Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A close second: Rush Limbaugh endorses the LRA? Um—what?

OK, so sometimes I get a bit behind the times, what with my slow and eradicate connection to the world wide web. Someone tell me he has now back tracked and realized how bizarre this whole thing was: “Obama invades Uganda, Targets Christians” I never really imagined myself quoting Rush Limbaugh, but this is just staggering, “Lord's Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them.” Right at the end: “Is that right? The Lord's Resistance Army is being accused of really bad stuff? Child kidnapping, torture, murder, that kind of stuff? Well, we just found out about this today. We're gonna do, of course, our due diligence research on it. But nevertheless we got a hundred troops being sent over there to fight these guys -- and they claim to be Christians.”

The most disturbing thing I read this morning

15 activists who took part in the walk to work to demonstrations (which I wrote about here and saw first hand) are being charged with treason, which is punishable by death. So, protestors can face the death penalty. Some consolation, to my freedom loving soul: the article is in the news. The comments in the online version are critical—even evoking the days of Idi Amin—and these things are said in the open--at least for now.

Bad news for women?

The New York Times reported "Contraceptive Used in Africa may double risk of HIV" The most popular contraceptive for women in eastern and southern Africa, a hormone shot given every three months, appears to double the risk the women will become infected with H.I.V., according to a large study published Monday. And when it is used by H.I.V.-positive women, their male partners are twice as likely to become infected than if the women had used no contraception. A lot of Ugandan women use this method of contraception. It's one that they can easily control themselves, even somewhat secretly if they need to--and so those with resistant partners can still do some family planning on their own. It would be a real shame if it turns out that the risks outweigh the benefits. I agree with the WHO epedemiologist, “We want to make sure that we warn when there is a real need to warn, but at the same time we don’t want to come up with a hasty judgment that would have far-reaching severe consequences for the sexual and reproductive health of women,” she said. “This is a very difficult dilemma.” Like many contraceptive methods, how the method works isn't always well understood resulting in ineffective use. Yesterday I was chatting with a woman who used the injection plan. She patted her swollen belly. "I don't even know when I'm due," she said, "I must be a very stupid woman. I didn't get injections at regular times. I only went to get injections when my husband would come back from Juba every few months. I guess that doesn't work." This might be bad news for women like her, who are aware of their husbands extramarital exploits. On the other hand, it just might give them more leverage to push their partners to use contraceptive methods that offer more protection against HIV transmission.