Voltaire. Shhh. Hear that sound? It's Voltaire rolling over in his grave as a result of what so-called free staters are trying to do these days!
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
That famous line, widely credited to the great French philosophe (and troublemaker) Voltaire, was actually uttered, at least according to google, by English writer Evelyn Beatrice hall who wrote a biography of Voltaire using the pseudonym S.G. Tallentyre
Whoever said it, I totally agree with it and would urge my Libertarian friends, who pay lip service to free speech, to read it and follow it.
Pardon me for weighing into a pissing contest which I had hoped to avoid, but I totally agree with Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, that 120 so-called free staters who have filed a petition against free speaker Rep. Cynthia Chase, D-Keene, should go pound sand! I weigh into it now only because the petition from Keene Darryl W. Perry and 119 other n'eer do wells from Keene was actually printed in the House calendar (Number 10) and came up for discussion today on the House floor.
The Union Leader felt the need to weigh in with a story today about free staters who are attacking Rep. Sullivan. They may as well attack me as well.
Bring it on
Although I have lived in New Hampshire since 1969, I always considered myself a fellow traveler with free staters; I always thought I stood for the same liberties they claim to stand for. After what the Keene 120 have done this week, I must say I'm ashamed to have ever said good things about these sublime hypocrites (or maybe we should leave out the U and the B from SUBLIME and just have SLIME).
The Keene 120 disgust me!
I would have done more than simply to tell them to go pound sand as Rep. Sullivan apparently did.
He is absolutely right in calling them hypocrites; in fact, they are sublime hypocrites. That's the best term for those who claim to advocate freedom and at the same time would deny it to those with whom they disagree. Rep. Sullivan also called them "crackpots", not a word I would have used, but then I probably would have been less diplomatic in describing them.
The quote from Voltaire's biographer applies perfectly to my feelings in this sordid episode. As much as I disagree with what Rep. Chase originally said about free staters, I would defend her right to say it.
As I said on the House floor today, it is a sad chapter in our history when 120 so-called free staters sign a petition to have her either censured or impeached.
It is even sadder when a Represenative (my New Years resolution prevents me from even mentioning his name) would challenge the ruling of Speaker Terie Norelli and attempt to involve us in more discussion of this anti-freedom gambit.
Perhaps saddest of all is that many on the losing side of the 276-77 vote in favor of the speaker were those who like to huff and puff and claim they are libertarians. As far as I'm concerned, no true libertarian would join in a witch hunt to deny free speech to a duly elected representative. If you don't like what Rep. Chase or I or anyone else has to say, fine. Join the effort to vote us out of office. You'll get another chance in November, 2014.
Only one Democrat, hemp proponent Michael Garcia of Nashua (talk about someone who mouths ideas of freedom and then votes the other way) voted along with Republicans to defy the Speaker; in other words to pass this effort along to a committee for a more hearing.
Republicans, including those in leadership (Chandler, Hess, Jasper, Packard, etc), voted to uphold Norelli's ruling; it was 86-76 on the Republican side. Most of the 76 would certainly be termed House Republican Alliance members (the three HRA co-chairs along with O'Brien), thus showing a continuing split among Republican leadership and the HRA, a split that was evident on three or four more bills during the House session and one which the party is trying to downplay.
Interestingly, of the 44 Reps absent for the vote, seven were from Manchester, and all seven were Democrats! In other words, that's 16 percent of the absences from the city which has only eight percent of the overall Reps. That means that Manchester Reps are once again leading the way with their No Show status. A city which is only 18-25 miles from Concord has an absentee rate twice the House average.
Here are the seven No Show Manchester Reps for the vote. Of course we begin with the No Show brothers Tom and George Katsiantonis. Pat Garrity who, according to the Union Leader had an afternoon meeting with his parole officer, obviously couldn't be there (Should he not be treated like Tracy Laughton and forced to resign?) The other four No Shows from Manchester were Dobson, Jean Jeudy, Ted Rokas, and Tim Smith.
Their no show tendencies, while shameful, pale in comparison to the shame libertarian-minded Republicans are heaping on their party for the witch hunt of someone who chose to exercise her right to free speech.