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

And I have to say it’s a little unseemly for our government to officially take a position on a YouTube video, even one that sparked an international crisis. It’s even more unseemly that our government is taking the same position on that film as the people who just killed our ambassador in Benghazi.

– the indispensable Michael Totten

24 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Actually, “unseemly” is a pretty good word for the Obama administration generally. I wonder if there’s any real purpose there beyond living as high on the hog for as long as they can.

  • lucklucky

    This video is shocking and shows how the Democratic party is increasingly an extremist leftist party:

    High Ranking DOJ Official isn’t willing to answer if the Obama Government will or will not cut free speech and the First Amendment to protect religion.


  • Sigivald

    And I have to say it’s a little unseemly for our government to officially take a position on a YouTube video, even one that sparked an international crisis.

    Well, it’s unseemly for them to take the position they took.

    A statement of “The United States Government is not responsible for the media creations of its citizens” would be perfectly fine; it’s fair for the State to make the point that it as an entity doesn’t control the speech of the citizenry.

  • Paul Marks

    The Obama Administration tried to USE the murders of Americans to establish the principle of censorship of the internet.

    Both Comrade Barack and Hillary Clinton are contemptable.

  • Paul Marks

    “No Paul – they said the film was ….. but they did not tryand censor it”.

    Yes they did-they tried to get Google to pull the film from Youtube.

    Once estsblished this princiole will not be confined to a silly little film.

  • RRS

    So far, those in charge of our government have chosen to be no more than re-active to events in all matters, one of which is foreign policy, a part of which is facing an ideology which itself is now, and for years has been, reactive and defensive.

    There is no active, positive objective definable from the positions and posturing of this administration, be it in Afghanistan or elsewhere, foreign or domestic.

  • RRS

    A question for the “campaign:”

    Do you feel that our country is as strong and secure as it was four years ago?

    Is strength and security the chief priority for the establishment of government?

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    Quite. The inhabitants of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt behave, as is their wont, in a manner that would be embarrassing to a baboon, and we then have the disgusting spectacle of the American Government apologising to them.

    The estimable Mr Totten displays quite an English capacity for understatement.

  • Julie near Chicago

    There’s some doubt that the movie served as anything but a convenient excuse. This, for instance, is from the story at GOPUSA (which is not affiliated with the Republican Party, per their statement). There’s a link to a report at Politico.com that gives a fuller quote from President Magariaf’s Meet the Press appearance.


    Now, Libyan President Mohammed Youssef El-Magariaf too believes the evidence clearly supports the view that the attacks were the result of intentional design:

    “The way these perpetrators acted and moved — I think we, and they’re choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think we have no, this leaves us with no doubt that this was pre-planned, determined,” Magariaf said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Magariaf continued to explain that those culpable had likely been within Libya for months crafting the details of the assaults, had entered the country’s porous borders by way of multiple points of entry, and that many of them could claim Mali and Algeria as their points of departure.

    However, US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has directly contradicted President Magariaf’s interpretation, repeatedly refusing to acknowledge that any intelligence exists which supports either coordination or premeditation:

    “Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo.”

  • Alisa

    RRS, read Julie’s comment: if that is not proactive, then I don’t know what is.

    ‘Is strength and security
    the chief priority for the
    establishment of

    I don’t know about strengths, but certainly security.

  • AndrewWS

    The point needs to be made (and I haven’t seen it made anywhere) that YouTube pull videos all the time, whether for breach of copyright, or because they’re pr0n or whatever. Loads of people must have complained about this video (which has been uploaded by a variety of IDs – not necessarily different people), and yet they haven’t deleted it. All credit to YouTube, then. Hail, Google, guardian of free speech!

  • Paul Marks

    Julie – the best possible thing one can say about Susan Rice is that she is an idiot.

    However, I think that is too charitable – I believe the person is lying, blatently lying.

    Alisa – whose secuity, this be the question.

    When a government concern becomes (for example) threatening property owners with being dragged through the streets in chains (in front of the television cameras) for breaking one of the thousands of financial regulations (unless they pay up – in “campaign contributions” and so) – well the secuity of the property owners is not the concern of the state.

    And non property owners?

    The first thing the new Mayor of Chicago (Barack’s ex Chief of Staff) did was to abolish the anti gang units in the police.

    Now the gangs can go around killing people in the poor areas without any real effort to stop them. As so Mayor R.E. can strut about being P.C.

    And, so, hundreds of (mostly very poor) people have been murdered.

    As Perry is fond of saying – whatever it should be in theory, the state is practice is not a friend.

    Not a friend of property owners and not a friend of the poor either.

  • Alisa

    Paul, the security issue was raised entirely in the context of foreign policy.

  • Alisa

    Andrew: Google’s policy has always been to adhere to the strict letter of law in a country they operate. Accordingly, they went along with the Chinese laws against freedom of speech in the past, and they went along with various other countries’ similar laws in this case by blocking the access to the film in those countries. The US government’s “request” to remove the film from YT altogether is not (yet) backed by any such US law, and so in this case Google could afford to ignore that and to continue to enjoy the stream of advertising revenue the film exposure on YT will be bringing it. But I’ll give them a small ‘hail’ regardless, for choosin money over stupidity.

  • Alisa

    The smited comment is in response to Andrew about Google.

  • Alisa

    Smited again!:-)

  • RRS

    On Re-active and Pro-Active for the posts by Alisa and Julie:

    I indulge in the conceit of posting again (in reverse order) what I put down at Discussion point XXXIX (Sunday 9/16):

    Posted by RRS at September 17, 2012 08:32 PM:
    Sorry to be unclear. I am not expecting or looking to see “Pro-active.” I am
    simply trying to express an underlying sense of perception (hopefully objective)
    of the nature of what passes for “Islam” in our time (which was not always so).

    How and Why it became not to be so may help us see the possible future trends
    depend on whether the forces of that How and Why (Western Civ.) expand again or
    continue to weaken through internal conflicts (read, 1898-1950) and withdraw.

    The Islam Jurists determined that their scriptures, and hence the structure of
    the ideology (which is not simply Arab or Arabic) rests on specific cultural structures.
    As those cultures vary, “Islam” varies among the diaspora.

    As those cultures erode, the determinations of the Jurists lose their authority,
    currently the basis of Shi’a power (Jurists as Guardians of the Faith in Iran).

    What you [TDK] recite of the external influences on the older Arab culture (Pastoral
    and broad-ranging commerce) is an example of the erosion of the culture that the
    Jurists established as the foundation of the ideology, and determined should not be altered.

    There seems to be an underlying sense that the driving motivations behind what
    is perceived to be the “Islam” of today are Re-active and not Pro-active.

    They are, as Bernard Lewis wrote in his The Roots of Muslim Rage back in
    September 1990 (Atlantic Magazine) the reactions to the intrusions of Western
    Civilization, with its changes to the structures of social orders. The “Islam”
    of today has no objectives other than defense of what remains of those cultures
    which share a common ideology. The masses sense that further decay of the
    cultures (the human relationships within those social orders) will destroy the
    ideology, leaving the individuals adrift.

    The defense takes on the form of attacks (which are always shaped as “counter
    attacks”), which is indicative.

    The “Islam” of today has no objectives as it did some 12 or 13 centuries ago; or
    even after the “Sword of Osman” was raised (the militarized politicization of
    the ideology).

    There is no evidence that the next 10 (or 30) years will see the evolution of
    ideological objectives as “Islam.”
    It is not seen in the diaspora.

    That is why it all depends on the continuing impacts of Western Civilization on
    those cultures, which as those cultures continue to erode (and become more
    “westernized”) and the ideology fragments without destruction, but is retained
    in separate formats, by the diaspora, and elsewhere, how the “shape” of Islam
    will evolve.

  • RRS

    That is why I point out that the current administration (and probably the various “desks” at the State Department) is re-active to the reactions of today’s “islam.”

  • Julie near Chicago

    Paul, with regard to Miz Rice: “blatantly lying” only scratches the surface. I wonder what Western intelligence really is on this issue. If it doesn’t support the movie narrative, we may never hear of it.

    Moving on–I’d like to recommend an audio interview of Mark Durie. He is a linguist, theologian (a vicar in fact), and writer of articles and at least one book on Islam. He explains a bit about his background, as part of his description as to how he came to be deeply involved in the study of, and education of the public about, Islam. He talks about the Muslim culture in which he lived for awhile, about the fact that non-Muslims (and in particular the West) cannot come to grips with Islam until they have a firm grasp of Islam’s world-view and also a clear understanding of the place of religion in general in human life (since the West nowadays is predominantly secular and doesn’t understand why it should be bothered). He discusses the advances that Islam has made in the West, and in particular in the U.S. Naturally I’m not 100% in agreement with all points (I’m never 100% in agreement with anybody, including myself), but it’s very interesting and informative.

    This is the first interview in a series, the link for which is at


    The promotional e-mail states that one must go to the site above to sign up for the series of interviews. The sign-up is free. Note: After you sign up, going back to the page above you’ll see a yellow balloon to click to hear the interview. Last night the interview page took a long time to present the audio-play bars. Be patient. :>)

    In general the interviews will only remain available for 24 hours. This week is an exception, because of the High Holy Days.

    The line-up of speakers includes Robert Spencer, Bat Ye’or, Pamela Geller, and many more. There’s to be one each evening this week, and more over the next two months.

    I assume that the direct URL for the Mr. Durie’s interview won’t work if you haven’t signed up, but nevertheless here it is:


  • Julie near Chicago

    Smited again! But that’s OK–I love them crazy cats! ;>))

  • Julie near Chicago

    I really don’t mean to hijack the discussion–but–Speaking of Islam, here is the other reason why Michele Bachmann should be President! 19 minutes….


  • Paul Marks

    Julie – yes claiming to understand Islam whilst not knowing its basic theological principles (on the grounds that “I lived in a Muslim country”) is stupid.

    Alisa – yes understood.

    Sorry for going into my default mode.