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