Blogs

We are always looking for writers with a fresh perspective on New Hampshire and what the FSP is doing. Let us know if you want to write for the website.

Carla Gericke, Former FSP President to Pursue Bold New Challenge

Earlier this year, New Hampshire was cited as the wealthiest standalone state in the developed world. Think about that for a second... New Hampshire beat countries like Luxembourg, Norway, and Switzerland. The great Granite State is the little state that can.

Today, the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence announced that former FSP president, Carla Gericke, has joined this 501c3 educational nonprofit organization as its new president. Says Gericke:

Relocate to the Great State of NH

From today's Union Leader:

"NEW HAMPSHIRE is looking for several thousand individuals to relocate to a great state, pay no sales or income tax, and enjoy good schools and a safe environment, all within an hour or two from beaches, lakes, mountains and cities.

Sporting a low 2.6 percent unemployment rate, employers across the Granite State are clamoring for you, out-of-staters, to come to New Hampshire and stay, work and play here. Once you do, you won’t want to leave. These high quality jobs come from a diverse base of organizations. Use your soft skills, love of technology, interest in advanced manufacturing, or many other areas as you consider joining our New Hampshire team. As an added benefit, you could meet the next President of the United States during our rousing political season. Contact a Granite State company now!"

MINGLE. EAT. COOK. WIN.

The PorcFest One Pot Cook-Off, hosted by the Liberty Ladies of NH, is celebrating its 10th anniversary and we want you to join the party!!

For our judges, it's a culinary scavenger hunt and unique dinner experience! As one of PorcFest’s most delicious and longest running events, the Cook-Off is a lot of fun and a great way to connect with friends, old and new. For our contestants, it's a friendly but fierce cooking competition! FREE to enter and everyone goes home with prize $$$! Cook right at your site and the judges come to you. You provide your winning main dish one-pot entry and we’ll provide the rest!

Rain or shine, the celebration will be Thursday, 6/23 @ 4:30pm!
Visit: www.porcfestonepotcookoff.com or contact Edi Swearingen at edi@sugargroup.net, for tickets and/or contestant registration, today!

Free State Project on NHPR: Hour-Long Interview

Yesterday, FSP founder Jason Sorens and former FSP president Carla Gericke chatted to NHPR about the Free State Project. They were joined by Drew Cline, communications consultant in Bedford and the former editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader, and Dan Eaton, 13-term Democratic Representative from Stoddard.

From NHPR:

"Recently, this movement announced success in its plan to encourage twenty-thousand libertarian-minded people from around the country to move to New Hampshire. And already, Free Staters have had an influence on Granite State politics, although it's not always been welcome. We'll check in on this project and its impact."

Listen now.

Looking for a Tech/Sales Job? Dyn is Looking for You!

Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance Management (IPM) company based in downtown Manchester that provides unrivaled visibility and control into cloud and public Internet resources. Dyn’s platform monitors, controls and optimizes applications and infrastructure through Data, Analytics, and Traffic Steering, ensuring traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.

The company just closed on a $50 million round of financing, and is planning to heavily step up its hiring. Check out current openings, which include both tech, sales and support positions, here. From today's Union Leader:

"Dyn, a thriving Millyard technology company, expects to add hundreds of jobs in New Hampshire over the next five years after it received $50 million in funding."

Want Freedom? Consider the Porcupine Option

The American Conservative takes an in-depth look at the Free State Project with this thoughtful and enlightening discussion between Rod Dreher and FSP founder Jason Sorens.

"Sorens and other Free State activists chose New Hampshire as the site of their experiment, attracted by the state’s small population and tradition of flinty New England individualism. Some Free Staters didn’t wait for the group to cross the 20,000 threshold: they pulled up stakes and moved straight to the granite hills. Sorens was among them—two years ago, he took a position as a lecturer at Dartmouth College in Hanover.

In February, the Free State Project finally reached its target number of pledges. 'It’s resonating with people who are really looking for solutions,' Carla Gericke, the group’s [then] president, told the Associated Press on the occasion. 'A lot of people like to sit around and complain, and what this really is, is activist-driven. These are people who have goals and want to see them achieved.'”

The 603: A Tip for Your Job Search

When I discovered the entire New Hampshire was covered by one area code, I was strangely delighted. Coming from big cities where the city itself might have a few different codes, this seemed so old-timey, and quaint. But, 603 pride is a New Hampsha thing! (Check out the video, if you don't believe me.)

If you have started your job search in anticipation of your upcoming move, make sure to get a local "603" area code phone number. It will help with the job search!

