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 Americanisation of culture wars deserves resistance in itself. It homogenises national priorities, obscuring cultural and political differences, to such a ludicrous extent that British people end up arguing about police violence in a year when, yet again, it was revealed that the police had sat back and done next to nothing as a gang of men had groomed and raped young girls in Britain. Police brutality and overzealousness might be a particular problem in a Midwestern US state, while not being a priority in a northern English county; the globalisation of politics obscures local conditions.”

“It also distorts our understanding of the world, limiting our awareness of international affairs to those which are the focus of the narrow spectrum of social media trends. Whether you are a progressive or a conservative, you should be so in the terms of your national circumstances, and with broader frames of references than those which have been provided by social media monopolies.”

Ben Sixsmith

Person of colour dares not sign name

It shouldn’t affect the strength of my argument above, but for the record, I write as a person of color. My family have been personally victimized by men like Floyd. We are aware of the condescending depredations of the Democrat party against our race. The humiliating assumption that we are too stupid to do STEM, that we need special help and lower requirements to get ahead in life, is richly familiar to us. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to deal with open fascists, who at least would be straightforward in calling me a subhuman, and who are unlikely to share my race.

The well-written open letter from the professor with no (safe to add) name is on pastebin, having (of course) been removed from where it was first put. Other links to the text are here and here.

(I wrote this as a Samizdata Quote of the Day – h/t instapundit – but decided the title needed to tell you something not in the bit I quoted. Read the whole thing.)

An excited delirium of political correctness

Given the irrational and potentially violent, dangerous, and lethal behaviour of an Excited Delirium Syndrome subject, any law enforcement officer interaction with a person in this situation risks significant injury or death to either the officer or the subject who has a potentially lethal medical syndrome. This already challenging situation has the potential for intense public scrutiny coupled with the expectation of a perfect outcome. Anything less creates a situation of potential public outrage. Unfortunately, this dangerous medical situation makes perfect outcomes difficult in many circumstances.

White Paper Report on Excited Delirium Syndrome, issued by the American College of Emergency Physicians, September 10th 2009

Ya think?!

When we get to see the bodycam videos of the police officers, we’ll know whether George Floyd had Excited Delirium Syndrome. Had the officers switched off their cams beforehand, that absence (like Hillary Clinton’s missing emails) would speak volumes. If the cams show a calm Mr Floyd ready to be put in a police car, then the officers’ defence of excited delirium will be tossed with contempt. As we’ve heard nothing about the cams from the media, they may not support the narrative.

– in the video we have been allowed to see, a panicking Mr Floyd says he can’t breathe – showing that he can breathe but it’s not doing him much good. Despite his being able to breathe, and so speak, his organs are begging for oxygen they’re increasingly not getting. That fits final-stage Excited Delirium Syndrome.

– His autopsy showed fentanyl and methamphetamine. That drug cocktail is good for giving yourself Excited Delirium Syndrome, especially when it is far from your first time.

I hope we get to find out at the trial, if not before. Till then, if anyone tries to make you swallow the media’s narrative whole, add a pinch of salt.

Meanwhile, this grim subject at least raises a grimly amusing question: are the politically correct experiencing a kind of excited delirium syndrome? Some common symptoms are very much present, especially in the rioters:

remorse… and understanding of surroundings … are absent in such subjects. … subjects are known to be irrational, often violent … delirium and agitation … destructive or bizarre behavior generating calls to police … ongoing struggle despite futility … Subjects are incoherent and combative … delusional, paranoid

Not yet observed in the rioters (AFAIK) are

unusual physical strength and stamina

nor

Impervious to pain

(unless it’s the pain of others), and I don’t think we’ve yet had a chance to observe whether the rioters would show

Significant resistance to physical restraint

or an absence of “normal fear and … rational thoughts for safety”, as there has not been much physical restraint, let alone cause for the rioters to feel afraid. Since we are clearly in the early “sudden onset” stage of “violence and hyperactivity”, it is no surprise we have not yet seen any symptoms from the syndrome’s late stage:

“sudden cessation of struggle, respiratory arrest and death.” (The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2010)

If we make the diagnosis, how should we treat excited delirium in the politically correct?

the specific physical control methods employed should optimally minimize the time spent struggling, while safely achieving physical control. The use of multiple personnel with training in safe physical control measures is encouraged. … research is needed to establish field protocols and techniques that allow police, emergency medical services and hospital personnel to interact with these agitated, aggressive patients in a manner safe both for the patients and the providers.

I share the writers’ desire for safety all round, but while this research on how to achieve it proceeds, I refer readers to the top-of-post quote: these perfect outcomes are ‘difficult’ – and these US physicians seem to have perfected the art of English understatement. (I assume this belief – that achieving swift safe control is essential, to end the subject’s wild agitated activity that is speeding his own death – is part of why the elected Minneapolis authorities teach their police to use knee-to-neck-hold as department policy.)

A less technical summary seems to be saying the same thing.

Deescalation does not have a high likelihood of changing outcomes significantly …

The subjects require physical restraint (this is because if they continue to struggle it accelerates the death) …

Once the decision to do this has been made, action needs to be swift and efficient …

I feel sure this is the treatment the rioters need. Whether it would have been (or indeed was) also the right (albeit, sadly, too late) treatment for Mr Floyd is something the bodycam videos will tell us.

—-
(In the above quotes, I have expanded ‘ExDS’ to ‘Excited Delirium Syndrome’, ‘LEO’ to ‘law enforcement officer’ or just ‘officer’, and ‘EMS’ to ’emergency medical services’, for ease of reading.)

Security against what?

“China proposes controversial Hong Kong security law”, reports the BBC:

China is proposing to introduce a new security law in Hong Kong that could ban sedition, secession and subversion.

And:

Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, which provides the territory certain freedoms not available on the mainland, does require its government to bring in a security law. It had tried to enact the so-called “sedition law” in 2003 but more than 500,000 people took to the streets and it was dropped.

I would have welcomed more information on this mysterious clause in the Basic Law that requires Hong Kong’s government “to bring in a security law”. On what timescale? Who is the judge as to whether a security law does or does not meet this mysterious requirement? Oh yes, and SECURITY FROM WHAT?

But that paragraph was a model of robust independent reporting compared to this one:

A mainland source told the South China Morning Post that Beijing had decided Hong Kong would not be able to pass its own security law and the NPC would have to take the responsibility.

That makes it sound as if Hong Kong’s parliamentarians were not clever enough to pass this law, or that they were dodging the “responsibility” of passing it the way a negligent father might dodge his maintenance payments. To be charitable, these are the words of a “mainland source”, that is, a man whose tongue is operated from a distance by a controller with a joystick, but why does the British Broadcasting Corporation let pass without challenge the Orwellian language of the Chinese Communist Party? We do not have to do that. We are not in the EU any more.

Of what crimes do the contents of your bookshelves convict you?

My mother was in her early teens in World War II. I once asked her what it was like not to know who would win. Alas, I cannot remember in detail how she answered, but among the things she said was that she did not speculate about it much because any such discussion would have been instantly quashed by her father, a former soldier, with some words along the lines of “There will be no defeatist talk in this family, young lady!”

Yet this atmosphere of stern patriotism did not stop her openly reading a translation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf on the principle of “Know thy enemy”.

“Owning a book isn’t a declaration of belief,” writes Janice Turner in the Times.

Journalists own a lot of odd books. Some are sent to us unsolicited, others we buy to illuminate a news story. That Michael Gove, a former Times columnist, has The War Path by Holocaust-denying historian David Irving nestling among Alastair Campbell diaries and Stalin biographies does not alarm me. But the online outrage at a photograph showing this book on Gove’s shelves does.

Because if I’d covered, say, the 1996 libel case brought by Irving I’d have bought his work, too. Why? Curiosity; the desire to quote from original sources; to hear Irving’s authorial voice; to understand how he magicked away mass murder. Later, my piece written, I’d have squeezed it in my unruly shelves with Mike Tyson’s Undisputed Truth and Naomi Wolf’s Vagina.

At this point I feel I ought to mention that the original Times article has that last word in italics.

Yet owning Irving’s book was to activist-journalist Owen Jones a window into Gove’s dark soul. On Twitter, people questioned why you’d read Irving rather than his many critics, as if they couldn’t trust their own minds not to be swayed. Gove was accused of “proudly displayed” antisemitism in his home. But books are not posters or cushions, mere expressions of personal taste.

What is the correct thing to do when you’ve read this book, in case some visiting fool concludes you’re a Nazi? Donating it to a charity shop risks further dissemination of evil. Well, you could burn it. That always goes well.

Here is Owen Jones’s tweet in all its glory.

Which of the books on your shelves would make you wish you had enabled the “blur background” function before turning on Zoom?

Apart from the obvious – a copy of Chavs by Owen Jones – I have three coffee-table books of reproductions of selected articles from the English language edition of Signal magazine, issued by the Wehrmachtpropaganda from 1940-1945. (It continued to publish an English language edition even after the US entered the war, ostensibly for the benefit of the Channel Islanders.)

How about you? Confess all and the tribunal will be merciful.

Big Tech platforms – are they common carriers? Clearly not.

Platforms like YouTube and Vimeo protect themselves from liability springing from what gets published on their platforms by claiming to be common carriers, like a phone company or ISP. But they are clearly nothing of the sort.

I have a saved file copy of this for later publication in case this video is also taken down. This is not about whether or not you support or oppose the lockdown, this is about being allowed to say what you think about it and why. Here is the original video.

Is Political Correctness most fatal to those with co-morbidities?

My team and I knew the president’s comments could trigger a backlash against the idea of UV light as a treatment, which might hinder our ability to get the word out. We decided to create a YouTube account, upload a video animation we had created, and tweet it out. It received some 50,000 views in 24 hours.

Then YouTube took it down. So did Vimeo. Twitter suspended our account. The narrative changed from whether UV light can be used to treat Covid-19 to “Aytu is being censored”.

These days, politics seems to dictate that if one party says, “The sky is blue,” the other party is obligated to reply, “No, it’s not, and you’re a terrible human being for thinking that.” That leaves no room for science, in which the data speak for themselves, regardless of ideology, and only when they’re ready.

(Quoted from a Wall Street Journal article – paywalled, but relevant quotes are on instapundit.)

I read an article that mentioned Aytu yesterday.

In fact, the president’s reference was to Ultraviolet catheter technology. It was recently in the news and Dr Birx was unfamiliar with it. Here’s how it works.

The first link still works because it goes to Aytu’s own website. The second no longer does because it goes to Vimeo; today, it shows the VimeUhOh page.

One of the great questions of our time is whether the left is innately inferior to the right, innately more intolerant of all thought but its own, innately determined to live in its bubble and make others do the same, or else it is not and its current state is wholly an artefact of its current media power.

One view is that there is no such superiority in either approaches or statistics, that too dominating a control of the megaphone makes any group live in an ever-narrowing bubble. If Donald (in some alternative world that is so not this) could do more than just drain the swamp a bit, could actually transform its denizens into people as fervent for making America great again as they now are for cancel culture, then (according to this view) the right would take no more time than the left did to establish a mirror culture of censoring freedom-hatred, and would not generate significantly greater internal resistance than the left’s mavericks currently offer to those the left empower.

A rival view is that the innate vice of the left is lying but the innate vice of the right is violence. Hitler lied a lot and Stalin murdered (and tortured) a lot (arguably more than Hitler in his longer period of rule) but the most fundamental law of Hitler’s land was “Thou shalt kill” and the most fundamental law of Stalin’s land was “Thou shalt bear false witness”.

– Stalin killed like a gangland lawyer: if the inconvenient witness can’t be made to stutter out the prepared story in court then he’d better be fitted with concrete overshoes at the bottom of Lake Michigan, but the court case, not his death, is what matters. When the story is that socialist agriculture works, that means there are a lot of peasants to kill, but it doesn’t matter which individuals get shot, which die of starvation, which die of slave labour in the gulag, and which survive, so long as the useful idiots can go on thinking socialism is wonderful on the farm. It does not matter which of the “two traditions, as a dark age historian would say, about the death in modern times of the vice premier of the soviet state” are true – was he shot at once or left to die years later in a camp – because the story of his confession is what matters. The lie matters and to protect it communists replaced an encyclopaedia article on Beria with one on the Bering Sea, they scrubbed Beria’s image from a Metropole Hotel corridor’s photograph in the early hours of the morning after he died, they painted a smiling young man (or sometimes a woman in a large hat) over Beria’s image on giant posters of the ruling group in cities and towns across Russia. The lie is everything.

– Hitler lied like a general – pretend you won’t attack then do attack, pretend to attack on the right then actually attack on the left – but once the lie had achieved its practical effect, once the enemy were surprised and routed, he spent less time maintaining the lie. What mattered was maximising enemy casualties, tracking and killing every last one of the fleeing foe, treating “the flight of a few Jews from torture and slow death as a matter of the gravest concern”. (Although left-wing lying has much to do with it and also honest debaters may honestly debate, this difference in focus between the communist and nazi regimes is a part of why, although nazi is short for National Socialist, Hitler is perceived as right-wing.)

A third view is that the right is simply better than the left: more anchored in reality, applying principles more likely to produce good outcomes and better able to protect those who hold them from corruption. The right is to the left as capitalism is to communism. In a capitalist state, you will find some who are unworthily rich and some who are unworthily poor. In a communist state, you’ll find a lot more of both and a lot less wealth overall. Likewise with right and left (if your focus is the last century or two; most holders of this view would concede that, as you go further back in time, opportunities to make debating points that challenge it increase).

My own opinion, FWIW, is that all three are true. I think the right compared to the left would resemble capitalism compared to socialism even if the MSM and the tech oligarchs were more balanced. I think that a degenerate-right culture will typically manifest more in a trend to violence than to lying, while a degenerate-left culture’s stereotypical indicators will be the reverse. And I support free speech because I think that while some political movements, like some people, have stronger characters than others, the power to silence criticism is a very dangerous temptation to any.

Seven hundred to one

Via Ed Driscoll of Instapundit, I found this admirably thorough story by Mollie Hemingway in The Federalist. Here, she said, are some of CNN’s reports about Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh:

Read the letter Christine Blasey Ford sent accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct,
Post reporter says Kavanaugh accuser was ‘terrified about going public’,
Republican senators weigh in on delaying Kavanaugh vote,
Echoes of Anita Hill in allegations against Kavanaugh,
Dems call for delay of Kavanaugh vote after accuser comes forward, Listen to letter from Kavanaugh’s accuser, and
Washington Post: Kavanaugh accuser comes forward.

These senators could make or break Kavanaugh’s nomination,
The Kavanaugh controversy is a watershed moment for GOP,
Trump stands by Kavanaugh, supports ‘a full process’,
Why the Kavanaugh allegations come at the worst possible time for Republicans,
an interview with the reporter who broke the Post story,
Kellyanne Conway says Kavanaugh’s accuser ‘should not be ignored or insulted’,
a page devoted to a video of Kellyanne Conway’s statement,
Kavanaugh allegations lead to White House scramble,
Lawyer: Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify publicly,
State of play of the Kavanaugh nomination on Capitol Hill,
Joe Biden reacts to Kavanaugh allegation, reviving memories of Anita Hill hearing,
Why sexual assault survivors often don’t come forward,
Why Dianne Feinstein waited to take the Brett Kavanaugh allegations to the FBI,
White House plan to defend Kavanaugh relies heavily on women,
Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford to testify on assault allegations in public Monday,
Anita Hill’s accusations did not hurt public support for Clarence Thomas in ’91,
Republicans and Democrats grapple with Kavanaugh political fallout 7 weeks from midterms,
The power of a named accuser: Kavanaugh’s future now hangs in the balance,
Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school classmate, details high school parties in past writings, and many others.
By September 18, CNN’s participation in the anti-Kavanaugh campaign was even more intense:
Why Kavanaugh should make men question ‘himpathy’,
Dianne Feinstein, elected in the ‘Year of the Woman,’ navigates the politics of #MeToo,
Julia Louis-Dreyfus lends support to Brett Kavanaugh accuser,
Anita Hill: Senate should ‘do better’ than it did in 1991,
Doug Jones: Senate should compel Kavanaugh’s friend to testify,
Kavanaugh nomination descends into chaos,
What happens if Christine Blasey Ford doesn’t testify?,
With Kavanaugh, McConnell’s throne is on the line,
Christine Blasey Ford is risking it all to speak out,
Kavanaugh decision moment: A horrendous act or a monstrous lie,
Emmy attendee shows up with ‘Stop Kavanaugh’ written on her arm,
What The Wall Street Journal gets dead wrong about Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh,
Women hold the key to Kavanaugh — and maybe control of Congress,
Trump on Kavanaugh: ‘This is not a man who deserves this’,
Former classmate of Kavanaugh’s denies being at party in sexual assault allegation,
Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation before testifying,
Sen. Hirono’s message to men: ‘Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing.’,
5 big questions about the Kavanaugh hearing,
Kavanaugh hearing uncertain for Monday as accuser wants FBI to investigate before hearing,
George W. Bush defends Kavanaugh as ‘a fine husband, father, and friend’,
Accuser’s friend: She is nothing but honest,
Reliable Sources: Kavanaugh questions; left and right reactions,
Mark Judge tells Senate he ‘has no memory of alleged’ incident with Kavanaugh,
Read: Christine Blasey Ford’s attorneys’ letter requesting FBI investigation, and many others.

