poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Midway through fiscal year, desertions from Army approach last year's total
By Lisa Burgess, Stars and StripesEuropean edition

ARLINGTON, Va. — Just six months into the government’s fiscal year, the Army was carrying almost the same number of deserters on its books as the service registered for all of 2004.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Transgender bias case may set precedent
by Ann Rostow
PlanetOut Network

A federal court decision out of Utah may wind up making legal history in the six-state region covered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. The 10th Circuit, which includes Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, has yet to confront a case of transgender discrimination in the workplace, but that will change.

The federal court will get the case because of a decision by U.S. District Court Judge David Sam, who ruled that the Utah Transit Authority had every right to fire a transitioning MTF staff member, Krystal Etsitty. Etsitty and her lawyers will appeal, most likely with the help of friends-of-the-court briefs from the LGBT legal community.

Not guilty plea over 'trans' murder

A MAN accused of two murders will face consecutive trials after he pleaded not guilty during a brief court appearance today.

Alen Imbrisak appeared in the New South Wales Supreme Court charged with the murder of transvestite(sic)Lei Zainal, an Indonesian-born prostitute.

Two marchers stabbed in Jerusalem parade

JERUSALEM -- An ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed and wounded two marchers in the annual Jerusalem Gay Pride parade Thursday, the most serious in a series of incidents involving opponents of the gay and lesbian gathering.

Administration Rewrites History To Remove Gays
by The Associated Press

(Washington) The National Park Service sought out footage of "conservative - right-wing demonstrations" to revise the video shown to visitors at the Lincoln Memorial after being pressured by conservatives who complained the display implied Abraham Lincoln supported abortion, homosexuality and liberal causes.Park Service documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show officials purchased video of President Bush, pro-gun advocates and pro-Iraq war rallies and also considered removing images of Democratic former President Clinton at the memorial.

Military database violates students’ privacy

The regular army and the reserves of the four military branches have been unable to fulfill recruitment goals for months. The military’s recruitment problem has worsened as the insurgency in Iraq grows and support for the war falls at home. The U.S. ruling class has already resorted to a number of measures intended to shore up recruiting targets.

No Bounce: Bush Job Approval Unchanged by War Speech
Question on Impeachment Shows Polarization of NationAmericans Tired of Divisiveness in Congress—Want Bi-Partisan Solutions—New Zogby Poll

President Bush’s televised address to the nation produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%, in the latest Zogby International poll. And, in a sign of continuing polarization, more than two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq.

Climate Change: Warnings of Imminent Disaster Fall on Deaf Ears
by Marcela Valente

BUENOS AIRES - If a select international group of architects and engineers warned that a house already showing cracks and leaks was in danger of collapse, the residents would logically adopt immediate measures to prevent the imminent disaster.

But when it comes to the warnings made by scientists about the impact of climate change on the planet, their alarming forecasts are largely downplayed, and government commitments to reduce the risks are half-heartedly fulfilled, as if some magic solution will eventually make the problem go away.

The results of the preliminary meetings leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held Nov. 28 to Dec. 9 in Montreal, reveal that there is a serious lack of will to live up to these commitments.

Botswana's Gains Against AIDS Put U.S. Claims to Test
By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service

GABORONE, Botswana -- As global leaders gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum in January, officials from President Bush's $15 billion anti-AIDS program issued a news release citing their accomplishments. Nowhere were the numbers more impressive than in Botswana, where 32,839 AIDS patients were receiving life-extending treatment with the help of the U.S. government, they said.
But thousands of miles away in Botswana, the Bush administration's claim provoked frustration and anger among public and private partners that had built Africa's most far-reaching AIDS treatment program, recalled those involved. Although the Bush program had promised millions of dollars of support, no money had yet arrived, they said.

The operations manager of Botswana's treatment program, Segolame Ramotlhwa, called the U.S. figures "a gross misrepresentation of the facts." His boss, Patson Mazonde, who as deputy permanent secretary for health services had overseen the program since its inception in 2002, called the Bush claim "false" but suggested it was merely a mistake.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Unisex bathrooms in 13th Street businesses debated
After a small protest, students and business owners weigh the pros and cons of having unisex facilities
Nicholas Wilbur
News Reporter

Following the City of Eugene Human Rights Commission hearing to add transgender identity to the city’s anti-discrimination code, a small protest took place on 13th Avenue to pressure the surrounding businesses to convert their male and female bathroom facilities to unisex.

