Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Civil Society Doesn't Punish the Innocent

Simple enough, right? And we're all presumed innocent until the State can prove its case in a court of law. Right?

And NH shouldn't be assisting the feds to violate that basic principle, either. Right?

The NH House Judiciary Committee hears HB1192, "relative to forfeiture of seized personal property", 2/5/2020. As so often is the case these days, we've been even here before.

A Nashua cop, for one, disagrees, and warns of the "charity" work that he and his gang will be precluded from doing if their legalized theft is curtailed. He needs that money, y'see, to prosecute the unauthorized, failed and horrifically expensive (in blood, treasure and liberty) "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™. It's his. Found it fair and square. Why are we bothering him with this "due process" bullshit, for suggesting that maybe he shouldn't be law enforcement, prosecution, judge, jury and executioner all in one -- and all for a healthy haul? Besides, they do so much good with some of it, donating to charity and whatnot, maybe getting his picture in the paper. It's a long-standing tradition, with a storied history, after all: steal from everybody, then make a relatively small show of your false "generosity" with other people's money. Capone, for example...

Fortunately, the final 2 speakers, from Americans For Prosperity and the NH ACLU (guess what the cop's reaction was -- g'head, guess -- that's right! exasperated eye-rolls! you know him so well...), relieved me of the growing desperate need to fill out a pink card to testify...




"Compliance Is An Issue"

I would most certainly agree, Rep Cleaver: coerced compliance of peaceful individuals in an ostensibly free society is, indeed, an issue. And as the HHS and State Police bureaucrats state clearly, this is an incremental step. Told ya so. The unbelted aren't "offenders" now, Captain, but that's what you're advocating: more criminals. Fiat criminals. For having harmed no one. Why am I not surprised in the least...

HB1622, "relative to the use of passenger restraints in motor vehicles", before the NH House Transportation Committee, 2/5/2020.

Yesterday, up against HB1621, the 'helmet' bill (so I couldn't even get over there to sign in against it), Senate Transportation heard their 'mandatory seatbelts' version, SB609 (and there was also a third that was mercifully withdrawn; there is clearly absolutely no shortage, sadly, of unbidden arrogant nannies in NH's legislature this year.).

We've been here before, too, of course, but much more recently. And before that, there was the Year of the Bribes in 2009 -- that's the "grant" repeatedly discussed, which wasn't sufficient to sell out our autonomy back then.

I had provided both Transportation Committees with a transcript of the testimony that I delivered most recently on 2018's HB1259. Honestly, I didn't even need to testify, because all the arguments are addressed in the transcript -- as I assured the Committee Chair before the hearing that they would be. I include that here, below the hearing video.

Press



2/6/2018

My name is Bill Alleman, and I’m here today because my autonomy is yet again under siege. Certainly this applies to so many relentless attempts to impose overreaching legislation on ostensibly free individuals, but I'm just applying it to this one today. I encourage the further extrapolation to others as an exercise for the Committee. I’m here to speak for vanishing first principles.

Who should have authority to control our lives, the individual or the State? I contend this is hardly a trivial matter in a country founded on fragile individual liberty. Yet history and ever-expanding law books clearly show us that every successive generation is habituated to incrementally less freedom. Surely even this bill's supporters would concede that this won't be the end of their social engineering. There will always be "just one more" incursion on the fundamental concepts of individual liberty and personal responsibility -- for our own good, of course. What these supporters can't or won't grasp, however, is that "our own good" is also "our own business." It concerns me greatly that far too many -- including legislators, as we’ve already heard -- don’t fully appreciate or respect these concepts today. Nevertheless, the Founders still assure me that I need not worry about having to surrender them for myself. That is a fact. In a Constitutional Republic, rights do trump “the majority.”

As an aside, you’ve heard that seatbelts can actually cause harm. I would submit that if you pass a force-backed mandatory law that you know may cause harm – whatever the percentage – you are responsible for that harm. And to borrow a well-worn concept, one death because of legislation is one too many. “Edge cases” make bad law.

I'm not here to argue against the efficacy of seatbelts, however. That’s an issue for education, not legislation. Not government force. All the personal stories and statistics you’ll hear today are surely heart-rending, and certainly delivering bad news is incredibly hard. But these aspects are completely irrelevant to the fundamental fact that we each have a right to make our own choices -- and yes, even our own mistakes. Even if the statistics "aren't quite what we'd like to see." That's how a free society works.

You’ll hear the argument, basically, "But Dad, all the other states are doing it!" To me, the obvious response is, where in these united States, in this "land of the free," does one go, can one rely on anymore, to escape government meddling? Proudly, it has been NH. But this bill seeks to eliminate the very last refuge on this issue, the last of 50. The final extinction of seatbelt self-government. There will be nowhere left to retreat for those who would dare claim the temerity to make their own decision, whatever that might be.

Is that really necessary? Must the spirit of self determination be eliminated everywhere? Must NH, also, embrace paternalism? Is there absolutely no room for limited government in even the smallest corner of this country anymore? "We are Borg?" And ominously, what similar personal decisions shall we surrender to the State next, for the good of the collective? There are, indeed, virtually infinite ripe candidates, many affecting this Committee’s own private lives I have precious little doubt, and only "live free or die" hypocrisy needed to regulate them all.

I did not elect representatives to sell out my liberty for the return of a few pieces of my own silver. I also did not elect domineering mommies and daddies. The growing micromanagement of my life must stop. Despite what proponents of this bill seem to believe, I am a sapient, legal adult, not a child to be molded by the state -- please tell me right now, here for the record, if you contend otherwise. I do not consent. I reject government's authority to presume to protect me from myself. I require that my government respect my decisions, and instead protect me from those who would, through the force of intrusive government, impose upon me their will, their view of how I should live my life, what risks I should be "allowed" to take. No! It is my choice, not my neighbors'. And significantly, it is my neighbor’s choice, not mine.

In closing, government can’t make life “safe,” and laws do not stop crime. They merely define it. And this bill would thus "merely" define a whole new class of nonviolent "criminals," worthy of state aggression, who never asked for the state’s "help" in the first place. Please stop government's unauthorized and unwelcomed behavior modification experiments. Please defend vanishing first principles. Kindly retain our NH culture of individual liberty and personal responsibility, and reject the insidious, insatiable, and un-American nanny state, and only its latest onslaught in the form of HB1259. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

NH Bikers Prove Still Formidable

Well, at least we now have an idea of what it takes to turn profligate spendthrifts into self-professed -- yet highly selective -- fiscal frugalistas. And this from a constituent of Rep Mangipudi: "I support this law because ... riding is the ultimate freedom." Hey, who says nanny-staters have no sense of irony?

HB1621, "relative to the use of protective head gear while operating motorcycles and motorized bicycles", 2/4/2020, before the NH House Transportation Committee.

We've been here before, of course, but not for a while -- ten years ago, in fact. The odds haven't changed much, it seems: still the State against the majority. Who will win? Call your reps and place your bets.

Final "Blue Sheet" (i.e., attendees not speaking, but with an opinion nevertheless) tally: 4 in favor, 259 opposed. I'll leave it to you to count the speakers...

And don't fall for the sponsor's cynically-offered "divide and conquer" amendment, appeasing bicyclists.

Press


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Stated Simply: NPV Makes GOTV Efforts Pointless

Paying attention yet, collectivists? Your "Get Out the Vote" campaigns in NH will be so much utterly wasted effort. Because their vote will be ignored. They could have just stayed home and saved the trouble.

"One man, one vote" (or not so much)? Not so fast. "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact" would "allow" you your vote, by fiat, only as long as you agreed with the majority. Have a different opinion, though, and, well, you still vote with the majority. NH's electoral votes will not be her own to delegate. And thus NH voters' votes will not belong to them, either. Your vote will be recorded as whatever CA and NY want. If you like their choice, fine for you. But choose another path, and the record of your preference disappears. Poof! Disenfranchised. Like you never voted at all. All your vote are belong to us. Yours has been assimilated. NH, your vote is simply not recognized anymore. Absolutely no reason to bother spending the time casting one. How's that for "spirit of the Constitution"?

If any of the voters in the states falling for NPV want to know what "yeah, your vote doesn't count" really means, just wait until the NPV -- and thus their own ostensible electors (who haven't gone anywhere, jbtw) -- goes against what they thought they and their state voted for. Yes, that will happen, citizen. "Wait, what?!? That's not fair...!!!" Oh, the outrage and gnashing of teeth that will follow that entirely predictable revelation. But, hey, you told your state to ignore your vote, in favor of what other states wanted...

HB1531, "relative to the release of voting information in a presidential election", before the NH House Election Law Committee, 1/28/2020, seeks to make an effective objection to this "hive mind" movement, by jamming a monkey wrench into the gears that grind so fine.

And another consideration. Dispense with the Electoral College (by ratifying a Constitutional amendment, obviously, right? -- because we don't modify the Constitution by popular vote in this country), and what do you think presidential campaigning would look like then?

