Bitcoin Feature Story Hits Front Page of Keene Sentinel!

Bitcoin Hits Front Page, Above-the-Fold, Twice!

Front Page, Above-the-Fold, Twice!

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!

About one month ago, the Monadnock Shopper News featured Bitcoin and the regional businesses that accept it on their front page, above-the-fold! Not to be outdone, the Keene Sentinel’s business section had a massive article in today’s paper that was not only the front page feature but was also promoted above-the-fold in the headline of the front page of the century-plus old newspaper. You can read it online here at the Keene Sentinel’s site. (Here’s a PDF of the piece.)

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.

Keene Bitcoin Network Meetup at Rick's Ice Cream

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…)

The Power of Cop Blocking With Large Numbers of People

Large Group Copblocks DUI Checkpoint in Manchester, NH

Large Group Copblocks DUI Checkpoint in Manchester, NH

As one of the original copblockers (badge #5), I’ve been in the streets a lot over the years. I’ve helped save people from harassment by the police on countless occasions, informed thousands of young people about their rights, and have been arrested several times.

There’s no doubt that a couple of dedicated copblockers can make an impact out there. I’ve seen that happen. However, have you ever hit the streets with a dozen people on your side?

I’d bet you haven’t. We just don’t have enough people in most places to accomplish numbers like that. Police accountability activism in the streets is a risky place to be, so its hard to find people who are willing to go out, even among vocal supporters.

I have had the pleasure of being out with large groups and let me tell you, it’s a game changer, especially in New Hampshire, where there aren’t a whole lot of police in most towns. Even in its biggest city of over 100,000 people, Manchester, the police DUI checkpoints have basically been shut down by groups of up to a few dozen people. The DUI checkpoint activists come out every time the police do a checkpoint and the activists bring reflective signs, cameras, two-way radios, and set up at strategic locations to alert drivers to the existence of the checkpoint and encourage them to turn away. At a recent such event, there was a relatively small turnout of only about a dozen people and they reported 90% success at getting cars who were going to turn into the checkpoint road to turn away from it instead! There was one arrest at the event, as a couple visiting Keene copblockers ventured away from the group to target the checkpoint directly with their cameras. Activist Christopher Waid was threatened and arrested as he crossed the street into the median. You can check out video of that here. What would have happened if there were a dozen people backing Chris up instead of just one? (more…)

State Rep Dick Marple Returns to Court, Schools Judge on Jurisdiction, Corporate Government, & More

Judge M. Kristin Spath

Judge M. Kristin Spath of Concord District Court

Just a few weeks after his last appearance in Concord district court, state representative Dick Marple returned Friday afternoon for a nearly 40-minute hearing where he explains his views on why the court does not have jurisdiction over him, among other things.

Marple was arrested as he was campaigning for re-election at the polls in Hooksett, on a “failure to appear” charge relating to a charge for driving while his license is suspended. Marple believes he is not subject to the motor vehicle regulations, as they only apply to automobiles used for commercial purposes. He has citations to back his case (click for PDF of his legal brief filed with the court), but so does the state’s prosecutor.

It’s one of the most interesting cases in recent memory because for a long time we’ve heard all manner of similar claims to what Marple is saying, but virtually none of the courtroom theorists like him have any evidence they’ve actually tried their theories. (Longtime readers of Free Keene may recall I was arrested in Keene district court for “contempt” a decade ago for trying some unusual legal theories out.) At his last appearance, in front of a full courtroom of average court victims, Marple got away with things for which most people would be arrested for “contempt”. Friday, he once again refused to cross the bar, and raised his voice with judge M. Kristin Spath multiple times. However, this time the court scheduled the hearing for 3pm on a Friday when no one else would be around to see it. Thankfully, liberty activists had been given a heads-up the night before, so a small crew headed up from Keene to witness and record the hearing:


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“Ransomware” Strikes Keene Man’s Computer for $2,000 in Bitcoin – How to Keep Safe

Don't pay the terrorists!

Don’t pay the terrorists!

I received a call from a friend in Keene yesterday. His friend’s computer had been hit by “ransomware”. Ransomware is malware that supposedly encrypts the hard drive of the victim, then demands payment in bitcoin in order to unlock the files. The malicious software in today’s incident was demanding a payment of 1.9 bitcoin and at the time of this writing, one bitcoin is selling for over $1,000 USD, so the ransomware was demanding about $2,000 worth of bitcoin. Damn. This is not the way you want to introduce someone to the amazing world of Bitcoin.

Having heard that I was someone who might know a thing or two about bitcoin, they reached out to me. My first question was, do you have backups of your important files? He said that his backup procedure had been broken for a while, so he didn’t have one. This is the number one thing you can do to avoid paying ransom. If you have a backup (preferably one on-site and one off-site), then you can just format the computer and reinstall everything fresh.

They were in a hurry as there were mission critical files on the infected computer, so I told them I could help them turn some cash into bitcoin since the Keene Bitcoin Vending Machine at Route 101 Local Goods is closed on Mondays. However, I cautioned that they still have to trust unknown hackers to actually do as they say and unlock the files once the payment is made. (Turns out, they did decrypt the files about ten hours after he paid the ransom.) I then did some digging online for solutions to avoid paying the extortion.

Turns out, paying the ransom or formatting the computer aren’t the only two options, according to some of my even-more-techy friends in the New Hampshire bitcoin community. The most promising options are ransomware decryptors. Kapersky Labs, along with Intel and others, have a website set up with instructions and downloadable files to attempt to unencrypt your files. Another handy site, “ID Ransomware” will assist you in determining which specific ransomware you’re dealing with. (more…)

Keene Activism Decentralizes: SLAP Shuts Down, Real-Life Meetups Expand

KAC Logo 2010

The former Keene Activist Center logo

About a year ago, after five years of service and many good times (and challenging times) the Keene Activist Center shut down for good. Not long after, Free Keene blogger Rich Paul launched the Church of the Invisible Hand’s Society for Love and Peace in the same historic location.

This Summer, the board of the Shire Free Church Monadnock, which owns the property at River and Leverett opted to end the activist experiment and we parted ways with Rich Paul, converting the property back into a home for rent. It quickly filled up with liberty-friendly New Hampshire natives. Plus liberty-minded folks now occupy another house on the street as the Free Streets Project has officially begun in Keene and Manchester.

While some have mourned the loss of the historic center for Keene activism, ultimately the movement in Keene is now more diverse, with even more regular real-life activist meetups than has ever happened in Keene:

  • Social Sundays – The longest running social gathering of liberty-minded folks in New Hampshire continues at 6pm each Sunday at Local Burger (they accept bitcoin!)
  • Taco Tuesdays – This super-popular gathering was created in Spring of 2016 and happens each Tuesday at Mi Jalisco at 7pm.
  • Bacon Breakfast Buffet – Early risers meet up at Keene State College’s Zorn Dining Commons at 8:30am every Wednesday when school is in session.
  • Keene Bitcoin Network

    The Keene Bitcoin Network “Floating Meetup” Visits Lindy’s Diner

  • Keene Bitcoin Network – Twice monthly real-life meetups happen on the first Sunday of every month before Social Sundays and also on the 21st of each month at 3pm at a new location each month.

For a handy calendar listing many of the public meetups we have each month, check out the Keene Activist Calendar here.

In addition to the regular meetups, Keene activists are pushing forward in the area of online organization. While many libertarians are stuck on Facebook and are suffering from it, Keene activists have been successfully using Telegram and two-way radios for years for instant communications, plus we’re now experimenting with Trello for project organization. (more…)

Hardcore NHExiters Face Rain, Cold at Masked Demonstration in Keene

NH Exit Demonstration 2016-10-22

Rain and cold didn’t keep these hardcore activists from coming out to support NH Exit!

Despite temperatures in the mid-forties and constant rain, over half-a-dozen supporters of New Hampshire independence showed up in Keene’s Central Square this afternoon to demonstrate in favor of secession!

The NH Exiters have been in the news multiple times since this summer’s historic “Brexit” vote, where voters in Great Britain voted to exit the European Union. Today’s event in Keene featured all-masked participants holding various secession-related signage.

One masked man took the event to a new level with a double flag display featuring the NH state flag on top of an upside-down United States flag. While one woman shouted at us something about “people died for you” out her window, the supermajority of responses to today’s demonstration were positive. We received plenty of honks, cheers, and waves and of course people in cars and on foot had to take pictures, including an amateur photographer from Chicago who was very excited to see people out supporting secession. (more…)