Newswire

Austin Police Shoot and Kill 20 Year Old Man in East Austin

 Late Monday night, Austin Police officers shot and killed a man suspected of stealing cars.

More information at:

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/blotter/e...

International Day of Action in Solidarity with Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, Mexico

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE AUTONOMOUS MUNICIPALITY OF SAN JUAN COPALA, OAXACA, MEXICO

For Anarchist, Details of Life as F.B.I. Target in Post 9/11 World - Re-Post from NY times

 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/us/29surveillance.html?pagewanted=2&hp

Austin's Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

All too often, the removal of street people is a hoped-for side benefit when a city undertakes major public works. From a certain perspective, any urban renewal project can look like a big plot to rid a city of its homeless population. Usually this ridding is not accomplished in a helpful way, for instance by doing something constructive about affordable housing. The perceived solution is to shove them out, get rid of them.

In Austin, the Waller Creek District Master Plan is underway. This is not just cosmetic surgery. There is real need for protection against flooding. That problem is being addressed by the first stage of the project, the Waller Creek Tunnel (designed by KBR, of Iraq military contractor fame), whose ground has been officially broken.

Once the tunnel is finished, then the real work begins — the renovation of the above-ground features of Waller Creek, which runs through a long stretch of downtown, and has been neglected. Some parts of the creek are surrounded by entertainment venues and other businesses that already bring in millions in tax revenue. Along other parts of the creek, homeless people live. The project encompasses not only the creek itself, but a big chunk of the city. This area will be revamped in a project with several stages, over an estimated 20 to 30 years.

The larger area affected by the long-term, overall project includes 28 acres of previously unreliable real estate that will be available for development. It has been dubbed Tax Increment Financing Reinvestment Zone No. 17, which will pay a lot of the costs, though everyone else in the city pays too. (It shows up on the utility bill.) For this and other reasons, controversy has swirled around the massive and many-faceted Waller Creek master plan since it was conceived.

The words sound wonderful. Urban greenbelt improvement, smart growth, vibrancy, enhancement, economic viability — what’s not to like? The idea that Waller Creek will eventually resemble San Antonio’s River Walk is for some Austin residents a dream, and for others a nightmare.

One of the potential problems is access to the places where people experiencing homelessness need to go. It has even been suggested that the ARCH, a major center for much-needed help, should be moved. Many other agencies are either within the TIF area or so located that the people who need to reach them must travel through the TIF area. There is a great temptation on the part of property owners and businesses within that area to harass the homeless, making them as unwelcome as possible.

Homeless people are downtown not only to sleep and eat, but for medical care, job counseling, legal help, and to get their papers in order. Austin has worked hard to create resources for the homeless, and downtown is where the resources are. If people experiencing homelessness are to put their lives back together, the tools and assistance they need are downtown, and so is the public transportation to get to them.

Recently, the editorial board of The Austin Statesman published an opinion piece in which they speak of Waller Creek as “a waterway that suffers the twin indignities of neglect and abuse,” and “an environmental asset going to waste,” which the city ought to be embarrassed about. They say Waller Creek, if given a break, can meet its potential. They say they want to transform the creek "into the jewel it can be.”

There are people on Austin's streets suffering indignities of neglect and abuse. There are human assets going to waste, which should be an embarrassment to the city. There are people who could fulfill their potential, if given a break. There are homeless people who need to be transformed. And how about transforming Austin into the jewel of humanitarian awareness and activism that it could potentially be?

What is Austin doing about hiring the homeless for this ambitious, multi-staged, multi-million-dollar project? What is Austin doing about training people for these upcoming jobs?  There are unemployed and underemployed workers who might qualify, even if they are currently between addresses. What is Austin doing about seeking them out? Richard R. Troxell of House the Homeless has issued a challenge to the project's contractors: "Use Veterans, Homeless Veterans and Formerly Homeless Veterans to make up 51% of the employed people involved in the construction of this project."

At this moment, Austin is shaping up to be a case study of what happens when settled, monied interests clash with the needs of the ever-increasing urban homeless. It could become a case study of a city that forms the intention to do it right, and then follows through -- an enlightened place where people realize that "our entire city" means the poor, too. Beautiful Austin is in a position to show the world that a metropolis can flourish and, at the same time, help its least privileged citizens prosper. Austin has an unparalleled opportunity to set an example and be a shining light, and, yes, even create a crown jewel.

