After a sparsely attended deliberative session Saturday, two petition warrant articles will go onto the Keene School District’s ballot with significant amendments.
A range of other proposals, including a collective bargaining agreement for principals and supervisors and appropriations for building maintenance and special education reserve funds, will appear on the ballot as proposed.
Though 77 registered voters attended the session — about 0.4 percent of the district’s 17,855 registered voters — a few vocal individuals seemed to dominate discussion Saturday morning.
Early in the meeting, two amendments to the district’s $66,661,091 operating budget were proposed, but ultimately voted down. The proposed budget is up 0.6 percent from the $66,150,293 budget voters approved last year.
The first amendment, proposed by Keene resident and former Keene High football coach John Luopa, would have added $311,425 to the operating budget, with the funds intended for step increases for teachers.
The Keene Board of Education and the teachers union failed to reach a new contract agreement this year, and in the absence of a new agreement, the previous teachers contract reached four years ago will remain in effect beyond its set expiration, on June 30.
A few board members, including Kris Roberts, George Downing and Susan Hay, opposed the amendment, noting that any potential step increase should ideally be reached through a collective bargaining process.
Downing also clarified that though voters have the power to add funds to the proposed budget at the deliberative session, they don’t have the power to restrict what those funds would be used for.
On a secret ballot vote, the amendment failed, 40-18.
A second amendment to the operating budget was proposed by Conan Salada, a Keene resident and former candidate for state representative and Keene City Council, to decrease the operating budget by $410,796, to match the previous operating budget. Salada argued that the district’s spending per student is too high.
“It shouldn’t cost that much to educate our youth for what is basically daycare. The amount of money being spent, a quarter million dollars for the life of a kid, we should be turning out engineers, rocket scientists, doctors,” Salada said. “And yet half of these kids probably couldn’t pass an entrance exam in the local college.” (more…)
In April of 2017 Darryl and I were traveling back to Keene from Taco Beyondo in Hillsborough (they accept Bitcoin Core and DASH, by the way) and were waylaid by four armed, uniformed men. They surrounded the car and issued a written threat over what they call “misuse of plates” due to the Shire Society plate on the back of the car at the time.
This video contains the original pullover from April 2017, the full trial at Hillsborough District Court in New Hampshire in January 2018 and then the sentencing hearing from February 2018.
I was found guilty and sentenced to twelve hours of community service – but I had fun asking the cop some interesting questions in court. Enjoy the video:
Ron Paul Speaks at Anarchapulco 2018 to a Full House – Photo by Luke Rudkowski
For many years, the Porcupine Freedom Festival was the must-go libertarian/voluntarist/anarchist yearly gathering. Many would travel from around the United States and globe to attend. Maybe they enjoyed the various speakers and panels, relaxed camping atmosphere and beauty of the location at Roger’s Campground, or the various activities like Buzz’ Big Gay Dance Party. Or maybe it was just the fun of being with other liberty-minded people for a week in the woods during the Summer of northern New Hampshire. Whatever it was that attracted people, Porcfest was the key such gathering for many years.
Unfortunately, due to certain prudish elements Porcfest made a critical error and jumped the shark in 2016. After many longtime attendees dropped out in protest, the event has re-branded itself as a family gathering. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it has limited the event’s turnout for the last couple of years. According to attendees of the last two years, Porcfest is just not what it used to be.
According to our discussions with organizers over the many years my radio show, Free Talk Live, broadcast from Porcfest, the top turnout they had was about 1,700 – that number reached after about a decade of events.
Now in just its fourth year, Anarchapulco has already hit 1,700 ticketed attendees! For those unfamiliar, Anarchapulco is a hotel convention in Acapulco, Mexico that is attracting a very diverse, international audience. Attendance more than tripled between 2017 and 2018’s events. This year, for the first time, it was SOLD OUT!
Adam Kokesh joins from the Free Talk Live broadcast table at Anarchapulco 2018.
The speakers couldn’t get any bigger. Ron Paul spoke to a standing-room-only crowd, former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney came out on-stage as an anarchist with Libertarian Party 2020 presidential candidate Adam Kokesh, and dozens more spoke on everything from cryptocurrency to economics to esoteric conspiracy kookery. The attendees were in good spirits and ranged from crypto-suits to crypto-hippies! Seriously, everyone was into cryptocurrency. At least that’s how it seemed from the conversations in the hallways.
Most of the event’s sponsors were cryptocurrency-related including prime event sponsor Bitcoin.com, DASH, PIVX, and others. In fact, as they did the previous year, the final day of Anarchapulco was completely dedicated to crypto-related speakers. They called that Cryptopulco.
Like last year, music was an important part of the convention with nighttime performances from Wu-Tang, Jordan Page, Backwordz, and others. Art was also once again present with artists creating beautiful works right in the main hall at the front of the stage. The location was spectacular. It was held this year at the Princess resort right on the beach in Acapulco.
No attendee I spoke with had anything bad to say about the event – it was all rave reviews. Everyone I spoke with is planning to return with friends in 2019 and tickets are already available at Anarchapulco.com for 2019. They’re moving to the venue’s largest event room and can next year hold approximately 4,000 attendees. Expect 2019 to sell-out as well, so get your tickets soon. We hope to see you there.
If you want a taste of what it was like to be there, we did several days of broadcasting Free Talk Live from the event and featured a bunch of the speakers and sponsors of the event on-air. Here they are in chronological order:
One of the great things about the internet is the availability of information at the push of a button, and the ease with which people from around the globe can communicate. While this can be a powerful tool to help minority voices (including libertarians) publish their views, it has contributed greatly to the prevalence of the 24-hour news cycle. And with so many outlets competing for views, you end up with sensationalism, or what is now called click-bait. When social media is added into the equation, you end up with manufactured news, i.e. news reports about tweets and other posts on social media, and libertarians are not exempt from this either.
There’s an old saying, “you don’t have to attend every argument you are invited to.” And this is the reason I’m writing this letter. Stop! Yes, I know that arguing on the internet isn’t a new phenomenon and has been happening since the internet existed; I also know that libertarians have been arguing with other libertarians for decades. As Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
Believe me, there is life outside of social media and facebook drama. I’m not going to tell you how to spend your time, however I am going to suggest that maybe arguing on facebook isn’t the best use of your time and energy. If the goal “is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime,” then maybe you want to consider: volunteering in your community; attending and speaking at legislative committee hearings; running for office with a goal of educating voters about your beliefs, or volunteering to help such a candidate. And above all else, enjoy life. Go for a hike, go to the gym, run a 5k, watch a TV show, go to a sporting event, etc. Because at the end of the day, what’s the point of having a world set free if all you’re going to do with your freedom is argue on the internet?
Attorney Dan Hynes, also an A+ rated state representative by the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, appeared in the New Hampshire Supreme Court on Thursday morning and pointed out the absurdity of prohibiting female toplessness, absolutely eviscerating the city of Laconia’s clearly discriminatory ban. In contrast, the state’s attorney actually argued that it was an issue of morality as she simultaneously admitted that a woman could wear pasties over her nipples and then it would be legal, even if the pasties were printed photos of nipples!
Are there really people who believe that the sight of nipples on a woman is immoral, but because it’s legal to cover them with photos of nipples, then it’s now moral?
Further, what exactly is immoral about female nipples being shown in public?
In case you missed it, here’s the original Free the Nipple trial from the original Gilford arrests (the case prior to this one, where the ladies won at the district court level). Hynes does an excellent job and the entire thing is pretty entertaining: (more…)
Ever since, I’ve been a supporter of the unique approach that Hundred Nights has taken to helping the homeless. Rather than give them a place to stay every day of the year, Hundred Nights opens for the hundred coldest nights. At 7am, all those staying overnight have to get their stuff and leave for the day. They aren’t completely out in the cold, as Hundred Nights also operates a drop-in center open year-round, where the homeless can work on finding jobs, putting together a resume, or just get warm.
Hundred Nights’ BTC Wallet QR Code is 13rPdujR7Gg2v8pGHEF1UwCAP9gVjb6j8v
Recently, the Monadnock Decentralized Currency Network (MDCN) donated 1% of a Bitcoin Core (BTC) to the auction that Hundred Nights put on in December. The MDCN also offered to match the dollar amount of the winning bid on the coin as a BTC donation to Hundred Nights, up to a maximum of one whole BTC (which at the time was worth about $15,000). Turns out, despite having the chance to bid, a room full of mostly older folks only resulted in one bid… of $25. It was a lady buying it for her son, who had been telling her about cryptocurrency.
Given that the bid was so low, it was decided that a matching 1% of a BTC (worth around $150 at the time) would also be donated to Hundred Nights, rather than just $25. I dropped in to the office of Hundred Nights’ Executive Director Mindy Cambiar and helped walk her through signing up with Coinbase. While I’m not a big fan of Coinbase as a company, they do make it easy for people with bank accounts to acquire cryptocurrency as well as convert it to USD if they need or want, so I still recommend them to newbies. Indeed, within a short time, Hundred Nights was ready to accept cryptocurrency donations and the addresses are up now on their website. Whether you live in the area or not, if you’re a cryptocurrency user, please send them a donation to thank them for embracing the future of money!
As of now, Keene’s independent homeless charity is now accepting cryptocurrency including Bitcoin Core (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)! Here are the addresses to which you can contribute: (more…)