poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Escape from Mumbai
Young Nepali tells how he was
forced into 'sexual slavery' in
India and life in a brothel
by Sunil B. Pant (in Kathmandu) and Andy Harley

KATHMANDU, April 6  –  Divya sat there and calmly related a quite devastating story of deception, torture and a seven-year life of hell in a male brothel in India.

He, and we will call him ‘he’ although he is a “meta” or feminine male, spoke about his escape from the Mumbai brothel and his return to his native Pokhara in the foothills of the Himalayas.  There he was reunited with his loving mother, but found that most people in the city harassed him whey they found out about his life over the past seven years.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Blue Diamond Society

Lazimpat-2, Shiv Bhakti Marg-344, Kathmandu, Nepal,
Tel:(+977 1) 4443350, Fax: (+977 1) 4438600

Press Conference: Meta escaped from Bombay male brothel

A Nepali Meta (feminine homosexual) who’s about 23 years of age was tricked and sold in Bombay to a male brothel by an agent seven years ago and afterwards tortured variously has escaped and come in contact with Blue Diamond Society.

Blue Diamond Society has organized a press conference/ interaction program today at 4pm to bring into light his gruesome stories and similar stories of other similarly sold Metas of Nepal who are forced to live a life worse than hell.

from riverbed blog..

American Media...

You wake up in the morning. Brush your teeth. Splash the sleep out of your eyes and head for the kitchen for a cup of coffee or tea and whatever is available for breakfast.

You wander to the living room and search for the remote control. It is in its usual place- stuck inexplicably between the sofa cushions. You turn on the television and stand there flipping from one channel to the other, looking for a news brief or something that will sum up what happened during those six hours you slept. You finally settle on the pleasant face on the screen- the big hair, bright power suit, capped teeth and colorful talons- blandly reading the news. The anchoress is Julie Chan. The program is CBS’s The Early Show (Live from Fifth Avenue!).

Guess the nationality of the viewer above. Three guesses. American? No. Canadian? No. British? Japanese? Australian? No, no and no. The viewer is Iraqi… or Jordanian… or Lebanese… or Syrian… or Saudi… or Kuwaiti… or… but you get the picture.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Despite threat of attack, some see just a good kid

FAIR LAWN - The 16-year-old student accused of threatening a "massacre" at Fair Lawn High School quoted the Columbine shooters on a Web site he created and listed groups of people he hated, including teachers, gays, obese people and bullies, police said Friday.

Anarchist Websites And Forums Under Attack

The FBI has recently sent two subpoenas to the website administrator of the webserver. Recently there have been rumours circulating in anarchist circles the flag's webmaster had been contacted by the FBI, he has released this press release to notify the wider activist community on what has been going on. The Flag server hosts many of anarchism's most widely viewed websites and the removal of this sever would be a major blow to anarchist organising worldwide.

He has been ordered on two separate occasions to submit IP information of people using certain subdomains hosted on the flag server one of which was the popular Infoshop News. These relate to people claiming responsibility for "propaganda by the deed". The moderator believes at least one of these cases are by people trying to make the flag server "vulnerable to government intrusion".

Generation Debt
Greed Aid
Big banks do billions in student loans—and that means less money for you
by Anya Kamenetz

The Student Aid Reward Act (STAR Act) introduced in both houses of Congress March 15 provides an unusually clear test of our national priorities. Do lawmakers really want to increase aid to needy students? Or would they prefer to keep lining the pockets of the banking lobby?

At issue is the Direct Loan Program, one of two federal vehicles for student loans. As the name suggests, direct student loans are made straight out of the U.S. Treasury. Private companies bid for the contracts to handle the loans, without special fees or subsidies. By contrast, in the Federal Family Education Loan program (FFEL), banks and marketers like Sallie Mae receive subsidies from the government as incentives to make student loans, which are also guaranteed by the treasury against default.

Wal-Mart's Culture Of Crime And Greed    

Less than two weeks ago, the Beast paid $11 million to settle charges that it used hundreds of illegal immigrants to clean its stores. In February, those nice family-values people from Bentonville agreed to pay a pathetic $135,000 and change to settle charges of child labor violations. Think about it: a corporate culture that tolerates endangering children. As an aside, when the child labor deal was announced, I wrote that the level of the fine was scandalous; the whole sweetheart deal is now under investigation by the Department of Labor’s inspector general.

USA: Debt Slavery: What The Bankruptcy Bill Could Do To You    

The U.S. Senate has passed a dream bill for credit card and financial service companies that, if passed by the House, will land millions of American families in debt slavery. Rather than being able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and make a difficult new start, families and individuals will be placed on long-term payment plans to credit card companies, companies that will take their houses, their cars, their child-support payments, and their paychecks.

4 Parents Is 4 Ignorance

The website, one of the latest "public education campaigns" launched by the Bush administration, claims to "provide parents with the information, tools and skills they need to help their teens make the healthiest choices." Maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, the website seeks to encourage "parents to talk frankly [with teens] about sensitive topics like sex and relationships." However, the website fails miserably in these goals and nearly 150 public health and advocacy groups have signed a letter to HHS Secretary Leavitt to "express their deep concern." Accepting that parents ought to be "the primary sexuality educators of their children," the groups chide HHS because, rather than giving parents "the accurate information and resources they need," the website "relies on fear to motivate and contains many errors and biases that undermine its intent of encouraging parent-child communication around sex and sexuality."

Fourth man indicted in Republican phone-jamming scheme

CONCORD, N.H. -- A fourth man has been charged with taking part in a Republican scheme to jam Democrats' get-out-the-vote phone lines on Election Day 2002.

Red Cross confirms riot at US-run prison camp in south Iraq   

[JURIST] The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website] has confirmed that prisoners at Camp Bucca [Wikipedia entry], a US-run detention camp in southern Iraq, rioted on April 1 despite an initial US military denial of any incident. An ICRC delegation was at the camp conducting a regular prisoner visit the day of the riot. The Red Cross said it would follow up on the situation. The riot was first reported by a representative of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr [BBC profile] who said detainees had rioted after one of them had been denied medical treatment and also accused US soldiers of firing rubber bullets at detainees, wounding an undetermined number. This is the second reported riot at Camp Bucca [JURIST report] this year; inmates, relatives and human rights groups have complained of overcrowding at this and other US-run Iraqi detention centers, especially since security sweeps done in advance of the January 30 elections.

'New fundamentalism sweeping media'
"Television network executives and editors are trying to follow the audience rather than lead the audience."
 Manish Chand
Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) Dissent is slowly dying in mainstream media, which has become increasingly hostage to market forces and narrow patriotic sentiments, especially in the US, says media guru and culture critic Stuart Allan.

This new culture of media fundamentalism, which came to the fore during reporting on the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in the US, continues to be the dominant trend, Allan told IANS in an interview here.

In conservative NH newspaper, ABC anchor Stossel returned to promoting Crichton's global warming skepticism

In an April 3 guest commentary for the conservative New Hampshire Union Leader, ABC News 20/20 co-anchor John Stossel returned to promoting author Michael Crichton's assertion in his book State of Fear (Harper Collins, 2004) that global warming is "just another foolish media-hyped scare." Stossel stated that "[m]any climate scientists agree with" Crichton and that reporters "often listen to alarmists and don't take the trouble to survey the scientists who really know." Stossel failed to note, however, that the vast majority of scientists recognize global warming as a genuine phenomenon with potentially serious consequences for human life. Stossel also echoed Crichton's claim that "[e]nvironmental organizations are fomenting false fears in order to promote agendas and raise money," but he neglected to mention that many global-warming skeptics receive generous funding

Kansans to decide on gay marriage ban

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas voters will decide Tuesday whether to approve a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage, and the ban's supporters are using a California judge's recent ruling in favor of same-sex unions as one of their chief arguments.

Gay marriage is already banned under Kansas law, and the law is not being challenged by anyone. But supporters of the ballot measure say the ban must be put in the Kansas Constitution to insulate it from legal challenge.

Uganda: 'Abstinence-Only' Programs Hijack AIDS Success Story
U.S.-Sponsored HIV Strategy Threatens Youth

(London, March 30, 2005)—U.S.-funded “abstinence-only” programs are jeopardizing Uganda’s successful fight against HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Abstinence-only programs deny young people information about any method of HIV prevention other than

Demand Taiwan's Court to Open Up Its Doors in Gay Bookstore Obscenity Trial

Taiwan's only gay and lesbian bookstore has been unreasonably charged with obscenity and is currently under trial behind closed doors. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) urges you to join the Gender Sexuality Rights Association, Taiwan (G/SRAT) in their urgent plea for support and solidarity by sending letters to the court to open the trial to the public and advocate for the human rights of freedom of expression for all citizens of Taiwan.

NCLR Applauds California Court of Appeal Decision Upholding Domestic Partnership Law and Rebuffing Anti-Gay Groups' Challenge to AB 205

SAN FRANCISCO, April 4, 2005 - Today, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District in Sacramento upheld the validity of AB 205, the comprehensive domestic partnership law enacted by the California Legislature in 2003, and rebuffed efforts to attack the law by extreme rightwing groups. The ruling arose in the context of two lawsuits, one filed by the late Senator Pete Knight and the other by the Campaign for California Families (CCF), arguing that the new law violates Proposition 22, the ballot initiative approved by the voters in 2000.

‘This is like discussing how seatbelts can kill when used improperly, without also discussing how to properly use seatbelts,’ said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign expressed concern today over content on a new website launched by the Department of Health and Human Services promoting discussion between teens and parents. While HRC applauded the department for acknowledging the role of honest conversations between parents and children, HRC cautioned Secretary Michael Leavitt in a letter sent March 29 that some of the website material perpetuates dangerous misconceptions that could be harmful to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth and their families.

GenderPAC Cheers Maine Rights Bill
~ Governor Signs Law Making Maine 6th State to Protect Gender Identity

WASHINGTON (March 31, 2005) The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) today congratulated the state of Maine for affirming in a new law that Mainers will not tolerate discrimination based on gender identity. Gender identity refers to an individual's fundamental sense of themselves as masculine or feminine, male or female.

ACLU Asks Court to Let Students Join in Kentucky Anti-Gay Harassment Training Case

ASHLAND, KY - The American Civil Liberties Union today asked a federal court to let several former students join a Kentucky school district in fighting a lawsuit aimed at shutting down a court-ordered anti-harassment training. The school district agreed to implement the training last year after a federal judge found that there is a widespread problem with anti-gay harassment in the school, where students in an English class once stated that they needed to "take all the fucking faggots out in the back woods and kill them." The new lawsuit, brought by an anti-gay legal organization, claims that the training

Creating a Workplace Policy Supportive of Transition

What should we put in our workplace policy to be supportive of transgender workers?

Many employers are writing policies to cover the different aspects of a transgender worker who transitions on the job. Having a policy helps assure consistent workers that it is safe to come to you to discuss their need to transition. Supportive policies also help employers improve their rating on the HRC Corporate Equality Index.

A supportive transition policy goes beyond adding the words "gender identity or expression" to your EO nondiscrimination policy. It is important to address issues like communication to coworkers, change of records to reflect the new name and gender, dress codes, and even use of the restroom.

Transgender at Work recommends that employers write a detailed policy document suiting their own workplace environment. Appropriate issues should each be addressed, stating the company policy but allowing sufficient flexibility to meet the specific needs of the situation. Rather than a one size fits all approach, TAW offers resources to inform each employer of the issues and most successful solutions. The policy can then be written to fit your own style.

Trans Politics, Social Change and Justice
May 6-7, 2005

The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) presents "Trans Politics, Social Change, and Justice" to be held May 6-7, 2005 in New York City. This conference will provide a venue to strengthen activist and research networks, incite dialogues, share research, and create resources central to creating social change for trans people. The conference will take place at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where CLAGS is housed, at 365 Fifth Avenue (between 34th and 35th streets), New York, NY.

During two days, conference participants will take part in plenary sessions, breakout groups, and roundtables about trans activism and public policy research on local, state-wide, national, and international levels. Activists and researchers will have the opportunity to further develop their ongoing work and to create new dialogues with trans

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Man kills self for womanhood
IANS[ SATURDAY, APRIL 02, 2005 04:04:31 PM ]

KOLKATA: After failing in a sex change hormone therapy, a 25-year-old man in West Bengal committed suicide in the hope that he would be born as a woman in his next life.

Debkumar Mohanty, a folk drama actor in Konnagar, north of Kolkata, decked up as a married woman - replete with a new red sari and vermilion on his head - before he hanged himself from the ceiling of his house.

His old mother who noticed the suspended body of a woman in the house, failed to recognise him and called in the neighbours who were stunned at the discovery.

Police said Mohanty was effeminate and desperately wanted to become a woman.