poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Intersex person accuses Howard of discrimination
John HowardABC Tv

A Perth person with no fixed gender says new legislation which would ban all but traditional marriages is unlawful and undemocratic.

Prime Minister John Howard says the Government will only recognise marriages between a man and woman.

Alexander MacFarlane has both male and female physiology and says the legislation will prevent all intersex people from marrying.

Dr MacFarlane has vowed to take the matter to the High Court.

"According to the Australian democracy, every citizen has equal right for employment, for education and for respect," Dr MacFarlane said.

"John Howard's comments don't reflect that."


Murder Victim's Brother Looks for Answers
by Lisa Whitlow

A Rockford man is still searching for answers more than two months after his brother was brutally murdered.

Ron Clewer describes the moment his brother Kevin's body was discovered by their father.

"He actually broke in the door, he pushed the door in. When he got in, he found my brother in his bedroom on the floor," says Clewer. "He had apparently been there for a while, not a great while, but at that point he was dead."

Ron's dad broke down the door after no one could get a hold of Kevin, even though his car was outside his apartment. Kevin had been stabbed more than 30 times in his Chicago apartment. Kevin was Ron's only brother.

Ron struggles with wanting to know everything and wishing he didn't know anything at all.


Roma women claim forced sterilisations 
 Declan McVeigh

A disturbing history of forced sterilisations carried out on Roma women in the new European Union member state of Slovakia is resurfacing as three alleged victims take their Government to Europe’s highest court.

The three Roma women have filed a case in the European Court of Human Rights against the Slovakian Government, whose earlier investigation into hundreds of alleged illegal operations was condemned by human rights groups.

Two of the women taking the legal action were minors at the time of the procedures.

Allegations of forced sterilisation against Roma, a policy under Slovakia’s past Nazi and communist regimes, have continued


French mayor "forbidden" to marry gay couples
Ben Townley, UK

Noel Mamere, the French mayor who wanted to marry same-sex couples in his Bordeaux town, has been ordered to stop offering his services by the local authorities.

Mamere had promised to marry any same-sex couples who came to him in the town of Begles. The first ceremony was due to take place on June 5th, despite government opposition to the plans.

But the couple who were due to marry may now have to postpone their wedding, after public prosecutor for Bordeaux, Bertrand de Loze, sent Mamere a fax banning him from conducting the ceremony.

The BBC reports that de Loze said Mamere was "forbidden" from marrying same-sex couples, claiming his intentions would "undermine the application of the law".


Counter Cultural Programming
By Michael Atkinson, In These Times

The November firefight approaches and here we are, awash in a media flashflood of press secretary prevarication, corporate indictment dodging and in-your-face presidential lies. Gay marriage is the year's burning flag used to incite the ignorant, while the pundits lend credence to flat-out absurdisms just by debating them – that Antonin Scalia's outrageous conflicts of interest may not give the "appearance" of conflicts of interest, that Halliburton may not be "profiting" from a war launched for its benefit, that The Passion of the Christ may in fact have been divinely inspired. (Certainly, the millions of tax dollars poured into "faith-based" institutions and used to buy ticket blocs can be seen as a gift from God to Mel Gibson.) And, of course, the nine-figure White House marketing launch is pure skullduggery, grinning with Christian manifest destiny and transparent jingoism.

What do we do for counter-programming? Don't rely on present-day Hollywood, that brothel of military celebration and half-measure liberalism. Instead, rent some of these firecrackers, the best left movies ever made, and keep the flags of discontent flying.


What’s Holding Back Antiwar Activism?
by Sharon Smith
May 27, 2004
First Published in Socialist Worker

When right-wing pundit Thomas Friedman starts clamoring for "regime change here at home," as he did on May 14, you know that conservatives are deserting the Bush administration’s sinking ship. Growing factions of the military and political establishment are now scrambling to find an "exit strategy" from Iraq, while their entire project to reshape the Middle East is in peril.

This is the moment we on the left have been waiting for. Where, then, is the sense of euphoria? The crisis at the top of society has not been matched by a surge in confidence from the antiwar movement below.

Weeks into the prison torture scandal, there have been no mass protests to demonstrate Americans’ outrage at the torture of Iraqi prisoners--and to demand that U.S. troops be brought home now--despite opinion polls showing that roughly half of the U.S. population shares these sentiments.

Ironically, the U.S. left finds itself falling behind the times. Having adopted "regime change at home" as its undiluted priority, the left is ill equipped to advance the movement now that the likes of Friedman have begun to repeat this same slogan.


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