You may not know it with all the activity in California leading up to Election Day, but a storm has been brewing across the pond.

Weeks of protests have led to overturned cars and fires burning on the outskirts of Paris. Nearly half of France’s gas stations are bone dry – stranding motorists and bringing commerce to a standstill. According to the Associated Press, protestors have blocked hundreds of ships at the crucial Mediterranean port of Marseille, cutting off access to the nation’s main oil terminal. And they have shut down train service and access to major highways – virtually holding the nation hostage. Even the fearless Lady Gaga has cancelled multiple shows there, fearing for her safety and the safe passage of trucks carrying her stage and lighting equipment. (Listen, you know it’s serious if Gaga is afraid.) Nevertheless, the incidents are a serious matter, and they are becoming increasingly violent by the day as they move into the neighborhoods of Paris. These radical protesters make the Tea Parties look like Mothers’ Day Out.

What’s worse, the events unfolding in France could happen right here in California.

The fight in the streets is over that pesky problem of Pensions. Specifically between a government that can’t possibly pay for them, and a Union that perennially wants more. Historically, the age for retirement and receiving government goodies in France has been age 60 but the government, citing concerns over the economy, recently put forth a bill which would raise the retirement age to 62. Labor is having serious heartburn over losing something they saw as their given right. In fact, they see the change in the retirement rate as a direct threat to all other lavish welfare benefits offered to workers.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it.

President Nicholas Sarkozy is standing firm, as he should. No nation — nor State, for that matter — should be bullied into a position through violent protests where property and lives are at stake.

French leaders have stated they wish to raise the retirement age in order to keep the Pension system from being insolvent and to ensure it will be there to provide Pensions for future generations. The irony is that the youth who would actually benefit from these Pension reform measures someday are the ones allowing themselves to be used by Labor. But let’s not allow the truth to stand in the way of a good protest.

Albeit on a less physical level, the same battle is raging here in the States and in California. While government leaders attempt to salvage the Pension system to keep it solvent and to keep from piling yet more debt onto the backs of hard-working Taxpayers, the Unions continue to cry wolf and refuse to pay their fair share.

The destruction in Paris could be a foreshadowing of things to come here under labor-loving President Obama and a potential repeat administration of Union friend Jerry Brown — the grandfather of government Pensions in California. As if Taxpayers didn’t feel they were being held hostage already, the fear of becoming an actual hostage is an unfathomable, unfortunate, yet real possibility in these times.