Anarchy and Ale – Paul and Jolly Pumpkin
Anarchy and Ale is a new interview series with Voluntaryists over a couple pints.
Paul and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
NotBeingGoverned (NBG): Tell me about yourself? Where are you from? Where do you live?
Paul Ritter (PR): I’ve been married for 13 years to Lynn and have an 11 year old son. We’re currently living in Traverse City, MI. I was born here but spent a lot of time living in other areas of the country like Oklahoma, North Carolina and pretty much grew up in Florida. I have roots, including a family centenial farm, in Traverse City and moved back here with my brother Dave.
NBG: What are you drinking? What’s your favorite brand or style of beer?
PR: I’m drinking North Peak “39-er” a light lager. Labatt Blue is my favorite and I’d be drinking that if they had it on tap.
NBG: Do you consider yourself an Anarchist, Voluntaryist, Anarcho-Capitalist? And why?
PR: I prefer Voluntaryist because of the negative connotation that the word “Anarchist” has. Most people don’t know what Voluntaryist means so they don’t have preconceived notions. I was one of the first responders to the DNR threats to Mark Baker. One evening, I saw on the news that his farm “Baker’s Green Acres” was threatened with a raid from the DNR and they were ordering him to slaughter his pigs. The next morning, I drove down early to the farm with my camera to film the raid, which never came. Mark Baker didn’t know that I was coming and I told him I was an Anarchist. That made him step back so I started using the name Voluntaryist which seemed to settle a little easier with him. So that’s why I prefer to use “Voluntaryist”.
NBG: What do you do for a living? What do you want to be “when you grow up”?
PR: I’m a Tool & Die Maker for a local tooling shop. I’d love to have an opportunity to make a living as a hunter/gatherer/farmer. But I’ve thought about moving the family to New Hampshire for the Free State Project and possibly starting an agorist “open source” Tool & Die shop.
NBG: What’s your biggest pet peeve with the State?
PR: Having to ask permission for everything. Especially with my own property – I don’t like to have to ask permission.
NBG: If money were no object, what would you do?
PR: I’d build the most awesome homestead just north of Reykjavik and leave the empire behind… or maybe just in New Hampshire.
NBG: Do you consider yourself an activist? What kinds of liberty activities do you do?
PR: I wouldn’t call myself an activist. I’m doing my best to not be part of the system, “checking out” where I can, avoiding taxes when I can. You know the saying, “Those that do not know their history are doomed to repeat it”? Well, I have a saying, “Those of us who do know their history are doomed to watch other people repeat it for you.”
NBG: Hear, hear. So do you have any hobbies, favorite sports or activities?
PR: I find it hard to find joy in hobbies and sports because my thoughts are always pre-occupied with the thoughts of rouge cops, children being drone-bombed and empire-building. I find sports to be a national distraction from the issues that really matter. I do enjoy listening to podcasts – Bad Quaker and Free Talk Live in particular. Riding my motorcycle is a good pastime for me – I enjoy scenic rides like the Tunnel of Trees near Petosky. I also raise chickens. We have 17 right now and it’s also my son’s business. He sells eggs for $.33 each and keeps the profit.
NBG: Do you talk to people about Voluntaryism?
PR: Not really, I will listen in on conversations, try to get a vibe and maybe give them one little nudge at a time.
NBG: Are you reading any books now? Do you have a favorite movie?
PR: I’m listening to Rothbard’s “Ethics of Liberty” and Spooner’s “No Treason” on my MP3 player. Spooner was a pretty awesome guy. “Idiocracy” is my favorite movie!
NBG: Who or what lead you to Anarchy?
PR: It was a slow move. I’ve never liked being told what to do. Years ago I listened to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, then Glenn Beck. It was from there that I moved towards Ron Paul and eventually became a member of the Libertarian Party for about a year and half. It was really my brother Dave, who was urging me for years, to listen to Free Talk Live that finally brought me in.
NBG: Do you like to travel? What’s your most memorable place, trip or favorite destination?
PR: I’m tired of traveling the US since I did it so much growing up but I’d love to ride Route 66 one of these days. One of my most memorable places is Florida in 1986. We lived very close to Cape Canaveral and I remember watching the space shuttle Challenger launching through an unattached rifle scope and saw the disaster. That really affected me and made a lasting memory. New Hampshire during PorcFest was great and so much fun. I’d love to be a part of the Free State Project.
NBG: Last question, what’s your favorite Facebook page? And if you get this answer correct, then I’ll buy your beer…
PR: “Not Right in The Head.”
NBG: Good answer but think hard… favorite page…
PR: “Whiskered Anarchist.”
NBG: OK that’s a good one but think… looking for the right answer… I may have mentioned it before the interview…
PR: Oh, “The Art of Not Being Governed!”
NGB: Bingo! I’ll buy your beer. I wonder if they take Bitcoin…
If you’re interested in more information about the awesome Sour Ales at Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales at Mission Point/Traverse City, MI, follow this link: http://www.jollypumpkin.com/traversecity/Default.htm