Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year!

Here's hoping 2005 will be a year in which a trend of arguably about 100 years will be reversed. Here's hoping 2005 will end leaving us in a freer society than did 2004. Ok, maybe I'm being rediculously optimistic, but I have this hope every year.

Maybe one year I'll be right.

May we all prosper in the coming year.

Col. Hogan

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Open Letter to Undersecretary Jan Egeland

On behalf of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the people of the State of California, I hereby request disaster aid from the United Nations for Califonia flood relief. As you know, California has been inundated by well over six inches (15 cm) of rain these past days, and expects more in the near future.

Because of the holiday surfing and skiing trips of many Californians, they weren't in their home neighborhoods to work to mitigate the damage caused by billions of drops of falling water and the resultant flooding, wind damage and the need to rewash our millions of automobiles and trucks.

If you could forward a plea to Norway, Sweden, Germany, France and the OPEC nations that they should each send us all the assistance they can possibly afford, it will help to repair the damage, both to our stuff and to our psyches.

As a matter of convenience to the relief agancies and their staffs, we'd request that you not send clothing (painfully unstylish), food (horribly cooked and woefully underseasoned), or medical supplies (though hashish and marijuana will be gratefully accepted). Please send money--preferably in gold and silver (less perishable in wet conditions).

And pleas, oh please do not come yourselves. Many of you aren't up to the sandards of hygiene that Californians have come to expect--especially the French. We must, at all costs, avoid further contamination!

Thank you very much, Mr. Egeland, for all the generosity Europeans are known for.

Warmest regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Monday, December 27, 2004


Several months ago I bought a very nice looking 1956 Buick Roadmaster coupe. I've wanted a classic car for some time (since I sold the '57 Cadillac I had in the mid-90's), and I finally saw an opportunity to get one. I call it The Bomber because 1) it's a big, imposing, yet beautiful car that makes the little genericars shrink in fear and 2) during WWII, when the feral government forced US automakers to stop producing cars and turn to military equipment production, the Buick factory built bombers. My Roadmaster has a chrome gadget on top of each fender that is called, by Buick afficianadoes, bombsights.

I got the car for a relatively low price, knowing that it needs a bit of fixin here and there. It runs and drives pretty well, and it looks very nice, but you can tell a lot of the work that was done to restore it to its current state was done kind of cheaply and not correctly.

No matter. I intended to do a number of modifications anyway, to make the car driveable in today's modern world. I'm in the midst of those now.

I just got it back from a shop that rebuilt the suspension and replaced the old drum brakes with modern disc brakes. Now, it can stop. Next, I look for some snazzy wheels.

One of these days, I'll take the time to figure out how to post photos to this blog, then I'll show the thing off a mite.

More as the project progresses.

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Airport Security

Because of thousands of complaints by women with bruises and hickeys on and between their breasts, abdomens and rib areas, and the looming threat of a lawsuit by ACLU attorneys, Airport Security Nazis have been ordered to stop playing with women's breasts at airline security checkpoints. Freelance skinmag photographers have also been ordered out of the area.

Resignations by disgruntled security screeners are up sharply amid complaints that the job "just ain't no fun anymore." International Sisterhood of Gropers union officials are threatening a walkout if the order isn't rescinded immediately.

Meanwhile, crotch groping continues as usual, although a vocal minority continue requesting handwashing facilities be installed at convenient locations.

I'll give you follow-up stories as they become available......

Col. Hogan

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

"Giving Something Back"

How many times have you heard a top-tier actor, sports figure or other celebrity refer to a charitable act as "giving something back" to the community? Of course, if the celebrity happens to be a leftist, it's usually referring to something they did to coax others to ante up. But that's not my point.

I want to analyze (briefly) the meaning of the act of "giving something back."

I first heard the term from a baxabaw player. It may have been Magic Johnson (of magic johnson fame), but I can't recall. Whoever it was, he made a point to mention that he grew up in a poor neighborhood (hood, in the jargon), and now that he's successful, he wanted to "give something back."

"Giving something back" sort of implies that you've taken something away. I can't in my wildest imagination come up with what Magic Johnson might have taken from his educationally, financially and philosophically deprived hood that brought him to his current degree of success, but I'm sure it didn't involve anything that pouring a few tens of thousands of dollars into the hood can repay. Of course, it's a fact that the gift is obviously helpful and welcome in the community, but it's hardly any kind of payback. The fallacy is further amplified by the fact that celebrities "give something back" to people and places of whom-which they know nothing. I don't think this is the trail to enlightenment........

