Posts Tagged ‘Francois Hollande’


April 8, 2016

Emmanuel Macron –the gift that keeps on giving.  Not content with being the most powerful man in China, M. le Ministre has decided to conquer all tripartite Gaul as well.

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron has set up his own political movement, saying he wants to find “new ideas” for France. Macron, 38, announced the creation of “En Marche” (“On the Move”) in Amiens, portraying the movement as a think-tank that would listen to ideas from other parties of the right and left — providing they held “republican” ideals, a euphemism often used to exclude the far-right National Front (FN).

“I’m in a left-wing government, unashamedly, … but I also want to work with people from the right, who commit to the same values.  This ambition, it’s radical, it’s a bit crazy, but there is such an energy in the country.  I see all the things I don’t manage to get done, all the things that are blocked, and this movement is [intended] to get beyond these [obstacles].”


You may be especially interested to learn that …

A macron is a diacritical mark, a straight bar ( ¯ ) placed above a letter, usually a vowel.  Its name derives from the Greek μακρόν (makrón), meaning “long”, and it [usually] marks a long vowel.

Of course, when dealing with the French language, it’s always important to remember the significance of diacritical marks –those little typographic addenda which ornament various vowels and consonants.  The ones most commonly used in French are the accent grave, the accent aigu, the circumflex, and the cédille (which itself contains an accent aigu).  The cédille transforms pronunciation of the letter ‘c’ into an ‘s’ sound (as in François), while the accent aigu changes pronunciation of the letter ‘e’ into an ‘ay’ sound (hay is for horses).

So what happens when we add un petit accent aigu to the final letter of M. Macron’s movement En Marche?  We get the phrase En Marché.  And although a strictly literal translation of en marché into English would be rendered as “in the market,” a more colloquial formulation might instead be “up for sale” or perhaps “looking to deal.”

Former RPR prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said this week he could even imagine Macron as premier under a center-right president such as Alain Juppé, who is currently leading opinion polls ahead of the 2017 presidential election. “The best prime minister for a president from the moderate right would be Emmanuel Macron,” Raffarin said.

Bearing this in mind, what happens when we playfully pivot the letter ‘r’ in M. Macron’s surname clockwise 180 degrees?  It becomes une cédille positioned below the preceding letter ‘c’ –thus giving us … un maçon.


Hence the primary question remaining open:  is Macron affiliated with GLF, GLNF, or GOF?



Better Call Saul

June 9, 2015

Quick take on the G7 Summit:

Tall tales: whose fisch is bigger?

Tall tales: whose fisch is bigger?



Angela Merkel knows better than to raise her right hand in Bavaria.  Not surprisingly, it’s Harper and Abe who have almost locked their elbows in the classic salute.  Matteo Renzi and Jean-Claude Juncker are smart enough to use their left hands.  Francois Hollande knows it’s a trap, but isn’t sure how to react.


Everyone's smiling. Das ist Gut.

Everyone’s smiling. Das ist Gut.


Saul and David

“The painting is in fact made up of 15 different pieces of canvas; three main parts – the Saul, the David, and an insert of a copy of an old painting in the upper right corner plus strips all around the edges. So it’s a real patchwork,”  Emilie Gordenker said.


Inauguration Ball

May 6, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new.  May 6 was Election Day in France, and Inauguration Day in Russia.  The French replaced the GLNF (Sarkozy) with the GLF (Hollande).  Plus ça change

The Russians replaced Comrade Bearcub with … Comrade Bear.  And, in one of his final acts as President, Dimitry Medvedev replaced the commander of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, with a (slightly) younger man:

President Dmitry Medvedev has dismissed Russian Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky and appointed Vice-Admiral Viktor Chirkov for the position, the Kremlin press office reported on Sunday, without explaining the reasons for the dismissal.
Chirkov, 52, was commander of the Baltic Fleet before his appointment.  Vysotsky, 57, had occupied the top military post for almost five years.

Igor Korotchenko, chairman of the Defense Ministry’s Public Council said that the reshuffle was a normal practice for military officials.  “Medvedev’s move will open the way for new, younger military specialists,” Korotchenko said.

credit: Vasily Batanov


Only three months ago, Admiral Vysotsky was publicly touting big plans for Russia’s submarine fleet:

  • “On June 1 or a bit later we will resume routine extended patrolling of the world’s oceans by strategic nuclear submarines,” Admiral Vysotsky said at a meeting with naval personnel on 3 Feb.  The Russian military believes that the submarine fleet is still the backbone of the Russian Navy, and that it will continue to play an important deterrent role in the future.
  • Sevmash shipyard [in Severodvinsk] is to convert the nuclear submarine Belgorod for a “series of special missions,” said Admiral Vysotsky [on 9 Feb.].  “Belgorod will be completed as a special project.  The boat will have many special tasks ahead of it,” Vysotsky said.

Admiral Chirkov [you may be more familiar with his brother Yuri] is singing from a slightly different hymnal:

After his appointment, Chirkov said he would prioritize the construction of navy fleets in Russia. “The most important thing for Russia is to build a fleet with the support of the president and like-minded persons,” Chirkov stated.

And who might those ‘like-minded persons’ be?  In Comrade Bear’s new Russia, that could be almost anyone and everyone.

In any case, Lunghu doesn’t see this as merely another internal bureaucratic naval battle between the Silent Service (Vysotsky) and the Tincan Sailors (Chirkov).  Was a blue Honda somehow involved?



November 8, 2011

Faithful readers will know that Lunghu is not a fan of Cousin Nicky –he’s just another duplicitous quarryman, after all– but at least he’s somewhat candid in conversation with a lodge brother.   Leaving aside (for the moment) the question of whether the “overhear” was heartfelt and impromptu or carefully scripted, let’s briefly consider what the actual impact on international relations will be. … Okay, that’s enough time pondering:  the answer is –not much.  Unfortunately.

Cousin Nicky meets King Candor

But how about the impact on domestic French electoral politics?  For Nicky, that’s what really counts, now and throughout 2012.  Although DSK is out of the way, his pudgy successor/rival François is now the beneficiary of the nation’s mounting malaise français.  That isn’t good for Nicky’s re-election prospects:  he’s got to make it through to the second round of voting in order to ultimately triumph as the champion bulwark against godless socialism.  To do that, Nicky needs to repeat his 2007 strategy of siphoning votes from the National Front by playing to the fears and prejudices of conservative French voters.

Step 1:  [2010] round up the usual suspects the Roma/gypsies/zigane.

Step 2:  [2011] Reconquer North Africa.  Algeria and Morocco are wonderful trading partners with (mostly) accommodating governments, but Libya! Libya!  C’est incroyable!

Step 3:  [2011 & beyond] Awaken the sentiments of anti-Semitism that lightly slumber in the bosom of many a faithful French patriot.  This tactic needs a particularly subtle touch since Nicky himself is Jewish on his mother’s side of the family, and all of France knows it [hence his frequent and fervent professions of his patrimonial Catholicism].   Calling Benny (a man even Israelis hate) a liar in front of the world press is truly a masterful stroke!  Getting Obama to agree and commiserate is just glaze on the ham.  Nicky gets to have it both ways:  French Jews don’t like Netanyahu either, and French anti-Semites have to grudgingly admit that at least Nicky’s no momma’s boy.

Will it be enough to get Cousin Nicky another five year lease on the Élysée Palace?  That remains to be seen.  The campaign has just begun.  La guerre n’est pas fini.