Welcome (and forgive the roughness)

I just published the website today, although I created it and started posting a few days ago. Please forgive some roughness, as I will be tweaking the appearance and adding content on a somewhat sporadic basis, due to the fact that my laptop is no longer able to access the internet.

I just read a great article about the top 25 libertarian movies of all time. It’s on a website I’ve never been to before, missliberty.com.

I have downloaded my favorite podcasts today, for another week of listening pleasure. I will write more about each of these shows later. The shows I downloaded are The Tom Woods Show, The Peter Schiff podcast, Neocash Radio, Chris Cantwell’s Radical Agenda (which includes a lot of swearing and some controversial opinions, fyi),

Feel free to comment on any of my posts. I do ask that you keep your comments constructive and specific, and avoid insulting language. I will be continuing the introductory posts for some time but will intersperse posts about news and current events within the NH liberty community.

Thanks for coming to my site, and let me know if there is something you think I can do to improve it!

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.

What is Libertarianism?

My political views are best described as Libertarian. Although many people are familiar with this concept, I think it best to explain it a little. Basically, libertarianism is a purely political philosophy (i.e. a belief that only deals with what is okay or moral for the GOVERNMENT to do) and can best be summarized as follows:

A libertarian is a person who believes in the NAP, the Non-Aggression Principle, which states that it is immoral to initiate aggression against another person or group of people. Aggression is understood to mean committing or threatening force or fraud.

Many people live their private lives in accordance with this principle, but think there is an exception for when the government does something that they would consider to be illegitimate for private persons to do. For instance, I would be wrong to kidnap my neighbor even if I thought he had stolen my property. However, if someone from the government, wearing a uniform and carrying a badge, and using a different word, “Arrest”, does it, non-libertarians would consider this okay. That is ridiculous.

I just want to say, I am not trying to pick on the police, but they are the ones who enforce many ridiculous laws that violate people’s fundamental and common law rights.

If you want to learn more about what libertarians believe, see some questions answered, or take a test to see if you are a libertarian (called the World’s Smallest Political Quiz), then I recommend you visit a website of The Advocates for Self-Government.

Thanks for reading. Next I will write about the effort that brought me to New Hampshire, called the Free State Project.