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Posts posted by RidleyReport

  1. Guns, games and government-free weddings are expected to be among the highlights as Earth's most successful liberty movement gathers at a New Hampshire campground this June.

    Porcupine Freedom Fest (http://Porcfest.com) is a now-legendary annual meetup of "Free Staters," people who pledge they will move to New Hampshire for more liberty.

    Over ten thousand of these freedom activists are pledged to make the migration, and hundreds of them show up every summer for the event. This year, like most years, they're holding it at the breathtaking Rogers Campground in Lancaster.

    Each "liberty summer," they conduct concerts, hold activism workshops reminiscent of the civil rights era, and openly wear enough firearms to give the entire state of Massachusetts a coronary.

    But this isn't the Bay State. It's the Live Free or Die State, the place where the dimming lights of American liberty still shine brightest. And there is no better opportunity to experience New Hampshire's liberty culture on full display.

    Right-wing and left-wing causes merge as gay dance parties rage side-by-side with evangelical homeschoolers and Republican speechifying. Raves, drug-loving hippies and shooting range expeditionists all seem to be on the same side at this week-long event...where activists tend to divide on only one question: Whether to even bother with traditional politics.

    Officially scheduled events include speeches by 2004 presidential nominee Michael Badnarik, Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio and legal-system guru Marc Stevens of Adventures in Legal Land

    There's Buzz's Big Gay Dance Party, presumably a good deal of straight dancing too, sporting events, a water-slide and another item you probably won't want to miss, "The Love Shack's Sexy Antebellum Calendar Shoot."

    But if past Porcupine Fests are any indication, the event will be more kid-friendly than you might think. It's usually the time and place a freedom-family looks forward to more than any other.

    For the official schedule and registration, visit http://www.porcfest.com

    For unofficial updates, chatter and planning, visit http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=148847588628

  2. This post is inpressive. I have been something of a cynic about the Free State Project. I was hoping they would pick a warmer and Western state.

    I visited WY before the vote and am from Colorado, prefer that type climate. But I still voted for NH. It won overwhelmingly in the vote after a lot of debate.

    The advantages have proven to be the sympathetic reaction from locals, the fact that we can all get to each other without driving 200 miles, it's an easy place to prosper and the climate is really fairly mild, almost as nice as colorado springs. Lots of other advantages.

  3. "Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed."

    With those words, and a brief, brilliant legal career, Étienne de la Boétie set the stage for centuries of resistance to tyranny. That resistance played out just down the street in Nashua, New Hampshire, even as freedom lovers were announcing an award for the long-dead "freedom philosopher."

    "I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over," he wrote, "but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces."

    These legendary phrases have repeatedly reached out from the 16th century and inspired revolts of nearly every kind. Today, they inspired another milestone for the French writer.

    "The Politics of Obedience is certainly worthy of the honor it receives," says Jeremy Furbish of FreedomBookClub.com

    Furbish, or more accurately the folks who use his website, just awarded La Boétie's classic "Book of the Year" for 2009. The prize goes to books which rank the highest on surveys conducted throughout the year at FreedomBookClub.com.

    As talk show host Gardner Goldsmith announced this award at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum...he reminded his audience that two of their number were missing, having just been arrested a few miles away. They were protesting the seizure of a pot smoker, using La Boétie's formula of peaceful non-cooperation. Both were released that night.

    "The Politics of Obedience: the Discourse of Voluntary Servitude," was written while La Boétie was a law student at the University of Orleans. It was a free-thinking hot spot of its time. His teacher was branded a heretic and died at the stake during a Huguenot rebellion in 1559.

    "The Politics of Obedience, in its very timelessness, made the work ever available to be applied," continues Furbish. La Boétie was heavily influential in the Huguenot uprisings in later 16th century

    France and the enlightenment of the 18th and 19th centuries. Furbish believes he had a profound impact on Gandhi as well.

    Other books vanquished but honored in this contest:

    Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon, by Michael E. Veal

    What Has Government Done to Our Money, and the Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar, by Murray N. Rothbard

    I Must Speak Out: The Best of the Voluntaryist, by Carl Watner

    The Market for Liberty, by Linda and Morris Tannehill

    Live Free of Die: Essays on Liberty by New Hampshire Libertarians by Gardner Goldsmith and Paul Goldsmith

    Alongside Night, by J. Neil Schulman

    Against Intellectual Monopoly, by David K. Levine and Michele Boldrin

    Drop Dead Gorgeous, by Wayne Simmons

    Songs of Freedom: Tales from the Revolution, by Darryl W. Perry, Jim

    Davidson, Tom Woods, Voltairine de Cleyre (and more)

    End the Fed, by Ron Paul

    Our Enemy, The State, by Albert Jay Nock

    Ultimately La Boétie's , seemingly ancient efforts outshone all these prodigies in the contest. He was a mighty butterfly, whose wing-flapping half-a-millennium in the past...continues to trigger hurricanes of noncooperation.

    For more information:


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  4. Free State Project hits 10,000 pledged-to-move

    Diggable at:


    Text of the news release:

    March 15, 2010

    America's most promising experiment in liberty, the Free State Project, officially signed its ten thousandth participant today. The organization is dedicated to migrating 20,000 pro-liberty activists who agree to downsize government to New Hampshire. The announcement comes in advance of the Free State Project's annual winter convention, the New Hampshire Liberty Forum.

    Jason Sorens, founder of the Project, said, "This is a great milestone for us. It feels good to be half-way there. There's still much to do, but the project is continuing to grow and I am confident we'll reach our goal of 20,000 participants."

    Participants come from many backgrounds but all agree to move to New Hampshire, where they will “exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property." The agreement avoids political labels and allows individual participants to set their own course to reach their goal.

    "The Free State Project has no political platform or membership dues", Sorens stated. "We have participants who identify as conservative, classical liberal, libertarian, anarchist, voluntaryist, you name it. The things we care about are: Do you want more liberty and less government? Are you willing to work toward it? Are you going to be a good, neighborly person in your community? If so, the Free State Project may be just what you're looking for."

    While no one is obligated to move until 20,000 people have joined, 800 participants are already in New Hampshire. Four have been elected to the state house and dozens more to local offices. Members have founded or supported organizations around issues such as lowering taxes, gun rights, drug law reform, spending caps, homeschooling, marriage freedom, privacy protection, and state sovereignty. They have also started media outlets such as nationally syndicated radio show Free Talk Live, YouTube sensations like The Ridley Report, and print publications like the New Hampshire Free Press.

    FSP president Varrin Swearingen noted that "the FSP is more than just being politically active, it's also about community. Several cities have regular social meetings with dozens in attendance. Members have met their spouse through the Project. There is a full social calendar of parties, hikes, game nights, you name it. Come for the liberty, stay for the community."

    Early mover Margot Keyes of Epsom commented, "Many people move for jobs or family, but rarely get a chance to move for their ideals. Why not move to where you can find jobs, a lovely environment in which to live a freer life, as well as a community where your ideas are not only welcomed but shared?! Join the FSP community--live what you believe!"

    When Swearingen was asked what the project is doing to reach the next 10,000 participants, he replied, "We are increasing our advertising, starting direct telephone outreach, and increasing our presence at pro-liberty events across the country. Now that members have moved to New Hampshire we have hundreds of natural ambassadors that can speak to how great it is here. One thing that sometimes holds people back is their practical need for a job. We now have extensive online resources available to help with that at http://freestateproject.org/jobs. Thankfully New Hampshire has the best economy in the northeast, which we hope to improve further."

    Judge Andrew Napolitano recently said that "The Project is fascinating..." We certainly agree, and look forward to the Judge extending his remarks on this milestone at the Liberty Forum, where he will be the keynote speaker.

    Updated info, action photo: http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?topic=20097.msg238895#msg238895

  5. Say it's the year 2011 and you believe the gold boom is nearing its end. What do you do with the yellow metal before it possibly crashes like it did after 1980?

    Prominent Ron Paul backer and financial adviser Larry Lepard has a practical suggestion. This interview occurred right before his speech to Republican Liberty Caucus supporters in New Hampshire.


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  6. Letter from a New Hampshire Jail

    July 9, 2009

    It is said that silence is often louder than speech, that a voice quashed is more powerful than one left free.

    So, as I undertake the third night of a six-day civil disobedience imprisonment, there is no urgent crush to communicate. But it is fitting to outline the events which led here and the cause which fires so many others to suffer a similar path.

    It is Christendom's two thousand and tenth year. But within the nation where that faith once held greatest sway, a cruel epidemic waxes. It is not a pestilence of truly natural origin, not a pestilence at all by the traditional meaning of the noun. It is a millstone fervently worn - literally celebrated - by the plurality of those who endure its crushing weight. Through its privations hapless families are flung apart, innocent souls ripped from feeble bodies and innocence itself shorn from the hearts of its unaccountable enforcers. All unfolds on the dime of the hapless worker and plundered businessman, above the graves of twenty-five thousands who died fighting a three percent document tax.

    It is the grand, hungry march of exploding government authority, parading around the prison gulag which grows with every step of its progress. As these words take form its advance unfolds exponential. No truce or parley checks its dark course. Beside the New England forts which stood or fell in the first revolution, all 'round the siege lines which still mark the British surrender, lights are going out...the lights of homes stolen by State forfeiture or eminent domain, of businesses ruined by growing tax and mandate.

    But the most golden beams to dim have been those of personal liberty and peaceable rebellion. Like night-blind children compelled toward the isolated candles of a primitive village, we who live for such light have found ourselves drawn toward the places where it still feebly shines. And of those places, one has stood above the others, cast a truer shadow, made possible a greater hope. It is the land English invaders lamented, a jungle of prodigious hilltops and ruthless ice.

    In this unborn country, a calm revolt - or rather a series of revolts - is undertaken. Its politicians rebel (selectively) against Washington control, its people against its politicians and its media pipelines against any of the above which would muzzle them. It is a place of constructive defiance. It has never been anything less.

    Toward this partially wild East, America's most deliberate migration project since the Homestead Act enters its sixth year. Five hundred over-active refugees from the authoritarian states of "Republikrat" America link arms with New Hampshire's native liberty community and cobble a loose but increasingly potent defense against the seemingly unstoppable march of Authority. With a calculated desperation not seen since the days of Parks and King, some clumsily follow the path of the same. To the unjust they say: Ignore us and admit the wrongness of your victimless crime edicts, or seize us and amplify our message.

    There are, it is believed, several lines of defense which must be held in this manner against the encroaching cancer. Perhaps the most valuable of these is the newly decentralized exercise of press freedom. The practice of camcording official activity and placing it upon the waves of the electronic web for all to support or decry, that practice has fallen into the desperate hands of the "little people." As a check against government abuse it is indispensable. It is, in this land of so many hills, a good one upon which to die.

    Across New Hampshire, the freedom to record exists, but only in a tenuous, ambiguous form. An elderly "wiretapping" law is often cited by officials wishing to frighten from their presence the troubling light of independent recording. In courtrooms, judges are encouraged by law to permit independent taping but granted a hazardous leeway to limit the same. Some choose to expand their mandate and exert censorship over the lobbies outside their force-funded chambers. Others permit relatively unfettered access, ban cameras altogether or moodily swing from one extreme to the next.

    In the twilight of 2008, videographer Tom Caruso gently presses Keene District Court for leave to film the controversial trial of a victimless defendant. The defendant approves, but Caruso's lens captures the judge in a fit of anger. The New York documentarian has driven four hours to record this proceeding, but four minutes into it the flustered jurist's enforcers compel him to stop. Meanwhile the defendant is hustled away and tried in relative secrecy. In protest, I report to the court with a promised course of action. I pledge that come the next such proceeding, weeks hence, I will follow Caruso's path and endeavor to film. But I will peaceably disobey any unjust order to turn my camera off.

    In the event, upon arrival, press recording is forbidden completely...both in the court itself and in the lobby outside. Lawful or not, the unsigned order has the weight of a smalltown army behind it. I am seized in the lobby, camera in hand, perhaps the first journalist to video-broadcast his own arrest live. Much of what ensues is well-known to our liberty community: The five arrests surrounding my arraignment, the more heroic and robust stand of videographer Sam Dodson, the eventual re-admission of our cameras to Keene District Court.

    But it is our purpose which gives meaning to these deeds:

    The purpose of accountability, holding "our" officials before the cleansing glare of a camcorder's sunlight and saying to all who would interfere: "On the job means on the record."

    The purpose of liberty...the right of each soul to do all she pleases that harms or threatens none against their will...

    And, as unprecedented government growth brushes a nation toward the cliff of collapse, the purpose of ensuring it may never be said we did nothing.

    Decades after the largely peaceable struggles which brought partial liberation to the bonded peoples of India and the American South, children still asked "What did you do in the Struggle, grandpa?"

    From this concrete box it is appropriate only to ask: Please do what you are able, while there is still time, to ensure that when you stand before this question, you may proudly provide a convincing answer.

    Dave Ridley


    Grafton, New Hampshire

    Original article:


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  7. I'm sure Grayson is awful. And probably they will tack on an unrelated section to the bill that has funding for bridges to nowhere...

    But it's nice to see Dr. Paul getting support on a good idea. He's becoming the real leader of the opposition.

  8. Though I've followed this fairly closely...no I didn't hear any refs to Heller.

    It's a small victory only on our side. But yes I do think it's a victory. Unfortunately at last report the authorities won't give his guns back without forcing him to submit to a background check he considers illegal.