Heeere Porcy, Porcy

First Free State Project “Liberty Forum” A Huge Success

You probably have heard about the Free State Project (their mascot is a porcupine) from some news source somewhere over the last few years. It was a considered an oddity at first, the idea of having people move to a state to promote freedom, lower taxes, less government, and personal responsibility. Some critics were amused and thought they had “gone away”. Not so.

The Free State Project is alive and well and growing by the week. I see them all the time and have quite a bit of contact with many of the members, some of whom have not even moved here yet. They get CNHT E-Blasts.

Their first big bash outside of the annual Porkfest, which has been held in Lancaster for the last three years was “The Liberty Forum” this past weekend in Concord at the Holiday Inn. 350 people attended.

The goal:

1. Teach political action methods already being effectively employed in New Hampshire

2. Acquaint New Hampshire residents with the Free State Project, its Participants, and their philosophies of liberty

3. Energize attendees about the reachable common goal of creating a freer personal and economic State

They had numerous speakers throughout the event. Some were NH activists and Congressman Ron Paul was featured.

CNHT had two of us with the 'Two Jenns' from Merrimack covering taxpayer activism, NH style. The 'Two Jenns' are Jennifer Twardosky and Jennifer Thornton, young moms who started a taxpayer movement that caught a wave last year in that town and defeated one of the worst tax-and-spend education disasters in NH history. (A Howdy Doody look-alike on top of it.) We had a great audience. Half of them were from out of state. Good sign.

John Stossel speaks to the free State Project.

John Stossel is co-anchor of one of the big three news networks and the author of "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel -- Why Everything You Know is Wrong." And the man knows his audience.

I watched him bag and tag this crafty, skeptical, libertarian crowd. It was masterful. Here is how he kept their rapt attention and earned their admiration:

First he talks to the Free Staters about how as a young consumer affairs reporter he became suspicious of “government solutions” for everything. They never worked as long as he was reporting.

They took the bait.

Then he says he picked up and read a copy of “Human Action” by economist Ludwig von Mises - heavy reading, he says. The crowd stopped breathing. Von Mises? Only WE read stuff like that!! Scattered applause. Many knowing smiles. Yes this man is one of us they thought.

But Stossel is not letting these fish have loose line. So he says: “Just kidding. I didn't really read that book, its too thick.” “ I read Friedrich Hayek. It was much easier.”

Now he had them laughing with him, and at themselves, for believing, even if only for a second, anyone but a true fan of economics would ever stop to read Friedrich von Mises.

Then he drops the big bomb. “I lied again” he said, “I didn't read either of those two economists. I just read Reason Magazine, its all in there.”

Checkmate! He had them right where he wanted them. He fooled them twice in a row and they loved him for it.

It was a wonderful event. Can't wait for next year.

Great job Porcupines!