Tuesday 16th of July 2024

of baguettes and circuses.....

This summer’s Paris Olympics must surmount some truly Olympian hurdles, the chief of which, if our friends in Estonian Intelligence are to be believed, is Vladimir Putin’s disinformation efforts. Although it is anyone’s guess why Russia would want to play spoilsport to a series of games that seem destined for economic failure, more to the point is why Estonia, a country of just over a million people, would be able to obtain that information, where the vastly superior intelligence forces of the United States and France could not.


This summer’s Paris Olympics risks descending into a French farce

    BY Declan Hayes


The only explanation I can find for this is that the Estonians are lying through their one million odd sets of teeth in an effort to sound important. That said, may Estonia’s 23 competitors at the 2024 Summer Olympics bring eternal glory to Estonia, her crack intelligence services included. Slava Estonii and all that.

Likewise to the 134 athletes representing Ukraine. May they, their trainers, their families and their camp followers avoid Zelensky’s military draft and lead long and prosperous lives in France or some other country that will take them in. And, if they intend to return to Zelensky’s Reich, may they manage to avoid the small contingents of 26 Russian and 16 Belarusian athletes the CIA has allowed to compete at the games, as Zelensky has decreed that any such fraternising is haram.

If Zelensky and his bedfellows were not such rank ignoramuses, they would know that, not only does that fly in the face of the Olympics’ spirit, but it is also flies in the face of the example set when America’s Jesse Owens befriended German athlete Luz Long at the 1936 Olympics. That Obergefrieter Luz Long of Hitler’s Wehrmacht was infinitely more sporting than Zelensky will allow his own troops to be tells us all we need to know about that bum’s attitude to sport.

Not that Ukraine or their narcissistic leader is the main event. Far from it. Ever since Hitler’s 1936 Berlin extravaganza, the purpose of the modern Olympics has been to show that the jacked-up athletes of the USA are the world’s best and, by extension, that American products and American values (whatever they are), are likewise the world’s best.

Because the Yanks have the biggest contingent of athletes at Paris (591 compared to third place China’s 398), Paddy Power has the Yanks at odds onto win the most medals. Although the medals will tally out the right way, the real problem comes with pimping products and covering the organisers’ huge costsin Paris.

Whilst those costs almost bankrupted Montreal in 1976 and Athens in 2004, Tokyo in 1964 best exemplifies the approach of Japan, China and Russia to such outlays. Tokyo showed that, technologically and financially, Japan was a match for the West and that the considerable technological logistics needed to make the games a success were well within their capabilities. No matter who won the medals in Tokyo (USA 90, USSR 96), those Olympics were a very major success for Japan Inc, which is now a byword in efficiency, hi tech and, equally importantly, Hello Kitty too.

Fast forward to Paris 2024 and France is on the ropes. Although the 567 athletes representing France will no doubt bring sporting honours galore to the host nation, the question is at what cost and to whom.

Air France, one of the Olympics’ primary sponsors, is bracing itself to take a massive $180 million hit, as punters regard a holiday in Paris as being simply too dangerous. But Air France is not the only major French company that has rallied to the tricolour. Although French sportings goods retailer Decathlon has been a major sponsor, Decathlon is not and probably never will be synonymous with Olympic gold.

Decathlon’s modus operandi has been to churn out own brand products, and to eschew celebrity brand endorsement to keep costs down. All fine and good, but NATO’s Olympics are about celebrities and the apparel they wear, as well as the huge financial inducements Adidas, Under Armor, Nike, Puma and the others fork out to “their” winners. It is not at all clear to me why Decathlon can take on those behemoths at what they, rather than Decathlon, do best.

Much the same goes for luxury goods brand LVMH, which is surely in a different market than the likes of Nike’s Ronaldo or Adidas’ Messi. Given that France only accounts for 7% of LVMH’s global sales, one might have imagined their efforts might have been better put to use in Asia or the United States which, between them, account for 60% of LVMH’s global sales.

All of which bring us back to Hello Kitty and the issue of mascots, where France seems to have again misfired. Although Hello Kitty is an almost unique cultural phenomenon, France seems be barking up the wrong tree with its traditional Phrygian cap. Patriotic as such a cap may be, it does not capture that je ne sais quoi in the same manner that Hello Kitty does or, for that matter, that Misha the Bear did in Moscow in 1980.

Without going all Vladimir Putin on this, bears are an easy sell and NATO are making this French farce the mother of all hard sells. Not only is Paris a war zone, but the whole emphasis has been on making the games politically correct, rather than them being a showcase for the best that sport has to offer. Ukraine, which is nothing more than a (Phrygian) cap in hand NATO cat’s paw to attack Russia, is claiming credit for having Russian and Belarusian athletes banned from the opening ceremony.

But these Hollywood style opening ceremonies should be scrapped because they are an awful waste of money that prove absolutely nothing. But then, so too should the current Olympics in their present form, as all they are is a means for Adidas and Nike to showcase their wares, in this case, largely at the expense of the French tax payer.

Circuses like the Olympics and the World Cup are, in essence, intangible brands that muscle gullible Third World countries like France, Brazil and South Africa to pay fortunes to host their jamborees, whilst the IOC and FIFA take any profits that are going. Japanese auto giant Toyota, which has recently slung $1 billion to the Olympics, is one of many international companies calling time on this swindle. Though the Japanese like to play by the rules, Toyota is fed up playing with the IOC’s loaded dice. After Paris, Toyota, its shareholders will be happy to hear, will be saying adieu, sayonara and goodbye to these rip-off merchants.

Although Los Angeles will have to find other suckers for the 2028 Games, the real issue is that American crass commercialism and NATO’s political opportunism have combined to drain the life blood from these circuses that once meant something.

In keeping with kicking Russia and Belarus out, whilst rolling out the red carpet for Korean pop starsIsrael’s 87 athletes and a gaggle of dubious LGBT contestants, Paris, where pensioners recently died in droves from the heat, was supposed to be the greenest Olympics ever. Faced with global warming but more so with a potential uprising by competing athletes, NATO had to relent and install hundreds of air conditioner units, which the competitors, Ukrainian paupers most likely excepted, have to pay for out of their own pockets.

For my own part, I would much prefer to watch this Russian children’s troupeshow their mastery of Irish dancing, albeit with their own touch of the Russian steppes, than I would to watch the French, Estonians and Ukrainians in their gondolas and Hello Kitty hats glide their way to God knows where down the Seine. Though the beauty of Irish dancing is that, generally speaking, all the contestants get medals and, though those young girls deserve all the medals going, their greater significance is that, as with Kazan and Gibraltar, they will inspire others to look away from NATO controlled circuses for new heroes to emulate in excellence and I, for one, salute them in their efforts to dance faster, higher and stronger than those who first inspired them.


e.coli fest.....

The water quality of the Seine has improved, test results showed on Thursday, three weeks ahead of the start of the Paris Olympics when the river is set to host outdoor swimming events.

Results published by the Paris mayor’s office showed that E.Coli bacteria levels at an Olympics swimming spot in central Paris had fallen to within acceptable limits for four days in a row following warm and sunny weather in the French capital.

“This positive development is a consequence of the return of sunshine and warmth as well as the effects of the work done as part of the strategy to improve the quality of the Seine’s waters,” a statement from the mayor’s office said.

The previous week, levels of E.Coli—a bacteria indicating the presence of faecal matter—had been above the upper limits used by sports federations every day at the Alexandre III bridge location in central Paris, which is set to be the jumping off point for the swimming.

At one point, E.Coli levels were 10 times the upper limit of 1,000 colony-forming units per 100 millilitres (cfu/ml), with heavy rain over the previous two months leading to fears for the Olympic events.

The Seine is set to be used for the swimming leg of the triathlon on July 30-31 and August 5, as well as the open-water swimming on August 8-9.

The readings for enterococci bacteria last week—a second key measurement of water quality—also improved markedly and were within acceptable limits every day at the Alexandre III bridge.

French authorities have spent 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in the last decade trying to clean up the river by improving the Paris sewerage system, as well as building new water treatment and storage facilities.

But major storms still overwhelm the capital’s waste water network, some of which dates back to the 19th century, leading to discharges of untreated sewage directly into the river.



