poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Study highlights global decline
By Jonathan Amos
BBC News science reporter

The most comprehensive survey ever into the state of the planet concludes that human activities threaten the Earth's ability to sustain future generations.

The report says the way society obtains its resources has caused irreversible changes that are degrading the natural processes that support life on Earth.

This will compromise efforts to address hunger, poverty and improve healthcare.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Heterosexuals Hold 'Patent' On Marriage Calif. Appeals Court Told
by Mark Worrall San Francisco Bureau

(Sacramento, California) While the case for same-sex marriage works its way through California's courts conservatives have mounted a new challenge to the state's domestic partner registry.

"There is a patent on marriage," lawyer Robert H. Tyler told the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento on Friday, adding that the "patent" is held by opposite sex couples.

Virginia Gov. Signs Gay Partner Bill 
by Newscenter Staff

(Richmond, Virginia) Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner has signed legislation allowing insurers and businesses to extend health-insurance coverage to same-sex couples. It becomes effective July 1.

Judge Refuses To Hire Yale Law Grads Over Gay Policy
by The Associated Press

(New Haven, Connecticut) A federal judge in Alabama has announced he will not consider Yale Law students for clerkships to protest the university's policy of limiting military recruiters' access to students.

Jamaica's Queer Obsession
Is it all that's holding the country together?
By Kelly Cogswell

MARCH 10, 2005. Google the words "gay" or "homosexual" at the daily national Jamaica Observer and you'll find articles like "Help! my man is bi-sexual" or "Emergency! My girlfriend/wife is a lesbian." Letters to the editor regularly claim in graphic, overwrought terms that homosexuals are destroying Jamaica. Even when the concerns of LGBT people are reported, activists are often lampooned.

The relentlessly hostile media reinforces the homophobia on the street, where queers face everything from taunts to machetes. Several gay men and transgendered people die each year in Jamaica at the hands of mobs that beat, stone, and stab them. Lesbians face verbal harassment and rape, and sometimes death. And those are just the known cases.

New Maryland DP registry would focus on hospital rights

Legislation supported by gay rights activists that would create a registry giving unmarried partners the right to make medical decisions for each other was approved Friday by the Maryland senate.

What made Stonewall possible
Early resistance to state repression
Lesbian, gay, bi and trans pride series part 29
By Leslie Feinberg

In the inhospitable social climate of the Cold War, struggles were taking root in the U.S. that would later flower in the gay and trans liberation movement of the late 1960s.

How was it possible, some may wonder today, for gays to have resisted and organized in the 1940s and 1950s when state repression and a reactionary ideological offensive were at their height?

In the war between exploiter and exploited, oppressor and oppressed, the relationship of forces may change many times, but those under siege never cease to find ways to struggle for their freedom.

Wal-Mart and the feminization of labor
From a talk by Sharon Eolis at the Nov. 13-14 National Fightback Conference.

Imagine you are a working woman who is paid $8 per hour. You have no health insurance for your family. This is the condition for thousands of Wal-Mart employees. Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the U.S.

The Incredibly Shrinking Coalition
By Siegesmund von Ilsemann

Things are getting lonely for the Americans in Iraq. More and more of their friends are leaving. But with the Iraqi army not ready to take over, it looks like US forces will have to stay for a long time to come.

Italian President Silvio Berlusconi's announcement came as a surprise to his own cabinet ministers and a snub to his friend in Washington. Berlusconi announced on Italian television early last Wednesday that he plans to begin withdrawing Italian troops from Iraq by as early as September. A comment he made a few days later -- that the withdrawal would, of course, be coordinated with Italy's allies -- did little to lessen the impact of his initial announcement: The "coalition of the willing," with which US President George W. Bush wanted to liberate Iraq, is beginning to crumble.

Hunger Strikers Win Raises, Privileges for Campus Workers

Mar 28 - After years of organizing and agitating that culminated in a nine-day hunger strike, students at Georgetown University won higher wages for the contract janitors, food workers and security personnel at their school. Late last Wednesday night, school administrators caved to almost all of the demands from the Georgetown Living Wage Coalition, including significant raises for the lowest-paid workers on campus; access to English as a Second Language courses, the library, and campus shuttles; and the right to unionize without intimidation.

Pentagon Reaffirms Globocop Role
by Jim Lobe
Inter-Press Service

WASHINGTON -- March has been a bad month for the world's multilateralists who, encouraged by several early appointments to the State Department and a successful presidential tour of Europe, had hoped that George W. Bush would temper his unilateralist instincts in his second term.

But culminating in Friday's release by the Pentagon of a new ”National Defense Strategy of the United States of America”, the last few weeks have showered a bracing dose of cold water on that notion.

Combined with the nomination earlier in the month of super-unilateralist John Bolton as Bush's ambassador to the United Nations, as well as the U.S. withdrawal from the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for cases involving the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Strategy strongly suggests that Washington's interest in its traditional alliances, multilateral institutions, and even international law is on a downward trajectory.

The 24-page public document, signed by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, is designed to lay out some of the basic assumptions of the U.S. role in the world, particularly as regards peace and security, that will guide the Quadrennial Defence Review (QDR), an important exercise carried out every four years that steers U.S. strategy, the Pentagon


The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) is warning that Asia's river dolphin populations are in severe decline due to polluted waters, dams and entanglement in fishing nets and has launched an initiative to save some of the world's most threatened mammals.

US Navy announces court-martial for sailor opposed to Iraq war   
Alexandria Samuel

The US Navy announced Friday that a sailor who refused to report for duty in the Persian Gulf because of his opposition to the war in Iraq will face a special court-martial.

Gay cruise blocked from Caribbean port
Ben Townley, UK

Passengers onboard a gay cruise travelling around the Caribbean sea were refused entry into the island of Nevis yesterday, with naval officials claiming their sexuality was offensive to local people.

Opinions Differ for Domestic Violence Cases and Gay Marriage Ban

COLUMBUS (AP) -- Two Ohio judges have issued differing rulings in the past week on whether the state's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage bars prosecutors from charging unmarried people with domestic violence.

A Franklin County judge on Friday decided against dismissing a domestic violence case, disagreeing with arguments that the law doesn't apply to unmarried couples. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Stuart Friedman said Wednesday that domestic violence charges cannot be filed against unmarried people because of the state's recently enacted definition of marriage.

(it's all about gender!!)


A gay student has slapped the city with a civil-rights lawsuit, claiming a school safety officer called him a "boy or whatever it is that you are."

New laws for Scotland's transgenders

New laws come into force next month which will outlaw discrimination against trans-sexuals. People here in Scotland, who've changed their gender, hope the landmark legislation will help reduce the prejudice they experience in their daily lives. We've met a trans-sexual in Orkney who can't wait to be seen as fully female in the eyes of the law.