A few weeks after winning their first-ever “Liberty in Action” achievement award for “Spreading the Message”, as popularly voted on by Free State Project members, the FSP’s unelected board of directors banned me and my talk radio show, from attending FSP events like Porcfest. (An event I helped sponsor and promote for many years.)
Last year that festival became “family friendly”, after years of prudish libertarians complaining about drug use and occasional female toplessness. To kick off the changes, I was banned from the FSP events because of my libertarian views on age of consent, according to their press release. It’s commonly known that my most recent girlfriend was a later-teenager and this supposedly infuriated key volunteers within the FSP, leading to my ouster.
Have you signed the Shire Society Declaration yet?
To be clear, I don’t want John to get banned from Porcfest, nor do I have any interest in being part of the FSP. I just want to point out the glaring, laughable hypocrisy. People who love liberty should probably still attend Porcfest, but it’s getting harder to recommend that, given that the event length this year has been chopped in half but the price hasn’t lowered one bit.
Plus, Porcfest now has a more-principled competitor, SomaliaFest, which is set to happen June 16th-20th, at Rogers Campground. That’s right before Porcfest, which is slated for June 21st-25th at the same campground. Unlike today’s Porcfest, but more like Porcfest from the old days, SomaliaFest has no entrance fee. Attendees can just camp, vend, hang out with cool liberty folk, and self-organize whatever they want. SomaliaFest sounds like a good time, and much more market-driven than the now-centrally-controlled Porcfest. (more…)
Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and I went to the state house this week to testify on more legislation. Here are three full hearing videos from this week:
SB 23 would legalize firecrackers in New Hampshire. Everyone except the fire marshall testified in favor of this legislation. This is the full hearing video:
SB 144 would expand access to the medical cannabis program in New Hampshire. Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry commented in favor. This is almost the full hearing only missing a moment of the initial speaker: (more…)
I was shocked to hear the news on WKBK earlier this week that Brian Costa, Keene’s police chief since 2015, had died in his home one week ago. I was even more surprised to learn he was just 46 years old. Unlike his predecessor, Brian treated me like a human being. He was kind, respectful, and approachable. Surely he and I disagreed on various subjects, but that never stopped him from being willing to work with me where we agreed. The few times I’d interacted with him in his too-short-a-term as police chief, I was impressed with his humanity and professionalism. Though I didn’t know him well, I wish I did.
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…)
New Economic Development Action Plan moves forward. Keene elites believe it will solve all our problems • City leaders sign letter against intolerance and bigotry. Report all displays of intolerance to your local law enforcement officer • http://CitizenCain.org
State Representative Caleb Dyer recently made history by becoming the only state rep in the United States that is a member of the Libertarian Party. Now, he’s joining Free Keene as our newest blogger to give us his perspective on goings-on within the New Hampshire state house. Welcome, Caleb! Here’s his bio from the bloggers page:
Caleb is a writer, graphic designer, and tree care specialist. His parents moved him to NH when he was a baby and after graduating from Alvirne High School in 2015, Caleb decided not to pursue higher education due to the rising costs and stagnating quality. In 2016, Caleb was elected State Representative for the towns of Hudson and Pelham as a Republican. During his campaign he knocked doors each day after work; knocking on over 2,000 by mid September, and only spent ~$400; proving that, given the effort and diligence, good ideas can win on a budget. On February 9th, he switched his partisan affiliation to Libertarian; becoming the first member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives in nearly two decades to serve the majority of his term as such.
Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and I went to the state house this week to testify on more legislation. It was a short week, however, and I only have two full hearing videos to share:
HB 161 would close the loophole allowing untaxed beer sales at farmers’ markets. This is the same bill that was heard in week 2’s videos, but in front of a different committee. Darryl and I testified against it. Here’s the full hearing video: