poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, August 05, 2005

Zanzibar to Get Tough on Gay Men

A new bill has been drafted in Zanzibar imposing stiffer penalties for homosexuality and lesbianism. Deputy attorney general Omar Makungu said if enacted the new law would also ban same sex marriages.Under current laws, homosexuality is already illegal, but Mr Makungu says they want to stop the practice becoming an accepted part of Zanzibari culture. Correspondents say the number of homosexuals and lesbians is on the rise in the Indian Ocean Island.

Life Imprisonment

Gay Aussies Protest For Marriage Rights
by Peter Hacker Sydney, Australia Bureau

(Sydney, Australia) Australian gay activists have called a "National Day Of Action" to demonstrate against the country's ban on same-sex marriage.

Greenhouse effect can melt world's glaciers: UN

Dramatic scenarios from man-made global warming can no longer be excluded, including the complete disappearance of glaciers from entire mountain ranges, leading to processes "without precedent in the history of the earth," according to the latest update of a five-yearly United Nations-supported report.

Moral panics, old and new
By Gilbert Herdt

Moral panics are the natural disasters of human society, and like tsunamis and tornados, they oppress the human condition. British sociologist Stanley Cohen remarked: “Societies appear to be subject, every now and then, to periods of moral panic. A condition, episode, person, or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests.”

Lessons Learned, Lessons Not Learned
By Matthew Wheeland, AlterNet.

Sixty years after Hiroshima, the damage from those nuclear bombs remains, and the threat is ever increasing.

The Twilight Era of Petroleum
by Michael T. Klare

Several recent developments -- persistently high gasoline prices, unprecedented warnings from the Secretary of Energy and the major oil companies, China's brief pursuit of the American Unocal Corporation -- suggest that we are just about to enter the Twilight Era of Petroleum, a time of chronic energy shortages and economic stagnation as well as recurring crisis and conflict. Petroleum will not exactly disappear during this period -- it will still be available at the neighborhood gas pump, for those who can afford it -- but it will not be cheap and abundant, as it has been for the past 30 years. The culture and lifestyles we associate with the heyday of the Petroleum Age -– large, gas-guzzling cars and SUVs, low-density suburban sprawl, strip malls and mega-malls, cross-country driving vacations, and so on -- will give way to more constrained patterns of living based on a tight gasoline diet. While Americans will still consume the lion's share of global petroleum stocks on a daily basis, we will have to compete far more vigorously with consumers from other countries, including China and India, for access to an ever-diminishing pool of supply.

Military ousts more gays
Tom Musbach, PlanetOut Network

As a frontline artilleryman during two tours of duty in Iraq, Army Specialist Jeff Howe faced many dangers that could have ended his military career, if not his life. Instead he got tripped up by his online personal ad, which identified him as gay.

Greenpeace cries foul
Warns amended Forestry Act a ‘disaster’ for PNG

GREENPEACE yesterday warned the new amendments to the Forestry Act were a “disaster” for Papua New Guineans. The environment group said the amendments pushed by the Government and passed by Parliament yesterday on voices would further erode forest law enforcement and governance in PNG.

Lawsuit Forces Release of More Casualty Images
By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer

In response to a lawsuit, the Pentagon has released a few dozen new and uncensored images of flag-draped coffins of U.S. troops and agreed to process "as expeditiously as possible" future Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for photo and video images of returning war casualties.

Gay hunger striker ends protest UK

A man who went on hunger strike to highlight the homophobic abuse he was suffering at home has ended his protest.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Lahore Stories: A little bit of both
By Ayesha Javed Akram

Her hair is pulled back tightly to form an untidy bun at the back of her head. Though dressed in sweat pants and a frayed black t-shirt, her eyes are dramatically made up with coats of lilac eye shadow and heavy mascara, the lids thickly outlined by brown eyeliner. Dangling silver earrings descend down to her shoulders, and multi-coloured glass bangles cover her arms from the slim wrists to the bony elbows. Her toenails are painted pink, her fingernails red. Henna decorates her palm. Its almost as if she has taken extra care to appear feminine – as if she wants to show that she is a woman.

College Says Misconduct, Not Transgender Issue, Led To Firing
Man Says He Was Fired For Planning To Switch Genders

CONCORD, N.H. -- A Catholic college said that it fired a senior computer programmer for engaging in serious workplace misconduct, not because the man was a transsexual who planned to return to work as a woman.

FBI Asked To Probe Anti-Gay Arson Attacks
by Newscenter Staff

(New York City) A New York-based organization that tracks violence against members of the LGBT community has called for a federal investigation into 4 arson attacks in the South.

Counter-recruitment spreads like wildfire
By Hussam Eltayeb
Dustin Langley

On the morning of July 29, activists with FIST (Fight Imperialism—Stand Together) in Raleigh, N.C., learned that the U.S. Army was launching a recruitment drive on the campus of North Carolina State University. The goal of the recruiters was to target incoming freshmen attending their orientation to the university

Collapse of Antarctic ice shelf could have global effects
CBC News

The unprecedented collapse of an ice-shelf in Antarctica could indirectly lead to a significant rise in global sea levels, researchers say.

The Larsen B ice shelf covered more than 3,000 square kilometres and was 200 metres thick until its northern part disintegrated in the 1990s. Three years ago, the central part also broke up.

An international team of researchers used data collected from six sediment cores near the former ice shelf to show the shelf had been relatively intact for at least 10,000 years or since the last ice age.

Amnesty says Yemenis held in secret U.S. detention

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two men now in a Yemeni prison appear to have been kept in secret U.S. detention facilities in solitary confinement for more than 18 months, Amnesty International said in a report on Wednesday.

U.S.: Pentagon Poised to Resume Production of Antipersonnel Mines

(Washington, D.C., August 3, 2005) — The Bush Administration appears poised to resume the production of antipersonnel mines, Human Rights Watch said today in a new briefing paper.

GenderPAC Calls on NYC Dept of Education to Add Gender Expression to Discipline Code

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) will urge the New York City Department of Education to protect students from harassment and bullying based on gender expression at a public hearing tomorrow night. Under a change to the Discipline Code being considered, students could be disciplined for using slurs, taunting, bullying and physical violence based on another student’s gender expression.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

New plan proposed to halt gay marriages
By Associated Press

Opponents of gay marriage filed a ballot initiative with the state yesterday that, if passed, would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriages, an expected move that casts doubt on the future of another ballot initiative pending in the Legislature.

Facing identity crisis after sex change
by Sanaa Maadad 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.

Union Sued For Supporting Gays
by Newscenter Staff

(Chattanooga, Tennessee) Does someone have the right to withhold their union dues if they disagree with its policies? That is the essence of a lawsuit about to be heard in a Tennessee court.

Teacher Dewey Esquinance is suing his union over its spending on campaigns to promote "abortion and homosexual rights."

Cherokee Court Clears Way For Lesbian Couple To Marry
by The Associated Press

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma) A tribal court has dismissed a lawsuit that held up a lesbian couple's effort to have their marriage recognized by the Cherokee Nation.

Uganda: Intimidation of lesbian and gay activists

Amnesty International is concerned about the on-going intimidation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activists in Uganda. The latest incident follows steps taken by Ugandan law-makers in July 2005, who voted for a constitutional amendment to criminalize marriage between persons of the same sex.

The Neo-Shill Media
When Armageddon Gets No Press

What has become of the print and TV media watchdogs who hounded President Nixon from office because he lied about when he learned of a minor burglary of no consequence in itself?

Vacationing Bush Poised to Set a Record

US salvoes across South Asia
By Kaushik Kapisthalam

Even as an authoritative report from an arm of the US government warned of a potential nuclear war in South Asia triggered by an "arms race" between India and Pakistan, the George W Bush administration is working hard to complete arms sales and transfers of astronomical proportions to the two nations.

Congress report
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is part of the Library of Congress and provides regular, non-partisan research and analysis reports to members of Congress on policy issues. A recent CRS report on US-Pakistan relations stated, "US policy analysts consider the apparent arms race between India and Pakistan as posing perhaps the most likely prospect for the future use of nuclear weapons by states."

Documents Tell of Brutal Improvisation by GIs
Interrogated General's Sleeping-Bag Death, CIA's Use of Secret Iraqi Squad Are Among Details
By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer

Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush was being stubborn with his American captors, and a series of intense beatings and creative interrogation tactics were not enough to break his will. On the morning of Nov. 26, 2003, a U.S. Army interrogator and a military guard grabbed a green sleeping bag, stuffed Mowhoush inside, wrapped him in an electrical cord, laid him on the floor and began to go to work. Again.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Iraqi women and the right to self-determination
By Minnie Bruce Pratt

As fierce resistance to the U.S. occupation of Iraq continues, both the Bush administration and liberal Democrats continue to use the excuse of “democracy” to justify invasion, the murder of tens of thousands of Iraqis and installation of a puppet government.

Now it appears that progressive laws which had guaranteed women’s rights for decades may be wiped out of Iraq’s new draft constitution as a direct result of U.S. violation of Iraqi sovereignty. The progressive laws, instituted after the Iraqis overthrew British colonialism in 1958, granted women the right to choose their own husbands and to have divorce cases heard by a judge, among other freedoms.

Trouble in the Land of the Free
by John Atcheson

Well, it's official; there's trouble right here in the land of the free.

Mr. Bush can not only use taxpayer's money to set up Soviet-Style propaganda events, but he can have US citizens kicked out of these public meetings by strong-armed stooges impersonating Secret Service Agents. That, at least, was the conclusion last week by the US Justice Department Attorney who said there was not enough evidence to prosecute an unnamed man who kicked three people out of one of Mr. Bush's "town hall" meetings in Denver this past March. The White House, by the way, refuses to release the mystery thug's name.

US state blocks gay billboard
Ann Rostow, Network

US billboard company Lamar Advertising has rejected a series of ads from Georgia Equality, an LGBT rights group, that were scheduled to appear in rural parts of the state next autumn.

Lesbian Couple Wins Country Club Ruling in Calif.

California's highest court says country clubs must give registered domestic partners of gay members the same discounts as married couples.

Monday, August 01, 2005

New research suggests global warming influences rising strength of hurricanes
By Joseph B. Verrengia
AP Science Writer

Is global warming making hurricanes more ferocious? New research suggests the answer is yes. Scientists call the findings both surprising and "alarming'' because they suggest global warming is influencing storms now -- rather than in the distant future.