December 13th, 2007

LJ Abusive Spouse

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GOP Senator Says Waterboarding Torture Technique Is Like "Swimming". I think he needs to demonstrate his backstroke.

Kucinich Barred from Iowa Dem Debate, While Alan Keyes Gets to Participate in GOP's. Alan Keyes, what a piece of work THAT bastard is.

Ten Reasons Why I Broke Up with God, By Annabelle Gurwitch. I loved her as cohost on Dinner & A Movie with Paul Gilmartin, this is a fun little piece. Visit her website, it's a stitch. The video clip that plays on the main page is worth it alone.

It all began when Adler, his girlfriend, Maria Parsheva, and two other pals boarded the subway at Canal Street bound for Brooklyn and someone in another group wished them "Merry Christmas."

Adler and his pal Angelica Krischanovich responded: "Happy Hanukkah."

Apparently, those were fighting words.

"They just came at us so fast. The first thing that came into my mind was, 'Yeah, this is going to be violent,' " said Parsheva, 20.

One of the group immediately hiked up his sleeve to reveal a tattoo of Christ.

"He said, 'Happy Hanukkah, that's when the Jews killed Jesus,' " said Adler.

The group of about 14 men and women then allegedly began taunting Adler and his pals as "dirty Jews" and "Jew bitches."
Click here to see pictures of the assailants. It's almost exactly what you expect. hanukkahmonica has more.

Some killers apparently were able to get out of prison by letting then-Gov. Huckabee know they had “found Jesus.” The terrible aftermath may say something important about the presidential candidate. More here.

Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology.

Bush's Budget Deal: 70 billion dollars for war funding.

Tomorrow I'm going to see Sugarland in concert. It will also my 37th birthday.

Is Nigeria The New Darfur?

Children are targets of murderous Nigerian witch hunt
Evangelical pastors are helping to create a terrible new campaign of violence against young Nigerians. Children and babies branded as evil are being abused, abandoned and even murdered while the preachers make money out of the fear of their parents and their communities
The rainy season is over and the Niger Delta is lush and humid. This southern edge of West Africa, where Nigeria's wealth pumps out of oil and gas fields to bypass millions of its poorest people, is a restless place. In the small delta state of Akwa Ibom, the tension and the poverty has delivered an opportunity for a new and terrible phenomenon that is leading to the abuse and the murder of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children. And it is being done in the name of Christianity.

Almost everyone goes to church here. Driving through the town of Esit Eket, the rust-streaked signs, tarpaulins hung between trees and posters on boulders, advertise a church for every third or fourth house along the road. Such names as New Testament Assembly, Church of God Mission, Mount Zion Gospel, Glory of God, Brotherhood of the Cross, Redeemed, Apostalistic. Behind the smartly painted doors pastors make a living by 'deliverances' - exorcisms - for people beset by witchcraft, something seen to cause anything from divorce, disease, accidents or job losses. With so many churches it's a competitive market, but by local standards a lucrative one.

But an exploitative situation has now grown into something much more sinister as preachers are turning their attentions to children - naming them as witches. In a maddened state of terror, parents and whole villages turn on the child. They are burnt, poisoned, slashed, chained to trees, buried alive or simply beaten and chased off into the bush.

Some parents scrape together sums needed to pay for a deliverance - sometimes as much as three or four months' salary for the average working man - although the pastor will explain that the witch might return and a second deliverance will be needed. Even if the parent wants to keep the child, their neighbours may attack it in the street.

This is not just a few cases. This is becoming commonplace. In Esit Eket, up a nameless, puddled-and-potholed path is a concrete shack stuffed to its fetid rafters with roughly made bunk beds. Here, three to a bed like battery chickens, sleep victims of the besuited Christian pastors and their hours-long, late-night services. Ostracised and abandoned, these are the children a whole community believes fervently are witches.

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· Watch the video: Child witches in Africa

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Child 'witches' in Africa
Mouse over a thumbnail for the backstory on each image, click for full size

Twin boys Itohowo and Kufre stand surrounded by angry villagers who believe they are bringing evil to their lives Imabong Etim Otoyo, the mother who abandoned her 5 year old twin boys Twelve-year-old William was abandoned after being labelled a witch Siblings Samuel, 11, Esther, 14, and Sarah, 10, were all abandoned by their parents to a life on the streets after a ‘prophetess’ - female preacher - said they were witches Twin brothers Utomobong and Mbotidem are 11. They were blamed for their parents' separation, beaten and thrown out of their home

Sisters Victoria, four, and Helen, seven. They were left alone in an old shack and survived by eating leaves and grass Nails were driven in around the top of Etido’s head - he is about nine and rarely speaks Ekemini Abia is 13. Her father tied her to a tree by her ankles and left her there. She was found, half-starved, over a week later Angry villagers set upon Udo, 12, with a machete, accusing him of being a witch. His arm was nearly severed Gerry is eight. His father spat petrol over him and set him alight - he blamed Gerry’s sorcery for the loss of his job

A large nail was driven into this girl’s head. Nwaeka is about 16, and now badly brain damaged Twelve-year-old Mary had acid thrown in her face after being accused of being a witch Mary Sudnad is 10. She was seven when her mother poured scalding water and caustic soda over her in a bid to cleanse her of witchcraft Eleven-year-old Mbet was abandoned by her mother when she was six after being accused of being a witch Chief Joe Inuaesiet, the tribal chief of Uquo and Eket. He is a rare wise voice against those who are preaching witchcraft

Some of the 133 children who have sought refuge at the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network, run by Sam Ikpe-Itauma and helped by the charity Stepping Stones ( Children at CRARN Pastor Joseph Ita runs the Liberty Gospel church in Eket, and believes children, including babies, become witches by being passed poisoned food A woman’s unborn baby is delivered during a midnight service in Akwa Ibom