The genocide is spreading

From Bibi Eng:

Unfortunately, the Museveni approach is spilling over regionally as well… Burundi’s President Nkurunziza is a born-again and we have yet to hear him utter the word “condom”. One of his first actions upon taking office was to send out a covert morals police to break up young Burundian couples walking together on the street.

Theocratic genocide in Africa

A disaster for abstinence ideology
By Esther Kaplan
Thu May 25, 2006

Crushing news out of Uganda last week. The Bush administration’s $1 billion experiment in using abstinence messages as the basis of HIV prevention has born its first fruit: In a public speech on May 18, Uganda’s AIDS Commissioner Kihumuro Apuuli announced that HIV infections have almost doubled in Uganda over the past two years, from 70,000 in 2003 to 130,000 in 2005. And despite this chilling wake-up call, Bush has empowered Christian right activists to continue to push their abstinence-only agenda at a UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS, to begin next week. According to a State Department email I obtained, the official U.S. delegation is stacked with some of the very people who contributed to the debacle in Uganda.

Uganda was once an HIV prevention success story, where an ambitious government-sponsored prevention campaign, including massive condom distribution and messages about delaying sex and reducing numbers of partners, pushed HIV rates down from 15 percent in the early 1990s to 5 percent in 2001. But conservative evangelicals rewrote this history–with the full-throated cooperation of Uganda’s evangelical first family, the Musevenis. As one Family Research Council paper put it:

“Both abstinence and monogamy helped to curb the spread of AIDS in Uganda…How did this happen? Shortly after he came into office in 1986, President Museveni of Uganda spearheaded a mass education campaign promoting a three-pronged AIDS prevention message: abstinence from sexual activity until marriage; monogamy within marriage; and condoms as a last resort. The message became commonly known as ABC: Abstain, Be faithful, and use Condoms if A and B fail.”

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Bush's My Lai

Bush’s My Lai
By Robert Parry
May 30, 2006

The new U.S. atrocity in Iraq, the alleged murder of two dozen Iraqis by revenge-seeking Marines in the city of Haditha, appears likely to follow the course of other Iraq war-crimes cases, such as the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib – some low- or mid-level soldiers will be court-martialed and marched off to prison.

George W. Bush will offer some bromides about how the punishment shows that the United States honors the rule of law and how the punishment is further proof of America’s civilized behavior when compared with the enemy’s barbarity. It’s also likely the U.S. news media won’t place too much blame on Bush.

But the common thread from the bloody invasion of Iraq in 2003 through Abu Ghraib to Haditha is that Bush cavalierly sent young Americans into a complex and frightening conflict with false and alarmist rhetoric ringing in their ears.

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Partners in crime

George W. Bush and Kenneth Lay
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Monday 29 May 2006

The Bush administration knew Enron was on a collision course two months before the high-flying energy company collapsed in a wave of accounting scandals that wiped out $60 billion in shareholder value and left thousands of company employees penniless.

It was August 15, 2001, when Enron lobbyist Pat Shortridge met with then-White House Economic Adviser Robert McNally, one day after Jeff Skilling made a stunning announcement that he was stepping down as president of Enron.

Shortridge confided in McNally that Enron was headed for a financial meltdown – one that could very well cripple the country’s energy markets – and urged the White House economic adviser to alert President Bush about the company’s financial problems so he could help put together a federal bailout, according to thousands of pages of documents about the meeting released by the government’s Enron Task Force.

It certainly made sense for Enron to seek help from the White House. In August of 2001, Ken Lay was still known as “Kenny Boy” to President Bush, a nickname Bush bestowed upon him when the two men were up and comers in the Texas energy and political industries respectively.

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The man behind the curtain

Cheney aide is screening legislation
Adviser seeks to protect Bush power
By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | May 28, 2006

WASHINGTON — The office of Vice President Dick Cheney routinely reviews pieces of legislation before they reach the president’s desk, searching for provisions that Cheney believes would infringe on presidential power, according to former White House and Justice Department officials.

The officials said Cheney’s legal adviser and chief of staff, David Addington , is the Bush a dministration’s leading architect of the “signing statements” the president has appended to more than 750 laws. The statements assert the president’s right to ignore the laws because they conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.

The Bush-Cheney administration has used such statements to claim for itself the option of bypassing a ban on torture, oversight provisions in the USA Patriot Act, and numerous requirements that they provide certain information to Congress, among other laws.

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Zogby's 9/11 poll

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Last week, the results of a nation-wide Zogby Poll with questions about 9/11 were reported in a press release from 911Truth.org, which sponsored the poll (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/5/prweb388743.htm). It reported that only 48 percent of the public were confident that the truth about 9/11 had not been covered up. This is quite remarkable, given the fact that 99.9 percent of the coverage in the mainstream press has presupposed the truth of the official story.

There was no certainty, however, that this poll would be reported by the mainstream press, because it had not reported on a Zogby Poll in 2004 that showed that 49 percent of the residents of NYC believed that the government had had foreknowledge of the attacks but had consciously failed to take action to prevent them.

It is of some significance, therefore, that a story has now appeared, on the front page at that, in the Times Herald (the newspaper of Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County). It is pasted below.

Cordially,

David Griffin

05/28/2006
Opinion split over 9/11 report
By: KEITH PHUCAS, Times Herald Staff

NORRISTOWN – More than 40 percent of Americans believe that the 9/11 Commission Report that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is a cover-up, according to a recent poll. And nearly half surveyed said the attacks should be reinvestigated.

In May, a Zogby International poll of adults found that 42 percent of adults polled believe the U.S. government and the 9/11 Commission “concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence” that contradicts the official explanation of the attacks.

However, 48 percent polled believe there is no reason the 9/11 Commission would want to cover up information surrounding the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 at the World Trade Center towers, Pentagon and in Somerset County, Pa.

Read more.

Real Americans don't carry water

Increased Privatization of Water

Pressure turned up in the war on water
Towns push to make service public again

For many towns across the country, it once seemed like a good idea to have municipal water utilities in the hands of private companies.

Now, bristling against skyrocketing rates, spotty service and foreign ownership, a number of towns across Illinois and the U.S. are waging fierce battles to regain control of their drinking water. A host of them are fighting a German conglomerate that has snapped up more than 1,800 American water utilities.

The battle is intensifying in Illinois, where the German company RWE and subsidiary Illinois American Water own the water supplies for more than 1 million people in 125 areas of the state.

Responding to complaints, American Water held meetings last week in Homer Glen, Orland Park and Bolingbrook hoping to mollify angry customers. Instead, they tapped into a deep vein of frustration.

Read more.

Is there democracy in Georgia?

Dear Cathy
by Denis Wright
Sat May 27, 2006

For four years we’ve been asking Cathy Cox, Georgia’s Secretary of State, to answer these important questions. She won’t even respond. This letter was hand-delivered to the Secretary on the day of that she officially announced her run for governor.

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF AUTHOR.

Denis Wright is co-founder of countthevote.org.

Denis Wright’s diary :: ::
January 26, 2006
Secretary of State Cathy Cox
State of Georgia

Ms. Cox,

Recent events in Florida have again shown how vulnerable Georgia is to election tampering. In the past, these charges have been dismissed. There is now even more compelling evidence that Georgia is ignoring, and we write to you today to respectfully request that you address these very important issues immediately.

You have recently indicated that you are now in favor of some type of voter verified paper trail. What, if anything, has your office done to make this happen?

There is a proven security breach with the Diebold Election System Memory Cards; a recent mock election in Leon County, Florida demonstrated that Diebold optical scanners can be hacked into because of the use of interpreted code on the memory cards. As you know, Georgia uses the same Diebold optical scanners (that were tested in Florida) to count absentee ballots and it uses Diebold DREs (Touchscreens) for the rest of its ballots.

The 1990 and 2002 FEC technical standards ban the use of interpreted code on memory cards because it creates a serious security vulnerability (See section 4.2.2, http://www.eac.gov/…). On January 5, 2006, Diebold admitted that their OS, TS and TSX voting equipment uses interpreted code in their “Response to Pennsylvania Request for Clarification on Basic Issues” (see attached).

Because of the fact that Georgia must comply with federal law, and federal standards prohibit the use of interpreted code, it appears that the legality of all Diebold election equipment nationally and in Georgia is in question. We urge you to immediately de-certify the OS, TS and TSX Diebold voting systems Georgia intended for use in the upcoming 2006 elections – or to provide extensive documentation showing why this should not occur.

If, for some reason, you question the evidence found in Florida, we would like to request that you allow a similar mock election to occur right here at the state capitol. While it will not be election day, a skilled and tech savvy individual can show the state how and why their votes are at risk. Too often, these charges are dismissed as conspiracy or the discussion of technical aspects blur the reality of the situation. A real exhibition will simplify everything and it will let the people and the public officials see for themselves.

Finally, the public would like to see all of your correspondence with Diebold and we believe this material, these documents that belong to the public should be on the Secretary of State’s website to inform Georgia voters, public officials and the press about this critical and quickly evolving situation.

Please respond as soon as possible on these matters. After all, it is an election year.

Sincerely,

Roxanne Jekot
CountTheVote.org

Donna Price
Georgians for Verified Voting

John Fortuin
Defenders of Democracy

A win for Internet freedom!

Greetings,

Thanks to your thousands of calls and letters, we took a major step forward this week in the fight for Internet freedom.

A bipartisan majority on the House Judiciary Committee yesterday passed the “Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act” — a good bill that would use antitrust law to protect Network Neutrality. Special thanks to those of you who called the key members who cast the deciding votes.

The question before us is simple: Will the Internet remain in the hands of users and innovators? Or will a handful of telephone and cable companies determine which Web sites you see and which you don’t? Yesterday’s vote — a milestone for our movement — would have been unthinkable just three weeks ago. But we’ve shown once again that organized people can defeat powerful corporations.

Our opponents spent untold millions on high-priced lobbyists, slick ad campaigns and fake grassroots groups. But the voices of hundreds of thousands of citizens — your voices — made the difference.

The SavetheInternet.com Coalition led by Free Press now boasts nearly 700 groups that span the political spectrum, including MoveOn.org, the Christian Coalition, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Gun Owners of America, Consumers Union, and the American Library Association. Thousands of blogs have taken up our cause. Yesterday, the coalition’s petition drive surpassed 750,000 signatures.

Our top priority is increasing the number of people who know about this threat to Internet freedom.

One thing you can do right now: Get five friends to join the fight

The struggle in Congress isn’t over. The full House will take up the bipartisan Judiciary bill (H.R. 5417) — as well as the massive rewrite of the Telecom Act — after they return in June. The Senate is also considering major legislation that currently fails to protect Net Neutrality, though a bipartisan group of Senators are lining up behind the excellent Snowe-Dorgan bill (S. 2917).

Our work is not done. But momentum is on our side.

We couldn’t have done it without you.

Onward,

Josh Silver
Executive Director
Free Press
www.freepress.net

King George attacking Parliament

FBI beefs up staff to probe pols
By Alexander Bolton

Federal law-enforcement officials say they witnessed a dramatic jump in campaign-finance and other election-related crimes in the 2004 presidential election year and are determined to beef up their policing of candidates running for federal and local office around the country this year.

Illegal fundraising schemes appear to have grown in number and sophistication as candidates have needed to raise more and more money to be competitive. Several members of Congress have recently found themselves caught up in fundraising controversies.

In the past year and a half, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reassigned nearly 200 agents to the problem of public corruption, bringing to 600 the total number of agents working on public-integrity cases.

Read more.