New Pilgrim Chronicles:
One man's story of the trials and rewards of moving to Free State
Week Nine: Fall Colors Approach
by Brian Wright (copyright 2005)
Getting a few nibbles on the joblines. Well, one, anyway, from the old conventional technical writing environment. Seems an EDI implementation for the Post OfficeEDI stands for electronic data interchange, meaning basically paperless business documentsin the Bay Area of California needs to migrate to North Carolina. The IT (information technology) services firm rep calls me, and it seems they may be willing to incorporate a systems writer for the migration.
Most IT software developers love the idea of systems writing, of finding someone who can document what they've coded. It's like seeing their code broken by friendly forces for the benefit of people who use the product; revealing to the world what geniuses they, the coders, are. Not many systems writers exist, and you don't find a category for it on Dice or Monster. If you find someone to describe your system, 95% of the time the individual you get is either too technical without the writing skills, or too literary without the understanding of the technology. Thus, my standard niche isn't a big niche, but it's a niche I fill well when I find it. Things are looking up.
I get some help from a city administrator in Peterborough, a town that appeals to me for having multiple publishing firms where I can at least presumably get part-time work in the industry I ultimately plan to be part of as a creative writer. She's a sweetheart, actually welcoming me to the town! Toward that end I send cover letters/resumes to all the publishing-related firms around that town (approx 30). And I'm going to drive down there and walk around for a day next Wednesday. The personal touch.
I mentioned to readers of these columns, my creative writing ambition; I've shared the goal with others in the Free State Project. What I have in mind as my first "major work" (if another author wants to scoop me on this, please be my guest; the movement needs this healing idea put on the street really soon): a short semifictional accountI call it a noveletteof the successful struggle for liberty as told from 25 years into the future.
My political objective is indirect. By means of the book, I consciously intend to insert a memea meme is a piece of important replicating informationof the "sacred" nonaggression principle into culture. By establishing nonaggression as an overriding moral imperative and making it as powerful or more powerful than other common imperatives, e.g. "love thy neighbor," "have faith in God," and so on, we can set up the world for a much-needed long cycle of healing.
At that point, that is with the right fertile pre-mind soil thrown down, advice of down to earth masterpieces such as Mary Ruwart's Healing Our World, can grow fruit. For peace of mind, I spend a little demo time to satisfy myself I can write fictional passages. It may not be Hemingway, but think about The Celestine Prophecy, hardly celestial literature, but it sold tens of millions (and apparently it's even becoming a motion picture).
So that's it. I'm not working to a firm deadline, but I hope to have the discipline to make it happenat least have it writtenby the next Porcfest. Publishing alternatives are many, including a webpub. At the Keene Meet and Greet I attended, recall I mentioned Jim Maynard pointed me toward lulu.com. The FSP, in reality and in my novelette, is an extremely important piece of the future history of the successful struggle for liberty.
Early in the week I run into Crystal the new young neighbor lady from across the street; she's having some estimates made on paving by a few contractors. She and a contractor guy are walking over so he can take measurements on Cap'n Jack's side of the street, too. We get to talking and I don't think I scare her too badly by mentioning I'm here for the freedom people. It's just not a response she hears too often. This is getting to feel normal to me, going open kimono, just saying I'm here because of the Free State.
Also, early in the week on public television, I watch an interview with the living governors of the Free State. It's quite a remarkable evening, I feel an instant affinity for 90% of them. And John Sununu makes a fabulous point, to the effect it isn't the amount of the state taxes that is at issue. It's the fact that when taxes are not taken by the stateNew Hampshire uniquely has neither a state sales tax nor a state income taxpeople are more in control of their own lives and their own government. It's the epitome of self-government and the envy of the Western world. < My words.
On Thursday Cap'n Jack and I head for the New Boston Tavern for a beer or three. It turns out to be the night the Red Sox clinch a 2005 playoff spot by beating the Yankees, while the Indians lose to the White Sox in the AL Central. The bar is hoppin' for our small upscale town. We strike up a conversation with John, who is a native New Hampshirite. He gives Jack a little grief for not knowing off the top of his head the six states in New England.
The natives are a blunt lot, they'll tell you straight up if you're off the map. But friendly.
Speaking of being off the mapand not to belabor a pointyou can't give the natives snaps for directional sensitivity. I swear, even the latest DeLorme Atlas of the state roads is no defense against the misnaming and non-naming of streets in this area. My goodness, even on Mapquest I seldom come up with a red dot if it's off a numbered highway. Today I look for S. River Rd. in Bedford; it does not come up on Mapquest, and it is not identified on DeLorme. Turns out it's an alternative name of a short section of Daniel Webster Highway (I think).
So that really is an irritation you have to get used to.
At the tavern there's a local paper for Goffstown, New Boston, and Weare. Glancing at the stories, I note one that reports a rash of thefts in Goffstown. According to the story, " most of the stolen items have been easily accessible belongings, such as wallets, purses, credit cards, and change. Most of the cars have been parked in driveways or on the street and none of them was broken into. DuBois [the local officer] said the vehicles have been left unlocked in nearly every case. 'Unfortunately, a lot of people leave their cars unlocked at night.'"
With valuables in sight!
Chances of an unlocked car within 50 miles of Detroit are nil.
On my way to the Merrimack Valley Porcupines meeting on Saturday, I'm thanking the gods for this particular Audi A4. For 70,000+ miles now it has not let me down with a single major repair need. I'm also glad to be here in the Free State for traffic reasons: you don't have obnoxious, ubiquitous signs of law enforcement oppression, such as "You Drink, You Drive, You Lose," "Click It or Ticket," "Don't Park Here, or We'll Shoot You Dead." The most oppressive traffic sign in the Free State is "Fine for Littering up to $250."
Further, I don't have any sense of a massive police presence that you get back in the Detroit world, and other instances of State State. I doubt there are any or many marijuana stings, no helicopters looking for wild strands of hemp, no dogs sniffing suitcases, no weapons checks at government buildings, no state task forces, few or no drug free zones, little or no police-state bullshit! This is such a relief, it's hard to overemphasize. I'm definitely going to make keeping it that way a high priority.
There is a speed trap in Mont Vernon; the town imposes a 30 mph limit down a long hill. You have to brake down the entire grade. "Hey buddy, watch it!" I give the oncoming cars the flashing headlamps in warning.
Thinking such thoughts, I'm unprepared for the sticker, "Troopers are your best protection," adorning some wreck in front of mine. Woman at the wheel. "Boy, lady, that sounds a little psycho. You must be an out-of-towner. Because that's just not the way we think here." I note I said we. This is the first time, after about nine weeks, I become a New Hampshire "we" as opposed to a New Hampshire "they." Wow! I'm one of us now, for sure.
On Saturday, I attend my first meeting with the Merrimack Valley Porcupines. Evan Nappen is also present, in fact, the first individual I start a yap session with. This is his "move day" and after the meeting, several of the attendees will be unloading boxes and partaking in a magnificent feast at his new digs in Bow. My impression of Evanand he was a major player at the Porcfestis as of Marshall Fritz, leader of Advocates for Self-Government: a force of nature.
In my humble opinion, Evan's arrival in the Free State signifies the beginning of the end of remaining vestiges of state power in New Hampshire. He's an attorney who defends gun rights, an activist at all levels in 2nd Amendment work, contagiously enthusiastic, and has the energy of 10 men. These qualities will accelerate the arrival of others from the FSP and, heck, I think Evan will make a great governor!
But personally I learn a lot talking with him about my situation with a nonaggressive felony having my gun rights taken away as well as making employment more difficult. Evan says that Charles Rangel and a group of representatives in DC have introduced a bill to expunge nonaggressive felonies from a citizen's record. (Rangel's a mixed badhe's also introducing legislation to reinstitute the draftbut this "defelonization" movement is a boon to recovering liberty (and most likely a death blow to the drug war).)
Another idea he gives me is to join the Outdoor Writers' Association. I tell him I've never been much of an outdoorsmanunless you include golf in that categorybut being in New Hampshire now, I feel I'm living in the country full time. I feel like taking up fishing or even hunting. He says, that's a perfect angle to do some freelance articles and get started. The Field-and-Stream-Guns-and-Ammo crowd is amazingly large with innumerable publications.
Speaking of the outdoors, on the way home I notice a lot of homes, even the ones approaching trophy-home status, have tents pitched in the yard. People here really do like the outdoors, and it must start young. (I assume the tents are mainly for the kids, and not the mother-in-law.)
The meeting is at Milly's brew pub in Manchester, hallowed ground I located on my first night this summer in the Free State. Probably not the most ideal setting for a meeting, the light's not good and it's a little hard to hear speakers, but the location is certainly convenient. And the company is outstanding, probably 30 beautiful souls arriving today. The weather's so good, on this Saturday afternoon, we surely lost a few attendees to Mother Nature.
Joel Rausch is the head ramrod of this organization, at least until the end of this gathering. (Sandy Pierre is unopposed as nominee for next year's leader.) Some formalities, then two speakers:
Dan McGuirespeaks on behalf of the Granite State Ambassadors. The ambassadors, among other activities, serve as a source of knowledge of New Hampshire. Dan has several questions and token prizes for right answers. For example:
What are the four phrases used to describe the state?
A: Granite State, White Mountain State, The Mother of Rivers, The Switzerland of America
What is the state insect? (State insect?!)
A: No, not the mosquito, it's the ladybug.
Who originated the state motto, "Live free or die"?
A: John Stark (He's the Revolutionary War general responsible for acquiring the Molly Stark cannon, currently located in the common of the town of New Boston.)
There is more to the phrase. What were the remaining words of Stark's sentence?
A: "death is not the worst of evils."
What was the motto on NH license plates before "Live free or die"?
A: "Scenic New Hampshire." It was changed in 1971.
Some other questions and answers, some upcoming events. Seems like a good way to make friends for liberty. Check out the GSA website.
Steve Villeetalks up the fully informed jury movement. Formally the name has changed to the American Jury Institute (AJI). I didn't realize it, but two states now have laws that compel judges to inform jurors of their rights. Per AJI (and the US Constitution), as a juror you have the right to judge both fact and law, and to acquit defendants based on your own conscience. Most of you know the story of the jury movement, it's an uphill battle but we're starting to win it. If you want more info go to the AJI site. Extremely important work. Thanks a zillion, Steve.
A lot of interesting conversations, and these get-togethers are important for keeping up to date. I learn from Russell Kanning that a brave lady named Lauren is in jail for defying an order to leave a room in which a meeting of the New London, Connecticut, development association is being heldthese are the guys who got the eminent domain ruling from the Supremes to expropriate private property for a private development project.
Several candidates tell us of their campaigns, particularly Norm Bernier running for school board in Concord, Karl Beisel running for Manchester school board, and Dave Mincin running for city council in Dover. I hope I got all that right. They can obviously use volunteer help, so consider giving it a go if you have the time, or maybe get your kids to contribute activity as a school project.
I had an idle thought to share: Remember the old leftists had a slogan "Power to the People!"? Well, I think we should claim that for our own, because that's what the liberty movement is all about, giving people control over their own lives and fortunes. Freedom people are the ultimate people persons.
Finally, a young man whose name I don't catch, announces a website with 247 gas savings tips. A young woman FS pledger named Maria came to visit; she's from Hawaii. You know when you start getting incoming from Hawaii, the Free State Project is a top notch idea. The meeting culminates with a sharing of birthday cake. October 1, 2005, is the second anniversary of the selection of New Hampshire as the Free State.
This is such a beautiful day, I walk around near down near the Merrimack River, wow! This is riverfront property that seems to scream for development of "a Walk" but you darned well know it's not going to be accomplished by eminent domain!
What a great idea, a group of private developers come together, invest their own funds or gather them voluntarily from downtown businesses. We can create something really wonderful here. It reminds me what someone did in Oklahoma City, especially how they integrated the minor league ballpark (Oklahoma City 89ers) into the river walk architecture. The Fisher Cat stadium is within walking distance of Milly's.
I get to the New Boston area, decide to walk down the trail again. Then when I return home, Sky Cap'n Jack, who is also a Ritz Carlton trained chef, invites some folks to an impromptu dinner party. We later hang out with the neighbor couple, Crystal and Jessie, have a bunch of homebrew.
She's the teacher I met earlier in the week and a real sweetie, bright as a light. She really picks up on the reality thing, especially regarding the welfare system, and even the government school system. The double-edged sword of the government schools for good teachers: namely, the parents expect you to give their kids like you know "education," no matter what, while the taxpayers yell at everyone in the schools for unbridled waste.
That's also called wanting to have your cake and eat it, too.
(to be continued)