Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Millennium Challenge Series #30: A Case Study of the "Pandemics of Male Violence"

Dear Patriotic Ethiopians and Friends of Ethiopia:

Here is a sad story and good case study of the "Pandemic of Male Violence" as a challenge to civilization both at domestic, school, and community level.

Plrease read on: This is a very interesting case study, given the situation, any male enabled with easy access to gun can do much harm regardless of his internal or communal problem.

The challenge is how to disempower young males from terrorizing the whole neighborhoods, that is "controlling the instruments of violence" may be we need a violence instrument disarmament conference side by side to the nuclear disarmament security council fiasco. More people are dying from non nuclear violence tools that is currently wasting lives and communities in the Horn, Middle East and urban centers of America.

All the same this a very telling story of the pathology of young college kids in Ameria and may be in other places too. Behavioral therapy should be part of our strategy to address the "pandemics of male violence" that is holding civilizations hostage.

Dr B
Va. Tech gunman writings raised concerns
By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer

3 minutes ago

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The gunman in the Virginia Tech massacre was a sullen loner who alarmed professors and classmates with his twisted, violence-drenched creative writing and left a rambling note in his dorm room raging against women and rich kids. A chilling picture emerged Tuesday of Cho Seung-Hui — a 23-year-old senior majoring in English — a day after the bloodbath that left 33 people dead, including Cho, who killed himself as police closed in.

News reports said that he may have been taking medication for depression and that he was becoming increasingly violent and erratic.

Despite the many warning signs that came to light in the bloody aftermath, police and university officials offered no clues as to exactly what set Cho off on the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

"He was a loner, and we're having difficulty finding information about him," school spokesman Larry Hincker said.

A student who attended Virginia Tech last fall provided obscenity- and violence-laced screenplays that he said Cho wrote as part of a playwriting class they both took. One was about a fight between a stepson and his stepfather, and involved throwing of hammers and attacks with a chainsaw. Another was about students fantasizing about stalking and killing a teacher who sexually molested them.

"When we read Cho's plays, it was like something out of a nightmare. The plays had really twisted, macabre violence that used weapons I wouldn't have even thought of," former classmate Ian McFarlane, now an AOL employee, wrote in a blog posted on an AOL Web site. He said he and other students "were talking to each other with serious worry about whether he could be a school shooter."

"We always joked we were just waiting for him to do something, waiting to hear about something he did," said another classmate, Stephanie Derry. "But when I got the call it was Cho who had done this, I started crying, bawling."

Professor Carolyn Rude, chairwoman of the university's English department, said Cho's writing was so disturbing that he had been referred to the university's counseling service.

"Sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it's creative or if they're describing things, if they're imagining things or just how real it might be," Rude said. "But we're all alert to not ignore things like this."

She said she did not know when he was referred for counseling, or what the outcome was. Rude refused to release any of his writings or his grades, citing privacy laws. The counseling service refused to comment.

Cho — who arrived in the United States as boy from South Korea in 1992 and was raised in suburban Washington, D.C., where his parents worked at a dry cleaners — left a note in his dorm room that was found after the bloodbath.

A government official, who spoke of condition of anonymity because he had not been authorized to discuss details of the case, said the note had been described to him as "anti-woman, anti-rich kid."

The Chicago Tribune reported on its Web site that the note railed against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on campus. ABC, citing law enforcement sources, said that the note, several pages long, explains Cho's actions and says, "You caused me to do this."

Col. Steve Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police, said there was no evidence so far that Cho left a suicide note, but he said authorities were going through a considerable number of writings.

Citing unidentified sources, the Tribune also said Cho had recently set a fire in a dorm room and had stalked some women.

Monday's rampage consisted of two attacks, more than two hours apart — first at a dormitory, where two people were killed, then inside a classroom building, where 31 people, including Cho, died. Two handguns — a 9 mm and a .22-caliber — were found in the classroom building.

The Washington Post quoted law enforcement sources as saying Cho died with the words "Ismail Ax" in red ink on one of his arms, but they were not sure what that meant.

According to court papers, police found a "bomb threat" note — directed at engineering school buildings — near the victims in the classroom building. In the past three weeks, Virginia Tech was hit with two other bomb threats. Investigators have not connected those earlier threats to Cho.

Cho graduated from Westfield High School in Chantilly, Va., in 2003. His family lived in an off-white, two-story townhouse in Centreville, Va.

At least one of those killed in the rampage, Reema Samaha, graduated from Westfield High in 2006. But there was no immediate word from authorities on whether Cho knew the young woman and singled her out.

"He was very quiet, always by himself," neighbor Abdul Shash said. Shash said Cho spent a lot of his free time playing basketball and would not respond if someone greeted him.

Classmates painted a similar picture. Some said that on the first day of a British literature class last year, the 30 or so students went around and introduced themselves. When it was Cho's turn, he didn't speak.

On the sign-in sheet where everyone else had written their names, Cho had written a question mark. "Is your name, `Question mark?'" classmate Julie Poole recalled the professor asking. The young man offered little response.

Cho spent much of that class sitting in the back of the room, wearing a hat and seldom participating. In a small department, Cho distinguished himself for being anonymous. "He didn't reach out to anyone. He never talked," Poole said.

"We just really knew him as the question mark kid," Poole said.

One law enforcement official said Cho's backpack contained a receipt for a March purchase of a Glock 9 mm pistol. Cho held a green card, meaning he was a legal, permanent resident. That meant he was eligible to buy a handgun unless he had been convicted of a felony.

Roanoke Firearms owner John Markell said his shop sold the Glock and a box of practice ammo to Cho 36 days ago for $571.

"He was a nice, clean-cut college kid. We won't sell a gun if we have any idea at all that a purchase is suspicious," Markell said.

Investigators stopped short of saying Cho carried out both attacks. But State Police ballistics tests showed one gun was used in both.

And two law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information had not been announced, said Cho's fingerprints were on both guns, whose serial numbers had been filed off.

Gov. Tim Kaine said he will appoint a panel at the university's request to review authorities' handling of the disaster. Parents and students bitterly complained that the university should have locked down the campus immediately after the first burst of gunfire and did not do enough to warn people.

Kaine warned against making snap judgments and said he had "nothing but loathing" for those who take the tragedy and "make it their political hobby horse to ride."

On Tuesday afternoon, thousands of people gathered in the basketball arena for a memorial service for the victims, with an overflow crowd of thousands watching on a jumbo TV screen in the football stadium.

President Bush and the first lady attended.

"As you draw closer to your families in the coming days, I ask you to reach out to those who ache for sons and daughters who are never coming home," Bush said.

Virginia Tech President Charles Steger received a 30-second standing ovation, despite the criticism of the school administration.

With classes canceled for the rest of the week, many students left town in a hurry, lugging pillows, sleeping bags and backpacks down the sidewalks.

Jessie Ferguson, 19, a freshman from Arlington, headed for her car with tears streaming down her cheeks.

"I'm still kind of shaky," she said. "I had to pump myself up just to kind of come out of the building. I was going to come out, but it took a little bit of 'OK, it's going to be all right. There's lots of cops around.'"

She added: "I just don't want to be on campus."

Stories of heroism and ingenuity emerged Tuesday.

Liviu Librescu, an Israeli engineering and math lecturer, was killed after he was said to have protected his students' lives by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the gunman. And one student, an Eagle Scout, probably saved his own life by using an electrical cord as a tourniquet around his bleeding thigh, a doctor reported.


Associated Press writers Stephen Manning in Centreville, Va.; Matt Barakat in Richmond, Va.; Lara Jakes Jordan and Beverley Lumpkin in Washington; and Vicki Smith, Sue Lindsey and Justin Pope in Blacksburg contributed to this report.

Full Coverage: Virginia Tech Shootings
Off the Wires
Gunman's writings were disturbing AP, 4 minutes ago
Threats rattle schools in 7 states AP, 6 minutes ago
Feature Articles
Gunman was both methodical and angry at The Los Angeles Times (reg. req'd), Apr 17
Roommates Describe Gunman as Loner at The New York Times (reg. req'd), Apr 17
News Stories
Gun control debate resumes, on one side anyway at The Los Angeles Times (reg. req'd), Apr 17
Sources: College gunman left note at The Chicago Tribune (reg. req'd), Apr 17
Opinion & Editorials
A Disarmed Campus at The American Spectator, Apr 17
The Massacre: Atrocity at Virginia Tech Renews the Search for Elusive Answers at Richmond Times-Dispatch, Apr 17
U.S. News
N.J. gov.'s SUV went 91 mph before crash AP
Murder charge dropped against 1 Marine AP
Threats rattle schools in 7 states AP
LA mayor struggles with big agenda AP
Defense paints slain pastor as abusive AP
Most Viewed - U.S.
A look at some Virginia Tech victims AP
Threats rattle schools in 7 states AP
Names of victims at Virginia Tech AP
Murder charge dropped against 1 Marine AP
N.J. gov.'s SUV went 91 mph before crash AP
U.S. News Video
Virginia Tech grieving: Images of the day AP - 11 minutes ago
21st Century Sorrow ABC News - 22 minutes ago
Kaine calls for 'thorough' review into shootings AP - 29 minutes ago
Parents of injured students speak out AP - 1 hour, 1 minute ago
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Ethiopia's offenses noted by State Dept.

Nick Wadhams
The San Francisco Chronicle
Monday, April 16, 2007

The State Department's 2006 human rights report for
Ethiopia cited "numerous credible reports that
security officials often beat or mistreated
detainees." It included more than 30 pages of detailed
accounts of violations, ranging from the beating of
teenagers to arbitrary arrests to the banning of
theater performances that send the wrong political

Among the most notorious recent cases was a raid on a
high school in the western town of Dembi Dollo.
Students had protested the killing by police of a
local teenager, and began throwing stones. What
followed was a raid by about 30 riot police, who
crashed into the school compound and chased after
students, beating them with nightsticks. Several were
hospitalized. Sixteen of those left standing were
taken to jail.

Many of the most seriously injured were girls because
the boys were strong enough to scale the school
compound walls and flee, according to a teacher who
was in the school during the raid. He spoke
anonymously for fear of arrest.

"First, the majority of students were harmed. Some of
them, their hands were broken. Some had teeth falling
out," said the teacher. "And the majority of them were
female students because the male students already
escaped. The girls just were attacked at that time."

In a recent interview with Al-Jazeera television
network, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi acknowledged that
his country's human rights record was a work in
progress. Still, he said the State Department annual
reports "tend to get things wrong." He has yet to
respond to letters from human rights groups demanding
an explanation for the police beatings in Dembi Dollo.

Concerns about Ethiopia's rights abuses may arise in
the coming weeks in Congress, where Rep. Donald Payne,
D-N.J., is redrafting legislation that would limit
U.S. assistance to Ethiopia if it does not improve its
human rights record. Last year, the
Republican-controlled House of Representatives quashed
a similar bill after Meles' government lobbied hard
against it.


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