Category Archives: Europe

EU Government Is A Monopoly, Not Google

Business, Capitalism, Economy, EU, Europe

The economic sluggards of Europe don’t much like competition; it’s too much like hard work. Competition means that a business has to please the only real boss: a picky customer with many options. Google has raised the ire of the European competition and its proxy, the European Parliament, which “overwhelmingly backed a motion urging antitrust regulators to break up Google.”

“Google’s dominance,” writes Jörg Brunsmann for DW, “didn’t arise from the company employing unfair measures to push its competitors out of the market. It’s become a market leader because of its innovation.”

Put more precisely: Google has arrived at its market share by pleasing search-engine users.

I was part of a worthy group of Austrian economists who published “The Microsoft Corporation In Collision With Antitrust Law,” in The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies (Winter 2001, Vol. 26, No. 1.). In section (4) for which I was responsible (“Economic Freedom, Monopoly and the Government,”), I wrote:

Antitrust legislation considers a large market share or a concentration in the market to signify both monopoly and predatory practices on the part of a company. As such, the antitrust chimera is based on discredited theories about competition. Relying as it does on a model of ideal or perfect rather than rivalrous competition, the legislation aims at a market neatly carved among competitors (32).

The principle applies to Google.

In Austrian economics, moreover, a large market share does not a monopoly make. “The only true monopolies are government monopolies. A company is a monopoly only when it can forcibly prohibit competitors from entering the market, a feat only ever made possible by state edict. In a truly free market, competition makes monopoly impossible.” (From “Media Concentration Is Not A Threat to Free Expression, Government Is.”)


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

NATO’s Worth Nothing

Europe, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Islam, Jihad, Middle East, States' Rights

Why doesn’t he provide a solution to the siege by the Islamic State (ISIS) of Kobani (or Ayn al-Araba in Arabic), a Kurdish city in the Kurdish regions of northern Syria? He is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, who has issued a dire warning to the West: “dropping bombs from the air will not provide a solution … the time [has] come to ‘cooperate for a ground invasion.’”

Turkey is a NATO ally with a sizable, modern army, quite capable of tackling ISIS. The problem Turkey, the US, the European Union and NATO face stems from these great centralizers’ opposition to the PKK. The PKK is a long-standing Kurdish, separatist movement, which the US, Turkey and the rest aim to eliminate or undermine, for obvious reasons. Statists struggle with secession, separation or States’ Rights.

National Post:

The Turkish leader is strongly mistrusted by the Kurds of Turkey and Syria. Many accuse his government — anxious about Turkey’s own Kurdish separatist movement — of conniving with ISIS and of failing to act to prevent it committing atrocities against the Kurds in Syria. Meanwhile, Washington is becoming increasingly frustrated with its NATO ally. There’s growing angst about Turkey dragging its feet to act to prevent a massacre less than a mile from its border,” an unnamed U.S. official told the New York Times. “After all the fulminating about Syria’s humanitarian catastrophe, they’re inventing reasons not to act to avoid another catastrophe. “This isn’t how a NATO ally acts while hell is unfolding a stone’s throw from their border.”

If the US is so cut up about Turkey’s craven indifference to the Kurds, it could collude with NATO members to strip Turkey of its NATO membership, for what that’s worth.

Excoriated though he was, in his attempt to “absolve the US of any guilt in the matter,” to quote an RT expert, Vice President Joe Biden had a point. Via RT:

“our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria,” elaborating that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were “so determined to take down Assad,” that they started a “proxy Sunni-Shia war.” Biden went on saying that “they poured hundreds of millions of dollars, and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

DER SPIEGEL on the quagmire:

The country has been strangely reserved when it comes to dealing with the Islamic State. It is the neighboring country that is perhaps most threatened by the jihadist fighters, but it has refrained thus far from joining US President Barack Obama’s anti-terror coalition, even if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly hinted over the weekend that it might do so soon. When it comes to combatting the Islamic State and putting an end to the Syrian civil war, Turkey has a key role to play.

