Moving the New Hampshire renaissance forward: Should we do something Medici Florence did?
Image: Petar Miloševi? Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
Most New Hampshire independence activists are libertarians, and most seem to favor adopting a neutral foreign policy similar to that of 20th Century Switzerland. What is something we can do *now* to create more buzz and pull the state in that direction? By “we,” in this context I don’t mean the unwieldy NH government. Rather, the question is “what is something just a dozen or so New Hampshire activists could do to enhance the prospect of eventual neutrality? How do we immediately start “acting like a nation-state?” And what is within our power along these lines?
Here’s the best thing I could think of this week, based on historical precedent. Around the year 1500, one tiny nation led Europe out of the Dark Ages with a scientific and cultural Renaissance that shook the globe: It was the city-state of Florence in Italy. But as the arts and sciences leapt forward over the following centuries…politics in the West “advanced” much more slowly. You could argue that, politically, humanity is still almost in the Dark Ages. Sometimes civic transparency or liberty moves forward, sometimes backward…but things are not obviously better for liberty than they were a century ago.
As in the 1500 era, one tiny state has stepped forward to try and change this and create a renaissance. But this time it is a civic renaissance which we hope will compliment and enhance the world’s art and tech advances. Through its existing, relatively inclusive system…New Hampshire has become one of the freest places in the world and pro-liberty activists from around the planet have already migrated here by thousands. Meanwhile, the state has reduced its budgets in a time of double-digit inflation and become (or at least remained) the safest and most prosperous place in America. Next, liberty activists envision a gradual (sometimes interrupted) trend toward transparency, lower taxes and slow decentralization of power in the New Hampshire governing system. That is our careful renaissance.
During the 16th Century, Medici rulers in Florence invited governments from as far away as India to join in a great celebration of *their* Renaissance. What if we were to do something similar for *ours?* The Medici showcased the spectacular architecture and inventions they had commissioned, but what do we have to showcase? The answer is probably “Porcupine Festival with bus tours.”
PorcFest is an annual camping event which offers a perfect view of New Hampshire’s comely White Mountains but also the option of staying in motels. It’s usually sold out, and attendance tends to be around 3,000. Sometimes called “the libertarian Burning Man,” PorcFest showcases freedom itself: In contrast with the Nevada festival, government police are almost never present, drugs, guns and illegal commerce are welcome, assault rifles openly displayed. Depending on the year you can usually find devout Muslims and Israeli expats, Satanists and Christian Evangelicals, Ukrainians and Russians…all attending contentedly side by side. Housewives deliver unlicensed haircuts and live-stream the crime; children sell alcohol, illegal gambling tables spring up seemingly at random, and (late bloomer of the 20-year-old event) safely-practiced prostitution is reportedly easing its way into the mix.
Like the Woodstock festival of 1969, PorcFest has a ridiculously low incidence of harmful crime. Surely I’m missing something, but the worst event I can think of was a drunk driver who hurt no one and quickly generated a successful response from private security and our media outlets.
Forty-two percent of New Hampshirites favor a referendum on leaving the Union, according to SurveyUSA’s poll in mid-2022. And a Estonian-style “declaration of independence” went before the full NH State House the same year. But at PorcFest the numbers are much higher than 42 percent; the event usually includes a secession conference with regular appearances and visits by independence leaders from across the continent.
What if, like old Florence, we were to boost our status by sending PorcFest-secession-conference invitations to every national government in the world? Of course, attendees could also enjoy the weeklong event and join bus tours to other parts of the state.
The mere act of evenhandedly sending these invitations would be a tentative deed of neutrality. It would mean reaching out to Iran, North Korea and the Taliban (much as Ron Paul envisioned) while also requesting the presence of U.S. allies. It would be a chance for estranged nations to interact with these United States in a different way from “John Bolton.” It might “be the change we want to see in the world,” altering the current tone of international relations a bit with its re-introduction of Swiss-style neutrality. Unlike the Medici in Florence, we Ron Paul types don’t fully govern New Hampshire. But we do constitute a powerful faction here, and if the trend continues….we will eventually be the government here. Like the Medici before they fully achieved power in Florence, New Hampshire independence activists and libertarians may be group of people you want to know if you’re a foreign diplomat.
My brainstorm would be that for PorcFest 2023 we could email every national government in the world with such an invitation. For redundancy we would want to aim the invite at two different email addresses for each nation, and we would need to define what constitutes a national government. My tentative suggestion would be to include any national government that currently is recognized as such by at least one “UN member state.” For example this would include Kosovo in former Yugoslavia (U.S.-recognized but controversial) and Donetsk near the Russia-Ukraine border (Russia-recognized but also controversial). The list probably would not currently include ISIS diplomats, since it appears the group is not recognized by any UN member state. It would presumably include them in the future if that changes, and in the unlikely event they actually made it to New Hampshire we would have our chance to raise concerns about their behavior and show them a different path.
Although it would be tempting to send invitations in the native language of each recipient, this probably could not be done for all nations at this early stage. All the invitations would probably need to go out in English so that each nation is treated as equally as possible.
Disadvantages of this “invitation plan.”
1) There’s no way to guarantee the good behavior of any visitor to PorcFest. If we were to invite someone and they did something bad while in the U.S., that could be used as an excuse to harm NH liberty. Or there could be Washington-backed trickery.
2) Beijing, if it paid attention at all, would view this obviously neutral act as a provocation. Taiwan is recognized by some UN member states and would, like the CCP, need to be invited. Beijing hates anything that looks like recognizing Taiwan. But ultimately that is on Beijing. The Swiss did things that Germany viewed as provocations in 1940, but Switzerland needed to do them to remain neutral. Beijing could alternately see this invitation as an opportunity to peaceably tweak Washington’s nose. The neutrality of the porcupine has charms to match its quills.
3) The invitations might all be ignored; perhaps we are not big enough yet.
4) We’re diplomatic beginners and would make diplomatic mistakes. But that very process should make us better prepared for independence. Any Slovenian will probably tell you how important that is and how much “not being ready” cost them in ’91.
5) D.C. would perhaps try to block some nations from sending representatives…but this is likely more of an advantage than a problem. When D.C. uses its power, it usually gets weaker…and we get the publicity we seek. The lapdog presstitutes can be relied on to whine that we are being too evenhanded with some cleric at Tehran. Blocked passports might still let us have a publicity stunt on the Canadian border or in international waters…”North Korean diplomat meets U.S. dissidents off coast of restless New England province.”
6) As I understand it: During the War of 1812, New England representatives pushed for independence and met with the otherwise hostile British government. This perceived “separate peace” approach was considered backstabbing by some and is thought to have contributed to the demise of the Federalist faction in America. The groups which replaced it were arguably more authoritarian. By implementing the invitation plan….would we be making the same “mistake” in the same place?
7) Some effort might be required to determine whether outreach of this type is lawful. It seems unlikely that there is a law against individuals openly communicating with a foreign government, but if there is…it would be an opportunity for civil disobedience in front of a Federal compound. It would create both dangers and benefits which would have to be weighed before deciding what to do.
8) We’d need to invite U.S. diplomats, which would give them an excuse to legitimately be there. But D.C. is probably there anyway.
At present the main obstacle to carrying out the invitation plan is a logistical one. I don’t see myself being able to send out 500-odd invitations and perform follow-up activities by myself. Probably it would require about five of us to get started. So: I’m requesting four volunteers…regardless of your location. If they are forthcoming before November 1, 2022 (and there are no compelling arguments against this plan) we can start moving forward. If sufficient volunteers fail to materialize, that means this scheme is premature or flawed in some way. It would probably go back-burner for for a while. If you’d like to participate, respond in the comments section below…here at FreeKeene.com. No registration is required.
Listening to a Marcus Ruis Evans Calexit discussion gave me an idea. If you don’t like the idea (and in some ways I don’t)…it may give you a better idea. Spell it out! Anyway, Evans was talking about how California was pursing its own foreign policy in some ways.
