WolfesBlogArchives: January 2006

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

YA GOTTA LOVE IT. Matt Welch moves from Reason to the editorial page of the L.A. Times and the first thing he does is rip his employer a new one. Right there. In print.

He says he "folded like a cheap tent" when they insisted on a urine test. But it seems he's still got some spine in him.

Posted by Claire @ 11:54 AM CST [Link]

Monday, January 30, 2006

DON'T WORRY, FAITHFUL CITIZEN. Your biometric passport will be perfectly, perfectly safe. Trust Your Masters. We know what's best for your security.

But of course when somebody does crack your passport -- or your biometric national ID drivers license -- they'll get far more juicy info, far more easily, than they would have in the old days when they'd have had to go to all the work of stealing or copying it.

(Found by Richard M. Smith and relayed via CASPIAN -- which also has an amusing take on the recent VeriChip hack.)

Posted by Claire @ 09:31 AM CST [Link]

AMERICUS FERNANDO HENSHAWE, welcome to the TSA "no-fly" list. I must admit, I'm jealous. Henshawe has joined the exclusive (or these days, perhaps not so exclusive) ranks of those whose opposition to the policies of Our Glorious Leader has earned him a Stalinist travel restriction in the name of "national security."

Well, okay. We don't really know why Henshawe is on the TSA no-fly list. We don't know why anybody is on the no-fly list. As Scarmig notes in that same thread, names might end up on the list through guesswork and coincidences.

But Americus Fernando Henshawe? Not likely.

Henshawe's newly elevated status in the Outlaw community got me thinking about this whole business. So, some random observations ... [more]

Posted by Claire @ 09:20 AM CST [Link]

Friday, January 27, 2006

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME. John Gilmore has lost the appeal of his airport ID case. The Ninth Circuit court thinks secret laws are just fine in America.

On the brighter side, finally, for once, at long last a jury finds that a homeowner was right to shoot a cop who was acting exactly like a burglar. And they had the sense to do it despite the usual "testilying" by the law-breaking bullies.

But back into the darkness, Steve Kubby is now in the hands of his captors (his killers, perhaps?). And they didn't even allow him to be greeted by supporters. (Sorry, link might require registration. Try Bugmenot.)

Posted by Claire @ 08:16 AM CST [Link]

Thursday, January 26, 2006

MORE ON MY YEAR OF SILENCE. It's been about a month since I began the gradual process of disconnecting and silence-seeking. On February 1, I quit being gradual and dive in headfirst. On that day, the telephone line goes and I begin a 10-day silent meditation workshop.

Many people have wished me peace (and I thank you). But ironically these first few weeks have been more than a little nervous-making. [more]

Posted by Claire @ 01:25 PM CST [Link]

BEFORE THE PALESTINIAN ELECTION all the wonk-talk was about how the U.S. would deal with a Fatah-led government that had substantial Hamas presence within it. Then -- whoops! -- Hamas whups Fatah's ass.

Ironies abound. Apparently, the United States played a very large role in this election, determining its timing and throwing a lot of money at it. (Is it a good sign or an ominous one that U.S. manipulation of foreign politics has recently gone from "assassinate-and-deny" to open mangement attempts, discussed as business-as-usual on NPR?)

Yet the U.S. officially refuses to deal with Hamas because Hamas advocates violence and overtly aims for the destruction of a country. I don't want to see Israel destroyed. But pardon me; if you're going to refuse to deal with a political party because it advocates violence and has policies that destroy countries, then there are a couple of parties a lot closer to home that we should all refuse to deal with.

As Madame Condi said, "You cannot have one foot in politics and another in terror."

Unless you're the planet's only 800-pound canary of course.

Posted by Claire @ 12:57 PM CST [Link]

EXTREMELY COOL that a U.S. bank will refuse to loan money to developers who receive land that was "Keloed" by governments. It's refreshing to see a large business acting on principle.

The big corporations (along with the big churches) are among the few powers on earth that have the ability to effectively bring government abuses to a standstill. Yet so few ever risk it. Here's hoping BB&T gets lots of customer support for its gutsy stand.

Posted by Claire @ 12:44 PM CST [Link]

Monday, January 23, 2006

YOU KNOW THAT RFID CHIP THEY'RE SO ANXIOUS TO INJECT IN YOU? The one that's going to "protect" your identity and your medical records? It's been hacked. It has no security. For you techies, the link has a complete step-by-step on cloning a VeriChip.

(From the CASPIAN staff list, with thanks.)

Posted by Claire @ 06:45 PM CST [Link]

Sunday, January 22, 2006

IF YOU OR I INFLICTED THIS HORROR on anyone, we'd be considered first-degree murderers -- and of a particularly cruel and horrible sort. But if you wear a uniform and your "higher ups" don't tell you explicitly that it's not nice to stuff somebody head-first into a sleeping bag, clap your hand over his face, and sit on his chest until he dies ... well, then it's just a minor little accident. Mere "negligence."

Jezus flipping crackers, when are our imperial masters going to realize that someday this sort of savagery has no place among decent human beings? And when are they going to realize that this blatant double standard between the way government lackeys are wrist-slapped and the rest of us are punished for our misdeeds is going to make us peasants dangerously mad?

Posted by Claire @ 01:08 PM CST [Link]

Friday, January 20, 2006

EVEN CANADA is now willing to impose a death sentence for cannabis use. Worse, if the black-robed lawyers succeed in what they're trying to do to Steve Kubby, he won't even receive the mercy of the swift, easy death delivered to murderers. Such a sad day all around.

Posted by Claire @ 08:46 PM CST [Link]


The winds are out of the south, coming up from Madison Valley. There is an innocent and indifferent coldness in those winds. The sky is mottled, part overcast and part blue. Across the gravel street in front of our house a Magpie is busily stabbing the hard ground of the neighbor's garden plot with his beak. Beyond that garden the open fields are interrupted by groves of trees which stand guard over the Jefferson River while hiding the elk and deer. And beyond the river the undulating landswells run up to La Hood canyon at the north end of the Tobacco Root mountains. Beyond that canyon is, are, exists.... I don't know what. I'm just figuring that Bark's soul probably flew off over that way, headin' farther west through that lovely canyon he always liked, maybe to soar over the Pacific Ocean before finding some invisible path to and through the stars.

Outlaw that he always was, he made his escape this morning. They call it Friday, January 20, 2006. I call it the day we lost Bark.

Walter “Bark” Doss – R.I.P.

Bark, the founding webmaster of The Mental Militia and The Claire Files Forums is gone. But friendship and kindness remain in abundance. I can't match Elias's eloquence, and I recommend that you read the entire thread about Bark's dying and death to learn more about the kind of friends and family Bark was blessed with.

I want to write here about some related kindnesses. [more]

Posted by Claire @ 04:20 PM CST [Link]

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I refuse to associate with anyone who uses fraud, theft, and violence to achieve their goals.

But even a liar and a thief can sometimes speak the truth. Al Gore gave a speech on Monday, one that the estimable Paul Craig Roberts describes as “the most important political speech in my lifetime.”

You won’t find Gore’s speech in the New York Times. The War Street Journal likewise refused to cover it, although they did print an attack of the speech (on page 14) a few days later. Truthout.org has the full text of Gore’s speech.

Gore presents a compelling argument that the US Constitution, and our liberties, are in grave danger. He should know, he has spent a lifetime pursuing that goal. It’s easy to be cynical and read Gore’s challenge of Bush’s blatantly illegal acts as little more than sour grapes.

But Gore is right. What Bush and his handlers are doing is nothing less than erecting an emperor, one man who makes all laws but is bound by no law. He has openly defied the law as written by Congress, admitted his crimes, vowed to continue, and is seeking to punish those who sounded the alarm. Congress is supine, whether from their characteristic ignorance and cowardice or because most members secretly lust after precisely the kind of unlimited power Bush is claiming for himself.

All this as been tried before, again and again and again. It has invariably led to indescribable evil and suffering. But if there is one lesson of history, it is that we will not learn from it.

Bush lacks the military genius and charisma of his many predecessors. He brings only boundless ambition, a conscience untroubled by mass murder of innocent people, and the backing of an elite whose extreme corruption is possible only in the end stages of great monetary follies.

Gore calls upon the American people, whose tacit consent enables Bush’s outrages, to put a stop to the madness. I like to hope, but I doubt that will happen. If history is any guide, things will get much worse before they get any better. Eventually someone with powerful weapons and the willingness to use them will depose the tyrant. But America as we like to think of it will be long gone, most likely never to return.


Posted by Silver @ 02:52 PM CST [Link]

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

ON THIS WEEK'S DECISION TO UPHOLD ASSISTED SUICIDE, I was wondering if anybody but me was thinking this. Apparently a thoughtful few are.

I have real mixed feelings about assisted suicide. I favor it as a private option but dread the consequences of any state control over death and dying. I'm also glad to see almost any states-rights decision from the Supremes in these fed-focused times. But pro or con, it boggles the mind that the Nazgul think that death is a legitimate use of medicine, but alleviating pain and nausea in living patients is completely illegitimate. And that the states have the authority to legislate the morbid choice but not the joyful one.

One more example of government by insanity.

Posted by Claire @ 08:18 AM CST [Link]

THERE WAS NO HOPE. Every action I'd ever taken for freedom had been absolutely useless. Now, the one and only action that had apparently been useful turned out to be the worst of all.

That's how I felt a little over 10 years ago, in November 1995, after the final betrayal.


Posted by Claire @ 07:39 AM CST [Link]

Monday, January 16, 2006

HOW CAN ANYONE FIND "REDEMPTION" OR "INSPIRATION" IN A PACK OF LIES? I've never read the now-infamous memoir A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Indeed I'd never even heard of it until the controversy broke in a long, well-documented story at TheSmokingGun.com. It seems to be one of those odd books whose fame is almost entirely connected to television, which I don't watch.

But I'm fascinated by the response of the true believers who continue to call the book "an inspiration" even when they know they've been lied to. [more]

Posted by Claire @ 08:39 AM CST [Link]

ANONYM.OS. Anonymity on a disc?

Anonym.OS leaves a deceptive network fingerprint. In everything from the way it actively reports itself to other computers, to matters of technical minutia such as TCP packet length, the system is designed to look like Windows XP SP1. "We considered part of what makes a system anonymous is looking like what is most popular, so you blend in with the crowd," explains project developer Adam Bregenzer of Super Light Industry.

And easy enough for granny to use? Well, that would be nice, although it seems they have a ways to go yet.

Posted by Claire @ 08:05 AM CST [Link]

AARON RUSSO'S ANTI-IRS DOCUMENTARY is to premiere at Cannes -- but first an advance screening in Tucson. Lucky Tucsonians. I've been hearing bits and pieces about this film for months. Hope it's bigger than March of the Penguins. We can be sure it'll be more honest than Bowling for Columbine.

Posted by Claire @ 07:34 AM CST [Link]

IF YOU'VE EVER WONDERED WHY HARDYVILLE, town of the free, isn't prosperous, here's the story. We're working on cleaning out some of the tumbleweed and boarded-up storefronts, though.

Posted by Claire @ 07:27 AM CST [Link]

EGADS. LOOMPANICS IS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS??? This is the first I've heard of it. I'm shocked. I wonder what's going to happen to my books. I'm ticked (but not surprised) at not being told. But in the long run the worst thing is that the post-9/11 Bushevik era has frightened people into not buying books on controversial subjects. We are indeed becoming a nation of cowards.

Posted by Claire @ 07:24 AM CST [Link]

Thursday, January 12, 2006

AS A STUDENT, I WAS BOWLED OVER by the novels of Hermann Hesse, especially Demian. To me, these seemed the most profound books ever written -- mystical and wise and an inspiration for any young rebel heart. Lately, I've tried to re-read a couple of them and found them to be full of dense prose and self-indulgent navel-gazing. Oh well.