Rich Countries Exploiting Poor by Dishing out 'Phantom' Aid
Rahul Kumar
OneWorld South Asia

NEW DELHI, Jun 30 (OneWorld) - Just days before the G8 summit, taking place next week in Scotland, international development organization, ActionAid has hit out at the developed nations for providing aid that serves their corporate interests, pushes privatization in recipient countries, funnels money to rich consultants and leaves the poor countries heavily indebted.

Revolution, geopolitics and pipelines
By F William Engdahl

After a short-term fall in price below the $50 a barrel level, oil has broken through the $60 level and is likely to go far higher. In this situation one might think the announcement of the opening of a major new oil pipeline to pump Caspian oil to world markets might dampen the relentless rise in prices.

However, even when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on June 15 to raise its formal production quota by another 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), the reaction of NYMEX oil futures prices was to rise, not fall. Estimates are that world demand in the second half of 2005 will average at least 3 million barrels a day more than the first half of the year.

Big Dreams, Big Hopes
By Barack Obama, AlterNet.

What if we prepared every child with the education and skills they need to compete in the new economy? What if no matter where you worked or how many times you switched jobs, you had health care and a pension that stayed with you?

One in six countries facing food shortage

John Vidal and Tim Radford
Thursday June 30, 2005
The Guardian

One in six countries in the world face food shortages this year because of severe droughts that could become semi-permanent under climate change, UN scientists warned yesterday.

In a stark message for world leaders who meet in Gleneagles next week to discuss global warming, Wulf Killman, chairman of the UN food and agriculture organisation's climate change group, said the droughts that have devastated crops across Africa, central America and south-east Asia in the past year are part of an emerging pattern.

"Africa is our greatest worry," he said. "Many countries are already in difficulties ... and we see a pattern emerging. Southern Africa is definitely becoming drier and everyone agrees that the climate there is changing. We would expect areas which are already prone to drought to become drier with climate change."

SirotablogReal-world wisdom from outside the beltway.
'Pro-lifers' support pesticide testing on fetuses

Check out today's Senate vote to ban the Environmental Protection Agency from using studies that expose people to pesticides when considering permits for new pest killers. It's good that the measure passed, but look at the 37 Senators who voted against this - it reads like a list of the Senate's most ardent anti-choice (aka. "pro-life") Senators. Why is that relevant? Because, according to the Assoicated Press, Mr. "Culture of Life" himself, President Bush, is pushing the EPA "to accept data from human tests on children, pregnant women, newborns, infants and fetuses...Even newborns of 'uncertain viability' could be tested."

EU "must stamp out homophobia"
Ben Townley, UK

The European Union should use its power to protect LGBT people in non-member states, a new report released today claims.

Spanish MPs approve gay marriages

Spain's lower house of parliament has voted in favour of allowing gay couples to marry and adopt children.

The controversial decision overrules last week's rejection of the bill by the upper house, the Senate.

The bill will become law in a month's time, making Spain Europe's third nation after the Netherlands and Belgium to allow same sex marriages.

Polls suggest most Spaniards back the move, although two weeks ago thousands joined a Madrid rally against the bill.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


‘The American people believe that employees should be judged on performance and nothing else,’ said HRC’s Joe Solmonese.

WASHINGTON — Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese made the following statement regarding a U.S. District Court ruling saying federal law allows transgender Americans to be discriminated against in the workplace:

“The American people believe that employees should be judged on performance and nothing else. Corporate America is leading the way in ensuring that transgender employees are able to do their job free of harassment and discrimination. It’s time for Congress to follow.

Marriage With Transsexual Upheld Under US Immigration Law
by Cyrus D. Mehta and Elizabeth T. Reichard

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has held that a marriage, where one of the parties is a postoperative transsexual, will be recognized for immigration purposes. In Matter of Lovo, 23 I&N Dec. 746 (BIA 2005), the BIA reversed the decision of the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) denying an I-130 petition that was filed by a US citizen spouse on behalf of a native and citizen of El Salvador.

