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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.

Pack vs herd vs lone individuals

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Claire | 22 Comments »

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 »

Adventures in pre-hermitting

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Claire | 13 Comments »

First thing: Thank you for all the good words and scary stories after Friday’s out-of-the-blue tree fall. MamaLiberty’s tale of random mystery destruction definitely takes the prize, though Karen’s lightning-from-nowhere story also reminds me of Mother Nature’s notorious temper.

One reader, C, even made an extra little contribution to the roof fund. Its timing was lovely (“Take that, damned tree!”), and the fact that it came from somebody I know has very little to spare made it even more appreciated.


I’m now looking at November 1 as the most likely date to commence a serious year of hermitude.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Atlas Shrugged III: A guest review and commentary

Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Claire | 12 Comments »

The following review of AS-III + commentary on our own times is by faithful reader (and even more faithful Outlaw) Mac the Knife:


I went and saw Atlas Shrugged – Who Is John Galt today. Thought you might like a few observations about the movie.

I thought it was probably the best of the three. While they stray from the book in places they capture the essence of what Ayn Rand was saying. Kristoffer Polaha plays John Galt and he does a very good job. Probably not the image most people would expect John Galt to look like, but he actually did a very good job. I also liked Laura Regan as Dagny. As expected they could not put everything from the book into the movie, but they really did not leave too much that was important out. The scenes in Galt’s Gulch were very good. The best part of the movie in my opinion. From Dagny returning to the end of the movie it seemed a little bit rushed to me. But they had a lot to convey in a short time. The speech was short; only a few minutes long but it held the essence of the 90 page or so speech in the book. Basically he asked do you want to live as a sacrificial lamb to the state or live life free and keep all the fruits of your labor.

When President Thompson was interrupted at the start of his speech by John Galt a woman sitting behind me told whoever she was with that she wished that would happen to Obama.

Two people that should not have been in the movie at all were Sean Hannity and Glen Beck in cameo appearances after Galt’s speech saying this will be the downfall of President Thompson. They are both statist to the core and I cannot stand to listen to them. Ron Paul also made a cameo appearance in support of the speech.

While they portrayed the crumbling infrastructure in the movie most of the characters were using modern cell phones and there were large screen TVs and computer monitors throughout the movie.

The audience was small, maybe 20 or 30 people in all, and mostly elderly. Not very many young people at all. But then this is not their type of movie to watch. With the education system in place today not very many young people would understand what they were watching anyway. And this is sad, because they are the ones that need to be woken up to what is happening and what their future will be like if present trends continue.

Since Ayn Rand wrote the book when there was still a semblance of a gold standard in the country she wrote about the physical destruction of the infrastructure being the result of the men and women of the mind being on strike. While you do see a lot of that happening today in stores being closed for over five or more years with no one reopening them, it has progressed no where near far enough to cause a collapse of the system as a whole. What I think will bring down the system world wide is the complete collapse of the financial system since every central bank in the world is in a race to see who can print the most money. 10 or 15 years ago I did not think I would live to see the financial system collapse, but now I think I will, and I will be 70 in Dec. I do not think the fantastic increases in wealth and gadgets in the electronics industries will be enough to stem the tide of the physical and financial collapse.

Personally I do not think the financial collapse can be stopped. The world is drowning in debt and there are only two outcomes. Complete dictatorship or a complete collapse with total chaos. Not a very bright picture is it. I would love to be proved wrong but somehow I do not think I will.

There is only one scenario that might get us through all this. A complete collapse of the financial system and the people realize that it was all brought on by governments and central banks. If they can be gotten rid of soon enough after the collapse and never allowed to make their reappearance, the world may have a chanche.

Sorry to be so down on everything, but the facts cannot be changed. But it is just great just to be alive and I enjoy and love every single minute of it.


End guest commentary. I’ll be waiting for the DVDs myself, since none of the AS movies ever play at theaters within 100 miles of me. And I may be less pessimistic than Mac about the state of the economy and freedom. But it’s another beautiful summer day and I’m going to enjoy it.

Looking back: Project 31

Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Claire | 3 Comments »

I’ve linked recently to Ryochiji’s posts about his Serenity Valley cabin’s very, very — VERY — close call with a wildfire.

Lots of other worthwhile stuff at his site, Laptop and a Rifle. Back in the winter of 2011, when his property was less developed than it is now, he vowed to spend 31 days there under a strict set of rules. He called his experiment Project 31 & despite the rigor of his terms, it was a success. Here are all his posts about it

Very Joel-ish. Without the curmudgeonliness.

Monkeywrench the antigunners

Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Claire | 7 Comments »

Opportunities for monkeywrenching have sadly diminished in this age of omni-surveillance and can’t-take-a-joke fearmongering. But all is not lost!

John Richardson over at No Lawyers — Only Guns and Money, had an irresistible monkeywrench land right in his email box. And you, too, can take advantage of it without risk. (Until the antis figure out what’s happening, anyhow.)

Go. Check it out. Cost some sanctimonious (and law-breaking) antigunners some of their government-earned cash.


UPDATE — Looks like the monkeywrench was working well enough that they caught on. Per Mark in comments: “The link leads to a page that says you must contribute at least $25 to get the book, so no more monkeywrench.” And no more “we know some people won’t contribute enough to cover the cost, but that’s okay …”

If it ain’t one damned thing, it’s another.

Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Claire | 17 Comments »

So there I was this afternoon, waiting for BHM to come back online (seems that failed security update was a doozy), listening to the sound of roofers overhead. Scrape, scrape. Thud, thud. Bang, bang.

Then — suddenly — BOOOOOM! Absofreakinlootly sonic. What? What? What on earth have those guys done? But the sound seems to have come from the front of the house and they’re working on the back. They also go very, very silent very quickly.

I look out the front window and there are … wires. Not just wires. Big, thick cables hanging down.

I look further:

« Read the rest of this entry »

The tiny house movement …

Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Claire | 13 Comments »

… has definitely jumped the shark.

Friday links etc.

Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Claire | 4 Comments »

Sorry about the loooooong BHM-wide downage yesterday, guys. Oliver the webmaster tells me it was the result of a security update gone awry at the hosting company. But all should be well now.


Today is the day The Great Roof Project begins! Two stages. The first involves returning part of the roof to its original form (after a long-ago “improvement” done by a committee of chimpanzees on a no-bid government contract). After that, the actual roofing crew comes in.

Crews must coordinate with each other on timing. Weather holding so far. Might have a few nervous-making days. But winter should be dry inside — thanks to you.


Now for some links. I’m shifting away from “news” as I mentioned the other day so it takes a little longer collecting good stuff. Fortunately, I get by with a little help from my friends.

  • In business: the case for recruiting weirdos. (Hey, that might be us!)
  • Although this item is kind of “news” (it being about how people hate Eric Holder), I’m linking it as “anti-news.” Note the percentage of those polled who simply don’t know who the guy is. I used to think such ignorance was shocking and dangerous. Now? I rather envy it.
  • How the power of no saved my life. (James Altucher’s off-kilter notion of no. H/T Randall in comments.)
  • For those who are rilly, rilly, rilly serious about their guns, old acquaintance Ian of Forgotten Weapons, is now producing episodes of It’s pay-per-episode, but with Ian you always know you’ll get something you can’t find elsewhere. (Via Joel)
  • I was going to save this for Halloween. But what the heck; weird dog videos are always in season. (Tip o’ hat and a smile to Jim B. in comments.)

The opportunity to sell out

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by Claire | 32 Comments »

This morning I was offered the “opportunity” to sell out. I was asked to do something that (if it worked out as my correspondent hoped) would make Alan Gottlieb and his “JPFO Lite” look better than they are.

It would not change anything in any material way. It would not restore principle to JPFO or protect Aaron Zelman’s legacy.

It was merely the opportunity to create an illusion — to have people say, “Hey, maybe Gottlieb’s not going to wreck JPFO after all!”

And what would I get for doing Mr. Manchin-Toomey (and not coincidentally, the correspondent proposing the idea) such a favor?

Why, I’d get influence. No, let’s capitalize that. I’d get Influence — that much-craved prize of wheeler-dealers everywhere. If I just sold my integrity (which, after all, isn’t worth anything on the market), I might gain the privilege of suggesting to the new powers at JPFO Lite that (pardon my French) it might be better if, for now, they just chopped off one of JPFO’s b***s and not both.

« Read the rest of this entry »


Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Claire | 11 Comments »

One last comment on JPFO’s death. In last week’s SAF news release, Alan Gottlieb made the bland, mealy-mouthed statement that JPFO would continue “educating people about the pitfalls of gun control.”