River Seine is good to swim in, says Meares 

Tom Decent

Australian chef de mission Anna Meares says water quality in the River Seine has improved to acceptable levels and assured that athletes are happy to swim in it at the Olympics, despite contingency plans being unveiled.

French organisers are pushing ahead with an ambitious plan to hold the marathon swimming and triathlon events in the River Seine in the middle of Paris.

The river’s water quality has been an issue, with multiple recent readings showing unsafe levels of

E. coli that could affect athletes’ health. Parisians have not been allowed to swim in the river for more than a century.

Speaking to reporters at her final press conference before departing for France,

Meares said there was no reason to suggest the events wouldn’t go ahead as planned.

‘‘The Seine and the water quality is improving,’’ Meares said. ‘‘From what I heard from [AOC chief medical officer] Dr Carolyn Broderick, at the moment it is safe to swim in.

‘‘Our chief medical officer ... has been closely watching the tests each day as they come out. The numbers have dropped significantly, which means at the moment, Plan A is in play.

‘‘There has been a lot of work going into cleaning up the Seine and it’s been a project since 2017. This is a big legacy piece that Paris 2024 wants to offer Parisians [the chance], to be able to swim in the river. A lot has been invested in making this happen.’’

Organisers have stressed that marathon swimming (August 8-9) and triathlon (July 30-31 and August 5) will go ahead as planned but did announce back-up plans last week.

If the Seine is not fit for swimming, triathlons will become duathlons – just cycling and running – while marathon swimming will be moved to a reserve site at Vaires-sur-Marne, about 35km out of Paris.

Meares said anything could change, but she was confident the plan would go ahead.

‘‘We’ve recently had information shared with us about that Plan B ... at the moment, I don’t think that is going to happen,’’ Meares said.

Meares said Australia would name its flag bearers – one male and one female – on July 24 in Paris, two days before the opening ceremony, but it remained a closely guarded secret.

Olympic gold-medal winning canoeist Jess Fox and hockey star Eddie Ockenden are favourites.

About 80 Australians will take part in the opening ceremony on

the Seine.

‘‘Yes, I have the flag bearers in my head,’’ Meares said.

Australia will send 460 athletes to compete in 33 sports in Paris.

It is the third-largest Australian team to compete at an overseas Olympics, behind Tokyo 2020 (486) and Athens


Australia has more females on its team (55.6 per cent) than men and will be taking 10 Indigenous athletes.

Meanwhile, Meares did not offer a medal prediction or share the AOC’s hopes for the Olympics.

‘‘I love Rohan Taylor’s quote, head coach from the swimming team: as many as we can get,’’ Meares said.

‘‘What excites me is the potential across the breadth of sports for medals to be won.

‘‘There’s just no guarantee. I know we all want to talk about that medal tally at the end of the day, but for the athlete they’re there to try and win that medal that they’re invested in that contributes to the overall success of the team. So if we can keep that focus on that for them, it’s helpful.’’

SMH 11/07/2024




A comedian said that Chirac believed he had dissolved the National Assembly, but that he had dissolved the right. Likewise, Macron dissolved his party and sowed the seeds of fascist deputies.

The New Popular Front is an aggregate where the supporters of the Common Future program will have to vote for traitors (François Hollande...), enemies (Elisabeth Borne...) and for LFI putschists to whom the unexpected dissolution of the National Assembly did not leave time to unfold their conspiracy to the end (1): poaching (already started) in the shadow of the elected officials and activists of LFI, outvoting "the old man" to whom they owe everything, confiscation of files and cash register, putting forward their candidate for 2027 (probably François Ruffin, whom the media do not hate). All simmered in secret dinners where a camarilla (with PCF, EELV, PS) plotted under the wing of a multi-millionaire (Olivier Legrain, ready to pull out all the stops).

The political ingredients were there for disintegration: ingratitude, selfishness, pride, harshness, cunning, ambition and duplicity (2). Opposite, a monolith as hard as the heart of a Waffen SS (3).

Théophrastus R. Author of the work (unfinished): “Understanding Judas and Machiavelli”.




McKinsey politics...

