Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Free State Project: Censorship is a Libertarian Value?

From the Concord Monitor

A group of New Hampshire activists wants Rep. Cynthia Chase censured and impeached by her fellow state representatives.
A petition to the House was assembled and signed by 120 people, led by Darryl Perry, a Keene resident and Free State Project participant. It calls for Chase’s censure and impeachment over the comment, which the petition describes as showing “her intent to enact laws to interfere with protected rights” and “harm a specific group of people.”

Rep. Chase's comments are available at the link.

From the Free State Project website:

We are looking for neighborly, productive, tolerant folks from all walks of life, of all ages, creeds, and colors who agree to the political philosophy expressed in our Statement of Intent, that government exists at most to protect people's rights, and should neither provide for people nor punish them for activities that interfere with no one else.

This is a description of the folks they claim they want to move to NH:  Neighborly. Tolerant. Protecting rights.  Sounds mighty high minded, doesn't it?

In reality,the Free Staters are people who bleat about rights 24/7 on internet forums, but it seems they believe THEIR rights are more important than anyone else's. They've been railing on about Rep. Chase for weeks. Not only her words have been attacked, but on those forums they've had plenty to say about her physical appearance. Because of course, that's high minded, tolerant, and neighborly.

Rep. Chase, I hasten to add, has filed NO legislation. She merely expressed an opinion. Apparently the  FSP can't handle freedom of speech, when it is used to speak against them.

Just a reminder: The Original Free State Manifesto, in which FSP founder Jason Sorens explains the intent of the Free State Project in moving to NH:

Once we've taken over the state government, we can slash state and local budgets, which make up a sizeable proportion of the tax and regulatory burden we face every day. Furthermore, we can eliminate substantial federal interference by refusing to take highway funds and the strings attached to them. Once we've accomplished these things, we can bargain with the national government over reducing the role of the national government in our state. We can use the threat of secession as leverage to do this.

This statement of intent has not been nullified. Jason Sorens has never come forth and repudiated his manifesto. Their intent is clear - they're coming to NH to take over the state and eliminate our state government. And furthermore, it seems, if you dare speak out against them, they're going to attack and punish you.

Censorship is an ugly, ugly word. One that has no place in a tolerant society.

That a group preaching freedom and liberty for themselves is willing to use censorship as a weapon against their critics shows them for what they are. Hypocrites.

The cultists are out in full force, all whining to me about how I don't understand the dictionary, and calling me rude names. As it happens, it's the Free State Cult members who are engaging in CENSORSHIP by trying to CENSURE Rep. Chase. Oddly, no one but the cultists have had any trouble understanding my meaning.

Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.


Anonymous said...

Hate to tell you, but you are mixing up homonyms.

Dictionary.com offers us this:

censor [sen-ser] Show IPA
an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.
any person who supervises the manners or morality of others.
an adverse critic; faultfinder.
(in the ancient Roman republic) either of two officials who kept the register or census of the citizens, awarded public contracts, and supervised manners and morals.
(in early Freudian dream theory) the force that represses ideas, impulses, and feelings, and prevents them from entering consciousness in their original, undisguised forms.


censure [sen-sher] Show IPA noun, verb, cen·sured, cen·sur·ing.
strong or vehement expression of disapproval: The newspapers were unanimous in their censure of the tax proposal.
an official reprimand, as by a legislative body of one of its members.
verb (used with object)
to criticize or reproach in a harsh or vehement manner: She is more to be pitied than censured.
verb (used without object)
to give censure, adverse criticism, disapproval, or blame.

You're welcome.

susanthe said...

And I hate to tell you, that your reading comprehension and logic are failing you, cowardly, anonymous Free Stater.


Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.

You Free Staters are very clearly attempting to suppress free speech and public communication in your attempts to censure and impeach Rep. Cynthia Chase.

That's CENSORSHIP. Got it? You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

That would have been a phenomenal retort had you not gone straight to direct insults.

susanthe said...

Dear Anonymous #2 : I gave back exactly what I got.

And all other Anonymouses - this is MY blog. My content. I decide what goes up and what doesn't.(It's the free market at work!) I'm not supplying a forum for whiny FSP cult members.

Julia Riber Pitt said...

Years of debating with propertarians (both on the internet and in real life) has shown me that they're not the ones you'd expect to be the most consistent in what they hold dear.

Monica said...

I think the main focus is the threat of using the state to stifle the liberties that "free staters" are moving here for. If something were to be done to keep them from coming it would likely affect all groups. This is where the disapproval lies. Had she expressed an opinion there may have been backlash still but saying that the state should get rid of the things that attract free staters is a use of force. Which is why, I believe, that there are so many who speak against her. Had she expressed an opinion, independently, it may have been a little different. Although I still believe people would be upset with her. She is an elected official who is supposed to represent the people of New Hampshire and like it or not we should all be afforded equal treatment in the state's eyes. I'm referring to this: "One way is to pass measures that will restrict the “freedoms” that they think they will find here." -Rep. Chase

susanthe said...

Dear Free State Cult Members: calling me names gets you deleted. At least a dozen of you have shown both a remarkable lack of reading comprehension skills, and exceptionally bad manners.

Monica - thank you for at least expressing a polite and well thought out opinion. You mention (despite the lack of any action whatsoever) a threat from the state.

What about the threat TO the state, in the form of the FSP cult's stated intention in moving here?

Monica said...

The threat to the state is a hard thing to comment on. There are many free staters who reside in New Hampshire. All of which have wildly varying opinions. I think the general focus of the project is to get people together who care about liberty and freedom. This does not mean that because free staters have a common interest that they all have a unified solution. The main goal is liberty. Civil and economic and just like all new ideals before this one it will take time and trial to accomplish the goals. Some things may be great and some may be awful. The point of it all is that citizens care enough to keep their liberty and their humanity. Everyone has a different way of doing that. Some feel the need to impeach people for an offhand comment and others feel the need to focus on how to make things better by working together. We are all people. I'm sure Rep. Chase had a reason to say what she did. My personal opinion of what she said is that it is possible she was mislead by what the Free State Project is really for. It is supposed to be about peace and liberty. We can all find common ground with some things so that is a good place to start. And if we disagree we should use reason and logic to trump an argument. Emotional conflict does not get people very far.

susanthe said...

Monica - have you read Free State Founder Jason Sorens initial manifesto? The stated intent is very clear. To invade the state, take over and dismantle the state government.

I'm not able to see that as a statement of peaceful intent. From everything I've read on FSP discussion forums, the liberty they espouse is only for themselves. They have no respect for those who don't march in lockstep with them.

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. They're authoritarians using silly code words.

Carla Gericke said...

Dear Susan,

A few corrections to your blog post:

1. The FSP does not endorse any specific changes to government or strategies to achieve them. The FSP does not take positions on issues, candidates, legislation, places to move within New Hampshire, tactics or methods of action. The one stipulation the FSP does make is that people who promote violence, racial hatred, or bigotry are not welcome.

What participants do as INDIVIDUALS once they are here is up to them. The FSP had nothing to do with the cited petition. Please be advised that reporting by the FSP on participant activity or NH events online does not represent support or endorsement and may not portray the diversity of opinions and activities that exists among participants.

2. Regarding Jason Sorens, you make several inaccurate statements. What you quote is not, nor has it ever been, the FSP’s “Statement of Intent.”

This is:

“I hereby state my solemn intent to move to the state of New Hampshire. Once there, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.”

The background regarding the original Sorens comments, in his own words:

“I wrote the essay that started the Free State Project in July 2001 for an online journal called The Libertarian Enterprise. After receiving feedback from over 220 readers I wrote a follow-up essay clarifying and revising parts of the original proposal. Most importantly, while the original proposal suggested using secession as leverage to promote state autonomy, the follow-up essay backed away from that idea, and it never played a role in the FSP’s philosophy from then on. In September 2001, we had our own website, logo, and ‘Statement of Intent,’ and we started collecting signatures from people willing to participate in a coordinated migration to a single, small state.”

3. Regarding your statement that “Rep. Chase, I hasten to add, has filed NO legislation,” I give you this: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/memberbillssponsored.aspx?member=376916.

One of the bills she has sponsored includes the following language:

“Open Sessions of Legislature. Pursuant to part 2, article 8 of the New Hampshire constitution, the galleries of each house shall be open at all times during legislative sessions except when the welfare of the state requires secrecy. In the case of a disruption, disturbance, emergency, or other condition which makes it unsafe to keep the gallery open, the house or senate shall go into recess until it is safe to continue. Such a recess shall be as short as possible. The availability of live streaming video, television broadcast, or other audiovisual presentation shall not be deemed a substitute for opening the galleries. Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing law enforcement officers or the sergeant at arms from excluding dangerous or disruptive individuals, or from preventing entrance to the galleries when they are filled to capacity.”

I trust you shall make the necessary corrections to your blog.

Thank you,
Carla Gericke
President, Free State Project

Monica said...

I have read it. I tend to agree that the state is an entity that uses force to get people to do what they want. I also tend to agree that in order to fix something like that a person cannot use the same tactics as the state to accomplish his/her goals. The current Free State Project still adheres to those ultimate goals, I believe, but one consistent value in the free state community is the Non-Aggression Principle. There are other ways to fix a problem then by using force. One way is this way. An open forum for people like you and I to discuss these things. Persuasion is a touchy tool. If one is attempting to persuade another then one cannot be a jerk about it lol. We may have fundamental disagreements on how things should be done, the one thing I can say for sure is that I will not be the one to use force to get my way but others will. This is why people get so upset about these things. If an elected official is speaking out about "taking measures" to alienate a group of people I get a little upset about it. I don't want people threatening to use the state to kick me out of my home. I really like it here. The reason I like it is because of the Free State Community and the people of New Hampshire. Of course I only speak for myself and how a perceive things. Others will disagree but I'm ok with that. I'm sure there are things we can agree on.

susanthe said...

Dear Carla,
Thanks for at least using your real name. That's more than 99.9% of your cowardly tribe has been willing to do thus far.

I guess I'm confused. Are you saying that the people who signed the petition against Rep. Chase are NOT members of the Free State Project? Then why did they claim to be? My what an interesting little dance you're trying to do.

Of course they are. Trying to pretend that you, the FSP have no responsibility for the people who make up the FSP is some incredibly awkward games with words. Is that what you tell the future invaders? Once we get you hear we wash our hands of you? If that were true, there would be no organized anything ever, by the FSP, and you and I both know better than that. The people who filed that petition identified themselves as members of the FSP, and that means you're stuck answering for them and their actions.

Jason Sorens (a libertarian who hates public ownership of anything, yet takes a paycheck from a state university system, negotiated by a union, at that) wrote the statement of intent. It was clear. It was unwelcome, too - and the initial FSP invasion met with some real resistance in the town of Grafton. So Sorens toned it down, and now you're all trying to dance around that stated intent.

Sadly for you, Carla, the proof is in the pudding. We've all seen what the FSP has done once elected to public office. We had an ample opportunity to see it during the last legislature. Some of us are seeing it first hand in our towns and counties, where Free Staters are proving to be an incredibly disruptive and destructive force.

As for the bill filed by Rep. Chase - apparently you weren't paying attention during the last biennium, when Speaker O'Brien closed the gallery and denied entrance to the public.That's what the bill addresses, Carla. Also, guns. Guns could cause a big disruption. A number of Republican representatives have discussed the angle that would be required to shoot into the gallery from the House floor, while trying to miss the fourth grade classes that often visit the State House.

For the life of me, I can't seem to remember ANY outrage on the part of the FSP when O'Brien closed the gallery of the People's House. None of you filed a petition to censure or impeach him. Not a one of you uttered so much as a peep. None of you said boo when he refused to allow a member of the press into one of his press conferences.

The hypocrisy of the FSP is dazzling.

I've deleted over a dozen rude and obnoxious responses to my blog from your cult members. Oh, how dare I criticize the Free State Project? Oh, the pearl clutching and hand wringing!

I suggest that if you folks plan on continuing to invade and colonize our state, you folks ought to toughen up those thin skins, and start at least pretending to care about the rights, freedoms, and liberties of those who were here long before any of you started reading Ayn Rand.

Susan Bruce - blog owner

susanthe said...

William Kostric - Gee, thanks for the thought, but I suggest you save your money and buy a codpiece.

It would be so much cheaper than buying a bigger gun.

victoria said...

The over-reaction of Free Staters to Rep. Chase's comments is totally understandable, - when one looks at their relentless PR machine in high gear now as always, designed to get them to that magic 20,000 number. They took that story and have been using it to fire up libertarians throughout the land to commit themselves to liberty, and NH.

If Free Staters are each in their own way innocently making their way to NH, why such fanfare about that 20,000 number? Those who are fairly new to the movement might ask themselves this.

One might attribute this all to a harmless experiment to engage in, of libertarians oddly exhibiting herd behavior, if it weren't for the sophisticated political organization that some of the more forward-thinking Free State Project leaders created in NH, from the time they started moving here.

They took Jason Sorens at his word, and still do. They worked and will be working harder than ever to get rid of RINOs in the Republican Party, and beat Democrats however possible, including running against them in primaries.

Ask Dan McGuire, or Tim Condon,or Don Gorman what they've been up to since Jason first uttered the magic words. Ask them what they envision for NH's future. Carla Gericke is ultimately a perky cheerleader, and she's helping to make that future come true, whether she knows this, wants to admit this, or not.

The FSP is about so much more than doing one's own thing in NH. It's about clogging the works and causing dysfunction, in the name of freedom, at all levels of government.

Anonymous said...

My gawd - it's like the Scientology project at work with some of the comments. The FSP declaration is stupid. If the gummnint exists to protect the rights of people, it therefore is common sense that the gummint has to enforce a toilet load of rules and regulations to protect said rights. With that comes another toilet load of laws and legislation to assist enforcement. And so the domino effect goes. This crowd needs to move to Somalia or how about Mali? No one here would miss them.

Josh said...

I tend to agree with Victoria, that recent events have been blown out of proportion. I think it's just how the media works, they like sensational stories.

I also believe that NH Democrats and Free Staters have a lot of common ground and will certainly work together in the future to achieve some of these goals. Sure, we have very different outlooks on some issues, but that's what respectful debate is for.

victoria said...

I'm in favor of a respectful debate on New Hampshire's future. Is the Free State Project up to the task ? So far, it doesn't look so good....

Bradford Hutchingson said...

Gee, Susan Bruce, whoever the heck you are...You sure don't do YOUR side any favors by your thinly-veiled contempt of "FreeStaters", and "FreeKeeners"...Why all the snide name-calling?...My beef with Cynthia "Flatlander-Carpetbagger" Chase is she has the gall to claim to "represent" NH, when she herself moved here from Rhode Island in 2006!... I was born HERE, in Keene... Where were YOU born...???...
Also, seeing the "FreeWeenies" as a "threat" is ludicrous, to me...
But Chase didn't stop there...
For a sitting NH Legslator to suggest that Concords' Geriatric Daycare ENACT LAWS targeting persons for exercising the FREEDOMS PROTECTED by the U.S.Constitution, is beyond that line in the granite sand... And, I, too, believe that she should be CENSURED, but NOT "censored"... I'd like to also see her REMOVED by IMPEACHMENT... Sorry, that's still NOT "censor"...
She's free to spout all the NANNY-State garbage she wants, but she shouldn'te doing it on the NH Legs. soapbox... Now, it's GLOBAL NEWS, on Fox and Rush Limbaugh...
And, she has been negligent in her follow-up... She COULD have issued a (true)statement that would have negated much of the richly-deserved blow-back she's gotten...
I'm a NH Native, and registered independent voter...
I find the "Freeweenies" cheap, harmless entertainment...
I'm sorry you seem so scared of them...
As if even 20,000 could move here and dismantle NH's GOOD-OLD-BOY network...
You Libtards sure do overreact...
Keep giving this story legs...
Soon, it'll be a freakin' millipede, and we'll be jawing it into 2014...
My name is BRADFORD HUTCHINGSON, and I approved this blogpost...
(Remember, I was BORN here, I CAN'T be a "freestater"...

susanthe said...

Dear Bradford Hutchingson:

If people who moved here recently shouldn't be representing NH, you'll be telling all your Free State carpetbagger pals to stay out of elective office, right?

Jason Sorens said...

Jason Sorens here. I was alerted to this post by a reader. I just wanted to note that I pulled back on my position on secession two weeks after the initial essay brainstorming the idea of the FSP:
That was August 6, 2001, before the FSP actually existed or had signed anyone up. See also the essay I wrote on the first birthday of the FSP: http://freestateproject.org/about/essay_archive/history.php "Take over state government" referred to libertarians generally, not specifically people who moved as part of the FSP. Progressives and conservatives likewise try to "take over state government" and celebrate that fact when they do.

susanthe said...

My, how disingenuous, Dr. Sorens. Oh, you definitely walked back on the secession, but the goal of the FSP hasn't changed from your original manifesto. The goal is still to take over and turn the state into a place that would make even Atlas Shrug.

The FSP is another fauxgrassroots movement, courtesy of the Koch Brothers. The FSP is the less attractive, less intelligent (just take a trip to Keene) version of the Tea Party.

Pretending its benign is ludicrous, but expecting me to believe it is insulting.

Thanks for stopping in. Enjoy your work at the publicly funded university you teach at, while collecting a salary negotiated for you by a union!

Al Anon said...

The FSP is a carefully crafted bunch of garbage designed to fool people into thinking they are working toward "freedom", "liberty" etc....all buzz words meant to attract the disenchanted and disenfranchised. It spurs people toward a goal but excuses itself from any liability for actions taken to accomplish this goal. Members are often die hard Ayn Rand cultists or useful tools/fools unable to see that the real intention of Libertarian run state is the deregulation of banking and business laws benefiting only the rich and further enslaving the poor. It uses issues of "liberty" such as elimination of land, drug, protective etc. laws which may not may not be entirely just and are common points of political contention as lures for the young and marginal to move toward so-called Libertarian resolutions.. often not thoughtfully developed, rational but crafted to grab suckers and focus them on the self and away from the true intent of unfettered greed and enslavement inherent in the immoral Ayn Rand "philosophy". It is a 501c that presents a disingenuous summary on its filings so as to appear as a legit educational non-profit. Like the Tea Party "movement", it is stealth supported in a very devious fashion and with ties to the KOCH brothers in regard to its principles and founder.. and very likely in off link funding. As a result of its vague presentation and appeal to the marginalized, it attracts a wide variety of self interested nut jobs.. NH will regret supporting these deceivers. http://www.salem-news.com/articles/august022010/free-staters-dp.php

Also google Pam Marten & Free Stae Project