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Tag: American politics

‘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:

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.

Flawed But Promising, Could The Industrial Hemp Farming Act Be The Key To Hemp’s Future?

Posted in Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

A new bill before Congress could remove the last barriers to hemp growing in the United States, but only if legislators remove harmful provisions that prevent it from being a complete solution to hemp’s legal troubles.

In 2014, new legislation once again allowed the states to grow hemp for research purposes after decades of prohibition. Unfortunately, that law still leaves room for government agencies to threaten hemp growers and vendors, and falls far short of total legalization.

Industry advocates have spent years lobbying Congress for a bill which would completely legalize industrial hemp and remove it from Drug Enforcement Agency oversight and interference. Though deeply flawed In its current form, there’s hope that the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, currently making its way through Congress, could be an important step in that direction.

Colorado Hemp Farmers Look To Congress For Access To Federal Water Rights

Posted in Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

Though it’s legal to grow industrial hemp in Colorado, many farmers are breaking the law if they try to water their crops.

In western states, water rights are governed by complex laws that determine how farmers irrigate their crops. Even rainwater that falls on land owned by a farmer may be affected by federal water rights laws, and the federal government still essentially considers hemp illegal.

“That has been an issue almost from the onset that has stopped people from growing industrial hemp unless they had wells of their own or were using city water, which is difficult when you move into real agricultural areas,” said Duane Sinning, seed coordinator at the Colorado Department of Agriculture, in an interview with Ministry of Hemp.

Texas Legislature Special Session, Activism & Respect For Politicians (Black Tower Radio)

Posted in Audio, Austin, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

On the first Wednesday of every month, I appear on Black Tower Radio to discuss my latest journalism.

Texas Republicans ensured that the legislature would close earlier this year with crucial business unfinished, forcing Gov. Greg Abbott to call for a special session that reopens the door to unpopular issues like new abortion restrictions, attacks on transgender rights, and even new laws restricting unions, Planned Parenthood, and the protection of historic trees.

Also, what respect do we owe politicians and government officials? What kinds of activism are appropriate when human lives and the planet are at stake?

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