Now the ugly Bitcoin not-so-civil war that has been playing out behind the scenes on message boards, reddit, and social media for months and months is going to come into public view on August 1st. Here’s my non-technical explanation for what’s happening and how, if you’re a bitcoin holder or bitcoin-accepting merchant, it could affect you: (more…)
Years ago when I moved here, as many activists do, I had an axe to grind with the police. The police, as the enforcement arm of the state, were obviously the bad guys. However, as one of the original Cop Blockers, (Badge #5) out in the streets as often as I was, it didn’t take me long to begin connecting with the Keene police as fellow human beings (instead of mindless statist automatons, which is easy for us libertarians to think about police if we don’t know them). The most memorable early paradigm-shifting encounter was my ride-along with KPD’s Shane Maxfield, nearly a decade ago.
At various different activist events in Keene, (the home of Cop Block) I encountered Brian Costa on multiple occasions, who prior to becoming chief was one of KPD’s two captains. However, due to him being a captain, his responsibilities were more management than they were patrol, so our contact was fairly limited at that time.
Imagine my pleasant surprise then, when one day shortly after Brian’s appointment as Keene police chief, I was standing out in Central Square, distracted by something on my phone. As I looked up from my device, there he was right in front of me! Brian was dressed in his full Keene police uniform, as any other patrol officer would be. He explained that he’d seen me from his walk downtown and he wanted to introduce himself.
I’ll always remember that about him. I was struck by how humble he appeared. Not only was he not above walking the streets like any other KPD officer, but that he would take time to come over and say hello was really impressive. I was happy to meet him officially and grateful to be treated like a human being by KPD’s chief for the first time in years.
Then, early in 2016, Brian called me out of the blue and asked me for help. There was a bad batch of heroin that had been hitting the streets and leading to overdoses. He had reached out to me as the publisher of Free Keene (Keene’s most popular blog and a Google news source), hoping that I would help get the word out about the bad batch of drugs. Of course I would. Though I’m against the war on drugs and it was Brian’s job to enforce it, we found common ground in the goal of harm reduction. I told him I’d get on it, thanked him for thinking of me, and immediately published this article about the bad dope. When I share goals with someone, despite our differences, I’m willing to work with them to accomplish our common goals. This builds bridges between people on opposite sides of other issues, increasing the likelihood of further communication and a growing mutual respect. Brian understood this, and he earned my respect by being a decent person.
Now, he’s gone from this world, and WAY too soon. Whoever is chosen as his permanent replacement has some BIG shoes to fill. I really wish I could have gotten to know Brian better. I feel like I missed out. (more…)
Cop Block founder and Free Keene blogger Ademo Freeman has been arrested while driving in Lebanon, Ohio by Ohio State Police. Despite Ademo not consenting to a search, trooper Jeffrey Martin claimed that because he allegedly smelled the odor of cannabis, that he had probable cause to search.
Ademo was placed into a cruiser, then the trooper(s) broke open a lock on a suitcase. They asked him how much marijuana he had, so presumably that’s what they found inside – at this point we can’t know for sure. Ademo was placed under arrest and taken to the Warren County Jail, all while asking trooper Martin his thoughts about victimless crimes. All of this is heard on a 40+ minute video recorded and live streamed on Ademo’s cell phone to his facebook page.
I’ve taken the time to edit the video down to less than 15 minutes as well as boost the audio levels. I included portions that I couldn’t make out what was being said, in case you can. Here’s the edited video, which does not have long periods of silence and noise of cars passing:
According to Ademo’s jail record, he’s expected to be arraigned at Warren Municipal Court in front of judge Robert S. Fischer on Tuesday, February 14th. He’s facing three charges including “trafficking in drugs“, a third degree felony, and two counts of “possession of drugs“, one a third degree and the other a fifth degree felony. Ohio actually has their criminal court case records online and you can see Ademo’s case record here. (The jail record says the other count of possession is class three, but the court record says class five.) He’s also been charged with a burnt-out tail light. (more…)
Dave Ridley of RidleyReport.com was outside a primary voting location in Bedford where he encountered slimeball mayor of Manchester Ted Gatsas being interviewed by WMUR-TV reporter Amy Coveno. Ridley at one point steps into the shot of the WMUR camera and Coveno responds by nervously shifting her position before actually physically assaulting Dave by grabbing his camera.
As she does it, she says “Hey, you’re distracting me from my job, thanks.”, then lets go. As though him being a distraction in a public place gives her the right to commit assault against him. Here’s the video evidence:
The real shame is that you’d think reporters would respect and understand the freedom of the press, but clearly Ms. Coveno believes there are a special set of rules that apply to mainstream media. And, she’s probably right. WMUR-TV is licensed by the FCC and that licensing scheme keeps out potential competitors from the marketplace. WMUR is literally paying a criminal gang for protection. (more…)
Surprise! Looks like the “big three” candidates Mark Connolly, Steve Marchand, and Colin Van Ostern refused to respond to the invitation to this year’s Monadnock Debates. The only two candidates who did respond are author Derek Dextraze and me, Ian Freeman. As a result, the debate organizers decided to not hold the democratic debate this year, like in 2014.
I spoke with Derek about the development today and he said, “I find it interesting that the two candidates that really aren’t politicians said yes to debate. While the other three candidates that WMUR says are the only three candidates on the Democratic side for governor said no or didn’t respond.”
Derek points out another interesting phenomenon from this year’s campaign coverage, which is that some media organizations have been completely ignoring both the Dextraze and Freeman campaigns. WMUR-TV has reported on only three of the democratic candidates in their campaign coverage so far. Similarly, Manchester’s WGIR-AM has held “debates” but only invited the “big three”.
When Derek inquired with WMUR he says they told him, “because I haven’t sent them my itinerary they did not think that I was running.” Sounds like a lame excuse to me. It’s common for NH media organizations to reach out to all ballot qualified candidates. It’s either pure laziness of these media organizations or a deliberate decision to exclude smaller campaigns, despite the face that both Derek Dextraze and Ian Freeman will be on the primary ballot on September 13th, just like the “big three”. (more…)
After an excellent presidential debate last night, the national Libertarian Party once again proved its irrelevance and nominated another republican as their candidate for president in 2016. According to the official results from the second and final round of voting, there were only two states whose delegates voted for the best two candidates in the race, Free Keene blogger Darryl W Perry and John McAfee. Those two states were New Hampshire and Vermont. Perry and McAfee’s combined votes were higher in NH and VT than the combined votes of the worst two candidates, Gary Johnson and Austin Petersen. In every other state, Johnson and Petersen’s combined votes were higher.
It’s a continuance of a sad trend of the LP delegates selecting republicans – people who do not understand or advocate libertarian ideals – that has been going on since the 2008 presidential election where the LP chose Bob Barr, a republican former US representative (and former CIA boss) from Georgia as their nominee. Then in 2012 they chose Gary Johnson, a republican former governor of New Mexico as their candidate. Johnson was better than Barr, but not by much. He’s not a principled libertarian like Darryl is. Now Johnson’s won the party’s nomination again for 2016 despite the valiant efforts of the “radical” wing of the party.
The national LP is hopeless, yet activists across the country toil away trying to wrest control of the organization from the hands of the republicans who have had control of the party for about a decade. To those remaining principled libertarians I implore you:
GIVE UP ON THE LP! Your party is dead and has been for years. Your efforts are being wasted on the national and even your state LP. Start planning your move to New Hampshire to get involved with the only proven successful strategy in the liberty movement: concentrating activists in one geographic area.
In New Hampshire we’ve had more political successes in a decade – meaning people being elected who are principled libertarians – than the LP has had in forty years. If you want to keep losing, stay where you are. If you want to see liberty advance, you have to get together with like-minded people and get active here in the Shire.
Here’s Darryl’s concession speech, thanks to Tom Knapp for the clip: