Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Yellow Vest Follow Up

The French tax on diesel fuel is a blatant use of taxation to force social change. Emmanuel Macron is all in behind the Paris Climate Change Agreement and is determined to set the pace for Europe. In a speech today where he was expected to address the concerns of the Yellow Vests, he doubled down on his environmental plan to move france to renewable energy. His only concession was to offer 3  months of "talks" with the movement. It was obvious that he does not care about the financial concerns of the people in this movement.

As far as the Yellow Vests are concerned, they are starting to get better organized. they now have a small group of members that will provide leadership, as a focal point for discussions and to keep outside sources from hijacking the movement. It looks like this is going to become the French TEA party.

But you won't hear anything about it on that side of the pond.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Yellow Vest Protests: A Lesson for Progressives

For years, Europe promoted diesel automobiles but now they want to push other types of vehicles, such as hybrid gasoline vehicles. Therefore, President Macron, of France, instituted a 20% increase in tax on diesel fuel. As you know, per liter taxes are regressive and hit the middle and lower class hard. France now has a grass roots anti tax protest called Gites Jaune, or Yellow Vest.

Today, in Paris, it turned serious. Some 8000 protesters swarmed the Champs Elysee and Arc de Triumph to shut down traffic. As the day worn on, barricades were built, fires were lit and the riot police used tear gas.

Unlike other French demonstrations, this organization has no central leadership so the government has no idea how to deal with it. Some pundits have compared it to the Occupy movement but it is made up mostly of middle aged people who are tired of being taxed. I'm not sure where this will end but I suspect the anti tax movement will become more organized with time and become a political supporter of the right wing.

The lesson to progressives is that the people will only take so much before they revolt, and when they do, it will not be pretty.

News from Across the Pond

You get a different spin on the news over here. For example, for the past 2 weeks, Brexit and Theresa May's problems have been the top news item. I imagine that nobody in the US cares about it.
Another is that a British man has been found guilty of spying in the United Arab Emirates and sentenced to life in prison. As you can tell from reading my old Dubai stream, I don't think much of the UAE legal system. I suspect that he accidently learned something detrimental to the Sheikh that they didn't want to made public.
And, as you would expect, all news about our President is unfavorable.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Yellow Vests protests

It probably has not hit the US news but there is a protest going on in France at the moment. Motorists are protesting rising diesel fuel taxes and have closed several highways last weekend. So far, one person has died when a car tried to escape a crowd and hit one of the protesters. We had booked a tour in Bordeaux last Saturday and it was changed to Sunday because of the protests.  Restaurant owners we know in Paris closed early because customers could not reach their establishments. And a major protest is planned for Paris on Saturday which claims to have the goal to shut down Paris.

The movement is named for the yellow reflective vests that motorists are required to keep in their cars. This should be a lesson for our tax and spend Democrats. The people will only stand for so much and then they react. President Macron is not very popular at the moment.

More information can be found here.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Book Review - Past Tense

I was born and raised in New Hampshire and was delighted to see that Lee Childs latest book takes place in Laconia, NH. I have often thought that the forests of NH could hide some eerie or terrible secrets and Childs obviously feels the same way. Reacher is in Maine and heads to NH on a whim to look at the family homestead. (His father was from NH) When there he finds a mystery in his family history and works at finding the answer. Meanwhile, a young couple has broken down on the road and end up being kidnapped by an unscrupulous gang in the NH woods.

This is another hard to put down read.

Book Review - Dark Sacred Night

Connelly has brought in a character from a previous book and she works well with Bosch. We first met Rene Ballard in The Late Show. She is now teamed up, by happenstance, with Bosch as he pursues a cold case stemming from helping the woman he rescued in Two Kinds of Truth. They work the cold case in their spare time and their other cases provide interesting side stories.

This is a pair that could provide another string of stories and I look forward to the next one.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Head Count

It was a bad month for druggies and murderers in the Kingdom of Saud and a busy one for the swordsman. KSA beheaded 21 last month putting them over the century mark for the year with a total of 110.