Video Podcast – The Shutdown – The Reality of Immigration – Democrat Infighting

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

The dreaded government shutdown is upon us. Anyone notice? Not yet at least. But is the shutdown, that we well know is a mere slowdown, a real problem? Is it real or just imaginary? Is the angst everyone claims to be feeling over the shutdown psychosomatic – just a Pavlovian response?

Leftists in France are finding out first hand, the joys of being overrun with refugees and immigrants. Their quest for a truly diverse society that they so often claim to want is backfiring. The French are finding it difficult for their children to obtain a decent education, due to the sudden diverse nature of their schools.

The democrats may not have as easy a time in the mid-term elections as is being promoted by the left. Caustic infighting among the Hillary/Bernie factions continues to fracture the party. And it appears as if they will be hard-pressed to find common ground before November. Coupled with their hopeless lack of fundraising and it may be a recipe for disaster. read more

Cannes – Site of the Film Festival, Bans Islam Swimwear

by: the Common Constitutionalist

When one hears of Cannes, it may conjure up images of a magical place in the south of France on the French Riviera – a place where the beautiful go. It is also world renowned for its annual film festival – where liberals go to see and be seen (mostly be seen) – a place where a large slovenly socialist millionaire is hailed regularly as a conquering hero – one Michael Moore.

But, the disheveled Moore is the exception at the film festival. New York Magazine described  the scene last May, “as some of the country’s best-dressed celebrities headed to the Cannes Film Festival for another round of cocktails and photographs. Take beautiful and famous people, add a liberal sprinkling of diamonds, and put them on yachts in the French Riviera and you get an event that’s extremely fun to look at.”

And naturally 99.999 percent of the “beautiful” people who show up each year are flaming leftists – leftists who, at endless cocktail parties, discuss their latest cause célèbre, like transgender rights, the oppression of the Palestinian people or just any old Muslim cause.

So I wonder how they will react when the scantily clad “beautiful” bikini set take to the beaches at Cannes during the next festival only to see, or not see, any Muslim women sporting a Burkini. read more

Terrorist Attack – Now What – Now Nothing

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Paris is attacked – attacked by Islamic barbarians bent on revenge for mocking the prophet Mohammed. They felt as though they needed to defend the honor and name of the prophet.

As an aside, if Mohammed is supposed to be the father of Islam, the right hand of Allah, like some omniscient being – why does he need to be defended? Why would anyone or anything who is supposed to have a direct line to Allah have to be defended by mere mortals? Just asking.

paris rallyOkay, so radical Muslims go on the offensive. What is the response? Well after the French Special Forces did what they do – killed the terrorists – then what?

The city of Paris host a massive “unity rally in defiance of a terrorist spree that claimed 17 lives,” reports CNN.

And it was quite the impressive rally with many dignitaries in attendance. Leaders from France, Germany, Spain, Great Britain were in attendance, as well as Netanyahu of Israel, the Palestinian Authority’s Abbas and the King of Jordan, amongst others.

Now I don’t mean to sound harsh and non-appreciative of the large show of “unity” and “defiance” – but now what? So they have a rally. So what? Is that supposed to scare away the Islamic radicals? read more

The Brits … Not Always the Good Guys

by: the Common Constitutionalist

In every conflict throughout history there are usually the good guys and the bad guys. Why else would there be a conflict. The bad guys invariably try to expand their territory, for whatever the reason, and the good guys immediately or eventually step in to stop them.

The good guys either beat the bad guys or at least stop their advance, as in the first Gulf War. Saddam Hussein was the bad guy and the good guys, the George H W Bush coalition, stopped his advance into Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

However, it’s not always that way. Sometimes it’s bad against bad. Saddam’s Iraq against Iran, for example. Fascist Germany against Communist Russia – a perfect example of the enemy of my enemy is not my friend. Stalin’s Soviet Russia ended up being worse than Hitler, by a stretch.

Even rarer is a bad guy that eventually becomes a good guy. One of the most famous examples is Japan. Imagine you are a soldier or sailor fighting in the Pacific in 1943 and someone tells you that sometime in the future Japan will be one of our staunchest allies. He’d think you were nuts.

But it does happen – the bad guys can reform themselves.

Great Britain is a shining example of this – France also. In fact Glenn Beck just recently documented how the Brits may have been our friend and ally for a long time, but they were not always the good guys. read more

Who Isn’t Spying on Us?

All phone calls, emails, text messages, faxes and internet searches are monitored by the French security services – the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE), according to a report in French newspaper Le Monde. The practice is illegal.

The epicentre of the spying operation is a three-storey underground bunker in Paris’ 20th arrondissement, at the DGSE’s headquarters on Boulevard Mortier. The building contains a “supercalculator capable of managing tens of millions of gigaoctets of information.”

The French authorities do not note the content of the communications, the newspaper claims, but instead are interested in establishing links between known figures in a terrorist network.

“The politicians know about it, but secrecy is the rule: this French Big Brother is clandestine,” wrote Jacques Follorou and Franck Johannes. “It is out of control.”

The series of revelations will be highly embarrassing to Francois Hollande, the French president, who has expressed outrage at American interception of French communications.

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Sharia…Coming to a City Near You?

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

Imagine this scenario. A husband-and-wife are married in the Catholic Church. The wife gets pregnant. They have a falling out and get divorced. The now ex-wife wishes to have an abortion but her ex-husband wishes her to have the baby.

Putting aside our views on murder abortion, the husband decides to challenge her decision. Rather than take her to civil court, he and she go before a Catholic tribunal. The tribunal rules that the woman must carry the baby to term and upon the baby’s birth relinquish he/she to the father who will have full custody.

The woman doesn’t stand for this ruling and takes the matter to her state court, but the state court upholds the Catholic ruling.

Now how many liberal organizations would have a cow over this? Naturally all of them. And might the Obama justice system inject themselves into this case? You bet they would.

Surprise. I would agree with the libs. This case should be decided in state court and a tribunal ruling should have no bearing on its outcome. Why? Because there is no place in this country for a parallel judicial system.

Yet with the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood and our overwhelming political correctness, how long will it be before Sharia law becomes that parallel system?

Another surprise. It’s already here, in a manner of speaking. Liberal judges are and have been deferring to Sharia law for years when adjudicating cases.

You may ask how prevalent it is, or more to the point, just how bad it could get?

Well, whenever you wish to predict the future, one merely has to find a similar situation that has already occurred and walk it back. Knowing that liberals and progressives follow the same patterns no matter where or when they reside, you can, with a fair amount of certainty, predict our future.

Political correctness coupled with fear is strangling Europe. As bad as it is here, it’s much worse in European countries. Predictably, France is at the politically correct forefront.

To date there are over 750 “No-Go Zones” in French cities, containing over 5 million Muslims. What’s a No-Go Zone? The PC name for it is “Sensitive Urban Zone”. Ah, that sounds nice, does it not?

What they are is whole swaths of a city where French law enforcement has virtually no presence. It’s a separate country within the city. These areas are controlled by Muslims and the law they follow is Sharia, not French. These neighborhoods erect mosques to further radicalize their population, all financed by governments such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In other words, the Muslim brotherhood.

Oops. Not all the financing comes from Middle East. A lot comes from public assistance provided by the liberal French government. Assistance such as welfare benefits, etc., similar to those provided to Tamerlin Tsarnaev in Boston.

And it’s not just France. This is happening all over Europe. Even Germany has a growing number of court cases where judges defer to Islamic Sharia law. Islamic “Shadow Courts” operate in every major German city.

So if we wish to see our future, whether it be our swift march to socialism and all the joy it creates, or the rise of Sharia, we have only to look across the pond.

D-Day Heroes Return to Normandy

 

They’re iconic images which capture the brutal reality of the D-Day landings 69 years ago today – but they were nearly lost forever.

War photographer Robert Capa took these remarkable close-up photos – named The Magnificent Eleven – which show Allied troops in the second wave landing on Omaha beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

The Hungarian bravely took 106 photographs while wading through the water just off the French coast but because of a blunder when processing the film in London, all but 11 of the images were lost.

 
Grainy close-up: A US troop is seen crouching in the water off Omaha Beach, Normandy, as the second wave of troops landed on D-Day in the early hours of June 6, 1944
Grainy close-up: An Allied troop is seen crouching in the water off Omaha Beach, Normandy, as the second wave of troops landed on D-Day in the early hours of June 6

The images were sent to Life magazine’s office in Britain where picture editor John Morris told staff in the dark room to ‘rush!’ as they did the developing.

In their haste, worker Dennis Banks shut the doors on a wooden locker where the film was drying and 95 of the images melted as the negatives were destroyed.

Three whole rolls were lost, and more than half of the fourth.The useless film was tossed in a dustbin that same night and lost forever.

There were no other pictures taken from so close to the frontline landings on D-Day so The Magnificent Eleven provide the only enduring images from Normandy.

 
Storming the beach: The US servicemen run towards the shore as they come under fire from Nazi machine guns. Robert Capa captured these remarkable images from the water
Storming the beach: The servicemen run towards the shore as they come under fire from Nazi machine guns. Robert Capa captured these images from the waterCapa was aboard a landing ship carrying Company E of 16th Regiment, First Infantry of the US Army which landed on Omaha beach in the early hours of June 6.As machine guns were fired all around him, the troops – and the war photographer – waded towards the beach under heavy enemy fire.Omaha beach proved to be the worst killing field of the first day of the invasion, with an estimated 3,000 US soldiers killed within a matter of hours.He later wrote in his book, called Slightly out of Focus: ‘The men from my barge waded in the water. Waist-deep, with rifles ready to shoot, with the invasion obstacles and the smoking beach in the background gangplank to take my first real picture of the invasion.
 
Normandy landing: More US troops can be seen crouching in the water, with their landing crafts in the background just off the shore. Although Capa took 106 pictures, all but 11 of them were destroyed
Normandy landing: More Allied troops can be seen crouching in the water, with their landing crafts in the background just off the shore. Although Capa took 106 pictures, all but 11 of them were destroyed

D-DAY LANDINGS AT OMAHA BEACH

Around 160,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

There was an initial airbourne assault with 24,000 being parachuted into France before the sea landings began at dawn.

Omaha Beach is five miles long and one of five sections of coastline that troops landed on.

However, they met strong resistance from the German forces who were stationed at strongpoints along the coastline.

The Americans suffered 2,400 casualties on D-Day on Omaha Beach – although around 34,000 troops landed successfully.

The landings were chaotic with boats arriving at the wrong point and others getting into difficulties in the water.

Troops managed only to gain a small foothold on the beach – but they built on their initial breakthrough in the coming days and a harbour was opened at Omaha.

‘The boatswain, who was in an understandable hurry to get the hell out of there, mistook my picture-taking attitude for explicable hesitation, and helped me make up my mind with a well-aimed kick in the rear. The water was cold, and the beach still more than a hundred yards away.’

He dived for cover behind a steel object before heading onward in the water for a disabled American tank as he snapped away furiously.

The photographer held his camera high above his head to stop his precious film being damaged and later ran towards an incoming landing craft. He was hauled aboard and spirited away to England where most of his shots were inadvertently destroyed in the developing room.

Capa, who died in 1954 in Vietnam while working after stepping on a landmine, was wrongly listed as dead in the aftermath of the battle.

But he got away with his pictures – and the remaining 11 were first printed in the US Life magazine on June 19, 1944.

Some of the images are blurred, which the magazine said was because Capa was so excited when he took the photographs he was shaking. It is possible that the damage was instead done in the darkroom.

Steven Spielberg said that when making the D-Day film Saving Private Ryan he ‘did everything’ to make the action scenes look like the stills taken by Capa.

He was famed for the phrase: ‘If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough’. And on D-Day he was the only person to get near enough to the frontline to take decent pictures – and survive.

Robert Capa also took pictures of the Spanish Civil War, in Russia in the aftermath of World War II and of the First Indochina War during the course of a distinguished career.

 
Running towards the beach: The second wave of American troops lands on Omaha Beach at dawn on June 6, 1944
Running towards the beach: The second wave of American troops lands on Omaha Beach at dawn on June 6, 1944
 
Bloody conflict: After capturing these pictures, Capa ran towards another landing craft holding his camera above his head so it didn't get wet before climbing aboard. He was spirited away to England so his pictures could be developed
Bloody conflict: After capturing these pictures, Capa ran towards another landing craft holding his camera above his head so it didn’t get wet before climbing aboard. He was spirited away to England so his pictures could be developed

 
D-Day landings: This map shows where in Normandy British, US and Canadian troops landed from on June 6, 1944
D-Day landings: This map shows where in Normandy British, US and Canadian troops landed from on June 6, 1944
 
Landings: Omaha beach, shown here secured after D-Day, was used as a harbour by Allied Troops and an entry-point into France. The initial June 6 landings were chaotic - but the troops were able to build on the small early gains
Landings: Omaha beach, shown here secured after D-Day, was used as a harbor by Allied Troops and an entry-point into France. The initial June 6 landings were chaotic – but the troops were able to build on the small early gains

 

 
Saving Private Ryan: Tom Hanks pictured as Captain John Miller,in a scene from the film reinacting the D-Day invasion of Normandy, as the American forces storm Omaha Beach
Saving Private Ryan: The American forces storm Omaha Beach during the massive D-Day invasion of Normandy
 Inspiration: Steven Spielberg studied on Robert Capa’s images – later named The Magnificent Eleven – of the D-Day landings when he tried to recreate them in his 1998 film Saving Private Ryan

 

 
The yellow sands where the invasion happened: Modern images of Omaha Beach, in Normandy, France, where Allied troops first came ashore on June 6, 1944
The yellow sands where the invasion happened: Modern images of Omaha Beach, in Normandy, France, where Allied troops first came ashore on June 6, 1944
 The yellow sands where the invasion happened: Modern images of Omaha Beach, in Normandy, France, where Allied troops first came ashore on June 6, 1944
 
Arrival: Commando troops are seen walking ashore on another section of beach in the aftermath of the D-Day landings
Arrival: Commando troops are seen walking ashore on another section of beach in the aftermath of the D-Day landings

 
Filming: 'The Monuments Men' filming on the South Coast of England
Cover: Life magazine from June 19, 1944, when Robert Capa's 11 images were published
 D-Day: The famous battle is recreated for a new film ‘The Monuments Men’ on Camber Sands (above). Below: The cover of Life magazine from June 19, 1944, when Robert Capa’s 11 images – later named The Magnificent Eleven – were first published
 
Reenactment: George Clooney films the 'The Monuments Men' D-Day landings on Camber Sands, East Sussex, yesterday, the day before the 69th anniversary
Reenactment: George Clooney films the ‘The Monuments Men’ D-Day landings on Camber Sands, East Sussex, yesterday, the day before the 69th anniversary

 

 
War reenactment: The cast film The Monuments Men on Camber Sands Beach, East Sussex, yesterday
War reenactment: The cast film The Monuments Men on Camber Sands Beach, East Sussex, yesterday

 

 

Back to the frontline: World War II veteran, 88, returns to Normandy 69 years after the D-Day landings

 

A war hero who fought during the Normandy landings is returning to the battlefields that nearly claimed his life to mark the 69th anniversary today.

Ivor Anderson, 88, from Salford, dropped in at Pegasus Bridge, near the village of Ranville, Normandy, overnight on June 5, 1944.

