This weekend, the Free Keene YouTube channel received a “strike” for “harmful or dangerous content” and is frozen to any new uploads for a week. Why? Apparently a :15 promo uploaded in 2011 triggered someone – or some newly-running algorithm – and needs to be taken down!
LBRY – Content Freedom
The supposedly offensive promo has a limited amount of footage that could possibly be objectionable. Was it the scenes of two men being arrested? A photo of a massive 420 rally in Central Square in 2009? A man speaking into a megaphone? A photo of a band playing or people playing a card game in Railroad Square? A large group of people standing around the “Welcome to New Hampshire” sign at the Vermont border? The 4:20 pumpkin?
Two days prior to this strike, another decade-old :15 promo was allegedly found objectionable, this one featuring then-libertarian Penn Jillette saying he should move to Keene to join the Free Staters. I appealed the finding, and YouTube reversed it, once again allowing the video to be played. So, when the subsequent takedown happened this weekend, I also appealed it, asking in my appeal where the supposed “harmful or dangerous” content was. They upheld their decision to block the short promo video and give the account a “strike”. Of course, they declined to state exactly what it was in those scant fifteen seconds that was so offensive.
The strike would have been a warning, but the account had recently received a warning in late February when YouTube removed a video promoting the new White Rose Society for violating their “medical misinformation” policy. So, that’s two videos taken down within a few weeks, hence the strike and now the account is not allowed to have uploads or live streams, among other things, for a week.
Luckily, we’ve been cultivating our exit plan from YouTube for years.
In 2018 Free Keene was among the first to join the “YouTube Partner Program” that automatically syncs our YouTube uploads to the decentralized blockchain-based media protocol, LBRY. We’ve promoted LBRY multiple times as they have successfully protected our videos that YouTube has deleted over the years.
Now, YouTube has increased its rate of finding things it doesn’t like about our videos. It may not be long before our entire channel is taken down. If you haven’t looked seriously at LBRY yet, now is the time to do it. In 2020, they launched Odysee, a video platform built on LBRY. I’ve created a handy url to take you right to the Free Keene channel on Odysee: video.freekeene.com. Unlike YouTube, LBRY/Odysee has no strikes and videos cannot be taken down. It’s true content freedom, and blockchain-powered. You can get the LBRY app or just follow our channel on Odysee.
From now on, this :30 migrate-to-LBRY promo will play at the end of every upload I am able to make to YouTube before they shut us down completely:
Carl Watner, longtime proponent of voluntaryism, has passed away. He was 72 years young. He will be missed. And his efforts will live on through those of us seeking complete liberty.
Who was Carl Watner?
According to OpenlyVoluntary.com, Watner was:
an American author and historian of libertarian studies, and a voluntaryist. He has written articles for Reason magazine, the Libertarian Forum, Mises Institute and the Journal of Libertarian Studies. Although use of the label “voluntaryist” waned after the death of Auberon Herbert in 1906, its use was renewed in 1982, when George H. Smith, Wendy McElroy, and Carl Watner began publishing The Voluntaryist magazine.
That newsletter, The Voluntaryist, was published continuously since October 1982. For almost four decades Watner, a family man who ran a business in South Carolina, made time to share ideas he believed would foster human flourishing. He also wrote and edited a bevy of books, and is credited with tracking-down and making again accessible the seminal essay by Lysander Spooner, Vices Are Not Crimes.
Watner excelled at communicating a clear, consistent, strike-the-root message. Indeed, in no uncertain terms, Wendy McElroy wrote on her blog that Watner “was the primary hand in founding the modern Voluntaryist movement in the early 1980s.” She continues:
Back in 2011, during Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree, a talented parody writer living in Keene at the time, Richard Onley, created some amazing “Chronic Carols“. They were funny and poignant parodies of classic Christmas carols, like “Drug War Cops are Raiding the School” – set to the tune of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town. We had lots of fun forming the Shire Choir and held a series of performances both inside and outside state liquor stores.
Captain Kickass’ “COVID Carols” – Click for Printable PDF.
The point of the Chronic Carols was to protest the insane war on drugs and do it in a creative and fun way, as singing is much more likely to bring people together or get people to listen to new ideas than say, chanting. Chanting can come across as mindless and angry whereas singing is harmonious. Singing is a virtually unassailable activity as a protest and the American civil rights movement had a lot of success with song, as did the “Singing Revolution” in Estonia.
Fast forward to the present situation where the war on drugs has lightened up a little – at least on cannabis – but now the war is coming against people who just want to breath free, associate with others, hug, or smile at another person. The madness of prohibition has changed into an insane medical authoritarian state. If there was ever a time for the Shire Choir to come back, it’s now.
Actually, the Shire Choir has already come back this year. It was when we visited the NH Attorney General’s house on Thanksgiving and performed the original Chronic Carols, since the war on drugs the AG is behind is still harming innocent, peaceful drug users and dealers. It was fun, but it was clear we needed some current material that could be sung in more places.
Thankfully, Captain Kickass – a longtime professional parody writer who happens to live in Keene – stepped up and cranked out four “COVID Carols” in just a matter of days. The tunes parodied include “Do you hear what I hear?”, which has become “Do you fear what I fear?”, “Merry Little Christmas” is now “Sterile Little Christmas”, “Joy to the World” as “Close down the World”, and “Little Drummer Boy” replaced by “Little Lockdown Boy”. Johnson Rice provided some talented graphic design to put the Captain’s creative lyrics to classic Christmas carols onto a dual-sided color songsheet that you can easily print out and share. Though we have the Shire Choir here in New Hampshire, these songs are intended for the entire world. You can form your own choir and sing anywhere this COVID madness and tyranny has struck.
We have found ourselves in a world now where the Centers for Disease Control is telling people not to sing and local government gangs are telling business owners they aren’t allowed to host karaoke and then fining them if they do. Seriously, that’s really happening.
Don’t let yourself be silenced by the state or social pressure. Sing loud, proud, and hopefully in unison with others. Download and print your own “COVID Carols” songsheet PDF now! Please do share it anywhere you like. It’s our gift to you that hopefully will brighten your spirits on what is an otherwise depressing year and holiday season. It’s darkest before the light – don’t lose hope and please make it your New Year’s resolution to join the liberty migration to New Hampshire in 2021!
New Bitcoin Vending Machine at Red Arrow Diner in Nashua
Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire has launched another Bitcoin Vending Machine (BVM), this one in Nashua at the brand new Red Arrow Diner. Located at 149 Daniel Webster Hwy, the Red Arrow’s Nashua location is just the latest opening in the New Hampshire family of diners that stretches back nearly one hundred years to its founding in Manchester in 1922! The small NH-based chain recently opened restaurants in Concord and Nashua in addition to its downtown Manchester and Londonderry locations. However, Nashua is the only one with a Bitcoin Vending Machine on-site.
Earlier this year, during the COVID-related crackdown on freedoms that attacked local businesses and continues to harm them, the Embassy’s long-running BVM at Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester became very hard to access. This was due to Murphy’s shutting down as a result of the insane restrictions and threats against restaurants from the governor’s gangsters. It looked as though Murphy’s was going out of business as its owner, Keith Murphy had posted a goodbye note to his social media. Sadly, I immediately started looking for a new venue to house the Bitcoin Vending Machine and the first place I thought of was the Red Arrow. Pre-COVID it was always a highly renown 24/7 diner with locations across the most populated areas of New Hampshire. Lots of people are familiar with Red Arrow’s friendly brand and their humongous menu.
Two-Way CVM at Campus Convenience in Keene
As it turned out, Red Arrow’s co-owner George Lawrence had heard of Bitcoin and was interested in taking on the machine at the just-opened-in-May Nashua location. Located just across the border from Massachusetts, the Nashua restaurant is an ideal spot for a BVM. It would be even better if Red Arrow was 24/7 again, but unfortunately due to the fear being perpetrated against the populace by the government gang and its media sycophants, it’s hard for Red Arrow to find the workers needed to return to 24-hour operation. That said, the Nashua location is open as early as six am to late-night seven days a week and hopefully will eventually get back to it’s once-prominent position of being New Hampshire’s premiere 24/7 diner.
Thankfully, Murphy’s was able to re-open in Manchester and so instead of moving the machine from there to Red Arrow, we upgraded the machine in Murphy’s to a newer model and installed another brand new General Bytes BATMTwo unit at the Red Arrow in Nashua.
In other New Hampshire BVM news, the top-of-the line unit that was located at Thirsty Owl in Keene has moved across Winchester Street to Campus Convenience, which has even better hours as it opens in the morning all seven-days-per-week.
More exciting local crypto news to come. Please keep watching this blog for the latest.
World-renown republican candidate for Cheshire County Sheriff and self-described “Anarchist She-Male”, Aria DiMezzo will be a featured speaker at the mask freedom rally in Keene’s Central Square on Monday October 19th. The event will be taking place between 4pm and 6pm. The rally is being held by “Absolute Defiance” and organizer Footloose will also be speaking.
Bring a sign and let the world know you will not contribute to this medical authoritarian nightmare by wearing a mask, or that it’s your right and medical necessity to breathe, or that it’s your free speech right show your facial expressions. Or, whatever message of mask freedom you find true to you. See you there!
There’s a new sheriff in town…
In a fifty-seven page lawsuit filed today in federal court in Concord, New Hampshire, Aria DiMezzo and other plaintiffs including downtown restaurant “Pho Keene Great” are targeting the mask mandates issued by the “City of Keene” and “His Excellency”, NH Governor Chris Sununu.
Ian Freeman, Malaise Lindenfeld, Aria DiMezzo, co-plaintiffs lawsuit against mask mandates in NH.
Attorney Robert Fojo, who also sued Nashua earlier this year over their mandatory mask ordinance, is heading up the suit. In the detailed complaint, Fojo argues the City of Keene’s mask mandate is illegal, as New Hampshire is not a “home rule” state. Municipalities in New Hampshire are only allowed to create ordinances if state law authorizes it. Fojo says cities and towns do not have that authorization when it comes to masks. Additionally, Fojo says the Keene ordinance and Sununu’s state-level mask mandate on groups over 100 people is also a violation of people’s constitutionally protected rights.
