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.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Be afraid, Congressman Hodes. Be very afraid.

We seem to be a bit at odds regarding continued interventionism, as well as the efficacy (not to mention economic impact of construction and maintenance, and China simply doesn't have enough money to loan us) of physical barriers around a 10,000+mi-perimeter country -- which a human trebuchet could easily overcome, anyway, so ya really need a dome -- and rhetoric ain't action, of course (can, say, peaceful "free people" smoke pot? can the "free market" conduct business with Cuba as easily as with the aforementioned China? (this was posted the day before Castro announced he was stepping down, btw) does "free speech" include campaign contributions?), but Grant Bosse appears to be a candidate for NH's 2nd Congressional District who might bear some serious watching...

"... Over the past five years, I’ve been proud to serve on the Washington staff of Senator John Sununu. During that time, I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would about the budget process, Social Security, energy and environmental policy, and a host of other issues. But I’ve also seen a Republican Congress lose its way in a maze of special earmarks and favor trading. I’ve seen a Democratic Congress who came to power on promises to clean up the system immediately adopt the corrupt abuses of their predecessors, as well as invent a few new abuses all their own. ... I believe in free people, free markets, and free speech, and I relish the chance to defend these ideas. I’m looking forward to this campaign, and I ask you to join me."

The Patriot Gardner Goldsmith interviewed The Candidate, freshly declared, today on his radio show, "Against the Grain" (it starts about 0:49 into the audio for the 2/18/08 show), and it really struck me as a breath of desperately needed fresh air. The interview started with me paying only distracted attention, so I gotta go listen to it again, in case I missed something important, but... (It turns out I didn't.)

What the hell does Congress think it's doing wasting my time and money, e.g., questioning Roger Clemens or investigating "Spygate," anyway? Sure, it keeps them out of worse trouble (but also conveniently constrains their investigation of things they actually should be investigating), but what ever happened to clear Constitutional limits on federal authority? What ever happened to the rule of law? Inquiring minds dearly want to know...

Not the end of Prohibition (more's the pity), just the end of Draco

My email to members of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee of the NH House:

Representatives,

Prohibition is not just. Prohibition is not freedom. By any objective measure, prohibition doesn't even work. Never has, never will. It enriches criminals and arbitrarily destroys lives for no good reason. That said, HB1623, "relative to penalties for possession of marijuana," (sadly, still) doesn't end our latest failed experiment in authoritarian prohibition.

But according to Part First, Article 18 of the NH Constitution, "All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense." Penalties currently incurred by otherwise peaceful individuals for simple marijuana possession are simply not proportioned to the "offense." Not remotely close.

This needs to change. In a just society, this finally must change. You have the power to set that long-overdue change in motion. Please do. Recommend HB1623 OTP unequivocally. It is the Constitutional course.

We could say, "Feds, we strongly counsel against it, but if you feel you must continue this insane course, we cannot seem to stop you. But NH won't actively assist you in persecuting her own citizens anymore, in perpetuating this profound immorality." We could say that, and be applauded by decent, rational people worldwide. But if you're feeling particularly just, please at least return the quantity in question to that stated in the original bill. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Action-packed NH House Committee Hearings

Resolutions, bills, and "Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolutions." Covering such issues as education, RKBA on public -- and private -- property, the North American Union, unfunded federal mandates, and the restoration of the Constitutional right to redress of grievance. Just another (full) day with the NH Liberty Alliance and the NH Legislature we monitor. Here's a video selection, and 2 complete hearings from 2/5/2008.

Morning Festivities



Afternoon Festivities



Complete Testimony on HR23, declaring a supra-national government such as a North American union unconstitutional and urging the United States to withdraw from further participation in the Security and Prosperity Partnership.



Google Video version (soon disappearing)



Complete Testimony on HB1543, establishing a procedure for a member of the legislature to introduce a citizen's petition for redress of grievance.




Google Video version (soon disappearing)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Please uphold the Committee's ITL recommendation on HB1431

The following was submitted to my NH State Representatives:

Representatives,

HB1431, "establishing a permanent state defense force," is scheduled for a House floor vote on Wednesday, February 6th.

First, I want to stress that I support the concept of a state-based defense force, as well as (not to denigrate the balance of those documents, but specific to this topic) US Amendment 10, and NH Part First, Articles 7 and 10, and Part Second, Article 51, as well as the spirit of the proposed modifications to RSA541-A. However, I have profound concerns about HB1431, and the expressed intentions -- not to mention unsettling censorship -- of some of its supporters and implementers (positions, to be fair, I am unaware if the sponsors share, or of which they are even cognizant).

To borrow comments from one current NH Representative, I had likewise been under the initial impression -- and supported -- that this State Guard was to be "a separate entity from the National Guard and will answer directly to the governor and general court," and be "distinct from any federally controlled body."

However, I learned at a January meeting that the currently evolving incarnation is intended (at least by the current ex-military organizers) to be the "reserve" for the National Guard, and have strong ties to, and potentially come under similar direct control of the US Army. Particularly given the publicly stated aims, the implications of this concerned me, and I helpfully attempted to post the following to the associated Internet discussion group:

"... I think I'd like to see stronger language that, in the eventuality of, shall we say, 'unconstitutional federal action,' or 'actions in direct and egregious violation of State sovereignty,' the Guard's paramount allegiance is to the State of NH, it is always by default under State control, and yields to federal authority only at the expressed direction of the (more easily deposed) Governor. Or something like that. E.g., if the Governor says, say, 'Um, no. The NH State Guard will not assist you in confiscating firearms,' there's no question whose orders the State Guard is to follow. ..."

Or in whose brig the State Guard can end up. I still can comprehend nothing unacceptable about the proposed additional concept, let alone in the open discussion thereof.

The group's moderator blocked the post, however, unilaterally and summarily calling the issue "nonsense" and forbidden political content (although his posting of Committee hearings somehow isn't political), implying it was nothing but partisan conspiracy theory. Subsequent private correspondence produced no further defense of his position -- a curious silence on it, actually -- nor explanation of how my scenario was impossible, or even merely unlikely, for that matter. I was then removed from the group's membership without further comment.

I am very concerned with the apparent willingness to dutifully cede to federal authority that which is ostensibly intended specifically for state defense, even at the very moment our state sovereignty might be most vulnerable. This would appear to be a potential additional local extension of the federal "standing army," regarding which the Founders warned us, at the very least, to use caution.

I simply do not trust those who wish to centralize authority, to push it up a freshly created, even redirected chain of command, especially when it's not out in the open. Therefore, I do not support HB1431 as written, and request that you accept the Committee's ITL recommendation.

I would also strongly request that you keep my concerns in mind when evaluating any similar proposed legislation in the future. Eternal vigilance. Local control. Thank you.

NH House RFID Commission

HB686-FN, retained from the 2007 session, which "regulates the use of tracking devices in consumer products by requiring labels that inform consumers of their presence," and "also restricts the circumstances under which the state may use electronic tracking devices, and prohibits a private citizen from electronically tracking another person without that person's consent," fostered the creation of the Commission on the Use of Radio Frequency Technology. The House Commerce Committee is scheduled to revisit HB686 next week, and this was the Commission's last meeting before that benchmark. It certainly sounds like it's moving in the correct direction... 2/1/2008.

Morning Session



Afternoon session




Google Video versions (soon disappearing)

Morning Session



Afternoon session