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
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.
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 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.
The political wins for libertarians in NH just keep coming! Home poker games will become legal in New Hampshire on September 16th! Last week, the new governor, Chris Sununu, signed HB 164 which makes legal:
A poker game held in a private residence so long as the house takes no compensation from the prize pool, no admission fee or seat fee is charged, no one receives any money or anything of value for conducting the game, for allowing the use of his or her residence for the game, or for any other reason except his or her own winnings as a player, the game’s odds do not favor a “house” or any player, there is no house bank, the game is limited to no more than 10 players, and the game is not advertised to the public.
With all the Bitcoin drama going on, it’s easy to get distracted from what is important. What is important, whether Bitcoin stays on top or not, is the idea of cryptocurrency, of which Bitcoin was the first. While I personally believe Bitcoin can survive its internal turmoil, I could be wrong. After all, no one buys the Model T these days, even though it was the first car. The Model T is a clunker compared to what we have now.
Though there isn’t much mainstream media coverage of its alternatives, Bitcoin is far from the only cryptocurrency. There are hundreds of them, most based off of the original code for Bitcoin released by Satoshi Nakamoto, its anonymous creator.
One of those competitors that libertarian cryptocurrency enthusiasts in NH have been using recently instead of Bitcoin is DASH, or “Digital Cash”. Due to the growing pains Bitcoin has been experiencing, people here have been looking hard at other alternatives. DASH has started to appear in use at various libertarian market days across the state. Its fees are much lower than Bitcoin’s and DASH has an interesting governance structure that really sets it apart from many of the “me-too” cryptocurrencies out there vying for Bitcoin’s #1 position. (more…)
In a recent, in-depth article, I discussed the out-of-control fees to send bitcoin. The executive summary is that Bitcoin is somewhat broken due to the high fees that have been caused due to the Bitcoin network not being able to scale to consumer demand. The reason for this is because there has been an ongoing “geek war” for a couple years now behind the scenes that centers over some fundamental disagreements over how Bitcoin should handle its growing pains with scaling up. Meanwhile, the fees have been rising over the last six months and have killed off the previous usefulness that Bitcoin had for microtransactions, or even small dollar transactions. Again, see my original piece for more about the fee difficulties.
Now the ugly Bitcoin not-so-civil war that has been playing out behind the scenes on message boards, reddit, and social media for months and months is going to come into public view on August 1st. Here’s my non-technical explanation for what’s happening and how, if you’re a bitcoin holder or bitcoin-accepting merchant, it could affect you: (more…)
Just-Flipped-to-Libertarian State Representative Brandon Phinney
The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire held another press conference today announcing the awesome news that now a THIRD sitting state representative has flipped parties to the LPNH! The LPNH has already made two previous historic announcements earlier this year with state representatives Caleb Dyer of Pelham and Joseph Stallcop of Keene changing from republican and democrat respectively to the Libertarian Party of NH and then forming a Libertarian caucus in the state house for the first time in twenty years.
Representative Brandon Phinney, who was elected in 2016 as a republican, said during his official announcement at today’s press conference, that the republican party leadership has been chastising their legislators for not following the leadership’s demands. Phinney said in his speech that he was stifled by party leadership and that he and the other liberty minded reps were labeled “terrorists”! He said, “What I found was that both parties were seeking to manipulate the potential legislation and the legislative process for political gain…I was not elected to do the bidding of a political party at the expense of my principles.” He finished his speech by saying, “Integrity and a clear conscience is desperately needed in the New Hampshire house and together with representatives Dyer and Stallcop, I believe that our cause will ignite a shift in political affiliation in this state”.
Phinney was joined in speaking by the chairman of the national Libertarian Party, Nicholas Sarwark, who came up from their offices in DC to help commemorate the occasion. In his speech, Sarwark delivered an invitation to legislators, politicians, and others saying, “if you’re tired of living a lie, if you’re tired of standing up for things you don’t believe in, come out of the closet. Become a libertarian. Come home. ” It was Sarwark’s first time visiting the Live Free or Die state. Here’s the full press conference from this morning in Concord: