Cheshire Sheriff Heroically Nullifies Immigration Enforcers, Creating NH’s Only Sanctuary County!

Sheriff Eli Rivera

Sheriff Eli Rivera

Cheshire County Sheriff Eli Rivera has been making headlines this week for his compassionate stance against working with federal immigration enforcers. Rivera, a longtime fixture in the community and multi-term sheriff, announced via his website last week:

After taking some time to reflect on this current issue, as Sheriff, I’ve decided that the Cheshire County Sheriff’s Office will not seek to enter into an agreement with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) to enforce federal immigrations laws. Furthermore, we will not participate in raids, stings or operations that are solely intended at locating an undocumented person or persons. Any representative of ICE requesting our assistance must have an active criminal warrant issued by a judge or must be actively pursuing a criminal investigation that relates to public safety for us to participate.

It’s a welcome policy in a place where being brown or black makes one stick out like a sore thumb, given the population here in Cheshire County is about 96% white.

According to the Sentinel’s report on Rivera’s announcement Keene Police’s acting chief, Steve Russo has yet to comment on the issue, but his late predecessor Brian Costa‘s position was similar to Rivera’s, saying, “We have no interest going forward, nor do we have the resources for deputizing our officers as part of ICE to go out and seek illegal or undocumented immigrants…We govern ourselves by our mission statement”, which says KPD is “to protect life and property and to maintain order within the City while assuring fair and respectful treatment of everyone.”

Costa said of that mission statement in his interview with the Sentinel earlier this month, prior to his untimely passing, “It’s not just a group of words…It’s how we do business.”

Brian Costa

KPD’s Late Chief Brian Costa

It sounds like Sheriff Rivera is on the same page as Costa. In his excellent statement, Rivera continues:

In addition, we will not ask a person their immigration status or detain a person based on an administrative civil detainer that is not issued by a judge. As Sheriff, I do not want undocumented immigrants to fear the Sheriff’s Office, instead I want them to be able to approach and speak to any of my deputies without the fear that they will be turned over to ICE. If in the course of our duties we happen to come across an undocumented person we will handle each encounter in a way we deem appropriate for each situation…

 

If you are an undocumented person in Cheshire County and feel uncertain about approaching law enforcement for fear they will turned you over to ICE, feel free to call me, Sheriff Eli Rivera, at the Cheshire County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the WMUR report on Rivera’s policy, some control-freak politicians are butthurt over this. Good. Unlike those cowardly politicians, kudos to Rivera for having the courage to do the right thing and truly protect the people of Cheshire county from the evil hands of the federal government. It would be better of course if Rivera would also stop cooperating with the feds on other victimless crime enforcement, like the insane War on Drugs, but this is a BIG step in the right direction.

I’m glad to live in a place where law enforcement acts more human, more often, than anywhere else I’ve ever been. You’ve got Rick Van Wickler, Cheshire County’s jail superintendent who is also a longtime speaker at Law Enforcement Action Partnership, a compassionate group of mostly former police which you may remember as being previously called, “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition” until they expanded their mission to include other issues where police reform is badly needed,  Van Wickler has been a constant presence in Concord at state house hearings about drug legalization, speaking strongly in favor of any efforts to end prohibition in New Hampshire.  He also runs his jail much more compassionately than the supermajority of the others in the United States.  Add to that, a relatively calm and approachable group of Keene police, and now this excellent news from Sheriff Rivera.

Thank you, Eli. You’ve earned my vote in the next election. The land known as Cheshire county in the Shire should be a sanctuary for all peaceful people. Your immigration policy helps us get closer to that ideal. Next step, NH seceding from the United States! Viva New Hampshire!

NH House Passes Historic Bitcoin Protection Bill + Cannabis Decrim Passed by Record 89%!

Will New Hampshire become a haven for bitcoin and cannabis?

Will New Hampshire become a haven for bitcoin and cannabis?

Today was a historic day in the New Hampshire state house. Two very important bills were passed and if they make it through the senate and governor will ensure that New Hampshire is the best place to be a bitcoiner as well as decriminalize cannabis.

