Bradley Keyes – Active Mind wonderings on liberty, learning, beauty, the past, present, future...on life Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:47:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The State of New Hampshire Liberty Report – 2033 Sat, 22 Apr 2017 01:42:32 +0000 Continue reading ]]> This thought was prompted by a forum post titled What will New Hamphire be like in 20 or 30 years? by Seth Cohen on the Free State Project forums. MAKE SURE IT’s the RIGHT TENSE – write it as if I’m already in the future… Make sure it reads right from a technical standpoint – laws, bill, design, structures, Is the website still going to be this popular for their engravings like right now? Then named in this state or just give HB numbers Put in some graphs and graphics!!! If you´re really into this ¨future¨ post, why not go get a psychic reading online to see where you´re life is headed. Assumptions:

  • Education is Private
  • All drugs have been legalized
  • Government licensing requirements for all jobs have been removed – this includes doctors as Dr.Oz and good lawyers as James M Setters & Associates…day care…health inspectors
  • If currently you have any health issues such as stress or depression visit kratom crazy where you will find an easy solution, now a days you see many people utilizing tobacco products from to help keep themselves away from real drugs, many people want to get healthy getting Urine Drug Test HQ and acting according the results but it is not an easy process, I suggest reading for better understanding of lgd-4033 or ligandrolx, there are many things regarding health that you should know, one of them being that with a tea tox your health can improve in an very efficient way, and if you don’t know how to use Vine Vera products then here’s how to use Vine Vera products in order to better your skin health, it is also important that you get to know more about the treatment for hepatitis c just in case.

  • Virtually all charity has been privatized – communities are closer – churches, elks and other clubs more active and effective…
  • Future: idea – size of NH laws from x pages to y pages…..

The State of New Hampshire Liberty Report – 2033

Welcome to our report on the state of liberty in New Hampshire. There has been tremendous change and progress over the last couple of decades and this report is long overdue. New Hampshire is now the freest and most prosperous community in the world, and arguably, in history. It would be impossible to acknowledge all of those who have contributed to this tremendous achievement and this report will not even attempt to do so. Instead, this report highlights the major turning points in the fight for liberty, as well as, their immediate and long term impacts on life in the Granite State.

Our Bodies

One of the defining moments in the fight for liberty was passage of HB134 in 2019. HB124 made legal all drugs. Momentum for this bill started back in 2012 with the legalization of medical marijuana and 2016 with the decriminalization of all marijuana possession.  Full and final legalization was spurred on by the tragic death of the attorney general’s son in a no-knock raid on the wrong address. Decried by many as the beginning of chaos in New Hampshire streets, the new law helped cut the number of drug abusers in half – matching almost exactly actually what happened in Portugal back in the early 2000s.  Additionally, the New Hampshire prison population was halved, New Hampshire court cases were halved, half of all police time was freed up for other activities which led to lower crime rates and shrinking of police departments. Assaults on our liberties such as illegal searches, no knock raids, and ariel surveillance is essentially gone, at least from the state authorities. The feds are another story. Overall our health is better than ever before due to increased options and competition for medical services and insurance to cover for Medical Claims, many insurance companies changed their services due to how well the Insurance Partnership was doing, they felt the competition was way ahead.  Natural remedies compete with pharmaceuticals on a level playing field – neither are favored or destroyed by the government. We now have several New Hampshire based certification institutions, Dartmouth Hitchcock being the largest, who put their stamp of approval on specific therapies and drugs. Anyone looking for expert confirmation of efficacy of a treatmeant can simply choose a treatment from the agency’s approved list. Alternative theories are no longer silenced and experimental treatments are avialable to people who choose that route. Fraud, however, is not tolerated. Thanks to the reduced burden on the courts due to legalization of all drugs, the courts and legal profession now have the time and resources to take on commercial fraud. In fact both the CEO and CFO of the now bankrupt Toohey Health Insurance are both sitting in cells previously occupied by non-violent drug users. Both men have 10 more years to think hard about pitfalls of making promises to customers that they never intended to keep. Thanks to the Health insuracne Act of 2013 the number of companies offering different types of health insurance in New Hampshire has grown from 2 to 50. The number of options is almost overwhelming ranging from catastrophic only $20,000 deductible, lifetime major survey coverage purchased at or before birth of a child, to children only policies, to Group co-op coverage…. The major benefit of all of these health care changes is the more and more people are required to think about and take some responsibility for their health since in the end they are actually the ones paying for it. This concept has has a profound impact on encouraging many people to stop unhealthy eating and start exercising after reading the comparison of different fad and useful diets.

