November 17, 2015

‘France Is At War’



“They’ll bring Jean-Paul Sartre, Edith Piaf, fine wine, Gauloise cigarettes, Camus, camembert, madeleines, macarons, and the f***ing croquembouche” John Oliver’s genius take on why French values will endure in the face of tragedy.


Paris Attack: The Fallout

Part One: Raids, Raids, Raids
French and Belgian investigators launched a clampdown on possible suspects and other potential radical Islamists across the two countries. French police conducted over 150 raids, arresting 23 people and placing 104 under house arrest. Belgian authorities were on the lookout for the brother of one of the attackers. It is believed that the attackers are mostly European residents and that they orchestrated the attack from Belgium (particularly one Belgian neighborhood)

Part Two: ‘France Is At War’
French President Francois Hollande asked parliament to extend the State of Emergency for three months, change the constitution to prioritize security over civil liberties and expand the defense budget (ending austerity?). The proposals would be the most sweeping reforms to hit the French state since… presumably a long time. The measures might put the open border Schengen system at risk.   

Part Three: ‘Why Can’t We Defeat These Bastards’
President Obama defended his strategy in Syria (there is a Syria strategy?) during a press conference in Turkey yesterday. Both the President and reporters seemed to be growing exasperated with the situation with one CNN reporter blurting out “why can’t we defeat these bastards?” Well, he might be getting help from “Anonymous.” 

Part Four: Rejecting Refugees
Whichever way you slice it Syrian refugees will be taking the brunt of the blowback from this attack. A (growing) number of Governors said they would turn away Syrian refugees (especially if they were Muslim). President Obama called their statements un-American. Poland joined the refugee-bashing bandwagon proposing to arm Syrian refugees and send them back to “liberate” Syria. Not sure what that means.



Hotel Merger To Confuse/Delight Management Consultants

Marriott announced it would acquire SPG (Sheraton, Westin, W, etc.) for $12 billion to create the biggest hotel company in the world. Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson was quick to reassure people that they won’t be losing their loyalty points anytime soon (collective sigh of relief in consulting company headquarters). The move comes as traditional hotels feel the heat from AirBnB, which could be valued at more than $25 billion… sure but AirBnB doesn’t have robots to check you in.   

US Arms Saudi Arabia To Help ‘Peace’ In The Middle East

Nobel Peace Prize Winner President Obama has approved a $1.29 Billion sale of arms to the big brother Yemen wished it never had, Saudi Arabia. The sale is part of an effort to alleviate concerns about the Iran Deal and bolster Saudi’s military campaign against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. The Saudi Foreign Minister said that the deal would contribute to stability in the Middle East……lol.   

Keeping Our Eye On…

  • Japan’s Mafia Wars: A major Japanese gang boss has been found murdered after a split in the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) which caused the cancellation of the annual Halloween party (yes really). Police fear this will start a long gang war.
  • South China Sea: US B-52 bombers flew near Chinese man-made islands in the South China Sea as part of an ongoing battle of wills between the US and China. Read more about it here.
  • Microsoft Pulls Plug On Zune: Microsoft quietly stopped its Zune music service on Sunday after…no one liked it. The 4-5 people still using Zune streaming will be migrated to the company’s Groove Music Pass services.



Crouching Tiger, Hidden Selfie Stick

After a spate of selfie-stick robberies, Russians are being offered self-defense classes which involve beating assailants with selfie sticks. On reflection, putting a $500 smartphone on the end of a pole and holding it up in the air may seem like a dumb idea but monopod fighting (hitting someone with your selfie stick) is becoming an effective form of defense against attackers. The first selfie stick or “handheld extension pole” was invented in 1925 and they have already been banned in South Korea and at Disney over safety fears.

WEIRD READ: The History Of The Selfie Stick

NSFW (lots of swearing) – France will endure and I’ll tell you why. Genius.
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