Free Staters Prevent Further Increases, Make Cuts in Budgets in Keene and Grafton

The New Hampshire Freedom blog reports on the Free State Project participants who were the supermajority of the voting differential on critical budget votes on Monday night in Keene. All the proposals to increase the suggested budget failed, and the last one to increase the budget failed by only six votes! There were at least five Free State Project participants in the room. The NH Freedom blog has the full story, “Have Keene Free Staters finally started to free Keene?”.

Unfortunately, our participation in politics, while better than ever, is still low. Keene has always attracted apolitical activists, and hopefully we are starting to see that change as even with small numbers we have already proved we can have an impact.

If we could reach the level of participation had in Grafton, that would be ideal. In Grafton, a report published to the FSP’s facebook page says that 30 liberty activists turned out to a recent town meeting and cut the town’s budget back 10%! Looks like the much ballyhooed “Free Town Project” is taking hold! Get the full news with the numbers from this post on FB.

Politics actually works in NH. Yes, it’s still slow, boring, and arduous, but we can make a difference here. Come on up!

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9 Comments

  1. The original vote was to reduce the budget by 20%, and it lost by a small margin. Some other votes to reduce budget items or switch things to donation-only funding lost by less than six votes (some as few as a single vote). A few more voters present, and we could have made some major changes. We also had a lot of NIMBY socialists showing up this year due to the proposed wind farm, who do not normally attend. Next year could be very interesting, if we have a few more movers and a few less socialists.

  2. Nice job Keene-Grafton liberty alliance!

  3. “a few less socialists” is grammatically incorrect. It’s “a few fewer socialists.

  4. Actually, that’s not correct. The general “fewer with count nouns, less with mass nouns” rule is right most of the time, and is enough to let folks who don’t actually understand grammar to get by, but it is not the actual grammatical standard – just a “rule of thumb” for the ignorant.

    Either “less” or “fewer” is acceptable in this particular situation. And, “a few fewer” sounds idiotic, hence the stylistic choice to use “less.”

  5. Was Fred “funky fresh” Parsells at the School meeting?

  6. MaineShark: While I will defend to the death your right to your opinion, I cannot pretend that your legitimately-held opinion is correct. The most respected English language authorities agree that the position you hold is incorrect. This includes institutional authorities such as the Oxford Dictionary, which expresses the actual grammatical standard as, “Use fewer if you’re referring to people or things in the plural…Use less when you’re referring to something that can’t be counted or doesn’t have a plural”
    http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/less-or-fewer

    This agrees with the The New York Times, whose stylebook gives the exception that you misapply as “use less with a number that describes a quantity considered as a single bulk amount” such as money or time:
    http://afterdeadline.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/fewer-vs-less/

    The Chicago Manual of Style agrees with Oxford and the New York Times, describing the exception for which you vainly grasp as “Less than is used before a plural noun that denotes a measure of time, amount, or distance”
    http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/LessorFewer.html?old=LessorFewer01.html

    These institutions are in agreement with individual authorities, such as Jack Lynch, whose credentials include a PhD in English, and appointment as Professor of English at Rutgers University, where he is Acting Senior Associate Dean for Faculty, Faculty of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Lynch, in his renowned “Guide to Grammar and Style,” gives us the actual grammatical standard as “If you can count them, use fewer.”
    http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/f.html#fewer

    Now clearly, the number of socialists in attendance is not a measure of time, money, nor distance. Clearly the socialists at an event can be counted. Thus the actual grammatical standard–whatever recognized authority one uses–indicates clearly your use of “less” is, in plain terms, wrong.

    Again, I recognize your right to your own opinion, but if you want to pretend that you know better than the Oxford Dictionary, the New York Times, the Chicago Manual of Style, and Ivy-League-educated English professors, don’t be surprised when public opinion labels you as ignorant of the proper use of the English language. No doubt readers here cannot help but notice that this inescapable conclusion is completely consistent with the fact that in your last post you rely for support not on reference to any reliable source, but repeated use of the logical fallacy known as “ad hominem” as you refer to those who hold the correct view as “ignorant” and “idiotic.”

    But there is a more sinister tendency lying beneath the surface here, MaineShark. Your perception of socialists as a bulk quantity is a damning revelation of your own collectivizing perception of individuals as a single group. No true libertarian would perceive individual human beings as a single entity whose size could be “lessened” like so much sand. I dare say, if you want to “lessen” the socialist attendance at the next town meeting, you might do so by not showing up yourself.

  7. Wow. You can use the Internet to pull up support for a ridiculous argument? Who know?

    The Cambridge Guide to English Usage says you’re wrong. So do a lot of other grammar guides. We can go back and forth, but you’re just making yourself look ridiculous.

    The /fact/ of the matter is that either /can/ be correct, depending upon the style of the writing in question.

    You also, apparently, do not know what an “ad hominem” argument is.

  8. Jeremy, I think you’re missing the point. There’s nothing inherently wrong with going “back and forth” as MaineShark puts it; after all, debating different sides to an issue is one time-tested way to arrive at the truth of a matter. The problem here is that in order for going “back and forth” to be effective, both parties must possess some minimal skill in constructing arguments. As I’m starting to see, this is a skill that MaineShark either lacks or choose not to employ, and therefore MaineShark is doing all the “back” and you’re getting getting all the “forth.”

    Rather than belaboring MaineShark’s grammatical confusion, and in the interest of saving him further embarrassment, I suggest that you drop the issue of “less vs fewer” and I will offer MaineShark a brief introduction to reasoning.

    MaineShark: arguments can take many forms, but since you’re a beginner, I recommend starting with the basic categorical syllogism. This argument has three parts: two premises, at least one of which must be stated, and a conclusion. The premises provide the grounds for the conclusion, and one of the premises–called the major premise justifies the logical leap from the minor premise to the conclusion.

    The good news is that I can see you are already quite skilled at stating your conclusions. The reason you are so unpersuasive is because you have no premises, and thus you provide no justification for anyone to believe your conclusions.

    For example, you write the conclusion, “The Cambridge Guide to English Usage says you’re wrong.” Yet because you supply no evidence, you have no premise, and therefore no justification for anyone to believe you. You provide no quote, no paraphrase, no page number, no publication data, no indication that you have even read The Cambridge Guide, nor why anyone should rely on it. For all but the most unsophisticated readers, you might as well not have written anything.

    Or another example, you state your conclusion that Jeremy does not know what an “ad hominem” argument is. Again, you clearly have no problem with expressing a conclusion, but since you have no premises, you have no reasoned argument, and you may as well claim that gravity pulls up.

    Here’s an abbreviated example of how you might construct a complete argument:
    Conclusion: You don’t know what an “ad hominem” argument is:
    Premise: You’re an idiot

    Now, I’m not saying this is a valid argument, but at least it’s more than just a conclusion, and until you can get beyond merely stating conclusions you’re going to be stuck in your argumentative rut, where intellectual debate seems like so much “back and forth” and your only response to the seemingly unassailable logic that supports conclusions with which you disagree is to keep repeating the word “ridiculous” in the desperate hope that somehow you can justify in your own mind–if not anyone else’s–that your positions are based on something more that your desperate need to protect what remains of your damaged self-esteem.

    I know all this is a lot to take in if it’s your first time grappling with the art of reasoning. Fortunately there are some excellent resources on the internet. If I’ve whetted your appetite for self-improvement then this page is as good a place as any to begin your exploration of the practical application of logic to the sorts of questions your’re struggling with:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentation_theory

    Good luck, and don’t be discouraged by failure!

  9. The truly sad thing is, you probably /actually/ think you’re being clever. But you’re not. You’re just pathetic. Like a five-year-old trying to explain why he’s really /sure/ that it’s unfair that he doesn’t get to decide what his parents buy when shopping. You’re so sure that you’re right, that you don’t even see how total your lack of reasoning skill actually is.

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