Friday, January 23, 2009

Niiice :)

i was the old man on a moped, you were 19ish on a skate board - m4w - 70 (Disctrict of Columbia)

Reply to: [?]
Date: 2009-01-22, 7:34PM EST

I was on a moped and you were on a skate board. we looked at each other and you gave me a "i wanna suck your dick off" look and I almost crashed my moped into a blue usps mailbox with lots of people watching. i could tell you didn't mind other people watching, thats hotttttt. I was wearing an old Davy Crockett hat with the racoon tail in the back. So if that little tight ass skate boarding girl wants to get banged by me and some of my retirement home friends, let me know....or without the friends, i can use my cane on you and see how much you can take.

Location: Disctrict of Columbia
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 1003405187

Friday, January 16, 2009

$10 Need TEMP place to crash for a couple nights? Share bedroom (Santa Monica)

Reply to: [?]
Date: 2009-01-16, 9:15AM PST

Please - this is a platonic offer! And for females only.
We think it's important in nowadays to help out as much as you can. What we can do to help is offer you a place to crash for a couple days, if you need a break, just relocating into town, in between places or money is tight. There's currently a guest sleeping in our living room couch so we'd like to offer you to stay in our bedroom and share the bed with us. It's a really comfortable queen size bed. Yes - this means we have to be very respectful of each other. Low-key and laid back. Non smoker only. We have done this in the past and the girl that stayed with us felt safe and secure. We're a young couple living in a clean 1 bedroom apartment in Santa Monica. Close to everything. Very respectful and friendly. We'd like to be honest and upfront - we are open-minded but this is a strictly plotonic offer (unless you're interested in more, in which case we can talk about it). Let us know if you're interested and please provide some info about you, like who you are, your age, what you do, some myspace or photos, etc. Have a wonderful weekend.

Location: Santa Monica
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 995213126

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Excerpt from 'Letter to a Christian Nation'

Here is a brief list of figures and a few quotes compiled by Sam Harris in his book 'Letter to a Christian Nation', a follow-up which responds to many religious criticisms of 'The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason', which spent 33 weeks on the NY Times Bestseller List in 2005.  Harris is a Stanford-educated philosopher and the son of a Quaker and a Jew.  Data collected from Pew, Gallup, and Newsweek polling.
  • More than 50% of Americans have a “negative” or “highly negative” view of people who don’t believe in God. 70% think it important for presidential candidates to be “strongly religious.”
  • “A person who believes that Elvis is still alive is very unlikely to get promoted to a position of great power and responsibility in our society. Neither will a person who believes that the holocaust was a hoax. But people who believe equally irrational things about God and the bible are now running our country.”
  • 44% of Americans think Jesus Christ will return in the next 50 years. 22% are “certain” that he will, another 22% think he “probably” will.
  • “According to the most common interpretation of biblical prophecy, Jesus will return only after things have gone horribly awry. Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes this should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency.”
  • Only 28% of Americans believe in evolution (and two-thirds of these believe evolution was “guided by God”). 53% are actually creationists.
  • “Despite a full century of scientific insights attesting to the antiquity of the earth, more than half of our neighbors believe that the entire cosmos was created six thousand years ago. This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue.”
  • 87% of Americans say they “never doubt the existence of God.”
  • 28% of Americans believe that every word of the Bible is literally true. 49% believe that it is the “inspired word” of God.
  • “We read the Golden Rule and judge it to be a brilliant distillation of many of our ethical impulses. And then we come across another of God’s teachings on morality: if a man discovers on his wedding night that his bride is not a virgin, he must stone her to death on her father’s doorstep (Deuteronomy 22:13-21).”
  • 80% of Americans expect to be called before God on Judgment Day to answer for their sins. 90% believe in heaven. 77% rate their chances of going to heaven as “excellent” or “good.”
  • “In the year 2006, a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get seventy-two virgins in Paradise. Western secularists, liberals, and moderates have been very slow to understand this. The cause of their confusion is simple: they don’t know what is like to really believe in God.”
  • 65% of Americans believe in the literal existence of Satan. 73% believe in Hell.
  • 83% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. (11% disbelieve. 6% don’t know.)
  • “The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.”

Thursday, January 8, 2009

An Oxford Debate

Here is an interesting intellectual debate over the existence of God between two extremely bright men.

Bios taken from

Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL (born 26 March 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science author. He is a professorial fellow of New College, Oxford.
Dawkins came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. In 1982, he made a widely cited contribution to evolutionary biology with the theory, presented in his book The Extended Phenotype, that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not necessarily limited to an organism's body, but can stretch far into the environment, including the bodies of other organisms.
Dawkins is a prominent critic of creationism and intelligent design. In his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker, he argued against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the observed complexity of living organisms, and instead described evolutionary processes as being analogous to a blind watchmaker. He has since written several popular science books, and has made regular appearances on television and radio programmes, predominantly discussing the aforementioned topics.
Dawkins is an atheist, secular humanist, skeptic, scientific rationalist, and supporter of the Brights movement. He has widely been referred to in the media as "Darwin's Rottweiler", by analogy with English biologist T. H. Huxley, who was known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of natural selection. In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that faith qualifies as a delusion − as a fixed false belief. As of November 2007, the English language version had sold more than 1.5 million copies and had been translated into 31 other languages, making it his most popular book to date.

Alister E. McGrath (born January 23, 1953) is a Christian theologian, with a DPhil in molecular biophysics, as well as an earned Doctor of Divinity degree from Oxford, noted for his work on historical, systematic and scientific theology. In his writing and public speaking, he promotes "scientific theology" and opposes antireligionism. McGrath was until recently Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Oxford, but has now taken up the chair of Theology, Religion and Culture at King's College London since September 2008. Until 2005, he was principal of Wycliffe Hall.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Nigerian Child Witches Part 2: Videos

Below is a collection of videos pertaining to my earlier post on Nigerian Child Witches. Please take the time to watch these.

Dispatches: Saving Nigeria's Witch Children: BBC Television Documentary (in six parts) which focuses on The Child Witches of Akwa Ibom State; Gary Foxcroft and Stepping Stones Nigeria; Sam Ikpe-Itauma and Child's Rights And Rehabilitation Network; evangelist Helen Ukpabio; and 'Bishop' Sunday Ulup-Aya.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Helen Ukpabio's 'End of the Wicked': Nollywood blockbuster which describes how child witches are inducted into covens and eat the flesh of their victims.

Journeyman Pictures have made three films on the subject of Nigerian witchcraft, but they have disabled embedding of their YouTube videos. Nevertheless, these are very interesting and informative. Please click the links below to open each in a new window.

Child Witches in Akwa Ibom State

Prophet TB Joshua 'removes demons' from White South Africans on a pilgrimage to Lagos, Nigeria

Nollywood Film Industry

'The Bishop' Sunday Ulup-Aya, who boasted to having taken the lives of up to 110 children in 'Dispatches: Saving Africa's Witch Children' speaks in police custody, December 2008

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nigerian Child Witches: Hate and Hope

Gary Foxcroft traveled to the Niger Delta in 2003 working toward a master’s thesis on community perceptions of the oil industry. What he discovered changed his life: children abandoned, littered along roadsides, hacked with machetes, doused with acid, nails driven into their skulls, slashed, maimed, or poisoned, as punishment, to extract confessions, or to exorcise demons. And these are the lucky ones, mere outcasts -- ostracized, beaten, rejected, but with warm blood still pumping through their tiny hearts. Untold numbers were not so lucky.

Sorcellerie are literally everywhere across the African continent -- in the newspapers, on the radio, on television, and pervading the consciousness of the African populous. Anyone at any age could be branded, perhaps even you.

With a population of 140 million, and a staggering growth rate of 9%, Nigeria is now the 8th most populated country on Earth. The Niger Delta boasts the world’s 12th-largest known reserves, and is widely regarded as a bridge away from American dependence on Middle-Eastern Oil. A member of OPEC, Nigeria was the United States’ fifth largest supplier of crude and petroleum in 2008, just above Iraq. The West-African nation’s oil industry, of which the Nigerian government owns a 65% share, experienced windfall profits of over $60 Billion in 2005. You’d think, with such massive positive cash flow, that they’d be well on their way to first-world status, but roughly half of Nigeria’s inhabitants still live on less than one dollar a day. Poor sanitation, a poor education system, severe environmental degradation, massive oil spills, theft, and widespread corruption have all stripped the abundant wealth from under the feet of Nigeria’s people and left them famished and desperate. When the Nigerian government failed to safeguard its people, they turned to religion.

This is the story of child witches in Nigeria. It begins fifty years ago, around the time Nigeria gained independence from England. Christianity has influenced the region since the 1800’s, but the last half century has brought a massive influx of Pentecostal churches, blending Christian Evangelism with traditional African religious beliefs to give rise to the modern witch hunt.

In the years immediately following independence, Africans tended to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, trending toward opposition of witchcraft in favor of modernity. But most will point to racial lines rather than reason. White man didn’t believe in sorcery, so the notion of magic was squelched in colonial Nigeria. But in the waning influence of British colonialism, Africans, ever mindful of the glowing reality of witchcraft, have pushed the issue back to center stage.

Now, you’ve heard of Hollywood. I suspect you know Bollywood. What about Nollywood? Respectively, these are the three biggest film industries on the planet, and Nollywood’s most prolific output are Christian films. Nollywood blankets the entire African continent with titles like ‘Holy Ghost Fire’, ‘Private Sin’ and ‘End Time’. The most widely viewed of these films is undoubtedly Helen Ukpabio’s ‘End of the Wicked’, which depicts the process of possession and induction of child witches into covens, engaging in cannibalism and bringing disease, chaos and death to their families. Supporting this wild claim with Biblical passages like Job 41:24-25 (“There is no power upon earth that can be compared with him who was made to fear no one, He beholdeth every high thing, he is king over all the children of pride. He is king...He is superior in strength to all that are great and strong amongst living creatures: mystically it is understood of the devil, who is king over all the proud.”), popular evangelist Ukpabio (pictured above), General Overseer of the 150-branch Liberty Gospel Church and a proud mother of three, professes three distinct types of witchcraft: black, white, and red. 

“In white witchcraft, people are organized into various cult groups or religions and thought certain things contrary to the word and will of God. Some of the things they do are believed to have the potential of protecting the member and making him prosperous while harming the others in the work place, business place, school, the neighbourhood, or family. All the same, it is witchcraft and harmful to him and others. In black witchcraft, the spirit gets directly into the human spirit. It can be dropped into someone’s food and it develops. If you are initiated into it, you can do a lot of evil to people in the society. The black witchcraft is crude and dangerous. They act like beasts and have no sympathy or pity for humans.” Ukpabio professes that witches practice their craft on their beds, and covet others’ fields and properties.

Given such widespread anguish, it can be difficult for anyone to avoid coveting a neighbor’s field. Scholars point to starvation, destitution, and poor allocation of resources as prime catalysts for fear and suspicion of neighbors, friends and family.

While Ukpabio might be a standout figure, her kind is far from rare. The Niger Delta region boasts a higher number of churches per square mile than any other place on Earth. Ministries such as the Church of God Mission, New Testament Assembly, Glory of God, Mount Zion Gospel, and Brotherhood of the Redeemed literally pepper the landscape. High birthrates and aggressive evangelization have rocketed the number of believers from a little over 150,000, or 1% of Nigeria’s population in 1960, to 60 million, over one-third today.

Humble and unadorned nganga of the mid-twentieth century have given way to newer and glitzier healers who drive expensive cars, wear designer clothes and live in large houses. They profess great knowledge of magic, Christian rituals and medicine, and make salaries sufficient to support copious material indulgences. These wealthy, conspicuous and arrogant modern nganga now arbitrarily point fingers, diagnose many each day, and foster growing panic over the supposed proliferation of witchcraft which consequently triggers violent witch hunts by not only more ngangas and ministers but also state judges and police.

One ironic characteristic of the modern nganga is that they are self-proclaimed ‘super-witches’ who have developed their evil power to a degree which allows them to provide protection against pervading sorcery. Here’s a brain-bender: these super witches are often called as witnesses or consultants to provide testimony in court trials against defendants who have been accused of witchcraft. Also, state officials call on nganga to cast spells on their political opponents while simultaneously accusing their opponents of participation in sorcery.

There are some basic trademarks regarding witchcraft. Anyone can be accused of it, and suspicion draws hidden aggression from within the family and community sphere. There are infinite possible interpretations of magic, making falsification of accusation essentially hopeless. Sunday Ulup-Aya, ‘The Bishop’, asserts that well over half of Akwa Ibom State’s 4 million inhabitants are probably witches.

Clearly visible symptoms of sorcery can be seen in children under two years old: crying at night, fevers, and degrading health (nevermind that these are common symptoms of children in impoverished regions). The clergy widely threatens that child witches will not only bring destruction, disease, and death to families, but they may also cast spells and contaminate others. For a price equal to a poor Nigerian’s annual income, ‘The Bishop’ will perform a two-week program of deliverance employing ‘African Mercury’, a mixture of pure alcohol and his own blood, which must be swallowed and poured into the eyes of the afflicted. One regimen is not always enough. Sometimes two or more of these two-week procedures are necessary. Often, parents cannot immediately pay the exorbitant fee; if so, ‘The Bishop’ will imprison children until the balance is covered. Ulup-Aya eventually resorted to simply killing supposed witch children, having claimed to have personally taken the lives of up to 110 in order to protect their villages from the spread of contagious evil spirits. Increasingly, parents are left to struggle with difficult choices: drain the family account in a potentially futile cycle of exorcisms or abandon their children altogether.

This is what witches do - they ruin families. But it’s the neighbors who exert the strongest influence with malignity and strength in numbers. Once diagnosed, it’s practically impossible to reintroduce these children to their communities. Instead, they are ostracized, beaten, hacked, driven from villages or killed in any number of brutal, primitive ways. Mothers are frequently forced out of desperation and terror to take their children away from the community and dump them on the street. Many wind up on the doorstep of CRARN.

Sam Ikpe-Itauma and his wife Elizabeth started the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) in 2003 by opening their home to four children who had been branded as witches. A handful of children are stigmatized each day and few hospitals or clinics will accept them. Today, he and five others care for more than 150 witch children at the CRARN Children’s Centre, a modest tin-roof and cinderblock structure where every day is a fight for the rights of these abandoned, maimed, and uneducated youth.

Having witnessed the frightening humanitarian crisis first-hand, Gary Foxcroft, 29, vowed to return to the region and do whatever he could. He founded Stepping Stones Nigeria (SSN), a UK-based charity organization which has since partnered with CRARN to provide children of the Niger Delta with education and quality resources and also to provide protection from abandonment, stigmatization, murder, and slave trade. SSN-funded radio and television jingles have also helped raise awareness about stigmatization and abandonment.

Five years ago, the federal government passed the Child Rights Act which forbids such child abuse, but not all of Nigeria's 36 states have adopted it. It was only after SSN and CRARN staged a large public demonstration in front of the governor’s mansion in Uyo, with British cameramen and many abandoned witch children present, that Akwa Ibom State finally adopted the legislation, and in early December 2008 ‘The Bishop’ Sunday Ulup-Aya was taken into police custody. Foxcroft questions whether any long-term effect will take hold as a result of the mandate. ‘The Bishop’ is only one of many of such ngangas, and may have only been arrested because he boasted his murderous ways on the UK television documentary ‘Dispatches: Saving Africa’s Witch Children’. International media pressure appears to have been what ultimately brought about the adoption of the Child Rights Act in Akwa Ibom State, not the true will of Governor Godswill Akpabio. Foxcroft told the Guardian UK on December 8 "the fact remains that the vast majority of Akwa Ibomites including commissioners, legislators, policy makers, police and social welfare teams believe that children can be 'witches'. Until a radical reorientation of these mindsets takes place, the abuses of child rights that occur due to this belief system are likely to continue for many years to come.” Handfuls of children are still showing up at the rescue center every day.

Not only is English the primary language spoken in the Niger Delta, African discourses on witchcraft have made their way onto the internet. Any English-speaking person with access to the internet can visit Helen Ukpabio’s website and peer insider her ministry. Just as witchcraft is practiced by those who aim to destroy it, modernity is embraced by those who fear it. The atrocities which have been committed in the Niger Delta are by no means localized to Akwa Ibom State. They are taking place across Nigeria and the whole African continent. Humanitarian crises in Africa all appear to share a common thread of poverty, disease, environmental degradation, corruption and a severe lack of birth control and education. Rwanda and Darfur are two shining examples of how such circumstances can quickly spiral into chaos.

Problems in Nigeria and the rest of Africa have been getting out of hand for so long that it’s difficult to do anything but shrug and wonder if there is even a solution. These travesties are ubiquitous in Africa. Maybe this is simply how Mother Earth controls Her human population -- in stark, darwinian terms. Dwindling resources, environmental decline, exponential population growth, more and more ignorant and pecunious people all clamoring for the same barren fields -- certainly these are fertile grounds for hatred, violence and plague. As with any gaping and festering sore, infection will surely spread if untreated. Africa’s poor, overcrowded villages and slums are an evolutionary laboratory for disease. What can anyone really do?

Francis Bacon put it concisely 500 years ago: “Knowledge is Power.” Adults become set in their ways. Self-transformation is not occuring from the top down. Children, however, are impressionable. If we can protect and teach these children, perhaps they will grow away from voodoo. Imaginably, a new generation of Africans could reform their nations if given the tool of intelligence. Leverage to solve the African crises could be achieved through international efforts to quell violence coupled with simultaneous implementation of a sweeping educational revolution aimed directly at children. But stifled UN efforts in Sudan exemplify the roadblocks to peacekeeping. Certainly, any imposition on the part of any foreign government agency has its own pitfalls and implications, and nation-building should never be our enterprise. Nevertheless, eradication of epidemic ignorance could build a robust foundation which might empower Africans to overcome a huge amount of their own obstacles, from within. Perhaps the only way is through non-governmental organizations like Gary Foxcroft’s Stepping Stones Nigeria and the Ikpe-Itaumas’ Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network: one tiny heart at a time.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
-- Lao Tzu