Varrin’s Letter to the Editor About Central Square

Varrin Swearingen is the president of the Free State Project, and lives in Keene. Here’s his letter to the editor that appeared in the Keene Sentinel about the Central Square controversy. These are his opinions as Varrin the individual, as he is not speaking for the FSP:

Some people feel the topless, smoking and drinking demonstrations in Keene’s Central Square have gotten out of hand. Others feel the government and its police are wrong for making and enforcing unjust behavior codes.

So far, this debate has centered mostly around what behavior is acceptable.

Ironically, what some would call immoral behavior simultaneously illuminates and distracts us from the true moral problem. There are two facets of this previously-hidden moral problem I’ll highlight.

First, it is not just for anyone, including government, to coerce support of property from people who don’t agree with the terms.

Second, the government’s right to enforce behavioral standards is justly limited to protecting people and their property from external harm and trespass.

So-called public property, such as Central Square, fails to be moral on both counts: it’s coercively funded, and “the public” cannot, by definition, be external.

In this case, there is a simple solution to both moral failures: privatize Central Square.

What might such a solution look like? Here’s an idea that would retain most of the popular features we would like to enjoy.

The city could deed Central Square to the “Central Square Trust” subject to conditions. Funding could be removed from the current city budget.

The existing mandatory tax associated with that funding could be replaced by an optional property tax to be forwarded directly to the Central Square Trust for maintenance of the property. The Central Square Trust could then contract some or all of its management, including behavioral policy enforcement, back to the city to make it easy. This would keep things more or less status-quo, with a couple of important exceptions.

First, paying for Central Square would become truly voluntary on the part of both parties. Disenfranchised taxpayers could legally stop paying for Central Square, and the Central Square Trust could refuse revenue from uncooperative residents.

Second, as a result of initiating private property rights, “the management” could morally evict people from Central Square for any reason and legitimately enforce eviction using existing trespassing laws.

It could then choose to evict in cases that would be legally and/or morally controversial on public land.

With this kind of setup, users would simply be guests who use the property, not out of right, but out of invitation. Central Square’s revenue would directly depend on satisfying the taxpayers’ actual desires, lest they stop paying.

It could do that systematically without the same limitations burdening public property. To tidy up the transaction, the Central Square Trust could post signs explaining that Central Square is private property, it’s free for use use by all according to its policies, and violators are trespassing.

Instead of arrests for breasts, violators would simply be trespassing — a concept I believe the current batch of demonstrators actually respects.

I’d be happy to participate in such a plan and I bet most others would, too.

We could voluntarily restore a respectful, family-friendly Central Square and morally ask those who won’t cooperate to leave.

When asked, the current batch of controversial demonstrators would likely leave without a fuss and Central Square would be, for the first time ever, truly and rightly “ours.”

VARRIN SWEARINGEN

2 Starlight Drive

Keene

Now you can subscribe to Free Keene via email!

Don't miss a single post!


51 Comments

  1. Well done Varrin…

    He is about the best we could hope for to represent the interests of both extremes of the NH freedom movement.

  2. Good solution!

    And I agree with Graffiti. I have been continually impressed with Varrin.

  3. Wow, very well done.

    He takes the actions which the FK movement supports and unravels it in a manner that people can understand.

    The real problem here is "public property."

  4. I agree with Varrin, but only under the terms that "the city could deed Central Square to the “Central Square Trust” subject to" MY conditions.

    Of course the control freaks that violently threaten other people for money as a career will deed Central Square to themselves, under their own conditions and then claim that it's okay to do what ever they want to people that step in Central Square, because it belongs to them.

    Nothing will change, just the semantics.

  5. I think most people who have a problem with breasts and drugs and beer routinely fail to back that up with their own funds and/or work. People who fight for their own freedoms are willing to work and fund their passions. People who fight to squelch freedoms tend to want to rely on the government to do the squelching. If this proposal ever did come to pass, the true freedom fighters would likely be the ones who make the rules.

  6. The letter doesn't state what the article intro here says, but the intro here is correct: in this letter, I speak on my own behalf, not on behalf of the Free State Project. Thank you for clarifying that here (whoever did that). The FSP doesn't take positions on solutions such as I suggest above.

    As we can see already, not everyone likes it 😉 And yes, I would expect "them" to deed it to themselves. Ultimately, though, the market would determine ownership and support. I have no idea how that would turn out, but this idea would enable everyone, individually, to fund and participate in what they like, and defund and not-participate in what they don't like. That's a huge step forward from where we are, and would be a dramatic improvement from the direction we're headed if the front page of today's Sentinel is any indication of things to come…

