Monday, July 18, 2016

"The People's Liberty" - Part The First

A series on The Constitution of the State of New Hampshire, its origins and its restraints upon government. Presented by NH State Representative Dan Itse, at Murphy's Taproom, Manchester, NH, 7/11/2016.



Monday, July 11, 2016

NHLA 2016 Liberty Dinner

The New Hampshire Liberty Alliance convened at Manchester's Derryfield Restaurant for the NHLA's 2016 Liberty Dinner. Celebrated this night were the annual Legislator of the Year and Activist of the Year award winners, and several other awards, as well as the unveiling of the 2016 Liberty Ratings, the legislative scorecard for all NH House and Senate members.

The speaker for the evening was CIA whistleblower, John Kiriakou.
"We are pleased to announce that the famous John Kiriakou will be speaking at this year's Liberty Dinner! John Kiriakou is an Institute for Policy Studies associate fellow. Kiriakou is a former CIA officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former counterterrorism consultant for ABC News. He was responsible for the capture in Pakistan in 2002 of Abu Zubaydah, then believed to be the third-ranking official in al-Qaeda. In 2007, Kiriakou blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program, telling ABC News that the CIA tortured prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that the policy had been approved by then-President George W. Bush. He became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act — a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of the revelation.

In 2012, Kiriakou was honored with the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, an award given to individuals who “advance truth and justice despite the personal risk it creates,” and by the inclusion of his portrait in artist Robert Shetterly’s series Americans Who Tell the Truth, which features notable truth-tellers throughout American history. He was later named “Peacemaker of the Year” by the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, California. He won the PEN Center USA’s prestigious First Amendment Award in 2015 and is the author of The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror."








Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"OK, We Agree To Not Hurt You MORE Than We Do Now"

Say thank you.

There's incrementalism and legitimate (preferably temporary) tactical compromise in the fight to regain individual liberty, and there's abject capitulation to authoritarianism. Essentially bargaining to retain merely the status quo. In this case, an unauthorized, immoral and ridiculously expensive in both blood and treasure -- to say nothing of simply empirically appallingly failed in its stated mission -- status quo, that satisfies nothing but "Big Pharma" and the police and prison unions, accomplishes nothing but to protect their profits, at your wallet's and your liberty's expense. Guess which is on display here?

When the 2 chambers (House and Senate) of NH's Legislative Branch -- the General Court -- pass differing versions of the same bill, and the 2 chambers can't agree on one of them, they can approve what's known as a Committee of Conference, where "leadership"-selected delegates from the 2 bodies meet to try to hammer out a compromise version that will be satisfactory to their peers.

This is such a Committee of Conference, 5/24/2016, regarding this session's edition of NH's mind-numbingly unremitting marijuana "decrim" dance. Not "legalization," mind you, which nevertheless sports approval of almost two thirds of the electorate. No, merely lessening the penalties -- supported by more than 70% (how's that for "representative government"?) -- that servant-government-with-no-lawfully-delegated-prohibition-authority-to-begin-with can rain down on your head for the defiant temerity of preferring a (safer) drug that it DOESN'T sell on the side of the highway. (You can find the Senate hearing on the House's original and typically overwhelmingly-passed 2016 'decrim' bill here.)

What we come away with, in startlingly record time, is a "compromise" that they won't, in fact, increase fines, as the Senate contingent magnanimously agrees not to get even tougher on peaceful people harming no one. The House's "actual decrim" version was never even proposed; that body's contingent certainly made no effort to make the proceedings at all uncomfortable for the Senate's devout prohibitionists. Busy day, busy day...

This Kabuki is preceded by (most of -- oopsie) a news conference directed by Marijuana Policy Project's New England Political Director Matt Simon that itself lasts about 10 times longer and is, as is sadly to be expected, far more informative, rational and fact-rich than the Committee's clearly preordained "deliberations".

This election season, make your directions clear to those who would presume to "represent" you. The Carsons and Forresters and  Hosmers and Hassans and assorted other authoritarians and blind prohibitionists of this world who purport to own you need to be sent off to find less harmful things to do.

Press



Thursday, April 14, 2016

No, Actually: Let It Begin HERE

What? Where? The Pine Tree Riot? One of the first acts of rebellion by the American colonists? Yeah, you know Weare...


"We would love to have you join us as we commemorate one of the earliest acts of American resistance against British tyranny. Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire will celebrate the 244th anniversary of the Pine Tree Riot which occurred in 1772 in Weare, New Hampshire.

Long a symbol of centralized government overreach, the Pine Tree Riot was a testament to the spirit of independence, freedom, and the New Hampshire way of life. Therefore, it is fitting that the celebration of the anniversary of the spark of the American Revolution takes place during the same week as the day Americans are forced to hand over their hard earned money to an overgrown federal government.

Be a part of a liberty loving community who will hear from distinguished speakers about the importance of standing up for freedom and opposing the encroachments of our rights by an ever-growing government. Refreshments will be served. The event will begin at 6pm and go until 8pm.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
WHERE: Weare Town Hall Public Meeting - 16 North Stark Highway, Weare, NH 03281

Hope you can join us!"

Sarah Scott
Field Director
Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire

History & Press

Let's raise a very appropriate tankard this day to the very able Ebenezer!

(If you're still struggling, the title refers to Captain John Parker's orders to his company of militiamen at the Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775: "Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.")



Monday, April 11, 2016

adventures in the apiary: the inception

It was mid-40s and calm for hiving our first bee package -- 3lbs, 10k bees (Carniolan queen), 8-frame Langstroth (a Flow Hive, actually, although that's an entirely irrelevant distinction until the last honey super goes on) -- mid Saturday afternoon, 4/9/2016. Lower mortality in shipping than I'd anticipated, really.


New JZBZ plastic queen cages, it turns out, while I was prepared to deal with the traditional ones. Only way I could get it not to fall (without spending a whole lot of time cogitating on it real-time in less than ideal temps) was to put a toothpick through it, and let it hang candy-end-down from the top of the frames. No attendants in there with her, but could still be dangerous. Not pleased. Drawn comb should hold it up, but I ain't got none o' that yet, so...  When I have some more time to inspect it after removal, a better solution may well present itself for next time. (It would seem that the additional step of then setting the tube on top of another toothpick should work.)

Scout bees took flight fairly quickly. No outside activity by Saturday dusk, not surprisingly, with temps pushing 40° in the wrong direction, but also dead quiet inside, which didn't seem good. Similar Sunday morning, but some scouts and guards eventually ventured out, some disposing of the dead. Still disconcertingly quiet, though.


By dusk Sunday, I could finally hear a very faint buzz emanating from the screened bottom board. Gonna wait until Wednesday, I think (after the next forecasted rain, conveniently), before checking the frame feeder and the troublingly inverted queen cage, and verify that comb is being drawn. Go back again next weekend to first look for eggs...

Btw, I can hear it already, so this video is intended more as instructional than as artistic. Hit the 'gear' icon to speed it up, and quitcher whining...


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

NH 'Decrim' YET EVEN STILL AGAIN

The devout and desperate prohibitionists have moved on, en masse, from hysterical (in both senses) to downright stupid and aggressively (even scientifically) ignorant: 'We're unfamiliar with the difference between correlation and causation, but we just know what's going on here is the one that supports our cause. Which one is that, again? Oh, and we'd love to see harsher ineffective penalties, please...!'

I feel compelled to ask them: Are you on drugs...?!?

HB1631, "relative to penalties for possession of marijuana," a concept -- decriminalization, a mere ramping down of criminal penalties for possession of a plant while harming no one -- again passed recently by the (Republican, notably -- and still the first legislative body in the country ever to pass 'legalization', btw) NH (where, too, a recent poll found 62% support even for full legalization) House, is again sent to the Senate (where it's ultimately died the 6 previous times since 2008 -- many hearings of which can be found here) Judiciary Committee, 4/5/2016.

It has invariably been torpedoed in the past by (generally the mere threat of) a "Democratic" (uh-huh) governor's veto and an all too reliably accommodating Senate -- "honor among thieves," or "professional courtesy," or something. Will they finally recognize that they're the very last recalcitrant police-state authoritarian Drug-Warrior holdouts in New England, and that they do not represent the will of the people -- to say nothing of the liberty spirit of their authorizing charters? Hey, give 'em a shout and ask 'em...

Press
Remember these servants' defiant recalcitrance come November...



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

F*ck the (Female) Nipple!

"Oh noes! Muh feelz...!" Prison and sex offender registry. For exposing nipples. Because that's "reasonable". And rational. Because, too, nipples are exactly as "objectively" horrifying as fornicating in public (which is the Draconian penalty already in the existing statute).

But despite Part First Articles 2 and 22 of the NH Constitution -- they cover "equal protection" and "free speech" -- only a female nipple, mind you, is the object of this, um, heightened scrutiny. Male nipples would still be a-ok -- just since the '30s, though, 'cuz that's allowed to change over time (and even if he's taking hormones to enlarge his breasts, well, as long as he has a penis -- even if you can't see it, can't know that -- there's no problem). But nothing now can change anymore. Societal norms should henceforth be frozen in time. It's for the children, y'see -- who nevertheless see a lot of nipples very early in life, and don't seem traumatized at all -- until they're trained to be. Oh, the humanity...

HB1525-FN, "relative to the circumstances that constitute indecent exposure and lewdness," before your buds and mine, the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 2/29/2016, where you'll hear, at just a bit after the hour mark, a testifying attorney, who understands what the Constitutions protect, matter-of-factly say "fuck the draft" in a public hearing (which still doesn't warrant hysteria equivalent to that engendered by a female nipple, given the serene reaction). Because apparently there's nothing more pressing -- let alone more rights-affirming or less presumptuously patronizingly paternalistic (even from 20-year-old women with confused arguments) -- for them to be doing...

Within 24 hours, the committee had voted unanimously to 'ITL' the bill -- which is its recommendation to the full House to kill it, that degree of consensus on which is rarely ignored...

(sorry for the delay: video editor suddenly decided it wasn't going to play nice with the ancient GPU anymore...)

Press



Saturday, February 13, 2016

Transparency (Nor Reading Comprehension) Ain't Popular

I don't know if something changed in Concord's water, or what, but from the newly inoperable IT system (rendering bill tracking all but impossible -- "intentional?" I hear you ask...) to Medicaid Expansion to backsliding on REAL ID and marijuana legalization to..., it's been a rough early legislative session for liberty lovers in NH. Herewith, for example, the House Criminal Justice Committee's resistive public hearing on HB1546, "permitting the audio recording of a public servant performing a public function," 2/12/2016. Already decided by 'Glik' and 'Gericke' and 'Alleman'. And yes, the bill clearly and explicitly modifies the language in the existing statute to require, rather than the current "all parties," "AT LEAST ONE PARTY TO THE COMMUNICATION." So still no "third party" recording. But your servants are bashful, so...

Whose privacy is the -- "at all times accountable," according to Part First Article 8 of the NH Constitution, remember -- protecting if the only other person who can record him is the taxpayer he's currently lying to...?