The grandfather-of-two joined the Royal Engineers as an apprentice in 1938 – aged just 14 – but later became part of the 591 Para Squadron.

He returns to the spot where he fought today under a lottery scheme which is paying for World War II veterans to make emotional trips back almost 70 years on.

 
D-Day landings: Ivor Anderson, 88, is seen here (third from the right) at Fairford Aerodrome as he prepares to take off for Normandy on D-Day - June 6th, 1944. Today he is returning to the place where he landed
D-Day landings: Ivor Anderson, 88, is seen here (third from the right) at Fairford Aerodrome as he prepares to take off for Normandy on D-Day – June 6th, 1944. Today he is returning to the place where he landed
 
Then and now: World War II veteran Ivor Anderson, 88, wearing his medals here, is returning to the spot where he landed
Ivor Anderson, 88, pictured aged 18 after he completed his parachute course and was awarded his wings
 Then and now: World War II veteran Ivor Anderson, 88, pictured above wearing his medals and below when he was in the army during the war, is returning to Normandy today
 
Normandy veterans attend a remembrance and wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the start of the D-Day landings at Bayeux War Cemetery today
Normandy veterans attend a remembrance and wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the start of the D-Day landings at Bayeux War Cemetery today

 

 
Across Normandy, several hundred of the surviving veterans of the Normandy campaign are gathering to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the D-Day landings
Across Normandy, several hundred of the surviving veterans of the Normandy campaign are gathering to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the D-Day landings

Ivor said: ‘We were all in pretty good spirits and there was a good singalong during the first part of the flight. Once over the Channel we all quietened down and made ready for the jump into darkness.

‘Our job was to clear the landing ground for the Allied gliders. We had been told there were broad areas of heavy upright posts all around the bridge region, and it was down to us to wrap explosive charges around these so that gliders could land unobstructed.

‘When I jumped out I had the bren gun strapped to my ankles. We only had 20 minutes and the gliders were coming in at all angles.

‘Our job then was to protect the landing site from anyone who was going to attack it. It was a bit threatening because we were being shelled and mortared the whole time.’

After the mission, Ivor spent five weeks laying mines and helping the infantry, before an incident ended his army involvement.

‘It was a mortar or a shell,’ he said. ‘We were holding a position and we were hit.

‘The next thing I remember is waking up in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. It turned out I had been half buried with shrapnel in my leg, and I was pulled out.’

Ivor, who did his Paratrooper training at Manchester Airport, is having his trip funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Our Heroes Return programme.

The charity scheme allows World War II veterans to make commemorative visits to the places where they fought and served.

Scores of retired soldiers are making the voyage to France today to mark the anniversary of the D-Day landings and pay their respects to fallen comrades.

Ivor added: ‘I go back most years. It’s very poignant, especially at certain places where friends got killed.

‘It’s very sad to see again, but the local people treat us very, very well.’

 
Jim Kelly, 90, was a Royal Marine who landed on Sword Beach on D-Day
Jim Kelly, 90, was a Royal Marine who landed on Sword Beach on D-Day
 
 
A former soldier looks at the headstones of fallen comrades
Veteran Bob Barker, 90, at the Bayeux War Cemetery
 A former soldier looks at the headstones of fallen comrades; right, veteran Bob Barker, 90, at the Bayeux War Cemetery

 

 
Next year, which will mark the 70th anniversary of the landings, is widely expected to be the last time that the veterans will gather in any great number
Next year, which will mark the 70th anniversary of the landings, is widely expected to be the last time that the veterans will gather in any great number

 

 
Veterans (l to r) Victor Urch, 88 and Frank Baugh, 89 (who were in the Royal Navy dropping troops and supplies onto Sword Beach) and Derek Whitehead, 88
Veterans (l to r) Victor Urch, 88 and Frank Baugh, 89 (who were in the Royal Navy dropping troops and supplies onto Sword Beach) and Derek Whitehead, 88 (who was in the Durham Light Infantry and was on Gold Beach on D-Day) share a joke as they walk along what was the British Sword beach at Colleville Montgomery near Caen, France

 

 
Major Edwin Hunt walks up from the beach at Colleville Montgomery yesterday
Major Edwin Hunt walks up from the beach at Colleville Montgomery yesterday
 
Attribution: Rob Cooper, Mail Online 

The Strange Mountain of Sand

Measuring 3km long, 500m wide and 100m high, this menacing wall of sand would look more at home in the Sahara desert than the west coast of France.

Due to a quirk of nature, the Great Dune of Pyla has grown to become the largest sand dune in Europe and is marauding inland with such force it is swallowing houses, roads and even a forest.

It is located on the Atlantic coast in La Teste-de-Buch, around 60km south-west of Bordeaux, and has ballooned over the centuries to consist of 60 million cubic meters of sand.

 
Sand monster: At 3km long, 500m wide and 100m high, the Great Dune of Pyla, on the west coast of France, is the tallest of its kind in Europe 
Sand monster: At 3km long, 500m wide and 100m high, the Great Dune of Pyla, on the west coast of France, is the tallest of its kind in Europe

 

 
Imposing: The dune is located on the Atlantic coast in La Teste-de-Buch, around 60km south-west of Bordeaux, and consists of 60million cubic metres of sand 
Imposing: The dune is located on the Atlantic coast in La Teste-de-Buch, around 60km south-west of Bordeaux, and consists of 60million cubic meters of sand

 
No stopping it: The migrating mountain of sand is engulfing and killing the pine trees of the forest of La Teste-de-Buch that lies directly behind it 
No stopping it: The migrating mountain of sand is engulfing and killing the pine trees of the forest of La Teste-de-Buch that lies directly behind it

 
 
The Great Sand Dune of Pyla
The dune has engulfed surrounding houses and roads over the years
On the move: The dune has been formed over several centuries by westerly Atlantic winds which blow sand onto the shore from a sandbank off the coast. The build-up of sand has swelled to such an extent it has covered surrounding houses and roads
Scene: At low tide, the surface of the Banc D'Arguin (to the left of the Great Dune of Pyla) begins to dry, allowing Atlantic winds to blow it to shore, creating a build-up on the coast 
Scene: At low tide, the surface of the Banc D’Arguin (to the left of the Great Dune of Pyla) begins to dry, allowing Atlantic winds to blow it to shore, creating a build-up on the coast

As a result of westerly Atlantic winds, which continually blows sand onto the shore, the dune is moving at a rate of five metres a year.

It is thought to have doubled in size in the last hundred years alone.

The migrating mountain of sand is pushing the surrounding forest back, has covered roads and houses and has engulfed parts of the Atlantic Wall, an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

In one example, a Bordeaux family decided to build a villa on the edge of the dune in 1928, but two years later the sands began to invade the house.

 By 1936, the home had completely disappeared, it was reported by Amusing Planet.

Because of the dune’s unexpected location and beauty, it has become a tourist hotspot, attracting a million visitors every year and is particularly popular with paragliders.

The dune, also known as the Dune Du Pyla, has been created thanks to the position of the Banc D’Arguin, a huge sandbank located around one kilometer off the coastline.

 
Parasitical: As a result of westerly Atlantic winds, which continually blows sand onto the shore, the dune is moving at a rate of five metres a year 
Parasitical: As a result of westerly Atlantic winds, which continually blows sand onto the shore, the dune is moving at a rate of five meters a year

 
Swelling up: The dune, also known as the Dune du Pyla, is thought to have doubled in size in the last hundred years alone
Swelling up: The dune, also known as the Dune du Pyla, is thought to have doubled in size in the last hundred years alone

 
Isolated: Analysis of a coal-like substance found on the shore reveals the remains of a much older forest, suggesting the process has been cyclical over many centuries
Isolated: Analysis of a coal-like substance found on the shore reveals the remains of a much older forest, suggesting the process has been cyclical over many centuries

 
Stilts houses near the dune
Prepared: These stilt houses have been built to stand the rising tides near the dune, but others in the area have not been so lucky after getting engulfed by the moving wall of sand over the years

At low tide, the surface of the sandbank begins to dry, allowing the westerly Atlantic winds to blow it to shore, according to BBC Geography in Animation.

When it reaches land, the sand begins to build into mound and as the wind continues to force more grains up the seaward side, they fall over the crest of the dune.

Gradually, the landward face of the dune becomes steeper and steeper until it reaches an angle of 35 degrees, the point at which it becomes unstable and avalanches down the slope.

 

 
Quirk of nature: The dune has been created thanks to the position of the Banc D'Arguin, a huge sandbank located around one kilometre off the coastline
Quirk of nature: The dune has been created thanks to the position of the Banc D’Arguin, a huge sandbank located around one kilometer off the coastline
 
Fun in the sun: Its stunning features have made it a tourist hotspot, attracting a million visitors every year and is particularly popular with paragliders
Fun in the sun: Its stunning features have made it a tourist hotspot, attracting a million visitors every year and is particularly popular with paragliders
 
As this process repeats, the whole dune moves as the landward side, known as the slipface, successively builds and collapses.This has caused the dune to force its way inland, engulfing and killing the pine trees of the forest of La Teste-de-Buch that lies directly behind it and covering surrounding buildings.Analysis of a hard, coal-like substance found on the shore reveal the remains of a much older forest, suggesting the process has been cyclical over many centuries.

Attribution: Mail Online

France Taxes the Rich

Socialists are socialists, the world around.

Legendary actor Gerard Depardieu is to give up his French passport in protest of huge tax hikes imposed by the country’s Government.

Depardieu, 63, star of films including Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac, is furious at socialist French President Francois Hollande for several of his policies aimed at taking money away from the rich, including a top rate of income tax of 75 per cent.

The actor is now set to move to Belgium after putting his £40million ($65 million)mansion on Paris’s Left Bank up for sale.

Leaving: French actor Gerard Depardieu has put his Paris mansion up for sale and will leave France in protest at tax hikes imposed by the government  French actor Gerard Depardieu has put his Paris  mansion up for sale and will leave France in protest at tax hikes imposed by the  government

In an open letter to prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault today, Mr Depardieu said: ‘I am leaving because you consider that success, creation, talent, anything different, must be punished.’

Mr Depardieu said he has paid 85 per cent of his income to the Government this year, and estimated that he had paid more than £130 million ($211 million) in total since he started work on leaving school aged  14.

New financial measures: French President Francois Hollande has imposed a top rate of income tax of 75 per centFrench President Francois  Hollande has imposed a top rate of income tax of 75 per cent

Mr Ayrault had earlier branded Mr Depardieu ‘pathetic’ and ‘unpatriotic’, but the actor wrote in an open letter in the  Journal de Dimanche: ‘Who are you to judge me like this, Mr Ayrault? I ask you, who are you?’

‘Despite my excesses, my appetite and my love of life, I am a free man.’

‘I am not asking to be approved of, but I could at least be respected. All of those who have left France have not been insulted as I have been.’

‘At no time have I failed in my duties. The historic films in which I took part bear witness to my love of France and its history.’

The actor is not the first wealthy French resident to signal their intention to leave since Mr Hollande came to power back in May.

Bernard Arnault, chief executive of the luxury goods group LVMH and France’s richest man, is among those who have applied for Belgian residency, although the billionaire denies it is for tax reasons.

It came as an Ifop poll released in France over the the weekend put Mr Hollande’s public approval rating at just 37 per cent, with Mr Ayrault on 35 per cent.

MailOnline reported last week how Depardieu had moved to a new ‘tax exile’ mansion just 800 yards from the French border in Belgium.

The actor’s lavish home in the village of Nechin – on a street known as Millionaire’s Row – is less than two minutes drive from the French town of Roubaix.

Attribution: Steve Nolan, Mail Online