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Liberty Forum 2015 has come and gone. Were YOU "Moved By Liberty"? I certainly was! The event drew more than 500 attendees--thank you for coming! We garnered 44 signers, and inspired at least 7 movers (that I know of). We built liaisons and forged new relationships with other liberty organizations, locals, the media, and more.
So many highlights, from the new venue at the Radisson in downtown Manchester, to the impressive amount of local media coverage, to the surprise visit from Vermin Supreme.
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.
Mattheus von Guttenberg chose to move to New Hampshire, not for the great economy, the four seasoned climate, or the independent people, which are all great reasons, but for the Free State Project. In Mattheus' own words, "To the people who aren't living in New Hampshire, that are libertarian: you really can't capture or calculate how valuable it is to have that community." This statement rings true with so many people who have moved to New Hampshire as a part of the Free State Project. As we do more interviews for It's Like This Too, community is one thing that everyone continues to comes back to. It's amazing how such a cross section of diverse people have picked up their lives, moved to NH for freedom and found a thriving community of liberty lovers.
New Hampshire's largest newspaper, The Union Leader does a write up about the state of the Free State Project, and the positive influences the influx of Free Staters are having on the Granite State.
From the article: "Some of those movers will be at the Liberty Forum, which opens today in Manchester, checking out the state and deciding whether this is the place for them. As most Granite Staters have done (more than half the population was born outside the state), they are likely to decide that it is. And who can blame them?
Gericke says that even if only a few thousand Free Staters move here, 'with the mindset and the energy we can still keep New Hampshire awesome.' The State of New Hampshire has hired professional marketers to come up with slogans that will attract tourists. Gericke came up with one on her own that carries more punch than any of the pricey state gimmicks: 'Keep New Hampshire awesome.'
Photo credit: explodingdog.com
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.
"I call myself a desert girl. I’m not inclined to this kind of weather, but I do it anyway because I get so many benefits from being here... The most important community that is invited to this event is people from other states who are considering New Hampshire as their next home."
We hope our pro-liberty New Hampshire neighbors and friends will also attend to learn more about the Free State Project community. Join us for fascinating talks, topics, and speakers, and just to have a jolly good time. Basic Tickets are $150 (Friday, Saturday) and Day Passes are $80. Buy yours today!
Photo credit: Judd Weiss
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.
The Free State Project’s 8th annual Liberty Forum features local small businesses, entrepreneurs, think tanks, non-profits, independent media, and more
March 2, 2015 – Manchester, NH – In addition to a stellar line-up of renowned speakers, including Sheriff Mack, Jeffrey Tucker, Lyn Ulbricht, and Scott Horton, the Free State Project’s 8th annual Liberty Forum showcases local small businesses, farms, entrepreneurs, think tanks, non-profits, Bitcoin enthusiasts, activists, politicians, New Hampshire’s independent media, and more. This four-day conference will be held March 5-8, 2015 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester.
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.
The Free State Project’s 8th annual Liberty Forum’s theme is "Moved by Liberty," and includes speeches by activist Sheriff Mack and CEO of Overstock, Patrick Byrne.
February 17, 2015 – Manchester, NH – Today, the Free State Project announced Scott Horton, radio show host and editor of Antiwar.com, will be speaking at Liberty Forum, New Hampshire’s premiere liberty conference. Liberty Forum’s cutting edge topics run the gamut from “Non-Violent Communications” to crypto-currencies like ziftyrCOIN and Bitcoin. This four-day conference will be held March 5-8, 2015 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester.
Thursday, March 5th kicks off with a dinner reception followed by entertainment provided by Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of Reason.com and Reason TV, the online platforms of Reason, the libertarian magazine of "Free Minds and Free Markets." Also on Thursday is a tour of the State House in Concord, and a late night improv session. Several independent media outlets, including nationally syndicated Free Talk Live, will be broadcasting throughout the conference, starting on Thursday night.
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.
Mike Vine got involved with the liberty movement at age thirteen after looking into third parties for a school project and deciding libertarianism was the one for him. In August 2011, Mike and his wife moved from Manhattan to NH. New York was increasingly failing to offer things they wanted in their lives, such as independent businesses and the ability for him to start his business, Centinel Consulting. A primarily liberty-oriented business, Mike is essentially able to be a "professional libertarian," writing about Austrian Economics and alternative investments, such as gold and silver. In this video, Mike expands on the latest project he is working on - The Praxeum, a flexible use space for the liberty community that has a co-working aspect, as well as a venue for community meetings, such as homeschooling meetups, an Austrian study group, and more.
Based in New Hampshire, movers of the Free State Project are putting into practice a slew of tactics in an effort to advance liberty, and be part of a productive, harmonious, and, most importantly, voluntary community.
Says NH Magazine: "New Hampshire is out in front again — this time in a 'revolution' in how we pay for things. And helping to lead the change is Manchester resident Zach Harvey. Two years ago, he and his brother Josh created an ATM for Bitcoin, an increasingly accepted alternative currency that is strictly digital." Brothers Zach and Josh Harvey are FSP early movers. Check out this interview with Zach produced by other early movers for the "It's Like This Too" series for Voices of Liberty. The New Yorker covered Zach and the Bitcoin ATM last year during the FSP's winter conference Liberty Forum.