On January 27, 2022, the US Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, Chief Judge Jeffrey Howard, ruled in “US Dep’t of Justice v. Jonas, No. 19-1243,” that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) can “legally” access New Hampshire’s prescription drug database via an administrative subpoena, not a warrant. This is despite New Hampshire and United States laws to the contrary.
While 48 states have submitted to maintaining a networked prescription database (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program / PDMP), most people would argue that their personal medical and prescription records are protected by the 4th amendment (“no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.”) Personal healthcare and medical information is generally protected under doctor-patient confidentiality laws and is regarded as almost sacrosanct in the healthcare world (think HIPAA.) In this case, confidentiality was further supported by the 4th amendment to the US Constitution.
Overwhelming Support From the Liberty Community
Michelle Ricco Jonas, manager of the New Hampshire PDMP in 2018, refused the DEA’s request to fork over 2.5 years’ worth of prescription data of a “person of interest.” After being subpoenaed she argued that the records belong to the state, not an individual person. Since March 12, 2019, when the notice of appeal was docketed, Michelle Jonas and New Hampshire state received an outpouring of support from the ACLU of California, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island – in other words, all the districts represented by the 1st Circuit Court.
Over the past two grueling years of appeal, the ACLU supported Jonas, and questioned whether issuing a subpoena to a state employee is within the bounds of the district court. They argued that medical records, for all intents and purposes, are considered private information. While the DEA has the ability to subpoena an individual, the ACLU asked if that gave them the right to subpoena a representative, or employee, of the state. They also argued that the 4th Amendment requires law enforcement “to obtain a warrant based on probable cause only to secure records over which there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.” The ACLU argued that medical records warrant an expectation of privacy.
The prescription records at issue in this case reveal intimate, private, and potentially stigmatizing details about patients’ health, including details of those patients’ underlying medical conditions. For that reason, as with other medical records, people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in them.” – Summary of Argument, US Dep’t of Justice v. Jonas, No. 19-1243
So What Was the Loophole?
This is an e-mail I sent to NH state reps around Jan 26, 2022.
RepFolk: Here are some reasons you should feel “Constitutionally comfortable” voting for CACR 32…the right of the people to vote on whether we keep being ruled by an empire that starts a new war at our expense every three years or so.
What’s nice about the U.S. Constitution is that you generally don’t have to be a “Constitutional scholar” to understand it.
1) The Tenth Amendment makes the U.S. Constitution innocent of banning independence, until proven guilty. It reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” By default, “the powers,” thus includes the power of states and/or their voters to divorce D.C. In order for the U.S. to lawfully wield a power preventing that, such power would have to be “delegated to the United States by the Constitution.” Where does that Constitution clearly grant such power to D.C.? Why are the “anti-independence” Constitutional passages cited so unclear on this question when compared to the clarity of “The Tenth?”
2) Even if we were to assume, for the sake of discussion, that the Constitutional arguments against independence were valid…that leaves a different problem for Remainers. No one could credibly argue that the U.S. government has complied with its Constitution…not even during the last two hours, let alone the last two centuries. Have they voided their contract, perhaps millions of times? If they are not required to follow their Constitution, why are we?
3) If one could argue that the U.S. Constitution forbids the public from voting on independence this year, one could just as easily argue that the pre-existing NH Constitution *demands* it this year. Article 10 reads: “…whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government.” Has Washington endangered – or not endangered – “public liberty?” Are you currently able to “redress” your grievances with D.C.?
4) You face, perhaps for the first time, legislation which would actually end the central government’s practice of running employment bans and overseas TORTURE CHAMBERS* at NH taxpayer expense. Why have some of your House colleagues apparently picked *this* moment to begin pretending they follow either Constitution?
“Independence without enmity”
Rep. Leah Cushman presents HB 1022 at the public hearing on 1/18/22
On January 12, 2022, Rep. Leah Cushman (R – NH) introduced New Hampshire HB 1022: an act permitting pharmacists to dispense the drug ivermectin by means of a standing order entered into by licensed healthcare professionals. The general argument is that many healthcare workers are unable to prescribe ivermectin, either because of hospital politics or outside pressures. This bill would override the need for a prescription for ivermectin, allowing everyone in New Hampshire to pick it up over-the-counter.
