Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Agreed...






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There seems to be a theme with the targeting and abusing of female protesters...

Just need to make sure that the wimmin are scared enough of the police and the army that they stay off the streets.


Egypt: Admission of forced 'virginity tests' must lead to justice


The Egyptian authorities must bring those responsible for ordering or conducting forced ‘virginity tests’ to justice, following a senior military figure’s admission that the army subjected female protesters to them, Amnesty International said today.

A senior Egyptian general told CNN that women detained on 9 March at Cairo’s Tahrir Square had been forced to undergo ‘virginity tests’, which the government has previously denied.

The general, speaking on condition of anonymity, justified the abuse by saying that the women “were not like your daughter or mine. These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters.”

“This admission is an utterly perverse justification of a degrading form of abuse,” said Amnesty International. “The women were subjected to nothing less than torture.”

“The Egyptian authorities must condemn these discriminatory, abusive and insulting attitudes which have been used to justify torture of women protesters, and which are clearly present at the highest levels.

Amnesty International gathered the testimonies of women protesters subjected to forced ‘virginity tests’ in March, and wrote to Egypt’s Supreme Council for Armed Forces requesting an investigation. However, no response was received.

The general also told CNN that the reason for the ‘tests’ was “[w]e didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren't virgins in the first place."

“This general’s implication that only virgins can be victims of rape is a long-discredited sexist attitude and legal absurdity. When determining a case of rape, it is irrelevant whether or not the victim is a virgin”

“The army must immediately instruct security forces and soldiers that such ‘tests’ are banned.”

When army officers violently cleared Tahrir Square on 9 March – the day after International Women’s Day – 18 women were detained, beaten, given electric shocks, of which 17 were then subjected to strip searches, forced to submit to ‘virginity tests’ and threatened with prostitution charges.

The women were brought before a military court on 11 March and released on 13 March. Several received one-year suspended sentences for charges including disorderly conduct, destroying property, obstructing traffic and possession of weapons..

Amnesty International fears that discriminatory and patriarchal attitudes towards women in Egypt are standing in the way of women’s full participation in the reform process.

Although women were on the frontline on the mass nationwide protests that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, no women were chosen to be part of the constitutional reform committee, and they have received little representation in the new government.

“Egypt’s government needs to uphold the rights of all of the nation’s women who are working for the country’s freedoms, especially those struggling for gender equality and rights for women,” said Amnesty International.

and again i ask - WHERE IS ASMAA MAHFOUZ? If they raped Egyptian wimmin for daring to protest, what might they have done to the woman who sparked the whole rebellion?






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Fire...

I decided to check some of the links on infoshop.org and came across this piece of fierce on angry news from around the world...

Spain: For total Anarchy NOW. Signed, some violent anti-social anti-system terrorists

a las barricadas, translated by war on society

27/05/2011 - This writing surges from the indignation that causes us to see that the “real democracy now” movement presents itself as a true revolution, when what it really represents and defends is the continuation of the capitalist system, patched with some reforms that do nothing but give it legitimacy. The ideas reflected in the manifesto of this movement are summonings of politicians, demands for a system that works perfectly, for a democracy that allows for a channeled and controllable dissent, while not threatening its survival.
We DO NOT endorse the petition of the manifesto, since it is a vacuous discourse, an ambiguous one, and one that devalues ​​the real revolution.
We DO NOT recognize ourselves as citizens, DO NOT include ourselves in the “real democracy now” movement because we are against all power, even power emanating from the people. We are against social democracy, representability, and being servants of the system. We DO NOT want a world of happy consumption, of factories and exploitative companies.
We demand respect for the use of the word “anti-system”; to apply it to politicians and bankers is an inconsistency, as they represent the essence of the current system, they reinforce it and they protect it. In a statement from M-15 they say that the police officer who attacks is anti-system; this is nothing more than cosmetic surgery on the actual functioning of this system, which includes the domain of violence at the hands of security forces. We are proud to be anti-system, as we walk towards the destruction of everything that oppresses us, we want a real change in our lives.
We reject the arrogance with which this movement distinguishes itself from violent revolutionary actions, promoting peaceful forms as “the only possible tool of social change.” We understand that this affirmation does not recognize historical revolutions such as the violent actions during the social revolution in the Second Republic and during the civil war in this territory. It also discredits the struggles of the various commandos and autonomous groups of the 70s, 80s and 90s (Iberian Liberation Movement, Direct Action, and a long etc.), as well as the actions of violent resistance of some labor movements. And to point out other struggles in other places, which also include violent response, we remember the Sandinista revolution and the armed national liberation struggles such as the EZLN. Currently, the insurrectional struggle spreads across the globe in the form of autonomous and violent actions against the structures and symbols of capital and authority.
The system is not to be reformed, it is to be destroyed. They are not going to give us anything that we want nor are we going to ask for it. We will not fall into demands to those we do not recognize, we decided to take it for ourselves. This system is made up of bankers, politicians, workers, citizens and their civil rights. Since the petition of the manifesto calls for a proper functioning of this system, to ensure respect for social rights, to ensure progress, work, consumption and happiness. We do not want a welfare system that is perpetuated against life and freedom. We do not want to be peaceful and passive subjects who conform. We are against the logic of labor-consumption. Wage labor is slavery, prostitution of our bodies and our minds and energy in the service of capitalism. Thus are maintained the structures on which stands the state of domination: the mass worker-consumer is complicit and a fundamental part in the proper functioning of this system.
A struggle does not find its measure in the quantity of mass that moves and by its levels of spectacularity, but rather in its content, its forms, its coherence and its continuity. The revolution is in the day-to-day, in our lives, in what we are.
We are outraged by your outrage, which only responds in defense of egoistic interests and seeks comfortable and superfluous solutions, which does not seek a profound and radical (going to the root of the problems) revolution, but rather the improvement of the conditions of exploitation within this model of false welfare.
For all that, we claim and propose:
Non-recognition of any system of government that decides for ourselves about our lives, whether neo-liberal, democratic, socialist, communist, populist, fascist, dictatorial, social-democratic, etc.
Non-legitimation of authority, in any of its forms, institutions and power structures: patriarchal family, army, police, government, doctors, hospitals, psychiatrists, psychiatric, schools, universities, gender roles, prisons (including youth custody, detention centers of foreigners, zoos, etc), businesses, religions …
Abolition of wage labor and all forms of exploitation.
End of the prison-society, demolition of the prison and freedom for all prisoners. End of the system of social control, of video surveillance, of police and citizen-police.
Solidarity with our comrades in struggle, persecuted, imprisoned or killed at the hands of those who represent the system of extermination.
End of the economic system based in money and in capitalist human relationships that it generates around itself.
Destruction of industrial-technological system; return to a life in balance and respect toward nature and other animals, away from the non-life, congestion and artificiality of cities.
End of the sexual roles that society inculcates, inversion of gender. We are beings beyond our genitals.
Earth and animal liberation. End of the use of other animals as objects/products of food, clothing, entertainment, companionship, experimentation… and of the use and abuse of nature as a resource in the service of unreal devastating human needs.
Rupture of the general apathy and continuity of individual and collective struggles that are committed, sincere and consistent.
Signed, some violent anti-social anti-system terrorists.




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And this one of the reasons they want to crush the unions...

Wimmin workers speaking out about oppression and abuse? Now, we can't have that...

Did Housekeeper’s Union Membership Allow Her to Speak Out Against Strauss-Kahn?

By Akito Yoshikane

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest has not only upended the geopolitical world. It has also shed light on the seedy undercurrents of the hotel industry.

Hotel workers, many of whom are immigrant women, have long remained mum about their own tales of sexual assault for fear of losing their jobs, especially in a business that emphasizes servility and discretion. But the 32-year-old housekeeper from Guinea that spoke out against the now ex-chief of the International Monetary Fund didn’t have to worry about such reprisals, thanks in part to protections afforded from her union membership.

The workers at the Sofitel Hotel, where the alleged rape occured, are represented by the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council. And as Adele M. Stan points out for Alternet, the housekeeper could not be fired for coming forward due to the union’s contract with the hotel.

The housekeeper, a single mother who legally immigrated to the United States just several years ago, spoke out against Strauss-Kahn, who held one of the most powerful political positions in the world before his resignation.

The labor provisions in her union contract – such as job security and grievance channels – provide safeguards to address workplace issues that compromise a safe environment. It also facilitates accountability from not only the patrons, but management, as recent reports have shown that some hotels have tried to sweep illicit incidents under the rug in the past, even leveraging a worker's immigration status.

Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn currently remains on house arrest in New York and awaits trial on charges of rape and sexual abuse. The 62-year-old French national has maintained his innocence and says the encounter was consensual.

The strong local presence of unions has allowed hotel workers to enjoy far more rights than others in the industry. New York City hotel workers are the most unionized in the world, with a membership rate of 75 percent, according to the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, which represents more than 300,000 non-managerial members. But in the United States, overall union membership in the hotel industry is just 8 percent, according to the Department of Labor.

In a business where accommodating the customer is paramount, many of the workers are hesitant to report incidents, fearing they will be fired for causing trouble, or that the hotel will simply believe the patron's account instead of the worker. In the wake of the Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, the New York hotel union describes the current state of the industry in an editorial on their website:

[The workers] can be disciplined or penalized, or fired or simply denied work, without cause, at any time. Those non-union workers who happen also to be undocumented immigrants – a large proportion of the total workforce in the U.S. hospitality industry – live almost entirely without the protection of law.

For these reasons, employers generally feel free to mistreat employees, to cheat them, to disregard their safety, to rob them of their dignity, and to violate even the few pitiful legal rights that exist in theory, knowing they can do so with impunity. So, employees in this industry, throughout the world, are normally too afraid to complain about anything.

The incident has put a spotlight on the nature of housekeeping, which is usually the most physically demanding in the hotel business. Housekeepers clean anywhere from 10 to 14 rooms a day, folding, scrubbing, vacuuming, and emptying trash. And on top of the labor, there is the added dimension of cleaning a room alone. Workers in the industry have come out with their own accounts of sexual assault, ranging from indecent exposure, explicit comments, and more, suggesting these incidents are more common than previously thought or reported.

In response to the heightened attention, New York lawmakers have introduced legislation to provide “personal security buttons” to hotel workers. But it’s easy to forget that unions and collective bargaining were also just as important in providing safeguards, even as these rights are subject to increasing rollbacks across the country.

http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/7354/did_housekeepers_union_membership_allow_her_to_speak_out_against_strau/


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From dissident voice...

Falsehoods on Freedom
by Ron Jacobs

While a comparison to the coronation of George the Fifth as Emperor of India might be a bit of a stretch, the recent tour of Barack Obama to the British Isles does have an uncomfortable similarity with the 1860 visit to Canada and the United States by Edward, the Prince of Wales. Back then, Britain was at the top of the Anglo-American duet, while nowadays the opposite is true. Edward was years away from becoming King, so his journey was merely for show. Mr. Obama may be president, but the real power in Washington lies where it has for decades: in the Pentagon and the industries it serves either directly or otherwise. Platitudes, not substance, were what Mr. Obama brought with him to Great Britain.

Barack Obama told the British Parliament that the longing for freedom “beats in every human heart.” He also stated that American and British leadership of the world remains “essential to the cause of human dignity.” What he did not acknowledge was the fact that these two nations and their Empires have made human dignity an unattainable reality for millions who toil under their economic regime. Likewise, the history of these two nations on the world stage includes some very ugly episodes involved in denying the very freedoms Mr. Obama claims are the result of these nations’ leadership.

As far as history goes, perhaps Mr. Obama should review his. Referring to the current uprisings and rebellions across the Arab world, he compared them to the struggles against the former states associated with the Soviet Union, South African apartheid and dictatorships in Southeast Asia and Latin America. By confusing the struggles against the totalitarian states of Eastern Europe with the struggles against dictatorships in Latin America and apartheid South Africa, Mr. Obama is essentially comparing apples to oranges. After all, it was the US (especially) and Britain that supported not only the dictatorships in Latin America, but also the apartheid regime in South Africa. This support was not only monetary and political but, in the case of Washington, also military. In contrast, it was the Soviet Union that supported the struggles against these regimes while also opposing the US-created and supported dictatorships across Southeast Asia. For Mr. Obama to suggest otherwise is misleading and just plain false.

Yet, it is not the least unusual. The view from the White House and Capitol Hill compares quite favorably to that from Parliament and 10 Downing Street. What looks like freedom from the Oval Office and Buckingham Palace looks a lot more like servitude and economic despair on the ground in the NorthWest Frontier of Pakistan or the camps of Gaza. The fact that a man with dark skin now shares the same view as the one enjoyed by Disraeli does not make it any less imperial. It only shows the ever-expanding sophistication of those behind the thrones of capital and the willingness of those whose ancestors fought the empire to serve its modern day equivalent.

When I was younger, my family was stationed in Peshawar, Pakistan. The Air Force base we lived on was a small station devoted to spying on the USSR and China. It had some connection to the U2 flights that changed when Gary Powers was shot down over Soviet territory. My dad had one friend whom we did not address by rank. We called him Mr. S. I found out years later that he was most likely with the CIA. That was why he had no rank. Not only did he not have a rank, he also did not live on base. Instead, he lived in a hotel left over from the time of the British Raj. Every few weeks, he would come by our house on base with his driver and pick me up. After stopping at the hotel where we sat on the porch and ate various Pakistani dishes, his driver would take us out to one of the villages in the surrounding area. While Mr. S. discussed things in Urdu with various older men and the occasional Pakistani military officer, I would play with the local boys. Then we would eat a very tasty dinner roasted over a fire. Dinner was usually over by dark and then we departed, leaving the villagers in their village while I was taken back to my air-conditioned home on base.

This childhood existence is a partial metaphor for the imperial view Mr. Obama touted as freedom to the British Parliament. As a part of the US military presence in Pakistan, I was quite free to come and go as I pleased as long as my military or military-affiliated escort was present. Mr. S. was even more able given his adult age. Yet, it was his work and the work of the US military in that country that ensured that any freedom the Pakistani boys I played with would come only at a price their entire nation would pay. In fact, those boys may very well have already paid with their lives. If not, and if they have joined forces opposed to Obama’s vision of freedom, a drone could cash in their payment at any time. Freedom does have a price and the rest of the planet has been paying for Washington’s for a long time.

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way The Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground. He recently released a collection of essays and musings titled Tripping Through the American Night. His latest novel The Co-Conspirator's Tale, is published by Fomite. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is published by Mainstay Press. Read other articles by Ron.






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There was something I didn't make clear in my "animal" related writing...

I literally only realized it this morning in the shower. Nothing new, I already realize this and explain it to my children. It's just that in my thrust to reason out the treated like farm "animals" colonization piece, I...think...I over-identified with the collective humiliation and pain piece. This probably won't make sense until you read what I've inserted below. It's in red...

this isn't new information. And I know that there have been fairly terse exchanges between activists where people challenging racism and white domination have challenged animal rights activists who have attempted to make links between how kidnapped Africans were treated by the colonizer, requesting alliance and coalition based on the fact that if anyone would understand what it means to be "treated like an animal" it would be people who were defined as animals, treated accordingly, brutalized accordingly, bred accordingly, stripped, abused and traded accordingly. If any single grouping of people might be able to get it, it might be the descendants of those kidnapped Africans.

hmmmm...
I think that my ancestors and their descendants have worked and struggled to have people see their humanity, their basic humanness. I know I fucking have. And I know that Sankofa aside, many of us don't like to look back and remember what was done to us. I also know that for many people having a critique of white domination and white power is really different than having a critique of domination and power in general. For many of us hierarchy that pushes us under, that crushes us is one thing but that doesn't mean that there is a problem with hierarchies where we experience privilege.

I believe differently. I fucking hate hierarchies of oppression, systems of domination. It makes me feel itchy and self disgusted when I find myself participating in or benefiting from them. I feel icky and self disgusted on a fairly regular basis because I do benefit from societally maintained hierarchies.

This is me saying that I think the demand for Diasporic African people, us descendants of slaves to look at the imposed, horrific experience we have with the psych0tic "animal" husbandry of the colonizer is well founded.

Don't go freaking out and getting your underwear in a hitch. I'm not saying we are or ever were animals.
We'll...strike that. We, human beings are animals. What is at issue here for me is that animals are collectively defined by us humans, in denial of our animal selves, our creature selves, as the dominated, the colonized, those who are under our dominion, those who live and die by our wills, those who have been put on this planet to do our bidding and to be treated as well or as poorly as we see fit.

This is a deeply disturbed approach to understanding our place as animals on this planet. It has given human beings, especially those whose ancestors built the west or those whose ancestors were inculcated with the seeds of domination here a truly skewed understanding of our place in the ecosystem which has driven everyone, every creature, every system on the planet to the brink of ruin...or at least profound, artificially created, completely unnecessary, brutal, diseased transformation.

Since it is not only true that all humans are animals...
true that humans have constructed animals as the dominated...
true that Black people and a few other colonized people have been constructed as "animals"/other (than human and therefore less than) by an intellectually and emotionally deficient planetary human minority so that we could be dominated and utilized...
there is something here we need to grasp a hold of, something in our memory banks, a powerfully horrific experience that offers us abominable insight I see us Black people as a human/animal collective turning away from.

To my mind we (along with any other peoples who have been colonized, forcibly held and collectively brutalized against their will) have gotten a chance to exist in "animal" hell. Many human people are still forced to live there. That's what liberation struggles are about.

But what does it mean for us to rebel all over the planet and say: "You have no right to treat us like fucking animals" without realizing that human beings are no better or more deserving of respect, peace, safety, autonomy than the other creatures who live on this world?

How do we effectively rebel and demand full emancipation without realizing that our existence as one species on this planet is profoundly linked to the safety and well being of everyone else who lives here, who is trying to just live here alongside us human beings in peace?

Those of us humans who have been constructed as the dominated possess abominable knowledge re what it means to be perceived as less than human and to fall into the evil hands of psychopaths who believe they are truly superior
, knowledge that we do not collectively draw from when we articulate our political agendas .

These are agendas that began as basic survival means. But c'mon...we have been translating our experiences driven by sentient insight into clear, concise, decolonizing, revolutionary language for generations. For some of us living in the west, right up under the colonizer, the drive to survive needs to transform in a myriad of ways. We need to be looking around us at what rebellions need to have our support in coalition. There are other systems of domination besides the big three racism, classism and sexism that need to be examined.

I have been teaching myself to look at different rebellion movements, different struggles for change, homeschooling myself re the face of power and domination since I left university. I've included a lot of pieces theoretically. I've included some of these theories, some of this talk in my walk.

This is always difficult, always a challenge because this involves looking at not just how I'm oppressed but also at how I oppress, at the privileges I have.

I hate that.
I don't do it consistently.
Sometimes I get stubborn or petulant or annoyed and just wrap myself up in focusing specifically on the well being of my family saying: "Fuck it. Fuck everything and everyone else. I'm only one person. Oppression is fucking me over in a bunch of different ways. It's gonna crush me, drive me insane, murderdeathkill me. I just wanna breathe. Why do I have to be responsible. I'm so not perfect. So why stress myself?"

Recipient of multiple oppressions or no there are links to other liberation struggles that I can make in my day-to-day that honour those kidnapped African ancestors.

It's from this place that I'm saying that links can be made to the work of animal rights activists that do not tarnish me as a Diasporic African, that do not lessen the strides Black people have made to have ourselves seen as the fully sentient, cultured beings we were when the colonizer encountered us, during the middle passage and after it supposedly ended.

What I'm in the process of absorbing is the fact that no creature of this planet should be treated like an "animal", ear marked for domination, for cruel, exploitative treatment. Humans who are attempting to emancipate domesticated animals and to protect animals, our fellow denizens on this planet should be held in high esteem and supported.

I'm thinking about what this realizing means for me, about how far I want to take this insight. What about the mice who like to enter my house? What about the ants who come in droves when they need to occupy my kitchen? What about the steaks, ground beef, chickens I eat? What about the make-up I wear? What about the shampoos and soaps I use? I need to make some choices.


But from where I'm standing this is necessary work, responsible, mature collective work. I have a responsibility to pay attention to the other creatures who are defined as animals, who are defined as lesser, who have been taken, kidnapped and held for generations, not free, imprisoned, fed slop, bred as per the agendas of owners, killed by the thousands and millions and experimented on.

I have been taught to remember what it meant for my ancestors to have been treated as less than human. This experience, this memory grabs me by the scruff of my neck and forces my head around, props my eyes open even though it would be much more convenient to not truly understand the plight of creatures who are seen and treated as less than in a thoroughly self serving barbaric way by us supposed higher creatures.

Nine year old wants to become a vegetarian. She hasn't hit puberty yet and I worry about her physical development. But she has a right to decide what she'll eat and what she won't. In any case, we're in conversation. I have information I'd like to offer her, some thoughts I'd like to share and some negotiation to do.

In the meantime...
Reading...
processing...
assimilating...




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Activist organizer goes to court tomorrow re: his resistance to G20 occupation of Toronto...

Call for G20 court support for Indigenous rights activist Ryan Rainville

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
9 a.m. - 12 p.m
Old City Hall - courtroom 111
60 Queen St W
Toronto, ON

For courtroom updates please contact: (416) 708 3195 or follow http://twitter.com/g20mobilize

The Call Out:

Ryan Rainville appears in court on Tuesday May 31st to continue his trial on a number of G20-related charges including allegations of mischief, obstruction, and assault. Join his family, friends and supporters in the courthouse to show your support. Please note this is not a demonstration but a call for appropriate court support.

Ryan has been targeted as a young Indigenous man from Sackimay Nation, and charged with allegations stemming from June demonstrations against the G20 in Toronto. He was held at Maplehurst Correctional Complex for over three months, and finally released in November 2010 into the Sagatay First Nations Bail Program on strict bail conditions with a number of non-associations.

Says Ryan Rainville "I continue to be committed to speaking out against the daily injustices perpetrated by capitalist exploitation and colonial assimilation. As an Indigenous man, it is my responsibility to continue to use my voice to speak the truth and to contribute to the cause of justice and freedom for all peoples. While criminalizing voices of dissent is part of the ongoing post G20 crackdown, the repression of Indigenous resistance is part of the ongoing legacy of colonization for 500 years across Turtle Island."

For a backgrounder, please see:

Activist Communiqué: Ryan Rainville - 83 days in jail and counting
Activist Communiqué: G20 defendant Ryan Rainville out on bail after 3 months behind bars






if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

My "animal" related critique has been completely hierarchical...

this isn't new information. And I know that there have been fairly terse exchanges between activists where people challenging racism and white domination have challenged animal rights activists who have attempted to make links between how kidnapped Africans were treated by the colonizer, requesting alliance and coalition based on the fact that if anyone would understand what it means to be "treated like an animal" it would be people who were defined as animals, treated accordingly, brutalized accordingly, bred accordingly, stripped, abused and traded accordingly. If any single grouping of people might be able to get it, it might be the descendants of those kidnapped Africans.

hmmmm...
I think that my ancestors and their descendants have worked and struggled to have people see their humanity, their basic humanness. I know I fucking have. And I know that Sankofa aside, many of us don't like to look back and remember what was done to us. I also know that for many people having a critique of white domination and white power is really different than having a critique of domination and power in general. For many of us hierarchy that pushes us under, that crushes us is one thing but that doesn't mean that there is a problem with hierarchies where we experience privilege.

I believe differently. I fucking hate hierarchies of oppression, systems of domination. It makes me feel itchy and self disgusted when I find myself participating in or benefiting from them. I feel icky and self disgusted on a fairly regular basis because I do benefit from societally maintained hierarchies.

This is me saying that I think the demand for Diasporic African people, us descendants of slaves to look at the imposed, horrific experience we have with the psych0tic "animal" husbandry of the colonizer is well founded.

Don't go freaking out and getting your underwear in a hitch. I'm not saying we are or ever were animals.

It's just that to my mind we (along with any other peoples who have been colonized, forcibly held and collectively brutalized against their will) have a really good collective insight into what it means to be perceived as less than human and to fall into the evil hands of savages who believe they are truly human. We have been translating that insight into clear, concise, decolonizing, revolutionary language for generations.

Links can be made that do not tarnish us or lessen the strides we've made to have ourselves seen as the fully sentient, cultured beings we were when they encountered us, during the middle passage and after it supposedly ended to the struggles of humans who are attempting to emancipate domesticated animals and to protect animals, our fellow denizens on this planet, in general.

