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.

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)...


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Aggression Kills"

Now, ain't that a revelation. Keynote speaker Dr. Mary Ruwart, author of "Healing Our World," addresses the assemblage at the NH Liberty Alliance's 2015 Liberty Dinner.

But first, the legislative year in review and presentation of awards for Activist of the Year and Legislator(s, sorta, and historically so) of the Year.

Complete NHLA 2015 Liberty Rating here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weare PD: As Consistent As They Wanna Be

Except that consistency, per se, provides us no useful insight whatsoever into the thus allegedly consistently produced quality, now does it?

According to our own Weare Community News:
A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) will visit Weare on April 6 to examine all aspects of the Weare Police Department’s policy and procedures, management, operations, and support services. ...

As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session that Monday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m.  in the Weare Public Safety Complex Training Room at 144 North Stark Highway, Weare.
Do allow your humble chronicler to synopsize the evening's agenda items: "We are The Accreditors. Any questions? Great! Drive safely!" Not quite the "public role" one might have been excused for expecting, no?

This appears to be the local arm of the accrediting cartel. My understanding is that, much like ISO9000, this certification merely confirms that a consistent process is in place, not that that process is actually effective or lawful (as opposed to merely and ostensibly "legal") or desirable, or anything.

And I suspect contrary to Rep. Kurk's hopeful assessment, Weare taxpayers will be paying regardless of the outcome. But they get a plaque an' everything. Hey, what if we made the cops pay for it, themselves? Betcha it suddenly wouldn't be quite so important then, eh...?


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Citizen Brings Pot To Senate Pot Hearing

Doesn't get arrested. Chaos doesn't ensue. Society doesn't collapse. Nobody -- not even a dog -- dies. Seriously, check it out. HB618, "relative to penalties for the possession of marijuana" -- decrim -- barrels into the NH Senate Judiciary Committee, 4/7/2015. The House passed 'decrim' (yet again) last month.

The prohibitionists, clearly again terrified, are careening headlong toward Crazy Town...

(Ok, his testimony starts at about 54:30...)


NH Police Chiefs and NH Dept of Safety Part Ways

Who saw that coming...? The reliably recalcitrant and defiantly authoritarian NH Association of Chiefs of Police and the evidently not-always-quite-so-much NH Department of Safety break ranks on not arresting people who help an overdose victim. HB270, "granting immunity from criminal prosecution to a person who reports a drug related emergency," before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 4/7/2015.

'Course, representing the chiefs is the always entertaining Chief Crate, and I'm never completely certain that he's not intentionally doing a subtle and satiric form of social commentary. See if you can tell...


Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Having cleared the NH House handily in mid-March again (and again), the Senate Judiciary Committee now takes up HB494, "relative to industrial hemp as a controlled substance," 4/7/2015.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Words -- And Punctuation -- Mean Things

SB116, "repealing the license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver," having cleared the NH Senate, is now before the House Criminal Justice Committee, 3/24/2015. The House's own version, HB582, has been retained by the same House committee.

Oh, and do yourself a joyous favor, and catch Ian Underwood's testimony at about the 49:00 minute mark. He renders an argument I make constantly, myself, generally in the broader context -- although never so eloquently. And not like he hasn't done it before...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

No Means No, DHS. Piss Off, Already.

The NH Senate Transportation Committee hears public testimony on SB262, "relative to the form of drivers' licenses and identification cards," 3/3/2015. The third NH coming of the seemingly-impossible-to-kill-actually-dead REAL ID Act.

Word is that they "Exec'd" the bill (voted on the committee's recommendation to the full Senate) before I'd even gotten home: "Inexpedient to Legislate." Evidently, at least some of the committee must remember the very public opposition to REAL ID back when we got the ban passed that this bill is trying to repeal -- for your convenience, citizen. Yeah, I wouldn't want to be on the pointy end of that, either...