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Google breakup: the MEPs are fools

A few days ago, the European parliament voted (75% yes) to recommend the huge search engine(s) to be unbundled from the commercial services – which means to break Google.



These efforts vaguely followed from a 2010 complaint by Google's competitors who argued that the Google search results favor Google-related products and pages. Well, they probably do but they're allowed to use any formula, I guess.

The broader claim is that Google is "nearly" a monopoly. In many European countries, Google boasts 90% of the search engine market; the share is below 70% in the U.S. In Czechia, Google has slightly above 50%. Almost 40% goes to Ivo Lukačovič's Seznam.cz (the word means a "list" or a "directory"; the company which runs its clones of many services you know from Google started as a Yahoo-style directory of web pages – I've met the founder during our hike to Ještěd on Liane BBS real-world session over 20 years ago LOL, he almost certainly recognizes my name).




In the resolution of the European Parliament, Google isn't being named explicitly. It's clearly "mostly" about Google. However, Google's competitors already see the potentially broader implications of the EU efforts. The point is that it could affect them as well and they visibly oppose the regulatory monster that they helped to unleash 4 years ago.




The justification of similar breakups and related regulatory policies are always deeply flawed and this one is no exception.

The Stone Age didn't end when people ran out of stones, and the IBM era didn't end when wise regulators ran out of patience with IBM. The Stone Age ended when people learned how to produce bronze, so that the Bronze Age could begin. And the IBM Age ended when the software running on these machines became a more important source of income and synchronization, and the Microsoft era could have started. Needless to say, the Microsoft era has been over for many years, too. And I am not sure about the Apple era in the smartphone market.

In none of the stories, one needed to regulate stones or monopolies and one didn't need any would-be wise regulators. It's a competitive market and if someone manages to reach 60% or 90% of the market, it almost always has extremely good, legitimate reasons, and such dominance isn't there forever, anyway.

From a moral perspective, it's really crazy to argue that Google is a monopoly. There are lots of competitors. And people just choose to open google.com, unless they prefer seznam.cz. This very mechanism – people freely opening one web page and not another – makes it totally clear that nothing "evil" is going on behind the scenes. No one is blackmailing the people to open the "right" search engines.

When we look at the U.S.-based search engines, I think that Google the search engine became the leader for totally meritocratic reasons. The hits were more relevant than what all the others could offer, sometimes by a lot. The other search engines' top hits weren't less good because they would be promoting their stuff. They were less good because they were less relevant, more noisy search results – even though they mostly pointed to web pages of "completely unrelated" subjects.

Now, when Google knows how to calculate the best search results and the error margin is small, it has also the capability to "tilt" the results in a direction that is economically beneficial for the company and its broader strategy. I don't see anything wrong about it whatsoever. The ability to "benefit" from the business in one way or another was surely a major part of the motivation why the search engine was born in the first place, wasn't it? Some motivation had to exist – even though the pinko commie utopia believers might prefer a world in which people are working hard for no reason. The degree of this "tilt" will have to be "moderate enough" because if Google suddenly started to return much less relevant (because too egotist) search results, people would be losing confidence in the engine and would be starting to work with the alternatives.

There is no need to regulate anything here.

It's nonsense to social-engineer Google's market share to be smaller. By hurting Google, one won't make the competitors better. He may at most make them look bigger – in comparison with the decimated Google. But who could benefit out of this harmful action? The countries with the Google share around 90% simply don't have anyone like Ivo Lukačovič, the founder of seznam.cz. It's partly their fault, their national defect. Use any word you like. It's totally pathetic for them to suggest that it's Google's fault that they have seen no significant local competition.

And is it a good idea to unbundle different parts of the Google ecosystem? I don't think so. It's helpful for the company because useful information from one part may be used in another. This is good for the users, too. Even the ecosystem isn't a real monopoly. Microsoft-Facebook-Skype are loosely aligned and their ecosystem is a competition to Google in the general sense. It's actually a very balanced contest. Google is connected with a big part of the online activities of many of us. But it's very far from 100 percent and their dominance is never imposed artificially.

There is one more thing I am puzzled by. Do they really believe that the EU is powerful enough to decide about global companies such as Google? Have the Europeans conquered the world again? Sometimes they suggest that they only want to split Google's "European operations". I can't imagine what it could possibly mean. If these operations are owned by a single global entity, Google Inc., the question whether its European daughter is single or artificially divided is an inconsequential cosmetic issue, isn't it? The parent company may continue to pursue all of its strategies.

Given the regulatory fanaticism of most of the members of the European Parliament, it's good news that the EU is not a democracy and these clowns don't even have the right to propose any laws. However, these clowns are influential enough to inspire more powerful folks among the Commissaries of the Eurosoyuz (which is the right name for the EU used in the Russian language). And these folks may be planning to do some real harm to the IT market.

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reader N said...

Evrosoyuz is not the same word as Evrosovet, Luboš.


reader Luboš Motl said...

You're right. I changed it to Eurosoyuz.


However, the Council at the top of the EU *is* called the Soviet.


reader scooby said...

I wonder what are the underlying motivations for this action by the European Parliament. Protectionism? Anti free-market ideology? Pissed off with Google for their tax avoidance practices? A powerful lobby of Google competitors? Some have pointed at a possible conflict of interests: Andreas Schwab, who drafted the resolution, is working for a German law firm that represents anti-Google publishing interests in Germany.


And yes I'm confident that the same thing would have happened if Google were a French or German company 8).


Anyway, who needs Google these days? I use Kartoo (www.kartoo.com). Any query takes between one and 2 minutes to resolve and the results are returned as 5 small pictures on the right side of your browser. This keeps me in blissful ignorance of all the sad things happening in the world.


reader Uncle Al said...

Social activism is based upon failure not success. Success unemploys social activists. If crime disappeared, what of the dizzying ziggurat of law enforcement, legislation through prison guards? A shortage of criminals defines more - not using child car seats will crush you.

Google must be stopped because it works exceptionally well. Required is a Department of Knowledge Allocation. The US Department of Education expensively enforces public education fairness independent of student ability (and even attendance), desperately requiring the DoED for recovery. Google is a criminal attack upon smartlessness. End it.


reader Gene Day said...

Anti-trust laws, at least in the US, are used to prevent specific practices that reduce competition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-competitive_practices
I don’t believe that Google is engaging in anything that could be construed as any of these specific, anti-competitive practices. Urging a customer to buy another of your products is perfectly legal whereas requiring him to do so is not.
It seems that the Brussels bureaucrats are simply trying to grab more power for themselves.


reader OneStringToRuleThemAll said...

Hi Lubos. But I think you have to agree that it is not a free market if a company "own" 90% of the market.


reader Samuel Woodbury said...

There is one more factor I am confused by. Do they really believe that the EU is highly effective enough to choose about international organizations such as Google? Have the Eurpean people overcome the globe again? Sometimes they recommend that they only want to divided Google "European operations". I can't think about what it could probably mean. If these functions are possessed by only one international enterprise, Search engines Inc., the query whether its Western little girl is individual or synthetically separated is an insignificant aesthetic problem, isn't it? The mother or father organization may keep engage in all of its techniques.


Dukan Diät Plan


reader John Archer said...

Would you say the same thing, and also insist that Luboš agree, were a new rock group suddenly to take the popular music world by storm and end up accounting for 90% of world-wide sales?


reader Gene Day said...

Just how do you define a free market?
If company has 90% of a market without engaging in any of the well-understood anti-competitive activities it just shows that it has done the job right and its competitors are hopeless losers. That, my friend, is a free market.
By the way, you cannot show me a single example of this.


reader Gordon said...

So, here we have unelected apparatchiks telling companies that are popular, useful, and successful that their business model needs to be unobtrusive, mediocre, and certainly not big enough to threaten the egos of the EU overlords. And if they
are too successful, they will be broken up and their assets will be shared with "otherwise-abled" companies. Does this sound
familiar?


reader Fred said...

If you dislike the idea of Google having so much dominance then I suggest you not buy an Android phone, uninstall chrome, refuse to use Google translate or streetview and never ever use their search engine. Until you do all that you should shut up.


reader Fred said...

This sort of activity is usually started by the French. The French left hates business and does not understand competition. The French right hates the idea that France is not really a player (who uses DailyMotion?) and that the French language is in decline. So issues like Google bring together both sides.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear OneString, as you could have noticed, I live in a free country so I don't "have" to agree with various claims, especially not wrong ones, and I obviously disagree with your particular wrong claim.


There is no sign of any unfree market just because a company captures a very large share of a market. Free market is free according to the rules that govern it, not according to the outcomes. The outcomes are determined by the free competition.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Gordon, the people who made this resolution are actually elected - they are members of the European Parliament elected in "Euro elections". They may only make similar resolutions and the unelected officials in the European Commission etc. have the actual power to cherry-pick and do what you say, and other usually bad things.


reader Rehbock said...

If they can't be anti competitive then how is the market fre?


reader Jacques Lemiere said...

and how come google could impede anyone to make a new search engine?
And basically , as far i know, google is "free" , it is paid by commercials and you don't have to buy anything..


reader John Archer said...

:) Nice.

If one cannot commit a crime then one is not free!

A simple truth but an important one. :)


reader Jacques Lemiere said...

the market is not the search engine market but commercials 'one...and i have no idea how much of the commercials google can get.


so who care if google would be used by 100% of people if anybody can malKe a new search engine ?


There would be a search engine market if we have to pay for each search...obviously it is not the case..
so what economic monopoly are they talking about?


reader Shannon said...

Where do you see that French language is "in decline"? Actually, according to a Natixis study, French could be the No1 language in the world by 2050 in front of English and Mandarin. Mainly used in subsaharian Africa and Maghreb, French language has an upward dynamic. If it doesn't become first it might still be second or third which doesn't look like a "decline", does it?
Regarding Google, the US wouldn't hesitate one second to stop Google reaching 90% its market it if they were a European Company. And they would be right. Being in favour of intelligent protectionism myself I would be one to tell Google: it is our way here. Tough, isn't it ? ;-)


reader Shannon said...

Easy... ;-)http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/may/02/how-stop-using-google-search-services


reader Gene Day said...

What is intelligent protectionism, Shannon?


reader Gene Day said...

Monetary and trade barriers work both ways. Is the word “intelligent” really appropriate here?


reader John Archer said...

That's naughty, Shannon, linking to the Grauniad.

Most of its readers are past masters at indulging in anti-competitive practices: they're sucking so hard on the state titty they're bleeding us to death, so whatever one's views on Google's tax-avoidance schemes these übermegaparasites are into state extortion on a truly grand scale — all for their own benefit.


reader Shannon said...

Yes, "intelligent" is important otherwise people think of protectionism as autarky.


reader Shannon said...

I still prefer our European bastards to take advantage of taxes rather than those UnitedStatians. It is better to keep your enemy in sight.


reader Honza said...

I wonder if EP ever notices that European Committee has monopoly on creating stupid European regulations and try to disband it. ;-) There should be some competition there, too. The fact that they are dumbest does not mean that they should be the only once to annoy the European citizenry.


reader scooby said...

Yes I think you have figured it out for yourself, Gene, but in short "intelligent protectionism" means that we will enforce extortionate duties on your cars while you still must buy our wine and camembert at the same price. What could possibly go wrong? There is only one political party in the world that uses the words intelligent and protectionism in the same sentence, and it is the FN.


reader John Archer said...

I'll go one better than that. None of the institutions of the so-called european union should even exist, and the sooner a policy for their extermination is put in place and acted on the better.


reader Shannon said...

Dear Scoobydoobydoo, protectionism is used by most countries in the world to protect their internal markets. It's only Europe that doesn't do it.


reader Shannon said...

Oh that one where France is not allowed to sell its state-of-the-art production to Russians(Mistral). Big Brothel US is watching us :) No no Scooby that is not protectionism that is vassalage.


reader Tony said...

There is a difference between the public company and the government. Unfortunately, due to the pervasive intrusion of the government in all spheres of life, these are often mixed to a certain degree. The ultimate winner behind all protectionism is the State.


reader Shannon said...

Everybody is a winner behind protectionism,Tony, as long as it is monitored in a clever way.


reader OneStringToRuleThemAll said...

