The Manchester Free Press

Thursday • March 21 • 2019

Vol.XI • No.XII

Manchester, N.H.

Syndicate content Free Keene
Peaceful Evolution
Updated: 55 min 17 sec ago

Chris Cantwell Storms Out of Studio During “Shemale vs NAZI” Event!

Sat, 2019-03-16 21:53 +0000

After saying he intended to stay all night if he had to, Christopher Cantwell aka the “Crying NAZI” didn’t even make it all the way through the first hour of his on-air discussion with Aria DiMezzo, the “Anarchist Shemale“. Once a caller called him a name he didn’t like, Cantwell was triggered and stormed out of the studio, bringing the “Shemale vs NAZI” event to an abrupt close. Here’s the clip:

It’s safe to say that if you leave the court, you’ve lost the match. Shemale 1, NAZI 0.

Also, kudos to Aria for not only defeating the libertarian-turned-racist-and-statist Cantwell but also for risking her Twitch channel being banned over having Cantwell on and allowing him to express his views uncensored. We were all certain they would pull down the feed, but they didn’t. Not only that, her feed made it to #2 in the talk shows category during the live broadcast and afterwards she was awarded the coveted “Twitch Partner” status for her channel!

Don’t miss Aria’s talk radio show, Call to Freedom, heard and seen weekdays 4-7pm on the LRN.FM Twitch channel and the LRN.FM audio streams. Also, if you have a computer at home or at work and are willing to help the LRN.FM channel get to Twitch Partner status, just click here for step-by-step instructions. Thank you!

UPDATE: Here’s the full “Shemale vs NAZI” event video. We then followed it up with an episode of “Freer Talk Live” where we wrapped it up as a post-show.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Detained at US Customs for Three Hours, Devices Unconstitutionally Searched

Mon, 2019-03-11 03:42 +0000

Patch from CBP uniforms.

After having a wonderful time at Anarchapulco 2019, I was looking forward to coming back to New Hampshire. After being gone a total of twelve days, it felt like too long. Mexico was fun, but I missed “the Shire“. I’d scheduled a red eye flight back to the US via JFK airport and would arrive at JFK not long after 5am. This is generally a good time to speed through customs as the airport is pretty empty of passengers so the lines are very short.

Indeed, there was no line whatsoever in the main intake room with the Orwellian police state kiosks that demand ID and take your photograph, printing out a slip that you’re then expected to take to a Customs and Border Protection agent at a booth. There was only one person in the line at the booth in front of me. Despite having smooth sailing the previous year, this year was very different. After checking my ID, the initial CBP agent told me to report to a room off to the left, aka “secondary”.

After years of reporting on my talk radio program about the unconstitutional device searches going on at CBP checkpoints, I finally became part of the statistics. I was to have my devices searched in secret – or have them confiscated. According to the AP, CBP conducted searches of 29,000 devices in 2017, up from 18,400 in 2016, a 57% increase from the previous year! The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing over it but the border device search policy has been infringing on travelers’ privacy for over a decade.

CBP’s argument is basically that you don’t have rights at the border and they can search whatever they want. Though their policy was recently updated to clarify they supposedly can’t search your online accounts via your phone, how would you really know? Even though they’re supposed to put your phone in airplane mode when they search it, they are allowed to search it in secret, where you can’t observe. That means they can image your phone, plant something on it, and access your accounts, or they could follow their rules and not do those things. You have no idea.

In my case, I went into “secondary”, located off to the side of the main intake area. It was a dismal room with institutional lighting and a bunch of CBP officers sitting behind a counter that stretched the length of the room. Given the time of day, there weren’t many victims of the CBP’s aggression sitting in the several rows of chairs, but there were a handful. All of them with brown skin, waiting around to be “served” by one of the officious, uniformed CBP bureaucrats shuffling about. As each new victim entered the room and sat down, inevitably the victim would pull out their phone in an attempt to kill the time and would be shouted at by a bureaucrat: “no phones!”. No cell phone signs that looked like they were printed 15 years ago had been posted all over the room. For a group of bureaucrats with camera systems everywhere, they sure are awful concerned about pictures being taken of their drab, boring office.

Actual photo from CBP of the area I was held – you can see one of the no cell phones signs.

Anyway, after waiting for a bit, an overweight Asian female officer called me up and had some questions about my name, like why I changed it. I told her, “I wanted to.” I understand that due to CBP refusing to respect rights at the border, you’re expected to answer questions about your identity and your travel, but beyond that scope you are not obligated to answer questions. She had me go sit back down for more waiting. Eventually an “Officer Uzzi”, also a portly New Yorker male-type, called me up to his counter. We were to go back to the table in the back hallway for a search. Uzzi acted like he’d be able to get this taken care of as quickly as possible. I knew better than to believe him. I’d gone into the office at about 5:30am and though there was no clock on the wall, it was taking a while and I suspected I’d miss my connecting flight to Boston despite it being at 8:00am.

After Uzzi pawed through my backpack and checked bag they’d had the Delta crew retrieve for them, it came time for the device search. At this point, from the reporting we’ve done on the issue on Free Talk Live, I know that you can choose to refuse to allow them to search the devices, but if you do, they will confiscate them. Whether you can ever get them back is another question. So, since most people don’t want to have to buy a new phone and laptop every time they come back into the U.S. and leaving them at home is probably not an option, CBP knows people are stuck in a place where 99.9% of their victims will hand over their devices for the unconstitutional search.

To Uzzi’s credit, he was fine with me observing his search, which included my camera, cell phone, and laptop. His search was cursory, at best. He opened up the photos app on my cell phone and looked at pictures of my dog and a bunch of landscape backgrounds. Not that I have anything incriminating, but on principle, I’d deleted most photos from my phone before arriving back in the United States. Also, when traveling I use a sanitized laptop that only has a web browser and remote desktop software on it, so there wasn’t much for him to see there either. While paging through the photos on my camera, he came across the photos of me with Ron Paul. I asked him if he knew who that was and he said he did, recalling Paul’s last name after a moment. Afterwards, it was more sitting and waiting.

During this batch of waiting, there was a lot of interaction with a rotund manager bureaucrat into whose office Uzzi would report more than a few times. It wasn’t possible to catch all of the conversation from where I was seated, but the manager, who told me later he was “Supervisor Van Ihsen”, definitely was making a bunch of phone calls to someone else. I also could have sworn I heard them say something about “child porn”. Longtime readers of this blog will recall when my home radio studio were raided and dozens of devices confiscated back in 2016. No charges have been filed against anyone who works or lives here in three years, and they still have the devices. The raid had been a part of the FBI’s running of a child porn website called Playpen, where for two weeks they allowed thousands of child porn images and videos to be downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. Recent news shows they are continuing to facilitate illegal distribution of child porn by taking over and running child porn chat rooms for at least eighteen months, despite not one single known arrest from their latest investigation.

In the three hours CBP detained and searched me, not a single other person in the room was searched, and several victims came and went during that time, all of them with brown skin. One lady was told she was being denied entry and the officer said he was going to give her a choice – she could accept the decision and go back to Ghana and apply again for a VISA or he could just deny her entry for the next five years. He acted like he was doing her a favor. Presumably, interactions like this go on all day in what CPB refers to as “Secondary”.

Electronic Frontier Foundation is Suing CBP over Unconstitutional Border Device Searches

Uzzi eventually called me up and told me I was free to go. I was able to check my phone and at that point I’d been detained there for ninety minutes. However, as I was leaving secondary, they decided they weren’t done with me after all and ordered me back in and told me to sit and wait some more.

After more waiting, I was told again to come back to their search table and was met this time by two plainclothes, badge-on-a-necklace individuals who previously had been joking around with their uniformed coworkers during the time I’d been sitting. It was now time for a second search of my devices, by people who seemed to know what they were doing. Finding a cryptocurrency sticker in my backpack, one officer, whose name was allegedly Kragoras, asked me if I was into crypto, referring to “hodling” and saying he knows about it and has had crypto in the past. They then asked me for the password to my phone. I told them I wasn’t willing to give that to them, but I’d be willing to unlock the phone for them and turn off the lock feature. They agreed and I provided the unlocked phone to them. Kragoras, thin and Middle Eastern, and his tall and skinny cohort then began to leave the search area and I protested saying I wanted to observe the search. He then claimed that they have special border search powers and left with my three devices, though he never asked me to login to the laptop, so they shouldn’t have been able to search that since it’s an encrypted linux operating system.

After more waiting, the officers brought back my devices and left them with Uzzi. To their credit, they did not falsify charges against me by planting anything on the phone. However, did they image my device and copy everything from it? There’s no way to know. The phone was returned to me in airplane mode, which suggests they were following their own rules and didn’t access my internet accounts through the phone, but I can’t know for sure, since I was prohibited from observing their search. Besides, I’d logged out of my google account and instant messaging clients before arriving back in the United States, as I know to prepare my devices in case a search like this happens. It finally did.

Uzzi again met with supervisor Van Ihsen and I was ultimately released at about 8:30am, three hours after initially detained. At this point I demanded to know the names of everyone who’d interacted with me. As is common with bureaucrats, they refused to provide first names, but Uzzi and Van Ihsen revealed their last names. However Van Ihsen initially refused to provide the names of the two plainclothes agents who’d conducted the secret search of my devices. After pressing him on it, he relented and gave me Kragoras’ name. He acted like he didn’t know who the second plainclothes guy was.

Before letting me go, they asked if I’d taken a photo of their office since being given back the devices. Sadly I had not considered sneaking a photo of their boring, dull office, but it turns out that I didn’t have to, because they posted a picture of the exact place I was on their own website here. You can see the tall counter behind which a multitude of bureaucrats sits as they decide the fates of countless peaceful people simply trying to come to what they believe is a free country, and you can even see one of the “no cell phones” signs as well. The very room they are so worried about being photographed, they themselves photographed.

And yes, I did miss my connecting flight. Delta scheduled me for the next one gratis.

With the numbers of devices being searched going up in recent years, don’t think this can’t happen to you. Consider preparing your devices for search prior to coming back into the country by removing any information or accounts you don’t want government agents to see. Or, prepare to lose your devices to confiscation if you don’t allow the search. Meanwhile the EFF’s lawsuit is the only hope to get this policy ended.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

“Pho Keene Great” Grand Opening: Photos & Review

Sat, 2019-03-09 02:19 +0000

The line outside prior to PKG’s opening.

This afternoon at just before three, approximately 25 people were in line to be the first paying customers at the new Keene Vietnamese restaurant, “Pho Keene Great“. If you’re new to the Pho Keene Great story, here’s a recap of what happened with their viral showdown with the City of Keene’s Dragon. When the door was opened for the first time today, the initial customers were welcomed by the PKG crew, all wearing black uniforms including t-shirts and hats bearing the Pho Keene Great logo.

PKG’s bustling staff-on-duty numbered at least a dozen plus Chris Rietmann, the proprietor of Route 101 Local Goods, who was at the front at a table offering the hot-selling Pho Keene Great merchandise like t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and the newest item – tote bags. Plus, each customer walking in was given a free limited-run “Live Pho or Die!” sticker in the shape of New Hampshire and featuring the PKG logo character.

If you aren’t able to come to Keene and still want your own Pho Keene Great gear, you can order it online with your credit card or cryptocurrency like bitcoin at Route 101 Local Goods.

Only a fraction of the busy crew on-duty at PKG.

After the initial group entered, more came in and by the time I left an hour later, not only was I full, but so was Pho Keene Great. Founder Isabelle Rose was seen in the kitchen, constantly active and focused on preparing the delicious food.

The guy sitting next to me at the bar, Matt, has spent most of his life running professional kitchens and he makes a habit of reviewing the restaurants he visits on Yelp. His review for Pho Keene Great was the first the restaurant had received and he left five stars and this review:

I was in line for the grand opening and was served second out of the group. I ordered their meatball pho.

Broth: simple, clear, delicate.
Noodles: perfect.
Meatballs: dense, perfect.

Route 101 Local Goods’ Chris Rietmann talks to a happy customer.

Service: excellent, professional, well seasoned.I’ve been a part of at least 20 restaurant openings in my career and looking around at this one, I see very few foibles or parts that need polish. The food was barely too long in coming, but this is literally DAY ONE, HOUR ONE. I’m extremely impressed at how well out together and error-free this has been, and I can’t wait to come back. I’m so happy not only that there’s a pho place in town, but moreso that there’s a place in town with truly fantastic food and service in a restaurant that is perfectly suitable for everything from family dinners and celebrations to business dinners.

Southeast Asian food should tick all boxes when it comes to flavor in each bite. Pho Keene Great delivers on that necessity and does it in a classy but relaxed environment, and at a reasonable price. Definitely recommend.

The restaurant will initially be open at 3pm daily except Tuesdays and offer a limited dinner menu, though with a full bar and liquor license. They even have a beer on tap from Marlborough’s Frogg Brewing.

Later they are planning to expand Pho Keene Great to include lunch and take-out, but for now they’re keeping it simple to get the gears turning. The restaurant is located next door to City Hall at 11 Central Square in Keene, NH. Here are a few more photos I snapped of the grand opening:

Pho Keene Great, minutes before opening for the first time.

Silhouettes of the intial crowd of customers – view from the bar.

Initial customers wait patiently in the cold, for delicious hot pho soup.

The green version of the sticker given to the first 100 customers!

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Victorious “Pho Keene Great” Restaurant to Open @ 3pm Tomorrow, March 8th

Thu, 2019-03-07 17:23 +0000

Pho Keene Great – Opens Tomorrow March 8th at 3pm!

With less than one day before it opens its doors to the public, Pho Keene Great, the new Keene Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of downtown, has become a viral international news story after the new city manager, Elizabeth Dragon targeted the restaurant during the holidays for its “offensive and not appropriate” name.

Owner Isabelle Rose didn’t back down in the face of the city’s attempt to intimidate her and the media coverage quickly spread across the globe, with readers and viewers outraged at the oppressive, humorless “City of Keene”. Though the city manager had originally demanded Rose meet with her about the sign, the meeting never happened. Within three weeks of the original story breaking, the city people backed down and the “offensive” sign was approved and installed.

Thanks to the viral story, Pho Keene Great t-shirts, hats and bumper stickers have been selling fast at official vendor Route 101 Local Goods as people who do have a sense of humor wanted to show their support of the as-yet-unopened Vietnamese restaurant, from as far away as Australia and Afghanistan. Even celebrities like magician and comedian Penn Jillette got in on the fun.

Isabelle Rose, at her food truck in 2016.

