Last year’s pithy joke popped up in my “Memories” on Facebook this morning, and it reminded me, I’ve made a lot of progress over the past year. The quote holds true… My confidence has grown (or mostly, returned); I feel physically strong and healthy–my blood pressure is 98/62; I’m practicing Bikram Yoga regularly again after an eighteen year hiatus (yeah, OUCH!); and I am so, so, so, eternally grateful I DECIDED to make myself my #1 priority. I hope you will make yourself your #1 priority, too.
Five years ago today, I won my First Amendment First Circuit civil rights lawsuit against the Weare PD affirming YOUR RIGHT to RECORD POLICE in PUBLIC. Remember:
1. Record EVERY police encounter you see. This is a powerful way to keep everyone accountable and safe! If you are just passing by, see your role as being a “witness.” Don’t get involved or confrontational, simply record. If you use Facebook, using the “LIVE” feature can add protection in the event your footage “disappears” later.
2. Creating a local culture of filming police officers in NH is an excellent way to keep our police accountable to the people. We have now been waiting for YEARS for body cams, which, where introduced, strangely, only seem to record “parts” convenient to the official narrative, so ALWAYS BE FILMING FOR YOUR OWN PEACE OF MIND, YO! 🙂
2. Even if your phone is not working, pretend to film because as stated in #1, it helps keep everyone on better behavior when they think they’re being recorded.
3. The police have NO RIGHT to take your phone/recording device without following proper procedures, and if PD tells you they’re taking your recording, or that you are not allowed to film, you have a lucrative lawsuit waiting, so be sure to consult a lawyer immediately… because…
4. Police have NO CLAIM OF QUALIFIED IMMUNITY (their “get out of jail free” card) and WILL be held liable for violations of your right to record them.
In Rialto, CA, where they introduced body cams years ago, they found:
“But Rialto’s randomised controlled study has seized attention because it offers scientific – and encouraging – findings: after cameras were introduced in February 2012, public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers’ use of force fell by 60%.
‘When you know you’re being watched you behave a little better. That’s just human nature,’ said Farrar. ‘As an officer you act a bit more professional, follow the rules a bit better.'”
Don’t rely on them to provide the recordings… DIY!
A New Hampshire state Senate committee recommended the Senate put off action on marijuana legalization until 2020, in a blow to a legalization effort that has sputtered in recent weeks.
A few thoughts regarding the objections listed in the Concord Monitor article:
1. Unless you plan to ban children from ever watching TV again, where shows about MJ are freely available, you really need a better excuse than “we need to protect the chillun”. If we can successfully protect children from a much more dangerous **drug**… ALCOHOL… methinks we can do the same for a safer, natural alternative.
2. It’s “illegal federally” is an excuse in NH now? For shame! What about states’ rights and the 10th Amendment? Or does that only apply when y’all want to circumvent federal stuff you DON’T like… Wayfair and internet taxes spring to mind. Don’t get me wrong, NH should be nullifying the nonsense coming out of DC left, right and center, but this a BS excuse, and y’all know it! I will add, I hope Trump de-schedules cannabis… I assure you he would win reelection in a landslide!
3. Speaking about crack-pots (haha), the most dangerous part of this whole issue is THE PEOPLE WHO STILL BELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT’S EIGHTY+ YEARS OF LIES AND PROPAGANDA. Here are some facts: Cannabis has NEVER been the cause an overdose fatality. It is a PLANT found in NATURE. All human beings have cannabinoid receptors in their bodies. Maybe, just maybe, y’all can stop MEDDLING with peaceful people’s lives and stop criminalizing people’s personal choices. You have done enough harm. Stop, just stop.
PS: Can you imagine if someone tried to “legalize” an amusement park like Six Flags in America today? “You want to strap kids to what and do what???” Stop treating children like hopeless, helpless, delicate flowers, stop coddling them and treat them with the respect they deserve, which means telling them the TRUTH about things. Yes, even “scary things” like drugs, but also the destructive, racist history of the War on Drugs, a war waged by our own government on US.
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!
I have officially lost FIFTY POUNDS.
How, you ask?
- I quit drinking.
- I started and stick to Keto, no cheating (low carbs, medium protein, high good fats).
- I move more. I did it through the dead of a NH winter, walking Nellie on the Piscataquog river trail through rain, sleet, and snow. I ride an exercise bike in the basement 2-3 week for 30 mins, low and slow, nothing crazy. I lift weights at the gym sometimes. I’m eager to see how I can move more now that it’s Spring. More gardening, more yoga, more meditation, more play, more LIVING in BALANCE which helps me achieve my goals.
