Wednesday, January 30, 2008

CACR21 Hearing in front of the NH House Education Committee

Testimony on CACR21, providing that "the local subdivision responsible for public education shall have the power to determine curriculum, set standards, and determine funding, and that the legislature may provide supplemental funding" -- i.e., empirically necessary reaffirmation of already Constitutionally mandated (Article 6) local control -- in front of the Education Committee of the NH House of Representatives, 1/29/2008.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My filed opposition to HB1314

Having regrettably missed the opportunity to testify before the pertinent committee, the following is my post-hearing email to members of the Environment and Agriculture Committee of the NH House of Representatives on HB1314, which would make it illegal to take the life of any animal without lawful authority.

Unfortunately, I missed the Environment and Agriculture Committee's 1/24 public hearing on HB1314. I assert that this proposed legislation is ludicrous at best, and profoundly dangerous to liberty, autonomy and self-sufficiency -- the independent culture and spirit of New Hampshire -- at worst.

Firstly, no one with whom I associate is in favor of animal cruelty. Indeed, I prefer my dogs to the vast majority of humans. Literally. But the notion that a small, or "hobby" farm, or even household on a budget would need government approval to slaughter a cow or pig or lamb or rabbit or chicken for dinner is beyond absurd.

As is the notion that a poor family must now choose between allocating scarce resources for a "professional" to put poor ol' faithful Yeller out of his misery, or letting him hang on to the bitter end. Now, that's animal cruelty.

Now consider the mousetrap in your kitchen. Or the "roach motel." Or the mosquito on your arm you're about to swat. How about the hawk ravaging your chicken coop, or the bear attacking your dog, or the rabid fox advancing on your child? Ready to go call authorities for an "ok?"

Now extend an (ever) ongoing debate, and consider generally if a simple fertilized egg actually has the rights of the "born" of the species. And then consider your omelette. Depending on one's position on that related debate, how to argue against breakfast criminality under this bill?

Are you laughing yet? I'm not, because this is the proposed legislation. To be imposed by government force. For those who depend on their own resourcefulness, every dinner, every defense of life or property against even nature would now need government authorization.

The overall implications to, and foreshadowings for regulation of the food supply and "authorized" self-sufficiency in general, are very troubling to me, and not just because we raise poultry. This is an independent rural state, but whoever thought this up has clearly never left inner-city limits for any length of time. Or is simply an unrepentant authoritarian...

"You will be beholden to government. For your protection (in this case, even from nature). For your food. It is so written."

Not this camper. Not now. Not ever.

Please unequivocally recommend ITL on the onerous and portentous HB1314. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

NH House Committee hearings on HB1623-FN and HB1504-FN-LOCAL

Testimony in front of the NH House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on HB1623-FN, which would make the penalty in NH for marijuana possession in a quantity of less than 1.25 ounces a violation; and (eventually, in part 3) Jim Forsythe's testimony on HB1504-FN-LOCAL, AN ACT directing New Hampshire to withdraw from the No Child Left Behind Act; 1/22/2008.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

And here's the complete testimony of Superintendent Richard Van Wickler of the Cheshire County (NH) Department of Corrections, generated by request of NH Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
[sorry, lost to Google Video, and I didn't catch it -- gonna have to retrieve the original video from archives and repost to YouTube at some point...]

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 NH Marijuana Legislation Press Conference

HB1623-FN, AN ACT relative to penalties for possession of marijuana, would make the penalty in NH for marijuana possession in a quantity of less than 1.25 ounces a violation. This is the press conference held by Matt Simon and the NH Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy prior to the NH House of Representatives' Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee hearing.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Year of the Patriot

Ok, this is a seriously cool, appropriate, and timely logo...

I want a t-shirt! (Remember, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl following the 9/11 season, too. One game at a time, though...)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Reject Hidden Tracking Devices

Following is my email to my NH State Representatives regarding HB686-FN, "AN ACT relative to the regulation of tracking devices."

HB686 is scheduled to come to the floor on Wednesday of this week. Please defeat the Commerce Committee's majority ITL recommendation, and vote it OTP.

HB686 would require labels on consumer products that contain RFID, and prohibit electronic tracking. An informed consumer is an empowered consumer. There is no legitimate justification for intentionally hiding, with even the temporary sanction of government, the presence of such technology (in an apparent attempt to render it so ubiquitous before the public is fully aware of it that it's then impossible to reject).

HB686 would prohibit the state from using RFID in driver's licenses and other identity documents. As with REAL ID, when government succeeds in overstepping its mandate and saying, "You will," the voter has lost the choice to say "no." Mandating such potentially easily abused -- and abusive -- technology for government purposes should trouble every free citizen.

HB686 would make it a felony to forcibly implant an RFID chip in someone. How is this even an issue? There is no greater privacy violation than forcibly entering someone's body. Indeed, a volatile term for that concept comes to mind...

Additionally, NH citizens have no obligation whatsoever to involuntarily improve cost-effectiveness (by not "bucking the trend" of blind acceptance) for companies that choose to implement such potential post-sale tracking measures. If these companies believe they'll lose money, then they must also believe that consumers will reject RFID chips if they only know about them. Isn't the answer right there?

No matter to what potentially beneficial uses RFID is or may eventually be employed, these uses must be out in the open. Hiding them -- hiding the potential to surreptitiously track unwitting carriers -- is fraud. Hiding them with government's imprimatur is unconscionable. Citizens deserve knowledge and choice, as well as assurance that government, itself, will have no inescapable opportunity to invade their precious and increasingly vulnerable privacy. I support all these goals. I hope you do, too. Please pass HB686.

And thank you, Rep. Kurk.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

2008 NH Liberty Forum, Day 4

Sunday morning activities at the Free State Project's 2008 NH Liberty Forum, 1/6/2008.

And scenes from Sunday afternoon, including excerpts from Dr. Ron Paul's address, the complete video of which can be seen here

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Freedom Costs

The Bedlam Bards is a RenFaire duo whose world view was apparently considerably affected (perhaps just focused) by the short-lived, late lamented Fox (no surprise there, eh?) series, "Firefly." They've even produced an evocative album of "Firefly"-inspired songs, called "On the Drift." This video of an as yet unreleased song just arrived in my inbox at, shall we say, a delicate time, and I dearly appreciated it. May it comfort and fortify you, too. Sure wish I could sign on to that gorram ship (maybe I could be the funny one now), but I guess we got us plenty a' work to do right here...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

NHLA Visits the NH LOB

The NH Liberty Alliance visits testimony in several NH House Committees at the Legislative Office Building, 1/9/2008, including CACR23, "Providing that the State shall not abridge the right of parents to control the welfare and education of their children," and HB1347, referenced here.

NH Rejects Liberty

CONCORD, NH - Last night, NH voters, in their "First in the Nation" primaries, chose the status quo over "the animated contest for liberty;" preemptive interventionism over MYOB; warmongering over peace; fascism and collectivism ("We are Borg. You will be assimilated.") over sovereignty; the political machine over original intent; force over freedom; even theocracy over religious liberty for all. Their next objective was not clear at press time.

As I stood, darkly contemplating these implications in the shower this morning, and again as I sat in on legislative hearings with the NH Liberty Alliance in Concord this afternoon, it occurred to me that perhaps Ron Paul's message of liberty didn't actually fail in NH (I'm grasping for a "benefit of the doubt" here, in case it's not obvious). Perhaps, just perhaps, the problem is with the messenger, or more accurately in this case, the delivery boy.

Liberty activists in NH are becoming increasingly effective at getting the correctness, the consistency, the "honor" of the message across to powerbrokers and advocacy groups. But we're still ignoring -- well, perhaps that's too strong a word -- the masses: the far too high percentage of the population that's still so abysmally unaware of the principles and the stakes, of the original design of this Constitutional Republic, who, as NH Public Radio reported last night, still can't make a choice until they're standing in the voting booth. And then with an arbitrary coin flip, they choose McCain and Clinton. Name recognition. Comfy.

*sigh* I certainly don't know what the answer is. But I deeply fear we're rapidly running out of time, and we need to come up with something. Soon. I shudder at the conventional wisdom -- and I do accept it -- that NH is one of the most liberty-minded places in what is continually billed as "the freest country in the world." Empirically, that ain't sayin' much. Not much at all...

1/10/2008: Here's a partial answer. Thanks, Jim...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2008 NH Liberty Forum, Day 3

Saturday at the Free State Project's 2008 NH Liberty Forum, 1/5/2008.

Part 1

Part 2

2008 NH Liberty Forum, Day 3 - Mincin-Stephen Debate

Free Stater Dave Mincin holds the feet of NH 1st District Congressional candidate, former NH DHHS Commissioner John Stephen to the fire at the Free State Project's 2008 NH Liberty Forum. Yeah, yeah: half a minute without video. Rest your eyes or something...

Monday, January 7, 2008

2008 NH Liberty Forum, Day 2

A sampler of daytime activities at Day 2 of the Free State Project's NH Liberty Forum, 1/4/2008.

And evening festivities. Specifically, the dinner speaker, "Cap'n Roughseas," AKA "enemy of the state" (but who of us isn't these days) Liberty Dollar's Bernard von Nothaus. Hey, find a Liberty Associate, get yourself a paper Certificate, and join the class action...

2008 NH Liberty Forum State House Tour

The NH Liberty Alliance takes the Free State Project's NH Liberty Forum attendees on a physical and political tour of the NH State House and Legislative Office Building, 1/3/2008.

Ron Paul's Speech at the 2008 NH Liberty Forum

GOP Presidential candidate Congressman Dr. Ron Paul's amazing address to the 2008 NH Liberty Forum, admittedly a friendly audience, 1/6/2008. Watch for the spontaneous ghost of Barry Goldwater. (Yeah, ok: "Jr." But it's still kinda freaky, ain't it...? And no, not when he's introduced.)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ron Paul Presence at Fox News GOP Forum

Ron Paul at the 1/6/2008 Faux- er..., Fox News GOP Forum -- in spirit, anyway -- at St. Anselm's College in Goffstown, NH, from which he was banned, 3 days after pulling double digits in the Iowa Caucuses, and 2 days before the NH primaries. Agenda, you say? Noooo...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2008 NH Liberty Forum Firearms Shoot

Scenes from this morning's Firearms Shoot to open the 2008 Free State Project Liberty Forum, at Manchester Firing Line & Range in Manchester, NH. My Reason interview even made it to the web before my video...
So I did most of my talking on the bus to and from the event and milling around. Bill Alleman, who blogs and posts videos under the name NHBikerBill, laughed about the Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton ads that trumpet their work for average schlubs ("He saved my daugher! She unclogged my toilet!") and argued that only Paul's got truly excited supporters.

"Nobody wants to vote for Romney or those other guys, but there are these voters who vote out of habit: Oh, there's an election, I'd better decide. Why should those votes count as much as votes for Ron Paul?" Bill shook his head. "You listen to him and you say 'This is how it should be, goddamn it!'"

Well, he almost got the username right (he scored on the YouTube url, though). Thanks, Dave! Here's the video (yes, I said the wrong date)...