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Friday, April 21, 2017

In Portugal, Drug Use Is Treated As A Medical Issue, Not A Crime

Lauren Frayer, NPR, April 18, 2017

Gandelina Damião, 78, is permanently hunched, carrying her sorrow. She lost three children to heroin in the 1990s.

A quarter century ago, her cobblestone lane, up a grassy hill from Lisbon’s Tagus River, was littered with syringes. She recalls having to search for her teenagers in graffitied stone buildings nearby, where they would shoot up.

“It was a huge blow,” Damião says, pointing to framed photos on her wall of Paulo, Miguel and Liliana. “I was a good mother. I never gave them money for drugs. But I couldn’t save them.”

For much of the 20th century, Portugal was a closed, Catholic society, with a military dictator and no drug education. In the early 1970s, young Portuguese men were drafted to fight wars in the country’s African colonies, where many were exposed to drugs for the first time. Some came home addicted.

In 1974, there was a revolution–and an explosion of freedom.

“It was a little bit like the Americans in Vietnam. Whiskey was cheaper than water, and cannabis was easy to access. So people came home from war with some [drug] habits,” says João Goulão, Portugal’s drug czar. “Suddenly everything was different [after the revolution]. Freedom! And drugs were something that came with that freedom. But we were completely naive.”

By the 1990s, 1 percent of Portugal’s population was hooked on heroin. It was one of the worst drug epidemics in the world, and it prompted Portugal’s government to take a novel approach: It decriminalized all drugs. Starting in 2001, possession or use of any drug–even heroin–has been treated as a health issue, not a crime.

Goulão, who had worked as a family physician in his 20s, at the height of the crisis, says there was very little opposition to the policy change.

“Every family had its own drug addict. It was so, so present in everyday life, that it turned public opinion,” Goulão says. “We are dealing with a chronic relapsing disease, and this is a disease like any other. I do not put a diabetic in jail, for instance.”

Under the 2001 decriminalization law, authored by Goulão, drug dealers are still sent to prison. But anyone caught with less than a 10-day supply of any drug–including heroin–gets mandatory medical treatment. No judge, no courtroom, no jail.

Instead they end up in a sparsely furnished, discreet, unmarked office in downtown Lisbon, for counselling with government sociologists, who decide whether to refer them to drug treatment centers.

“It’s cheaper to treat people than to incarcerate them,” says sociologist Nuno Cabaz. “If I come across someone who wants my help, I’m in a much better position to provide it than a judge would ever be. Simple as that.”

Cabaz’s team of 10 counselors handles all of Lisbon’s roughly 2,500 drug cases a year. It may sound like a lot, but it’s actually a 75 percent drop from the 1990s. Portugal’s drug-induced death rate has plummeted to five times lower than the European Union average.

Along a row of abandoned buildings in northern Lisbon, field psychologists took NPR to meet some of Portugal’s remaining drug users. The hillside is littered with needles, and bursting with wildflowers. The sky rumbles with airliners landing at the international airport nearby.

There’s a philosophy book on a cement stoop next to a middle-aged man who’s smoking crack cocaine. He gives his name as Rui, and says the stigma against addicts has eased since decriminalization.

“Now, not so much. It’s less, because the methadone is coming, and people are treating this problem,” he says. “They see the drugs with another perspective.”

Every day, a government van pulls up and gives him a dose of methadone, an opioid that helps wean people off of heroin. It’s a step toward harm-reduction. He still does cocaine, but no longer shoots up.

Drug-related HIV infections in Portugal have dropped 95 percent.

Drug workers hand out packets with clean needles and condoms, and listen to another addict, Antonio, describe his anxiety.

“If the drugs hurt too much my body, I escape a little, and then I come back again,” he says. “But it’s a world I cannot escape! If I turn there, it’s there–it’s everywhere. I cannot escape.”

For every person in Portugal who cannot escape addiction, there’s daily methadone, counseling and free treatment. A generation ago, these addicts were put in jail. Now they’re on the street.

But polls show the Portuguese–having lived through the ravages of a heroin epidemic–overwhelmingly support this policy.

Time to be Honest About the Fear That’s Getting in Your Way

By Carl Richards, NY Times, April 17, 2017

There is something you have been working on, isn’t there?

Something big. Something exciting. Something you have always dreamed of.

It’s that perpetual “work in progress” that you tell only your close friends and loved ones about. The novel that is in “final edits.” That website that you are going to start … tomorrow. That email you are going to send your boss explaining why you are quitting your job to be a full-time freelancer (the mouse is hovering over the send button as we speak).

Whatever it is, the question I have for you is the same: What is stopping you?

If you are anything like me, what happens next is that you put in a lot of work, get super close, and then, when you are almost there, you hit a roadblock. And then another and another.

