FSP on Chronicle
|Publication:||WCVB TV (New England)|
FSP featured on "Chronicle"
The FSP was featured on the TV news magazine "Chronicle". The half-hour show aired on 2/26/04 at 7:30 pm on channel 5 WCVB (ABC), which can be seen throughout most of New England.
Video of the complete show is available in Windows Media format, in two flavors:
Also, the following rough transcription was provided by Jon Maltz on the FSP Forum. (Many thanks!)
Transcription notes: Stuff in double quotes = announcers or hosts;
in single quotes (and indented) = the interviewees. Stuff in [ ] describes
camera shots. Stuff in [[ ]] are transcriber comments.
"Have guns, will carry."
[A shot of someone turning the chambers on a revolver, cut to a man with a sawed off shotgun strapped to his back, along with a revolver on his hip walking into a bar.]
'And they say, can you really do that?'
"Buckle up? I'll decide."
[Old guy in a German military vehicle putting on a lap belt.]
'Well we really don't need our own second mother. I think one will do.'
"Helmet free? It's up to me."
[3 people on bikes, two without helmets, one with, riding past on a highway.]
'Sometimes I wear one, and sometimes I don't.'
"It's that live free or die attitude, and it's attracting some notable newcomers to the Granite State. Karen Pratt ditched New Jersey."
'We left our jobs, our family, our friends.'
"Amanda Phillips is bailing on the Bay State."
'I just have to fall in love with a state that has Live Free or Die as their motto.'
"They're the advance troops of a political invasion. Target: New Hampshire."
["target new hampshire" is written inside a gun scope which moves over a house with a mountain in the background. Cut to man standing in front of some trees in the snow.]
"The true believers are arriving weekly. Followers of a dream called the Free State Project."
[Pan over the back of Amanda's car, showing the bumper stickers from top to bottom:]
IT'S 4:19 GOT A MINUTE?
Want Liberty in Your Lifetime?
Free State Project
I'm Pro-Choice on
"The Free State Project, next on Chronicle."
[Clips of cheesy flying saucers from old black and white movies interspace the following segment.]
'Where are they coming to? Where are they gonna land?'
'I don't know if they're gonna plan to reside in one community, or if they're gonna spread themselves out in the state.'
"They are coming."
"It's a coup-de-tway" [[I swear this is how the closed captioning spelled it, she pronounced it TWA]].
"In fact, some are already here. Living undetected alongside their New Hampshire neighbors."
'We don't even know they are, they look just like us, yet they're not.'
[Back to guy in snow.]
"The truth is, there is something unusual going on in the Granite State, call it a mass migration of sorts. The true believers are arriving weekly. Followers of a dream called the Free State Project."
[Segment with Karen Pratt]
[Shots of them cooking ramen noodles. Removing a New Jersey plate and putting on a NH license plate.]
Karen: 'Give me some of that shrimp soup please.'
'We've left our jobs, our family, friends. But you just have to keep hope that there's something better. That you're moving towards. And I really think we're gonna find that here.'
"Karen Pratt is a former executive at Merrill Lynch. She and her husband Calvin recently pulled up stakes in New Jersey and moved to Goffstown."
Calvin: 'We pretty much think of ourselves as pioneers.'
"They are one of the first of what they say will be a growing wave of Free Staters, drawn to New Hampshire by its low taxes, small government, any minimal regulation."
[Clear shot of the FSP bumper sticker as he starts to put on his NH license plate]
'The moment I crossed that state line and declared my citizenship in this state, I just gained a measure of freedom greater than what I had known previously.'
"The aim of the Free State Project is at once simple and ambitious. To convince 20,000 believers in small government to move to a single state. That way they might just muster the political clout to make their libertarian beliefs a reality."
"In a hotly contested vote between 9 states, New Hampshire was the lucky winner."
Jackie Casey: 'I didn't vote for New Hampshire when I voted. I moved here because I made a commitment.'
[Cut to shot of Jackie standing on one foot, with the other leg parallel to the floor, leaning forward with both arms spread out.]
"Jackie Casey may have leaned toward Wyoming, but that didn't stop her from becoming the first Free Stater to take the leap."
'I'm the first porcupine. I moved from Oregon to New Hampshire about four months ago. And uh, I hope the rest of them are ready.'
"Did she say porcupine?"
[Cut shot of Jackie playing with porcupine hand puppet.]
'We call ourselves porcupines because we don't initiate force on others, but if you mess with us you're in trouble.'
"You might want to take Casey at her word. A firm believer that an armed society is a polite society, she's a sales rep for a firearms training camp. And her familiarity with weapons has landed her work as a model with Action comics."
[Shot of "Front Sight Firearms Training Institute" poster]
'I don't have any bombs. Heh heh here. Most of the time not. Don't make me mad' [laughing]
"Governor Craig Benson has laid out the welcome mat to the newcomers, signing on as a Friend of the Free State Project. But not everyone feels so warmly."
Peter Burling: 'I'm perfectly prepared to welcome people into New Hampshire. I'm not sure I'm thrilled by the notion that folks are coming here to take over our political culture.'
"Peter Burling of Cornish is Democratic leader of the New Hampshire house."
'My message would be to anybody who thinks about coming here in groups, why don't you first of all study who we are and how we currently think, before you start to talk about how you could come here and IMPROVE the way we think.'
Amanda Phillips: 'We wouldn't have chosen New Hampshire if we didn't think that we would fit in there.'
"Amanda Phillips still lives in Massachusetts, but has signed on to the Free State Project and plans to move with her 8 year old daughter next summer. She says talk of a takeover missed the point completely."
'That's the ironic thing, we don't want to take over anything, we want government out of people's lives!'
[Camera is cutting between shots of Amanda talking and a shot of her reading The Machinery of Freedom on the couch.]
"In fact, given her druthers, Phillips would rather take down the system than take it over."
[Cut to shot of Amanda cleaning off a spot on her car for a BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD bumper sticker.]
'The Free State Project aims to reduce the size of government by around 2/3rds, personally I think it should be 3/3rds.'
"You see, this personable accountant from suburban Boston is also a committed anarchist."
[Just as they get to anarchist they zoom in on Amanda's ANARCH license plate. A semi decent shot of part of the FSP bumper sticker can be seen right before this.]
'I just think that...that most of the functions that the government does, that...that we can certainly do better if left to our own devices.'
[Some nature shots of NH, snow covered streams, barns, houses.]
"So just what is it about New Hampshire that draws anarchists and financial executives alike. Well, maybe it's what's not here. No income tax, no sales tax, no helmet laws, no adult seatbelt laws. And, get up north of the notches, and there's no telling what you'll find."
[Cut to guy with a shotgun on his back, and a revolver on his hip walking into a bar.]
[Shot of woman with gun in holster and cowboy hat on. Two more guys with gunbelts and guns. One hands his gun butt first to another.]
"Yes, these are real guns, and real ammunition."
Don: 'Well, it's not that I want to show off, but I want to say, look, we can do this if we want to.'
"And most Saturday nights, Don Mooney and the Dalton Gang head out to a local restaurant, armed to the teeth."
'Well a lot of times when we go out especially folks from, hate to say it, Mass, uh, they say "Can you really do that?" And the fact is we can, because there is what they call an open carry law in the state of New Hampshire.'
"The Dalton gang is a cowboy shooting club. They love their single action vintage guns. And they love their freedoms."
Joel: 'Anything above the notch...you're free, pretty much.' [This guy has an authentic accent.]
"In the warmer months you might catch Joel White tooling around Dalton on his motorcycle with his dog prince. Or walking around with his 20 gauge sawed off and two .45's. Not surprisingly, no one has tried to tell him what he can and can't do on his own property."
'I think I put a 75 foot tower up at my house to put an antenna on it and a wind generator. Didn't have to tell the town anything, didn't have to ask for permission, just did it. Now THAT'S freedom.'
Mary (one of the hosts): "That's interesting, they brandish them openly"
Peter (other host): "You can. I mean, there's nothing to say you can't. I think back to what, was it Huey Newton who walked into the California statehouse carrying a shotgun one time many years ago? The problem is a concealed weapon, that's where you get into trouble. That's where you need a permit Mary, even in New Hampshire."
"And we should point that Amanda Phillips, she says she's an anarchist, but doesn't want the whole group branded an anarchist group."
Mary: "In fact, we found Libertarians, Democrats and Republicans as members of this group. Still ahead, fighting the nanny state, after this."
Announcer: "Coming up later, house hunting for the revolution"
Announcer: "Coming up next, running for state rep, the platform? 'Leave us alone.'"
"After the British Parliament, and the US Congress, the largest English speaking legislative body in the entire world is, believe it or not, crammed into the little state of New Hampshire. It's 400 members, a colorful cross-section of average citizens. Firemen, farmers, housewives, and school teachers."
Howard: 'Which makes the reps in particular easily accessible to the individual, whether you've got a compliment or complaint.'
"Howard Wilson of Andover, New Hampshire is running for state rep. Not because of the pay, one hundred princely dollars a year. Nope, he's running because he's passionate about his state's motto, Live Free or Die."
'It says, in effect, that we the individuals resident in the state of New Hampshire, use that middle finger which shouldn't be displayed in public and present it to any other individuals who would impose on us, leave us alone.'
Amanda: 'New Hampshire has a long history of not wanting the state or the government to tell them what to do. They're very independent.'
"And it's that suspicion of governmental power that has attracted anarchist Amanda Phillips to the Free State Project."
[Camera pans up a profile view of Amanda on her couch reading, with her little anarchist shoes on. Cut to front view and once again can see the title. Cut to the ANARCH license plate and pan up to the bumper stickers from the shot at the opening of the show. Hold on the FSP bumper sticker for 2 seconds or so.]
[Cut to shot of NH statehouse chamber.]
"Thousands like her have pledged to move to New Hampshire, to create a laboratory of sorts, for libertarian ideas of smaller government."
Amanda: 'Live Free or Die is not just something on their license plates. I mean, they really believe that. And..I..I'm sorry, I just have to fall in love with a state that has Live Free or Die as their motto. I'm just...I'm enamored.' [Laughing]
[Cut to Ed Sanders inside a monster of a vehicle, the unimog.]
Ed: 'In New Hampshire we have no seatbelt law, but these things make sense. The government shouldn't tell you to wear them, but you should wear them!'
"Ed Sanders, of Lancaster, doesn't like to be pushed around. And very few try."
'They tend to give you the right of way.'
"Especially when he's behind the wheel of his unimog, a German military vehicle."
'Right now you're getting a mog's eye view of the world, which means slow.'
"Sanders installed his seatbelts himself. But he says the government has no more call telling him to wear a seat belt than it does insisting he wear his mittens or brush his teeth."
"Sanders came to New Hampshire years ago seeking asylum from what he says was an oppressive regime."
'Ya know, I'm a refugee from Vermont, I know what losing freedom and loosing your wallet is all about.'
"And he's excited to see the Free Staters arrive."
'We need people that will vote in a conservative and libertarian manner to keep our freedoms. And we're just tickled pink to see them come here.'
[Cut to Jason Sorens]
Jason: 'I mean this is really a historic opportunity. Um, I don't want to be left out of it and I think that's sort of the view of everyone else who signed up for this.'
"Jason Sorens, a lecturer in political science at Yale is on board. He ought to be, the Free State Project was his idea."
'The whole American experience is based on migrating for freedom. I mean that's what most of the immigrants who came to our shores were doing. They wanted a better life, and that's exactly what we're doing.'
"The Free State Project's goal of lower taxes and less government would seem to be an easy sell in New Hampshire. But libertarian social policies might be a bit tougher to swallow. Like say, legalized drugs and prostitution."
John: 'What libertarians like to believe in is live and let live attitude, what you do in the privacy of your own home is your own business.'
"John Babiarz is head of New Hampshire's Libertarian party, and a big supporter of the Free Staters."
'Why have our criminal justice system bother with people keeping to themselves in their own home?'
Jackie: 'For example, the prostitution. They think that if you legalize prostitution it would be crazy and terrible. But look at it illegal. Huh. Crazier and more terrible.'
"Jackie Casey, a recent Free State transplant from Oregon, thinks that what one does with one's body is no else's business, particularly the state's."
'When people say, "Oh, well if libertarians had their way, everyone would be on a rampage, you know, throwing bombs everywhere and going crazy. Um, and you'd have total chaos. Um, I ask them, haven't you looked around, isn't that what we already have now?'
Peter: "So there are still some skeptics up there Mary, about whether they're going to be able to take control so to speak."
Mary: "There are observers who say this isn't going to work because there's at least an equal number if not more of 'Massachusetts' types who are moving into New Hampshire every day. They tend of course to congregate in southern New Hampshire, below the notch. But um, those people from Massachusetts may want lower taxes, but they're also used to a certain level of service in education, roads, hospitals and so on. So uh, the question is, there's a battle for the soul of New Hampshire right now."
Peter: "That's right, in the past New Hampshire has elected liberal Democrats to the governorship and it wasn't all that long ago [echo from Mary]. So it's going to be an interesting culture clash. Up ahead, does this movement have . . . legs."
Announcer: "Coming up next, can New Hampshire absorb the Free Staters?"
"Dawn Lincoln of Connecticut is house hunting in the Keene area. Not for a job, or to be near family. She is moving to follow a dream."
Dawn: 'I think it's part of a historic movement. And I really feel that my time and effort now are really going to mean something.'
"A longtime libertarian activist, Lincoln is one of 5,000 people who have so far signed on to move to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project."
'I feel it's such an important, um, movement that I didn't feel like I could sit by an hour and a half south of here and not be a part of it.'
"But, just how big an impact 5, 10, or even 20,000 Free Staters will have in this state is a matter of debate."
David: 'If you looked at it in terms of vote counts, no, you're not going to have 5,000 people that will make a difference in terms of vote counts. They're not gonna change any election.'
"David Corbin of the University of New Hampshire says organization is the key."
"But on the other hand, if you have 5,000 people that are so serious about a way of life, a political philosophy, that they're willing to pick up and move, if they go to a state the size of a million and they become very active in politics in that state, they can do a lot.'
Linda: 'As a political scientist I'm very skeptical about the political impact. Um, and the reason for that is that uh, to bring about political change one has to be organized.'
"Linda Fowler of Dartmoth College, thinks that the Free Staters have met the enemy, and he is them."
'I mean, the core idea of the libertarian philosophy is to be left alone. And it seems to me that people who engage in that kind of radical individualism are not really likely to be effective in collective enterprises.'
David: 'So, you know, here are the irony right, you have a group of people that have a political philosophy based upon leave me alone, moving to a state of people of people that want to be left alone. Is the reaction going to be ya know, we don't want the leave me aloners here either, we don't want anyone here, we don't want anything to change.'
"But Free State founder Jason Sorens says his group is no cult. And has no secret agenda."
'We're just normal every day Americans who are looking, uh, for a better life. All it is, um, is a bunch of people who wanted to commit to moving to a single state, um, for greater freedoms, lower taxes, less government intervention, a better society.'
"A freedom that the Copy Cruisers of Rochester celebrate year round. Helmetlessly if so moves them."
Katie: 'Sometimes I wear one, sometimes I don't.'
Dave: 'Definitely wouldn't like it if someone told me I had to wear one.'
"Dave Rooney and his fellow riders today, Katie Sardina and Maureen Duso are not reluctant to air their views on freedom."
'And can, do people in convertibles have to wear helmets?'
"Still, some are unmoved by the government roll-back rhetoric of the Free Staters. Democratic leader Peter Burling says the reformers might run hard up against the flinty New Hampshire character.
'Well, without being corny, it's granite. I mean, we present ourselves, and we tend to think of ourselves, as being immutable, we don't change in the face of high winds, or the passionate gusts of this or that.'
"Then again, perhaps the Free Staters might draw some hope from the passing of one of the Granite State's oldest citizens."
[shot of old man in the mountain]
[shot of what's left]
[shot of the illustration of how it fell]
"Amanda Phillips of Burlington, Mass has chosen to believe that change...happens."
'I have a vision of a better world, and I think it would be wrong of me to not try to make that vision a reality. It could be utopian, but I have to try.'
[Cut from Amanda talking to her putting the Be the change you wish to see in the world bumper sticker on her car.]
[Freeze frame on Amanda smiling right after that, then fade to hosts.]
Mary: "You know it's interesting the Free Staters maintain that it has to be the right 5,000 people that move there. In other words, people who are activists, who are willing to get involved in the community, run for school committee, run for planning boards and so on. And they point out that right now in New Hampshire that if you add up all the activists, Democrat and Republicans who live there it's about 5,000, not even that. So that 5,000 committed people could make a difference they argue."
Peter: "Well the speaker has a point, having spent a lot of time in Coos county far northern New Hampshire, you go into a lot of those small towns as newcomer, it doesn't matter what your politics are, it takes a long time before folks give you a hearing and allow you to participate."
Mary: "So the Free Staters might not be welcomed with open arms."
Peter: "Well, we'll see."
Mary: "They have a little few years to go."
Peter: "It's fascinating, I mean, they want to bring 20,000, even if they get 5,000 it could be significant."
Mary: "Yeah, it's a very interesting development. Chronicle will be back after this break."
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