On 12/21/2009, a majority of the NH legislature's Joint Committee on Legislative Facilities (no web page: they appear to be about as shadowy as the NSA used to be...), in a closed-door session, arrogantly, unilaterally and without notice or discussion, voted to impose not a law (a bill to impose such a law -- HB1354 -- was soundly trounced in 2008, and the sponsor even lost her subsequent primary election), but a "rule" to instill a false sense of security by banning (merely a subset of) "deadly or dangerous weapons" (presumably primarily guns and knives, but what can't be a weapon? Ask TSA...) from buildings they don't own and don't possess super-Constitutional authority over, but have only been delegated by their constituents the temporary privilege -- yes, privilege -- to occupy. Even those carried by their own legislative peers (as servants of the people, are they your peers?) as defense against these "dangerous hordes." The text:
"No person, except for law enforcement personnel in active duty, shall carry a firearm or other dangerous or deadly weapon or an explosive, openly or concealed, while inside the State House, the Legislative Office Building, the Upham Walker House, or any of the underground tunnels connected to these buildings. Law enforcement personnel, when requested by State House security staff, must produce sufficient identification establishing their status as law enforcement personnel."
Certainly, gun-grabbers -- merely one not terribly uniquely venal clan of those who prefer a particular selective reading of ostensibly unalienable rights -- choose to ignore inconvenient truths like the disturbingly consistent correlation between mass shootings and so-called -- and empirically misnamed -- "gun-free zones." Let's be clear: they have voted to abdicate even their own basic human right to self-defense. Do they have the authority to also renounce that of their fellow representatives? Of State House employees? Of yours? Should you expect to surrender one right in order to exercise another? On (legitimately) "public" property that you ostensibly own, and allow them to occupy at your pleasure? Against Constitutional guarantees?
So here, a select subset of "representatives" chose to ignore NH Constitution Part First, Articles 2-a, 8 and 29, Part Second, Articles 5 and 8, and RSA 159:26's "preemption," just for starters, and prohibit legal and guaranteed taxpayer access to the taxpayers' own, in this case actually "public," property.
And herewith, from 12/23/2009 -- a mere 2 days later -- the (first) resultant protest. I'd be very surprised if they actually saw this coming when they schemed to slip this through Christmas week. I really don't think they have a clue what's going on here in the Free State yet. And they're increasingly responsible for bringing it on themselves. 'Course, that condition would send a certain message, too, wouldn't it...? How many of them would, say, happily join Oath Keepers? What, one must wonder, would be their excuse for not?
Had enough? Inundate the NH House Speaker's Office at 603-271-3661 and the NH Senate President's Office at 603-271-2111 to complain against this "dangerous weapons" -- or is it dangerous "weapons"? -- ban.
I expect you all know by now that the Facilities committee has banned "dangerous weapons" from the State House, LOB and Upham Walker House.
The feedback that I have gotten is that you are all anxious to express your displeasure to the majority party which perpetrated this act. I am hoping to have hundreds of citizens roaming the halls of the State House the morning of Jan 6, the first Session Day between approximately 9A to 11A, wearing empty holsters.
Please spread this far and wide.
Hon. Daniel C. Itse
The purpose of our governments was not to redistribute wealth, but to prevent involuntary redistribution. We have forgotten a founding principle: no man, king or common, has a right to, or is entitled to another man's wealth.
Hey, there's one interesting factoid: at Concord's November 420 celebration, we were told we couldn't demonstrate (well, we had signs, so it must be a demonstration, right?) in front of the State House without government's permission. No such complaints this time...
Every year, the NH Liberty Alliance tackles the monumental task of analyzing and rating each and every bill submitted to the NH legislature, in preparation for advocacy efforts in and around the halls of power, as well as rating our "representatives" based on their voting records. To that end, each year new volunteers need to be brought up to speed with the process, and old hands need to be apprised of any improvements to the ever-evolving rating software. Herewith, this year's first effort, 12/12/2009, with over 2 dozen in attendance, as an introduction to the process.
Anyone, anywhere can participate in the bill review process. If challenging NH state government's interpretive monopoly on legislative voodoo sounds intriguing to you, visit the NHLA website and get involved.
NH 420 celebrations come to the halls of power, the NH State House, this Guy Fawkes Day, 11/5/2009. Celebrants are threatened with free speech limitation infractions, and not with controlled substance violations. Go figure...
I had to leave for a Capitol Access taping, but from what I hear, the supply having been merrily spent, the scofflaws dispersed naturally a few minutes later.
Rep. Itse first references last term's SB153, "relative to business practices between motor vehicle manufacturers, distributors, and dealers," specifically. But he could just as easily have used as examples the recently eviscerated payday loan industry. Or any of the far too numerous professional licensing boards and mandatory requirements in NH (one of the most onerous lists in the country), and all of which directly restrict the forms of contracts into which your state "allows" you to enter. Our government is flatly prohibited from passing such legislation by the Constitution, by rule of law, and all these are just violations of merely one particular Constitutional provision.
Then Rep. Itse goes on to cite intentional Constitutional limitations on the imposition of taxes. You know, like income taxes?
