The Manchester Free Press

Sunday • May 26 • 2019

Vol.XI • No.XXI

Manchester, N.H.

Government May Not Muzzle Its Critics

Adventures in the Free State - Tue, 2019-05-14 20:50 +0000
Let alone with its employers' money. Seems self-evident, doesn't it? One might even be forgiven for presuming that the 1st Amendment and Right-to-Know prohibited it. Even by "mutual agreement" -- because the taxpayers don't have a seat at the settlement table.

Government can't hide its (effectively admitted) transgressions. Your servants shouldn't ever be able to unjustly attempt to destroy your life, and then, as a condition of ceasing and desisting its reckless lawlessness, compel your silence on the matter. It must not have the option of escaping public accountability for its actions. Ever.


You are the employer. You are the taxpayer. However many "bags of money" there are, you're on the hook for the damage that ostensibly warranted their distribution. You were obliged to fill them. You have a duty to understand fully what your servants are perpetrating in your name and on your dime. You are the only sure remedy to more bags getting distributed in the future. You have every right to know the particulars empirically conceded with the settlement by your servants. Government doesn't get to buy silence regarding its abuses with (your) money. A guaranteed silence that only encourages more abuse -- of you as taxpayer, and of you as potential target. "More difficult settlements" is a good thing if it encourages government not to put itself in that position in the first place.

And I'm fairly confident actionable slander and libel statutes will survive, so...

HB154, "prohibiting non-disparagement clauses in settlement agreements involving a governmental unit", before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 5/14/2019, is such a stipulation. And evidently the NHDoJ agrees. Sunlight is the best disinfectant...

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

A Right to Your Own Body -- And a Right to Defend that Right

Adventures in the Free State - Tue, 2019-05-14 19:50 +0000
Neither guns nor weed are within any delegated 'prohibition' purview of any government legitimately authorized by this US Constitution. It's that simple.

With hoplophobic hysteria (among other problems already, to be sure) having gleefully descended on the freshly Democratically-controlled NH legislature this term, the several state RKBA groups have been working overtime endeavoring to get their constituents out to relevant committee hearings and contacting their ostensible "representatives". Thus, I've expected that the public hearings for these bills would be well-enough attended and sufficiently reported that my own camera wasn't needed -- indeed, unnecessarily taking an SRO spot from someone else, who just might provide compelling testimony, too.

Plus there are the obscene parking problems in the State House's vicinity lately, even without high turnout, what with construction and the booted meters and garage spaces reserved for the Privileged Class as far as the eye can see. It shouldn't be too easy to instruct your servant government, after all...

But this day, 5/14/2019, is the typically far less well-attended Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Session to hash out and arrive at said committee's official mob-rule/damn-our-constricting-lawfully-delegated-authority recommendations to the full body on, among others, 4 of those gun bills (so there's still time to contact your Senator), all beginning at about the 9:20 mark:

HB109, "requiring background checks for commercial firearms sales", ("Ought To Pass" 3-2),
HB514, "imposing a waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm", (OTP/As Amended 3-2),
HB564, "(New Title) relative to possession of firearms on school property", (OTP/A 3-2),
HB696, "establishing a protective order for vulnerable adults" (here are overviews on this one), (OTP/A 3-2).

So much head-smackingly self-assured cluelessness that cries out for addressing here, certainly -- not that it hasn't been addressed before, ad nauseam, to no effect. But I'll confine myself to arguably the most egregious: the empirically false, addle-pated conviction, at base, that criminals obey laws. And further that if the children can be assured that if the rights of (only, since they're the only ones who will comply, duh) law-abiding citizens may be violated (without Constitutional authority, needless to say), then the children will rest easy that they are somehow now made safer. That the children would buy that speaks mostly to their government-school education, seems to me. The "gun-free" school bill stops everyone but the individual it (says it) wants to stop -- and, indeed, assures him publicly of that fact. What could possibly go wrong...?

And if you haven't stopped the criminal -- and again, unauthorized statutes stopping the law-abiding by definition won't stop him -- then "feeling safe" is, at best, entirely illusory, is nothing at all but a potentially more deadly "false sense of security", because you've purged the killing zone of any effective defense against those whom your statute won't stop. The school shooter is still coming. Seriously, have you not been following the news? All you've accomplished is to reassure him that his victims will be unable to defend themselves. The belief that an individual who would shoot up a school will still heed your prohibition on peaceful carry is flat-out delusional.

But first, they 'Exec' HB399, "relative to annulment of arrests or convictions for possession of a certain quantity of marijuana" at about :40 (OTP/A 3-2) and HB481, "relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefor" at about 6:45, ("re-refer to committee" 5-0 -- merely returning toward Constitutional constraints should get more study...!), legislative hearings for which may be viewed here and here (House) and here (Senate).

Consider. Both of these topics, guns and weed -- each of them (one explicitly, even) undelegated "prohibitions", functionally -- concern what, in a free society (hell, even in this one), should be jealously-guarded fundamentally-protected civil liberties: unilateral control of your own body, and the ability to effectively defend that right from those who, whether with or without a fancy hat, would presume to violate it.

How can the Constitution-averse Duopoly -- that assures you that it is government, and will be respected, even if ultimately it has to kill you to "earn" it (because make NO mistake, every statute is backed by a gun) -- so easily and recalcitrantly trade sides on them?

Does that seem right to you...?

  • 'Gun Control' Failed Again in Denver- mass murderers don't obey the law - 5/13/2019
  • Senate committee votes to delay marijuana legalization bill to 2020 - 5/14/2019
    (It's never too soon to start honoring your oath, Senator Carson...)
  • Gun Restrictions Pass the NH Senate Along Party Lines - - 5/23/2019

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Kissinger on Kissinger — Foreign Policy as a Grand Strategy

Libertarian Leanings - Sun, 2019-05-12 12:26 +0000

Kissinger on Kissinger
By Winston Lord
140 Pages, St. Martin's Press

Kissinger on Kissinger is about the momentous foreign policy achievements of President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during the years 1969 to 1974. It's a conversation among old friends

In 2014 and 2015 Winston Lord and K.T. MacFarland conducted a series of foreign policy panels for C-SPAN. A video interview with Dr. Kissinger was planned to cap off the foreign policy panels. But one hour-long video interview was not enough to do justice to the extraordinary accomplishments of Nixon and Kissinger, and one interview turned into six interviews. Kissinger on Kissinger represents a transcript of those six interviews.

When Nixon took office in January of 1969, the nation seemed to be on the verge of coming apart. 1968 saw the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, which were followed by rioting in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Baltimore. At the same time America was obsessed with and exhausted by the Vietnam War, a war that, according to CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, was unwinnable. Yet through the support and leadership of President Richard Nixon and the negotiating skills of Henry Kissinger, South Vietnam, with the aid of American air and naval support, had achieved a military standoff and a peace settlement with the North.

In the midst of all this Nixon and Kissinger began efforts to establish relations with The Peoples' Republic of China. It was their most important and far reaching foreign policy achievement. China and the U.S. had been at war on the Korean Peninsula for two decades and considered each other arch enemies. Conventional wisdom had it that relations with Russia would suffer if Nixon moved to establish relations with China. Many even thought it would lead to war. The opposite occurred, and relations with Russia actually improved. Shortly after his summit with Mao Zedon, Nixon met with the Soviets in Moscow.

"The opening to China broke this logjam, spawning rapid progress toward a summit, arms control, and a Berlin agreement. The president's visit to Moscow in May 1972 produced major agreements.”

The Cold War was by no means over, but relations with the Soviet Union were at a level of stability not seen in decades. But the diplomat gains with the Soviets came only after Nixon and Kissinger had met with the Chinese, and only with Nixon's refusal to tolerate a North Vietnamese victory over the South.

The final foreign policy challenge to be faced by Nixon and Kissinger came with the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East. It began in October 6, 1973. A coalition of Arab states lead by Egypt and Syria attacked Israel. Israel pushed back until a UN cease fire was put in place on October 26, 1973. It was during this crisis the Kissinger became associated with the term “shuttle diplomacy.”

While Kissinger as an academic had immersed himself in the historic details of diplomacy, Nixon preferred to stay out of the details until negotiations were complete. Nixon and Kissinger would work out the broad outline of where negotiations should lead. Kissinger would then have authority to hammer out the details of how to get there in the negotiations, and Nixon would approve the final results.

Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger formed a near perfect partnership. Both believed in bold moves. There would be no half measures, since you pay the same price either way. Both viewed foreign policy as a Grand Strategy. Establishing relations with China, a move so bold as to be previously unthinkable, was not simply about China and America. It affected how the rest of the world dealt with China as well.

“[W]e always began every diplomatic effort with a question: 'What are we trying to do here? What is the purpose of this exercise?'”

As a result of their unique relationship, Nixon and Kissinger put together a string of astonishing foreign policy achievements. Statesmanship takes character and courage which both Kissinger and Nixon possessed. They had the vision to establish long range goals, and they had the courage to make the harrowing decisions to achieve them.

In August of 1974 Richard Nixon left office. Not long after Nixon's resignation the Democratic Congress voted to cut off all aid to South Vietnam, even overriding President Ford's veto. In 1975 without U.S. aid, South Vietnam fell to the North. One can only speculate what Nixon and Kissinger might have accomplished, and what might not have come undone, had President Nixon paid more serious attention to a third rate burglary at the Watergate Hotel.

But Kissinger on Kissinger deals only with the foreign policy initiatives that went before. It is a short book in the format of an interview that makes it readable and memorable, one that brings us behind the scenes at some of our history's most consequential events.

Categories: Blogs, United States

If Wishes Were Horses, We'd All Be Eatin' Steak!

Adventures in the Free State - Thu, 2019-05-09 18:36 +0000
And at unsustainably low mandated prices, too! And free ponies for everyone! Whee...! Ahh, fiat utopia. Sadly, however, TANSTAAFL intervenes. Everybody likes money -- you like money, too...?! Nobody appears to have any suggestions on where the funding for the bureaucrat-added costs of doing business is supposed to come from, though. Details, details... They do seem to understand well enough that their personal balance sheets need to add up. They're just not willing to concede the same realities for others. All your contract are belong to us; Love, the Central Planners...

Herewith, HB186, "establishing a state minimum wage and providing for adjustments to the minimum wage", before the NH Senate Commerce Committee, 5/9/2019. The sponsor easily acknowledges that the competitive market for goods and services in NH has already addressed this bill's intent: very few workers would benefit from its economic interventions. Because competition for good labor (it's why that Chatham ice cream shop calculates -- along with all of the other of their business considerations of which you know nothing, Senator Cavanaugh -- it's in its financial interest to pay such good wages).

So why is this necessary? Like the French politician Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin, it seems, our rulers observe, "There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them."

But if it is necessary -- and there are no nettlesomely negative economic consequences to meddling in the market's pricing signals, because money evidently does grow on trees -- to overrule markets (which have more data than you do) and commandeer other people's contracts because "We Know Better", then why stop at $12? Why not, say, $50? Or $100? Surely that would be even better!

No, because even supporters, one can only surmise, can somehow grasp there would be problems -- of their own creation, and therefore their responsibility -- even if they can't articulate them. And the arguments against $50 are identical to the arguments against $12. Or any, for that matter.

Most simply, they're not your contracts, and you have a "knowledge problem". Show some humility. "Wishing" a business can afford to pay what you want it to pay -- and that the job being done economically supports paying that wage -- doesn't make it so. If you believe it can be paid sustainably, then start a competing business and you will instantly have your pick of the best labor. And like Bernie Sanders, you'll profit like a true capitalist.

Here's an alternative to force-monopoly coercion based in economic ignorance: Private voluntary contracts, and free-market pressure via natural pricing signals and non-government-undermined competition. Yes, even for labor. All will be well...

  • The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00 - The New York Times - 1/14/1987
  • Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Progressives can't get past the Knowledge Problem | Washington Examiner - 4/4/2010
  • I don't know, so I'm an atheist libertarian - - 8/17/2011
  • The Minimum Wage: A Little Light Empiricism on a Heavy Subject – - 2/21/2013
  • The Truth About the Minimum Wage - Foundation for Economic Education - 11/19/2012
  • How the Minimum Wage Destroyed 1.4 Million Jobs | RealClearMarkets - 12/10/2014
  • The Eugenics Plot of the Minimum Wage - Foundation for Economic Education - 2/10/2015
  • Jerry Brown: “Economically, the Minimum Wage May Not Make Sense” - Foundation for Economic Education - 4/6/2016
  • San Diego’s Experiment With Higher Minimum Wage: 4,000 Fewer Restaurant Jobs – - 4/11/2017
  • A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals - The Washington Post - 6/26/2017 (or if you're not subscribed)
  • How the Knowledge Problem Impacts Your Daily Decisions - 9/7/2017
  • Venezuela’s Maduro Orders 3,500 Percent Increase in Minimum Wage … 40 Percent of Businesses Close – JONATHAN TURLEY - 9/18/2018
  • Pew Map Shows One Reason a National $15 Minimum Wage Won’t Work – - 10/12/2018
  • The Nash Equilibrium Minimum Wage Is Zero - Foundation for Economic Education - 1/3/2019
  • Be Careful What You Wish for on the Minimum Wage – - 1/24/2019
  • Democratic Bill Aims to Hurt NH Workers | The Liberty Block - 5/7/2019
  • Senate takes up House bill to raise minimum wage | State | - 5/9/2019
Some more context first...



Now the hearing...

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Go East, Young Man

Adventures in the Free State - Wed, 2019-05-08 18:58 +0000
HB567, "relative to using the Atlantic Time Zone in NH", confronts the NH Senate's Executive Departments and Administration Committee, 5/8/2019. Hey, it's where we're laboriously headed already anyway, right? Besides, adjust your activities to the solar cycle, instead of thinking you're performing miracles by moving clock hands around. Ya don't actually create another hour of daylight, y'know...

The Massachusetts 'Time Zone Commission Report' to which prime sponsor Rep. Yokela referred can be found here (or as pdf). But let's start here. Nobody likes it. So why are we still doing it...?

And now the hearing...

  • Study Supports Massachusetts Time Zone Change - 9/28/2017
  • Commission: Massachusetts Should Change Time Zones, But Not On Its Own – CBS Boston - 1/1/2017
  • Could New England actually change time zones? | | - 11/5/2017
  • Should Connecticut stop changing its clocks for daylight saving time? This lawmaker says yes. - Hartford Courant - 1/15/2019
  • Should Massachusetts switch to keeping daylight saving time the whole year? - The Boston Globe - 3/7/2019
  • Daylight Saving Is Here. Suppose We Made This Time Change Our Last? - The New York Times - 3/9/2019
  • How permanent daylight-saving time would make all our lives better - MarketWatch - 3/9/2019
  • An extra hour of light and Boston exhales, even amid debate - The Boston Globe - 3/11/2019
  • Maine lawmakers consider move to Atlantic Time Zone, again - 3/12/2019
  • EU Parliament votes to end daylight savings | News | DW - 3/26/2019
  • Should N.J. ditch changing clocks for Daylight Saving Time? It could happen. - - 4/20/2019
  • (WA) Legislature OKs step toward year-round daylight saving - 4/23/2019

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

A Volunteer Recording a Government Committee

Adventures in the Free State - Wed, 2019-04-24 16:11 +0000
As said committee discusses (oh, so close...!) creating a committee to study requiring committees to record themselves, for the benefit of voters who generally need to be about earning their daily bread and acquiring the income necessary to satisfy said legislature's profligate spending habits (with, obviously, other people's money -- have I mentioned lately that taxation is theft?). As if those committees should actually be transparent and accountable, or something. Oversight. The Chair, herself, marvels at what could possibly be the motivation. But then, that's the imperious Senator Carson, so hardly surprising. And what the hell, if the volunteer can be obliged, catch-as-catch-can (so their machinations are still largely in the dark for the vast majority of voters), to continue to do their job for them, well...

HB457, "establishing a committee to study the making, preservation, and Internet availability of audio and video recordings of proceedings of committees of the house of representatives" -- which was changed in the House from the original bill that required them to just start providing you, dear taxpayer, with a video record of all their shenanigans (let's not be too hasty, after all) -- before the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee, 4/24/2019.

This hearing having been delayed about 10 minutes by the overlong previous hearing, the prime sponsor (and all 10 of the co-sponsors, to be sure) evidently had more pressing matters to which to attend. Thus your humble chronicler reluctantly finds himself in the uncomfortable position of offering the sole testimony standing between a summary "ITL" committee Executive Session recommendation and merely a discussion regarding government transparency and convenient citizen oversight -- thus, as I write this only a couple hours later, I have every confidence that pro forma Exec Session has already transpired...

Not including the 5-minute recess, under 3 minutes, total. Done and done...

[Update: As of 4/25, the bill's docket reports that the Committee Exec Session voted 5-0 'Ought to Pass', with a place on the Senate 'Consent Calendar' for next Thursday. Still only a miserable study committee, but... huh...]

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Prohibition Is Illegal

Adventures in the Free State - Wed, 2019-04-24 01:50 +0000
It's true. Even if it were effective at its professed goals (and also not obscenely expensive in blood, treasure and liberty), and in addition to being immoral, prohibition -- of anything, since the people ratified the 21st Amendment -- is nowhere authorized to this government. Why does that fundamental fact continue to elude self-described "conservatives" in this ostensible Constitutional Republic of expressly limited government?

But the relentless prohibitionists and Constitution-deniers sure did show up in force this day, 4/23/2019, in opposition to HB481, "relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefor," before the NH Senate Judiciary Committee. They recruited much out-of-state talent in their quest to continue violating your rights over your own body. Non-masochists might just want to skip to MPP's New England Political Director Matt Simon at about 1:53:00. We did have confirmed for us that NJ still really sucks. Gosh, you make it all sound so enticing, Bishop, but you should go home and work to alleviate your domestic afflictions, rather than attempting to convert NH.

The "good" news is that they just couldn't fit all the authoritarians into one session, so the hearing's been recessed until May 7th at 9am. So there's still an opportunity for you to explain it to them...

  • Opponents to N.H. marijuana legalization show up in force at hearing
  • Pot prohibition supporters dominate Senate hearing on recreational cannabis for adults | State |
  • NH Senate considers bill to legalize marijuana
  • Reefer Madness (1936) - YouTube
  • Channeling Anslinger: Cracks in a Crackpot Book About Pot | Project CBD
  • 21st Century Reefer Madness | Psychiatric Times
  • Sources Cited By Legalization Opponents Lack Credibility

Update: I couldn't (bring myself to) make it to Round 2. Probably just as well for my mental health. If you didn't either, here's what you missed...
  • Former U.S. drug czar urges lawmakers to reject legal marijuana | State |
  • Former drug czar speaks out against marijuana legalization in NH
Seriously, Senate District 2, it's time for the aggressive nanny-state-authoritarian, religious-fervor-prohibitionist and (therefore) "Constitution denier" Bob Giuda -- who, if the polls are remotely accurate, is intent on listening to anyone but his own constituents (other than cops, I mean) on this issue -- to go...

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

West Virginia Joins Growing Sound Money Movement

Libertarian Leanings - Sat, 2019-04-06 18:43 +0000

The following article was provided by Jp Cortez, assistant director at Sound Money Defense League.


Six Other States Now Weighing Their Own Bills to End Taxes on Gold & Silver

Before the ink could even dry on West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s signature on a repeal of sales taxation on gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion and coins, legislators in Wisconsin and Maine introduced similar measures in their own states.

All told, 39 states have now reduced or eliminated sales taxes on the monetary metals, and Wisconsin, Maine, Kansas, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Tennessee are all actively considering bills of their own this month.

West Virginia’s Senate Bill 502 enjoyed tremendous popularity, passing through the State Senate unanimously before passing out of the House 90-9. Starting July 1, investors, savers, and small businesses in the state are no longer required to pay sales and use tax on the exchange of dollars for the monetary metals.

Earlier this week, Representative Justin Fecteau (R - Augusta) of Maine introduced LD 1446, a measure to repeal sales taxes on precious metals, saying, “Seven years since his 2012 run for President, the monetary policy lessons of Congressman Ron Paul still stick out to me. This bill is an important first step to restore sound money in Maine by refusing to tax the conversion from one legal tender to another.”

And Wisconsin State Representative Shea Sortwell (R - Two Rivers) today introduced his measure to end the taxation of money on the anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt's controversial gold ban 86 years ago.

"On April 5th, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt made the disastrous decision to confiscate individuals' private gold holdings through Executive Order 6102. American citizens were forced to turn in their gold under the threat of ten years in prison. Shortly after, the price was arbitrarily raised over 50%, a shocking theft of wealth from the American people," said Sortwell.

"Wisconsinites ought to have the choice and freedom to use alternative currencies and money without being taxed for it -- and this bill would put our precious metal sellers on an even playing field with our Midwest neighbors."

Meanwhile, West Virginia Congressman Alex Mooney (R-WV) is doing his own part to end federal income taxation of sound money.

Mooney’s Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act (H.R. 1089) would “clarify that the sale or exchange of precious metals bullion and coins are not to be included in capital gains, losses, or any other type of federal income calculation.” 

To be sure, the out-of-control spending and debt embraced by many politicians is directly undermining the value of the dollar and our savings, but momentum is building, particularly in the states, to restore sound money in America

Categories: Blogs, United States

Incensed Over Smollett

Libertarian Leanings - Thu, 2019-03-28 19:56 +0000

Piers Morgan says he owes an apology to Jussie Smollett. Not.

But I would like to make an apology instead, to Smollett himself, and it’s this: I’m truly sorry that I was so complimentary about him.

In fact, I wish I’d gone in much harder.

For the truth is Smollett wasn’t content with just perpetrating an act of wicked deception that grabbed global headlines and made a mockery of real victims of racial or homophobic attacks.

No, he had to go a step further even than that and pretend he’s been completely exonerated of any wrongdoing and is once again the victim – not just of the original ‘attack’, but now of a terrible slur against his good name and reputation.

By doing this, he has confirmed himself to be a truly despicable human being.

It takes a rare kind of execrable douchebag to invoke his mother, God, black history, justice, equality and the ‘betterment of marginalised people’ as he brazenly lies about being cleared over an incident that did unbelievable damage to justice, equality and marginalised people.

Morgan then goes on to say that, as bad as Smollett is, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her team including her hapless First Assistant Magats are much worse.

Foxx officially recused herself from the case after she was found to have exchanged text messages with a member of Smollett’s family in the days after the incident.

Now it’s been alleged that she tried to wrestle the case out of the hands of the Chicago Police Department and have the FBI take it over, at the request of Smollett family friend Tina Tchen, who is Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff.

Contemplate the implications of that for a moment or two.  Why would it be better to have the FBI take the case away from the Chicago Police, if Foxx was trying to get Smollett off the hook? 

Foxx told the Sun-Times that [an unnamed Smollett] family member was worried about leaks from the police investigation. Foxx told the newspaper: “They had no doubt about the quality of the investigation, but believed that the FBI would have a tighter lid on the information.”

Or... Tina Tchen thinks she know somebody who can pull strings at the FBI and make the Jussie Smollett case go away, along with any associated embarrassments.  Does that mean, even with James Comey gone, that the FBI still has a functioning customer service department for the politically connected?

Categories: Blogs, United States

News in Brief: Historians Uncover Lost Socrates Dialogues

Libertarian Leanings - Mon, 2019-03-25 12:57 +0000

Breaking news from The Onion!

We even have contemporaneous accounts suggesting Socrates doxxed his opponents, posting their addresses all over the Acropolis and inciting his followers to harass them. It’s pretty amazing to see our culture’s philosophical tradition being born here.

Categories: Blogs, United States

The Social Justice Bubble

Libertarian Leanings - Sat, 2019-03-23 17:44 +0000

A week or so back, news reports began to come out with the obvious intention of letting the left half of the country down gently.  The Mueller Report was not going to be the bombshell lefties have been dreaming about for the last two years.  The bad news came yesterday at 5:00 PM.  Robert Mueller had completed his report and it had been delivered to Attorney General William Barr as proscribed by law.  Coming as it did on Friday afternoon at 5:00 PM, the announcement did not set off delirious rejoicing on the left.  That's the time for releasing news to be covered and then forgotten as quickly as possible.  As part of the Friday afternoon dump, it was announced that Mueller would not recommend additional indictments to the ones already made. 

No indictment of Donald J. Trump, nor of anybody in the Trump family.  No one anywhere has been indicted for the purported reason there was an investigation in the first place — collusion with the Russians to swing the 2016 election, or collusion of any kind with anybody for anything.  And now there won't be any, either.  Rumor has it that Rachel Maddow was in tears as she covered the announcement on her MSNBC prime time show.

If we should ever wonder how we got to where half the country sincerely believed Trump should be impeached for acting as a Russian agent, Friedrich Hayek explained it in a chapter "Why the worst get on top" in his libertarian classic "The Road to Serfdom."

The totalitarian leader must collect around him a group which is prepared voluntarily to submit to that discipline they are to impose by force upon the rest of the people. That socialism can be put into practice only by methods of which most socialists disapprove is, of course, a lesson learned by many social reformers in the past. The old socialist parties were inhibited by their democratic ideals; they did not possess the ruthlessness required for the performance of their chosen task.


There is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves ‘the good of the whole’, because that is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done.

For the last two years an army of Social Justice Warriors (SJWs)and others have been doing whatever it takes to serve "the good of the whole," which in their minds meant ending the Trump presidency.  This army includes Democrats, journalists, bent FBI agents, Obama holdovers in the Department of Justice, and others. Attaining that particular "good of the whole" demanded extraordinary measures, like conducting unethical, if not illegal, surveillance of American citizens because they happen to be part of an opposition party political campaign.  Like inserting FBI informants into that political campaign.  Like justifying it all with phony dossier masquerading as intelligence.  An army employing such extraordinary measures places a high value on the type of people who are willing to take them. Intelligence and honesty are useless qualities when the good of the whole is at stake.

It's been a hot market for SJWs these last couple of years.  Buyers in the market are players like George Soros, Tom Steyer, and Hillary with her Clinton Foundation, and when these buyers sink resources into their causes they are not buying integrity -- at least, not integrity in the traditional sense. The integrity the buyers hope to attract is unswerving loyalty to "the good of the whole."  Social Justice. For years Democrats and their supporters have been recruiting young Social Justice Warriors right out of college and getting them into positions of consequence, so that by now probably 85% of the journalists in America are in favor of ousting President Trump and happy to do their part to make it a reality. 

But young people grow up, and after a while some of them figure out that many Social Justice issues are contrived and meaningless.  Often, it's too late for regrets. Besides, they've grown comfortable. There's too much to lose. So maybe they've ruined a few lives.  It's pointless to give up the luxurious lifestyle.  Social Justice is a pretense they need to keep up, but the real goal is just to hang in there.

We're there. In the newsrooms and in the corridors of power, they know it's all horse shit, but they have no choice except to soldier on. Their livelihoods, maybe even their very lives, depend on it.  There's barely even the pretense of honesty.  Just rage.  Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, AOC, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, MSNBC, CNN, the list is way too long.  It has been nonstop BS for years.  There is no possible way they can't know it.  But then, intelligence and honesty are useless qualities when the goal is Social Justice, whatever that happens to mean at the moment, and Social Justice has to be imposed.

We're fortunate that America is still a country of markets. In countries where there are no markets to speak of, resorting to force to establish Social Justice happens early on in the process in the form of a military coup. Here in market oriented America, a military takeover is out of the question. Instead, you might say that we've just about reached the bursting point of a Social Justice market bubble.

The question is whether or not we will ever be back here again in a future market swing. Almost assuredly.  Unless the Social Justice players pay a heavy price for the criminality that arose from their misplaced loyalties, we might be back here sooner than you think.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Herbie Hancock on Miles Davis

Libertarian Leanings - Thu, 2019-03-21 12:32 +0000

In my high school and college days I was an avid Miles Davis fan, and then later on, from hearing his work in the Miles Davis Quintet, I became a big Herbie Hancock fan.  The story Hancock tells in this video gives insight into just how good Miles Davis really was, but it also tells an important lesson in life.  It's a very cool story.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Cannabis Prohibition: A Debate on Costs and Benefits

Adventures in the Free State - Wed, 2019-03-20 02:14 +0000

Should New Hampshire legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis? What are the potential costs and benefits?

Americans for Prosperity invites you to join former House Speaker Bill O’Brien and a diverse group of panelists for a civil discussion and debate.

Moderator: Bill O'Brien, former Speaker of the N.H. House

Legalization Supporters:
Ross Connolly, Americans for Prosperity
Former Rep. Joe Hannon, member of the study commission on marijuana legalization
Matt Simon, Marijuana Policy Project

Legalization Opponents:
Neil Hubacker, Cornerstone
Rep. Stephen Pearson (R-Derry)
Rep. Pat Abrami (R-Stratham), chairman of the study commission on marijuana legalization

Date And Time
Mon, March 18, 2019
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Nackey S Loeb School of Communications (an institution, it should be noted, with perhaps some questionable judgment)
749 East Industrial Park Drive
Manchester, NH 03109

  • Kevin Landrigan's Granite Status: Sununu takes aim at Shaheen, won't rule out 2020 run | Granite Status | - 3/13/2019
Legalizing pot debate comes up

As the policy fight heats up at the State House, Americans for Prosperity is hosting a debate next Monday on marijuana legalization in New Hampshire.

Former NH House SpeakerBill O’Brien , who is exploring his own GOP Senate run against Shaheen, will moderate this event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications in Manchester.

The panel of supporters will be ex-state representative Joe Hannon, who served on the marijuana study commission; Matt Simon, New England political director of the Marijuana Policy Project; and Ross Connolly with AFP.

The opponents will be Neil Hubacker with Cornerstone NH, Rep. Stephen Pearson, R-Derry and Rep. Pat Abami, R-Stratham, and chairman of the study commission.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

How much will it cost to implement a tax?

Adventures in the Free State - Sat, 2019-03-16 14:57 +0000
That's today's question, essentially: is the restoration of some of your liberty economically advantageous to the State? Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive -- or to over-regulate. Synonymous, really. Thirty-three pages of over-regulation, in fact. To "give" you back something that resembles your intended natural autonomy. For a fee, naturally. Duh. Ya don't get nothin' from the mafia without conditions, yo. It always expects its "taste", after all.

But micromanaging the lives and bodies and contracts of peaceful people is not the legitimate function of a servant government in a free society. Not even in this one, in point of fact, as it was designed. Finally stopping it from doing what it's not authorized to do in the first place shouldn't "cost" anything. Should it...?

It's curious that in the initial "legalization" debate, we're always assured that use rates will skyrocket -- and obviously that's "A Really Bad Thing!", arguing against legalization. But then when we eventually get to the "implementation" debate, we're told by the green-visored number-crunchers, as Rep Edwards points out, that there won't be increased use rates (and thus tax revenue) -- and obviously that's "A Really Bad Thing!", arguing against legalization! No matter where you go, there you are, I suppose...

So HB481, "relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefor", before the NH House "How Ever Will We Pay For Leaving People Alone?!?" Ways and Means Committee, 3/14/2019. Round 1, before the House Criminal Justice Committee, can be found here (along with links to a good deal of the miserable legislative history of endeavoring to finally end horrifically expensive -- and unauthorized, and egregiously failed -- cannabis prohibition in NH.

But I can't not lead off with an outtake from John Bryfonski, Bedford chief and the current representative from the NH Chiefs of Police Association (which is disturbingly reminiscent of a similar moment of revisionist nostalgia from Peter "21A Ruined This Country" Morency, testifying for the same organization in 2008 at 2 and a half minutes of part one, and recounted in more contextual detail here -- and it would appear the current Berlin chief's favored drug war hasn't been particularly successful, even personally, for old Pete).

Enjoy. Or be very sad. You have a choice, y'know...

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

What If The Second Amendment Meant What It Said?

Adventures in the Free State - Tue, 2019-03-05 21:34 +0000
What if government weren't ever actually intended to be its (2A's) interpreter, its (government's) own arbiter, to decide the limits of its own authority, let alone with regard to an expressly acknowledged uninfringeable natural right?

Public hearing on SB116, "repealing the license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver." before the NH Senate Judiciary Committee, 1/29/2015. Some mighty fine testifyin'...

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

"It has to be mandatory to work."

Adventures in the Free State - Wed, 2019-02-27 16:58 +0000
Unlike when the relatively impartial Richard Lavers, Deputy Commissioner of the NH Department of Employment Security (the state bureaucracy that will be charged with implementing this payroll tax), warned essentially the same thing a year ago, regarding 2018's HB628, that title quote is from a devout supporter of the concept, in response to a Committee member's inquiry. Could it be expressed more honestly? 'My neighbors must be compelled, under force of "law", so that I can get what I want from them!' The shit ya hear at these things...  What if I decide that you have to be forced to do something for me, girlie-girl (yes, I just watched The Music Man again the other night)? You can find it at about the 54-minute mark in the hearing video below. And here I was thinking I didn't have any more to say on the matter...

Government: Ideas So Good They Have To Be Forced.

Force, however -- initiated force, coercion -- is immoral. What this bill proposes -- the further surrender to the State of individuals' private voluntary contracts, control over (and responsibility for, obviously) their respective economic lives, without their consent -- is immoral. And (necessarily) immoral force-monopoly (force is the only tool it has, after all) government isn't the solution. Stop looking to it to impose on your neighbors for you. Here's a more freedom-friendly, a more Constitutionally compliant, contracts-respecting option.

Government: GTFOOTW. Stop presuming to know better. You don't. It's true. Stop thinking that your Constitutionally-unauthorized-for-a-reason micromanagement adds anything, more than it does unintended consequences and institutionalized legal theft. And thus necessitating more such "solutions", from a government that doesn't -- that can't -- know better than individuals making choices in their own self-interest. Consider that we're here now precisely because of your past meddling in (e.g.) insurance and labor markets, above your delegated pay grade.

And some of us do not consent. Supposedly, you need that consent in this Constitutional Republic.

The insurance industry exists. Savvy entrepreneurs, who, based entirely on enlightened self-interest, desire to offer employment conditions conducive to retaining the best workers, exist. Employees, meanwhile, make choices in their own perceived self-interest (which, just by the way, they have an entirely-equal-to-the-employer right to do), regarding acceptable employment terms -- and they aren't necessarily the same choices as those of their neighbors (nor do they have to be -- not unless government imperiously mandates "one size harms all", that is).

Between them all, they know better than you what is best for them. The competitive market -- in this case for labor -- will decide what it wants, via voluntary private contracts. And the result, unlike from monopoly government, won't be "one size harms all". And even if you were qualified, you have no authority to overrule them. Any of them. Not in a free society. Hell, not even in this one.

Why do none of these people lobbying government for more "free" stuff because of their bad choices (and government's eagerness to provide it, at the expense of their neighors' wallets and liberty, to be sure) ever turn to the audience and say, "Learn from my mistakes! Take responsibility for your lives and the shit that can happen in them! Stop asking for handouts and subsidies because you never thought it could happen to you, and just go buy insurance!"

But wait a minute. What the hell's going on here, anyway?! Wasn't the NH Senate Finance Committee hearing on this here SB1, "relative to family and medical leave", a mere 4 weeks ago, on 1/29/2019? And isn't "crossover day" -- when each body receives bills that have survived the initial harried gauntlet in the originating chamber -- still, like, a month away?! Has the House really run out of things to do?! House Minority Leader Dick Hinch, any thoughts...?
First, they tried to slip SB16 in under the radar, so they could attach an ill-advised amendment to it dealing with authorizing unemployment benefits to federal employees affected by the recent government shutdown. Despite written communication from the federal government and repeated public comments advising against this provision from our own Department of Employment Security, House Democrats moved forward with a bad idea.
They are doing a great job finding avenues to exploit the shutdown for political gain, and they seem to be willing to disregard customary processes and common sense as they charge down this road. Yesterday, their lack of forethought on this issue resulted in the committee needing to recess the executive session and delay action on this bill due to the volume of problems uncovered in the amendment. Haste makes waste.
We’ve now learned that SB1 has been introduced in the House, and I can’t believe that with all of the other business we have to complete, that they would want or need to schedule a public hearing and begin work on this very complex legislation. Sure, it’s a Democrat legislative initiative to institute this family leave income tax program, but I can’t believe we’re diverting resources and time to this legislation during such a busy week dealing with House bills. The House has yet to act on the House version of this legislation, and they’re already scheduling a public hearing on the Senate version. I just can’t see the reasoning. Where has process and common sense gone?
Hmm. This legislative session is shaping up as potentially really expensive -- if not in blood, at least in treasure and liberty...

Herewith, then, SB1 before the NH House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee, 2/26/2019 (remember, the Senate hearing -- and more commentary, natch -- is here). The rush to jump the "crossover" gun would suggest to me that the Dems are endeavoring to force Governor Sununu's hand before the voluntary option (yet still not government's delegated job) he's promised in partnership with VT even sees the light of legislative day. Why might that be...?

The sadly-limited offered opposition can be found interspersed between the responsibility-free anecdotes at about 1:05, 1:07, 1:33, 1:46 and 1:56.

  • Paid family and medical leave mandate clears state Senate | Health | - 2/14/2019
  • House GOP Leader Says Democrats Rushed Bills, Disregarded Process - - 2/22/2019
  • New Hampshire, Vermont Governors Pitch Two-State, Voluntary Paid Family-Leave Plan - WSJ - 1/16/2019
  • Sununu Joins Vermont Governor to Pitch Plan for Voluntary Paid Family and Medical Leave | New Hampshire Public Radio - 1/16/2019
  • Sununu Unveils Paid Family Leave Plan; Democrats Balk | Concord, NH Patch - 1/16/2019
  • NH And Vermont Governors Propose Two-State Family Medical Leave Plan | - 1/18/2019
  • Soucy Signs Family Leave Bill; House Kills Casino Gambling, Protects ACA - - 5/8/2019
  • NH Governor Vetoes Paid Family Leave, Calls It An 'Income Tax' | Concord, NH Patch - 5/9/2019
  • Sununu vetoes paid family leave legislation | State | - 5/9/2019
  • Sununu Vetoes Paid Family Leave Bill | New Hampshire Public Radio - 5/9/2019
  • Five reasons Gov. Sununu was right to veto paid family leave wage tax - THE JOSIAH BARTLETT CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY - 5/13/2019
  • Leaping on the income tax grenade - THE JOSIAH BARTLETT CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY - 5/24/2019

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Why Can't We Just End NEVER-AUTHORIZED Prohibition, Already?

Adventures in the Free State - Fri, 2019-02-08 04:07 +0000
Holy gorram hell, I'm so tired of fighting these fractious, presumptuous, obstinate, insubordinate, rule-of-law-resistive assholes. This was the opposition to (effectively "merely", given the regulatory state to remain) dialing back neo-prohibition: recalcitrant "servant" (yet entirely self-serving, and on the clock, thankyouverymuch) enforcers -- who should have no official positions other than those given to them by their employers (that's you, madam taxpayer) -- and nanny-state prohibitionists -- about whose opinions regarding my rights over my own body I could not possibly care less, even were I paid handsomely to do so (but if and when I do care what they think, I will pay them for their advice) -- and children whose perverse and troubling-to-a-free-society understanding of Constitutionally protected inalienable rights and the intended purpose of this limited servant government can only be explained, it seems, by the interest-conflicted indoctrination inflicted by government schools (get them out...!!!). So in other words, pretty much business as usual.

Don't accept the bullshit. The bill doesn't legalize "under-age use" (but the kids can still go die in the regime's undeclared elective wars of empire, and everybody's in agreement they can easily get it now, so...) nor "DUI" by anybody, nor does it somehow empower black markets (which are caused by fiat prohibitions of market-demanded goods and services, y'see -- and the passage of the 21st Amendment, repealing the delegated authority for the only nominally lawful, if nevertheless also foolish, substance prohibition in this country, is proof that we'd actually learned that painful lesson once upon a time). The "gateway effect" is but a gateway to that thus-enabled black market, and thereby prohibition, if we're being, y'know, honest, undermines itself. Indeed, the "forbidden fruit effect" is suggesting that youth use goes down when adults manage to regain their rights from servant governments operating entirely above their delegated pay grade. Despite so much prohibition surrounding their production for so long, too, the growing statistics simply don't support the hysterically prophesied increases in all manner of terrible things (like, say, overdose deaths). But even if they did, liberty, however, does support -- does demand -- respect for self-ownership. And ostensibly, this society was founded on respecting and protecting such individual liberty.

And contrary to the up-ended, progress-oppositional "conservatism" message of the defiantly entrenched self-ownership-averse prohibitionists, "Live free or die" NH's recalcitrant "servant" government has had many opportunities to "lead" on this issue in an actually productive and liberty-friendly manner, to simply accept the demonstrated will of their employers, the people, now approaching three-quarters of whom want an end to this madness (but whom do they think they are, right?). Starting just in the last decade, we've seen 2008's HB1567, or 2010's HB1652 (video here and here), or 2012's HB1705 (video here and here), or 2013's HB337 (video here and here), or 2014's HB492 (video here and here and here and here and here), or 2016's HB1610, HB1694 or HB1675, or 2018's HB656 (video here and here and here) or SB233 (video here), or 2019's still-to-come companion HB722.

The People -- the boss in this here shop, and overwhelmingly in favor of ending this unauthorized and horrifically expensive (in blood, treasure and liberty) social-engineering experiment -- have been trying to lead their government, their servants, but have ultimately met defiant resistance at every turn.

While with the aforementioned HB492, the NH House became, in point of fact, the first legislative body in the country to approve the end of cannabis prohibition, sadly our "Democratic" governor at the time preferred conservative reactionism and the status quo to "leading". And the oligarchs in the NH Senate were more than happy to have her back in the unauthorized-to-them-to-begin-with "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™. And so today NH is an island of prohibition in the northeast, entirely surrounded by the more enlightened, more liberty-friendly, more responsive, more obedient jurisdictions of Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont and Canada. Yep. Mighty proud...

So. This day, 2/5/2019, the NH House Criminal Justice Committee gets its latest shot at restoring some semblance of limited government (it's bad enough that we're looking at yet another over-regulated government monopoly rather than true free-market competition, the unique driving metric of which is satisfying customers, rather than cronies), with HB481, "relative to the legalization and regulation of cannabis and making appropriations therefor" (which nonsense title is the type that prompted the absurdist question posed in a previous post, "how much will ending prohibition cost?" -- 'cuz simply stopping what you're not allowed to do in the first place shouldn't cost anything!).

The legislative-majority Democrats now actually have "legalization" in their platform -- what took so long, "liberals"? -- but now we have a GOP governor obsessed with placating the (also servant, if we really need the reminder) police state and "Incarceration Nation". So keep your cards and letters and phone calls coming, free people -- both to your "representatives", such as they are, and to the corner office...

  • Governor’s commission on alcohol and drugs against N.H. pot legalization - 1/25/2019
  • Will NH legalize recreational marijuana use? - 2/3/2019
  • Marijuana legalization showdown in N.H. State House Tuesday - 2/5/2019
  • Big Turnout For Bill To Legalize Marijuana in New Hampshire - - 2/5/2019
  • Hearing on latest bill to legalize pot marked by passionate debate | Crime | - 2/5/2019
  • NH lawmakers hear arguments for, against legalizing recreational marijuana - 2/5/2019
  • New Hampshire’s opioid crisis looms over marijuana legalization debate - The Boston Globe - 2/5/2019
  • CCC chair "comfortable" with [MA] banking, retail progress - News - MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, MA - 2/7/2019
  • Dave Solomon's State House Dome: A decade of efforts to legalize pot | Statehouse Dome | - 2/9/2019
  • CloseUp: The debate over legalizing marijuana in NH - 2/10/2019
  • With Marijuana Legalization Across All Borders, What Does It Mean For N.H.? | New Hampshire Public Radio - 2/12/2019
  • Legalize Pot? Amid Opioid Crisis, Some New Hampshire Leaders Say No Way - The New York Times - 2/20/2019
  • House Panel Recommends Passing Bill To Legalize Marijuana Use - - 2/21/2019
  • House committee endorses bill to legalize recreational cannabis | Crime | - 2/21/2019
  • My Turn: No proof of causation in anti-pot column - 2/25/2019

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Temporary Time-Off

Meg McLain - Thu, 2013-12-19 02:05 +0000

I have had to take some time off from my activism (and to a lesser extent, my graphic design work) to care for my elderly grandfather.  I hope to return to full time activism and design freelancing eventually; however, my family is my primary focus at this point in time.  While I appreciate those who have contacted me with various projects, I am just not in the position to put my full focus on my work at this time, which isn’t fair to those looking for quality work.  My apologies to anyone who feels they have been overlooked.  I hope I can respond to everyone, but please do not take it personally

Hope I can return soon!

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

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