Tina K. Russell

June 26, 2008

Enemy of the Date

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Tina Russell @ 9:01 pm


All’s fair in love. Just make sure you have a backup plan.

This is good advice for all my trans sistahs out there. And… the rest of you. In general.

Awesome Transsexuals: Aderet

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 8:01 pm

Say no more: Transsexual Israeli tops Lebanese song chart | Jerusalem Post
“Say No More,” a pulsating trance music track by up-and-coming Israeli female singer Aderet and [remixed by] DJ Dvir Halevi, has been at the top of the playlist this month on the “Beirut Nights” Internet radio station devoted to dance music (www.beirutnights.com).

“We found out they were playing my music by chance,” the 32-year-old Aderet said on Wednesday. She grew up in a religious home in Jerusalem and launched her musical career after undergoing a sex change operation following her IDF service over 10 years ago.

“They added the remix to the playlist and a few days later, it was at the top of the most played list,” said Aderet, who regularly performs at clubs, weddings and private functions in Israel and Europe.

On the Web site’s “Eurodance and Trance Songs” chat forum, the forum’s administrator described the song as an “uplifting tune with super nice lyrics.”

“They know I’m an Israeli singer, and that it’s an Israeli song,” said Aderet. “It feels great, it’s a big honor for me and makes me so happy that they let a 100 percent Israeli song to be played and to top their playlist without letting politics interfere.

I hope the Jerusalem Post doesn’t mind me quoting so liberally from the article, ’cause I think it’s great:

When contacted by The Jerusalem Post a representative of Beirut Nights named Sami responded in an e-mail that Israeli music was regularly featured on the station.

“We grew up in Beirut listening to Ofra Haza and Ishtar Alabina,” Sami said. “We play Aderet, but also Dana International, Sarit Hadad, and DJs Yahel and Ofer Nissim. It’s not a policy because there is no policy, it is just music. You shouldn’t make a big deal about it, because it might hurt us since we are surrounded by fanatics who ultimately have no place in Lebanon.

“If you ask 70% of the Lebanese population, they would tell you that Iran is more of an enemy than Israel. If the government needs to implement laws, they should start with laws against terrorists like Hizbullah rather than implement old outdated rules,” he said.

While Beirut Nights is only an Internet radio station, Sami claimed it was the most widely listened to site among the Lebanese diaspora, while acknowledging that its reach within Lebanon itself was limited.

Aderet is hopeful that the popularity of “Say No More” will snowball into something more significant, not just for her but for Israel.

“I hope that it will enable more Israeli musicians to break through there, and that maybe through music and the people who love club music, it could help start to bring peace between the Israeli and Lebanese people,” she said.

June 25, 2008

Thank you

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 10:40 pm

globeandmail.com: Gender-bending: the original spirit of Pride
In an obvious way, transsexual rights are important simply because “trans” people are human. Discrimination and medical access are only the first thorn branches to sprout with this acknowledgment. In male prisons, rape of male-to-female transsexuals is widely documented and broadly ignored. Old-fashioned feminist organizations and all-female colleges continue to exclude “transwomen” as “not really female.”

More deeply — and this is the heart of the Colombian ruling — the emergence of transsexual rights means that gender identity is now something about which we can all now more collectively chill out. In seeing gender as part biology but also part artifice, one can worry less about one’s own conformity to whatever a woman or man is supposed to be. One can get on with being an individual.

A sign of evolution is the emergence of a new word in the public idiom, “cisgender.” From the Latin cis-, meaning “on the same side,” it means identified with one’s birth sex — literally “not transgender,” as heterosexual is to homosexual.

I like this column.

June 24, 2008

This isn’t just because Tina is very fond of Brazil, promise

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 9:27 pm

Obama Camp Closely Linked With Ethanol – NYTimes.com
Ethanol is one area in which Mr. Obama strongly disagrees with his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain of Arizona. While both presidential candidates emphasize the need for the United States to achieve “energy security” while also slowing down the carbon emissions that are believed to contribute to global warming, they offer sharply different visions of the role that ethanol, which can be made from a variety of organic materials, should play in those efforts.

Mr. McCain advocates eliminating the multibillion-dollar annual government subsidies that domestic ethanol has long enjoyed. As a free trade advocate, he also opposes the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff that the United States slaps on imports of ethanol made from sugar cane, which packs more of an energy punch than corn-based ethanol and is cheaper to produce.

Here’s another thing: you don’t eat sugar cane. Much as I strongly feel that the country needs the healing balm of an Obama presidency and needs a McCain presidency like it needs an outbreak of the plague, I do have to call this issue for McCain. I’m sick of free-trade hypocrisy in America, where we tell other countries to drop all their tariffs and subsidies, and then binge on them ourselves when no one is looking. (Both parties engage in this, certainly, and it’s a disaster for developing economies overseas.)

No justice here

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tina Russell @ 9:11 pm

Doubting Case, a Prosecutor Helped the Defense – NYTimes.com
The Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, had a problem. The murder convictions of two men in one of his office’s big cases — the 1990 shooting of a bouncer outside the Palladium nightclub — had been called into question by a stream of new evidence.

So the office decided on a re-examination, led by a 21-year veteran assistant, Daniel L. Bibb.

Mr. Bibb spent nearly two years reinvestigating the killing and reported back: He believed that the two imprisoned men were not guilty, and that their convictions should be dropped. Yet top officials told him, he said, to go into a court hearing and defend the case anyway. He did, and in 2005 he lost.

But in a recent interview, Mr. Bibb made a startling admission: He threw the case. Unwilling to do what his bosses ordered, he said, he deliberately helped the other side win.

Mr. Bibb said he shared his growing doubts with his superiors. And at a meeting in early 2005, he recalled, after defense lawyers won court approval for a hearing into the new evidence, he urged that the convictions be set aside. “I made what I considered to be my strongest pitch,” he said.

Instead, he said, he was ordered to go to the hearing, present the government’s case and let a judge decide — a strategy that violated his sense of a prosecutor’s duty.

Still, Mr. Bibb said, he worried that if he did not take the case, another prosecutor would — and possibly win.

Today, Mr. Bibb says he does not believe he crossed any line.

“I didn’t work for the other side,” he said. “I worked for what I thought was the right thing.”

That’s kind of beautiful, but still disturbing. If a prosecutor does not believe in the truth of his case, he should recuse himself, not throw the case entirely by intentionally botching it. If the prosecutor is convinced that the man he’s prosecuting is innocent, that does not make him qualified to trick his colleagues, colleagues tasked with finding impartial justice, into finding the man innocent. He is a prosecutor, not a detective, not a jurist, and not a judge. Throwing the case not only defrauds his employer–the people–of requested services, it appoints him to judge and jury of a case that aleady stinks to high heaven.

Police often do the same thing, by fabricating and trumping up evidence against someone they sincerely believe is guilty (known as “framing a guilty man”). That’s still bad; it’s deciding, on your own, to take more power than society has alloted you, more power than you have been permitted, and have stated yourself, to represent.

On liberation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 8:47 pm

Q and A – Testing Linux With a Live CD – Question – NYTimes.com
Q. I am interested in putting Linux on an old computer, but not sure whether it is easy enough to use yet. I have heard you can test it without installing it. How?

A. You can give the Linux operating system a workout without actually installing it on your hard drive by running the system from what’s called a Live CD. With a Live CD, the computer boots from the CD drive instead of its own hard drive and runs the system from there.

Since you are new to Linux, you might want to try Ubuntu Linux (www.ubuntu.com), which has a familiar graphical user interface and a large amount of helpful documentation written by other users at help.ubuntu.com/community. The Ubuntu download is about 700 megabytes, so a broadband connection is helpful too, unless you sign up to have the site mail a free CD to you.

Linux is fun and free! Try it today! This is a good guide to trying it out before you make the big install. I’m sure you’ll find it to be worth it.

The least bad option

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 8:25 pm

Mugabe Rival Quits Zimbabwe Runoff, Citing Attacks – NYTimes.com
The leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition party withdrew Sunday from a presidential runoff, just five days before it was to be held, saying he could neither participate “in this violent, illegitimate sham of an election process,” nor ask his voters to risk their lives in the face of threats from forces backing President Robert Mugabe.

The opposition candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, the standard-bearer of the Movement for Democratic Change, said at a news conference in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, that his party was facing a war rather than an election, “and we will not be part of that war.”

A governing party militia blocked his supporters from attending a major rally in Harare on Sunday, the head of an election observer team said. The opposition said rowdy youths, armed with iron bars and sticks, beat up people who had come to cheer for Mr. Tsvangirai.

It was the latest incident in a tumultuous campaign season in which Mr. Tsvangirai has been repeatedly detained, his party’s chief strategist jailed on treason charges that many people consider bogus, and rampant state-sponsored violence has left at least 85 opposition supporters dead and thousands injured, according to tallies by doctors treating the victims.

I’m kind of disappointed that Tsvangirai dropped out, because I held out a remote fantasy–kept aloft by my incessant clapping–that he would stay in and win Friday’s election, even though international monitors have been ejected, his supporters are being beaten up, imprisoned, and killed, he isn’t being permitted to run a campaign, and the incumbent has said that he would sooner go to war than transfer power.