 

West BTL:Virginia Protest March Will Link Campaign to Stop Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining and Labor Solidarity

 West Virginia Protest March Will Link Campaign to Stop Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining and Labor Solidarity

Interview with Larry Gibson, "Keeper of the Mountains" in West Virginia , conducted by Melinda Tuhus
 
From June 4th through the 11th, hundreds of people will march from the town of Marmet, West Virginia to Blair Mountain, 50 miles away in Logan County, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain. The battle was the largest insurgency in U.S. history after the Civil War, and pitted some 10,000 West Virginia coal miners against the coal bosses and their private army -- and eventually the U.S. military, as they fought for the right to join a union. 

Story continues
http://www.btlonline.org/2011/seg/110603cf-btl-gibson.html
 

The Shortwave Report 05/27/11 Listen Globally

 

Dear Radio Friend,
The latest Shortwave Report (May 27) is up at the website (NOTE THE URL ADDRESS HAS CHANGED SLIGHTLY DUE TO SERVER SWITCH)
http://www.outfarpress.com/shortwave.shtml in 3 forms- (new) HIGHEST QUALITY (128kb)(27MB), broadcast quality (16MB), and quickdownload or streaming form (6MB) (28:59) Links at page bottom
(If you have access to Audioport there is a highest quality version posted up there {27MB} http://www.audioport.org/index.php?op=producer-info&uid=904&nav=&)

This week's show features stories from China Radio International, NHK Japan, Radio Deutsche-Welle, Radio Havana Cuba, and The Voice of Russia.
From CHINA- As a new chief of the IMF is being sought, developing nations do not want the replacement to come from Europe. NATO forces delivered their heaviest bombing raids on Tripoli yet this week while announcing the upcoming use of attack helicopters. The Libyan government says that the Western governments and media are manufacturing delusions about the situation there. The President of South Africa and Turkey will attempt to create an exit strategy for Gaddafi.
From JAPAN- The IAEA reports that a Syrian facility bombed by Israel in 2007 was likely a nuclear reactor. The US government has been testing nuclear weapons without conducting underground tests. It is now reported that nuclear meltdowns occurred in two Fukushima reactors more than two months ago. Prime Minister Kan says that Japan will dramatically increase its use of solar power.
From GERMANY- Due to public demand, the Swiss government has decided to phase out all nuclear reactors. In Spain, the Socialist party suffered a big loss in regional and municipal elections, following huge protests against economic measures.
From CUBA- Venezuela claims that the US is attempting to destabilize OPEC by placing sanctions against Iranian suppliers. There was a major explosion at Iran's largest oil refinery just before President Ahmedinejad was to make an address from the area. Ecuadoran President Correa says the the recent referendum was a victory and will benefit all the people. President Obama was met with protests outside the gates of Buckingham Palace during his UK visit. According to many, President Obama has violated the War Powers Act for continuing military action on Libya without Congressional approval.
From RUSSIA- The Russian government wants NATO to address rumors of an upcoming ground invasion of Libya.
There is an article about the Shortwave Report by Cassandra Roos on line -
http://www.campusprogress.org/soundvision/780/big-stories-shortwaves

I was interviewed for an informative weekly radio show Mediageek, available at http://radio.mediageek.net

All that plus times and frequencies for listening at home. It's free to rebroadcast, please notify me if you're airing it and haven't notified me in the last month, please mention the website if you only air a portion. If you just want to listen and have a slow connection, try the streaming version- lower sound quality but good enough and way easier if you don't have a high-speed internet connection. If streaming is a problem because of your slow connection, download the smaller file- it takes 20 minutes or less, and will play swell in any mp3 player application (RealPlayer, Winamp, Quicktime, iTunes, etc) you have on your computer.
This program will be aired on Friday evening at 6:30pm (PDST) on KZYX/Z Philo CA, you might be able to stream via < http://www.kzyx.org >
There are several other streams that work better- < http://www.freakradio.org >Freak Radio Santa Cruz now streams this program on Friday at 9:00am.(PDST)
NEWLY CORRECTED!!! The Shortwave Report may be downloaded as a podcast from < feed://radio.indymedia.org/en/podcast?keys=shortwave++

