Near high noon today, the first full day of the Free State Project‘s annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, two agents (Phillip Lawrence and Ray Persinger) from the “Department of Revenue” rolled up to Rogers Campground. The sharply-dressed thugs inquired with campground staff if there were food vendors in Agora Alley, a place renown for delicious food available from some vendors who may not have bothered asking government permission to serve their fellow hungry humans.
A crowd of activists quickly gathered, with multiple alerts going out via two-way radio, facebook, and word-of-mouth. They weren’t able to get any further than the first vendor before being told they were not welcome by multiple people in the crowd. A campground staff member ultimately told the criminals to go speak with the park owner, Crosby.
After thirty minutes of meeting with Crosby, the men immediately exited the property. Crosby refused to be interviewed about the conversation, but claimed he was not threatened by them. I suspect he’s not being forthcoming. Porcfest organizers would also not speak on camera, but the conversation I had and overheard leads me to believe that Crosby has been recruited to pass out government paperwork to food vendors. I plan to investigate further with the vendors and see what’s happening behind-the-scenes. Stay tuned here to FreeKeene.com for the latest on this developing situation. Also, Porcfest is just starting, so come out and join us through this weekend!
UPDATE: One vendor reports that Crosby did not hand him the paperwork from the state when the vendor indicated that he’s got his books in order. We’ll be discussing the incident on Free Talk Live tonight at 7pm Eastern. You can listen live at LRN.FM.
Today is my birthday, and where else would I want to be at 8:30am except in Judge Burke’s courtroom, awaiting another parking ticket arraignment? Last time I tried the “dead fish” strategy: I didn’t speak during arraignment, I barely spoke during trial, and I was predictably railroaded by the prosecution. Judge Burke found me guilty of two parking violations and fined me $10.
The trial and everything leading up to it costs the court (and therefore the taxpayers) far more than the $10 collected in “revenue”. Not only is it costly for the government to prosecute this victimless crime, it’s also time consuming: the prosecutor was kept busy filing paperwork, gathering witnesses, and preparing his arguments. The entire parking enforcement (which only consists of 2 people) was incapacitated for nearly 4 hours while sequestered for trial. How much money can the city government collect in 8 parking enforcement man-hours? Well, that opportunity was lost because I chose to take these tickets to trial.
If you think this is stupid, you might be surprised that I agree with you. What a waste of time and money! But remember — I didn’t set the system up this way — the people calling themselves “the government” did. And they can stop this charade at any time by simply dismissing the parking tickets. What would they have to lose? They’d certainly have a lot to gain.
Anyway, this time, I chose a new strategy: Go to arraignment with a piece of paper already written out, explaining that I want to plead GUILTY, except the paper is *UNSIGNED*. Once Judge Burke accepts this piece of paper, it becomes part of the record. It is now on the record that I want to plead guilty.
You’d think that would be enough, but Judge Burke did something interesting. He entered a plea of NOT GUILTY on my behalf. Why would he do that? The answer can be found in the following short video from court this morning:
In short, my point was: The judge has demonstrated bias against me, the defendant. Judge Burke is presuming (without evidence) that I am subject to the laws of the State of New Hampshire, but that is one of the elements that must be proven by the prosecution! How can I be forced to be at arraignment if the Judge is not presuming jurisdiction?
What do you think about this strategy? My next step is to file a motion to reverse the plea and motion to have Judge Burke recuse himself because of the bias he demonstrated. He is protecting the prosecutor and doing his job for him by assuming one of the essential elements of the crime: jurisdiction. Without jurisdiction, the case must be dismissed, but he’s not going to let that happen, is he?
Newer mover James Davis wrote an excellent piece for Freecoast.org recently that describes the amazing experience he and his family have had since moving here to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. It’s a rare glimpse into the world of liberty families who move here quietly and whose activism doesn’t garner media attention:
The past week on the Free Coast reminded me exactly why moving to New Hampshire was the best thing our family ever could have done.
Being a member of the liberty movement can be discouraging at times. It’s easy to wonder if the whole thing is pointless. The looming specter of an ever-growing state combined with the ongoing “drama” perpetuated by the movement’s most vocal members on social media can be downright dreary.
But on the ground here in New Hampshire? It’s a different case all together.
Last Sunday, six liberty loving families got together on one of the many stunning beaches of New Hampshire for an impromptu birthday celebration. Parents universally treated their children with dignity, and were able to trust that everyone involved understood that people are best when left to be free. Five of these families were free state project movers – people so dedicated to finding a like-minded community that they picked up and moved from all over the US to live near one another and raise their children with others who share their values.
While effecting long term change here in New Hampshire is a goal of everyone involved in the Free State Project, it’s not the only goal by which we measure success. First, and perhaps most important, we measure success by how much freedom and fulfillment we’re finding during our one shot here on Earth. If you ever find yourself wondering why you can’t find other liberty-minded families in your area, or feeling concerned that the people in your child’s neighborhood or school are trying to convince them that their parents are crazy, why wouldn’t you just move to New Hampshire and help us create the liberty community we all dream of being a part of? (more…)