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Comment Gold Standard, Liberty Rating (Score 1) 433

One of the most successful things that Free-Staters and local NH libertarians have done is to produce the Gold Standard a voting guide that is handed out every week to every member of the NH House and Senate, before floor votes. To produce the doc, a small army of volunteers reads and grades all the incoming legislation according to a standardized scale. The most important pro- or anti-liberty legislation is debated on a private list, and once we have solid bullet-points to clarify our position, we produce the doc. We then grade the legislators on their votes, and produce an annual legislative report card. We are the only group, other than the (R) and (D) parties, to produce a consistent voting recommendation for years on end. At first lots of legislators ignored us. Then we started targeting the lowest-ranked legislators in elections, and got some of the worst eliminated; and donated money to the best rated. Now some hate us, but all respect us.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 433

Glen Aldrich is a carpenter with no more than a high school diploma.

I think having regular citizen legislators, with not much financial gain to be had from the job, is an excellent way to run a state house. It means you are more likely to get people involved for the right reasons, instead of career politicians looking for money and power.

I concur, and note that the first Free-Stater elected to the NH House was also a carpenter (technically, a contractor). Here's his victory speech; it's quite telling.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 433

And I personally believe that they should spend as much time reviewing old laws for relevance, modification and possible repeal as they do making new ones.

So do I, but not even full-time legislatures do that.

Actually up until 2 years ago, NH had a standing House Committee whose whole purpose was to find unconstitutional laws, and submit them for elimination or alteration to be Constitutional. That changed when the Speaker of the House changed. But another nifty thing about NH: the entire government, from Governor to lowly State Rep, is up for re-election each and every 2 years :)

Comment Full Circle (Score 1) 433

I first heard about the Free State Project from a slashdot story in October 2003, when they announced that New Hampshire was the target state. At the time I was on a 1-year work contract in Australia, and all I knew was that when I returned to the USA, I did not want to return to the high taxes, high population density and (comparatively) bad air quality of the Bay Area. As a libertarian myself, it was a no-brainer, especially after I read the "101 Reasons to choose New Hampshire" document (which has subsequently been turned into a video documentary). So I went back to California just long enough to make arrangements. I moved to NH in June 2005, making me mover #107.

In the time I have been here, some 1,900 other "early movers" have also come. We have gone from electing a few Free-Staters to local city councils and planning boards, to our first State Representative, to now having some two dozen Free-Stater State Reps, and having pulled many of the existing State Reps and Senators (especially the Republican ones) in a much more libertarian direction. I will never forget the ex-Marine State Rep who in 2006 told me he would "never, ever in his life" allow "legal dope", to that same Rep now voting for full marijuana legalization every single time it comes up. We were the first state to pass same-sex marriage via a legislative process (not popular referendum). We passed medical marijuana. We have no adult seat belt law, no helmet law, open carry and shall-issue concealed carry (and are likely to pass constitutional carry next session). We have eliminated all state knife laws, absolutely rejected Real-ID ("and any de-facto national identity system that may follow therefrom"), forbidden the State to use automated license plate scanners, and passed a law affirming a defendant's right to explain Nullification to the jury.

We don't need all 20,000 to show up. Another 4-5K people, if they do the same things as the first 2K, and NH will bear very little resemblance to the police-states/welfare-states of the rest of the USA... and much more resemblance to the society described in the New Hampshire Constitution, which is summed up well by Article 10:

Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

Comment Re:Totally Revolutionize is a remarkable overstate (Score 1) 433

More like instead of a powerful government, a powerful ruling class which they fantasize will be them. Unluckily history has shown that there is always a power hungry asshole ready to step into any power vacuum.

Government is not the only source of power. If the public steps up, then there isn't such a vacuum for someone to occupy.

Comment Re:Totally Revolutionize is a remarkable overstate (Score 1) 433

Some Libertarians seem to just want to replace government tyranny with corporate tyranny or at least tyranny of the rich (them). The famous quote is something like "wanting just enough government to protect them from their slaves"

Yes, I too am deeply concerned about these imaginary libertarians and their imaginary corporate tyranny agenda. My view on this is first, show that it's a problem worth of that level of concern, then we have something to talk about. Currently, I see it as an overblown problem like drugs or terrorism meant more to scare the public into approving certain shifty activities. There's something of an issue there, but it's not serious enough to justify the hype.

Comment Re:Authoritarians will always rule. (Score 1) 433

This of course allows for Authoritarians to gain and keep power simply by promising to enforce a Conservative Libertarian agenda on Social Libertarians or a Social Libertarian agenda on Conservative Libertarians.

And that gives them the power to do what again? No matter how much you play on divisions like that, you can't implement blatantly authoritarian schemes. Politics isn't rock climbing here where barely perceptible flaws in the surface allow you to climb arbitrary distances.

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I THINK THEY SHOULD CONTINUE the policy of not giving a Nobel Prize for paneling. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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