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!
As we have for the past few years, the Keene Liberty Alliance conducted an exit poll on state primary day asking the question, “Is government too big, too small, or just right?”. This year we polled for about two hours in the evening outside of Keene’s ward four and seventy people responded to the question, with 42 of 70 (60%) choosing “too big” and 28 (40%) choosing “just right”. No one who responded thought government was “too small”.
Of the respondents who said government is too big, eleven people shared contact information with us. Another successful outreach for the Keene Liberty Alliance! Here are the results from the last time the survey was conducted, which was during the presidential primary.
Also, thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Democratic gubernatorial primary this year. I ran under the NH Liberty Party banner again as I did in 2014 and received 1,069 or 1.47% of the votes cast, putting me in fourth place out of five. That’s not quite as many votes as the 1,719 I received in 2014, but I likely got some protest votes then against Maggie Hassan who was the incumbent at the time. Given my 2016 campaign spent all of $5 on postage and a few bucks on gasoline to drive to media interviews, that’s a pretty good dollars-spent-to-votes-received ratio.
The point of my campaign wasn’t to win, but to spread the message of New Hampshire declaring independence from the United States as well as the ideas of liberty. In that, I was successful. Thanks to all the media who gave me a fair opportunity to speak. No thanks to some in the media who ignored the smaller democratic candidates including me and Derek Dextraze, the only other honorable candidate of the five who ran for the seat.
Though sidelined by much of the NH mainstream media, my campaign has not been ignored by various interest groups across New Hampshire. I’ve responded to a bunch of candidate questionnaires thus far, more than I was sent in 2014. As a result my campaign spending has increased from about $2.50 last year to just over $5.00 here in 2016. Some of the results are in!
I’m the only democrat for governor to receive an A rating by the NH Firearms Coalition!
Hopefully more ratings will come out publicly – if so, I’ll post them here as I find them! To learn more about my low-budget campaign for governor as a democrat, visit my page on the NH Liberty Party website.
Manchester, NH Bitcoin Meetup
It’s not a coincidence that New Hampshire has arguably the highest concentration of bitcoin and crypto-friendly people anywhere. For more than a decade there have been active migrations of libertarian, voluntarist, and liberty anarchists moving to New Hampshire. Many of these movers are activists who are into alternative currencies and the bitcoin community here has exploded as a result.
The oldest migration of libertarians to New Hampshire is the Free State Project, which as of September 2016 boasts nearly 2,000 participants already in New Hampshire, with 18,000 more pledged to move by the year 2021. There’s also the more decentralized Shire Society which has been encouraging liberty-loving people to declare their personal independence and move to “The Shire” since 2010.
These early movers are not only users of bitcoin, but are also some of the key developers and creators of the bitcoin world. Liberty migrants to New Hampshire created the iconic, most-installed-in-the-world Lamassu bitcoin vending machine in Manchester. Some are developing the evolutionary “Open Bazaar” and “LBRY” software. Decentralized ride-sharing app “Arcade City” has also sprung up just this year, and within a week of it being announced, signed up 1000 drivers worldwide. Arcade City founder and liberty migrant Christopher David said, “With its libertarian leanings and an influx of free staters, New Hampshire is perfectly positioned to become a major hub for bitcoin and blockchain startups. That’s a big reason why I moved here.”
Bitcoin Outreach Booth at the Cheshire Fair
Here are some more fun facts about the burgeoning bitcoin scene in the Shire: Manchester is home to the world’s longest-running weekly bitcoin meetup, plus regular meetups are being held in Keene and the Seacoast. According to Overstock.com, the highest concentration of their bitcoin orders comes from New Hampshire. Plus, you can actually use bitcoin in real life here, at mom-n-pop businesses like “Corner News”, “Local Burger”, and multiple food trucks in Keene, plus “Pizza 911”, “Dancing Lion Chocolate”, and more in Manchester. It turns out that Keene, the Southwestern NH city of 23,000 people, even outdoes San Francisco in amount of bitcoin-accepting business per capita! Take a look at CoinMap.org to see the dozens of New Hampshire businesses that are taking crypto!
New Hampshire also boasts New England’s only public Bitcoin Vending Machines (BVM), connecting people with bitcoin from as far away as New York and Boston. (more…)
LRN.FM – The Liberty Radio Network, airs the best liberty-oriented audio shows 24/7 online and via satellite. Our current satellite coverage includes North and Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. The signal is “Free-to-Air”, which means anyone in the coverage area can receive our signal for no monthly cost, providing they have the dish and receiver, which are very affordable. We’ve been on the American satellite since 2010 and have had a signal in Africa since 2012.
LRN.FM – The Liberty Radio Network
Last year we did our first Satellite Fundraiser to gauge the level of support that our listeners have for the platform. While this year’s LRN.FM Satellite Fundraiser did not garner as much in USD as last year’s, we had nearly as many contributors, and that was without the benefit of having a campaign pitch video, like we did last year. (The FBI took the video files in the March raid on the LRN.FM studio in Keene.)
In 2015 we had 46 contributions on Indiegogo, amounting to $4,925. However, $2550 of that came from two individuals. Factoring out those two mega-contributors, the average contribution was about $54. This year we had 40 contributions on Indiegogo for a total of $1760, meaning the average contribution was down a bit to $44.
In addition to the $1760 given at Indiegogo, there were three bitcoin contributions this year, totaling 0.26568 BTC, which is worth about $154 at current exchange rates.
Something new I tried this year that I believe was a mistake was the “Headtalker” campaign that ate up two weeks of potential fundraising right in the beginning. (more…)
Recent articles here at Free Keene have spawned mainstream media coverage in the last week. Here are some quick links:
Steven Zeiler, Free Keene Blogger and Bitcoin Evangelist – Photo Courtesy Seacoast Online
Libertarians in New Hampshire make the news all the time. Does that happen where you live? Maybe you should join us here in the freest state?