Monday, December 29, 2008

Attack in Memphis

(From The Advocate)

A transgender woman was shot in the face in Memphis, Tenn., December 23 and is in critical condition, reports Tennessee's ABC24 News.

Leeneshia Edwards was shot around 5 a.m. in south Memphis at close range, the TV station reports. She has injuries to her jaw, side, and back and is undergoing multiple surgeries. There were no witnesses to the shooting of Edwards, who is reportedly a prostitute.

Edwards is not the only recent transgender crime victim in Memphis. Duana Johnson was shot to death in Memphis a little more than a month ago. Johnson first made headlines earlier this year when a video circulated of the 43-year-old sex worker being beaten in jail by Memphis cops. Two of the officers were subsequently fired, and one is awaiting trial on a civil rights charge. Police say there are no leads in Johnson's murder case.

Another transgender woman, Tiffany Berry, was killed in south Memphis in 2006. (Neal Broverman,

Israel Attacks Gaza

(From IndyBay.Org)

On December 27th, Israeli air strikes targeted police stations in Gaza killing over 200 people and injuring hundreds more. Air strikes continued on December 28th, with the death toll reaching close to 300 by mid-day.

Egypt has opened the Rafah crossing at its border with Gaza to receive wounded Palestinians. The Egyptian government's cooperation with Israel's blockade of Gaza has been very unpopular among Egyptians and Hamas has suggested that ending such cooperation could be a main focus of its response. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Saturday: "The simplest response to the massacre today is to reopen Rafah crossing once and for all. I tell our Arab brothers that the simplest response to the massacre is to end the siege." Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called on Saturday for Palestinians to wage a new intifada against Israel, including a return to suicide missions.

Protests against the Israeli bombing and invasion are taking place across the Middle-East and Palestine. In Tel-Aviv Hundreds of Arabs and Jews took to the streets to protest the massacre in Gaza yelling “no one can tell us that this massacre is suppose to protect us.” The Israeli police attacked the protesters and six people were detained. The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, an umbrella group of Arab organizations, declared a national strike and a mourning day in the Arab sector beginning Sunday morning.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Edward Said

And, in the spirit of both Salam and Tikkun Olam, here is Said's Berkeley lecture on conflict in Israel-Palestine. It's long, but hey, so are the holidays. Have some spiked eggnog and think about those who are no longer with us.

Obama's Holiday Message

To me, you are (all) perfect

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My country tis of thee

Hot Dayum, Obama! This makes me proud to have dual citizenship.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Butler and Preciado

"La vie ce n'est pas l'identité! Il fault admettre l'ambiguité, l'identité peut être vitale pour faire face à une situation d'oppression, mais ce serait une erreur de ne pas l'utiliser pour affronter la complexité."

- Judith Butler

[Life is not identity! We must allow ambiguity, [which is] perhaps the identity vital to facing an oppressive situation, but it would be a mistake not to make use of complexity for this confrontation.]*

"Il s'agit de résister à la normalisation de la masculinité et de la feminité dans nos corps, et d'inventer d'autres formes de plaisir et de vivre ensemble....[l]a question ultime, c'est comment rester vivant dans ce monde de guerre totale dans lequel on vit."

- Beatriz Preciado

[We must act to resist the normalization of masculinity and femininity within our bodies, and to invent other forms of pleasure and of living together....[t]he ultimate question remains how to stay alive in this world of total war in which we live.]

* my own clumsy translation

Beatriz Preciado

Preciado writes in both French and Spanish (her work has been translated into multiple languages, and she's still a grad student), discussing hormones, androcentrism, sexual plurality, and Foucaultian biopouvoir et pharmacopouvoir. She has a great interview with Judith Butler in, of all places, the December issue of Têtu.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

La différance entre pouvoirs

“How will we know the difference between the power we promote and the power we oppose? Is it, one might rejoin, a matter of ‘knowing?’ For one is, as it were, in power even as one opposes it, formed by it as one reworks it, and it is this simultaneity that is at once the condition of our partiality, the measure of our political unknowingness, and also the condition of action itself."

- Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter

Friday, December 5, 2008