Friday, December 03, 2004
The Austin Coalition for Marriage Equality will hold a fundraiser party Saturday, December 4th.
For a donation of only $5 you will get to:
**DRINK BEER! all the beer you could ever dream of!
** be around really cool attractive people and even talk to them
** see The TunaHelpers perform in an intimate setting(oh my)
**dance and feel sexy under the trance of The Pegasus DJ and The Notorious Brea (no they WILL NOT play trance music)
** romp around in a lovely house all night long
Location: 1414 E. 37th Street, Austin, TX 78722
Time: 9:00pm onward
Date: Saturday, December 4th
The Austin Coalition for Marriage Equality (ACME) was founded on March 8, 2004 by a group of Austinites who all wanted the same thing – marriage equality. Since then, ACME has organized various events aimed at raising awareness of the myriad disadvantages faced by families because of the inability of same-sex couples to marry, including rallies, marches, a press conference, and the Weddings for Marriage Equality.
More recently, ACME has switched gears: our new goal is to gain domestic partnership benefits in Austin, Texas. We have been working closely with city council members and their aides to draft a resolution that will offer tangible benefits to same-sex couples.
ACME recently had an organizational meeting with various GLBT and GLBT-ally organizations from around Texas to involve them in our work on domestic partnership benefits.
If you would like to help or be involved, please contact Marti Bier at: marti AT austinmarriageequality DOT org
Posted by cuddlefish at 2:14 PM
The Dirty South Derby Girls recruitment drive is on. Skate with them Sundays from 2pm - 5pm at Sparkles Roller Rink. 4800 Davidson Rd. Marietta, GA.
The girls are also looking bands, referees, announcers, sponsors, merchandise sellers...
contact: dirtysouthderbygirls AT gmail DOT com
support your local rollergirl
Posted by cuddlefish at 9:23 AM
Evidence gained by torture can be used by the U.S. military in deciding whether to imprison a foreigner indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an enemy combatant, the government concedes.
Statements produced under torture have been inadmissible in U.S. courts for about 70 years. But the U.S. military panels reviewing the detention of 550 foreigners as enemy combatants at the U.S. naval base in Cuba are allowed to use such evidence, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Brian Boyle acknowledged at a U.S. District Court hearing Thursday.
Some of the prisoners have filed lawsuits challenging their detention without charges for up to three years so far. At the hearing, Boyle urged District Judge Richard J. Leon to throw their cases out.
Attorneys for the prisoners argued that some were held solely on evidence gained by torture, which they said violated fundamental fairness and U.S. due process standards. But Boyle argued in a similar hearing Wednesday that the detainees "have no constitutional rights enforceable in this court."
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:29 AM
Thursday, December 02, 2004
A producer from a cable music channel recently called me to see if I'd be interested in being a talking head on one of those pop culture decade-in-review-type shows. He said it was about queer people's memories of high school (the working title had the phrase "closet case" in it), and the rest of the conversation went something like this.
"The show is almost complete, and this piece is great, but we're missing, um, is 'lipstick lesbian' the correct term? Basically, we're missing the hot lesbian."
Now, I know they already had several lesbians on the show, so I assume they're butch, un-girlified, or not L Word–standard chic. But I am sure some of them are attractive, even hot; they're just not hot by this straight guy's standards or the idiotic executives he answers to. I should have hung up on him right then and there, but I didn't. I thought maybe I had something to contribute, so I played along.
I am not denying that there are certain gay and lesbian archetypes: We acknowledge them, celebrate them, poke fun at them. After all, I'm the daughter of a gay man who loved Judy Garland, musical theater, and shopping. Shared experiences—the oh-my-god-you-were-obsessed-with-that-too? factor—are part of what binds us together as a community. But it's dangerous to distill us all down to just one narrative of nelly guys and tomboy girls. What's missing is not only a diversity of experiences, but a range of gender expressions, like butch gay men who played high school football, femme dyke homecoming queens, punk-rock kids, and so on.
Mr. Producer's dismissal of my story because it didn't line up with the others was exclusionary, frustrating, and offensive. I know he wasn't working on a PBS documentary on being gay in high school, but a silly package of soundbites and video clips. Maybe my experience is not ideal for TV—it's not archetypal, stereotypical, or simple. It's not easily distilled into a few images, some chirpy words, and a cool, retro graphic treatment. But it's still fucking valid. I know, I know, it's just empty, fill-the-time-slot TV. But shows like his contribute to telling the same story over and over, one in which there is never room for other experiences, identities, and people whose stories are nuanced, complex, or real.
There are plenty of potential lesbians in high school right now who are not on the field hockey team, don't want their hair to look like Johnny Depp's circa 21 Jump Street, and aren't being called bull dykes behind their backs. For these girls, I think it's important to show how different we queers can be. There is not one typical high school narrative or one coming-out story that they must identify with in order to join the club. They just have to dig girls.
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:34 AM
Republican Alabama lawmaker proposes banning gay books from public libraries
An Alabama lawmaker who sought to ban gay marriages now wants to ban novels with gay characters from public libraries, including university libraries.
A bill by Rep. Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale, would prohibit the use of public funds for “the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle.” Allen said he filed the bill to protect children from the “homosexual agenda.”
“Our culture, how we know it today, is under attack from every angle,” Allen said in a press conference Tuesday.
Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed.
“I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them,” he said.
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:12 AM
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush signed an ambitious Social Security plan into law Monday that will allow citizens to bet a third of their payroll taxes on their favorite sports teams.
"It's time we gave the American people the chance to make some real money for retirement," Bush said, speaking from the new Office of Social Security and Pari-mutuel Wagering Building. "Some naysayers think the average citizen doesn't know how to handle his own money. When spring training starts next year, it's up to you to prove them wrong."
"It's your money," Bush added. "You earned it. You should be able to bet it on whatever team you want."
Under the new plan, participating citizens will be asked to list their favorite teams on their W-2 forms. At the start of each major sports season, program participants will visit their local Social Security booking offices to review point spreads and sample playoff trees. Citizens' team selections will be subject to approval by their employers, who contribute a percentage of wages to the employee Social Security Earned Benefits Fund, or "pot," under the new system.
"For too long, Social Security has been managed by an elite group of government accountants and economists," said U.S. Sen. Paul Ryan (R-WI), a longtime advocate of Social Security reform and athletics-based gambling. "Why let your retirement money sit around in an account when you could double or triple it in a single year? Under the new plan, anyone with access to a sports page can control his financial destiny."
Read the rest of the story in the Onion
Posted by cuddlefish at 10:32 AM
Jacklyn Hoerger's job was to treat children with HIV at a New York children's home.
But nobody had told her that the drugs she was administering were experimental and highly toxic.
"We were told that if they were vomiting, if they lost their ability to walk, if they were having diarrhoea, if they were dying, then all of this was because of their HIV infection."
In fact it was the drugs that were making the children ill and the children had been enrolled on the secret trials without their relatives' or guardians' knowledge.
Over 23,000 of the city's children are either in foster care or independent homes run mostly by religious organisations on behalf of the local authorities and almost 99% are black or hispanic.
Some of these kids come from "crack" mothers and have been infected with the HIV virus. For over a decade, this became the target group for experimentation involving cocktails of toxic drugs.
Central to this story is the city's child welfare department, the Administration for Children's Services (ACS).
The ACS, as it is known, was granted far-reaching powers in the 1990s by then-Republican Mayor Rudi Giuliani, after a particularly horrific child killing.
Within the shortest of periods, literally thousands of children were being rounded up and placed in foster care.
"They're essentially out of control," said family lawyer David Lansner. "I've had many ACS case workers tell me: 'We're ACS, we can do whatever we want' and they usually get away with it."
Having taken children into care, the ACS was now, effectively, their parent and could do just about anything it wished with them.
From BBC News
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:36 AM
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
The Center for Constitutional Rights and four Iraqis who were tortured in U.S. custody have filed a complaint with the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office against high ranking United States civilian and military commanders over the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere in Iraq.
We are asking the German prosecutor to launch an investigation: since the U.S. government is unwilling to open an independent investigation into the responsibility of these officials for war crimes, and since the U.S. has refused to join the International Criminal Court, CCR and the Iraqi victims have brought this complaint in Germany as a court of last resort. Several of the defendants are stationed in Germany.
Defendants include Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, former CIA Director George Tenet, Lt. General Ricardo S. Sanchez, Major-General Walter Wojdakowski, Brig.-General Janis Karpinski, Lt.-Colonel Jerry L. Phillabaum, Colonel Thomas M. Pappas, Lt.-Colonel Stephen L. Jordan, Major-General Geoffrey Miller, and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone.
German law allows German courts to prosecute for killing, torture, cruel and inhumane treatment, forcible transfers and sexual coercion such as occurred at Abu Ghraib. The world has seen the photographs and read the leaked “torture memos” – we are doing what is necessary when other systems of justice have failed and seeking to hold officials up the chain of command responsible for the shameful abuses that occurred.
Please join our effort! The German Prosecutor has discretion to decide whether to initiate an investigation. It is critical that he hear from you so he knows that people around the world support this effort.
Deadline: December 31, 2004
Posted by cuddlefish at 2:52 PM
repost via Riff Scandell
OK, here is your chance to meet up with other Spacecity skate chics this week and to get out, get some good exercise, get some nasty bruises while having fun, meet some awesome chics trying to get people interested in roller derby and skating in Spacecity!
Wednesday Night 7 - 9:30/pm $3.00
at Airline Skate Center
10715 Airline Dr. Houston, TX. 77037
-Bandaids and knee pads available upon request for the ones who haven't strapped on skates in over a decade
-BYOF (bring your own flask)
-Call Roxanna for more details/directions if needed 281-852-9780
Hope to see all you lovely skate chics this Wed. to kick start roller derby and hot chics on skates in Spacecity! Tell all your girlfriends and boyfriends and their friends to come skating, bring ideas, and let's get rollin'.
Posted by cuddlefish at 8:32 AM
Monday, November 29, 2004
America may dominate the world in sports and culture but in one arena where size doesn't matter, the "Geography Olympics," the United States was 88th behind minnows such as Madagascar and the Marshall Islands.
More than 46,000 Americans have taken part in this online geography competition started by a man with a mission: Roger Andresen, who quit his job as a fiber optic engineer two years ago when he realized most Americans have never heard of Nauru and don't know Cameroon is in Africa.
Working from his home in Georgia -- the U.S. state, not the country -- he created a jigsaw puzzle with pieces shaped like the countries of the world and launched what he calls the "world's biggest ongoing geography puzzle" on the Web.
Players have 200 seconds to locate 10 randomly selected countries on a map of the world with the names blanked out.
The site www.geographyolympics.com has attracted more than 300,000 players from 179 countries so far. National rankings fluctuate throughout the day depending on the latest scores.
"Geography is just a building block for understanding what's going on in the world," said Andresen, whose family includes Christian missionaries and who has traveled to 44 countries.
"Being the world's superpower we should be informed voters," he said. "Sitting back and not worrying about these things is terrible, and it might be why the rest of the world doesn't care for us."
The best players tend to find seven of 10 locations, he said. Americans' average score is around 5.7 out of 10.
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:03 AM