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One year in New Hampshire!

My wife and I have now resided in the Granite State for 1 year and here are some thoughts:

The move has not disappointed. We relocated from Connecticut, a tax-happy gun-hating stinkhole. There is a noticeable difference, perhaps primarily for those of us who came from such states, in the reach of the taxman here. Sales tax may seem negligible, but it had been a constant factor in my life, and in CT, I had to live through multiple increases and the looming threat of more. I work in MA, so I am still paying state income tax, but I salivate at the prospect of having that washed away at some point down the road (not now thought because I have a great job). Just knowing that is a future possibility makes me happy to live here.

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!

Early Mover's Top 6 Tips for Moving to New Hampshire

This video guide by early mover Dr. Tarrin Lupo (chiropractor) is designed to help you relocate to New Hampshire. Dr. Lupo discusses how he saved $1,000 on his moving truck, and other useful information you need to know before you move.

Before you move, please email "moved@freestateproject.org" to let us know. Thanks!

Check out the calendar of local events here.

To find out more about the PorcBuddy Program and the Welcome Wagon click here.

To get more tips on movers, check out the independent FSP Movers site click here.

To come meet the community, join us at PorcFest in June. Get your tixs soon!

To buy your own hand wood burned Porcupine mandala featured in the video click here.

To find Route 101 Gifts click here.

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:

Orson Welles Loves NH, And So Do We!

In 2007, the New Hampshire Film & Television Office made a promo to entice filmmakers to choose the Free State Project's backyard for film projects. The promo featured Orson Welles, who said:

"New Hampshire is towns and cities, but it is also wilderness, a paradise of trees, a healing expanse of solitude."

Check out the video to hear what else Welles had to say about New Hampshire, and for some inspiring footage from across this beautiful state. Curious which movies have been set in New Hampshire? How about filmed here? A recent favorite of mine? Joss Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods.

New Hampshire not only offers the opportunity of "Liberty in Our Lifetime," it is also a spectacular backdrop to life itself. Come visit us in the White Mountains during PorcFest, then make your move!

The Free State Project Joins Class Action Suit Against IRS

Today, the Free State Project announced that it has joined a class action lawsuit against the IRS for illegally targeting libertarian-leaning nonprofit organizations seeking tax-exempt status. Last week, after a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit "slammed" the IRS in a "blistering rebuke," the agency was forced to turn over a list of organizations it unfairly targeted. The Free State Project received a court notice that it is a member of that class.

WSJ Opinion: Can Libertarians Hijack New Hampshire?

MSN News: WSJ Opinion Journal

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Member Mary Kissel does a short (3min) interview of Associate Editorial Features Editor Kyle Peterson for the WSJ Opinion Journal on MSN News about his recent coverage of the Free State Project's Liberty Forum in Manchester, New Hampshire last month. She states "We call Snowden one of the worst traitors in American history, just to be clear," to which Kyle responds "He skyped in, answered questions, and got more than one standing ovation."

Liberty in Action Awards Trailer

At Liberty Forum 2016, the inaugural Liberty in Action Awards ceremony was held, emceed by Andre Rosa. Check out this trailer, and stay tuned for the whole shebang coming soon!

The Queen City: A New Millennium Marvel

Politico recently wrote a fascinating piece about New Hampshire's largest city, Manchester, which is also known as Queen City.

"But if Manchester’s job and housing markets are thriving, it’s still a work in progress. The Millyard is woefully short of parking, and public transit isn’t sufficiently developed to allow people to get around without a car. There’s a civic center and a minor league baseball park, but little in the way of grass-roots, homegrown arts, music and culture. 'We have a bar and restaurant scene, but it’s going to need some retail and more diverse entertainment,' says York."

Photo credit: Carla Gericke

The Wall Street Journal Visits the Free State Project at Liberty Forum

Photo credit: Chad Crowe / WSJ

The Wall Street Journal's Kyle Peterson writes about the Free State Project in a lengthy article entitled The Great American Disconnect: "The U.S. has been drifting into a collection of red or blue enclaves. Libertarians decided they needed a state of their own."

The intrepid reporter visited Liberty Forum last month in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he bought jam with Bitcoin from an ATM and watched Edward Snowden address over 500 attendees.

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