Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Truth in Advertising


You wouldn't buy our shitty cars.
So we'll be taking your money anyway.
The Bailout. Coming this January.


You probably thought it was smart to buy a foreign import of superior quality, with better mileage and resale value. Maybe you even thought that years of market share loss might prod us into rethinking our process and redesigning our products with better quality in mind. But you forgot one thing: We spend a shitload of money on lobbyists. So now you're out $25 billion, plus the cost of your Subaru. Maybe next time you'll buy American like a real man. Either way, we're cool.


We're The Big Three. We Don't Need to Compete.™



(If anyone knows where this came from originally, I'd love to be able to link to it...)


EDIT 1/30/2009
Bill McGonigle reports in the Comments that this is a likely source.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Constitutional Peasants

The official Monty Python channel is here!



But surely such "hereditary monarchies" are far from our concern, no...?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

AIP VC DC @ MI's TNASC

Being a fairly contemplative and conversational conference, this was about as close to a YouTube (ok, blip.tv) soundbite as the Middlebury Institute's Third North American Secession Convention provided. Herewith, the opening address -- including the "Sarah Palin Story" -- of Dexter Clark, Vice Chair of the Alaska Independence Party. Manchester, NH, 11/15/2008. Dude. Clark is one major hot shit...

EDIT: Convention write-up at Free State Observer
AND: The Manchester Declaration, Adopted at the Third North American Secessionist Convention, November 15, 2008, Manchester, NH


Or once Blip has finally gone missing, try the archive.org copy...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Heller, vonBreichenruchardt, and 'Capitol Access' TV

Everymen Dick Heller and Dane vonBreichenruchardt (of "Heller vs. DC" fame) sit down for a chat with Denis Goddard, co-host of 'Capitol Access,' 10/25/2008



Or once Blip has finally gone missing, try the archive.org copy...

Heller, vonBreichenruchardt, and the LPNH

Everymen Dick Heller and Dane vonBreichenruchardt (of "Heller vs. DC" fame) address the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire at its 2008 Convention, 10/25/2008



Or once Blip has finally gone missing, try the archive.org copy...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Two Must-See John Stossel Efforts

Compiled by 2 (I flatter myself) fellow bloggers, on whom you might wish to keep an eye...

John Stossel for President please. Daily Wise Man
(Also available on ABC's 20/20 site, under "John Stossel's Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics," or here in one video)

John Stossel Goes to Washington

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Curfew Protest #2 & Outlaw Puppet Theater #5

Dave Ridley & pals again ratchet up their civil disobedience in Manchester, NH, violating (at least) 5 laws ostensibly in place "for their own good." In turn, the local constabulary, helpfully forewarned in writing of the late-night noncompliance by the aforementioned Mr. Ridley, once again ignore their duty, and empirically refuse to "protect" them. Chaos, once again, ensues. Why is this stuff the law if it doesn't need to be enforced? 9/23/2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mad as... A Hatter?

The GOP partisans extolling Sarah Palin as the future of the Republican Party conveniently forget that that party has been, for the past 18 months, actively demonizing the philosophy they now maintain she represents. If she represented a future toward which the GOP actually wanted to move, it could have had Ron Paul now.

But it clearly, passionately doesn't want him. Hell, it wouldn't even let him speak at their convention. And it equally doesn't want the Sarah Palin of legend in any position of real power. Her advertised politics will not be allowed to survive intact beyond an impotent (Cheney notwithstanding) VP slot. If she is to become a leader of the party, she must be transformed. She will be assimilated. Right now, at best, she's just an ephemeral bone, a tantalizing but false mirage, a siren's song. And that's hardly anything to get excited about. I've no doubt the GOP as currently constituted -- the GOP of Bush and Cheney and McCain and the rest of the big-government neocon powerbrokers -- is determined to prevail. They've spent the last year-and-a-half proving that.

The Constitution will lose, regardless of which of the 2 parties that we're "allowed" wins in November. There's not a dime's worth of difference among the Demoblicans, who have no interest in endowed individual liberty, Constitutionally limited government and the rule of law; who pick and choose the Constitutional restrictions by which they'll abide, a number that is rapidly approaching zero. We need a better way. Soon. We need our guaranteed Republic back. And the 2 major parties will never, ever "grant" that. Indeed, there exists a negative incentive.

But we're stuck with the government we have only as long as we accept it telling us that we have no other choice. "Lesser of demonstrable evils" is still evil, and I will no longer (haven't for a while) willingly facilitate their continuous and escalating degradation of my freedom. And if everybody who believed the same way actually did the same, the problem would be solved. That's why I'm (still) writing in Ron Paul in November.

My point, though, is really more precisely to take heed of George Washington's Farewell Address and eschew, at least, the self-serving 2-party system. Don't fall for the "wasted vote" canard. Sure, I'd love to convince everyone to write in Ron, too, but it's more important that we all just fundamentally reject The Powers That Be. Stop taking their nakedly worthless word. Vote for Ron Paul or Bob Barr or Chuck Baldwin or Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney or George Phillies or even NOTA or... Anyone not anointed by our corporate government.

Tell them you're mad as hell and you're not gonna take it anymore. If you don't, it will definitely never matter to them. And it's true, isn't it?

What if a plurality actually voted for "Not a Demoblican?" Hmmm...?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Curfew Protest & Outlaw Puppet Theater #4

Rogue Puppeteer Dave Ridley prefaces his 4th illegal performance by leading an early-morning park beautification project to protest recently heightened enforcement of Manchester, NH's overnight parks curfew, 9/5/2008. No squirrels were harmed...

Read the back story here and here.

And here's the Union Leader article & video on the protest.

Follow updates on the forum at NHFree.com.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On "voting" for Supreme Court Justices

The Declaration of Independence is our "mission statement." The Constitution was subsequently written -- and thus our government created -- within that context. "This is what we believe. This is what's currently wrong. Now, here's the limited servant government we create to address all that for ourselves." They are inextricably linked. The latter is wholly justified within the former, written specifically to address the beliefs and issues enumerated, and -- one might hope, umm, self-evidently -- not to contradict them.

