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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 ‘War’ Category

Claire Wolfe

“I am not Charlie Hebdo” (part II)

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

(Part I here)

Again, this is the opinion of a friend who wishes to remain anonymous. The following is not by me.

—–begin anon message, part II—–

I am not Charlie Hebdo, because I know that free speech is a lie. The Constitution is a dead letter, and I am a coward.

Charlie Hebdo published offensive speech that was found by a court of law to be worthy of protection. The speakers were killed.

Anwar al-Awlaki published offensive speech, and was killed. He was denied a day in court, and simply murdered.

I don’t want to be killed. I want to work for peace, but I’m not going to stick my head up and invite extremely well-armed people to shoot at me, no matter what costume they wear.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

A friend says: “I am not Charlie Hebdo” (part I)

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

I did not write the following. It was sent to me by a friend who has concluded that free speech is now such a myth that anonymity is the only protection. These are my friend’s opinions. Because they’re long, I’ll split this into two parts and run them on successive days.

—–begin anon text—–

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

A pair of good reads

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

… for the long, idle post-celebration hours ahead.

In The Atlantic James Fallows writes about “The Tragedy of the American Military”. How we can reflexively say, “Thank you for your service” and claim that all soldiers are heroes — precisely because most of us are so removed from the realities of their lives, their missions, and the management of military matters.

The German ‘zine Spiegel Online goes inside the NSA for an educated guess about what types of encryption the NSA has broken, which it’s working on, and which are so far safe from its prying eyes.

Both articles are longish but very worth a read.

Claire Wolfe

Some stuff I’ve been saving up

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Before I shut down for the day to return to hermitting, here are some links I’ve been collecting for you.

And to get you in the Christmas spirit:

Via Borepatch: “The Carol of the Bells” writ rather large.

This 2014 commercial for the British store Sainsbury’s apparently infuriated a lot of people. I think it’s lovely. The only infuriating thing is that the guys in this famous WWI story went back to killing each other the very next day.

Claire Wolfe

Gads, ya gotta just love free enterprise
and other random thoughts

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Wouldn’t you just know it? Wouldn’t you just? As soon as domestic drones even start looking like they could be a nuisance, somebody comes up with this: Drone Shield.

Yes, indeedy, you to can keep the paparazzi and other airborne vermin away. Fancy that! But look who all is in the list of potential clients — a veritable roster of the crony capitalist police state. Pity.

(H/T MJR.)


People laughed earlier this summer when big-time columnist Maureen Dowd tried her first cannabis, did it unwisely, and wrote about feeling like she was dying. They thought she was making a ridiculous big deal out of a pot experience.

I didn’t laugh. I had an experience like hers. Edible pot. Not for some of us, no, no, not ever. Turns out even the Emperor of Pot, Willie Nelson won’t touch edibles for that very reason.


In more mundane news, I had to pull a tick off the base of my cat’s ear tonight. We don’t usually get ticks and though I’ve yanked a few off dogs, I’ve never tackled a kitty.

I figured that “tackle” might be the operative word. But Kitsu is such a mild-mannered little thing that after a few token twists to keep her head out of my hands, she sat still for the procedure. She was very offended, and demanded out immediately afterward, but the only one harmed by the experience was the tick.

I was kind of surprised.

Claire Wolfe

Pack vs herd vs lone individuals

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Yesterday Mike Vanderboegh re-printed a classic that I’d missed first time around even though it riffs on a classic of my own — asking that ever-pertinent question, “When is it time?”

Mike uses the sorry example of the Weimar German Reichsbanner to show how even the prepared can tragically fail to act when the day comes. The Reichsbanner were a military group sworn to protect the Weimar Republic against an anticipated Nazi coup. But when Hitler rose to power they did … nothing.

They were waiting for a signal from a leader. And for various reasons, they waited. And waited.


This got me thinking about the differences in packs vs herds vs lone individuals.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
  • The more powerful people are, the more time they perceive they have. Interesting. And an insight into why some of us always feel as if we’re scrambling just to keep up!
  • And here’s the schedule those successful people follow.
  • This came up at Joel’s place the other day. I think it was MJR who linked it. In any case, it’s cool in more ways than one — poor man’s air conditioning.
  • Hm. Jeffrey Snider also goes on (as I recently did) about how seventeenth century England made such a difference to Americans. Then he goes on. And on. About modern-day political thievery. Long but interesting.*
  • Jury frees man who shot at cops who were too stupid and lazy to bother checking an address.
  • And things continue to look up! Woman wins big settlement after cop steals her money and arrests her on false charges. (H/T Say Uncle)
  • Everybody knows about Sherman committing war crimes as he pillaged and burned his way to the sea. But I never knew Sheridan did the same thing farther north — on orders from Grant and with the blessing and thanks of Lincoln.

