Nobody Fights the State and Wins!

Nobody, your humble narrator, was handed a major victory today. Thanks in large part to excellent representation by my Public Defender, Robin Pisan, the State chose to drop three charges against me, one for Disobeying an Officer, one for driving on a suspended registration, and one for driving on a suspended license. I was not guilty of any of these offenses, the first was a case of mistaken identity, and the other two were not violations of the law, because driving on suspended whatever is only a crime when you know your license is suspended — or in legal jargon, the “Knowingly” mental state. In my case, I had not been in Keene, where I live, for months, and thus had not received any mail about my license.

But that does not mean that Justice has prevailed in these cases. Quite the opposite. Massive harm was done to me by the false arrests. It cost me …

Nobody Fights The State, and Wins!

Detained at US Customs for Three Hours, Devices Unconstitutionally Searched

Patch from CBP uniforms.

Patch from CBP uniforms.

After having a wonderful time at Anarchapulco 2019, I was looking forward to coming back to New Hampshire. After being gone a total of twelve days, it felt like too long. Mexico was fun, but I missed “the Shire“. I’d scheduled a red eye flight back to the US via JFK airport and would arrive at JFK not long after 5am. This is generally a good time to speed through customs as the airport is pretty empty of passengers so the lines are very short.

Indeed, there was no line whatsoever in the main intake room with the Orwellian police state kiosks that demand ID and take your photograph, printing out a slip that you’re then expected to take to a Customs and Border Protection agent at a booth. There was only one person in the line at the booth in front of me. Despite having smooth sailing the previous year, this year was very different. After checking my ID, the initial CBP agent told me to report to a room off to the left, aka “secondary”.

After years of reporting on my talk radio program about the unconstitutional device searches going on at CBP checkpoints, I finally became part of the statistics. I was to have my devices searched in secret – or have them confiscated. According to the AP, CBP conducted searches of 29,000 devices in 2017, up from 18,400 in 2016, a 57% increase from the previous year! The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing over it but the border device search policy has been infringing on travelers’ privacy for over a decade.

CBP’s argument is basically that you don’t have rights at the border and they can search whatever they want. Though their policy was recently updated to clarify they supposedly can’t search your online accounts via your phone, how would you really know? Even though they’re supposed to put your phone in airplane mode when they search it, they are allowed to search it in secret, where you can’t observe. That means they can image your phone, plant something on it, and access your accounts, or they could follow their rules and not do those things. You have no idea.

In my case, I went into “secondary”, located off to the side of the main intake area. It was a dismal room with institutional lighting and a bunch of CBP officers sitting behind a counter that stretched the length of the room. Given the time of day, there weren’t many victims of the CBP’s aggression sitting in the several rows of chairs, but there were a handful. All of them with brown skin, waiting around to be “served” by one of the officious, uniformed CBP bureaucrats shuffling about. As each new victim entered the room and sat down, inevitably the victim would pull out their phone in an attempt to kill the time and would be shouted at by a bureaucrat: “no phones!”. No cell phone signs that looked like they were printed 15 years ago had been posted all over the room. For a group of bureaucrats with camera systems everywhere, they sure are awful concerned about pictures being taken of their drab, boring office.

Actual photo from CBP of the area I was held - you can see one of the no cell phones signs.

Actual photo from CBP of the area I was held – you can see one of the no cell phones signs.

Anyway, after waiting for a bit, an overweight Asian female officer called me up and had some questions about my name, like why I changed it. I told her, “I wanted to.” I understand that due to CBP refusing to respect rights at the border, you’re expected to answer questions about your identity and your travel, but beyond that scope you are not obligated to answer questions. She had me go sit back down for more waiting. Eventually an “Officer Uzzi”, also a portly New Yorker male-type, called me up to his counter. We were to go back to the table in the back hallway for a search. Uzzi acted like he’d be able to get this taken care of as quickly as possible. I knew better than to believe him. I’d gone into the office at about 5:30am and though there was no clock on the wall, it was taking a while and I suspected I’d miss my connecting flight to Boston despite it being at 8:00am.

After Uzzi pawed through my backpack and checked bag they’d had the Delta crew retrieve for them, it came time for the device search. At this point, from the reporting we’ve done on the issue on Free Talk Live, I know that you can choose to refuse to allow them to search the devices, but if you do, they will confiscate them. Whether you can ever get them back is another question. So, since most people don’t want to have to buy a new phone and laptop every time they come back into the U.S. and leaving them at home is probably not an option, CBP knows people are stuck in a place where 99.9% of their victims will hand over their devices for the unconstitutional search. (more…)

NH is Cryptocurrency Mecca : Panel Discussion

Earlier this month, the 2nd annual Free State Blockchain Digital Assets Conference took place in Portsmouth. The event was a success, intimate and informative. In addition to broadcasting my radio show, Free Talk Live from the event, I was also given the privilege of moderating a very important panel which we called “NH is Crypto Mecca“.

Any Bitcoin conference can have big names in the industry come speak, but only this conference could have this panel. As longtime readers here know, New Hampshire is a special place due to our global lead in real-life cryptocurrency acceptance. The reason is because of the concentration of libertarian crypto activists we have here that are doing the boots-on-the-ground work to make amazing thing happen here, thanks to the ongoing NH Freedom Migration.

For my expert activist panelists I selected Chris Rietmann of the new Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire, and my fellow Free Keene bloggers Darryl W Perry and Derrick J Freeman, so we had activists representing both of NH’s crypto hotspots, Keene and Portsmouth. The guys did an amazing panel and I think it gives an excellent taste of what it’s like to be here in Crypto Mecca. You can watch the full hour-long panel here:

Hypocritical “Free State Project” Quietly Dumps Cody Wilson from Upcoming Convention

The FSP's Announcement of Cody Wilson's Now-Canceled Speech at Liberty Forum 2019

The FSP’s Announcement of Cody Wilson’s Now-Canceled Speech at Liberty Forum 2019

UPDATED @ 20:31 Eastern 2018-09-22 – I contacted a source within the FSP about this last night, long before going to press. The takedown was confirmed by the source but they would not speak publicly about it.
UPDATED @ 18:10 Eastern 2018-09-22 – See bottom of story for FSP’s response.

Cody Wilson is a libertarian hero who has made countless international headlines in the last several years, first for releasing plans for the world’s first 3D-printable gun, the “Liberator”. After that, he created the “Ghost Gunner” hardware, which makes machining a gun from scratch almost as easy as pressing “start”. All the while, he has bravely thumbed his nose at the oppressive state and federal governments and recently won a major settlement from the federal government that illegally tried to stop him from engaging in the free speech of sharing his 3d-printable weapon files.

Wilson’s a free speech and gun rights champion, no doubt. No wonder the Free State Project had asked him to speak at their 2019 Liberty Forum convention they’ve held in the wintertime here in New Hampshire for over a decade. It wouldn’t be the first time Wilson’s spoken at the Liberty Forum. Here’s a Forbes article talking about Wilson’s speech from 2014’s Liberty Forum. Here’s a video interview of Wilson at the 2014 Liberty Forum by Free Keene blogger Garret Ean.

Sadly, this week an arrest warrant was issued from Austin, Texas police alleging Wilson had met a sixteen-year-old young lady on a website called SugarDaddyMeet.com, took her to a hotel room, had sex with her, gave her $500, then dropped her off at a Whataburger. In Texas the “age of consent”, is apparently 17, which means they are charging Wilson with felony “sexual assault” for the consensual act he committed with his “victim”.

Within a couple of days, the Free State Project (FSP) quietly removed Wilson’s photo and bio from its place on the front page of their NH Liberty Forum website. Wilson’s photo had occupied the top left speaker’s position on their list of expected speakers. That pretty much means he was their top billed keynote speaker.

Cody's still caught in Google's cache of the FSP's Liberty Forum site.

Wilson’s still caught in Google’s cache of the FSP’s Liberty Forum site.

Poof! Just like that, he was gone. It’s not the first time they’ve tried to memory hole something – there was also the time when they tried to suppress video of a well-produced awards ceremony from Liberty Forum 2016 featuring me as a recipient.

Oops! Turns out the FSP forgot to cleanse their Twitter of their announcement of Wilson’s speaking gig which I included as the top graphic here, in case they take the tweet down.

The Free State Project used to be the reason many of us libertarians, voluntaryists, and liberty-loving anarchists moved to New Hampshire. They were known for throwing two great yearly events, including the previously mentioned Liberty Forum and the Porcupine Freedom Festival in the summertime. However in recent years, the FSP has taken a strong turn away from the principles of liberty by jettisoning any people they can associate with any uncomfortable ideas of sexual liberation. Namely, the crazy idea that teenagers could possibly make decisions for themselves. (more…)

Another Anarchist Website

A month ago I started my website totalanarchy.info. Unlike Free Keene, this site will not be limited to issues and events pertaining to New Hampshire. We will discuss current events, common philosophical questions, and film shows hopefully once a week. The goal is to spread the message by taking the NAP to its logical conclusions.

City of Dover Attempts to Adopt 433

There are reports that the city of Dover, NH have passed a law that threatens anyone under 21 who possesses tobacco products. There are approximately 433 people in Dover who are under 21 and not already victimized by regular laws that oppress adults under the age of 18. The ordinance takes effect on July 4th.  (more…)