Decentralized Freedom Festivals Rise in Friendly Competition to Porcfest 2017

Will Coley's Five-Hour Rave at Somaliafest & Shirefest 2017

Will Coley’s Five-Hour Rave at Somaliafest & Shirefest 2017

Last year at the Porcupine Freedom Festival, Will Coley of Muslims 4 Liberty threw and was the DJ for what people have said was the best party at Porcfest 2016. This year, Will again performed at Roger’s Campground as an electronic music DJ and played for five straight hours, two hours of which was beyond the campground’s “quiet time” of 11pm! However, Will’s party was not held during Porcfest 2017 – it happened during the new decentralized festival(s) that are taking place before Porcfest happens.

Depending on who you asked, the people on the campground from Friday June 16th through Tuesday the 20th were either attending Somaliafest or Shirefest. Other festivals sprung up over the weekend as Shire Dude proclaimed that the rule of Shirefest is that every attendee has to have their own fest. Some people were having fun with this idea, and it really encompasses the decentralized nature of these friendly competitors of the longtime king of Summer camping freedom festivals, Porcfest.

Please note, this article is not intended to be an attack against the people who have run Porcfest over the years. They did their best in a largely thankless role to make the various Porcfests successful. I’m writing this to assess the question of whether centralizing Porcfest harmed the event and introduce the competition, which are not centralized.

Despite generally philosophizing about the benefits of decentralization, some libertarians have embraced centralization in the process of creating the liberty movement’s largest and most successful camping freedom festival. Depending on what needs to be done, centralization can provide some benefits. However, there are costs involved. Some would argue the centralization of Porcfest’s organization led to its decline. Let’s look closer at what happened. First, for those of you newer to the ongoing New Hampshire Freedom Migration, a little history: (more…)

Muslims Fundraising to Open Full Time Mosque in Keene

Ernest Hancock and Will Coley Broadcasting from Shirefest 2017

Ernest Hancock and Will Coley Broadcasting from Shirefest 2017

“America’s Favorite Redneck Muslim”, Will Coley has made a major announcement! The host of Muslim radio show, “Call to Freedom“, and his family are moving from their longtime home of Tennessee to beautiful Keene, New Hampshire and they’ll be opening a full-time mosque in property donated by the Shire Free Church! Fundraising has begun over at Muslim fundraising site Launchgood with an $11,000 target, the Coleys have already raised over $2,000 with just over two weeks to go.

He’s calling it the Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center, (aka the MALIC Center) and on his fundraiser page says it will be the first house of worship of its kind in all of New Hampshire! Though it looks like Concord’s Muslim community is also making similar plans, Keene’s seems on target to open its doors sooner than Concord. As one of the founding ministers of the Shire Free Church, I’m elated to be able to dedicate our property to this historic and worthy religious purpose. If it were just a full-time mosque, that would dovetail perfectly with our interfaith church’s mission to foster peace, but Will has promised that the space will also be usable at times by other area religions of peace, such as the Quakers.

In addition to the goal of creating a Muslim community in Southwestern New Hampshire, Will is also planning to conduct outreach to the community and helping dispel the pervasive myths that many Americans mistakenly hold about Islam. When I was in jail for civil disobedience I took the time to read the entire Quran and studied with a Muslim who was in my cell block. I’ve been grateful for Will’s many appearances on my talk radio program, Free Talk Live. We’ve had him on for multiple segments of “Ask a Muslim”, where he fields all kinds of questions from listeners who know little about Islam. I’m excited to have him on more often live in-studio.

Will Coley Conducting his Ramadan Dawah at Porcfest

Will Coley Conducting his Ramadan Dawah at Porcfest

Many who have attended the Porcupine Freedom Festival will recognize Will as the generous man who each year has come up from Tennessee to serve food to the festival-goers during Ramadan as his “dawah” (Muslim outreach). In addition to his generosity, he’s a talented speaker and is currently completing his Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic studies training in the Maliki school.

It’s truly an honor to assist in this new addition to the Keene community that will hopefully attract more Muslims to the area and bring a new level of understanding about Islam to the community at large.

Do you have a few dollars you can spare to help Will and his family make their move to the Shire? Please contribute to the Launchgood fundraiser here (you don’t need to be Muslim to contribute). Here’s Will’s vision for the MALIC Center:

The Curious Case of Christopher Cantwell

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

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

This week the Keene Sentinel published a front-page article about Christopher Cantwell, a racist, white-supremacist podcaster who lives in Keene. Unfortunately the Sentinel’s original version of the article, which appears in the print edition, erroneously claims that Chris Cantwell was a Free Keene blogger. Thankfully, the Sentinel quickly corrected that error in their online edition, as Chris has never been a blogger here at Free Keene. Free Keene’s motto is “Peaceful Evolution”. Chris’ message over the years has never been one of peace, so he never has been invited to blog here. People advocating violence and hate are not welcome to blog on this site.

If you search for his name on this site, you’ll find a bunch of articles about him. That’s because until the last year or two of his life, he’d been a libertarian activist with no known racist streak. Free Keene reports on libertarian activism statewide, so we’ve covered some of the things he’s done over time.