What if , instead of creating a bill that tries to make NH independent across the board…we had legislation that built just one piece of independence infrastructure? For example… what if NH created its own (unpaid) ambassador to the U.N.? This could be an elected statewide position. Historically, NH governors have sometimes acted to undermine Washington’s authority (Lynch vs. Real ID, Sununu vs. Fed gun laws). So it’s not wildly speculative to imagine an NH ambassador articulating some independent foreign policy or questioning UN/US actions at NYC. They might be blown off by the UN establishment, but probably some nations get tired of the answers they receive from D.C.’s UN ambassador. They might like the chance to approach a different UN ambassador from America. This would undermine D.C’s bloodthirsty authority. It might also be an opportunity for NH to take a foreign policy line which makes it less hated by the world than Washington is. There is an historical precedent there too…in 1999 Montenegro (while still part of Yugoslavia) was able to use its dissenting foreign policy and independence drive for the purpose of pressuring D.C. not to bomb it. D.C. was bombing neighboring Serbia at the time and did bomb the Montenegrins, but it bought the Yugo-province good press and may have saved some lives.
There is a problem that some nations have when they are first created… “para-statism.” They become a para-state…independent sort of but not recognized by the UN or a sufficient number of other nations. Examples include Kosovo or (as of September 2022) parts of eastern Ukraine. Having our own UN ambassador earlier than usual might help head off this problem. Would she also perhaps be the only elected ambassador there…and would this perhaps draw positive attention to her?
One downside here is that the actions of such an ambassador now could taint NH efforts at neutrality later. This wouldn’t be a person like you and me. At first it would likely be more of a Chris Sununu or John Lynch…in other words a politician too close to Washington. But creating this position would probably make NH more of a nation than she is today and making it an elected position should further disperse power at Concord.
The point here is not so much to push this specific idea but rather the idea of legislation which would give us some trapping or capability which is associated with independence. As with all legislation, this should be done in some way that does not cost taxpayers anything.
What are other options along these lines? What else does Switzerland or Costa Rica have which we lack?
How about our own official currency? Our own one-woman state department? Our own Herbert Hoover 1915? Hoover used his official neutral status to coordinate Belgium relief during the German occupation. What if we had our own Raoul Wallenberg type position? A Swedish businessman/diplomat…Wallenberg toured Nazi-controlled areas with Berlin’s agreement and also was able to save lives.
These are the only liberty-friendly options I can think of. What are other things people think we need but which we would lose by leaving the empire? If legislators refused to create such a position… is there some smaller NH entity or faction which might? How about an NH GOP representative to the UN? Or an NHLA ambassador there?
….but he still beats the independence-friendly candidate at Winchester.
Image below is thumbnail only.
This weekend, on 9/11, the organized a rally in front of the State House in Concord, to support the “” legislation. Defend the Guard, if passed, would prohibit New Hampshire’s National Guard from being deployed to active combat without a formal declaration of war by Congress.
Multiple people spoke at the rally, which was attended by over 40 people, including veterans , and . Plus, President Alu Axelman, host Reed Coverdale, and LPNH candidate for US Senate also spoke. Here are all their speeches:
NRA’s Rating for NH Senate District 10 Candidates
I’m happy to announce that in my campaign running as a republican for NH Senate District 10, I have received the top rating of “A” from both the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition and the NRA, having bested my republican primary opponent, Sly Karasinski, who only scored a “B” from both organizations. The democrats in the race did much worse. The NRA’s rating includes the letter “Q”, and the NHFC’s rating includes the letter “S”, both of which mean that all they have to go on is my responses to their questionnaires, as I have no voting record, having not yet held office.
In addition to my top ratings from the gun rights groups, I also received the endorsement from the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, which sends questionnaires out to all candidates as well as scoring existing state reps and senators on whether or not they vote for liberty. They do great work.
Finally, I received 85 out of 100 from Granite State Taxpayers. My opponents did not bother to respond to their survey. The 85 is due to two “missed” questions, neither of which had to do with taxes. One was, “Will you support limiting voting to persons who have been New Hampshire residents for at least 30 days?” – I said “no”. The other was, “Will you oppose casino gambling?”, to which I said “no”. I do oppose gambling monopolies, but as a supporter of freedom, I think gambling should be legal, untaxed, and unregulated, just like every business should be. Neither issue I “missed” on GST’s questionnaire has anything to do with taxes, so I’m not sure why GST was asking about them. Here is a link to their full database showing all candidates’ responses.
New Hampshire Firearms Coalition’s Ratings for NH Senate District 10
If you’d like more information about me and my pro-freedom positions on the issues, you can visit my official campaign page here and also my Citizens Count NH page has many issues where I was able to submit custom responses. Here’s more from Vote Smart’s Political Courage Test. Finally, here is a link to my Ballotpedia profile.
This year’s race for District 10 is wide-open as the current senator, democrat Jay Kahn, is not running for re-election. The newly re-mapped NH Senate District 10 includes Alstead, Chesterfield, Dublin, Hancock, Harrisville, Keene, Marlborough, Nelson, Peterborough, Roxbury, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Walpole, and Westmoreland. If you are in those towns and are an undeclared voter or a registered republican, you can vote for me on September 13th at the primary election. You can also register at the polls the same day, if you are not yet registered to vote. Undeclared voters can declare as republican, receive the republican ballot, then undeclare again before you leave the polls.
Jazzy, Renee, Andy, Ian @ Forkfest 2020
In the last week, Renee and Andy Spinella were sentenced for their victimless “crimes” in the Crypto Six case. This spring, the two agreed to plead guilty to a single count of “wire fraud” for saying something to a bank that was allegedly not the whole truth. As prosecutors admitted at Renee’s sentencing, there were no damages to the “victims” in this case, a list of several banks and credit unions. No restitution is owed to them by either of the Spinellas or Nobody – who was sentenced last month on his plea deal – because well, the banks weren’t actually defrauded.
Renee was sentenced last week to $2100 in fines and fees and three years on probation and Andy was sentenced today to $600 in fines and fees and 18 months on probation. On its own, the sentence doesn’t seem too bad, until you remember that it includes a federal felony conviction that will stay with them their entire lives unless the president pardons them.
Banks can lie to you with no penalty, but the federal government goons’ position is that if you say anything to the banks that isn’t the entire truth, even with no intention to defraud, that you should have your home violently raided, then face up to 30 years in prison for every statement you made that they didn’t like. Not even a federal perjury charge is as serious as “wire fraud” as perjury can only be sentenced up to five years in prison.
The fact that none of the “victims” were damaged in any way was of no consequence, because the prosecutors just want to get more convictions on their record so they can move up the political chain by crushing innocent lives beneath them. Now Andy and Renee can no longer carry guns and anyone who checks their records and doesn’t bother to ask them about the “wire fraud” conviction might mistakenly believe the two are dishonest fraudsters, and nothing could be further from the truth.
They are two honest, good people who only took plea deals because the prosecutors were threatening them with more victimless charges and, like most people facing federal prosecution, they just wanted it to be over. I don’t blame them for doing what they considered best, but now that they are sentenced, Nobody is sentenced, and Colleen’s charges were dropped, it’s just me and Aria left to go to trial. We think a jury with a shred of decency will find us not guilty of all the bullshit “crimes” against us. In the event of such a decision, I would be relieved, but not happy, because my friends did not deserve what happened to them – the feds used them as stepping stones to get to me. No victim, no crime.
The next step in the “Crypto Duo” trial is Thursday September 1st at 9:30am in federal court church in Concord, where the judge will hear arguments on a motion to dismiss the “money transmitter” charges.
Videos are now available on Odysee covering various aspects of the rally and the Ballot Law Commission meeting yesterday where Karen Sue Steele’s challenge of the “Independent Thirteen” failed by a 5-0 vote. Karen had been trying to get the secession-friendly state reps barred from ever holding office again.
Free Keene’s video includes a speech given by the President of the Foundation for NH Independence, Alu Axelman, the full portion of the commission meeting where the BLC heard Karen’s complaint, an interview by NBC Boston with CACR 32 co-sponsor Matt Santonastaso, and the activists confronting Karen when she leaves the building:
Dave Ridley of the Ridley Report was also on-the-scene. His video contains his reporting on the events and also multiple “ambush” videos where he speaks to various politicians and bureaucrats as they enter or exit the hearing:
Karen and her handler Kathy Slade slinked away for now. What will they try next? I’m excited to see and grateful to them for providing the NH Independence movement with so much free publicity!