Libertarians Protest Unfair “Granite State Debates”: Last Night & Thursday Night

Libertarians Protest Unfair Debates Outside St. Anselm College Yesterday

Libertarians Protest Unfair Debates Outside St. Anselm College Yesterday

As of 2016’s election, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has gained full ballot access as a major party on par with the Democrats and Republicans. This is a big deal as it means we no longer have to jump through ridiculous ballot access hoops like petition gathering to get candidates on the ballot here. This has resulted in more Libertarian candidates appearing on the ballot here in Keene than Republican candidates. If the LPNH’s gubernatorial candidate, Jilletta Jarvis, can receive at least 4% of the vote this year, the party’s major ballot access status will continue for the next two years.

Sadly, the two largest mainstream media entities are working to help stop Jarvis from getting her ideas exposure in their debates they are hosting this week. WMUR-TV and the Union Leader are putting on the “Granite State Debates” and have set the rules to where only the Republican and Democrat candidates will qualify. To get in to their debate, a candidate must have received 12% in a recent poll and have raised over $25,000. Ironically, Darryl W Perry told me that both organizations have opined in favor of getting money out of politics, but when it’s a metric they can use to exclude the Libertarians, they apparently support money in politics.

NH-2 Congressional Libertarian Candidate Justin O’Donnell

The idea that such rules are in any way necessary is totally ridiculous. There are only three ballot qualified candidates for governor. It’s not like they’d need eleven podiums on the stage. They could have kept it fair and allowed in all ballot-qualified candidates, but they stacked the deck against the Libertarian campaigns.   It’s pretty clear the exclusion was done on purpose, likely to appease the other two parties’ candidates, who as we saw recently may refuse to attend if the Libertarian is invited.

It wasn’t just the race for governor. Last night they held their debate for NH’s 2nd congressional district and excluded Libertarian Justin O’Donnell. In an interview with Free Keene, O’Donnell said this on the matter:

Radio and TV broadcasters are given free access to use public airwaves worth more than half a trillion dollars in exchange for a requirement that such broadcasters “serve the public interest” and provide a fair and unbalanced reporting of the news to inform the American people. By hosting a facade of a debate, and failing to include all the options who have qualified to be on the ballot, these broadcast organizations are negligent in their duty to inform the people.

Tomorrow, Libertarians will gather to protest starting at 5pm, two hours before the beginning of the gubernatorial debate at St Anselm College. They will be standing near the college’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics at 100 Saint Anslem Drive in Manchester. LP gubernatorial candidate Jilletta Jarvis will be present. Last night the turnout was approximately a dozen activists – hopefully we’ll have as much or more tomorrow night! The fake “debate” begins at 7pm Eastern.  Here is a facebook event for the protest.

Only Two City Councilors Voted Against Expanding Nicotine Prohibition in Keene

Keene City Council Voting for Prohibition - Photo by Vincent Freeman

Keene City Council Voting for Prohibition – Photo by Vincent Freeman

It’s an early step of the ugly political process that may ultimately expand nicotine prohibition up to age 21 in Keene, New Hampshire. As sadly expected, the full city council voted 12-2 last night to order city staff to write up a new ordinance prohibiting the sale and possession of nicotine-related products for under 21s within the arbitrary geographic area known as Keene.

Several councilors spoke with the majority using the spectre of children using nicotine and how dangerous and addictive the chemical is to justify voting in favor of moving ahead with writing the ban, ignoring all the historic evidence of the failure of prohibition. One councilor, Mitch Greenwald, even voted with the majority despite bizarrely acknowledging in his remarks that prohibition hasn’t worked.

Prohibition is a tactic based on aggressive force against peaceful people that has created terrible unintended consequences each time in history it’s been tried. This time won’t be any different. The council will push legal sales outside the city limits and encourage police to harass even more young people than ever before. Tickets will be written just like they are constantly for underage alcohol possession. The tickets will obediently be paid, and the person who got caught will try to be more careful and not be discovered in the future. Oh, and black market sales to 18-20 year olds will expand in Keene.

You can watch the whole, ugly council discussion and vote here:

It was refreshing to see a couple of politicians stand up against the insanity, including both of Ward 4’s councilors, Margaret Rice and Bob Sutherland who not only voted against crafting the ban, but spoke against it. Rice eloquently said, in her speech to the council:

“It’s not my role to tell somebody what they can and cannot do with their own body, provided that they’re not harming anybody else.” (more…)

Libertarian Transgender Sheriff Candidate Featured in Union Leader Article

Aria DiMezzo files for Cheshire County Sheriff as a Libertarian

Aria DiMezzo files for Cheshire County Sheriff as a Libertarian

Aria DiMezzo made history recently by becoming the first-ever candidate for Sheriff in the United States. Now, she’s making major news with the top newspaper in New Hampshire featuring her in an article about the opinions of the three candidates for Sheriff in Cheshire County.

Not only does the UL’s Damien Fisher feature a quote from Aria at the end of the article, the feature’s photo is of Aria.

It’s going to be an interesting election. Finally, the people of Cheshire County actually have a pro-liberty choice for Sheriff.

You can read the coverage from the Union Leader here. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.

After Public Hearing, Keene Councilors Vote 3-1 For Nicotine Prohibition for Under 21s

Photo of the audience at the start of the meeting.

Photo of the audience at the start of the meeting.

Last night a committee of four Keene city councilors met to hear from the people on an awful proposal by a group of busybodies to prohibit the sale and possession of nicotine-related products by people under the age of 21 in Keene.

At least, that’s the summary of the proposal the city clerk had prepared for the council and was plastered at the top of the comment cards available in the room. But wait, was that actually their proposal?

Kate McNally, program manager for “Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco Free Communities”, despite being the person who started this awful political process spoke first and explained that her group was NOT asking the city to prohibit the use of nicotine, just the sale. She seems to realize that criminalizing possession would allow police to target young people for harassment and spoke against that clearly. In a perfect example of how you don’t control the government once you set it in motion, the majority of the committee voted 3-1 to ask city staff to write up an ordinance that would prohibit both sale AND possession of nicotine by people under 21 in Keene. That includes tobacco and all vaporizing products like vape pens and nicotine juice.

Congrats, Ms. McNally – you started this hoping to control just the merchants and you got more than you bargained for. The ban hammer is going to swing much farther and harder than even you wanted.

The council members ignored the pleas of various people including downtown merchants, industry associations, and individuals. No amount of logic and persuasion worked. The history and continued failure of prohibition meant nothing to them. It didn’t matter that the lady from Keene Middle School admitted the failure of nicotine prohibition on their campus. Despite the fact that it’s ALREADY illegal for them to buy and possess, even middle schoolers are using nicotine.

Here’s the full hearing including all testimony minus a quick battery change:

Though the owner of Monadnock Vapor, Daniel Cavallero, pointed out they’d just be creating a black market, the councilors still believe in the failed, authoritarian, sick dream of prohibition and voted to move ahead with drafting the ordinance. Next, the full city council will vote on the committee’s recommendation at next week’s Thursday meeting. Presuming that happens, city staff will draft a prohibition ordinance which will then receive a public hearing in front of the same committee.

Only one councilor, Bob Sutherland, heroically voted against the proposal. He also asked some good questions of McNally toward the end of the hearing. Sadly, he’s the only councilor on the committee who has his sanity.

Live free or die, unless you’re in Keene. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on this madness.

Keene Dentist, Vape Shop, Indian Restaurant, & Hair Salon Now Accepting Bitcoin & DASH!

Dr. Drower Dentistry Now Accepts Cryptocurrency

Dr. Drower Dentistry Now Accepts Cryptocurrency

Longtime readers here know that Keene and Portsmouth New Hampshire are two hotspots in the world of cryptocurrency. The Western and Easternmost cities in New Hampshire are living proof that cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or DASH can be used successfully at retail, with multiple downtown local mom-n-pop businesses accepting crypto at point-of-sale. Though real life crypto usage is not all about delicious handmade pizza, BBQ, Indian food, burgers, or alcoholic beverages that you can buy with crypto in downtown Keene, it’s also about products AND services.

