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My morning scan of news begins with The Daily Beast, a compendium of news stories that are most "popular" that day.  Leading the pack was a story from the Wall Street Journal about police efforts in Paris to curb people from urinating everywhere.  Since criminal mastermind Rupert Murdock, owner of the anything but "fair and balanced" Fox News has owned the WSJ, the writers for Sean Hannity have driven its journalistic standards into a subterranean realm.

This story, however, hit close to home.  I live in Paris, off and on, and have done so for years.  Its a town full of Americans and has been since the end of WWI.  Americans flock there, seeking culture or hiding from the law, each other but mostly enjoying a very welcoming place with "perfect invisibility."


Now the Journal paints a different picture.  Their Paris is filled with plain clothed police trolling the alleys arresting Parisians who urinate in hidden corners.  Telling of "savage urine" and the efforts made to fill a city with sparkling clean public restrooms and how the poor and ignorant French choose to ignore these wonderful conveniences tells more of Murdock and his delusional nature than the French.

Almost everything in the story is misleading or an outright lie.  Better to catch the Fox lie machine on something harmless like this than to call them on their endless misreporting of fact involving the prime news stories of the day, stories they "spin" into fairy tales, always with a slightly hidden Fascist agenda 

Murdock’s Paris is governed by competent conservatives who employ armies of detectives seeking out socialists and Islamic "foreigners" who spread the smell of urine across the city as part of an anarchistic plot, purposefully avoiding public conveniences. 

Was there even a reason to report such a fiction?  Does anyone care?  Do we need to insult the French?  Is there always a reason to promote the idea of the "Bush" police state?  Is, perhaps, that every word in the story is a lie to the point of laughability an indication that Fox, sorry, the WSJ, now assumes, perhaps rightly so, that they can just say anything they want and people will believe them?

This seems to be the case.

As for Paris, the real Paris, let me differ with Fox a bit.  There is no more beautiful city on Earth.  Those who live there deal with a number of problems, strikes, floods, housing shortages and endless tourists.  They also deal with smell.  Paris is cleaned each July for Bastille Day.  The city is sparkling.  Other than that, gutters and sidewalks get some attention but in a city known for side walks fouled by dogs every few feet, urine is not a big problem.

Walking thru Paris requires looking down continually. 

As for the 400 urinals described by Fox?  Yes, one of the most populace cities on Earth has a total of 400 toilets, not facilities, but toilets themselves.  At any time, many of these are out of order and all are locked at 10PM.  As businesses are not required to have toilets for their customers and Paris is one of the largest cities in the world, the number "400" is a joke.  4000 would hardly be enough.

You can walk miles in Paris to find a public toilet only for it to be locked.

The closest thing the city has to a large public toilet is behind Notre Dame Cathedral.  The Holocaust Memorial is a black granite wall at the foot of a flight of steps in a secluded area, not far from La Marais, a district of night clubs and gay bars. 

Parisians resisted Fascists in 1944, the city rising against the Germans with local residents fighting the German Army with surprising success.  America may have freed France, but Paris, when the time came, fought. 

Americans who know the city love Paris.  I know every street and alley.  There is no place like it, no place as friendly or as interesting anywhere.  Americans who return with stories of French arrogance bring their prejudices with them and spend their time in hotel lobbys or are bussed around town by tour guides.

Rent an apartment.  In a week you will know everyone in the building, eveyone in nearby shops and be invited out often, something impossible in most of America anymore. 

Murdoch’s Paris is filled with armies of police.  People who know the city and read his version will be offended.  Lies should offend.  Parisians won’t care.  No one in France would read anything like this or watch Fox News.  It would be considered tasteless and boorish.

We may have bathrooms.  No country has bathrooms like America.  Now, if only we could get rid of our tasteless and boorish lie machines….but that’s asking too much.

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.gduff


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Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.