253 How do you feel about this Robbing Hood?


Tom Garrett 3 years, 7 months ago

That's what the city of Keene, New Hampshire, calls James Cleaveland and a group of friends who take to the streets with pocketfuls of change, shadow the city's three parking enforcement officers, and stuff coins in expired meters before they can issue $5 tickets. They spend about $15 a day apiece.

They call their practice "Robin Hooding," and in just over four months, the group claims to have spared motorists more than 2,000 tickets in the city of some 23,000.

"It's my philosophy," said Cleaveland, 26, a member of a group called Free Keene, which subscribes to the libertarian principle of smaller government.

"I could go talk to the city council at every meeting but to me, actions speak louder than words. I can go out and try to save people and reduce the number of tickets."

The southern New Hampshire city's government does not share Cleaveland's view. This month it filed suit in state court against him and five others seeking a restraining order to keep them at least 50 feet from parking enforcement officers.

The suit accuses Cleaveland and five others of videotaping, taunting and intimidating its parking meter personnel.

Of that, I do not approve. They meter people are just doing a job. But I suspect the accusation is just smoke and mirrors.

But the rest of it?

The Free Keene movement is part of the Free State Project, a group that has sought to get 20,000 libertarians to settle in New Hampshire, a state already known for its limited government and which has no sales or income tax.

Are you a libertarian?

Or are you just curious about New Hampshire?

Click on this link:


Just read the first ten reasons. Then come back on here and tell me you wouldn't like to see them come true here.


Pat Randall 3 years, 7 months ago

I had to read all of it. I am ready to move. Beat the rush.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 7 months ago


I'm with you. New Hampshire seems to be what Arizona used to be back when it was a state of Conservative Democrats. While I was in the Air Force I would once in a while read about something going on out here and I would say, "Well, there's another reason to retire there (I meant retire from the Air Force, not retire completely).

And there is still a lot of that here. But since the conservative wing of the Democratic Party moved over into the Republican Party, two things have gone wrong. The first one I have realized all along, but the other one I just realized for the first time this very minute.

First, the one we all know. Back when I was a kid the Republican Party was looked upon as the Business Party. That's why it could not attract enough votes to win most elections. It was the "also ran" party. But now that the Southern Conservatives have moved over into the GOP there are more Republicans than there used to be, balancing things out better. The trouble is, too many people who are truly conservative (do not like unneeded change) have their voices swallowed up in the mainstream of the GOP, and too many other people who are conservative in the sense that they believe in the righteousness of free enterprise and smaller government are trapped into voting for candidates who vote for things like the removal of federal controls on predatory business practices. Too bad.

But the other thing? The one that I just realized? WOW! Is that important!

When the conservative wing of the Democratic Party left it made a big difference; the progressive wing of the party took over. That's what is wrong with the Democratic Party today. It no longer is the Party of the People, the truly Liberal party, which worked to protect the rights of the small guy. It is now in the hands of those who believe that they should work to make everything "perfect." Well, their idea of perfect and the Constitutional idea of prefect are two very different things.

Result? The Libertarian viewpoint, although it is too extreme in many cases and wastes its time ranting about smaller government without giving any real reason for it, is closer to what most people believe. That's where the Tea Party originated--in more rights for the ordinary people. Trouble is, the TP has been captured to a great extent by the business interests in the GOP.

But New Hampshire represents the swing back toward a Constitutional government, a land run by the people and for the people. Who knows? Maybe there's still hope.

Go read those 101 reasons, folks, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Happy days!


Ronald Hamric 3 years, 7 months ago

Tom, There is still hope! I have never been of the mind to completely give up on the possibility that this nation could return to it's once great status. I may be very opinionated and vocal, but I am not one to take unilateral action in an attempt to forcefully change people's minds. I simply bide my time, voice my opinions, and am ready to rejoice when it is called for. As dismal as things appear through my eyes, God has a plan for this nation and I am perfectly willing to accept His will, good or bad. In my career I saw the sordid underbelly of our society but I also saw people who were true inspirations. Those folks are still out there in sizable numbers. Watch the pendulum and we will see if it swings back.


frederick franz 3 years, 7 months ago

Yes, New Hampshire has a good thing going..! This item amazes me: "9 New Hampshire legislators are only paid a salary of $100 per year, helping ensure the existence of a citizen legislature committed to public service, unlike every other state." I'm with Pat, I'm ready to move to New Hampshire..!!!


Pat Randall 3 years, 7 months ago

Ron, Tom, and Frederick Only teasing about moving. Payson is my home. One of my granddads came here in 1892. I have great grandkids living here now. So the world right here has had to put up with my family for a long time and will for a long time more.


don evans 3 years, 7 months ago

Before you all move: My best friend grew up in Keene, NH. His mother is buried there, his older brother lives there in a 100+ year old house. My friend and his wife owned a condo for a time there. They go every Thanksgiving to visit family and friends. He says NH is great, BUT, everything is paid for and based on the huge property tax rates! They sold the Condo because of the tax bill. The elderly brother is having a hard time paying the yearly home property tax. To buy property, you must go through a local attorney to do so. Just fyi...


Tom Garrett 3 years, 7 months ago

C'mon, Pat. It's never too late to go on a mission. :-)


Now that's interesting. In fact, very interesting.

Why do I say that?

Back when I was in high school I did a report for English class. The subject chose was where the money came from to run the town (New London, CT). I dug up all the costs, which were not very high. There was very, very little waste of any kind. And just like New Hampshire of today, the Connecticut of the time had no sales tax and no income tax. In fact, state income taxes were unheard of.

Still, the school ran, the roads were paved, water was so low it was almost free, the fire and police departments ran smoothly, and the town ran about as well as anything I've ever seen. The only thing that was high were property taxes, but even though they were high rentals were low. A typical three bedroom apartment in a two story victorian ran about $60 a month. It was a happy place to live. The crime rate was virtually zero.

Then came the 1950's.

What I see in New Hampshire now is what I saw everywhere back then. If you went somewhere to picnic, for example, it was just open country with--perhaps--a picnic bench or two. No fancy crap. If there was a place with fancy crap you paid to get in and that's what paid for it--entry fees, not tax money.

That's what New Hampshire is--pay as you go. I like.


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