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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.

Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
  • Well, so much for that itty bit that’s left of the First Amendment. Capitol cops arrest documentary filmmakers trying to film a public hearing. (Tip o’ hat to MJR.)
  • Judge makes the right ruling for a change in the case of a cop who taped over his badge.
  • Did you see this strange story about a 12-year-old girl being protected by lions?
  • MamaLiberty, a firearms trainer (among her other skills), discusses thought processes, techniques, and legalities of armed self defense on the BrushFires of the Mind podcast. Apparently she’s becoming a regular for those of you who enjoy listening to podcasts. (The interesting stuff starts nearly 10 minutes in.)
  • Google (in its guise as Blogger) is adopting country-by-country censorship by redirecting you to a country-specific site, depending on your IP address. Dumb as this is in general, it really plays havoc on those of us who have variable IP addys and sometimes appear to be surfing from furrin parts.
  • Even the victims who had the scariest encounter with him have some sympathy for the Barefoot Bandit.
  • I never thought I’d link favorably to PETA. But I ran across this poster while doing an image search on a completely unrelated topic. Thought it was pretty darned good, even if PETA is to animal welfare as the U.S. government is to freedom.

20 Responses to “Thursday links”

  1. Water Lily Says:

    PETA and HSUS are an utter disgrace, but that poster was good, thanks.

  2. Kent McManigal Says:

    Of course, PETA considers having an animal companion, or eating a hamburger, to be “violence” to animals, so I don’t think they mean what you think they mean. But, ignoring any connection to PETA I agree that is a good poster.

    The lions probably weren’t protecting that girl; they were saving her for later. I’m glad one set of predators saved her from another set of predators until she could be rescued.

    And, Blogger/Google is just trying to protect itself from States and their silly “laws”. I wish they would just thumb their nose at government demands, but we know how that would end for the company (even if it opened the way for whoever came after them).

  3. MamaLiberty Says:

    Thanks, Claire! I hope some of the folks reading this will call in to our podcast. We talk each Tuesday evening at 9PM EST. Topics vary, but we always have an interesting discussion. Next week we will probably continue with the series on self defense, with some of the implications of “law” and the various problems we can encounter when exercising our rights. No legal advice, of course, just general discussion of some of the risks.

    And please forgive the rough and ready formatting. We are working to improve our presentation, and your participation or feedback will be so valuable.

    This link ( ) takes you to the main page. Scroll down to find the podcast you are interested in hearing. Lots more going on there! :)

  4. Victor Milán Says:

    See, the sympathy some of the Barefoot Bandit’s victims have for him isn’t an example of any questionable “Stockholm Syndrome” manifestation. It’s a symptom of how the rulers have well and truly broken the millennia-old system of external governance – or to call it what it is, partially-concealed slavery.

    The Bandit committed real crimes – crimes with victims. Acts of aggression.

    Yet the System has become so brutal, oppressive, and unfair – or rather, every day takes even less trouble trying to conceal the fact it’s all those things – that it fosters admiration for somebody who spits in its bloodshot fascist eye with such daring, resourcefulness, and panache.

    Even people, in my own observation, who are inclined to embrace law and order in the abstract.

    People increasingly root for outlaws – even ones far nastier than the Barefoot Bandit – because more and more of us are beginning to sense that the act of living itself is in the process of being outlawed. And to perceive the obvious corollary….

  5. Victor Milán Says:

    Also, another “yes” on the PETA poster. A man who’d torture an animal would torture a child.

    That’s why I consider the issue of cruelty to animals to have little or nothing to do with animals “rights.”

    That said, couldn’t it well serve as a recruiting poster for the Bush/Obama Continuum’s continuing War on Terra?

  6. Ole Wolf Says:

    Okay Claire- while I dearly love you for what you do. I AM a 30 year police officer and sometimes you just don’t seem to care about people if they’re not exactly what you want them to be. The Oakland officer was wrong to cover his nametag violated his department’s policies and showed a failure in common sense. BUT I can tell you from personal experience I DO NOT BLAME HIM ONE SECOND, nor the LT who failed to report him. He failed to follow policy as well.
    Here’s the most recent reason I feel this way and yes, there have been earlier similar incidents. After my 1st wife died I remarried a local girl. The 1st week we lived together we got two separate phone calls from two different gentlemen I had to deal with on the job. One a first-time DUI and the other just a guy I had to talk to about trespass. First one was at a hospital and asked for help so was admitted for detox and treatment. The other got a $50 dollar ticket and court date, no damage no foul. Both, “just called to let me know they knew where I lived” and the DUI added he, “had a good lawyer.” I would’ve understood if I had busted their heads or something… but I tried to keep it to use my own common sense and discretion to keep the peace… The end result, my new wife got pretty good with a pistol shortly thereafter. Why, because I darn near ALWAYS give anyone I deal with my business card. Just department info… but there’s my name. But then, I started in Law Enforcement before bullet proof vests and carried an old Smith & Wesson Model 15 wheel-gun and learned that technique from an even older officer.
    The automatic assumptions and inflammatory rhetoric by so many people that cops are all bad is driving a wedge between those we are meant to serve and the men and women hired and sworn to protect you. We’re just people folks. I honestly wish we didn’t have to do some of what we have to do – personally I don’t care what you do in your own home so long as it hurts no one else. Hurt someone, mala prohibita goes and takes my discretion with it and up comes mala in se.
    Bad cops make it hard to keep the peace – being second guessed, blamed, and cursed at every turn by the very people I’ve dedicated my life to helping makes the best officer just want to steer clear of the law abiding citizens and so, you don’t “know” us. That name-calling, blame game, hate-filled rhetoric drove me off the MMF forums, keeps me far away from social media, and drove this “mole” back down into his burrow….

  7. Claire Says:

    Ole Wolf — you wrote:

    “…sometimes you just don’t seem to care about people if they’re not exactly what you want them to be.”

    I know you’re a reasonable person and you sound like one of the rare remaining good cops. I don’t want to drive you away; I don’t even want to offend you. I certainly don’t agree with anybody threatening you or your family.

    I had to think hard about the quoted line. I wanted to deny it; but in this case, you’re right. I don’t care about that cop who taped over his badge and got in trouble for it.

    Not because he’s a cop. Not because he’s “not exactly what [I] want.” But because the very little information I have about him points toward him being one of the bad ones.

    I know only four things about him: 1) he’s with an agency that has a years-long record of brutality; 2) he was taking part in a violent action against non-violent protestors (an action that nearly killed a young Marine); 3) he wasn’t doing anything to stop the brutality; and 4) he tried to hide his identity from the public.

    Sure, it’s possible that he’s a great cop. It’s possible he fears for his family. It’s possible (though unlikely) that he always strives to obey the Constitution and that he never uses excessive force. But nobody has shown any evidence of that. So no, given the little I know, I don’t care about him at all.

    I know that bad cops are making life hell for good cops (even if I don’t know all the details of that hell). I know name-calling, etc. doesn’t build any bridges. And I didn’t call any names; I just said the judge was right to hold that officer and his superior accountable to the public.

    I also wish the growing animosity between police and the rest of us would stop. But police and their superiors are going to have to be the ones to stop it.

  8. MamaLiberty Says:

    Ole Wolf – the fact is that the “good apples” are not doing enough – by a long shot – to get rid of or reign in all the “bad apples.” The bad ones really do seem to be gaining fast.

    As for personal threats, that’s sad. The truth is that there is no square inch on earth where the threat of attack by someone, for some reason (or none) is ZERO. Police officers and their families have to be as well prepared to defend themselves as anyone else, or hire the appropriate help. As you well know, the police have NO legal obligation to defend me or any other individual. If we do not take personal responsibility for that, we just take our chances and quite possibly reap the deadly consequences.

    I’m associated with OathKeepers. We hear a lot of stories from those who do try to clean up their own ranks. It’s usually futile – and can be downright dangerous -because that is not the goal of the controlling organizations most of the time. And those who do not turn a blind eye to illegal, aggressive behavior by their “comrades in arms” often face serious danger to themselves and their families from those very “comrades.” Can you honestly deny that?

