Category: Big Picture


I’ve just sent in a resume for a position with a national rural-life organization, and while I was writing the cover letter, I thought of Jefferson and Washington. How they loved their farming pursuits and their lands. (I’m leaving aside the slavery question at the moment, but it’s never far from my mind.)

Jefferson, for instance, with all his legendary bookishness, loved to experiment at Monticello with varieties of peas, his favorite vegetable, to see how well they’d grow in his soil, when they would ripen, how they tasted. He also introduced viticulture to the United States. He kept copious notes over years and must have learned a great deal.

And Washington, who vastly preferred the life of a gentleman farmer over that of a politician, enjoyed using his ingenuity to develop a plow that would cut effectively through his pebbly, tough soil. He also designed a 16-sided threshing barn with a grooved floor through which the grains of wheat would fall after horses’ hooves worked them out of their hulls. In the barn cellar, slaves would then gather and sack the grain.

These two men of the world, of accomplishment and experience, dearly loved the land. I think they had a bond with it that many of us today have never known: Continue reading

Here’s an essay I wrote a few years ago. Thought you might like it. 🙂

Rosa Parks Redux

For much of the time I worked as a D.C. tour guide, I lived downtown, and — thanks to Washington’s clean, convenient Metrorail subway — didn’t actually need a car to get where I needed to go. On the other hand, one difficulty that we guides often faced (until recently) was early meeting times on the weekends, when the Metrorail didn’t open until 8:00 a.m.. (It was one of our pet peeves, and you bet we loved to gripe about it amongst ourselves!)

Thus it happened one Saturday morning, several years ago, that I needed to take a city bus to get to my meeting point by 8:00. I can’t recall now just where I was headed –- somewhere in Georgetown, I think — but I walked five blocks to Independence Avenue and caught the even 30’s bus line toward the northwestern end of town.

For 7:15 on a Saturday morning, it seemed to me that quite a lot of people were aboard, and there was no seat available anywhere in the bus. So I squeezed Continue reading

Just a little post, and overdue, for which I apologize. I don’t know why I didn’t think to give thanks and credit to you sooner, my darling friend lewlew!

It’s because of a great conversation with you that I found the right name for this new/renewed blog. You willingly listened to my initial idea for a bloggy name, and you liked it and told me why. It was a name that hummed of doing one’s work daily, of staying practical and focused and simple. I liked it for that reason. I need reminders to keep on keeping on, put my shoulder to the wheel and all that.

But you knew I wasn’t quite certain. And you probed gently, wondering why not. In doing so you showed me what it was that was missing for me: a sense of charm, excitement, and freedom along with the “doing.” A touch of practical magic, you might say.

You reminded me that this is the combination that has brought good work out of me before. Like when I did my guest editor gig at Strike the Root: I wanted to offer suggestions for living in greater individual freedom now, not ceaselessly analyzing and debating politics and economics as so many “libertarians” were doing. (Have you noticed, by the way, how the picks at LewRockwell.com have become much more focused lately on how individuals can do freedom?)

And when I first started this blog under the title The Freedom Outlaw, it was the same kind of happy, “sparkly” sense of life that drove me, or led me, or both. Your sweet, savvy presence reminded me that this was so.

I just wanted to send you warm thanks, lewlew, for helping me find my way to a name, a theme, that rings true and clear in me. It is a name I want to live up to, just as you are a friend I aspire to deserve.

It’s messed up that a town meeting would even see the need to debate and legislate the right to choose one’s own nourishment…the very stuff that makes up our bodies.

But, welcome to fascist la-la land, aka modern-day America. Go Sedgwick!

My thanks to Kevin at Cryptogon for the link.

From Claire Wolfe, a good thoughtful read.

Funny how so often we see strength where there really is none. The globe-topping ruler? He doesn’t feel safe until he imagines he’s controlling the actions of everybody else. That’s one funny kind of “strength.” The strongest guy in the world is probably writing poetry or building a log cabin somewhere, unheard-of and unheralded because he doesn’t need anybody feeding his ego.

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 people.  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 Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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: Continue reading

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: Continue reading