It’s not surprising that Mr. Manchin-Toomey-SCHUMER would fail to acknowledge that JPFO’s submersion in SAF is in fact itself a pitfall — a trap for the unwary.

But given Gottlieb’s support for gun control victim disarmament measures as long as he judges them to be popular and comfortably mild, I believe Aaron Zelman (may he rest in peace once he stops rolling in his grave) would answer Gottlieb’s milquetoasty “pitfall” remark something like this:




Oh, you bet there are “pitfalls” for the disarmed, Mr. Gottlieb.

Collaborators, on the other hand, often find a more dignified fate.


BTW, anybody who believes Gottlieb will allow Aaron’s voice to continue to ring should note this example from Mike Vanderboegh of how Gottlieb tolerates dissent.

You and JPFO: Last ways to protect yourself and register your outrage

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Claire | 19 Comments »

The sellout of JPFO to SAF will be complete as of this Friday, September 12. The remnants of JPFO will be hauled away to Washington (and, I picture in my mind’s eye, be stashed away like the Lost Ark at the end of that movie).

While Gottlieb promises JPFO will continue to operate “independently,” in fact SAF is making no attempt to learn anything at all about how the organization functions. Surely they’ll keep some JPFO-ish thing going and it may even look good for a while, but it’s clear that what they’re really after is mailing lists — of members, donors, sponsors, and purchasers.

If you have or ever had any relationship with JPFO, these are your last few days to take care of yourself.

I can’t say what anybody ought to do. Some JPFO members might be perfectly happy to be handed over the SAF. So be it. Do only what’s right for you.


If you’re not happy, however, you might want to join the ever-growing movement to remove your name and contact information from JPFO’s databases before the infamous and relentless Gottlieb/Merrill direct mail operation gets hold of you.

Contact info:
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746 (webmaster — nice guy and totally not responsible for any of this mess) (board member and Managing Director Doug Schuett)


I also know several people who’ve asked for their money back — including one noble soul who contributed $1,000 just before the merger was forced into the light. He minced no words in saying he had donated under false pretenses.

No idea whether JPFO will return his or anybody else’s money. Frankly, I hope that problem falls to Mr. Gottlieb and his lawyers because I pity JPFO’s office staff having to deal with all this.

Nevertheless, if you recently joined or donated, asking for a return of funds may be something you want to consider.


IF you are “political,” you might want to throw some support toward Gun Owners of America, the only remaining national gun-rights group that remains hardcore.

(Yes, I’m aware of accusations of a few cracks in that core, but then, that’s politics. GOA remains the best alternative for gun owners of political bent.)

If you do that, you might also want to tell both JPFO and SAF where you’re sending your money — and why.


There is also ample evidence that (as one member of the JPFO rescue team put it) “JPFO’s papers are not in order.”

It’s too late to prevent JPFO’s disappearance into SAF. But potentially a JPFO member with an obsession and a lot of money could “go to the lawyers” to try to undo the deal.

It seems very, very unlikely that any one (or any group of ones) would be both furious enough and rich enough to pursue this. Also, as that same rescue-teamer put it, “… courts are very reluctant to interfere in these essentially private squabbles. The courts know damn well that ‘non-profit’ has nothing to do with compensation or personal gain. But absent evidence of overt criminality, courts are unlikely to interfere.”

Just plain inertia might have something to say, also. It’s harder to get a deal undone than prevent the doing.

Still, if you’re truly outraged and have the money to fight for what you believe is right, there are certainly chinks in the JPFO/SAF Fortress of Secrecy. (Which is, perhaps, one reason the doers of the deed were so obsessed with keeping members’ and donors’ eyes off their work.)


I hear from little birds that there’s also been some minor, but creative monkeywrenching directed at the JPFO sellouts.

While I can’t say I applaud it, especially since the worst evildoers on the JPFO board aren’t the ones taking the most heat, I salute the spirit!

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme

Monday, September 8th, 2014 by Claire | 2 Comments »


Actually lemon grass, sage, oregano, chamomile, catnip, and thyme. :-) All from MamaLiberty’s garden.

The package was so aromatic I’m surprised somebody didn’t call out the SWAT team.

Thank you, ML. First thing on the agenda tonight will be to brew me a nice cup of chamomile tea.



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