Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fake News Stories are Related to Culture and Information Literacy

[This blog post is a sketch of ideas. I plan on fleshing these ideas out.  I want to share them now though.]


Fake News as Related to Culture and Information Literacy:

The recent information that has come out about fake news sites and stories that were shared on social media and influenced the recent elections are directly related to the concept of Information and Culture.  The idea of controlling public perception via the control of media was perfected by the Nazis' Josef Goebbels.  Now the ideas of Edward Bernays have been combined with Goebbels  techniques to manipulate and reinforce the idea of Whiteness in US culture. In many ways, this election was about Whiteness versus the alternative developing multicultural worldview that exist within the USA.  These ideas, because a lack of access to education and publishing by people of color, are still developing.  The pace this development has picked up steam recently. The backlash by the Racists in our country is a reaction to this progress.

As a person of color, I am struck by how similar these fake news sites and stories are to how the dominant culture publishes and diffuses the idea of Whiteness.  This is done by packaging and repackaging the idea that europeans and european culture are the most important things in the world.  Whiteness also sees itself as the epitome of culture.  It sees itself as superior in every manner.  
This message is embedded in our history particularly.  People of color and other marginalized groups have been almost completely left out of history, except for using them as examples of primitive culture or other savageries.





Not only does this apply to people of color, it applies to class, gender, sexual identity, and physical ability and more.

The #Breitbart Nazis and their ilk are good at FAKE news stories. In fact, they proved that people didn't care if the news was fake after the fact. #ACORN story. How do you think their techniques of social control will be incorporated into our educational system?

Our stories, information relevant to our understanding of our history, liberatory information, information that could topple the concept of #Whiteness which is so embedded in every aspect of our culture. We need to tell our own stories and to develop our own ideas about the world without being boxed in by Whiteness.

Purposes of fake news:

The purposes of the fake news sites and stories seem to be to form and shape (CONTROL) public opinion about particular political and societal viewpoints.

Social control

Promotion of Whiteness as the norm.

Purposes of fake information in libraries and education:

The purposes of the fake news sites and stories seem to be to form and shape (CONTROL) public opinion about particular political and societal viewpoints.

Social control

Promotion of Whiteness as the norm.

We have been living with Fake News and Fake Books, and Information for a long time in the USA.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Book Review: Hip-Hop Family Tree Vols. 1 & 2

I love comics, hip-hop, history and beautiful books.  All these things helped form who I am today. As a librarian I still love comics, hip-hop, history, and beautiful books. I feel it is important to cover these aspects in a library collection. Rarely do all these categories come in one work, but this series has it all.  I was stoked to receive this collection as a gift, but didn't get around to reading it until now.
Amazingly beautiful slipcase!
The Hip-Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor Vols. 1 & 2 exceeds the bar of comics, art, hip-hop, history and beautiful books standards. It will make an invaluable addition to your library collection.  This comic is published by the amazing Fantagraphics press. Buy it now--your community will appreciate it. 

Vol. 1 traces the history of Hip-Hop from the 1970's to 1981.  It is filled with little vignettes about seminal figures and events in Hip-Hop history.  The stories it tells begin in the bronx with kids rocking out to Cool Herc's new kind of music.  Community halls Hip-Hop parties was where it all started.   The break was the instrumental part of the song.  When a break occurred Cool Herc saw that was when people really got into the groove dancing.  Cool Herc Figured out how to extend the break of the record by looping it using two copies. This spurred on Break Dancing.
Vol. 1
The story goes on to show how the dj's, dancers and artists all collaborated and formed the culture of Hip-Hop.  Fab 5 Freddy, LEE, GrandMaster Flash, Samo and all the important key players are in this amazing work.  The history covers business dealings and key PR moves that created a buzz and sold records. Artists are given their due in this amazing comic. The graffiti scene is shown and described in anecdotes and short story lines.

Panel about the film Wild Style
The artwork in this comic is so dope. Piskor's ability to caricature people and bring out their personalities in comic panels is amazing.  His caricatures of Russell Simmons and other key figures of the Hip-Hop movement had me rolling in laughter and recognition.  The use of newsprint style coloring is sometimes enhanced with special coloring to make it really zing!

Vol. 2
Vol. 2 covers from 1981-1983.  It just keeps getting better.  The stories and characters are done so well this comic reminds me of an amazing documentary.  I really love how Piskor makes these larger than life figures into real people.   These stories are historically accurate and insightful.   These volumes cover both East Coast and West Coast movements.  The Ice-T origin story and the Dr. Dre Origins are great and really fun.

What I like about these books:
  • Historically accurate
  • Beautifully drawn and colored
  • Caricatures are amazingly good and accurate
  • Coverage of different aspects of Hip-Hop
Classic Hip-Hop NYC scene.  
Why you should buy this book for your library:
  •  This book is an important work on the history of Hip-Hop
  • The art is great
  • The stories are wonderful
  • The book fits YA and Adult classifications
In addition to being an excellent addition to your library collection.  This slipcase makes an amazing Christmas gift.  I know--I received mine as a Christmas gift and was thrilled!



Any student, or fan of Hip-Hop will love these books.  Go get them!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book Review: An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 (The Lamar Series in Western History)

Buy this book for your Library
An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 (The Lamar Series in Western History)by Benjamin Madley is a book that should be in every library in the US.  This book covers an essential history that has heretofore been neglected save for a few works such as Murder State.

  • Series: The Lamar Series in Western History
  • Hardcover: 712 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (May 24, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300181361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300181364
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches

The book covers the history of the genocide of Indigenous peoples in the state of California from 1846-1873.  During this time, the book traces the beginnings of the genocide from scattered massacres to full scale state and federally sponsored militia and military massacre campaigns.  The sheer brutality and callousness against the indigenous people of California is stunning and hard to read.
CA Indian Population 1845-1880 Genocide in Numbers
This book shows how the pattern of forcing Indians from their home hunting grounds and by the removal of game due to large numbers of immigrants--beginning during the Gold Rush.  The indians then could not feed themselves, so they stole cattle from White ranchers.  The White ranchers would then raise a posse, or a militia force to go "teach the indians a lesson."  The lesson would entail murdering every man, woman and child of the first indigenous village happened upon.  No matter if they were 'guilty' or not.

Vigilantes were supported by the local government and the state. 
 The combination of vigilante massacres with state sponsored militia killing campaigns and the military murder expeditions was lethal and decimated the Californian Indian population.  The Indians had nowhere to hide except high in the mountains, where there was little food.  This forced them to steal from White people, which led to more murder expeditions against them.  It was a cycle that was lethal and effective in 'eradicating' the indigenous people of California.

If you were lucky enough to survive a massacre, you would not have any food, clothing or shelter to help you live.  Many survivors died from exposure or starvation.  As I was reading this, I thought of Ishi--his story is heartbreaking.  You can read about it here: http://history.library.ucsf.edu/ishi.html.

The brutality of the immigrants is mind-boggling. 
The killing was relentless.  The Indians sometimes fought back and killed whites, which raised even more ire and retribution.  The murder unmerciful and was encouraged by California Newspapers.  These papers called for total annihilation of all Californian Indians.  

Slow death at the  reservation.
You may be thinking, "Why didn't the Indians just go to a reservation.  When Indians fled to reservations starved the Indians.  They didn't provide the promised supplies.  Many starved to death. 


This brought about the horrible choice of leaving the reservation and facing:

Enforced slavery.  There were vagrancy laws that stated an Indian had to prove they were not in debt to someone.  This entailed the possession of a certificate that stated they were not in debt.  If the Indian could not prove this, then they were arrested and put up for auction.  They were sold to someone for a period of time, usually years.  During this time they were charged for food and clothes and were never paid enough money to pay off this debt.  Therefore, they could never get their certificate of no debt.  They would be stuck in perpetual slavery.



Or

Being tracked down and murdered by a posse of citizens or a state sponsored militia.  After a theft, they would hunt down and kill any Indian they encountered.  They used this as a chance for "pedagogical violence."  Violence that would teach anyone who heard about it that they should not steal from White people or they would face utter annihilation or slavery.  They often collected scalps and brought them back as souvenirs.  Some local country stores had Indian scalps nailed to their walls well into the 20th century.


The state paid well for militiamen to track down and murder Indians in CA.  They they sought reimbursement from the the federal government.  The federal government paid for the genocide of California Indians and it paid well.  This pay, in itself, was a reason to form a militia and make some money.
State sponsored Genocide in CA.

Sometimes the children and women were kept alive, but sold into the california slave system.  Women were sold into sexual slavery and other forms of bondage.  Children were often sold to estates where they remained the rest of their lives as chattel.



Some Indians turned to gold mining when their territories were impinged upon. Once there was an influx of White immigrants into CA though, there wasn't enough for everyone and the White miners simply murdered the Indian miners and claim jumped their claims.

There is a timeline at the end of the book that tracks the murder of indigenous people in CA according to state historical record that includes body counts.  This is the most well-researched and comprehensive information on this subject to date.

US genocide has yet to be covered in any manner similar to the Holocaust in Europe.  The time is coming though.  The cat is out of the bag.

Other important books on this subject:

Churchill, W., & Mazal Holocaust Collection. (1997). A little matter of genocide: Holocaust and denial in the Americas, 1492 to the present. San Francisco: City Lights Books.

Lindsay, B. C. (2015). Murder state: California's native american genocide 1846-1873. Place of publication not identified: Univ Of Nebraska Press.

Stannard, D. E. (1992). American holocaust: Columbus and the conquest of the New World. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Whiteness in Libraries

Whiteness in US Libraries

[Note--this is a blog post.  These ideas can and will be further developed.  These ideas are sketches of what I am thinking at the moment.  Feedback is encouraged and welcome.]

US schools and libraries serve as points of diffusion for Whiteness.  

Whiteness, as used in this post is defined as the concept that European people and European culture are more important than other people and other cultures.  

Whiteness is purveyed uncritically in libraries.  This shucking of Whiteness is done under the guise of objectivity, of adhering the the 'marketplace' of ideas.  But this so-called neutrality is really an adherence and capitulation to the Whiteness paradigm.  

Children of color hear the message of Whiteness--"European people and European culture are more important than other people and other cultures.  


Children of color live in a world of discrimination and bias in US schools.  
Some think US culture is not European. But US culture is derived from European culture and is fundamentally White-supremacist. 

I don't say this lightly.  Whiteness is embedded in our culture.  From the shapes of the buildings, to the hierarchies of the library staff and administration.  This is especially true in the American Library world. Ethnic categories, demeaning classifications, cataloging systems with names like the Anglo American Cataloging Rules, and staff who (too often) don't look like the people who live in the neighborhood.  Microagressions, discrimination, hiring bias and collections centered around Whiteness all are outcomes of the ubiquitousness of  this paradigm in our libraries.  


Engravings on Multnomah Co. Library Central Building Photo by Ismoon Maria Hunter-Morton.
Many people will now be thinking that I am saying all White people are racist, or that all White people are bad, or some such nonsense.  That is not what  I intend to say.  I'm saying that the idea of Whiteness, as defined above, is what our country was founded upon. 

European immigrants live on stolen indigenous land.

These immigrants and their descendants committed genocide against Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas.

The wealth of the Americas, in large part, was created by slave labor. This slave labor was both African and Indigenous.  

Whiteness says that this is okay, that this is correct and that it is justified. Those who adhere to Whiteness also believe in these fundamental principles.  Mostly, the information found in libraries says it is okay, natural and normal, or does not bother to address these issues...



Engravings on Multnomah Co. Library Central Building.  Photo by Ismoon Maria Hunter-Morton.
The diffusion model works something like this:

Whiteness, brought from Europe has been part of US Educational system from the beginning.

Children are inculcated with #Whiteness via books, lectures and the culture of US schools.

Some children become authors, scientists and other types of academics.  They produce information and knowledge in the form of books and other types of media.



Racist mainstream 'Intellectual' book 
The knowledge, which too many authors, scientists and academics create is fundamentally flawed with Whiteness embedded within. Even if the creators of this knowledge are people of color. They are working with tainted information that has not been fully analyzed from a cultural perspective. This lends itself to embedding Whiteness in all new knowledge created from this information. This is why we have seen no real advancements, even with the educated people of color. They exist within and are heavily influenced by Whiteness. Libraries serve as key distribution points for culturally biased information.

One example is historic documentation Thomas Jefferson, as a land-owner and slaveholder, is understood to be a rapist. He took advantage of his position and raped his slaves, yet he is still hailed as a hero still. This is Whiteness. 
Thomas Jefferson (Slave Rapist) bust in the Library of Congress
Technology in libraries needs to be reexamined with a critical eye. Embedded Whiteness prevails. Metadata, algorithms and other location tools are just as infected with Whiteness as the rest of the library world and larger American Educational culture. This issue is particularly pertinent as we transition into a more digital information world.  

These people are probably still in control of your library technology.
The idea that White people, European Americans are more important, smarter, better, stronger, more worthy, and that their culture is superior is embedded in most of the books in US libraries. People check out these books and are then influenced by these books. And since most of these books have the message of Whiteness uncritically embedded in them, the reader is most often influenced by Whiteness without giving it the critical eye it deserves.
This is how libraries serve as points of diffusion for Whiteness paradigm.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Culture and Information Literacy Video

This is a video I created (with help from the school's video production team) for my introductory Information Literacy class. It was meant to broach the subject of Culture and Information Literacy. It can be used to generate a discussion or as a reflection writing assignment catalyst. I would LOVE feedback on this please.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Book Review: The Other Slavery


The Other Slavery:  The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement In America by Andrés Reséndez is an important book that you will want to add to your library collection.

Cover hsa a photo of the Arizona Desert
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0547640986
ISBN-13: 978-0547640983
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
It is important in several areas:
  • History
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Political Science
It sheds new light on so many areas. It shook my understanding and revitalized my resolve to learn as much as possible about the history of our country and of the genocide that took place and in many ways is still taking place against indigenous people.  For instance, I had no idea that smallpox did not hit the Caribbean until a full 26 years after Columbus' invasion.  This gives new light to the claim that the majority of these Indians died from disease.  These people were murdered or worked to death.

The book covers the rape of the Caribbean and how, once the local population was exhausted, the need for more slaves drove the Spanish to raid nearby lands and import slaves.

Map of slaving expeditions in the Caribbean 1510-1540
Map of slaving expeditions in the Caribbean 1510-1540
The first part of the book begins by looking at the Spanish system of indigenous slavery.  It has a fascinating chapter that covers the fate of many indigenous people who were sent to Spain to become slaves.  
Brand placed on cheek of Slaves captured in War
Image from The Other Slavery



 Slaves could be captured in war.  Meaning--if the Spanish raided your village and you resisted in ANY manner--you would be deemed a violent enemy and could be captured. 
Brand placed on cheek of ransomed slaves by Spanish.
Image from The Other Slavery   
 Slaves could also be purchased from other Indians who had captured them.  This provided an incentive for Indians to slave raid other tribes an expanded market for slaves in the Americas. 

The Spanish soon discovered Silver in Mexico and this caused the need for massive amounts of slave labor.   The from Northern Mexico were used in massive numbers for this purpose.  Mining, smelting and other labor was done by these slaves.


The system slowly turned to one of peonage.  This new version of other slavery lasted well into the 20th century and probably exists today as well. 

Indian Peons in Guanajuato mining for silver.
Indian peons in Guanajuato mining for silver.  1905



There are also chapters that inform the reader of how tribes such as the Utes were able to build slave empires by raiding other tribes and selling their captives to the Spanish and other tribes.
There is also an excellent chapter on the Navajo tribe's destruction and removal which led to massive amounts of Navajo being enslaved in the Southwest--particularly in New Mexico.
I am hooked on this topic and will be researching extensively for years thanks to this wonderful book.

Ute territory in SW North America
Ute territory in SW North America

There is also a great chapter on the California Genocide and Slavery starting with the Spanish and then carried on by the Americans.  If an CA Indian was not 'employed' they could be arrested and then auctioned off to the highest bidder for labor.  Once indentured like this, they could not leave their place of employment without 'certificates' which were almost never granted.

Passage describing the plight of CA Natives.
Passage describing the plight of CA Natives.

The plight of indigenous slaves is little known and fascinating.   This book is seminal and creates a new field for study that can help us understand where we are today and how we arrived here.

Indian Slaves in the Americas 1492-1900
Indian Slaves in the Americas 1492-1900
 
If you are even remotely interested in this topic you will appreciate this book.  It is well written, extensively researched and is a new instant classic.  Professor Reséndez has done our country a great service by writing this informative book.  Get it now!








Sunday, July 17, 2016

Please Help Us Publish Librarians With Spines


This is your chance to be part of a unique publishing endeavor. Yago S. Cura and Max Macias are co-editing a book of essays written by specifically invited librarians who we feel have some of the best minds in the world. We need help with funds for publishing. Please consider giving what you can to help us create this one of a kind work. We plan on continuing with a series of unique, forward-thinking and courageous librarian works from outstanding minds in the Information world.

My name is Max Macias and my Co-editor is Yago Cura. We are seeking help publishing an invitational anthology of radical essays written by exceptional librarians, many of whom are also librarians of color. All funds will be used for publishing and promotional costs. We are projecting to publish this anthology of essays by May, 2017. Few books have been written about how information and culture impact the creation of knowledge. Even fewer books critique how oppression is bolstered and enhanced by cultural concepts that are embedded in our information. Since information is important to all of us as librarians and consumers of information, these essays will seek to fill the void described above. One of the things we are trying to understand is the relationship between culture and information, and how this impacts the creation of knowledge. 

These essays will range in theme from colonialism and whiteness in library science to representation in children’s literature. Going beyond what has been written in the past on this subject and bringing together a diverse group of great librarians is the goal of this endeavor. These essays will attempt to move LIS forward in the areas of culture, information and education. You will not only be helping us publish this work, but you will be helping the field and profession of Library Science with your support. Please give anything you can to help us change the field of library related publishing. Description: Hinchas Press invites original chapters for a new volume. 

This edited volume seeks to understand culture and its impact on information and knowledge in LIS and Education in general. We seek contributors involved in the ongoing critique of information and culture in the United States and Canada and the rest of the Americas--especially those who are interested in sharing and speaking candidly about their experiences with culture and information in libraries, authorship, books, films, comics, other media and in education. This monograph will offer multiple views and insights from the greatest minds in LIS during the second decade of the 21st century. 

These essays will cover major breakthroughs, barriers to progress, cultural innovation and information, and radical thinking in libraries and in education and other vital areas. What progress has LIS made regarding major problems concerning information and culture? What successes have individuals had creating change? What do great contemporary librarians think about colonialism, feminism, multiculturalism, religion and race, intersectionality and other social justice and equity issues? This compilation will be edited by two of today’s shakers and movers in information and culture: Max Macias and Yago 

Topics to consider from a theoretical and/or practical perspective: Information, culture and user needs Computers and culture Whiteness in Libraries and Education Women and computers in libraries Open educational resources and representation Microaggressions in education, academia, in print Cultural representation in children’s literature Cultural representation in comics Erotica and Information in libraries Sexual identity and collection development Classism in LIS education and librarian culture Hip-Hop culture in libraries...

 Below is the golden ticket we sent invited authors and a link to our GoFundMe drive.  

Please give what you can.



Friday, July 15, 2016

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Your Death Will Be Our Reality Television For The Day or 21st Century Lynchings


Black dead bodies pile up on the television screens across the nation.

While there is a 'debate' about force by some fancy people in some fancy room.

Children live in terror everywhere.

Educated grown men and women tremble at the sight of a police officer.
These are lynchings that puts the Klan to shame.

This is Freedom in the US at the beginning of the 21st century.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Colonialism and Whiteness: a Talk

This talk was given on 4/20/2016 at PCC for Whiteness History Month at PCC.

It is based on my trilogy of blog posts on the history of Whiteness in the US.


Here are links to the posts:

Colonialism and Whiteness: A Legacy of Brutality

http://lowriderlibrarian.blogspot.com/2016/02/colonialism-and-whiteness-legacy-of.html


Slavery (a Tool of Colonialism) and Whiteness: a Legacy of Brutality  



Embedded #Whiteness: A Legacy of Brutality 



Here is the talk:



I would love to know what you think about the talk, the concepts and the imagery.

Please comment.

Thank you, 

Max 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

We Have a Violence Problem and Are in Denial

Hundreds of people gathered in Loring Park in the Twin Cities.
The recent Orlando shootings and the now, standardized reactions slapped me in the face.

  • Muslim Attacks
  • Verbal praise for killing LGBT community members
  • Pro-gun rhetoric
  • Fearmongering on all sides
  • Etc...


Most of the solution to this issue seems to be centered around banning assault weapons.  While I believe we need stronger gun legislation, I don't believe that banning assault weapons is the solution.  First, it could drive a wedge between americans in the US.
Secondly, while it is true that guns are killing people, it is really the idea that violence can solve our problems that is at the root of the issue.


F16 Falcon
Please let me explain.  We, the US, in unison, use force daily against people in other countries.  We have assassination programs.  Our collective motto could be, "Assasination works!"  We have murdered US citizens without proper trial, and then we murdered their child.  Our police forces are openly racist and use violence as a preferred tool to control situations.   Our justice system kill people for killing people.

"Be careful or I will shoot you!" code. 



People drive around with huge assault weapon stickers on their cars--screaming the message that, "Don't mess with me--I will kill you!"  In a craven cry of fear.  We use violence as a favored utensil societally.



It makes sense that individuals in this society would choose to use the same methods to solve their own problems.

We mix the above with the lack of any sort of national mental health care program, continual war, continual terrorism from without and within, a widening gulf of political beliefs, an adherence to a Crusades way of thinking with the availability of guns in the US and we get the perfect mix for our situation.


If we want out of this mess we need to:

Stop using violence against other countries and peoples who don't adhere to our wishes.
Stop funding violence within other countries.
Stop celebrating violence in media, news and education
Stop using violence in our criminal justice system

Educate the public with:

  • Mediation training
  • Anti-violence education

Provide the US public with:

  • Mental health and physical health programs for the public
  • Community restorative and community justice programs run on a local level
  • Free education
  • Stricter gun control laws

Libraries have a role in this struggle


What can libraries and librarians do?

  • Buy mediation books and invite mediators to present and educate at the library
  • Provide civics classes to help people engage with and in government for themselves
  • Create anti-violence programming
  • Help hold community dialogues on anti-violence
  • Use its influence in every way to help create a peaceful and secure society

Is this really how we want to live?

More guns does not create a secure society.  Just look at Israel for example.  I can't think of a more well-armed and trained militaristic society, yet they live their lives insecure about the next attack.

No matter how many guns you have,  you will always have to watch your back.  I would much rather live in a society where people treat one another with respect and choose not to use violence as a weapon to achieve their moral, political, religious, economic and other objectives.  Violence is an uncontrollable tool that impacts the perpetrator and the victim in a negative manner.  We need to break out of this pattern of using violence now or it will continue to worsen.

I would much rather live in a peaceful, educated, physically and mentally healthy society than one in which I have to carry an assault rifle and sidearm when going to the store.





Friday, June 17, 2016

Fan Mail


Someone is insecure in about their sexuality and is craven.





Monday, May 30, 2016

Up North: Chapter One

Its always raining in Portland
Chapter One

Juan thought he heard her say, "I love you!" as he walked away, but he wasn't sure.  He could hear his screaming heart beating and feel his blood pumping throughout his body. Was it her voice, his blood, or the rain?


It was windy


It was cold.  


It was raining hard


He was under grey skies.   They both shuffled away in opposite directions carrying withdrawn dreams turned to cash.  

The air between them cold and wet.


He walked from the ATM to the bus stop.  Tears filled his eyes and he kept wiping them with the sleeve of his black Independent trucks hoodie.


"Fuck, it’s always freezing here!"  Juan thought to himself as he walked down the street.  He had two thermals on under his shirt and hoody, denim pants and a black Dogtown beanie on. 

Oregon/Washington winters were still something hard for him. Even after 10 years.  His fingers reached to make sure he still had his wallet in his pocket.  He couldn’t believe this was all he had left.  HIs backpack, his skateboard and his wallet with few hundred dollars...


The bus finally came and he was soaking wet.  It was cool though, he thought to himself.  The bus was warm and he had over an hour to ride and then transfer to his next ride.  It was a long ride on the bus from Vancouver, WA to Hillsboro, OR--his new residence.  


Juan looked through rain splattered windows--his eyes searched for the sun.


Then he reached into his backpack and pulled out his moist book...


Things were almost completely dry when he got off the bus at his stop in Hillsboro.  It was still raining.  Now he only had to walk 2 miles uphill to his new place.

“I need some sun!”  Juan he repeated to himself as he began his walk.  

He thought about his hometown of San Jose, CA--its warmth and sunshine as he trudged through the rain into his new life.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Royal Pain in the Neck Cannabis Balm Review

Royal Pain in the Neck Balm

This week's review is on a pain balm.  I don't usually go in for these things--the only ones that work seem to make you stink and just kind of burn.   This product actually gets hot and then the cannabis properties kick in and it relieves pain.  I have degenerative disc disease in my neck, and back.  Sometimes the pain is almost unbearable.  Instead of taking a pain pill, I can rub this into my neck and alleviate the pain.  This also works well on my arthritic knees and ankle.

When you first put it on it gets hot and smells of cinnamon and menthol.  The menthol smell dissipates quicker than most--in about 10 minutes it goes away.  It leaves a hint of cinnamon smell on your skin after that.

You don't have to get stoned to alleviate your pain.  Products like this can be used before work, or anytime really.  This is non-psychoactive and really is made with love.  The owner tells me she received the recipe from her best friend's mother way back when.  Now she is trying to help people alleviate their pain with a natural, non-narcotic, non-psychoactive balm. 

This balm gets an A+ rating from me. 

If you are in the Portland area, you can get this product at the Human Collective dispensary.  It is 18.00.

Or you can order it direct from the website for 20.00.

2 ounce container contains balm with this breakdown: THC: 13.04mg CBD: 65.02mg

Here is the description from their website: 
The original all natural formula was developed in the 1980'sby Massage Therapist, Midwife and Author Sharon K. Evans. 
In 2014 the recipe was gifted to Leslie Miller.  With some minor changes andadding a few new ingredients to the mix we have the Royal Pain in the Neck Balm today.
There are two versions of the balm; Original formula without any added cannabinoids.While the second has a non-psychoactive, high CBD cannabis extract
So, if you have aches and pains and are in need of relief please pick up a container of this wonderful balm to get some relief.



Here is a link to the Royal Pain Balm Web site: http://www.royalpainbalm.com/





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How to solve the illegal immigration problem

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