New, Anonymous “STOP FREE KEENE!!!” Blog Claims Transparency

The freedom-fearing folks of “STOP FREE KEENE!!!” have apparently started an anonymous blog site.  The site claims on its “Get Involved” page, “we believe in transparency”, yet readers have no idea who is writing the articles.

Of course, actual transparency can be found here at Free Keene.  We have a list of all our bloggers, biographical information, and even photos of each, and have had it from the beginning of Free Keene’s existence.  Each blog post here at FK is attributed to a specific blogger, unlike SFK’s site.

Another important difference is that FK’s bloggers are willing to talk with people who disagree in real life and online, whereas many of SFK’s members thus far have shown an unwillingness to communicate with their neighbors.  Their blog’s comments are moderated, meaning each comment must be approved by the site admins. (EDIT/UPDATE: They appear to have changed their moderation settings to either allow all comments or allow all after one approval, as I am now able to post without pre-moderation.) 

In contrast, the Disqus commenting system we have here at Free Keene allows anyone to post, though there is a moderation system which at times on its own will hold up certain posts.  Those auto-moderated posts are usually approved, provided they are not spam, racism, or advocating violence.  People masquerading as others are also not welcome to comment at FK.  However, anyone can post here with anonymity and by default comments are not moderated.

In real life at the recent “STOP FREE KEENE!!!” silent protest, I am told there was a middle-aged man (not a liberty activist) who came up and attempted to talk to SFK’s Joshua Erickson, (one of the administrators of their facebook group, a self-described socialist) and inquire of him about their protest.  Josh apparently refused to speak to the man, but Free Keene blogger, James “Robin Hood” Cleaveland was more than happy to talk to the gentleman when he inquired, and they had a great conversation.  (Some of which you can hear in the background of the video from the event.)

To SFK’s credit, they did have an awesome turnout at their event.  Unlike their predecessor, the long-defunct “Keene Matters” blog from 2007, SFK actually has a real-life presence.  Too bad not even the heads of the organization will talk to anybody about their ideas, whatever those are.  So much for transparency.

One more interesting thing in the realm of transparency, some of SFK’s members have bragged about their facebook group having over 1,000 members. The reality is, you can easily pump up the membership of a facebook group by adding your “friends” to it without their consent, like this lady who showed up to the recent Robin Hood of Keene People’s BBQ” and told her story about how she found herself added to the SFK group:

There is no doubt from their recent protest that SFK has real members who are participating in real life, but they shouldn’t be dishonest about their group numbers.  Plus, there are even more members in their group now thanks to the recent New York Times article, but even prior to that many SFK group members were not living in Keene.  A better indicator of how many true supporters they have may be their Twitter follower count – 25 as of this writing.  I’m not saying that is an accurate number (they definitely have more than 25) but that number is interesting because you can’t just add anyone as a twitter follower – all twitter followers must opt-in.

Free Keene is Mean t-shirt!A real-life indicator of their actual level of popularity has been provided by SFK themselves: their dashboard note graphic that informs Robin Hooders their assistance is not welcome by the vehicle owner.  When I inquired with Robin Hooders about how often these graphics are seen in vehicles downtown, the answer was there is an SUV that doesn’t use that graphic, just a handwritten note, and that’s it.  Come on, SFK – get those notes on display!   If parking enforcement is as popular as you think and FK as unpopular as you think, then you should be able to do better!

Also, should be interesting to see who crops up in a SFK t-shirt from their new Zazzle store! I’m thinking it would go well on Bradford Hutchingson with his BEARCAT hat.

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  1. Bah, even SFK’s shirts aren’t transparent.

  2. LOL this is fuckin hysterical

  3. To the readers of this blog:

    Blog posts such as this simply show the insecurities the
    blogger struggles with which prevent him from honestly dealing with opposition.

    Re Blogging: Bloggers are welcome to post anonymously or by name, whichever they feel more comfortable with. It is well known that FK likes to roast its opposition and some folks are not comfortable with that.

    SFK!!! is not defined by an arbitrary number on facebook or twitter. Those numbers are comprised of a variety of real people (and “fake profiles” created by FK supporters opposed to SFK!!! –that we weed out as we discover them) who are interested in the cause; opposed to the cause; who are natives; and non-natives alike. Some participate in real life activities, most do not. That is the nature of any group.