    The police have to stop insisting that they are hired to “serve and protect” anything or anybody except the government that hires them. Your personal integrity and additional desire to help others -while admirable – are not truly relevant to that fact.

    The growing animosity and anger is not a result of “name calling.” It’s the result of increasingly vicious and deadly encounters between police and the people they pretend to “serve and protect.” We are not far more apt to be killed or injured by the police in many places than we are to encounter a standard street criminal. Why do you suppose that is?

  9. MamaLiberty Says:


    We are NOW far more apt to be killed…

  10. Kent McManigal Says:

    Ole Wolf- Then I’m sure you’d be OK with “citizens” taping over their license plates to avoid being targeted by malevolent reavers on the roads. Right?

  11. MJR Says:

    Hey Ole Wolf I have found that if you work hard enough and look long enough there are reasons that can be found to justify anything.

    I am just a dumb old Security Guard/Private Investigator (Proprietary). Like you I have around 30 years of time in. I know what you have gone through with people finding where you live, it has happened to me. While I sure that the numbers are not as high as yours there are several folks that have had extended stays behind bars because of me and as a result I have had people try to threaten me. Unlike you I don’t have the option of carrying a gun home. Plus in the province where I live (yes I am Canadian) it is legislated that I provide photo ID upon request by anyone so they can complain about something I may have done. I am also legislated to wear a name tag all the time while on duty unless I am undercover.

    How do I protect my family? Work only has my cell phone to contact me when I am off duty and a PO Box when they need to send me any paperwork. My driver’s license lists my PO Box as the address and my car docs all list the PO Box as my address. All my bills i.e. phone, lights, etc. all go to that PO Box and the name on those bills is not mine. When, on those seldom occasions, I am stopped by one of your brother officers and they ask for a “real address” I tell them I live on a boat. What I have done, and I am suprised you haven’t, is to disguise my location the way my friends who are cops do.

    Do I use the excuse of threats to cover my name tag or refuse to show my ID, no. As for you Ole Wolf, as a Police Officer you need to be doing it better and cleaner not making excuses for bad behaviour.

  12. Matt, another Says:

    Regardless of reason why, the officer in Oakland violated department policy that had been mandated by the federal courts (the only thing police departments are afraid of). The Lt violated policy by failing to report it. In a beauracratic organzation, both of those are major fails. The fact that the dept could be sanctioned and fined by the govt is the real concern and one they won’t let him forget.

  13. Scott Says:

    For what it’s worth-some cops do successfully reel in the bad apples-or, in the case I’m familiar with, new apples. In the town I used to live in, I knew one of the cops there(he’d worked with me as maintenance until the police dept. hired him on). Afterward, he told me of having to have a sit-down and talk with a couple cops fresh out of police academy-some were just a little too gung-ho, eager to “prove” themselves,where such “proving” wasn’t necessary. They’ve weren’t “bad apples” as such, just a little too eager,and with little real-world, small town experience. Despite the Hollywood image of the small-town cop as a Buford T. Justice type, it’s usually the other way arround.
    A small-town cop is usually a lot more understanding than an urban one. In what little dealings with police I’ve had (a few tickets,tail light out,- I got a warning on a bicycle once-45 MPH in a 30 MPH zone, that sort of thing), that’s been the case.

  14. Mic Says:

    The story about the lions was really cool. In the story it says that the police had caught 4 of the thugs and were still looking for 3 of them. I wonder if they checked in the stomach of the lions :)

    Maybe that is why they didn’t eat the little girl, they were already full from eating thugs!

  15. Chem Says:

    I think that law enforcement is simply a reflection of the society and government that produces it.

    Italy is an incompetent and inefficient government that produces police that are likewise (though I am sure many want to help people and do good things).

    A government that goes beyond its bounds and does things it should not will produce police that do the same.

    A people who wants everything professionalized, has an attitude that all services must be performed flawlessly or they will sue, who thinks they have professional emergency services so no one who is not a professional responder should do anything in an emergency… What kind of police are produced from people like that? A people that want the police to protect them so that they are never bothered by anything want a police that is separate from them. A police that feels separated from society, that is only supposed to interact with those sordid criminal types is going to be resentful and see the world as much more threatening than the rest of society. They become much more focused on surviving than helping.

    While individual officers who commit crimes are absolutely responsible for their actions and should be punished accordingly, we as a society are responsible for the collective actions of our police.

    The answer to police brutality or police overreaching their duties is not something that police can fix (though they can be PART of the solution), it is something for society to fix through revising what it wants its police to do.

  16. Pat Says:

    But, Chem, we “as a society” do not exist — we are made up of individuals. Which part of America’s society is able to “fix” this, if not the individuals who are responsible?

    “The answer to police brutality or police overreaching their duties is not something that police can fix (though they can be PART of the solution), it is something for society to fix through revising what it wants its police to do.”

    Who controls the revision of laws that allow the police to act the way they do? The answer is those who made or encouraged the laws in the first place. Those who want everything done for them will not turn around _en masse_ and suddenly want this “fixed”. And certainly a government that goes beyond its bounds will not encourage its police force to shape up; it uses them for its own purpose. So who’s left, beyond the government and the masses?

    (Well, I guess we are — but how do WE fix it when we are the enemy too? We are not “society” [in no sense do we fit in here]; we are individuals like all the rest, and are hopelessly outnumbered. So much for democracy…)

  17. Chem Says:

    What I mean Pat is that the police can alter certain things. For instance most officers like to think of themselves as the good guys. They can do a lot to encourage their fellows to live up to the values and standards that their departments espouse. This is something they can do.

    What the LE cannot do is change the expectations others have for them. People WANT the police to meddle in their affairs. Even in some environments where residents are very ill inclined towards the police they call the police, the people they dislike to deal with problems.

    How can we the people change this? As tough a row to hoe as the police have to reform themselves. Start small. If you read this blog it is very likely that 90% of Americans react to your beliefs and ideas in a range stretching from “Strange” to “Crazy and should be locked up”. Look, you are not going to sell them on being Anarchist, you are not going to convince them to be libertarians, you are not even going to get them to support a Republican with liberty leanings. So I say dont try. The total package of liberty in its purer form is not what people want.

    But, you can sell people on certain ideas.
    1. Encouraging people to take charge of their own safety is one. The more people who do not feel that absolutely need the police to deal with every threat to their safety the better.
    2. Take charge of their food supply. Gardening, long term storage food, less prepared food. More people doing this makes society more resilient when adversity strikes.
    3. Take charge of their communities through VOLUNTARY associations. Try to restore private sources of aid to people in need, private sources to moderate the self-destructive impulses of the population. Disenfranchise the government sources for these things. Yeah the government wont want to let go but you will never convince people to get the government out of that game without presenting an alternative.

    Too much of the liberty minded community is focused on rights and celebrating doing things for rights own sake. I think we should look at the problems that caused these oppressive state mechanisms to be invented and come up with our own solutions and make those solutions a reality. I dont say this because I dislike the liberty community, quite the opposite. I say this because we can publish books, treatises and have award winning websites (like Reason and such) till we are blue in the face. That alone will not convince people.

    I have a friend who is an auto mechanic and workaholic. He does not read, he has little education aside from being a mechanic. He works from sun up into the night fixing cars, when he finally stops he watches TV for an hour or two and falls asleep in front of it. You will not convert him…EVER. If John Galt tried to give him the pitch he would wander off within a minute or two. You CAN get him involved in funneling his restless energy into a neighborhood watch, taking cub scouts to the range, helping at a local private animal shelter or any number of things.

    You can be as individualist as you want Pat, you can not fit in to society all you want. You are part of it. Your lifestyle, diet, security, access to the interweb and everything else ties you inextricably into that society even if your beliefs are different than 99.9% of your fellow man. Until we fix that society better than it is now, those who want to not be bothered by the ills of society will pawn the problems off on the government and meddling is the result.

  18. Pat Says:

    “Too much of the liberty minded community is focused on rights and celebrating doing things for rights own sake.”

    What’s wrong with doing things for “rights own sake”? Is there any other way to do it? (And I use the word “rights” with both meanings in that sentence — as the right or honorable thing to do, and as human rights.)

    “I think we should look at the problems that caused these oppressive state mechanisms to be invented and come up with our own solutions and make those solutions a reality.”

    What do you think the liberty community has been doing? Books, articles, websites, bloggers, have all been expounding what’s wrong, and what should be done to rectify it, for YEARS. Nobody wants to believe it because it doesn’t fit into their lifestyle. True of politicians and their tyrannical minions, and true of sheeple.

    Why do you think we sometimes sound shrill and jaded? We weren’t born cynical, we become that way over a period of watching the country go to pot; hearing socialistic crap spew from the mouths of idiots; seeing unheeding neighbors sit on their duffs waiting for George to do it (any George you want to name); feeling overwhelmed by the sheer numbers who look down their noses at _our_ naivety, while they turn the country into a fascist state at our expense.

    “You can be as individualist as you want Pat, you can not fit in to society all you want. You are part of it. Your lifestyle, diet, security, access to the interweb and everything else ties you inextricably into that society even if your beliefs are different than 99.9% of your fellow man. Until we fix that society better than it is now, those who want to not be bothered by the ills of society will pawn the problems off on the government and meddling is the result.”

    My “individualism” (which is nothing more or less than my right to be myself) does not make me “not be bothered by the ills of society”; rather I am more bothered than you will ever know — and haunted by it because I *can’t* do anything to change the direction this country is going. Those ills are taking me down with them — and that’s something the government has no RIGHT to do.

    How do I (How do you? How does anyone?) “fit in” to any community/society/nation that is philosophically opposed to understanding its own history? Or cause-and-effect? The reasons for war and the economic results of it? What education is all about and how — and which — subjects should be taught? When special interests and being politically correct are more important than justice? When the justice department itself (and every other department) makes its own rules and changes them at will, so no person knows what’s right or wrong, legal or illegal on any given day?

    Go ahead. Tell me how YOU would fix a corrupt society that has no desire to be fixed. What power do you have that could change a society that won’t listen, and doesn’t care? And what makes you think the U.S. would listen today, in 2012, to the liberty community after 200 years of ignoring it?

  19. Chem Says:

    To answer a small part of your post Pat, there is nothing wrong with exercising ones rights, just remember that having the right to commit and act doesnt make that act the right thing to do in a certain place and time based on your ultimate objectives and desired results.

    I acknowledge that some liberty activists try hard to work on these things. They absolutely have earned being cynical from constant exposure to the silliness of people and the power of the state.

    I guess my question is where does the solution lie? Are we gonna exchange sage blog postings our whole lives and shake our heads knowingly about how bad things are? Wait till we can shoot the bastards? Be pissed and insist the police fix themselves? Just be pissed? Whats the plan of action? Where do we go from here? We have already agreed people dont want to change and dont want to live differently.

    Heinlein like space travel? Travel to a planet, set up your own way of doing things and know that in a hundred years or so you are going to have to move on because things are getting to bureaucratic? I would be down with that but the problem is the earth is awfully crowded, space travel is not going to be ready for that for a while and in the mean time all we can do is sue each other for the resources that are already here. So in the interim we are going to have to figure this out.

  20. Kent McManigal Says:

    Well, Chem, I don’t know about you, but I write blog posts, newspaper articles, and comments not necessarily to “convert” anyone (although it has happened), but in order to understand why I believe what I believe, and to sort it all out in my own head. That way I am more able to live as the individual I want to be right now. Recognizing the rights of others is part of that process.

    I’m not waiting for “society” to change to be what I wish it were, but I am doing what I know to be right in the best way I am able. Sure, there are bad guys out there trying to stop me, but that will always be the case, even in Libertopia. If you can’t live free here and now, you’d find some excuse no matter what.

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