Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Yesterday I turned 78.

by LEP Tue Dec 9th, 2014 at 06:48:03 PM EST

Just thought I'd pop in to say hello to all of my old friends of Eurotrib.

The old bod aint what it used to be and I don't get around as much on my feet in Paris as I used to; no more street demonstrations with camera for me. But the brain still seems OK; well enough to read Eurotrib and Daily Kos daily which makes it difficult to avoid depression. I really miss the annual meetups we used to have in Paris-one of the highlights of the year for me.

Many of you remember Raphael who came to the first Eurotrib meetup when he was 15 in 2006. He just started his Phd work in Physics at ENS in Lyon. Esther, who's 20 now, who also came to a meetup or two, finished two years of study as a sound technician and is now studying cinema at the Sorbonne.

I hope you are all doing well personally, especially AR Geezer who's having some health problems. If there is ever another Paris meetup count me in; even if I have to take a 40 euro taxi ride to get there.

Good holiday season to all!


Comments >> (26 comments)

LEP is risen from the near dead at 76.

by LEP Sun Dec 9th, 2012 at 03:45:26 AM EST

Well, I exagerate a bit; but I have been dragging my ass for the last couple of years due to my kidney disease so you haven't seen me commenting here.

However, a near miracle has happened! One month ago my kidney doctor put me on a new synthetic hormone (which hormone my kidney is no longer producing thus causing anemia) and rapidly I'm feeling like kicking ass again.
I've even made plans to go the US in March, something I haven't done for two years.

So tonight, I'm celerbrating my birthday with estHer who's returned home from Montaigu for the occasion-also to wash her clothes. (Believe it or not she's almost 19 and studying to be a sound technician.)

So I hope I'll be saying hello here more often and even walking aroud Paris and shooting some photos.

Cheers, Len

Hallelujah! - afew

Comments >> (41 comments)

75 years and still counting

by LEP Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 07:54:00 AM EST

Today is my 75th birthday and I'm furious and want to go and occupy Wall Street. Unfortunately I'm occupying  my local pharmacy instead if only to keep my body functioning, which body houses my brain, which still seems to be functioning OK, maybe.

The bullshit in today's world pains me; a world in constant financial crisis without any leader to step in and lead the way, any way other than the status quo; even Putin, one of the few who had some spine, is on his way out.

Obama was supposed to be our big play man. He who got a Nobel Peace Prize just before he doubled the size of the Afghanistan war. We needed a Jackie Robinson-instead we got Eddie Stanky, a very good journeyman player but no hall of famer. And the modern freakin' Republicans; some of the most disgusting people I've ever seen in Western politics.

In France, where I live, Mr."Fric" himself is leading the way, desperately trying to save the irresponsible big French banks, controlled by his buddies, from collapse.

Etc., etc., etc.

I'm doing OK, and so are my two kids in the U.S. and my two kids in France. But I'm furious because I know that there's an awful lot of suffering going on out there that didn't have to be, because of those greedy conservative bastards who want it all.

I'm also furious that I'm 75 and don't know where the years went. C'est la vie!

Hey you kids get off my lawn!

Comments >> (51 comments)

Today I'm 74, celebrating in Lyon.

by LEP Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 10:39:29 AM EST

I'm in Lyon visiting with Melanchthon and seeing Raphael, my almost 20 year old son, who's in his first year of school here.

I won't write a long diary or try to be humorous; it's been by and large a crummy year for me.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with kidney disease it being discovered that one of my kidneys was completely dead and the other operating at 50%. I was put on a lot of medication and went on a low salt diet and my half kidney has been stable since then.

It was then discovered that I had prostate cancer. In July I was operated on to liberate my prostate and bladder; it was sucessful.

I then had to take 8 weeks of radio therapy to kill the cancer, which I've just finished.

Believe it or not I never felt that bad during the whole year.

So that's all I'll say; I'm no longer screwing but I'm still kicking.

See you all next year at 75, I hope  ;)

P.S. Thanks to everyone who wished me Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Comments >> (43 comments)

(Photo Diary) 8th demonstration against pension reform & Sarkozy.

by LEP Sun Nov 7th, 2010 at 11:08:21 AM EST

Yesterday we had the eighth street demonstration against Sarkozy's pension reform particularly and the Sarkozy government in general. In Paris, it was considered a washout, (although there were still some fifty or sixty thousand there) partly due to the weather which was continual rain, and also the fact that the law has passed and the stage will move to the political arena. There is also some bickering among the unions, primarily the CGT and the Force Ouvriere. I understand, however, that there were good crowds in Lyon and Toulouse.

