That’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature


Joel Kotkin has a piece over at City Journal about the failure of the California high-speed rail project. Reality has finally set in, and the new governor is pulling the plug on the wasteful endeavor which has been emblematic of the state’s elite class’s mismanagement of their fellow citizens’ subjects’ lives.

Some greens and train enthusiasts, such as the deep-blue Los Angeles Times editorial board, have criticized Newsom’s move, and others remain adamant in their support of the plane-to-train trope. But California, which has embarked on its own Green New Deal of sorts, has seen these results:  high energy and housing costs, and the nation’s highest cost-adjusted poverty rate, and a society that increasingly resembles a feudal social order. Attempts to refashion global climate in one state reflects either a peculiarly Californian hubris or a surfeit of revolutionary zeal.

It was the early warning signs of the attempt by rich Progressives who were certain that they knew better to take over California and make it in their own image that led Mrs. Hoge and me to move out of the state in 1990. Being in the upper 5-% of the income spectrum was clearly going to be insufficient to allow for protection from the coming changes. Indeed, it made us prime targets of upper-middle-class “wealth” to be taxed. We joined the first cohort of economic refugees.

California is now becoming a feudal society with rich Progressives and Democrat politicians at the top, a growing class of serfs at the bottom, and a disappearing middle-class. That’s fine for the folks at the top. For now. But it can’t and won’t be stable, and that instability isn’t a bug. It’s a Real World feature resulting from the Laws of Thermodynamics. What can’t go on forever, won’t go on forever.

The Vietnam Service Medal


I received one for my service in Vietnam in 1971-72.

I’m 71 years old and one of the youngest recipients. There are only a few stragglers left who served in that war who aren’t drawing Social Security yet. Other than for service during the two days of Operation Frequent Wind in April, 1975, the last qualifying action for the Vietnam Service Medal took place on 28 January, 1973. It is highly unlikely that anyone who joined the military during or after 1972 would have been legitimately awarded the medal.

A Note to Gillette


In re you new ad—The last time I shaved was the morning of our wedding day.

When Mrs. Hoge and I first met, I had just returned from active duty as an Army Reservist, so my chin whiskers were gone, but my mustache was intact. By the time we met again I had regrown my beard, and it remained intact throughout our courtship. However, she suggested that I shave off everything except my mustache for the wedding.

Our wedding was scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the small Indiana town where her grandparents lived. I drove her up from Nashville on the weekend before and went back to Tennessee on Sunday to go to work on Monday. I shaved my beard on Monday. On Wednesday, I drove up to Indiana. Connie greeted me at the door with a big hug and kiss. After a prolonged hug, she stepped back with a quizzical look on her face. After a few seconds, she spoke, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Grow it back after the wedding.”

At Least 1/256 Scot


I’m a descendant of William Hoge and Barbara Hume Hoge who both immigrated from Scotland to America in 1680. They were my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents.

UPDATE—When a couple of my aunts (my mother’s sisters) were doing genealogical research so they could join the DAR, they discovered that they were descended matrilineally from Elizabeth Hoge, the daughter of James Hoge, Sr. (William and Barbara’s grandson) who served in a Pennsylvania militia at Valley Forge.  My father was a descendant of James Hoge, Jr., which means that my parents were fifth cousins and that I’m my own sixth cousin.