Hitting the road – PorcFest bound


Ashley Babbitt

The recent weeks have been pretty eventful for anyone paying any attention to local, state, national, or worldwide happenings. The protests in Turkey and now Brazil, continuous “updates” on the NSA, Supreme Court’s decision to essentially disregard the Fifth Amendment, the COO of Golden Artist Colors, Inc. speaking before the U.S. House Committee on Small Business, preliminary talks of bringing a homeless shelter to Chenango County, and the hot-topic of the Village of Oxford elections – of which voter turn-out was significantly higher than previous years, telling me the Oxford residents are paying attention.

At any rate, a lot is going on and always is. I’ve always figured if there is something interesting taking place, I might as well check it out. Therefore, this weekend – as soon as I get out of work, rather – I will be packing a few things into my car and heading for the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

The tenth annual Porcupine Freedom Festival – as part of the Free State Project – has been in full swing since Monday, but even with my late arrival this evening I will have the opportunity to meet many peaceful, liberty-minded folks, hear from some pretty prominent people within the freedom-oriented community, eat some tasty food, and do whatever my little heart desires.

The festival has been commonly referred to as PorcFest – no – it is not a direct bacon reference (I don’t even like bacon… crazy, I know). The porcupine has been used as a libertarian “mascot” or symbol if you will – as it is the porcupine is an animal who harms no one if left alone, but will defend itself if need be.

I’ll have the opportunity to learn about gardening, firearms etiquette, hear Antonio Buehler of the Peaceful Streets Project (the goal of which is to create a cultural shift where individuals understand their rights and hold law enforcement accountable, and communities protect and serve each other) and Buehler Education speak about Education Entrepreneurship, hear speakers regarding jury nullification, listen to a panel discussion by ladies involved in the liberty movement, take part in a CPR workshop, among many other events and discussions.

2012 Libertarian Presidental candidate Gov. Gary Johnson speaks tomorrow evening – something I’m very excited about. Johnson was the Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003 and is probably best known for his veto record – which includes more than 750 during his time in office. When he ran in 2012, Johnson garnered the most votes in a Presidental election in the Libertarian Party’s history. I don’t agree with him totally by any means, but he certainly received my vote in 2012 – so I’m looking forward to his talk.

There are radio shows broadcast, documentary screenings, ice cream socials, a pig roast, dance parties (if you’ve read anything I’ve written, you many have noticed I have an affinity for dance parties. Usually solo, but hey – you never know), music, kid-friendly fun (I don’t have any kids but little tykes will be taking part in a number of track and field events, which might be fun to watch), and tons of other things.

Mind you, all the aforementioned are taking place either tonight, tomorrow, or Sunday. Imagine a week’s worth of that. Ah, too much fun – or maybe my idea of fun is different than yours.

Vendors in Agora Valley will be selling just about anything neat you can think of: Ice cream, homemade juice, chili, baklava (I hear it’s the best I will ever have), books, clothes, documentaries, handmade jewelry, organic soaps… you name it, you can probably buy it – or trade something for it. It seems as though it is the epitome of a free market.
The six-hour drive will prove to be a fun adventure in itself, as there’s nothing like a good road trip. Granted, the cd player in my car is on the fritz and my iPod was snagged from my car a while back so the radio will have to suffice, but once I get out of the area maybe there’ll be a cool station that plays something I’m into.

So happy Friday, folks. Enjoy your weekend and get out and do something fun. I am beyond excited to spend the weekend camping with about a thousand or so liberty-oriented and freedom-loving activists, authors, speakers, economists, and “average Joes.”

Catch you when I get back.