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

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