    Twenty people participating in a protest is a real and measurable indicator of group involvement, and represents a percentage of active membership. If someone, such as the un-named individual in the video,feels they have been added to the SFK!!! group “without consent”, they are welcome and encouraged to remove their name from the group.

    There are no smoke and mirrors here. The gathering on the Common was a SILENT protest attended by a
    percentage of our active membership. Mission accomplished.

  4. Yeah… a percentage… probably something like “100 percent.”

    Here’s a better idea: /you/ remove anyone that you added without their express permission. That’s a simple and /honest/ solution to the issue. No one should have to proactively opt-out after you added them. Adding someone to a group without their express permission is totally-scummy behavior, and puts you in the same class (ie, low) as spammers, scammers, and the like.

  5. I do not add anyone without their knowledge Mr. Shark. And we do not appreciate when people create fake names and fake pages trying to gain access to the group. I think that friends can “add” friends to groups they believe would be of shared interest, but don’t you get notification of that and can opt out? I think that is how it works. it is not at all about facebook numbers so there is no need to continue to argue that point

  6. By ‘Silent protest’, I’m sadly reminded of when Plymouth students were shushed by teachers who organized them into an anti-firearms protest. I can’t find the video of it right now, but it was clearly that discussion and open sharing of issues and ideas was NOT welcome.

  7. You are wasting your finger strength. Keenesters are juveniles who fap to the idea of liberty, and anyone who questions their methodology or their righteousness is evil and without human compassion. They will never achieve “liberty in our lifetime”. They are nothing more than insecure cultists.

  8. Maineshark. It’s amazing what a blowhard know-it-all you are. You are an intellectual giant–at least in your own mind.

  9. A great turnout. I hope the protestors are there for the right reasons, ie improving their community and not protecting a government job of a friend or family member.

  10. Yeah, so the folks who got added without their knowledge or consent were added by magic, then?

    Apparently it /is/ all about FB numbers, since you folks apparently keep harping on that.

  11. And objectively, of course. Not that it matters – folks can be intelligent and still be wrong, or unintelligent and be absolutely right about something. I would never presume that my intelligence means I’m correct about anything. The fact that I’m /correct/ is what makes me correct, and I would be just as correct if I was only twice as smart as you (ie, still well below average) as I am from a point where “average” is too far down to even be meaningful. My kids keep me humble, though – they’re at the “utterly terrifying” level of intelligence where they could reasonably invite all of their intellectual peers to a single party.

  12. Haha. Judging by how you’ve devoted two columns to Stop Free Keene over a couple days is only evidence of how threatened you are of their emergence. I know a fair number of people who joined that Facebook page and they come from all walks of life. Stop Free Keene has no problem talking to their neighbors, it’s just that they don’t consider YOU as their neighbors and won’t until you stop rubbing everybody outside your clique the wrong way and take a step in the direction of actually joining our community rather than using it as a stage and tool for the radio program nobody outside of Fringe USA has ever heard of .

  13. It isn’t just about FB numbers, it’s about REAL life numbers. This was only Stop Free Keene’s first protest and it’s plain to see from your own footage that there are ALREADY more of them than you. So how are you going to handle it next time when their numbers are likely to double while your clique stays the same size? Or the time after that?

  14. I do not think you are understanding me Mr. Shark.

  15. Are you posting on the site you think you are? Free Keene doesn’t rub anyone, wrong way or otherwise. Rubbing requires physical contact, and without consent that would be aggression, which Free Keene opposes. Whatever “Fringe USA” is, if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re on the wrong site.

  16. I just want to express my approval of the “silent” protest. The members of SFK came out in public and demonstrated their core principle: they are opposed to free speech, and they were conducting themselves in accordance with that principle by remaining silent. I may not agree with their position, but I respect them for living consistently with it. It’s unfortunate more of their supporters do not follow their example.

  17. It is using idiotic semantic tricks like that that only makes the locals hate you even more and uniting us all against you. Keep it up!

  18. Okay, now I see what you’re all about. You’re anti-semantic.

  19. True freedom means not only to have the right to do something, but also the right to NOT do something. Your logic is skewed when you imply that they weren’t using their freedom. Do you think a deaf mute cannot communicate just because they don’t verbalize? Stop Free Keene’s silence was deafening and only a fool missed their point. You guys really shouldn’t have taken their bait and instead ignored them and continued eating your tacos. You wrongfully saw it as an opportunity to show off, but really they beat you at your own game.

  20. What would be the right reasons?

  21. Who are you addressing? I am not affiliated with Free Keene, and obviously I got the point of their protest since I re-expressed it in my post. Nor did I imply “they weren’t using their freedom,” nor that a deaf mute cannot communicate.

  22. Improving their community.

  23. Maine Shark–if you would take 5 minutes to look at the SFK site you would see the activity and realize we are real and fed up with the FREAKEENERS. Stop being suck a pompouss ass and accept the fact.

  24. You say that they are opposed to free speech, so clearly you missed the point.

  25. No one knows what their point was, because they refused to tell anyone what their point was. They were invited to have a civil conversation several times, but decided instead to demonstrate that they don’t have any actual arguments, just anger.

  26. /My/ footage (etc.)? I have nothing to do with Free Keene. Haven’t been to Keene in probably four years, and that was to fix someone’s furnace. Time before that was to watch the marathon. I have no involvement in Keene politics, at all. I just find you punks disgusting and worthy of negative comment, similar to how I would respond if the KKK held a rally in Keene.

    But, from what I’ve seen, Free Keene actually has far higher numbers at any of their real events. This was likely the best that SFK could manage, whereas the FK event was a trivial one where they did not even make an attempt to have high numbers.

  27. I don’t doubt that, at all. If you could actually comprehend basic English, you would not have assumed that I did. Certainly, you’re real, upset, and actually have some members (but not as many as you claim). Like Westboro Baptist Church, who are clearly among your peers.

  28. I don’t see anything that would demonstrate that the FK members feel threatened. Disgusted, yes. Threatened, no. I would devote a lot of air time to denouncing a hate group like SFK that showed up in my town. Hate groups like SFK deserve to be publicly condemned; hate is not the NH way.

  29. It’s funny how you label critics as hate groups when they are simply doing to you what you routinely do to government employees, so I suppose that makes you a hate group, too.

    You know how they say “don’t take it personally”? In this case you should. Nobody hates freedom or libertarianism. Most people around here don’t actually care about politics. It isn’t the message, it’s the messenger, and even if I agreed with you politically I would still want you gone. Even more so because your antics would reflect badly upon me.

  30. I’ll reply anyway :).
    Just want to address “Nobody hates freedom or
    libertarianism”. Lots of people hate freedom, they just do not understand
    why. True, not many people who hear the word “freedom” are going to respond
    with “I hate that concept!” The problem is, true freedom includes freedom from
    government. Freedom from government, in turn, implies the need for personal
    responsibility. People do not want to have to be responsible for things like researching
    drugs before putting them into their bodies, hiring private companies for
    services like trash or security, or dealing with more business competition (in
    the absence of government rules and regulations that prevent so many small
    businesses from ever having the opportunity to compete). We are all used to our
    masters taking care of these things (and, of course, many other things) for us.
    It is scary for most to imagine taking on more responsibility by reducing the
    scale of government. I do not speak for “Stop Free Keene!!!”, but it seems that
    they are upset that Free Keeners are disrupting the system. Regardless of how
    violent or inefficient their masters are, they have created a very comfortable,
    controlled habitat for those who obey. I totally get it, but here’s the problem
    – you may like your big comfy cage, but I do not, and I resent that you support
    this violent monopoly controlling my life. The thing is, I could not possibly
    care less how “Stop Free Keene!!!” members live their lives. If they want to voluntarily
    put themselves under a central authority that can tell them how to live, then I
    (and I suspect most or all Free Keene Members) would not object. The problem
    here is that I do not want any part of your group, yet I am forced (at gunpont,
    if necessary) to comply. You can shrug and say “that’s life”, but it is
    completely illogical to say that government is a moral institution just because
    it has been around a long time and you don’t have a problem with it.

  31. Critics, like Free Keene, honestly describe what is going on and seek positive change.
    Hate groups, like SFK, lie and misrepresent what is going on and seek to prevent change, or seek negative change.

    So, for example, Occupy Wall Street is, by and large, not a hate group. They describe problems in a generally-honest manner, and seek changes which, if they worked, would have positive results for society. Knowing a thing or two about economics, I can say that their plans are nonsense and cannot possibly work, but they clearly believe in them, and seek to enhance the freedom of those around them. For the most part, I think they are ignorant fools, with a very-narrow worldview (most of “the 99%” are actually in the 1% of worldwide wealth). But the fact that I disagree with them doesn’t make them a hate group.

    On the other hand, let’s consider a hate group, like SFK. SFK lies (just for one example, the continuous repetition of the false claim that PEO’s have been harassed), and misrepresents its opponents’ positions on an ongoing basis. They seek to prevent change, or even the public discussion of change, except in the cases where they want negative change for society in order to benefit particular interest groups which they support. They focus on attacking the personalities of their opposition, rather than honestly debating the merits of the subject matter.

    In the case of Robin Hooding, for example, it has been suggested by RH and FK participants that the downtown parking spaces be made free for public use (like Centrail Square, and other public spaces), be turned over to the businesses which they serve in order that those businesses can decide how best to utilize them (and bear the costs of upkeep), etc. Many suggestions have been made, and in each case, it’s clear that the individuals making the suggestions have a sincere belief that their suggestions will benefit society.

    So, again, let’s contrast that with SFK, where we hear that there should be no discussion of change, the status quo should be maintained, or perhaps parking prices and ticket fees should actually be raised. We hear rhetoric about reducing freedom in order to get “them” to leave. All of it dripping with hatred. There’s no discussion, or evidence that the members actually care about society (or even consider anything beyond their hate-filled hearts). Change the details but keep the general content, and the same things could come from the KKK, WBC, or any other hate group.

    And yes, groups like SFK are largely made up of individuals who /do/ hate freedom and liberty. They /want/ control to be the norm. Your statement that “nobody hates freedom or libertarianism” is patently absurd. Plenty of folks absolutely detest the very notion that others could be free to make choices of which they, personally, disapprove.

  32. Again, you’re talking politics. It boosts your ego to pretend that this group is against freedom and liberty, but the real truth is that none of that has any bearing on why people are uniting against you. They come from all walks of life and many even have opposing philosophies from each other. There are Democrats, Republicans, Anarchists, Apoloticals, Socialists, and yes even Libertarians, among others, all united together under one cause. The only thing that matters is that we are all in agreement that Free Keene is a group of JERKS. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will realize that you’ve already lost.

  33. I don’t know, Maineshark. There are only a few dozen activists in the region. I’d say SFK is doing very well in the numbers department. The crown always has a decent level of support.

  34. Someone’s uniting against me, now?

    The “real truth,” as demonstrated /by/ the demonstrators, is that they hate freedom. Look at the signs. They go on and on about their hatred of freedom, not the tactics of Free Keene participants.

    And you specifically avoid dialog, which is typical of hate groups, but not of groups that actually want to reach a resolution to a problem. The latter go out of ther way to /seek/ dialog.

    You’re just a hate group. Go protest at some funerals, or somesuch, with the rest of your ilk.

  35. How many of their number are active, though? I’m not considering random hangers-on, but actual, dedicated activists. This was probably the best they could do, and even then, it was just warm bodies holding signs. No doubt the “silent protest” thing was because so many of them were incapable of coherent dialog, and their handlers didn’t want them actually talking.

    In terms of those who can manage more than spittle-flecked ranting, they seem to be lacking.

  36. That’s what I don’t get – why not have a public meeting, where “Stop Free Keene!!!” folks can have a public opportunity to show exactly why they are so opposed to “Free Keene” people, and can explain what they would like to accomplish. I bet “Free Keene” members would even let the other side have the first, and probably even final words.

  37. Sounds like an excellent idea, to me. But SFK would never go for it, if there was any chance that it would be done in a way requiring decorum. SFK’s goals appear to be nothing other than hate, so there’s no way they would be willing to engage in civil discourse where they would have to behave like adults.

  38. I’m not an official member of their group, although I am a local and I do emphasize with and support their cause. Do not mistake me for their spokesman. Equating SFK with a hate group is a joke. You’d love it if one of you was martyred with a lynching but somehow I just don’t think you’re going to get the satisfaction. Lol.

  39. I get that feeling, but here’s my perspective here – I have been watching this back and forth between the two groups (only recently, so I will admit I am not super-informed on the dispute), and I am finding it very interesting. Probably the most interesting thing about this is the relative lack of actual points from the SFK side. Now, while I do live in NH, I live pretty far away from Keene, so there is not much I can do here…but man, I would LOVE to see this conversation happen publicly. If it was at all possible, I would travel 3 hours-ish to Keene just to watch such an event. I but it would interest a lot of people to see this, and I fail to see why SFK would turn down a chance to have their voices heard.

  40. You’re not a member, but you refer to yourself as one? That must explain why, despite the fact that I’m not affiliated with Free Keene, you keep claiming that I am, eh? Doesn’t speak very well of your honesty, now does it?

    SFK /is/ a hate group, as I demonstrated. And no, they don’t have to lynch anyone for that to be the case. WBC hasn’t lynched anyone, as far as I know, and they’re still a hate group.

  41. I would say almost anything without a conflict of interest.

  42. I’m not a member of Stop Free Keene, I am a member of Keene. I’ve lived here for more than half of my life, I live here and am raising a family, AND I pay my fair share of taxes. I am a proven part of this community. You guys most certainly are not.

    If Stop Free Keene is a hate group, the Free Keene itself is a hate group. What else would you call a group that has built up a reputation for harassment of individuals? You violently assault (and by violent I am using the FK definition) private individuals because they have the audacity to take government paychecks. That is overt discriminatory practices. While you may have the right to question elected officials, the harassment of average citizens who take employment where they can is highly questionable. Free Keene is intolerant of those who disagree with their agenda and NOBODY buys any of that peace crap you pitch anymore. Guess what? Passive Aggression is STILL aggression and you jerks are masters at it!

  43. So let’s get this straight: you haven’t been to Keene in four years but you support Free Keene. So you realize that make your opinion worth zilch, right? Nada? Bumpkiss? Zero? Nunca? Why are you even here? Ah, I see. It’s to give the illusion that Free Keene is important… somewhere out there in Fringe, USA. Thank you for proving that Free Keene is bumping up their numbers with out of staters. You’re a doll. 😉

  44. Do you know one of their spokespeople? Maybe this issue can be resolved by talking to each other, clearly stating what issues they have with one another, perhaps in a series of open letters? You could post them online, and/or mail them to each other.

    From across the Atlantic I might not understand SFK’s views if they don’t care to explain their (to me) contradictory messages, but (to me) they seem to bee messages of hate. That does not mean that SFK is a “hate group”, but how am I to know any better without open discussion with the members, and/or spokespeople? On that note, how are SFK’s members supposed to know what SFK is about if the spokespeople refuse to communicate their positions with people who do not share them? Some pretty good discussion and interesting revelations can be had through open discussion.

  45. They are, however, trying to understand people who “question their methodology [and] righteousness”. A bit of open discussion, and a bit less of name-calling can go a long way.

  46. “The crown?” We don’t have a crown in USA, we have “the state.” Big difference. The crown is private property, so the owner has an incentive to protect it. “The state” is the “tragedy of the commons” replacement for the crown. The only incentive for those who control the state is to extract as much value from it as possible before they get voted out of office. That’s why democracies have much higher tax rates than monarchies. That’s why democracies invented the idea of “total war” where “unconditional surrender” is the enemy’s only option and every politician shuns diplomacy and negotiation for fear of being labelled weak in the next election.

    I’m not saying that having a king is better than having liberty, but before you give the state more credit than it deserves, I recommend you read Democracy: The God That Failed.

  47. Who said anything about me being in another state? You do realize that Keene is not exactly centrally-located in NH, isn’t on the way to anything of importance, and /most/ NH residents don’t go there, right?

    I don’t necessarily even “support” Free Keene. It’s a diverse group. I certainly think highly of some things that some participants have done, think poorly of other things, and am uninterested in a lot of it.

    But the fact that your hate group exists is worth protesting. Hate groups are not the NH way.

  48. No, as demonstrated above, FK is not a hate group.

    Nor, as has been demonstrated numerous times, have they engaged in harassment. If they had, the Keene police would have arrested them for it.

    I’d like to see some evidence of these “violent assaults.”

    I haven’t seen any intolerance from Free Keene participants based upon “disageement.” Could you provide some evidence of that? I’ve seen them oppose those who take certain /actions/, but not mere disagreement.

    And no, “tak[ing] employment where they can” is not an excuse. By that light, muggers should not be “harassed” by the police, because they’re just taking what employment they can find.

Care to comment?