This week on ManchTalk I’m flying solo as my co-host, Tammy Simmons, is on holiday. I discuss the Quality Inn DEA/MPD SWAT fiasco that resulted in three deaths and locked down South Willow street, the Orwellian Surveillance State coming to the streets of Manchester, the police cameras that were placed downtown with no public input, why personal privacy matters, why government transparency matters, and how YOU can get involved.
Worried about the increasingly dangerous policing, lockdowns, and new police cameras being introduced without any public input? Join me at City Hall on Tuesday, April 9th at 5PM for a rally–1984 Is Not an Instruction Manual–to highlight these issues. You are also welcome to provide 3 minutes of public testimony at the Alderman meeting that starts at 6PM.
My LTE from today’s Union Leader:
“Demand full inquiry
To the Editor: Last week, Manchester SWAT working with the DEA deployed chemical weapons on two twenty-something small-time drug users in a hotel near Exit 1, where they died. News articles already fail to mention this use of gas, so I can only assume the official narrative will attempt to ‘memory hole’ this damning detail.
Should we believe the official version? We have no way to vet the information provided because after the unlawful 2016 West Side Lockdown, the police ‘solved’ our concerns about transparency by secretly encrypting their scanners, destroying years of tradition, and leaving law-abiding citizens in the dark.
How do we know these LEOs are ‘ones we can trust,’ rather than ones on the blacked-out Laurie’s List of misconduct the AG is actively fighting to hide from us.
Why is the DEA operating in Manchester, expending meaningful resources on small time drug users (the dead 26 year old was out on bail for 0.4 grams of crack cocaine).
Was the public at large more or less safe during this debacle? Someone doing coke in a hotel room puts me at 0% danger…
Who pays when businesses on South Willow, like Starbucks, are closed down for hours?
Who pays for the unlawful displacement of hotel guest and nearby residents?
Who pays for the damage to our Queen City’s reputation, based on what sounds like an operation that went rogue and escalated unnecessarily?
Manchester residents all pay, but the buck must stop at Mayor Joyce Craig’s desk: Demand a full public inquiry.
Whoo-heee!!! I’m a tad broke after this weekend’s excursion through the #MadeInNH Expo at the downtown Hilton in Manchester–formerly the Radisson Hotel, which, like “No Smoking” announcements on airplanes, I wonder how long we will have to say. Actually, I formally decree, for me, this will be the last time: Goodbye Rad, hello Hillie!
Saturday, Louis and I arrive around 10am, just as the Expo is opening, thinking, “We’ll get there before everyone else,” which, it turns out, is exactly what hundreds of other Granite Staters figured too. The queue moves quickly, and after paying our $9 per person cash entrance fee, we are soon inside, stopping immediately to validate our parking for $6, otherwise, face it, you know you will forget and you’ll either sulk because you have to walk alllllll-the-waaaay back, or you will sulk because you’ll have to pay full price. Trust me: Validate first.
Louis immediately gravitates towards a woodsmaker–is that a term? It should be–with beautifully carved handcrafts, bowls, tools, and toys. We’ve been looking for practical gifts for Iris (6) and Athena (4), and decide on diamond willow encased compasses. I look forward to teaching the girls how to navigate using these, although, being free range farm kiddies, they may already know.
Next, we stopped at Cocos Coffee for a cuppa. Co-owner Samantha Bellows is super-friendly, educating us on the single origin, small batch coffees. I get something “caramel-y,” and Louis gets something “nutty and earthy.” This seems like a good time to mention that we are, at this time, on Day Four of our First Ever Fast. You know, that thing when you don’t eat solid foods for d-a-y-s.
Fasting is not as hard as I thought it would be, or, shall I say, I am not as hungry as I thought I would be–thankfully, mostly because I already regulate my energy through a Keto lifestyle–but it is challenging being around this much unanticipated food input suddenly, and I can tell my willpower is slipping.
We stop at The Spicy Shark, handcrafted hot sauces that are “fiercely unique, bold, and vibrant, yet flavorful and balanced.” “Would you like to taste some?” WOULD I??? Me to Louis, while grabbing a plastic spoon, “Technically, it’s a liquid, right?” To the owner, holding out my spoon, “Yes, please!” We try six flavors, ranging from heat Level 2 to Six. The second to last, Level 5, contains ghost pepper, which, if you have ever watched a cooking show, is like, DEATHCON FIVE, and the last sauce has a pepper I don’t recall the name of… something Carolina, maybe? But. A six. And HOT. Hotter than a ghost pepper. And, apparently, a way to get legally high on Day 4 of a Fast. Seriously. Ping, wheeee, whooooo, wow! Or, as the product information states: “The Megalodon was imposing enough to give dinosaurs nightmares in its day. This 5 Alarm sauce has a sweet cherry start with the blazing finish of the Carolina Reaper Pepper.” REAPER??? See??? There. If that doesn’t put some hair on “You Can’t Stop the Signal, Mal’s” chest, I don’t know what will. In our “Hot Sauce for Breakfast Delirium,” we buy 4 bottles of the delicious sauces, but sadly, only one makes it home, so if you found a brown bag with 3 bottles of Shark Sauce that aren’t yours somewhere, hit me up.
From there, we stop at the Hobbs Tavern and Brewing Co. booth to chat. These guys are doing “an idyllic countryside tavern and brewhouse offering warmth, history, classic comfort food, an handcrafted beer at the foot of the New Hampshire White Mountains.” They can also cater to large groups for weddings and functions. I’m planning to go check out the venue next time I’m in the Lakes region, and psst: they have an extensive gluten-free menu. We also grab a bottle of Beasley’s Barbecue Sauce, take a quick look at the Spot On virtual smart pet fence, and get a few packets of oh-so-delish paleo granola from Swanzey’s Maple Nut Kitchen.
Next, we get sucked into a stall by a man with a Fabulous Beard. An impossible-to-resist Fabulous Beard. A stupendously, deliciously well-groomed Fabulous Beard. A Real New Hampshireman Beard. Needless to say, the Winnipesaukee Whisker Oil man does not have a hard time selling Louis some Fabulous Beard grooming oil with “sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, argan, grapefruit seed extract and essential oils.”
Can I take this moment to mention how many products that aren’t actually food, are kind of… food-ish… something you will fixate on when you are fasting. For example: My “creamy” hair “mousse” (!!!) is called “Milk Shake.” Milk Shake silver shine WHIPPED CREAM, made with ORGANIC BLUEBERRY EXTRACT AND MILK PROTEINS. No. I didn’t eat it. But I was kind of tempted.
We are bombarded by these food-like prompts all day long, even when we’re are nowhere near actual food. No wonder so many people are obese, we are constantly stimulating our brains with thoughts of food. But, as you start to concentrate on leading a healthier lifestyle, you will grow more aware of these stimuli, and as you do, you can train yourself to ignore them. Or, at least, that’s what I tell myself as I march resolutely past the bread stall, before momentarily losing focus at Loon Chocolate, where I buy 3 slabs of dark “Live Free and Eat Chocolate” for post-fast living next week.
On the fashion side, at Granite State Apparel, Louis stocks up on some new tees and and a colorful hoodie, and I snag a couple of cammo “Made in NH” baby onesies for gifts for friends participating in our #BreedEmForFreedom program. Screenprinter and graphic designer, Shawn Burke throws in a few complimentary NH stickers, which already adorn my laptop cover right next to my ACLU “Get A Warrant” sticker. I also find two incredible brass rings at NuArt Jewelry, and Louis gets a very cool set of wooden sunglasses from Slyk Shades. Check out Slyk’s founder, Josh Fitzmaurice’s story, and consider buying a pair… for every frame sold, a tree is planted, and part of proceeds go to help local New England communities.
Our second to last stop before we have to boogie is at photographer and mask maker Oakseeder’s stall. I’m completely enthralled by his photographs. His art is strange, spooky, ethereal, and very cool. Like “naked tatted bearded New Hampshireman in a forrest eating at a table with a boar’s head mask on it” cool. I buy two.
Our last stop is to pop in at The Healthy Porcupine’s stall where my friends are helping others “Opt out of the chemical lifestyle” with their 100% natural, handmade tallow based soaps. I have been using their products for years, and highly recommend! Yes, with its coconut, olive oil, lemongrass, rosemary, and humanely sourced tallow from grass-fed cows from local New Hampshire farms, you’ll probably want to eat these too. Don’t, unless you are washing your mouth out with soap. In which case… YUM! 😛
Last year today, Facebook reminds me, I had lost FORTY pounds by switching to a Keto lifestyle. I’ve lost another 25 pounds since then for a grand total of SIXTY FIVE pounds. I haven’t had a drink of alcohol in 450 days–I had to look that up because I don’t track this number because I don’t think about it, AT ALL. (Yeah, color me surprised too.) I quit biting my nails after 45 years, and now enjoy bimonthly manicures as a reward. On Sept. 29, 2018, I started journalling daily. I know because the first entry reads: “Diary of my last 37 days of my second Senate race against ‘the lion’.” I lost my race, but I am 100% confident my book is going to be better than his. This brings me to my point… Of all these things, here’s what I am most proud of: I have perfected the art of the humble brag… Nay, I have become an EXPERT HUMBLE BRAGGER, and YOU should too!
Seriously. I have been thinking a lot about how much we choose to get in our own way, and what societal stimuli we choose to follow. As a literature and arts junkie, I am only now realizing that drinking yourself to death, or fucking up your life “‘cos YOLO,” is not aspirational. Why are these people elevated and touted as role models? Reading memoirs of authors documenting their alcoholic slides to death is pretty fucking bleak. Hey, Ernest (or Anthony Bourdain), put down the bottle, it only makes the anxiety worse! I guess we revere them because they’re “not boring,” but know what’s not boring? Setting and meeting goals. Achieving what you want. Being your best self.
Which brings me back to HUMBLE BRAGGING. I want YOU to become an EXPERT too, because regardless of whomever decided “humble bragging” was a bad thing, I am here to reclaim it as a POSITIVE.
Why? Because we should be PROUD of the things we achieve that are meaningful to us and improve our lives, even if it is, “I made my bed” or “Today I brushed my teeth.” (Hey, I’ve struggled with depression, too.) Because life is hard enough without taking away or diminishing our own personal pride–which is a wonderful feeling that we should encourage in each other (without being assholes about it). Because we deserve to love ourselves enough to admit it to others.
This is why I love the concept of “humble bragging.” It’s got just enough yin and yang, just enough balance to keep it real. Go on, now you try it! Let me know in the comments below what you are proud of in your own life, some improvement you have been working on and feel good about–big or small! And… go!
Failure is never easy, especially when you are used to succeeding. I finished high school when I was 16, and law school when I was 21. I was crowned “Miss Mafikeng” in 1982, winning a hairdryer for being the prettiest girl in primary school. I was one of the youngest lawyers sworn into the Supreme Court of South Africa. I won a green card in the DV lottery. I immigrated to America with less than $10,000, two suitcases, and one brand new husband. No jobs, little money, knowing no one.
Our first apartment in San Francisco was a studio apartment in the notorious inner city slum, the Tenderloin. My first non-temp job was at Apple Computer, working as a paralegal while I took the California Bar Exam, which I passed on my first try. I worked my way up to better companies, better positions, better neighborhoods. I went back to school to pursue an MBA. I gave it up. Later, I went back to school and completed my MFA.
