Things are also grim here in Arkham, Massachusetts but as Samizdata commenter Bobby B has managed to get this message out to the world, I had to share it with you…
Don’t know if this report will get through – the power grid is failing, internet technicians throughout the country are being deported as their work visas expire, and my federal-law-mandated ergonomic keyboard is dissolving even as I type – but I’ll send it anyway, because this news must get out.
With the total collapse of the United States of America now entering its seventeenth hour, the situation is grim. Here in Minnesota, with our frigid winter approaching, we are unable to procure supplies of heating oil and natural gas until interstate transport of these commodities resumes. Tanker trucks remain backed up for miles at our southern border awaiting the printing of additional Federal Hazardous Waste Transport Authorization forms.
Across the state, worried citizens are being confronted with grocers’ foodstocks which have received no federal inspection stamp. With hungry children waiting anxiously at home, hoping against hope that Today Will Bring Food, bewildered parents are facing for the first time in their generation the choice between saving their childrens’ lives, or obeying federal law. Across the Plains states, children are perishing in droves.
All throughout the states, ongoing and viable Alternative Sustainable Energy businesses – businesses that employ tens of people – are closing their doors and turning off their lights, no longer able to sell solar panels and windmills without the federal checks that buttress the consumers’ heavily-subsidized prices. The 12,715-year payback period for solar panels which consumers will now experience in the absence of government purchase-price subsidization has crushed this entire economic sector – the fastest-growing sector of our economy for the last seven years – leaving entire barrooms filled to capacity every evening with old Obama donation bundlers commiserating about the end of the good times and trying to sell each other their $30,000,000 coastal homes.
. . .
As I type this, the air in our underground shelter is becoming more foul and depleted. Frantic calls to the EPA for advice and support go unanswered – the phones just ring and ring. My wife says, open the damned windows, you big idiot, but I dare not, at least without proper approval. She would seemingly expose our lovely children to hazards unknown, without even bothering to check with The Authorities. Bitch.
As you can see, the walls of our suburban basement seem to be closing in on us, making us all edgy and tense and hostile. Our new Hobbesian existence strains the bonds of our shared civility, and I do believe that another day in this hell will find us treating people of differing genders and races in unequal ways, refusing to share our wealth with those among us who are too uneducated to understand that bar-hopping 24/7 will not generate wealth for themselves, and drinking unhomogenized milk.
If you read this report – if the internet remains functional for a few more hours – please – Send Warm Clothes.
The truth may set you free, but since the media is firmly on the side of serfdom, I doubt we will ever hear truth about socialism from big media. The recent attempts to define “journalist” in the US may indicate that the system realizes that the internet has made the ability to control internal news more difficult.
However, international reporting is where the legacy media still has a lot of power and it has been and will be used to protect their ideological partners (like Cuba and Venezuela) from responsibility for their failures. The media watches socialists ‘create a desert and call it prosperity’ over and over again and lies about it. This has been going on since Duranty and the NY Times won Pulitzers for lying about ‘Papa Joe’ and the early USSR.
- Gary Poteat, commenting here on Samizdata.
I think we should rephrase the analogy. The position of scientists dependent on the approbation of their peers and government funding is knowing that to dissent from the thermogeddon narrative is as disastrous careerwise as that of the Islamic apostate’s future, and so keeps his silence as do the massed ranks of Muslims unenthusiastic about violent jihad but unwilling to draw the attention of Islamists to themselves by speaking out. I think Mehdi Hasan should understand that.
- Samizdata commenter ‘Ljh’, commenting here.
In short, by 2013 the Republican Establishment had proved itself so alien to the domestic concerns of that majority of Americans who dislike the direction in which the ruling class is pushing it, that the party was becoming irrelevant. Despite the Bush Administration’s disastrous commitment to Nation-Building however, the memory of Ronald Reagan’s and Dwight Eisenhower’s forceful, levelheaded patriotism still lingered about the party.
But by urging war on Syria more vehemently than Obama, the Republican Establishment may have finished off the Republican Party, as we know it. Surely it has discredited itself.
- Angelo Codevilla
(The USA has) limited government? Joking right? The USA spends nearly half the entire world’s military spending (yes, that is more than Russia, China, UK, France and Germany combined) and locks up more of its population per capita than any other place on this planet. Yes, more that those ‘paragons of liberty’ Russia, Burma, Cuba, China etc. It applies its laws and taxes to its hapless citizens extra-territorially as if they were branded livestock who had strayed off the ranch, which only the African neo-Stalinist state of Eritrea does.
If that is what limited government looks like, I would hate to see what unlimited government looks like.
- Perry de Havilland
There is a joke that the difference between American arrogance and British arrogance is the British think they run the world, whereas the Americans think they are the world.
Well just last week I started doing some business with a European bank… a quite mainstream one I might add… and discovered something remarkable. I had to sign a series of statements that I did not do business in the USA, had no assets in the USA and was not a US citizen or resident. Only then would they do business with me. Indeed I had to sign more papers regarding this than any actually pertaining to the business I was doing with them.
And this is why…
The Internal Revenue Service on Monday launched an online registration program for the hundreds of thousands of financial firms around the world that must comply with a U.S. anti-tax evasion law or risk being shut out of financial markets.
Surely a significant European bank must do some business in the USA, I asked. Can the world’s largest economy really be so onerous that you truly want nothing whatsoever to do with it?
Well he was rather guarded and he knew I was a blogger, which I suspect made him a bit uneasy at the prospect of being quoted, which is why I am naming no names. But to paraphrase the reply I coaxed out of him, it was “yes, the USA is simply not worth the trouble and so rather than complying with their endless diktats and the uncertainties of what are increasingly capricious rules… well… there is a whole great big world out there for us to do business with that does not include the United States.”
Yet I suspect the powers-that-be in Washington could not care less and moreover the notion that sophisticated foreign bankers are starting to see American not as the land of opportunity, but as a place to be avoided at all costs, would strike them as preposterous. Indeed had I not had those documents laid in front of me asking me to attest to a complete lack of economic links to the USA or anything associated with the USA that the US state might claim extraterritorial jurisdiction over… well, I would not have believed it myself.
Moreover, after our business had been concluded and he relaxed a bit, the banker in question, who I very much doubt is on any Interpol wanted lists (well I certainly hope not given that he now has some of my money) said he would not even visit the USA or transit a flight through it, due to the US authorities propensity to detain foreign bankers and ask them questions if they even suspect any involvement with US nationals, particularly from ‘non-compliant’ banks such as his.
Am I the only one who is astonished things have come to this? I am suddenly very glad I do not actually live in Arkham, Massachusetts (not sure which is worse, the IRS or the Deep Ones).
Why does the BBC sneer about Britain’s recovery but go crazy if Euroland’s corpse so much as twitches?
- Stephen Glover
In fact I suspect the UK’s “recovery” is as bogus as the Euro-zone’s “recovery” but the approach of the BBC is nevertheless… interesting… in a very predictable sense.
There is a lot of debate as to whether the FSF’s “free software” or the OSI’s “open source” is the better term. But I don’t think either fully describes the idea, or why it’s a good thing in this context. I prefer something like “open development”, because the point isn’t simply that you or I can read the code – I’m not much of a coder, and most people aren’t at all – it’s that as a result, the development of that code takes place in public. (It’s worth emphasizing, because although it appears obvious when put plainly like that, it’s not always immediately apparent to anyone who hasn’t been involved.) Even if the leaders of a particular project were to have closed-doors talks with some governmental agency, the code they produce will be seen and examined by all. Nothing is impossible, but this makes the sort of collusion we’ve seen between Microsoft and the NSA extremely difficult to pull off.
Hardware, as Shuttleworth points out, could still be a problem. Open drivers help, but the chips themselves could be doing nasty things that we don’t know about. Open hardware is the next frontier.
- Sam Duncan
Companies have no broad “duties” if you believe in private sector, and in a civil society based on voluntary relationships. That means if I set up a firm, with capital of mine or entrusted to me by others with their consent, then apart from not breaking rules about force, fraud, etc, there is nothing else one is required to do. Professor Milton Friedman has this all understood years ago. The proper response to calls for “corporate social responsibility” is “fuck off”.
- Johnathan Pearce
Much like the good folks over at Samizdata I had no interest in commenting on the recent trial of Mr George Zimmerman for the killing of Mr Trayvon Martin – not in my fields of interest and I knew nothing about it. However following the jury decision to find Mr Zimmerman innocent it turns out that a lot of my friends are psychic and know that Mr Zimmerman deliberately went out of his way to murder mr Martin due to his colour. Now sadly these friends weren’t able to make their unique skills available to the court, but I would suggest that they need to get themselves a super hero identity as their skills are vitally needed. Until they do that all we have is the rule of law where a person is innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers having heard all of the available evidence (and I believe the same applies across the pond where the trial took place). Now I’ve not heard yet anyone claiming it was a mistrial or that evidence was withheld or tampered with, I’ve not even heard anyone claiming that the law was at fault – at least not amongst my amazing psychic friends.
I’d have more faith in an offer of protection from the Mafia (if I paid) than Mr Cameron’s referendum. The cavets are, broadly, if he wins a majority, and if he renegotiates membership terms with the EU, then he’ll put his new deal to a referendum. If the EU declines to negotiate, a condition precedent fails, no referendum. I might as well offer you a buggy ride at my local country show, if a Bull agrees to wear a saddle, and if it agrees to tow you.
- Samizdata commenter Mr. Ed, who may or may not be a horse of course.
Finally! A politician I have no hesitation endorsing and who, if I lived there, I would actually vote for!
- Perry de Havilland at a
ruinous piss up get together of thoughtful political analysts. |