Had Tsvangirai stayed in, we, the international community, would be in an awkward position. Had he won, we’d have to say, “Get out, Mugabe! Listen to the voice of your people!” But, had Tsvangirai lost, we would–rightly–have to decry the sham of it all, the beatings, the persecutions, the crippling, anti-democratic rule of Robert Mugabe. Basically, there were no good options, and I think Tsvangirai may have chosen the least bad one.

That said, I wish Thabo “There Is No Crisis” Mbeki, president of South Africa (not nearly the man his predecessor was; you might say he’s a “half-Nelson”), had engaged Mugabe more forcefully. We don’t know if it would have worked or not, but South Africa had more power and credibility in the region than any country on Earth, and Mbeki chose not to use it. That’s a shame.

Israel and Palestine: The Reality

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 7:35 pm

Op-Ed Columnist – The Two Israels – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com
To travel through the West Bank and Gaza these days feels like traveling through Israeli colonies.

You whiz around the West Bank on new highways that in some cases are reserved for Israeli vehicles, catching glimpses of Palestinian vehicles lined up at checkpoints.

The security system that Israel is steadily establishing is nowhere more stifling than here in Hebron, the largest city in the southern part of the West Bank. In the heart of a city with 160,000 Palestinians, Israel maintains a Jewish settlement with 800 people. To protect them, the Israeli military has established a massive system of guard posts, checkpoints and road closures since 2001.

More than 1,800 Palestinian shops have closed, in some cases the doors welded shut, and several thousand people have been driven from their homes. The once flourishing gold market is now blocked with barbed wire and choked with weeds and garbage.

“For years, Israel has severely oppressed Palestinians living in the center of the city,” notes B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights group, in a recent report. The authorities, it adds, “have expropriated the city center from its Palestinian residents and destroyed it economically.”

Please read this. Kristof goes on to speak of how thorough, choking, cruel, and ubiquitous the occupation is in Palestine, how Hamas terrorism is hurting Palestine’s chances of ever having a legitimate state, and how ordinary Israelis are reaching across the border to help the victims of the brutal occupation regime.

I want to be clear that non-violent means are the only legitimate means to fight the occupation. But fight we must, as the Israeli government will find out soon enough what its people have known for a long time: the theoretical advantage of a “greater Israel” will never match the horror, the death and destruction, being waged across the border, and that having a failed state next door creates a haven for terrorists and terrorist sentiment that puts every Israeli citizen in unacceptable danger.

June 21, 2008

Tina the Tech Writer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tina Russell @ 12:51 am

There’s a Dilbert character named Tina the Tech Writer. Not only does she have the world’s most excellent first name, but she seems to share just about every one of my personal hang-ups. Read on for my favorite Tina strips, brought to you by the new Dilbert website (which is, by the way, excellent).

June 20, 2008

Paved with Good Intentions: Portraits of Well-Meaning Liberals (UPDATED)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Tina Russell @ 10:11 pm

From a list of Pride week events in San Francisco:

Good Vibrations

“Divas of San Francisco: Portraits of Transsexual Women.” Photographs by David Steinberg. Reception 6-8 p.m. Thurs. Through July 20. 1620 Polk St. (415) 974-8985, ext. 201.


If you’re wondering why this makes me so angry, try to imagine a “High-Achieving Academics of San Francisco: Portraits of Asian Women” photo exhibition, or maybe a “Forthright Playas of San Fransico: Portraits of Black Men” one, or perhaps a “Mystical Shamans Who Cry When You Toss Away That Beer Bottle in San Francisco: Portraits of American Indians” one, and you may get the idea.

Basically, stereotyping in praise is still stereotyping. I’m essentially being called a “hot tranny mess,” and it makes me want to pound somebody’s eyeballs out. If I’m walking down the street of San Francisco, dressed in fashionable clothes and toting a purse, I wouldn’t mind people thinking I look pretty (why else would I dress up?), but I would mind if people thought right away, “wow, she’s a diva, she looks like she’s gonna take over the freakin’ world.” I loathe when people praise transsexuals for our default setting of “being transsexual”; they might as well be patting us on the head and giving us lollipops.


UPDATE: Well, I feel silly now. My dear friend Riftgirl–see her blog, “Being ‘T,'” at right–fills us in through the comments.

I’m SO totally anal at times, it amazes even me. With regard to the exhibit title, it actually is very intentional – and appropriate. From the exhibit notes:

“For over five years, David Steinberg has been photographing transsexual women who frequent Divas Nightclub and Bar in San Francisco, the premier transgender club in the U.S.”

Still, I don’t know what “culture” has to do with a name of a bar. ;-) And on a side note, “premier transgender club”… Groan, I hate that kind of crap.

Hey, Riftgirl, don’t you get it? The nightclub is questioning its gender identity. That’s perfectly normal for its age. (I wonder what its parents think?)

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