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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, April 24th, 2014

I’m supposed to be deadlining right now. And I am. I will be. I already know what I’m going to write; it’s only a matter of writing it.

But I’m grouchy and out of sorts and feeling generally useless, so I thought I’d get some of that out of my head.


Stupid people. Exhibit B: Cliven Bundy. What kind of clueless, arrogant moron would, in this day and age, make that kind of racist, ignoramus remark? Equally bad, what kind of clueless, ungrateful, arrogant moron would say something like that to the media when other people are putting their reputations, and even their lives, on the line for him?

Don’t get me wrong; the issues here go far beyond whether Cliven Bundy is a nice guy or not, and I realize that the defenders at Bunkerville aren’t there for one individual dumbarse rancher’s sake. But still. Still. Giving the MSM its very, very favorite kind of ammo is beyond the pale.


And presidents. Presidents visiting disaster sites. What a cynical game!

I’m tired in general of this notion that any president is supposed to be our father, mother, best friend, and rich uncle and that he’s always supposed to be there for us when we’re hurting. To whatever extent a country needs a president (and that’s debatable, of course), he should just … preside. You know, administer. Not go around pretending to care about the Little People.

Specifically, this week I’m grouchy about Obama showing up to pretend to care about the Oso, Washington, mudslide victims.

If you care so much, Mr. Prez, why haven’t you been there all along with a shovel?

I heard him on NPR yesterday and what really hacked me off (aside from the very doing of the thing (just because it made a convenient stop on his trip to Asia) — was that he cared so very, very, very little that he didn’t even learn the name of the place.

AH-so, he called it.

My first thought, after cringing, was, “Who do you think you are? Charlie Chan?”

But really, that mispronunciation wasn’t a mere gaffe. It was an attempt to sound high-falutin’ and more-Harvard-than-thou. Obama reminded me of a family that used to live in my mother’s neighborhood when she was a little girl. During the Great Depression, Mom’s family and a bunch of other working- and middle-class families had the chance to pick up dirt-cheap homes in a nice area after their original owners (stock brokers and architects and suchlike) went bust.

One of those families was the O’Tooles. Having gotten themselves a grand home, it would no longer do to be mere Irish. They kept the spelling of their name (sans apostrophe) but switched the pronunciation to AH-tu-lay.

At least it was their own name; they could pronounce it “Smith” or “Cholmondeley” if they wanted. But you stupid, uncaring, superior-wannabe president, the dead and bereaved and heroically laboring people of simple, three-letter, Spanish-for-bear Oso, Washington, deserve at least more convincing fakery from you.


I’m feeling grouchy at some difficult people, too. Some of whom are also stupid and take their stupidity out on others. But that’s a different story.


I woke up shortly after midnight last night, thinking someone was standing outside the house hitting my windchimes to make them ring. Normally I’ll hear the big ones at night only during winter windstorms.

It took me a few minutes to realize we were having a winter windstorm. And pounding rain. We’ve been getting record-setting rains the last two months. Normally this time of year is cool and showery, but we’re getting downpours that cascade all night and half the day.

Oh well. It’s still better than the ghastly snowstorms so many of you endured all last winter.

I tossed and turned for the next couple of hours, thinking the kind of thoughts you think in the pit of night. Tired today.

33 Responses to “Grouchings”

  1. jed Says:

    I woke up a 2AM, for no reason that I can discern. Had there been a massive rainstorm in progress, it probably would’ve mellowed me out to the point of getting back to sleep. No such luck here.

    Cliven Bundy is apparently a real piece of work. And doesn’t know when to keep his yap shut.

    It’s been a while since I’ve looked forward to the next presidential election. Irrespective of anything else, I’ll be slightly happier with that simpering narcissistic gassbag is out of the public eye. Oh, I’m sure the media will continue to fawn over him, but it won’t be as frequent.

  2. Dave Says:

    If you look at the entirety of the Bundy remarks, it’s apparent there’s no bigotry. Doesn’t change the fact that he should a kept his mouth shut, but still.

  3. SJ Says:

    Agree on all points. Hope the wind and rain subsides soon.

  4. naturegirl Says:

    Astounded at how stupid Bundy is. He seems to have absorbed all that energy that was directed at keeping the gov in check (not precisely Bundy interests) and it came out via his ego. Most people I have read about seem to understand why they headed down to So. NV, so hopefully they won’t hesitate to do so again next time….

  5. Kevin Wilmeth Says:

    Not everyone is buying the “what Bundy said is raaay-sist” line. You may want to check out Grigg’s remarks at LRC. The latest at Pro Libertate is similar–meaning he’s invested in this opinion.

    So Bundy appears to have said some things that are easy pickings for those already committed to his destruction. No surprise there, really; the demonization campaign against him was already ramped up and is nearly at full steam. I’m sure that the way the man wears his hat is someone’s prima facie evidence of racism.

    I don’t remember who I heard say this first–may well have been Joel–but I have to come right back to this: it is not necessary for Cliven Bundy to be even a decent person, to acknowledge that the FedGov is the villain in all this.

  6. Claire Says:

    Kevin, is this the Grigg piece you’re referencing?

    What I’m hearing from Grigg and a few others seems like excuse making (“What Bundy really meant was …”) I’m sorry, but whatever Bundy does or doesn’t feel in his heart of hearts, his remarks were nevertheless monumentally stupid, especially when made to the New York Times. And this from a man who’s been in the public eye for 20 years. He had every reason to know exactly how his words would be construed.

    I do agree, though, that the fedgov is the villain in the piece and that’s true whether Bundy is a saint or a jerk or a little of both.

  7. Joel Says:

    Certainly there’s a time to keep your mouth shut and a time to tape it shut, and Bundy seems to have missed both memos.

    That said, and looking at a <a href=""more complete clip of his “racist” statement, it doesn’t come across as all that racist. His choice of terms indicates he hasn’t updated his vocabulary since sometime in the sixties, but he’s an old Nevada rancher. When I was a boy, “colored” and “negro” were the current terms: I’d have gotten slapped for calling somebody black. He certainly isn’t calling for a return to chattel slavery.

    And yet I agree…all he had to do was shut the hell up and there would’ve been no problem. How hard is that?

  8. Joel Says:

    Stupid tag. Try this.

  9. Kevin Wilmeth Says:

    Gah. Apologies for the mis-link there. Yes, that’s one of the things I’ve seen from Grigg today.

    I might agree that it was a needless mistake to make–certainly you’ve heard me go on about messaging before–but I see Grigg’s comments more as staying locked on target than anything. One of the things I love about him. :-)

  10. Ellendra Says:

    Bundy’s comments were edited to make his poor choice of words sound even worse. Big surprize. But before the unedited form of the video started making it’s way around, how many people who would normally distrust the NYSlimes took the report at face value? Waaay more than I expected. Even people who were laying bets on when the smear campaign would start, still bought it hook line and sinker.

    That is more telling than I’d care to admit.

    Watch who you trust. It seems all it takes is for someone to call you the R word, and all your friends will abandon you.

  11. Ellendra Says:

    PS: I’ve been meaning to ask, how’s the toe?

  12. ENthePeasant Says:

    Well now… you do seem out of sorts. Getting upset about a lying president is surely a sign of caring about the wrong things… BTW, Sorry to ask… but are you an ex of mine by any chance??? Just thought I’d ask?

    This is what I do when I awake in the middle of the night upset about that which is certainly out of my control.

  13. Curt S Says:

    I have no wish to start some kind of war here BUT….this racist thing. Lessee…”Honky” Whitey” etc. Then there is this thing with this “knockout game”. Simply put…I guess it’s ok for some folks that look different to spout names…not if your “white” though. Sorry, but that’s the way I see it. Oh…no…I did not see or read the ranchers statement. I do however bristle when this “racist” thing comes up. Seems to me one ought to be able to say what they want when they want. something to do with the First Ammendment I believe….

  14. ENthePeasant Says:

    OOOPs, wrong one. And play it loud enough so the neighbors complain…

  15. Jean Lepnard Says:

    I wrote a quick post on Facebook, but this techie can’t figure out how to reference it here…from my kindle.

    I really like Cliven Bundy.

  16. naturegirl Says:

    I just hope that the shift of peoples’ attention over to what is or isn’t racist isn’t the slightly open door needed for the gov to sneak in and do whatever while everyone’s “outside” arguing about who is what (and not paying attention)….makes me just wanna say Focus, everyone, Focus; do not let the little shiny topic distract you…I think another thing that bugs me about it is that it tarnished what would have otherwise been a strong, well respected win for the good guys. Who peacefully and honorably and safely stood their ground and it worked (for the time being.)

    Having said all that, and rereading what he said a few times, he’s brought up a few issues many other people have said before – he just chose the wrong way of saying it. Aside from the stupidity, and the fact it was unnecessary to even go there, it’s not a unique opinion. I wonder if any of that group will speak up next.

  17. Bear Says:

    RE: Cliven Bundy- It’s interesting to listen to the UNedited version of his comments. The version in which he’s heard prefacing the “controversial racist crap” with admiration for various ethnic groups he supposedly hates, and explaining why government has created a welfare system that has probably enslaved them worse than did the official acknowledged institution.

    Gee, it isn’t as if the lamestream muddia would ever edited recordings to take things out of context and out of sequence to make someone sound like a racist… like the Zimmerman 911 call.

  18. Gunny LaBaume Says:

    Ah yes, the old “race card” — it was perfectly predictable. And that is why it is of equal importance to the private property rights issue raised by the Bundy fiasco. It is an integral part of our destroyers’ tool/weapon box–a packaged deal.

    It also emphasizes why we in the South and the West should be thinking seriously about secession. We are not from the same culture — hell, we don’t even speak the same language. I heard Bundy’s words. I understand Bundy’s brand of “English.” There was never, for an instant, any indication to me that he is “racists.” What he said was perfectly understandable to me–government interventionism has made slaves out of us all. What is the difference between a country where half of its people are slaves and a country where all of its people are half slaves? None.

    Here is the appropriate (and beautiful) response to the race baiters from a real wordsmith, Fred Reed:

  19. Keith Says:

    Hi Claire
    If only the red pill worked like the one in the film, only once and completely – instead of step by step, over years and years.

    Getting away from Bundy, but on the subject of prejudices, I saw an interesting take a week or two back about a holacaust denying, keynesian troll over in the Mises Daily comments, without implying that either aspect of his character was acceptable:

    “His racism isn’t as disturbing as his statism”

    The implication of statism being that all should be enslaved in a public sector slavery. the worst possible kind of a universally bad institution.

    On the actual subject of private sector slavery, there are a collection of slave narratives collected by the new deal fe’ral writers project in the 1930s, from interviews of surviving slaves.

    They’re absolutely fascinating, and tell a far more complex picture than the lamestream portrayals; of slaves having their own private property, of being able to work for others for a wage and keeping their earnings, of tears from all as the menfolk left for war, of slaves being moved north for a family member to care for, clear of the war, and in the middle of the collection for Mississippi, a fantastic old gentleman called “Prince” said that he often rode out with the klan…! I think it was also Prince, who took his old master in to his own house (rebuilt by his white neighbours after he’d had a fire) and cared for him in his old age. When asked about death, many of the interviewees spoke of looking forward to being reunited with their old master’s families again in heaven.

    While the idea of one human claiming to “own” another is an abomination, on whatever pretext it is advanced, I wouldn’t expect many current state sector drones to hold their massas in the same high regard.

    I don’t know how long that collection will remain available for download. it’s very different to the received narrative, and statists seem to find deviation from their narrow orthodoxy to be very threatening.

  20. Pat Says:

    Thanks for that uncut version, Bear. I suspected that Bundy’s words were taken out of context; am glad to hear what he really said.

    Bundy’s fault is that he trusts the people he’s talking to. And… like too many celebrities, he thinks that being right about one thing makes him an expert on everything. He should just shut up and go back to cattle ranching.

    Also, he and others have expressed the opinion that they’ve “won” the BLM war. They’d do better to shut up about that, too, and keep their eyes and ears open.

  21. Jim Klein Says:

    “While the idea of one human claiming to ‘own’ another is an abomination, on whatever pretext it is advanced,”

    Wrong punctuation mark—that should be a period there, after dropping the “while” of course.

    That’s it. There’s nothing else to this, and it’s the only thing that matters. It’s why NV was a win for the Good Guys. It’s why those people went and it’s why they caused to BLM to back down. It’s why they KNEW they were in the right, without even considering the legal aspects of the case.

    It doesn’t matter what Bundy thinks, just as it doesn’t matter what legal basis motivated the BLM. Either there are some cases where goons can rightfully overpower an Individual, or there aren’t.

