One of the guests on the segment was John Campbell, an economics professor at Harvard University. He replied:
Another guest, Richard Medley, is a political and economics consultant on Wall Street. He added:
These two "economists" came as close as possible to admitting that the "money" is completely phoney, that it doesn't even exist, without actually admitting it. Something that has actual or inherent value doesn't just disappear.
Imagine the following scenario. A bunch of lawyers and "economists" busily write documents and file them with the appropriate agencies, simultaneously creating three brand-new companies: Company A, Company B, and Company C. Suppose that immediately upon the creation of these three companies, the lawyers and economists execute three loans: Company A loans one million dollars to Company B, which simultaneously loans one million dollars to Company C, which simultaneously loans one million dollars to Company A. None of the companies owns anything at all, yet (based perhaps on its future potential) each company has been able to borrow one million dollars. More important, however, is the fact that each company now has a debt owed to it of one million dollars. Since accounts receivable is considered to be an asset, the companies can claim combined assets of three million dollars. In my simple-minded example, it's easy to see that the assets are phoney. Indeed, the whole deal is phoney. In the vast and complex financial system in existence today, that kind of thing isn't so obvious, but it's just as true.
In fact, accounts receivable isn't an asset. It's a potential asset which might become an asset if it's actually received, and if it has actual value. A large part of the present economy is based on "assets" that have about as much substance as those in my example. They don't really exist. They're nothing more than entries in various kinds of accounts, and the entries represent nothing. A large part of today's "wealth" is pure speculation. The economy is largely based on the Vapor Standard. So far as I'm aware, there's no real money in it.
Equality in the Workplace? Rubbish!
Sam Aurelius Milam III
As President Clinton continues to be endlessly castigated, nobody seems to have noticed that Monica participated too. Indeed, the affair couldn't have happened unless she was ready, willing, and able. However, she wasn't coerced into unfelt and inappropriate public apologies. Her job and career weren't ruined. On the contrary, her future is assured. She can sell her story to any publisher for a fortune. This is typical. When a workplace affair comes to light, the woman is presumed innocent or granted immunity and the man is punished.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I recently received an e-mail advertisement offering for sale a male pheromone concentrate. The ad makes these claims:
I can think of at least three possibilities. One is that the advertisement might be some kind of an entrapment scam orchestrated by feminists or perhaps by a vice squad somewhere. The second possibility is that the product is actually being offered for sale. If we assume the second possibility, then whether or not the product works as advertised is of secondary importance. Of primary importance is the fact that men's attitudes and objectives are such as to encourage the advertisement of such a product.
For years, I've been proclaiming the error of the feminists who believe that they can, with impunity, enter a male workplace. I've been insisting that the sexually aggressive behavior of the men that those women have encountered is completely normal, should not have been a surprise, and cannot be successfully repressed. The advertisement of this product is one more piece of evidence in support of my claims.
I'm going to make a prediction. Assuming that the advertisement isn't an entrapment scam and that the product actually works as advertised, this is what will happen.
Women will continue to naively waltz into sexually integrated workplaces. Some of the men will wear the product. It will work. Later, trying to explain their behavior, the women will accuse the men of being sexual predators. The men will blame it on the cologne. The result will be the imposition of "tough new standards" on the perfume industry, under the authority of the FDA. It will become a felony to produce, offer for sale, possess, or use, any illicit cologne. "Cologne abusers" will join the "drug abusers" already stuffing the crowded prisons.
That raises the third possibility. The advertisement could be evidence of a conspiracy by the DEA, the FDA, and other federal agencies to create a "need" for "tough new standards".
Letters to the Editor
Over the last few issues, much ink has been spilled on the subject of rights. I feel that the debate between the correspondents and the editor has stalled because of a fundamental confusion about the distinction between dictionary definitions and philosophical definitions. On a dictionary level, there's no confusion about the meaning of the word "right". In a political context, it's a virtual synonym for the word "privilege". Most people use the word in this sense, without generating any confusion.
The editor is proposing a philosophical definition of "rights" which is conceptually different from the definition in common use.
Whether or not the editor's concept is good, and whether or not it should supersede the common concept of "rights", are philosophical questions, not semantical questions. Once the philosophical aspects are explored, then one might explore ways to persuade people to attach a new meaning to the old word — or one might invent a new word to indicate the new concept. Whatever happens, it's pointless to argue apples and oranges.
