests their policies as "racist or its French equivalent." Marine Le Pen (like Donald Trump)  champions the forgotten and downtrodden white working class. Will she succeed or will the elites confuse and brainwash enough of the people to perpetuate the supplanting of the French people with immigrants? That is the question in the May 7 runoff.

 

The French, Coming Apart

The French, Coming Apart
A social thinker illuminates his country’s populist divide.
                
The Social Order
The real-estate market in any sophisticated city reflects deep aspirations and fears. If you had a feel for its ups and downs—if you understood, say, why young parents were picking this neighborhood and drunks wound up relegated to that one—you could make a killing in property, but you also might be able to pronounce on how society was evolving more generally. In 2016, a real-estate developer even sought—and won—the presidency of the United States.
In France, a real-estate expert has done something almost as improbable. Christophe Guilluy calls himself a geographer. But he has spent decades as a housing consultant in various rapidly changing neighborhoods north of Paris, studying gentrification, among other things. And he has crafted a convincing narrative tying together France’s various social problems—immigration tensions, inequality, deindustrialization, economic decline, ethnic conflict, and the rise of populist parties. Such an analysis had previously eluded the Parisian caste of philosophers, political scientists, literary journalists, government-funded researchers, and party ideologues.
Guilluy is none of these. Yet in a French political system that is as polarized as the American, both the outgoing Socialist president François Hollande and his Gaullist predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy sought his counsel. Marine Le Pen, whose National Front dismisses both major parties as part of a corrupt establishment, is equally enthusiastic about his work. Guilluy has published three books, as yet untranslated, since 2010, with the newest, Le crépuscule de la France d’en haut (roughly: “The Twilight of the French Elite”), arriving in bookstores last fall. The volumes focus closely on French circumstances, institutions, and laws, so they might not be translated anytime soon. But they give the best ground-level look available at the economic, residential, and democratic consequences of globalization in France. They also give an explanation for the rise of the National Front that goes beyond the usual imputation of stupidity or bigotry to its voters. Guilluy’s work thus tells us something important about British voters’ decision to withdraw from the European Union and the astonishing rise of Donald Trump—two phenomena that have drawn on similar grievances.
At the heart of Guilluy’s inquiry is globalization. Internationalizing the division of labor has brought significant economic efficiencies. But it has also brought inequalities unseen for a century, demographic upheaval, and cultural disruption. Now we face the question of what—if anything—we should do about it.
A process that Guilluy calls métropolisation has cut French society in two. In 16 dynamic urban areas (Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, Nice, Nantes, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Rennes, Rouen, Toulon, Douai-Lens, and Montpellier), the world’s resources have proved a profitable complement to those found in France. These urban areas are home to all the country’s educational and financial institutions, as well as almost all its corporations and the many well-paying jobs that go with them. Here, too, are the individuals—the entrepreneurs and engineers and CEOs, the fashion designers and models, the film directors and chefs and other “symbolic analysts,” as Robert Reich once called them—who shape the country’s tastes, form its opinions, and renew its prestige. Cheap labor, tariff-free consumer goods, and new markets of billions of people have made globalization a windfall for such prosperous places. But globalization has had no such galvanizing effect on the rest of France. Cities that were lively for hundreds of years—Tarbes, Agen, Albi, Béziers—are now, to use Guilluy’s word, “desertified,” haunted by the empty storefronts and blighted downtowns that Rust Belt Americans know well.
Guilluy doubts that anyplace exists in France’s new economy for working people as we’ve traditionally understood them. Paris offers the most striking case. As it has prospered, the City of Light has stratified, resembling, in this regard, London or American cities such as New York and San Francisco. It’s a place for millionaires, immigrants, tourists, and the young, with no room for the median Frenchman. Paris now drives out the people once thought of as synonymous with the city.
Yet economic opportunities for those unable to prosper in Paris are lacking elsewhere in France. Journalists and politicians assume that the stratification of France’s flourishing metropoles results from a glitch in the workings of globalization. Somehow, the rich parts of France have failed to impart their magical formula to the poor ones. Fixing the problem, at least for certain politicians and policy experts, involves coming up with a clever shortcut: perhaps, say, if Romorantin had free wireless, its citizens would soon find themselves wealthy, too. Guilluy disagrees. For him, there’s no reason to expect that Paris (and France’s other dynamic spots) will generate a new middle class or to assume that broad-based prosperity will develop elsewhere in the country (which happens to be where the majority of the population live). If he is right, we can understand why every major Western country has seen the rise of political movements taking aim at the present system.
In our day, the urban real-estate market is a pitiless sorting machine. Rich people and up-and-comers buy the private housing stock in desirable cities and thereby bid up its cost. Guilluy notes that one real-estate agent on the Île Saint-Louis in Paris now sells “lofts” of three square meters, or about 30 square feet, for €50,000. The situation resembles that in London, where, according to Le Monde, the average monthly rent (£2,580) now exceeds the average monthly salary (£2,300).
The laid-off, the less educated, the mistrained—all must rebuild their lives in what Guilluy calls (in the title of his second book) La France périphérique. This is the key term in Guilluy’s sociological vocabulary, and much misunderstood in France, so it is worth clarifying: it is neither a synonym for the boondocks nor a measure of distance from the city center. (Most of France’s small cities, in fact, are in la France périphérique.) Rather, the term measures distance from the functioning parts of the global economy. France’s best-performing urban nodes have arguably never been richer or better-stocked with cultural and retail amenities. But too few such places exist to carry a national economy. When France’s was a national economy, its median workers were well compensated and well protected from illness, age, and other vicissitudes. In a knowledge economy, these workers have largely been exiled from the places where the economy still functions. They have been replaced by immigrants.
After the mid-twentieth century, the French state built a vast stock—about 5 million units—of public housing, which now accounts for a sixth of the country’s households. Much of it is hideous-looking, but it’s all more or less affordable. Its purpose has changed, however. It is now used primarily for billeting not native French workers, as once was the case, but immigrants and their descendants, millions of whom arrived from North Africa starting in the 1960s, with yet another wave of newcomers from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East arriving today. In the rough northern suburb of Aubervilliers, for instance, three-quarters of the young people are of immigrant background. Again, Paris’s future seems visible in contemporary London. Between 2001 and 2011, the population of white Londoners fell by 600,000, even as the city grew by 1 million people: from 58 percent white British at the turn of the century, London is currently 45 percent white.
While rich Parisians may not miss the presence of the middle class, they do need people to bus tables, trim shrubbery, watch babies, and change bedpans. Immigrants—not native French workers—do most of these jobs. Why this should be so is an economic controversy. Perhaps migrants will do certain tasks that French people will not—at least not at the prevailing wage. Perhaps employers don’t relish paying €10 an hour to a native Frenchman who, ten years earlier, was making €20 in his old position and has resentments to match. Perhaps the current situation is an example of the economic law named after the eighteenth-century French economist Jean-Baptiste Say: a huge supply of menial labor from the developing world has created its own demand.
“The young men living in the northern Paris suburbs feel a burning solidarity with their Muslim brethren in the Middle East.”
This is not Guilluy’s subject, though. He aims only to show that, even if French people were willing to do the work that gets offered in these prosperous urban centers, there’d be no way for them to do it, because there is no longer any place for them to live. As a new bourgeoisie has taken over the private housing stock, poor foreigners have taken over the public—which thus serves the metropolitan rich as a kind of taxpayer-subsidized servants’ quarters. Public-housing inhabitants are almost never ethnically French; the prevailing culture there nowadays is often heavily, intimidatingly Muslim.
At the opening of his new book, Guilluy describes twenty-first-century France as “an ‘American’ society like any other, unequal and multicultural.” It’s a controversial premise—that inequality and racial diversity are linked as part of the same (American-type) system and that they progress or decline together. Though this premise has been confirmed in much of the West for half a century, the assertion will shock many Americans, conditioned to place “inequality” (bad) and “diversity” (good) at opposite poles of a Manichean moral order. This disconnect is a key reason American political discussions have turned so illogical and rancorous. Certain arguments—for instance, that raising the incomes of American workers requires limiting immigration—can be cast as either sensible or superstitious, legitimate or illegitimate, good or evil, depending on whether the person making them is deemed to be doing so on the grounds of economics or identity.
