I wrote a snarky response to today’s negative Union Leader editorials calling out “free staters.” I’ll leave it below for you to read, but it occurs to me, I really want the take-away to be different: I want you to acknowledge and understand that “free staters,” people committed to the non-aggression principle and who consistently apply it to all people, including law enforcement, are not the enemy.
The enemies of freedom are the people who are hurting our fellow human beings in ways that would be illegal for any of us to do, and they are getting away with this state-sanctioned harm under the color of the “law,” and under the protection from newspapers like yours, and people like you.
The time has come to understand there is morality and there is legality, and we now live in a system where government officials are doing bad things to people and when we complain, they either punish the people who complain, or they rewrite the laws to make the bad behavior “legal.” It is not right to harm peaceful people for personal behavior. It is not moral to harm peaceful people for personal behavior. I will NEVER stop fighting to end the corruption and perversion of how life is supposed to be for free people living in a free society.
Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I imagine you must be suffering from some confusion in trying to make sense of this topsy-turvy world. You *want* the police to be the good guys… but they are not. They haven’t been for a long time, and I don’t know how better to convince you than your own lawsuit in which they are trying to KEEP A LIST OF BAD COPS SECRET FROM YOUR NEWSPAPER AND THE PUBLIC. In legalese, that’s called de facto proof of malfeasance.
Dude, wake up and smell the tyranny. Don’t pick the wrong side and lean into the police state just because you don’t like our tactics–what other choice do we have? I know I am going to keep on fighting to keep the “Live free or die” state free, and one day, I hope you will have the decency to thank me.
This article, “City settles with Free Stater arrested at DWI checkpoint,” started the latest discussion.
How can you support police who knowingly break the law, who do immoral things like assault children from behind and then find themselves not responsible because they investigated themselves and found themselves not wanting, who institute illegal neighborhood-wide lockdowns, who point loaded rifles at West Side moms’ heads, who encrypt public communications paid for by us, who actively campaign to hide a list of bad cops from the public, and who have had to hire a Minister of Propaganda to “spin” (their word) their actions? I’m not even going to mention the state sanctioned beat-downs and killings, the car crashes, the spousal abuse, the asset forfeiture, the qualified immunity, or the drug and alcohol abuse for which no one is held responsible, or which usually results in a nice comfy lifetime retirement payout while the rest of us can’t afford to ever stop working in order to pay for this Big Gov, Big Bro system we are suffering under.
Today’s Sunday paper has not one, but two editorials mentioning “Free Staters.” An uncharitable but accurate view is the newspaper is desperate for traffic and they surely need eyeballs now that Granite Grok is smoking them ito readership, and that the editor knows mentioning “free staters” is a reliable source of such traffic because, it’s true, liberty activists do like to read and share articles about corrupt cops and fake news, and here we have a twofer!
In “Free Stater follies: Interfering with DWI stops isn’t funny,” the editor exposes his Stockholm Syndrome by both complaining about activists who hold public officials accountable, AND complaining when City Solicitor Rice isn’t forthcoming enough for the editor’s taste. Know what’s actually not funny? Police violating our rights and the newspaper of record picking their side… Every. Damn. Time. Until you stop protecting LEOs who are actively harming people and hiding the truth, I hate to break it to you, but that bad taste in your mouth isn’t going to go away.
Let’s break down the editor’s contentions:
- “We hold no brief for the self-styled ‘Free State’ activists who enjoy getting in the face of law-enforcement officers just to get in the face of law-enforcement officers.” Wow. Collectivize much? What proof is offered to support ascribing collective intentions to a whole group of people? As someone who has attended several DWI checkpoints over the years, and who has been arrested and charged with felony wiretapping for filming police officers in public, I can tell you, my intentions are never “just to get in the face of law-enforcement.” I bet you law enforcement told you that, and like a good NewsSpeak Editor, you repeated the lie.
In my landmark First Circuit case in which I prevailed and in which the judge said the officers could not hide behind qualified immunity (that, Dear Editor, means I won because they were BREAKING THE LAW AND THEY KNEW IT AT THE TIME), I was more than 30 feet away from the officers, behind a white picket fence. How is that “getting in the face” of anyone? Many Free State activists, myself included, are on the record and outspoken proponents of NOT interfering in any manner, but simply encouraging activists to record and witness what is happening. You know, to do the job the press was supposed to do…
- “In an age when drunk and drugged driving appears to be on the upswing, all legitimate enforcement efforts ought to be employed. A DWI roadblock, when duly publicized in advance, is one such tool.” A cursory search online disproves the “upswing” statement, and I suggest you read the 4th Amendment, and then come show me where it states suspicion-less roadblocks are permitted in a free society.
- “When people interfere with such a check, as they have done in Manchester by warning drivers to turn around or to take another route, they are not doing the public any favors.” For the hundreds of people who are not guilty of anything other than driving down the road, those people in “public” who honk, and wave, and yell “thank you!” seem to disagree about not doing “the public any favors.” Maybe you don’t really know who the public is anymore? Maybe you are not actually representing the “public,” but rather are just a police state apologist?
- “Nor are the taxpayers well-served when they have to pay to settle lawsuits because an officer made the wrong decision by arresting one of these yahoos.” The way to avoid lawsuit settlements is to ensure LEOs are properly trained and doing their jobs correctly. Since the law about recording officers is settled and has been since 2007 (see Glik), I guess they behave this way because they know they can get away with it, especially when the newspaper of record seems to imply that Constitutional protections and the First Amendment don’t apply to “yahoos.” To whom should the Constitution not apply next…?
- “As tough as it may be at times, the police need to react as coolly and calmly as possible in these situations. They will enjoy public support, especially if they and the city are transparent in explaining their policies and procedures.” I agree, but I also doubt more transparency will be forthcoming. The trend is towards more secrecy for our law enforcement and government officials, and less privacy for us mere citizens. We certainly won’t see more transparency and accountability as long as the Union Leader continues to glibly champion for and protect bad behavior. In fact, one might argue editorials like today’s embolden bad actors…
The second editorial is even more daft and insulting, “Bear with us on this,” in which the editor concludes: “It’s just lucky for the police that there were no Free Staters in the area to hold up signs telling residents to bear false witness to the fuzz if asked about the bear’s whereabouts.” Honestly, I don’t even know what to say about this nonsensical statement except maybe lay off the punny sauce, if you can grin and bear it?!? It does remind me of the old saying that “people will tell you exactly who they are if you are willing to listen.” From today’s editorial statements, I heard loud and clear what kind of people the editors of the Union Leader are. I see you, and I find you wanting.
Want to learn more about suspicionless checkpoints? Here’s a first person account I wrote after attending a DWI checkpoint rally in Manchester in 2014.