Quality or Equality?
by Jim May
In this country there is a movement towards a "level playing field" where the opportunities for individuals are not based upon an individual's ability to do the job but on the individual's race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. For example, a single white male just out of college with a bachelor's degree will lose out to a single black female with no college education just because she is considered a member of a minority race and sex in the work force. Who does it benefit when a company is staffed by incompetent minorities? In my opinion, this is suicidal for a country which is trying to compete in a world economy which tends to choose it's workers based upon the individual's ability to do the job.
Astrological Predictions for Libertarians
By Dante DeAmicis
ARIES - It's time to invest in your own destruction. Add T-Bills to your portfolio.
TAURUS - Wise up! No one really cares that the Income Tax is unconstitutional due to three of the senators voting on it being double parked at the time.
GEMINI - If it hasn't dawned on you by now let me spell it out. You are not going to find a Dagny Taggart at a Libertarian function.
CANCER - Someone will ask you "If you're such a big Libertarian, why are all your friends Republicans?" Think of something original to answer for a change.
LEO - A surprise drug test is in store for you at work and you can't study for it.
VIRGO - Some good parties are coming up. This means leave your philosophical boilerplate at the door unless you're honing your image as a jerk.
LIBRA - Your corporate bosses have just about had it with your anti-government, free market rhetoric. Better check where your bread is buttered.
SCORPIO - When are you going to learn that friends can't be bought. They have to be rented.
SAGITTARIUS - What seems like a choice opportunity to bring Libertarian principles to a high school class turns out to be a new way to punish students in detention.
CAPRICORN - Steer your pick-up conversation toward casual references to your beach condo and away from epistemology.
AQUARIUS - The good news is that new gun laws won't come after your firearms. The bad news is that they will be seized in a forfeiture raid for those two dozen plants you've been growing.
PISCES - At last the path to a Libertarian lifestyle becomes clear. The smart money is betting that when you see what it'll cost you will elect to stay in camp.
Water Buffalo Stampede! Ahhh!
by Sam Aurelius Milam III
As U.S. corporations pay millions of dollars for mandated sensitivity and diversity training (brainwashing), I recall with outrage the insensitivity of the "career women" who have painted all men with the same brush, for all these years.
The fact is that I no longer care to work around the feminazis. I find them to be coercive, intrusive, manipulative, and hypocritical. And why shouldn't I be able to work in an all male environment, if that's my preference? What gives them the right to deprive me of that option? My rights are as important as theirs. My opinion is as worthy as theirs. Yet they have made, and are making, endless demands without regard for anyone but themselves. If they don't get what they want, they nag. If they get what they don't want, they whine. If they get what they want, they're smug. I've had it. If they ever stop acting like arrogant bitches (sensitivity) and stop forcing the same solution on everybody (diversity), I might reconsider. Until then, I regard them as the political equivalent of stampeding water buffalo.
Scuttle Butt and the Deep Six
by Sam Aurelius Milam III
Like it or not, the close proximity of women profoundly affects men. It's the nature of the beast, and by now it shouldn't be any kind of secret. The Tailhook incident, for example, shouldn't have surprised anyone. Men have behaved similarly many times in the past. Women tempt, at their own peril, such predictable characteristics of men. I might even argue that the women caused the Tailhook incident, just by being there. It certainly would have been impossible without them. I believe women should reconsider whether or not they really want to work around men. It might be prudent to avoid us.
I also believe that women don't belong in some situations. Their ability to do the job is beside the point. The point is that the distractions they cause are often unacceptable. The presence of women will compromise men's discipline, concentration, and dedication to the common purposes which are, in some situations, necessary to survival. Putting a woman on a warship, for example, is kind of like giving the enemy an extra frigate. Several women are worth a small battle group. By the time half the crew is female, you might just as well sink the ship, and save the enemy the trouble of doing it for you.
* This political parody corresponds to a real number. Please don't call the number. The called party is billed for each call received.
Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief: A Satirical Essay
by Sam Aurelius Milam III
Part 4: And they all lived together
in a little crooked house
However great the financial and security benefits of CRIME, there is yet a greater good. The seemingly uncontrollable growth of institutions has been studied and commented upon many times, but until now no plausible reason for such apparently inevitable growth has been proposed. Landmark thinking, however, derived from the careful consideration of the consequences of CRIME has provided an unexpected pair of bonuses. Not only has the previously inexplicable increase in the size of all institutions been explained, but in the same sweeping stroke of genius, a solution to the problem has been evolved. The key breakthrough was the recognition of the process of Racket Ratcheting.
Racket Ratcheting is a result of the interactions of Police, Citizens, Criminals, Bleeding Hearts, Do-Gooders and Protesters, all of which have constituted inevitable sectors of all past societies. History does not record the first occurrence of any of these groups of people, but throughout history, their interactions have always followed the same pattern. The Criminals commit crimes. The Police chase the Criminals, and harass the Citizens. The Citizens protest Police harassment, help the Criminals, thereby increasing criminal power, and are shot at by the Police. The Bleeding Hearts and Do-Gooders blame it all on the Criminals and support the Police, increasing Police power. Every increase in Police power increases the ability of the Police to harass the Citizens, thus generating more Protestors and providing more support for Criminals. This enhances the Criminals' ability to commit crimes. Rising crime stimulates the Bleeding Hearts and Do-Gooders, generating more support for the Police. All of society is thus involved in a self-sustaining race toward infinity in an attempt to replace the resources being sucked up by rampant Racket Ratcheting. This process accounts for all human excesses, from unwanted population growth through the miserly accumulation of wealth by kings. No instance is recorded in history of a successful reversal of Racket Ratcheting, nor should the historians be faulted for neglect. Indeed, every great society of the past has fallen victim to Racket Ratcheting,1 because the process was not properly recognized.
However, when the process was recently acknowledged, it finally became possible to examine it for flaws. After careful consideration, it appears that the part played by the Criminals is the most amenable to tampering. The Police, for example, are too securely entrenched, and supported by law. The Protesters arise as a spontaneous response to the Police, and as such, cannot be independently controlled. The Bleeding Hearts and Do-Gooders have neither the wit nor the motivation to change. This leaves only the Criminals. A careful look at the criminal sector is thus in order.
There are two types of Criminals: those who are Criminals because they wish to be and those who are Criminals through necessity. The first group (hereinafter called Group 1) is the most effective. It consists of well motivated people who are happy with their work. They are doing what they want to do, they enjoy the challenges and rewards of their chosen profession, and are to be commended for a job well done. The second group (Group 2) is no different from the same crowd in every other walk of life. They don't like their work, they aren't paid enough, working conditions are terrible, and the boss is a jerk. They do what is necessary to get by and they don't rock the boat. They contribute little to the criminal mystique, make unattractive defendants, and seldom come to the notice of Protestors, Bleeding Hearts, or Do-Gooders.
These two groups provide for all needed manpower within the criminal sector. They can be thought of as occupying different positions within the bureaucracy of the criminal sector.2 Members of Group 1 will be found either occupying the ranks of "management" or moving in that direction. This is invariably true because a criminal bureaucracy is the only known example of a management system that selects for ability. Members of Group 2 follow an inversion of the Peter Principle3 and settle to their level of competence within the ranks.4
When life in the criminal sector becomes too lucrative, the ranks of Group 1 (the happy group) swell with opportunists out for the fast buck. Poor management results, holding the criminal sector in check. When life in the criminal sector deteriorates, members of this group become dissatisfied. Since they are Criminals by choice, they are free to change jobs if they wish. Thus when deterioration sets in, some Group 1 Criminals will leave the criminal sector in favor of the most nearly similar work elsewhere. That is, they will join the Police, probably becoming Police commissioners, or at least Detectives. This, naturally, increases the ability of the Police to harass the Citizens and generates Protestors who provide added support for the criminal
|sector, again correcting
the situation. Note that both corrections involve changes in Group
This self-balancing characteristic of the criminal sector is ancillary to Racket Ratcheting and is called Criminal Feedback. It's important to realize that it doesn't maintain an absolute level of criminal activity, but a relative one. Thus, criminal activity isn't held constant, but is kept in balance relative to the other participants in the Racket Ratcheting process.
Although the inherent characteristics of Group 1 maintain the balance of criminal activity within Racket Ratcheting, they're obviously of little use in reversing the process. For this we must look to Group 2. Since these malcontents are forced by one circumstance or another to remain Criminals, they can be relied upon to drag their feet when possible. Their effect, called the Drag Ratio, is a negative one, normally offset by the productive strength of Group 1. However, an abnormal increase in the size of Group 2 would disrupt this delicate balance. A sufficient increase in the Drag Ratio would result in a net decrease in criminal ability, with a greater proportion of Criminals being apprehended. Since the supply of incompetent people, and thus of potential welfare recipients, is endless, this can be relied upon to happen as a result of CRIME. Its effects are far reaching, and I will now examine them.
Initially, CRIME would result in an excess of easy targets, which would throw the Police into paroxysms of delighted capture. So jovial would the Police become, and so busy grabbing inept thieves, that the needless molestation of honest Citizens and innocent bystanders would drop to almost nothing.5 This would precipitate a high rate of drop-outs from the ranks of the Protestors, and adversely affect the level of support enjoyed by the criminal sector. Meanwhile, the Criminals, finding themselves the targets of gleeful and unaccustomed persecution, would appeal to their erstwhile benefactors. They would find the one-time Protestors, now Citizens, to be sedately unsympathetic. These individuals, comfortably involved in matters of interest only to themselves, would simply point out that the Police weren't bothering anybody important, just Criminals. And besides that, they would say, those Boys in Blue aren't such bad chaps after all, now that they're behaving properly. This would infuriate the Group 2 Criminals, who would turn the full force of their incompetence against the justifiably complacent Citizens. The resulting crime wave would be of little monetary consequence. It would, however, drive the remaining Protestors back into the ranks of the law abiding Citizens, thus completing public disenchantment with the criminal sector.6 This is important because it represents a complete reversal for the people who are normally Protestors. After CRIME, they would oppose the Criminals, rather than support them.
As the Police vigorously capitalized upon Group 2 vulnerability, the panic stricken Criminals would be whipped into a frenzy of escape. Group 2 Criminals being what they are, nothing much would change.7 The unaccustomed activity, however, would give the impression of radical change. Noting the desperate plight of the woefully harassed Criminals, the Bleeding Hearts and Do-Gooders would raise frenzied shrieks of outraged horror at the brutal tactics of the Police. The mighty armament of righteous rage, formerly reserved exclusively for the criminal sector,8 would slowly be brought to bear on the Police, another first in the history of human endeavor.
At this point, a significant re-alignment of support and opposition exists. Note that previously, Criminals were supported by Protestors and opposed by Bleeding Hearts and Do-Gooders. Police were supported by Bleeding Hearts and Do-Gooders and opposed by Protestors. However, in the proposed scenario, the Police would be opposed by Bleeding Hearts and Do-Gooders, and supported by no one. The Criminals would be opposed by the Citizens and supported by no one. Thus all positive forces in Racket Ratcheting would be removed by CRIME, to be replaced completely by negative forces. It is the final thesis of this essay that this concentration of negative influence, brought to bear on the two primary participants of Racket Ratcheting, would result in the total reversal of the process.
It's easy to see that the forces at work within the Racket Ratcheting process will allow ratcheting in either direction. Once the process has been reversed, it can be relied upon to stay reversed, so long as the Group 2 part of the criminal sector is supplied with excess membership. However, a word of caution is in order. The natural tendency of Racket Ratcheting is toward increasing size, and the potential for a return to increasing size always exists. It's important that government supported welfare programs not be re-instituted, or Racket Ratcheting will surely claim yet another great society.
If you don't want to keep receiving this newsletter, print RETURN TO SENDER above your name and address, cross out your name address, and drop the newsletter back in the U.S. mail. When I receive it, I'll terminate your subscription.
Back issues of this newsletter are available on request.
This newsletter isn't copyrighted. I invite you to make copies and pass them around. Please give credit where credit is due.
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. Unless the author provides instructions to the contrary, I'll credit the author by name and town (or whatever) of residence.
This newsletter isn't for sale, but 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 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's curious, I accept gold, silver, platinum, etc. I'm sure you get the idea.
Carnegie, Andrew (1835-1919), businessman and philanthropist. Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on November 25, 1835, Carnegie grew up in poverty and received little more than a primary-school education. In 1848 he emigrated to the United States with his family, settling in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (now in Pittsburgh), where he started work in a cotton factory. A year later he became a messenger boy in a Pittsburgh telegraph office and his diligence — he became one of the first persons able to read telegraph messages by ear — led to his promotion to operator and finally to his employment by the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 12 years with that company he introduced the first Pullman sleeping cars and rose to become superintendent of the Pittsburgh division. Convinced by his experience with the railroad and in the Civil War of the coming importance of the iron and steel industries, Carnegie resigned to form his own company, the Keystone Bridge Company, in 1865; for several years he had a number of diverse business interests, but from 1873 onward he concentrated on steel. Gifted with remarkable organizational ability and great business acumen and quick to gauge the value of such associates as Henry Clay Frick and Charles M. Schwab, he built his steel company into a giant that, weathering the depression that followed the panic of 1893 better than the rest, eventually dominated the industry. In 1889, the year that he consolidated his holdings in the Homestead Steel Works and other plants into the Carnegie Steel Company, he published an article entitled "Wealth" — commonly called "The Gospel of Wealth" — in the North American Review; in it he outlined his view that it was the duty of the rich to oversee the distribution of their surplus wealth for the betterment of civilization. It was a novel idea at the time and the article was widely reprinted and discussed. He adhered to his own advice and actively supported a number of philanthropies, among them the building of a great many public libraries, endowing the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1900 and the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1902, substantially supporting a great many colleges, establishing Carnegie Hero Funds in the United States and Great Britain in 1904, and financing the construction of the Temple of Peace at The Hague in the Netherlands. Carnegie sold his business to J. P. Morgan's United States Steel Company in 1901 for $250 million, and thenceforth devoted himself entirely to philanthropy and the promotion of peace. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was established in 1905 and was followed by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1910 and the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 1911. In all, his philanthropies totaled some $350 million. He wrote, among other books, Triumphant Democracy, 1886; The Empire of business, 1902; and Problems of Today, 1908. Carnegie Died on August 11, 1919, at his home in Lenox, Massachusetts.
— WEBSTER'S AMERICAN BIOGRAPHIES, Charles Van Doren, EDITOR, Robert McHenry, ASSOCIATE EDITOR A Merriam-Webster, G. & C. MERRIAM COMPANY, Publishers, SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHSETTS Copyright © 1975 BY G. & C. MERRIAM CO.