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Wednesday
Jan302013

Free Staters Should Indeed Go Pound Sand!

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.

 

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Reader Comments (11)

1) You fail to note that many Free Staters have opposed the move to censure Chase.

2) In what sense does censure violate freedom of speech? None that I can tell. Had a representative expressed support for Hitler and the Holocaust, that representative would surely be censured, and rightly so. Censure is just another form of expression. Whether it's appropriate or not in a given case is a judgment call and unworthy of this kind of high-handed attack.
January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason
Steve,
I don't usually agree with you. On this issue you are 100% correct.
Keep up the GOOD work.

Jack Kelley
Hills District 32 Nashua Ward 5
January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRepresentative Jack Kelley
Might the sausage makers under the gilded dome actually accomplish something of substance this session:
1. Skool Choice
2. Private Property
3. Removal of non-constitutional skin tags starting with Dept. of Cultured Affairs?

Oh, I forgot, freedom isn't on the agenda.
– C. dog tiring of the antics of lisping fantasticos and prattlings of naked apes
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
Very amusing post, Steve. Less diplomatic! How about "crazy crackers"? Tell those dems to get back to work. I am a dem and no shows are unacceptable from anyone.
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames Veverka
Today's oxymoron: "dems to get back to work." Thanks, Jimmy.
– C. dog
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
I spent a great deal of time in a prior post making quite clear how I totally disagreed with what she said originally. Because someone says something you strongly disagree with does not mean that person should be censured, censored, or impeached. If that were true, the honorable rep from londonderry and many others would have been gone long ago. I can't remember the book or the justice, but I seem to recall a very profound legal scholar in defense of free speech saying that the answer to bad speech is not less of it but more good speech to counteract it...something like that. Perhaps someone can google the exact quote, but I live by it. If you don't like something Rep. Chase or I (or anyone says), either ingore it or refute it, but don't try to censure, censor, or impeach us!
January 31, 2013 | Registered CommenterRep Steve Vaillancourt
Quite to the contrary Steve, I hope Cyndi keeps opening her big pie-hole; she's the best spokesperson the NH GOP has right now.
– C. dog
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
Steve -- the reference you're trying to recall may be Asma Uddin, a legal scholar with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who wrote in January 24, 2010: "But perhaps worse than banning books is halting dialogue--conciliatory speech that allows us to share commonalities, build bridges, and develop society beyond its current prejudices. To defeat 'bad' speech, we need more 'good' speech; to overcome polarizing speech, we need unifying speech. In the end, the solution is always more, not less, speech."

I'll take Rep. Cynthia Chase's "good" speech over the so-called petitioners' anytime.

These so-called "Free Staters" just want to be free from our laws -- laws that collectively "we" agree to in a democracy. Laws that provide the values for New Hampshire. Laws that provide for our common good, that educate our youth, that protect our seniors, the allow for equality.

They didn't "select" New Hampshire because they love our state or our people. They "targeted" New Hampshire as a small state where they could have power and influence and eventually take over. It's part of their charter.

In that lies the real danger of "The Free State Project."
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim Splaine
The difference is that Chase doesn't have a *right* to be a legislator. She is there because a slightly greater number people wanted her there than didn't. If that precarious balance should happen to tilt back the other way because of her actions, it's not unreasonable to raise the question of recalling her.

Firing someone because she's bad at her job isn't a restriction of her freedoms.
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt W.
You are aware that "censure" merely means to officially express disapproval, yes? As you say you do, I would certainly hope the whole of the legislature would express disapproval of what Rep. Chase said. Whether that deserves floor time, I'm not sure.

But your article appears to be missing some of the procedural details. From my understanding, the motion was not on whether to censure or impeach. Rather, the motion was whether the House should hear a petition to redress a public grievance caused by one of its members.

Though, as I do live in Rep. Sullivan's ward, I was quite alarmed to see him call me a crackpot, thug, and hypocrite. Why, I've never even met the fellow.
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon Ross
How sad that a supposedly intelligent person would say we allow free speech only when we attach negative consequences to it. Is the next step to say, like they do in some Arab countries, that sure, you have free speech but we'll chop your hand off or kill you if you excercise it? If this is the kind of thinking we get from free staters and their allies, COUNT ME OUT NOW AND FOVEVER. It's a dangerous slope you send us down, and I will be no part of it.
Rep. Chase will face consequences if she chooses to run for re-election. Voters will decide and guess what? I suspect she'll win in a landslide, so free staters are in fact trying not merely to silence free speech but to deny the right to vote.
It just gets curiouser and curiouser.
Sieg Heil, Meine Damen Und Herren in the Free State Movement. Sieg Heil, RB.
The quote I was thinking of is from Justice Brandeis. I've posted it under a separete blog. And will add others.
And speaking of Sieg Heil, I don't for a minute agree with the so-called Holocaust deniers, but I would never try to silence them as is done in Germany and Austria. In fact, and other places in Europe. In fact, I seem to recall that the right wing author David Irving, a Brit whose book Hitler's War I thoroughly enjoyed--even when I didn't agree with it, was jailed for his writing.
February 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterRep Steve Vaillancourt

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