WolfesBlogArchives: June 2006

Friday, June 30, 2006

ABOUT THOSE SHADOWCREW SENTENCES. Debra blogged earlier today about a co-founder of Shadowcrew.com being sentenced -- the latest of several. But hm. If Shadowcrew was truly the world center for identity theft that the feds claim, how come all those sentences are so short? Two years and eight months for an alleged mastermind? And that's the longest imposed so far. Interesting.

Shadowcrew definitely was a dangerous -- though highly interesting! -- place. But something doesn't add up here. (As so often seems, with those highly dramatic, well-publicized fed prosecutions.)

Posted by Claire @ 02:25 PM CST [Link]

I WON'T BE ONLINE WHEN THE JULY 1 HARDYVILLE column (which is not, technically a Hardyville column this time) officially goes up. So here. I'm sneaking the column to you early. Lucky you, eh?

I'm hoping this column will spark some discussion & inspire other people to add to or help me refine my list of qualities.

Along with the column go these apropos quotes from the wonderful Liberty-Tree quotes service:

"Liberty is the prevention of control by others. This requires self-control and, therefore, religious and spiritual influences; education, knowledge, well-being."
-- Lord Acton [John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton] (1834-1902), First Baron Acton of Aldenham

"Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them."
-- Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845) US Supreme Court Justice

Posted by Claire @ 02:15 PM CST [Link]

AH. IT SEEMS THEM BROWN-SKINNED FURRINERS aren't the only ones the Busheviks consider a threat. The latest danger: hippies.

The Rainbow Family, an ad-hoc collective of free-spirited individuals, has made an annual spiritual pilgrimage since 1972 to various national forests. This year's Rainbow Family Gathering is outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and will be held from July 1-7. The National Forest Service has determined that a permit is required this year and is arresting people as they arrive. Hundreds of early arrivals have been arrested, ticketed, held in detention camps, tried in secret inside a cramped garage without proper representation, fined, and ordered to leave within 24 hours.

Posted by Claire @ 02:04 PM CST [Link]


"Mantovani was among 21 people arrested around the nation in October 2004 after federal agents gained control of the site during a yearlong undercover investigation by the Secret Service and other agencies. He and 17 others have pleaded guilty. Several people were also arrested overseas.

"Mantovani pleaded guilty to several charges on Nov. 17, admitting his leading role as administrator of the Web site."

Posted by Debra @ 10:15 AM CST [Link]

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I AM (TEMPORARILY, I HOPE) WITHOUT EMAIL ACCESS. And just hit a big glitch in year-of-silence connectivity.

I was exulting the other day about getting along just fine with no home landline or Net connection. Then ... bang. The Internet cafe I relied on closed its doors without notice and for good. Or for bad.

I still have wireless surfing access here at the library three times a week. But their system is deliberately and pathetically crippled. No POP. No SMTP. No proxies. No ftp. And for whatever strange reason I can't even access the control panels to get my regular mail online. So that's that. For the moment.

I may have to resort to gmail, for all that I've groused and grumbled against it. In the meantime, though, things are a bit of a mess. Bear with me.

Posted by Claire @ 02:44 PM CST [Link]

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


The Bank of International Settlements reports (PDF file) that notional value of derivatives exploded by 25% in the first 3 months of 2006 to $429 Trillion.

Gary North has pointed out in Bernanke’s Bet on Derivatives, when the number was “only” $285 Trillion, that the BIS estimate is low. The true scale of the derivative market is larger, possibly much larger than the reported figures.

Numbers like this are very difficult to grasp. I work with numbers every day, but I don’t usually encounter man-made entities of this magnitude. When confronting very large numbers it can be useful to construct a model based on familiar objects to get some intuitive grasp of the scale.

Let’s start with a pea whose volume is provided by Wikipedia. If each derivative dollar is represented by a pea, how big is a pile of 429 trillion peas? [more]

Posted by Silver @ 08:55 PM CST [Link]

AT LEAST FOUR MEGA-BILLIONAIRES are putting their all into making space exciting again. NPR finds it amazing (and perhaps a bit annoying) that former geek boys would still dream of building rocket ships in their own backward. But the report is encouraging despite the tut-tutting.

