Insanity: NYC mayor wants to enable drug use


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DEBLASIO WANTS TO SET UP DRUG ADMINISTRATION CENTERS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I want to take you to a story out of The Daily Wire. New York City mayor, Bill De Blasio, recently announced plans to open four supervised injection sites where illegal drug users can get their fix with no fear of arrest while medical professionals stand by to prevent fatal overdoses.

The proposed “Overdose Prevention Centers” would be safe consumption spaces where addicts can self-administer pre-obtained narcotics such as heroin, oxycontin and other opioids.

HARRY REEDER: One elected official says, “Here is another example of liberal insanity,” but I’d like to take it a step back further than that. Whenever we engage in sinful behavior, we engage in that which is destructive and it’s interesting how we will rationalize that which is destructive.

And I try to tell people constantly in counseling situations that sin never makes sense. Sin is insanity — and insane act is what sin is — but we find a way to rationalize it and to make it thinkable because, if you can make it thinkable, you can make it acceptable and, if you make it thinkable and acceptable, you can make it doable.

THIS IS HOW SIN CREEPS INTO SOCIETY

Here, we have an illegal act — that means it’s a sin. Here, we have a destructive act of the body which God has given us to serve Him — the Bible says, “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice,” that we are to buffet our bodies and make them our servants; instead of destroying our bodies, we are to actually build them up — “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature.” Therefore, we try to understand how to be good stewards of our body.

And here are the narcotics that actually destroy and the government has every interest in the general welfare to set an environment whereby people cannot destroy a society by destroying themselves and their marriages. That’s what’s in place. Now the view is, “Well, look, people are doing these drugs, anyway, so let’s make it safe.

IS THE “SAFE SEX” CROWD NOW PROMOTING “SAFE DRUGS”?

Let me give you a comparison. I sat in a school educational committee and I was arguing for a sex education curriculum that focused upon abstinence. I was mocked and ridiculed: “Don’t you understand that our children are going to have sex? We’re not going to teach your sacred sex concept that sex is to be sacred and for procreation within marriage. What we’re going to do is understand that our kids are going to have sex so we want to make it safe for them.”

And I said, “Well, let me ask you something else. Are your kids going to lie?” “Well, yeah, they’re going to lie.” “Well, are we going to have a curriculum on safe lying? Are your kids going to cheat? Are we going to have a curriculum on safe cheating?” Do you think that there are some kids that might steal? Are we going to have a curriculum on safe stealing?”

“Well, no, that would be ridiculous.” I said, “Well, hold it. There’s ‘Do not lie, do not cheat, do not steal,’ and those are commandments of God that were preceded by ‘Do not commit adultery.’ Why is it that you will take those commandments that we know our kids are going to transgress and not teach safe stealing, cheating and lying, but you’re willing to teach safe adultery and safe promiscuity when, in reality, it’s not safe? And I can give you all the statistics of what happens physically and emotionally to people who have sex outside of marriage and that’s the sexually transmitted diseases and the epidemic that cannot be stopped.”

DRUGS ARE NOT SAFE 

People are going to do drugs, so let’s make it safe for them to kill themselves with drugs. How are you going to make it safe to kill yourself with drugs? You’re going to kill yourself with drugs — okay, you stop them from using a dirty needle but the drugs are still killing them.

We’ve got a law that says you can’t buy these drugs, but if they buy the drugs and they can bring their own — remember the old, when you went to the restaurant, bring your own bottle, BYOB, well, here is bring your own drugs — and, if you bring your own drugs, we’re going to give you needles, we’re going to administer it and, if something happens, we’re going to medicate you, etc., etc.

Listen, we already have places to medicate people if they have overdoses and people understand what an overdose is, but now what we’re going to do is help you kill yourself with drugs and, somehow, we’re going to call that compassion and that we are a compassionate society.

MERCY OR MADNESS?

And that’s where the Mayor De Blasio of New York now says to his people, people are doing drugs. We don’t want them to kill themselves with the drugs so we’re going to give them safe drug-taking by giving them four injection sites, provide the injection devices and provide the injection personnel. If they already have illegally obtained the drugs, they can bring them there in order to have them administered.

Now, what are you going to do with them afterward? I don’t know what’s going to take place — I don’t understand any of that — but now you’ve got this insanity of providing a safe environment for somebody to kill themselves with the administration of drugs. While we’re sitting here struggling with this opioid epidemic and everybody knows that it is killing people, what we’re going to do is we’re going to help you administer the thing that’s going to kill you.

NOW THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IS IN THE WRONG?

Now, by the way, we’re going to help you so you kill yourself safely is what we’re doing. That’s the insanity of our sin. And now you’ve got a national government that’s put in a predicament just the same way it is in a sanctuary city because we’ve got a law that’s being violated in that city.

Do we step in on top of the city, which is now promoting the administration of illegal drugs? Is that what we’re going to do — are we going to step in on top of that? What are we going to do with that city? It’s the same issue that they have with cities that say, “We’re not going to administer the immigration policy of the nation.”

And now you’ve got the Drug Enforcement Agency that’s got to step in on top of a city that is actually a drug administration center where people have purchased illegal drugs to have them administered there within the city. That’s where we are in that context.

Now, listen, when we see the insanity of sin, from a Christian world and life view, that should never amaze me. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to step in and speak to public policy that has sanity in order to love my neighbor, but it does mean this: I realize again, and again, and again that the only answer to such situations is the glorious truth of the Gospel.

And so, as one of my friends, who is a federal judge, said, “Harry, the church has to learn to be indignant and outraged over sin and compassionate and caring for the sinner.” And that’s what we have to do.

And what marries the outrage of sin and the love of the sinner is the Gospel message that Jesus Christ, the Judge of all sin, came to bear your judgement for your sin at the cross and has come to give you life so that you can be set free from your sin and that you can actually find a Savior in which you do not need to escape into the death throes of drug addiction.

Therefore, to Mayor De Blasio, what I would encourage you to do, my friend, is I would encourage you to go to those evangelical churches — I can name some of them — who have wonderful ministry efforts to those who are engaged in drug abuse and drug addiction. And the answer is not to enable their drug addiction; the answer is to reach them with the glorious truth of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ so that life can be lived abundantly in Christ, Who gives life everlastingly.

COMING UP WEDNESDAY: MARRIAGE IS GOOD FOR YOU?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on Wednesday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to a story which is rather encouraging. Couples who stay married for the long run end up happier, according to a new study by a Pennsylvania State University sociologist.

HARRY REEDER: Oh, my goodness, you mean the covenant of marriage — a conjugal, heterosexual, lifelong relationship — is actually good for people? Wow. A survey that affirms that? Wow. What would that mean for public policy? What would that mean for our nation? And, by the way, what does that mean for the church in light of where we are as a nation in terms of marriage? Let’s talk about it tomorrow.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

Guest: Physicians are no longer on the front lines of this pandemic — You are

State Health Officer is a difficult role to fill, especially this year. While partisanship and conspiracies continue to divide us, it is the job of the State Health Officer to make decisions for the good of all people throughout Alabama. This is exactly what Dr. Scott Harris has done for Alabamians during (and before) the COVID-19 pandemic.

After reading a recent article about Dr. Harris, I was appalled but not surprised by the fact that he has received death threats over mask mandates and other preventative measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Kay Ivey enacted the first mask mandate on July 16, 2020, at the recommendation of Dr. Harris and others. After the initial mandate, Alabama’s case average and death rates quickly fell. Neighboring states without mask mandates – including Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee – all continued to rise above Alabama’s average.

As President of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, I would like to proudly declare my support of Dr. Harris and Governor Ivey in regard to the mask ordinance, social distancing guidelines, and other measures to protect the citizens of Alabama. Science and data have shown us time and time again that these guidelines work. That being said, why are there still Alabamians who push against these life-saving initiatives?

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While appealing to a sense of personal responsibility should be effective enough, it has proved not to be. What happens when personal responsibility is not enough, and people are endangering others? Mask mandates. Social distancing guidelines. Occupancy limitations.

Physicians and other health care providers have worked tirelessly to serve our patients, even at the cost of our own health and safety. What if I told you that we are no longer on the front lines of this pandemic, but you are? You have the power and capability to stop the spread of the Coronavirus that has taken over 3,450 lives in Alabama and 1.39 million lives worldwide. All you have to do to potentially save a life is to wear a mask in public, socially distance and wash your hands. These simple actions not only save lives, but can also help our physicians and hospital systems not get overwhelmed with patients. You can help keep your family and our families safe at the same time.

As we head into this holiday season, we can’t require people to keep themselves safe, but we are asking them to keep other people safe. Many people could be infected and transmit the disease to others without even knowing they are sick. I just hope that we can recontextualize the mask mandate and see it as a simple act of kindness to protect those around you. It seems like the least we can do for our families, friends, loved-ones, physicians, nurses, and communities as a whole.

John S. Meigs, Jr., MD is the president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama

4 hours ago

Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Lynn Beshear retiring; Kim Boswell appointed as successor

Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced that Lynn Beshear will retire as commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) effective December 16.

Beshear was appointed by Ivey to this position in July 2017, shortly after the governor took office.

Yellowhammer News earlier this year named Beshear a 2020 Woman of Impact.

“When Lynn was appointed, I knew that she would approach her role always thinking of what is best for the people of Alabama,” Ivey said in a statement.

“She has created a collaborative team approach within the Alabama Department of Mental Health to solve intricate problems regarding delivery of services for mental illness, substance abuse disorder and intellectual disability. I am truly grateful for her service to our state and wish her best in her next chapter,” she continued.

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While leading ADMH, Beshear has spearheaded several initiatives to increase access of services for Alabamians with mental illness, while navigating complexities of delivery by the department and community providers.

“It is been an honor to serve as the Commissioner of the department,” Beshear commented. “I am stepping into the next chapter of my life proud of the accomplishments of the department and am incredibly honored to have worked with such dedicated individuals who are committed to improving the lives of others. I profoundly thank Governor Ivey for her trust in me these last three years and have no doubt the department will continue to change the lives of the people of Alabama for the better.”

Ivey’s office in a release outlined that under Beshear’s leadership, ADMH launched Stepping Up Alabama, which uses the national model to reduce the numbers of jailed individuals with mental illness. Alabama is the only state to expand the goal to include ER’s and substance use disorder. It is anticipated that a case management component of Stepping Up will be in place in all 67 counties by the end of the Fiscal Year 2022.

Additionally, three mental health crisis centers were recently announced as crisis diversion centers, with the goal of individuals receiving “the right care, at the right time, in the right place.”

Expansion of school-based mental health, hiring a housing coordinator for individuals’ stabilization plan, and expansion of early childhood services and autism services are examples of ADMH’s expansion of services during Beshear’s tenure.

The governor on Monday also announced she is appointing Kim Boswell to be the new ADMH commissioner effective December 16.

Boswell reportedly has more than 36 years of experience working with individuals with mental illness, substance abuse disorders and developmental disabilities.

She currently serves as chief of staff for Beshear and has been both associate commissioner for Administration as well as director of Human Resources for the department. During her career, Boswell has worked as a planner to improve human service delivery systems, a Program Evaluator, a School to Work Transition Coordinator, and has also served as the State Office Administrator for the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services.

“I’m pleased to announce Kim Boswell as Commissioner for the Alabama Department of Mental Health,” Ivey stated. “She has spent the entirety of her professional career devoted to helping struggling individuals and I appreciate her willingness to serve in this new capacity. Her background as a mental health provider as well as administrator makes her uniquely qualified.”

The governor’s office noted that Kim Boswell is of no relation to ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 hours ago

Report: Democratic-aligned group tried to register dead Alabama woman to vote in Georgia

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday said his office is investigating four different voter registration groups for potential wrongdoing ahead of the state’s crucial January 5 U.S. Senate runoffs.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Raffensperger, a Republican, held a press conference at the State Capitol in Atlanta to outline these investigations.

The theme of the alleged actions by all four groups under investigation pertains to attempting to register people who do not currently reside in Georgia to vote in the Peach State’s runoffs.

One of the groups was founded by Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who lost the Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018; she has still not conceded that election. Her group allegedly solicited individuals residing in New York City to register to vote in Georgia.

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Another group, Vote Forward, is alleged to have attempted to register a dead Alabama woman to vote in the upcoming runoff.

Vote Forward is a 501(c)(4) aligned with Democratic groups and left-leaning causes.

The group’s other prominent Alabama tie?

On Vote Forward’s website, the organization cites its voter registration and turnout efforts in the Yellowhammer State as being effective in helping U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) win his 2017 special election bid.

In fact, the website says, “The project began as an experiment conducted by Scott Forman in Alabama in 2017. Encouraged by the success of that test, Scott and a small group of friends and fellow Opower alumni built this platform…”

On Monday, Raffensperger stressed that Vote Forward and the three other named groups “have a responsibility to not encourage illegal voting.”

“If they do so, they will be held responsible,” he added.

The outcome of Georgia’s runoffs is of paramount importance for Alabama, as U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) will lose the chairmanship of the powerful Committee on Appropriations if Republicans do not win these two races.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has launched a nationwide Georgia Battleground Fund leadership team to aid fundraising in their effort to hold the Senate majority. Led by Karl Rove as national finance chairman, this also includes state chairs and a distinguished team of national and honorary co-chairs.

Katie Boyd Britt — current president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama and former chief of staff to Shelby — is the Alabama state chair for this effort.

“America’s fate rests on the outcome of these Georgia races,” stated Rove. “Democrats have not been shy about what they’ll do if Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi run Congress, so it’s imperative every freedom loving American go all in for Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler so they’re victorious. I’m honored to work with so many great Republican leaders from all 50 states and D.C. to ensure these two Senators have the resources to protect the last line of defense against the Democrats’ left-wing agenda.”

RELATED: Republican organizer leading team of volunteers to aid Senate races in Georgia

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 hours ago

Alabama sets state record for COVID-19 hospitalizations

Alabama recorded its largest yet number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital on Monday as the state’s coronavirus statistics continue to reach alarming levels.

There were 1,717 individuals in the hospital with COVID in Alabama on Monday, eclipsing the previous record of 1,613 set on August 6.

UAB Hospital, the state’s biggest and most prominent medical facility, is currently treating 125 coronavirus patients, a new high for the facility.

“125 patients means 125 patients receiving in-hospital, bed-specific care. These are patients who are either very sick, unable to get better, or potentially unable to survive without medical attention and care,” UAB explained about their hospitalized patients in a press release.

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Clicking image opens interactive chart in new tab (BamaTracker)
(UAB/Contributed)

UAB’s numbers include any patient admitted to the hospital with a diagnosed case of COVID-19.

The hospital’s numbers appear to indicate a worrying spike in the Birmingham metropolitan area. UAB was treating just 79 coronavirus patients on Thursday.

Overall, Alabama’s count of new coronavirus cases remains about as high as it has ever been. On average, 1,733 new cases have been added each day over the last week.

Clicking image opens interactive chart in new tab (BamaTracker)

Yellowhammer News is using statewide coronavirus numbers from BamaTracker in this piece. BamaTracker is a website that collects and displays coronavirus data published by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Additionally, Yellowhammer is counting new cases as those confirmed by a chemical test performed in a laboratory. When adding results from rapid tests and other methods classified by ADPH as “probable” positives, Alabama’s seven-day average rises to 2,206.

Past trends in coronavirus data show that a spike in hospitalizations follows a spike in new cases by 2-3 weeks. A corresponding increase in deaths follows the increase in hospitalizations by around one month.

All but three of Alabama’s 67 counties reported a new COVID-19 case on Monday, indicating continued widespread transmission across the state.

Of all COVID-19 tests administered in Alabama over the last 14 days, 26.1% came back positive, the highest rate the state has suffered during the pandemic.

In recent days, for every eight tests administered, one was positive, per BamaTracker’s calculations.

Approximately 13 coronavirus deaths were reported in Alabama each day over the last week. The state’s death toll now stands at 3,246, with another 332 listed as “probable” but not yet confirmed by ADPH.

Doctors continue to recommend wearing face masks, staying at least six feet apart from others, and washing hands frequently as the best ways to slow the spread of the virus.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

6 hours ago

Alabama’s state Christmas tree to be delivered on Tuesday

Alabama’s official Christmas tree will be delivered to the State Capitol on Tuesday, the governor’s office said.

This year’s tree, donated by Robbins Taylor, Sr., is an Eastern Red Cedar arriving from Letohatchee in Lowndes County.

The tree stands about 35 feet tall and will be displayed on the front steps of the State Capitol building in Montgomery.

Following its delivery, the tree will be decorated throughout the week with lights and other adornments before the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which is scheduled for Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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