Friday, January 27, 2012

Inter-National Historical Disputes, and Trade

Jean would like to buy a lot of refrigerators from Mehmet (who makes good refrigerators cheaply in Turkey) for his (Jean's) customers in France.

But he can't. Or if he can, he has to pay more for them than if . . . their respective countries' governments weren't feuding over a historical matter (the killing of Armenians by Turks a hundred years ago). The French government just passed a law making it a crime to say that "it" wasn't "genocide."

So the Turkish government (or the French, or both) interfere with Jean and Mehmet's conspiracy to provide better refrigerators to French consumers while providing gainful employment to Turkish workers.

So it goes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jewish Lightning - with Swastikas!

The arson of over-insured buildings - and cars - has somehow over the years acquired the prejudicial sobriquet "Jewish lightning," a reference apparently not so much to the arsonists as to the owners of the torched assets who stand to collect from the insurance company.

The burning last November of a Jaguar in a Jewish neighborhood of Brooklyn was heavily marked as a hate crime, not only from the beer bottles littering the area (haters like beer) but from the spray-painting of swastikas and "KKK" on nearby objects and, just to be thorough, the torching of the BMW and the Lexus parked next to the target vehicle. The ADL has offered a $4,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of this arson, though their offer may have disappeared by the time you try to follow this link to it.

A report in a neighborhood Brooklyn newspaper now reveals that in this case, the arsonists themselves may be Jewish, though it leaves the ethnicity of the owners of the cars to inference from the heavy majority of those living and parking their cars in the area. Investigators have turned up evidence that the Jag was burned for the insurance money, with the BMW, the Lexus, and the overworked legacy of the Holocaust thrown in to make it look like anti-Semitism.

Do not expect major news outlets such as those that carried the original "hate crime" story to carry follow-up stories. Doing so might be seen as anti-Semitic.