When Chris first moved to Keene several years ago, he was just an angry libertarian comedian who had a major hatred for the police. His then-beliefs about using violence against the state’s agents were immediately controversial among the various libertarians who’d moved here as part of the Free State Project. Those beliefs aren’t atypical of some libertarians, especially those who’ve been directly affected by the police state, as Chris had back in New York, where he was born and raised. However, they were voiced by him loudly enough to get him kicked out of the Free State Project and ostracized by a bunch of people.

Chris Cantwell Dead Cop Costume

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

As I predicted, once Chris was able to connect with the Keene police, he started to see them as human beings, just as I had a decade ago after moving here with a similar axe to grind against police. Unfortunately, Chris’ anger shifted away from the police and onto people who look different from him.

A couple of years ago, he began down this road to his current skinhead-racist form and once that happened, we had to dump him as a co-host of my radio show, Free Talk Live. As libertarians, we believe in the individual and don’t see people as groups based on color, gender, or religion. Chris now only sees the group rather than the individual. He’s one of the few people who has turned away from the libertarian message after having embraced it.

As long as I’ve known him, he’s always fed off the hate directed towards him. He’s even said that the more people hate him, the more money he makes. Now he’s more hated than he’s ever been after this weekend’s huge publicity explosion for him after his involvement in the protests and fights down in Charlottesville. Here’s a 20 minute VICE documentary that has gone viral featuring his horrible, racist views.

Is this racist turn just a money-making scheme for him? Others believe Chris is actually an undercover agent or confidential informant for the federal government. While I don’t personally believe that about him, having known him pretty well for several years, I understand why they believe that. He fits the bill for an agent provocateur. The advocates of this theory say that Chris came into the libertarian movement advocating for violence against police, but when that didn’t work, he got reassigned to advocate for violence in the white supremacy movement. It wouldn’t be the first time the federal government had a radio host working for them inside the white supremacists.

Regardless of whatever the truth is about Chris and his motivations, his racist views are despicable and I think I can speak for all the bloggers here (if not, they can reply with their own blog) when I say we don’t support racism or hating people because of their religion or gender. Individuals should be judged on their actions and words, not the circumstances of their birth.

NH Hempfest Documentary Released Free Online!

Last year I had the pleasure of attending and broadcasting my talk radio show, Free Talk Live, from the third annual NH Hempfest! This year it’s back, rebranded to the “NH Cannabis Freedom Festival“, again at the beautiful Roger’s Campground from August 25th-27th. Like last year’s event, this year promises to be packed full of wall-to-wall live musical performances by some great bands. (And this year they are accepting bitcoin – get your tickets here!) If you were wondering what this excellent festival was like last year, Free Keene blogger and radio host Robert Mathias was there and spent the last year of his life putting together a feature-length documentary about it!

Set to the music of the live bands that were recorded professionally throughout the weekend and filled with gorgeous aerial shots of the vistas at Rogers Campground, the new NH Hempfest Documentary features plenty of footage giving you a taste of what it was like to be there in person. Mathias’ lovingly crafted, somewhat trippy feature film shows the beginnings of the festival from the setup day, through the weekend, including three full music videos recorded live from performers “Pigeons Playing Ping Pong”, “Zach Deputy”, and “Twiddle”. The documentary also keeps viewers up-to-date on the latest developments regarding cannabis decriminalization in New Hampshire, and does an excellent job portraying a solid anti-state, pro-liberty message to the cannabis crowd, a demographic ripe for the ideas of freedom. Kudos to Spirit Love Productions‘ Robert & Ann Mathias and Justin Campagnone for the stellar job putting this together.

Watch it in full, free on Facebook or YouTube here:

The NH Hempfest Documentary is the third feature-length documentary produced by people who’ve moved to New Hampshire as part of the NH Freedom Migration. Prior to this was 2014’s “101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire” and 2012’s “Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree“. New Hampshire is the destination for freedom lovers from around the globe. Nowhere else has this solid level of media and activism coming out of it. Join us here, ASAP!

Hope to see you at this year’s NH Cannabis Freedom Festival, August 25th-27th at Rogers Campground in the stunning White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire. Tickets and more info available here.

Bitcoin Breaks Record High, Now Over $3,200 After Risky “Fork” into Competing “Bitcoin Cash”

Bitcoin has Forked into Two!

Bitcoin has Forked into Two!

After squabbling for years over how to fix the growing pains of the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency, one of the sides in the ongoing Bitcoin Geek War has finally made a bold move. This week, on August 1st, a small number of the “big blockers” performed a “hard fork” and broke away from the main Bitcoin blockchain, creating a new currency, “Bitcoin Cash“. This had the added benefit of giving everyone who already held Bitcoin an equal amount of the new Bitcoin Cash! Ever heard the phrase, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”? Bitcoin’s first fork into two has proven that statement wrong. Read on to learn more about this historic week in Bitcoin.

The blockchain is the distributed, decentralized ledger that contains every transaction that has ever occurred on the Bitcoin network. It’s approximately 150 GB in size. Since the hard fork, there are now two “Bitcoin” blockchains competing for market dominance. Both of them have the exact same transactions from the beginning of Bitcoin nearly a decade ago, running until August 1st, 2017, when at just after 2pm Eastern time the first “Bitcoin Cash” block was mined into existence, at greater than 1 MB – in fact, its size was about 4 MB.

Since the original Bitcoin blockchain has a 1 MB limit per block, it was at this point that the one blockchain became two. The supermajority of miners are still mining the original Bitcoin chain, let’s call it “Bitcoin Core” or BTC. However, a small portion of miners have joined the mining of the new “Bitcoin Cash” or BCH. If you thought Bitcoin Core’s growing pains were challenging, take a look at how Bitcoin Cash had to start:

Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin mining doesn’t actually look like this.

In Bitcoin, there’s a thing called mining difficulty that is basically designed to increase as more people enter mining and compete to discover scarce Bitcoins. However, should people leave the mining game, the difficulty will decrease. In BCH’s case, when they started their fork, their network was at the same difficulty level as BTC, but with a fraction of the total mining power. That’s why it took six hours for the BCH miners to find their first block! Normally Bitcoin blocks are expected to be found every ten minutes. So, this means BCH transactions were, in the beginning, taking hours to confirm! They are as of this writing, still taking longer than BTC transactions.

Worse still, no one who wanted to sell their newfound BCH was easily able to do so for at least the first couple days of its existence. Due to concerns about certain technical attacks that are possible in the time after a fork, cryptocurrency exchanges were extra cautious before allowing BCH deposits to trading accounts. However, while they weren’t allowing people to deposit BCH, they WERE allowing them to trade it. Huh? How can one trade something on an exchange to which one can’t deposit? Remember, after the fork, the people with BTC in their exchange accounts were given a balance of the same amount of BCH. (Except at the Bitfinex exchange, who screwed over their customers.) So, since trading was happening but no one could deposit, the price of the new BCH trended upward, even reaching as high as $800-$1,000 on some exchanges. (more…)

Bitcoin Feature Story Hits Front Page of Keene Sentinel!

Bitcoin Hits Front Page, Above-the-Fold, Twice!

Front Page, Above-the-Fold, Twice!

What’s that? You say Bitcoin has not been the front page feature story your local newspaper where you live? You must not live in Keene, New Hampshire – the capitol of real-life business acceptance of the world’s first cryptocurrency!

About one month ago, the Monadnock Shopper News featured Bitcoin and the regional businesses that accept it on their front page, above-the-fold! Not to be outdone, the Keene Sentinel’s business section had a massive article in today’s paper that was not only the front page feature but was also promoted above-the-fold in the headline of the front page of the century-plus old newspaper. You can read it online here at the Keene Sentinel’s site. (Here’s a PDF of the piece.)

Reporter Paul Cuno-Booth did a thorough job interviewing various owners of the local bitcoin-accepting businesses about their reasons for backing the amazing decentralized currency, including Monadnock Makerspace founder Johnny Bolster, area computer tech Michael Gordon, Bob Maibusch of Pine Springs Golf Course, Ken Urbanski of Kirby’s Q, and Steve Wilder of Wilder Automotive. Cuno-Booth also focuses on the Shire Free Church’s media outreach along with our local meetup group for Bitcoiners and other cryptocurrency users and newbies, the Monadnock Decentralized Currency Network.

Keene Bitcoin Network Meetup at Rick's Ice Cream

Monadnock Decentralized Currency Network Meetup at Rick’s Ice Cream

As we have reported here at Free Keene, according to CoinMap, Keene is the number one city in the world for bitcoin-accepting businesses per capita. Obviously not all businesses have the same results, of course. Though the golf course has yet to have a customer with bitcoin, Wilder Auto reports approximately a dozen customers regularly using bitcoin. Bolster, who also is the creator of the Portal Map, reported that he was able to sell ads to some new customers on his yearly map of area businesses, because he is accepting bitcoin as payment! That’s money that otherwise would have been left on the table had Bolster decided against accepting the cryptocurrency. (more…)

2017 Legislative Session Recap

Before the 2017 Legislative Session began, Liberty Lobby LLC CEO Darryl W Perry began identifying bills of interest. This was initially done based solely on the titles of the Legislative Service Requests (LSRs), which are made public shortly after being filed. The text of the LSRs are then made available once the wording is finalized and has a signature from the sponsor. Not every LSR gets a bill number; a Representative or Senator can ask to withdraw the LSR. This often happens if there are multiple LSRs on the same topic with the same objective, or if the sponsor learns there is little chance of passage.

Of the LSRs marked as “of interest” by Liberty Lobby LLC, 39 were withdrawn before the text became available. Another 3 were withdrawn after the bill text became available, but before being assigned to a committee. Once committee hearing began in January, bills could not be withdrawn. However, the sponsor of SB82 (relative to labeling for maple syrup) requested the bill be deemed “Inexpedient to Legislate,” and the public hearing lasted less than one minute.

Click here to read the full recap of the 2017 Legislative Session.