My good friend and the High Priestess of the Reformed Satanic Church of Keene, Aria DiMezzo, is through her first month of her 18 month federal prison sentence for the victimless “crime” of selling bitcoin without a government permission slip. You can find out how to write her letters, send her books, or money for her commissary on her blog post here. This week, she sent me the following blog from the Devens, MA federal prison camp, as originally posted to her website, AriaDiMezzo.com:
No one dislikes the government more than I do (although some may equal my disgust with the institution), but even so it would be silly and unfair to accuse the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) of being anti-trans, in exactly the same way that it would be absurd to accuse the rain of malice because it erodes the hills. The water does not hold enmity toward the dirt; the rain only does what it does, and there are simply effects to that. In actuality, the treatment of the BOP in regard to trans people is both a stark contrast and an alarming analog to the conversion therapy camps that were more common in the 90s; by holding none of the enmity and sharing none of the intentions of the “pray the gay away” camps, the BOP is more subtle in its erasure of trans identity, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Just as the rain does not try to destroy the hillside, and is merely a result of weather patterns much greater in scope than a mound of dirt, so is the assault on transgener identity only an effect of a larger phenomenon: a widespread tendency to glance at a newborn’s genitals and map out large sections of their life for them, and then becoming irate and hostile at the suggest that an infant’s gentials may not be the best way of grouping adults into relationships, friend circles, or prisons.
It is simple, when a patient complains of a cough, for a doctor to prescribe some cough syrup, but nearly no doctor would do this, because it is myopic and narrow to treat a sympton rather than the underlying illness that causes the symptom. By treating only the cough, a doctor could easily miss the pneumonia, lung cancer, or asthma that is causing the patient to cough. Similarly, there is a Buddhist story where the Buddha is traveling with students when one of them is shot by an arrow, and begs the Buddha to pursue the attacker, so they might be held to account. The Enlightened One responds that he could do that, or he could remove the arrow and dress the wound, but he obviously could not do both. Similarly, shaking our fists angrily at the torrents or clouds that produce them has a tremendous opportunity cost and is a waste of emotional energy; instead, we could devote our time and efforts to halting the erosion, and then preventing it from recurring.
The issue at hand is not that the BOP maliciously denies transgender healthcare, because it doesn’t; the BOP fails to provide adequate care to transgender inmates, but it is because the society behind the prison industrial complex routinely fails the transgender population, largely due to apathy, although there is occasionally malice shown to these people who declare themselves to fall into the cracks of the social construct of gender, which, in the estimation of the bigoted, is sufficient for “everyone else,” and thus must work for all. It is the equivalent of telling a person who is cold to remove their coat because the speaker isn’t chilly, so how could anyone else be?
Even under the best of circumstances, being transgender is difficult. Transgender people already know in their hearts that they will never be indistinguishable from a cisgender person, but there are plenty of people who enjoy reminding trans people of that anyway, to say nothing of the myriad of minor, incidental, and accidental ways in which this is made clear to a trans person. No one ever said, “I’m going to make my life easier by dressing as the opposite sex,” because, despite bigoted claims to the contrary, such a monumental step serves only to make one’s life more challenging, at least for the foreseeable future, when it is less readily apparent that a person is trans at all.
Everyone has struggles, though, and it would be inaccurate to suggest that this is unique to trans people, or that the hardships of a trans person are unduly difficult. Rather than somehow being “worse” than the challenges other people faced, the tragedy of the trans plight lies in how utterly and easily preventable–and harmlessly so!–the difficulties are. In prison or larger society, it brings no risk or hurdles to anyone else for a person of any characteristics to present themselves as they need to in order to look in a mirror and be reasonably happy with the reflection.
The existence of transgender people, without a doubt, creates challenges for society that it is not equipped to handle, but putting trans women into a men’s prison and trans men into a women’s prison should be regarded at least as catastrophic to the involved people as placing trans men into a men’s prison and trans women into a women’s prison is regarded by those who have run out of real problems to deal with and so instead spend their time seeking trivialities about which they can be upset.
For more than a month, I have been waiting on basic items, not necessarily to reaffirm or bolster my identity as much to simply maintain it against the unrelenting, subtle forces that exist within a men’s prison to oppress, deny, and erase all non-masculine traits, with men’s prison obviously being the peaks of testosterone and toxic masculinit: emotions are not expressed, oether than anger. Imagine trying to maintain femininity in an environment entirely ruled by testosterone, much less attempting to enhance one’s feminine side such that behavior more closely matches the interior. Even if I had every resources that I’ve collected over the last decade in my life as a trans woman, simply existing as myself would be a challenge; with those resources denied me by policy, and with the meager substitutes taking now more than a month to reach me, the task is utterly impossible.
This shouldn’t be taken as necessarily the fault of the BOP, just as rain is not really to blame for the erosion of soil; rather, that it is this way is a reflection of social values. Though society increasingly recognizes the rights and needs of transgender individuals, the government always lags behind, and then always fails to actually meet the needs that are recognized–someone with a malignant growth will have to wait months to have it addressed, because the prison industrial complex is not equipped to act with grace and compassion. Given that this is the case, perhaps our first goal should be to not have the largest prison population on the planet, and, in so doing, we would lessen the hardship unnecessarily placed on all people, transgender or not, and that could only ever be a positive thing for us all.
Frank “Footloose” Staples was wrongfully arrested on charges of “disorderly conduct” for sitting quietly at an executive council meeting in 2021. Last week his nearly two-month trial wrapped up, with Frank found not guilty of the initial “disorderly”, but guilty of the subsequent charge he received after he announced to the audience that he was being arrested in the back of the room. He intends to appeal.
In five days of court spread out over weeks, the state police’s prosecutors alleged Frank was disrupting the meeting and that’s why he was targeted. Frank’s multiple witnesses said he was never disruptive and that the state police were clearly looking to make arrests, as the chairs were zip tied together, multiple paddy wagons were on hand, and dozens of uniformed officers were present.
Ultimately the robed man decided the state had not met its burden of proof on the initial charge, but claimed, confusingly, that the police had probable cause to make the arrest. How can the police have probable cause to make an arrest for which the person is then found not guilty? They can’t. The judge is obviously covering for the police and trying to justify the second “disorderly” count that Frank received when he was taken behind the curtain and arrested, which is when he yelled that he was being arrested and to “shut it down!”.
The trial was very entertaining with Frank blowing up and yelling at the judge and the prosecutors many times. If you’ve seen him in court videos before, you know what to expect. I hope you enjoy this 13-hour trial video:
The “New Hampshire Nine” are a group of peaceful people who largely didn’t know each other that were . They were arrested on victimless “crime” charges like “disorderly conduct”. Here’s where a crazed bailiff threatened “Absolute Defiance” founder Footloose in the lobby with video cameras.
Today, the nine and a courtroom packed full of supporters were back at Concord’s district court for a short status conference. During the hearing, Footloose was charged with additional counts of “disorderly conduct”. Now, in addition to the disorderly charge that kicked off the NH9 arrests, where he was sitting quietly in the audience, they are charging him with ANOTHER disorderly for speaking loudly in protest while he was being arrested. Further, he’s being hit with a disorderly and “breach of bail” for in November.
Stay tuned to for more on this developing free speech case.
Here’s the video of today’s hearing:
Brodie Deshaies at the hearing looking guilty while Carla Gericke calls him out for using scare tactics
Representative Brodie Deshaies from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire testified in front of the State-Federal Relations and Veteran Affairs Committee on January 20, 2022 concerning CACR 32. The legislation seeks to let the people of New Hampshire vote to amend the Constitution and become an independent nation, breaking ties with DC. He was the legislator asked by the committee chairman to do the bulk of the research before the hearing.
Looking closely at all the claims Deshaies made about the legality of this bill and the implications concerning lawmakers voting to recommend that the House pass it, it is hard to decide if he is ignorant and easily swayed by empire-loving “constitutional scholars” from DC or if he gave a speech full of lies to sway the vote. He used fear-mongering language directed at the committee, implying that they may be charged by Washington DC if they vote ‘Ought To Pass’ and supported the bill through the legal process. This article is a close-up look at his claims and will look at all the material he references to see if he is really making a constitutional argument against CACR 32.
Deshaies starts off with an acknowledgment of how the public perceives him. “There are some people who are pretty upset with me in the room,” he says. This is already very indicative of his character. He sent Elliot “Alu” Axelman (the editor-in-chief of LibertyBlock.com and the author of multiple books on secession) an email full of misinterpretations of the US and New Hampshire Constitutions a few weeks ago. When Alxelman politely asked if he wished to engage in a public debate on the topic, Deshaies cowered and declined. Without the opportunity to debate Deshaies, and with no legislator agreeing to debate him, Alu published his rebuttal to Deshaies’ anti-independence letter on his website. The article destroys the few arguments that the anti-freedom legislator sought to make in his letter. Instead, Deshaies went on to publish the exact same letter in an op-ed article on NHJournal.com. So, now we know he knows how people feel about his twisting of the facts, but he just goes on to ignore the people and doubles down on his way of thinking. We see from this very first sentence that he isn’t the sort of person who feels he should be in office doing what the people of New Hampshire want. He feels he’s in office to rule over the citizens of New Hampshire with an iron fist.
He goes on to say that after speaking to many “constitutional scholars” such as David Williams, author of “The Mythic Meanings of the Second Amendment”, that he believes this committee was engaged in a “constitutional process” by voting Ought to Pass or Inexpedient to Legislate. Which means every vote cast is “aiding in the constitutional process,” and “approving it at each time along the way”.
Deshaies claims, “Every vote cast has a constitutional ramification judging by amendment fourteen of the US Constitution, section three. Some scholars would argue that this is rebelling, even if it’s peaceful. This very well could be an argument where voting for this, aiding and abetting in that process could very well be unconstitutional.”
So, there it is, folks. Deshaies spoke to a man who wrote a book arguing that the second amendment doesn’t really give all Americans the right to bear arms for advice on what the Constitution says. Then, he came up with a clever way to subtly scare the other members of the committee out of voting Ought to Pass on this bill. He used a mildly veiled threat of ‘insurrection’ and ‘rebellion’ to convince everyone on the committee to vote 21-0 against recommending the bill to be passed. Even the two committee members who told Axelman that they would support the legislation ultimately caved to the fear and voted to kill it. (more…)
In October of 2021, nine peaceful people were arrested at a . It started when armed state goons approached activists Frank “Footloose” Staples and Terese Grinnell and requested they to follow them to a partitioned area in the back of the room. Once out of sight of the packed audience, the thugs arrested Footloose and Terese, causing them to verbally announce what was happening. Prior to being asked to walk out, the two were sitting in the audience quietly, so they are still unsure regarding why they were arrested in the first place, as they didn’t make any noise prior to the arrest. So far, the court process has yet to clarify the situation.
Seven other people were also arrested for speaking out during the arrests of Footloose and Terese. The “New Hampshire Nine” had a court hearing on Friday to deal with some pending motions and unlike the rest of the Nine, Footloose is representing himself in the case. If you’ve seen his other videos, you know that means it won’t be dull. Here’s a video with highlights from his visit, including he and other activists bravely refusing to stop recording when threatened by a masked court goon. You can see the .
It’s also worth noting that there is an unconstitutional “Supreme Court” of NH order in place prohibiting recording in all parts of state courthouses except the courtrooms themselves. Those restrictions were put in place because of Keene activists recording over a decade ago and haven’t been meaningfully challenged ever since. Kudos to New Hampshire native Footloose for standing up for the right to record and the right to transparency. It was nice to see him back down the armed goon AND he did it while on bail conditions for his previous ridiculous victimless arrests.
Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on his saga.
Liberty Cap Mushrooms
HB 1349 is a bill that would decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms sponsored by Amherst Representative Tony Labranche. The bill had its first hearing in the Criminal Justice committee on January 11th, but while all the other bills heard that day got voted on, HB 1349 had a new hearing date scheduled. That means you have another chance to go and show your support for the bill on Thursday, January 20, 2022 in the Legislative Office Building in Concord at 9am. Alternatively, if you can’t make it you can email the committee and tell them to vote Ought To Pass.
The bill is very interesting because it is modeled word for word after the bill that decriminalized marijuana in New Hampshire. What argument does a member of this committee have against this bill? Psilocybin mushrooms are even safer for people and society than marijuana, according to Dr. David Nutt, former chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in the UK.
I spoke at the hearing on January 11th and so did 4 others. The only person who spoke against this bill was a police lieutenant. How typical. The only person who didn’t want to see Granite Staters gain more freedom was a person who personally profits from the war on drugs.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court already decided that psilocybin use was constitutionally protected if you’re using it for religious practice or to worship god. My spiritual beliefs include worshiping the god in myself by allowing myself the ability to ascend beyond what and who I am now. Psilocybin is a great tool to do that and more people experiencing this medicine would help heal our community which is in part damaged by the war on drugs.
The bill: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/lsr_search/billText.aspx?id=1711&type=4
If would like to contact the committee hearing this bill use this email: HouseCriminalJusticeandPublicSafety@leg.state.nh.us