Knitting and Sljivovica

Apr 25, 2012

California bill would crack down on ‘ex-gay’ therapy


A California state Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that aims to protect citizens against “reparative” therapies intended to change the sexual orientation of LGBT people.

By a vote of 5-3, the state Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development advanced SB 1172, which would ban children under 18 from receiving so-called “ex-gay” therapies. Therapists would also have to provide adults receiving treatment with consent forms to warn them of potential dangers.

“An individual’s sexual orientation, whether homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual, is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming,” the bill states. “Under no circumstances shall a patient under 18 years of age undergo sexual orientation change efforts, regardless of the willingness of a patient’s parent, guardian, conservator, or other person to authorize such efforts.”

For adult patients, the measure would mandate a consent form with the following warning:

Having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. There is no scientific evidence that any types of therapies are effective in changing a person’s sexual orientation. Sexual orientation change efforts can be harmful. The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.

Medical and mental health associations that oppose the use of sexual orientation change efforts include the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

“Under the guise of a California license, some therapists are taking advantage of vulnerable people by pushing dangerous sexual orientation-change efforts,” bill author Sen. Ted W. Lieu (D) said in a press advisory Monday.

“Clearly, so-called conversion or reparative therapy is scientifically ineffective and has resulted in much harm,” Lieu added. “Simply put, this is an unacceptable therapeutic practice.”

While this is great and all, the reason trans* folks aren’t included in that little disclaimer is because trans* folks are still considered as having a mental disorder by the American Psychological Association.  So, while this effort against “ex-gay therapy” is good to some degree, it’s important to realize that the T* in GLBT* is still being left behind in these endeavors for queer acceptance.  We cannot continue moving forward like this without our trans* brothers and sisters. 

(via youbestnotmiss)

Apr 7, 2012

Handicap Nazi


Handicap Nazi is a term used to refer to a disabled person who abuses the ADA laws by suing establishments in violation of it for personal gain.

The definition is problematic to me but I wanted to phrase it in a way those who use it would in order to begin with an equal representation on their behalf.  Whether you can actually describe requiring people to uphold the ADA laws as abuse is up for you to decide as we go on; I’m sure you can guess my opinion.

One more quick digression before we dig in, if I may…Handicap may not be the best adjective to use given how offensive some people find it and Nazi is maybe a little too insensitive given the following:

1. Nazi Germany sterilized 300,000 to 400,000 people under their Sterilization Law (1934) who targeted the “abnormal” (a.k.a., us) as apposed to the “asocials” (non-aryan races) citizens

2. The Marriage Law (1935) required all people to provide proof that they could not produce children with disabling heredity diseases

3. 1939 Hitler made it legal to give disabled people “mercy deaths” by their physicians as the government saw fit

4. Systematic killings of disabled people in government, church, and nursing homes were done  under the secret operation called “Operation T4” in reference to Tiergartenstrasse 4.  Patients targeted were identified by a red cross on their papers (hilarious irony)

5. In 1940 the preferred method of killing these patients became gas chambers.  70,273 victims were recorded between 1940 and 1941, 5,000 of these disabled people were also Jewish

6. In 1941 Operation T-4 ended the killings went public with the slogan “useless eaters” to justify the murders

7. It is estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 people were murdered under Operation T-4

Fun facts!: Many of the gas chambers used in the infamous Nazi camps were originally built for the T-4 victims and physicians trained through this operation went on to work at the camps and run the chambers.

(Source: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Also, most disabled people are unable to pidgin step and this “Handicap Nazi” term is just rubbing it in our faces…

Back to present day…

All my life I have been told by able-bodied people how oppressive ADA laws are, while at the same time I experience issues of accessibility every time I leave the house.  When the lack of accessability is obvious and yet I stay silent (which is always) I am approached by strangers who tell me how great I am not to be “one of THOSE” cripples.

The only time I did take any action was when my hair dresser moved into a place that was impossible to get a wheelchair into.  My hair dresser implored the owner to add a ramp, as he was already doing remodels and construction, but he refused.  She kept at him but I knew it was fruitless and began cutting my hair at home.  This went on for a few months and then my hair dresser told me another one of her clients had been in an accident and was now in a wheelchair.  The client, not having to notice accessibility issues or knowing her limits, went to get her hair done to find she could no longer enter the building.  She was newly crippled and hadn’t yet lost her pride or self-respect so she asked to be pulled up the stairs but they were too high and steep and she fell.

Still, the owner did nothing.

It was at that point I called the city to report him and someone went out to check the place out.  I was informed he was in violation of a few things that he would receive notice about and although he was also in violation of ADA laws they wouldn’t be doing anything about it.  I was welcome to sue him myself if I wanted.

He was already financially strapped and given the laws they were going after him about I knew he would loose the property anyway, and he was already treating my hair dresser badly for the trouble he was in so I let it rest.

This is a real situation involving a normal cripple in Northern California, please keep this in mind as I talk about the Rise of the Handicap Nazis~!

A fire storm has formed in Northern California (it is slowly gaining attention nation wide) over the suits filed by the attorney Jason Singleton who works solely on ADA violation cases.  His operation works as such:

1. A wheelchair bound disabled person (he works with a handful of regulars) goes out in the Sacramento area, targeting small businesses, looking for violations and once found a complaint is sent to the owner

2. If the complaint is not seen to the owner gets sued.  If it is seen to the disabled person returns to find any fault so a lawsuit may still be filed

3. Jason Singleton offers deal to settle out of court, usually for thousands of dollars, but still less than the property owner would spend in fighting the lawsuit in court

It’s a devious and ingenious system and has made Jason Singleton and his clients very rich.  He has been granted money off of ridiculous violations such as a handicap parking sign having one bolt holding it up instead of two.  He is able to do this because of loop holes in the ADA laws and takes advantage of the parts that are now outdated and problematic.

Jason Singleton is my hero.

For years the disabled community as tried to get the ADA laws updated to remove the useless crap and to add things that would actually make things accessible and equal but the majority has squashed any efforts in fear of what meeting the new ADA laws might cost.

Jason Singleton comes along and suddenly the majority wants the ADA laws updated.  Funny, that.

From my personal experience above and ones of many others we see the government wont uphold the ADA laws.  They want us to take care of it ourselves by suing.

Jason Singleton would be happy to represent us.

The argument I always get is, “but he’s getting rich off this!  If he weren’t, he wouldn’t be doing it!”  Do you think I honestly believe he cares about disabled people?  He is welcome to the money, he earned it and if it means we can finally get people to care about accessibility he deserves it.

This issue hit the big time when Singleton targeted a popular restaurant called the Squeeze Inn, so called due to it’s small and narrow size.  It’s gimmick is that it is so narrow that it is hard for too many people to get into at once.  The building itself is old and needed repairs, ones that exceeded the amount needed to put it in violation of ADA laws if construction didn’t include an accessible entry.  Singleton jumped on this but given the popularity of the restaurant it was the first time one of his suits became news worthy and thus the phrase Handicap Nazi was born.

Singleton has been demonized and each of his suits picked apart on news and commentary programs in which all those involved in the discussion were able-bodied and in support of the Squeeze Inn.  Without debate Singleton was condemned and without hesitation the disabled people working with him were dubbed Handicap Nazis.  The phrase is now used to describe any disabled person who files a suit for violations of the ADA laws.

The Squeeze Inn also garnered support for it’s appearance on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  People are saying “It was on TV!  We can’t change it!” and to those people I reply, “I saw Ted Bundy on TV once.”

The animosity toward disabled people has risen in the area and we are facing more accusations of being freeloaders of the tax payer’s dollars.  Some might say we’re “useless eaters.”

(Source: )

Dec 11, 2011

"Ottawa strips Attawapiskat of authority over its finances"



I *HATE* The Globe and Mail, but FOR FUCK SAKES, this is just beyond anything I thought would happen. This is what happens when First Nations try to hold the Government of Canada accountable. I’m so fucking sick of hearing about how ‘lazy, stupid injuns can’t manage their own money they get for free’ — and that’s basically what the gov’t is saying by doing this. LETS NOT EVEN TALK ABOUT HOW THE COMMUNITIES ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE GOV’T FINANCIALLY ANYWAYS, WHO KNEW ABOUT THE SITUATION ALL ALONG, SO WHO IS REALLY FUCKING UP HERE??? 

When people don’t have education, food, clean water housing and heat— what else can they really do? You know what? I’m fucking PROUD to be from the James Bay region and see my brothers and sisters making a PR shitstorm for the government. Even if all the racists are coming out of the woodwork, at least Canada looks like the racist genocidal state that IT IS. 

Also props to Charlie Angus. Its about fucking time a white guy stepped up and called out the government on the bullshit way that it treats Indigenous peoples. 

Highly recommend everyone follow my lovely and badass friend ndnsurgency, who not only loves and rages on tumblr, but also hosts an awesome radio show about these very same topics with equal amounts of love and rage.

(via gotochelm)

Dec 3, 2011

I have never experienced a situation violating more constitutional rights than what is happening on Wall Street right now. No media helicopters, no press, no personal video is being allowed. This, if nothing else, should scare you.




[Image is a photo of a white owl with yellow eyes looking surprised with the caption, “O rly?”]

Oh. Let’s try:

  • prisons/private prisons/prison labor
  • immigrant detention centers
  • juvenile detention centers
  • slavery/slave trade
  • the entire placement of the US-Mexico border
  • Patriot Act
  • segregated schools/the continued extralegal segregation of schools
  • sterilization of women of color and immigrant women
  • eugenics
  • George Bush declaring war on an idea
  • McCarthyism
  • the three-fifths clause
  • the fact that raping a black woman during slavery was trespassing, not sexual assault
  • lack of universal health care
  • stop-and-frisks
  • racial profiling/racial checkpoints/religious profiling
  • the failed Sensenbrenner Bill/Arizona’s SB 1070/banning ethnic studies
  • Japanese-American internment camps
  • Chinese Exclusion Act/Alien & Sedition Acts
  • Brasero Program
  • US’s continued existence occupying indigenous land

but maybe you haven’t experienced those things or their legacies. Trust me, there’s more; that was off the top of my head in five minutes, but now I need to go to work.

This doesn’t scare me. I’ve BEEN scared. I’ve also been angry. This shit has been around my whole life.


(Source: viciousturtle, via gotochelm)

Aug 17, 2011


A planned protest of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) fizzled Thursday after officials reportedly cut cell phone services at some stations.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson told a KTVU reporter, who had noticed the disruption, that the public relations department had suggested that phone service be shut down.

Another BART spokesman, Jim Allison, reportedly admitted that the tactic had been “part of a larger strategy.”

But Allison later claimed that he had been mistaken and phone service was not blocked.

“I haven’t been able to find another incident in which this has happened,” criminologist Casey Jordan told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux Friday. “I think perhaps it is unprecedented, and yet that’s how these legal issues come to light and get debated. Whether it’s legal or not it hasn’t been tested in the courts. Public safety exceptions to or encroachments on our personal freedoms do happen.”

“A lot of people are wondering, what happened to freedom of speech, assembly without government interference that’s protected by the First Amendment?” Malveaux asked.

“They didn’t try to shut down the protest. They simply turned off the cell service so it couldn’t become viral,” Jordan explained. “It really is just a cost/benefit analysis of where your freedom of speech begins to threaten the public safety.”

The group No Justice, No BART had called for the protest following a string of killings by BART police.

“We are fighting for justice for Charles Hill, Oscar Grant, Fred Collins, Bruce Seward, Jerrold Hall, Robert Greer, and all victims of BART police violence and murder,” the group said. “We demand that BART disband its murderous, inept, corrupt police department.”

Wow this is some scary police-state shit right here. Shutting down cell service to stop people from organizing a protest? If you’re that scared of the people maybe you should reconsider what you’re doing to them.


(Source: goodreasonnews, via stfuconservatives)

Jul 28, 2011

I am utterly mortified. #killingfields


I can not believe that up until recently I hadn’t actually heard about the Genocide in Sri Lanka that happened over the course of 2008 and 2009. I finally plucked up the courage to watch this a channel 4 documentary called ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’. It has genuine footage from civilians of them being shelled, shot at, injured and dead in massive numbers that the Sri Lankan Government has rejected and claimed that is it not real footage but a lie. Even after a official UN report earlier this year. 

A few terrifying facts;

  • the title ‘Killing fields’ comes from how the Government would announce ‘no fire zones’ wait for civilians to arrive in their masses and shell them constantly
  • 40,000 people were killed in the last few weeks [death toll is uncertain]
  • there were 400,000 people made homeless and fleeing their cities
  • war crimes have been committed by the Government of Sri Lanka such as execution on prisoners of war [i.e. murder], rape, abuse, torture and bombing of hospitals [consistently].
  • those who surrendered were also shot point blank
  • the man behind it all is still President of Sri Lanka
  • the Sri Lankan Government has support from China who provided heavy artillery air crafts as well as support from Russia and Pakistan.
  •  in 1983 1/2 million Tamils fled but 800,000 populated Sri Lanka - 1999 mass graves were found - 600 people went missing 
  • Year 2000 Massacre 
  • by 2009 the Tamil population had fallen to half of what it was in 1983. Since the massacre it is uncertain how many are left as there is no official figure

Three things you should please make the time to do;

  1. Watch the documentary linked above if you can [I’m not sure if you can watch it outside the UK] If you are not able to watch it there is a youtube link here which summaries what the show is about as well as this description provided by Channel 4; 

    Jon Snow presents a forensic investigation into the final weeks of the quarter-century-long civil war between the government of Sri Lanka and the secessionist rebels, the Tamil Tigers.

    With disturbing and distressing descriptions and film of executions, atrocities and the shelling of civilians the programme features devastating new video evidence of war crimes - some of the most horrific footage Channel 4 has ever broadcast.

    Captured on mobile phones, both by Tamils under attack and government soldiers as war trophies, the disturbing footage shows: the extra-judicial executions of prisoners; the aftermath of targeted shelling of civilian camps; and dead female Tamil fighters who appear to have been raped or sexually assaulted, abused and murdered.

    The film is made and broadcast as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon faces growing criticism for refusing to launch an investigation into ‘credible allegations’ that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes during the closing weeks of the bloody conflict with the Tamil Tigers.

    In April 2011, Ban Ki-moon published a report by a UN-appointed panel of experts, which concluded that as many as 40,000 people were killed in the final weeks of the war between the Tamil Tigers and government forces.

    It called for the creation of an international mechanism to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by government forces and the Tamil Tigers during that time.

    This film provides powerful evidence that will lend new urgency to the panel’s call for an international inquiry to be mounted, including harrowing interviews with eye-witnesses, new photographic stills, official Sri Lankan army video footage, and satellite imagery.

    Also examined in the film are some of the horrific atrocities carried out by the Tamil Tigers, who used civilians as human shields.

    Channel 4 News has consistently reported on the bloody denouement of Sri Lanka’s civil war. Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields presents a further damning account of the actions of Sri Lankan forces, in a war that the government still insists was conducted with a policy of Zero Civilian Casualties.

    The film raises serious questions about the consequences if the UN fails to act, not only with respect to Sri Lanka but also to future violations of international law.

    You can follow the programme on Twitter using #KillingFields 
  2. Read the information provided on this facebook group which is very well put together ……. here
  3. Sign this petition 

We need to help those who need it most. These people are living in fear/poverty and injustice.

EDIT: Total killed so far 100,000

(Source: )

Jul 15, 2011

Latest White House Drug Strategy Report Affirms Our Government Has Virtually No Interest In Actually Studying Marijuana | NORML

July 12th, 2011 - The White House yesterday, with little fanfare, issued its annual (and long overdue) 2011 National Drug Control Strategy report.

As usual, the White House’s official justification for the ongoing multigenerational drug war was light on facts and heavy on rhetoric, particularly as it pertained to the federal government’s fixation with criminalizing cannabis. + 

(Source: fuckyeahdrugpolicy, via sanityscraps)