poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, June 24, 2005

Indian Cabinet Approves Domestic Violence Bill

It was a significant day in the history of the women's movement! Following ten years of persistent efforts, the Protection from Domestic Violence Bill, 2004 received the Indian cabinet's approval for introduction in the Parliament on June 23, 2005.

The bill is intended to protect women from domestic violence of any kind including dowry-related harassment. Even a threat of physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic abuse, including dowry harassment would attract penal action under the provisions of the bill.

Southern Baptists Call for Investigation of Public Schools
Bob Allen

The Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday passed a resolution urging parents and churches to investigate whether their community schools promote homosexuality.

“Homosexual activists and their allies are devoting substantial resources and using political power to promote the acceptance among schoolchildren of homosexuality as a morally legitimate lifestyle,” says the resolution, compiled from two resolutions submitted by individuals prior to the June 21-22 SBC annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Policing Gays
Metro cops use confidential informants to target gay chat rooms and lure homosexual men into trading and selling drugs. This undercover operation changed the life of one man who may well be innocent.
By Matt Pulle

Despite its upscale name, the Stewarts Ferry Luxury Apartments are more like middle-class projects. Just one exit from the airport, east on I-40, the sprawling complex is crisscrossed by towering power lines that hover over shallow, manmade ponds and more than 600 units that all look the same. There are two pools, a large crystal-blue one near the leasing office and another with an unobstructed view of the interstate. The tiny, faded fountain that greets the complex's residents is dry.

On a late Friday night in May, Steve exits I-40. A computer programmer who can while away a night reading Scientific American, he had planned to relax after a hard week. But 90 minutes earlier, he spontaneously agreed to meet a blind date he found online. From the Internet photo, Steve expected someone like him: a young gay man with brown hair and tan skin, only with a trimmer, more athletic build. The man said he had just moved from Los Angeles to Nashville to write songs, and seemed a little more adventurous than the usually serious computer programmer.

Tenn. investigates ex-gay camp
Teen's blog leads to outcry, charges of abuse at unlicensed facility

The state of Tennessee has begun an investigation in response to allegations of child abuse at Love in Action, a Memphis facility that advertises homosexual conversion therapy for adolescents, according to the state department of health.

K. Daniele Edwards, a spokesperson for Child Services at the Tennessee Department of Health, confirmed an investigation is underway but declined to comment on the details. She noted that she presumes the Love in Action program would require licensing by the state.

Love in Action is not licensed by the Tennessee Departments of Health, Mental Health, Human Services, Child Services or Education, according to Rachel Lassiter of Gov. Phil Bredesen's communications office.

Europeans Investigate CIA Role in Abductions
Suspects Possibly Taken To Nations That Torture
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service

MILAN -- A radical Egyptian cleric known as Abu Omar was walking to a Milan mosque for noon prayers in February 2003 when he was grabbed on the sidewalk by two men, sprayed in the face with chemicals and stuffed into a van. He hasn't been seen since.

Milan investigators, however, now appear to be close to identifying his kidnappers. Last month, officials showed up at Aviano Air Base in northern Italy and demanded records of any American planes that had flown into or out of the joint U.S.-Italian military installation around the time of the abduction. They also asked for logs of vehicles that had entered the base.

no, you wouldn't want to be "provocative" in a police state.. now would you?

Jerusalem bans gay pride parade

Jerusalem authorities have said they are banning a gay pride parade planned for next week, saying the event would be "provocative" and set off unrest.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Now, outsourcing plans for Bengal’s hijras
Shamik Bag

Kolkata, June 23: They hardly ever find mention in society, their characters stained by charges of violence, begging and prostitution. But at the root of the infamy associated with Kolkata’s, as well as Bengal’s, sizeable transgender community is ‘‘grinding poverty and incredible misconceptions’’, says Elizabeth P Jeffords.

Having interacted with members of the city and Howrah’s eunuch community, the 65-year-old American businessperson, director of TG Voices, a Wyoming-based organisation that ‘‘assists transgender individuals through creative and intellectual activities’’, has both hope and a business plan for Bengal’s 1,782-strong hijra population.

Courtesy of New York Post

A Queens police officer has rocked the NYPD with an announcement that he is becoming a she - the first known transsexual cop in New York City.

People of color initiate Trans Day of Action
By LeiLani Dowell
New York

Trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people of color and their allies will march here on Friday, June 24, in an historic event to protest the injustices that trans and gender non-conforming people face on a daily basis, and demand social and economic justice for all people.

People of color are pioneering this effort. In the fighting spirit of Stonewall, the first annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice has been initiated by TransJustice, the first and only trans and gender non-conforming people of color project in New York City, to call attention to the needs of TGNC and working people.

Campaign to give army deserters refuge persists News Staff

NDP MP Bill Siksay is lending his support to a campaign aimed at allowing a growing number of American military deserters to find refuge in Canada.

Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Cities may bulldoze people's homes to make way for shopping malls or other private development, a divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday, giving local governments broad power to seize private property to generate tax revenue.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Appeals Court Hears Makeup Case
by Mary Ellen Peterson San Francisco Bureau

(San Francisco, California) The full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, today heard arguments in a case that could impact many lesbian, transgender and gender non-conforming workers. The case involves the firing of a woman who refused to wear makeup at work.

In August 2000, Darlene Jespersen was fired from her position as a bartender at Harrah's Casino in Reno, Nevada, after the company enacted a new dress code, called the "Personal Best" program, requiring all women in the beverage department to wear makeup, specified as foundation or powder, blush, lipstick and mascara, applied precisely the same way every day to match a photograph held by the supervisor.

Celebrate the 4th of July 2005 by declaring independence from oil!

This is the official count down: 100 days to go!!! for those that are in the know

I am starting to see it..

there is a kind of edge appearing as things disappear...

I am ready...

I am counting down..

try not to count anything smaller than a day at a time...


I want to subtract weekends, days off, times I am fast asleep in the position of a stone...

sometimes I stand right where I am and wonder I am still there . . .

I am ready

counting down day by day

Transsexuals and a life of abuse, prejudice
Zaitun Kasim

The transsexual community in Malaysia faces numerous forms of human rights violations, including the loss of civil and political rights, social and economic discrimination, prejudice, isolation, and exclusion, both from state and non-state actors.

For example, a study conducted by academician Teh Yik Koon in 2001 of over 500 mak nyah (a term coined and acceptable to the male-to-female transsexual community) showed that about 50 percent of the interviewees had been arrested by the police at least once, and at least five percent had been arrested 10 times or more.

Cause of death told in detail
Pathologist testifies Gwen Araujo died from strangulation, blunt trauma

HAYWARD — Gwen Araujo died of asphyxia due to strangulation associated with blunt trauma to the head, a forensic pathologist testified Monday in the retrial of three men charged in the Newark transgender teens slaying.

Both types of injury (strangulation and blunt trauma) are life-threatening and potentially fatal, said Dr. Sharon Van Meter, who performed the autopsy on Araujo.

The cause of death basically reflects that these are two serious types of trauma that can cause death.

Van Meter described two lacerations on the top of Araujos head and ligature marks on the neck of the teen, who had been trussed up with more than 37 feet of rope and wrapped in a flannel sheet and a quilt.

Pre-Stonewall gay organizing
Impact of early Black civil rights struggle
By Leslie Feinberg

All five founders of Mattachine had at least some training in Marxism. Harry Hay, as a long-time teacher of the Marxist analysis of the development of society and the science of change, had the most theoretical experience. So rather than merely organizing to form an activist group, historian John D’Emilio points out, “The founders also brought to their planning meetings a concern for ideology that grew out of their leftist politics.”

And, D’Emilio adds, “the worldview of its adherents rested on an analysis of society that saw injustice as rooted in the social structure. Exploitation and oppression came not from simple prejudice or misinformation, but from deeply embedded structural relationships.”

We Are Not OK
Crystal meth marks a new crisis for the gay community—and an all too familiar underlying problem
by Patrick Moore

"There are gay people on TV and we can get married in Massachusetts; aren't things getting better?"

"No, honey, not if you still want to kill yourself."

The gay community is not just in the midst of a crystal meth epidemic. Rather, it faces a far larger spiritual crisis that is never acknowledged and, through its secrecy, grows daily.

The other insurgents
Iraqi labor unions resist US designs on that country's oil
By Sadaf Siddique

Guns and bombs aren't the only tools that Iraqis are using to resist the US occupation. They're also using labor unions and a belief that the Iraqi people own their natural resources.

That was the message sounded by Hassan Juma'a Awad and Faleh Abbood Umara of the General Union of Oil Employees, who spoke June 19 at St. Joseph the Worker Church, in Berkeley. The GUOE – with 23,000 members, the strongest independent and secular union in Iraq – has boldly resisted the privatization and foreign control of Iraq's oil sector. The event was part of a US tour by Iraqi labor leaders sponsored by US Labor Against the War.

Awad, president of the GUOE in Basra, began with a demand that President George W. Bush "leave our country alone." He noted that when the coalition forces invaded Iraq, they allowed hospitals, universities, and factories to be destroyed while they protected the oil fields and refineries.

"This," he said, "was the corporate invasion of Iraq."

Downing Street Is For Liars
Why isn't the media screaming about the latest proofs of Bush's war scams? Don't you know?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, June 22, 2005

This is the white-hot question right now gushing forth from the Far Left, from progressive blogs and liberal patriots and blue staters and angry anti-Bushers alike, and it is like a plea, a rallying call, an indignant stomp of deep frustration. It is this:

Why is the major American media not swarming all over the Downing Street Memos thing? Why is the entire nation not just appalled and disgusted and aghast at finding seemingly irrefutable proofs about what we all already knew, which is that BushCo planned to invade Iraq long before 9/11 and needed to find a way to justify it?

White House Rejects Probe of Guantanamo

The White House on Tuesday rejected the proposed creation of an independent commission to investigate abuses of detainees held at the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere.

Polish gay ban ires Europe's Greens
By Martin Walker
UPI Editor

Poland's human rights record has come under fire in the European Parliament after the mayor of Warsaw banned this year's "gay pride" rally.

      Although some 3,000 demonstrators went ahead with the march anyway, members of the Green party are threatening Poland with a censure vote claiming the country had "betrayed" its commitment to uphold the European Convention on Human Rights.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

New Bipartisan Bill Would Give Bi-National Couples Equal Treatment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJune 21, 2005Stephen Fisher 202-216-1547"Our laws should bring families together, not tear them apart," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today lauded the introduction of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) in the House of Representatives and Senate - a bill that would treat same-sex couples the same as opposite sex-couples for the purposes of immigration. The bill was previously named the Permanent Partners Immigration Act (PPIA).

Picket line defends Starbucks workers
Published Jun 18, 2005 9:54 PM

Over 70 people from various organizations of workers and pro-union groups picketed the Starbucks coffee shop at First Avenue and 17th Street in New York’s borough of Manhattan June 4 in defense of Starbucks worker Sara Bender, fired for her organizing efforts. Workers at the coffee shop are attempting to get union recognition and have appealed to the International Workers of the World, or IWW, a group that identifies with the original anarcho-syndicalist IWW of the period before the 1920s. Among the usual chants like “No union, no peace,” one could also hear some Starbucks-specific cries of “No union, no latté” and tongue-in-cheek demands for a “50-cent cup of coffee.” Among those supporting the Starbucks workers was a contingent from the local Million Worker March organization.

Originally published in Spanish by the CCRI-CG the EZLN

CRIC Communiqué
Communiqué from the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee –
General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
June 19, 2005

To the People of Mexico:
To the Peoples of the World:

Brothers and Sisters:

As of today, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation has declared, throughout all rebel territory, a GENERAL RED ALERT

The MBNA factor
Working Assets credit card customers who think they're helping progressive causes are also helping to fund Republicans and the rollback of consumer rights
By Matthew Hirsch

Here's something Working Assets credit cardholders might want to know. With each transaction you are helping to generate revenue for one of the top contributors to the Republican Party.

This fact left Berkeley computer consultant Joe Caldarola, who's held a Working Assets credit card since 1986, in utter disbelief. He characterized Working Assets' relationship with MBNA America Bank, which manages its credit card business, as "a deal with the devil."

Working Assets, according to its Web site, is "one of the most powerful progressive citizen-action groups in the nation." Every time a customer uses its telephone or credit card services, Working Assets donates a portion of the charges to progressive nonprofits. Over 20 years, the company has handed out more than $47 million, and helped keep its customers informed.

ACLU report says Bush administration restricting free flow of scientific info
Jamie Cortazzo at 2:00 PM ET

The American Civil Liberties Union released a report Tuesday describing what it calls an "assault on scientific and academic freedom" by the Bush Administration. The report purports to detail how the US government has attacked the free exchange of technology information in the name of homeland security by imposing more restrictions on the flow of scientific data. Since September 11, the act of classifying information for reasons of Homeland Security has increased greatly, affecting many areas of science.

They Died So Republicans Could Take the Senate
by Thom Hartmann

Richard Nixon authorized the Watergate burglary and subsequent cover-up to advance his own political ambitions. Because Nixon's lies were done for the craven purpose of getting and holding political power, his lies - in the minds of the majority of the members of Congress - were elevated to the level of impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Bill Clinton had sex in the White House with Monica Lewinsky, but Congress concluded he'd lied about it to maintain political power. Another impeachable crime.

The real scandal of the Downing Street Memos, with the greatest potential to leave the Bush presidency in permanent disgrace, is their implication that lies may have been put forward to help Bush, Republicans, and Blair politically. If Bush lied to gain and keep political power, precedent suggests he and his collaborators in the administration may even be vulnerable to impeachment.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Chinese government blocks HIV prevention Web site for gay men

The Chinese government in April blocked a Web site that provides HIV prevention information to sexually active gay and bisexual men, Agence France-Presse reports. The site, previously available online at, contained no sexually explicit or political content, according to site manager Damien Lu, a theater professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. The site had been receiving 50,000 to 65,000 hits per day, the vast majority of which came from mainland China residents, Lu says. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security, which oversees Internet regulation, declined to comment on its decision to ban the site. Health officials say there may be as many as 10 million sexually active gay men in China, most of whom have little or no knowledge of how to prevent the spread of HIV. International AIDS experts estimate that there are as many as 1.5 million HIV-positive people in China.

Students ask administration for amendment to bylaws
By Lindsey Ungar, Daily Staff Reporter
June 20, 2005

Students continued to urge the University to amend its nondiscrimination bylaws to include “gender identity and expression” at the Regents meeting last Thursday.

Wolverine Coalition for Human Rights — a student group formed in January specifically to amend the bylaws – has aimed to send six speakers to each Regents meeting since February.

Web Extra: Employers face transgender issues
Published in the Asbury Park Press 06/20/05

David Rosen was one of the guys at work, a married father and a former wrestler who joined in the office football pool and joked with colleagues who'd swing by for the peanut M&Ms he always kept in a jar on his desk.

Then he became Donna Rose, and things changed. When he started to become a she - a process of changing gender with hormone treatment, electrolysis, breast augmentation, facial cosmetic surgery and sex-reassignment surgery - co-workers at his pharmacy benefits company walked by to gawk. Then they stayed away.

Bathrooms' ambiguity is deliberate at Saturn Cafe
By Ken McLaughlin
Mercury News

The young and hip in Santa Cruz may think they've experienced all the weirdness the city has to offer. Then, they head to the bathroom at the Saturn Cafe. Suddenly, decisions must be made.

Door No. 1 has a huge photograph of Elvis -- wait, that's an Elvis impersonator, possibly male, possibly female. Door No. 2 features a photo of two women -- wait, is that two men in drag?

So, which door to enter?
Either, say employees of the Saturn Cafe.

Transgender couple have stayed together through good times and bad
By KRISTIN BUEHNER, Of The Globe Gazette

CHARLES CITY — They have withstood hurtful gossip, rocks thrown through their living room window and social ostracism.

They have also experienced acceptance, love and loyalty from family, neighbors and even strangers.

The road traveled by Charles City residents Renee and Mayetta Usher has not been an easy one, nor a common one, but it was the only path the transgender couple could have followed, they say.

"Renee could not choose her life, any more than the rest of us could choose to be the way we are," Mayetta Usher, 56, said of her longtime mate.

Destroying PBS
By Molly Ivins, AlterNet. Posted June 20, 2005.

A Bush-appointed political operative says he'll erase bias at PBS ... by inserting bias.

I was watching the PBS science program "Nova" the other night and spotted the liberal bias right away. I knew it would be there because Ken Tomlinson, the Bush-appointed chairman of the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), says the network is riddled with leftist leanings. Sure enough, in a program on tsunamis and what causes them, the show blamed it on shifting tectonic plates in the earth's surface. Then the graphic shows these two tectonic plates grinding against each other -- suddenly, the one on the left sort of falls down, and the big, aggressive plate on the right jumps on top of it, causing a killer tsunami. See? Wouldn't have happened on Fox.

Fiddling as the Planet Burns
There is nothing left to debate about climate change. It is happening and each of us must act
by Henry Porter
The great lie in the climate debate is that there is still a debate worth having. Opponents of change insist that the human factors in global warming are not proven and that we must wait until we have hard evidence before taking drastic action, which is as about as silly as saying there are two equally valid views on the issue of whether pedophilia damages children.

What is so destructive about this stance is that it claims equal weight and equal airtime. The 'balance' in newspaper reports, especially in the United States, is, in fact, a bias against the truth and weakens the case for immediate action against emissions of C0<->2. And while we hum and haw, trying to persuade reluctant skeptics, the permafrost of the Arctic melts, sea levels inch up and the pH levels of oceans gradually drop because of the carbon that is absorbed from the atmosphere.

The following quote comes from an article in the Daily Telegraph editorial pages last month. It captures perfectly the knuckle-headed entrenchment of the last century: 'Climate change is an important, perhaps vital, debate, but it remains just that. Warning of disaster has become a global industry, and the livelihoods of thousands of scientists depend on our being sufficiently spooked to keep funding their research. The worry is that many of these researchers have stopped being scientists and become campaigners instead.'

Hold Bush Accountable for His Iraq War Lies

Downing Street Memo Offers Proof of Pre-War Intelligence Manipulation
Join the Conyers' Initiative to Demand a Resolution of Inquiry
Take Action TODAY and on June 16th.

By now you've probably heard about the Downing Street memo, the minutes of a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and top U.S. intelligence officials in July 2002, where -- more than half a year before the Bush administration started it's war on Iraq -- the Bush administration's efforts to manipulate intelligence data in order to justify going to war are laid out. It's concrete proof of what the anti-war movement has known all along: The war on Iraq was based on lies.

Bush says US is in Iraq because of attacks on US

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President George W. Bush defended the war in Iraq, telling Americans the United States was forced into war because of the September 11 terror strikes.

Bush also resisted calls for him to set a timetable for the return of thousands of US troops deployed in Iraq, saying Iraqis must be able to defend their own country before US soldiers can be pulled out.

"We went to war because we were attacked, and we are at war today because there are still people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens," Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address.

USA: Reaction to plans to expand Guantánamo camp

Following a week of mixed signals from the US Administration about the future of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, Amnesty International said that the Administration's announcement that it is to expand the prison is the wrong decision and will fuel worldwide concern over the stories of torture and ill-treatment, religious humiliation and arbitrary detention that are seeping from the facility.