|| TV segment about FSP
|| Eric Scheiner
|| WNDS TV-50
TV segment about FSP
Unofficial transcript of WNDS TV-50 on-air news segment about FSP, with
FSP member James
Maynard. WNDS is New Hampshire's second largest TV station. This segment
aired 7/28/03 at 7pm and 10pm.
Female anchor: An organization called the Free State project is looking
to move 20,000 libertarians into New Hampshire
Male anchor: The group wants to change the structure of government and
News-Now's Eric Scheiner shows us how.
(cut to James Maynard)
James Maynard (FSP member): We're trying to gather 20,000 liberty minded
people to move to one state in the union together. To work within local and
state government to bring about a more financially responsible and socially
(cut to http://www.freestateproject.org/state.htm as the reporter talks it
scrolls down from the Low Campaign Expenditures portion)
Eric Scheiner (Reporter): The idea is simple, yet revolutionary. And
for libertarian members of the Free State Project New Hampshire is one of 10
possible destinations. A destination where political goals have already been
established. Lowering property taxes being the first among many.
(scrolls as far down as Low Crime Rates, then cuts back to James)
James: We want to lower the Business Enterprise Tax, we want to lower
the business property tax.
(cut to Colony Mill marketplace sign, then Ye Goodie Shoppe sign, Time
Leon's "Family" Restaurant, Creative Encounters, Prime Roast coffee company
while reporter talks)
Eric: Project members believe the influx of 20,000 libertarians would
boost the economy. By buying and renting homes, and starting businesses, all
while establishing themselves in communities and promoting the free enterprise
principles of the Libertarian Party.
(cut back to James)
James: We're going to be going door-to-door, we're going to be working
on warrant articles, on the school budgets...
(cut to reporter sitting in front of a PC on the FSP's homepage)
Eric: Nearly 5,000 people have signed up on the Free State Project
website, agreeing to move to New Hampshire if it is chosen as the project's
state. Final decision on the issue will come on August 15th.
(cut to James)
James: New Hampshire, as much as you can tell from the thousand or so
people who go to the forum seems to be a front runner.
(cut back to shots of storefronts)
Eric: If the Granite State is chosen for the project there's still no
deadline for the influx to begin. Nearly 15,000 more libertarians would need
to agree to move to the Live Free or Die state before the Free State Project
would get underway.
(cut to a closeup of the porcupine logo on the homepage, then the top of
Eric: For WNDS News-Now, I'm Eric Scheiner.
More media articles about the FSP
These media articles are maintained on a non-commercial basis by
The Free State Project,
a non-profit organization, for historical, educational, scholarship,
and research purposes. (For information regarding "Fair Use", see
US Code Title 17,
Chapter 1, Section 107).
Past "Rants of the Week"
I live in two worlds, really.
My Free State Project world is populated with highly intelligent,
clearthinking individuals, many of whom have their heads so far up in the
clouds that they have lost touch with the practical realities of the world we
actually live in.
Then there is my occupational world. In the world I inhabit some forty
hours a week, give or take, there is nary an original thought or idea to be
found. You're either loyal to the union, or you're loyal to the company, and
in this world it is that loyalty which defines who you are and what you do and
how you do it.
I have made some observations based on this unique duality that I have been
wanting to share here.
On the one hand, my libertarian-leaning friends here in the fsp have a lot
of really cool insights and well-thought-out ideas. They tend to know what
they believe, why they believe it, and they are open to contentious discourse
and free exchange of ideas. But this same dynamic tends to produce a lot of
thought without much consequent action.
On the other hand, my coworkers in the real world are mostly
democrat-voting union good ol' boys who drink the Big Labor Kool-Aid because
that's what they've been indoctrinated into. They value unity, loyalty, and do
not tolerate dissent. But -- they get stuff done. Everyone knows what they're
there for, everyone knows what role to play, and they play it without question
I've just begun an interesting study into the nature of opposites. It
seems to be human nature to divide and compartmentalize. While this is a
natural outgrowth of organized thought, it also can lead to invalid conclusions
that certain things cannot go together.
This is where homesteaders once again shine as examples of what can be
accomplished by the integration of seemingly discordant concepts.
The homesteader must, for his own survival, be able to both think for
himself and act on his own behalf. No one in our day and age becomes a
homesteader because he has to. Invariably those who choose such a lifestyle
are driven to it by some high-minded ideal, a well-defined philosophy. But
philosophy does not keep the house warm in winter. It does not pull weeds,
build houses, or till soil. That requires action -- hard work. Labor.
At the same time, the homesteader does not think a certain way or believe
in a certain idea because someone else requires him to. In point of fact, the
homesteader has rejected most of society's conventions -- he would not, could
not live the independent life otherwise.
What homesteaders seem to know better than almost anyone else is that
either thought or action, without the other, is empty.
First in War, First in Peace, First in Homesteading
George Washington is my favorite American. He has been a huge inspiration
to me. From his galvanizing influence over a mutinous crowd of military
officers, to his humble decline when the popular wish was to establish him as
dictator of the new nation, I grow more convinced all the time that we would
not be who we are had he not been who he was.
But did you know he was also a homesteadin' fool? It's true! The father
of our country was an incurable tinkerer in agriculture, animal husbandry,
commercial fishing and farming techniques. Before, during and after the war,
and even during his presidency, if Washington wasn't home to tend to matters
himself, he was in constant correspondence with his foremen, giving detailed
instructions, floating ideas, experimenting with crops and improving, always
Among his many, many significant innovations: he singlehandedly invented a
new method of threshing grain by building a round "treading" barn, streamlining
one of the most arduous of all farm chores of the day. He built one of the
first water-powered grist mills in this country. He was one of the first, if
not the first, to introduce the idea of composting organic waste to be recycled
as fertilizer. He was also very shrewd in the execution of his many home-based
commercial endeavors. As seasons dictated, he would harvest from the Potomac
either fish or ice for market, and even in his last few years of life he never
tired of taking on new ventures, opening one of the first commercial
distilleries in the area shortly before he died.
Washington loved Mount Vernon, loved constantly improving it and refining
it, as evidenced by the conviction with which he applied himself, and had he
been anyone but the father of his country, he probably would have been happy to
just be a very successful farmer and businessman. But being who he was, he
also felt that he was building a prototype of what could be achieved by anyone
with the wherewithal to do it. He made it his mission to showcase Mount Vernon
as an inspiration to farmers and entrepreneurs everywhere.
As none other than George Washington has shown, homesteading is not about
subsisting among the muck and the hogs; it's about progress, innovation,
capitalism, the improvement of body, brain, pocket, and the earth itself.
The Undivision of Labor (3/23/04)
Now why would any reasoning human being choose to eschew all the obvious
advantages of division of labor? Isn't that what self-reliance amounts to?
Why do homeschoolers homeschool? Why do shooters reload their own cases?
Because they think they can do it better. Because they want to be directly
involved. Whatever it is that they want, it can't be gotten from mass
production. Or maybe it's just more expedient.
The fact is there will always be those who cannot conform to a system, no
matter how good the system. And guess what? Humanity needs these people. Why
do we always glorify the outlaw, the renegade, the one who goes his own way
when everyone else is going the long-established route? Because those are the
people who change lives and take society in new directions. To steal a quote
from my hero Claire Wolfe, "the mature course -- for both individuals and
unhappy groups -- is to remain and confront our problems. We are to 'work
within the system,' 'reach consensus,' and 'have a dialog.' This is the way to
solve every problem from family hassles in Alabama to genocide in Africa.
Phooey. Freedom isn't created by consensus. Consensus doesn't produce
innovation. And an important minority of the human race -- that troublemaking
best-of-the-best -- isn't made for consensus. It's made for moving in
directions others haven't yet discovered."
And to take a quote from my other hero -- myself -- ,
"The problem with government and religion is not that they are bad, it's
that they have shifted from their proper role as servants of the individual to
servants of themselves. Same with companies. Nike doesn't give a rat's ass
about your feet. Nike cares about Nike. Of course that's natural. You can't
prevent a company, or a government, or a religion, from developing a sense of
self-interest. You just can't do it.
That's why the only solution I see as realistically viable is
decentralization...it is impossible to prevent any institution from developing
self-interest, [so] the next best thing is to prevent any institution from
having the means to excercise that self-interest at the expense of those it was
meant to serve."
Our civilization needs "worker bees" who practice division of labor at its
highest level, but civilization also needs those insufferable jerks who oppose
everything that makes a society run smoothly. Bees will always accuse the
jerks of standing in the way of progress, and the jerks will retort that the
bees are selling off society's freedoms.
I'm a jerk.
article that I quoted from my aforementioned hero, Claire Wolfe.
The Freedom to Not Trade (3/15/04)
As activists who passionately favor limited government, one of our core
issues is economic freedom. We stress things like privatization of public
services, abolition of government restrictions on trade and deregulation of
industry. Central to all of these agenda items is one thing: the freedom to
But what about the freedom to not trade? What if something happened and we
either could not or didn't want to continue to buy electricity from Canada?
Can we quit whenever we want? It was a lesson learned in a very hard way by
both England and Japan sixty years ago. While the large scale import of
consumer and staple products can actually promote peace and economic growth
when times are good, it can have calamitous results in less auspicious times.
Try sometime to count the number of items in your home that you use every
day, that you depend on, that are produced outside of our borders.
What happens when we apply the principle of self-sufficiency to international
It has always been within our grasp to meet our own demands for food, raw
materials, technology, energy and even fuel. The past generation has seen this
country shift radically from an industrial economy to a service economy. While
we have become incredibly wealthy, we have also exported a significant chunk of
our ability to provide our own staples, creating deficits where once there were
surpluses, liabilities where once there were assets.
What are we importing from other countries that we could produce within our
One of the only market items for which we are involuntarily dependent on
another nation for our supply is coffee. We are genuinely, truly incapable of
producing coffee on our own lands in sufficient quantities to obviate the need
for a South American market. I'm sure it wouldn't take long to think of more
examples like this, but the point is we are capable of reining in our most
vital foreign dependencies. Another word for this is contestability, which
means that though we may buy most of a given product from one source, there is
nothing insurmountable keeping us from producing our own, or at least buying
from another source. As it was explained to me by Steve Cobb, it may be okay
to import 100% of product X from another country A, as long as we could quickly
make it ourselves or get it quickly from country B.
What political entanglements could we avoid by relying less heavily on
We could avoid having to keep a military presence in the Middle East to
protect our vital national interests there. We could avoid the moral trap of
advocating freedom for ourselves, all the while financing the international
economies that prop up oppressive foreign governments.
What vital products do we depend on from other countries, and what does
this do to our national security?
It is important to recognize that while we buy some portion of almost all
our consumer and staple goods from overseas, we have only developed a
dependency on certain particular markets. For instance, while it is true we
buy cars from Germany, Sweden, Japan and Korea, we still manufacture most of
our automobiles domestically. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of oil and
clothing. These are industries that have moved offshore to such an extent that
we can no longer possibly do without our foreign suppliers. These
relationships are liabilities to our national security, as they put us on the
hook for any major problems that our suppliers may encounter. For example, if
we depend for our way of life on widgets, and all or most of our widgets come
from Foreign Country A, then like it or not, we are their guardians. When
Foreign Country A's economy goes in the crapper and all their widget factories
shut down, it is up to us to write them ! a check big enough to get their
economy back underway and their widget factories operating again. Worse is
what happens when Foreign Country A is invaded by Foreign Country B. In such a
case it is up to us to send our sons to die for foreign widgets. Even barring
such an extreme case, prudence demands that we at least take a very strong
interest in all the affairs of both Foreign Country A and Foreign Country B.
Not to mention the expense and liability of protecting overland, air and
maritime trade routes. It's also logical that every foreign item that crosses
our border is a potential threat to our national security. By reducing the
sheer number of those items, we make more manageable the task of screening for
contraband while simultaneously saving money on customs and security programs.
What would happen to our economy if we were more self-reliant?
Over time, depending on how much government regulation we could eliminate,
we could erase the trade deficit, we could create more domestic jobs in
industries where real goods are being produced, we could decrease defense
spending, and we could attract more highly-skilled labor and talent from
abroad. Because of our affluence, we will probably always import many of our
consumer goods. But both economically and politically, it may well be in our
best interest to work toward keeping the majority of our staple goods
production within our own country.
We used to have a trade surplus in this country. How do we get it back?
That's a very difficult question to answer here, but it starts with lifting
government restrictions on domestic manufacturers. That includes getting rid
of minimum wage and prevailing wage, and abolishing pro-union/anti-competition
Free trade and trade dependency are two very, very different things that we
mistakenly lump together. In our praise of free trade, we have almost lost
sight of the second-most important principle: the freedom to not trade.
Hemp: It's What's For Dinner (3/8/04)
Personally, I can't stand pot. I mean, I'll stand firmly behind your right
to smoke pot recreationally if that's what you choose to do, but I'll also be
the first in line to tell you you're a moron if you use it habitually.
But hemp! Now there's a cause I can get behind one hundred percent. It's
too bad for everybody that the stuff is illegal.
Now, there is already a liaison dedicated to drug legalization, and Lord
knows I don't want to tresspass on anyone else's territory. But hemp presents
some very, very legitimate benefits to those wishing to practice self-reliance
at almost any level.
The most dramatic and amazing use for hemp is that you can run any diesel
engine on hemp seed oil. It can be used in its virgin state on an engine with
a fuel tank modified for its use, or it can be processed into a product called
biodiesel. Biodiesel is simply diesel fuel produced from vegetable oil, rather
than petroleum. It works exactly the same, in fact better than, petroleum
diesel, it is friendly to the environment, and it could be a huge boon to our
economy and national security by significantly reducing our dependency on a
foreign essential resource. Biodiesel can be produced from nearly any
vegetable oil, but very few plants can match the per-acre yield of hemp, and
none can be cultivated as widely or cheaply as hemp.