    And there aren’t. Period. PERIOD. Yes, an attacking goon must be stopped with greater force than he brings, but that’s why we have the concept of “defense.” NO PERSON OWNS ANOTHER. We recognize this not because it’s a wonderful thought or because it’ll bring us a great society. We recognize it BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.

    “Philosophy moves the world.” As soon as the principle is distracted to one sort of collectivism over another sort of collectivism, or which statism will work better than the other statism, the point is lost. It doesn’t matter whether a person’s an idiot, a racist, mean or nice—ALL that matters is that the person is the Master of his own Will, and that it’s an automatic error to treat that person as anything but.

    It is the FACTUAL basis of this, which will bring victory in the end. But to get to that victory, one needs to begin at the beginning. The battle has ALWAYS been Individualism versus Collectivism, and even the tiniest distraction from the self-ownership and SELF-RESPONSIBILITY of each individual, is necessarily a distraction that puts us on a side-road to defeat and unimaginable piles of corpses.

    FedGov didn’t back down in Nevada. FedGov, as some sort of entity, could never back down. Effectively, FedGov MEANS “won’t back down.” What backed down in NV were many individuals, the decision-makers of whom finally had a glimpse into their own minds and volition, including the desire to stay alive, underneath all of the tacticool.

    The road to victory is only too simple…rinse and repeat.

    Sorry to ramble, but this is the point and it’s the ONLY point. It’s either the counterfactual fantasy of Ruler-Ruled, or it’s the factual recognition of self-ownership, volition and self-responsibility for each Individual—ANY Individual. “Reality is the final arbiter.”

  22. MamaLiberty Says:

    We have met the enemy… and he are us…

  23. Claire Says:

  24. ILTim Says:

    Hm. I watched the video. I hear him, I understand, and I think he makes a fair and cogent point about the quality of life under federal subsidy and supervision versus the quality of life under what we know and agree to be poor or inhumane conditions.

    It is, however, a demonstration of playing with matches in a fireworks factory.

  25. Claire Says:

  26. Jim B. Says:

    Just came across this:

    I don’t think it’ll be that dire, at most, we could probably carry around a card that do the function of the implant.

  27. Paul Bonneau Says:

    Bundy’s *unedited* remarks are manifestly true. People like Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell have been saying it for decades; Hell even Booker T. Washington said essentially the same thing.

    The problem here was a lack of discipline. Free speech, saying whatever you want, is all well and good, but in a war there are consequences. Keeping your trap shut, when times call for that, is just as valuable as saying whatever you please.

    However it’s not quite the disaster that people are worried about. There was never a Revolution that happened without missteps. Anyway one could even make hay with the distortion. Just post the link for the doctored version along with that for the complete version, and ask people, “Are you feeling manipulated yet?”

  28. LarryA Says:

    Based on a lot off PR experience and being married to a reporter for 45 years, “Let me help you get your story out” is a very seductive song. Bundy’s been in a legal fight for years, but this is his first foray into national media, and he was obviously unprepared.

    And the media screwed him over.

    And when it comes to the racism narrative it’s who you are, not what you say that’s important.

    Lesson for the liberty movement: When you ride to the rescue getting the rescuee a PR mentor needs to happen sooner rather than later.

  29. leonard Says:

    Bundy is a stupid man.

  30. Karen Says:

    I agree with Paul B and a few others. I think Bundy’s comments were frighteningly accurate. But they had no bearing on anything pertinent to his situation. Sadly, most reporters have more weasel words and manners than lawyers.

  31. leonard Says:

    Saying he is a stupid man is a bit harsh. I guess I just don’t understand why a 67 year old man would do that. Even if it is true. Anything other than confining his remarks to his own case was a bad idea.

    The issues surrounding his own case are enough. Bundy doesn’t need to offer his opinion on race etc.

  32. naturgirl Says:

    I got in the checkout line earlier today just in time to hear Person A say that he wished Bundy stuck to his own business and not decided to offer his opinions on other problems. Person B replied that he thought Bundy tested out his right to free speech and found out it wasn’t working any more either.

    Bundy may become the poster “child” of ALL that the citizens are losing in the USA right now. I’m still a bit surprised they haven’t tried to take his ranch away from him for “fines” liens.

  33. Shel Says:

    Bundy may come out of this O.K.

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