First, every stop will look like a "yuge" Trump rally, for one thing, because there's no need (nor ability, functionally, given the following) to go out on the street to face actual voters. Or a highly controlled appearance in a tv studio, because even if you're a decent candidate, that's just what you need to do out in the vast west, and in the high-delegate-count states, in order to reach the whole state.

By contrast, tiny (and politically hyper-active) NH (arguably too-) easily does "retail politics", even for national campaigns. Reporter: "What do you think of the candidate, ma'am?" Voter: "I'm not sure yet: I've only met him 3 or 4 times." Yes. Pols stop at diners and such, hold livingroom "town halls", and go door-to-door. They talk one-on-one with actual (and notably, 'uncommitted', even hostile) voters -- who can often respond with "who the hell are you, and why should I vote for you?" People pose to them real policy questions that they can't avoid. And it's all captured on video, so you, Ms WA voter and Mr. NM citizen, get to learn from it, too. And NH being especially small, everyone in the state can get themselves to any appearance, to inject a frustratingly unscripted moment (like, say, this). We revel in it, actually.

Can, e.g., Californians say the same? Can Californians do the same, just given the geographic expanse of the state? Hell, you could come to NH and join right in -- which is probably at least close to as practical as getting yourself to L.A. or S.F. -- and watching on the big-screen...

But do you think they'd bother to stop at diners in Fresno anyway? No. Major staged rallies before network cameras, in big cities in the half-dozen most delegate-rich states is the only opportunity you'll then have to vet them. Which is, needless to say, no opportunity to vet them at all.

Whether you consider these proportions valid now or not, what do you think this map will look like when -- because there's no longer any reason to talk with you -- CA(55), TX(38), FL(29), NY(29), IL(20), PA(20), OH(18), GA(16) and MI(16) (that's a total only 29 shy of EC victory) are the only states any candidate feels any need to visit -- and then simply broadcast to, in advance of their respective primaries?

Thus, there are really 2 aspects at risk with the National Popular Vote. The first is that your vote is made irrelevant. But the second is more selfless. So you're welcome. For the effect of the Framers' prescient gift, the Electoral College. And for the gratis "due diligence" earnestly exerted by FITN NH -- which, until repeal of the EC leaves them no reason to stop here at all, benefits you at least as much as it benefits us.

Quit your whining, and take advantage of your resources. Or...

We could reclaim all the arrogated power that government has stolen (contrary to not only the "spirit" but to the letter of the Constitution), return it to where it belongs, the individual -- the smallest and most vulnerable minority, right there -- and no one will need to care about any of it anymore. Get on with running your own life. Go in peace...

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

"The REAL problem with marijuana in the state of NH..."

That's criminal defense attorney Mark Sisti, speaking in the title. Here's the whole statement (from about a minute-and-a-half past the hour-and-a-half mark):
"The real problem with marijuana in the state of NH, the problem that we have, is that it is illegal. That is the problem."
Add to his "criminal justice" perspective the idea that prototypically fundamental to liberty is the concept of unilateral control over our own respective bodies. A foundational litmus test to the philosophy of self-ownership.

So the problem, as always, is fiat prohibition. Of substances. Of objects. Of behavior. Unauthorized prohibition. Market-defying prohibition. Winners-and-losers-picking prohibition. Rights-violating prohibition. Constitution-overstepping prohibition. And on this fiat prohibition, yes, "Live Free or Die" NH is now a painfully conspicuous "island of prohibition". Does that seem right to you? Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...

Here we have, before the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 1/23/2020, HB1648, "relative to the home cultivation of cannabis plants and the possession of certain cannabis-infused products". Legalization. Yet even still again. But without the nasty "commerce" bit this time (because evidently Republicans are opposed to commerce -- and, for that matter, Constitutionally limited authority -- who knew...?)

Only one devoutly prohibitionist state rep and the ever-reliably prohibitionist New Futures testified in opposition, mostly with confusion regarding the actual content -- although the NH Chiefs of Police Association did bother to send a lobbyist to sign in for them in opposition (your employees lobbying your representatives in contravention of your expressed interests: think about that), and we can rest assured that forever-presuming-above-its-station law enforcement will inevitably put the screws to the more easily statist-manipulated oligarchs in the Senate, if and when we get that far.

We've been here before, of course, far too many times, but servant government's recalcitrance toward the people's will, in an ostensibly free society, is increasingly untenable. Perhaps we must accept that it's simply time for more accountable representation...

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