Dongles & 12" Bastards
||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”
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
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
Then some national office flunky named Andrew Davis asked if I “showed
up at the National Convention to vote for a new chairman?”10
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
Otherwise, we don't have a deal.9
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.
Meanwhile, in American major-league politics, I congratulate presumptive
Democratic nominee “Fast” Barry Obama for humiliating the Clintons this
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
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:
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:
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.” Telegraph.co.uk 30 June 2008
16 Ressner, Jeffrey. “Clint Eastwood Feels ‘Sorry’ for Clinton.”
Politico 20 May 2008 < http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0508/10481.html>.
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+.