And what is the reaction of this august body to the notion that they've violated their oaths (which they took most recently less than a year ago), and that violation thereof is, in fact, a serious matter for honest citizens? Chortles. Snickers from the peanut gallery, so to speak. It's just so much mindless trivia, not an intentional proscription on the expansion of government's delegated authority that they should be remotely expected in any substantive way to adhere to. And then -- get this -- they quite vocally don't want a record of his chiding published! Stunning.
But I suppose no criminal wants evidence laying around, though, right? Well, by request of the orator, here it is, dear viewer, for all posterity. Including the "honorable" House's reaction... <shudder>
Hey, I just thought of a great statist campaign slogan:
"He simply knows better than you. And the Founders.
So just let him run your life, already!"
Sent this afternoon to my representatives, regarding HB648, "relative to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes," following the NH legislature's failure this morning to override Democratic Gov. Lynch's supercilious veto, which itself followed the meticulous rewriting of the bill to meet his very own stated requirements (btw, Sen. Gallus was the only Republican Senator -- again -- to vote in favor of smaller, less intrusive government, not to mention compassion):
A great 'thank you' to those of you -- Rep. Hikel, particularly, for your floor speech (although you did miss the opportunity to point out that while the dismissively challenged 53% of your "they-haven't-read-it" constituents support this, 63% of the House, itself, supported it back in March, then 68% in June, and presumably they read it, so...) -- who voted to defy our "liberal" governor and return just the tiniest yet still wildly restrictive shred of my civil liberty. You know who you are. I do...
A shred that was originally and unconstitutionally stolen from me (thanks primarily to authoritarian prohibitionists and crony capitalists -- sure, that's how a "limited-government, free market capitalist society" should work...) equally without the "100% certainty" (which we enjoy when, exactly?) that we were told in today's House floor debate should nevertheless be needed before government deigns to return any of its self-delegated control. Rush to regulate, inertial stagnation to rescind, neither with better knowledge than the marketplace. Or, in this case, than the patient actually in pain and her doctor.
My only concern, had the veto override mercifully also passed in the Senate today, would have been that "the good enough" would have proven to be the enemy of "the perfect." Or even just "the better," and we would have been stuck at this marginal level of returned freedom for the foreseeable future. Instead, we now have a prime opportunity starting next session -- perhaps with a little help from a finally fed-up electorate -- to do, perhaps not "perfect," but at least even "better." I can only hope we don't have to wait longer to take advantage of it, and remove just a little Draconian, non-omniscient, unauthorized government from peaceful people's lives.
As Rep. DiFruscia positively noted this morning, (even non-patient) activists have been smoking openly in Keene and Manchester. And surprise, the world hasn't ended. The empire hasn't collapsed. Chaos hasn't descended on quiet hamlets (although, yes, dogs and cats are living together, though causation has yet to be established). Indeed, law enforcement is largely ignoring them. So if, per law enforcement (and presumably its local governments, too, and despite its incongruously contrary hearing testimony), the law doesn't actually have to be enforced because it's demonstrably not a problem, then why is it still arbitrarily illegal? What is the specifically demonstrated compelling state interest that should continue to trump the individual's? (And please, no one give me essentially that the 10th Amendment is dead, and we simply must continue to submit to a self-appointed "higher authority." It's dead only if we allow it to be. But then, so is the Republic.)
And I find it profoundly disheartening, disturbing and hypocritical, too, that legislators such as Sen. Letourneau can appreciate and outspokenly champion the fundamental underlying principle of liberty for his own pet issues (such as motorcycles -- which is also one of mine, btw, so you can bet you'll be hearing from me on the upcoming helmet bill), but as per his own floor address today, loses any semblance of consistency on others, such as (even compassionate medical) marijuana. "Let those who consume decide." Especially those whose pain you mercifully don't have to share.
What a barbaric outcome. Shame on Gov. Lynch. Shame on the Senate. Undying, iniquitous shame.
Please maintain the consistent spirit of individual liberty and personal responsibility when considering legislation -- related or otherwise -- that comes before you in the future.
Faithful viewers may recall that I recorded the first such session, back on 9/10/2009. But this one's slated for 2 full days, so all I could stand was the opening ceremonies. If you can stand it, Chair Almy promises the audio will be posted on the state's website.
Surrounding the "session," anti-tax activists commence a parallel 2-day rally, and hold a press conference outside the Legislative Office Building. If you just wanna jump to the good stuff, the press conference begins at minute 4.
The rally will continue tomorrow, 10/22/2009, tracking the second ponderous day of outsiders reinforcing NH government's desire for more of your money. Be there or be... poorer. Whenever you can make it, between 8:30am and 3:00pm...
EDIT: Grant Bosse is live blogging from the "session" over at NH Watchdog.
NH liberty activists, primarily of the Merrimack Valley variety, spend a busy day practicing "inside-the-system," then "outside-the-system" liberty activism, 9/28/2009.
First it was early morning FIJA outreach in Concord, Manchester, and Nashua. From the inaugural Concord session at the Merrimack County Courthouse, Mike Tiner called in to Porc411 with news, then later recounted the events for this videographer.
Concord FIJA Follies
Then prohibition push-back at Veteran's Park in Manchester. No arrests. No press -- yet...