Keene’s newest vape shop, Lineage Vapors recently opened in the Center at Keene on Gilbo Ave and is accepting both Bitcoin (BTC) and DASH. While Corner News has been selling vaporizers and accessories for years (and accepting crypto for longer than anyone in Keene), Lineage Vapors is a full-on vape-only shop and worth checking out. That makes Lineage Vapors the third business in the Center at Keene that accepts crypto. Little Zoe’s Pizza was first and was recently joined by Curry Indian Restaurant who serves excellent Indian and Pakistani cuisine seven-days-a-week for both Bitcoin (BTC) and DASH. Not only is the food great, it’s also nice to know that cryptocurrency helps local merchants by keeping more money in their pockets and therefore in the local economy but can also easily be sent internationally if needed, for next to no cost. This can surely help families like the Alis who run Curry Indian send money to relatives worldwide, bypassing the expensive, slow, old money methods of remittances like Western Union and the big banks.

Keene Defeats Major Cities in Per-Capita Businesses Accepting Crypto

Keene Defeats Major Cities in Per-Capita Businesses Accepting Crypto

In addition to food, convenience items and vaping, and even auto repair (all available for crypto in Keene), you can add dentistry to the list with Dr. Drower Dentistry receiving coverage in the Keene Sentinel for accepting cryptocurrency. In his press release announcing the welcoming of cryptocurrency-paying patients, Dr. Sean P. Drower said, “For digital coin to become useful in everyday life people need to be able to use it as currency, for something besides speculative investing.” Kudos to Dr. Drower for helping lead the way into the future of money.

Dr. Drower Dentistry, Curry Indian, and Lineage Vapors are all part of the DASH-Back program active now in Keene, where customers get an instant rebate in DASH whenever they spend DASH in Keene and at other New Hampshire merchants. DASH-Back is really cool and only happening in New Hampshire, thanks to Portsmouth-founded Anypay.global, the merchant point-of-sale crypto processor.

Also joining DASH-Back in Keene is longtime crypto-friendly Main St. hair salon, Moda Suo. Proprietor Nicholas Sansone was one of the original Bitcoin-accepting downtown businesses, however their original merchant provider, Coinbase, just wasn’t built for retail. So this week Moda Suo upgraded to the Anypay Point-of-Sale system, enabling DASH-Back for any customers who pay with DASH.

The Keene Crypto Network Meetup Group at Hot Hogs

The Keene Crypto Network Meetup Group at Hot Hogs

One of the really cool things about living in a place with a high concentration of crypto-accepting merchants is there’s a business-to-business crypto economy already developing. Business owners who are accepting crypto are finding ways to spend it with other crypto-accepting Monadnock businesses. For instance, one local business owner is currently ordering a shed from Route 101 Local Goods with her crypto she’s been saving up. Multiple local businesses have purchased advertising in the Monadnock Portal Map with cryptocurrency. Even radio ads are now available for crypto in Keene thanks to the sales manager at classic rocker 101.9 The Peak and sports radio 93.5 WEEY.

Plus, the local cryptocurrency Meetup group recently surpassed over 100 members and the group regularly attracts crypto-newbies to its real-life meetups held every eight days.

It’s really an exciting time of expansion for cryptocurrency in one of the top global hotspots, Keene, NH. According to Coinmap.org, Keene already handily beats major cities like San Francisco and New York when ranked per capita for crypto-accepting merchants. It’s only going to get better as more liberty-friendly cryptocurrency advocates move to New Hampshire as part of the NH freedom migration and add their economic strength to the area! Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest news on the developing crypto scene across New Hampshire.

Though Physically Caged, Ademo Freeman Remains Mentally Free

As many readers of FreeKeene.com are aware, Ademo Freeman’s physical body is now caged. His crime? Well, there is none, as ‘crime’ implies a violation of the law. Ademo did not do that — he did not cause harm to another person. He is, however, guilty of violating legalese — the arbitrary, convoluted dictates penned by some busy bodies and enforced by an unthinking chain of their colleagues.

As Ian Freeman wrote here on FreeKeene.com over 16 months ago:

Cop Block founder and Free Keene blogger Ademo Freeman has been arrested while driving in Lebanon, Ohio by Ohio State Police. Despite Ademo not consenting to a search, trooper Jeffrey Martin claimed that because he allegedly smelled the odor of cannabis, that he had probable cause to search.

After that road pirate interaction, in which over 20 pounds of cannabis were discovered in the vehicle Ademo was driving, he was threatened with the prospect of spending decades caged. After weighing his options, on April 10th of this year, Ademo took a plea deal. The ‘distribution’ charge hanging over his head was tossed and he pled guilty to possessing cannabis. He’s due to be free(r) on November 27th of this year.

(more…)