— Donald; Santa Clara, California
I have not yet seen a dictionary that distinguished between rights and privileges. The lack of such a dictionary distinction (semantic confusion) is part of the problem. It's important to note that dictionaries don't define the meanings of words. They report current usage. The confusion in the dictionaries exists because of the confusion in current usage. When people are already confused and then believe that the errors that they read in dictionaries are authoritative (which they aren't), then the confusion has come full-circle and will become self-perpetuating.
Let me bat on this "rights" issue. Not because it matters a great deal -- as long as we are clear what we mean in any given conversation -- but because it is interesting.
"We hold these truths to be self evident ..." Jefferson signals there that he is about to expound some theory of natural law, and he does, turning the dominant (at that time) paradigm called "divine
|right of kings" on its head. Power comes
from the bottom up, he says, understanding that assertion will have to
be made good on the battlefield.
We have reason to be chary of natural law assertions, because appeals to "higher order" are suspect in a land like ours where we do not agree on the nature of or even existence of any higher order.
Nonetheless, I will jump out there and suggest that there are certain "rights" that exist in the sense that acts of government are irrelevant or of very little relevance and any law in derogation of those "rights" is a dead letter unless there is a police officer following every citizen around.
The most obvious of these is self-defense. While some people may decline to use certain means of self-defense, passing a law against self-defense is not going to have a lot of impact on behavior.
Any law regarding consensual sexual activity. When hormones and law collide, hormones win every time. Actually, the only reason "consensual" is involved is because a law can empower victims of nonconsensual sexual activity, though generally after the fact.
Drug laws impacting the demand side. While it is possible to have an economic impact on the supply side, economics will not touch the demand side if the drug is something that makes people feel better. Whether they are in fact better or not.
Thought control. Am I being silly? Not at all. Hitler made bonfires of books because he thought the contents of the books (ideas) could be made to go away, which was about as likely as the German army fighting in a Russian winter without their long johns.
I am sure this list could be made longer. I am talking about things government can't control with laws.
Obviously, this view of "rights" is not one currently in favor.
— Steve; San Antonio, Texas
Jefferson made a list of things that he believed ought to be rights. So have many other people. However, a list is not a definition. Everybody has a different list and that only adds to the confusion. To understand rights, we don't need thousands of lists. We need one good definition. I have offered such a definition. It's general, concise, and unambiguous. A right is something that is within your ability, for which you don't need permission, and which will be generally or customarily approved or tolerated. If you want to know whether or not something is a right, try testing it against my definition.
Dear Sam --
Your September issue was really GREAT! I especially liked your "REMEDY" article and support it wholeheartedly. If I had any funds, I would purchase the C-7 myself and donate it to the Sioux!
The cliche, "If you tell a LIE often enough and loud enough (or put it on TV!) it will be believed as truth," is evident 100% today [i.e.: "I did NOT have sex with Ms. Lewinsky!"], so, please, in every issue, print it in BOLD letters: "RIGHTS DON'T NEED PERMISSION!" Then maybe people will start understanding the concept!?! AND who cares whether they are "customarily tolerated?" I don't care if 99% don't believe I have certain "Creator-given" Rights! I'm going to exercise them anyway!! Case in point: the Social Slave Number -- Just because 99% of the Slaves think/believe one needs a SSN to work or live in this Country -- ain't NO Government in this "country" going to force me to get one! I mean, I do have the "right" NOT to contract - don't I??....
— Eric; Tehachapi, California
My definition of rights has three parts. The third part is that to be a right a thing must be customarily or generally approved or tolerated. This is a very important. Without this provision, anything that a ruthless person is able do can be claimed as a right. Murder is a good example. It's usually within a person's ability and it's usually done without permission. The thing that keeps murder from being a right is the third part of the definition. That is, murder isn't generally or customarily approved or tolerated. It's necessary that we understand that one person can never, by himself, create a right. Custom and consensus must be involved.
How can anyone imagine we own the UN? [Letter from Elliot; N. Merrick, N.Y., August 1998] It owns us if we do not get this bill of Ron Paul's [H.R. 1146] passed. As it is, we are only one of many members, & all of them hate us. And already we pay to support it. Just think when they can determine the level of that tax!!!!!
— Shirley; Urbana, Illinois
The latest U.N. threat is discussed in "U.N. Criminal Court Binding on All", in the September 1998 issue of Personal Update. The article is available on The Pharos Connection or as a photocopy from the Frontiersman upon request. Personal Update is published by Koinonia House, P.O. Box D, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816-0347. For subscription information, call 1-800-KHOUSE-1 or contact http://www.khouse.org.
Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
— Heard Mommy Talking
Dear Heard Mommy Talking
That's baseball talk. It's when the players warm up before the ball game.
More Funny Headlines
Do You Remember When ...
Author unknown; Forwarded by Millie, of El Granada, California
... a computer was something on TV from a science fiction show, a window was something you hated to clean, and a RAM was the cousin of a goat?
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor
You raise an interesting point about high definition TV. They say that with time HDTV's will become more affordable. Will they also become smaller? Or will poor people be able to buy an HDTV with a 5 foot screen for the same price that they pay for a current TV with a 1 1/2 foot screen now? Because the way things are going, poor people will be a lot poorer by 2006.
[Regarding Where Does The Truth Lie?] I have often criticized people, including yourself, for misuse of terms in philosophical discourse. There it is important. But the history of language is full of colloquialisms. Even the greatest classical Greek & Roman writers often used colloquialisms. There's nothing wrong with it. Poetic imprecision is quite all right in poetry & most daily discourse. I remember a time when auto mechanics used to call a car engine a motor, & they were no worse mechanics than they are now. I always thought that black eyed peas were beans. They look like beans. Peanuts are beans, not nuts. But I still call them peanuts, not peabeans (or beanbeans, since they're not peas either, as far as I know). The fact is, Vigna unguiculata is a precise scientific term, but pea, bean, & nut are not. People say "ladybug" rather than "Our Lady's beetle", but does it really matter? Lightening bug? Nuclear bomb, atom bomb, or the Bomb? Biological warfare or germ warfare? Chemical warfare or gas? It is part of the conservative mentality to insist upon verbal precision just when poetic looseness is appropriate, but to become fuzzy just when trying to defend irrational, illogical political theories.
There is an intentional irony in the use of the term "ethnic cleansing". It has been used mostly (& first) to describe the actions of Milosevic, who is supposed to be a communist & not believe in the nazi racist idea of ethnic cleansing. Sometimes the meaning is there, but you miss it, & then condemn what you don't understand.
[Regarding Specialist] You are expecting teachers to do much more work than they are doing now. Under the current system, teachers don't know their specialty. You would have them teach everything, on the theory that they will learn all subjects better than they now know one. You would have students remain with the same bad teacher throughout their school lives. Even more would go crazy than do now. As I thought you knew, the whole society has to be changed before education can be substantially improved.
[Regarding the Shenandoah Newsletter reprint and Remedy] I like the story about how the Native Americans came up out of the ground. But that's myth. The idea that the human race began in Africa, & spread from there, has little political significance. It's interesting that Natives have been here much longer than scientists had thought, but nothing to get hysterical about. Hawaii was perhaps the last place to be settled by man, about 1200. Captain Cooke arrived only 500 years later, but certainly that's enough time to give the natives there prior claim. 30,000 years or 100,000 years, either way, the Native were here before Columbus & Leif Eriksen. The Hawaiian natives have no "reservations". Recently they have been thrown out of national park lands, where they have lived for hundreds of years. Hawaii is small. In this case it would be good if all federal land in Hawaii would be given to the natives. There's no reason it shouldn't be done. The same thing could theoretically be done with all US federal land with regard to the Natives. But that is asking quite a lot from current social "reality". A more modest goal would be to begin by trying to stop the current theft of land & resources from Natives, or the land where they now live, & are acknowledged to own. Also, the dumping of the toxic waste of non-Native society on Native lands should stop. Also, enough money could be given to the Natives to build their societies according to their own will, as partial restitution, since the loggers & the cattlemen will probably continue to get a free ride on federal lands until, once again, the whole non-Native society has been changed. It will have to be quite a revolutionary change, if we are to see the stone carvings at Mt. Rushmore destroyed.
You describe a right as something which is customarily tolerated. Actually, this is the definition of the word "Kosher"; its opposite being "taboo". Liberals accept tradition, when it is just, rational, and/or aesthetic. Otherwise, they seek to influence what is customary, what is Kosher or taboo, in the direction of justice, reason, & aesthetics. We do it primarily by propaganda, sometimes by means of art as propaganda. Sometimes we think it is worth going to war over. Laws tend to change, when liberals have succeeded in convincing the majority that a change in custom is a good idea. Unless of course the population is too passive to demand the change. Then we wait for things to fall apart, for lack of will on the part of the population to make desirable adaptations. Such is evolution.
Elliot; N. Merrick, New York