Rest in Peace, Julia Miranda

Julia and her brother, Luthor Miranda, at the only rave held in the last 15 years in New Hampshire - at the Laser Center in Hooksett

Julia and her brother, Luthor Miranda, at the only rave held in the last 15 years in New Hampshire – at the Laser Center in Hooksett

Julia Miranda, the first true love of my life, passed away last weekend at age 34. Julia moved to New Hampshire with me in 2006 as part of the Free State Project. She was a longtime co-host of Free Talk Live, originating here in Keene, where she lived and once even ran for office. Her boyfriend and former FTL co-host and comic artist Marcus Connor spoke at her memorial service in Peterborough yesterday and shared some kind words from one of the many listeners of Free Talk Live who she touched with her witty, compassionate, and intelligent comments on-the-air. Julia loved electronic music, especially the Happy Hardcore subgenre. Since she discovered them as a young teen, Julia also loved attending raves and it was her passion for the electronic music scene that led her to my radio show, Free Talk Live.

In October of 2005, there was a ridiculous and shocking police raid against a peaceful rave in Utah. The raid included a helicopter hovering with spotlights and armed men rappelling down to violently kidnap approximately sixty people whose only crime was dancing without government permission. It was an outrage, but for the rave community, it was nothing new. Police had been harassing and arresting ravers for more than a decade prior to the Utah rave raid in 2005.

Because of her rave community connections, Julia heard our broadcast on Free Talk Live where we discussed the Utah rave and she was amazed that anyone in the media would actually empathize with the situation and further, support her right to live life how she wanted. After listening to Free Talk Live and later calling in to tell her own personal story of police harassment and arrest over cannabis possession, Julia sent me a very nice email. From that moment, our lives were never the same, and we would be forever intertwined, for the better.

It wasn’t long before Julia had signed the Free State Project‘s pledge to migrate to New Hampshire and moved in with me in my house in Florida. She’d lived on the East coast of Florida for years, while I’d lived on the West coast for my whole life to that point. Within months, we’d made the move to New Hampshire on Labor Day of 2006 as partners.

As Dave Ridley remembers in his recent video memorial for Julia, she excitedly ran for city council, and was horrified by the experience:

Beyond being threatened by the Attorney Genital over her campaign promise to return her paycheck to the people, a local politico had come into Panera, where she worked as a manager at the time, and bugged her about her campaign. For her, this was an unacceptable result of political action and she decided she wanted nothing to do with the process from then on. Politics is a nasty business and it wasn’t right for Julia, understandably. She decided to focus more on her career, our relationship sadly ended, and after working for years in the corporate world, she became a self-taught graphic designer.

Without ever having spent a single day inside a college classroom, Julia became a capable and competent graphic artist while working in the charitable giving department of C&S Grocers, one of Keene’s major employers. That was what Julia did – she mastered anything she set her mind to.

Julia in Toronto before the last Hullabaloo

Julia in Toronto, feeling great before the last Hullabaloo

She was super-smart and also very beautiful. It was a pleasure to be her partner for as long as I was. I’m definitely a better person today because I knew her.

While there was a time when Julia and my eventual teenage love, Renee were not close, thankfully they ended up becoming great friends, as I hoped they would. Renee loved raves as much as Julia, and Julia ultimately became her “rave mom”.

After leaving the corporate world, Julia set out as a freelance graphic designer and took a Christmas season job at Target in Keene to help pay the bills. Since she excelled at everything, they of course asked her to stay on after the holiday season. Julia always had an inspirational work ethic, and loved her new job in the electronics department. With her lifelong love for robots and computers, it was an easy fit for a her.

While the autopsy has not yet come in, I suspect her early demise at only age 34 had to do with an injury she recently suffered in her workplace, where two weeks before her death, she accidentally turned around and ran into a metal column, and as she described it to me, “almost got knocked the fuck out”. Apparently she did not go to the hospital, despite being laid out on the floor by the impact. Like Julia, I dislike hospitals and would probably have done what she likely did, brushed herself off and went back to work, as best as she could.

Julia passed away last week at an electronic music festival in New York. Renee and others were with her at the time, so she was with those who loved her, at a place where she felt at home. Some will take the easy road and blame drugs for her early death. Those people didn’t know Julia. No one I’ve ever known in my life was more careful about recreational drug use than Julia. She always tested what she’d acquired and spent time researching what she chose to put in her body. She also made it her mission to educate other ravers and anyone who was willing to listen, about responsible recreational drug use. (more…)

Should Callers Pay for Expensive Police Service?

There are tons of services that police provide: Elderly check-ins, noise complaints, damaged property, stolen purses, runaway children, etc. They all cost money, and for the most part, communities are happy to pay. Justice is something most people want, and so we pay a group of people to provide it.

But what happens when the cost is astronomical? Like, crazy. Like, incalculably high? So high, no one even knows the number? Is there anyone putting downward pressure on costs when it comes to service from the police, or do they have a blank check on the community bank account?

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The Owner Decides, Not the Neighbors

“I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire

 

This principle of individual liberty is the foundation of Western Liberal philosophy. If we expect others to leave us alone to do as we please with our property, then we must leave others alone to do as they please. Even if we wouldn’t choose the same. We can talk with them, reason with them, bribe them, try to persuade and convince them, but in the end, it’s the owner of a thing who gets the final say in what happens with a thing.

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Libertarian National Chair Nicholas Sarwark Announces Move to New Hampshire

Nicholas Sarwark, LP Chair

Nicholas Sarwark, LP Chair Moving to New Hampshire ASAP.

When the national Libertarian Party‘s Chairman Nicholas Sarwark found the idea of migrating with other libertarians to New Hampshire, it was just an idea. Now, with thousands who have migrated here to the Shire since 2003, it’s no longer an idea but a successful proof of concept. We’ve had incredible, unprecedented activist successes, and it’s still early in the migration of the Free State Project.

In case you’re unfamiliar, thousands of the Free State Project‘s pro-liberty members decided in 2003 to migrate to New Hampshire over all the other states. Here are 101 reasons why they chose New Hampshire. Sarwark had heard about this back then and signed up. Then in 2016, the Free State Project reached its goal of 20,000 signers of their pledge to move libertarians and voluntarists to New Hampshire where our activism can be concentrated and have an actual impact. It has. As a result of our high concentration, a real liberty community has developed, unlike anywhere else in the world.

Sarwark witnessed the incredible and unmatched liberty community here in New Hampshire when he visited last month during the Porcupine Freedom Festival. In a post to his social media yesterday, Sarwark says of Porcfest:

Despite being a signer from way back, it was my first time attending. The experience was incredible, a sense of community, caring, cooperation, and peace. It’s not easy to describe, but it’s amazing to experience.

For a long time we early movers to New Hampshire envisioned a day when it would become so obvious that liberty is on the rise here that liberty-loving people would no longer be able to ignore our success and feel they needed to join in the fun. It appears we have reached that threshold. Sarwark’s public announcement is some of the biggest news that the FSP could really hope for in this area. In his post, he also says this:

Libertarian Party Logo 2016

The Libertarian Party Logo

Having stepped away from day-to-day operations of the car dealership here in Phoenix, I realized that there’s nothing stopping me from moving now. Valerie and I discussed it, talked to our kids about it, weighed out the pros and cons and decided together that we are moving to New Hampshire.

Assuming all goes according to plan, next month we will start our next chapter in the Granite State, surrounded by an intentional community of liberty lovers from all walks of life and I will trade my 17 year-old signer number for a brand new mover number.

Live free or die.

It’s a decisive move for Sarwark, who clearly had the experience at the Porcupine Freedom Festival that it was intended for – to let you experience what life is like when you’re literally surrounded by more liberty-loving people than you could possibly get to know.

Hopefully his decision will prod other libertarians to realize how futile it is to continue doing what they’ve always done, that we’re stronger when we concentrate our efforts in one place, and that the idea of concentration of activism is now a proven concept. Sarwark’s move is smart and should be seriously considered by anyone who cares about liberty. Kudos.

Death Penalty to End in NH as House & Senate Override Governor’s Veto!

ACLU Sign to End Death Penalty in NH

ACLU Sign to End Death Penalty in NH – Photographed in Keene

New Hampshire today became the 21st state to abolish the death penalty, as the state Senate and House have now both voted to override the governor’s veto. Despite the death penalty having no deterrent effect on violent crime, governor Sununu stood firmly with the police, as he has foolishly done on cannabis legalization, and against the overwhelming tide of history.

It’s refreshing to see some level of compassion win the day and see the police state taken down, even if it’s only symbolic. New Hampshire hasn’t actually put someone to death since 1939 and though one man is currently in state prison with a death sentence, according to the Washington Post, the state prison system has no plan to acquire any lethal injection drugs.

According to one anonymous state rep, bloodthirsty Republican legislative leadership apparently cranked up political pressure in their attempt to stop more compassionate Republicans from voting along with Democrats to end the insanity of the death penalty. While they were successful in changing some votes to back the governor, they ultimately failed as many Republicans followed their conscience instead of party dictates. The bill first passed the House in March by a vote of 279 to 88, while the House’s veto override passed last week by a closer 247 to 123 vote. In April, the NH Senate voted 17 to 6 to abolish the death penalty while its veto override today passed 16 to 8.

All the New England states now no longer have the death penalty! Kudos to all liberty reps who did the right thing and shame on any who sided with the cop-loving governor.

If Trump freed Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, would you vote Trump in 2020?

Create the world's first underground online drug market - no problem for the FSP!

Ross Ulbricht, Heroic Founder of the Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht is the founder of the world’s first Darknet market site, the Silk Road. By launching the anonymous marketplace, Ross changed the black market in the most fundamental and positive ways in all of history. The Silk Road allowed users for the first time ever to purchase their drugs anonymously and from the safety of their homes rather than having to go out in the streets where robbery and ripoffs have been common occurrences in the black market.

The Silk Road lowered violent crime and increased the odds that the buyer was actually getting the drug they ordered, since dealers on the Silk Road were subject to anonymous competitors. That drove prices down and quality up. All the while, Ross, allegedly acting as site administrator, “Dread Pirate Roberts” helped his site’s users understand the ideas of liberty through a book club he ran. Ross was and still is a very principled voluntarist libertarian. Ross is also arguably the second most important person in the history of Bitcoin besides its anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Silk Road put Bitcoin (BTC) on a lot of people’s radar at a very early time in Bitcoin’s history, as one needed to have Bitcoin in order to shop on the site.

Of course, the government thugs could not allow this newfound free market to stand so they targeted Silk Road and were able to uncover its location and admins back in 2013, bringing them up on multiple felony charges. One admin, “Inigo” aka Andrew Michael Jones was even a Free State Project signer who had visited Keene, though we didn’t know that about him at the time.

After a sham trial, where Ross was clearly railroaded, lowlife judge Katherine Forrest sent him to prison for two life sentences plus forty years. All for simply creating a website. Forrest believed this would “send a message”, but apparently no one cares. More sites like Silk Road popped up to replace it and despite many of them being taken down by the feds over the years, they keep springing up again and again. After all, there is a lot of money to be made and someone will always be willing to take the risk to supply the demand in the market. The cops can talk tough all they want – the war on drugs is a failure and anyone honest knows it.

Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross outside his trial.

Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross outside his trial.

This week, I spoke with Lyn Ulbricht, Ross’ mother. She told me about a new petition to get her son out. Given Ross’ appeals failed in the corrupt, evil “justice” system, his only chance at freedom is a commutation of his sentence from none other than Donald Trump. Though this certainly seems like a long shot, Trump has indicated some interest in criminal justice reform, so perhaps it’s not impossible. Lyn has already been circulating a petition nationwide which has garnered over 168,000 signatures. However, there is a new, special petition only for people in New Hampshire.

Lyn hopes the new petition will get New Hampshire likely voters to indicate their support for Trump commuting Ross’ sentence, ideally with the voter pledging they’ll become a single issue voter and vote for Trump in 2020. While the petition itself doesn’t pledge that the signer will vote for Trump, those willing to make that pledge should do so in the comments section. If you’re in New Hampshire or will be by 2020, please take a moment to sign the petition here. If you’re willing to vote Trump if he commutes Ross’ sentence, please indicate as such. It’s not like your vote means anything at the national level anyway, so why not?

Once the petition gets enough signatures, Lyn will present it to the head of the Republican party in New Hampshire in hopes that will help it get in front of Trump. It’s a long shot, but it’s the only chance Ross has. I’m signing, how about you?