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Watching children with their parents in southern France fascinates me.

Even toddlers there are well behaved.

Families walk along the beach together late at night, and it’s a beautiful sight to behold.

The children are also good in restaurants. They eat an amazing variety of seafood and know how to use their utensils properly.

So I was fascinated to read an article in The Telegraph, ‘No kids allowed: is Britain becoming an anti-child society?’

Excerpts follow:

Eileen Potter, owner of Treacle’s Tea Shop in Winchmore Hill, north London, recently found herself in hot water when she banned pre-schoolers, to the fury of many parents. In response, she explained: ‘We can not continually afford to replace crockery. We are not a family establishment’ …

Italy is famed for being especially family-friendly, but Marco Magliozzi of Rome fish restaurant, La Fraschetta del Pesce, imposed the same restriction. ‘Children throw olive oil on the floor, they send the salt cellar flying across the room and, above all, they hate fish,’ he complained.

Well, I have not seen that in the south of France.

Part of the problem perhaps is letting children rule the roost at home. Another is not eating at the kitchen or dining room table every night. I can remember pretty far back and recall eating with my parents at table from the time I was three. I had my dad’s children’s cutlery set so I could eat properly. No special meals. I ate what my parents ate. Mom did have to cut my pork chops up for a while, but other than that I never had a problem.

However, there is another difficulty here with children since the smoking bans came in force across much of Europe. Every adult establishment now seems to be child-friendly. Pubs and continental cafés are no longer for adults.

The Telegraph points this out:

Several of my London friends (in their 40s and 50s, with no kids) complain that their long-held ritual of a quiet, lazy weekend pub lunch is now impossible.

‘Every decent pub in my neighbourhood is full of children running wild, and that’s if you can get through the door, which is invariably barricaded by buggies,’ says one who wants to remain anonymous. She now eats out only in the evening: ‘But even at 8pm or 9pm, there are often loads of children. Is nowhere sacred?’

Another seethed her way through a recent restaurant outing: ‘There was a toddler on his scooter, whizzing around the dining room, weaving between the tables, tripping up the staff. His parents ignored him and carried on drinking their wine.’

Those ladies would be fine in Cannes, where, somehow, even in the most cramped restaurant, no one notices buggies since they are always thoughtfully placed. Children also look forward to the restaurant experience there. It seems to make them feel more grown up.

The solution is for parents to bring up their children from infancy to be as quiet and calm as possible so as not to be a nuisance to others.

Unfortunately, most parents think of their children as entertaining little darlings when many certainly are not.

The Telegraph gave several examples of places in Britain and Italy that are going child-free. It is regrettable that well-behaved children will have to wait several years before they can enjoy such places themselves, but indulgent parents have only themselves to blame for this inevitable outcome.

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Roaming the aisles of Monprix in Cannes this summer, I happened to see a good variety of French sausages.

Having room in my suitcase for only one pack, I decided to buy Saucisses de Montbéliard for €5.40. It has the IGP — Indication Géographique Protégée — label.

Saucisses de Montbéliard are a speciality of the Franche-Comté region and originated in the ancient city of that name located in the départment of Doubs.

My better half thought they were hot dogs, but they are proper sausages. They have a light, smoky taste and an unctuous texture, to say the least. And they would have fit neatly into hot dog buns.

It was certainly too hot to make a traditional casserole or stew with them, and as we wanted the sausage to be the star on the plate, we had them with a slice of baguette.

Mine were made in Morteau, another city in Doubs, known for its sausage.

The Franche-Comté region is mountainous (the Jura range) and located near Switzerland. As one would expect, all sorts of wonderful sausage and cheese come from there.

There is also a Saucisse de Morteau. As with the one from Montbéliard, it is smoked in a traditional tuyé farmhouse. Regions of France has a photo of one and explains (emphases in the original):

The Tuyé farmhouse is a rare but extremely traditional house existing in Franche-Comté. It may be the only region in France to have such a regional house type. The Tuyé property was originally the house of mountain farmers or breeders.

The name of the house, Tuyé house, originates from the name of the massive chimney taking place in the main room that was used to heat the house obviously but also to cure meat in smoke. Ham and various sausages were smoked in the furnace for weeks, sometimes for months.

Outside, the traditional Franche-Comté tuyé house is massive. This is explained by the original need to provide a shelter for both human beings and the animals. Winters in this foremost mountainous region are cold and long.

Another Regions of France page explains the difference between the Morteau and the Montbéliard. With regard to the latter:

The Montbeliard sausage is also smoked in a tuyé using different types of wood, bringing additional flavours to this Franche-Comté gastronomic product. In France, the Morteau sausage is the greatest rival of this very tasty product.

These sausages are outstanding when cooked soaking in milk with potatoes (the French way!) or accompanied with vegetables as bacon, cabbage, carrots, leeks + garlic, onion, thyme or bay leaves.

A traditional way to prepare the saucisse de Morteau is to first cook some potatoes in a pan filled with half milk and half water. Add sausages in the pan and cook for one hour and a half… Then drain the water and the milk. It’s gorgeous and tasty and will indulge your taste buds.

Some people make their own saucisses de Montbéliard. This short video shows what is involved:

If you are in a self-catering situation in France, these sausages are definitely worth buying. And, no, you don’t need to casserole them, just reheat them in a pan for several minutes until warmed through. (Monoprix’s come already cooked.)

With all the truth bombs that need to be dropped and red pills dispensed concerning the US president, I am woefully behind with a write-up of my trip to Cannes earlier this summer.

I bought three types of cheese to bring back home. Two came from Monoprix and are the subject of this post.

The Cannes Monoprix has a separate cheese cabinet for products from small producers. Most of the cheese in that cabinet is made with raw (cru) milk. Raw milk is excellent for developing and maintaining good gut bacteria, thereby promoting overall health.

Banon

Banon is made in a town of the same name located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region.

It is a small round cheese which comes wrapped in chestnut leaves which are tied with raffia. The Banon cheeses I buy are semi-soft: not runny, just pliable.

Banon is made from raw goat’s milk and is available most of the year, except between October and December.

The taste from the ones available in the supermarket is particularly mild and creamy — reminiscent of milk — therefore, suitable for the whole family.

However, there are also runny Banons and stronger tasting ones. I’ve been eating Banon since 2002 and have never seen those.

In any case, the manufacture involves allowing the cheese to mature for several days then dipping it in eau de vie before wrapping it in sterilised, vinegar-softened chestnut leaves. It further matures for two weeks.

Always look for the yellow and red AOP — Appellation d’Origine Protégée — label for authenticity.

Mine cost €4.50. It was made by the Fromagerie de Banon and distributed by the company Étoile de Provence. It had the AOP label. Incidentally, the Fromagerie de Banon is open to the public on weekday afternoons.

Chef Morgan, who has been to Banon to study the cheese, writes:

Each step, including maturation, is done at a particular temperature. It is the combination of the sweet curd and the tannins from the chestnut leaves which give Banon its “Banon” flavor.

Le pliage du fromage” means folding the cheese. In Provence, goat cheese was historically the primary source of protein in the winter and the farmers needed a way to preserve “surplus cheese” to be consumed in the winter months (later surplus cheese was sold at markets). 

In the autumn when the chestnut leaves fall, the brown leaves (which have a lower tannin content) are collected and stored in a dry place. They are softened by blanching them in boiling water and/or vinegar and then they are drained.  The leaves preserve the cheese and give it its unique flavor.

Also:

the interior of the cheese is soft and gets softer as it matures.

Fromages.com says:

The alcohol protects the cheeses against bad mould and slowly the chestnut leaf aroma influences the cheese’s taste.

The local Banon is runnier — more mature — than the ones I’ve seen:

The farmers of the region eat the cheese by scooping it up with a teaspoon and washing it down with cooled local red or white wine. 

Chef Morgan tells us a bit more about Banon’s history:

Banon, the cheese, is a cheese with character. It has been around since Gallo-Roman times and it is legendarily told that the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius ate so much Banon that he died …

The cheese gained AOC (now AOP) status in 2003:

which guarantees that the goat’s milk is from local goats (goats of the commune of Provence) which have grazed in particular areas in France (it must be one of  31 cantons, 179 municipalities in four departments in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Provence, or Drôme) and that the goat’s milk was produced, manufactured, and ripened in the traditional way. 

Neufchâtel

NeufchatelNeufchâtel is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk, preferably raw. (Some Neufchâtel is made with pasteurised milk, so be sure to read the label.)

I used to think it came from Switzerland, until I saw a French food documentary. I was surprised to learn that it comes from Normandy.

It’s an interesting cheese because it’s runny around the outside with a soft, crumbly centre. I have seen it described as ‘grainy’, which doesn’t do it any justice at all.

Although mild, it has a stronger, more distinctive taste than Banon. It is reminiscent of nuts and mushrooms and is absolutely delicious.

Mine cost €3.70 and was made by Gaec Brianchon in Nesle-Hodeng. It had the AOP label. Alex and Olivier sell the cheese from their farm every day and provide tours by appointment only.

Neufchâtel is a classic cheese, although not as old as Banon. Some accounts say that Neufchâtel dates from the sixth century, others from 1035.

Cheese.com tells us:

The cheese is made in many forms, shapes and sizes – bonde (cylinders), coeur (heart shape), carré (square shape) and briquette (brick shape). Legend goes that French farm girls fell in love with English soldiers during the Hundred Years War and started making heart shaped cheeses to show their love.

Neufchâtel’s AOC (now AOP) status was granted in 1969.

Conclusion

Although I bought these cheeses in France, it is possible that readers living in the US can find them at speciality grocers, such as Trader Joe’s. I bought some French cheese there several years ago, and it was excellent.

Part 1 discussed the events of Presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron meetings and dinner on Thursday, July 13, 2017.

Today’s looks at the events Bastille Day — July 14 — and why this trip is so important not only for the two men but also for Europe.

I have been reading Hillary is 44 — renamed The Trumpet — since the summer of 2008. The author of the site — known only as Admin and Staff — has been incredibly precise with accurate predictions and political analysis since the 2008 presidential campaign. The author was a Hillary supporter in 2008 and, like many others, turned against the Obama team once they began bullying and threatening Hillary’s delegates that year prior to the Democratic National Convention.

If you think I’m big on Trump, you haven’t read The Trumpet. Excerpts below come from ‘Crusade In Europe: President Trump Liberates The West’. Emphases mine below:

Power narrative. The great President Donald J. Trump is building a power narrative and taking little President of France Macron along. Think about all the roads that led to today. The American revolution in 1776 inspires the French revolution in 1789 which begins with the attack on the infamous imperial prison The Bastille. The Bastille is brought down by French revolutionaries so every year on July 14 the French commemorate Bastille Day the way we remember 1776.

Today is also the centennial marker for the day the United States entered “the great war” World War I. World War I was the most brutal war America has been in topping even the horror of the Civil War. World War I was really World War Part I and was continued by World War Part II. So there is President Donald J. Trump in Paris watching as for the first time ever American troops lead the Bastille Day parade.

The French felt something, because even the left-wing panellists on RMC’s (French talk radio) Les Grandes Gueules (Big Mouths) show thought Trump’s visit was a good thing. No one among this small group of socialists objected. Au contraire.

Most of the photos that follow are from the military parade down the Champs Elysées to the majestic Arc de Triomphe.

Presumably, this first photo, showing a bit of levity, was taken before the parade started:

American troops led the parade this year. The French wanted to show their gratitude for US troops arriving in France in 1917 during the Great War, hence the invitation to Trump and the soldiers marching in period uniforms below:

The Conservative Treehouse has more information:

The President and First Lady will be joined in the ceremony by troops from the United States Army’s First Infantry Division as well as three heroic United States veterans of the Normandy Invasion. Also, the United States Air Force Thunderbirds will conduct a flyover with planes from the French Air Force.

This tweet shows the troops rehearsing at the break of day on July 12.

The Trumpet describes Trump’s address that day as one of narrative building:

As he did in Warsaw … President Donald J. Trump is in Paris at the biggest event in France on the day that marks the anniversary of the Muslim terror attack on Nice.

In one stunning historic moment President Donald J. Trump weaves together the historic paths America and the French people have traveled. Independence Day/Bastille Day. World War I/World War II. 9/11 Muslim Terror attacks/7-14 Nice Muslim Terror attacks. As he wove a narrative in Warsaw which echoed FDR and JFK, President Donald J. Trump wove a vast historic landscape in France today.

Macron tweeted the same sentiment earlier that day, saying that nothing would separate France from the United States — an enduring friendship:

In his early morning — shades of Trump — Twitter sermonette, he also reminded France why they have a military parade: to remember the price that the country has paid for the rights that bind them together as one people. He wrote that, although the history of France began long before July 14, 1789, that day determined the values the French people wanted to embrace. He concluded by wishing the French people a joyous and peaceful fête nationale, which is what they call Bastille Day.

Macron inspected French troops.

The Trumps sat with the Macrons to watch the parade:

This is what they saw:

Trump saluted the US military as they marched past:

The national anthem was played:

Macron inspected French troops.

The London Evening Standard has a video of a French military band playing, oddly, a medley of Daft Punk numbers. Daft Punk are French. The New York Times explained that one of the tunes was originally done in collaboration with Pharrell Williams, showing French-American co-operation.

The Trumps no doubt enjoyed seeing the legendary French Legionnaires:

There were tanks and armoured vehicles:

There was a flypast:

Trump thoroughly enjoyed it:

On July 19, the New York Times published a transcript of an interview three reporters conducted with him in the Oval Office. Trump was so effusive about Paris that his remarks even made RMC’s news on Friday, July 21. The French especially liked that Trump said the Bastille Day parade was better than the Super Bowl’s:

TRUMP: And it was one of the most beautiful parades I have ever seen. And in fact, we should do one one day down Pennsylvania Ave.

HABERMAN: I wondered if you were going to say that.

TRUMP: I’ve always thought of that.

HABERMAN: Really?

TRUMP: I’ve always thought of that. I’ve thought of it long before.

TRUMP: But the Bastille Day parade was — now that was a super-duper — O.K. I mean, that was very much more than normal. They must have had 200 planes over our heads. Normally you have the planes and that’s it, like the Super Bowl parade. And everyone goes crazy, and that’s it. That happened for — and you know what else that was nice? It was limited. You know, it was two hours, and the parade ended. It didn’t go a whole day. They didn’t go crazy …

It was a two-hour parade. They had so many different zones. Maybe 100,000 different uniforms, different divisions, different bands. Then we had the retired, the older, the ones who were badly injured. The whole thing, it was an incredible thing.

HABERMAN: It was beautiful.

TRUMP: And you are looking at the Arc [de Triomphe]. So we are standing in the most beautiful buildings, and we are looking down the road, and like three miles in, and then you had the Arc. And then you have these soldiers. Everyone was so proud. Honestly, it was a beautiful thing. I was glad I did it.

This short video no doubt encapsulates some of Trump’s memories not only of the parade, but the entire trip:

The parade included a remembrance of those who died in Nice on July 14, 2016, victims of a crazed terror attack by a man in a truck mowing people down that night:

When the parade ended, the Trumps left Paris. Macron was going to Nice for their solemn commemoration (see photo and video, more here, here, here and here).

The Trump-Macron farewell was the most unusual and, perhaps significant, part of the day, in many ways:

The farewell handshake and embraces from the Macrons were lengthy. The final handshake between the two men including lasted 25-seconds: Macron did not want to let go of Trump!

Then it was time to leave:

The Trumpet analysed the Paris trip as follows:

And the Trump triumph does not end there. With this visit President Donald J. Trump helps little French President Emmanuel Macron grow in stature. How? Well, the invitation to President Donald J. Trump from President Macron is a direct challenge to the German leadership of Europe and to the decayed Angela Merkel.

And still it does not end there. The fact that the French still assert their nationalist pride in the face of German government hostility to President Donald J. Trump brings to the fore the hopeless task the European Union’s attempt to end nationalism on the continent faces. Macron’s embrace of President Donald J. Trump is a slap in the face (dare we say “schlonging”) to Merkel and an assertion of leadership by the untested, untried, apprentice Macron.

A grateful Macron loves hisself some Trump (and once again Melania does America proud) …

Trump discussed Macron with the New York Times:

HABERMAN: He was very deferential to you. Very.

TRUMP: He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand.

HABERMAN: I’ve noticed.

TRUMP: People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes.

_________

TRUMP: I mean, really. He’s a very good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand.

The day before Trump arrived, Macron’s government announced plans to ‘systematically’ deport illegal immigrants. This is probably what Trump had in mind when he said Macron was tough but has to be that way.

The world definitely noticed the handshake.

The New York Times said:

They repeatedly grabbed each other’s arms, gripping hands for several moments before parting.

An Italian said that Macron is a gerontophile. True, that:

It’s an Oedipal thing. The handshake is all “Look dad figure, I married mother figure and got all Freudian with her, who’s laughing now?”

Another tweeter saw it differently. I tend to agree — and this is more important than Macron’s peculiarities:

Interesting dynamics here, for certain, which go far beyond hugs and handshakes.

This is geopolitical.

It will be fascinating to see how this relationship develops — and where Angela Merkel, up to now Macron’s political elder, fits into this new landscape.

On July 19, 2017, the New York Times (NYT) published a transcript of an extensive interview with President Donald Trump.

Portions of the transcript made French news on Friday, July 21. I heard it on RMC at lunchtime. Trump was most effusive about his meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron. Relevant excerpts will appear in this first part detailing the Trumps’ trip as well as the second entry which will cover events on July 14, Bastille Day.

The French government decided months ago — before the US election last autumn — to invite the American president for Bastille Day commemorations on July 14, 2017. This year marks the centenary of American troops arriving in France during the Great War, and the French wanted to roll out special ceremonies of remembrance and thanksgiving.

Trump is not the first foreign leader to have been invited for Bastille Day celebrations. It is a common occurrence.

Security was tighter than usual in Paris during this time, but, despite the American president’s remarks about their country, the French were looking forward to the Trumps’ visit. A British journalist was thrilled they would be spending so much time in his neighbourhood.

No one could have predicted how well this trip went, possibly even President Trump and First Lady Melania.

Trump told the NYT how he reacted to the invitation:

… when Macron asked, I said: “Do you think it’s a good thing for me to go to Paris? I just ended the Paris Accord last week. Is this a good thing?” He said, “They love you in France.” I said, “O.K., I just don’t want to hurt you.”

Add to that the fact that Macron met with his beloved Angela Merkel the morning of Trump’s arrival on Thursday, July 13.

The Trumps landed that morning:

The French were fascinated by Trump’s reinforced Cadillac, The Beast.

While Macron and members of his cabinet spent time with Merkel and her German delegation, the Trumps had prior commitments.

Mrs Trump visited the Necker Hospital for children:

She spent time with patients:

Her husband was at the US Embassy for meetings.

Later, the couple met at the embassy where Trump addressed an enthusiastic gathering of military families and American veterans who served in the Second World War:

A somewhat younger audience was also delighted:

In covering the event, CNN’s Poppy Harlow mistook the Star Spangled Banner for La Marseillaise.

You can see more embassy photos here, here and here.

There was no meeting at the Elysée Palace until after the tour of Les Invalides, the military museum, formerly a military hospital that Napoleon had built. It is a splendid place to visit.

The next few photos are from Les Invalides. You can see a news clip here which shows how grand it is and the welcome ceremony Macron laid on.

The Beast arrived:

What a magnificent setting:

Strict protocol was observed throughout:

Macron gave the Trumps a tour of the museum. No doubt it included quite a history lesson as the French president has always been scholarly, even from his early childhood:

Maréchal Foch’s tomb was also part of the tour. The comment in the tweet explains why nearly every large French town and city has a Boulevard or Avenue Maréchal Foch:

Trump told the NYT that he was impressed with Macron’s commentary on Napoleon and the tour of Les Invalides.

Afterwards, Macron hosted Trump at the Elysée.

It was a tight squeeze for The Beast:

Meetings took place, likely to have included counter-terrorism in the Horn of Africa:

A press conference followed:

It emerged that Trump spoke with the press on the flight to Paris. Bloomberg has a transcript.

You can watch the 35-minute press conference here.

Macron looked pleased:

The Guardian predicted a synergy between the two men whilst acknowledging Macron’s opportunism (emphases mine):

The deeper worry for the UK must be that Trump warms to Macron’s energy, and finds the British, preoccupied by the intricacies of Brexit and led by a “loser” who wasted her parliamentary majority, comparatively less appealing. His state visit to the UK – stalled at least until next year – is in danger of becoming a symbol of an ailing special relationship.

Above all Macron, unlike May, has shown himself to be an operator. At the “family” photo-shoot at the G20, Macron, realising his relatively small frame and slated for a rather undistinguished position in the second row, simply ignored protocol and inserted himself in the front row next to the US president. Trump may be an isolationist, but few politicians want to isolate themselves from him.

Equally, after the Manchester terrorist attack in May, Macron walked from the Élysée to sign a condolences book. A letter of gratitude for the gesture from the British embassy received a handwritten reply from Macron to the effect “it is what should be expected”. Gallic charm and symbolism have their virtues.

Trump confirmed to the NYT that Great Britain can wait:

BAKER: Will you go to Britain? Are you going to make a state visit to Britain? Are you going to be able to do that?

TRUMP: As to Britain?

BAKER: Yeah.

HABERMAN: Will you go there?

[crosstalk]

While the meetings and press conference took place, Brigitte Macron took Mrs Trump on a tour of Notre Dame Cathedral …

… and a boat tour of the Seine:

That evening, the Macrons hosted the Trumps for dinner at the upmarket restaurant, the Jules Verne (more here):

It is one of Alain Ducasse‘s restaurants. You can see him in the video below:

The restaurant was closed to other diners, although photographers were allowed in from time to time:

While they had dinner, the main course of which was lobster, Trump’s entourage took a night-time tour of the city.

Then it was time to get some rest:

Mrs Trump closed the day by sending a thank you via the White House:

“France is a beautiful country that is rich in history and culture,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “I am grateful to President and Mrs. Macron for their gracious invitation and hospitality as we celebrate Bastille Day with them, which is not only a celebration of France’s national day, but on this occasion, in 2017, also honors the historic cooperation between France and the United States during the First World War.” The First Lady continued, “I also want to take a moment to thank the employees and families of the United States Embassy for all of their hard work on behalf of our country, and to extend my warmest wishes to the patients and staff at Necker Hospital. My visit with the patients was very special, and I will continue to keep them all in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.”

You can see more images here, here, here, here and here.

The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and Breitbart each has a series of photos of the Trumps and Macrons taken on July 13.

A review of July 14 comes next week.

I still intend to write about President Donald Trump’s visit to Paris, even though it happened a week ago.

However, time constraints prohibit me from doing so at the moment.

Unfortunately, Big Media did not cover the trip very well. No surprise there.

On Sunday, July 16, 2017, I saw an interview with ex-CIA man Dr Steve Pieczenik on the Alex Jones Show:

If that does not work, here is another link. The interview is in the first half of the segment.

Pieczenik talked about Trump’s G20 meetings as well as his visit with France’s president Emmanuel Macron.

He said that Trump has been able to find common ground with world leaders even when they disagree on important issues.

Trump was able to negotiate the ceasefire in Syria with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G20. Pieczenik says that was facilitated by the two men finding common ground in other areas.

According to Pieczenik, both men admire beautiful, accomplished women. Putin is very proud of his daughter who speaks several languages. Likewise, Melania Trump might have been a model but is hardly an airhead. She, too, speaks five languages.

Both Trump and Putin enjoy the closeness of family and like to spend time with them. That would have been a topic of conversation. Angela Merkel wisely sat Putin and Mrs Trump together at dinner, also helpful.

Trump is forging important alliances, even if most of the world thinks he is tweeting all day long.

Besides Putin, Trump made an equally positive impression on Poland’s president Andrzej Duda in Warsaw earlier this month. Whilst there, he participated in the Three Seas Initiative, forging new links with Central and Eastern European countries.

Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel went swimmingly. For the first time in many years, there is hope that peace in that region could become reality. His meeting with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in April was a tremendous success.

Trump has also been successful in forging alliances in the Far East, particularly with Japan’s president Shinzō Abe. His meetings with China’s president Xi Jinping were productive. The Trump administration is currently conducting sensitive trade negotiations with China.

Steve Pieczenik explained that China fears Japan because of their disputed claims on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The United States might have to mediate at a certain point.

So, while Big Media and their lesser left-leaning counterparts continue to discuss Russian collusion in the 2016 election, President Trump is making productive inroads and good impressions on the world leaders he has met thus far.

So it was in France. Prior to meeting with Trump on Thursday, July 13, Emmanuel Macron met with German chancellor Angela Merkel that morning. Then, after Merkel’s departure, Trump came on the scene. Everyone thought the pro-EU Macron would give him a chilly reception.

However, that was not the case, particularly in the 25-second departure handshake on Friday, July 14. Macron couldn’t let go of his new friend.

Instead, Steve Pieczenik said that Trump was able to persuade Macron to also look to the United States. Pieczenik was certain that Trump was able to get Macron to see that the EU was ‘dying’ (Pieczenik’s word) and that focussing on relations with the United States would be more important in the long run.

Pieczenik went further and said that Trump is slowly breaking up the European Union.

On his own website, Pieczenik described what the French and American delegations would have talked about during Trump’s trip. ‘Trump Meets Macron in Paris!’ is recommended reading. Excerpts follow, emphases in the original:

Let me assure you, that these prestigious intelligence/military officers/operatives are not there to watch French planes fly around in the sky or watch soldiers march through the Arc de Triomphe. I would suspect that they have a full agenda that they want to share with Macron and his own chief of the army, the highly decorated General Jean-Pierre Bossier [CEMAT], regarding one very important issue: counter-terrorism!

Obama put thousands of American troops into the Horn of Africa, specifically Djibouti, to help fight terrorism alongside French troops. Trump has maintained US presence in the region. However, Trump’s military advisors have noted that the American troops require more French input on language and culture there:

I am certain that critical strategic/tactical issues regarding present American occupation in the former French colony in Djibouti [Horn Of Africa] at Camp Lemonnier will become a salient issue. France is far more effective in counteracting the tribal/ethnic battles raging in Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, Central African Republic, et. al. than the novitiate Americans. Instead of sending more American troops, the key issue will be the nature of alternative aid to these impoverished African colonies in order to pre-empt the possible rise of terrorist cells.

Also:

Whatever the past histories are of each country, Macron realized thanks to his time as an investment banker at Rothschild & CIE Banque [closely affiliated with Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase] that alienating any American POTUS was neither feasible nor productive.

In conclusion, there are many geopolitical successes going on right now involving President Trump.

Now, as to foreign collusion regarding elections, Pieczenik had interesting information.

Before I get to what he had to say, here is background information from Michael Caputo who worked in Bill Clinton’s administration over 20 years ago. This was his mission:

He explained to Tucker Carlson that he was sent directly by the Clinton White House to Russia where he was able to get Boris Yeltsin successfully re-elected.

Pieczenik — ex-CIA himself — told Alex Jones that Caputo was part of a CIA programme to ensure Yeltsin’s re-election.

So, there: Hillary’s husband ordered — and got — interference in a Russian election.

Pieczenik also said that, on the domestic front, before John Brennan became CIA director in 2013 (he resigned before Trump’s inauguration), he opened an ‘office in Hollywood’ to effect change in film and television storylines to turn people away from American values and ideals.

Now, back to Michael Caputo. Although he worked for the Clinton administration, two decades later, he became Donald Trump’s communications advisor for the 2016 presidential campaign.

Caputo clearly enjoyed his time in Russia during the 1990s, because he met and married a Ukranian. On March 20, 2017, he found out that his wife’s name was mentioned by Jackie Speier, a congresswoman (D-California), during televised Congressional hearings. (Speier, incidentally, was a survivor of the Jim Jones cult in Jonestown. That should tell you something.) Since then, Caputo told Tucker Carlson that he and his family have received many death threats because Mrs Caputo is Ukranian, even though she now has American citizenship.

The interview starts at the 2:25 mark:

Caputo tells Carlson that he had to testify last week as to what he knows about any involvement Russia had in Trump’s campaign and the election. He says there is absolutely no evidence.

Caputo said — and Trump supporters already know this — the only reason for this accusation, which is now nearly a year old, is to prevent the president from getting anything done.

That, of course, would open the door to impeachment.

I realise that some reading this are hoping for it. I pray to the contrary.

Instead, it is the Democrats who must come clean about their nefarious activities.

On Thursday, July 13, 2017 one of the panellists on RMC (French talk radio) on the morning show Les Grandes Gueules (The Big Mouths) said that Emmanuel Macron is ‘president by default’.

He added that anyone who was good for the country was eliminated electorally, which is not the same as saying Macron has the nation’s support.

The panel were talking about Macron’s reforms of the government. However, no one knows the specific plans.

Macron said he wanted to ‘maintain the rhythm’ of reforms to reassure the ‘confidence of the French people and investors’:

Pleasant words, but where is the substance? What exactly does he want to do?

One thing that is clear: Macron has delusions of grandeur that have surprised the French since he became president in May.

They were mystified that he chose to welcome Russian president Vladimir Putin at Versailles on Monday, May 29. Does Macron consider himself a king, they wondered? Why not use the presidential palace, L’Élysée like the other presidents?

On Monday, July 3, he returned to Versailles to address both houses of French government: the national assembly and the senate. This is not unheard of, but it is only the fourth time since 1948 that a French president has chosen this venue (François Hollande being a recent example):

Breitbart explains that French presidents convene their parliament at Versailles only in times of crisis.

In 2015, François Hollande called a meeting about ISIS.

In 2017, Macron used the venue to assert his supremacy (emphases mine):

Summoning over 900 politicians from both houses of the French parliament to a rare Congress at the palace of Louis XIV – the ‘Sun King’ – in Versailles, he threatened to overrule lawmakers with a referendum if they try to frustrate the “reforms” he wishes to impose on the legislature.

Macron might consider himself more than a president:

The GQ article from May 9, shortly after Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen, gushed:

He’s an incredibly centrist figure

Really? To anyone looking at Macron seriously, he’s Hollande’s and Merkel’s pet, their protégé.

GQ wrote about and excerpted the new president’s thoughts from his new book Macron by Macron, co-authored by veteran French journalist Eric Fottorino.

On the subject of a king, Macron said there was a void in French politics:

“In French politics, this absence is the presence of a King, a King whom, fundamentally, I don’t think the French people wanted dead,” said Macron. “The Revolution dug a deep emotional abyss, one that was imaginary and shared: the King is no more!” According to Macron, since the Revolution France has tried to fill this void, most notably with Napoleon and then Charles de Gaulle, which was only partially successful. “The rest of the time,” said Macron, “French democracy does not manage to fill this void.”

Perhaps Macron intends to fill that void.

If so, he could be in trouble. I have never met a French person who wants royalty to return. That is because the notion of royalty opposes that of republican values.

With regard to reform, he said at Versailles that he would cut the number of MPs by a third, which would give the remaining ones more power. He also pledged to introduce proportional representation. Hmm.

Economically, Macron’s reforms look to favour France’s richest citizens. Hmm.

Shortly before convening the French congress at Versailles, the Élysée brushed off the press:

The announcement elicited this response:

That day, Macron opened up a new centre for French start-ups, Station F. It is, apparently, the largest of its kind in the world. The French president told the young entrepreneurs that they will run across people who succeed and those who have nothing. He added that those who have nothing never make the effort. A lively conversation took place on this Twitter thread. What did he mean? Are poor people nothing?

This is the thing. No one knows what Macron really means.

Then there was the kerfuffle about his official portrait:

The issue is that the presidential desk in the Salon Doré (Golden Salon) is, in reality, not in line with the window but off to the side of the room. The president’s back is to a fireplace. This short video from the Élysée shows Macron carefully positioning objects on his desk.

Clearly, he wants everyone looking at it to pick up a message about him. Around this time, he said that he saw his presidency as ‘Jupiterian’. Can you imagine if President Donald Trump had said that? They’d have whisked him off for psychiatric examination sooner than you could say ‘White House’.

Back to the portrait. The Financial Times provided this sycophantic interpretation:

The French view was more tongue-in-cheek:

On July 1, the New York Times wrote about the French presidential phenomenon:

Here are the best parts of the article, which, on the whole, gushes with approval:

PARIS — Is he Machiavelli, Bonaparte or de Gaulle? Emmanuel Macron wrote a thesis about the first, is often compared to the second and frequently cites the third.

That parlor game playing out in the French media, as France tries to figure out its new president, demonstrates one thing: Mr. Macron has already concentrated all the power, nearly by default

Mr. Macron believes France cannot be reformed, but instead is “a country that transforms itself, a country of revolution,” as he put it in his one newspaper interview, last week.

The ambitions are grandiose. His coming to power is “the beginning of a French renaissance and I hope a European one as well,” he said in the interview, with Le Figaro and other European newspapers. “A renaissance that will permit the rethinking of great national, European and international equilibriums.”

Many disagree with that interpretation.

Despite her questionable politics, Marine Le Pen was correct when she said at the final presidential debate:

“You are the heir of François Hollande,” scoffed nationalist rival Marine Le Pen during their head-to-head election debate. “We now call you Baby Hollande; Hollande Junior!”

She added that, whatever the outcome of the election, “France will be led by a woman: either me or Mrs. Merkel.”

Breitbart recapped how unimpressed Central European heads of state were with Macron at the NATO summit in May:

Efforts by the EU loyalist to strengthen his public standing by picking fights with the governments of Central Europe, who have been resolutely defiant in the face of attempts by Brussels to impose compulsory migrant quotas on them, have been less than successful.

Hungarian premier Viktor Orbán gently dismissed him as “a new boy” who had yet to find his feet.

Macron’s entrance wasn’t too encouraging, as he thought the best way to show friendship was to immediately kick Central European countries. This isn’t how we do things around here, but he’ll soon get to know his way around,” he added.

Then there was the handshake with Trump at the same meeting:

Posing as the EU’s champion against President Donald Trump has also backfired, with a pointed, public snub of the U.S. leader in favour of Angela Merkel and other Europeans at a NATO summit ending in embarrassment when the 70-year-old manhandled him with a powerful handshake.

Macron was clearly rattled by the exchange, granting a brief interview with journalists in order to emphasise that another handshake with President Trump – in which the Frenchman clung on for dear life – was a “moment of truth” in which he supposedly demonstrated that he “would not make small concessions, not even symbolic ones”.

The BBC reported:

Their first meeting on 25 May in Brussels was notable for a handshake which saw them grip each other’s hand so firmly that their knuckles turned white.

Mr Macron later said the handshake was “not innocent”.

No, probably not, because Macron studiously — and very obviously — tried to avoid President Trump. Trump was, I think, half serious, half jesting, which made ‘Jupiterian’ Macron look really weak:

So much, then, for this (possible) self-perception:

Soon after he was elected, Macron visited soldiers in Gao (Mali) who are fighting alongside French troops against militant rebels.

Then, at the G20 conference — July 7 and 8 — he made remarks about Africa. Once again, no one was quite sure what he meant.

The edited remarks are startling and sweeping:

Not surprisingly, Macron’s comments elicited a strong reaction:

All Africa reports that Macron made his statement in response to a journalist from the Ivory Coast:

Macron was answering a question from a Cote d’Ivoire journalist, who asked why there was no Marshall Plan for Africa (a huge block of U.S. economic aid for European countries after World War II).

Macron said much more than that, as All Africa’s journalist Michael Tantoh transcribed in his report. Macron’s remarks were still blunt, but he was trying to explain that the Marshall Plan was always intended as a temporary, short-lived means of assistance. Africa, he said, has too many problems to make a Marshall Plan, such as it was, possible:

For decades, Marshall plans for Africa have been promised and given. If it were that simple, you would have noticed it[s] results by now.  What are the problems in Africa? Failed states, complex democratic transitions, demographic transition, infrastructure, porous borders which poses a problems of security and regional coordination, drugs trafficking, arms trafficking, human trafficking, trafficking in cultural property and violent fundamentalism, Islamist terrorism. All these together creates difficulties in Africa.  At the same time, we have countries that are tremendously successful, with an extraordinary growth rate that makes people say that Africa is a land of opportunity.