Hemp can clothe you -- hemp yields twice as much fiber per acre than
cotton, and it is softer, warmer, stronger and more durable.
Did you know that hemp actually does a body good? Hemp seed oil contains
essential fatty acids, and it produces one of the most complete vegetable
proteins available to mankind.
Now, I understand of course that there are those who want hemp legalized
simply as a matter of principle. And there are others who want it legalized so
they can legally get baked all the time. I just love the idea of being able to
grow my own fuel and clothing.
The reason I have chosen hemp as the subject of this week's rant is because
it perfectly illustrates the interlocking nature of practical self-reliance and
political self-determination, two movements which have dedicated followings and
significant overlap, yet seem so uncomfortable with each other. It is my
awkward but cherished duty to continually point out that it is often the same
spirit that drives both causes. The two causes are not exactly the same, but
they are parallel. They're natural allies, like what's called in gardening,
"companion planting." Certain crops grow very well together, one encouraging
the other, mutually protecting and nourishing one another.
We're like carrots and tomatoes. And hemp.
A wise man once said, you don't need a degree in political science to know
what freedom is.
I think on the surface, freedom means something different from each person
to the next. But on a deeper level, I think freedom exists on its own, outside
the imaginations of those who wrestle to define it. And that's why it's such a
tricky business to attempt something as ambitious as the Free State Project.
My vision of freedom is a thirty or forty acre plot that supplies me with
all I need to live, and live well. Another's vision of freedom may be to
broadcast a radio show without a license from the FCC. Another may just want
to run a still in the privacy of his own home.
We all have something different in mind; some of us have something
very different in mind. So we don't all use the same words to describe
freedom. Sometimes we argue over the words. But every minute we spend arguing
over the words is a minute not spent in the service of that which we struggle
A degree may not be necessary, but it can't hurt, either. Or can it?
Why is it that when a human behavior professor talks about love it means
nothing to me, but an average man or woman who actually feels love
hardly has to say anything to convey a powerful message?
We believe in the Free State Project because we recognize that freedom is
as basic a human need as love. And like love, freedom is its own language. It
can scarcely be improved by shackling it in more words than are necessary to
I don't know what it means to be an objectivist, or a georgist, or even a
libertarian, for that matter. But I know what freedom is. And so do you. I'm
not interested in arguing about it in a language poorly suited to the task.
Another wise man once said, well done is better than well said. Whatever
form your vision of freedom takes, the best way to describe it is to live it.
And the best place to live it is in New Hampshire.
Live free or die. Can't say it better than that.
Back to self-sufficiency page
Go Where They Want Your Business
by Taylor George
One guaranteed quality of South Dakota is her commitment to a
business-friendly atmosphere. This commitment is not something South Dakota is
shy about. Just consider one of several media campaigns that are broadcast
daily into the larger radio airwaves of Minneapolis by the Sioux Falls
Development Foundation. Go here to read what they are saying: www.siouxfallsdevelopment.com.
Pay particular attention to the vast amount of research which compares taxes
and expenditures by state, and concludes that Sioux Falls, SD is one of the
best places to do business.
The Sioux Falls Development Foundation conducts daily assaults on the high
taxes of the state of MN. These campaigns boast of the fact that South Dakota
has no state corporate income tax, no personal property tax, and no state
personal income tax. They also provide convincing evidence that doing business
in South Dakota can save your business at least $1 million off the bottom line
(100-person company). The advertisements also boast of special
business-friendly tax breaks that the city of Sioux Falls has enacted for
companies relocating to the area, such as significantly reduced commercial
property tax for up to 5 years.
The Small Business Survival Committee, a D.C. based small business advocacy
|| SBSI Score |
|| 27.060 |
|| South Dakota
|| 28.250 |
|| 32.010 |
|| 32.150 |
|| 33.180 |
|| 34.250 |
|| New Hampshire
|| 36.250 |
|| 36.830 |
|| 38.160 |
|| 39.540 |
With an outstanding 2nd place ranking, South Dakota is one of the
friendliest business atmospheres in the nation. The ranking is based on taxes,
electricity costs, workers' compensation costs, total crime rate, right to
work, number of bureaucrats, and state minimum wage. You can read more about
these rankings at:
During the recession of the past couple years, South Dakota banks assets as
well as savings and loan assets have increased significantly. For example, in
Sioux Falls alone, bank assets rose from $29 billion in 2000 to $43 billion in
2001. In 2001, the city of Sioux Falls had $322 million of new construction;
nearly $130 million of that was non-residential.
South Dakota offers the FSP more than a bustling urban community. South Dakota
contains the Black Hills, along with Mount Rushmore. For pictures go here: www.theblackhills.com.
These are the fabled Black Hills of South Dakota, an oasis of pine-clad
mountains on the Great Plains. The Black Hills offer everything you expect from
a mountain vacation: five national parks, scenic drives, waterfalls, abundant
wildlife, acclaimed recreation trails and trout fishing. A place where bison
and wild horses still roam free. South Dakota Vacation Guide
If you're wondering whether the Black Hills are as grandiose as some of the
mountains in Colorado or Wyoming, don't. They're not as big, but they offer
the state a decent amount of tourism, and an interesting landscape compared to
the rest of the state, which is mostly flat.
Bob Newland, the Libertarian candidate for Attorney General in the 2002
election, received 12,131 votes. This is interesting for the FSP because it
introduces a few questions. Why did Bob Newland receive 12,131 votes, while
all other statewide Libertarian candidates received less than a tenth of that
amount? Are these 12,131 voters libertarians, or did they just dislike the
other two candidates?
One reason is that Newland was at the center of two major referendums on the
ballot last fall. One measure would have legalized the growth and cultivation
of hemp with less than one percent THC. The other was a measure called
"Constitutional Amendment A." The latter received fair amounts of national
exposure and would have made it possible for the accused to argue the validity
and applicability of laws in South Dakota courts. Unfortunately these measures
failed, but Newland did his best to promote them and in doing so may have
garnered higher name recognition among libertarian voters.
To read more about efforts in South Dakota for Amendment A go here:
particular interest are the county-by-county voting results and the analysis
about why the measure failed.
To read more about efforts in South Dakota for legalized hemp go here:
One problem the FSP may encounter is the possibility of voter fraud within the
Democratic Party of South Dakota. South Dakota does not require a photo ID to
register to vote, and absentee ballots can be obtained without personal
appearance. National Review Online also reports that the South Dakota
Democratic Party was paying $3-per-head bounties for voter-registration cards.
It goes without saying that some voters were receiving more than $3. It
certainly is strange that South Dakota has 48% Republican voter registration
and has two Democrats for senators.
These political games are particularly bad for the FSP because we know that the
media will not afford our project dirty politics, as they will the Democrats.
The FSP will have to play a cleaner game given the fact that most media outlets
will be unsympathetic toward our cause. We already have conservative talk
radio hosts like Michael Medved telling lies about the FSP. Just think what
liberals are going to write who are much less sympathetic about reducing the
overall size of government.
The FSP must also take into account the large Indian Reservations in South
Dakota. The FSP should not take lightly the fact that Indian Reservations
depend heavily upon the federal government. This dependence could bring
resistance to many of the rights we would propose for all of South Dakota's
citizens, including legalized gambling.
On the other hand, the Indians could turn out to help the FSP. County voting
results on "Amendment A" show that the Indians supported the measure (see
county voting result from above links). The Indians also showed major support
for the effort to legalize hemp. In addition to these factors there is
speculation that the Indian population in South Dakota is tired of being
treated like children by the federal government. This may all mean that in
reality the Indians may support our cause more than we would have realized. If
those in the FSP can embrace the Indian culture and prove to them that we care
about their liberties as well as our own, we could cultivate a lasting
Another factor for South Dakota is that politics is becoming slightly expensive
for a lower population state. According to the Associated Press, $5 million
was spent in the primary races for the 2002 federal elections, and most of it
by unsuccessful candidates (Joe Kafka, AP, 10/31/2002). AP also reports that
campaign spending for governor in South Dakota was in excess of $7 million,
breaking the old record of $2.8 million set in 1994. This new trend is
probably due to the tightly held senate race between Thune and Johnson which
brought a lot of outside money.
South Dakota is a predominantly Republican state, as evidenced by the state
legislature. The South Dakota House of Representatives holds 49 Republicans
and 21 Democrats, but the Reservations remain the wildcard of South Dakota
politics, one just can't be sure how they would respond to reducing the size of
state government. For the purposes of the FSP the Reservations would have
little to do with early success; later on, however, when the FSP decides to run
a candidate for governor, Indian support could become more important. South
Dakota is a state that is eager for new business, and it is a state with some
disdain for big government, but probably not the level of disdain held in Idaho
The greatest asset South Dakota offers the FSP is balance. South Dakota is
small enough for our efforts to succeed, yet big enough for us to have a job,
or start a small business.