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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

Wednesday links

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, February 1st, 2016
  • “This was all planned,” says former State Department inspector general, surprising no one but adding damning detail.
  • Also not surprising: Project Europe is doomed. But did anyone anticipate it would happen this particular way? Do you sometimes feel you’re watching one of history’s major shifts here? Something like the barbarians crossing the frozen Rhine in 406, but in slower motion.
  • Oregon launches its first drive-through pot shop. And in little old Gold Beach, yet, home of BHM. (H/T d)
  • If Bernie Sanders wins, he’d not only be the first Jewish president of the USA, he’d be the first candidate honest enough to admit to not being religious. Unlike, you know, Hillary who’s apparently a devout, lifelong believer in … oh, whatever.
  • You have to dig through the comments to get the message, but it’s possible the fedgov isn’t aiming to kill the Elio, after all.
  • The eight worst guns ever made. Yeah, I know there’s a lot of room for debate on these kinds of lists, but I seriously think they might have really nailed it here, especially on their #1 worst choice.
  • Another flash story via MJR: “Taze.” A few paragraphs; a world of encouragement.
Claire Wolfe

Wednesday links

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
  • The feds have broken the Oregon standoff with arrests and one killing. A remnant remains. Leaders were apparently lured out on the pretext of attending a community meeting and trapped at a roadblock. Why? Why not wait them out? (H/T db)
  • David Codrea exposes and righteously blasts the latest junk-science study op-ed from “prestigious” anti-gun medical sources.
  • “Does stupidity cause gun control, or does gun control cause stupidity?” Bear Bussjaeger speculates.
  • I’ve never understood the mentality that official (or family) wrongdoing is fine as long as no one exposes it and that any person exposing the wrongdoing is somehow the problem. I’ve experienced that mentality, God knows (haven’t we all?), but I’ll never understand it as long as I live. Anyhow … sometimes justice eventually prevails. (H/T jed in comments)
  • Speaking of exposing wrongdoing … Are we witnessing the fall of the House of Clinton? We can only hope.
  • Kinda funny. Not surprising, though. The most overconfident students (in one study, at least) are in political science. (Even more interesting where the least confident are — the fields that require hard evidence.)
  • Another drawback of license plate readers. Ugh. Ick. Ptooey!
  • The most fascinating thing about this grid-down survivalist book is that it’s written by respected, ultra-establishment newsman Ted Koppel.
Claire Wolfe

Between rains and interviews

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Today we were between rainstorms. In the same way the Inuit are said (even if inaccurately) to have 200 words for snow, the NorthWet ought to have a word for this. Something like “interrainum.”

Be that as it may, by late morning I was also between interviews for this cannabis article I’m working on. I’d just wrapped up one at the coolest retail store and didn’t have another until tomorrow.

The day was already pleasant and just about then turned bright blue. I took the dogs walking on a river trail. We moseyed along in comfort, no fleece-lined jacket for Robbie’s old bones and joints, not even a sweater for me. Then, despite a determination to econommize this month, I splurged a whole $5.63 on a chicken basket (yeah, I really know how to live it up!) and sat in the car near the trail, sharing lunch with the dogs.

About then it began clouding over and by the time we returned home, the day was gray again. But still blessedly dry.

Tomorrow I’m set to meet a couple who had their hearts broken by the cannabis trade — and by the feds — in California and who are starting afresh here.

After that, my final interview is with the area’s pioneer of commercial medical cannabis gardening. Until recently, the medical system has been completely separate from the i502 recreational and I was going to stay away from it because there’s so much else to cover. But last year the legislature began the uncomfortable task of trying to merge the two systems and this guy is in line to score himself a nice, big pair of producer (grower) and processor licenses. He’s also a charmer who probably gets more press than anybody in local cannabusiness. He’s as connected and informed as anybody around, so I stand to learn a lot about what’s going on in the trade.

Wish me luck. The article is growing and I may have to go back to my editors and re-pitch it to them as a two-parter. I’ve already begun the first draft and it’s shaping up as one of the best pieces, as well as being one of the most fun projects, I’ve done in years.

I am loving all these former “criminals” and their newer partners in non-crime.


On another subject, in case you missed it, David Haywood Young dropped into the comment section today to announce that he’s got a new Kindle book, Take Back Your Privacy: The Barefoot Anarchist’s Guide to Navigating Today’s Digital Landscape, and that’ll be free for five days, starting Tuesday. I’ve only read what’s available on “look inside,” but it seems well-written and done in an engaging, easy style.

Claire Wolfe

Alan Rickman, RIP

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Oh no. Professor Snape is gone. Alan Rickman was a great actor and a very private person. As with David Bowie, few even knew he was suffering from cancer.

Bowie’s death made me feel old. Ziggy Stardust dead? How can it be? Rickman’s death feels only as if the world’s supply of great acting talent is that much lower, so suddenly.

UPDATE: His best roles according to People. I’ve been trying to get my hands on Truly, Madly, Deeply with no luck. And I’ve never seen Die Hard though I will now that I know he was in it. Galaxy Quest and the eight Harry Potters of course. Could watch those all day.

Claire Wolfe

Sunday ramble

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

I was debating whether to write more about Obama’s recent (though ancient in Internet Time) fiats against gun “dealers” and gun owners. Can’t bring myself to. Our Glorious Leader is all about “gun control theater,” signifying very darned little. Bans and confiscations clearly dance through Obama’s dreams, but he hasn’t got the guts to face strong people. He strikes at the weak and vulnerable.

Then this morning I was reminded of the bottom line truth:




Well, I finished watching The Man in the High Castle. Yep, as you who got there before me said, that was certainly a “twisty” ending in more ways than one.

Excellent show all the way through. Moody, suspenseful, intelligent, brilliantly crafted.

Funny, though. When a show is that excellent, every minor slip stands out. In one episode the writer confused geography with geology, and both the actors in the scene obediently recited the goof. You’d think somebody, somewhere on the crew would have said, “Hey, wait a minute.” I wanted to knock them all silly — only because they suddenly yanked so hard on my suspension of disbelief.


Related to both High Castle and real resistance movements: Without any spoilers, I’ll say that there’s a major character who is maddeningly ambiguous. He’s someone you want to like, or at least give the benefit of the doubt to. Maybe you’d see him as a bad guy trying to be good. Or a good guy who behaves badly because he’s under duress. If you’ve seen the show, you know who I mean. He’s positioned so that he could either be very valuable, or deadly, to the resistance.

By the final episode I was rooting for the good guys to kill him and be done with it.

In a resistance, you must know how to hide, evade, and deceive. You have to know when not to say something. You have to be able to look an enemy in the face and be innocently honest when you’re a guilty liar. But you also have to be trustworthy to each other.

The defining trait of this character is that, given the choice between truth and lies, he always lies. Even when he’s “confessing” to something, he lies. Even with those closest to him, he’s always sure to shade the truth or omit vital details.

Guy like that in a resistance movement? In a time of deadly totalitarianism? When freedom depends on trust for your fellows? I say blow his brains out. Or if you can’t do that, give him some false trail to follow and send him off in pointless circles. (But in the context of High Castle, this character is too well-connected for the latter method. Brains, I say.)


I mentioned in my New Years resolutions post that I needed to economize in 2016.

This was a hard one, but the next step is canceling my Internet service. That will happen in early February.

You may not notice a lot of difference because there’s wifi at the library. I won’t make as many blog posts, but I won’t disappear, either. The posts I do make will be the product of a brain that has more time to think while being less distracted by news, politics, email, and cute cat pictures.

Though I’m doing this so I can devote more resources toward paying down last fall’s bills, I admit that another enforced absence from the ‘Net will be welcome, too. No idea how long it’ll last. But stick around. I won’t disappoint you.

Claire Wolfe

The Man in the High Castle

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Moons ago, I watched the pilot episode of Amazon’s series The Man In The High Castle. It was terrific. Dark, exciting, complex, suspenseful, brave.

It’s based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, in which the Japanese and Germans prevailed in WWII. Now (that is, the early 1960s) Germany controls the eastern U.S. and the Japanese control the Pacific States, with only a narrow and perilous neutral zone between them. Though most Americans seem to have accepted their overlords (and many have become dedicated Nazis), a desperate resistance emerges from the shadows.

One focus of the resistance is a film, produced by (?) the mysterious Man in the High Castle, that shows an alternate reality in which the allies triumphed. Does the film show something true? Is it just a masterful piece of propaganda meant to undermine the tyrannical victors? What is it, really, and who is its mysterious creator? Nobody knows.

Last spring, I wasn’t aware that the pilot was the only bit that yet existed. I just knew that it was the most-watched pilot Amazon had produced, and I could see why. I fell headlong into it — and about went nuts when I realized the cliffhanger ending was all I was going to get!

The show was “too expensive and too dangerous” for the networks. The BBC and SyFy both rejected it. But Amazon viewers said go!

The 10-episode series has now been out a while and I just picked it up at episode two. No binge-watch yet. Episode two is as far as I’ve gotten. But by damn, it was better than the pilot. Without seeing another minute I’m ready to recommend this series to every freedomista anywhere.

Has anybody else watched it? No spoilers, please, but am I right? Is this as powerful a statement of resistance to tyranny as it seems to be?

Guess I’ll find out soon enough, as the binge-watching is about to commence.

The episodes are free to Amazon Prime subscribers. For some reason, I’m unable to find a non-Prime per-episode price (which would usually be $1.99 or $2.99). Maybe this one’s only available to Prime subscribers at the moment (UPDATE: Yes, available only with Prime right now).

Not a Prime member? Don’t despair. You can take a 30-day free trial, AND if you sign up through this link before January 10, you help this blog — even if you turn around and quit your membership before the fee is due.

If the rest of the series is as good as episode 2, freedomistas everywhere are going to love it.

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Saturday, December 26th, 2015
  • Father gets into a stand-off with police to prevent a hospital from taking his “brain dead” son off life support. Happened earlier this year but the follow-up is what’s making this a Christmas-season story.
  • Pot for the homeless. (H/T jed)
  • Also from jed: all the SF books to binge read over the holidays. (Can’t vouch for them myself ’cause I haven’t read any of them. If you’re buying, you know where to purchase them.)
  • Dave Barry’s year in review. (I’ve lost track of the people who’ve sent this one to me; it’s definitely been making the rounds.)
  • Jim Bovard’s Raging Bitch Christmas. Little hard to picture it, but liberty’s professional curmudgeon did a stint as Santa.
  • I don’t always agree with Jonah Goldberg. But when it comes to picking the perfect presidential candidate for these times he might just be onto something.
  • Heaven knows why they’ve tagged this article as “gun violence.” There’s no violence involved — just more Americans wanting and getting guns. I know a lucky lady (not me) who got a brand new Glock from Santa.
  • Speaking of which, don’t forget to take the TZP poll on gun gifting. Even if you already took it once you can answer again with your post-Christmas results.
  • Awww, that’s wonderful. “Fospice” care for dying homeless dogs.
Claire Wolfe

On Golden Eras and the Now

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

The other day I heard somebody refer to the “golden age of television.”

I immediately leaped to the conclusion that he meant that fuzzy black and white age in which all of America watched Leave It to Beaver, Gunsmoke, and Ed Sullivan’s variety hour and gathered the next day to share their mutual cultural three-channel (if you didn’t count PBS, which was at that point some guy standing at a blackboard writing equations), pre-programmed experience.

Just as I was about to remind the speaker that his “golden age” was mere seconds in geological time from when Newton Minow created waves — and a meme — by damning all of television as “a vast wasteland,” I realized that’s not what he meant.

He meant now. This very minute.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, December 18th, 2015
  • Of the new Omni-bust budget deal Jim Bovard sez: “Republican congressional leaders are like a football coach who believes the secret to winning is to punt early and often.”
  • Rand Paul sez stop the bill — and he has some fairly decent ideas for alternatives.
  • OTOH, sez there are a couple of decent provisions in the 2,000 page monster sellout.
  • On the other other hand, the USPS announces a completely unsurprising but curiously retro policy on carrying publications that contain — gasp! — ads for the dreaded Demon Weed. One wonders why they couldn’t have just kept their mouths shut and carried the mail, given that the times are changing.
  • FIJA-philes win another “jury tampering” case. (H/T jed)
  • This book sounds intriguing. Possibly futile, but maybe a good picker-upper for the freedomista remnant. And who knows? Millennials are showing a heartening interest in liberty; it might inform and encourage them, too. It’s Robert Curry’s Common Sense Nation: Unlocking the power of the American idea. Review by John Tamny. And of course … Amazon link.
  • Ya really gotta wonder how people discover such stuff. Apparently you can break into Linux systems (with Grub2 bootloaders) by pressing the backspace key 28 times. A fix is already in the works. (H/T MJR)
  • Cabin Porn! (via Kyle MacL in comments). Not yuppie tiny-house pretensions, but the real deal.
Claire Wolfe

Lite stuff

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

With Christmas cheer warming up and possibly even some chestnuts roasting over open fires, it seems like time for a little lite stuff.

(Cheerfully stolen from furrydoc)

A song for politicians and v*ters everywhere

(Source; per Laird in comments)

And a modern freedomista Christmas classic from Neema Vedadi and FreedomFeens (with Ben Stone aka Bad Quaker as Santa).


And finally …

Decorating with Canine from Brigid at Home on the Range.

Claire Wolfe

Book review: The Miskatonic Manuscript

Friday, December 11th, 2015

The Miskatonic Manuscript
By Vin Suprynowicz
323 pages, Mountain Media, December 11, 2015

Available from $28.50 autographed, limited edition hardcover
or $5.99 Kindle ebook


When last we saw rare-book dealer Matthew Hunter and the beautiful, dauntless Chantal Stevens they were searching for the lost testament of James, a much-rumored scripture by the brother of Jesus, a document powerful forces would kill to suppress.

That was in Vin’s first Hunter-Stevens novel.

Now they’re back. Back at their shop, Books on Benefit in Providence, Rhode Island. Back with their distinctly motley crew of friends and associates (including a writer of vampire tales who may take his role just a little too seriously and a small person named Skeezix whose uncanny affinity with cats makes me wonder about his genetic heritage).

And of course they’re back to searching for another rare manuscript. This time there’s nothing biblical about it — unless you worship at the altar of H.P. Lovecraft, whose work the lost document is. Some of the characters in The Miskatonic Manuscript literally do worship at that altar, being members of the Church of Cthulu.

« Read the rest of this entry »



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