In Concord this week, a bill that would make concealed carry of a gun legal without a license was heard by the state house criminal justice committee. It’s already passed the NH senate and if it makes it through the state house and governor it will make New Hampshire as free as its neighbor Vermont, in the area of gun freedom. The room was packed with supporters of freedom and also held a few fearmongering moms. Keene liberty activists spoke out in favor:
P.S. The African satellite fundraiser is still going (through mid-May). Please help us get LRN.FM, which includes Free Talk Live and dozens of other great liberty-oriented shows, back on satellite over Africa!
In a terrible update to an already awful story, the DEA has arrested the owners of Phat Stuff, the popular local head shop on Main Street that was raided in May of 2014. Panos and Katie Eliopoulos were arrested (allegedly in front of their kids) in February and have been charged with one count of “Conspiracy to Offer Drug Paraphernalia for Sale” and one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering”. You can read the short, three page indictment here.
The paraphernalia sales charge carries up to three years in prison and an unspecified fine and the money laundering charge carries up to twenty years in prison, an up to $500,000 fine, and an additional fine relating to the value of the property involved.
Longtime readers of Free Keene may recall that the raid nearly destroyed their business and left them penniless as the federal gangsters cleaned out their bank account and even stole their truck. Oh, and don’t forget the DEA’s theft of an entire box-truckload of store merchandise – probably $100,000 in inventory, which they’ll likely never get back, even if they’re found not guilty. The raid was done with the assistance of Keene police, who were protecting and serving their federal masters, not the people of this community. In an ideal world, the Keene police would have arrested the DEA agents and charged them with armed robbery. You can watch the 17-minute video of the raid, cut down from over four hours of raw footage here.
The indictment was issued on February 11th and the arrests appear to have occurred a week later on February 18th, according to the bail paperwork. Bail conditions for Panos (and presumably Katie, though I haven’t seen her bail paperwork) include him submitting to search anytime police want, submit to urine testing, and give up any weapons, among other conditions.
Trial is currently slated for two weeks in federal court in Concord beginning on April 21st, 2015 at 9:30am. The Eliopouloses are represented by attorney Charles Keefe. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.
A couple weeks ago two people calling themselves “Ashley” and “Damon” moved to Keene. The liberty community here is generally welcoming to new arrivals, whether they moved here as part of the Free State Project, or not. However these two, within a matter of hours, had put much of the community across NH on-alert.
The day after they arrived in Keene, they headed out to Manchester for the Liberty Forum, where they, according to various reports, proceeded to offend many of the people they encountered. They were asking questions that appeared to be designed to troll and some even said they were trying to goad people into attacking them physically. Later that night, they were ejected from a private club for reportedly asking patrons for drugs and allegedly stealing from the club.
I like to err on the side of being forgiving and welcoming, so despite the disturbing reports, I brought them into a facebook group for local activists. I wanted them to have a chance to make good on their mistakes and apologize for blowing their initial appearance here in NH. They were shortly thereafter confronted for their behavior by some who had been affected and they didn’t seem too interested in really owning up or apologizing. After it became clear they weren’t going to, the admins agreed to remove them from the group.
It was pretty clear they don’t actually believe in the principle of non-aggression, as they committed theft at the private club and then after being removed from the facebook group, they committed fraud when they ordered a pizza to a Keene activist’s home without his consent. They admitted to this crime while in the LRN.FM chat room.
Meanwhile, a group of liberty activists started digging up information on “Ashley” and “Damon”. Rumor was that Damon was the same person as “Freedomain Damon”, who allegedly DOXed internet philosopher Stefan Molyneux and some of his followers (and critics). Mind you, I’m a critic of Molyneux myself, especially since Molyneux used copyright (which he supposedly doesn’t believe in) to attack Freedomain Damon’s critical YouTube channel as well as another critical channel by TruShibes.
Is the “Damon” in Keene the same FreedomainDamon? What is his actual identity and the identity of his transgendered partner-in-crime, “Ashley”? We’ve learned a lot and someone decided to launch a website dedicated to collecting information about the two, DamonDOX.com. Turns out, “Damon” is actually Jared Daniel Higley, born 10/02/1992. The investigators still aren’t sure what the real name of “Ashley” is, but evidence pointing to her actual identity has also been posted to DamonDOX.com, along with pics of both, links to various profiles, and more.
In the midst of the investigation, the pair showed back up in Keene at our weekly event, Social Sundays. They proceeded to harass the regular attendees with ridiculous, trolling questions, eventually nearly spilling a pitcher of water in James Cleaveland’s lap. “Damon”/Jared is the one wearing sunglasses inside in this video of them getting kicked out of the venue:
The investigation continues and DamonDOX.com is being updated as the team learns more. If you can add to the information at DamonDOX.com please comment on this article. They are still in Keene and driving a 2007 red Volkswagen Jetta with Idaho plate “2J 53376″. They are not good people and should be avoided. Activists across NH and the rest of the world should be-on-the-lookout for these characters.
With a solid veto-proof margin, the New Hampshire house of representatives overwhelmingly passed cannabis decriminalization today, 297-67, according to state rep Kyle Tasker. That’s a significant increase over 2014’s 215-92 vote on decrim. 297 votes is 38% higher than last year’s 215. A total of 74.25% of the house’s 400 members voted for the bill and 16.75% voted against. That leaves 9% who did not vote. Of those who voted, over 81% voted in favor of decrim.
If this isn’t a mandate, I don’t know what is. Now the bill moves on to the senate, where it died last time. However, it’s a new senate and a new year. With evidence of cannabis legalization’s success mounting, and now even Washington DC legalizing, politicians in NH are finding a little backbone. Sadly, they are late to the party – the other New England states have decriminalized cannabis, some more recently, but Maine as far back as the 1970s.
Maybe the overwhelming support for decrim in this house vote will transfer to the senate, or maybe not. If it passes the senate, unless governor Maggie Hassan finds her conscience, they’ll have to pass this with a 2/3rds veto-proof margin in order to stop Hassan from striking this much-needed legislation down.
In related news, last week the state house voted to add more conditions to the medical cannabis statutes. That also now goes to the senate.
According to Free State Project founder Jason Sorens, the database available on the FSP website does not actually catalog when movers moved, despite using the term “mover” in the database. The date shown there for each mover is apparently their date of signing the FSP’s Statement of Intent. So despite us double-checking the numbers, this confusion resulted in an inaccurate article I posted earlier today. Here is a correction to that article.
In the original article here, I corrected (or so I thought) the incorrect (and subsequently withdrawn) article that was originally posted by the FSP that used bad numbers to determine that FSP movers numbered 36% of domestic migrants from Jul 2013 – Jul 2014. Using the numbers provided to me by Darryl W. Perry, we determined that, using a larger timeframe of Apr 2010 – Jul 2014, the actual percentage of all migrants (including international) was 15%. However, due to bad input data it turns out that the actual number is over 26%!
Here’s how I determined that FSP movers amount to 26% of the net migrants into NH from Apr 2010 – Jul 2014. First, I kept the same number of net migrants from the census data, which is 3,013. Then, using data from Archive.org from April 2010 and July 2014, I determined that according to the numbers presented on the front page of FreeStateProject.org on those dates, that 810 people moved to New Hampshire in that timeframe. 810/3013 = 26.88%!
That’s an impressive percentage, especially if you consider that the FSP’s official move has not yet been triggered. When that happens (at 20,000 FSP signers), thousands more liberty-oriented activist movers will be on-the-way.
Here’s the now-retracted article: (more…)