“What color should the logo be?”

“I can’t find an agent.”

“It could use another round of edits.”

“I’m not sure what font to use.”

Image result for fear a roadblock to success

We spend years working on these grand dreams. We put blood, sweat and tears into getting them to 85, 90, even 95 percent. Then, the next thing we know we are at the library with four books on the science of fonts.

Look, I’m not talking about first drafts here. The hang-ups that keep you from ever getting started is a different column altogether.

I’m talking about when you are so close to the finish line you can taste it. I have news for you: What is holding you up isn’t fonts–it’s fear.

Now, go grab a piece of paper and pen.

On the left-hand side of the page, draw a box and label it, “The Thing I Want to Do.” On the right-hand side, draw another box, and label it, “Actually Doing It.” In the middle of the page, between “The Thing I Want to Do” and “Actually Doing It,” make a list of everything that is standing in your way. Draw a big box around that list and label it “Roadblocks.”

Got it?

Next, grab a Sharpie, and put a big fat line through “Roadblocks.” Above it, in all caps, write “Places to Hide.”

Our own work, when we are judging it ourselves, is never finished or good enough. I have a secret for you: It’s not because we are perfectionists. It’s because we are scared. Scared nobody will like it, scared it won’t work out, scared to be embarrassed.

So, what we typically do is we pick a roadblock, and we hide behind it. Isn’t that funny? Just as we did when we were children and there were monsters in our closets, we hide from our fears.

I want us to be really clear that being scared is not the actual problem. Being scared is human, normal and totally O.K. The problem is when our fears prevent us from making the quantum leap between what we want to do and actually doing it.

Once we understand why we are perpetually stuck at 90 percent, we can make major strides toward 100 percent. It’s no longer about this or that specific roadblock. Now it’s about, “How do I work with fear?”

That is a much better question than, “What font should I use?” and it’s one that is much more interesting.

The Illuminati and the Protocols of Zion - How Deep is That Rabbit Hole?

By Dennis Edwards

Chapter 49 from Where is America in Bible Prophecy?

Time and time again I have sat down to write this chapter and have had difficulty getting started. Why is that? It may very well be because of the importance of the information I will share with you herein. I am talking about a sinister group of men and woman dedicated to the cause of Lucifer and to bringing his rule to earth.

Adam Weishaupt is credited with founding the operational phase of the organization back on May 1st 1776 which he named the Order of the Illuminati of Bavaria. You can read about it on-line[1] or watch former Los Angeles FBI director talk about it on YouTube,[2] However, I believe the Illuminati are descendants of former disciples of Satan since the time of Cain before the flood and later from the time of Nimrod at the Tower of Babel. Some even give credit to Solomon the King of Israel for putting into writing some of the oldest satanic secrets and rituals.[3]

Weishaupt’s goal was to set up a secret society espousing world domination in the service of Lucifer. The society would suppress ‘inferior’ human stock and have violently anti-Christian sentiments. Weishaupt realized that the quickest way to spread the Illuminist message was to infiltrate the rich and the powerful. With the help of Templar Baron Adolph Von Knigge, Weishaupt’s organization was accepted into the Masonic orders where the rich and powerful met. George Washington, a Masonic member, is quoted as to having his doubts about some of the more radical elements in the Masonic Lodges in America, which may be reference to the Illuminist dominated lodges.[4]

Weishaupt envisioned a world in which populations would be controlled by a powerful élite unconstrained by conventional values. Their plans were to conquer nations economically and psychologically. They would control the banking system and control the press. They would have international rather than national goals. They would break down the national populations of the world and bring them under their control and finally bring in a New World Order, a One World Government.

The leadership of the Illuminati movement was later to pass to the hands of Albert Pike. Albert Pike, a Southern Civil War General, was dismissed from his position as military leader during the war because he used American Indians with his soldiers and allowed them to scalp the fallen Northern soldiers. He escaped to Canada where he lived for the remainder of the war. 

After the assassination of Lincoln, he returned to the States and was pardoned of his crimes by the newly promoted Vice-President Andrew Johnson. Johnson had just happened to be a member of the Masonic Lodge which Pike administered before the war. Pike later became head of all the Masonic Lodges and furthered the plans for world take over using the Masonic Lodges as bases. His book Morals and Dogmas was widely read by Masonic Lodge members until 1974. [5] It was through Pike’s leadership that the radicle Luciferian element took over the Masonic Lodges worldwide.
He is the only Southern Civil War general who has a statute in Washington, DC.

The Protocols of Zion were published in beginning of the 20th century exposing the plans of the Illuminati for world domination. Please take time to look at them.[6]The press, however, has denounced them as fakes. But if the press is in their hands, which is what the Protocols reveals, one would expect such a denouncement.

