Here are some suggested win-win steps that Kyiv, Moscow or Washington should take to shut down the Russo-Ukrainian war. These steps are designed to initially be taken by just one government so that they can be taken NOW. Each of these moves would “succeed even if they fail” and would stand a good chance of moving the conflict toward an honorable ceasefire.
Now that they have had some successes against the Russian government…Washington or Kyiv should make a tiny humanitarian gesture or other conciliatory gesture aimed at sparking a response-in-kind. For instance, a small-scale prisoner release or slight reduction in some sanction that only hurts the people. This should be videotaped and done with much fanfare. It should involve an implicit request for the enemy to reciprocate, in some tiny popular way. If Moscow fails to reciprocate, this will enrage the world further and strengthen Kyiv or Washington’s positions. And the gesture can always be repeated in some new form until it works. If Moscow does reciprocate, that opens the door for Kyiv or Washington to make a new, larger ameliorative gesture and so on. The goal should be an “escalating” series of conciliatory gestures until the shooting is much reduced. Each side should gain a benefit each step of the way regardless of how the other side reacts.
Moscow, for its part, should not wait for western governments to do this. It should propose and implement a small unilateral ameliorative gesture of its own, also well publicized. Western media censorship of Moscow’s statements…is becoming a serious problem, however. They can always call FreeTalkLive.com and reach 200,000 people!
This idea of “escalating humanitarian gestures” is a long shot, at least coming from a not-very-important-person like me. But back channels may have saved the world during the Cuban crisis. Maybe this will inspire someone more influential to try a back channel of their own or forward this simple idea.
Moscow has proven it can wreak enormous damage and is willing to do so when you move your empire too close to Russia. Various territories are now its to lose, and the sooner the fighting stops the less chance it loses them all…or loses everything in a cloud of ICBM’s.
Ukraine has already proven it can fight in the best traditions of Estonia’s war of independence and Finland’s Winter War. The West and/or Ukraine could easily aim for objectives similar to those which the Finns successfully achieved, during their solo war with Moscow in 1940: Capture the world’s imagination, be its heroes, put up a stunning fight, but limit and end the war in a negotiated settlement which gives Moscow enough ground to bury its dead. Finland’s Winter War was technically a draw, but it put Finland on the map as a place not to mess with and drew a line against USSR expansion. Ukraine is already on the path to accomplishing this, if it can just figure out how, when and where to stop.
These are not pro-freedom objectives par se, but they would end the war (and perhaps the nuclear exchange likelihood) without appeasement. No one today would argue that the Finns “appeased” Moscow; they disemboweled its army as Ukraine is now doing.
Once the shooting stops, or at least is dramatically reduced, the long path toward toward Ukrainian healing and world progress can continue.
I responded to this following hit piece on the Free State Project:
My response was as follows:
Have you ever met a Free Stater? Had a conversation with one? Because you seem to be completely clueless about us. For one thing, few if any of us were fond of Trump. I proudly voted for Gary Johnson in 2016 and for Jo Jorgensen in 2020. I am no more attracted to the tyrants on the right than I am to the tyrants on the left. What I want is freedom, which is why I moved to the Live Free Or Die [ fighting ] state over 10 years ago.
Do I want to escape from the US government? ABSOLUTELY! The US government has done nothing but bleed the people dry to pay for endless, pointless wars and corporate welfare. They have propped up their endless attacks on freedom with lie after lie after lie … spending most of their time, when they are not making war on foreign nations, making war on their own people, with their insane and racist war on drugs, their nasty habit of shooting innocent people in the street for no apparent reason, and their constant encroachments on our right to speak freely, to make our own decisions, an to control our own bodies.
I am pro-choice, but unlike “pro-choice” leftists, I REALLY BELIEVE in “MY BODY MY CHOICE”. Of course the right to abortion is important … too many women — and men — throughout history have been trapped in poverty and hopelessness by their inability to control their own reproduction … but that is not the only right that we have over our own bodies … we also have the right to make our own medical decisions, whether that means choosing for ourselves to treat our PTSD with MDMA, or our alcoholism /drug addiction with Mushrooms … both of which have been done with great success at John’s Hopkins.
And we also have the right to make our own economic decisions. The government could end homelessness overnight, simply by ceasing to cause it. They could get up off the millions of acres of land that they hold for no purpose, and allow people to homestead. That’s all it would take. Once people had a piece of land on which to pitch a tent, the next step would be to start a massive “habitat for humanity” program, not just building houses for people, but teaching them what they need to know to help their neighbors, and to earn money once the immediate crisis is past.
But the government always works to enrich the rich, while further impoverishing the poor. Sure, they sent us $1200 at the start of the pandemic ( which they may well have caused ), but at the same time they did so, they sent 3 trillion dollars in corporate welfare to their cronies. Do the math: Three Trillion dollars divided by Three Hundred Million Americans is 10,000 dollars per person that they handed out to make the rich richer, while returning to the people only a small fraction of that. I hope that you will take the time to get to know a Free Stater. I would be delighted to buy you a cup of coffee any time you are in Keene, or perhaps when I visit my girl in the north country. I think that if you approached us with an open mind, you would quickly learn that we are not at all what you think we are. And if, after that, you choose to remain enslaved by the government, I will quote Thomas Paine by way of farewell …. may your chains sit lightly upon you, and may history forget that ye were our countrymen.
New Hampshire HB 1682 was introduced by Rep. David Welch (R – Rockingham13) on 1/5/2022, followed by a public hearing on 1/14/2022. The House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety voted that the bill “ought to pass with amendment” and has been referred to the House Finance Committee for further review.
On the Surface It Sounds Great: Hold Police Accountable for Their Actions
The idea of this bill is to establish a committee that’s considered “independent” and separate from local police jurisdictions in order to ensure police officers are held accountable for their actions (or inactions.) According to Rep. David Welch, the aim of the bill is “to establish a single, neutral, and independent statewide entity to receive complaints alleging misconduct regarding all sworn and elected law enforcement officers.” – HB 1682 public hearing, 1/14/2022 – watch here
As outlined in the bill, officers could potentially face the new Conduct Review Committee for a number of reasons, including: if they’ve been convicted of committing a felony, any sentence of incarceration, excessive use of force, driving while intoxicated, moral turpitude (dishonesty, deceit, theft), acts of omission, lying in a police report or criminal proceeding, falsification of records, tampering with or falsifying evidence, racist conduct or statements, etc.
This all sounds great, because of course law enforcement officers should be held accountable for their actions! Which makes me wonder, why aren’t they now?
Policing the Police With Police
There’s already an established Police Standards and Training Council that handles internal reviews in New Hampshire. The new Law Enforcement Conduct Review Committee would fall under that umbrella, dealing exclusively with misconduct reviews. In recent years the public’s interest in holding police accountable has skyrocketed. Perhaps there are so many cases of police misconduct in the state that they can no longer handle the workload or process them quickly enough.
Since the new Conduct Review Committee would fall under the already established Standards Council, the governor would (again) be appointing its members. The current Police Standards and Training Council consists of mainly a bunch of police officers appointed by Governor Sununu. Since it is the governor who will be appointing members here again, I’m not sure this bill will be as effective as it looks. A politician hand-picking members within the context of “maintaining absolute objectivity” is a farce.
The Law Enforcement Conduct Review Committee would consist of:
- Four law enforcement officers appointed by the governor
- Three public members with no familial associations to a police officer, lawyer, or judge
It’s A Step in the Right Direction
While out here trying to do my bit against the Kremlin’s re-incarnation of September 1, 1939…It’s important to raise concerns about some of the apocalyptic Moscow-fighting ideas that are getting put on the table in the excitement. It’s shocking my fellow Kremlin foes are advocating a U.S. led no-fly zone over Ukraine. This is a move which has perhaps 10 percent chance of ending civilization as we know it, since it would require direct, large-scale combat between the U.S. and Russia…inside Russia!
The real solution is deadly but a lot less deadly: Peaceable civil resistance inside Russia, at the discretion of Russians. Guerilla war and civil resistance inside Ukraine, funded, peopled and supplied from across the globe. The Kremlin can be beaten, but it has to be without direct conflict between the two top nuclear powers. This is a long established and proven concept; it’s already been done once in much tougher circumstances. Ideally it should happen at private rather than taxpayer expense, definitely without foreign military presence; each of us does need to do our bit without waiting for governments. We also need to do our bit to prevent Russian bystanders from suffering and prevent the Resistance from going nuclear. Most people are probably reluctant to say this; maybe I can say it since I was a volunteer inside Bosnia during that one and am hopefully doing my part for Ukrainians and friendly Russians during this one.
“Independence without enmity”
1) The Russian government’s act of all-out conventional war is wildly excessive. Any individual or voluntarily funded institution wishing to help defend Ukraine against this overstep is far within their rights, recent Kremlin threats against this non-withstanding.
2) The initial success of the attack on this Western-leaning nation…is a reminder that Washington cannot be relied on to defend New Hampshire. Counterintuitive as is sounds, NH would be better off – and the Western world should benefit – if we handled own defense and diplomacy. Instead of being tied the weirdly aggressive-yet-impotent D.C. zombie, we would find a wide range of better options for our security. These range from the happily de-militarized neutrality of Costa Rica to the gun-heavy but non-aligned preparedness of Switzerland. We would also have the option of doing something better for future nations-under-threat like Ukraine: We could insist that any government we ally ourselves with…free its own people from invasion-enabling gun control laws:
3) Ukraine’s government has made this invasion practical by doing something most European governments and even American governments are still doing: They limited the private possession/carry of firearms up until the week of the invasion, when they finally let civilians carry them without permission. This is roughly what happened in the ill-fated Spanish Republic during the 1936 war. Ukrainians are now reported to be desperately mobbing gun stores, for good reason but probably too late. GunPolicy.org lists Ukraine as having only 7 civilian firearms per 100 persons…a foreign invader’s dream. Civilians in the average U.S. state, including New Hampshire, reportedly possess over 115 per 100.
4) Washington has unnecessarily provoked Moscow over the last 30 years. By moving NATO so close to Russian borders and arguably sponsoring a Ukrainian coup in 2014, it ignored the Rodina’s security concerns. Since 2001 especially, it has bombed, blockaded and invaded many nations with little good reason but much abuse of local civilians. It has cast away the relative ethical high ground, against the wishes of most New Hampshirites. It has also become a direct physical threat to all of us with its unconstitutional rules and raids inside our libertarian-leaning state. It has become incapable of credibly condemning Russia’s actions the way it did during the Kremlin’s invasion of Finland in 1939.
5) U.S. ruler Joe Biden’s statement of Feb. 24, 2022 is partially worthy of condemnation: “Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences.” By speaking in this manner, he equated the Russian people with their quasi-dictator…that would be like equating General Franco with the Catalan anarchists he so victimized in the Spanish Civil War. Individual Russians and the Russian nation should be treated as potential allies against Putin; many have already risked their lives this week to protest against him
6) New Hampshire, unlike Switzerland and Costa Rica, is currently on the nuclear target list as a result of its membership in the United States system. This would be one thing if the U.S. were generally in the right and generally humane. It is not and thus is not worthy of *our* lives. Both D.C. and Moscow deserve opposition; neither deserve support.
7) Moscow’s move may be designed to divert attention from a planned attack on Taiwan, where invasion-friendly gun laws are even more severe than Ukraine’s.
8) The appropriate New Hampshire move is to peaceably declare independence from the U.S. (as Rep. Sylvia’s current legislation at Concord is attempting to do). Then it should set a clean foreign policy of its own crafting. This policy should be one that does not overextend and does not aggress but does keep faith with foreign allies by insisting (as a minimum condition of continued partnership) that their governments end all the gun controls they are imposing on their people.
“Independence without enmity”
In 2016 we featured a video from then-eleven-year-old Mikey Gordon as he shut down a state trooper’s speed trap in Alstead. In the Summer of 2020, at age 15, Mikey was arrested for allegedly refusing to pull over while riding a motorcycle in Keene, leading police on a high-speed chase that ended near Rt 12.
Local Snitch, Alexander Short of Swanzey
According to police, the then-unknown motorcycle operator ditched the bike and ran into the woods before police were able to catch up. Fortunately for the cops, a local snitch, Alexander Short – the owner of Short’s Detailing at 58 Forest Ave in Swanzey – approached them and told officers he knew who the operator of the motorcycle was, as the two had been hanging out in the Target parking lot the same night. The snitch placed a phone call to Mikey’s cell phone and officers were then able to locate and take him into custody, ultimately returning him home to his parents’ house.
Months later, Mikey was subsequently charged with two misdemeanor counts: “disobeying an officer” and “operating without valid license”. The first count was charged as “class A”, which could result in up to a year in jail and the second count charged as “class B” which could be a large fine. The Keene Police prosecutor offered a plea deal which would have dropped the class A charge in return for his guilty plea on the class B with the punishment being a 30 day loss of license and $620 fine plus $720 suspended on condition of good behavior. Now-seventeen-year-old Mikey heroically refused the plea deal and took the charges to trial earlier this month:
After the state presented its case, Keene district court judge Patrick W Ryan took the case “under advisement” and complimented Mikey, telling him, “you did a good job”. It was Mikey’s first time in court and he appeared pro-se, defending himself without the help of an attorney.
Normally, when a robed man takes a case under advisement it is a good sign that the verdict will not be “guilty”, because usually they are hesitant to deliver a not-guilty verdict in front of an audience and cameras. Judges are likely to issue more favorable verdicts when the cameras are off and no one is around, and that is exactly what happened in this case. Actually, the charges were “dismissed” according to the case file, which means Mikey wasn’t found “not guilty”. Dismissing charges after the trial has finished is an unusual result, but it’s still a solid win for the teenage Cop Block activist.
Observers reported that the snitch Alexander Short laughed and told Mikey outside of the courtroom to “have fun in jail”. Who is laughing now? One benefit of taking charges to trial is the police have to put snitches – or any undercover agents – on the witness stand to make their case, whereas if the defendant takes a plea deal the snitch is protected from public view. So now everyone knows that Alexander Short of Swanzey New Hampshire is happy to throw his friends under the bus and rat them out to the police for victimless crimes.
Congratulations to Mikey for his victory!
This weekend, the celebrated “Porcupine Day”, the annual commemoration of the FSP reaching its goal of 20,000 liberty activists pledged to move to New Hampshire. That goal was reached on February 5th, 2016, making this the sixth annual Porcupine Day. Approximately 140 people packed Murphy’s Taproom in Bedford last night to celebrate and “Queen Quill” Carla Gericke and co-founder Jeremy Kauffman spoke. Here are both of their speeches: