Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Better Children's Prison?

This blog article is worth a read. While I still think that education should be separated from the state by a titanium wall thirty feet thick, and while I think regimentation and enforced conformity is a huge mistake, these children's prisons seem to be getting results.

Wolf Howling: An Educational Revolution In California?

You can learn, or you can leave.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Mind Is a Terrible Thing To Waste

I always feel a little twinge when I hear that some young mind, 'pon taking his BA degree, announces that he's going on to law school. Of course, any intellectual endeavor isn't a bad thing--learning is always school?

Law is a growth industry, which is why so many students choose the discipline. Legislators (mostly lawyers) continually create more laws, assuring plenty of work for practicing attorneys. It must look very good to the grad, seeing hundreds of thousands of lawyers, in nearly every area of American life, all becoming wealthy helping resolve disputes among men.

I won't begin by saying that the law profession is a negative factor in American society, even though in many ways it is, but I will say that the law profession is largely wasted time.

There are far too many laws. Attorneys create laws for everything. Then, they create laws to fill loopholes in laws. They create laws that contradict other laws. They create laws that cover the same ill (real or imagined) using different verbiage.

They do it largely to make work--hence to make more money as many more hours are needed to sort, separate and identify which law applies to a situation while the opposing attorney finds laws that contradict the case of his opponent.

Wasted time: not wasted time for the attorney, of course--it's cash in the till, but wasted time for the litigants who, in a healthier place and time, might simply discuss the matter, come to an agreement and shake hands to do business together on another occasion.

Why is the idea of doing real work; discovering and applying knowledge gleaned through research, inventing and building useful things, going to new places to explore to find phenomena never before known, and other constructive endeavors gone so completely out of fashion? Why do only a relative few study engineering, physics, medicine--in short, areas of study that will actually lead to something beneficial?

Government has regulated these disciplines to the degree that many of those who might take these studies are apprehensive about the conditions under which they'd have to work. The possibilities presented by the study of law must appear very attractive to the student who sees the uncertainty that exists in the future of, say, medicine.

Don't murder, don't steal and don't lie. These three laws are all that's needed. An unequivocal affirmation of each man's right to his life and property and his right to use and disposal as he sees fit.

Then, and only then will there be freedom for each to be a creative individual to the extent of his ability and potential.

Not many attorneys are needed for that.

From each according to his ability to each according to his ability.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Hidden Bonus In This Election

This past weekend, John & Ken, a pair of local talkers on KFI-AM radio in El Pueblo de Los Angeles, held a party/protest out at Tom's Farms, a sort of farmer's market complex outside of Corona, Calif. It was a protest against Guber Schwarzengroper's tax & spend referenda 'pon which some of us voted yesterday. The set of referenda were sniggeringly sold as a way to help balance Stalag California's budget, but would really have served to hand billions more dollars to the Stalag's administrators to wantonly spend on wasteful things the embattled residents of the state neither want nor need.

Reports from The Wine Commonsewer and others indicated that it was a good-natured (if angry) group of protesters as much making fun of the Guber's (and the state legislators') actions as being critical. It seems to have worked, since the event got a fair amount of media coverage and helped point much of the voting portion of the Stalag's population toward fiscal good sense (for a change). The worst five of the six referenda were defeated resoundingly.

Guber Schwarzengroper just happened to be in Washington DC, home of the slickest and most accomplished thieves and murderers our nation can manage to produce, hat in hand, begging for Mr. Thompson President Obama to loot the other forty-nine states and give him the money. The trip had the added bonus of placing the Guber farther from the humiliation of having lost again.

We're all, those of us with even the least regard for our personal well-being and some small amount of pride in our ability to produce and our desire to live independently, are pleased that more and more people are beginning to understand that the looters will take all of your money if they aren't stopped. These insatiable parasites will never be satisfied until they've starved their hosts to death and then will go looking for more.

Michael Chrichton once observed, within the pages of his marvelous novel, Andromeda Strain, that a successful parasite never takes so much from his host that the host's life is endangered. An unsuccessful parasite kills its host by his greed, finally endangering the parasite himself, which must then quickly find another host before he, himself, starves.

Boys and girls, the state is rapidly becoming an unsuccessful parasite.

My congratulations and thanks go out to all who fought, voted against, and ultimately defeated this round of foolishness.

And thanks to John and Ken for making a lot of noise, saying the right things at the right time.

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

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Friday, May 15, 2009

Facebook, Your Agenda Is Showing!

Rep. Jeff Flake (R Ariz), who appears to have been named after his personality, has been selling himself as a fiscal conservative, bordering 'pon libertarianism, for longer than I've known of him (a couple of years or so). He has been hyped as being tight-fisted with taxpayer dollars and has signed on to the Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge and who says on his website “[t]he last thing this economy needs is a tax hike."

Some of the conservatives on my friends list on facebook recommended adding him, which I did. Not paying a lot of attention to politicians, I didn't think much about Flake until I read this article on Freedom's Phoenix about his having introduced a carbon tax bill, and realized he's just another spineless, tax-and-spend socialist like everyone else in Washington DC. Now, I ll have to remove him from my friends list and write on the blackboard 10,000 times, "I will never believe a lying sack-of-shit politician again!"

Apparently Flake has signed onto the algorian notion (which is to say, psychotically ludicrous notion) that carbon, 'pon which our very own bodies are based, is a pollutant. Algorians are, of course, self-hating fools, but writing this nonsense into law is suicidal!

Well, I made that decision many years ago, but I have a severe weakness of trusting people too much. I just momentarily forgot that Flake is, first and foremost, a thievin' politician and once one goes down that road, one can never come back. Am I disillusioned? Maybe a little. It's unfortunate, though, that one is disillusioned hundreds, if not thousands of times in a lifetime. You get used to it.

The reason I entitled this entry for facebook is that I wrote a somewhat scathing message (no profanity) to Flake's facebook page, then watched it disappear from the screen. That tells me that the fine folks at facebook are good with an all-powerful, ever growing government. But hell, who isn't? Just us couple of million libertarians trying to fly under the Luftwaffe radar.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,
Col. Hogan

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do What You Want--Leave Me Out Of it

All the stuff I've been hearing/reading about the lovely Carrie Prejean doesn't make me regret my vote against Stalag California's Prop 8--well, it kind of does after watching those bloody fools go crazy protesting the way the vote went. If you live by the ballot, you die by the ballot. As I gradually follow many of my libertarian friends toward non-voting, I actually think maybe I should give it up as one of my many filthy habits.

Carrie Prejean was asked a question, answered it honestly--if a mite hesitantly--and has been getting verbally bludgeoned for it ever since. Why can't (certain) homosexuals accept the fact that not everyone likes them?

Proposition 8 allowed anyone who can vote decide how a minority should live. This is the precise practical application of the old definition of democracy: that democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. I wouldn't have advocated putting Prop 8 on the ballot. The proper initiative would've been "should government have any role in marriage." The answer is no. There is no clause in the US Constitution allowing government to be involved in this area. There is no rational justification for government involvement here.

The whole thing is simply conservative christians deciding to write christian doctrine into law--already forbidden by the First Amendment. Any couple--or group--wanting to declare themselves married should do so, with whatever ceremony they can put together and with whatever vows they can agree upon.

Marriage is first a religious tradition. It's a rite of passing, a blessings to a couple's union and and, I guess, permission to conceive, birth and rear children. Not being a religious sort, I don't fully understand the concept (in view of the religious persons' oft-exercised propensity to end the lifelong vows exchanged in the ceremony) and probably never will.

Marriage is second a "contract" between the couple for mutual support and division of labor. And for division of property and responsibility in the event of the end of the relationship. In practice, this contract should be explicitly negotiated, agreed 'pon, and rendered fully legal and enforceable prior to the beginning of the union, and should become the first issue to be settled prior to the union.

Terms should be any that can be agreed 'pon by a couple or group, regardless of the sexes, orientations, or degrees of wealth and success of the parties involved.

Once government is thrown out of the equation (except if the parties name government courts as arbiters) , there would be no more arguments over who can marry and who can't. Anyone can declare himself married to anyone--or more than one. The only requirement would be sentience to the degree of being able to sign a contract.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Dating In The 21st Century

When I was a wee lad, those many years ago, even the bums riding the rails wore suit jackets and hats--often a long time between cleanings, and usually a mite threadbare, but they wore 'em. Men dressed in suits for dinner in a restaurant, and wore suits for indoor work and hats (if not hardhats) for outdoor work.

Things have deteriorated over time. The breakdown seems to have happened during the late 1960's to early 1970's.

I've been working nights lately, doing in-street work on the very busy (and very narrow and winding) Laurel Canyon Boulevard. For a lunch break, I paused for an early breakfast at Jerry's Famous Deli, in Studio City. I've eaten there many times over the years, and though it's a mite pricey, the food makes it worthwhile. Good cooks, fair portions and a New York deli style I learned to value some time ago. And, they're open 24 hours.

Last night (or this morning) I arrived at about 1:00am. Shortly after I was seated, I saw a lovely young woman returning to her booth, directly next to mine, from the bathroom. She was wearing a delightful yellow summer dress, her hair was done nicely and she looked like the kind of girl any man would be proud to bee seen with. The only flaw I could see was that unfortunate predilection many women have to wear their bra straps visible alongside her dress straps. Tacky, but apparently in style with some.

Momentarily, her date joined her in the booth.

This dope was wearing a pair of those atrocious baggy denim shorts--you know, the ones that are so long and baggy that they can be mistaken for jeans for a fat, but very short guy. I blame baxabaw for this sad trend. The short bit of leg that sticks out of I call them garments?--makes them look like Eric Cartman, of South Park fame. Oh, my! To continue the fashion statement, the otherwise good-looking fellow wore a "wife beater" shirt, was fashionably unshaven (fashionable twenty-odd years ago), had his hair cut so short he looked like he's recently taken chemotherapy treatments, and was heavily tattooed on his arms, shoulders and perhaps more.

The contrast was startling!

Now, we all know that many young women are incredibly careless in their choices in men and their lack of feminine restraint in their company. The high numbers of single mothers easily attest to their lack of discrimination and resolve.

This lovely young woman obviously spent a lot of time preparing for her date, and her date looks like he spent the day leaning against a lamp post in East LA.

Women should take the initiative and require that their dates look presentable, be clean and neat as well as polite and respectful.

Darwin was wrong!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California