The government in Ankara had justified its hesitancy by pointing to the dozens of Turkish diplomats taken hostage by the Islamic State in Mosul. Now that they have been released, however, all eyes are on Turkey to see what responsibilities it might take on. On the way back to Turkey from the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Erdogan told reporters that his country is now prepared to join the coalition. At the World Economic Forum meeting in Istanbul on Sunday he added, in reference to the fight against the Islamic State: “We cannot stay out of this.”


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

UPDATED: ISIS Is Islam

Barack Obama, Bush, Christianity, Europe, IMMIGRATION, Iraq, Islam, Judaism & Jews

“ISIS Is Islam” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“ISIL” is how President Barack Obama refers to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He pronounces it as one would the last syllable in “Moishel,” giving it the ring of a Yiddish diminutive. Yiddish adds an “-l or –ele” suffix to signify affection. “ISIL,” the more expansive appellation preferred by the president, stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Obama was set to tee off on the golf course, when the outfit released footage of its latest bloodletting in Iraq: a video clip depicting the handsome head of American photojournalist James Foley being sawed off by a masked man with a British accent—yes, the West either admits these Muhammadans through mass immigration, or grows them at home in hothouses of multiculturalism.

The life of another journalist, Steven Sotloff, now hangs by a thread.

Unlike our Israeli and European allies, the U.S. government does not haggle for the lives of its countrymen. In fairness, Obama had at least made attempts to rescue poor Mr. Foley. His predecessor, Genghis Bush, sat bone idle, never lifting a bloodstained finger to spare Paul Johnson, Nick Berg, Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong, of blessed memory, who also met the most ghastly fate imaginable: beheading.

Even before these men were headless, they were faceless to Bush and his followers.

From Martha’s Vineyard, Obama addressed the media. His response to the beheading of Mr. Foley exhilarated the groupies at CNN. “The entire world is appalled,” the president intoned solemnly. It shocks the conscience of the world. Foley was a good man who stood for “hope and civility.” The killers are craven cowards. They have no ideology, only an “empty vision.” They offer their neighbors nothing but “nihilistic” horror.

“ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim. No faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day,” asserted Obama, before scampering back to his game.

Don’t be too harsh on the White House’s current occupant for symbolically severing the ISIS snake head from its Islamic body and tail. His predecessor was as devoted to promoting the Religion of Peace pie-in-the-sky. When it comes to anodyne assurances about Islam’s compatibility with diversity and democracy, Bush was every bit the delusional dhimmi that Obama is. …

… The complete column is “ISIS Is Islam,” now on WND.

UPDATE 8/22: At last, a fun Jewish response to the intro of “ISIS Is Islam.” It comes from music man Ira Newborn (http://barelyablog.com/isis-is-islam/), who writes:

Dear Ketseleh,
You are so right to correct Hussein about his pronunciation of ISIL and
you should certainly let him know that to properly show fatherly or avuncular affection for what is just a tiny little caliphate, he should refer to it as “ISILeh” or “mine shaneh isileh.”
XXXXXXXX
Iraleh

I guess not many people get our humor.


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

UPDATED: Masada on Mount Sinjar (ISIS Crisis Continued)

Ancient History, Europe, History, Iraq, Israel, Jihad, Media, States' Rights

“Masada on Mount Sinjar” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Purportedly, forty thousand refugees, among them 25,000 children, were said to be stranded on the parched terrains of the Sinjar, in scorching heat, without sustenance. That is until Barack Obama broke up the gathering. Overnight. “That’s enough, Yazidis. Go home, now. The crisis is over.” Yes, the president and his minions have pronounced the catastrophe on the Sinjar Mountains over. However, just because the Obama machine declares it so, does not make it so. I would point BHO believers to Channel 4 veteran reporter Jonathan Rugman, who questions—even mocks—the administration’s rapid, fact-finding methodology:

Crisis, what crisis? The Americans have ruled out a military airlift of Yazidis stranded on Mount Sinjar on the grounds that the situation is not as bad as previously thought. … Are the Americans saying that the refugees are not spread out any more but have either been shepherded or moved into a concentrated area where they can be counted?

