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Author Topic: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS  (Read 13212 times)
Shuvom
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Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« on: May 28, 2006, 11:15:15 am »

Fellow Free Staters,

I just moved to NH last week, and went to my first "Meet and Greet" of already-moved FSP'ers, and it was AWESOME.  There were 8 times as many Libertarians at that casual barbeque than there ever were at the offical monthly meetings in the state I moved from! 

But even with the density of liberty-minded folks (LMF's) we already have with just 400 or so of us already here, that's not nearly enough.  Talking to Free Staters who have been here for over a year, some are depressed about how slowly people are trickling in.  These first 400 have already had a HUGE impact, but it's taken 5 years!  How long will the other 19,600 take? 

So we at the barbeque came up with a plan.  Before the end of June, I will contact EVERY SINGLE Libertarian party in EVERY SINGLE state with a passionate plea to take another hard look at the Free State Project and consider moving as soon as they can.  I will post the letters I send and the contact to whom I sent it to under this thread so that you all can suggest refinements as the campaign progesses. 

First, I will contact all 49 state LP offices starting with my native NC, then I will move to as many college LP clubs as I can find, starting with my native Virginia Tech, and then I'll rest my fingers before perhaps starting on another third party vector such as Constitution party or whatever.  Any help people can offer will be accepted.

The first letter is below, and was sent to: info@lpnc.org. 

Libertarian Party of North Carolina
PO Box 28141
Raleigh, NC 27611
(877) 843-5762
info@lpnc.org


Dear North Carolina Libertarians,

Hello, my name is Shuvom Ghose.  Up to last week, I was a Libertarian in New Bern, NC under Richard Evey's chapter, until I moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. 

As you may already know, the Free State Project is a movement to coordinate 20,000 liberty-minded folks moving to the same state, New Hampshire, so that we can be a political majority for the first time in history. 

Seven thousand people have already signed up to pledge to move, and around 400 already have, and as I was moving, I thought that, just like in NC, Libertarians would be few and far between until the rest of the 20,000 showed up.  Until I went to a casual "Meet and Greet" barbeque I saw posted on a Free State Project on-line calendar.  AND 40 LIBERTARIANS SHOWED UP.

In two years of asking our co-workers, advertising in the paper, cajoling friends, canvassing on the street and the radio, I believe our record for a New Bern meeting was 5 Libertarians at once.  And we got 8 TIMES that to a casual barbeque in NH. 

Not because the people in North Carolina care about liberty less than those in NH, or that they're not trying as hard (heck, we're trying much HARDER in NC), but simply because of the relative density of liberty minded people in the two states.  And this brings me to the point of this letter. 

In North Carolina, city council members laugh at Libertarians because they know we can never threaten their incumbents.  In southern NH, city council members FEAR Libertarians because if they introduce a bad bill, we PACK THE NEXT COUNCIL MEETING WITH LIBERTARIANS AND YELL AT THEM UNTIL THEY REMOVE THEIR BILL. 

In North Carolina, neither main political party really considers the liberty aspects of their floor votes because they know enough voters aren't watching.  In NH, a group called the "New Hampshire Liberty Alliance" ranks EVERY bill in the State house as pro-, neutral or anti-liberty and why, records EVERY representative's vote on every bill, and maintains a "liberty scorecard" so respected and widely read that the Liberty Alliance office gets anxious phone calls from many state reps when they slip in their liberty grades, asking how they can do better.  This group was founded by native NH Libertarians, but only the tens of Free Staters who have joined since then have given them the manpower to do enough work to make an impact.     

We all know that in two years, the "Real ID" program is coming, where each person must have a Federal-government-approved, biometric ID card to be able to do anything.  Native NH Libertarians, along with the Liberty Alliance, along with a standing army of Free State volunteers, came within a handful of votes of passing a measure in BOTH chambers of the NH legislature saying NH would NOT comply with the Federal "Real ID" program.  What would it have done to the program to have one state suddenly not comply with a mandatory Federal Homeland Security initiative?  How many other states would have been given the courage to follow?  What could the anti-Real ID group have accomplished with a 100 more Libertarians?  That's only 2 more from each state. 

My fellow North Carolina Libertarians, when I was in Raleigh last year attending a LP executive board meeting, there was a gentleman named Shawn who was an active, motive force in almost every project the LP was doing in NC.  (I believe he's heading up the ballot petition drive/lawsuit now.)  Imagine having 10 Shawns in your state LP organization.  Imagine having 10 Richard Eveys. 

Imagine having 10 Barbara Howes.  At one meeting.  At one barbeque. 

Imagine Libertarians being a voting majority in your city.  This is not a dream.  We are coming close in some small southern NH towns. 

But everything is not rose petals.  NH Libertarians are involved in a political war to keep the state income-tax-free (which also came within 10 house votes of passing), to expand freedom for home schooling parents, to fight eminent domain and to defeat Real ID.  And we are not winning all those battles.  We need back-up.  We need your help.  We need your fountainhead of unique ideas, of energy, of action.  Not the person next to you.  Not all those other people on LP message boards.  Not "someone", "somewhere".  You.  We need you. 

I know it will be very hard to leave North Carolina- it was for me.   But decades of smart, tough, resourceful people working in NC have not been able to grow the LP into a state majority.  They are growing Elephants and Donkeys faster than you can grow Penguins.  The numbers are just not with you.  The density is just not with you.  It is here. 

From the bottom of my heart, I swear to you that this is the beachhead of freedom you have always imagined.  A place where Libertarians are taken seriously by elected officials, where our proposals actually become bills in the State house, where there are not five but fifty Libertarian candidates running for state offices, where we have the manpower on the streets to sway an election one way or the other.   This is where we can win.  Not make a political statement.  Not just be noticed by the papers.  But WIN.  Win elections. 

But imagine if, after establishing the Normandy beachhead on D-Day, American troops got a telegram from Washington: "No reinforcements are coming.  Take Berlin on your own."   That is how some Free Staters feel.  That our back-up is not coming.  That all the work we do to win freedom here will be erased if we let up for one second, because there is no one to take our place in the line.   

I know there are many reasons you may not want to move to New Hampshire.  Job, family, climate.  But there is one overwhelming reason TO move.  Imagine picking a rock up off the ground, throwing it in any direction, and hitting 10 Libertarians.  Imagine 400 Libertarians picking up a rock and hitting the wall of the state capitol in Concord.  Imagine 20,000 Libertarians picking up a rock and hitting Washington.   

Density.  Density of Libertarians is the reason.  Our political system only rewards density.  And we need you to increase our density.  To increase your own freedom. 

My e-mail is shuvom@comcast.net.  My cell is (252) 646-2643.  My mailing address is 38 Hawthorne Dr, Apt. G305, Bedford NH, 03110.   Please distribute this letter to any Libertarian you can find, anywhere, and tell them to contact me with any, any, any questions or help they need about the Free State Project.  Also, http://www.freestateproject.org/ is the official project website. 

Thank you for you time. 
Sincerely,
Shuvom Ghose






 


« Last Edit: May 28, 2006, 11:17:07 am by Shuvom » Logged
jgmaynard
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2006, 11:24:48 am »

VERY nice letter........

Only one suggestion though, although it made me laugh......

I'd replace the "Yell at them until they remove the bill" statement to something like: "stand up and be heard, offer testimony, advice and rally our new neighbors around us until they remove the bill..."

Just sounds more... Mmmmm..... Workable.

JM
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2006, 01:07:50 pm »

Wow, your letter is full of passion and fire!  Well done!

As far as logisitics, I suggest that you send this to the newsletter editor at the state level.  There isn't any other mechanism for sharing mail with the state members unless they happen to attend the state meeting.

Just one minor quibble with the preface - while the project is (nearing) five years old, but the state vote only occurred in 2003.

Again, kudos to you for taking the initiative!
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2006, 08:23:21 pm »

Hey Shuvom,

This is exactly the sort of "kick in the ass" the FSP needs -- individual participants taking the initiative to promote the project.  Great job!

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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2006, 08:45:12 pm »

Excellent Shuvom!  Thank you for your efforts.

I'm afraid your letter will dead end with the person who receives the mail at each state LP.  Sending to the state newsletter editor is great too, maybe as a letter to the editor or a letter to the members.  Each state may also have a Yahoo group or two that many of the members are a part of - join them and post it.  I know NY has such email lists; http://www.ny.lp.org/online/lists.htm

Go get 'em!  Grin

Brian
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2006, 09:31:44 pm »

But even with the density of liberty-minded folks (LMF's) we already have with just 400 or so of us already here, that's not nearly enough.  Talking to Free Staters who have been here for over a year, some are depressed about how slowly people are trickling in.

Wow, are you for real?  The agreement was not to move until between 0 and 5 years after we reach 20,000 members and the earliest time this was thought possible was between 2006-2011.  So, even if we look at the earliest that we ever thought possible, that is still right now to 2011.  Anyway, it would be a good idea to recruit locals, as that was always considered the best way to increase freedom in NH.  I suggest giving John Stossel's Give Me a Break to everyone in your office or something for Christmas.  It only costs around $7 used on the internet (and that includes shipping).  It is a great way to start.  If they say they like the book, maybe give them a copy of John Stossel Goes to Washington on DVD.  It costs less than 50cents to make a buyed DVD.
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Shuvom
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2006, 09:43:53 pm »

FYI,

A Point of Contact for North Carolina has already responded- my letter is going in their next newsletter.  We'll see what comes of it. 

All of you who suggested sending the letter to the newsletter editor were right on the money- I'll do that from now on.

Also, the next time I think about using a comma in a sentence, I'm going to use a dash- it makes a sentence seem much more exciting with less effort!

Thanks for all your support- I'll keep plugging along to other states. 

Shuvom
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2006, 11:29:36 pm »

Here's my two cents: http://www.uwlibertarians.org/ <--- the CL of the Univ of WA Seattle campus. As of this moment, their site is down for repairs I guess, but the person you'll want to get in touch with is Travis Wright. He's a very influential person, and I think he's not an LPWA officeholder at age 20 or 21. the UW CL appears to be doing extremely well, however please note that my personal experience with them (including written [attempted] correspondence) would suggest that at least the top leadership of this group is a tad on the elitist and neolib side and therefore is often unwilling to organize with other groups on projects that arent "theirs".

Also, you may want to consider contacting Robert H. from Planet Eagle, USA (http://planeteagle.us/contactus.htm). I worked with him about a year to 9 months ago trying to facilitate a national pro-liberty youth movement, but needless to say it didn't work as I'm sure none of you have even heared of it before Wink Tell him Andrew Del Vecchio sent you and to contact me while he's at it if you would.
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2006, 11:34:04 pm »

Wow nice going Shuvom and nice meeting you at the barbeque.
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2006, 12:50:29 am »

Wow, are you for real? The agreement was not to move until between 0 and 5 years after we reach 20,000 members and the earliest time this was thought possible was between 2006-2011. So, even if we look at the earliest that we ever thought possible, that is still right now to 2011. Anyway, it would be a good idea to recruit locals, as that was always considered the best way to increase freedom in NH. I suggest giving John Stossel's Give Me a Break to everyone in your office or something for Christmas. It only costs around $7 used on the internet (and that includes shipping). It is a great way to start. If they say they like the book, maybe give them a copy of John Stossel Goes to Washington on DVD. It costs less than 50cents to make a buyed DVD.

He's real, Keith (I met him yesterday).

But are you for real?? Of course I mean that in the figurative (and friendly) sense, having met you at last year's festival.  But seriously, "the best way(s) to increase freedom in New Hampshire" are the following: move to NH ASAP, recruit others to move to NH ASAP, and once in NH, work to promote freedom in NH.  Why should anybody care what "was always considered the best way" before liberty loving pioneers started joining and recomposing the freedom movement in NH?

Hooking coworkers on Stossel is a fine idea, but I can't believe you'd think it's more important than what Shuvom is doing.  It sounds like you want to discourage him from having a sense of urgency about the project.  Truth is, the folks in NH (natives and movers alike) are kicking so much ass already, we can't help but imagine the incredible progress we could make if only we had, say, 500 movers.  Some (not I) are very concerned that the signup rate is down.  I say they should realize that as long as people like Shuvom and I keep showing up in New Hampshire, the FSP is flourishing.  If you want to know how the FSP is progressing, ask the NH folks "How many people have moved in the last month, and what is the status of pro-freedom activity in NH?"  Those are better indicators than any number you'll find on the website.

Piles and piles of credit to Jason for the original idea, but we ought to be willing to admit that the original strategy was flawed.  For one thing, 20,000 was an unrealistically high number.  If we could somehow rewind and try the FSP again, I'd suggest having 5,000 be the number triggering both the state vote and the beginning of the moving period.  Conservatively, we might have a few hundred more hundred activists in the free state right now, helping turn some of these near-victories (e.g. Real ID -- currently a gut-wrenching stalemate) into real victories, making NH even more attractive to the poor saps rotting in statist hell.  But we can't rewind; we can only acknowledge that the project itself has stalled somewhat on its path to 20,000 signers.  Its greatest success is not that 7,000 folks have signed up (worse than expected), but that hundreds are already moving and blazing the trail (an unexpected and very pleasant surprise to many).

So if life doesn't permit you to move until years from now, I certainly won't judge you or hold it against you.  But we really, absolutely need more movers in the near term (1,000 by 2008 sounds nice? Wink), or the FSP will never get beyond 10,000, let alone 20,000.  Forget about what was thought possible when the FSP was just a twinkle in the eyes of a few intellectuals and dreamers.  The FSP is now, dude.  And besides, given the rapid advance of tyranny in the U.S. since 9-11, do you really think we can afford to wait until 2011?!?!  I don't, and that's why I'm here.  Look forward to having you as a neighbor, even if it is several years down the road.  ?Kiss

(edited to remove all those weird question marks that mysteriously appeared within)
« Last Edit: June 01, 2006, 12:10:34 pm by Rocketman » Logged

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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2006, 12:56:32 am »

Also, the next time I think about using a comma in a sentence, I'm going to use a dash- it makes a sentence seem much more exciting with less effort!

Shuvom,

Dashes are great for informal writing, but just so you know, it takes two hyphens to make a dash -- a hypen is used to join-things-together, whereas a dash is used to separate things by indicating a break between them -- like this -- and this -- cool, huh?

Regards,

Rocketman
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2006, 07:42:27 am »

Shuvom, welcome to NH!  Sorry Caren and I missed meeting you, we're getting ready to leave for Russia tomorrow morning to finish an international adoption.  Our next event will probably be the July 1 Merrimack Valley Porcupines meeting, where we'll finally get to introduce our little boy Jordan in person.
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2006, 06:39:12 am »

Shuv:  Ditto on the Welcome to NH.

If you do find that your letters are dead-ending, or not reaching a sufficient audience....

Here is another option you could try.

Come to _____

Where we are taking the FSP message directly to political websites.  If reply traffic is any
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2006, 04:28:39 pm »

Here is another option you could try.
Come to _____
Where we are taking the FSP message directly to political websites.  If reply traffic is any

I think Dada must have been hyper-busy, as usual Smiley
Here's the link he probably intended to post:
http://forum.soulawakenings.com/index.php?topic=2613.0

BTW, I love your notion of mailing every one of the 50 LPs.
Don't ask anyone for permission -- don't listen to people who tell you why you shouldn't -- Just Do It! Cheesy
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Re: Free State Project needs a kick in the ASS
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2006, 09:04:24 pm »

Sorry, I got interrupted while trying to post the above message and had to send it unfinished to avoid losing it.

As I was saying, If you do find that your letters are dead-ending, or not reaching a sufficient audience....

Here is another option you could try.

Come to the link in Dennis's message above.

There you will see where we are taking the FSP message directly to political websites.  Mainly we just post news releases about our accomplishments or about pro liberty NH accomplishments in general and then mention the FSP.

We need more people to do this and you're welcome to join us, there is a list there of about 20 good forums where we are not yet very active
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