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Samizdata quote of the day – political circuses

“When bureaucrats and politicians (including 17 state attorney generals) attack a successful, entrepreneurial company, is it surprising that it looks like a circus?”

Pierre Lemieux.

24 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – political circuses

  • jgh

    Attorneys general!

    Pluralise the noun, not the adjective. They are attorneys, not generals. Adjectives are always singular.

  • Roué le Jour

    Now do Piña colada.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Jeff Bezos tried to “buy off” the left by, for example, financing the lying Washington Post. Mr Bezos even awarded a large financial prize to a Spanish chef for … well for screaming “racist” about President Trump.

    But giving the left lots of money and launching ritual attacks on President Trump has not worked for Mr Bezos – the left has gone after his company anyway.

    Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

    Still it is useful reminder that the United States is becoming a bad place to do business – its regulations are endless, and its courts are often political.

    Also money held in the United States is not safe – it can be “frozen”, or just taken, on political grounds. The same is true for any other form of property.

  • Paul Marks

    There are also increasing attacks on Elon Musk – from various government agencies (my favourite one is the “legal” attack accusing Mr Musk of not employing enough illegal immigrants – yes the regime wants him to employ more illegals, regardless of their lack of any skills, for employing people on merit is “racist”), and from the corrupt Credit Bubble degenerates of Wall Street (those servants of the Federal Reserve) who, for example, complain that Space X has a “near monopoly” on commercial launches. The Credit Money types of Wall Street say whatever they think their masters would want them to say, and their masters are certainly NOT “Aunt Agatha” type individual share owners or clients. Wall Street depends on the Credit Money of the Federal Reserve – it could not give a damn about the productive economy.

    It is true that the United States is still better, a lot better, than the nightmare that Mr Musk’s native South Africa has become (although we are not supposed to notice that the “Rainbow Nation” has utterly failed), but the United States gets worse every day – as do the nations who obey the orders of its “NGOs” (witness Armenia – where the government, largely made up of people who “used to” work for these international organisations, has betrayed the people, on the orders of its international masters). By the way “NGO” is supposed to stand for “non government organisation” – which is a sick joke when one examines what these political organisations actually are.

    Mr Musk must remember how when he was on the left there were no “legal” attacks upon him – but as soon as he changed his political stance (or started to say what he really believed) the “legal” attacks started.

    In civilised countries whether you get hit by the legal system does not depend on what your political stance is. For example, everyone, and their cat, knows that the “legal” attacks on President Trump are politically motivated – in a civilised country this would not happen.

    By the way, before the cry of “what about Russel Brand?” goes up – I am not saying that the United Kingdom is vastly better.

  • Kirk

    You miss the biggest “tell” with the suits against SpaceX for not hiring illegals… ITAR regulations make it pretty damn clear that hiring non-US citizens for those jobs is illegal.

    So, which is it, Biden Krime Krewe? You’re breaking the law for hiring the illegals to work on defense and military-related missile work, or you’re breaking the law that says you shouldn’t discriminate against illegals?

    The whole thing is a sad joke, and the fact that it is still going forward is a travesty.

  • jgh

    It’s the same with Trump.
    Over-value your assets – loan fraud.
    Under-value your assets – tax fraud.

    I challenge anybody to value property assets to the exact dollar and cent.

  • jgh,
    Now do Piña colada.

    “Piña colada” is the plural. The proper singular is “Piñum colad”, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue very well, so most people just use the plural.

  • Paul Marks

    jgh – correct.

    Had Donald John Trump valued the properties at a lower value – they would have charged him with Property Tax fraud.

    The American legal system (the “Justice” system – both State and Federal) stands exposed as a sick farce.

    Sell up and get your money out of America.

    “But go where?”

    That is the terrible question. Is there anywhere for people to go – or is there only death now?

    I have long believed that if America falls there will be no hope for liberty in our lifetimes.

    We shall know at the next election whether America has fallen.

    If the 2024 election is rigged, as the 2020 election was rigged, it is all over for liberty – then there will only be death.

  • jgh – It’s worse than that.

    The valuation is Procrustean. In the Trump case, there were a whole range of valuations available, and the judge decided which to use based on what was most useful to his case.

  • Fraser Orr

    “Piña colada” is the plural. The proper singular is “Piñum colad”, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue very well, so most people just use the plural.

    Where did you come up with that? Piña colada is Spanish for “strained pineapple” which is entirely singular. I have never heard of the word Piñum, though it sounds like faux Latin. Even so, words that are commonly used as singular in English are singular because English is defined by its usage not some authority. It is why dice and data can, in fact, be singular, despite what the snooty might tell you. And why “I literally can’t believe you said that”, is in fact perfectly valid. In fact the horror it produces in the grammar police brings me quite a bit of joy, and I sometimes do it just to piss them off. “Literally” is my favorite. Go ahead. Look it up in the dictionary.

    English is like “free market” in language defined by interactions between individuals, rather than other languages, like French or Spanish that are defined by a central authority like the Académie Française or Real Academia Española. It is one of the things I like about English — it has a distinct tenor of “up yours” to the central authorities — we’ll speak however we damn well please. And, FWIW, it is really messy as a result — just like regular free markets. Embrace the chaos, languish in your freedom, I say.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Paul Marks: There are also increasing attacks on Elon Musk

    Good. That means he is annoying the sort of people, such as Mr Biden, and his handlers, who need to be annoyed.

    Musk can be annoying at times, even to me, but overall, he is a force for good.

  • Fraser Orr

    Oh, BTW about piña colada, an interesting question for me is, what is the English plural? The Spanish plural is of course piñas coladas, since adjectives in Spanish are declined with the nouns, so what is the correct plural in English? If we are to follow English grammar where we don’t decline adjectives it would be piñas colada (since piñas, pineapple, is the noun) is plural. However, English isn’t analytical of foreign words so the normal rule would be piña coladas, which is very wrong from a Spanish perspective, but is the way it is commonly said in English — which of course defines what is correct.

    However, it emphasizes the point I made earlier is that generally foreign expressions come into English as a whole, not a set of parts. The exceptions are usually old (and often sound very old fashioned) like attorneys general, letters patent or courts martial. These are all Norman French in origin and all very old. For sure if we imported them today they would be attorney generals, letter patents and court martials. Which is why many English speakers tend toward those usages — the correct plurals are very much the exception to the normal rules. Where I am not even sure what is correct is with a different declension like the saxon genitive. Which is correct: “The attorney’s general brief” or “The attorney general’s brief”. The first sounds very awkward indeed, and I have no idea which is correct. Or “All the attorneys’ general briefs” verses “All the attorneys general’s briefs.” I have no idea which is correct here.

    And what is that brief is about a General and is of a general nature? Do we have “The attorneys’ general general General brief”?

    All of which I find really interesting, though I am sure nobody else does, so I apologize for wasting your time reading it.

  • bobby b

    FO: Wouldn’t “piña colada” – the entire name – be the noun? Mexican waiters, in their own words, bring us “muchas piña coladas.”

  • If we’re arguing words (which is great fun) “circus” is the wrong word. These days we’re being given Grand Guignol.

  • Steven R

    Fraser, I believe the plural of pina colada in English is just piña coladas, as in, “bring me three more piña coladas.”

    Also, the singular is never used because who the hell only orders one piña colada?

  • Stonyground

    “English is like “free market” in language defined by interactions between individuals…”

    This is why it’s pointless getting annoyed by new figures of speech that sort of grate when you hear them. My favourite example is “getting something for free” rather than “getting something free” The word for is redundant and the sentence seems to be more grammatically correct without it. However if I was going to choose that particular hill to die on I would already be dead as “for free” is pretty much common usage now.

  • Paul Marks

    Johnathan Pearce – agreed about Elon Musk.

    It will be interesting to see if he survives.

  • GregWA

    Stonyground, for sure! 🙂

  • Kirk

    I’m fairly sure that Musk will survive, even if he has to move to China to continue his work.

    What’s questionable, however, is whether or not his adopted country will survive. The mere fact of what the government is doing to him and to Trump would tend to indicate that this is a definite inflection point in US governance, and it remains to be seen how all this works out.

    A very real part of the problem, one has to conclude, is that the Democrats are very certain that they’ve captured and neutered the Republican establishment. If they had any common sense and a fear of their tactics being turned against them (which they very obviously do not…), they’d be far more circumspect about the things they’re doing.

    I suspect that if a credible third “reform” party that wasn’t a put-up job by one of the existing ones would make serious headway, and likely replace one or both of the sets of idiots we have in office. We very badly need some adult leadership, and we simply do not have that in this country.

    Witness the Biden administration just having sold some 300 million dollars worth of stockpiled border fence material for 2 million dollars, and now they’ve decided to re-invigorate the border fence project… ‘Cos, now that the blue cities are inundated with economic refugees just like the border states, all of a sudden, sanctuary ain’t all that cool. I’d laugh, but those are my tax dollars at work, and I’ll guarantee you that the guy who bought all that scrap steel is probably rubbing his hands in glee at the prospect of selling it all back to the government at an exorbitant mark-up.

    I knew a guy who was “in” with the Clinton administration who took advantage of that dumbass Al Gore’s “reinvent government” ideas, one of which was to sell off all the “excess” materials stocked by the government and shut down all the warehouses where the stuff was stored. He bought spare parts for aircraft, vehicles, and all sorts of other things, to include strategic commodities. He also bought some of the warehouses… Within a year, he was able to sell all that stuff that he’d paid pennies on the dollar for back to the government at huge markup, quite often more than the government had spent on the stuff+warehousing in the first place.

