The Free State Project's First 1,000 Pledge has met and exceeded its goal! As of right now, 1,027 Porcupines have pledged to move to the "Free State" of New Hampshire, USA, by 12/31/2008, exactly two years from today, in fact! A couple of us at the Libertarian Action Network will be there, and others will follow in the following months and years (mostly old people who don't want to give up their cushy lifestyles). If you've yet to sign on as a First 1000 Pledger, or as a regular "5 years after 20,000" member, please do! Its counterculture- but with fewer hippies and no socialism! ;)
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Spy cameras that talk are watching YOU! In the UK that is. Not America yet, but it can't be long at this rate if people don't say NO louder! From Bloomberg:
Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- It's Saturday night in Middlesbrough, England, and drunken university students are celebrating the start of the school year, known as Freshers' Week.
One picks up a traffic cone and runs down the street. Suddenly, a disembodied voice booms out from above:
``You in the black jacket! Yes, you! Put it back!'' The confused student obeys as his friends look bewildered.
``People are shocked when they hear the cameras talk, but when they see everyone else looking at them, they feel a twinge of conscience and comply,'' said Mike Clark, a spokesman for Middlesbrough Council who recounted the incident. The city has placed speakers in its cameras, allowing operators to chastise miscreants who drop coffee cups, ride bicycles too fast or fight outside bars.
Almost 70 years after George Orwell created the all-seeing dictator Big Brother in the novel ``1984,'' Britons are being watched as never before. About 4.2 million spy cameras film each citizen 300 times a day, and police have built the world's largest DNA database. Prime Minister Tony Blair said all Britons should carry biometric identification cards to help fight the war on terror.
``Nowhere else in the free world is this happening,'' said Helena Kennedy, a human rights lawyer who also is a member of the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament. ``The American public would find such inroads into civil liberties wholly unacceptable.''
During the past decade, the government has spent 500 million pounds ($1 billion) on spy cameras and now has one for every 14 citizens, according to a September report prepared for Information Commissioner Richard Thomas by the Surveillance Studies Network, a panel of U.K. academics.
Who's In Charge?
Doesn't this remind you of something...?
"YOU! Yes YOU! Eat your meat! If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have your pudding if you don't eat your meat?!"
WE DON'T NEED NO EDUCATION...
Lauren Canario, the freedom fighter who was jailed for three months with no due process has been released. Click the title link to hear her interview on Free Talk Live, a nationally syndicated pro freedom radio show. Her false accusations consist of "trespassing" on property the *rightful* (not the City of New London, CT DevCorp!) owner of a New London house. The catch? He had allowed her to do so and it was the city that had violated through emminent domain! But never mind that, she was peaceful and they had pistols. Might makes right, right? I think not...
Monday, December 18, 2006
RealID may die a relatively quick death after all. Or at least it can with your help! Visit DownsizeDC.org to send a message to Congress telling them you want this gone. Only 30 or so constitutents can bring these issues to the serious attention of federal legislators!
D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h Are we winning?
The opposition to the REAL ID Act, which would create a national identification system, has been great and unrelenting.
It has come from hundreds of groups, including state governments, but we know of no group that has been more relentless than DC Downsizers. We have so far pumped out 40,362 messages to Congress calling for the repeal of the REAL ID Act.
Now, two Senators, Democrat Daniel Akaka of Hawaii and Republican John Sununu of New Hampshire, are threatening to sponsor legislation that would do just that -- repeal the REAL ID Act!
But . . .
They would first like to see the Department of Homeland Security adopt new regulations that would reduce the cost of REAL ID to state governments, and increase privacy protections for citizens.
Frankly, no one knows if such changes are even possible. The REAL ID Act requires the states to electronically verify the validity of birth certificates used to acquire ID cards and driver's licenses. This is so technically difficult that the cost to state governments is expected to be an additional $8 billion.
And it may not work -- even after the money is spent! Long(er) lines and (increased) delays are expected at DMVs around the country.
State governments are also required to share data between themselves so that a person born in one state can have his or her birth certificate electronically verified in another. There's a very real concern that this entire system of electronic verification will be extremely vulnerable to hackers, providing what "Information Week" has called "one-stop-shopping" for identity thieves.
Given how much the states are already being burdened financially, these technical difficulties may be insurmountable. As things stand now, state governments are expected to comply with the REAL ID Act in less time than it took the Department of Homeland Security to write the initial regulations.
Now, Akaka and Sununu want these regulations rewritten or they will take steps to repeal REAL ID! The Senators have also complained that Congress was "forced" to pass this ill-considered legislation because it was combined with an emergency defense spending bill.
We want to point out two things . . .
First, this bill would not have been passed had Downsize DC's "Read the Bills Act," or our proposed "One Subject at a Time Act," been the law of the land.
