Friday Night Fun and Culture: Leonard Cohen

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Petition: Provide Manning the Necessary Treatment

From Fire Dog Lake:  http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/manning-treatment

After Pfc. Manning’s sentencing, the whistleblower released a statement in which she said she would henceforth be known as Chelsea Manning, and that she will begin transitioning while in prison.

Unfortunately, the military is notoriously ignorant of the needs of LGBT soldiers, let alone detainees, and it is highly unlikely that Manning will receive the attention she needs without our help.

Sign our petition demanding the Brig Commander at Ft. Leavenworth provide Chelsea Manning with the necessary treatment to complete her transition — or transfer her to a federal facility where such treatment is available.

We the undersigned call on the Brig Commander at Ft. Leavenworth to give Chelsea Manning the necessary treatment to complete her transition or transfer her to a facility where she will receive that treatment.

Click Here to Sign Petition.

Veterans Outraged at Harsh Sentence of Chelsea Manning, Join in Nationwide Protests

This was posted the day before Chelsea came out.

From Veteran For Peace:  http://www.veteransforpeace.org/pressroom/news/2013/08/21/veterans-outraged-harsh-sentence-join-nationwide-protests

August 21, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Contact: Gerry Condon 206-499-1220
Patrick McCann 240-271-2246
Ward Reilly 225-766-1364

Bradley Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Wednesday for handing WikiLeaks amassive cache of sensitive government documentsdetailing the routine killing of civilians by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Outraged members of Veterans For Peace are joining in protest actions around the country and around the world.

Bradley Chelsea Manning is a hero, and we are both proud of his Her actions, and angry at his her sentence,” said Patrick McCann, President of Veterans For Peace. “Reporting war crimes is not a war crime. Bradley Chelsea Manning swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, and is now being penalized for doing just that.”

This harsh sentence is an outrage to all who believe in truth, transparency and freedom of the press,” said Gerry Condon, member of Veterans For Peace Board of Directors. “Bradley Manning has not harmed a hair on any person’s head. He She exposed that the U.S. Military was routinely killing civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Government should prosecute war criminals, not whistle-blowers.”

While a 22-year-old intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq in 2009-10, Pfc. Manning witnessed war crimes, rampant corruption, and covert abuse. He She exposed what he she saw by leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic files to the transparency website WikiLeaks.

Manning, 25, was not allowed to make a statement when his her sentence was handed down by military judge Col. Denise Lind at Fort Meade, Maryland. Guards quickly hustled him her out of the courtroom, while at least half a dozen spectators shouted their support.

Amnesty International immediately called on President Obama to commute Manning’s sentence.

Bradley Chelsea Manning acted on the belief that he she could spark a meaningful public debate on the costs of war, and specifically on the conduct of the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Widney Brown, senior director of international law and policy at Amnesty International, said in a statement. “The US government should turn its attention to investigating and delivering justice for the serious human rights abuses committed by its officials in the name of countering terror.”

The only person prosecuted for the crimes and abuses uncovered in the WikiLeaks’ releases is the person who exposed them,” said Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg. “That alone proves the injustice of one more day in prison for Bradley Chelsea Manning.”

Manning can subtract more than three and a half years off of his her  35-year sentence, for the time he she has already served and the mere 112 days he she was credited for enduring torture and abuse while detained at the Quantico Marine Brig. He She will be eligible to reduce his her sentence by 10% for good behavior. He She may also be eligible for parole after serving one third of his her sentence.

Veterans For Peace is calling on Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, Military Commander of the District of Washington and Convening Authority of Manning’s court martial, to reduce the sentence, which he has the legal authority to do.

Please help us reach all these important contacts:
Adrienne Combs, Deputy Officer Public Affairs (202) 685-2900 adrienne.m.combs.civ@mail.mil

Col. Michelle Martin-Hing, Public Affairs Officer (202) 685-4899 michelle.l.martinhing.mil@mail.mil

The Public Affairs Office fax #: 202-685-0706

Try e-mailing Maj. Gen. Buchanan at jeffrey.s.buchanan@us.army.mi
For more information, go to www.bradleymanning.org and www.veteransforpeace.org

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Chelsea Manning Reveals Gender Identity; Army Unlikely to Grant Hormone Therapy Request

From Truth Out:  http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/18348-chelsea-manning-reveals-gender-identity-army-unlikely-to-grant-hormone-therapy-request

By Martha Sorren
Thursday, 22 August 2013

Private Chelsea Manning (tried and sentenced by the US military as Bradley Manning) has released a statement via her lawyer announcing that she wants to live as a woman and begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.

“I am Chelsea Manning. I am female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition,” she said in the statement.

She also requested that she be referred to by her new name of Chelsea and that the feminine pronoun be used. Truthout will do so in all future reporting and commentary.

During Manning’s trial, her gender dysphoria was revealed. An email Manning sent to her supervisor, titled “My Problem,” included a photo of Manning in a long blonde wig, wearing lipstick.

She wrote, “This is my problem. I’ve had signs of it for a very long time. It’s caused problems within my family. I thought a career in the military would get rid of it. It’s not something I seek out for attention, and I’ve been trying very, very hard to get rid of it by placing myself in situations where it would be impossible. But, it’s not going away; it’s haunting me more and more as I get older. Now, the consequences of it are dire, at a time when it’s causing me great pain in itself. I don’t know what to do anymore, and the only “help” that seems available is severe punishment and/or getting rid of me.”

Manning’s lawyers claimed that the lack of available help and the struggle in what her former Army counselor, Captain Michael Worsley called “a hyper-masculine environment,” played a large role in Manning’s worsening mental state.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on August 21, and it seems unlikely that the prison will comply with Manning’s wishes to start hormone therapy right away.

