Nashua, NH - January 4, 2008 - The first day of presentations for the 2008 Liberty Forum covered the broad themes of the War on Drugs, citizen activism, school choice, immigration and real money. "All these topics are important for moving liberty forward, which is the overall theme of the forum", said Forum organizer Chris Lawless.
Over the afternoon, attendees had the choice of presentations, covering drugs, activism and immigration. The session on the War on Drugs was led by Peter Christ, former undercover narcotics officer, who highlighted the origins in the government policy and what it has done to policing in America. In short, it has made everything worse.
Those interested in citizen activism at the federal level could hear Bob Schulz of We The People, which currently has a writ in front of the U.S. Supreme Court being heard today to hear a case to validate the right to petition for redress of grievances against the government; the Court will issue its decision on Monday morning. The writ was filed after all prior petitions concerning the income tax, the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and the Federal Reserve were ignored by the federal government.
For more local activism, Don Gorman, former state legislator and political director of the NH Liberty Alliance, gave a stirring appeal for people to move here and how they can become effective activists right away. Carla Howell of the Center for Small Government, discussed the ballot initiative in Massachusetts to eliminate the state income tax and what effect that could have on the rest of the country.
The panel on Education Choice covered homeschooling, private schools and public school choice. Gardner Goldsmith discussed the history of immigration laws and the repeated arguments of the 1800's being used today against foreign workers. He outlined his federalist position to let the states handle immigration rather than the federal government, since it has no constitutional authority to do so.
Rounding out the day was a session on the NH real estate and job market, which is a primary interest to the many would-be movers. Artist Peter Bagge of Reason Magazine related many funny stories of his journalistic endeavors.
A full exhibitors' hall featured many local citizens groups, a job placement agency, political parties, presidential campaigns and even silver merchants.
The keynote dinner featured Bernard von NotHaus, founder of the Liberty Dollar. He spoke about sound money, and how "we cannot gave good government without good money". He pointed out that the last time the global economy collapsed was the fall of Rome, which resulted in 1000 years of no liberty and no money, and how we are headed for a similar disaster if we do not take control of our money. "We are Americans. It is our duty to fix it" he said, stirring the crowd to applause.
NotHaus also announced that the Liberty Dollar is still in business with a new 2008 minting featuring an MSRP and a private barter currency marker. He said a $1 silver liberty from 1999 recently sold for $700 on eBay, showing the huge demand for an appreciating currency in contrast to the depreciating federal reserve note.
The Liberty Forum continues until Sunday at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua.
Full details are at http://www.freestateproject.org/libertyforum