Talk:Free State Project

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WikiProject United States / New Hampshire (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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I removed existing Criticism paragraph. Not against in general the concept of a criticism section but the article that is referenced here is pretty clearly s POV hit piece against the group where the author characterizes as 'astute' a question as to why the group does not perform background checks to make sure they are not importing 'rapists'. This is not journalism. This is 'when did you stop beating your wife' pseudo journalism. The free state project does not 'import' anyone as the neither the concept of the free state project nor its associated FSP entity 'import' anyone. The entry for 'wikipedia' itself does not have a criticism paragraph, nor does the Cato institute, the ACLU, the Republican Party, etc. It was not until I went as far as looking up "NAMBLA" that I found a group where contributors have felt that a top level criticism paragraph was required. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jcreem (talkcontribs) 17:01, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

The article certainly does have a POV but it's not just POV. It is sourced and makes some points that don't exist in the article, even if they're not necessarily the truth/whole truth/nothing but the truth. It's not just an FSP foe ranting (there are plenty of such rants around which would not be worthy here). That's why it seems worthy of a single sentence mention near the bottom of the article, which otherwise veers close to a publicity pamphlet. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 15:58, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the source is unreliable and indeed libelous. The claims made in the article aren't supported by the sources used. I would support this section's removal, but then I'm hardly impartial, as the central target of the writer's attempted character assassination. I will leave the decision to other Wikipedia editors.Jsorens (talk) 18:00, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Kudos, Jsorens, for your restraint and maturity in your response above.
I have no opinion one way or the other about FSP and my knowledge of the critic's article comes only from reading it. It does not seem wildly unreliable, quoting actual events and people. It certainly does sound angry and anti-FSP, but after all, it is labelled "criticism". Libelous, of course, is in the eye of the beholder.
My alarms went off about that item because it has been removed a couple of times by unregistered IPs, which is often a sign of semi-organized "remove anything critical of our group/company" wikipedia-whitewashing. Jcreem's comment above was the first real discussion about it, and he/she seems mostly irritated by the word "import".
Incidentally, I'm more likely to be suspicious bcause this whole FSP article has a whiff of organized publicity release, featuring a bland mission statement quote, anonymous IPs that frequently make small numerical upticks but don't add anything of significance, and good news not being updated if it turns sour - e.g., the Liberty Forum is still listed as being held each winter even though it was cancelled this year, information that I have to assume is known to somebody who cares enough to update participation numbers every week or two. Then there's Joel Winters' success and re-election, which was put prominently in the introduction (for good reason, as it's real news) but then never updated when he was defeated. I added it because I thought two-year-old election information should be updated; I had assumed he was still in office. I'm also curious about the fate of those six reps elected in 2008; information that old would be updated or removed from a good article, but I don't know who they are so I can't look them up on the Secy of State's page and fix it myself. Does anybody know? - DavidWBrooks (talk) 19:12, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I should have looked back in the history more to see that there had been some prior removal attempts/discussions of removal. Certainly agree that the page has a bit of a publicity release to it however there is little sourced information pro or con on which to base meaningful content. I had multiple issues with the referenced article beyond the 'import'.
  • The criticism is more directed at Jsorens directly than the group as a whole and I suspect that were this on a Bio page there would be agreement that it does not belong.
  • Opening paragraph strongly implies purpose is to return NH to (R) control as it us 'currently' (D). Problem with his is that when NH was selected, it was not (D) controlled. So misleading and POV.
  • Paragraph 4 simply asserts things that free staters 'widely' believe with nothing to back it up. Were this on wikipedia itself, it would be stricken as POV and not sourced but linking to it makes it ok?
  • We then get 'background checks/rapists/imports paragraphs.
  • Next multiple paragraphs talking about the free town project which is not the FSP. Understand it was started by a participant of the FSP (however, on this very discussion page, you've mused that that probably means website visitors or something). In any case, it is fair to say that a free state participant played a role in this. However, the lead into the reference in this article is not referencing this at all but rather the vast right wing consipiricy theory.
  • Remaining paragraphs are the the smokey rooms conspiracy attacks on Sorens directly
So, in the end, while I certainly appreciate the format of a pro/con article, the referenced criticism writeup fell short of the quality I'd like to see here. Now, I am often disappointed by the quality of various entries and/or my own babble on a discussion page so I promise I am not going to get involved in any sort of remove/delete war on the entry. I will say though that I think we can do better than this...eventually.
On a related note, interesting that you mention the Joel Winters sentences. I actually had started to try to re-write as well but got a bit lost in the language. His success as the first elected participant is noteworthy but I do think this needs some cleanup for the 2010 results. Issue here being can't find reference to backup the 'at least 12' freestaters elected. Jcreem (talk) 04:02, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
OK, having read through it again and checked what you say, I have to admit you're right. I over-estimated the article's heft and follow-through; it probably doesn't belong here.
On a semi-related note, it would be nice to include some of the concern that was expressed earlier in the FSP history, expressing the feeling that it was a bunch of "foreigners" coming in to tell NH how to run itself. That seems to have faded, or at least I don't notice it any more, but it was a big deal for a while. What little I've tried to find was in newspaper articles which are now behind paywalls, though, so it's tough to reference. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 15:13, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
And on another semi-related note, talking about feeble press-release tone of this article, the recent additional of two quotes that are nothing more than "somebody famous liked us several years ago" is really ridiculous. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 15:32, 5 January 2011 (UTC) I just had to remove Penn/Teller's comments, which were an absurd entry. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 17:17, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

New Criticism Section[edit]

I added a new criticism section with references. Feel free to clean it up, but if you do please address what I've already written. I tried to make it as balanced as possible, but I do think that the criticisms of the FSP shouldn't be ignored. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thebigredshoe (talkcontribs) 22:56, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

citation for No. of FSP in state House[edit]

I believe that a number of people associated with the FSP read this article - could one of them please add some sort of citation about the number of FSP folks elected to the state House in 2010? It has been seeking a citation for months, and that's the sort of exact-but-unsupported strong statement that really needs a reference or it will be yanked.

As an example, if somebody wrote in the article that 15 members were elected to the House on anti-FSP platforms but didn't give a reference, the statement would be deleted in about two minutes. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 11:04, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Done. Whatitisallabout (talk) 14:27, 26 May 2011 (UTC)


Please don't remove the paragraph describing, with references, criticism of FSP without some explanation here. And remember, "it offends me" isn't a good reason. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 15:41, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Koch reference[edit]

User:Psuedo_left, would you like to say why you think that Koch brother link should go into the story? It has been reverted a whole bunch of time by a few people; we should talk about it here instead of just in the Edit summaries.

I revereted it because some of your descriptions struck me as incomprehensible to general readers (e.g., "inside-the-beltway libertarians") that seemed to be trying to make some sort of point. Others have called the reference unsuitable, or not supporting your statements.

Since you've edited this page almost exclusively since you became an editor, you obviously care about FSP. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 18:22, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Stats and Slate Article[edit]

Perhaps, the numbers referenced in the Slate article and the citation of the article should be removed? They numbers are becoming increasingly dated as people continue to sign up and move at a somewhat steady, slightly increasing, pace. Given that curated near real time official statistics are displayed by the project itself, it seems more accurate and timely to cite those.

How about removing the sentence that references the Slate figures and changing the immediately following sentence in the second paragraph to:

As of October 2012, according to the FSP official statistics, over 13,000 people have signed this statement of intent and more than 1,100 participants have moved to New Hampshire. [ref: FSP website] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexbrennen (talkcontribs) 18:22, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

External links[edit]

per WP:EL wikipedia is not here to be a wall of external links. each link must be specifically justified. the links must be content about the specific subject of the article and not vagueley related orgs/movements. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:13, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

re [1]. A neutral and factual documentary could be "the documentary film is exactly the sort of thing that External links are for" , however, this particular documentary is not even notable in itself. How do we know that it is factual and neutral and not a political screed posing as a documentary? -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:45, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Hi, RedPen - we debate again! Your argument is, I fear, kind of silly: "We don't know it isn't bad, so kill it". By that argument, any reference that hasn't been read through by editors must go (and the supporting statement). It's a documentary specifically about the article's topic; there's really no debate whether it belongs as an external link. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 10:44, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

"but it is not Wikipedia's purpose to include a lengthy or comprehensive list of external links related to each topic. No page should be linked from a Wikipedia article unless its inclusion is justifiable according to this guideline and common sense. The burden of providing this justification is on the person who wants to include an external link." and further down under links to be avoided "Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article. Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research, " mm yeah, there ARE indeed LOTS of external links that should go and if we dont know this is a good resource for our readers, this one should too. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:55, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