Second, we would not now have the trouble of trying to comply with this ill-considered legislation if Downsize DC's "Write the Laws Act" had been in effect. Instead of delegating the legislative details to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats at the Department of Homeland Security, Congress would have had to work out the details themselves. It likely would have been too much for them and they would have left well-enough-alone.
Well, if Congress is incapable of figuring out how to do it's job, we will do it for them. DC Downsizers will tell them what they need to do, and how they need to do it. Now is the time to give them more instructions.
Yes, we know, they're busy moving into new offices, and all that (and some of them may already be gone, for good), but (for the rest) that just means this is a good time to pile on and remind them what their priorities need to be. Akaka and Sununu have opened a crack in the door. Now, let's slam it all the way open.
Bombard Congress with messages demanding the repeal of the REAL ID Act.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Lauren Canario, Freedom Fighter
Lauren Canario, a member of the Free State Project, moved to New London, CT after the infamous Kelo vs. New London Supreme Court decision. This decision, which ruled that states could decide to seize private property and hand it over to private corporations, so enraged Lauren that she packed up and moved from Las Vegas to New London to help the residents there keep their homes. Now that the residents of Fort Trumble have sold their homes under extreme duress, she has vowed not to leave until the last home is razed.
About a year ago, Lauren was arrested while trying to attend a public City Council meeting. Court officials claimed that the room was too full and that the meeting was being rescheduled. She did not believe this and wanted to wait to see meeting attendees leaving before she'd leave the building. The police arrested her for refusing to leave the steps of the building. Once arrested, she refused completely to cooperate with her captors. She wouldn't walk, she wouldn't talk to them. She was held for 15 days before they finally gave up and let her go. During that time, she was shackled and under bright lights 24 hours/day. She has scars on her ankles from the shackles.
Lauren has been incarcerated for 81 days now, and it may be up to a year. No charges or any kind of trial in all this time. Where is the Constitution now?
Monday, December 11, 2006
Free State Project members! If you have not yet signed the First 1,000 Pledge to move to the Free State by The end of 2008/beginning of 2009, you should do it now. There are only 19 pledging days left this year! If you already have, or know you can't make it by then, tell others who may be interested. Below is an e-mail from the FSP's Volunteer Coordinator:
Calling all Free State Project volunteers!
There are only 19 days left on the First 1000 pledge, and we need the help of every single FSP volunteer in order to pull out a victory on this one. As a leader of an FSP local group, you probably have more influence on your local group members than anyone. You know them personally (or at least have exchanged an email or two with them!) Please do all you can in the next few weeks to help us reach our goal. Here are some specific things you can do, and encourage your group members to do as well:
* change your email signature to reference the F1K pledge
* send a LTE referencing the F1K pledge to your local newspaper
* volunteer to make phone calls about the pledge to other FSP participants
* mention the pledge wherever you hang out on the Internet (MySpace, Facebook, discussion forums, blogs, your personal homepage)
* call in to your local talk radio station and talk about the pledge
And, most important of all... SIGN THE PLEDGE! :-)
First 1000 Project Manager
If I and a couple of my friends can do it, so can you, especially if you have recently graduated college or will within the next two years. After all, what better things do you have to do?
Saturday, December 02, 2006
The Transit Security Administration, or TSA, is everyone's favorite band of armed thugs. Now, they're better than ever! How, you ask? Now they are apparently creating a new database on passengers covering all kind of personal things that have nothing to do with "potential terrorist attributes", such as what your preferences for in-flight meals are. How do they find out this information, anyway? One can only assume that it requires complacency, and even active participation of the airlines and airport personell to do their dirty work. In short, they are enslaved, as they aren't being compensated, nor being asked whether they would like to even do such things in the first place! From an article from the EFF:
Washington, D.C. - An invasive and unprecedented data-mining system is set to be deployed on U.S. travelers Monday, despite substantial questions about Americans' privacy. In comments sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked the agency to delay the program's rollout until it makes more details available to the public and addresses critical privacy and due process concerns.
The Automated Targeting System (ATS) will create and assign "risk assessments" to tens of millions of citizens as they enter and leave the country. Individuals will have no way to access information about their "risk assessment" scores or to correct any false information about them. But once the assessment is made, the government will retain the information for 40 years -- as well as make it available to untold numbers of federal, state, local, and foreign agencies in addition to contractors, grantees, consultants, and others.
"The government is preparing to give millions of law-abiding citizens 'risk assessment' scores that will follow them throughout their lives," said EFF Senior Counsel David Sobel. "If that wasn't frightening enough, none of us will have the ability to know our own score, or to challenge it. Homeland Security needs to delay the deployment of this system and allow for an informed public debate on this dangerous proposal."
Earlier this month, EFF's FLAG Project submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to DHS seeking more details about the ATS data-mining program, but the agency has not yet disclosed the requested information.
Don't make it easy for them, kiddies!