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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

Basketweaving, leather tooling, drugs and other therapies for staying sane

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Ah, the good old days at the Funny Farm. But that’s another story. No basketweaving, these days. No therapeutic leather tooling. No drugs (damn)! But I did spend this weekend on other mental-health therapies.

To wit …

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Those nice people who want to annihilate you

Friday, July 11th, 2014

On Monday I did something I shouldn’t have. It’s been gnawing at me all week.

Monday morning, first thing after booting up my computer and before I even had a sip of tea, I clicked on a link. Yes, the same thing most of us do hundreds, if not thousands, of times per week. You’d think by now the brain would be numbed to any creepiness that might be hiding behind any link. But no.

This particular link was to an anti-gun thread on a forum I used to (until that moment) visit daily. The forum generally has nothing to do with politics, but when political discussions do arise, they can get … heated. I know that. Most of the politically engaged people on the site are also liberal or progressive or whatever they’re calling themselves these days. I know that, too. I also know that there are a handful of people on that site who, when the subject is guns, are foaming-at-the-mouth rabid. Normally I stay away, but I noticed that the most recent post in that thread was by somebody I respect. He’s not pro-gun, but he’s sensible, moderate, and often witty. So I clicked.

My eye strayed to the post right above that one. It was that post that blighted my day and much of my week.

I won’t quote it here lest it mess up your Friday, but basically, in two short paragraphs, it contained so much prejudice, ignorance, and downright irrational loathing that I was stunned. The majority of gun owners are murderers. They’re killing all the rest of us. The usual. But this person — who in other contexts has seemed friendly, smart, and reasonable — added that since gun owners are a minority nobody should have to respect their rights, anyway, so whatever the government does to us is okay.


What got to me, what still gets to me, what has gotten to me before, isn’t the sheer hatred. It isn’t the bigotry. It isn’t the fact that people like this won’t even look at facts, won’t even consider considering an opponent’s point of view. (Although that, too.)

It’s that there are so many people who froth with loathing in the name of “tolerance” or “civility” or “decency.” It’s that there are so many people who view themselves as noble defenders of minorities while wanting to wipe other minorities of the face of the earth. It’s that there are people out there who are ripe to be whipped into a deadly frenzy against some politically chosen “other” — and who don’t know it.

They’re totally unaware. They’re so mindlessly righteous of their cause that they have no grasp of the fact that all of history’s witch-burnings and pogroms and genocides have been enabled by minds functioning exactly like theirs.

It’s not the ignorance and bigotry that are the worst of it (though that, too). It’s their total absence of self-awareness.

Liberals aren’t the only ones prone to this, of course. Millions of “patriots” have marched off to slaughter, totally unaware of how they’ve been manipulated into feeling what someone else wants them to feel. During the Cold War, there were plenty of “conservatives” who were so rabidly anti-Communist that they’d have turned the U.S. into a Soviet-style police state to “protect” us from those monstrous, villainous Commies (that they themselves so came to resemble). Religious fanatics everywhere and at all times have been stirred into handy political manias, having no idea that their quest to make the world a better place by eliminating “heretics” or “infidels” would only bring catastrophe. (Oh yes, and bring profit and power to the already powerful.)

And none of them see how much alike they are. That spittle-flecked hoplophobe who scared me so much on Monday has no idea how much he’s like the “good German” who believed that political paradise could be obtained, if only the world could be rid of a few million inconvenient Jews and “defectives.” He has no idea how much he’s like the jihad supporters whose eyes gleam as they envision “improving” their world by eliminating Westerners and Western ways.

No, because totally, totally unlike them — and totally, totally unlike us drooling, unreasoning, inferior, downright murdering gun owners — he’s on the side of the angels. So what could possibly go wrong? Just annihilate a few million and …

And so the cycle of hysteria-driven disasters goes on and on and on through all of history.


I have a JPFO article due today and I plan to write about this. But frankly, beyond talking about being gobsmacked by the depth of self-unawareness I witness in the most rabid hoplophobes, I don’t know what to say.

Claire Wolfe

Tell the girl children …

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

the things that will help them become strong.

Tell their families not to be so eager to define them by stereotypes — not the old stereotypes of sugary pink or the new stereotypes of gender identity.

Two powerful pieces. (And not just for girl children and their families, either.)

Claire Wolfe

The power of the powerless

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Wendy McElroy’s latest. A good read for Independence Day. Spread it around.


(I’m still deadlining. Two articles down, one to go. Plus Life. More soon.)

Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
  • Dog just hanging out in its own backyard. Cops canvassing neighborhood for a lost toddler (who turns out to be snoozing in his own family basement). Guess what cop does? Yeah. Again. But once again, the dog’s dad is on a take-no-prisoners quest for justice. (H/T furrydoc)
  • Okay, let’s have some better dog stories. Including this happy cop and “vicious” pit bull story via naturegirl.
  • And how about … dog returns wedding ring missing for five years.
  • New study warns against trying to cheer some folks up. Yeah, I can see that, for sure. Sometimes you just need validation and sometimes those cheery platitudes are just plain grating. Still … where comes the point where you just tell Debbie Downer to quit whining and fix her own life?
  • So former shooting hotshot and alleged historian Dick Metcalf. still hasn’t bothered to learn the meaning of the term “well-regulated.” And now the left is loving on him. (H/T RC) Bob Owens gives the useful idiot a touch of what he deserves.

Forget that. Cartoon time. Here’s one for Joel (via Never Yet Melted):


And one for all us makin’-a-livin’ arty types lost out here in Cyberland:

doonesburyartists-digital revolution_140629

(H/T Jim Bovard)

Claire Wolfe

Weekend reads

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Here are three longish reads to keep you busy just in case you don’t have anything better to do this summer Sunday:

“Secrets of the Creative Brain.”

Ninety-nine things that make people happy. The article itself is short. Following the links will take you down various informational rabbit holes.

After several decades of increasingly warlike violence against Americans, the ACLU finally takes serious note (pdf). (H/T RL)


Bonus read (to cheer you up after the ACLU report): My latest at JPFO, “What We Owe Ourselves Alone.” That one comes with a hat tip to MJR, whose comment here the other day inspired it.

Claire Wolfe

Getting to No You

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

You’ve decided you need to say no. To new volunteer obligations. Impositions on your privacy. Visits from relatives. Extra projects at work. Co-workers who crowd you. Whatever. (Maybe even to government, but more about that another time.)

But somehow no never quite ends up meaning no. Because this request for your time is so vital. And that request is just one small thing. And because it’s easier to just do it than to put all that energy into refusing again

Real change has to begin with an ultimatum to yourself: No means no. No exceptions. No special cases. Above all no “Just this one time, please?” No. Means. No.

Because the first time you make an exception, you are dead. After that, everybody knows they can get what they want from you. And worse, you know you won’t stop them.

If you haven’t given yourself an ultimatum even stronger than the ones you’ve probably been trying to give other people, you’re doomed. You might say no once. You might say no twice, but in the long run “Just this one time, please?” is going to win because you haven’t effectively said “no means no” to yourself.

I know this. I am an expert in this subject. I have a Ph.D. in the field from long years of failure.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, June 20th, 2014

That fascinating musical group Ok Go (they of the mind-bendingly geeky videos and the slightly forgettable music) have done it again. They’ve released their first new video in several years. Despite its sad dearth of dogs, this maze of optical illusions done in their standard one-shot (or so they make it appear) technique is still pretty awesome.

Claire Wolfe

The pleasures of being obsolete and other tiny observations on life, part I

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

I woke up this morning from a dream in which a friend of mine had won a horse in a drag race and somehow it was my job to transport it home for her. No useful vehicle being available, someone (without asking me) arranged for a semi truck to be delivered for my use the next morning. I kept protesting to anyone who’d listen, “I can’t drive a semi truck! I can’t drive a semi truck! I can’t drive a semi truck!”

Everyone but me seemed to think this was a trivial concern. Quitcher whining; just get in and drive the thing. How hard could it be?

Dream worlds being what they are, even I didn’t consider the greater problem — which was that we were all on one of the Samoan islands and I’d need to drive the semi truck home across the Pacific Ocean.


« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Family needs help for dead defender

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

David Codrea reports that the family of Joseph Wilcox needs help to pay for his funeral expenses. Wilcox is the young concealed carrier who decided to confront the Las Vegas spree killer in Walmart — but fatally failed to realize there was a second murderer nearby.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

A memorial fund has been set up for Joseph Wilcox at Wells Fargo. Those who wish to contribute to the Joseph R. Wilcox Memorial Fund can do so using account number 8485852688.

Morning show hosts Mark and Mercedes with MIX 94.1-FM also will be teaming up with the Trauma Intervention Program of Southern Nevada, Inc. on Tuesday morning to raise funds for the Wilcox family.

Donations to the Wilcox family also can be made from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday morning at Dunkin’ Donuts, 10100 S. Eastern Ave., Henderson; or at Dunkin’ Donuts, 6935 N. Durango Drive.

According to David, you can make donations to the Wells Fargo account at any branch nationwide.

The Journal-Review article has much more about Wilcox’s caring and bravery.

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Claire Wolfe

Week drawing to its hectic, weary end links

Thursday, June 5th, 2014


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