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The End of the Beginning

At a press conference on 2/3/2016 in Manchester, NH, Free State Project principals Matt Philips, Jason Sorens and Carla Gericke announce the completion of the first "deliverable": the 20,000th signer of the FSP's Statement of Intent, thus "Triggering the Move." Now comes the fun part. Minus the "Early Mover" cachet (let's be fair), it's not too late to join in, y'know. But if ya need more convincing, 101 Reasons: Liberty Lives in New Hampshire.
As of today, The Free State Project is the most successful intentional migration movement in American history. This is because today the organization has announced that 20,000 participants have signed the Statement of Intent to move to New Hampshire, where they will “exert their fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty and property.”
The 20,000 mark is significant, because it ‘triggers the move’ – the mass migration of the Free State Project participants who have all agreed to move to New Hampshire within the next five years. So far, almost 2,000 have already relocated to the state.
“In the last few months, using various social media targeting tools, we expanded our audience and a significant number of new people signed the pledge,” says Carla Gericke, President of the Free State Project. “Early movers have already made their mark on the Granite State by passing life-saving drug reform legislation, expanding school choice and protecting first amendment rights – this has drawn in a whole new crowd of participants. Just imagine what can be accomplished with 10 times as many people.”
Since the first early movers flocked to New Hampshire, Free State Project participants have followed their individual passions to the center of some of the state’s most contentious political fights. They were instrumental in organizing resistance to Real ID in 2008, legalizing same-sex marriage through the legislature in 2009, and establishing a medical cannabis program in 2013.
The Free State Project started in 2001 with an essay by Jason Sorens, who was then a graduate student at Yale. Sorens, who is now a lecturer at Dartmouth College, theorized that if 20,000 committed activists moved to a single state with a small enough population, they could push policy and culture in a more free, open direction. In 2003, early participants chose New Hampshire as the state to migrate to. Now that the move has been triggered, the Free State Project will continue the effort to attract more participants, and inspire signers to move to the Live Free or Die state sooner rather than later.
"I'm thrilled by how far the Free State Project has come since the essay I wrote 15 years ago. Freedom lovers from around the country have turned concept into reality by moving to New Hampshire and building all kinds of exciting efforts to secure liberty and prosperity for all--efforts I could never have imagined back in 2001. Good ideas are powerful, and the idea of freedom is spurring many thousands of Americans to commit to move to the Granite State for a better life."
This news comes on the heels of the announcement that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will be the headline speaker at the Free State Project’s 9th annual Liberty Forum, held in Manchester, New Hampshire from February 18-21.
“This is the culmination of over a decade of grassroots and volunteer work, and I am thrilled to be announcing that the Free State Project has surpassed the 20,000 signer mark,” says Gericke. “Early movers are bringing their businesses, families and charities with them to New Hampshire – not to mention disposable income. So far we’ve purchased more than $30 million in real estate alone, and I can’t wait to see what kind of larger impact will be made as a result of individual efforts within this growing and thriving community.”
The Free State Project will hold a press conference to announce this news at 11AM on February 3 in the Frost Room of the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH. If you’d like to reserve a media pass for the press conference, or want to interview Carla Gericke or Jason Sorens, please contact Brinck Slattery at brinck(at)contentfac(dot)com or at (603) 703-2846.
Press

Friday, October 16, 2015

Is Religion a Matter For the State To Define?

Or is the State the reason religious liberty is explicitly protected -- from the State -- in the first place? And yet, here we are, 10/15/2015, asking the State to rule on the State's authority. To quote a different favorite cultural reference (and seriously, nobody's isolated Jubal Early...?), "Does that seem right to you...?" As the Concord Monitor article starts out...
"A 5-year-old, nontheistic religion founded in New Hampshire – unusually characterized by its reverence for sword fighting and its meeting place, a Concord bar – argued its case for a property tax exemption before the state’s Supreme Court on Thursday.

The leaders of the Church of the Sword said they were treated unfairly when a Westmoreland home owned by the church and occupied by a pastor was denied tax-exempt status last year. They said it should qualify as a 'parsonage' under state law.

In March, their appeal to the Cheshire County Superior Court was dismissed. The court issued an opinion stating the Church of the Sword 'is neither religious nor a church,' but rather it 'is clearly a social organization that uses religious vocabulary to describe its practices' and that its doctrines 'are far more related to politics and self-improvement than to religion.'

By taking the case to the Supreme Court, the libertarian activists and Free State Project members who comprise church leadership brought themselves to the fore of a trend in the state. At least three newly created churches with Free State Project ties have sought tax exemption in varied court cases in 2014 and 2015. ..."
Sorry, Silas. To riff further on "The Big Lebowski," anarchism and nihilism are not the same thing (yet even the nihilists chose to belong to a group)...

Press