Dongles & 12" Bastards
Austin Dispatches No. 113 July 12, 2008

When you feel pain at the pump, particularly those of you unfortunate enough to live in Ecotopia – just remember: It’s for a good cause.1 

I’m working at “Olmeq,” itself a subsidiary of “Novogorod.” It’s a long-established, worldwide company, but its world headquarters is in a nondescript satellite town near Austin. The headquarters itself was built in the early ‘80s, and looks it, right down to the 6-foot high cubicle walls for privacy.2

Here’s an actual passage in an installation manual I’m revising: “Using a rubber mallet, repeatedly hit the tool about 8 inches below the transmitter gap. This should cause the tool to switch from survey frame to steering frame.” In other words, if you want results with the equipment, apply brute force, preferably while screaming something in pseudo-Japanese.

The catch is the management philosophy, based on “Gung Ho!” The management book has a master game plan toward enthusiastically improving business productivity based on the “the Spirit of the Squirrel,” “the Way of the Beaver,” and “the Gift of the Goose” (besides foie gras).3 

I can accept working at a company that busts unions, bribes governments, destroys the environment, and wipes out indigenous populations, in the name of profit, but I draw the line at cutesy animals.

Of course, animals, no matter how cute, are just amoral beasts acting without volition. They give no thought to their actions or how they fit into a larger scheme. Men, however, can act with purpose.4 

Even the authors acknowledge the title, popularized during World War II, doesn’t fit with squirrels, beavers, and geese. In other words, an old-fashioned American corporation has based its operating philosophy on a book cobbled from New Agey primitive folk wisdom and a title and concept borrowed from the U.S. Marine Corps, which in turn borrowed the concept from the Chinese Communists.5 For this my ancestors immigrated to America?

Unfortunately, the lead technical writer told me that management takes the philosophy seriously around the office. Since management also take seriously the possibility of my becoming management, this is a big problem. Why couldn’t the company at least base its strategy on Eli Goldratt’s “The Goal”?6

People Who Don’t Understand “No”

e113fig2 Months after I delivered my answer, organizers for my high school class reunion sent an unsolicited invitation at the wrong e-mail address, the one devoted to business and employment matters. Then they resent the invitation because they got some basic facts about the reunion wrong. Either one’s reason not to reply, but I was also amused to note I didn’t even remember the organizers (Grigsby? Wasn't that the name of a Beverly Cleary character?); and their choice of icon with the invitation. Are they planning a home invasion?7

Moreover, the organizers lack contact information for about two-thirds of my graduating class – including, predictably, almost all the people I’d like to see again. (The rest read Austin Dispatches.)

That’s not the worst of it. Since I wrote that issue – one of the few where conception and realization are perfectly matched – I’m unable to eidetically remember that period of time, the way I vividly could before I wrote it.

While I was mulling all that, Bill Redpath, chairman of the post-libertarian “Libertarian” Party, e-mailed me about coughing up some dough for ballot access.8 

I replied:
Wait. This is supposed to be a party that represents libertarian principles. So why am I getting a solicitation from the same Bill Redpath who compromised on the gun issue when he ran for Virginia governor? The same Redpath who, as a member of the Libertarian "Reform" Caucus, succeeded in gutting the party platform at the 2006 national convention, thereby leading to two-plus years of turmoil the party can ill afford? The same Redpath who's been asleep as national chairman while Shane Cory and others on the national staff overstepped their bounds?
That Bill Redpath?
Tell you what. I'll donate $1,000 to the post-libertarian Libertarian Party.
But to ever see a dime of that money, you must strip Redpath of his party position, then expel, publicly repudiate, and blacklist him for life. In short, you must make an example of him, so everyone else gets the lesson drummed in. When a dog craps on your carpet, you don't applaud it. Instead, you smack it a couple of times, then rub its snout in the crap so that doesn't happen again.
Otherwise, we don't have a deal.9
Then some national office flunky named Andrew Davis asked if I “showed up at the National Convention to vote for a new chairman?”10

I’m asking the questions here, Davis. You people came to me, asking for my money, and I told you what you had to do to get it. Then you balked.

Until the people at the national level understand what politics is about, and develop the desire and the skills to win, I can’t be bothered to bail them out of their troubles.11 For all his flaws, presidential nominee Bob Barr, and his campaign staff, seem serious about his campaign.12 He’s certainly received the greatest level of media coverage of any nominee I can recall.13  But the LP is unable to build on whatever Barr’s doing, and may ultimately harm his campaign, worse than the negative impact to the LP attributed to Barr.14 Obviously, these people haven’t learned a goddamned thing from the last two years.

