Over Easy

The community that began with Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner continues. Today we collect news from outside the usual, and renew the discussion.

Fleeing Ukrainian president Yanukovych evidently will not be pursued diligently, in Crimea, in order to avoid further conflict. The powers he vacated have been conferred upon the Parliament’s Chairman.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine hereby resolves:

1. To confer the powers of the President of Ukraine on Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Turchynov Oleksandr Valentynovych according to article 112 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

This morning, government buildings in Crimea were seized by Russian sympathizers.

Boycotts of the nation’s businesses are increasingly the concern of Israel’s officials in the face of their settlements in Palestinian held areas. Rather than consider ending the encroachment on that territory, Israeli government figures worked on attacks against the boycotts themselves.

But never has the issue of boycotts caused so much vexation inside Israel’s corridors of power. Israeli politicians have been trading barbs about who is fueling the situation. Bennett accuses Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of fanning the flames of boycott by warning about its potential risks. Livni rejects the charge, saying it’s rather Bennett and his right-wing governing coalition’s support for the construction of settlements that is inciting boycotts and threatening Israel’s economy.

The internal debate has also reached Israel’s highest court, which on Sunday heard arguments for and against an existing anti-boycott legislation.

The sad spectacle of Uganda’s institution of laws imprisoning citizens of that country whose sexual preference is other than heterosexual reminds the world of what misuse religion can be put to.

The empowerment of right wing religion, that substitutes prejudice for lovingkindness, in Bush administration efforts to control AIDs, has led to other evils.

In a country with frequent condom shortages and discouragement of the use of condoms – in part because the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funding continues to be held hostage to abstinence programs - millions of Ugandans are at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and having unsafe abortions.

The use of one third of U.S. funds by PEPFAR to establish abstinence has come full circle. Reported in NYT in 2008, a campaign that rejects science is wasting funds as well as teaching bad practices.

…there are still 33 million people living with H.I.V., and the United Nations estimates that there were 1.7 million new infections in 2007 in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Critics, including Mr. Kerry, are particularly incensed by the requirement that one-third of the prevention funds be spent teaching abstinence, despite a lack of scientific consensus that such programs reduce the spread of H.I.V.

According to gay Anglican priest and journalistRev. Canon Albert J. Ogle;

My recent visit to Uganda also uncovered a disturbing trend among religious NGO’s who have agreed to serve most vulnerable populations including LGBT and men who have sex with men (MSM), signed contracts with the U.S. government but define their own vulnerable populations excluding these two target populations. There is no recourse when these contracts are not fulfilled.

Sad to see religion invoked in spreading hate.

Never.Give.Up.