Short Takes: News From All Over: February 19, 2004

N.Y. City Council Passes Anti-Patriot Act Measure
By Michelle Garciam, The Washington Post
Despite September 11 and all the yellow-orange-alert scaremongering since, New York City is standing up for its civil liberties. Two weeks ago, with the help of an organization called the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the NYC city council passed the Anti-Patriot Act, a resolution condemning the hastily-passed Patriot Act in 2001. No, they don’t hate America, they love it; and that’s why they have joined 246 other local and state governments that have already passed similar measures. — Eric Larson

Colorblind Racism
By Sally Lehrman, AlterNet
If you thought racism and all its dirty derivations were long gone, you wouldn’t be alone, but you’d be wrong. As Sally Leherman, a fellow at the Institute for Justice and Journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication explains in her first of three articles on racism in America,, the obvious manifestations of race are a thing of the past, but we have graduated to more subtle strains that are ‘sewn into the fabric of work, school and the medical system.’ — EL

Fair Trade Chocolate: What You Need to Know
By Staff, Environmental News Network
Despite American consumers’ soft spot for the quintessential Valentine’s Day treat, chocolate is not a money-maker for Ivory Coast cocoa farmers. Big companies like M&M and Mars devour 70% of the industry’s $13 billion, while farmers retain only 5%. Fair-trade chocolate, on the other hand, assures consumers that the growers of their favorite bean receive a minimum price per pound. — Andi McDaniel

Prepare for the RetroFuture
Whatever happened to the future? Flying cars, Smell-O-Vision, and resort trips to the moon? has collected many of those wonderful far-sighted misfires, complete with illustrations and biographies of the individuals responsible for so many false hopes. The future is now, but not quite as interesting as the Jetsons made it seem. — Kyle Barron-Cohen

Nuances of Gay Identities Reflected in New Language
By Rona Marech, San Francisco Chronicle
‘FTM’, ‘MTF’, ‘boydyke’, ‘trannyboy’, ‘trannyfag’, ‘multigendered’, ‘polygendered’, ‘queerboi’, ‘transboi’, ‘transguy’, ‘transman’, ‘half-dyke’, ‘bi-dyke’, ‘stud’, ‘stem’, ‘trisexual’, ‘omnisexual’, ‘multisexual’ . . . Confused? You’re not alone. As Rona Marech explains, ‘the gay lexicon has exploded with new words and blended phrases that delineate every conceivable stop on the identity spectrum’ as gays become more accepted and the old labels lose their valor. — Jacob Wheeler

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