"ALL men" — not just "citizens," which didn't exist when that was written — are endowed with "certain unalienable rights." Says so right there. "That to secure these rights, Governments [plural and generic, and again, written prior to the creation -- or really any realistic hope thereof -- of ours] are instituted among Men [not just residents of the Colonies], deriving their just powers from the consent of the [respective] governed," with the explicit purpose of protecting those pre-existing rights.

Whether these consenting "Men's" respective governments recognize them or not (or whether our government has the authority to impose them by force on other jurisdictions through the fascistic military-industrial complex with forcibly stolen and inflated taxpayer dollars) is an entirely different matter, but ours is required to recognize them within its jurisdiction as an expressed condition of its creation: "That whenever any [not just ours] Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it." "Ends" being securing these rights for all consensually governed men. To repeat, when within the jurisdiction of our government — which was established with the clear understanding that it would HONOR those rights — "all men" RETAIN those rights.

When the Founders meant "citizen," they said "citizen." They believed -- rightly, I trust we agree -- that rights exist whether the revolution succeeded and their preferred government was formed – whether they were “citizens” -- or not. Rights pre-exist, and are independent of any government. "All men are created equal," endowed with rights, and therefore "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted." The word “citizen” occurs only once in the Declaration (and notably, referring to a different government), with the very first mention in the Constitution (which created our current government) being right up top in Article 1, Section 2, where it stipulates that one simply may not participate in the government (not merely enjoy the people’s inherent liberty – not to be confused with "entitlements," of course – that it's intended to protect) unless one is a citizen. They were perfectly aware of the word, and used it where they meant to. They didn't use "citizen" in, say, the 4th Amendment. If you want it to say "citizen," you must amend the Constitution.

If our government does not declare war (and Dr. Paul gave them a clear opportunity, which they notably declined to take), then there can be no (endless) PRISONERS of (an endless) war. Can't have it both ways. That rules out military processes for dealing with these detainees, leaving us with civil, and habeas corpus must apply, just as it must to the subset of "all men" known as "citizens." To "all men" within our government's jurisdiction. What's so threatening about them having their day in court, anyway? What is it we don’t want to hear? Or perhaps more concerning, what is it our GOVERNMENT doesn't want us to hear?

If one prefers the military process, there is a solution, but it's not to pretend that the "ALL men" precondition to the creation of our government doesn't exist. Because there's always a persecuted whimsical subset of "all men," even of "all citizens" — perhaps even intentionally artificially created — to which any one of us can belong, and that 5 in robes can rule. Or just one in a Texas jester cap, for that matter. If King George unilaterally decides to declare you an "enemy combatant" in a perpetual war, with no access to courts or counsel -- ever -- how will you prove otherwise (as if the burden of proof should actually be on you)? Buh-bye, now...

Personally, I'd prefer not having to cope with figuring out what all those subsets could be at any given time. Best just to adhere to the rule of law. "All men." Either we abide by the Constitution -- and the "mission statement" that underlies it -- or we don't. But then, "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends..."

Anyway, I see and hear admonitions increasing (again) that voting for one or the other major-party candidate (somehow there's never any other "valid" option) is the only way to save this or that right through their anticipated Supreme Court appointments. This is missing the forest for (equivalently important) selective trees.

The sad truth is that the very same justices who got habeas corpus right, got Heller wrong. And the exact same 4 who got Heller right, got habeas wrong. Only Justice Kennedy managed to apply first principles consistently on the two landmark decisions, both of which thus barely upheld clear Constitutional principles by the absolute slimmest of margins. (My thoughts on Heller are here.)

Habeas Corpus Decision
Pro-liberty
John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter, Anthony Kennedy
Anti-liberty
Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito

Heller Decision
Pro-liberty
Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy
Anti-liberty
John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter

Until our "leaders" stop learning their reading comprehension skills in government schools -- or until we take George Washington's advice, and eschew political parties and vote only for principle, in which case the "Demoblicans" (I do like that one: it's got "mob" right in it) would be gone right quick -- "We the People" are screwed either way.

The upshot, ironically enough, is that ya might as well vote for principle. And if everyone would...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mr. Marvin goes to town

Ryan Marvin, et al, take a meeting with Manchester, NH, Mayor Frank Guinta on the topic of the Manchester police department's repeated overreaction to the peaceful exercise of Constitutional rights, 7/16/2008.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

To Heller in a handbasket

U.S. Constitution: Second Amendment
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


The ill-considered, Constitutionally inconsistent, downright nonsensical rantings of the lunatic statists, particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court's Heller decision on the D.C. gun ban, prompted me to collect some of my thoughts on their various hysteri-- er... historical arguments:

** There was no such contemporary thing as firearm registration or licensure at the time of the Revolution. Such infringements on inherent rights would have been considered "unreasonable" restrictions had they even occured to the Founders. Indeed, they would likely have precipitated a revolution.

** The Bill of Rights' exclusive intent was to protect individual rights (considered to be necessary because the States expected the concepts addressed in the 9th and 10th [arguably the one expanded exception, but we'll get to that in a moment] Amendments to be ignored even then), by enumerating merely a few unalienable examples.

** Everywhere else it's used in the BoR (1st, 4th, 9th, 10th), "the people" refers to individuals, not to "the collective." Indeed, the 10th Amendment draws a very clear distinction between government (explicitly broken down even further into federal and state) and "the people." "The people" is most decidedly not "the state."

** "The militia" referred to all able-bodied men & boys, not to government military, the reiteration of whose authority was not the subject of the BoR, anyway (being instead the province of the Constitution proper).

** The subordinate clause concedes that since a free society needs occasional defending to remain so -- perhaps even against its own government, the government now claimed to somehow have a "right" to superior arms -- it's indeed in that society's best interest of securing said freedom that its citizens are not forcibly disarmed for the eventuality that their participation is needed. It's offered, yet unnecessary justification for the expressed right, even for the nominal statist.

** What part of the declarative "shall not be infringed" is unclear to even the public school-trained rational mind?

** A total ban has not improved, e.g., D.C.'s violent crime rate. To attempt to argue that to revert to relatively Constitutional pre-prohibition access would somehow result in worse statistics than ever -- without evidence, no less -- is, to be kind, ineffective.

** Perhaps most significantly, the notion that the 2nd Amendment intends that government's right to arms "shall not be infringed" is simply beyond ludicrous. The BoR addresses limitations on government, not authorizations. Additionally, government is expressly granted only "authority" (again, in the Constitution proper, not the BoR). It does not enjoy "rights," let alone of a "protected" variety. Specific, enumerated (oh, if only...) powers are granted to government by "the people," and any of them may be rescinded through the conveniently provided Amendment process (assuming they are, in fact, legitimately granted in the first place, of course, and not simply commandeered, in which case...). So "shall not be infringed" does not -- CANNOT -- refer to government. Any strained alternate interpretation of the 2nd Amendment turns this intended concept on its head, and leaves its advocate wide open to charges of inconsistent reading comprehension. Or a profound preference for unlimited, unopposable government. Just be honest. That's all I'm asking. Well, it's all I can hope for...

** The 2nd Amendment limits the "allowed" relevant tools to those available contemporary with the Constitution as much as does the 1st Amendment. I.e., no cable news free speech, no internet free speech, no religious freedom for Jehovah's Witness, no on-line assembly, no electronic or on-demand publishing. In fact, no electricity.

Better get your Gutenberg press revved up if you wanna keep pontificatin' there, Keith. And somehow I bet you'd be singing a different tune were King George to declare martial law. I can hope, anyway... (btw, between his Heller tirade and his flip-flop on FISA just because Obama did, late June, 2008 is when Olbermann officially jumped the shark as a self-proclaimed defender of the Constitution)

NH State Constitution: Part First, Article 2-a
All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.


Really. How much clearer can it get?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

FIJA Demonstration, and non-arrest

Contrary to portended, a thankfully uneventful midday FIJA
demonstration at the Court House in Concord, NH, 6/18/2008.

Hit these relevant links for further intel on the demonstration and the anticipated arrest of Kat Kanning.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

In Memoriam...

...of the Republic, dead with the 2008 elections. Sure, there likely won't be much of anything particularly earth-shakingly new following it (assuming King George doesn't declare martial law, of course). Simply more "fetid business as usual." It's not like this isn't the direction we've been headed for a while already.

But with the Presidential field now effectively whittled down to 2 not-an-inflated-dime's-worth-of-difference, more-of-the-same authoritarian collectivist choices, it's clear that the electorate is good with the trend, despite Ron Paul's best "Paul Revere" impersonation...

So, planted today, my memorial to the Republic: "Salix alba 'Tristis'," "Salix Niobe." Appropriately, the Golden Weeping Willow.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bush/McCain=McSame, Huck/Clegg=Cluck?

"The greatest threat to classic Republicanism is not liberalism; it's this new brand of libertarianism, which is social liberalism and economic conservatism, but it's a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism..."
Mike Huckabee, 5/2008

Either he's ignorant, or he thinks the voters are. There's no third choice.

"Now the Democrats are beginning to come back to [the] center, and the Republicans are becoming libertarians. We're losing elections in a grand way."
Mike Huckabee, 5/2008

Not 'cause you're "turning libertarian," Huck. Sorry. Oh, if only...

In a May interview in Seattle (original post here, more commentary here), authoritarian theocrat VP hopeful Mike Huckabee saw fit to pontificate on the "cause" of the deeply troubling direction of the Republican Party in recent years. Incomprehensibly, he blamed the electorate's increasing rejection of the neocon-controlled GOP (whatever has taken it so long?) on...

...an unchecked incursion of libertarianism!

As if libertarians were running the joint. As if libertarian philosophy were finding any significant success in the Republican Party of any recent vintage. As if libertarians were actually the ones who've been earnestly and purposefully guiding the GOP into the toilet (how far they've fallen since '94, let alone '70s Reagan, eh?). As if he actually understood libertarian philosophy (or is he really just outright lying?). (BTW, go watch the "Change your life in 8 minutes" video just up there over to the right. That's it. Go ahead. I'll wait...)

Sadly, we're invariably "allowed" only 2 candidates, and the other one, conveniently enough, is always a 'D' (so no one ever has to worry about the distressingly severe handicap of battling a principled opponent). And so they're both completely -- and dishonorably -- free to misrepresent the thereby missing libertarian philosophy with impunity, of course. When they bother to mention it at all, that is. Hillary, say, would sound no less absurd than ol' Huck by asserting the same thing about that other (to be charitable) ethically challenged (theft is wrong, kids, even if you assign someone else to do it -- deal with it), philosophically bankrupt party.

With props to Dale Everett, it's the misdirective "libertarian bogeyman." With props to Joss Whedon, "These libertarians read minds and spin falsehoods! They're witches, and we must purge the devil from them. WITH FIRE!" (Yes, that's a 'Firefly' reference...)



It's instructive -- and heartening, I think -- that Huck apparently considers the libertarian movement so dangerous to the neocons, et al, despite such limited ongoing success. I mean, why say anything? Except to take the heat off oneself, of course (think the harmonized and choreographed "shoot-the-messenger, ignore-the-message" tactics employed, just most recently, against Scott McClellan). A convenient if nonsensical scapegoat. "It's not our fault. It's that guy's!"

Misrepresentation is to be expected from the politically dishonest. But it also requires a deeply cynical assumption that no one will notice the lies getting bigger and more bizarre. Consider the Bush administration. Or a McCain extension thereof. The GOP blaming libertarians for the state of their party is like old white Christians blaming Rastafarians for the abysmal state of our government and our liberty. It just doesn't fly.

So now authoritarian theocrat VP hopeful, The Huckster finds himself back in NH, June 8 and 9, 2008, providing the quid pro quo for retiring State Senator Bob Clegg (he of the vociferous REAL ID support, and free market-overriding, voluntary contract-eradicating "mandatory insurance coverage") in the latter's run for the GOP's 2nd District Congressional nod.

Got any questions...?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Outlaw Puppeteer: 3rd Time's a Charm?

Dave Ridley again attempts the downfall of western civilization, now including enlisting the help of the vulnerable homeless in his dastardly crimes. Wanna guess...? 5/25/2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

HB1582 fires the first shot in the NH House

Ahh, memories. I can't remember if this video had been isolated before, but figured it should be done. This is the House floor debate on HB1582, "prohibiting New Hampshire from participating in a national identification card system," NH's first (ultimately failed, but nevertheless glorious) attempt to opt out of REAL ID, from the afternoon session of 3/8/2006.

It had come out of the House Transportation Committee with a 12-1 ITL (the always euphemistic "Inexpedient To Legislate") recommendation, and was placed on the Consent Calendar (meaning no opposition was expected). Rep. Dickinson removed it from the Consent Calendar (it requires only one sufficiently unaccommodating rep). Rep. Kurk (at 1 min) channeled Patrick Henry. Rep. Giuda (at 13 min) was eloquent. The feeble and submissive arguments against the bill essentially came down to if the feds order it, we just need to bend over and smile, because they're the boss of us. The ITL recommendation was correctly and soundly rejected on a roll call vote of 84-217, and the subsequent OTP ("Ought To Pass") motion was approved by simple voice vote.

The Senate's Public and Municipal Affairs Committee got it next, and actually recommended OTP. But then (queue "Vader" theme), US Sen. Judd Gregg and US Rep. Jeb Bradley both saw fit to interfere with state politics by backdoor, backroom, stealth lobbying of the State Senate, against the demonstrated will of their shared constituents (that's "NH voters," for the, um... central-planning federalist politicians in the audience -- damnit, I'm so sick of these "Royal Governors from D.C."...). 'Course, to their undying ignominy, the Senate did consciously and resolutely choose to side with the Crown over their Constitutional sovereigns.

I mention this largely because if ya haven't heard -- and I just saw his first commercial last night -- ol' Jeb wants to "represent" NH citizens again. If you're in NH's 1st Congressional District, may I strongly recommend John Stephen instead, for both the GOP nomination and the general election.

Anyway, great masses of Praetorian fecal matter interacting with rotary gas transfer equipment ensued, and HB1582 eventually died a painful but very loud death.

Of course, 2007 eventually saw successful passage through a now-resigned (but hardly contrite) Senate of HB1582's successor, HB685, although not without its own share of political machinations.




Google Video version (soon disappearing)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

NH House Education Committee Executive Session on SB337

Golly. I didn't see that coming...

For the "instant gratification" crowd, we were probably half-way into the session before it finally hit me what appeared to be happening. The now-amended bill drops the plan-reporting requirement and creates a study commission, and even that barely earned an OTP recommendation, with an anemic 9-8 vote, 5/6/2008.

This nonsense can still die. Contact your Representatives. Tell 'em SB337 ("relative to home education of children"), even "as amended," still isn't good enough. Scrap the whole thing. Nonexistent problems simply don't need "solutions." If it ain't broke, don't break it.

And strap in. It's gonna be an interesting House floor debate, likely next week. Check the House Calendar for specifics, and watch it online, live or archived, here...




Google Video version (soon disappearing)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Outlaw Puppeteer, Part Deux

Dave Ridley threatens civilization, corrupts young, impressionable minds, and does it all on state property. Chaos ensues. Again, nobody notices. What's a guy gotta do to get arrested in this town...?

Next show planned for May 25th. Keep up with the latest at NHFree.com.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

NH House Education Subcommittee Work Session on SB337, Part 2

"Relative to home education of children." Is there anyone other than bureaucrats supporting this? How many represented voters have expressed support? How many have expressed vocal opposition? How many homeschoolers equal one bureaucrat, anyway? Gotta be fractional, doesn't it?

I'm guessing the truant statist-authoritarian figured she already knows everything she needed to know, thank-you-very-much. Ask Jim Forsythe sometime about where she evidently believes rights come from. Prepare to shudder. And prod him to run for state office while you're at it, wouldja...? We don't need him in D.C.: it's a lost cause. We need him here.

Find a chronology of SB337 here (thanks, Chris). Executive Session scheduled for 10am, 5/6/2008. See ya there.




Google Video version (soon disappearing)

"Slight" of hands

"Outlaw Puppeteer" Dave Ridley threatens civilization as we know it -- indeed, the very fabric of society -- with unauthorized capitalistic (and very handsome, I might add) puppets. Chaos ensues. Nobody notices...

Pertinent links:
NH RSA 286;
Keene illegal gambling disregarded by law enforcement;
NHFree.com for updates, of course;
Dave's '07 legal "open carry" adventure;
And you can see a bit of House testimony on the legislative deadwood eradication bill, HB1347, to which Dave refers, at the end of this.

The Manifesto for Revolution

Monday, April 28, 2008

NH House Education Subcommittee Work Session on SB337

"Relative to home education of children." I think the Chair grasps it all fairly well at about 1:09:15. Coulda sworn that was the primary argument for removing the requirement 2 years ago, wasn't it? Results-based (of the education process, not of the rule-making process) assessment? What's changed since then? What's the existing problem we're trying to solve? Evidence, please, before "solutions." "No, no, no. Let's go Draconian, and dial it back only as forced." Who's the boss here, again...?

Here's a fun game: See if you can spot the unrepentant statist authoritarian. Two, actually, but the 2nd's more obscure. OK, so it's an easy game...

While we're on this subject (and I might attract a harmonic audience), any suggested additions for NH Mensa's Gifted Children and Homeschooling page are always appreciated by that site's Webmaster (who would be yours truly, as it turns out; as well as a Proctor, if you're curious about membership...).




Google Video version (soon disappearing)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The NH Senate takes on "decrim"

NH Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on HB1623, "marijuana decrim," 4/22/2008.