Manchester Marijuana Meetup, or...
420 @ 4:20
Come join the subversive, dissident fun, every day at 4:20pm, at Veteran's Park on Elm St.
What I found particularly galling was the good professor's open hubris regarding a paternalistic state-directed economy. One of his claimed "benefits" -- "I see this as a positive" -- to his preferred sales tax (which is first broached at 24:30) would be the intentional non-market-driven shrinking of the retail sector, thus forcing people out of those jobs (first offered at about 25:30, again at 28:00, and again at 41:30~42:35, but clearly contradicted at 19:45). "For their own good," of course. Not that the legislature hasn't been more than happy to impose a similar employment purge on the payday loan industry not that long ago. Certainly, by his own stated criteria, this is expressly his goal: tax what you want to (what you believe you have the authority to) discourage (17:30, 28:45); in this case, by definition, retail commerce...
Also, if the current sales tax rate disparity is acceptable to surrounding states, if we cut that disparity in half as the professor recommends, why wouldn't that encourage those states to increase their revenues by subsequently increasing their rates in response, to maintain that acceptable-to-them disparity? What's the down side for them? Why wouldn't we be doing them a favor by voluntarily closing the gap, thus encouraging their consumers to spend their FRNs at home? Why wouldn't this course spark a tax rate "arms race" in the wrong direction? Isn't NH's lack of a sales tax a significant reason why those other states aren't higher now?
The presumption throughout, no surprise, is that the state needn't cut spending. It will have more revenue at the expense of our wallets. The only question is how. Why is the state's position always, "if we can collect it, we should have it to spend?"
In a backroom conversation before the gavel fell, it's clear Chairwoman Almy was not particularly pleased that word got out about her quiet little session. "I'm sure one of these cameras is the Free Staters. Probably the first." ... "And I'm not going to be bullied." (I suppose we should leave the bullying to the professionals, then...?) WMUR's reporter assured her it wasn't he who was responsible. She acknowledged, and blamed the Portsmouth Herald for the leak. The "media circus" (Hey, Mom! I was mentioned in Subcommittee! Unless I'm still not considered the med-- HEY...!) she references around the 4:50 mark she apparently considers sparked by a Herald article that doesn't seem to be online at this point, but she also makes a crack in the meeting that the Union Leader owes her an apology.
Well, the video's finally converted, so I gotta get this posted. Some background can be had here. "After action reports" here and here.
"Fully Informed Jury" Activists take to the street to educate prospective jurors on their rights, in front of the Hillsborough County Court in Manchester, NH, 8/31/2009. I believe there was a previous such effort in Manchester (following the lead of similar, and now long ongoing, outreach in Keene) in the past 2 years, but Big Mike fully intends this one to become a regular Manchester event.
Liberty-minded voters mass in front of the NH State House to inform their representatives on several issues. Specifically, HB648: "relative to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes," and the bloated "recession" budget, HB1 and HB2, 6/24/2009
And for those on a time budget, here's some selections from the Taxpayer Rally.
Lead by Rep Paul Ingbretson and Rep Dan Itse, the NH House ad hoc committee on Redress of Grievance, attempting to restore that moribund Constitutional mandate (Part First, Article 31) to the NH legislature (an odyssey begun last year with HB1543), commences "listening sessions" in a storefront across Main St from State House grounds, in defiance of the wishes of House leadership, 6/9/2009.
Yes, the legislators, attempting to do the People's business as directed in the State's charter, were denied access to government facilities. Apparently Speaker Norelli has an issue with direct accountability to citizens wronged by their government. Or perhaps she simply considers such citizens to be necessary and acceptable collateral damage in her political machinations. I guess you'd have to ask her...
Previous posts on Redress of Grievance are here, here, here and here (the afternoon session of which was the first time Adventures in the Free State met David Johnson).
Today, NH government is just a little less discriminatory. And that's never a bad thing. HB436, HB310, and finally HB73 are the law of the land. Herewith, the Marriage Equality Rally preceding the final showdown on HB73, "relative to the solemnization of marriage," outside the NH State House, 6/3/2009, culminating in making NH #6. By 5:30pm, even the shouting was over, the fat lady's lungs collapsed. Hell, even Cheney gets it. How, then, is there an excuse left...?
See more of my ranting, and the Senate Committee hearing here.
Now. Can we all work together to get government out of the religion business?
This billboard is part of the Federal Government people's "Department of Homeland Security". You really do have to provide credentials to government people when they say "Papers Please". We don't even need to put on a fake German accent to drive home the oppression of that.
You can't vote to end this at a state level. So the question is, if NOW isn't the time to secede and leave the oppression of the FedGov behind, when is?
"DO YOU HAVE APPROVED TRAVEL DOCUMENTS."
"TO GET HOME!"
Are ya feelin' the chill yet? Ya really should.
Let's hope the entire NH legislature gets the message -- as it finally did for REAL ID -- for next session's anticipated enhanced version of HCR6, state sovereignty. But what will it take for our federal servants to get the hint? Do we really need to care...?
NH Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on HB312: "permitting a person to record a law enforcement officer in the course of such officer's official duties," 5/19/2009
Essentially the same self-serving, dismissive, disingenuous dissembling from law enforcement as they trotted out at February's House hearing. Shouldn't they be required to understand the existing law?
Here's the deal. Taking pictures is already legal. Taking (silent) video is already legal. Holding a camera or a cellphone is already legal. Therefore, the "it might be a gun" argument is specious. Likewise, using a light with those visual image recording devices is not currently prohibited, so they are irrelevant to the question at hand of limiting audio recording. Non-law enforcement private citizens don't lose their rights, so the "they wouldn't be able to object to being recorded" argument is also specious. Breaching a crime scene is equally illegal without an audio recording device as it is with one, so that argument, well, you're seeing the pattern, yes? Right on down the line.
On the job means on the record. Why does this need to be explained to our employees?
Legislator schedules being what they are (and the Committee Chair is painfully aware of it on this incredibly hectic day she scheduled for herself), Rep Neal Kurk rushed in at the last minute, and signed in on the wrong sheet. Professional courtesy would generally have the Chair allowing him to speak, anyway, but she simply couldn't be bothered. "Sorry, the gavel can't be unbanged. There's nothing I can do. My hands are tied." What a...
Also below, the culminating testimony from Ryan Marvin and Rep Winters.
...would anybody hear it? NH Representatives Paul Ingbretson and Dan Itse lead an ad hoc House Committee addressing formulation of procedural recommendations for the House Rules Committee (breath) regarding the further adventures of last session's HB1543 and the non-optional -- as in Constitutionally mandated -- restoration of petitions for redress of grievance in the NH Legislature, 4/30/2009. Follow the backstory here and here and here.
Testimony on HB383: 'relative to passenger restraints,' before the NH Senate Transportation and Interstate Cooperation Committee, 4/20/2009. Mostly the same collection of nanny-statist authoritarians as at the House hearing. The liberty side seemed more focused and targeted to me than previously, although some testimony was missing this time. Yes, if you're still awake approaching hour 5, you heard that right: you're not an individual. Submit to the general good, whatever that is... I really can't stand this crap anymore...
Although I didn't end up using it in my testimony (which happens to kick off Part 4, and which is substantially identical to my testimony at the House hearing on the same bill), in the hearing I had jotted down an introduction that went something like this:
Rep Kelly is quite fond of referencing in her testimony and public statements the representative from the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance who also served on that stacked seatbelt commission. I trust it is not her intention to in any way imply to this Committee that the conclusion reached by that NHLA representative was or is remotely in concurrence with her own.
If you believe as I believe that you are an independent adult who can make your own decisions, thankyouverymuch, CONTACT YOUR SENATOR! NOW!
(Each full video below is temporarily double-posted to account for Blip's unreliability. Their versions will be disappearing soon...)
Somewhere down below, you'll find the video of the public hearing in front of the NH Senate Judiciary Committee on HB436: 'relative to civil marriage and civil unions,' 4/15/2009. Half of it could accurately be characterized, as one Rep quipped to me, as "bigots on parade," transparently convenient self-serving protestations and self-descriptions to the contrary aside. "Hey, I know a (godless) lesbian! I even said that out loud! Whaddaya want from me?! There're only so many rights to go around, ya know! I got mine, and I ain't givin' 'em up...!"
Check out the final speaker in Part 1, just for a pointed, head-slapping, cringe-inducing example (or the slightly more insidious grinning bigotry of the final speaker of Part 2, or the blissfully self-unaware 'Tyrants-R-Us' rant at the end of Part 3, or... ). Yes, he's a lovable sitcom stereotype, but don't be lulled. Wait for it... Wait... There. Was I lyin'? Yeah, that was my reaction, too. How ever did he forget "barefoot & pregnant," anyway...? Now, who was clapping louder in response: the defiantly authoritarian social conservatives or the bill supporters thankful for the farcical comic relief, hoping to encourage more such revealing volunteered honesty? Tough to say. "Give 'em enough rope" is certainly a valid strategy, especially when they so happily cooperate...
Anyway, in the course of testimony, we were told that this is an unflattering "'me' issue." That we've become a selfish society, and must change our ways. Wanna guess which side that assertion came from? (Answer [sorry, no 'spoiler space']: Those who want to vengefully [isn't there something about "vengeance" in their "good book"?] deny to others rights and benefits they, themselves, consider a birthright.)
We heard that the encouragement of the stability of official marriage greatly benefits all of society. Wanna guess which side that statement came from? (Answer: Those desiring to continue to limit its availability.)
We were assured that no one is opposed to equal rights, that justice is our goal. Wanna guess?
We were informed that the purpose of marriage is to breed future generations of obedient government servants. Guess... OK, that one's a gimme.
We learned that rights should be voted on, subject to majority rule, this being a "democracy," and all.
We were regaled with ominous arguments and portentous prophecies citing biology and education and adoption and tax revenues and incest and bestiality, but never exactly how any of it related to the bill at hand.
We were informed, on multiple occasions and to knowing chortles, that this bill would outlaw the use of words like "bride," "groom," "husband," "wife," in common usage. "Who's 'Person 1,' anyway?!?" (guffaws ensue) Well, who's "Party of the First Part?" For that matter, what's a "part"? (guffaws ensue...)
