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…)

The Curious Case of Christopher Cantwell

Only advocates of peace are allowed to blog at FreeKeene.com

Only advocates of peace are allowed to blog at FreeKeene.com

This week the Keene Sentinel published a front-page article about Christopher Cantwell, a racist, white-supremacist podcaster who lives in Keene. Unfortunately the Sentinel’s original version of the article, which appears in the print edition, erroneously claims that Chris Cantwell was a Free Keene blogger. Thankfully, the Sentinel quickly corrected that error in their online edition, as Chris has never been a blogger here at Free Keene. Free Keene’s motto is “Peaceful Evolution”. Chris’ message over the years has never been one of peace, so he never has been invited to blog here. People advocating violence and hate are not welcome to blog on this site.

If you search for his name on this site, you’ll find a bunch of articles about him. That’s because until the last year or two of his life, he’d been a libertarian activist with no known racist streak. Free Keene reports on libertarian activism statewide, so we’ve covered some of the things he’s done over time.

When Chris first moved to Keene several years ago, he was just an angry libertarian comedian who had a major hatred for the police. His then-beliefs about using violence against the state’s agents were immediately controversial among the various libertarians who’d moved here as part of the Free State Project. Those beliefs aren’t atypical of some libertarians, especially those who’ve been directly affected by the police state, as Chris had back in New York, where he was born and raised. However, they were voiced by him loudly enough to get him kicked out of the Free State Project and ostracized by a bunch of people.

Chris Cantwell Dead Cop Costume

Chris in Simpler Times, Acting as Security for the Hallowkeene Dance Party in 2014.

As I predicted, once Chris was able to connect with the Keene police, he started to see them as human beings, just as I had a decade ago after moving here with a similar axe to grind against police. Unfortunately, Chris’ anger shifted away from the police and onto people who look different from him.

A couple of years ago, he began down this road to his current skinhead-racist form and once that happened, we had to dump him as a co-host of my radio show, Free Talk Live. As libertarians, we believe in the individual and don’t see people as groups based on color, gender, or religion. Chris now only sees the group rather than the individual. He’s one of the few people who has turned away from the libertarian message after having embraced it.

As long as I’ve known him, he’s always fed off the hate directed towards him. He’s even said that the more people hate him, the more money he makes. Now he’s more hated than he’s ever been after this weekend’s huge publicity explosion for him after his involvement in the protests and fights down in Charlottesville. Here’s a 20 minute VICE documentary that has gone viral featuring his horrible, racist views.

Is this racist turn just a money-making scheme for him? Others believe Chris is actually an undercover agent or confidential informant for the federal government. While I don’t personally believe that about him, having known him pretty well for several years, I understand why they believe that. He fits the bill for an agent provocateur. The advocates of this theory say that Chris came into the libertarian movement advocating for violence against police, but when that didn’t work, he got reassigned to advocate for violence in the white supremacy movement. It wouldn’t be the first time the federal government had a radio host working for them inside the white supremacists.

Regardless of whatever the truth is about Chris and his motivations, his racist views are despicable and I think I can speak for all the bloggers here (if not, they can reply with their own blog) when I say we don’t support racism or hating people because of their religion or gender. Individuals should be judged on their actions and words, not the circumstances of their birth.

Bitcoin Breaks Record High, Now Over $3,200 After Risky “Fork” into Competing “Bitcoin Cash”

Bitcoin has Forked into Two!

Bitcoin has Forked into Two!

After squabbling for years over how to fix the growing pains of the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency, one of the sides in the ongoing Bitcoin Geek War has finally made a bold move. This week, on August 1st, a small number of the “big blockers” performed a “hard fork” and broke away from the main Bitcoin blockchain, creating a new currency, “Bitcoin Cash“. This had the added benefit of giving everyone who already held Bitcoin an equal amount of the new Bitcoin Cash! Ever heard the phrase, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”? Bitcoin’s first fork into two has proven that statement wrong. Read on to learn more about this historic week in Bitcoin.

The blockchain is the distributed, decentralized ledger that contains every transaction that has ever occurred on the Bitcoin network. It’s approximately 150 GB in size. Since the hard fork, there are now two “Bitcoin” blockchains competing for market dominance. Both of them have the exact same transactions from the beginning of Bitcoin nearly a decade ago, running until August 1st, 2017, when at just after 2pm Eastern time the first “Bitcoin Cash” block was mined into existence, at greater than 1 MB – in fact, its size was about 4 MB.

Since the original Bitcoin blockchain has a 1 MB limit per block, it was at this point that the one blockchain became two. The supermajority of miners are still mining the original Bitcoin chain, let’s call it “Bitcoin Core” or BTC. However, a small portion of miners have joined the mining of the new “Bitcoin Cash” or BCH. If you thought Bitcoin Core’s growing pains were challenging, take a look at how Bitcoin Cash had to start:

Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin mining doesn’t actually look like this.

In Bitcoin, there’s a thing called mining difficulty that is basically designed to increase as more people enter mining and compete to discover scarce Bitcoins. However, should people leave the mining game, the difficulty will decrease. In BCH’s case, when they started their fork, their network was at the same difficulty level as BTC, but with a fraction of the total mining power. That’s why it took six hours for the BCH miners to find their first block! Normally Bitcoin blocks are expected to be found every ten minutes. So, this means BCH transactions were, in the beginning, taking hours to confirm! They are as of this writing, still taking longer than BTC transactions.

Worse still, no one who wanted to sell their newfound BCH was easily able to do so for at least the first couple days of its existence. Due to concerns about certain technical attacks that are possible in the time after a fork, cryptocurrency exchanges were extra cautious before allowing BCH deposits to trading accounts. However, while they weren’t allowing people to deposit BCH, they WERE allowing them to trade it. Huh? How can one trade something on an exchange to which one can’t deposit? Remember, after the fork, the people with BTC in their exchange accounts were given a balance of the same amount of BCH. (Except at the Bitfinex exchange, who screwed over their customers.) So, since trading was happening but no one could deposit, the price of the new BCH trended upward, even reaching as high as $800-$1,000 on some exchanges. (more…)

Bitcoin Feature Story Hits Front Page of Keene Sentinel!

Bitcoin Hits Front Page, Above-the-Fold, Twice!

Front Page, Above-the-Fold, Twice!

What’s that? You say Bitcoin has not been the front page feature story your local newspaper where you live? You must not live in Keene, New Hampshire – the capitol of real-life business acceptance of the world’s first cryptocurrency!

About one month ago, the Monadnock Shopper News featured Bitcoin and the regional businesses that accept it on their front page, above-the-fold! Not to be outdone, the Keene Sentinel’s business section had a massive article in today’s paper that was not only the front page feature but was also promoted above-the-fold in the headline of the front page of the century-plus old newspaper. You can read it online here at the Keene Sentinel’s site. (Here’s a PDF of the piece.)

Reporter Paul Cuno-Booth did a thorough job interviewing various owners of the local bitcoin-accepting businesses about their reasons for backing the amazing decentralized currency, including Monadnock Makerspace founder Johnny Bolster, area computer tech Michael Gordon, Bob Maibusch of Pine Springs Golf Course, Ken Urbanski of Kirby’s Q, and Steve Wilder of Wilder Automotive. Cuno-Booth also focuses on the Shire Free Church’s media outreach along with our local meetup group for Bitcoiners and other cryptocurrency users and newbies, the Monadnock Decentralized Currency Network.

Keene Bitcoin Network Meetup at Rick's Ice Cream

Monadnock Decentralized Currency Network Meetup at Rick’s Ice Cream

As we have reported here at Free Keene, according to CoinMap, Keene is the number one city in the world for bitcoin-accepting businesses per capita. Obviously not all businesses have the same results, of course. Though the golf course has yet to have a customer with bitcoin, Wilder Auto reports approximately a dozen customers regularly using bitcoin. Bolster, who also is the creator of the Portal Map, reported that he was able to sell ads to some new customers on his yearly map of area businesses, because he is accepting bitcoin as payment! That’s money that otherwise would have been left on the table had Bolster decided against accepting the cryptocurrency. (more…)

Manchester Bitcoin Vending Machine Adds DASH, Making NH #1 For DASH Vending

Bitcoin Vending Machine Adds DASH!

Bitcoin Vending Machine Adds DASH!

With all the Bitcoin drama going on, it’s easy to get distracted from what is important. What is important, whether Bitcoin stays on top or not, is the idea of cryptocurrency, of which Bitcoin was the first. While I personally believe Bitcoin can survive its internal turmoil, I could be wrong. After all, no one buys the Model T these days, even though it was the first car. The Model T is a clunker compared to what we have now.

Though there isn’t much mainstream media coverage of its alternatives, Bitcoin is far from the only cryptocurrency. There are hundreds of them, most based off of the original code for Bitcoin released by Satoshi Nakamoto, its anonymous creator.

One of those competitors that libertarian cryptocurrency enthusiasts in NH have been using recently instead of Bitcoin is DASH, or “Digital Cash”. Due to the growing pains Bitcoin has been experiencing, people here have been looking hard at other alternatives. DASH has started to appear in use at various libertarian market days across the state. Its fees are much lower than Bitcoin’s and DASH has an interesting governance structure that really sets it apart from many of the “me-too” cryptocurrencies out there vying for Bitcoin’s #1 position. (more…)

It’s Official: NH Governor Signs Cannabis Decriminalization!

Darryl W Perry Cannabis Torch 2016

Libertarian Party of NH Chairman Darryl W Perry Takes a Rip

After it passed with veto-proof margins for the first time in New Hampshire’s history, cannabis decriminalization was signed today by new NH republican governor Chris Sununu.

Marijuana decrim is the latest feather in the cap of the NH Freedom Migration that has been tipping the political scales of the state in favor of more liberty. This year alone, there have been multiple political wins, from multiple elected state representatives flipping to the Libertarian Party of NH, to the constitutional carry bill passing, the bitcoin/cryptocurrency protection bill, and even legalizing firecrackers!

This isn’t the best decrim bill possible, but it’s a big step in the right direction for the Live Free or Die state. Police have sixty days before the bill goes into effect to arrest as many users as possible, because after sixty days, they’re only allowed to ticket for cannabis possession. HB 640 eliminates criminal penalties for the possession of up to 3/4 of an ounce of cannabis and/or up to five grams of hashish for those age 18 or older. Under the new law, first time offenders will receive a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine. Unfortunately, if the person is caught three times in three years, then the fourth ticketing would be a class B misdemeanor, but the person still cannot be arrested. The first offense is fined at $100, but subsequent offenses within that three year period would be $300 each.

New Hampshire Loves Bitcoin and Cannabis!

New Hampshire Loves Bitcoin and Cannabis!

Hopefully, after a year of this decrim, the state reps and senators will see that the world in NH has not turned into a satanic hellscape, and we’ll see further decriminalization in the future, right down to the total elimination of all penalties for possession, growing, or sale of any amount of cannabis. Ideally, New Hampshire, if it were truly a free place, would have no regulatory or taxation structure around the cannabis plant at all. If that miraculously happened, the cannabis industry would explode in the Shire and we’d all be better off for it.

If you like that vision and you’re a libertarian, voluntarist, or liberty-loving anarchist, we need you here to help make NH the best state for cannabis freedom. Sure, other states have legalization, but there’s an insane amount of regulation and tax around the industry. What if NH could be the one state without that legal garbage? It could happen if you were here to help. We need more people to move here and join the most successful freedom migration in the world. Here are 101 reasons why you should.