All of this with most people never having had the food itself! I say most because many in the Keene area know exactly what to expect from Pho Keene Great when they open their doors to the public for the first time at 3pm tomorrow afternoon (Friday March 8th). Rose had in the last few years run her own Vietnamese pho food truck which had been located outside Route 101 Local Goods in Keene. The pho noodle soup was delicious and she accepted cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as payment!

Now with a newly renovated kitchen, stocked bar, and full staff behind her, Rose is ready to graduate from her successful dream of running her own food truck to the next level – running a sit-down restaurant. I’m excited to see this all coming together for her, and a lot of it is thanks to the bumbling City of Keene making itself look like petty tyrants on the world stage (again).

Here’s some recent media coverage featuring WCAX TV’s Galen Ettlin being given an exclusive look inside Pho Keene Great during construction in February. In the package, Rose explains the story behind the restaurant and takes the reporter on a tour:

Pho Keene Great is located at 11 Central Square in downtown Keene, New Hampshire, right next door to city hall.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

New Hampshire Home to “Special Concentration” of Dash-Accepting Merchants

Tue, 2019-03-05 18:26 +0000

Those in New Hampshire have been at the vanguard of cryptocurrency penetration since the creation of Bitcoin a decade ago. From developers who have constructed crypto ATMs, payment solutions, and digital marketplaces to entrepreneurs who made it easier to  buy and sell of cryptocurrency, to early-adopters who have informed their friends, family and neighbors about the empowering aspects of being ones own bank. It’s no surprise then that Amanda B. Johnson — a one-time resident of the ‘shire — makes mention of this special place in her recent video recounting Dash-accepting merchants worldwide.


From the video:

So while Dash-accepting merchants in the U.S. are geographically diverse. There is a special concentration in the state of New Hampshire.

There you’ll find Dash-accepting dentists and ophthalmologists, to auto repair shops and even car dealerships. In fact, Dash usage is so relatively concentrated in New Hampshire that CNN even went to do a special report about it.…Here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire Dash is the cryptocurrency that’s king.

Kudos to everyone on the ground in the ‘shire who has embraced cryptocurrency. We’re a decade in, I can only imagine what another decade will bring.

For me personally, it has since the beginning stood out as a peaceful tool for self-liberation. It facilitates the divestment from regimes and policies that are an affront to ones conscience and helps to connect us with our fellow human, no matter their political boundary.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

“Bitcoin Cast” Interview on Crypto Mecca of New Hampshire

Thu, 2019-02-28 21:49 +0000

I had the honor of being interviewed on “Bitcoin Cast” on YouTube. I was able to discuss why New Hampshire is the Crypto Mecca and why liberty-friendly cryptocurrency users ought to move here. Thanks to host Christian for having me on. Here’s the video:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Derrick J Interviewed at Liberty Forum 2019

Thu, 2019-02-28 15:59 +0000

Derrick J Freeman of VictimlessCrimeSpree.com and Anypay.global was recently interviewed on “Destination Unknown” with Vin Armani and Dave Butler live from Liberty Forum 2019. It was a great interview, so I cut it out of their recent fifteen hours of broadcasting from Liberty Forum 2019 in Manchester, NH. You can see the full 15 hour broadcast here.

Here’s their interview with Derrick J:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Penn Jillette Models Pho Keene Great Shirt, Promises to Visit!

Thu, 2019-02-21 18:56 +0000

Magician and Comedian Penn Jillette Wearing Pho Keene Great Shirt!

The Pho Keene Great victory over the dastardly City of Keene gang continues to reverberate throughout the world. Now, the already popular Pho Keene Great t-shirt is being modeled by magician and comedian Penn Jillette on his Twitter account, where he’s followed by over 1,840,000 people.

In another tweet, Jillette also promises he’ll be stopping in to Pho Keene Great, presumably when he next visits his nearby hometown of Greenfield, MA.

Long-time readers of Free Keene will remember when years ago Jillette expressed his desire to move here to Keene and join “with the Free Staters”. Looks like he has continued to pay attention.

Pho Keene Great t-shirts have been continuing to fly off the shelves at Route 101 Local Goods. Proprietor Chris Rietmann says orders continue to come in daily both online and in-person at 661 Marlboro St in Keene, NH. Plus, fans can now order Pho Keene Great hats and bumper stickers! Yes, you can pay with cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, DASH, and a bunch of other cryptos.

Pho Keene Great is expected to open its doors sometime in March, according to co-owner Isabelle Rose.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Ron Paul’s No Chicken – Speaks at Anarchapulco Despite Recent Murder

Sat, 2019-02-16 07:15 +0000

Ron Paul and Ian Freeman wearing a Pho Keene Great hat.

Hello from the second night of the fifth annual Anarchapulco in Acapulco, Mexico! It’s my third year broadcasting my talk show from the event, which I last year said had surpassed Porcfest as the must-attend annual liberty event.

Unfortunately, this year’s event received quite a bit of bad press in the couple weeks prior. A self-proclaimed anarchist, John Galton was shot to death. Galton had been living in the area after allegedly escaping prosecution for cannabis “crimes” by the US Federal gang. Despite the murder having nothing to do with Anarchapulco as Galton was co-organizer of a different and now-canceled event called Anarchaforko, Anarchapulco was targeted by the media anyway.

No one knows the real story behind the murder. Various theories abound. Was the murder an inside job, a cartel killing, or something else? Would Anarchapulco founder Jeff Berwick be gunned down during his own event? This had the liberty community buzzing away before Anarchapulco 2019 began. Would the speakers show up? Would the attendees? I even heard that some craven busybodies had been contacting speakers and encouraging them to cancel.

Anarchapulco 2019 Logo

Turns out, the event is a major success, with excellent attendance, likely more than last year, which was a sellout. This year the organizers rented the entire resort and it seems to have been worth it. They’re already planning for 2020.

That said, it is likely some attendees chose to stay home due to fear. According to one participant, Anarchapulco tickets were allegedly being offered for sale before the event at a very low price on some facebook group. There was discussion by some over what, if any, extra security would be provided. This, despite no credible threat being made against the event.

It’s true that some speakers didn’t make it either, but that happens at any convention, especially one the size and complexity of Anarchapulco, where there are several stages operating simultaneously. It’s inevitable cancellations will occur. Shit happens.

The real test was Dr. Ron Paul, who was scheduled to speak this evening as the event keynote. If he didn’t show, I think the tone of the event would have shifted to depressed and negative from excited and positive.

Lyn Ulbricht chats with Ron Paul at Anarchapulco 2019

Not only did Ron Paul show up and give a great, uplifting speech, he came in the front like a boss, rather than slipping in the back, and spent plenty of time with his fans on his leisurely pace to the main event stage. He stopped many times for long periods to chat and pose for photos. Afterwards, there was a special dinner with Dr. Paul and he hung around to spend even more time with regular event attendees both before and after the dinner, in different parts of the hotel. We just kept seeing him over and over posing with people for photos. It was great.

There’s a reason Ron Paul is a libertarian hero and people flock to see him speak. He has always stood for his beliefs, whether in D.C., Texas, or in Acapulco. He’s never backed down.

When some suggested we at Free Talk Live not attend at all and even my co-host Mark Edge proffered we hide away broadcasting in a green room, I said no way. I don’t live in fear. I’m glad and honored to have Ron Paul at my side – literally.

Thanks for coming to Anarchapulco 2019, Ron. You rock.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Forbes: Keene is “Crypto Mecca”

Fri, 2019-02-15 04:30 +0000

Forbes Magazine Covers Keene’s Crypto Scene

I awoke today in the Princess Resort in Acapulco on day number one of Anarchapulco 2019 to some awesome news: a new Forbes article refers to Keene as “Crypto Mecca”! Thanks to their reporter, Rebecca Campbell, for her excellent story featuring Keene’s amazing, world-leading crypto scene!

Longtime readers of Free Keene already know Keene is a top world city for per-capita businesses accepting cryptocurrency.

Now that fact has made one of the world’s most popular financial publications, Forbes. You can read the full story here, titled “Market Downturn? The People Using Crypto Show Why The Market Is Not Dead”. Also featured in the article, the amazing crypto-art of Nanu Berks, which is quite exquisite.

The article is a testament to the success of the model of moving liberty-minded activists together to the same place. Over and over, Keene’s activists prove they are able to attract a disproportionate amount of media coverage here, despite our relatively small size. Also, the Seacoast’s killer crypto-activist duo of Derrick J Freeman and Steven Zeiler get honorable mention for their amazing work bringing Portsmouth businesses into crypto as well as launching the amazing Anypay merchant crypto acceptance app.

Thanks to Forbes for the coverage, but most importantly to the pioneering local businesses who are accepting cryptocurrency and made this possible.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Vin Armani’s Epic 15+ Hour Broadcast from Liberty Forum 2019

Sun, 2019-02-10 07:43 +0000

Vin in his Nevada days.

The Free State Project‘s wintertime convention, Liberty Forum, happened this weekend and they had the good fortune of having the talented Vin Armani perform a broadcast throughout the event.

Vin is the host of “Destination Unknown” a weekly podcast with co-host and FSP early mover Dave Butler. Both Vin and Dave headed up the epic live video feed that aired for over fifteen hours spread across the three day event in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The broadcast featured various interviews of speakers at Liberty Forum including Lyn Ulbricht, Stephan Kinsella, two-time Liberty Legislator of the Year winner Mark Warden, Derrick J Freeman, and Free State Project founder Jason Sorens. They also interviewed movers to NH both new and old. It’s a lot of content.

The live video streams, archived on the FSP’s YouTube channel, also featured the excellent documentaries, “101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire” and “Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree“.

Here are the streams. The first video is under two hours, as it was just for the evening of Thursday, February 9th:

Day number two, Friday, featured two streams, one over seven hours long:

The other stream from day two, was just under an hour:

Finally, on day three, Saturday, over seven more hours of streaming with multiple interviews:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

NH State House Examines New Voting System Proposals

Mon, 2019-02-04 22:15 +0000

Are New Hampshire’s representatives finally taking a closer look at alternative voting systems? For years, the state elections committee in the state house has rejected any proposed changes to NH’s voting system, regardless of how much sense they have made. However, now that Maine has adopted “ranked choice” voting, perhaps NH’s reps are taking the issue more seriously.

I was surprised recently to receive a call from Keene Sentinel reporter Jake Lahut asking me for my opinion on ranked choice voting for an article that appeared last week. As someone who has been a longtime libertarian, I’ve seen how the “vote for one” system we have in place hurts third parties, so I definitely support ranked choice and its competitor, the easier “approval voting”.

Both systems solve the “wasted vote syndrome” where voters, afraid of the worst of the two evils winning, will vote for the “lesser evil” of the two major party candidates. They will do this even though they may better agree with a third party candidate, like a Green or Libertarian, simply out of fear of their least favorite major party candidate winning.

Ranked choice allows the voter to rank their favorites on the ballot while approval voting allows the voter to simply vote for all those candidates they’d be alright with winning the election.

Last week in the state house, HB 505 was heard that would allow for approval voting to take hold in New Hampshire’s elections. Here’s the bill’s full hearing in front of the house elections committee:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Bitcoin-for-Taxes Bill in NH Unanimously Approved by House Subcommittee

Sun, 2019-02-03 06:35 +0000

Here’s full video of the subcommittee that was assigned to look at HB 470, the bill that would authorize the “State of New Hampshire” to accept bitcoin for tax payments. The subcommittee voted unanimously to approve the bill with amendments. It now goes back to the full Executive Departments and Administration committee for another vote. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on this legislation.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

HB 567 Would Move New Hampshire into Atlantic Standard Time, Year-Round

Sun, 2019-01-27 18:43 +0000

Last week, liberty activists testified in Concord in favor of HB 567 which would move us to Atlantic Standard Time year-round, so long as MA and ME also do. This would end the stupid, dangerous, and annoying clock shifting we currently have to do twice a year. I’m happy to announce that all signatures on the blue sheet in the committee room were in favor of this bill!

Here’s full video of all the house testimony on the bill:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Full Video of Committee Hearing on HB 470 to Legalize Bitcoin for Paying Taxes in New Hampshire

Fri, 2019-01-25 05:28 +0000

The bitcoin & cryptocurrency news sites are ablaze with the headlines that New Hampshire’s state representatives are again considering legislation to authorize state agencies to accept bitcoin for fees and taxes, HB 470. Here’s what you won’t find anywhere else – full video of Wednesday’s hearing at the state house, where everyone spoke in favor of the bill:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

BREAKING: City Approves Pho Keene Great Sign!

Fri, 2019-01-18 19:18 +0000

City Approves Pho Keene Great Sign!

After the story Free Keene helped break about soon-to-open Vietnamese restaurant “Pho Keene Great” went viral, there’s a surprising development now three weeks later: Pho Keene Great’s sign has been approved – with the logo and name unaltered!

According to Isabelle Rose, Pho Keene Great’s part-owner, not only has the sign been approved, but it happened without them having the meeting that was scheduled with the city manager to discuss the manager’s concerns over the supposedly “offensive and not appropriate” name of the business.

It’s unfortunate that the new city manager, Elizabeth A. Dragon created the ridiculous situation in the first place, but apparently cooler heads at the city gang prevailed and Dragon has backed down. Good choice, considering the “City of Keene” would only continue to be ridiculed by people and headlines around the world if they continued to push all the way to court, where they would likely lose, just like they did when they tried to crush Robin Hood of Keene’s free speech.

The City of Keene happens to own the building in which Pho Keene Great will be opening, but that shouldn’t give them any further rights to control the name of a business. Especially after that same city manager had signed a lease agreement back in April of 2018 knowing full well what its name would be. They then collected rent from Pho Keene Great for the rest of the year before Dragon called Rose on Christmas Eve to object to the name and demand her temporary sign be taken down.

Pho Keene Great – T-Shirts Available at Rt 101 Local Goods!

I spoke with Rose today about the good news and she confirmed the sign will look as it does in the mock-up photo posted to Pho Keene Great’s facebook page, minus the street address. What a win! Further, Rose told me in an email:

“We stood our ground regarding our business name. And, on the basis of the First Amendment, we defended it. The City cannot regulate content. Further, no where in the contract did it stipulate we could not use that business name. The government cannot demand or require us to do anything that supersedes our baseline rights. We are deeply grateful to everyone that offered and gave their support and appreciate all opinions and input, even with those that were offended by our business name. Thank you.”

That’s not the only win for Pho Keene Great, however. The city’s predictable stupidity led to a media explosion with coverage coming from countless major media from all over. You can’t buy advertising that good and as a result of the publicity, the Pho Keene Great official t-shirts have been flying off the shelves at Route 101 Local Goods.