- I made ME my #1 priority.
Fifty pounds is A LOT. Part of me thinks, wow, I should really be much skinnier now! lol But this reminds me how far I let my health and weight go when I was focusing on everyone and everything around me. You can’t fix the world, if you can’t fix yourself.
A better YOU is out there for the taking. For me, this isn’t about a number on the scale, it is about how I *feel*, and I feel FINE.
I’m in my mid-forties, and that’s my PRIME (weird old-lady-on-the-trail hat or not!). Watch out world, I’m coming for you! ***ROAR!!!***
“The Culture High” (2014) is one of the best documentaries I’ve seen on the marijuana debate, connecting many of the disparate dots. I’m left with a sense of frustration–WHY is legalization taking so long? (Hint: special interests of the poli-crony-elite persuasion.) And a sense of hope–many in the film believe we will see global legalization (in some form) in our lifetimes. I’m also hopeful on a smaller scale because of today’s decriminalization of small amounts of MJ in NH (3/4oz, or a “Bradley,” in honor of the senator who reduced the amount from the standard 1oz). In the movie, they cover David Nutt’s firing for doing the science behind drugs and coming up with the following chart. Yes, you read that right. Alcohol is by far the most harmful drug. Yet, here in NH, the government peddles booze by the highway. The same government that is considering introducing KENO gambling to pay for full-day kindergarten. In case you don’t know it yet, the state thinks “bad things” can be “good” for you, as long as “they” run it on your behalf (and take the tax money). Don’t be fooled, folks. We MUST resist any form of MJ legalization that does not include a homegrown provision. The film also discuss how FACTS don’t matter to politicians. They simply want “evidence” to support the policies that are already in place. This is why it is so difficult to shift people in power’s perspectives–it’s hard admitting you were wrong. But it is the right thing to do. Which means…I will no longer tolerate ignorance by any NH politician, reporter, or state employee on this issue. If you utter the words “Gateway Drug,” expect to be ridiculed. If you support putting peaceful people in jail for MJ, expect to be ridiculed. YOU NO LONGER HAVE ANY EXCUSE FOR YOUR IGNORANCE. (If you don’t know where to start, watch “The Culture High,” it’s full of people like you, former cops, policymakers and politicians who have the DECENCY to admit they were duped and are now doing the right thing.) I was deeply saddened by yesterday’s news about Ross Ulbricht’s appeal being turned down, but ultimately, thanks to the Internet, the battle to free minds and to #FreeRoss continues to tilt in our favor. As Lyn said to me yesterday: We won’t stop the fight. I add: Never give up. Peaceful resistance will prevail. There are more of us, than them! Viva la EVOLution!
Let’s see if I have this week’s local news straight… It is not OK for F&G to shoot a bear that is invading homes (I’m glad they’re not); but it IS OK for police and state troopers to shoot an alleged car thief in his mom’s car four times; it IS OK for the AGs office to take a week to even release the names of the parties involved and to clear all 3 officers of any wrongdoing (has the AGs office *ever* found a shooting unjustified? I mean, even when the cops shoot someone in the back while he is fleeing a scene, and kill him, it’s A-OK); it is also OK for progressives to call for the forced sterilization of free staters, an idea so great, Sherry F*cker Frost “loves” it! #nhpolitics
Since I was little, I have been interested in mountaineering, and Everest in particular–thanks Reader’s Digest, one of the few “international” news sources available in South Africa under sanctions. Louis and I hiked to Annapurna’s base camp in 2002 (world’s 10th highest peak), a spiritual journey for me, and I have a deep love for that part of the world.
The documentary SHERPA is definitely worth a watch. It’s like “Arab Spring” at the base of Everest, mixed with people power, passion, capitalism, danger, corrupt government, a simpler time/desires, and greed. It strikes me the lack of clear property rights is what is causing the problems.
Who wants to buy Everest with me (this is probably super insulting to Nepalis, sorry!), and let the Sherpas decide how many people and at what price should climb their god annually? It won’t be cheap… Going rate per climb season is $360 million in total, of which a third goes to the government, Sherpas (about 300-400) receive $5,000-ish each, and the rest, I assume, goes to the western expedition leaders. I say we can do better than that! (Pic is Mount Annapurna, and I took it.)