Life threw curveballs. My mother had a severe stroke at the age of 40, when I was 16. She survived, albeit a bit lopsided. I lost a lot of paper money on stock options when the Internet bubble burst. My husband’s tech start-up failed. I was laid off with thousands of others. Family members passed away. A friend committed suicide. Miscarriages happened. I was wrongly arrested. I fought the case all the way to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. I prevailed. My determination means 13 million people now have the affirmed 1st Amendment right to film police encounters in public.
I have now twice run for New Hampshire Senate in District 20, and lost. Granted, I lost against an Institution, a now 11-term incumbent, an eighty year-old man who has only ever worked for the state, the self-proclaimed “Lion of the Senate.” Back in San Francisco, to encourage excellence at the startup where I worked, we used to say, ‘Go Big or Go Home.’
Well… I’m home.
Contemplating my election loss, I recall the shame and frustration I felt as a child when I didn’t get picked for the school choir. I love to sing, but I wasn’t good enough. “What do you mean, ‘No?’” I can see my younger self huffing, unaware then that failure is a part of success, because one thing is certain: If you don’t try, you will never level up.
My number one fear during my campaign was, “What if I do worse than last time?” Even in the face of a mighty New Hampshire Blue Wave, with record-setting new voter registration, and a measurable 10-15% increase in Democratic turnout in my district, my support went up by 2%.
But all that effort, all those yard signs placed, all those rainy, windy afternoons on street corners waving signs, all those meet and greets, all those local TV shows, all those op-eds and essays written, all those Letters to the Editors that appeared from supporters (8:1 in my favor), all those thousands of doors knocked by me and a sea of volunteers, for TWO LOUSY PERCENT? Wasn’t this just a colossal waste of time? Upon reflection, nope.
I stuck to my principles. I told people the truth about the damaging size and scope of the ever-growing, ever-invasive government. I reminded you of the dangers of socialism, which, sadly, do not disappear just because you slap the word “democratic” in front of it. I publicly supported marijuana legalization and educational freedom for all children. I spoke about the neutral beauty and mutual benefits of free markets. I pushed the two Constitutional Amendments, which did pass, at every turn.
The next two years will serve as a reminder to Granite Staters about why limited government, one that lives within its means through low spending and low taxes, one that protects individual rights, is the best way to organize society. When the budget is busted, and your taxes start to rise, and they come for our guns, remember, we could have done better.
Over this past year, I did do other remarkable things: I lost 65 pounds following a Keto lifestyle (low carb, medium protein, high good fats). I quit drinking alcohol. I didn’t waiver on either of these goals, even under boatloads of stress, constantly confronted by pizza-laden tables and open bars at events. I know that in order to advocate the virtues of individual liberty and personal responsibility–from wealth to health–it has to start from the inside out. So I started with what I could control: me.
I encourage you to start with you too. Instead of trying to force everyone to bend to your will, or your idea of the “greater good,” why not simply strive to live your own life according to your values? Donate to the charities you care about. Go help someone who needs it. Take care of you and yours. Save for the future. Figure out how to live a healthy life. Being on Medicaid and smoking cigarettes helps no one, yanno? True freedom comes from living your principles free of government intervention, by setting and meeting your own personal goals, by working to make yourself the best you can be without being told to do it. Do it because you want to, and because you are still free to.
To my husband, Louis Calitz, a special, heartfelt thanks. Every time I freaked out–I wish I’d said this, or maybe if I did this, people would understand the destructive socialist path we are on–he reminded me: Just be yourself, and let the chips fall where they may.
The chips fell, but I stayed true to myself and my message, with a great and wonderful man by my side (and Schmelly Nellie), so I’m OK.
The producer of “Rock, Paper, Hand Grenades,” a local TV show, posted this on social media the day before the election:
“Had the pleasure of meeting this young woman when she came on the show. Have to say…. I’ve always said, ‘If you call yourself a politician, I instantly don’t respect you as much because politicians are just awful’ but I gotta be honest, she had me hook, line and sinker, spoke from the heart and caught my attention. (Not to mention, she’s got some great ideas.)”
This is what gives me hope. I will continue to spread the message of individual liberty, which is literally the recipe for human flourishing, peace, and prosperity. I will continue to fight for the things that make New Hampshire unique and prosperous: Live free or die!
My time will come. In the interim, I’m signing up for singing lessons. Stay tuned for the high notes!
My sincere thanks to the voters of District 20 for their support yesterday. I did not win, but I did get 1.5% more votes than in 2016. My time will come.
Running against "the lion of the senate" was always going to be an uphill slog. I genuinely believed District 20’s voters were ready for someone new and principled, but you get what you vote for.
To my donors, supporters, and volunteers, thank you! I couldn’t have done it without you. From sign waves to lit drops to door knocking to providing moral support, having you by my side made it fun and worthwhile.
A special shout out to the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, the Get Involved PAC, and Young Americans for Liberty for your support. Glad to see so many candidates you endorsed did well!
Many great liberty friends and colleagues did win. Congratulations! I wish you luck in serving.
Governor Sununu won. I encourage the Republican party to stick to its platform and support policies that embrace "free people, free markets and free enterprise".
I leave you with this quote from Will And Ariel Durant:
“Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing things historians usually record; while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks of the river.”
Are you tired of all this politics, politics, politics? Can’t wait for Election Day on November 6th to be over? Me too! 🙂
In order for me to win against my opponent, Lou D’Allesandro (80) who has spent the past 20 years in the senate restricting your liberties and raising your taxes, I need YOUR vote!
I’m a unique candidate: I filed for and am the Republican nominee for state Senate in District 20 (Manchester Wards 3, 4, 10, 11 and Goffstown). After a successful primary write-in campaign by Libertarian supporters, I will also appear on the ballot as the Libertarian candidate.
If you are a Republican-leaning independent voter, I ask for your vote on the Republican slate. Start at the top of the ticket with Governor Sununu, and vote all the way down the ballot–local candidates matter much more to your everyday life, so don’t skip us! I am eager to work with Gov. Sununu on his priorities, including educational freedom for all children, regardless of income or zip code.
If you are an independent voter who doesn’t feel comfortable voting Republican, I ask for your vote in the Libertarian column. I am willing to work across the aisle on issues independent voters care about, including marijuana decriminalization/legalization (with a homegrown provision) and healthcare costs which can be brought down through market competition.
To all voters: I will never support a sales or income tax because #LFOD! Our low tax/low spending culture is exactly what makes New Hampshire better than everywhere else, and I will work to protect this advantage!
EIGHT Letters to the Editor have appeared in the Union Leader in support of my candidacy: from small business owners, health care professionals, single mothers, techies, and more. Only one appeared for my opponent.
Hard working taxpayers want a representative who will look after their interests. You want a senator who is not bought and paid for. You want a fresh, independent voice, someone who is highly qualified and an independent thinker. That’s me!
Running against an institution like Lou is a David against Goliath struggle. I’m sure you, like me, have received a gazillion mailers from him. You will only be getting one from me, because this is all I could afford, and like you, I have to live within my means.
To put things in context, compare our most recent campaign finance filings:
Lou D’Allesandro CAMPAIGN FINANCES
Reporting Date: October 31, 2018
Carla Gericke CAMPAIGN FINANCES
Reporting Date: October 31, 2018
Money shouldn’t matter this much when we are trying to elect our local representatives, but it certainly buys a lot of misleading mail.
It’s incredibly hard to get your name out there on a limited budget, so please, tell a friend or family member in Manchester and Goffstown that there is a real choice for a fresh start on Tuesday.
I respectfully ask for YOUR vote on Nov. 6th. It’s time to vote like your rights depend on it (because they do! And Lou didn’t think you worthy of having a say at all!).
I, CARLA GERICKE, promise to serve with integrity, character, and compassion. Let’s get to work on building a better future for us all!