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Author Topic: An Open Letter From A NH Resident  (Read 24782 times)

Kelton Baker

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An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« on: October 23, 2003, 03:04:49 pm »

The following was sent to Jason Sorens last week and was deemed as having some good advice for all FSP members to consider:

Dear Jason,
    Congratulations on the Free State Project's selection of New Hampshire as its chosen state. I think we both agree it's the best place for the FSP although Wyoming is a close second. I fervently hope your wife is okay as I have heard she has had recent medical problems that have curtailed your participation in the FSP.

   I am writing this letter to advise you and those on the FSP board to read carefully the media articles and letters to the editor many New Hampshire residents are writing about the FSP (not the screed from the state's Democratic Party chairman, you can ignore her). What I perceive, and what I'm sure you perceive as well is a nervousness tinged with fear. An outside group is coming into the state, who are they and what do they want?

    This is an opportunistic time for the FSP but also a dangerous one too because before you move into the state, your opponents are already trying to define what you are to a public that does not know through the media. It's important that the FSP fight such perceptions, distortions and outright lies and the New Hampshire FSPers and LPers can do that on their own.

    But it's as we all know, making that good first impression is very important. That's why coming into New Hampshire in a trickle rather than a flood and saying "We're all here, let's take over!," is the best route to follow. Remember, unlike other migratory groups in American history, with the exception of the Mormons, the FSP is being very explicit about what it stands for and where it intends to go and what it intends to do. This will frighten people not used to the direct approach. Working your way in, becoming neighbors with the people of New Hampshire and becoming New Hampshirites, is very important. Its has to be to the point where the citizens don't even realize the FSP is present in their midst, just people they know as their neighbors. The three-year time table is good one and you may want to extend it to 2007 or 2008.

   You probably also want to set up a political committee to get off the ground along Non-Partisan League lines by 2004  in order to help with Gov. Benson's re-election and work with the governor and the LP as much as possible. His success will vital to your efforts because I sense in him an independent streak that will be beneficial to you. Perhaps getting an FSP members from New Hampshire take a prominent role in his administration should be another goal.

    The most effective message, in my view, that the FSP can make to the people of New Hampshire is not spouting off a lot of talk about privatizing this and privatizing that or changing governments, because that's what is concerning people right now about the FSP, that you're some sort of revolutionary group. No, the most effective message is to live and let live, to let New Hampshire communities be themselves and for the citizens to be what they want to be. You must make the connection between the FSP and our own revolution because it was this desire for the basic freedom of being your own sovereign that precipitated our break with the British Empire. There was nothing else to it. Have you ever seen the movie "Gettysburg" ? There's a scene were a British officer who is attached with the Confederate Army, Col. Arthur Freemantle is talking with Gen. James Longstreet before the second day of the battles and says:

 "You Americans are really transplanted Englishmen. The same names, the same laws, the same hymns, the same traditions. But different dreams, different dreams."

That's what it's all about and that's what you have to fight for, a place where different and diverse communities can be together. Where a town in the White Mountains can have a Ten Commandments display in the park and a town near Amherst can legalize marijuana use and no lawsuit, no state police or state agency will interfere. One my favorite authors, Bill Kauffman has a saying: "Let Utah be Utah and let San Francisco be San Francisco." This should be the essence of the FSP and your slogan to the rest of New Hampshire. Too much of the problems in our country come from the fact we're not willing to do this. For too many ideologues, it's all or nothing. Be like us or else.

The FSP has a chance to stop that trend and create a place that the Founding Fathers envisioned for America. But to do this, FSP members must get to know their communities and the neighborhoods in which they live in. Who lives there,  their histories, what are they about, what do they want for their community and what are their hopes and dreams? Get to know them and get to know the community because that will determine how FSP members who live there will govern in the end. Not every place in New Hampshire is going to want opium dens on Main Street or whorehouses near the First Congregational Church. And not all New Hampshire towns are going to want Crucifix's in town square. Find out which is which, where the per missives live and where the conservatives do and act accordingly. When in Rome, do as the Romans and live according to lifestyle. The FSP is not here in New Hampshire to change society, but allow it to flourish in freedom. Not to change governments but to make their ringing words and ideals come true. That's what you have to do in the next three- to four years for it to work.

