Decentralized Freedom Festivals Rise in Friendly Competition to Porcfest 2017

Will Coley's Five-Hour Rave at Somaliafest & Shirefest 2017

Will Coley’s Five-Hour Rave at Somaliafest & Shirefest 2017

Last year at the Porcupine Freedom Festival, Will Coley of Muslims 4 Liberty threw and was the DJ for what people have said was the best party at Porcfest 2016. This year, Will again performed at Roger’s Campground as an electronic music DJ and played for five straight hours, two hours of which was beyond the campground’s “quiet time” of 11pm! However, Will’s party was not held during Porcfest 2017 – it happened during the new decentralized festival(s) that are taking place before Porcfest happens.

Depending on who you asked, the people on the campground from Friday June 16th through Tuesday the 20th were either attending Somaliafest or Shirefest. Other festivals sprung up over the weekend as Shire Dude proclaimed that the rule of Shirefest is that every attendee has to have their own fest. Some people were having fun with this idea, and it really encompasses the decentralized nature of these friendly competitors of the longtime king of Summer camping freedom festivals, Porcfest.

Please note, this article is not intended to be an attack against the people who have run Porcfest over the years. They did their best in a largely thankless role to make the various Porcfests successful. I’m writing this to assess the question of whether centralizing Porcfest harmed the event and introduce the competition, which are not centralized.

Despite generally philosophizing about the benefits of decentralization, some libertarians have embraced centralization in the process of creating the liberty movement’s largest and most successful camping freedom festival. Depending on what needs to be done, centralization can provide some benefits. However, there are costs involved. Some would argue the centralization of Porcfest’s organization led to its decline. Let’s look closer at what happened. First, for those of you newer to the ongoing New Hampshire Freedom Migration, a little history: (more…)

Muslims Fundraising to Open Full Time Mosque in Keene

Ernest Hancock and Will Coley Broadcasting from Shirefest 2017

Ernest Hancock and Will Coley Broadcasting from Shirefest 2017

“America’s Favorite Redneck Muslim”, Will Coley has made a major announcement! The host of Muslim radio show, “Call to Freedom“, and his family are moving from their longtime home of Tennessee to beautiful Keene, New Hampshire and they’ll be opening a full-time mosque in property donated by the Shire Free Church! Fundraising has begun over at Muslim fundraising site Launchgood with an $11,000 target, the Coleys have already raised over $2,000 with just over two weeks to go.

He’s calling it the Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center, (aka the MALIC Center) and on his fundraiser page says it will be the first house of worship of its kind in all of New Hampshire! Though it looks like Concord’s Muslim community is also making similar plans, Keene’s seems on target to open its doors sooner than Concord. As one of the founding ministers of the Shire Free Church, I’m elated to be able to dedicate our property to this historic and worthy religious purpose. If it were just a full-time mosque, that would dovetail perfectly with our interfaith church’s mission to foster peace, but Will has promised that the space will also be usable at times by other area religions of peace, such as the Quakers.

In addition to the goal of creating a Muslim community in Southwestern New Hampshire, Will is also planning to conduct outreach to the community and helping dispel the pervasive myths that many Americans mistakenly hold about Islam. When I was in jail for civil disobedience I took the time to read the entire Quran and studied with a Muslim who was in my cell block. I’ve been grateful for Will’s many appearances on my talk radio program, Free Talk Live. We’ve had him on for multiple segments of “Ask a Muslim”, where he fields all kinds of questions from listeners who know little about Islam. I’m excited to have him on more often live in-studio.

Will Coley Conducting his Ramadan Dawah at Porcfest

Will Coley Conducting his Ramadan Dawah at Porcfest

Many who have attended the Porcupine Freedom Festival will recognize Will as the generous man who each year has come up from Tennessee to serve food to the festival-goers during Ramadan as his “dawah” (Muslim outreach). In addition to his generosity, he’s a talented speaker and is currently completing his Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic studies training in the Maliki school.

It’s truly an honor to assist in this new addition to the Keene community that will hopefully attract more Muslims to the area and bring a new level of understanding about Islam to the community at large.

Do you have a few dollars you can spare to help Will and his family make their move to the Shire? Please contribute to the Launchgood fundraiser here (you don’t need to be Muslim to contribute). Here’s Will’s vision for the MALIC Center:

New Hampshire’s First Vending Machine to Offer DASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Portsmouth, NH – The Seacoast Repertory Theatre’s bitcoin vending machine now offers Dash. The founder of Portsmouth-based digital currency company AnyPay, Steven Zeiler, says “Dash is newer than bitcoin and is more widely used on the Seacoast. Dash offers faster confirmation times and greater privacy than bitcoin.”

Bitcoin has been a popular digital currency in New Hampshire for years. Because of its recent rise in use worldwide, the fees for sending payments have increased significantly — from about 5 cents per transaction a few years ago to about $3 per transaction today. “This is great for large companies sending millions of dollars across the world instantly,” says Zeiler. “$3 is a real bargain compared to what they currently pay. But everyday bitcoin users accustomed to buying a $2 coffee with bitcoin are unwilling to spend an extra $3 just to use the digital currency.” This created an opportunity for new digital currencies to enter the market and specialize in faster payments and lower fees.

Seacoast residents have been using Dash for about a year, buying everything from soaps and salad dressing to haircuts and bacon. Some even offer a discount for customers who pay with Dash. But getting it was always a problem. Users needed to have bitcoin first, or trade a good or service to get Dash. Zeiler says, “Until now, it was only possible to get Dash in exchange for another digital currency. Now people can retire their dirty old federal reserve notes into the machine where they’ll be shredded. Just kidding.”

The price of one Dash is currently just under $200. Users can also buy bitcoin from the machine for under $3,000. Digital currencies offer users a way to hide their money from the government and buy things that would otherwise be impossible to purchase like high-quality lab-tested recreational drugs. New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu signed legislation this week extending protection to businesses that use digital currency from regulation, making it the most cryptocurrecy-friendly state in the nation.

The bitcoin vending machine is located to the left of the box office inside the Seacoast Repertory Theatre at 125 Bow St in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The Seacoast Rep accepts bitcoin for tickets to their live performances.

Oppressive Regimes Threatened By Free Satellite Signals – Help LRN.FM Fund More Via Patreon!

Destruction of Satellite Dishes in Iran

100,000 Satellite Dishes Confiscated & Destroyed in Iran

In many parts of the world, especially poorer ones, internet access is barely available, and if it is at all, it’s expensive and slow. There also isn’t much in the way of in-home entertainment options as cable TV is non-existent as people cannot afford it. To get their news and entertainment, many people in the world turn to the sky, especially in oppressive regimes.

In places like China, Cuba and Iran, satellite receivers and dishes are illegal. Police even conduct regular raids of homes suspected of using satellite, still people’s thirst for freedom of information persists. In a story from last year about Iran destroying 100,000 siezed satellite dishes and receivers, Al Jazeera reported:

Iranian police regularly raid neighbourhoods and confiscate dishes from rooftops, and under Iranian law, satellite equipment is banned and those who distribute, use, or repair them can be fined up to $2,800…”Reforming this law is very necessary as using satellite is strictly prohibited, but most people use it,” he said. “This means that 70 percent of Iranians violate the law” by owning satellite dishes.

At the destruction “ceremony”, General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the head of Iran’s Basij militia, explained the dangers of freedom of information via satellite:

“The truth is that most satellite channels… deviate the society’s morality and culture…What these televisions really achieve is increased divorce, addiction and insecurity in society…Most of these satellite channels not only weaken the foundation of families but also cause disruptions in children’s education and children who are under the influence of satellite have improper behaviour” (emphasis added)

Satellite Dish Graveyard in Mosul, Iraq

Countless Satellite Dishes Confiscated and Destroyed by the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq

Yes, he really used the phrase, “under the influence of satellite”! Besides his fearmongering, Naghdi is not admitting the real reason oppressive governments crack down on freedom of information.

Information, in this case delivered via Free-to-Air satellite, is a clear danger to the authoritarian state. They spend so much effort brainwashing their people via state schools and controlling local broadcast media, they can’t just allow all that to be undone by signals they can’t control coming from the sky!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the message of liberty, cryptocurrency, and peace beamed down to the people under the boot of oppressive regimes worldwide?

The good news is it’s been happening 24/7 for most of this decade, thanks to LRN.FM’s Free-to-Air satellite channels over North and Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa! LRN.FM features dozens of liberty-oriented shows, both in live and podcast form, uncensored, streamed 24/7 online and broadcast internationally via Free-to-Air satellite. Free-to-Air means that no subscription is needed to receive the channels. They are TV or radio channels broadcast “in-the-clear”, direct-to-home.

As you can see here on our new satellite funding Patreon, we’re already making an impact on people in places like Cameroon, Africa. (Number 130 on the press freedom index for 2017.):


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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…)

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…)