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United States Politics

Free State Project 93% Towards Goal (freestateproject.org) 388

Okian Warrior writes: Long term readers may recall the Free State Project, a plan to gather 20,000 liberty-minded participants and move to a low-populated state, as covered here on Slashdot. The project reached 90% of its 20,000 member goal last year with accelerated growth in recent months, and is on track to trigger the move to New Hampshire before year's end.
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Free State Project 93% Towards Goal

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  • by blackpaw ( 240313 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @02:42AM (#51253951)

    Should be entertaining.

  • Excellent (Score:3, Funny)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @02:45AM (#51253959) Homepage Journal

    I wish them luck. If nothing else, this could be very entertaining. They might even accomplish something.

    • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:01AM (#51253991) Homepage Journal

      I've been following their progress from the beginning, and they're already having an effect on local politics.

      A number of free staters are already a member of the NH house. They managed to get the law banning switchblades repealed. This made sense, because virtually no one gets injured by switchblades, and there's lots of situations where being able to open a knife one-handed is really useful (such as EMS and rock climbing).

      They were just shy of legalizing marijuana in the last round (2 votes short of an override of the Governor's veto), they made it legal to inform juries of their right to nullification, and they've reduced the budget.

      (On jury nullification: at least one person was acquitted on cannibus charges by unanimous jury vote.)

      All in all, they're really having an effect. I can't wait to see what happens when the entire 20,000 get here.

      • by Holi ( 250190 )
        On October 24, 2014, the New Hampshire Supreme Court effectively nullified the law, holding that the wording of the statute does not allow defense attorneys to tell juries they can "nullify" a law
      • by Holi ( 250190 )
        The whole idea that Jury Nullification is valid is offset by the oath you take when serving on a jury. "Do you have any beliefs that might prevent you from making a decision based strictly on the law?" As Jury Nullification is not law, serving on a jury with the intent to nullify is perjury.
        • "As Jury Nullification is not law, serving on a jury with the intent to nullify is perjury."

          That's why you never say that you are any sort of political advocate of jury nullification, or you will never get past voir dire. Just keep in mind that nullification is one of the basic rights a juror has, and make sure that at trial your decision is based on an interpretation of the evidence and testimony that you could explain if polled to 'show your work'. You have the right to be just as picky and pettifogging i

        • The whole idea that Jury Nullification is valid is offset by the oath you take when serving on a jury. "Do you have any beliefs that might prevent you from making a decision based strictly on the law?" As Jury Nullification is not law, serving on a jury with the intent to nullify is perjury.

          Since jury nullification is part of the legal process, you can take the oath knowing that, worse comes to worse, you can nullify the laws in question without breaking your oath. Now, if jury nullification were illegal, you might have a point, but even if it were, how are you going to force a jury not to vote to nullify a law? Threaten them? It's been tried, and the jury told the judge that they could not, in good conscience, convict because the law (in this case a law prohibiting on-demand abortion) was un

          • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @12:23PM (#51256063) Journal

            Its funny how people are for or against jury nullification (simultaneously) depending on the "law" they support (or don't). I've seen liberals say they are against Jury Nullifcation until they are show that very example, who change their mind. And conservatives the same thing (with gun laws). The problem is, they want to pick and choose the circumstances of jury nullification.

            If you're only for Jury Nullification for cases where you like the outcome, then you're just a hypocrite

        • The supreme state law in any state is that state's constitution. The jury is free to identify a particular law as being in conflict with the state constitution, and thereby null and void with respect to the case being tried. If the case includes a challenge to the law, the jury has the right to nullify the law generally if it conflicts with the state constitution. If you take an oath to decide based on the law, then you're required to decide on the law which takes precedence, which may be the state constitu
    • Re:Excellent (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Thursday January 07, 2016 @07:25AM (#51254479) Homepage

      I predict they will initially struggle to get people who pledged to actually move. They should have got 10x as many as they need, figuring in a 90% reneg rate.

      Then the people already living there get pissed off.

      Then it turns out that the people who did move were mostly part of some sub group, like SJW men's rights activists or homophobes or something.

      Eventually it ends up being as screwed up as anywhere else, just a different flavour. The glut of skills will cause employment problems, the sudden influx will cause infrastructure problems, and you will have a bunch of opinionated people who are motivated to vote trying to serve their own interests as they inevitably will.

      • Then it turns out that the people who did move were mostly part of some sub group, like SJW men's rights activists or homophobes or something.

        Anarchists are much like Atheists in the sense that they come from extremely diverse backgrounds, skillsets and philosophies. The only monoculture that may be expected is there tends to be a disproportionate amount of males to females , just like with atheists where it is usually a 9 to 1 ratio. The only matter that may curb this is since this project is requiring the whole family to move you will get a more balanced ratio of sexes moving in because an anarchist/libertarian father will drag along his less l

      • Eventually it ends up being as screwed up as anywhere else, just a different flavour.

        That's okay. It's good to have a variety of flavors of screwup so we can pick and choose good ideas from each other. Some things they try will fail but other things they try will work, so I'm glad they're doing it.

      • Have you ever relocated? You have to a) secure gainful economic employment, b) sell your home and acquire a new one c) relocate....

        These are NOT simple easy things to do. Nor is New Hampshire a hot bed economy to easily find high paying jobs..

      • "The glut of skills will cause employment problems"

        NH is in an advantageous position because it is not the boonies, but a capitalist suburb of Massachusetts. There's work to be had on Route 128, and meanwhile that 'glut of skills' in the local area can be the nucleus for new local businesses.

    • They will most likely demonstrate that while a minimal (or even non-existent) government might work when your society is tiny, as it grows, that idea becomes less and less feasible. It's the same reason that by the time I hit the renaissance era in Civ IV, I set all my workers to automate. It's too much work (for me at least) to otherwise be continuing to manually manage everything as my empire grows. People forget that one of the functions of a government is to protect the rights of its citizens, otherw
      • This is an excellent point and one most anarchists would agree with, which is why we support balkanization or localization and refer to Dunbar's number - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] as supporting evidence why societies should be organized as a bunch of small communities which cooperate and trade with each other.

        People forget that one of the functions of a government is to protect the rights of its citizens, otherwise society will end up being the strong dominating the weak.

        Most anarchists do acknowledge some good that comes from the states and the important roles governments play in society. One common misconception is the idea that Anarchists oppose governments

        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          One common misconception is the idea that Anarchists oppose governments which isn't true

          Bull bleep. Anarchy - the absence of government and law. From an - absence of + arch - leader + y - characterized by. If you don't oppose government, you're not an anarchist, end of story. You're a libertarian or something along those lines.

          • The etymology of the word is actually greek and means without rulers -

            ad. Gr. , n. of state f. - without a chief or head,

            Semantics and etymology aside, I am quite familiar with many schools of anarchists and almost all of us support governments and local rules decided upon through consensus or unanimously depending upon the school of anarchism. There is perhaps 1-2 schools of anarchist thought out of the 20+ that oppose all governments... most just make a distinction between state government and anarchist

          • by owski ( 222689 )

            If you don't oppose government, you're not an anarchist, end of story.

            Sine you're talking semantics you also need to define "government". All anarchists may be required to oppose your definition of government, but it isn't the only one. For example, my Lions Club has a government (president, vice president, council, etc.) but I don't think you'd be required to oppose it as an anarchist.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @02:51AM (#51253967)

    So.. 1.5% of the population... that's a powerful voting block?

    Are we sure that this isn't just the New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce trying to get wealth individuals? At least in Wyoming, you'd be over 3%...

    This is really a lot of hype.

    • by NicBenjamin ( 2124018 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:05AM (#51254005)

      Turnout for state-level races tends to be under 50%, and some of the population is too young to vote, so that 1.5% is probably gonna be a full 5% of the electorate. Assuming a) they all show up on election day, and b) they all (or at least a reasonably large proportion of them) vote the same way.

      A 5% voting block is pretty important. It really helps that they are in a state where they won't be the only people going "live free or die," and that the state's legislature is so fucking huge [wikipedia.org]. With a 400-member lower House, there's only 3k or so people per legislator, which means it's much easier to get in on the ground floor then it would be in Cali.

      The problem these guys have is not gonna be that their plan is stupid, it's gonna be that getting a bunch of Libertarian internet activists to a) actually follow the fuck through and move to New Hampshire, b) show up to vote in boring off-years elections when nobody actually votes, and c) all vote the same fucking way even if both candidates disagree with them on some issue; is pretty much the definition of impossible. Especially c).

      That said, I wish them luck. Whatever happens, this is a lot more productive then the internet activists typical routine of posting a rant, and then concluding that the process is rigged/corruption is rampant/the parties are Fascistic Nazi-lites/etc. when everything isn't fixed in an hour.

      • The problem these guys have is not gonna be that their plan is stupid, it's gonna be that getting a bunch of Libertarian internet activists to a) actually follow the fuck through and move to New Hampshire, b) show up to vote in boring off-years elections when nobody actually votes, and c) all vote the same fucking way even if both candidates disagree with them on some issue; is pretty much the definition of impossible. Especially c).

        Which is why if they really wanted to make the most of their voting power they should be voting third-party Libertarian candidates into power instead. Given their numbers, and the fact that NH only has 3,300 voters per representative, it would be trivial for them to elect a couple of dozen third-party candidates in office. The problem with libertarian politics in the US is that they've made a devil's bargain with the Republican party. Social issues, foreign policy, immigration, privacy rights and internal s

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      So.. 1.5% of the population... that's a powerful voting block?

      If they're all in the same rough geographical region, then absolutely. The two least populous New Hampshire counties have only 33,000 and 44,000 people, respectively. If you assume that fewer than 57% of people vote in any given election, that means there are 19,000 and 25,000 likely voters in each of those counties in any given election. If you put 10,000 "free staters" in both counties, assuming they all vote, they could easily tip the balan

      • If you try to nearly double the population of a county, the real estate prices are going through the roof and there won't be enough houses or jobs. Since these people aren't compelled by any force to move to the same county, they'll spread out just to get a decent deal on property.

    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

      Also consider that they were willing to move to another state. They may be more likely to vote, speak out, donate to political groups, and run for office. Half the problem in the US is that almost no decent normal human being will dare run for office. (Obligatory Douglas Adams quote [goodreads.com])

  • We'll see... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dark.nebulae ( 3950923 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @02:53AM (#51253977)
    Let them spend a full winter in NH and we'll see just how many stick around.
    • Re: We'll see... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday January 07, 2016 @06:22AM (#51254343) Homepage Journal

      You realize that tens of millions of Americans live in similar or colder climates, right? And we don't even talk aboot Canadians. ;)

      If "it's too cold" is your excuse to not fight for liberty, the fight isn't burning that hot in the first place. We had 60's in December this year. It actually was cold this week - I had to endure at least 20 seconds of mild disscomfort because I don't have a remote car starter.

    • oh, it's not so bad.

      Just October, November, December, January, February, March and part of April.

    • by crow_t_robot ( 528562 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @12:07PM (#51255939)
      You should look into buying or renting a dwelling with a modern HVAC system and getting a job indoors that also has a modern HVAC system as opposed to your current occupation which I am assuming is running around the forest collecting berries or something.
  • by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @04:10AM (#51254111)

    Lets wait and see how many back out when the move gets triggered. There is a huge difference between signing a non-binding pledge and leaving jobs and home to move to NH.

  • May I suggest Dumblandia?
  • Apparently "liberty-minded" means "interested in co-opting" someone else's constituency,

    • Actually, they chose New Hampshire because it's base constituency was already one of the most similar.

  • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @05:35AM (#51254231)

    Quite apart from the question of whether this is feasible, I think am important question is whether this is morally right? People who have lived in a cplace for generations generally get up in arms if a large group - say, muslims - suddenly stream in and want to change things; the same will apply with any other large group. They are simply newcomers, who want to impose their views on people. And, of course, isn't there something contradictory in trying to impose "Freedom" on anybody?

    • Wait a second here!
      Morality right?, consideration of History?, worried about forced "Freedom"?
      If it wasnt for your need to use Muslims as a scare tactic sir, I would doubt you are American!

    • by codebonobo ( 2762819 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @07:45AM (#51254529)

      They are simply newcomers, who want to impose their views on people. And, of course, isn't there something contradictory in trying to impose "Freedom" on anybody?

      Anarchists and Libertarians typically don't care how others live their lives as long as you don't use coercion, violence, kidnapping , and torture against them to go along with your agenda. People should have a right to voluntarily be enslaved and a right to live under their ideals because you own the effects of your body and it isn't our right to impose upon you our ideals through coercion. This means that we are perfectly happy to live and even cooperate with communists , socialists, democrats and republicans as long as they don't impose their agenda upon us. Where it gets complicated is when statists feel bitter about some people stepping outside of the "social contract" that we never agreed to in the first place and not shouldering some public burden along with them. Since anarchists aren't necessarily against governments but state governments I believe a truce can be brokered between the communities where anarchist collectives pay for the public services they do use, and can refuse to pay for the ones they disagree with (murdering innocent families with drone bombs 90% of incidents and NSA surveillance used to murder those people)

    • by Bite The Pillow ( 3087109 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @08:45AM (#51254739)

      This is a response to, "If you don't like it, move." Okay, they did. And NH is close enough to their goals that it won't be a major policy change.

      I like the idea of having an honest community standard, where people generally have the same principles. Being comfortable because you grew up somewhere is the worst kind of community. Because you may like your house and neighborhood, but disagree with the neighbors.

      One that runs out nonconformants will sort itself out. And I would like to see communities with such strong identities that up to the state level people generally agree.

      Since the target is a low population area, I don't see a problem.

      Give me liberty or death, because I can't be arsed to move a few hundred miles?

  • Why New Hampshire? What's different about it?

    • by lophophore ( 4087 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @09:13AM (#51254843) Homepage

      1. it is a small state, with about 1.3 million residents
      2. it is a rich state, #6 on per-capita income and household income
      3. there are jobs to be had, the state has a favorable economic climate
      4. there's a lot to do, mountains, lakes, the ocean.
      5. no sales tax, no income tax (OTOH property taxes are very high)

    • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @10:25AM (#51255217) Homepage

      New Hampshire, has always been a strongly libertarian leaning state for the northeast, especially New England area. Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire along with Oregon were often referred to as the left libertarian states. As in it tended to be "socially liberal" and "libertarian".

      So basically New Hampshire, seemed to be one of those locations where it'd be most easy to say "I support your right to gay marriage, guns, and ganja". It's also a very beautiful rustic state.

      Heck, when ALL their license plates exclaim "LIVE FREE OR DIE", of course it's going to be one of the top choice of people who want to live freely.
      http://www.plateshack.com/y2k/... [plateshack.com]

  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @08:43AM (#51254727)
    Moving to another state with a real likelihood of no equivalent employment just for an ideological cause, by definition is self-selecting for the upper reaches of the UMC or even higher. Now this crowd will instantly pipe up: "I code from home so no problem". How much _real_ broadband is available in New Hampshire? Where it is available is probably not too cheap, cost of living-wise (see first point).

    Libertarian: one with the enough luxuries of time and money to take a bold political stance.
    • How much _real_ broadband is available in New Hampshire? Where it is available is probably not too cheap, cost of living-wise (see first point).

      You are acting like NH is a third world country, lets just get the facts- http://www.speedtest.net/award... [speedtest.net]

      Most Free state people are moving to locations like Keene which has Xfinity with 114 Mbps download average and the same prices as elsewhere

      There is also Low unemployment and plenty of jobs available. Portsmouth is one of the 30th top markets to find a job.

      Here are more resources for plenty of jobs in NH - https://freestateproject.org/r... [freestateproject.org]

  • I checked out their website and saw them asking for donations.
    That's enough to know they're full of crap.

    You can't claim self reliance while asking for donations.

    If they got something so basic wrong, what else are they lying about?

    • I checked out their website and saw them asking for donations. That's enough to know they're full of crap.

      You can't claim self reliance while asking for donations.

      If they got something so basic wrong, what else are they lying about?

      Charities and non-profits aren't incompatible with libertarian and anarchist philosophies. Even gift giving and sharing economies can exist and are perfectly fine. You would have a valid point if the Free State Project accepted a grant from the feds or state and that would indeed be hypocritical.

      Solidarity with your neighbors is actually a more important attribute than individual self reliance in anarchism because without state governments, communities must work together and find consensus in a peaceful an

  • There are many advantages, there are disadvantages too.

    Disadvantages go first:

    1. Many people do no like cold, period. You cannot change that, unless you are hell bent on warming the planet so much to increase the temperature of the state bordering with Canada.

    2. Not central. Meaning too far and too aside. If one does move here transportation expenses would increase. If, however, New Hampshire would become the richest state, I am sure more and cheaper flights would be made available.

    3. Property taxes are rea

  • I feel sorry for New Hampshire if these right wing nuts move there in mass.
  • by lactose99 ( 71132 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:09PM (#51257241)

    Didn't we see what happened the last time someone tried to build Galt's Gulch?

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2... [addictinginfo.org]

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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