Forbes: Keene is “Crypto Mecca”

Forbes Magazine Covers Keene's Crypto Scene

Forbes Magazine Covers Keene’s Crypto Scene

I awoke today in the Princess Resort in Acapulco on day number one of Anarchapulco 2019 to some awesome news: a new Forbes article refers to Keene as “Crypto Mecca”! Thanks to their reporter, Rebecca Campbell, for her excellent story featuring Keene’s amazing, world-leading crypto scene!

Longtime readers of Free Keene already know Keene is a top world city for per-capita businesses accepting cryptocurrency.

Now that fact has made one of the world’s most popular financial publications, Forbes. You can read the full story here, titled “Market Downturn? The People Using Crypto Show Why The Market Is Not Dead”. Also featured in the article, the amazing crypto-art of Nanu Berks, which is quite exquisite.

The article is a testament to the success of the model of moving liberty-minded activists together to the same place. Over and over, Keene’s activists prove they are able to attract a disproportionate amount of media coverage here, despite our relatively small size. Also, the Seacoast’s killer crypto-activist duo of Derrick J Freeman and Steven Zeiler get honorable mention for their amazing work bringing Portsmouth businesses into crypto as well as launching the amazing Anypay merchant crypto acceptance app.

Thanks to Forbes for the coverage, but most importantly to the pioneering local businesses who are accepting cryptocurrency and made this possible.

Vin Armani’s Epic 15+ Hour Broadcast from Liberty Forum 2019

Vin in Nevada. He's gonna need more than that hoodie now in NH!

Vin in his Nevada days.

The Free State Project‘s wintertime convention, Liberty Forum, happened this weekend and they had the good fortune of having the talented Vin Armani perform a broadcast throughout the event.

Vin is the host of “Destination Unknown” a weekly podcast with co-host and FSP early mover Dave Butler. Both Vin and Dave headed up the epic live video feed that aired for over fifteen hours spread across the three day event in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The broadcast featured various interviews of speakers at Liberty Forum including Lyn Ulbricht, Stephan Kinsella, two-time Liberty Legislator of the Year winner Mark Warden, Derrick J Freeman, and Free State Project founder Jason Sorens. They also interviewed movers to NH both new and old. It’s a lot of content.

The live video streams, archived on the FSP’s YouTube channel, also featured the excellent documentaries, “101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire” and “Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree“.

Here are the streams. The first video is under two hours, as it was just for the evening of Thursday, February 9th:

Day number two, Friday, featured two streams, one over seven hours long: (more…)

NH State House Examines New Voting System Proposals

Are New Hampshire’s representatives finally taking a closer look at alternative voting systems? For years, the state elections committee in the state house has rejected any proposed changes to NH’s voting system, regardless of how much sense they have made. However, now that Maine has adopted “ranked choice” voting, perhaps NH’s reps are taking the issue more seriously.

I was surprised recently to receive a call from Keene Sentinel reporter Jake Lahut asking me for my opinion on ranked choice voting for an article that appeared last week. As someone who has been a longtime libertarian, I’ve seen how the “vote for one” system we have in place hurts third parties, so I definitely support ranked choice and its competitor, the easier “approval voting”.

Both systems solve the “wasted vote syndrome” where voters, afraid of the worst of the two evils winning, will vote for the “lesser evil” of the two major party candidates. They will do this even though they may better agree with a third party candidate, like a Green or Libertarian, simply out of fear of their least favorite major party candidate winning.

Ranked choice allows the voter to rank their favorites on the ballot while approval voting allows the voter to simply vote for all those candidates they’d be alright with winning the election.

Last week in the state house, HB 505 was heard that would allow for approval voting to take hold in New Hampshire’s elections. Here’s the bill’s full hearing in front of the house elections committee:

Bitcoin-for-Taxes Bill in NH Unanimously Approved by House Subcommittee

Here’s full video of the subcommittee that was assigned to look at HB 470, the bill that would authorize the “State of New Hampshire” to accept bitcoin for tax payments. The subcommittee voted unanimously to approve the bill with amendments. It now goes back to the full Executive Departments and Administration committee for another vote. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on this legislation.

HB 567 Would Move New Hampshire into Atlantic Standard Time, Year-Round

Last week, liberty activists testified in Concord in favor of HB 567 which would move us to Atlantic Standard Time year-round, so long as MA and ME also do. This would end the stupid, dangerous, and annoying clock shifting we currently have to do twice a year. I’m happy to announce that all signatures on the blue sheet in the committee room were in favor of this bill!