    Well, I didn't mean to preach, but I am excited for the FSP's future and hope to see it continue to grow. Good luck and best of health to your family. Feel proud of what you and the FSP have accomplished (far more in such little time than the LP has eh?). I'm off to try and convince the mugwumps at the American Conservative to do a piece on your group. By the way, if you feel this letter is worth repeating on the website, feel free to do so.

        Sincerely,
        Sean S.

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SteveA

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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2003, 03:44:12 pm »

This is a very nice letter.

Quote
One my favorite authors, Bill Kauffman has a saying: "Let Utah be Utah and let San Francisco be San Francisco."

Well said :)  I'm getting the impression there are a few Hampshirites that can teach us!
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jgmaynard

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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2003, 11:54:51 pm »

That was a wonderful letter. We are working exactly along the lines drawn out above.
It's slow, long hard work, but we are going to make this work the right way.
Not only those of us on the ground already in NH, but many others are working on placing these very ideas into action. We are shooting for a major announcement 11/1.
Take care.

JM
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LarryCon

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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2003, 08:35:50 am »

As a NH resident, is there a simple explanation of the beliefs of this group?  A ten commandments type of document.  Link, please?
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Karl

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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2003, 09:52:03 am »

As a NH resident, is there a simple explanation of the beliefs of this group?  A ten commandments type of document.  Link, please?

The "Statement of Intent" each of us agreed to sign says it best:

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

There are of course many ideas and many strategies for carrying out the above represented among the FSP's membership.  Most members favor lowering taxes, preserving 2nd Amendment rights, enhancing educational freedom, and decriminalizing victimless crimes such as marjijuana use.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2003, 09:55:54 am by Karl Beisel »
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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2003, 10:02:11 am »

As NH resident, I was a little skeptical about FSP, and I'm not convinced that you all really understand the state of New Hampshire and its residents.

First, this is a very conservative state. How are 20,000 FSP members going to change anything when there are over 265,000 registered Republicans in NH??? NH was the only state in NE to go for Bush in the 2000 election. Craig Benson is our governor.

Second, are FSP members aware of what a NH winter is like?

Third, New Hampshire (especially up north) has recently been hard hit by high unemployment rates and the loss of many key industries. Jobs are not easy to find, even in the Seacoast area. The paper mills (Fraser Papers - the largest private employer in northern New Hampshire) in Gorham and Berlin have been laying off workers again. American Tissue had filed for bankruptcy in September 2001 and shut these mills down for nine months. This closing threw 830 people out of work and devastating the area's economy. The area has never recovered, even after the mills reopened. And now the layoffs are beginning again. Are you aware that Tyco International went bankrupt after an Enron-like scandal? So, where are all of these FSP members going to find work? Are you planning on taking jobs away from current NH residents?

I'm just trying to understand a little better what the FSP is about and what it plans for NH.

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Mike Lorrey

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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2003, 10:44:37 am »

As NH resident, I was a little skeptical about FSP, and I'm not convinced that you all really understand the state of New Hampshire and its residents.

Since a number of us are NH residents, and have been for many years (since 1977 in my case). We who are residents have made very clear what NH is like.

Quote

First, this is a very conservative state. How are 20,000 FSP members going to change anything when there are over 265,000 registered Republicans in NH??? NH was the only state in NE to go for Bush in the 2000 election. Craig Benson is our governor.

Comparing NH Republicans to the GOP in the rest of the country demonstrates that NH GOP people are actually far more libertarian than their compatriots elsewhere in the country. Many real conservatives label NH GOP politicians as "RINO"s as a result (Republican In Name Only).

People that think NH republicans are conservative are generally of the screaming pink liberal variety and wouldn't know a centrist position if it smacked them in the face. To them, anybody to the right of Jane Fonda or Fidel Castro is a conservative.

We know Benson is the governor and most FSP members really like him and NH because he is the governor.

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Second, are FSP members aware of what a NH winter is like?


Third, New Hampshire (especially up north) has recently been hard hit by high unemployment rates and the loss of many key industries. Jobs are not easy to find, even in the Seacoast area. The paper mills (Fraser Papers - the largest private employer in northern New Hampshire) in Gorham and Berlin have been laying off workers again.

This is untrue. In fact, the mills have started back up again and are hiring. The only difficulty going on with the mills at this point is that being paper mills, they have to compete with lumber mills for timber, which is currently in high demand with construction in Iraq by US firms. Now that a forest thinning bill is passing congress, western timber markets will be flush again and price pressures will abate.

The mills are currently on a temporary shutdown that regularly happens in the winter months. Lifelong residents of Berlin are used to this and take their vacation in the winter, which is why snowmobiling is so widely popular in the area.

Quote
Are you aware that Tyco International went bankrupt after an Enron-like scandal? So, where are all of these FSP members going to find work? Are you planning on taking jobs away from current NH residents?

I'm just trying to understand a little better what the FSP is about and what it plans for NH.

FSP members have a far higher proportion of entrepreneurs than the general population. A number of members are moving here right now and several are moving businesses that will employ a good number of people. I'll bet that the FSP migration produces far more jobs for NH residents than it takes...

This is what libertarians are about: productivity. You will find zero FSP members who will be joining NH's welfare rolls.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2003, 10:47:45 am by Mike Lorrey »
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Daisy

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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2003, 12:02:10 pm »

Thanks for getting back to me, but I should clarify, I'm not the average NH resident. I'm the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, Ivy League educated (not Dartmouth), serious environmentalist, pro-choice activist, and an active member of Howard Dean's campaign. My husband (the son of a lesbian and an active IWW member) and I have both caught a great deal of static for our "liberal" views and backgrounds since we moved to NH from upstate NY. If NH was not ready for us, then how can you be sure that it will be ready for you?
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Karl

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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2003, 01:06:51 pm »

Thanks for getting back to me, but I should clarify, I'm not the average NH resident. I'm the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, Ivy League educated (not Dartmouth), serious environmentalist, pro-choice activist, and an active member of Howard Dean's campaign. My husband (the son of a lesbian and an active IWW member) and I have both caught a great deal of static for our "liberal" views and backgrounds since we moved to NH from upstate NY. If NH was not ready for us, then how can you be sure that it will be ready for you?

Many free staters are also children of immigrants, Ivy League educated, serious environmentalists and pro-choice.  Some are even grudgingly supportive of Howard Dean, if only because they think he is less danagerous than is George W. Bush.

That said, there are of course some New Hampshire residents that won't agree with some of our ideas.  But our research, our visits to New Hampshire, and interaction with many New Hampshire residents has suggested that it is at least as ready for more active pro-liberty voices as any other state.
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kater

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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2003, 01:31:29 pm »

God, it's sad when we pick presidents based on which one is "less dangerous."

But really, I just don't think that our many and varied moves to New Hampshire will be so unwelcome.  I'm moving to live in the state, to work there, to raise my kids, and to participate in a community - and the fact that I want to do all of those things privately (without state interference) shouldn't suddenly make them sound threatening.  

As for our "plans for New Hampshire," I can't let you walk away with the idea that what we're after is a hostile takeover.  Our goal wouldn't be 20,000 if that were the case. You yourself moved to NH and consider it home now. We want to do the same thing. You vote your way, I'll vote mine. Just be assured that my vote is aimed to protect freedom for all of us--including your liberty to call me a crackpot. ;)
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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2003, 01:35:39 pm »

OK, you crackpot, you ;)

I think the jobs issue is important, but if you look around these boards, you can see that many FSP members' primary concern is finding a job.  I know that I can't move without one.  At the same time, you'll also find a bit of discussion about how to create jobs, even entirely new industries (a private inspection service, for one).  So no, if 20,000 people move to NH in the next 5 years, they won't be taking jobs away from any NH residents, and actually, they will BE NH residents at that time, so they can't, right?
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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2003, 05:51:27 pm »

I expect jobs are one of our larger issues.  FSPers are a highly educated group though.  I think the solution to that is for us to create jobs for the existing population.  As opposed to accepting jobs from those less qualified to provide them.  
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2003, 08:32:02 pm »

Thanks for getting back to me, but I should clarify, I'm not the average NH resident.

What? You thought I hadn't noticed?

Quote
I'm the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, Ivy League educated (not Dartmouth), serious environmentalist, pro-choice activist, and an active member of Howard Dean's campaign.

Libertarians recognise that the environment is best protected when it is in private hands (just look at what a mess the Soviets and the US government have made of their lands). Many of us are also pro-choice, and we tend to be better educated than the average, with a higher percent of bachelors, masters and doctorates in our membership than the population as a whole.

Quote
My husband (the son of a lesbian and an active IWW member) and I have both caught a great deal of static for our "liberal" views and backgrounds since we moved to NH from upstate NY. If NH was not ready for us, then how can you be sure that it will be ready for you?

Since FSP members have been exploring the state for over 6 months now, the only people who have expressed opposition to us have been radical left wingers who are ticked off that we intend to spoil their incrementalist socialist agenda for NH. Most every GOP person we've met loves that the FSP is coming, since the NH GOP tends to be more libertarian than most.

That your husband is active in the IWW (the Wobblies, in case list members do not know who they are, are a communist labor movement involved in anti-free trade and anti-technology luddite activism) is indicative and confirms what I had originally stated. You folks are extremely left wing.

NH was selected because it meets our positions better than most any other state, and in our judgement offers the best possibility for pushing further along the road toward libertarian society.

What I find so very interesting is that you yourself are not a NH native, yet are trying to present yourself as if you are. New York leftists are essentially anathema to granite staters.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2003, 08:35:35 pm by Mike Lorrey »
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Daisy

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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2003, 08:48:29 am »

"Libertarians recognise that the environment is best protected when it is in private hands (just look at what a mess the Soviets and the US government have made of their lands)."

I find this statement a bit alarming. NH has many beautiful state and national parks - what do you plan on doing with these parks? What about the White Mountain National Forest? Many NH residents are very protective of New Hampshire's environment, and of the tourist dollars it brings.

I'm also a bit concerened with the issue of employment. I've seen it posted numerous times that FSP members are well educated and hard working. So? This does not guarentee success. How do you plan on creating jobs? It is easy to state that you will do this, it is another thing to actually do this. What is your plan? Have you seriously thought about it?

"What I find so very interesting is that you yourself are not a NH native, yet are trying to present yourself as if you are. New York leftists are essentially anathema to granite staters. "

My family has been in VT (Northeast Kingdom) and NH since the 1790s. The town of Gorham, NH is named after my family. I may have been born in upstate NY, but ALL of my roots and 95% of my family are in this area and always have been.
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Re:An Open Letter From A NH Resident
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2003, 10:09:06 am »

"Libertarians recognise that the environment is best protected when it is in private hands (just look at what a mess the Soviets and the US government have made of their lands)."

I find this statement a bit alarming. NH has many beautiful state and national parks - what do you plan on doing with these parks? What about the White Mountain National Forest? Many NH residents are very protective of New Hampshire's environment, and of the tourist dollars it brings.

Daisy -- we want the same thing as you -- a BETTER environment.  However there is tremendous evidence suggesting it can be done BETTER through private solutions than through government solutions.  For example, The Nature Conservancy, a private environmental conservation charity, owns more than 15 million acres of land in the US (102 million acres worldwide)  They are held responsible by their contributors (of which I am one).  They conserve more than 146 times as much land as is located in the White Mountain National Forest.  Who would you trust to protect the White Mountain National Forest more?  A Federal boondoggle into which you are forced to pay, in which you have no voice, or a charitable organization like the Nature Conservancy, into which you may pay as little or as much as you wish?

Quote
I'm also a bit concerened with the issue of employment. I've seen it posted numerous times that FSP members are well educated and hard working. So? This does not guarentee success. How do you plan on creating jobs? It is easy to state that you will do this, it is another thing to actually do this. What is your plan? Have you seriously thought about it?

There is no collective plan for employment -- each of us will make a living as an individual, just like anyone else.   I can't speak for others' plans, but job creation is simple.  In my case, I plan to move my business to NH, and it will eventually employ 20 people.  Most of the folks moving have thought about their plan extensively, as would be prudent for anyone contemplating a move to another state.  Some folks seem to envision us as a bunch of hobo freeloaders or something -- very odd given our beliefs.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2003, 10:26:08 am by Karl Beisel »
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