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.
Free State Project Founder Jason Sorens and former Free State Project President Varrin Swearingen talk about the history of the idea, movement, and community.
You can also read a recent essay by Varrin Swearingen about his personal views on secession here.
Jason Sorens is lecturer in Government at Dartmouth College. He received his BA in economics and philosophy from Washington and Lee University and his PhD in political science from Yale University. His research interests include secessionist movements, ethnic politics, civil war, fiscal federalism, and state and local public policies. In his spare time he volunteers for the Upper Valley Land Trust. Perhaps his main claim to infamy is having founded the Free State Project, an effort to recruit limited-government activists to New Hampshire, in 2001.
Free State Project president Carla Gericke welcomes festival attendees to PorcFest XII, an annual educational liberty camping extravaganza organized by the Free State Project.
As someone who has been intimately involved in the planning of PorcFest since 2009, and having attended my first one in 2006, it's been inspiring to see the growth and evolution of the event over the years. What struck me this year was how many first timers were in attendance from Day One, and how many families came.
PorcFest is truly a unique environment, and it has always been my goal to find a sustainable balance between the "freeeeeeeedom!" partiers and the fandams who want to chill with their quilldren. This year, I think we best accomplished this. In the end, PorcFest exemplifies a "live and let live" ethos together with a hefty dose of personal responsibility and "don't be a jerk-ism," in other words, the creed of libertarianism. For one week a year, we show the world it can be done.
If you can't wait until next June for your dose of liberty community, attend our sister event, Liberty Forum, February 18-21, 2016 in Manchester, NH.
Remember Raptorgate when, as a civics lesson earlier this year, a group of 4th graders submitted a bill to make the red-tailed hawk the state raptor? Not only did the NH House vote it down, but several representatives said it was a waste of their time.
Now, in an interesting twist, a group of state lawmakers are encouraging students to submit bills repealing the “dumbest” laws, rather than creating new ones.
Early mover and state rep. Max Abramson (R-Seabrook), one of the legislators spearheading the initiative, said NH students have until Sept. 15 to post a law they’d like to see repealed on the event’s Facebook page called "New Hampshire’s Dumbest Law."
Read more at Seacoast Online.
Lyn Ulbricht gives attendees at Porcfest XII an overview of the case of her son, Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht. Lyn focuses on the unfairness of the trial, Ross's draconian sentencing, and the dangerous precedents set with the Silk Road case.
Lyn Ulbricht is the mother of Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the Silk Road website. Ross was convicted of seven felony counts in February 2015. Deeply involved with her son’s defense, Lyn has worked to bring awareness to the case through the website www.FreeRoss.org, media interviews, public appearances, and other efforts. Since Ross was arrested, Lyn has witnessed how the government prosecutes citizens, suppresses evidence, and violates the Constitution. She believes it is a story that needs to be told.
Today’s the day! Thanks to early mover and super-volunteer Vince Perfetto, producer of the movie 101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire, for putting together today's FSP Signer Bomb.
Vince chose to do it today, August 20th, in honor of Ron Paul’s 80th birthday. Dr. Paul spoke at our very own Liberty Forum in 2007, and endorsed the FSP years ago. Says Vince: “Whether you're a big fan of Ron Paul or not, you're invited to help the Free State Project get as many signers as you can in the next two days... Remember those epic Ron Paul Money Bombs? Today and tomorrow, the FSP is having a Signer Bomb! Thanks to everyone who signed up with Thunderclap to help spread the word."
If you haven't already pledged to be part of the FSP, sign up today!
PLEASE NOTE: The counter will not automatically update during this event as we created a special sign up page. New signers will be manually inputted in the coming days. Stay tuned for the final count!
From Time Magazine's 50 Best Places to Live 2015: "Location, affordability, and fresh air are a winning equation for residents of Bedford. Commuters to Boston can drive there in about an hour, depending on traffic—just slightly longer than it takes from popular Boston ‘burbs like Acton, #11 on MONEY’s Best Places to Live list. On this side of the state line, though, residents avoid state income and sales taxes and get a lot more elbow room for their housing dollar.
Locals can also find ample employment opportunities in next-door Manchester, whose largest employers include two large hospitals, offices for three major banks, fast-growing Southern New Hampshire University, and high-tech employers including Autodesk, Texas Instruments, and Verizon." Read more...
Looking for a job in New Hampshire? Join the FSP Job Alert group to network with early movers and other job seekers.
Photo credit: Time, Madonna Lovett Repeta
Jobs, jobs, jobs! Need one or two? New Hampshire has them!
That’s right, our state of New Hampshire has the third lowest not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the nation. New Hampshire has the lowest rate in the East. Also, the lowest rate in the Northeast. We have the lowest rate in New England. Looking for a job? Go to New Hampshire young man.
BTW, the only other state in the Eastern United States with a very low unemployment rate is border state Vermont.
At 3.0%, Sullivan County has the lowest unemployment rate of any county in New Hampshire. The rate in Grafton County is 3.1%. Merrimack County and Belknap County follow at 3.2%. The rate is 3.3% in Strafford County.
New Hampshire is no stranger to strange political stories, a fact Mother Jones noted about a 2012 race in which two FSP early movers were involved. This time, the issue was whether ballot selfies--a photo you share on social media showing who you voted for--was constitutionally protected speech.
Backstory: A law went into effect on September 1, 2014 making ballot selfies illegal in New Hampshire. A handful of activists and state legislators took ballot selfies during the November election. Attorney and early mover Brandon Ross posted his on Facebook with the tagline: "Come at me, bro."
Big Bro did come at him, and several others, sort of. The Ballot-Selfie Brigade was placed under investigation by the NH Attorney General, but no one was formally prosecuted or charged under the law, which calls for a fine of up to $1,000 per violation.
Guns&Ammo recently did its annual rating of "Best States for Gun Owners 2015." Last year, New Hampshire came in 25th place. An early mover contacted the magazine about that rating, detailing how they got New Hampshire's wrong. This year, New Hampshire moved up 15 spots, and now rates in the Top 10! Says the early mover: "I still think we should be in the Top 3, but this is still good for attracting movers from nearby northeast states." Live in New England? Love guns? Love liberty? Join the Free State Project, where your gun rights matter!
From the article:
Free State Project president, Carla Gericke debates James Guzman at Panam Post, answering the question: "Should Liberty Lovers Leave the United States?"
Says Gericke: "The solution is not to scatter liberty lovers to the four winds, but, as innovators, to find ways to build a better future together." Read more at PanAm Post.
Photo: Top of the "Live Free or Die" monument in Bicentennial Park in Nashua, NH - photo by James Walsh (source: http://goo.gl/jjy8zi)
The Concord Monitor recently posted a list of things to do to discover the "real" New Hampshire. Read it here.
One notable, which is true, and which is another reason New Hampshire is a great pro-liberty destination: "16. See in person every major candidate running for president. As soon as one election is over they’ll start showing up campaigning for the next one, even if it’s four years off. A great to place to find them is Lindy’s Diner in Keene, and be sure to try an order of onion rings when you’re there."
FSP Board Meeting
Time/Date: Sunday, July 19 @ 3:00pm EST
Location: 22 Bridge St. Concord, NH (2nd Floor, Ste. 3)
Attending: Matt, Aaron, Carla, Jody, Seamas, Rich (phone), Jason (phone)
Meeting called to order at 3:24pm.
From WMUR: "In the latest WMUR Granite State Poll, released Thursday, 60 percent of Granite Staters support legalization of marijuana for recreational use, and 45 percent strongly support it. Also, 72 percent of those polled favor decriminalization of marijuana, including 54 percent who feel strongly about it.
Support for both legalization and decriminalization has increased sharply since a WMUR Granite State Poll in May. At that point, 54 percent favored legalization and 63 percent favored decriminalization." Read the full article.
Medical marijuana is legal, and dispensaries are slated to start opening in 6-9 months, according to this WMUR report.
Photo credit: WMUR
Maxim Magazine covers the Porcupine Freedom Festival: "PorcFest is an eight-day party for 1,500 people who don’t want the government in their faces. It's a recruiting tool for the Free State Project, an effort to get thousands of libertarians to move to New Hampshire. It's also a kind of model of a radically free society... This was not just a festival but an experiment in a different way of life." Read the full article HERE.
In the Maxim article, reporter Livia Gershon covers the annual newbie shoot (and shoots a gun herself), various talks and vendors, Free Grafton, the Porcupine Realtor, Cop Block, Muslims 4 Liberty, and Buzz's Big Gay Dance Party. Gershon has covered the Free State Project in the past for Aeon Magazine and Vice.
FSP Board Meeting
Time/Date: Sunday, May 10 @ 5:00pm EST
Location: 53 Riddle Dr., Bedford, NH
Attending: Matt, Aaron, Carla, Jody; by phone: Seamas, Rich, Jason
Meeting called to order at 5:15
Moved PF report to the end of the agenda so Kristin could attend and give the report.
1. Carla status as employee
2. President’s Report (fundraising plan, Liberty Forum, PorcFest, Upcoming events, Friends of the FSP Outreach/Ambassador program, PR Plans/Marketing, newsletter and web site, Free Stater Magazine, social media)
3. Treasurer’s Report
4. Fundraising/Donor Packet
5. New Business (Future of LF, Inactive participants) 6. PorcFest report
Playboy attended Freedom Fest in Vegas this past weekend, where the FSP garnered 24 signers, and numerous friends of the Free State Project.
Says the reporter: "I’ve printed Balko’s list of libertarian headlines, and I’m carrying it with me through the convention floor. You’re all loons, I tell every libertarian I talk to, and here’s the proof. One-hundred-and-forty articles from Salon and Alternet cannot be wrong.
I stop by the table for The Free State Project, where I meet Carla Gericke. The Free State Project is a migration movement that is trying to attract 20,000 libertarians to the state of New Hampshire, and Gericke is its president. When I read her some of the headlines, she laughs.
'We have a left-right paradigm in this country that functions in order to have just those divisions, and libertarians are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, and that makes people’s heads explode,' she says."
Later in the article:
The greater Manchester area was recently rated #8 of the "10 Best Growth Cities for Tech Jobs" by The Street. What are you waiting for? Jobs abound! Join the FSP Job Alert group on Facebook for more job leads and advice from early movers.
Here are the details from the article:
Total population: 403,895; Number of open information technology jobs: 2,700; Types of companies that operate there: Hewlett Packard, Dell, Dyn, Autodesk.
Top 5 Tech Jobs: Ui Software Engineer; Systems Architect; Java Developer; Senior IT Project Manager; and Sharepoint Administrator.
Jeffery Tucker writes a wonderful piece about PorcFest. Some choice quotes:
"Well, all these years later, the skeptics of the Free State Project — I was among them — are the ones who have turned out to be completely wrong. New Hampshire has indeed become a wonderful place for the ingathering of liberty-minded people, and they are making a difference politically. But beyond politics, what strikes me most is how the Free State Project has created a vibrant intellectual and social culture for thousands of people. And that culture is spreading outside New Hampshire to the region, the country, and the world."
"The strategy of creating an effective political pressure group has ended up forging a new path for realizing liberty in our lives. My own theory is that it has worked so well because it actually asks something from people and gives people something practical to do. When people actually pick up and move in order to experience a marginal increase in personal liberty, an ideal becomes a living part of their lives, and intensifies personal commitment more."