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]

Against ‘Crony Capitalism’

Jeb Bush has recently taken to criticizing crony capitalism in his speeches, but his record belies his rhetoric. For example, Bush joins Governor Walker in supporting taxpayer-financed sports stadiums. Bush flip-flopped, first opposing but later supporting a new ballpark for the Miami Marlins baseball team. Moreover, as governor, Bush regularly used taxpayer money to provide special benefits to favored businesses or industries. For example, he set up an “Innovation Incentive Fund,” which spent $456 million to lure biotech and life-science businesses to Florida. If you count local funding as well as this state funding, taxpayers ended up spending nearly $1 million for every job generated, and even the state was forced to admit that the fund “does not break even.” That’s just one example of Bush’s willingness to pick corporate winners and losers at taxpayer expense.

Michael Tanner

Now some in this parish dislike the term ‘crony capitalism’ as much as I dislike the loaded term ‘austerity’. So in the interests of collegiality and calm, let me say… tough shit. ‘Crony capitalism’ is an awesome term as it is a presupposition of something good made bad by the modifier ‘crony’, which is indeed correct. If you want to debate the use of the term, arguing crony capitalism is not capitalism at all, well yeah but so what? Tell someone who cares as I will keep using this spiffing term, as will Carly Fiorina apparently.

Samizdata quote of the day

I see no advantage to the American system at this point. We’ve had so much “yeah it says that but they didn’t really mean what the words say” reinterpretation of our founding document it’s essentially been rendered meaningless. The president can do whatever he wants, from starting wars to snooping though your computer to prior restraints on what you can say to using the apparatus of the bureaucracy in a campaign aimed at burying you under audits and investigations.

– Samizdata commenter Eric

Samizdata quote of the day

Republican politicians stink. This is because real Republicans don’t go into politics. We have a life…

Democrats, on the other hand, are brilliant politicians. And I mean that as a vicious slur.

P. J. O’Rourke

Hollywood vs. Google

Ok is this not like watching a Godzilla movie?

The news story I recently wrote about a corrupt attorney general conspiring with the MPAA to take down Google has certainly caught the interest of our readers. Although the emails that Google recently obtained did contain some new information, many details of the conspiracy have actually been publicly available for a while. The Sony hack late last year revealed several emails that mention a strategy for movie studios to take on Goliath. It becomes clear from reading a few emails that Goliath is in fact a code name for Google.

Grab some popcorn! This is going to be fun, the vast monsters clash and lays waste to Los Angeles! What’s not to like?

Samizdata quote of the day

Let me put it this way:

There’s nothing wrong with The Donald except that he’s a dishonorable, disgusting, opportunistic cronyist blowhard who has no problem getting the State to do his dirty work if all else fails, and maybe even if it wouldn’t. Either a liar or someone whose opinion depends on how the wind’s blowing, or both. Given a choice between Shrill and The Donald, one would have to wear waders that come up to the armpits to make it into and out of the polling place.

– Julie near Chicago

Donald Trump? Is this a joke?

US Presidential Election 2016: Donald Trump is the leading Republican candidate in the polls

So a guy who has in the past contributed funds to Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry is leading the… Republican… pack? :D

trump_wut

You will be assimilated

Obama collecting personal data for a secret race database, reports the New York Post.

A key part of President Obama’s legacy will be the fed’s unprecedented collection of sensitive data on Americans by race. The government is prying into our most personal information at the most local levels, all for the purpose of “racial and economic justice.”

Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama’s racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document “inequalities” between minorities and whites.

This Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics includes a vast and permanent network of discrimination databases, which Obama already is using to make “disparate impact” cases against: banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.

So they want to push banks into making more loans to minorities who tend to lack good credit histories. What could possibly go wrong? When companies like Wonga encourage poor people to take out loans they cannot afford, it’s called loan sharking.

As with my previous post, I first learned of this story via the Drudge Report, which seems particularly good at sniffing out and really making public stories of this type in which momentous developments were previously “made public” in a purely technical sense by bland official reports. “You will be assimilated” was the catchphrase of the Borg, a “collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones in a hive mind called the Collective”, formerly thought to be fictional.

Someone who has not adapted to modern society

A journalist called Catherine Porter took her nine year old daughter to a “Jobs, Justice and Climate” march in Toronto. While there the child had a conversation with Ezra Levant. Ms Porter gave her account of that conversation here: My daughter’s run-in with Ezra Levant at her first protest. She made Levant out to be a big bad bully. Her account appeared in a respected newspaper, the Toronto Star, and although Levant’s reply giving his own, very different account of his dialogue with the little girl was published, by the time it appeared the narrative had been settled and it was only his word against hers anyway.

Yes, of course I made that last bit up. This is the twenty-first century, you know. You know even if Catherine Porter does not. Naturally Ezra Levant made sure to get the whole thing on video and was able to conclusively – and amusingly – demonstrate that Catherine Porter’s account deviated from the truth in numerous ways. The weird thing is that she cannot have been unaware of the camera. Levant is a lawyer who has had numerous run-ins with leftists and he insisted on getting Ms Porter to state to camera that she gave permission for Levant to speak to her daughter. Incidentally, one of the details her account obscured was that it was Ms Porter who called Levant over to talk to her daughter and she who asked for the encounter to be filmed. He was initially quite reluctant to debate with a child, rightly fearing that Ms Porter Senior intended to set him up for propaganda purposes.

Why on earth did she write as she did in the Toronto Star? Good grief, it’s not as if potentially embarrassing encounters routinely being filmed at rallies as a defence against misreporting is something that only came in last month. Did she think Levant would just accept being slimed like it was 1999?

Hat tip: Bishop Hill

Samizdata quote of the day

[Putin] is not an easy man … But I don’t think there is any substitute other than constant engagement.

Hillary Clinton

I would like to think she means an endless conveyor belt of ATGWs and artillery ammunition so that the Ukrainian Army can keep Putin’s assorted employees under ‘constant engagement’. But I think she might actually mean doing nothing very much other than exchanging LOLcats and Vines daily via unsecured e-mail.

Victim status is a lousy substitute for real status

Tim Worstall took a look at a document produced by the University of California: “Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send”. He found that “A person asking an Asian American or Latino American to teach them words in their native language” was a microagression. He then found that “Continuing to mispronounce the names of students after students have corrected the person time and time again. Not willing to listen closely and learn the pronunciation of a non-English based name” was also a microagression.

The comments, understandably, have focussed on the way that these guidelines put whitemalemiddleclassheterosexualcisgender people in the wrong whatever they do. The rules are literally impossible to obey. The safest policy is not to interact with blackfemaleworkingclassLGBTQ people any more than you must. This avoidance will be yet more proof of your prejudice, but it’s not like there are any possible circumstances in which you would be declared unprejudiced. Not that anyone nowadays seeks wisdom from a dead white male, but Tacitus could have predicted the result of all this in AD 98: “Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris.” The doctrine of microagression teaches that the victim classes are forever being injured by your acts. Let us hope that human nature has changed enough in the last nineteen hundred years that Tacitus’ observation that it is human nature to hate a person whom you have injured no longer applies.

What is it like to be the object of this code?

– Lonely. You will feel surrounded by enemies. And all outside your exact caste must be enemies: it is impossible for friendship to develop across the divides of privilege when every mundane interaction that might in other circumstances have led to friendship is fraught with tension. Thus one one of the main benefits claimed to accrue from diversity on campus is lost.

– Exhausting. You will be continually on the defensive, and for all your obligation to be constantly angry, passive and unable to control your own destiny. How could it be otherwise? You have chosen to centre your life on how your enemies perceive you. If black, your constant concern is what whites think of you; if female, what males think of you; whatever category you belong to defines you.

One of the attributes of status is that other people have to watch what they say around you, to mind their P’s and Q’s. The demands of political correctness can force high-status people to temporarily behave to low-status people in this respect as if their positions were reversed. But victim status is a very poor imitation of actual status. For one thing the apparent respect you get is gone the minute your back is turned – or a deniable microsecond earlier if the microagressor decides that he might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb and go macro. For another it’s, like, victimhood. You are officially a loser.

Someone clearly had a word with Apple’s Idiot-in-Chief

Apple’s removal of a American Civil War game from its app store due to it showing a Confederate flag (yeah I know :-D ) prompted such widespread derision across the internet from such a wide range of the political spectrum that lo and behold, the app has been reinstated. One might assume a multi-gazillion dollar company would have sufficient checks and balances to stop Le Grand Fromage from making a complete pilchard of himself and his company in the first place, but at least common sense has eventually prevailed.

And as for a certain flag maker declining to manufacture Confederate flags any more, well one company’s boycott is another company’s business opportunity.

Canada, land of sturdy self-reliance

I was sceptical when I read this story:

British man kicked out of Canada for helping girlfriend with DIY at her flat

A young British man is being kicked out of Canada for helping his girlfriend decorate her flat.

Tom Rolfe, 24, is accused of “doing a Canadian out of a job” because he did a bit of DIY.

He was locked up by immigration officials who found photographs of Tom and girlfriend Sam filling up cracks in the walls of her flat.

Tom was in Canada on a tourist visa and the pictures were used to prove he was working illegally.

Angry Tom said: “It is just ridiculous, I was just helping Sam to tidy up her flat before she sold it so we could get a place together.

“I was treated like a criminal and told I have eight days to get out of the country – it has wrecked our plans.”

Oh come on, I thought. This can’t be right. Don’t Canadians have DIY? Or was there something being suppressed by the Mirror journalist – that Rolfe was an illegal immigrant, or a Jihadi, or had a string of criminal convictions? Or was it simply “Blame Canada” day at the Mirror?

None of the above, it seems. Or at least the Edmonton Sun tells the same story:

A young British man in Edmonton on a tourist visa was kicked out of Canada by immigration officials for helping his girlfriend spruce up her apartment

As does the Toronto Sun:

Brit booted from Canada for helping girlfriend spruce up apartment

The presumably Canadian commenters seem to have no trouble believing it.

It is quite inspiring. Left-wing and right-wing lobbyists must have worked together to get this result. The Right demands tough enforcement of immigration rules. The Left demands that jobs be protected. The immigration officials find it makes for an easier life to expel people who want to start dog sanctuaries than to try to expel hardened criminals familiar with every legal trick. Everyone wins!