Administrarium

I wish I could take credit for this work, but I didn’t create it. I only happened upon it while organizing a box of government documents from the early 1990s. Almost thirty years later, it is as meaningful today as it was then:

“The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by the Chemistry Department of California State University, Los Angeles. The element, tentatively named Administrarium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of zero. However, it does have one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons, and 111 assistant vice neutrons. This gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together in a nucleus by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons.

“Since it has no electrons, Administrarium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically, as it impedes every reaction with which it comes in contact. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of Administrarium caused one reaction to take over four days to complete, when it would normally occur in less than one second.

“Administrarium has a normal half life of approximately three years, at which time it does not actually decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons, and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic number actually increases after each reorganization.

“Research at other laboratories indicates that Administrarium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and school districts, and it can usually be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.

“Scientists point out that Administrarium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reactions where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how Administrarium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.”

J.

Advertisements

Stretch Summer, Shrink Winter

In 2017, the United States government is going to try a new plan in order to extend the summer and shorten the winter.

After August 31, 2017, the calendar will revert to August 1, 2017, and the entire month of August will take place a second time. To balance this extension of summer, the month of February 2018 will be canceled, with calendars for 2018 skipping from January 31 to March 1.

The reason for this change is obvious. More energy is consumed during the winter than during the summer, due to the need to heat buildings during winter and to provide light during the longer nights of winter. By adding one month to the summer and shortening the winter accordingly, the U.S. government hopes to accomplish a five percent improvement in energy usage. Furthermore, shortening winter by one month should increase public safety, with four fewer weeks of ice and snow and other winter weather.

Schools that begin their academic year in August will have two openings a month apart, with a brief vacation at the beginning of the second August. Schools that begin their academic year in September will not be affected. Since there are no major national or religious holidays in August, most other schedules will not have to be adjusted, although citizens with birthdays in August will need to decide whether they want to celebrate during the earlier month or during the later month, or perhaps celebrate both birthdays during the same year. Plans are still being made to reschedule Groundhog Day, Valentines Day, and Presidents’ Day in January 2018.

Opponents of this plan have indicated that the year will be two or three days longer with an extra August and no February. Advocates of the plan respond that, since the extra days will happen each year during the summer, probably no one will particularly mind.

Expect to see advertising of this plan in the coming months, with the motto “Stretch Summer, Shrink Winter” employed to help people remember when to adjust their calendars to conform to the government’s conception of time. J.

 

The New Social Order in America

An interesting document has recently crossed my desk at work: a booklet titled The New Social Order in America. Here is a selection of statements from the front cover:

“IN THE PRESENT SOCIAL CRISIS

“When old social and economic institutions are being abandoned;

“When government control of industry has been carried to an unprecedented degree;

“When legal regulation of wages and prices is being swiftly extended;

“When taxation of incomes, profits, inheritances, and luxuries is being immensely increased

“When organized labor has acquired unprecedented influence;

“When capitalists of the Charles M. Schwab type predict the approaching domination of America by the manual workers;

“In such a crisis, every thinking person wants to know the rudiments of the great issues up for decision, to think these issues through for himself, and to encourage others to face the social reconstruction with equal frankness….”

It sounds as though They (whoever They are) are threatening America’s liberties and its very survival. Patriots need to be informed of Their agenda to prevent Them from succeeding in Their nefarious schemes. And I think we all know who They are—government types, some of them elected, but many of them appointed and not accountable to the People; agitators, threatening violence in their efforts to reshape our society according to their own mistaken values; liberals, who do not trust liberty and capitalism, but who instead want to play Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. They trust big government to have the answer to all society’s problems. They discourage productivity and thrift, rewarding bad decisions with largesse taken out of the hands of those who have earned what they hold.

But before we get too excited at this document, guaranteed to help us beat back the New Social Order, I want to fill in the gaps that I left in the above quote.

