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]

Game, Set and Match Erbil?

I have been arguing since 2005 that propping up the Iraqi state was never a good idea. ‘Nation building’ was always a preposterous delusion, as if Iraq and Afghanistan could be turned into an Islamic version of Arkansas, if only enough schools were built and wells were dug. Ludicrous.

Also if an independent Kurdistan gives Syria, Turkey and Iran the vapours, I fail to see why from a western perspective that should change anything at all. I mean seriously, well ain’t that too damn bad. Moreover, there already is an independent Kurdistan in all but name, and it has the only viable army in Iraq, which now even controls Kirkuk. Game, Set and Match Erbil… and if Baghdad thinks that is ever going to change, well if they reckon ISIS is rough, good luck taking on the Peshmerga. Even politically, it is clear the Kurdish leaders have consistently outclassed the other players, be they Arabs, Turks or Iranians.

It is by no means clear the current festivities are inevitably heading somewhere undesirable, as it might end up producing something far more stable than a unitary Iraqi state. Yes, ISIS must not be allowed to take over all of Iraq’s oil producing areas, but frankly it is hard to see how they would manage to take and hold anything in the areas that are not overwhelmingly Sunni… they sure as hell will not be taking Kirkuk this side of hell freezing over, that much seems certain.

Samizdata quote of the day

The only serious black mark against the NHS was its poor record on keeping people alive

- This was written in all seriousness in a Guardian (No! Really?) article praising the NHS. Seriously. Not joking.

Government ‘names and shames’ minimum wage underpayers!

Government ‘names and shames’ minimum wage underpayers!

Says our tax funded news bringers at the BBC.

So can we also now get a list of companies who did not create certain jobs for people at all because the minimum wage made it uneconomical to do so?

The minimum wage: a cunning government programme for making bourgeois statists feel good about themselves whilst simultaneously motivating companies to automate and reorganise their businesses to employ as few low income people as possible.

Bin bag makers of Britain rejoice!

I am curious… have the odious statists at the Daily Mail been getting ‘sponsorship’ money from Britain’s Bin Bag manufacturers?

‘We are not trying to tax people. We are trying to change people’s behaviour, encourage much more environmentally-friendly behaviour’

Ed Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, upon having just imposed a tax on people…. without trying apparently.

Oliver Stone, the worse moviemaker imaginable for the task

Oliver Stone, a man who is nothing less than a fountain of lies and inanities, is looking to make a movie about Edward Snowden. Frankly even that later day Ed Wood, Uwe Boll, would be preferable.

Hopefully Barbara Broccoli would do a better job… though as the Snowden story is very much still ‘a work in progress’ I cannot help thinking it is a tad premature to be trying to tell a tale whose outcome is far from obvious.

Nothing says “I love you” better than a gift of a nice rifle!

Ah Sarah Palin… hardly a libertarian, that is true (to put it mildly, with her casual penchant for torture of prisoners) but she does have an endearing talent for saying the right things to annoy the right people by suggesting a ‘scary looking’ rifle makes a wonderful present!

And indeed it does! When she is right, she is right!


Samizdata quote of the day

I don’t know if (politicians) are enemies or more prey but I certainly didn’t go into Westminster to make friends and in that I’ve certainly succeeded.

- the ever splendid Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes)

Samizdata quote of the day

We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has

- Marcus Merz

Truly there is are few things more valuable than an honest enemy, for by their own words they are revealed.

The state has been astonishingly successful at “breaking people away from the choice habit” in the UK, where arguing for choice in medical care results in people looking as you incredulously as if space monkeys are flying our of your mouth.

Astonishing news!

In London today, the BBC has revealed a remarkable revelation:

Windows work in both directions! Not only can a person in a hotel room see out of a window, it is possible for people to also see in from the outside!

Truly we live in an age of marvels! Ah that such a cognitive breakthrough could have happened here, it make me proud to be English! Article like this are why I often send the BBC twice the licence fee they actually demand from me (under threat of jail if I do not pay up) because how can anyone doubt they provide such inestimable value. No, seriously, for the life of me, I cannot estimate how much value they provide. I truly cannot.

‘Reason’ nails it

There is a very funny article by Reason, titled The stupidest pseudo-story of the week, about a Daily Mail article about halal food. Reason likens the hysteria to criticising kosher food with a headline:


I LOL’ed. But then again, it is often said I am famously easy to amuse :-P

Samizdata quote of the day

Benefits should be a safety net for the most vulnerable, not a lifestyle choice.

- The TaxPayers’ Alliance

To be honest I am far from convinced tax funded safety nets can ever not end up becoming a ‘lifestyle choice’ for a great many people, but all journeys start with little steps and it is a nice effective slogan.

I know… lets play the RACIST card! Again!

The way to see if UKIP is actually winning is to see how wound up people in the Guardian are becoming, now that just ignoring them has not worked. So… lets see, I know… lets play the racist card! Again!

Well that message got out loud and clear last time too. And it will not make the slightest difference, because what the folks doing this think is their trump card really isn’t. Some UKIP supporters are racists, for sure. So are a great many Labour supporters (they just don’t tend to be white racists). But lots of people who are not racists will still vote UKIP for all sorts of other reasons that most of the commenters and writers at the Guardian can not even fathom, because in a very real sense they are the people UKIP supporters are going to vote against. A lot more people read the Mail than read the Guardian, and the bourgeois lefties are really no smarter than them, they just have a better wine list (or may be whine list?).

And by that measure, I have got to say I am starting to think Farage might be unstoppable. I have mixed feeling about that when I read some of the idiotic economic notions being bandied around by Farage… I can only hope it is just pandering without intent, as it may well be… but I will indeed enjoy the horrified squeals of incomprehension that are going to appear in the Guardian ;-)