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Posts Tagged ‘Ethiopia’


New York photographer Terri Gold says she wants to find ‘the grace notes’ of humanity. She has vivid memories of spinning an old-fashioned globe as a child, and as an adult, she dreams of faraway places and the secrets they keep hidden.

In her ongoing photography project, ‘Still Points in a Turning World’, Gold sought to track down tribes around the globe that appear to stand still while time rushes forward.

Young Suri boys in Ethiopia bring home freshly caught fish

Young Suri boys in Ethiopia bring home freshly caught fish

The pictures have been taken over the course of a decades-long career and ripe for a discussion about the globalizing forces that threaten indigenous cultures.

‘My earliest memories are of spinning a globe. I was always drawn to the last mysterious corners of the Earth. I wanted to visit with people who have not forgotten the old ways, who feel their past in the wind,’ Gold tells DailyMail.com.

‘The names of far off lands called to me – Samarkand, Lhasa, and Timbuktu. I dreamed of traveling with a caravan across the Himalayas, of finding hidden kingdoms. As soon as I was old enough, I stepped into my dreams with three cameras around my neck and my life’s journey began…’

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Thomas C Mountain, the most widely distributed independent journalist in Africa, give a recent history for the horn of Africa and discusses the compounding problems of drought, foreign backed paramilitary factions, and predatory lending which have destroyed the economies for the people in Ethiopia and Somalia especially. How do millions die with almost complete silence from the mass media? What is the strategic significance of Somalia for the West? Where does Al-Shabaab get its finances? Did “Dirty Wars” even scratch the surface of the corruption in the area? How badly have humanitarian organizations like UNICEF failed or even contributed to the oppression and starvation of the people they are supposed to be helping? Tune in.

http://www.rys2sense.com/anti-neocons/viewtopic.php?f=114&t=32617

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Breaking Their Will: The Sick Biblical Literalism That Leads to Child Abuse and Even Death

Authoritarian parenting and abusive practices are all too common in some Evangelical households.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Suzanne Tucker

September 24, 2013 

In 2008, Hana Williams was adopted from an orphanage in Ethiopia and brought to the United States where she died at the hands of her Bible-believing American parents. Their notion of Christian discipline required breaking her will, a remarkably common belief among conservative Evangelicals. To that end, they frequently beat her, shut her in a closet, and denied her meals. Ultimately, she was left outside where she died of hypothermia exacerbated by malnutrition. They were convicted ofmanslaughter this month.

In carrying out their obsession with child obedience, Hana’s adoptive parents drew tips from Tennessee preacher Michael Pearl, whose spare-the-rod-spoil-the-child book, To Train Up a Child, has been found now in three homes of Christian parents who killed their adopted children. The title comes from a stanza in the book of Proverbs: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

M. Dolon Hickmon is the author of an upcoming novel called 13:24that includes religiously motivated abuse. Hickmon was raised by parents who subscribed to this kind of discipline, and he knows first-hand about deep and long-lasting scars from Bible-based childrearing. Hickmon left his 6,000 member megachurch after a pastor seized on Father’s Day as a prime occasion to teach the congregation how to shape and sand wooden spanking paddles. For Hickmon, the sermon triggered memories of the beatings he had suffered as a child—administered by Christian parents and justified by biblical teachings.

While struggling to hold together his faith, Hickmon sent a letter soliciting advice from an online ministry run by the authors of a popular Evangelical parenting manual. He wrote as if he were a father experiencing marital conflict because his wife interfered when he hit their terrified, screaming six-year-old. In reality, Hickmon was describing his own childhood experience. (You can read his letter, which is full of intentional red flags, here.) The response: Your wife is at fault in coming to your son’s defense. Your son uses her. Either she stays out of the way, or you will have to stop being a real Dad.

Mercifully, secular courts don’t agree that inflicting physical wounds is an acceptable part of parenting. Hana’s parents have been convicted for her death at their hands and will be sentenced in October. Their seven biological children and adopted son—they had also adopted a boy from Ethiopia ironically named Immanuel, meaning “God is with us”— are now safe from their abuse. It is noteworthy, though, that American children are being made safer by secular institutions, not adherence to ancient texts and traditions.

Child protections have become established in most countries, and conversations about child-friendly religion are gaining ground. Even so, many children are subject to patriarchalgroups that take parenting priorities from the Iron Age. Evangelical Christians, fearing that their religion is losing ground, have ramped up recruiting activities targeting high school and college students but also young children. Their tool bag includes afternoon club programs and enticing camps. Some churches, like that of TV’s Duggar family, promote a high birth rate, adding young sheep to the fold the old fashioned way. Many churches encourage members—even those who already have numerous children—to adopt.

Kathryn Joyce’s book, The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption exposes Evangelical ministries that have resorted to even lies and bribes to pursue their mission of getting children into good Christian homes. A more common criticism is that Evangelical adoption priorities fuel construction of aid-dependent orphanages rather than addressing the underlying systemic issues that cause maternal destitution and death, leaving children parentless.

Many Evangelical families provide a balance of love and structure and moderate discipline that helps kids thrive. But even well intentioned and loving parents can be thrown off by a church or books that hold up spare the rod, spoil the child as advice from God. When parenting practices derive literally from the Iron Age texts of Bible, the price can be enormous.

As a child, M. Dolon Hickmon collected bits he’d heard in sermons and adult conversations, trying to understand his fear and hurt. Ultimately he decided the fault lay in himself:

Here are the messages I gleaned from the church of my childhood: that beating children is acceptable—good for them, in fact; bruises and welts are of little consequence; that fear is desirable, as is pained screaming and broken sobbing. I’d heard that kids were to be whipped for the least act of disobedience, with belts and sticks and plastic racecar tracks; on bare skin, and as often as an adult thought was necessary.

A child abuser, on the other hand, is someone who doesn’t love you. A parent who never gives hugs because he is angry all the time. A child abuser is a drinker, a druggie, or at best some kind of wild animal. An abuser has no reasons or explanations. He just burns kids with cigarettes and gives them broken arms.

My abuser loved me and hugged me, and he overflowed with explanations. I once got an hour-long lesson on disobedience for leaving a crayon on the floor. While the belt clapped with the measured rhythms of chopping firewood, I struggled to commit verses to memory and to answer quizzes on the metaphysical meanings of the word honor in scripture. . . .

I tolerated being degraded, because that was what I thought a Christian child was supposed to do.

Children generally have a hard time protecting themselves from abusive caregivers. Children who are made to believe that God is on the side of the abuser and that they deserve to suffer are all the more unable to fend off physical and psychological wounds. To quote Pat Benetar’s song “Hell is for Children,” love and pain become one and the same in the eyes of a wounded child.

As of late, critics have been raising awareness of the link between certain kinds of religious parenting and abuse. Janet Heimlich, author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment, recently founded the Child-Friendly Faith Project, a national nonprofit organization that educates the public about the impact that religious, spiritual, and cultural beliefs and practices have on children.

We now know a great deal about how children flourish and how adults can manage parent-child conflict for positive outcomes. Psychologist Laura Kastner distilled two decades of parenting research into seven basic principles, which provide the structure for her book, Wise-Minded Parenting. When asked to comment on recent tragedies, Kastner suggested that we may have learned a thing or two in the millennia since our sacred texts were written:

Our growing knowledge of child development suggests that authoritative parenting grounded in mutual respect works better in the long run than threats and force. It is a shame that factions among us still support the use of the “rod” when we have abundant evidence that non-violent parental strengths are the key to building success and character.

Tragedies like the death of Hana Williams prompt soul searching. For example, the case has prompted calls for adoption reform. But what shape should reforms take? We cannot exclude prospective parents on the basis of their religious affiliation, nor should we. Many adoptive parents are inspired by their faith to step up and do the hard sustained work of loving and raising orphaned children despite their special needs and challenges.

And yet beliefs matter. They can override compassion and common sense, as Hickmon’s experience so clearly shows. Encircled by like-minded believers, parents and children may get little exposure to outside parenting practices. This means that religious leaders have tremendous power to either cause suffering or to help families develop skills that are grounded in a genuine understanding of child development. As we collectively muddle our way toward a better future, we need to engage in a thoughtful, complicated conversation about parental power and children’s wellbeing, and the positive and negative roles religion can play in finding a balance that helps kids flourish.

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington and the founder of Wisdom Commons. She is the author of “Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light” and “Deas and Other Imaginings.” Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com

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Via: Daily Ticker:

“The term ‘food unrest’ will become part of our daily vocabulary,” Brown tells The Daily Ticker.

It reflects the imbalance between the supply of food and demand for food globally.

On the demand side, says Brown, is a growing global population — 80 million more people born each year — and more people moving up the food chain, which means as many as 3 billion people are consuming more “grain intensive products” like meat, milk and eggs. “Rising affluence may have eclipsed population growth” as a major demand factor for food prices, says Brown.

And in the U.S. about one-third of the corn crop is diverted to produce ethanol for gasoline. “We’re now using more grain to fuel cars than to feed livestock and poultry” says Brown.

On the supply side, severe drought in the U.S., Russia, the Ukraine, Pakistan and Kazakhstan have crushed grain harvests at a time when crop yields are stagnating in many countries. “Rice yields in Japan haven’t increased at all and the same is true for wheat yields in France, Germany and the U.K,” says Brown. He doesn’t expect that “glass ceiling” will be broken anytime soon.

“We’re doing everything we know how to do. We’ve eliminated nutrient constraints, moisture constraints and we’ve designed the most efficient plans we can….there’s not much else to do.”

The impact of all this are higher food prices in the U.S. and more competition for U.S. grains from China—which dominates soybean consumption now, says Brown. But in countries like Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Peru and The Republic of the Congo the effect is much more dramatic.

“There are now millions of families in the world that plan foodless days. They can’t afford to buy enough food at inflated prices to maintain their consumption levels,” says Brown.

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CNET and the Telegraph report new anti-terror laws force Internet and Phone companies to provide your every phone call, text, email and private social network message to the government

The attack on online privacy is assaulting the public from every angle but the bottom line is the government’s unquenchable thirst to monitor your every thought and communication in real-time cannot be satisfied.

While the excuses run the entire spectrum of excuses from child porn tocybersecurity and hacking to copyright and anti-piracy control, all of those scapegoats have thus far fell short of convincing the public they need to sacrifice their civil liberties to give Big Brother the power to protect them.

Now lawmakers have resorted to the tried and true method of fooling the public into giving up their rights – Terrorism.

CONTINUED HERE

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‘The United States is reportedly using a secret airfield in southern Ethiopia to carry out assassination drone attacks in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

The civilian airfield in Ethiopia’s southern city of Arba Minch is part of a network of secret bases for unmanned aircraft, the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing unnamed US officials. The US Air Force has spent millions of dollars to improve the airfield in Ethiopia to accommodate a fleet of Reaper drones that carry Hellfire missiles and precision-guided bombs, according to the report.’

Read more: ‘US Flying Drones from Ethiopia’

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Eastern Africa (UN subregion) East African Com...

Image via Wikipedia

‘Scores of Somali civilians have been killed in U.S. drone attacks in the southern region of the country, as Washington tightens its military grip on much of the continent.

The current offensive involves thousands of Kenyan troops that are threatening the major Somali city of Kismayo. The American drones are supporting the Kenyan invasion. The drones’ origins are officially secret, but it is known that the U.S. operates drone bases in Ethiopia and Djibouti, which is home to a huge American base.

For all practical purposes, the U.S. has made proxies of Ethiopia and the five member states of the East African Community: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. The Ugandans and Burundians safeguard the airport that is the lifeline for Somalia’s puppet regime in Mogadishu, where the CIA operates a major facility. In September, the militaries of the East African Community held’ joint exercises with AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command.’

Read more: Somalis Under Relentless Drone Attack as U.S. Tightens Military Grip on Continent

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Written by Nile Bowie
Photographed by James Nachtwey

Few parts of the world aptly fit the description of hell better than Somalia’s crumbling capital city, Mogadishu; a nation ravaged by imperialism, domestic instability and economic sabotage from foreign forces. Parades of malnourishedAfricans queuing up to receive rations are trumpeted in thirty second news pieces on most mainstream media outlets, of which offer embarrassingly insubstantial examples of journalism with little explanation for such images of unparalleled inequality, past the effects of droughts, while never missing the opportunity to highlight the threat of al-Qaeda. While it cannot be denied that the current droughts in East Africa, which have been reported to be the most dire in sixty years, have been negatively exacerbating the climate of food availability in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia; the mammoth aid conglomerates which ‘shake their coin cup’ for incoming donations from the predominately cash-strapped civilian populations of the ‘developed’ world and the reporting mainstream media outlets consistently fail to maturely scrutinize the basis for such economic dysfunction in East Africa, responsible for the starvation of thousands of people. In Somalia’s case (a nation once self sufficient in it’s food production), the ‘economic medicine’ of the International Monetary Fund and the behest of colossal oil robber-barrens have contributed far more devastation than droughts towards producing the images of deprived and inebriated bodies you see on television.

CONTINUED HERE

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‘While members of America’s Fourth Estate appear to be taking an extensive hiatus from conducting investigative news gathering regarding the current Administration, Internet journalists, bloggers, talk radio hosts and public-interest groups have been uncovering numerous cases of government corruption, fraud and unethical behavior in Washington, D.C.

For example, a legal watchdog group that investigates and prosecutes government fraud and corruption is probing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s alleged connections to lobbyists, according to a report released on Friday.

The details surrounding the State Department’s expected approval of a controversial oil pipeline are being kept secret in an apparent effort to conceal impropriety created by the tight knit relationship between Hillary Clinton and the lobbyist pushing the multi billion-dollar project, according to Judicial Watch.’

Read more: Hillary Clinton’s Ties to Lobbyist Concealed by State Dept.

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Nobel Peace Prize 2009, Barack Obama

Image via Wikipedia

I am pleased to stand with my colleagues today who are outraged at Nobel Peace Laureate President Obama’s decision to wage war on Africa in Libya.  At the outset, let me state that Libya is home to tens of thousands or more of foreign students and guest workers.  The students come from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia.  The messages I have received from concerned Africans state that these young innocent people, inaccurately labeled by the U.S. press as “black mercenaries,” have been trapped in hostile territory and are hated by the U.S.-allied Al Qaeda insurgents.  The press forgot that Libya is in Africa and that Libyans are Black!

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