This is my love letter to all the queer musicians out there, making art and kicking ass. If there's an artist you think I should know about, please let me know, I love new music! (I also reblog/post on general queer and trans stuff, radical news, and instances when the world is fucked, and when it isn't!)

 

Alex Anwandter-“Tormenta”

Alex Andwater is a Chilean singer songwriter and electro pop musician. 

New cover track from Jaii.Reynolds covering Jhené Aiko’s – Stay Ready from “Sail Out” EP 

Natti Vogel-“Cannibal” (NSFW)

This was submitted to me a couple days ago, and I didn’t get it posted in time for Halloween, but consider this just a playful extension of the holiday spirit. Also, there’s a lot of really great short short action going on here. Also, also, butt.

The Sulkies - Listen Too
[epilepsy warning: contains flashing images]

free album download + lyrics zine here

.My name is Niki Gee and I host a great new show for Queer musicians called the Unknown Queer Countdown..playing the best music you never heard..I would love to hear from the musicians in the audience so please send your music and tracks to queercountdown@e3radio.org..

This was submitted to me by Niki Gee, and the Unknown Queer Countdown is a weekly radio show/podcast that is released every Tuesday. If you’re an artist and want to be featured, get in contact, or just give it a listen. More queer music podcasts for everyone!

Submitted by aesthetica, Maxal’s first single with Zebra Katz. Image links to Maxal’s bandcamp where the song is name your price. 

Submitted by aesthetica, Maxal’s first single with Zebra Katz. Image links to Maxal’s bandcamp where the song is name your price. 

The California Prison Strike: Day Four

thepeoplesrecord:

posted by  on THU, JUL 11, 2013 at 10:26 AM

By California prison standards, a person isn’t legally considered on a “hunger strike” until he or she has refused nine consecutive meals. We should know soon how many of those 30,000 prisoners who refused meals on Monday—about five times the number of prisoners who participated in a 2011 strike—are still refusing meals as of today.

But last night the New York Times reported that almost everyone who started striking on Monday was still at it yesterday:

LOS ANGELES — Nearly 29,000 inmates in California state prisons refused meals for the third day Wednesday during a protest of prison conditions and rules. The protest extended to two-thirds of the 33 prisons across the state and all 4 private out-of-state facilities where California sends inmates, corrections officials said.

Thousands of prisoners also refused to attend their work assignments for a third day, and state officials were bracing for a long-term strike.

Prisoners have also reported that, unlike during the 2011 strike, they are "willing to die" because prison conditions are so wretched.

California corrections secretary Jeffrey Beard says the strike is counterproductive and that prison officials are already taking steps to meet prisoners’ demands, which were first negotiated and agreed to after the 2011 strike. Prison-rights activists say the CDCR has failed to follow through on its end of the bargain.

But the CDCR isn’t just slow to meet prisoners’ requests—it hasn’t been fast enough for the courts, who’ve demanded that the system reduce overcrowding. A 2011 US Supreme Court finding said the state of California’s prison system led to one “needless” death every eight days. As Justice Sotomayor asked in 2010:"When are you going to avoid the needless deaths that were reported in this record? When are you going to avoid or get around people sitting in their feces for days in a dazed state? When are you going to get to a point where you are going to deliver care that is going to be adequate?"

Not fast enough, apparently—besides the strike it’s also facing a court order to reduce overcrowding by the end of the year and release at least 10,000 prisoners.

To review the prisoners’ five demands as explained by prison-rights activist Ed Mead last weekend:

One, eliminate group punishments. That’s a no-brainer. If I do something wrong, don’t punish everyone on the tier.

Two, abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. The courts have held there has to be some evidence validating a prisoner’s gang status. Black prisoners have been validated on the basis of having a copy of my newspaper in their cells that mentions George Jackson. That’s been considered evidence. Once you’re validated, the only way out is to parole, debrief, snitch, or die. Debriefing is telling the administration who all the other gang members are. And if you’re not a gang member you have to make up names—it’s a bounty system. Now the prisons have an STG (security threat group) status. If they decide you’re a security threat, they lock you up indefinitely, and that requires no proof whatsoever, and also includes people who were never gang members, people who could be politically active.

Three, comply with recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons circa 2006.

Four, provide adequate food. [This includes having prisoners who serve meals to those in solitary eat from separate pans to prevent food theft.]

Five, provide constructive programs and privileges for SHU [solitary confinement] prisoners including educational activities and recreation. SHU prisoners are supposed to get an hour a day of exercise in a wire dog kennel, but guards make excuses, like they’re too busy to let them out.

Sounds reasonable to me—they’re not even asking for minimum wage for their labor. Stay tuned.

