Solving demons, thieves, and appelipse 0

Africa is still the heart of darkness. Massacre, slavery, disease, cruelty, superstition, illiteracy, oppression are the elements of the social climate in most of its lands.

Here’s a new story about an old story: human sacrifice.

AP reports:

Caroline Aya was playing in front of her house in January when a neighbor put a cloth over her mouth and fled with her.

A couple of days later, the 8-year-old’s body was found a short walk away — with her tongue cut out. Police believe she was offered up as a human sacrifice in a ritual killing, thought to bring wealth or health. …

The practice of human sacrifice is on the rise in Uganda, as measured by ritual killings where body parts, often facial features or genitals, are cut off for use in ceremonies. The number of people killed in ritual murders last year rose to a new high of at least 15 children and 14 adults, up from just three cases in 2007, according to police. The informal count is much higher — 154 suspects were arrested last year and 50 taken to court over ritual killings. …

The problem is bad enough that last year the police established an Anti-Human Sacrifice Taskforce. Posters on police station walls show a sinister stranger luring two young girls into a car below bold letters that call on parents to “Prevent Child Sacrifice.”

However, the rise in human sacrifices in Uganda appears to come from a desire for wealth and a belief that drugs made from human organs can bring riches, according to task force head Moses Binoga. They may be fueled by a spate of violent Nigerian films that are growing in popularity, and showcase a common story line: A family reaping riches after sacrificing a human. …

“The sacrifices are also linked to a deep belief in traditional healers, or witch doctors, who can be found practically every half mile in Uganda.

At the end of a winding dirt road on the edge of Kampala, Uganda’s capital, barefoot children scurry past a sign advertising the abilities of Musa Nsimbe, who goes by the trade name Professor Gabogola. The sign in front of his small wood hut reads like a panacea for the world’s woes.

A traditional healer with powers over spirits. Solves all cases, demons, thieves, tooth decay, madness fevers, appelipse, genital affairs.

Sunlight streams in like tiny laser beams through holes in the metal roof of Nsimbe’s shrine. Smoke fills the air. Furry hides cover the floor. Animal horns are arrayed before Nsimbe, who chants, hums, murmurs, shakes and bangs his head against the wall in a furious calling of the spirits.

The 38-year-old Nsimbe — a father of 14 children with two women — says it’s possible that some witch doctors carry out ritual sacrifices, but that he does not.

Another traditional healer, 60-year-old Livingstone Kiggo, said sacrifice is part of the healer’s tool kit — sacrificing a goat, sheep or chicken is considered a call to the spirits, to people’s ancestors. But killing humans is not part of the practice, said Kiggo.

He blamed sacrificial deaths on people who “want to destroy the work of traditional healers.”

“Those are killers. They are not healers. They are killers,” said Kiggo.

In 2008, Kiggo said a man approached him offering to sell a child. He went to the police, who set up a sting operation and snared a man trying to sell his nephew for $2,000. Police and advocates point to several cases where impoverished parents or relatives have tried to sell children to witch doctors for money.

The people of Jinja have seen three suspected cases of child sacrifice in recent months, including Caroline’s. When Binoga held a town-hall-style meeting in early February, some 500 people squatted under the shade of five large trees, straining to hear his words.

Many complained of police corruption, slow investigations and a lack of convictions by the country’s lethargic courts, words that drew loud cheers from the emotional crowd. Of about 30 people charged with ritual killing last year, nobody has yet been convicted. The last conviction was in 2007.

“There is a lack of political will to protect the children. We have beautiful laws but a lack of political will,” said Haruna Mawa, the spokesman for the child protection agency ANPPCAN. “As long as we keep our laws in limbo we are creating a fertile breeding ground for human and child sacrifice to escalate. No convictions. What message are you giving to the police?”

Mawa’s agency has helped with several recent cases of child sacrifice. A 2-year-old boy had his penis cut off by a witch doctor in eastern Uganda and now urinates through a tube, Mawa said.

A 12-year-old named Shafik had a knife put to his throat when a female witch doctor realized the boy was circumcised. Witch doctors don’t kill children who are circumcised or who have pierced ears because they are considered impure, Mawa said. As a result, some parents have taken their children to get piercings or circumcisions.

The blind cruelty of Greenpeace 4

We enraged a Greenpeace supporter with our posts The evil that Greenpeace does (1/16/2010) and The vast left-wing conspiracy (1/18/2010).

May this post horrify as many people of common sense as it can reach, even if it infuriates Greenpeace supporters to the point of apoplexy, exposing as it does the persistent, atrocious evil that Greenpeace continues to do, motivated by sheer doctrinaire bigotry, through decade after decade, in conspiracy with governments.

Denis Avery, who is Director for Global Food Issues with the Hudson Institute, and was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State, writes here:

We do know how to prevent 500,000 kids from going blind every year—and even dying—due to severe Vitamin A deficiency (VAD). But we’re not preventing the blindness or the deaths. Instead, we’re accepting the tragedy of millions of blind kids, plus the deaths of hundreds of thousands of pregnant women who die from needless birth complications, also due to VAD. …

We started trying to cure Vitamin A deficiency 20 years ago, after a Swiss government researcher bioengineered “golden rice”. The new rice contained a gene from the daffodil that codes for beta-carotene. The human body can then make Vitamin A out of the beta carotene. Kids in rich countries get most of their Vitamin A from meat, milk and eggs, but poor-country kids live mainly on such plant foods as rice, cassava and sweet potatoes. None provide much bio-available Vitamin A.

But Greenpeace and its eco-allies claimed — without evidence — that such genetic engineering is a “danger to the planet”.

Even after Syngenta developed a corn-based “golden rice II” with vastly more beta carotene — and offered it free to the Third World — Greenpeace still said no.

Only now, after 20 years of blockade and delay, are we finally seeing the dramatic benefits of growing Vitamin A crops in the local fields. In the Mukono District of Uganda, they’re growing bio-fortified sweet potatoes. Here, about 25 percent of the children used to be wan and sickly, prone to severe diarrhea, pneumonia, eye inflammations and blindness. Most of the kids are now healthy and vigorous. Pregnant women are thriving, along with their babies.

The difference? Orange-colored sweet potatoes, supplied by Uganda’s national agricultural research organization. They’re rich in beta-carotene, and they produce high yields because they resist local crop diseases. The germ plasm for the new sweet potatoes originated at HarvestPlus — Norman Borlaug’s international farm research organization that saved a billion people from starving in the Green Revolution of the 1960s.

“A danger to the plane”, of course, is what Greenpeace has called virtually every recent advance in global food production. At the same time, they claim the earth cannot sustainably feed the people already here. The European Union, to its shame, has backed up Greenpeace with threats to boycott the farm exports of any country which allows biotech plantings. In India, rice farmers protested plantings of the new rice, for fear the EU’s ban on biotech foods would block their exports of high-value basmati rice.

HarvestPlus finally decided to breed around the Greenpeace blockade. It took more than a decade of laborious test plots and back-crossing, but now cross-bred beta-carotene is being planted in farmers’ fields—and the Mukono mothers say their kids have become remarkably healthier. All it cost was 20 more years, 10 million more blindings, and millions of maternal deaths.