Friday, August 28, 2009

Kidnapper, Child Molester Claims to Hear Voice of God

The San Francisco Chronicle article begins:
Phillip Craig Garrido was already known as an oddball who said he could channel the voice of God through a makeshift box, but on Thursday, the eccentricity took on an aura of horror.

The registered sex offender who had served two stints in jail already has just been found to have kidnapped an eleven year old girl and held her captive in a compound in the backyard of this house for 18 years, fathering two children while he lived in the main house with his wife and mother. Midway through the article we get a paragraph about his claim to hear the voice of God:
The neighbors and other acquaintances said Garrido conducted religious revivals in a tent, claimed to hear the voices of angels and God, and said he had developed a device through which he could control sound with his mind. He propounded this all in a business he called "God's Desire."

This reminds me of the Son of Sam, David Berkowitz.
Berkowitz subsequently claimed that he was commanded to kill by a demon who possessed his neighbor's dog.

I am very glad Phillip Garrido didn't kill the Jaycee Lee Dugard. I would like to know more about people who commit criminal acts and also claim to hear the voices.

On another note, the information in the news article would seem to indicate that there may still be two little girls missing. Erika Pratt, 25, who stayed next door to the Garrido house two years ago and observed the people in the hidden compound
said people came and went from the property, but the core group consisted of two girls about 4 years old, one girl about 11, another girl about 15 and a young woman about 25. They were all blond, she said.

However, the police report that the only people found at the compound at the time of the arrest were Jaycee Lee Dugard, now 29, and her 11 and 15 year old daughters. So, where are the two little girls? That is the untold story here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Saudi Arabia: 10 Year Old Bride Returned to 80 Year Old Man

AL-LAITH, AUGUST 25 - A 10-year-old bride was returned last Sunday to her 80-year-old husband by her father who discovered her at the home of her aunt with whom she has been hiding for around 10 days. A Saudi local newspaper said the husband, who denies he is 80 in spite of claims by the girl's family, accused the aunt of meddling in his affairs. "My marriage is not against Shariah. It included the elements of acceptance and response by the father of the bride," he said. He added that he had been engaged to his wifés elder sister and that this broke off as she wanted to continue with her education. "In light of this, her father offered his younger daughter. I was allowed to have a look at her according to Shariah and found her acceptable," he said. Maatouq Al-Abdullah, a member of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), said there is no system in place regulating the marriage of young girls, something that he said results in adverse psychological, health and social effects. "Such marriages are considered a gross violation of charters on the rights of children, which the Kingdom has signed and which set the age of adulthood at 18," he added.

From here

Hat Tip Women Against Shariah

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Iran: Rape of Boys Held in Prison for Demonstrating

This is from the reputable Times On Line which carries Ruth Gledhill:
Iranian boy who defied Tehran hardliners tells of prison rape ordeal
The 15-year-old boy sits weeping in a safehouse in central Iran, broken in body and spirit. Reza will not go outside — he is terrified of being left alone. He says he wants to end his life and it is not hard to understand why: for daring to wear the green wristband of Iran’s opposition he was locked up for 20 days, beaten, raped repeatedly and subjected to the Abu Ghraib-style sexual humiliations and abuse for which the Iranian regime denounced the United States.

“My life is over. I don’t think I can ever recover,” he said, as he recounted his experiences to The Times — on condition that his identity not be revealed. A doctor who is treating him, at great risk to herself, confirmed that he is suicidal, and bears the appalling injuries consistent with his story. The family is desperate, and is exploring ways of fleeing Iran.

Reza is living proof of the charges levelled by Mehdi Karoubi, one of the opposition’s leaders, that prison officials are systematically raping both male and female detainees to break their wills. The regime has accused Mr Karoubi of helping Iran’s enemies by spreading lies and has threatened to arrest him.

The boy’s treatment also shows just how far a regime that claims to champion Islamic values is prepared to go to suppress millions of its own citizens who claim that President Ahmadinejad’s re-election was rigged.

Reza’s ordeal began in mid-July when he was arrested with about 40 other teenagers during an opposition demonstration in a large provincial city. Most were too young even to have voted. They were taken to what he believes was a Basiji militia base where they were blindfolded, stripped to their underwear, whipped with cables and then locked in a steel shipping container. That first night Reza was singled out by three men in plain clothes who had masqueraded as prisoners. As the other boys watched, they pushed him to the ground. One held his head down, another sat on his back and the third urinated on him before raping him.

That is just the beginning. The whole article is here.
Hat Tip Women Against Shariah

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Reality of Same Sex Marriage

This is from the advice column from the most recent edition of a free weekly, East Bay Express, that is available at many retail stores and coffee shops in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, i.e., especially Berkeley and Oakland. The column is the syndicated Savage Love and the questions and answers do address sexuality issues in some detail. Dan Savage is gay, married his partner in Vancouver in 2005 and he and his partner have one adopted son. He is a strong advocate for same-sex marriage.

I am posting these two selections because of the discussion of adding additional sexual partners to a same-sex marriage:
I'm 35, gay, and in a six-year relationship. My husband — not really, here in Tennessee, but I call him that anyway — is 38, and we have a great relationship. We have been monogamous up till now but are open to inviting select others into our bed. This was prompted by a friend we recently made whom we both find attractive and who has expressed an interest in us both. He is 24, cute, and just starting out in Gaydom. We don't expect anything long-term, just a nice, mellow friend-with-benefits scenario.

Any suggestions as to issues we might want to discuss up front?

Good Gay Guys

Tell the 24-year-old not to expect anything long-term, GGG, and let him know that while you will be treating him like a piece of meat, you will also be treating him like a human being. Make sure he understands that his presence in your lives — and your bed — is meant to be fun and temporary. You two get to spice it up with some strange; he gets to benefit from your wisdom, experience, and cocks. And tell him that while he'll have a blast with you two, he shouldn't pass on a date with a potential boyfriend, should one appear on the scene — but so long as you three are friends-with-benefiting-it-up, you would like to be informed about any other sexual contacts he might have.

Then show him the ropes, teach him about sexual safety, encourage him to open up to you guys about anything he's ever wanted to try, help him find his place in Gaydom, and when it comes to an end — as it will and should — make an effort to remain friends.

And directly below was this one. I assume the juxtaposition of these two was deliberate.
I am a gay male. A couple of months ago, I developed a friendship with a gay married couple. We hit it off great — I really enjoy their company. Then they took me aside and "invited" me into their marriage, and so now I'm in one of those "polyamorous" groups. I have never been in one before.

I thought I would be able to open myself up to both of them, but for some reason I can't seem to feel love for them both at the same time. I've always seen myself as a strict-monogamy kind of guy. I thought a three-way would be fun, but when I'm with two guys, I feel like I'm just a piece of meat. I am probably not making much sense, but I would like some advice, if you could, please. I feel inadequate because I can't feel comfortable in this relationship.

Feel Like A Prude

So ... after knowing you for two months, this couple essentially proposed to you, inviting you "into their marriage," and you accepted. Hmm. Exit this marriage at once, FLAP. Not because you're a prude — clearly you're open to trying new things — but because at two months, they were idiots to propose and you were an idiot to accept.

Backing up: Trying something and not liking it doesn't mean that you're a prude, FLAP, it only means that "it" either wasn't for you or that you tried "it" with the wrong person(s). I suspect the latter in this case. If these guys, after two months, had invited you to hang out with them, to roll around with them, to drop by twice a week for a leisurely spit roasting, I suspect you would've had a better experience, FLAP. Inviting you over to be treated like a piece of meat — and a human being — would've been honest. All you could really be at two months is a piece of meat and a friend-with-benefits; you couldn't be a husband and in love with both of them equally. Their unreasonable expectations, and your attempt to live up to them, ruined what could've been a nice little affair.

From here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Was that International ANSWER at the Episcopal Gen Con Integrity Booth?

Over at Stand Firm Greg Griffith has posted a video of a discussion at the Integrity booth at the Episcopal General Convention in Anaheim. Watching the video, I thought I might have recognized the discussion moderator. Is it Rebecca Gordon, the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) PhD student who promoted communist International Answer events?

Rebecca Gordon attends an Episcopal Church in the Mission District of San Francisco although she still identifies herself as Jewish. I would not be surprised if she belongs to Integrity as she has been in a long term lesbian relationship. I believe her lesbian partner maybe also be the woman with whom she filed the ACLU law suit regarding the federal "No Fly" lists, Jan Adams.

The anti-war paper they run is called War Times and ain an early issue Rebecca was promoting International ANSWER. Rebecca started Seminarians for Peace and had them attending International ANSWER organized events. International ANSWER is a communist front organization run by members of the Workers World Party and other Marxist-Leninists.

Rebecca got an M.Div. from the Unitarian School associated with the GTU, Starr King, and is now a Ph.D. candidate at the GTU in Ethics and Social Theory. She says “In my dissertation,” she said, “I’m focusing on what happens to our national character when we’re encouraged to develop attitudes or tendencies to react violently to events like the September 11 attacks.” and “In my dissertation, I want to look at whether there are places in U.S. society where people are being formed in the kind of virtues that would allow us to say no to the official intentions. One of the theses is the Episcopal Church and its liturgical and sacramental practices. If you belong to a liturgical Christian church, essentially, in every Sunday’s eucharist you are retelling the story of someone who was tortured to death for political reasons. In the process of eating and drinking, we say we’re constituting ourselves as the body of Christ--that tortured body. Then we are sent out into the world to be that body and to resist the logic of torture.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hillary Clinton: We Have a Right to Disagree with Any Administration

Hillary Clinton says "I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration that somehow you're not patriotic. And we should stand up and say 'We are Americans and we have a right to disagree with any administration.'"

Thank you, Hillary Clinton.

Hat Tip Islam in Action

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

10% in USA Taking Anti-Depressants

Science Daily has the results of a study published in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry that antidepressant use in the USA is now over 10%. It seems like it is time to stop treating this as a pharmacological problem and address the lifestyle and spiritual aspects.
Between 1996 and 2005, the rate of antidepressant treatment increased from 5.84 percent to 10.12 percent or from an estimated 13.3 million to 27 million individuals. "Significant increases in antidepressant use were evident across all sociodemographic groups examined, except African Americans, who had comparatively low rates of use in both years (1996, 3.61 percent; 2005, 4.51 percent)," the authors write. "Although antidepressant treatment increased for Hispanics, it remained comparatively low (1996, 3.72 percent; 2005, 5.21 percent)."

Going for regular walks and taking cod liver oil have been know to help for a long time. But also, we do live in a depressing culture. A Christian spiritual life in community is important.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bomb Factory on Grizzly Peak in Berkeley a Teachable Moment, Too?

Two weekends ago, the Berkeley police arrested a man at 976 Grizzly Peak Blvd. who had the house set up with bomb making materials. The man, Emoru Oboke Obbanya, was subsequently released on $121,500 bail. So, far, there has been no further news about this case and we are wondering what the bombs were for. (Yes, this is just a few blocks from the Berkeley professor's house targeted by Code Pink earlier this summer, but ...)

In the mean time, I post the story to contribute to the current teachable moment in the dialogue about race and the police that has been requested. In this example, a man living in an expensive house in a university community also refused to identify himself when the police arrived at the house in response to a 911 call. This man also became verbally abusive to the officer. In this case he was in fact covering up illegal activity in the house.

Police Find Bomb-Making Materials In Berkeley Home
CBS 5 CrimeWatch

A Berkeley man has been arrested on explosives and weapons charges after police officers who responded to a 911 "hang-up" call in a quiet neighborhood in the Berkeley hills found chemicals and other items that could be used to manufacture explosives.

Berkeley police Lt. Andrew Greenwood said patrol officers responded to a house in the 900 block of Grizzly Peak Boulevard, near Forest Lane, around 12:30 p.m. Saturday after someone in the house dialed 911 and then hung up.

Greenwood said officers attempted to contact anyone inside the residence and could hear movement inside the house but no one responded when they knocked on the door.

He said after a while a man emerged from the house but then quickly closed the door behind him.

Greenwood said the officers became increasingly concerned about the welfare of anyone inside the house because the man "appeared to be extremely nervous, angry, agitated and confrontational."

The man repeatedly cursed the officers and for a period of time refused to provide any evidence that he in fact lived in the residence, according to Greenwood.

He allegedly refused to cooperate with officers' efforts to insure no one inside the residence was injured, in distress, or in need of aid, Greenwood said.

The man, who later was identified as 27-year-old Emoru Oboke Obbanya, was then arrested for a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a peace officer in the course of their duties, according to Greenwood.

The officers then went inside the house to make sure no one inside was injured or in need of aid in light of Obbanya's unusual and suspicious behavior, Greenwood said.

Although officers didn't find anyone who needed assistance, they observed a number of indications of possible criminal violations during the check of the home, he said.

Officers next obtained a search warrant authorizing a search of the house for weapons and located chemicals and other items which could be used in the manufacture of explosives and a quantity of explosives, Greenwood said.

Officers evacuated the house and adjoining homes and the Police Department's bomb squad was called in to safely conduct the search and safely seize illegal materials, he said.

The Berkeley Fire Department's hazardous materials team, the University of California at Berkeley Police Department's bomb squad and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were also called to assist in the operation and the safe removal of materials.

The UC Berkeley Police Department's blast transport vessel was used to remove a number of volatile items and the items subsequently were rendered safe, Greenwood said. The incident didn't conclude until Sunday night, he said.

In addition to the misdemeanor charge of obstructing a peace officer, Obbanya is in custody in lieu of $121,500 bail on felony charges of possession of an illegal firearm, prohibited possession of a firearm, possession of a destructive device, possession of material with the intent to make an explosive or destructive device and prohibited possession of ammunition.

Greenwood said Obbanya is expected to be charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office Tuesday morning and arraigned that afternoon.

Greenwood said Obbanya does in fact live at the house on Grizzly Peak Boulevard but it's unclear if he's the owner.

He said there may have been one other person at the house when police arrived on Saturday afternoon but that person wasn't injured and isn't believed to be connected to any wrongdoing at the house.

from here