This weekend a couple dozen free-faced activists gathered from across New Hampshire at the Monadnock Co-Op in Downtown Keene for a “mask-free flash mob” event. Approximately a dozen of those gathered entered the store and attempted to shop. Why the Co-Op? Organizer Frank “Footloose” Staples said that it was due to the large number of reports of store staff and customers being very unfriendly to people with medical exemptions from wearing masks. One woman even wrote a letter to the editor of the Keene Sentinel about her difficult experience at the Co-Op.
True to form, some customers were downright hostile, including a younger man – wearing two masks – who told a young woman with a baby to “get the hell out of here”, then yelled something similar at me outside the store, despite the fact that I had not gone inside, as I am not a shopper of the Co-Op. I do understand the perspective of those who participated in the shopping: Since the store is open to the public, it should to serve people with medical exemptions. It’s certainly their right to refuse service to people for whatever reasons they want, but if a medical condition is a reason to refuse service, then they should take down their “Everyone Welcome” marquee and become a private club, open only to members.
Another noteworthy character who makes multiple appearances in the video is the self-described “Blue Collar Brawler”. The elderly, double-masked man has words with everyone he comes across, wishing them death and calling the free-faced people “asshole”, and “stupid”. He even loads up his hand with a roll of quarters to white knight for a masked woman who herself is shouting at an unmasked older man in one of the store aisles. It’s a wild video:
To the Co-Op’s credit, the DID allow all the unmasked shoppers to make their purchases, though there were a large number of them. Individuals who attempted to shop at this store prior to this event had reported being made to feel very uncomfortable and even being refused service. I recommend taking your business elsewhere and shopping at places who respect the freedom to choose.
Over a Dozen Heroically Attended the Right to Assemble Event Today, April 1st in Concord
Donning masks from “V for Vendetta”, more than a dozen activists gathered at the New Hampshire state house in Concord today in violation of “HIS EXCELLENCY” governor Chris Sununu’s “order” banning assembly of over ten people. Not only did the police who passed by the event today use their discretion and ignore the event, one Concord police officer even waved to the group, suggesting that he also supported the human right to assemble. While responses from passing motorists varied, the majority were positive, including thumbs-ups, honks, and waves. Negative responses included middle fingers, shaking heads, a thumbs-down, and verbal “quarantine shaming”. Of course, any protest for any topic always elicits negative responses and this one was not unusual.
Curiously, the only media who bothered to attend was an independent videographer who interviewed me and NH republican primary challenger to the incumbent governor Sununu, “Nobody“. After standing by Main Street for over an hour holding signs like, “Social Distancing is Fear, Not Love” and “Assembly is a Human Right”, we took a group photo by the statue of General John Stark. Stark is known for creating the saying from which New Hampshire selected its state motto:
Live Free Or Die; Death Is Not The Worst Of Evils.
Stark is likely rolling in his grave now with Sununu following obediently along with other tyrannical state governors and issuing approximately two dozen emergency orders in the last few weeks, destroying the freedom to do business and the freedom to assemble. While Sununu has not gone as far as some of his counterparts, he is nonetheless presiding over a tremendous increase in authoritarianism as well as economic destruction.
Protestors hold signs and socialize next to Concord’s Main Street.
Thankfully, Sununu won’t be unchallenged in this year’s election. “Nobody” of Keene has thrown his hat into the ring as Sununu’s thus-far lone republican primary challenger for governor. Here’s a recent Boston Globe story that features Nobody and mentioned today’s event at the state house.
Activists joined Nobody from across New Hampshire and even as far away as Western Massachusetts to hold signs and violate “social distancing” rules that are driving people nationwide to suicide from lack of human contact and job losses. Recent news has shown suicide hotline calls are well above normal levels in many places across the United States.
There may indeed be a nasty virus out there. How much worse it is than the flu, which kills tens of thousands in the United States each year, remains to be seen. Fearmongering media and politicians benefit when they ramp up fear in the population. However, the decision on how to handle possible risks in life should be up to the individual, not lying, power-seeking politicians and bureaucrats. Freedom is better than safety or the illusion of safety, especially when the cost is your liberty. Once the government goons take more freedom, don’t expect to ever get it back.
That said, many motorists in Concord seem to be on the side of freedom, and there were a surprising amount of people on the roads, getting life done. Kudos to the police for ignoring the peaceful event. The next Nobody-led assembly event in Concord is the annual 4:20 cannabis smoke out on 4/20, and for the only time – in 2020. Hope to see you there! Nobody’s campaign website is ElectNobody.com.
New Hampshire’s Longest Running Regular Libertarian Social Meetup
The last couple of weeks have been nuts. We’ve seen authoritarianism rising globally at a rapid clip, using health as the excuse and scaring people into total obedience and isolation. It’s tragic. In New Hampshire and several other states, restaurants and bars have been told they aren’t allowed to serve customers inside their establishments with the exception of take out and delivery. Other businesses are having people work from home and “social distancing” has been put in place as the new normal. In other cases, like California, total lockdowns are now in place. In NH, an “emergency order” was issued by the state governor, Chris Sununu, who – no joke – is actually referred to as “HIS EXCELLENCY” in the order which purportedly bans any gathering of over fifty people.
It’s an outrageous order and contrary to a basic right of humans, which is the right to assemble. It’s also a violation of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In order for many humans to be happy, they need to be around other people. We are a social animal. Now the people calling themselves “the state” or “the government” have decided to threaten everyone with violence if they don’t do as they are told and OBEY – for their own good, of course.
Normally, libertarians are skeptical of the things they are told by government goons, however we’ve seen yet another schism in the movement in the last few weeks over this Coronavirus scare. Apparently if an authoritarian puts on a lab coat then many libertarians will fall under their spell.
I don’t know if Coronavirus is the threat the government and media are making it out to be. I do know this, however:
1. Politicians and bureaucrats lie. There’s no reason to believe they are telling the truth now. There is a long history of governments manufacturing a crisis and spreading fear in order to attain more power. We saw this in a big way prior to Coronavirus in the hysterical paranoia fostered by the state after 9/11. As a result we saw the rise of “Homeland Security” and the further elimination of freedom. The response to Coronavirus is even worse. In some cases like San Francisco people are under total lockdowns. They also use the term “lockdown” in prison.
2. Media benefits when it propagates fear. “If it bleeds, it leads!” News is a business. They have advertisers, so the more people they can get to tune in, the more valuable the ad space. If people are in a state of fear, they are more likely to hang on through that next commercial break. Plus, mainstream news sources depend on government for its press releases and usually incorporate them, verbatim, into their on-air copy. Though in theory their job is to expose political corruption, if they are too good at this, the state agents will not talk to them any longer and then they won’t get “the scoop”, so any critique of government from mainstream media is usually highly limited.
3. Whenever government takes more freedoms, it doesn’t cede that ground back to liberty after the “crisis” has ended.
Keene Bitcoin Meetup
Government gangsters say it and the media propagates it. As a result, people are scared to death of another iteration of the flu that as of this writing, has infected just over 250,000 people globally – according to numbers provided BY THE STATE. Some libertarians believe the governments are downplaying the numbers to keep people calm. Others believe the state agents are inflating the numbers to scare people more. Who knows what the truth is.
I do know this, people are obedient and more than willing to do what they are ordered by people wearing fancy hats, uniforms, and lab coats. They are easily frightened into giving up their freedoms, all for the promise that they’ll be able to continue to suck air.
However, what is the point of living if you can’t make your own choices?
If people across New Hampshire don’t stand up and take back their liberties, then we no longer deserve the “live free or die” slogan. To that end, in spite of Sununu’s order, the longest-running weekly social gathering of libertarians in New Hampshire, “Social Sundays” will continue. Previously held at Local Burger on Main St, it has moved to the Bitcoin Embassy NH located at 661 Marlboro St. in Keene. The new start time is now 5pm. Attend at your own risk and bring your own food and drink. If the event gets to over 51 people a special prize will be awarded. No cops allowed.
In my last article about him, written shortly after his arrest in Charlottesville at a white nationalist hate rally, I explained that despite Chris’ libertarian activism being covered by this blog in the past, he had never been a blogger at Free Keene, nor was he ever invited to be. When he came to Keene in the early part of this decade, he was just crass libertarian comedian Chris Cantwell from Long Island. He wasn’t a racist, but still caused much controversy for his hatred for the police.
Today, Chris has embraced the police as his potential tool of oppression, even though they recently threw him into a jail cell for months in Virginia. As he revealed in our conversation Tuesday night, he literally wants to become the state. Shortly after 2 hours, 22 minutes in he actually says he wants to force his beliefs on others, and then moments later says, “I want to be the government, yeah.”
His dramatic shift to statism isn’t a first for the Free State Project libertarian migration, which was the original reason Chris chose to move to New Hampshire. Early mover to Manchester Amanda Bouldin went from being an anarchist to a hostile-to-libertarians leftist. Conversely, Chris has gone from being an anarchist to a actual NAZI. There’s not a shred of a libertarian left in him. Libertarians, voluntarists, and liberty-loving anarchists believe people should be judged as individuals, by their words and actions. Chris is obsessed with race and admits in the conversation that it’s lazy to judge people based on the group into which they are born, but nonetheless runs with the idea anyway, as he considers the laziness of racism to be an efficient filter for his ideal society.
Previously a libertarian against the war on drugs, he’s now for prohibition.
Further, Chris actually seems to believe he has some chance of becoming the state, by leading some kind of white nationalist takeover of the government. About the only thing we agree on is his support of secession. Politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows. Of course if NH were ever to secede, we’d be at odds again as I support open borders and he supports a closed-border police state.
The conversation we had on the Twitch-only show (though I’ve since exported it to Youtube here) had some particularly bizarre moments including Chris holding the confusing position of having used cannabis while supporting continuing prohibition against it. He speaks out of both sides of his mouth by acknowledging the benefits of harm reduction and decriminalization but refusing to advocate for policy changes in that direction. It’s a perplexing perspective. Despite his own personal knowledge of the ineffectiveness of prohibition and the various studies proving it is an abject failure that creates the opposite of its intended results, he rejects all that on the near-religious belief that outlawing something reduces its use. It’s a belief wholly at odds with how he used to think on the issue.
At one point in the conversation he actually refers to himself as a caricature. What does he really believe? Outside of another total personality shift to a communist, that which he currently hates, or perhaps maybe going transgender, it’s hard to imagine where Chris will go from here.
Speaking of transgender, Chris also had a segment with the Anarchist Shemale, Aria DiMezzo. Aria wrote about it on her blog, and was disappointed she didn’t get more time on-air to fight with Chris. I’d invited her there with the expectation that Johnson wasn’t going to stay through the whole show and that Aria could take his chair later. Turns out, Johnson stayed the whole time. She was also upset that we didn’t go toe-to-toe with Chris on trans issues, which I honestly know next-to-nothing about.
Only advocates of peace are allowed to blog at FreeKeene.com
Others, Aria included, wanted to see more challenges from Johnson and I, and were upset that I laughed at Chris’ sick jokes. I’m the first to admit, I laugh at inappropriate things and I’ve always enjoyed Chris’ sense of humor. But Johnson and I definitely challenged his racist and insane statist beliefs. People will hear what they want to hear, of course, and people are highly emotional when it comes to Chris. They give him way more power and weight than he actually has. Some say we shouldn’t give him a platform, but then widely share the very video they say we shouldn’t have made.
Others, like me, can see the value in giving enough rope to Chris to verbally hang himself. We don’t think that bad ideas should be shut down, but instead they ought to be countered publicly. The answer to ugly speech is more speech, not de-platforming or censorship. If you don’t think I was the best person to counter Chris’ ideas, that’s fine. If you hate me because I’m kind to Chris, that’s fine too. Hate only hurts the hater. That’s ultimately the true irony here, that hating Chris only makes you more like him.
Chris has become what he once hated – an arch statist. He has rejected the libertarian principle of non-aggression and instead embraced coercive, institutionalized violence as his tool. Of course, violence begets violence and he will reap as he sows.
Though Chris is certainly responsible for his horrible beliefs, he’s ultimately a creation of a society that has long embraced the aggression of government as a tool to control their neighbor. If you hate Chris but you support the coercive state, you ought to look in the mirror. People cover their support for state violence by believing in nonsense like the “social contract” and refusing to see the threats of violence that back all government programs. They hold conflicting positions, like supporting the state while believing they themselves support peace. To his credit, at least Chris is honest about his reasons for supporting the state. He knows it’s a tool for the violent to control others and is eager to use it for his purposes. If you support the state, you helped make Chris into a monster.
City councilor Margaret Rice, one of the few sane voices on this issue, speaks out in favor of self-ownership.
Just one day after the 85th anniversary of the repeal of alcohol prohibition, the Keene City Council voted 10-4 to publicly express their ignorance on the matter and increase nicotine prohibition within the city limits. All of the testimony on the matter given on at least three separate occasions didn’t matter, despite most testifying against the idea.
Reminding the councilors of the lessons of history didn’t work. Though alcohol prohibition was a tragic, predictable failure, apparently they councilors think that banning the sale to and possession of nicotine by those under the age of 21 is going to somehow keep it out of the hands of middle schoolers. The councilors who voted in favor never addressed the fact that middle schoolers are already able to acquire nicotine despite it being illegal for them to do so. They also didn’t explain how increasing the legal age to 21 from 18 would have any effect on underage possession.
That’s because prohibition is an authoritarian fantasy that never works and always has predictable, destructive, unintended consequences. All they are doing is punishing innocent store owners’ bottom line and increasing the likelihood that more college students will be harassed by the police for simply walking down the street with a vaporizer or cigarette and “looking under 21”.
They’ve ramped up the futile, pointless, counterproductive war on drugs in Keene and we’re all going to be worse off for it. The ban has also sparked a political fire in Dan Cavallero, the owner of Monadnock Vapor, who has announced he’s planning to run for Keene city council in 2019 as a result of this stupid move by the council.
Cavallero has been the most active opponent of the measure, having attended every public hearing and testified, even while on crutches from a recent injury. Here’s the last public hearing video from the city’s MSFI committee which features Cavallero, me, and others testifying against the insanity of prohibition. Sadly, it fell on deaf ears:
It’s been in the cryptocurrency news over the last several weeks, but many do not know what the world’s first-ever “Hash War” is all about. Thankfully Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire is now here and Head Ambassador Chris Rietmann scheduled an event that happened yesterday afternoon to talk about it.
What is the history of the conflict brewing between rival factions of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community, and what might happen in the all out “Hash War” that’s supposedly to begin this morning at just before high noon today (11/15), Eastern time? If you watch the video, you’ll find out all we know: