Pro-life Volunteer Shot in the Back Over Abortion Bill

The elderly Right to Life volunteer received a ‘gunshot wound to the back/shoulder while leaving a residence during a heated conversation.’

Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, is demanding justice for a broad range of attacks against pro-life volunteers, after an 84-year-old Right to Life Michigan volunteer was shot in the back.

In a September 24 press release, Right to Life reported that an as-yet-unnamed elderly volunteer from Lake Odessa received a ‘gunshot wound to the back/shoulder, while leaving a residence during a heated conversation.’

Interfering Assailant

The RTL volunteer was door-knocking in the area to inform citizens about the dangers of a pro-abortion bill known as Proposal 3, when the alleged shooter, who wasn’t part of the conversation, reportedly attacked the 84-year-old volunteer.

RTL added that there is no known motive for the attack. The assailant was also unknown to the victim, who is now recovering at home. Michigan State Police are investigating the incident.

Proposal 3 is a citizen bill designed to radicalise Michigan’s abortion laws through an anything-goes, vague redefining of “reproductive freedom.”

Current Michigan law only allows abortion where the life of the mother is threatened, and before a heartbeat can be detected.

Activists behind Proposal 3’s suggested legislative changes are largely funded by a far-left wing organisation, the monolithic extremist group ACLU, upwards to the tune of USD $10,628,722.73.

Hamfisted Legislation

Citizens to Support MI Women and Children PAC are opposing Proposal 3, with the support of the Michigan Catholic Conference and Right to Life Michigan.

Explaining the perils of the bill, Great Lakes Justice Centre said in a brief:

“This radical proposal is not solely about abortion; rather, this poorly worded change to [Michigan’s] State Constitution will create additional new rights and invalidates numerous existing laws protecting women, children, and parents.”

The pro-termination of life in the womb proposal opens a veritable Pandora’s box, justified by activists as protecting ‘black minorities and the LGBT community.’

Proposal 3’s ‘contradicts existing laws,’ GLJC argued, making the proposed ‘poorly defined’ amendments bad law.

P3 gives a blank cheque to abortion, allowing for partial birth termination, and would legalise the murder of a baby in the womb ‘based on disability, at any time based upon a child’s disability, gender, race, or for any other reason.’

Among the 16 points provided by GLJC (PDF), Proposal 3 also:

  • ‘Allows a minor child to have an abortion without the knowledge or consent of the child’s parents.’
  • Violates parental rights in directing their children’s upbringing and education…’
  • ‘Creates a right for a minor child to procure a sex change via permanent and irreversible sterilization without the knowledge or consent of the child’s parents.’
  • ‘Allows school clinics to provide contraceptives to children without the knowledge or consent of the child’s parents.’
  • Potentially protects paedophiles, by ‘prohibiting enforcement of criminal statutes against statutory rape and child sexual abuse (MCL 750.520), female genital mutilation — e.g. sex between a 12-year-old girl and a 45-year-old man will now be protected by this new right, so long as the child “consents.”
  • Promotes the exploitation of women by ‘allowing for a forced abortion in potential contracts for surrogacy.

Proposal 3, GLJC concluded, is ‘extreme, undefined, broad, and vague.’

The bill would create a constitutional ‘super-right’ that would ‘inevitably collide’ with civil liberties such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, informed consent, and freedom of conscience.

Forceful Measures

The attack preceded last Friday’s heavy-handed FBI raid and arrest of Mark Houck, after the Biden administration’s Department of Justice stormed the pro-life pastoral carer’s home, treated him like a terrorist, and took the father of seven at gunpoint.

Calling for justice, Live Action founder Lila Rose responded to the two incidents in a lengthy Twitter thread.

Rose rightly pointed out that the shooting was part of an alarming list of increased violence from far-left pro-abort activists, egged on by the Biden administration, post-Dodds v. Jackson, which saw the US Supreme Court repeal Roe v. Wade.

Rose stated:

“The past 12 weeks, we have seen acts of vandalism & violence toward churches & pro-life pregnancy resource centres. We have seen ZERO indictments or arrests from the DOJ. This bias in our justice system is a danger to our way of life & legitimacy of our institutions.”

“Every American must demand justice,” Rose asserted. “Justice for Mark Houck, facing political persecution from our government. Justice for the canvasser shot in Michigan. Justice for the more than 2,000 preborn children killed by abortion daily. Our nation must do better & we must demand it.”

The increase in violence follows Joe Biden’s so-called ‘rally for unity’ in early September, where the President encouraged the idea that “anyone not a Democrat, is to be viewed as a domestic terrorist.”

___

Photo by Mikhail Nilov.

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Pro-life Volunteer Shot in the Back Over Abortion Bill

The elderly Right to Life volunteer received a ‘gunshot wound to the back/shoulder while leaving a residence during a heated conversation.’

Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, is demanding justice for a broad range of attacks against pro-life volunteers, after an 84-year-old Right to Life Michigan volunteer was shot in the back.

In a September 24 press release, Right to Life reported that an as-yet-unnamed elderly volunteer from Lake Odessa received a ‘gunshot wound to the back/shoulder, while leaving a residence during a heated conversation.’

Interfering Assailant

The RTL volunteer was door-knocking in the area to inform citizens about the dangers of a pro-abortion bill known as Proposal 3, when the alleged shooter, who wasn’t part of the conversation, reportedly attacked the 84-year-old volunteer.

RTL added that there is no known motive for the attack. The assailant was also unknown to the victim, who is now recovering at home. Michigan State Police are investigating the incident.

Proposal 3 is a citizen bill designed to radicalise Michigan’s abortion laws through an anything-goes, vague redefining of “reproductive freedom.”

Current Michigan law only allows abortion where the life of the mother is threatened, and before a heartbeat can be detected.

Activists behind Proposal 3’s suggested legislative changes are largely funded by a far-left wing organisation, the monolithic extremist group ACLU, upwards to the tune of USD $10,628,722.73.

Hamfisted Legislation

Citizens to Support MI Women and Children PAC are opposing Proposal 3, with the support of the Michigan Catholic Conference and Right to Life Michigan.

Explaining the perils of the bill, Great Lakes Justice Centre said in a brief:

“This radical proposal is not solely about abortion; rather, this poorly worded change to [Michigan’s] State Constitution will create additional new rights and invalidates numerous existing laws protecting women, children, and parents.”

The pro-termination of life in the womb proposal opens a veritable Pandora’s box, justified by activists as protecting ‘black minorities and the LGBT community.’

Proposal 3’s ‘contradicts existing laws,’ GLJC argued, making the proposed ‘poorly defined’ amendments bad law.

P3 gives a blank cheque to abortion, allowing for partial birth termination, and would legalise the murder of a baby in the womb ‘based on disability, at any time based upon a child’s disability, gender, race, or for any other reason.’

Among the 16 points provided by GLJC (PDF), Proposal 3 also:

  • ‘Allows a minor child to have an abortion without the knowledge or consent of the child’s parents.’
  • Violates parental rights in directing their children’s upbringing and education…’
  • ‘Creates a right for a minor child to procure a sex change via permanent and irreversible sterilization without the knowledge or consent of the child’s parents.’
  • ‘Allows school clinics to provide contraceptives to children without the knowledge or consent of the child’s parents.’
  • Potentially protects paedophiles, by ‘prohibiting enforcement of criminal statutes against statutory rape and child sexual abuse (MCL 750.520), female genital mutilation — e.g. sex between a 12-year-old girl and a 45-year-old man will now be protected by this new right, so long as the child “consents.”
  • Promotes the exploitation of women by ‘allowing for a forced abortion in potential contracts for surrogacy.

Proposal 3, GLJC concluded, is ‘extreme, undefined, broad, and vague.’

The bill would create a constitutional ‘super-right’ that would ‘inevitably collide’ with civil liberties such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, informed consent, and freedom of conscience.

Forceful Measures

The attack preceded last Friday’s heavy-handed FBI raid and arrest of Mark Houck, after the Biden administration’s Department of Justice stormed the pro-life pastoral carer’s home, treated him like a terrorist, and took the father of seven at gunpoint.

Calling for justice, Live Action founder Lila Rose responded to the two incidents in a lengthy Twitter thread.

Rose rightly pointed out that the shooting was part of an alarming list of increased violence from far-left pro-abort activists, egged on by the Biden administration, post-Dodds v. Jackson, which saw the US Supreme Court repeal Roe v. Wade.

Rose stated:

“The past 12 weeks, we have seen acts of vandalism & violence toward churches & pro-life pregnancy resource centres. We have seen ZERO indictments or arrests from the DOJ. This bias in our justice system is a danger to our way of life & legitimacy of our institutions.”

“Every American must demand justice,” Rose asserted. “Justice for Mark Houck, facing political persecution from our government. Justice for the canvasser shot in Michigan. Justice for the more than 2,000 preborn children killed by abortion daily. Our nation must do better & we must demand it.”

The increase in violence follows Joe Biden’s so-called ‘rally for unity’ in early September, where the President encouraged the idea that “anyone not a Democrat, is to be viewed as a domestic terrorist.”

___

Photo by Mikhail Nilov.

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Pro-life Volunteer Shot in the Back Over Abortion Bill

The elderly Right to Life volunteer received a ‘gunshot wound to the back/shoulder while leaving a residence during a heated conversation.’

Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, is demanding justice for a broad range of attacks against pro-life volunteers, after an 84-year-old Right to Life Michigan volunteer was shot in the back.

In a September 24 press release, Right to Life reported that an as-yet-unnamed elderly volunteer from Lake Odessa received a ‘gunshot wound to the back/shoulder, while leaving a residence during a heated conversation.’

Interfering Assailant

The RTL volunteer was door-knocking in the area to inform citizens about the dangers of a pro-abortion bill known as Proposal 3, when the alleged shooter, who wasn’t part of the conversation, reportedly attacked the 84-year-old volunteer.

RTL added that there is no known motive for the attack. The assailant was also unknown to the victim, who is now recovering at home. Michigan State Police are investigating the incident.

Proposal 3 is a citizen bill designed to radicalise Michigan’s abortion laws through an anything-goes, vague redefining of “reproductive freedom.”

Current Michigan law only allows abortion where the life of the mother is threatened, and before a heartbeat can be detected.

Activists behind Proposal 3’s suggested legislative changes are largely funded by a far-left wing organisation, the monolithic extremist group ACLU, upwards to the tune of USD $10,628,722.73.

Hamfisted Legislation

Citizens to Support MI Women and Children PAC are opposing Proposal 3, with the support of the Michigan Catholic Conference and Right to Life Michigan.

Explaining the perils of the bill, Great Lakes Justice Centre said in a brief:

“This radical proposal is not solely about abortion; rather, this poorly worded change to [Michigan’s] State Constitution will create additional new rights and invalidates numerous existing laws protecting women, children, and parents.”

The pro-termination of life in the womb proposal opens a veritable Pandora’s box, justified by activists as protecting ‘black minorities and the LGBT community.’

Proposal 3’s ‘contradicts existing laws,’ GLJC argued, making the proposed ‘poorly defined’ amendments bad law.

P3 gives a blank cheque to abortion, allowing for partial birth termination, and would legalise the murder of a baby in the womb ‘based on disability, at any time based upon a child’s disability, gender, race, or for any other reason.’

Among the 16 points provided by GLJC (PDF), Proposal 3 also:

  • ‘Allows a minor child to have an abortion without the knowledge or consent of the child’s parents.’
  • Violates parental rights in directing their children’s upbringing and education…’
  • ‘Creates a right for a minor child to procure a sex change via permanent and irreversible sterilization without the knowledge or consent of the child’s parents.’
  • ‘Allows school clinics to provide contraceptives to children without the knowledge or consent of the child’s parents.’
  • Potentially protects paedophiles, by ‘prohibiting enforcement of criminal statutes against statutory rape and child sexual abuse (MCL 750.520), female genital mutilation — e.g. sex between a 12-year-old girl and a 45-year-old man will now be protected by this new right, so long as the child “consents.”
  • Promotes the exploitation of women by ‘allowing for a forced abortion in potential contracts for surrogacy.

Proposal 3, GLJC concluded, is ‘extreme, undefined, broad, and vague.’

The bill would create a constitutional ‘super-right’ that would ‘inevitably collide’ with civil liberties such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, informed consent, and freedom of conscience.

Forceful Measures

The attack preceded last Friday’s heavy-handed FBI raid and arrest of Mark Houck, after the Biden administration’s Department of Justice stormed the pro-life pastoral carer’s home, treated him like a terrorist, and took the father of seven at gunpoint.

Calling for justice, Live Action founder Lila Rose responded to the two incidents in a lengthy Twitter thread.

Rose rightly pointed out that the shooting was part of an alarming list of increased violence from far-left pro-abort activists, egged on by the Biden administration, post-Dodds v. Jackson, which saw the US Supreme Court repeal Roe v. Wade.

Rose stated:

“The past 12 weeks, we have seen acts of vandalism & violence toward churches & pro-life pregnancy resource centres. We have seen ZERO indictments or arrests from the DOJ. This bias in our justice system is a danger to our way of life & legitimacy of our institutions.”

“Every American must demand justice,” Rose asserted. “Justice for Mark Houck, facing political persecution from our government. Justice for the canvasser shot in Michigan. Justice for the more than 2,000 preborn children killed by abortion daily. Our nation must do better & we must demand it.”

The increase in violence follows Joe Biden’s so-called ‘rally for unity’ in early September, where the President encouraged the idea that “anyone not a Democrat, is to be viewed as a domestic terrorist.”

___

Photo by Mikhail Nilov.

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Letter Surfaces of Obama Foundation Admitting in 2018 They Keep Classified Documents in Unsecured Storage at Furniture Warehouse

Letter Surfaces of Obama Foundation Admitting in 2018 They Keep Classified Documents in Unsecured Storage at Furniture Warehouse

Hoffman Estates” is a previously abandoned Chicago area Sears furniture warehouse.  The Obama Foundation leased, then re-upped the lease, to use the facility to store all the paper documents from the Obama administration {Location Link}.

The Obama administration told the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) they were going to upload the documents into a digital form for use in the Obama library.  The paper documents were, still are, held at the Hoffman Estates warehouse while this digitization process took place.  It should be noted, the Obama Foundation has never digitized the records, hence they renewed the warehouse lease.

Contrast against the DOJ-NSD legal position about classified records held in the secure facility of Mar-a-Lago, a 2018 letter {Obama.org pdf here} from the Obama Foundation to the NARA is an example of the two-tiered selective justice system.  Within the 2018 letter the Obama team admit to storing both “classified and unclassified” documents at the warehouse: [Page #2, bullet-point 7]

[Obama.Org pdf]

Obviously, there were no raids on Hoffman Estates from the FBI to secure the classified documents.  Nor did the DOJ National Security Division trigger a criminal investigation of President Obama for holding documents, particularly classified documents, against the interests of the NARA while they “digitized them;” a process, which again should be noted, never even began.

The intent of sharing this information is just to highlight the political dynamic within the NARA, DOJ and FBI as it pertains to selective enforcement of presidential records.

Once again, to hopefully save the time of responding to DC inquiry, all of this information is open-source discovery.  It exists in the vast space of the internet and this letter itself is found in the archives of the Obama Foundation itself.

This information does not surface as an outcome of any CTH relationship with any entity who is now, or was ever, part of the Trump administration or the Trump legal team. So, save your insufferable subpoenas.

Readers, researchers and news media can do whatever they want with the information provided.  The source citations are provided. Make it your own, or not.

Source

Senate to Debate Bill Aiming to Overturn NT and ACT Euthanasia Ban

Senate to Debate Bill Aiming to Overturn NT and ACT Euthanasia Ban

The Restoring Territory Rights Bill, which aims to overturn the 25-year-old ban on euthanasia laws in the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory, was introduced into the Senate last week.

It comes after the private member’s bill passed the House of Representatives, 99 votes to 37, on 3 August.

If the bill passes the Senate, it will overturn the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 which has prevented the Northern Territory and ACT from passing laws legalising euthanasia for the past 25 years.

However, ACT Senator David Pocock, who supports the push to allow the territories to legalise euthanasia, has said he is “not confident” the bill will pass in the Senate.

“This is the ninth attempt, so not confident, but really having conversations…clearly, societal attitudes have changed,” he said.

___

Originally published at Family Life International.

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The Rise of Gender-Affirmation and the Silencing of Dissent

The Rise of Gender-Affirmation and the Silencing of Dissent

The rise of the so-called gender-affirmation industry and its relationship with children is one of the most important stories of our time.

Under the guise of science, we are being told that toddlers can know that they have been ‘born in the wrong bodies’.

Under the guise of healthcare, we are being told that it is harmful and cruel to do anything other than affirm a child’s belief that they are a different gender.

Under the guise of medicine, we are being told that it is perfectly fine to treat children with drugs that stunt their natural development.

And if you dare criticise any of this, you run the career-ending risk of being labelled transphobic and turned into a social pariah.

In reality, this remains both an open social and medical debate which is being pursued across the West.

Government Censorship

Not in Victoria, however, where the Victorian Education Department’s LBGTQ Support Policy, available on its website, encourages teachers to assist minors to transition genders without parental approval, or even their knowledge.

There is to be no debate after the Victorian government made it a criminal offence — under threat of fines and/or jail time — to attempt to counsel a child out of transitioning genders.

Other Australian states are considering similar legislation.

This runs contrary to decades of accepted best-practice which treated gender dysphoria primarily with therapy, as most children grow out of these feelings.

The previous federal Liberal government allowed bureaucrats to embed transgender ideology into our health services by mangling language against the wishes of — particularly — women. Even medicare forms referred to ‘birthing parents’ until an outcry led the incoming Labor government to correct it.

Lamestream Media

It is very much a one-sided conversation in which the media, particularly Australia’s national broadcaster, runs a steady stream of pro-transgender stories, while typically ignoring any negative news, such as the tragic stories of de-transitioners seeking to sue for their lifelong injuries.

The ABC was silent when the UK’s main gender clinic, Tavistock, was closed down, with 1,000 families threatening to sue the NHS for harm done to their children.

Meanwhile, you are more likely to find trans puff pieces about a teenage girl who had a double mastectomy.

Hollywood is increasingly pushing LGBTQ+ representation and the idea of gender fluidity onto children and young adults — from Buzz Lightyear’s gay kiss to a transgendered character in The Umbrella Academy.

Disney featured its first transgender character in July.

Labelled and Dismissed

Schools and local councils, particularly in America, continue to integrate Drag Queens into the lives of children despite public backlash against what are traditionally adult performers in sexualised attire performing for toddlers.

A doctor friend of mine who dared to suggest, in a very well-written and calm email, that his local council should not be promoting a highly sexualised all-ages drag show, received a curt response from his local member suggesting he was an ‘overly zealous’ religious ‘bigot’ whose ‘wrongheaded’ ideas were ‘harmful to society’.

Whack!

Consider the dilemma Victorian parents now face. If you complain that your children ought not be exposed to gender ideology, you will be labelled a bigot.

So you keep quiet.

Confused Children

If your child — having been exposed to gender ideology at school or at a community event — ends up momentarily confused during a time when kids are confused about lots of things related to their changing bodies, you will be criminalised if you fail to agree with them.

So you keep quiet.

Children are effectively at the mercy of schoolteachers, health professionals, and the state — instead of their parents. Many agree that this is fundamentally wrong.

It is also logically bizarre. Your child, who is not able to take a Panadol at school without parental permission, is able to make life-changing decisions that often results in permanent medical intervention and sterilisation.

Media commentator Gray Connolly wrote this week that he does not believe this madness will stop until ‘until everyone involved is sued into oblivion and no insurer will cover this’.

At the weekend Libs of TikTok, a conservative social media account highlighting Woke progressive videos, released recordings of a conversation with staff at Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC.

The group’s founder contacted the hospital as a parent asking if they would perform a ‘gender-affirming hysterectomy’ on her 16-year-old.

Both the hospital operator who took the initial call and the hospital staff member to whom the caller was subsequently transferred confirmed that performing such an operation would not be a problem. Hospital staff said that such operations had been performed on children younger than 16.

You can listen for yourself here:

On the recording, you can hear the hospital operator ask:

How old is your patient?’

Sixteen,’ the caller says.

Okay,’ the operator replies. ‘Alright. So they’re in the clear.’

After confirming with a second person over the phone that a 16-year-old would be eligible for a gender-affirming hysterectomy, the caller asks whether it is a common procedure for that age.

Yes, we have all different type of age groups that comes in for that,’ the hospital worker responds.

For the hysterectomy?’ the caller asks.

Yes, ma’am,’ the employee says, adding later that she has ‘seen younger kids, younger than your child’s age’ undergo the surgery.

The recording went viral, and the outrage was palpable.

Media Spin

And the next day the story was picked up by the Washington Post.

Children’s hospital threatened after Libs of TikTok recording on trans hysterectomies.

It continued:

Children’s National Hospital has been inundated with threatening emails and phone calls after an influential right-wing Twitter account published a recording that falsely suggested the hospital is performing hysterectomies on transgender children, a hospital spokeswoman said. The torrent of harassment was accompanied by social media posts suggesting that Children’s be bombed and its doctors placed in a woodchipper.’

So the story was not that two hospital staff told a prospective patient that gender-affirming hysterectomies could be performed on a teenager. The story was that the hospital in which two staff said such procedures could be done was threatened.

The people behind the recording were demonised as ‘right-wing’. Later in the story, they are called ‘activists’.

Notice what the media do here, because it happens a lot. Rather than reporting on the outrageous “thing”, the media demonise the people who noticed the outrageous “thing” and, ignoring the story, make the people who noticed the story.

The Children’s National Hospital has since corrected the record and confirmed that, despite what its staff said, the surgery is not offered for anyone under 18.

This doesn’t change the scorn with which readers are treated if they raise their eyebrows at gender-affirming surgery on children — even if it is only in speculation.

In this case, the whistle-blowers were slurred as hateful, rather than the hospital criticised for managing to make such a strange error with a serious procedure.

It was the error of the hospital staff, not the reporter — and why did the staff make this error? Why did they hold the belief that surgery was available for young children?

And why was their (now corrected) website in error stating that gender-affirming hysterectomies were available to patients ‘between the ages of 0-21’?

The Washington Post doesn’t seem to have asked.

The National Children’s Hospital in DC is not the only American hospital to make this mistake, with a hospital in Boston also exposed by the Libs of TikTok who had to correct the record as well.

These are mistakes, we are told. But again, why are these patterns of mistakes being made in the field of gender-affirmation and young children?

Society is still having a conversation about whether ‘medical care’, as classed by these hospitals, includes giving healthy young girls (at 18) hysterectomies.

I always thought The Washington Post’s advertising slogan — ‘Democracy dies in darkness’ — was meant to imply that the Post existed to shine a light into dark places.

There is a new darkness, and that is the silencing of criticism when it comes to the future health of our children.

Australia doesn’t have a voice in this debate — that has been silenced by the legislation of our premiers — so we must wait to see if legal action in other countries is able to give those harmed by gender-affirmation a voice.

___

Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

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Photo by Alexander Grey.

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Nuts, Biden Administration Plans to Ask Congress for Another $14 Billion For Ukraine

Nuts, Biden Administration Plans to Ask Congress for Another $14 Billion For Ukraine

This has become absurd.  According to an AP report, Joe Biden is planning to ask congress for an additional $13.7 billion for Ukraine within a budgetary request for $47 billion spending package.

According to the report the Ukraine spending request will be inside a package for additional COVID-19 spending, Monkeypox spending and other domestic relief.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is asking Congress to provide more than $47 billion in emergency dollars that would go toward the war in Ukraine, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing monkeypox outbreak and help for recent natural disasters in Kentucky and other states.

The request, which comes as lawmakers are preparing to return to Washington and fund the government, seeks $13.7 billion related to Ukraine, including money for equipment, intelligence support and direct budgetary support. Shalanda Young, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said that more than three-fourths of the $40 billion approved by Congress earlier this year has already been disbursed or committed.

“We have rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and we cannot allow that support to Ukraine to run dry,” Young said in a blog post.

[…]  In Friday’s request, the White House is seeking $7.1 billion to procure additional vaccines and for replenishing personal protective equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile, among other measures. Another $8 billion would go to accelerate research for next-generation vaccines and therapeutics.

Biden is also seeking $2 billion to continue COVID-19 testing programs, including an initiative to distribute free at-home tests that ended on Friday as the government says it is running short on funds. White House officials say they have some tests left in the stockpile, but not enough to provide free tests if cases sharply increase. (read more)

Source

Drug Policy: Smoke Blown in Your Eyes

Drug Policy: Smoke Blown in Your Eyes

Following an Inquiry, the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill 2021 is before the ACT Assembly and aims to amend the Drugs of Dependence Act 1989.

The Amendment Bill, put forward by ALP backbencher Michael Pettersson and supported by the Australian Greens, among other things, raises the personal possession limit of several illegal drugs:

  • Amphetamine: 2 grams
  • Cannabis, dried: 50 grams
  • Cannabis, harvested: 150 grams
  • Cocaine: 2 grams
  • Heroin: 2 grams
  • LSD: 0.002 grams
  • Lysergic acid: 0.002 grams
  • MDMA: 0.5 grams
  • Methadone: 2 grams
  • Psilocybin: 2 grams

The Drugs of Dependence Act 1989 carries penalties for possession, sale, supply of prohibited substances and drugs of dependence.

The proposed amendment aims to overturn the harm-prevention approach of the 1989 Act despite the Australian Federal Police and the ACT Police Association expressing concerns over an expected increase in drug use, criminal activity and drug trafficking as a result.

This is exactly what has happened in many other jurisdictions when possession was legalised, as shown in the official European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) statistics.

On the other hand, under John Howard, Australia implemented the Tough on Drugs policy in 1998, which outlined the possibility of a criminal conviction for any illicit drug use, possession, or trafficking. By 2007, drug use in Australia had decreased by 42 per cent and overdose deaths plummeted 68 per cent. Good drug policy works!

Terrible Cost

The Australian community gets it. They understand the issues around hard drugs as shown in the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey of more than 22,000 Australians. It showed that 99 per cent of Australians do not approve of the use of heroin, speed and ice, 97 per cent the use of cocaine and 96 per cent of ecstasy. Put simply, this Amendment Bill does not pass the pub test!

The harm these drugs cause to social cohesion cannot be exaggerated. It’s the mums and dads that are carrying the emotional and financial burden of addicted loved ones. These families are too often the victims of crime – theft, violence. Rehabilitation is costly for families and quickly eats up hard-earned savings or superannuation.

The number of children who are living out of home has increased in the ACT since 2015 from over 600 to around 900, in many cases, this is the result of an addicted parent or guardian that leads to neglect of the children. Legalising possession of drugs is permission-giving for drug use, which easily leads to increasing drug use and rates of addiction.

Clash with Federal Law

How will ACT legislation stand in relation to Commonwealth law? Given that policing in the ACT is the responsibility of the Australian Federal Police, how will the police operate when the jurisdiction is under federal law?

The Commonwealth Criminal Code (part 9.1) creates a range of drug offences including possession. Will Commonwealth law override the ACT Bill, if it is passed?

At the time of the Inquiry, the Morrison Government responded to this proposed legislation by stating that Commonwealth laws, particularly section 308.1(1) of the Criminal Code, would still apply in the ACT and that it would be expected that the AFP would enforce the Commonwealth law in the ACT.

As Peter Cain, Liberal MLA for Ginninderra, points out in his nine-page Dissenting Report to the Inquiry:

“It is fundamental to the rule of law that a jurisdiction should not enact legislation that is inconsistent with the laws of a superior jurisdiction.

“Further, the police would have different obligations under ACT and Commonwealth law and preferring the ACT approach with respect to these extremely harmful substances would place them at risk. The Legislative Assembly cannot conscionably place this burden on the police.”

Consider the Consequences

The AFP has voiced strong opposition to the Bill. Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw said these laws will make for “a far more dangerous environment” for police and lead to “a more dangerous society”.

A spokesman for the Police Association said:

“The only people who will benefit from this exercise are organised criminals and drug dealers.”

AFPA president Alex Caruana said:

“The Government may as well write a cheque for organised crime and roll out the welcome mat.”

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (ACT Branch) observed that:

“Decriminalisation of dangerous drugs may increase use and therefore increase the presentation of people at treatment centres and pharmacies, and increase the burden on the Territory’s resources.”

The Inquiry into these laws that was conducted by a Legislative Assembly committee itself admitted that drug-treatment services are already over­stretched and inadequately resourced and staffed.

The fact remains that decriminalising hard drugs will increase drug supply and usage, increase crime, increase addiction, increase road trauma and stretch already overloaded treatment services.

This Bill certainly fails the pub test, so it should fail in the Parliament.

___

Originally published at News Weekly. Photo by Igor Mashkov.

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