Q & A with Evan Nappen (FSP VP) - Chat - 12/06/04
Here's a transcript of the chat that took place:
17:53:56 [GCG199] Hello, this is Greg Geraci....I guess I am a bit early...
17:54:20 [katdillon] Hi
17:54:26 [katdillon] Just a little
17:55:19 [GCG199] Oh, okay....
17:56:07 [katdillon] Hi Hardy
17:57:21 [HardyMacia] Hi Kat.
17:57:31 [spike] Greetings
17:58:05 [GCG199] Hello...
17:58:09 [katdillon] Hi spike
17:58:20 [katdillon] Hi Tim in disguise
17:58:42 [ct236] (..."Tim in disguise"?...)
17:58:49 [katdillon] Hi Evan
17:59:04 [Revtwo] Howdy folks!
17:59:04 [ct236] Why not "Evan in disguise"?
17:59:21 [GCG199] Ha!
17:59:40 [Revtwo] Because Revtwo has always been me.
17:59:42 [katdillon] Well duh, Evan isn't wearing that little mask
17:59:49 [katdillon] and cape
18:00:11 [ct236] "Mask"? "Cape"? I *like* it!
18:00:20 [ct236] Evan!
18:00:24 [Revtwo] Revtwo is my alias on ebay and all forums.
18:00:39 [katdillon] apparently so...but couldn't you have picked a better
color than pink?
18:01:05 [katdillon] can you buy guns on ebay?
18:01:10 [Revtwo] only parts are pink
18:01:10 [ct236] Well fine then. I've been looking to hear from you. You
know, we're never going to get you-know-what off the ground unless we continue
to refine it!
18:01:30 [ct236] Kathryn, I find that pink becomes me.
18:01:33 [Revtwo] I've been working on it.
18:01:56 [katdillon] Well, you're man enough to wear it well
18:02:14 [Revtwo] what should we chat about?
18:03:07 [ct236] How about the FSA?
18:03:18 [katdillon] If you want to get started, how about we just let
people ask questions about whatever they want?
18:03:27 [Revtwo] That's fine with me.
18:03:51 [ct236] First question! First question! (raising hand)
18:03:54 [katdillon] Alright :)
18:04:23 [katdillon] Tonight we have gun rights advocate Evan Nappen to
answer your questions about the FSP and whatever else is on your mind
18:04:24 [ct236] Should the NH militia (constitutionally provided for,
commanded by the governor) standardize on the .308 or .223 round?
18:04:32 [katdillon] Tim, you have a question?
18:05:21 [Revtwo] In regard to the ammo -- it should be both as both are
U.S. Military rounds and some people cannot handle the recoil of .308.
18:05:41 [GCG199] Good point....
18:05:43 [ct236] But then it wouldn't be "standardized."
18:06:10 [Revtwo] Yes, it is standardized to two cartridges.
18:06:12 [katdillon] Is the NH militia active even?
18:06:55 [ct236] I don't think so. But we can fix that when we start really
moving. I see NH ultimately looking like a beautiful little Switzerland.
18:07:05 [Revtwo] All able bodied males are members of the unorganized
militia under Federal law.
18:07:30 [katdillon] So I can't join the militia?
18:08:08 [Revtwo] Maybe the State millitia, but not the Federal unorganized
militia at this time.
18:08:42 [katdillon] That's OK. I don't want to, just curious
18:08:54 [spike] Q: Why is NH more attractive to gun owners than (most)
18:08:57 [HardyMacia] can the federal unorganized militia force activation
of all members?
18:08:58 [katdillon] Anyone with questions, fire away, so to speak
18:09:10 [Revtwo] The interesting facet of an official state militia of
citizens is that it can invoke various legal exemptions concerning firearms.
18:09:20 [ct236] Oh *really*....
18:09:53 [Revtwo] Yes, it may be able to allow for independence to certain
18:10:28 [ct236] Hmmmm. Okay, what about the Free State Alliance. I think
it should have a different name.
18:10:50 [jimcperry] Hello. All.
18:10:59 [katdillon] Hi Jim
18:11:06 [GCG199] Hello Jim...
18:11:10 [Revtwo] Howdy, Jim.
18:11:27 [jimcperry] Heyo! Hi Kat, Revtwo, GCG!
18:11:31 [redchrome] this Official Militia idea sounds pretty nifty to
me... never heard of it before
18:11:34 [Revtwo] What is wrong with the name "Free State Alliance"?
18:11:57 [HardyMacia] Does NH recgonize Vermonter's right to carry in NH
18:12:08 [ct236] This: The Lions have an animal. The Elks have an animal.
The Moose have an animal. I want an animal1
18:12:11 [Revtwo] We are not a militia movement or militia group.
18:12:11 [jimcperry] I am in the process of forming a Militia, didn't know
there was this much interest.
18:12:20 [redchrome] I came here to ask if there was any possibility of
repealing part or all of the National Firearms Act of 1934; but it sounds like
this may be one way around it.
18:12:41 [jimcperry] However, I think we should keep militia building away
from the Official FSP stuffs
18:13:31 [spike] I would like to recruit at gun shows, so basic question:
Why is NH more attractive to gun owners than (most) other states?
18:13:46 [redchrome] jimcperry: I agree... we want the FSP to be as
'mainstream' as possible. don't give the major media/our enemies any leverage
18:13:55 [Revtwo] Guys, I can only answer one question at a time -- NH
allows for Vermonters to get a non-resident carry license.
18:14:03 [jimcperry] Indeed
18:14:11 [jimcperry] Please, Call me JP or Jim
18:14:12 [GCG199] Yes, that makes sense...
18:14:39 [CraigTF] Its attractive because of the easy access to purchase
18:14:49 [Revtwo] NH is more attractive to gun owners because it has
minimum gun laws and an extremely reasonable carry license system in which it
is illegal to fingermprint or photograph the applicant.
18:15:10 [katdillon] How about you just say 'question' if you have a
question and I'll call on you in order so we don't overwealm Evan
18:15:11 [HardyMacia] So, I need to apply for a license? If you live in a
recepricating state do you not have to apply for a license?
18:15:24 [Revtwo] Additionally, we are a NFA legal state and there are no
permits to purchase or possess firearms required.
18:15:38 [GCG199] Do they still ask for the Social Security number for CCW
18:15:48 [jimcperry] Question
18:16:30 [jimcperry] If I want to start carrying, how old must I be to
apply for a carry-conceal.
18:16:59 [Revtwo] HardyMacia question -- This is one of the problems with
Vermont because they do not have a carry license therefore there is no license
to have reciprocity with. Alaska recognized this problem and came up with a
hybrid no carry license system in which you could opt for a license.
18:18:00 [Revtwo] GCG199 question -- SS number is optional on the 4473
form. However, I'm not sure if it is asked for on the NH CCW, but I doubt they
could mandate it.
18:18:00 [HardyMacia] (Well, it is a problem with the other 48 states that
have issues with people carrying. I wouldn't call it a vermont problem. We're
18:18:34 [katdillon] Jim, I don't recall being asked for SSN when I got
18:18:38 [spike] Follow-up: I don't understand "NFA legal state..." can you
be more explicit?
18:18:58 [Revtwo] Jimcperry question -- There is no age limit for a carry
license in NH and I understand that there was even a 15 or 16 year old who had
18:19:05 [katdillon] (thanks for slowing down on the questions, guys!)
18:19:27 [jimcperry] Revtwo> Thanks!
18:19:51 [Revtwo] HardyMacia question -- I do not mean that the VT system
is a problem. In fact, I love the freedom. However, this can cause a problem
for you in the other 49 states.
18:20:09 [katdillon] (for private messages, do /to person message)
18:20:55 [Revtwo] Spike question -- NFA is National Firearms Act (meaning
machine gun, sawed off shotguns and destructive devices are legal as long as
Federal law is followed.)
18:23:00 [Revtwo] IMPORTANT -- I will have a booth at the NRA Annual
Meeting in Houston, TX in April 2005. I am dedicating the booth to promoting
FSP and could use some help with booth duty. If anyone is available, please let
me know. Thanks!!!!!
18:23:01 [redchrome] would there be any hope of codifying local practice in
NFA examinations (i.e. a state law that says that if you're a law-abiding
citizen, you can't be arbitrarily denied an NFA permit on the whim of an
18:23:48 [katdillon] Tim can help by getting arrested again
18:23:57 [jimcperry] LOL
18:24:01 [redchrome] I realize it would likely only apply to local law
enforcement, not federal officials.
18:24:07 [GCG199] Ha!
18:24:37 [Revtwo] redchrome question -- You are talking about the CLEO
(Chief Law Enforcement Officer) requirement which is required under Federal
law. This would require a Federal law change. There is no NH prohibitions.
18:25:31 [redchrome] so you can't have a state law which directs the CLEO
in this case, because it's a Federal matter?
18:26:46 [Revtwo] redchrome question -- No, we might be able to pass a
State law that makes CLEOs signoffs a "shall issue" unless there is a objective
disqualifier, e.g. a felony conviction.
18:27:34 [redchrome] ok. that's what I was asking and hoping for. thanks!
18:28:28 [katdillon] Would passing such a state law be difficult in NH?
18:29:28 [jimcperry] Good question Kat!
18:29:38 [Revtwo] katdillon question - We probably had a better chance
before this last election. But, with 20K activits anything is possible.
18:29:51 [jimcperry] IMO, We can do it.
18:30:21 [Revtwo] I also have been working very closely with Gun Owners of
NH (GONH) and they are one of the best State gun groups in the country.
18:30:24 [redchrome] so tell us more about how this Official State Militia
could be organized. Do you have any links to cite?
18:31:34 [Revtwo] redchrome -- The State has the authority to set up its
State Militia. This could be officially structured depending on how we are able
to get the law passed to do it.
18:31:40 [CraigTF] Answer to kat:Probably. Too many people are scared of
the idea of automatic weapons (I think thats what this thread was talking
about) Education would be the first priority
18:33:16 [redchrome] according to this link:
http://www.sgaus.org/secamend.htm there are 25 states which have "official
state militia". I've never heard of them before tho, let alone anyone in them
getting an exemption to any NFA regulations.
18:33:38 [Revtwo] Let's talk about reaching out to gun owners and promoting
18:34:04 [redchrome] ok. better topic. :)
18:34:48 [Revtwo] Redchrome -- The militia idea is too easy for
misinterpretation and people will take it the wrong way. This requires a
careful legislative approach otherwise folks will say that FSP is a militia
movement and this is not what FSP is about.
18:35:03 [katdillon] Do most gun owners read gun magazines or go to gun
18:35:36 [CraigTF] I am working in Illinios and went to a gun shop here
where the employees were very excited about the gun access I had in NH. If I
could have offered a job to one of them I think he was ready to move!
18:35:38 [redchrome] yes. I understand. it's definitely something that
needs to be marketed correctly.
18:35:48 [Revtwo] katdillon -- yes, these are two primary areas of reaching
gun owners and I have tapped into both National sources.
18:36:21 [katdillon] Are there other ways of reaching gun enthusiasts?
18:37:05 [Revtwo] CraigTF -- You and I have a lot in common. New Jersey and
Illinois suck as far as gun laws are concerned. Both my State of NJ and your
state of IL is prime territory for FSP recruitment. We need to get to the local
gun clubs and tell the members that freedom waits for them in the free state.
18:37:28 [redchrome] katdillon: "most" gun owners just own their gun
(singular) for deer or duck hunting... the "gun owners" you're talking about
might better be described as "gun enthusiasts", and those are the sorts who do
read magazines and go to gun shows.
18:38:37 [HardyMacia] I posted a notice about this chat tonight to a
Vermont gun email list.
18:39:00 [katdillon] Thanks Hardy
18:39:15 [Revtwo] I mentioned in the article in American Handgunner that
the majority of gun owners are apathetic losers. We need the enthusiastic
winners who know and understand freedom. Approximately 1/3 of those members who
belong to any gun group qualify as true believers.
18:39:37 [redchrome] In MN here, we got a right-to-carry bill passed
recently, much of it due to some hardworking people at gun shows.
18:39:38 [katdillon] So the FSP local groups could talk to local gun groups
in their areas
18:39:58 [CraigTF] Sorry, I live in NH, I have been working on a project in
IL for the past 8 months. I did a lot of projects in NJ also. Your right, I
hated going there (and here) and NOT carrying.
18:40:17 [katdillon] Great, redchrome
18:40:53 [redchrome] I think getting some publicity for shooting events in
NH could do a lot of good. Publicise a machinegun shoot or rifle match... not
in association with the FSP, but in and of itself.
18:41:26 [GCG199] That is a good idea...
18:41:27 [Revtwo] kat, yes and FSP should focus on the top anti-gun states
and DC. The most anti-gun states are: NJ, NY, IL, CA, MA, MD, and Wash. DC
18:41:39 [katdillon] I believe there will be some shooting events at the
18:41:53 [redchrome] the event might draw attention to NH in general; and
that might draw attention to the FSP. but we don't want a direct machineguns
--> FSP connection.
18:42:38 [katdillon] photoshoot of Amanda with a machine gun :)
18:42:54 [Revtwo] redchrome -- We have to be careful not to give a "bunker"
mentality. We are activitists, not insurgents.
18:43:24 [redchrome] revtwo: yes. exactly.
18:43:26 [CraigTF] The better way might be through the organizations and
groups (IPSEC?) that provide training and tactical practice to folks who are
serious about self defense.
18:43:29 [Revtwo] kat -- Amanda with anything is fine with me.
18:44:06 [katdillon] LOL
18:44:23 [redchrome] anyone know a club in NH that could host the IDPA
18:44:36 [katdillon] Interesting idea, Craig
18:44:49 [redchrome] say 300 people for 3-4 days?
18:45:25 [CraigTF] Major Waldrons Sportsman Association in Barrington
(Where I shoot)
18:45:25 [redchrome] IDPA == International Defensive Pistol Association
18:45:44 [Revtwo] redchrome -- contact Sam Cohen at GONH for further info.
18:46:09 [redchrome] k. will keep that in mind.
18:46:11 [CraigTF] Thanks redchrome (too many letters in my head!!)
18:46:14 [redchrome] thanks!
18:46:31 [Hardy2] Trying to get national events in NH would be great.
Whether it is gun, lp, bikes,...
18:46:39 [jimcperry] L'Shalom Room!
18:46:44 [jimcperry] I must go.
18:46:50 [jimcperry] Thanks for hosting this forum.
18:47:10 [GCG199] Bye.
18:47:15 [katdillon] Any progress on getting gun manufacturers to move to
18:47:23 [Revtwo] I agree that motorcyclists are a prime candidate for FSP
18:48:04 [spike] What are the dates of the NRA convention?
18:48:18 [Revtwo] kat -- I have been working with NH Economic Development
on this issue despite criticism from certain unnamed parties who don't
appreciate the value of indirect recruitment efforts.
18:48:48 [katdillon] lol
18:48:59 [Revtwo] spike -- April 15-17 2005 -- go to http://www.nra.org for
18:49:06 [CraigTF] kat: I would love to see more gun manufacturers
(manufacturers in general) move to NH. The business climate is very good for
such a niche market.
18:49:15 [spike] I think I can be there.
18:49:48 [katdillon] I understand some legislation has been introduced to
reduce taxes on businesses also
18:49:56 [Revtwo] spike -- thank you please email me your name and address
18:50:50 [Revtwo] NH is a strong gun state because Ruger, Sig and Thompson
Centre are there, and hunting and fishing are strong traditions.
18:51:17 [Revtwo] Even NH democrats are anti-tax and pro-business.
18:51:49 [CraigTF] Really! how wonderful!
18:52:03 [GCG199] That is a good thing!
18:52:31 [Revtwo] NH hates taxes!
18:52:56 [GCG199] Let's hope the new Governor doesn't change things for the
18:53:28 [katdillon] There are a whole lot of people keeping an eye on the
18:53:35 [Revtwo] A NH Democrat beats a NJ Republican every time.
18:53:48 [GCG199] Ha!
18:53:51 [CraigTF] Besides the gun manufactures themselves, there is a
strong need for other support for their production. For example TC subcontracts
some of their hardware to small machine shops in NH.
18:53:57 [katdillon] That'd be a fun fight to watch
18:54:04 [Revtwo] kat -- is there an online job source in NH that we can
tell FSP potentials about?
18:54:26 [katdillon] I know of one, hang on
18:54:55 [katdillon] http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/nhjobslist/
18:55:25 [katdillon] and there should be more info here:
18:55:33 [CraigTF] But NH offers no formal Machining education. So there
might be a need, but no supply.
18:56:33 [GCG199] Well, I might not have too much trouble getting a job in
a machine shop there when I move up in mid-2005.
18:56:57 [GCG199] I already work in a machine shop.
18:57:19 [katdillon] There's also some job info here:
18:57:35 [Revtwo] A skilled machinest is always in demand. Ruger runs Pine
Tree Casting in Claremount.
18:57:46 [redchrome] thanks for the links, katdillon!
18:57:47 [CraigTF] Send a resume to all the gun manufactures. I am sure
they have a hard time filling those positions.
18:58:02 [katdillon] My pleasure
18:58:48 [redchrome] maybe I'll have to start applying for sysadmin jobs at
those companies. :)
18:59:30 [Revtwo] Are there any last questions before we rap it up?
18:59:35 [spike] What advantage is it to not have a fingerprint or photo on
a concealed carry license? They have your name and address.
18:59:39 [katdillon] Cathy Sullivan vs. a NJ Republican..I'd pay to see
19:00:21 [CraigTF] redchrome: Not a bad idea. Sig (in my opinion) needs IT
19:00:28 [katdillon] I wouldn't want any more government intrusion than
19:01:11 [redchrome] craigtf: that doesn't mean they're hiring... in fact,
quite often the opposite. ;)
19:01:22 [Revtwo] spike -- They do not require fingerprints or photographs
to process your carry license application. This is because asking for your
fingerprints and your photograph is a privacy invasion. Also, it is also a
license not a permit. NH is careful in respecting these issues.
19:01:48 [redchrome] what's the legal distinction between a license and a
19:01:58 [spike] So, the main purpose is to collect a tax?
19:02:58 [Revtwo] redchrome -- A permit means it is a privilege in which
you are granted permission to do something. A license is simply the government
acknowledge of your qualifications as a citizen. For example, you don't get a
marriage permit or a dog permit, why would we get a gun permit?
19:03:36 [CraigTF] Yes kat. In fact getting a permit is almost like a "must
issue'" state because the information is so minimal. and they never even called
any of my references. redchrome: to true!
19:04:06 [katdillon] They didn't call my references either
19:04:57 [CraigTF] Makes you wonder why they even ask!
19:05:02 [spike] Do you know how Oregon and Washington stack up in this
regard? That's who I'm trying to convince.
19:05:54 [Revtwo] Spike they have CCW, but NH beats them on other freedom
19:06:18 [katdillon] In Oregon I only knew people who had rifles, no one
doing concealed carry
19:06:37 [Revtwo] Spike go to http://www.packing.org for all CCW info. that
19:07:06 [GCG199] Yes, that is one of the better CCW websites.
19:08:03 [Revtwo] Do not go to packing .com its NJ Gov Mcgreevy's favortie
19:08:44 [spike] That site says that NH doesn't have "gun friendly
peaceable journey laws". What does that mean?
19:10:17 [CraigTF] GCG199 Yes I agree. Revtwo, thanks for your time
tonight. kat Thanks for hosting. This was my first but "I'll be back" See you
19:10:24 [Revtwo] No true exactly. Open carry is OK in NH and Title 18 926A
covers it too.
19:10:25 [GCG199] I have to go, take care folks.
19:11:25 [katdillon] Time for me to go also. Thank you all for coming
19:11:39 [katdillon] Thanks to Evan for taking the time to answer all these
19:11:43 [spike] thanks very much
19:11:47 [redchrome] thanks katdillon!
19:11:56 [Revtwo] Good bye to all and thanks for coming. SYITFS! Evan
19:12:07 [redchrome] thanks much revtwo!
19:12:17 [katdillon] You all are certainly welcome to carry on...the chat
room is always open
Starting a Local Group - Chat
On Thursday September 30th at 9:00 pm EDT, please join us for a workshop on
starting a local group. Will Albenzi, Free State Project Southern
California Local Group Leader will share his insights on getting your local
group up and running. Q & A will follow the presentation. This is the
second in a series of chats which will alternate between Q & A sessions
with FSP leaders and activist workshops. Upcoming workshops will include:
- Effective communication techniques for libertarians
- Effective meetings, and how to increase attendance
- Recruiting techniques for individuals: internet, Letters to the Editor,
- Liaison workshop
Please join us with your questions and ideas!
Free State Chat
9:00 EDT Thursday, September 30th 2004
Here's a transcript of the chat that took place:
21:05:26 [katdillon] Tonight we have Will Albenzi (SoCalFSP), local group
leader for Southern CA to give us his insights on Local Groups
21:05:40 [dhynes] did anyone watch the badnarik debate earlier, i tried but
the page didnt load
21:05:57 [einheit80] evening, will
21:06:04 [DadaOrwell] whatchya got fer us socal?
21:06:15 [davemincin] yikes Kat why does it keep say for me to obey the
21:06:15 [SoCalFSP] Hello, I am Will Albenzi, and I did not intend to be a
local group leader
21:06:25 [katdillon] I'll let him tell how he wants to proceed from here.
If you want to send private messages, use /to person message
21:06:56 [SoCalFSP] I had to become one because there was no SoCalFSP Local
21:07:09 [SoCalFSP] I imagine that many of you experienced the same thing.
21:07:41 [DadaOrwell] i do when i'm in colorado
21:07:46 [SoCalFSP] When I started, all I had were the guidelines and a few
ideas. I made a lot of mistakes.
21:08:10 [SoCalFSP] and I hope that I can help you avoid them
21:08:27 [dhynes] will you be giving examples
21:08:41 [SoCalFSP] I am here to help. But first I want to address how to
get questions to me.
21:09:20 [SoCalFSP] Because this chat is being logged, I would like to help
readability by seperating questions from content.
21:09:47 [SoCalFSP] Please send the questions you have to
SoCalFSP@sbcglobal.net, and I will answer them one at a time.
21:10:31 [SoCalFSP] Please do not hesitate to ask any questions, even if it
is a month from now.
21:11:02 [SoCalFSP] I believe the FSP to be my best chance to live free,
and I believe Local Groups are the best chance the FSP has.
21:11:31 [SoCalFSP] Also, I will be answering the questions in the chat at
21:12:09 [SoCalFSP] OK, the first problem I had was in order to do stuff I
21:12:36 [SoCalFSP] I had no idea where to get them or how.
21:12:54 [davemincin] hey Dan...thinking this system is moving real slow?
21:13:22 [SoCalFSP] But now The Local Group Coordinator is able to split
off the relevant portion of the database for you.
21:13:59 [SoCalFSP] The spreadsheet you will get gives you your starting
pool of volunteers.
21:14:12 [davemincin] just my words are taking a long time to show
up...expect best to just not talk and let you folk do it!
21:14:55 [SoCalFSP] People joined the FSP because they had a dream of
Liberty, and now they can help make it happen.
21:15:23 [SoCalFSP] I have done numerous mailings, and found that about one
in ten people respond to Bulk Mailings
21:16:31 [SoCalFSP] And I call a bulk mailing one where you write an e-mail
that could be send to 100 people .
21:17:28 [SoCalFSP] When I write an e-mail that is individual, I look at
the database, and I find out where they are from, or what made them join, and I
write them a letter that THEY know was not written by a computer.
21:17:53 [SoCalFSP] Individual e-mails I get about half.
21:18:01 [dhynes] where did you get a list of names from
21:18:27 [SoCalFSP] But I have heard that some people don't even have many
people in their group.
21:19:34 [SoCalFSP] I think that the best thing to do, is a suggestion I
just got from Dada Orwell.
21:20:16 [SoCalFSP] He has found that announcing the meeting in a letter to
the editor worked.
21:20:38 [SoCalFSP] I also think that it might be useful to post things at
gun ranges or head shops.
21:20:53 [SoCalFSP] Because your real problem is recruiting.
21:21:21 [SoCalFSP] And you might be with one or two others at first, until
your recruiting efforts pay off.
21:22:06 [SoCalFSP] Another person said that their meetings are poorly
21:22:22 [SoCalFSP] He thought it might be because of a lack of agenda.
21:22:57 [johnnylemu] has anyone experience resistance from their local LP
21:23:20 [SoCalFSP] I try to picture myself as a women with three kids and
a husband to take care of. What would make me take the time to go to a meeting
as oppossed to a good bubble bath?
21:23:32 [SoCalFSP] There are a couple of things.
21:23:50 [SoCalFSP] Speakers or a presentation might get some people to go.
21:24:08 [SoCalFSP] There will be an Article on /training pretty soon about
21:24:39 [SoCalFSP] I also think that having a track record increases
21:25:09 [SoCalFSP] People want to be a part of something successful. I
think all of us know that talk is not winning our country back.
21:25:16 [SoCalFSP] We need to ACT!
21:25:56 [SoCalFSP] I doknow what will not work. I just had a Local Group
meeting with three people in attendance.
21:26:10 [SoCalFSP] I will list the reasons I messed that up.
21:26:53 [SoCalFSP] First, I rested on my laurels. I thought people would
check the calendar, and I did not talk about the meeting a lot.
21:27:22 [SoCalFSP] So people did not feel it was very important.
21:28:03 [SoCalFSP] Second, I did not ask for RSVPs.
21:28:18 [SoCalFSP] I had no idea it was a disaster until I showed up.
21:29:01 [SoCalFSP] I also think that my meeting agenda was not interesting
to enough people.
21:29:28 [SoCalFSP] We were doing so much that many people just needed time
away to them selves.
21:29:52 [dhynes] what was on your meeting agenda
21:30:36 [SoCalFSP] The people shortage is really driving the FSP, and my
goal has been to ACT! as much as possible.
21:31:18 [SoCalFSP] When a local group is short on people, they need to
start ACT!ing that much sooner.
21:31:42 [SoCalFSP] Recruiting is always interesting, and I am still
21:32:22 [SoCalFSP] But I think that if you are not sure who to make
contact with, look at the list of Liaisons.
21:33:01 [SoCalFSP] They are knowledgeable about sub-cultures in which the
idea of Liberty may be uniquely appealing.
21:33:51 [SoCalFSP] Whether it is headshops, gun-ranges, college campuses,
nudists, tax-protestors, or homeschoolers
21:34:28 [SoCalFSP] you should be able to find a person in the Liaisons who
knows what particular issues that sub-culture is concerned with.
21:35:15 [SoCalFSP] There will be future training sessions and articles on
21:35:37 [SoCalFSP] Because the main focus of a group is to ACT!
21:36:25 [SoCalFSP] we have to prepare for our first actions before we even
21:36:36 [SoCalFSP] with the local group
21:36:59 [johnnylemu] like what, in term of actions?
21:37:20 [SoCalFSP] Most of us will be having our first action be a meeting
where we can get to know those who are going to carry the FSP to victory
21:37:53 [SoCalFSP] I call an action, any time we try to do anything as a
21:38:06 [SoCalFSP] A celebration is an action (motivate volunteers)
21:38:19 [SoCalFSP] An outreach is an action (recruiting)
21:38:49 [SoCalFSP] Or a media spectical is an action
21:39:05 [SoCalFSP] Letter writing is also a way to ACT!
21:39:47 [SoCalFSP] All actions take some preperatio
21:39:52 [SoCalFSP] preperation
21:40:56 [SoCalFSP] If it is you alone, you can post index cardson bullitin
boards, or chalk sidewalks, or write letters to the editor, or just stand on
the street corner and hand out flyers at an event.
21:42:08 [SoCalFSP] Those actions each require you to know who is going to
be there, what you will need to do it, and how you plan to get the information
21:42:53 [SoCalFSP] Index cards and markers can work if you are alone and
not well-funded as a local group.
21:44:14 [SoCalFSP] The FSP executives are working on ways that they can
better support the local groups outreach efforts.
21:45:12 [SoCalFSP] When they let us know what they are going to do, I
suspect that if we show them that we ACT! There might be an even greater focus
on the needs of the Local group.
21:45:44 [SoCalFSP] But first we need to show them that we are a better
investment than an ad in Socialism weekly
21:46:33 [SoCalFSP] There is an article on
http://www.freestateproject.org/training that I put to help get everyone the
info they needed to get started.
21:47:31 [SoCalFSP] there will be more put on /training in the coming weeks
as we develop the ways that we get the knowledge to the Local Group Leaders,
who will use it to ACT!
21:48:56 [SoCalFSP] I would strongly suggest that local group leaders get
to know as many people as they can. Especially the very new people.
21:49:08 [SoCalFSP] I know that when I joined, I got nothing.
21:49:14 [SoCalFSP] No one contacted me.
21:49:19 [SoCalFSP] I felt alone.
21:49:34 [SoCalFSP] I went to join a local group, and there wasn't one.
21:50:04 [SoCalFSP] I saw that other meetings had been attempted, but that
21:51:05 [SoCalFSP] If someone had contacted me as a new person, who lived
in my area, not just a name on the computer screen
21:51:26 [SoCalFSP] I would have been a great volunteer from day 1.
21:51:49 [SoCalFSP] As it was it took six months before I decided to try
21:52:23 [SoCalFSP] These new recruits have been shown a fantastic idea,
and want to do something.
21:52:50 [SoCalFSP] they just are not sure how, and many of them are too
shy to ask for help.
21:52:57 [SoCalFSP] So we need to offer it.
21:54:07 [SoCalFSP] As Local Group Leaders, we need to greet for our area,
we need to become speakers for our area.
21:54:22 [SoCalFSP] We need to find opportunities in our area.
21:54:32 [dhynes] why not have someone contact everyone who joins up and
refer them to their local group
21:54:38 [SoCalFSP] and we need to find those people who will make the
Local Group stronger.
21:55:16 [SoCalFSP] I believe that individual contact is where the Local
Groups can really shine.
21:55:34 [SoCalFSP] FSP HQ is just a place on the computer.
21:56:03 [SoCalFSP] I want people to know that I am available to have cofee
with them, and to chat about
21:56:20 [SoCalFSP] what kinds of things we will do, and how we will pull
21:56:33 [SoCalFSP] One person sending the same form letter to everyone is
21:56:46 [SoCalFSP] But I think that we can do better than that for now.
21:57:36 [SoCalFSP] I imagine until I am having 30 people a week, I can
take five minutes to personally greet each person
21:57:58 [SoCalFSP] When you are contacted by someone, you know you matter.
21:58:14 [SoCalFSP] We can reassure them of the wisdom of their decision.
21:58:14 [DadaOrwell] I have a sample LTE I can show if you like
21:58:26 [DadaOrwell] LTE I used to recruit for a mtg in COLO
21:59:21 [einheit80] could you email ? firstname.lastname@example.org
21:59:29 [SoCalFSP] I believe that brainstorming should occur on the
21:59:53 [SoCalFSP] We can all collaborate to create the best possible
22:00:13 [SoCalFSP] here it could be disruptive to have a side discussion.
22:00:22 [SoCalFSP] about that specifically.
22:00:29 [dhynes] how can someone sign up to be a greeter
22:01:07 [SoCalFSP] you can become a greeter by e-mailing
22:01:36 [SoCalFSP] you can also become a speaker for the FSP by e-mailing
22:01:59 [SoCalFSP] I recommend all LGLs become speakers too.
22:02:32 [SoCalFSP] You may be able to delegate these duties later as the
22:03:24 [SoCalFSP] There has been a great "Speaker's training package" put
together that will be added to http://www.freestateproject.org/training soon.
22:03:38 [SoCalFSP] I expect in the next couple of days.
22:05:17 [SoCalFSP] Speakers
22:05:27 [SoCalFSP] are a great way to get new members
22:06:37 [SoCalFSP] You may be able to find other groups that would love to
have a speaker from the FSP.
22:06:42 [katdillon] Brainstorming:
22:06:58 [SoCalFSP] Many college groups want to have interesting meetings
22:07:28 [SoCalFSP] Now, I have not recieved many questions, so shoot away
22:08:07 [SoCalFSP] It is important to ask questions, because we have to
know what you need to help get your Local Group started.
22:08:24 [DadaOrwell] thinking
22:08:35 [dhynes] I am in college, but do not know if there are any
colleges near me with a group, or how i should start one
22:08:44 [johnnylemu] okay, do we have resources set up to make the move as
smooth as possible
22:08:59 [dhynes] is there a list of colleges with FSP groups
22:09:03 [johnnylemu] so that even before they ask the question, I can just
say "go here".
22:09:38 [SoCalFSP] We have not set up a "safety-net" that I know of, but
the Welcome Wagon" handles some of that.
22:09:59 [DadaOrwell] I do have a comment tho not a question: the important
thing with local groups is just getting people to the meetings. however you
recruit, you have to really get the word out to local members and interested
people about every meeting
22:10:43 [SoCalFSP] I would think that meetings become less important the
further along you go.
22:11:09 [DadaOrwell] oh also another thing thats worked ok in colorado is
combining your FSP meeting with a local LP meeting
22:11:09 [SoCalFSP] Special meetings will get a lot of attendees
22:11:38 [katdillon] Welcome wagon:
22:11:45 [johnnylemu] Dada, that only works of your local LP chair isn't
hostile to the FSP
22:11:53 [SoCalFSP] Dada, you should put that into the brainstorming
22:12:16 [johnnylemu] of=if
22:12:50 [dhynes] are most LP places friendly to or hostile to FSP
22:13:15 [katdillon] Do you have an answer for johnny's earlier question:
what to do if your local LP is hostile?
22:13:31 [SoCalFSP] I was asked how to get permission to speak. That will
be covered by Friday on http://www.freestateproject/training
22:13:44 [SoCalFSP] I think the local LP can be calmed
22:13:51 [SoCalFSP] Here is how
22:15:12 [SoCalFSP] Assure the Local LP that the FSP is a bigger help than
22:15:23 [SoCalFSP] Most LP people do not believe the FSP will work
22:15:48 [SoCalFSP] If they are right, there is nothing to worry about.
22:16:07 [SoCalFSP] Then we will help them with some of their activities.
22:16:42 [SoCalFSP] The SoCalFSP is helping some conservative group put on
a film festival.
22:17:22 [SoCalFSP] We are not the conservative group, but we know that we
can get some exposure for the FSP by wearing FSP logo material
22:17:49 [SoCalFSP] I would love to see a "Libertarian" event where more
than half of the people are wearing FSP t-shirts.
22:18:27 [SoCalFSP] I want people to say, "I need to protest taxes in
SoCal, and those FSP people are always willing to help. I should call them"
22:19:07 [SoCalFSP] I figure that will cause some people to think "At every
event I care about those FSP people are helping out. What happens when they
22:19:18 [SoCalFSP] "Maybe I should go with them"
22:19:39 [SoCalFSP] HAHAHAHAHA. FSP does good by doing good.
22:20:22 [SoCalFSP] Any other questions/comments/name-calling
22:20:37 [SoCalFSP] Actually I saw earlier
22:20:49 [SoCalFSP] that there was discussion of the presidential debate.
22:21:06 [einheit80] dont know enough to ask yet
22:21:30 [SoCalFSP] I have a policy where I refuse to get into presidential
politics, and try to discourage others from doing so.
22:21:39 [katdillon] before this ends, if someone would /save the
transcript and send it to me at email@example.com I'd really appreciate
22:21:44 [SoCalFSP] We have all made up our minds, and are very apssionate.
22:21:54 [SoCalFSP] passionate
22:21:59 [the_third] "Discussion" might be too srong a word. There's
nothing to discuss.
22:22:27 [SoCalFSP] I have seen a cordial conversation quickly degenerate.
I was partially at fault.
22:23:04 [katdillon] More discussing that they were happening, rather than
debating about them
22:23:19 [SoCalFSP] I will not do that again. We must work on the things we
agree with, not focus on the stuff we don't
22:23:43 [johnnylemu] okay, here's a question
22:24:07 [johnnylemu] I signed up on the FSP egroup when it first started
22:24:20 [johnnylemu] at that time there was talk of secession
22:24:24 [SoCalFSP] OK
22:24:38 [johnnylemu] I am a secessionist, philosophically
22:25:02 [johnnylemu] nowadays, the whole secession thing is disavowed
22:25:29 [SoCalFSP] Seceessation is not an FSP goal. There are some people
who support it. I believe that most do not.
22:25:38 [SoCalFSP] I know that I do not.
22:25:59 [SoCalFSP] I think that once there we will all get to speak our
22:26:10 [SoCalFSP] and debate the merits of every plan.
22:26:17 [katdillon] From the FAQ: A: No, the Free State Project is not
22:26:40 [johnnylemu] even as a final option?
22:26:59 [SoCalFSP] I would say that the FSP does not support secessation,
but some members do.
22:27:21 [SoCalFSP] THE FSP is "barely political"
22:27:32 [katdillon] The FSP is only about moving people to NH, what they
do after they're there is their business
22:27:32 [johnnylemu] okay, I can do that
22:27:55 [SoCalFSP] We support the idea of freedom, but not much
endorsement of specific solutions
22:28:37 [SoCalFSP] The important part is to let people know that when you
are free (as in living in NH) every one will get a voice
22:29:27 [SoCalFSP] Is there anything else?
22:30:06 [SoCalFSP] Now my turn again.
22:30:24 [SoCalFSP] Does everyone know what they are going to be trying for
the next wo months?
22:30:32 [SoCalFSP] two months?
22:31:00 [SoCalFSP] If you are not sure we can talk about it.
22:31:21 [katdillon] 3 recruits and 2 new endorsements
22:31:23 [einheit80] next two months are rough. still recovering from the
hurricane. i'm going back to school in the spring as well.
22:31:33 [johnnylemu] getting a booth at the lext local rolling thunder,
then setting up my first local group meeting
22:32:33 [SoCalFSP] Ein, you might want to consider trying to find other
FSPers to help Hurricane victims, it might get a lot of play
22:32:38 [SoCalFSP] on the TV
22:32:53 [katdillon] cool idea!
22:33:03 [SoCalFSP] Kat, how will you be getting them.
22:33:16 [SoCalFSP] That is always the hard part.
22:33:53 [davemincin] don't float! This meeting is about helping local
22:34:03 [katdillon] difficult from NH, but I want to go to another Sci-Fi
convention in Mass. next month, and I write to selected people online
22:34:22 [katdillon] not sure what you mean, Dave
22:34:41 [SoCalFSP] Also, Ein. since you are so busy, try to find one or
two others who might help you get the Local Group active.
22:35:24 [SoCalFSP] I think that having a sincere desire is the first step,
but you have to make sure you are able to lead a local group too.
22:35:38 [SoCalFSP] And it does take time!
22:37:12 [SoCalFSP] I would like to leave you all with one final idea, if
you ACT! something might go wrong, and you might fail. If you don't do
anything, we are guaranteed to fail.
22:37:57 [katdillon] Thanks Will, and everyone who came tonight
22:38:08 [SoCalFSP] Thank you very much. I would love to hear your
critiques. Send them to SoCalFSP@sbcglobal.net
22:38:52 [johnnylemu] thanks, SoCal
Interacting with the Media - Chat
On Thursday October 7th at 9:00 pm EDT, please join us for a workshop on
Interacting with the Media with Free State Project President Amanda
Phillips, followed by Q&A.
Please join us with your questions and ideas!
Free State Chat
9:00 EDT Thursday, October 7th 2004
Here's a transcript of the chat that took place:
21:02:32 [amanda42] if y'all are ready, we can get started
21:02:42 [katdillon] Amanda will be speaking about interacting with the media, and answering questions
21:03:07 [amanda42] welcome, everyone!
21:03:17 [Remnant] i have 9.03 now
21:04:12 [amanda42] i like to keep training sessions as interactive as possible. i have a lot of things that i can talk about, but i think it would be better if i first find out whay y'all are interested in hearing about.
21:04:41 [amanda42] generally, this is a training session on interacting with the media.
21:05:12 [amanda42] i'd like to go around the room and find out what specific topics (if any) y'all are interested in hearing about
21:05:31 [amanda42] (related to media interaction, of course)
21:05:35 [timba2112] Given the topic is interacting with the media...is this the approriate place to ask if the media database that was developed can be obtained by the local groups?
21:05:56 [Blain] I think the most important topic is figuring out how best to recruit 20k members
21:06:16 [svillee] no specific topics for me - just listening
21:06:33 [mantispid] What is an effective way of dealing with negative media coverage?
21:06:34 [Michael_Ed] I'm with Blain.
21:06:41 [Blain] How much would it cost to air a commerical of the FSP on CNN?
21:06:46 [amanda42] timba - great suggestion. i've added media database to tonight's agenda :)
21:07:40 [amanda42] blain, we're scheduled to first talk about handling the media. recruiting, which is inherent in everything we do, would be a good topic for general q&a after we talk about media interaction.
21:08:53 [amanda42] mantispid - negative media is a great question. i think the best way to handle negative media is to avoid getting it in the first place. :) i'll add that to the agenda
21:09:28 [amanda42] anyone else with specific topics you'd like to cover?
21:09:37 [amanda42] (specific topics related to media iinteraction)
21:09:51 [katdillon] How about ways to get free media coverage?
21:10:24 [amanda42] kat - great suggestion. i'll add that to the agenda, too. :)
21:11:00 [amanda42] hi jason - i was just asking everyone for specific topics they'd like to cover tonight. anything you're interested in?
21:11:01 [lone.wolf] how can we initiate media coverage outside of NH? beyond letters to the editor, i mean...
21:11:12 [amanda42] (related to media, of course)
21:11:14 [mantispid] As college campuses are full of people who will be considering life-plans after graduation, are there any specific techniques for approaching campus media organizations?
21:11:35 [Michael_Ed] Item: What is and is not considered "media."
21:11:41 [Blain] I think the best way to get media coverage is to run a few commercials on CNN
21:11:45 [jsorens] hi all...i was just thinking another good topic to cover might be the sorts of questions reporters ask that can be tricky, or where people have made mistakes before...
21:12:07 [jsorens] we need tim c here :)
21:12:21 [amanda42] lol... we do need tim c here. :)
21:12:57 [jsorens] heh heh i tease him about his foot in mouth syndrome... ;)
21:13:03 [svillee] If the subject hasn't been beaten to death, how about what went wrong in Grafton, and specifically how to avoid it in the future.
21:13:12 [amanda42] dr e - when we're talking about media, i'm talking about any kind of news coverage
21:13:48 [timba2112] svillee....sounds like your suggestion goes under the topic of "negative press"
21:14:04 [amanda42] ok, lets start with the media database, and how local groups can use it
21:14:06 [svillee] agree
21:14:15 [amanda42] how many local group leaders are here tonight?
21:14:21 [jsorens] me
21:14:22 [amanda42] (raise your hands. :) )
21:14:29 [timba2112] one
21:14:45 [amanda42] timba - what region do you have?
21:15:06 [timba2112] Milw/Chicago (how do I raise my hand?)
21:15:31 [katdillon] *raises hand* NH Monadnock region
21:15:50 [Michael_Ed] timba: you can type "raises hand."
21:15:52 [amanda42] coolness. we have a media database that our volunteers spent hundreds of hours developing
21:16:32 [amanda42] we have printed media (newspapers, magazines), radio, and tv stations for the entire country
21:17:12 [amanda42] the media tree has e-mail, fax numbers, and snail mail addresses for many, many media outlets
21:17:34 [mantispid] I wouldn't mind becoming a regional leader, if my region's position is currently vacant.
21:17:47 [amanda42] anyone who wants access to it for their local group, please sens me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and i'll send you the info on how to access it
21:17:51 [Remnant] regional leader?
21:18:00 [Remnant] Hello. =)
21:54:25 [Michael_Ed] CNN asked Harry Browne:
21:54:42 [Michael_Ed] "Are libertarians anarchists?"
21:54:49 [amanda42] tricky media questions = those that are designed to get us to put our foot in our mouth
21:54:58 [amanda42] haha... great one, dr e!
21:55:06 [lone.wolf] mantsipid, until immigration laws are changed there isn't much point
21:55:13 [amanda42] i get that one a lot about thew FSP... is the FSP an anarchist group?
21:55:15 [PatK] any thing about guns dope or hookers
21:55:31 [timba2112] Tricky question: "But how can you be liberty-oriented and want to 'take over'?"
21:55:33 [amanda42] guns, drugs, and hookers, oh my!
21:55:42 [Blain] or privitized schools and/or roads
21:55:49 [amanda42] "taking over" - good one
21:56:27 [jsorens] innocuous questions like "what are some things libertarians disagree on?" could be messy
21:56:34 [S/A] katdillon> Thanks.
21:56:44 [jsorens] you dont want to say, eg, "private ownership of nuclear weapons"
21:56:46 [amanda42] best thing to do is to find a funny answer and repeat it every time you get that question
21:57:11 [amanda42] make sure we speak in "soundbytes" - think of the answers ahead of time so it rolls off your tongue
21:57:12 [Blain] Harry gave a good response to that question
21:57:26 [Michael_Ed] Yes.
21:57:28 [Blain] I think it went something along the lines of, "Well, it depends how dangerous your neighborhood is" or something
21:57:41 [katdillon] Better than the government owning them!
21:57:45 [amanda42] things to remember about the FSP when answerinig these tricky questions:
21:57:48 [S/A] Heh... what DON'T libertarians disagree on? The lil l term covers a lot of people.
21:58:03 [jsorens] a general rule of thumb is that if theres something you dont want to say, dont concentrate on that, concentrate on what you do want to say
21:58:17 [Michael_Ed] HB: "Anarchism means chaos and that's what we have now."
21:58:19 [jsorens] dont say, "lots of people think we're all about cannibalism, but of course that's silly"
21:58:24 [amanda42] 1) the FSP doesn't support any specific legislation - we only exist to get 20,000 liberty-loving people to move to NH. what they do when they get there is up to thewm
21:58:47 [Michael_Ed] Great point, Amanda!
21:59:28 [Michael_Ed] You don't have to answer the q you're asked (politicians never do).
21:59:35 [amanda42] 2) the FSP is made up of people across the political spectrum - what unites us is that we believe in liberty - we have democrats, republicans, libertarians, greens, and (gasp) anarchists)
22:00:20 [amanda42] 3) like jason said... turn the conversation around to something you want totalk about, and don't dwell on things that are wicked negative
22:01:10 [amanda42] are we anarchists... well, i'm an anarchist, so i would look pretty silly if i said "no we're not anarchists" - that question is a big trap for me
22:01:47 [Blain] hmmmm
22:01:54 [S/A] mantispid> You're in Columbia?
22:02:05 [amanda42] here's what i came up with: "the FSP aims to reduce the size of government by approximately 2/3. personally, i think it should be 3/3, but i'm not going to argue about that extra 3rd."
22:02:22 [amanda42] there might be a better answer, but i finid that one usually makes them laugh
22:02:36 [amanda42] any other suggestions on how to deal with the anarchist question?
22:03:05 [Blain] just say we have all types of political idealogies in the group
22:03:22 [Blain] anarchists, libertarians, liberals, conservatives, secessionists
22:03:22 [margomaps] It can't be dealt with honestly, because 99% of people have no idea what anarchism means.
22:03:23 [amanda42] in my answer, i downplay my anarchism, note that i am not representative of the fsp, and turn the topic back to the fsp and away from me
22:03:36 [margomaps] Therefore we have to sugarcoat, divert attention, or give a cutesy answer.
22:03:47 [jsorens] "i think we should increase the scope of voluntary interactions as much as possible"...how does that work? a bit open ended...
22:03:52 [amanda42] blain - that's right - we have all types. i find that i have to repeat it over & over to them.
22:03:53 [Michael_Ed] Ask them what they mean by "anarchy." What they mean and what we mean are two entirely different things.
22:04:08 [amanda42] i like it jason.
22:04:16 [amanda42] dr e - great point
22:04:25 [Blain] I wouldn't even answer the question, just say "all types" and maybe elaborate a little on the types
22:04:45 [amanda42] it also depends on the reporter's political inclinations. the french tv reporter really likes anarchists :)
22:05:29 [Blain] and the south like secessionists
22:05:43 [amanda42] good question... is the fsp a secessionist movement?
22:06:04 [Michael_Ed] No, it's a recruitment movement.
22:06:17 [Blain] not initially, but maybe later if the fed gets too repressive
22:06:26 [amanda42] gold star for dr e! :)
22:06:34 [katdillon] migratory movement
22:06:43 [PatK] well we are secessionst from at least 49 other states
22:06:54 [Blain] yep
22:06:57 [Blain] good answer
22:07:08 [amanda42] what people do when they get there is up to them. but we are not a secessionist movement. they tried that in 1865, and it didn't work out so well
22:07:17 [Michael_Ed] I better quit while I'm ahead--I'd better go. Bye, everybody!
22:07:26 [jsorens] bye michael!
22:07:34 [katdillon] night Michael!
22:07:37 [Blain] but it worked out well in 1776
22:07:40 [amanda42] patk - a reporter could truncate that and quote you as "we are secessionist" :)
22:07:48 [amanda42] g'night dr e - thanks for joining us!
22:07:53 [lone.wolf] so long mike
22:08:33 [katdillon] I like to tell people that what happens when we get there is like a free market of ideas. The fringe ideas aren't held by many members, and so wont find enough support to be enacted
22:08:44 [PatK] I know don't worry I would not say it to a reporter
22:09:21 [amanda42] just something to always keep in mind. i've had my share of bad quotes, and i learn from every single one of them
22:09:36 [amanda42] kat, that's a good one, too
22:09:51 [amanda42] guns, drugs, and hookers - that's another tricky one
22:09:53 [MikeLorrey] hey, sorry folks, got side tracked with a customer call
22:10:01 [amanda42] my answer "
22:10:15 [amanda42] my answer " all at the same time???"
22:10:22 [PatK] LOL
22:10:24 [amanda42] just kidding
22:10:36 [MikeLorrey] Guns: American citizens own more guns than cars, and use them more responsibly
22:11:24 [MikeLorrey] Drugs: we are seeing terminally ill patients, quadrapelegics, and other very ill people being sent to prison for using the only drug that treats their condition.
22:11:50 [amanda42] again, we want to attract libertarians to the movement, so go ahead and talk about gun rights - just keep the audience in mind, and make the points that will resonate
22:11:52 [Blain] hookers - would you rather have someone rape or go to a hooker?
22:12:11 [amanda42] um, i wouldn't use that one balin
22:12:20 [PatK] hookers we only have the ones with hearts of gold :)
22:12:31 [Blain] ?
22:12:36 [MikeLorrey] Hookers: sex workers are citizens and taxpayers too, and deserve police protection from exploitation and abuse
22:12:53 [katdillon] I tell people about drugs: the violence / cost of the drug war is much worse than the drugs themselves
22:12:59 [timba2112] Nice one Mike
22:13:02 [PatK] that would work too
22:13:05 [amanda42] again, remember that the FSP is just the migratory movement, so we can't speak for the entire movement when we speak to particular issues like this
22:13:30 [S/A] Someone who rapes someone doesn't do so b/c of a lack of hookers...
22:13:37 [amanda42] when asked about prostitution, i generally talk about protecting women from abuse
22:13:49 [amanda42] i'm hoping that blain was being facetious
22:15:03 [timba2112] ......cricket, cricket......next topic?
22:15:11 [amanda42] the statement of intent says that the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty and property - how individual people interpret that is up to them. but generally, we don't believe that we need the government to protect us from ourselves. adults should be responsible for the
22:15:14 [MikeLorrey] We do, however, have to hit these smear issues head on with arguments that turn liberal arguments on their ear
22:15:51 [amanda42] or speak to the "smear" issues briefly & turn the conversation around to something positive
22:15:51 [MikeLorrey] if you can package your arguments in "its for the children" or "fair shares" etc they can't make you look bad
22:16:01 [amanda42] what are some posaitive issues that we can focus on?
22:16:32 [amanda42] (that was positive)
22:16:40 [MikeLorrey] Positives: we want to help create jobs, build businesses and reduce taxes
22:16:42 [katdillon] Ew Mike.
22:17:03 [PatK] Idon't think the hookers for children line will work
22:17:08 [amanda42] well, we don't want to use the government to create jobs :)
22:17:08 [MikeLorrey] what?
22:17:10 [svillee] Yes, reducing taxes has pretty broad appeal.
22:17:18 [MikeLorrey] of course, amanda
22:17:21 [katdillon] We want less gov't intrusion in people's lives
22:17:36 [amanda42] getting government out of people's lives
22:17:57 [MikeLorrey] We do it the libertarian way: Getting the government out of people's way
22:18:01 [timba2112] Mike - The "its for the children" is actually a good one.....the positive is that our goal is not to saddle future generations with the debt of large govt.
22:18:17 [MikeLorrey] as that lady at the LPNH convention stated, every government regulator costs 150 American jobs
22:18:20 [katdillon] ah
22:18:26 [amanda42] good one, tim!
22:18:43 [margomaps] I don't think the "getting government out of people's lives" argument works on liberals; they believe more government will be better
22:19:04 [Blain] tell them that more government means more measures like the patriot act....is that what they REALLY want?
22:19:10 [amanda42] as a single mom, i need to be able to defend myself and my family - gun rights are a feminist issue :)
22:19:14 [MikeLorrey] Yeah, thats the ticket. The fair share thing is to apply to sex workers right to a fair share of police protection
22:19:43 [amanda42] margo, we're not really interested in convincing liberals :) we want to convinice libertarians to join the FSP
22:19:46 [timba2112] oooh---gun rights as a feminist issue----very nice.
22:19:50 [amanda42] (outside of NH)
22:20:23 [amanda42] sorry for my poor grammar... this live chat thing drives me nuts because i can't edit myself
22:20:40 [amanda42] more positive issues?
22:21:09 [amanda42] private charity instead of government charity
22:21:14 [MikeLorrey] no foreign entanglements
22:21:18 [margomaps] I was away for a while...did we talk about warmongering?
22:21:22 [margomaps] right, what Mike said. :)
22:21:27 [MikeLorrey] NO DRAFT
22:21:49 [amanda42] mike, libertarians are pretty divided on the war issue - i usually don't touch it. we're the free *state* project :)
22:21:54 [katdillon] that's what to talk to liberals about...no war
22:22:21 [MikeLorrey] as you know, I'm pro-war myself, but firmly anti-draft
22:22:21 [amanda42] another point - the FSP is about state-level politics, not national politics
22:22:43 [katdillon] Hi dan
22:22:44 [amanda42] well, really it's about a migration of freedom-lovers who are interested in state-level politics. :)
22:23:02 [MikeLorrey] that is right
22:23:16 [danhynes] Hello :)
22:23:25 [amanda42] what are some other positive issues?
22:23:30 [amanda42] (hi dan!)
22:23:41 [timba2112] I saw one local FSP group (NY?) making comparisons of their state's poor comparisons to NH. Positive for NH
22:23:42 [MikeLorrey] BTW: the 'freedom lovers' term has got to go
22:23:49 [margomaps] well, it's also an opportunity to possibly get a libertarian senator elected
22:23:58 [amanda42] that would be cool
22:23:58 [danhynes] hello again :)
22:24:03 [margomaps] and in that sense it goes beyond state-level politics
22:24:04 [danhynes] timba, i like that comparison
22:24:07 [katdillon] oh yes Tim...it's a great idea
22:24:10 [MikeLorrey] I've heard people refer to us mockingly as the "Free Love Project"
22:24:17 [danhynes] i lived in NY all my life until last year, now i want to move to NH
22:24:28 [katdillon] like 101 reasons to leave your state
22:24:42 [danhynes] i can give 101 reasons to leave ny easily
22:24:46 [amanda42] very good idea to focus on quality of life in NH - that really helps people on the fence to hurry up and make the decision to join :)
22:25:03 [danhynes] cant smoke in bars...
22:25:14 [timba2112] Actually Kat, I would like to use the 101 reasons to compare against IL and WI and accentuate the NH postives
22:25:27 [mantispid] Need a way to counteract the 'too cold' complaint.
22:25:33 [margomaps] Mike: what can we use instead of "freedom lover"? "freedom fighter"? :D
22:25:36 [amanda42] the 101 reasons are very convincing - i keep them on hand all the time whenever i talk to a reporter
22:25:46 [amanda42] 20,000 friends to keep you warm!
22:25:50 [mantispid] I know several libertarians who say they would move "if only NH weren't so cold!"
22:26:02 [amanda42] (that was alan weiss' comment - i stole it from him)
22:26:08 [MikeLorrey] cold? ha ha ha
22:26:17 [amanda42] 4 months without yardwork!
22:26:32 [svillee] Tell them it's the cold that helps keep the statists away.
22:26:36 [danhynes] they can have two houses, and make sure they are in NH during November so they can vote, then they can leave
22:26:37 [margomaps] mantis: "too cold" was far and away the most common complaint we got from potential members at a gun show last month
22:26:40 [katdillon] chains of tyranny if you stay are even colder
22:26:42 [PatK] no one hates cold and snow more than me
22:26:45 [amanda42] how much is freedom really worth to you?
22:26:57 [Blain] AMEn, KATDILLON
22:26:59 [Blain] Bravo
22:27:02 [MikeLorrey] margomaps: How about "pro-liberty" or "liberty minded"
22:27:04 [amanda42] dan, we don't want to commit vote fraud
22:27:16 [Blain] the fed does it
22:27:27 [danhynes] well if they were there more than 6 months in the year it should be fine
22:27:29 [amanda42] we want 20,000 people to move to NH and
22:27:30 [MikeLorrey] The two weeks I spent in Palm Beach in August were colder than September here in NH
22:27:40 [margomaps] "liberty minded" works for me
22:27:42 [MikeLorrey] cause I spent it all in air conditioning
22:28:37 [amanda42] ok, have we exhausted all the media topics? i went through everything that you guys brought up at the beginning of the cha tsession.FONTP
22:28:55 [amanda42] i have to fly to arizona tomorrow for freedom summit :)
22:28:57 [mantispid] NH is barely colder than MO on average.. and that's really only in February. I think 'too cold' is often used as a final excuse.
22:29:24 [katdillon] is *is* colder than tx
22:29:29 [katdillon] it
22:29:41 [mantispid] I really wanted to go to that freedom summit. Oh well. Maybe you can tell Claire Wolfe that Mantis says hi. =)
22:29:47 [S/A] It is cold. I hate snow. But anyone who'd let weather stop them is prolly not someone who'd really be committed to going anyway.
22:30:13 [MikeLorrey] Cold keeps the rattlesnakes, cicadas, giant cockroaches, alligators, termites, and killer bees out
22:30:24 [PatK] LOl
22:30:44 [amanda42] mantis - i'll tell her you said hi :)
22:30:53 [S/A] But it doesn't stop the mosquitos....
22:31:03 [mantispid] Thanks! :)
22:31:05 [margomaps] I don't see what the big deal about cold and snow are, but maybe because I grew up in MN.
22:31:10 [margomaps] I like cold AND snow.
22:31:15 [MikeLorrey] The mosquitos are managable
22:31:21 [amanda42] ook, i'm going to sign off. i hope everyone who wants to stick around and chat will do so.
22:31:22 [margomaps] Lots of fun winter sports to do in the snow.
22:31:39 [timba2112] Yep Amanda.....it seems the media topics have been exhausted.
22:31:40 [margomaps] 'night Amanda
22:31:40 [katdillon] We're going to try and build an igloo
22:31:43 [amanda42] jason has been quiet... i know he has a lot of good media tips, too
22:31:46 [danhynes] is there a geographic part of the country that libertarians typically belong to
22:31:50 [katdillon] Thanks amanda!
22:31:54 [MikeLorrey] Rather get bit by a mosquito than a rattlesnake, a gila monster, or a gator
22:31:56 [S/A] Margo I came to MO partially b/c I hate the snow and cold I got living in Cleveland, Detroit, etc
22:32:10 [amanda42] feel free to contact me with any ideas, suggestions, questions, etc
22:32:35 [amanda42] thanks, kat, for starting these chat sessions. they are both fun and useful
22:32:37 [jsorens] actually, most of the tips i had have been covered i think
22:32:42 [amanda42] 'night!
22:32:49 [timba2112] Good night all.....thanks for the exhange..I needed the motivation.
22:32:52 [S/A] Mike I just really hate mosquitos. =) I'm one of those people they seem to prefer so I get eaten alive.
22:32:53 [jsorens] thanks for doign this amanda, good night!
22:33:03 [katdillon] My daughter's excited about seeing snow. She was asking in July when it was going to start snowing
22:33:17 [jsorens] i need to take off too actually, getting late on the east coast :)
Recruiting workshop with Kat Dillon 01/20/05
Here's a transcript of the chat that took place:
18:01:46 [katdillon] Appears to be 9:00...shall we get started?
18:01:50 [Nick] Aon, is there a particular party that you are affiliated
with? Not that I care
18:02:14 [Nick] Fire away kat
18:02:51 [Aon] affiliated with the human race..does that count
18:03:01 [katdillon] I thought we'd spend the evening discussing recruiting
for the FSP
18:03:25 [katdillon] What methods have been successful at getting the word
out about the project
18:03:31 [Nick] sure does
18:03:40 [katdillon] Try and answer whatever questions you might have about
18:03:48 [katdillon] And hear your ideas
18:04:05 [katdillon] Hi Dan
18:04:14 [Nick] What methods have been successful ?
18:04:18 [katdillon] So does anyone have any questions to start out with?
18:04:21 [danhynes] hello again
18:04:51 [Nick] What is our best medium?
18:04:58 [katdillon] The most successful things I've seen have been word of
mouth...talking to people you know, talking to people on the internet
18:05:07 [Nick] Chat, radio, television?
18:05:10 [katdillon] The internet is our biggest medium
18:05:22 [ring0] Does anyone have any charts/ statistics?
18:05:24 [katdillon] Web forums, chat rooms, email lists
18:05:28 [katdillon] webpages
18:05:51 [katdillon] Yes ring0, hang on a sec
18:06:04 [Nick] I've run into a few people online that are still deciding
whether or not
18:06:20 [katdillon] http://www.margomaps.com/fsp/recruitment/
18:06:33 [Kiernaan] Does anyone know any info on Southern New Hampshire
University? I am interested in going to school there as apart of the FSP moving
18:07:16 [svillee] Playboy is 5th on the list, interesting
18:07:24 [katdillon] Another thing that has been VERY successful has been
magazine articles about the FSP
18:07:32 [katdillon] yes, playboy was big
18:07:43 [Nick] It's not a bad school kiernaan
18:08:37 [katdillon] Evan Nappen wrote an article for American Handgunner
which turned out well
18:09:12 [Nick] we werein playboy
18:09:16 [katdillon] Does anyone have ideas for good magazines that might
publish an FSP article?
18:09:17 [RussellK] Hi JonM Friday Steve
18:09:30 [katdillon] Yeah, we were the centerfold article
18:09:30 [Friday] hi Russell
18:09:52 [Friday] maybe a hunting mag?
18:10:04 [PatK] Hi all
18:10:07 [Nick] Guns and Ammo?
18:10:09 [RussellK] oh no Pat K
18:10:19 [katdillon] hi Pat
18:10:21 [Nick] Or American Rifleman
18:10:27 [Kiernaan] thanks Scott
18:10:54 [Friday] or a conservative (as opposed to libertarian) political
18:11:06 [katdillon] I've been working on a mini-shadow ad on the san
francisco handgun ban
18:11:14 [katdillon] Those would be good
18:11:24 [Friday] Utne Reader, for the opposite end of the spectrum...
18:11:36 [katdillon] That's a liberal magazine?
18:11:59 [Friday] oh yeah, touchy feely granola greenie in the extreme!
18:12:03 [Nick] We could also write letters to the opinion sections of some
18:12:32 [katdillon] If you're not up for writing magazine articles , you
can also try reaching out to these types of groups on the internet
18:12:41 [katdillon] That's a good idea, Nick
18:13:08 [katdillon] I haven't heard of anyone doing that yet...the opinion
section of magazines
18:13:10 [Friday] maybe a natural childbirth/alternative medicine mag?
18:13:29 [katdillon] Yeah, great idea
18:13:36 [Nick] I wrote the NRA on their website when my membership was
18:13:53 [PatK] hey come have your painful birth in the free state?
18:14:13 [Friday] some people are into that, Pat!
18:14:19 [katdillon] lol Pat
18:14:23 [RussellK] lol
18:14:43 [katdillon] Do they regulate that in CA, Friday?
18:14:57 [RussellK] maybe we could eventually stop #ing the newborns even
18:15:03 [PatK] welll as long as the father can have some drugs
18:15:08 [katdillon] I know they're trying to regulate herbs and vitamins
more ona national level
18:15:11 [Friday] it's not an issue I follow, but I'll bet they do
18:15:46 [Friday] midwives are an endangered species; they might go for the
18:15:54 [PatK] did everyone get MR. Nappans invitation?
18:15:58 [RussellK] makes sense
18:16:05 [katdillon] Maybe a painful birth liaison>
18:16:06 [Friday] also, naturopaths and other practitioners of alt medicine
18:16:08 [Nick] Is there any effort to appeal to republicans as a group?
18:16:19 [katdillon] I did, pat
18:16:26 [Friday] yes, I already signed up for the Active Activists Army
18:16:40 [katdillon] We've talked a lot with the Republican Liberty Caucus
18:16:43 [ring0] if you combine the catagories family, friend, and
significant other it seems that plain old word of mouth is getting great
18:16:57 [Friday] Nick, my local group is arranging a presentation to local
18:17:10 [katdillon] Yes, ring0
18:17:32 [Nick] What locality friday?
18:17:48 [Friday] northern California
18:17:49 [ring0] word of mouth is free and accounts for over 500
18:17:56 [katdillon] word of mouth, magazine articles, internet
forums...those are all free ways to reach people, too
18:17:58 [svillee] Evan's email said "we'll even train you how to do it,
step by step". Is there a way I could review those steps, without necessarily
18:18:23 [Aon] yes, I would like to read that
18:18:28 [katdillon] I'll find out for you, Steve, and let you know
18:18:35 [RussellK] there is no pain involved with signing up steve
18:18:45 [RussellK] but yea maybe we can get it all
18:18:53 [katdillon] Sounds like it'd be a good idea to have the steps
avail on the website
18:18:56 [RussellK] they are creating it as we speak also
18:19:18 [Friday] yes, I got that impression!
18:19:20 [Nick] Oh ok, I know a county chair here in the GOP that is pretty
liberal socially, and a staunch fiscal conservative
18:19:51 [Friday] ask him if he would like a speaker from the FSP
18:19:56 [RussellK] We are making a lot of connections with GOPs in NH
18:20:08 [Nick] Her
18:20:13 [RussellK] we like table pounding tax cutters
18:20:26 [Friday] I made one small reference to outreach to Republicans on
my local group list, and all these Republicans leapt out of the woodwork!
18:20:58 [ring0] maybe we could post an article on Free Republic and ping
it a lot
18:21:15 [Friday] I think that's been done, ring0
18:21:30 [katdillon] I had a post on Free Republic today
18:21:50 [katdillon] There's a lot of good venue for online articles
18:21:53 [Nick] What about kat?
18:21:53 [RussellK] yea keep looking for stuff on Free Republic
18:22:28 [svillee] I went ahead and signed up for the "Active Activist
Army". It was indeed painless.
18:22:39 [katdillon] http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1324600/posts
18:23:03 [RussellK] see I told you so steve
18:23:08 [Seth] hey, got Kat's email just now... forgot about the chat,
and actually just got home a few anyway
18:23:33 [katdillon] Here's your expert on the activist army
18:23:46 [Seth] Someone was asking about the Recruiting Steps without
18:23:52 [Nick] I know it's not a hugely sympathetic demographic, but what
18:24:02 [Friday] Seth, which Seth are you? :-)
18:24:03 [Seth] We want people to sign up for a variety of reasons. I'll
18:24:14 [katdillon] There is a democratic freedom caucus
18:24:29 [katdillon] Seth Cohen
18:24:38 [Seth] Nick: we need more 'left' people for sure... I'm planning
on helping with getting the Democratic Freedom Caucus running in NH.
18:24:44 [Seth] Friday: Seth Cohn
18:25:13 [Seth] Ok, reasons to sign up rather than just 'get the steps'
18:25:33 [Seth] 1) We're tracking results (we want demographics, and to see
what works for people)
18:25:58 [Seth] 2) We are planning a support 'group', including buddying
people in similar areas.
18:26:26 [katdillon] Phil
18:26:31 [Friday] support is good
18:26:44 [Seth] 3) We want to know the overall results, and not just guess
'well, we think this effort worked, but how well?"
18:27:33 [Phil] Thanks Kat - joined the army today too (never thought I'd
eever say that!)
18:28:01 [Seth] 4) Protection for the FSP. For instance, we're going to
giving out step by step assignments, which will be clear about 'no nos' like
spam, bad PR moves, etc.
18:28:18 [Friday] I hope this doesn't include reveille at 4:00AM...
18:28:19 [katdillon] Do you have to get your head shaved to join the army?
18:28:52 [Seth] Headshaving is only for the punk anarchists in the FSP...
mohawks are another option.
18:29:14 [Friday] been there, done that
18:29:56 [katdillon] You've shaved your head, Friday?
18:30:20 [Friday] yes, it was my Sinead O'Connor period!
18:30:34 [Nick] I go for the shaved head style myself
18:30:36 [katdillon] neat
18:30:41 [PatK] the porc army we recover from more hangovers by 9am than
most people do in a life time
18:31:31 [katdillon] So going back to the Democrats, how would you
recommend we outreach to them
18:31:48 [Friday] join a Yahoo list and say hello
18:32:00 [Seth] Meetup.com....
18:32:03 [Friday] or attend a meeting and say hello
18:32:50 [katdillon] Meetings are a great idea. Instead of a speaker you
can just chat with people about the idea
18:33:05 [Friday] my mother is a Democrat, and even she's getting disgusted
18:33:15 [Nick] Democrats= social freedoms all the way
18:33:20 [RussellK] wow
18:33:22 [katdillon] But there are speakers available *points at Phil*
18:33:22 [Seth] Meetup.com told me that starting a Democratic Freedom
Caucus -within- the standard Democratic Party meetup system is perfectly ok
with them. Perfect outreach - find others who really want liberty, and aren't
dogmatically Left is right, Right is wrong.
18:33:33 [svillee] just make sure they're not looking to introduce a state
18:33:36 [katdillon] wow, Friday
18:33:45 [Friday] did anyone see Not In Our Name's statement that's going
to run tomorrow?
18:33:59 [katdillon] no, what was it
18:34:00 [katdillon] ?
18:34:16 [Friday] I assume NION is mostly a liberal/progressive group, but
their statement really can appeal to people on the opposite end of the spectrum
18:34:27 [Friday] things are getting weird in America!
18:34:45 [Phil] Would love to be a speaker - but very hard to imagine a
Democrat joining fsp - independents are more likely
18:34:48 [Aon] I would think reaching out to groups is the easy past,
stirring people to action might prove more complex
18:34:49 [katdillon] too liberal even for the democrats!
18:35:04 [katdillon] I know some democrats in the FSP
18:35:06 [Nick] What is NION?
18:35:08 [Friday] Kat, I'll post it to the forum; it's really quite
18:35:16 [Seth] Phil: we have Democrats in the FSP.
18:35:20 [katdillon] cool
18:35:30 [Friday] reminds me of the sort of thing a
1776 patriot would
18:36:07 [katdillon] Are all of you near an FSP local group?
18:36:17 [Friday] NION is a coalition of people opposed to the Iraq War,
with some rich Hollywood types involved
18:36:24 [katdillon] http://freestateproject.org/community/localgroups/
18:36:25 [Nick] yupper
18:36:27 [Seth] Before I forget to ask: anyone here who got the Challenge,
who did NOT sign up, and if not, why not?
18:36:54 [katdillon] I didn't.
18:37:05 [Friday] Aon, you said it!! Stirring people to action; I'm
18:37:16 [Seth] besides you, Kat. You do plenty else.
18:37:21 [katdillon] You can work with others in the local groups at
recruiting...more fun that way
18:37:34 [Nick] Opposition to the war isn't charateristically liberal
18:37:59 [Friday] I know, but judging by the big names on this list, that's
the leaning of NION
18:38:42 [katdillon] The FSP will provide some of the funds for printing
costs for things like flyers, for booth space, etc
18:38:49 [Nick] Doesn't mean that libertarians can't join and steer it
18:39:28 [Friday] I don't think the group actually does anything other than
put insanely expensive ads in major publications,
18:39:31 [Aon] The ideas speak for themselves, making ideas actionable
18:39:39 [Friday] sending a big F.U. to Bush et al
18:39:44 [Nick] oh ok then
18:40:11 [Friday] tomorrow their ad will be in the NYT, SF Chronicle, and
18:40:25 [katdillon] Seems like a worthy occupation
18:40:49 [Nick] Happy Inaguration day all
18:41:01 [Friday] phtphtphtff
18:41:48 [PatK] it looked like a may day celebration from theold ussr
18:41:50 [Seth] Don't blame me. I voted for Badnarik. (grin)
18:41:52 [katdillon] Maybe use anti-bush feeling towards recruiting
18:41:55 [Friday] Kat, are you still on the BoD?
18:42:09 [katdillon] Heck if I know
18:42:25 [Nick] Did you see the security, it was Orwellian
18:42:31 [Friday] er, I don't think I like the sound of that
18:42:32 [Aon] yes
18:42:36 [PatK] well no tanks this time mabey thats later
18:42:39 [Aon] more like a coronation
18:42:50 [Seth] The BoD is currently in 'flux'. Only official members are
Jason, Jean, Eddie
18:42:59 [katdillon] I'm on the "circle"...there's 3 people on the official
BOD right now
18:43:06 [Nick] I think a lot of small govt. types are sick of Bush
18:43:10 [Seth] it's a sore subject, Friday. Let's move on. It's not the
18:43:15 [Friday] When will it be out of flux? And is Amanda still
18:43:26 [Friday] um, OK then
18:43:32 [katdillon] Amanda is still President
18:43:40 [Seth] Out of flux: in the next week or 2.
18:43:44 [svillee] That's right. George Reich's term expired last Saturday.
18:43:47 [PatK] circle the fluxing board?
18:44:03 [katdillon] Hi Lloyd
18:44:14 [Lloyd] HI
18:44:17 [katdillon] It's a lot like ring around the rosie
18:44:32 [ScottRoth] Thye all fall down!
18:44:40 [Seth] ashes ashes we al lfall down.
18:45:04 [Aon] BoD...? Meaning someone is planning , directing...toward a
18:45:04 [Lloyd] Thanks Pat
18:45:11 [Seth] Ok, to get back to Recruiting.....
18:45:18 [Aon] actionable items ?
18:45:30 [katdillon] How are recruiting activities in No Cal going, Friday?
18:45:49 [Friday] Discouraging, Kat
18:45:51 [Seth] Question for everyone to answer: Name 3 things you could do
in the next week to help recruiting. Concrete 'I could do XYZ'
18:46:06 [Friday] but there are a lot of events lined up in the next 3
18:46:15 [katdillon] Oh, what's wrong?
18:46:16 [Seth] I'm looking for brainstorming here, so speak up.
18:46:18 [Phil] letter to editor
18:46:39 [Friday] I put out calls for volunteers and donations, and only
the same 2 people ever respond
18:46:39 [Phil] I wear my t-shirt at the gym
18:46:54 [katdillon] Aon...the goal is getting 20,000 liberty lovers to NH
18:47:01 [katdillon] too bad, Phil
18:47:02 [Nick] The goal being directed towards is getting 20K and moving
18:47:22 [katdillon] At least you have two people responding, Friday!
18:47:24 [Aon] individuals
18:47:35 [Lloyd] Re- phmphlet local colleges, make hat or shirtthat says:
"ask me about the FSP" and some other thing
18:47:46 [katdillon] Friday, how much have you used the member list?
18:47:57 [Seth] Friday: how others are not responding?
18:48:04 [katdillon] cool idea, Lloyd
18:48:10 [Friday] Kat, I only got it within the last 2 weeks, so very
18:48:17 [katdillon] it could be made into a sign....
18:48:19 [Seth] oops, how _many_ others are not responding.
18:48:42 [ScottRoth] Does the FSP have a brochure in PDF? I could print
them out and hand them out.
18:48:44 [Lloyd] Sandwich board!
18:49:00 [katdillon] Scott, yes
18:49:04 [PatK] make up a leaflet =everthing you wanted to know about
pocupine sex but were afraid to ask? Ask at FSP.org
18:49:06 [Seth] ScottRoth: yes, we do. Downloads.
18:49:13 [Friday] Seth, perhaps we should get into details outside of
18:49:16 [Lloyd] Brochures on the FSP website
18:49:19 [katdillon] http://freestateproject.org/getinvolved/downloads/
18:49:31 [ScottRoth] Thanks Kat.
18:49:42 [PatK] Lloyd had to say sandwich now I am hungry
18:49:48 [katdillon] I like it, Pat. I might even be inclined to write it
18:50:00 [katdillon] Hi lori
18:50:00 [Nick] Has anyone heard more about the war protests scheduled for
the 15th of February?
18:50:00 [Seth] Friday: in general terms. If you're calling on 20 people,
and only 2 are answering, it's a motivation issue, and perfect for us to talk
18:50:10 [Lloyd] Sex sell again!
18:50:19 [katdillon] I haven't Nick
18:50:19 [Friday] Seth, I email 500 people, and 5 respond.
18:50:42 [Friday] I encourage you to join the NorCal Yahoo list for
evidence of how very hard I have been trying.
18:50:53 [katdillon] I wonder if calling is more effective?
18:51:06 [Seth] Friday, you aren't alone in this. It's fairly universal.
18:51:06 [Nick] Morrison hasn't e-mailed me back, give him a kick in the
tail for me if you run into him ok
18:51:06 [Friday] We have tried that; the majority of numbers are invalid.
18:51:10 [Lori] well we could let people know how much eating does go on
once you get here and "get involved" last saturday we had breakfat in wilton
and then drove to somersworth to the seacoast porcupines meeting for lunch lol
18:51:34 [Seth] Dave Mincin sends personal emails, or calls people, because
he found email was working even here in NH.
18:51:35 [katdillon] Good eating and company in NH!
18:51:48 [Seth] wasn't working.
18:51:57 [Lori] but then we went out and handed out flyers in the cold in
hampton, you do have to be willing to get cold. brrr but the company is
18:52:01 [Seth] (grrh, my typos are bad as always)
18:52:19 [katdillon] You're doing an awesome job out there, Friday. Don't
18:52:34 [Friday] :-}
18:53:10 [katdillon] It's not even just the FSP. It's true in any
organization that only a few people are really active
18:53:24 [Seth] Friday> email me so we can talk later...
18:53:46 [Lloyd] Lori, I wonder what the guy whose pickup truck had the
licence plate: Zoning did with his flyer?
18:54:37 [katdillon] If you want people to come to meetings, you could try
making them just something fun...work into activism once people get used to
18:54:41 [Friday] OK, Seth
18:54:46 [Lloyd] Kat, I'm not sure that being active results in
18:54:50 [Seth] Commitment is a hard thing to gauge. We're finding that
true in the FSP.
18:54:53 [katdillon] I saw a licence plate here in keene: GLOCK
18:54:59 [Friday] we've been having "just fun" meetings for a year
18:55:09 [Lori] like that one kat
18:55:10 [katdillon] That's true, Lloyd
18:55:18 [Seth] But it's true everywhere. It's also why a scant handful of
activists _can_ make a difference.
18:55:23 [katdillon] Aah
18:55:46 [katdillon] seems to be especially true in NH
18:56:04 [Lloyd] I can't believe were not getting more signups out of the
18:56:12 [Lori] that's very true seth. look at how just a few sqeaky wheels
have been the ones that have brought about many of the laws and legislations
that have taken away many of our freedoms
18:56:21 [Seth] NH's more 'open' than most states, at least in important
ways (state and local government)
18:56:32 [katdillon] I don't think anyone is working on college students
18:56:47 [JonM] lloyd: turns out they can't read
18:56:57 [Friday] I've been hounding the Cal Libertarians
18:57:06 [katdillon] heh
18:57:20 [Seth] Friday: resistance?
18:57:25 [Nick] gotta go,bye
18:57:33 [Lori] bye Nick
18:57:36 [katdillon] night, Nick
18:57:38 [Friday] Seth: no response
18:57:40 [Lori] Hello George
18:57:48 [Friday] bye Nick
18:58:02 [katdillon] so..uh...we need speakers at the colleges instead
18:58:34 [RussellK] good talking with you guys....but I need to say
18:58:41 [Nick] Oh and if you all want to be ordained as non denominational
reverends by an official church, go to http://www.ulc.org and head to instant
ordinations, tax exempt
18:58:57 [Seth] Friday: if at first you don't get an answer, bug bug bug
18:58:59 [Friday] I know about that church!
18:59:00 [Lori] goodnight Russell
18:59:09 [Lloyd] Not sure what it would take. Anyone contacted libertarian
clubs on campus to see if they want speakers?
18:59:10 [Friday] goodnight Russell
18:59:41 [Seth] Nick: some of us have been Rev. for over 10 years now... I
think I'm going on almost 15 or more.
19:00:00 [Friday] I prefer to worship Bob, myself
19:00:15 [Aon] That is interesting
19:00:27 [katdillon]>[Friday] Could you save the transcript from this and
send it to me? email@example.com
19:00:40 [Lloyd] Good night all
19:00:50 [Friday] oops, I should point out that I am NOT *that* Friday of
the Church of the Subgenius
19:00:53 [Lori] goodnight Lloyd
19:00:57 [katdillon] Night Lloyd
19:01:18 [Friday] how do I do that, Kat?
19:01:39 [katdillon] either cut and paste the whole thing, or do /save
19:02:14 [Friday] OK, will do (until I leave)
19:02:27 [katdillon] thanks
19:02:55 [Seth] I gotta run myself... only came because of Kat's email, and
have stuff still to be done... Night all
19:03:03 [Lori] Scott had mentioned to me that it might be good to get
information to the college students here in NH too, since they already know NH
and maybe would want to come back here or just stay if they believe in what we
19:03:08 [katdillon] Night
19:03:11 [Friday] 'night Seth
19:03:19 [Lori] night seth
19:03:28 [katdillon] That's a great idea, Lori
19:03:28 [Friday] that's a good idea, Lori
19:03:34 [katdillon] hehe
19:03:54 [Friday] also, the alumni associations of NH colleges
19:04:06 [katdillon] ooh, yes
19:05:07 [katdillon] Thank you all for coming tonight. It's time for me to
take off, too
19:05:25 [katdillon] Good luck with your recruiting
19:05:29 [Friday] goodnight, Kat, thanks for the chat!
19:05:38 [Lori] goodnight kat and goodnight to you all
19:05:42 [Aon] g'nite Kat
19:06:19 [Friday] OK, looks like most people are exiting and it's
dinnertime in PST, so...
19:06:39 [Friday] goodnight, all, and the transcript will cut off shortly!
19:07:15 [Aon] It has been a nice visit , nice meeting all of you
19:07:26 [Friday] Aon, do you have a forum account?
19:07:52 [Aon] No, I only heard about this group last night
19:08:12 [Friday] sign up here: http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php
19:08:23 [Friday] it's the best way to "get to know" FSP people
19:08:54 [Friday] I hope you decide to join us!
19:09:08 [Aon] This has been the most interesting thing I have done online
in some time
19:09:48 [Friday] also, check out the NH Underground
19:09:50 [Aon] I spent most of my time in chat rooms where the word" sup"
seems to be the most intelligent thing said
19:10:59 [Aon] I have saved every link put into this room
19:11:21 [Friday] I avoid chat rooms myself; I make an exception for the
19:11:52 [Aon] I have time on my hands
19:12:16 [Friday] OK, see you next time!
19:12:21 [Aon] Single, just moved to a new city.
19:12:31 [Aon] g'nite all
19:12:50 [Friday] bye all
Activist of the Month Septemeber, 2004
Please join me in congratulating Dan McGuire, Jacqueline Passey, Eric
Hartford, Bob Lowe, Emily Sandblade, and Ethan Pooley. These fine
activists have been named September Activist of the Month for their outreach
efforts at the Seattle Hempfest. Their endeavor informed many hundreds of
liberty lovers about the Free State Project. Thank you all for your initiative
and hard work. You are stellar examples for the rest of us.
Following is Dan McGuire's Hempfest account:
It was a lot of work, but we handed out close to 1000 flyers at the Seattle
Hempfest last weekend. Many thanks to those porcupines who came to help: Eric
Hartford, Bob Lowe, Jacqueline Passey and Emily Sandblade. A number of LP
members were also there handing out our literature (and theirs), notably Don,
Ruth and Scott. Finally, very special thanks to Ethan Pooley who put some late
nights working on our signs and banner. The banner, with its bright orange
background of fall leaves, really stood out and got us noticed.
This was an interesting experience for me, as I had never worked a crowd
like that before. Especially for live-and-let-live types like us, it feels
awkward to make that first step and impose on someone who didn't seek contact.
However, politics is something that can't be done in a vacuum. We need other
people, not just for our membership, but to believe in the principles of
liberty and to vote and act accordingly.
Hempfest provided an opportunity to meet a LOT of people. There were many
times when the flow in front of our booth was so heavy that by the time I had
handed out a flyer and separated the next one from the top of the stack, ten
people had gone by. We learned how to get flyers into people's hands. You
need eye contact, a smile and to extend the flyer towards them at right moment.
Scott and Eric had success using a leading statement, like "Are you in favor of
legalization?", but I just liked a simple, "How are you?"
It's nice having a variety of literature to hand out. Besides our own
tri-fold and two-sided full page drug legalization flyer, we also had some
business cards, stickers (popular with high schoolers), the smallest political
quiz, a clever bright green marijuana-related handout that Jacqueline made and
a variety of other LP literature. Bright colors are good and small sizes are
good. They cost less to produce and people are more likely to accept them.
There were a few special moments. Like the time someone refused to take a
flyer, then four steps later turned around and said, "Oh are you libertarians?
I'll take one."
Activist of the Month
FSP Porcupine Festival, 2005:
This year the Free State claims your humble intrepid pilgrim as an official
by Brian Wright
In Free State Project (FSP) Year IV, all pledgers and liberty-lovers
everywhere have been invited to northern New Hampshire for the second official
annual FSP hootenanny in the hills. After this one, yours truly will finally
become a freeboot on NH ground.
To refresh everyone's memory, the Free State Project was
the brainchild of Dr. Jason Sorens in the
summer of 2001. At the time he was a political science college student/lecturer
studying the decentralization of power. He initiated a political project
summarized as follows:
Liberty-minded people move to a low-populated,
freedom-receptive state within one year after a threshold number of pledges to
move is met.
That's the essence of the project (it isn't easy to describe succinctly)[~/1]the statement on the website is quite elegant). The
FSP was thus born. After a lot of meaningful conversation in cyberspace and
realspace, the threshold number was set at 20,000 individual pledgers. The
destination state was determined by voting of the first 5,000 pledgers to be
the "Live Free or Die" state, New Hampshire.
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to guess what fulfilled FSP
pledgers actually do when they get to the Free State. Hmmmm, maybe they
work together for even more freedom! Yes! The obvious idea is make New
Hampshire a model for the other jurisdictions of the world: Live Free and
Live! Or as Russell Means used to say: "Freedom is for Everyone."
Once again, I start out from my Michigan digs and point the Audi A4
eastward. The route through Canada is closer, but I don't have a warm-fuzzy
feeling about customs' personnel these days (not that I ever did)...especially
with a couple of choice libertarian bumper stickers adorning the car. Too much
chance of routine government harassment.[~/2]
The trip to the Free Statemany people increasingly substitute "the
Free State" for "New Hampshire"is uneventful. I do notice at turnpike
service islands and rest areas that far too many Americans are technically in
an obesely way: If a people's moral character were measured by the pound, the
US would certainly get the Nobel Prize!
Question: Is obesity a function directly related to fat government, or vice
Whatever, I and my fellow patriots, whether porky or svelte, are on a
pilgrimage to what we will fashion into a free country. Coming in, 400 plus,
from all states and even a few other countries, we are gathering for a major
pep rally and to move the cart forward in terms of actually living the dream.
Moving here, breathing here, growing here as good neighbors.
What distinguishes the Free State from, say, being a member of the
Libertarian Party or some other political organization is that the FSP obliges
not simply involvement, but commitment. Consider the adage that Michael
Ruppert, leader of From the
Wilderness, likes so much: "In your eggs and ham breakfast, the chicken is
involved but the pig is committed."
Talk about putting your footprint where your mouth is!
Day 1: New Hampshire Insertion
I come up from the Mass Pike along Mass 83, which turns to NH 10 at the
border aiming toward Keene. The road sign welcoming me to the Free State looks
like some local Rotarians one day in the '50s had too many beers for lunch and
decided to plant the sign as a gesture of goodwill. It has the look of one of
those old handpainted Burma Shave placards.
Most of us are used to state welcome billboards with grandiose artwork,
suns rising over amber waves of grain, and professionally metered slogans
telling us how absolutely wonderful it is for us to be crossing this threshold
into God's chosen land. Followed by multiple signs telling us all the things we
must do or that we certainly cannot do.
So thanks, New Hampshire, for a perfect sign... in more ways than one.
I drive along some terrific twisting roadsmaintained adequately but
not perfectlythat Audi lovers and other driving enthusiasts would
actually pay good money to drive so routinely, at will. Thank you, Jesus, I
just died and went to highway heaven. As for Free State road signage, well
that's another issue... to discuss later.
Looking at the roadside real estate, I sense you can still put up a trailer
or a tarpaper shack on inexpensive land if you want to. The high rollers and
the low rollers seem to live side by side without a fuss. But who knows what
laws lurk beneath the calm surface?
I manage to thread the delicious spaghetti roads to find a Quality Inn in
Bedford that used to be a Sheraton, but they forgot to drop the prices. To
explore my surroundings, I drive to get some gas. As I also purchase an
(indispensable) Delorme® road map from the Mobil attendant I learn Milly's
Brew Pub is just over the bridge on the Mancester waterfront.
Hallelujah, another sacred experience!
Day 2: Initial Homesteading Process
This is my own personal first move to the Free State. In the technical
jargon of Free State, I'm an "early mover," moving before the 20,000 threshold
number of pledges is reached. Through the Free State forum and www.roomates.com, I just earlier this week
had a conversation with a young homeowner with a room to rent in New Boston.
We meet and go through the place. It's perfect for what I need right now:
private room, private bathroom, high-speed Internet, even garage space for my
A4. We make the deal and I move some stuff in, then haul it on down the road.
Within about two miles, I receive a message on my cellphone from an employment
agent I've contracted. I meet with him in Concord on the way to Porc Fest.
Major progress on home and work issues in one morning!
"Somedays a diamond, somedays a stone."
Note: You can see it's much easier for a man alone to get his wheels down
in a new place. Couples and families have to be a little more planned out. FSP
has increased its support system esp. the Welcome Wagon and related groups.
Contact via site.
Getting around in the Free State is easy, and it's easy to find rural
living within easy access of moderately sized cities. Around Keene yesterday,
some rush hour traffic hit me, but nothing of the magnitude you get in Ratrace,
USA. The key seems to be multiple distinct towns connected by winding, largely
development-free rural roads.
This is only my Day 2. The festival actually started on July 23, the
July 23rd is significant as the 2001 publication date of Jason Sorens' online essay
in The Libertarian Enterprise, which first made the case for the
Free State. So this July 23rd is the fourth anniversary of Free State
concept publication. We're holding Porc Fest 05 at Roger's Campground in
Lancaster, FS, same place as Porc Fest 04.
The main events beforeSunday thru Wednesdayare LP Presidential
nominee Michael Badnarik's Constitution classes, a mock town hall meeting
courtesy Free State pioneer and longtime NH resident, Mary Gere, as well as
some hands-on 2nd-Amendment shooting training by Bill Walker.
All I do on this afternoon, Wednesday, 7/28, is drive to the Roger's site
and shoot the breeze with people at the registration table: Dave Mincin
(aka the Mad Hugger) of the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance (NHLA) and Lloyd
Danforth, among others.
Lloyd and I, both 50-somethings, find a lot of common early history. Lloyd
was around during the early Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) days,
rubbed elbows with Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises. And we both know
Morris and Linda Tannehill from Michigan![~/3]
Nothing being on my agenda for the evening, I check into my motel in
Lancaster; do a few errands for water, vittles, and such; and walk around town
taking pictures. It's amazing to discover what has gone into a town this old
and small. On the courthouse lawn, I find a memorial to the men who died in the
four major wars of the 20th century. It astounds me that more than 100 men died
in WW I alone! It seems that not that many people live here now, let alone
could have lived here thenor else they lost everyone who signed up?
Also, some of the buildings in this northern NH resort-area town have very
interesting architecture; in particular a residence along the main street looks
like it was converted from a stone-walled factory. Another observation as the
week wears on is the visiting population and traffic of Lancaster are higher
than the previous year, though we came last year in late June, not July.
Day 3: Golf on the Nearby Mountainside
The mock town hall is scheduled for this afternoon, but I elect to indulge
my own personal golf package[~/4] to frontload some exercise
and fun on the weekend. Nobody will miss me. I do have some regrets upon
hearing later how instructive the mock town hall was, but figure I'll be doing
town halls for real in the not-too-distant future.
I play a few miles away at Waumbek
GC again, shoot a legitimate 84 on the first 18-hole golf course built in
the Granite State. The adage, "If you're breaking 80 (completing 18 holes in
fewer than 80 strokes) at golf, you're not paying enough attention to your real
job," comes to mind. The weather has turned from hot to beautiful, which bodes
well for the Porc Fest weekend. Nothing else for me of earthshaking importance
today. A final settling-in day.
(My) Day 4 (Friday): Taking Some Part in the Program
Today, Friday, begins the regular presentations in the Main Hall at Roger's
Campground. I start with the Education Funding Forum. Mr. Charles Arlinghaus,
president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, addresses us with
information on how education is funded in New Hampshire. He also suggests some
legislative remedies to allow more options.
The questioning period is lively. I'm overwhelmed. Hearing all these
Byzantine laws and silly bureaucratic conflicts and supreme court
rulings/ambiguities, I think, "What a friggin' mess." The only alternative a
sane man would consider is divestiture: education is obviously not an
area the state can even come close to running as well as your average village
I believe I suggested words to that effect in a question.
Virgil Swearingen, Pop of Varrin (the Porc Fest Czar), came up to me in
break and said he fully agreed that the separation of education and state is
the only way to go. It's wonderful to make these connections. You wind up
learning so much by listening. Virtually everyone here has an absolutely
wonderful voyage of self-discovery to communicate. Welcome to the Freedom
Next, at 2:30, people like myself are featuredearly movers. The topic
is "Moving to the Free State." FS VP Evan Nappen is our enthusiastic
moderator. He's purchased two rolls of chain, thick and not-so-thick, and two
boltcutters, one large version and one giant super wombat thunderpig version
(for the heavier chain).
As each new mover comes to the front, he or she cuts off a length of chain.
This symbolizes breaking the chains that have bound us to our former statist
states. Naturally, we manly guys pick the heavier chain and try to make the
Paul Bunyan cut. I manage, but at 5'10" and 175, it takes some luck; Evan's
there to help in case someone falters. (The photo shows a big guy early mover
who cut the chain in a microsecond.)
After cutting the chains, we each get to say a few words: "Hi, Mom, way
back there in Michigan, don't worry about the next payment on your iron lung
machine. The check is in the mail." But seriously, even for a single
between-jobs guy, it's a big step to leave friends and family to start over. I
shed a lion-sized tear in my beer every time I think about it.
It goes back to the issue of commitment; nobody comes to the Free State for
light and transient reasons. We come to make a difference, make history, kick
some major statist buttski. Someone during the weekend came up with, "Come
Home to New Hampshire."
We think the move is a challenge, and it is. But
consider what the early American settlers had to endure to achieve a freer
existence: crossing an ocean, no unlimited long distance, no 7-11s. Ha ha, but
as tough as it is psychologically for some, we really do have it pretty
We all take a bow with a handful of chain. When I come to the podium, I
show some bumper stickers which with the help of a lady friend I've created.
They say "Freedom: It's the Law!" Instead of the colon we place a scroll
entitled Bill of Rights, upon which a the shadow of a colonial militia man is
superimposed. Strikingly effective message.
Note: We rushed to get the first ones ready for Porc Fest, and the quality
wasn't good. We're planning to eventually resurrect the stickers as first-class
quality items; please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're
interested in large quantities.
Following the love fest for us FS newbies, smiling Welcome-Wagon supermodel
goddess, or at least highly cute mother of four, Margot Keyes addresses the
assembly. FSP continues to improve the welcoming process, with meet and greets,
more connections with jobs/real estate/social services, and help with moving.
One guy says that if you hire professional movers, our Free State Beer and
Pizza Moving Company will be majorly offended.
A directory of the Porcs who have moved to FS is also continually updated.
It will be available on the website, but the latest hardcopy is on the
registration table for only $3. The directory, I feel, will be helpful for
initial hookups in my town of New Boston.
This year the Porcupine Family Dinner is held around the Main Hall on
Friday evening as opposed to Saturday evening. Last year itinerate journalist
Logan Brandt from
the Reason to Freedom site wrote the following about the meal:
This year they get it right. Plenty of food, plenty of main meat dishes,
plenty of winenot sure if the wine was catered or a volunteer effort,
perhaps the forum can enlighten usand everything is first-class,
AOK-terrific. I sit down next to a couple I don't yet know; the woman is the
animated Mary Gere, who organized the town hall in Unity. Her husband is Paul
as I recall, and is here mainly because he's family.
Paul said some interesting things. He's not a true signed-up Porc (Porc is
a nickname for "FSP person" or even more generically a friend/member of the
FSP, sometimes simply a resident of the Free Statein NH when you say
someone has Porced up, it's a compliment).
No, Paul sees an insidious "Mass"ification process occurring particularly
in Southern FS, meaning too many people from Massachusetts come in and want all
the amenities they've been used to, only they want "everyone" to pay for these.
And he's doubtful it can be stopped unless FSP is successful. He always votes
pro-gun. He believes if only a thousand active Porcs move here every
year, we'll handily control state politics in 10 years.
True. I would also say, we get a lot of leverage from people like Paul who
have been here for years and want to keep what makes New Hampshire special.
Speaking of being pro-gun, Evan Nappen formerly of New Jersey tells us a new
law enables NJ statists to take your home if you get caught with an illegal
gun... even if it doesn't fire. And even if it isn't yours. The New Jersey
thugs in suits must think no one in the state reads... the Constitution.
The evening for me is uneventful, as I return to the motel and write up
Friday is also the day of the Mt. Liberty Hike. Last year it was purported
to be a bit of a gruel, a true climb, rather than a simple walk up the trail.
This year, I find out later, it's the same, an ordeal (younger couple at the
campfire tomorrow evening would confirm). Nonetheless, next year I hope to go,
but not miss any good presentations.
Day 4: Saturday, the Main Event
Saturday the 20th is the big presentation schedule.
The several vendor tables display their wareswe have the FSP, NHLA,
Gun Owners of NH, Bureaucrash, Coalition of NH Taxpayers, Republican Liberty
Caucus (RLC), Liberty Scholarship Fund, and a few others I'm sorry I forgot
(Where were the hemp-legalization people this year?).
Jason and Amanda offer opening remarks, then other principal speakers go
through the afternoon. In the evening, many of us are attending the New
Hampshire Liberty Alliance (NHLA) dinner featuring Texas Congressman Ron Paul
about 55 minutes down the road in Plymouth. Finally, for those who remain
awake, Tim Condon hosts the Circle of Liberty again around the big campfire,
where, into the wee hours of the morning, you can pass the stick and say your
Amanda utters a gem: "Someone said that in the future 20,000 libertarians
moved here and no one considered the ramifications of having 20,000
libertarians being within arguing distance."
Jason's talk this year is on two main political virtues: courage and
humility. He gives some interesting illustrations of courage from English and
European History. Look up the Immortal Seven and The White Rose, people who
stood up to tyranny of one kind or another in favor of natural rights. He
concluded with comments on the goals, objectives, and status of the FSP.
Already, we are the most successful liberty-minded migration movement in modern
history, and the Porc Fest is the biggest libertarian event of 2005.
Alan Weiss of Austin speaks of the need for taking the organization to the
next level of professionally managed operation, to accelerate the recruitment
of pledges. 20,000 by end of 2006 isn't written in stone, more like a "biggest
practicable number" in the shortest conceivable timeframe. Success is not
inextricably tied to these integers. Jason mentions an upcoming press
conference that will outline new FSP strategy.
We get some difference of opinion on the celebrated attempt to designate
Supreme Court Justice David Souter's home in Weare, NH as an eminent domain
taking. There was in fact a protest,
July 17, in Weare with more FSPers opposed to the taking than were for it.
Undeniably the publicity of pursuing Mr. Souter's home is good stuff.
Certainly, no true libertarian would actually carry out an expropriation, even
Someone suggested that we advocate "liberty-minded people" come to New
Hampshire, as opposed to "libertarians." It's unfortunate the generic word
libertarian carries specific connotations that some find offputting.
Personally, I don't have a problem understanding lower-case libertarian vs.
initial-cap Libertarian. Both are complimentary words.
We get some media coverage and signup rate is directly related to that.
NPR did a piece. Per Mary Gere, don't come to the FS with the idea "I'm coming
here to rescue you." More like "I'm here because I want to be free, and I want
to fight for freedom for everyone."
In the afternoon, Heather Talley of
Bureaucrash spoke. I recall her from the National LP convention in Atlanta,
at which they staffed a booth. These are the movement's international Liberty
Youth of style and substance. Into very clever designer t-shirtsat the
convention I bought "Capitalism Heals"they arrange to travel to big media
events worldwide and make liberty seem avant-garde.
Often, the antiglobalist leftists protest these events. She said once at an
international conference in Cancun(?), the leftists were protesting free trade
in favor of "fair trade." It was a hot day, so the Crashers set up two soda
pop stands for people to quench their thirst. One sold cold pop at the free
trade price of 50 cents and the other sold pop at the fair trade price of
$2.00. She said only two people actually paid the fair trade price.
You get the point. Bureaucrash. What can you say about a group that
actually has a t-shirt with a bust image of the professorial capitalist FA
Hayek under which big capital letters announce BAD ASS! She says they're
successful in getting local chapters to support protests, the network gets the
word out, and young people show up. Good stuff, check it out; I now have my
Christmas list filled for my nephews and nieces.
I skipped most of Ed Naile from the CNHT, but caught some of his later
statements. They really engage the opposition and, through constant vigilance,
make the Free State much less susceptible to tax aggression. They stop tax
bills that the Concord statists try to sneak thru in the dead of night. I also
missed most of Katherine Albrecht, privacy advocate, Michael Badnarik, and
legendary civil liberties author James Bovard.
Really wanted to catch James, but had to skedaddle to get dressed for the
drive to the NHLA's Liberty Dinner. The drive to Plymouth State University's
Prospect Hall took about 55 minutes, and I had interesting conversation with my
passengers: Brian Sullivan, investment guy from Ithaca, NY; Neil Alexander,
software engineer already here; and a young man named Keith, a member of the
National Guard. Very excited to be part of this unique freedom-fighting
intellectual activity he was; he met up w/girlfriend there.
I can't go into all the conversations, because you wind up talking to
people all weekend and discussing ideas from dusk to dawn and dawn to dusk...
or at least discussing the various ways in which the state diminishes our
lives, and freedom enhances us. If I described all these encounters, this
article would be a book. The intellectual excitement rocks.
I want to say a word about the "ordinary" Porc. He or she is just like an
normal citizen of New Hampshire only moreso. Unpretentious, down to earth,
willing to live free or die, and the most kindhearted person you'll ever meet.
Give you the shirt off their backs. I.e. "Don't tread on me, and I'll be
Increasingly, I've personally felt our direction should be much more
fundamental, take the
Rational Review Political Program, launch a culture-wide movement to
enforce the Bill of Rights. L. Neil Smith has it right, we do this with formal
announcement of employing the Zero Aggression Principle to accomplish our end:
Just say no to the state. It never had the power.
This thought to insist on the Bill of Rights is very hot I feel. Along with
that movement, I did some more thinking this week toward the establishment of
the Nonaggression Principle as something of a sacred mission of our deep love
of humanity. (Think Mary Ruwart and
Healing our World.) I believe the time has come where the
nonaggression principle, marketed as a gesture of love, is going to sell
bigtime. The state is at the end of its rope. Freedom lovers have the only
It looks grim sometimes, but consider that Carla Howell and a handful of
brave libertarians in that god-awful government catastrophe to our south,
Massachusetts, got 45% of the population to vote to end the state's income tax
and replace it with nothing. They were totally blockaded by the Boston
Globe and other media.
Folks, we are on the verge of taking our country back, and the Free State
is the model for how we'll go about it. Sorry, putting down the soapbox now.
NHLA does terrific work. Local hero, former NH representative Don Gorman
announced the 2005 Liberty Rating document that is just coming out, that rates
individual representatives on the liberty scale based on their votes.
Extremely useful for those of us coming to the Free State to get everyone on
the right track.
The MC is Keith Murphy who has put together a good program.
The warmup act is a Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition (LEAP) speaker, Mr. Fred Cole. He's a former narcotics cop,
who's repented and joined the organization founded by Sheriff Bill Masters and
others to argue as cops against the drug laws. He's certainly singing to the
choir here. It's always good to get the statistics reinforced. I liked the stat
when drugs are relegalized, 1.6 million fewer people will be arrested and
additional millions of people will either be released from jail or, like me,
have their pseudofelony records expunged.
Ron Paul is his normal amiable, rambling self. I've seen several Paul
speeches over the years, and attended the LP Convention in Seattle as a
delegate, where he was nominated as the LP presidential candidate. (I
preferred Russell Means.) Still, Dr. Paul is the real deal, a man of absolute
integrity in Congress. He speaks out and votes No a lot (126 times by himself
That being the case, him being unable to influence the Republican Party,
I've wondered why he won't introduce articles of impeachment to get rid of the
current administration. It is clearly guilty of
treason in actively enabling and covering up its role in the 911 attacks,
then lying to Congress about the premises for war in Iraq and Afghanistan. In
fact, I have written out a question, to put it gracefully to the good doctor in
But this is a long, dragged-on night. The room is hot, we've been sitting
here for a couple of hours and it's a long drive home in the dark. Let it go.
Sometimes I have the feeling attending dinners and banquets is the price one
pays for political activity. In the future, I want someone to invent a robot
or a clone, which can sub for me at these affairs while I'm playing golf,
drinking quality brew, or otherwise creatively engaged.
The drive back is stimulating. As I said, the roads here are like
Disneyland rides. The conversation typical libertarian fare. I drop everyone
off around 11:30 p.m. at Roger's, then drive back to my motel to change into my
mountain-man togs... or at least to get out of the suit. I wonder whether I
should just crash.
Glad I decided to head back. The Circle is down by the road on my left
just as I drive in from the highway. Lots of people here. All the principals:
Amanda, Jason and his wife, Tim Condon, the Swearingens, Evan, Alan Weiss...
Matt and Sid from Tennesseethese were some super dudes I met last night,
Sid the Kid is a fellow homebrewist and shared w/me the other night when I was
beerless; Matt is his philosophy instructor at the community college or
something. It's rewarding to meet such gentlemen for whom ideas (and the
freedom to make them happen) matter.
I'll be brief on the Circle, though some of us hard core were out there
I'm sure I'm not remembering some key people, but Tim Condon seemed to run
things. Not much to run actually, the idea is you take the walking stick and
you get the floor. You can say whatever you want. Mostly positive vibes. I
particularly remember hearing from Tony, formerly of the people's republic of
Poland. It's always inspiring to get it straight from the heart what tyranny
and freedom truly mean.
A lot of other people around the fire have also been victimized by the
aggression of the state. I certainly have. Though nowhere near to the level of
Tony and the people they destroyed back in the old country. That's why we're
here. We are not going to let that happen to Americaor at least not
forever: a man from Michigan brings up the killings at Rainbow Farm (and of course
there have been many government massacres).
We are going to rid ourselves of these demons of aggression once and for
all. Claim our birthright and spread the good word. Wonderful group of
people. If FS proves to be a last stand of some sort, then I can't imagine a
better place for it. But I think we need to consciously resist any
Alamo/circle the wagons images.
Instead let's imagine we're embarked on a mission to once again plant the
seed for the Liberty Tree. Here on special soil with the tender loving care of
hundreds and thousands of kindred, freedom-loving souls. This one will
flourish. And its seeds we will spread everywhere at lightning speed. That's
a better image.
Day 5: Sunday" So-Longs"
Sunday is the getaway day for many. Some stay for the religious services,
or in my case Amanda's atheist revival meeting. We also again this year have a Seekers' groupnot easily
obtained on the Internet, so I'm not even sure a site existsthat can
probably be located on the FSP site. And, of course, the Christians.
The distinction between the atheist grouping and the Seekers lies probably
in the latter's arguable reluctance to jettison mysticism. Soul searching with
people who eschew supernatural explanations is exhilarating to say the least.
It is amazing how deep we are without throwing an incomprehensible,
all-knowing, all-powerful deity into the mix.
Sorry for the editorializing again.
We really had a good time in our atheist conclave, though we are
uncomfortable being defined as a negative. Perhaps next time, we'll just
announce a meeting of all rational individuals with something to share of their
own feelings and motivations. It's just easier to say atheist.
We left it with someone maybe going to post a category on the FSP forum.
There is a Religion and Liberty category, so perhaps some activity can be
generated there on a continuing basis.
Naturally, it's sad to say goodbye. Doubly for me, because I'm making my
move now. A week ago I crossed the ocean between Detroit and Mancester, left
my friends, family, and ex(es) behind. Now with these new friends disappearing
to various corners of the Free State, I'm alone again naturally. And I have
all this work to do to get settled and find a job.
The nice thing is people in the Free State are almost universally
approachable and kindhearted. It's going to be very easy for me to make new
friends, even among the natives. And when I do get my wheels down, I'll be
giving Welcome Wagon Margot a call, and scouting for local Porcs around the
greater New Boston metropolitan area.
As a service to others, I plan to post a weekly chronicle of my experiences
getting lined up in the Free State. How I'm finding things work. How I'm
solving certain problems others may run into. Often, it helps to know what not
to do. Tentative title: "New Pilgrim Chronicle." It will be fun to share. I
can already tell you NH is vewy vewy different. And vewy vewy wonderful.
Sign people up. Get them here. By this time next year, perhaps the Porc
Fest will need to rent the campgrounds of the entire northern tier of New
[~/1] The following summary from the web page is
the most elegant I've seen:
The Free State Project is an agreement among 20,000 pro-liberty activists to
move to New Hampshire, where they will
exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which
the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and
property. The success of the Project would likely entail reductions in taxation
and regulation, reforms at all levels of government to expand individual rights
and free markets, and a restoration of constitutional federalism, demonstrating
the benefits of liberty to the rest of the nation and the world.
[~/2] Major Idea in Transit: Create a voluntary,
quasi-commercial worldwide citizen identification and certification program.
The (renewable, say, every five years following one's tenth birthday)
certification requires that the citizen represent zero threat to violate the
nonaggression principle. (Government officials and aggressive criminals would
have initial probation status pending validation of no further intent to
aggress.) "Forge-proof" ID cards would serve the identification part of
driver's licenses, passports, visas, etc. worldwide. Thus, end the
international government paperwork mandate, and save the average citizen untold
hours' worth of complete bullschtick.
[~/3] Authors of The Market for
Liberty, an early humanistic anarchocapitalist tract.
[~/4] Another Crazy Idea While Driving: Libertarian Golfers'
Association. There don't seem to be too many committed libertarian ideologues
who also spend quality recreational time on the links. Perhaps for good reason.
But if you open up the qualification process to golfers who have libertarian
sentiments, I'll bet you could raise a fair number of stickwielders.
Note: By the way, any of these groovy ideas areso farout there
for the taking. Just give me a nod of attribution when you make your first
(Space above is intentional, so that links to footnotes will align)
2005 Porcupine Freedom Festival Report Bill Walker
After months of communications and planning, Porc Fest '05 sort of snuck up
on Kate & me, and we began scurrying to make the necessary arrangements for
organizing and packing a ton of stuff into our tiny car for the 700-mile trip
to the Free State.
We got a screened-in tent for our campsite, large enough to fit over a
picnic table so that we could keep things dry and insect-free during the
week-long festival. We also picked up a heavy-duty fabric roof rack to
supplement the limited space inside the Mazda.
Since I was and would be organizing the "Second Amendment Activities", and
was therefore bringing six rifles, eight handguns, and a shotgun along
with the usual related equipment, supplies, and several thousand rounds of
ammunition, I needed to secure everything in a manner that would comply with
Federal law for interstate transport of firearms as well as not set off any red
flags for the socialist Grenzpolizei in MD, NJ, and NY. I didn't have enough
locking containers to put all of the ammo and firearms into, and I needed a way
to transport and secure all of the guns after we unpacked the car at the
campsite. Many hours of research, design, and redesign produced a blueprint
for a gun cart that could be loaded up with everything needed for a complete
range trip guns, ammo, targets, cleaning supplies, a chair and shooting
bench, even a padded gun vise and a Dremel tool for cleaning and minor repair.
It had wheels, and it locked. Two sheets of plywood, lots of sawing and
gluing, and four or five trips to various hardware stores over the next few
days produced a rough prototype sans chair and shooting bench.
THURSDAY [July 21, Richmond VA]
We began packing the car on Thursday night. Piles of guns in a giant cart
needed to be wheeled down a flight of steps that the rear cart edge didn't
quite clear. Lift, roll, clunk. Lift, roll, clunk. As sweat poured off of me,
I imagined taking a giant spill that would crush Kate and dump $5000 of guns
all over the concrete below. Ugh. Finally reaching the bottom, we had only a
short off-road trip up a grassy hill to the car. At least the wheels worked
nicely. The cart had to be turned around and carefully maneuvered into the
trunk and then the legs wouldn't clear that last 2 or 3 inches.
AHHHHHHH! Murphy had predictably visited us. We popped the cart open and
removed the legs, managing to JUST slide the cart into the car and then
at the last second ripped off the wheels in the process. @#&*! Oh well, we
can fix that after we get there.
Next we had fun shoving the roof rack onto the car, creatively securing it
with straps and buckles since the metal clips that were supplied
wouldn't hold onto the doorjambs of the Mazda. We dripped sweat in the heat and
humidity to get the thing loaded and sealed just before it poured rain
all night long. I guess we'd see if it was really as waterproof as the
manufacturer claimed. I hoped so, since the tent and all of our clothes
were in it.
Friday morning, we ran up and down the stairs, carrying the last of the
mountain of stuff into the car and rearranging it so that WE could fit into the
car as well, and so I could see out of the rear window. A few items were
judged at the last minute to be nonessential (cardboard IDPA targets, etc.) and
left behind. We stopped for gas and food, and began to run the interstate
gauntlet while monitoring channel 19 on the CB radio my boss had gifted to me.
Lots of chatter about The Man in the Big Hat, bears, "brushing your teeth and
combing your hair", and girls. We listened to an intellectual and very
libertarian conversation about race. Every so often we'd have someone get on
the channel and teach us some new vocabulary words. Once in the
Catskills we were repeatedly serenaded by an escaped mental patient
singing, "Meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow." Through tolls, off and on
exit and entrance ramps, under "Report All Suspicious Activity" notices, and
past the watchful eye of toll-collectors, we proceeded north as the July sun
beat down and radiated through the windshield. Every so often we had to pull
over on the side of the road and heave the roof rack forward onto the car since
it had slid backwards on the roof and was dangling over the edge, causing it to
flap in a truly disconcerting manner at highway speeds. Up and down
mountainous roads we drove in our little 4-cylinder import, loaded down with a
ton of stuff and straining against gravity and the air-conditioner to reach our
friends in the Free State. The closer we grew, the gloriously cooler it got.
At long last, we arrived in Keene, and made our way to Varrin & Edi's
home by about 8pm. We made good time and it was smooth sailing all the way.
No blocking off all five lanes of Route 95 like the year before, no MD state
po-lice confiscating all of my guns, no NJ state po-lice arresting me for 1000
years for transporting mountains of hollow-point ammunition, and no NY state
po-lice shooting me to death for transporting handguns. Whew. I slid out my
Galco NSA-II leather holster and
proceeded to secure my
H&K USP Compact (.357 sig) with the
LEM trigger into the rig as an assertion of my Rights and as a celebration
of my safe arrival in the Free State. I also marveled at what was surely a
30-degree lower temperature than what we left in Richmond, VA.
We enjoyed meeting Virgil and Lois Swearingen (Varrin's Parents) and
watching Varrin scurry around the house as he oh yes just then
began to pack. We talked and drank, and ate, and played with Edison and Erin,
and poo-poo'ed the government, and then ate and drank some more. We discussed
the weather and how Varrin usually likes to camp without a tent, and how the
last time he went camping and it rained, his friend forgot to pack one. And we
ate and drank some more.
Saturday morning entailed stuffing Edison head first into my sleeping bag
stuff-sack so that Varrin was free to pack and load the van, unpack and
rearrange the van, search for missing items, and run last-minute errands. Once
Varrin's family had loaded into the van, they all predictably had to get back
out to use the restroom and then get settled back in. A few brief directions
were relayed, and the caravan headed out toward the highway. A mere twenty
minutes out, and I was frantically braking to avoid rear-ending Varrin's van as
he swerved off to the side of the road. Varrin apparently likes camping
without a tent so much that he neglected to pack one. The Fellowship parted
ways and would meet up again at Roger's.
We made our way into Lancaster and stopped at the grocery store for a quick
supply of camp food. And beer. Then we made our way down the street to the campground and checked in. It was
still light out, we were awake, and we knew exactly where our campsite was. It
was an amazing improvement over the year before. We parked the car and began
setting up the campsite, and Lloyd Danforth wandered into camp to tell us that
he had a 12' x 24' tent he could bring over for social gatherings since we had
a double-sized campsite. As we talked and set up, we noticed that there were
LOADS of people already in camp and it was still only Saturday! I had a
feeling that this year's festival was going to be BIG. Mary'L Gere stopped by
and dropped off a huge pile of hearing protection for the Second Amendment
activities. As we walked down to Dawn's camper to see who was checked in, we
met Tony Stelik and his friend Mike, Russell Kanning and Kat Dillon, Pat K.,
and lots of other people I recognized from either MD FSP meetings, the 2004
Libertarian National Convention, last year's Porc Fest, or one of the local FSP
meetings at Millie's.
We headed down to Site 31 to cook chicken wings, meet people arriving at
the festival, and take part in the Kickoff Party that of course had cake
yummy cake. And beer. We met Bill Campbell, Matt and Sidney [KY], Nick and
Jeremy and Carl-the-Swede (TM) who were going to film a documentary [MN], Ward
and Lisa Griffiths, and tons of other folks. Some folks burned a UN flag over
the campfire. We played with my Bushnell night vision monocular, and then Dawn
kicked us out from in front of her RV so that they could sleep sheesh.
So I lit up my ?-million candlepower flashlight so we could all find our way
back in the otherwise pitch black, and a few other night owl porcs and I sat
around and talked until well past midnight.
Jeremy Noyes and I drove down to the grocery store to buy real food, and he
proceeded to go hog wild and buy everything in sight. He must have been
hungry. Or pregnant. And then he tried to pay for it all. He must have had
low blood sugar. Anyway, we loaded food-for-twelve into the car and then made
a trip to the hardware store to buy eye & ear protection, some 1 x 3 lumber
for target stands, and some brackets and a pound of screws for reattaching the
wheels to my gun cart. We then hopped across the street to the other hardware
store to get a compass for when Jeremy would go evaluating properties for the
Mountain Land Club, and I got a shovel to do a little sprucing up at the
After we unloaded all of the goodies back at camp, we hooked up with John
Conner who volunteered to come along and help set up the range. We headed out
of Roger's and down Route 2 past Santa's Village, a little tourist place that
was packed to the gills, and made a left onto Ingerson a gravel road
across from Six-Gun City. At the end of Ingerson, we drove into the woods
along Pond Safety Road an unpaved dirt road full of big rocks and
sometimes even bigger potholes. The second dirt path on the left was the
entrance to the range, so we parked our cars and carried the lumber and tools
through the ruts and gullies until we arrived at a clearing. I had forgotten
that the clearing had stretched out so far out from the left side of the road
it was perfect for the clay target shooting I wanted to do the next day.
We walked farther up to the little range, which was a LOT smaller than I
remembered, but it would serve the purpose that I needed it to. We hacked away
some brush, shoveled away some detritus, and began fashioning points on the
lumber to be driven into the loose but very rocky soil. After all of that was
set up, we cleaned up some of the garbage left by other people, dug some of the
larger rocks out of the way, and filled in some of the holes that people might
stumble into. Then we measured out yardages and pounded in stakes to mark the
Not to let a perfectly good visit to the range go to waste, I showed Jeremy
how to shoot my H&K, and he quickly got the hang of it. Unlike throwing a ball
at a target you don't focus on what you're shooting at, you focus on the little
front sight at the end of the gun barrel while lining it up with the distant
blurry target that you want to hit. It doesn't sound right, but when you
compare the results of both methods you quickly learn that keeping your focus
on the front sight makes an amazing difference. I've seen people miss targets
at a range of 5 yards when they had forgotten to focus on the front sight
instead of the target.
John Conner was eager to learn how to carry a pistol, and we somehow
managed to finally fit my inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster inside of his
waistband after he loosened his belt up and sucked it in. Draw, fire,
reholster. Well, that last part turned out to be a little tricky....
Later on in the evening I wandered over to Matt and Sidney's campsite and
sampled some of their store-bought beer and delicious homebrew. About ten
people were gathered around the picnic table, engaging in hardcore libertarian
conversation and lamenting the state of affairs that the government has led our
once-proud and beautiful country into.
Some time around 9 or 9:30am, people began arriving at the campsite, and
wondering what was going on. I figured that we'd wait until 10 in order to
give people time to finish showering, eat breakfast, and find their way over.
We got a bunch of people together and thankfully, Peter Herrick had a huge
van that we could pack all of our equipment into, and would clear the ruts and
gullies on the dirt path that led up to the range. I wanted to see if the two
local gun stores were open so I could pick up some targets and provide people
with eye protection. I hopped into the car while people were packing their
stuff into Pete's van, and went to the little gun store across the street
it was closed. So I came back and led everyone out to Whitefield to see
if the Village Gun Store was open,
but they too were closed. Well, we could manage.
I think that Lloyd showed up about then to assemble his mammoth canopy, and
a group of 10-12 people sorted poles and connectors, tightened thumbscrews, and
bungeed the giant tarp to the frame. We then lifted the entire roof up while
we shoved poles into the connectors and then slid the whole assembly over so it
overlapped the little wooden structure on the campsite. Next came a few
lessons on the taut-line hitch to secure the corners down in case if high
winds. The thing was as big as an aircraft hangar.
Peter, Jeremy, Joseph, Lloyd, John, Jerry Lynch and the entire Gere family
all hopped in and we finally got to the range at about 1:00 and shot about half
of a case of clays once we figured out how to stabilize the thrower in
the loose soil with makeshift stakes and rocks. The trick to clay target
shooting is to know where to position the clay in relation to the sights, and
knowing where the shotgun shoots. Then just relax, get that shotgun up and
mounted as fast as possible and smoothly track the clay across the sky until
you're on it and squeeze the trigger. It's a knack. Sometime I got it,
and sometimes I don't. Robert Gere definitely had it that day and proceeded to
powder clay after clay as we launched them across the clearing. I think he may
have found a new hobby. We called it quits around 3:00 and picked up a few
hundred spent shotgun shells and bits of trash before heading back to camp to
When we got back, we found a Gadsden-Style flag for the Militia hanging on
the canopy, donated I'm sure by JP.
After dinner, we made our way down to Kat and Russell's campsite where
there was a horde of people doing the libertarian socialization thing. This
entailed large quantities of alcohol probably as a talisman to ward off
the feds and vampires as well. Lisa Griffiths was having a grand old
time, and Jane Aitken, Web Mistress of the Darkness was enjoying wine, lots and
lots of wine, so I enjoyed some with her. Lloyd and I burned a UN flag over
the campfire, sort of as a daily affirmation to avoid entangling alliances and
protect the Constitution from foreign enemies. Later that evening I headed
down to "31" and met more new arrivals and old friends. We got kicked out and
stayed up late at my campsite talking with Robert, Thomas, David, and others
about libertarian activism.
Sometime really early in the morning we awoke to the industrious crunching
of plastic, and when I unzipped the tent and looked out, there was a squirrel
busily chewing on a newly purchased loaf of bread. Hoots, hollers, and threats
were of no avail, since the little guy just looked over at me, did a little
mental "yeah, whatever" and brazenly continued munching into the loaf. I
looked over at my .357 sig and decided that 115 grain CorBon hollow-points
would be overkill, and settled for just pulling on some jeans and chasing the
little thief over to someone else's campsite.
Sometime around 9 or 9:30am, people began arriving at the campsite, and
wondering what, if anything was going on. Once again, I figured that we'd wait
until 10 in order to give people time to finish showering, eat breakfast, and
find their way over. Eventually we had assembled a typical libertarian
gathering, where there were lots of people standing around trying to figure out
how to get organized. I decided that the cats needed to herd themselves, and
Peter once again let us use his van to haul our gear to the range.
While equipment was being transferred and loaded into vehicles, I hopped
into the car while people were packing their stuff into Pete's van, and went to
the little gun store across the street to buy a box of .38 special for Bill
& Dawn and a box of .380 auto for Neil Alexander. Dave, the guy that runs
the store, had gotten robbed while he was away in Florida and all of his guns
were stolen. I supposed the kid who robbed him had panicked afterwards,
because he dumped all of the guns in the woods or the river, and then no
kidding committed suicide by shooting himself with a crossbow. You
can't make this stuff up. Dave didn't have any cardboard targets, so I drove
out to Whitefield risking an unfamiliar and as I discovered hardly faster
route, to see if the Village Gun Store had any cardboard IDPA silhouettes.
They didn't have any cardboard targets either, so I grabbed a business card to
post at my campsite and headed back. By the time I got back, people were
finally packed and organized, and I led a huge yes, huge caravan
of cars, trucks, and vans to the sand pit. I think we had about 18 people.
While I scrambled around trying to make the best of the supplies I had,
Jeff Jordan "Hunter" graciously instructed people in the basics of gun
safety and firearms handling. I managed to set up about 4 targets with some
old cardboard I found and the really stubby staples in my staple gun, and then
set up a piece of shot-up steel shelving as cover for the IDPA course I had
planned to run. IDPA stands for International
Defensive Pistol Association, which is where cardboard targets are set up
to simulate real-life self-defense scenarios, and the shooters must engage the
targets with concealed weapons as fast and as accurately as possible. Most of
the people we had were new shooters, and so we spent a lot of time showing
folks how to load magazines, how to operate revolvers and semi-automatic
pistols, and people shot guns of their own. So IDPA got scrapped, and we had
lots of fun introducing new shooters to the joys of guns. Stance, grip, front
sight, and then Squeeeeeeeeeze. Bang. SMILE. These folks were having a GOOD
time boys and girls ranging in age from 12 to 55. When we were done,
everyone picked up spent brass and bits of trash, and helped pack everything
We headed back to camp and made some food while Thomas, Dave, Jeff, Jerry,
and Emerson stayed to help disassemble and clean firearms. Gunmetal and moist
outdoor air don't mix well, so I had invested in a few cans of Break-Free CLP,
G-96, and Sheath to keep my guns from slowly corroding into piles of red
Later on we wandered from party to party, sampling the different
atmospheres at the different campsites. I stopped by the film crew's campsite
to see what was going on there, just in time to watch Jane shift that crucial
fraction of an inch beyond the center of gravity of her chair in slow
motion I reached out as I watched her topple backwards, taking the folding
table and its assorted beverages and condiments with it. Jane, a dedicated and
enthusiastic wine connoisseur found this to be uproariously funny. The lass so
endeared herself to me that I sang the opening bars of "The Hero of Canton"
from Joss Whedon's libertarian space-western Firefly. Nick immediately
recognized the ballad, being a huge Firefly fan himself, and began unpacking a
video monitor so that we could watch an episode (or more) of the show
perhaps another night since he had thoughtfully brought along the DVD's.
"Mi mi mimi. Ahem. Jane! The girl they call Jane!" Now I had that song stuck
in my head probably for the entire rest of the week. We made our way
down to Dawn's RV, and it began to rain. Sometime after 11pm she came out and
shooed us away, so we reassembled back at my campsite to discuss politics and
the future of freedom until the wee hours of the morning.
A few people wandered by throughout the morning wondering if we were going
shooting, but it had rained off-and-on all morning, the sky still looked a bit
gray, and people staying in Roger's Motel had reported that there might be
thunderstorms. The previous year had taught me how volatile the weather could
be, and so I decided that we might wait until 1:00 or so to see if the sky
cleared up. It didn't.
It rained. It rained and rained and RAINED. And then it POURED. Later on
in the day it switched to an all-out deluge. Water cascaded in almost a solid
sheet across the ground, leaving just a few dry spots under Lloyd's cavernous
canopy where we piled tarps and ammo boxes. So we just ditched the day's
shooting plans and made coffee, munched food, smoked cigarettes, and talked
when we could hear ourselves above the thundering din of raindrops pounding
against 288 square feet of canvas roof. I used my shiny new shovel to enhance
the almost overflowing drainage trench around the little wooden shelter
the one that drained straight into the fire pit. I checked into the tent to
see how it was holding up the last North Face tent I had camped in had
leaked like cheesecloth and I discovered that we had some leakage around
one of the seams near the tent stake. So I shoved a few small towels against
the side to keep things localized, and pulled the ground cloth out from under
the tent, where water was collecting into a small lake.
We had the Minn-eh-sodah film crew come by, you know. They took some
footage of us talking about politics and freedom and activism, and of a few
people sinking down low in their chairs so as not to be caught on camera.
Late in the day the rain finally stopped, and we ventured out to visit our
friends in other parts of camp.
People started assembling at the campsite as usual, and I quickly announced
that the cats had to herd themselves and find their own rides. This is a great
secret for getting libertarian activities moving. We made pretty good time
organizing ourselves and driving to the sand pit, and a few experienced
volunteers helped set up the range while Jeff made sure that everyone new was
familiarized with gun safety and basic gun handling. I made the command
decision that we would actually run the 3-gun match I had scheduled, and got
people to grab a handgun and get in line. One by one, I ran them through the
course: move to the left as 3 targets were shot at least 3 times each with the
handgun, then drop the gun, pick up the pump shotgun and move to the right
while taking out 5 clay targets lined up along the ground, and then finally
load and fire the AR-15 at 5 cans or plastic bottles arranged on the metal
shelf. Not surprisingly, the handgun portion seemed a little challenging, but
once people picked up the shotgun and the rifle there occurred an amazing
transformation even first-time shooters did really, really well. And
after each person shot all of the rifle targets, I just had them unload the
rest of the 30-round magazine, making all of the fallen cans and bottles fly
around sometimes clear to the other side of the range. Some folks
supplied their own handguns, Dave brought his shotgun which he was
determined to shoot at least once this week, and another Porc brought his
MAK-90 (Chinese AK variant) with two 75-round drum magazines. Let me point out
that there is a noticeable and very clear difference between a 60-grain .223
and a 122-grain 7.62 x 39 bullet. Maybe half of the cans and bottles went down
with the AK in a carefully aimed manner before the decision to simply unload
was made. The entire area around the platform erupted into flying bits of dirt
and plant matter as he bump-fired from the hip and annihilated a good 6-foot
square area with bullets and muzzle blast. Once Machinegun Kelly was finished
"recycling" the targets, I finally stopped laughing long enough to thank
everyone for attending "Bill's anger management class." When we cleaned up
later, we found all of my .223 cases and picked them all up, but I don't think
that any of the AK brass was anywhere to be found.
There was a lot of free-form shooting where people practiced with their own
firearms, sighted in rifles, and tried more of the handguns that we brought for
the events. There are many authors in the Freedom Movement who advocate that
Americans reclaim our place as a Nation of Riflemen. I could not agree with
them more, and after watching the joy and skill with which all of the
participants engaged the rifle targets, I think that such is a sound and
reasonable goal. We can peaceably assemble and teach each other the lore and
craft of riflery however I think that training a nation of skilled
handgunners will take a lot more effort I know that achieving speed and
accuracy with a handgun has sure been an uphill battle for me. But the
interest and enthusiasm are there, so I am excited to see what new equipment
and skill shows up at Porc Fest '06!
I took my time getting some much needed sleep and fueling up with
sandwiches and coffee before heading down to hear Bernard von NotHaus speak
about the Liberty Dollar. He was
down in the pavilion where Poker Face was setting up their equipment. The
"dollar" (Federal Reserve Note, Ã†Â© is worthless fiat currency, and only serves
to help balloon the already unmanageable National Debt. Debt to whom? Why,
The Federal Reserve of course a PRIVATE company that's no more
affiliated with the federal government than most banks or the Federal
ammunition company. While there, I got a donation in silver from a generous
Porcupine to defray my costs in setting up and running the shooting activities,
and I picked up a copy of Bernard's Liberty Dollar DVD.
Poker Face was finishing setting
up their equipment, so I headed back to my campsite to pick up some beer and
cook dinner at Dawn's campsite Steak, onions, peppers, and pineapple.
After I had stuffed my face and picked up some more beer, I headed over to the
pavilion to hear the show. The sun was streaming over the hills and shining
brightly onto the band as they worshipped freedom and energized themselves and
the steadily growing crowd with a mounting frenzy of sound and light. These
were musicians with a message, and as they sang their songs into the blazing
rays of the setting sun, they appeared to me as Warriors of Freedom wreathed in
fire. Laden with electronic gear and armed with instruments of Liberty, they
raised their voices in unison to greet an army of Freedom Fighters bent on
working towards and achieving Liberty in our Lifetime. Anyone
who missed out on this show missed out bigtime. I owe a huge thanks to Chris
Gronski and all of the people who worked and donated money to make Poker Face's
presence at the festival possible.
The band played well into the night, and finally closed their show with
what I hold to be some of their best songs and the near complete
destruction of their drum set. As the band began packing their equipment up,
hordes of porcupines made their way up to the campgrounds to search out the
night's festivities. There were acres of food and refreshments at Joel's site,
and I got to meet all sorts of people who had made their way up to Rogers for
the weekend. In addition to tons of new folks, I talked with Matt and Sidney,
Ritchie from Poker Face, and just an endless number of great people having a
great time. Some time around midnight I finally tore myself away from the
party so I could get some sleep and be up early enough to pick up Michael
Badnarik from his motel room.
Somehow I managed to get up in time to get dressed and drive down to pick
up Michael Badnarik at the motel he was staying at in Lancaster. There was
some sort of festival being held in the center of town, and I had to take a
small detour around Route 2. As Michael and I were getting into the car to
return to Porc Fest, a po-lice oppresifer was walking past us and my spider
sense just KNEW that something was going to happen.
"Excuse me, sir," the oppresifer said as he wandered up along the
front of the car.
"Yeah?" I said.
"I see that you're carrying a firearm, do you have a permit for
"No, but I'm open carrying, so I don't NEED a permit."
(visibly backing off) "Yes, well, thank you for carrying it openly, but
there's a festival going on and people might have questions."
"Well, I'm certainly confident that I can supply them with answers."
(backing off further) "Well, yes, you have a nice day, and stop by and
enjoy the festival."
"Well, we're actually headed back to Roger's campground where we're having
our own festival you're more than welcome to stop by."
..ooOO( and the folks there might have more than a few questions for YOU. )
So Michael and I headed back along the detour as the public road that was
closed off began to be clogged on either side by traffic, and he just looked
over at me with a hint of a smirk. He's probably been through the same sort of
thing 1000 times before. If I had not joined
VCDL as soon as I had moved to Virginia and became a gun owner, I would not
have had the knowledge, the resources, and the resulting confidence and courage
to defend myself against the lies and tricks that police officers routinely use
to intimidate completely peaceful citizens just going about their daily
business. I am also grateful to Michael for educating me about my Rights,
inspiring me to be a proud and sovereign citizen ("It's good to be King!"), and
further strengthening my resolve to never again back down from a petty tyrants
while enjoying the free exercise of my Rights. Do I have a "permit" oh
PLEASE! Nothing causes me to rededicate myself to my goal so much as pointless
and arbitrary official harassment. Freedom. Freedom at any cost.
We made it back to Roger's without further incident, and Michael went and
got his vendor table set up paperback editions of It's Good to be King!
and a DVD copy of his
Constitution class. I got to hear Heather Talley's presentation for Bureaucrash, and I plan to heavily plug
into their activist network in the upcoming year. I really think that they can
help floundering libertarian activists to network with each other and so get
more accomplished in their local area. I then wandered around to check out the
vendor tables and eventually made my way back to the campsite with Kate to make
lunch with Hunter. I made it down to the Breaking the Chains event, which was
really inspiring, and the very kind of thing I love about Porc Fest. Next,
Varrin & Amanda gave out Free Stuff to festival organizers, and I got a VIP
shirt (Very Important Porcupine) for going out and having fun at the range
shooting guns. Go figure. I already have a job where they PAY me to hang out
all day in a gun store. Maybe next year they'll actually rook me into doing
Michael was up next and gave a run-down about his plans for freedom and political action. I
always love to hear him speak, because he understands the core issues so
readily and is able to come right back with a clear, sensible answer that
always makes me wonder why I can't think of that kind of solution and response.
Right after that another porcupine and I did get rooked into doing
something useful setting up the projection screen for the next speaker.
We sort of stared at each other, and then back at the screen, and then bumbled
our way through setting it up with all of the things that folded out, twisted,
turned, and unraveled. We didn't get injured and I'm pretty sure that we
didn't break anything, so I guess we did okay. Katherine Albrecht of CASPIAN
gave a talk about
RFID chips and tracking consumers, which was really Orwellian
and totally raised my hackles. We're talking serious creep factor. I'm
preparing to start repackaging all the stuff that I buy and then dissect the
containers for hidden tracking devices. It's not paranoia when they're
actually there. (Some links:
Supermarket Privacy ·
Partway through James Bovard's presentation I had to make my way back to my
campsite and get dressed for the NHLA
dinner. I'm glad that we had the P.A. system and that I wore hearing
protection at the range, because I didn't miss much.
We then hitched a ride to the NHLA dinner with Bill & Kathy Beeman. It
took about 50 minutes, which was pretty short, and we got to see a lot of
really beautiful countryside. We talked about a bunch of issues and about next
year's Porc Fest. Always planning ahead. We got to the dinner and Dawn
Lincoln & crew were checking people in. Familiar theme there.
Bureaucrash also drove down to set up a table. We had a few drinks in the
lobby and checked out a bunch of vendor tables some of which had cool
books about activities in the Freedom movement. I love cool books. Hell, I
just love books. And books on freedom swiftly divested me of yet more cash.
Well, Kate's cash.
Dinner was really good, and there was plenty of food and coffee and
dessert. We got to hear a talk by Fred Cole from Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition (LEAP), and then there was a mad
dash during the break to go outside and smoke. I was steadily working my way
through a carton of cigarettes brought up from PhillipMorrisLand, and I
felt the need to help support the home state's economy. Congressman Ron Paul
spoke next and had a good Q&A session. We made the trip back and got to
Roger's around 11:30pm, and I was quite amazed to find that the parties were
JUST starting! I hung out with Joel and Amy at their campsite where again
there was a ton of food and beer and all sorts of stuff. We talked about next
year's Porc Fest and then I got to talk to Tony Stelik about guns and his
experiences in Poland, and then Evan Nappen showed us his billion-dollar
holster from Mitch Rosen a very
high-quality gunleather company in New Hampshire.
Late in the night I made my way down to visit Tim Condon at the Circle of
Liberty that was taking place down by the pavilion. We shared our thoughts and
our beer around the fire, and then we packed up all our trash around 3am and
headed to bed.
I wandered about to find the Seekers meeting, since there was an actual
lecture on how science gets mixed in with freedom and spirituality or
something. I was running on a week of whirlwind activity and a corresponding
lack of sleep, so the title and the name of the speaker didn't fully register.
I wasn't up for hymns at 80 dB you could hear them clear across the
campsite, and the year before I had spent the morning at the atheists'
gathering. I figured I'd try something new. There was a lot of really
interesting history and intelligent interpretation of events, all of which was
aimed at explaining how Liberty is spiritually healthy and we have a spiritual
Right to destroy tyranny. There were plenty of other folks like Gardner who
were really into this and who had read all sorts of books that I hadn't
so I mostly just listened and then hunted and gathered breakfast and coffee.
I ran into the Minn-eh-sodah film crew, you know, and they were drooling
over the opportunity to go to the range and shoot their rifles. They were just
finishing filming an interview with Varrin the Porc Fest Czar, and had to
rearrange half the van to get to the firearms that were buried under a thousand
pounds of camera gear. We picked up Thomas, Kate, and Hunter and drove down
into Lancaster to get some lunch at a little diner. We ate a ton of really
good food, gave the waitress a healthy tip, and made haste to the Sand Pit.
The boys had a pair of Schmidt-Rueben straight-pull rifles in 6.5mm Swiss, a
.223 bullpup carbine, and a WASR-10 in 7.62 x 39; Kate and I brought a matching
WASR-10 (Romanian AK-47) and a tricked-out AR-15; and Hunter brought his
"FrankenFAL" FAL (Fusil Automatique Leger, or Light Automatic Rifle) in .308
(7.62 x 51 NATO).
The Schmidt-Ruebens have an interesting loading device that's sort of a
cross between a fiber M1-Garand clip and an SKS stripper clip. You grab a
pre-loaded package of 5 rounds, insert the metal rim into the action, push down
on the casings through the slot in the fiber container, and all of the rounds
are smoothly loaded into the fixed box magazine. The container is removed from
the action, and the bolt is slammed home. Those things must have been one hell
of a battle rifle in its time.
We put a few magazines through Nick and Kate's WASRs and cut down some of
the intervening vegetation partially obscuring our view of the targets. After
a while, we made use of the handguns to shoot a steel spinner,
and repeatedly pounded the target with 45 caliber bullets there are
few more satisfying sounds than big bullets hitting steel targets. We each put
a few rounds of .308 through Hunter's FAL, "The Right Arm of the Free World,"
and while Thomas was shooting I studied the gas blasting out of the muzzle
brake during each shot. I noticed that the jets seemed to have rotated
counterclockwise from my vantage point, and asked Jeff if they were supposed to
be at an angle like that. Apparently the silver solder holding on the muzzle
brake had broken loose and the brake had begun to unscrew. So we tightened it
up and started winding down.
But then, Nick and I decided that the vegetable minions of the UN that were
encroaching on our libertarian gun range had to be dealt with and
swiftly. So we loaded up two 30-round magazines and assumed a tactical stance
with our pair of Romanian AK's. "Go, go, go!" I whooped, as we rapidly made
our way forward to engage the offending scrub me crouching to the right
and keeping my muzzle down while Nick stayed upright and pointed his muzzle
over to the left. "Now!" I hollered, as I got down on one knee and shouldered
my weapon. Nick and I let off a barrage of 60 rounds of Russian ammo that
seared through the scrub, felling a few branches and causing bits of foliage to
erupt out the rear. Ratatatatatatatatatat! Ratatat! If terrorist trees ever
have any nefarious plans for the good-ole' US-of-A, Nick and I will be there to
stop them. We detached our mags and showed clear, then headed back to the van
with our muzzles down. Nick had a big stupid grin that showed we had bonded in
a manly fashion, with guns. All sound and fury, and signifying well
that perhaps a scythe is far more effective at removing scrub than an
assault weapon. We cleaned up all of our brass and then ferried everything
back to the road where we transferred our gear back into my car. We said
goodbye to the crew, since they were heading straight back home from the range,
and then went back to Rogers to clean up.
We spent the rest of the day lounging around the campsite, saying goodbye
to people as they headed out, packing the car and organizing the rest of our
stuff. I dug out a huge boulder whose tip was sticking up out of the dirt and
causing people to trip. Never attempt to dig up a "little rock" in New
England. We had already collected some wood, and then a few bundles of split
wood were donated to us, so that night we built a nice size fire and enjoyed
the company of Hunter, Charlie & Dorothy Parker, Thomas Brown, and other
late leavers. Charlie showed us an old "sporterized" Enfield bolt-action rifle
in .303 British that he picked up for 75 bucks at an auction. A few patches
down the bore and some CLP on the bolt showed it to be in good working
condition, and the crown looked like it hadn't been abused. I hope he has fun
shooting it when he gets back home. I think that Hunter and I finally called
it quits around 1:30 and made plans for meet for breakfast.
We got the last of our stuff together and shoved it into the car for the
ride home. Of course, the car got packed slightly differently from the ride
up, and I had less legroom and reclining space. We took a quick breather and
talked with our friends, then finally headed out to begin the long journey
home. Somewhere along the way we had packed up the power adapter for the CB,
but I think that we were zonked enough to enjoy the silence on the ride back.
We stopped in Vermont on the way back to peruse a sale at a sporting goods
store, and get some coffee and donuts at Dunkin Donuts.
We picked up some snacks at the gas station across the street so I could
guiltlessly use their restroom, since I was ready to pee out of my eyeballs,
and I used the cleanest gas station bathroom I have ever experienced. We made
another stop for gas in New York, and met a biker and his wife coming back to
New Hampshire from their vacation.
We made good time, and again successfully snuck under the radar of the
oppressive authorities. Worn and tired, we carted most of our gear from the
car to the apartment, and then passed out.
So now that I'm back in Virginia, what are my impressions of the festival?
I just met 400+ people who proved that Liberty can and does work. An
entire campground was filled with people with backgrounds and
upbringings as diverse as any college campus or large corporation, probably
even more so yet there was no Government that was centrally planning how
many of what type of people were going to show up, and there were no penalties
to be paid for failing to have the appropriate number of racial, cultural, or
social minorities. I would have to think very hard to find a segment of the
population that wasn't represented. [Whoops, we had no lefty democrats, I mean
Communists.] We had whites, and blacks, and Polish immigrants, and Latinos,
and women, and atheists, and republicans, and polyamorists, and Christians, pot
smokers, and old white men, and open gay people, smokers, and black women, and
democrats, gun nuts, and children, and college students, and libertarians, and
Asians, and Costa Ricans, and on and on. We didn't need a Board of Diversity
to tell us to show up, in what numbers, and who we should hang out with camp
with, cook with, eat with, sleep with, or indeed who we could be and what our
value as people was for just being US. And everywhere I went people were
getting along, and doing things, and working together without anyone telling
them what they had to do, or that they had to do it a certain way or with
certain types of people. And they were having fun. And they were responsible
and trusted each other. That was obvious. People were handing over valuable
personal property to use, lending money, lending people cars, leaving their
campsites unattended, and there were a heck of a lot of people drinking beer or
walking about with openly carried or concealed handguns and no one got
into a fight, got shot, got robbed, or injured a child, and all of the
campsites were clean.
New people would roll into camp, and folks would just show up and help
erect tents and canopies, give directions to local businesses, explain the
layout of the campsite, and invite perfect strangers to drop by for dinner and
drinks once they had gotten settled. At night, I could wander down the
pathways and be welcome at any number of small or large parties taking place
and everyone brought food, and drinks, and chairs, and a ton of other
creature comforts. People would talk about books, and music, and almost
everyone was smiling! You could even tell that the people who weren't smiling
because they were deep into discussing serious subjects were
having a good time, because they were in the company of people who really
thought, and understood. There was a large Quantity of Quality Time spent at
Porc Fest, and I found it very rewarding. It really cleansed my soul and
energized me to DO what needs to be done to move to the Free State and kick
major statist butt. I think that I'm really going to love my new neighbors,
whoever they turn out to be, and I'm excited to see the results of all the
discussions and collaborations that took place throughout the week.
There was a very strong sense of can-do attitude. No task seemed daunting,
and the speed with which people grasped and exploited entrepreneurial
opportunities was impressive. T-shirts, bumper stickers, CD's, books, beer,
chili, FSP Buck knives (!)
and loads of other goods and services were available or in the process of
being planned out by people sitting in the grass. It was so pervasive, that
people you'd never met before would show up and say, "Can I help?" and it was
just so natural. You'd meet someone for the first time, and 5 minutes later
you'd be discussing business opportunities or the streamlining of some existing
I would walk through the woods and stumble upon a group of 3 or 4 people
with widely varying opinions and viewpoints discussing not arguing
economics, gun Rights, religion, politics, housing construction,
schooling, entrepreneurial business, and a host of other intellectual subjects.
They discussed, and considered, and reasoned, and didn't try to shove their
opinion down someone else's throat or out-shout an opposing view. While
drinking beer. While armed.
I had to travel 700 miles to a mountain campsite to find real, civilized
people. It was awesome.
[I have to admit that Kate and I were quite busy during the whole week, and
I look forward to reading other attendee's
Festival Reports to learn about what I missed and gain insight into events
that I attended from someone else's point of view.]
Report on the
2005 Porcupine Freedom Festival
Swearingen '05 Porc Fest 'Czar'
Thanks to the hard work of a great team of volunteer organizers and the
generous contributions of numerous people, the 2005 Porcupine Freedom Festival
was a great success. Many 'reviews' have been and will be written by many
people. This serves as a public review of the event for informational and
historical purposes from the point of view of the 'Czar'. Additional
information will be passed to the 2006 Porc Fest Team for planning purposes.
The Porcupine Freedom Festival is the Free State Project's annual gathering
in New Hampshire. This year was the 2nd Annual Festival. It was held in
Lancaster, NH at Roger's Campground starting on Saturday, July 23rd and running
through Sunday, July 31st.
After the 1st Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival in 2004, I was appointed
the Porc Fest Czar (a position which did not previously exist). My mission was
to lead the planning effort for the 2005 Porcupine Freedom Festival. During
the course of planning the event, I identified three purposes for having the
Porcupine Freedom Festival which were published in the festival program:
1.To provide an opportunity for all Free State Project Participants to
meet together in New Hampshire for social and other purposes.
To provide an opportunity for prospective Free State Project
participants to experience New Hampshire first hand.
To provide an opportunity for New Hampshire residents to better
understand the Free State Project and meet some of its participants.
For approximately a year prior to the event, a team of more than 20 people
worked on festival and event planning. The result was an exciting festival
with a broad variety of activities that appealed to a diverse group of
attendees with a sole common thread: a thirst for freedom.
The event began on Saturday, July 23rd. An estimated 2-3 dozen attendees
were present beginning on that day and the number of average attendees per day
grew through Saturday, July 30th. During the course of the entire festival, an
estimated 400 people attended at least some part of the festival, which
may be the largest libertarian gathering all year. That figure does not
include the people who attended the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance's Liberty
Dinner but did not attend any other part of the Porcupine Freedom Festival.
Attendees came from an estimated 38 different states plus the District of
Columbia and at least two foreign countries. For the sake of comparison, an
estimated 300 people attended the 2004 Porcupine Freedom Festival.
There were over 40 different scheduled events in over 20 different
locations, including 7 different town tours. In addition to scheduled events,
there were numerous spontaneous events of various sizes during the course of
There were representatives from 3 different political parties present as
either speakers or vendors. There were representatives of 7 non-partisan
pro-freedom organizations, 4 of which are focused primarily on freedom in New
Hampshire, who had speakers presenting at the festival. There were a total of
nearly 20 vendors on Saturday, including several additional pro-freedom
organizations who did not have speakers on the schedule. There were also
several people in attendance who hold positions with other pro-freedom
organizations that were not vendors or scheduled speakers.
There were 7 planned social, recreational, or educational events, 4 planned
community-specific events (3 of which were religious in nature), and
firearms-related events on at least 7 different days in several different
locations for people of all levels of experience.
Daily event review
- Saturday July 23rd:
The first day of the festival, there was a birth bash planned for the FSP.
It was the 4th anniversary of the publication of Jason's original
essay in The Libertarian Enterprise which ultimately led to the founding of
the FSP organization. Cake was served to a 'party' with around a couple dozen
people in attendance. At least one person showed up to the party who had only
heard of the FSP through the Porc Fest ad in Reason Magazine.
Michael Badnarik taught his Introduction to the Constitution
class in Concord, NH. I do not know how many people attended, though I believe
there may have been at least a couple of NH State Representatives who were
Sunday July 24th:
There was a laser tag outing scheduled in Goshen, NH. No information was
retained as to how many people attended that event. Goshen is about a 2-hour
drive from Lancaster and few, if any, people traveled from Lancaster to Goshen
to participate. There may have been participants who had not yet arrived in
Lancaster but I have not received any reports about it.
Monday and Tuesday, July 25th and 26th:
There were no events listed on the schedule for these two days, however there
was shooting informally scheduled and accomplished on both days.
Wednesday, July 27th:
Shooting at the range was scheduled and accomplished on Wednesday. I
attended the Wednesday event which began mid-morning. More than a dozen people
were in attendance and the event was accomplished safely and enjoyably. At
least three people identified themselves as beginners (one of which, I believe,
had never shot a gun before) and were given excellent safety instruction.
Michael Badnarik taught his Introduction to the Constitution class
in the hall at Roger's Campground to an audience of about 15 people. Reports
from the attendees and Mr. Badnarik were very positive.
Thursday, July 28th:
More firearms related activities were accomplished on Thursday, including
shooting at the range and a '2nd Amendment Gear Swap'.
7 Town Tours were organized and accomplished on Thursday. I spoke with a
couple of the tour organizers who reported that people did, in fact, attend the
tours. Attendance varied, but the ones I spoke to indicated attendance in the
5-10 range for each tour.
A Mock Town Hall Meeting was organized in Unity, NH at the Unity Town Hall
and led by current Unity Selectmen and other town officials, including FSP
Participant Mary Gere. There was an impressive display of hospitality
from the people of Unity, including refreshments, local greeters, and a warm
welcome from the officials, not all of whom are connected with the Free State
Project. There may have been 50-75 non-Unity residents in attendance. There
were also several residents of Unity in attendance and helping out who did not
attend any other parts of the Porcupine Freedom Festival. Reports from the
attendees were overwhelmingly positive with respect to the value and enjoyment
of the event. The location was about 2 hours from Roger's Campground which
likely resulted in lower than anticipated attendance.
Friday, July 29th:
Hikers met at the Cafe to climb Mt. Liberty led by Dr. Michael
Edelstein. The trail head is about 45 minutes from Roger's and the hike
lasted most of the day. There were a reported dozen people who went on the
A Shooting Introduction for Beginners class was accomplished on
Friday by experienced firearms instructor Tony Lekas. The session began in the
Picnic Pavilion and then moved to an indoor range near Lancaster. Early
reports indicated a full class of ~15 people, though I have not received an
accurate attendance count.
The first session in the hall was titled Parties Promoting Freedom.
John Babiarz reported on what the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire is
doing to promote freedom in New Hampshire. Phil Blummel and Bill
Westmiller reported on what the Republican Liberty Caucus does, both in
general and in New Hampshire. The Democratic Freedom Caucus was scheduled to
present but could not be present. Attendance was good at something over 100
and the reception was very positive.
The second session in the hall was a presentation by the NHLA. Don
Gorman, their political director, talked about a variety of topics
primarily revolving around what the NHLA is doing with respect to political
activism at the State House. The audience very warmly received Don and he was
both entertaining and educational. Rich Tomasso, Chair, was also
present for the session, as were other NHLA officials. Attendance was well
The Leadership Luncheon was held at the Cabot Lodge restaurant. It
was attended by over 25 FSP leaders and large donors. The environment was
casual and social in nature. There were no planned presentations which gave
the donors an opportunity to speak face to face with FSP Board Members,
Executives, and Department Heads over a leisurely lunch.
After lunch in the hall was a session titled the "Education Funding Forum"
led by Charles Arlinghaus of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public
Policy a NH based think tank. I was not present until the very end of
that session but reports were that Charles did a good job conveying many of the
intricacies of NH education funding to the audience of around 125-150 people.
The next session in the hall was the "We've Made The Move" presentations.
Numerous FSP Participants who have already moved to New Hampshire spoke about
various aspects of their move. Prior to each short speech, they were given a
piece of chain to cut symbolizing the breaking of their chains from their
former states. At the end of the speeches, a photo opportunity was given and
the movers answered questions from the audience. The hall was fairly full
(seating capacity ~185).
In the Pavilion, Bernard von NotHaus gave an update on the
Liberty Dollar to an estimated 50-75 people. Reports indicated the
session was informative and interesting.
In the Hall, we held the Porcupine Family Dinner where 175 of the
attendees ate a catered dinner consisting of a variety of items in a
buffet-style setup. The price was higher than last year, however reports
indicated the quality of the food was vastly superior. An unknown but large
number of attendees did not join the dinner, likely due to the higher price of
it. I would estimate maybe only 1/2 to 2/3 of the festival attendees present
on Friday actually ate the dinner.
After dinner, a live rock concert by 'freedom rock' band Poker Face
was enjoyed in the 'bowl' outside the pavilion. The concert lasted about 3
hours, including a break between sets. The entertainment was very well
received and attendance was dramatically stronger than last year's
entertainment (a DJ and dancing). There were some attendees present who, I
believe, did not attend other portions of the Festival.
There was also a social gathering of the polyamory community in a hotel
room of the polyamory community liaison. Attendance is unknown but not more
than a hotel room's worth.
Saturday, July 30th:
The speaker setup on Saturday was expanded to include not only seating in
the hall, but a set of speakers outside the hall broadcasting to the parking
lot and vendor table area. This resulted in less crowding in the hall and the
ability of more people to hear the presentations. Some of the presentations in
the hall were very full (including standing room only), but there were many
additional attendees at or near the vendor tables and in the parking lot. This
significantly increased the size of the hall audience over last year's
The vendor tables were open for the entirety of the day and were
placed under the trees across the parking lot from the hall. This resulted in
some shade for the tables. Fortunately the weather was excellent. I visited
each of the tables. Exhibitors included pro-freedom organizations (the Liberty
Scholarship Fund, New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, Coalition of New Hampshire
Taxpayers, Bureaucrash, and the Free State Project), to political parties (the
RLC, Libertarian Party, and Constitution Party), to a variety of other business
and social tables (2 musical / band tables, the Liberty Ladies, and several
I heard bits of most of the presentations, but only saw the FSP
presentation in its entirety. In some cases, I spoke to others about the
presentation and received reports which were generally very positive.
The first presentation was by the FSP, led by Jason Sorens and
Amanda Phillips. Attendance was standing room only (including many
people standing plus people outside the hall) and is estimated at well over 200
people. Both Jason and Amanda were very well received. Jason delivered a
speech about courage and humility. Questions were fielded from the audience on
a variety of topics mainly revolving around the state and future of the FSP.
The next presentation was from Ed Naile of the Coalition of New
Hampshire Taxpayers. Attendance was strong and Ed was well received. Ed spoke
about what the CNHT has been doing, including some information about activity
in NH relating to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision which allows taking of
private property for economic development purposes. The question and answer
session was spirited.
Katherine Albrecht delivered a presentation on privacy, including
issues surrounding RFID chips, surveillance, and loyalty programs. The
presentation included multimedia components and ended with a question and
answer period. Attendance was strong and reports from attendees indicated the
session was very informative and important.
After lunch, Heather Talley from Bureaucrash reported on what they
do as an international activist organization. Attendance was slightly lower in
the beginning due to people just coming back from lunch. Unfortunately I did
not get a chance to see any of Heather's presentation.
Michael Badnarik, 2004 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate,
spoke next. He delivered an inspiring session including information about his
Presidential campaign and future plans. Attendance was, again, strong
(everyone seemed to have returned from lunch by that point) and Michael was
very well received.
The final speaker of the day was author Jim Bovard. Though the hall
was still quite full, fewer people overall attended (inside and out) due to
getting ready for the NHLA dinner later in the evening. Nevertheless, Jim gave
a well received talk with questions and answers at the end on a variety of
topics more aimed at 'general' and/or 'national' issues.
The NHLA held their 2nd annual Liberty Dinner in Plymouth, NH on Saturday
evening. Speakers included Jack Cole (Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition) and Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX). They released their final 2005
Liberty Rating and gave out their legislator of the year award. Attendance was
in the neighborhood of 175, including maybe a dozen state representatives and
many others who did not attend any other part of the Porcupine Freedom
There were two general interest planned social gatherings on Saturday
evening which lasted late into the evening. The Circle of Liberty was
attended by as many as several dozen people at the campfire near the Pavilion.
It featured speeches by most or all of the attendees on essentially any topic
the speakers wanted to speak on. At a campsite, there was a gathering billed
the Irregular Polygon Of Non-Conformity. It was more of a social /
party atmosphere and was also attended by several dozen people.
- Sunday, July 31st:
Three religious community events were scheduled for Sunday. In the Hall,
the FSP-Christians group held a carry-in breakfast and church service. Service
attendance was ~25-30 and featured music by FSP Participant Bryan
Stevenson and a sermon by pastor Garrett Lear.
The Seekers held a meeting at a campsite featuring remarks by Jack
Shimek and a talk by Dr. Andrew Tempelman about his book "God and
Quarks". I did not receive any reports for that event.
Amanda Phillips hosted a gathering of atheists at her campsite which
was reportedly well received. No report of attendance was forwarded to me.
A second Introduction to Shooting for Beginners was offered at an
indoor range in Manchester, again led by Tony Lekas. No report of
attendance was forwarded to me.
The 2005 Porcupine Freedom Festival was, in most measurable ways, an
expansion and improvement on the 2004 Porcupine Freedom Festival. Attendance
increased by over 30% and it may wind up being the best attended libertarian
event of 2005, at least in the United States and maybe anywhere in the world.
For many FSP participants from all over the nation, the 2005 Porcupine
Freedom Festival was their first visit to New Hampshire with an eye towards
moving there. Like the previous year, many left New Hampshire with a
dramatically accelerated timetable for moving.
Some who are not yet FSP participants reported, for the first time, giving
serious consideration to moving to New Hampshire after their visit to the
Porcupine Freedom Festival.
Some people who live in New Hampshire but are not FSP Participants were
exposed to the FSP and it's participants for the first time during the
Porcupine Freedom Festival. Most reports of those encounters were very
Given the above, I conclude that the 2005 Porcupine Freedom
Festival was a success at achieving its stated goals, at benefiting the freedom
movement in New Hampshire, at benefiting the Free State Project, at benefiting
the festival attendees, and at securing its place as the premier libertarian
event of the entire year in just about every measurable way.
It was an honor and a pleasure to lead the organizational effort for the
2005 Porcupine Freedom Festival. The spirit of cooperation and accomplishment,
and the amount of talent and energy devoted to the Festival was world class. I
would like to, again, publicly thank everyone who had a part, large or small,
in making the festival the success that it was.
2005 Porcupine Freedom Festival 'Czar'
August 12, 2005
Report on Porc Fest '05
Here is a little bit of an idea of what Porc Fest '05 was like as seen
through the eyes of Chris Lopez.
We arrived in Lancaster about 7 pm on Thursday. There was still plenty of
light & I was able to snap off a few
pictures of the mountains and a few attendees. Dawn Lincoln was heading up
the registration camper & had it down to a science by the time we got
there. Many people had been there since the previous Saturday, but most people
showed up for the Friday & Saturday events. There were a few neat items
for sale with the FSP logo on them & I was quick to pick up a t-shirt &
bumper sticker. The golf shirts sold out by Friday, but I hear there are still
quite a few that can be ordered on-line. Probably the cutest item available
was the porcupine planter.
From there Seth & I ventured forth to meet & greet some other
campers. It didn't take Seth long to start up a conversation near the
registration area. Jean & Neil had their bus parked next door and, as they
say, that was that. I however couldn't sit still for too long at any one spot
throughout the festival & soon found Kat, Kira & Russell's campsite.
Oh yeah, they also had food! They had quite the crowd there that first evening
of mine, but I did overhear that it definitely wasn't the first party of the
week. I met Estelle who was the most recent mover & found her story of
luck & fortune very hope filled. John brought his guitar along & sang
his Porcupine Anthem. It brought JP to tears & gives us all something to
Friday morning started out nice & brisk & we went on down to the
cafe. It was filled with hungry campers, so we made conversation while waiting
for our food. The hikers all gathered together & it looked as though it
was going to be a great day. At 10 am, I enjoyed the presentation by Don
Gorman of the NHLA. He was very spirited & he let us know how easy it can
be to effect change in the State House of New Hampshire. I know this from
first hand experience because I have been to the State House several times with
Don & the NHLA. It is very open and lobbying for a specific bill of
interest is as easy as standing up and stating your case. Basically. Here's a
little article that I wrote for the NHLA about that.
For the next few hours I had the privilege of helping out at the
registration camper. I really enjoyed meeting new people and answering
whatever questions I could. Probably the most fun, though, was just plain
At 2:30 that afternoon many of us gathered in the main hall again for the
"breaking the chains" ceremony. It was very dramatic and symbolic of our
victory over the "oppression of the state." (grin) Our Vice President &
new mover Evan Nappen brought in both small & large chain along with a 2
sets of bolt cutters. Each one of us that had made the move in the last year
came up front, broke our chain & told the audience a little bit about our
moving experience. The grand finale culminated in our lifting our chains high
with a loud "Hurray!"
Soon after was our Porcupine family dinner. I was the one collecting
tickets :) The food was good, but I think the highlight here was definitely
the conversations that sprang up between the movers and those who had not quite
decided. Seth & I met some great people & I was able to tell them a
little bit about what I have been doing in the short time that I've been here.
From here were the Poker Face concert and various evening events. Seth
& I danced to the rock & roll music & it made me want to grab my
guitar and play. My room was next door to the polyamory party, so I stopped in
to say hello. It was a very small group of people who were nice and polite. I
looked through the collection of buttons that were displayed & expressed
interest in one that stated "Civil marriage is a civil right." After all, Seth
& I have never needed the state to tell us that we are married to each
other. After playing a couple of songs there, I brought my guitar over to Joel
& Amy's camp site & hung out for a while. We played cards and had some
fun, but soon the night was over & it was time for some rest.
Poker Face performs
Saturday morning started off pretty early (for me) and I went to help with
the FSP and Liberty Ladies tables. From the tables we could see & hear the
presentations in the main hall, so I didn't feel like I was missing too much.
The morning really flew by with all the activity around the exhibit tables.
There were so many interesting groups and people asking & answering
questions, that it was all very exciting. I was even presented with the pin
that I had admired so much the night before.
It's funny, when I look back on it all, that I really do know a lot of
people here. I've been here less than a year & I already have so many
friends and acquaintances. I don't share every interest with all people, but I
recognize faces & am actually remembering some peoples' names! I had
friends at the NHLA table, the Liberty Scholarship table, the Objectivist
table, the Liberty Ladies table, the Libertarian table, and the GONH people.
That's a lot for a girl that moved out from Oregon & wasn't really sure
about the whole thing a year and a half ago.
I believe that this morning and most of the afternoon were very productive
in helping people gain more of an understanding of who we are and what we are
doing here in NH. It was more than selling t-shirts and promoting our
particular brand of philosophy. Here we were able to ask and answer questions
that I believe are important to people that have not quite decided to move.
There were also some presentations that I did not attend, therefore, I will not
As soon as the volunteers were properly recognized, Seth & I were off
to Plymouth for the NHLA
Liberty Dinner. We first made our way to the VIP social and had some
delicious hors d'oeuvres with Congressman Ron Paul and others. It was very
small and quaint, but a nice little get together after all.
NHLA Liberty Dinner
When we got to the college, the line to get in was pretty long, so I tried
to help out as much as I could with the registration process. Dawn Lincoln was
definitely the hero there. Our Liberty Ladies booth was one of several in the
lobby during the reception. It was a little crowded, but as soon as the
program started we had plenty of room.
After dinner the program began with Jack Cole from LEAP (Law Enforcement
Against Prohibition.) I thought it was a very interesting presentation about
how the war against drugs just isn't working. Mr. Cole gave us some
statistics as well as his own personal history in law enforcement. He's seen
first hand how this war has not kept people from buying drugs, in fact the
number of people addicted has stayed constant while the number incarcerated has
risen. The specific piece that I found most interesting is that some countries
that don't have prohibition also offer assistance to those who want to get off
drugs. They actually give them a choice, drugs or life without drugs, instead
of "Just Say No!." Hmm.
Chris Lopez and Jack Cole (LEAP)
Next it was Don Gorman's turn as Political Director of the NHLA to hand out
the Legislature of the Year Award. This award went to Clifford Newton from the
Strafford District with a 92.59% Liberty Rating. There were a few other
legislatures to acknowledge, including Sheldon Sawyer from Cheshire county, Bea
Francoeur and David Buhlman from Hillsborough county, Richard Marple from
Merrimack county & Paul Ingbretson from Grafton county. FYI, all 6
legislators are Republicans.
Last but not least for the evening we heard Congressman Ron Paul speak of
his experiences in Congress. Apparently we went over our alloted time in the
hall and the air conditioning shut off. Unfortunately, I can't elaborate about
his speech, as he touched on so many things.
So now we headed back to Rogers and the Saturday night camp fires. Seth
& I brought our glow sticks and sparklers to the Circle of Liberty. It was
a pretty big crowd and people were taking turns holding the 'big stick' and
telling stories. We didn't stay long, but headed up to the Irregularly Shaped
Polygon of Non-Conformity. We stayed for a few hours and played guitar, sang,
ate snacks & talked, talked, talked. It was a nice way to end our
adventures at Porc Fest '05 with friends and new acquaintances.
The next morning we said our goodbyes and even had brunch with some other
porcupines. It was also our first anniversary, so Seth & I drove around
the state and found a waterfall and other neat sights to see. We had dinner in
North Conway at a good Thai restaurant and then headed home. It was a great
adventure and I can't wait for next year!