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…)
“It is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision… you [juries] have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy.” —John Jay, first U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, State of Georgia v. Brailsford (1794)
You’re out on a leisurely walk in the city one day, simply going about your business and keeping to yourself, when… crap! People handing out informational literature. Uggghh. Don’t they have anything better to do? You’ve clearly spotted them and worse yet, they spotted you spotting them! Good luck escaping their tractor beam now!
You briefly consider reaching for your cell phone to pretend to take a call, but it’s too late. It’s clear that there’s no way to weasel out of accepting their disruptive pamphlet, so you force a polite, acknowledging smile, or construct a curious, inquisitive glance as you take the propaganda from their outstretched hand, feigning interest juuuuuussstt until you’re out of their field of view (probably), at which point you can safely discard whatever it was they were peddling without looking like a terrible, close-minded person.
Sound familiar? Or is that just the process that usually runs through my head when I see someone handing out unsolicited pamphlets? (To be fair, it is usually promotional garbage trying to get us to buy something, or telling us we’re going to some version of hell if we don’t repent for our existence, etc.) Well, even despite my less-than-savory feelings about this method of interpersonal exchange, I was actually on the other side of it for the first time this week, volunteering my time to help spread awareness of an incredible right that we as Americans possess, but simply aren’t informed of: jury nullification of law. (more…)
Gov. Maggie Hassan has said she does not support a bill that would decriminalize possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana. This is becoming a source of consternation for Granite Staters of all ages and across the political spectrum, and it is especially confusing to younger voters who see our current marijuana penalties as senseless and archaic.
HB 618, which would reduce this penalty from a misdemeanor to a violation, passed the House in March. The vote was an overwhelming 297-67, with 96 percent of House Democrats and 72 percent of House Republicans voting in favor. Unfortunately, since Gov. Hassan has not taken a favorable position on the bill, it faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.
This bill would not make marijuana legal, as voters in four states and the District of Columbia have chosen to do. Instead, what we’re talking about here is a much more limited reform, one that would put New Hampshire’s marijuana penalties more nearly into line with the penalties found in other New England states. It would also be consistent with public opinion and with the New Hampshire Constitution, which advises that “all penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense.”
When I was running for the Republican nomination for governor in 2014, I came out strongly in favor of decriminalizing marijuana possession. I did so with the expectation that I would receive pushback from some in my party who had been supporting the War on Marijuana their entire lives. (more…)
When he first moved to New Hampshire, it was Keene that was Ridley’s destination. He’s since lived in multiple places across the Shire and is now back in the Keene area! Upon his return, Ridley’s first target for his trademark ambush interviews was the Keene school board meeting, after it was revealed by the Sentinel that an elementary librarian apparently assaulted a student. Dave wants answers and in this series of videos he corners multiple school bureaucrats and gets everything from people pretending he doesn’t exist to blow-offs to stonewalling to even more ridiculous, unaccountable behavior.
In the first video in the series, Dave is mostly ignored or blown off by various school board members and superintendent Wayne Wooldridge:
In the second video, Ridley catches up with Keene school district human resources director Tim Rohr, who refuses to give up any information. When Ridley asks Rohr if people should stop paying taxes since the school people won’t tell parents any details about the supposed punishment to the assaultive librarian, Rohr says:
“My guess is you’ll be motivated to pay your taxes if you try to stop.”
Rohr is referring to the fact that the government will threaten to steal your home if you decide you don’t want to support their awful school system anymore: (more…)
For those who have been following the saga of the Shire Free Church: Monadnock, here’s the latest, much of which was well-covered by the Keene Sentinel’s Martha Shanahan last week. After bringing on liberty attorney Brandon Ross for our tax appeal case last year, the church board decided to dismiss the 2014 case in favor of re-filing in 2015. We’ve since filed the 2015 tax exemption with our attorney’s oversight.
Given the state’s rejection of multiple liberty churches’ tax exemptions in 2014 (including the Peaceful Assembly Church – also represented by Ross), the board wanted to make sure we were putting our best foot forward, legally.
There has been a misconception that this is all about money; it’s about religious freedom. We don’t believe that the Shire Free Church, or any other church, should owe taxes. However we have nonetheless continued to give voluntary contributions to the City of Keene’s operations we support, like road maintenance and fire protection.
Shire Free Church: Monadnock is established to promote peace and other divine virtues, and to promote the study of religion in freedom and fellowship. We believe there are many paths to God, one for each individual. We believe God is the source of all creation; and divinity is expressed through compassion, empathy, forgiveness, freedom, generosity, honesty, humility, kindness, mercy, patience, and peace.
This is not about keeping money. If it were, we’d not be hiring an attorney. In fact, Shire Free Church: Monadnock’s board decided to go ahead and pay the full amount demanded by the city for 2014 in order to forestall any violent acts by the city agents and start our 2015 appeal without any liens on the property. The state religion is a dangerous, aggressive religion and we will use their system to protect your right to choose a religion of peace instead of believing in the violent, morally-corrupt state.