poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, September 08, 2005

OIA Newswire

WASHINGTON - Joel Robles, a 29-year-old transgender woman who was stabbed to death last year, will never report to her job as a dental assistant again, but her murderer, Estanislao Martinez, will be a free man in just four years. The California court that sentenced Martinez on August 24 could have sentenced him up to 12 years for Robles' murder.

Loss of soil carbon 'will speed global warming'
Tim Radford, science editor
The Guardian

England's soils have been losing carbon at the rate of four million tonnes a year for the past 25 years - losses which will accelerate global warming and which have already offset all the cuts in Britain's industrial carbon emissions between 1990 and 2002, scientists warn today.

Meet the New Loss
Hurricane Katrina brings a foretaste of environmental disasters to come
By Bill McKibben

If the images of skyscrapers collapsed in heaps of ash were the end of one story -- the U.S. safe on its isolated continent from the turmoil of the world -- then the picture of the sodden Superdome with its peeling roof marks the beginning of the next story, the one that will dominate our politics in the coming decades: America befuddled about how to cope with a planet suddenly turned unstable and unpredictable.

Over and over last week, people said that the scenes from the convention center, the highway overpasses, and the other suddenly infamous Crescent City venues didn't "look like America," that they seemed instead to be straight from the Third World. That was almost literally accurate, for poor, black New Orleans (which had never previously been of any interest to the larger public) is not so different from other poor, black parts of the world: its infant mortality rates, life expectancy rates, and educational achievement statistics mirroring those of many African and Latin American enclaves.

Project Censored presents the 10 biggest stories the mainstream media ignored over the past year.
By Camille T. Taiara

JUST FOUR DAYS before the 2004 presidential election, a prestigious British medical journal published the results of a rigorous study by Dr. Les Roberts, a widely respected researcher. Roberts concluded that close to 100,000 people had died in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Most were noncombatant civilians. Many were children.

Gay Marriage Advocates To Post Names On Internet
Petition Could Lead To Statewide Ban

BOSTON -- Two gay activists are promising to post on the Internet the names and addresses of anyone who signs a petition that could lead to a statewide ban on gay marriage.

New Orleans becomes a war zone
A dress rehearsal for martial law?
By Bill Van Auken

The disaster that struck New Orleans and the southern Gulf Coast has given rise to the largest military mobilization in modern history on US soil. Nearly 65,000 US military personnel are now deployed in disaster area, transforming the devastated port city into a war zone.

UN Hits Back at US in Report Saying Parts of America are as Poor as Third World
by Paul Vallely

Parts of the United States are as poor as the Third World, according to a shocking United Nations report on global inequality.

The Biggest Climate Change Coalition Yet

IPS, 1 September 2005 - Eighteen leading organisations came together Thursday to set up the biggest coalition yet for fighting to limit climate change.

About 500 volunteers came together on London's South Bank to create a banner to mark the new group Stop Climate Chaos.

The groups that have joined forces include the National Federation of Women's Institutes, Greenpeace, Oxfam, Christian Aid, WWF, Friends of the Earth, People & Planet and Tearfund. Other groups are expected to join.

Polish Mayor to face European court? UK

The Mayor of Warsaw could be made to face a European Court for his refusal to allow a gay pride march in the city.

OC student sues district over discipline for lesbian kissing

A lesbian student claims in a lawsuit that Garden Grove school officials suspended her several times and forced her to temporarily transfer to another campus because she refused their orders to stop hugging and kissing her girlfriend on school grounds.

In the federal court lawsuit filed Wednesday, 17-year-old Charlene Nguon also alleges that a school principal told her parents of her sexual orientation and disciplined her while allowing similar behavior by heterosexual couples.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Schwarzenegger says he will veto gay marriage bill

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Wednesday that he will veto a bill seeking to allow gay marriages in California.
Schwarzenegger said the legislation, given final approval Tuesday by lawmakers, would conflict with the intent of voters when they approved Proposition 22. That measure was put on the ballot in 2000 to prevent California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Transsexual to move to 'safer' LA

Lauren Harries and her brother, Adam, were attacked at home
A former child television star who had gender realignment surgery plans to move to Los Angeles after her family was attacked.
Lauren - formerly James - Harries and her family were attacked at their home in Cardiff, by a gang of youths.

A 17-year-old pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm at Cardiff Youth Court and is due to be sentenced soon.

Lauren added that she believes Los Angeles will be "safer".

Resurrecting Karl Marx

Libertarians and free trade economists don't realize it, but they are pulling Marx out of his grave.

Free traders are resurrecting class war, not because they are Marxists but because they confuse free trade with global labor arbitrage. Free traders turn cold shoulders to US job losses from offshore outsourcing, because they mistake the losses for the beneficial workings of comparative advantage. Committed to a 200 year old theory that they no longer understand, free traders are cheering on the destruction of middle class jobs and the dismantling of the ladders of upward mobility that make large income disparities politically acceptable.

Evacuees not told where they're going
Associated Press

It wasn't confusion that prevented Hurricane Katrina evacuees from learning they were headed to Utah — it was intentional.

Homeland Security tells Mortician: 'Expect Up to 40,000 Bodies'

Western view of Islam: A troubled history
By Soumayya Ghannoushi

I have spent much of the last four years scavenging for medieval manuscripts, in an attempt to study medieval European representations of Islam.

I am generally averse to sweeping statements, but I will say this: I am yet to encounter a tradition and historical experience as profoundly distorted as Islam's has been and continues to be to the present day.

And although we are relentlessly pulled away from the ontological why questions, from the arduous exploration of origins and causes, towards the easy fixes of the utilitarian what questions, we must pause and ask why it is that western consciousness perceives Islam in such deeply flawed terms.

The Post-Katrina Era
By George Lakoff, AlterNet.

Katrina's tragic consequences were not just due to incompetence, natural disaster, or Bush policies (though he is accountable). This is a failure of moral and political philosophy.

It is impossible for me, as it is for most Americans, to watch the horror and suffering from Hurricane Katrina and not feel physically sore, pained, bereft, empty, heartbroken. And angry.

The Katrina tragedy should become a watershed in American politics. This was when the usually invisible people suddenly appeared in all the anguish of their lives -- the impoverished, the old, the infirm, the kids, and the low-wage workers with no cars, TVs or credit cards. They showed up on America's doorsteps, entered the living rooms and stayed. Katrina will not go away soon, and she has the power to change America.

The End of Oil
by H.D.S. Greenway

Some time ago National Public Radio collected the recorded voices of the last five or six American presidents and broadcast them, each with his own distinctive tone, all saying exactly the same thing: America has to end its dependency on foreign oil.

Today President Bush makes much the same kind of statements as his predecessors did, but the measures he recommends hold only a little promise. And today the problem is rapidly becoming not just foreign oil, but oil itself.

Clean air under attack: Proposed rules would ease pollution controls
A Register-Guard Editorial

The Bush administration has rolled back so many environmental regulations that it's hard to keep tabs of them all. The hits just keep on coming. And coming. And coming.

From the Human Rights Spanish Network
Court denies sex change in birth certificate

San Juan, Puerto Rico, AP.- The High Court decided that a man who had a sex change operation doesn't have the right to modify his gender in his birth certificate.

However, the Court authorized the name change on the birth certificate from Alexis Delgado Hernandez to Alexandra Delgado Hernandez.

"We decided that we couldn't authorize the change in the petitioner's birth certificate to change his gender, as long as the Demographic Registration Law doesn't change it expressively", stated the decision that was published in July.

Monday, September 05, 2005

From sex workers to beauticians

Diana is beautiful. So beautiful that winning a beauty pageant should be easy. She was recently offered a role in a promotional
film by TAI (Tamil Nadu AIDS Initiative), an NGO working on the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Diana, 22, plays a contestant at a Miss Chennai pageant. She leads the race until the last round, where she has to answer some questions. Her answers, however, shock judges as well as the audience. They don't know how to react, because Diana speaks in a male voice.

Diana is beautiful. She is also a transgender, or aravani pen. And she is a sex worker.