Monday, March 31, 2008

US Army Adopting Methodology of Islam

According to an AFP story on Google News, soldiers who do not toe the funny-mentalist line are being singled out for butt-chewings and other punishments. Jeremy Hall, a 23-year-old US army specialist, was ordered to sit somewhere else in the mess hall if he didn't want to pray.

Later, the story continues, Hall was confronted by a major for holding an authorized meeting of "atheists and freethinkers" on his base. The officer threatened to discipline him and block his re-enlistment.

"He said: 'You guys are being a problem and problems can be removed,'" Hall said. "He was yelling at us and stuff and at the very end he says, 'I really love you guys, I want you to see the light.'"

Former Air Force lawyer Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is suing the major and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for having breached Hall's Constitutional rights.

I was in the Navy back in the early 1960's. I clearly recall that, according to military law, one's religious beliefs, if any, were his own business and each soldier and sailor is free to conduct his spiritual affairs according to his own conscience. Or not.

It's the American way.

The irrational zealousness of the sergeant and the major in the story shows an almost islamic desire to force a particular brand of funny-mentalist doctrine 'pon all hands, under pain of separation from the unit, and punishment for those who don't comply.

Contrary to common thought, there are atheists in foxholes, and they make the best fighting men if they understand and agree with that for which they battle. For these sicko funny-mentalists to punish them for their divergent beliefs, or lack of belief, will damage the fighting unit far more than will leaving each soldier to live with his own thoughts.

Tip of the battered gray fedora to Diana Hseih.

Each individual lives his own life.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

....And Another One Bites the Dust....

It just hit the news yesterday that Aloha Airlines is going out of business--at least as far as its passenger operations are concerned. Aloha's announcement can be read here. Aloha blames unfair competition for its distress, according to the press release, but what is the real reason?

During the current President's Administration we've seen a very radical turn toward fascism on the part of the federal government in incompetently mistaken reaction to the attack which destroyed New York's World Trade Center. Rather than follow the evidence and track down the leaders of the group that masterminded this act, and other acts previous, the Administration has decided, after launching a multi-billion dollar war against the wrong country, to crack down on American Freedom by, among other things, creating vast new bureaucracies to snoop on, keep track of, control the travel of, and monitor the communication of American citizens.

All of this is absolutely unConstitutional, a fact missed by both leftist and conservative politicians and pundits throughout the US and the world. Obviously, they haven't read the document lately (if ever).

What has this to do with Aloha Airlines? Just this: Many freedom-loving individuals are seeing the hideous gauntlet through which one has to run to board a passenger plane, and rejecting it. For most, it's a minor inconvenience that is accepted because there is no choice if one has to fly. For some, like the young lady who was required to remove her body jewelery with pliers recently, and for many others who are similarly abused, it can become a nightmare.

For some, it even means prison, if they dare protest too much--that is, if they attempt to defend themselves against the minimum wage thugs that man the checkpoints at the airports.

Little wonder that many of us, for whom flying is an elective rather than a requirement, choose the private automobile.

My theory is, and there's no way to prove it precisely, that many individuals are eschewing trips to places to Hawaii and other faraway places for locations to which one might drive. My last several vacations have been to Nevada, Arizona and right here in the Stalag--areas rich with scenic and pleasant places to which to get away for a few days.

I do not wish to be subjected to gestapo-like treatment by TSA's thugs at the airport. No, I don't have nipple rings, nor any other attached jewelery, but I do have a very legal folding pocket knife I'm fond of feeling nestled in my hip pocket.

Perhaps the number of mainlanders that similarly decided to drive to the Grand Canyon or to Las Vegas rather than be treated like Jews at certain German rail heads, is large enough to cause a small ripple in the economy of the smaller airlines, the brunt of which fell first on the back of Aloha Airlines. Too bad. Accounts are that Aloha was a well-liked carrier by its regular users.

The decline and fall of the American Experiment is matched by the rise of the Fourth Reich.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What Happened to California?

I don't know if I can describe the wonder of Southern California to a fairly well traveled 21-year-old 'pon his arrival, in a new Chevy pickup, into which were packed my pregnant wife, my mother and everything we thought worth bringing along from the old home town. We left the snow shovels behind.

Palm trees. Eight-lane freeways--smooth white highways on which one never needed to stop or worry about oncoming or cross traffic, or bumps! Stop laughing! It was 1965.

Gas was 24 cents a gallon. Cigarettes were about a quarter a pack. Our first apartment was $75 a month. It took me less than a week to find a job, then six months to find a really good job in construction (which was what I wanted).

After a few years here, I made the decision that I'd be living and working here for the rest of my life. I maintained that opinion through two years in the San Fernando Valley, three in Orange County and fifteen years in San Diego.

There was a point, and I think it was during the time Jerry Brown was Guber, when things started going bad in California, although it might've been earlier. When Ronald Reagan was Guber, he enacted for the first time, withholding of state income tax money. This opened the door to draconian tax increases, coming very often.

Heavy tax increases and wasteful spending have been the rule in California rather than the exception. It's been happening under both Democrat and Republican administrations, without mercy or appeal. If the state income tax doesn't increase, then the sales tax does. California's tax tab is exceeded by only three or four states, and more increases can be expected.

What do we get for these increases? Roads, streets and highways are in far worse shape than they were in 1965. The state's children's prisons are turning out gangsters and illiterates, and even the better ones turn out graduates who can score well on tests, but have little reasoning ability or critical skills.

Public safety services (police, fire, etc) are underfunded for ridiculous arts projects that not only disfigure the city aesthetically, but make poor excuses for artists wealthy. Police are ordered not to inquire as to the citizenship of arrested individuals who when released, often commit more crimes. Government continues to turn a blind eye to the notion of individual self defense.

Gangs roam the streets, attacking and murdering people (often children) of other ethnic and racial groups, and our moronic Chief of Police has the nerve to try and convince the public that there's no racial component in it. Professional agitators attack police during an otherwise peaceful protest, and police physically attack the peaceful protesters with tear gas and truncheons while the agitators look on with smiles on their faces.

I can only assume, from statewide news reports and word of mouth, that it's as bad or even worse in Frisco and its surrounding suburbs.

San Diego's city government has been flirting with bankruptcy for some time, because of fiscal irresponsibility in its politicians.

I can only hope that the smaller cities near the farm and ranch lands of California are populated with individuals with better sense.

Productive individuals have been leaving the state for years, having gotten a bellyful of what I like to call California's war on productivity. The state's population continues to increase, though, primarily because of the influx of foreigners. These foreigners mean well, and are looking to make a better life means of the more favorable opportunities here, but their skills are limited.

Tax revenues are decreasing as spending is increasing. Tax rates will increase and productive individuals will continue to look for greener pastures. Frivolous spending will assure that Public safety will continue to be given the short shrift.

One wonders how long one should remain here.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Is The Constitution Worth the Paper 'Pon Which It's Printed?

Any observer, even the most casual, must come to the conclusion that Congress, the President the courts are playing fast and loose with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In fact, it can be easily concluded that, in the past twenty-five years or so (longer, depending how one studies it), the federal government has explicitly worked at purposefully demolishing the Bill of Rights.

Whether this deliberate destruction of the Great Experiment can be reversed is open to question, since the vast majority of Americans seem more interested in how much money they can wrest, through government force, from their neighbors than in preserving the freedom that allowed the productive to create such wealth. Being honestly productive seems important to fewer and fewer Americans than does ripping off those who are. One can easily project, either by means of reason of by one's powers of observation, where the continuation of that trend will lead us.

I'd like to recommend that any and all of you who prefer that government observe the letter and spirit of America's Founding Documents read the petition at this link. If you agree with it, and are so inclined, sign.

Thanks and a tip of the old gray fedora to Cindy Mulvey and The Libertarian Enterprise.

Somehow, the Washington parasites have to realize that their job's not being properly done and they're now on notice. It'd be nice if a bunch of them were rejected at the polls this fall, as well. In that spirit.....


Warm Regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hey, Kids! What Time Is It?

When the red phone rings at three in the morning (3AM in the morning, IYAAVOGS) , who would you like to know was going to answer it?

Someone who'll hold it in the right direction, one would hope.

Tip of the battered gray fedora to my Brother, the Texan.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, March 23, 2008

In Defense of a Dirty Lab

Friday, as a part of my job description, I was sent to a class on CPR. It was fine, I've been through the class before, and it's good to know. The class included the Heimlich Maneuver and the use of the Automated External Defibrillator. Since many of us work in areas of contaminated water and other liquids, we also had a discussion of ways to keep oneself from absorbing contaminants--followed by a solicitation for hazmat training.

Well, it's all information that I might find useful in my line of work--just last year, we were digging an access pit and dug into an area that had been saturated with petroleum at some time in the past. The soil from the entire area had to be separated, tested, placed into containers and shipped to a facility to be "cleaned." It ended up being over 500 tons of soil.

But, I digress.

As bull sessions do, this one wandered into the area of the cleanliness or filthiness of the objects and people with whom we come into contact. There were the usual anecdotes about filthy restaurants and people who don't wash their hands after using the facilities. It even got down to keeping one's paper towel in his hand for use in opening the bathroom door.

Ever the contrarian, I reminded everyone that in the not so distant past, individuals routinely shared drinking cups (the common metal cup kept near the hand pump), passed coke bottles from one friend to another (no backwash, please!), used porta-potties with no washing facilities in the area (not to mention outdoor toilets built over holes in the ground), helped bleeding accident victims without latex gloves--I even remember when dentists and doctors didn't wear latex gloves and protective glasses when working on people they didn't even know(!).

Somehow we survived.

Now, obviously surgeons have to use extreme measures for cleanliness in the operating theater, to avoid causing infections in the patient, but now they do it to protect themselves, as well. And obviously, I don't want to see medical people contracting illnesses--they should use whatever technology is available to them both for themselves and for their patients--but twentieth and nineteenth century doctors survived by means of good hygiene and whatever other things they did to avoid contamination.

The point is not to disparage current hygiene methods, but to remember that one does occasionally have to (shudder) touch people and things with one's bare skin. We shake hands. We use public drinking fountains. We open doors and press buttons in elevators. We kiss aunts 'pon the cheek and even (ugh!) on the lips. We kiss our dates, our girl/boy friends and our husbands/wives.

Points were made that we don't really know how clean was the restaurant in which we just dined. Were the dishes really washed and sanitized? Were the chefs and other food handlers healthy and washed? Was the food as high in quality as we'd expect? Was that "A" placard in the window earned, or was it bought?

Our immune systems are wonderful, and indispensable. It's strengthened by exposure to minor amounts of toxins and pathogens. Whenever we get sick, our bodies fight the illness. After we get well, our blood has antibodies against that disease, and we don't get it again.

My argument went this way: If one were capable of living a sanitary life, he might be able to avoid diseases for however long he might live. What kind of life would it be? One couldn't handle, touch or be near any object that hadn't previously been sanitized. One could only breathe scrubbed air. One couldn't touch, be near or breathe air exhaled by another individual.

I find it far more desirable to be among people--filthy beasts as they might be--by shaking hands, chatting face to face, riding in planes, trains and automobiles, sharing elevators and occasionally even using public drinking fountains, swimming pools and bathrooms. It's the stuff of which a great life is made.

I'll have to trust that my immune system will handle it.

Every year I get a head cold and every five years or so I get a flu. Those nasty bastards I call friends and acquaintances must have really taxed my immune system!

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Possible Future History--and How to Avoid It!

I wasn't aware of Dan Simmons, but I am now. This short story of his is definitely worth a read. It ought to be required reading in every home. Islam is the religion of peace, but the word "peace" in islam means "submission."

Tip of the battered gray fedora: Stephen Browne at Rants and Raves.

Peace comes through philosophical conviction.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Cure For the Woes of the California Children's Prison System

Thanks to Rob at Wild Blue Yonder, we find this gem to aid the reconstruction of the utterly failing California Children's Prison system.

In a stunning development, it was announced today that Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge has been appointed Headmaster of the California Public Schools. Professor Umbridge has pledged to stamp out all forms of homeschooling and to bring California's troubled schools up to nineteenth century standards of discipline and performance.

"There will be no more nonsense", Umbridge has decreed.
As is well known throughout the civilized world, Prof Umbridge is a character from one of the Harry Potter books.

The decision follows a criminally incompetent decision by the bought-and-paid-for California state court of appeals that will allow the state's schoolteachers to remain as incompetent as they are with little chance for most families to escape the conversion of all children into welfare state worshiping marching morons. Expect an exodus.

Tip of the old gray fedora to Wild Blue Yonder, Rational Jenn and the Philosophical Detective.

Buying stock in the moving business.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

America's Hundred Years War

Days after islamic savages destroyed the World Trade Center, and damaged the Pentagon, President GW Bush announced his "War on Terror." The proclamation immediately set off warning bells in my mind. Who can point at someone or something and say "that's terror."? I said little.

Someone conducted the attack, and since the perpetrators were dead, who ordered it, planned it, supported it financially? It certainly wasn't "Terror." The answer to these question seems to have been a very radical islamic fundamentalist organization called al queda, under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, a spoiled brat son of a very wealthy arab.

As an aside, there are a number of theories that place the blame for the incident squarely 'pon the shoulders of the Bush administration in various ways and for various reasons. I don't ascribe to any of them, not because I don't think the administration is morally incapable of such, but because I haven't the time, and don't plan to make the time to study them. Life's too short, and if the Executive Branch has sunk to these depths, we're already in a dictatorship. That would change the scenario severely.

Back to the spoiled arab brat. After three months of screwing around getting a force together to attack al queda, during which time bin Laden and his gang of thugs perfected hiding places, greased palms of some willing Afghan warlords and rearmed, the Commander-in-Chief was finally able to send the Marines over to Afghanistan. After these months of assembling a force and getting it into the area, and during which time the President actually did speak some sense (though he still hadn't come up with a better name for the enemy than "terrorists," a more nebulous term for an enemy has yet to be invented), and I expected an early roundup of the remaining islamic savages and an investigation that would reveal their financial backers, and suitable punishments to be handed out to all. Silly me!

Suddenly, for no apparent reason, our military muffed the capture of bin Laden and let him escape into Pakistan. Some evidence suggests that the loss of bin Laden was caused by orders from Washington that failed to supply reinforcements when needed.

Suddenly, for no apparent reason, bin Laden slipped off the edge of the radar and Saddam Hussein became the enemy. Keep in mind that, up to this moment, the administration has never actually named the enemy. No declaration of war has been made by Congress.

So Osama bin Laden has escaped into the mountains of Pakistan (or, perhaps newly shaved, is cavorting 'pon the beaches of Cannes and Monte Carlo) and our troops are relegated to chasing Afghan mullahs around the local badlands and the major strength of our troops are busy directing traffic in a lawless Iraq.

All this reminds me of GW Bush's early statement that we'll be involved in the "war on terror" for the long haul and John McCain's more recent statement that the war could last a hundred years.

I have to wonder if that wasn't the plan from the start.

As an ex-Navy sailor who has a nephew involved in this action, I have to protest the misuse of our fine military, and the apparent willful disregard for our Constitution and our laws. I'm calling 'pon Congress to put an end to this waste and destruction and return to government according to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Meanwhile, the administration seems to be using every excuse to narrow down and eliminate every one of the rights affirmed by America's Founders and enumerated in the Bill of Rights, in the name of fighting this "war on terror" and the even more wrongly-inspired "war on drugs."

Ladies and gentlemen, the "terrorists" have won.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, March 14, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro's Blunder

Here we have the heretofore unreported real reason why Ms Ferraro was dismissed from Mrs Clinton's Presidential campaign:

"Former Congresswoman and Walter Mondale's choice for his Vice Presidential running mate in 1984, Geraldine Ferraro, pointed out in a speech that Barack Obama is Black saying: 'If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.' (She) was forced to step down from the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign for those remarks, a decision which I wholeheartedly endorse. What she should have said was: 'If Obama WERE a white man.' It is that kind of grammatical error up with which I will not put."

- Rich Galen of

We ought not place functional illiterates into positions of authority within our government. This may be the first thing Mrs Clinton has done right since becoming a public figure, and I hope it's the beginning of a trend.

Tip of the battered gray fedora to Chuck Muth.

Another failure of the government children's prisons.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

If This Is Progressive....

I get more than annoyed whenever I hear some hack socialist refer to himself, or the so-called socialist movement, as "progressive." We all know that socialist stuff regularly becomes pejorative, because individuals with more sense start calling it what it is. At one time, for example, socialists were called "socialists," and it was a completely acceptable term. Wiser heads began analyzing what socialists really were, and more and more individuals saw socialists as straw-brains, disconnected from reality and living in a worlds in which they were "kings," perhaps "philosopher kings," wisely taking care of the needs and wants of the unthinking masses.

As level-headed individuals saw the reality of this silliness, "socialist" became a synonym for "airhead," or the like term of the day.

Because, at the time, the word "liberal" was a term that meant political progress toward more individual freedom (Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and many like-minded intellectuals were called "liberals"), the socialists of the day, over time, began to co-opt the word "liberal" as the preferred term to use in reference to themselves. Socialists thought it would make their plans for slow enslavement of unsuspecting individuals more socially palatable. Eventually, it caught on, and for a time, socialists falsely basked in the good will that really belonged to those who favor individual freedom.

Again, in more recent times, the term "liberal" has become pejorative. 'Tis a rare socialist who, while running for elective office or otherwise trying to curry popular favor, who will call himself a "liberal" today.

Hence, the current attempts to destroy the meaning of the word "progressive." Progressive, to most of us, means moving from a worse condition to a better one. From poverty to solvency. from sickness to health. Thus, socialists, no longer wishing to be called "liberals," are beginning to co-opt the term "progressive," as their reference to themselves.

Now, one might ask, can a philosophical system that reveres serfdom as an ideal--the notion of an elite group of overseers watching over the enslaved masses, deciding what are their needs, taking care of those needs in a bureaucratically blundering way, including shortages, rationing, soviet-style mis allocations (parkas to Miami, raincoats to Phoenix, snow shovels to Los Angeles, etc--really be called progressive?

Was the USSR ever progressive?

I have a better name for socialists, if they are that ashamed of what they are: thuggee. If they don't adopt this name or something similar, they're not only socialists, but liars.

Calling a spade a digging tool.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag Calif.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

"....No Interracial Strife in Los Angeles" -Police Chief William Bratton

And, I'm sure there was never any interracial strife in New York City or Boston while he was police commissioner in those cities, either....NYC is the city in which police needed over 50 shots to hit an unarmed man 16 times and Boston was the city from whose airport the planes that flew into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. I don't think Bratton was police commissioner at either of those towns at the fateful moment, but his simple-minded policies certainly live on, even to this day.

Chief William Bratton, as is true with most fascist police officials, doesn't think individuals should be allowed to defend themselves. He doesn't think individuals should be able to carry guns, knives, or even clubbing type weapons. He stands in opposition to the natural right of every individual as is affirmed by the Bill of Rights--thus is not qualified to hold the office of Chief of Police, or even carry a badge as a traffic officer.

Sorry chief, when I'm out for a walk, I carry a walking stick of which Robin Hood would be envious, a passable knife and a tube of pepper spray. At times, I even carry a sidearm--tucked away somewhere handy.

In the past week, subhuman gang thugs have murdered two young men in Los Angeles. One was a 19-year-old who had been a foopbaw player at his children's prison, and was working as a security guard while going to a tech school. He was simply waiting for a bus. The other was 13-years of age and was found mortally wounded in the driveway in front of his home.

There was a huge press conference attended by el alcalde, MEChA member Antonio Vinaigrette, Chief Bratton and several other City Council members--those who were able to elbow, kick, punch and straightarm their way to the dais to get their mugs on camera. The gist of the blatherings offered to the press were that El Pueblo de Los Angeles is getting tough on gangs and that these crimes will not be tolerated.

Now, for reality: LAPD has been instructed, both by el alcalde and the City Council, to fight the gangs without actually hurting anyone of the minority class. Since most members of LA gangs are minorities--blacks or hispanics--it means that gangs will pretty much be left alone unless actually caught in the act. Then, of course, the police must treat them nicely according to the left's best politically correct rules. They will receive minimal punishments and then receive early releases to make room for nonviolent dope smokers.

Chief Bratton broke up the crowd by trying to stress that there is no racial tension in El Pueblo de Los Angeles. After the guffaws died down, one reporter pressed the Chief about racial tensions. Bratton pulled out his figurative truncheon and figuratively clubbed the hapless reporter to submission. Much as did his officers (for real) during mayday at MacArthur Park.

Only in LA.

Hispanic gangsters hate black gangsters with passion. They shoot each other whenever they see a chance. The hatred transfers as both fear and hatred in the poorer ethnic communities. Residents want the police to stop the violence, but they don't want anyone hurt.

The thing that must be done is to let the residents defend themselves. Just knowing that any man or woman on the street might be armed will severely diminish the violence with no further action. Prosecution must be stiff, just and equal for rich and poor; and among the races. Punishment should be geared toward restitution for the victims. Every criminal released from prison should be viscerally aware he's just had his ass figuratively kicked, and should never want to go through that again.

Chief William Bratton is not among those who wants to see that happen, nor will our hero be Antonio Vinaigrette.

Pictured: LA's most destructive gang.

Slouching toward lawlessness.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, March 07, 2008

The War on Irrational Fear

I think I once wrote a column on my ideas for combating the world's savages, one that doesn't involve Bush/McCain's Hundred Year War, or anything of the sort.

The United States is a nation of property (or was, if you want to get technical). In a quasi socialist manner of speaking, many of us own property: our homes, our businesses, some own lands and buildings of various kinds and for sundry reasons. Also, many of us own guns and various other kinds of weaponry for self defense, hunting, camping and other uses.

No foreign government has attacked any of the United States in recent decades, however several individuals have, in the name of some religious outlaw gang or another. Al queda is the alleged name the federal government likes to accuse most, but I don't by any means think they're the only one.

Al queda is, as near as I can tell, the brainchild of the spoiled brat kid of a rich Arab. He spouts islam as if it had something to do with the destructive ideas in his poisoned mind. Something of a similar nature is the genesis of groups like ham-ass and the various other hate-filled savage groups from that part of the world.

All that is only slightly relevant. It doesn't matter why these savages attack US properties and individuals, or who they are. I don't care. Just as I don't care why that poor college girl was murdered the other day. I care that some subhuman murdered a young woman, and her killer needs to be caught and punished. A better solution: the girl might have been armed, and able to successfully defend herself. But sadly, and stupidly, the prevailing airhead politicians have decided they'd rather see an innocent young women dead than to see her with a gun in her purse (or in her hand).

My solution to the Arabic savagery is the same as my solution to our local gang thuggery: if they trespass 'pon your property, arrest the bastards and prosecute them for trespass and for whatever else harmful they do, and if they won't be arrested, they can be planted.

Every individual should arm himself, learn to operate his weapons safely and effectively, and should learn how to conduct a citizen's arrest for those who'd rather face prosecution than die. Those who own property should be prepared to defend it from any of these suicidal/homicidal thugs. Those who can afford it might opt to hire security people, but in the end, every individual is responsible for his own life.

The many layers of government own much of the property within the borders of the various United States. They shouldn't, but they do. Fact of life, until we can change it. There is also a lot of corporate-owned property. This property should be (and is) the responsibility of its owners, and those they employ.

Park rangers must be responsible for the parks in which they work. They must be trained in firearms use and arrest technique and must be taught to protect the park and its visitors on pain of losing their jobs. Same goes for airline workers and those in airports, factories and stores. Heads should have rolled at the Boston airport and among the airline workers and government drones responsible for not arming the flight crews of the airliners involved in that disaster.

I like to use Disneyland as an example, because nobody gets away with much in that park--though it'd be better if visitors were able to carry weapons of self defense in the park. Park Security can't be everywhere, and it's only a matter of time until some deranged psychotic manages to sneak a gun into the park.

In short, it's been proven many times that areas in which individuals carry weapons are far more crime-free than are the so-called "gun free zones." Schools and malls are favorite places for psychotics to go to kill a few innocent people, and in a world in which government action rewards irrationality and punishes productivity, one has to be very carefully creative just to stay whole.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Got Pennies?

On one hand, it was a prank. Students in Readington Middle Children's Prison were upset over the shortness of their lunch period. To give voice to their plight, several students thought of a very clever way to dramatize the problem. They paid for their lunch with pennies. According to

"Got pennies!" It's plastered on their shirts and these eighth graders wear it proudly because on Thursday they pulled a prank at the Readington Middle School, paying for their lunches entirely in pennies. "At first it started out as a joke, then everyone else started saying we're protesting against like how short our lunch is," student Alyssa Concannon said. In fact, the penny prank has earned 29 students two days of detention. "There was no rule in the rulebook about it," student Sarah Henschel said. "It was just unfair. It's U.S. currency."
The New York City news station WCBS-TV expounds a bit more about the sordid tale here.

I've always been a supporter of peaceful student protest, and am very impressed by the inherent cleverness of this one. Were I the principal of the school, I'd have to find a way to reward the young minds behind this stunt. "50 points for Griffindor!"

The event that seems to have caused the punishments was basically the laziness and lack of wit in the persons of the cafeteria workers. The complaint was that the counting of the pennies caused some students to miss lunch, because of the slowness of the lunch line--the lunch counter workers had to count the pennies(!).

The lowly penny has indeed been getting a bad rap in recent years. The US mint even devalued the penny by starting to make them from copper-washed zinc instead of a real copper alloy, back in 1980. How many of us actually pay for our cash purchases to the penny, these days? Every day we empty our trouser pockets to find between ten and thirty pennies along with the other change. What to do with them? Put 'em in a jar.

Eventually, the jar gets full. Then what? The bank doesn't want them. Laziness seems to hit bank tellers, as well. I used to actually roll up my accumulated change and take it to the bank periodically. They no longer accept it, or will charge a 7 or 8 percent fee to accept it. More often, bank tellers direct you to a change machine, into which you can dump your coins and get a cash voucher, minus a 7 to 8 percent fee, which can then be deposited (after waiting in the interminable bank line yet again).

In my youth, a penny would buy a piece of Bazooka, or a bit of sugary liquid in a wax "Coke" bottle. Today, people simply throw them away. A handful of pennies won't buy anything. One has to wonder why they're still made.

Back to the point. Pennies are still around and theoretically still have value. They're still legal tender. Since the New Jersey children's prison accepts cash to pay for lunch at the cafeteria, one has to wonder on what grounds the staff imposed punishment for the use of pennies. No one disputes the students' assertion that there are no rules prohibiting pennies. If not, then what?

It's a fine method the New Jersey Children's Prison system has for teaching youngsters: making up the rules as they go along. Very typical of the same kind of idiots that impose "zero tolerance" programs to prohibit things that prison staffs find might cause them to actually have to (shudder) think!

Returning to all fours.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California