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Kabbalists differentiate between two types of jealousy.

The first is the one we're all familiar with, whether we want to admit it or not. It's the pinch in our hearts when our friend gets what we want. That part of us that says, "why him, why not me?"

This is the worst type of jealousy we can ever have.

When we question why someone else is getting something instead of us, that's it, we're cooked. Why? Because when we question why our friend would receive something, we actually disconnect from our friend.

We create division. What happens the moment we create division with our friend? We create a separation between us and the Light. The Light, of course, being the best, most reliable, loving friend we could ever have.

Not only do we not have what we want, but we're also not happy with our friend; we've created a wall between us and them - and ultimately between us and the Light. This keeps us from getting what we want.

It's a vicious circle. Nothing good comes of it.

What shall be done?

Kabbalists explain there is a form of jealousy that is very positive. It's that voice that says, "Wow, I'm so happy for my friend, I'm glad he has that ! You know what, I want that too! I'd be glad to work for that!"

The first type of jealousy emanates purely from the realm of ego and separation. The second is motivational, and it empowers us to work with the law of cause and effect. It shows us the reason we want what our friend has is because they were sent into our life to make us want what they have - to show us that we can have it too!

Of course, we have to work for it, but when we're chasing down our dream, there can't be a consciousness of lack.

In fact most of us wear the Red String to protect us from evil eye, but do we know where evil eye comes from, and what its effects are? Evil eye is the very consciousness of lack. It's the automatic thought that fires off the second we envy someone, "why don't I have that? They don't deserve it - I do!"

Spiritually, it is equated to stealing energy from a person.

This week, find the things you are jealous of. Realize the reason you are seeing these things is to show you - you can have it too!

Next time you're jealous, go positive.

All the best,

Yehuda

-- from kabbalah.com's weekly tune up.
From the Ottawa XPress, by Sara Falconer:

You'd think it would make national headlines: two grandmothers arrested at a border crossing, one forced to the ground by four armed guards, the other in handcuffs, having a heart attack. But a telling silence surrounds these allegations of brutality against Mohawk women by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

On June 14, Katenies and Kahentinetha, publishers of Mohawk Nation News (www.mohawknationnews.com), were crossing the border at Cornwall after a visit to family members in the United States. When it was discovered that Katenies had an outstanding warrant for allegedly "running the border" in 2003, they were forcibly pulled from the car.

Both women say that they were beaten by multiple CBSA guards. Sixty-eight-year old Kahentinetha suffered a heart attack while she was handcuffed. Her brother, a local lawyer who was crossing the border at the same time, intervened and she was taken to a hospital by ambulance.

Akwesasne, where Katenies lives, is a Kanion'ke:haka (Mohawk) community that stretches across so-called Ontario, Quebec and New York. And therein lies the problem: Many indigenous people do not recognize the jurisdiction of colonial law over their lives and territories. It's not lawlessness, but rather adhesion to a constitution and a law that is thousands of years old.

A CBSA investigator who testified against her at her July 16 bail hearing said that Katenies "has nothing but contempt for the Canadian judicial system." He admitted that it is "not uncommon" for Mohawks to cite the lack of jurisdiction to border officials, although he called Katenies "an extreme case." The CBSA did not respond to calls for further comment.

But just as this is no isolated incident, there is little to indicate that Katenies is particularly extreme. Since 2003, she has steadfastly challenged the Canadian government to prove that it has any jurisdiction over Mohawk people or land. Despite the fact that she formally filed a motion to dismiss based on this issue in 2007, there has been no response.

"I've had no respect. No one has looked at what I've put forward," she said. "I don't see why you should incarcerate me and beat me into submission without answering my question." Against protests by the Crown, she was released into the custody of her mother, Nancy Davis, who told the court with a smile, "I'm the only one who has authority over my daughter."

Kahentinetha is now resting at home in Kahnawake. Katenies' next court date is July 14 in Cornwall. Her supporters are encouraging people to pack the courtroom.

"It's this kind of behaviour that motivated criticism of Harper's symbolic apology [for residential schools]," says Karen Cocq of No One Is Illegal Ottawa. "The Canadian state has clearly not relented in its brutal colonial assault on First Nations people in this country. It's a case of their actions speaking louder than words." Visit www.noii-ottawa.blogspot.com for updates.

No One Is Illegal Ottawa blog.
Vote I Like It!

Invincible is part of the amazing all-female hip-hop crew, Anomalies.

trans ambiguity

"Trans" often comes to mean the idea that your body/sex (possibly at birth) and your gender don't match in some way.

I would like to see some debunking of the idea that people do/should have a recognizably unambiguous gender.

I would also like to see debunking of the expectation that when naked, bodies do/should have a recognizably unambiguous sex.
A new book by Sherene Razack !

Casting Out: The Eviction of Muslims from Western Law and Politics

Mustapha Pasha, Chair in International Relations, University of Aberdeen says:
‘Casting Out is a fabulous contribution to a growing literature on new modes of imperial management since 9/11, combining rich theoretical perspectives, interpretation, and empirical detail. Sherene H. Razack systematically explores the reframing of religious identity within received and innovative imaginaries of race, legal classification, and gender with authority and elegance. In this ambitious, but highly successful book, she examines, with almost surgical precision, the micro-processes of legality, the inextricable link between sexuality, race, and state-sponsored torture, and the inscription of the camp in quotidian practices of Muslim immigrants.’

Amazon's product description:
Three stereotypical figures have come to represent the ‘war on terror’ – the ‘dangerous’ Muslim man, the ‘imperilled’ Muslim woman, and the ‘civilized’ European. Casting Out explores the use of these characterizations in the creation of the myth of the family of democratic Western nations obliged to use political, military, and legal force to defend itself against a menacing third world population. It argues that this myth is promoted to justify the expulsion of Muslims from the political community, a process that takes the form of stigmatization, surveillance, incarceration, torture, and bombing.

In this timely and controversial work, Sherene H. Razack looks at contemporary legal and social responses to Muslims in the West and places them in historical context. She explains how ‘race thinking,’ a structure of thought that divides up the world between the deserving and undeserving according to racial descent, accustoms us to the idea that the suspension of rights for racialized groups is warranted in the interests of national security. She discusses many examples of the institution and implementation of exclusionary and coercive practices, including the mistreatment of security detainees, the regulation of Muslim populations in the name of protecting Muslim women, and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. She explores how the denial of a common bond between European people and those of different origins has given rise to the proliferation of literal and figurative ‘camps,’ places or bodies where liberties are suspended and the rule of law does not apply.

Combining rich theoretical perspectives and extensive research, Casting Out makes a major contribution to contemporary debates on race and the ‘war on terror’ and their implications in areas such as law, politics, cultural studies, feminist and gender studies, and race relations.

From the back cover, Meyda Yegenoglu, Professor of Sociology, Middle East Technical University, Ankara says:
In Casting Out Sherene H. Razack articulates, in a highly creative manner, several different theoretical frameworks in an effort to unravel the specific nature of racism, or what she calls “race thinking” in the modern world. The results of her examination are of great importance to research into contemporary forms of racism, the making of empire, and the role that feminism plays in the process. This is an original and valuable work that offers insights into such fields as feminist studies, globalization studies, postcolonial and colonial studies, and law.

There is a book launch going on this weekend in Toronto entitled "The War Works Hard":

The University of Toronto Press and the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, cordially invite you to

An anti-war event to launch CASTING OUT: THE EVICTION OF MUSLIMS FROM WESTERN LAW & POLITICS by
Sherene H. Razack

FRIDAY JUNE 20, 7pm

Noor Cultural Centre
23 Wynford Drive
$5 requested at the door
music, tea and hors d'oeuvres!
wheelchair accessible

Featuring.

Jehad in Motion: video installation by Richard Fung
The poems of Dunya Mikhail, The War Works Hard
Presentation "Is Muslim Now a Race?' by Sherene Razack

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From the BBC:

Cuba has authorised sex-change operations and will offer them free to qualifying citizens, officials say.

The move is the latest in a series of policy changes implemented by President Raul Castro since he succeeded his elder brother, Fidel, in February.

Raul Castro's daughter, who heads the National Centre for Sex Education, spearheaded the changes in a country renowned for sexual conservatism.

Heh, "sex-change". It's not clear what all counts as a "sex-change" operation, if they are only supporting a full sex-reassignment for MTF individuals (since MTF trans peeps get all the spotlights and such) or a wider variety of surgical options, and for people along both spectrums. Hopefully the latter.

Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela, has also pushed for the state to recognise same sex unions and inheritance rights.

But yeh, it's cool, and yet another place for Ontario to look up to. Also I can't wait for the anti-homophobia momentum in Brasil and now Cuba to push its way through all of the Caribbean and South/Central America.

Cisgender Definition/Privilege Checklist

From http://www.t-vox.org/index.php?title=Cisgender_Privilege (linked from postqueer)

This list is intended for those who are interested in considering how their privilege as a cisgender (non-trans) person affects their lives, and how that makes their experiences in the world substantially different from transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people; it is intended to show the reader how ze benefits from being cisgender. It is NOT intended to be a list of things that all cisgender people have and all transgender people do not have.

This list was originally created under the following definition of the word cisgender:

A person whose determinations of hir sex and gender are universally considered valid.

It is the opposite of transgender, or a person whose determination of hir sex and/or gender is not universally considered valid. This definition was chosen in preference to more common definitions (a)someone who identifies with the sex and gender ze was assigned at birth, or (b)someone who conforms to gender norms to:

  1. Draw attention to the central role of gender policing in cisgender privilege/trans oppression;
  2. Validate the identities of gender conforming transpeople as their gender of choice, rather than assignment; and
  3. Take account of a large variety of gender variant identities and expressions that are not necessarily in direct contradiction with identifying as a member of one's assigned sex/gender, such as crossdressers, butches, genderqueers, drag performers, bigenderists, two spirit, travesti, and so forth. Even highly feminine men and masculine women who in no way identify with the term transgender may find themselves lacking some privileges in this checklist--that is to be expected.

Some highlights from the checklist..

1) I expect non-discrimination acts that apply to me to cover the most prevalent vectors of discrimination against me. I expect laws banning the creation of a hostile work environment will ban the use of offensive language about me.

4) I expect access to healthcare.
a. I cannot be denied health insurance on the basis of my gender.
e. Treatments which permanently or semi-permanently change my body are available to me immediately, based on my informed consent, ability to pay, and, if applicable, medical need.
f. If I am accessing medical treatment, my informed consent is verified in, at most, a one-hour consult made before the beginning of treatment.
m. I expect that medical care will be crafted to suit my own particular needs. I expect to be able to access treatment A without accessing treatment B, if treatment B will do nothing to advance my particular needs.

7) I expect my gender to not unduly affect my ability to travel internationally.
a. My gender presentation is legal in all countries.
d. I expect that my documentation will decrease suspicion about me.

8) Information important for me to keep private will not be revealed by:
b. My identification
d. The language used to refer to me
g. Accidental pregnancy
h. My face and neck

9) Perception/acceptance of my gender is generally independent of:
c. My adherence to traditional roles of my gender
f. My sexual choices/desires
g. Being assertive, aggressive, or passive
h. Being in a position of power
i. Being intellectual
n. My musical taste
o. My hairstyle
r. Whether or not I have had a medical procedure

10) Bodies like mine are represented in the media and the arts. It is easily possible for representations of my naked body to pass obscenity restrictions.

12) Wronging me is taken seriously
a. Those who wrong me are expected to know that it is hurtful, and are considered blameworthy whether or not they intended to wrong me.

19) For me, there is little-to-no conflict between being recognized as a member of my gender, and resisting sexism.

24) My potential lovers expect my genitals to look roughly similar to the way they do, and have accepted that before coming to bed with me.

29)My right to inhabit my currently chosen gender is universally considered valid

belonging

My whole family was counting on me too. But I couldn't handle the pressure so I ran off with some guy and quit school. By the time I realized I'd made a mistake it was too late. I was left with no education and nothing I was qualified to do. It took me years to get back. And honey, if you wonder why I seem to fit so well here, it's because I worked damn hard to get here and I know I deserve it. And your problem is is that you don't know you deserve it. Will knows it and I know it, but unless you know it there is nothing more I can say.

-- Aunt Viv

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Statement by Quebec Native Women’s Association/Femmes Autochtones du Québec
Re : Government of Canada’s Residential School Apology
June 11, 2008

Quebec Native Women recognizes the Prime Minister’s official apology concerning the genocidal experience of Aboriginal people in the history of the Residential School system. While the apology to Aboriginal peoples is long overdue it is contradicted by the oppressive policies of the Indian Act.

The heinous crimes committed against Aboriginal children who were victims and survivors of the Residential School experience must be dealt with beyond mere apologies and monetary compensation.

The damages to our languages, well-being, social and political structures, and sexuality caused by Residential School, demands attention. The policy of assimilation through the Residential Schools system constituted a war against an identifiable group of people.

And while we commend the Canadian Government on the creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission we cannot ignore the Auditor General’s recent report substantiating that budgets for child welfare agencies in Canada continue to focus the majority of their efforts on the placement of Aboriginal children outside their communities and Nations. This type of practice is reminiscent of the Residential School policy.

Consequently, the Canadian Government must acknowledge that Residential School was an act of genocide; a crime against humanity. Apologies may be recognized but they are not necessarily accompanied by forgiveness as no nation or groups have ever been forgiven for their acts of genocide.

In order for this apology to be considered genuine, more efforts must be undertaken to correct current oppressive measures under the Indian Act that prevent Indigenous peoples from prospering socially, culturally, politically and economically.

The actions of the Canadian Government in opposing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples makes the apology feel hollow. Their opposition to the UNDRIP perpetuates the insidious, archaic Indian Act that continues to discriminate and deny Aboriginal nations their rights. The facts and arguments reflecting the manner in which the Canadian Government continues to undermine the rights of Indigenous peoples, can be found in Amnesty International’s 2008 Annual Report.

We therefore urge the Government of Canada to adequately fund Indigenous languages in a manner that is equivalent to the support given to the French and English languages; to adequately consult Aboriginal peoples in good faith on legislation that addresses issues such as matrimonial real property, Bill C-21, Bill C-47; Bill C-30 and to eliminate the sexual discrimination that exists under Section 6 of the Indian Act.

In order for Aboriginal communities to emerge from the negative impacts of colonization they must have access to their lands and resources; they must have the opportunities to build strong and healthy nations by taking to task the social and economic problems whose roots are firmly based in colonization.

Canada has established itself as a rich and prosperous country at the expense and blood of Aboriginal peoples. And while we may recognize the Government’s admission of guilt, the fact remains that many obstacles must be removed in order to give meaning to the spirit and intent of their apology.

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lack of privilege..

i think it can be easy to mistake an experience of not being given privilege that you are used to with being oppressed.

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