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Entries in Freekeenenews (130)

Friday
Sep122014

Free Keene News - Free Staters Win Primaries Statewide Despite Attacks 

20+ Free Staters Proceed to General Election

Garcia Phony SignDespite various all-out-attacks against them, several Free State Project participants won both Democrat and Republican primaries statewide. One day prior to Tuesday's primary election, Miscellany Blue published a handy list of several FSP participants whose election contests were being "watched".

Of the seven races they were watching, four were wins for the liberty activists, including two democrat incumbents, Tim O'Flaherty and Michael Garcia. In his race for Manchester state rep for Wards 4-7, incumbent democrat Tim O'Flaherty received a solid third place out of five contenders. The first and second placed opponents only got 26% each compared to O'Flaherty's 24%. O'Flaherty says that local haters spent a fair amount of money to mail flyers to all registered dems, promoting three other candidates. However, O'Flaherty says that what happened to him was nothing compared to the all-out-attack on Michael Garcia.

Michael Garcia (no relation to US Senate candidate Marilinda Garcia) is a Keeniac-moved-to-Nashua, who, like O'Flaherty won his state rep seat originally in 2012 in Nashua's Ward 7. Local haters were caught by surprise in 2012 and this year mobilized against him with large signs calling the democrat liberty activist who moved several years ago from Florida, a "phony". Plus, they were distributing an attack flier at the polling site. Despite the desperate push against him, Garcia prevailed, beating the last place contender by 30 votes. Garcia received 16% putting him in third place out of four, with the fourth place person receiving 12%.

The other races that Miscellany Blue were watching included Elizabeth Edwards who received a solid first place finish in Manchester's Ward 4! She scored 41% of the vote compared to the second place finisher's 34%. Manchester's Amanda Bouldin (the founder of Shire Sharing) also made it through in a close race for state rep in Ward 5 where she finished second with 25% - the runner-up had 22%.

In Keene, despite valiant efforts, James "Robin Hood" Cleaveland lost his race for state rep to political newcomer William Pearson, who in a Keene Sentinel interview claimed to be a "real democrat", whatever that means. Pearson received 102 votes in Keene's Ward 1 compared to Cleaveland's 30 votes (23%). The good news out of this race is that turnout in Ward 1 was down from 9% in 2012 to 7% in 2014, meaning that either Cleaveland's opposition did nothing to try to stop him, or if they did, any efforts they made to try to turn out the vote were total failures.

Also in Keene, Conan Salada was eliminated from the race for the two at-large state rep seats. Despite not campaigning at all, Salada received 140 votes (9%) compared to elected state rep and longtime politician Kris Roberts' 906 votes (57%) and elected state rep Larry Phillips' 533 votes (34%). Finally, in Grafton, Tom Ploszaj drew 86 votes (26%) to his opponent's 246 (74%) in a state rep race.

Plus, there were even more republican Free State Project participants (at least fifteen) who also made it through the primary and will, with their democrat brothers and sisters bring the message of liberty to the general election on November 4th.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,
Ian Freeman
Blogger, FreeKeene.com 

Friday
Sep052014

FreeKeeneNews - Three NH Churches Appeal Tax Exemption Denials 

NH Churches Take Tax Exemption Denials to Court

Freedom-friendly churches file appeals in Grafton, Cheshire superior courts. 

Ministers of three New Hampshire churches have filed tax exemption appeals with the Cheshire and Grafton superior courts. Peaceful Assembly Church, Shire Free Church: Monadnock, and  Church of the Sword were each denied tax exemptions for their properties. Peaceful Assembly sought an exemption for their church building, while the other two sought exemptions for parsonages.

 

Brandon Ross, the attorney for Peaceful Assembly Church, was surprised by the town’s decision to deny exemption for their church building in Grafton, pointing out, “Peaceful Assembly Church has been around for several years. Seems plain as day they're entitled to the tax exemption.” According to the filing by Ross in Grafton superior court, “the Grafton Selectmen argued that Peaceful Assembly did not 'do enough' for the community to earn a tax exemption (perhaps incorrectly believing that [tax exemption is] a quid-pro-quo arrangement).”

 

The filing adds, “the Town's tax assessing agent, Avitar, basically recommended that the exemption be denied because they weren't an IRS recognized church.” Of course, there is no requirement that a church apply for IRS recognition within NH statutes, nor should there be. Churches do not need government approval to exist and to be tax-exempt.

 

The ministers of the Shire Free Church: Monadnock argue in their appeal filed in Cheshire superior court, that Keene tax assessor Mary Ann Robator engaged in viewpoint discrimination when she said, “When you refer to activists, I think that flies in the face of your church status.”  Mark Edge, Shire Free Church minister says their church meets all the legal requirements and that, “The Keene government's denial of our application is nothing but religious discrimination.”

 

Shire Free Church: Monadnock ministers filed their appeal without the assistance of an attorney. Their six-page filing cites multiple constitutional provisions as well as the New Hampshire statute that authorizes municipalities to accept “voluntary payments.” The church encourages the city to accept its voluntary contributions (approximately 45% of each tax bill at this time) in lieu of property taxes, rather than continuing to pour taxpayer dollars into costly attorneys’ fees in a fight to crush religious freedom.

 

While the churches are independently organized, Peaceful Assembly Church and Shire Free Church: Monadnock share similar missions of fostering peace. The Peaceful Assembly Church associates with Christianity, but welcomes all who believe in peace and forgiveness.  Shire Free Church is an interfaith peace ministry, open to all who are of peace and who have signed the Shire Society Declaration.

 

Church of the Sword, whose mission is different from the other churches, filed their appeal via attorney Daniel Hynes in Cheshire superior court regarding the town’s denial of their parsonage in Westmoreland. The church self-describes as interfaith and their website states, “We believe in studying and applying the martial path in the judicial and legislative arenas, as well as in self defense.”  Church of the Sword minister Kevin Bloom says they weren’t even sent proper notice of denial, "To this date, we have not received a letter of denial that the Town of Westmoreland claims was mailed on August 26th. The only reason we learned about it at all is due to our attorney's diligence."

 

Stay tuned to FreeKeene.com for the latest on these attacks on religious freedom.

 

More information about each church can be found on their respective websites:

http://www.peacefulassemblychurch.org/

http://church.shiresociety.com/

http://www.churchofthesword.org/

 

If you have questions for the attorneys or ministers involved in these matters, please reach out with inquiries to:

Ian Freeman

Minister, Shire Free Church

603-513-2449

Thursday
Sep042014

FreeKeeneNews - Keene City Councilor Proposes Returning BEARCAT! 

Councilor Terry Clark Wants To Give Back the BEARCAT

Terry ClarkHis proposal hits the city council at their 7pm meeting tonight.  Terry Clark, the Keene city councilor who was the initial lone dissenter against the BEARCAT back in 2011 when it was originally proposed, has filed a proposal with the council to return the BEARCAT (see page 13)!
To The Honorable Mayor Kendall Lane and Council , Considering the lack of use of and practical need for, as well as the derogatory impact on our fine city's name, I write to ask that the City of Keene withdraw from the Homeland Security Grant dated January 20, 2011 and return the Specialized Mission CBRNE/WMD Rescue Vehicle, aka BearCat, to the appropriate government agency. Terry M. Clark City Councilor - Ward 3
The proposal will be heard for the first time at tonight's 7pm city council meeting where it will be assigned to a committee for a public hearing. You may recall the international headlines that Keene garnered in 2011-2012 when the council meetings were packed full of people of all political persuasions to oppose the insane militaristic tank, and despite the mass opposition, the council voted for it anyway. Now, in the aftermath of Ferguson, more of America has been given a taste of the militarized police, and they don't like it. Kudos to Terry Clark for making a stand - again. Hopefully he won't have to do it alone this time and other councilors will get a clue and do the right thing and send this metal monstrosity back to the depths whence it came.

Terry Clark can be reached at 603-661-8347.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,
Ian Freeman
Blogger, FreeKeene.com
603-513-2449
Wednesday
Aug202014

FreeKeeneNews - Free Stater Alleged to be Silk Road Admin, “Inigo” 

Free Stater Alleged to be Silk Road Admin

birdie_and_drewFree State Project participant Andrew Michael Jones of Norfolk, Virginia was arrested in December of 2013 along with others accused of being the operators of the Silk Road underground marketplace. Andrew is alleged to be the longtime site administrator, "Inigo". Thus far, almost all of the news headlines about the Silk Road arrests have gone to Ross Ulbricht, who is accused of being the infamous site's creator and head admin, "Dread Pirate Roberts". Andrew is accused of similar allegations as Ross, "conspiracy to commit money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and hacking" and is facing spending the rest of his life in federal prison.

While Ross Ulbricht was not offered bail, Andrew was able to get out on $1,000,000 bail thanks to his parents, who did not have anything close to that amount of money, so they put up their house and retirement incomes to secure a bond. His bail conditions include 24/7 house arrest at his parents' houseand being strictly forbidden from using any internet capable device. His girlfriend, Birdie, (who is also a Free State Project participant) is the one who reached out to me and she and Andrew's family have set up a website to accept contributions to his legal fund, as they can use all the help they can get.  

Andrew's mother, Judy Jones, 68, told me this about him, "He's very bright, kind, generous and has always been an idealist. When he first told me about bitcoins, he helped me envision a world where the central banks are no longer in charge of money. If it were instead a peer-based monetary system, so much good can come from that. I have hope for a better world thanks to his generation (the Millennials)."

Unlike Ross' case, Andrew does not face the "kingpin" charge. Plus, he has not been libeled with allegations of murder for hire, as Ross has. Hopefully, that will help with this fundraising ability. He has retained the services of attorney Samuel M. Braverman and the bill will likely be very expensive.

As have many activists looking at moving to New Hampshire, Andrew and Birdie made the pilgrimage to Keene in December of 2012 and came to visit Social Sunday. I met both of them there and truly hope he can get through this difficult time with the minimum damage possible. If Andrew did not administer the Silk Road, then he's a man wrongfully accused, but if he did, he's a hero. The Silk Road was (and is) the most important development to happen to the black market in our lifetimes.  

It has reduced harm caused from unscrupulous dealers selling bunk product in the streets and has reduced violence by making both sides of each transaction anonymous, and separating them by distance. No one can get beaten or killed in a Silk Road transaction and the underground marketplace has a ratings system, ensuring the quality dealers are easy to identify. This open, yet anonymous competition for international business results in product quality and selection going up while prices come down from what one would pay on the streets. The Silk Road has literally saved lives, both of dealers as well as users who would have overdosed on bad street drugs, but instead were able to get good quality product from the Silk Road. If Andrew Jones was involved in the Silk Road enterprise, he should be given an award, rather than prison time. Of course, that would be in a just world that understands the insanity of drug prohibition, or any prohibition for that matter.

Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest on this case.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,
Ian Freeman
Blogger, FreeKeene.com 

Wednesday
Aug132014

FreeKeeneNews - Hassan Refuses to Debate Freeman, Freeman Speaks at 1st NH Gubernatorial Debate

Ian's Speech at the First NH Gubernatorial Debate

Hassan never responded to Franklin Pierce University's invitation. Despite filing first and challenging incumbent Maggie Hassan, some mainstream media is ignoring my campaign for governor, including WMUR.  That's a strange thing, considering they've done so many news reports with me as their feature on other matters here in Keene.  It's not like I'm a total unknown.

Regardless, Franklin Pierce University saw fit to invite me to the first NH gubernatorial debate.  They invited the other two democrat candidates, but neither of them responded.  Only I replied.  Obviously one person doesn't make for a very interesting debate, but FPU decided to have me speak anyway - in front of the republican debate on Tuesday night.

Here's the video.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions,
Ian Freeman
Blogger, FreeKeene.com