I hope you'll listen and air this if you're connected with a radio station. I am still wondering how to get financially compensated for the 25 hours I put into this program weekly- any ideas are appreciated. Any stations rebroadcasting this (or listeners) are welcome to donate for production costs. You can do so through the website. Many thanks to those that have donated! No Guilt! (maybe a little)
links for this week's edition-
< http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_05_27_11_128.mp3 > (27 MB) HIGHEST QUALITY
< http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_05_27_11.mp3 > (16MB) Broadcast Quality
< http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_05_27_11_24_22.mp3 > (5MB) Slow Modem streaming
Website Page-
< http://www.outfarpress.com/shortwave.shtml >
¡FurthuR! Dan Roberts

--"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."--Noam Chomsky

Power of U.S.-Israeli Lobby a Major Obstacle to Restart Middle East Peace Talks

 Power of U.S.-Israeli Lobby a Major Obstacle to Restart Middle East Peace Talks

Interview with Howard Friel, independent scholar and co-author of "Israel-Palestine on Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East", conducted by Scott Harris
 
Not long after President Obama delivered his May 19th speech addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, he was attacked for undermining Israel by conservative sectors of the U.S. pro-Israeli lobby, politicians of both parties and some influential newspapers. Specifically Obama was condemned by some for calling for Israelis and Palestinians to begin negotiations toward recognition of an independent Palestinian state using Israel’s pre-war1967 borders as a foundation for new talks. The same formula accepted by both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. 

Story continues
http://www.btlonline.org/2011/seg/110603af-btl-friel.html
 

Bring Back That Love

 As we watch the campaigning for the 2012 elections heat up it is obvious the only questions are about one side.  We still don't really know all the GOP candidates heading into their primaries.  We know that the current president will be the candidate on the progressive side of the US politics coin.  He is already giving what amounts to campaign speeches and, though in low gear, is basically in the mode.

Actual Vindication

 

Climate Scientists Now Connect Extreme Weather with Global Climate Change

 Climate Scientists Now Connect Extreme Weather with Global Climate Change

Interview with Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research , conducted by Melinda Tuhus
 
Record-setting weather events -- vast floods along the Mississippi River and shockingly destructive tornadoes in the South -- have dominated the news in the U.S. for the past several weeks. Up to now, climate scientists have always been careful to say that no particular weather event can be linked directly to climate change. But many climate experts are now pointing linking climate change directly to some of these weather-related disasters. 

Story continues
http://www.btlonline.org/2011/seg/110527cf-btl-trenberth.html

U.S.-NATO Drone Attacks and Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan Provoke Hatred and Violence

 U.S.-NATO Drone Attacks and Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan Provoke Hatred and Violence

Interview with Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, conducted by Scott Harris
 
The May 1st U.S. Navy Seal Commando raid into Pakistan that killed Osama bin-Laden set off an angry backlash among Pakistani government and military officials who were kept in the dark by the White House and Pentagon about the impending assault on the al-Qaeda leader’s secret compound. While many Americans have watched and read accounts of this famous incursion into Pakistan, most are unaware that the U.S. and NATO have launched dozens of unmanned predator drones with guided missiles to attack suspected Taliban guerillas and terrorist groups in the tribal regions of both Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Story continues
http://www.btlonline.org/2011/seg/110527bf-btl-kelly.html

Religious and Class Divisions Stoke Popular Uprising in Syria

 

Tell ICE: No New Immigrant Detention Center in Karnes Co., Texas!

Sign the petition to stop the construction of the new private prison for immigrants in Texas!

OVERVIEW

The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has contracted with a private prison company with a history of abuse to build a new immigration detention center in Karnes County, Texas. The center is meant to hold asylum-seekers and other low-level immigration detainees.

Today, more than 33,000 people languish in the U.S.'s vast and troubled immigration detention system, with more than 10,000 immigrant detention beds located in Texas alone.   Despite a mandate for detention reform, ICE has contracted with the GEO Group, a for-profit prison company with a long track record of abuse and mismanagement at their Texas prisons and detention centers, to build this "civil" detention center.

The GEO Group has had a number of contracts in Texas terminated in recent years after serious allegations of abuse and neglect.

New, abusive for-profit detention centers are not the answer! Sign the petition to tell Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to stop construction of the new detention center in Karnes County, Texas, and to prioritize release and alternatives to detention programs for asylum-seekers and other immigrants.

Texans United For Families-Cesar Chavez Rally Austin 2011

 

No New Detention Centers in Texas!