In multiple counts, the suit points out the mask restrictions violate the right to assemble, due process, freedom of religion, and the freedom of speech via facial expressions and literally having one’s air passages restricted. Attorney Fojo cites some strongly-written Texas court decisions from this year including Abbott 20-0291 where the Texas Supreme Court agreed unanimously that, “The Constitution is not suspended when the government declares a state of disaster.” and Salon A La Mode, et al 20-0340, where the same court wrote, “All government power in this country, no matter how well-intentioned, derives only from the state and federal constitutions. Government power cannot be exercised in conflict with these constitutions, even in a pandemic…If we tolerate unconstitutional government orders during an emergency, whether out of expediency or fear, we abandon the Constitution at the moment we need it most.”
Sadly, too many people in New Hampshire have been obeying myriad outrageous infringements on our liberties. Some obey out of irrational fear of a relatively unremarkable virus that the media and governments across the world have blown way out of proportion. Others obey the draconian edicts because they are afraid of what their obedient neighbors might think. Business owners comply too, some because they either believe the government’s propaganda or think the restrictions are what their frightened customers want and they don’t want to lose their business. Other business owners obey the diktats simply because they are afraid of what the government goons will do to them if they don’t do as they are “ordered”.
As a result of this pervasive culture of fear, very few NH business owners have stood up against these arbitrary “orders” endlessly emanating from “His Excellency”, and yes, Sununu’s orders really do refer to him in that way.
Thank goodness for Pho Keene Great, the best-named restaurant in all of New Hampshire that made international headlines after the “City of Keene” gang threatened their moniker during the 2018 Christmas holiday. Owner Malaise Lindenfeld is a local entrepreneur with a knack for opening and operating successful, trendy restaurants. Sadly, like so many businesses across New Hampshire and elsewhere, two of her three area restaurants, Audrey’s Cafe and Piedra Fina have been closed permanently due to the power-mad restrictions imposed this year by tyrant king Sununu.
Magician and Comedian Penn Jillette Wearing a Pho Keene Great Shirt!
When asked about her involvement in the lawsuit, Lindenfeld – who immigrated from Venezuela – said, “I am leary of being forced to do things “for the greater good”. Historically, the government starts with small actions and then moves on to sweeping changes that erode our freedoms. COVID-19 could be a case study on how this is true. We started with closing restaurants for two weeks to flatten the curve, and moved on to general lockdowns and mandatory mask wearing. Every time a new rule is made we are told that it is just one small sacrifice for the greater good. “If we could save one life”, we are told, it will all be worth it. But each small sacrifice adds up to one large violation of our rights. I have seen this as a Jew and as a Venezuelan, and I know that ultimately this is not about the greater good after all, but about the greater concentration of power. I am not willing to quietly relinquish my freedom.”
Lindenfeld’s co-plaintiff needs no introduction to those paying attention to the news in the last week. Aria DiMezzo who launched from relative obscurity to international headline-grabber by securing the republican nomination for Cheshire County Sheriff despite being a self-described “Anarchist She-Male” who also happens to be the High Priestess of the Reformed Satanic Church in Keene. Given Keene’s mask mandate targets all “business” including non-profits, her Keene-based church has standing to sue the city gang.
DiMezzo weighed in regarding her reasons for being co-plaintiff in the case, saying, “It’s not about whether masks are effective or ineffective. That isn’t the issue here. It’s about whether the government can force me to put on a identifier…It’s about whether the government can turn you, my brothers and sisters, my friends, my family in humanity, against me on the basis of what I wear. This is not a Jewish star in Nazi Germany. However, precedents are important. If we allow this to happen, there is no telling what might come next.”
We will not obey.
The third co-plaintiff is me, Ian Freeman, co-founder of Bitcoin Embassy NH in Keene and also minister of the Shire Free Church, which in addition to operating the Embassy, owns the building housing the Embassy. The Embassy also runs the local cryptocurrency meetup group that continued to hold meetings even in the early days of COVID in defiance of governor’s orders prohibiting gatherings of over ten. All the lawsuit co-plaintiffs were co-organizers of a mask freedom rally held in Keene’s Central Square after Sununu issued his “order” banning unmasked gatherings of over 100. The order targets organizers of such events with the penalty, not the attendees, much like the Keene mask ordinance that puts the consequences on local business owners, turning them into unpaid enforcers against their own customers, effectively forcing them to cut their own business’ throats.
This lawsuit isn’t perfect. It targets only the most symbolic of the insane restrictions put in place over the last six months – the mask mandates in Keene and statewide. It’s merely a starting point. The ideal suit would be to target all the governor’s orders and the statutes that enable him to issue them in the first place, however our attorney says that needs to be done in state court and our case here is federal. Attorney Fojo already has a couple of relevant cases pending in state court with other clients. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for updates regarding any progress or failure in regards to the legal pushback against this insane medical authoritarian state growing around us. Whether our suit prevails or not, we’ll never win so long as people keep obediently doing what these government goons tell them. When will you stop obeying?