Archive for July, 2017

From LIBERATION

Newspaper of the Party of Socialism and Liberation.

Trump’s transgender military ban — down with transphobia and imperialism!

By IV Sta

On July 26, Donald Trump announced via Twitter that transgender people would no longer be allowed to enlist or serve in the U.S. military “in any capacity.” Trump cited what he called “tremendous medical costs and disruption” in a promise to overturn the Obama administration’s 2016 decree allowing trans people to serve openly.

The tweet appears to have caught many in the upper White House echelons off guard — including defense secretary Mattis, who had a day’s notice of Trump’s decision. It is not entirely clear if the military ban can happen simply because the president makes a tweet. Nonetheless, most of the GOP has applauded the tweet, praising Trump for pandering so well to his ultra-conservative base.
The announcement was less surprising to trans people across the United States, considering the open transphobia Trump has expressed throughout his business career, campaign and presidency. In contrast to his campaign statement that he was an “ally” to LGBTQ people — which was supported by nothing — Trump’s first actions in office were removing the LGBTQ rights page from the White House website and rescinding the Obama administration’s federal guideline to interpret Title IX as inclusive of trans students.

The rationale for the tweet, in true Trump character, is completely baseless. Medical transition, which is presumably what Trump is referencing as a “burden,” has zero negative repercussions for the quality of job performance. Moreover, the military budget is the most bloated budget in the U.S. government, and has an allocation for Viagra that is five times the amount of money needed to cover transition-specific treatment for service members.
Regardless of the phony economics, the announcement has already caused a wave of pain in the trans community. Trans Lifeline, a hotline created by and for trans people, is experiencing an enormous uptick in calls following the Twitter rant. Trans Lifeline issued a statement condemning the attack. Part of the statement reads:

“People join the military for a variety of reasons but for many the only other options are homelessness and prison. When 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, it’s easy to see why joining the military might be an attractive option. In fact, the military may be the largest employer of trans people in the country, with an estimate of 15,500 in 2014.
“The actual number is likely much, much higher as more people are living their truths and coming out as trans every day. All of these trans service members may have lost their jobs and many more people including family, friends, and the entire trans population will be affected. The shockwaves from these tweets are felt throughout the entire trans community, not just by those who are current or former military. This sort of policy choice suggests a careless disregard for the rights of trans people to dignity and self-determination. As trans people around the country struggle to navigate a climate of fear, messages like these can have devastating effects on a person’s mental health. These effects quickly bleed over into other areas of life like work, family, friends, or a person’s ability to pursue their goals. Trans people, regardless of their affiliation with the military, deserve better than this.”

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Our niece just returned from a visit with her son who lives in the Philippines. While visiting there she went to the The Museum of the Republic of 1899 (Museo ng Republika ng 1899) housed at the convent of the Barasoain Church in Malolos. The Museum presents the events of the revolution against Spain, the First Philippine Republic, and the war of the Filipino against the United States through innovative exhibits and artifact displays in its five galleries.

This is a very good history lesson.

The United States carried out the “Benevolent Assimilation” of the Philippines which in truth means the violent military occupation of the country.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By officially labeling the war the “Philippine Insurrection,” the Americans turned the struggle for national independence led by Aguinaldo into a criminal rebellion against U.S. authority. “Insurrection” was a legal term that freed U.S. troops from following the laws of war that had emerged at the turn of the century. The word was also a public relations move meant to convince Americans that they weren’t really fighting a war of imperial conquest but were suppressing banditry and bringing law and order to a faraway uncivilized place.  How many times have we heard that in the history of this country? Too many. So many and counting just in my short lifetime. You know everything seemed to be just fine until invasion by the US and other European countries. Or make that by any outside force coming in and for whatever reason taking over and subjecting the people to their way of life.

KILL EVERYONE OVER TEN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From our niece

My thoughts on my visit to the museum:

I was struck by the similarities between what happened in the Philippines with Spain and then later the US and what I know of the history of Hawaii and its annexation by the US. In both cases white folks arrived to find a very different culture than what they were familiar with and assumed that it was undeveloped and inferior (of course this is what happened initially with the original Europeans in the US and the Native Americans too). They felt the need to force their culture onto the people they encountered and dismantle and destroy the culture that had existed.

I knew vaguely that the Philippines had some connections with the US but I was completely unaware of the history because we are never taught it. The US basically invented its way into the Spanish American war (Remember the Maine was that time’s equivalent of Bush’s Weapons of Mass Destruction).  They convinced local Filipinos to fight against the Spanish with the promise of freedom. The US lied and instead of leaving the Filipinos in peace with liberty, they instead “bought” the Philippines from Spain and occupied it under violent control for the next 60 years. Learning about all of this as a white American in the museum connected to the church where the Philippines signed their first democratic constitution (prior to US occupation) where I saw displays of really awful and demeaning US issued propaganda with a museum guide whose grandfather had earned a bust in the museum was pretty uncomfortable. I was embarrassed and ashamed of the behavior of the US government- shocked and yet not surprised, as I know we treated Hawaiians very much the same way because we wanted their land also. I think the board game Risk is based on the behavior that countries like England, Spain, Portugal, France and the US engaged in – trying to grab up all of the real estate just to see who could have the most and shoving aside whoever was already there.

Our museum guide was extremely knowledgeable and gracious- encouraging and answering all of our questions. One of the most interesting things I learned was that when they wrote their constitution they borrowed from other countries (a Filipino cultural tradition with regard to a lot of things – understandable given their occupations and the dilution and erosion of their original cultural traditions). He said that a lot of democratic governments had constitutions and that the US based theirs in a large part on Spain’s. If you only hear US history from a US perspective, you would be led to believe that our constitution was based on completely original ideas from our “founding fathers” and the US is the birthplace of democracy and completely unique and original. Not entirely true….

My observations of Filipino culture:

Filipino cities are very, very crowded. The traffic is said to be the worst in the world. Vehicles zip around each other and there really are no lanes. You frequently hear horns but they are used entirely to alert other vehicles- like a short tap on the horn whereas in city traffic in the US people lay on their horns aggressively and the manner of driving is much more aggressive. In the Philippines, I would categorize it as more assertive. People are much more patient in the Philippines. They are not so rushed and are resigned to things taking however long they are going to take – whether it’s sitting in traffic, waiting in line at a store, or waiting for the torrential rains and floodwater to subside. One upside of this patience is that you can get really good food almost anywhere – even at kiosks in the mall – because everyone is willing to wait a bit while it is prepared unlike the stuff we get that’s been sitting under heat lamps.

There is a HUGE disparity in incomes and lifestyles. Overall it is a much poorer country than the US.  But in the business center of Manila there is evidence of great wealth – many, many malls and stores, fancy hotels, large late model cars. There is no evidence of the very poor in the business district. I’m not sure if this is due to law or geography or something else, but I did see places where collections were being taken on their behalf. Also, the flight attendants on one of the airlines offer to take your change, your leftover international money and whatever else you’d like to give at the end of your flight and they donate it to UNICEF to help provide clean water for local children.
Outside of the business district however, you can see communities of shanties cobbled together with whatever scraps and cast offs people could find. There are no windows, no electricity or running water. People survive by picking through garbage.

As for the average citizens, they do not generally have as much money or material wealth as the average citizens in the US but there is not the consumerism that we have here. There is not the feeling of having to have the latest and greatest of everything. People tend to be more satisfied with what they have and are focused on other things besides getting more stuff.

The efforts to be environmentally sensitive – reduce, reuse, recycle – are much more widespread. I’m sure this is due in part to the island environment (there isn’t anywhere for waste to go) and also due in part to the economy.

People tend to be friendlier, less rushed, more patient, and much less aggressive. Nobody got annoyed with me if I didn’t understand something and needed it repeated. There were several basketball courts in the neighborhood I was staying in that very frequently had games going but I never heard fights or trash talking. The big Pacquiao fight took place while I was there and it was the biggest of deals for everyone- I was told that the crime rate during Pacquiao fights registers at zero because literally everyone is watching the fight. The streets were empty. Pacquiao is a senator and national hero. When he lost the fight, even though the officiating was highly questionable (when you look at the stats, Pacquiao has higher numbers in every category), nobody complained about it or reacted in any negative way. They are happy he’s as successful as he is but they are proud of him because he is Filipino and he’s representing the Philippines which isn’t dependent upon him winning.

She sent us these photo’s that she took at the museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s that beating stick in old Uncle Sam’s hand.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Crimes

A soldier from New York: “The town of Titatia was surrendered to us a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last night one of our boys was found shot and his stomach cut open. Immediately orders were received from General Wheaton to burn the town and kill every native in sight; which was done to a finish. About 1,000 men, women and children were reported killed. I am probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger. See HERE.

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All we can say is FUCK THE COPS!!!  These are real deal rotten bastards. This is the part of amerikkka that trump loves.

Cops Smile With Pleasure After Giving Teenage Boy Permanent Brain Damage

It appears as though the officer involved in this attack will be — surprise, surprise — getting away with it.

As WMUR News reports:

The judge presiding over the case against a former Seabrook police officer declared a mistrial on Tuesday.

A YouTube video shows what some are calling excessive force by Seabrook police officers.

Jurors were not able to reach a verdict against Mark Richardson.

Richardson was charged with assault after video showed him pushing Michael Bergeron into a wall at the Seabrook Police Station.

The victim was a marijuana smoker.

Stunningly, the belief held by one of the jurors is that marijuana gives people “super human strength,” evidently justifying the officer in attacking the “super human” — thus the jury could not reach a decision.

NEW HAMPSHIRE — A video has surfaced showing a defenseless teenager getting his head rammed into a wall at the police station.

After the teenager’s head was rammed into the wall, he can be seen collapsing to the ground.

An officer casually takes out his pepper spray and begins shooting the boy with it. At that point the cops can be seen giggling and smiling with pleasure. After four years, the department is now reviewing the footage and investigating the officers, according to reports.  The incident occurred in 2009, but the footage was released this week.

After reviewing the footage that was uploaded by the victim this week, Town Manager William Manzi remarked, “The Police Chief and I take it very seriously, it will be a real investigation.

The results will lead us where the results lead us,” he said.

The cops claimed that they arrested the victim for drunk driving. But the victim reports that he was not drunk. He says that after he had been released from a cell for booking, the police told him

that he could collect his wallet and his phone. But when he reached for his belongings, the police began choking him, he says. His account gives the impression that officers were intentionally

confusing him in order to have an excuse to initiate violence on him.

Judging by the looks on their faces, it certainly appears that they enjoyed what they were doing and may have been wanting to pick a fight just for fun.

“As I grabbed my wallet from the table he officer with the glasses came at me saying he never told me I could take my stuff and choked me against the wall then tried to grab the wallet from my

pocket. once he got the wallet and my phone this is what happened,” says the victim. He says that he suffers from permanent brain damage now.

He also says that he has a  “permanent lump on the back of my head” and “chipped teeth.” After reviewing the video, police chief Michael Gallagher insisted to WBZ-TV that the teenage boy was “on something.” That doesn’t excuse any improper behavior on the part of the officers,” he added

New Show at Art Space Hartford

Posted: July 28, 2017 in art

Its sounding like another must see show coming to town this August with some of our favorite artists showing their work. Check it out.

Art Space Hartford, 555 Asylum Avenue, Hartford Ct. 06105

Opening Reception Saturday August 12, 2017  7:00pm-9pm

Gallery Hours: August 2nd-August 31st, 2017 by appointment.

For appointment; Email: joebunkeo@joebunkeo.com      Text: 869-940-0547   Website: http://joebunkeo.com

Facebook Page HERE.

 

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After a summer of exploring identity, intersectionality and youth leadership, our Queer Academy campers are draguating! You’re invited to Queer Academy’s Draguation on Sunday, August 20th for a show, a ceremony, and a celebration! Queer Academy campers will share their messages from the stage through drag, song, dance and more…

Draguation will be at TheaterWorks from 6:00 – 9:00 PM, with a Silent Auction included.

Draguation is free and open to the public, but donations are accepted.

Facebook Page HERE.