First gap: “When millions of men are being summoned to service by the government;”

Second gap: “…by war necessity;

“When equal suffrage seems imminent;

“When prohibition of the liquor traffic is impending;”

Third gap: “When extreme radicals are the controlling native force in Russia;

“When the British Labor Party is uniting hand and brain workers on a program of fundamental economic reconstruction….”

Have you put those pieces together? A nation at war, sending millions of men into the conflict; equal suffrage imminent; probation impending; radicals in Russia—the date of this document is October, 1918.

And yet, the more things change, the more they remain the same. The radicals taking over Russia in 1918 were finally kicked out of the government in 1991, but Vladimir Putin was trained by the last generation of those radicals. Hardly anyone in the United States is opposed to women being allowed to vote, or in favor of the prohibition of alcohol, but questions of equal access to the ballot box and discussion of the use or prohibition of other substances are still burning issues. We have volunteers serving in our armed forces, and we are not sending millions of men to the conflicts in western Asia, but the reality of war and the cost of that war still concern us today.

Yes, the more things change, the more they remain the same. We have a social crisis today in which taxation, regulation, and abandonment of traditional institutions remain symptomatic of our problems. I haven’t had time to read the rest of the booklet, but the cover intrigues me. Here are the concluding words on the cover:

“As an aid to these ends, this study syllabus has been prepared as the cooperative product of a number of liberal thinkers.

“Copies may be secured at 15 cents each, eight for one dollar, or $12 per hundred, from Hornell Hart, 807 Neave Bldg., Cincinnati.”

If you should try to contact Mr. Hart, please let me know if you receive a reply. J.

Saving Private Daylight

A few days ago I noticed Mrs. Dim at work in her garage. She was undertaking an odd carpentry project. She had ten six-foot 2×4 boards. One by one, she sawed six inches off the right end of each board as it lay on the sawhorses, and immediately she glued the six-inch piece of wood to the left end of the same board.

I usually don’t like to talk to Mrs. Dim while she is working on a project. In fact, I usually don’t like to talk to Mrs. Dim at all. Curiosity got the best of me, though, and I went out to ask her what she was doing. With a look on her face and a tone in her voice that communicated, “Isn’t it obvious?” she answered my question with these words, “I’m saving wood.”

I didn’t ask any more questions. I didn’t want to know any more answers. As Americans prepare to change their clocks again this weekend, observing a tradition we call “Daylight Saving Time,” I wonder how much daylight will be saved this year. I also wonder what other silly things Americans might to just because our government tells us we should do them.

The last few days the sun has already been in the sky when my alarm woke me. It was easier to get out of bed and start the day in daylight. Next week it will be dark when my alarm wakes me.

In some parts of the country the sun will not reach high noon until 1:30 in the afternoon.

The cats will not understand why the family bed times and meal times have suddenly changed. It will take them a week or two to adjust to the new schedule. In fact, it will take all of us a week or two to adjust to the new schedule. Then, in November, we can adjust our schedules again.

At least the government has put the change of clocks in the first half of March. When I was younger, we changed our clocks on the first weekend of April. Often that first day of Daylight Saving Time was Easter Sunday. Getting up early for the sunrise service was made even harder with one less hour to the night.

Daylight saving time was first instituted during the Great War, also known as World War I. This clearly shows the connection between the practice of Daylight Saving Time and governments generally doing foolish and harmful things. Congress ended Daylight Saving Time after the end of the war, only to have it reinstated during World War II. Again, the practice was suspended after the war, only to reappear once again in the 1960s, when Americans were doing a lot of other strange things. In the 1970s and 1980s Americans tried to save daylight all year long, but the country chose to waste daylight during the winter beginning in 1986, shortening the wasteful period by five weeks in 2007.

I do not feel as if I have been wasting daylight since last November. How changing my clock this weekend will save any daylight is beyond my comprehension. I will do it, of course, because my employers do it and my neighbors do it and the television stations do it. Even the church does it. A few people will forget, though, and will show up during the closing hymn. At least the service they miss won’t be the Easter service.

When, oh when, will madness end? J.