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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 ‘Free speech’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Hope for high schoolers

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Well now, this is encouraging. Teenagers commit civil disobedience to protest a proposed new history curriculum that would de-emphasize strife and civil disobedience:

Hundreds of students walked out of classrooms around suburban Denver on Tuesday in protest over a conservative-led school board proposal to focus history education on topics that promote citizenship, patriotism and respect for authority, in a show of civil disobedience that the new standards would aim to downplay.

Yeah, yeah, I know that school curricula have always been political playthings. I came through prison school in one of those “shut up and obey” eras. Learning only the positive, patriotic, authority-respecting version of history and “civics” was oppressive and dishonest — and led anybody with a brain to distrust people who felt such a need to hide reality.

Actually, the propaganda of “my day” was about as oppressive and dishonest as all politically driven schooling inevitably is, whether “right” or “left.” Curricula have swung in all manner of weird directions since then.

And yeah, yeah, I know the answer is get rid of government schooling. But in a country that was born in defiance of law and authority, I still can’t help but think this is a smile-worthy development.

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Saturday, August 16th, 2014
Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, July 24th, 2014
  • Ha! There’s some nice road-rage poetic justice for ya.
  • The pink police state. How the country becomes more authoritarian and rule-bound at the same time some personal behaviors become more “allowed.”
  • Another scientific study that proves what’s blatantly obvious to dog people: dogs get jealous. (HRH Princess Ava Prettypaws has spent her whole life trying to insert herself between me and any other critter I ever pay attention to.)
  • Radley Balko on victim disarmament and race. I’m so glad to see Radley’s vital work in the Washington Post.
  • Aw, do poo widdle senator. Him suffering so much him dust had to plagiarize. Him dust couldn’t help him widdle self. Yeah. I’m sure “mistakes were made,” too, and he never intended to “give the appearance of wrongdoing.”
  • How to invent a person online.
  • You may have heard that Maryland-based Beretta, which had planned to expand into Tennessee, decided instead to move all its manufacturing there after Maryland passed bad gun laws. Better than that, even. In looking for a new location, Beretta explicitly rejected West Virginia because of Joe Manchin.
Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
  • Apparently neither the Fourth nor the Second Amendment apply when it’s for your own good. (H/T PB from comments.)
  • The real problem, of course, would be solved by getting rid of government schools and all their rigid one-size-fits-allism. Still, this short video is an interesting analysis of what’s being done to boys. And to society’s future. (H/T MJR)
  • Related to the story Gunny alerted us to the other day, the intended target in that Texas case has been ordered to recant her statements to the press. As a condition of parole. Can you spell “First amendment abuse”?
  • What if female bodies in classical paintings were photoshopped as they are in modern ads? Ugh! (Amusing, but still ugh. Also: naked lady alert. But it’s okay because it’s Art.)
  • So you think nobody’s manipulating the metals markets? Here’s a known case where Barclays (remember them from the Libor manipulation scandal?) deliberately screwed with the gold market to cheat one of their own customers out of $3.9 million. Braaaazen.
  • Oh, so that’s what that new “trigger warning” BS is all about. Been hearing that phrase and wondered if it was some new antigunnery. Nope. Just more politically correct, infantilizing silliness from the crowd who believes their widdle feewings should never be hurt. No doubt, though, that anything more dangerous than a plastic spork will “trigger” some poor soul’s hysteria.
  • What Americans are really afraid of. Hint: It’s not terrorism. Anybody else notice that four of the top five and five of the top eight basically amount to the same thing? Or are at least as closely related as the Dionne Quints?
Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, May 15th, 2014
Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
  • As you suffer through your taxes (or their aftermath), be of good cheer. You have much less chance of being audited than you’ve had in years.
  • Church in a wealthy community installs a “homeless Jesus” sculpture. Woman reports the bum to cops.
  • Notice to thieves: It’s not a good idea to burglarize the Pena household.
  • In many places this would not be news. In darkest blue, gun-loathing New Jersey, it’s a bigger miracle than seeing Jesus’ face in a tortilla. (H/T jw)
  • I think some school officials are going to be in trouble over this Sure hope so. (PT, who sent this, said she was reminded of Tonio Carolina from Hardyville. Yeah, me, too!)
  • Bet you didn’t know that Jim Bovard did stand-up comedy. But he pretty much did that at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum. Little rough in the first few minutes. Gets better as it goes.
Claire Wolfe

The culture of shut up

Monday, April 7th, 2014

I’ve been trying to find good words to say about the McCarthyist botch of political correctness run amok at Mozilla this past week. I think this pretty much takes care of what needs saying.

Can hardly believe it’s from a former Obama speech writer.

(H/T JG)

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, February 24th, 2014
Claire Wolfe

Empathy test

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

This is so short and so delightful I’m reprinting it in full. If you wrote this and object to my reprint, please let me know. It’s been getting around a lot.


Empathy Test
By George R. Shirer

The assessor is attractive in a button-down kind of way. Blonde hair, pink jumpsuit, digital makeup set to minimal. Her face is a sculpt, something from one of the mid-level catalogues. Attractive, but not too attractive. The same face you see on a thousand other people. Only her eyes, brown and liquid, are original.

“You failed your empathy test, Mr. Clawford.”

Her tone is carefully modulated. No condemnation there, none at all. Just carefully presented curiosity.

“I know.”

“You haven’t been taking your dose.”

It isn’t a question. I shrug.



The assessor leans forward. Her pink uni-suit tightens slightly, emphasizing the shape of her breasts. It’s a cheap trick, meant to distract one, make your interviewer more susceptible to the subharmonic pulses they use in these interview rooms, to make one more compliant.

“Compassion fatigue,” I say.

The assessor arches her brows. “Honestly?”

“Honestly. I’m tired of being chemically forced to care for my fellow man.”

“Are you experiencing nausea? Fatigue? Some people develop a sensitivity to the pills over time.”

“No, nothing like that. I just decided not to take my dose.”

Her carefully modulated expression becomes one of concern.

“You are aware that refusing to take your dose is illegal?”

“It’s a class two offense. I know.”

“Will you take your dose now?”


“Why not?”

“I sort of like feeling like a bastard. Does that make me a bad person?”

“It makes you . . . atypical,” says the assessor. She shifts in the chair. “This is the second time you’ve failed an empathy test, Mr. Clawford.”

“I know.”

“There are three options at this stage,” says the assessor. “You can take your dose and agree to daily monitoring for the next three months.”

“No. I won’t take the dose any more.”

She nods. “Fine. The second option is isolation. You’d be placed under house arrest and not allowed to leave your residence until you resume taking your dose.”

I shake my head. “No, I don’t think so. I think, miss, I’ll go for option three.”

She frowns. “Exile to the Cold Isles?”


“You are aware that if you choose exile, Mr. Clawford, it’s a one way trip?”

“I know.”

“And that is what you want to do? To go and live among the callous and the unfeeling?”



“Because I’d rather be an authentic bastard than a fake nice guy.”

Her grin surprises me. She stands and her suit tightens, turns matt black.

“Good answer. Come with me. We can be in Christchurch within the hour.”

I’m confused. “We?”

She laughs. “What? You didn’t think the fuzzies would trust one of their own to do these assessments, did you?”

“You’re one of the cold?”

“No, Mr. Clawford.” She gives me a look that I’ll get from lots of people over the next few weeks, part condescension, part genuine sympathy. “I’m one of the free.”


Tip o’ hat to EN.

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Saturday, December 28th, 2013
Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Volkswagen: Woofwagen


Claire Wolfe

Help build the haystacks

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

When I heard that the NSA was not only gobbling up email, but also hacking address books by the millions, my first impulse … well, it wasn’t to laugh.

But Carl-Bear, stepping into the breach, came up with a sweet little monkeywrench. This works because … wait for it … really … seriously the NSA can’t filter spam.

You can filter spam. Your grandmother can filter spam. Thunderbird can filter spam. Everybody and his uncle’s ISP can filter spam. The NSA … not so much.

So go. Monkeywrench away. Instead of abandoning Gmail and Hotmail and all those other snoop-ready services, you can, should you so choose, make the very, very best of them.



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