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April 7th marks the end of Prohibition in 1933. To honor this day, read brewmaster and Free State Project early mover Kevin Bloom's tale of how he helped foment a nanobrew revolution in New Hampshire. The following article first appeared in the 3rd edition of The Free Stater magazine, which was distributed at Liberty Forum 2015. Kevin's story exemplifies the old adage: "Where there is a will, there is a way."
I hope this story inspires you as much as it did me. Because of the passing of the nanobrew bill, several Free Stater owned nanobreweries have sprung up, including Able Ebeneezer Brewing Company in Merrimack, Earth Eagle Brewing in Portsmouth, and soon Kevin's own nanobrewery, Area 23 in Concord. If every mover came to New Hampshire with one idea of how to increase liberties and create more small businesses, we'll achieve "Liberty in Our Lifetime," in, well, no time. Cheers!
How to Ferment a Nano-Brewvolution by Kevin Bloom
Manchester Brewing is Born
Ross Ulbricht's mother, Lyn Ulbricht spoke at the Free State Project's 8th annual Liberty Forum, held March 5-8, 2015, in Manchester, NH.
The Free State Project gets a mention in this Nasdaq article about Bitcoin adoption. The article also quotes early movers, NH representative Eric Schleien, sponsor of the NH bill who "considers Bitcoin payments more secure than credit card payments," and Joel Valenzuela, blogger at The Desert Lynx.
From the article: "At least two states, New Hampshire and Utah, have bills under consideration that would make it possible for citizens to pay taxes and fees in Bitcoin. New York City has proposed similar legislation. The reason? At least a few elected officials recognize the potential of Bitcoin to help government and citizens alike."
According to a recent study by WalletHub, Money reports that New Hampshire is the most financially literate state. From Money: "New Hampshire pushes its way to the top by having the lowest high school dropout rate, the second lowest non-bank borrowing rate, and the fourth lowest number of unbanked households in the country." Read more...
Photo credit: Alamy as appeared on Money
The Concord Monitor covers the Free State Project and discusses some of the projects early movers are working on. "It’s New Hampshire in 2035, as projected by a unique political migration of libertarians intent on creating a state of unbridled liberty. Called the Free State Project, the movement’s founder, Jason Sorens, predicted at a forum this month that a small but dedicated group can punch above its weight in enacting freedom-focused changes and bringing about a destination for businesses and self-sovereignty." Read more...
Photo credit: Geoff Forester/Monitor staff
Early mover Bill Walker weighs in on school choice in New Hampshire in today's Nashua Telegraph. "Education isn’t a left vs. right issue. It’s a choice vs. no-choice issue." Read more...
Bill Walker is a member of the Sullivan County Republican Committee. He thanks his mother, a public school teacher, for the sacrifices she made to send him to private school at her own expense.
At the Free State Project's 8th Annual Liberty Forum conference, a unique discussion took place when editor in chief of Reason.com and Reason TV, Nick Gillespie, sat down to chat to keynote speaker, Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, in this intimate and fascinating interview.
This post originally appeared at e3ne.org.
All wealth comes from production and exchange: making and trading goods and services. The two are closely related: the more you trade, the more you’re able to produce. How does that work? Through the magic of specialization.
When you trade, you’re able to specialize in your comparative advantage, that is, what you can do relatively cheaply compared to everyone else. If you didn’t trade, you’d have to make everything yourself: clothes, food, shelter, transportation, health care, etc. You’d be very, very poor. By trading with other people, you can focus on doing one narrow thing really, really well, earning money, and trading that money away for other goods and services that other people focus on doing really, really well.
If you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says '15 Miles' to the... Sugar shack... stop, and enjoy! This weekend heralds the 20th Annual Maple Weekend. Join the fun at a local New Hampshire sugar house. Visit sugar makers to learn more about the centuries-old craft of maple sugaring. Meet your neighbors, and get some sweet tree gold while you are there. Insider tip: For the best maple syrup, go for dark... it's more flavorful and sticky-finger-licking good!
Photo credit: NH Maple Producers
Community. The word always left a bad taste in my mouth. In my life, “community” has meant something awful, something dreadful. And by age 23, I knew that becoming part of a community was something I would fight to avoid at all costs.
I think it was just after September 11th 2001 when my confusion began. I was a theater major at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. When the towers fell, and the flags began to wave, I took solace in the sense of community I felt on campus. There, I was among people who seemed to understand the reality of what was actually happening. This was no War on Terror, but a war for profit; and the masses rallying behind it were getting swindled. It was tremendously comforting to know I was not alone, to know there were many others who had not fallen victim to this great hoax. These people called themselves liberals. So, I supposed I was a liberal too. Then, things began to change.
Jody Underwood, Ph.D., is a founder and owner of Bardo Project and is one of the faces of Bardo Farm. She lives off the grid on a large property in New Hampshire with a varying number of people, depending on the season and the year, all learning back-to-basics skills. She moved to NH for the FSP in 2007 and is currently on the FSP board of directors. She focuses on K-12 education both professionally and as the chair of her local school board, which recently instituted school choice and included private schools as part of the choice (which is causing a stir in the state department of education). Her goal is to figure out ways to revolutionize education.
Former NH state legislator, the man behind Porcupine Real Estate, and early mover Mark Warden chats to Freedom Phoenix's Ernest Hancock about the Free State Project, Liberty Forum 2015, the upcoming Porcupine Freedom Festival, and a bit about this and that. Topics covered include nanobreweries, citizen activists, budget cuts, jury nullification, and more.
MANCHESTER - Over the last year, Community Market Days (CMDs) have sprung up in Manchester. I attended one in January and left with a ridiculous quantity of food: several pounds of humanely-raised ham, bacon, two varieties of sausage, and pork chops from Bardo Farm; two dozen eggs; baked goods; and grassfed ground beef ordered wholesale.
I spoke with five members of the Shire Co-op to learn more about this unique organization. I spoke with Jessica Love, who moved to Manchester from Florida three years ago as part of the Free State Project; Constance Spencer, another Free Stater who moved from Alaska with her family less than a year ago, now also in Manchester; Jack Shimek, a 30-year New Hampshire resident who signed the FSP Statement of Intent prior to the selection of New Hampshire as the “Free State”, now based in Milford; Kate Ager, a Keene native now living in Henniker; and Daniel Cuevas, also in Manchester.
SLN: Thank you all for agreeing to be interviewed! Could each of you tell me what your role is in the Shire Co-op?
FSP Board Meeting
Time/Date: Friday, March 6 @ 12:00pm EST
Location: Day 1 of Liberty Forum @ JD’s Tavern (Radisson)
Attending: Seamas, Carla, Jason, Jody, Matt, Aaron, Rich (by phone)
Meeting called to order at 12:10pm
Approval of previous minutes
Carla status as contractor vs. employee
a. Liberty Forum
b. Outreach at other events
c. Free Stater Magazine
a. Balance sheet update
b. Preliminary Liberty Forum results
c. 2015 Budget
a. Ian Freeman / FTL
b. The future of Liberty Forum
c. Dealing with inactive participants
Minutes from last meeting were approved.
Carla’s status as an employee. Jason is taking the lead on setting it up.
Patrick M. Byrne gives his keynote address at the 8th Annual Liberty Forum conference hosted by the Free State Project.
Bio: Patrick M. Byrne, CEO, launched Overstock.com in 1999 with revenues of $1.8 million. In 2013 Overstock.com had revenues of $1.3 billion and net income of $88.5 million. Forbes magazine named Overstock.com the No. 9 Best Company to Work for in the Country for 2010, and Byrne the CEO with the highest employee approval rating (92%). Byrne received the 2011 Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In 2001, Byrne began Worldstock Fair Trade, an Overstock.com division selling handcrafted products from artisans in developing nations. The department distinguishes itself by returning 60-70% of the sale price to artisans (over $100 million has been paid to Worldstock’s artisan suppliers). In addition, all Worldstock net profits are donated to fund philanthropic projects in several countries. Worldstock and Byrne have funded the building of 26 self-sustaining schools internationally that currently educate thousands of students.
New Hampshire’s unemployment rate is now 3.9%. That’s well below the 5.5% national rate! For the second month in a row, New Hampshire has the lowest unemployment rate in the Eastern United States. Stand out cities include Lebanon at 2.9%, Portsmouth at 3.3%, and Dover at 3.5%. Neighbor state Vermont has the second lowest unemployment rate in the East. Employment is up and unemployment is down in the Granite State. In fact, employers are complaining that there aren’t enough people in New Hampshire looking for work. Are you a liberty activist looking for work? Help New Hampshire employers by helping yourself.
Here is an excerpt from a recent New Hampshire Union Leader article.
Last week, Laura Knoy of NHPR's The Exchange chatted to David Boaz of the CATO Institute about "A Look At Libertarianism." David was recently in New Hampshire to speak at the FSP's 8th annual Liberty Forum conference. For more information, and to listen.
The CATO Institute talks to Charles Arlinghaus, president of New Hampshire's Josiah Bartlett Center about scholarship tax credits, which allow low-income parents to send their children to a new school.
Photo credit: Taxcredits.net
Freelancer Livia Gershon writes a piece for VICE about the FSP's recent Liberty Forum 2015 conference.
"It's an early spring weekend in Manchester, and Emily Smith is sitting in the Radisson Hotel with her baby, selling goods from her northern New Hampshire farm. There are jugs of maple syrup in various sizes laid out on the table, and also guns, .308 caliber rifles, lovingly hand-assembled for improved accuracy. The combination would raise eyebrows in most company, but not here, at the annual gathering of the Free State Project, a libertarian movement to create a limited government utopia in the Granite State."