The "real deal" is this. None--not one--nary a singularity of these celebrities really really believes he/she is worth anywhere near the amount he earns. Well, I think there might be one somewhere, but I haven't found him. Or her. He'll see one of his old pals in the hood, sitting on the stoop sipping on a brown paper bag, and think "there, but for the grace of (fill in the name of your favorite invisible friend) go I." He completely (this is where I run to the end of my meager amount of psychological expertise) blanks out the years of hard work, practice, study, drilling, trials, lessons and the astounding degree of sustained discipline that got him to his lofty level, and assumes that what he did could've happened to anybody.

Through decades of hard work and perserverence, I've managed to lift myself out of the gutter and elevated myself to almost halfway up the face of the curb. I know that it's I who have done it and that I deserve every quarter they toss me.

If I find a deserving cause to which to donate, I will. It won't be "giving something back," it'll be good ol' fashioned Good Will.

Col. Hogan

Thursday, December 02, 2004

O'Reilly on Drugs

I was listening to Bill O'Reilly on the radio this morning. While talking about a particular drug dealer who got a very long (mandated) prison sentence, he was going off on callers who disagree with the "War on Drugs," referred to by the honest as the War on the Bill of Rights.

The only justification he offered for his utterly unreasoned stance was "for the children."

Sorry. Even when my kids were young, I thought that making the world child-safe was a ridiculous idea, both because it can't be done and because the world would then suck for adults. Sorry kids, there are more of us than you. Not only that, but soon you kids'll be grown up and you'll be hating life in the nerf-world, too.

Parents, you have to keep your kids away from drugs. Your kids aren't my problem. To repeat, you keep your kids away from drugs.

You say you can't watch your kids all the time? Well, you're right. Fortunately, you don't have to. What you have to do is be with the kids a lot (read just about all the time) in their first four or five years. Read to them, teach them, stimulate them to learn. As they grow and learn, they become more capable of independent action.

You can't stay home with the kids? Your work won't let you be home with the baby? You can't be home when the kids get out of school? Then why did you have kids?

Well ok. A lot of the problems aren't being addressed. I don't think I can address all of them here, but the big one is taxes.

Up to about the middle of the last century, most mothers stayed home, took care of the homes and the kids, and generally supported the family while the father went to work and brought home the bacon.

Before you start detailing in your minds all the problems for Mommy in this arrangement, let's observe that it wasn't all plums and posies for Daddy, either. Before we start throwing blame around for the way the two sexes were built and the way the societies of man have arranged themselves since first sentience. The way to escape currently lies in personal responsibility: If you don't want children DON'T HAVE ANY.

That's a good plan for those few of us who haven't started late, (already have a family), but for those who have....well you have a family and that's your priority. Deal.

There are several reasons why it's come to this. The biggest one is government. We all pay (that is, those of us that are productive) around half of our productivity to the police state--up from around ten percent in the fifties. We're told that it's an exchange for various services that could be provided by no one but government.

Not true.

The services in question were provided far better (leaving aside technological progress) back then than now, in spite of all the money currently being taken from you.

Not only is government very poor at providing these services, but they "charge" a lot of money for them. And, your freedom. Writer L Neil Smith estimates, maybe conservatively, that these services, crime prevention, streets and roads, schools, medical care, etc, etc, along with all the other goods and services we buy, would cost about one-eighth the current costs were ther no taxes and no government regulation.

How does this relate to O'Reilly and his desire to keep drugs away from kids? Well, for openers, would alleviate the need for both parents to work outside the home. The one that stays home can teach the benefits of a moral, productive, purposeful life to the youngsters, she (or he) can be there when Zachariah, Jr asks the critical questions about hockey and why he shouldn't stick the cute girl's ponytail into the inkwell. She can be around to discuss the changes that are happening in budding young Myrtle's body and how to get the ink out of her hair.

Drugs, other than aspirin and the odd dosage given by the family doctor, won't become an issue because the kids will have already been forewarned and forearmed properly by their parents, not by anonymous jack-booted thugs from DEA at your neighborhood children's prison. And they'll have better things to do. Fuddling the brain with short-circuit inducing chemicals will be seen as a waste of the time he could be spending building his (or her) own personal aircraft. Or flying it across town to meet that special speed skating champion who'll need a massage after the race. They'll be learning to live and prosper in an adult world.

We don't need a "War on Drugs" or a "War on Poverty" that purposefully gives society both more drugs and more poverty. Mostly, we need to be left alone.

Col. Hogan

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Now the evil bastards get to feel you up as an addendum to the price of your ticket. The feral gov't has finally gone too far! Well, actually, they went too far a long time ago, but in the interest of making it harder and harder to travel outside the bounds of government approval, they can now check your genitals for bombs.

If this post seems a bit disjointed, it's because, once again, I'm angry, angry, angry!

I'm hoping that individuals, especially women, will quit flying commercial airlines. I have, in the past year or so, said that I won't fly unless I really have to. Now, I'm changing it. If I can't get there without taking a commercial flight, I ain't going. Period.

But, sez my evil twin, That's just what they want. Is it paranoia if they really are out to get you?

Oops, there goes another Amendment (flush).

Col. Hogan

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Back to the Freedom Summit.

After a quick breakfast, I found that several individuals were already milling about in the patio area around the entrance to the convention room. I picked up my badge and went inside to check out the vendors. While I made up a mental list of things I would buy later, people started to find seats.

Ernie took the dais and made a few announcements, mostly having to do with Arizona politics as it relates to the upcoming elections. He welcomed everyone and introduced Barry Hess, who was to MC the event.

The first speaker way Doug Casey, a man who makes enough money in market speculation to finance his travelling habit. He spoke on the world view of the terrorist/Iraq/Afghanistan situation.

An elderly gentleman who calls himself Lazarus Long was next. He had a Power Point presentation of a New Country he plans to build on a sand bar in the Caribbean. The presentation wasn't very convincing.

Jim Peron, an American who lived in South Africa for a time and now lives in New Zealand, spoke about the government of New Zealand, its taxes and its receptiveness to immigration, and the ease of starting a business or working there. He made it sound pretty good.

Charles Goyette is a talk show host on a Phoenix radio station. He has a somewhat gloomy view of the future of freedom in America, with some suggestions of things that might happen that might make the outlook a little brighter. I spoke with him briefly after his speech and found him to be very sharp and quite a bit more upbeat than his speech seemed to indicate. I wish I could listen to his show. I could listen on the net, except he's on while I'm at work.

Claire Wolfe is a pretty hard-core underground person who's been writing about the approaching police state for years. "101 Things to Do Until the Revolution" and "The State vs the People," for example. She was the next speaker, and spoke about creating online "gulching" communities, insulating yourself from the bad guys, etc. I did get a couple of chances to chat with her. She was good enough to sign a couple of her books for me.

Mary Ruwart spoke about the federal gov't's role in soaring prescription drug prices. Ms Ruwart is a pharmaceutical research scientist who has first-hand knowledge of the outrageous degree of regulation under which pharmaceutical firms must attempt to work.

Justin Raimondo, a policy analist for the Center for Libertarian Studies gave an impassioned speech in opposition to the Iraq war and a plea that all libertarians oppose it in any way they can.

Now, I have no sympathy for the old Iraqi government, but I'm not in the least satisfied with the blarney coming from Washington DC regarding this "War on Terror." I'm even less satisfied with the feds having set up apparatus by which they can control our movement, our travel, our work, our education and our health care (well beyond what had been done by previous administrations) and by which they can collect information on each and every one of us in just about any area of our lives. Any of that bunk they tell you about needing the approval of the courts to tap your phones or raid your computer files falls completely apart when you realize from whom the judges' paychecks come.

Ah, another digression......

We had a break to freshen up and to engage in conversation as pleased each of us, until it was time for the evening's hjigh point: Dinner and the keynote speech.

After a very good dinner, George Smith took the dais. He spoke on the dangers of the NeoCons, as they have strong influence on President Bush and the direction of the federal government is currently heading. Gone is any pretense of limiting the size of gov't or any pretense of moving in the direction of freedom (except, of course, in rhetoric). George also made a point to observe the increase in importance relicious faith has in the President's personal philisophy--and how that fits with the doctrines of the NeoCons.

So....after the speech, and after a conversations with a number of attendees, I trundled off to rest up for the final day. It's a good weekend!

Col. Hogan

Friday, November 19, 2004

I've been hearing on the TV and radio news about a new tax proposal being proposed here in Stalag California. Rather than continuing to tax gasoline at higher and ever higher levels, they propose to tax drivers by the miles they drive. This would necesitate some sort of a sensor placed in each car, presumably tamper-proof, that will broadcast each car's mileage as it happens.

Now.........I have some questions.

How long.....we all know how greedy and money-hungry government is at every long......after the mileage tax is up to $3.50 a mile and no one will tolerate any long......until they add just a teeeny tineeey tax per gallon of gas once again? This is supposed to be instead of the state gas tax, but there will still be the outrageously confiscatory federal gas tax, verdad?

As the mileage tax gets increased again and again, shall we expect to see more state sponsored bond initiatives to establish (extablish, IYAAVOPS) and extend light rail systems all around the state? Sooner rather than later? After all, what they dearly, dearly want, is to get us out of our independent, individualistic automobiles and onto crowded, stinking, regimented public transit. The better to get the teeming masses to the internment camps at need, don't you know.

As the state begins to track the mileage of each and every inmate of the Stalag, how long will it be until the begin to sell the collected data on individuals' driving habits to commercial interests?

Now, we know the feds. The feds are the most greedy, nasty, underhanded bunch of thugs in the history of the world (in part, because of the heavy technology they command), and will very soon be tapping into state data on our driving habits for their own nefarious purposes. Like where you go to hide your cache of gold. Like where your cousin, the underground barterer lives. Like where you pick up the ganja.

Kind of makes the old question, "Your papers, please?" obsolete, doesn't it?

Col. Hogan
?????Riddle me this, Batman??????

Is it more rational, or more reasonable to let your morality be dictated by an book written by an unknown number of unnamed individuals in monestaries in Europe in the Dark Ages, or to discover morality for yourself, building upon the thinking of philosophers over the Ages, augmented by your own thinking, observations and introspection?

Conservatives repeatedly make the word "morality" synonymous with "the word of god." If your morality doesn't come from that alledgedly holy tome, it can't possibly be moral, good or proper. Or even civilized. Yet no pair of these conservatives can agree wholly upon what the bible says. Or what some of its admonitions mean, exactly. Or how to deal with the contradictions between how a topic is treated in one book, as opposed to how the same topic is treated in another.

Makes my petty disagreements with say, Murray Rothbard, seem minor by comparison. We would both agree to the evil of the initiation of force against others. We both would agree to the goodness of treating those with whom you deal politely and honestly. After that, the rest becomes small change.

Col. Hogan

Sunday, November 14, 2004

At the beginning of October this year, I went to the Freedom Summit in Phoenix for a fun-filled weekend, listening to intellectuals give their warnings, their reasoning for them to learn more about what other libertarians are doing and to meet and chat with some of the people whose books I've read over the years.

This year, I'd arranged a lunch date with an old friend who lives in Phoenix. I arrived at the hotel earlier than I expected, after a wonderfully peaceful drive across the California desert overnight. The hotel graciously gave me my room at 8AM, upon my arrival. I was able to change, freshen up and relax a little before Anne arrived.

Anne turns out to be a joy to talk to. We chatted about a number of things: our mutual friends, what we each are doing and I asked her questions about the Phoenix area by way of gathering information to be useful for a possible move to the Phoenix area in a year or so. We talked about conditions in California and Arizona and how they differ. And how they are similar. Seems a lot of people, disturbed over how bad business and working conditions are in California, are moving themselves and their businesses to other states--not the least of which is Arizona. Unfortunately, after many of them move, they influence the politics of their new home that it becomes more like California. Libertarians in Arizona aren't very happy about ex-Californians influencing the politics of Arizona to bring California-style regulation and taxation to their state but it goes on, and I digress....

The first event in the Summit was the Friday evening Meet and Greet Dinner. The food was, er, pretty good. We heaped up our plates buffet-style, then went looking for a table among dozens of individuals and small groups of friends already seated.

I attended last year's event, but as it was my first, I had been very subdued and actually met very few people. While I ate alone at a table in the corner of the dining room, I eventually got into a delightful conversation with a Las Vegas firefighter and his teenaged son, and with George Smith, who was to be the Keynote Speaker at Saturday dinner. The Fireman, I believe, was an Objectivist-Conservative. His son, it's refreshing to note, seemed to be actively thinking along political/philosophic lines and was not at all the typical mush-minded gov't school liberal. It was wonderful to observe this young lad thinking and answering in a way that was not obviously the parrotting of civics and sociology teachers' bromides.

As can be done in Arizona, several of the attendees wore sidearms throughout the proceedings. I found this both novel and liberating. Oddly, counter to the assumptions of the sundry members of the gun control crowd, no one was injured or killed. An armed society is, indeed, a polite society. An interesting sidebar: The girl who took our tickets as we entered the dining room asked me why I was carrying a gun. The line was moving slowly, so I had a few moments to speak to her. My first remark was, "Because I can." After a moment of thought, I added, "The weapon is for self defense, which is my right. It will never be used in an act of agression."
She seemed to accept my comment, and didn't seem upset or nervous. Either she was very good at masking her negative feelings, or she had none.

This was a summary of Friday's events. I'll continue later.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Well, I just heard about the accidental (?) strafing of a government school in New Jersey by a National Guard F-16. Fortunately, it happened late at night and no one was hurt.

News of the event brought immediately to mind a number of conversations I've had in recent years about the Second Amendment, gun rights and government's role in the defense of Americans.

I've long been an advocate of our right to weapons of self defense. By this I've always meant our right to own and carry handguns, and to own more powerful weapons such as semi-automatic long guns and maybe light automatic rifles (submachine guns, etc.) for possible battle in a full breakdown of society of a rebellion against a likely future (did I say future?) police state.

The F-16 story reminds me that I've taken it a step further in the past couple of years or so--this thanks and a tip of the ol' fedora to author L Neil Smith, a man who's many long steps along the path to the understanding of human freedom than am I.

I'm now of the opinion that man has the right to own and, if necessary, use any weapon that he deems useful in defense of his person, loved ones and property. Any weapon.

The argument goes: You mean you want your next door neighbor to have a nuclear (nucular, IYAAVOPS) bomb in his basement? Thinking I'll wilt and hide under the sofa. Well, no such luck, sports fans. My answer to this strange scenario is thus: I already do have such a neighbor. But wait! It gets worse.

The guy in that F-16 is my next door neighbor and he has weapons far and above what I'm legally allowed to own, and he's one dumb son of a bitch! I guarantee you that if I had the means and the legal "permission" to own a fully armed F-16, I wouldn't be flitting around shooting up government schools! Whether it's a Ruger Standard .22 pistol or a fully automatic .50 caliber machine gun, you don't shoot it unless you know where the bullets are going.

The fact is, our friendly neighborhood police state won't give us the legal prerogative to use such weapons. They do give them to brain-dead 22-year-old marching morons who are supposed to use them when ordered to do so, without even knowing why or against whom.

Personally, I think I'd prefer to trust my next door neighbor--as long as I can have one, too.

Col. Hogan

Sunday, September 26, 2004

I was reminded today, about the insidious traffic signal cameras that are being installed at intersections in urban areas as soon as come cities can get them installed. The official noise is that they want to lessen the occurrence of intersection collisions caused by the late car, blowing through the intersection as (or after) the signal goes red.

That's not the real reason.

Recent years, cities have increased the fines for various traffic infractions by factors of two, three and more. Meanwhile, issuing of citations for these infractions has been flagging for a lack of sufficient traffic officers to catch many offenders. No one, especially the young, overconfident driver who outdrives his skill constantly, actually expects to get caught.

Meanwhile, local money-hungry politicos, realizing tax increases can get them an early retirement, are constantly on the lookout for new ways to rip the public for more and more money. Traffic cops cost money. Even with today's inflated fine levels, not enough money is extracted from a traffic fine to satisfy the porcine politician.

The cameras are a lot lower overhead than the addition of more traffic patrolmen, giving the city officialdom a much bigger piece of the action. More offenders are caught and a bigger fraction of the fine goes into the Councilman's pocket.

No effort is made to synchronize the signals on major boulevards, causing cars to bunch up and to have to stop at nearly every signal. As personal experience can attest, the tendency is to go faster when a light turns green, in hopes of getting to the next intersection before its signal turns red. I can't begin to count the times when my signal turned green, and the next one, an eighth of a mile ahead, is suddenly a yellow.

In these times of heavy traffic, while the politicans are more interested in buying their own reelection than doing their jobs (among which are maintaining streets and highways), and while the price of gas spirals upward, traffic fines simply add insult to tortured brakes and shocks. Traffic fines that skip over Constitutionally guaranteed due process reduce the once respected legal system to the level of just another thieving gangster organization.

Now that cars are built with passenger safety in mind, many drivers have the erroneous impression that they're invincable. They take chances most of us wouldn't dare take in earlier times. The main restraint is the poor quality of the roads--going back to the local politicians stealing and/or misusing the funds instead of taking care of business.

Edicts from on high will never be an effective substitute for one's own rational faculty--if one is simply allowed to use it.

Col. Hogan

Friday, September 17, 2004

......And speaking of Edison, Am I the only one who thinks it's kind of wierd that most of Edison's ads find more and more creatively stupid ways (almost always demeaning to adult males) to tell us to use less and less of their product?

Does Del Monte spend millions anually to try to get us to eat less canned peaches?

Call John Maynard Keynes. Maybe he can explain it.

Col. Hogan

Ok, pay attention to this one: it has so much stuff in it regarding the state of our mental state, all wrapped up in a 30-second radio ad. As Arsenio used to say, before he let it slip that he was a grade A racist, "Things that make you go 'Hmmmm!'"

A woman comes home to her husband. "I have to get dinner started, then I have to pay the bills. I sure wish I could pay all the bills on the computer, as easily as our Edison bill."

She comes home to her husband. From work, presumably? Why is he already there? Does he just sit there all day doing nothing? Why hasn't he already paid the bills? Why hasn't he already started dinner? Why wasn't he at work? Are we in full role reversal mode now, with the family male taking the position as useless drone?

This kind of goes back to my previous rant about advertising and the (white) male's position therein. I'm now wondering if America's ad agencies are all run by angry leftist feminist women. You can only rarely find an ad in which the adult male takes a dominant, or even a equal partnership role. In many ads, even the children show the adult male to be a stupid oaf.

As for me, I'll merely try to be more and more selective as to what I buy. I guess I'm forced by government mandated monopoly to buy my electricity from Edison, though.

Col. Hogan

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Every morning as I drive along the San Diego Freeway into Seal Beach/Los Alamitos, I pass by one of these informational signs Caltrans has put up to warn drivers of hazards ahead, to announce Amber Alerts and to spread general state propaganda. If you're unfamiliar with these signs, see the Steve Martin movie "LA Story," a romantic comedy made about ten years ago.

In the movie, the sign went independent and began advising Martin's character regarding his love life.

On my freeway, the sign of which I speak has been turned off for several weeks now. When Caltrans went to warn San Diego Freeway travelers that the transition to the San Gabriel Freeway was closed for construction a couple of weeks ago, did they use this sign for an advisory? No! They left it turned off and trundled out a trailer sign. They set it up virtually under the permanent sign and used that one to advise of the closure. Is this cool?

The most obvious thought? The permanent sign is broken and the shovel supports at Caltrans found it easier to bring out a trailer sign than to fix the six-figure permanent sign. Six or eight people would have to go out there, in over 80-degree heat, lugging a wrench and a pliers. One of them would have to get out of the air conditioned van, into the searing sunlight and remove the inspection cover. After lunch, one of them would have to look inside. O! Trauma!

I wonder if the sign went independent like the one in the movie, saying things like, "With the third highest state taxes in the country, why can't they fix the roads?" and "More government, more crime," etc.

Col. Hogan

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

One neat thing about the "War on Terror," is it's ushering a return to creative spelling. Our wonderful news media, in an effort to be, stay and remain utterly PC, finds reason (does anyone know where?) to correct the spelling of Islamic/Arabic names and words on an almost weekly basis.

Qadaffi becomes Kadaffi, which soon turns into Gadaffi. Same with the name of the country we, those of us who are aware of globes and atlases and such stuff, have long known as Qatar. Now that this little place has tumbled sheepishly into the world limelight, it inexplicably becomes Katar, then quickly, Gutar. Why not Cattarrh? or Guitar? Cigar? This time the pronunciation also progressed--from "cattar" to "cutter" to "gutter" almost as quickly as you can read it. There ar other examples, which one can recall with little effort.

What do you call an adherent to the Islamic faith. Well, we lately have come up with many and diverse names for them, not to mention epithets in varying degrees of taste. Seriously, as a friend often points out, they were once Moslems (mawslems). Then they were Muslims (muslims). Now, they seem to be Muslims (mooslims). Perhaps not in that order--who can keep track?

We of English extraction and American origins have a long-standing acquaintance with creative spelling which goes back to early English writing, no doubt started by the Romans. Apparently their teachings didn't take very readily. 15th, 16th and 17th Century English writers were wonderfully creative in the ways any given word could be spelled.

We here in the Colonies eventually firmed up the written language to a degree, and so did the British. However, with the advent and subsequent progress of forced government schooling, and the advancement of outcome-based education therein, we come full circle to wonderfully creative spelling.

Forgive me if I occasionally slip into it, myself.

Col. Hogan

Sunday, July 25, 2004


When did a credit rating become a "credit score." And why?

Col. Hogan

Friday, July 23, 2004

An excerpt from the March, 2003 issue of Liberty magazine:

"Where I now live, it's just about impossible to smoke in public. Only a few refuges remain: certain bars with seating outdoors, cigar clubs, the San Diego zoo. It's not like the good old days. If you watch old black and white movies, you know that all of America was a great place to smoke. I especially enjoy seeing scenes that take place in theatres full of men in fedoras smoking cigars.

"France is still the land of gauloises and gitanes -- the land of smoke-filled rooms. The French love to smoke. Paris is hated and loved for its smoky cafes. Most American expatriates in France complain about the smoke for a year, then they get used to it and never give it another thought. As I write, thousands of puritanical, non-smoking Americans happily sip their espressos surrounded by smokers. In America, they would be outraged and would insist that they could not tolerate the smoke. In France, they have no choice. They adapt. They become polite and honest about smoking.

"Many French have a formal way of smoking through a long meal: one before, one between courses, one with coffee (always served after dessert, never with dessert), and one or more with cordials.


"Could all of this smoky culture be blown away by legislative hot air?

"In January of 1991, the French government passed a law requiring cafes, restaurants, and bars to create and enforce non-smoking areas and to post prominent signs indicating smoking and non-smoking areas.

"I lived in Paris at the time. For weeks, television news broadcasts dedicated several minutes a day to the topic. Journalists interviewed restauranteurs and men in the street, smokers and non-smokers. In the French bank where I worked, there was a lot of talk about the new law. Would the police enforce it? Would the cafes respect it? Was it a good idea?

"At first, the law had little effect and barely was enforced. Nevertheless, the authorities promised progressive enforcement.

"Meanwhile, I moved back to California. Time passed. Last year I took a short trip to Provence. I was curious to see how the anti-smoking campaign was going.

"Smoking in bars, restaurants, and cafes continued unchanged. Some places had signs for non-smoking areas. The patrons always ignored the signs and second-hand smoke often obscured them. One cafe had an illegally tiny sign, with tiny letters, in a tiny corner of the room. It read, 'Ceci est la zone non-fumeur,' or 'Here's the non-smoking area.' A couple of bars posted a sign -- apparently a mass-produced insult to the anti-smoking law -- that said simply, 'Bar Fumeur,' or 'Smoking Bar.' Finally, I saw the most sensible of all signs, 'Si la fumee vous derange, sortez.' 'If the smoke bothers you, leave.'" --Michael Christian

Now, as the last and only individual in the United States that doesn't smoke, but isn't bothered that others do, I say, "Hear, hear." We, most of us, are pretty upset with France right now, because of the anti-American posture of French politicians and bureaucrats, but this to me tilts France a little way toward the positive side.

Col. Hogan

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Anyone anywhere has the right to trade anything he owns with anyone anywhere for anything he owns, anytime, as long as they both agree on the terms of the transaction.

Col. Hogan

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Someday, we'll again learn to get in and out of our cars without making beeping, honking, chirping and siren sounds, thereby interrupting the conversations of everyone at the nearby sidewalk cafes and coffee shops with serinades of blaring car horns and other annoying noises.

I know it's ever so important to actually get audible reinforcement of the fact that you actually did push the lock button on your handy-dandy keychain magic twanger, announcing to all your arrival at the curb next to the bedroom window of all and sundry, including those trying to sleep, to read or to make love.

Many of us older folks recall those wonderful days when the loudest sound heard when a car parked nearby was that of the door closing.

How wonderful is technology! First we get to hear a highly distorted version of your music, beginning a quarter of a mile away, then begins a chorus of various higher-pitched noises from your door locks and anti-theft sirens.

Where did the ideas of Henry Ford, et al, wander astray?

Col. Hogan

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Yesterday I wrote the following letter to AARP, using the envelope sent me with a membereship solicitation.

July 7, 2004

Office of the Executive Director
601 E Street N.W.
Washington D.C. 20049

Dear Sir or Madam:

While I'm not interested in joining AARP at this time, there are a few questions you might be able to help me with.

Since the Federal government has been expropriating money from me at the rate of hundreds of dollars per month throughout my life, I'd like instruction in a way to get (at least) some of it back. If you could instruct me in a way to get a lump sum payment of all the money I've paid in Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, etc. that, according to President Roosevelt, have been placed in an account in my name and SS number, sent to me right away, it'd help me immensely. I still have a few working years in which to invest the money and set up a real retirement plan.

Since I find that, as I grow older, I'm less and less able to defend myself with hand-to-hand fighting alone. I'll be forever grateful if you could direct me to a Seniors Advocacy Group for the right to carry a concealed firearm for my defense. It wasn't idly that firearms were referred to as "equalizers."

I'd also like to find an Advocacy Group that works and lobbies toward Americans' right to own and control their persons and property absolutely.

Serious regard for our individual rights to life and property would go a long way toward helping Seniors enjoy their elder years, both at work and in retirement, and any Advocacy Group that couldconvince local, State and Federal government agencies to acknowledge and reaffirm these rights would indeed be doing a service to Seniors nationwide.

Thanks very much,


I'm eagerly awaiting a response. I have a feeling I'll be waiting a long time.

Col. Hogan

Sunday, February 15, 2004

For a long time, I thought the President was a lot smarter than the Left was leading us to believe. Certainly, he’s a lot smarter than AlGore….or is he?

We’ve been assured for years that, when the Republicans get the Presidency, coupled with their control of the House and Senate, government would really begin to be brought under control. At any rate, quite the opposite is the case. Spending is completely out of control, and federal law enforcement is completing the destruction of the Bill of Rights and has lost all respect for due process. Because of all this and more, George W Bush has lost my vote in his reelection bid. I’d like to see the Republicans run someone else for President this year--not that I think there’s any chance that’ll happen.

To earn my vote, the following is what the President should have done.

Upon taking office, he should have ordered his staff to go through all of President Clinton’s Executive orders to find the ones that violate the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They should be repealed immediately.

President Clinton’s tax increases should be repealed completely.

President George HW Bush’s tax increases should be repealed completely.

Spending should be reduced to effect a balanced budget to reflect the tax changes, first by identifying and eliminating obsolete, unneeded and useless government programs, then by cutting all other programs equally to finish the job.

Of course the President has Congress to contend with, and would have a hard time getting much of this by them, but he can still talk about it, explain the reasons and benefits to what he wants to do, and the reasons for it. I’d bet he could sway public opinion enough to scare Congress into at least partial compliance (he does have a majority, after all).

Were he to start moving in that direction, he could regain my vote. Otherwise, I’m staying home.

Col. Hogan

I wrote this to my nephew in response to an email he forwarded to me suggesting that the reason for the 9-11-01 terrorist attack is somehow caused by some sort of a lack of faith on the part of Americans. I hope he doesn't believe that crap.

Hi Justin,

Ok, now let me make you think.

First, prayer belongs in the home, and in church. There are many people in this country and they are of many religions and some have no religion at all. Why is it that members of one religious sect think they have to inflict their beliefs on people who think differently? I'd be most happy if we all kept our religious views, or lack of them, to ourselves.

The terrorist attacks (the one on 9/11/01 was only one of many) are caused by these religious differences. Baptists can't stand Jews, who can't stand Catholics, who can't stand Lutherans, who can't stand Muslims, and on and on and on. Just about every war that's ever been fought has been, in some way, over religion.

Catholics, and many Protestant sects used to harass, torture and kill people even if they suspected a lack of faith. A certain amount of ostracism still exists among the many religions of the US. There's a fundamentalist Christian compound not far from here that is trying to run nearby stores out of business because they sell things of which these Christians don't approve.

We in the US are a Constitutional Republic. The Constitution warns against the state's establishment of an official religion--plainly stated in the First Amendment. I know they don't very carefully teach the meaning of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in schools anymore, but the men who wrote the document had personal recollections of places (just about anywhere in Europe) where being the wrong religion could get you killed in a very unpleasant way.

Religion should be rigorously kept out of places of government, particularly government schools. Children should be kept out of government schools as well, but that's a whole different story.

Best wishes and love, Wayne

Col. Hogan