Sunday, July 30, 2006

Getting Wacko In Waco

I guess there was a delay in getting this to the news. Delays are only one of many weird (never good) things that happen when the feral government is involved.

According to a story released by KCEN-TV in Waco, Texas, in the wee hours of July 21, Special Agent John Lewis of the US Secret Service was being rude to other customers at the Crickets Bar. When the bar manager asked him to leave, Lewis became agitated and banged the door open so hard that he cracked it.

Two off-duty Waco police officers attempted to arrest Lewis and he resisted. He was tasered in order to make the arrest. After a medical checkup he was jailed, then released on $1000 bond.

Not mentioned in the story is the fact that often proves to be a factor in clashes between federal police agencies and the local police: Federal police think they are in many ways superior and have more power than do local cops. They often try to run over them and use the federal "big stick" to move local law enforcement officials out of their way.

It reminds me of the scene in the movie "Blade Runner" in which the police chief regards non-police citizens as "little people."

One has to wonder what current or past official of the US lives in Waco, who needs the protection of the Secret Service.

One wag suggests that perhaps they are lagging there to shoot David Koresh again, should he arise from the dead.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, July 28, 2006

A Baseball Fan No More

When the Grand Forks Chiefs, a second-tier minor league Team were playing in Grand Forks Stadium, lo those many years ago, I was not only one of their die-hard fans, but a fan of the major leagues as well. I was a Yankee fan. I won't say I knew the stats of all the ball players, but I did pay attention to the more famous players.

I was a member of the Knothole Gang (bleachers along the third base line in the outfield, fifty cents for every home game for twelve-year-olds and under), then I sold ice cream sandwiches in the grandstand, just to be there.

Then, I observed (from afar) the move of the Dodgers and the Giants to the west coast. It seemed strange. at the time. These teams had been in New York forever, then suddenly, they were gone.

I've been to only one Dodgers' game in LA, though I've seen a few on TV.

My disenchantment with baseball started in the early 1980's. Seems a couple of ball players, leaving the stadium in street clothes after a game, thought it'd be funny to throw a cherry bomb into the crowd of fans waiting to watch the players depart--possibly in the hopes of getting an autograph. The cherry bomb exploded in the air near a small child who was being held in her mother's arms. The little girl suffered some hearing damage from the explosion.

I think the Dodgers organization reached a settlement for a payment for damages over the incident, but the sleazy part of it was the half-assed "politician's apology" that the Dodgers' spokesman gave the news people, and the fact that they lawyered up before saying or doing anything.

The thing that really did it for me though, happened much earlier. I learned about it several years ago and haven't been able to think positively about baseball since.

Seems the city of Los Angeles, back in the late 1940's/early 1950's, was nearly as corrupt as it is now. The city wanted to create a housing project for the poor. They chose Chavez Ravine, I guess because there were only about 2000 Hispanics living there, some in run-down houses. The city condemned the area setting off a series of protests, acts of resistance and fights that lasted ten years.

After the "Better Dead than Red" crowd declared the public housing project a socialist idea (which, of course, it was) it was decided to use the property to lure the Dodgers to LA. The rest is history.

Read the story of The Battle of Chavez Ravine.

I don't know how deeply involved Walter O'Malley, the then owner of the Dodgers, was in the theft of the Chavez Ravine, but his shenanigans with Brooklyn officials left little doubt as to his desires.

So, after 2000 Mexican-Americans, some of whom were recently home from fighting in WWII, were forcibly removed from their homes, Los Angeles acquired a Major League baseball team.

I suppose this kind of story has been repeated several times around the country, with many big-league sports teams and many criminal city officials, but I still despise the notion of Eminent Domain.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ok, So Call Me Spoiled.

I recognize that seventy-five or more years ago, nobody ever heard of air conditioning, and that when it was hot, it was just hot.

We've gone beyond that now, and but for wacko environmentalists, will go a lot farther. One book I read, The Probability Broach, suggested air conditioned and heated cloaks to wear out in the street. That could be done in the very near future.

Meanwhile, if we work, play or wait for the bus outdoors, we live with the elements.

Such was the case yesterday. I was out on one of my long drives through urban Orange County. I do these partly because I love to just drive, and I like seeing various parts of the area in which I live. And partly because I now have a really cool car in which it's fun to cruise.

The temperature here yesterday ranged from 85 degrees at the beach to close to 100 in the Anaheim Hills. 'Twas also quite humid. I ran the car's a/c for a while, but I really like to drive with the windows down, so I soon turned it off.

I enjoyed a drive through Cypress, Westminster, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Santa Ana (where I live), then thought I'd stop for a spot of lunch.

I like to stop at the one-off mom & pop eating places pretty often, but this time I opted for a pretty good chain Mexican place, Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill, because their food is very good and very consistent. And, I like it.

What I have I spot of trouble with, is that for a Mexican restaurant, they tend to be kind of pc and even a mite green. Like Starbucks, they seem to follow leftist pop trends a little too much.

Apparently, they don't use air conditioning. I hadn't noticed it before, I guess because I'd never been there when it was hot.

After working for eight hours, then spending two more cruising in the heat, I was looking forward to stepping into an eating place to sit down and cool off. After I ordered, I sat and started reading my current book. After a bit, I realized that I was sweating and that it was bloody hot in there!

I considered for a moment, then decided that I didn't want to sit there sweating and eating, eating and sweating. I went to the cashier and asked for my money back.

She referred me to the shift manager, who seemed unable to understand my complaint. I finally said, "if you can't make it twenty degrees cooler in here right now, I want my money refunded."

I went a couple of doors down to a Subway and got a pretty good (better than I expected) Italian sandwich and it was cool!

We're hearing a lot about what a strain this heat wave is on the state's power grid, and I guess it is. Governor Davis the Grey was fired for having totally screwed up the state's power systems a few years ago. Our current Governator Schwarzeneggar has done absolutely nothing to even begin the construction of new power plants.

Let me hasten to add that it's an unfathomable travesty that state government is involved with the generation, distribution and sale of electrical energy at all, and that everyone doesn't have a choice of at least a half-dozen energy sellers from which to choose, but facts are facts, state government has a good deal of control over what Edison does, and they're stopping Edison from doing what needs to be done.

Instead, Davis the Grey initiated a program for we, the great unwashed, that he called Flex Your Power. Basically, the program tells Californians to turn everything off and slowly sweat in the dark.

Well, Davis, you butthead, and Schwarzeneggar, you George Bush neocon wannabe, I absolutely, positively refuse to "Flex my power." My thermostat stays where I want it: 74 degrees. If we have a brownout, it'll still be at 74 when the power comes back on again. Six bits says it's at 74 degrees at the governator's mansion right now.


Cool regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Substitute For Good Police Work

In what still stands out to me as an astounding disregard for the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Orange County (Stalag California) Superior Court Judge Daniel Didier "....signed a preliminary injunction restricting the activities of more than 150 suspected gangs members...."

See story here.

The injunction "....prohibits gang members from associating with each other in a designated area of Santa Ana and drinking alcohol in public....."

"It enjoins people from doing things that are completely legal," (Defender Tony) Ufland said. "Things like wearing certain colors, drinking in places where it is legal to drink, associating with people of your choosing. They are looking for a brass ring and going well beyond what the law says is constitutional in this injunction."

Within the limits of Mr. Ufland's quote, he's right. The Constitution says what it says, and if we're going to get back to being a Republic of laws, not of men, we have to limit our arresting, prosecution and punishing to those individuals who actually break the law.

Maybe each and every member of the Santa Nita street gang has broken the law any number of times each, and maybe they should all be in prison, but according to the rules, they each have to be tried for his specific crime in a court of law, and if found guilty, sentenced.

We never, in the United States of America, should be saying that because an individual belongs to a particular group, he's guilty of a crime. That's unAmerican, not to mention immoral by any philosophical system for which I have any respect.

My opinion? I think the Santa Ana police are lazy. First, I shouldn't single out the Santa Ana police--the Los Angeles police have been following a similar path for some time now. Lazy.

I remember my hard-boiled detective stories. You identify a crime. You inspect the site, gathering clues and reconstructing the crime. You identify, locate and question witnesses and other involved persons. Eventually, you identify one or more suspects. You investigate them, question them, and with any luck, you can make an arrest and assemble the information to be used by the prosecutors.

Never having been a cop, I may not have all the details, but I think it's fairly close.

Sometimes it comes fairly easily, and other times not. Maybe some criminals don't get caught. That's unfortunate, but it's a better situation than arresting people willy-nilly, based mostly on the color of their shirts.

Perhaps we should force all suspected members of street gangs to pin some kind of a badge on their shirts?

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Pssst! Hey Kid! Smarties! Fifty Cents a Pack!

Cicero, over at To the People, reminds us of yet another stunt the government childrens' prisons are initiating to avoid actually having to teach anything. I've been hearing a quite a bit, over the past few months, about yet another war.

One might think we're involved in enough wars at present, most of them both stupid and futile, without having to start yet another.

Cicero points us to an article that shows what some childrens' prison administrations are doing and planning--in part at the behest of the feral government. Yes, that George W Bush.

Now. Let me tell you, mes enfants, how it's gonna be.

When I was a kid, it was squirtguns. We wanted to have water fights at every opportunity, and the screws were constantly looking for the squirtguns to confiscate them. There was no end to the inentive ways we had of concealing these weapons, to be drawn and fired at any opportunity.

It'll start with recloseable plastic bottles of soda in their backpacks, along with candy bars and potato chips. Prison officials will counter by having random backpack searches. Older brothers will hand candy through the chain-link to kids in the yard, and these kids, in turn, will sell candy to their hungry classmates. We'll see children concealing candy bits in their clothing.

Janitors will find tofu smeared onto the undersides of the tables and vegetable medleys clogging the drinking fountain drains. Rival smuggling gangs will evolve, and there'll be fights over who can sell candy to whom. The more enthusiastic of the screws will discover flops of steaming broccoli in their desks and soured milk in the coffee pourers in their staff rooms.

Gang members will unplug the drink machines to leave the drinks unchilled.

It could get nasty. Fruit and vegetables in the cafeteria could be destroyed or contaminated. Childrens' prison officials could call for a no sweets zone within a mile of every prison. Daily universal strip-searches could become the daily routine. Punishment for possession, smuggling, and attempts to sell illicit confections could include felony punishment and mandatory minimum sentences.

Meanwhile, the teaching of academic subjects would suffer and eventually cease, as enforcement efforts take up more and more time.

Youngsters would graduate, not only unable to read and work basic arithmetic, but looking like Auschwitz survivors.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dumbing Down the Kids

Trey Givens wrote a short bit about a woman's reaction to some youngsters lighting off some fireworks. It reminded me of something I've been thinking of, off and on, for years.

I raged on about the fact that the nanny state has severely limited the availability of the really fun fireworks here, last year. This, though, is different.

When I was a little kid, my parents did the fireworks. My uncle Jim once put up a twelve-foot length of rain trough against the back fence and put a skyrocket in it. He pointed it steeply upward, and lit it. 'Twas one of those starburst thingies, and at the time, it was the best shot I'd ever seen. Soon thereafter, the state made certain fireworks illegal, including big skyrockets, but we still could get bottle rockets, those helicopter thingies, Roman candles and all manner of pinwheels.

As my dad lit off the fireworks each year, sometimes in the company of the neighbors and their kids, they'd hand us lit sparklers to swing around in between the larger items. The neat thing was that we always were shown how to light the fireworks and were taught safe use of them. We all knew we'd be able to do it ourselves when we were older.

I was a newsie from the time I was ten years old, and so I always had some money. Rather than trying to buy big fireworks for the 4th each of those wonderful years, though, I preferred fire crackers and bottle rockets. Cheap, quick and capable of being used in many ways.

Oh, I wasn't the only one. Far from it. Most of my friends did the same thing. Sometimes we'd work together, or in competition, to see who could get the biggest bang by tying several firecrackers together or pouring the powder from several firecrackers into a pile and wrapping it in newspaper and masking tape. The thing is, we used our heads and nobody got hurt.


In the Eighteenth Century, 10-12 year-olds handles horses, did farm work, fixed fences and roofs--did all kinds of work, and did it well.

In my childhood, in the 1950's, my brother and I used to climb on slow-moving trains, we'd run across the top of the boxcars and climb along the flatcars and tankers and try to get off the train at the caboose, at the location where we got on at the first boxcar.

Friends and I banked up snow in the empty lot between our house and the house next door, then took the garden hose and made our own ice rink. We went down to the slough in the summer and built a raft 'pon which we floated out on the water. We built treehouses in the woods outside of town.

I took $75 of my saved newsie money and bought a car when I was twelve. 'Twas a 1950 Chevy sedanette. The guy I bought it from drove it home for me and handed the bill of sale to my dad. He registered it for me, in my name. I drove it back and forth down the driveway (I couldn't drive it on the street) and wrenched on it to try to make it run better.

I never owned a gun, other than a bb gun, but some of my neighbors did. 'Twas nothing to see a couple of 12- or 13-year-olds walking or biking to the edge of town with .22 rifles, to shoot cans and stuff.

When my elder son was four, I'd take him out in the street and instruct him on how to cross the street safely. I showed him how to push the button for the walk signal, and watch traffic as he crossed. A little later, I showed him how to make himself a sandwich and warm up some soup, and do various other simple kitchen things.

We went ice skating together a couple of times a week for several years.

When he was about twelve, I taught him to handle handguns safely and to shoot a little Ruger Bearcat .22 revolver.

Since I was a single dad, he learned to do many things on his own, and had plenty of time to adventure with his friends.

Contrast this to the way most youngsters grow up these days. They're driven to their local government childrens' prison by Mom, and picked up after. They're driven to the park to play little league. If the parents are wealthy enough, they live in gated enclaves, and rarely get to interact with outsiders. They're rarely unsupervised and hardly ever get to just go out and have an adventure. They can't work until they're at least sixteen, and can't drive until they've had the ultra bland childrens' prison version of driver ed.

Now, at long last, I'm finally getting to my point.

Today's kids can't do anything!

They live uninspired, fully supervised, fully programmed lives, then are sent out into the world virtually experience-free.

No wonder they drink and get into drugs.

No wonder they live at home until they're thirty (or more).

No wonder they go plumb crazy when they go to college.

No wonder they grow up to be empty-headed socialists who have no idea how the world could be and ought to be.

I'm having the horrible vision of the world John Spartan encountered when he was revived in the movie "Demolition Man." A world in which every off-color word is heard, and your citation pops out of a nearby wall, and every restaurant is a Taco Bell.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yes, But Is It Really Funny?

With exceptions, I usually don't like comediennes. Most of them are really full of not-too-repressed anger, which reaches their audiences more as outrage than humor.

An LA-based radio talk show hostess, Stephanie Miller, does a better job of controlling this and going for really clever humor, than most. I occasionally listen for the humor--but not for the commentary. There is almost no serious political commentary, in spite of the show's being billed as a "progressive" talk show.

Incidentally, I really hate their having co-opted the word "progressive." to mean socialist. Once, they were proud to call themselves socialists. Jack London proudly called himself a socialist. Eventually, "socialist" became a pejorative term, so they started calling themselves "liberals." This in spite of the fact that free marketeers had been calling themselves liberals for decades. Now, if you refer to A. J. Nock as a liberal, people assume you mean socialist. Recent years, the term "liberal" has become pejorative.

People now know a "liberal" is a socialist. After experimenting with words like "communitarian," which most people (correctly) confused with communist, socialists have finally begun to call themselves "progressives." How we can apply the term "progressive" to a group comprised of "environmentalists," who want to put an end to technology and reduce mankind to roaming bands of hunter-gatherers, and wealth redistributors, who want to take wealth from the productive and turn it over to the non-productive, is well beyond my ability to understand.

They're not liberals. They're not progressives. They are socialists.

And I have digressed.

Back to the very lovely and quite talented Stephanie Miller. She's clever, she's quick, she's funny and she's interesting. She is not informative. She very rarely actually gives a rational discourse on any part of the Democrat agenda, rational reasons for hating GW Bush (there are many), alternatives to his programs, the Democrat platform or anything! Her radio program is basically a three-hour standup routine--with numerous commercial breaks.

Today, however, she slipped up. She actually allowed a bit of real "War on Terrorism" news to slip through, along with an actual rationally formed conclusion. 'Twas a welcome event!

Apparently, the Afghan drug trade is very business-as-usual, in spite of the efforts on the Iraq-depleted US forces there. It's coming out that the money from this trade is financing a resurgance of the Taliban. This, in turn, is making the job of our Afghan-stationed forces even harder and more dangerous. By the way, does anyone know what is the current job of our forces in Afghanistan?

Y'know? (sez Col. Hogan, not Miss Miller) This wouldn't even be possible, but for the other really stupid war the feds are waging: The War on the Bill of the "War on Drugs."

One of the major effects of the "War on Drugs," other than:
  • Huge amounts of land, money and property stolen from their rightful owners as "booty" in the "WOD."
  • Competing, often warring drug gangs throughout the nation.
  • Increasing numbers of innocent bystanders killed and injured in battles between drug gangs and the police.
  • The romanticization of drugs to rebellious young people.
  • The paramilitarization of local police forces, separating them from the local people.
  • The creation of a non-productive drug subculture dependent 'pon social welfare programs.
Is the fact that drug prices increase to the point where such monsters as the Taliban can make huge profits on the trade; enough to re-energize the organization which served to repress the Afghan people for these past many years.

So, as the very clever and somewhat oblivious Miss Miller has inadvertently revealed, the federal government is once again working at cross-purposes with itself.

It's not making the President and his Administration look very good.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A New Global Climate Crisis

Scientists are beginning, as more and more evidence piles up, that the real global crisis we face is not global warming, or even global cooling.

It's Global Climate Stagnation.

Scientists are gradually coming to the conclusion that, as our methods of measuring such things become increasingly sophisticated, that the world's climate isn't actually changing at all. Whenever it gets hot and sultry here, there's a complimentary cool and windy period there. Where it's dry in Arizona, it's very wet in the Yucatan. When the ice cap melts in the Arctic, it gets colder in the Antarctic.

Animal species are dying off, becoming extinct. Ecologists say it's because of the encroachment of man into their habitat. Not so, say zoologists. Animal species are dying of boredom.

We don't have chinooks any more. Never heard of a chinook? A hot, dry west wind across the Canadian Rockies that turns winter to summer for a day or two, melting the snow and making the trees think it's spring? I guess they still happen occasionally in Saskatchewan, but I recall a couple of them from my childhood in North Dakota. Not in the past fifty years!

Global Climate stagnation.

Ever see a second story door on a farmhouse in Manitoba or North Dakota? A door with no stairs to the ground? Sometimes the snow would pile up that high, and folks used that door to walk out of their houses. Not any more. Of course, that much snow is more curse than blessing, but it's an indicator that the climate is getting more mundane.

Global climate stagnation.

The Northern Lights? Aurora Borealis? The phenomenon still happens in Alaska, Norway, probably northern Canada and other near-arctic regions. We used to see it fairly often in the northwestern states.

We are having more hurricanes and tornadoes than in the recent past. Some think that's a prelude to the deterioration of the Gulf Stream. This would normalize weather in the British Isles and Scandinavia, with the rest of the world at those latitudes.

Global climate stagnation.

We won't like it. Do you think your teenagers are complaining of being bored now? Wait until even the weather is predictable as the phases of the moon.

Global Climate Stagnation could be the end of the world as we know it.

And I feel fine.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Day's Best Fireworks Show

The US Shuttle Discovery just launched from Cape Canaveral. 'Twas a beautiful, textbook launch that was a joy, once again, to behold.

I'm hoping that private interests will take the reins and move space exploration forward at a faster rate. It's past time we were living in Moon cities and mining the asteroids.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Happy Independence Day!

Today is the Republic's 230th birthday.

While all of the numerous reasons for concern I cited in last year's entry still exist, I've decided to take a more optimistic attitude, based 'pon the fact that I know more individuals that see the problems more or less as I do, and who work toward similar solutions.

Politicians and bureaucrats are held in far less esteem than in the past, indeed, in general contempt. I see that as healthy, as long as the main mission of government seems to be placing more and more limits 'pon the rights of Americans.

I doubt that any return of American liberty will come from government, since their incentives lie elsewhere, but as more and more Americans resist the restrictions imposed by our increasingly oppressive government, It'll become more and more difficult for them to continue tightening the shackles.

Enjoy the day, and remember those who fought for the freedom we're currently losing. Perhaps the fight for freedom can continue!

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag Clifornia

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Nobody Deserves It More

My friend Ice Scribe has been writing and submitting short stories for some time now. She's sold a couple. The first one to see publication is called "Professional Courtesy," and appears here. It's a delightful read!

Write on, Ice Sribe!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California