“Just leave me alone.”

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

They’re coming for you next: The New York City government, in an effort to protect the used and iconic bookstore “The Strand,” is considering giving it landmark status, a designation the owner, wife of a liberal Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), has begged them not to do.

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is considering whether or not to designate the Strand a city landmark, protecting the store from financial marauders who want to scoop up its valuable real estate. But, in a bit of Shakespearean irony, the iconic bookstore is threatened by those charged with its preservation.

Strand’s current owner, Nancy Bass Wyden, wife of Oregon senator Ron Wyden, is not letting her liberalism balance the books. “By landmarking the Strand, you can also destroy a piece of New York history. We’re operating on very thin margins here, and this would just cost us a lot more, with this landmarking, and be a lot more hassle,” Wyden told the Commission during a public hearing.

Wyden also took a shot at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, owner of the great scourge of brick-and-mortar bookstores everywhere. “The richest man in America, who’s a direct competitor, has just been handed $3 billion in subsidies. I’m not asking for money or a tax rebate,” she explained, appealing not to the Commission’s egalitarian instincts, but to the principle of privacy. “Just leave me alone,” Wyden beseeched her would-be viceroys.

It doesn’t matter if you are Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, big government bureaucracies always end up abusing their power under the lie that they “are here to help you.” The sad thing is that Senator Wyden and his wife are not going to learn any lessons from this tale. I am certain that the Senator will continue to support the Democratic Party’s modern effort to socialize American society under the banner of an all-powerful federal bureaucracy, so that an even bigger government bureaucracy will have the ability to abuse its power over even more people, under the lie that they “are here to help you.”.



  • Edward

    Your link does not include the original article.

    Robert wrote: “big government bureaucracies always end up abusing their power under the lie that they ‘are here to help you.’

    Well, actually, as the quote from the article notes, they are there to help themselves keep what they consider to be iconic.

    What makes something a landmark, and is it more of a landmark when it seems destined for failure than when it was doing well? Shouldn’t it have been considered for landmark status back when it became iconic?

    Why is it that central controllers, such as Landmark Preservation Commissions, seem to always think that they know more about how to keep a business going than the actual operators do? It is a bit like some far away committee driving your car for you, because, you know, they’re from the government and they’re here to help; they have less concern about where you go and when you get there, and if there is an accident, well, they aren’t even at the scene to have to bother walking away. Just leave me alone, and let me drive my own car or run my own business. I do just fine without someone else deciding he knows better than I do.

  • Cotour

    A friend asked me tonight at dinner: “What is going on in Paris, the French people are going nuts”.

    I explained that the government in its wisdom is choosing taxation and the globalization agenda over their people and the people have gotten to the point where they must take to the streets in order that the government pay attention to them. Government eventually begins to believe that they are primary and the people are a function of it.

    I reminded him that in 1789 and the people of France also revolted, what did they wisely start with? They wisely began with cutting the heads off of all of the lawyers, government officials and the aristocrats.

    Good for thee, but not for me.

  • Pocono Chuck

    If I may, your comment is spot on with one exception. You referred to the “Democratic Party.” While both major parties are ‘democratic’ by nature, one is named “Democrat Party” and the other “Republican Party.”

    Many have criticized me for splitting hairs needlessly. Words have meaning, and if we do not name the parties appropriately, the difference between ‘democratic’ and ‘Democrat’ will be diluted.


  • Checks and balances. Systems tend toward equilibrium.

  • Kirk

    Edward, the link to the story is there, but just hard to see as it is only tied to the last six words: has begged them not to do. (I think Bob had intended to start with a “They’re coming for you next:” tag, but accidentally misformatted the link.)

  • wayne

    More reminiscent of Paris, in 1968….

    The Rolling Stones –
    Street Fighting Man

  • wayne

    Paris Riots (1968)
    British Pathe newsreel

    Pocono Chuck–
    Good point. There’s nothing democratic, about the Democrat Party.

    Slavery– that was them.
    Insurrection & Rebellion– them again.
    Jim Crow Laws- ditto.
    Poll Taxes- ditto….
    (The List, is endless.)

  • wayne

    While I tend to agree with your thought, things often get pretty messy at the extremes.

    Hey– a shameless plug for your “craft project!”

    Anybody like train’s?
    Take a look->

  • Yo, I just returned from some Dead Sea sightseeing and have fixed the post. Some html code got lost. Thanks to Kirk and Edward.

  • Cotour

    “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

    — H. L. Mencken


  • eddie willers

    “Just leave me alone.”

    a/k/a : “Laissez-faire!”

  • Col Beausabre

    Main topic – Can you say “Hoist With Their Own Petard” ?


    ‘hoist the black flag’

    and play the ancient Spanish bugle call “Deguello” – both meaning “No Quarter”

    “Degüello” is a Spanish noun from the verb “degollar”, to describe the action of throat-cutting. More figuratively, it means “give no quarter.”[1] It “signifies the act of beheading or throat-cutting and in Spanish history became associated with the battle music, which, in different versions, meant complete destruction of the enemy without mercy.”[4]


    a possibly more authentic version


  • hondo

    Damn! I didn’t even know the Strand still existed! It’s been a long time since I’ve been down that way. been there a few times long ago – what about that nearby pool hall?

  • wayne

    “Nancy Bass Wyden”—
    “We’re operating on very thin margins here, and this would just cost us a lot more, with this landmarking, and be a lot more hassle,” Wyden told the Commission during a public hearing.”


    “Mrs. Wyden’s father started The Strand at age 25 and Nancy is now co-manager of the booming business, according to its website.” “While Mrs. Wyden revealed only that she made at least $2.5 million last year {2014}, in 2012 a report put her worth between $12M and $56M.”

    Time to play their game and unleash the State on her.

    (it would of course be wrong, but oh well.)

  • wayne


    “Have you seen the little piggies
    Crawling in the dirt?
    And for all the little piggies
    Life is getting worse…..”
    “In their styes with all their backing,
    They don’t care what goes on around.
    In their eyes there’s something lacking.
    What they need’s a good whacking.
    Everywhere there’s lots of piggies,
    Living piggy lives….
    You can see them out for dinner,
    With their piggy wives,
    Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.”

  • Edward

    Pocono Chuck wrote: “While both major parties are ‘democratic’ by nature, one is named ‘Democrat Party’ and the other ‘Republican Party.’

    Several countries have a “Democrat Party,” but in the United States it is called the “Democratic Party” as the official name.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *