Breaking News – suicides by Indian Farmers cross the quarter million mark

From 1995 when The National Crime Records Bureau first began recording suicides by Indian farmers till 2010 the total number of such incidents is 256,913. This does not include unrecorded figures from 1947 to 1994!

The richest State in India, Maharashtra (capital – Mumbai), has the highest number of suicides.

From 2003-2010; 135,756 farmers committed suicide.

The Big 5 i.e. States that top the list: Maharashtra (Mumbai), Karnataka (Bangalore), Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal), Chhattisgarh (Raipur).

Reasons for the suicides:

  • 01.       Growing expenditure, specially on bought inputs
  • 02.       Low productivity
  • 03.      Inadequate prices of agriculture produce
  • 04.      Difficulties in marketing and marketing hazards
  • 05.      Natural hazards caused by drought
  • 06.      Absence of proper crop planning
  • 07.      Unsatisfactory agriculture credit
  • 08.      Accumulated burden of debt

Amongst the social causes are :

  • 01.      The drinking habit which atrophies the productivity of the farmer
  • 02.      Extravagant expenditure on marriages
  • 03.      Bad health and illness and inability to meet the necessary expenditure on medicine and health services

India makes everything from a pin to a nuclear weapon, but it can’t look after the farmers who feed the nation.

This is shameful.

Source : The Hindu

FBI – Adapting to Exposure to Child Pornography

Safeguard Spotlight
Ingesting Poison, Adapting to Exposure to Child Pornography
By Nicole Cruz, Ph.D.

Do you remember the first time you had to view child pornography in the line of duty; do you remember the first images or videos? Can you recall the first case, when investigating crimes against children, that you had a “disgust” response? What’s the first case pertaining to child sex crimes that you remember?

These are some of the questions that I ask when safeguarding persons routinely exposed to child pornography in the line of duty. These questions can elicit a variety of responses, all shaped by investigators’ different life experiences, as well as their differing abilities as they cope with viewing unimaginably invasive crimes, particularly those against children. Some common responses to the questions come to mind. I was shocked; I knew that people did these kinds of things, but, really? Am I normal if I don’t remember the first time I had to view child pornography? I thought I was just going to see nude, underage kids, not this. I just remember afterward, taking a break, walking down the hall, and feeling “unreal.” I had the images coming back into my mind that week, especially when I was alone.

These responses all are “normal,” meaning commonly experienced by persons newly exposed to child exploitation materials (CEMs). However, having to view child pornography in the line of duty is such a derivation from what people outside of law enforcement see that the standards of adapting normally to exposure to child pornography is not common knowledge.

Is there a rule of thumb about psychologically adapting to the images? If so, what is it? As a clinical psychologist working in an FBI unit that annually safeguards over 1,500 persons exposed to child pornography in the line of duty, we have a giant opportunity and the means to analyze such a measure, and we must share our lessons learned.

Investigators having these first experiences often wonder if they are “okay.” They also fear that describing their deep disgust to others would earn them the perception of not “tough enough” to do the job. Although many of the investigators accepting these jobs had some foreknowledge about exposure to CEMs in the line of duty, few knew that they would see children and infants molested and raped, and even fewer imagined that they would need to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves. Much like the victims of these crimes, many investigators feel like they have to keep a shameful secret; all persons impacted by these crimes, including those who have to view the images to prosecute the perpetrators, take a vow of silence. Perhaps, they think that their silence about these experiences could make it as if they have not been impacted.

Psychological Adaptation Responses
An outline of the process of becoming acclimated to exposure to child pornography can help to demystify the acclimation process and provide an honest look at how exposure to child pornography impacts people. This four-step process proves applicable for persons who voluntarily engage in duties involving such exposure. It may not apply to persons who do not volunteer or who face a higher risk for not coping well (e.g., developing vicarious trauma response) to exposure to CEMs.

