Archive for May, 2006

Hell’s bells…

Scary as hell and inspiring. A priest of a small sect is refusing to play by the fedgov’s disaster rules. And oh, yes, they’ve been making rules for the clergy ever since 9/11, it seems.

This new round is stressing that pastors need to preach subservience to the authorities so the government doesn’t have to deal with the “cowboy mentality” of citizens standing up for their property and Constitutional rights, that the government has had problems with quarantines, martial law, and forced relocations (New Orleans cited as a prime example of “uncooperative citizens”). Pastors are being told that preaching subservience to such seizures and roundups would be “for their own good”. Detention centers (churches designated for long term containment of unruly citizens) have been renamed “community centers” – and isn’t that a travesty of what we Numenists have and do? I resent their subverting perfectly good words to nefarious ends…I think I’ve become a rebel priest. I will not comply with these governmental requirements, nor will I take any oath to support the things we were told, subtley [sic] or overtly, in this seminar. I never took an oath or signed any paperwork to keep silent about these seminars, not in 2002, and not now.

Whoever you are, Ebonypearl, may the grace of spirit be with you, especially when you most need it.

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May 28, 2006 at 8:55 pm 2 comments

Thoughts on Economic “Inevitability”

I just found this wonderful old article by one of my oddball heroes, Gene Logsdon – also known as The Contrary Farmer.

Just this morning I heard a nationally renowned agricultural economist on the radio make a prediction that I have a hunch will embarrass him greatly if he lives long enough. (Perhaps all our attempts at predicting the future would embarrass us if we lived long enough.) He said that an agriculture of huge grain farms and huge animal factories was "inevitable." He did not state that observation as his opinion, but as a fact that sentimental old fools like me had better get used to. He also seemed to think that inevitable carried with it the notion of forever.

Logsdon writes a lot about the fields of home. He himself wandered out into the wide world for decades before returning to the place of his boyhood to farm. And this piece vibrates with the resulting warmth, and uncanny, slightly surprising wisdom I always associate with him.

Thanks, Mr. Logsdon.

May 18, 2006 at 10:35 pm 2 comments

Brits to be Forced to Hand Over Encryption Keys

GodDAMN. The police state encroacheth more heavily and deeply by the day.

Sunni, thank you for keeping it real by quoting this lovely, passionate passage from Bruce Schneier:

We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We are not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private places for reflection or conversation. We keep private journals, sing in the privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a basic human need. ….

For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.

We canNOT allow the f*cking statists to have their way and their kind of world.

May 18, 2006 at 10:27 pm Leave a comment

Google/Blogspot blocking proxy access

For the past week or so, maybe longer, I get a "503 – Connect failed" message every time I try to connect to a Blogspot.com blog through my SSH proxy.

I'd had this issue in the past, and then it seemed to go away. But now it's back, and I can't read Lewlew's or Morrigan's or Jefftoo's blogs – or any others hosted on Blogspot.com. (Including my own.)

Well, after going to the source (Doh!), I realized that this is an across the board issue between Blogspot and my proxy provider. Here's what I found.

The good folks at Cotse.com and Cotse.net, in mulling over this dilemma, don't seem to be considering that perhaps Google (owner of Blogspot, and with whom they're having other issues) ain't interested in receiving connections from computers they can't catalog and trace back.

Looks like I might need to create some alternatives for my blog activities. Odd, that today I'm able to sign in at Blogger.com through my proxy. I guess it's only the blog readers they're tracking – for the moment.

If you use Blogspot, whether to blog or to read, Cotse asks you to contact the Blogspot people to request that they remedy the situation. If you do blog there, you might be missing out on readership because of this issue.

Update – June 5, 2006:  Cotse.net reports that Blogger/Google has finally unblocked their pages to users of Cotse's proxy surfing services. No comment, explanation, or apology was made.  Cotse expressed thanks to the Electronic Freedom Foundation for offering to help find a solution.

May 17, 2006 at 8:46 am 2 comments

“Opting out en masse”

What a refreshingly alive attitude from this Shenandoah Valley organic farmer, profiled in Mother Jones! (Thanks to Strike the Root for the article.)

Farmer Joel Salatin says, in very small part:

“We don’t have to beat [the corporate food industry],” Joel patiently explained. “I’m not even sure we should try. We don’t need a law against McDonald’s or a law against slaughterhouse abuse—we ask for too much salvation by legislation. All we need to do is empower individuals with the right philosophy and the right information to opt out en masse.

“And make no mistake: it’s happening. The mainstream is splitting into smaller and smaller groups of like-minded people. It’s a little like Luther nailing his 95 theses up at Wittenberg. Back then it was the printing press that allowed the Protestants to break off and form their own communities; now it’s the Internet, splintering us into tribes that want to go their own way.”

Food (yes, pun intended) for thought – worth savoring every bite.

May 5, 2006 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

Defusing with truth

A little scenario that went through my mind yesterday…What if I were sitting somewhere, say alone in a bus station, and a man who looked to be a panhandler asked for money, then, when I said no, threatened to take it from me anyway? Instead of showing fear, or even anger, what if I then said to him, “So, what you’re saying is, you were going to take my money all along? You aren’t a beggar, you’re really a thief, then. Not a very nice thing to be.”

And what if this unexpected reaction from his “victim” made him sit back for a minute and think? True, he could respond with anger and lash out with violence. But I had to wonder if maybe the act of naming his actions as thievery might give him pause, enough that he might think, “Hey, it isn’t nice to be a thief, and I like to think or at least pretend that I’m a nice person, so maybe I shouldn’t take this woman’s money.” I just wonder if this approach might work more often than one would suspect nowadays, even given the violence that seems so widespread. And maybe the power of simple honesty, plus the fact of connection on a human level (even through disapproval), could cause a shift in the atmosphere.

Here’s another deeper thought – what if the thief is really something of a child still, and feels an odd comfort at the reproach, and a certain affection for the person delivering it? Like having a wise old grandma who sets reasonable boundaries and standards of moral behavior for her grandkids. Psychology seems to be telling us nowadays that children do better in structured environments with gradual increases in freedom as they show they can be trusted with it. Does this mean that criminals are generally operating at a child’s level? “I want something, and I’ll have it, even if it means being a bully to get it”?

And what does this say about people who aren’t bullies? Who don’t need or want or appreciate others setting boundaries for them? Again, is it a question of intelligence? Does intelligence mean that one accepts the need for responsibility, and is willing to accept it as the price of freedom? And what about people who don’t care to do the boundary-setting for others, either?

It occurs to me that the man would be much more likely to show this sort of docility if he’s not armed and neither am I. If he were a bureaucrat, though, I’d have to catch him alone without his goons at his elbow to enforce his every word, before he’d even hear one of mine.

May 4, 2006 at 10:18 am Leave a comment

“wholly sundered from the obscene and baleful…”

It’s fascinating (but not really surprising) how many items I find end up being so relevant to both this blog and my other, The Freedom Outlaw. (Ed. note: The Freedom Outlaw and The Gulcher’s Life blogs have been moved from Blogspot to, and merged here at, WordPress.)

The other day, I posted this on TFO:

Tax protester extraordinaire David Gross has established a page on his website devoted to Henry David Thoreau’s Slavery in Massachusetts, written in 1854. It’s a passionate piece and a great read.

But, as I read more deeply into the Thoreau essay, I found the conclusion to be a beautifully-written statement of the gulcher’s mindset:

I am surprised that the man whom I just met on horseback should be so earnest to overtake his newly bought cows running away — since all property is insecure, and if they do not run away again, they may be taken away from him when he gets them. Fool! does he not know that his seed-corn is worth less this year — that all beneficent harvests fail as you approach the empire of hell? No prudent man will build a stone house under these circumstances, or engage in any peaceful enterprise which it requires a long time to accomplish. Art is as long as ever, but life is more interrupted and less available for a man’s proper pursuits. It is not an era of repose. We have used up all our inherited freedom. If we would save our lives, we must fight for them.

I walk toward one of our ponds; but what signifies the beauty of nature when men are base? We walk to lakes to see our serenity reflected in them; when we are not serene, we go not to them. Who can be serene in a country where both the rulers and the ruled are without principle? The remembrance of my country spoils my walk. My thoughts are murder to the State, and involuntarily go plotting against her.

But it chanced the other day that I scented a white water-lily, and a season I had waited for had arrived. It is the emblem of purity. It bursts up so pure and fair to the eye, and so sweet to the scent, as if to show us what purity and sweetness reside in, and can be extracted from, the slime and muck of earth. I think I have plucked the first one that has opened for a mile. What confirmation of our hopes is in the fragrance of this flower! I shall not so soon despair of the world for it, notwithstanding slavery, and the cowardice and want of principle of Northern men. It suggests what kind of laws have prevailed longest and widest, and still prevail, and that the time may come when man’s deeds will smell as sweet. Such is the odor which the plant emits. If Nature can compound this fragrance still annually, I shall believe her still young and full of vigor, her integrity and genius unimpaired, and that there is virtue even in man, too, who is fitted to perceive and love it. It reminds me that Nature has been partner to no Missouri Compromise. I scent no compromise in the fragrance of the water-lily. It is not a Nymphaea Douglasii (ed. note: believed to be a reference to 1850s politician Stephen A. Douglas).

In it, the sweet, and pure, and innocent are wholly sundered from the obscene and baleful. I do not scent in this the time-serving irresolution of a Massachusetts Governor, nor of a Boston Mayor. So behave that the odor of your actions may enhance the general sweetness of the atmosphere, that when we behold or scent a flower, we may not be reminded how inconsistent your deeds are with it; for all odor is but one form of advertisement of a moral quality, and if fair actions had not been performed, the lily would not smell sweet. The foul slime stands for the sloth and vice of man, the decay of humanity; the fragrant flower that springs from it, for the purity and courage which are immortal.

May 4, 2006 at 9:15 am Leave a comment

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