Super Revenge of the Campground, New Hampshire Edition Porcfest 2K14: The Porc-ening

Preface: This blog post is about the eleventh Porcupine Freedom Festival, an annual event held in Lancaster, NH, that is designed to promote the Free State Project. The Free State Project is the world’s best hope for establishing freedom, primarily because of the advantage of putting outside-the-system activists in physical proximity with one another. I lay out a roadmap for why/how I think the FSP can and will succeed here.


Dollars are generally not the preferred currency, but here's a photo of the kind of dollars you'd see around Porcfest.

Dollars are generally not the preferred currency, but here’s a photo of the kind of dollars you’d see around Porcfest.

I make the assertion that people should go ahead and sign the FSP Statement of Intent, because it doesn’t matter if people change their minds and not all 20,000 make the move. One of the reasons I make this assertion is that, while the FSP is going on, more natives who sympathize with them will come forward. At PorcFest, I spoke with a NH native who noted how lucky he was that he knew about Keene CopBlock before hearing about Ron Paul (who is arguably numerically the most successful Libertarian/Anarchist/Voluntaryist activist in history). It was a beautiful thing.

prgayI registered for Porcfest and got my campsite 3 weeks prior. The tent sites were all taken. I had to get an RV site, despite not owning an RV. If I wasn’t in a hurry, It was about a 13-minute walk from my tent to where the majority of the events were occurring. I lost some weight.

What's better than conversation with Free State Project Participants? Ice cream is close.

What’s better than conversation with Free State Project Participants? Ice cream is close. Especially with flavor names like “Who Will Build the Rocky Roads?” Coming out of a black and gold fridge.

Walks from my tent to where the action was were rarely linear. While walking, there were many things to look at. Everywhere. Walking to “Agora Valley”, the name for the cluster of shops on the campground during Porcfest. Walking to the bathroom. Walking to the tents and the pavilion at the end of the campground. Everywhere. There were tents with nice decorations, like gold and black flags, or fun pro-freedom phrases. There were cars with bumper stickers to read. Lots of cars and tents with something distracting. But one of the biggest and most pleasant distractions was bumping into people. I encountered people I knew only through contact on the internet through email, internet forums, etc. or people I knew indirectly through hearing about their activism or hearing them appear on podcasts. Or just people I had never heard of before.

I saw Puke and the Gang and a few other shows as a LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE

I saw Puke and the Gang and a few other shows as a LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE

I could not fairly summarize the great conversation I had with new people at my first Porcfest, but some conversations I had stick out. Like a conversation I had with a government official who is hacking away at the harmful effects of the state, slowly, one-by-one. She was very principled, and I was impressed by how well she was able to give clarity and distinction her ideas. In addition to being successful at getting elected, she has been known to hold signs by the side of the road to inform drivers of suspicionless checkpoints. She mines Bitcoin. And she has turned away job offers on principle. It was an amazing thing to hear. What an activist! A state rep who also likes outside-the-system activism!

VIP Brett Veinotte. Is there anything more to say? (other than schoolsucksproject.com!)

VIP Brett Veinotte. Is there anything more to say? (other than schoolsucksproject.com!)

One of the things I’d recommend to Porcfest newcomers is to avail yourself to the novelty of watching podcasts live. Just try it once. Most of the podcasters who attended porcfest held their show inside the LRN.fm media room, which was a room with a table and a lot of chairs for people to sit down to watch. The concept of celebrity is not a concept I’m really into, so I did not collapse in awe when I saw may favorite podcasters. I appreciate the work that many porcupine (the slang term for Free State Project sympathizers) podcasters do to educate the world, to bring forward the facts, news, and ideas that the people need to know about and enjoyed seeing them live.

A pleasant observation I’ve made about Porcfest is that there is a community. “Unity”, “brotherhood” whatever good word you wanna use. Examples?:

  • A Porcfest attendee I just met put on some GOTH makeup for me to goth me up for the Big Goth Dance Party (I regret not taking a photo of my makeup).
  • Stranger standing by me at Lancaster Trading house looking up the grams of silver/USD exchange rate for me because my cell phone reception was poor.
  • People who’ve already made the move to NH were talking to me about the towns they live in. Quite thoroughly. MULTIPLE people were offering to give me tours of Keene and Manchester. People know that getting a new mover over there is a worthwhile endeavor and will take the extra effort to speed up the process.
  • People who saw me in the Knitting course came up to me later to ask about my progress
  • Muslims for Liberty was getting ready to leave the campground and started *giving away* food. It was dark outside, so I couldn’t really tell what it was, but it had rice in it, I had some, and it was good.

Other exemplars of *community* were walking about, but these were some of the ones I encountered personally.

I took a knitting 101 course. (photo by Kristine Boncer)

I took a knitting 101 course. (photo by Kristine Boncer)

Encountered some FSP sympathizers from Keene (e.g. freekeene.com). Advertising the greatness that is Obamacoin, they lured me to their tent.

Encountered some FSP sympathizers from Keene (e.g. freekeene.com). Advertising the greatness that is Obamacoin, they lured me to their tent.

I approve Obamacoin. What self-respecting person wouldn't?

I approve Obamacoin. What self-respecting person wouldn’t?

In this presentation at the Porcupine Pavilion, "Bob and Stephanie Murphy" said they'd be proposing new ways to trade Bitcoin. Instead what we got was better. We got an IRL Rickroll.

In this presentation at the Porcupine Pavilion, “Bob and Stephanie Murphy” said they’d be proposing new ways to trade Bitcoin. Instead what we got was better. We got an IRL Rickroll. Costumes? Check. Music? Check? Lured with promise of good content? Check. – That’s a Rickroll!

I traveled to New Hampshire by plane. On the return trip, I stopped at an airport in New York. I didn’t remember if the airport was in New York City. But then, when I noticed the airport had some newfangled technology stuff that I’d never seen and confused me, I knew I was in NYC.

When I got off my final flight and left the airport to drive home, I took some photographs. Photos with symbolic nature. Photos showing that I had left that oasis of Bitcoin enlightenment, and was re-entering a world plagued by bad technology.

Foreign currency exchange? With Bitcoin, who has need for such a thing?

Foreign currency exchange? With Bitcoin, who has need for such a thing?

Who needs paper? Who needs Euros? Who needs currencies based on specific geographical locations?

Who needs paper? Who needs Euros? Who needs currencies based on specific geographical locations?

Bill changer? Who needs change, when your money is digital (like Bitcoin)? Automatic Transaction Machines? Who needs such a thing,  when your money is available, on-demand, whenever, wherever you want (like Bitcoin)?

Bill changer? Who needs change, when your money is digital (like Bitcoin)? Automatic Transaction Machines? Who needs such a thing, when your money is available, on-demand, whenever, wherever you want (like Bitcoin)?

Another reminder of life in the realm of mortals. I have to pay sales taxes when I'm not in New Hampshire.

Another reminder of life in the realm of mortals. I have to pay sales taxes when I’m not in New Hampshire.

Posters like these were placed throughout the campground. I thought this was a nice recruiting campaign. I wonder if it worked.

Posters like these were placed throughout the campground. I thought this was a nice recruiting campaign. I wonder if it worked.

Seems just as compelling a reason as any....

Seems just as compelling a reason as any….

Signs like these were posted in various places on the campground.

Signs like these were posted in various places on the campground.

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Good photo of the general culture of Porcfest.

Good photo of the general culture of Porcfest.

You never know what you're going to see at Porcfest. I'm just gonna leave this photo here...

You never know what you’re going to see at Porcfest. I’m just gonna leave this photo here…

Most popular speech at porcfest, Joel Salatin. Seats filled up so much that people overflowed to the right side, the left side, and the back of the pavilion.

Most popular speech at porcfest, Joel Salatin. Seats filled up so much that people overflowed to the right side, the left side, and the back of the pavilion.

Car with a sleeping compartment. Significance of this photo? None. Just found it fun.

Car with a sleeping compartment. Significance of this photo? None. Just found it fun.

More bacon pancake goodness. Notice the *very* reasonable prices and something about a hookah.

More bacon pancake goodness. Notice the *very* reasonable prices and something about a hookah.

blufetCompetition was fierce in the One-pot Cookoff. This event was so good that TWO of them were held at Porcfest! This event has been going on for 9 Porcfests! Judges paid a fee, and in return, they got good food. The competitors prepared food items for the judges to consume. There were some sizable cash prizes. I tried a large variety of items, many of which I do not ordinarily eat. The exposure to unfamiliar items was great! In this photo you see blueberry bread and sourdough bread with feta.

That’s all the Porcfest content I have for now. See you later!

Epilogue: Okay! You just read about what a good time was had in New Hampshire. So read the 101 Reasons To Move and then put your John Hancock on that Free State Project Statement of Intent!

And don’t just take my word for it! Avail yourself to other coverage of Porcfest!

Adventure at Porcfest XI, Part VI

You’ll never know who you’ll come across just by chance at Porcfest. I had a conversation with a Virginian who went to Keene and got himself a physical copy of the Shire Society Declaration. Hey, any piece of parchment paper is just as good as another, right? But in all seriousness, the government’s use of fancy pieces of paper with words on them, is part of their game to get the people to see their organization as acceptable. The Shire Society can beat them at their game.

Freedom Feud. A game in which teams of 4 are called on to guess responses to poll questions. Some of the answers were really good.

Freedom Feud. A game in which teams of 4 are called on to guess responses to poll questions. Some of the answers were really good.

You can’t say too much about cryptocurrency. Yes, I’ve got more cryptocurrency content. Dogecoin was heavily promoted. This video proves it:

20140627_115936There were multiple Bitcoin ATMs at Porcfest. Thanks to Lamassu. I didn’t need any Bitcoin, but I threw a 5 dollar bill in there just for the experience. It felt good when I was done.

We took a group photo on Saturday. Presumably, the goal was to assemble as many people together on to the field and photograph them to show a how much Porcfest has grown. Now you can’t herd cats, and some attendees weren’t there on Saturday, so in this year’s and every year’s photo you only see a portion of the people who went to Porcfest.

vermin1 Speaking of herding cats, Vermin Supreme came to the group photo with a megaphone. It seems that he has sympathies with some of the goals of the Free State Project, and would like very much to grace us with his presence. He called on the crowd to chant: “I say ‘Zombie’ and you say ‘Power!'”, “I say ‘Mandatory’ and you say ‘Toothbrushing!'” They gladly complied. Me too. Mandatory toothbrushing was one of his campaign talking points in 2012, when he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Waiting for the group photo. Perspective from *inside* the crowd.

Waiting for the group photo. Perspective from *inside* the crowd.

Adventure at Porcfest XI, Part V

One of the nice things about Porcfest was seeing anarcho-capitalists and other folks with extreme views getting along with folks with not extreme views. People who disagree on things can get along respectfully.

Signs that Free State Project participants and sympathizers are willing to align with people with different but similar goals, willing to align with a wide variety of people and movements:

  • There was a booth for the Freedom and Unity Festival, and it got a lot of traffic
  • People affiliated with Occupy Wall Street being invited to give speeches
  • The existence of a “Libertarians Against Capitalism” panel
  • Outside-the-system purists shaking hands with political candidates…
This was the event known as Buzz's Big Gay Dance Party. People are gaying it up! (photo by Tennyson McCalla)

This was the event known as Buzz’s Big Gay Dance Party. People are gaying it up! (photo by Tennyson McCalla)

My costume. While wearing this, I was approached by a government official, who grabbed my nipples. It’s okay I egged them on.

New Hampshire is most definitely a gay-friendly State. It also is home to one of the largest LGBT-themed dance parties on the US east coast. I came to the party and shook my tail like I meant it!

The party was probably 90+ percent heterosexual. The way to identify the people who actually were LGBT was to notice the people who were most conservative in their behavior and dress.

No part of my costume was crucial, except the bowtie, which was done simply for satire. Bowties have certain cultural connotations.

How many bigwigs, Very Important Persons, and other such celebrities were at Porcfest? Well, it’s a number than cannot be known. Due to its subjectivity (who is a bigwig is subjective). and due to the fact that the campground is so big, and Porcfest is so big (in terms of attendees); You can’t bump into everyone. I do know one thing. People who are well-versed in Bitcoin and are well-versed in speaking about Bitcoin are celebrities and very important in my heart.

Could you get a more fabulous collection of great people?

Could you get a more fabulous collection of great people? (photo by Tennyson McCalla)

The Bitcoin Group recorded an episode face-to-face. In person. Everyone there. So cool! If Andreas Antonopoulos would have been there, half of Porcfest would have crapped their pants.

I spent silver while I was there. I used Shire Silver, which comes in the size and shape of a credit card. One of the things that makes it one of the best forms of spendable silver (it is silver made in convenient carrying size, not large pieces to be held on as an investment) is that it comes in grams. To hell with the King! And his measurements! The good people of the world have gotten rid of British rule and should also be getting rid of the King’s old systems of measurement, like ounces.

Adventure at Porcfest XI, Part IV

This is the Bitcoin Not Bombs store. They sell Bitcoin-related attire- mostly T-shirts and badges. I took a photo of this shop at night after the shopkeeper had already called it a day. He just left his stuff there overnight. Why? Because that's just the culture of Porcfest! People are comfortable leaving their stuff there.

This is the Bitcoin Not Bombs store. They sell Bitcoin-related attire- mostly T-shirts and badges. I took a photo of this shop at night after the shopkeeper had already called it a day. He just left his stuff there overnight. Why? Because that’s just the culture of Porcfest! People are comfortable leaving their stuff there.

Lots of pro-freedom stuff was for sale. Stickers, badges, buttons. One of the shops had hemp-based food. Isn’t it a shame that selling stuff with hemp is a sign of rebellion?

What was going on here? What does it mean? The Dome was a closed-off section of PorcFest, who knows...

What was going on here? What does it mean? The Dome was a closed-off section of PorcFest, who knows…

The campsites were all connected by chains of asphalt path. Chalking was quite prevalent. There were hopscotches and fun drawings. People also took advantage of the asphalt for practical and informative purposes, as indicated by the photo on the left.

Lyn Ulbricht is the mother of Ross Ulbricht, the man accused of running the Silk Road.

Lyn Ulbricht is the mother of Ross Ulbricht, the man accused of running the Silk Road.

One of the panels titled “The Impact of the Silk Road Case on 21st Century Law”. The speaker explained why her son’s trial will be very important. That is, once the trial actually happens. He has been locked up since last October. The prosecutor claimed that he should remain locked up because he is “dangerous”, even though he is not charged with the commission of any kind of violent crime. The government is either dishonest or they don’t know how technology works (or a some mix of both). The allegations made against Ross and the statutes he is charged with violating do not match. Lyn explained this during the speech quite thoroughly.

Lyn Ulbricht handed out "Free Ross" flyers to PorcFest attendees. They had QR codes on them that contained the Free Ross Bitcoin address for his defense fund.

Lyn Ulbricht handed out “Free Ross” flyers to PorcFest attendees. They had QR codes on them that contained the Free Ross Bitcoin address for his defense fund. (photo by Tennyson McCalla)

If the creator of Silk Road can be locked up because of the activities that are occurring on his site, then, potentially anyone can be sent to prison because of things that users on doing on their sites. If the creator of Silk Road can be convicted of money laundering, then potentially anyone can be accused of money laundering if they are running a website in which Bitcoin is used as a medium of exchange. In addition, the legal definition of what constitutes money could be revised, because the IRS has ruled that Bitcoin is not money (Bitcoin is money in the real world, but in “legal land” it’s not).

Lyn claims that she is not wealthy and thus has had good reason to request donations. This case is important. She said that if everyone at Porcfest donated a small amount of Bitcoin, they might have enough to reach their donation goal. You will see the address to send donations by going to freeross.org

Adventure at Porcfest XI, Part III

Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency which is a derivative of Litecoin and is based on the internet fade known as "Doge" was accepted at multiple shops at Porcfest.

Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency which is a derivative of Litecoin and is based on the internet fad known as “Doge” was accepted at multiple shops at Porcfest.

A variety of food items were available for Dogecoin, including bacon, burgers, beans, fries, paleo cereal, fruit juices, and pancakes.

In the sky! It's a drone! Don't worry though, we're non-aggressionists. Or libertarians? anti-statists? anarchists? kindergartenists? voluntaryists? what? But anyway, whatever, point is- it's not weaponized.

In the sky! It’s a drone! Don’t worry though, we’re non-aggressionists. Or libertarians? anti-statists? anarchists? kindergartenists? voluntaryists? what? But anyway, whatever, point is- it’s not weaponized.

I showed up to the campsite on Saturday night (the 21st) which was technically before PorcFest started, so the food options were low, because most of the people who set up shop for Porcfest did not show up until late Sunday. I intended to spend Bitcoin as much as I could during PorcFest. However, the first place I ate at only took dollars. I got chicken tenders and fries and they were terrible. Good news, is, later on, better food options opened up and the food was good from Sunday evening all the way to the end of the event next Sunday morning.

There were drones, presumably being flown for photography purposes. Which central Free State Project authority managed this? Silly question, Porcfest is full of people acting on their own. Who knows whose drone it was? Who cares? People step up and provide their own ideas and talent; that’s the Porcfest way.

You may be cool and you may be having fun, but you will never be as cool and as fun as someone who is makin' bacon pancakes.

You may be cool and you may be having fun, but you will never be as cool and as fun as someone who is makin’ bacon pancakes.