Border Patrol Internal Checkpoint VS Camera-Toting Forkfest 2018 Attendees

Border Patrol Agent Salutes Camera at NH Internal Oppressive Checkpoint

Border Patrol Agent Salutes Camera at NH Internal Oppressive Checkpoint

On Friday, several Forkfest 2018 attendees drove an hour South of Roger’s Campground to I-93 around Woodstock, NH – the site of the repeating temporary internal Border Patrol immigration checkpoints. Based on activist reports, the checkpoint appeared to have been operating that day from noon until 7pm. As is typical of these checkpoints, they were stopping every car to ask occupants if they are “US Citizens“. They also had a dog they were walking up and down the line of waiting cars.

As it turns out, a car full of people with video cameras wasn’t welcome in their secondary screening area. After one agent orders me to pull into their secondary screening for refusing to answer questions, his commanding officer intervenes before I can even cross over a single lane of traffic, and even apologizes for not wasting more of our time with their invasive screening! In hindsight, I should have told him to apologize to all the cars without camera-toting occupants for wasting everyone’s time with their oppressive police state checkpoint. Here’s the ridiculous video:

No one in the car was planning to answer the agents’ questions, given one has a right to remain silent (that the US Supreme Court has now required be invoked in police encounters). Obedience to tyrants only encourages them. Besides, as someone who believes in liberty, I don’t believe in government borders. Peaceful people should be allowed to enter a free country. Of course, we all know by now the United States is not a free country, and in fact has been dropping on the various international freedom rankings.

Also this weekend, NH Libertarian Party candidate for US Congress NH-2, Justin O’Donnell also traversed the checkpoint while live streaming to facebook. His friend in the passenger seat obediently answered the agent’s inquiry while O’Donnell debated with the agents, ultimately admitting to having been born in Boston, MA. Prior to this, the agent threatened to detain O’Donnell until he answered the question. (more…)

NH Libertarian Camping Event “Forkfest” Launches Into Second Year, Runs Through Monday!

Liberty-oriented campers hanging out by the LRN.FM broadcast tent, Day One of Forkfest 2018

Liberty-oriented campers hanging out by the LRN.FM broadcast tent, Day One of Forkfest 2018

Forkfest 2018, the decentralized liberty camping event has started small but strong, kicking off yesterday at Roger’s Campground in the beautiful White Mountains of Lancaster, New Hampshire.

Like the first event last year, this year started slow on Thursday while many are still at work. By my estimates, more are here already this year than were here last year by this time. Not only that, the geographic variety of attendees is more pronounced. This year already has visitors from Lithuania and the United Kingdom as well as a couple from Virginia. Plus many others have indicated they intend to be here no later than Saturday.

What’s happening at Forkfest 2018? Good question! Parties, athletic events, a wedding, a letter-writing event for Ross Ulbricht, a Mesh Networking session, and others have been announced by various attendees. Of course, plenty of socializing and just hanging out by a campfire. There are already a couple of competing calendars that have popped up for attendees to use to promote whatever events they’re involved with. You can find those calendars via the unofficial Forkfest Forum.

Tavern Owner Laura Hardiman Poses with the Anypay App and Cryptocurrency-Loving Forkfest Attendees

Tavern Owner Laura Hardiman Poses with the Anypay App and Cryptocurrency-Loving Forkfest Attendees

If you’re in the area, come on up to Lancaster and join us. There are no tickets to Forkfest (and no organizers or board of directors)! Your only expenses to enjoy your time with other libertarians, voluntarists, and liberty-loving anarchists are your camping costs from Rogers Campground.

Or, stay in the hotel down the street, where the new hotel restaurant, ‘The Olde Bostonian Tavern & Grill” has started taking cryptocurrency including Bitcoin and DASH! A group of about ten of us went out to eat and several of us paid with crypto, mostly using DASH. The owner was super-excited to receive her first cryptocurrency transactions!

Forkfest continues through Monday the 18th and is expected to grow throughout the weekend. Of course, it’s not going to be the size of the fifteen year event that it was spawned from, the Porcupine Freedom Festival (aka Porcfest), which begins on Tuesday the 19th at noon and runs through Sunday the 25th

NHCLU Files Motion Challenging Border Patrol Checkpoints!

Border Patrol in Derby Line, VT

Border Patrol Agents Hassle Us Over Recording Video of their Checkpoint

Good news! The privacy-invading internal border patrol checkpoints that appeared in New Hampshire’s North Country this summer have been challenged in court by the NH Civil Liberties Union!

From their press release:

As stated in the ACLU-NH’s motion, during these border patrol checkpoints, the Woodstock Police Department (“WPD”) and the New Hampshire State Police separately worked in concert with United States Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to circumvent the independent protections provided by the New Hampshire Constitution against dog-sniff searches in the absence of a warrant or reasonable suspicion. Specifically, federal CBP agents used dog-sniff searches in situations where New Hampshire law enforcement would have been barred from conducting similar searches. Resulting evidence from these federal searches was then turned over to state law enforcement for drug prosecutions. (more…)

NH Blogger Rails Against Border Patrol Checkpoints, Calls Out Libertarians

Border Patrol Agents

Border Patrol Agents Bothering Innocent Motorists

NH blogger Susan the Bruce has written an excellent post excoriating the police state and its invasive internal Border Patrol checkpoints, one of which was set up this weekend just south, curiously, of the NH Cannabis Freedom Festival. Sure enough, more people were arrested for drug possession at the checkpoint than were arrested for immigration, according to the article at the Union Leader.

In her blog, Susan writes:

NH was one of the states that fought hard against REAL ID. That opposition was in character with the “live free or die” philosophy we’re supposed to be famous for embracing. It was in character with our reputation as a libertarian leaning state.

Somewhere along the way we stopped fighting REAL ID and meekly submitted. Sixteen years of indoctrination – a combination of fear based agitprop and training to submit to authority, changed our tune from Just Say No to We Have to do this for National Security. REAL ID means that the state maintains a database of information on people, including Social Security numbers and photos.

She’s right. This year in the state house the supposed privacy nut state rep, Neil Kurk, capitulated after years of holding firm against REAL ID, and endorsed the state’s partial embracing of the federal ID standards. One who wishes to acquire a non-REAL ID-compliant card can still get one, but according to someone I know who visited the DMV this week, the DMV bureaucrats are pushing the new REAL ID version.

NH Internal Border Patrol Checkpoint

NH Internal Border Patrol Checkpoint

I recommend reading Susan’s whole post, it’s well-done and there’s very little she says that I can disagree with. Until the end, that is. She says in the final paragraph:

There hasn’t been a peep out of the liberty and freedumb crowd about this. Not a word from the allegedly liberty loving Free Staters. The folks who do the wailin’ about gummint encroachment on our lives are strangely silent when it comes to “show us your papers” stops. Their interest in gummint interference extends to deregulation and tax cuts. Actual violations of privacy and civil liberties don’t interest them in the slightest.

I may not be a “Free Stater”, but I love liberty and am friends with many of them. I have seen plenty of liberty people upset about these checkpoints and they have posted their outrage online… on facebook. Which means no one hears it except those connected to the person on facebook – such posts only hit the libertarian echo chamber. Sadly, most of the people who are here are not bloggers like Susan and me. They are just as outraged as she, but fail to communicate it effectively to a wider audience. (more…)

Decentralized Freedom Festivals Rise in Friendly Competition to Porcfest 2017

Five-Hour Rave at Somaliafest & Shirefest 2017

Five-Hour Rave at Somaliafest & Shirefest 2017

Last year at the Porcupine Freedom Festival, Will Coley of Muslims 4 Liberty threw and was the DJ for what people have said was the best party at Porcfest 2016. This year, Will again performed at Roger’s Campground as an electronic music DJ and played for five straight hours, two hours of which was beyond the campground’s “quiet time” of 11pm! However, Will’s party was not held during Porcfest 2017 – it happened during the new decentralized festival(s) that are taking place before Porcfest happens.

Depending on who you asked, the people on the campground from Friday June 16th through Tuesday the 20th were either attending Somaliafest or Shirefest. Other festivals sprung up over the weekend as Shire Dude proclaimed that the rule of Shirefest is that every attendee has to have their own fest. Some people were having fun with this idea, and it really encompasses the decentralized nature of these friendly competitors of the longtime king of Summer camping freedom festivals, Porcfest.

Please note, this article is not intended to be an attack against the people who have run Porcfest over the years. They did their best in a largely thankless role to make the various Porcfests successful. I’m writing this to assess the question of whether centralizing Porcfest harmed the event and introduce the competition, which are not centralized.

Despite generally philosophizing about the benefits of decentralization, some libertarians have embraced centralization in the process of creating the liberty movement’s largest and most successful camping freedom festival. Depending on what needs to be done, centralization can provide some benefits. However, there are costs involved. Some would argue the centralization of Porcfest’s organization led to its decline. Let’s look closer at what happened. First, for those of you newer to the ongoing New Hampshire Freedom Migration, a little history: (more…)

Modernizing the Shire Society Forum for 2017

Shire Society Forum

Join other Shire Society members inside and outside the Shire on the Forums.

Before the behemoth that is Facebook, there were forums. On these forums, people in communities were able to communicate about various things, and with the right amount of moderation, it worked well. Then Facebook came along and sucked up all the people and gave them terrible forums called “groups” where the only moderation tool is to delete discussion threads.

With forums, moderators can move threads between the forum’s subforums, meaning off-topic posts could be moved to more appropriate places in the overall forum. This cannot be done on facebook. There, one group is not connected with another group. An off-topic post will either be allowed to clutter the group, or it will be destroyed. There is no move option. That’s only one reason why Facebook groups suck, but it’s a major one.

Early on, there were two main forums in the NH liberty movement, the NH Underground and the Free State Project forums. Eventually, we launched the Free Keene Forum which eventually became the Shire Society Forum a couple of years after the signing of the Shire Society Declaration in 2010.

All three forums still exist, but have nowhere near the popularity they once had. Many new people to the movement don’t even know they exist.

Shire Society Bumper Sticker

Have you signed the Shire Society Declaration yet?

In order to stay as relevant as possible and compete as much as possible with the evil Facebook, last year the Shire Society Forum was upgraded to a more “modern” forum software, “Vanilla Forum”. It was better than the old software, “SMF”, in some ways, but lacking in others. Now, the Shire Society Forum is modernizing further for 2017 with the switch to the “Discourse” forum software.

So far my experience with Discourse has been very good. It’s snappy – posts appear instantly without having to reload an entire webpage. It’s got a modern feel and allows logins via a bunch of major accounts, including Google, Yahoo, GitHub, Facebook, and Twitter, and sharing of posts via Facebook and Twitter.

The Shire Society Forum has, despite its decline in popularity, still attracted new users over the years. Each month, there are new potential movers to the Shire who arrive and post an introduction, which is a requirement in order to enter the forum. Would you be willing to come welcome them? The forum has subforums for all the regions and major cities in New Hampshire and we’d welcome your input.

Please give the new Shire Society Forum a try. I hope you like it. Death to Facebook!