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Category: Journalism

‘I Feel Like A Political Orphan’: Talking Sex Work & Cannabis With Mistress Matisse

Posted in Creative Commons, Journalism, and Sex & Relationships

“The idea that we’re protecting people by keeping sex work illegal is ridiculous,” Mistress Matisse told me. “We’re protecting no one like that.”

I’ve been a fan of Mistress Matisse for years, since I discovered her through her column “Control Tower,” which ran until 2011 in “The Stranger,” the same publication as Dan Savage’s classic sex advice column “Savage Love.” Along with a calendar of sex-positive events in Seattle (which I’d fantasize about attending from miles away Texas), “Control Tower” offered sensible advice on BDSM, kink, and nontraditional relationships.

Matisse is a pro-domme, an outspoken advocate for sex workers’ rights and, most recently, a cannabis entrepreneur. Her unique water-based THC and CBD-infused lube, Velvet Swing, is available for sale in Washington state. While Matisse reached out to me to promote Velvet Swing, I knew there’s a lot more to her than just giving people better orgasms by getting their genitals buzzed.

I most wanted to hear her thoughts on our bizarre political moment.

On Punching Nazis & Forbidden Knowledge In 2017 (#GonzoNotes)

Posted in Gonzo Notes, Journalism, and LGBTQIA

Almost a month ago, in broad daylight in a busy urban neighborhood in Houston, nazis tried to shut down a book fair.

If you follow me online, you’ve heard about this incident: a group of about two dozen nazis targeted the Houston Anarchist Bookfair while I taught a class on antifascism (called “Punching Nazis”) inside. The volunteer security team prevented them from entering the building, and they left after throwing a temper tantrum for their livestream viewers. The book fair, and my class, continued after a brief but terrifying interruption.

Master gaslighters, as always, the nazis began their livestream by declaring themselves to be “peaceful,” then stood outside a community center armed with tactical gloves demanding that I — they called for me by name — come out and fight them. The bookfair’s organizers pointed out the likely results if we’d been drawn into a fight:

How The World Anti-Doping Agency Changed Course On CBD

Posted in Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

A defiant act by an MMA fighter transformed global policy on athletes using CBD oil.

When MMA fighter Nate Diaz took a few drags from a CBD-laden vape pen during a press conference, he put his career at risk. Instead of hurting him, the act influenced an important change to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s policies, and helped reduce the stigma around hemp.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an extract of cannabis or industrial hemp which doesn’t cause people to get high. Instead, its beneficial properties includes reducing inflammation. Now, many more professional and top-ranking amateur athletes will be able to use CBD, because recently WADA removed cannabidiol from its list of banned substances.

Security Culture And Punching Nazis In Texas (Kit O’Connell On Radical Underground Podcast)

Posted in Act Out!, Audio, Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Occupy Wall Street

I really enjoyed talking with the Radical Underground podcast and the episode turned out great, full of lively conversation and fab music.

In our conversation, we talked about security culture and the ways our smartphones turn us into snitches against ourselves — but also touched on the human element, which is just as vital as technology when it comes to staying secure.

We also talked at length about the Oh Shit What Now collective, the recent incident at my “Punching Nazis” class in Houston, and other fascist and antifascist activity in Austin, Texas (including copwatching).

Activists Beat Texas GOP With Social Media & Old-School Resistance Tactics

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Yes! Magazine

Who could resist images of smiling children gathered under an ancient oak tree on the grounds of the Texas Capitol, transfixed by Democrat and Republican lawmakers doing a tag-team recitation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax?

Apparently not the good folks of Texas.

A broad coalition of environmental activists employed just such a strategy during a special session of the Texas Legislature this summer as a way of stealing the spotlight and defeating a bill meant to strip municipalities of their power to protect historic trees.

Science Explains How CBD Oil Could Help Ease Arthritis

Posted in Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the United States.

With almost half of adults 65 years and older experiencing some form of this painful disorder, it’s a condition many of us will experience if we live long enough. In all, the Arthritis Foundation, which compiled these facts on arthritis sufferers in the U.S., estimates that 50 million adults, and even 1 in 250 children, suffer from arthritis.

At Ministry of Hemp, we’re always curious if hemp, and especially CBD oil, can improve people’s quality of life. Previously, we’ve looked at how hemp can help the elderly live less stressful lives. We’ve also looked at whether cannabidiol (CBD) can help other medical conditions like chronic pain and epilepsy. Since arthritis is so common, we thought it deserved a closer look.

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