We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“Brooks and Krugman are on some sort of Thelma & Lousie like quixoticly suicidal journey to be the last guy off the bigger government meme. They’re going off the cliff, but they couldn’t be happier. At least their abusive small-government loving spouses won’t hurt them anymore.”

From the comment thread of this article about the absurd David Brooks. No wonder he writes for the New York Times.

10 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Speaking of spouses.. my wife commented on an ongoing debate on wolf-whistling the other day…. and I’m being brutally attacked on the subject by people who tell me the wolf-whistle is unacceptable and offensive and sexist and even harassment.

    Could some fellow libertarians help by telling me if I’ve gone stark raving mad, or if I actually have a point these people aren’t seeing? The link is HERE(Link).

  • Fred

    I though Krugman’s wife was supposed to be more leftist than he was?

  • At first I wasn’t going to respond to John Wright’s comment as it is so tenuously on topic. But *good grief*, John, you are a patient man, and it really is not you who is stark raving mad.

  • Ian B

    Well, I’ve done my best John, but I need a bit more of a mob for (im)moral support I think…

  • Bod


    Concurring with Ian here, but I have to say, you’re dealing with at least some people who live in a nation that has no explicit right to freedom of speech, and you’re – well – you’re over in a pretty red area (red in the American sense).

    There was and still is a lot of deliberate and accidental talking-past-of-each-other going on over there, and I can hear the axes being ground all the way over here in CT.

    Strikes me that on the simplest level, your audience are more than happy to legislate against relatively harmless (but crass) ‘gateway behaviors’ to avoid the slippery slope that leads to genuine harassment/criminality etc.

    Of course, as you rightly understand, the next step (which the sheep will deny with their whole being) is that once you ratchet back and declare wolf whistles as ‘harassment’, you can move onto claiming a man ‘looked at me lustfully’, and then on to ‘did not avert his eyes as I walked by’ – and then onto ‘was aware of my existance’.

  • Bod

    Oh, and to get back on topic, Brooks’ relationship with Republicans pretty much stops with the politicos that infest the ground within the DC beltway. He’s the ‘Useful Idiot’ that Krugman’s minders wheel out when they want to print ‘Conservative Opinion’ in the NYT.

    Note the unsubtle bait and switch there – a man with limited Republican Party credentials, posing as a ‘typical Republican’, oftern cited as a ‘Conservative’, to a narrow-if-influential readership who believe that such creatures should be treated like the Kulaks.

    Beltway GOP apparatchiks woke up very, very anxious today, realizing that a large proportion of historically loyal supporters, and an equally large number of ‘ independents’ have realized that if they lose in November, they want to do it with a candidate that is politically differentiated from the Democrat that they certainly don’t want to vote for. O’Donnell is far from perfect, or viable as a candidate to take on Coons in Delaware, but she’s their candidate, and not the RNC’s.

    So, cut these poor men some slack. Those sounds you hear are David Brooks’ gravy train pulling out of the station, while Paul Krugman’s statist wet-dream goes into a hopefully endless holding pattern, and all at the same time that NYT reveues are declining.

    For the record, I predict that the GOP won’t retake House or Senate, but filibusters are going to be back in style and I look forward optimistically to a few years of gridlock and growing constitutionalist/libertarian/Tea Party rallies.

  • Guys,

    Thanks a lot. I’m a regular reader here and wouldn’t normally solicit help so shamelessly but, sometimes, even the best of us get overwhelmed with the insanity and I needed a little validation that I wasn’t the minority I felt like!

    The discussion is irritating and frankly a little silly too, but it goes to the heart of reason versus emotion; rights-based versus reactionary, so I’m sticking with it for now in an attempt to influence even one of them that not everyone who disagrees with their ideals is a chauvinist pig.

    Thanks again for the boost you gave me!

  • Paul Marks

    John – Italy seems to be the last stronghold of the sort of thing you are talking about (i.e. the harmless kind of stuff marked with smiles on both sides). Even in France the traditional attitude is being destroyed – Muslims one side and P.C. leftists on the other.

    Of course I am full of hangups over this sort of thing – but then I am not from Med style cuture, although I believe that this was also a practice among London workmen (certainly any further north than London and it would not be considered normal – apart from in a brief period from the “swinging 60’s” to the rise of modern P.C. ism).

    To give a practical example – in modern Kettering (my town in the centre of England) whistleing at a women would now (most likely) get you a complaint to the police of civil authorities, in the 1950’s it would not.

    However, in the 1950’s it would have got you a punch in the face from any other man who heard you do it. Neither Nonconformists or Anglicans (normally more tolerant) would have considered it acceptable behaviour – and they would not have even have stopped to ask the women (the word “lady” would then have been used, regardless of social class), they would just have punched you for your “disgusting” behaviour.

    Sorry to rain on your parade – but London workman behaviour did not really go far north of London (at least before the 1960s).

    Of course it was not universal in London either. For example, my father (London born and bred) would not have tolerated any such behaviour in his hearing – and you really would not like to have been hit by Harry Marks (he put people in hospital – even into his 60s). His assumption was that anyone who “passed remarks” on a lady in the street was a “pimp” to be dealt with accordingly (a man did not need to call the police when he spotted “a lady in trouble”, nor did he need to ask her if she actually was in trouble “the lady might be too scared to say – and the lady should not need to say”, he just went in).

    I am NOT saying I approve of such conduct. Just reporting.

  • Paul Marks

    Back to the actual topic.

    Paul Krugman is a nonenity (“but he has the Noble Price” so what?).

    His doctrines (basically create lots of money and have the government spend it – then, when it does not work, create and spend even more money) make no sense logically (the “multiplyer” and so on fall apart when examined, see Henry Hazlitt’s “The New Economics” 1958, and many other logical refutations of all the basic “Keynesian” doctrines) and have been contradicted by experience (for example the Japanese experience) again and again.

    So whether one believes that economics is a subject based upon reason (a priori) or a subject based upon empirical evidence, Paul Krugman (and the rest of the establishment) are nothing, nonentities. Not even worthy of getting angry at. They should just be refuted (for the benefit of people new to these matters) and then treated with quiet contempt.

    The other bloke:

    A standard pet “Republican” – one of the RINO’s the left keeps as tame creatures for their amusement.

    However, it more than that. The left knows that (to maintain the power yet pretend that democracy is in operation) they must offer people the illusion of choice.

    You can have Progressive, wild spending, Democrats or you can have “Republicans” who are wild spending Progressives also. The media (and academia) will love you – at least to the general election.

    They want “responsible”, “adult” Republicans (i.e. sell outs who will follow the agenda of the left – on all matters economic and social), otherwise they can not create the illusion of choice without the substance of choice.