At a practical level, considerations of economics and ethnicity are getting harder to disentangle. Guilluy has spent years in and out of buildings in northern Paris (his sisters live in public housing), and he is sensitive to the way this works in France. A public-housing development is a community, yes, and one can wish that it be more diverse. But it is also an economic resource that, more and more, is getting fought over tribally. An ethnic Frenchman moving into a heavily North African housing project finds himself threatening a piece of property that members of “the community” think of as theirs. Guilluy speaks of a “battle of the eyes” fought in the lobbies of apartment buildings across France every day, in which one person or the other—the ethnic Frenchman or the immigrant’s son—will drop his gaze to the floor first.
Most places where migrant and native French cultures mix, Guilluy expects, will evolve as did the northern Paris suburbs where he works. Twenty years ago, these neighborhoods remained a hub of Parisian Jewish life; nowadays, they’re heavily Arab. The young men living in them feel a burning solidarity with their Muslim brethren in the Middle East and often a loathing for Israel. Jews have faced steady intimidation in northern Paris at least since 2002, when the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks overlapped with the Palestinian “second intifada.” Violence is rising. July 2014 saw a wave of attacks on Jewish businesses and synagogues in the suburb of Sarcelles. Jews have evacuated some municipalities north of Paris, where, until recently, they were an integral part: Saint-Denis, La Courneuve, Aubervilliers, Stains, Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, Trappes, Aulnay-sous-Bois, and Le Blanc-Mesnil. Many Jews still live safely and well in France, of course, but they cluster together in a smaller number of secure neighborhoods, several of them on Paris’s western edge. Departures of French Jews to Israel run to about 7,000 a year, according to the Jewish Agency of France. Others go to the U.S. and Canada. The leavers are disproportionately young.
Guilluy has written much about how little contact the abstract doctrines of “diversity” and “multiculturalism” make with this morally complex world. In the neighborhoods, well-meaning people of all backgrounds “need to manage, day in, day out, a thousand and one ethno-cultural questions while trying not to get caught up in hatred and violence.” Last winter, he told the magazine Causeur:
Unlike our parents in the 1960s, we live in a multicultural society, a society in which “the other” doesn’t become “somebody like yourself.” And when “the other” doesn’t become “somebody like yourself,” you constantly need to ask yourself how many of the other there are—whether in your neighborhood or your apartment building. Because nobody wants to be a minority.
Thus, when 70 percent of Frenchmen tell pollsters, as they have for years now, that “too many foreigners” live in France, they’re not necessarily being racist; but they’re not necessarily not being racist, either. It’s a complicated sentiment, and identifying “good” and “bad” strands of it—the better to draw them apart—is getting harder to do.
France’s most dangerous political battles play out against this backdrop. The central fact is the 70 percent that we just spoke of: they oppose immigration and are worried, we can safely assume, about the prospects for a multiethnic society. Their wishes are consistent, their passions high; and a democracy is supposed to translate the wishes and passions of the people into government action. Yet that hasn’t happened in France.
Guilluy breaks down public opinion on immigration by class. Top executives (at 54 percent) are content with the current number of migrants in France. But only 38 percent of mid-level professionals, 27 percent of laborers, and 23 percent of clerical workers feel similarly. As for the migrants themselves (whose views are seldom taken into account in French immigration discussions), living in Paris instead of Boumako is a windfall even under the worst of circumstances. In certain respects, migrants actually have it better than natives, Guilluy stresses. He is not referring to affirmative action. Inhabitants of government-designated “sensitive urban zones” (ZUS) do receive special benefits these days. But since the French cherish equality of citizenship as a political ideal, racial preferences in hiring and education took much longer to be imposed than in other countries. They’ve been operational for little more than a decade. A more important advantage, as geographer Guilluy sees it, is that immigrants living in the urban slums, despite appearances, remain “in the arena.” They are near public transportation, schools, and a real job market that might have hundreds of thousands of vacancies. At a time when rural France is getting more sedentary, the ZUS are the places in France that enjoy the most residential mobility: it’s better in the banlieues.
In France, the Parti Socialiste, like the Democratic Party in the U.S. or Labour in Britain, has remade itself based on a recognition of this new demographic and political reality. François Hollande built his 2012 presidential victory on a strategy outlined in October 2011 by Bruno Jeanbart and the late Olivier Ferrand of the Socialist think tank Terra Nova. Largely because of cultural questions, the authors warned, the working class no longer voted for the Left. The consultants suggested a replacement coalition of ethnic minorities, people with advanced degrees (usually prospering in new-economy jobs), women, youths, and non-Catholics—a French version of the Obama bloc. It did not make up, in itself, an electoral majority, but it possessed sufficient cultural power to attract one.
 
The comfortable residents of France’s 16 prospering cities define the country’s tastes and form its opinions, while . . . (CHRISTIAN VIERIG/GETTY IMAGES)
The comfortable residents of France’s 16 prospering cities define the country’s tastes and form its opinions, while . . . (CHRISTIAN VIERIG/GETTY IMAGES)

Guilluy came to the attention of many French readers at the turn of the millennium, in the pages of the leftist Paris daily Libération, where he promoted the American journalist David Brooks’s book Bobos in Paradise. Guilluy was fascinated by the figure of the “Bobo,” an acronym combining “bourgeois” and “Bohemian,” which described the new sort of upper-middle-class person who had emerged in the late-nineties tech-bubble economy. The word may have faded from the memory of English-language readers, but it stuck in France. You can find Bobo in any good French dictionary, alongside bébé, Dada, and tutu.
For Brooks, “Bobo” was a term of endearment. Our nouveaux riches differed from those of yesteryear in being more sensitive and cultured, the kind of folks who shopped at Restoration Hardware for the vintage 1950s Christmas lights that reminded them of their childhoods. For Guilluy, as for most French intellectuals, “Bobo” is a slur. These nouveaux riches differed from their predecessors in being more predatory and less troubled by conscience. They chased the working-class population from neighborhoods it had spent years building up—and then expected the country to thank them.
In France, as in America, the Bobos were both cause and effect of a huge cultural shift. The nation’s cultural institutions—from its universities to its television studios to its comedy clubs to (this being France) its government—remain where they were. But the sociology of the community that surrounds them has been transformed. The culture industry now sits in territory that is 100 percent occupied by the beneficiaries of globalization. No equivalent exists any more of Madame Vauquer’s boardinghouse in Balzac’s Père Goriot, where the upwardly mobile Rastignac had to rub shoulders with those who had few prospects of advancement. In most parts of Paris, working-class Frenchmen are just gone, priced out of even the soccer stadiums that were a bastion of French proledom until the country’s World Cup victory in 1998. The national culture has changed.
So has French politics. Since the age of social democracy, we have assumed that contentious political issues inevitably pit “the rich” against “the poor” and that the fortunes of one group must be wrested from the other. But the metropolitan bourgeoisie no longer lives cheek-by-jowl with native French people of lesser means and different values. In Paris and other cities of Guilluy’s fortunate France, one often encounters an appearance of civility, even consensus, where once there was class conflict. But this is an illusion: one side has been driven from the field.
The old bourgeoisie hasn’t been supplanted; it has been supplemented by a second bourgeoisie that occupies the previously non-bourgeois housing stock. For every old-economy banker in an inherited high-ceilinged Second Empire apartment off the Champs-Élysées, there is a new-economy television anchor or high-tech patent attorney living in some exorbitantly remodeled mews house in the Marais. A New Yorker might see these two bourgeoisies as analogous to residents of the Upper East and Upper West Sides. They have arrived through different routes, and they might once have held different political opinions, but they don’t now. Guilluy notes that the conservative presidential candidate Alain Juppé, mayor of Bordeaux, and Gérard Collomb, the Socialist running Lyon, pursue identical policies. As Paris has become not just the richest city in France but the richest city in the history of France, its residents have come to describe their politics as “on the left”—a judgment that tomorrow’s historians might dispute. Most often, Parisians mean what Guilluy calls la gauche hashtag, or what we might call the “glass-ceiling Left,” preoccupied with redistribution among, not from, elites: we may have done nothing for the poor, but we did appoint the first disabled lesbian parking commissioner.
Upwardly mobile urbanites, observes Guilluy, call Paris “the land of possibilities,” the “ideapolis.” One is reminded of Richard Florida and other extollers of the “Creative Class.” The good fortune of Creative Class members appears (to them) to have nothing to do with any kind of capitalist struggle. Never have conditions been more favorable for deluding a class of fortunate people into thinking that they owe their privilege to being nicer, or smarter, or more honest, than everyone else. Why would they think otherwise? They never meet anyone who disagrees with them. The immigrants with whom the creatives share the city are dazzlingly different, exotic, even frightening, but on the central question of our time—whether the global economic system is working or failing—they see eye to eye. “Our Immigrants, Our Strength,” was the title of a New York Times op-ed signed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, New York mayor Bill de Blasio, and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo after September’s terrorist bomb blasts in New York. This estrangement is why electoral results around the world last year—from Brexit to the election of Donald Trump—proved so difficult to anticipate. Those outside the city gates in la France périphérique are invisible, their wishes incomprehensible. It’s as if they don’t exist. But they do.
