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Eagle 3

Frontiersman, September 1998
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High Dictation Television
Sam Aurelius Milam III
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI recently saw a news report1 on the new High Definition Television (HDTV) system that the government is mandating for future use.  The system is to be imposed by regulatory edict, using the authority of the FCC.  The present plan is that all TV signals will be digital by the year 2006.  You might wonder why the change is mandatory.  Here's a clue.  At that time, all remaining TV broadcasts using present technology will go off the air.  The present frequencies will be "returned to the government" and auctioned.  The government plans to get as much as five to six billion dollars for those frequencies.  That revenue has already been included in the budget projections that forecast a balanced budget.  It's just barely possible that the change might not be entirely for our benefit.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThe new TV system looks good, technically.  It might even be better than the present one, depending upon what you mean by "better".  However, that's the question, isn't it?  Video equipment utilizing present technology will not process the new signals.  The old signals will be gone forever.  It will be necessary for you to buy new equipment or you won't be able to watch the programs that are broadcast.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI remember when I was a child, my father used to complain about "planned obsolescence".  Advertisers kept trying to persuade us to throw away perfectly adequate stuff and replace it with new stuff that we didn't really need.  That must not have been sufficiently lucrative, because "forced obsolescence" was invented.  The manufacturers refused to support previous equipment.  When parts and service were no longer available, we were forced to throw away otherwise perfectly adequate stuff and replace it with new stuff that we shouldn't have needed.  Now, we're entering a whole new era, the age of "bureaucratically dictated obsolescence".  The government mandates the replacement of entire systems of perfectly adequate stuff, and its replacement with whole new systems that we shouldn't be required to need.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageMillions of televisions and tons of other equipment will be stuffed into the already over-stuffed dumps.  Tons of resources and megawatts of energy, sorely needed for other, more important things, will be expended building the new system.  The waste economy now has bureaucratic sanction.  It has truly come of age.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageOn the other hand, the government could stay out of it.  The broadcasters could decide what they want to broadcast.  The viewers could decide whether or not we want to buy new televisions, and which kind we want to buy.  Both types of signals could be available simultaneously, just like AM and FM radio signals are available simultaneously, and UHF and VHF television signals are available simultaneously.  With all those channels and nothing to watch anyway, there are plenty of channels that can be converted without mandating the conversion of them all.  Then, the people could decide and maybe, some day, everybody would decide to have a high definition television.  On the other hand, maybe a lot of people would decide that what we have now is good enough.  Of course, if they did that, then we might not have a balanced federal budget.10x5 Page Background GIF ImageGun


1
 ^ 
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Tuesday, August 11, 1998
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A Sign of the Times?
Sam Aurelius Milam III
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageWhile I was writing the article about HDTV, I discovered that my spelling checker has the word megadeaths, but not the word megawatts. Interesting.10x5 Page Background GIF ImageGun
Frontiersman@ida.net Frontiersman, 479 E. 700 N., Firth, Idaho  83236
Also see The Pharos Connection at http://www.ida.net/users/pharos/
September 1998
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Where Does The Truth Lie?
Sam Aurelius Milam III
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI went into the local Wal-Mart a few weeks ago and asked for a can of two-stroke engine oil.  The lady looked at me like I had just spoken to her in Martian.  Then she suddenly brightened.  "Oh!" she said, "You mean two cycle engine oil!"
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"No," I said, "There's no such thing as a two cycle engine.  They're all one cycle engines."
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageShe started looking nervous, like maybe she was suddenly in the Twilight Zone, and hurried toward a shelf of lubricant.  The containers were labeled (you guessed it) "two cycle engine oil".  She seemed relieved by the labels and anxious to get back to stocking the shelves.  I let her leave, and stood there pondering the labels.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageWhen I was a child, my father taught me about internal combustion piston engines.  There's no such thing as a two cycle engine or a four cycle engine.  They're both one cycle engines.  A cycle has occurred when something starts in a certain condition, goes through a series of changes, and returns to the initial condition.  In a four stroke engine, the cycle consists of an intake stroke, a compression stroke, an expansion stroke, and an exhaust stroke.  A two stroke engine also has one cycle.  It consists of a compression stroke and an expansion stroke.  Such sloppy use of our language is so widespread that I wonder how people manage to make themselves understood.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageA local food store in my area has a section of bulk food.  One barrel is labeled "Black Eyed Beans".  There's no such thing.  They're black eyed peas, Vigna unguiculata, a member of the pea family.  I asked a lady who works there and she said that she used to change the labels.  They kept coming in wrong from the supplier.  She eventually gave up.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI mentioned last month that ethnic cleansing isn't what we see happening around the world.  Cleansing happens when you remove some sort of contaminant.  That's what Hitler claimed to be doing when he killed the Jews cleansing the human race of impurities.  Why do we allow that same idea to slip back into our thinking now, when we see people being killed because of their "category"?  There's nothing "cleansing" about ethnic-based murder.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThere are other examples, but these are sufficient to make the point.  They all have in common a distortion or misrepresentation of the truth resulting from sloppy use of the language.  A pea is called a bean.  A stroke is called a cycle.  Murder is redefined as a cleansing process.  When people don't notice the error, then the boundary between the error and the truth gradually disappears.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageIf this kind of thing can happen spontaneously, without anyone consciously intending a deception, imagine the deceptions that can be perpetrated by people intent upon deceiving us.  Our language is diverse and adaptable.  With it, we can convey truth, eloquence, and beauty.  It's also very well suited to the perpetration of lies and misinformation.  Sloppy use of the language enhances this potential by promoting sloppy thinking, causing people to be vulnerable to deception and manipulation.  We need to be more careful with our language.  The inaccuracies and lies, if we say them long enough, will become indistinguishable from the truth.10x5 Page Background GIF ImageGun
Specialist
Sam Aurelius Milam III
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThere are many improvements that could be made in the American school system.  However, I can suggest one that I believe would be more beneficial than most of the others.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThere isn't anything so specialized about high school subject matter as to prevent a reasonably intelligent and normally educated teacher from being able to teach any subject through the high school level.  A good text book and some preparation, perhaps during the summer, is all that would be necessary to teach a new subject.  A teacher could always call a technical specialist into the classroom, if that became necessary.  However, the real subject of importance to a teacher shouldn't be math, science, or literature.  It should be the students.  That being the case, I believe that teachers ought to become experts not just in particular subject matter, but in their students.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI suggest an experiment.  Some schools, instead of assigning teachers to specialties, rooms, or grade levels, should assign them to groups of students.  A teacher should start out with a group of students in the first grade and remain the teacher of those students throughout their entire course of study, through high school graduation.  Obviously, there would be students leaving and joining the group throughout its existence, but it would be the same group.  The continuity, stability, and trust provided by the arrangement might prevent many of the problems with children that occur today.  The education, in my opinion, would be superior to what we have today.10x5 Page Background GIF ImageGun
September 1998
Page 2
Frontiersman, 479 E. 700 N., Firth, Idaho  83236
Also see The Pharos Connection at http://www.ida.net/users/pharos/
 Frontiersman@ida.net
 

 
 
 
Reprint from the Shenandoah Newsletter
Scan doe Lalihwisaks (He Who Looks For News)
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThe Occupation Forces taught me, when I was in their high school, that our people came across the Bering Strait approximately 10,000 years ago.  I graduated from their high school 41 years ago.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageNow they are finding evidence from their own studies that our ancestors were here 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageActually, we have been here for over 100,000 years, or as long as man has been man.  And the reason the Occupation Forces attempt to make it very recent is to justify their stealing of our land and resources.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageGenetic information taken from the remains of our ancestors does not agree with them, nor does the structure of our languages.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThere is no question that the Native Peoples in the northern areas, called Eskimos, traveled back and forth with the peoples on the other lands, just as there is no question of international mingling and traveling at all the different levels of latitude, north and south of the dividing line called the equator.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageWestern Civilization, which includes the Occupation Forces of our lands, the English, French, Spanish, Jews and Egypt is very young, less than 7,000 years old, actually much less than a child in the time of human existence on Mother Earth.10x5 Page Background GIF ImageInfinity Symbol

Remedy
Sam Aurelius Milam III
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI don't believe that the despicable actions of my white ancestors against the ancestors of today's red men cause white men alive today to owe a remedy to the red men alive today.  The white men who committed those acts, and the red men who suffered them, are dead and gone.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageHowever, the institutions are not dead and gone.  The U.S. government that violated its agreements with the tribes is the same U.S. government that exists today.  Those tribes are the same ones that exist today.  Obligations between and among governments and institutions are just as real as obligations between and among natural human beings.  I believe that the U.S. government has an obligation to provide restitution to the tribes.  U.S. citizens might acquire an obligation by virtue of their citizenship.  Tribal members might expect to share in the remedy that becomes available through their tribes.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThe violations by the U.S. government are such that there might not be any adequate remedy.  At the very least, I suggest that all federal land outside of Washington, D.C. should be returned to the native tribes.  Hopefully, the very first act by the tribes will be the destruction of the stone carvings at Mt. Rushmore.  They are, in my opinion, an arrogant desecration of sacred lands.  They add insult to injury.10x5 Page Background GIF ImageGun


Letters to the Editor
My Friend Sam
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThanks for the good words in your little but very substantive publication.  Many thoughts of yours are perfectly echoing my own views.  Keep this up! ....
Peter;  Vankleek Hill, Ontario
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Dear Sam:
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThe comments on rights in the August issue are interesting.  "Right" is a name often given to people's wishes or opinions.  We often hear the phrases "God given right," "Human rights," "I know my rights," "right to (health care, subsistence or whatever)."  Meanwhile, the argument as to what our rights really are or ought to be remains mired in a semantic swamp.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageTo paraphrase a portion of my Webster's 9th New Collegiate Dictionary, a right is the power or privilege to which one has just claim or is justly entitled -- The property interest possessed under custom or law and agreement -- Something that one may properly claim is due.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThus, the legislature, the courts and the bureaucracy can all grant rights by law, custom or regulation, even at the expense of others, however wrong.  They do so, and are wrong much too often.  We refuse to recognize the unjust rights of the privileged at our own peril.  "It isn't fair" is no defense.  The cliche that "might makes right" is true.  If Liberty and freedom are our high priorities, the trick is to prevent some from gaining rights at other's expense and to grant only justly entitled rights -- that is, earned rights or rights that do not obligate others.  The Constitution and Bill of Rights made a start, but stopped far short of providing an adequate body of law in this regard.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageKeep up the good work.
Bob;  Murphys, California
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15x5 Page Background GIF ImageIf a legislature or a court has jurisdiction over a behavior, then you can engage in that behavior only when and as permitted by that court or legislature.  That isn't a right.  It's a privilege.  A right is something that is within your ability, for which you don't need permission, and which will be customarily tolerated.  Neither courts nor legislatures have the power to grant rights.  They have the power to grant privileges.
editor

Frontiersman@ida.net Frontiersman, 479 E. 700 N., Firth, Idaho  83236
Also see The Pharos Connection at http://www.ida.net/users/pharos/
September 1998
Page 3 
 

 
 
 
Frontiersman 
479 E. 700 N.
Firth, Idaho 83236 
 
 
 
 
Parents will
teach their children
more
by example
than
by instruction.
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Flag
 
 


Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
Dear Buck
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageMy wife and I would like to take a second honeymoon for our 50th wedding anniversary.  Where do you think we should go?
Want To Do It Right
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Dear Want To Do It Right
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageViagra Falls.

Sesame Suite
Bernie: Hey Burt!
Burt:  Oh, no!  Are you back again?
Bernie: What's yellow and does the quarter mile in 4 seconds?
Burt: I don't want to know.
Bernie:  A fuel injected banana!
Burt: That's really stupid.
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Sesame Suite is a production of the Children's Tunnelvision Workshop

More Funny Headlines
Forwarded by Sir John the Generous.  Supposedly, these headlines actually appeared in real publications.
Panda Mating Fails;  Veterinarian Takes Over
British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
Soviet Virgin Lands Short of Goal Again
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
Eye Drops off Shelf
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Acknowledgments
     My thanks to Bob (Murphys, California) for his contribution.
     My thanks to Lady Jan the Voluptuous for her editorial assistance.
     My thanks to The Affiliate, of Vankleek Hill, Ontario for regularly printing reviews of the Frontiersman.
     My thanks to Sir Donald the Elusive for paying the production costs of this newsletter and for his additional contributions.

editor

Frontiersman
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageCancellations If you don't want to keep receiving this newsletter, print REFUSED, RETURN TO SENDER above your name and address, cross out your name and address, and return the newsletter.  When I receive it, I'll terminate your subscription.  You may also cancel by letter, e-mail, carrier pigeon, or any other method that gets the message to me.
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15x5 Page Background GIF ImageReprint Policy Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this newsletter in its entirety or to reproduce material from it, provided that the reproduction is accurate and that proper credit is given.  Please note that I do not have the authority to give permission to reprint material that I have reprinted from other publications.  For that permission, you must go to the original source.  I would appreciate receiving a courtesy copy of any document or publication in which you reprint my material.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageSubmissions I solicit letters, articles, and cartoons for the newsletter, but I don't pay for them.  Short items are more likely to be printed.  I suggest that letters and articles be shorter than 500 words, but that's flexible depending on space available and the content of the piece.  I give credit for all items printed unless the author specifies otherwise.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImagePayment This newsletter isn't for sale.  If you care to make a voluntary contribution, you may do so.  The continued existence of the newsletter will depend, in part, on such contributions.  I accept cash and U.S. postage stamps.  I don't accept checks, money orders, anything that will smell bad by the time it arrives, or anything that requires me to provide ID or a signature to receive it.  In case anybody is curious, I also accept gold, silver, platinum, etc.  I'm sure you get the idea.
Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor

September 1998
Page 4
Frontiersman, 479 E. 700 N., Firth, Idaho  83236
Also see The Pharos Connection at http://www.ida.net/users/pharos/
 Frontiersman@ida.net
 
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15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThis is the text of a letter to the editor that I received in response to the August Frontiersman.  I didn't have enough space to print the letter in the September Frontiersman.
Dear Sam
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageAs usual, I must disagree with Don Cormier's reasoning [page 1, Anarcho-Feudalism is not an Oxymoron, Don J. Cormier] in extrapolating from definitions.  I don't argue with the definitions.  But as usual, if he would look at these concepts in their historical contexts, he might avoid some "logical" leaps.  Pacifists do reject violence, & governments do use violence.  But this does not mean that pacifists reject government.  If one looks at the history of pacifism, instead of the dictionary, one sees that in the heyday of philosophical pacifism, the 50's, the major pacifist leaders, such as Einstein, were early representatives of world government as the means to a world of peace.  In the early stages of the UN, before it became obvious that the UN & the IMF were simply the servants of the US corporations in their domination of the world, pacifists like Einstein (after having invented the Bomb - no zeal like that of the repentant sinner - the St. Paul of pacifism) promoted the UN as a means toward eventually creating a democratic world government, which would decide everything peacefully & democratically.  This may not be a practical ideal, but that was the ideal.  (Notice that the UN is once again helping Milosevic in his ethnic cleansing, this time by preventing the Kosovars from getting weapons.)
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageSecondly, pacifists are the kind of "idealists" who say:  "I must follow my ideal of peaceful means, in whatever I do, issue by issue, whether it is practical or not."  This kind of attitude does not generalize into an ideal of an anarchist society.  Either way, pacifism does not imply anarchism at all.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThe comparison between feudalism & anarcho-capitalism, however, is quite relevant, & has already been thoroughly explored in the cyber-punk novels, which have already made their point, & gone out of style, in the 80's.  Under feudalism, the lord is the head of the local military, & is himself therefore the local government, subject in theory to the king & the pope, whose power & influence were real, but limited.  The lords were not absolutely subject to the king (or the pope), the way local governments are now subject to central governments - the stronger the lord, the more independence he had - and this was a distinguishing feature of feudalism.  In the libertarian fantasy world of cyber-punk, the corporations became analogous to feudal fiefs;  each corporation has its own private army, & the CEO becomes a kind of mercantile feudal lord, the ideal of Donald Trump, which the likes of Rupert Murdoch & Bill Gates are approaching.  However, this system in reality requires a police state like that of the US government, as well as a passive population, believing they are "free" under a democratic constitution.  In a real libertarian world, it would be too easy to sabotage technology - power lines, railroads, dams, etc;  anarcho-capitalism would break down, & you might end up with literal feudalism, or perhaps (gasp) revolution.
15x5 Page Background GIF Image19th century anarchism was originated by Proudhon.  His ideas were rather vague.  Bakunin's anarchism, which insisted on equality, & a classless society, became the standard.  Bakunin's un-hyphenated anarchism was the most violent of all.  Kropotkin's anarcho-syndicalism accepted Bakunin's ideal, & simply offered unionism/syndicalism as a means to the anarchist society.  But you won't find that in Webster.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageGreek democracy, with all its faults (slavery primarily), was based upon the small, manageable government of the city-state.  A federation of democratic city-states was developed under the leadership of Athens, & even in this situation it amounted to an Athenian empire.  Roman democracy became the Roman empire.  Only citizens of the city of Rome had the vote.  After the feudalism of the Middle Ages, democratic city-states appeared again in Italy, such as Florence.  These were swallowed up with the rise of nationalistic monarchies.  Modern democracy began within the context of national monarchy, in the US, England, & France.  Industrialization developed shortly after wards.  Inequality grew, & freedom became an illusion.  Disillusionment led to the ideas of socialism & anarchism.  Because of the interconnected nature of technological society, socialists claimed that large nations must be dealt with as they existed.  They did not advocate socialism as a solution for small tribal societies.  But they claimed that huge, interdependent populations could not realistically aspire to a return to the ideal of the democratic city-states.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThe good things in tradition should be preserved.  The bad should be replaced.  Only reason & taste can decide what should remain the same, & what should change.  Living traditions evolve.  Conservative societies stagnate.  Flexibility allow for evolution.  Rigidity justifies revolution.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageToday bill Gates has as much money as the 100 million poorest people in the country, about 2/5 of the population.  He got the money by robbing workers like them, & intellectuals like myself.  He can afford 2/5 of the country's doctors.  We cannot afford doctors.  Libertarians say this is justice, but I say it's insanity.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageFor decades, I never shirked my duties as a citizen, but couldn't get paid for my work, or get a book published, either.  As I've said, many times before, something is seriously wrong, but it's not as you describe it.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageAyn Rand was a woman.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageSincerely,
Elliot;  N. Merrick, New York
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageJust because somebody is a woman doesn't mean that she has an inalienable right to demand unconditional access to an all-male workplace.  You're confusing "natural law" with assumptions.  They may be widely held assumptions, but they're still assumptions.
editor
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