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.
Let's assume that we have a moral duty to help others from time to time, at least when it is not too costly for us to do so. That's what I really believe. Now, is such a moral duty enforceable? Is it OK to use coercion to make someone do good for others? Not usually, I believe. And Adam Smith's moral theory tells us why.
According to Smith, you know an act is right when an impartial spectator would sympathize (or empathize) with the emotions motivating your act. Smith says that an impartial spectator will always empathize with both the kindness of someone who acts to benefit others and with the gratitude of the recipients of that kindness. So, as Smith sees it, acts of beneficence are always right.
A simple example is that of a friend who usually brings you coffee in the morning. If he fails to bring you coffee one morning, are you justified in resenting him? Has he acted immorally?
There is a clear answer here using Smith’s logic. An impartial spectator wouldn’t empathize with your resentment against someone who merely failed to be generous one morning. And an impartial spectator would never want to force someone to be kind.
FSP early mover, super-doer, and former Goffstown State Rep. Mark Warden (R) joined Girard at Large to discuss the FSP's upcoming Liberty Forum conference, which starts Thursday, March 5, 2015 through Sunday, March 8, 2015. Two-Day and One-Day passes are still on sale.
FSP president, Carla Gericke, joined Ernie Hancock of Declare Your Independence to talk about Liberty Forum, PorcFest, life, liberty, and the pursuit of whatever direction the conversation flowed.
Shire Liberty News, one of the many excellent independent media outlets created by Porcupines, covers the Portsmouth kick-off of the self-guided, statewide tours being offered prior to Liberty Forum, which starts on Thursday, March 5. The goal of "Tour NH" is to showcase different regions and Porcupine communities within New Hampshire to prospective FSP signers and movers. Click here for a schedule of the remaining tours.
"Following the tour, the Praxeum hosted a cocktail party for Liberty Forum attendees. The Praxeum is a flexible use space for liberty oriented people which opened last September. Similar venues have opened in Manchester and Keene, and a new one is under construction in Concord. The existence of physical social clubs throughout the state, owned and operated by libertarians, is one of the many things that makes New Hampshire unique." Read more at Shire Liberty News.
CoinDesk covers the recent testimony at New Hampshire's legislative hearings about whether the state should accept Bitcoin for payment of taxes and fees.
Says early mover, and the bipartisan bill's primary sponsor, Eric Schleien: “If New Hampshire can lead the way in the primary process, and we can lead in other ways, why don’t we lead the way to being the first state to actually implement a process? It’s going to happen, all 50 states are going to do this. Why don’t we be the first?” Read more here.
FSP Board Meeting
Sunday, Feb 8, 2015
Meeting called to order at 3:09pm
1. Approval of minutes from 12/7/14
2. New Board Members
3. Carla status as contractor vs. employee
4. President’s Report
5. Treasurer’s Report
6. Trigger the Move status and strategy
7. Our new outbound approach
8. Efforts regarding direct mail campaign
9. LibertyForum updates
10. PorcFest updates
Remember when the Concord Police Department fraudulently called Free Staters a domestic terrorist threat? Remember when the Concord Police apologized and amended their grant application? Now, a bill to reduce the militarization of police has advanced from the New Hampshire House to the New Hampshire Senate.
On February 18th New Hampshire Rep. Hoell's HB 407 as amended advanced to the Senate. HB 407 is a repeat of Rep. Hoell's bill from last session, HB 1307 failed in the NH House last year. However, the bill made national news, leading to the creation of similar bills in MT, TN, and a much more narrow federal bill.
The idea of police militarization reform legislation was inspired by the coalition of liberal activists and Free Staters that attempted to convince the Keene and Concord, New Hampshire city councils to vote against acquiring Department of Homeland Security BEARCATs. While Rep. Hoell is neither a liberal nor a Free Stater, he decided to lead the national legislative effort to bring about reform. The tragedies of Ferguson, Missouri further intensified the issue. Unfortunately, opposition to BEARCATs didn't pick up much steam outside of NH and the University of Berkeley. Instead, critics were mostly concerned about a different federal program that distributed much larger military vehicles called MRAPs to local governments.
Nothing like running across an article entitled: "The Case for Moving to New Hampshire, In One Chart." Boom, my work here is done! From the article, which can be read at Vox: "The OECD — a club of various rich, developed countries — recently unveiled a new dataset on well-being across the world, which they measure holistically, taking into account everything from the murder rates to unemployment levels to broadband access. Conveniently, they broke the numbers down not just by nation but by region. Adam Carstens conveniently graphed the US state data. New Hampshire comes out on top, followed by Minnesota and Vermont." Full "Well-Being User Guide."
Bloomberg covers last weekend's International Students for Liberty conference in DC. In the lengthy article, "Bow Ties and Slam Poetry: This Is Libertarianism in 2015," the Free State Project and PorcFest get a mention (which is great considering the FSP pioneered many of the "cool" things heralded in the article): "In recent years, as the duo of Ron and Rand Paul spread the libertarian gospel into Republican politics, reporters have noticed sub-cultures like New Hampshire’s Free State Project and its annual PORCfest, a 'libertarian Burning Man' where Bitcoin and silver pieces are preferred to 'fiat currency.'” Read more at Bloomberg.
FSP Board Meeting
December 7, 2014
Google Hangout and Aaron’s house
Meeting started at 2:25pm
1. Officers of the board
2. Board Composition
Varrin and Sharon leaving the board
Criteria for new board members
4. President’s Report Strategic Plan, Budget, Fundraising
LibertyForum budget and update
PorcFest and future events
5. List of Projects for Donors
6. Scheduling of Board Meetings
Early mover, Conan Salada weighs in on the question of "representative government" after a small group of fiscally responsible residents went head-to-head with the tax hungry education industry at a deliberative session last weekend. From Salada's LTE: "As was expected, they were completely outnumbered, ridiculed and ultimately silenced. School board member Susan Hay summed up the proceedings perfectly, 'We don’t need a very small minority of people in this community — that do not in any way represent the will of the people — telling us how to do our job.' This brings up a very important question. Who, then, represents me? If I have no voice because the powers that be disagree or outright refuse to hear me, why then should I be forced to pay into such an institution? What happened to deriving their powers from the consent of the governed? Well, I officially renounce the consent I never swore to in the first place.
Bored with the simple joys of skiing and snowshoeing this winter? Why not take the dogs out sledding? Or maybe try some winter fatbiking? Or, better yet, unleash your inner lumberjack with some adult axe throwing. Check out some of the unusual and fun stuff you can do in New Hampshire during the winter at Visit White Mountains. Photo credit: Bretton Woods.
There is a growing trend in New Hampshire: More women are learning to shoot and arming themselves. “When the government started talking about gun control," said Dan Gebers, president of the Major Waldron Sportsmen’s Association and a Dover police officer, "There was a major influx in [female] membership, young and old.” Several FSP early movers, and founding members of the Women’s Defense League of New Hampshire, are quoted in the Seacoast Online article. Photo credit: Foster's Daily Democrat front page. (They ran a story about this trend over the weekend as well.)
In an unprecedented move, the taxi commission for Portsmouth, NH, voted unanimously to ask the City Council to eliminate all taxi medallions and end city inspections and the regulation of taxi fares in order to level the playing field between regulated taxis and Uber rides. Said Lt. Chris Cummings, the Portsmouth Police Department’s liaison with the Taxi Commission: “I guess it’s going to come down to what consumers want to do.” Indeed. Read more at the New York Post, which has dubbed Portsmouth, NH, home of the FSP early mover initiative the FreeCoast, "Uber City." For more coverage, see Seacoast Online. Photo credit: Christopher Sadowski
New Hampshire is known as a libertarian hot spot, and the Bitcoin community here is strong. Read about the rich connections between Bitcoin and the Free State Project here. Now, Republican Representative Eric Schleien has introduced a bill, with bipartisan support, that would mandate the state treasurer to “develop an implementation plan for the state to accept bitcoin as payment for taxes and fees [by 2017]." Read more about the proposed bill at PanAm Post. Full text of bill. Photo credit: Bitcoin Magazine
NH leads the charge again. This time, a new bill that will require state police officers to wear and use cameras during interactions with the public. Says the bill's prime sponsor, Rep. Kyle Tasker: "As much as I like police accountability, this is more about re-establishing that trust. Instead of having a ‘he said, she said’ situation, you have a neutral, very objective witness to what goes on." Read more at the Concord Monitor.
On top of the FSP's Liberty Forum and the Porcupine Freedom Festival, early movers have been organizing their own liberty-oriented events to highlight different regions and approaches to more "Liberty in Our Lifetime." Watch the clip for highlights from the 1st Annual FreeCoast Festival, held in Fall 2014 in Portsmouth and NewMarket, which focused on radical entrepreneurship.
The Porcupine is the FSP's mascot--and liberty lovers within the state of New Hampshire call themselves "Porcs"--because these peaceful creatures just want to be left alone, and, on the flip side, you don't want to mess with them. National Geographic shares some fun fast facts about these fascinating creatures. Read more. Photo credit: HARRISE HARRIS, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC YOUR SHOT
When life hands you snow... make snowballs! The east coast was recently hit by what was hyped as the Snowpocalypse of 2015. In typcial "have snow, will have fun" fashion, residents of Portsmouth, NH, made the most of the blizzard. The giant snowball fight was promoted through social media, and around 1PM, the melee broke out in the town square. After the fun, participants went to a bar to warm up and share their experiences. Read more at Mail Online. Photo credit: Youtube.
In NH, folks don't just complain about police militarization, they do something about it. Over the past few years, in several towns across the state, concerned NH residents have fought the acquisition of BEARCATS, garnering national and international media attention in the process. Now, once again, NH leads the charge with a bipartisan bill aimed at stopping local police from receiving military grade weapons. Want to be part of the solution? Join the FSP!
In New Hampshire, job prospects look good. In 2014, the unemployment rate dropped to 4%, well below the national average, and more jobs were created in the private sector than in the public sector. Read more at The Union Leader. Interested in moving to NH as part of the Free State Project, but need a job first? Join the FSP Job Alert group on Facebook for tips, job postings, and more. Photo credit: habitatcd.org