Source

thepeoplesrecord:

The FISA court is acting like a legislature, and that’s a problemJune 20, 2013
One of the National Security Agency’s key talking points since the PRISM program was revealed two weeks ago has been that its surveillance activities are subject to oversight by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In his latest scoop, the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald has revealed two of the documents the government submits to the court prior to engaging in surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
These documents are often compared to the warrants the government ordinarily needs for searches of Americans. But they’re dramatically different from a conventional search warrant. A warrant is supposed to “particularly” describe who will be targeted by a search. It will typically include a suspect’s name, as well as the address to be searched or the phone number to be wiretapped.
The documents released by the Guardian don’t look like that at all. The first document is nine pages long and explains in some detail the factors the NSA uses to determine whether a potential surveillance target is a “US person”—if the answer is yes, then the agency cancels the planned surveillance. The second document, also nine pages, describes what the NSA does if it accidentally collects the private communications of Americans.
These documents look more like legislation than search warrants. They define legal concepts, describe legal standards to be applied and specify procedures for NSA officials to follow. For example, the second document states that “a person known to be an alien admitted for permanent residence loses status as a United States person if the person leaves the united States and is not in compliance with 8 USC § 1203 enabling re-entry into the United States.”
But rather than being drafted, debated and enacted by Congress, the documents were drafted by Obama administration lawyers and reviewed by the FISC.
Congress is much better equipped than the courts to review this kind of quasi-legislative proposal. It has thousands of staffers and can spend months debating the details of a proposal. Members have the power to call witnesses and to amend legislation if it’s not to their liking. And they debate in public, giving academics, public interest groups and members of the general public an opportunity to point out flaws and suggest improvements.
In contrast, the FISC has only 11 members and a limited staff. In most cases it hears testimony only from the government, and only in secret. It must make decisions within 30 days. In principle it has the power to modify proposed orders, but it lacks the manpower and expertise to exercise this power effectively. The FISC’s secretive review process leaves no meaningful opportunities for third parties to point out flaws in the government’s proposal and suggest alternatives.
And once the courts sign off on these general targeting procedures, no one outside the executive branch performs the function traditionally performed by the courts: double-checking that the government actually follows the rules. The government has some internal oversight mechanisms, but no one in the judicial branch verifies that the individuals the government targets for surveillance are actual foreigners, as the law requires.
The Constitution specifies that Congress should write laws and that the courts should interpret them. The founders set things up that way for a reason. Allowing the executive branch to effectively write its own rules, get them rubber-stamped by a secretive court and then comply with them on an honor system is guaranteed to produce rules that are more favorable to the government and less carefully drafted than rules drafted the old-fashioned way.
Source
See also (via Washington Post):
“Here’s everything we’ve learned about how the NSA’s secret programs work”
“Obama says the NSA has had plenty of oversight. Here’s why he’s wrong”
“Misinformation on classified NSA programs include statements by U.S. officials”
Submitted by dashielsheen.

thepeoplesrecord:

The FISA court is acting like a legislature, and that’s a problem
June 20, 2013

One of the National Security Agency’s key talking points since the PRISM program was revealed two weeks ago has been that its surveillance activities are subject to oversight by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In his latest scoop, the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald has revealed two of the documents the government submits to the court prior to engaging in surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

These documents are often compared to the warrants the government ordinarily needs for searches of Americans. But they’re dramatically different from a conventional search warrant. A warrant is supposed to “particularly” describe who will be targeted by a search. It will typically include a suspect’s name, as well as the address to be searched or the phone number to be wiretapped.

The documents released by the Guardian don’t look like that at all. The first document is nine pages long and explains in some detail the factors the NSA uses to determine whether a potential surveillance target is a “US person”—if the answer is yes, then the agency cancels the planned surveillance. The second document, also nine pages, describes what the NSA does if it accidentally collects the private communications of Americans.

These documents look more like legislation than search warrants. They define legal concepts, describe legal standards to be applied and specify procedures for NSA officials to follow. For example, the second document states that “a person known to be an alien admitted for permanent residence loses status as a United States person if the person leaves the united States and is not in compliance with 8 USC § 1203 enabling re-entry into the United States.”

But rather than being drafted, debated and enacted by Congress, the documents were drafted by Obama administration lawyers and reviewed by the FISC.

Congress is much better equipped than the courts to review this kind of quasi-legislative proposal. It has thousands of staffers and can spend months debating the details of a proposal. Members have the power to call witnesses and to amend legislation if it’s not to their liking. And they debate in public, giving academics, public interest groups and members of the general public an opportunity to point out flaws and suggest improvements.

In contrast, the FISC has only 11 members and a limited staff. In most cases it hears testimony only from the government, and only in secret. It must make decisions within 30 days. In principle it has the power to modify proposed orders, but it lacks the manpower and expertise to exercise this power effectively. The FISC’s secretive review process leaves no meaningful opportunities for third parties to point out flaws in the government’s proposal and suggest alternatives.

And once the courts sign off on these general targeting procedures, no one outside the executive branch performs the function traditionally performed by the courts: double-checking that the government actually follows the rules. The government has some internal oversight mechanisms, but no one in the judicial branch verifies that the individuals the government targets for surveillance are actual foreigners, as the law requires.

The Constitution specifies that Congress should write laws and that the courts should interpret them. The founders set things up that way for a reason. Allowing the executive branch to effectively write its own rules, get them rubber-stamped by a secretive court and then comply with them on an honor system is guaranteed to produce rules that are more favorable to the government and less carefully drafted than rules drafted the old-fashioned way.

Source

See also (via Washington Post):

Submitted by dashielsheen.

A music video with some zombie queer babe folx that came out yesterday for “The Bodies, The Zombies!” - Mal Blum