* He screws up saying that Locke fled England under James I. It was James II. But that’s just being technical. Locke was a pretty amazing person and one to whom we also owe much.

Claire Wolfe

Omni-biometric surveillance: Coming to your neighborhood soon …

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

… courtesy of the U.S. military and the war in Afghanistan.

The stated goal of the Afghan effort is no less than the collection of biometric data for every living person in Afghanistan. At a conference with Afghan officials in 2010, the commander of the U.S. Army’s Task Force Biometrics Col. Craig Osborne told the attendees that the collection of biometric data is not simply about “identifying terrorists and criminals,” but that “it can be used to enable progress in society and has countless applications for the provision of services to the citizens of Afghanistan.” According to Osborne, biometrics provide the Afghan government with “identity dominance” enabling them to know who their citizens are and link actions with actors.

Yep. It’s always tried out first on prisoners, “enemies,” the mentally defective, children, and others who aren’t in a position to resist effectively. Then it comes to our neighborhoods.

But no problem! Hey, it’s to help “provision of services”! I’m sure they’ll drop the creepy “identity dominance” discription when it comes time to apply all this to us. It’ll go away. Just like “Total Information Awareness” did.


(Article is from April. I just found it this morning — and I don’t think much will have changed (at least not changed for the better) since it was published.)

Claire Wolfe

Two for the holiday

Monday, May 26th, 2014

I don’t usually “do” holidays, except Thanksgiving. But here are a pair of truly touching stories, one for today, and one (though it was just published), for the Mothers Day just passed.

War dog helps the family of the soldier he served with.

An old man with Alzheimers, two caring cops, and a happy ending. (H/T ML for the smile.)

Claire Wolfe

Further adventures in attempting not to be paranoid

Monday, February 17th, 2014

I try not to be paranoid. I really do. I laugh at Alex Jones-style alarms and snort haughtily when I see that a story originates with InfoWars.

I believe myself to be above all that. I really do. I consider much alarmist “news” to be on par with reports that lizard-brained aliens are secretly running the country. (Human-brained aliens are quite sufficiently awful, thank you.)

But then there are times …

Claire Wolfe

The NSA’s other shoe drops

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Alas (but no surprise), the rumor that’s been buzzing around the ‘Net ever since Edward Snowden’s NSA documents began their slow leak has turned out to be true. The NSA has cracked the encryption on which the Internet thrives.

All those assurances from our banks, insurance companies, doctors, credit card companies, etc. that our data is safe and secure? Blooey.

Maybe “cracking” isn’t quite the right term. Apparently, they haven’t really gotten any great master key. Not even to one form of encryption (and there are many forms). This isn’t Bletchley Park and the Enigma machine. Nothing so grand. Simply tawdry.

If the news stories are correct, the NSA’s methods consist of brute-force attacks (which, correct me if I’m wrong, techies) are used only in individual cases where they’ve really got motive to snoop and — no surprise — backdoors willingly provided by tech companies.

There are so many non-surprises here.

Collaborating companies named in the documents include Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Hotmail. No doubt only the tip of the iceberg.

I hope every one of those companies, and any others, pay and pay and pay and pay for their betrayal, not only the betrayal of their users, but as Bruce Schneier says, their part in what amounts to an all-out attack on the Internet. They have sold the Internet for the modern equivalent of 30 pieces of silver. May their end be as miserable and gruesome as that of the man who inspired them.

Read the article (or this one or this one) and weep.

But as you weep, notice. It’s another non-surprise. But notice what the NSA calls us all — calls every user of online banking, every poor fool who trusted his medical records to some online provider, everyone who believed the word of Internet corporations. They call us “adversaries.”



A few weeks back when I said the federal government (particularly its UberGovernment) had declared war on us, I could have been exaggerating. Just being dramatic.

But no more. The UberGovernment has declared each and every one of us to be its adversaries. Just because we want confidential information kept confidential. Just because we want privacy. Just because we don’t want Big Brother — or any other criminal — peering over our shoulders, into our bank accounts, or into the space between our doctor and us.

I hope to hell we’re worthy ones.

Claire Wolfe

America’s UberGovernment. And the rest of us.

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

The last few days I’ve been doing physical labor, spending time in the sunshine, painting rooms — and thinking about America’s UberGovernment.

It’s dawning on a lot more people that a government run by secret spymasters is illigitmate even by the most conventional, mainstream standards. Among freedomistas, even those like the folks at DownsizeDC — who are usually pretty polite, mainstream, and hopeful of working within the system — are talking last straws.

Edward Snowden’s revelations of the NSA were a shock, though not a surprise. Now this week they’re followed by news of DEA operations that are top secret — but obviously, no doubt about it, are the result of collusion between the DEA and the NSA (“We’re only spying on you so we can keep you safe from brown-skinned furriners with scary religions, really!”). And these operations are resulting in arrest, asset forfeiture, and sometimes decades in prison for Americans.

And in another non-surprise, old-news revelation, Glenn Greenwald is now reporting that members of Congress — you know, those experts who were so diligently overseeing all those secret spy programs, bravely protecting our interests and Our Glorious Constituion — can’t even get information on the NSA or its bosom pal the FISA court no matter how much they rant or beg.

So yes. You’d have to be naive in the extreme to believe that a huge, secret level of government that answers to no one is a legitimate democratic-or-republican government. This country is now governed by an UberGoverment — Secrecy uber Alles.

Control uber Alles.

It’s also nothing new that Congress long ago lost authority over most of the unaccountable bureaucratic creatures it created, from the IRS to farm subsidy programs to ObamaPhones for the poor. The only thing that’s changed is that now Congress has lost power to a gigantic “security” apparatus that suspects and investigates everyone, makes war from the air on individuals (it still boggles my mind that more people aren’t boggled that drone warfare is conducted by the CIA and not the Pentagon), has U.S. citizens arrested and assassinated, and is accountable to absolutely no “of the people” authority whatsoever.

You know what this is. I know what this is. We have several ugly words for it that we onced used only about the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and the dreary gray Eastern Bloc cold-war Europe.

This won’t end well. This never ends well. There is no “within the system” way to rid ourselves of this vast deadly parasite, the UberGovernment of the United States of America.


But then … in some ways, that makes things easier for us.

Oh, no. We’re not all going to gallop off on pink unicorns tomorrow. That’s for sure. I said “easier,” not “easy.”

But knowing that the actual government of the U.S. is beyond our reach (yeah, writing a letter giving your opnion to the CIA or NSA would be even more laughable than the standard ‘write to your representative NOW!’) means we can focus more effectively. Means we can do things that work. Or at least quit doing things that only raise our blood pressure.

We can get a lot more done now. We’re likely to have a lot more people getting things done with us. Ultimately. Maybe not yet. But in the long run.


The other day Mike Vanderboegh lit into Josh Horwitz, who had lit into those those like Mike, who Horwitz considers “insurrectionists.” Well, when it comes to freedom, I’d be happy to stand beside (or … er, maybe a few steps behind) the Dutchman.

But, sorry, we — meaning most of my friends, the blog Commentariat, several of my publishers, the gunblogosphere, and a growing number of ordinary worried folks — are not the ones conducting an insurrection. No, you folks in Washington, DC, and those creepy suburbs of yours in Virginia and Maryland, you’re the ones who’ve already “insurrected.” Your type of insurrection would be called a coup, except that many of those you overthrew happily handed their power off to you voluntarily — “progressives” cheering for bigger government and “conservatives” cheering for … oh yeah, bigger government, as long as it’s of the warmaking sort — while both voted to give you more and more and more until you’re now the boss of them.

But in declaring your right to spy on, arrest, and even murder us — not those irresponsible egomaniacs in Congress, but we the proverbial people who remember that the word “freedom” actually means something — you’ve … well, guys, you’ve lost some friends. And you’re going to lose more.

And of course the more who turn against you, the better excuse you have for cracking down — and demanding bigger budgets, bigger buildings, bigger databases, more drone power, etc. etc etc. Not to mention issuing more and more scaaarrrrry (but eternally vague) reports about wreckers and saboteurs (oh, sorry, I mean terrorists) and perhaps pulling off a few more false-flag ops to keep the rabble in line.

Until one day you are as powerful as … well, who can even imagine, because you’ll have more powers than those pikers in Moscow or East Berlin ever dreamed.

But that goes only so far. Keep that up for a few years and one day you’ve got no friends left at all. And then you’re surrounded. By us. And by millions more who never thought they’d be at such a point in all their lifetimes.

But remember: you started it. We didn’t. We wouldn’t. We’re better than that. But once you’ve weakened yourself with your own voracious secret keeping, your gluttony for data, your excesses in the cause of Control — we will damn well finish you.



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