UBER Grandma Interviewed After Facing Down $6,500 in Fines for Civil Disobedience

Tuesday morning the saga of UBER Grandma came to a close at Portsmouth district court. Stephanie Franz’ trial was scheduled for seven tickets she’s received since October of 2015 for the horrible crime of driving people places without a government permission slip. Rather than thank her for providing the service of getting drunk people home alive (and stopping them from driving themselves home drunk), the “City of Portsmouth” gang decided to ticket her seven times for a total of $6,500! $500 for the first ticket, $1000 each for the rest.

Check out this excellent interview of this courageous civil disobedience activist, recorded outside Portsmouth district court, then keep reading for details on the case:

The city’s argument for threatening the sweet grandmother and other UBER drivers with such ridiculous fines was the claim that more stringent background checks than what UBER provides are necessary to keep passengers safe. However, this argument is obvious garbage, as the city only regulates drivers who charge for their services. If a convicted murderer were to offer rides for free, the regulations wouldn’t apply. Portsmouth’s anti-ride-sharing regulations, passed in Summer of 2015, were created to protect the existing taxi oligopoly. That’s what regulations are really for – not to protect consumers as the government claims, but to protect the established businesses from innovative competition.

Indeed, the cabbies in Portsmouth were the loudest group in support of the regulations. UBER Grandma was also targeted by those same cab drivers. They had been witnessed boxing her in to the curb as she was picking up riders in downtown Portsmouth and even smashed out her tail-light. They also appeared at government hearings in Portsmouth and Concord advocating for more government control of the industry.

Despite the constant attacks by both the police and the cabbies, UBER Grandma was not deterred. She kept driving in civil disobedience to the city’s protectionist ordinances, knowing she had harmed no one, and in fact had helped many people get home safely. She’s a hero for continuing to stand up for her right to do business without asking for permission! (more…)

Return of the Activist Left?

Today Steven and I talked about secession with almost a hundred people at a rally in Portsmouth, NH. The event was inspired by the recent election of Donald Trump. These people united under the message “Not My President.” Since I don’t believe in forced associations, I can get down with that! Everyone should have the president they want — or no president at all. We walked downtown with music blasting from our jackets, a big rainbow flag, and some NHexit signs! We brought propaganda with us, but there was so much to do, talking to people and getting video, that we didn’t hand out any literature! It would have been awesome to have support from other Seacoast activists. If you’re hot and gay and love freedom, you should move here and join us in Portsmouth, NH — the beachhead of liberty! Full hour-plus video below!

One local man in attendance said that he hasn’t seen anything like this since the 70’s. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Is this the return of the activist left, silent and sleeping for 8 years, and now ready to return with ferocity? I hope so! I’ll criticize any politician in power, but it’s so much more fun to do it with the democrats.


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Modernizing the Shire Society Forum for 2017

Shire Society Forum

Join other Shire Society members inside and outside the Shire on the Forums.

Before the behemoth that is Facebook, there were forums. On these forums, people in communities were able to communicate about various things, and with the right amount of moderation, it worked well. Then Facebook came along and sucked up all the people and gave them terrible forums called “groups” where the only moderation tool is to delete discussion threads.

With forums, moderators can move threads between the forum’s subforums, meaning off-topic posts could be moved to more appropriate places in the overall forum. This cannot be done on facebook. There, one group is not connected with another group. An off-topic post will either be allowed to clutter the group, or it will be destroyed. There is no move option. That’s only one reason why Facebook groups suck, but it’s a major one.

Early on, there were two main forums in the NH liberty movement, the NH Underground and the Free State Project forums. Eventually, we launched the Free Keene Forum which eventually became the Shire Society Forum a couple of years after the signing of the Shire Society Declaration in 2010.

All three forums still exist, but have nowhere near the popularity they once had. Many new people to the movement don’t even know they exist.

Shire Society Bumper Sticker

Have you signed the Shire Society Declaration yet?

In order to stay as relevant as possible and compete as much as possible with the evil Facebook, last year the Shire Society Forum was upgraded to a more “modern” forum software, “Vanilla Forum”. It was better than the old software, “SMF”, in some ways, but lacking in others. Now, the Shire Society Forum is modernizing further for 2017 with the switch to the “Discourse” forum software.

So far my experience with Discourse has been very good. It’s snappy – posts appear instantly without having to reload an entire webpage. It’s got a modern feel and allows logins via a bunch of major accounts, including Google, Yahoo, GitHub, Facebook, and Twitter, and sharing of posts via Facebook and Twitter.

The Shire Society Forum has, despite its decline in popularity, still attracted new users over the years. Each month, there are new potential movers to the Shire who arrive and post an introduction, which is a requirement in order to enter the forum. Would you be willing to come welcome them? The forum has subforums for all the regions and major cities in New Hampshire and we’d welcome your input.

Please give the new Shire Society Forum a try. I hope you like it. Death to Facebook!

Bitcoin Brunch in Portsmouth, NH

ANOTHER New Hampshire restaurant now takes bitcoin! STREET, a trendy restaurant on the hipster West End of Portsmouth became the latest business in the Live Free Or Die state to trade goods and services for the new money. I stopped by with my partner Steven to have Sunday Brunch. He had biscuits and gravy with an avocado omelette. I had bacon and avocado in Scrambled eggs with a Hash brown. When we were done, we paid in bitcoin! Thanks STREET!

UBER Grandma Trial Date Moved Again, Facing $7,500 in Fines for Driving

UBER Grandma Driver Stephanie Franz

Civilly Disobedient UBER Driver Stephanie Franz, courtesy CBS Boston

It’s been almost a year since Stephanie Franz aka “UBER Grandma” was the first UBER driver cited for driving people safely to their destination in Portsmouth, NH. The city has been targeting brave UBER drivers with tickets for operating without government permission slips. In the Summer of 2015 the city gang declared UBER drivers who did not jump through the city’s hoops in addition to UBER’s background check and sign up process, would be targeted for ticketing.

The heroic grandmother has been ticketed multiple times in the last year and has racked up at least $7,500 in fines.  She’s also been targeted by local taxi drivers for harassment and vandalism of her car.

UBER has provided Stephanie with an attorney and she’s ready to face down the city gang in court. However, there have been multiple reschedulings of the date, so hopefully this is the final one: Please join UBER Grandma at Portsmouth District Court at 8am on December 13th (here’s a facebook event) and support her courageous stand for your freedom to drive people places without having to ask government permission!

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