Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming People Among First, Most Affected by War on Terror’s Biometrics Craze

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/8506-transgender-gender-non-conforming-people-among-first-most-affected-by-war-on-terrors-biometrics-craze

By Alissa Bohling
Monday, 16 April 2012

When Zev Al-Walid walks through an airport security scanner, he more or less willingly parts with his belt, his shoes and his pocket change, just like any other traveler. But by the time Walid – a man who was designated female at birth and later transitioned – is ready to reclaim his personal items, there’s often an extra hurdle blocking the path to his gate.

Walid, who travels frequently to the United States and countries around the world from his home in Western Europe, remembers a particularly bad trip through a US airport’s backscatter scanner machine.

“I wasn’t really privy to what the picture looked like or anything,” said Walid. “I could just hear the guy, in front of me, talking on the radio, presumably to the person looking at the image. And he was like, ‘Yeah. No. He’s right here. I’m telling you, he’s a man. I’m looking right at him.'”

“I felt physically ill after that,” said Walid.

Man, Woman, Terrorist

Since when did travelers’ gender become the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) business? Since at least September of 2003, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an advisory warning against “Al-Qaeda’s continued efforts to plan multiple attacks against the US and US interests overseas.” The advisory included a list of potential terrorism targets, a mention of recent arrests of unnamed terror suspects and this warning: “Male bombers may dress as females in order to discourage scrutiny.”

Maybe there was verifiable intelligence about male terrorists who like to slip women’s wear over their explosive devices. Or maybe the wardens of the security state read one too many spy novels. But either way, bringing gender into the security arena has major consequences.

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/8506-transgender-gender-non-conforming-people-among-first-most-affected-by-war-on-terrors-biometrics-craze

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Spanish king’s elephant hunting provokes outrage

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/15/spanish-kings-elephant-hunting-accident-provokes-outrage/

By Giles Tremlett, The Guardian
Sunday, April 15, 2012

While ordinary Spaniards cope with harsh austerity, recession and soaring unemployment, the country’s royal family has been enjoying expensive hunting trips, one of which resulted in King Juan Carlos ending up in hospital.

The 74-year-old monarch’s fall in a park in Botswana provided an excuse for Spanish newspapers, who normally treat their royal family with kid gloves, to plaster their pages with photos of the king standing proudly in front of a dead elephant.

The photograph came from the website of Botswana-based Rann Safaris, which had been taken down by Sunday. The pictures, taken before the latest hunting trip, also showed the king with two dead water buffalo.

Shoots with Rann Safaris cost upwards of $8,700 (£5,500) a week, with an elephant costing a further $15,000 to kill. A day out with professional hunter Jeff Rann, pictured with the king, costs a further $2,000.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/15/spanish-kings-elephant-hunting-accident-provokes-outrage/

Too bad he didn’t fucking die in his fall.

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Over 165,000 Students On Strike in Quebec Over Planned Tuition Hikes

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How Green Are Electric Cars? Depends on Where You Plug In

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/automobiles/how-green-are-electric-cars-depends-on-where-you-plug-in.html

By PAUL STENQUIST
Published: April 13, 2012

IT’S a lot like one of those math problems that gave you fits in sixth grade: a salesman leaves home in Denver and drives his electric car to a meeting in Boulder. At the same time, a physicist driving the same model electric car sets out from her loft in Los Angeles, heading to an appointment near Anaheim.

For both, the traffic is light, and the cars consume an identical amount of battery power while traveling the same number of miles. Being purely electric, they emit zero tailpipe pollutants during their trips.

The test question: are their carbon footprints also equal?

The answer may be a surprise. According to a report that the Union of Concerned Scientists plans to release on Monday, there would be a considerable difference in the amount of greenhouse gases — primarily carbon dioxide — that result from charging the cars’ battery packs. By trapping heat, greenhouse gases contribute to climate change.

The advocacy group’s report, titled “State of Charge: Electric Vehicles’ Global Warming Emissions and Fuel Cost Savings Across the United States,” uses the electric power requirements of the Nissan Leaf as a basis for comparison. The Leaf, on sale in the United States for more than a year and the most widely available electric model from a major automaker, sets a logical baseline.

The California part of the story is upbeat: a hypothetical Los Angeles Leaf would be accountable for the release of an admirably low level of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, about the same as a gasoline car getting 79 miles per gallon. But the Denver car would cause as large a load of greenhouse gases to enter the atmosphere as some versions of the gasoline-powered Mazda 3, a compact sedan rated at 33 m.p.g. in combined city and highway driving by the Environmental Protection Agency. In simple terms, the effect of electric vehicles on the amount of greenhouse gases released into the environment can span a wide range, varying with the source of the electricity that charges them. California’s clean power makes the Leaf a hero; the regional mix of coal-dependent utilities serving Denver diminish the car’s benefits as a global-warming fighter.

The U.C.S. report, which takes into account the full cycle of energy production, often called a well-to-wheels analysis, demonstrates that in areas where the electric utility relies on natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric or renewable sources to power its generators, the potential for electric cars and plug-in hybrids to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is great. But where generators are powered by burning a high percentage of coal, electric cars may not be even as good as the latest gasoline models — and far short of the thriftiest hybrids.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/automobiles/how-green-are-electric-cars-depends-on-where-you-plug-in.html

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Why You Should Care: Greek Debt

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Hispanic group urges Obama to ‘revisit’ ENDA stopgap

From The Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/04/16/hispanic-group-urges-obama-to-revisit-enda-stopgap/

By Chris Johnson
April 16, 2012

An organization billing itself as the largest Hispanic civil rights group in the United States is calling on President Obama to “revisit” his decision not to take administrative action to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors.

In a letter dated April 16, the National Council of La Raza “strongly urge[s]” Obama to reconsider the recent announcement that he won’t issue at this time an executive order requiring companies doing business with the U.S. government to have non-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Eric Rodriguez, the organization’s vice president of the Office of Research, Advocacy & Litigation, argued on behalf of the executive order in part because it’s “important to millions of Hispanic LGBT community members.”

“It will also help vital federal contractors attract and retain talented employees, as well as improve workplace productivity, appeal to consumers, and decrease the possibility of costly litigation,” Rodriguez writes.

The letter cites previously released information, including recent polling from the Human Rights Campaign showing 72 percent of Latinos support the directive. The letter also cited a recent letter signed by 72 House Democrats in favor of the order, noting that among its signers are Latino members of the House: Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Calif.), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and former Congressional Hispanic Caucus chair Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.)

“In addition, 25 of some of the largest federal contractors think it is a good practice to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their non-discrimination policies,” Rodriguez writes. “It is, but it also does something else — it protects a group of people who have a long history of being marginalized and gives them hope. That is why we urge you to sign an EO on this matter as soon as possible.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/04/16/hispanic-group-urges-obama-to-revisit-enda-stopgap/

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Occupy Anthem – Anonymous Music 2012

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