Some distress, some hope (surprisingly enough). Evidently, the Committee unanimously and perfunctorily ITL'd it anyway, as reported here. You might wanna ask NHPR why the audio archive isn't posted yet, as of 4/27...




Google Video version (soon disappearing)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So many lobbyists...

... so profoundly full of shit, and/or simply profoundly -- and contentedly -- ignorant. Not that either condition stops them from pontificating, and endeavoring to control my life -- with my government's blessing -- of course. And me with so little capacity for mendacity tolerance. [Sigh...] If only they'd actually read the bill, HB686, they'd already know, just for example, that it's restricted to con-su-mer prod-ucts (and not, say, wholesale bulk drug containers for pharmacists to portion out). Unless, of course, they had read it, and just assumed the Senate Commerce Committee hadn't...

And btw, in case these people really don't grasp this, barcodes are a visual technology! I can see them! They're their own damned label! Try to hide them (without, say, modifying the entire infrastructure for UV or infrared, which I nevertheless already have technology capable of detecting). Go ahead. But why would you want to? And if they can print them, they can print an RF-friggin'-ID notice right next to 'em. Hell, the "absence" of color might even be cheaper to print. You know what to do... 4/15/2008

(The first-hearing-of-the-day "cigar bar" bill, Exec'd in the final 20 seconds of the video-to-come, clearly gave too much credit to the consumer, to his intelligence, put far too much "freedom" in "free market." It was ITL'd handily and perfunctorily. Interesting how we were warned in lobbyist testimony about implementing Draconian measures in requiring blanket "truth in advertising," but not a peep about continued Draconian "no exceptions" universal smoking bans on private property. I guess the first is about "my" business, and the second is about "yours." Funny how "principles" can be so... fluid. Yes, that's a 'Firefly' reference...)

Video to come, just as soon as Google figures out what's wrong with their Video Uploader. Damn. But I felt compelled to post this much. Check back later...

EDIT: Video now here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Show 'em what a NH patriot is...

... At this point, it's even politically easy. OK, this is essentially a repeat, substantively embellished as it may nevertheless be. But as SB434 goes to the full NH House, it's important to "send the right message," right...?


To my Representatives,

NH is already in possession of an unrequested REAL ID "compliance extension." Nevertheless...

Multiple presidential candidates' passport files are breached by government contractors. This revelation, only the most recent similar, is kept hidden for months. Is this the level of security the federal government guarantees us for all the REAL ID "breeder documents" they demand be accessible to damned near everybody now, before "allowing" us the freedom to travel? I would direct your attention to the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution, which reserves authority over driver's licenses to the states, and to NH Part First, Article 7, which states (redundantly, it could easily be argued) that NH voters must first explicitly relinquish that authority, which, of course, we have not done.

I am vehemently opposed to a national ID card. For the security problems exposed yet again by the aforementioned presidential candidates' passport breach. For the massive and troubling fiscal, sovereignty, privacy, federal competency (or rather repeatedly stunning lack thereof), and even religious issues involved. I believe asking for an extension is "blinking." I believe it would say that we're working toward compliance. And that would be LYING, either to the feds or to the citizens of NH, who have worked very hard to keep NH out of any unconstitutional national ID scheme. A scheme, let's not forget, that somehow warranted far less Congressional debate than did steroids in baseball...

So why is this before you again? Because the arrogant NH Senate, in a headlong rush to beat Homeland Security's extension approval to the Governor's office, is sounding more and more like VP Cheney when asked about 2/3 of the people being against the war: "So?" So... I now honestly believe the Senate is more interested in pleasing the feds, and selling us out for chump change than listening to constituents and defending liberty.

This is -- increasingly -- the very definition of "no-brainer." NH citizens have already spoken on this issue. Why are we still talking about it? NH wants to retain her sovereignty, at least the little she has left. Please, despite the issue of any extension approval now being moot, send the NH Senate a strong message. Send D.C. a message. Please reject their latest attempt to sell us down the river. Please reject REAL ID. Again. With prejudice. Please reject SB434. (All of it, btw.)

Stand firm. This is not the time for complacency. Show them what a NH patriot is. The citizens of NH -- from whom even the feds are intended to take their marching orders -- have your back.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dan Itse calls out the House

Why aren't they embarrassed? By special request of the orator, NH State Rep. Dan Itse's floor speech on HB1543, "relative to the citizen's petition for redress of grievances by the legislature," from 3/12/2008. February 5th's complete testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee can be seen here. March 12th's complete floor debate here, about 1:26:00 in.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

One step closer to killing the Undead

Here's highlights from the NH House Science, Technology & Energy Committee's Executive Session on SB434 (which the NH Senate amended to try to get NH back into the REAL ID hunt). 1:15 worth of debate in about 0:24, from 4/1/2008. I'd hoped to get this posted last night, but with the first of spring's wind and thunderstorms, and much associated LAN and internet outage, not to mention gnashing of teeth and hurling about of cats and such...

It's stressed several times that the REAL ID amendment is dead, regardless, and will almost certainly be stripped out on the floor of Representatives' Hall. No one disagreed. As to the original bill, some members wanted to kill the whole thing, and recommend a clean bill be introduced next session. But others believed there had been too much work done on the nevertheless deeply flawed original portion, too many issues uncovered -- issues the Senate had somehow failed to see -- to simply ITL it, likely to make a different committee start over. Therefore, only 8-5 ITL. No additional amendments even voted on.

Last week's preceding public hearings can be seen here and here. More related video and commentary strewn about the place. Check the 'Frequent Topics' list for 'REAL ID'.

The full House will take up SB434 soon. Watch the House Calendar for its scheduling. And if you can't make it to the Gallery to observe in person, you can still play along at home or the office with the live online stream, or eventually the archive.

But before then, contact your NH Representatives. Ask them to support the Committee's ITL recommendation. Ask them (despite any extension requests now being a moot issue -- for the time being) to kill REAL ID. Again. No backsliding.




Google Video version (soon disappearing)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Return of REAL ID, Day 2

TOP OF THE POST ACTION ITEM: The Committee's Executive Session for SB434 is scheduled for 2:00pm, 4/1/2008 in LOB Rm. 304. No public testimony, but could be interesting, nevertheless. Even if likely very short, at this point...

Herewith, the NH House Science, Technology & Energy Committee's 2nd hearing on SB434, 3/27/2008, which the NH Senate amended to reintroduce their irrational passion for a national ID. The Executive Session is scheduled for April Fool's Day, the day after the official compliance extension request deadline. Could be interesting, nevertheless. Additionally...

Although we still don't know what was in it (EDIT: This is purported to be it), we learned in Thursday's testimony that Gov Lynch had sent a follow-up letter to DHS, and it's a fair bet he would have run it by somebody if he was giving away the store. Therefore, as it would seem, somebody else "blinked:" NH has received an unrequested extension.

Oh, and just in case you missed it, Sen. Janeway, the original bill's sponsor, disavowed the REAL ID amendment, and NO ONE from the unanimous Senate (including Janeway, of course) had the balls (or lacked the arrogance) to show up and defend this crap they insisted, on the fly, be included. In fact, through 2 hearings, no one defended it at all...




Google Video version (soon disappearing)



And here, by special request, stand-alone testimony from Manchester Representative Steve Vaillancourt on the political and philosophical obligation of civil disobedience, from the first Committee hearing on 3/25/2008.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Separated at Birth?

OK, I know it's childish. But finally, I am compelled to ask...




But really, ya never see 'em in the same room together, do ya? Might explain the whole dominance thing...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rep. Vaillancourt on patriotic civil disobedience

By special request, stand-alone testimony from NH State Representative Steve Vaillancourt on the political and philosophical obligation of civil disobedience, from the initial House Science, Technology & Energy Committee hearing on SB434, 3/25/2008. Complete hearing available here.

(Bear in mind, too, that Thursday, the day of the second scheduled hearing, is 3/27. The official deadline for requesting an extension on REAL ID compliance is 3/31. The Committee has to finish with SB434, the House has to vote on it [assuming they don't pass it on to another Committee first], the Senate must take up any House amendments, a Committee of Conference must hammer out any differences between final Senate and House versions, and the Governor has to review, write and mail such a request. Tick, tick, tick... Or are the rules less rigid than Chertoff would have us accept?)

REAL ID is in da House. Again...

TOP OF THE POST ACTION ITEM: The committee hearing was so much fun, we're gonna do some more at 10am, Thursday, March 27th. You gonna miss it AGAIN?

It's not even remotely clear for whom the NH Senate believes it works these days, or whether they quite grasp that "oath" thing they took. Hell, I haven't even been able to prod a response from my Sen. Janeway on anything. Have you?

Last year, to its everlasting credit, the NH House listened to its rather vocal constituents (not to mention surprisingly fairly unanimous enlightened media), came to grips with the myriad massive and troubling fiscal, sovereignty, privacy, federal competency (or rather repeatedly stunning lack thereof), and even religious issues involved, overcame a poorly considered committee report, and passed HB685, prohibiting NH from participating in any national ID scheme. However, they then had to drag the Senate, kicking and screaming, to pass the bill that Governor Lynch had already promised he'd sign, thereby actually representing NH rather than the federal government.

Well, fast-forward to this year, and despite just the latest D.C. security shocker, the Senate is clearly still steaming (about 1:35 in) over having to knuckle under to mere constituents and not reflexively genuflect to our masters in Washington, rather than make a stand for the Constitutional rule of law. Our clear duty, in the addled mind of the Senate, seems to be to blindly obey federal "authority." Unlawful or otherwise. Utter submission to continuing and growing federal hubris. Period. A paltry few pieces of silver-- sorry, fiat currency in exchange is just a happy bonus.

So they've now amended an unrelated Senate bill, SB434, to start the process all over again, and quickly passed it unanimously. What, exactly, is it that you have against the Constitutions, Senators? What of the 10th Amendment (which reserves authority over driver's licenses to the states) or NH Article 7 (which states -- redundantly, it could easily be argued -- that NH voters must first explicitly relinquish that authority, which, of course, we have not done) isn't crystal clear to you? What price is your freedom worth? What price are you willing to accept for mine, as if I'd in any way given you authority to trade it? There is not a single patriotic, sovereign, rule-of-law spine among them. Any bets on whether their roll call vote on this one makes it onto the NH Liberty Alliance's Legislative Report Card?

Now assigned to the House Science, Technology & Energy Committee, its (first, as it turns out) public hearing was yesterday, 3/25/2008. The important take-away is that the hearing is suspended until 10am Thursday, 3/27/2008, again in LOB Rm. 304, more than likely. Herewith, the record of this initial House committee hearing. I had intended to edit heavily, but as events developed, and became more time-sensitive, I decided to just post it as-is, so it's pretty rough. Sorry. I may get around to a "highlight reel." In the mean time, contact the Committee members, and see if you can set aside Thursday morning to join us...




Google Video version (soon disappearing)



Through the Governor's counsel's testimony, Lynch clearly believes this legislation is thoroughly unnecessary, even redundant. Representatives Kurk, Itse, and Vaillancourt are eloquent. Questions posed by the Committee members suggest they are sympathetic. The Committee Chair, informing me before the hearing that she believes the REAL ID component belongs with another Committee, and so intends to gloss over it, reconsiders mid-proceedings, and decides they need to reserve more time to its investigation. Thus the continuance to Thursday.

I believe merely asking for an extension is "blinking." I believe it would say that we're working toward compliance. And that would be lying, either to the feds or to the citizens of NH, who have worked very hard to keep NH out of any national ID scheme. And I now honestly believe the Senate is more interested in pleasing the equally arrogant feds, and selling us out for chump change than in listening to constituents and defending liberty. What would have become of the American Revolution had "inconvenience" been sufficient imposition to quietly lay down arms and obediently go home?

If we're making a stand for the constitutional rule of law -- as I vehemently believe we should, and must -- let it be here, let it be now. Damn it, I'm pissed. But cautiously hopeful...

"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
-Samuel Adams-
speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776

Monday, March 24, 2008

NH Citizens have spoken. Why are we still talking about this?

To the NH House Science, Technology & Energy Committee,

Multiple presidential candidates' passport files are breached by government contractors. This revelation is kept hidden for months. Is this the level of security the federal government guarantees us for all the REAL ID "breeder documents" they demand be accessible to damned near everybody now, before "allowing" us the freedom to travel?

This is -- increasingly -- the very definition of "no-brainer." So why is this before you again? Because the arrogant NH Senate, in a headlong rush to beat Homeland Security's extension approval (the same one the feds already sent to Montana unrequested) to the Governor's office, is sounding more and more like VP Cheney when asked about 2/3 of the people being against the war: "So?"

NH citizens have already spoken on this issue. Why are we still talking about it? NH wants to retain her sovereignty, at least the little she has left. Send the NH Senate a message. Send D.C. a message. Please reject their latest attempt to sell us down the river. Please reject REAL ID. Again. With prejudice. Please reject SB434. Stand firm. The citizens of NH have your back.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Appreciation for a job (substantially) properly done 

To my NH Representatives,

To those of you who chose to give our young people sufficient credit (they are NH's sons and daughters, after all) to realize when they're being repeatedly propagandized and outright lied to (as, I've little doubt, you would have justifiably expected for yourselves), as well as the opportunity to at least recover from "youthful indiscretion" (as, I trust, you would have appreciated for yourselves); to those who chose to reject simply continuing the same troubling level of irrational, hypocritical, inconsistent, fruitless and expensive hysteria, and to defend Article 18, by passing HB1623, "relative to the penalty for possession of marijuana," thank you.

It is indeed heartening to see our Hillsborough 7 contingent so dramatically proportionally depart (4-3) from the 40-94 authoritarian GOP party line vote on this question of liberty, reason and the constitutional rule of law. I look forward to us doing even better in the future, leading the way in NH to limited government, local control, inviolable property rights, and consistent personal freedom. Have yourselves a drink on me.

Day, Russell            GOP    Hills. 7    Nay
Emerton, Larry         GOP    Hills. 7    Nay
Fletcher, R              GOP     Hills. 7    Nay
Holden, R                GOP    Hills. 7    Yea
Hopper, Gary           GOP    Hills. 7    Yea
Kurk, Neal               GOP    Hills. 7    Yea
Manney, Pamela      GOP    Hills. 7    Yea
McRae, Karen          GOP    Hills. 7    Not Voting


And Representative Fletcher, I'm still very much interested in understanding how you ended up the sole House Republican siding with just 18 Democrats in favor of HB1354, in opposition to Article 2-a...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Practical Considerations for a Day at the NH State House

A brief tour of the NH State House and environs for those trepidatious individuals who what to know where they're going before they get there. I gotcher back. C'mon down... Plus, some investigative reporting. };->

Thursday, March 13, 2008

'Firefly' Now Streaming Online

Full episodes. 'Nuff said. Go watch.



EDIT: Surprisingly, this post continues to get hits from "streaming firefly" searches. Unfortunately, as of late 2009, Hulu is offering only a limited selection of episodes. Fortunately, Fancast now has... hmm... the same limited selection... Screw 'em. Go buy the box set.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wee-hour ruminations on speed limits

Given any road and any conditions, and barring any speed regulation, you get something akin to a bell curve distribution of speeds, which essentially defines "reasonable and prudent" (which, of course, isn't the same for everyone, yet I would still argue for minimum speeds on limited-access roads, not to mention "keep right except to pass").

If you set a regulated speed equal to the peak of that curve, nothing changes.

If you set it lower than that speed, the curve shifts down, but not as much as the lowered regulated speed, because drivers realize it's artificial (not to mention they get bored and start texting their friends, etc., which obviously introduces its own problems). And the more you shift the regulated speed below the natural peak, the greater the discrepancy between the two, because drivers realize it's bullshit. Thus generating less respect for speed laws in general.

If, on the other hand, you set a higher regulated speed, the bell curve will shift slightly higher than the natural peak, but only because that official sanction is an unnatural enticement for a few drivers. A dare, if you will, and so better not to post it at all. Such drivers would still be liable for any irresponsible damage they caused, and would likely have caused regardless of finger-wagging, anyway. But at some point, don't we all have to grow up and shoulder responsibility for our actions? OK, shouldn't we be expected to? Should we be driving if we aren't? Shouldn't we be encouraged to, rather than depending on some asserted protective government cocoon to restrict us? One that, believe it or not, isn't really always there, if ever? Think "jogger meets nature" in the LA hills.

Most drivers, however, faced with artificially high limits, will simply drive at the speed at which they were previously already comfortable. Higher speeds scared them before, and gentle coaxing won't change that.

Therefore, the, "We can't post higher than 65 because they're doing 75 already," argument is pure delusional nanny-state crap, since the interstate highway system was even designed for a "reasonable and prudent" 85mph on '50s-era suspensions and brakes in the first place.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

NH Gov Lynch discusses REAL ID

The NH Liberty Alliance once again visits the NH State House for a big day of House deliberations. Governor Lynch takes a meeting with REAL ID opponents. (He still won't say he won't ask for an extension...) And an (atypical) example of "roll call voting" in practice. No, the vote totals aren't supposed to be displayed live. Some Representatives are clearly having some fun with their newfound electronic toy... 3/5/2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Look, it's simply not yours to give...

The following is the tail end of a recent list exchange prompted by this article on the mortgage/real estate mess, to which my initial comment was, "He never quite gets around to realizing that #3 (and the fact that government schools have taught Americans that it actually is government's job) is largely responsible for #1 and #2, which, of course, is THE PROBLEM. Cause and effect. Repeat.":

Someone wrote:
This gets to the heart of one of my problems with libertarianism. If the government (or some other entity) isn't around to bail people out when they fail, then people will not become smarter, but they will probably become more cautious. This is not entirely good.

