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]

The mystery of Milei’s dogs

Javier Milei, President of Argentina, is a very odd person. He has four dogs. Now, you may think there is nothing particularly odd about that. But these dogs are clones. They are clones of the late Conan, Milei’s first mastiff, who was named after Conan the Destroyer. The clones are named Murray, Milton, Robert and Lucas apparently after famous economists. Sadly, they are not so famous to me. Yes, Murray is doubtless Murray Rothbard and Milton, Milton Friedman – men who incidentally did not necessarily see eye to eye on monetary matters – but otherwise I am stumped. Robert? Surely not Skidelsky? Lucas? A complete blank. And no Adam, Ludwig, Friedrich or Henry? Truly Milei is an odd person.

‘¡Afuera!’ – Presidente-elegido Milei on the Pope, the murderous Castros and architecture

Probably the most important man of the 21st Century, if only for his potential to do good, Argentine President-elect (as I write) Javier Milei sat down with Tucker Carlson for an interview, (excerpt provided) at which he discussed the Pope, the murderous Castros and architecture amongst other points (that socialists are evil and think they are ‘God’). The interview was done with Mr Carlson asking questions in English and Señor Milei’s replies in Spanish are sub-titled (accurately I would add) and presumably interpreted in real time.

This segment is just over 9 minutes long, and it is well worth watching. We have all the indications that he is the real deal, he says that he is prepared to die for his beliefs, let us wish him a long and productive life and Presidency.

So let me get this straight…

Javier Milei elected in Argentina is being called “far-right“?

So, presumably he is obsessed by identity groups and demands everyone must be viewed collectively according to the status of their group; wants pervasive state control over every aspect of life (everything within the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State); wants a state directed economy; and will refuse to have further elections after this one?

Or does he sees all rights as individual rights; wants to slash the size of the state; reduce taxes; wants to promote free enterprise; and has no problem with elections?

Because our media class seem to think both of those things are “far-right”

China calls in the loans

“‘In a lot of the world, the clock has hit midnight’: China is calling in loans to dozens of countries from Pakistan to Kenya”

– Bernard Condon and the Associated Press in a major article for Fortune magazine.

Here are some excerpts from the article that struck me:

In the past under such circumstances [debtor countries being unable to make interest payments], big government lenders such as the U.S., Japan and France would work out deals to forgive some debt, with each lender disclosing clearly what they were owed and on what terms so no one would feel cheated.

But China didn’t play by those rules. It refused at first to even join in multinational talks, negotiating separately with Zambia and insisting on confidentiality that barred the country from telling non-Chinese lenders the terms of the loans and whether China had devised a way of muscling to the front of the repayment line.

And

Along with the usual mix of government mismanagement and corruption are two unexpected and devastating events: the war in Ukraine, which has sent prices of grain and oil soaring, and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates 10 times in a row, the latest this month. That has made variable rate loans to countries suddenly much more expensive.

All of it is roiling domestic politics and upending strategic alliances.

In March, heavily indebted Honduras cited “financial pressures” in its decision to establish formal diplomatic ties to China and sever those with Taiwan.

Last month, Pakistan was so desperate to prevent more blackouts that it struck a deal to buy discounted oil from Russia, breaking ranks with the U.S.-led effort to shut off Vladimir Putin’s funds.

And, which I did not expect, → Continue reading: China calls in the loans

Gun rights are women’s rights

Terrifying moment an off-duty female police officer shoots dead an attempted robber who leapt out of a car and charged at her while she was walking alone in Brazil.

Three years ago yesterday.

Found via Some Welder on Twitter, from whom I also borrowed the title of this post.

BLM comes out in support of the Cuban communist regime

I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you… that the communist BLM organisation supports the Communist Cuban government’s repression of protests.

Argentine leader Alberto Fernandez tests positive for the coronavirus…

Reuters tell us that Argentine leader Alberto Fernandez says he tests positive for the coronavirus

He is white, male, 62 years old and he says he is in good health. He is the national leader, so presumably lives in a nice post code. Sounds like he has exactly the same risk profile as me (well, other than the national leader bit. If I was the UK’s national leader, there would scarcely be an unoccupied lamppost in Westminster).

So, using the Oxford University Covid-19 risk calculator, what chance does Alberto Fernandez have of snuffing it? Presumably the same as me if I get infected; which I did in March 2020 (spoiler – I am not posting this via Ouija board from beyond. Two weeks in bed, ten days more to get smell and taste back, done.). Therefore, unless he is telling porkies about being in otherwise good health:

(a) Absolute risk = 0.0256% 1 in 3,906

(b) Absolute risk with no risk factors = 0.0227% 1 in 4,405

In other words, I do not give a damn that the leader of Argentina has covid-19, and frankly neither should Alberto Fernandez. The only thing newsworthy about this article is that the utter scrotes who run Reuters want you to think this is newsworthy.

I urge everyone to use the Oxford University Covid-19 risk calculator and share your figures. Get your friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, even your enemies, to do likewise. Maybe, just maybe, your enemy will figure out you are not the one they should be annoyed at after all.

Get an informed idea if you are meaningfully at risk. And if you are, then you absolutely should isolate, protect yourself and take this seriously.

But if not, and you do not live with anyone who is seriously at risk… protest, argue, be difficult, make people demanding compliance work hard to force your compliance, organise covid speakeasy gatherings, send money to support Lockdown Sceptics and their ilk. Do something, almost anything is better than nothing, even if all you do is make it unmistakably clear that you are only complying due to coercion, in spite of thinking this whole thing is utter madness. And say it every time. Ask people if they have spent 60 seconds of their time to use the risk calculator, and if not, why not?

Throw a brick through the Overton window. Stand the fuck up for yourself.

Three very ill-judged tweets from the Biden-Harris campaign

I still fear, but my hopes have risen a little more. In the last 24 hours I have seen three tweets from the official Biden-Harris campaign that might have been designed to help Trump:

Joe Biden:

Dreamers are Americans — and it’s time we make it official.

Tactically, posting this now is insane. Those who support open borders will know his last minute conversion as the pandering it is. Those who do not want open borders will see their fears proven.

Joe Biden:

If I have the honor of being elected president, I will take care of your family like I would my own.

Did they not see the Hunter Biden jokes coming?

Kamala Harris:

There’s a big difference between equality and equity.

The video includes the line “Equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”

Modern slavery

At CapX, James Bloodworth writes,

And yet, left-wing politicians and activists still flock to anything emitting a whiff of revolution “like bluebottles to a dead cat”, as George Orwell once put it.

The much-vaunted Cuban healthcare system is a case in point. Throughout the six months of the Covid pandemic, we’ve seen various stories emerge that have highlighted Cuba’s so-called medical diplomacy. Jeremy Corbyn himself has praised the “inspirational” efforts of Cuban doctors who have been sent by their government to help other countries treat coronavirus patients.

And yet this week it was reported that 622 doctors have joined a case against the Cuban government at the International Criminal Court, accusing their overseas medical program of being a form of slavery. Hundreds of Cuban doctors have testified that the dictatorship has forced them to live abroad without knowing where they are going, has confiscated their passports, controlled their movements and expropriated most of their wages. Yet none of this widely available information seems to have filtered through to left-wing politicians and activists who continue to bovinely sing the praises of Cuba’s “health internationalism”.

An article from last year written by Maria D. Garcia and Hugo Acha and published in the the Miami Herald tells an individual’s story:

Dr. Rodriguez recounts how she and her medical colleagues were forced to sign contracts giving the Cuban Ministry of Health power of attorney over their actions in Brazil. She was required to use a special Physical Person Card instead of her passport, and she was prohibited from going anywhere without permission of “advisors.”

She also explained that she was ordered to act as a support echelon for paramilitary operations, if and when necessary.

After many months considering the terrifying risks of escape, Dr. Rodriguez decided to take action. She drove 12 hours from a small town in the Amazon to Brasilia in 2014 with Cuban intelligence officials at her heels. After arriving safely at the U.S. Embassy, she applied for asylum under a special parole program that was terminated in 2016 under President Obama.

To put it plainly, Rodriguez was the victim of a human trafficking enterprise.

If Corbyn had won we’d have had free broadband by 2030

As in we would have had it.

15 November 2019:

General election 2019: Labour pledges free broadband for all

Labour has promised to give every home and business in the UK free full-fibre broadband by 2030, if it wins the general election.

The party would nationalise part of BT to deliver the policy and introduce a tax on tech giants to help pay for it.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC the “visionary” £20bn plan would “ensure that broadband reaches the whole of the country”.

28 May 2020:

No more free petrol, Maduro tells Venezuelans

Venezuela’s socialist government says it is ending its policy of allowing motorists to fill up with free petrol as the country confronted an economic meltdown.

“Petrol must be paid for,” said President Maduro in a state TV address. He described the change, euphemistically, as a “normalisation and regularisation plan.”

A recorded conversation about the Falklands War

Just to give a light tap to a small drum, which nobody else will tap if neither of us does, and just to say: fellow Samizdatista Patrick Crozier and I recently did one of our recorded-and-internetted conversations, this time about that strange event called in these parts: The Falklands War, which happened in early 1982. Listen to this by going here. Further thoughts about this historical event and this conversation from me here. (See also an earlier posting I did, about a very strange British public personality who emerged onto British TV during that war.)

Somewhat inconveniently, for many, our conversation does rather go on a bit, for over an hour. But I have recently been finding myself spending what used to be my television time instead listening to things not unlike these conversations that Patrick and I have taken to doing – podcasts, YouTubery and so forth (many of these things involving Dave Rubin (a recent discovery of mine)). So I thought it worth mentioning our effort(s) here.

Could you live in this socialist country?

Is the challenge from YT Vlogger ‘bald and bankrupt‘, in this video, filmed recently in Cuba. ‘bald’ as he is referred to, appears to be a chap from Brighton (if you watch his oeuvre) who walks around various parts of our Earth and makes short documentaries about what he sees. He speaks fluent Russian (it seems to me, and his former wife we have been told is Belarusian) but not such good Spanish, and his sidekick is a Belarusian woman who does speak enough Spanish to get by and who interprets for him.

He presents Cuba by the simple device of walking around and going into several retail outlets to show what is on offer, and it looks pretty grim. He also talks to locals, most of whom seem well-drilled in what to say about the Revolution and to profess their loyalty to Fidel. He notes that everyone seems to want to escape. There is an unresolved side-issue of an abandoned kitten in the video.

And yet 10,000,000 people in the UK voted last December for a party just itching to get us to this economic state, without the sunshine. And in the USA, there seems to be far too much enthusiasm for socialism.

Bald’s ‘back catalogue’ contains a great travelogue for much of the former USSR. Whilst he admires all things ‘Soviet’ in terms of architecture (there is a running ‘gag’ about his excitement at finding himself in a Soviet-era bus station, he does acknowledge the grim reality of Soviet rule.