Rich Paul’s Triumphant Return to the 420 Rally He Created

In 2010, Rich Paul founded the yearly mass civil disobedience event on April 20th in front of the state house steps in Concord where cannabis users come to toke up in full public view. After taking a year off from activism in New Hampshire, he has returned to retake his role as the emcee of the well-attended rally where thus far, no one has ever been arrested. Here are some highlights from his speeches at last week’s 420 celebration:

Smoke ’em if you got ’em!

More 420 videos to come. Please subscribe to the Free Keene YouTube channel for the latest.

Keene Gets Third Cryptocurrency Vending Machine!

Thirsty Owl is the home for Keene's 3rd CVM.

Thirsty Owl is the home for Keene’s 3rd CVM.

Now that Keene’s original Bitcoin and DASH vending machine has been majorly upgraded to the top-of-the-line General Bytes brand, the Shire Free Church was able to move the popular and rock-solid Lamassu brand Cryptocurrency Vending Machine to a new location in Keene!

I’m excited to announce that Thirsty Owl, directly across Winchester St from Keene State College, immediately stepped up to take the Lamassu. Thirsty Owl, (formerly known as D’s Cafe) offers beer, wine, and liquor along with excellent and affordable food like sandwiches, tacos, burgers, and even breakfast all day. Owner Darren Humphrey began accepting cryptocurrency at the register in 2017, including Bitcoin Core (BTC) and DASH and was excited to host the area’s third public CVM.

Now, two of the area’s three CVM’s are open seven days a week in downtown Keene, with Thirsty Owl extending cryptocurrency availability into the late night in Keene, as it closes at 2am Thursday through Saturday and 11pm Sunday through Wednesday. You can see full location detail, machine info, and hours on the Thirsty Owl’s new Coin Radar entry here.

The cryptocurrency-accepting bar in Keene, Thirsty Owl, now features a CVM!

The cryptocurrency-accepting bar in Keene, Thirsty Owl, now features a CVM!

Thirsty Owl is also the destination for this week’s Keene Crypto Network Meetup group. We’ll be there at 2pm today (Sunday) so if you have questions about cryptocurrency, there’s no better place to go than our meetup. If you can’t make it, we have meetups every eight days.

This also means Keene continues to be the dominant cryptocurrency hotspot in the Northeast United States and one of the top on the planet. Not only do we have a high amount of cryptocurrency-accepting businesses per-capita (more than major cities worldwide), Keene also trounces bigger cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Manchester on CVMs per-capita!

If you’re into cryptocurrency and you aren’t living in New Hampshire, especially the hotspots of Portsmouth and Keene, you’re missing out.

“Fuck You, Feds!” – Pro Independence Manchester NH Senate Candidate at 420 Rally

Carla Gericke, recently profiled along with me in a detailed piece by NHPR, made an appearance with me and other liberty activists yesterday at the annual Concord, NH 420 rally.

Carla’s the former president of the Free State Project and the current president of the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence, an outreach group that promotes New Hampshire’s peaceful exit from the United States. She didn’t hold back in her short-but-sweet speech at the 420 celebration at the state house steps, telling the federal government, “Fuck you”, as she announced her second attempt at running as a “pro-gun, anti-war” republican for the Manchester NH senate seat against a longtime incumbent democrat.

In the video, I also included the full video of her longer speech from 2017, since last year’s coverage only included highlights and I dropped the ball on finishing production of the full speeches. Here are both of Carla’s excellent speeches from 2018 and 2017’s 420 rallies at the Concord state house:

She looks great, by the way – you can really see a positive change in her between the two rallies. She told me she’s been off alcohol completely for six months – congrats!

More video is coming from other speakers at the rally, including the triumphant return of Rich Paul to the rally he created, so do subscribe to the Free Keene Youtube channel for the latest.

Keene’s Original Cryptocurrency Vending Machine Gets Major Upgrade

Keene's Original Cryptocurrency Vending Machine Gets Major Upgrade

Keene’s Original Cryptocurrency Vending Machine Gets Major Upgrade

In 2014, Keene’s first Bitcoin Vending Machine launched at what was then a thrift store at 661 Marlboro Rd (Rt. 101 across from Cheshire Oil). The machine is part of the Shire Free Church’s project to spread cryptocurrency in the region. In 2015, the machine was upgraded to the Lamassu brand – an excellent quality unit and a major improvement over the original Skyhook brand – which is long since out-of-business. (Lamassu was originally developed in New Hampshire!)

Now we’re proud to announce another major upgrade. As of today, Route 101 Local Goods will now be home to a top-of-the-line General Bytes brand Cryptocurrency Vending Machine selling both BTC and DASH. (You can check it out on the CoinATMRadar site here.) The new CVM is massive and attractive, with a huge touch screen interface and beautiful color-cycling LED lighting. General Bytes is the top CVM manufacturer in the world today and they’ve really earned that distinction.

Keene has also earned its distinction as a cryptocurrency hotspot, having the longest-operating CVM in the Northeast United States and one of the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency-accepting-businesses-per-capita in the world! For a while, our CVM was the only one northeast of New York City, until the Shire Free Church launched our machine in Manchester in 2016.

Route 101 Local Goods sells cool NH-made products and accepts crypto!

Route 101 Local Goods sells cool NH-made products and accepts crypto!

In the last several years, people have traveled from across the Northeast United States to use our machine. Its low price in comparison to other BVMs is worth the trip, plus the customer service from its location, Route 101 Local Goods, is unmatched. Store owner Chris Rietmann is a huge cryptocurrency advocate and even gives his customers 5% off any item in the store – if they pay with cryptocurrency – and Rt. 101 accepts a BUNCH of them.

In late 2017, we added DASH (aka “Digital Cash”) to the machine, making it the region’s first Cryptocurrency Vending Machine! In fact, both DASH and BTC are accepted by multiple businesses in the Keene area. More announcements about that will be coming soon, so stay tuned here to the Free Keene blog for the latest on the cryptocurrency evolution happening here in New Hampshire.

By the way, you haven’t seen the last of the Lamassu. It’s still an excellent unit and in great shape after serving customers day-after-day. It’s staying in Keene, but I can’t announce the new location yet. Soon!

NHPR’s Feature Piece on Free State Project (& Free Keene) + Full Interview Audio

New Hampshire Public Radio Logo

New Hampshire Public Radio Posts Feature on NH Freedom Migration

Thanks to New Hampshire Public Radio reporter Taylor Quimby (originally from the Keene area) for his detailed and well-researched report on the Free State Project, which delves into the history of the project, the diversity of opinions of its movers, their effectiveness and impact in New Hampshire, including plenty of focus on Free Keene – one of the top blogs in NH that chronicles the NH Freedom Migration, focusing on Keene.

The audio version of the report is excellent, with audio that doesn’t appear in the printed version. Both editions are lengthy, so settle in for a good long read or listen.

Besides a few minor quibbles, Taylor’s reporting is fair and the audio version is quite entertaining. I laughed out loud a few times.

In case you were curious, I’ve uploaded the full hourlong interview Taylor did with me where we discussed the Keene 420s, how I found the Free State Project and its early history, the start of Free Talk Live, my early discovery of libertarianism, Robin Hooding, the NH freedom migration, Shire Society, Forkfest and schisms in the movement, the Shire Free Church, Porcfest, cryptocurrency in NH, the FSP-FTL breakup, decentralization, and the (in my opinion) success of the Free State Project:

One of the quibbles I have with the NHPR report is the audio used as evidence of the Robin Hooders‘ supposed bad behavior is actually audio of hater Rev. David Berman when he was haranguing Robin Hooder Graham Colson. To my knowledge no Robin Hooder ever behaved like Berman and purposefully invaded the Parking Enforcers’ personal space (and the Enforcers under oath in the case never said the Hooders ever did such a thing). (more…)