Sentinel Publishes My Reply to Pam Martens’ Hit Piece

Here’s the original confused, fear-ridden letter from Pam and my reply as published in today’s Keene Sentinel:

I see that Pam Martens has brought her misinformation to the pages of your fine newspaper and felt inspired to respond, as one of the much-maligned “free staters.”

Pam wrote:

“A majority of Free Staters currently in New Hampshire have indicated they want to replace public education with home schooling and private schools; they want to end all government regulation of businesses, from licensing manicurists, to getting drivers licenses, to elimination of planning and zoning boards. They don’t believe government should be able to mandate taxation to pay for schools, roads, Social Security or any social welfare programs like nursing homes.”

First, I highly doubt Pam has spoken with a majority of free staters, as there are more than 800 of them here in New Hampshire. Of course, the New Hampshire liberty movement is much larger than that. So-called “free staters” are merely the backup for the already existing liberty lovers here, many of whom are natives, unlike Pam.

What she doesn’t understand is that most liberty-oriented people I know are in favor of many of the things she talks about, minus the coercion. I’m fine with schools, roads and helping the poor. In fact, I contributed a significant amount to the United Way during last year’s funding drive, because I believe in charity.

However, government is not charity. It is force. I cannot support using the evil means of aggression to achieve good ends of helping people in need. We can help people in need without aggressing against our neighbors.

I support education, but not an education system funded by the threat of stealing peoples’ homes, which is how the government system is funded.

Who doesn’t support having roads? The idea that we can’t have roads without stealing from people is pretty absurd.

As far as regulation is concerned, I support responsible business, but I don’t believe the government is the organization to keep an eye on them, as I don’t support violent monopolies. It would make far more sense to have competing private certification companies and other market watchdogs, like local media and consumer groups rather than the one-size-fits-all government monopoly regulator/licensing bureaucracy.

Neighborhood associations are consensual ways to influence what your neighbor does with his property.

Planning and zoning departments of government are again, just more monopolization and violence. Houston proves there is no need for zoning. It’s one of the largest cities in America, and is unzoned.

Pam and others with a penchant for controlling people’s property should just move into deed restricted areas. Then they can argue over which paint color is appropriate. The rest of us who just want to be left alone should not be forced to have to deal with people with control issues.

The only part Pam got right is that free staters don’t tend to like taxation much. That’s because taxation is theft.

I don’t know who Russ Kotifla is. She claims he wants to stifle debate, but I and the other liberty-minded people in this area are more than happy to discuss these issues.

In fact, I have invited both Pam and her husband, Russ, onto my nationally syndicated radio program to have that discussion, and she hasn’t even bothered to return my call or e-mail.

I even invited her into the studio so she needn’t fear being hung up on.

It must be difficult to logically defend a system of institutionalized violence. No wonder she resorts to blasting out misinformation about those of us who support liberty.

39 Central Square, No. 313
Edited for length

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