We were notified that God will be filing copyright infringement charges. (Well, the wages of sin aren't what they used to be, after all, the economy being what it is...)
We were warned that Taliban-like imposition of religious values was the inevitable next step, the irony clearly entirely lost on the speaker. (Once again, oppression is bad only if "we" aren't the oppressor.)
It was implied that gays are godless, or at least that any religion they might claim to follow (there were audible snickers for the Druid) is somehow plainly false because...
We were told that there are many kinds of churches, but they all (needless to say) subscribe to the (particular) speaker's interpretation of [southern preacher accent]everybody's lord Jesus![/southern preacher accent] (I think somebody said the Committee Chair is Jewish, so that concept should have gone over well...)
We wistfully recalled, with 'Tammy Faye,' the days of scripture exams in public schools.
We were literally told that passing this bill would usher in full-blown barbarianism. True. No, true.
We were warned that softball fans can't be allowed to confuse their favorite sport with the National Pastime, thus profoundly harming us all. Seriously.
We heard from several individuals that they were personally willing to go to jail, ostensibly (they weren't exactly clear) rather than comply with some provision of the proposed legislation. (They were even less clear on what the charges could possibly be. Maybe those 'copyright' violations...?)
We were told that if one is bisexual -- i.e., if one might potentially be hormonally attracted to other people, especially people of whom someone else's church might not approve for them -- certainly one wouldn't be getting married, anyway, since ya can't not do something about it, right? (Evidently, heterosexuals automatically lose that biological capacity. Does that mean I'm not really hetero, or not really married? I'm so confused. I guess the "traditional marriage" divorce rate is just a fiction...)
We learned -- with visual aids, even -- that marriage is like stool: all connected and fibrous-like. Oh, sorry -- that was like a stool... (Btw, the third leg of "the marriage stool" is "the child" -- not to be confused with "the Belmont Stakes," being the third leg of "the Triple Crown," speaking of big honkin' stools -- so I guess the "not" that I'm judged to be is "really married.") This unadulterated "stool," you may be interested to know, issued forth from an actual elected (I must accept, I suppose, lacking evidence to the contrary) NH Representative. Eww...
And ahhhhh, of course, we were incessantly chided that denying equality under the law is righteous and -- say it with me -- "for the children!"
About the only thing that no one seemed to disagree on, or at least contest -- refreshingly (small incremental victories...) -- is that government marriage does, in fact, bestow government benefits. As an aside, I'm not really steeped in this specific issue -- coulda fooled you, at this point, huh? -- being personally more vexed by the broader implications of theocracy and church/state commingling in general. But it seems to me that if I were directly affected, I'd be mostly fixated on the state-granted "contract package" aspect (visitation, etc. -- "permission" to visit your sick spouse, can you imagine?) than with any monetary windfall that social conservatives often claim I'd somehow realize against their will (but haven't we heard a lot of kvetching over the years from those very same conservatives about the "marriage penalty"? So which is it...?).
So, after six and a half (plus lunch break) liberty-sapping, soul-crushing hours (divided by ~2) of repetitive, mind-numbingly parochial "well, duh! God said so! Everybody knows that!" religious fundamentalism, I remain, um, fundamentally and profoundly unconvinced by the opposition.
Simply stated, government shouldn't be -- isn't authorized to be -- involved in many things, but if it unfortunately currently is (as with marriage), and until it isn't again, it absolutely may not discriminate. Period. Least of all according to one sect's -- nay, empirically one faction of one sect's -- definitions. Not in a free society. Not, as on this issue, in a First Amendment-compliant society. Any existing discrimination must end. Immediately.
If'n ya don't like the results of that Constitutionally mandated field-leveling, then you've got incentive a-plenty to help to get government out completely. Then you can continue to discriminate in your own church (ya simply don't get to discriminate in someone else's church -- that's kinda what makes it "theirs," don'tchaknow) or in your own business, to your dark, oppressive little heart's content. Yeah, get used to that characterization: you are an oppressor, like Stalin (ohh, no -- no Godwin's Law invocations here!), of peaceful people just trying to live their lives in liberty, in pursuit of happiness. Or, if you insist, pursuit of happinefs...
Make ya feel good, does it?
As I've said before, even quite recently, government's got no business whatsoever selectively making peaceful private lives more difficult. None. Ever. Simple as that.
Testimony on HB648: 'relative to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes,' before the NH Senate Health and Human Services Committee, 4/14/2009. The Forces of Darkness just get more strained and more twisted and more bizarre each time we do this little dance. There's some real unintended comedy here.
Last month, following the the House Committee hearing, I sent the following to my Representatives and Senator:
Compassion isn't a character flaw, pain relief shouldn't be criminal
Seriously ill patients in a free and compassionate society should be "allowed" to use medical marijuana if their certified medical doctor (as opposed to their politician) believes it will help ease their suffering. Actively denying and prosecuting medical marijuana patients, besides being cruel and inhumane -- downright barbaric, in fact -- wastes taxpayer dollars and preoccupies law enforcement officials when they could be arresting real criminals threatening life, liberty or property.
And the national government being the expressly created servant of the states, themselves, federal laws -- even if they WERE Constitutional -- are the feds' problem to enforce, not ours. And the current President has apparently finally begun to concede the folly and hubris of the expensive, immoral and unauthorized war on legitimate state laws (on THIS topic, at least -- hey, it's a start...), and will no longer be prosecuting what should have been non-"crimes" in the eyes of state legislatures all along.
Those of us who needn't walk a mile in these patients' painful shoes should simply count our blessings and sit on our hands. It's long past time we recognized the suffering that these seriously ill patients endure, and require that our state government get off its high authoritarian horse and get out of their arduous way. Government has no justification for arbitrarily making peaceful lives more difficult. None. Ever.
Please uphold the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee's recommendation of 'OTP' on HB648: "relative to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes." It's the compassionate thing to do.
That's $3.7M in one-time windfall blood money from the feds (where did they get it, again?) divided by 1.3M NH residents (that's 2007 figures, and truncated at that, so your autonomy was worth less than $2.85 in your government's eyes, even then). Plus the glorious citation revenue, of course. Bwa-ha-ha-haaa...!
Interested? No? Too bad. Whom do you think's running this joint, anyway? Now be a good subject and just do what you're told...
Except activists are sworn to make sure the goon-state of NH never gets to spend it quite the way it envisions, maybe even lose money in the bargain (yes, it's actually taxpayers' money, either way...). Will the state listen? Can it "do the math?" Does it actually care? Or is it really all about obedience of the masses? Watch the video: it's all a big joke to them. They still don't see what's coming...
This is the continuation of last week's NH House Ways & Means Committee hearing on HB383, this year's seatbelt bill, 3/20/2009. What does it take to instruct these servants that we simply don't want their "help?" For the "attention deficit" crowd, selected testimony video follows...
Details on the pledge Jeremy talks about can be found here and here.
Contact your legislators, and tell them you didn't hire parents. Tell them your freedom isn't for sale. Tell them you haven't authorized them to "instruct" you how to live your life (as if they're qualified). Tell them to leave you alone, thanks for the "concern."
Not great possibilities still in the House at this point, but they're not done yet, and it's certainly worth the fight. Likely on to the Senate after another floor vote, possibly next week. Steel yourselves, sovereigns...
Simply surreal. This is part of the discussion that occurred in the hallway outside the NH House Ways & Means Committee hearing room prior to the (first) hearing on HB383: "relative to passenger restraints," followed by the hearing, itself. It was way late, and will pick up again next week (so everybody who took the day off to instruct their legislators can do it again. Oh, joy.).
The Wall Street Journal sent a reporter, Jennifer Levitz, with a video camera (I mooched for a bit). She interviewed the inestimable Jeremy Olson and the world famous Mark Edge. Then she initiated an interview with the bill's sponsor, Rep Sally "live free or die!" Kelly (she's lived here 34 years, ya know -- I think she gets an extra vote at 35 or something...). Our own Ivy Walker interceded (with "permission" from both parties). Even your humble chronicler got in a question. An answer, not so much. Hilarity ensued.
It's interesting how anecdotes (did you know they're "facts?") are only valid when they tell them, and even then, the conclusions they draw can be diametrically opposed to the evidence presented. Eventually, they will make my head explode...
Details on the pledge Jeremy talks about can be found here and here.
As mentioned above, precious little time was allotted, and only 2 speakers were heard. They are also included here. The rest must wait on the Committee's pleasure.
Rep Kelly came up to your humble chronicler following the hearing, extended a hand, and wished me luck with my efforts, as if the contest for my liberty were just some amusing little game to her. A sport. Shaking her hand and saying thank you, I do believe the tyrant was genuinely surprised that I didn't wish her the same...
(I hate Vista. I really, really do. I'd fixed and saved that edit/typo. The OS, it turns out, apparently felt differently. I wonder what else I "didn't do"...)
Testimony before the NH House Commerce Committee on HB478-FN: "relative to remotely readable devices and relative to the illegal use of a payment card scanning device or reencoder." RFID, in an acronym.
And the bulk of Dr. Katherine Albrecht's isolated culminating testimony. See the hacker video referenced by Dr. Albrecht here.
216 "somebody"s, as it turns out... Have they even bothered to read what they've sworn to uphold?
Herewith, the rally and roll call vote on HCR6, "affirming States' rights based on Jeffersonian principles." As you watch the floor debate in the 2nd half, remember that there was no public testimony against HCR6.None.
The extremely limited coverage the mainstream media has deigned to provide (not to mention statements by Committee members in session) has suggested that legislators have been hearing a lot on this issue, yet none of them seems able to say any of it was remotely negative. There were hundreds of well-chilled voters who turned out on a work day to express their (to employ laughable understatement) strong approval for the resolution.
These "representatives" certainly aren't listening to their constituents. Who are they listening to? Whom do they serve?
And the arrogant hypocrite Rep. Rollo on the House floor disparages anyone who "thinks they know better" on this bill, but I guarantee you he believed he "knew better" on spending bills and regulation bills voted on in this very same chamber later on this very same day. He has no place whatsoever as my servant, and I want him fired.
Find out who your NH State Representatives are. Then locate them in the "HCR6 Roll Call" to find out how they voted on HCR6: whether they defend your unalienable liberty or they meekly turn it over to the feds (remember, they were voting on the Committee's recommendation to kill the resolution, not on the resolution, itself, so 'nay' is good). Then hold them accountable in November 2010. Here are mine:
NH RSA 91-A:1-a,II ("Revised Statutes Annotated") says: "'Governmental proceedings' means the transaction of any functions affecting any or all citizens of the state by a public body."
And RSA 91-A:1-a,VI says: "'Public body' means ... (d) Any ... agency, or authority of any county, town, municipal corporation..." (a cop is an official representative thereof, and if the SPCA guy is operating under color of legal authority, perhaps even deputized...)
And RSA 91-A:2,I says: "a 'meeting' means the convening of a quorum of the membership of a public body, as defined in RSA 91-A:1-a, VI ... for the purpose of discussing or acting upon a matter or matters over which the public body has supervision, control, jurisdiction, or advisory power." (a cop is a quorum of 1, authorized to act unilaterally upon the alleged matter at hand)
And RSA 91-A:2,II says: "Any person shall be permitted to use recording devices, including, but not limited to, tape recorders, cameras, and videotape equipment, at such meetings." (particularly if said person is required to be there, one might imagine)
Obviously, especially given the current relative ambiguity, any cop is gonna do whatever he wants, regardless, and always considers intimidation a legitimate tool, whether backed up by facts or not, but it seems to me that he simply has no more authority to prohibit recording than does a legislator in a committee hearing, or a Selectman at a Board meeting. And a solid legal foundation is established by:
"I respectfully decline. You're an officer of a government authority; this is a government proceeding. RSA 91-A:2,II authorizes me to record it."
I'm confident that their invoking wiretap laws over these "governmental proceedings" is a fairly clear violation of RSA 91-A, and we shouldn't simply concede the legality. As Dave Ridley is fond of saying, I think this is a hill worth dying on, in general, but I don't believe that "death" can be the ultimate legal result of making the stand. 'Course, I didn't see how the NH Supreme Court could uphold the 4% ballot access threshold, especially after their reaction to those oral arguments, either, so...
That said, I'm not sure I'm ready yet to commit so fully to this hill, however, although I do/will push the limits. We're talking about a felony, remember. If you record a cop -- your voluntary employee -- they (claim they) can annul your guaranteed inalienable right to self defense. Permanently. And they have the guns to do it. Even, one would imagine, if HB312 (or its posterity) subsequently passes. FOR RECORDING A PUBLIC SERVANT. In performance of ostensibly legal official duties. In your name. A penalty, I would contend, that is an egregious violation of NH Constitution Part First, Articles 18 -- being a sure road to "extermination" -- & 33, oh-just-btw. That's a pretty violent death, both figuratively and literally. How does this happen? How do we allow this to stand and still consider ourselves masters of our servant government?
But again, I still contend that 91-A (not to mention Part First, Art. 8) is a fairly clear exception to the wiretapping statute, RSA 570-A, with respect to government proceedings. House hearings, e.g., are recordable because the whole state can't be in the hearing room. Likewise, police proceedings must be recordable because the whole state can't make it to the traffic stop. To quote Part First, Article 8, "the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted." Without a reasonable and articulable exception (and the law enforcement testimony near the end of the hearing hardly rises to that standard), the presumption must be for openness.
The NH House State-Federal Relations Committee holds a show tri-- er... an Executive Session on HCR6, on Jeffersonian principles and states' rights, arriving at the recommendation they will send to the full House. 2/12/2009
A response from (only) one of my Representatives to my instructions regarding HCR6 prompted further communication back on 2/1. Following is the bulk of my reply.
The text of HCR6 is dense, in the spirit and style -- when not in the very words -- of the founding documents, appropriately enough. If it were written for today's government-indoctrinated middle-schoolers, it would hardly be as powerful, nor as interesting, nor as serious. It reiterates the history, and original intentions and accepted justifications long ago conveniently ignored. It evokes the founding principles, with similar resolve. Let's face it: nothing else has worked. And I would assert that very soon (if not already) nothing will work.
"That a committee of conference and correspondence be appointed, which shall have as its charge to communicate the preceding resolutions to the Legislatures of the several States; to assure them that this State continues in the same esteem of their friendship and union ... and that the co-States, recurring to their natural right in cases not made federal, will concur in declaring these acts void, and of no force, and will each take measures of its own"
This is similar to, "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." It is thus my reading that, like the original contract, our course is not to be dependent on the respective decisions or requirements of other sovereign states -- although we trust they concur with our reasoning -- the original contract being between the states, not between the states and the federal government created by the contract.
No requirement for such concurrence is stipulated, however. They may take a similar course, or remain unintendedly subservient to the feds. Their choice. But as far as NH is concerned, "all powers previously delegated to the United States of America by the Constitution for the United States shall revert to the several States individually." That was the original intent. Yet NH still wouldn't nullify the Constitution: the feds would have done that themselves by violating it, like any other contract. NH agreed to participate in the Republic, given that the federal government was to be limited. If it's no longer limited, the contract is no longer in effect. All HCR6 does is restate the obvious, and put the feds on notice that we're actually going to pay attention from here on.
"That any Act by the Congress [etc.] which assumes a power not delegated ... and which serves to diminish the liberty of the any of the several States or their citizens shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution"
Which again, this is the original intent. This does suggest that the resolution could be triggered by such acts even though they didn't directly affect NH. Invasion of the Confederacy, for example. Or, say, a Republic of Alaska.
To the assertion that "an accumulation of offenses, even though large, cannot substitute for a smoking gun," I must ask, if an "accumulation," even though large, isn't sufficient, then the loss of which specific intended state prerogative would constitute a smoking gun? Standing on principle is rarely convenient, and time is not on our side.
And thus the pot inexorably approaches boil. We have a country dense with drowsy frogs. The Alien and Sedition Acts. The War of Northern Aggression. The Federal Reserve. The 17th Amendment. The New Deal. The Great Society. The Welfare/(undeclared)Warfare state. The alphabet-soup of unauthorized federal agencies unilaterally passing unconstitutional de facto "law." The explosion in federal "crimes," precipitating, e.g., "federal police" (?!?) raids on lawful state commerce. The USAPATRIOT Act. NCLB. The Military Commissions Act. Extraordinary rendition. Suspension of habeas corpus. $1T wealth-redistribution "bailouts" with nonexistent money (lucky future generations don't get a vote, eh?). REAL ID. Manifestly unauthorized violations of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, etc., etc., etc. The ongoing and escalating transfer of extraordinary power from the states (where it belongs, where citizens can far more easily ride herd) to the feds, by the feds. By the hands of the states' own ostensible "representatives."
Who at the federal level will stand for state sovereignty now? No one. There's no reason to. It's not in their interest. Ron Paul is branded a crazy old man, an anachronism, given a "laugh track," for actually honoring his oath.
We must all consider where our line in the sand is. For some -- including, by their writings and actions, the Founders -- it's a time and condition long since passed.
To the assertion that this is primarily an exercise in futile and even marginalizing and alienating navel-gazing, it's true I don't expect it to get very far [yet now, a mere 5 days and one hearing later, I'm not so sure anymore], either (but I had similar concerns over REAL ID, so...). There's so little respect for, or even understanding of the rule of supreme law anymore that I've little doubt it will fall on many deaf and/or confused, even hostile ears, regardless of the language. We no longer have an electorate that even remotely appreciates liberty or why the government established to protect it was expressly limited.
We have, too, I'd wager, a strong majority of the state legislature, itself, that hasn't even read the Constitution it's sworn to uphold. How does an honorable individual do that?
Yet we also have a servant federal government that is more than happy to encourage and profit from the ignorance. The American Empire was built and is now crashing for lack of jealous citizen oversight. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, per se, but it's taking the original intended Republic with it, if anyone still cares. We're rapidly running out of time. We need the conversation. Desperately and soon.
"A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." -John Adams-
"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility... I welcome it." -John F. Kennedy-
"Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular - but one must take it simply because it is right." -Martin Luther King, Jr.-
Tuesday, 2/3/2009, the NH House Transportation Committee held hearings on HB383, this year's seatbelt bill. The usual tired parade of government authoritarians and Utopian socialists -- and the still-naive children indoctrinated in their schools -- presenting the usual tired litany of anecdotes and excuses to illustrate and justify why, in their minds, government-coerced "safety" should trump intended liberty. Watch the first speaker, the primary sponsor, for example: it is profoundly troubling to see the giddy excitement in their eyes at the prospect of further increasing the state's authority over our lives. Where does it end? It's amazing how many of them voluntarily proclaim themselves proud conservatives or staunch libertarians. Except without the 'principle' part, of course...
Much like the recent motorcycle bill, HB95, the hearing began by being relocated to the much larger Representatives' Hall for lack of space. But by the time I was called, we'd had to vacate the Hall due to scheduling conflicts, and repair to the Committee's traditional hearing room. Audio in the Hall was less than ideal, and I haven't re-listened to the entire hearing, so I can't promise the Hall portion is all audible. But herewith, the complete hearing. (Some of my personal favorite testimony -- ones with some real palpable indignation, ones that almost prompted me to just hand in my written testimony, rather than repeat with my own oral, are in Part 2.)
If you believe as I believe that the state has not been given the authority to control our lives, would you contact your Representatives and tell them to oppose HB383?
And I'm gonna start trying to seed YouTube with a teaser for longer videos that I must therefore post elsewhere. In this case, with my own testimony. A transcript, which is also being forwarded to my Representatives, follows...
I’m here today because my autonomy is yet again under siege. 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."
I'm certainly not here to argue against the efficacy of seatbelts. That is, however, 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 they're 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’ve already heard the argument, basically, "But Dad, all the other states are doing it!" To me, the obvious response to this 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 we, 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 mommies and daddies. Despite what proponents of this bill seem to believe, I am a sentient, 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 reject government's authority to protect me from myself. I require that my government respect my decisions, and 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. Please retain our NH culture of individual liberty and personal responsibility, and reject the insidious and un-American nanny state, and only its latest onslaught in the form of HB383. Thank you.