poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, July 15, 2005

Transgender person becomes beauty queen
Asian News International

The winner of a German beauty contest, 24- year-old Kira, has confessed that till two years back she was a man called Tarek.

Kira, who would always feel like a woman trapped in a man's body, was voted the winner unanimously by judges at the Miss Marksmen Festival 2005 held in Hanover.

Workplace Law Jacqueline McManus
New FEHA law takes on gender, sex

Q: I attended an anti-discrimination training session provided by my employer yesterday and was surprised to learn that gender, in addition to sex, is a protected classification. This seems like unnecessary duplication. Is there a difference between gender and sex when it comes to a discrimination claim?

A: Yes. Effective Jan. 1, 2004, Section 12926 of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) was amended to expand the prohibition on sexual discrimination and harassment by including gender.

Abuses over HIV 'rife' in Russia

HIV-positive Russian women and their children face widespread discrimination and abuse, Human Rights Watch reports.

Children born to HIV-positive women are often segregated in Russia for no medical reason, the rights group says

Think Again: Homeland Security
By Benjamin Friedman

“All Americans Should Fear Terrorism”
That’s ridiculous. The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are minuscule. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the odds are about 1 in 88,000. The odds of dying from falling off a ladder are 1 in 10,010. Even in 2001, automobile crashes killed 15 times more Americans than terrorism. Heart disease, cancer, and strokes are the leading causes of death in the United States—not terrorism.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

White House, Falwell Consultation Ignores Americans’ Desire for Consensus

‘Anti-gay extremists are trying to gain a stranglehold on government,’ said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

/ WASHINGTON — The New York Times revealed today that White House officials have sought out advice on a Supreme Court nominee from the Rev. Jerry Falwell, one of the most divisive far-right figures in America today.

Ground broken for nonprofit gay retirement home in Hollywood
By Laura Wides

LOS ANGELES – Calling it an overdue "environment of tolerance," officials broke ground Thursday for what they called the nation's first nonprofit senior housing facility designed for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults.

Local facing identity crisis after sex change operation
By Sanaa Maadad UAE Editor, and Eman Al Baik

DUBAI — Hamda, formerly Hamad, a young UAE national, is now suffering from an identity crisis because of a lack of legislation on sex change in the country. Amidst social condemnation and the absence of an official stance on the issue, Hamda is campaigning for the right to be legally declared a female.

The concept of sex change is still taboo in Arab societies. However, irrespective of Hamad’s reasons to become a woman, and the country where the operation took place, Hamda is a reality which society must now face. “Hamda is now a fact that we must face. We cannot keep treating her as a male. Not recognising Hamda’s right to legalise her new identity is oppression from a human point of view,” commented Dr Mohammed Abdullah Al Rokn, a reputed lawyer and human rights activist in the UAE and the former chairman of the Emirates Jurists Association.

Thought Toddler Gay, Dad Kills Son
by Fidel Ortega Miami Bureau

(Tampa, Florida) A 21 year old Tampa man is charged with murder after his 3-year old son was pummeled into unconsciousness and then died.

Ronnie Paris Jr. went on trial for his own life this week in a Tampa courtroom. The toddler's mother, Nysheerah Paris, testified that her husband thought the boy might be gay and would force him to box.

South Africa Police Fire On AIDS Protestors
by Mark Levy Cape Town, South Africa Bureau

(Queenstown, South Africa) South African police have fired teargas and rubber bullets into a peaceful demonstration by 700 health activists and people with AIDS, injuring 40.

Hay studies ancient history, finds pride
Lavender & red, part 42
By Leslie Feinberg

Harry Hay’s broad study of same-sex love throughout the changing history of the organization of human society and the method of his approach are achievements in themselves. He also made some important contributions of thought.

The Nature Of Poverty

'Friends of the Earth International (FOE) has just issued its report Nature: Poor People's Wealth in conjunction with the G8 Summit of rich nations at Gleneagles in Scotland. PDf file

Panel Finds Misinformation in White House Web Site on Teenagers
Negative Messages About Gays, Sex, Single Parents Criticized, as Well as Lack of Information on Alcohol
By Ceci Connolly
Washington Post Staff Writer

A government Web site intended to help parents and teenagers make "smart choices about their health and future" includes inaccurate or misleading information that may alienate some families or prompt riskier behavior, according to a team of medical experts who reviewed the material.

Three physicians and a child psychologist analyzed the Bush administration's Web site and concluded it made many incorrect assertions about condoms, sexual orientation, single-parent households and the dangers of oral sex.

Unborn babies carry pollutants, study finds By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Unborn U.S. babies are soaking in a stew of chemicals, including mercury, gasoline byproducts and pesticides, according to a report released on Thursday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Hermaphrodite athlete faces judge

A judge in Zimbabwe is to deliver his verdict in the case of a leading youth athlete, who is accused of being a male while competing in female events.

Samukeliso Sithole, 18, won seven gold medals in women's competitions in 2004.

Trinidad's clergy fight 'sex-change capital' label
Religious leaders cite studies saying the surgeries don't solve anyone's problems.

TRINIDAD - In the city known as the “sex change capital of the world,” a group of local ministers blame the practice for unleashing gender and morality confusion.

Some ministers and congregation members are asking what kind of spiritual, emotional and physical damage the sex-change operations are having on recipients and the city's reputation since Dr. Stanley Biber began offering the surgeries in the late 1960s.

They say that such surgeries really aren't necessary, citing Johns Hopkins University studies that conclude that they don't successfully treat most patients in dealing with their gender identity issues. After originating the sex-change operations, Johns Hopkins has since discontinued them based on those studies.

Since last November, some Trinidad Ministerial Association members and their respective congregations have been circulating petitions asking that Mount San Rafael Hospital and resident gynecologist and sex-change surgeon Dr. Marci Bowers cease performing the operations.

New Instances Of Using 'Gay' As Means Of Torture
by John J. Limpkin & Lolita Baldor, Associated Press

(Washington) Interrogators called a suspected terrorist a 'homosexual' and subjected him to abusive and degrading treatment, forcing him to wear a bra, dance with another man and behave like a dog, military investigators reported Wednesday, saying that justified their call for disciplinary action

More Nigerian Gays Face Death By Stoning
by Newscenter Staff

(Lagos) Less than a week after a United Nations official criticized Nigeria for sentencing a gay man to death by stoning two other gay men have been dragged into court to face the same sentence.

Utah Republicans reject domestic-partner benefits

Salt Lake County council members have rejected extending domestic-partner benefits to county employees by a vote of five Republicans to four Democrats. The GOP opponents cited the voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. "We did get a semblance of this in November's vote. Our community did tell us then and there--the nuclear family and this definition of marriage ought to have a different classification in our society," councilman Cort Ashton said at Tuesday's meeting.

Labor delegation reports massacre in Port-au-Prince
By G. Dunkel

United Nations troops patrolling in Haiti carried out a massacre of Haitians in poor, working-class areas of Port-au-Prince on July 6, according to a visiting labor delegation from the United States. Haitian police carried out another massacre on July 8. The massacres occurred in communities where the support for deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is the strongest.

Environmental concerns increase challenges and opportunities for business

How the Pentagon targets teens
By Nick Turse
Introduction by Tom Engelhardt , editor of Tomdispatch

The Bush administration has "basically committed most of the army's active forces (including much of the National Guard), rotating them to the point of exhaustion," said retired Lieutenant Colonel Charles A Krohn, former army deputy chief of public affairs at the Pentagon and in Baghdad, in the Washington Post.

Eric Schmitt and David S Cloud, in a front-page story in the Monday New York Times sum up part of the problem this way:

The army says it has found ways to handle the dwindling pool of reservists eligible to fill the support jobs [in Iraq], but some members of Congress, senior retired army officers and federal investigators are less sanguine, warning that barring a reduction in the Pentagon's requirement to supply 160,000 forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, or a change in its mobilization policy, the army will exhaust the supply of soldiers in critical specialties. "By next fall, we'll have expended our ability to use National Guard brigades as one of the principal forces," said General Barry McCaffrey, a retired four-star army commander who was dispatched to Iraq last month to assess the operation. "We're reaching the bottom of the barrel."

Bush Says He Might Consider Newcomers for High Court

WASHINGTON, July 13 - President Bush said today that his nominee for the Supreme Court may be someone who has never sat on the bench before.

EPA Is Faulted as Failing to Shield Public From Toxins
A federal report says the environmental agency has insufficient data on chemical dangers.
by Marla Cone

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to protect the public from tens of thousands of toxic compounds because it has not gathered data on the health risks of most industrial chemicals, according to a report by the investigative arm of Congress to be released today.

State of the ArtDiscovering the New Disappeared
By Gloria Cooper

Once again, the press has given proof to the proposition that the whole may be greater than the sum of its parts. Bit by bit and piece by piece, individual news outlets, here and abroad, have added substantial layers to our knowledge of what the CIA daintily calls extraordinary rendition. The term, of course, refers to the policy by which the United States renders unto certain friendly countries (friendly, that is, to the practice of torture) suspected terrorists who would otherwise be protected by the laws of more civilized societies from such information-gathering techniques as having electrodes attached to their genitals or being bodily boiled.

Iraqi civilian casualties

BAGHDAD -- An Iraqi humanitarian organization is reporting that 128,000 Iraqis have been killed since the U.S. invasion began in March 2003.

Mafkarat al-Islam reported that chairman of the 'Iraqiyun humanitarian organization in Baghdad, Dr. Hatim al-'Alwani, said that the toll includes everyone who has been killed since that time, adding that 55 percent of those killed have been women and children aged 12 and under.

Wal-Mart Tweaks Willie's Reggae
By Sarah Hall

No, you're not smoking something--the cover of Willie Nelson's new reggae album comes in two separate versions: regular and Wal-Mart.

The cover art of Countryman, released Tuesday, features green marijuana leaves over a red and yellow background and looks similar to a large pack of rolling papers

Gay Marriage Bill Passes Out of Senate Committee as Part of Another Bill
Source: kcbs

(KCBS/AP) - The gay marriage bill has been revived, this time in the California Senate, after being defeated by four votes in the Assembly.

Coca-Cola Threatens Top Indian Photographer with Lawsuit    

London (July 12, 2005): The Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Atlanta based Coca-Cola company, has threatened Mr. Sharad Haksar, one of India's celebrated photographers, with a lawsuit.

Mr. Haksar, a leading international photographer and winner of the 2005 Cannes Silver Lion, has placed a large billboard in one of Chennai's busiest areas - one of India's largest cities - with his own "work (which) is solely an expression of creativity."

The billboard features the ubiquitous red Coca-Cola wall painting, commonly found across India. Directly preceding the Coca-Cola ad, and part of the billboard, is a dry water hand-pump, with empty vessels waiting to be filled up with water - a common scene in India, particularly in Chennai.

Who's Guarding Montana from a Firestorm?
By Matt Singer, AlterNet

Fire season is underway in Montana -- but the troops the state needs to quell the blazes are currently preoccupied with the war on Iraq.

Calif. Guard Targeted Over Pig-Blood Flier

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Islamic leaders and peace groups are criticizing the California National Guard for a flier posted in its headquarters suggesting the United States execute Islamic terrorists with bullets dipped in

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Report: France's Mitterrand Authorized 1985 Bombing of Greenpeace Boat

PARIS - A former head of France's spy agency claimed that the late President Francois Mitterrand approved the sinking of a Greenpeace ship in a New Zealand harbor 20 years ago, according to a French newspaper report. A man was killed and the case turned into an embarrassment for Paris.

Oil industry providing workers for BLM office
Conflict of interest? The consultants are reducing a backlog of drilling permits
By Robert Gehrke
The Salt Lake Tribune

WASHINGTON - Consultants paid by the oil and gas industry have been volunteering to work for the Bureau of Land Management's Vernal office for the past five months, expediting environmental studies to keep pace with a glut of drilling requests in the region.

The arrangement alarms environmental groups, which say it creates a clear conflict of interest and could compromise the work they do.

Gunmen Kill Human Rights Activists in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Armed men stormed a house in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing four Iraqi human rights activists and wounding another, a member of the group said.

Criminal Charges Tosses in NY Gay Marriage

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A prosecutor dropped all charges Tuesday against a small town mayor who could have faced up to a year in jail for marrying gay couples on the steps of the village hall.

New Paltz Mayor Jason West, then 26, was among the first public officials in the nation to marry same-sex couples, following San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in February 2004.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Detained Iraqis suffocate in police van 
Security forces have often been accused of brutality

Nine Iraqi bricklayers detained by security forces on suspicion of involvement with armed fighters have suffocated to death while held for more than 14 hours in a police van.

Easter Island, C'est Moi
By Terrence McNally, AlterNet. Posted July 11, 2005.
What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? Jared Diamond explains how we can avert catastrophe.

In his Pulitzer-prize winning book, "Guns, Germs, and Steel," Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in "Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed," Diamond probes the other side of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? From the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya, and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland, "Collapse" traces the fundamental patterns of catastrophe.

United Church of Christ Congregation In Virginia Set On Fire; Vandals Leave Anti-Gay Hate Messages
The News Leader reports:

MIDDLEBROOK — A small fire was set in St. John’s Reformed United Church of Christ this morning and anti-gay graffiti was painted on the side of the building.

The outside of the church was vandalized with anti-gay messages and a declaration that United Church of Christ members were sinners. The graffiti’s message appeared to be a reference to the national church’s decision earlier this week to endorse gay and lesbian marriages.

Blair's blowback
Of course those who backed the Iraq war refute any link with the London bombs - they are in the deepest denial
Gary Younge
Monday July 11, 2005
The Guardian

Shortly after September 11 2001, when the slightest mention of a link between US foreign policy and the terrorist attacks brought accusations of heartless heresy, the then US national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice got to work. Between public displays of grief and solemnity she managed to round up the senior staff of the National Security Council and ask them to think seriously about "how do you capitalise on these opportunities" to fundamentally change American doctrine and the shape of the world. In an interview with the New Yorker six months later, she said the US no longer had a problem defining its post-cold war role. "I think September 11 was one of those great earthquakes that clarify and sharpen. Events are in much sharper relief."

Bush remains out in cold on climate change at G8

The Group of Eight communiqué issued by world leaders at their summit in Gleneagles today highlights the divisions between President Bush and the rest of the world on tackling climate change.

The communiqué includes a statement affirming that the countries that have already ratified Kyoto would work to make it a success. The US is not a Party to the Kyoto Protocol. The conference also saw a strong statement from significant developing countries (the G5 - Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa) supporting Kyoto and stating that a real commitment to share sustainable energy technology with developing countries is essential.

Man faces stoning for gay sex
Ben Townley, UK

A man has been sentenced to death by stoning, after he admitted having gay sex. The Nigerian man, who has so far remained unnamed, was given the punishment by a Sharia court.

The hard-line Islamic law has been criticised in the past for its advocating of stoning as a punishment.