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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

More midweek links

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Yes, BHM was down

You may have noticed that BHM had problems yesterday. These were due to a major site overhaul and server move that should eventually produce good results (especially for mobile users).

But the upgrade was handled … um, gracelessly. We bloggers were caught by surprise (I was in the middle of posting at the moment things went unexpectedly haywire) and at least one reader reported getting a message that the site downage was due to a February 2010 upgrade. I gather there are still a few improvements to come, but things should be calmer today.

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 art of not going bonkers

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

The good news is that I haven’t gone stark bonkers.

The even better news is that Ava hasn’t. That’s what I dreaded most when I learned that in addition to having a non-working ankle I had a non-working (or at least unsafe) vehicle and was going to be housebound for some unknown time.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
  • You knew this was coming, didn’t you? (And not a bad thing, IMHO, though why the government should have anything to do with it, I don’t know.) Same-sex marriage and plural marriage.
  • “A Modest Proposal.” If withdrawing just under $10,000 from your bank account should be a crime, then how about … oh, driving just under the speed limit?
  • Carol Browne didn’t have to die.
  • Creative people. Yes. It’s true. They tend to be crazy. “[A]nd writers, specifically, are likelier to possess some sort of mental illness.” (Thanks a bunch, guys.)
  • True, he’s just a Republican politician and it’s nerve-grating to hear him called libertarian. But Rand Paul is still a cut above.
  • And finally, via Never Yet Melted, hilariously inappropriate covers of children’s books.
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

Monday links

Monday, June 1st, 2015
  • Somebody over at Examiner.com has begun disappearing David Codrea’s columns on phony premises. Ironic considering David’s earlier censorship by the new JPFO. Really bad considering David gets paid by the page view for his Examiner work.
  • Here, have a cigar. But only if you’re rich enough to qualify for the “crony exemption.”
  • The corruption of DA’s offices. It just gets deeper and dirtier. (H/T S)
  • So Ross Ulbricht thought he was better than the laws of this country. But then (as Neil Smith likes to point out) we’re all better than the the law. Sounds as if the judge sentenced Ulbricht more for his philosophy than his crime.
  • MamaLiberty muses on hate vs discrimination.
  • Be nice to your lunch lady.
  • Toward a theology of atheism? No thank you. Away from strangling reason in theology! Away from enabling herds of holier-than-thou atheist cultists, if you please! Such would be insufferable even if the theological practice didn’t involve group sings of “Walking on Sunshine.” (Many commentors on the piece have it right.)
Claire Wolfe

Floating free in London

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

One man’s floating life on the waterways of England.

Claire Wolfe

Here’s a story for you

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

“The Haunted Beach.” (pdf, about 4,600 words)

I submitted this to a short-story contest/anthology a few months ago. It was rejected. Maybe because it was no good. Or maybe because the theme of the anthology was “optimism.”

The rules said submissions could have dark elements but needed to be optimistic overall. I thought this story just bubbled with optimism (after said “dark elements”). But you can probably see why contest judges might disagree.

Claire Wolfe

Friday updates

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

And some cool custom knives (below)

My ankle was feeling good enough this morning that the boot was actually more of a nuisance than the break.

Got Ava back from Furrydoc’s kennels. ‘Bout the second thing she did was body-slam herself right into that leg.

How did I end up with such a lunatic dog? She was amusing when she was a year or two or five years old. But she turns 10 this fall. Why can’t she just sleep a lot like a good senior dog?

——

MJR, who sent this article decrying the current trend in “loud manliness,” said he was sorry it wasn’t more inclusive of women.

Actually, I think it’s perhaps more inclusive of us than we need it to be. Enough — and often too much — has been said about the rights, privileges, strengths, and demands of women. We’re equal now, and frequently ahead, in vast fields of endeavor. What’s left to achieve is detail. Yet now we’re innundated with ignoble, attention-seeking whines about how women are all victims of a mythical, male-blighted “rape culture.” Faugh! I’m embarrassed for the decent people of my sex.

I’m much more concerned with what’s being done to boys in increasingly female-dominated institutions. And how men of the future will manage to remain strong, vital, useful, self-respecting men. I’m horrified that boys and young men are being subjected to such toxic views of who and what they are. This toxic reversal is worse for male well-being than the stupid “sugar-and-spice, behave like a lady, submit, and be sure to be lousy at math” line was for us girls who grew up in the not-so-distant dark ages.

I don’t agree with the author of the linked article that manhood was easy and automatic in the past. I recall how often men had to struggle or even fake some faux ideal of manhood. And hey, it was guys who got drafted, guys who got stuck with a ton of dirty work. Manhood has never been easy. But I surely do agree that real manhood — and real womanhood for that matter — essentially consists of girding the loins and getting on with life.

/rant

—–

Ahem. Now go check out the cool custom Kershaw knives just arrived in the TZP store. These are Ken Onion-designed spring-assist folders and sharp tools in every sense of the word.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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