Libertarian Elected in Manchester: Voting is Palliative

Libertarian Colin Gibson was elected to Ward 4 Moderator on November 7th. Colin won 738 to 331. There were 8 write-in votes. Colin is an advocate of crypto currency, police accountability, and agorism. Colin is known by many in the liberty community, and presumably by some in the anti-liberty community. However, there is no indication that he is known by the population at large, and he states that he did not run a campaign. Colin ran against Inbal Rejwan-Day. She was not an incumbent as Woullard Lett was the outgoing moderator according to a phone call to the Manchester City Clerk on November 9th at 1pm.

I do not consider this an achievement of republicanism (more commonly, but less accurately known as democracy). (more…)

New Bitcoin Vending Competitor Installs Machines in Keene, Manchester!

Corner News' owner Roberta Mastrogiovanni poses with her store's brand new Bitcoin Vending Machine!

Corner News’ owner Roberta Mastrogiovanni poses with her store’s brand new Bitcoin Vending Machine!

Big news for Bitcoin fans in Manchester and Keene – we’ve got competition in the bitcoin vending space! As of yesterday, Blackfrog became the first real Bitcoin Vending Machine company to install units in New Hampshire!

As one of the admins of the existing non-profit Shire Free Church-run Bitcoin Vending Machines in Keene and Manchester, I’m super-excited about the competition. Why? Simple. The goal of the Church’s bitcoin outreach project is to get bitcoin into more people’s hands. The new company in town (which also operates more than 20 bitcoin BVMs across Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland) is making bitcoin even more accessible in New Hampshire than it was before!

While we’ve had a Bitcoin Vending Machine at Route 101 Local Goods in Keene for years, it’s only been available Tue-Sun. Therefore bitcoin was not available in Keene on Mondays, or after Route 101 Local Goods closes at 6pm each day (5p Sundays). Now that the Blackfrog BVM is online at Corner News, bitcoin’s availability in Keene expands to all seven days a week and late into the night, as Corner News is open until 10pm Mon-Thu, until 11pm Fri and Sat and 9pm on Sundays. Corner News is located at 67 Main St. and is a Keene landmark, established over 100 years ago. It was also the first brick-and-mortar business in Keene to accept bitcoin, way back in 2013!

Corner News’ owner, Roberta Mastrogiovanni, who recently was able to pay for her hotel stay during a vacation with her bitcoin, when asked why she’d decided to host the new BVM told me, “Corner News has been accepting bitcoin for several years without any problem, in fact we have seen a huge gain in the last year, so when asked whether we would consider renting out a small square foot of our store for a Bitcoin ATM we thought why not, especially since the coins can be spent right in store…just seemed like a good addition.” (more…)

What Happened to CopBlock.org?

Cop Block Badge and Outreach Flier

Cop Block Badge and Outreach Flier

This post was originally made on CopBlock.org. I’m posting it here as well, as who knows what’s going to happen with that site:

Hi, I’m Ian Freeman. I’m one of the original Cop Blockers, which is why I possess badge number five. I’ve been a longtime Cop Blocker, financial supporter and occasional blogger here. Both of Cop Block’s founders, Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman have lived with me in my home and they are great friends with whom I’ve had some amazing times.

I was alarmed this Summer when Ademo announced that he was putting CopBlock.org up for sale. I wasn’t surprised that he wanted out. Ademo has seen his share of burnout and has suffered greatly in his quest to hold police accountable. Ademo was a trailblazer in police accountability activism and deserves as much of a break as he wants. He’s currently describing himself as a “happily retired activist” and he should be. Our world is better off because Cop Block is in it.

What surprised me about his request to sell the site was the fact that Ademo felt he had to resort to a sale at all. Where were all the Cop Blockers who should have stepped up to take the reins? Ademo had asked the primary contributors to the site about taking over lead roles. Apparently no one stepped up, so Ademo decided to auction the site. When I found this out, I asked around and sure enough, while some people were willing to help, no one wanted to lead. (more…)

Libertarian Activists Enforce Headlight Law

Checkpoint7:20:17Manchester PD was one of 7 gangs to receive a share of $1,304,118 (pages 63 and 124) in grants to conduct “sobriety” checkpoints. One of the checkpoints was conducted this past Thursday, July 20th 10pm through July 21st 2:30am. The checkpoint was located on the westbound lane of Bridge St. Manchester PD records indicate that there were 3 stops on Bridge Street during those hours. There were no arrests, and no citations are listed. No DWI arrests occurred during those hours anywhere in Manchester, according to the gang’s website.

As always, a group of libertarians showed up to warn drivers of the presence of the gang members. Though it seems that the MPD gang did not remove any unsafe activity from the roadways, the libertarians warned several drivers, both those who drove through the checkpoint and those who did not, that their headlights were off. One car was pulled over in the right turning lane turning onto Elm St. This was promptly filmed by several libertarians and the driver seemed to me to be let go without any further violations of their rights beyond the initial kidnapping/death threat.

A “Utility Work Ahead” sign was on the sidewalk next to the right turn lane turning onto Bridge St (towards the checkpoint). There was no visible utility work in the area. The sign was facing away from any traffic that would have seen it. Due to the design of the sign, it was easy to walk behind to walk down the sidewalk with a sign to warn drivers. (These drivers would have seen the blank metal back of the utility work sign.) The only drivers who this sign would realistically been visible to would be a driver driving east on the westbound side of Bridge St.

If you want to be warned of checkpoints in the geographical area occupied by New Hampshire before they happen, you can follow Checkpoint Free New Hampshire on Twitter, Facebook, or send an SMS saying “follow @NoCheckpointsNH” to 40404 to get SMS alerts.

Manchester Bitcoin Vending Machine Adds DASH, Making NH #1 For DASH Vending

Bitcoin Vending Machine Adds DASH!

Bitcoin Vending Machine Adds DASH!

With all the Bitcoin drama going on, it’s easy to get distracted from what is important. What is important, whether Bitcoin stays on top or not, is the idea of cryptocurrency, of which Bitcoin was the first. While I personally believe Bitcoin can survive its internal turmoil, I could be wrong. After all, no one buys the Model T these days, even though it was the first car. The Model T is a clunker compared to what we have now.

Though there isn’t much mainstream media coverage of its alternatives, Bitcoin is far from the only cryptocurrency. There are hundreds of them, most based off of the original code for Bitcoin released by Satoshi Nakamoto, its anonymous creator.

One of those competitors that libertarian cryptocurrency enthusiasts in NH have been using recently instead of Bitcoin is DASH, or “Digital Cash”. Due to the growing pains Bitcoin has been experiencing, people here have been looking hard at other alternatives. DASH has started to appear in use at various libertarian market days across the state. Its fees are much lower than Bitcoin’s and DASH has an interesting governance structure that really sets it apart from many of the “me-too” cryptocurrencies out there vying for Bitcoin’s #1 position. (more…)

Why We’re Temporarily Shutting Down Bitcoin Vending Machines on July 31st

Bitcoin Fork in Road

Will Bitcoin “Fork” on August 1st?

In a recent, in-depth article, I discussed the out-of-control fees to send bitcoin. The executive summary is that Bitcoin is somewhat broken due to the high fees that have been caused due to the Bitcoin network not being able to scale to consumer demand. The reason for this is because there has been an ongoing “geek war” for a couple years now behind the scenes that centers over some fundamental disagreements over how Bitcoin should handle its growing pains with scaling up. Meanwhile, the fees have been rising over the last six months and have killed off the previous usefulness that Bitcoin had for microtransactions, or even small dollar transactions. Again, see my original piece for more about the fee difficulties.

Now the ugly Bitcoin not-so-civil war that has been playing out behind the scenes on message boards, reddit, and social media for months and months is going to come into public view on August 1st. Here’s my non-technical explanation for what’s happening and how, if you’re a bitcoin holder or bitcoin-accepting merchant, it could affect you: (more…)