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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

Weekend reads

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Here are three longish reads to keep you busy just in case you don’t have anything better to do this summer Sunday:

“Secrets of the Creative Brain.”

Ninety-nine things that make people happy. The article itself is short. Following the links will take you down various informational rabbit holes.

After several decades of increasingly warlike violence against Americans, the ACLU finally takes serious note (pdf). (H/T RL)


Bonus read (to cheer you up after the ACLU report): My latest at JPFO, “What We Owe Ourselves Alone.” That one comes with a hat tip to MJR, whose comment here the other day inspired it.

10 Responses to “Weekend reads”

  1. MamaLiberty Says:

    Excellent, Claire, as always. :) The incredible and destructive evil of “altruism” is the difference between the freely taken obligations of self owners and the social pressures to become more or less willing victims to the whims and “needs” of others.

  2. Pat Says:

    Happy blog ― Yes! Interesting and informative.

    An excellent article, Claire. MJR’s comment resonated with me previously, and you’ve now broadened it into a _tour de force_, both specific re: gun ownership and in general re: how to identify the pressure of manipulators.

    “What they really want is to reduce you. To diminish you. To control you.”

    This is patently true. Even the pettiest of them at the local level wants to be in control, to feel important TO HIMSELF, and the only way he knows how is to cajole, delegate, or intimidate someone else.

    I haven’t yet had time to read the longer ACLU paper, but the Creative study was fascinating on several levels. And I’m impressed by the author’s ability to be objective while recognizing her own position in the study.

    In the list of Happys, most are what we can DO (as opposed to changing our attitude) to make ourselves happy. But when they’re done, are we then happy, or wonder what do we do next to keep striving for more “happiness”? (For the record, I checked off what I thought would make me “happy”, came up with 35 on the list, added one, and will work on them. One, however ― Make my bed in the morning ― is a joke!)

  3. Paul Bonneau Says:

    Excellent article, Claire. I really like that it gets behind all the surface busyness to why we insist on do-it-yourself defense.

    Duty – other than obligations willingly taken on – is a meme that has been used by tyrants forever. Whenever you see it brought up it should be questioned.

  4. Jim B. Says:

    If you’re interested in the creative brain then you may be interested in a book I’ve just finished reading, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.

  5. Reginald Firehammer Says:

    I think you’ve mixed up actual acts (pioneers beng forced to denounce their own discoveries) with mere verbal criticism in your article, which I do not mean as a criticism, by the way. I only point it out because I’m only addressing verbal criticism and attacks.

    No one else’s words can possdibly hurt you. If what anyone else says hurts, it is what you think about what they say that hurts, not what they say. You produce the hurt by taking other’s words and giving then meaning and value.

    To allow anyone else’s words to affect you negatively (it’s perfectly alright to enjoy loving words, of course) is a kind of fault, a second-hander’s view that what other’s think or say has anything to do with who and what you know you are.

    Thin skin is not only a weakness, it’s a moral weakness.

    It’s the moral weakness of the age–everyone is offended today.

  6. Pat Says:

    “No one else’s words can possdibly hurt you. If what anyone else says hurts, it is what you think about what they say that hurts, not what they say. You produce the hurt by taking other’s words and giving then meaning and value.”

    It’s often the others who take words and give them meaning and value which hurts ― meaning and value which can’t be repudiated these days, at a time when words often go around the world *and are believed* before the person himself has heard the words. (See Facebook on any day of the week. That’s what verbal bullying is about.)

    It’s not being thin-skinned to question the danger of words when they 1) stimulate others to attack you, or 2) are twisted ― AND ACTED ON, as by government ― to mean something they are not.

  7. Reginald Firehammer Says:

    Hi Pat,

    I think you are also mixing words and actions. Actions, if coercive can hurt, but words themselves cannot. If that were not true, the first amendment would be a mistake. If words could do harm, it should not be freedom of speech, but ‘freedom of unharmful speech.’ We already know where that kind of thinking leads.

    Even if someone is motivated by words to initiated some kind of harmful action, it is not the words that are the cause. Do you believe the same words that motivate a terrorist to attack would motivate you to do the same? Of course not, because the meaning and value you give to the words will be different from that of the terrorist. The words themselves do nothing.

  8. Curt S Says:

    A great deal of truth was spoken here in the comments. I think there is something else we have to realize. Mankind is basically a herd animal. Not many can function on their own for a long time without interaction with other humans. Humans tend to react more than act first. All this means is that we let ourselves open to all kinds of verbal abuse. It has gotten so bad that one has to be careful what one says in public….it might “offend” someone. Know what? I don’t give a damm….If I want to say something I will say it. This do goody thing has gone way to far. Well….I guess if you are a liberal it is perfectly proper to dish on conservatives. But oh my G O D….do that to a liberal and the sky starts falling. If….being in a meeting, being interviewed for a job, in a doctor’s office…if I don’t like what I am hearing or like being told something I just walk out. I have walked out on guite a few jobs if the BS gets to bad. Never ever have I been afraid of I job. I figure I was looking for a job when I got hired and I can sure as hell look for another one. Joseph Campbell once said “Follow you bliss.” Trust me, you will be a lot happier if you do.

  9. Pat Says:

    R. Firehammer ― I understand what you’re saying, and agree that actions are the appropriate issue. But I think you misunderstand what I’m saying. I think words are more important than _just_ words.

    The Virginian said, “Smile when you say that”, and both he and the name-caller knew what S.O.B. meant. I don’t hold with political correctness, nor do I believe that government (or anyone) should define and criminalize verbal offenseness. But every word has a meaning that should not be altered or “interpreted” by ill-usage ― and both the name-caller (e.g. government using the word “terrorist”) and the “offended” person (such as Al Sharp accusing us all of being “racists”) are equally wrong when they expect the rest of us to comprehend and condone THEIR definitions. The name-caller has a responsibility to be honest with his word’s definition, just as the offended person has a responsibility to be honest with his understanding of the word’s meaning, taken in context ― or there will always be war.

    I got the impression by what you said (“If what anyone else says hurts, it is what you think about what they say that hurts, not what they say. You produce the hurt by taking other’s words and giving then meaning and value.”) that you were somehow blaming the victim for the crime. Perhaps you weren’t ― and if not, I apologize.

  10. Reginald Firehammer Says:

    No need to aplogize, Pat. (I like your fire.)

    That is exactly what I was saying. If someone calls me a terrorist, or racist, a stubborn ignorant curmudgeon, (which you might be calling me about now), or worse, (and I have been), I care neither what they call me, or what they think of me. I know what I am and I need no one else’s agreement, approval, or recoginition. Whatever their cruel intentions might be, since their words mean nothing to me, they cannot possibly hurt me. Only the person who let’s other’s words or opinions matter can be made, “victims.”

    I very much enjoy it when someone does recognize who and what I am, but in this world, it is very rare, and I neither expect or need it.

    I do think slander and false accusations can be harmful and have suffered once or twice from those, but it still was not the words, but how some ignorant people reacted to them. I have neither the time or emotions to waste on such, because I’m too busy living my life, and both the people and the events were too small for me to waste any energy on.

    People can be very cruel, very evil, and very deceitful in the use of their words, but if you let them effect your emotions, if you let them make you angry, they have won. Don’t let them decide what you will feel and react to. They aren’t worth it. Don’t let them win.

    Of course I’m only expressing my view, here. I don’t tell other people how to live their lives. I just wish them all success and happiness, as I do you. Please understand, I’m not arguing with you, only telling you my view. I don’t expect you or anyone else to adopt it.

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