From where I'm standing this is necessary work, responsible, mature collective work. I think we have a responsibility to pay attention to the other creatures who are defined as animals, who are defined as lesser, who have been taken, kidnapped and held for generations, not free, imprisoned, fed slop, bred as per the agendas of owners, killed by the thousands and millions and experimented on.

I have been taught to remember what it meant for my ancestors to have been treated as less than human. This experience, this memory grabs me by the scruff of my neck and forces my head around, props my eyes open even though it would be much more convenient to not truly understand the plight of creatures who are seen and treated as less than in a thoroughly self serving barbaric way by us supposed higher creatures.

Nine year old wants to become a vegetarian. She hasn't hit puberty yet and I worry about her physical development. But she has a right to decide what she'll eat and what she won't. In any case, we're in conversation. I have information I'd like to offer her, some thoughts I'd like to share and some negotiation to do.

In the meantime...
Reading...
processing...
assimilating...

Is Green the New Red?

By Robert Meeropol; May 28th, 2011 - Dissident Voice
http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/05/is-green-the-new-red/

Aside from my parents’ case, United States v. Dennis is perhaps the most famous McCarthy Era Red Scare legal action. In that case the government convicted the leaders of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) of conspiring to organize a revolutionary movement. Once the hysteria abated, the Supreme Court decision upholding that conviction became one of the more embarrassing episodes of our judicial history. CPUSA leaders went to prison for coordinating the teaching of the principles of Marxist-Leninism, despite the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of assembly and speech.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Today we have the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) passed in 2006. AETA is a beefed up version of the Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AEPA) that was passed in 1992.

Under AETA, “Whoever travels in interstate commerce…. for the purpose … of interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise, intentionally… causes the loss of any … personal property [or] intentionally places a person in reasonable fear … of serious bodily injury … by a course of conduct involving … harassment or intimidation or conspires or attempts to do so” shall be subject to massive fines and many years in prison. In plain English, if you organize a group of people to take action that results in a financial loss to an animal enterprise or scares the employees of that company then you can go to prison for a very long time. That’s today’s law, and so far, the one prosecution I’m aware of that the government initiated under it, was dismissed without its constitutionality being tested.

However, seven people went to prison for organizing against Huntingdon Life Sciences under the AEPA, the older, “gentler” version. AEPA created the new crime of “animal enterprise terrorism,” but you had to cause physical disruption to violate this law. It was designed to counter the growing underground movement of animal rights and environmental activists who damaged property to disrupt the activities of corporations that tormented animals and despoiled the environment.

But the young people who organized Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), and have become known as the SHAC 7 were not part of an illegal underground campaign. Instead they organized a very public and successful effort to shame and harass a large corporation, Huntingdon Life Sciences. In post-9/11 America, prosecutors developed a new legal theory by expanding the “physical disruption” language in AEPA to include loss of profits. The SHAC 7 were convicted of being animal enterprise terrorists under that interpretation of physical disruption. In 2006 the judge sentenced the “conspirators” to up to six years in prison.

This movement isn’t about being nice to kittens and puppies. It’s about torture of animals on a massive scale, in pursuit of corporate profit. Huntingdon Life Sciences kills at least 71,000 and possibly as many as 181,000 animals annually to test cleaners, cosmetics, drugs, pesticides and other ingredients. Hidden camera videos have recorded employees beating animals and dissecting live monkeys.

Will Potter, in his new book Green is the New Red, describes a particularly horrific experiment at another laboratory: “[O]ne infant primate [was] named Britches. Experimenters had taken Britches from his mother on the night of his birth and sewn his eyes shut with thick black sutures. They attached a sonar device to his head that let off a screeching sound and placed him in a steel cage, alone; the isolation and sensory deprivation caused neurological disorders. Britches would lurch and shake, shrieking.”

What’s this got to do with United States v. Dennis? Just as in Dennis, the courts in the SHAC 7 case have criminalized organizing. And if that can be done under AEPA, you can imagine the result under AETA, which could be considered as AEPA on steroids!

I know there are RFC supporters who feel that fighting for animal rights is a somewhat trivial pursuit compared to trying to prevent the horrific crimes against humanity carried out by multi-national corporations and the many governments they influence or control. But the behavior against which these activists are organizing, is part of the same culture that permeates the military industrial complex, the energy companies, the private prison corporations, and so on. These are the same foes we all face every day. The rights the corporations and their political flunkies seek to curtail belong to us all. And the sensibilities these heroic young militants seek to spread are the same values to which other progressives aspire.

Let’s not look down our noses at a new generation of activists whose causes vary from our own and who are doing things a little differently from what our generation did. Instead, let’s emphasize our points of convergence. We need as much solidarity as we can get in taking on the corporate juggernaut.

Robert Meeropol is an activist, author, and attorney, and the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. In 1990 Robert started the Rosenberg Fund for Children, a public foundation that helps children in the U.S. whose parents are targeted, progressive activists, and also youth who themselves have been targeted because of their own activism.





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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Nine year old's favourite song right now...

she just doesn't understand why adele spends the whole time sitting. now that i've seen it i can have another conversation about how fat phobia works and about how this particular form of domination forms part of the foundation of the pop music industry, informing our desires, our ways of understanding what pop singers are attractive and, in an industry completely built on surface, completely ignorant notions of beauty, what pop singers' songs will be smash hits, climbing the charts, moving units, making fortunes. adele, white fatty girl, has the black blues woman appropriated cross between etta james and aretha franklin in the sixties voice DOWN. she's got the chops and the pop machinery behind her. but she doesn't have the anorexic, bumping and grinding, teenaged school girl bod topped off by the glossy come hither lips of pop music's favourites. the voice and the whiteness combined can make money. but what to do about that pesky fat body that just will not go away. no worries. we'll shoot her sitting down in a dark coloured figure obscuring dress. the viewers will focus on her expressive voice and even more expressive face and the song will be a hit! i'm sure that's how they worked it, thought about it, envisioned it.






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Saturday, May 28, 2011

I like her work...So, when she speaks/writes I pay attention...

Anatomy of a Murder: How NATO Killed Qaddafi Family Members
by Cynthia McKinney / May 28th, 2011

How many times must a parent bury a child?

Well, in the case of Muammar Qaddafi it’s not only twice: once for his daughter, murdered by the United States bombing on his home in 1986, and again on 30 April 2011 when his youngest son, Saif al Arab, but yet again for three young children, grandbabies of Muammar Qaddafi killed along with Saif at the family home.

Now, I watched Cindy Sheehan as she bared her soul before us in her grief; I cried when Cindy cried. Now, how must Qaddafi and his wife feel? And the people of Libya, parents of all the nation’s children gone too soon. I don’t even want to imagine.

All my mother could say in astonishment was, “They killed the babies, they killed his grandbabies.”

The news reports, however, didn’t last more than one half of a news cycle because on 1 May, at a hastily assembled press conference, President Obama announced the murder of Osama bin Laden.

Well, I haven’t forgotten my empathy for Cindy Sheehan; I haven’t forgotten my concern for the children of Iraq that Madeleine Albright said were OK to kill by U.S. sanctions if U.S. geopolitical goals were achieved. I care about the children of Palestine who throw stones at Israeli soldiers and get laser-guided bullets to their brains in return. I care about the people of North Africa and West Asia who are ready to risk their lives for freedom. In fact, I care about all of the children — from Appalachia to the Cancer Alley, from New York City to San Diego, and everywhere in-between.

On 22 May 2011, I had the opportunity to visit the residence of the Qaddafi family, bombed to smithereens by NATO. For a leader, the house seemed small in comparison, say, to the former Clinton family home in Chappaqua or the Obama family home. It was a small whitewashed suburban type house in a typical residential area in metropolitan Tripoli. It was surrounded by dozens of other family homes.

I spoke with a neighbor who described how three separate smart bombs hit the home and exploded, another one not exploding. According to the BBC, the NATO military operations chief stated that a “command and control center” had been hit. That is a lie. As anyone who visits the home can see, this home had nothing to do with NATO’s war. The strike against this home had everything to do with NATO adopting a policy of targeted assassination and extra-judicial killing — clearly illegal.

The neighbor said he found Saif Al-Arab in his bedroom underneath rubble; the three young grandchildren were in a different room and they were shredded to pieces. He told of how he picked up as many pieces as he possibly could. He told us that there are still pieces there that he could not get. He asked us to note the smell — not the putrid smell of rotting flesh, but a sweet smell. I did smell it and thought there was an air freshener nearby. It smelled to me of roses. He asked me why this was done and who was going to hold NATO accountable.

Muammar Qaddafi was at the house. But he was outside near where the animals are kept. It is a miracle that he survived. From the looks of that house and the small guest house beside it, the strike was a complete success if the goal was to totally and thoroughly demolish the structure and everything inside it.

NATO wants us to believe that toys, items and clothing, an opened Holy Koran, and a soccer board game are the appointments found in military command and control offices. I wonder if we could find such articles in NATO’s office in Brussels.

The opened Holy Koran seemed to be frozen in time. In fact, there was a clock dangling from its cord — dangling in space. And indeed, for the four young people in that house at the time of NATO’s attack, time had stopped.

The concussion from the bombs were so great that eerie tile on the walls and floors of the home had been knocked from the walls. Black burn marks scorched the walls. The force broke a marble or granite countertop. The bathtub was literally split into two parts. Shards of the bomb were everywhere. I wondered if the place was now contaminated with depleted uranium.

The Qaddafi home is a crime scene — a murder scene. The United States prisons are full of men and women who are innocent — even on death row. I wonder where the guilty who are never prosecuted go.

Now, if the International Court of Justice were really a repository of justice, it would be investigating this crime. Instead, it is looking for yet another African to prosecute. We in the United States are familiar with this: on our local news every night, we are saturated with photos of Black and Brown criminals with the implication being that White people don’t commit crime. The moment the face of someone arrested is not shown, then we know that the culprit is White. It’s the unwritten code that we people of color all live by wherever in the world we might happen to be. Global apartheid is alive and well and exists on many levels.

I left the house sick in my heart. As I was about to depart, the neighbor begged me, asked me over and over again, why had this happened? What had they done to deserve this? He seemed to not want me to leave. Honestly, I think I was his little piece of America, his little piece of President Obama and I could help him to understand why this course of action was necessary from my President’s point of view. He said NATO should just leave them alone and let them sort out their problems on their own.

I did leave his presence, but that man’s face will never leave me.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. warned, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

In response to my previous article, I received the following quite about Buddha from Shiva Shankar who excerpted Walpola Rahula’s What The Buddha Taught:

… The Buddha not only taught non-violence and peace, but he even went to the field of battle itself and intervened personally, and prevented war, as in the case of the dispute between the Sakyas and the Koliyas, who were prepared to fight over the question of the waters of the Rohini. And his words once prevented King Ajatasattu from attacking the kingdom of the Vajjis. …

… Here is a lesson for the world today. The ruler of an empire publicly turning his back on war and violence and embraced the message of peace and non-violence. There is no historical evidence to show that any neighbouring king took advantage of Asoka’s piety to attack him militarily, or that there was any revolt or rebellion within his empire during his lifetime. On the contrary there was peace throughout the land, and even countries outside his empire seem to have accepted his benign leadership. …

Please don’t allow special interest press and war mongering gatekeepers of the left to blot out the tragedy unfolding in Libya. Please don’t allow them to take away our chance to live in peace throughout our land and with countries inside and outside our hemisphere. Congress should vote to end NATO’s action in Libya and barring that should assert its Constitutional prerogatives and require the President to come to it for authorization of this war. And then, Congress should heed the wisdom of the people of our country who are against this war and vote for peace.

Cynthia McKinney was a presidential candidate for the Green Party in the 2008 election. Read other articles by Cynthia, or visit Cynthia's website.









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Everyone knew his most famous poem...

Gil Scott-Heron dies aged 62

Gil Scott-Heron, the poet and musician regarded as the 'Godfather of Rap', has died in New York
Gil Scott-Heron, the poet and musician regarded as the 'Godfather of Rap', has died in New York. Photograph: Michael Ochs archives

The musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron – best known for his pioneering rap The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – has died at the age of 62, having fallen ill after a European trip.

Jamie Byng, his UK publisher, announced the news via Twitter: "Just heard the very sad news that my dear friend and one of the most inspiring people I've ever met, the great Gil Scott-Heron, died today."

Scott-Heron's spoken word recordings helped shape the emerging hip-hop culture. Generations of rappers cite his work as an influence.

He was known as the Godfather of Rap but disapproved of the title, preferring to describe what he did as "bluesology" – a fusion of poetry, soul, blues and jazz, all shot through with a piercing social conscience and strong political messages, tackling issues such as apartheid and nuclear arms.

"If there was any individual initiative that I was responsible for it might have been that there was music in certain poems of mine, with complete progression and repeating 'hooks', which made them more like songs than just recitations with percussion," Scott-Heron wrote in the introduction to his 1990 Now and Then collection of poems.

He was best known for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, the critically acclaimed recording from his first album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, and for his collaborations with jazz/funk pianist and flautist Brian Jackson.

In The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, first recorded in 1970, he issued a fierce critique of the role of race in the mass media and advertising age. "The revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado, white lightning or white people," he sang.

He performed at the No Nukes concerts, held in 1979 at Madison Square Garden. The concerts were organised by a group called Musicians United for Safe Energy and protested against the use of nuclear energy following the meltdown at Three Mile Island. The group included singer-songwriters such as Jackson Browne, Graham Nash and Bonnie Raitt.

Scott-Heron's song We Almost Lost Detroit, written about a previous accident at a nuclear power plant, is sampled on rapper Kanye West's single The People. Scott-Heron's 2010 album, I'm New Here, was his first new studio release in 16 years and was hailed by critics. The album's first song, On Coming From a Broken Home, is an ode to his maternal grandmother, Lillie, who raised him in Jackson, Tennessee, until her death when he was 13. He moved to New York after that.

Scott-Heron was HIV positive and battled drug addiction through most of his career. He spent a year and a half in prison for possession. In a 2009 interview he said that his jail term had forced him to confront the reality of his situation.

"When you wake up every day and you're in the joint, not only do you have a problem but you have a problem with admitting you have a problem." Yet in spite of some "unhappy moments" in the past few years he still felt the need to challenge rights abuses and "the things that you pay for with your taxes".

"If the right of free speech is truly what it's supposed to be, then anything you say is all right."

Scott-Heron's friend Doris Nolan said the musician had died at St Luke's hospital on Friday afternoon. "We're all sort of shattered," she told the Associated Press.


Gil Scott-Heron, pictured here performing in California last year, died at the age of 62 on Friday [Gallo/Getty]








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I always appreciate Vern's work...

Antemedius

This About page, and the rest of Antemedius, is an evolving process. We came online early March 2009 and officially launched in mid March 2009.

If you're here taking the time to read this page you likely have thoughts and writing to contribute, and we sincerely hope you'll do so.

Each user of the site will have their own blog, and although at first there will be a selected group of front pagers, exceptional and well written blog posts will also be promoted to the front page and consistently good bloggers may be promoted to front pagers so that they can freely post front page stories as well as their own blog posts.

You're welcome to create a user account for yourself now and you may post blog entries, as well as comment on stories and other blog entries.

Join Antemedius today, express your own Liberally Critical Thinking, and help us to create a counterbalance to corporate media. And a counterbalance to something else...

You may be wondering why the site name "Antemedius" and what the purpose and vision behind this site is and will be. This site should not be categorized or seen as left, right, democratic, republican, partisan or even non-partisan, in the usual senses of those words.

Antemedius has three broad purposes.

One, it is the new home and host of the Out Of Iraq Bloggers Caucus, or OOIBC; a coalition of bloggers opposed to the Iraq Occupation and the funding of it, and opposed to wars of imperialism and hegemony more generally, which began in early 2007 with the original OOIBC site that is now an archive site. OOIBC has since inception been dedicated to opposing funding the Iraq Occupation fiasco, committed to getting the troops home as soon as possible, determined to end the Iraq and Mid-East Debacle as quickly as possible, and determined to restore some sanity to the world, and the quality of posts in that time has been tremendous - but we wanted to expand the scope of OOIBC beyond the Iraq Occupation, and also the host for the OOIBC Blogroll was making plans to insert advertisements into the blogroll, so we had to develop a new system of hosting and serving the blogroll ourselves.

And two? It is also a coalition of bloggers acting together to educate, and to counter mainstream media manipulation of society.

And three? There is a danger, as I see it, that since the 2008 US Presidential Election some of the biggest players in the left blogosphere are running the risk of becoming what we have all for years castigated mainstream media for being and for what it has been for years; simply a soapbox for power, and if that continues to happen then we are lost without purpose, and perhaps an unspoken motto for this site would be an old standard of mine:

"Question everything. Especially our questions".

A related quote, one that years ago served and still serves as the inspiration for my own blogging handle "Edger", from the good Doctor Hunter S. Thompson is I think also in order here:

"The Edge... There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."

-- Hunter S. Thompson

For now the purpose and vision of Antemedius may be best exemplified by this quote from John Pilger's talk at the Socialism 2007 Conference in Chicago.

The Unseen Lies: Journalism As Propaganda, John Pilger, August 8, 2007:

The title of this talk is Freedom Next Time, which is the title of my book, and the book is meant as an antidote to the propaganda that is so often disguised as journalism. So I thought I would talk today about journalism, about war by journalism, propaganda, and silence, and how that silence might be broken. Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations, wrote about an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. He was referring to journalism, the media.

That was almost 80 years ago, not long after corporate journalism was invented. It is a history few journalists talk about or know about, and it began with the arrival of corporate advertising. As the new corporations began taking over the press, something called "professional journalism" was invented. To attract big advertisers, the new corporate press had to appear respectable, pillars of the establishment-objective, impartial, balanced. The first schools of journalism were set up, and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around the professional journalist. The right to freedom of expression was associated with the new media and with the great corporations, and the whole thing was, as Robert McChesney put it so well, "entirely bogus".

For what the public did not know was that in order to be professional, journalists had to ensure that news and opinion were dominated by official sources, and that has not changed. Go through the New York Times on any day, and check the sources of the main political stories-domestic and foreign-you'll find they're dominated by government and other established interests. That is the essence of professional journalism.
...
One of my favorite stories about the Cold War concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. "I have to tell you," said the spokesman, "that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don't have to do any of that. What is the secret?"

What is the secret? It is a question seldom asked in newsrooms, in media colleges, in journalism journals, and yet the answer to that question is critical to the lives of millions of people. On August 24 (2006) the New York Times declared this in an editorial: "If we had known then what we know now the invasion if Iraq would have been stopped by a popular outcry." This amazing admission was saying, in effect, that journalists had betrayed the public by not doing their job and by accepting and amplifying and echoing the lies of Bush and his gang, instead of challenging them and exposing them. What the Times didn't say was that had that paper and the rest of the media exposed the lies, up to a million people might be alive today. That's the belief now of a number of senior establishment journalists. Few of them-they've spoken to me about it-few of them will say it in public.

Ironically, I began to understand how censorship worked in so-called free societies when I reported from totalitarian societies. During the 1970s I filmed secretly in Czechoslovakia, then a Stalinist dictatorship. I interviewed members of the dissident group Charter 77, including the novelist Zdener Urbanek, and this is what he told me. "In dictatorships we are more fortunate that you in the West in one respect. We believe nothing of what we read in the newspapers and nothing of what we watch on television, because we know its propaganda and lies. Unlike you in the West. We've learned to look behind the propaganda and to read between the lines, and unlike you, we know that the real truth is always subversive."
...
We need to make haste. Liberal Democracy is moving toward a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift, and the media must not be allowed to be its façade, but itself made into a popular, burning issue, and subjected to direct action. That great whistleblower Tom Paine warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and the ideas of truth, it was time to storm what he called the Bastille of words. That time is now.

You can create a new Antemedius User Account for yourself here.

Thank you for visiting Antemedius. If you write or comment, or if you care to, we hope you'll also contribute here. And whether you read, write, and/or comment, you are welcome and we hope you'll be back here often.

--Vern Radul (aka Edger), admin at antemedius dot com





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Friday, May 27, 2011

One of the things I'm really enjoying about the social service climate in Toronto at this particular point in time...

...community..."community"

the city is divided up into communities as articulated by administrative bodies that provide services. if you are not white/male/heterosexual/middle-class...privileged...in order to get specific services you must be understood as a member of a target community. you must identify as part of a specific community. you must be easily recognizable as related to a hive mind, homogenous grouping.

the little civil servants, cockroach enforcers of government policy, are busily compartmentalizing all of us into neat little boxes so that we can be easily categorized, defined and dealt with. they turn interested community members into fellow (yet low level) cockroaches, agents invested with the power to cordon off whole communities via supporting the idea of community as a grouping of people who don't just come out of the same culture but who also think, believe, expect, need the exact same things.

borg collective(s) are in.
heterogenous articulation of the self as linked to many places but not strongly (over)identified with any one is out.

well, actually it is to be discouraged.

speak, present, dress, cook, decorate, draw breath, bleed, die as a member of one (got it? ONE) community or don't even bother to expect to have any quality of life at all.

in fact...if you're going to travel between and refuse to strongly affiliate, just go ahead and die. :)

EVERYbody! Be HAPPY!




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

I've updated what I wrote about poly, me and widely held ideas about the beauty of Black wimmin a few days ago...

I get that look that says: How? Why?

I remember one man very passive aggressively saying something about the sisterwives being extremely "hot", as in attractive. Note: He did not say I was extremely "hot". I understood that he was trying to figure out what they were doing with me. Well placed, privileged jackass.

That is to say...I did not crave his attention, his desire, his focus. But I did receive and critique his communication so powerfully grounded in oppressive beliefs about beauty and understand that for him, I did not figure at all in the equation.

(yawn...) I get wimmin, so many wimmin who I observe attempting to cruise one or the other of my male partners (the sisterwives) on the basis that they will no doubt want to be "trading up" to a young/er, scrawnier, lighter, whiter "model". Often I will sit and chit chat with either or both the sisterwives as we watch the wimmin make their best patriarchally competitive, thoroughly based on racist, classist, ageist, lookist, fat phobic assumptions, moves...not even realizing that they themselves are being watched and graded according to a system of measurement they clearly know (or care) nothing about. Mine. :)

Now, I'm not saying that I'm will only support either or both male partners to have other lovers, partners, girlfriends who are radically political in ways I understand...though that would be suWEET. :)

In fact, wimmin they like, admire or are attracted to are not often political in ways I understand. They're much more likely to be progressive or liberal. Many of them aren't politically conscious at all. This doesn't often figure into Papster's or Buttertart's criteria. They choose primarily based on attractiveness and mutual interest. That gives them a pretty massive selection of people to choose from.

For my own comfort however, in terms of who I can wrap my mind being close to via a connection with them, I do expect them to include criteria that will make their interactions not just fun for them but also not traumatizing for me who is partners with them both. :)

And what am I after as someone who will inevitably have to meet, interact with, spend time around, speak to, raise issues with, be vulnerable to, build acquaintanceship or friendship or family with the people they choose?

Well, I just need any wimmin who approach to be in possession of at least a couple of the following characteristics...understanding how to behave like humane, friendly, open, honest, sentient, brave, community minded, emotionally present, interactive people who know how to not move in ways that don't at all indicate a desire to subtly, passive aggressively eliminate me, my partners' relationships with me, their close ties to their family, to each other...in short a good candidate would need to move in ways that say they come in peace, with harmony, collectivity, consideration and respect on their minds. This I would in turn read as them not moving in ways that are based on a (lack of) critique that reinforces their unearned privilege and assumptions related to who is a beauty and who is not, who deserves attention and who does not, who is worth focusing on and who is not. (mouthful? yes. wha-? just go back and read it aloud if you need to.)

hmmmm...yeah, I'd have to say that racist, internalized patriarchal, ageist, lookist, fat phobic, classist, all round oppressive, mostly undiscussed, but still very influential piece is, for me, one of the more challenging aspects of affiliating with poly culture. I'd even go so far as to say that unless relationship participants (of any number or configuration) are walking with a very grounded analysis of oppression that they allow to permeate their lives, choices and desires, poly as with any other relationship style can easily end up being a smiling, subtextual soup of power plays and jockeying for status, attention, popularity, love and sex that is discounted/denied/erased/silenced because the various key players in a relationship are still smiling, still interacting, still fucking and all agree to not discuss or even admit to the existence of anything as icky and not sexy or not flirtatiously playful as oppression playing out in their relationships and loverships. That wouldn't be very much fun. Nope, not even one bit. ;)

I really am coming to grips with the fact that unless the vast majority of happy go lucky, oh so sociable, uber friendly poly cultured people I'm encountering have overtly stated and practiced ideals questioning systemic oppression, power and domination, there will be no way for me to understand poly cultured spaces as anything but completely related to/linked to the rest of the world, potentially tortuous areas where I must step with critical, analytical care, where I must stay aware of who dominates, why and how, who can be questioned/challenged/denied access to me and why, if I am to survive, if I am not to understand myself as the (willingly) dominated, she who must count herself lucky to have the attention of any lovers whatsoever, let alone lovers who are constructed by quite a few others who have little or no political analysis as more beautiful/interesting/popular/sexy than me
courtesy of mass amounts of offered unearned privilege.

I don't think poly circles and communities as a whole are going to be able to collectively move beyond a vaguely liberal politic that says live and let live, don't be mean to others because you might end up dating their partners and try to smile as much as you can until the key players, the well placed people, especially those who write or gather groups of poly people together or who host online forums or who put on summer festivals support poly people who experience oppression to speak openly and challengingly and until they themselves begin to look at privilege, power and domination inside poly communities fearlessly, willingly, in short - without their indifference silencing and/or erasing the realities of some in favour of comfy, cozy denial.

Soooo, anyWAYZ...
I found this blog post over on What About Our Daughters - Unapologetic, Uncompromising, and Unbowed in Defense of Black Women and Girls.

Methinks I shall have to add it to my blogs to check list...

ACTION ALERT: Contact Psychology Today RE Their Racist Attack on Black Women (212)260-7210

Can't go into too much detail right now, but popping in at lunch to let you know I have seen the article. It is racist GARBAGE backed by junk science and Psychology Today is aware of the article and is refusing to take it down or even offer a dissenting viewpoint.

The number to Psychology Today is 212-260-7210. You can read the offending article Why Black Women are Rated Less Attractive Than Other Women for yourself. Its racist junk science and they know it.

Call and raise HELL all day today. DEMAND to speak with the CEO and not the editor show is basically trying to direct your anger into email. Yes you need to call even though at this time they are giving the run around.

CALL THE ADVERTISERS

Now that Psychology Today knows of this racist screed backed by junk science and refuses to take it down or at least peer review it, the time has come to start to call each and every advertiser whose ad appears on the website next to the Article.

Right now Argosy University is running an ad- their number is 1800 275-2448. As new ads appear begin to contact the advertisers directly.

Psychology Today has made a business decision to race-bait for page clicks. You need to make a decision to see that they do not profit from it.

DEFUND THIS RACIST GARBAGE!

Reader Comments (64)

Here is a copy and paste job of the article. Sorry I didn't get a chance to take screenshots.

Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?


Why black women, but not black men?
Published on May 15, 2011 by Satoshi Kanazawa in The Scientific Fundamentalist

There are marked race differences in physical attractiveness among women, but not among men. Why? Add Health measures the physical attractiveness of its respondents both objectively and subjectively. At the end of each interview, the interviewer rates the physical attractiveness of the respondent objectively on the following five-point scale: 1 = very unattractive, 2 = unattractive, 3 = about average, 4 = attractive, 5 = very attractive. The physical attractiveness of each Add Health respondent is measured three times by three different interviewers over seven years.

From these three scores, I can compute the latent "physical attractiveness factor" by a statistical procedure called factor analysis. Factor analysis has the added advantage of eliminating all random measurement errors that are inherent in any scientific measurement. The latent physical attractiveness factor has a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.


Recall that women on average are more physically attractive than men. So women of all races are on average more physically attractive than the "average" Add Health respondent, except for black women. As the following graph shows, black women are statistically no different from the "average" Add Health respondent, and far less attractive than white, Asian, and Native American women.

In contrast, races do not differ in physical attractiveness among men, as the following graph shows. Men of all races are more or less equally less physically attractive than the "average" Add Health respondent.

This sex difference in the race differences in physical attractiveness – where physical attractiveness varies significantly by race among women, but not among men – is replicated at each Add Health wave (except that the race differences among men are statistically significant, albeit substantively very small, in Wave III). In each wave, black women are significantly less physically attractive than women of other races.

It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others. In Wave III, Add Health asks its respondents to rate their own physical attractiveness subjectively on the following four-point scale: 1 = not at all, 2 = slightly, 3 = moderately, 4 = very. As you can see in the following graphs, both black women and black men rate themselves to be far more physically attractive than individuals of other races.


What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women? Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women. The mean body-mass index (BMI) at Wave III is 28.5 among black women and 26.1 among nonblack women. (Black and nonblack men do not differ in BMI: 27.0 vs. 26.9.) However, this is not the reason black women are less physically attractive than nonblack women. Black women have lower average level of physical attractiveness net of BMI. Nor can the race difference in intelligence (and the positive association between intelligence and physical attractiveness) account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women. Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.

There are many biological and genetic differences between the races. However, such race differences usually exist in equal measure for both men and women. For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races. And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health). But since both black women and black men have higher mutation loads, it cannot explain why only black women are less physically attractive, while black men are, if anything, more attractive.
The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive. The race differences in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.

perhaps to the outrage of black wimmin, psychology today took down the article without a retraction or any indication as to why.


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Internet censors according to our supposed "preferences"...

Eli Pariser on "The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You”

The Internet is increasingly becoming an echo-chamber in which websites tailor information according to the preferences they detect in each viewer. When some users search the word “Egypt” they may get the latest news about the revolution, others might only see search results about Egyptian vacations. The top 50 websites collect an average of 64 bits of personal information each time we visit—and then custom-designs their sites to conform to our perceived preferences. What impact will this online filters have on the future of democracy? We speak to Eli Pariser, author of "The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You.” “Take news about the war in Afghanistan. When you talk to people who run news websites, they will tell you, stories about the war in Afghanistan don’t perform very well, they don’t get a lot of clicks–people don’t flock to them. And yet, this is arguably one of the most important issues facing the country,” says Pariser. “But it will never make it through these filters. Especially on Facebook, this is a problem because the way that information is transmitted on Facebook is with the ‘Like’ button. And the ‘Like’ button has a very particular balance. It is easy to click ‘Like’ on ‘I just ran a marathon’ or ‘I baked a really awesome cake.’ It is very hard to click ‘Like’ on ‘War in Afghanistan enters its 10th year.’”








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They managed to short form a census that was already skewed in particular ways...

and now...




But couldn't they find some people of colour or wimmin to video and interview?




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Post G20 Communication...

They Can’t Kill Our Spirits: Post-G20 State Repression in Southern Ontario -By Millefolium

Repression Is Inevitable

The recent wave of repression against anarchists in Southern Ontario comes as no surprise considering recent anarchist organizing in the region. Anarchists have been strengthening bonds with each other and with indigenous communities in struggle; blocking roads, rails and construction projects; expanding anti-prison solidarity; attacking collaborators of capitalism; solidifying a relationship of conflict with the police; and mobilizing large numbers quickly for diverse actions and events.

Repression is the State’s defense and anarchists are in open conflict with the State. We exist in a system that has seemingly endless resources to maintain domination. With the growing strength of anarchists, state repression will intensify no matter how “safe” the practices are of those involved. That being said, it’s important to be taking intelligent steps towards keeping ourselves safe while understanding that repression is inevitable. Tactics of state repression, support and solidarity, police infiltration and the consequences: these are some discussions it is important to share with anarchists worldwide to inspire and learn from each other. In the years to come, more of our friends and loved ones will be imprisoned. Rather than submit to the State’s attempts at isolating and disempowering us, this can increase our willingness to fight.

Recent Blows

The G20 (Group of 20 world leaders) met in Toronto in June 2010. The Canadian State spent over $1 billion on security, transforming the terrain downtown to a militarized zone of police control. Protests throughout the week reached a climax on Saturday, June 26, at the biggest demonstration. There was a break-away confrontational bloc that successfully thwarted police control efforts, attacking banks, burning and smashing police vehicles and destroying property of rich corporations. Over 1,000 people were arrested through mass-arrests, house raids and snatch squads. Perhaps most notable are those facing conspiracy charges for allegedly organizing protests, and those facing serious criminal charges for alleged actions in the black bloc and other confrontations.

There are currently 18 people, mostly anarchists, facing conspiracy charges including: conspiracy to commit mischief over $5,000, conspiracy to assault police, and conspiracy to obstruct police. They are alleged to have organized protests, most are accused of being members of “Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance.” The entire case is based on allegations from two undercover police (see a later section of this article). None of the defendants are currently in jail, although a few spent months behind bars awaiting bail. Their conditions include house arrest, however this is in the process of being loosened for most of them. The Crown Attorney (prosecution) is looking for prison sentences of up to 6 years for each defendant. The trial will probably be sometime in 2012, until then the defendants remain under strict bail conditions. Others with serious criminal charges for alleged actions in the protests have also spent significant periods of time in jail and are mostly out on house arrest.

These criminal charges are part of a State strategy to criminalize anarchist ideas and weaken us. With conspiracy charges, it never has to be proven that anything actually happened – convictions would result if the court decides that there was a common agreement among these individuals. Similar charges have been used throughout the United States, such as with the RNC8. The problem is not with these particular charges being used, nor the hundreds of unlawful arrests, nor with the especially harsh bail conditions; these are all awful actions by the State and make our lives more difficult, but the problem is with the entire system and how it rules over our lives. If the fight against repression is contained in the courts – then the State would have this victory. We definitely need to support people who are forced through this court process, and we are, but we also need to remember that the court is their game, not ours.

Support and Solidarity

Examining again the idea that repression is inevitable, we come to a discussion about how to overcome it – how to actually gain strength and momentum from it’s brutal blows. How does repression determine where we put our energy? How do we avoid being recuperated by courts? How do we denounce repression in its totality, not to come off as victims of isolated power abuses? How do we balance support for our friends, taking care of ourselves, and our desire for revolutionary solidarity? How do we keep our hearts from going numb and our minds from giving up? How do we embrace and overcome the fear that keeps us from acting? How do we sustain a continuous anarchist struggle throughout decades and generations? Each of these questions have infinite answers to perpetually discuss, across borders and ideologies, to continuously gain clarity through our learning experiences.

Supporting people who are targeted by State repression is crucial. We support people because we love them and respect their struggle. We support people because it could be us tomorrow. Revolutionary solidarity is the continuation and intensification of a struggle; it is both for oneself and for inspiring others; it is a strategy to overcome repression. If repression can act as a catalyst for effective action against capitalism, then the State has failed its attempts at killing our struggle and our fighting spirits.

Sustaining struggle is not possible without both support and solidarity. Without support, our friends are left isolated and uninspired. Without solidarity, the struggle has been successfully recuperated by the State. Support and solidarity together have the capacity to create an uncontrollable situation in which the State’s tactics of repression are ineffective. Our love and rage at this world are strengthened and clarified. People who ‘go down’ know that they will not be isolated or forgotten. Our loving relationships are strengthened and more able to overcome hard-ship, and people are much more likely to continue fighting. If we create cross-generational communities where struggle is as crucial to well-being as land and water, then repression would be much less paralyzing because struggle and community is what one lives for.

Anarchist Responses and Opportunities

The struggles in Ontario are continuing. Many people have been spending time reflecting on and healing from the experience of being infiltrated for a year and a half and the ensuing State punishment. Many people had not experienced repression felt on such a personal and collective level before. Within this healing process, solidarity amongst anarchists across the continent has taken the face of attack, wherein several banks have been happily served rocks through their windows and paint on their walls. Continuing with the practice of making our presence as anarchists physically known to prisoners within our region, a noise demo was held outside of the Maplehurst/Vanier Complex in July while our known comrades were inside. Noise demos also were held across Canada on August 10th (Prisoner Justice Day) and on New Year’s Eve – although not directly linked with the G20, they are a continuation of a growing anti-prison struggle that is inherently linked with the ongoing struggle against state repression.

The above actions, along with many other social anarchist actions, have prevented us from being completely isolated and paralyzed. A shortfall of anarchists post-G20 is the lack of a visible denunciation of police and the entire system, the prison-world, in its entirety. The G20 repression was widely felt – from the dozens of new cameras in downtown to the mass arrests, random beatings and huge police presence. It pissed a lot of people off. More visible propaganda– posters, pamphlets, graffiti, etcetera, anarchist blocs at demos, and other visible action could potentially mobilize more people. Not surprisingly, liberals have so far been able to dominate the post-G20 dissent, spouting police accountability rhetoric and denouncing the anarchists. We need to find ways to empower ourselves by expressing our ideas and clarifying where we stand.

Organizing and Undercover Police

Anarchists in Ontario certainly aren’t facing a new phenomenon. For as long as there has been resistance, the State has gathered intelligence, using its power to put out the flames of revolt. For as long as the State has punished those who resist, people have continued to struggle. Police infiltration is a very common tactic of State around the world. For a year and a half before the G20 there were two undercover police officers who infiltrated anarchist networks in Southern Ontario (Guelph, Kitchener, Toronto, etcetera), including those organizing protests against the G20.

The Ontario Provincial Police are currently investigating the outing of these two pigs, hoping to press criminal charges of ‘obstructing justice.’ This article will not go into more detail about them specifically and instead will briefly outline lessons learned the hard way in Ontario, lessons that are relevant for anyone in conflict with the State. This only expresses a small fraction of the discussions about undercover police and is in no way a complete analysis.

If a group or meeting is public or widely known, or if people in a group aren’t very close, an important practice is to assume that someone is a cop. This doesn’t mean just looking around the room and trying to figure out who they are. Holding your tongue and not talking about anything you wouldn’t want read back to you in court is a place to start. Look out for your friends and warn them if they’re talking sketchy. Before a meeting, one could announce that there could be a cop or the room could be bugged to remind less experienced folks or those who tend to run their mouths that we are a target of surveillance and infiltration.

Be clear about whether a group is “above ground” or “underground” and use practices based on longterm trust and affinity if it’s decided to keep your organizing secret. It is very risky for a relatively open group to switch to organizing more sketchy/illegal activities. Be clear with everyone about intentions and agree on appropriate security practices. If a group of people can’t agree, then they probably shouldn’t organize together.

If someone is acting particularly sketchy – talk about it with people you trust and maybe decide to get them the fuck out of there. Many anarchists will argue that it’s damaging to exclude people if it isn’t 100% confirmed that they’re a pig. This idea can be equally damaging because it alienates and disempowers people with suspicions or gut feelings. Take your friends seriously if they have suspicions of infiltration. Instead of outing or banning someone, it could be explained to them that people need to get to know them better before organizing with them. Have discussions with trusted friends about people you don’t know and do your research to see how their story lines up. Discuss tactics of police infiltration with your friends and ways that you could respond to it.

G20 Support

There are many ways to support G20 defendants. Take these discussions back to your friends and community if you find them relevant, and continue to resist capitalism and the State. If you are inclined to donate funds, it is important to distinguish between the two different G20 fundraising efforts. One is organized by activists in Toronto, the “G20 Legal Defense Fund”. It has the most money and defendants apply for access to it through a lengthy application. Defendants have not seen the money so far because the decision-making process for the group took months to figure out. The process is rolling now and defendants should see money sometime in spring 2011. Anybody who has criminal charges from the G20 protests can apply to get money from this fund. The Guelph ABC has more recently established an “ABC G20 Support Fund” which has recognized the need defendants have for immediate financial support. It is organized less formally with a less bureaucratic process. Legal costs, transportation costs, forwarding mail, reading materials, and everyday costs are some of the things this fund is covering. Defendants have much faster access to the money. This fund is prioritized for people facing the most serious charges. The Guelph ABC also has a post office box through which mail is being forwarded to defendants.

For a pamphlet and info on ABC G20 Support, visit: guelphprisonersolidarity.wordpress.com
For ongoing updates about repression in Ontario: torontoabc.wordpress.com
For information on the Toronto G20 Legal Defense Fund: g20.torontomobilize.org





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