    V-

  7. IF Varrin is REALLY "about the best we could hope for to represent the interests of both extremes of the NH freedom movement", THEN, no wonder you people are so screwed up. Not a whole lotta hope that I can see…What you idiots keep calling "Central Square", is ACTUALLY(drum roll, please…)THE COMMONS. You know, as in "Tragedy of the COMMONS". You people ever heard of "Tragedy of the Commons"…As for that thoughtless "both extremes" line, it's only more evidence that you are ALL still stuck in BI-POLAR, anarchaic, (NOTE: ANARCHAIC, not "anarchic"…), left-brain/right-brain thought mode. Try some SPACIAL(NOTE: not "spatial"…)THOUGHT MODES…If your goal is to see how much hell you can raise, how much you can provoke the cops, how many of you can get yourselves arrested, how much truly local supporters you can alienate, then I'd say you're doing great. But if you really are the freedom lovers you claim to be, if you really want the change you claim you want, if you want to keep what little local support you've got left, you need to get a bag'o headies and chill for a few, while you think seriously about whatever passes for strategy&tactics in your little minds. So far, Meola has done a pretty good job running the Cowboys. Zeller's hands-off tactics are still valid. Our new beat-walkers have acquited themselves well. But if you people wanna keep playing drunkenbimbobullhorngames, well, just because Meola thinks he's 10 feet tall & bulletproof, doesn't mean he's not 5'6", and STILL BULLETPROOF. KPD has been real good to you so far. Doesn't mean things can't get ugly if you insist on punching through the envelope you should only be pushing against…That's how I see things…BTW, why don't you all take a class in making effective protest signs? That would be a good class for the imminent schoolseason…PEACE OUT!

  8. "and yes, I would expect “them” to deed it to themselves."

    Haven't they already deeded the square to themselves? That's the current problem.

    "Ultimately, though, the market would determine ownership and support. I have no idea how that would turn out"

    You'll have to continue kidnapping people for "trespassing" on public property, because no one can legitimately claim ownership of something that now belongs to everyone. Unless you paid everyone for the privileged without coercion, but I don't think everyone will sell.

    I like your idea of a private park, but it can't be done with public land.

    BTW: Brad, The real problem here is control freaks trying to tell peaceful people what they can and cannot do on “public property.” 🙂

    Public property isn't a problem, no one is harmed by "public property". (It's only a problem for people who want to control.)

  9. I'd be happy if they just gave people the option to choose to fund it, or not — and let the people who choose to fund it vote on the rules.

    Although more difficult, another solution would be to auction the park, give the proceeds to the taxpayers, and then let the owner(s) set the rules. Hopefully a community park foundation of some sort would buy it.

    because no one can legitimately claim ownership of something that now belongs to everyone. Unless you paid everyone for the privileged without coercion, but I don’t think everyone will sell.

    You don't own the park. You're just owed restitution for the money that has been taken from you to fund the park.

    Frankly, though, I'd hope that if taxation were made voluntary on this issue, and the park were made the private property of the organization of people who choose to fund it, we could mark it up as a victory and move on. We need to look to the future, not endlessly squabble over land ownership.

    Privatizing, and voluntarizing government organizations is the goal, to allow free choice and competition. I think if we want to move forward to something better, at some point we need to give up on the notion of righting every past wrong. It won't happen, it's not possible frankly, and if we require it, it will greatly impede progress.

    Public property isn’t a problem, no one is harmed by “public property”.

    Yes, it is a problem, because it's inherently difficult, if not impossible, for diverse people with diverse preferences to all enjoy or control a particular property as if they own it. We should try to be considerate of each other's needs, but ultimately there's a reason it's called the "tragedy" of the commons. It's a non-ideal situation, to put it mildly.

    Just as your "ownership" if the park implies you have a right to go topless, your neighbors "ownership" of the park implies he has a right to stop you. You want it to go one way, but the street goes both ways. Everyone cannot own a particular property, it's self contradictory. You can have partners, with previously agreed upon rules for property management, but that's quite different.

  10. The only solution is to put the property up for sale, and let whoever buys it do whatever they want with it.

  11. The only solution is to put the property up for sale, and let whoever buys it do whatever they want with it.

    Yeah, auction with the money going to taxpayers. That's the ideal solution I'd choose — but first I'd try to organize a community group to sell shares/take donations and bid for the property, to keep it as a park.

    Of course, ideal may not be possible … voluntarizing funding for maintenance, with rules decided by majority vote of those who donate, and deeding the property to that organization, would satisfy me.

  12. "Just as your “ownership” if the park implies you have a right to go topless, your neighbors “ownership” of the park implies he has a right to stop you"

    Swing and a miss.

    I have a right to go topless, just like my neighbor has the right to keep his shirt on.

    I don't have the right to take the shirt off my neighbor, he has no right to force me to keep my shirt on.

    What makes you think someone has the right to stop someone from doing something peaceful on public property?

  13. If this happens, call it a win, and move on to another park, I say. Eventually funding for maintenance of all parks would be voluntary! Major win!

  14. Swing and a miss.

    I have a right to go topless, just like my neighbor has the right to keep his shirt on.

    I don’t have the right to take the shirt off my neighbor, he has no right for force me to keep my shirt on.

    What makes you think someone has the right to stop someone from doing something peaceful on public property?

    I don't think they do. That fact proves that the "someone" doesn't really own the property. If they did own the property, they could prohibit whatever behavior they liked on it, including shirtlessness.

    My point is that "public property" is inherently a contradiction, and is indeed a problem. You don't own the park, and neither does the "someone". Nobody really owns the park.

  15. "If they did own the property, they could prohibit whatever behavior they liked on it"

    Oh I get it you are a prohibitionist. You wish to prohibit people from doing things that you don't like. I think I see where you are coming from now.

    We will just have to agree to disagree. I don't believe in prohibition-ism.

    "My point is that “public property” is inherently a contradiction, and is indeed a problem. You don’t own the park, and neither does the “someone”. Nobody really owns the park."

    Okay, so no one person really "owns" the park (because everyone owns it), Nothing can be prohibited there.

    How is that a problem? Because you don't get to tell peaceful people what they can and cannot do on it?

    It sounds like your controlling nature is the problem. You want to control what people do on the property and have no way of stopping them. It's your problem, not my problem or the properties problem.

    You can't sell public property (like Brodie wanted) to someone else and make it private property, because like you said no one owns it and you can't sell something you don't own. (your belief)

    If everyone owns public property (my belief) you can't sell something that belongs to someone else.

    You'd probably be happy in a private gated community, where you don't have to see free people on public property. You can prohibit anything and everything you want there.

  16. You can't sell public property (like Brodie wanted) to someone else and make it private property, because like you said no one owns it and you can't sell something you don't own. (your belief)

    Sure you can.

    Well not YOU. The people who call themselves the Keene City Council probably can… but won't.

  17. Brad,

    It's easy for people who claim to be the city of Keene to sell other people's property when they threaten anyone who doesn't let them with a cage or death.

    If you believe that you can buy other people's property from them I have a bridge to sell you!

  18. Oh I get it you are a prohibitionist. You wish to prohibit people from doing things that you don’t like. I think I see where you are coming from now.

    We will just have to agree to disagree. I don’t believe in prohibition-ism.

    Whaa? No, I just believe in property rights. Listen to what I'm saying, please, and stop the knee-jerk-ism. To own property means to can set rules for its use. Logically, if you owned the park, you'd be able to require everyone to go shirtless if you wanted, and if the "someone" owned the park, they'd be able to prohibit it.

    Okay, so no one person really “owns” the park (because everyone owns it), Nothing can be prohibited there.

    Nobody owns it. That's the point. You cannot tell somebody they own property, but they have no ability to control the use of it. Ownership of property IMPLIES the ability to control its use.

    How is that a problem? Because you don’t get to tell peaceful people what they can and cannot do on it?

    More thinking please, and less canned rhetoric. To say something is "publicly" owned is to say it's unowned. In the case of the park, what we have is a situation where a bunch of people have been forced to pay for the development and upkeep of what is, in effect, unowned land. Ideally, then, the land would be sold, and the proceeds used to compensate those who have been forced to fund its development.

    I'd at least appreciate the cessation of forced funding, in the future.

    It sounds like your controlling nature is the problem. You want to control what people do on the property and have no way of stopping them. It’s your problem, not my problem or the properties problem.

    Holy ad-hominem batman. If you buy the land, I support your right to do whatever you please on it, as long as you don't pollute your neighbors' land, or harm others.

    I am saying that the land was likely acquired, and certainly maintained, by the government, by force. It should be taken from them, and sold at auction, with the proceeds used to make good on the debts.

    To be clear, you're asserting support for the notion of "public" property, and have no desire to privatize "government" land? You don't see the falacy in the notion of "public" ownership, nor do you recognize the tragedy of the commons?

    Real, private ownership is essential to liberty. I'd have thought you'd recognize that, frankly.

    You can’t sell public property (like Brodie wanted) to someone else and make it private property, because like you said no one owns it and you can’t sell something you don’t own. (your belief)

    Those who have been forced to pay for the development and upkeep of the land have a claim on it — although they can't practically be said to own it, for the reasons described. In such a situation, the reasonable solution is to sell the property at auction, and divide the proceeds among the damaged parties.

    If everyone owns public property (my belief) you can’t sell something that belongs to someone else.

    To assert that someone "owns" something, but has no right to restrict its use, is absurd.

    You’d probably be happy in a private gated community, where you don’t have to see free people on public property. You can prohibit anything and everything you want there.

    Given most of the gated communities I've seen, I'd probably prefer not to — I'd rather tolerate the occasional inconveniences of bad neighbors, than to tolerate the exacting control of an ownership association.

    That's really irrelevant to this point however. I'm not asserting a desire to control other people's property. I'm asserting that property must be owned, and "public" parks are not. It may be convenient to you enjoy property acquired and funded by extortion from others, rather than to actually buy your own, but I'm afraid that doesn't make the current situation legitimate, or acceptable.

    Naturally, this park would have been homesteaded a long time ago (perhaps by a homeowner, perhaps by a park developer), and would be long since owned, if it were not for the distortions and force of government.

  19. Who runs the "Varrin Swearingen Memorial Central Square Trust"?
    Answer: A group of trustees.
    And why are they any more accountable than a democratic body, like the city politicos? Answer: They aren't.

    Let's hope that by fall, Ian shows up at the square with the cover of his codpiece loosened in such a way, to tastefully reveal a new level of freedom!

    Live and let peaceful people live!

  20. Who runs the “Varrin Swearingen Memorial Central Square Trust”?
    Answer: A group of trustees.
    And why are they anymore accountable than a democratic body, like the city politicos? Answer: They aren’t.

    Well, the politicos fund the park by forcing people to give them money, whereas the VSMCST (lol), would run on donations, or subscriptions. That's a big difference.

    Let’s hope that by fall, Ian shows up at the square with the cover of his codpiece, loosened in such a way, to tastefully reveal a new level of freedom!

    Oh gawd :rollseyes:

    You know, just because a behavior shouldn't be met with violence, doesn't mean its advisable, acceptable, or appropriate.

    We talk about ostracism as a great way to discourage those kinds of poor behavior which do not rise to a level which would justify a violent response, in a free society. This sounds like a good way to get a major dose of it — from me as well.

    The idea is to show people that liberty is a better way, and that life without a powerful central government is NOT scary, remember? If you were a statist provocateur, intent on scaring people into believing they need government, you could hardly do better.

  21. "Those who have been forced to pay for the development and upkeep of the land have a claim on it…"

    I agree, People who have been forced to pay for the upkeep and development of the land have a claim on it.

    You can decide to sell YOUR claim to someone else.

    You cannot force other people to sell their claim to their property.

    Everyone who has been forced to pay for the land has a claim to it.

    It might be more profitable for you to sell the property, but you need to convince everyone that has a claim on the property to sell it with you. I don't think that will ever happen.

    If you want to prohibit someone from doing something in the park, you might offer them something they want in an exchange for a contract prohibiting the behavior that you don't like.

    "may be convenient to you enjoy property acquired and funded by extortion from others"

    We've already agreed that I own a claim to property that I was force to pay for. Your attempts to convince me to sell the claim to my rights on the property are weak.

  22. You own a claim/lein, you don't own the property.

    If a man who owes me $10, dies and wills his house to his son, the son can either pay me $10, or sell the house and give me $10 of the proceeds.

    I don't have a right to say, "Nope, I will not sell my $10 share, and so I demand the right to use the house whenever I choose, forever!"

    In general, when multiple people with no prior contract/arrangement as partners, come to have a lien/claim on a particular property, if no other amicable arrangement can be reached, the property should be sold, and the claimants compensated. One can't justifiably claim the right to use the entire property in perpetuity, because of a small debt.

    Again, you are owed the taxes you were forced to put into the park. If you receive that back, you loose any right to use the park which you may have had.

  23. Also, if the property is sold and the proceeds split proportionately to the claimants, even if the debt is not fully paid, you lose the right to use the property. The "estate" so to say, has been liquidated, and you've gotten what you can. You may, of course, still have a claim on other properties held by the person indebted to you.

    So, in this case, if the park is sold, and the proceeds split, I'm sure it'd not make up for all past taxes you are owed, so you'd still have a claim on all other government properties.

    Personally, I'm willing to dispense with any claim on monies received from the sale of the park, so long as its deeded to a private park organization, and no further tax money goes to support it.

  24. If you want to sell your claim to use the park I won't stop you.

    If want to continue using the park like I have been, instead of selling it. I will.

    I don't care if you don't like it. It's my share you don't get to decide what I do with it.

    How much is each share worth? I might buy your share from you, to get you to stop crying about how you want to sell my share of the park for money. You'll never be allowed to step foot in the park, if I buy your share.

    That way we both get something we want.

    How much do you want to sell my share of the park for?

  25. You clearly didn't read anything I said.

    Here:

    You own a claim/lein, you don’t own the property.

    If a man who owes me $10, dies and wills his house to his son, the son can either pay me $10, or sell the house and give me $10 of the proceeds.

    I don’t have a right to say, “Nope, I will not sell my $10 share, and so I demand the right to use the house whenever I choose, forever!”

    If I'm repaid what I'm owed (in this case $10), or offered it, or if the property is auctioned and the proceeds split to the creditors, I loose any lein/claim I had on the property.

    For me to show up and start using the house after this point would be trespass.

    How much do you want to sell my share of the park for?

    You don't own a share of the park. You have a lein on the park. It should be auctioned (value determined my market), and the proceeds should be used to repay the claimants, including yourself.

    I know it may be disappointing that you don't get to demand to use a multimillion dollar property in perpetuity because you had a few bucks stolen from you, but you're actually only owed the few bucks.

  26. The Varrin Swearingen Memorial Central Square Trust will cost $10K in legal bills. Why bother with this nonsense? It's only topped by the "Shire Society" club foolishness.

    Ignore all silly park laws that come under threat of violence. It's an individuals right.

    If the ministers of the state are coming after you, hightail it to the White Church and claim sanctuary.

    Late at night boil lead and oil in giant caldrons. Flood the statists, then seek shelter in the bell tower.

    Rinse and repeat.

  27. The Varrin Swearingen Memorial Central Square Trust will cost $10K in legal bills. Why bother with this nonsense?

    I'd like to stop having my money extorted from me, against my will, to pay for a park over which I have no control, thanks very much.

    Repayment of back taxes would be great, but personally, at least cessation of further theft might very well satisfy me, depending on the circumstances.

    Ignore all silly park laws that come under threat of violence. It’s an individuals right.

    If the rules/laws were created by the person who owns the park, you'd be wrong. This is only true because we're in the unfortunate circumstance of having "public" unowned property.

    Apparently some folks just love the tragedy of the commons, and so would like as much "public" property as possible, or at least would like to keep what there is. Rather easier than actually working to buy your own property, I suppose.

  28. I ignored the strawman about the house, the park isn't a house. You don't own the house with me. You own, under unfortunate circumstance public property with 1000s of other people.

    I understand that I will never fully be repaid what I am owed by the people in the government who are stealing from me.

    I also understand that you want control of the park and that is why you to want to try to force me to sell my share of the park. You want to sell it to someone that agrees to use the park the way that you want and prohibit me from using the park in the way that I want.

    I offered to buy your share of the park, but you *refused* payment. — it's not about what is owed to you –it's about CONTROL. Everyone can see that.

    You will never be repaid by the government, the only way they can repay what has been stolen from people is through more violent mandatory taxation.

  29. I ignored the strawman about the house, the park isn’t a house.

    Why does that matter?

    You don’t own the house with me. You own, under unfortunate circumstance public property with 1000s of other people.

    The principle is the same. You're owed a percentage of the proceeds of the auctioned property.

    And again, you don't own it, you have a lien on it.

    I also understand that you want control of the park and that is why you to want to try to force me to sell my share of the park. You want to sell it to someone that agrees to use the park the way that you want and prohibit me from using the park in the way that I want.

    No, if those who share your preferences scraped together the money to make the high bid on the park, that's be fine with me. It'd be a market indication that that's the arrangement of the park that benefits the most people. Actually, your preferences are probably not *that* different from mine. I'd allow pot and beer, if I owned the park, so long as they were used considerately …

    If your management style for the park proved intolerable to me, I'd use a different park.

    I offered to buy your share of the park, but you *refused* payment. —

    I missed that — you're seriously willing to refund all of my taxes? How about those of everyone else in Keene?

    Reconsidering, I do think there's more to it than you just getting your money back that went to the park. It's an unusual situation, in that unowned properties are usually on the outskirts of civilization, and can be reasonably homesteaded. This is somewhat academic, but I do think the right way to handle these sorts of cases is still an auction, with any proceeds beyond tax rebates (which there won't be), going to local residents who would have had an interest in using the property.

    Mainly, I want the property returned to the market. I think the market will most effectively allocate the use of the park. I'd happily contribute to an organization to fund the park, in order to be able to use it.

    it’s not about what is owed to you –it’s about CONTROL. Everyone can see that.

    It's really not. I just want the property to be owned, rather than to perpetuate the tragedy of the commons. I also want ownership to occur in a way that reflects the market. If the market doesn't agree with my preferences, that's tough crackers for me. I'm fine with that.

    There's demand for all sorts of businesses which I wouldn't personally frequent.

    You will never be repaid by the government, the only way they can repay what has been stolen from people is through more violent mandatory taxation.

    That's not true. If a thief uses stolen money to purchase and maintain property, that property should be sold, and the proceeds given back to his victims.

    To be frank, I think you're trying to get a freebie out of this. You have particularly loose personal preferences for the use of the park, so you like the current "public"/unowned circumstance. You'd rather get to use the thief's stolen stuff, than have to sell it and get your share. But — everyone else has a right to recover what they've lost as well.

    This property does need to be allocated by the market. The fact that you might personally benefit from the perpetuation of the effects of past socialistic government practices, does not mean that those practices should not be reversed.

  30. I think the City Of Keene owns the property.

    As for a lien, that sounds like quite a challenge. The efficacy of a lien or judgement relies not only on the solvency of the City, but on the justice of our legal system. Even if such a move were just, I imagine legally recording such a thing to be 100 times more difficult than selling a park (the State is proposing selling parks as we speak, though for different reasons). If it somehow did happen, trying to get money out of an insolvent entity funded by our neighbors at gunpoint sounds like a bad idea to me.

    V-

  31. As for a lien, that sounds like quite a challenge. The efficacy of a lien or judgement relies not only on the solvency of the City, but on the justice of our legal system. Even if such a move were just, I imagine legally recording such a thing to be 100 times more difficult than selling a park (the State is proposing selling parks as we speak, though for different reasons). If it somehow did happen, trying to get money out of an insolvent entity funded by our neighbors at gunpoint sounds like a bad idea to me.

    Yeah .. I was just trying to describe what actual, ideal justice might mean.

    Practically, I think ceasing forced funding for the park, and deeding the property to a voluntary community organization would be a major success. If that occurred, I'd be happy to let any other issues go.

    I'd say in that situation, activists should declare success, and move on to some other park or government agency. Seriously — privatizing all the parks would be a huge accomplishment! Hopefully they wouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good …

    Sometimes I think some folks are more interested in violating popular social mores than reducing government … more interested in libertine-ism than libertarianism. I hope I'm wrong.

  32. "You’re owed a percentage of the proceeds of the auctioned property."

    Wrong. You don't get to decide how I use my share of the park. You can't auction it off.

    If one of us decides how I am going to use my share. It will be me.

    If you feel like my share of the property needs to be sold. I don't. You refused payment for your share, when I offered to pay you. — You don't care about what is owed to you. You only care about what I do with my share. You still want to control what everyone else does with the park. You are just as bad as the city of Keene.

    If you feel like the park must become private property, then convince everyone to give their share of property to me. (I don't think you will be able to.) Because I am not selling or auctioning my share to your cronies.

  33. Dude, you don't own the park!! Not even a piece of it! You keep asserting that you do, but it's just not true.

    Suppose a thief stole $1 from each of 1 million people, including yourself, and used the money to buy a mansion (or beach, or park, or whatever). Are you seriously going to assert that you can simply refuse to have the stolen money repaid to you, and so have the right to unlimited use of the mansion forever? It's absurd.

    You want this "public property" notion to make sense, but it doesn't. It's b.s.

    Heck, if you want land instead, you could be deeded 1/20,000 of central square — that's about 1ft square, which you would own exclusively.

    You refused payment for your share, when I offered to pay you.

    I want the park on the market. If you'll put it on the market, I don't even need repayment. I mainly want the right to gain access to the park, and influence its use, through legitimate market means, and I want you, and others, to have that right as well.

    You know the market likely won't support all of your chosen uses, so you've decided to use the government as a tool to be able to avoid having to actually allow the market to work. It's really disappointing, for a liberty lover. You actually don't want to undo what government has done, and restore the land to the private market, because the socialization of the land, by government, benefits your personal agenda/preferences.

  34. The Keene commons as private property would be much more valuable if it was converted from a park to a higher use.

    The highest bidder should be allowed to put the property to its best use. Seems like Varrin wants to have a form of crony capitalism. Fairness requires sealed bids from all comers, so that a cement plant, a pig farmer, or a horse renderer could have the opportunity to create wealth on his/her property.

    I would make a fine offer, so I could fence it off and raise pigs and chickens. I would build a tannery annexed to the gazebo, to fully realize the ROI I deserve. I think that this would be an attractive addition, especially when viewed between the barbed wire, no trespassing, and danger high voltage signs, necessary to protect my valuable private property.

    When is the auction going to be? Keep me posted and I'll reward you with a golden lifetime shortcut pass. Thanks.

  35. "I want the right to gain access to the park, and influence its use, through legitimate market means, and I want you to have that same right."

    Ah yes. You want control and you can't get it without coercion. People have to sell their share for you to get your way.

    If you want to influence it's use through legitimate means and you plan to sell it, you have to get the consent of everyone that owns a claim to sell. I don't give that to you.

    You can sell my share after I've been repaid every last cent that I've paid to the government through taxes and other fees, because I will have been repaid, like you said and won't have a claim any more.

    I'll require gold or silver as payment, because it's constitution requires all debts to be repaid by gold or silver when it stole my money through taxation. You can use 2010 gold and silver coins from the US mint, the face value of the coin. I'll take %50 of it in 20 dollar gold coins and %50 of it in silver dollars.

    After I've been repaid by you and your cronies, you can sell the park to me.

    If you don't agree, you won't be able to sell my share legitimately, it looks like it's going to remain common property and anyone can do anything they want as long as they aren't hurting anyone else on it.

  36. The highest bidder should be allowed to put the property to its best use.

    Ultimately, you're right, although I'd hope liberty lovers would be happy to see the park privately deeded to a community organization and funded by donation, because that'd be a heck of a lot easier to pull off.

    I'm far more interested in moving to a voluntary society, and letting things self-correct from there, rather than righting every past wrong …

    You can sell my share after I’ve been repaid every last cent that I’ve paid to the government through taxes and other fees,

    You're entitled to your percentage of the sale value of the park.

    If a man owes ten different people a million each, and his property sells for 1M, each creditor will receive 100K from the sale, and the property is now owned by whoever won the auction.

    I’ll require gold or silver as payment, because it’s constitution requires all debts to be repaid by gold or silver when it stole my money through taxation. You can use 2010 gold and silver coins from the US mint, the face value of the coin. I’ll take %50 of it in 20 dollar gold coins and %50 of it in silver dollars.

    Yes, how very rational. FRNs were taken from you, so you should be repaid in gold bullion, at face value.

    :rollseyes:

  37. Paul said: "I want the park on the market. If you’ll put it on the market, I don’t even need repayment. I mainly want the right to gain access to the park, and influence its use, through legitimate market means, and I want you, and others, to have that right as well."

    Looks like at least one, somewhat half-hearted bidder. Hey Paul, how about partnering on a pig farm. You can be in charge of the tannery. 50-50!

    BTW, do you know much about wiring high voltage?

  38. Sorry to hog the thread, but I've reconsidered the pig farm idea. Additionally, although theoretically intriguing, statist society is not yet ready for the VSMCST.

    As a next step in peaceful evolution, if he'll agree, let's go with Ian in a loose fitting codpiece. Friday could be "Free Cock Live" day at the square.

    Problem solved. What's next on the liberty agenda?

  39. "I’m far more interested in moving to a voluntary society,"

    You're far more interested in forcing people to sell what they own, there is nothing voluntary about the society that you want.

    You think you're the boss and the park has to be auction off to the "highest bidder", even against the wishes of people who own a claim to the park. The highest bidder could be the KKK or the Chinese military, but as long as they have the most money, you feel like they have a right to buy the park.

    "You’re entitled to your percentage of the sale value of the park."

    You were never entitled to sell my percentage. I'll let the people who bought your share of the park know that you didn't sell them my share.

    If you made them think that they had purchased it, I'll tell them to get their money back from you, because you are not entitled to sell something that does not belong to you.

  40. BIGSCROTUM.THINKLIBETY.PAUL= a cluster-fucked daisy-chain of over-educated mutual.mental.masturbation. What an obnoxious, boring, bullshit series of time-wasting posts. IT's NOT A FUCKING *park* BECAUSE IT IS THE COMMON & *i* OWN IT BECAUSE I WAS BORN HERE IN KEENE! SO FUCK ALL OF YOU AND JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP. Yo, Ian, I request that you just close out this discussion. Nobody knows what the fuck we're talking about here. Besides an excellent life-lesson as to what the Tragedy of the Commons is…ME? I just like hanging out there once in a while. I've been doing that most of my life so far. Just like more 1,000's of people than I, or any of you, know. For well over 200 years now, Keene's COMMON has been used by almost every known type of person, for almost every known type of human activity. Yes, I even know a couple who conceived their second child in a sleeping bag in a light Spring rain, while hiding under some bushes. There are many, many, many local people, City Employees, regular citizens, &etc., who all "take care" of the Commons. While at once being an exellent example of "The Tragedy of the Commons", I argue that it is also even more an example of THE TRIUMPH OF THE COMMONS. Hey, There's my new, copyrighted book title. "THE TRIUMPH OF THE COMMONS"……ahhhhhhh…….Hmmm…"Common Triumphs"…hmmm…

  41. WOW-Keenenative-you beat me too it!. There are many volunteers that contribute to the upkeep of the common.Same with the park on West Street.What would we do if someone decided to donate 20 acres to the general population,who would own it? Who would be allowed on or kept off?As for the disputed Common in Keene,look up the history,I already posted it here.It predates the US of A.So it was stolen from the King,who stole it from the indians.What about the roads that were not taken by eminent domain,but were laid out by the original settlers,for the good of all? This land didn't come from anyones parcel,the parcels were arranged along the road.When an old road is thrown up,it is split between the bordering landowners.If one person owns both sides,they get the old road.

    It is fun to go through the fine details of what if,but when we shut off the computer,the imaginary world goes away,and we are faced with reality.So we make all roads private.Someone has to pay for repairs.Let the users pay? What about people passing through? If they didn't have the right tires,lights or color car the owner wanted,would they be turned back?Is there any such thing as the common good? Where all contribute to something that benefits everybody?

    You may not drive.Do you walk? Do you eat? How did the food get there,some magigal space portal,or on the roads?Everything that we have got here by road at one time or another.That is a mutual good.As far as the Legislature robbing the road fund to pay for the capital fund deficit,that is stealing,the road fund is for road repair and upkeep.Making all the roads into private roads may sound good,but the chaos would cause everything to grind to a halt.Yes,I know there are private roads and hiways already,but they are not the norm.Most private roads serve small housing developements,and are paid for by the homeowners.Usually as a way of keeping out the great unwashed,or because they weren't built to regular road standards,thus it would impose on others to have them made public.The private highways are toll roads,built ,usually as shortcuts or quicker travel.Since most of these are newer,they are set up as 'Authorities',with the power of municifalities,having their own enforcement teams (cops) and with the power to condemn private property like any government agency.How are they better?Besides the fact that everyone doesn't have to pay,just the users,they are the same as public hiways as far as the damage caused in the building.

    The idea of all so-called public property being sold to the highest bidder has been tried,and has caused a big mess.The Congress has been bought up by the big corporations,to the ruin of the middle class.Why do we think the roads wouldn't be bought by a big corporation,and run as they want,for the sake of quarterly profits?So if you don't want to drive on their roads,make your own? By condemning someone elses land?Eventually there would be a class of poor people that would be stuck on their own land,unable to even walk to the store without paying someone.Theory sounds nice,but the real world always sticks its head into things. —bil

  42. "Yes, I even know a couple who conceived their second child in a sleeping bag in a light Spring rain, while hiding under some bushes."

    When my barbed wire and electric fence goes up, there will be no more of that. With my permission, they no longer will have to hide.

    KEENENATIVE, you have astutely pointed out, that there is a simple straight forward evolution from peaceful "Free Cock Live" day to procreation, as traditionally practiced before the original sin.

    I know we are on to something truly good now.

  43. The ultimate solution would be to resume a patriarchal deferential class system. So all the losers with no jobs and skills that are just causing problems could get whacked with canes and put in stocks, Which would mean they were still on the common, but it would be a lot funnier.

  44. WOW-Keenenative-you beat me too it!.

    Yeah, these discussions can get a little silly and esoteric sometimes. I really should stay more focused on practical matters.

    There are many volunteers that contribute to the upkeep of the common.Same with the park on West Street …. As for the disputed Common in Keene,look up the history,I already posted it here.It predates the US of A.So it was stolen from the King,who stole it from the indians.

    I agree that it should be kept as a park/commons. I'd really want it to be run by those volunteers, and donors.

    I'm just trying to find a way that people can get along … and when you have land with no clear owner, it tends to create conflict, as we're seeing.

    What about the roads that were not taken by eminent domain,but were laid out by the original settlers,for the good of all? This land didn’t come from anyones parcel,the parcels were arranged along the road.When an old road is thrown up,it is split between the bordering landowners.If one person owns both sides,they get the old road.

    Makes sense to me. Who paid for the upkeep of the roads in this circumstance?

    Maybe some form of PRAs, as we discussed, would work well.

    What would we do if someone decided to donate 20 acres to the general population,who would own it? Who would be allowed on or kept off?

    I'd hope they'd specify what they mean by "general population".

    If they just want the public to be able to use it, maybe they could donate it to an organization set up to maintain land for public use.

    It is fun to go through the fine details of what if,but when we shut off the computer,the imaginary world goes away,and we are faced with reality.

    This isn't totally hypothetical though, The reality right now, is that there are a lot of people who have very different ideas about what appropriate uses of the commons are. Not everyone is going to be able to enjoy it in their chosen way.

