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 – cataloging a tsunami of Covid scandals

The mainstream press is 99.9 percent captured.

The “gatekeepers of the news” have become stenographers of virtually every dubious or false public health narrative. Nobody (who really matters in the Big Picture) is challenging the never-ending lies, manipulated data and false narratives.

If this lack of skepticism persists, it seems almost a certainty that all the important organizations in the world will continue to be led by people who either aren’t intelligent enough to challenge false narratives or know the narratives are false and simply don’t care.

Bill Rice

We are at the point where tolerance is not an option

For some reason, it turns out that if someone suggests that there is something wrong with a white family having white offspring in front of a gazillion people, you are supposed to enthusiastically nod along and pass on your congratulations. Naively, I failed to comply and recklessly set out on a voyage of light-hearted piss-taking, asking immature questions such as ‘does everything have to be viewed through the prism of race, sexuality and culture?’.

Turns out the answer is: YES! And what’s more, your skin colour dictates the type of questions you’re allowed to ask.

– Paul Cox, writing “You’re White – You Can’t Write About This” Local Newspaper Tells Comedian.

And apropos that, the other day commenter Ferox made this remark:

My view has always been (and I have argued it here on this site) that if you need to know the color (or demographic trait in general) of the speaker before you know if you are offended or not, then the hate is coming from you – not from the speaker. What you hate is not what was said but the person saying it.

Ferox, making a not unrelated point.

Now do Biden

This first-person account by Jim Newell of Slate is being widely quoted: “A Brief, Concerning Conversation With Dianne Feinstein”

It was about a minute later that I encountered Feinstein coming off an elevator, sitting in a wheelchair and flanked by staff. It’s been hard to find the senator since her return; she’s kept her movements mostly to the least-populated passageways and skipped luncheons and non-urgent committee hearings.

I asked her how she was feeling.

“Oh, I’m feeling fine. I have a problem with the leg.” A fellow reporter staking out the elevator asked what was wrong with the leg.

“Well, nothing that’s anyone concern but mine,” she said.

When the fellow reporter asked her what the response from her colleagues had been like since her return, though, the conversation took an odd turn.

“No, I haven’t been gone,” she said.


“You should follow the—I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working.”

When asked whether she meant that she’d been working from home, she turned feisty.

“No, I’ve been here. I’ve been voting,” she said. “Please. You either know or don’t know.”

After deflecting one final question about those, like Rep. Ro Khanna, who’ve called on her to resign, she was wheeled away.

Senator Feinstein, who is 89, appears to have forgotten that she was in hospital with shingles for two and a half months.

The left wing journalist Mehdi Hasan tweets,

If you’re a Democratic senator and you’re not at least privately urging Feinstein to resign, and urging Schumer and Durbin to take action, you have failed the people who sent you to Congress. You’re lying to yourselves that this 👇🏽 is *okay*

He is right, but Feinstein’s is not the only photograph that could be placed below that downward-pointing finger.

Avoid the Equater!

My spellcheck pulsates in impotent frustration, but I don’t care. An Equater is a person who equates. In this context, which I get to decide because it is my post, an Equater is a person who is not content to compare something bad done by a liberal democratic government to the very much worse things done by despotic governments in order to shame the former into better behaviour, but who insists on going from comparison all the way to equation.

Since the death of Her Late Majesty, there have been many occasions when the British police reverted from their recent tendency to exceed their legal powers while stamping down on those who say rude things about illegal aliens or the LGBTQ+ Progress Pride flag, in order to return to their traditional role of exceeding their legal powers while stamping down on people who say rude things about the monarchy. Or even on those who film other people saying rude things about the monarchy: in this tweet, a documentary filmmaker called Rich Felgate writes, “Yesterday I got arrested whilst filming a @JustStop_Oil supporter holding a banner on the pavement near the coronation route. I’m a filmmaker and had my @BECTU press accreditation visible around my neck. Police deemed this to be “conspiracy to commit a public nuisance”.

That is bad. Dammit, it almost looks similar to what you would expect to see in a communist country. Similar, much too similar for comfort, but no one with any respect for the millions murdered by communism would say “identical”.

Meet Dr Charlotte Proudman:

→ Continue reading: Avoid the Equater!

Daily Sceptic administers a kicking to Sp!ked

Myers clearly regards Bridgen’s claim that the mRNA vaccines may be doing more harm than good to be nonsense, but in fact it is well-supported by evidence. For instance, British Medical Journal Editor Dr. Peter Doshi along with Dr. Joseph Fraiman and colleagues examined the data from the vaccine clinical trials and found that, compared to controls, the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were associated with an increased risk of serious adverse events of 10.1 events per 10,000 vaccinated for Pfizer and 15.1 events per 10,000 vaccinated for Moderna. When combined, the mRNA vaccines were associated with an increased risk of serious adverse events of 12.5 per 10,000 vaccinated, or 1 in 800. Note that the adverse events they looked at included those from COVID-19 itself, meaning the findings imply that among trial participants the vaccines were doing more harm than good.

Similarly, Dr. Kevin Bardosh and colleagues – hailing from the Universities of Harvard, Oxford, Johns Hopkins, Edinburgh and Washington, among others – found that for every COVID-19 hospitalisation prevented by boosters in previously uninfected young adults, 18 to 98 serious adverse events occurred, including 1.5 to 4.6 cases of booster-associated myocarditis in males. That’s more harm than good, at least for healthy young adults.

Will Jones

Nice fisking, read the whole thing.

Samizdata quote of the day – media capture edition

However, what followed was an extraordinary one-sided item. Newsnight’s presenter, Victoria Derbyshire, proceeded to hold a three-way discussion between herself, a Just Stop Oil activist, Indigo Rumbelow, and, er, Rupert Read, formerly of Extinction Rebellion. Read now leads an embryonic organisation called the Climate Majority Project, whose web page suggests it has a strikingly similar outlook to Extinction Rebellion.

There were obvious questions to ask Rumbelow: namely, who do you think you are, thinking you have the right to ruin a sporting event that is enjoyed by millions, either as participants or spectators? And why target a running event, which is surely all about doing something of which you ought to approve: getting about on foot?

There were questions to be asked of Extinction Rebellion, too – given that it has offered to ‘police’ the event. Are climate pressure groups now operating as a kind of protection racket, to which we are also supposed to go and negotiate before we are allowed to go about our day-to-day business?

None of these questions got asked. Rather, Newsnight first ran a short video in which it asserted that ‘violence’ was being shown towards climate protesters; it illustrated this partly with a police officer doing his job and arresting a member of a mob vandalising a building with red paint.

Ross Clark

Discussion point: Jack Teixeira

I don’t know where to start. How much will the leaked information help the Russians and harm the Ukrainians? How much of it was not already common knowledge? How did Teixeira come to have access to information that neither his relatively low rank nor his role as an IT person justified him seeing? What about the role of the media? The New York Times tracked the leaker down then told the US government. Very 1950s.

If this were happening in the UK, I would not dare to ask the following for fear of prosecution, but since it is happening in the US and my tiny rivulet of speculation cannot possibly make any difference to the tsunami already crossing the world: which was he, or which was he more, a leaker, a whistleblower, a patsy for someone higher up, a braggart wanting to impress people online, a hero exposing US government lies, a traitor sending Ukrainians and fellow US servicemen to their deaths?

More thoughts on bias, TV presenters and contracts

I was going to put this into a comment on Patrick Crozier’s excellent item about Gary Lineker, the UK former footballer, and now TV show presenter (and enthusiastic Tweeter). But as the comment was chunky I am taking the liberty of putting it here.

On social media I come across the argument that Lineker hosts a sports programme, not a current affairs show about politics, so he’s not causing a problem by taking heated positions on a private twitter account. There are several problems with this line of reasoning.

Football these days is, alas, political. Maybe it always has been – even George Orwell disliked international games because he thought it stoked rather than reduced national ill feeling. Today, footballers have “taken the knee” over the Black Lives Matter eruptions, for example, or spoken about the Qatar World Cup and the row about maltreatment of stadium construction workers. There is a new UK government regulator of football (dealing with issues such as the finances of the game), and that is bound to be a political issue that a pundit like Lineker will want to talk about. Four years after Russia annexed Crimea, Lineker and the rest were in Russia to commentate on the World Cup of 2018. The footballing body, FIFA, was the centre of a massive corruption scandal. Brexit affected European football, such as because of the UK’s exit from the Single Market and the consequent impact on free movement and labour market contracts. And so on.

Why mention all this? Because it will not do for Lineker to say his role has nothing to do with politics so it’s okay to slag off the UK government or whatever on A or B, particularly in harsh language. That is why his principal, if not sole employer – the BBC – is entitled to ask him to tone it down on social media, or at least issue some small disclaimer along the lines “my views aren’t necessarily shared by the BBC” sort. The BBC is paid for by a tax known as the licence fee. In its charter, it has to uphold impartiality as part of the bargain, although in reality this is very hard to achieve consistently (which is why I think the fee needs to go).

For those who aren’t in such a role, or who have an independent income, they are freer to upset, provoke and delight anyone with equal measure. (This is also a reason why protecting savings from inflation is good precisely because it makes independent sources of income easier.)

But where a certain stance comes with the day job, then a contract of employment/service is entitled to contain some form of words about certain pronouncements. For Lineker, unfortunately, the “beautiful game” is no longer just about men (now women) kicking a bag of air around.

Final point: It is not as if Lineker, in condemning UK policy on illegal migrants, was adopting a particularly brave or original stance. His views are standard “liberal” boilerplate. I cannot imagine Lineker saying “Net Zero is BS”, or “All Lives Matter” or “Brussels is out of control” or “gender is not a social construct”.

Go on Gary, prove me wrong.

Thoughts on the Lineker Affair

There is a bit of a kerfuffle here in England. National hero, sports presenter and self-appointed moral authority Gary Lineker reacted to government plans to reduce illegal immigration by posting a tweet which could be construed to suggest that he thought they – that’s the government not the illegal immigrants – were a bunch of Nazis. His employers – the sinister British Broadcasting Corporation – have suspended him. His colleagues have walked out in solidarity which means that today’s edition of Match of the Day – a football highlights show which Lineker presents – will be very odd indeed.

Some thoughts:

  • As libertarians we believe in freedom of speech. As libertarians we also believe in the enforcibility of contracts. But what if those two principles are in conflict? I don’t think any company or organisation can be entirely indifferent if their employees or associates make controversial remarks in public.
  • The BBC is funded by money extorted from people who own televisions. As such it should not exist. If it must exist then it ought to be impartial. Except that there is no such thing as impartiality. Even if there was would it last? The late Brian Micklethwait was of the opinion that bias in media organisations was inevitable. If so the BBC have embraced the idea with gusto. For the most part its output is little more than communist propaganda interspersed with cookery shows. BBC sports coverage itself is a cesspit of virtue signalling and wokery. Except, of course, when it comes to covering a major international tournament in a blood-soaked petro-tyranny.
  • It is interesting that his co-presenters have rushed to his side. Why? Maybe they believe this stuff.
  • I don’t think this – should it end in his sacking – counts as cancel culture. But I am not quite sure. Cancellation seems to me to involve ending a person’s career something that has happened to any number of academics, doctors and YouTubers. Certainly, it isn’t – at least, it shouldn’t be – disastrous for Lineker.
  • I haven’t noticed anyone rushing to defend his actual words. If an historical analogy is appropriate then it would be the US from the 1920s not Germany from the 1930s.
  • Matt Le Tissier was an ex-footballer and was also a pundit. He also made controversial remarks. He got fired. No one rushed to support him. But he wasn’t expressing Establishment opinions so that’s OK.
  • Maybe Lineker should post anonymously. Problem solved. Except no one would listen to him then. Problem doubly solved. This, of course, is an approach taken by a number of my fellow Samizdata writers. Oh you thought Perry de Havilland was his real name? Ha!
  • I have this awful feeling that if you truly wish to exercise your right to free speech you have to be independently wealthy.
  • Lineker is a great presenter.

Samizdata quote of the day – MSM’s involvement in lockdown hysteria edition

“What was most alarming was the alacrity with which the broadcast news media fell into line – with boundless enthusiasm – as they were given a key role in the day-to-day dissemination of government authority.”

Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph (£). She was writing about the BBC’s conduct during the and after the lockdowns.

One of the many reasons why I regard the past few years of “Conservative” government is wasted is its failure to remove the BBC licence fee, and convert the Corporation into a privately financed operation, with some of its operations broken up. The Tories just aren’t strategically minded in removing embedded Establishment sources of opposition and building the groundwork for this. (Even Margaret Thatcher never quite pulled the trigger.)

There’s a word for this

Nicole Hannah-Jones gives her opinion on Thomas Sowell’s expertise and hears some opinions in return

The ratio Nikole Hannah-Jones got for this tweet is a sight to behold:

I’ve tagged it “self-ownership” because it’s a self-own. Sue me.

For those that don’t know, Nikole Hannah-Jones (who gets to appropriate the historic name of Ida B. Wells, a pioneer of the civil rights movement, as her Twitter handle) is the developer of the New York Times’s 1619 Project, though presumably not the author of all the edits the NYT had to stealthily make to it later. She is also someone who has stated that “All journalism is activism”. Thomas Sowell is the author of…

1971. Economics: Analysis and Issues. Scott Foresman & Co.
1972. Black Education: Myths and Tragedies. David McKay Co. . ISBN 0-679-30015-5 .
1972. Say’s Law: An Historical Analysis. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-04166-7.
1974. Classical Economics Reconsidered. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-00358-0.
1975. Race and Economics. David McKay Co. ISBN 978-0-679-30262-9.
1980. Knowledge and Decisions. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-03736-0.
1981. Ethnic America: A History . Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-02074-7 .
Chapter 1, “The American Mosaic .”
1981. Markets and Minorities. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-04399-2 .
1981. Pink and Brown People: and Other Controversial Essays . Hoover Press . ISBN 0-8179-7532-2.
1983. The Economics and Politics of Race. William Morrow. ISBN 0-688-01891-2.
1984. Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? William Morrow. ISBN 0-688-03113-7.
1985. Marxism: Philosophy and Economics. Quill. ISBN 0-688-06426-4.
1986. Education: Assumptions Versus History. Hoover Press. ISBN 0-8179-8112-8.
1987. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles . William Morrow. ISBN 0-688-06912-6 .
1987. Compassion Versus Guilt and Other Essays. William Morrow. ISBN 0-688-07114-7.
1990. Preferential Policies: An International Perspective. ISBN 0-688-08599-7
1993. Inside American Education. New York: The Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-5408-2.
1993. Is Reality Optional?: and Other Essays. Hoover. ISBN 978-0-8179-9262-0.
1995. Race and Culture: A World View. ISBN 0-465-06796-4.
1995. The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-08995-X.
1996. Migrations and Cultures: A World View. ISBN 0-465-04589-8. OCLC 41748039.
1998. Conquests and Cultures: An International History. ISBN 0-465-01400-3.
1998. Late-Talking Children. ISBN 0-465-03835-2.
1999. The Quest for Cosmic Justice . ISBN 0-684-86463-0.
2000. A Personal Odyssey. ISBN 0-684-86465-7.
2000. Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy (1st ed.) . Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-08145-2.
2002. Controversial Essays. Hoover. ISBN 0-8179-2992-4.
2002. The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late. ISBN 0-465-08141-X.
2003. Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One. ISBN 0-465-08143-6.
2004. Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study . New Haven, CT: Yale University Press . ISBN 978-0-300-10775-3 .
2004. Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy (revised and expanded ed.). New York: Basic Books.
2005. Black Rednecks and White Liberals. San Francisco: Encounter Books. ISBN 978-1-59403-086-4.
2006. Ever Wonder Why?: and Other Controversial Essays . Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8179-4752-1. OCLC 253604328. ASIN 0817947523 .
2006. On Classical Economics. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-12606-8.[118]
2007. A Man of Letters. San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books. ISBN 978-1-59403-196-0.
2007. Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (3rd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00260-3. OCLC 76897806.
2008. Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One (2nd ed.). Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00345-7 . OCLC 260206351 .
2008. Economic Facts and Fallacies . Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00349-5. OCLC 1033591370. ASIN 0465003494.
2009. The Housing Boom and Bust. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-01880-2.
Chapter 5, “The Past and the Future.”
2010. Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (4th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02252-6.
2010. Dismantling America: and Other Controversial Essays. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02251-9 . OCLC 688505777 .
2010. Intellectuals and Society . Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-01948-9 . Lay summary .
2011. The Thomas Sowell Reader. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02250-2.
2011. Economic Facts and Fallacies, 2nd edition. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0465022038
2013. Intellectuals and Race. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-05872-3.
2014. Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (5th ed.). New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-06073-3.
2015. Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective.[119]
2016. Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective (2nd ed.). ISBN 978-0-465-09676-3.
2018. Discrimination and Disparities. ISBN 978-1-541-64560-8.
2019. Discrimination and Disparities (revised, enlarged ed.) ISBN 978-1-541-64563-9.
2020. Charter Schools and Their Enemies. ISBN 978-1-541-67513-1.