James Davis, a Free State Project early mover to Dover, was recently published in the Concord Monitor. His article is a lengthy response to an anti-liberty piece that recently appeared there.
In his epic response, James lays out the ideas of liberty and voluntarism and addresses common objections about health care, vice, property rights, and more. It’s an excellent piece and would be a good one to share with people who still believe in “the state”. Here it is:
A recent column posited that Libertarian Party ideals, while they look good on paper, erode freedom (Monitor Forum, May 28). As someone who supported Barack Obama in his first run for the presidency, and even attended his inauguration, I can understand these concerns. But as someone who has since come to self-identify as a libertarian, I think the author (and the Monitor’s readers) could use some clarification as to what the principles of liberty actually are.
The article started with and seemed to revolve around one question: “What exactly do libertarians mean by harm?” This is certainly the heart of the discussion. (more…)
Monadnock Regional Middle and High School
Last week, the principal of Monadnock Regional Middle/High School sent a letter to certain parents promoting Free Keene, and for that I thank them. However, the letter also told a big lie. The letter’s purpose was to stir up concern among parents that some people from Free Keene have been recording on campus, (here’s the video) and further claims falsely:
This is a violation of your child’s privacy and because it happened on school property, we want to make sure you are aware of this video.
This is a lie. It was not Derrick’s intention to record the students, and the principal’s letter does admit the students were filmed inadvertently. That said, even if it had been his intention to record the students, it would not have been a violation of their privacy, given they were all outdoors, on ostensibly public property. Beyond that, the school district has already informed parents their kids will be recorded, not just for their school security system, but for newspaper, radio, TV and web! Here’s the proof. According to the “student registration” form for the Monadnock Regional School District, which covers Monadnock Regional Middle/High School, parents agree to the following statement, in a lengthy four-page form (check the bottom of page 3 for this):
I agree to allow the student to be recorded or photographed for public use by newspaper, radio, TV and web
So, this is nothing more than a dishonest, fearmongering hit piece that is designed to make the school look like they are somehow protecting the students from us horrible bloggers by claiming they are consulting with law enforcement and have formulated plans to remove us from the premises next time. All the while, they are recording the students on their own security system on a daily basis, and have had all parents sign a waiver allowing any media to use their images!
Thanks to the parents who took the time to send in the letter and a registration form.
UPDATED 5:03pm – Actually linked the scan of the letter this time.
Robin Hood gets thrifty, for the people • Sign ordinance 101. Like getting punched in the d**k • Derrick J “unsuitable” to conceal carry • James goes on trial for recording the police • Messages from the folks • Rapsher, Shaunna, and James join • Show notes at: BlackSheepRising.org
The Keene Sentinel
The Keene Sentinel recently featured an anonymous editorial about the Colbert Report on Robin Hooding. I have heard the idea behind such unsigned editorials is that all the editors agree with the content. If that is the case, then this response is directed at all of them.
The most objectionable part is that the Sentinel’s editors continue to attribute some kind of ridiculous hive-mind to the bloggers at Free Keene:
To its credit, the group has received the segment with a sense of humor and, presumably, the outlook that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
The Sentinel’s editors do not know what each blogger at Free Keene thinks of the Colbert Report. I don’t even know. Neither I nor the Sentinel have polled this site’s dozen-plus bloggers to find out their thoughts. So, the statement the Sentinel’s anonymous editors make is inaccurate. An accurate statement would be to name specifically who at this website has received it with a sense of humor. I happen to be one of those who enjoyed the Colbert Report (nor was I surprised by it – we expected to be skewered), but my view is not necessarily shared among all the bloggers. Unlike the Sentinel, every post at Free Keene is attributed publicly to its author, so there’s no confusion.
The Sentinel’s anonymous editors may not appreciate the “absurdity” of the Robin Hooders‘ efforts to save people from parking tickets, but multiple employees of the paper have thanked the activists for saving them – so obviously the anonymous editors do not speak for 100% of the Sentinel staff.
Matthew “Boston Strong” Schmidt
Irregularly for weeks, Matthew “Boston Strong” Schmidt has driven by the intersection of Leverett and River streets in his Amari Plumbing work truck and personal vehicles, laying on his horn and screaming “Get a job!” at the top of his lungs. Rich Paul, who lives in one of the homes at the intersection, decided to go down and confront Boston yesterday after he again drove by honking angrily.
To be clear, Boston has been engaging in this un-neighborly behavior long before his wife Jennifer Schmidt was recently issued a temporary stalking order for allegedly threatening to kill a 10-year-old boy with a knife. WMUR covered that story after it broke here on Free Keene, but WMUR did not mention any names in the case. WMUR also said that Jennifer Schmidt would not talk to the media until they speak to their attorney. In the video of Rich’s confrontation taken by activist David Crawford, Matthew broke the family’s silence in the case, alleging the boy in question was a bully, presumably towards their daughter.
When informed multiple times that his honking had disturbed children from their slumber, Boston was unapologetic. In fact, he further promises to, “make their lives a living nightmare.”
Despite seeming to have some grievance against what he calls the “shithole” on the corner, the Shire Free Church-owned LRN.FM studio and Keene Activist Center, Boston seems to think that all the neighbors who aren’t liberty activists really appreciate his loud honking and screaming. At one point he even claims, “Everybody loves what I’m doing. They love it.”
This delusion is typical of the local hater – because the people who they are close to appear to agree with them, they believe that “everybody” agrees with them. The reality is that people have different opinions. Some people in Keene dislike some things activists do, but like others. Some people like some activists but dislike others. Some love what we do. Some hate what we do. Anyone who’s not in an echo chamber of hate would understand that. Of course if any of his friends or acquaintances actually disagree with him, they probably keep their mouths shut for fear of his wrath.
Regardless, Boston continues on his self-proclaimed campaign of “aggravating the shit out of people”, despite the fact that his antics seem to provide entertainment for people more so than anything else. Here’s video of the confrontation from last night:
I look forward to participating in what will be the second annual Keenevention this weekend. The forum taking place at the Best Western Plus Sovereign Hotel on Winchester Street will feature panels and speeches by New Hampshire’s activist community. In addition to a panel focusing on Direct Action that I will be hosting on Sunday, I was also asked to speak on Saturday’s media panel by organizer Mark Edge. When I agreed, I was not informed who else would be on the panel, though I expected that organizers would only select participants of honorable reputation when showcasing the most effective activists that New Hampshire offers.
While there is certainly a need for diversity of perspective within the activist community, there are standards that a reasonable person would expect individuals would hold each other to if we wish to make any sort of collective impact. As a peace activist, anyone who directly advocated or applauds the use of violence can be objectively classified as having beliefs counter to my own. For myself, I am wasting my most valuable asset, my time, if I support those working against my interests, those who are promoting ideas that are the opposite of my own.
It was once consensus within the libertarian and anarchist community of greater Keene that embracing peace was equally imperative to embracing ideas of social liberty. For whatever reason over the past year or so, that sentiment has changed as some formerly positive spirits have darkened amidst of heightened wave of reactionary opposition. (more…)