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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.
FSP early mover Kristine Boncer not only exerts the fullest practical effort by volunteering for FSP events like PorcFest where she ran registration in 2015, and Liberty Forum where she managed the Courtesy Room this year, or by editing the FSP newsletter, Kristine is also a small business owner and artisan.
The Union Leader recently caught up with Kristine at the 82nd annual League of NH Craftsmen's Fair:
"Kristine Boncer was very still as she slowly and methodically fed her grass-green wool into the spinning wheel. Except for her feet. Those moved in time with the wheel, slowly and surely, with a rolling up and down motion of a cat kneading its blanket before curling up for a nap.
'It is very relaxing,' Boncer said, looking up, but never losing stride. 'I love the tradition of it. It's something my grandmother used to do to clothe her babies.'
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)
Last night a group of Free Staters attended the Hampton Democrats monthly meeting where Zandra Rice Hawkins from Granite State Progress (GSP) gave a presentation on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Free State Project (FSP). As in the past, Rice Hawkins failed to reach out to the FSP to make sure she has the facts.
From the invite email: “Zandra Rice Hawkins will provide an update on the Free State Project and ALEC. If you are not familiar with either of these 'initiatives' you should plan to attend – you will surprised and concerned at the amount of influence these two groups are playing – and hope to play – in New Hampshire. Each of these promises to be VERY educational — pleas (sic) plan to join us.”
Joel Valenzuela, blogger and activist at the Rights Brigade, a new liberty outreach venture, wrote about the evening HERE.
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
The Free State Project, a mass migration movement to concentrate 20,000 liberty activists in New Hampshire is advancing to the finish line with more than 17,000 participants now signed up. Thousands of activists have and are moving ahead of schedule.
July 24, 2015 (Manchester, NH) – Today, the Free State Project announced that more than 17,000 participants have pledged to move to New Hampshire for more liberty. This mass migration movement aims to concentrate 20,000 liberty activists in the Live Free or Die state.
“Reaching 85% of our goal is a major milestone,” said FSP president, Carla Gericke. “As more people become aware of the problems facing this nation, from things like police militarization and misconduct, to the growing national debt and unfunded liabilities, to the perpetual wars, folks are seeking alternatives and safe havens. The Free State Project offers a working solution for like-minded, well-informed people who are passionate about stopping the erosion of our liberties.”