WolfesBlogArchives: January 2005
Monday, January 31, 2005
AH. GOVERNMENT SCHOOLING WORKS AFTER ALL! If you're a government.
Yes, damn, that "too much freedom" thing really is a problem, isn't it? Gotta do something about that ...
Posted by Claire @ 01:52 PM CST [Link]
In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take. -- Adlai Stevenson
Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn't block traffic. -- Dan Rather
Quotes from Basic Jokes: Clean Jokes for a Dirty World
Posted by Claire @ 12:20 PM CST [Link]
NO COMMENT.When U.S. Army Capt. Christopher Sullivan was killed last week by a handmade bomb, it was a tragedy for his family -- and a tragically ordinary event for the American military. Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, have been responsible for hundreds of American casualties in Iraq. And so far, there doesn't appear to be any reliable way of stopping them.
The Pentagon, scrambling for answers, is in the middle of a frantic search for high-tech methods to find and neutralize the jury-rigged weapons. Microwave blasts, radio-frequency jammers and chemical sensors are among the methods being explored and deployed in this largely secret effort.
Almost anything that blows up can be turned into an IED, from grenades to plastic explosives to leftover mines. The most everyday of electronics -- a cell phone, a garage door opener, a child's remote-control toy -- can be recast as a trigger. And the hiding places for the handmade bombs are everywhere: in the ground, aboard a truck, even inside an animal carcass.
Read the rest here.
Posted by Claire @ 08:34 AM CST [Link]
LEGALIZING PROSTITUTION is a sane, reasonable idea -- which government can turn into a grotesquely insane one.
As Wolfesblog's German correspondent Rick says, if you don't go along with state, "You're f-----d! Literally."
(If you get a registration screen, you can use the Bugmenot.com login. Username: firstname.lastname@example.org, password: please.)
Posted by Claire @ 07:30 AM CST [Link]
Sunday, January 30, 2005
I NEARLY FREAKED OUT when I read this heartbreaking item on Wally Conger's out of step blog. Then I re-read more carefully and realized the "news" was more than 80 years old.
Then I freaked out, anyway. Government hasn't improved any since 1924.
Posted by Claire @ 05:25 PM CST [Link]
Saturday, January 29, 2005
THERE ARE NO TWINKIES IN THIS PICTURE, so I couldn't include it in the Infamous Twinkie Thread at TCF. But a link on that thread led me to it. And they are soft and foofy and yellow, and ... well ... couldn't resist for reasons that will become obvious (to anybody who knows me) once you open the popup window.
Posted by Claire @ 08:54 AM CST [Link]
BILL ST CLAIR LINKED TODAY to Sunni Maravillosa's meditation on why she likes men. Men, that is, not merely males:A man is special ... and increasingly rare, if my experience is typical. A man is confident in who he is. He's straight up in his interactions with others. He can do stuff -- whether it's build stuff, or fix stuff, or think stuff, he's a doer. He is sensitive but not sensitized; and he definitely isn't emasculated. ... A man uses his tools of the trade well, whether they're sockets and wrenches or keyboard and ideas. Few things turn me on as much as watching a competent man at work. A man will challenge me, but not be overbearing in doing so. A man is direct, and easy to talk to, whether it's serious stuff or just bullshitting. A man likes being appreciated for who and what he is; he dislikes being made a project. A man can cry at appropriate times at a movie or situation without making a performance of it or hiding it. A man can wrench an engine apart, and gently caress a newborn. He can laugh freely at the mysteries of life and living without hurtfully laughing at an individual. A man knows what being a man is about, and does his best to fulfill that. A man knows the difference between women and womyn, and acts accordingly.
Yeah, what Sunni said.
Sunni and I are very different, but we're both strong people. I spent a lot of my life longing for a man to match my strength -- not to dominate me and not to be dominated by me, but to match me. Very rare, that kind of personal power, the strength of partnership. A real man "knows what being a man is about" and doesn't have to prove his strength to a woman by bullying. But even more he wouldn't surrender his strength to a woman merely because it's easier to whimp out and become some broad's puppy dog.