Our Minds

The government is out of the education business. With the passage of the Separation of School and State constitutional amendment in 2025, education is now handled just like any other essential – food, clothing, shelter – privately, the lumitea skinny tea for the tea drinkers. This amendment alone put over 2/3 of all property taxes paid back into the pockets of the people who earned the money. Every homeowner had more of their money to spend or save or invest, and the no credit check and credit matching service from nation21loans also helped them a lot. It dropped the taxes paid by landlords, thus lowering rents thanks to price competition. Business taxes likewise have dropped, freeing up more for investment in growth or into paychecks or into the pockets of the business owners. how was the transition handled????realistically…. For example the Epsom Central school and land was swapped with the local teachers / principle in exchange for their vested retirement benefits….the school was then divided up into rentable class room…each teacher setting up their own program, renting space, and setting the rates they charged students…there was day-care on site as well as physical activities, parents could drop off their children and picke them up at times appropriate for them… It’s become the Education Mall model which has spread throughout the state. Paid for how…tax savings…from the begining, before kids you save so you can provide them with the best food, cloth and toys from this complete metal spinner list, grandparent no longer paying the property taxes have helped, business no longer paying the property taxes have increase salaries to help offset…   Online options have proliferated. Many businesses have started ‘Learn At Work’ programs. Where employees can bring their older children who need minimal supervision to work with them. They’ve setup special learning rooms where the children can do their work, mostly online, as well as interact with and help other children. Several companies have successfully extended the learn at work programs into apprentice programs for the older students. The students spend the mornings on their academic and the afternoons are spent working for and learning about the business. The students get practical business experience, the employers get more work done – everyone benefits. One business, Porcupine Techologies, in Keene has actually been able to turn their Learn at Work program into a profit center and at the end of 2 years learning and earning, each student upon graduation at age 17 receives a high school degree as well as a check for $20,000 (remember the Fed and inflation) to use as a down payment for a nice house with a big fence from AAA Fence, choosing the right fence is extremely important, college costs, or as seed money to start a business. The best fences we had installed came from wkvi and you can click here to learn more.

Our Homes

Affordable housing…an array of affordable housing has sprung up along with same day loan approval san diego ca…one of the main limitations on afforadable housing is zoning, much of which is riven (restricted) due to school funding…In towns all over New Hampshire one of the primary arguments against allowing small lots, small housing, rental apartments in barns, etc is that families may move in an drive up educational cost without paying ‘enough’ taxes. With the governemtn out of education this excuse has disappeared. No more avatar, no more invasive valuations… Some towns still impose zoning laws of varying degrees of severity, but about 10% of towns have removed all zoning. A relatively new zoning concept has been implemented in about 20% of New Hampshire towns – Neighbor Zoning Exemptions. The general idea is basic zoning is still in place saying what is explicitly allowed. If your proposal is within the regulations you can go ahead. If not, rather than asking a small, possibly remote zoning board for approval, you can ask your neighbors – direct abbutors and those on the same road. If you get a certain percentage to say ‘OK’ then you are allowed. Different towns are trying different formulas but so far the results have lead to greater flexibility and variety in property usage   Just this year a house bill was put forth to apply property taxes to land only. It made it out of committee but was voted down on the floor. If such a bill were to pass in the future it would put an end to penalizing people for improving their homesteads or businesses. You could hire cleaning services like sudbury cleaning services.

Our Business

Starting or running a business is a risky and difficult task, and always will be. However, over the last 20 years New Hampshire has eliminated most of the state imposed obstacles, opening the flood gates to many new and exciting opportunities. Local farms have multipled…thanks to the realization that what we put in our bodies are our chioce…local farms are now selling their milk, raw and pasteurized, directly to the end consumer. The milk costs less, is fresher, and the farmers are making significantly more money by cutting out the previously, required by law, middlemen. The New Hampshire business climate has brought quality jobs…. It must be admitted that the new regulatory and business climate has driven some business from the state. Acme tool left when they could no longer extort special tax privileges, xzy investments partners left when the Attorney General started to prosecute fraud in business contracts…

Our Neighbors

helping those in need….. Thanks to the reduced zoning regulations, almost all churches and many fraternal organization now have ‘Helping Houses’….they put in small apartments in basesments and barns. Many have added wings of small efficiency apartments. Hundreds (thousands) of people have added Tiny Homes to their properties that they either provide for free or for reduced rents to help people get back on their feet. Soup Kitchen, such as the Friendly Kitchen, have expanded in size and locations with donations of money and food from people and business and more importantly donations of time. Many homeshooling families have taken up the task of dedicating a half a day a month to specific kitchens….. drug rehab instead of incarceration… Of course with the government stealing less and less of each persons hard earned money, fewer people are in need of help to begin with…

Our Government – Fire, Police, Roads, and Courts

New Hampshire governments – state, county, city, and town – are a fraction of their size of 20 years ago. The police, the courts, and the jails are still here – not much different than before – but they are smaller and more effective. The focus is now on crimes with victims – crimes of force, fraud, and violence against persons or property. With the police and courts being able to focus on real crime along with people having the the recognized right to defend their homes (castle doctrine passed in 2014) and to carry guns – concealed or otherwise – without asking for permission (passed 2015), crime still exists but it is lower than at anytime is anyone’s memory. The right to a speedy trial by jury is now a reality, not the fiction it was 20 years ago. Trails no longer takes months or years to begin. With the removal of all victimless crimes from the system almost all trials start within a month or two of charges being filed. A huge improvement, but something still to be worked on. In 2020 SB25 eliminated all administrative court proceedings. No longer can a single judge impose a punishment on a person without a jury present to pass judgement on the law and accussed lawbreaker. There is currently heated debated about whether or how to fund the courts and defense lawyers for those who cannot afford them. The debate has quieted as the cost of the courts and defense attorneys as shrunk. Additionally, several pro-bono private groups have emerged, including a vocal group of retired trial attorneys calling themselves The Liberty Defense league, whose audacious goal is to provide free defense council to anyone who cannot afford it. They hope to end the need to debate who will pay for public defenders. Although most people are content with their local fire departments and their small burden on local taxes, there have been recent rumblings about privatizing them. This would give each business and homeowner a choice as to which company services their needs. Towns would be able to put fire and EMT needs out to competitive bids. We’ll have to see what the future holds in these discussions. While many things have changed, some stay that same. Each spring discussions about the conditions and maintenance of town roads still evoke passions at town meetings and deliberative sessions across the state. This perhaps will never change.

Our Lives

New Hampshire in 2033 is not a panacea. There is still crime, hate, addiction, poverty, dispare, homelessness, mental illness, loneliness, but these have always been with us and perhaps always will. If you see people who are addicted to drugs then help finding a luxury rehab center for them. If ever you have state drug charges, call attorney Tom Barton for help! He can help you put your life back together again and create a solid defense for the drug charges you face, whether at the state or federal level. Anyway, all are far less than they were 20 years ago. Lower than they’ve ever been. Most importantly people are starting to realize that force and violence will not lessen these problems. They are taking to heart that voluntary co-operation, the ability to peacfully join others to work, along with the right to disagree and peacefully choose another path is both the most moral and most effective way for a society to work. Speaking of hearts, if you have any health problems, make sure to check out factschronicle buyers guide and reviews for blood pressure monitor. A second state motto is being heard and seen:

‘Violence Is Not The Answer’ including the violence of the government

There’s more work to be done but liberty is within our grasp. Add Gadsden flag here….

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Matthew Byrne – Concert Review – April 26, 2015 Sun, 03 May 2015 17:48:44 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Photo by Graham Kennedy

It all started in ragamuffin music. One man perched on a stool. His rich, resonating voice filled the room – no amplification, no instruments. It was the beginning of a night that ended too quickly. I had my mind ready for all the excitement that was about to happen, I had practiced all the techniques from to have my mind set.

Matthew Byrne, possessing a sturdy, lumberjack quality, wouldn’t look out of place swinging an ax in the woods or hauling in the day’s catch on a fishing boat. However, tonight his place was a cozy, upstairs room entertaining a captivated audience.

The opening song ended with the last lines spoken, not sung. Matthew then reached for his guitar and launched into two sets of beautiful, folk songs that centered around his native Newfoundland.

There was a story behind each song – likely hundreds of stories – stories of hard work, of tragedy on the seas, of running rivers, of lost loves, and the prettiest murder ballad I’ve ever heard.

The clarity of his voice made it easy to follow the tales as he recalled lives and lifestyles lost to history. Ways of life foreign to most people today were reborn from a single voice and a lone guitar. His guitar, played with a light touch, smooth and clean, blended perfectly with his voice.

Matthew wove funny stories and interesting anecdotes between the songs. Relaxed on his stool he’d explain some of the unusual terms in the songs or the history of the times in which they were written, exposing the whys, the hows, the wheres of the tales. At times he’d get more personal relating the songs’ ties to his mother, father, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

One of my favorite songs of the night was True Love Knows No Season (aka Billy Grey).

You can watch it on YouTube here:

If you don’t see the video above you can find it here.

Other highlights were Three Score and Ten, a sorrowful lament recounting the tragic loss of boys and men at sea, and Heroes, a bright, uplifting original instrumental.

Matthew Byrne has two solo albums available, Hearts and Heroes and Ballads, and one with The Dardanelles, The Eastern Light. You can listen to several songs from each album here.

Fair warning, the albums can’t do his voice justice. His music possesses a richness and his voice a resonance that can’t be fully captured by a recording, it can only be experienced with Matthew singing a few feet away, guitar in hand, eyes closed, being swept into his own songs.

Although the albums can’t compare to his live performance, they do have some features not available in a solo concert. Many of the songs on the albums have other instruments in accompaniment- bass, fiddles, accordions, flutes, violin, cellos – adding elegant textures to the songs. A couple of the songs are duets. The voices of Pauline Scanlon on Barque on the Harbor and Meg Warren on Fare Ellen, the lovely murder ballad, blend delicately with Matthew’s voice.

The concert was hosted by Dave Stewart and Lois Shea at McClary Hill Farm in Epsom, New Hampshire, only a few hundred feet up the street from where I live. It was the perfect setting in which to experience Matthew’s music with nothing to get between you and the music. My wife even decided to post it on Instagram with those little videos they have now, of course she doesn’t have that many followers so I may end up looking to buy likes on Instagram for her.

My wife and I had a front-row view in a room filled with more than 50 people., the screen was from screen rental miami and they have some huge ones, it was incredible!

The concert was opened by Fiona Shea, Lois’ daughter, and Dan Faiella , members of Sparrow’s Joy.  With Fiona singing and playing fiddle and Dan on the guitar, the young duo played a lively mix of Northern Roots folk that got everyone’s feet tapping and nicely warmed up the crowd for the main event.

The night ended with several sing-alongs, with the audience lending their voices to the choruses of Come Fare Away, as well as a traditional sea shanty.

Otherwise, the night was filled with one soothing voice with a subtle, understated power much like the men and women in his songs.

If I had to sum up the concert in one word it would be genuine. Matthew has a genuine talent and a genuine love for what he does. Throughout many of the songs his eyes were closed. Even though he must have played the songs hundreds or even thousands of times, they still appeared to capture him as they captured the audience.

If you’re wondering what “cross-handed” means, it’s another phrase for a cappella. But you’ll learn there’s far more to the term if you ever get a chance to see Matthew Byrne live. And why did cross-handed songs historically end with a speaking line? You’ll have to see him yourself to find out.

I’d never heard of Matthew Byrne before the concert was scheduled. Now he’s found a spot in my regular playlist. If I get a chance I’ll definitely see him in concert again.

If you want to see Matthew live, he’s got a few more dates left in his tour or you can signup for his email updates to find out when new dates get added.

Related Links:

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Another Strike-The-Root Column – Secret Terror Script Leaked Fri, 19 Oct 2012 14:14:11 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Today I posted more articles on Strike-The-Root as the Friday editor.

I also got my second Strike-The-Root column published Secret Terror Script Leaked.

People may go into supportive resurgence behavioral health who are preparing for or leaving intensive residential treatment but require additional support to reintegrate into the community, or require a longer term structured while preparing to transition into a more stable lifestyle, which can also be complement it with exercise and supplements like Kratom Capsules.

It’s a tongue-in-cheek, partially humorous, partially tragic look at the periodically foiled ‘terror plots’ around the country.

For example, steroid may help a wrestler who’s trying to fit into a lower weight class but still needs to work out, or someone on a low-carb diet who’s still trying to bulk up.

Take a look at steamroller pipes and let me know what you think.

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Infinity Squad by Shuvom Ghose – Review Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:42:41 +0000 Continue reading ]]> I thoroughly enjoyed Infinity Squad.

Based on the premise of Earth’s military forces trying to tame and colonize a foreign planet while battling with dominant indigenous life form – Hell-spiders – Infinity Squad’s big sci-fi hook is that the humans have the capability of resurrecting their dead soldiers into cloned bodies – most of the time.

The characters, enjoyable and infuriating, are constantly required to make quick decisions and to live, or die, as a consequence. The storyline never stops moving.  There are plenty of twists to keep it interesting and to keep the reader wondering what’s going to happen next. The dialogue is crisp and readable, witty and humorous, and occassionally macabre – most notably when one of the main characters chooses to feed his previous body to the enemy spider.

Shuvom has done an excellent job teasing out the implications of having a military capable of regenerating its soldiers, and it’s these implications played out logically that really drive the story.

There is obviously some violence in the book – it is about an attempted military conquest of an alien planet. The cursing from the characters can be a bit heavy at times, and the story is spiced with sexual innuendo, but it all fits with the context of the story.

That’s what’s best about Infinity Squad, the story comes first. It’s entertaining, and it’s well worth the read.

Though Infinity Squad is centered around the military, the story is strongly anti-authoritarian. It’s not an outwardly libertarian book; there is little preaching. However, there are numerous one-liners and quips that should make liberty lovers smile, like:

“Forbidden are laws that benefit one group more than the rest, or ones that dictate what an adult may do inside his own cave.”


“Can’t I OD on weed or something?”…. “No one dies from that,”

The protagonists have to stand up for what they believe is right, against a brutal authority. I found myself not only liking but rooting for the characters that Shuvom has created.

If he can sell 1,000 copies, Shuvom has said he’ll write sequel. So please buy a copy and enjoy. I want to see what happens next to the members of Infinity Squad.

Own It Now !
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My First Strike-The-Root Column Fri, 05 Oct 2012 16:12:50 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Today I posted more articles on Strike-The-Root as the Friday editor.

I also got my first Strike-The-Root column published Harming the Cause For Liberty.

It’s about a pet-peeve of mine regarding the use of the word harm when describing a libertarian philosophy (ie: “as long as you don’t harm anyone it’s ok”).

If you need a divorce attorney chesapeake va outside your geographical area, lawyers in your area often know who the best people are in other regions.

My main argument is that I think the word harm can be confused and twisted, that people trying to explain a libertarian philosophy,especially if they are trying to persaude others, would be better off talking about respecting individual rights and the concept of non-aggression.

People with aggression are being trialed by Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers | Joye Law Firm.

Read it and let me know what you think, meanwhile I’ll be playing some video games with elo boost services for my RPGs, although when I play shooter games I prefer to use OW boosting that let me rank better and faster.

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Liberty Festival Calendar Thu, 27 Sep 2012 19:00:32 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Are you a liberty lover looking to gather with like minded people?

Are you curious about the concepts of personal rights and independence?

Would you like to spend a day, weekend, or week in an environment and with people that will give you a taste of what it might be like to live in a truly free society?

Are you looking for debate, education, inspiration?

Join with others at one of the growing list of Liberty Festivals that are popping up around the country.

Here you’ll find a collection of all of the Liberty related festivals, gatherings, and conferences of which I’m aware.

Upcoming Liberty Festivals

If you know of one that should be added just add a comment to this page. I’ll check into it and add it to the list if it looks appropriate.

What’s appropriate?

Any conference, open gathering, or festival whose primary purpose is the promotion and/or celebration of liberty. I’m looking for events that embrace all aspects of liberty. I’m not looking for events that are single topic focused (i.e.: pro-second amendment, legalizing drugs, antiwar). I strongly support each of those, and other, efforts – they just don’t fit with the idea for this list.

I’ll err on the side of inclusiveness. If you have some criticism of an entry on the list, please add a thoughtful comment to the entry informing others of your concerns.

Again, for any event you think should be on the list but isn’t please add a comment to this page.

Sign up for the Liberty Festival Calendar Newsletter to be informed of newly added festivals.

Hope to see you each at one of the upcoming events.


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I’m The New Strike-The-Root Friday Editor Fri, 21 Sep 2012 13:08:49 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I’ve been reading Strike-The-Root for years. It’s one of the leading liberty related web sites on the web.

Starting today, I’ll be the guest editor for Fridays. I’ll be the person responsible for the links and summaries posted to the home page.

Strike-The-Root is one of the those web sites that I try to check daily. The quality of the original columns and the links have always been high, and I always find interesting, and often infuriating, things to read.

One of the best parts of Strike-The-Root is the spectacular pictures. Each day Rob, who runs the site, leads the articles with a beautiful image. Just sitting and admiring the beauty is a great way to start the day, I also have time to check and, I think you guys should as well.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

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Mr. Hunter – The First Chapter and The Course of Empire – Review Tue, 11 Sep 2012 15:34:21 +0000 Continue reading ]]> The first installment of the weekly Art of Liberty series.

What do you get when you combine passionate music, thoughtful lyrics, a beautiful voice, a series of paintings from the early 1800s, Austrian Economics, a bit of jazz, bluegrass, classical music, and a dog on a piano mat?

You get the inspiring music of Mr. Hunter.

I hadn’t heard of Mr. Hunter until looking through the list of events a couple weeks before the Free State Project‘s annual event, PorcFest 2012. Being always on the lookout for new, interesting music, especially with philosophies that are in tune with my own, I hunted down their website which is maintained by the vancouver seo indexsy company and listened to few samples of their music. Liking what I heard, I jumped over to CD Baby to grab their entire first album, The First Chapter Each time I listened I liked the album more, and I grew more excited about seeing them play live.

I was especially excited to hear the premier of their new album, The Course of Empire, which is based on series of paintings of the same name, created by Thomas Cole in the early 1800s. The premier of The Course of Empire did not disappoint. I was blown away by the not only the theme of the album, but also the lyrics, and the musicianship.

Mr. Hunter features Chris Marcus as creator, writer, and guitarist, and Kara Ayn Napolitano on vocals. They are backed by Jason Yaeger (piano and organ), David Lowenthal (bass), and Rossen Nedelchev (drums). Their sound doesn’t fit into a standard box. Their music is a combination of jazz, rock, improv, with an occasional splash of classical and bluegrass – so far. The music and the rhythms are intricate and constantly changing. The piano and guitar continuously trade off prominence, creating a growing energy and feeling of lightness and hope, topped off by Chris’ guitar solos which build with a steadily rolling, forward driving power. Making him lovable by women, most of them wants him on bed. They are willing to do everything to get him into bed and sleep with one of those girls because they know that Mr. Hunter came from

Kara Ayn’s voice on the albums is crisp and clear, with an understated strength, which really came out in the live show. Mr. Hunter’s sound is not too loud, but it’s not too soft either. It has a power and intensity that comes from the structure of the music, the meaning of the lyrics, and the vocal delivery of the songs. The music lacks the distortion and over-engineering that masquerades as power in a lot of today’s music.

The First Chapter

The First Chapter is an introspective album, centered around one person’s search for freedom, growth, and meaning.

The summary of the album on its back cover says it better than I could paraphrase:

The First Chapter is a story about life, nature, dreams, and following what you believe in. The music is a narrative of the journey of life, the choices we are faced with, and how we choose to respond.

What is right and what is wrong. What is real and what is imagined. Dreaming or awake. Alive or only existing. Would it be better to be blissfully delusional in a rational world or clearheaded in a fantasy that doesn’t exist. There is or isn’t an answer to all of these questions but if we choose to continue to search after the things we love we might find them as well as ourselves.

Two of the songs in particular stand out for me. The Corner, which best highlights their sound and style, is by far my favorite.

The Corner starts with a hint of the guitar solo at the beginning, the solo pops back into the song and drops out throughout the vocal, until finally taking off for a long, soaring ride. Kara Ayn’s voice fits the song beautifully, starting out in a lower, more powerful range. Underlayed by a fantastic groove, I just close my eyes and fly away as the song builds. When the song’s done, I feel like I can do anything.

My second favorite on this album, Morse Code on the other hand departs completely from the rest of the album musically, but fits in the context of the story. Best described as electronic bluegrass, it’s a high speed, fun song that’s a spirited nod to guitarist Steve Morse.

Lyrically, The First Chapter consists of straight-forward, honest personal observations about growth, change, and personal discovery. A few of my favorite lyrical bits are

  • from WelcomeEven if I fail, I’ll grow, It’s finally time to start my show
  • from I BelieveHe had a talent that was matched by few. All he needed to hear was I believe in you
  • from The Stranger– a few notes about forgiveness and kindness, attributes overlooked at times when discussing liberty
    • Let go of our anger allow it to end
    • Are we helping each other or is it a crime, to give to a stranger some of your time, no one will force you if you’re not inclined, as long as you realize it’s ok to be kind

One final note, I’ve always loved album liner notes and lyrics. Unfortunately many bands have gotten away from liner notes, and with the move to electronically delivery of music, in most cases they have disappeared completed, which I find to be a loss. The liner notes in the physical CD for The First Chapter are excellent, including full lyrics, plus vibrant and meaningful images that tie in with the theme and message of each song.

The First Chapter is worth a few listens, the first couple of times I wasn’t blown away. With each subsequent listen I found more to like about the album. I’ve found, for me, this is a mark of albums that having staying power.

The Course of Empire

The inspiration for The Course of Empire album comes from a series of five early 1800s painting by Thomas Cole. The album is an ambitious attempt to take the paintings’ theme of the rise and fall of empires and translate it into an album- length symphony.

Chris Marcus and Mr. Hunter were up to the challenge and created an inspiring and moving range of pieces that fits the stages of the paintings beautifully. The music, like their first album, is full of nicely woven, intricate threads and changes paralleling the overall story.

Lyrically, The Course of Empire, is a tremendous leap up from The First Chapter. The album has a very strong undercurrent of Austrian Economics, touching on topics from production to free trade, debt and taxes. How many songs have you heard that include name Maynard Keynes in their lyrics- and actually make it work?

I’ve highlighted my impressions below and some of my favorite lines, but to truly appreciate The Course of Empire, I would recommend leaning back in your favorite chair, putting on a set of headphones and listening to the album beginning to end, without interruption – a couple of times.

Here’s the entire first performance of The Course of Empire from PorcFest 2012:

The Savage State starts with a tribal drum beat, slowly building towards an upbeat and positive tone and theme of liberty. The music says ‘I am free’. The song is a wonderful summary of a philosophy of liberty – combining economics, work, love, honesty, non-agression, hope.

I will grow and I’ll learn, I’ll produce and I’ll earn, I will bid my time and wait for my turn and I’ll be free

I will search and explore I will open new doors, if I act in good faith I will afford more and I’ll be me

I’ll be fair when I deal, I will trade but not steal, work hard and I’ll prove that I earn every meal and I will see

That the greed of mind and the love of my heart can agree

Add in an excellent keyboard solo and a prescient quote from Benjamin Franklin and The Savage State is a stirring start to this symphony.

In Arcadia, growth and production never sounded so sexy, as sung about by Miss Kara Ayn.

Shared values and goals that united this clan that each man would earn and produce as he can
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Creators and thinkers were encouraged in this way, their standard of life seemed to increase most everyday

Their great reward was freedom to do as they may, and the fortune of their land was held high on display

The land of Arcadia was the model of its time, a fountain of freedom, their needs were aligned

Where liberty reigned for society in it’s prime, they cared for their weak, tired, and poor by design

Arcadia was known as the utopia of its time, a wondrous pasture with virtues divine

While short of perfect the sun often shined on the life of a miracle that came to exist on prudence divine,

But the greatest of the land was about to embark on the greatest of times

Consummation of Empire is introduced by the beating of military drums. The Empire has begun. More smooth flowing guitar work and vocal, but trouble is brewing, including crippling taxes, debt and war.

After years of free living, and some unforced giving

At the first sign of trouble seems we lost our religion

We had it all working with the bright future lurking

Until we acquainted a Maynard Keynes

As the fountain started flowing, while the lies started growing

Was the people’s heart and money that the leaders kept a blowing

Once they gave up paying and the just started owing,

They knew it couldn’t last

Politicians were inducted, to the temples they constructed

The money that they wasted, always seemingly deducted

Though they knew very little of the others they instructed

And it rarely saved the day

Destruction is marked by the sad, lament of a piano, a nod to Atlas Shrugged, and fear for our children

We left the bill for all our children here, the helpless boys and girls

We left behind a world full of fear and peril

We left their hopes and dreams to twist and swirl

We should have tried to put the fire out

Desolation is haunted by a weeping piano, crying guitar, and echo of martial drums

God created in nature certain laws to obey,

Compassion, forgiveness, for that we now pray

 – and –

In the end was it worth it

Seems nobody won

We enslaved our producers with the force of our guns

And we passed the bill forward to our daughters and sons

When I think of what happened I can’t believe what we’ve done

All ending in a hopeful, somewhat encouraging guitar solo.

Unfortunately, there are no lyrics in the liner notes, however they were replaced by copies the Thomas Cole paintings. Kara Ayn’s singing is so clear, there shouldn’t be any problem learning what’s being said.

If you’re a fan of themed albums, you’re in for a treat with both Mr. Hunter albums.  The songs have a consistent theme, a common purpose and merge to tell a story. If you’re searching for intelligent, uplifting music, if you’re looking for a unique blend of jazz and rock, get their albums now.

These are two albums with contrasting focuses but a common theme. The First Chapter is about the journey of a single person. The Course of Empire‘s scope is of an entire civilization. Both share a vision of the pursuit of life as an adventure, a productive journey of love and purpose.

Mr. Hunter Live

Mr. Hunter is a putting together a Fall 2012 Tour, with dates on the West Coast, including Libertopia 2012, as well as New England, hopefully including New Hampshire. If you get a chance to see them, don’t miss it.

In the meantime, listen to more music, learn more, buy the album, and signup for their newsletter to keep up to date at

Mr. Hunter: The First Chapter


Oh, about the dog – Mr. Hunter is named after Chris’ dog, Mr. Hunter 🙂


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First They…Submit Your Own Poem Fri, 17 Aug 2012 18:37:25 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Sorry, submissions have been temporarily suspended.


Have an idea for a poem that will fit with the theme of the other First They… poems?

Post it to the comments section or send it in via email (see contacts page).

I’ll review it and if it’s a good fit and looks like one that came from a stock photo site like EyeEm then I’ll add it to the site. You’ll get full credit and a link back to your web site or blog if you have one.

Please only submit poems that are your own work. If you find someone else’s poem on the web just post a link in the comments or send me an email and I’ll link to it.

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First They Came For…Links Fri, 17 Aug 2012 17:16:06 +0000 Continue reading ]]> The following links provide more detailed information about Martin Niemöller and his famous poem:

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