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

The United States, since the times of the “Great Society”, has spent approximately 24 trillion dollars on anti-poverty programs, while the percentage of those considered to be in poverty has remained the same. With a 50 year track record as evidence of the utter failure of the welfare state, it amazes me that the public continues to buy into this form of wealth re-distribution.

- Samizdata commenter Michael Staab

Samizdata quote of the day

Ever since Johnson declared this war on Poverty, I’ve often wondered – who won? Have they killed all the poor people yet?

- Samizdata commenter Nick (nice-guy) Gray

Samizdata quote of the day

If you are going to f**k the whole of France, that is not a bad place to start.

- Schrödinger’s cat, a commenter at Guido Fawkes

Samizdata quote of the day

The nice men in periwigs who came up with the Fourth Amendment were recklessly naive to imagine that branches of a government, each of whose power is enhanced when the power of the other branches grows, would serve to check one another. The idea of a judiciary that would police the executive as an arm of a self-correcting tripartite government was worse than naive.

- Ilana Mercer

We dedicate this cultural masterpiece from days of yore to the supporters of AGW everywhere

… but particularly we dedicate this to Professor Turney, who may have done more to raise awareness of the veracity of the AGW thesis since someone somewhere said something about hockey sticks…

(hat tip to Samizdata commenter Mr. Ed, who may or may not be a talking horse, of course)

Samizdata quote of the day

Actual capitalism is thin on the ground. We have democratic and undemocratic socialism, democratic and undemocratic fascism, and miscellaneous varieties of corrupt cronyism. But to the extent that capitalism currently exists, it’s not free-market capitalism but chained-market capitalism, weighted down with laws and regulations – and then criticized for its inability to function efficiently.

Of course, even if capitalism hadn’t been chained down, we still might not see lunar resources being exploited. Not because of “market failure” but because of the market correctly deciding that it would currently cost more than it’s worth. There’s an old quote I wish I could find the source for. It applied to “market failure” regarding insurance for flood or hurricane damage but the same principle might apply here. “That isn’t ‘market failure’ – that’s the market working. That’s the market saying ‘Don’t build there! Are you crazy?’”

- Samizdata commenter ‘Deep Lurker’

Samizdata quote of the day

Equally annoying has been the whitewashing of [Mandela's] history. He was given a fair trial and a fair sentence, even Amnesty fucking International said so. He WAS a terrorist.

He was also a politician upon release, who had some good ideas and equally, some fucking insane ones. Ironically, he replaced a notionally democratic but really one party state with another notionally democratic but really one party state, although to be fair, this was hardly his fault.

- Obnoxio the Clown

Samizdata quote of the day

The traditional political division into ‘left’ and ‘right’ must be used with caution. For much of Europe ‘right-wing’ refers to nationalist authoritarians seeking to impose traditional values on society at large. I would be uncomfortable in such company. No right-winger on the Continent and few in America would share my stance on what they would call ‘social issues’ and I would call ‘none of your damned business.’

The ‘good guys’ of Continental Europe are usually called Liberals. The bad guys of American politics have made that glorious name unusable in English. In their constant gee whizz quest for euphemism, our American cousins have made a cuss-word out of a formerly-useful term. They do that a lot. How little of a life would you have to have to keep up with American fashion on what to call a black man or a red indian, for example?

- ‘Tom Paine‘ @ The Last Ditch

Samizdata quote of the day

The goal has been the same for over a decade: Total Information Awareness. The government seeks to have all the data it can possibly get, and keep tabs on every documented detail in your life. They will share this data with law enforcement agencies that have nothing to do with terrorism, which is itself a minuscule threat compared to what America faced during the Cold War.

The only way to stop this is a nationwide movement to restore the Fourth Amendment completely. No more warrantless searches—for any reason: drugs, guns, taxes, money laundering or terrorism. This system cannot be reformed, because the system, from top to bottom, is all aimed at abolishing every last bit of personal privacy.

We have been told it’s a balance between liberty and security, but look where that game has gotten us. The government wants total control. Only if we reject their entire agenda can we have any footing in restoring our liberties.

In George Orwell’s 1984, everything was monitored, except the protagonist Winston Smith did have a small corner he could hide in, where the cameras couldn’t see him. Where we’re heading, we won’t even have that corner.

- Anthony Gregory

Samizdata quote of the day

If we had state regulation of the press, the BBC would be free to carry on recycling its establishment clichés. But newspapers would find themselves having to answer to the same sort of grandees that preside over the BBC. Is that really what we want to see?

- Douglas Carswell

Samizdata quote of the day

There was a time — and it really wasn’t that long ago — when if you were a financial firm, you had to have an office in Lower Manhattan, when film studios had to have offices in Los Angeles, and high-tech firms really needed to be in Silicon Valley. If Travis Brown’s big data set shows us anything it is that those days are done. You can build very fine automobiles in the United States, but if you aren’t already in Detroit, you’d be a fool to set up shop there. For the feckless governors of high-tax, big-government states with Governor Perry and Governor Scott breathing down their necks, the only question is which Rick they’re going to get rolled by.

- Kevin Williamson

Samizdata quote of the day

The BBC seem to have (by and large) ignored this case of another bomber Lib Dem – just as they did the other bomber Lib Dem.

I wonder if they would largely ignore the case of a UKIP councillor who planted bombs?

- Paul Marks