In 2015, a bill (HB 666) was passed that spooked many in the international bitcoin community as it added cryptocurrency to the “money transmitter” statutes. This caused at least one bitcoin business to cease doing business with customers in New Hampshire and quite a bit of buzz about New Hampshire losing its vaunted crytpo-friendly status. How did this happen in a state with the largest concentration of bitcoin enthusiasts per capita? Honestly, we were caught off-guard, but now that’s all changed. In 2016 a state house committee to study cryptocurrency was formed, whose meetings I attended and video recorded.

After hearing from multiple NH bitcoiners in the committee meetings, state representative Barbara Biggie stepped up and filed a bill, HB 436, that proposed to repeal NH’s lone statute regulating cryptocurrencies. Here’s video from the public hearing on HB 436. As Darryl and I pointed out at the hearing, the bill as filed wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for. It created a new definition and exemption for “virtual currency” in the statutes, but still left in statutes a definition and regulation for “convertible virtual currency”. We explained to them that this was confusing and they should be striking the regulation for “convertible virtual currency” rather than creating the additional terminology.

You know what? They listened AND did us one better! The commerce committee amended the bill and turned it into the best possible protection for bitcoin businesses in New Hampshire! The amended bill completely exempts from the money transmitter statutes:

Persons who engage in the business of selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value solely in the form of convertible virtual currency; or receive convertible virtual currency for transmission to another location.

101 Reasons Film Logo

101 Reasons Why Liberty-Lovers Like YOU Should Move Here Now!

I don’t think anyone expected the language to be that good, but there it is. This is essentially the opposite of what New York did with it’s business-killing “bitlicense” regulations. Today, the full New Hampshire house of representatives passed HB 436 by a vote of 185-170!

In other exciting state house news, the state house outdid their previous record of 81% voting for cannabis decriminalization, which was set in 2015. This time, 89.8% of the state house members that voted today (318-36), voted for HB 640 which would decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, up to five grams of hashish, and cannabis-infused products. If this bill makes it through the senate and governor (who allegedly is friendly to decrim), then people over 21 years of age who are caught with these products will only face a violation instead of a misdemeanor, as they do today.

UPDATE: Liberty Lobby‘s Darryl W Perry just informed me that the state house also voted to add chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions for prescribing medical cannabis, 301-47.

UPDATE 2: The house also passed HB 160, 302-46 which adds PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for prescribing medical cannabis.

UPDATE 3: Home grow of medical cannabis (HB 472) also passed the house, 213-118.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for more exiting news on the frontlines of freedom! Better still, if you love liberty, start planning your move to New Hampshire and help us advance liberty. We’ve already got 101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire, and as more libertarians, voluntarists, and liberty-loving anarchists move here, it just keeps getting better and better!

Why Liberty Lovers Should Move to New Hampshire ASAP – Anarchapulco 2017

I had the pleasure of being invited to the third-annual Anarchapulco! It’s a convention that takes place in Acapulco, Mexico and features hundreds of liberty-loving anarchists, voluntarists, and libertarians gathered at the beautiful Mundo Imperial Resort and Expo to discuss all kinds of interesting subjects.

The event was excellent. Besides broadcasting my talk radio show, Free Talk Live from the event for four nights from 2/25-2/28, they also gave me the chance to speak at the event on whatever topic I wanted.

My speech was called, “Why You Should Move to New Hampshire ASAP” and I went over several major reasons why New Hampshire has more liberty-loving people and activists per capita than any other place on earth. I spoke for about a half hour and then took questions from the audience. Here’s a full video of it, which sadly only has room audio. It’s echoy but you can still make out what’s being said. If you think you can handle it, here it is:

If you liked this speech, be sure to watch the 101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire documentary – it also really shows off the amazing factors that make NH the key destination for liberty activists.

Bitcoin Hits All Time High: Over $1,200!!! + New Websites, Meetup, & Shire Bitcoin Forums Launched!

Bitcoin Hits All Time High  of $1200!

Bitcoin Hits All Time High of $1200!

Bitcoin fans around the world are celebrating as the price of bitcoin hit a new all time high as of around 10:13pm Eastern time tonight. The price has continued to travel up from there. At the time of this article’s writing, the BitcoinAverage price is over $1,200 US Dollars!

Bitcoin’s previous highest price was all the way back in 2013 on November 29th when according to BitcoinAverage.com, the price peaked at $1,183.59. It then slowly dropped over a year all the way down near $250 and has been going up since, with 2016 being a huge year for bitcoin’s growth. Will the price continue to rise overnight with the Chinese bitcoin traders getting heavily into their day? It’s exciting to watch, now that the previous high that was undefeated for over three years has been vanquished. Onward and upward, bitcoin!

All this while the already strong Bitcoin community in New Hampshire continues to expand. Two websites were recently launched to focus on the various aspects of that community: ShireBitcoin.org and ShireBitcoin.com. Plus, in an effort to plan events without using Facebook and to reach out to new people, the Keene Bitcoin Network now has a Meetup.com group! Also, the Shire Society Forums have rebranded and expanded as the “Shire Forum” and now includes bitcoin-related subforums, which are open to anyone in the Shire, whether they are part of the Shire Society or not. Finally, things are looking promising on the political front with a bill making it out of the NH house commerce committee with an 11-9 “ought to pass” that would protect bitcoin businesses from regulation in New Hampshire! (more…)

Introduction to Voluntaryism – Panel Discussion Video

This week I had the pleasure of being invited to participate in a panel discussion about voluntaryism on YouTube channel, “No More 2 Party System“. Host Jeff Justice had several voluntarists on his show to talk about what voluntaryism is, including Tatiana Moroz and Jeffrey Phillips. I was able to join the discussion about an hour in due to my studio being occupied by Free Talk Live when they started at 9pm Eastern.

Of course I strongly encouraged voluntarists, libertarians, and liberty-loving anarchists to move to New Hampshire. I highlighted how awesome it is to live in a place where not only are you already more free than anywhere else, but where libertarians are actually getting elected.

My optimistic message of migrating to NH with the highest concentration of liberty activists in the world stood in stark contrast to the other guests’ opinions. The others were all spread out in other places with no real hope for liberty in their lifetimes. Their positions were understandably critical of getting involved in the system (they don’t know that the system can actually be changed here in NH). Some panelists supported just trying to run away from the state or improve one’s own individual wealth and happiness where they are. (more…)

NH Supreme Court Rules Fully in Favor of Keene’s Robin Hooders!

Robin Hood

Vindicated!

More than three years after the City of Keene filed suit against Keene’s “Robin Hooders” (the activists who’ve saved motorists from thousands of parking tickets by feeding expired meters), the case has finally come to a close – at least within the New Hampshire court system. In a short four-page order issued just before Christmas, the NH supreme court affirms the Cheshire superior court’s decision to deny the city’s request for an unconstitutional injunction they’ve been begging for since 2013:

taking into consideration the governmental interest that would be served, the trial court weighed the benefits of the requested relief against the effect that relief would have on the respondents’ constitutionally protected speech, and, based upon the factual record before it, exercised its equitable discretion to deny the proposed injunction.

We won! (Again!) Presuming the city gang does not decide to continue lavishing taxpayer dollars on their expensive private attorneys to take the case to federal court, it should end here. We’ve yet to see the total cost of the several court appearances the city has made, but then-city-manager John MacLean admitted in 2013 that the first round (of four) cost about $20,000. Their private attorneys billed them so much, that on this final round at the supreme court they were claiming to have taken the case “pro bono”. Another way to say that is that the city paid tens-of-thousands for the first three rounds in court and got the fourth free.

James Cleaveland, Attorney Jon Meyer, Ian Freeman

James Cleaveland, Attorney Jon Meyer, Ian Freeman

All the while free speech attorney Jon Meyer of Manchester truly did take the Robin Hooders’ case pro-bono, the entire time. His talent is legendary and he not only brilliantly defended the peaceful activists but proved without a doubt that the city’s parking enforcers were dishonest and ridiculous. There was never any evidence presented that the accused Robin Hooders had “threatened, intimidated, or harassed” the city employees. As if to prove how ridiculous their claims were, parking enforcer Jane desperately stated that anything Garret said, even talking to her about the weather, she considered to be “taunting”. It was laughable but also very serious – the city gang was lying to try to get the judge to order us to stay 50 feet away from the enforcers. (more…)