Greetings,

I write to express my firm opposition to plans by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to contract for a new private immigration detention center in Karnes County, Texas.

 



ICE has stated that the Karnes County detention center will detain asylum-seekers and immigrants at the lowest level of immigration custody. Private prison contractor GEO Group will build and operate the facility under contract with Karnes County.

 



I am disappointed that ICE is using its mandate for detention reform to construct new detention facilities for people who should be released on bond or into alternatives programs. Instead of building new immigration detention centers, the administration should prioritize release of immigrants pending hearings, and the use of more humane and more cost effective alternatives to detention programs.

 



I am also troubled that the process in selecting the site and contractor for the facility has consistently lacked transparency and input from communities in Texas. Community members first found out about the facility’s construction after the GEO Group issued a press release in December 2010. The County Judge Alger Kendall told residents during a Karnes County Commissioners’ Court hearing that “The federal government said this was not to be discussed by anyone,” a statement that hardly reflects a commitment to effective oversight and transparency when making a decision where people’s lives are at stake.

 



Furthermore, the GEO Group, the private prison company contracted to build and operate the facility, has a long track record of abuse and mismanagement at their Texas prisons and detention centers. While ICE has denied knowledge of problems at GEO’s facilities, the company’s problems have been repeatedly highlighted in public news reports. The GEO Group has had a number of contracts in Texas terminated in recent years after serious allegations of abuse and neglect.

 



In February, a coalition of 15 Texas-based civil and immigrant rights organizations sent you a letter calling on you to immediately end the contract to build the new Karnes County detention center and to investigate options that would prioritize alternatives to detention for asylum seekers and those immigrants that pose no security threat. 

I urgently add my voice to that call.

[Your name]
 

The Rabid, Transphobic Hate-Mongering of the Anti-Pornography Movement

From the Transadvocate, May 15, 2011

www.transadvocate.com/the-rabid-transphobic-hate-mongering-of -the-anti-pornography-movement.htm  

Todays Guest Transadvocate is Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan. Ryan describes herself as a “transgender, Feminist, Queer, Fat+, Activist, Educator, Writer, Speaker and Firebrand”. She is also the author of Gender Quake: Poems and the co-producer of three autobiographical films.

 

This weekend, there was a conference at the University of New Hampshire entitled “Pornography as Sexual Violence.”

I was asked by the key organizer to co-present a panel with David Jacobsen at the conference. I titled the session Pornography and LGBT Identities: Documenting Harm, Plotting Resistance. My Power-point presentation was entitled: “From ‘She-Male Sluts’ to Trans-Sister Survivors: Interrogating the Degradation and Sexualization of Transgender Women in the Porn Culture” and I gave it the following abstract:

“For a number of years now, a sub-genre of pornography that depicts transgender women, offensively labeled “she-male”, has been gaining in popularity. Like other forms of pornography, “she-male” porn is filled with degrading, misogynistic and racist images that function to further the oppression of transgender women in everyday life. In this presentation, Joelle Ruby Ryan will utilize words and images from this sub-genre of heterosexual pornography to discuss the backlash against feminism, the economic and cultural war waged against gender-variant people, and the ways in which racism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia in pornography function to preserve the power and privilege of white, presumably-heterosexual, cisgender men. Against the backdrop of this archive of cruelty that celebrates rape, bigotry and abuse, trans-feminism can play a powerful role in fighting for a world which truly values all human beings and that will not stand for the fragmentation and destruction of our sacred sexualities.”

Leading up to the conference, I did a Google search for Lierre Keith. I had seen her the previous summer at the Stop Porn Culture Conference in Boston and knew she was attending this conference at UNH. Most of the hits about her concerned her views on veganism, and she has indeed pissed off a lot of vegans! However, I also discovered several troubling articles about her that linked her to transphobic bigotry:

here, and on a thread here a poster writes:

“This is a bit off-topic, but I just have to say that I find Lierre Keith’s ties to anti-trans politics troubling in the extreme. Keith is a founding and present member of the Radical-Feminist Lesbian Festival, which is ‘unalterably opposed’ to the existence of trans people. In addition to promoting the anti-trans works of Janice Raymond and Sheila Jeffreys, RadLesFes is explicitly opposed to allowing trans people access to trans-related health care.”

When I told the organizer about this, she reached out to Lierre and they had a discussion via email about this. Here are excerpts from that conversation in Lierre’s own words:

“Well, I’ve personally been fighting about this since 1982. I think ‘transphobic’ is a ridiculous word. I have no strange fear of people who claim to be ‘trans.’ I deeply disagree with them, as do most radical feminists.

Try this on. I am a rich person stuck in a poor person’s body. I’ve always enjoyed champagne rather than beer, and always knew I belonged in first class not economy, and it just feels right when people wait on me. My insurance company should give me a million dollars to cure my Economic Dysphoria.

Or how about this. I am really Native American. How do I know? I’ve always felt a special connection to animals, and started building tee pees in the backyard as soon as I was old enough. I insisted on wearing moccasins to school even though the other kids made fun of me and my parents punished me for it. I read everything I could on native people, started going to pow wows and sweat lodges as soon as I was old enough, and I knew that was the real me. And if you bio-Indians don’t accept us trans-Indians, then you are just as genocidal and oppressive as the Europeans.

Gender is no different. It is a class condition created by a brutal arrangement of power. I can’t fathom how mutilating people’s bodies to fit an oppressive power arrangement is frankly anything but a human rights violation. And men insisting that they are women is insulting and absurd.

There is no such thing as ‘woman’ or ‘man’ outside of patriarchal social relations. These are not biological conditions–they are socially created, by violence in the end. If I can’t be a rich person born in a poor person’s body, then I can’t be a woman born in a man’s body. Not unless you are going to argue that man and woman are biological or essential conditions. The whole point of feminism is that they are neither; gender is social to the roots, and those roots are soaked in women’s blood.

So there it is.

I would highly recommend reading the work that radical feminists have produced critiquing the entire culture of queer, including s/m and porn, that gave rise to the phenomenon of ‘trans.’ Sheila Jeffreys’s books _Unpacking Queer Politics_ and _The Lesbian Heresy_ would be a great start.

[The Trans Community is] in fact deeply misogynist and reactionary when it comes to any understanding of male power. Indeed, they often claim it ‘oppresses’ them to even use the words ‘men’ and ‘women.’ Meanwhile, men are raping and brutalizing women on a mass scale. I hate to say this, but it’s porn culture that really created the whole concept of trans. I watched it happen… for your own edification, you might want to read up on Pat Califia, whom I talk about at length, and whose life and writing proves every point radical feminists make about queer politics, pornography, violence against women, sado-masochism, the eroticization of power and breaking boundaries (including the boundaries of children), and trans. All of it is right there” (italics mine).

So there it is? Umm, so there it ISN’T. Lots of hogwash that belongs back in the 1970s. Needless to say, it is quite obvious from this diatribe alone that Lierre Keith is a transphobe. Since she finds the word so ridiculous, perhaps we can call her a trans-hater instead. Would that pass muster, Lierre? And how dare she put my identity in scare quotes; but in the spirit of tit for tat, I will put her identity “radical feminist” in scare quotes, since my version and vision of radical feminists do not hate an entire group of people due to prejudiced and bigoted assumptions and stereotypes. Keith’s rant is not even remotely original, but an old page out of Jan Raymond’s hate-fest The Transsexual Empire (right down to her ludicrous comparison between transgenderism and race-switching) and Sheila Jeffreys’s bullshit, attention-craving prose. Any one who calls a life-saving surgery (Sex Reassignment Surgery) a “mutilation” is, by definition, a rabid, anti-trans hate-monger, and not someone I wish to have anything to do with. And I love how Patrick Califia somehow becomes a stand-in for all trans people, or somehow emblematic. Because it is so fair to stereotype an entire community based on one individual, right?

Despite this, I decided to go forward with the conference. I thought it would be easy enough to avoid Lierre and her ilk. And I had a project that deserved attention. The feminist critiques of pornography have not been inclusive of looking at images of transgender women, just like they have done little to be inclusive of women of color, gay men and others outside white, heterosexual pornography. As is typical with feminism, the needs of white, able-bodied, cisgender, heterosexual women have been elevated above the needs of all others. In addition, the voices of non-white and non-cisgender critics have been glaringly marginalized in feminist anti-pornography discourse. White cis women (lesbians and heterosexual) and white, straight cis men have dominated anti-pornography discourse for far too long, My experiences both this summer and today don’t hold much promise for this changing, as this is a movement which is utterly uninterested in inviting diverse identities into the fold as they are too obsessed with propagating their narrow, outdated “radical feminist” and “lesbian feminist” ideology rather than welcoming in fresh voices. While Bob Jensen asserted that he and the rad fems are against she-male porn, you would not know it from their writings since they ignore the topic.

Early in the conference, I went to the women’s restroom and found this lovely hate screed next to the toilet in a plastic case:
No Such Thing as a Transsexual By Margaret Jamison:

If there are so many males who “just want to change their body,” without regard to gender, then why are they calling themselves “women” after they’ve had themselves chopped up? A mutilated male is a mutilated male. As I’ve said before, if males just want to hack off their penises and shove plastic bags under their pecs, how about they call themselves eunuchs instead of “women,” “transwomen,” and “transsexuals”? How about calling themselves males who wanted to chop off their penises and have it fashioned into a hole?

I get so sick of seeing women defend the “transwomen” they know in real life with reminders that not all “transwomen” want to wear dresses and pantyhose. OK, fine, they don’t want to wear dresses. What does that have to do with the fact that they’re still walking around calling themselves all manner of “woman”?

That is the crazy part. That is what makes them insane. One cannot change sex, and any indulgence of the, yes, insane, notion that they can is anti-female. I don’t give a damn what eunuchs wear or don’t wear. All I care about is whether or not society is actually obliging them in any way by calling them women. They are not women, insofar as ‘woman’ means adult human female, and they never will be.

I took the hate screed down and found another one in its place several hours later. A third copy of this hate speech was found in a bathroom on a lower level. While it is unknown who put the hate flyers there, I will leave you, smart reader, to your own devices to figure it out.

Finding the hate speech flyer was very upsetting. To be honest, I wanted to leave the conference but decided to go through with the session. David and I gave our respective talks and got to the Q&A part. I specifically did not talk about anti-trans feminism during my Power-point talk as I was not interested in “going there.” However, during the Q&A, a person asked about community for David and I as members of the LGBT community who are lodging critiques of pornography. I stated that as a transgender woman, I am caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, there is the queer and trans communities, which for the most part are caught up in the whole “sex-positive” or “sex-radical” tradition that tends to celebrate pornography, BDSM and prostitution, while on the other hand the rad fems have a long history of bigoted views of transsexualism and transgenderism dating back to the 1970s, views that sadly have not been updated in 30 years, apparently! Several more questions were answered until the last question, when Bob Jensen decided to launch into a full frontal attack on me as a transgender person. He just had to “challenge” my description of radical feminists and their views on transgender identity. Apparently, I have been mistaken all these years. Their views are not bigoted, nor are they hateful! They are a righteous political critique of transsexuals and our horrible habit of preserving rigid gender roles! Someone pass the puke bucket.

Thanks to Bob, the panel, and really the whole conference, ended on a completely sour note. Despite my best effort to bite my tongue, Lierre and Bob just had to push their HATE-MONGERING agenda. Lierre and Co. had wandered out for most of David and I’s session. But when I confronted Lierre about her rabid bigotry, she and her pals decided to quickly jet. Unfortunately, Bob decided to stay. For what seemed like the next hour (it was at least half an hour) Bob Jensen berated me about my trans identity, transgender issues, sex reassignment surgery, the invasion of “men” into women’s spaces like the Michigan Womyn’s Hate-Fest and the “failure” of transgenderism as a political project. Over and over again, he said that he was neither a bigot nor hateful. It reminded me of the person who says “I am not a racist” and then goes on to say the most incredibly racist things. Bob, you may not think of yourself as an anti-trans bigot, but I certainly do! Can you imagine the outrage if the identity under attack was Jewish, or Gay, or African American? But when is a hate crime not a hate crime? When it happens to a transgender woman, that’s when!

I won’t bore you with the outpouring of hogwash from Dr. Jensen, but I can assure you it was vile and pathetic. I learned that all drag queens are a bunch of horrific misogynists parodying real women, that sex reassignment surgery is a tragic mutilating procedure, and that the transgender movement that I belong to is an utter “failure.” While gay male and transgender politics and communities where raked over the coals, Bob could not wait to strongly defend all facets of 1970s-style “lesbian feminism” . It was a humiliating and grueling experience—having your identity attacked and told that your politics are reactionary and inherently anti-feminist. And when I complained about the oppression of transgender women, Bob informed me that that was not due to radical feminists, but due to the patriarchy. Umm yeah, kind of like when Audre Lorde called Mary Daly out on her virulent racism and she said racism was because of men and patriarchy—a perfect way to eschew taking responsibility for the very real hate that feminists also are responsible for. And, a convenient way to avoid actually transforming feminism to be inclusive of the lives of trans women and women of color. (And yes, the phrase “false consciousness” was ACTUALLY used! Another word I thought had been left to decompose 20 years ago.) I certainly hope Bob has never had any transgender students; I pity them if they have to put up with his obvious ideological bias and never-ending “fountain of undiluted foolishness.”

During the Q&A after the film screening, Bob told a story about an audience who watched the documentary “The Price of Pleasure.” It was made up mostly of people from the porn industry. Bob mistakenly thought they had had a civil dialogue after the film, and seemed genuinely surprised to find blogs that trashed him and the film in the days and weeks following the screening. I don’t know if he thought our “dialogue” (which was really him using his white, straight, male, cisgender privilege to talk AT us) was either civil or productive; so let me erase all ambiguity: NOTEPIC FAIL. Sorry, Bob, I am NOT one of your students! I’ve got the same Ph.D. after my name as you, and your hate-filled bullshit did not alter my absolute pride in my transgender identity one iota, nor did it prompt me to think that your ideology, or Jan Raymond’s or Sheila Jeffreys’s, is not 110% WRONG. So thanks for wasting your breath. And though you said you had a “gay past” David and I want you to know that we were queer yesterday, queer today and queer tomorrow; we can’t run headlong into straight male privilege like you so easily can, Bob.

During her history of the anti-pornography movement (much of which consisted of bashing Patrick Califia and feminists who did not toe the line of HER ideology) Lierre Keith stated that there can be no middle ground. And so, the sex wars détente continues unabated. It is precisely this unwillingness to find common ground that means this movement will continue to be dead in the water. And it is precisely this unconcealed hatred of diversity of thought and multiplicity of social identity in this movement that will guarantee its continued failure. With friends like these, who needs enemies? As Dr. Bob goes back to his wife and kid (though he was gay for a “period”), and his religion as a “radical Christian” (so it is possible to be a “radical Christian” but fundamentally impossible to be a transgender woman and a radical feminist. Huh?) , and his work as a tenured professor (although he is not, as he says, an academic; I wonder then what the University of Texas thinks they are paying him for, exactly?) I will also go back to my life: as a transgender individual, as a feminist woman, as a queer person, as a person of size fighting sizeism, as an economically-challenged person, as a first-generation scholar, as a non-tenure track instructor, and as a person who does not use my “radical” politics to shit all over one of the most oppressed, maligned and vulnerable populations in the society.

Reposted with persmission from Transmeditations blog

 

 

Although National Media Spotlight is Gone, Progressive Mobilization Against Wis. Gov. Walker’s Conservative, Anti-union Agenda C

 Although National Media Spotlight is Gone, Progressive Mobilization Against Wis. Gov. Walker’s Conservative, Anti-union Agenda Continues

Interview with Ben Manski, coordinator of Wisconsin Wave , conducted by Scott Harris

The enormous protests in Wisconsin during February and March -- organized to oppose Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s legislation that would have all but eliminated public employee unions’ collective bargaining rights -- have tapered down in recent weeks. But although the national media spotlight has dimmed on the spirited movement that saw over 100,000 demonstrators descend on, and occupy the capitol in Madison, the progressive campaign to derail Walker’s hard right conservative agenda goes on. 

Story continues
http://www.btlonline.org/2011/seg/110520cf-btl-manski.html

For Fatah, New Unity Pact with Hamas is Risky, but Few Options Remained

 For Fatah, New Unity Pact with Hamas is Risky, but Few Options Remained

Interview with Chris Toensing, editor of Middle East Report, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

On May 4th, Fatah, the Palestinian faction that rules the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamist faction that controls Gaza, signed a pact in Cairo that would unite the two rival parties to form a transitional government and hold long-delayed elections in both territories within a year. Because Hamas has refused to renounce violence or recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, Israel condemned the move, while the Obama administration is taking a wait-and-see approach. 