and the above would be applicable if it were to a streaming version of the documentary, but its not even that, its to a commercial site to buy the movie which is utterly prohibited. i have removed it. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 15:29, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
You started out with a strawman argument - a single movie is not "a lengthy or comprehensive list" - and then a fallacious argument, since the burden of justification is more than proved by the fact that it is the only (easily findable, anyway) documentary dealing directly with the topic of the article, which sure sounds like "unique resource" to me. Burden of proof doesn't mean somebody has to write a thesis justifying whatever annoys another editor in order to keep it.
But you end up with a winning argument; I thought there was a streaming version on the site but you're correct that it's just an ad for the video. Not external link-worthy.
Having said that, the documentary should be mentioned in the article as a demonstration of interest in the topic, using the site as a reference. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 16:10, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
the documentary should only be mentioned if there is third party coverage of the documentary. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:49, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
Converting to a link to IMDB is also a fail EL guidelines. There is nothing on the IMDB page for the movie that gives any Reliable information about the subject of THIS article, the Project - just information about the movie. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 17:54, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Update on state representative numbers?[edit]

Is anybody with knowledge able to update the number of Free State folks in the NH house after the 2012 election, which tossed out a ton of Republicans? It would be interesting to know. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 14:14, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Note that not all Free Staters are Republicans; this article mentions two Democratic FS state representatives, Tim O'Flaherty and Joel Winters. Rostz (talk) 23:20, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
True - which makes the question all the more interesting! - DavidWBrooks (talk) 23:57, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

potential source[edit]

for any one who wants to add content that I am too lazy to add.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:26, 25 November 2012 (UTC)


Is anybody else bothered by calling unverified signatories to an online petition "membership" in the factbox? To me, membership implies something more active. In fact, I'm not sure it's really possible to measure membership in this like-herding-cats sort of a group, aside from participation in partcular events (which would way undercount those who feel themselves part of it).

Notably, I don't see (perhaps I'm mistaken) any mechanism to update the list; it's likely many of those signatories clicked years ago and have wandered off, not giving a thought to FSP; by now, a few have probably died. If, say, AARP claimed that every person who had ever been a member was still a member, it would list gazillions - and be really misleading. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 20:58, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Apparently nobody else is bothered, but six months later, I still am. "Membership" has strong implications that the web signup mechanism can't support - a feature (or is it a bug?) of the FSP's loose structure. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 11:57, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Membership is a vague term, ultimately up to an organisation itself to decide it constitutes, from signing a list to daily actions. Presumably people who have moved to NH are relatively active members. Therefore it could be worth listing this number, or maybe the total number of Free State members in NH - 1551. BTW the reference for the membership number only point to the FSP homepage, this page is perhaps more appropriate - Jonpatterns (talk) 22:16, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
"Membership" is the wrong word for the infobox because of the FSP structure, I think, but I'm not sure what else to put there. (Speaking of which, is there any sort of confirmation of the "moved to NH" figure, or is it strictly self-reported? I assume the latter, but it raises some questions: for example, what happens is somebody moves away again? - DavidWBrooks (talk) 17:21, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I understand your concern about the term membership. Not sure I have a better word. Note however that it would be wrong to assert that people who have moved are 'active' members as opposed to those who have not moved yet given the nature of the project. Once you move, the FSP says nothing about what you do when you get to NH. There are various meetup groups or events with movers but these also have natives and non-movers as well. In any case I think your central concern is the word membership. The FSP website calls them participants but for your concern, that seems like an even more objectionable term. Perhaps 'signers'? Not wild about that either. In any case I do agree a better term can be found. Not sure how one would verify 'moved to nh'. some people who move self report. Others may never self report and thus not be counted and still others as you suggest may move away and fail to report. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jcreem (talkcontribs) 01:34, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
How about pledgers or supporters? Jonpatterns (talk) 13:18, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I like "pledgers"; very specific without being pedantic. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 20:16, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
But you can't just rename it (I tried) - must be something in the way infoboxes work. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 02:26, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
The template for organization infobox is here Template:Infobox_organisation. Not surprisingly pledgers isn't one of the attributes. We could either petition to have it added or use one of the current attributes. I've stuffed the information under 'remarks, which is the best I can think of at the moment. Jonpatterns (talk) 11:19, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
That's probably good enough. This doesn't seem to bother anybody but me, and I don't want to end up on the "ridiculous edit wars" list! - DavidWBrooks (talk) 12:49, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

what's the right term for a member of the Free State Project?[edit]

What is the correct term to use to describe a member of the Free State Project? I have heard them referred to (especially by each other) as "Free State Project movers." But I have also heard them referred to as "Porcupines," "Free Staters" and (more commonly) "Free Statists." Timothy Horrigan (talk) 11:27, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 3 external links on Free State Project. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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N Archived sources still need to be checked

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