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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Archive for October, 2011

Claire Wolfe

Riot dog

Monday, October 31st, 2011

You may have heard about the famous riot dog that’s become a symbol of Greek resistance (or Greek mayhem, depending on your point of view). Well, check out these photos. And this being Halloween, be sure to check out the very last one on the linked page.

Famous riot dog of Athens confronts police in a cloud of gas

I’m surprised cops haven’t puppycided him yet.

Claire Wolfe

Monday miscellany

Monday, October 31st, 2011
  • The road from self-reliance to self-pity.
  • Whole gangs of “constitutional sheriffs” in Northern California? Wonders never cease. (Too bad this intriguing article never gets around to mentioning the very important state of Jefferson.)
  • Via Wendy McElroy: You’ll never believe the latest group the FBI considers a threat. (I’m going to have to create a new topic category for Stupidity Above And Beyond the Call of Even the Government.)
  • While I don’t agree with this writer’s snarky take on Occupy Wall Street, it sure does seem some young lefties are learning some real-life lessons. Including one right out of Atlas Shrugged.
  • Scott Olsen update.
  • Hard to know whether to say OMG on this Stupid Government Trick or what the hell did you think would happen when you got in bed with the regulators in the first place.
  • Speaking of getting in bed with the wrong people … lessee, you get yourself on a TV show that’s promoted as being all about “drunken dares … to war-like fights and sexcapades” … then you claim they didn’t treat you nice???
  • Let us focus on a more intelligent species: The six best dog Halloween costumes on the Internet. Plus two, courtesy of Joel.
  • Steve Jobs’ wonderful last words. And a touching eulogy from his sister.
Claire Wolfe

New from Jake and Friday links

Friday, October 28th, 2011

My brain, OTOH, still feels as if it’s going to explode from the pressures of deadlining. But I’m sneaking out of the office this afternoon for Costco therapy with girlfriend L. The nearest Costco is more than an hour away. Fortunately it’s also at the end of a very scenic drive that features not only some lovely portions of the great NorthWET, but several latte stands. And being a Friday, there might even be — garage sales! See ya later.

Claire Wolfe

Pain in the brain, Thursday miscellany & thoughts for Scott

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Man, this round of deadlining is hurting my head and my whole self. I’ve just done the second draft of the most difficult article I’ve written in years. Probably wrote 15,000 words overall (that’s about 1/6th of a novel, people) to get 4,000 that I hope are useable. Write, rewrite, cut, cut, cut, rewrite, cut, cut. Have a feeling the client will still want one more session of slash and burn. Maybe tear the thing down to 3,000 or 3,500.

After that, more deadlines. More challenging ones, in a way. Some days, I wish I’d taken up a promising career in ditch-digging when I had a chance.

But you know us writers and arty types. We Suffer in true capital-S style.

In the meantime, while I’m destroying my health and sanity for The Sake of My Art (but don’t worry about me ...), you might want:

Claire Wolfe

ONE MAN can shut off all broadcasting in the U.S.?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

… Well, we’ll see about that on November 9. From Jim B. in a comment section, the feddies will try to take over all radio and television broadcasting at 2:00 p.m. EST on that date as a “test” of the system.

As one of the commentors on that article put it, this isn’t actually a test — which would be done at oh-dark-thirty. This is a demonstration. Of power. And fear.

Odd, too. The old Emergency Broadcast System (EBS), which has been around since the cold war, relied on the discretion of the broadcasters (which, granted, could be fallible). The upcoming shutdown is the first nationwide use of EBS’s successor, the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which is centralized. One man, the Big Boy himself, has the power to activate it, and he has delegated that power to the always-competent and of course democratically elected [/sarcasm] head of FEMA.

EAS has been around nearly 15 years — before many people were even aware of some newfangled thingie called the Internet. And they’re just getting around to “testing” it now?

According to the FCC website:

The EAS is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency. The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas.

… So the capital-P President needs to address every TV zombie and Limbaugh listener during a national emergency? Might we ask, “Whuffor?” This ain’t the day when Roosevelt comforted our grannies and grampies with his famous Fireside Chats. We are just a leeeetle bit smarter and more skeptical of power now. And the dangers we face today are no worse than we faced when the USSR and USSA held each other as nuclear hostages under the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction.

And if you want to see “fallible” on a grand, nationwide scale, just put something in the hands of FEMA. Yeah, that’ll work out real well.

So really, ya gotta wonder what they’re thinking.

And oh yeah … they forgot the Internet. Now shutting down that would be an interesting project …

Claire Wolfe

Monday miscellany

Monday, October 24th, 2011
  • Some ammo for the next time some statist tells you that laws should be obeyed just because they’re there. Give ’em something to think about.
  • This has been around a few months, but it’s pretty interesting if accurate: “Real-Life Rearden Metal?”
  • A Lyttony of bad writing: Every winner of the Edward Bulwer-Lytton contest, 1983 to the present. That’s the contest where entrants write just the opening paragraph of a really, really, really bad novel. (Thank heaven that’s as far as they go!)

Speaking of really bad, these guys (source) look like like something from the opening scene of a really bad horror movie. A nest of identity-stealing pods? Giant worms? Articulate brains?

Ew. But at the same time … Awwww.

Sharpei pups sleeping, looking not of this earth

Deadlining this week. Will post as I can …

Claire Wolfe

Zombie apocalypse: just in case

Friday, October 21st, 2011
Claire Wolfe

Bug-out bag links and a friends-and-family preparedness group

Friday, October 21st, 2011

“The bug-out bag resource list — covering the best sources online.”

Excellent collection of links on multiple aspects of bug-out bags — everything from “What is a bug-out bag?” to special-needs bags. Great site in general. Links, links, links on many aspects of preparedness. (A couple of the links are to this blog, I’m happy to say. But there’s so much more.)


Speaking of preparedness, here’s a real-world idea from a real do-er. One of the readers of this blog, who doesn’t want to be named, is helping his friends develop their preparedness mindset and skills in a way that is both painless and clever. Maybe even fun.

He purchased copies of the booklet Surviving a Disaster by Tony Nester and distributed them to relatives and acquaintances in his area who were receptive to the idea of preparedness but maybe needed a nudge.

Then he set up an invitation-only email list using one of the common online resources (e.g. Yahoo!, Google, or MSN groups ) and asked those same people to join him for regular, structured discussion. And I know this guy; he is all thumbs when it comes to technology. He says if he can set up a discussion list, anybody can.

I didn’t ask, but I suspect he chose Nester’s book partly because it’s small and not daunting and partly because the book has a specific focus: evacuation strategies and kits. He lives in an area subject to several “predictably unpredictable” types of disasters, and Nester’s advice is appropriate for common non-TEOTWAWKI emergencies group members might find themselves in.

He didn’t just say, “Come join me to talk about it.” He’s assigned reading (“Pages 1-5 by this Thursday”) and is keeping discussions targeted and action-oriented.

What a great way to build a small preparedness community while also looking out for the people you most care about.

Surely this is something any of us could implement without breaking a sweat.

Okay, maybe in our case participants would have to buy their own books. OTOH, instead of books, you could easily base the discussion around online articles; your assigned reading would be in the form of links — of which there just happen to be tons.

Survival Tips and Tricks (linked above) and MD Creekmore’s Survivalist Blog are good places to start. But yeah … when it comes to this topic, you’ve already got your own favorite sources, right?

Claire Wolfe

Four from Jake

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Jake MacGregor must be feeling better. Four chapters of The Advisor posted this week, beginning with chapter 41. And he tells me he’s already got two more chapters “in the bank.” Yay!

Claire Wolfe

Thursday miscellany

Thursday, October 20th, 2011
  • It’s amazing — and encouraging — how many commentators suddenly seem to be realizing that the problem isn’t “right” or “left” or even a matter of a system needing “reform.” The problem is oligarchy. Tuesday I linked to a very good article about The Bigs. Novelist Barry Eisler is among the first to come right out and use the proper term. (Tip o’ hat to J.)
  • That noxious Louisiana law banning second-hand dealers from transacting any business in cash. You may have read about it. Ellendra in the comments points to an article that says it was passed in virtual secrecy.
  • More on the health miracles of an ordinary kitchen spice.
  • With thanks to H, here’s more on the life and death of firearms hero and “justice” system victim, Al Woodbridge. Unfortunately, this isn’t a permalink but just a link to the main page of the Oregon Firearms Federation; can’t say how long it will carry Al’s story.
  • “Your cash for their clunkers. Not just another Obama energy favorite in trouble, but a glimpse of an industry of, by, and for government subsidies.
  • Finally, for those who don’t mind occasional bits of “sick dog” news, foster-boy had extensive surgery to repair his birth defect yesterday. He’s recovering nicely at the vet’s. She left enough of the sheath so he’ll retain a “boy” look, though she did end up having to (ouch) remove his deformed and non-functional penis. He won’t be coming back to me after recovery, but I’ll get to visit him this morning.
Claire Wolfe

Awakening or endarkenment?

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The word “awakening” came up twice yesterday, once in a very good article by Michael Needham and Tim Chapman, the second time in a less clear context in the comment section.

Awakening is a concept that’s been on my mind lately, too.

Needham and Chapman say that “a great awakening is sweeping the nation.” I think a great awakening is trying to sweep the nation. But so far (for most people) it’s only reached that early a.m. stage where you know something is strange in your dream but you haven’t yet gotten conscious.

But then, that’s the way awakenings are.

Still, I don’t think you can call the current mass of formless rage against the machine an enlightenment. Not when so much of its discourse is conducted on this level. Not when the Republicans can take the whole Tea Party back into the establishment without a fight. Not when the aims of a protest are so amorphous that both the Nazis and the Communist party can claim kinship with it. (And yes, I know; they’re just two different forms of socialist, but they’re two very different forms in this case. Or at least one likes to imagine they’d be horrified to be in bed with each other.)

It’s clear that the establishment (“The Bigs” as Needham and Chapman astutely name them) will try to bring any would-be awakening back into the dreamland shadow of power. That’s what entrenched power does. That’s what it’s done throughout history.

Sometimes it wins — and the awakening (and sometimes the entire culture) goes dark. Sometimes the would-be awakening succeeds just far enough to throw the old ways into chaos — but offers nothing new to build on. (I fear we’re in danger of that.)

Occasionally the light actually breaks through. A critical mass of people understand what they’re for — and why — and not just what they’re against. At that moment, the potential for hope can arise.

Which do you think it will be? Awakening? Endarkenment? Or some crepuscular in-between state?

Claire Wolfe

Photo of the day

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Framed cat art inspected by live cat

Friend of mine sent this yesterday to show me how nice the drawing of her cat looks now that it’s framed. I quite agree. Apparently my friend and I aren’t the only ones who appreciate it. :-)

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