poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Uzbekistan evicts US from base

Uzbekistan has told the United States to quit a military base that has served as a hub for missions to Afghanistan since shortly after the 11 September 2001 attacks, a Pentagon spokesman has said.

Oil Companies Discover 'Sustainability'
By Charles I. Burch, Prairie Writers Circle. Posted July 30, 2005.
The companies have yet to admit that no scheme for providing sustainable energy can rely on petroleum.

Sustainability is big in corporate America today. The word, that is. Once an arcane term used chiefly by foresters and agricultural researchers, "sustainable" has become the label of choice that executives use to describe their businesses.

Blogger punished by Arizona National Guard
Joseph R. Chenelly
Army Times

An Arizona National Guardsmen who had been openly critical of the war in Iraq on his Web log, has been punished for violating operational security and for 11 counts of disobeying orders, according to Multinational Coalition Force - Iraq.

Senate passes bill limiting lawsuits against gunmakers  
Bernard Hibbitts

AP is reporting that the US Senate has passed legislation designed to shield the firearms industry from lawsuits brought by victims of gun crimes. Democrats had opposed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, saying the substantive threat to the gun industry from such suits was "miniscule"

Friday, July 29, 2005

Transgender issue may return soon
By Justin Boron

A proposal to include transgendered and homosexual employees in Riverdale's discrimination policy could come up for discussion again as early as next meeting, said City Council member Michelle Bruce, who is a self-described "inter-sexed" individual.

A fatwa for transsexuals
One woman's courage in appealing to the late Ayatollah Khomeini has made Tehran the unlikely sex change capital of the world.
By Robert Tait

It could take something extraordinary to move the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa (or religious and legal decree). Novelist Salman Rushdie did it by challenging the sanctity of the prophet Mohammed in "The Satanic Verses," provoking Iran's austere revolutionary leader into pronouncing the death sentence. For Maryam Khatoon Molkara it required the equally dramatic step of confronting Khomeini in person and proving, in graphic terms, that she was a woman trapped inside a man's body.

The fluidity of gender

A Southridge High grad looks like a girl, but lives like a boy Name: Megan "Danny" O'Dell Age: 18 School: 2005 Southridge High School graduate Danny and the Dance Revolution: Megan O'Dell came out to her mother in 10th grade because she ran out of excuses for staying late after school.

As O'Dell put it, "Only so many times can you tell your mom you're staying after school for Dance Dance Revolution Club," the music video game in which players try to keep up with computer-directed dance moves on a mat outfitted with pressure sensors.

In fact, O'Dell had been attending meetings of Southridge High's gay-straight alliance and coming to terms with her identity as a transgender lesbian. "Just because you were born a female doesn't mean you feel like a girl on the inside," explains O'Dell, who prefers to be called Danny and uses male pronouns to describe himself.

Giant Defense Contractor Protects Transgender Workers
by Newscenter Staff

(Boston, Massachusetts) Raytheon has joined a growing number of companies to recognize the role played by the transgendered in the workplace.

War of the Words
Against terrorism, the U.S. begins to struggle
Michael Young

When the going gets tough, adjust the rhetoric. Thanks to the New York Times we now know that the Bush administration is changing the semantics of its "global war on terror", so that it will now be referred to as a "struggle." The new label implies that "the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission." Recently, for example, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the top brass have been referring to a "global struggle against violent extremism" in their speeches.

From Orlando Sentinel
Gay men's home burns, with epithet left behind
By Kelly Griffith and Amy L. Edwards
Sentinel Staff Writer

Paul Day and Christopher Robertson knew life as gay men in Polk County could be rough. They had been called names and taunted by neighborhood teens before.

Day, 25, said he even had a mailbox riddled with shotgun pellets once when living near the Green Swamp in the north part of the county.

US soldier jailed for avoiding Iraq duty

A US army mechanic, sentenced to 15 months in jail for refusing to return to Iraq with his Army unit, has told a military judge that he acted with his conscience, not out of a disregard for duty.

Army: Mental ills worsen after troops return

Thirty percent develop problems within four months

Green dreams, brown reality for China
By James Rose

It's been a big year for Chinese environmentalists. They've seen the hitherto somnambulant government environmental watchdog, under the stewardship of a feisty vice-director, score some rare victories and begin to wake up. The triumphs include taking on the powerful Big Dam industry over shoddy environmental auditing standards, and winning. There's been the back down from a legal claim made by multinational paper company APP over a local boycott of its products following a damning Greenpeace report on its logging practices in Yunnan. And then, the launch of a major government-sponsored environment group. All in all, it looks like Red China is turning shades of green, and some environmental advocates are not surprisingly looking a little perkier over China.

Maine to vote on repealing gay rights law

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Voters will decide in November whether to repeal Maine's newly enacted gay rights law, the state's chief elections officer said Thursday after qualifying the measure for the ballot.

Gay Marraige Plaintiffs Ask State Court to Skip Trial_ Address Legal Issues

The group Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders files new arguments, in its lawsuit seeking same-sex marriage in the state of Connecticut. WTIC's Matt Dwyer reports.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tick, Tick, Boom
In the wake of 7/7 the Brits are livid over their government’s intelligence failures. Just wait until they hear about ours.
by John Aravosis

Three new studies by the Saudi government and think tanks in Israel and Britain conclude what everyone already knows: The war in Iraq has incited more, not less, terrorism. The British study, funded by the government, found that “the situation over Iraq gave a boost to the Al-Qaeda network’s propaganda, recruitment and fundraising, caused a major split in the coalition, provided an ideal targeting and training area for Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, and deflected resources and assistance that could have been deployed to assist the Karzai government and to bring bin Laden to justice.”

FBI wants more subpeona power granted by Congress   
Tom Henry

FBI Director Robert Mueller went before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to argue that Congress should provide the FBI with the power to issue its own subpoenas, without court approval, so that it can expedite information collection in terrorism investigations. Mueller gave a recent example involving North Carolina State University where FBI agents lacking a subpeona were initially rebuffed this month when they sought enrollment records for a former graduate student who may have been linked to the London bombings. North Carolina State was eventually served with three subpoenas and turned over the records. Some Senators including Dianne Feinstein(D-CA) question giving the FBI anti-terror subpoena power without some Justice Department supervision. Lawmakers are debating whether to include FBI subpoena power in a package of amendments to the USA Patriot Act.

Initiative targets benefits to unmarried couples

If voters approve a constitutional amendment banning government-sponsored benefits to unmarried couples, more than 400 Arizonans would lose their medical insurance and other benefits.

Gay teenagers executed in Iran 

This week two gay teenagers were executed in Iran. Their only 'crime' was their sexual orientation. After more than a year of imprisonment, where they had already been punished with 226 lashes, both guys were hanged publicly on July 19th 2005. Mahmoud Asgari (16) and Ayaz Marhoni (18) are the next victims in Iran in long series of execution upon basis of homosexual behaviour.

These barbarian and medieval events have to stop immediately.

Gay & Lesbian organisations, Human Rights organisations, Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, and even the Oposition in Iran are sharply judging the executions of these teenagers.

We call upon:

-Our governments to sharply judge the execution of these gay teenagers;

-Our governments to not send back to Iran asylum-seekers upon basis of their homosexuality; 

-Our goverments to reprimand Iran with economical and political sanctions; 

-Europe to suspend the negations on a associative treaty with Iran. 

Let your voice be heard! Together we hope to make an effort to call upon our governments, asking them to make a strong signal towards the Iranian government.

The Undersigned(Please click to sign!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

United States From Brighton to Camp Delta
Mis-identification leads to three years in Guantánamo Bay.
By Clive Stafford Smith

‘Omar Deghayes is a British resident who is being held in Guantánamo Bay on evidence that is demonstrably false,’ says lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, the only person speaking out for Omar, three years after he was seized and disappeared into the ‘legal black hole’ of Camp Delta.

Utah Woman Wins Appeal For ‘GAYSROK’ License Plate

A judge says the state of Utah can’t block Elizabeth Solomon from using her license plate to tell the world “GAYSROK.”

The Christian Paradox
How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong
Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2005. What it means to be Christian in America. An excerpt. Originally from August 2005. By Bill McKibben.

SourcesOnly 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.

An Appeal to the Rank-and-File
Contributed by: WorkerFreedom

We can all agree that the AFL-CIO, and business unionism in general, is a dead-end for the working class in North America. We need a new international labor movement; one that is based on workers’ self-organization and on the recognition of the inevitable conflict between labor and capital.

CIA Flying Suspects To Torture?
A '60 Minutes' Special Report

(CBS) You may not have heard the term "rendition," at least not the way the Central Intelligence Agency uses it. But renditions have become one of the most important secret weapons in the war on terror.

In recent years, well over 100 people have disappeared or been "rendered" all around the world. Witnesses tell the same story: masked men in an unmarked jet seize their target, cut off his clothes, put him in a blindfold and jumpsuit, tranquilize him and fly him away.

Officials rally for same-sex rights bill, which then was revised
The News Guard

One day after hundreds of people rallied on the steps of the State Capitol in Salem to encourage House Speaker Karen Minnis (R–Wood Village) to hear a State Senate-passed bill on the house floor that would allow civil unions and prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians, a house committee made substantial revisions to the bill.

On Thursday, July 21, House Republicans replaced Senate Bill 1000 with an alternative approach in a surprise announcement.

The revisions removed language that would allow civil unions for couples of the same sex as well as wording about not allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians in regards to employment, housing and public service.

from: sampoorna

This one is about the TG community in New Delhi.They
had a photo exhibition conducted at Max Mueller Bhavan
Click on the numbers below the girl's pic to see
Click on
just by changing the number 1 with 2 and so forth...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Interview - Andie Hider
Read an edited transcript of Janine Cohen’s interview with Andie Hider, president of the Androgen Insensivity Syndrome Support Group.

Q. What percentage of babies are born with an intersex condition?

A. Oh it varies. It depends on who you talk to. If you’re talking percentages of babies born with sex conditions, a lot of doctors have different definitions of what constitutes intersex conditions so you’ll have different estimates from sort in 1 in 500 to you know 1 in 5,000.

Arsonists Burn Gay Night Club
Reported by Andrea Conklin

Early Sunday morning an arsonist struck at the Heart Rock Club in Brownsville. The former site of AK's Bar & Grill, the club opened as night club for the Lower Valley's gay community.

Woman flees 'homophobic attacks'

A woman has said she has been forced from her home in a County Antrim seaside resort after intimidation.

Ashley Stinson, 32, who is gay, said her home in Dhu Varren, Portrush, has been attacked several times.

She said that she cannot cope with the situation any longer and has been forced to move out.

German Police Keep Secret Database On Gays
by Malcolm Thornberry European Bureau Chief

(Berlin) German LGBT groups are expressing outrage over reports that police in three German states are keeping secret computer files on gays.

Melting Greenland glacier may hasten rise in sea level
By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Scientists monitoring a glacier in Greenland have found it is moving into the sea three times faster than a decade ago.

Licensed to Ill
Commentary: Increasingly, drug companies aren't just selling cures. They're also marketing disease.
By Bradford Plumer

One of the biggest concerns in the United States today is that health care costs keep accelerating upwards, growing faster than inflation, faster than our paychecks. But no one seems to be able to agree on why, exactly, costs are climbing so rapidly. About a decade ago Paul Krugman argued, quite convincingly, that health care keeps getting more expensive simply because Americans keep demanding the latest and most expensive treatments, and are prepared to pay good money to get it—well, some of them, at least. As such, rising health care costs per se are nothing to fret over: modern medicine keeps getting better and we should expect to pay more for it.

Fair enough, but here's an alternate theory: health costs are zooming upwards in part because millions of more-or-less healthy Americans are being misled into thinking that they actually have diseases and disorders that require expensive medical treatment.

"Who's the enemy?" distraught Iraqis wonder
By Luke Baker

BAGHDAD, (Reuters) - As Iraq spirals deeper by the day into violence and lawlessness, Baghdad residents say brutality and corruption are spreading among the very security forces that are supposed to be protecting them.

Some maintain that the situation has grown so bad that at times they can't distinguish the behaviour of U.S.-trained Iraqi police and soldiers from that of militants or criminals.

Unprecedented: Climate Change Research Controversy on Capitol Hill

"Unprecedented" is the best word to describe what has happened during the last month on Capitol Hill regarding climate change research. While debate about whether or not the Earth is warming and the role that greenhouse gases may play in such warming has been a constant on Capitol Hill, this issue has taken on an entirely new profile.

"Wagging the Puppy" -- and Unleashing the Deadly Dogs of War
Norman Solomon

Midway through this month, the Karl Rove scandal was dominating the national news -- until the sudden announcement of a Supreme Court nominee interrupted the accelerating momentum of the Rove story. Since then, some anti-Bush groups and progressive pundits have complained that the White House manipulated the media agenda. But when it comes to deploying weapons of mass distraction, the worst is yet to come.

Changing the subject is, of course, a key aspect of political damage control. Media spin is often most effective when it displaces one storyline with another.

Continued concern over rights of women in new Iraqi constitution
David Shucosky

A draft chapter of the new Iraq constitution obtained by the Associated Press has raised concerns similar to those raised last week after another leaked draft obtained by the New York Times story prompted questions about the future of women's rights in the country. Both drafts make gender equality subject to Islamic law and appear to limit women's rights in marriage, divorce, and inheritance. US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called provisions in the previous draft a "terrible mistake"The White House has not taken a position since none of the drafts have been confirmed as final.

Monday, July 25, 2005

CBS News: Americans Easily Manipulated By Fear
by lapin

The deeper our country is pushed into the war on terror, the more plain it should become that Americans are completely willing to give up everything for the sake of their own security.  NYC has instituted random searches of subway passengers and DC is considering it.  No search, no ride.  This is analogous to the no fly list for airplane passengers, but much more widespread in its application to the populace.  4 bombs in London have reduced our country to simpering wimps happy to have a gun pointed at our heads in exchange for the illusion of security.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you this report from CBS news.....

Women ordained in unauthorized Catholic ceremony

TORONTO (AP) - Despite the threat of excommunication by the Roman Catholic Church, nine women are being ordained as priests and deacons today in an unauthorized ceremony in Canada.

Los Angeles refuses to pay for ceremony honoring gay marriage

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The city of Los Angeles has renamed an intersection after an outspoken opponent of gay marriage - but didn't pick up the tab for yesterday's ceremony.

Exclusive interview with gay activists in Iran on situation of gays, recent executions of gay teens and the future

MAHA, Iran to all GLBT groups and individuals: "Thank you for your hard work and International engagement" Project GayRussia.Ru continues its investigation into the violent executions in Iran

Project GayRussia.Ru asked people to sign the letter to the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the Russian President Vladimir Putin against barbarism that took place in Iran, the execution of two young gays on 19 July 2005. The letters were sent last Saturday. When we ask people to support and join our actions and when we ourselves responded to the international appeal of the British gay group Outrage!, we also have the obligation to provide you with some follow up and further investigation into what happened. Here now we offer you the testimony of our contacts inside Iran. For their own safety, we will not publish their photo or contact details. But if you want to send a message to them please e-mail to and we will forward your message to Iran. Our contacts in Iran also collect information on the actions of support from different countries connected with the executions of teen gays. Please send us the information you published or campaig! ns you conducted locally or internationally. We will transfer everything to our contacts in Iran. After that they will be able to include all the information concerning support in the next issue of their electronic magazine. It will show to local Iranian gays and lesbians that they are not alone as they do not have much information from other sources! Write to us at

Hijras... Waiting to Belong
...A film by Fatima Saidi
Hijras are culturally defined as “neither man nor woman”. The Hijra community of India consists of broadly two types of Hijras. First are the people who are born with ambiguous genitals or are intersexed, best known as hermaphrodites in the west. Second are people who are born as males and through a ritual surgical transformation become Hijras, close to the transgendered community in the west. Hijras form an alternative, third sex/gender category, whose traditional employment is to perform at marriages and after a child has been born. During the Moghal era, Hijras were employed to safeguard the “Janankhanas”, palaces of the queens where entry of males was prohibited and Hijras, like the other maids were the only source of communication.

Who told Bush what in leak case, and when was he told?
Fallout from Rove's involvement yet to be fully measured
- Richard W. Stevenson, New York Times

Washington -- His former secretary of state, most of his closest aides and a parade of other senior officials have testified to a grand jury. His political strategist has emerged as a central figure in the case, as has his vice president's chief of staff. His spokesman has taken a pounding for making statements about the matter that now appear not to be accurate.

For all that, it is still not clear what the investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity will mean for President Bush. So far the disclosures about the involvement of Karl Rove, among others, have not exacted any substantial political price from the administration. And nobody has suggested that the investigation directly implicates the president. Yet Bush has yet to address some uncomfortable questions that he may not be able to evade indefinitely.

Planet of the Plants
By Glenn Scherer, Grist Magazine. Posted July 25, 2005.

Humanity is on the threshold of a century of extraordinary bounty, courtesy of global climate change. That's the opinion of Robert Balling, former scientific adviser to the Greening Earth Society, a lobbying arm of the power industry founded by the Western Fuels Association. In a world where atmospheric carbon dioxide levels soar from the burning of fossil fuels, he says, "crops will grow faster, larger, more water-use efficient, and more resistant to stress." Quoting study after study, he invokes visions of massive melon yields, heftier potatoes, and "pumped-up pastureland." Bumper crops of wheat and rice, he says, will benefit the world's farmers and the hungry.

Balling's assertions are backed by solid science: Gaseous CO2 fertilization does cause remarkable growth spurts in many plants, and could create a greener planet with beefier tomatoes and faster-growing, bigger trees. But there's a catch: The insects, mammals, and impoverished people in developing countries who feed on this bounty may end up malnourished, or even starving.

We Must Address the Root Causes of this Terror
by Imran Khan

The terrorist attacks have nothing to do with religious faith and everything to do with genuine injustices. Until the US addresses the root causes and its own double

Greenpeace calls for fish trawling moratorium
CBC News

The international agency overseeing the North Atlantic fishery should place a moratorium on the practice of bottom trawling because it has depleted fish stocks and destroyed their habitats, Greenpeace writes in a report to be published on Monday.

Court rejects 'gay panic' murder defence
Christopher Curtis, Network

A New Zealand jury convicted a college student of murdering a gay stamp collector after deliberating overnight.