Getting to the Top in a Large Organization

21 June 2016

Sometime ago, a young fellow wanted to know what it would take — what he’d have to do — to get to the top in a large organization.  Were he in a small organization, I would recommend marrying the boss’ daughter, but he wanted to know what to do in a large one so, OK, here goes.

  1. Become an obsequious lick-spittle, an abject toady and a back-stabber.
  2. Attach yourself, like a sea lamprey, to one of the more unbalanced people in upper management who can be your patron, mentor and booster.
  3. Buy a copy of The Prince and follow its council to the letter.

Do these things and you will float to the top.

-Merlin-

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Guns and the NRA

13 June 2016

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has a problem: Its zeal to protect gun rights is, or will be, a factor in nutting the 2nd Amendment.  I say this because mass murders by gun-toting nuts are rapidly becoming the popular image of NRA members.  Every time some head case murders a bunch of people with an automatic rifle or handgun, the call goes out for restrictions and outright bans.  And every time, the NRA mounts a hysterical reply based on some bizarre hypothesis.  The NRA talks only in absolutes: There must not be even one circumscription of Gun Rights or all guns will be taken away by force.  In the eyes of the NRA it’s either/or.  All or nothing.

If the NRA doesn’t want its worst fears to come true, it has to get in front this mass murder problem.  If it doesn’t, mass murders will prompt a movement toward severe gun restrictions, perhaps bans — or even the repeal of Amendment No.2.  I don’t want that.  I have a small 5-shot .357 magnum revolver locked and loaded and in a place where it can fall readily to hand.  I will keep my .357 no matter what.  That said, in an effort to quench the gun/mass murder problem, I recommend the NRA release something like the following.


We at the NRA realize mass murders via high-capacity military long arms (e.g., the AR-15) must end.  We understand sportsmen, hunters and those seeking self-protection want and need long-arms with  multi-round capacities.  But not machine guns.

An automatic rifle with a 30-round clip will be useful if the country is invaded by some unwashed hoard coming ashore to kill and pillage.  But that’s not the case.  The worst threat an American faces today is a home invasion where 3-4 or maybe 5 POS kick in your front door at 3:00AM.  The second worst threat an American faces is being accosted by some animated bowel movement while out in public.  In these cases, firearms will be most useful indeed.

However.

In the first case (home invasion), the weapon of choice is a 12 gauge shotgun (open choke) with the standard 5-round capacity.  A 12-gauge is a true point-and-shoot weapon; one round fired in the approximate direction of a home invader will leave his guts sprayed all over your living room.  The second choice is a handgun of some sort, but you have to carefully aim those and you can easily miss.  Either way, you don’t need machine gun with a 30-round clip to do the job.

In the second case, crime on the street, a gun like my 5-shot revolver is the way to go.  It can easily be concealed in the back of your waist band or a small purse and within easy reach.  Not so with automatics having 13-round clips; they are large and bulky and a pain in the ass to carry around all day.  You pull my 5-shot revolver on a gang of yobs set on ruining your day and they’ll disappear like smoke in the wind.  Simply point the revolver at the leader, thumb the hammer back and say something like “OK, sport, you first”.  A 13-round handgun is redundant.

And so we at the NRA support bans on:

  • 30-round clips for long guns — 9 will do nicely.
  • 13-round clips for automatic handguns — 9 will do nicely
  • revolvers of more than 7-round capacity

As for automatic shotguns, anything more than a 9-round capacity makes the gun simply unwieldy.

We also support mandatory reporting of troubled minds and people exhibiting behaviors of religious nuts.  The names will go into the federal registry which must be perused before any sale can be made.  This is most important for it’s not the AR-15 that commits mass murder, it’s the creature pulling its trigger.

To make this plan acceptable and workable, Uncle Sam should establish a buy-back program for high-capacity clips and, yes, AR-15’s and other guns like them as their mere appearance frightens people and adds to the suspicion and fear of guns and their owners.

While the AR-15 is anathematized in most circles a round from this 30.06 Weatherby hunting rifle, which holds 5-rounds and will kill a grizzly or a moose, but has no sinister image:

Of course any form of coercion in a buy-back program will simply be unacceptable to the NRA and its members.

Last, but certainly not least, there absolutely, positively must be a firearms education program in all high schools across the country.  Firearms will be part of American like for the foreseeable future so teenagers need to know about them, their use and the legal issues involved.  To be truly effective, these courses must be mandatory for all.  We at the NRA stand by to help design – and teach – these courses.

Finally, there cannot be a registry of gun owners.  Such a thing would simply be unworkable, take the public’s eye off the ball and breed a false sense of security.

Thank you, and god bless.

(Signed) The NRA


-Merlin-


“How Can I be a Success?”

9 June 2016

“What factors are needed for success?”  This was a question posed by a reader on a social medium (website) named Quora.  You post your question and other Quora members are free to comment.  While Quora is a good idea, it is too often pretentious and censorious.  This, I feel is due to Quora’s Downvote feature.  If a reader doesn’t like your answer, for whatever reason, the reader clicks Downvote and away it goes.  All it takes is one downvote from one reader and the rest of the Quora members are denied your pearl of wisdom.

I get a lot of my answers downvoted because some one reader considers them to be, well, trenchant and pithy.  On the other hand, too many answers that get upvotes are prolix, simpering and full of fatuous clichés.  Some are the length of a novella or a PhD thesis.

And so . . .

I’m offering this blog as an antidote to Quora.  WordPress, on which this blog is written, has some features where people can actually post original stuff, not simply tell me I have my head up my ass.  I will convert to that format as quickly as I can get Jo the Programmer to work on it but as she prefers to spend her days out in the yard pulling weeds, it may be a while.  Hopefully, not too long a while.  In the meantime, feel free to make comments on the things you see here and unless they are defamatory or libelous,  I’ll approve them and they’ll appear unexpurgated.  And keep them short.  At least for now.


Q: What Factors are Needed for Success?

A: There are several.  While these factors will be viewed as applying to business, they also apply to such things as winning the hand of your Fair Maiden or Dashing Swain.

  • Write down a precise definition “success”.
  • Define the thing that sets you apart from, and ahead of, the competition.
  • Do analysis of your competition, current and potential.
  • See if the timing is right; i.e., are you ahead of the wave, riding it or are you behind it.
  • Identify any reasonable, potential spoilers that you foresee inside five years.
  • Do a trial marking to known, friendly and honest prospects.
  • Construct a well thought out and workable plan to achieve your success. Design, production, marketing and sales.
  • Have a mentor-like person off whom you can bounce ideas.
  • Have a way to test this plan to gauge its chance of success.
  • Have sufficient resources (of whatever kind) to change horses in the middle of the stream.
  • Ensure enough in the way of resources to give you staying power when you hit bumps – as you will.

Of course there is one other factor, one over which you have absolutely no control and it will determine your success: Luck.

When you start on your quest for this success, you will have determined your luck quotient is high, but Lady Luck is fickle. She can turn on you in a moment and with no warning. If she does turn on you, the bad luck will usually come out of left field and in a way you could not have foreseen.

Always be prepared to either regroup or shoot your venture in the head and begin again.  And don’t wait until the last dog is hanged!

-Merlin-

 


74

3 June 2016

In exactly two hours two minutes, I shall be 74.