Open quotes
Is there a rule
of thumb about
adapting to
the images?
If so, what is it?
Close quotes

1) Disgust Response

Some investigators liken this to being hit in the face, jumping into a pool of freezing water, or having the rug pulled out from under them. Others (e.g., former paramedics or homicide detectives) who have had prior experience with egregious crime scenes state that they can rely on their coping skills acquired from their previous work when exposed to child pornography. But, even these skilled persons describe a “first homicide scene” experience. The first response leaves most investigators with a sense of urgency about compartmentalizing the material. At this point, they may have intrusive images or disgust feelings that appear sporadically outside of work, nightmares about the images, intrusive feelings of anger, and other disruptive experiences. Other investigators already acclimated will not have this experience.

2) Feeble Efforts to Compartmentalize
Investigators often feel the need to make the material less personal, or less toxic, by explaining it away (e.g., maybe it was the angle of the photo), by pretending that the material does not disturb them as it truly does, or by trying to switch off the thoughts, feelings, or images in their mind. In all accounts, the investigator tries to slowly deal with the impact of the full realities of the crime, including the implications of what people are capable of, how prevalent it is, and how unstoppable it seems. They have begun to ingest poison. However, they may notice that they continue to have uncomfortable thoughts and reminders of the content. Investigators may continue to reexperience images when, for instance, they see a video or bathe their infant, and they may realize that they must process further or try to avoid working this detail altogether.

3) Dealing with the Realities of the Crime
I consider this training the most important period of the psychological adaptation process. At this point, investigators must, in some way, acknowledge the harsh realities of this crime. They may have thoughts that they must deal with, not dismiss. Human beings not only do this, but it is relatively prevalent. Sometimes, innocent children suffer for many years without reprieve, justice, healing, or care. Not all victims are innocent—some comply, even though they are children. Investigators must realize that they cannot completely stop this crime from occurring; it most likely happens in their neighborhood. Between the lines, in the deeper parts of the investigators, once they acknowledge these realities, they also, mostly unconsciously, realize that they can cope with the complete realities of working these cases and may find that they can compartmentalize better following this phase.

4) Coming to Terms with the Images and the World
At this stage, many investigators describe learning how to cope with not just the images but the tarnished reality associated with it. They find that without becoming paranoid or thinking of themselves as calloused, they can cope adequately with the images and gross realities of what people do to each other, as well as how commonly it happens. These investigators do not dwell on what they see or personalize the images to make sense of the material. They allow themselves to process things from an analytical perspective, label the images, and see materials (CEMs or not) from an investigative angle without feeling guilty, realizing that they must do so to work effectively. Investigators come to know that they cannot completely stop this crime from happening, but they are satisfied to do their part. I tell them at this point that they have “hit their stride,” and they often agree. What they may not realize is that their worldview has been deepened and that their desire to persist in bringing justice into this realm may bring about a sense of healthy pride and self-definition, as well as an awareness of their positive role in the world.

Open quotes
Perhaps, you
feel as if you are
stuck in the earlier
phases of adapting to
child pornography.
Close quotes

Available Resources

Last, I advise investigators who work these cases to be aware of where they are in terms of response stages. I also educate them about how I have seen many examples of how these responses are cyclical. For example, those who have hit their stride and then see a particularly egregious video or an image that triggers them often find themselves responding as if they are newly exposed (back to the first response). However, it will not be as acute as their first response to such exposure, and they may feel more comfortable this time around as they have done this before. Investigators tend to be more confident with their ability to process the material, as well as the worldview that goes with it, and they proceed more rapidly through the response stages and find themselves quickly coming to terms with the newer toxic material. Also, because investigators have to filter the images and videos through their personal filters made up of their own life experiences and thoughts about sexual abuse issues, the time frame through each response stage will vary.

Perhaps, you feel as if you are stuck in the earlier phases of adapting to child pornography. If so, it is my recommendation that you seek out a representative from your agency’s employee assistance unit for advisement and potential remedial options.

Dr. Nicole Cruz of the FBI’s Undercover Safeguard Unit (USU) prepared this Safeguard Spotlight. USU provides guidance and support for personnel exposed to child pornography and child exploitation materials. The unit can be contacted at 202-324-3000.