The little local shop was slammed with orders both in real life and on the internet from as far away as Australia and Afghanistan. Route 101’s owner Chris Rietmann says his shop has never been so busy and he’s shipped out well over 1,000 shirts so far. The story went so big, there were even people trying to sell knock-off shirts on other websites. However, only the official shirt sold at Route 101 Local Goods is the one where profits benefit Pho Keene Great, so get yours here online or stop in at 661 Marlboro St. in Keene!

Isabelle Rose, at her food truck in 2016.

Route 101 Local Goods was the location of Rose’s original bitcoin-accepting Vietnamese food truck, which is where she got her start serving delicious Pho noodle soup to people in the area and led to her teaming up with another local business owner to upgrade to a full sit-down restaurant – Pho Keene Great. Though NHPR ran a story this week suggesting some kind of conspiracy between me and Rose, the fact is that I’m merely the property manager for Route 101 Local Goods and I had nothing to do with the naming of her new restaurant. Though, I do love the name and when I heard about it last year, I predicted the city might step into the trap. And they did.

Now rather than gearing up for a protracted legal fight that would only hurt the taxpayers of Keene, Pho Keene Great’s owners can focus on opening their doors in the heart of downtown Keene’s Central Square, next to the City offices this March as planned, with an awesome logo and name intact. Hooray!

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Chris Cantwell has become what he once hated – a total statist.

Thu, 2019-01-17 18:15 +0000

Chris in Simpler Times, Acting as Security for the Hallowkeene Dance Party in 2014.

While Christopher Cantwell still looks like himself on the outside, his beliefs have completely changed in the last few years and become even worse than they previously were. Tuesday night, Johnson Rice, Aria DiMezzo and I had Chris in the LRN.FM studio for a special internet-only, in-depth conversation that exclusively aired on the LRN.FM Twitch channel. If you can stomach the watch, it’s fascinating in a train-wreck sort of way.

In my last article about him, written shortly after his arrest in Charlottesville at a white nationalist hate rally, I explained that despite Chris’ libertarian activism being covered by this blog in the past, he had never been a blogger at Free Keene, nor was he ever invited to be. When he came to Keene in the early part of this decade, he was just crass libertarian comedian Chris Cantwell from Long Island. He wasn’t a racist, but still caused much controversy for his hatred for the police.

Today, Chris has embraced the police as his potential tool of oppression, even though they recently threw him into a jail cell for months in Virginia. As he revealed in our conversation Tuesday night, he literally wants to become the state. Shortly after 2 hours, 22 minutes in he actually says he wants to force his beliefs on others, and then moments later says, “I want to be the government, yeah.”

His dramatic shift to statism isn’t a first for the Free State Project libertarian migration, which was the original reason Chris chose to move to New Hampshire. Early mover to Manchester Amanda Bouldin went from being an anarchist to a hostile-to-libertarians leftist. Conversely, Chris has gone from being an anarchist to a actual NAZI. There’s not a shred of a libertarian left in him. Libertarians, voluntarists, and liberty-loving anarchists believe people should be judged as individuals, by their words and actions. Chris is obsessed with race and admits in the conversation that it’s lazy to judge people based on the group into which they are born, but nonetheless runs with the idea anyway, as he considers the laziness of racism to be an efficient filter for his ideal society.

Previously a libertarian against the war on drugs, he’s now for prohibition.

Further, Chris actually seems to believe he has some chance of becoming the state, by leading some kind of white nationalist takeover of the government. About the only thing we agree on is his support of secession. Politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows. Of course if NH were ever to secede, we’d be at odds again as I support open borders and he supports a closed-border police state.

The conversation we had on the Twitch-only show (though I’ve since exported it to Youtube here) had some particularly bizarre moments including Chris holding the confusing position of having used cannabis while supporting continuing prohibition against it. He speaks out of both sides of his mouth by acknowledging the benefits of harm reduction and decriminalization but refusing to advocate for policy changes in that direction. It’s a perplexing perspective. Despite his own personal knowledge of the ineffectiveness of prohibition and the various studies proving it is an abject failure that creates the opposite of its intended results, he rejects all that on the near-religious belief that outlawing something reduces its use. It’s a belief wholly at odds with how he used to think on the issue.

At one point in the conversation he actually refers to himself as a caricature. What does he really believe? Outside of another total personality shift to a communist, that which he currently hates, or perhaps maybe going transgender, it’s hard to imagine where Chris will go from here.

Speaking of transgender, Chris also had a segment with the Anarchist Shemale, Aria DiMezzo. Aria wrote about it on her blog, and was disappointed she didn’t get more time on-air to fight with Chris. I’d invited her there with the expectation that Johnson wasn’t going to stay through the whole show and that Aria could take his chair later. Turns out, Johnson stayed the whole time. She was also upset that we didn’t go toe-to-toe with Chris on trans issues, which I honestly know next-to-nothing about.

Only advocates of peace are allowed to blog at FreeKeene.com

Others, Aria included, wanted to see more challenges from Johnson and I, and were upset that I laughed at Chris’ sick jokes. I’m the first to admit, I laugh at inappropriate things and I’ve always enjoyed Chris’ sense of humor. But Johnson and I definitely challenged his racist and insane statist beliefs. People will hear what they want to hear, of course, and people are highly emotional when it comes to Chris. They give him way more power and weight than he actually has. Some say we shouldn’t give him a platform, but then widely share the very video they say we shouldn’t have made.

Others, like me, can see the value in giving enough rope to Chris to verbally hang himself. We don’t think that bad ideas should be shut down, but instead they ought to be countered publicly. The answer to ugly speech is more speech, not de-platforming or censorship. If you don’t think I was the best person to counter Chris’ ideas, that’s fine. If you hate me because I’m kind to Chris, that’s fine too. Hate only hurts the hater. That’s ultimately the true irony here, that hating Chris only makes you more like him.

Chris has become what he once hated – an arch statist. He has rejected the libertarian principle of non-aggression and instead embraced coercive, institutionalized violence as his tool. Of course, violence begets violence and he will reap as he sows.

Though Chris is certainly responsible for his horrible beliefs, he’s ultimately a creation of a society that has long embraced the aggression of government as a tool to control their neighbor. If you hate Chris but you support the coercive state, you ought to look in the mirror. People cover their support for state violence by believing in nonsense like the “social contract” and refusing to see the threats of violence that back all government programs. They hold conflicting positions, like supporting the state while believing they themselves support peace. To his credit, at least Chris is honest about his reasons for supporting the state. He knows it’s a tool for the violent to control others and is eager to use it for his purposes. If you support the state, you helped make Chris into a monster.

Here’s the full, unedited, over three-hour show:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Free Talk Live Host Gets Hair Dyed for Charity!

Sat, 2019-01-12 04:38 +0000

With the help of Free Talk Live‘s generous listeners and the Shire Free Church, we successfully raising over $30,000 to buy some land to be used by a Ugandan orphanage! As an incentive, FTL host Mark Edge had promised he’d get his hair dyed. Here’s a time-lapse video of the active parts of the 2.5 hour salon visit (I cut out a lot of the waiting around). You can learn more about the fundraiser and orphanage at http://hope.freetalklive.com

Special thanks to the cryptocurrency-accepting Moda Suo Studio Hair Salon in Keene, NH!

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Full Video of “Science on Tap” Cryptocurrency Panel in Manchester, ft. Vin Armani & Chris Rietmann

Thu, 2019-01-10 22:26 +0000

Vin Armani of Cointext.io and Chris Rietmann of Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire were the special panelists at the recent “Science on Tap” put on by the See Science Center in Manchester, NH.

The audience had great questions and Vin and Chris provided excellent answers. The over-an-hour-long video is an excellent introduction to some very important concepts with cryptocurrencies. Highly recommended!

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Keene’s “Anarchist Shemale” Banned from Facebook for “Hate Speech” Gamestop Parody Video

Wed, 2019-01-09 23:59 +0000

The transsexual Libertarian candidate for Cheshire County Sheriff for 2018 has been put in “Facebook Jail” with a seven-day ban for “hate speech”. Aria DiMezzo, the “Anarchist Shemale”, had video recorded of her in the Keene, NH Gamestop where she tore off her jacket in parody of a recent viral video.

The video DiMezzo was parodying involved a hulking trans person who made an outrageous scene at an Albuqueque, NM Gamestop over being called “sir”. In that video, the brutish Tiffany Michelle bellows at the poor Gamestop employee and kicks over a display while storming around and shouting profanities. As the original, now-viral video begins, Michelle was upset with the Gamestop returns process then flips out on another customer for using “sir” when referring to Michelle and turns and targets the Gamestop employee when he referred to both customers as “guys”.

Aria DiMezzo files for Cheshire County Sheriff as a Libertarian

DiMezzo made her parody video to counter the perception that all trans people are as easily offended as the ridiculous Michelle. She told me in an interview for Free Keene, “It was to show that not all trans people behave that way and that her behavior was more a reflection of her character than her being trans. Because the stereotype has grains of truth in it, I’m now in facebook jail because said people don’t know how to take a joke.” Keene’s Gamestop staff appreciated the humor and the DiMezzo’s video ends with a handshake with the clerk.

After DiMezzo posted the video to her Facebook page, she was given a seven day ban within 24 hours for “hate speech” and the video was pulled down by Facebook. DiMezzo appealed the decision and Facebook admitted they were wrong to consider the video as “hate speech” and restored the video, while bizarrely leaving her account banned.

If you’re looking to escape Facebook, you can follow DiMezzo’s account over on the decentralized Mastodon social media network. Also, check out our previous article showing multiple alternatives far more useful for communication than Facebook.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

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