Looking forward to a day off

I have the day off from work today, though I normally work every weekend. Once a month I take a Saturday for my board game meet up which I host in Rochester, New Hampshire, at Jetpack Comics’ big game room. I’ll be there from 2 pm until they close at 10:30, or whenever I decide to leave if the other people have left.

I look forward to spending some time with my games, which I don’t normally feel like playing by myself. I have a few games that can be played solo, but it just isn’t the same experience.

In other news, I just learned that a new employee at my store, a transfer from another location, is related to one of my liberty friends. Next Thursday I’ll be at another Seacoast liberty meet up and ought to see him.

I’m also intending to see if anyone wants to run for state office there. I’ll be preparing, over the next week, a document listing off all the state reps in Strafford County, and their liberty scores. Anyone with an NHLA score below B could be facing a challenger from the pro-liberty crowd! I’ll also print out the details about filing requirements, and the ward maps for the 3 cities in the county (Rochester, Dover, and Somersworth).

Well, gotta get started on it. I’ll do that for a bit and then go back to bed for awhile. I didn’t sleep very well, I’m afraid.

 

Hodge-podge

Just a little more about my life and things I’ve been thinking about the last couple of days.

First of all, I don’t really like my job, although it gets me out of sitting alone in my apartment, which is good. Mostly I don’t like having to be on my feet for 8 hours a day. The work itself isn’t bad, except when the bathrooms are messy. And Wal-Mart associates are mostly very nice people. Some of them will even discuss history and politics with me, but I need to do more about economic ideas.

I haven’t had time to do much of anything, the last couple of days. But I did start a couple of things.

I’ve borrowed the book The Silmarillion, by JRR Tolkien (published posthumously with editing by his son Christopher), which contains several stories that are the back history of the elves, mostly, from his more famous works, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Its quite fascinating, especially his ideas about multiple Gods creating things. And also, as a genealogy lover, I like learning about the ancestors of the elf Elrond.

Second thing I’ve just started: a friend recently fixed up my laptop for me, which now works normally except for not having internet. Being a tech guy, he gave me a text editor program for computer programmers, also an interpreter and help guide for the computer language Python, a more advanced language related to C and C++. By more advanced, I mean that things you would have to write as programs in C++ are built into the Python language, some advanced data structures, for instance. I studied C++ in college so this should be quite interesting. I don’t know if I’ll get a career doing Python programming but I’ve started trying to learn the language.

I’ve also volunteered to help a pro-liberty PAC here in New Hampshire, called the Get Involved PAC. They basically recruit candidates to run for state office here, especially to fill seats where the incumbent had a score from the NH Liberty Alliance that was less than a B. I actually did that about a week ago but I don’t think I wrote anything about it at the time. The leaders are Free Staters and also part of NHLA, and one of them is also my landlord, the owner of the building where I live.

I’m about to embark on another chapter of my map creation, tackling the more complex state house maps.

Speaking of chapters, I may post some short stories on this site in the near future. I’ve been working on my own fictional world for quite some time but don’t have anything quite ready to publish yet.

I tried stargazing again yesterday morning and could only see the brightest stars. About all I could make out were the two Dippers and Leo.

Today, the sky is much clearer though there are some clouds.

There was a solar eclipse a few days ago, visible only in a small area in Asia or the Pacific Ocean. A solar eclipse is always followed, so I’ve heard, two weeks later by a lunar eclipse. They are seen over a much larger area of the earth. So, in about ten days, at our next full moon, be watching the skies. This one is a partial eclipse, though.

I’m going back out to look at stars, after I consult my sky map again. More later!


 

 

 

My great weekend

Last weekend was really enjoyable. On Friday, I went with a neighbor to a friend’s house in my town. He hangs out with us and we watch movies, play boardgames, or video games, and I use his computer. I am able to supplement my 3-4 times a week visit to the library to get in a little more time on the internet. Each day I go to the library, I am limited to one hour on the internet, unfortunately. I am going again today to get in some stuff I have been meaning to do.

On Saturday, I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen in over a year. They used to live in Rochester, but moved to Concord in 2014. Anyway, they had a pool party at their house, and I drove up with my “borrowed” neighbor kid. I hadn’t been swimming in at least 5 years, but it was fun. Besides the host family, and the two of us, I think there were eight other people there, with all of the adults being participants in or friends of the Free State Project. Some of the people just hung around and ate for 2-3 hours and then left, but some of us went swimming in my friend’s nice in-ground pool, and we also played some of my boardgames. We started with two of my party games, which I wanted to get in because they are made for larger groups and are a lot of fun to play. In fact, several of the participants who don’t normally like games liked the two we played, especially the second game. We played Big Picture Apples to Apples, followed by Wits and Wagers Party. After three more people left, it was just my neighbor, myself, and the three members of the host family who were there. As it was getting dark, we moved inside and proceeded to play two more of my games, Boss Monster and Forbidden Desert (that one is called a “cooperative game” because you are working with the other players, not trying to win individually).

I would have taken a bunch of pictures, but I didn’t know where my camera was at the time. Anyway, if I am able to go to a repeat event, look for some pictures to come to this blog.

By the way, the boardgame links above are all to a wonderful website called boardgamegeek.com, which is both an encyclopedia and social networking site for boardgamers. The same company also has video game and role-playing game versions of the website. My name on BGG is the same as the name of this webpage, brycenh. You can see all the games I own at this link.

What is the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance?

I am a supporter (and I believe I have the free membership) in an organization called the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, a nonpartisan political advocacy group that works to monitor and advise the state legislature here in New Hampshire.

They do some amazing things. They have dozens to hundreds of volunteers. Together, they read EVERY SINGLE piece of legislation that is proposed in the State House and State Senate. They make recommendations on which bills are anti-liberty or pro-liberty, and on how much of an impact on liberty each bill has. Then, during the active part of each legislative season (roughly January through June), they put out a one-page flyer called the Gold Standard which is given to each member of the legislature, at least those who will take one. This is quite an accomplishment in itself, since the lower house of the legislature, formally known as the General Court, has 400 members (it is one of the largest legislatures in the English-speaking world, I believe 4th behind the US Congress, British Parliament, and Indian Congress).

As if this is not enough, at the end of the legislative season, the NHLA rates every member of the 2 houses and gives them a grade, how pro-liberty were they, with the grades going from A+ all way down to F and beyond to a grade called CT, Constitutional Threat.

The NHLA also has someone who coordinates service projects. The organization also produces bumper stickers, puts on an annual dinner in which they release the grades and honor the top legislator and activist for the year. There is also a website, nhliberty.org. I suggest you check it out, especially if you’re in New Hampshire or if you want to see how effective state level political action can be.

This organization is one of the main mechanisms for Free Staters (a colloquial term for participants in the Free State Project) to get involved in political activism after they move, and there is a lot of overlap in the membership rolls, but it would be a mistake to call this a Free Stater organization. Officially, the Free State Project doesn’t tell its members how to get involved in bringing about a more free society after moving, but is just the vehicle to get people of a liberty mindset here to the US.

In a future post I will write about this year’s Liberty Rating from the NHLA.

What is the Free State Project

Hello, this is Bryce again.

 

I am a participant in the Free State Project. What, exactly, does that mean?

I’m just going to basically define the project here. I’ll deal with objections in future posts.

I have been a libertarian for many years, but about 4 years ago, I moved from the western US to the state of New Hampshire.

The Free State Project is an effort to convince 20,000 people who share a common view of what society should be like (based on voluntary interaction, not the force of government) to pool their efforts in one relatively small place. The project started with an essay written in 2001 by a graduate student in political science, Jason Sorens (now a political science professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH), in which he proposed the 20,000 number and said that the target state should be one with a population of less than 2 million people. I believe there are 12 states in the US that meet this criterion, but ultimately only ten were put in the vote in 2003. Two of the states, Hawaii and Rhode Island, were considered to have state governments that were too corrupt to even contemplate trying to reform them. The other ten states were put up for a vote. New Hampshire won the vote as being the best state to make this effort, with Wyoming taking second place. The other states that were considered were Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Vermont, and Maine. I think I have those right.

 

If you want to know something about why New Hampshire was such a popular choice, see the video 101 Reasons to Move to New Hampshire.

If you want to know why I personally felt this was a worthwhile effort, here is a brief explanation of it. I will write a post at another time saying why I feel so strongly about libertarianism.

I could see that voting for libertarians rarely accomplished anything. Outside of New Hampshire, libertarians rarely get elected to anything, unless they run in the Republican or Democrat Parties (even that is a rarety, excepting the wonderful libertarianish figure of Ron Paul, the former Congressman and 3-times candidate for President who, frankly, deserves his own post on this blog). Even when libertarians are elected, it tends to be only to a few very local offices, town or city level for the most part. This effort, of concentrating libertarians from all over the US in one state has changed that, and I am glad to be part of this effort to achieve “Liberty in Our Lifetime”.

I was living in Utah, frequently visiting family who lived just across the border in Colorado, and wishing I could do something to advance the cause of liberty. Then I learned of the Free State Project, and bam! There was something I could do. I saved up my money for a few years before making the move, but in September 2011 I packed up my belongings and made the long trek from Colorado to New Hampshire.