Holiday on Earth

Pic by Mark Ulyseas

Today has been special, I saw a Krait and witnessed the landscape I am designing emerge from a grotty space of tangled weeds and garbage into a wondrous garden full of butterflies and dragon flies with the great Indian sunbird popping in to check out the Allamanda.

Work on the rockery was just not right so I decided to redo the whole thingy. It was hot, humid and as I drank the chilled beer feeling one with nature as I answered it, still holding the bottle of beer…someone shouted my name from the main house…a frantic cry. Of course, finishing what I had to do I rushed back to the house only to find the young lad who was working on the interiors lying on the floor in a semi conscious state;  A panic attack brought on by the delayed schedules attributed of course to IST. Not Indian Standard Time but Indian Stretchable Time. What followed was the mandatory visit to the hospital and the wait outside the ICU sucking on a cigar and watching the ambulances arrive and depart with sick and injured people.

Death passed just once covered under a white sheet stained with blood.

Visits to hospitals, for me, are a frightening experience… Imagine lying with needles stuck in one’s body and dying alone in a room that smells of antiseptic and discovered by an overworked nurse. Another body for the morgue. A statistic. A certificate of death. Certificates for everything…birth, school, college and…death.

We live with certification.

We are mere numbers.

Not infinite, though.

Life is a dream…until fallibility comes knocking with a stethoscope…diagnosing an ailment…then the pills start popping and one embarks on the road to a cul de sac.

I have seen a friend drop dead on the road while we discussed existentialism. I have arrived in a hospital too late, only to be told my father and my mother had died, alone. I have seen friends fade into nearby cemeteries. Yet the life within keeps throbbing in hope; hope that bitch in heat that lures one away from the obvious, the reality of life with an expiry date…not ordained but one by accident.

Illusions, disillusions and dreams make up the canvas of all life beating to the rhythm of mortality. Why do people cling to life? Why do they believe, quite often, that life is untouchable by the phantoms of the dark side? I too have fallen prey to such imaginations. I too believed that life was all that it was worth and death always happened to someone else. Alas, reality that fornicator of the absurd has always arrived in inopportune times to announce the inconceivable.

Friends, family and the odd acquaintance lie buried six feet under, interred with the creepy crawlies of the nether world.

Could it be that we are all winners in a universal lottery, the prize being the chance to holiday on this beautiful planet for a limited period…

…And that when the holiday ends we return to our jobs, which is to serve the spirit in the sky…



Marisol Valles Garcia – A brave Mexican woman !

President Obama, are you listening? Instead of sending troops to Central Africa maybe you should be sending them into Mexico to assist the Government there to eliminate the drug cartels that are sending hundreds of tons of drugs into the USA every year! You have a war on your southern border; do something about it, now!

Marisol Valles García, 21 years, a mother, graduate in crimonology and the former Police Chief job in the town of Praxedis G Guerrero, 50 miles east of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a few miles from near the Texas frontier now lives with her family in a safe house in the USA.

This is her story gleaned from various media and FBI reports.

Every year US$300 billion of drugs are smuggled from Mexico into the USA. Praxedis is the epicenter of this operation. Therefore, a vicious battle for this lucrative area is fought between different cartels. It is more dangerous for civilians then Afghanistan!

Some useful background information.

–        40,000 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderón declared war on the drugs cartels in 2006. The region of Chihuahua – encompassing Ciudad Juarez and towns in the surrounding Juarez Valley – is by far the worst affected area.

–       In 2010,  4,500 people were killed in Chihuahua state alone, as the cartels slaughtered each other – and innocent bystanders – to wrestle for control of the valuable trafficking routes.

–       Ms Valles’s predecessor as chief of police, Juan Manuel Carbajal, 45, was executed as he drove through the streets of the town of Caseta. His predecessor, Martín Castro Martínez, 62, was four days into the job when he was abducted. His head was left outside the police station in a coolbox.

–       Originally they had 18 police. But 16 of them were killed or fled.

–       Mayor José Luis Guerrero de la Peña took the job  because there were no other candidates. His predecessor Rito Grado Serrano, 59, and his son Rigoberto Grado Villa, 37, were executed in their homes in October last year. Their deaths took to 13 the number of mayors murdered in Mexico in 2010. The tally for 2011 is still being tallied!