Kimberly Lewis, a spokeswoman for the prison, said, “The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender-identity disorder.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/18348-chelsea-manning-reveals-gender-identity-army-unlikely-to-grant-hormone-therapy-request

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When I’m Old and Gay

From The American Prospect:  http://prospect.org/article/when-im-old-and-gay

Retirement can be sweet for well-off LGBT elders, but it is fraught with perils for most.

In the 1960s and 1970s, members of the Stonewall generation carved out communities like the Castro in San Francisco, the West Village in New York, and Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., safe havens where a man could walk down the street in heels without causing a ruckus or a lesbian couple could hold hands while shopping. The gay retirement villas sprouting up at the turn of the millennium were far more commercial—and planned—than those early “gayborhoods,” but at a basic level what they offered was similar: insulation from prejudice, places where queer people were free to be queer. But as the wrought-iron gate at its entrance suggests, the Cove is far more exclusive than an urban neighborhood.

Set against a densely wooded incline with winding dirt roads, the Cove could have been plucked from a travel brochure for the Bavarian Alps. From a cleared plot at the apex of the development—the site of a planned clubhouse—stone chimneys poke through a canopy of trees. Along the horizon, the mountain ranges crowd against each other, gradient shades of purple fighting for the skyline. It’s summer, before the humidity has set in, and the air is crisp and clean.

Cathy Groene, one of the Cove’s developers, gives me a tour of the grounds. As she descends along the main dirt road, she stops periodically to point out one of the project’s 25 homes—all log, stone, or cedar-sided cabins, as required by the charter. She offers a detail about each occupant as we go; everybody knows everybody here. Along the path, beech and maple trees soar into the sky, and sunlight filters through the leaves. Daniel Boone, who opened up the Appalachians, is purported to have said he had “never been lost but was bewildered once for about three days.” This is the sort of place where you wouldn’t mind being bewildered for a while.

Continue reading at:  http://prospect.org/article/when-im-old-and-gay

 

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New York City police investigate a transgendered woman’s death as a hate crime

From Gay Star News:  http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/new-york-city-police-investigate-transgendered-womans-death-hate-crime230813

Islan Nettles, and a companion, were punched by a group of boys across from a police precinct

By James Withers
23 August 2013

The death of a New York City transgendered woman is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Today (22 August) Islan Nettles died after being on a ventilator for less than a week. Last week, 17 August, the 21-year-old was walking with a transgendered female friend in Harlem, the traditional African-American neighborhood in the city.

According to the local news station NY1, the pair walked by a group of boys. When the group realized Nettles and her friend were transgendered, an argument erupted.

A suspect allegedly said anti-gay remarks, and punches were thrown. The attack happened across from a police precinct.

Nettles, who also went by Vaughn Nettles and Alon Nettles, was on a ventilator since 17 August.

A suspect is in custody, but authorities are not releasing his name until the charges have been upgraded.

The death of Nettles is another crime in a summer of anti-gay violence in New York City.

Continue reading at:  http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/new-york-city-police-investigate-transgendered-womans-death-hate-crime230813

 

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Saying no to your tiny techie

From Waging Non-Violence:  http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/saying-no-to-your-tiny-techy/


August 4, 2013

I am old school. I got my first cell phone in 2003 and have not upgraded since. It is a flip phone that makes and receives calls, and sends and accepts text messages. Supposedly it has a camera, but I don’t know how it works.

When I send a text message it is almost like I am deploying smoke signals — choose the right spot, make the fire, get it smokey, start waving the blanket and making letters. It takes just about that long. Each text message is an artisanal product made with painstaking care. To say “hi,” I tap the four button two times, wait a beat and then tap it three times. So, be patient if you want me to text you.

Seamus — my very bright and inquisitive one-year-old — is already very curious about my cell phone. Whenever I am holding it, he wants it. If I am on the phone, he tries to pull it out of my hands. He loves opening and closing it and the noises it makes when messages come in. But it is just a simple phone — no games, no stories, no excitement. It is just an object that he likes.

At the doctor’s office, in line at the post office, in restaurants and on the playground, I see kids not that much older than Seamus using cellphones and hand-held games with a confidence and alacrity that I will never evolve into. I was in a waiting room yesterday and a girl of about four was playing on a small tablet computer. I have never even held a tablet computer in my hands. I don’t even know what games can be played on one of those things.

Seamus and I took the train from New London to Baltimore earlier this year. It was much more comfortable than the bus, and I packed toys for him and crossword puzzles for me and snacks for both of us. It was a six or seven hour trip. I pulled out the crossword once, while he was asleep and draped across my lap. It was not easy (even though it was only a Wednesday) to work on the puzzle around his little body. The rest of the time I was trying to keep him from catapulting down the aisle, helping him play peekaboo with our neighbors, taking him for walks, chit-chatting with his train full of admirers, reading him the same two books over and over and over again, and trying to get him interested in the post-industrial wastelands outside. But all he wanted to do was lick the window.

It was not a relaxing trip, but we had a good time. As we were de-training in Baltimore, I noticed a woman with a two- or three-year-old girl in our car. I had not seen or heard her the entire trip. She had big pink headphones on and was glued to a tiny screen. Her mom was glued to her own slightly larger screen. I felt a twinge of envy. With all that quiet and not touching, she totally could have finished the puzzle, I thought. And then I felt a twinge of sadness. They were missing out on each other. But who knows. Maybe they had just finished a long conversation about semiotics in Sesame Street or the mom had succumbed to cotton mouth after reading many chapters of War and Peace aloud to her little sweetheart. I just saw a moment. But it was a moment of total detachment.

Continue reading at:  http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/saying-no-to-your-tiny-techy/

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