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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.

Why does SAF want JPFO so badly?

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Claire | 11 Comments »

… given that JPFO board members appear to think JPFO is no more than a worthless burden to be shrugged off their shoulders? A businessman friend who is also a JPFO life member offers this insight. And ain’t it the truth?

SAF is salivating at this “merger.” What’s not to like? They pay a few bills, but they get a great email and snail-mail list. They probably know that there is very little overlap between SAF members and JPFO members.

But since SAF, Alan Gottlieb, and the lawyers he hires are unprincipled hypocrites, willing to compromise and toady at every turn, they don’t understand WHY there is so little overlap in membership.

The truth is, Aaron Zelman was a fanatic. In a good sense. He had a burning issue and a principled stance. He would never compromise.

That’s exactly why I am a life member. I strongly suspect it was a reason many people supported JPFO. They were tired of weasel words, compromise, and endless erosion of their rights by the very people who claimed to help them.

I will never be associated with SAF. If this “merger” takes place I will renounce my life membership in JPFO. Gottlieb will never see a dime from me.

Perhaps we can’t stop this “merger.” Look for a smarmy FAQ with a bunch of questions that treat the JPFO members like infants and idiots. Look for weasel word answers crafted by lawyers to those insulting questions. Look for evasions and lies from SAF, because that’s what Alan Gottlieb does – he says one thing even while planning his next treachery.

Because in truth there is simply no way to merge these two organizations. They are like matter and anti-matter. Just like those, the mix will provoke an explosion and destruction. Nothing good will come of it, but the life work of Aaron Zelman will be destroyed.

His words, not mine. So if you want to sue him for telling the truth, lawyers, go find him.

Now, people, I’m stepping away from my computer for an hour or two. But keep those reality checks coming to the JPFO board!


Sign the petition! Stop SAF from looting Aaron Zelman’s legacy.

A voice of experience on what it means to be bought out by SAF

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Claire | 3 Comments »

I put this in comments on today’s earlier post. But I hear that JPFO’s board and SAF are continuing to move ahead with their plans as we speak.

So it seems time to remind everybody what SAF does to its acquisitions. The following is a Facebook exchange. I know the people involved but have deleted their names for privacy:

Former KeepAndBearArms Insider: is nothing like it was before the SAF takeover.

The original writers were all hard line, “no compromise” firebrands. So it attracted that kind of stalwart.

Now it’s vanilla by comparison, with a small fraction of the reach and influence.

A similar motivation was at play: financial dire straits and raw fatigue.

Hindsight is 20/20. Shoulda coulda woulda frustration has plagued me for a decade.

JPFO friend: So having read Claire’s blog, what would your advice be?

Former KeepAndBearArms Insider: Her general idea of a member/owner group that keeps JPFO real and honors Aaron is essential.

Selling to SAF is going to cost JPFO’s identity. The word “merger” is disingenuous. “Absorption and dilution” are more like it.

At some point, after it’s done, current JPFO leaders won’t even be able to get Gottlieb on the phone — let alone get their voices out to JPFO members.

Trust me. I know.


Sign the petition! Stop SAF from looting Aaron Zelman’s legacy.

Sellout: JPFO to be handed off to SAF — unless we stop it

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Claire | 99 Comments »

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to post this, but now that we’re out of alternatives I’ll be as succinct as I can and attempt (no doubt unsuccessfully) to keep my most heated personal judgments to a minimum.


“A housewife and a cat will both chase mice out of the kitchen. But the cat wants more mice to come back.”

– Aaron Zelman

Somebody reminded me this week of that statement from Aaron, the late, great founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. That was how Aaron contrasted himself and JPFO with Alan Gottlieb and Gottlieb’s SAF/CCRKBA.

Aaron wanted to educate people so that victim disarmament would go away. He would have been thrilled to be able to close JPFO’s doors and say, “We’ve done it.”

On the other hand, he despised Alan Gottlieb and saw him as an opportunist who used scary mailings to turn SAF/CCRKBA into a fundraising factory. He saw Gottlieb as a person who needed and wanted “gun control” because that’s what kept the money and the publicity flowing.

Gottlieb certainly confirmed many of the things Aaron said about him when he supported the Manchin-Toomey (really Manchin-Toomey-Schumer) universal background check bill last year. He even boasted of having spent hours helping to write the bill.

Now, the JPFO board of directors has hatched a plan to hand JPFO over to SAF — a merger that is scheduled to be finalized next week if JPFO supporters don’t stop it.

