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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 the ‘Books and Movies’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

And don’t forget to v*te for The Zelman Partisans!

Claire Wolfe

If The Breakfast Club were remade today

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

LOL!

Source.

Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
  • You thought maybe the TSA was the fedgov’s worst example of idiotic “security”? Hey, at least the TSA puts on an impressive pretense. OTOH, it appears that the Office of Personnel Management actually gave root access for all those now-hacked personnel files to contractors in Argentina and … yes, here it comes: China.
  • How Orange is the New Black misrepresents women’s federal prisons. Yes, but it’s a good show. And the memoir it’s based on is even better. More lesbian sex in the Netflix version, but the horror of petty people in power comes across even more strongly in the book.
  • What searching for Sasquatch can teach us about science.
  • Okay, time to have your little heart warmed courtesy of LarryA.
  • Yeah, I’m like this about dogs in movies, too. Never yet have been able to watch Old Yeller or Turner and Hooch. (NFI)
Claire Wolfe

Monday roundup of observations on life and stuff in general

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Today is the 800th anniversary of the signing sealing of the Magna Carta. Good article on things we mostly don’t know about it and why it still matters.

ADDED: Here’s Bovard’s take on it. (Never trust a king, even after you think you’ve beaten him.)

—–

I’m sort of getting used to having neither a functional vehicle nor functional legs. There are still moments I want to weep. Like on Friday when a mechanic told me the Xterra was all fixed, running perfectly, even got the service-engine light to go out — and I got in it, found the light back on, and had to limp back home after driving the mere half mile to town.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Sunday, June 14th, 2015
  • Hastert may be a criminal. But other feds are worse. (Never mind that Hastert and his ilk made them worse.)
  • I admit it. Maeve Binchy, the mega-selling Irish author of simple domestic tales, is one of my guilty girly pleasures. Binchy died in 2012 of heart problems. While looking for something completely unrelated to her health, I stumbled upon this nice article about how she made the best of her initial diagnosis. Inspiring.
  • The fedgov has recently made it 5x more expensive to do. But Americans are again surrendering their citizenship in small but record-setting numbers. (Tip o’ hat to MJR)
  • “No cloud for me,” says security guru Bruce Schneier. And amen. (Via Brad at WendyMcElroy.com)
  • Okay, then, what exactly is the difference in principle between Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal?
  • This Onion article’s been getting around, but once again it’s too funny not to link and too true to be really funny.
  • Can reading make you happier? Hm, dunno. Bibliotherapy??? (H/T PT)
  • Trees. Trained to grow into chairs. (H/T SC)
Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
  • The fedgov’s new attempt to ban tech speech about firearms appears to be an attempt to slap Defense Distributed for getting uppity.
  • But attacks on free speech are getting more ominous — and sometimes more stupid — by the minute. Thank you, Ken White, for revealing this outrage.
  • Another good commentary on the subpoena served on Reason.
  • Intellectuals: Leviathan’s Praetorian Guard.
  • Thanks to a recent WSJ editorial, the world seems to have awakened to the fact that social “science” is little more than an intellectual justification of liberalism. Big debate now going on. Cameron of The Passive Habit agrees, but calls it unintentional.
  • Why everything we “know” about nutrition (via government sources) is wrong.
  • Christopher Lee: Alive or dead? Dead at 93, it seems. What a loss … but what a life he lived and how many great movie moments he gave us!
Claire Wolfe

The perplexity of complexity

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Kind of strange. This whole business with the unfixable vehicle has got me feeling absurdly vulnerable.

Rationally, this makes no sense. Even with the car business coming on top of the broken ankle (and on top of $500 worth of car repairs in April), it doesn’t put me at any real risk. I’ve got neighbors who’ll pick up my mail or give me a lift to the post office. I’ve got friends who’ll get me to the grocery store. It’s not like I’m going to be stranded in a blizzard by the roadside and get eaten by passing Bengal tigers.

Yet I have to remind myself, “Calm down, Claire. You’re not doooooomed.” What’s really worrisome is the sensation of being lost in a strange world and helpless to do much about it. Of being out of control.

There was a time — not really that long ago — when an ordinary woman or man knew pretty much everything they needed to deal with an average day. Their lives might have been nasty, brutish, short, but they could fix a broken whatever or build a vital thig-a-ma-jig. If they couldn’t do it, their neighbors or tribespeople could, perhaps as a joint effort.

Oh yes, they lived in a world full of unsolved mysteries and random attacks by angry gods. But most could dismiss all that via a few rote rituals and accompanying mythology. No worries. An earthquake knocks the village down? God did it because … oh, you tolerated witches or something. Kill the witches, problem solved.

Okay, it wasn’t quite that easy. But ordinary people knew all the ins and outs of the technology (if you could call it that) that they lived with. Then they filled in the gaps in their knowledge of the wider world with beliefs and myths. Their answers may have been wrong, but they had confortable certainties in places where we have only questions. We know more but (except for the devoutly religious among us) we have no easy defenses against what we don’t know.

—–

Commentariat old-timers bemoan the loss of the good old carbureted Chevy. But even in those days, we were already on our way to complexity beyond the capabilities of Ordinary Joe or Josephine.

It’s far, far, far from original to note that as life got better, individuals became more specialized and now we are to the point of being improved to where we often know nothing. Nothing about the technologies our lives depend on. That’s just a given.

What’s said less often is how alarming that lack of knowledge can be even without the proverbial S hitting the proverbial F.

Yet the alarm is still often nonsense. So my Plan A (vehicle) and my Plan B (walking if vehicle dies) both got knocked out at once. Big deal. I’ve got a Plan C and Plan D. C and D get me closer to my neighbors and friends, inconvenience me and them only slightly, and aren’t bad at all. You, the Commentariat, have already done your bit in Plan C, thank you.

And that’s usually the way life works. A lot of bad things are really no more than inconveniences, and a lot of “bad” things actually turn out to have great, creative aspects. (Also a given.)

I think the scariest thing is realizing how little even the supposed “specialists” know now. The times are beginning to remind me of C.M. Kornbluth’s classic story “The Little Black Bag.”

Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, June 4th, 2015
  • Deep Web. Looks like an intriguing documentary. (H/T GL)
  • Why does Google want to harvest and store your media for “free”?
  • The four most dangerous words in the English language. (Tip o’ hat to MJR)
  • And 24+ words that ought to be in the English language. (Ditto — and not all the words are SFW.)
  • As usual, The Onion has the best commentary on our newly granted “FREEDOM” from NSA snooping and scooping. (H/T jed)
  • Well, maybe. Millennials are destroying banks and the banks are to blame.
  • Dunno if it’s worth $100k to learn the dreadful details of the secret trade deal to be imposed on us by our global overlords. Seems those details really ought to be free.
  • Well then. The chimps are considerably ahead of me.
  • How much do skyscrapers actually move? Fascinating geek trivia. (H/T jed)
Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Mighty General with a Mighty Wurlitzer

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

Just had a unique experience: watching Buster Keaton’s great silent film The General on a big screen, accompanied by live music from a “Mighty Wurlitzer” theater organ.

The_General_poster

Never before and probably never again. Not in a little berg like this one, anyhow. I love The General. And Buster Keaton was a gorgeous man with a magnetic screen presence, amazing directing and acting talent, and colossal daring (those stunts! he really does them). But I’ve never seen The General on anything larger than a mid-sized TV.

busterkeaton

Took a while to get things started. First they had a presentation by a “real film buff.” She had obviously gotten all her information about The General and the historic Great Locomotive Chase that inspired it from the same place I got my information — Wikipedia. But she had a Master of Fine Arts, so her info must be better.

The movie itself seemed sloooooowww and static at the start. Modern movies are not only a lot better, but they know how deliver more information during their opening credits than old films delivered in their first half hour.

But once the comic railway chase got underway … wow. This experience I’ll remember forever.

The General is about a dauntless (if also hapless and inept) Southerner in the War Between the States. Movies may be better now, but that’s something you couldn’t pull off today without some government-schooled jerker-of-knees accusing you of being a racist.

Now, for the chance to see Fritz Lang’s Metropolis on the big screen ….

Metropolisposter

Claire Wolfe

How The Imitation Game is a terrible, awful, really stinkingly bad movie and why it’s a perfect example of why I loathe h-wording and i-wording films

Monday, May 4th, 2015

I really wanted to like The Imitation Game. I mean, what could be more engrossing than a film about genius Alan Turing breaking the Nazis’ Enigma code while being just a few years away from tragic destruction? Starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously. What could be better?

I finally got to watch this movie on DVD recently and I’ll tell you what could be better: Being dipped upside down in alternating vats of tar and maple syrup.

I’ll put the rest behind the “more” link to spare those who don’t like long, frothing anti-movie rants. Or who want to avoid spoilers.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
  • The courts have been so all over the place on police search issues that it’s hard to say what impact this will have. But the Supremes just declared that cops cannot prolong a routine traffic stop even for a minute without legit cause.
  • Inside the strange and wonderful world of micronations.
  • Emphatically NSFW, but funny: company posts a … unique Craigslist ad for engineers.
  • Bet we’ve all wanted to do this at some time or another.
  • Looks like a must-see documentary (though the characterization of Tasers as “rifles” needs some explanation for sure).
  • Gradeschooler challenges school anti-pot propaganda. His activist mother may now face felony charges. Sick!
  • This sucks, too. I’m so glad the war on pot is ending, but it just can’t happen soon enough for some.
  • Whoof! Just look at all that assembled brainpower!
 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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