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 British police have hit rock bottom and started to drill

Tim Newman

Samizdata quote of the day

“Excuse me. Would you like to defend the NHS?”

“No. I’d like to abolish it.”

(Incomprehension)

And

People in this country have no conception of how good they have it. Except with respect to healthcare, when they have no conception as to how bad they have it.

(Both these quotations supplied by the same anonymous donor.)

What are we to make of the “Imam of Peace”?

I first became aware of Imam Tawhidi aka the “Imam of Peace” when his tweets started to show up in my Twitter timeline. His views – for a Muslim – are a little unorthodox. To say the least. He believes in democracy, religious tolerance and rights for women and gays. He also claims to have received death threats for his troubles.

This sort of thing makes me suspicious. For starters, all sorts of dubious characters claim to have received death threats. But the bigger problem is with Islam. Most strands of the religion – even the ones at war with one another – agree on the nasty stuff: jihad, beheadings, treating women as property, banning anything resembling art, thought or fun. Just about everyone who has looked at Islam with an open mind has reached the same conclusion. The only, unequivocally civilised Muslim sect is the Ahmadis. They go to the extraordinary length of creating their own Messiah in order to rid themselves of the unpalatable aspects of Islam. As such one could argue that they are no more Muslims than Christians are Jews.

So how does Tawhidi manage to square Islam and civilisation? Mainly by separating the Koran from “interpretations” of the Koran. Here are a few quotes from a recent interview with Brittany Pettibone:

They [the ones who come up with these interpretations] are not scholars they are ideological terrorists.

I want to be very flexible with how I deal with some of the interpretations [of the Koran]. I can ban some of them. I can de-register some of them from the state libraries and universities…

…even have them [interpretations] banned when they are being shipped into the West.

The last two may not sound very liberal but freedom of religion is a very recent phenomenon in the West and only came about when the various Christian denominations for the most part stopped dabbling in politics. Up until about 1750 rulers were very clear that religious dissent had to be kept under control.

He makes one concession:

I wouldn’t say they [the interpretations] were wrong. I would say they were right and they were suitable for a specific era.

Now, at this point you might be thinking he’s going soft. Not a bit of it:

Everyone killing is a Muslim.

I don’t want to ban the Koran but…

He goes on to state quite explicitly that Western countries should ban further Muslim immigration and have no compunction about deporting anyone thinking of indulging in Jihad. I really can’t see how you can be in favour of things like that and be some sort of jihadi fifth columnist. Tawhidi is the real thing.

That’s quite a crescent to bear

Samizdata quote of the day

If it’s “weird” that a politician should ever act on principle against party interest then we are not in a post-truth but a post-ethics world. Sure, I cynically assume most will often do the wrong thing if torn between the right thing and self-serving but surely it’s going too far to assume the right thing is beyond reach all the time for everyone!

– ‘Tom Paine

Samizdata quote of the day

Sharpen the pitchforks, fan the flames: a politician has misspoken.

Yes, another day, another Twitch-hunt. Another live-tweeted expulsion from polite society. Another roll-up-roll-up real-time destruction of a person’s reputation for the crime of having said something stupid.

The victim this time is Anne Marie Morris, the Tory MP for Newton Abbot. She was recorded dumbly using the outdated phrase ‘nigger in the woodpile’ at a gathering of Eurosceptic Tories at the East India Club in London. Ms Morris said ‘the real nigger in the woodpile’ in the Brexit issue is what happens if we get two years down the line and there’s still no deal between Britain and the EU. So she was clearly using the phrase in its classic sense to mean an issue of great importance that isn’t being openly or sufficiently discussed. She wasn’t being racist, just old-fashioned. Phew. We can call off the Twitterhounds, put back the tomatoes.

Don’t be daft. The small matter of intention, of what someone means, counts for literally nothing in the Kafkaesque world of 21st-century speech-policing.

Brendan O’Neill

Guardian comment of the day

Technology has become another way for men to oppress women, says Lizzie O’Shea’s sub-editor. For example,

Millions of people bark orders at Alexa, every day, but rarely are we encouraged to wonder why the domestic organiser is voiced by a woman.

And it is all because of “sexism in the tech industry”. Therefore my nomination for Guardian comment of the day, if not longer, goes to monkeyrich:

You’d have to ask Toni Read, Miriam Daniel and Heather Zorn – the three women who created Alexa, managed the team which engineered it and released it to the public.

It is not just the Guardian, by the way. Cristina Criddle in the Telegraph wrote in 2016, “Female digital assistants that do not fight back reinforce the connection between a woman’s voice and submission. In fact, it encourages it.”

No, they do not.

Samizdata quote of the day

As I pointed out two decades ago, the Serious Fraud Office’s primary weapons, common law conspiracy to defraud, and the second limb of false accounting, if construed as the courts appear to understand them and universally applied would make all commerce impossible. It is an early example of the modern trend in antijurisprudence whereby everything is illegal just in case and ‘the proper authorities’ are trusted to pick on Bad People.

– Guy Herbert

Samizdata quote of the day

Double-standards – more double-standards: do you remember Stephen Fry and a whole bunch of others railing about the winter Olympics being held in Sochi, in Russia, because of Vladimir Putin’s supposed homophobia? I’ve never taken much of an interest in the Winter Olympics, nor has most of Britain actually, it’s not a hugely popular event. And at the very moment he was ranting about Russia, the cricket world cup, a game we do play a lot of, was getting under way in Bangladesh, where the penalty for same-sex relationships is life imprisonment. In Russia, it’s legal.

The Bangladesh escape censure because it’s an Islamic country, and the lefties never wish to be nasty about Islamic countries. More recently, you will have heard them all screeching about the horrible Democratic Unionist Party and their homophobia and how utterly ghastly they are. But again they make no comment whatsoever about the approach to homosexuality in the Islamic world and within the Muslim communities. That is never mentioned.

Rod Liddle

Samizdata quote of the day

ProTip to wannabe dictators: If you’re a tyrant who wants to centralize power over an industry, first frighten large businesses into your cartel protection racket. Then, eliminate local sovereignty over markets while imposing your own regulations and taxes. But call it “drawing into a common market” and “improving transparency to protect them.” Works every time. The final step is to prosecute non-compliance using men with guns.

– ‘Tyler Durden‘, not a source I would usually quote but this pretty much hits the nail on the head.

Samizdata quote of the day

The stories had all the signs of dutiful public service announcements – “fake news,” as they say today – and they contained not a single quote from a single dissenting voice, because, of course, no respectable news outlet would give voice to “climate deniers.”

Deniers?

Let me pause to protest this “denial” language. It attempts to appropriate the widely shared disgust toward “Holocaust denial,” a bizarre and bedraggled movement that belittles or even dismisses the actual history of one of the 20th century’s most egregious mass crimes against human rights and dignity. Using that language to silence questions about an attempt to centrally plan the energy sector is a moral low that debases the language of denial.

This rhetorical trick reveals all you need to know about the desperate manipulation the climate planners are willing to engage in to realize their plot regardless of popular and justified skepticism concerning their regulatory and redistributionist policies.

Jeffrey Tucker

Samizdata quote of the day

Let us put to bed the idea that Labour voters are well meaning people who just happen to have different ideas about economic policy, or are voting Labour out of habit (“my father voted Labour – so I am voting Labour”). People who vote Labour THIS TIME are voting for someone, Jeremy Corbyn, to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – and they are doing so in the full knowledge that he is an enemy of Britain (and the West in general) and an ally of the terrorists – both Marxist and Islamist terrorists.

Paul Marks

Yes that pretty much sums things up

Historically, it seems to me that Mr Corbyn has been more comfortable in the company of people who make private bombs than those who sell private bonds

Mr. Ed of this parish, who may or may nor be a talking horse but make sense regardless.