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Meet the U.S. Politicians Who Want to See Gay People Dead in Uganda

Friday, November 27, 2009

By Michael A. Jones

Congressmen Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts have a lot more in common than just working together to strip reproductive rights out of U.S. health care reform. The two are also tied through an evangelical network known as “The Family,” which has dubious ties to at least two Ugandan leaders who are championing draconian legislation in the country that would institute the death penalty for homosexuality.

Speaking yesterday on NPR’s Fresh Air, Jeff Sharlet – who wrote a best-selling book documenting the political influence of the family – noted that many U.S. politicians, straddling both sides of the political aisle, are involved with “The Family.” Sharlet spoke about how members of “The Family” have been quite active in Uganda, including Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati, who is a member of “The Family” and one of the legislators behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009.

“[Bahati] appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Uganda National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda,” said Sharlet.

Not only that, but The Family has long considered Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to be their key point man in Uganda, according to Sharlet. And President Museveni, it turns out, is one of the biggest advocates for killing gay people in Uganda. He also just met with a bunch of Ugandan youth and urged them to resist the forces of homosexuality.

That’s a pretty direct, not to mention abhorrent, connection between U.S. evangelical political leadership and Ugandan human rights abusers. Do U.S. politicians like Congressmen Bart Stupak really want to have on their consciences the murder and imprisonment of gay people in Uganda? Urge his office to condemn this proposed bill now....(Remainder.)


Couching Anti-Gay Bias in the Language of Civil Rights Does Not Make it Right

By Jeremy Holden
The Media Matters

Leave it to Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter to equate the denial of civil rights to the civil rights movement. There they were on The O'Reilly Factor last night, discussing the "call of Christian conscience" known as the Manhattan Declaration, which O'Reilly described as "a document that encourages religious Americans to fight back, and in some cases even break the law." Coulter explained:
COULTER: The civil disobedience parts of it are pretty narrow. It's for saying that we won't participate as doctors, nurses, hospitals, in euthanasia, in abortion. Churches won't participate in same-sex marriage or -- or in denouncing, condemning homosexuality in the practice of their faith.
And just like that, Coulter put organized efforts to deny civil rights to gays and lesbians on par with black civil rights pioneers who used civil disobedience to expand their rights. The "civil disobedience" of churches that "won't participate in same-sex marriage" becomes elevated to a perch next to activists who refused to adhere to Jim Crow's separate-but-equal charade. Of course the distinction here is that Jim Crow laws were very real, and very brutally enforced. Coulter offers no evidence of a single church that would be required to bless or in any way recognize a single gay marriage.

Think about it for a moment. Coulter and her enabler O'Reilly would have you believe that in a nation where 78 percent of the citizens are Christians, it is Christians who need to engage in acts of civil disobedience for protection from laws passed by overwhelmingly Christian lawmakers. At what point does the notion of civil disobedience get turned on its head?...(Remainder.)


Michael Mann in His Own Words About the Stolen CRU Emails

By Kevin Grandia
The Huffington Post

With all the wild accusations flying around over the illegally obtained email correspondence from the University of East Climate Research Unit, I thought I would ask one of the scientists in the middle of the issue to provide some context.

Penn State University climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann, whose name appears in some of the stolen emails, provided me with a run-down of the emails that involve him. His responses provide some much needed context and give you an idea of just how wildly some people have blown this story out of proportion.

What follows is quotes taken directly from the stolen emails, followed by Dr. Mann's response:
1. "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i. e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." (from Phil Jones).
Phil Jones has publicly gone on record indicating that he was using the term "trick" in the sense often used by people, as in "bag of tricks", or "a trick to solving this problem ...", or "trick of the trade".

In referring to our 1998 Nature article, he was pointing out simply the following: our proxy record ended in 1980 (when the proxy data set we were using terminates) so, it didn't include the warming of the past two decades. In our Nature-article we therefore also showed the post-1980 instrumental data that was then available through 1995, so that the reconstruction could be viewed in the context of recent instrumental temperatures. The separate curves for the reconstructed temperature series and for the instrumental data were clearly labeled....(Remainder.)


China Pledges 40% Cut in CO2 Ahead of Summit

By Leigh Phillips
EU Observer

BRUSSELS - China has finally come to the table with a CO2 emissions reduction target ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit less than two weeks from now. But its proposal would still mean emissions growth in net terms in the coming years.

Until now, the Middle Kingdom, the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases, has resisted all pressure to come up with a specific target, preferring to emphasise its plans for energy efficiency and renewable energy instead.

On Thursday (26 November), Beijing announced that at a Chinese State Council executive meeting the day before, the country's leadership agreed to a cut of between 40 and 45 percent on 2005 levels by 2020.

"China has always attached great importance to climate change, unswervingly taking the road of sustainable development," the government said in a statement.

The offer came a day after the United States tabled its provisional proposal of a reduction. At the UN climate summit in Copenhagen December, US President Barack Obama is to announce a cut "in the range of" 17 percent on 2005 levels by 2020 and by 83 percent by 2050.

The EU, by comparison, has agreed it is to reduce its emissions by 20 percent on 1990 levels by 2020, moving up to a 30 percent cut if an ambitious agreement is reached in Copenhagen.

To use the same baseline as the EU, the US offer amounts to a reduction of four to five percent on 1990 levels.

While on the face of it, China, a rapidly developing but still relatively poor country, appears to trump by a considerable margin the offer of the US, a fully industrialised nation, details in the Chinese target give pause for thought.

Washington has proposed its reduction based on its absolute level of emissions, while Beijing's target is a reduction of 40-45 percent "per unit of GDP."...(Remainder.)


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nti-Gay Bishop Tobin Does His Best to Prove the "Anti-Catholic Bigots" Right

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars

Bishop Thomas Tobin, the fellow who decided that abortion-tolerant Catholics like Rep. Patrick Kennedy should be denied the right to partake of Communion ceremonies, went on The O'Reilly Factor last night to try to answer his critics.
In the process, all he did was make it look like the anti-Catholic bigots of yore were right after all.

Tobin's arguments were not exactly convincing. When O'Reilly asked Tobin why it's OK to deny Communion to politicians who are pro-choice but not to Catholics who are pro-death-penalty, Tobin answered with a flimsy argument that amounted to nothing more than theological lawyering, evading the core issue that both are core matters of Catholic beliefs pertaining to "defending the values of life."

And when O'Reilly pointed out that, for people like Kennedy and Sen. John Kerry, it's a matter of democratic principle to separate their personal religious beliefs about abortion from the conduct of their policy, Tobin replied that opposing abortion rights is a matter of "defending your faith."

What people like Tobin refuse to acknowledge is that their belief that abortion is murder, based on the belief that life begins at conception, is fundamentally a religious belief that is not shared by many other Americans, especially those who take a more strictly biological view of the process.

So in denying any American the right to an abortion, anti-abortion politicians are fundamentally shoving their religious beliefs down the throats of everyone else. That's not "defending your faith", it's forcing it upon everyone else. Which is what that whole First Amendment thing about church and state was bout....(Remainder.)


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