Ayn Rand was once asked whether there should ever be a woman president of the U.S. She surprised me (then) with her adamant NO. A woman, she said, (and I paraphrase) always wants someone to look up to. If a woman were president of the U.S. she'd be at the top of the heap and she'd forever lack that. I thought she was a bit nutty at the time, but now I see.
(And if it seems contradictory to speak of both partnership and looking up in admiration at the partner ... nope. The greatest thing: to have an equal but complementary partner whose very different strengths we can admire.)
In the terrible times to come, we need your best strengths, guys. We need MEN.
Posted by Claire @ 07:41 AM CST [Link]
"GREAT HARRIMAN!" exclaims Simon Jester. "Will there soon be a catapult on the moon?"
(Also see here.)
Posted by Claire @ 07:03 AM CST [Link]
Friday, January 28, 2005
A NEW HOUSE BILL FROM JAMES SENSENBRENNER not only gets deeper into federal control of drivers licenses -- including requiring states to share your data with the Department of Homeland Security. The bill grants the DHS authority to waive laws regarding roads and barriers at borders. Then the bill goes on to say the courts have no jurisdiction, either to stop the abuse of those "waived" laws or to compensate victims of such DHS overreaching. (See Section 102 on page 7 of the pdf file.)
No matter what you think of immigration, giving any government agency explicit authority to waive laws is scary s--t. Of course, they all do it anyway, but at least you have some hope of getting justice five years down the road.
Posted by Claire @ 09:56 AM CST [Link]
"A STRANGELY IMPORTANT FIGURE." This is one of the best summations of the virtues (and problems) of Ayn Rand you'd ever want to read. That tiny, towering woman was born 100 years ago. Amazing. (Found via LewRockwell.com.)
Posted by Claire @ 09:27 AM CST [Link]
Thursday, January 27, 2005
MY LORD. Twenty-seven pages and more than 400 replies. The Infamous Twinkie Thread at TCF marches on.
I'm glad to see that TCFers have their priories well in order. As Emma Goldman might have said (but didn't quite), "If I can't laugh, I want no part of your revolution."
Posted by Claire @ 11:40 AM CST [Link]
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
THOUGH I GENERALLY STAY AWAY FROM IMMIGRATION ISSUES this personal account of a vigilante's day on the border was too fascinating to ignore. He sent the account to some acquaintances, asking that his personal information be excluded.I spent today at the border, 70 miles east of San Diego. There's a private ranch with one mile of border frontage which is being trampled by aliens (the same as the other 2000 miles of Mexican border.) I was there for the AM Border Patrol change of shift, when many of the illegals cross. During that well-known hour, there is ZERO coverage along the border.[more]
Three of us volunteers captured 40 (FORTY) of them in the past day (Jan 21 to 22, 2005) on this one mile wide property. The volunteers only come once in a while to help the rancher. The rest of the time, his ranch is a wide open path into the USA, not much different from any other mile of border. If they make it 1-2 miles inland, there are lots of houses/shacks/trailers which are "pick up sites." There are only a few Border Patrolmen to cover each 20 mile sector of the actual border, which is only a token effort, just minor window dressing, to show the sheeple that "Uncle Sam is on the job." They basically don't catch anybody, maybe 2% of the crossers by actual truthful and frank (not official PR) Border Patrolmen's estimates. Anyone they catch in this sector is by pure blind luck, or they are the ones which private citizens stop, hold and call in, and they pick up and count as captures.
Posted by Claire @ 09:16 PM CST [Link]
AH, BUT THE RETURN OF DSL SERVICE means it's harder to ignore bad news. Sigh. Today, the Alberto "The Torturer" Gonzales nomination heads for a full Senate vote after Gonzales slimed his way past the Judiciary Committee. At least Russ Feingold has some eloquent words against Mr. "It's only torture if it causes major organ failure or death."
Would be nice if all that talk about the "rule of law" actually meant something.
All Orrin Hatch and NPR had to say about it was gee how thrilled and proud Hispanics must be. Yikes. If I were Hispanic, I think I'd be changing my ethnicity to Italian or Greek about now -- or asking Alberto "Abu Ghraib" Gonzales to change his.
Posted by Claire @ 08:29 PM CST [Link]
Sorry to be late blogging my return. My phone and DSL service took longer to get back in service than expected.
HOME AGAIN. After four months in the Desert Hermitage, it felt strange to return. From dry brown sandstone to dripping evergreen trees -- even with three days to adjust, the transition is discombobulating.
The strangest thing, at first, was how little was strange. Sixty miles ago, I made the final turn off the interstate into my home "neighborhood." Nothing looked different. After four months away, you expect something to change, but for miles and miles nothing did. The grocery store in the next town over even has the same bulk-goods sale sign up that it had late last summer when I left. The business trying to sell two of its old-junker delivery vans is still peddling the pathetic rust heaps. The second-hand store still has pretty much the same assortment of ... whatever.
Then I turned up my road, which always feels strange and magical to me, no matter how many times I drive it. It's like making a turn that takes me out of the real world of cares and into a dream forest, far away from everything. And -- jolt! -- I discovered that my next-door neighbor had (just today, by the look of things) cut down all the trees around his cabin. His property, always dark and dense and utterly private, was bareass nekkid.
I used to own that cabin. I had some cutting done myself and carefully left those trees for privacy and aesthetics. The cabin was always hidden down in them, almost invisible until you were upon it. How dare he prefer sunlight to privacy and beauty? I didn't quite think to myself (while at the same time admitting he might have done himself a favor, letting in the sunshine and exposing the pretty little cabin to view).
Oh well, not my business. I drove on. "Next door" out here means his naked dirt is still too far down the hill for me to see.
Then I opened the gates and drove up to my own Cabin Sweet Cabin, finding it just like I'd left it. But once I stepped inside it looked completely foreign. So big after months in the Hermitage travel trailer! The sinks and stove seemed absurdly wide and luxurious. A real bathtub! Will wonders never cease? The ceramic tile I hadn't been crazy about looked elegant and luxurious (until the dogs muddy-pawed it). And none of it looked familiar. I couldn't even remember in which drawers and cabinets I kept things. Did I own a chair like that? And whose clothes were those in the closet bins? So strange ...
An hour later, it's all come back to me. Now it feels like Cabin Sweet Cabin again.
Even though the Desert Hermitage was full of its own wonders, like violently water-carved sandstone, petroglyphs, and high-walled canyons (and especially like warm, caring, independent friends), once my homeward route brought me into country that felt like mine, my heart lifted.
It's not just that this is home. It's that this spot in the world was, all my life, meant to be Home for me. I've lived here only for the last ten years or so. And only on and off, at that. I'm sure there are more beautiful places; I've been in some of them. But this is the place that's been calling out to me my whole life. Once I'm here, my heart never wants to leave, no matter how beautiful the rest of the world may be.
Posted by Claire @ 08:19 PM CST [Link]
Friday, January 21, 2005
Howdy, Claire-philes, Debra here. Claire asked me to post the following for y'all:
She is apparently leaving the Desert Hermitage today and will be offline for at least 2-3 days. Upon her return home, though, she'll have full-time internet access and (hopefully) will be blogging again on a more regular basis.
Cross our fingers!!
Posted by Debra @ 10:35 AM CST [Link]
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
SANDY SANDFORT HAS REVISED HIS POPULAR REPORT, Panama in a Nutshell. It now has updated information for 2005 and is in .pdf format.
If you bought a copy of the report any time in the past, you can contact Sandy at the address in the back of the report and receive the updates for free -- right from the man on the ground who's earning a living and enjoying his life in Panama.
Posted by Claire @ 05:25 PM CST [Link]
I AGREE WITH BILL ST. CLAIR IN THIS: Mike Wasdin may believe he can take the blue pill and go back into the Matrix. But once you've downed the red pill, I don't think you can ever do that.
Take a good, long mental life break, Mike. But I expect we'll see you again, here on the freedom and reality side of the universe.
The trick is not to fight the overwhelming force, but to undermine it while outliving it. Gracefully, with humor and panache.
Posted by Claire @ 05:18 PM CST [Link]
Sunday, January 16, 2005
BOB-THE-NERD GETS GOVERNMENT ID. Really! And Hardyville returns to a moment of jaunty Outlawry.