But one passage from Beneath the Wheel still seemed to speak a universal truth about the ironies of genius vs schooling. In fact, it seems all the more poignant in these days of drugging restless boys into dull submission. So I thought I'd share it with you. Hesse wrote it as one long paragraph. I'm more merciful; I'll break it up for easier reading. [more]

Posted by Claire @ 01:54 PM CST [Link]

Monday, January 9, 2006

SEE WHAT I MEAN about gov-o-crats and their blind followers not merely being evil, but insane???

And, by the way, very, very, very, very annoying.

Sheesh, imagine the mega-corps that are going to attempt to use this law to get their pals in fed-land to crush sites like Best Buy Sucks and Hel-Mart.com. Imagine the incredibly annoying idiots who'll try to get somewhat less annoying idiots arrested on federal charges. And worse -- imagine the politically correct annoying idiots (e.g. gender feminists and other victimhood addicts) who'll succeed in using this law against anyone who gives them the vapors.

Would any third-world dictatorship like one rather over-used government? Please?

Posted by Claire @ 08:54 PM CST [Link]

BY GOLLY. I do believe this is the first time I ever agreed with Newt Gingrich on anything. (Link is to an NPR audio op-ed whose text is actually much more interesting than the brief blurb implies.)

Too bad Mr. "Contract on America" didn't live by these views while he was in Congress, spearheading creation of the modern surveillance state.

First Bob Barr and now Newt Gingrich. What is it with these guys who are such pure-hearted defenders of liberty -- but only now that they don't have any more big-government votes to cast?

Posted by Claire @ 12:57 PM CST [Link]

HENSHAWE EXPRESSES ELOQUENTLY the purpose of silent retreat is a freedom lover's life.

Although I'm not yet in the full of my silent year (some interesting projects holding me in place), already I see some unexpected -- but again unsurprising -- effects. [more]

Posted by Claire @ 08:56 AM CST [Link]

Saturday, January 7, 2006

My Lai hero passes away

Raving Reporter Thunder here.

Hugh Thompson Jr., a former Army helicopter pilot honored for rescuing Vietnamese civilians from his fellow GIs during the My Lai massacre, died early Friday. He was 62. [more]

Posted by Thunder @ 05:13 PM CST [Link]

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

THE LATEST BLOG MEME GOING AROUND is making lists of the 10 worst Americans of all time. (I learned about this from Jed's FreedomSight, one of my regular reads.)

I tried coming up with a 10-worst list. Really I did. Had I completed it, the top (that is, the lowest and most verminous) name on the list would have been Father of the Drug War, Harry Anslinger -- as devious, lying, power-mongering a slug as ever oozed across the political landscape. That man and his political and law-enforcement descendants are responsible for more human misery than any individual president, senator, or congressslime. But of course, today's presidents, senators, and congressslime are mostly Anslinger's descendents. And therein lies the problem in trying to list any 10. [more]

Posted by Claire @ 12:48 PM CST [Link]

JIM BOVARD'S ATTENTION DEFICIT DEMOCRACY is about to hit the bookstores -- timed perfectly by Palgrave Macmillan to miss the all-important Christmas book buying season. I hope the timing doesn't deter anybody from buying and reading this witty and revealing book. IMHO, it might be Jim's best.

I got my copy directly from the source with a very nice autograph. (Thank you, Jim.) You can get yours from Amazon.com, which should be receiving its stocks next week.

Here's a little sampling of epigrams from ADD. (Hm. I think our friend Jim may one day rival H.L. Mencken in the liberty-quote books.) [more]

Posted by Claire @ 12:15 PM CST [Link]

Sunday, January 1, 2006

NO HARDYVILLE COLUMN THIS MORNING, sorry. I just didn't have one in me. This is only partly a result of my Year of Silence. It's also due to the holidays. But above all it's because of a large project whose deadline looms. The project is strictly "spec" and may never see light of day. But it's dominating all my work-thoughts at the moment.

Still, I'd be lying if I denied that my silence seeking had no effect on Hardyville or on blogging. The first thing I discovered (not surprisingly) when I took this turning was that habits, even small ones, are hard to break. The second thing (also not surprising) could be either a corollary to or a rebellion against the first: the farther I go, the farther I'm moved to go. [more]

Posted by Claire @ 01:04 PM CST [Link]

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