At the end of this post, I’m going to ask you to take action and give you contact information. But first let me tell you what little I know.

One of the things I know — the biggest thing I know — is that a viable plan exists to keep JPFO healthy and independent. And so far the board won’t even acknowledge it.

« Read the rest of this entry »

New app for reporting police (and defending rights)

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Claire | 7 Comments »

New phone app Five-O:

A new phone application invented by some crafty teenagers will help citizens to keep track of incidents of police violence. The app called “Five-O” allowed users to record and document interactions with police, submit ratings of law enforcement, and allow people to see how their departments compare to others. Users can also rate specific officer’s behavior and ratings are public for everyone to view.

Inventor Ima Christian spoke to Business Insider about her invention: “We’ve been hearing about the negative instances in the news, for instance most recently the Michael Brown case, and we always talk about these issues with our parents,” she said. “They always try to reinforce that we should focus on solutions. It’s important to talk about the issues, but they try to make us focus on finding solutions. That made us think why don’t we create an app to help us solve this problem.”

“Five-O” also contains a “Know Your Rights” section, where users can gain access to vital constitutional rights information in order to protect themselves during interactions with police.

Gives ya hope for the kids growing up today. And for freedom.

Bigt H/T MtK!

Thursday links

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Claire | 8 Comments »

Don’t let this go to my head

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Claire | 23 Comments »

If I start referring to myself in the third person like some TV celebrity, or using “we” when I’m really saying “I,” smack me silly. This could go to my head.

Seven fair entries. Ten ribbons.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday links

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Claire | 7 Comments »

Sometimes you just have to be a pushy b*tch

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Claire | 22 Comments »

I think a few people were laughing about me feeling intimidated and being submissive to cranky county fair volunteers yesterday. Found it pretty funny, myself.

In real life, I’m mostly just a person who’d rather get along or talk things out than make a scene — until you really offend my sense of right and wrong. Once you get my righteousness up, you’d best get out of my way.

I’m dealing with an IRL situation like that this very minute.

On Sunday I mentioned a Bad Thing I’d been told (not asked) to keep confidential. It already felt wrong to keep shut about it since it potentially affected a lot of people.

Then late yesterday I learned that the few of us who thought we were in the know had been lied to. In one very, very, very important, not to say absolutely crucial, aspect, we’d been shined on. We’d been led to believe that the Bad Thing had one very good aspect.

It does not. Someone apparently decided to invent that one allegedly good point for reasons unknown. To keep the natives from getting restless, perhaps? I don’t know. But we were lied to.

Now … no more Ms Nice Guy.

Either these people back down from their nefarious plans — and put that in writing. Or it’s warpath time.

I’m trying to be constructive. I’ve been working on possible solutions with some of the others involved. People (other than those responsible) are diligently and intelligently trying to route around the damage. There are excellent colleagues ready not only to fight back but to build for the future. We’re taking practical steps, discussing alternatives. There’s hope in sight.

But now that we know we’ve been lied to, I’ve gone from “OMG, how can this be happening? What can we do about it?” to “If the people responsible for the Bad Thing don’t back off and get the hell out of the way ASAP, there’s going to be blood.”

Well, blood on the blogs, at least. Figuratively speaking.

With no firm ground to stand on, I demand that plans undone. I want resignations. I call for public disclosure.

Of course, that’s useless. I’m impotent. Powerless. I have absolutely zero ability to fix this mess by demanding, wanting, and calling. But I’m mad as bloody damned hell and certainly not going to take this Bad Thing or stand by quietly as it’s imposed on others.

Of all the things I angrily demand, public disclosure is the only one I have any control over. And I will use it.

Also, it’s just a plain fact that making this wretched business public is the right thing to do. It gives a greater chance of having new people come up with new solutions.

So far, all I’ve managed to do is make myself look like a pushy b*itch. Which I hate. But you know, there are signs it might actually work. We’ll see.

I’m holding to confidentiality — well, the threads of confidentiality — still today because a lot of innocent people are involved and because solutions still seem possible at this point without public ruckus raising. I do apologize for talking to you about the mess twice now without actually saying anything. It’s eating my guts out and it’s hard to find the right line to walk.

But if certain perfidious, secretive, lying authoritarians have not taken their plans and agreed to creep away in the next day or two …

Okaaay. That went FAIRly well …

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Claire | 21 Comments »

But I think the whole table thing is going to be a bust.

I got my entries to the county fair today. Five arty items checked in at one building, two crafty projects checked into another.

The art check-in went okay. The young girl accepting my work wasn’t sure about anything, but she was patient and asked. There was some intense discussion among the check-in ladies about whether colored pencil drawings actually qualified as pencil drawings since they weren’t black and white. Maybe because of the color they were actually pastels? (Fortunately the artists on the other side of the table all protested that and my pencil drawings went into the pencil category despite being the wrong hue. I already had the maximum two entries in the pastel category.)

Ridiculously, I felt like a mother sending her children off to school for the first time. I snuck back into the building later to make sure they’d been stashed in a safe place while they awaited hanging. (They had.)

Craft building, different story. First, I had to carry “Doorway to the Sun” clear across the fairgrounds. They wouldn’t let me drive up to the building. Technically quite possible. But Rules, you know. Heavy sucker, that little table. Fortunately, we’re not exactly talking extensive fairgrounds here.

Then I got a check-in lady who was, to put it politely, crusty. She seemed to feel that everybody should know exactly how everything’s supposed to be done, even if they’ve never done it before. After filling out my paperwork and writing ID tags for my entries, she handed the tags to me and waited for me to get out of the way.

“Um … do you want me to put these things somewhere?”

“Well, they gotta be put somewhere so people can see ‘em, don’t they? Might as well be you who does it.”

Another woman directed me toward the only case in the building big enough to hold “Doorway to the Sun.” I was glad it was going into a case, since it has doo-dads on it that kids could pull off. But … the only place it would fit is on a bottom shelf — with another opaque shelf completely covering its top. All you can see are the legs — and those not very well.

If Ms. Crusty is one of the judges, somehow I don’t think anybody’s going to pull my masterpiece out of the case to see whether or not it deserves a ribbon. It won’t have a shot at getting a “People’s Choice” vote unless people really, really like the legs. And the sheet with the before-and-after photos on it. At least they’ll see that.

I wish now that I’d gotten some help to find a better place for my table. But by then I was feeling pretty intimidated.

Anyhow, I think there goes my chance at countywide fame and fortune. At least in the miscellaneous (possibly including wooden tables as long as you didn’t do the woodworking yourself because that goes in another building) category.


UPDATE: Realizing they were still taking submissions this evening, I dashed back out there and made my plea to find a better place where people could actually see the table. Ms Crusty was even nice! Then an acquaintance of mine, a superintendant of one of the other fair buildings and a honcho in the grange, happened to turn up. Ms Crusty was really nice. She got up from her table, wandered about with us, and came up with creative ideas, none of which unfortunately would work.

“Could I just put the table on top of one of the cases?”

“Nooooo!” barked Ms Crusty’s comrade in check-ins, whom we’ll call Ms Crusty Senior, “Too fragile.”

“Look,” Crusty Senior said, rolling her eyes (and I really couldn’t blame her). “It’s in the case. It’s staying in the case. If we can find a better place for it after the judging, we will. But for now, it stays.”

I thanked her, apologized for upsetting everybody’s applecart, and was about to leave when Crusty Senior barked again, “Can you get that thing OUT of that case NOW? These dolls are going in there. Get it out RIGHT NOW and put it on top of the case.”

My honcho friend and I did that.

Then I sneaked next door to the art building and rearranged two of my pictures.

Gads, these poor fair volunteers must get tired of fussy Artistes!

Monday links

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Claire | 17 Comments »

Unschooling in the wild

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Claire | 4 Comments »

A.G. dropped this fantastic unschooling article into comments. I’m bringing it forward because this is fabulous, fun, and encouraging. Well-written, too.

The fact that it’s running in Outside magazine is even better. Non-political ‘zine; lots of open-minded readers who might get wild new ideas.

The article is excerpted from the upcoming Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World by Ben Hewitt, father of two untrammeled boys. The book looks like an absolute must-read for freedomista parents — and heck, even freedomista non-parents.

Sunday check-in

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Claire | 13 Comments »

Too hot to accomplish anything right now. Gads, it’s so nice to be able to say “too hot” when talking about the coastal NorthWET.


One thing I did accomplish this weekend: I got my entries ready for the county fair. Tomorrow is submission day for all the artsy-craftsy stuff.

Feels kinda silly to be doing this. I wouldn’t have entered anything in a fair when I was 10. Or 14. So why am I doing it now that I’m (mumble mumble)?

« Read the rest of this entry »



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