Ian Freeman is embarrassing.
It’s a view you
rarely never see on this blog, but it’s a view held by myself and a serious portion of liberty activists in the Keene area. (Not to mention the overwhelming majority of Keene residents.) Lately it’s been the senseless pestering of city bureaucrats, the quixotic school outreach, and his involvement in the war on grandmas. Yes, he does other things which are more legitimate and professional, but, for as long as I’ve been in New Hampshire, it seems that Ian has always been vocally supporting activism that’s jarringly wrong-headed.
I joined this blog in 2010 in order to openly criticize certain activist tactics that struck me as counterproductive. At the time, I was worried that the suppression of criticism was creating an atmosphere of groupthink– a situation where the systematic lack of criticism leads groups to make wildly irrational decisions. Since then, I’ve changed some hearts and minds with regards to criticism, and caused people to look twice at things they’ve taken for granted. This has been very satisfying.
But, where it really matters, I have failed. Read more
So charges Ilya Gerner at Comedy Central:
New Hampshire Legislators Introduce Freedom to Beat Your Spouse Bills
One thing to keep in mind whenever a presidential candidate suggests that some issue is best handled at the state or local level is the fact that this relegates lawmaking to state and local legislators and absolutely nothing about the history of governments suggests that is a good idea. Our “laboratories of democracy” are basically 50 self-contained arguments against federalism.
Take New Hampshire, which in some populist conceit has decided that every dozen residents need their own severely under-resourced and under-paid state legislator, who will somehow remain “close to the people.” Of course, the natural conclusion of “citizen legislatures” isn’t home-spun wisdom and incorruptibility, insomuch as a bunch of part-time real-estate agents throwing monkey feces at a wall and calling the result a “House Bill.”
Continue reading about “The latest in the New Hampshire legislature’s attempt to beclown their state as the Arizona of New England” at Comedy Central’s Indecision blog.
(HT: William Tucker.)
Laura Knoy, host of NHPR’s The Exchange, interviewed EconTalk host and “Keynes vs. Hayek” co-creator Russ Roberts, along with former Obama adviser and economics blogger Jared Bernstein yesterday morning.
You can hear the show, titled Raising Keynes, at NHPR.org.
For fun, the Keynes vs. Hayek videos are posted below the fold. Read more
Working in Democratic politics can do strange things to libertarians. Part of the job is selling libertarian economics to hardcore liberals– and that’s a daunting task. Perhaps impossible. It led me to re-evaluate major aspects of my libertarianism (Liberals support x. Libertarians oppose x. But is libertarian philosophy really opposed to x?) and take a much closer look at liberal ideas.
When I started, I was already skeptical of some core libertarian arguments, due to my near-obsession with academic economics. My work with liberalism opened the floodgates. Eventually I was forced to admit that I was probably wrong in advocating free market anarchism and adopted a position awkwardly in between liberalism and libertarianism.
Since then I’ve struggled to find a way to describe my views. “Left-libertarian” was an obvious candidate, but it seems that most people using the term are anarchists, and I’m not nearly that radical. Taking a cue from Will Wilkinson, I started to use “liberaltarian“. But, in many cases, people simply interpreted that as “libertarian”, defeating the purpose.
For a while, if asked, I would just shake my head and laugh nervously. Finally I gave up and called myself a liberal.
I wrote about the redistricting of Keene state representative districts last month– Redistricting committee leaves Keene in suspense. The suspense has now ended, and the results caught many people (including myself) by surprise.
Right now Keene has seven state representatives, all representing the entire city of Keene. In the earlier blog, I wrongly predicted that, after redistricting, each of Keene’s 5 wards would have its own state representative, due to a constitutional amendment which took effect in 2006. As it turns out, it was basically impossible to fulfill the requirements of that amendment while also satisfying federal restrictions. Federal law supersedes state law, so the New Hampshire constitutional amendment was ignored in some cases.
Wards 1, 4, and 5 will each have their own representatives. Wards 2 and 3, along with Roxbury, will share two representatives, and all of Keene, plus Roxbury, will elect two at-large representatives.
You can see the map for Cheshire County below: Read more
Filed under: Democrats, New Hampshire, Politics, Ron Paul, Video
In a recent episode of Freedom Watch, Judge Napolitano talks to Lynn Chong, former chair of the Belknap (NH) County Democrats. Frustrated with Obama’s foreign policy, she changed her voter registration from Democrat to
independent udeclared and will vote for Ron Paul.
(Bet you won’t see this on Blue Hampshire.)
[Update: Jay, in the comments, recommends BlueRepublican.org. It's an interesting site.
A related article in The Laconia Daily Sun provides more info:
"I would definitely call myself a progressive," said Will Hopkins of Belmont [NH], who returned from a tour as infantryman in Iraq to become executive director of New Hampshire Peace Action, a group seeking to end foreign wars and cut defense budgets. “I supported Obama in 2008, but I’m supporting Ron Paul. That’s where I’m putting my eggs this year,” he said. “A lot of folks in the peace movement are taking a close look at Paul.”]
Filed under: Audio, Free State Project, New Hampshire, Politics
Listen to the interview at NHPR.org.
Filed under: Essay, Free State Project, Living Free, Your Evolution
As of this Monday, I have been in Keene for three years. Three years may not sound like a long time, but, in the Keene activist community, three years makes me an experienced veteran, and in this time I have grown immeasurably. For the sake of newer activists, and those considering moving, I’m going to share some of my experiences here, to give a sense of what to expect, and offer some hard-earned advice.
In 2007, at 19, I was attending Texas Tech as an engineering student. But I had hated school for years, and didn’t like college any better. I also became fascinated by economics and the social sciences, and found that engineering, in comparison, was intolerable. I dropped out.
I’ve just heard from college activist friends that Ron Paul will be speaking at Keene State College next Monday evening (the 21st), at 4:30 in the
Lantern Room Mabel Brown Room of the LP Young Student Center.
I hope local liberty activists will be out in force, making lots of friends.
This is also the perfect opportunity for Manchesterites to visit Keene to negotiate the terms of their surrender. (Government officials involved in the war on drugs are likewise invited to surrender.)
Plus, LGBT activist Charlene Strong will be speaking at
Keene’s United Church of Christ Keene State College this Friday at 6pm.