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United States

The Free State Project 1732

Psychic Burrito writes "From their website: The Free State Project is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to a single state of the U.S. to secure there a free society. We will accomplish this by first reforming state law, opting out of federal mandates, and finally negotiating directly with the federal government for appropriate political autonomy." Perhaps they should also read Everything: Kansas. I think Don Marti was also the one who thought the geeks should do this by moving en masse to North Dakota.
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The Free State Project

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  • Google Cache (Score:5, Informative)

    by fire-eyes (522894) on Monday October 21, 2002 @12:53PM (#4496549) Homepage
    Not responding, however here is the google cache [216.239.53.100].
  • by diwolf (537997) <diwolf@calame r a s y s t e m s .com> on Monday October 21, 2002 @12:56PM (#4496593)
    Wasn't this tried already? Like, uhm, the Civil War? States rights supreme. Freedom from the Federalists. etc...

    Jeeze, go out and rent 'Civil War' (it's only like 10 hours of documentary)...
  • by rw2 (17419) on Monday October 21, 2002 @12:57PM (#4496608) Homepage
    Oh, and we covered this topic [poliglut.com] a long time ago at Poliglut.

    Not that /. shouldn't, just that politically minded folk might find a politcally oriented site a better resource than /. for politics.
  • We'll see.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by cybermace5 (446439) <g.ryan@macetech.com> on Monday October 21, 2002 @12:58PM (#4496613) Homepage Journal
    So. Liberty geeks now want nation-state status?

    What a joke. Indians have had this for years, they negotiate directly (for the most part) with the federal government, and they technically run their own show inside the borders.

    Confine yourself to a reservation, and call it liberty? Don't think so.

    Even prison inmates have liberty, within the confines of their cells.
  • Re:Google Cache (Score:3, Informative)

    by Peyna (14792) on Monday October 21, 2002 @01:03PM (#4496683) Homepage
    cache of the FAQ page [216.239.51.100], it only took me a moment to find, but it was the first thing I tried to visit.

    Don't waste your mod points on this either, I'm not worth it.

  • by NitsujTPU (19263) on Monday October 21, 2002 @01:09PM (#4496783)
    Ok, so, the idea is to move a whole shitload of people to one area and create a state where libertarianism rules supreme. This sounds vaguely like what the Mormons do, and they've got a good head start on us. You might get a significant constituency, or a city, but a state is certainly outside the grasp of this.
  • by Pollux (102520) <(ge.ten.atadet) (ta) (reteps)> on Monday October 21, 2002 @01:10PM (#4496795) Journal
    Come to North Dakota!

    I think Don Marti was also the one who thought the geeks should do this by moving en masse to North Dakota.

    Hey, North Dakota's got such a low population right now, we'd be happy to have more people move here!

    The Free State Project is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to a single state of the U.S. to secure there a free society.

    Let's see here, in our last election, Bush got 60% of the vote, so with a population of about 600,000 people, that means that roughly 400,000 of them are conservative. So, even if we have 20,000 liberals move here, that still won't change our conservative state!

    Come to North Dakota! :) But I'm afraid that we won't let you make your own "free society." If you want to do that, move to Montana.
  • by McBeth (1724) <mcbeth@NOSpaM.broggs.org> on Monday October 21, 2002 @01:20PM (#4496937) Homepage
    Actually, the mormons were accused of trying something similar in Missouri, New York, Illinois, etc. A governer declared open season on the killing of mormons, they were slaughtered, moved out of the country, rejoined the country as a state, and now misguided legislators in Utah do their best to gerrymander other (non-mormon) voices in Utah out of their representation.

    I guess my only point is that Native Americans are not the last time such a scheme has been attempted. With the mormons, it went bad for the "invaders" instead of the "invaded"
  • by CreepyNinja (615245) on Monday October 21, 2002 @01:22PM (#4496946)
    Liberal? Where the hell did you get that idea? I'm a conservative through and through. I was saying they are going to want to have their own laws and country, but want US to fund it. And to that, I'd tell them to go jump in a river.
  • by Chris Parrinello (1505) on Monday October 21, 2002 @01:30PM (#4497012)
    From the FAQ:

    Q. I love the idea of the FSP, but I only want to live someplace warm -- I'd never make it in those cold states. Can't you make a warmer state an option?


    Which could be read as:

    I want liberty but my political beliefs end at having to buy a winter coat.

  • Re:Privatization? (Score:3, Informative)

    by CrosbieSmith (550211) on Monday October 21, 2002 @01:31PM (#4497035)
    Your view of the California debacle is not uncontroversial [mises.org]
  • by entrigant (233266) on Monday October 21, 2002 @01:35PM (#4497078)
    This sounds vaguely like what the Mormons do...

    As a knowledgable ex-mormon I find this statement completely ignorant. The only thing that mormons did that was vaguely similar to this was migrate to Utah back when nobody else wanted to go there. They sure as hell didn't want to go there themselves. It is the one time in the history of the church there was an actual split over a disagreement. Some people stayed to form an off shoot while the rest left. The conditions were total crap. They were driven out by intense hatred and prosecution from the rest of society.

    There is no directorate or anything else in the churches plicies that says "ye shall overwhelm states with large numbers and take over." They never made any such move with those intentions.

    You do have the right to your own opinions.. even if they are based on lies. However you might want to check your accuracy before stating such misinformed opinions publicly.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday October 21, 2002 @01:36PM (#4497095)
    Couple things:

    1) Arizona has WAAAAAY too many people here to try something like that. The Phoenix metro is huge, over 7 million people.

    2) The Native Americans are in no way forced to live on reservations, they are US citizens and may live in any city in the US they choose. There are more than plenty that DO live in one of the cities in Arizona, or just move out of the state.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 21, 2002 @02:02PM (#4497412)
    Thru creating their own "citizens" which didn't exist prior to the civil war. Take an afternoon off and go to a reference library, and find the US Constitution Annotated with court decisions. You want the section on the 14th amendment (which takes up most of this very thick book).

    You will find that it is only the specially enfranchised "US citizen" that is regulated thus. The pre-existing status of state Citizen was not affected.

    Also, try http://come.to/foundation for information you won't hear from the ACLU.
  • by jdavidb (449077) on Monday October 21, 2002 @02:06PM (#4497452) Homepage Journal

    Google for Eric Raymond's libertarian FAQ.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Monday October 21, 2002 @02:10PM (#4497502)
    The threat to withold highway funds is only persuasive to some states: those states which have more roads, per capita, then their tax base would ordinarily support.

    Specifically, highway funds come from a Federal pool to which each state contributes according to their ability, and from which funds are allocated to each state, according to their need.

    It's only if your net take is larger than your net input that witholding of federal highway funds is persuasive.

    Most unfunded mandates originate in California (the organ donor reduction acts -- also called "motorocycle helmet laws", and similar legislation on drinking age, speed limits, and other unfunded mandates are basically cafeteria plans for mandates that say "you will adopy 3 out of 5 of the following legislation in order to maintain funding")... and California is on the other side of that equation.

    In the limit, the reason that the highway system was nationalized in 1956 is that there was a national security argument for support of mobile command posts, in the event of a nuclear war (and later downgraded to "any national emergency", after the widespread protests surrounding the vietnam war).

    If that theory still holds, then it's in the federal government's best to continue supplying funds, regardless of what the state does or does not do (or it can see its interstate system go to hell in a handbasket, threatening national security).

    -- Terry
  • Re:Moon Colony (Score:2, Informative)

    by digitalgiblet (530309) on Monday October 21, 2002 @02:10PM (#4497503) Homepage Journal
    Just a quick note of "Good Luck" on the moon colony.

    Here are my suggestions for funding: Paul Allen, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison and BILL GATES. There really aren't that many people in the world who have enough money to attempt such a grand feat. Even fewer who could EVER be convinced there was some reason to sink their entire fortunes in such lunacy (sorry).

    I'm afraid it would take REAL geeks to fund this operation which has no practical application or potential for return on investment. The heirs of Sam Walton are super wealthy, but not likely to fall for this plan.

    Quick quiz: Name something the moon colony could export to Earth that couldn't be made and transported more cheaply either on Earth or in low Earth orbit (or simply done without)?

    Until we have a VERY compelling answer to that question, private companies are NOT going to fund a great big geek colony on the moon for its own sake. Companies do not exist without profit. That is not a view that is popular in these parts, but it is as fundamentally true as plants need carbon dioxide and animals need oxygen. Funding a moon colony that couldn't pay back huge returns would make no more sense than a tiger spending most of his time gathering up plants for the little lambs to eat. Sure it makes him a hell of a guy, but in the end he starves.

    That leaves only (drum roll please) the federal government... So the best bet for escaping the federal government (and that pesky gravity well) is the federal government.

    Don't forget: when Europeans came to the new world, they didn't have to bring their oxygen with them...

  • Re:Nope. (Score:3, Informative)

    by caffeineboy (44704) <skidmore...22@@@osu...edu> on Monday October 21, 2002 @02:28PM (#4497696)
    Please, read the news sometime.
    Supreme Court Outlaws Medical Marijuana [policyalmanac.org]

  • by stevenj (9583) <stevenj@al u m . m it.edu> on Monday October 21, 2002 @02:32PM (#4497745) Homepage
    Montana not dependent on federal funds? It receives $1.75 in federal funding for every $1 it pays in federal taxes. Urban states on the East and West coast are the opposite: they pay more in federal taxes than they receive, effectively subsizing the rural heartland.

    The following is an excerpt from a Paul Krugman column in the May 7, 2002 NY times, responding to the recent 180-billion farm subsidy bill. (He's comparing the "red" states, the mostly rural heartland states that voted for Bush, to the "blue" states, mostly urban regions on the coasts, that voted for Gore.)

    But what's really outrageous is the claim that the heartland is self-reliant. That grotesque farm bill, by itself, should put an end to all such assertions; but it only adds to the immense subsidies the heartland already receives from the rest of the country. As a group, red states pay considerably less in taxes than the federal government spends within their borders; blue states pay considerably more. Over all, blue America subsidizes red America to the tune of $90 billion or so each year.

    And within the red states, it's the metropolitan areas that pay the taxes, while the rural regions get the subsidies. When you do the numbers for red states without major cities, you find that they look like Montana, which in 1999 received $1.75 in federal spending for every dollar it paid in federal taxes. The numbers for my home state of New Jersey were almost the opposite. Add in the hidden subsidies, like below-cost provision of water for irrigation, nearly free use of federal land for grazing and so on, and it becomes clear that in economic terms America's rural heartland is our version of southern Italy: a region whose inhabitants are largely supported by aid from their more productive compatriots.

    There's no mystery about why the heartland gets such special treatment: it's a result of our electoral system, which gives states with small populations -- mainly, though not entirely, red states -- disproportionate representation in the Senate, and to a lesser extent in the Electoral College. In fact, half the Senate is elected by just 16 percent of the population.

    But while this raw political clout is a fact of life, at least we can demand an end to the hypocrisy. The heartland has no special claim to represent the "real America." And the blue states have a right to ask why, at a time when the federal government has plunged back into deficit, when essential domestic programs are under assault, a small minority of heavily subsidized Americans should feel that they are entitled to even more aid.

  • by Myopic (18616) on Monday October 21, 2002 @02:36PM (#4497777)
    this may have been pointed out already, but here is the "answer" to your "question": the Supreme Court has interpreted the 'Commerce Clause" to mean that Congress can legislate anything that AFFECTS interstate commerce (in my opinion, not an entirely absurd interpretation). thus, since the state of California growing marijuana AFFECTS the interstate drug trade, the Feds can intervene.

    (For reference, the decision took place upon the situation of a farmer who grew his own feed, raised his own cattle, and sold it all only to people in his state. there was NO interstate commerce being conducted, so he wanted to be free from FDA regulations on clean meat. the US Supreme Court said no, he was participating in a fudamentally interstate trade, thus must follow Fed rules.)

    peace
  • DC (Score:3, Informative)

    by gclef (96311) on Monday October 21, 2002 @03:09PM (#4498069)
    Which, interestingly enough, is not a state...and they're not particularly happy about that. They have no representation in the senate (at least, not any whose votes are actually counted), nor the House, and even put "Taxation without Representation" on the city license plates as a jab at the fact that they're the only part of the continental US that has no power in congress.

    They might just be up for a revolution...would be worth a try...
  • by Silmaril (19015) on Monday October 21, 2002 @03:30PM (#4498262)
    They'll probably expect to write their own laws, yet still have police

    Without drug or gun laws, what use do you expect they will have for "federal police", whatever those are?

    and military protection from the US.

    Are you joking? They are more likely to need protection from the U.S. military.

    They'll also expect the US Government to not let utility companies gouge them in prices,

    As libertarians, they are adamantly against government regulation, including price regulations.

    and they'll likely expect constant infrastructure improvements, such as highway building/maintenance.

    They specifically state that they will turn down federal highway funding. Next time try reading the linked page before inflicting your misinformed speculations upon us.

  • by DaytonCIM (100144) on Monday October 21, 2002 @05:03PM (#4499033) Homepage Journal
    Hospitals and law enforcement should be corporately run

    You're joking right? Private law enforcement? Excuse me, while I take a moment to stop laughing. I don't mean to be rude, nor sarcastic, but that is the most asinine thing I've heard in a long time.

    Private Law Enforcement. What happens when the CEO of your law enforcement company decides he doesn't like you living in his neighbor and arrests you? Are you going to fight him in corporate court?

    Like it or not, there is a definite need for a central government to protect you from foreign aggression, maintain internal order (i.e. law enforcement), and to administrate the courts. That is what this country was founded upon. Of course in the last 260 years it has veered way off track and now we have TOO MANY laws. Too much bureaucracy. But does that mean we must resort to the opposite end of the spectrum? The other extreme?

    Add some safe guards to your plan before attempting your utopian idea. Else, you might find yourself working for one individual who owns the police, fire, library, courts, and is your "elected" official.
  • Re:Nope. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Aexia (517457) on Monday October 21, 2002 @05:20PM (#4499189)
    The problem wasn't with the Supreme Court finding Florida's election standards to be unconstitutional(a 7-2 decision). The problem was their remedy(the 5-4 decision).

    First, they ignored the dozen or so other states that used the exact same "unconstitutional" standard and allowed their results.

    Second, they didn't propose a valid set of standards to replace the set they were invalidating.

    Third, despite finding those standards to be unconstitutional, they then proceeded to accept the certified totals... which were tallied under a standard they just said was invalid.

    Additionally, the majority stated that a recount that showed Bush not winning might tarnish his victory. No sh*t, huh?

    Combined with the aforementioned inconsistancy and their statements that this shouldn't be used as precedent, one can see how transparently partisan the decision was.

    If the Supreme Court wanted to act in a non-partisan fashion, they would've found the standards to be unconstitutional, laid out a new set of standards and then ordered a new recount under those standards.

    Why didn't they? Because, as the media consortium recounts have shown, Gore likely would've come out ahead.
  • by jonbrewer (11894) on Monday October 21, 2002 @05:51PM (#4499422) Homepage
    I have yet to actually see anyone making the claim of "Increased costs of healthcare" actually produce figures to back it up.

    Having debated this issue while in college, I've done my homework. Here's some reading:

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/sa febike/endnotes.html [dot.gov]
  • Some important points:

    1.) The California medical marijuana clubs HAVE taken a case to the supreme court, using medical necessity as a defense for distributing marijuana. They lost. The founders of prop 215 stupidly forgot to include a clause protecting suppliers.

    2.) I did some contract computer security work for clubs in California (Where else would you get a chance to test your skills against the feds?) One of the clubs had hired a Ph.D. ethnographer to study its members. He asked me to compile a report on diagnosis of club members. Around 50% had AIDS or were HIV positive. Around 30% had cancer. The other twenty percent were a combination of mental illness such as depression, chronic pain, glaucoma, and others. Very few people, in this particular club, anyway, were stereotypical "stoners" just looking for a legal way to get high. Most of these folks weren't just sick, but desperatly sick.

    3.)The movement to legalize marijuana has been around for a long time, and many strategies have been tried. If this is a ploy to legalize marijuana completely, believe me, it is being tried because almost every other approach has failed.

    4.) One reason marijuana and other drugs are illegal is because the fourth branch of government, the Federal Bureaucracy, does not want to lose power. After prohibition was repealed, the feds didn't want to lose their domain of interdiction, so they thought up a bunch of other stuff to make illegal besides alcohol.

    5.) 70% of Americans surveyed think marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes.

    6.) While we continue our war on drugs, the rest of the world moves towards decriminalization and legalization. This is one reason we were recently kicked off the U.N. council on drug policy: we were blocking attempts by other countries to change or get out of draconian drug policy treaties.
  • Re:Only one problem. (Score:3, Informative)

    by DunbarTheInept (764) on Monday October 21, 2002 @08:14PM (#4500491) Homepage
    (it was not about slavery, btw.
    Bull. While it's true that for the North the war was not about slavery but about preventing seccession, for the South, the reason for wanting to secede was to preserve the institution of slavery.
  • Re:Drinking age (Score:1, Informative)

    by deuist (228133) <ryanaycock@gmail. c o m> on Monday October 21, 2002 @08:17PM (#4500509) Homepage
    I know you are being sarcastic, but there are some valid points worth bringing up:

    >> Vote - 18. Age set by U.S. goverment, not states. Also, more people drink than vote - at any age. The bulk of American politics is done through deciding to vote because it is convienient.

    >> Join the army - 18. Actually, this age requirement is the highest there has ever been in history. Remember the civil war, 14-year-olds fought for both sides. Joining the military is an important action that should be taken by every American to protect the freedoms of others.

    >> Drive a car - 16 in every state but Louisianna (15). Many areas also grant hardship and motorcycle licenses to people as young as 14. This age requirement is low for two reasons: (1) Cars don't require that much in the way of responsibility to drive. Automobiles have only gotten safer over the past few decades. (2) Teenages are given this freedom so that can have a way to get to school and work.

    >> Have sex (and children) - Many states do have age of consent laws, they're just never enforced.

    >> Work - 16 unless working in a family business. This age requirement is also higher than from past years. Asking, "Do you want fries with that?" doesn't require much responsibility.

    >> Pay taxes - No age requirement. (1) Most people under the age of 18 do not make enough money to warrant paying taxes. (2) Young people use government-funded programs like schools, roads, and police. They should be willing to pay for those things. (3) Filling out a 1040/EZ is not difficult or requiring of responsibility.

    >> Own a gun - 18 for shot guns and rifles, 21 for handguns. Many states require gun owners to undergo background checks before purchasing a firearm.

    I hope that clears up a few misconceptions.

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