How sad that anybody would think that the cloak of bureaucratic boredom NASA cast over the moon, stars, and planets is the normal state of things. C'mon Mssrs. Bezos, Allen, Musk, and Carmack (and all your friends); get us off this planet and out in the vast realms where government fears to go.

Posted by Claire @ 05:37 PM CST [Link]

PurpleKitty062706_02SMALL (48k image)

CHARGES THAT I AM SPECIESIST IN MY ART are completely unfounded, as I can now prove. Herewith, I present Purple Kitty's kitty, Milo. Never again call me prejudiced against cats (even though I am). :-)

Posted by Claire @ 05:30 PM CST [Link]

Monday, June 26, 2006

"GETTING AHEAD OF THE PACK." by Terry Lyon-McCarthy. I like it when common sense comes in simple actions and plain language. This particular bit of sense is on goal-setting and money management. Lyon-McCarthy is a small-business consultant and friend of liberty who lives and works in southern Indiana.

Posted by Claire @ 03:14 PM CST [Link]

GERALD MONTGOMERY has quit his government job. And written to forfeit his social security benefits.

Posted by Claire @ 03:05 PM CST [Link]

HAVE YOU HEARD THE LATEST from Logan Darrow Clements -- he of the "Lost Liberty Hotel" project? His plan to build a hotel on land confiscated by eminent domain from Justice David Souter (who voted in favor of such thefts economic development activities) got shot down. But how about this? The Lost Liberty Airport. The latest news release says: [more]

Posted by Claire @ 02:57 PM CST [Link]

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Charles H. Featherstone, LewRockwell.com columnist and soon to be divinity student, gives a first-hand account of attracting special scrutiny from our masters in Mordor. In This Line Is Insecured he writes

This is the unfortunate reality of the world in which we live right now, of governments staffed by those wishing to know and control everything.
That said, we should not let surveillance, or the possibility of surveillance, silence us or shut us down. At least half of being free is thinking and acting like a free human being, whatever the consequences might be.
How true. I admire Mr. Featherstone's courage. If I were taking frequent calls from Saudi Arabia, discussing everthing from "jailed Moroccan prostitutes to government executioners to the daily police blotter to angry municipal council meetings," I might consider a Tracfone pre-paid cell phone, because as the Greek Wiretapping Scandal shows, even the spooks in Laurel, Maryland agree that "Such cellphones, particularly when paid for in cash, typically are harder to trace than those acquired with a monthly subscription plan."

Posted by Silver @ 05:28 AM CST [Link]

Friday, June 23, 2006

V FOR VENDETTA IS NOW AVAILABLE for pre-orders on Amazon.com. Release date: August 1. Counting the days, counting the days ...

I just splurged on the special two-disc set. (Well, not so much of a splurge. They've reduced the price to $19.99; it was listed at more than $23 just a couple of days ago.)

Amazon is also taking orders on the one-disc widescreen version ($15.98) and the one-disc fullscreen version ($15.98).

If you plan to buy, please do us both a favor and use those links. You'll get a fabulously subversive movie. Wolfesblog will get a little more income.

I'll soon be adding V for Vendetta and other items to the blog's bookstore (which has gotten a bit out of date since Loompanics closed; sorry). Will aim for having the new items online next week. (Any suggestions for what to add? Email them to Debra or post them at TCF. I'll start a thread in the Hardyville section.)

Posted by Claire @ 01:40 PM CST [Link]

"I FEEL RESENTMENT at your massaging of the grasshopper and ant fable." That's paraphrasing an email I got yesterday from devoted friend of liberty who, at the same time bent over backwards to try to avoid hurting my feelings.

You didn't hurt my feelings, Cat. But I have to admit I'm glad that column hit some nerves. You're not the only objector.

To those who protested that I was too hard on poor hard-working Ant, I plead guilty. I exaggerated the fable in Grasshopper's favor. Just as original is bent absurdly far in Ant's favor. How come nobody thinks about that?

We're supposed to take that tale as an admonition to be responsible and provide for ourselves against hard times. Yeah. That's good. I'm in favor. But that's not what ants do. All those worker ants are actually serfs who benefit very little by all their toil (as Geoff points out with outraged eloquence).

So is the real sting in my words or in the choices that make us antlike? [more]

Posted by Claire @ 01:24 PM CST [Link]

Thursday, June 22, 2006

This is not another rant about taxation as theft, although it is. Steve Saville, who writes The Speculative Investor newsletter, gives a thought-provoking answer to the question Why do we have taxation? at the always informative site 321gold.com

Our government can, and does, print all the money it wants. Today it doesn't even bother with paper and ink; fewer keystrokes than I need to post this blog entry are used to create the several billion dollars each week the government requires to feed its ravenous, ever-expanding maw.

You can get an idea of the collosal scale of this scam in this week's column by the Mogambo Guru Toting an Uzi is not a good sign. Total deposits at banks have grown an astonishing factor of 47 since 1995. Where did all that money come from? It was created, pure and simple.

Such monetary inflation is a very effective form of hidden taxation, and requires no votes by cowardly congressthings. So why do we bother to set up an IRS, customs and excise collectors, and the army of bureaucrats and thugs they employ? Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to dispense with the overt taxes and just print ALL the money?

I won't give away the answer, read the short piece yourself and learn a fascinating bit of monetary history in the process. Understanding the real reasons for how things work is the first step in effectively monkey-wrenching, and eventual dismantling, the tools of the tyrants.

Posted by Silver @ 06:07 AM CST [Link]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

QUOTES FROM DOCTOR ZHIVAGO. Last night I treated myself to that classic three-hankie romance and anti-totalitarian epic, "Doctor Zhivago." Thought I'd pass along these two quotes that had me hitting the "rewind and replay so I can write that down" button:

"I wish they'd decide once and for all which gang of hooligans constitutes the government of this country!" -- spoken by Yuri Zhivago's adoptive "Uncle Alex" (Ralph Richardson) who remained an unrepentent aristocrat during and after the Russian revolution.

"I'm a free man, lickspittle. There's nothing you can do about it. I'm the only free man on this train. The rest of you are cattle." -- spoken by Kostoyed Amourski (Klaus Kinski) an anarchist "voluntary laborer," immediately after being handcuffed to his bunk in a converted cattle car by his Bolshevik guard

Great movie. The 1965 David Lean original, not the 2002 mini-series.

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

SOLSTICE. EXACTLY HALF WAY THROUGH MY YEAR OF SILENCE. How do I write about this without seeming airy-fairy or without making it "all about Claire" (which it's not meant to be)?

More than once I've spent hours writing blog entries that ended up being too self-revelatory (aka too preoccupied with my life's meaningless-to-anybody-but-me detritus). Into the e-trash they went. Other times, I've groped for words to convey this year's experience and found myself merely sounding as if I'd suffered an overdose of California. E-trash again.

This is new territory for me, although when I look back on the path I embarked upon with 101 Things To Do 'Til the Revolution it now seems inevitable that if I kept going I'd end up here. Inevitability: so clear in hindsight. This is new territory for me, even though others have explored it through thousands of years.

This trip takes place on two levels, distinct but inseparable. One is what I experience and learn. The other is what those experiences and learnings reveal about the Big Questions of freedom, creativity, spirituality, presence, and the quest (whatever the quest may be). [more]

Posted by Claire @ 03:03 PM CST [Link]

It's funny. Back when Bill Clinton was in office, I was repeatedly called a "right-winger" because I disagreed with many of the Dems policies (duh). That's also when I first became interested in guns and preparedness -- typical right-wing fare. Since Dubya has been running things (well, Cheney, actually), I've found myself more interested in things like co-housing, biodiesel, alternative energy ... and I've gone vegetarian (yeah, yeah, spare me the insults).

Not surprisingly, I'm regularly called a commie, even though I still have my guns and bug-out bags ... and the same convictions as I had in the Clinton years. The only rationalization I can come up with is that I more closely identify with -- and listen to -- the group out of power, since the group in power inevitably defends the most vile atrocities "their guy" perpetrates.

Since becoming involved in "lefty" interests, I've discovered a couple things. [more]

Posted by Debra @ 12:51 PM CST [Link]

Monday, June 19, 2006

HERE'S A THOUGHT I MEANT TO WORK INTO THE LATEST BHM COLUMN. Since that column is built around an Aesopian fable, it ought to have a moral, right? So here it is: We fear something bad will happen if we relax and stop obsessing about tomorrow. We ignore the fact that something bad is already happening when we surrender our "now" to outside authorities in exchange for promises that someday we'll be happy.

Posted by Claire @ 11:30 AM CST [Link]

LOL! NOW HERE'S A NICE MONKEYWRENCH. In Venezuela, the Chavez government has ordered radio stations to play a certain percentage of "folkloric" music.

The goal: preserving the country against American pop-culturalization. The method: dictatorial and idiotic. Ain't it just like a government to imagine you can order people to have an intact indigenous culture?

Seems one pop-rock station, to keep its young audience, has begun prefacing every required folkloric song with a comedy routine in which two characters dis the foolish edict. The station also seeks out particularly crude and vulgar "folklorics." It adopted as its theme song a ditty whose title might translate as "Brown-Noser" -- about a smarmy kiss-ass who does everything his obnoxious boss orders him to do.

Next target for Chavez: Movies.

This heartening little NPR report also contains a strong claim about the relationship between artists and all governments anywhere, to which I say a big Amen, Bruthah.

Posted by Claire @ 11:29 AM CST [Link]

THIS WEEK MARKS THE MIDWAY POINT OF MY YEAR OF SILENCE. It's weird. I don't blog as much as I'd like about it because I fear I'll sound hopelessly airy-fairy. Yet the deeper I go, the more I feel that this path is one extremely practical road to freedom. It's just at a deeper level of practicality. Or perhaps practicality viewed through a different lens.

Last week, for example, a client asked me to do something that, on the surface, seemed eminently sensible. A fine compromise that could meet both his needs and my own. I came within half an inch of giving an automatic yes, then something made me change to, "I'll think about it."

I did. During daylight his proposal appeared sensible indeed. Yeah. I'll do it. Why not. Then I had two dreams in which voices shouted at me -- screamed at me -- not to go that route. I told the client no. I told him why, which undoubtedly left him thinking I'm losing my mind. My only reason is unreasonable. Professionals don't turn down clients because of some bliss-ninny non-reason like, "My dreams warned me."

But I figure my dreamself has more facts and connections at its spectral little fingers than my mere conscious mind possesses. Sleeping me -- that vastly complex organic computer -- knows more than waking me about the ins and outs of the situation.

Anyway, I hope to have more this week on where the year and this path are going.

Posted by Claire @ 11:25 AM CST [Link]

Saturday, June 17, 2006

YOU'D THINK A MOVIE ENTITLED BILL'S GUN SHOP must have some redeeming value.

You'd be wrong.

I rented this alleged "action-packed drama" this weekend, and found it the most unintentionally hysterical film I've seen in a while -- the Reefer Madness of gun movies. If Michael Moore and Diane Feinstein had a child who went to film school, this would be his senior project.

With hand-wringing intensity, the film follows the adventures of 23-year old Dillon. Brainwashed from a childhood filled with toy guns and violent movies, this otherwise-nice kid is obsessed with (gasp!) firearms. When he's hired on at Bill's Gun Shop, he is predictably pulled into the dark, chaotic world of the reefer den gun culture.

Stereotypes dripping of propaganda abound: [more]

Posted by Debra @ 01:52 PM CST [Link]

Friday, June 16, 2006

AT LAST, AN ANSWER TO THAT BURNING QUESTION of the day. In this era of the War on Privacy Terror, should superheroes preserve their right to anonymity?

And Spidey -- Spidey, of all people! -- sells out. But Captain America ... remains American.

(Thank you, SJ, for a view of the situation that doesn't come up too often in the national debate. ;-) )

Posted by Claire @ 01:03 PM CST [Link]

GRASSHOPPER WAS NO FOOL. In my latest Backwoods Home column, I travel to the Hilltop Hermitage. There, I bestir myself from my newfound creative idleness to write about ... the pleasures and risks of creative idleness. (And the War on Idleness conducted from the days of Aesop onward.)

Posted by Claire @ 12:40 PM CST [Link]


Some fine research and commentary from Rich Lucibella and members of The Firing Line on the Supremes' latest teeny-tiny expansion of our great big growing police state. My fondest hope: That someday every "justice" personally suffer everything he or she wishes on the rest of us.

Posted by Claire @ 12:30 PM CST [Link]

I SWORE I WOULDN'T TURN WOLFESBLOG into an electronic refrigerator for posting Little Claire's toddler art. But what the heck. It's Friday, time for some lightness. And yesterday I just happened to catch a pair of my dogs posing for optimal cuteness. (They were pretending just to be having an ordinary old nap, those sly little pooches.)

So ... here's another pastel sketch (over acrylic washes) of "Siamese Dogs," Nadia and Suki.

I had some xtreme struggles on part of this (artists will recognize which portion is over-labored). But still ... getting there, getting there. Is anybody out there getting inspired yet to pursue some neglected skill or take up some old interest?

Posted by Claire @ 12:26 PM CST [Link]

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

WHAT'S THE #1 CAUSE OF DEATH IN AMERICA? Cancer? Heart disease? According to this 2004 article, it is "Death by Medicine."

Sorry, I know it's two years old. But fascinating. Why hasn't there been a ton of discussion about its claims?

We're periodically hit with astonishing stats about the number of patients killed by adverse drug reactions (more than 100,000) or medical error (about the same). But the authors of this study dug into all the available literature and came up with this astonishing total:

Posted by Claire @ 03:05 PM CST [Link]

FLAG DAY. Are we all flying our Gadsdens? LOL, here's one guy who really, seriously flew his.

Check it out: Gadsden.info, a whole site devoted to nothing but our favorite f**k-you flag, created by Chris Whitten.

Posted by Claire @ 02:37 PM CST [Link]

JIM BOVARD NAILS IT AGAIN. "Reach Out and Tap Someone". The more secretive the federal government becomes about its own doings, the more it treats our privacy -- and our rights -- like toilet paper.

"It's legal because we do it," seems increasingly to be the Bushevik mantra. When Richard Nixon tried to pull that claim, Americans howled. Now, a large percentage of the populace just nods like dashboard doggies.

You go, Jim.

Posted by Claire @ 02:31 PM CST [Link]

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The 12-gauge can drop a dove in flight without spoiling the meat. Change loads and the same gun will take a deer, wild boar, or black bear. Add a rifled barrel and modern sabot slugs, and you can put fearsomely large chunks of lead into targets at 100 yards and beyond.

I’ve hunted with a shotgun for over 40 years, and I’ve kept one handy for almost that long just in case an intruder needed some persuasion regarding the wisdom of breaking into my house or apartment. I was trained to hunt by my father and other male relatives, but I had never been trained in the defensive uses of the shotgun.

That changed recently when I spent 2 full days at a professional firearms training center learning the theory and practice of close quarters combat with the shotgun and pistol. The short version of this story is easy: if you plan to use any weapon in self defense, you need to train. Hunting, target practice, and home defense are utterly different. In a real defensive situation, your pulse will race, your hands will shake, and your fine motor skills will vanish. It's much worse than the worst case of buck fever. If you’ve practiced working under those conditions, you might have a chance. If all you’ve ever done, as I had, was target practice at the range and hunting, your odds of surviving a defensive encounter are greatly reduced.

The long version of the story begins with the preparations:

Posted by Silver @ 09:04 AM CST [Link]

Friday, June 9, 2006


Hm, guys. Are we nearing the time to re-instate FidoNet or come up with some other technological alternative to the Internet? We will be if our monopoly-on-force gummint and its wannabe monopoly friends in the telecom industry get away with their latest scheme.

Ah, and remember how we (me included, of course) were so sure 10 years ago that nobody could ever control the Internet. It was a nice little dream ...

Posted by Claire @ 02:29 PM CST [Link]

AS OF JUNE 23 I'll be leaving JPFO. I may still do special projects -- for instance, RebelFire writing, if there is any. But no more regular writing of articles, newsletters, alerts, etc. (a task I've shared with the saintly Richard W. Stevens and more recently with our own Webmistress of the Dark, Debra).

This is the friendliest possible ending to a long freelance relationship. I think the world of both Aaron Zelman and JPFO. I've done some of my best work with them, including Innocents Betrayed, The State vs. the People, and my very favorite, RebelFire: Out of the Gray Zone.

I admire Aaron especially for being one of the few very extremely strong men who seriously considers the viewpoints of his co-workers and who actually encourages people to challenge his opinions. And he never fears to be radical when radicalism is needed -- which it is in the cause of restoring the real uninfringed right to keep and bear arms.

It's just that Aaron and I have completely different working styles. He's big on multi-tasking, rush work, a driving sense of urgency, and lots of constant coordinating. Been there, done that through many years in corporate communications. I hated it then and am through with it now. My way, increasingly, is to focus intensely on one project at a time, uninterrupted, and in my own time.

Can you see a tad bit of potential for conflict there? ;-) Still, we did a lot of good years and a lot of good work.

Posted by Claire @ 02:20 PM CST [Link]

KT ORDINANCE has been raided by the BATFE. Owner Richard Celata has been a staunch friend of freedom. Although facts are lacking, it appears that his involvement with JPFO might be part of the reason for the raid.

Whatever the cause (and too many people have been way too quick to assume that if the BATFE targeted him Celata must be guilty of something), the real questions are: Does the BATFE have the slightest authority to infringe on the manufacture of firearms? Does the BATFE have the slightest real legal authority even to exist? And how about "Can a regulatory agency legitimately impose made-up rules on anyone?" -- as the BATFE increasingly appears to be doing with its sudden rush of "features and characteristics of a machine gun" rulings?

The BATFE is notorious for targeting the innocent, trumping up charges, using entrapment, being completely incompetent to judge anything about firearms, and worse. JPFO and Len Savage have badly wounded this particular tyrannosaurus. Predictably, in its pain it appears to be lashing out more fiercely than ever.

(Thanks to Aaron and JS for the word.)

Posted by Claire @ 01:06 PM CST [Link]

Thursday, June 8, 2006

SO STRANGE. WE ROLL OUR EYES AT THE PARANOIDS, BUT time and again, their paranoia turns out to be prescient. "They" (you know, those mysterious people who control the world) really were planning to implant tracking chips in human beings. "They" really did use black (that is dark, unmarked) helicopters. "They" really were scooping up all our phone calls and emails. There really was -- and is -- a creepy, secretive government agency called FinCEN, spying on our financial doings. "They" really do run secret courts that issue secret warrants -- that is, when they don't just feel like snooping or locking people up without all that fuss.

There really are "security" agencies we've never heard of -- until we hear of them. At which point, after a brief flurry of concern, they become just another part of our reality.

And now, there really are internment camps being built in the U.S. to house masses of people without due process. Remember how we laughed at those funny old paranoids over that claim. Hahahahaha.

But oh don't worry. Even now that they're for real, only paranoids could possibly ever imagine that they'll be used for us. No. Of course the Halliburton crowd is building them solely for those Others. Those little brown people. And we don't have to worry or care what happens to them, right?