Let us, then, stick with Mr. Rugman’s findings, shall we? As the courageous correspondent has discovered, the Kurd-coordinated airdrops are executed by only four helicopters (one has since crashed), allotted by Baghdad. Emergency supplies are available in abundance at various nodal points; not so the means to deliver them. Priorities set by the central government do not include “rescuing a little known Yazidi minority in Kurdistan, a region which wants to break away from Iraq and become its own country.”

The Kurds assisting those marooned on the mountains would like to secede from the morass that is Iraq. Alas, the master puppeteers in Washington have hitherto been wedded to a unified (at the point of a gun) Iraq, dominated by a strong (sectarian and corrupt) central authority. This White House, and the one before it, fetishizes Iraqi national unity. It believes that to succeed, Iraqis should be like Americans, forever imprisoned in an arranged, unhappy political marriage. …

Read the complete column. “Masada on Mount Sinjar” is now on WND.

UPDATE (8/15): If there is one constant you can trust it is that he lies. They all lie. “Break it up, Yazidis. Go home, now. The crisis is over,” Obama announced to the world, Thursday. I guess the president was attempting to will a new reality with words. The American media bought it and scattered. I was quite comfortable that “Masada on Mount Sinjar” was closer to the truth than Obama’s agitprop, even though it was submitted before his “Yazidis disperse” injunction.

Indeed, the ISIS crisis continues. Thirty miles from Sinjar, on Friday afternoon, reports BBCNews, “Militants in northern Iraq … massacred at least 80 men from the Yazidi faith in a village and abducted women and children.”

MORE.


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

UPDATED: ‘New Anti-Semitism’ Is As Old As Islam (‘Did Mohammed Invent Profiling?’)

Anti-Semitism, Europe, Islam, Judaism & Jews

Jewish leaders, reports the Washington Post, “are talking of the rise of a ‘new anti-Semitism.'”

Not again.

Following the lead of these self-anointed “leaders,” the WaPo tells of a French Muslim comedian who is as vile an antisemite as one can get. From that one-case study, the reporter, it would appear, deduced that he had sufficient evidence to support the leaders’ suggestion that antisemitism afflicts certain segments of European society (especially “far-right nationalists”) with equal ferocity. An equal opportunity bias.

(USA Today’s report is less Pollyanna-like.)

I haven’t researched the European hard right for some time, but last I looked, it was pro-Israel, unlike its American counterpart. Frenchman Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front identified with Israel. Even the late Jörg Haider of the Alliance for the Future of Austria, who “exhibit[ed] every sign of antiSemitism”—Hugh Fitzgerald’s estimation, not mine—was … “not quite so systematically vicious when it [came] to the state of Israel.” Vlaams Belang of Belgium was pro-Israel. Leader Filip Dewinter told a Jewish magazine: “One has to choose sides. Which side are you on in the ‘war on terror,’ “the side of western democracy and western civilization, with its Judeo-Christian roots, or the side of radical Islam?”

There may be residual antisemitism in Europe, but the “new antisemitism” is associated with Muslim immigration into Europe, the UK and North America.

In Canada, Muslims now greatly outnumber Jews. What remains of a European Jewry devastated by the Holocaust comes under daily assaults and threats, mostly from the 20-million strong Muslim community.

Still the exponential growth of the Muslim community through immigration has failed to alarm Jewish leaders. Listening to them, you would think that the chief dangers to Jewish continuity are marauding Mormons, whose sin is to convert dead Jews, or Mel Gibson.

As Palestinian and Arab propaganda would have it, Muslim hate for the Jew is a contemporary phenomenon, caused entirely by the tiny “Zionist state.” While the contempt for the dhimmi, as the Jew was derogatorily termed, has evolved over the years—drawing on “traditional Koranic slurs,” as well as gathering vintage Nazi debris along the way—the hate boasts a pure Islamic pedigree.

The so-called “new antisemitism” is as old as Islam. Read on.