Here’s full video of all the house testimony on the bill:

Full Video of Committee Hearing on HB 470 to Legalize Bitcoin for Paying Taxes in New Hampshire

The bitcoin & cryptocurrency news sites are ablaze with the headlines that New Hampshire’s state representatives are again considering legislation to authorize state agencies to accept bitcoin for fees and taxes, HB 470. Here’s what you won’t find anywhere else – full video of Wednesday’s hearing at the state house, where everyone spoke in favor of the bill:

BREAKING: City Approves Pho Keene Great Sign!

City Approves Pho Keene Great Sign!

City Approves Pho Keene Great Sign!

After the story Free Keene helped break about soon-to-open Vietnamese restaurant “Pho Keene Great” went viral, there’s a surprising development now three weeks later: Pho Keene Great’s sign has been approved – with the logo and name unaltered!

According to Isabelle Rose, Pho Keene Great’s part-owner, not only has the sign been approved, but it happened without them having the meeting that was scheduled with the city manager to discuss the manager’s concerns over the supposedly “offensive and not appropriate” name of the business.

It’s unfortunate that the new city manager, Elizabeth A. Dragon created the ridiculous situation in the first place, but apparently cooler heads at the city gang prevailed and Dragon has backed down. Good choice, considering the “City of Keene” would only continue to be ridiculed by people and headlines around the world if they continued to push all the way to court, where they would likely lose, just like they did when they tried to crush Robin Hood of Keene’s free speech.

The City of Keene happens to own the building in which Pho Keene Great will be opening, but that shouldn’t give them any further rights to control the name of a business. Especially after that same city manager had signed a lease agreement back in April of 2018 knowing full well what its name would be. They then collected rent from Pho Keene Great for the rest of the year before Dragon called Rose on Christmas Eve to object to the name and demand her temporary sign be taken down.

Pho Keene Great - T-Shirts Available at Rt 101 Local Goods!

Pho Keene Great – T-Shirts Available at Rt 101 Local Goods!

I spoke with Rose today about the good news and she confirmed the sign will look as it does in the mock-up photo posted to Pho Keene Great’s facebook page, minus the street address. What a win! Further, Rose told me in an email:

“We stood our ground regarding our business name. And, on the basis of the First Amendment, we defended it. The City cannot regulate content. Further, no where in the contract did it stipulate we could not use that business name. The government cannot demand or require us to do anything that supersedes our baseline rights. We are deeply grateful to everyone that offered and gave their support and appreciate all opinions and input, even with those that were offended by our business name. Thank you.”

That’s not the only win for Pho Keene Great, however. The city’s predictable stupidity led to a media explosion with coverage coming from countless major media from all over. You can’t buy advertising that good and as a result of the publicity, the Pho Keene Great official t-shirts have been flying off the shelves at Route 101 Local Goods.

The little local shop was slammed with orders both in real life and on the internet from as far away as Australia and Afghanistan. Route 101’s owner Chris Rietmann says his shop has never been so busy and he’s shipped out well over 1,000 shirts so far. The story went so big, there were even people trying to sell knock-off shirts on other websites. However, only the official shirt sold at Route 101 Local Goods is the one where profits benefit Pho Keene Great, so get yours here online or stop in at 661 Marlboro St. in Keene!

Isabelle Rose, at her food truck in 2016.

Isabelle Rose, at her food truck in 2016.

Route 101 Local Goods was the location of Rose’s original bitcoin-accepting Vietnamese food truck, which is where she got her start serving delicious Pho noodle soup to people in the area and led to her teaming up with another local business owner to upgrade to a full sit-down restaurant – Pho Keene Great. Though NHPR ran a story this week suggesting some kind of conspiracy between me and Rose, the fact is that I’m merely the property manager for Route 101 Local Goods and I had nothing to do with the naming of her new restaurant. Though, I do love the name and when I heard about it last year, I predicted the city might step into the trap. And they did.

Now rather than gearing up for a protracted legal fight that would only hurt the taxpayers of Keene, Pho Keene Great’s owners can focus on opening their doors in the heart of downtown Keene’s Central Square, next to the City offices this March as planned, with an awesome logo and name intact. Hooray!