I was home in the country for the weekend but an allergic attack caused an early return to Paris so I stopped at Nation, the terminus of the march, around 5:15. It was almost dark and difficult to take photos,but I managed a few.

This is what it looked like yesterday.


More photos in the comments.

P.S. I'm guessing this will be the last in this series of photo diaries so thanks for looking.

Comments >> (9 comments)

Very late Photo Blog # 163

by LEP Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 05:29:30 AM EST

I've been so busy with protest photos I forgot to put up the regular photo blog. So, for those who want to post normal photos here's a photo of my daughter and grand daughter from America, taken at the end of August, to start off today's blog..


Happy posting!

Comments >> (13 comments)

Is France cooling off? (Photo Diary)[UPDATED]

by LEP Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 02:56:34 PM EST

There was another national demonstration today protesting the changes to the French retirement law in particular, and Sarkozy and his government in general. Considering that this is the ten day autumn vacation period and a lot of people go back to their ancestral homes for All Saints Day, there was quite a good crowd demonstrating in Paris.


And let's face it; the law has been passed and is awaiting signature. Since the Socialists will declare for their presidential primary next June and their candidate will be chosen in October, 2011 for the May 2012 presidential election the time for politicking should begin and take precedence over protest. If I'm not mistaken the Socialists have promised to repeal this unpopular law if they take power. And perhaps the politicking has started.


The mood today was quite festive, not to deny that people are very angry. There is one more demonstration scheduled for  Saturday, November 6th.

More photos in the comments section tonight and/or tomorrow.

Update [2010-10-29 5:36:8 by LEP]: Photo diary is complete!

Comments >> (12 comments)

France is heating up! [UPDATE#2 with comment]

by LEP Wed Oct 20th, 2010 at 04:39:46 AM EST

Another very large demonstration in Paris Tuesday, as well in as a couple of hundred other cities in France. In Paris in addition to the usual union marchers thousands of students, high school and university, came out today. Here's the new spirit:


At present, one-fourth of the gas stations in France are lacking fuel, and other transportation is spotty.
You can see gas lines all over the Paris region. The government is refusing to budge,and everyone's position is hardening. The government is hoping that after the new law on  retirement is signed into law, perhaps next week, this will all go away. I'm not so sure.

Update [2010-10-20 5:8:4 by LEP]:There were two marches from Place d'Italie to Invilides. I waited for the one that came through Blvd. Montparnesse, right around the Gare Montparnase. Blvd. Montparnesse is a very wide boulevard so the people weren't as pressed together as in the previous marches. The marchers started arriving at the Gare Montparnesse about 2:45 p.m. and kept coming until 7p.m. I will post three sections of photos: the arrival, the unions and adults, and finally the high school students (lyceens) and university students.

[UPDATE#2] Melanchthon has a comment below which I find very important.

Re: Fictional demographic problems The vast majority of people and organisations who oppose Sarkozy's reform accept the augmentation of the number of quarters of contribution. And they know very well that the real retirement age is already close to 62 and that it will increase in the future. What they oppose are changes in the legal retirement age (from 60 to 62), because it is unjust towards people who started to work early and because a significant number of people over 55 are unemployed, which means they will have to live on reduced benefits until they reach 62, even if they have contributed enough quarters to be eligible to full pension. Same for the full-pension retirement age (see below).

Comments >> (170 comments)

I marched today so that you could retire at 60[ UPDATED]

by LEP Sat Oct 16th, 2010 at 01:59:28 PM EST

just like me. Oh, never mind, I retired at 63.

Another huge march in  downtown Paris today. Actually there were two; one which went from Republique to Bastille and then to Nation (the one I took); the other went directly to Nation via Blvd. Voltaire. And thousands were on the sidewalks giving their support.

The first group of photos have posted below in the comments is of the assemblage of the march that was passing by Republique; very near the Cirque d'Hiver. just south of Republique.

The second group is of the march from Cirque d'Hiver to Bastille.

Finally, I've added a few shots from Bastille looking back toward Republique taken about 6p.m. The line kept coming until about 7:30 when it ended where I was standing. I believe it continued until Nation.

Update [2010-10-17 13:48:16 by LEP]: Finally, I would like to say a few words with regard to the nature of this movement. It's really only partially about the eligible ages for retirement. To me, it's more of a protest against Sarkozy and his authoritarian way of doing things. He rammed through these changes in the retirement law with no consultation with the unions, the opposition or, most importantly, the people. For all I know his changes may be justified but the people don't trust him and he hasn't even bothered to make his case. I don't know how this can end; maybe his own party will throw him under the bus ;)

I would also add, if I understand him correctly, that Melanchthon thinks this affair is an attempt by the right to break the unions, a la Reagan. So, this is a matter of life and death for the unions. If they lose, it's "America in France" in not too long.

Comments >> (43 comments)

"Sarko t'es foutu la jeunesse est dans la rue" with Photos

by LEP Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:51:11 AM EST

That was the chant of thousands of young people in today's demonstration in Paris. What made today's huge march different was the high school students shouting the title of this diary and also "Re-sis-tance, Re-sis-tance" and "On n'est pas fatigue."

When the young show up it gives the old-farts much more energy and that was amply demonstrated today. There were many calls for a general strike. If the unions keep going Sarko has backed himself into a corner by refusing to negotiate; it's possible he's overplayed his hand.

If you live in France, fill up your gas tanks and put away some food.

There were two marches in fact; I was waiting for for the one coming up Blvd. Henri 4;


More in the comments.

P.S. More photos have been added this Wednesday afernoon.

front-paged by afew

Comments >> (26 comments)

Photo Blog # 160

by LEP Sat Oct 9th, 2010 at 06:23:58 AM EST

Greetings and welcome to ET Photo blog # 160. Since the seasons are changing now, why not do "The Four Seasons"?

I took this photo this morning thinking of the ET photo blog.

frontpaged by In Wales

Read more... (31 comments, 90 words in story)

Photos- Large Oct. 2nd demonstration in Paris

by LEP Sat Oct 2nd, 2010 at 01:32:09 PM EST

against Sarkozy's pension reform.

Today was the third national demonstration against changing the retirement laws. There is another scheduled for Oct. 12. Today's turnout seems to be about the same as on Sept. 23; between 900,000 and 3,000,000 nationally depending on who you believe. I'm not sure it would matter to Sarkozy if 10,000,000 showed up. The right would just say "but what about the 55,000,000 who didn't show up?" They're so much like the Republicans in the U.S. it's scary.

I didn't go today but Mme. LEP went with estHer and other family members. I gave her my little Canon Elph and asked her to take some photos for Eurotrib.



I'll post a few more photos in the comments section.

Comments >> (8 comments)

Photos-Big demonstration against Sarko government

by LEP Thu Sep 23rd, 2010 at 01:38:12 PM EST

in Paris today. The issue is the government's ramming  through a law increasing the minimum retirement age form 60 to 62 and the full retirement age from 65 to 67. Of course, that's the given grevience but more and more of the French are starting to realize just how dangerous Sarko might be.

I waited for the march to meet me at the Sorbonne. It started at La Bastille and went on to Denfert-Rochereau. If I had to make a guess as to the size of the demonstration it would be between 180,000 and 250,000.

Here's the start of the march as I met it.


And the message could be summed up thusly.


More photos in the comments section.

Comments >> (21 comments)

ET Photography blog #157.

by LEP Fri Sep 17th, 2010 at 09:27:17 AM EST


Today's entry marks the start of the fourth year for the ET Photo Blog. For the past several months postings to the photo blog have been quite sparse. In my own case I know why my postings have slackened; for the last year I've had health problems and haven't taken many photos. And I realize that the photo blog might appear a bit frivolous for these difficult economic times.

So I'm asking for the opinions of you dear readers and participants. Should we reduce the frequency of the photo blog, to perhaps once a month, or even consider suspending it for a period?

I'll stop talking now and introduce today's blog.


I found this view from the terrace of Le Cantalou (site of last Saturday's meet up) to be interesting.

Today we'll have Photos as Usual and Ask the Experts.

Happy posting.

Comments >> (37 comments)

Photos- the 5th Annual Eurotrib meet up.[UPDATED]

by LEP Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 10:25:14 AM EST

Last weekend, the 10th through the 12th of September, the 5th Eurotrib meet up took place in Paris. Jerome, as is his custom, arranged for some beautiful weather.

Six of us met at 4 on Friday at the Mairie du 18me and took the minibus to the top of Montmartre and then strolled back down the butte Montmartre to Chez Pradel where five more were joining us at 7:30.


Other photos are in the comments.

Unfortunately I could not attend the fete on Geiser's boat on Sunday, which Helen said was the most fun of all.

Update [2010-9-15 5:59:54 by LEP]: I've added some closeups at the end of the comments.

Comments >> (56 comments)

Friday evening September 10, 2010 Warmup.[UPDATED]

by LEP Tue Sep 7th, 2010 at 12:23:36 PM EST

I cant update the first diary regarding Friday evening, which afew kindly rescusitated from "archive hell" so I'm writing a new one.

I reserved the back room at "Chez Pradel, 168 rue Ordener in the 18th arondissement of Paris. Many of you are familiar with "Chez Pradel"; we've been there twice before. It has different owners than two years ago but I believe the food is good and it is moderately priced. A plate and entree or plate and desert will be less than 20 euros.

A Flashback to Sept. 2007:


I reserved for anytime after 7:30 and I'm sure managemeent will be pleased if we come early for a drink or two.

Here's the latest count of Friday's attendees.

LEP, afew, dvx, GK, Bernard, Helen, Sven, Ted Welch, Xavier in Paris and someone with friend. Jerome is a distant possibility if he arrives early from Belguim. That makes 11. (Cyrille and co. are not likely.)

If anyone else would like to attend there's plenty of room.

Update [2010-9-9 5:52:54 by LEP]: For those who wish to tour Montmartre, shall we meet between 4 and 4:30 at the Mairie du 18me (metro Jules Joffrin- line 12), take the minibus up to the top of Montmartre, and walk down stopping at one or two watering holes on the way to Chez Pradel?

Comments >> (27 comments)

Possible Next Friday evening dinner?

by LEP Sun Sep 5th, 2010 at 06:13:21 AM EST

This is not really a diary and I will delete later.

Does anyone want me to arrange a Friday evening dinner as has been our custom for the day before the meet up?

If you need to reach me by phone my portable phone # is 06 06 53 66 91.

Update [2010-9-5 12:16:13 by LEP]: The list for dinner on Friday evening is:

LEP afew Helen Bernard GK Sven(for drinks, possibly dinner) Jerome?

Comments >> (15 comments)

Eurotrib Photography Blog #155

by LEP Fri Sep 3rd, 2010 at 04:49:31 AM EST

Greetings and welcome to  the Eurotrib photography blog number 155. This week we went to Lyon to depose Raphael for his first year at Ecole Normale Superieure-Lyon.

Our first ever stay in Lyon, surprising for the fact that I have been in Paris for 20 years and even more so considering that my wife is French. We were surprised by its beauty and warmth.

We met Melanchthon (as every ET'er who goes to Lyon does)and for one day I walked more than I have for the previous year. I'm hurting and I'm searching for the energy to post this blog.

Here's a nighttime photo of the beautiful "Hotel de Ville" in Lyon:


I'll post a few more photos of Lyon and today we'll have our "Photos ans Usual" and "Ask the Experts."

Happy posting!

Comments >> (39 comments)

Early Friday Photography Blog #153

by LEP Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 12:18:59 PM EST

Here's a photo of my one year old grand daughter, Lilian, who lives in Washington and whom I haven't seen in nine months, visiting me in France.


Today's special subject will be "children" (of all ages) as well as our usual "photos as usual" and "ask the experts."

So everyone dig out your photos of your kids and grandkids etc., and show them off.

Happy posting!

Comments >> (32 comments)

Early Friday Photography Blog #151

by LEP Thu Aug 5th, 2010 at 03:45:27 PM EST

We at chez famille LEP are immune from price variations of food as Jerome writes about earlier below. Here's a photo of our cornfield!


and our pumpkin patch!


We're all set for winter.

Welcome to ET photoblog #151. In Wales thinks it's #160 but I must disagree.

Tonight it's Photos as Usual and Ask the Experts, Happy Posting!

Comments >> (22 comments)
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