In today’s episode, we discuss the legal battle that developed regarding the School Charter Commission (see background HERE), and I get a little feisty about the violent attack by a police officer on a Keene High School student last week. HERE’s more on what I think about this level of violence being condoned in our schools. I also cover this topic in this week’s Told You So podcast, which drops tomorrow.
BREAKING NEWS: School Charter Commission Legal Dramas for Nov 5th Manchester Ballot (It’s on again!)
Tomorrow, at the polls, you were supposed to receive two ballots, one for general city stuff like voting for Victoria Sullivan for Mayor, and a special ballot for the 9-person School Charter Commission, as I explained a few weeks ago in this video.
BUT then, this morning, the whole shady School Charter Commission election went up in the air after a judge ruled the City failed to follow the clear language of the RSA and its own rules, and so the City would either have to reprint all the ballots by 6AM tomorrow to include the petitioner’s name (the Honorable State Representative Mark Warden) OR they will have to write another law to hold the election at a different future time. You can read more about the background of the case and the initial outcome in this article “Mayor Craig loses” or at the Union Leader. My Facebook post from this morning:
Well, tomorrow’s elections just got all kinds of more interesting! In a nutshell, the City broke its own rules when Pat Long managed to create this very shady “School Charter Commission” (which I’m running for and ask for your vote if the ballot is available tomorrow) and State Representative Mark Warden filed a lawsuit to call them out on a procedural point relating to when one could register as a candidate for the commission, and the City, having not followed their own rules, then argued, “Well, oops, yeah, but, like, yanno, it’s SO HARD for us to follow our own rules,” and the judge, thankfully, said, “Umm, look guys, that’s not how governing is supposed to work…”
NOW, as of 4:13PM this afternoon, I have learned that the Supreme Court of New Hampshire issued a stay pending further judicial review. This means the School Charter Commission Election WILL be held tomorrow as scheduled. Fancy that… guess if you know the right people, you can get the plain language of the law to mean whatever you want… In any event, please now DO vote for me, and the candidates recommended on LibertyBallot.com. Vote like your freedom depends on it!
If You Did This to Your Child, You Would Be Arrested… Why Condone This Violent Behavior from People in Uniforms Carrying Guns in Schools?
Watch the video above to see happened last week at Keene High School, a government-run school. Now, I’d like you to pause and consider a few things:
- If you did this to your child at home, do you think this would rise to the level of assault? Do you think if a cop saw you doing this to your child, say, in a public parking lot, you might get arrested? If YOU couldn’t or shouldn’t get away with this sort of behavior, why would you condone this assault from an armed government agent in a school?
- Let’s assume for the sake of argument the kid was rude to the officer in the minutes before the video started. Do you tackle your child from behind and smash him to the floor every time he is rude to you? Is this the type of response you would like anyone to make when your child has his or her back turned and is walking away? Remember, in NH, the AG’s office has ruled law enforcement can shoot someone in the back when they are fleeing and kill them, and that this is “justified.” If you wouldn’t let anyone else get away with this, you should x1000 not let a government agent authorized to use lethal force get away with it.
- If the rationale for this sort of behavior is that we need to “save” children from vaping, do you think this level of violent response is OK to stop someone’s personal, peaceful, behavior, or do you think perhaps the LEO overreacted? If he overreacted, should he be held accountable, or should we just sweep this, like tens of other similar incidences, under the rug of “awful things we let happen in ‘our’ schools; *Shrug*”?
- The inevitable “spin” from Keene Police Chief Russo as quoted in today’s Union Leader boils down to their classic Nazi Nuremberg defense: “The officer was just following orders.” Chief Russo stated, “It looks like it was a legal use of force that followed our procedure,” and, “It doesn’t appear to violate our policies or state statute.”
Please note these nifty catch phrases are specifically designed to make you question your very astute GUT FEELING THAT THIS ASSAULT WAS WRONG AND SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING IN OUR SCHOOLS. We hear that “just following procedure” phrase with alarming frequency whenever questions about use of force come up. That’s on purpose. They want you to think, “Well, really, what do I know? I’m just a little ole person, and even though this behavior looks like a dangerous, immoral attack to me, and I know *I* would get in trouble if *I* behaved like that… but, they’re saying it’s legal and procedural for them to do, so I guess it has to be OK, because they say it’s OK?!?”
NO! Repeat after me: This type of behavior is not OK in a free society.
How do we fix this? First, we need to elect people who understand the actual challenges facing our state and schools. You can vote for me for the new School Charter Commission on Tuesday, November 5th. Second, we need to acknowledge we have a societal problem whereby we have sanctioned the government to use baseless bullying tactics against people in order to VIOLENTLY FORCE THEM INTO SUBMISSION.
This is not a world I want to live in. This is not a New Hampshire I want to live in, and I think we still have time to stop this kind of behavior here. We have a chance to reject government sanctioned violence as a way to make people do what we want. If you can’t persuade me, then maybe you need a better pitch.
If it were up to me, I’d fire this officer (listed as JOSHUA ENGLISH in the school staff directory), but we all know that will never happen [EDIT: This officer shot and killed someone in 2010 and that killing was ruled justified]. What will happen is the police will close ranks to protect this officer, and police apologists will make excuses and attack people who criticize them. They will have a secret, internal review and miraculously find themselves not guilty of anything, the officer will continue to work at the school, will likely hurt more children, maybe accidentally snapping someone’s neck in a “lawful procedural act” in the future, or maybe he’ll get moved to another school, but regardless, the system will make sure that ultimately, he gets a nice fat payout, and a lifetime pension. I doubt he’d even be placed on the secret list of bad NH cops (sign the petition to release the list and restore public trust HERE) and, well, I’m not holding my breath for that one, because #ICANTBREATHE.
The likely only result of this video will be they use it as an opportunity to expand the areas and tactics of “permitted procedural violence” that they will say is “legal” for them to use against our children in our schools. Oh, and I’m willing to bet any takers, they will 100% go after the kid who made the video. Because you can’t fix what you can’t SEE. And they don’t want you to see for yourself what they claim to be doing in your name, and they certainly don’t want you to make up your own mind, and say, Enough is enough, NOT IN MY NAME!
You can watch my School Charter Commission video HERE, or if you prefer reading, I free-styled the following script:
Hi Manchester! My name is Carla Gericke, and I’m asking for your vote on Tuesday, November 5th for the new school charter commission. Here’s what you need to know when you get to the polls:
You will receive two ballots. One will be the usual city election stuff, and the other will be for this new school charter commission. It’ll have 37 names on it and you can vote for up to NINE people. Make sure I, Carla Gericke, am one of those 9, see here, second from the bottom on the right hand side.
If you are looking for more suggestions for good people who cherish education but also understand that most of us can’t afford to have our property taxes go up and up, go to LibertyBallot.com for more recommendations.
BUT, in the meanwhile, here’s what I’ve learned, and think you should know about this new proposed commission:
Manchester has a tax cap, which means the city, like all of us in our personal lives, has a budget that it needs to stick to. The people who spend our money don’t like that. So… at first, they wanted to add a ballot question to override the tax cap, but then they realized this would draw fiscally responsible voters to the polls, and, as Gene Martin actually, unabashedly put it, fiscally responsible voters are the “wrong type of voters.”
I disagree, I think people who care about the bottom line are the right type of voters, and you should be sure to come out and vote for me because I want Manchester to have great schools, but I also want to protect taxpayers and especially people on fixed incomes, like our City’s elderly.
What skills do I have? I’m a lawyer, writer, and community leader. I manage and serve on several non-profit boards. I co-host Manch Talk TV, and the Told You So podcast, and I often speak nationally and internationally on issues relating to Big Government. I’ve appeared on WMUR, CNN, Fox, the BBC, and have been featured in magazines like New York Magazine, GQ, the Economist, and elsewhere, but I am most proud of being named one of NH Magazine’s Remarkable Women in 2014.
I live with my husband of 25 years and our rescued dog in a ranch home we’re slowly renovating in West Manchester.
You can learn more about me at CarlaGericke.com.
My goal is to restore balance to local politics by being YOUR voice. I’m willing to work with anyone, and believe more choices result in happier people. I want you to be happy, and I ask for your vote.
Remember, remember, a vote for me is a vote for you. See you on November 5th!
In today’s episode, we welcome Victoria Sullivan for Mayor to the Manch Talk studio. Victoria discusses her mayoral race, her vision for Manchester, and she publicly commits to de-encrypting the MPD scanners if elected. As a strong proponent of open government and police accountability, for me, that’s spectacular news, and she gets my vote! Remember, remember, the Fifth of November is election day. Check out LibertyBallot.com for recommendations on the bestest candidates statewide, and finally, I ask for your vote for Manchester School Charter Commission. See you at the polls!
Procrastinate much? I do, and I don’t. In my quest to put off whatever it is I am supposed to be completing at any given moment, I will finishing several other tasks or chores. This means shit. gets. done. Not always the right shit, in the right order, and not always perfectly, but somehow, one procrastinated task after another, my life goals progress.
Except my writing.
Except my “It’s-Taking-For-Fucking-Ever” book-in-progress. Word of advice: It is very difficult to write a memoir in conjunction with living your actual life. Arrests, lawsuits, rallies, protests, elections, and whatnot else, tend to get in the way.
It’s like being your very own reality TV star while also producing, directing, and shooting the show, which sometimes, in your life, is The Shit Show. So you are living your life, but also, you know, having to record what’s happening as it is happening. That’s… hard. Basically, it is the closest I’ve gotten to legit (mental) time travel, so you will excuse me if my book is, let’s say, taking a tad–by which I mean a decade–too long to write.
To drive this point home, the (fantasy) actress who is supposed to play me in the (fantasy) Oscar-winning movie version of my (fantasy) bestselling memoir is now too old to play my younger self, which, when you calculate this out in Hollywood years expressed as Common Core Math where Actress X = 47 but looks 37 because of the infused blood of lithe 18 year olds plus Vitamin E & K divided by Botox, you still get: Finish your fucking book!
So this year, I am committing to NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, kicking off on November 1st. You are supposed to commit to cranking out at least 15,000 words, but I am shooting for 30,000 at a rate of 1,000 words a day, because I am nothing if not a very accomplished over/underachiever with a sadomasochistic streak. And don’t forget: I am also a Master Procrastinator, so this should get goal/soul-crushingly interesting fast!
I’m super-pumped for several reasons:
- It’s been 11 years since I received my Masters in Creative Writing from City College of New York. While I was completing my degree, Professor Mirsky always said: “Writing is the unraveling of the riddle.” I didn’t understand what he meant at the time, but now, since I have finally cracked the key to my own riddle, I do, and now I am ready to write the living BeJebus out of this book. (Unlike certain writers who unravel the riddle on the manuscript page, I needed to unravel it in my journals and mind first, because in my writing process, I needed to know where I am going before I can go there. Now I do.)
- I have wanted to do NaNoWriMo for all 11 of those years, but have never been in any sort of life position to make it happen. I knew I would blow it, and I didn’t want to set myself up for that kind of failure. But, in the ensuing years, I have learned a lot about failure, and setting and meeting goals, I have learned to prioritize myself in my life–if YOU don’t do it for yourself, trust me, NO ONE WILL–and I know I can nail this because I am, er, telling you I will.
- I am willing to be selfish to make this happen. If this sounds a little cray-cray, work with me. I am a natural people pleaser, and tend not to put myself or my goals first. I am also a bit batty, obsessive, and weird, and actually have a phobia about going off the “deep end” as an artist (dirty dishes, wrecked relationships, overflowing ashtrays–and I don’t even smoke anymore!), and so I hold back. No more. November is my month to yell at the world: Sorry, Sammy, I will not be doing X, Y, or Z because I am WRITE. (Say it like, “I am Groot!”)
This will be my mantra for November: I am right to write, and everything will be alright. Keep your fingers crossed for me because I will be needing mine to type. One word at a frigging time! One thousand words a day. One manuscript finished by Christmas. One book published in 2020. See? Easy-peasy, pudding and pie!
The following first appeared on September 30, 2015 in response to “On Banned Books Week.”
Censorship has always fascinated me–who gets to decide what someone else can read? Why? By what authority can one person tell another what they are “permitted” to know? I reject the legitimacy of censorship out of hand. No one has such authority, and history proves those who wish to control what others consume are, without exception, eventually exposed as the bad guys.
Growing up in South Africa, many things–music, literature, art–were outright banned and censored, from ANC symbols, to most international music, to the movie “Black Beauty” solely because of its title, to certain words in newspapers, yes, literally blacked out on the page like you see in dystopian movies (and, say, in the 9-11 Commission Report), words like “Casspir” (the South African equivalent of “BEARCAT,” the armored trucks now being seeded by the Federales into peaceful communities across America, including more than 20 in New Hampshire) because if you banned the mentioning of the vehicles being used to fight illegal border wars, well then, reporting becomes problematic and difficult to do, and therefore, perhaps, journalists will stop writing about such pesky things, neh?
Under apartheid, South Africa had the “Jacobsen’s Index of Objectionable Literature” which contained a “Complete List of All Publications in Alphabetical Order, Together with Authors, Prohibited from Importation Into the Republic of South Africa, and All Other Banned Literature.” The list is long, and difficult to find online. I have ordered a hard copy of “A Culture of Censorship: Secrecy and Intellectual Repression in South Africa,” secondhand for $0.02 plus shipping from Amazon, which reminds me of two things:
1. How soon we forget our histories; and
2. Thank god for the free market. If only said book could be delivered by an aerobot drone to my door, but alas, the FAA has been spending its time on such important issues as licensing paper airplanes for flight.
South African author Nadine Gordimer wrote in 1968, republished in The New York Times Books section in 1998:
All the work, past, present and future, of an individual writer can be erased by a ban on his spoken and written word. The ban not only restricts his political activity, which is its avowed intention, but negates his creativity–he becomes a non-person, since his form of communion and communication with the society in which he lives is cut…. And so long as our society remains compartmentalized, our literature will be stretched on the rack between propaganda, on the one side, and, on the other, art as an embellishment of leisure.
Some people wonder why I take issue with so many things I see happening in my adopted country, and, frankly, why I refuse to shut up about it, to give up, to cave in, to just say, Nah, this crap is too hard to change, the difference we can make too infinitesimal, so why try?
It’s because I have lived through a police state before, and America is lock-step marching there. This is not hyperbole. I will grant you: America is doing its police state right, “better,” more subtle, more comfortable, of course, it’s what America does, after all. This police state is hidden behind both the “propaganda” arm, and mostly, the “embellishment of leisure”: The sports, the reality TV, the Christmas carol commercials to consumers in September, the debates, the joke of it all.
The bread and circuses, the tinny music piping from the organ grinder while the monkeys dance, while MILLIONS of peaceful people rot in prisons for voluntarily inhaling a plant, while MILLIONS of peaceful people in far away lands are being murdered under the cloak of the Stars and Stripes, while MILLIONS of people are being displaced by state-funded terror raining down from the skies.
Why does Banned Books Week matter? It matters because it creates an opportunity to talk about the bad guys. And, I am afraid to inform you, the US government is a bad, bad guy, he’s the boyfriend who beats you then tells you he can’t live without you–or you can’t live without him?–and you go back. Me? I decided a decade ago that I wasn’t taking the Fed Gov back, that I would take my chances with a smaller wife beater (the state of New Hampshire), and see what kind of difference I can make on a local level.
Given what happened a few weeks ago at the Kilton Library in West Lebanon, NH (in 2015), where America’s first Tor relay node was made operational again after the community decided to disregard the DHS’s scare tactics, I know I made the right decision to make New Hampshire my home.
Will you join me, and fight the good fight with thousands of other freedom fighters in New Hampshire? Join the Free State Project today.
From the City Election Guide: “Carla Gericke is a lawyer, writer, and community leader. She serves on several local non-profit boards, co-hosts Manch Talk and the Told You So podcast, and speaks nationally on issues relating to Big Government. Carla has been appeared on WMUR, CNN, Fox, BBC, and been featured in GQ, the Economist, the New York Times, and elsewhere, and was named a ‘Remarkable Woman’ in 2014 by NH Magazine. Carla lives with her husband of 25 years and their rescued dog in West Manchester. She is seeking a seat on the school charter commission. Carla is willing to work with anyone, and believes more choices result in happier people. She wants you to be happy, and asks for your vote.”
On this week’s Manch Talk, we are joined by Ward 11 School Board candidate, Brittany Le Clear Ping. She’s a GREAT option, so take a gander!