And she steps out of the shadows…

If any of you good folks are still stopping by…I just wanted to say, The Freedom Outlaw is about to ride again.

Here. Under my real name. And a new blog name, Keeps Dropping Keys.

As some of you know, “Taran Jordan” was my chosen nom de plume, which I used as my publicly known name here on The Freedom Outlaw. It was a rush, to write as if I were another, to feel so free and unencumbered, so able to say what I thought without self-censoring.

But — I’m sure you see it too — the world has gone so much crazier in a few short years than I could have imagined. And the things I had to say a few years ago are things that a whole lot of people have come to be thinking themselves. None of it sounds so far-out anymore. And there’s more I can say now, to keep the conversations happening, the understanding growing.

As well, I’ve  built a body of writing as my “everyday” self, but I want people (both readers and potential clients) to know that there’s more to my work. So it’s time, past time, to own my work completely. As Uncle Warren always says, “Refuse to be afraid.”

(Holy moly! I just dropped by his blog to copy that link, and found that he did a few months ago what I just today decided to do: he’s “come out” as his real, meatspace, lovable self! That is freaking EERIE! I LOVE it! And I salute you, Warren Bluhm, for your courage.)

I really liked being Taran Jordan…or being thought of as Taran Jordan. I thought it was a very cool-sounding name. And it was pretty easy to spell. Once I even attended a writers’ conference, and later took a fiction writing class, as Taran. (Then I felt I’d done something terribly wrong.)

But…the fact is, I am Beth Homicz. And I, too, refuse to be afraid. No longer will I hide so much of who I am, or how I think, from the people who know me. They’re good people. They can handle it. They deserve the truth. They might even jump on board.

I’m leaving this old TFO site up so that past links will still work. I won’t be posting here any longer. But you are welcome to drop by Keeps Dropping Keys for (hopefully!) a little of the old outlaw fun and style!

I’ve also imported all of the TFO posts (going back to late 2004) into the new KDK blog, attributed to me as Beth, rather than Taran. I do apologize if any of you feel that I’ve deceived you along the way.

Keeps Dropping Keys is going to be about free spirits throwing open the door to all the cages we possibly can. Freeing the spirit, the body, the mind. In a way, it’ll be like the weekly guest-editor selections I used to make over at Strike the Root: a practical, positive approach to a life of greater freedom and joy. I’ll be posting there at least a couple of times a week.

Readers, freedom friends, I warmly invite you to come on by and visit! I would very much enjoy reconnecting and hearing what freedom-fun you have been up to lately.

February 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm Leave a comment

Swan song, I suppose

Yep, it’s been months since I last posted.  I’m not going to make excuses, although I am sorry if anyone’s been missing reading posts here.  I have had nothing worthwhile to say, and much else to do…you know how that goes, I’m pretty sure.

But I’ve been doing some hanging out over at the Life After the Oil Crash forums, and found this little gem that moved me to post here once again…maybe for one last time, I just don’t know.  (Link to the actual post and thread.)

Poster TLR1138 asks: How long before people start writing hymns to outlaws again?

PRETTY BOY FLOYD  (Woody Guthrie)

Come gather round me children, a story I will tell
Of Pretty Boy Floyd, an outlaw, Oklahoma knew him well

Was in the town of Shawnee on a Saturday afternoon
His wife beside him in the wagon as into town they rode

A deputy sheriff approached them in a manner rather rude
Using vulgar words of language and his wife she overheard

Well, Pretty Boy grabbed a log chain, and the deputy grabbed a gun
And in the fight that followed, he laid that deputy down

Then he took to the trees and rivers to lead a life of shame
Every crime in Oklahoma was added to his name

Yes he took to the trees and timbers on the Canadian river shore
And the outlaw found a welcome at many a farmer’s door

Yes, there’s many a starving farmer, the same story told
How the outlaw paid their mortgage and saved their little home

Others tell about the stranger who came to beg a meal
And underneath the napkin left a thousand dollar bill

It was in Oklahoma City, it was on a Christmas day
Came a whole carload of groceries and a letter that did say

Well, you say that I’m an outlaw, and you say that I’m a thief
Here’s a Christmas dinner for the families on relief

Well, as through the world I’ve rambled, I’ve seen lots of funny men
Some rob you with a sixgun, some with a fountain pen

As through this world you ramble, as through this world you roam
You’ll never see an outlaw drive a family from its home

Here’s wishing all you good Outlaws the best in the world.

March 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm 5 comments

Mute-ant

It’s an odd thing, but for months now, I have felt very little desire to speak out on issues, or get into debates with sheeple.  Even, or maybe especially, about freedom.