For thirty years, the French American Foundation has had the function of recruiting young leaders called to occupy leadership positions to train them in support of Atlanticist policy. This organization managed by the CIA and since 2015 has been a partner of the McKinsey firm which reorganized the agency under the mandate of John Brennan and the Obama administration.

The other relay of these organizations is Joel Benenson, who trained Emmanuel Macron. He is the founder and CEO of the Benenson Strategy Group, is one of the world's leading political and business strategists.

Benenson managed President Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Benenson served as Hillary Clinton's chief strategist.

Marguerite Cazeneuve is a French specialist in social affairs, health and pensions. She was an advisor to Emmanuel Macron and is currently deputy director of Health Insurance. She is the daughter of Jean-René Cazeneuve, MP for Gers1, and Béatrice Cazeneuve, former executive at Eli Lilly France. She is in a relationship with Aurélien Rousseau, former director of the Prime Minister's office and Minister of Health and Prevention from July 20 to December 20, 2023.

Ariane Komorn, formerly of McKinsey, formerly with Emmanuel Macron's En Marche, is co-founder of La Solive, a training center dedicated to energy renovation.

Cyrielle Villepelet, 36, a graduate of Essec Business School, spent 11 years at McKinsey and was appointed associate director of Téthys Invest, a subsidiary of Téthys (holding of the Bettencourt family and largest shareholder of L'Oréal).


*French Young Leaders: the good McKinsey vintage 

View Consultant

There are 3 McKinsey alumni, 3 women, in the latest promotion, the 43rd, of the 12 French Young Leaders 2024 of the French American Foundation: Marguerite Cazeneuve, Ariane Komorn, and former partner Cyrielle Villepelet.

Since 1981, this Franco-American exchange program has selected 12 French people and 12 Americans aged 30 to 40 and considered remarkable in their field of activity or skill. “These 6 women and 6 men, from varied backgrounds, backgrounds and professions, were chosen from nearly 170 candidates. The winners highlight France's strengths, its know-how and its commitment to a changing world and as our two countries have just recalled their unwavering bond. This promotion embodies French excellence, with a significant commitment to the general interest, both in state services, in diplomacy, and in societal commitments. Through their actions, they embody the leadership of today and tomorrow», thus shares the management of the foundation.

An honorary title certainly. One more highlight among the various selections such as the prestigious Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum (WEF) or the Franco-French Choiseul 100 of leaders under 40… The 20 French and American selected receive as a “gift” two seminars of 5 days each over 2 consecutive years in France and the United States “in order to discuss major themes, common to both countries, and to deepen their areas of mutual interest», as the foundation specifies.

These three former McKinsey consultants all began their careers after finishing their studies, within a few months of each other.

Marguerite Cazeneuve, graduated from HEC in 2013, began her career at McKinsey, a junior consultant for nearly a year and a half before joining the public service: general secretary of the ONDAM Steering Committee (National Objective of Expenditure health insurance), within the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, advisor to the office of the Minister of Economy and Finance and the Secretary of State for the Budget (2016-2017), advisor to the office of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister (2017-2021). Deputy director of the CNAM for 3 years, Marguerite Cazeneuve entered this year directly at 40th place in the Choiseul 100 ranking.

Ariane Komorn was a fellow apprentice consultant at McKinsey for a year under Marguerite Cazeneuve; she began her career at McKinsey in January 2014. This graduate of the École Normale Supérieure (2013) was a consultant there for 3 and a half years, reaching the rank of associate, before getting involved in the 2017 campaign for candidate Macron. Since 2012, she has been at the head of La Solive, a training institute dedicated to professions in the energy renovation of buildings.

The managing director of Téthys Invest since March 2023, Cyrielle Villepelet, spent more than 11 years at McKinsey, appointed partner in 2020. Once graduated from ESSEC in 2012 and after an end-of-study internship at McKinsey, Cyrielle Villepelet joined the New York office as a consultant and remained there until her promotion to partner in 2020, when she joined the Paris office. In 2023, the Consumer Goods/Luxury expert left McKinsey for the fund created in 2016 by Françoise Bettencourt Meyers and Jean-Pierre Meyers, Téthys Invest, a subsidiary of Téthys, main shareholder of L'Oréal, dedicated to long-term investments. in entrepreneurial projects.

source: Consultant via Geopolintel




cash exodus....

