Jared Goodell is a Keene native and local independent journalist. Yesterday he was the host for EIGHT hours during Pumpkin Fest 2014 on Cheshire TV, the local public access channel. Jared also put thousands of dollars of his own money into producing the all-day event coverage. For this amazing effort to cover the yearly festival (it would not have been covered on CTV without him), he is rewarded with an evening visit by Pumpkin Fest organizer Ruth Sterling who behaves in a ridiculous manner:
Sterling attempts to grab his microphone multiple times, as well as block the camera’s view of Jared, accuses him of frightening the guests of the festival and demands he stop talking about the riots happening just a few blocks away in the college neighborhood.
Since Jared is a newsman at heart, he feels obligated to report on what is happening in-town, and tangentially related to Pumpkin Fest. He defends his right to be the media and she responds by telling him she’ll “pull the plug” (which she has no control over) and that he should behave because she gave him the physical location for the CTV remote studio. As though she somehow was doing him a favor – he’s the one who spent over $5,000 of his own money to make the coverage of her event happen!
At one point in the beginning of the video, Sterling accuses Jared of being a “Free Stater”, this is the new pejorative to describe anyone who stands up for their rights. It’s not Jared’s first time causing controversy for reporting the news. Earlier this year he stirred it up for reporting from the scene of this Summer’s suicide and on the resignation of a despised school principal. Jared is not afraid to break the official city narrative of Keene being a perfect, blemish-free New England town, and is willing to take the heat. Keep up the good work, Jared – we’re all Free Staters now!
Thanks to reporter Meghan Pierce for this well-researched feature article that focuses on several Free State Project early movers in Sunday’s Union Leader. The front page, above-the-fold article is very detailed and lengthy. It shows the various viewpoints of the participants and how we’re united by the cause of human freedom. No haters are quoted in the piece, but of course there are plenty in the comments. The haters better get ready, cause more FSP movers are coming to NH every week!
If your libertarian movement isn’t getting this kind of press where you live and if you feel nearly alone, as I once did in Florida, then the Free State Project is the solution! Go check out the 101 Reasons to Move to NH, sign up for the FSP, then start planning your move. You won’t regret it. NH is where freedom has a chance and libertarian-types can actually have an impact. This article is more proof of our relevance here. Libertarians just aren’t relevant elsewhere. See you in NH!
The important thing to takeaway from this, is that Dick at no point cites the varied, supposedly offensive activism done in Keene over the years. All of his objections to the FSP are purely political. This goes to the point that I’ve been making to the critics within the libertarian community for years:
Any activism that jeopardizes the status quo will result in hatred of those activists, by those who support the status quo. (Usually the government agents, their family, friends, and sycophants.)
For many years, libertarian critics in and outside of New Hampshire have wrung their hands about “Keene activism”, claiming we’re ruining the movement, poisoning the well, and other blame-placing. We’ve been told we’re doing it wrong and that we should do more political action, because that’s somehow not going to be as upsetting to people. (Of course, this ignores that many in Keene have done and continue to do political action.)
The reality is that political action takes longer to foment change and it’s not as visible or newsworthy as say, civil disobedience. However, this hate letter and the constant attacks on political activist and FSPer Aaron Day are just two more recent examples that those on the political scene will also find themselves under fire from the haters. In fact, as Free State Project participants win more seats and begin repealing bad laws, you can expect the attacks to increase in frequency and vitriol. Already the Aaron Day opponents have spent untold thousands on their full-color hitpiece mailers.
The people in power know that the Free State Project is a threat (peaceful) to their control over others, and they hate us for it. While much of Keene activism is a threat to the ideas that back the status quo, the political activism by FSP participants is an actual threat to the structure of power. It’s therefore arguable that eventually the political activists will bear the majority of the brunt of the haters’ anger.
Despite keyboard libertarian warriors’ beliefs, there is no way to foment change to a more free society without creating enemies. Most people outside NH in the larger libertarian movement don’t understand this, because the libertarian movement has virtually never been a threat to the status quo anywhere outside of New Hampshire, with the exception of Ron Paul. If you care about liberty, move to New Hampshire if you want to win. But prepare yourself for the anger and derision that will come with the success.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Gandhi
Free State Project founder Jason Sorens was published in the Washington Post today, asking the question, “Where Scotland failed, could New Hampshire succeed?”. As it stands, approximately one in four Americans support their state seceding from the U.S., which is an excellent starting point to begin a discussion on the issue. The more we can talk about the idea of seceding, the more realistic it will become, so now is a great time to talk to friends, family, and co-workers about what happened in Scotland and why we need to seriously consider the same thing here.
While the Reuters poll on secession shows New Englanders being the least likely to support secession (19%), we all know that Granite Staters are not of the same mindset as the rest of New England. Unfortunately, the poll does not break out individual states’ responses. Hopefully we’ll see a NH-only poll conducted at some point in the future. Meantime, we need more liberty-loving people to move here as part of the Free State Project and for people to start discussions with loved ones about this idea. The Foundation for New Hampshire Independence has some good outreach information on the idea. Let’s make it a reality!
On Thursday, a majority of Scots voted against independence from the United Kingdom. Their desire for self-determination, though, is easy to understand: The same impulse motivates present-day demands for federalism and state autonomy in the United States. Over the past decade, for instance, the Free State Project has been drawing libertarians to the relatively libertarian-friendly state of New Hampshire to pursue smaller government. Could New Hampshire or another state (one in fourAmericans want their state to secede, according to a poll last week) ever hold its own vote on independence? (more…)
Free State Project participant Andrew Michael Jones of Norfolk, Virginia was arrested in December of 2013 along with others accused of being the operators of the Silk Road underground marketplace. Andrew is alleged to be the longtime site administrator, “Inigo”. Thus far, almost all of the news headlines about the Silk Road arrests have gone to Ross Ulbricht, who is accused of being the infamous site’s creator and head admin, “Dread Pirate Roberts”. Andrew is accused of similar allegations as Ross, “conspiracy to commit money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and hacking” and is facing spending the rest of his life in federal prison.
While Ross Ulbricht was not offered bail, Andrew was able to get out on $1,000,000 bail thanks to his parents, who did not have anything close to that amount of money, so they put up their house and retirement incomes to secure a bond. His bail conditions include 24/7 house arrest at his parents’ house and being strictly forbidden from using any internet capable device. His girlfriend, Birdie, (who is also a Free State Project participant) is the one who reached out to me and she and Andrew’s family have set up a website to accept contributions to his legal fund, as they can use all the help they can get.
Birdie and Andrew
Andrew’s mother, Judy Jones, 68, told me this about him, “He’s very bright, kind, generous and has always been an idealist. When he first told me about bitcoins, he helped me envision a world where the central banks are no longer in charge of money. If it were instead a peer-based monetary system, so much good can come from that. I have hope for a better world thanks to his generation (the Millennials).”
Unlike Ross’ case, Andrew does not face the “kingpin” charge. Plus, he has not been libeled with allegations of murder for hire, as Ross has. Hopefully, that will help with this fundraising ability. He has retained the services of attorney Samuel M. Braverman and the bill will likely be very expensive.
As have many activists looking at moving to New Hampshire, Andrew and Birdie made the pilgrimage to Keene in December of 2012 and came to visit Social Sunday. I met both of them there and truly hope he can get through this difficult time with the minimum damage possible. If Andrew did not administer the Silk Road, then he’s a man wrongfully accused, but if he did, he’s a hero. The Silk Road was (and is) the most important development to happen to the black market in our lifetimes. (more…)