School Spending Unsustainable

Stupid PeopleAfter almost four years of railing against the wasteful spending going on here in the city of Keene, you might be under the assumption that this place is a lost cause and subsequently choose to settle elsewhere. Don’t. Keene is a great place with a lot of good people and a lot of potential. The truth is this sort of nonsense is going on across the country and in a lot of places it is much worse. The key difference here is the strong liberty community that has chosen to keep tabs on the powers that be and hold them accountable for their misguided decisions.  We’ve cleared our eyes of the veil of apathy to see the truth for what it is.

To the wise old city bureaucrats and school officials: this may be your legacy, but it’s my inheritance. I WILL NOT stand by and watch while you squander it. You may get your way this year, but I’m not going to make it easy for you.

Here is my recent LTE to the Sentinel:

As some of you may well be aware, the Keene School District plans to cut 36.7 full-time positions, close an elementary school, and has projected a loss in enrollment of around 80 students. And yet, as you probably already expected, the budget will still be going up.

 

The school district has presented us with a proposed operating budget of $64.98 million, an increase of $181,394 from the previous year. Should that article fail, the default budget of $65.66 million will kick in. So, lose/lose. But here’s the real kicker: Due to less incoming revenue in the form of state tuition and previous-year surplus, the actual impact on the Keene taxpayer will be an additional $1.7 million increase. This will amount to a 5.31 percent increase on the school portion of your property tax.

 

 These yearly increases in both school and city spending are unacceptable and ultimately unsustainable. If the school district were a private business it would have gone belly-up years ago due to its mismanagement of funds. But unlike the private sector, the public school system doesn’t need to sell you a good product to stay in business. They’ll get your money regardless of the quality and affordability of service they provide us. Or else they’ll take your house.

In an attempt to reign in this out-of-control spending, I have introduced three warrant articles that will help school board members and administrators with their future budget preparation. They include a budget cap of .5 percent, a reduction of $500 per student per year until the student tuition matches the state average, and the formation of a committee to study the feasibility of withdrawal from SAU 29. I’ve also included a fourth article to cease participation in the one-size-fits-all common core program. Sadly, all four warrants will undoubtedly be amended in such a way as to remove their original intent at the deliberative session this Saturday.

 

If there is one thing the school and its supporters excel at, it is removing any alternative options from the ballot.

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Video of Hearing on Proposal to Repeal Hawker / Peddler Statutes in NH

Last week in the state house Commerce committee, Joe Hannon, an A+ rated state rep by the NH Liberty Alliance, introduced a bill (though he was not the sponsor) to repeal the state’s regulations on hawkers and peddlers and an interesting discussion ensues. I weighed in as the final speaker on the matter. Here’s the full video of the hearing from January 19th on HB 1647:

If you want to help move forward pro-liberty political change here, please join the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, whether you are in NH or not – you can help.

VIDEO: Free Staters vs Border Patrol in El Paso

Mark Edge is a host of nationally syndicated talk radio show, “Free Talk Live” and moved to New Hampshire in 2006 as an early mover for the Free State Project. This week, while traveling, he and his family stood up for their rights at a Border Patrol checkpoint East of El Paso on I-10. Mark is under no obligation to give the federal agents any information absent “reasonable articulable suspicion” that he’s committed a crime, and informs the agents that he knows his rights. Here’s the video:

He also correctly points out that no one is a citizen, which is proven by various Supreme Court decisions, such as Warren v District of Columbia, where it’s made clear that government has no obligation to protect you. With no obligation to protect, the citizenship “deal” is null.

It’s a nitpick, but something he could have tried, that he did not, was to clarify the first’s officer’s statement of, “do me a favor and (something unintelligible about pulling over here)”. Was the officer asking him for a favor? If so, Mark can politely refuse his request. Or, was the officer ordering him over there? Questions would have revealed more about whether the officer is willing to use force to achieve compliance, or was just asking for a favor.

Further, Mark could have asked the agents to identify themselves, for the record, though his wife’s capable camerawork under pressure was able to ID two of them.

Overall, Mark and family do an excellent job of asserting their rights, with multiple officers attempting (and failing) to intimidate them with their own cameras, and a dog sniff of the car.

Amusingly, the main officer claims that by Mark knowing and asserting his rights, he has proven to the officer’s satisfaction that he is a “US Citizen”, though Mark just explained to the agent how no such thing actually exists. At the end of the encounter, the agent even claims Mark is an “outstanding citizen” and thanks him for “helping law enforcement”.

Here are the citations to prove Mark’s claims about the falsity of citizenship: (more…)

Video of the Jury Nullification Panel @ Keenevention 2015

Jury Nullification Panel @ Keenevention 2015

The First Jury Nullification Panel @ Keenevention

NH Jury board member James Davis headed up Keenevention‘s first-ever panel on some of 2015’s hottest activism – jury nullification. Nullification outreach really took off in 2015, spreading from Keene and Grafton to six other courthouses across the state.

Where do we go from here? Expert jury outreach panelists included Rich Paul of the Church of the Invisible Hand, Cathleen Converse who successfully nullified charges against a cannabis grower, Derrick J Freeman of Flaming Freedom, and Ian Freeman of Free Keene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9MHc4mDY70

Big thanks to our 2015 video sponsor – Roberts & Roberts Brokerage – when you’re serious about precious metals – they take bitcoin!

Stay tuned to the Keenevention blog for more videos weekly and other media from the event. You can also follow the new Keenevention Twitter and Keenevention’s facebook page.

Full Hearing on NH’s “UBER” Legislation: Lying Cabbie + UBER Drivers Testify

Christopher David of Free UBER

Christopher David of Free UBER, Courtesy Coin Telegraph

Monday’s Concord state house committee hearings included a late-afternoon hearing for the “UBER” bill, HB1697-FN and I was there to speak and record the hearing. The bill proposes state regulations for “Transporation Network Companies”, which is legal-speak for companies like UBER, that provide connections between people who want to share rides.

While the ideal “level playing field” is to have zero regulations for transportation across all of NH, we can’t expect these politicians to do that at this point. So, having one set of regulations for the entire state would be better than a patchwork of them across the different towns and cities, which would make compliance for companies like UBER very difficult. If that ends up happening, UBER may just decide jumping through various hoops for each town isn’t worth it, and pull out of NH entirely.

Whether UBER pulls out or not, the bill proposes a fee of $5,000 for any TNC be paid to the “Department of Safety”. This fee will definitely be a barrier to entry for new companies who want to compete with UBER. Not only that, but technology quickly outpaces government, as UBER has show, and Arcade City is going to continue to prove. As I point out in my testimony, the newly announced Arcade City is not going to be a corporate entity, so how is government going to get their precious fee from a computer program?

Of particular note in the video is the apparently dishonest testimony from David Weeks, the owner of Concord’s D&B Taxi. Weeks claims he took multiple experimental UBER rides in Manchester – one allegedly didn’t show up, the next driver couldn’t speak English, and the third driver had a bottle of beer between his legs.

David Weeks

David Weeks, Owner of D&B Taxis, Lies to Committee About UBER

On his fourth and final alleged UBER ride, he claims the driver, when asked, quoted a fare of $27 and asked for a tip or told him to get out! Even if Weeks were telling the truth about his first few rides, his fourth story drips of dishonesty. Now, I’m a newer UBER driver, but as far as I know, the driver isn’t presented with the amount the ride is worth in advance. We only decide to accept the ride based on their pickup location.

Second, though this alleged UBER driver in question could have been breaking the rules, the UBER training video makes it CLEAR that UBER does not require tipping. Yes, drivers can accept tips, but UBER riders are well-aware that tips are not required with UBER, so it would be stupid for an UBER driver to demand one.

Amusingly, in the beginning of his testimony, Weeks claims he doesn’t have an axe to grind! Anyone paying attention knows at the very least, that’s not the truth.

After Weeks’ testimony, Free UBER‘s Dennis Acton calls Weeks’ claims, “preposterous” and proceeds to discuss the barrier to entry that is the $5,000 fee. He also says the bill contains too much regulation and that riders should decide, not government.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on Free UBER and Arcade City.

Liberty State Reps Making Headlines For Bills to End Prohibition of Prostitution, Drinking Under 21, Cannabis

State Representative Elizabeth Edwards

Free State Project Early Mover and State Representative Elizabeth Edwards

Does the bill to decriminalize prostitution put forward by Free State Project early mover and state representative Elizabeth Edwards have a chance of passing? I have no idea. I don’t think the issue has been addressed in the near-decade I’ve been here in New Hampshire and I’m elated that it will finally be brought to the table. Like all legislation, the bill will get a full hearing in front of a state house committee where the public will be able to speak. Should be an interesting scene. Edwards has been picking up media coverage locally and nationally for merely filing the controversial bill that would no longer prosecute people for consensual sexual acts.

In other good legislative news, FSP early mover and state representative Max Abramson has put forward a bill to legalize drinking alcohol between 18 and 21, so long as someone with the drinker is over 21. He also has been scoring media for his sensible idea.

Free State Project early mover and state representative Michael Sylvia is also making news for filing one of a few cannabis legalization bills this year.

Finally, the topless issue continues to garner media coverage for FSP early mover and state representative Amanda Bouldin, at about five minutes into this video from Huffington Post, she’s interviewed about the recent blowup between her and some other “liberty” reps.

There are a bunch more bills that liberty reps have filed and also many filed by anti-liberty reps. The state house has just kicked off their 2016 session, and hearings begin in earnest this week. If you want to help liberty in NH, whether you are here already or not, please join the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance and help them review the bills. See you in New Hampshire!

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