Salvation Army vs Brian Watters
I wrote an email to Salvation Army Major, David Brunt (Senior Chaplain - Adult Services) a while back expressing my amazement that not all Salvation Army members follow the dark, hellbound rhetoric that major Brian Watters adheres to. Here are three quotes from David Blunt that opposes Brian Watters damnation of the proposed ACT heroin trials in the late 1990s.
‘My Sydney colleague, Brian Watters, unfortunately sees addiction - and I'm quoting him from our own publication, The War Cry, last week - as sin. We find that abhorrent and oppose it totally.’
‘When the heroin trial was first mooted, the Salvation Army in Melbourne put together a paper saying we wanted to be part of the evaluation of the trial if it went ahead. Unfortunately Brian became the Prime Minister's main adviser at that stage. And subsequently, some of our issues have become very blurred.’
‘We see addiction as an illness, a health issue. Down here we don't see it as a moral issue. In St Kilda we set up what's now become one of the largest needle and syringe exchanges in this country. It seems a little ironic, when we're running such an exchange, that at the same time our colleagues are talking about moral issues’
David actually answered my email today which was a bit of a surprise. It's people like David who gave the Salvos a good name and it's why Australians had a positive attitude towards them for so long. I am sure some people still don't realise that they are actually a church and not just a charity group. That says a lot considering all the 'Jesus babble' we usually get from churches especially the evangelists. It's a pity the Brian Watters brigade tried to put their self righteous arrogance into the Salvos and they became just another religious group to many who once supported them.
David's response was simple:
Good morning Terry. Thank you for your kind note, which came as a sense of encouragement to me. I find it strange that the debate on harm minimisation is still going on. Don't give up.
'No Will Power' / 'Weak Minded' Not a Valid Argument
For too long, addicts have been branded as piss weak individuals who won't do the hard work and kick their habit. Many experts have argued for years that it defies logic that so many people can't just kick it while some can do itwith relative ease. The critics would suggest we need to get tougher on these long term addicts because to them it's a matter of self discipline - research is just a cop out for them because good god fearing folks would just grit their teeth and bare it. Everyone's an expert especially the moralists but facts are from scientific research and real experts follow the faith of science. Below is just more evidence that addiction is complex and we need to rethink our drug policy.
There is growing evidence drug addiction can permanently change the brain's chemistry.
A joint investigation by Swiss and Australian scientists has shown the chemicals in drugs can override basic suvival instincts. A Neurobiologist Dr. Chris Dayas says drug addiction can reduce a person's desire to perform basic human functions such as eating. Dr. Dayas says normal behaviour is often replaced by an overwhelming need to take more drugs. New research in to the effect of drugs on the brain is one of the subjects being discussed at a 3 day neuroscience conference in Hobart.
Giuliani is GONE!
Neocon, Rudy Giuliani has finally ended his campaign to be the Republican presidential candidate. After a dismal performance in the Florida primaries, Giuliani, a GW Bush on Viagra, is bowing out before he embarrass himself anymore. He left us with these parting words:
"During 911, I stood up with my fellow New Yorkers and we defeated the Muslim terrorists. Now as we continue to bomb and kill the terrorists abroad, 911 keeps us focussed on why terrorism is so dangerous. The 911 terrorism experience has taught me that another terror attack like 911 from extremist Muslims is possible and if we forget 911 then another Muslim terrorist cell could cause another 911. 911 was the day terrorism changed us ... 911 was a terror attack that no pre 911 world could imagine. Since 911 and after 911, terrorism remains our biggest threat and unless Muslim extremists and terrorism is stopped, 911 will be a terror type 911 terror that only a 911 non terrorist could imagine. 911 terror and terrorism like 911 is terror Muslim 911 terrorist plot of terrorists Muslims like 911, for example, being mayor terror Muslim 911 or terrorist 911 Muslim threat is 911 terrorist bomb 911 Muslim"
I sent out dozens of emails lately to politicians and the media asking them to answer a simple question. Do they support a heroin trial? Surprisingly I have only received 4 responses. Phillip Adams, Andrew Bartlett, Andrew Bolt and Christian Kerr.
Maybe they just don't care? I am guessing there are some who don't want to touch such a dirty subject but a more likely reason is that I am just small fry and probably not worth replying to. What really surprised me though was the bloggers who didn't reply. Are they really that busy or important not to answer? Who knows ... maybe it is such a side issue to most people, it's really not worth a reply. Interestingly though, I have collated quite a list of people who have spoken out but they are mostly politicians or lawmakers.
If you are in the media or a blogger or even a polly and you're reading this, c'mon give me an answer ... I need to know.
Who Supports a Heroin Trial?