Saturday, September 24, 2005


In a letter sent today, United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) asked President Bush why his White House point person for disaster coordination and recovery, Karl Rove, was heading for a political fundraiser in North Dakota on the same day Hurricane Rita is expected to slam into Texas and Louisiana.

via First Draft

Friday, September 23, 2005

RIP Eva Lux, 1973 - 2005

Photo by Critter of Posted by Picasa

What Are You Reading For?

Banned Book Week 2005
September 24 - October 1

Just finished reading this. Highly recommended. Next up is this.

friday elfgirl blogging

raya + elfgirl
Photo by Ryan McManus

Purging the Poor

Naomi Klein in the Nation.

Wearing a donated pink T-shirt with an age-inappropriate slogan ("It's the hidden little Tiki spot where the island boys are hot, hot, hot"), Nyler tells me what she is nervous about. "I think New Orleans might not ever get fixed back." "Why not?" I ask, a little surprised to be discussing reconstruction politics with a preteen in pigtails. "Because the people who know how to fix broken houses are all gone."

I don't have the heart to tell Nyler that I suspect she is on to something; that many of the African-American workers from her neighborhood may never be welcomed back to rebuild their city. An hour earlier I had interviewed New Orleans' top corporate lobbyist, Mark Drennen. As president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc., Drennen was in an expansive mood, pumped up by signs from Washington that the corporations he represents--everything from Chevron to Liberty Bank to Coca-Cola--were about to receive a package of tax breaks, subsidies and relaxed regulations so generous it would make the job of a lobbyist virtually obsolete.

Listening to Drennen enthuse about the opportunities opened up by the storm, I was struck by his reference to African-Americans in New Orleans as "the minority community." At 67 percent of the population, they are in fact the clear majority, while whites like Drennen make up just 27 percent. It was no doubt a simple verbal slip, but I couldn't help feeling that it was also a glimpse into the desired demographics of the new-and-improved city being imagined by its white elite, one that won't have much room for Nyler or her neighbors who know how to fix houses. "I honestly don't know and I don't think anyone knows how they are going to fit in," Drennen said of the city's unemployed.


Friday Random Ten: elfgirl edition

Raveonettes-Heartbreak Stroll
Le Tigre- Deceptagon
OMD- Genetic Engineering
Neutral Milk Hotel- Holland 1945
Dead 60's- Riot on the Radio
Gang Of Four- Damaged Goods
Elf Power- Shadow In Vain (Tubeway Army cover)
Pulp-Common People
The Walkmen- The Rat
Wire- Early Miner

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Amnesty International: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgenderd People in the U.S.

Profiling and Selective Enforcement
AI's research has revealed that law enforcement officers profile LGBT individuals, in particular gender variant individuals and LGBT individuals of color, as criminal in a number of different contexts, and selectively enforce laws relating to “morals regulations,” bars and social gatherings, demonstrations and “quality of life.” AI’s findings indicate that race continues to be a motivating factor in presumptions of criminality, and that racism compounds the homophobic and transphobic treatment of LGBT people of color by police. The targeting of LGBT people of color by law enforcement mirrors the systemic racism found in policing in the USA in general, and is consistent with previous AI documentation.

Sexual, Physical and Verbal Abuse
Reports to AI indicate that sexual, physical and verbal abuse frequently occur together. Sexual and physical abuse by law enforcement against LGBT individuals are often accompanied by homophobic and transphobic slurs. In addition, verbal abuse against individuals perceived to be LGBT is often sexualized, in particular toward lesbians and transgender individuals.

Searches and Detention
AI has received reports of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of LGBT individuals during arrest, searches and detention in police precinct holding cells.

Police Response to Crimes Against LGBT Individuals: Fear of Reporting; Police Failure to Respond and Inappropriate Police Response
AI is concerned that U.S. authorities are failing to act with due diligence to prevent and investigate crimes against LGBT people. Reports to AI indicate a pattern of police failing to respond or responding inappropriately to “hate crimes,” domestic violence and other crimes against LGBT individuals, particularly crimes against LGBT individuals of color, immigrants and other marginalized individuals.

Training and Accountability
69 percent (20 out of 29) police departments responding to AI’s survey reported that they provide training on issues relating to LGBT individuals or communities. 28 percent (eight out of 29) of police departments responding to AI’s survey reported that they do not have any training on LGBT issues.

Identity-based Discrimination
The report’s findings strongly indicate that police abuse and the forms it takes often are specific to different aspects of the victim’s identity, such as sexual orientation, race, gender, or gender identity, age or economic status. Stonewalled highlights the treatment of LGBT individuals in the hands of police within the larger framework of identity-based discrimination, and demonstrates how the interplay between different forms of discrimination — racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia — make certain populations within the LGBT community more likely to be targeted for abuse.

tags: , ,


Photo by Ryan McManus

So Happy It's Thursday

Tracking Rita

Kinky Friedman Why the Hell Not?

Paramount has purchased a comedy pitch about women's roller derby.

It's Fucked Up Engrish Week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Unleash Chang

Jeb Bush Has an Imaginary Friend.

via Atrios

Party with Lance

Get ready for a Lance Armstrong Tour de France celebration party.

Armstrong will be in Austin on Sunday, Oct. 2 and will host a free citywide party for his Austin fans.


HUNDREDS of tons of British food aid shipped to America for starving Hurricane Katrina survivors is to be burned.

US red tape is stopping it from reaching hungry evacuees.

Instead tons of the badly needed Nato ration packs, the same as those eaten by British troops in Iraq, has been condemned as unfit for human consumption.

And unless the bureaucratic mess is cleared up soon it could be sent for incineration.

One British aid worker last night called the move "sickening senselessness" and said furious colleagues were "spitting blood".

The food, which cost British taxpayers millions, is sitting idle in a huge warehouse after the Food and Drug Agency recalled it when it had already left to be distributed.

Scores of lorries headed back to a warehouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, to dump it at an FDA incineration plant.

The Ministry of Defence in London said last night that 400,000 operational ration packs had been shipped to the US.

But officials blamed the US Department of Agriculture, which impounded the shipment under regulations relating to the import and export of meat.

The aid worker, who would not be named, said: "This is the most appalling act of sickening senselessness while people starve.

Bruisers vs. Surly Gurlies

The flat track Arizona Roller Derby kicks off their third season this Saturday, September 24th.

Bruisers vs. Surly Gurlies

The Bruisers vs. The Surly Gurlies

Saturday, September 24.

Castle Sports Club

Tikets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

Doors open at 7pm, bout at 8pm.

Visit the Arizona Roller Derby website for more info.

tags: , , , ,


Bush Official Arrested in Corruption Probe

The Bush administration's top federal procurement official resigned Friday and was arrested yesterday, accused of lying and obstructing a criminal investigation into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings with the federal government. It was the first criminal complaint filed against a government official in the ongoing corruption probe related to Abramoff's activities in Washington.

The complaint, filed by the FBI, alleges that David H. Safavian, 38, a White House procurement official involved until last week in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, made repeated false statements to government officials and investigators about a golf trip with Abramoff to Scotland in 2002.

Monday, September 19, 2005


It's Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Jolly Garogers

Treasure Hunt

Posted by Picasa

Calico Bess Rackham

What's Your Pirate Name?

$1,000,000,000 plundered

Patrick Cockburn in the Independent

One billion dollars has been plundered from Iraq's defence ministry in one of the largest thefts in history, The Independent can reveal, leaving the country's army to fight a savage insurgency with museum-piece weapons.

The money, intended to train and equip an Iraqi army capable of bringing security to a country shattered by the US-led invasion and prolonged rebellion, was instead siphoned abroad in cash and has disappeared.

"It is possibly one of the largest thefts in history," Ali Allawi, Iraq's Finance Minister, told The Independent.

"Huge amounts of money have disappeared. In return we got nothing but scraps of metal."

The carefully planned theft has so weakened the army that it cannot hold Baghdad against insurgent attack without American military support, Iraqi officials say, making it difficult for the US to withdraw its 135,000- strong army from Iraq, as Washington says it wishes to do.

Most of the money was supposedly spent buying arms from Poland and Pakistan. The contracts were peculiar in four ways. According to Mr Allawi, they were awarded without bidding, and were signed with a Baghdad-based company, and not directly with the foreign supplier. The money was paid up front, and, surprisingly for Iraq, it was paid at great speed out of the ministry's account with the Central Bank. Military equipment purchased in Poland included 28-year-old Soviet-made helicopters. The manufacturers said they should have been scrapped after 25 years of service. Armoured cars purchased by Iraq turned out to be so poorly made that even a bullet from an elderly AK-47 machine-gun could penetrate their armour. A shipment of the latest MP5 American machine-guns, at a cost of $3,500 (£1,900) each, consisted in reality of Egyptian copies worth only $200 a gun. Other armoured cars leaked so much oil that they had to be abandoned. A deal was struck to buy 7.62mm machine-gun bullets for 16 cents each, although they should have cost between 4 and 6 cents.