Sunday, December 28, 2008

Requiem For A Hamburger

My love affair with hamburgers began as soon as I had my own money to spend. At the age of ten, I began selling the Grand Forks Herald on the streets of downtown. Only on rare occasions did I indulge myself with the burger-fries-Coke combination which cost, at the time, about forty-five cents. That, of course, was in the pre McDonald's midwest when a handmade hamburger came with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and the other stuff if you wanted. Cheese was an extra nickle.

During my high school years and my stint in the Navy, I gradually became able to rival Popeye's buddy Wimpy as a hamburger connoisseur. I ate White Castles five at a time and Big Macs two at a time.

When I relocated to Orange County in 1968, I discovered Carl's Jr. That was it. One Superstar with cheese, fries and a Coke was about two bucks and it was a full lunch. You could watch the patties roll off the conveyor and be immediately slapped onto a bun already loaded with goodies. I think I must've eaten something like 300 Superstars a year for a few years.

I sort of upgraded by dining tastes a mite after I moved to San Diego. I was making more money and meeting a better class of feminine accompaniment, and I swerved away from hamburgers for a few years, in favor of steak, seafood, Mexican, Chinese, Cajun, Italian food and even the occasional New York Jewish deli sandwich.

After I came back to OC and LA, I spent more time with onsite field work, and lunches became more fast foody, I naturally returned to Carl's Jr for lunch much of the time.They weren't the same.

Carl Karcher started Carl's Jr in 1946, with a hot dog stand. He made money in an America and a California before the War on Productivity, and was able to reinvest part of his profits and build a hot dog and hamburger diners all over Orange County, and beyond. Some might remember the nice, clown-faced gentleman advertising on tv in the 1980's and 1990's. Carl Karcher.

He was a very conservative Catholic man, part of the old guard Orange County conservative majority that.....sort of lingers there to this day. In a GWB-inspired weakened state.

In the mid 1990's, I think it was, that the Karcher Ent board squeezed Carl out of the chairmanship of the enterprise he created. The quality of the Carl's Jr hamburger has been in decline ever since.

You don't get patties fresh off the conveyor any more. They sit in a pile and congeal until they are ordered. The meat doesn't smell good any more. The relatively new Six Dollar burgers are a little better--but only if you happen to get one whose patty was recently grilled.

After Mr Karcher's face disappeared from the tv screen, he was replaced by unkempt twenty-something louts who dribbled catsup down their shirts.

Like in Ayn Rand's America, Carl's Jr's motor has been stopped. Its motive power is grinding to a halt. It's really too bad that Carl didn't have a Dagny Karcher to keep the business going and advancing, but it wasn't to be. The heirs are apparently lawyers or marketing types, who care nothing for the product, just the corporate bottom line. If that sounds anti-capitalist on my part--it isn't. Making a "profit" by lowering the quality of the product is a very short-term, suicidal policy.

Sadly, Carl Karcher lived to see his empire enter its death throes. He passed away in January, almost a year ago, and the Carl's Jr burger chain will follow soon--unless somebody wakes up over there.

I had a hamburger for lunch today. It was not at Carl's Jr.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Socialist Scientists War on Christmas

Well, it wouldn't be fully accurate to call it a war on Christmas. It's a war on technology. It's a war on property rights. It's a war whose main justification is that they know better that your own self what you should be doing and how you ought to act.

Here in El Pueblo de Los Angeles, we're constantly told we ought to conserve energy, water, gasoline, even some foods.

Today, in Australia's, I read that Dr Glenn Platt joins that lofty group that knows better than the rest of us, how we should live.

Electricity is a commodity, as is potable water, gasoline and food (of all kinds). We find them, we create them and/or we process them to usefulness. Despite the blathering of these so-called "scientists," who've probably devoted more time to the study of the followers of Karl Marx than to the discipline they're addressing, in meaningful terms none of these commodities are finite.

Years ago, there was a comedy duet that called themselves Burns & Schreiber. After the two comedians went their separate ways in 1972, Avery Schreiber appeared on various stages and variety shows, and in tv commercials. In what I believe was his highest-profile tv ad campaign, he was seen eating a well-known brand of corn chips from a bag, at which time he said (I don't remember the precise wording) "Eat all you want. We'll make more!"

That's the key thought, folks. It works for corn chips, and it works equally well with gasoline, electricity, food and potable water. Don't have enough? "We'll make more!"

Well, Antonio Vinaigrette, el alcalde, doesn't want to make more. El Alcalde, who uses more than twenty times the amount of potable water to irrigate his landscaping than does the average homeowner, is seriously invested in the proposition that the rest of us conserve water.

Water is processed to potability by LADWP (Dept of Water & Power), and the same government agency produces, buys and distributes electric power--which we are also admonished ad nauseum to conserve. Well, DWP, make more! All the water and power we each use, pay for. At that point, it belongs to each of us. It's my property.

Property means the ability to hold, use and dispose of at one's own will. To violate the property of another is to violate that individual's life. That's what disgusting individuals like Antonio Vinaigrette and Dr Glenn Platt should be shunned and their nutty ideas ignored.

Commodities should be produced by privately owned firms in competition with each other with the purpose of making a profit. Were that the case with the above-mentioned commodities, as with corn chips, there'd be plenty available--because when the producers realized there wasn't enough they'd make more.

If Dr Platt is worried that the use of coal-fired power plants cause pollution, he should advocate the building of nuclear power plants. Instead, he advocates turning off your Christmas lights. Or using led lights. Dr Platt, that's none of your business. I bought the power, it's mine, and I'll use it the way I want.

Remember: You can't trust any air you can't see!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Statutory Violation

The original story is a couple of years old. The reason it's back in the news (well, is it really in the news? I heard about it through libertarian circles, never the news!) is that the wronged family is being prosecuted by the Galveston branch of the American Nazi Party Police Department for assault.

About two years ago, Emily Milburn was doing Mom things when a breaker blew. She asked her 12-year-old daughter, Dymond, to go out and reset the switch. Three plainclothes men jumped out of a van and grabbed Dymond. She wrapped herself around a tree and screamed for Daddy. The three men, vice goons, as it turned out began beating her and trying to pry her hands from the tree. "You're a prostitute! You're coming with me!" said one of the men. At no time is it observed that the thugs identified themselves as police officers.

Read the story here, and here. You can also read The Agitator's take on it here.

Dymond was released, but three weeks later police went to Dymond's school, where she was an honor student, and arrested her for assaulting a public servant. Griffin says the allegations stem from when Dymond fought back against the three men who were trying to take her from her home. Her father was also arrested.

Turns out that there'd been a complaint about an alleged prostitute plying her trade nearby--two blocks away, as it turns out. Dymond is black. The hooker in the complaint was not. The police picked out Dymond solely (well, maybe not solely--she is black, after all) because she was wearing tight shorts.

The Galveston thug squad offers no apology and is persecuting prosecuting both Dymond and her father for the "assault." Apparently, the initial assault by the police thugs is not to be considered "the assault," and the message to all young girls is to go meekly with anyone who tries to drag them into a van.

The thing that amazes me is that more of these thuggish police officers aren't killed by property owners whose homes and property is invaded by unidentified, obviously hostile subhumans. Don't dare put me on a jury in such a court case as this. This is an example of the things that can happen when police are given a blank check by a federal government that ignores its own laws.

People shouldn't be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, December 19, 2008

Foopbaw Players Have Rights, Too!

Ok, we all know that foopbaw players have been fortunate in getting great athletic genes. It's only assumed that they paid for it by a shortfall in intelligence genes. After all, Brett Favre doesn't even know how to pronounce his own name.

Hence, when a foopbaw player fumbles in public, no one is really surprised. Like on Nov 29th, when Plaxico Burress shot himself in the thigh with a handgun he was carrying in his pocket in a NYC nightclub. I can go on about handgun safety and the fact that no handgun has ever just "gone off" of its own volition, but suffice it to say that Burress, whether or not he knows anything about handgun safety, screwed up in a way that might have killed him. Depending 'pon the particular weapon, the safety must be engaged, the chamber should be empty or perhaps the weapon simply isn't the type to be carried in the trouser pocket. Burress has more than enough money to purchase any type of handgun, and perhaps should've been a mite more selective.

The interesting thing coming out of Burress' famous blunder involves the news coverage. The media seems to have roundly decided that Burress had no right to be armed in public. The NFL offers no defense of the player, citing its policy that if a player breaks the unConstitutional laws of any locality, the player is subject to punishment by the League--including suspension.

New York City, for its part, is as staunchly anti-self defense as is India or Britain--preferring victimhood to self determination. Rather than fighting crime, the DA of New York City, showing the same stupidity, arrogance and ignorance of the rights of individuals as did the NYC DA's in the tv series Perry Mason or Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer novels, plans to prosecute Burress (not for near-terminal stupidity, but for exercising his right to self defense), those who helped him to the hospital and the medic who failed to squeal on him.

A couple of interesting stats were brought up by John Lott, Jr at The Fox Forum. Lott points out that an NFL player stands twenty times more chance of being crime victims than does the average individual. And, since the police seem to be spending most of their time writing traffic citations and chasing the odd toker, gambler or hooker rather than dealing with crime (which should include supporting productive and law-abiding individuals in their efforts to defend themselves against such threats.

The Lott piece also has something to say about airport security guards hiding behind pillars in the Bombay airport, and British-inspired Indian gun control, for those interested.

A tip of the battered gray fedora to Alan Korwin for pointing me in the right direction.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,
Col. Hogan

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rated R--For Winking, Leering, Lascivious Smiling and Brief Smoking

I've never been a fan of the MPAA Rating System, for a host of reasons. One reason is that certain films seem to be able to be rated PG, with plenty of cussing, violence and even a little nudity, while others become R rated for the ambiguous "adult themes." Please make me believe wealthy, successful producers can't smooth-talk MPAA Board members into changing an R to a PG. Please!

A second is that, though literally everyone swears it's true, no one has ever shown me serious science to the effect that the viewing of sexy, violent or highly dramatic movies causes harm to children who live in otherwise normal, healthy households.

Third, who goes to a movie and pays upwards of $10 to see a flick about which they know nothing? There are a plethora of reviews in newspapers, on tv and the internet that will tell one all that's needed to evaluate a film--sometimes too much!

There's a movie out now, a chick flick, I believe. I think that because it has just about every middle-aged ex-engenue you can imagine in the cast. They've been advertising it pretty heavily on radio and on tv lately. The Women. I have no idea what its theme might be--probably a "he done her wrong and now after counsel from all thirty of her best friends, she's going to get revenge!"

It's rated PG, I believe, but the reason why? The list of horrid violations of the young child's eyes and ears includes things like--mature themes, sexual situations, swearing and brief smoking(!).

Brief smoking. I wonder if it's safe to assume that it doesn't mean rolling and lighting up someone's drawers. That could legitimately draw an R rating, I'll concede!

But, changing the rating of a movie because someone smokes cigarettes? That's simple Political Correctness run amok!

As the one and only individual in the whole of Stalag California who doesn't smoke but doesn't care if others do, I find this tobacco-phobia just a mite silly. Since it's been shown that second-hand smoke is not harmful, but simply a mild annoyance (as opposed to the malignantly mistaken notion that the merest whiff of cigarette smoke is more dangerous than the release of a full canister of mustard gas), we have to conclude that the anger displayed by rabid anti-tobacco fanatics at seeing someone across the street smoking a cigarette, is merely the anger of tortured souls railing against the sight of someone enjoying himself.

Sadly, many of the denizens of Hollywood and surroundings fit into this category. So, we have a war against smoking by movie and tv characters.

Ok, so my reaction may be just a bit over the top. Why should anyone smoke, anyway. Smoking, while not actually dangerous to the passers by, is dangerous to the smoker himself.

But, so is drinking. So is driving--whether done in conjunction with drinking or not. So is skiing. The list is long. We all live with danger. Why shouldn't we try to squeeze a little pleasure out of life, each in his own chosen way?

Humphrey Bogart is still cool!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California
Gun Phobia, Again

The government children's prisons, for many years, have subtly, and not so subtly, been running a program of fear inducement against guns. The leftist news media have been doing the same thing, in the way they frame stories involving guns. It's worse in some parts of the country than in others, and here in the Stalag, it approaches utter horror at even the mention of an individual carrying a firearm.

Not so bad in other areas. In the rural and small town areas of the midwest and south, for example, the sight of an individual with a pistol on his hip is less disturbing than seeing a man in public without a shirt.

Apparently we have to add West Allis, Wisconsin to the phobic parts of the country. According to a story at Freedom's Phoenix:

The West Allis police department sent two squads to investigate, and found Brad (Krause) in his yard, minding his own business planting trees. From behind him, police rushed him, yelling, "Don't move!" while bearing down on him with their weapons drawn.

This after a neighbor (a very poor neighbor, one might assert) complained that Krause was carrying a gun and he wanted something done about it.

Since it's not illegal to openly carry a firearm in Wisconsin, the police--holding Krause in handcuffs in his front yard for forty-five minutes--stood around trying to figure out how they could arrest him. Checking with a supervisor provided a solution: "claim his action of carrying a weapon is disorderly conduct, and haul him down to the station. His firearm was taken away from him without a receipt, and it has not been returned."

Since Krause had a voice recorder running, and recorded the events as they happened, I'm led to suspect this is the beginning of a test case.

It'll be a test case I look forward to following since, as you know, I'm of the opinion that many egregious crimes, both by criminals and by government (oops, I repeat myself!), could be thwarted by an armed population. 'Twould make our environment much safer.

Krause will be in court in West Allis, Wisconsin tomorrow at 8:00am.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The End Of The American Automobile

Today, the idiots in the US House of Representatives voted to bail out America's three automaking corporations. It'll be seen as the beginning of the end of the industry.

They didn't simply throw huge sums of money at the firms. They're all but nationalizing the industry. Like they've done with the banking industry. Like they want to do with the medical industry and the insurance industry. There seems to be a bit of hesitancy in the Senate, so while I don't think Senators are any more honest nor intelligent than Congressmen, they might have a less intrusive version. Maybe.

Adolf Hitler, from his little corner of hell, is smiling.

No, they're going to appoint a "Car Tsar" to strut about the corporate offices of the three auto building firms issuing edicts and apportioning the hard-earned spoils stolen from productive Americans to the ceo's according to how well they lick his jackboots. It'll be appropriate to envision a pompous preening rooster strutting about the halls of General Motors in shiny leather leggings and a faux Ike jacket, complete with epaulets and rows of medals, pacing back and forth in the boardroom, slapping his leggings with a riding crop, smiling smugly as the board members bow and scrape.

Look for a failed ceo from an unrelated firm to play the part of Cuffy Meigs in this farce.

Look for more Yugos driving at forty-five mph on our freeways. Look for electric cars stalled in lanes, their batteries having depleted their charge unexpectedly, blocking the Slauson offramp.

One of the biggest problems with the auto industry (and many other industries) is that its run by executives who are not car builders.They are either lawyers (for making compromises with EPA thugs, etc) or marketers (who attempt to sell whatever crap the lawyers and EPA thugs throw together). Hence, the quality individual conveyances as were being built prior to this Mordorian alliance are either nonexistent in today's market, or too expensive for the average individual to afford.

The statist's desire is and has always been to get the individual out of his individual conveyance and into public transportation to more easily control his choices of destinations, and to keep track of his movements.

Think not otherwise: at some point, the government's plan is to have every individual insert his id card into a slot on every bus, plane, passenger train or taxi to record his comings and goings. Private cars, should they still manage to exist, will (many already do) have gps locators on board to keep track that way, and ignition cutoffs should one wander off in an unauthorized direction.

All in the name of Homeland Security.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards,

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Legend of a Different Sort

My dad, who passed away a few years ago, and whom I think about often, was a lifelong railroad man. I've already chronicled a couple of my railroad adventures and will undoubtedly write about more of them in the future. Railroads played a big part in my youth.

When I was, I suppose twelve or thirteen years old, I discovered magazines. I was selling the Grand Forks Herald in the streets of downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks and making decent money for a twelve-year old. Fifty or so cents a day could keep an adult alive in those days, if he didn't mind living in a camp down by the river.

At times, after I'd sold my papers, I'd walk down to the train station, to a very well-stocked newsstand across the street. I liked to peruse Hot Rod and Rod & Custom magazines, take a look at Argosy and some of the other men's adventure magazines. Mechanix Illustrated was one of my favorites. I still remember Tom McCahill's road tests of the various new cars, in which there was his signature photo of himself, a big man, or his (large) dog Boji, lying in the open trunk of the car he was reviewing to indicate the adequacy of the storage space. Of course, the technology fan that I am today has its roots in these magazines, as well as Popular Science and others.

There were the science fiction monthlies, the horror magazines (whose names fade into obscurity), the crime magazines and, of course, the girlie mags.

Kids my age weren't supposed to wander to the far end of the magazine racks. The little "over 21" sign was supposed to keep kids away from the fledgling Playboy and the many others at the end of the racks.

I didn't let it stop me. The clerks were usually busy helping customers, working on stock or just reading a magazine. Some probably just didn't care. Occasionally, I'd step a couple of feet beyond the limits and leaf through this girlie magazine or that. The curiosity of a twelve-year-old boy is a very real.

Scantily-dressed women will always attract the looks of young boys and men. From the girls with torn dresses, shrinking in horror from the long, curved fangs of a bug-eyed monster on the cover of a sci-fi pulp to the women in red or black lingerie posed in the girlie magazines, to the now almost forgotten nudist camp magazines, only one name survives to this day.

Bettie Page.

Her photos have appeared in several issues of Playboy magazine, including a feature as Playmate of the Month in the January, 1955 issue, and had hundreds of photos published in various men's magazines in those few years. Photos in and out of then very risque lingerie and in poses suggesting both kinky sex and pure feminine beauty.

Bettie Page, at this writing, is still alive, but just. She was being treated for pneumonia, was about to be released when she suffered a sudden heart attack that's left her in critical condition in an LA hospital. This according to a story, here.

Bettie is 85 now, and has lived in relative obscurity for decades, until granting some interviews in recent years.

I, of course, wish Bettie a full recovery.

But, I've outgrown all that stuff now. Like hell, I have!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Addendum: Ms Page passed away yesterday, December 11. Rest easy, Bettie. You'll be remembered for a long, long time.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Constitution! Constitution? We Don't Need No Steenking Constitution!!

Article I, Section 6. Paragraph 2. "No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shell have been encreased during such time, and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

I don't know how many times this clause has been violated by Presidential appointments of Senators to Cabinet posts and other high-level positions in government, but I suspect it's many.

But, neither Sen Clinton (the smartest woman in the world) nor President-elect Obama (the one true leader) appear to have noticed this clause. Which means neither of them has read the US Constitution, or that neither of them take it seriously. Not that they're alone in this--according to the text of the majority of legislation that's passed in each legislative session, it's clear that nearly all Congressmen and Senators are largely ignorant of the actual text and historical meaning of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and in many cases, the law itself.

The thing that allows these failings to endure unpunished is that all elected officials are either guilty of gross violations of their Oaths of Office, or blindly going along to get along, and are afraid that if a spade is called a spade, any and all of them could be found guilty of these violations.

So, they all ignore the Constitution and pretend that they are acting lawfully, and that none of the unwashed masses are intelligent enough to point out the obvious.

Consider it pointed out.

Tip of the battered grey fedora to James Babb for his alertness.

People should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Creeping Fascism Is Learning to Walk--Faster

Readers who've been with me for a while know that I've long been warning of the coming of the equivalent of a Fourth Reich--right here in the United States. I've seen no reason to back off from this stance. My awareness of this threat was begun by my having read The Ominous Parallels, by Leonard Piekoff. I highly recommend this book.

The War on Drugs increased government's intrusions into the affairs of Americans, and the piggy-backed War on Terrorism has pretty much eliminated the Bill of Rights as a guarantee of Americans' rights.

These days, only large and loud protests can offer any brakes on government excesses. These protests, the ones large enough to reach the ears of power-mad politicians and bureaucrats, have mostly only happened because of the focusing power of conservative talk radio.

Leftist politicians now speak of using a "Fairness Doctrine" to diffuse talk radio, thus taking yet another big chunk out of the already decimated First Amendment.

My interest today centers 'pon yet another, perhaps more physical threat to the liberty we all see slipping away. According to a story found here, the Pentagon has plans and is beginning to implement a program that will include stationing 20,000 Army Regular troops among us "to bolster domestic security."

Several years ago, I was walking along a downtown Tijuana street looking for a restaurant. I don't know what was going on, and nobody was talking, but there were dozens of Mexican federales (army soldiers) carrying automatic rifles on the street corners. Creeped me out. I grabbed my lady, flagged down a cab and we dined in safe and sane San Diego instead. I've never crossed that border again, and doubt if I ever will.

While the plan is allegedly to have troops available to assist state National Guard units and local police in the event of a "domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive attack, or CBRNE event, as the military calls it," it promises to have many other, more insidious uses.

We've all seen how mission creep works as it applies to government programs, and this plan is a clear small step in a directed creeping mission that will tighten control of the populace with respect to freedom of movement. It is specifically targeted toward keeping people in line as disgust with the excesses of government increases.

Can strategically located checkpoints, manned by heavily armed jack-booted thugs really be very far behind? A program of house-to-house searches for who knows what--but we'll just take these dangerous firearms off your hands before you're harmed by them, would seem a logical subprogram.

One could (I don't) assume that the current crop of power-mad politicos are sincerely concerned for our security and safety, but what about the next administration?

In my opinion, this is serious stuff. Voting with your feet kind of stuff.

Before they cut off the routes of escape.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, November 28, 2008

Things I Did Not Learn At School

When I first flew into the Stalag, so many years ago, it was complements of Uncle Sam, sending me on a scenic cruise around a pretty big chunk of the western hemisphere. The first stop was the Recruit Training Center on Point Loma, a part of the seaside town of San Diego. Thence to the Training Center in Waukegan, Illinois to learn to maintain and repair diesel engines, and then to Mayport, outside of Jacksonville, Florida to spend the remainder of my enlistment aboard the USS Saratoga, which was not powered by diesel engines, but steam turbines.

The ship did have a number of diesel powered utility boats though, so I guess it was all right.

While billeted aboard that ship, I had no small number of adventures, some of which might have been the death of many a lesser man. I've decided that as the mood strikes me, I'll relate some of these tales for the amusement of friends and relatives. In fact, a few of these tales already find themselves languishing in the archives.

Several of we who graduated high school in the Central Class of 1961 opted to join the Navy within weeks or months of graduation. Every one of them, but myself, ended our training with orders to such places as Japan and the Philippines. I went to a ship on the east coast. Months later one friend, Gareth Johnson from East Grand Forks, suddenly appeared aboard Saratoga. We had been acquainted in Grand Forks; we became fast friends in that foreign setting.

Soon, we were off to the Mediterranean Sea for a cruise of several flight exercises and many foreign ports. Somewhere off the coast of Spain, we had a ship-to-ship with the other carrier in the fleet, the USS FD Roosevelt, as I recall. There was about a twenty-foot swell as we anchored, and we of the utility boat crew were to run some supplies and foodstuffs between the ships.

Handling a fifty-foot utility boat in a twenty-foot swell can be an adventure in itself when you're 20-years old. My job was the bow line. The trick was to secure the line to a vertical line tied high and low on the ship's hull, so that as the boat rises and falls with the swell, the lines slide up and down with it. Half a dozen fenders keeps the boat's wooden gunwales from getting chewed up by the steel ship's hull.

You wait for the top of the swell, then grab the jacob's ladder and scramble up as fast as you can, before the boat can come up on the next swell and hit you.

The funnest part of the day was the moment when I was standing 'pon the bow, bow line in hand, ready to tie off. Suddenly, the swell dropped away with the boat, leaving me ten feet in the air, holding onto the bow line for dear life. Luckily, the boat rose to meet me coming down, and I landed hard on the deck. Multiple bruises and a slightly sprained wrist.

Not far from this rendezvous was the island of Mallorca, where we anchored for a couple of days. This liberty turned out to be more of a plain old fashioned good time than what you'd call an adventure, and I wouldn't have missed it.

Gary and I were in the process of trying out local beers when we stumbled into a group of revelers from Britain. There were about eight or ten of them, visiting on holiday, and celebrating their last night before their return flight home.

The group, both boys and girls around my own age, turned out to be an excursion group, none of whom had known each other, before this holiday. There were no boy-girl friends in the group, as was evidenced by the fact that two of the girls quickly fastened onto to Gary and I, and there were no fights.

Mary Collins was her name, and she was from Cardiff. She was (and still is, one hopes) a very pretty and fun-loving girl. She told me I looked like Paul McCartney. I asked her who was Paul McCartney? In all fairness, it was 1963, and I'd been kind of out of circulation aboard the ship for a while. The Beatles weren't very widely known in the States, at that time.

I probably wouldn't recall her name (although there are things about her that I'll not forget), except that we kept in touch for a while, and as it happens, I still have one of her letters.

She reminds me of some of the things we did. There are other things of which she doesn't need to remind me. Seems we did some more beer drinking, and at one point, ran off from a sidewalk cafe without paying. Now, I don't remember doing that. It's something I'd never do, although I did drink a lot more in those days than since.

We ended up in a secluded corner of a park, each with a bottle of beer in hand. Alas, the night was too short. She had to catch her plane and I had to muster aboard the ship. I had to call in a favor to get my pals on the utility boats to smuggle me back to the ship, five hours late.

An indisputable fact: it was worth it!

Never stop having adventures.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Fight For What You Want

For many years, extended out of WWII, through Korea and VietNam, flying in the face of the Thirteenth Amendment, the United States forced Americans into involuntary servitude by requiring them to enter military service. For several years, particularly during the VietNam war (the very definition of a war of choice; a war that had nothing to do with the security of the United States), young people protested, not only the war itself, but the conscription the war required.

The majority of the protesters were non- and anti-intellectuals who had an agenda other than the simple end of conscription or even the end of politicians' military adventures. There were, however, a number of smaller groups of more rational, better spoken and better focused individuals were able to frame the argument and place it in the laps of legislators.

Between the voices of these individuals and the thundrous noise of the other protestors--as well as the slothful desire of the politicians to make it all go away before the next election, the protesters were successful. Conscription was ended. The pro-slavery types of politicians have since reinstated registration for the as-yet nonexistent draft, showing that we have to be far more careful whom we entrust with the care and feeding of our way of life.

There's a lesson here.

This lesson should be entitled, "Fight For What You Want."

I know and know of many individuals who recognize the failures of the government children's prison system. Actually, I suspect that just about everyone, including the people involved in the system, are aware of these failures.

Some say that the system needs more money to be improved, though the system gets more and more money with every election, and improvement never comes. The children's prison system currently spends, depending on the particular district, two to five times more than the requirements of various parochial schools and private schools. These latter generally offer a much better education than do the children's prisons.

Almost all schools spend far too much time on propagandizing--whether pro-government indoctrination, religious indoctrination, agenda promotion or a combination thereof--than they should. Schools are to teach academic subjects and to prepare the student for higher education, and life. Not for pushing political or philosophical agendas.

I could say more, but you get the point.

Many people I know want to be responsible for the direction of their children's education. You see protests against many of the instances of incompetence of school administrations, from the kinds of non-academic indoctrination to the actual ability of teachers to teach.

Since parents have to pay for the children's prisons anyway, through taxation, many are trapped. They can't afford two tuitions for one child. They send their kids to the children's prisons, then protest the many failures therein. They shouldn't have to do that--they should simply be able to remove their kids from the failing children's prison or private school and enroll them in a better one.

You have to fight for what you want.

Rather than attending parent-teacher meetings, which are never fruitful for the student, parents should say," I want my money back so I can use it to see to my children's education."

Nothing less.

Government should not be allowed to collect tuition and other costs from parents of children who do not attend government children's prisons. Nor should they be allowed to collect tuition from individuals who have no children.

This is where the fight is: whether government has the right to force the individual to pay for substandard services he neither desires nor needs. Take it a step farther: government shouldn't be allowed to involve itself in areas not mandated by its charter.

There's no point in arguing over whether your child should be required to suffer through sessions of sex education presented by often-troubled adults they don't know. There's no point in arguing over whether he should be required to suffer through sessions of indoctrination toward such nonsense as recycling, global warming, the evils of smoking, the wonders of government action, the need to subject oneself to government whim, etc.

Teach him logic and critical evaluation and he'll be able to make those choices for himself. Parents should teach interpersonal relations themselves, both by instruction and by example. The same goes for philosophy and ethics.

Who worse to teach philosophy than a neurotic union schlub whose very existence depends 'pon the whims of government, and whose only ambition is to retire as soon as possible.

Fight for what you want.
  • Fight to control the education of your children.
  • Fight to control your life and the products thereof.
  • Fight to control the pastimes you prefer to pursue.
  • Fight to control your freedom of association and dissociation.
  • Fight against having to get permission.
Government has progressively asserted authority over many aspects of our lives. To reassert our rights, we can't ask for bits and pieces. We have to fight for the full freedom with which we were born, and which our lives require.

People shouldn't be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Monday, November 24, 2008

Music: Better Listened To Than Seen

For the third year running, I once again made the honest attempt to watch the AMA Award Show last night. I just couldn't. I think I lasted up to whoever followed Pink. I'd never paid attention to her before, except I read somewhere that she made a big public deal about having her nipples pierced. Why anyone would care is well beyond my ken. Last night, though, I noticed, without really looking up from my computer, that it seemed as though she actually can sing. Unlike the few others I heard before I finally gave up.

I'm no pop music expert, and I don't know all the currently popular artists or their songs. I'm often finding new artists that I like, and often trying to remember those whom I'd rather never hear again. I like to listen to new music radio stations to discover the newer talent.

But, man, do they (most of them) look hideous on tv. They (most of them) dress in the most atrocious, mismatched and unkempt clothing imaginable. Their hair is atrocious--too long, too short, dirty looking, over styled, under styled, bizarrely colored or just....shaved off (partly or totally). Makeup? That's another whole story. Anything goes, from full clownface to the natural smallpox look.

I like the Black Eyed Peas, for example, and think Fergie's kinda hot, but Will I Am? Has all the fashion sense of a child running amok in a film studio wardrobe warehouse.

Women generally look better than men (showing my personal preference), and country artists usually look better than rockers (who look better than hiphop and rappers).

Very few of them know how to conduct themselves in a formal setting--they seem to be a little like a cattle stampede through a town of the old west. They speak very poorly and seem to be unable to put ten words together to make a rational thought.

Yet, on a cd, or on the radio, most of them sound delightful. I can't handle the hate and stupidity of rap and I have a big problem with the (mostly) pop singers who can't seem to hold a note for a tenth of a second, but who seem to wander all over the scale with nearly every indistinguishable word.

I'm not going to get into the vapid, silly, stupid and terminally terminally unintelligible lyrics in a majority of today's (and yesterday's) popular music because of the wide range that runs from wonderful to super cool to who knows what (s)he's saying? to suicidally depressing.

But, I love much of it. It's rock 'n' roll.

I just think back to Fats Domino at the piano in a suit with a tie, singing about Blueberry Hill. Buddy Holly in a sport coat, with or without a tie, with white socks, raving on. Elvis Presley in a light jacket over an open-collar shirt with tan slacks, singing about his Blue Suede Shoes. The early Beatles with their "Nehru" jackets and tight slacks, wanting to Hold Your Hand. They all had neat hair (short or long) and looked good on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Guess I'll have to remove music award shows from my tv watching repertoire and to find other ways to keep up with the newest music trends. I don't think I want to actually see those people any more.

When your mommy tells you how to dress, LISTEN!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Future of the American Automobile Industry

I stumbled onto this prognostication by Iowahawk as to the cars that'll go into production by model year 2012, after the government bailout, the enactment of the conditions therein contained, the mergers and the final nationalization and takeover by the federal government.

Fortunately, there's nothing dramatic or unexpected in this forecast: the auto industry has been headed in this direction for a couple of decades now.

We can only thank the environazis and the algorians for the more simplified lives, with the accompanying lessening of our ability to understand overly complicated and unfathomable technology, that make life so difficult for those of us who find ourselves lost in the maze of working, making plenty of money to feed, clothe and shelter ourselves comfortably for eighty or ninety interminable years.

The Pelosi. What a wonderful testimony to the individual whose planning promises to remove us from all that tedious complexity and stress.

Tip of the battered old fedora to Michelle Malkin for the link.

Trust your government; it was elected by the most mediocre among us.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag Calofirnia

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Hottest Coldest October in Fifty Years doesn't call the evil Dr James Hanson a complete bloody idiot (with an anti-life agenda), but it might as well have done so. According to a story written by Christopher Booker of that newspaper, after the algorian Dr Hanson declared this past October "the hottest October on record," and in spite of reports from the real world.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.

If this doesn't completely discredit the "global warming" hoax for all time, it'll be because algorian government officials simply will refuse to let their socialist agandae be altered by...uh...facts.

NASA, the federal agency whose main mission seems to be to make sure no one gets into space, monitors the world's weather through its subagency, Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). GISS' initial reports showed readings across a vast part of Russia up to 10 degrees higher than normal. Warmiong skeptics, analyzing the data, discovered that the Russia figures weren't from October at all, but from September(!).

GISS did a fast shuffle and stammered a lame excuse about not having adequate resources, and has since revised its figures.

Read the whole story, folks. It's a testament to the incompetence of the unaccountable government agency--just one of hundreds. Who can say the destructive laws and regulations that would have evolved from the socialist governments of the world in the next few years (and still might!), had no one been watching these bumbling idiots.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Guess I Can Fix Up the Old One

I drive an old 1957 Chevy. It's a hot rod, but it's reaching a need for some reconstructive work, and it can be made to get much better gas mileage with a few updates.

The plan was to buy a new car, put the ol' Chevy in the back yard and start wrenchin'. I'm not quite as enthusiastic about diving under the car as I used to be, but with the ability to take my time and do it right, it might be fun!

The Chevy needs transmission work, so my plan is to replace the three speed with a newer four speed overdrive transmission. The differential is wearing out, plus it has station wagon gears (similar to pickup gearing) and I can replace it with a newer one with sedan gearing. More gas mileage savings! New rear springs and new shocks.

I'll need to redo the windshield wipers and fix a few minor things in the dash. The power steering needs work. I could go on, but that's most of it.

So, I've been researching new and late model used cars that I can afford and that can carry my work tools. I'd settled on a Chevy HHR, with a second choice of a Dodge Magnum, if I can find a nice used one. Well, maybe the Dodge is my first choice. They're pretty cool.

Well, thanks to the whims of government parasites and the clutching hands of the non-productive of Stalag California, America's network of carmakers and dealerships will have to do without my money.

The non-productive of the Stalag have voted to saddle the productive with an additional 1/2% sales tax. Herr Schwarzengroper, Guber of the Stalag, seriously threatens to add yet another 1%, as well. That puts us on the high side of 10% sales tax on top of a 11% (more or less) state income tax.

The buck stops here. I can't quite angle my way to move out of the Stalag right now--though it's not for want of desire, but I can refuse to pay an extra $80 to to $240 for sales tax on it to pay for Sacramento's insane excesses.

I'd rather spend those thousands of dollars on the above-listed repairs to the ol' hot rod. I'll still have to pay sales tax on the parts--unless I buy them on the I-net, but labor and service work isn't subject to sales tax--yet.

I'll have the hot rod shop do the work--it'll cost more but get done much more quickly, and I'll still pay less than $100 a year for tags.

Mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be politicians!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Brain Drain Tax

Back in the 1960's, I recall #1 all time Hall O' Fame Science Fiction Writer Robert A Heinlein saying that as the United States drifts toward socialism, and as USSR is gradually forced to accept degrees of capitalism, USSR would surpass the US in the degree of freedom by, I think it was, approximately 1980. While part of sci-fi writers jobs is to suggest possible futures, this area is fraught with danger. While Heinlein came very close to being right, after President Reagan drove them broke trying to keep up with us in the arms race Russian President Vladimir Putin (Modern Russia's near-equivalent to Germany's Adolf Hitler), is now saying "we'll have no more of this freedom crap" or words of similar meaning.

Putin appears to be restarting the Cold War. That's a big danger now, because recent weak-kneed US Administrations have no will, nor do they really have enough extorted cash, to engage in such a battle. President-elect Obama gives indications that he'd rather switch than fight. Or, the masochist's version: he'd rather be switched than fight.

Meanwhile, the wheels of the bus go round and round, and the bus has long since turned left. We can thank every Administration since Reagan's for that. By the end of Obama's term, the argument may not be about who will win, but how the spoils will be divided, and whether it'll be Putin or Obama who'll be selected World Dictator for Life. These, of course, are merely pessimistic musings on my part. I hope I'm wrong.

The world's productive individuals, those of them who are not scrambling over each other's backs for government bailout cash, are wondering where they stand.

There's been a lot of banter on the net and probably in other venues about "going John Galt." Since entrepreneurs who earn $250k and over have been declared the enemy by Obama, it's no surprise that small business owners in that category, or are working toward that category, are concerned.

Some, according to this entry on the Instapundit blogsite, are planning to "relax." That is, simply lay off employees and work only hard enough to stay below that threshold.

Others speak of liquidating their assets and leaving the country. There are many parts of the world, while perhaps even more socialistic than the US, offer pleasant country areas in which an individual or family can live in peace, tinkering, painting or writing with out much interference from that government.

Well, it's going to be tougher to outsmart the Reich than it used to be. According to a New York Post story, Americans who want to leave America and to retire to Italy (for example) will have to pay a hefty tax.

Thanks can be given to a bill that passed Congress recently and was quietly signed by President Bush two weeks ago.

Called the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Act of 2008 (the HEART bill, for short), the main part of the new law deservedly gives benefits to soldiers. But the last part of the bill, under "revenue provisions," sticks it to anyone who no longer wants to live the American dream.

Now, one has to be very crafty about getting his assets liquidated and removed from the country. Even British rock stars and Canadian actors will have to pay the tax to return to their own countries.

This, of course, is patterned directly after the taxes that needed to be paid by citizens of the USSR who wanted to expatriate during the Cold War. Which brings me back to Heinlein's prediction. Pay attention to science fiction writers. Sometimes they're right.

Tip of the old gray fedora to Noodle Food and Instapundit for

People should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Two Wolves and a Lamb.....

I'm watching the tv news coverage of an estimated 1200 demonstrators protesting against the referendum to change the impossibly complex California state Constitution to require that marriage be only between one man and one woman. While I don't think government has any role to play in this area, other than possibly as an arbiter regarding the contractual issues involved in a marriage, I see the traditionalists' point. I also wonder what possible difference it could make to me who or how many get married. I just don't think it's a government issue. I voted against the measure.

But, taking it a step or two from there, don't most of us accept the notion that the majority rules?

Well, I certainly don't, but nearly everyone else seems least until they lose.

One wonders why, as vehemently as most folks stand in favor of pure democracy against all reason, can't accept the verdict of the statewide vote.

For bond initiatives and other tax increases, and referenda that have predictable costs, I have a suggestion: Stalag California is the home of many thousands of software wizards, among whom there should be some that can do this. That is, develop software that tells our beloved franchise tax board who votes yes on these costly referenda. They should bill them and only them. Seems like it would be a relatively simple thing.

That way, the bullet train from Campo to Crescent City, to be paid for by a 1/2% addition to the sales tax, should be paid only by those who vote yes on the measure.

It's only fair.

It would make democracy an even more beautiful thing.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Guy Fawkes, Where Are You When We Need You?

"Remember, remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot. We see no reason Why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot!"

Today is the fifth of November, and today we have a new king. For decades now, our four year- and eight year kings have been progressively leading us in the direction of less and less liberty, and King Barry will be no exception.

Many's the time I've awakened after the election thinking that the only cure might be thirty-six well-placed barrels of a certain charcoal/sulfur/saltpeter blend under a building at a moment in which the king, his court and the whole of Parliament are all under one roof.

Then I think, as I sip my self-levitation potion, that even this probably impossible task were accomplished, there would emerge hundreds more parasites to take their places.

I think I'll just sit back and wait for my middle-class tax cut to kick in while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are declared over and all the troops are returned home, and the Homeland Security Act and the Patriot Act are repealed so that our horribly violated rights are once again restored. And so that we can fly on the airlines again without having our persons accosted by subhuman thugs at the airports.


People should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Lie In Leftist Feminism

This is election day, and it's too early in the day to know who is the new boss (same as the old boss), so I thought I'd ignore the vote count for a while. A story was just brought to my attention that will be, but ought not be ignored. This sort of thing happens very often in the uncivilized parts of the world, and even occasionally in what we like to call civilization.

It happens because it's not roundly condemned by all civilization. It happens because the people who claim to be against this kind of savagery sit back 'pon their agendae and say and do nothing.

A story in today's British Daily Mail Online tells us of yet another young girl, this time in Savage Somalia, stoned to death for the crime of having been raped by three men. The thirteen-year-old girl was said to have been crying and begging for her life before being buried to her shoulders in the ground in the middle of a football field and stoned to death before a crowd of 1000.

Amnesty Int'l did some investigations to find that the (kangaroo) court found her guilty of adultery and sentencing her to death by stoning.

It's already well established that the islam religion seems to be every bit as savage today as was the christian religion several centuries ago.

The difference is, we supposedly know more now. We accept the notion that life is precious and we accept the notion of individual rights--in word if not always in deed.

Strange things are happening, though, on the left. The old reverence for tolerance of the views of others espoused by the left thirty-forty years ago seems to have gotten very selective in recent times. The left remains ever so tolerant of the approved and the evil, but no longer is tolerant at all of the responsible and unapproved dissent.

One can't say anything, for example, against any individual or group we'd consider anything like irresponsible, criminal, savage and evil without suffering anger, insult and ostracism (if not physical punishment) from the left. We see it in colleges and Universities in their hate speech rules. Also, in government codes--in spite of the First Amendment to the Constitution!

Thus, I have to call the NO(L)W, and other leftist feminist groups, to task for not vocally and continuously condemning islamic sharia law, if for no other reason, for its violations of the rights of women and girls living and dying under the sway of the utterly untenable rules of sharia law. Members of these groups scream at the top of their very capable lungs if a woman gets paid $10 per hour to a man's $12, and sit silently as young girls are circumcised in these savage parts of the world. The same women whimper at the unfairness of the man enjoying the look of a beautiful woman, yet uncharacteristically say nothing when presented with the likes of this poor girl murdered in a most horrible way by subhumans in Somalia.

