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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 ‘Mind and Spirit’ Category

Claire Wolfe

So far, so good

Monday, February 8th, 2016

I finally finished a good first draft of that cannabis article and got it sent off to 10 people so they could check the parts about them and offer corrections on anything else they spot.

Already heard back from three. Not a single change requested or goof noted. That’s unusual. It won’t hold for all 10, but very nice start.

The interviewees range from a police chief to a couple whose medical dispensary was destroyed by the DEA. And here they are, all in harmony, even as they come from such different perspectives. I simply can’t stress enough what a remarkable experience this is, both writing about it and witnessing it.

The one big drawback of the writing part: It’s exhausting. All the research (and all the things I still didn’t learn). The scheduling and pulling myself out of my hermit hut. The days and days of drafting, which, with so much information, is like wrestling an octopus. Even the best moments, the interviews themselves, leave me all emptied out. It’s the most glorious exhaustion. But still.

The last couple writing days were all about shifting the last bits into their place in the article, polishing, and — above all — cutting, cutting, cutting, cutting. I sacrificed nearly 1,500 of my own, precious, darling words in the interest of the whole. By the time I’d sent all the emails winging on their way with article attched, I was — not kidding — slightly faint.

I don’t mean to sound melodramatic. After all, I’m not also dying of tuberculosis in a garrett. (Always a plus. that.) Life’s good. I’m just tired. If I’ve been a little quiet and continue to be a bit more this week, that’s why.

Claire Wolfe

How would you do in supermax?

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Let’s hope none of us ever have to find out. But it appears the keys to surviving solitary confinement with your sanity intact are “grit” and an ability to direct your imagination.

Here’s the official grit self-assessment. So where do you rate?

Me? Well, directed imagination, I’ve got. Comes with the writer territory. Grit … not so much. I think, though, that when people take the grit test they’re tending to do the “90 percent of everybody is above average” variety of evaluation. Sitting at our computers it’s easy to say, “Yeah, sure, I never let setbacks discourage me. And I always finish what I start. And diligent, oh yeah, you betcha I’m the diligentest!” I told the truth about my failings and came out pretty much gritless. :-)

Reality is the only real grit test, of course. And in a pinch, I think sheer pig-stubbornness might suffice.

Claire Wolfe

What is lost when a civilization wearies

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Commentariat member Dana got me reading Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe. It’s short, lively, and even if it’s not totally satisfying in describing how the Irish did the saving, it’s full of smack-upside-the-head insights.

The best material is on Rome’s collapse. (The first chapter was so persuasive it darned near made me feel sorry for tax collectors.) Before I return the book to the library, I want to post a couple of paragraphs. In the first, Cahill is mostly quoting from Kenneth Clark’s Civilization (spelling Americanized).

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

I don’t often blow my stack, but when I do …

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

… I really do. Normally I don’t believe in burning bridges unnecessarily, but right now I don’t care. And I don’t care who thinks I’m an asshat. Life’s just too short to deal with some people.

I sent this to a well-known survivalist author. Not naming any names, but I’ll say he’s not the biggest, but someone you’re familiar with. He just sent an email asking a number of individuals and websites to promote his latest book.


Do you realize you just cc’d my private email address to a bunch of strangers like some Internet n00b who never heard of either privacy or bcc?

Do you also realize that, though I’ve always been glad to promote your books and website, the one time I asked you for anything — not for myself but for a guy who was trying to provide a useful survival-info service while dying of cancer — you ignored two emails from me as if they didn’t exist???

I’m going to send this now, but if I get another one of your snotty “I’m so much busier and more important than thou” autoresponders, I’m blacklisting your email addy. What the hell; I’m blacklisting it anyhow. You’re an energy vampire, interested only in self-promotion. You have no idea of either manners or what it means to be part of a true online community.

Consider yourself fortunate I didn’t hit “reply all” when composing this message.


Claire Wolfe

Update on helping Mike Vanderboegh

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

BBQ/work party

According to Mike, a work party/BBQ to help with long-neglected home projects is forming up for the first weekend in February. If you’re near Pinson, Alabama, or have construction skills, a strong back, and are able to travel, this might be a great event for you. And certainly for Mike and Rosey.

David’s fundraising plea

David Codrea also clarifies issues related to his fundraising pleas for Mike — and gives righteous hell to a few yammerheads.

Seems there are some who, rather than helping Mike, prefer to sit at their keyboards and make unhelpful suggestions. I haven’t personally seen the comments in question. But apparently the theme is: gee, if Mike would just put up a few Internet ads or if he had just (past tense) dropped the Fast & Furious scandal and instead pushed his novel harder, he’d be rolling in dough now and wouldn’t have to rely on donations. (Because you know, everybody who self-publishes freedom novels makes a bazillion dollars, and slapping ads on a blog is a guaranteed way to riches.)

Now I’ll stipulate that there are a lot of people who have perfectly good reasons not to help Mike. If you’re poor, if you’re not a gun-rights person, if you don’t agree with Mike’s radical stances, if Mike is somebody who’s barely on your radar, fine. You owe him nothing. But for people who read his prolific Sipsey Street Irregulars blog and who followed where Mike led now to spout economic nonsense solely as a way to avoid being useful to a dying man and his wife … well, that is just BS. Pernicious, vicious, lazy, economically ignorant BS.

I’m glad I haven’t seen that stuff personally — and the people spouting it should be glad I haven’t because I’d be even less nice about it than David.

Living Freedom readers (and BHM readers in general) tend to be a very positive, helpful, “do-er” bunch. People who make their best effort to live by their convictions. Useless yammerheads don’t find this place very attractive. Thank heaven. I am very, very fortunate to be part of this community. I’m also rather spoiled to be in such company and I forget what much of the rest of the ‘Net is like. Filled with petty bickering by people who pretend that typing and clicking is a revolutionary act. And who don’t know one damned thing about the economic realities for those of us who seriously attempt to earn our keep while promoting freedom.

I expected to see David’s fundraising appeal spread like kudzu through the gunblogosphere immediately after he posted it. That hasn’t happened. Only a few gun blogs have picked it up and David reports he’s also not getting a lot of response on social media. That’s shameful. Especially considering Mike’s prominence, tireless work, and huge importance within the gun-rights community and the freedomista resistance. (And the fact that the man is dying of cancer, you yammering morons!)

So please, if you do nothing else, help spread the word about the fundraiser and the work party via your blogs, email lists, and social media accounts. Thank you for that. And thank you for not being the all-too-common keyboard kommandos and worthless yammerheads that infest so much of the ‘Net.

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

Mike and more

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Deadlining today. The article came together nicely over the last several days, so today I had only to polish it, choose photos, and write captions. But this was still urgent, intense work. All the while I felt terrible because I could not pause to write a worthy blog on Mike Vanderboegh’s terrible news. M. posted the link yesterday evening in comments, so thank you for that. But I needed to do more — and now that I have the time, I don’t have the words.

Mike announced his own impending death with resolution and grace. You should definitely read what he wrote. The news wasn’t surprising; Mike’s been battling cancer for years. He’s reported many, many recent bad days. And merely the thin, drawn look of him at the events he’s managed to attend in the last year said he was no longer winning the fight. He’s a believer, of course. So he has that to hold onto. I hope it sustains him.

Mike is an authentic hero not only to gun rights, but to freedom in general. Nobody will ever match or replace him.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Resolutions, resolve, and New Years Day

Friday, January 1st, 2016

So I know from past Januaries that most Living Freedom readers (at least the most vocal ones) don’t do New Years resolutions. Maybe it’s just one of those “there are two kinds of people in the world things.” But I do do them and find them useful.

The gods of the media seem to be with you non-resolving folks.

You shouldn’t make resolutions because:

You’ll fail to keep them and feel worse about yourself, which will just make meeting your goals that much harder. (Often true for us procrastinating writers.)

You need resolve, not resolutions (a good point, actually)

January 1 is just another day. (And another good point, irreverently made.)

And the New Age/Oprah version … you’re just exactly right as you already are. (Um … yeah, sure.)

Most of the advice is of the “most resolutions fail so why bother?” variety. No doubt the failure rate is huge because resolution makers think too big, get sabotaged by somebody in their life, or focus on the goals without having any meaningful system for reaching them.

All true, all true. It’s common for goals to be either so vague there’s nothing realistically to work on (“I will be happier and more prosperous in 2016″) or so specific they’re doomed to defeat and self-recrimination (“I will lose 25 pounds by 6:00 p.m. on February 28 and I will not gain even one pound back for the rest of the year”).

Nevertheless, I’m all for ’em because I have personally found over the years that resolutions focus my mind — and focus my life on a certain direction. I discovered this years ago when I found an old list of resolutions that I’d made on my birthday (which is really a more sensible time for making them; after all, January 1 really isn’t anything special. It’s not even a solstice or an equinox or a blue moon). I hadn’t achieved most (if any) of the resolutions in the year I made them. And some of them were of the doomed, vague type; I recall that one was “I will become more articulate.” Nevertheless, over time my life had gone in exactly the direction they’d pointed. And I did become more articulate.

This January 1 I find myself (quite unintentionally, I assure you) in the New Age/Oprah position. When it comes to the big things, as a person I’m either good as I am or as good as I’m likely to get. So my goals are small and specific. Mundane, really. But they’re still worth resolving (and approaching with resolve), just to focus the mind.

For instance this year I will:

1. Economize on my monthly expenses in order to

2. Pay off at least 3/4 of the debt I incurred on house fixing, doctors, and car troubles in 2015 and

3. Write 500 words a day, aside from any blogging, emailing, or article writing, at least five days a week.

The first two require a specific plan (being worked on as we speak) but are doable — baring the unforeseen — because I’m highly motivated by the fact that I freakin’ hate debt. (And you dozen+ who donated can know that after tires for Old Blue the rest of your contributions will go toward this good cause.)

Number 3 is scary because I am not a systematic type when it comes to creative work. In the past resolutions like this one have led to exactly the “OMG, I always fail” outcome the anti-resolution people tsk tsk about. Worse, I have not yet figured out any system, discipline, or resolve that will ensure I follow through with this. Maybe this year will be another loser. Who knows? But it’s the direction I want to push in, and failing hasn’t killed me yet. So … onward.

What about you? I know we touch on this most every January. But … resolutions or not? And even if you don’t formally make resolutions, what are some of the things you want to accomplish this year?

Whatever you do, may you have a happy — and FREE — 2016!


Last call …


Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, December 31st, 2015
  • Heh. Carl-Bear Bussjaeger has an idea for those who are likely to be reclassified as “gun dealers” by Obama fiat: comply, comply, comply, comply … and comply some more.
  • Very good one from Mas Ayoob: Five myths of gun fighting.
  • Until recently, the common assumption was that carefree, laid-back people lived longer, healthier lives and that anxiety and worry were bad for you. Lots of research these days points away from that belief. Here’s one more datapoint. Anxious people process threats in a part of the brain devoted to action.
  • The Bill Clinton effect or why liberals may be more sexually abusive to women. (I’m not sure author Carrie Lucas really makes her case, but it’s interesting.)
  • Could you be a libertarian existentialist?
  • Fascinating even at the same time you really hope this study wasn’t funded by tax dollars: do dogs, despite their diversity of size and appearance (the most diversity of any species), recognize that other dogs are dogs on sight?
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

Tuesday links

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015
  • Yes! We must ban guns. So that gangs of robbers will have to use alternatives. (H/T MJR)
  • Obama cynically decries cynicism.
  • ISIS judge says kill all the “defective” children. I guess Middle Eastern mommies and daddies should be glad it’s being done by “humane” methods rather than public beheadings or burning the infants alive in cages.
  • Patrick Buchanan asks whether elites will blow up the GOP. He then proceeds to chronicle how the GOP has already been blown up. Interesting glimpse at history and (these days non) smoke-filled rooms, though.
  • It’s always hard to tell a real crisis from one that’s merely concocted to sell newspapers get clicks. But between the continuing crackup of the commodities markets and the more sudden collapse of junk bonds there’s talk of 2008 all over again. Amid new worries about Europe. This time it’s Italian banks and bad bailouts. A “Bear Stearnes moment” or a “Lehman moment”? Or just clickbait? I don’t know. But this financial house of cards is going to go sometime.
  • More on moderate Muslims reclaiming their religion from murdering fundamentalist theocratic a-holes. And this.
  • “Freeing Your Inner Outlaw.” Somebody dug up this old piece the other day and posted it at Rumor Mill News. Jim Bovard found it for me and I thought it might be a good cheerer-upper.
  • While I generally try to avoid a whole bunch of ego-linking to my own writings, I do have a new one up at TZP on the loserhood of hoplophobic executive orders and how a bunch of pols manage to be confused about exactly who they want to ban from what.
  • Just in case you need a little canine heart warming.
Claire Wolfe

Sunday links

Sunday, December 13th, 2015
  • How to escape the culture of mass deception (via RLW in comments). Written from a conservative, not libertarian, perspective. But the basic point is good.
  • Thailand investigates the U.S. ambassador for lèse-majesté — because he criticized lèse-majesté arrests.
  • Never, but never, ever, did I think anybody would say this about marijuana. Never.
  • Ugh. Big data to be the next trillion-dollar business? Oh, please …
  • Socks. Containing urine. Circulated by walking. Generating electricity.
  • Just because you’re inept and unprepared, buddy, doesn’t mean the rest of us are. (Still, the certification process sounds horribly inadequate if it was anything like he describes.)
  • The White House is shocked. Truly. Shocked! That Americans are buying so many guns. Are they really this clueless or is there some Big Lie purpose here?
  • Finally. this is what moderate Muslims should have been doing since 2001. And this, too. Kudos to them, and here’s hoping these are not just passing nothings but the beginning of a serious trend.
  • Marco Rubio, however much of an establishment-sucking neocon he may otherwise be, deserves a lot of credit for cutting Obamacare off at the knees by legislating against a bailout of insurance companies. But uh oh, it now appears that Obamaites may pull a bailout out of their hats, anyhow.
  • Best get those online Christmas orders placed ASAP. UPS and FedEx say this story about delivery delays isn’t accurate. But I’ve already had a “two-day” delivery take four days this month. And I watched online as another package simply sat on a loading dock for three days before ultimately arriving five days late.
  • How trolling is done. :-)
  • Normally I am not charmed by “soldier and his dog” photos. But it’s incredibly cool that this injured pair are reportedly being treated in the same hospital room.



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