Friday, November 24, 2006

Over The Hedge

Having a wee bit of spare time this wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, I spent a little of it observing the goings on in the back yard. Debbie's been doing a bit of landscaping since we've moved back here, and the place is starting to shape up.

She's in the midst of planting a number of rose bushes in the front, to replace the hideous tropical plants, whose names not only do I not know, but don't want to know, that we removed within the first days after we got our furniture in place. They'd been planted, without our knowledge, by our most recent tenant. There was also a humungous cancerous-type ivy that was taking over the wrought-iron fence on one side. I wore out three machetes fighting my way through to the back yard. The property manager, who was supposed to see that this sort of thing didn't happen, was apparently out to lunch much of the time that tenant lived here.

It's been quite a bit of work, hampered by the fact that the LA City trash people give you this little bitty green box-on-wheels into which you have to put your grass cuttings and other landscaping-type refuse for pickup each Wednesday.

We were told, when the city decided to take over trash collection, that it'd be better than the uneven service various neighborhoods were getting from the dozen or so seperate trash collection companies operating about the city. A uniform city-operated trash collection would make trash service equal for everybody. So now we all get bad trash removal service. To make matters worse, we now have to suffer under every politically and environmentally correct whim the socialists can talk the idiot city council drones to accept.

For example, the pretty blue "recycling" can is much bigger than the general trash can.

But, I digress.

When we first bought the house, it became apparent that, since it was kind of an old neighborhood, and there were numerous mature trees in the area, these trees contained a lot of urban wildlife. Lots of tree squirrels and birds. It wasn't long before Debbie began buying peanuts and leaving them out for the critters.

Now that we're back, Debbie had perfected the routine. She puts out peanuts and sunflower seeds, and some wild bird seed for the birds. The critters come around in the afternoon and wait for the vittles.

They're a lot of fun to watch, as they take peanuts and either eat 'em on the spot or run off and hid 'em. There are also numerous jays that try to swoop down and steal the occasional nut, and a number of doves that drop in for the birdseed that Debbie sets out for them.

I don't often have time to just sit and watch the fun, but this weekend I did. Kind of cool!

The environment depends on your surroundings.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Best wishes to you all for a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful season!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The "America In Chains" Counter

Thanks, and a tip of the ol' grey fedora to Bill St. Clair and Scott Bieser for the counter display.

I'm humbled by your creative ability.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Yet Another Drug Police Break-in/Murder

I had no idea that another one of the events to which I alluded in my entry of only two days ago, would happen so quickly. This one, sadly, is murder by real police, not the fake but more honest, break-into-your-house-and-steal-your-stuff variety.

According to this post on Balko's The Agitator, and follow-ups here and here, Atlanta police, armed with a warrant (I wonder if it's one of those tear-off kind the drug cops keep in their glove boxes) broke down the door of Katherine Johnston, a 92-year-old woman on a tip that drugs were being dealt from the house. Well, Ms Johnston had been given a revolver by her niece for her protection. She fired upon what she thought were intruders, wounding three of them. The errant officers returned fire, killing her.

When the nasty bastards in government realize, that like in the case of liquor prohibition, the "cure" is far worse than the disease. There will be far more deaths while drugs are illegal than there would be if they were legal. Most of the deaths will be violent and will happen because of the "War on Drugs," not because of the drugs.

The DEA and the so-called Drug czars will be mentioned in history alongside the worst of the dictator-murderers of Europe, Asia and Africa.

I fear for the health of the Republic.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Monday, November 20, 2006

Reestablishing Slavery

I wasn't terribly surprised to hear that Rep Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has called for resuming the military draft: he's done so a couple of other times over the past couple of years. What's new is that he's now in the House majority and claims he'll introduce legislation as soon as the next session begins.

I find it very telling as to the degree of anti-intellectualism in US government, and the degree of historical amnesia that exists in our society, when a black Congressman reintroduces involuntary servitude into the legislative discussion. Every last bit of the opposition is based 'pon the pragmatic basis that "today's highly skilled and trained army is better suited to voluntary enlistees." No one in government has ever, to my knowledge, put forth a principled argument against military conscription, that is, referred to it as involuntary servitude.

Even more disturbing, is the fact that conservatives, the very people about whom we used to think as fellow travelers in certain areas, have seemingly lost the ability to think in terms of principles (obviously I'm generalizing here). On her radio show today, Laura Ingraham, (about whom I've written here) suggested that in lieu of a military draft, a form of mandatory universal public service might be a good idea to bolster the patriotism of American youth.

I'd be watching for a repeal of the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constution, if I thought there was any honesty in Washington DC. Truth is, however, that all of the proponents of either military conscription or mandatory public service deny that this constitutes slavery--in spite of the applicable definition of the term: the state of being in control of another person. (Wordnet 2.0)

A large standing army will be used, and today's already huge military complex, made larger by the addition of large numbers of conscriptees, will be used in more places.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, November 19, 2006

How Do You Tell The Honest Thieves From The Dishonest Ones?

In the continuing saga of police paramilitarization and the miriad assaults, thefts, murders and Constitutional abuses inherent in this trend, we now find, according to this entry in The Agitator, that groups of private individuals (gangs, as the msm would put it) are donning SWAT-like duds, arming themselves with SWAT-like equipment and using the image and tactics of the paramilitary police, breaking into homes and rousting, terrorizing and looting the residents.

How do you dare resist, if you think it's the police?

Well, apparently (and this may be a small bit of comfort to the victims), unlike real SWAT forces, the non-official thieves very rarely accidentally shoot their victims.

Tip o' the old grey fedora to Balko at The Agitator.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Great Man Passes

I just learned of the passing of Nobel Laureate economist Dr Milton Friedman, last night. Dr Friedman was a personal hero of mine and of many others.

The Wine Commonsewer has written a message on Dr Friedman that includes links to several interesting and informative articles about a great man's life and works.

I grieve.

Warm Regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Law of Identity

No, this isn't going to be a philosophical treatise, but there's another long-running phenomenon in the realm of interpersonal communication, 'pon which I'd like to comment.


From the tender age of about sixteen, when I referred to a young lady with whom I was talking in some particular way, she suddenly said angrily, "Don't label me!"

I don't recall what I said to her or even whether I was right or wrong, but I remember being at once taken aback by her sudden outburst and wondering what on earth she meant. Well, I've heard that phrase several times over the years and sort of put it down as being some kind of girl thing.

I didn't think much about it, but a reference on one of the tv political talk shows brought it back into focus. In the first days after the election, a Democrat Party Strategist was asked something to the effect, "With Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker, will her agenda be as far-left as her recent rhetoric, or will she attempt to work with the President in a non-partisan way?"

Well, the woman (the reason I mention her gender is that I've never heard a male use this sort of argument) affected a conciliatory pose and answered, "Why do we need to use such divisive labels?" or words to that effect.

I finally figured it out!

They don't want to be identified for what thay are, or what they're doing. They don't want to hear it spoken out loud.
A thing is--what it is; its characteristics constitute its identity. An existent apart from its characteristics, would be an existent apart from its identity, which means: a nothing, a non-existent. [Leonard Peikoff, "The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy"]
It seems as though the wish not to be "labelled" is a wish to hide one's characteristics from others, to hide these characteristics from oneself, or at the very least, a wish that those characteristics not be named.

The first thing one has to do is ask oneself why.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I don't know, maybe I'm treading 'pon thin ice here, or maybe I learned a different English than did the rest of the country, but I was taught that the subject and the predicate in a sentence must match. In the instance of which I now write, if the subject is singular, then the predicate must also be singular.

Ask your real estate salesman if they are a realtor.

No. Ask your real estate agent if he is a realtor.

Call your friend and ask if they can come to the party.

No. Call your friend and ask if she can come to the party.

The use of the singular subject with the plural predicate is so widespread that I'm often tempted to make the same mistake myself, but I try to avoid it (almost always successfully).

Every time I hear a newsperson say something like, "The police have few clues as to the identity of the killer, but assure us they will be apprehended soon," I always mentally ask, "how many killers were there?"

Miss Steen, where are you when we need you?

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

We Voted For No Incumbents!

Those of us who actually voted, that is. As I write this little ditty, I can't believe how unenthusiastic I've become. I guess I've always thought of American politcs as a sort of team sport, to decide which team gets to rob me--erroneously thinking that one team will steal less of my meager wealth than the other.

No fewer than five conservative pundits I've heard are saying that it wasn't conservatives that lost, but republicans. I'm not sure how much that satisfies me, but it might just be true. The last time I thought that there was any hope at all that conservatism might lead a tentative, transitory movement toward a smaller, less intrusive government was in '94, when Newt Gingrich offered the "Contract With America."

The "Contract" promised to remove a number of obstacles to decreasing the size of government. Gingrich required a vote on several bills, some of which placed limits on Congressional excesses and would've, it was to be hoped, started a move toward decreasing the size of the federal government.

The Democrats started bleating their "it's for the children" inanities and accusing Gingrich and his adherents of all manner of immorality (some of it true) from selfishness and callousness to infidelity. The Republicans, as is their way, folded like a glass-jawed boxer and even in their majority, backed themselves into an ashamed silence.

We know what's happened since then: the Democrat minority pretty much had their way with them for the remainder of Bill and Hillary's tenure as co-Presidents.

Eh, eh! And then along came George! Tall, slim George! Slow walkin' George, slow talkin' George! Along came long, lean lanky Georrge!

We're saved! The pundits all said so! With George Bush as President and a Republican-controlled House and Senate, the country will be fully returned to the promise of the Founding Fathers in no time at all!

Well folks, again we saw what happened. Bush made a few tentative overtures in what might be called the right direction, such as the suggestion of the privatization of a minute slice of the Great American Ponzi Scheme, er, Social Security. When the Democrats began wailing about how Republicans wanted the elderly to starve to death, Republicans in the House and Senate hid under their desks and started up with their standard meek refrain about reviving the Anti-Flag-Burning Amendment.

The Bush Administration reverted to their kowtowing to the Democrat leadership, signing every spending bill they could dream up, and we're off to the (spending) races yet again.

And this is all before the Sept 11, attack!

The resulting war presents a whole new set of Republican gaffes of its own, mostly resulting from, again, Republican cowardice, all of which added to my growing distaste for this administration. In the face of Democrat criticism, and criticism from Europe and (!) from the evil muslim fascists themselves, the American wehrmacht was ordered to fight a "Politically Correct" war. That is, to kill no non-combatant even though the combatants wear no distinctive clothing nor do they in any way separate themselves from the "civilians." This, of course, is to guarantee that the "War on Terror" will never end and will never be won.

Then there was Iraq. What can one say about Iraq? There are a couple of old American military phrases that can adequately describe Iraq: Cluster-fuck and that old WWII acronym, SNAFU (situation normal: all fucked up).

Aside from using the attacks by the islamic fascists to increase government intrusion into the lives and freedom of Americans, destroying the Bill of Rights and every bit of the America for which the Founders fought, there's no reasonable explanation for the way this struggle has been mishandled, almost from the start.

And thus endeth the Republican Party and, with it, the counterfeit philosophy that promised freedom but gives us never-ending strife: conservatism. It really ended decades ago, but its shadow continues to cast a pall over the America envisioned by freedom lovers to this day.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It Only Encourages Them

For years now, I've been teetering on the edge of "Just Say No!" to the voting booth. Many very intelligent individuals have made very convincing arguments against the notion of voting, and I agree with much of it. Others suggest that "if you don't vote, you've no right to complain." Of course, I disagree absolutely with this opinion. As is painfully obvious to those long-suffering readers of this blog, I do complain. A lot. There's a lot 'bout which to complain.

After the utter failure of the first GWB term in office, for which he should have been impeached and removed from office for a host of reasons, I determined not to vote for him for a second term. Sadly, the Democrats nominated what seems like the very most inept candidate that could've been found: John Kerry. How can you even begin to consider the Democrat Party if this is their best and brightest?

Of course, I voted for Michael Badnarik, who had no chance of winning, but at least has shown that he's read the Constitution of the United States (unlike either Bush or Kerry).

After the past two years' profoundly deteriorating state of the nation, and in the light of a seriously treasonous Congressional session in which almost everything that Congress did was a violation of their oaths of office, not to mention the Constitution of the United States, I've decided not to vote for any Republican for any office. Additionally, my past opinion of Democrats remains unchanged.

Thus, I'll either vote for no one in any offices, or again, vote for the candidate of the Libertarian Party.

It'd be a lot easier to just skip voting altogether were it not for the plethora of referenda on the ballot, almost every one of which exist only to either extract even more of my few remaining very inflation-depleted dollars from my anorexic wallet, or to arrange it so that the same happens to my descendants and their descendants (should any come into existence), not to mention those of my contemporaries.

What I really think, and have thought for a long time, is that America is headed toward a catastrophic financial bankruptcy that will very suddenly make life as hard in these States as it is in the worst of the third world. All caused by thieving politicians and those who vote them into office. That is, those who want something for nothing.

Well, I no longer wish to participate. I'll vote, in self defense, against any referendum that increases either taxes or debt, or further restricts the freedom of individuals. Otherwise....I abstain.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California