Rob Mathias Beats Sticker Ticket

Being Rob’s roommate and cohost of the Rebel Love Show, it was within my best interest to help fight the infamous sticker ticket he received in January.  I drove him to the courthouse this morning for his pretrial hearing.

Camcorder in hand, I entered the courthouse.  While being ushered through the security theater, a man behind the counter told me that I wasn’t allowed to record while in the building.  I stood down, telling him I’d keep the device stowed in my pocket.  He did not object.

courtchurchThe pretrial hearing consisted mostly of waiting in a small, unused courtroom with about 20 other victims of the state.  They sat in complete silence, each person not sure what to do during this mandatory free time (posted forms in every room of the courthouse prohibited the use of cellphones, so some major Facebook withdraws were being felt).  Rob and I entered the room, but we spoke to each other at a normal volume (other pairs started to follow suit, speaking amongst themselves – the resulting murmur dispelled most of the room’s tension).  Sitting in the pews of the courtroom, Rob and I pondered aloud about the similarity of this room to a small church.

When Rob’s name was finally called, we were escorted out by a woman who wore a blazer that nearly covered her holstered gun.  We were not allowed to carry weapons, according to gratuitous courthouse signage.  Without saying a word, Rob handed over the letter that summoned him to court as well as a receipt for his current, valid vehicle inspection (which he had done promptly after his police encounter).

Upon seeing these two sheets of paper, the woman immediately said she would drop the charge against Rob.  He no longer has to pay $60.  There will be no trial.

Before exiting the courtroom, Rob and I spoke with the court’s head of security, who introduced himself as Bob.  We inquired about the court’s policy about video and audio recording during trials, introducing ourselves as bloggers for Free Keene.
Walking us through proper courtroom film etiquette and regulations, he responded, “I’m very familiar with [Free Keene].  I’ve seen them come in.”  He even printed a short list of pre-approved media outlets, showing us that Free Keene was already listed.

Next time Rob and I go to court, I will be attending the pretrial for a parking ticket that was left on my car during the insane Manchester parking prohibition.  The ticket cites a $25 fine.

2015 Keene School District Election Results

On March 10, 2015, approximately 1100 Keene voters turned out to elect 3 School Board members and vote on a budget and 12 other Warrant Articles.

Of the 4 articles placed on the ballot by petition and amended at the Deliberative Session, only Article 13 was approved by voters. This was the article originally intended to prevent electioneering by the School Board, but ratified to authorize the School Board to electioneer within accordance to State Law.

Christine L. Parshall, George J. Downing & Susan Hay were elected to the School Board, and the larger budget was adopted by voters. This year, for the first time in many years, voters could have actually decreased the budget, but rejected that option by a vote of 805-282.

KSD election 2015 results

Democracy stifles dissent

On February 10, 2015 the Keene Sentinel ran the following letter to the editor:

Last year, after all of the petitioned warrant articles were amended to nullities at the Keene School District deliberative session, Chris Coates wrote, “It was democracy in action.”

And this year, during the deliberative session during discussion on an article to impose a cap on spending increases, school board member Susan Hay said, “We don’t need a very small minority of people in this community — that do not in any way represent the will of the people — telling us how to do our job.”

In the end, all petitioned warrant articles were amended and nullified. (more…)

The Case for Businesses to Accept Bitcoin as Payment

A few weeks ago, while on tour for the upcoming documentary, The BIT Movie crew stopped by 101 Deals Thrift Store to see how easy it is for small businesses to accept bitcoins as an option for payment and checked out the Bitcoin vending machine where folks can buy bitcoins locally. I also made the case why 101 Deals Thrift Store accepts bitcoins as payment and why other businesses should as well.

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First and foremost, accepting bitcoins as a form of payment is an improvement over merchant card services. Bitcoin is an instant cost savings to the business’s bottom line. Currently, 101 Deals Thrift Store accepts credit/debit cards through a merchant card service. The fee to accept the cards in person is 2.75% and over the phone is 3.5% plus 15¢ per transaction. This means that if a sale at the store is made for $10, only $9.73 is deposited to the business’s account. There are a few options to accept bitcoins for merchants, but one that is tailored to business and easy is Coinbase.com. When using Coinbase, there is no transaction fee for the merchant and the first $1,000,000 (!) of converting bitcoins to US dollars (IE “cashing out” is free). 

Consider a small business that processes $100,000 in credit/debit card sales a year. If 10% of the sales were instead in bitcoin ($10,000), the savings would be $270. Even if the business reached the $1 mil threshold and incurred the 1% fee, the savings is still $170 a year on every $10,000 of sales. If the business accepts cards over the phone instead, the savings are even more dramatic, $350 on $10,000, (not accounting for the 15¢ per transaction cost).

(more…)

Rebel Love Show Ep 25: Life on the Freedom Project with Derrick J

Podcast:

Recorded October 16th, 2014
Derrick J Freeman joins us in studio to give us an update on Rich Paul being freed, Ian Freeman’s trial, and James Cleaveland’s NH Supreme Court case about the city of Keene vs Robin Hood of Keene. Other topics discussed include the panels that are upcoming at Keenevention, recent activism, and what life is like as a full time activist working on the “Freedom Project” in the Shire.   The Rebel Love show is also available for download on Itunes and Stitcher.

There is blood on Maggie Hassan’s hands

maggie and claytonMaggie Hassan has blood on her hands. You might not see it at first, but it’s there. Look closely, you’ll see it.

On July 23, 2013, New Hampshire became the 19th state to legalize medicinal usage of cannabis. The original version of the therapeutic cannabis bill would have allowed qualifying patients to grow their own medicine if certain criteria were met. However, Maggie threatened to veto the legislation if this provision wasn’t removed, despite the fact that she voted FOR a similar provision in 2009. This is a freedom enjoyed by therapeutic cannabis patients in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and a dozen other states. Now, over one year later, qualifying patients are still not able to legally obtain the medicine they need. The process is so arduous that it may be another 18 months before therapeutic cannabis patients in the Granite State will be able to legally obtain their medicine from one of four alternative treatment centers. (more…)