The paranoids are missing one bet. They're insufficiently paranoid about the mindset of the American people and our endless ability to deny reality as we watch the police-state juggernaut rolling down the middle of the road in our direction.

Posted by Claire @ 12:55 PM CST [Link]

Monday, June 5, 2006

WELL, HOW 'BOUT THAT? I've just made it two creative toddler steps in a row.

Click here if you want to see yesterday's pastel sketch, "Dogs in the Sunshine."

In the foreground is Robbie, King of the Pack and wannabe Dictator of All Dogdom. (Please give me a break on my rendering of him; brindle dogs are hard to draw.) In the middleground, foster-dog Nadia (aka Naja, aka "The Destructor"). And sunning herself in the doorway of Cabin Sweet Cabin is the newest foster, Australian cattle dog Roxie.

This is just a sketch and I could recite you a litany of its problems. But I suceeded in the big thing I wanted to show -- the spectacular, sunny backlighting of their fur. I'm so proud. :-)

Posted by Claire @ 11:48 AM CST [Link]

I JUST FINISHED THE 12TH AND FINAL WEEK of The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Anyone who's been counting might notice I took 15 weeks (but then, anyone who's been counting might also consider getting a life). Times I was traveling or feeling out of focus I stretched one week out into two, taking time to get the most of it.

A surprising lot of people wrote to say that they had the book. An unsurprising lot added either that they'd never used it or that they'd used it for a while but dropped it (the typical fate of self-help books).

From the day I found it at a garage sale, I was also one of those people. The book sat on a shelf for several years. It looked to me like one more California-New-Age-Human-Potential-Airy-Fairy excuse to peddle (need I say dubious) self-improvement. But late last winter synchronicity opened it to just the right page when I needed guidance. Suddenly it felt different. Powerful.

Several people have asked me to keep them posted on the program's effectiveness. So here goes: [more]

Posted by Claire @ 11:40 AM CST [Link]

Friday, June 2, 2006

FBI, JUSTICE DEPT WANT WEB USE INFO SAVED. Of course they do. (sigh)

Posted by Debra @ 01:35 PM CST [Link]

LESSEE ... The fedgov doesn't need warrants to investigate us peons. On the other hand, if you're a congressthing, you can't be investigated, even with a warrant. So ... have a bumper sticker (courtesy of atek3).

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

ONE THING I'M DOING DURING MY YEAR OF SILENCE: trying to recapture old, lost art skills. It's frustrating. I've been embarrassed by my baby steps. Baby steps. At my age. Gnrrr. More times than I care to admit, I've almost given it up as a bad job.

A couple miles from Cabin Sweet Cabin, there's this ancient tree stump, probably 12 feet tall and nearly as wide. Bleached gray with age, partially rotted away, its root structure exposed, it's a fantasyland of gnarls, cracks, whorls, knots, and hollows. Yesterday I promised myself I'd draw a portion of it. And I tried. And tried some more.

Once again, I nearly decided that the only thing I'm good for is slapping words around.

On my third try, working mostly with gray pastels and a handful of colors, something emerged. I know it's amateur work. But I must admit I'm outlandishly proud of this particular baby step. Hey, maybe I've even made it to toddler, at last.

It's the first thing I've thought good enough to share. Enjoy (I hope).

TreeStumpPastel_0601060002 (54k image) [more]

Posted by Claire @ 11:30 AM CST [Link]

Thursday, June 1, 2006

when the yellow metal touched $733 per ounce.

Should “gold bugs” (the derisive term for those who have some inkling of the historical and economic importance of gold as money) be worried? I’m not. In fact, I’m buying.

If you looked at $700 an ounce gold and thought “I wish I had bought some sooner,” the gods have smiled on you. How often do you get a second chance?


Posted by Silver @ 07:48 PM CST [Link]


Lesbians, Claire? LOL

Posted by Debra @ 10:32 AM CST [Link]

TINY TEMPTATIONS TO TYRANNY Claire's latest Backwoods Home column.

Posted by Debra @ 10:25 AM CST [Link]

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