The Majors
Meanwhile, in American major-league politics, I congratulate presumptive Democratic nominee “Fast” Barry Obama for humiliating the Clintons this year.15

For her trouble, she racked up millions in debt and sympathy from Clint Eastwood, who said he felt sorry for her.16  He must be the only person left in America who does. The rest of us are sick of her, after 16 years on the national stage.17 Regardless, she set this campaign season’s tone. Which is to say, it’s shrill, stupid, and statist.

Meanwhile, Texas Journey reports that Bill Clinton’s real hometown, Hot Springs, Ark., now boasts The Gangster Museum of America. Admission is $275 per person, with financing available at three points a week.18

Neighborhood News

The Three Stooges moved in upstairs on July 27. At least they might as well be, after knocking chunks out of the concrete steps above the second landing on the front stairwell because they dropped some heavy furniture they were carrying themselves.19 

On July 1, KUT-FM reported a collision at Highway 183 (Research Boulevard) and Burnet Road.

Austin Death Watch

Business owners on East 11th Street say the Austin Revitalization Authority is mismanaging their properties and hurting their businesses, and by extension, botching the revitalization of the black ghetto.20 I’ve had my doubts about that revitalization since each time I visit for a music show, some denizen mistakes me for a soft touch. They soon wise up, but initially they’re as clueless as the national LP. You want change? Ask Obama. 


1 Zehr, Dan. “Fuel Prices Good for Texas?” AAS 4 July 2008: A1+.
2 Bronson, Po. The Nudist on the Late Shift. New York City: Random House, 1999: 218; Wallace, Daniel et al. The Marvel Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the Marvel Universe. Ed. Alastair Dougall. New York City: DK Publishing, 2006: 157, 206, 305, 327.
3 AD No. 100n10 (Sep. 3, 2007); Blanchard, Ken, and Sheldon Bowles. Gung Ho! New York City: William Morrow and Co., 1998: 168-175.
4 Mises, Ludwig von. Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 3rd rev. ed. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1966: 11-17.
5 Blanchard and Bowles, op. cit., 63n; Mitchell, Brian Patrick. Eight Ways to Run the Country: A New and Revealing Look at Left and Right. Wesport, Conn.: Praeger, 2007: 129.
6 Goldratt, Eliyahu M., Jeff Cox, and David Whitford. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, 3rd rev. ed. Great Barrington, Mass.: North River Press, 2004.
7 Eisler, Dan. “Do You Believe This Shit?” E-mail to Arik Hesseldahl, 27 June 2008; Eisler. “Please Note New E-Mail Address.” E-mail to STC Austin, 12 July 2004.
8 Redpath, Bill. “Break Onto the Ballot to Break Into the Record Book!” E-mail to Eisler et al., 24 June 2008.
9 Eisler. “Re: Break Onto the Ballot to Break Into the Record Book!” E-mail to Libertarian Party, 24 June 2008.
10 Davis, Andrew. “Re: Break Onto the Ballot to Break Into the Record Book!” E-mail to Eisler, 24 June 2008.
11 AD No. 93 (Oct. 15, 2006); AD No. 99 (Aug. 10, 2007); AD No. 111 (June 12, 2008).
12 AD No. 108n8 (Apr. 28, 2008); AD No. 111, op. cit.
13 Thornburgh, Nathan. “Libertarians: A (Not So) Lunatic Fringe.” Time 10 Jun. 2008: 36-39.
14 Ferguson, Andrew. “The Battle for the Libertarian Party.” Liberty Aug. 2008: 19.
15 Herman, Ken. “Obama Pads Delegate Lead.” AAS 21 May 2008: A1+; Shipman, Tim, and Philip Sherwell. “Bill Clinton Says Barack Obama Must ‘Kiss My Ass’ for His Support.” 30 June 2008 <'kiss-my-ass'-for-his-support.html>.
16 Ressner, Jeffrey. “Clint Eastwood Feels ‘Sorry’ for Clinton.” Politico 20 May 2008 <>.
17 The Irrepressible Rothbard: The Rothbard-Rockwell Report Essays of Murray N. Rothbard. Ed. Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. Burlingame, Calif.: Center for Libertarian Studies, 2000: Ch. 52.
18 Maraniss, David. First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 1995: Ch. 1-2; Morris, Roger. Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America. New York City: John Macrae/Henry Holt and Co., 1996: Ch. 2-3; “What’s Going On.” Texas Journey July/Aug. 2008: 14.
19 AD No. 29n12 (Sep. 4, 2001).
20 Coppola, Sarah. “Business Owners on East 11th Critical of Revitalization Group.” AAS 3 July 2008: A1+.