“Flex Your Rights” Presentation at Keene State College – Full Video

I had the pleasure this week of seeing James Carroll of Flex Your Rights give a presentation to a couple dozen students at Keene State College. He covered various aspects of how to handle encounters with police and encouraged not taking a plea deal and going to trial rather than just paying fines.

After his presentation, I interviewed him about his formative experiences here in Keene and he cited Keene Cop Block, Free Keene TV, and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition speaker and jail superintendent Rick Van Wickler as influences in becoming the effective, full-time, professional activist he is today. Here’s his full presentation followed by that fifteen minute post-interview:

I found it really rewarding to see James’ presentation. It was informative and relevant to the students watching it and I’m glad I had the night off to be able to record it so others who couldn’t attend can benefit. When James started college in Keene, he wasn’t an activist. Now he’s working with one of the most prominent know-your-rights groups in the world, Flex Your Rights. His path to where he is would not have been possible without his time in Keene and the liberty activism here that had a positive, inspirational impact on his life. What an honor to have had a role in that.

Some people don’t understand why I do the activism that I do. Why take risks by standing up for your rights? Why speak out in favor of peace and liberty? Why do activism that could and does offend? Because as an activist and communicator of the ideas of liberty, you never know whose life you’ll touch. When you stay true to yourself, put your message out there, and stand up for yours and others’ rights, the right people will see it and pay attention. When the student is ready, the master appears. Your actions just might be the spark that ignites the next James Carroll.

21st Century Security is Peer-to-Peer

I keep one in my car and one on my keychain. In an emergency, like being pulled over or witnessing an arrest, I press it and dozens of first responders are alerted. They instantly know my emergency and location.

This is 21st-Century security. With beauty and simplicity that seems inspired by Apple, the Cell 411 Panic Button might be better-named “the Relax Button.” Finally I can relax knowing that in an emergency, I don’t need ten types of hand-eye coordination to alert first responders. One press of a button is all it takes.

cell-411-panic-button

My friend Link posted about it to Facebook:

“One of the coolest features is that it’s drop sensitive. Do you know how many thousands of people pay for subscriptions to emergency button services so someone will come help them up when they fall down? And now they can have that functionality for free in a way that calls people they know and trust who won’t automatically take them to the ER and drive up medical costs just to cover their asses!”

The buttons can be purchased for $25 each, and they come with accessories for easy every-day carry. Here is how the retailer describes the device:

The Cell 411 Panic Button connects to your Cell 411 application running on Android or iOS smartphone wirelessly over Bluetooth, providing users with a quick and easy way to alert your friends, neighbors, caregivers and loved ones in the event of an emergency. It can be carried in your pocket or bag or worn on the wrist or around the neck with the available accessories.
After pressing the Cell 411 panic button, an emergency alert will be sent out to the chosen cell or group of friends you configured. Your GPS location will be sent to your Cell 411 friends in real time, so they can come and assist you with turn by turn direction.

How to Mail a 2-cent Letter

My friend Josh sent me a letter affixing only a 2-cent stamp to the envelope. Surprise: It didn’t arrive.

But then he sent another letter with a 2-cent stamp, and on the envelope in red ink he wrote out the text of the law that requires 2-cent letters to be delivered. That letter was delivered to my mailbox. “Pretty cool,” I thought. I had heard that there is an old law on the books that letters can be sent for only 2 cents (if they are addressed a certain way), but I had never experienced it for myself. It really worked.

Josh sent another 2-cent letter, but it wasn’t delivered. Then he wrote to the postmaster and explained the law. His next 2-cent letter was delivered.

Read Josh’s letter to the “postmaster”

I’m going to mail him a 2-cent letter back. Let’s see if it gets delivered! What do you think of this exercise? Does it “hurt” the post office to follow the law?

New Hampshire’s Amazing, Unmatched Bitcoin Community

Manchester, NH Bitcoin Meetup

Manchester, NH Bitcoin Meetup

It’s not a coincidence that New Hampshire has arguably the highest concentration of bitcoin and crypto-friendly people anywhere. For more than a decade there have been active migrations of libertarian, voluntarist, and liberty anarchists moving to New Hampshire. Many of these movers are activists who are into alternative currencies and the bitcoin community here has exploded as a result.

The oldest migration of libertarians to New Hampshire is the Free State Project, which as of September 2016 boasts nearly 2,000 participants already in New Hampshire, with 18,000 more pledged to move by the year 2021. There’s also the more decentralized Shire Society which has been encouraging liberty-loving people to declare their personal independence and move to “The Shire” since 2010.

These early movers are not only users of bitcoin, but are also some of the key developers and creators of the bitcoin world. Liberty migrants to New Hampshire created the iconic, most-installed-in-the-world Lamassu bitcoin vending machine in Manchester. Some are developing the evolutionary “Open Bazaar” and “LBRY” software. Decentralized ride-sharing app “Arcade City” has also sprung up just this year, and within a week of it being announced, signed up 1000 drivers worldwide. Arcade City founder and liberty migrant Christopher David said, “With its libertarian leanings and an influx of free staters, New Hampshire is perfectly positioned to become a major hub for bitcoin and blockchain startups. That’s a big reason why I moved here.”

Cheshire Fair 2015

Bitcoin Outreach Booth at the Cheshire Fair

Here are some more fun facts about the burgeoning bitcoin scene in the Shire: Manchester is home to the world’s longest-running weekly bitcoin meetup, plus regular meetups are being held in Keene and the Seacoast. According to Overstock.com, the highest concentration of their bitcoin orders comes from New Hampshire. Plus, you can actually use bitcoin in real life here, at mom-n-pop businesses like “Corner News”, “Local Burger”, and multiple food trucks in Keene, plus “Pizza 911”, “Dancing Lion Chocolate”, and more in Manchester. It turns out that Keene, the Southwestern NH city of 23,000 people, even outdoes San Francisco in amount of bitcoin-accepting business per capita! Take a look at CoinMap.org to see the dozens of New Hampshire businesses that are taking crypto!

New Hampshire also boasts New England’s only public Bitcoin Vending Machines (BVM), connecting people with bitcoin from as far away as New York and Boston. (more…)

Promising Tech Community Emerges in Freecoast

Steven Zeiler started a Meetup group for people interested in learning to use Node.js, a tool for making web apps. They meet once a month in Portsmouth. At their first meeting this week, 8 guys got together and in 1 hour, they installed Nodejs, got it running, and created a chat program and were able to communicate with each other over web sockets. At their next meeting, they’ll be learning about Electrum, a tool for making desktop apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux. As Silicon Valley’s prominence wanes under the heavy burden over overzealous regulators, will the free state become ground zero for the next tech boom?

Another Small Victory for NHexit

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):

NHexit poll
(more…)

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