Where did I say that I don't like it that Google has too much dominance? This blog and comment section are really good comedy.


reader OneStringToRuleThemAll said...

lol communism. That's like saying democracy helped Hitler to start the second world war.


reader John Archer said...

Translation: "Miaow!"

And a damned disingenuous one a that. Without further elucidation on your part it's a perfectly reasonable inference for Fred to attribute that view to you. If you intended something else then you should have expressed it very clearly and not in a pissy little quip that is highly likely to be misinterpreted. That's a game that only little shits play.

So what DID you mean, EXACTLY? Do tell. We can handle the subtleties. Or are you just going to scoot off now and erase what you said from your memory?


reader Honza said...

I think it would actually be extremely difficult to deny it. [democracy helped Hitler to start the second world war] Never underestimate the power of idiots in large groups.


reader scooby said...

Economic Maginot line is a better word for it,


reader John Archer said...

Shannon,

I don't regard the Yanks as my enemy. Quite the contrary.

Indeed if I disliked any then it would be despite them being Americans, and certainly not because of it. :)

I do feel content however in intensely disliking their muslime in chief, Obanana, and his administration. But then he's not an American and both he and his chums are all heavily involved in decidedly unAmerican activities. The US needs a new McCarthy and a good purging.

But then so do we.

France could do with one too. In fact nothing would be better for the [w]hole of yurp than a single-european enema. Shove it right up 'em, I say! :)

And then follow it up with some cold steel to finish the job once and for all.


reader Lucy loves You said...

Motl - I am your No.1 sycophant, or that is my goal in life.
I am ashamed to confess therefore that I sometimes worry the sheer breadth and scale of human affairs you blog across is beyond any mortal, even super-mortals like you.
I mean, anyone can comment across however many domains they deem appropriate. Only 2 summers ago I was driven around Athens as the hostage of an angry Turkish (I'm sure) cab driver, who screamed his way at least back to the first crusade, before dumping me on my own in a dark street miles from anywhere. I only made a mild complaint about the meter not being turned on and the enormous demand for a fare.
My principle concern here is whether this sort of broad-commenting adds to or takes away from the brilliant commentary you make on physics and the state of science at the current time. Inclusive of things like the media and its reporting of same.
Understood everyone has to make a living and the positions you take on climate science duly excepted and forgiven. The Russia/Ukraine & the West thing works also because you are from that part of the woods, and anyway no one who reads your blog is ever going to have the first clue how to measure what part of what you say is what (one what being 'true' another being 'balanced').
But monopolies and free market principles? Why Motl, my love, why?
Or if you must, then surely you will speak from top drawer free market principle that is worthy of a great scientist? Picking a side from the motely array of self-serving ideological fragments on offer in our time, surely is beneath you?
Isn't commenting across the entire night sky of the visible universe, post Cold War geopolitics and climate science enough? Where will this end?
Independent toy shops stock purchasing is immensely risky and difficult...because they have to judge up front weeks in advance and place orders for things often governed by fads. Which relates directly to things like dependency chains through international markets, advertising campaigns, and Hollywood release schedules. They could use some simplifying brilliance. Help them!


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Lucy loves you, thanks for your kind words. But I have been immensely interested about free-market issues for 32 years, the climate change issue for about 15 years, and so on, and so on. They're no fads for me.


Also, I don't really believe that narrowness is significantly positively correlated with brilliance, at least not the brilliance as I understand it - perhaps with the brilliance as promoted by irrational hype.


And the things I consider most brilliant have been getting virtually zero feedback. I do understand why and I do understand that this fact may be ignored but I am not able to ignore it entirely - and I don't think it's right to ignore it entirely.


reader Shannon said...

John, yes, rosbifs and yanks wear the same pants, don't they?
You dislike them"despite them being Americans, and not because of it", how tastefully put, John :). Amazing how tamed you are when big muscles are visible.


reader Shannon said...

Scooby is voting himself up. Lol.


reader Fred said...

Even though I speak French and live in France and studied at the ENS there is no way French is going to become the number 1 language in the world. Yes it may become more dominant in west Africa but only if they outbreed the rest of the planet. My comment about French is really that it is no longer the lingua franca as it was in diplomatic circles 100 years ago. English will be the dominant second language of the future.


Intelligent protectionism is almost an oxymoron. Who is protecting who ? It might seem a nice idea but really it is ultimately about companies who are inefficient wanting to be protected from other companies that are more efficient. The companies lose out and the customers almost always win.


reader Fred said...

Who defines "intelligent" in this situation. Was Montebourg correct to prevent Yahoo from buying a stake in DailyMotion ? Only a year or so later I now see that DailyMotion is crawling to Microsoft for help. Very intelligent protectionism. And they can probably only say this because the idiot Montebourg has left the government.


As for Marine le Pen and protectionism, it might make sense at the start in some ways - maybe protectionism against other countries with very low wage costs. But it will eventually end up as some form of corporatism in which large french companies will want to be protected from newer companies that threaten their jobs because they have new ideas and new ways of doing things.


reader Fred said...

Of course Europe does it. Only last year the idiots at the EU banned Chinese solar panels because they were "too cheap".

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20140120STO33103/html/From-bananas-to-solar-panels-when-trade-conflicts-turn-bad



Who is being protected here ? The European companies making solar panels inefficiently or the customers. Because if I could buy solar panels cheaply then I would be very happy. It would reduce my costs. But no. The EU does not want me to do that because it has been lobbied by corporate interests telling them to stop this. It is even more ridiculous when you realise that these solar panels would help Europe to reach the ridiculous CO2 emission targets the EU has imposed on Europe. It is not "intelligent protectionism".


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Fred, right. People have different interests and attitudes, however.


Some of my classmates at the basic school reunion on Saturday night (two days ago) showed that they viewed the Chinese in truly hateful, racially tainted terms.


The Chinese may afford to have a special person who takes care of every screw, and things like that, and they come here to negotiate some business, but the true outcome is that they steal some know-how.


Of course, it's hard for me to verify these statements. It's also possible that it's mostly jealousy towards a more competitive competitor...


reader Fred said...

I agree that the Chinese have engaged in a lot of industrial espionage to help grow their industries quickly from the iron age (under Mao) to the space age. What is also ironic is that my brother in law helps companies get money from the EU for scientific R&D and a lot of that money is given to companies for their collaborations with mostly Chinese (and other) institutions i.e. the EU is subsidising the transfer of knowledge. At the same time I teach at a Grande Ecole in France and many of my students are Chinese. They are usually the ones who work the hardest (but not always the smartest!).


reader Luboš Motl said...

Right. Some of the EU policies are particularly crazy when looked at as combinations.


The classmates and others who have to compete with the Chinese may have a hard job but at the end, we are really doing really well, and if we were not, the exchange rate etc. would adjust so that we do.


In some counting, the percentage-based trade surplus of Czechia may be even greater than that of China. I guess that most of the Chinese companies don't work quite "effortlessly", either.


reader Fred said...

Actually the word "pants" means different things in England and the US. Which is kind ironic given your comment ;o)


reader Fred said...

It is not a war. As a consumer I want to get the best I can for the least cost. Google and their products have transformed my life. My kids love youtube. I have an android phone. I am not a xenophobe. If a French company could do a better job then I would use them. The problem is that the social charges in France make starting a company so expensive that few people even try. I know this from personal experience.


reader Luboš Motl said...

I thought that the American men were just jealous about the women's underwear, so they began to wear pants, too. After some years when it started to look somewhat embarrassing, the style of these pants used by men was adjusted and started to resemble trousers...


reader Fred said...

Yes. I believe they celebrate this event every year with a festival known as Thanksgiving.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Shannon, if you like to interpret these tensions using this dramatic wartime dictionary, you should be ready to learn that geopolitically impartial enough consumers such as myself are very likely to fight on the side of those who produce better or cheaper products - which may often be the Chinese. That's why the more competitive side is more likely to win in such a competition, whether you call it a war or something more peaceful.


reader Fred said...

I tried Kartoo. After 2 minutes looking for something it came back with nothing.


reader scooby said...

Yes you have to wonder what kind of search algorithm they use. This morning I searched for "intelligent protectionism" and it came back with nothing (fair enough). Then I searched for "reference frame" and it returned a picture of rail tracks?


reader John Archer said...

Dear Shannon,

I see you were in fine Gallic form this morning. The croissants and coffee were nice and fresh then I take it? Jolly good! :)

Now, as it's such a nice day I do hate to put a damper on things for you, but I feel I ought to mention that in your gleeful dash to devour my post I fear you have slightly misread it. You seem to have overlooked the word 'if'. I know it's a trifling thing in itself but it is quite important in this case since without it you appear to be attributing to me a statement I have not made.

Would you care to have another stab at it? Perhaps you could fit it in between your limbering-up bouts of Yank bashing at some point. If you can find the time, that is. :)

Avoirdupois!
XXX :)


reader Shannon said...

Fred, if you don't give a chance to French or, more generally, local companies and entrepreneurs to make it big then of course big foreign companies will reduce them to nothing by eating them or impose their cheap prices and often crap quality to the market. A lot of these Americans cies are trying to kill the egg before it comes out. One has to give a chance to local production to grow. You are the typical traitor who would sell your family to foreigners because they give you good money.
For example: in a lot of countries in Africa local chickens producers are trying to sell their productions but are being systematically overpassed by crap chicken that are not real chicken but hens who have laid a hundred of times already and that we, in Europe, feed our pets with. A lot of them end up in Africans stomachs. So local farmers are trying to sell their good quality, organic, chicken to their own people. These farmers are now asking thir government to put higher taxes on these hens imports so it would give them a chance to sell and be able to live and feed their families.
You, Fred, are the typical traitor who wouldn't give a damn shit about these local farmers. You don't care if they die and all their children emigrate to Europe. You want that, don't you? So you can use them as slaves.
I have no respect for people like you and it makes me sick to know that you are teaching in a Grande Ecole.


reader OneStingTo RuleThemAll said...

I agree. But that was not the fault of democracy. It was because people abused their power. Same thing happened with communism.


reader Shannon said...

Fred, John is British. Pants means men's underwears.
Unitedstatians wear their pants on top of their trousers. Everybody knows that.


reader Shannon said...

Yanks bombarded a few French villages to test their weapons too, John.


reader OneStringToRuleThemAll said...

If think you have serious problems Mister Archer.


reader Shannon said...

Corporatism flourishes in a socialist country, less in a liberal, one which the FN is.


reader Shannon said...

Fred, is it news to you that English has been the first language so far and not the second as you are trying to say here?
About protectionism, God you are so primitive !... you have the typical stale Talmudist speech: if I screw you and you don't see it, it is your fault. Belle mentalite !
Fred's rotten brain keeps telling him : more! more! mooooooore!


reader Shannon said...

Call it clever if you prefer...


reader Luboš Motl said...

Why do you think it's clever, Shannon? Don't you agree that trade is needed for any decent economics and the construction of barriers is therefore obviously stupid and self-damaging rather than clever or intelligent?


reader Fred said...

Yeah right. So what you are saying is that we should treat the French like backward idiots who cannot compete and protect them from the Americans. Did Google get protected by the US ? Or Microsoft ? Or Apple ? No, they fought their way to the top using brains and hard work. They did not need to be protected


In my view one reason (apart from taxes) why France is rubbish at building new companies is not because they are not intelligent. It is because they are not creative enough and I blame the education system. My kids do 9-5 at college and my oldest does 8-6 at lycee. Then they get homework. Students have little time to pursue interests as the weekends are just for recovery. The smart ones go to prepa and work like crazy. By the end of this they are tired robots with no experience of ever doing something individual without being told.


In the UK they finish school at 3.30pm and then can do what they want. It is similar in the US. And the clever ones use this time to develop interests. If Gates, Jobs and others had had a French school day they would never have had time to develop their interests.


I am ignoring the rest of your post as I am not an expert on African chickens.


reader Fred said...

The FN is not liberal in the laissez-faire sense. MLP is a protectionist. I can accept some of what she says about the Euro and the EU. However I think that MLP blames globalisation for things which are really just new technology. With technology we do not need as many farmers or factory workers. Also one reason why France has high worker productivity is because they use a lot of automation (robots) etc because companies do not want to employee people because the social charges are so high and because they have a habit of going on strike every 10 minutes. Nothing to do with globalisation.


reader Fred said...

Yes that would be news because Mandarin is the most spoken 1st language

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers


reader John Archer said...

Shannon, this is getting a little silly. Just to test their weapons out, eh? Come on now.

We're clearly going nowhere this. For instance, I've never heard anyone here put up the argument that you lot allowed Fatso Göring to launch his Battle of Britain attacks from French soil in late summer 1940 or during the ensuing Blitz but I suppose someone might be tempted.

Anyway, if it makes you feel any better consider yourselves lucky the Wehrmacht around you didn't attract the attention of Bomber Harris while in his 1000-bomber-raid mood. Civilian casualties are inevitable in total war. Now let's agree to leave it at that. Oui?


reader John Archer said...

... sez the master of wit and repartee.


reader Shannon said...

Dear Lubos, that is why "clever" or "intelligent" is needed in front of the word protectionism. We are not talking about autarky here. We can open our frontier if the country the products are improted from are playing the same game with us. Give and take.


reader Shannon said...

I agree with you with the French education system. Although it seems to produce the best mathematicians in the world it is still a shitty system overall that leaves a lot of young people out of it before they become adults. I agree with you that the days are way too long in French schools. I'm French, I know what I'm talking about. I live in Ireland and I'm amazed at how the system here leaves a lot of freedom in the afternoon for sport, art, music or anything else. My kids are happy, they enjoy studying and are proud of their school. Something I never felt in France. It was hard, long, dull, thank God we had the boys to laugh with. :-)


reader Shannon said...

Who cares about Mandarin anyway? It is only spoken by Chinese.


reader Fred said...

Funny but I have done the opposite country swap. Anyway, glad we can agree about something ;o)


reader Swine flu said...

The study of Mandarin has been rising in the US. Is there a similar trend in Europe?

Generally, for a langauge to be dominant nowadays, it needs a large number of native speakers, economic dominance, and cultural dominance.

According to Wikipedia, there are 74 million native speakers of French. Respectable, but more towards the middle than the top. The economic dominance is also decent, but not overwhelming. Cultural domiance is an interesting issue. I tend to weep when I watch French movies from the 1950s and 60s, weep for all the lost glory of the French (and Italian) cinema of that era, but perhaps things aren't as bad on the culture front there as I like to imagine.


reader Tony said...

There they go: I was searching for a male grooming kit this morning, I come to this blog and what do I see? The ads for the same products that I viewed already. Really Google?


reader John Archer said...

Tony,

Try the paki (muslime) 'community' up and down the UK. They're into grooming in a very big way. I understand however that it's currently only young vulnerable white girls they're handling but I feel sure if there's a sufficient call for it they could manage boys too. No problem with the authorities either. They're scared stiff of being branded racists to investigate let alone prosecute. So you should be OK.

Oh, I hope I haven't misunderstood you! Please forgive me if you meant something else. :)


reader Tony said...

Now that you mention it, one wonders what kind of deep dissatisfaction makes those young white girls so gullible?


reader Tony said...

He, he:
https://mobile.twitter.com/ttmygh/media/grid?idx=0&tid=539452244249169920


reader John Archer said...

They wouldn't be so gullible if they and almost everyone else weren't inculcated with this all-pervasive anti-white peecee shit that the country's been infected with. Also I understand a lot of them are in the care of the local authorities who treat them like dogs. And anyway they're kids, just little kiddies.

You can bet your bottom dollar that what's now been made public is just the tip of the iceberg.

And none of those fucking pakis should be here — there was NEVER any mandate for it, or for disarming Britons and forcing such hideous aliens in amongst us. Local populations would have dealt with such invaders the moment they set foot on dry land. End of. Same goes for the rest of the third world. As a boy looking to the future I would never have believed such an invasion were remotely possible, and I do remember what it was like in those days when there were none to be seen and the general reaction when the odd one popped up somewhere.


reader John Archer said...

That sums it up nicely.


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