POLYAMOROUS CHIPMUNKS AND JULIA TOURISANSKI ON BITCOIN

Oh what a week! I just sat at the site for some quiet time, if there is such thing in these parts. Something caught my eye up in the trees and I see three chipmunks racing up and down the branches, doing dives and twirls, catching by a claw and flipping around. I watched the little scruffs play while the song “Summer Spliffs” came on my playlist. This is the track that plays during the closing credits of 101 Reasons: Liberty Lives In New Hampshire, and it is definitely my theme song for PorcFest. The sun is shining and the day has been a perfect seventy five degrees. Those chipmunks were living the life we all wish we could live — wild and free.

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There were some girls at the site next door, who I thought would enjoy the site of the chipmunks playing, so when Adam wondered what I was looking at, I told him, just loud enough that everyone might hear and watch the fun. Unfortunately, this is when the chipmunk with the food in its mouth became victim to the other hungry fellows. As they battled, the food fell to the ground and all of them had nothing. If only they were voluntaryist squirrels, man, they’d all be happy right now. Instead, after losing their food, they started mounting each other, and I felt bad that I had called their attention to a bunch of girls.

But hey, things go wrong. Nothing’s perfect. We aren’t sure if they were polyamorous squirrels or not, but things looked jealous.The squirrels wandered off into the trees and I came back to earth. Playing is important. It might lead to trouble, but sometimes that’s the only way to figure things out.

Julia Tourianski thinks this, when it comes to bitcoin adoption, during a panel called “Making Bitcoin Sexy.” “It’s important to start using bitcoin before understanding it.” I remember trying to comprehend bitcoin before downloading the wallet, then just downloading one and buying my Keenevention ticket with some BTC. It wasn’t until I made the transaction that I realized how magical it all was. If more people would just USE it, instead of try to understand the technology, the rest would come easier. On the flip side, it’s important not to try salespitching bitcoin, but just to influence more folks to try using it on their own.

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In Tourianski’s opinion, giving away bitcoin isn’t the best method to get someone interested. They might open a wallet, accept the payment, then forget about it, lose their password, and rue the day when bitcoin hits $1200. “Earn your bitcoin,” she said. “That’s the best way to do it.”

There’s a lot of entrepeneurship here at PorcFest. A kid offered me bitcoin pins for $5. One of my campsite pals is selling lemonade down in Agora Valley. Someone else at my site is selling “CannaBeer.” Everyone I meet is asking me what ideas I have to make some bitcoin — or they’re sharing their ideas with me, wondering if I’ll go in. I’ll confess though: I’m on vacation, and I’m the consumer. It’s a fun attitude to have here at PorcFest, being a consumer. It actually confuses some people. I’m such a contrarian.

We’re all contrarians here. Civil disobedience happens at every corner. For many people here, selling things to willing consumers IS an act of civil disobedience. For me, anyway, I’m just glad to have so many options. In her talk, Lenore Skenazy joked that the coffee here costs $3. “Talk about the free market,” she quipped. Well, I’ve found it for $1, $1.50, and at .75. There is a booth selling pre-mixed bulletproof coffee from a gatorade bucket. I’ve even told folks to help themselves for free if they see my coffee maker set up at our site. The market provides.

MURDOCH PIZGATTI’S TALK

There are other types of civil disobedience that garner more mainstream attention, however. Murdoch Pizgatti, the organizer behind the Come And Take It rallies, gave a talk on this very subject, and elaborated how to organize these rallies so that the local media and law enforcement have no choice but to accept the inevitable: thousands of peaceful activists armed with AR-15s eating barbeque at the Alamo.

“Build it and they will come,” he said after telling us the awesome story of a rally where hundreds of people showed up and open carried around the police station. Not everyone there was an anarchist, or even a libertarian. Many of the “tea party” or “conservative” gun-rights guys will show up to these events and yell stuff about their rights and y’know, how you’ll have to “pry this gun from my cold, dead fingers,” or whatever. But after experiencing such a well-organized event and seeing how it’s done, many of them were exposed to our peaceful freedom philosophy for the first time ever.

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In fact, at Come And Take It rallies, police officers end up shaking hands with the rally organizers, the latter of whom are holding much larger weapons — but there is no threat. There is communion, a sense of respect. The cops will often choose not to enforce local laws after witnessing the civil disobedience taking place. The benefits are only positive for the surrounding community.

“We went happy. We went smiling and shaking hands. We had fun,” Pizgatti said. Not only do they book bands and fire up the barbeque, etc., but they enlist private safety officers to hang out and keep an eye on things. Their rallies are family-friendly. (A lot like PorcFest, now that I think about it.)

When local law enforcement shows up to a typical protest rally, it is “hammer versus nail.” When they show up to a Come And Take It rally, it is “hammer versus hammer.” Communication between the two groups, at least from the side of the anarchists, is cordial, respectful, filled with manners and seeking dialogue. “All of a sudden, we were ‘allowed’ to do whatever we want at these kinds of events.”

Remember when that old man got arrested in Florida for feeding the homeless? Pizgatti decided to set up a rally right across the street from the marshall’s office in Texas and hand out free clothes, barbeque, wild game, raw milk — all the things that are good for you, but illegal to hand out without a permission slip. The marshall came out and asked him if he needed a permit. Pizgatti replied, simply, “No.” The marshall looked around, saw all the cameras on him, probably saw all the guns on the backs of the people serving up wild game, nodded, and told them to keep it safe and have a good one. Pizgatti’s story elicited applause.

Another important secret to these rallies? Calling the local law enforcement ahead of time and telling them that our organization will be hosting something and if they want to set up to cater for you, they sure can, but we’ll be doing it either way. We aren’t asking for permission, Pizgatti said, we’re just being honest and telling you what’s happening for your own concerns. Things have gone much more smoothly than one might think. It’s usually not worth trying to shut down libertarian rallies, because it just exacerbates the government agency’s resources. It also points out how absurd the laws are. And if there is community, family, and a positive message, attacking it will only be bad for the state. The events are also inviting. People think “I’m not as free as that guy. He looks like he’s having a whole lot of fun.”

Freedom is attainable, even in small doses of temporary autonomous zones. The power of community is stronger than the state. It doesn’t hurt to have a bunch of awesome guns, cool heads, and grilled meat, as well.

LUKE RADKOWSKI’S TALK

Luke Radkowski’s style of civil disobedience is a different game. He likes to sneak into state-sponsored events and do some investigative journalism. This takes some guts, however. It all started with a bully in school, for Radkowski. Once he defended himself and knocked the sucker out, he realized he had gained respect for defending himself. And he was more confident for doing it. He had discovered his calling: standing up to bullies.

And what are politicians but big bullies? Radkowski has a more fun metaphor. If the truth is chocolate, then the “oligarchs, bankers, politicians, elite, they’re the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory,” always hiding the truth from us. “We deserve to know where the fucking chocolate is!” Oh, he’s quite a brash speaker, but he’s fun and his message is blunt and powerful. Be fearless, ask questions, and demand answers — until they cart you out in handcuffs.

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It’s pretty easy to get into poltical events, closed off to the public, anyway. Just go in and try. “Just do it!” he said. He had his homemade press badge and his confidence and he finds ways in. One time after being told he wasn’t on the list, he called his friend outside and pretended it was his assistant. He yelled into his phone (while banging his arm on the table and stuff) and said he doesn’t care about her kids, or her mortgage – he was supposed to be in this event. Somehow that convinced the lady running the door to let him in. When he was carted out a few hours later for sticking the camera into the face of, say, Ben Bernanke, and asking him how the Bilderberg meetings went, he winked at the shocked woman, thanking her for letting him in. Meanwhile, the video went viral on the internet.

The message is strong. These people DON’T want to talk to the truth-seekers. Society, government, media, whomever, just wants to tell us “No,” but Radkowski has something for those people: “Fuck you, I just want my chocolate.”

“Doors are literally opening for me everywhere I go.” And if he can do it, anyone can. It’s important that someone does it.

“PUBLIC” DRINKING IN AGORA VALLEY

I bought a 12-pack of Woodstock IPA, a local brew, from the Roger’s Campground store and had a fun conversation with the owner of the campground about our favorite beers from around here. Just yesterday he had sat down and had a discussion with some state employees before they got in their car and drove away, surrounded by a crowd of anarchists with video cameras.

(Oh, how fun, there I am in the back for like three seconds.)

I popped one open in his honor and found Adam with a goblet of wine and Dan with a lion’s share of scotch. It sounds like I missed a fun time. They had been wandering the Agora Valley and meeting people, including Adam Kokesh and Stephan Kinsella. Both were in “vacation mode,” I hear.

We saw Kinsella strolling around with a beer in his hand, and a cigar in the other, having economic debates with total strangers. I think this is the equivalent of “random gang violence” in the anarchist city. It looks like he’s having a good time. That’s great.

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There are no street signs here, once the gate opens to let your car in. There are chalk drawings and writing everywhere, however. Some of it is advertising for various sites selling various things, and some of it is just doodles. My favorite was “Be Nice To Each Other.” I’ll take that over any government sign any day.

CARLOS MORALES’S TALK

Tantalizingly titled, “Pedophiles Are Everywhere! The Truth About The Stranger Danger Generation,” this ex-CPS employee lays the misinformation to rest when it comes to all those things we’re supposed to fear — like rape culture, trigger warnings, pedophiles, halloween candy, and anything else that might be lurking in the shadows behind your local college campus.

Morales is a statistic-driven thinker, and told us he’s more concerned with laying out the grammar, in order to help us come to our own rhetoric. “Most people go straight to rhetoric without knowing what the hell they’re talking about. That’s called a ‘political debate.'” Morales was referring to the method of thinking known as the Trivium. I would recommend googling Trivium and School Sucks or Peace Revolution and learning about this important method of thinking and communication that is held from us by the elite, state, schools, and the vicious cycle they’ve created.

So many people are told that “One in four women are raped in their lifetime,” that it’s become a norm to just believe the stat. But if one reads the actual studies, it comes out to something like (and I may misquote him here) 98.5 out of every 100,000 women. And in one study, “rape” also included verbal threats. And “verbal threats” included comments on youtube, twitter, etc. According to those standards, Morales said, he has been raped hundreds of times.

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He also joked — in a purposely non-funny way — that he is an “oppressed” male; he has to go to wars to fight and die. He was only making a point. Anyone can be a victim if they so choose to. The truth is, the government, media, academia, society we live in is cultivating this victim-mindset. “You are a victim. You are damaged forever. You need to be coddled at all times…” Which is what feminists are supposedly fighting against, while they are placing themselves into “a paternalistic state to protect these ‘poor, weak’ victims…”

The truth is, it is very easy to hack into someone’s fears. It’s biological. Humans go into the “fight or flight” mindset when an association is made with something that scares them. Just think about the “trigger warning” nonsense. Trigger warnings prevent people from confronting their issues, by avoiding them. Something that was meant to help heal PTSD can actually prolong it. And by no means is it liberating. “Helicopter parents get replaced by the dean who gets replaced by a dictator,” Morales suggested.

Not only does the state hack into this mindset to benefit, but so do some libertarians. There is a “faux self-empowerment” many libertarians exhibit when talk down to others about certain issues. I know more than you, and you’re dumb because of it, etc. Usually, it’s topics of a political nature that no one has any control over, like the Fed. “We just look like losers,” Morales added, when we talk about topics no one can control, anyway, especially when we talk down to others who might not agree or understand.

It’s more important to seek actual self-empowerment and self-improvement over telling others how to improve. Leading by example doesn’t mean telling others what to think. Then others will see us succeed and wish to emulate us.

TIME TO HAVE SOME FUN!

Let’s see, here are some other quick highlights from PorcFest so far:

Darren Tapp gave a talk on how to teach math to children without inducing “math anxiety” like state schooling does. The NSA hires 50% of math majors, which is a terrible thing. In the FSP community, he hosts an Arithmetical Playground for homeschooled kids. His ultimate goal? “We could have three or four Satoshi Nakamotos in our own community in twenty years. And we won’t even know who they are!”

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During the “Deep Web” film screening, Adam, Dan and I hung around and ate some poutine. Then we met Luke Crowley and his wife – they are some of the people behind Fort Galt. That was some excellent fun, hanging around and drinking and talking about the anarchist condo in Chile, how accessible it really is to the average libertarian, how tight the community is down there, inside baseball, how to make connections to find work, etc. Only at PorcFest…

Murdoch Pizgatti fired up a Ghost Gunner (the first one off the production line!) and manufactured a gun at PorcFest from an 80% receiver, “a piece of metal, as far as the state is concerned.” How to “sell” guns through a Ghost Gunner? Transfer ownership of the $1500 machine, not the finished product that happens to be able to shoot bullets. And yes, according to Pizgatti, the finished product can shoot bullets 1,000s of times.

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Stephan Kinsella debated William Thomas of the objectivist Atlas Society on anarchy. As an anarchist, I was sympathetic for Thomas, who was definitely in a corner by himself for the entire debate – the Q&A was pretty rough with typical libertarian analases of ridiculously intricate scenarios that had Thomas on edge. What’s important for the sake of this hardcore investigative journalist’s piece, however, is the dog that was barking everytime the audience cheered. The guy next to us all kept pointing at the dog and yelling “You tell ’em!” Most libertarian dog, ever!!!

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We found the Alt-Expo tent and sat in on Brian Sovryn’s talk about how to anonymize your android device. Sovryn hosts the anarchist/technology podcast Sovryn Tech. You can find most of what he shared during his talk at darkandroid.info. Tips included reccommended web browsers, email clients, maps apps, cryptocurrency wallets, and since “you can have fun with this,” as well, game sites. After checking out the site (and eventually the video made from his talk), he wants to know from everyone, “If there’s something you do that you don’t see at darkandroid.info, I want to know.” This could be an important project, if all the information can be in one place for everyone to share.

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Oh, Sovryn also suggests, “Don’t use Facebook. Facebook is a heinous company.”

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I found Adam hanging out with Larken Rose, who shows up every year and hangs out in the same spot and sells books and talks with anyone who wants to talk to him. Larken is a cool guy. I also found the booth for the Future of Freedom Foundation and got a copy of Sheldon Richman’s book for free. Those guys asked us if we knew of any vendors selling sunglasses and I got my big entrepeneurial idea: an app for Agora Valley vendors to list their inventories. Then anyone can download the app and know exactly what is for sale at PorcFest. But I can’t code. I couldn’t even figure out how to turn on bluetooth on my phone (until Adam showed me — then we rocked out to Steppenwolf at our campsite). I even got an idea for a talk to present next year, if the Alt-Expo is interested. I have a whole year to get the guts to do it, I guess.

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During Kinsella’s talk on intellectual property, a woman gave him a CD of her music, then asked why anyone should have the right to steal her labor from her, etc. etc. etc. Kinsella replied, “If you want to keep your ideas to yourself, keep them to yourself,” he said, quoting Benjamin Tucker, who existed in the 19th century, a good one hundred years before CDs were cool, and oh by the way, CDs are “gone” in this century. Kinsella also added that he’s a lawyer — her issue is an entrepeneur’s challenge, finding ways to solve that issue in today’s digital world (and they seem to be doing it).

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We went back to the site and fired up the firepit. Then we grilled every piece of meat we had on site (a lot of meat!). I knew I needed the calories. Tonight was going to be the big party. At PorcFest, the night time is the right time………………………..

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