New Forum & Commenting Software!

I’m happy to announce major changes to the Shire Society forums and the Free Keene commenting system!  First, please visit the all-new Shire Society Forum – it’s now being run by modern forum software that should make posting and responding easier than ever.  Plus, social networking capability is built-in!  That means you can login with your facebook or twitter and easily share interesting posts via your social network!

In addition, I’ve changed out the Disqus comments here on Free Keene with a new provider, Livefyre.  Don’t worry, all your old comments made on the Disqus system are still present in the new system.  Hope you enjoy the changes!

New & Improved Bitcoin Vending Machine Launches in Keene!

Lamassu BVM

The Lamassu’s First Customer, Lauren Canario.

Keene’s 101 Deals Thrift Store is now home to New Hampshire’s first public Lamassu Bitcoin Vending Machine! If you’ve tried the previous machine at 101 Deals and had a frustrating experience, the Lamassu will solve that. Come give it a try! 101 Deals is open seven-days-a-week 10a-6p Mon-Sat and 10a-4p Sundays and is located at 661 Marlboro Rd. in Keene.

Not only is the Keene BVM New Hampshire’s first public Lamassu, it’s one of only two publicly operating Bitcoin Vending Machines in all of Northern New England!  Once you’ve got your bitcoin, check out CoinMap to see several local businesses that accept the exciting, international, decentralized cryptocurrency.  (Or spend it at thousands of online sites like Dell, Wikipedia, Overstock, and countless others.)

Want to meet with other bitcoiners in the area? Maybe you’re new to bitcoin and have questions? Join us at the Keene Bitcoin Network online on facebook or in real life at McCue’s at 5:30pm, on the first Sunday of each month. Next meeting date is May 3rd – here’s a facebook event for it.

The Keene Bitcoin Vending Machine is provided as a non-profit service to the community by the Shire Free Church.

Activists, State Legislator Smoke Cannabis at NH State House Front Door

Dylan Gingues and Kyle Tasker

Dylan Gingues and NH state rep Kyle Tasker with a big jar of primo cannabis outside the State House.

For the sixth consecutive year, activists smoked cannabis out in front of the New Hampshire state house on April 20th at 4:20pm, in heroic defiance of the state’s draconian drug laws that consider cannabis possession to be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

Dozens of New Hampshire’s inhabitants braved constant rain and cold to come out for the epic event, which also featured state representative Kyle Tasker toking up.  Tasker later said in an interview exclusive to Free Keene, “The message sent by law enforcement and heard loud and clear by protesters was police have more important things to do than harass otherwise law abiding citizens over marijuana possession and public use even when it was clear there were amounts present at the protest that could be charged as a felony. The New Hampshire senate needs to consider how productive it is to keep an unenforced, indeed nearly unenforceable law on the books with which the public disagrees.”

No one has ever been arrested at these events despite mass civil disobedience of the cannabis possession laws taking place right outside the state house’s front doors. In fact, obvious police presence was near-zero this year, with a lone state trooper sitting across the street idling in his cruiser for a short time. In previous years, troopers have stood inside the state house windows, watching with crossed arms. This year, nothing!

Rich Paul kicked off the ceremony with his traditional invocation and a short speech. Afterwards the megaphone was open to anyone with something to say, and several attendees spoke out on various subjects. See the raw video here, courtesy Garret Ean. Here’s an edited clip of the beginning of the event:

Even mainstream media is speculating that cannabis decrim may pass in NH this year. 80% of the house voted for decrim already and now it awaits its turn in the NH senate. However, the state’s governor, Maggie Hassan has promised to veto it. This, despite the fact that she admitted to having used it when she was younger. Do you think Maggie would be better off today had she gotten a misdemeanor on her record had she been caught with her pot in her college days?

Unless Maggie finds her conscience, the senate would have to pass cannabis decrim with a veto-proof margin (as did the house – solidly) to protect the legislation from her veto. Now is a good time to contact “your” state senator and talk to them about how they feel about decriminalizing cannabis.

The next event for 2016 is already on facebook.

Cannabis Civil Disobedients to Converge on NH State House at 4:20pm Today!

Rich Paul Addresses the Concord 420 in 2014

Rich Paul Addresses the Concord 420 in 2014

For the sixth consecutive year, activists will be taking to the State House lawn today, Monday, April 20th at 4:20pm to demand the repeal of the continued war on cannabis consumers. Some will likely engage in civil disobedience. Despite roadblocks put up by NH governor Maggie Hassan, we hope that this will be the year that we win more liberty for our people. Please join us today at the State House lawn at 4:20pm!

Here’s a facebook event with 150 confirmed attending. Come on out, rain (likely) or shine!

Bitcoin Bus Tour Launches from Keene!

Bitcoin Bus Parked at the LRN.FM Studios

The Uncoinventional Family & Bitcoin Bus Parked at the LRN.FM Studios

In the long tradition of interstate, large-vehicle liberty tours launching from or traveling through Keene including Motorhome Diaries and Liberty on Tour, the Bitcoin Bus kicks off an “uncoinventional” tour across the Eastern United States!  Free State Project participants John Bush, Cat Bleish and their two kids have taken possession of the Unschool Bus and have converted it into the Bitcoin Bus!

Today, the family rolled out from the Shire to their next destination in New York and will stop in other places along the way to their home of Austin, Texas.  Along the way their goal is to spend only bitcoin.  This is the family’s third bitcoin-only tour, but the first for the Bitcoin Bus!

LRN.FM is sponsoring the bus (with bitcoin, of course) as are some other great sponsors including the super-cool new WageCan, which is finally offering a bitcoin-based Mastercard tied to a bank account in Hong Kong.

You can follow them along via their Uncoinventional website which features a podcast and plenty of photos.

Inside the Bitcoin Bus

Inside the Bitcoin Bus

BREAKING: Ademo Released From Jail After One Night, Judge “Respects” CopBlock

Yesterday, Free Keene blogger and Cop Block founder Ademo Freeman was arrested in Zanesville, OH court for speaking and jailed for five days for contempt. Now, after one night in jail, the same judge apologized and released him.

According to Ademo’s update streamed live this morning via Bambuser, he had a 15-minute conversation with the judge (on a Saturday!) who said he respects what Ademo does at CopBlock.org, and that yesterday was a misunderstanding. He was then released from his contempt sentence and set free!