[Transcribed by Mail-to-Jail. Though Ian has been released from jail, we just received his blog #9 – his last blog from jail – in the mail and we are posting it now.]
By the time you read this, I may be out of jail. I am writing it on Sunday, October 2nd and my early release date is this Friday. In New Ham,shire, a jail must hold a prisoner for at least ? of the sentence. At that point, they have discretion on when to release the prisoner. Since my issues is with the police and “justice” system for aggressing against peaceful people, I do not give the jailers any trouble by non cooperating or being disobedient. My beef is not with them. This decision is even easier considering that the Cheshire jail is one of the better jails and actually has a mostly friendly, humorous, and compassionate staff. Many of them are able to empathize with the plight of the nonviolent, victimless “offenders” that they are tasked with keeping.
Though, not all the jail’s policies are humane. For example, a local activist, Andrew 280″ Mercer recently checked in for alight here due to a speeding ticket. During the booking process he refused to give his address and phone number and was held in a cell in booking without any bedding, socks, shoes, water, or food – with cold A/C – for 24 hours. I’d say that amounts to torture – there is no reason why a non-cooperative could not be relegated to segregation. That is a 23-hour-per-day lockdown where “privileges” are severely limited, but segregated prisoners are fed and given bedding. So, while I have my critiques of the Keene Spiritual Retreat, there is still a lot that sets it apart from many jails, much of which I detailed in blog post #2.
Suffice it to say, that if you are cooperative and respectful towards the guards, they will return the respect to you. After I’m released, I’ll blog about some of the discussions I had with some guards (as well as share some prisoners’ stories).
For me, I have no issue with the Corrections Officers, as like many bureaucrats, they are merely cogs in the inhumane machine of government. They are not the aggressive parts of that machine as are the police and courts. They do not have discretion and cannot choose who to keep and who to release, whereas the police and prosecutors and robed men could choose tomorrow to stop enforcing bad laws. It would be nice to see jail administrators given more leeway to release prisoners early, instead of them having to obey the orders of robed men until 2/3ds sentence. Perhaps that is something that can be changed inside-the-system.
My reason in providing that explanation is so you know why I will be released after 60 days instead of the 90 to which I was sentenced. So, unless I get a “write-up” for something this week, this should be my last blog from jail.
I thought it would be a good time to express gratitude. Focusing on thought of gratitude is something I tend to do on a daily basis. It is important, I think, to appreciate the good things in life. Sometimes it’s easy for those of us who aren’t distracted by “bread and circuses” like sports and pop culture to become awash in negativity regarding the rise of oppression and tyranny as well as the apparent lack of concern by our associates and neighbors. Being grateful is a good way to stay positive and look on the bright side.
With that in mind, here are some of the things I appreciate:
- I am grateful to you for taking the time to read these blog posts and visit FreeKeene.com. I am glad you find value in this site and am thankful that you have helped make it one of the top 50 liberty-oriented websites.
- I am grateful to everyone who has made the move to New Hampshire and become active to achieve liberty in our lifetime. Even though it is still very early in the movement, there have been successes here that would not have even been in my wildest dreams when I lived in Florida. There’s no doubt that concentration g activists in one geographic area is the key to success. That has been proven. Now we just need more people to move, and sooner rather than later.
- I am grateful for all the longtime NH inhabitants who love liberty. In my experience, NH natives and other “pre-staters” tend to be the best activists. I also appreciate those who quietly support liberty, but may be afraid to “come out” because, for instance, they own local businesses and do not wish to be targeted by the aggressors.
- I am grateful for the diversity of activism forms in the movement. Where I come from, the only activism was a failed political campaign every four years and some outreach. Here in NH, the campaigns in many cases have resulted in wins, now with over a dozen “free staters” in NH “representative” seats – a level of success the Libertarian Party hasn’t reached nationwide in 40 years. Here the outreach is more varied and consistent, even at this early stage. In addition NH (and Keene specifically) is the liberty media capitol of the world. The variety of TV and radio programs (and blogs) originating from The Shire will only help promote the idea of liberty-oriented people moving here and getting active. The programs range from news and opinion to politics, to relationships and to comedy which means the audiences will be diverse, attracting even more people here. All of this growth, and we’re not even a decade in since NH was chosen by the Free State Project.
- I am grateful to all the brave souls who put their freedom on the line by non cooperating or engaging in civil disobedience. Your courage inspired me to move sooner rather than later and inspired me to join your ranks. May the courage to say “no” to the people calling themselves the state spread far and wide. Indeed it’s already begun with people disobeying in Orlando, Phoenix, Austin, and D.C., much of which has directly been inspired by NH liberty activism. Of course I hope those brave activists will decide, as Eddie Free has (the Jefferson Dance Party super activist from D.C.) to make the move to NH and amplify their efforts.
- I am grateful to everyone planning to move to Nh as part of the Free State Project. We have 1,000 “free staters” here, but thousands more are needed. Thank you in advance for making the momentous decision to join us here. We’re just getting started and can really use your help, ideas, energy, activism, and leadership.
- I am grateful to be alive now and here. Slowly but surely, mankind has moved towards more liberty. Sure, there are tyrants out there desperately trying to retain their grasp of control, but the internet is changing that. Now it’s easier than ever in the history of man to reach out with the truth and destroy old, decrepit, and dangerous ideas like “the state”. It’s an exciting time to be alive.
- I am grateful for the friends and acquaintances I have made in my activist family. The social life here for me is a completely different world from my former home of Florida – there actually is one! Plus, it’s not more of the site-around-and-gripe-about-the-government type that I was used to in Florida. Here activists cook and dine together, play sports, shoot, sing karaoke, game, date, build, and celebrate.
- I am also grateful for the adversaries of liberty. Specifically those calling themselves the police and the “justice” system – even the trolls on this blog. I know, it may seem strange to appreciate them, but allow me to explain:
When I first moved here, I was pretty angry at “the government” for hurting peaceful people. Moving here allowed me to change for two reasons. One, I was around a real exciting, growing activism movement as I described somewhat above – that helped restore hope to reach liberty in our lifetime.
Second, moving to a smaller place like Keene allowed what had formerly been faceless bureaucrats to become identifiable, and very human. I cam to realize that most people calling themselves “government” aren’t evil. Many of them believe they are doing good and do not realize that what they are doing is wrong, but they are too scared to peak out or act differently for fear of losing their job and then not being able to support their family.
I am still frustrate by their aggression sometimes and I look forward to the day when they begin to honor their peaceful neighbors’ choices.
So not only do I appreciate them as fellow (if confused, ignorant, and fearful) human beings, but I also appreciate the contrast they provide. When they engage in aggression against peaceful people, they provide a clear example of what we don’t want to happen in our ideal society. The parade of absurd arrests and trials gives us the opportunity to galvanize support locally and encourages people to move here sooner as a part of the FSP. As long as we continue to expose their anti-social actions, they are actually helping to destroy the legitimacy of “the state” and thereby assisting in digging its grave. Of course, the smartest thing to do is to ignore the activists – that’s the best way for they to extend their relevance, but either way, some day we will evolve past their monopoly on violence. By tipping their hand, they only hasten their irrelevance.
Last but not least, I’m grateful for the anonymous trolls here that provide an anti-liberty viewpoint. Clearly, they are very concerned that the status quo is in jeopardy from the ideas of liberty. Their continuous visits and comments belie the relevance they place on Free Keene. After all, if this were an unimportant blog, they would ignore it and spend their time elsewhere. As Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
He also said, “Be the change you wish to see.”
Please be the change and help us get to the win by joining to Free State Project and making the move to New Hampshire, hopefully along with your family and some liberty-loving friends, as soon as possible! (Get over 130 reasons to move toe Keene at http://move.FreeKeene.com)
Finally, thanks again to mail-to-jail.com and everyone who wrote to me and sent books to me in jail – you all made a big difference. Hopefully my next blog will actually be typed by my own hand!