Harry Hay: Painful partings
By Leslie Feinberg

As Harry Hay’s dream of organizing homosexuals took on material reality with the formation and growth of the Mattachine Society in 1951, he faced painful partings.

Hay approached Anita, his partner of 13 years with whom he had adopted two children. He told her about the therapist who had said that Hay could “close the book” on his gay sexuality. “I told her that what the psychiatrist had said wasn’t true, that the book would not close.” Hay explained that he saw homosexuals as a scapegoated minority that had to be organized. The two were legally divorced in September 1951. (”The Trouble with Harry Hay”)

Insurers sound the alarm on climate change
By Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondent

The cost worldwide of storms, expected to become more frequent owing to climate change, is likely to rise by two-thirds to £15bn ($27bn, €22bn) a year in the next seven decades, the Association of British Insurers will warn on Wednesday.

Nick Starling, the ABI's director of general insurance, urged the leaders of the Group of Eight industrialised nations to take action on greenhouse gas emissions when they meet to discuss climate change next week.

“Governments now have a chance to make rational choices for the future, before it is too late,” he said. Making the right decisions based on assessment of the costs of climate change “will ensure lower costs for the public in future”.

Want To Become Bush's Next Ambassador?
By Georg Mascolo

Want to become a US ambassador? It's not as hard as you may think. Just donate a couple of hundred thousand to President George W. Bush's campaign coffers and pick your city. The president's new cadre of diplomats tend to be generous campaign donors, including the wealthy Ohio ball-bearing manufacture who is expected to run the US Embassy in Berlin.

Future climate could be hotter than thought
study By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters) - Global temperatures in the future could be much hotter than scientists have predicted if new computer models on climate change are correct, researchers said on Wednesday.

Improvements in air quality will lead to a decrease in aerosols, small particles in the atmosphere that act as a brake on the impact of greenhouse gases. As the effect of aerosols lessen, searing temperatures could follow.

"This new way of integrating the aerosol, greenhouse gas and biosphere effects changes the picture from one where climate change most likely is a fairly tolerable thing to one where there is a fairly high risk of change sooner, and to a higher degree," said Professor Meinrat Andreae.

Gays Win in Calif. Domestic Partner Ruling
Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Handing gays an important legal victory, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand a new law granting registered domestic partners many of the same rights and protections available to married couples.

Without comment, the justices unanimously declined to review lower-court rulings that said the law does not conflict with a voter-approved measure against gay marriage.

Coke launches Iraq comeback
Soft drink giant takes new partners in Pepsi territory
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Despite ongoing violence in Iraq, Coca-Cola is getting back into the bottling business in the war-torn country for the first time in 37 years.

World War III
By Dan Froomkin
Special to

President Bush last night offered no new evidence to dissuade the growing majorities of Americans who believe that the United States is bogged down in Iraq, that the war was a mistake in the first place, and that he has no clear plan to bring troops home.

His prime-time speech did, however, contain a bold rhetorical shift. The president who took his country to war in Iraq on account of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, then recast the invasion as a pro-democracy move, is now arguing that Iraq is ground zero for World War III, the battle against terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001.

EPA Panel Calls Teflon Ingredient a 'Likely Carcinogen'

A chemical compound used to make Teflon is a "likely carcinogen," according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientific advisory panel draft report that will be submitted to the EPA in early July.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

US faces prison ship allegations

The UN wants to investigate torture allegations at the camp
The United Nations says it has learned of serious allegations that the US is secretly detaining terrorism suspects, notably on American military ships

Transgender worker loses sex bias lawsuit

SPOKANE -- A federal judge has ruled against a U.S. Customs and Border Protection employee who claimed discrimination by co-workers after undergoing a sex change.

UTA stereotyping lawsuit dismissed
Transgender: A U.S. court says "biological gender" determines employees' rights

By Pamela Manson The Salt Lake Tribune

As a little boy, Michael Etsitty knew he was really a girl.

Now 42, Etsitty's legal name is Krystal. Etsitty refers to herself with feminine pronouns, takes female hormones, wears her hair long, uses makeup and is saving her money for a sex-change operation. And her driver license lists her as a woman.

But officials at Utah Transit Authority, where Etsitty worked briefly as a bus driver, considered her a man and fired her for using the women's restroom.

U.S. District Judge David Sam - referring to Etsitty as a "she" but noting she still has male genitalia - on Friday upheld the action, agreeing that she was not the victim of sexual stereotyping.

In dismissing Etsitty's lawsuit against UTA, U.S. District Judge David Sam said laws prohibiting sex discrimination apply to a person's biological sex.

State Guard forms anti-terrorism intelligence unit
Officials deny civil libertarian claims that the group will monitor American citizens, which is prohibited
San Jose Mercury News

SACRAMENTO - Three decades after aggressive military spying on Americans created a national furor, California's National Guard has quietly set up a special intelligence unit that has been given ''broad authority'' to monitor, analyze and distribute information on potential terrorist threats, the Mercury News has learned.

The unofficial war: U.S., Britain led massive secret bombing campaign before Iraq war was declared
Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne

A U.S. general who commanded the U.S. allied air forces in Iraq has confirmed that the U.S. and Britain conducted a massive secret bombing campaign before the U.S. actually declared war on Iraq.

A college that trains young Christians to be politicians.

In the last days before the 2004 Presidential election, Patrick Henry College, in Purcellville, Virginia, excused all its students from classes, because so many of them were working on campaigns or wanted to go to the swing states to get out the vote for George W. Bush. Elisa Muench, a junior, was interning in the White House’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, which is overseen by Karl Rove. On Election Day, she stood on the South Lawn with the rest of the White House staff to greet the President and Mrs. Bush as they returned from casting their votes in Texas. Muench cheered along with everyone else, but she was worried. Her office was “keeping up contact with Karl,” and she knew that the early exit polls were worse than expected. Through the night, she watched the results, as Bush’s electoral-vote total began to rise. The next morning, after Kerry conceded, she stood in the crowd at the Bush campaign’s victory party, in clothes she’d been wearing all night, and “cried and screamed and laughed, it was so overwhelming.”

US to expand its prisons across Iraq

The United States is spending $50 million to build new prisons to house the thousands of suspected fighters its forces are capturing in Iraq.

With anti-US violence in Iraq continuing to rage, American forces are now holding more than 10,000 people they classify as "security detainees" in their three main jails in Iraq.

Conscience Of a Juror
By Arundhati Roy, Democracy Now

Also in War on Iraq Testimonials of ResistanceJodie Evans Recruiters Reach New LowsKatrina vanden Heuvel Republic of the Green ZoneRiverbend My Lionhearted Little CousinAlya Shakir Why the Memo MattersMark Danner More stories by Arundhati Roy
The World Tribunal on Iraq wrapped its three-day session Monday in Istanbul, Turkey after three days of hearings in which they investigated various issues related to the war on Iraq, such as the legality of the war, the role of the United Nations, war crimes and the role of the media, as well as the destruction of the cultural sites and the environment.

The 17-member Jury of Conscience delivered its verdict at a news conference, reading in part: "Recognizing the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country and to develop independent institutions, and affirming that the right to resist the occupation is the right to wage a struggle for self-determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, we the Jury of Conscience declare our solidarity with the people of Iraq."

EPA Proposal Would Allow Human Tests Of Pesticides
Draft Rule Omits Some Recommended Safeguards
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer

Manufacturers would be allowed to test some pesticides on human volunteers when seeking government approval without applying all the ethical safeguards recommended last year by an expert panel, under proposed rules soon to be issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Islamic Law Controls the Streets of Basra
· Enforcers patrol the city and Shiite militiamen have taken over the police. Residents accused of infractions are beaten or killed.
By Louise Roug, Times Staff Writer

BASRA, Iraq — Physicians have been beaten for treating female patients. Liquor salesmen have been killed. Even barbers have faced threats for giving haircuts judged too short or too fashionable.

Couples Dynamics for Gay And Lesbian Older Adults
by Eloise Rathbone-McCuan

What life circumstances and situations draw middle-aged and older same-sex couples into counseling? They may seek clinical intervention because of depression or anxiety or because of crisis events or relationship issues between the couple or in their larger family system. These same issues are applicable to heterosexual couples and their families. In addition, however, same-sex couples present unique concerns in counseling that are directly linked to the social, economic and legal barriers they confront from the impact of homophobic and heterosexist personal and community environments -- societal conditions that evoke social isolation, invisibility and alienation.