For the past couple of years I’ve really been noticing how much most people only want to talk about themselves – especially on a very mundane level – and heaven forbid they return the favor and give you equal time!  The art of conversation is so far deceased that it has rotted into a putrid game of self-important, self-promoting control – harmless in a superficial sense, but deadly boring and wasteful of precious time.

But then too, I don’t care a rat’s patootie about the mundane aspects of most people’s daily existence, nor about revealing my own, when I would really prefer to discuss and debate thoughts and ideas and information about freedom, self-sufficiency, preparing for the trouble I see coming, etc.

So, in large part, I’ve gotten into a habit of assuming (usually with reason, I think) that no one cares to listen to anything I have to say.

Now, too, when I hear of abuses, I don’t get het up with anger or outrage anymore either, the way I used to.  (And it was that energy of fed-upness and violated justice that motivated a lot of my writing.)  I do often feel for the victims, if true innocent victims they are.  But the feeling I now experience toward the perpetrators is a cross between indifference and quiet resistance.

And I think it’s that quiet aspect that has me not talking or writing about my thoughts, concerns or plans.

It’s a struggle within, because one voice in my head says, “But these issues are vital and should get some exposure, and you can give them that!”  The other voice, though, counters, “Those who care at this point are already aware.  The rest aren’t interested in being preached at by you.  Let reality educate them, as it soon will.”

No coincidence, then, that last week, heavy into this mood, I decided to reread Atlas Shrugged.

P.S.:  Oh, and speaking of fiction, I was not one of the finalists in the Freedom in Fiction Prize.  No reasons or feedback were provided, so that’s all I can tell you.  Thanks to all of you who have provided warm support and commentary.  Your input has been valuable in every sense.

April 17, 2008 at 9:53 am 17 comments

Welcome to the gulch, Brad and Wendy…

Brad of McBlog fame has penned a thoughtful little piece on living the “Frugalista Gulch” lifestyle – right where you are, in his case. Woohoo to you both, and welcome to the Outlaw crew!

When Wendy mentioned to me her “motivation #2” for the frugal philosophy — resisting the state — the first thing that popped into my mind was “Galt’s Gulch.” Because what we are doing is very similar to what John Galt and his fellows did when they went “on strike” and withdrew to Galt’s Gulch. We are denying the State and its army of leeches, not the product of our minds as such, but rather our productivity.

And Brad’s conclusion is right on…there are going to be thousands of “Frugalista Gulches.” Perhaps there already are.

(Thanks to Dave Gross at The Picket Line for the link!)

March 17, 2008 at 8:12 am 3 comments

Freedom meme

Thanks, Lewlew, for tagging me on this one: “What motivated you to start looking into Anarchist/Libertarian thought?”

Hmmm.

When I was in second grade and we were learning about Hawaii, the teacher told the boys to cut paper surfboards out of big rolls of construction paper and to decorate them, while the girls were told to make paper hula skirts. I remember going ballistic about that. I didn’t want to have to put on some stupid skirt and dance around in front of people just because I was a girl.

So I insisted on making a surfboard instead. At least I wouldn’t have to feel like a simpering idiot. There were other similar instances through my childhood, all centering, in hindsight, around the issues of justice, individualism, and common sense. So, like Lewlew, I think the predilection existed in me already, but I don’t know why.

In high school I was lucky to have The Fountainhead assigned in English class, and the teacher was a rabid individualist who devoted a whole month to discussion of that book. But I didn’t have any leaning toward or interest in politics then. I was a budding philosopher, though – read a lot of Sartre and Camus, I recall.

It was during college that I got to thinking about the sweeping issues of freedom and liberty. I ventured to Washington, DC and fell in love with the brave words inscribed in the Jefferson Memorial…in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress…in the National Archives. I thought I’d found the real thing and it stirred my soul. I even decided to take some poli-sci courses, because I expected they’d go deeper into the wonders of liberty and the history of how it was intentionally protected. D’oh.

During sophomore year, I also read Atlas Shrugged in three wild, wonderful days, gasping and then grinning at the unexpected but perfectly logical plot twists and turns. I read The Passion of Ayn Rand and learned of the utter totalitarianism that woman had fought and escaped – learned a history that had eluded me until then. This, and my disgust with the poli-sci and other courses in school, gave me to understand that the learning I wanted would not be found in expensive classrooms. Philosophy in college, for instance, was sheer senseless misery – Kant and Hegel, Hume and Marx – forced regurgitation of which did nothing to illumine my life.

After graduation, I floundered. Now I see that I was disillusioned with the world around me versus the world I knew within myself…still am. But one day, wandering through stacks at the library, I happened on a section of DIY books – two in particular, about building one’s own house (one from stone, one from logs). It was like the skies opened and rays of light broke through. “I could do this! And be very happy living this way!” That was the beginning of my journey down the path of gulching, although I wouldn’t call it by any name until many years later. But what a sense of freedom and competence reading those books (and many more) gave me about life, a real life in freedom! It was about this time that I found Claire Wolfe’s early books too – they were a great help to more understanding, and a big challenge to action too.

However, I didn’t have the means then even to follow that simple dream. I’m still striving, in fact. Almost got to that point while I was married, but divorce took away what I’d managed to build. When I was starting over, I figured it would be good to join the LP and meet some likeminded people. But – well, suffice it to say that what I saw in the LP sent me into the anarchist camp. Bigtime.

Only I knew nothing about anarchism – I’d vaguely classified it in my mind with Satan worship and black magic, dark and destructive and dangerous. All I knew was what I’d told myself for years: that I never wanted to be a boss nor to have one. Bingo…things came together as I looked into the subject.

I remain on the cusp now, an anarchist at heart but not always in deed, knowing mostly that the system is rigged against freedom, yet holding out hope for one last change. Not just through Ron Paul, but through the phenomenon of so many individuals coming to understand and passionately to embrace his message. I have no interest in further political action, personally. But I do see that these Paul supporters are at the point I was at a few years ago, and many are beginning to see the man behind the curtain, so all is not lost, yet…even though the election is a longshot.

I’ve been wondering lately whether we’re seeing today the equivalent of maybe 1770 or so, when the Boston Massacre was just beginning to galvanize people of conscience and intelligence. I think of old Sam Adams, for instance, who rabble-roused for years before he got the Sons of Liberty riled up enough to garner serious attention from the powers that were. No, I don’t want to see a war in this country or in any other. What I’m driving at is the mindset, the dawning awareness of insufferable tyranny.

Perhaps, with that awareness growing, a peaceful yet passionate revolution could indeed be in the future. I like to think so, anyway.

January 18, 2008 at 12:25 am 5 comments

Nerd Queen!

Uber Cool Nerd Queen, thank you very much! LOL.

NerdTests.com says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd Queen. What are you? Click here!

I was so surprised by these results that I just had to post ’em. Me, uber cool? AND a nerd? Geek, maybe, but nerd??? Nerd is a title of honor, my friends! Nerd is a pride thing!

I’m such a non-techie that it’s embarrassing. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a slide rule in the flesh (or is that in the wood?)  And except for TNG, DS9, and the less bloody episodes of Firefly, I am NOT a sci-fi fan.

But you never know, I guess… 😀  So here’s one more nerd queen joining the sisterhood!

Take the Nerd Test yourself here!

January 6, 2008 at 12:54 pm 1 comment

Happy 2008, baby!

In many ways this new year looks to be a scarifying time.  I won’t even bother to enumerate the litany of troubles – if you’re a reader here, you’re plenty well aware.  Yet I do have hope as the baby new year sets in.

Say what you will about the validity of participating in the political process – you must speak from where you are.  What gives me hope and joy is to see so many thousands of people speaking and acting from where they are – awakening to freedom, both lost and recoverable – and taking principled, richly creative, motivated, joyful individual action to bring it about.

People, so many people come alive as never before, using their resources and talents on behalf of a good and humble man called Ron Paul, simply because they have seen him expounding the ideas at which they themselves have begun to arrive.  Simply because being in Washington for twenty years did not “change him.”  Simply because he stands for something – something they perhaps had forgotten how much they loved.

The U.S. will not suddenly become a perfect (or perfectly moral) place should Dr. Paul be elected.  But over time, it will likely be better than what we know now.  Someone is going to be elected (or possibly remain in the office of) president.  That someone is going to have an impact on most every human life in this country – and many others around the globe.  Whether or not you think voting is an acceptable act, would you complain at the demise of the terroristic IRS?  Could you honestly denigrate the ending of American involvement in hostilities around the world, and the beginnings of a foreign policy of peace and freedom?

And if he’s not elected, I kinda doubt that his many riled-up supporters will go quietly or promptly into the night.  Perhaps the “movement” will morph into a non-political or semi-political form.  Perhaps that would even be something the non-voting anarchists could get behind.  (I mean this kindly.  After the 2004 election, I too had planned never to vote again.)

The greatest thing about the Ron Paul R3VOLution might simply be the wonderful sense that, as freedom seekers, we’re a lot less alone and alienated than we thought.  Maybe human brotherhood – of an individually, freely chosen sort, of course – isn’t such a drippy concept after all.

Hey, it’s 2008.  Anything’s possible.

January 2, 2008 at 5:26 pm Leave a comment

See, this is what gets me…

Ran Prieur has written yet another of those posts that get me fired up to go all Outlaw.  I’m copying it here in full for posterity, because posts from his blog “drop off the edge” after about 10 days:

December 1. There’s a lot of buzz about the Homegrown Terrorist Radicalization Whatever Act. According to the script, we’re supposed to respond, “Unthinkable! Outrage! Constitution! Fight through usual channels! Oh no, usual channels not working! American reality different from American ideal! Protest! Ow, stop hitting me!”

If we respond this way, we are going along with the abuse ritual. To an abuser, there is nothing sexier than when the victim expresses shock and outrage and fights back in a way that’s totally ineffective. The next sexiest thing is to grovel in submission, and next after that is total numb defeat. These strategies not only don’t work — they actually feed a demon that inhabits the collective consciousness and many individuals, and they encourage more abuse.

So what can we do about it? As Thaddeus Golas said, “A great deal, if our heads are clear.” The common mistakes of abuse victims and political dissidents correspond exactly to the first four of the five stages of grief. It’s time to stop fucking around and get to the fifth stage.

America has passed from Republic to Empire, and will not go back. We are living in an authoritarian state in rapid decline. The federal government will pass more and more repressive laws, because that is what declining empires do. By all means, we should pay attention to hostile moves by government and business, the same way you would pay attention to rising floodwaters. You don’t get angry at the water. You don’t say “the Constitution forbids water getting this high.” It is not a good idea to march through the water holding signs demanding that it recede. But you might be able to channel the water to where it will do less harm, or pile up sandbags to protect critical areas, or at least evacuate to higher ground.

Moving from metaphor to reality, we can fight big domination systems with little systems that are still democratic. Your vote for president is now worth less than your vote on Reddit, but you could make a huge difference by starting a group to run a candidate for city council, or to connect responsible squatters with vacant houses, or to fix and give away old bikes, or to turn an abandoned parking lot into a garden.

Another thing we have to understand is that the law is a distraction. The highest and lowest classes already know this in their bones: the only thing that matters is what you can get away with. The police will invade your house, kill your dog, and steal your computer if you run a perfectly legal website that scrutinizes the police too closely. But you can flagrantly violate the law by occupying an empty house, raising chickens in your back yard, and providing unlicenced medical care, as long as you maintain good relations with everyone who knows you’re doing it.  (emphasis added)

I know he’s more or less right.  And it just gets me, you know?  Because I have the hugest love and admiration for Ron Paul and what he’s taking on.  Yes, I’ve been supporting him with my plastic FRNs – and I want to see him win.  Just to observe the look on the faces of George Stephanopoulos and Ann Coulter and all those who say “he can never win.”  (How come no one ever makes the so-called expert explain just why he can’t win, when it’s still a month to the first frackin’ primary?)

Dangitall.  I’m stuck in hope.  I love this particular underdog.  I can’t help it.  He’s a dear.  And he’s mostly right.

But my dark side whacks me upside the head with a 2×4 and yells, “So is Ran Prieur right!  Not even a President Paul  can save us now!  You know it – you gotta save your own ass.”

So I guess the best I can do is to support two underdogs with my plastic FRNs – Ron Paul, and myself.  Hedging, I think they call it on Wall Street.

December 2, 2007 at 4:35 pm 10 comments

Two bits of bad news for freedom outlaws

First, it was reported the other day that Hushmail, the web-based encrypted email provider, has caved to Canadian federal authorities and turned over twelve discs’ worth of email messages to and from alleged steroid dealers:

However, installing Java and loading and running the Java applet can be annoying. So in 2006, Hushmail began offering a service more akin to traditional web mail. Users connect to the service via a SSL (https://) connection and Hushmail runs the Encryption Engine on their side. Users then tell the server-side engine what the right passphrase is and all the messages in the account can then be read as they would in any other web-based email account.

The rub of that option is that Hushmail has — even if only for a brief moment — a copy of your passphrase. As they disclose in the technical comparison of the two options, this means that an attacker with access to Hushmail’s servers can get at the passphrase and thus all of the messages.

In the case of the alleged steroid dealer, the feds seemed to compel Hushmail to exploit this hole, store the suspects’ secret passphrase or decryption key, decrypt their messages and hand them over.

I’m removing Hushmail from the links list on this blog, partly because it seems that their marketing copy did not make this distinction between the two formats sufficiently clear to privacy seekers.

And second, just this morning, I received news via GATA.org that the Liberty Dollar office was raided yesterday by feds here at home:

I sincerely regret to inform you that about 8 this morning [Wednesday the 14th, apparently] a dozen FBI and Secret Service agents raided the Liberty Dollar office in Evansville, Indiana.

For approximately six hours they took all the gold, all the silver, all the platinum, and almost two tons of Ron Paul Dollars that were just delivered last Friday. They also took all the files and computers and froze our bank accounts.

We have no money. We have no products. We have no records to even know what was ordered or what you are owed. We have nothing but the will to push forward and overcome this massive assault on our liberty and our right to have real money as defined by the U.S. Constitution. [See my own post on that last point here.]

We should not be defrauded by the fake government money.

But to make matters worse, all the gold and silver that backs up the paper certificates and digital currency held in the vault at Sunshine Mint has also been confiscated. Even the dies for minting the gold and silver Libertys have been taken.

All this has happened even though Edmond C. Moy, the director of the U.S. Mint, acknowledged in a letter to a U.S. senator that the paper certificates did not violate Section 486 and were not illegal.

But the FBI and Secret Service took all the paper currency too…

From a letter signed by Bernard von NotHaus of Liberty Dollar, quoted by Chris Powell of GATA.org. Chris adds:

This move seems extraordinarily bold considering that Liberty Dollar’s right to operate already was being litigated in federal court.

Who knows how many individuals have lost small fortunes in this outrage, in addition to the Liberty Dollar crew. This jackbooters’ move wouldn’t have anything to do with Ron Paul‘s face on those Liberty Dollars, now, do ya suppose?

Come to think of it, this kind of police-state sh*t is playing into the RP2008 campaign’s hands beautifully. And I’ll bet they soon find ways to milk it.

November 15, 2007 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

Fiction frenzy

Hi, folks. 🙂 Just checking in to say that I’m still standing, and I’m thankful for you loyal readers.

I’m hard at work these next few weeks getting my entry ready for the Freedom in Fiction Prize contest, sponsored by the Mackinac Center. The deadline is January 1, 2008 for submission of two full chapters plus an overall outline of your novel. Finalists will be notified by March 31 and will then have one year to complete their manuscripts. Liberty Train will be in the running!

Any of you care to join the challenge too? Good freedom fiction is something desperately needed – and given the groundswell of support for Ron Paul lately, it’s probably also something with good market potential!

I’ll be around here when I can, but it probably won’t be much until after the first of the year. I’d post excerpts from the book for you, if I weren’t concerned about the “previously unpublished” rule in the contest guidelines. 😦 Maybe later…

Blessings and happiness – and freedom – to you all!

[UPDATE  1/1/2008: I will not be providing excerpts here from the novel, even though Justin Marshall gave the go-ahead from the contest’s perspective.  A seasoned fiction instructor advised me that if a novel writer seeks a contract with a big-name publishing house, then even excerpts from the novel on a blog are a no-no.  Sorry, y’all.]

November 9, 2007 at 9:53 pm 7 comments

A matter of conscience

Like you, probably, I’ve been amazed and humbled, in the past week or so, by the story of the Buddhist monks in Myanmar (Burma) quietly and peacefully resisting their totalitarian regime.

LewRockwell.com this morning features an article by Henry Porter, entitled “The faith of the oppressed can topple the worst tyrants,” inspired by the horrifying police-state revenge visited upon these monks who are acting according to conscience. Porter’s thesis is that organized religion often stands as a beacon, and churches as a rallying place, showing their people the way to freedom in dark times of oppression. He uses in particular the Nicholaikirche example from Leipzig, East Germany in 1989 that led eventually to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.

Being a contrarian of sorts, I’d like to tweak his thesis a little. In fact, (more…)

October 1, 2007 at 11:42 am 3 comments

Looking for Claire Wolfe online?

A substantial number of visitors have visited this blog in recent days from keyword searches seeking information on ClaireWolfe.com, and Claire’s associated blog Wolfesblog, which went offline suddenly a few days ago.

Apparently, Claire’s web hosting account was due to expire, and she chose not to renew it. Unfortunately for us readers and fans, we didn’t see this change coming. If you caught her blog between September 17 and about September 26 when her site went down, you know that she had already chosen to cease writing it. But I didn’t realize that the whole site was going bye-bye, at least not so soon.

If you’re one of the good folks wondering where to find Claire’s past work online, however, there is a solution – well, actually several solutions…

Bill St. Clair has created a mirror site for ClaireWolfe.com as it was on September 26, 2007. Thank you, Bill, for doing this in such a thoughtful and timely fashion. (Bill’s also got an excellent roster of freedom sites mirrored at his BillStClair.com url, and his blog End the War on Freedom is a good daily freedom news and commentary clearinghouse.)

Bill has also had a mirror of Claire’s early website, Wolfe’s Lodge, for quite some time now.

Debra Ricketts’s site TheClaireFiles.com still exists, too, last updated in July 2007.

And Claire’s archive of Hardyville stories and other articles can be found at the wonderful Backwoods Home Magazine.

Finally, Paladin Press, who agreed to act as Claire’s book publisher after the sad demise of Loompanics, continues to offer several of Claire’s books in their online catalog, although her name doesn’t appear in their author list. Amazon.com has some as well. And Out of the Gray Zone by Claire with Aaron Zelman is apparently still available as well.

September 30, 2007 at 10:18 am 1 comment

Karen Kwiatkowski, Freedom Outlaw

Wow. I’ve never seen such fired-up talk from the passionate Karen Kwiatkowski before – but she is on a roll today at LewRockwell.com:

It’s over. The faithful and the hopeful may carry the corpse of the American republic, hoping that it can be brought back into normality, into life, and into power. I am afraid these nurturers will not survive the present reality of imperialism.

But some of us will look directly at the ugly, dangerous and very real empire. We will stare – with little hope but also with little fear – into the face of the FUBAR nation, and then roll up our sleeves and get started on the only life we may honestly live, as internal dissidents. We will no longer pledge allegiance, we will not obey old rules, we will make do and make it up as we go along. Our minds focused on surviving the empire, our talents and creativity unleashed against the state and its fantasist faithful, we will live as if we are free[…]

We face a modern American state more overweening and dictatorial than even King George III could imagine, yet we have no declaration of independence, no privileged elite to demand it, no interested population to read and debate it. This time, our declaration will be made individually, every day, in calm desperate fearlessness, as we simply live free.

The whole piece is so damned inspiring from the standpoint of living free while one lives. This column is so well phrased, so vibrant, so needed and so true, that I want to jump up and shout “YESSSS!!!”

Warm welcome to the Outlaw fold, Ms. Kwiatkowski (USAF Col, Ret.). Now, about that little matter of a government pension…

September 29, 2007 at 12:57 pm 1 comment

Enjoy your freedom, friend Claire Wolfe

After so many years of unique and eminently worthy contributions to the cause of freedom online, Claire Wolfe has closed her blog, shuttered the fictional and feisty town of Hardyville, and decided to wander down some new and different non-netly paths, as yet unspecified and unplanned.

In short, she’s walking off the edge of the cliff, trusting that she’ll sprout wings just when she needs them. She’s off to play the inner game.

And like so many freedom lovers she’s touched over the years, I’m going to miss her terribly.

Her inimitably Outlawish, twinkling, can-do, yet hard-hitting writing style. Her lovable, laughable, Hardy curmudgeons populating (and hotly defending) the last outpost of freedom, somewhere among the tumbleweeds. Her dear doggy devotions, and her determination in disseminating data of dastardly deeds done by dignitaries and desk-jockeys.

But more than anything else, what I’ll miss is the friendship and goodwill she extended.

It was over three years ago now that I arrived on The Claire Files, her discussion forum, as a longtime reader and (I admit!) starry-eyed fan, landed at last in a place I could feel was a home to me. I’ll always remember happily how welcoming Claire was to this newbie, how glad to talk with me as an equal, how encouraging of small personal efforts at self-sufficiency or independent thinking. She noticed what people were doing. She commented. She offered support and humor. She cared, truly and obviously, about the individuals who came into her corner of the world.

She never wanted to think of herself as the Famous Author, and perhaps she was as wise as she is humble. Most people may never know her name. But to a small and stalwart crowd, she will always be the Third Assistant Demi-Goddess of Freedom. As much as free people would ever want such a thing. But the point is that the free people who are attracted to Claire’s sense of life find a wonderful irony in bestowing such a title upon one of our heroines. It might be, along with an occasional, long-saved-up-for, excited purchase of one of her books, the most we can offer her. But it’s heartfelt, with warm appreciation and gratitude. And Claire herself knew this.

It’s very difficult to imagine the internet without new work by Claire Wolfe. I admit that I’m panting with curiosity to hear more about her thoughts on the spiritual aspects of freedom. Maybe she’ll share, maybe not – I respect either choice. Maybe this is the ideal chance to be pursuing similar thoughts on my own for now, whether or not we end up comparing notes later. Maybe this is the next move in the bigger game of living free. I happen to think that it is.

The best tribute I can offer to you, Claire, as you stride off whistling into the new worlds you’re bent on discovering, is that I’ve always felt you to be a true friend. A friend of freedom, without question. But even more wonderfully, and rarely, I’ve always felt you to be a friend to me and to the other good folks – the individuals – who happened into your sphere, you kind and decent and loving soul. It’s easy, somehow, to picture you around the campfire with Thunder and me, sharing a good toke and some good brew, laughing hysterically at the craziness of life. It’s equally easy to imagine you comforting one of us through a hard time, or organizing a potluck for some friend in need. You see, you’ve always been there for people.

And so, as much as we’ll miss your daily manna that has fed us for so long, I’m deeply glad that you’re bent on being there – anywhere – everywhere – for your own self. The best of adventures to you, lady! May your days be magnificent, memorable and many!

We shall miss you. Don’t forget to write. 😉

September 22, 2007 at 10:03 pm 7 comments

Boy, flounce off and your blog stats skyrocket…

I see that quite a few folks have stopped by here since I posted, yesterday, on the former Claire Files Forums (now The Mental Militia Forums) that I wouldn’t be spending time there anymore.

In fact, my stats for yesterday were over twice their normal day’s levels! Sheesh. Bad news travels fast, huh? I appreciate the interest, though.

Kinda makes me wonder what all these visitors were expecting to find here. A rant, or self-justification, or an explanation, or what? Since there’s only been a couple of new comments on old posts, it apparently wasn’t people coming by to wish me well.

I dunno. I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere on the net anymore. Guess I’m in a transition phase. I know there are good people out there, and a few have become friends. I’d like to create more good, lasting friendships with people for whom freedom is the biggest and greatest thing there is.

I have no wish to bash anyone. I’m tired of being bashed, and erroneously at that. I’m tired of the endless arguments and nitpicking and eye-for-an-eye, I’m-right-you’re-wrong-AND-an-idiot, he/she/they-started-it games. I’m tired of disrespect for the good, the decent, and the right, in people and in ideas.

What I want to find is civility, optimism, friendliness, real and intriguing discussion, and people who know – and live it – that freedom is a thing of the deepest spirit, made manifest in mind and matter. A love of life and all that’s possible in it. A wondrous outlook, a joyful attitude, a loving and generous and openminded approach to others.

I want magnificence, benevolence, excitement, and shining eyes. I want to be happy and to have happy people around me. I want endless discovery and growth of understanding, the kind of understanding that makes you gasp with the awesome, delectable implications.

Anyone know where on the internet to find all that?

Nah, I didn’t think so. Time to get back to writing my novel, I guess.

September 18, 2007 at 1:00 pm 10 comments

I got quoted on Wikipedia!!!

Holy schmoly! Wowsers! W00t!

Couldn’t believe it when I saw that the “Galt’s Gulch/Gulching” page on Wikipedia had referred a visitor or two here to The Freedom Outlaw recently. So, natcherly, no more could I resist clicking over to see what’s being said on the topic.

I gathered that there was previously a stand-alone entry about “Galt’s Gulch” that was later “de-wikified” and redirected to the more inclusive “Gulching” article. Here’s how they quoted me on the topic:

Writer Taran Jordan describes a gulch as “a place where one stores needed supplies to last a certain length of time, until one has arranged to produce as many of those supplies as possible once that initial time runs out, [where] one has made contacts with other likeminded folks to band together in the interests of future production, trade, and the defense of the produce, its means of production, and its producers, [and where] one can enjoy the fruits of one’s labor, and life at the pace of nature, free from those who do not choose this way of life.”

(Citation is from my blog entry, “The gulcher’s thought process.”)

Better yet by far, Claire Wolfe‘s work makes up the greater part of the article. Way to go, Claire!

Wikipedia is just such a great example of free-will cooperation, collaboration, and the power of voluntary efforts to create something immensely useful, not to mention truly “fair and balanced.” I’m deeply honored – not to say thrilled! – to have been quoted.

Warmest thanks to Scott Burley and to MarSch, whoever you two are, for the inclusion. 😀

September 10, 2007 at 9:50 pm 2 comments

One Constitutional argument that doesn’t seem to jive

I’ve seen this before – the Mogambo Guru, for one, has been known to claim it as a valid and founding prohibition on the U.S. government’s use of fiat currency. And today, Mike “Mish” Shedlock is saying it as well:

Now consider [the U.S.] Constitution, Article I, Section 10, Clause 1. No State shall…coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debt.

Well, yes, that’s what the Constitution says. “No State” shall make anything but precious metals into real money.

Remember, the Constitution created a federal government made up of the various States and binding them into a Union. Remember also that in Revolutionary and Articles of Confederation days, the various States were acting as traditional states do, as sovereign nations with their own militias, navies, and currencies.

This last made travel and commerce challenging and often confusing. So the Constitution settled things by prohibiting the States from putting out their own money anymore. (There’s apparently rather a debate historically and economically over how pleased the various States were at this, and whether or not it was forced down their throats. But that’s not relevant to this post.)

Anyway, I wonder why the Mogambos and Mishes don’t read the words of Article I, Section 10 more literally. This is one instance in which the feds spelled it out clearly right from the first. The States aren’t allowed to make “any Thing but gold and silver” legal tender. But there’s nothing I know of saying that the Congress and the federal government can’t do so.

And they know it well, and they’ve been doing it in spades. For years.

The only good thing about this is that it leaves more gold and silver for the rest of us – who know enough history to appreciate this excellent reminder from Mish, also in the post linked above:

All fiat currencies eventually go to zero, the only difference is the speed at which purchasing power declines. Gold has never gone to zero and never will either.

August 23, 2007 at 2:50 pm 2 comments

Prickly thorns and dried-up old ladies

I don’t think I’ve linked to any of Larry Brody‘s writing since I left Strike the Root. But I still read him more or less weekly. Sappy sometimes, he is, but heartfelt and true.

And today, this piece about a fiercely independent old woman just got to me. I couldn’t choose just one snippet to quote here. Read it for yourself, if you’ve a mind to.

Maybe you’ll come to feel, as I do, that this old lady’s life story has a lot in common with the things freedom outlaws – PSM, Claire, velojym, OldTiredRN, my own dear Thunder, and so many others – go through.

Choose to go through, even – because the alternative just isn’t ever really an option.  Prickly and dried-up they might be (or feel), but are they down and out?

Not so’s you’d notice, IMHO.

August 20, 2007 at 7:35 pm 3 comments

Henry Rollins, you kick ass!

Dude! Rock ON!

Like jomama (to whom I owe the link), I’d never heard of Henry Rollins until now. But I sure as hell am glad that lack on my part has been remedied. This guy seems to be the Keith Olbermann of the younger, hip generation – er, with a bit less restriction on his choice of language.  😀  (Read: Video below not safe for work, due to obscenity.)

August 7, 2007 at 11:22 am 5 comments

Happy attitude

Well, Gene Logsdon does it again, this time with an entertaining and thoughtful piece on “bootleg” raw milk. You just gotta love this. Mr. Logsdon pokes fun at the “Milk Police” whose mandate has nothing to do with public health.

Selling raw milk, or bootleg milk as I call it, is a crime in some states, if you can believe that. If you break the law, the Milk Police will come knocking at your door. Mind you, they don’t care if you drink it or give it away. You just can’t sell it, which leads me to believe that they are more worried about protecting the monopoly of the pasteurized milk industry than protecting health.

As most of you probably know, dairy farmers who want to sell raw milk to people who want to drink raw milk, get around the prevailing power of the Milk Police by what they call herd share agreements. Customers buy shares in the cows and so as part owners, they are actually drinking their own milk. This subterfuge gives the Milk Police conniption fits. They issue woeful press releases that lead one to believe that civilization will collapse if people are allowed to drink raw milk, even though 28 states now allow it to be sold. The Milk Police try to take producers of herd-share milk to court like they were moonshiners.

Now, I’ve talked about this attitude thing before, but Mr. Logsdon’s blogpost has me thinking about it in a new way. I can’t even really explain how so, but it has to do with the sustained, cheerful humor and the simple choice not to grant the “Milk Police” any legitimacy. It’s a gentle, knowing, thoroughly enjoyable (and enjoyed!) laugh in their faces.

And somehow, it leaves me feeling renewed. Because it’s too easy for me, I realize, to become angered, outraged, offput by the actions of the various Police around today, mushrooming as they are. Mr. Logsdon (and others like him) offer delightful reminders that it doesn’t have to be so.

Hell, no. On the contrary, he gives me a friendly nudge as if to twinkle, “You’re free to dance through life even if ‘they’ expect you to cringe and crawl.”

And it occurs to me that the sustained twinkle is a result, and a function, of long practice and of endlessly repeated acquaintance with the tactics of the other side. It’s grace, born of great wisdom, repeated effort, and formidable patience – with a dash of Outlawish aliveness to spice up the mix.

July 29, 2007 at 12:26 pm 3 comments

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