He said much more. Perhaps he would have done better to clarify his comments. That said, he still favours aiding the continent, preferably through partnerships with first world nations, such as France:

It is a plan that must take into account our own commitments on all the projects that I have just mentioned, create better public and private partnerships and must be done in a much more regional, sometimes even national basis. That is the method that has been adopted and that is what we are doing everywhere we are committed.

To be fair to Macron, he reaffirmed helping the beleaguered continent.

More important for him is finding a solution to the grave economic and social problems that France currently faces.

By the time you read this, Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron will have hosted Donald and Melania Trump for a brief Bastille Day trip which was planned before either man ever took office. 2017 marks the centenary of the arrival of US troops in France during the Great War. The French government decided months ago to invite the American president — unknown then — to be present at the Bastille Day ceremony in Paris. More on that next week.

On July 7 and 8, 2017, Angela Merkel hosted the G20 conference in Hamburg.

I covered the riots and looting yesterday.

Today’s post looks at the conference itself — a first for Presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron.

On Thursday, July 6, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump spent the day in Poland. Later that day, he tweeted:

That evening, the Trumps flew to Hamburg, where the US president had meetings before the conference started:

One wonders if he and Merkel discussed the climate change pact. Only days before — on June 30 — the German chancellor appeared to be backing down because of Trump’s rejection of American participation. Breitbart reported that, publicly, Merkel is taking a strong stance, but:

Behind the scenes, however, it would appear that Merkel’s negotiating teams have been bending over backwards to tone down the climate action plan and avoid an embarrassing rejection by Donald Trump.

This can be seen by comparing the two draft climate action plans for the summit, one from March and the revised one from May. According to Climate Change News, American negotiators have watered it down considerably.

As for the conference:

Elsewhere, Trump supporters expressed concern for his safety. Click on the images below for more detail. It is true that the Trumps stayed in a guest house of the German senate:

Day 1 of G20 unfolded.

Trump was ready:

He was the only leader who refused to wear the hideous G20 lapel pin and wore his American flag pin instead.

He received questions about the Democrats:

The group photo piqued people’s interest, and not just in the media. Emmanuel Macron weirded out, making a nuisance of himself to stand next to Donald Trump.

Technically, that was the correct place for him to stand. The newest G20 participants are placed at the edges of the photo. More long-serving world leaders are in the centre. However, perhaps Macron should have stayed in the back row. He not only left a gap but disturbed everyone in attempting to get down to the first row:

It did not go unnoticed:

The same thing happened later that day in the group photo before the concert that evening. Watch Merkel position Trump and Macron:

The Macrons sat next to the Trumps at the concert, too:

The Conservative Treehouse said:

*Note* There is a coordinated effort by global political leftists (control entities within multinationals and political constructs) to physically position Emmanuel Macron next to President Trump at every opportunity. This is a structurally coordinated effort to enlarge the presence of Macron as an oppositional entity to the looming and dominant presence (figurative and literal) of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump had a successful day.

He and Russian president Vladimir Putin put a ceasefire in Syria in place:

Trade Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said:

We had a very productive dinner last night — Secretary Tillerson, myself, General McMaster — with President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Abe and their teams, discussing the importance of what’s going on in North Korea and the issues there. And then today we’ve had, already, several other bilats, and tomorrow we have another six.

The President also participated in a very important session today on trade and an important session on the environment and the economy. So I would just generally say we’ve had very productive economic meetings. There’s been very substantive issues discussed. The North Korea issue has been discussed very significantly, about the escalation in North Korea.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, in part (same link, emphases mine):

President Trump and President Putin met this afternoon for 2 hours and 15 minutes here on the sidelines of the G20. The two leaders exchanged views on the current nature of the U.S.-Russia relationship and the future of the U.S.-Russia relationship.

They discussed important progress that was made in Syria, and I think all of you have seen some of the news that just broke regarding a de-escalation agreement and memorandum, which was agreed between the United States, Russia and Jordan, for an important area in southwest Syria that affects Jordan’s security, but also is a very complicated part of the Syrian battlefield.

This de-escalation area was agreed, it’s well-defined, agreements on who will secure this area. A ceasefire has been entered into. And I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria. And as a result of that, we had a very lengthy discussion regarding other areas in Syria that we can continue to work together on to de-escalate the areas and violence once we defeat ISIS, and to work together toward a political process that will secure the future of the Syrian people.

As a result, at the request of President Putin, the United States has appointed — and you’ve seen, I think, the announcement of Special Representative for Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker. Ambassador Volker will draw on his decades of experience in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps, both as a representative to NATO and also his time as a permanent political appointment.

The two leaders also acknowledged the challenges of cyber threats and interference in the democratic processes of the United States and other countries, and agreed to explore creating a framework around which the two countries can work together to better understand how to deal with these cyber threats, both in terms of how these tools are used to in interfere with the internal affairs of countries, but also how these tools are used to threaten infrastructure, how these tools are used from a terrorism standpoint as well.

Trump also held a meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico:

President Trump emphasized the strong bilateral relationship that the United States enjoys with Mexico and noted the importance of renegotiating NAFTA to help workers in both countries. President Trump thanked President Peña Nieto for Mexico’s partnership on the Central America Conference last month. The leaders also discussed regional challenges, including drug trafficking, illegal migration, and the crisis in Venezuela.

After the day’s business concluded, the leaders and their spouses attended the aforementioned concert — then had dinner.

Mrs Trump was seated next to Mr Putin:

The Daily Mail has loads of photos and more on both the concert and the dinner.

Then it was time for some rest:

Trump was happy:

Tomorrow’s post discusses Day 2.

In my 2013 Cannes food shopping entry, I wrote:

Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in any of the shops mentioned below, only that I have found them to be reliable establishments. Also, please note that your nation’s customs laws might prohibit bringing home certain items (e.g. dairy products).

Before you leave home, pack a couple of large sheets of thick bubble wrap. Chances are you’ll want to bring some culinary items home and a few of these are likely to be in glass containers.

Also, if you have one, pack a flat chill bag, which is great for bringing home cheese and other items which require refrigeration. If you do not have one of these, Monoprix’s food hall and Casino supermarket sell them.

The chill bags and bubble wrap are essential for food lovers. In 2017, Monoprix still has the chill bags, conveniently located in the frozen food aisle. (I’m not sure about Casino, only because I didn’t look.)

In June, SpouseMouse and I checked out the smoked fish selection in Cannes. Casino’s was comprised of smoked salmon.

Monoprix’s was more adventurous with the addition of smoked eel and smoked trout.

Smoked eel — Filets d’Anguille fumée (Delicemer)

At €6.21 for 100g — enough for two people — Delicemer’s smoked eel fillets are a must.

Not only do they look beautiful, with two foot-long long strips of filleted eel (like this), they were a dream to eat.

This product is from Spain. They treat eel with love.

Smoked eel is not widely available but every foodie should definitely try it.

In England, we bought Forman’s many years ago, but it seemed very salty, even for me. Since then, I have had it regularly when I dine as a guest at a private club in Pall Mall, where it tastes rich, unctuous and buttery. Presumably, Forman’s is the supplier, but it tastes just right. Maybe they have adjusted the salt content.

I thought nothing could top that until I tried Delicemer‘s from Monoprix. It was even more unctuous and buttery. Even better, it was a fraction of the price of Forman’s. Glad I bought two, now consumed.

Although a light horseradish cream is often served as an accompaniment, Delicemer’s are best eaten plain at room temperature with a few slices of decent baguette.

This was one food memory that I’ll always treasure.

I will buy more on our next trip.

Smoked trout — Truite Fumée Pyrénées (Ovive)

I bought a 120g pack — 4 slices — of Ovive’s smoked trout for approximately €6.

Although I would buy it again, only because it is difficult for some reason to find smoked trout in England now, I did not think it was unctuous enough. I enjoy a fatty tasting smoked fish.

Sure enough, on the back of the packet it says (translation mine):

For your health, Ovive trout is 2 to 3 times less fatty than any farmed salmon.

Ovive trout has a fat content of 7.6g per 100g. Contrast this with Delicemer’s smoked eel, which has 34g of fat per 100g. Now I know why I preferred the smoked eel.

On the other hand, SpouseMouse enjoyed the trout and was not missing the fat.

Ovive’s packaging is a marketer’s dream. The text on the back is the length of a magazine article, I kid you not.

truite fuméeThe front of the packet tells you that Ovive’s production is good for nature, jobs and you.

(Image credit: Ovive)

Like the one pictured, ours also came from Lau Balagnas, one of Ovive’s three trout farms. It is run by François Pomarez, who also runs another of the company’s trout farms in the Hautes-Pyrénées.

Each site, listed on the back, has the name of the town, regional location, river and farmer’s name. You can find out more on their Facebook page.

Ovive is part of Groupe Aqualande:

Our company is located in the Southwest of France with a strong attachment to this region. Aqualande has become a European leader in aquaculture. Build on the expertise of its people, grateful for the rich values provided by nature and aware of customer expectations, Aqualande has been able to develop harmoniously in all activities of the aquaculture industry.

It is comprised of 15 co-operative members who employ 700 people based in the region:

Smoked Trout is the flagship of Aqualande. With a production of about 3,300 tons per year, Aqualande is leader on the French market. OVIVE brand is valued by its packaging assets of the company: the attachment to the region, the quality of the product and social responsibility.

Thus, our Aqualande Cooperative Group has developed an integrated aquaculture industry and is the largest in the sector in France, with a staff of 700 people in its three activities.

Historically, our company carries the same requirements :

  • strong commitments from the beginning to the end, environmental and social responsibility and product quality,
  • certification by independent third parties to validate our approach,
  • transparency and information towards our partners and our consumers.

Our commitments are our values!

I wish them well. Even though it’s left-wing, I like the idea of co-operatives, where everyone has an interest and receives a proper share of the profits.

Conclusion

I highly recommend bringing these two products home with you when you are ready to leave France. And if you are spending your holiday there and in charge of your own meals, stock up and enjoy them in your accommodation. You won’t be sorry.

While relaxing in one of the lounges at Nice Airport in June 2017, SpouseMouse and I enjoyed a drink and took with us some packaged snacks to try once we got home.

One of these was Bret’s Classique potato crisps (two 30g bags) from the heart of Brittany (Bretagne, hence the brand name):

Potato crisps with Guérande salt – Ingredients: Potatoes, sunflower oil, Guérande salt (1.0%). Produced in a factory handling: gluten, milk, celery, mustard. Suitable for vegetarians.

Thinking this was going to be a taste sensation, we could hardly wait to sample them with a gin and tonic.

Hmm.

If you’re in France and can try these for free, go ahead. However, I would not buy them.

They weren’t salty enough for me.

SpouseMouse said, ‘They’re only crisps, nothing special.’

We had the second bag the following evening and felt the same.

The packaging tells us that Bret’s uses potatoes from Brittany. The product is made in Brittany with regional sea salt. From this we expected great crisps, but they lacked the wow factor.

Bret’s website is a marketing masterpiece. The home page tells us that all ingredients are natural, with no additives. (Those interested in the environment will be interested to know that the company has a very small carbon footprint.)

However, even the most industrial crisp is made with three ingredients: potatoes, oil and salt. In Europe, at least, there are no additives.

Anyway, Bret’s has a varied line of artisanal crisps. I cannot vouch for these.

Their parent company, the Breton family-owned Altho, was started in 1995, after owner Alain Glon spent four years advising local potato growers on techniques and varieties. Over the past 22 years, Altho and its crisps (some sold under the company brand name) have gone from strength to strength.

Altho hopes that Bret’s will become a ‘serious challenger’ in the crisp market:

with creative packaging focussing on the visual.

Well, at least they got it right with the packaging and their marketing. Could do better with the product.

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