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.
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.
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 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…)
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!
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.
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…)
How did the new Luc Besson movie “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” compare to the now-two-decades-old film of his, “The Fifth Element“? Both were very funny and action-packed. It would be interesting to ask someone who saw the two movies but Valerian first. With that said, here are my impressions:
Valerian might as well have been played by Keanu Reeves, since the actor is basically channeling him. Actor Dane DeHann will inevitably be compared to Fifth Element’s much-older-than-the-female protagonist Bruce Willis. However, this time it is Valerian’s co-heroine Laureline who feels more like Willis’ “Corben Dallas”, doing both cracking-wise and kicking-ass. Actress Cara Delvingne apparently sang a song for the soundtrack, too, which is always fun. (That happened in a similarly trippy action fest from 2011, “Sucker Punch“, too.)
It has similar pacing, production design, fun dialog, and incredible visuals, just like Fifth Element. However, though the scale is much more grand – Valerian spans planets and thousands of creatures – the movie just doesn’t feel quite as important.
Both films have the process of a character coming to understand the horrors of war. In the Fifth Element, its “Leeloo” who in a heartbreaking scene, experiences it through a super-speed computer history lesson. In Valerian, it’s an entire group of tribal, peaceful characters who explain in a narrative flashback that they, after having their planet exterminated by an unrelated war from space, learned about the self-destructive human race who caused the genocide. It’s the same theme in both films, but Leeloo’s eye-opening scene just felt more important, perhaps because Fifth Element focused on just her individual evolution in that scene.
Leeloo is just more lovable than the tribe in Valerian.
It’s such a powerful paradigm shift for Leeloo that actress Milla Jovovich cries. In Valerian we’re told the same thing about the human race’s penchant for war and hate, but during a flashback about a group of characters, none of whom we really have any attachment to or character development for, so it’s just not as moving. One can still empathize for the tribe’s plight, but by the time the evolution in understanding happens to Leeloo, the viewer is already in love with her character.
In addition to being one of the main protagonists in the Fifth Element, Leeloo is also the title character and essentially the MacGuffin (the object around which the plot centers), all in one. However, as we learn in the film’s climax, the final element is more than just Leeloo – it’s love. Without it, they’d never have saved the world. In Valerian, the MacGuffin is a little creature that can reproduce and multiply whatever you stick in its butt. Besson’s message about love is present however, just in another way. In a movie with more than one self-important government agent character, Laureline is the character who puts love over the law at the climax of the film, in one of the film’s deeper moments. (more…)
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.