Longtime Campus Convenience Store Now Accepting Cryptocurrency + Bitcoin Magazine Coverage

My Campus Convenience

My Campus Convenience, Keene – Now Accepting Cryptocurrencies!

As of last week, Keene now has two well-known and busy convenience stores that are accepting multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), DASH, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Corner News, the Main Street icon for over 100 years has been accepting crypto since 2013 for various convenience items and smoking accessories, but they now have a crypto-accepting competitor in the form of My Campus Convenience.

“CampCo” has been in business as long as I’ve lived here and is very conveniently located to the Keene State College campus, located right at its northwestern end, at 152 Winchester Street in Keene, right across from another crypto-accepting business, Thirsty Owl, a crypto-accepting bar. Thirsty Owl’s owner, Darren Humphrey, recently took over management of My Campus Convenience and immediately implemented accepting cryptocurrencies as one of his first changes.

It’s a no-brainer. Humphrey has obviously had a good experience with cryptocurrency acceptance at the Owl. Taking crypto from customers means a business gets 100% of every sale, unlike credit cards that take away about 3% of every sale, and an even larger percentage of the profit. Unlike US Dollars or other fiat currency that go down in value due to constant inflation, Cryptocurrency also has the potential of going up – or down – in value, so many local business owners like Humphrey are holding it for the long-term. Though it’s not difficult to turn cryptocurrency into US Dollars, if that’s what the business owner wants to do.

The new addition of Campus Convenience to the growing roster of crypto-accepting Keene-area businesses solidifies our place as one of the top few cities in the world for businesses-per-capita that are accepting crypto. We beat even the “Bitcoin Cash City” of Townsville, Australia where a conference will be held this week to promote that area.

Stickers at My Campus Convenience

Crypto Stickers at My Campus Convenience

There’s no doubt what Townsville’s crypto community have accomplished is impressive, but their city’s population is over 178,000, while Keene’s is about 23,000. That means with 78 BCH-accepting businesses, according to the “Marco Coino” app, Townsville has one business for every 2,293 people while Keene’s 14 BCH-accepting locations gives it a ratio of one business for every 1,642 people. That’s great, but we are bested in the Bitcoin Cash acceptance category by Ljubljana, Slovenia where a payment processor called Elipay is having tremendous success getting allegedly as many as 220 area businesses including at least one grocery store to accept cryptocurrency including Bitcoin Cash. With 279,631 in population, that gives Ljubljana a ratio of one business for every 1,271 people.

The other main crypto spent on-the-ground here in Keene is DASH, which has been accepted by businesses across Keene since 2017. It was with DASH that New Hampshire-based Anypay pioneered their “DASH-Back” program , which pretty consistently gives instant 10% rebates to customers making a purchase at merchants who run the Anypay system. In Keene almost every business that accepts cryptocurrency from customers in real life is using Anypay’s point-of-sale. Eventually, Anypay launched a Bitcoin Cash-back system as well. Both of their crypto rebate robots are funded by donations and are active at the time of this writing.

Finally, big thanks to Bitcoin Magazine’s Colin Harper for this feature-length piece about how unfriendly the banking system is to cryptocurrency users. He interviewed both me and local liberty activist Aria DiMezzo who is the top seller at Local.Bitcoin.com – the online Bitcoin Cash marketplace.

Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest from Crypto Mecca, as more liberty-loving crypto fans move here thanks to the ongoing NH Freedom Migration, the crypto economy here will keep getting better. And don’t forget to drop in to Campus Convenience for smoking accessories, CBD, alcohol, snacks, and more – all for cryptocurrency. Plus here’s a cool map from Anypay that not only shows you where crypto is accepted in Keene, but also when the last time was that someone bought with cryptocurrency.

Social Media Panel @ Porcfest 2019

Porcfest‘s main stage this year featured a social media panel with moderator Naomi Brockwell and panelists Desi-Rae C, Lyn Ulbricht, and Carla Gericke. They discussed the challenges surrounding social media interactions and more.

Gericke is the former president of the Free State Project and is currently heading up the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence. Don’t miss Carla’s new blog at CarlaGericke.com. Finally, someone else is actively blogging in the New Hampshire freedom movement.

NH’s “Free Talk Live” Reaches 200 Radio Affiliate Milestone!

Adam Kokesh joins from the Free Talk Live broadcast table at Anarchapulco 2018.

Adam Kokesh joins from the Free Talk Live broadcast table at Anarchapulco 2018.

Free Talk Live“, the world’s only nationally syndicated pro-liberty radio show, was created in Florida on a little FM talk station in Sarasota in 2002. In 2004 we became nationally syndicated with an initial three radio stations by the Genesis Communications Network. Seven years later, we reached 100 affiliates in 2011. Now, approximately eight years after that, we’ve reached 200 stations!

What an amazing run it has been so far and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our various sponsors, especially Credit Adjustments Inc and Bitcoin.com and the nearly 2,000 people who have helped AMP our show over the years.

In the syndicated radio world, it’s hard to find a show that keeps an accurate affiliate count. I know this because it’s my job to contact radio stations about FTL. Whenever another syndicated show ends, the first thing I do is try to acquire their affiliate list and call their stations to pitch Free Talk Live to the program directors. If I can even find a list, nearly always there are a BUNCH of stations on there that have changed formats, gone off-the-air entirely, or had already dropped the show in question, sometimes years prior. Syndicated radio shows are notorious for keeping inaccurate affiliate lists, but Free Talk Live is different.

I call all our stations multiple times each year to keep in touch, remind them I’m here to help, and if I find out we’ve been dropped, I take them off our list. If we kept our list like the other shows do – keeping every station we’ve ever had on the list forever – we’d be claiming 400 stations! Ours is the most accurate list in the business, of that I am certain. As of now, we have 203. You can see the full list here on our website.

I’ve lovingly dubbed FTL the “radio vulture”. Whenever a syndicated show dies, we’re there to pick at its remains and grab a few new affiliates. This tactic, plus just good old-fashioned persistence, has resulted in Free Talk Live being the longest running syndicated show in our daypart of 7-10pm Eastern.

"Free Talk Live" Moves up to #27 on the TALKERS "Heavy Hundred" for 2018!

“Free Talk Live” Moves up to #27 on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” for 2018!

We’re like an appliance – turn us on during our live times, and we’re there. FTL is one of the few shows that’s live all seven nights per week. In fact, I think Coast 2 Coast is the only other show that does this in the industry.

We just jumped from 196 affiliates to 203 thanks to the demise of multiple shows on our own network, GCN. Recently they decided to whittle down their inventory of shows to simplify their operations and lower costs. Free Talk Live is their number one show for radio affiliates. We have more than their previous top show, Alex Jones, and we’ve bested Jones for many years now. To Jones’ credit, he kills us in internet popularity, but we win by a longshot in broadcast affiliates.

We’re not crazy conspiracy nuts. We just love freedom and are grateful to be able to talk about it seven nights a week to a national and international audience. If you’ve never listened, you can grab archives and our podcast here at FreeTalkLive.com.

If you want to help us bring the message of liberty to our next major milestone of 300 affiliates in the U.S., sooner rather than later, please take a moment and join the AMP program for just $5 (or BTC) a month. Right now we have just under 200 AMPlifiers and we could use your help. The $5 you’ll spend will go further today than it did 15 years ago when we had fewer stations, as the more affiliates we have, the easier it is to bring on new ones. Plus, you’ll get access to some cool perks!

Thank you again to all our AMPlifiers, advertisers, affiliates, and listeners, whether you’re supporting us now or have at some point in the past. You helped make this unprecedented success possible.

Namaste.

P.S. Here’s a handy interactive map showing all our transmitter locations across the US and beyond:

Map of FTL Stations

Detained at US Customs for Three Hours, Devices Unconstitutionally Searched

Patch from CBP uniforms.

Patch from CBP uniforms.

After having a wonderful time at Anarchapulco 2019, I was looking forward to coming back to New Hampshire. After being gone a total of twelve days, it felt like too long. Mexico was fun, but I missed “the Shire“. I’d scheduled a red eye flight back to the US via JFK airport and would arrive at JFK not long after 5am. This is generally a good time to speed through customs as the airport is pretty empty of passengers so the lines are very short.

Indeed, there was no line whatsoever in the main intake room with the Orwellian police state kiosks that demand ID and take your photograph, printing out a slip that you’re then expected to take to a Customs and Border Protection agent at a booth. There was only one person in the line at the booth in front of me. Despite having smooth sailing the previous year, this year was very different. After checking my ID, the initial CBP agent told me to report to a room off to the left, aka “secondary”.

After years of reporting on my talk radio program about the unconstitutional device searches going on at CBP checkpoints, I finally became part of the statistics. I was to have my devices searched in secret – or have them confiscated. According to the AP, CBP conducted searches of 29,000 devices in 2017, up from 18,400 in 2016, a 57% increase from the previous year! The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing over it but the border device search policy has been infringing on travelers’ privacy for over a decade.

CBP’s argument is basically that you don’t have rights at the border and they can search whatever they want. Though their policy was recently updated to clarify they supposedly can’t search your online accounts via your phone, how would you really know? Even though they’re supposed to put your phone in airplane mode when they search it, they are allowed to search it in secret, where you can’t observe. That means they can image your phone, plant something on it, and access your accounts, or they could follow their rules and not do those things. You have no idea.

In my case, I went into “secondary”, located off to the side of the main intake area. It was a dismal room with institutional lighting and a bunch of CBP officers sitting behind a counter that stretched the length of the room. Given the time of day, there weren’t many victims of the CBP’s aggression sitting in the several rows of chairs, but there were a handful. All of them with brown skin, waiting around to be “served” by one of the officious, uniformed CBP bureaucrats shuffling about. As each new victim entered the room and sat down, inevitably the victim would pull out their phone in an attempt to kill the time and would be shouted at by a bureaucrat: “no phones!”. No cell phone signs that looked like they were printed 15 years ago had been posted all over the room. For a group of bureaucrats with camera systems everywhere, they sure are awful concerned about pictures being taken of their drab, boring office.

Actual photo from CBP of the area I was held - you can see one of the no cell phones signs.

Actual photo from CBP of the area I was held – you can see one of the no cell phones signs.

Anyway, after waiting for a bit, an overweight Asian female officer called me up and had some questions about my name, like why I changed it. I told her, “I wanted to.” I understand that due to CBP refusing to respect rights at the border, you’re expected to answer questions about your identity and your travel, but beyond that scope you are not obligated to answer questions. She had me go sit back down for more waiting. Eventually an “Officer Uzzi”, also a portly New Yorker male-type, called me up to his counter. We were to go back to the table in the back hallway for a search. Uzzi acted like he’d be able to get this taken care of as quickly as possible. I knew better than to believe him. I’d gone into the office at about 5:30am and though there was no clock on the wall, it was taking a while and I suspected I’d miss my connecting flight to Boston despite it being at 8:00am.

After Uzzi pawed through my backpack and checked bag they’d had the Delta crew retrieve for them, it came time for the device search. At this point, from the reporting we’ve done on the issue on Free Talk Live, I know that you can choose to refuse to allow them to search the devices, but if you do, they will confiscate them. Whether you can ever get them back is another question. So, since most people don’t want to have to buy a new phone and laptop every time they come back into the U.S. and leaving them at home is probably not an option, CBP knows people are stuck in a place where 99.9% of their victims will hand over their devices for the unconstitutional search. (more…)

“Pho Keene Great” Grand Opening: Photos & Review

The line outside prior to PKG's opening.

The line outside prior to PKG’s opening.

This afternoon at just before three, approximately 25 people were in line to be the first paying customers at the new Keene Vietnamese restaurant, “Pho Keene Great“. If you’re new to the Pho Keene Great story, here’s a recap of what happened with their viral showdown with the City of Keene’s Dragon. When the door was opened for the first time today, the initial customers were welcomed by the PKG crew, all wearing black uniforms including t-shirts and hats bearing the Pho Keene Great logo.

PKG’s bustling staff-on-duty numbered at least a dozen plus Chris Rietmann, the proprietor of Route 101 Local Goods, who was at the front at a table offering the hot-selling Pho Keene Great merchandise like t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and the newest item – tote bags. Plus, each customer walking in was given a free limited-run “Live Pho or Die!” sticker in the shape of New Hampshire and featuring the PKG logo character.

If you aren’t able to come to Keene and still want your own Pho Keene Great gear, you can order it online with your credit card or cryptocurrency like bitcoin at Route 101 Local Goods.

Only a fraction of the busy crew on-duty at PKG.

Only a fraction of the busy crew on-duty at PKG.

After the initial group entered, more came in and by the time I left an hour later, not only was I full, but so was Pho Keene Great. Founder Isabelle Rose was seen in the kitchen, constantly active and focused on preparing the delicious food.

The guy sitting next to me at the bar, Matt, has spent most of his life running professional kitchens and he makes a habit of reviewing the restaurants he visits on Yelp. His review for Pho Keene Great was the first the restaurant had received and he left five stars and this review:

I was in line for the grand opening and was served second out of the group. I ordered their meatball pho.

Broth: simple, clear, delicate.
Noodles: perfect.
Meatballs: dense, perfect.

Route 101 Local Goods' Chris Rietmann talks to a happy customer.

Route 101 Local Goods’ Chris Rietmann talks to a happy customer.

Service: excellent, professional, well seasoned.I’ve been a part of at least 20 restaurant openings in my career and looking around at this one, I see very few foibles or parts that need polish. The food was barely too long in coming, but this is literally DAY ONE, HOUR ONE. I’m extremely impressed at how well out together and error-free this has been, and I can’t wait to come back. I’m so happy not only that there’s a pho place in town, but moreso that there’s a place in town with truly fantastic food and service in a restaurant that is perfectly suitable for everything from family dinners and celebrations to business dinners.

Southeast Asian food should tick all boxes when it comes to flavor in each bite. Pho Keene Great delivers on that necessity and does it in a classy but relaxed environment, and at a reasonable price. Definitely recommend.

The restaurant will initially be open at 3pm daily except Tuesdays and offer a limited dinner menu, though with a full bar and liquor license. They even have a beer on tap from Marlborough’s Frogg Brewing.

Later they are planning to expand Pho Keene Great to include lunch and take-out, but for now they’re keeping it simple to get the gears turning. The restaurant is located next door to City Hall at 11 Central Square in Keene, NH. Here are a few more photos I snapped of the grand opening: (more…)

Victorious “Pho Keene Great” Restaurant to Open @ 3pm Tomorrow, March 8th

Pho Keene Great Sign

Pho Keene Great – Opens Tomorrow March 8th at 3pm!

With less than one day before it opens its doors to the public, Pho Keene Great, the new Keene Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of downtown, has become a viral international news story after the new city manager, Elizabeth Dragon targeted the restaurant during the holidays for its “offensive and not appropriate” name.

Owner Isabelle Rose didn’t back down in the face of the city’s attempt to intimidate her and the media coverage quickly spread across the globe, with readers and viewers outraged at the oppressive, humorless “City of Keene”. Though the city manager had originally demanded Rose meet with her about the sign, the meeting never happened. Within three weeks of the original story breaking, the city people backed down and the “offensive” sign was approved and installed.

Thanks to the viral story, Pho Keene Great t-shirts, hats and bumper stickers have been selling fast at official vendor Route 101 Local Goods as people who do have a sense of humor wanted to show their support of the as-yet-unopened Vietnamese restaurant, from as far away as Australia and Afghanistan. Even celebrities like magician and comedian Penn Jillette got in on the fun.

Isabelle Rose, at her food truck in 2016.

Isabelle Rose, at her food truck in 2016.

All of this with most people never having had the food itself! I say most because many in the Keene area know exactly what to expect from Pho Keene Great when they open their doors to the public for the first time at 3pm tomorrow afternoon (Friday March 8th). Rose had in the last few years run her own Vietnamese pho food truck which had been located outside Route 101 Local Goods in Keene. The pho noodle soup was delicious and she accepted cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as payment!

Now with a newly renovated kitchen, stocked bar, and full staff behind her, Rose is ready to graduate from her successful dream of running her own food truck to the next level – running a sit-down restaurant. I’m excited to see this all coming together for her, and a lot of it is thanks to the bumbling City of Keene making itself look like petty tyrants on the world stage (again).

Here’s some recent media coverage featuring WCAX TV’s Galen Ettlin being given an exclusive look inside Pho Keene Great during construction in February. In the package, Rose explains the story behind the restaurant and takes the reporter on a tour:

Pho Keene Great is located at 11 Central Square in downtown Keene, New Hampshire, right next door to city hall.