UPDATE (8/12): For those who failed to read relevant section in “Did Mohammed Invent Profiling?”, here they are:

… In the land that was once Babylonia, the Jews of Iraq weathered the vicissitudes of a daily life without rights but with endless indignities. Some particularly murderous landmarks stand out: the A.D. 1000 expropriation of Jewish property, the 1333 destruction of their synagogues, and the 1776 Basra slaughter, leading up to mob killings in 1941 and numerous public-square hangings between 1969 and 1973.

The chronicles of Jewish life over the centuries in Aden, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, and Libya are similarly marred. As one 19th-century observer recounted, the ancient community of Yemenite Jews was “in a position of inferiority, and is oppressed by a people which declares itself holy and pious but which is very brutal, barbarous and hard-hearted.” Of particular note is the murder in 1032 of thousands of Jews in Fez, Morocco, followed, in 1146, by the Almohad atrocities in which hundreds of thousands of Jews and Christians were massacred by the Muslim Almohads.

As Palestinian and Arab propaganda would have it, Muslim hate for the Jew is a contemporary phenomenon, caused entirely by the tiny “Zionist state.” While the contempt for the dhimmi, as the Jew was derogatorily termed, has evolved over the years—drawing on “traditional Koranic slurs,” as well as gathering vintage Nazi debris along the way—the hate boasts a pure Islamic pedigree.

“In 1940,” … “the mufti [a kind of rabbi] of Jerusalem wrote to the Axis powers requesting the right of the Arabs to settle the question of the Jews along similar lines to those used to solve the Jewish question in Germany and Italy.” Egyptian Minister Anwar Sadat’s touch was somewhat comical. In 1950, Sadat, who may have confused Hitler for Houdini, published an open “Dear Adolf” letter, commending Hitler for “saving the world from this malignant evil.”

In 1964 a “scholar” from the University of Damascus issued a warning to the Syrian public to refrain from “letting your children out at night, lest the Jew come and take their blood for the purpose of making matzot for Passover.” (My mother’s matzo balls, incidentally, are nowhere near that labor intensive.) Such a sentiment is still very much within the realm of respected political and intellectual discourse throughout the Arab world.

An anti-Semitic czarist canard and fraud like “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” has been adopted as Arab lore. Last year, UN-funded Muslim pamphleteers handed out The Protocols at the “anti-racist” conference in Durban. The charge that Jews are taking over the world joins the deicide charge and the denial—and justification—of the Holocaust, among Saudis, Egyptians, Palestinian…you name them.

Before Arab leaders realized they had won the propaganda war and could relax, they had frenetically and cunningly been extending specious invites for Arab Jews to return to their homelands. You see, the approximately 1.5 million Jewish refugees from Arab lands could have become a considerable obstacle to the Palestinian propaganda machine had Israel been as conniving as her enemies. Imagine the kind of trump card Israel might have wielded had she, like her uncivilized neighbors, kept these legitimate Jewish refugees in camps, refused to settle them, fomented hate among them for the Arab, and turned the fugitives into political pawns—as Arab nations have so masterfully done to their so-called refugees.

In 1976, these Jewish refugees, represented by the American Sephardi Federation, responded to the cynical invites with a full-page advertisement in the New York Times. The ad entailed a news service photo that showed a mob of Iraqi onlookers surrounding two bodies suspended from a scaffold. The dangling bodies were those of Sabam Haim, and David Hazaquil, both Jews, hung in Baghdad. Beneath the photograph the organization responded: “Invitation declined.”


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

Putin’s PR Quagmire

Europe, Foreign Policy, Russia, Terrorism

Opines Tom Piatak of Chronicles magazine:

Most Ukrainians do not want to be part of Russia’s “near abroad.” In this they resemble most Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Finns, Czechs, Slovaks, and Hungarians. Those who experienced Russian rule, either under the tsars or the commissars, generally do not harbor any nostalgia for it. Instead, they fear its return. A post-Communist Russia does not pose any threat to us, and the United States should stay out of Russia’s dispute with Ukraine for that reason. But Russia does pose a potential threat to its neighbors, and giving support to rebels who shoot down airliners will do nothing to reassure those worried by a revival of Russian power. Putin’s task should be to allay the fears of Russia’s neighbors, not to stoke them.

MORE.


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint