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For a few years my best friend and oldest Army buddy, Jess Edwards, had been frequently sending materials to me on the Free State Project and why we should move to New Hampshire. We had originally planned to retire in California. Things change.
Two years ago Debbie and I decided to join the Free State Project. Why? There must be at least 101 reasons to make the move. :-) Here are our Top 5.
As much as we enjoyed the weather in California, it is constantly becoming more and more a Nanny State bent on reducing individual liberty and stealing from everyone to advance ludicrous agendas and projects. Wind farms built to produce "green energy" years ago are now being torn down because they kill a few birds. Want a handgun? You can't have it unless it is approved on the California DOJ "Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale" that shrinks every year because they are mandating a move to "smart" handguns. Even regulating dust from farming. Dust??? 'Nuff said.
We're pleased to introduce the event producers for this year's Porcupine Freedom Festival, popularly known as PorcFest: Kendall and Lane Strahan!
Kendall and Lane Strahan were born and raised in Houston, TX. The Strahans came across the Free State Project in 2010 while searching for the best places to raise kids. They loved the idea of living freer lives, and did more research about the FSP and what joining and moving to New Hampshire would mean for their family.
At the time, Kendall worked at Wyman Gordon, a forging plant in the oil and gas industry and Lane attended Lonestar College while homeschooling their four children. Lane obtained her Associates of Arts degree, and is now enrolled at Southern New Hampshire University seeking her BA in English Language and Literature.
I'd learned about Free State Project from advertisements in the Libertarian Party newspaper and tried to find employment in NH after I finished school in 2004. Unfortunately, as I was just starting out my career, I had to take what I could get in terms of employment and ended up living and/or working in the statist dystopias of NJ, CT, and NY.
During this time, I became increasingly frustrated with the overbearing reach of the government and the massive support of collectivism in the Tri-state area, particularly as the cost of living rose tremendously due to the "tax and spend" habits of the state. Also, Bloomberg started pushing his soda bans, his political advertisements with his "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" propaganda, and his statement that government "has the right to infringe on your freedom".
I never liked control freaks and resented being told what to do, think or feel. I became a Libertarian in the '80s when my brother-in-law took an economics class from Dr. Walter Williams at George Mason U. and found out that there was no longer a gold standard. He in turn educated me - he fed me a steady diet of FEE magazines. I was very excited about the Free State Project and became an early signer before NH was chosen.
In 2004 I ran for State Rep as a Libertarian in Michigan, became VP of the County LP and began writing for strike-the-root.com, "A Journal of Liberty," winning "Columnist of the Year" in '04. I recently published an interview there with my former Detroit activist buddy and Free Stater, Cameron Barr.
"We've been so busy with moving in and getting settled. My significant other (Michael) and our son Joseph as well as my daughter and her husband (Meagan & Corey K.) all made the move! My daughter and her husband will be staying with us until they get situated with work and locate housing.
We initially moved (3 yrs ago) to Washington state to get somewhat off the grid, thinking WA was a good fit due to the mild weather. Little did we know how the political climate would change a lot even during our short time there. We always knew WA was more liberal and in some respects we liked that - "live and let live" to some degree. But with that came the nanny state control feature which I did not appreciate. Couple that with the very high cost of living and the homes we wanted that were out in the country did not have the internet, and I need to work from home. So we regrouped, found the Free State Project and that pretty much sealed it. The decision was made and things fell into place. It is very nice here in Ossipee, I will admit I was over winter, having lived in MN a good deal of my life... but I knew that the liberty we were seeking was here.
Season’s Greetings from the Free State
What a year! We triggered the move, had Edward Snowden speak at a record breaking Liberty Forum with more than 600 attendees, hosted PorcFest in the White Mountains, held our first ever Liberty in Action Award Ceremony to celebrate the movers and shakers building the greatest libertarian community in the world, oversaw leadership changes and implemented new tech, and now we are gearing up for an incredible 2017!
Celebrate Porcupine Day at Liberty Forum
In honor of triggering the move on February 3, 2016, this milestone date will henceforth be known as Porcupine Day. We are going to be “quilling” in style at Liberty Forum, February 2-4, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester.
Liberty Forum’s theme is “Leading Liberty,” because, face it, that’s what we are doing. Others talk the talk, but Free Staters walk the walk… with boots on the ground in New Hampshire, and more reinforcements on the way!
Reason's Brian Doherty, author of Ron Paul's REVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired weighs in on the recent claim, covered by FSP founder Jason Sorens here, that former FSP chair Aaron Day probably cost Kelly Ayotte re-election.
"Whether Republicans angry that Ayotte wasn't good enough on Obamacare, spending, appointments and other issues should be happier with her losing and Democrat Maggie Hassan in the Senate is another question, and one that will likely be thrown at any future challenger to any GOP candidate hitting the Republican from the small-government right. But to imply one should never do that is to imply that anyone who wants smaller government just has to take whatever the Republican Party offers and pretend to like it."
Rachel and I knew that we wanted to move out of California, and we spent the last year and a half working way too much and saving every penny in order to make this move. We planned on driving across the country and stopping at places along the way that we thought might be a good fit for our new home. As our moving date became closer and closer, we knew that we had to land in New Hampshire for the Free State Project.
We got married on September 12th and left San Francisco the day after. We wrote our own ceremony, vows and contract, and timestamped them into the Bitcoin blockchain. We had a beautiful, small ceremony overlooking Land's End in San Francisco. It was just the way we wanted it: intimate, private and without any archaic government license or permission.
My partner and I moved to the Granite State to participate in activism. Here is our story:
Two to three years ago we started participating in Free State Project events. Initially, we just attended PorcFest to see what it was about and to check out the Free State Project. From the numerous videos online we could tell things were really happening and it wasn't just another failed project. We met people who had already moved and were taking real action. We saw and heard from people all around fighting for liberty in New Hampshire.
The following year we participated in PorcFest and Liberty Forum, even bringing a business with us to these events. In 2015, we took the plunge and signed the pledge to move within 5 years.
Since moving we've had the chance to check out New Hampshire even more and love it. There are lots of little towns near our house to check out and things to see and do. We've had the opportunity to participate outside of our normal day-to-day tech-activist work in other types of liberty-oriented events for the first time. Ultimately, getting here ended up being the easiest part. The bigger challenge has been fixing up our new property.
Check out the new video of a school choice success story which features FSP early mover and Croydon school board member Jody Underwood. The Union Leader recently wrote an update about the Croydon situation, and mentions the fundraising efforts going on. According to Underwood: "The most important one is keeping Croydon's children in their selected school until the legal fight is over. Moving children around in the middle of the year is not the best for anyone."
Please consider supporting their fundraising efforts by either giving directly to the Newport Montessori School or through this GoFundMe campaign to help cover legal fees. They accept Bitcoin!
Check out this in-depth coverage from Slate about how libertarians are shaping life in New Hampshire. (Ignore the click-bait title, the article is remarkably good.) Read about the FSP, the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence, and more! Come meet the community at Liberty Forum in February, with Rick Falkvinge of the Pirate Party. BUY your tickets today!
So, what’s the deal with all those Free Staters who find their way to New Hampshire, and then are just like, living their lives? Are they even in the Free State? Do you even liberty, bro?
It’s easy to see the folks who are running for office, or writing and podcasting, or speaking at national conventions. But, what about the quiet ones, the ones they say you have to watch out for? What does it mean to be a libertarian who doesn’t shout about it?
For some people, it means waving to their neighbors and being on the PTA. It means peaceful parenting and planting daffodils and baking cookies. It means answering the door on Halloween, and driving on icy roads, and swimming in spring fed lakes. It means following their dreams.
Let me tell you about some of those people.
From Vince Perfetto, producer of 101 Reasons Liberty Lives in NH, an independently made documentary about the Free State Project:
"Two years ago this month, on November 17th, 2014, the documentary about the amazing libertarian migration to New Hampshire premiered on YouTube. It’s called, '101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire'. Since then, it has been viewed over 115,000 times and it’s inspired countless liberty-lovers to pick up their lives and move to New Hampshire.
Last year, when I wrote the one-year retrospective for the first anniversary of the movie’s release, the Free State Project was nearing completion of its goal of recruiting 20,000 libertarians to pledge to make the move to New Hampshire and get active to achieve liberty in our lifetime. In February of this year, we made it to the goal and the official move began! Now, thousands more libertarians will be coming to join the highest concentration of freedom-lovers in the world.
The Good Men Project says joining the Free State Project in New Hampshire is an option to consider if you are looking to change your life after the election. From the article:
New Hampshire is home to 22 companies on the Inc. 5000 list. New Hampshire is the best state to find a home based on housing availability and affordability (via OECD). New Hampshire’s household disposable income is the highest in the country (via OECD).
Slate's Placeholders podcast covers the Free State Project.
"How does a small group of people change politics? The Free State Project wants libertarians to concentrate themselves in New Hampshire and promote libertarian causes. Thousands have already moved, and thousands more are on the way. But not everyone is happy to see them coming."
The Free State Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, it does not endorse candidates or active legislation. Posted without further comment:
Concord Monitor: "Liberal group: At least 30 Free Staters running for office": http://www.concordmonitor.com/free-state-project-nh-candidates-for-public-office-election-2016-5604363
The Free State Project’s 10th Annual Liberty Forum features Pirate Party Founder and Top 100 Global Thinker Rick Falkvinge
MANCHESTER, NH: Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party, a political evangelist for freedom of speech and expression, and author of Swarmwise: The Tactical Manual to Changing the World is coming to New Hampshire–live from Sweden–during the Free State Project’s 10th Annual Liberty Forum.
In 2012, TIME Magazine shortlisted Falkvinge as one of the world's most influential people, and The Guardian listed him as one of the world's Top 20 Internet Freedom Fighters. During the 2009 European Elections, the Pirate Party became the largest party for voters under the age of 30, prompting Falkvinge to call this success a “reignition for the civil liberties fight in Europe and the world.” Falkvinge will address Liberty Forum attendees remotely at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester on Saturday, February 4, 2017.
Cute, short segment about the African porcupine. Live and learn!
As we reported last month, the Stossel show on Fox Business sent a reporter to this year's Porcupine Freedom Festival (better known as "PorcFest"). They've just published the video of that entire show, including interviews with Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson and his running mate Gov. Bill Weld. Watch the whole thing, or to go directly to the PorcFest segment, skip ahead to 31:30 in the video.