In a recent article, I broke the news that Will Coley and his family would be moving to Keene to start NH’s first full-time mosque. Now, that move is underway. Here’s a video Will streamed to his facebook profile yesterday. Will updates his facebook constantly, so if you want to follow along with their move, you can follow his profile here.
For background on who Keene resident and white nationalist Christopher Cantwell was before his turn toward racism, please see my previous article, “The Curious Case of Christopher Cantwell” here. You may have heard that he was recently denied bail after being initially granted it by a different Albemarle county Virginia judge, regarding alleged pepper spraying of people at a violent protest involving despicable white nationalists and also-despicable “anti-fascists” aka “antifa”.
Chris recently received more than fifteen minutes of infamy when VICE news did a documentary about the hate-fueled protests a few weeks ago in Charlottesville, VA. Video of him spraying pepper spray in the middle of a fight between the protestors quickly surfaced and VA police issued multiple felony warrants for his arrest and he ultimately turned himself in. Despite having a history of attending court and no criminal history of violence on his record, Chris was denied bail, with the judge in the appeal actually citing his free speech, offensive as it is, as a reason for the denial! Judge Cheryl Higgins said, according to a paraphrase by Daily Progress:
while he may be a “shock jock,” his comments following the rally should not be ignored and “tend to show a certain level of approval of the violence that was used.
She then stripped him of the $25,000 bond option that another judge earlier in the same day had granted. This after an hours-long bail appeal hearing where Cantwell’s bizarre attorney actually had him take the stand to testify – generally considered to be a terrible legal strategy this early in a case. According to the Daily Beast, Cantwell’s attorney is Elmer Woodard:
who appeared in court wearing an early-1800s-style red waistcoat with gold buttons, bowtie, white muttonchop whiskers, black velcro shoes, and a a 1910s-style straw boater hat. Cantwell said Woodard was his fourth choice for legal counsel after three other lawyers declined to take his case.
Inept attorney aside, Cantwell’s racism and his violent rhetoric, while despicable and deplorable, is not reason to deny bail. Unfortunately, far too many people, even supposed libertarians who should know better, are applauding his political imprisonment. I caution you to remember the famous poem from the World War II era’s German pastor Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
Whether Chris shot pepper spray aggressively or in self-defense remains to be seen. He’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. To keep him in pre-trial detention harms his ability to prepare his defense and anyone who cares about a fair justice system should be outraged.
You can hear him tell his side of the story in this recent episode of Free Talk Live from this Saturday where we had him on live from his jail cell in Albemarle County, VA. It starts at about 44:29 in to the show:
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…)
If you search for his name on this site, you’ll find a bunch of articles about him. That’s because until the last year or two of his life, he’d been a libertarian activist with no known racist streak. Free Keene reports on libertarian activism statewide, so we’ve covered some of the things he’s done over time.
When Chris first moved to Keene several years ago, he was just an angry libertarian comedian who had a major hatred for the police. His then-beliefs about using violence against the state’s agents were immediately controversial among the various libertarians who’d moved here as part of the Free State Project. Those beliefs aren’t atypical of some libertarians, especially those who’ve been directly affected by the police state, as Chris had back in New York, where he was born and raised. However, they were voiced by him loudly enough to get him kicked out of the Free State Project and ostracized by a bunch of people.As I predicted, once Chris was able to connect with the Keene police, he started to see them as human beings, just as I had a decade ago after moving here with a similar axe to grind against police. Unfortunately, Chris’ anger shifted away from the police and onto people who look different from him.
A couple of years ago, he began down this road to his current skinhead-racist form and once that happened, we had to dump him as a co-host of my radio show, Free Talk Live. As libertarians, we believe in the individual and don’t see people as groups based on color, gender, or religion. Chris now only sees the group rather than the individual. He’s one of the few people who has turned away from the libertarian message after having embraced it.
As long as I’ve known him, he’s always fed off the hate directed towards him. He’s even said that the more people hate him, the more money he makes. Now he’s more hated than he’s ever been after this weekend’s huge publicity explosion for him after his involvement in the protests and fights down in Charlottesville. Here’s a 20 minute VICE documentary that has gone viral featuring his horrible, racist views.
Is this racist turn just a money-making scheme for him? Others believe Chris is actually an undercover agent or confidential informant for the federal government. While I don’t personally believe that about him, having known him pretty well for several years, I understand why they believe that. He fits the bill for an agent provocateur. The advocates of this theory say that Chris came into the libertarian movement advocating for violence against police, but when that didn’t work, he got reassigned to advocate for violence in the white supremacy movement. It wouldn’t be the first time the federal government had a radio host working for them inside the white supremacists.
Regardless of whatever the truth is about Chris and his motivations, his racist views are despicable and I think I can speak for all the bloggers here (if not, they can reply with their own blog) when I say we don’t support racism or hating people because of their religion or gender. Individuals should be judged on their actions and words, not the circumstances of their birth.
The blockchain is the distributed, decentralized ledger that contains every transaction that has ever occurred on the Bitcoin network. It’s approximately 150 GB in size. Since the hard fork, there are now two “Bitcoin” blockchains competing for market dominance. Both of them have the exact same transactions from the beginning of Bitcoin nearly a decade ago, running until August 1st, 2017, when at just after 2pm Eastern time the first “Bitcoin Cash” block was mined into existence, at greater than 1 MB – in fact, its size was about 4 MB.
Since the original Bitcoin blockchain has a 1 MB limit per block, it was at this point that the one blockchain became two. The supermajority of miners are still mining the original Bitcoin chain, let’s call it “Bitcoin Core” or BTC. However, a small portion of miners have joined the mining of the new “Bitcoin Cash” or BCH. If you thought Bitcoin Core’s growing pains were challenging, take a look at how Bitcoin Cash had to start:In Bitcoin, there’s a thing called mining difficulty that is basically designed to increase as more people enter mining and compete to discover scarce Bitcoins. However, should people leave the mining game, the difficulty will decrease. In BCH’s case, when they started their fork, their network was at the same difficulty level as BTC, but with a fraction of the total mining power. That’s why it took six hours for the BCH miners to find their first block! Normally Bitcoin blocks are expected to be found every ten minutes. So, this means BCH transactions were, in the beginning, taking hours to confirm! They are as of this writing, still taking longer than BTC transactions.
Worse still, no one who wanted to sell their newfound BCH was easily able to do so for at least the first couple days of its existence. Due to concerns about certain technical attacks that are possible in the time after a fork, cryptocurrency exchanges were extra cautious before allowing BCH deposits to trading accounts. However, while they weren’t allowing people to deposit BCH, they WERE allowing them to trade it. Huh? How can one trade something on an exchange to which one can’t deposit? Remember, after the fork, the people with BTC in their exchange accounts were given a balance of the same amount of BCH. (Except at the Bitfinex exchange, who screwed over their customers.) So, since trading was happening but no one could deposit, the price of the new BCH trended upward, even reaching as high as $800-$1,000 on some exchanges. (more…)
About one month ago, the Monadnock Shopper News featured Bitcoin and the regional businesses that accept it on their front page, above-the-fold! Not to be outdone, the Keene Sentinel’s business section had a massive article in today’s paper that was not only the front page feature but was also promoted above-the-fold in the headline of the front page of the century-plus old newspaper. You can read it online here at the Keene Sentinel’s site. (Here’s a PDF of the piece.)
Reporter Paul Cuno-Booth did a thorough job interviewing various owners of the local bitcoin-accepting businesses about their reasons for backing the amazing decentralized currency, including Monadnock Makerspace founder Johnny Bolster, area computer tech Michael Gordon, Bob Maibusch of Pine Springs Golf Course, Ken Urbanski of Kirby’s Q, and Steve Wilder of Wilder Automotive. Cuno-Booth also focuses on the Shire Free Church’s media outreach along with our local meetup group for Bitcoiners and other cryptocurrency users and newbies, the Monadnock Decentralized Currency Network.As we have reported here at Free Keene, according to CoinMap, Keene is the number one city in the world for bitcoin-accepting businesses per capita. Obviously not all businesses have the same results, of course. Though the golf course has yet to have a customer with bitcoin, Wilder Auto reports approximately a dozen customers regularly using bitcoin. Bolster, who also is the creator of the Portal Map, reported that he was able to sell ads to some new customers on his yearly map of area businesses, because he is accepting bitcoin as payment! That’s money that otherwise would have been left on the table had Bolster decided against accepting the cryptocurrency. (more…)