–       A 75-year-old grandmother, whose grandson was on the wrong side of the tracks, has been told she will be killed inside Mexico.

–       A businessman from Chihuahua who refused to pay extortion money to the gangs was snatched by a cartel from a sports stadium and, while his friends were watching, they sliced his feet off.

–       In the west, the Sinaloa cartel has assumed monstrous proportions, with its leader Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán the FBI’s most wanted man, after the death of bin Laden.

–       Apparently a FBI agent is in a safe house in the USA as a hit has been sanctioned by the drug cartels!

Media reports on Marisol Valles García :

Born in Praxedis to a housewife mother and mechanic father, she attended school there before studying criminology in Ciudad Juarez.

The mayor held dances and fiestas, and people would even visit the region. But as she got older, the situation deteriorated.

“People you didn’t recognise started turning up in the town,” she said.

“Then people would start disappearing – friends, people I went to school with. Sometimes their bodies would turn up, sometimes not.

“At the beginning it was really shocking. But after a while you got used to it, as it happened more and more.

“Kids that I went to school with, humble kids, would suddenly start driving flash cars. I’d ask them ‘Where did you get the money for that?’ and they would reply with a shrug, ‘I’m working’. We all knew what they were up to.”

She remembers one close family friend, Aaron. He sold bread in the town and was “very happy, chatty, always making me laugh,” she said.

He would help Ms Valles’s mother run errands, and was quietly making his way in the world – until he was gunned down, aged 22, while driving his car. His grandfather, sitting in the passenger seat, was also executed.

Was he into drugs?

“No, I really don’t think so. He was just doing his thing, getting on with life,” she said. “But then, you never know who is working for the gangs.”

Of all her school friends, Ms Valles says “the majority” have gone – disappeared, fled, or murdered.

This was the cycle of violence that she wanted to stop.

Beginning in October last year, her work went well.

Despite initial suspicion, she and her all-women team of police would conduct house-to-house inquiries, mediating in domestic violence cases, talking to parents worried that their children were going off the rails, and finding ways of keeping the young people out of the clutches of the cartels.

“At first I was really scared, and my family were very worried,” she said. “I was well aware of the dangers, but I wanted to do it. I wanted to rediscover what we had.”

But then, in February, the threats started.

“I was with my mother when the first call came on my mobile,” she said. “It was a ‘number withheld’ call, so I was a bit suspicious, but I actually thought it must be a joke. I answered, and a voice on the other end said: ‘Didn’t you receive the message? We don’t want you here.’

“I was angry at that – I don’t know how, as looking back it was terrifying. But I answered back, and said to them, ‘I’ve told you, I am not messing with you. I’m not armed, and I’m not interested in you. All I am doing is my job, to help the community’.

“Then I hung up. I don’t know where that courage came from.”

Ms Valles continued her work, but with new fear. She wanted to keep her job, did not want to leave.

“It’s very difficult – you have obligations,” she explained. “But it was very frightening, even in the middle of the day. You’d see a car pass by slowly, and wonder whether they had given you a bad look.

“I carried on, but I was more and more scared. I told the mayor, and he admitted that the same thing had happened to him – he too was receiving death threats.”

The calls kept on coming, with increasingly detailed knowledge about her movements. The cartels told her that if she supplied information to them, on police operations and municipal projects, she would be allowed to live.

Ms Valles says she knows who, inside the police office, was feeding information to the cartels. And she says he is still there.

In March, she could not stand it any more and gathered her family for the dash to the border.

“We didn’t tell anyone – we just left, stuffing anything we could into a bag. My dad was furious, my mum was crying, panicking that she had forgotten keys or a bag or something. We were all hysterical, terrified. We thought we could be stopped at any moment.

“We got to the border and were all in a terrible state. I told them who I was and what had happened, and that I wanted to go across.

“So they let us flee. Once over, I began to breathe again – even though I had never crossed before, and didn’t speak a word of English. We called an uncle in the US to tell him what had happened, and here we are, waiting for our asylum process.”