A public hearing for this bill took place on January 18, 2022. Rep. Cushman, House committee (Health, Human Services, & Elderly Affairs) members, doctors, and others took part in a lively discussion that spanned over two hours. The overall consensus appeared to be in favor of the bill, with a few speakers pleading that those who cannot (or do not) get the covid-19 vaccine need another readily-available, tried, and tested alternative.
The Benefits of Ivermectin Are Well Established
The only medicine for infectious diseases to win the Nobel Prize has recently been smeared in the mainstream media. Surprised? There are innumerable studies that have overwhelmingly shown the benefits of this drug to combat all types of disease. The difference is that now the media has portrayed it as livestock medicine, and nobody can seem to counteract the bad press–not even Joe Rogan.
However, most of those in attendance, including multiple committee members, fully supported pushing this bill further. Even those who believe that vaccines are the best option had to admit that withholding medicine to those who cannot or do not get the vaccine doesn’t make sense. In fact, people who have received the vaccine can benefit from ivermectin as well.
Dr. Paul Marik Was in Attendance
One speaker of note was Dr. Paul Marik, who traveled to the public hearing for NH HB 1022 all the way from Virginia.
if it wants continued NH military support, Taiwan should let its civilians defend themselves . Photo by Wang Yu Ching / Office of the President Lcns. CCA 2.0
Here’s an edgy proposal which is closer to realization than you think: New Hampshire should withdraw from the United States and its alliances, then request a significant reduction in gun control within member states as a minimum condition of rejoining. Why? Because NH is more humane than DC, and because nations with significant gun control are too vulnerable and costly and for us to help defend. First let’s discuss the elephant in the room: NH independence and some of the incidents which have driven it forward.
On March 12, 2006 five U.S. soldiers violated, then murdered, 14-year-old Abeer Hamza in her home at Yusufiyah, Iraq. Then they covered up the killing by wiping out most of her family, partly at NH taxpayer expense. 1
Fifteen years and four days later, several dozen U.S. policy enforcement officers stormed a quiet neighborhood in America’s Pleasantville: Keene, New Hampshire. After using a battering ram connected to an armored vehicle, they flew a drone through the window of a home studio housing the state’s top radio discussion show, Free Talk Live. Washington claimed that some of its libertarian hosts had been selling significant amounts of Bitcoin without government permission and filed charges of “unlicensed money transmission.” The imperial capitol is seeking life imprisonment for at least one of the arrestees, with no credible claim that he even victimized anyone. 2
Though different in a hundred ways, each of these Federal excesses exemplified the numberless grievances which have sparked a growing pushback against D.C. in the “Live Free or Die” state. Local activists and legislators reacted with the New Hampshire Independence Amendment, also known as CACR 32. This constitutional revision would allow all NH residents to vote in a 2022 referendum on whether the state will continue being governed by Washington.
New Hampshire already has a long history of example-setting. But by striving for independence – and a more humane world security protocol – its citizens may be able to do something better. With your help, and the careful placement of a new idea on the geopolitical board, maybe our tiny new nation could even stop a world war.
NH independence proponents make a simple case. The FedGov, they say, has bloated beyond the point where normal individuals can meaningfully oppose its atrocities with conventional civics. They point to the successes of Estonian and British independence movements as well as the global trend toward “smaller nations.” In 1900 there were roughly 60 countries in the world. Now there are about 200. Meanwhile, thanks to these and other national divorces, the harm-inflicting capacity of various empires is less than it would be if they were still full-sized. Successful independence drives in America, too, should have a limiting effect on U.S. warmongering in faraway places.
But what of, say, Chinese government warmongering outside its borders? Whatever cruelties the U.S. government may have imposed, the nations bordering China do seem to generally prefer alliance with Washington over alliance with Beijing; some rely on D.C. for their security more than they should.
One of the main criticisms of NH independence is that it could undermine U.S. defense capability or, more accurately, American capacity for carrying out the existing commitments to NATO and Taiwan. The latter is of special significance, and we’ll use it as the focus of this discussion. But the arguments here apply to every U.S. ally.
Critics argue that America is overextended, much as Britain was overextended in the 1939 era when it guaranteed Poland against the Nazis. In those days the perception was that London had only two available courses of action: Wage war on Germany or appease Hitler by abandoning Poland. Today people imagine that we face a similar unthinkable choice as China flexes its new powers against Taiwan. An invasion of the island could trigger these same two ruinous impulses against a great resurgent Power, this time with the likelihood it would escalate into nuclear war. Taiwan’s friends, the thinking goes, would either have to commit another Munich…or defend the quasi-nation by risking civilization. Wouldn’t a New Hampshire independence drive damage America’s ability to follow the second option to victory?
Actually, there is a third option which could prevent both the evils of “big war” and the abandonment of overseas promises. An independent New Hampshire, or prospect thereof, is one way to put that path on the table. Let’s call this option the “Porcupine Peace Plan” for now…in honor of a less-threatening but better-defended posture some of us envision for America’s alliances.
This plan rests upon the barely-discussed idea that there is a great, untapped defense capacity among all reasonably-prosperous peoples, especially in Taiwan. Unlike military buildup it is a power which, when exercised, saves tax dollars rather than spending them…increases freedoms rather than reducing them. It possesses little potential for starting wars of aggression but has a proven history of discouraging them. Nevertheless, this power is often suppressed by the rulers of vulnerable nations…even as some of them face invasion or treat nuclear first-strikes as a legitimate method of self-protection. 2b
This seemingly magical ability…is the power of armed, individual self-defense…weapons freedom for the private citizen. And it is a power that the government of Taiwan has systematically denied to its people, at grave risk to a nervous world. The island’s gun control laws are so strict that WorldPopulationReview.com lists the number of civilian firearms there at literally zero per 100 persons (the U.S. has 120). Historically, the relative gun freedom of America helped it win the Revolutionary War and limited its risk of invasion over the following centuries.2c
We must respect the wishes of Taiwanese regarding their internal laws. But Taipei should respect our wishes when it comes to whether we risk our lives for them over their willful self-emasculation. We currently are doing exactly that at their government’s request; every last American is potentially on Beijing’s target list.3 And Taipei has unnecessarily increased the chances for war with Beijing…by keeping its civilians disarmed.
This policy cannot help but cause Taiwan to be a far more attractive target for invasion than it would be if it had weapons freedom for the average citizen. The island’s well-meaning government has formidable armed forces, but there is no substitute for the “defense dispersal” and individual initiative which comes from civilian weaponry. Gun freedom, in 1940, made fascist-surrounded Switzerland impractical for Germany to invade. 4 Norway, by contrast, was heavily defended by the British Empire and nowhere near surrounded…but fell quickly when Hitler’s forces mounted an attack on “central points of failure.” 4b
Gun availability for the average person can solve only so many problems, but nations which acquire this freedom also acquire a ready-made, widely-dispersed guerilla arsenal ready for use against any occupier. It lets a tiny nation do what Sun Tzu suggested, and “be like water.” When added to Taiwan’s existing military deterrent…this “scary freedom” should be enough to prevent invasion indefinitely.
Skeptical? Then you tell us: How well has the U.S. “nuclear government” fared against Afghan riflemen? Why is Beijing so terrified of guns that it has enacted some of the world’s strictest prohibitions against civilian-owned weaponry? 4c
Thanks to Taipei, the mainland communists don’t have much of that to be terrified of in Taiwan. They don’t have to factor civie-guns much into their “invasion equation” as Hitler did when he abandoned his plan to attack Switzerland. Ending this citizen-dis-empowerment could be just enough to prevent the expected attack on Taiwan. And New Hampshire can gently make the case…either through government policy or constructive private action. Here are the suggested steps to get us there:
1) The New Hampshire Independence Amendment must get a full and fair hearing by our State and Federal Relations committee and face the full legislature without substantial alteration. This will give NHexiters new clout to advance the Porcupine Peace Plan. In the unlikely event Independence obtains legislative super-majorities on this first try, it would then go before the people. If they vote “yes” then…?
2) Neutral by default, the newly independent nation could begin negotiations on whether it will re-join the alliances it has just departed.
3) The negotiators should request, as a minimal precondition for re-joining, that Taiwan and other countries take steps of their own choosing to undo the invasion-friendly types of laws we’ve outlined above. It would be on the Taiwanese themselves to figure out how they want to handle this…and on us to decide whether their reforms, if any, are sufficient to win us over as renewed allies. The more weapon freedom they can offer their people, the more we’d want to join.
4) If Taipei can’t accept this suggestion, loyally and responsibly given, New Hampshire could simply remain neutral and is probably better off that way anyhow. As Switzerland and Costa Rica have proven, neutrality can be much safer than joining an alliance. But we will have kept faith with the beleaguered island.
Even if New Hampshire doesn’t get past step one in 2022, we should at least be able to put the gun-control-helps-invaders issue on the table. And the same weapon freedom concerns which apply to Taiwan…should apply toward any potential ally, even as new personal defenses begin to replace firearms. A cheaper and more humane way of looking at security…may start to set in. (more…)
On Tuesday a democrat in New Hampshire’s house introduced a bill in support of free software. The House Bill (HB) 1273 would be a step forward for software freedom. It proposes to help protect the user freedom of New Hampshire residents in a number of important ways.
- Prohibits the state government from requiring residents to use proprietary software, whether in remote court appearances, tax filings, standardized test-taking, coursework in public schools, or matters relating to any state benefits
- Forbid employers from using non-compete clauses to prevent their employees from contributing to free software
- Prohibits NH law enforcement from participating in the investigation or prosecution of copyright claims brought by proprietary software developers against free software developers
- Forms a state commission to promote the use of free software in state agencies
Now much of the legislation is a bit wishy-washy with no real teeth, but there are some parts that in theory if passed could have a beneficial impact on our freedom. Other parts could be a little more problematic for those who are libertarian and do not believe in the use of violence to achieve social and political objectives (outside that of a defensive nature anyway). Fortunately most of the bill is tailored toward government and is more defensive in nature than not. Some not so great parts would likely also not have much real world impact.
One part in particular should get libertarians everywhere excited. While it probably was not intended by the legislator proposing the bill, a democrat, it would none-the-less be an amazing step forward in reducing the harm of violent thugs in government. The bill would ensure that users have the right to access the source code for any device utilized in the creation of evidence. This would in effect result in evidence being thrown out whereby the government could not produce the source code to the device that created it. Evidence from such devices as radar guns would no longer be valid in court for all practical purposes. The reason for this is that the suppliers of such devices will not release such source code and thereby prosecutors won’t be able to comply with the law. Before the socialists get upset by this though it’s something everyone should be concerned about. It’s already well known that these devices are full of bugs and this would likely result in evidence being invalidated everywhere if the code were released- not just in NH- and so the device manufacturers would never want to do this short of significant improvements to the code. The solution is to pass this in more states and force manufacturers hand-else let this stand as a means of eliminating a law that should not be in that there is no party that can actually show injury.
To have any real chance of seeing this pass the legislation would likely need to be significantly trimmed. Some parts are problematic such as the forbidding of employers from using non-compete clauses to prevent their employees from contributing to free software for instance. This would likely be unpopular with many state legislators who otherwise support software freedom while also supporting ones right to negotiate a contract free of government interference. Maybe there is a way to put this into law that were more freedom-focused, like letting such terms be unenforceable via law, but either way much of the legislature isn’t going to want to interfere in the private affairs of employee-employer relations either way. I suspect this is likely to have little impact in either case given non-compete clauses within the free software world are already taboo and many of us (myself included) would not sign (or require it) such in an employment contract.
One interesting aspect of the bill is that it would prohibit NH law enforcement from partaking in investigation or prosecution of copyright claims against free software developers. While I can in good conscious support this and would go farther to argue for the elimination of copyright it’s unclear to me where this is currently an issue. Maybe it’s connected to the breaking of digital restrictions such as would be the case with something like DeCSS. A free software program that breaks encryption on commercial DVDs. This falls under copyright law and might be prosecuted by state agencies although that said it’s normally a federal offense. State law enforcement can generally however prosecute federal crimes as I understand it or otherwise partake in federal investigation and prosecution thereof. Of which is more common I do believe with civil asset forfeiture cases.
In spite of some of the issues with the legislation a small contingent of libertarians showed up to more or less in support the legislation as well as others from the free software community. One Jon “maddog” Hall, the Board Chair for the Linux Professional Institute, for instance came out and spoke in favor of the legislation.
Jon “maddog” Hall is the Board Chair for the Linux Professional Institute
The main theme surrounding the hearing seemed to be that of software security and the cost of implementation. New Hampshire’s head of IT for instance also spoke from what appeared to be a purchased lobbyist point-of-view. Declaring more or less that it would be of significant burden and cost to transition to free software (while saying they’re already using free software humorously). The opposing side of course pointed out the truth in that there is always a cost to migrate from one release of a program to another, but it’s not significantly different from that of migrating to free software. Not to mention that while free software isn’t about price, but the liberty, security, and control, this twisting and confusing of the bill was quite disingenuous. The long term costs are reduced as no license agreements need be acquired. Commercial support is generally available too despite the head of IT trying to confuse the reps by comparing commercial software to free software. These are for all intensive purposes one and the same. You can acquire commercial support from Redhat for instance for free software and even much of Microsoft’s own code is based on free software. This bill was about libre, not gratis where libre means freedom, and gratis means price.
While the head of NH IT argued against free software on the basis of features, commercial support, and security the reality is these are more often than not mute points given features can be added to free software unlike the proprietary software he favored. Security bugs can be fixed not at the whim of a particular company, but that of either, you, the community, or the commercial entity you contract with for said free software (example: Redhat). Yes- you can buy free software and many companies do. Just because something is libre doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t pay for its development/support. And unlike proprietary software free software can be seen, read, and audited by third parties with or without the consent of the company producing it (once released). These are the things that ensure security- not anti-virus software or proprietary software vendors of which the former is a kin to putting up a fence and expecting it to stop ants from coming onto your property. The head of IT didn’t stop there- even implying that free software was insecure through association with Bitcoin. While not said outright during the hearing he referenced recent socially engineered attacks on municipalities. Somewhat recently there were reports of municipalities being ‘hacked’- which were in reality social engineering attacks primarily involving the traditional banking system. It was only after the attacks occurred and the money paid by employees of the municipalities to criminals overseas that said money was utilized to purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. If there is a flaw- it’s not the software- and it’s certainly not the result of it being libre.
Video Of The Hearing On House Bill (HB) 1273
Above: Here’s what NH Independence is competing with…the U.S. government and its torture chambers.
Below is a letter-to-editor I e-mailed to the Keene Sentinel a week ago…It does not yet appear to have published there, so here is a copy.
Dear editors at the Sentinel:
This is a response to your editorial against the New Hampshire Independence Amendment, which – if passed – would let all NH citizens vote in a referendum on whether we continue to be ruled by Washington. Why do you think this issue should be decided by dead war criminals rather than your neighbors, arguably acting within the rules laid out in the U.S. Constitution? Though silent on independence, it reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Well here we are, trying to peaceably exercise these powers through the state house, then the polls…what’s there to be against other than D.C. and its enablers in the press?
Grrr…sorry to get so blunt…the Sentinel seems one of the few papers that still has some independence and frontpage/editorial separation. You deserve respect for the fact that I can say this without likelihood you will suppress the letter. But ultimately it’s questionable when a proposed vote on “who should govern where” is treated as Forbidden and Shocking…but starting five wars since 2011 is just business as usual. Write your congressman; vote for a different chickenhawk. Don’t color outside the lines, don’t imitate the successful Estonian or Gandhian independence drives.
The Washington empire, like Moscow and London before it…has made independence look good by abusing the people who live under its domination. It has turned most New Hampshirites against the central government, which has an approval rating hovering somewhere between that of syphilis and leprosy. But an informal September poll by the state’s largest paper showed support for the Independence Amendment at 71%.
If D.C. didn’t want an independence drive in New Hampshire, it wouldn’t have shut down four square blocks of residential Keene to put a drone through the window of America’s #25 talk show. It would not have exacerbated shortages by demanding most New Hampshirites submit to medical experimentation as a condition of employment. It would not have used our tax dollars to run a TORTURE CHAMBER at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
Google *these* FedCrimes, and explain to us again why you think rule by Washington is more desirable than rule by Concord.