Many of France’s most wealthy residents may consider leaving the country over concern about political instability and the prospect of higher taxes in light of the recent parliamentary election, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing wealth managers. The recent vote left no party with an absolute majority, resulting in a hung parliament, but a left-wing alliance took the most seats.

Several wealth advisers said many of their panicking clients had already begun transferring capital abroad and started to look into possible expatriation. Most are worried that, while neither the far-right nor far-left won the election outright, some of the parties’ campaign proposals, such as higher taxes, could soon become law.

“We have new clients like top executives who are asking what they can do to shield themselves. Following Brexit there was an influx of bankers into France, but these high-earners will leave because they won’t want to pay more taxes,” Xenia Legendre, a Paris-based managing partner at Hogan Lovells law firm, told the news outlet.

The left-wing New Popular Front (NFP), which won the most seats in the election, promised to tax the super profits of companies and reinstate a wealth tax on the rich. Such legislation would run counter to the policies put in place by President Emmanuel Macron, which are considered more friendly to the wealthy and even earned him the nickname “president of the rich.”

People who can leave will leave if extreme policies are adopted. France would no longer be attractive for foreigners, and the rich would go,” Emmanuel Angelier, head of wealth management firm La Financiere d’Orion, predicted.

According to Julien Magitteri, a private wealth adviser at Barnes Family Office by Côme, some people started moving capital out of France even before the second round of voting, largely to countries such as Switzerland and Luxembourg. Most wealth managers say that places such as Italy, Dubai, Singapore, and the US are also among the destinations being considered by many of France’s top earners.

France is home to some of the world’s richest people, including Bernard Arnault, Europe’s richest man and head of the luxury goods company LVMH; Francoise Bettencourt Meyers of the beauty empire L’Oréal, considered the richest woman in the world; and the Wertheimer brothers, who control the Parisian fashion house Chanel.

According to a poll conducted by the agency Elabe earlier this week, seven out of ten French are dissatisfied with the results of the elections and the composition of the new National Assembly, saying that the country is now “ungovernable.”





no transmission....

Russian television channels and streaming services will not air this year’s Olympic Games, taking place from July 26 to August 11 in Paris, Russian media outlets reported on Saturday.

The IOC initially banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing internationally following the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022. In December last year, however, the body removed the blanket ban and ruled that a limited number of individuals from the two countries could take part in the Olympics under a neutral flag. Just 36 Russian athletes are thought to have been approved, but 20 have since refused to take part, citing humiliating conditions.

The IOC also ruled that athletes from both countries would be barred from the traditional parade at the opening ceremony. It is expected to be an open-air event, with athletes traveling on boats down the River Seine for several kilometers, toward the Eiffel Tower.

The IOC also imposed a range of restrictions for qualifying. Athletes who have publicly supported Moscow’s military operation or are in any way linked to the Russian military are not be allowed to take part in the Games.

Major broadcasters such as Channel One Russia and Rossiya 1 have outright refused to show the event “without the flag and anthem of the Russian Federation.” Match TV, however, reportedly planned to purchase broadcasting rights to show selected tournaments featuring Russian participants, but abandoned the idea after wrestlers and judo athletes rejected the IOC invitation to compete.

“We believe that given the suspension of Russian athletes, the event is of little interest to audiences in Russia,” the press service of streaming platform Okko told RBK.

Popular Russian social network VK has also decided against securing digital rights to show the event.

On Saturday, Russian wrestler Shamil Mamedov refused to participate in the Paris Olympics. Out of ten approved wrestlers, he was the only one who was considering competing. 

READ MORE: Ukraine wants Russian athlete banned from Olympics for mourning dead father

Earlier this month, several high-ranking Russian tennis players including Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Daria Kasatkina, Liudmila Samsonova, and Anna Kalinskai declined invitations to compete. The Russian judo federation has also decided against sending athletes to the games. 

“The Russian national judo team will not accept the humiliating conditions and will not perform at the Games in Paris,” it said in a statement.

The Paris Summer Olympics is the first event in 40 years to be boycotted by Russia. Previously the USSR snubbed the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles citing “security concerns and chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria being whipped up in the United States.”