WolfesBlogArchives: September 2004
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
AARON ZELMAN AND I RIP INTO THE "FAIRTAX" in an article at JPFO. Seduced by the cry, "Abolish the IRS!" too many naive freedom lovers fail to notice that politicians are perfectly capable of inventing a tax system worse than the income tax. The national sales tax is being sold via a combination of prepostrously rosy projections and evasive answers (or thoughtful-sounding half-answers) to critical questions. If it passes, it'll be a disaster -- and a trojan horse for gun owners, in particular.
In fact, it's a sign of how far this country has fallen that "limited government" advocates could even consider that a 30 percent national sales tax (for it is 30 percent or more, not the 23 percent its advocates claim) could be an improvement -- over anything.
Oh ... While I'm away, look for some other articles already in the pipeline. Backwoods Home will run "How to Avoid Work," parts I and II, on October 1 and 15. And upcoming Loompanics supplements and the 2005 catalog should be pretty well loaded with articles by me. I've been on a roll lately ...
Posted by Claire @ 05:51 AM CST [Link]
WELL, THE TRUCK IS FINALLY OUT OF THE SHOP and I must admit it's kinda nice that my transmission no longer sounds like a teakettle with a loose lid. I'm lucky in my choice of mechanics -- particularly considering they're the only "choice" in town. They're good, honest, diligent, and fair. They're even good communicators. And they're nice to my dogs. As much as their bill hurt, it was less than half what the dealer in the Big City would have charged. So no complaints.
If the cascading series of disasters is now over, I'll be on my way to the desert. So sorry I couldn't make it to this morning's SpaceShipOne launch, but I'm casting my mind in that direction as they roll out and prepare to make history.
Don't expect any blog entries for about seven days. Then after that look for two or three entries a week that reflect my desert ruminations more than the daily news. Thanks for visiting and supporting Wolfesblog. And I'll miss the Outlaw crew over at The Claire Files Forums. Keep flyin', fireflies.
I'll be back when I get back. Sometime between November and May, however things go out there.
Posted by Claire @ 05:39 AM CST [Link]
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
FROM LEWROCKWELL.COM comes word of a new, "improved" census that takes place annually. Implementation was scheduled to begin in July of this year, with the decennial census long form being replaced entirely by 2010.
On the US Census Bureau's site, The American Community Survey is described as a way to provide "planners and other users" the data they need every year, rather than once a decade. The Bureau "...can assure you that your confidentiality is protected."
Full implementation of the American Community Survey is planned in every county of the United States. Each month, one in six psuedo-randomly selected households will receive the survey (see it here in PDF format). In what is euphemistically referred to as "Low Mail Response Areas" (read: stubborn, cussed jerks who won't tell us how many times they sit on the toilet in an average day), that number will go up to one in three households, a process called "oversampling". In all, each year the ACS will be received by approximately 3 million households.
In addition to the usual name/age/race/marital status questions, the survey - a 24-page monster - requests information on:
- Physical and/or mental impairments
- Employment, including method of transportation to work and the time you normally leave to go to work.
- Type of building you live in
- Cost of rent & utilities
- When and why you moved into your residence
The Census Bureau tried a voluntary version of the census in a few test areas in March of 2003. The result? "A dramatic decrease occurred in mail response when the survey became voluntary." ("Surprisingly, Jim, there were fewer people cooperating with the home invader once he stopped holding a gun to their heads..." )
Predictably, the American Community Survey has been deemed mandatory and non-responders will be fined $100.
Posted by Debra @ 05:12 PM CST [Link]
I LOVE THE FREEDOM OF HAVING A TRUCK or car. Being able to just pick up and GO at will is so American, so me -- and so necessary, these days with everything so spread out. Yet every few years I also contemplate the possible joys of living vehicleless:
- Saving thousands of dollars in truck repairs
- Never having to worry about the day I have to buy a new vehicle -- and can't afford to
- Being able to forego the damned government license without fear
- Not bearing either the cost or the gross privacy violations of auto insurance
- No $100-per-month expenses for gasoline
- No stupid (and again, privacy violating) vehicle registration
- No "black-box" spy devices, ever
- No speed cameras or red-light cams
- No gummint vehicle inspections
- No checkpoints
- Not supporting anybody's wars for oil
Right now, with the truck in the shop for the fourth day in the last week, I'm back to such pleasant contemplations. Well, they're pleasant for about 10 minutes, when reality sets in. I'm sure a body can live without a vehicle in an urban area, but for country life, I don't know how anyone does it.
I can walk to the nearby small town for almost everything I need in daily life. That's the good part. It's a tough walk; but doable. Library. Post office. Grocery store. All the necessities of life.
But those monthly stock-up trips to Costco that take three hours by truck take all day by what passes for "alternative transport" around here. And I just picture myself carrying three 40-pound bags of dogfood, a giant tub of kitty litter, and several cases of bulk foods onto a bus! Bumming rides in exchange for gas money is a possibility of course, but my independent, hermity nature rebels against seeking favors (or for that matter, spending hours in some chatty local's vehicle, listening to tales of their painful pancreas or errant offspring).
And what about emergency trips to the vet? Leave my doggies without transport? Oh no!
And speaking of doggies and me and long-distance transport, there'd be no desert sojourn without a good, sturdy, weather-proof, long-range vehicle, either.
When I get in these moods where I simply can't face re-registering, re-upping that costly (government-ordered) and invasive insurance, and otherwise putting myself at the service of government in the cause of transportation freedom, I look around at other options:
(Love their product; hate their insistance on snoopy info before giving prices.)
But every time my thoughts drift off in those directions, I try to picture myself transporting a sick dog to the vet in a driving rainstorm. That costly, government-intrusive truck looks appealing again.
I wouldn't mind everything else, even the occasional chock-a-ta-pocketa transmission noise, if only so much &^%$#@!ing government would just not come with the package.
Posted by Claire @ 09:13 AM CST [Link]
Monday, September 27, 2004
SPACE TOURISM BEGINS!British airline magnate Richard Branson has announced a plan for the world's first commercial space flights.
Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline has signed a technology licensing deal with the US company behind SpaceShipOne, which in June became the first private manned craft to travel to space, he told a press conference in London on Monday.
Virgin has signed an agreement worth $25 million with Mojave Aerospace Ventures, which owns the technology behind the private space vessel.
Would-be space tourists would pay from $207,000 for a flight, receiving three days' flight training beforehand.
Up to 3000 astronauts could fly into space over a five-year period ...
What a strange world we live in. Charles, who sent this info, found the story on Aljazeera.net.
Posted by Claire @ 08:54 AM CST [Link]
Saturday, September 25, 2004
VIN'S NOVEL,THE BLACK ARROW HAS GONE INTO PRE-SALES for a spring 2005 release. Read all about it -- and order your copy -- behind the "more" link. A special limited edition of 1,000 copies will ship to purchasers a full two months before the trade paperback comes out.
I read an early draft of The Black Arrow, and I can tell you Vin shoots a wild, bright spark of freedom into a dark, stylized, near-future America. The book's got it all: A worthy superhero; bad guys whose fall you'll cheer; innovative weaponry and tactics; a freedom underground (literally), and plenty of sex and rock n roll. Think Tim Burton's treatment of Batman's Gotham City and you'll come close to the ambience of The Black Arrow. But for a freedom lover, Vin's hero beats Batman any day. [more]
Posted by Claire @ 08:24 AM CST [Link]
Friday, September 24, 2004
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE A DEROGATORY PHOTO OF PRESIDENT BUSH and vandals break into your apartment? While spray-painting your walls and furniture, they scrawl the words "dead man" across the photo. What happened to one man, Larry Ward, is exceedingly strange. It involved the Department of Homeland ... well, read the story. Just read it. Strange as hell. Yet typical of the insane Bushevik administration.
Mr. Ward happened to be visiting his friend Sherwood Schantz when the feds caught up with him. I know Schantz. A lot of people know Schantz. He's famous in some parts -- or some might say charmingly notorious. The Secret Service doesn't meet his like every day. And it's too darned bad for freedom's sake that there aren't more like Schantz.
Posted by Claire @ 08:44 PM CST [Link]
A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, I BLOGGED A GREAT DISCOVERY, the book Mad Dreams, Saving Graces. Mad Dreams details how Poles in the 1980s thwarted their Communist leadership via a de-centralized, non-violent, "do your own thing," resistance. The subtitle, "a nation in conspiracy," says it all.
In the book, author Michael T. Kaufman mentions a how-to booklet of the resistance called "The Small Conspirator." I sighed that it would sure be a great thing for fireflies to get ahold of that, it it still exists. Well, it does, apparently. Its title is also translated as "The Junior Conspirator." And blogispondent Ian has been hot on the trail of it.
No copy so far. But there's this encouraging news straight from the booklet's author. (Scroll to the last item on the page.) We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, Mad Dreams remains out of print but still available -- although Wolfesblog readers seem to be doing an outstanding job gobbling up the remaining copies. :-)
Posted by Claire @ 10:19 AM CST [Link]
WELL, OF COURSE THEY CAN. Study confirms dogs can detect cancer. In one case, every dog in the study "diagnosed" a patient the researchers believed to be healthy; the dogs, not the doctors, were right. You go, Fido.
Posted by Claire @ 09:58 AM CST [Link]
Thursday, September 23, 2004
ANTHONY HARGIS -- GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS. Anthony Hargis is out of jail. But as he explains:The only reason for this release is because the government took everything it could find that was connected to me: this included bank accounts, real property, the office and its related postal and e-mail addresses, and telephone. This meansthat everyone who tries to communicate with me at my old address will reach the IRS instead -- and those at the office will represent themselves as working for [Anthony L. Hargis & Co.].
These seized assets are technically held in a kind of escrow pending the outcome of the government's case against me. In the meantime, the government will use these assets to finance its prosecution against me, while I am denied the use of those same assets for the purpose of defending myself.
Thus, I have no resources to fight this case; I am even having difficulty with basic living needs, not to mention communicating with my supporters. ...
Please understand, your life, literally, is at stake here. The government is really ticked off that we have operated/exercised rights for twenty-eight years; and is determined to make a real bloody example of all of us. I am offering to help prevent this; but I need your help.
Anthony is trying to raise money solely by selling his books. He doesn't deserve the fate that's befallen him after 28 years of providing useful services to freedom-seekers. If you want to help, either by buying books or by sending a donation, write to:
c/o Joe DeClue, Esq.
2427 N. Tustin Ave, Ste. B
Santa Ana, CA92705
Anthony can accept U.S. stamps, cash, or blank postal money orders, no checks. If you want him to send you a book list, I suggest sending a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Posted by Claire @ 09:09 AM CST [Link]
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
TIP FROM THE GIRL'S GUIDE TO VEHICLE MAINTENANCE. When preparing for a long trip, do not take your vehicle to a mechanic for inspection. He'll tell you things you'd rather not know.
In my case, $1,300 worth of things I don't want to know. So far. Before they actually open up the transmission and find out exactly what's making that little chok-a-ta-pocketa noise I never noticed until the mechanic so ungraciously pointed it out to me.
Posted by Claire @ 03:13 PM CST [Link]
NO COMMENT.In Philadelphia, 44 percent of the teachers put their children in private schools; in Cincinnati, 41 percent; Chicago, 39 percent; Rochester, N.Y., 38 percent. The same trends showed up in the San Francisco-Oakland area, where 34 percent of public school teachers chose private schools for their children; 33 percent in New York City and New Jersey suburbs; and 29 percent in Milwaukee and New Orleans.
Posted by Claire @ 03:09 PM CST [Link]
COMPUTER NETWORKING GURU -- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Have you got yourself a problem (or an "opportunity") with a router, a wireless network card, a wired network card, a hub, a modem, or whatever have you? Then have I got a guru for you. His name's Mike McArthur.
Mike is based in Jackson, Mississippi. I'm based about as far from there as you'd ever care to get. But without even meeting me (or my computers) in person, Mike got me set up with a wireless network, helped me configure the router against wardrivers, showed me how to get my computers to share information (as opposed to just sharing a network connection) -- and did it all logically, patiently and in both Linux and plain English at the same time!!!!! Complete with screen captures to show me, as well as tell me, how to do the job.
Not only that, but when I foolishly blitzed the whole network a month later, Mike took just 15 minutes to talk me through a fix. This guy's amazing. His bio tells more (and is a hoot to read, besides). This guy's good, no kidding.
Posted by Claire @ 06:20 AM CST [Link]
US DOG PEOPLE ALWAYS KNEW THEY WERE EVIL. And now -- HA! -- some homeowner has finally caught a cat burgler in the act.
Posted by Claire @ 06:04 AM CST [Link]
Inflation since 1968 as the government doesn't calculate it. But as you have to pay it.
The government's own inflation calculator 1913-to-present. Spooky enough.
These links are from a discussion thread, "Fiscal Train Wreck," at TCF. Very insightful analysis going on there. Even when you know how government is looting America with its fiat funny money, the actual figures are staggering.
Special thanks to Alton Speers and Mac the Knife for these finds.
Posted by Claire @ 05:23 AM CST [Link]
YUSEF ISLAM GOT ON THE PLANE IN LONDON. He was headed for Washington, D.C. But mid-flight, U.S. officials decided he was on the secret no-fly list. They diverted the plane to Maine, met Mr. Islam, and denied him entry to the U.S.
Saved again from the ravages of terrorism, right? Well, only if you believe we need saving from peace activist Yusef Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens. Stevens is "guilty" of saying, "No right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action [the 9-11 hijackings]: The Quran equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity." And, "Crimes against innocent bystanders taken hostage in any circumstance have no foundation whatsoever in the life of Islam." And he's "guilty" of actively opposing Bush's war in Iraq -- which is most likely the real thing that got him on the keep-out-of-America list.
This entire administration has gone nuts. Dangerously nuts. But perhaps I'm doing a disservice to mental patients the world over by comparing them to these bozos with badges.
(Tks for another one, Rick!)
Posted by Claire @ 04:58 AM CST [Link]
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
A LOOK INTO OUR OWN FUTURE after our Beloved Leaders have imposed national ID? All hail the state! Down with the unregistered citizen!
Propiska, homelessness, and housing.
Posted by Claire @ 12:29 PM CST [Link]
YORIE KAHL AND LEONARD PELTIER. Seems an unlikely pair. But the pursuit for justice has joined them together. Good luck to them both.
Posted by Claire @ 12:10 PM CST [Link]
OH GOD. John Ross and his dog Molly. "I killed my dog today. ... Molly was the best dog I've ever had."
(Found at End the War on Freedom.)
Posted by Claire @ 10:06 AM CST [Link]
WE HAD A SPOT OF EXCITEMENT OVER AT THE CLAIRE FILES FORUMS YESTERDAY. Taking advantage of a glitch that's since been fixed, an unregistered person posted a request asking where he could get a "high-power silenced sniper rifle" and oh yes, "how to procure unusual weapons."
When challenged -- as he was immediately, of course -- he denied any provocative intent. He just wanted ... it was just a ... uh ... specialized target shooting, that was it. And the "procuring" bit just meant he wanted leads to good gun shows. Never mind that he titled the thread "Silent Sniping." (Pardon me for not quoting exactly; the thread has since been deleted.)
The unknown poster, who called himself Chaemera, "spoke" in clipped, military phrases, but seemed surprisingly ignorant about both using and buying firearms.
Fishing expedition? Entrapment? Who knows. Smart people got it right away and jumped all over him. kbarret wisely called for deletion of the thread, which the mods soon carried out to prevent any innocents from getting themselves in trouble. (Remember that these days even the most innocent innocent can be charged with conspiracy or racketeering or some other such nonsense when a fed is really determined.) My favorite response came from Silver, who thoughtfully explained, in great deadpan detail, why Chaemera was really looking for a .177 cal air gun, not a high-powered rifle, for the type of target shooting he described.
Amazing, though, what icky critters lurk out there in the dark, undusted corners of the Net.
Posted by Claire @ 09:59 AM CST [Link]
MORE FROM THE "THANK HEAVEN THEY'RE SAVING US FROM TERRORISTS" DEPARTMENT.
And let's just say that I know that the "reliable source" mentioned here is about as reliable as it gets:Let's say I know somebody -- a really reliable source. He flew from Boston to Medford, Oregon yesterday.
In Boston, he was singled out for extra attention. Though he didn't have to take off his (intentionally) stinky shoes, he did have to sit down and raise each foot to be wanded.
Further, the female who did the inspection managed to touch his crotch twice, made him undo his belt and flip over the top of his pants to prove there was nothing down there. [sic]
Both carry on bags were opened. All pockets for these bags were opened, and the contents rifled. Each computer was removed and they did the molecular analysis looking for explosives. (Oddly, nothing came back positive)
After 15 minutes (!), he was free to go, and he walked to the gate to sit the remaining 90 minutes for his flight.
Though he had inspected his bags before arriving at the airport, a little thought was niggling at him, and he opened the most prominent pocket on one of his bags, looked in, and spotted his pocket knife! It has a 4" blade and was a gift to his father, which he inherited when his father passed away.
Hmmm. Aside from the amazing lack of efficacy for the extended search, the problem is, what to do with this knife? It has sincere sentimental value, and he didn't want to throw it in the trash.
So, he decided to pretend he hadn't seen it, and see if he could make it to Oregon without going through security again. Through two layovers, this proved to be possible, and he arrived at his destination -- knife intact.
Isn't that an interesting story? As I said the person is 100% reliable. He even proved to his wife the location of said instrument before he was able to pick up his checked baggage.
We're in awe at the amazing incompetence shown at so many levels that we're virtually speechless.
"Nothing down there." Yep, that's what our gummint is hoping for -- a no balls America.
It's also worth noting that this person doesn't dare reveal his identity because, among other things, the same goons who "inspected, detected, and rejected" him have the (unconstitutional -- but who cares about that?) authority to impose a $10,000 fine, with nothing resembling real due process, on anyone who accidentally brings a pocketknife onto an airplane.
Posted by Claire @ 09:40 AM CST [Link]
WHACKO HOMESCHOOLING TERRORISTS. Yes, really. At least that's what officials in one Michigan school district project. They're conducting a disaster drill that projects bombing school children, and that's who the villains are. Not militant Islamists. Not anything-separatists. Not even the usual Lone Nuts with Guns. Homeschoolers.
NuclearDruid posted this over at TCF, but I thought it deserved wider exposure. Spread it, you dangerous homeschooling crazoids.
Posted by Claire @ 09:11 AM CST [Link]
Monday, September 20, 2004
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING about this very important article is that it doesn't come from a libertarian think tank or conservative economic institute. The warning is now getting out into the mainstream. Will the rest of us prepare for the looming disaster that both Kerry and Bush refuse to acknowledge?"Chilling" is the word U.S. Comptroller General David Walker uses to describe the budget outlook.
"The long-term budget projections are just horrifying," added Leonard Burman, co-director of tax policy for the Urban Institute. "I've got four children and it really disturbs me. I just think it's irresponsible what we're doing to them."
What these numbers portend are crippling tax increases on workers, slashed benefits for retirees, gutted budgets for homeland security, highways, research and everything else, and an economic decline or a financial collapse that devastates the middle class, as happened recently in debt-strapped Argentina. Eventually, analysts insist, someone -- today's children or tomorrow's elderly or both -- will pay this debt. ...
The International Monetary Fund estimates the gap at $47 trillion, the Brookings Institution at $60 trillion.
"To give you idea how big the problem is," said Laurence Kotlikoff, economics chairman at Boston University, who has written extensively on the subject, to close a $51 trillion fiscal gap, "you'd have to have an immediate and permanent 78 percent hike in the federal income tax." ...
"It's a number that's so large that people find it implausible, and so they don't think about it," said Alan Auerbach, a UC Berkeley economist who studies the issue and consults for the Kerry campaign. "But it's based simply on the projections we have for Social Security and Medicare. People aren't making these numbers up."
Posted by Claire @ 01:07 PM CST [Link]
I LIKE THE NEW A9 SEARCH ENGINE from Amazon.com. Although at the moment it rides on Google technology, it's the first site I've seen that has the potential to blow Google straight off the map.
It does Googlishly accurate searches. Then it automatically loads thumbnail images that match your search. It also does special searches of the Internet Movie Database, Amazon.com (of course), and other popular reference sites. Lots of customization of results available, too, yet without complicating things. And click the "Discover" button; it finds new sites it thinks you'll like based on your past searches.
I got a little shock when I went there for the first time and it greeted me, "Hello, Claire," as Amazon.com does. If you don't want A9 recognizing you and keeping records of your searches, you can change the privacy settings. Click "Help" then look under "Organize and Customize." You'll find a link to Generic A9 and instructions on clearing your history.
BTW, I ego-surfed. And trust me, none of those women whose photos pop up are me -- though none of them are bad looking and A9 did find a number of book covers and my wolfhead logo (so kindly created for me by a man who, last I knew, still insisted on remaining anonymous).
Posted by Claire @ 08:33 AM CST [Link]
HEARTRENDING -- AND DEAD ON -- LETTER FROM A SOLDIER IN IRAQ. It's a guerrilla war, he says, and U.S. government tactics are strengthening the guerrilla forces.
Posted by Claire @ 08:15 AM CST [Link]
AT THE END OF THIS WEEK I'LL BE OFF on a desert sojourn. I'll still be blogging, but as I mentioned earlier, probably only a couple of days a week and mostly on more personal, reflective topics. I hope to leave much of the news behind. There's nothing new in the news; obcessing on it saps energy that could be used more creatively.
My brain has been a seething mass of creative energy lately. Which is a good thing because I'm going off to work on a very creative project. Me, the dogs, a tent, no regular Net connection, and a cellphone mainly for emergency use.
I'll tell you more about it as I go. I tried to write something about my plans and my intentions just now and found that the time wasn't right.
Posted by Claire @ 07:59 AM CST [Link]
Sunday, September 19, 2004
RANGE REPORT: VERTICAL AK FRONT GRIP
Blogispondent Ian here again. I recently ordered a vertical front grip for my AK, and just yesterday I took it out to the range for the first time.
I ordered it from Inter Ordnance of America, and it was my first time making a purchase from them. The good news was that my grip showed up in the mail less than a week after I ordered it. The bad news was that I didn't think to ask them about shipping charges, which ended up costing me $9 on a $23 order. Next time I want something like this, I think I'll spend a lot more time looking for an individual selling one.
At any rate, when it arrived it was in good shape. [more]
Posted by Ian @ 02:49 PM CST [Link]
JUST WATCHED AN ENGAGING AND VERY MORAL MOVIE LAST NIGHT. The Reckoning starring Paul Bettany and Willem Dafoe. The critics (like this one) savaged it. It was hardly flawless. There's a bit too much 2004 sensibility in that supposedly medieval world. But it still held me from start to finish.
In 1380, a young priest on the run from his own sins falls in with a troop of traveling players. Their traditional plays aren't drawing the money they need, so when they arrive in an isolated town where a woman has just been condemned to death for the murder of a young boy, they decide to create a play about it. The audience reaction shocks them ... and there ensues a search for the deeper, darker secret behind the crime. I liked this film on a lot of levels, but most of all because of its theme: ordinary, flawed people can -- and should -- stand against everything, including the might of church and state, when they know they're right on an important, lifesaving principle. The film also does a sadly good job of showing why many people accept evil in exchange for security.
Reading some of the reviews I got the sense that critics didn't so much dislike the movie as fear and resent its position.
Posted by Claire @ 10:13 AM CST [Link]
SIGH. I GUESS WE KNEW IT COULDN'T BE THAT EASY. Carl at North American Samizdat reports that the Ohio goons, who were ordered to return all of Hunter's property first played games by moving the property out of reach and now refuse to turn over his laptop computer.
Laptops (along with guns and drug stashes) are a big fav for cops to "disappear" for their own use. Let's hope that didn't happen. It might take a piece of luck for Hunter ever to see that computer again.
Posted by Claire @ 09:38 AM CST [Link]
Saturday, September 18, 2004
SERENITY FILMING IS COMPLETE! Visiting Bill St. Clair's blog (as I do every morning), I found this proud-silly letter from director Joss Whedon.
Posted by Claire @ 10:52 AM CST [Link]
IF YOU'VE NEVER READ JOHN TAYLOR GATTO this short article gives a pocket glimpse of everything he has to say about U.S. government schooling. And nobody has more important things to say on that subject than Gatto!
His early book Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling was a smack upside the head. Far and away his best book (but sadly not widely available) is The Underground History of American Education. One or the other of those books would be on my list of top 10 non-fiction books of the 20th century.
Found the Gatto article via LewRockwell.com this morning.
Posted by Claire @ 10:47 AM CST [Link]
Friday, September 17, 2004
TEACHER HANDCUFFED, ARRESTED, AND CHARGED ... oh, excuse me, I mean "detained," for carrying a concealed weapon and trying to board a plane with it. You thought those nail-clipper terrorists and Medal of Honor muggers were evil people? You were horrified by the chutzpah of knitting-needle gangstas and mother's milk scofflaws? Well, you ain't seen nothin' until you've looked eye to (weeping) eye with ... a bookmark toter.
Yes, can you believe the depravity? Daring to attempt to sneak a deadly bookmark onto a plane full of innocent passengers? Thank god the Bold TSA stands between us and such monsters!
I especially appreciate the TSA rules called to my attention by gtrplr (one of three people who knew I'd have to see this article):According to the TSA's official prohibited items list, anyone who brings any banned item to a screening checkpoint, even accidentally, may be criminally or civilly prosecuted. Even items that are not specifically listed, but could be considered dangerous, are illegal.
(Better cut your fists off and dig your brain out of your skull before you fly again.)
Posted by Claire @ 06:31 PM CST [Link]
BEEN LOOKING FOR THAT AFFORDABLE .50 BMG?
Blogispondent Ian checking in. As you may have seen, Governator Ah-nold signed into law a ban on .50 BMG rifles in California. Inmates of that state now have until January 1, 2005 to buy a .50 if they want a legal one (alas, all the existing ones will have to be registered with the state to remain legal).
Thanks to the folks at Serbu Firearms, Inc, this can be an opportunity for everyone outside California. They make the very nice BFG-50 rifle (which you may remember from Claire's report from the 2003 LRT Conclave), and are trying to flood California with as many as possible before the ban, out of spite for the new law. The rifles are regularly $2195, but for the time being they are offering several ways to make that price easier to meet. You can put one on layaway, or purchase a complete receiver for $1000, to be built into a complete rifle within a year for the remainder of the cost. Apparently they are also working to bring a low-cost version to the market in time to beat the California ban.
If you've been looking for an excuse/opportunity to pick up a real behemoth of a rifle, now's a great time to do it.
Posted by Ian @ 10:54 AM CST [Link]
JIM BOVARD AT ALTERNET.ORG? An unlikely pairing -- but it works. "Lie and You Thrive."Perhaps never before has a president sought a second term by endlessly hyping the catastrophic failures of his first four years in office. On both 9/11 and Iraq, the Bush campaign team long ago decided that truth is a luxury American voters can no longer afford.
Instead of admitting that 9/11 was the biggest U.S. intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor, the Bush administration turned 9/11 into a moral Dunkirk.
Some great language this one: "window of gullability," "coverup connoisseur," "audiences which have pre-signed oaths of loyalty to the Bush administration."
Posted by Claire @ 08:59 AM CST [Link]
MOTHER OF DEAD U.S. SOLDIER "detained" for heckling Laura Bush. This is sick! When did heckling become a crime? And what sort of idiot employee of the Secret Service or the police would handcuff a mother wearing a photo of her dead soldier son?
Support troops. Preserve freedoms. Riiiiiiight, Mr. Bush ...
Posted by Claire @ 08:35 AM CST [Link]
I HAD A TOTAL WRITER DAY YESTERDAY. A perfect example of why all real writers are nutty as a pecan grove. Started out to write two columns, part I and part II on the topic of work (good) vs. jobs (bad). I'm going away a week from now. Must get ahead on production; simple matter. Yeah. Right.
Sometimes, like most writers, I get stuck for ideas. Yesterday, ideas flowed hard. Right from the beginning, this weird energy rose out of my diaphragm -- and probably out of my brain, too, though the physical feeling of brainwork was less apparent. It was like having a flywheel at the bottom of my lungs. The wheel spun. The ideas zapped out of my fingers.
Industrial Revolution ... jobs on Prozac ... utopian jobless sociey ... the commonality between drug dealers and Avon ladies ... personal escape vs. societal change ... Hobbes vs Blake ... cubicles vs assembly lines ... Tennessee Ernie Ford (really, Tennessee Ernie Ford) ... making computer chips in Amish workshops.
Stuff poured out. Two hundred years of history I didn't know I had in me. Near-future paradigms shifted at blinding speed. Ned Ludd smashed machines while Isobel Patterson fixed them. Personal junk from my own outrageous youthful job-holding tangled in a heap with the invention of the spinning Jenny and the jacquard loom.
At first, it was exciting. Every writer lives for those moments of "flow." But soon the idea-flinging flywheel on my diaphragm overwhelmed me. I had to go outside a couple of times and roar like a lion to release the sheer, physical energy of creation. (Never had to do anything like that before; damn good I don't have neighbors.) The ideas came too fast. The passion -- totally unexpected passion -- I found in me for this subject hit too hard. I wrote without pattern or design, the programming of my personal jacquard loom gone as whacko as a weaving spider on LSD.
I was barely polite to people who interrupted me. I neglected the dogs. I Just Wrote.
At the end of the day I discovered I'd written the introduction and chapter outline for a book. A book I'd never set out to write. Probably not a particularly good book, and the intro as it stands is such an incoherent mess of ideas that even I can't make much of it this morning. Did my day of writer madness produce something that, with a few days of calm, disciplined editing, has the potential to be a new and worthy work? Or was all of yesterday just a frantic exercise in getting useless junk out of my brain system? I have no idea.
And I can't think about it today. Because, damnit, after all that scribbling I still have two full columns to write on the subject of work (good) vs jobs (bad) and not a word I produced yesterday is of any help.
If your daughter ever announces she wants to become a writer, direct her into a creative career in building inspection or metallurgy instead. And if she insists, shoot her. It'll be a mercy.
Posted by Claire @ 07:58 AM CST [Link]
Thursday, September 16, 2004
DEUTCHE WELLE, GERMANY'S GOVERNMENT-FUNDED INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTER, prides itself on the 30 languages used on its web site. Now there's one more: Klingon.
(One guess, Regular Readers, as to who found this one.)
Posted by Claire @ 07:26 AM CST [Link]
ANOTHER WRONG-HOUSE DRUG RAID. Black masks and all the usual. But the police are SO sorry. And after all, it's the first mistake they've ever made in all these years. Poor cops, it must have been really tough on them, having to wrestle down that Vietnam vet and scream their obscenities at a woman too deaf to appreciate them.
(Sigh. Another find by SJ.)
Posted by Claire @ 06:23 AM CST [Link]
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
SERENDIPITY! The fabulous home on wheels on the cover of this book was my direct inspiration for building Cabin Sweet Cabin when it appeared in Fine Homebuilding magazine several years ago.
I'm working on a how-to article about living in small spaces and was just starting to look for a photo of that house again when SJ pops up with a "hey, look at this book!" message. Really, the world's a small place and million to one chances crop up nine times out of ten.
Here's a bigger picture of the book cover. The house is even better inside, though you can't see it here.
Posted by Claire @ 12:37 PM CST [Link]
THE NEW BACKWOODS HOME COLUMN is online today. A little more personal and reflective than usual, this one is about the skill of Good Carrying -- a talent it's helpful to have whether you're hauling gravel or laboring at long-haul work for freedom.
Posted by Claire @ 08:29 AM CST [Link]
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
GOD, ANGEL, I love ya!
Posted by Claire @ 04:44 PM CST [Link]
SOMETHING SENSIBLE FINALLY COMES OUT OF BERKELEY.Supporters seek decriminalization of prostitution, as opposed to legalization, the route taken in Nevada, the only state that permits prostitution, though only in regulated brothels in certain counties.
"This needs to be seen as a women's rights issue and a public health and safety issue," said Ms. Few, adding that prostitutes are often threatened with violence but cannot go to the police without risking arrest.
Posted by Claire @ 12:59 PM CST [Link]
LOOKS AS IF IAN WASN'T THE ONLY ONE celebrating the end of the ban in style.
Posted by Claire @ 09:01 AM CST [Link]
IAN McCOLLUM'S BEEN SUCH AN ASSET TO WOLFESBLOG that I just talked him into letting me give him his own login. So now three of us can post here: Debra, Ian, and me. And (hint, hint, Ian) I hope this means we'll get more Ianesque observations.
Starting later this month, you'll see fewer -- but perhaps meatier -- blog entries from me for a while. I might blog only two or three times a week this fall and winter. But I'll make those entries worth your while. Less newsy noise, but more real content.
I'm hoping Debra and Ian -- both strong on wits and wit -- will pick up some of the slack. But they have lives (what a concept). So we'll just have to see ...
Posted by Claire @ 08:41 AM CST [Link]
GUN OWNERS SHOW THEY CAN BE GRACIOUS WINNERS. Simon Jester found this photo and this even better one. (Parental advisory: strong language; references to repulsive people; too much government.)
Posted by Claire @ 06:48 AM CST [Link]
CELEBRATING THE END OF THE BAN. Some people just don't waste any time. :-)
Building AR-15s from Kits
By Ian McCollum
Wolfesblog Roving Blogispondent
Huzzah! The AWB, in all its repulsiveness, is dead! Since such an event requires celebration, a couple of my friends decided to commemorate it in the most appropriate way they could think of: making rifles that would have been illegal before. I tagged along with them, to get an idea what the build process is like.
The rifles chosen were AR-15s, because they are common, supposedly simple to build, relatively cheap, and simply fun. The plan was to buy completed receivers (making unregistered ones from unfinished blanks will come soon enough) and complete parts kits, and assemble them into working rifles.
We started with Rock River Arms stripped lower receivers at a gun show, where we found a deal on them - just $100 each. Rock River has a good reputation, and the added irony of building "assault weapons" on receivers made by a company in Illinois was savored all around.
Next, we headed to Model 1 Sales for parts kits. There we found very competitively-priced parts kits. The popular choice was a kit with a 16" lightweight 1-9" twist barrel, flash suppressor, A3 receiver (that is, an optics rail milled into the top of the receiver where the carry handle would normally be), removable carry handle, telescoping buttstock, and bayonet lug. With that, the total rifle cost came to just under $600. Not too bad...
Other accessories purchased included Gappers, muzzle covers, tactical slings, ammo, and magazines. One fellow found a place to order ex-illegal magazines marked "Law Enforcement/Government Use Only" for a good price. Since the markings on those are now meaningless, he bought several. Not only are they brand new top-quality magazines, but they'll be good mementos.
After getting back to one guy's
bunker safehouseapartment, we broke out all the new toys and set to work putting everything together. We had a bunch of tools on hand, but the only ones we ended up needing were a couple of roll pin punches, a pair of needle-nose pliers, a stock wrench (only needed for the telescoping stocks) and a small hammer. The uppers in our kits were preassembled, so we didn't have to mess with attaching the barrel or front sight block - but the lower assembly really was as easy as rumor said it would be. It's literally nothing more than dropping parts in place and tapping in pins. The most technical obstacles were trimming down a couple over-length springs and giving roll pins slight crimps. I won't go into the step-by-step details, as it really requires pictures, and any parts kit you buy should come with an instruction sheet.
The completed guns are very cool, though not quite the equivalent of commercially purchased ones. The triggers are heavy and a bit gritty, and several of the spring-loaded parts (charging handle catch and bolt hold-open, primarily) are too stiff. This is probably because we didn't polish any mating surfaces prior to assembly - things should smooth out a bit as the guns are broken in.
And speaking of breaking them in, it's time for me to head off to the range...
Posted by Claire @ 06:40 AM CST [Link]
Monday, September 13, 2004
DAMN. HE'S BEEN DEAD FOR SIX YEARS AND I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT. But a new bio has been published about Kerry Thornley, one of the twentieth century's fabulous unknowns. I knew him as the co-creator of Discordianism and the man who wrote a novel about Lee Harvey Oswald before the Kennedy assassination. But I never knew he helped create The Innovator.
After my initial discovery of Ayn Rand, way back when, my very first questions of the "Well, what do we DO about it?" kind were answered by the early-Outlawish Innovator. The answers included things like how to disappear and how to booby trap your home with sliding steel walls and rattlesnakes. Yeah, yeah. Some of the solutions were ever-so-slightly tongue in cheek and not wildly practical. But The Innovator pointed people in the direction I've followed ever since: Freedom is an individual responsibility and an individual joy; quit bitching and seize the day.
The Innovator also emphasized -- as you can see -- creative and unpredictable solutions. We still need those, in spades.
I still look on The Innovator, personally, as the most important libertarian 'zine ever published.
The bio is The Prankster and the Conspiracy by Adam Gorightly.
Posted by Claire @ 11:57 AM CST [Link]
DO A SNOOPY DANCE. Fire off a few rounds. Send a buck or two to your favorite gun-rights group. Flip the bird to a smily photo of Dianne or Chuck. Slap on that folding stock. Buy yourself a flash suppressor. The Evil Ban on Evil Black Guns is dead, dead, dead, dead, dead!
But above all ... drive a stake through that monster's heart and bury it at the crossroads. We gotta make sure it stays dead.
Posted by Claire @ 09:21 AM CST [Link]
IAN ANSWERS A VITAL QUESTION OF THE DAY in his latest field report.
How Will Your Chain Mail Handle a Shotgun Blast?
By Ian McCollum
Wolfesblog Roving Blogispondent
Okay, I know there are some folks out there who are into both guns and medieval combat - so here's an experiment you may find interesting. I recently discovered that one of my friends makes chain mail as a hobby. He knows that I'm a shooter, and we got to discussing the protective capabilities of his mail (specifically, it's butt-jointed stainless steel European 4-in-1). We were sure that rifle and pistol bullets would go right through it, but weren't so sure about buckshot. When I mentioned that I was heading out to the range this day, he gave me a piece of mail to try out with some of my S&B #00 buckshot.
Out at the range, we used a couple nails, and tacked the mail up to an old wooden door that was lying around. Then from about 20 feet, I loosed a single shell of buckshot into it (using my S-Mart boomstick). The results were impressive...the pellets each blew about a half-inch in diameter circle of mail clear out. Youch.
The conclusion: if you're going to a shotgun fight, don't bother with chain mail. It'll just end up as so much more metal for the surgeon to pick out of you. A piece made of stringer metal, with a denser weave, and riveted together might work more effectively...but I seriously doubt it.
Click here to see the results. (Opens a new window.)
Posted by Claire @ 08:41 AM CST [Link]
Friday, September 10, 2004
I'M GUESSING THERE'S A TONGUE SLIGHTLY IN CHEEK when gun-law maven Alan Korwin urges the feds not to arrest John Kerry for multiple violations of firearms laws. [more]
Posted by Claire @ 04:20 PM CST [Link]
Thursday, September 9, 2004
THE BAN WILL DIE say R leaders, who don't intend to revive it after natural causes kill it on Monday. Now, let's hope GWB isn't stupid enough to try to rescuscitate it by executive order.
Posted by Claire @ 04:45 PM CST [Link]
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ITS HISTORY The Log Cabin Republicans -- the gay and lesbian R group -- has refused to endorse the R candidate for president. And the Pink Pistols have just issued a news release endorsing Libertarian Michael Badnarik. (I don't see the release on their site yet, so I'm posting the e-mail copy behind the more link, along with the Badnarik campaign's appeal to the Log Cabin folks.) [more]
Posted by Claire @ 03:10 PM CST [Link]
BOLD, BRAVE CRITTER! He (or is it she, I'm really not sure) risks banishment in the name of free speech.
A few weeks ago, Goldi-Lox, moderater at the slightly mis-named Liberty Post censored all links to Loompanics -- even deleting every mention of Loompanics' company name -- from a post on her site. She outrageously claimed that she and her webmaster could both go to federal prison simply for linking to a publisher of such controversial books. Mike Hoy, founder and president of Loompanics, and editor Gia Cosindas (neither yet in one of Ashcroft's prison cells), commissioned me to write an article about self-censorship. In it, we covered lots of ground, including Goldi-Lox's particularly squishy turf.
Critter risked Goldi's ire and apparently spent one very late night conspiring to place that article on Liberty Post and get a discussion started about Goldi-Lox and the "L" word. Chortle! The link above is to a mirror of the article and the resulting discussion.
I think a little thanks go to muleDemon and Tim_Osman, too, in this small conspiracy. I'll be proud to share a prison cell with you, guys.
(But we'll be pretty crowded in there, given that Amazon.com sells most of the same dangerous books.)
** Critter HIMself just told me he's a gun-totin', pickup-drivin', motorcycle-ridin' HE.
Posted by Claire @ 02:04 PM CST [Link]
SHADOWCREW AND A FIREFLY'S DILEMMA. A question came up today. The kind of question we don't like to think about now, but that will devil us in the future days when freedom's been driven entirely underground.
I've recommended Shadowcrew.com as a place to ferret out really hardcore info about alternate ID. Shadowcrew isn't for the faint of heart and isn't for anybody who's just looking to Google some quick info and leave. It's an online underground, where you have to watch, listen, and learn for a long time -- and then be careful before you act.
One TCF firefly registered there then emerged with the horrified discovery that the Shadow Crew are criminals. Crackers. Identity thieves. "They're talking about stealing credit cards and breaking into the e-mail accounts of ordinary Joes," this firefly wrote. "Do you know of any other site or group that's got slightly more noble intentions?"
This firefly added an ironic smiley, indicating that he knew his hope might be slightly misplaced. And that's just the thing.
Steeped in fantasies of "heroic" freedom Outlaws (from Robin Hood to Repairman Jack), we like to believe that our future freedom underground will be entirely pure and virtuous. Yes, we'll trade in banned goods. Yes, we'll used forged IDs or "real" IDs that are illegally obtained. Yes, we'll do our banking privately, without Mr. Ashcroft's successors peeking over our shoulders. Yes, we'll smuggle. Yes, we'll hide fugitives. We'll do it all someday, when things get that bad and America resembles Everyday Stalinism. But we nice, mostly middle-class, mostly college-educated, mostly hyper-ethical fireflies don't like to think that criminals (not just romantic Outlaws) are the folks who do such things best.
Criminals have the skill, the experience, the ruthlessness, the connections, the amorality, and the will to do some of the "noble" things we fantacize about doing in the name of freedom.
We may start out with some clean, noble freedom black markets -- and we may even preserve a few of them on a small scale. But just as in Russia (or Chicago of the 1920s), once you force ordinary trade and ordinary life activities underground, you get ruthless criminal syndicates. Too many noblehearts will get quickly busted. Or driven out by fiercer competitors.
Shadowcrew is a tiny taste of what we're eventually going to have to live with if we fireflies are forced to fly in underground caverns beneath a lost and corrupted America. It ain't pretty. But it's still better than submitting to the omnimptent Big Nanny state.
Posted by Claire @ 10:34 AM CST [Link]
WHOOHOO! TALK ABOUT SELF DEFENSE! "Puppy marked for death shoots man."
I'll bet that pup had something even more exciting than usual to enter in his diary.
Posted by Claire @ 09:03 AM CST [Link]
Wednesday, September 8, 2004
1,000 AMERICANS DEAD IN IRAQ AS OF TODAY.
And Richard Butler died in his bed. Not every death is a tragedy.
Posted by Claire @ 08:11 PM CST [Link]
HISTORY OF THE INCOME TAX IN THE U.S. Good read. If you have time for nothing else, stop a moment to contemplate this line: "Adjusting for inflation, in the 81 years between the enactment of the income tax in 1913 to 1994, government spending increased 13,592%!"
'Course, now that we have a conservative in office, the era of big spending is over. Right?
Posted by Claire @ 10:50 AM CST [Link]
BLACKBOXVOTING.ORG, RUN BY BEVERLY HARRIS, is the leading voice against "black-hole" electronic voting machines -- machines that are easily hackable and leave no paper trail of actual votes. Now the federal government wants the names, IP addresses, and other info about the visitors to the site. They say they're investigating a crime. Gutsy Harris says no and hell no.
(Good find, AP.)
Posted by Claire @ 09:42 AM CST [Link]
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
NATIONAL ID ... AGAIN. Sigh.
Posted by Claire @ 03:44 PM CST [Link]
PARDON ME, I DIDN'T CATCH THAT NAME. Was it Ashcroft? Funny, it sounded more like Kafka.
The U.S. Justice Department wants to make secret arguments in defense of the secret law that anti-ID hero John Gilmore is challenging.
Posted by Claire @ 02:50 PM CST [Link]
GOT LOTS OF REPSPONSE TO YESTERDAY'S BLOG QUERY about whether a cheap, pocket-sized bug detector could do a useful job. The responses can all be summed up in one word: NO.
I'll share one of those detailed responses, this one from a ZipLipped freedom lover with bug-savvy credentials:First I have experience in the security field working for various large companies dealing with things like Tempest room security. Relax, I don't work for the government. If anything, I consider myself to be a mercenary. LOL Well I took a look at [the pocket bug detector] and talked to a few co-workers and the consensus is that it is junk.
If you want a few items to use when looking for bugs then try these…
Electromagnetic Field Gaussmeter from Edmund Scientific. This little device is a very cheap version of what is used to detect the Electromagnetic (EM) signature from bugs. Remember if it is electric then it gives off EM radiation.
Pro Electricity Consumption Meter from Edmund Scientific. This will tell you if a device that you may suspect is bugged is using a little too much power. After all bugs have to use electricity too.
Oh, in case you are interested in what TEMPEST Security is then go to http://www.eskimo.com/~joelm/tempest.html
When I asked Our ZipLipped Friend's permission to blog the above info, he added:[S]ure you can use the info I sent to you. Just remember that unfortunately the good equipment costs a heck of a lot more that thirty bucks. You get what you pay for.
Oh, for an even cheaper way to find bugs that sometimes works you can use a simple FM transistor radio. Slowly work your way up the dial while whistling. Sometimes when a cheep bug is being used you will hear yourself on the radio. Another trick is to use a portable TV in the same way. If you see yourself then there is a pinhole camera in use that is sending a signal that is not scrambled off site. Sometimes it works and sometimes it don't.
It's so good to have friends in deep, dark places. :-)
Posted by Claire @ 02:45 PM CST [Link]
Monday, September 6, 2004
STEVEN GREENHUT ON GETTING A TASTE OF LIFE IN A POLICE STATE.
Posted by Claire @ 04:12 PM CST [Link]
WHAT IS THIS BUSINESS OF GUMMINT DEMANDING RANDOM FIREARMS TESTS? Now they're doing it in the name of investigating a double murder. Apparently, all it takes to become a suspect is being on a list of firearm owners.
(Thanks, Tim_Osman, for sending this ominous news.)
Posted by Claire @ 12:58 PM CST [Link]
GIVEN REPORTS LIKE YESTERDAY'S, does anybody have any idea how well this little privacy-protector might work? At $30 a pop, has our Blogfriend SJ found a find? Or will this gadget just detect so much environmental "noise" as to make its warnings unreliable? Interesting; the market fights back.
Posted by Claire @ 12:35 PM CST [Link]
Sunday, September 5, 2004
HIGH-TECH STALKING. Shudder.
Posted by Claire @ 08:34 PM CST [Link]
Saturday, September 4, 2004
I DIDN'T BLOG YESTERDAY BECAUSE I WAS TOO HAPPY. Yeah, weird, I know.
Thursday morning I showed my new trail to The Pyramid Man -- the only other person I know who's building a trail of his own, and the only person outside of me and the Yard Guy to ever see my trail. We walked down the graveled part, squelched through the Serious Mud part, then climbed down, down, down to the bottom of the hill where -- just waiting to be carved out from the brush and rubble of an old logging operation -- is the Most Beautiful Place. Not many eyes would see its beauty now. It's just sticks and dirt, and almost too steep to stand on. But The Pyramid Man knew. And he showed me even better ways to look at it than I'd already seen.
Standing there in this secret glade with this friend whose eyes and mind see the world in a unique way gave me a sudden epiphany of happiness.
I am rich. I don't have much money. But I'm rich beyond most millionaires I've known. I have this Beauty Place that's so intense it sends my mind staggering and reeling. Beauty like this is all my heart ever craved, during the years I was stuck growing up in a deadly suburb. And how fabulously, incalculably wealthy I am to have it.
I was going to write that thought. And then, with the news from Russia becoming more horrible by the minute and the poor people in Florida facing the enormous Hurricane Frances ... it just seemed wrong.
I know the world is full of catastrophe. I know I can't solve anybody's troubles merely by keeping silent in my own moments of joy. But it's a dilemma, to want to sing when the world suffers so much. Can't wrap my mind around it. I feel more in tune with the world when I'm miserable. But personal misery doesn't help the world any more than joy does. Definitely, a dilemma.
Posted by Claire @ 12:43 PM CST [Link]
LOOMPANICS HAS JUST PUBLISHED MY NEW ARTICLE "Silence is Health." It's about how individuals and businesses are so busy censoring themselves that we hardly need government to muzzle us anymore.
I call it mine, but it couldn't have been written without the generous posters at The Claire Files forums. Loompanics doesn't tell me when my articles go up. Simon Jester -- one of the sharpest-eyed eagles -- found this one.
Posted by Claire @ 11:56 AM CST [Link]
Thursday, September 2, 2004
TINFOIL HAT TIME. Flying black triangle sightings.
(Spooky stuff, AZ!)
Posted by Claire @ 01:02 PM CST [Link]
GREAT ARTICLE BY MY OLD FRIEND L. REICHARD WHITE on using Skype.com peer-to-peer VoIP to foil the fedsnoops' declaration that more centralized VoIP services must be made snoop-ready.
BTW, where did the fedgov get the authority to order private businesses to do whatever it wishes?
Be that as it may, Skype differs from Vonage and other rising VoIP services in being peer-to-peer -- and therefore not subject to the snoop mandate. It has some drawbacks; in most cases, the person you're calling must also have Skype. And I've already discovered Skype won't work with my slightly outdated version of Linux (even though the documentation says it should).
But Rick White does a great job explaining the technicalities without getting oppressively technical.
(Found via Bill St. Clair's most excellent blog End the War on Freedom.)
Posted by Claire @ 12:47 PM CST [Link]
"KING GEORGE -- OFF WITH HIS HEAD." This bumper sticker is now considered a threat??? The level of presidential paranoia is becoming Stalinist in its irrationality. Fortunately the punishments for puncturing the president's pomposity haven't reached Stalinist levels -- yet.
Posted by Claire @ 08:29 AM CST [Link]
YOUR CALLER ID MIGHT SOON LIE TO YOU.
Posted by Claire @ 08:15 AM CST [Link]
THE WORLD-FAMOUS HARDY AWARDS for excellence in freedom filmmaking have been announced.
Posted by Claire @ 08:06 AM CST [Link]
Wednesday, September 1, 2004
FOR THE RECORD ... If you ever hear that I "consented to a search" of my home, vehicle, or possessions -- I didn't. If you ever hear that I "waived my right to an attorney" -- I didn't. If you ever hear that I "cooperated in the investigation" that lead to my own arrest -- you hear another bloody lie.
I was thinking about this this morning because of this appalling article posted by Bobaloo at TCF. Because this story is typical of the sheer unjust ruthlessness that characterizes the current "justice" system. And because of familiar news articles that parrot police claims that some drug dealer or marijuana grower "consented to a search" of his home, during which cops found heaps of contraband lying in plain sight. The latest such report came out of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where police following up a shooting inspected nearby houses without warrants, and quickly brought felony charges against a marijuana farmer who gave such "consent."
BTW, why don't reporters ever question this obvious absurdity, which is repeated again and again in stories of drug busts or illegal firearms busts?
Well, be that as it may, I'll never "consent" or "waive" anything. And if you hear otherwise, please print this out and send it to the judge and the local media as proof.
I love justice. But the "justice system" is no friend of justice, these days. I know my rights and I sure as bloody black hell don't consent to having them trampled. No way, no how.
Posted by Claire @ 10:11 AM CST [Link]
"WE ARE SO DOOMED." wrote Bug as he sent me this item. At first it seems very cool. Wow, a Swiss Army knife with a USB flash memory stick folded into it. The stick is detachable "for travel." You know, like when the TSA might take away your pocketknife and you don't want them to get your e-documents, too.
But the article also mentions a separate "Air Travel" version of this gadget. Air Travel version??? Sure enough, there's now a knifeless Swiss Army knife. Comes with the USB stick, a ballpoint pen, a light -- and no sharp tools. (Read the text; the photo shows the bladed version.)
A knifeless knife? What's next? A Colt 1911 that shoots mini-marshmallows? An "Air Travel" razor blade with a dissolving candy edge? Box cutters made out of cardboard boxes?
Do you really believe you can't be trusted with sharp objects??? Do you really believe the business executive sitting next to you on the plane can't be trusted with sharp objects???
What kind of emasculated, infantilized, limp-dicked, weenied-out 97-pound weaklings have we become? Surrendering our right to self-defense, then going out and paying big bucks to gadgetize and accessorize our helplessness?
And as Bug points out, paying all those bucks for a cool, fancy knifeless knife probably won't do Mr. Peremptory Surrender any good anyhow. The goon or goonette at the checkpoint is just going to say, "It LOOKS like a knife, and therefore we can't allow it on the airplane!"
No, actually they won't say "therefore" because they don't know words that big.
Posted by Claire @ 07:27 AM CST [Link]
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