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Month: May 2017

Trump’s Budget Suckerpunches The Poor & Disabled; Democrats Respond With A Whimper

Posted in Journalism, and Lee Camp

Pres. Donald Trump’s proposed budget would slash the social safety net to ribbons, while continuing the process of dismantling or privatizing virtually all parts of the U.S. government that don’t directly benefit the war machine.

In response, Bernie Sanders and the Democrats have come out SWINGING with a comprehensive and radical list of human-rights centered amendments. They’re even threatening to SHUT DOWN the government! …Just kidding. They promised to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024.

‘Hemp For Victory’: The Government Made This World War II Cannabis Film Disappear

Posted in Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

During World War II, hemp was so desperately needed by the Allies that the United States briefly reversed its stance on hemp and encouraged farmers to grow it. Afterwards, they tried to erase all records of the campaign.

Millions of people are rediscovering the benefits of hemp, both as a health remedy in CBD oil and a raw ingredient in dozens of hemp-based products. Far fewer are aware of hemp’s history in the U.S. as a cash crop, or the lengths that the government went to suppress that history.

One of the most remarkable examples is “Hemp For Victory,” an educational film produced by the USDA in 1942 that encouraged farmers to grow hemp. After the war, when growing hemp again became illegal again, the government hid the existence of the film for years until pro-cannabis activists forced them to bring it back into the light.

Kit O’Connell Guest Hosts @WeAreDisabled, Disability Twitter Account

Posted in Journalism

From May 18 to May 25, I hosted the Twitter account @WeAreDisabled. Similar to other group accounts like @sweden or @realscientists, this Twitter passes from person to person with the only common theme being disability.

The account admins created a Storify of all my tweets, but below I’ll link to my main threads so you can click through and read them if you like.

First I introduced myself:

Hemp Makes Great Plastic, So Why Isn’t Hemp Plastic Everywhere?

Posted in Ministry of Hemp

Plastic is an inescapable part of our everyday lives, so why is almost all of it still made from polluting, non-renewable petrochemicals?

You may have heard that agricultural hemp, the non-mind-altering cousin of cannabis (commonly known as marijuana), has dozens of potential uses from clothing to paper.

Since virtually all climate scientists agree that we must replace our dependence on fossil fuels, and given that hemp can even make the soil cleaner, it’s surprising that this miracle crop isn’t in wider use.

While The U.S. Prepares To Crush Net Neutrality, Other Countries Have Made It A Basic Human Right

Posted in Journalism, and Lee Camp

Many countries have made net neutrality a basic freedom. Yet now, the FCC is planning to make sure the U.S. is not one of those countries.

Today, the internet is classified as a “common carrier” in the U.S., which forces telecommunications companies and internet service providers to treat all content more or less equally. If Ajit Pai, chair of the FCC and former Verizon lawyer, has his way, the internet could be reclassified by the end of the summer, replacing internet freedom with a corporate free-for-all of greed and political corruption.

Though the internet was born in the U.S., our ISPs are also slower and more expensive than other countries, so maybe it’s no surprise that we’re behind the curve in net neutrality, too.

Laughing Ourselves To Hell: Trolling As A Lifestyle (Gonzo Notes)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, and Gonzo Notes

I was a teenage (and young adult) troll.

In my early 20s especially, I hung out on SomethingAwful, a website with a lively associated forum that would often target groups we perceived to be low hanging fruit (furries, goths, and so on) for online attacks.

Our viciousness never rose to the level of today’s super-trolls, who send SWAT teams to their enemies’ houses or wage ongoing campaigns that drive vulnerable people to suicide, but I can see how I took part in the early days of this trend, and I’m not proud of it.

Part of maturing for me has been recognizing that I can’t eradicate this prankster side of myself, so I’ve instead learned to direct it against the corrupt systems that promote inequality and the powerful people who profit off modern day, extractive capitalism.

Pranking up, not punching down.

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