    You’d ask him how he’d been in position to do all that, and he’d just give you a little smile, touch the side of his nose, and say nothing. I’m pretty sure he was connected to the whole “reform government” thing, because he’d been a member of Gore’s task force when he worked for the GSA prior to his early retirement…

    Crooks and thieves, all of them.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – imagine living in a country where some “conservatives” raise “Pride” flags above government buildings celebrating certain forms of sexuality, including “Trans” doctrine for children, and persecute anyone who does not agree. And also raise “Pan African” flags pretending that Africa is a united country, rather than a continent with many countries in it, and that a country many hundreds of miles away from Africa (the United Kingdom) is part of this mythical united African country, and celebrate the “massive contribution” of black people in building various parts of the world where there-were-hardly-any-black-people till only a few years ago.

    Remember if you dissent from any of this, or dissent from Year Zero (sorry “Net Zero”), or dissent from many other leftist doctrines some “conservatives” will persecute you – indeed destroy you.

    Certainly the left want to tear you to pieces – but they do not actually have to do that, as some “conservatives” will eliminate you in the (false) hope of pleasing the left. The left will still destroy these “conservatives” anyway – but that will not stop these “conservatives” destroying you, in the false hope that they will please the left.

    Ask Mark Steyn or Calvin Robinson what the “conservatives” of GB News are like.

    Or ask my council colleague King Lawal about the way he has been treated – by his “fiends”.

    Lawrence Fox argues that the left win partly because “the right”, or what passes for the right, are a bunch of cowards-and-traitors who betray each other in the false hope of pleasing the left (which will then destroy their helpers anyway), that is a very hash judgement by Mr Fox – but there is an element of truth in it.

    Another explanation is that the left have achieved what the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci called “ideological hegemony”.

    This is the idea that via the spread of leftist ideas in the institutions, especially the education system and the media, even people who are supposed to be fighting the left, end up believing leftist doctrines.

    In short this view holds that the Big Business types, and the establishment “conservative” types, are not faking it when they come out with leftist doctrines “Diversity”, “Net Zero”, “Social Justice” (and on and on), and persecute people who dissent, that they really do believe the leftist doctrines themselves. Because they have never been taught anything else.

  • Paul Marks

    The Jesuit Order originally studied Marxism, the Marxist view of economics, history and society, in order to “understand the enemy”, in order to FIGHT Marxism – but because the Jesuits did not study ANTI Marxist views (Jesuits know about the most obscure Marxist thinkers – but ask them about, say, Ludwig Von Mises, and they either look blank or repeat the Marxist hate-line concerning Mises) of economics, history and society, the Jesuits became what they are today.

    This includes the well meaning Gentleman in the Vatican.

  • Kirk

    As I’ve said many times, Paul… The problem for the Gramscians is that while they’ve achieved the heights, the effect of their efforts within those institutions renders those victories meaningless. It’s a Pyric victory; they’ve won, but in so doing, they’ve lost.

    The fundamental problem for them is that in the marketplace of ideas, which they’ve tried to destroy, the idea has to work, in order for it to survive and propagate. If you think of ideas and ideologies as bacteria, it’s quite a problem for your particular species of bacteria to be like the ones behind gas gangrene; sure, you’ve “won” your battle for the body, but you’ve killed your host. Now what?

    All across the board, the Gramscians are thinking they’ve won the battles and the wars, and they’re now circling the various battlefields and shooting all the wounded. The problem for them is that now that they’ve won, they need to demonstrate that they know what they’re doing, that they’re actually better at managing things than their predecessors. Look at the major cities of the US…? D’ya think the residents of Portland, the ones that actually pay taxes and go to work every morning, are sitting there going “Gee, I’m glad those guys won the election and put all these policies into action… They’re working GREAT!!!”

    The reality is that most of those people are sitting there, fuming, getting very fed up with the whole thing, and there will be a recoil, a counteraction. Just as in Newtonian physics, for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. That’s the way it works, and the victory of the Gramscians is going to prove to be a hollow one, because once they demonstrate that they cannot make their ideas work…? Well, do the math. You can’t hide reality forever, and denial/propaganda efforts are only so effective. They’ve captured the media, for sure… But, who the hell watches the news or reads the newspapers any more? And, of those that do, who among them actually believes that bullshit?

    Damn few. So, what did they actually accomplish, by infiltrating and taking over the various media organs? Hmmm? Is Disney making money hand over fist, these days? Did Kathleen Kennedy manage to turn an already stellar set of properties into something even bigger and better with all her hard work? Or, did she actually manage to run a multi-billion dollar cash cow into the ground?

    It is entirely possible to win and lose bigly at the same time.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    FO: Wouldn’t “piña colada” – the entire name – be the noun? Mexican waiters, in their own words, bring us “muchas piña coladas.”

    Maybe, or maybe the Mexican waiters are just trying to up their tip from the gringo by speaking their language? But you might have a point. I have a couple of native spanish speaking friends so I will ask them.

    If we’re arguing words (which is great fun)

    I agree with you Ellen. Unfortunately most don’t.

    “circus” is the wrong word. These days we’re being given Grand Guignol.

    Puppet masters indeed, but they all come from the same basic place of the ridiculous.

    @Steven R
    Also, the singular is never used because who the hell only orders one piña colada?

    This is an irrefutable point. Thanks, TTYL, I’m heading to the bar.

  • Now do Piña colada.

    Do you also like getting caught in the rain?