Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Never There When You Need 'Em

There are many evil individuals 'pon the planet. This particular group got a surprise. A former US Marine, Thomas Autry, is making a few of them rethink their way of life--those who survive.

Police often say that one should submit and give the thugs what they want. According to this story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Autry didn't. First, Autry ran, hoping to escape his attackers, but they caught and cornered him. At that point, armed only with a jackknife, Autry's military training kicked in.

Result: One thug dead, one critically injured. All five arrested.

Autry is a mite more humble than he needs to be, however, he is still alive and in control of his stuff.

Tip o' the battered grey fedora: Ice Scribe

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hit the Dirt! He's Got a Nail Gun!

Yesterday, as just about everyone who wasn't spending the day at Disneyland knows, much of Washington was shut down because of a report of gunshots in the Rayburn Building near the Capitol. Read about it in a Washington Post story here. Seems that US Representative The Most Honorable Jim Saxton, (R) New Jersey, while riding in an elevator, heard what he though sounded like a series of gunshots. Alarmed, he immediately phoned 411 and asked for the phone number to 911.

Without going into the relative benefits to productive individuals all over these Untied Skates, of a Washington DC shut-down, there are a number of issues that might be observed and mentioned.

All Americans have the (Second Amendment) right to "keep and bear arms," which means, to have and, if necessary use tools of self defense. Laws put in place by the various federal, state and local governments run afoul of this right, and government's minions minions, those charged and sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States, betray that oath and deny that mandate utterly.

Government enforces this betrayal by projecting, in a host of ways, fear of personal weaponry. Fear of self defense is taught in schools. News stories overwhelmingly are skewed against personal self defense. Even the police who, one might think, would find that effective personal self defense would make their job much easier (it's worked wherever it's been tried) and would actually advise individuals under attack by criminals to meekly comply with their demands.

What, one might ask, has this to do with the incident in Washington DC?

US Representative Jim Saxton (R) NJ is afraid of guns. Scared to death of them. Nearly everyone in the Untied Skates is afraid of guns. A fair percentage of those who live west of the Mississip' are to be excluded from that count (exepting those who live on the west coast--the big cities in Stalag California, Oregon and Washington) but almost every American has been taught to fear guns and self defense.

Convenience store clerks should bow their heads and allow themselves to be shot by any stray gang thug who's trying to build a rep.

US Representative Jim Saxton (R) NJ turned in the alarm when he heard the sound of nail guns. Hundreds of law enforcement officers from several Washington DC police agencies responded (The sounds of Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut! still echo through the hallways of the Rayburn Building). Hundreds of marching morons at rates of pay between $25 and $75 per hour. Hundreds more in lockdown in the buildings affected.

All someone actually had to do was ask, "Hey! What was that?"

I want US Representative Jim Saxton (R) NJ to pay for all this overreaction out of his personal fortune (which has undoubtedly become mucho enhanced during his tenure in the House). Then, he should familiarize himself a little more about what a real handgun sounds like.

Were he not so afraid of guns, and not such a coward, he could've investigated the noise himself, his own personal weapon handy, and scared the crap out of a few carpenters.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Julie, Get Your Gun

Many of my acquaintances wonder why I'm such a gun nut. Well, here's one reason. I don't know if Bill Kelly's short tale is literally true or not. He doesn't actually say--but if you read or watch the news with any kind of regularity, you've seen that this sort of thing happens fairly often, over the length and breadth of these Untied Skates.

A few years ago, before Smith & Wesson sold its soul to Bill Clinton-Rodham, they had started to market light-weight, small-framed revolvers to women. The weapons still exist; not only does S&W still market them, but they've appeared in the form of copycat revolvers by firms like Taurus, Rossi, and probably some others.

In my never humble opinion, any woman who is ever alone ought to be carrying a pistol, or at the very least, pepperspray. This after (important!) learning to shoot the pistol--at your neighborhood indoor range, preferably after having taken a combat lesson. (They're fun!) If you opt for pepper spray, waste one of them checking it out. Make sure you do it in the open, and stay upwind while you're spraying it about.

While I'd never carry a firearm in violation of the law (wink, wink!), I always carry pepper spray and a number of other legal items useful for doing damage to an attacker: a pocket knife, a couple of pens and a fairly substantial keychain.

I'd carry a blackjack if it was legal here in the sadly socialist Stalag. It's funny: one faces worse penalties for possessing a blackjack (or brass knuckles, etc), which normally aren't lethal, than for illegally carrying a handgun. A blackjack is a helluva weapon, but one that almost can't kill someone.

Hey! I'm an old man. I can't go toe-to-toe with these twenty-five-year-old thugs--any more than your average 110-pound woman can outthump a 220-pound rapist.

I'm all for martial arts. I wish I had learned some of that stuff when I was in my teens or twenties, but I didn't. Not many of us did.

The sooner the fascists are subdued, and we the people can take advantage of the wonderful rights enumerated in not only the Second Amendment, but also the whole of the Bill of Rights, the better off we all will be able to make ourselves.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Fountainhead Cafe

Traveling to New York City? Hungering for some Ayn Rand moments in the city in which she set her last two novels and lived for forty years? Check out the new Fountainhead Cafe on West 10th St. There are vegetarian dishes and non-alcoholic drinks.

"....If you watch people as they drink, you'll see that they get progressively less objective." says the proprietor, Chad Brandon, a Montana native who now lives in New York.

The Fountainhead Cafe is planned to be a place where objectivists can "get together and talk about ideas."

Next time I get to NYC, it'll be one of the places I'll visit.

Tip o' th' grey Fedora: The Wine Commonsewer


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Saturday, May 20, 2006

It's Just a story!

I haven't seen "The Da Vinci Code," the movie, yet. I do plan to see it, but I'm not sure when. I had a bit of difficulty with it from the start: I'm not sure Ron Howard was the right director. He often has a difficult time making believable bad guys. Ditto Tom Hanks as the protagonist. He's always seemed too timid and too much the good guy. We'll see.

I read the book months ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was a better than decent action adventure that has a clever premise and is internally coherent. I remember thinking the denoument was a mite fuzzy, but I really ought to read it again. I always get a better handle on a book, reading it a second time, after the "wow" factor is past.

I wrote this about "The Da Vinci Code," a few weeks ago. It concerns the Roman Catholic reaction to the book. Watching some of Catholic pundits on the cable news shows makes one think there'll be picketing and boycotts. Catholic spokespeople seem to be trying to project the notion that they're under some sort of attack, and that The Da Vinci Code is part of it. Well, if that's true, perhaps it's time somebody kicked their asses a little bit for the Dark Ages and the Inquisition.

For my part, I don't believe either The Da Vinci Code or Catholic Doctrine. If, however, I was asked to choose which story is the more believeable, I'd have to pick the former.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Waco II: The FBI Is Preparing to Strike Again

We hear in the MSM that the FBI recognized their errors in their Waco Massacre of April 17, 1993. I find that very difficult to believe. No one of the individuals who conducted the massacre has been criminally prosecuted, or even charged. None have even been disciplined, that has been made public. Janet Reno, the Bill Clinton's evil Attorney General, was the architect of the massacre, and is undoubtedly most guilty in the shameful episode. No one in government has ever suggested she be tried for her crimes.

Now, we have the potential for another outing for the Boys Who Can't Shoot Straight But Have A Lot Of Bullets. Warren Jeffs, a seemingly reprehensible character, has been placed on the FBI's Most Wanted list--for polygamy?? Well, many of the young girls are under age, and for that he needs to be brought to justice, but .....the FBI's Most Wanted? To be compared with Osama Bin Llama? Puh-leeze!

The FBI has called him....armed and dangerous, in spite of the fact that no one outside his cult has seen him in two years. He's rumored to be living in a compound in Eldorado, Texas. The leader of a bizarre religious cult. Armed and dangerous.

Ring a bell?

We don't know if he's really armed and dangerous, or not. Many of the feds' minions and pretenders regard anyone who owns a gun "armed and dangerous." The Second Amendment is one of the parts of the Bill of Rights that these individuals skip over on the rare occasions that they think of it at all.

The FBI has a record of lying to the public. Ditto BATFE, which was also involved with the Waco massacre. BATFE is a fascist-spawned, certifiably out-of-control gang of thugs. If they get called into this fiasco, beware!

David Koresh was living in a compound near Waco, Texas. He was the leader of a bizarre religious cult. He was rumored to be armed and dangerous. We all know what happened to him.

Do we have another religious cult massacre to look forward to? We'll see.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Just One Thing After Another

Flash! They're patting people down at airports. "It's ok. It's legal. We've always had discretion to inspect what's going aboard our airlines."

Flash! You have to remove your shoes before boarding airliners. "It's ok. It's legal. "Shoes are a good place to hide things."