Leftist feminists say nothing about islamic men marrying western women, having children, then take the children to hideouts in islamic countries never to be seen by their mothers again. Leftist feminists remain silent about young women wooed by wealthy islamists, taken out of their countries and placed into enslavement in islamic countries.

I can condemn islam for this, because 'tis a rare "moderate muslim" who will condemn these disgusting activities, and I do. Islam is a religion of death. It will remain so until these alleged "moderates" condemn and destroy the savage sects and bring their practitioners to justice.

The silence of the leftist feminists, though tells us of a very high degree of moral corruption, in that their leftist agendae soundly trump any thoughts of justice and moral outrage. Feminists should know better. The conclusion that must be reached is that theirs is also a philosophy of death.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Monday, November 03, 2008

Voting According to Race

With the very tardy arrival of candidates of races other than caucasian, the the specter of racism has lifted its ugly, and wholly erroneous, head. Nonetheless, there will be those who vote based 'pon race. It's the theory of myself and many others that there'll be far more who vote for Obama because he's half black than will vote against him for that reason.

In my opinion, Obama should be defeated. If Obama is elected, he'll advance the destruction of what little remains of the free market in America. He'll tax business--those who create jobs--to a higher degree, which will cause layoffs and business closures--high unemployment. He'll spend on social programs and pet projects, more than even GW Bush. He'll cripple what remains of business and manufacturing by means of environmental regulation and other nonsense. He'll socialize medicine, causing the best medical people to drop out of the industry and a general deterioration and ultimate rationing of services.

There will be many other negatives based on Obama's projected meddling in the market, not to mention the increased corruption that always accompanies increases in government power.

Obama will increase the foreign entanglements the Founders warned against, to our detriment.

To be fair, life under the McCain dictatorship probably won't be much better. Where Obama would socialize medicine, McCain would make a compromise with the Democrat Congress to a socialized medicine with copays. McCain would similarly compromise in other areas to like effect.

But, this is about race.

Imagine that Obama is elected. After his term as President, he will leave a legacy of having advanced the destruction of America's free market system (Such as it is after the assaults of every President since Roosevelt--you decide which Roosevelt) more than any previous administration. American liberty will be a memory.

And many will be very angry. There could be attempts to secede, and there could be civil war.

How long do you think it'll be before there'll be another black individual elected President?

I'd vote for a black man (or woman) for any office, in a second--as long as that individual was pro liberty, pro free market and in favor of the right of every individual to self ownership, self determination and self defense.

Individuals of the stature of Walter E Williams and Thomas Sowell come to mind.

Tip of the battered gray fedora to Scott Schneider for the idea leading to this entry.

Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, October 31, 2008

Putting Priorities In Order

Never accustomed to making suggestions as to how local governments prioritize the spending of the money they steal from productive individuals, I tiptoe in with a degree of discomfort. My normal train of thought goes toward the notion that government officials have no bloody idea what they're doing, and they simply attempt to appease the loudest whiners, and to increase their personal power.

After many decades of at-will tax increases and criminal mismanagement by elected and appointed officials, followed by some meager but partially effective resistance measures by a majority of the productive electorate, many local officials are finding it increasingly difficult to leach off a productive class that's increasingly voting with its feet, and leaving high-tax cities.

Now, according to many news stories like this one in the Wall Street Journal, cities are facing bankruptcy largely because of a sliding economy caused by government mismanagement, and are trying to cut budgets. Sadly, and stupidly, as one might expect of those who have no idea what they're doing, they are cutting the budgets of the least expendable agencies first.

Rather than trimming non essentials and areas in which city governments have no business or expertise (but represent numerous feel-good schemes and appease noisy special interests) these officials are looking to cut the budget for law enforcement.

They aren't dropping their arts programs or selling off excess real estate. They aren't considering privatizing their parks and libraries. They won't consider selling the schools to private operators or privatizing the fire departments.

Public safety, that is, police departments are taking the hit. Public safety is unarguably the most important reason for the existence of local government. And that's the first place to cut, according to the bloated city hall officialdom!

Done right, that ain't all bad. They could disband the costly and largely unnecessary SWAT teams. They could lose the vice, anti drug and anti gang teams and put their police back in blue uniforms and give them neighborhood beats. They could have their detectives actually investigate and solve real crimes. They could drop the quasi military posing and scrap the black body armor and ski masks, and act like local citizens doing a job, as is closer to reality.

And, most important, they could trust the people of the town to arm themselves for purposes of self defense.

That would save a lot of money. My overview estimate is that any city can live on around 10% of current levels just by streamlining law enforcement and the courts, dropping non-essential spending boondoggles and privatizing everything that can be privatized.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An Argument For Gun Control: An Editorial Rebuttal

In all the blog entries in which I've championed the individual's Right to Keep and Bear Arms, I've never allowed the other side to be heard. I've finally relented to allow a reasoned rebuttal to my arguments.

Please weigh the arguments carefully, as I wouldn't want anyone to say I never gave the other side a chance.

Tip of the battered gray fedora to Paul Hsieh at Noodle Food.

....From my cold, dead hands!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Lesson In Obamanomics

Doug Powers, writing in World Net Daily, explains redistribution of wealth from Joe the Plumber's point of view. As for me, I'll just sit back and let you enjoy the column.

Tip of the battered gray fedora to Kent C for tipping me off and yet again for the photo.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Self Defense -- As It Might Be And Ought To Be

The following is a video which was the introductory minute for an episode of the ABC tv series Boston Legal. It exemplifies, in a humorous way, how an honest, self reliant man would deal with a criminal in a free society.

Denny Crane- Guns @ Yahoo! Video

Seems a mite cold, until one realizes that when a man turns to crime, he is metaphysically committing suicide (by denying the right to life, he denies his right to his own life), and the hand that pulls the trigger is his own.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, October 17, 2008

Want Universal Health Care? It'll Be Universally Bad!

Just about every wants-something-for-nothing airhead in the country, including most elected officeholders who know better, advocate some form of government paid health care. Costs are so high, they say, and very few can pay for the care they sooner or later will need.

What they are really saying is, "I want my medical bills sent to you."

In fact, if government was completely kept away from medicine, in compliance with the US Constitution, medical costs would be a small fraction of what they are today. Although, even if this were the case, the airheads would still want you to pay their medical bills.

MK, an Australian blogger, writes Down Under On The Right Side, a conservative blog from the Aussie perspective. He also posts on The Midnight Sun and A Western Heart. Below, he links a couple of stories from Aussie news sources on the subject of socialized medicine in Australia. They are well worth a read.

It might give an indication of our future, should the airheads prevail.

SMH - The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney is to close its women’s health ward in a move to cut costs. RPA executives on Thursday told doctors the 20-bed ward would close on November 1, while the children’s ward was also at risk of being shut, Fairfax reported on Friday. The move could see patients recovering from gynaecological surgery in mixed-sex rooms, while children who need emergency admissions could be forced to go to Randwick or Westmead if that ward is closed down. The move is designed to cut $8 million from the hospital’s budget, after then treasurer Michael Costa revealed a $300 million blow-out in health spending last month.

Daily Telegraph - A NURSE had to borrow bandages from a veterinary clinic and a doctor forked out $1000 from his own pocket for urgent medical supplies because companies have refused to supply Dubbo Base Hospital because of unpaid bills. Surgeons at the hospital have had to use gloves which are the wrong size, while patients needing X-rays were turned away because Kodak had refused to supply vital products. The hospital has run out of handwashing liquid and garbage bags in recent months.

…… “In the past, it’s been unpaid food bills, unpaid transport bills, now it’s effecting patient safety and that’s of extraordinary concern.” …… Dubbo MP Dawn Fardell said the Greater Western Area Health Service - which covers 50 per cent of the state - owed $66 million. …… Steve Miller, who runs Country Fruit Distributors, was owed $20,000 but most of it had been paid by early this week. “The Government expects us to pay our taxes on time and yet they don’t pay their bills on time,” he said.

Obama will tell you it’s be wonderful, healthcare for all, social justice and what not, but ultimately, these few examples of many are what you’ll end up with. Not only will your taxes have to be paid on time, they’ll have to keep going up and up to keep up with the rising demands of the public who insist that it’s all free. You already have socialized medicine in your emergency rooms and it’s a roaring success isn’t it. Imagine what it’ll be like when it’s full on socialized medicine, and you’ll get just that in Obama.

The text printed in red is MK's commentary.

This could happen to you!

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Whatever Works

An eight-year-old Little League ball player hits a single. The next batter hits a sharp ground ball that's bobbled by the shortstop, who then picks the ball up and tosses it to the second baseman. The baseman, not yet at second base, swooped his glove, containing the ball, toward the base runner. The base runner reached second base. The umpire signs "Safe!"

The second base runner signals "time" and walks over to the umpire. "Sir, his body was between you and me, but I felt his glove brush my shoulder. I'm out."

An unbelievable story, right? It could never happen?

I've come to the conclusion that this is where our current "getting away with it" attitude starts. Sports coaches teaching youngsters to take an erroneous call in their favor. Teaching them to seize advantage by breaking rules, and trying to hide it from the referee.

In the children's prisons, it becomes ok to sneak a look at the test paper of another, if it can be done unobserved. It no longer is a problem that one's peers are aware of his ethical shortcomings, it's only a problem if he gets caught. Even then, his peers will likely respond with "Dawg! Good try!"

After a number of years and a number of confirmations of this behavior pass, our ethically challenged lad graduates law school and becomes an attorney. The firm at which he's employed--as do most law firms today--advocates and requires him to win the case regardless of truth and regardless of the harm caused to the innocent.

Then come years of success winning huge punitive sums for his clients, many of whom would have no complaint had they exercised diligence to protect themselves in advance, against deep pocket plaintiffs who were merely attempting to provide a service, and who had been problem-free for decades. He decides to go into politics.

After building a warchest and setting up a campaign staff, our anti-hero wins the election by digging up irrelevant dirt on his opponent. He has used, walked over and cast aside friends whose usefulness is at an end, or who become liabilities.

It doesn't matter, his plan for his people is unquestionably good. Should anyone actually try to question it, they are evil and enemies of the people. They are to be discredited, and jailed, if possible.

Meanwhile, the country sinks into a war of each man's hand in the pocket of another and productivity being punished at every turn.

This is the path destined for those who advocate the maxim, "The end justifies the means."

Unless a more livable philosophy can achieve pre-eminence, the world will slide, on the skids of altruism, back into a new Dark Age.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California
The New Thugees

Sunday afternoon, as Debbie and I were exiting the Ventura Fairgrounds after the Highland Games, we saw a table set up in the walkway toward the parking lot. A sign saying, "Register to Vote. Democrat." There were two young men standing by, cheap ball points in hand, waiting to help their victims register.


In the Stalag, it's required that anyone collecting voter registrations not discriminate as to the party choice of the registrant. I participated in a registration drive once, to get the Libertarian Party on the ballot, while working on John Hospers' campaign. At the time, we were pointedly admonished that we must register people in whatever party they wished, and not specifically advocate for our party. That proved not to be much of a problem for me, since I usually registered folks at libertarian functions.

Thus, to my knowledge, what the gentlemen at this table was doing is illegal.

I said to Debbie as we passed, "Must be some of those ACORN crooks." in a loud voice as I pointed in their direction. "If you register in any other party, they'll trash the form instead of turning it in."

The guys at the table said nothing, but stared in my direction as we passed, not smiling.

It's already pretty much a foregone conclusion that B Hussein will carry the Stalag, so those two guys won't matter much. You see far more Obama bumper stickers in the Stalag than McCain stickers, but that's probably caused by the fact that Democrats will key your car or break your windshield if it has a McCain sticker.

Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Taking The Weekend Off

Debbie and I will be driving off to the scenic seaside town of Ventura, Stalag California for the weekend to attend and participate in the Seaside Highland Games.

In spite of all the rollicking fun in the news this month, there won't be any more reportage here until next week. We have to have one more wild fling before have to settle down and start looking for food under rocks and behind the bark of trees.

Debbie and I will be part of the Scottish Country Dance demo group and we'll be watching all the Scottish heavy games and the clan duel reenactments. There'll also be pipe bands and a place for kids to get their faces painted.

Then, we'll be back to see if el Pueblo de Los Angeles still has electricity and law and order. Oh, wait! The law and order thing.....that time is past.

Keep your powder dry.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, October 03, 2008

We Have To Do Something.....Anything....Even If It's Wrong!

Listening to the pundits on radio and tv, these past few day's, both before and after the already infamous vote to (further) socialize America's financial system, a number of things became painfully clear.

First and foremost, the overwhelming image scampering out of Washington DC is of "the blind leading the blind." The vast majority of those elected into national office, including the President, have no bloody idea what they're doing.

The conspiracy theorists among us would say that they're mere puppets, their strings being pulled by shadowy characters in ancient European castles or in hyper-exclusive upstate New York and New England country clubs. I have no way of knowing whether this is true, but the level of economic incompetence leads me to prefer the notion that they're just stupid.

It started with talking points: "It's not a bailout of Wall Street, it's a rescue of Main Street." This sentence, word for word, has been repeated by virtually every scatterbrained congressman and Senator; every media reporter and talking head for several days now. After the House rejected the measure the other day, the chorus that something must be done, NOW! became so intense that it could be heard with the radio and tv off.

The utterly irrelevant George Bush appeared on the air in a state of panic that far surpassed his stridency when trying to justify his screeching, skidding left turn into Iraq in the middle of his supposed search for the evil Osama bin Llama.

The Senate passed the bill, led by the very individuals who were most instrumental in the causing of the problem, and those who have embarrassing videos locked in the safety deposit boxes of other Senators.

The Siren song of doing something before the election--just to say something was done--proved to be too strong for many of the Congressfools who voted "nay" the first time, their fear of being turned out of office exceeding their desire to do something effective.

Now that the bill is signed (hand of Satan himself holding the pen), everyone starts the new chorus, saying that this bailout will not solve the problem, but will give Washington the financial world some breathing room until reform can be put together.

Say, WHAT?!

Shades of Atlas Shrugged!

.....And we all know that once the election is past, the whole thing will be forgotten and Senators Frank, Dodd, Schumer and all their cronies will still be receiving big campaign arm twistings which will somehow cleverly trickle into their personal bank accounts, and we'll have another big, earth-threatening crisis in a few years.

Nothing that will actually reflect sound economic policy will be considered.

I declare, I wonder where all this cynicism comes from!!


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California