According to the just-released 2016 edition of the “Freedom in the 50 States” study by the Cato Institute, New Hampshire is again at number one most free! Alaska is nipping at NH’s heels, but with thousands of libertarian activists slated to arrive here in the next several years, we’ll hopefully continue to solidify our lead.
NH #1 Most Free State – 2016
At the bottom of the charts, number fifty is New York, which is a long distance below number forty-nine, California. Where did your state rank? You can check out the interactive map or dig into the well-researched nearly 300 page study on their site.
With all the freedoms we have in NH, no wonder so many people who love freedom are moving here. Not only is there the most successful libertarian migration in the world happening here, but before that started there were already over 101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire. Originally a persuasive text list, in recent years it was made into an excellent hour-long documentary which you can watch for free.
If you are a libertarian or voluntarist and don’t yet have plans to move here to New Hampshire, why are you waiting? Thanks to migrations like the Shire Society and Free State Project, there are thousands of liberty-minded people who’ve already moved here in the last decade and thousands more pledged to come.
Concentration of libertarian activists into a small, low-population state like New Hampshire makes all the difference in the world for accomplishing our goal of liberty in our lifetime. If you’re tired of the continued failures of the libertarian movement, get to New Hampshire ASAP.
For more on the study, we dug in deep on last night’s Free Talk Live:
Big news! Keene now has Vietnamese cuisine available Wednesday through Sunday 11am-7pm on the side of Route 101 with the recent opening of “Bon Vivant – Gourmet Street Food“!
Isabelle Rose, owner Bon Vivant – Gourmet Street Food
Chef and entrepreneur Isabelle Rose is cooking up delicious Vietnamese, French, and Vegetarian fare at reasonable prices. She told me that the food truck had been a dream of hers since 2009 when she started to make Vietnamese food for the local farmers market. Her food was very popular there and she started saving money up to launch Bon Vivant without going into debt. Smart lady! I stopped in this week for the first time and enjoyed a large bowl of steak pho noodle. It was delicious and very filling. I’m excited to have more ethnic food available fresh in Keene!
Not only is the food excellent, but Bon Vivant is accepting payment in bitcoin! Isabelle says she decided to accept bitcoin after reading about it here at Free Keene and being encouraged by Chris Rietmann, the owner of next-door Route 101 Local Goods. Just today she says three customers have noticed the bitcoin sign and asked what it is.
Bon Vivant is the newest member of a growing community of area businesses that accept the evolutionary crytpocurrency. The food truck is located right next door to Route 101 Local Goods which also accepts bitcoin for purchases and even has the area’s only public bitcoin vending machine!
Steak Pho Noodle @ Bon Vivant
Keene’s not the only area of New Hampshire where bitcoin acceptance is spreading. Free Keene blogger Steven Zeiler recently announced that a major Portsmouth restaurant is now accepting bitcoin.
Keene’s Bon Vivant is already visible on the CoinMap – a website that shows the locations of bitcoin-accepting businesses around the world. Per capita, Keene has more bitcoin-friendly businesses than does San Francisco, the supposed #1 place for bitcoin acceptance. With a population of over 837,000, San Francisco has, according to CoinMap, about 114 bitcoin-accepting businesses – that’s one for every 7,342 population. By comparison, Keene has over 23,000 population with 13 bitcoin businesses – that’s one for every 1,769. Keene has four times the concentration than does San Francisco.
To learn more about bitcoin, the amazingly successful decentralized cryptocurrency, visit Bitcoin.com and to join the local network of bitcoin-accepting merchants and customers, check out the Keene Bitcoin Network on facebook.
Bon Vivant and Route 101 Local Goods
I organized an NHexit event in Portsmouth this Friday called “NH Independence Celebration“. People from Keene, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth attended. Dave Ridley of New Hampshire’s #2 YouTube channel shot video from a safe distance across the street. Shire Dude live-streamed video while making commentary and chatting with curious passers by. One person waved a blue flag with a peace sign. Another waved a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and a sign that read, “I LOVE AMERICA, NOT D.C.” Some conducted a 3-question poll about secession from a random sampling of Portsmouth’s downtown. Music by The Beatles played from a small portable speaker. In total the event was 1 hour.
Poll respondents were asked to read 3 short statements and rate their level of agreement or disagreement with each one. 17 people participated. The results are as follows (click image to enlarge):
Many a liberty activist have made a pilgrimage to Twin Mountain Country Store as it has long been known as the only place in NH one can buy gasoline with bitcoin. It’s also a shrine to liberty – the store is decked out with various liberty propaganda and signage. Looking at all of it would take some time. It’s a fun trip to make when in the White Mountains and now you have one more reason: it’s the third public location of a Bitcoin Vending Machine in New Hampshire! (Keene and Manchester being the others.)
Bitcoin Vending Machine at Twin Mountain Country Store
Store owner Bill Bochynski decided to install the “General Bytes” brand BVM, the same type found at Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester after seeing the unit in operation there. He cited the Keene BVM, operated by the Shire Free Church, as his original inspiration for adding a BVM to the North Country. When asked for comment, he quoted Black Swan author Nassim Taleb:
Bitcoin is the beginning of something great: a currency without a government, something necessary and imperative.
Bochynski thinks its important to bring easy access to bitcoin to the impoverished North Country, where the financial freedom bitcoin can bring could have a real positive impact.
You can visit the Twin Mountain BVM seven-days-a-week from 7am to Midnight. NH is still the only place in New England to feature a Bitcoin Vending Machine open to the public – and now we have three! NH’s bitcoin community just keeps getting better – when are you moving here?
The “General Bytes” Bitcoin Vending Machine at Twin Mountain Country Store in NH
UBER Grandma Stephanie Franz, courtesy CBS Boston
Two weeks ago, Porstmouth, NH police chief David Mara announced a coming attack against peaceful UBER drivers who are ignoring the oppressive city ordinance that basically outlaws ride-sharing. The city and its cops are running a protection racket for the existing cab companies and this weekend appears to be the first round of aggression as UBER Grandma Stephanie Franz has announced that she received two tickets for driving people home safely on Friday night.
Stephanie, who has become the face of the Free UBER movement, has now racked up
six tickets for at least $5,000 seven tickets totaling $7,500 that she is taking to court soon with the help of an UBER-supplied attorney. All of this for helping people avoid getting DUIs.
She’s now not the only one. At least one other Portsmouth UBER driver reports receiving a ticket already this weekend and Saturday night is just getting started as I’m writing this.
Though Stephanie did not join UBER to become a civil disobedience superstar, she appears to have embraced her role and has even taken to task the four cowardly UBER drivers in Portsmouth who have obediently jumped through the city’s hoops and registered like good little slaves. She wrote today in a post to the Free UBER page on facebook:
Why is it that 4 uber drivers have registered with the town of Portsmouth? Don’t you know what this is doing? Every time I’ve been pulled over, part of the statement from the officers has been why don’t you just go on and register…. 4 others already have. I have stuck my neck out for all Uber drivers in the Portsmouth area. I feel that you four have stabbed me in the back. You’re free to do what you want to do but I take offense to you
registering. I can call you something but I’m not. Just remember the next time you see me pulled over with the blue lights flashing I am taking one for all of us even you.
Just to let you other Uber drivers know, they are going to be pulling over Uber drivers tonight. I will be there anyway.
Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on the Free UBER saga.
UPDATED: 9:30pm Eastern – Stephanie reports via facebook that she has received her third ticket this weekend, her seventh total, bringing the total fines to $7,500.
“UBER Grandma” Stephanie Franz, courtesy CBS Boston
As we’ve learned here in Keene over a decade-plus of activism, anytime someone challenges the status quo, they are targeted by the supporters of the status quo. In the case of the Free UBER saga in Portsmouth, NH, the good-old-boys network of cab drivers and government goons are again on the attack.
Since the Summer of 2015, multiple UBER drivers in Portsmouth have been regularly committing civil disobedience by driving without jumping through the city’s arbitrary hoops. Effectively the city outlawed UBER by creating ridiculous regulations designed to protect the cab companies from much-needed competition. Despite this, UBER’s app has continued to work, so drivers like “UBER Grandma” Stephanie Franz have continued to take passengers where they want to go.
Franz has been rewarded with several $500-$1,000 tickets from police for her good deeds. Despite facing financial ruin at the hands of the city, she has heroically continued to drive – much to the disgust of the awful cab drivers who have continued a campaign of intimidation against her. She’s had her tail light smashed in previously, has been boxed in by cabbies multiple times, and just today posted this to facebook:
Interesting night in Portsmouth. Taxi drivers are all pumped up over Portsmouth’s temporary threat to “sting” uber drivers. What polite and “manly” men they are. It started last night with a pick up at the Moose. As my riders were entering my car out of the bar walks, the pillar of manhood, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, crabby cabbie [Anchor Taxi owner Merle White]. He sees me picking up my ride and endearing words were yelled “there’s that fucking Uber grandma”. My ride was so ticked off that he started yelling back at him. As the night progressed the rest of the chosen few made their statements too.
Angry Seacoast Cabbies Hate Competition – Photo Courtesy Seacoast Online
They would pull up next to my car, stop or slow down and stare at me as I was waiting for my next ride. Whoever that handsome hunk of manhood , with the well kept gray beard, Beautiful glaring eyes, and tooth was, I hope you got your eyes full as you stared at me from your taxi van.
To the Three Musketeers who stood by their vans at the bus stop on Market Square; Butts hanging out of your mouths, extending those well defined cannons for arms and pointing at me as I would leave my parking position at the end of Pleasant Street to go pick up riders. They guarded my spot four or five times as I would leave and come back. Oh, almost forgot they spoke fluent mumble. Thank you Portsmouth taxis for your enjoyable evening.
The threat of a sting operation that she’s referring to is coming from Portsmouth police chief David Mara who this week announced a coming crackdown against UBER drivers. Assistant mayor Jim Splaine says he supports a crackdown as unregistered drivers should not, “exploit the system”. They are spurred on by cab company owner John Palreiro who claims UBER drivers are “stealing” from him, as though he owns every rider in town. Check out this Seacoast Online article to read the full ridiculousness of this protection racket’s scheming to destroy the innovators in the transport market.
All of this is happening right as the state representatives in Concord have passed legislation that will (if passed by the senate and governor) regulate UBER and other ride-sharing companies statewide and will override and invalidate Portsmouth’s local regulations as NH is not a “home rule” state. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest!