100,000 Satellite Dishes Confiscated & Destroyed in Iran
In many parts of the world, especially poorer ones, internet access is barely available, and if it is at all, it’s expensive and slow. There also isn’t much in the way of in-home entertainment options as cable TV is non-existent as people cannot afford it. To get their news and entertainment, many people in the world turn to the sky, especially in oppressive regimes.
In places like China, Cuba and Iran, satellite receivers and dishes are illegal. Police even conduct regular raids of homes suspected of using satellite, still people’s thirst for freedom of information persists. In a story from last year about Iran destroying 100,000 siezed satellite dishes and receivers, Al Jazeera reported:
Iranian police regularly raid neighbourhoods and confiscate dishes from rooftops, and under Iranian law, satellite equipment is banned and those who distribute, use, or repair them can be fined up to $2,800…”Reforming this law is very necessary as using satellite is strictly prohibited, but most people use it,” he said. “This means that 70 percent of Iranians violate the law” by owning satellite dishes.
At the destruction “ceremony”, General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the head of Iran’s Basij militia, explained the dangers of freedom of information via satellite:
“The truth is that most satellite channels… deviate the society’s morality and culture…What these televisions really achieve is increased divorce, addiction and insecurity in society…Most of these satellite channels not only weaken the foundation of families but also cause disruptions in children’s education and children who are under the influence of satellite have improper behaviour” (emphasis added)
Countless Satellite Dishes Confiscated and Destroyed by the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq
Yes, he really used the phrase, “under the influence of satellite”! Besides his fearmongering, Naghdi is not admitting the real reason oppressive governments crack down on freedom of information.
Information, in this case delivered via Free-to-Air satellite, is a clear danger to the authoritarian state. They spend so much effort brainwashing their people via state schools and controlling local broadcast media, they can’t just allow all that to be undone by signals they can’t control coming from the sky!
Wouldn’t it be nice to have the message of liberty, cryptocurrency, and peace beamed down to the people under the boot of oppressive regimes worldwide?
The good news is it’s been happening 24/7 for most of this decade, thanks to LRN.FM’s Free-to-Air satellite channels over North and Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa! LRN.FM features dozens of liberty-oriented shows, both in live and podcast form, uncensored, streamed 24/7 online and broadcast internationally via Free-to-Air satellite. Free-to-Air means that no subscription is needed to receive the channels. They are TV or radio channels broadcast “in-the-clear”, direct-to-home.
Bureaucrats love to try to throw their weight around to try to get you to do what they say. Some really seem to get off on controlling others. In this case, the clerk inside the courtroom at Portsmouth district court lied to me this morning, claiming I was not allowed to record the judge in court.
This despite having a media registration with the NH Supreme Court and countless hours under my belt recording in various courts around New Hampshire.
However, this was my first time in Portsmouth’s court and the well-fed bureaucrat thought she’d be able to intimidate me. I stood my ground, and sure enough when judge Gardner entered the room she said nothing to me or Derrick J Freeman or David Jurist, all of whom were armed with cameras in the courtroom. (more…)
The 2016 New Hampshire Liberty Forum, held this past weekend at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, was the usual gathering of hundreds of libertarians and anarchists for the annual conference. Different this year was the headlining event, drawing the largest crowd of the forum, and featuring a speaker who was occupying the opposite side of the globe. Broadcasting into the parlor via a live video feed was Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower famed for revealing the details of government surveillance operations targeting humans situated both within and without the borders of the United States.
In the approximately fifty minutes that Snowden was linked into the room, he was interviewed by Reason’s Nick Gillespie on a variety of topics from Snowden’s perspective on current events, the United States presidential race, ideological inspirations, and potential paths for the future.
Strangely, an announcement was made before the event requesting that all unofficial filming be suspended. In the interests of objective journalism, I ensured that an audio device was running for the duration of the event, which resulted in poor audio quality compared to what could have been captured without the restriction. Illustrated with images captured by multiple sources from the event, enjoy this presentation of Edward Snowden’s appearance before the audience of the 2016 NH Liberty Forum.
After almost four years of railing against the wasteful spending going on here in the city of Keene, you might be under the assumption that this place is a lost cause and subsequently choose to settle elsewhere. Don’t. Keene is a great place with a lot of good people and a lot of potential. The truth is this sort of nonsense is going on across the country and in a lot of places it is much worse. The key difference here is the strong liberty community that has chosen to keep tabs on the powers that be and hold them accountable for their misguided decisions. We’ve cleared our eyes of the veil of apathy to see the truth for what it is.
To the wise old city bureaucrats and school officials: this may be your legacy, but it’s my inheritance. I WILL NOT stand by and watch while you squander it. You may get your way this year, but I’m not going to make it easy for you.
As some of you may well be aware, the Keene School District plans to cut 36.7 full-time positions, close an elementary school, and has projected a loss in enrollment of around 80 students. And yet, as you probably already expected, the budget will still be going up.
The school district has presented us with a proposed operating budget of $64.98 million, an increase of $181,394 from the previous year. Should that article fail, the default budget of $65.66 million will kick in. So, lose/lose. But here’s the real kicker: Due to less incoming revenue in the form of state tuition and previous-year surplus, the actual impact on the Keene taxpayer will be an additional $1.7 million increase. This will amount to a 5.31 percent increase on the school portion of your property tax.
These yearly increases in both school and city spending are unacceptable and ultimately unsustainable. If the school district were a private business it would have gone belly-up years ago due to its mismanagement of funds. But unlike the private sector, the public school system doesn’t need to sell you a good product to stay in business. They’ll get your money regardless of the quality and affordability of service they provide us. Or else they’ll take your house.
In an attempt to reign in this out-of-control spending, I have introduced three warrant articles that will help school board members and administrators with their future budget preparation. They include a budget cap of .5 percent, a reduction of $500 per student per year until the student tuition matches the state average, and the formation of a committee to study the feasibility of withdrawal from SAU 29. I’ve also included a fourth article to cease participation in the one-size-fits-all common core program. Sadly, all four warrants will undoubtedly be amended in such a way as to remove their original intent at the deliberative session this Saturday.
If there is one thing the school and its supporters excel at, it is removing any alternative options from the ballot.
In a clear victory today, Free State Project early mover James Cleaveland was found not guilty of “resisting arrest” and six of twelve jurors voted not guilty on the “disorderly conduct” charge! Judge John C Kissinger spoke with the attorneys after the verdict and relayed that the jurors were locked 6-6 on the disorderly charge for all five hours of their deliberation. As a result, a mistrial was declared on the “disorderly” charge, meaning it may go to retrial.
Earlier this year in a bench trial for the same charges, Keene district court judge Edward J Burke found James guilty of both counts. As is his right, James appealed the two class-A misdemeanor charges to a jury trial, even though the sentence from Burke was suspended on condition of good behavior. Ultimately James said he was glad he went to jury trial, as he’s now been vindicated completely on the “resisting” charge, where state police officer Phillip Gaiser lied, claiming James lunged at him and also stepped back 3-4 steps when he tried to cuff him, a claim that was proven false by the video and audio evidence in the case.
In post-trial comments for Free Keene, James said that the video and audio he recorded was critical to his success. Otherwise it would be several cops’ word versus his word, and jurors generally believe police to be honest. Though it was costly in time, stress, and thousands of dollars in legal fees, James is glad he stood up for the right of free press.
Jury Outreach Activists @ Cheshire Superior Court 2015-12-17
Kissinger allegedly said that James choosing to testify made a good impression on jurors, but that having a larger camera would somehow have given him better credibility. All jurors refused activists’ offers of $60 for a post-trial interview.
This is the biggest jury trial success of any liberty activist thus far tried in New Hampshire. Major thanks to all the stellar activists who braved the cold to hand out NHJury.com trifolds to the jurors and also hold signage reflecting the amount of time James was facing (two years in prison), a detail never allowed to be revealed in a criminal trial.
Full video of the trial is still to come to Free Keene. Stay tuned!
Yesterday the trial of Free Keene blogger James Cleaveland for recording police wrapped up with an excellent closing argument by defense attorney Paul Garrity (video still to come) advocating jury nullification. The jury was sent to deliberate and could not reach a verdict by the close of court. This morning, the jury was back to deliberating at 9am – the fact that it’s taking this long could be a good sign for James.