Flash! They're groping genital areas and women's breasts at airport checkpoints. "It's ok. It's legal. What if someone hid something there?"

Flash! Random searches of bags at New York subways. "It's ok. It's legal. Anybody can leave the subway and not be searched.

Flash! They're searching every bag at the subways. "It's ok. It's legal. What if a terrorist carries a bomb to another subway station?"

Flash! They're setting up checkpoints at random locations on the streets to search bags and persons. "It's ok. It's legal. What if the terrorist wants to bomb a building?"

Flash! They're incarcerating war protesters at Gitmo. "It's ok. It's legal. We don't want our wonderful political system held up to ridicule by the world's media."

Flash! They're putting American citizens of Arabic descent in camps in the Arizona desert. "It's ok. It's legal. President Roosevelt did it with the Japanese in WWII. Worked like a charm!"

When I heard about the data mining being done by this and prior administrations, some time ago, the first thing I thought about was "mission creep." Government programs tend to gradually get larger and slip into other areas than those originally intended (allegedly).

When GWB began sucking up our long-recognized civil liberties beginning immediately after the destruction of the World Trade Center, I automatically knew that these usurpations would mirror those of the so-called "War on Drugs" and that they would flow together and gradually become more and more all-encompassing.

I'm looking for the "National ID Card" which is being sold to us as a federal-spec state driver's license, to become necessary "papers" for travel on airlines (done deal), trains (done deal), busses and taxis. I'm also expecting, at some not-too-distant point in time, "papers" checkpoints for travellers in private autos on the open highway.

GWB makes this happen by simply declaring that this particular travesty "is legal," because I say it's legal, and "it's not a violation of individual privacy" because I say it's not.

This is the kind of Government by Men (not Government by Law) the US Constitution was adopted to prevent--obviously unsuccessfully!

"People Should Not Be Afraid Of Their Governments. Governments Should Be Afraid Of Their People." --V

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Rights of Passage

It looks like I was right all along. According to the California Department of Education, the only requirement on California youngsters to achieve a high school diploma is the fact of attaining the age of eighteen years, and have their butts in the seats a certain number of times a year for twelve long, endless, boring years.

After some parties actually interested in seeing California kids get something resembling an education, pushed for the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Examination), and it was finally adopted, there was an expectation (among some) that California kids might actually finally begin to benefit from government schools.

The first crack in the dike appeared when high school teachers left off (to some extent) teaching the curriculum and started coaching for the Exit Exam.

Now, what I've heard termed a fifth grade-level exam, is just too tough for many poor and disadvantaged students. A lawsuit has been filed, and one of California's many utterly unqualified judges has indicated he plans to place an injunction against the test based on "equal protection" concerns.

I've written many times that I regard government-operated schools little more than children's prisons (observe the architecture of newer school campi), designed to warehouse children to keep them off the streets, and to indoctrinate them in political correctness and compliance with social(ist) norms far more than to actually teach them to reason, to be creative, to learn the 3 r's, to have an historical perspective and a real appreciation of the arts.

In short, government schools are child abuse.

The CAHSEE is irrelevant. If a youngster wants to learn, he'll learn. Try and stop him! Actually, it seems that the California Department of Education is trying to stop him! With all the time and opportunity available in school, most kids should exit in twelve years with an education well beyond that we normally expect of a Bachelor's degree. Today's schools actually do more to inhibit learning than they do to facilitate it.

Fast food outlets have for years now replaced the digits on cash registers with pictures of the food items! Who has time to figure out those incredibly difficult Arabic hyroglyphics, anyway? Many high school grads are unable to make change or to balance a checkbook.

Aside from accelerated and college prep curricula (which are a little better), most kids are kept down to the level of the slowest in any given class.

Many teachers are unqualified to teach the assigned subject. One youngster about whom I have personal knowledge was "taught" algebra by a football coach. When he found the subject difficult, and started asking questions, the "teacher" got angry, told him to study the book, do his homework and the problem would clarify itself. The boy dropped, went into a basic math class, and slid out of the college prep curriculum. The lad did graduate high school as scheduled, has yet (after several years) to take on the challenges of "higher education."

As it turns out, were he in high school today, he would have to do nothing to get a diploma but show up each day.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pulling Our Punches

I've long thought that the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq were fought poorly. When I say poorly, though, I mean POORLY! Criminally poorly! Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff should go to prison for criminal negligence poorly!

Before I go any farther, I hasten to assert that, while I agree with the need to go after Osama Bin Llama and his al queda gang, and to lay waste to Afghanistan if said dictatorship gives him safe harbor, I think the attack 'pon Saddam Hussein, evil emperor that he was, is frivolous at best, a pure waste of lives, time and money at worst.

As was stated by many a pundit of the more rational (read, less listened to) class, the administration of Iran was, and is, the philosophical leader of the revolt against reason and civilization that was and is the cause of islamic funny-mentalist ire. I suspect that, if and when the truth ultimately becomes known, Osama Bin Llama recieved much of his logistic aid from the administration of Iran.

The US military pulled every punch. They fed the enemy while they were fighting them. They avoided certain locations for political reasons. They gave the mullahs a pass. We don't know exactly what happened, but we know that most of the mullahs are still at large, acting as coarse sand tossed into America's military gears. When they had Bin Llama cornered at tora Bora, they decided to take a day off and let him go.

Troops are still in Afghanistan, doing who knows what, one of them occasionally getting killed or injured--for what?

As bad as Afghanistan seems, Iraq is, by comparison, what we veterans used to call a colossal clusterfuck. I don't care if the troops over there all claim that they're doing fine and really, really love helping the Iraqis put their utopia together in the image of the USA. Our own troops have been turned into half social workers and half sacrificial lambs.

Note the early months, after Baghdad was "secured," when the troops began taking casualties from "terrorists" in hiding, when the troops were ordered to exercise restraint. When they were fired upon by Iraqis from the shelter of mosques, troops were not allowed to destroy the mosques to get to their attackers. Had the troops leveled a single mosque, which was being used as a refuge for snipers, no mosque would ever be used that way again.

When the troops sealed off and "neutralized" Najaf, amid criticism from the world's MSM, they backed off asap and let Moqtada al-Sadr and his gang of killers leave (to come back and fight another day). I'm not sure exactly how all of that went down; there's a lot of conflicting verbiage in the reports that've been released, but suffice it to say, the troops didn't even try to win a decisive victory over Sadr and his band of merry men.

And now, they're ba-ack!

Again, I think our having invaded Iraq was utterly unnecessary, and a bad idea. But, having written that, we have to observe that every one of America's (unnecessary) wars and other military actions since WWII, has been fought with one arm tied behind "our" back. Not good.

Perry de Havilland, writing at Samizdata, observes some of the problems with restraint in warfare: more Americans (and allies) get killed.

Shelby Steele's article on "White Guilt and the Western Past," offers part of the reason why America pulls its military punches. The white West, guilty over the fact of white supremacy around the globe since the Renaissance, has no will to be accused of white supremacy now, in the wake of the many third world revolts against the white west, and of America's Civil Rights revolution. The US government lacks any sense of moral authority that can counter worldwide condemnation of its actions--not only in war, but in immigration control and other international debates.

Steele has some of the answer, but not all of it. American politics is a rudderless ship They have no morality and guiding principes beyond getting re-elected. The philosophy that built America is completely unknown to them--even, nay especially on conservatives. That's obvious by the fact that when al queda destroyed the World Trade Center, the first acts of the Bush administration were to limit the civil liberties of Americans. That trend continues to this day, and shows no signs of letting up.

Back to the subject, while the US government has to fight al queda, after its many attacks on this country, there is no such need to involve ourselves in the political/religious quagmire that is Iraq.

Better we should, claiming the moral high ground of self defense, attack al queda with all our strength, with an eye toward finding a way to neutralize Iran as necessary.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Greater Good

Politicians, many of them members of the conservative persuasion, who command fat salaries for, in essence, extract by force pieces of our lives (often the whole of someone's life) to use for their own ends, love to cite "the greater good" as the goal of their thefts. "For the greater good" is also cited as the reason why certain individuals make sacrifices to the benefit of such nebulous concepts as "humanity," "my country," "future generations," etc.

"The greater good" is very often an euphemism for "god" or "god's will," as decreed by a priest or witch doctor, or such. One should always take "the greater good" to mean the good of the individual who makes the pronouncement. Because that's what he means when he invokes the phrase (whether he'll admit it or not).

One might observe that, for example, nearly all of those who praise American military men and women for contributing to "the greater good" are beyond eligibility to enter the military, and most of them have never done so.

I reject any notion of "the greater good."

The greatest possible good is what's good for me. Depending 'pon the context, that might also mean what's good for those about whom I care.

While most of the world is writhing in an orgy of self-sacrifice, the truth comes out: the world works best when each individual takes care of himself. For those relative few who have periods of need, there are friends, relatives and private charity can provide relief. In the absence of the all-consuming vortex of "the greater good," each of us can easily deal with those relative few who hit rough periods.

The sooner each of us can dispose of these silly concepts and learn to truly enjoy his own life, the better for the world and every one of us.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Roswell, Texas?

My all-time favorite science fiction author is L Neil Smith. I actually grew up on Robert A Heinlein, and continue to re-read his stories occasionally, and I enjoy many other S-F authors as well, but I find myself watching and waiting for El Neil's next.

El Neil builds the worlds in which I would most like to live. From his first novel, The Probability Broach, which is currently in print both as a print novel and as a graphic novel (Art by Scott Bieser), is the first in an alternative history series that begins during a quirk of history during America's Revolutionary War. I could go on about the several subsequent novels Smith has written, including a couple of S-F/pirate swashbucklers, but nobody wants that!

What's new now is a graphic short story which is being serialized at Bighead Press. Roswell, Texas is another alternative history story, a "sci-fi western romantic comedy," based on a quirk of history during the Siege of the Alamo. Reading the first several pages reveals it to be a very interesting story, at least for me! I'm waiting impatiently for the next installment.


Warm Regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Monday, May 01, 2006

While El Alcalde is Away, the Peones Will Play

There was a very large pro-immigration rally in many cities today. I, in one of my drives about areas of Southern California, found myself Cruisin' Bristol this afternoon. There were literally hundreds of Hispanics, mostly young folks, cruisin' in their cars up and down Bristol Avenue, Santa Ana, flying Mexican flags and generally making noise. It was a trip.

Santa Ana is home to more Hispanics than any other group, including, I think, we of the northern European persuasion. It's the county seat of Orange County is located pretty much in the center of the county.

Some time I'm going to have to ask why an expatriate Mexican, driven out of his country by the spectre of poverty, poor medical assistance an early death following an unfulfilling life, why he still reveres the country that, in effect, threw him out. If the United States ever finds a way to make me want to leave, I triple gawdamm guarantee I won't be flying the stars & stripes ever again.

Meanwhile, Senor Antonio Vinaigrette, El Alcalde del Pueblo de Los Angeles is out of town. Very convenient, being out of town when the events of the day are such that he doesn't want to dis the peones, nor does he want any photographic evidence of his support of them. Of course, the trip to Houston to meet with officials of the National Football League to see about a new football team for LA, was planned decades ago, and the timing has nothing to do with this day of protest, but his heart is with the Hispanic folk just trying to make a living in the good ol' USA.

There are future campaigns, after all!

I say, if they can find work, fine. We pay many people not to work by means of various forms of social welfare, and somebody has to do that stuff!

Conservatives claim that these folks ought to get citizenship the legal way, like "our ancestors did." What they forget is that the rules were very different fifty, a hundred, a hundred fifty years ago. The immigration system, however flawed, worked.

Today, INS is so lazy and smothered in its own bureaucracy that prospective immigrants grow old and die waiting for the process to work. Much easier to overstay one's visa and just get the best job you can.......


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Starting Their Own Jihad

Fearing the fact of being outdone in the world's headlines by islamic funny-mentalists over the publication of 'toon images of Mohammed in the newspapers and web pages of the more civilized portion of the world, the vatican announces a boycott on the movie "The Da Vinci Code."

One has to wonder whether the continuing demonstrations over immigration will, like a tidal wave, overwhelm the vatican's pronouncement and leave theater-goers at peace to enjoy the film in suburban mega-plexes. I've noticed that our local cardinal, Msnr Mahoney, after singing the praises of the immigration reform demonstrations for lo! these many weeks, has suddenly begun to admonish government school inmates to stay in their classes and resist the temptation to escape and join the festivities. Might this have something to do with the upcoming actions regarding the premier of "The Da Vinci Code?"

Will there be bands of marauding catholic youths keying cars in Hollywood with their rosary crosses? Will scientologists be burned at the stake in Malibu? We non-catholics must be on our guard, for one never knows what evil lurks in the hearts of funny-mentalists!

Meanwhile, one has to also wonder how long it'll take for historical scholars to prove that the new testament was made up from whole cloth by monks in the 4th century, and how the vatican will react to that news!

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California