poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, July 21, 2005

LGBT Domestic Violence Rises
Anti-Violence Project notes more reports of battery, and little support from court system

The New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project announced this eek that reports to them of domestic violence in LGBT relationships increased 16 percent in 2003 and 21 percent in 2004

Gender bender: will and way to cross over

While youngsters his age were going to college and checking out career options, Sushanto Das was fielding a volley of questions from Rabindra Bharati University, where he had been denied admission, because of his sexuality. While his earlier para friends where enjoying gully cricket, he was dealing with insults from neighbours who took it upon themselves to make his and his family’s life miserable. He was scared, upset and totally at a loss.

Sexual orientation cited in attack
By CHRISTINE VENDEL The Kansas City Star

Two women told detectives Wednesday they were attacked by a bat-wielding woman because of their sexual orientation.

Report: Iran Gay Teens Executed 
by Newscenter Staff

(London) Two teenagers have been executed after a religious court found them them guilty of homosexuality according to  pro-Democracy groups.

Popular movement arises to stop Army recruiting
By Dustin Langley

It is impossible to read the daily reports of the growing resistance in Iraq without realizing that the Bush-Rumsfeld plan for a quick high-tech war is a complete failure.

In response, leading Democratic politicians, including Senators Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, have called for increasing the size of the Army by 100,000, hoping to relieve some of the stress on an overextended military. In January of this year, the Project for a New American Century called for increasing the Army by at least 25,000 troops each year.

But any plans to expand the military fail to take into account that young people are refusing to sign up for a war of conquest and occupation.

Writing a Riot
Wanda Coleman, Los Angeles’ “word-warrior queen,” is full of sound and fury in her incisive new book of essays, memoirs, and epistles, The Riot Inside Me.

She hung out with Charles Manson, shook Robert F. Kennedy’s hand, had a gun held to her head – twice, once courtesy of the LAPD – and invoked both the wrath and praise of the literary community by doling out, in black and white, a drubbing of untouchable Maya Angelou’s A Song Flung Up to Heaven in an L.A. Times book review. In many cases Wanda Coleman was in the right place at the wrong time, and the reverse is often true as well. Her L.A. life is fascinating, her experiences all catalyst and fodder for her prolific printed work – 17 tomes since 1977 – and insightful readings of the aforementioned. Her most recent Black Sparrow Press book, The Riot Inside Me: More Trials & Tremors follows up the aptly titled 1996 Native in a Strange Land: Trials & Tremors. She has been pegged with many titles by her audience, including “Poet Laureate of Los Angeles” and “The High Priestess of Word,” but Coleman notes, “my current image of myself is as a word-warrior queen.”

Burk: Workplace Discrimination – Still Alive And Well
posted by alex
'I recently attended the Wal-Mart stockholder's meeting, where I presented a resolution asking the company to disclose statistics on stock distribution by race and gender. I also admonished the company on its board of directors – only 2 women out of 14 members. That's pretty awful for a company with close to 70% female employees and an equal percentage of female customers. It could be one reason why the firm is the subject of the largest class action gender discrimination lawsuit in history. Women up and down the line are allegedly paid less than the men, in some cases told outright that "men need to support their families." This blatant (and blatantly illegal) justification for sex discrimination is not nearly as common now as it used to be, but other, more subtle, discriminatory practices are still rampant in the workplace.

Hill Democrats see one-pager on nominee Roberts, deny links

RAW STORY has obtained a one-page set of talking points on Bush Supreme Court nominee John Roberts from a Democratic aide on Capitol Hill, using an identical format to a one-pager on Judge Edith Clement released earlier this week Democrats claimed they had authored.

Government Abandons Children to Big Food
by Michele Simon

With rising rates of childhood obesity and diabetes, you might think that when the federal government convenes a meeting on how food companies market food to kids, talk of how to regulate industry practices might actually be on the agenda.

But you'd be wrong. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services co-hosted a workshop in Washington entitled, Perspectives on Marketing, Self-Regulation, and Childhood Obesity. But what should have been a forum on how to set limits around the marketing of junk food to children turned into a PR opportunity for industry. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) got it right when he said in his opening remarks that "corporate America spends $12 billion a year on food ads to kids because it works."

U.S. Soldiers in Iraq Report Low Morale
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

Democracy was only an afterthought
The situation in Afghanistan is one of barely managed chaos
Sidney Blumenthal, The Guardian

On the day of the London bombings, President Bush proclaimed: "The war on terror goes on." Through the 2004 campaign, his winning theme was terror. He achieved the logic of a unified field theory connecting Iraq to Afghanistan by threading terror through both, despite the absence of evidence. He insisted that if we didn't fight the terrorists there, we would be fighting them at home. In January, the CIA's thinktank, the National Intelligence Council, issued a report describing Iraq as the magnet and training and recruiting ground for terrorism. The false rationale for the invasion had become a self-fulfilling prophecy. With his popularity flagging, Bush returned to the formulations that succeeded in his campaign.

Arrest of 17 Cameroonian Men and Women on Sodomy Charges

It was reported by the local newspaper Mutations and confirmed by a number of independent sources that on 21 May 2005 gendarmes from the Nlongka Brigade arrested 15 men at a night club known to be frequented by gay men. Two young women had been arrested several days earlier. The 17 have been charged with sodomy and all or part of the group remain in detention at Kondengui Central Prison.

Articles 2.1 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Cameroon is a signatory, guarantees all citizens freedom from discrimination and the right to privacy. Furthermore, Article 21 guarantees the right to freedom of association and assembly. In the 1994 case of Toonen v. Australia, the UN Human Rights Committee stated that sodomy laws violate protections against discrimination as well as the right to privacy. Articles 2 and 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights also protect these rights.

EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers

Whether you're a newly minted blogger or a relative old-timer, you've been seeing more and more stories pop up every day about bloggers getting in trouble for what they post.

Like all journalists and publishers, bloggers sometimes publish information that other people don't want published. You might, for example, publish something that someone considers defamatory, republish an AP news story that's under copyright, or write a lengthy piece detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public office.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Pomona's council flush with latest issue
By David Allen, Columnist

AT MONDAY'S Pomona City Council meeting, a city ordinance was introduced that clarifies that only small children and caregivers can enter public restrooms meant for the opposite sex, but not transgender people, unless they're legally recognized as such.

Tampa Area County Refuses To Rescind Gay Pride Ban
by Newscenter Staff

Latvia's first gay parade canceled after prime minister deems it "unacceptable"

Officials in Latvia's capital of Riga, citing security concerns, canceled what would have been the Baltic country's first gay pride parade on Wednesday, just hours after the prime minister said he deemed the event offensive. The parade, planned for Saturday, would have traveled through Riga's Old City and included participants from nearby countries including Sweden, Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Finland, the organizing group said.

Art or propaganda?
Activists say China-sponsored Tibetan art exhibit masks brutal cultural suppression
By Lisa Tsering

A gold- and turquoise-encrusted drinking cup made from a human skull, an ornate copper-and-gilt statue of the thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara, a brightly colored silk thankga (scroll) painting of a serene White Tara, and other priceless objects dating back to the ninth century – are they harmless exotica, or the latest Chinese propaganda tools?

One Thousand Women for Peace
By Kamla Bhasin, India Together.

For those of us involved in the 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize initiative, the process itself has been a journey of and for peace. Connecting locally and globally with like-minded people has strengthened our resolve and energized.

For us, this initiative has also been about fighting cynicism and defeatism. It is about fighting the debilitating TINA (There Is No Alternative) syndrome. It is about saying — in Pablo Neruda's words — "They can destroy all the flowers there are, but they cannot stop the spring from coming."

Blue Skies, Green Cities
by Niko Kyriakou

WASHINGTON - Ignoring inaction at the highest levels of the U.S. government, 145 mayors across the country have formed a coalition to combat global warming and begun to reshape their cities using innovative programs and technologies.

World 'ignores' Niger food crisis

The United Nations top aid official has accused the international community of neglecting the food crisis in Niger.

Some 150,000 children will die soon without aid, out of 2.5m who need food, said Jan Egeland.

From [lgbt-india] - a HIV+ Meti (effeminate male) has been denied medical testament

Dear All

I am writing this letter with grave concern to inform you about a HIV+ Meti (effeminate male) who has been denied medical testament from the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, one of the major government hospitals in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu. The Meti had previously been hospitalised in an Ayurvedic hospital after she had suffered from jaundice last month. While being treated, an x-ray report revealed that she had gallbladder stones. She was referred to the TU Teaching Hospital on 28 June 2005 and checked by Dr. Pradeep Baidhya and Dr. Y. P. Singh from Unit II B.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Time to Accept the 'Third Gender'

By Faizal Khan, New Delhi: Transvestites in India believe they are the reincarnation of Lord Krishna. At their own homes and outside though, they are not considered even human beings.

A film based on the pitiful lives of transvestites is now trying its bit to force a change in the indifferent attitude of the society by asking the viewers to accept them as the 'third gender'.

UK Gay Leaders Receive Death Threats From Muslim Fundamentalists Group Says
by Malcolm Thornberry European Bureau Chief

(London) A British LGBT civil rights group says its leaders have received death threats from Muslim fundamentalists and warns that gay clubs could be targets for terrorist bombers.

1952: Mattachine battles police harassment
Lavender & red, part 43
By Leslie Feinberg

By the autumn of 1951, the seven founders of the Mattachine society were organizationally confronted by the growth of their discussion groups. They began to develop more leadership in response. As in the consciousness-raising groups that later sprang up in the women's liberation movement, the goal was not merely to discuss oppression but to take political action to end it.

Scientists raise alarm about ocean health

SEATTLE (AP) — With a record number of dead seabirds washing up on West Coast beaches from Central California to British Columbia, marine biologists are raising the alarm about rising ocean temperatures and dwindling plankton populations.

"Something big is going on out there," said Julia Parrish, an associate professor in the School of Aquatic Fisheries and Sciences at the University of Washington. "I'm left with no obvious smoking gun, but birds are a good signal because they feed high up on the food chain."

Coastal ocean temperatures are 2 to 5 degrees above normal, which may be related to a lack of updwelling, in which cold, nutrient-rich water is brought to the surface.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Economic Boycott as Nonviolence
Johan Galtung, TFF Associate & Transcend

There is much talk of boycott of US products all over the world, and, particularly in Germany and France, people seem much less inclined to buy US products after the illegal invasion of Iraq. Interestingly, there is no talk about boycotting English or British products, but much talk about Israel. The backdrop is the successful action against the apartheid regime in South Africa, against Deutsche Shell in the North Sea, and againstthe French nuclear testing in Polynesia; all as parts of the political scene of the 1990s. There is space for revival!

Tennessee teen jailed 9 days for burning flag    

A teenager was jailed for nine days after being accused of burning an American flag on the Fourth of July, and he faces trial next month.

While the case could test a state statute against flag burning — an act the U.S. Supreme Court says is protected under the First Amendment — prosecutors said Andrew Elisha Staley has yet to argue that he was exercising free speech rights.

Real authors of "Is the Reichstag Burning?" revealed    

It is commonly thought than Gianfranco Sanguinetti -- the author of "On Terrorism and the State" (1978) -- also wrote "Il Reichstag Brucia?" ("Is the Reichstag Burning?" 1969), which is a classic situationist denunciation of terrorism executed by the State (in this case, the secret services of Italy). But recently translated materials (see below) indicate that the tract's real author were other situationists: Eduardo Rothe and Paul Cesoni.

Living on $1 a Day
By Xanthe Scharff, Christian Science Monitor.

At 8 a.m., after seeing her husband off to work and her children off to school, Selina Bonefesi puts on her entrepreneur's hat. Mrs. Bonefesi has a small business making fritters -- fried cakes made of wheat, salt, sugar, and yeast.

She'll spend the morning mixing, waiting for the dough to rise, and frying, cranking out as many as 300 of the tasty treats and selling them from her home to passersby. By the end of the week, between her household chores and running her business, she'll have logged more hours than a Fortune 500 CEO.

But she'll only earn about $1 a day.

FBI Terrorism Unit Eyed Web Protest Sites    

FBI agents monitored Web sites calling for protests against the 2004 political conventions in New York and Boston on behalf of the bureau's counterterrorism unit, according to FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Who Sent the CIA Thugs?
Italy's prime minister demands that the U.S. explain CIA criminality in his country
by Nat Hentoff

A half-dozen agents wearing hoods that covered their faces stepped down from [the CIA Gulfstream V jet] and hurried across the tarmac to take custody of two prisoners, suspected Islamic radicals from Egypt. . . . Swedish officers watched as the CIA operatives pulled out scissors and rapidly sliced off the prisoners' clothes, including their underwear. . . . They probed inside the men's mouths and ears . . . before . . . draping hoods over their heads. The suspects were then marched in chains to the plane, where they were strapped to mattresses on the floor. "New Swedish Documents Illuminate CIA action: Probe Finds 'Rendition' of Terrorist Suspects Illegal," The Washington Post, May 21

To Rick, With Love
By Michael Blanding, AlterNet.

Dear Sen. Santorum,
On behalf of the depraved, morally relativistic citizenry of Boston, I just wanted to thank you for finally giving us the credit that we deserve. In fact, I was just taking a break from some man-on-dog sex with my Weimaraner, Hank, when I read your comments about our moral cesspit of a city. You called Boston a sick culture that sanctions alternative lifestyles, and said it was no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm of the Catholic priest child sex abuse scandal of a few years back.

Honestly, I admire someone with the guts to finally expose the Athens of America for the modern-day Gomorrah that it really is. That pussy, Dick Armey, actually apologized after his slip of the tongue before the Democratic National Convention, when he said that if he were a Democrat he'd feel more comfortable having a convention in Boston, than say, America. Even our own governor, presidential opportunist Mitt Romney, softened his tone after taking heat for criticizing Massachusetts on gay marriage during a recent swing through South Carolina.

Congressman Threatens Islamic Holy Sites

DENVER (AP) - A Colorado congressman told a radio show host that the U.S. could ``take out'' Islamic holy sites if Muslim fundamentalist terrorists attacked the country with nuclear weapons.

Rep. Tom Tancredo made his remarks Friday on WFLA-AM in Orlando, Fla. His spokesman stressed he was only speaking hypothetically.

Talk show host Pat Campbell asked the Littleton Republican how the country should respond if terrorists struck several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.

``Well, what if you said something like - if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites,'' Tancredo answered.

``You're talking about bombing Mecca,'' Campbell said.

``Yeah,'' Tancredo responded.

Why Marx is Man of the Moment
He had globalization sussed 150 years ago
by Francis Wheen

A penniless asylum seeker in London was vilified across two pages of the Daily Mail last week. No surprises there, perhaps - except that the villain in question has been dead since 1883. 'Marx the Monster' was the Mail's furious reaction to the news that thousands of Radio 4 listeners had chosen Karl Marx as their favorite thinker. 'His genocidal disciples include Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot - and even Mugabe. So why has Karl Marx just been voted the greatest philosopher ever?'

The puzzlement is understandable. Fifteen years ago, after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, there appeared to be a general assumption that Marx was now an ex-parrot. He had kicked the bucket, shuffled off his mortal coil and been buried forever under the rubble of the Berlin Wall. No one need think about him - still less read him - ever again.

FBI says it has files on ACLU, Greenpeace, other rights groups
Associated Press

WASHINGTON  — The FBI has thousands of pages of records in its files relating to the monitoring of civil rights, environmental and similar advocacy groups, the Justice Department acknowledges.

The organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Greenpeace, are suing for the release of the documents. The organizations contend that the material will show that they have been subjected to scrutiny by FBI task forces set up to combat terrorism.