NH Libertarian Party Candidates Excluded from WMUR’s Debates via Insurmountable Rules?

WMUR's Fake Debates Exclude Libertarians

WMUR’s Fake Debates Exclude Libertarians

The fix appears to be in. Despite attaining major party ballot access in New Hampshire for the first time in twenty years, the Libertarian Party of NH has been unfairly excluded from the biggest debates – those hosted by WMUR-TV. How? According to the rules the ABC affiliate announced last month, in order to be invited to their debates, the candidate must be polling at over 12%.

Guess what? There have been no polls that have included the libertarian candidates!

It’s not like WMUR and their newspaper partner the Union Leader can use the excuse that without their rules there would be too many candidates on stage. There are three ballot qualified candidates for governor in New Hampshire. There are three candidates each in the two US House races.

Oh yeah, and they want the candidate to have $25,000 in the bank. So, only wealthy candidates may apply.

Is there any doubt the WMUR debate organizers are working hand-in-hand with the republicans and democrats to exclude the libertarians? Thankfully, many of NH’s local media like newspapers and radio have been fair to the libertarian candidates, like the Keene Sentinel, whose editorial board recently interviewed Jilletta Jarvis.

Libertarian Jilletta Jarvis Announces Run for NH Governor in 2018

Libertarian Jilletta Jarvis Announces Run for NH Governor in 2018

According to Jarvis, if she’s invited to a debate, the other candidates will protest. She told me that North Country Community Radio recently invited all three gubernatorial candidates to debate. Incumbent republican Chris Sununu responded and declined the station’s invitation and democrat Molly Kelly ignored their invite entirely. Instead of the planned debate, the station gave a two hour interview to Jarvis and reminded their audience of the major candidates’ conspicuous absence.

Though Jarvis was told personally by WMUR’s Political Director Adam Sexton that the Libertarian candidate for governor WOULD be invited to debate, News Director Alisha McDevitt later told Jarvis that Sexton was not authorized to make that promise on behalf of WMUR. Sexton by the way, HAS been fair to the Libertarians in his various coverage – kudos to him for that.

If you’re upset by these blatantly biased rules, please reach out to the debate organizers at WMUR and the Union Leader and let them know how you feel. NH congressional district two candidate Justin O’Donnell has created a petition you can sign here. Jilletta Jarvis, the LP’s gubernatorial candidate has set up a page from which you can send an email to the News Director at WMUR, Alisha McDevitt.

Hopefully your input can help Ms. McDevitt change her mind, do the right thing, and invite the Libertarians to debate the two-party duopoly, giving the people of New Hampshire an actual choice.

Interestingly, Jarvis’ campaign has raised more than any other LP candidate for governor since 1994, but she’s still $16,000 short of WMUR’s $25,000 campaign finance goal. You can donate to her campaign here.

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…)

DUI Checkpoint Activism + College Know-Your-Rights Outreach

Recently I wrote the eulogy for Cop Block, the national police accountability activist news website. Nothing lasts forever, especially in the world of activism, where doing the right thing rarely means one can make a living at it. Burnout is real and has happened to some of the brightest activists to ever hit the Cop Block scene.

Cop Block as a national organization may have died, but it’s not dead here in New Hampshire, where it was incubated – according to founder Pete Eyre – in Keene.

Though regular Cop Blocking patrols are more rare these days and more likely to happen in Keene than anywhere else, large numbers of activists still participate in the ongoing DUI checkpoint countering that happens multiple times a year in Manchester.

Toward the end of this summer, state and local police set up DUI checkpoints in Cheshire county for the first time in five years. Thomas Parisi from The Jail Paper came out with the group to document the checkpoint. It was set up just a few hundred feet from the bridge to Brattleboro, VT so we had multiple Cop Blockers on both points of entry to the checkpoint with multiple reflective signs alerting peaceful motorists to the upcoming harassment. Not surprisingly, state police statistics reported zero DUIs were found during the checkpoint, though they did write a bunch of motor vehicle violation tickets and make a few drug possession arrests. So, all victimless “crimes” – another huge waste of taxpayer dollars.

The Jail Paper also reported on Cop Block know-your-rights outreach that regularly happens in the Keene State College neighborhood. Here are both videos in one, courtesy of The Jail Paper:

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…)

Keene State College Cracks Down on Students During Pumpkin Fest, Banning Visitors

Current KSC students are being punished now for what these guys did in 2014.

Current KSC students are being punished now for what these guys did in 2014.

Not known for being freedom-friendly, Keene State College is once again showing it’s authoritarianism and making headlines for it. Using the 2014 Pumpkin Fest riots as their excuse, they’ve banned students from having any guests, including family between October 26th and 29th.

According to Alex Pappas, the author of a petition begging college admins to rescind the policy, the college is threatening students with $100-per-guest fines and “disciplinary action” if they are caught with visitors.

Pappas’ birthday is within the timeframe and he’d been planning on having his family visit. Now because of fears surrounding riots that likely involved students who are no longer at KSC, the simple freedom of association has been stripped away.

Students shouldn’t be surprised, KSC has prospective students sign away all their rights at the beginning of their school career there. If the school security wants to stop and frisk a student, or inspect their dorm room, they can and will. Better hope they don’t see Raised in a government school system for more than a decade prior, many students are used to police searches thanks to the insane “war on drugs” that has been raging against the rights of students in the hallways of government schools at all levels for years.

KSC’s spokesbureaucrat says the policy is for the “safety” of the students. According to the Union Leader story, they will not be rescinding the restriction despite the hundreds of petition signatures.

Cell 411 Adds Ridesharing

Cell 411, Now With Ride Sharing!

Let’s not forget the real reason the Pumpkin Fest riots occurred in 2014. According to the students who were there, it was the crackdown by police on daytime parties that started the roaming crowds of drunken, angry revelers. The police attacks on peaceful students continued into the night, completely unprovoked.

This year, students have a new tool in their repertoire, should they choose to use it. Cell 411 is a free cell phone app that allows you to send emergency alerts to your friends and family if something bad (like a police or campus security encounter, medical emergency, or whatever) happens to you. It also allows you to easily stream live video of the situation for your friends to see. I highly recommend downloading and getting familiar with it before next weekend.

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…)