An FSP participant was kind enough to share her tips for getting that sweet, sweet six-oh-three as part of your journey to be more free:

"How I just got a 603 area code phone number from Indiana for $11 without leaving home:

  1. Purchased Airvoice SIM card for $0.99 including shipping from eBay here.

NH's Low Joblessness: Magnet for Movers?

What are you waiting for? If you have skills, you will find a job in New Hampshire! So says The Boston Globe in this article about New Hampshire's low unemployment rate.

New Hampshire has long boasted some enviable economic statistics: low poverty and crime rates, high median income. And lately, there’s been an especially eye-popping number: an unemployment rate that has dropped to 2.6 percent, the lowest in the country after South Dakota (2.5 percent).

However, not everyone in New Hampshire is cheering the news, least of all employers who are struggling to fill hundreds of vacancies and experts who are concerned the low unemployment number represents a major crimp on economic growth. As impressive as it might appear, the state’s low unemployment rate does not reflect a surge in hiring so much as it does the fact that employers are having to draw on a shrinking pool of skilled workers.

SoapBox Idol Returns to PorcFest XIII

SoapBox Idol will be returning to Roger’s Campground at PorcFest XIII! Conceived in 2009 with the goal to give voice to the community, I had no idea how popular or crazy things would get!

The idea was simple: PorcFest attendees seemed like the type of folks who might be harboring an opinion, frustration, or passion or two (or ten!). I wanted to provide an opportunity to “tell us how you really feel.”

The rules were basic: You had 3 minutes and if you ran over your time, you got shot by a water pistol, and a point was taken off from your score. I lined up judges: Angela Keaton (Antiwar.com), Chris Lawless (Ron Paul’s Friggin’ Giant and Liberty Forum lead organizer) and Gardner Goldsmith (writer and radio host). I was the Vanna White of the night.

Courcruxes: When Everything is Open to Interpretation

FSP early mover Ian Underwood writes a thought-provoking and compelling piece on Granite Grok today about the role of courts in New Hampshire. He starts with the following thought experiment:

"Suppose you buy a car made by General Motors. And there is a problem with the car — the brakes aren’t designed properly, and you’re severely injured in a car crash. So you want to sue GM.

And suppose you’re required to do that in a court that is owned and operated by GM. In particular, the judge and the other officers of the court are employees of GM.

You go to the judge to voice your concern about this. And he tells you: Oh, there’s no conflict of interest, because the court is a separate part of the company.

It’s laughable, right? Because it violates what we might call ‘the first rule of justice’, nemo judex in sua causa: No one can be judge and party in his own case."

Read more on Granite Grok.

Manchester: The Queen's City

The first time I visited Manchester, the largest city in New Hampshire (pop. 110,000), was back in 2006 when hubby and I came up from NYC to attend our first PorcFest, which you should do too!

It was a Sunday, it was dreary out, and Elm Street, the main downtown drag, was depressing as all get-out with boarded up buildings and “Going Out of Business” signs. I hated it. I actually teared up, saying to Louis, “Please don’t ask me to live here.”

At the time, I was still ambivalent about the whole “Move to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project and work towards ‘Liberty in Our Lifetime’” thing--how life has changed!--and Manchester was not doing Louis’s pitch any favors.

Fast forward a decade: 10 PorcFests, 20,000 signers, and one Trigger the Move later, and I’m happy to report: I love it here! Manchester's economy has improved and downtown is now vibrant, sporting restaurants and shops like Dancing Lion Chocolates that even take bitcoin!

FSP Board Minutes - April 17, 2016

FSP Board Meeting
Time/Date: 3:00p Sunday, April 17, 2016
Attending: Carla, Jason, Jody, Matt, Rich (tele), Séamas

Meeting called to order at: 3:09pm

Agenda

  1. Choose meeting chair
  2. Treasurer’s Report
  3. President’s Report
    1. Carla
    2. Matt
    3. PorcFest
  4. Board
    1. Aaron resigned
    2. New Board members
    3. Elect new board Chair
  5. New Business
    1. Amend Bylaws to clarify emergency meeting protocol
    2. What is the mission of the FSP?
    3. Future of Liberty Forum and PorcFest
    4. FTL/Ian Freeman

Minutes

"Yankee Liberty" Needs to Be Conscious Effort

This article is the third and final part in the series on libertarianism and liberty in New Hampshire. Part 1 and Part 2.

From The Dartmouth, America's oldest college newspaper:

"'The Free State Project is a natural outlet for dissatisfaction in the political system,' Merrill said.

'It’s a natural outgrowth of individuals wanting to be certain that government doesn’t intrude in their lives in an unreasonable manner,' he said. 'I have yet to run into any Free Stater who wasn’t patriotic, interested in keeping government at an appropriate size, and willing to do their part. I think those are the kinds of people that will keep New Hampshire the state that it has been and should remain.'”

Read more... Buy your tickets to PorcFest today!

NH Culture Fosters Libertarian Ideals

This article on libertarianism and liberty in New Hampshire is the second in a three-part series from The Dartmouth, America's oldest college newspaper. The final part will be published tomorrow, so stay tuned.

From the article:

"New Hampshire is in Henry David Thoreau’s backyard, a region north of Massachusetts’ Walden Pond where individual responsibility, community cohesion in the small valleys of the White Mountains and personal liberty have always been valued. The small, isolated towns of northern New England may contribute to Alexis de Tocqueville’s concept of “self-interest rightly understood,” the tendency of people to view aiding their communities through private action — for instance, by removing a fallen tree from a roadway without waiting for government agents to do the task for them — as a self-serving goal, helping others by helping oneself."

PorcFest: An Origin Story, Written by Michelle Dumas

Buy your tickets to PorcFest XIII today!

There is something magical about campfires isn't there? Throughout history, some of the greatest ideas, movements and friendships have started around campfires.

A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out a box of old paperwork when I found something surprising and timely, considering that FSP had just announced the week before that the move had been triggered. An old, forgotten notepad on which I had jotted handwritten notes taken at the very first meeting, in late 2002, of the “Welcome to the Granite State Committee” formed by three members of LPNH: Rich Tomasso, George Reich, and me. Our stated goal for the committee was to promote New Hampshire as the best state for FSP members to choose. We were all members of FSP, and were committed to moving if another state was selected, but we passionately believed NH was the best choice.

Independent Streak: Libertarianism in the Woods of NH

The Dartmouth, the daily student paper of Dartmouth College in Hanover, is writing a three-part series on libertarianism in New Hampshire. Here is the first edition.

"On the morning of June 16, it will be just over 60 degrees in Lancaster if average temperatures hold. The city lies on the southern edge of Coös County, near the banks of the Connecticut River. At its heart is a small, insular community cut off from the state around it by forests and mountains stretching out for miles around. At the edge of town, out in the woods, is Roger’s Campground. That morning, the final preparations will be underway in these woods for one of the largest gatherings of libertarians in the world: PorcFest.

Pine Tree Riot: A History of Rebellion

I have an odd relationship with the Town of Weare, a place of rebellion.

Weare is where I was arrested--Where? Weare!--in 2010 for filming police officers during a routine traffic stop. I was charged with felony wiretapping, facing 7 years in prison. All charges against me were later dropped, but I, like Ebenezer Mudgett and his posse did centuries ago, decided to fight back. I sued the police department and the Town of Weare for violations of my constitutional rights, and in 2014 prevailed in a landmark 1st Amendment case in the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Today is the anniversary of Weare’s Pine Tree Riot of 1772, which took place 17 months before the Boston Tea Party and three years before “The Shot Heard Round the World.”

NH Unemployment Rate Now 2.6%

If you are planning your move to New Hampshire, you are likely looking for a job. The good news is the March numbers show that the state's unemployment rate is 2.6%. The national unemployment rate is around 5%. Depending on figures still to come from North Dakota and South Dakota, NH could have the lowest unemployment rate in the US. Check out WMUR's coverage here. Join the FSP Job Alert group on Facebook, where you can ask questions, peruse job postings, and network. Happy hunting!

Unlikely Bedfellows Have One Thing In Common, And It's Not Just Cabaret

Over the past few months, a theater group called Civilians have been visiting New Hampshire to interview Free State Project early movers for a new cabaret show they are working on. Their focus was on anarcho-capitalists in the movement, but as you know, Free Staters come in many stripes--we're a big tent for smaller government, after all.

In this piece Civilians R&D Group members EllaRose Chary, Jay Stull and Jordan Mahome reflect on adapting their investigation into state-resistance movements for the Let Me Ascertain You cabaret stage.

"We decided to work on this project because Jay wanted to do something about this group of anarcho-capitalists he’s friends with in New Hampshire. They live in a community called the Free State Project. Ella was interested in what’s going on with social movements organized around police power, from Black Lives Matter to variations on the Occupy movement."

They met with many of us, letting us tell our stories. They say:

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