Story continues
http://www.btlonline.org/2011/seg/110520bf-btl-toensing.html

BTL:Claims that U.S. Torture Played Key Role in Locating Osama bin Laden are Unsupportable

 

The Shortwave Report 05/13/11 Listen Globally

 Dear Radio Friend, 

            The latest Shortwave Report (May 13) is up at the website (NOTE THE URL ADDRESS HAS CHANGED SLIGHTLY DUE TO SERVER SWITCH) 
   http://www.outfarpress.com/shortwave.shtml  in 3 forms- (new) HIGHEST QUALITY (128kb)(27mb), broadcast quality (16MB), and quickdownload or streaming form (4.9MB) (28:59) Links at page bottom
   (If you have access to Audioport there is a highest quality version posted up there {27MB} http://www.audioport.org/index.php?op=producer-info&uid=904&nav=&)
 
     This week's show features stories from China Radio International, NHK Japan, Radio Deutsche-Welle, Radio Havana Cuba, and The Voice of Russia.
    From CHINA- China and the US completed the third round of strategic and economic dialogues in Washington. The EU has placed new restrictions on herbal products which may eliminate Chinese medicinals in most countries.
    From JAPAN- A United Nations Climate panel says that renewable energy sources could supply 80% of global power needs by mid-century. More highly radioactive water has leaked into the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The Japanese government has told schools that burying the radioactive topsoil 18 inches below the surface will greatly reduce the danger to schoolchildren. About 60% of the nuclear reactors in Japan are currently shut down.
   From GERMANY-  As Germany moves toward shutting down all nuclear power plants by 2021, a motivating factor is the inability to insure for accidental damages. Millions of Greeks shut down major cities Wednesday in opposition to austerity measures.
   From CUBA- US drone attacks continue killing people in Pakistan. NATO forces continue intense bombing of Tripoli while denying that they are attempting to assassinate Gaddafi. At the UN, Cuba condemned the double standards of some countries in protecting human rights. Ecuadoran President Correa says that opposition groups are delaying the counting of votes from last weekends referendum.
    From RUSSIA- There is a renewed wave of protests in Egypt and Tunisia, indicating a failure of the regime changes in the so-called "Arab Spring." 
There is an article about the Shortwave Report by Cassandra Roos on line -
 
I was interviewed for an informative weekly radio show Mediageek, available at http://radio.mediageek.net 
 
  All that plus times and frequencies for listening at home. It's free to rebroadcast, please notify me if you're airing it and haven't notified me in the last month, please mention the website if you only air a portion. If you just want to listen and have a slow connection, try the streaming version- lower sound quality but good enough and way easier if you don't have a high-speed internet connection. If streaming is a problem because of your slow connection, download the smaller file- it takes 20 minutes or less, and will play swell in any mp3 player application (RealPlayer, Winamp, Quicktime, iTunes, etc) you have on your computer. 
This program will be aired on Friday evening at 6:30pm (PDST) on KZYX/Z Philo CA, you might be able to stream via < http://www.kzyx.org >
There are several other streams that work better- < http://www.freakradio.org >Freak Radio Santa Cruz  now streams this program on Friday at 9:00am.(PST)
NEWLY CORRECTED!!!  The Shortwave Report may be downloaded as a podcast from < feed://radio.indymedia.org/en/podcast?keys=shortwave++
 
I hope you'll listen and air this if you're connected with a radio station. I am still wondering how to get financially compensated for the 25 hours I put into this program weekly- any ideas are appreciated. Any stations rebroadcasting this (or listeners) are welcome to donate for production costs. You can do so through the website. Many thanks to those that have donated! No Guilt! (maybe a little) 
links for this week's edition- 
<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_05_13_11_128.mp3  > (27 MB) HIGHEST QUALITY
<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_05_13_11.mp3  > (16MB) Broadcast Quality
<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_05_13_11_24_22.mp3  > (5MB) Slow Modem streaming
Website Page- 
       ¡FurthuR!      Dan Roberts
 

--"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."

 

Food Sovereignty Tour + Agroecology Short Course in Venezuela – July 10-22

 

The Khul' Divorce in Egypt

 

Under the rules of divorce in Islamic sharia, a husband has the prerogative right to divorce his wife any time, any place, with or without any reason. Under certain conditions, the wife may request from the religious judge a judicial divorce in case of ‘harm’ or maltreatment (darar), as stated by the Maliki School of jurisprudence.

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