Archive for the 'Violence' Category

May They Reap What They Sow

Monday, January 4th, 2010

This story continues into the new year, which does not bode well.

While the three US-based ‘evangelists’ disavow actually advocating the killing of gay people, there seems to have been no concerted effort on their part to undo this evil they have introduced into Uganda.

Is there no end to the to the real evil that man does?

After U.S. Visit, Uganda Weighs Death for Gays
By Jeffrey Gettleman | The New York Times

KAMPALA, Uganda — Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about “curing” homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda’s capital to give a series of talks.

The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was “the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda” — and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family.

For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”

Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.


Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Rachel Maddow has addressed this on her MSNBC show the last couple of nights. This article from the Huffington Post spells out the details.

Uganda Considering Death Penalty For Gays

Katherine Houreld & Godfrey Olukya

KAMPALA, Uganda — Proposed legislation would impose the death penalty for some gay Ugandans, and their family and friends could face up to seven years in jail if they fail to report them to authorities. Even landlords could be imprisoned for renting to homosexuals.

Gay rights activists say the bill, which has prompted growing international opposition, promotes hatred and could set back efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. They believe the bill is part of a continentwide backlash because Africa’s gay community is becoming more vocal.

“It’s a question of visibility,” said David Cato, who became an activist after he was beaten up four times, arrested twice, fired from his teaching job and outed in the press because he is gay. “When we come out and ask for our rights, they pass laws against us.”

The legislation has drawn global attention from activists across the spectrum of views on gay issues. The measure was proposed in Uganda following a visit by leaders of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that promote therapy for gays to become heterosexual. However, at least one of those leaders has denounced the bill, as have some other conservative and liberal Christians in the United States.

Gay rights activists say the legislation is likely to pass. But the bill is still being debated and could undergo changes before a vote, which has not yet been set.

The Ugandan legislation in its current form would mandate a death sentence for active homosexuals living with HIV or in cases of same-sex rape. “Serial offenders” also could face capital punishment, but the legislation does not define the term. Anyone convicted of a homosexual act faces life imprisonment.

10 Years Later

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The Washington Post has a good synopsis of the passage (finally!) of the Matthew Shepherd bill.


Death before Honor

Monday, October 12th, 2009

President Obama gave a speech Saturday night, in which he said he would end the long-standing “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He provided no timetable.

An article by from sailor Joseph Rocha from yesterday’s Washington Post provides a classic example of why this needs to be changed. Now.

Grave of Leonard Matlovich

If It Quacks Like a Duck…

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

The London Times is reporting today that there are now acknowledged instances of voter fraud in Iran’s presidential election. The risible part is the explanation given for why this was disclosed.

The emphasis in the article is mine.

Iran admits 50 cities had more votes than voters

Martin Fletcher | The London Times

In 50 Iranian cities the number of votes cast in this month presidential election exceeded the number of eligible voters, the state’s election watchdog admitted today.

The surprising admission by the Guardian Council was, however, designed to undermine the claims of the defeated candidates that the vote was rigged.

Mir Hossein Mousavi, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s main rival in the hotly-disputed election, and the other two losing candidates have claimed that the vote exceeded eligible voters in as many as 170 districts.

Abbasali Kadkhodai, a spokesman for the council of senior clerics, told the state television channel IRIB: “Our investigation shows that the number of districts they announced is not correct. Based on our preliminary report, 50 districts face this issue.”


Sunday, June 21st, 2009

I think we are seeing a sea-change in Iran right now. When the ‘Supreme Leader’ told the vote-protesting Iranians to stop it and accept the published results, I thought to myself, “you’ve opened a can of worms, Ayatollah”.

(An analyst on NPR noted that the Supreme Leader is the “chairman of the board” and the disputed president is the “CEO”)

It sounds like what a certain Utah church would like to have happen: head up a theocracy that pays lip service to democracy (a throwback to Brigham Young in the 1850s).

And yet the Taliban — who are doing the same thing — are feared because of their inherent violence and ties to the 9/11 attacks.

It really is all about control. How fucked up is that?

Here is the CNN article referencing the title of this entry:

‘Neda’ becomes rallying cry for Iranian protests

(CNN) — “RIP NEDA, The World cries seeing your last breath, you didn’t die in vain. We remember you.”

That post on Twitter came from a man who identified himself as an American guitarist in Nashville, Tennessee.

Amid the hundreds of images and videos of Saturday’s brutal crackdown on protesters in Iran that flooded the Internet, it was the graphic video showing the death of a young woman that touched a nerve among those following the events in Tehran for more than a week.

Mountain Meadows

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Apparently yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the reburial of the bones of the victims of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I guess they are going to do something for every significant event until the end of time.

I can’t wait for the 10th anniversary of the 150th anniversary in 2017.

A photograph accompanied the Salt Lake Tribune article. Is it me, or is there some irony in a 21-gun salute honoring 119 men and women that were essentially killed by walking firing squad?


Huffington Post post

Friday, May 15th, 2009

This is a succinct, well-written article that calls former Vice President Cheney to task for his finger-pointing, security-claiming, torture-advocating behavior.

As John Stewart said on the Daily Show a few weeks ago: “You lost the election. It’s supposed to taste like a shit taco”.

Mr. Cheney, You Did Not Keep Us Safe
by Paul Begala | CNN political commentator

If 3,000 Americans had been killed on your watch, in an attack that could have been prevented, perhaps you’d be a little hesitant to accuse anyone else of endangering America. And if you had advocated torture, and the torture produced false information that you used to mislead America into an unwise, unjust and unwarranted war, you might be a tad sheepish about defending the use of torture.

Not Dick Cheney. Mr. Cheney has stepped up his attack on Pres. Obama’s security strategy, telling CBS’s Bob Schieffer that Obama’s refusal to use waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” (i.e., torture) endangers American lives.

The truth is the Bush-Cheney policies did not keep us safe, and Mr. Cheney is not a credible spokesman on issues of national security.

SL Trib Calls for Bybee Resignation

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Joining the New York Times, The Salt Lake Tribune has jumped into the fray with its opinion that Jay Bybee should do the right thing and resign from his federal judgeship — or face impeachment.

Bybee’s memo
Judge should resign or be impeached
Tribune Editorial

Salt Lake Tribune

Judges appointed to the federal bench swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and to “bear true faith and allegiance to the same… .” It is part of the oath of office taken by Jay S. Bybee, after he had given the Bush administration a sickening shred of legal cover to use “harsh interrogation techniques” that, by U.S. and international laws, amount to torture.

For his efforts at redefining torture so the Bush administration could engage in it, Bybee was rewarded by President George W. Bush, who nominated him to a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Bybee was confirmed in 2003, a year before the infamous photos of U.S. soldiers brutalizing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison came to light.

Catching Steam

Friday, May 1st, 2009

I’m almost having a hard time with the sheer number of articles and calls for resignation or impeachment being published on the web.

This one from truthout was written by a “29-year US Army Reserves veteran who retired as a colonel”.

Torture: An Author and a Resister
Friday 01 May 2009
by: Ann Wright, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

As a Bush administration political appointee Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice, Jay Bybee, a Mormon, wrote one of four torture memos released last month. Bybee’s August 1, 2002, 20-page memorandum laid out in excruciating detail the interrogation techniques he was authorizing the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to use on al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah.

Bybee authorized ten “enhanced interrogation techniques” to encourage Abu Zubaydah to disclose “crucial information regarding terrorist networks in the United States or in Saudi Arabia and information regarding plans to conduct attacks within the United States or against US interests overseas.” The torture techniques authorized were (1) attention grasp, (2) walling, (3) facial hold, (4) facial slap, (5) cramped confinement, (6) wall standing, (7) stress position, (8) sleep deprivation, (9) insects placed in a confinement box and (10) waterboarding.