People used to think of the economy as congruent with society—it was the earning-and-spending aspect of the nation just living its life. All citizens inhabited the same economic system (which isn’t to say that all took an equal share from it). As Guilluy describes it, the new economy is more like a private utility: it provides money and goods the way, say, the power company provides electricity. If you’ve always had electricity in your house, what’s the worry? But it’s quite possible to get cut off.
For those cut off from France’s new-economy citadels, the misfortunes are serious. They’re stuck economically. Three years after finishing their studies, three-quarters of French university graduates are living on their own; by contrast, three-quarters of their contemporaries without university degrees still live with their parents. And they’re dying early. In January 2016, the national statistical institute Insée announced that life expectancy had fallen for both sexes in France for the first time since World War II, and it’s the native French working class that is likely driving the decline. In fact, the French outsiders are looking a lot like the poor Americans Charles Murray described in Coming Apart, failing not just in income and longevity but also in family formation, mental health, and education. Their political alienation is striking. Fewer than 2 percent of legislators in France’s National Assembly today come from the working class, as opposed to 20 percent just after World War II.
Unlike their parents in Cold War France, the excluded have lost faith in efforts to distribute society’s goods more equitably. Political plans still abound to fight the “system,” ranging from the 2017 Socialist presidential candidate Benoît Hamon’s proposals for a guaranteed minimum income to those of his rival, former economics minister Emmanuel Macron, to make labor markets more flexible. But these programs are seen by their intended beneficiaries as further proof of a rigged system. The welfare state is now distrusted by those whom it is meant to help. France’s expenditure on the heavily immigrant banlieues is already vast, on this view; to provide yet more public housing would be to widen the invitation to unwanted immigrants. To build any large public-works project is to do the same. To invest in education, in turn, is to offer more advantages to the rich, who’re best positioned to benefit from it. In a society divided as Guilluy describes, traditional politics can find no purchase.
The two traditional French parties—the Republicans, who once followed a conservative program elaborated by Charles de Gaulle; and the Socialists, who once followed socialism—still compete for votes, but along an ever-narrowing spectrum of issues. The real divide is no longer between the “Right” and the “Left” but between the metropoles and the peripheries. The traditional parties thrive in the former. The National Front (FN) is the party of the outside.
Indeed, with its opposition to free trade, open immigration, and the European Union, the FN has established itself as the main voice of the anti-globalizers. At regional elections in 2015, it took 55 percent of workers’ votes. The Socialists, Republicans, Greens, and the hard Left took 18 percent among them. In an effort to ward off the FN, the traditional parties now collude as often as they compete. In the second round of those regional elections, the Socialists withdrew in favor of their Republican rivals, seeking to create a barrage républicain against the FN. The banding together of establishment parties to defend the system against anti-system parties is happening all over the world. Germany has a “grand coalition” of its two largest parties, and Spain may have one soon. In the U.S., the Trump and the Sanders candidacies both gained much of their support from voters worried that the two major parties were offering essentially the same package.
Guilluy has tried to clarify French politics with an original theory of political correctness. The dominance of metropolitan elites has made it hard even to describe the most important conflicts in France, except in terms that conform to their way of viewing the world. In the last decade of the twentieth century, Western statesmen sang the praises of the free market. In our own time, they defend the “open society”—a wider concept that embraces not just the free market but also the welcoming and promotion of people of different races, religions, and sexualities. The result, in terms of policy, is a number of what Guilluy calls “top-down social movements.” He doesn’t specify them, but they would surely include the Hollande government’s legalization of gay marriage, which in 2013 and 2014 brought millions of protesters opposing the measure onto the streets of Paris—the largest demonstrations in the country since World War II.
French elites have convinced themselves that their social supremacy rests not on their economic might but on their common decency. Doing so allows them to “present the losers of globalization as embittered people who have problems with diversity,” says Guilluy. It’s not our privilege that the French deplorables resent, the elites claim; it’s the color of some of our employees’ skin. French elites have a thesaurus full of colorful vocabulary for those who resist the open society: repli (“reaction”), crispation identitaire (“ethnic tension”), and populisme (an accusation equivalent to fascism, which somehow does not require an equivalent level of proof). One need not say anything racist or hateful to be denounced as a member of “white, xenophobic France,” or even as a “fascist.” To express mere discontent with the political system is dangerous enough. It is to faire le jeu de (“play the game of”) the National Front.