    Add to that the fact that there are a few folks (on both sides) who really don't even want to get along with others, and indeed intentionally seek out others to cause affront/conflict …

    So we make all roads private.Someone has to pay for repairs.Let the users pay? What about people passing through? If they didn’t have the right tires,lights or color car the owner wanted,would they be turned back?Is there any such thing as the common good? Where all contribute to something that benefits everybody?

    I certainly think there is such a thing as the common good, and I'd hope we all contribute to it. I just have a problem with forcing other people to fund my definition of the common good.

    Making all the roads into private roads may sound good,but the chaos would cause everything to grind to a halt.

    Yeah, I certainly think that if something like that is attempted, it should be done very gradually and with great care.

    Since most of these are newer,they are set up as ‘Authorities’,with the power of municifalities,having their own enforcement teams (cops) and with the power to condemn private property like any government agency.How are they better?

    Well, if they are condemning private property, you're right that that's not better.

    The idea of all so-called public property being sold to the highest bidder has been tried,and has caused a big mess.The Congress has been bought up by the big corporations,to the ruin of the middle class.

    The problem is, the congress is permitted to do things nobody should be permitted to do. If corporations get ahold of that power, as they have, it just makes things even worse.

    I'd like to disperse that power back to the people, individually.

    Why do we think the roads wouldn’t be bought by a big corporation,and run as they want,for the sake of quarterly profits?So if you don’t want to drive on their roads,make your own?

    Yeah, I think ceding local roads back to local owners, or community organizations, is a much better idea — the way you described how it used to work.

    I do think putting city or rural roads up for auction would be a very bad idea. Major highways maybe.

    By condemning someone elses land?

    Certainly nobody has a right to do that.

    Eventually there would be a class of poor people that would be stuck on their own land,unable to even walk to the store without paying someone.

    I agree with the idea of public right-of-ways.

    Really, I think the main thing is to put control back in the hands of local communities and individuals — rather than centralizing power.

    You make good points though ;).

  45. TL and BS were asserting that they have a right to use the park in *any* way they choose, presumably as long as they don't cause physical harm to others, and even if the park is deeded/sold/auctioned. In addition, at least BS was asserting a desire to ratchet up the behavior, to be as provocative and offensive as possible.

    I'm increasingly recognizing that while some folks have the primary goal of moving closer to a peaceful society based on voluntary interaction (reducing taxes, regulations, etc), some folks have the primary goal of seeking out and confronting anyone who doesn't share their opinion about what's appropriate/inappropriate behavior — or who believes anything short of outright violence could be inappropriate.

    This doesn't sound like a recipe for peace, to me …

    I've spent too much time on this already, however ;). People will do what they're going to do, I suppose. I'm just a lot less enthused by the tone of some of the current activism, than I was by that of JAC, holding the pot bud, or Ridley's camera civdis, the illegal puppet shows, permit-less gatherings, food vending, Sam's refusal to ID, etc. A certain aspect of the movement seems to be evolving in a different direction — one less interested in ending bad laws/shrinking government, and more interested in changing other people's social expectations.

  46. Here in this part of "new england"- (hah!), many modern roads are built on top of what were Indigenous People's/First Nations/"Indians" trails. The trails generally followed rivers & streams, that being the best, easiest way to get around all the hills, &such. So when you drive around NE, you are often travelling right where people have traveled for 1000's of years. Just South of Keene, about a mile or 2 below the "Common"/Central Square, is the remains of a Pre-Columbian settlement & fish weir. So what? We are all living on/in stolen or borrowed or bought, land & houses. Who posting on here lives in a building they built, on land they created? Besides nobody? Yes, real REALITY does give one NEW PERSPECTIVES. So does the incessant arguing of the over-educated arguing classes, but what the heck???…sure beats TV!…

  47. More of a Zach Bass feel, to put it another way … not that it's everybody, but I'm not keen on it.

  48. Hey-watch what you say about the TV-there might be kids here! Besides,I work there!….wait,you are right,this IS better than TV! At least you have the opportunity of maybe learning something,even if it is just that you don't agree with some folks.

    Paul-I think we talked about the way some of the protests are leaning a few weeks ago.I think I got more out of that conversation than some on the net lately,even if I did have to cross the country!:) —bil

  49. Paul-your other questions and comments- I don't know if I would call it forcing someone to pay for something such as roads.It goes beyond being just for the common good,it is nessesary for our society to function.As KEENENATIVE wrote,most of these were Indian trails.Even their society needed a form of roads.The only reason they weren't wider and needing a lot of work was the lack of the wheel.I would imagine that if a brook crossing,such as a fallen log,rotted or washed away,the first one there would either find another,or cut one down.No need for big effort.The early roads were built by common effort,they knew their safety and prosperity depended on them.Until recently,many places allowed you to pay off the road portion of your taxes by working on the roads.Same with school taxes.I would think that could work,though the state employee unions might squack.In NH,the volunteer fire depts are town funded.In Vermont,the volunteer departments have to raise their own money,the town has no control whatsoever.The departments also ASK for a dollar amount donation at town meeting each year,and it is voted on.Usually they get what they ask,sometimes a bit more.But in the departments I was in,it is never anywhere near the cost of running things.That is all donated,either time,money,or both. —bil

  50. I like it!

Care to comment?