The family are now in a safe house in the United States, far from the border.

“It’s hard, because we can’t work and still live in fear. But better to be alive in the US than dead in Praxedis.”

Praxedis itself is surrounded by soldiers. Troops have taken over the local sports hall and are using it as their barracks, crouching behind sandbags, training binoculars on everyone entering and leaving the town.

Ms Valles lives in hope that the situation will change, and that her son Dylan will grow up with a better future than the children in Praxedis today.

“When I was young, we were playing basketball, racing around on bikes,” she said.

“Now do you know what their favourite game is? Playing siccarios [hit men]. You hear them: ‘OK, I’m the siccario, and you’re my target, bang bang!’

“They learn from what they see. And if they know no better, the cartels use them, and give them 200 pesos to run along and shoot that guy quickly.”

 “I want to go back. But not to that.”


For more information, see

American Catholic Bishop covers for paedophile priest !

The Bishop who preaches the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, this is shameful.                                

I hope you burn in hell along with the paedophile priest!

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City’s Catholic bishop has become the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic official indicted on a charge of failing to protect children after he and his diocese waited five months to tell police about hundreds of images of child pornography discovered on a priest’s computer, officials said Friday.

Bishop Robert Finn, the first U.S. bishop criminally charged with sheltering an abusive clergyman, and the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese have pleaded not guilty on one count each of failing to report suspected child abuse.

Breaking News : James and Chilli foil terrorist bombing in New Delhi

Two sniffer police dogs, James and Chilli, have saved Delhi from a deadly terrorist attack during the upcoming Diwali festival.

According to Delhi Police officials, a blue Indica car recovered in a Haryana town held five kg of RDX besides detonators and timers that would have claimed numerous lives in a crowded market place.

“We had inputs that a Laskar e Toiba module active in Jammu and Kashmir was planning to strike Delhi. The plot was hatched by the ISI and the whole operation was monitored from Nepal” said a senior police official.

Apparently the police had already searched the area where the car was parked twice before the two dogs smelled the explosive. Chilli was the first to raise an alarm. Soon, James started dragging his handler towards the car. He also put his front paws on the bonnet.

Thank you James and Chilli, I hope your police handlers give you each a large bone for saving lives.

Bow wow!

15th Anniversary of Amazon Watch

Amazon Watch
October 2011

Dear Mark,

This October marks the 15th anniversary of Amazon Watch, and we celebrated with a moving and successful annual luncheon last week. We are truly grateful to our growing network of indigenous and local partners in the Amazon, and to our staff, board, donors and allies around the world. A special thanks and welcome to the overwhelming number of first time supporters who have rallied to defend the Amazon. Stay tuned and stick with us – you are in for an exciting journey!

Missed the luncheon? October is full of opportunities to hear about recent campaign highlights, reconnect or get to know us. This weekend I’ll be joining leading-edge changemakers at Bioneers to explore the forefront of positive change through a series of inspiring talks, workshops and intensives. On October 29th join Amazon Watch at the Los Angeles Green Festival where I am energized to share ideas as part of the panel Climate Wars: The Nexus of Climate Change and Conflict.

Defending the Amazon is a defining battle of our time and has the potential to shift the balance towards justice, ecological balance and the recognition of our interdependence on nature and living systems. We are here for the long haul. In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we invite you to make an investment in Amazon Watch and our indigenous partners.

For the Earth and Future Generations,

Atossa Soltani
Atossa Soltani
Atossa Soltani
Executive Director

Amazon Watch Celebrates 15 Years!

Amazon Watch Celebrates 15 Years!

We were both delighted and brought to tears last week as indigenous leader Sheyla Juruna, of the Xingu River basin in the Brazilian Amazon addressed Amazon Watch supporters at our 15 year anniversary fundraising luncheon. Sheyla passionately expressed the urgency to stop the Belo Monte Dam threatening her homeland, reminding us that the struggle to defend the Xingu is a struggle to defend the Amazon and our planet from unsustainable “development.” Watch this video from the luncheon and remember you can still make a gift in honor of our 15 years!


Urgent! Congress to Vote on Colombia FTA TODAY

Urgent! US Congress to Vote
on Colombia FTA TODAY!

Ironically on Indigenous Peoples’ Day the U.S. Congress will debate and vote on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Please take action today to let your Congresspeople know that you vehemently oppose the FTA. Amongst the agreement’s many fatal flaws, Amazon Watch is highlighting the disastrous impacts for the country’s 102 indigenous peoples, 2/3 of which have been declared “at risk of extinction.” Make your voice heard today!


Victory for Ecuadorians! Chevron's Strategy Derails

Victory for Ecuadorians!
Chevron’s Strategy Derails

On September 19, a three-judge panel from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a stunning blow to Chevron’s abusive and deceitful efforts to evade accountability for its oil disaster in Ecuador by throwing out an injunction that purported to prohibit the Ecuadorian plaintiffs from enforcing the $18 billion judgment against Chevron. It also indefinitely stayed a trial scheduled for November over a preposterous countersuit filed against the Ecuadorians and their attorneys, at which Chevron hoped to have the Ecuadorian verdict declared unenforceable.


Shuar Blockade River, Thwart Talisman Operations

Shuar Blockade River,
Thwart Talisman Operations

Last month the Shuar people joined the Achuar in protest against Talisman Energy’s operations in Block 64 in the Peruvian Amazon. The Achuar have long protested Talisman’s operations in the middle of Achuar territory, and in September the Shuar living along the Morona river, downriver from Talisman’s exploratory oil wells, blockaded the river for 10 days, joining a growing alliance of indigenous groups calling for the company to leave.


Host a House Party!

Host A Message from Pandora
House Party!

As the last stand in the battle to defend the Xingu River Basin in the Brazilian Amazon heats up in Altamira, our allies on the ground have asked us to keep organizing internationally. In solidarity, James Cameron produced a 20-minute feature addition to the re-released Avatar Blu-Ray DVD, A Message from Pandora about the campaign to stop the Belo Monte Dam. Watch on our website, then share with the world. Host a house party featuring the video this November!


FBI – Breaking News – 18 Child Porn Websites Shut Down Result of Joint U.S.-China Cooperation



Locked laptopIn another example of the increasingly international nature of crime, a man was recently indicted on federal charges of running 18 Chinese-language child pornography websites out of his apartment in Flushing, New York. The websites were being advertised to Chinese-speaking individuals in China, in the U.S., and other countries.

This case serves as an example of something else as well: the increasingly international nature of law enforcement. While the FBI investigated this case in the U.S., we received what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York called “extensive cooperation and assistance” from the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.

How it all started. In late 2010, the FBI—through our legal attaché office in Beijing—received information from Chinese officials about their investigation of a large-scale child pornography website housed on U.S. servers. And one of their main suspects, a Chinese-born man, was living in New York. So our New York office opened an investigation under our Innocent Images National Initiative and instituted an undercover operation.

The investigation. While the main webpage advertised the various categories of pornographic pictures that were available, our undercover agents—with the help of an FBI Chinese language specialist—discovered that in order to actually view, post, or download the pornography, you had to pay a membership fee ($25 quarterly, $50 annually, and $100 for a “lifetime” membership). The website conveniently accepted all payment types—credit cards, wire and bank transfers, online payments, and even cash that could be mailed to what turned out to be a money transfer office in New York. After becoming “members,” the agents saw hundreds of disturbing pictures and videos of children of all different nationalities engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Through our investigative efforts, we were able to determine that the site—and its related online payment system—resided on the servers of a web hosting company in Dallas and that the subscriber of the website domain lived in Flushing. We also traced two e-mail accounts—one featured on the site and the other affiliated with the website domain—back to the same individual. Through billing information, we learned that the man had made about $20,000 per month from his subscribers. We believe he had been operating the site since at least 2007.

After the arrest, we identified 17 additional Chinese-language child pornography websites he allegedly maintained and operated. We also seized two servers in Dallas where those sites were hosted. All 18 websites have been shut down.

During the course of the operation, FBI and Chinese investigators and prosecutors met to discuss the case and to talk about future cooperation on similar cases.

One concrete outcome of this partnership? The Ministry of Public Security sent its first Chinese officer to join the FBI’s Innocent Images International Task Force and receive specialized training on such topics as legal principals, emerging trends and technologies, and investigative techniques. Once the fall 2011 training session is completed, the task force will number 100 officers in 43 countries. Since its launch in 2004, the task force has built an international network of Internet child sexual exploitation investigators who share intelligence and work joint operations across national borders. Exactly what’s needed to combat the many child pornographers using the Internet to extend their nefarious reach around the globe.

Press release

Marzieh Vafamehr Iranian actress has been sentenced to one year in prison and 90 lashes

This is Iran’s reaction to Marzieh’s screen appearance in My Teheran for Sale.One of the Australian producers of the film producer Kate Croser Adelaide Cyan Films, confirmed the sentence. Neither the producers nor the Melbourne-based film by Iranian director-Australian Granaz Moussavi, declined to comment because Vafamehr family wishes to let the case follow the proper legal channels. Vafamehr appeal the ruling.

Just a thought : Since London is now considered Londonistan with a number of mosques preaching a violent form of Islam why not start parallel Sharia Courts in Britain? Whipping, stoning and other medieval practices could be included in British Law. It would be in line with the nauseous political correctness that appears to be the order of the day.

A missive from a prodigal father to his son

pic by mark ulyseas
“I am a dweller on the threshold
And I’m waiting at the door
And I’m standing in the darkness
I don’t want to wait no more”
–          Van Morrison, Dweller on the threshold

He returned, the boy who refused to grow up, to a strange land. All that he knew had been shifted into the past and in its place something new, throbbing, kicking and shouting confronted his senses. Nothing appeared familiar except the lies, deceit and double dealing. Even the air smelt of unfamiliarity. But the animals recognized him, the prodigal with a penchant for the absurd. And they always greeted him like an old friend who could be depended upon for a hand out, a leftover from a meal neatly wrapped in newspaper.

And as reality kicked in he sat down to write a long delayed missive to his son.

My dearest son,

You are the fruit of my loins and nothing can change this. Often I remember the warm little body wrapped in a clean white cloth as I held you close to me. Your eyes were like stars twinkling on a moonless night. You smelt of curdled milk and your tiny hand reached out to touch my moustache. You smiled when you saw my face for the first time as if we had met before in another time, another place… The sound of you sobbing and announcing, “papa loves me” when I smacked you for being rude to your mother…you were all of six then…  The battle of school was a saga that always ended in the loss of your hankychip (handkerchief). And those dreaded words that were uttered in a tiny voice in cinema halls, weddings and restaurants, “Papa potty”…keep returning when the link between sanity and reality is ruptured by daydreaming.

I never told you why I left nor have we spoken about this.  The silence was deafening and in a way consoling for it covered everything in a thin film of numbness. You know the day I had packed my bags and was leaving your mother I saw your expression…it was then that I realized I had forgotten one thing, to pack a bag for you too. Probably you have never forgiven me for this, I do not know.

I have heard many things about you from your aunts and uncles. They speak with great love and affection for you. They say you are a good and gentle boy. I am delighted to hear this.  Will you become a flying instructor like my father, your granddad? And will you too be like me? I hope not. My greatest wish is to see you living close to Nature because you love animals, a quiet life and of course supporting your favourite football team, Man U with lots of tequila and vodka! Yes, I know I get all the news from your cousin in London!

When you telephoned me late last night to tell me about the goings on in your life and in particular your graduation from college and your first job, I felt relieved for I had assumed you had overlooked my existence. Maybe the time is coming when we will talk, man to man, about all things blight and beautiful…things of the past that need to be put to rest.  And perhaps one day I will be holding your child in my arms and reliving the beautiful memories of you as a baby.

But for now I am happy and content that you reached out to me. I love you dearly my son.

I shall leave you now with this quote from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran.

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”
–          Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

Bye for now, Your prodigal Dad