Commemorating Another World AIDS Day/Comemorando Aun Otro Día Mundial del SIDA

Along with many people, I honor and remember today all the dear people who have died of AIDS throughout the world.  As Prince sings, those who died of a big disease with a little name (thanks Cesar Caballero for the youtube video).  Junto con mucha gente, yo recuerdo hoy a toda esa querida gente quienes murieron del SIDA .  Como canta Prince, para ellxs quienes murieron de tan grande enfermedad con nombre tan chiquito – .

It is tragic that disease is too often tied up with blame, and that has certainly been the truth with diseases that have are transmitted sexually, or with other stigmatized behavior, which often led to death.  HIV is a virus, but it quickly became a death sentence, in a real and social death sense in the 1980s.  It took six years for Ronald Reagan, the U.S. president, to even publicly utter that little name.  In the mean time, gay, lesbian, bi and trans people mobilized ourselves to do the job the U.S. government refused to do.  We built a movement, vestiges of which are still around even as capitalism tried to make it hungry for a little piece of the funding pie.  Denial and stigmatization is still around in some of the places most impacted by this virus.  It has been a while that other vulnerable populations – mostly poor women of color, in the global south, are the focus of this disease, but not the funding to combat it.

Es tragico que muchísimas veces atamos las enfermedades a la culpa, y dicho particularmente es cierto cuando esas enfermedades son transmitidas sexualmente, o por medio de otro comportamiento estigmatizado, que muchas veces significaban la muerte.  El VIH es un virus, pero prontico se volvio una sentencia de muerte, en sentido encarnado y social en los 1980s.  Ronald Reagan, el presidente de los EEUU paso seis años en ese cargo antes de decir ese nombre pequeño.  Entre entonces, gente gay, lesbica, bisexual y trans nos movilizamos para hacer el trabajo quel gobierno gringo no quería hacer.  Construimos un movimiento, pedacitos que quedan aun después quel capitalismo intento hacerlo hambiento para tragarse un pedacito de la torta de fondos.

It has taken lots and lots of time for those of us who were considered the most susceptible, aka, the epicenters classified as the typhoid marys, to take the specter of death off of sex and off our loving interactions with our lovers and partners.  So many have died for loving. Or for trying to find some relief in this hateful world.

La negación y la estigmatización aun existen en algunos de los lugares más impactados por este virus.  Hace tiempo que otras poblaciones vulnerables – en la majoridad, mujeres pobres de color, del sur del planeta, son el enfoque de esta enfermedad, pero no el de los fundos para combatirla.

Nos ha costado muchísimo tiempo, para los más apuntadxs, los epicentros clasificados, las marias tifoideas, para quitarnos el espectro de la muerte del sexo y de nuestras amorosas interaciones on nuestrx amantes y parejas.  Cuantxs han morido por amar.  O por el solo hecho de buscar un poco de alivio en este mundo lleno de odio.

Denial and stimatization still exists in some of the most impacted places by this virus.  It has been a while since other vulnerable populations – mostly poor women of color in the planetary south, are the focus of this disease, but not the funding to combat it.

Here are clips of a great documentary, don’t forget what hate does, and how our love and power wins, as we go this next round!  Aca unas cortes de un documentario bien chevere, para no olvidar lo que hace el odio, y como nuestro amor y poder gana, para esta ronda que viene!  Thanks/Gracias Dean Lance and Sarah Schulman!

Check them out on youtube, they wont upload, thanks google – A Hard Reign’s Gonna Fall, United in Anger/Chequelos videos en Youtube, google no los deja subir, gracias – A Hard Reign’s Gonna Fall, United in Anger

Resistance Yesterday, Today, Forever!/¡La Resistencia Se Da Ayer, Hoy y Siempre!

My dear friend Deshonay and I went to go see close-up the post-it walls of resistance at the Union Square train station, something I had not been able to do.  Then I went to a comedy fundraising event at the Decolonize this Space! spot in lower Manhattan for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.

We are all still here, fighting for our lives and our creative spaces!

Mi querida amiga Deshonay y yo fuimos a ver las paredes de resistencia post-it en la estación de tren en Union Square, algo que no habido poder antes.  Y después, fui a un evento de comedia para recaudar fondos en el lugar, Decolonizar este Espacio! en el bajo de Manhattan para Lxs Protectorxs de Agua en Standing Rock.

¡Aqui estamos, luchando por nuestras vidas y nuestros espacios de creatividad!

¿La Paz en Colombia?/Peace in Colombia?!!


¿Llego la paz a Colombia?  Has peace really arrived in Colombia?  In this second stage of negociations, it appears so!  En esta segunda ronda de negociaciones, parace que si!

Sobre la primera ronda, quien vota contra la paz impulsadxs por la propaganda homofobíca, mentirosa y aterrorizadora de los sectores facistas en Colombia sobre una paz casi casi lograda?  Los medios, por mi visto, siempre han sido bien vendidos en Colombia, y aun el presidente de la familia de los medios no logro superar la propaganda derechista para que ganaría el no.

Referring to the first round, who votes against peace, driven by lying and terrifying homophobic propaganda by the fascist sectors in Colombia about a peace almost almost achieved?  The media, in my opinion, have always sold out in Colombia, and even the president of the family owners of some of those means couldn’t go beyond the rightist propaganda that won with the no.

Que lastima, pero hay una brecha en todo el mundo, para que los pueblos participen en su plenitud, algo que no pudieron mucho en las negociaciones excluyentes.  Sadly, there is a big divide throughout the world, between people and their participation in all of its fullness, something that wasn’t achieved in exclusionary negociations.

Time to read the new agreement and see.  Hora de leer los nuevos acuerdos a ver.

¡Los pueblos a las calles!  People flood the streets!  Nothing to lose but our chains/Nada más que perder que las cadenas atadoras!  ¡Gracias, Assata!  

In the NYC streets the day after another stolen election in ‘Murica/En las calles neoyorquinas el día después de otras eleciónes robadas en gringolandia

Check the math, Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly won the popular vote.  Only the slave-owner initiative, the Electoral College says no.  Trump broke all the rules of civil political discourse in a liberal democracy, and still squeeked out an electoral college victory.  Um institutionalized racism, backlash against the Obama years, just say no to a dispossessing globalization.  Many reasons.  How will people’s movements respond?  Day one of the next 1460 in da streets!

Chequeé las calculaciones, Hillary Clinton rotundamente gano el voto popular.  Solo la iniciativa hecha por esclavistas, o sea, el colegio electoral dice que no.  Trump rompio con todas las reglas del discurso político civil en una democracia liberal, y todavia gano por poco en el colegio electoral.  Um, el racismo institucionalizado, una respuesta de odio contra los años de Obama, el decir el no a una globalización despojedora.  Muchas raziones.  Como responderan los movimientos de los pueblos?   Día uno de los proximos 1460 a las calles!

Pomada de Llanten/Plantain Salve

llanten-1-oct-22-2016Otra, otra!  This is my favorite salve to make!/Esta es mi pomada favorita de hacer!

Plantain really works wonders to soothe and vibrate up the skin, to relieve skin conditions such as insect bites, and skin breakouts.  Many herbalists write that plantain is the mother of all drawing herbs, as it is very effective in drawing out snake bite/insect bite poisons, splinters, even bb pellets or there have also been claims that it has drawn out bullets.  I’m not sure about that last one, but I have seen and experienced its poison-drawing power and this little herb, which is often seen as a weed in lawns and gardens and  is therefore monosantoed to death, is really a powerful green friend.  It has been called “white man’s foot print” because it is every where, that was colonized I presume, so not in Ethiopia or Liberia but were that the only remnant of being colonized, we would be fine.  Alas, it is not.

Deveras el llanten trabaja maravillosamente para aliviar y hacer la piel vibrar, para aliviar condiciones de la piel, como picaduras de insectos, y brotes de la piel.  Muchos herbologxs escriben que llanten es la madre de toda hierbas que saca, particularmente en sacar el veneno de morduras de culebras/insectos, sacar espinitas, aun sacar bolitas BB, y aun dicen que puede sacar balas.  La última no se, pero he visto y sentido su poder de sacar veneno por parte del poder de esta hierbita, cual muchas veces la ven como monte en los céspedes o los jardines, y entonces, la matan de manera monsanto, aunque de veras es unx compa poderosx verde.  Lx han llamado “la huella del hombre blanco” porque esta en toda parte, todos los lugares colonizados, creo, entonces no en Etiopía ni en Liberia, pero si dicho era lo único que nos quedaba de la colonización, sería chevere.  Pero lastimadamente no lo es.

Unx puede usar varios metodos con cual preparar esta medicina poderosa, con el método popular, o con el ‘purale calentar metodo.  El método popular tiene dos variaciones – masticar las hojas para usar la saliva como pega para hacer una pomada que cubre la piel infectada (chevere como este método sencillo y no moderno sirve, lo he usado!); y el otro es mas complicado donde puede macerar las hojas (hacer las hojas pedacitos con un mortero y maja) 4 oz. de hojas llanten secas, y póngalas en un envase de vidrio, hechale 32 oz. (4 tazas) de aceite de olivo orgánico o de almendra orgánico, tapelo bien, envuelvelo en una bolsa de papel oscura, y dejalo sentarse al lado de la ventana por 10 días.  Sacúdelo suavemente cada día.  Después, cola las ojas de la hierba para separarlas del aceite, ponga el aceite en una olla sobre la llama lenta, agrégale la cera de abeja.  Se derite rápido.  Después pongalo en frasquitos y se quaja! El otro método que es mucho más rápido, es poner la jarra con hierbas en aceite en un baño maria, después de hacer la misma mezcla como la del método popular.  Deje que se siente en el baño maria (vea mi version del barrio en las fotos) por 4 horas sobre una llama lenta.  Después, siga el mismo método como el popular para colar, agregarle cera de abeja, y enfrascarlo.  Aprendí hacerlo del libro de James Green, The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook  A Home Manual, por medio de mi estudios en clases de hierbas, y con intentarlo.

Muchas veces, me gusta agregarle pedacitos de cascara organica de naranja a las ojas de llanten antes que lo hecho el aceite, porque la medicina herbal de la cascara de naranja es un ayudante chevere con la inflamación que a veces acompaña las condiciones de la piel.

Y ahi la tienes!


One can use several methods to prepare this powerful medicine, the folk method or the hurry up heat method.  The folk method has two variations – chewing the leaves and with the saliva as glue make a pomade to place over the infected skin (it is amazing how this non modern method works, I have done it!); and the other one is more complicated where one mascerates (tears it into small pieces with a mortar & pestle) 4 oz. of the dried plaintain leaves, and put them into a 32 oz . glass container, pouring 32 oz. of organic oil or almond oil over the leaves, shuts the lid of the container tight, puts a brown bag over it, and let it sit in the window sill for 10 days.  Gently shake it every day.  Then strain the herb out of the oil, gently heat it up in a pot on the stove and add 2 oz. of organic bees wax to it.  It melts quickly.  Then pour the mix into containers and voila! it will congeal!  The other method which is much quicker is to put the glass container of herbs in oil in a double boiler, after having followed the same mixing procedure as with the folk method.  Let it sit in the double boiler (see pics for my ghettoliscious one!), for 4 hours over gentle heat.  Then follow the above straining, bees wax melting and bottling procedures as with the folk method.  I learned how to do this from James Green’s The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook  A Home Manual, through my herbal studies classes, and trial and error AND SUCCESS!

I usually like to add bits of organic orange peel to the plantain leaves before I pour the oil over them, because the herbal medicine from orange peel is a great helper with inflammation issues that sometimes accompany skin conditions.

And there you are!

Hasta La Vista, Brother Kittie Diego



Lounging in the boudoir img00081-20111116-1916

Up close and personal – 20151026_202520What a sweetie kittie friend, Diegito was.  Death of any dear beings is heartbreaking to me.  I knew this day was coming the last two years.  We spent a nice time together, he, Ofelia and me the last six.  He always cozied up to company, he sat by to accompany me as I studied and worked,



and he often gave me hugs when I picked him up.  I never knew an animal who would put an arm around my neck (maybe Frida’s mico?).  He always looked/engaged me straight in the eye, except for the last day, he was feeling too bad.  20141126_214924

Ofelia and I will miss you dearly – the way you would dance and sing when you were about to get food in your bowl, the way you would snuggle up, the way would run to the door to greet all of us when we got home, the way you would run up to the bed when I would tap it and say Diiieeegooooo!  The way you and your sis Ofelia would snuggle up.

Que amigo gatito tan dulce fue ese Diegito.  La muerte de cualquier ser querido me rompe el corazon.  Sabia que llegaria este dia durante los últimos dos años.  La pasamos bien juntxs, el, Ofelia y yo, los últimos seis.  El siempre se acercaba cuando llegaba visita, se me acercaba pa acompanarme mientras estudiaba y trabajaba, y el muchas veces me daba abrazos cuando lo alzaba.  Nunca conoci tal animal quien me abrazara la nuca (quiza el mico de Frida?).  El siempre me miraba directamente en los ojos, excepto por el útimo dia, se sentia muy mal entonces.

Ofelia y yo te estrañaremos muchísimo – el modo que bailabas y cantabas justamente antes de que dieran de comer, el modo en cual te acercabas a dormir, como corrias a la puerta para saludarnos a todxs cuando llegabamos a casa, el modo que te subias corriendo a la cama cuando yo la tocaba duro y te decia Diiieeegoooo!  El modo que tu y tu hermana se acercaba a dormir.


Don’t make me get on my high horse about specieism.  I know animals are not human, though humans are animals, it is a continuum of consciousness, love and care, and I also think we need to radically re-think our relationships – the human<–>rest of our animal siblings, and with the rest of nature.

Ni me digas lo de la separación de los especies. Se que los animales no son humanos, aunque los humanos si son animales, es un continuo de conciencia, cariño y cuidado, y pienso que tenemos que repensar de modos profundos las relaciónes humana<–>con nuestros hermanxs animales, y  con el resto de la naturaleza.

img_20140118_213811  20151215_185525  20150824_124754

Update on the Privatization of Brazil and the Amazon by the coup government/Lo último en la privatitazión de Brazil y la Amazonía por el gobierno golpista

The Ecologist

Yanomami children in their forest home – which, with notorious ‘Soy King’ Bairo Maggi as agriculture minister, is now looking decidedly less secure. Photo: Dung Nguyen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).
Yanomami children in their forest home – which, with notorious ‘Soy King’ Bairo Maggi as agriculture minister, is now looking decidedly less secure. Photo: Dung Nguyen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

19th September 2016

It’s not that Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s ousted President, was wonderful for the environment, writes Ed Atkins. It’s that Michel Temer’s new regime is certain to be far worse. Plans are afoot to weaken environmental assessments for large projects like mines, roads and dams. And the new Minister of Agriculture is a notorious campaigner for hugely increased deforestation.

As of 2014, 28.4% of protected areas in the Amazon were of interest to mining companies. These lands – protected for both the environment and indigenous communities – will likely witness further encroachment.
The impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff, coup or not, represents a fundamental realigning of modern Brazil.

For some in the country, the crisis is an opportunity. These politicians and businessmen are now exploiting the upheaval to roll-back environmental laws and get their hands on the vast natural resources found in protected regions of the Amazon.

The new government led by Michel Temer faces a budget deficit of 10%, an unemployment rate of 10.9% and strong calls for austerity. It looks set to terminate a number of successful social policies, and proposes to weaken worker rights by redefining slavery to exclude “degrading conditions” and “exhausting shifts”.

Nonetheless, Temer will want to maintain Brazil’s international brand of a nation committed to the environment. After all, climate change was put centre stage at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics and a clear message was beamed into billions of homes across the planet: Brazil is green.

Yet these environmental credentials are questionable. Under president Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor, Lula, deforestation returned, large-scale mining and agriculture was expanded, and more dams were built.

Temer has appointed a number of environmentalist politicians to prominent positions such as the Green Party’s José Sarney Filho, now environment minister, and José Serra, the foreign minister. But economic rejuvenation at all costs will inevitably overshadow policies aimed at conservation.

Weakening environmental assessment

Earlier this year, Temer published a document titled ‘A bridge to the future’, which outlined his plans for the future of Brazil and its economy. The environment, the Amazon and climate change were not mentioned.

In particular, campaigners fear the new, pro-business government will fast-track dams, mines and other damaging schemes by weakening environmental impact assessments. A proposed bill, if passed, would allow for infrastructure projects to continue regardless of potential impacts on the environment and indigenous lands.

This opens the door for accelerated environmental damage in the name of economic recovery and growth.

Though activists cheered the recent cancellation of a $10 billion hydroelectric dam on environmental grounds, it seems such celebrations may prove to be premature.

A key figure behind this bill is senator Blairo Maggi, Brazil’s soybean king and a former recipient of Greenpeace’s Golden Chainsaw awarded to the “person who most contributed to Amazon destruction”. Temer has recently appointed him Minister of Agriculture.

Maggi is a prominent member of the Agricultural Parliamentary Front (or ruralistas) that have long argued for land reform so that protected forests can be chopped down for crops, cattle and mining, with the products sold abroad. As of 2014, 28.4% of protected areas in the Amazon were of interest to mining companies.

These lands – protected by concerns for both the environment and indigenous communities – will likely witness further encroachment under Temer’s government.

Rewriting the rulebook at fast-track development

In recent months, this increasingly strong lobby has submitted a list of demands to President Temer, including land reform and increased subsidies for agriculture. Over lunch with the ruralistas, Temer seemingly committed to exploring these demands.

In one of her last acts as president, the Guardian reports, Rousseff supported indigenous land claims and acknowledged a number of quilombolos (lands occupied by the descendants of runaway slaves). Under Temer, policies like these are now under review.

The ruralistas also want to transfer responsibility for land demarcation from the executive to the legislature, where they dominate. The bill proposing this change was first drawn up in 2000 and is now back on the agenda after years in the doldrums. If passed, it would likely sound a death knell for future territory protection.

These ‘land reform’ schemes largely focus on the Amazon rainforest, where deforestation will likely continue thanks to lucrative opportunities in agriculture and mining. Tighter government budgets will also mean less money for those charged with keeping illegal loggers and miners out of protected areas. In a nation where 50 environmental defenders were murdered in 2015 – the most in the world – resistance will likely result in violence.

A silver lining can be found in Brazil taking steps towards ratifying the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Yet, with the Brazilian economy in its worst slump for decades, a bitter medicine remains likely.

Senator Roberto Requião, who voted against impeachment proceedings, urged the new government to “Get yourselves into the trenches … conflict will be inevitable.”

The danger, as it so often is in times of recession, is that the environment will be the new Brazil’s battlefield, and its forgotten first victim.

Ed Atkins is PhD Candidate in Environment, Energy & Resilience, University of Bristol.The Conversation

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