Posted by Claire @ 12:44 PM CST [Link]
Friday, January 14, 2005
THE TWINKIE THREAD OVER AT THE CLAIRE FILES FORUMS is now on its 18th page and its 262nd reply. Unflippingbelievable.
What's even more strange, it's just getting better and better ...
Posted by Claire @ 12:40 PM CST [Link]
YES, YOU'RE READING THIS CORRECTLY. I'm going to write a column for S.W.A.T. magazine, starting in June. I'll be a one-year interim replacement for that great friend of liberty, Richard W. Stevens. But while he's a balanced and reasonable constitutional scholar, I'm ... well, an Outlaw.
Three years ago when he first bought the struggling magazine, publisher Rich Lucibella asked me to write a column. I responded that he must be a crazed, and possibly dangerous, lunatic to ask a person like me to write for a magazine like that. I recommended Richard, who's done a great job giving his reasonable, persuasive views on the law to the SWATophiles.
Today, S.W.A.T.'s a roaring, full-color success, full of tactical info, course reviews, and gear reviews -- and surprisingly often full of humor, as well. (An article from the August 2004 issue called "The Quick Peek Revisited: Sound Tactic or Death Wish?" (not online, unfortunately, but downloadable) hysterically debunks all those Hollywood peek around a corner while holding your gun next to your face with your finger on the trigger techniques (and some similarly bizarre techniques taught by actual trainers). Probably about half the magazine's readership consists of LEOs (police) or soldiers, while the other half is just folks who like Evil Black Guns (thanks, Ian) and shooting.
When Rich and editor Denny Hansen (this time aided and abetted by Richard Stevens) asked me to be Richard's fill-in, I still said they were crazy. But this time I conceded it might be divine madness rather than the regular kind.
My job will be to be contrarian and controversial and, who knows, possibly to get a few LEOS asking themselves questions about some of the laws they enforce. Gonna be interesting ...
Posted by Claire @ 11:53 AM CST [Link]
GOOD NEWS FOR ANY FREEDOM OUTLAWS WHO NEED TO RUN FOR THE BORDER. The Canadian border that is. The surveillance camera system is a big, fat fraud that doesn't work much of the time.
Ah, government corruption and ineptitude certainly has its uses.
Thanks to K.A. for this news.
Posted by Claire @ 11:22 AM CST [Link]
Thursday, January 13, 2005
JOEL C. SIMON IS QUITE A STORYTELLER. I'm glad to see his books are now online (with a little help from his friends) & can be ordered in either print or downloadable versions. I've read part of The Last Faithful Man & want to see more. While I'm generally not all that interested in Bible-based tales, the chapters I've read so far a relevant ring to anybody who's ever stood alone for his beliefs (for good or ill).
Posted by Claire @ 11:35 AM CST [Link]
ONE OF THE LOVELY YOUNG LIGHTS OF LIBERTY wrote me the other day. She's a young woman whose name few people know at the moment but who has the potential, I think, to be a future star. Encouraging to know a few such people are out there!
She wrote, among other things, about how sparkly she'd been feeling about the freedom movement. She really used words like sparkly. Glowing. Light-hearted.
She never said "optimistic." I'd have run for the hills if she had. But she conveyed beautifully the bright glow of things beginning to stir ... that sense of, "Could be, who knows? There's something due any day. I will know right away. Soon as it shows ..."
She said her boyfriend (another terrific friend to freedom) had the same sense.
And what's weird is that I have, too.
For several years, I felt nothing but total doom. I felt as though I had to go on just because I had to go on. My choices were to compromise with evil and lose my soul forever or to stand there like a rock until the waves of tyranny crumbled me and wore me down to bits of grit. And that means I felt I had no choice at all, because to compromise in any major way with what I know to be wrong simply isn't in my nature.
But starting just over a year ago a totally different feeling began to grow in my heart. Sparkly, as Ms. Liberty Light said. It's grown and grown. There's a buzz in the air. Over at The Claire Files and in real life, things are happenening.
Not big things. No, so far all the big things in the world are going pretty damn bad. But small, important things. Energetic, committed individuals -- sometimes also laughing, joyful individuals -- are opening the tiny little cracks in the big wall of unfreedom. The networks are building, the meetups are happening, [more]
Posted by Claire @ 11:18 AM CST [Link]
Thursday, January 6, 2005
BEST FREEDOM CARTOON OF THE YEAR. So says Jim Bovard (Hi, Jim!). And I believe it. (You have to register, but it's worth it.)
(Oops, the link I originally used wasn't permanent. Fixed now -- and thank you Hermit on the Water for the catch.)
Posted by Claire @ 12:57 PM CST [Link]
JPFO'S NEW DVD, "BATFE FAILS THE TEST" has apparently got the gun goons shaking in their boots. Unable to counter the blatant evidence that their "experts" are unscientific bumblers who don't even understand firearms, ATF agents are now spreading the rumor that the footage is fake.
HA! When you see it you know that the only thing "fake" about it is the BATFE's "expertise." I'm in awe of Len Savage (the real firearms expert you'll see in the film) having the guts to take these goons on.
You can order a VHS copy through this link or a DVD through this link. (Both are $17.76 postpaid, but the DVD is the way better choice, as it has a menu that takes you to key spots. Otherwise the footage is pretty rough to wade through.)
Posted by Claire @ 12:12 PM CST [Link]
THIS LOOKS COOL: REALTIME VIDEO PROCESSING for Gnu/Linux. It's free open-source software. Anybody tried it yet?
Posted by Claire @ 11:17 AM CST [Link]
NO, THE U.S. DOESN'T HAVE A DRAFT. We all know that. Just ask Sgt. Emelio Santiago, who signed on for eight years, completed his term, and has now been ordered to serve against his will through 2031. Catch him quick. He's scheduled to go to Afghanistan next month.
Posted by Claire @ 11:11 AM CST [Link]
Monday, January 3, 2005
THAILAND, WHICH ALREADY HAS THE MOST INVASIVE NATIONAL ID SYSTEM IN THE WORLD, is now microchipping bodies of tsunami victims. Well, the dead don't care. But no doubt the difficulties of indentifying victims throughout the tsunami zone (many of whom were European or American tourists) will boost the hopes and the stock price of Applied Digital Solutions. Our Favorite Little Brother company is reportedly using this disaster to promote itself to the governments in the disaster region and increase so-far sluggish sales of human-implantable VeriChips. Easier to ID several thousand dead if you chip five or six billion of the living. For their own good, of course.
Posted by Claire @ 11:48 AM CST [Link]
I'M WRITING THIS BLOG ENTRY ONTO A USB FLASH DRIVE using a CD-bootable Linux distro, PCLinuxOS. Both goodies were delivered by the Linux Fairy (aka Plinker-MS and Mrs. Plinker). And I must say (as an old Hungarian immigrant lady of my acquaintance used to utter), "I'm stouned!"
Hard to believe that any lipstick-sized drive could hold 512MB of storage. Or that Linux and Microsoft documents can reside side-by-side on it with minimal difficulty. Or that it could contain onboard encryption (under Windows only, and Plinker says don't trust that).
Hard to believe that a Linux distro that boots from a CD drive without any installation onto the system can be so full-featured. Open Office, browsers, mail programs, multimedia ... they're all here. Hard to believe that any Linux distro could just pop in and recognize all my laptop's hardware without a hiccup.
After receiving a folder full of Linux CDs, including five or six CD-bootables, on Linuxmas Day, I first used LiveCDs on an older computer with only 96MB of RAM and a 300MHz processor. That didn't work well. But now I'm back on my regular laptop with 256MB of RAM and a 750MHz processor, and these CD bootables work as well as my installed Linux - better in some cases because they're later editions with many of the bugs worked out. (Never mind that this computer already has Mandrake Linux on it; you can never have too many Linuxes.)
I'm very, very impressed with PCLinuxOS and SimplyMEPIS. I'd be impressed with Knoppix 3.7 also, if it didn't have "issues" with the flash drive and the entire /mnt directory.
But as is, at least two of these CD bootables could virtually replace a major installed Linux. Nice way to get somebody started on Linux without making the big commitment to install.
I'm going with PCLinuxOS, though. How could I resist? This is "The Outlaw Edition" and it opens with a revolver-bearing Tux.
Posted by Claire @ 11:38 AM CST [Link]
[Archive Index] [Main Index]