The Manchester Free Press

Sunday • March 11 • 2018

Vol.X • No.X

Manchester, N.H.

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Updated: 3 weeks 6 days ago

Compulsory Restraints. Because You're Not Competent.

Wed, 2018-02-07 04:34 +0000
You don't even need to trouble yourself over whether it's a violation of your liberty, subject. They'll decide that for you, too. Indeed, they already have.

And they'll decide that driving on roads that you are compelled to pay for is nevertheless somehow a mere government-granted "privilege" -- despite the fact that even the Supreme Court has acknowledged that travel is a Constitutionally protected natural right, the mode of which is nowhere authorized to be constrained, any more than are the modes of, say, speech or self-defense. We've simply allowed government, relentlessly operating well above its pay grade, to decide otherwise. (Time to regain some control, mayhaps? Is there a better place to make that stand than the "Live Free or Die" state...?)

So just submit. No need to thank them, really; surrendering to them control over your choices is thanks enough. Ok, almost enough...

HB1259, "relative to passenger restraints", gets an airing out -- yet it still stinks in here -- before the NH House Transportation Committee, 2/6/2018. And how 'bout that? Your humble chronicler was called upon to deliver the "rebuttal". No time to get (more) nervous, at least...

We've been here before, of course. But mercifully not since 2009's HB383 (this really is an awesome tool). But sadly yet entirely predictably, "the usual tired parade of government authoritarians and Utopian socialists" hasn't gotten any less tired over the intervening 9 years.

Had enough? Let your representatives know. See if they actually understand that they are...

  • Buckle up for new fight in old battle over adult seat belt use in N.H.
  • NH lawmakers revisit mandatory seatbelt law | New Hampshire
  • Seat belt bill debated again in NH House
  • Seat Belt Use in 2016 -- Use Rates in the States and Territories (pdf)
  • Top 10 Most Dangerous States To Drive In | HuffPost

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

"Family Leave Bill is Tax on Income"

Thu, 2018-01-18 06:34 +0000
That's the assessment of the Coalition of NH Taxpayers. But let's start here, though, 'cuz since financials bore me to tears, I rarely have a natural opportunity to focus on this shit.

Theft (noun): taking without the owner's consent.

Is that, by itself, a fair, unbiased, unprovocative, nonpartisan definition? I believe it is. It doesn't matter a lick what the thief intends to do with his newly acquired property. If the owner didn't consent, then it's theft. And in my definition of a free society, theft is unlawful. Rude. Frowned upon, even. Property rights are respected and upheld, regardless of the identity of the thief. Yes, even regardless of whether or not the thief has been "democratically elected." That is, in fact, what we believe is, self-evidently, the purpose for instituting a government.

Taxation is theft perpetrated by government, as your representative, in your name. And just as capos worked for, and were accountable to, Al Capone, your respective government representatives work for you. You are the "top capo" in this legal mafia. And thus you are responsible for the crime -- like theft -- that they commit which you condone (if, of course, you do so) simply because you happen to like what they propose to do with the stolen property -- your neighbors' property, that they quite possibly don't consent to surrender (which is why the IRS has so many guns). Either you (perhaps grudgingly) recognize this basic truism, or cognitive dissonance is about to make your head explode.

HB628, heard here before the NH House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, 1/16/2018, would set up yet another force-funded government entitlement that's nevertheless already available in the competitive (to the extent government "allows" it to be, of course) private sector.

(I want to note somewhere here, and this seems as good a place as any, that the Chair initially admonished the assembled, as is typical in such circumstances, that this Committee, the bill's 2nd, will be considering only the economic aspects of this proposed legislation, and so to kindly restrict testimony, in what already promised to be a very long day regardless, to that element. Did pretty well through all the government actors testifying in the first half, too. But after the lunch break, he failed to reiterate [not that it would have made much practical difference, no doubt], and the "public" testimony -- hey, the People don't have busy days like government employees...! -- tended to go rather far afield -- in the predictable direction, needless to say. Indeed, by the end, well over 4 clock hours in, physical props were even tolerated -- in this case, pictures. Photographs. On photo paper. For the committee to pass around. 'Of the children!', of course...)

For the moment, at least, a convoluted so-called "opt-out" provision is beneficently included, but privacy professional Rep Jess Edwards, starting at about 1:14:00, asserts that the Federal Trade Commission would characterize it as "unethical" and "an unfair and deceptive trade practice" -- were government to be actually held accountable to the rules it imperiously imposes on its employers, of course (hey, how terribly convenient that government doesn't hold itself to, well, even the standard standards, eh...?).

Except, even with the uniquely arduous, and shady (and precariously tenuous, to be sure) opt-out provision, the scheme won't generate enough theft to cover this bill's centrally-planned "utopia" -- per government's own testimony. Here's the "money shot," immediately following Rep Edwards, from Richard Lavers, Deputy Commissioner of the NH Department of Employment Security, responding to a question near the end of his testimony, at about 1:30:00.
"The work that Employment Security has done, in a mathematical analysis of various levels of participation, is that at an 8-week average duration, at a half-percent premium contribution, the only way this program is solvent is at 100% participation. At 90% participation, it's no longer solvent."
Dire words, indeed, from someone who does dearly love a good wealth-transferring government entitlement -- at least when the coerced books balance, anyway, so at least there's that...  He does figure that if the premium contribution were increased by fiat to .67%, and the duration decreased to just 6 weeks, it just might fly.

So. Oopsie-you-weren't-supposed-to-notice, but a proposed government program that's written to be insolvent, to fail ('course, we all know that won't happen: as Reagan said, "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!"). And even the skeptical DC Lavel, as we later hear, wants it to be "successful", "to be around for a long time". But it won't be with voluntary contributions. Whatever shall we do...?

Where, then, will the money come from to make it solvent? Charging ridiculous sums -- sums necessary to sustain inevitably inefficient non-competitive government bureaucracies, sums that the innovative competitive private sector seems able to avoid without (ok, much, comparatively) subsidies -- surely won't fly with government's happily captured market -- the market that's been testifying all day that they'd like more free and subsidized stuff. Because they'd neglected to buy insurance for themselves (well, government takes care of those things, doesn't it...?).

That leaves, seems to me, 1) removing the (already intentionally onerous) "opt-out" provision altogether to ensure the elusive-yet-necessary 100% mandatory market "satisfaction", or 2) implementing a broad-based income tax to shore the whole collectivist mess up (and gosh, then what other new programs could we fund by raising the rate just a little bit more...?). Aw hell. Why not both...?!

As always, however, as Meldrim Thompson explained, "Low taxes are the result of low spending," not t'other way 'round. Especially as government crowds the private sector out of the market even further, costs will go up. Because there's simply no (market) pressure not to. And seriously, when was the last time a politician lost his job for spending too much of other people's money?

But more fundamentally, if this scheme -- even as presumably eventually modified -- is self-sustaining, if this is a profitable model, why does government need to be involved at all? If you want FMLI, go voluntarily contract directly with a competitive private-sector provider. It's available now. One doctor testifying in great support of this bill curiously told the committee how he's set up a private-sector foundation to voluntarily help people get this insurance! Problem solved.

So why don't all these people who've suffered such hardships because they didn't have insurance, instead of trecking to the legislature to beg for contract intervention, just go get insurance? What's the advantage of injecting unnecessary and expensive government / employer middlemen if the customer will be paying for it either way (right?), other than being able to legally steal subsidies from their neighbors' dinner tables?

And here's a shocker: businesses love to get their operating costs subsidized by taxpayers, too. Corporate welfare. Just ask the private-sector airline industry, with their public-sector "security" costs -- subsidized by you, whether you choose to fly, whether you choose to suffer their "security theater" at all, or not. Your protestations are irrelevant. As Al Haig put it, "Let them march all they want, as long as they continue to pay their taxes." It applies to the Warfare State, too, in case you haven't noticed. Does that seem right to you...?

Further, if offering such insurance as an employment benefit is, in fact, a competitive advantage for the business (as also noted by supporters, curiously), they will happily offer it sans government coercion, because it's in their economic self-interest. Because it attracts the best employees, thus increasing the business' productivity. Because it's profitable. Again, problem solved.

So why are they lobbying government to provide -- hell, to mandate -- their competitors with equivalent bennies? Why are they advocating to undermine their own perceived competitive advantage in a cutthroat market for labor? Seems counterintuitive -- even foolish -- doesn't it? Could it be that they just want a subsidy? And the public perception of being charitable with other people's money, of course -- but ya simply don't get moral credit for that.

But if they nevertheless don't believe it makes economic sense, what can we surmise about no-skin-in-the-game ('cuz it's not its money, it's yoursgovernment's rosy "utopian" economic predictions?

Indeed, if it's inherently not profitable, what can we anticipate regarding where the funds will eventually have to come from for this force-based government entitlement that, once implemented, will... never... go... away?

If you're "allowed" (nevermind an actual competitive free market) even just a nominal "choice" -- that the FTC, according to someone who should know, would likely call "an unfair and deceptive trade practice," remember -- this bill as written will not work. According to a state economist. Even if you simply don't like competitive free markets and voluntary contracts. Won't work.

You can do better on your own. Right now. And you can control it. You should do that.

But then, in a free society, one that respects the rule of law -- hell, even in this one -- insurance contracts aren't supposed to be a government function in the first place. You have an unalienable right -- and a concomitant responsibility, notably -- to control your own contracts (including, potentially, a voluntary contract -- get this -- to manage your contracts). And to control your own property. Even if your addle-pated neighbor "neglected" to anticipate certain contingencies, you are under no lawful obligation whatsoever to bail them out. 'Course, you can always still choose to help them voluntarily. Used to be that way back in the day, in point of fact...

What if servant government simply gave up the repeatedly empirically failed notion that it perfectly and uniquely groks economics, the incomprehensible economy -- for everyone -- and knows better than you how to run your life -- at your neighbors' expense?

What if servant government was compelled to simply acknowledge and humbly accepted that it was never expressly delegated the lawful authority in the first place...?

  • Stop the secret income tax | New Hampshire
  • NH HB 628: One Step Closer to the Perpetual Drain of an Income Tax - GraniteGrok — GraniteGrok
  • Letters: Income tax bill disguised as insurance bill is bad for NH | Manchester Ink Link
  • Reminder: These New Hampshire House Republicans Voted for An Income Tax - GraniteGrok — GraniteGrok
  • Is New Hampshire Ready For Another Unsustainable Social Experiment? - GraniteGrok — GraniteGrok
  • House committee votes against New Hampshire family leave bill
  • Family leave bill set back by committee vote | New Hampshire

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

NH "Preemption" Accountability Bill Divides 2A Community

Thu, 2018-01-11 04:12 +0000
"Preemption" -- the notion that the 2nd Amendment and NH's own Article 2-a actually mean what they say, and that, NH not being, for good or ill, what's called a "home rule" state, local communities (and other subdivisions) can only do what Concord has authorized them to do -- was nevertheless officially codified back in 2003 as RSA 159:26.

Sadly, the rule of that law has subsequently chafed certain recalcitrant local officials, who have continued, on occasion, to unilaterally overrule it (such as some police chiefs who feel entitled to modify the one-and-only-authorized/accept-no-substitutes Dept of Safety Pistol/Revolver License application by requiring additional information). HB1749, "relative to the state's authority to prohibit or regulate firearms and relative to the selectmen's authority to manage town property," heard here, 1/10/2018, before the NH House Municipal and County Government Committee, not to put too fine a point on it, is an effort to say, "no, we really meant it, and you will be held accountable." Well, ok then...

Curiously, while we are presented with always-expected objections from self-interested government(-affiliated) actors -- advocacy groups the NH Municipal Association (their testimony, essentially, including the exclamation points, can be found here) and the NH Chiefs of Police Association (hey, now there's a surprise...), and from representatives of a couple of town select boards -- and the always amusing (and usually bemusing) Rep Tim Horrigan, no one actually from the private-sector hoplophobe community even showed up.

Pure bizarre internecine struggle, otherwise, with state gun activists staking out opposing positions. However, there does appear to be some building consensus surrounding a proffered amendment initially presented to the Committee in testimony by Gun Owners of NH, starting at about the 1:04:00 mark. At this juncture, however, it must be officially introduced by a Committee member during their Executive Session (which didn't happen this day) to be considered. So if you have a Representative sitting on the Municipal and County Government Committee, you might want to put a bug in their ear about making sure it's allowed to at least see the light of day and be discussed.

James Gaffney at about 1:36:30 pretty much nails the objective, regardless of the execution: shouldn't government officials be held accountable when they -- perhaps even intentionally -- break the law? Aren't you? Even when maybe it's not intentional? Shouldn't there be some substantive incentive not to break the law? Or does election -- or mere appointment -- make men angels...?

But yeah, it's a concept that really should be applied to government violations of all rights, not just gun rights. I do feel compelled to note here that there are 10 co-/sponsors on this bill, and their average NH Liberty Alliance legislative grade is an A+...


  • NH legislators debate more changes to gun laws; Sununu voices support for status quo | New Hampshire

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

The One Where the Commission Announces Its Findings Before the Hearing

Tue, 2017-11-28 14:55 +0000
For the predetermined deliberations of this lopsided simpatico NH Commission to Study the Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana (and here's the Senate hearing on the House bill to establish it) is what the NH House Criminal Justice Committee insists it must wait. But rest assured, citizen, your unauthorized overlords are unbiased. Uh-huh. They "represent" you, too...

Can this really be surprising, though, when the hand-picked membership is overwhelmingly comprised of unrepentant on-the-record -- even vestedly self-interested -- drug warriors? Oh, the prohibitionist/authoritarian echo chamber. Thank you, late-commission-addition attorney Paul "How the hell did he get in here?!?" Twomey, for injecting a shudder of jarring objectivity and honesty into the juggernaut.

The titular revelation barely 4 minutes into this "impartial" commission's only second non-"organizational" meeting, 11/27/2017 -- the announcement that the Chair is already intending to speak in House session against this year's "marijuana legalization" bill, HB656 (the Criminal Justice Committee's equally tediously predictable Executive Session for which can be seen here), and his request for the commission's consent for him to speak on behalf of the whole group at that time -- and then Mr. Twomey's desperately needed subsequent objection to said presumptuous, disingenuous, "really, who needs a horse anyway when we got this here dandy pre-ordained cart?" Committee Chair's request round out the first 6 minutes.

If you'd just prefer to skip over all the essentially "the feds might get mad!" and "we have to protect voluntary commercial partners from themselves!" -- and, of course, the ever-popular catch-all, "REGULATE ALL THE THINGS!" -- bullshit that comes next, Marijuana Policy Project's New England Political Director Matt Simon -- who isn't on this commission, bringing some deficient balance, right next to the devoutly prohibitionist private-sector advocacy group New Futures, because...? -- starts at about 59:00, providing some rational facts regarding the recent history and current regional state of "The War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™.

(Some unfortunate audio difficulties in the middle as my mic battery slowly expired without notice, somewhat ameliorated in post, but it clears up with a mic swap just after 1:24:00.)

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Fiat Prohibition and the Defiant Tenacity of the State

Wed, 2017-11-15 03:33 +0000
The NH House Criminal Justice Committee addresses a pair of prohibition-antagonistic bills in Executive Session, 11/14/2017. HB287 and HB656 -- dealing with what you're "allowed" to do with your body and what you're "allowed" to put in your body, respectively -- thus get their official committee recommendations to the full body, which will likely vote on them next week. Get those cards and letters flowing, people...

  • Stossel: Who Owns Your Body
  • House committee rejects N.H. marijuana legalization bill

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

NH House Speaker Candidates Forum

Fri, 2017-11-03 16:37 +0000
Hey, what are the odds the GOP-majority NH House can elect an actual Republican Speaker this time...?

NH House Freedom Caucus
For Immediate Release
October 26, 2017


New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus Announces Committed Speaker Candidates, Panelists for November 2nd Forum

Concord – The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus (NHHFC) will host a forum for candidates for Speaker of the House on next Thursday, November 2nd, after the House veto session. Currently, seven candidates for Speaker have confirmed for the event, which will be moderated by Rep. Len Turcotte (R-Barrington), with a panel of policy experts.

The confirmed speaker candidates are (in alphabetical order):
  • Rep. Al Baldasaro (R-Londonderry)
  • Rep. John Burt (R-Goffstown)
  • Deputy Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)
  • Rep. Jim McConnell (R-Swanzey)
  • Rep. Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford)
  • Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord)
  • Rep. Steven Smith (R-Charlestown)
The confirmed panelists for the event will be:
  • Andrew Cline, Interim President, Josiah Barlett Center
  • Andy Crews, President, AutoFair
  • Michelle Levell, Director, School Choice for New Hampshire
  • Ed Naile, Chairman, Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers

"The coming election for Speaker will have a significant impact on the state’s future, so it is critical to hear where the candidates stand on important issues facing the state. We’re thrilled to have such great participation and such a distinguished panel to help both House members and the public understand the vision of each candidate. Every candidate will get their chance to convince their colleagues to support them and the opportunity to earn their vote. This should be a very exciting forum," added Rep. Turcotte.

The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus is a grassroots organization consisting of legislators and private citizens, who believe in personal liberty and the traditional conservative "Yankee" values that made New Hampshire a great place to live.

Follow @NHFreedomCaucus

  • State GOP candidates for Speaker call for party unity | New Hampshire
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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

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