Ron Paul’s No Chicken – Speaks at Anarchapulco Despite Recent Murder

Ron Paul and Ian Freeman wearing a Pho Keene Great hat.

Ron Paul and Ian Freeman wearing a Pho Keene Great hat.

Hello from the second night of the fifth annual Anarchapulco in Acapulco, Mexico! It’s my third year broadcasting my talk show from the event, which I last year said had surpassed Porcfest as the must-attend annual liberty event.

Unfortunately, this year’s event received quite a bit of bad press in the couple weeks prior. A self-proclaimed anarchist, John Galton was shot to death. Galton had been living in the area after allegedly escaping prosecution for cannabis “crimes” by the US Federal gang. Despite the murder having nothing to do with Anarchapulco as Galton was co-organizer of a different and now-canceled event called Anarchaforko, Anarchapulco was targeted by the media anyway.

No one knows the real story behind the murder. Various theories abound. Was the murder an inside job, a cartel killing, or something else? Would Anarchapulco founder Jeff Berwick be gunned down during his own event? This had the liberty community buzzing away before Anarchapulco 2019 began. Would the speakers show up? Would the attendees? I even heard that some craven busybodies had been contacting speakers and encouraging them to cancel.

Anarchapulco 2019 Logo

Anarchapulco 2019 Logo

Turns out, the event is a major success, with excellent attendance, likely more than last year, which was a sellout. This year the organizers rented the entire resort and it seems to have been worth it. They’re already planning for 2020.

That said, it is likely some attendees chose to stay home due to fear. According to one participant, Anarchapulco tickets were allegedly being offered for sale before the event at a very low price on some facebook group. There was discussion by some over what, if any, extra security would be provided. This, despite no credible threat being made against the event.

It’s true that some speakers didn’t make it either, but that happens at any convention, especially one the size and complexity of Anarchapulco, where there are several stages operating simultaneously. It’s inevitable cancellations will occur. Shit happens.

The real test was Dr. Ron Paul, who was scheduled to speak this evening as the event keynote. If he didn’t show, I think the tone of the event would have shifted to depressed and negative from excited and positive.

Lyn Ulbricht chats with Ron Paul at Anarchapulco 2019

Lyn Ulbricht chats with Ron Paul at Anarchapulco 2019

Not only did Ron Paul show up and give a great, uplifting speech, he came in the front like a boss, rather than slipping in the back, and spent plenty of time with his fans on his leisurely pace to the main event stage. He stopped many times for long periods to chat and pose for photos. Afterwards, there was a special dinner with Dr. Paul and he hung around to spend even more time with regular event attendees both before and after the dinner, in different parts of the hotel. We just kept seeing him over and over posing with people for photos. It was great.

There’s a reason Ron Paul is a libertarian hero and people flock to see him speak. He has always stood for his beliefs, whether in D.C., Texas, or in Acapulco. He’s never backed down.

When some suggested we at Free Talk Live not attend at all and even my co-host Mark Edge proffered we hide away broadcasting in a green room, I said no way. I don’t live in fear. I’m glad and honored to have Ron Paul at my side – literally.

Thanks for coming to Anarchapulco 2019, Ron. You rock.

Forbes: Keene is “Crypto Mecca”

Forbes Magazine Covers Keene's Crypto Scene

Forbes Magazine Covers Keene’s Crypto Scene

I awoke today in the Princess Resort in Acapulco on day number one of Anarchapulco 2019 to some awesome news: a new Forbes article refers to Keene as “Crypto Mecca”! Thanks to their reporter, Rebecca Campbell, for her excellent story featuring Keene’s amazing, world-leading crypto scene!

Longtime readers of Free Keene already know Keene is a top world city for per-capita businesses accepting cryptocurrency.

Now that fact has made one of the world’s most popular financial publications, Forbes. You can read the full story here, titled “Market Downturn? The People Using Crypto Show Why The Market Is Not Dead”. Also featured in the article, the amazing crypto-art of Nanu Berks, which is quite exquisite.

The article is a testament to the success of the model of moving liberty-minded activists together to the same place. Over and over, Keene’s activists prove they are able to attract a disproportionate amount of media coverage here, despite our relatively small size. Also, the Seacoast’s killer crypto-activist duo of Derrick J Freeman and Steven Zeiler get honorable mention for their amazing work bringing Portsmouth businesses into crypto as well as launching the amazing Anypay merchant crypto acceptance app.

Thanks to Forbes for the coverage, but most importantly to the pioneering local businesses who are accepting cryptocurrency and made this possible.

NH State House Examines New Voting System Proposals

Are New Hampshire’s representatives finally taking a closer look at alternative voting systems? For years, the state elections committee in the state house has rejected any proposed changes to NH’s voting system, regardless of how much sense they have made. However, now that Maine has adopted “ranked choice” voting, perhaps NH’s reps are taking the issue more seriously.

I was surprised recently to receive a call from Keene Sentinel reporter Jake Lahut asking me for my opinion on ranked choice voting for an article that appeared last week. As someone who has been a longtime libertarian, I’ve seen how the “vote for one” system we have in place hurts third parties, so I definitely support ranked choice and its competitor, the easier “approval voting”.

Both systems solve the “wasted vote syndrome” where voters, afraid of the worst of the two evils winning, will vote for the “lesser evil” of the two major party candidates. They will do this even though they may better agree with a third party candidate, like a Green or Libertarian, simply out of fear of their least favorite major party candidate winning.

Ranked choice allows the voter to rank their favorites on the ballot while approval voting allows the voter to simply vote for all those candidates they’d be alright with winning the election.

Last week in the state house, HB 505 was heard that would allow for approval voting to take hold in New Hampshire’s elections. Here’s the bill’s full hearing in front of the house elections committee:

BREAKING: City Approves Pho Keene Great Sign!

City Approves Pho Keene Great Sign!

City Approves Pho Keene Great Sign!

After the story Free Keene helped break about soon-to-open Vietnamese restaurant “Pho Keene Great” went viral, there’s a surprising development now three weeks later: Pho Keene Great’s sign has been approved – with the logo and name unaltered!

According to Isabelle Rose, Pho Keene Great’s part-owner, not only has the sign been approved, but it happened without them having the meeting that was scheduled with the city manager to discuss the manager’s concerns over the supposedly “offensive and not appropriate” name of the business.

It’s unfortunate that the new city manager, Elizabeth A. Dragon created the ridiculous situation in the first place, but apparently cooler heads at the city gang prevailed and Dragon has backed down. Good choice, considering the “City of Keene” would only continue to be ridiculed by people and headlines around the world if they continued to push all the way to court, where they would likely lose, just like they did when they tried to crush Robin Hood of Keene’s free speech.

The City of Keene happens to own the building in which Pho Keene Great will be opening, but that shouldn’t give them any further rights to control the name of a business. Especially after that same city manager had signed a lease agreement back in April of 2018 knowing full well what its name would be. They then collected rent from Pho Keene Great for the rest of the year before Dragon called Rose on Christmas Eve to object to the name and demand her temporary sign be taken down.

Pho Keene Great - T-Shirts Available at Rt 101 Local Goods!

Pho Keene Great – T-Shirts Available at Rt 101 Local Goods!

I spoke with Rose today about the good news and she confirmed the sign will look as it does in the mock-up photo posted to Pho Keene Great’s facebook page, minus the street address. What a win! Further, Rose told me in an email:

“We stood our ground regarding our business name. And, on the basis of the First Amendment, we defended it. The City cannot regulate content. Further, no where in the contract did it stipulate we could not use that business name. The government cannot demand or require us to do anything that supersedes our baseline rights. We are deeply grateful to everyone that offered and gave their support and appreciate all opinions and input, even with those that were offended by our business name. Thank you.”

That’s not the only win for Pho Keene Great, however. The city’s predictable stupidity led to a media explosion with coverage coming from countless major media from all over. You can’t buy advertising that good and as a result of the publicity, the Pho Keene Great official t-shirts have been flying off the shelves at Route 101 Local Goods.

The little local shop was slammed with orders both in real life and on the internet from as far away as Australia and Afghanistan. Route 101’s owner Chris Rietmann says his shop has never been so busy and he’s shipped out well over 1,000 shirts so far. The story went so big, there were even people trying to sell knock-off shirts on other websites. However, only the official shirt sold at Route 101 Local Goods is the one where profits benefit Pho Keene Great, so get yours here online or stop in at 661 Marlboro St. in Keene!

Isabelle Rose, at her food truck in 2016.

Isabelle Rose, at her food truck in 2016.

Route 101 Local Goods was the location of Rose’s original bitcoin-accepting Vietnamese food truck, which is where she got her start serving delicious Pho noodle soup to people in the area and led to her teaming up with another local business owner to upgrade to a full sit-down restaurant – Pho Keene Great. Though NHPR ran a story this week suggesting some kind of conspiracy between me and Rose, the fact is that I’m merely the property manager for Route 101 Local Goods and I had nothing to do with the naming of her new restaurant. Though, I do love the name and when I heard about it last year, I predicted the city might step into the trap. And they did.

Now rather than gearing up for a protracted legal fight that would only hurt the taxpayers of Keene, Pho Keene Great’s owners can focus on opening their doors in the heart of downtown Keene’s Central Square, next to the City offices this March as planned, with an awesome logo and name intact. Hooray!

Keene’s “Anarchist Shemale” Banned from Facebook for “Hate Speech” Gamestop Parody Video

The transsexual Libertarian candidate for Cheshire County Sheriff for 2018 has been put in “Facebook Jail” with a seven-day ban for “hate speech”. Aria DiMezzo, the “Anarchist Shemale”, had video recorded of her in the Keene, NH Gamestop where she tore off her jacket in parody of a recent viral video.

The video DiMezzo was parodying involved a hulking trans person who made an outrageous scene at an Albuqueque, NM Gamestop over being called “sir”. In that video, the brutish Tiffany Michelle bellows at the poor Gamestop employee and kicks over a display while storming around and shouting profanities. As the original, now-viral video begins, Michelle was upset with the Gamestop returns process then flips out on another customer for using “sir” when referring to Michelle and turns and targets the Gamestop employee when he referred to both customers as “guys”.

Aria DiMezzo files for Cheshire County Sheriff as a Libertarian

Aria DiMezzo files for Cheshire County Sheriff as a Libertarian

DiMezzo made her parody video to counter the perception that all trans people are as easily offended as the ridiculous Michelle. She told me in an interview for Free Keene, “It was to show that not all trans people behave that way and that her behavior was more a reflection of her character than her being trans. Because the stereotype has grains of truth in it, I’m now in facebook jail because said people don’t know how to take a joke.” Keene’s Gamestop staff appreciated the humor and the DiMezzo’s video ends with a handshake with the clerk.

After DiMezzo posted the video to her Facebook page, she was given a seven day ban within 24 hours for “hate speech” and the video was pulled down by Facebook. DiMezzo appealed the decision and Facebook admitted they were wrong to consider the video as “hate speech” and restored the video, while bizarrely leaving her account banned.

If you’re looking to escape Facebook, you can follow DiMezzo’s account over on the decentralized Mastodon social media network. Also, check out our previous article showing multiple alternatives far more useful for communication than Facebook.

Happy 10th Birthday Bitcoin! Satoshi’s Successor Gavin Andresen Visited Keene on the Eve of BTC’s Tenth B-day!

Gavin Andresen Visits the Bitcoin Embassy NH

Gavin Andresen Visits the Bitcoin Embassy NH (L to R: Gavin Andresen, Mark Edge, Ian Freeman, Chris Rietmann)

Happy tenth birthday Bitcoin! On January 3rd, 2009, Bitcoin’s code was released to the world by Satoshi Nakamoto. To this day, Nakamoto is still anonymous. It is not known whether Nakamoto is a he, she, group of people, or space aliens. However, what is known is that before completely disappearing from public view, Nakamoto turned over the keys to Bitcoin to his chosen successor, libertarian computer programmer Gavin Andresen. Andresen denies being Nakamoto, however he’s one of the most important people in the history of cryptocurrency.

In 2011, Andresen came to Keene for the first time and met with the hosts of a certain libertarian radio show, Free Talk Live, to tell them all about Bitcoin. I am one of the hosts of that show. When we spoke on-air about Bitcoin, Roger Ver, then a successful dealer of computer memory and advertiser on Free Talk Live, was listening. Ver saw the vision and spent tens of thousands of dollars buying Bitcoin (BTC) when it was under $1 each. Today one BTC is worth nearly $4,000. As a result of his early success, investments in multiple Bitcoin-related companies, and his constant advocacy of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a way to undermine the power of the state, Ver became known as “Bitcoin Jesus”.

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 Crypto Vending Machine!

Not long after, Ver came to Keene to the local libertarian meetup and gave away 10 BTC to anyone willing to install a bitcoin wallet on their phone. This was when BTC was worth around $1 each.

Keene has always been a cryptocurrency hotspot. Not only have some of the key players been here in physical reality, it’s also arguably the top location in the world for the highest concentration of bitcoin-accepting businesses. Though this year Portsmouth challenged us and for a time had more businesses accepting crypto, Keene has once again surpassed its Seacoast sister city. Plus, Portsmouth excelled in the first place because Keeniac Derrick J Freeman and his partner Steven Zeiler made it happen by launching merchant crypto provider Anypay. Derrick J originally settled in Keene when he moved here as part of the NH Freedom Migration.

Keene’s first business to accept cryptocurrency was the century-old, main street icon Corner News, taking bitcoin all the way back in 2013. Now a variety of businesses including various restaurants and food trucks, a dentist, automotive repair, web design, computer sales, advertising venues, and more all accept multiple cryptocurrencies. Our concentration of crypto-accepting businesses per-capita is higher than anywhere else in the world, that I can find. We handily defeat major cities like San Francisco and New York City by multiple factors.

Street N Savory food truck is the latest business in Keene to accept cryptocurrency!

Street N Savory food truck is the latest business in Keene to accept cryptocurrency!

With regular meetups every six days and ongoing cryptocurrency giveaways promoted in mainstream media, there’s no place on the planet quite like Keene.

Earlier this Fall we even launched the Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire at 661 Marlboro St. in Keene and today we were honored to have Andresen come visit the Embassy, on the eve of the tenth birthday of Bitcoin! It wasn’t Andresen’s first time in Keene since his initial visit in 2011, as he also appeared in 2015 at the final Keenevention on the Bitcoin panel.

The Bitcoin Embassy is offering “Bitcoin 101” classes and they’ll schedule one whenever is convenient for you. There is no cost to attend, though donations are encouraged. Get in touch with head ambassador Chris Rietmann through their website at BitNH.me. Though we’re already ten years in, this is still just the beginning. It’s definitely not too late for you to get involved with cryptocurrency. Step one is educating yourself. Bitcoin Embassy NH can help.

Come celebrate the tenth anniversary of Bitcoin today at 2pm at Local Burger, one of Keene’s premier businesses that accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and DASH! If you can’t make it today, join our Meetup group as we meet every six days at various locations in the Keene area.