Monday, May 22, 2006


Even in a country grown accustomed to horrific acts of violence, it is a crime that still shocks. ''Muti murder'', in which human body parts are removed to be used in traditional "medicine", is increasing in South Africa - but victims' families complain that the police too often ignore it.

The murder of four-year-old Connie Ncube, whose mutilated body was discovered in a river near her home east of Pretoria by her father last month, has sparked a public outcry and demands for tougher action against the gruesome crimes.

Jabu Majola said: "I was shocked to see my daughter that way. It took me 10 minutes to identify her because of the way they cut at her. I couldn't believe someone could do something like this." Mr Majola condemned the police for not responding to his calls for almost 12 hours after Connie disappeared. "If they had sent police to search for my daughter when we asked them to, she would be alive today," he said.

It was only after a report of her death appeared in a local newspaper, Mr Majola said, that the police launched a full investigation and eventually identified a suspect - a neighbour with links to traditional "healers" - who has not been caught.




Alain's Newsletter was a Christian conservative site that was getting a fair bit of attention but it disappeared suddenly. Why? I have been forwarded an email signed "Alain's wife" which said: "for health reasons my husband has closed the newsletter for a while".

Some Baptists still follow the Bible: "Following the approval of a large majority of its churches, the board of the American Baptist Churches Pacific Southwest region voted unanimously May 11 to withdraw from its covenant relationship with its parent denomination. The board's action makes final the separation of the 300-church region from the American Baptist Churches (USA) in Valley Forge, Pa. The decision comes after eight months of discussion and a vote on the part of the region's churches in late April to recommend that the board withdraw over the refusal of the ABC (USA) to deal with the acceptance of churches with lax policies on homosexuality in the denomination".

The pain in Spain: "2330 illegal immigrants are currently being held in Canary Islands detention centers, though an unknown number have been transferred to mainland Spain during the last week. Nearly 400 immigrants arrived by boat in the Canaries yesterday, and the interior ministry has been unable to alleviate the overcrowding. Foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos yesterday announced that Spain would begin diplomatic efforts with six sub-Saharan African countries to control the flow of illegals."

Afghan women graduate US college program: "When she was a child growing up in Afghanistan, Nadima Sahar loved to draw. But after the Taliban came to power in the 1990s, her love for art became a secret. The strict Islamic movement banned art and secular music, so only Sahar's family knew about her drawings. 'I couldn't share them with my neighbors,' Sahar said. Today, after four years as a college student in Rhode Island, Sahar has showcased her mostly abstract, black-and-white drawings at four art competitions and won prizes in all of them."

Islamic bank shunned in Britain: "Evolution Securities and BNP Paribas failed to persuade a single UK investor to sign up for shares in yesterday's initial public offering of the first British investment bank to comply with Islamic financial law. The failure will compound the brokers' embarrassment about the European Islamic Investment Bank's (EIIB) London float as its shares slumped 38 per cent on their first day of trading, after raising less than half of the target. One source close to the offering said that the float did "not attract a single UK investor"

Hitchens: Don't talk to the mullahs: "There is an excellent case to be made for initiating an imaginative diplomatic overture to Iran, or rather to the Iranians, and I did my best to lay it out. But this case is not strengthened by the demented letter recently made public by the man posing as Iran's president. I say 'posing,' because, however many times our media babble about his 'landslide' victory in Iran's 'elections,' everybody knows that he was put in by the reigning mullahs at the very last moment, after all independent and reformist candidates had been eliminated from the process, and that the counting of the votes was an insult to the meanest intelligence."

George Will: "Proof that incumbent politicians are highly susceptible to corruption is the fact that the government they control is shot through with it. Yet [according to John McCain] that government should be regarded as a disinterested arbiter, untainted by politics and therefore qualified to regulate the content, quantity and timing of speech in campaigns that determine who controls the government."

Shelby Steele: Black truth-teller: ""The only thing that makes me interesting as a writer," Shelby Steele says, "is that I'm just talking common sense. The most ordinary, everyday sort of common sense." Correction. What sets Steele apart is that he's saying things many people, even those who secretly agree with him, would rather not hear. He says that blacks should take responsibility for their own disproportionate crime rates and poor academic performance and not blame a system imposed on them by whites; that whites support affirmative action and other "silly racial policies" out of fear, to avoid accusations of racism. He says that blacks who use the "race card," as Johnnie Cochran did in defending O.J. Simpson, are practicing "blackmail" through the manipulation of white guilt."

Why $3 gas won't slow the US economy: "As all the pollsters are telling us, there's an inverse relationship between rising gasoline prices and President Bush's falling approval ratings -- most especially his approval rating on the economy. Of course, these polls describe a certain national angst over energy that harkens back to the dreadful 1970s. But there's a better reality out there: Namely, the upturn in gas prices simply is not stopping the economy the way it did three decades ago. Today's economy may be the greatest story never told. It's an American boom, spurred by lower tax rates, huge profits, big productivity, plentiful jobs, and an ongoing free-market capitalist resiliency. It's also a global boom, marked by a spread of free- market capitalism like we've never seen before."

There is an interesting article here reviewing the present role of women in the U.S. armed forces.



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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