Trump calls Kavanaugh ‘an extraordinary man’,
Kavanaugh’s accuser made her move — now Republicans have to choose,
Mazie Hirono: Kavanaugh accuser is hesitating to testify because she’s afraid of a GOP ‘railroad job’,
Trump says he wants to see Kavanaugh’s accuser testify,
6 possible Kavanaugh scenarios, including a Supreme Court vacancy until 2021,
Anita Hill: FBI should investigate Ford’s claim,
Kavanaugh’s accuser says he was drunk at the time. What studies say about alcohol and memory loss,
Kavanaugh accuser’s lawyer: ‘Rush to a hearing is unnecessary’,
Friend of Kavanaugh’s accuser speaks out,
Toobin: If she won’t testify, he gets confirmed,
Reliable Sources: The Supreme Court clock is ticking,
Republicans just made a giant gamble on Brett Kavanaugh,
Collins says ‘it’s not fair’ for Kavanaugh accuser not to testify,
Did Donald Trump just hedge on Brett Kavanaugh’s future?,
McCaskill’s voting against Kavanaugh – and it has nothing to do with the accusations,
Grassley sets Friday deadline to hear back from Kavanaugh accuser,
Garamendi: This is a defining Me Too moment,
Accuser’s lawyer: Rush to hearing unnecessary,
Gillibrand: GOP approach amounts to ‘sham hearing’ on Kavanaugh allegations,
Begala: Hypocrisy, thy name is GOP,
GoFundMe raises more than $100K to help Kavanaugh accuser with security expenses,
Graham wants Kavanaugh vote before midterms

In Hemingway’s report, every one of these is a link. Click ’em and see. There were more, I just got bored of copying them.

And here is all the reporting CNN had done of the very similar allegation against Joe Biden by Tara Reade until yesterday:

“With it being Asians, we can’t afford for this to be coming out.”

From the Times:

“Police chief: we ignored sex abuse of children”

Race fears stopped us acting, victim’s father told

A senior police officer admitted that his force ignored the sexual abuse of girls by Pakistani grooming gangs for decades because it was afraid of increasing “racial tensions”, a watchdog has ruled.

After a five-year investigation, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) upheld a complaint that the Rotherham officer told a missing child’s distraught father that the town “would erupt” if it was known that Asian men were routinely having sex with under-age white girls.

The chief inspector is said to have described the abuse as “P*** shagging” and to have said it had been “going on” for 30 years: “With it being Asians, we can’t afford for this to be coming out.”

His incendiary language features in a confidential report by the watchdog that upholds six complaints against South Yorkshire police by a former child victim of sexual exploitation.

But it did come out.

-*-

Some earlier Samizdata posts that are relevant:

If you do not want to see the BNP vindicated, try not proving them right

Politically correct evasiveness fails on its own terms

Want to blame someone for Rotherham? Lets start with the Guardian…

Grooming gangs in Rochdale and Rotherham raped with impunity and you won’t believe why!

Titania McGrath takes to the stage

Whilst the British ‘comedy’ circuit has long been the preserve of the Left, events have taken a dramatic turn as Titania McGrath, radical socialist, feminist, intersectionalist, Twitter SJW par excellence and all-round good egg has escaped from Twitter into real life and has brought her insight to the stage.

The Culture War rages on.

Let us remember their sacrifice a century ago

Because if we don’t, who will? I consider myself quite well versed in history, and I am certainly disposed to honour those killed while fighting Communism, yet even I had barely heard of the Soviet-Polish war of 1920. I had not thought of it for years until reminded by a post by Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit:

The war that saved Europe from Communism

On the BBC, persons of no appearance attack Jews in New York

In May, I wrote: “The attacks, and the silence of progressive New York, are utterly appalling.” In ­December, it’s more than appalling. It’s complicit. (Karol Markowicz)

To say that today’s BBC broadcast reports of the latest attacks in New York pivoted swiftly to denouncing generalised “racism and homophobia” in the age of Trump might be called an exaggeration – since to pivot, one must first be pointing in a different direction. But arguably that is unfair, and the beeb’s afternoon and evening news broadcasts did indeed merely swiftly pivot to a more acceptable talking point. Certain omissions, hinted at in this post’s title, assisted that pivot.

How far the BBC is on the same complicit page as against how far they are just unwisely still treating their progressive American friends as trustworthy and sufficient sources of insight, I do not know. My impression was that the beeb covered Corbyn’s little problem in this area a bit less absurdly than what I saw today. It is easier to fool UK viewers about the US than about the UK – and some beeboids do seem to be trying.

I should note that a hint of appearance did appear on the BBC’s website. And, thanks to crime movies, most UK viewers know enough of the geography of New York to realise that Harlem is maybe not the most obvious place for a white-supremacist-style anti-semite to hide out. It will be revealing to see whether coverage becomes more informative – or not.