Concerning the Protocols, remember what the illustrious Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, said when asked his opinion.

The only thing I want to say about the Protocols is that they were published ten years ago and what is revealed in their pages is exactly what has happened and is happening up until now.[7]

The Illuminatis believe that Jesus was a counterfeit and that Lucifer is the true Light. Slowly but surely they have worked their plans for world domination and the final revealing of the Son of Lucifer, whom the Bible calls the Son of Perdition,[8] or more commonly known as the Antichrist.[9] 

The sinister web the Illuminati has woven consists of worldwide banking families and their interests, corporate leaders, think tanks, Royal Families, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, Masonic Lodges and other civil associations and fellowships like the Rosicrucian’s, the Rotary Club, etc. Read Des Griffin’s book Fourth Reich of the Rich[10] for more information on this topic. Or watch the movie The Brotherhood of the Bell starring Glenn Ford to get a feel for how this group works.[11]

Through money, sex and power they compromise leaders to fall in line to their international and cultural agenda. True Christianity is their biggest enemy and whom they fear the most. They use whatever methods available to destroy their enemies even sacrificing some of their own to meet their goals.

In Micah we read,

The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asks, and the judge asks for a reward; and the great man, he utters his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.[12]

In other words evil men weave a web of wickedness together. In the International Standard Version they translate the last phrase as

the famous confess their perverted desires, and they scheme together.[13]

These perverted evil men are behind world wars, assassination of world leaders, economic ups and downs, and civil unrest. They control the United Nations, National Governments and political parties, the Courts or at least the key players involved. They have no scruples and use whatever methods necessary to silence their enemies. They control the media, the FBI, the CIA and NSA. National leaders do their bidding following carefully the plans assigned to avoid embarrassment, political defeat, scandal or death.

Does the Bible have anything to say about the above possibility? Many Bible scholars believe that the thirteenth chapter of Revelation with its Mark of the Beast technology is talking about such a Luciferian world government. We read,

And all the world wondered after the beast (the Antichrist). And they worshipped the dragon (the Devil) which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the Antichrist),…And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or his umber of his name…And his number is 666.[14]
The Bible tells us that the Antichrist shall come into power

peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.[15]

He is also considered the author or propagator of the “Holy Covenant”[16] which many Bible students believe will allow for the rebuilding of the Jewish sacrificial Temple on the Temple Mount. The Bible goes on to say,

And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper…Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of woman, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.[17]

Of course, he will have opposition and need to quench them in order to enact his world government. He may very well be responsible for fomenting a peace settlement in the Middle East, the Holy Covenant mentioned above, only later to break it himself because of those opposed to his attempt at world dominion. The breaking of the Holy Covenant with the placing of the abomination that makes desolate[18] is the sign Jesus mentions as the beginning of the terrible period in Bible Prophecy called the Great Tribulation.

When asked by his disciples:

What shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?[19]

Jesus answered with not just one sign, but numerous. He said,

Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows…And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold…And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.[20]

The culmination of these events comes in the next few verses where Jesus says,

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand:)…For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be. And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.[21]

I am sad to say that the horrible days Jesus was warning about are coming closer every day. From what we see in Bible prophecy mankind is moving to the brink of destruction, no doubt because of the use of nuclear weapons or some other weapon of mass destruction.

The good news is Jesus has shortened the days of tribulation to three and a half years so that some of mankind will be left on the earth. He has promised to return to save his own in a super natural event known as the rapture. He has also promised to bring peace on earth for a thousand years. Jesus’ promised return is the only hope for mankind.

But before those promises come to pass, mankind is going to go through its worst period in all of history making the Inquisition, the Holocaust and Stalin’s and Mao’s persecutions look like boy’s play. Jesus said,

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.[22]

Are you ready for the days prophesied by Christ, His disciples and various Old Testament prophets? It’s not too late to open your heart today to the King of Kings and begin your training in discipleship. Stop hesitating and decide. It won’t be long!


[1] (accessed 03/2016)
[2] (accessed 03/16)
[3] (accessed 03/2016)
[4] (accessed 03/2016)
[6] (accessed 03/2016)
[7] Des Griffin, Fourth Reich of the Rich, Emissary Publications, Oregon, 1976.
[8] 2Thessalonians 2:3
[9] 1John 2:18
[10] Des Griffin, Fourth Reich of the Rich, Emissary Publications, Oregon, 1976.
[11] (accessed 08/16)
[12] Micah 7:2-3
[13] Micah 7:3 International Standard version
[14] Revelation 13:3-18
[15] Daniel 11:21
[16] Daniel 11:22
[17] Daniel 11:36-37
[18] Daniel 11:31
[19] Matthew 24:3
[20] Matthew 24:4-14
[21] Matthew 24:15-22
[22] Matthew 24:9

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