Ahh, but it's not government that bails them out. It's you (and you could easily still do it voluntarily without government interference and overhead). Government, with absolutely no constitutional justification -- and no source of income but your unwilling wallet -- assures your neighbor that he can take ridiculous risks, perform no due diligence, take no personal responsibility, and you will bail him out. The (undistributed) reward far outweighs the (distributed) risk. He has no incentive to "learn." And you have less money to pursue your own investments and innovations. What's that opportunity cost? We'll never know.

All human interaction should be voluntary. Stealing is immoral, whether perpetrated by you, or by your designated agents at your direction. It's still theft. "Doin' good with other people's money" isn't charity. And like anything else, when you subsidize recklessness, you only get more of it. And again, at the government-dictated cost of unknown lost alternatives. The free, voluntary market would decide what risks were worth taking without government force, and reward them commensurately. And far more accurately and efficiently than government ever could.

Look, the simplest way to respond is this: If you believe that the government which governs most governs best (and make no mistake, that's what you're advocating, because I guarantee you that each neighbor on your street wants government to start regulating something different because it's "dangerous," or insuring something different because they don't want to bear the inherent risk themselves), then we have a fundamental disagreement about the intended scope of this government, as well as the entwined sister concepts of liberty and responsibility.

But I trust we do agree on the fundamental rule of law, that we are a nation of laws, not of men. We ratified a Constitution to be that rule of law over "troublesome servant" government. And until you can point to the provision of that government-limiting Constitution that authorizes government to protect me from myself, or to restore me after my own mistakes -- as well as to steal from my neighbors to accomplish it -- you need to pass an amendment. The ends do not justify the means. "Common sense violations of the Constitution" simply don't exist. There is a process. To be a valid government function, you need an amendment. Once you have that, then we can address the whole "more government" thing...
"Still one thing more, fellow citizens — a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities."
-Thomas Jefferson-
First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1801)

Or, it's Not Yours to Give.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

NH Article 7: It's the Law

Of course I wanted something stronger, but it could have been far, far worse (and was that report simply wrong, or did we actually exert substantive influence even that late in his decision process? -- perhaps as Badger would opine, "Crime and politics, little girl: the situation is always... fluid," followed by Jayne's-- well, let's move on... You're reading this blog; you are a Firefly/Serenity fan, right...?).

With some relief, I choose to encourage the Governor's better instincts, and hope that such encouragement helps him gain in his resolve (hell, it would appear to have worked once). And I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with others playing "bad cop" to my "good cop." Certainly, I may well end up joining them sooner rather than later, but for the moment, this was my web submission this morning to the Governor...
"Gov. John Lynch today sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff urging him not impose Real ID requirements on New Hampshire citizens beginning in May. ... 'We have a law that prohibits New Hampshire from taking part in this burdensome system and New Hampshire was right to reject it.' ... 'This request is not an indication of our state’s intent to comply with the Real ID final rule.' ..."

Way to go, Governor. You're standing firm for liberty, privacy, state sovereignty, and the rule of law in Constitutional limits. Thank you.

Article 7 now, Article 7 forever. Please consider in response to future federal overreach, replying that there's simply no existing authority, but hey, you'll see what you can do about getting a "snowball in hell" amendment on the ballot for them...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

No. I do not submit. I do not accept.

Emailed to Sen. Letourneau, and cc'd to (my) Sen. Janeway, and to Gov. Lynch:
"... 'We've got to accept the inevitable,' Letourneau said. 'Real ID is coming down the pike, and as much as we don't like it, we've got to learn to live with it.' ..."

Only if we don't learn to fight it, Senator (with reference to US Amendment 10 and NH Article 7). Only if we don't stand and fight it, and insist that our public servants -- some even unelected -- accept "NO!" as an answer. Only then is it "inevitable."

And since your constituents have been -- and will continue to be -- rather vocal about their opposition to such federal overreach, unfunded mandates, loss of privacy, liberty, state sovereignty, etc., it really comes down to, only if you don't respect the people's already legislated instructions. Doesn't it...?

No national ID. No "papers, please." No militarized police state.

No.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"The Sound of Impotent Rage"

Golly. I think I just learned something about myself...
"... As I played my ukulele in my mood, I understood why the uke had been Murray's instrument of choice as much as why actor Jason Robards had been chosen to play Murray: a certain quality of sad-happiness. Of laughter mixed with weeping. With its smallness, its high-pitched plinkiness, its firefly sustain, its fleeting tunability, and its ability to be played in a frenzy, the ukulele balanced a narrow line between the comic and the tragic like no musical instrument I had encountered. When I electrified it, I heard the loudest small sound I had ever heard: the sound of impotent rage. ... Not so much impotent rage, perhaps, as absurdist rage. ..."
William Preston Robertson

Friday, February 22, 2008

NH Can't Seem to Kill REAL ID - Gov to Ignore Voters and His Own Rhetoric

Thursday evening, NHPR reported that Gov. Lynch will be drafting a letter to ask for an extension on the REAL ID deadline. Read the history of NH's vocal opinion here. Read the current very hot action item here. Following is my wee-hour phone message to the corner office. Join me, would you?

Governor Lynch,

According to NHPR, you're intending to request a compliance extension on Homeland Security's troubling REAL ID program. In addition to the unavoidable fact that, per the 10th Amendment and NH's own Article 7, licensing isn't a federal function, your constituents have already spent a great deal of effort ensuring NH would not participate, resulting in passage of HB685 last year, which you signed with a flourish.

Even if you don't notice, surely the feds will, that it's illegal for NH to comply. If you choose to violate state law, as well as your own position, I assure you there will be political consequences. And this ain't a speeding ticket.

I believe you've been contacted by Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer regarding a state alliance against federal overreach on this matter. I suggest, strongly, that you take him up on it. The compliance you should be concerned with is that with the Constitutions and your constituents' instructions. Thank you.


Union Leader article here.