. . . residents of its “desertified” cities simmer with anger. (ADAM NOSSITER/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX)
. . . residents of its “desertified” cities simmer with anger. (ADAM NOSSITER/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX)

No American will read Guilluy’s survey of contemporary France without seeing parallels to the United States. In one respect, France’s difficulties are, for now, more serious. When Guilluy writes of the “criminalization of criticism of the dominant model,” he is not speaking metaphorically. France’s antiracist Pleven law, which can punish speech, passed in 1972. In 1990, the Gayssot law criminalized denial or “minimization” of the Holocaust and repealed parts of France’s Law of July 29, 1881, on Freedom of the Press. Both laws are landmarks in Europe’s retreat from defending free speech. Suits against novelists, philosophers, and historians have proliferated.
In France, political correctness is more than a ridiculous set of opinions; it’s also—and primarily—a tool of government coercion. Not only does it tilt any political discussion in favor of one set of arguments; it also gives the ruling class a doubt-expelling myth that provides a constant boost to morale and esprit de corps, much as class systems did in the days before democracy. People tend to snicker when the question of political correctness is raised: its practitioners because no one wants to be thought politically correct; and its targets because no one wants to admit to being coerced. But it determines the current polarity in French politics. Where you stand depends largely on whether you believe that antiracism is a sincere response to a genuine upsurge of public hatred or an opportunistic posture for elites seeking to justify their rule.
Guilluy is ambivalent on the question. He sees deep historical and economic processes at work behind the evolution of France’s residential spaces. “There has been no plan to ‘expel the poor,’ no conspiracy,” he writes. “Just a strict application of market principles.” But he is moving toward a more politically engaged view that the rhetoric of an “open society” is “a smokescreen meant to hide the emergence of a closed society, walled off for the benefit of the upper classes.”
It would be wrong, though, to see Guilluy as the partisan of any political project, let alone “playing the game” of one. Ideologically and intellectually, he is difficult to place. Sometimes he sounds like the English radical Paul Mason, author of the 2016 book Post-Capitalism. That is, he looks at the destruction of working-class sources of power (from trade unions to industrial jobs) not as unfortunate collateral damage of the last 30 years of economic policy but as the overarching goal of it. His perspective on political change will remind City Journal readers of Joel Kotkin, in that he is more interested in how people act (where they move, the jobs they take, the way they form families) than in the opinions they spout. In a French context, he would be seen as among those in left-wing circles on whom certain civilizational truths once considered “conservative” have dawned. These include the novelist Michel Houellebecq, the philosopher Michel Onfray, and the political philosopher Jean-Claude Michéa, who has been heavily influenced by American historian Christopher Lasch. Guilluy, too, acknowledges Lasch’s influence, and one hears it when he writes, in La France périphérique, of family and community as constituting “the capital of the poor.”
Like much in French intellectual life, Guilluy’s newest book is intelligent, original, and rather slapdash. Its maps, while brilliantly conceived, are poorly explained. Its forays into social science are mis-designed—Guilluy’s “indices of fragility” are based on redundant, highly correlated factors that exaggerate the points he means to make. The book has been assembled sloppily and, it seems, hastily. Long prose passages turn up twice on the same page, as if the editor spilled a cup of coffee while cutting and pasting.
Still, Guilluy’s work is the most successful attempt to tow French political sociology out of the rut that it has been mired in since the Cold War and to direct it toward the pressing matters of our day. The “American” society that Guilluy describes—unequal and multicultural—can appear quite stable, but signs abound that it is in crisis. For one thing, it requires for its own replication a growing economy.
Since Tocqueville, we have understood that our democratic societies are emulative. Nobody wants to be thought a bigot if the membership board of the country club takes pride in its multiculturalism. But as the prospect of rising in the world is hampered or extinguished, the inducements to ideological conformism weaken. Dissent appears. Political correctness grows more draconian. Finally the ruling class reaches a dangerous stage, in which it begins to lose not only its legitimacy but also a sense of what its legitimacy rested on in the first place.