This rather interesting-looking sleek, modern building with the odd white dome in front is -- better hold onto yourselves, Americans -- COMMUNIST PARTY HEADQUARTERS in Paris. I wouldn't have known this -- I didn't see any big, blazing sign or anything -- but we were in the 19th arrondissement near metro Colonel Fabien, en route to visit the university where my older step-son is studying architecture in Belleville, and he's the one who casually pointed it out to me. I've told him about how strongly American sentiment typically runs against Communism, and all about the impact of the McCarthy era, with all the blacklisting and the Congressional "inquisitions" that took place in those days, and how those fears of "the Commie threat" continue to linger in the culture (I can still hear Archie Bunker ranting about "Pinkos"). So I guess he told me about this building just to see how I'd react. All I did was go, "Oh? Nice building" and take a picture.
Yes, America, I live in Europe now. Where there are card-carrying Communists. Everywhere. Maybe even standing next to me in the metro. And here they are, in a nice big shiny building and everything (which I think kind of looks like the sort of building a certain bunch of affluent health-care-opposing Republican types might work in, doesn't it?) And OMG, these Communists are right out in the open, instead of congregating secretly in the sewers and back alleys to plan their takeover of the Free World, like we've been told for decades!
And you know what else? They really DO look just like you and me.