Administration reverses course on end-of-life care planning regulation

UPDATE: I just spoke with an Obama Administration official who said the new proposed rule would be published at 4:15pm today in the Federal Register. This will allow for comment. He also confirmed to me that the advance care planning provision remains in the initial Welcome to Medicare visit with a physician. That provision was included by via statute during the Bush Administration in 2008. In other words, all of the bluster from social conservatives is a bit late. The Administration official … [Read more...]

World Net Daily hearts the Pink Swastika

In a given month, World Net Daily numbers page views in the millions; I number mine in the thousands. So I know that repeating the critique of the Pink Swastika will not reach the number of people now misled by WND but here goes anyway...WND has a superstore with an apparently spanking new edition of Scott Lively's The Pink Swastika in it. WND site owner Joseph Farah gives a shout out to TPS without addressing any of the criticisms. He says he has read all of the criticism, but he attributes … [Read more...]

Slain Pakistani Governor had received death threats

As is being widely reported, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was assasinated earlier today by his own security guard. The guard apparently heeded the fatwa issued by Islamic extremists who were angry about Taseer's advocacy for Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who was recently sentenced to death for allegedly insulting Islam. Taseer had petitioned the government for her pardon.Over the past several weeks, I have had contact with Raza Anjum, a city Councillor … [Read more...]

Governor of Pakistan's Punjab province killed by his own security guard

This is a shocking and ominous development in Pakistan. Increasing calls from outside Pakistan for reform of blasphemy laws and the release of Asia Bibi has been met with a rise in violence from far right Islamic forces.Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was assassinated by his own security guard Tuesday, according to Interior Minister Rehman Malik, apparently because he spoke out against the country's controversial blasphemy law.The … [Read more...]

Who not to vote for in 2012

Bryan Fischer is doing people like me an enormous favor. He is handicapping the 2012 GOP field and will apparently in his next column tell us who he thinks would a great GOP candidate for President. Knowing what I know thus far, this should be a pretty good sign of not to vote for in 2012.First, he claims evangelicals are key to the next election. This could be true if they voted as a group. However, as Fischer points out, 2008 saw erosion in this demographic with seven million evangelicals p … [Read more...]

Ugandan court rules against Rolling Stone tabloid; bars outing campaign

UPDATE: A coalition of Ugandan human rights groups just now issued a press release describing the ruling. After the text of the initial post, I have the details and a link to the press release.I don't have the details yet but according to Frank Mugisha and commenter  Richard Willmer, a Ugandan court issued a ruling today in favor of the plantiffs in the Rolling Stone case.In early October, 2010, a Ugandan tabloid calling itself the Rolling Stone began a campaign of outing GLBT people in U … [Read more...]

Pakistani coalition government fragmenting

It is hard to see how this could be anything positive for the minority Christians and Asia Bibi.Party Leaves Pakistan's Ruling Coalition...With the far right Islamic parties crippling the country with strikes and threats, weakness in the central government does not give the President or Prime Minister much room to pardon Asia. The opposition parties are looking for reasons to undermine the ruling party and appearing too pro-US is probably not a big winner at home. … [Read more...]

Pakistan crippled by strike over blasphemy laws

To me this says volumes about the difficulty of advocating for human rights in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan is crippled today by a strike prompted by religious extremists who are threatening the government over potential changes to the nation's blasphemy laws.Friday's strike saw businesses shuttered and transport workers walking out in towns and cities across the country.There was no public transport in the southern city of Karachi, where demonstrators blocked traffic as part of the i … [Read more...]