A majority of the British public back the legalisation of cannabis so that it would be sold in shops like alcohol and tobacco, a poll has revealed.
There was also majority support for decriminalisation, something that would free up police time and resources to deal with serious crime.
The exclusive BMG Research poll for The Independent comes days after cannabis oil was for the first time brought into the UK legally, to treat an epileptic boy.
But within hours of the landmark moment, a young girl was rushed into hospital and placed on life support while she awaited a licence to get the same oil.
More than 1,500 people were asked if they supported or opposed the proposal that “cannabis be legalised, so that it is sold legally within a government regulated market in the same way that alcohol and tobacco is”.
Overall, 22 per cent strongly backed the move, while 29 per cent somewhat supported it, bringing total support to 51 per cent.
Some 19 per cent opposed the move strongly, and 16 per cent, somewhat, bringing the proportion of those against it to 35 per cent, while 14 per cent did not know.
In 1979, Pope John Paul II visited the Republic of Ireland, and approximately 2.7 million people – 79% of the population – came out to honour him. At the time, contraception, divorce, and homosexuality were illegal, and John Paul II was a god.
On 25 August, when Pope Francis becomes the first pontiff to travel to Ireland in 39 years, he will arrive on the shores of a very different island.
Throughout the 1990s, abuse scandals rocked the Irish Catholic establishment and hastened the process of secularisation. Since then, progressive constitutional and legal change has been slow but consistent, signalling rejection of the church’s moral authority. In 1993 homosexuality was decriminalised; in 1995, a referendum to legalise divorce passed by the slimmest of margins; in 2015, the country voted overwhelmingly to legalise gay marriage; and in June, 66% of the electorate voted to legalise abortion.
The separation of church and state in Ireland is far from complete. For example, the church is still involved in running 90% of state-funded primary schools. It is deeply enmeshed in our medical system. We are still wrestling with the scars of decades of abuse, implemented by the church and facilitated by the state. We are still finding children’s bodies in unmarked mass graves.
But it is not 1979. And while some are preparing for the pope’s visit by pressing their Sunday best, others are making placards and planning protests.
One of these actions – the “Say Nope to the Pope” campaign – is organising folks to book free tickets to papal events in order to leave the seats empty. A pretty civilised and smart act of resistance you would think. Those empty places indicate not an absence, but a presence: a peaceful but legibly indignant presence.
In 1948, just prior to the foundation of Israel, six Polish Christians were executed without trial in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem by the fledgling country’s Jewish army, the Haganah. An investigative analysis on the killings – dubbed the Riftin Report – was compiled for future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, but has never been made public until now.
Official refusal to disclose the document comes despite fervid recommendations by chief Israeli state archivist Dr. Yaacov Lozowick, and the campaigning of the investigative Akevot Institute.
According to Israeli official secrecy laws, the report should’ve been made accessible to the public in 1998 — however, state archivists argued it should remain classified. Dr. Lozowick sought to reverse this decision in 2014, but his recommendation was opposed by Ilana Alon, Director of the Israeli Defense Force and Defense Establishment Archives.
Lozowick’s case for declassification is available via various web resources. In it, he made clear there was “no justification” for refusing to publish the report after so many years had elapsed, and doing so demonstrated “the state has something to hide”.
Cabinet Ministers of the new state of Israel are seen on May 14, 1948, at a ceremony at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, marking the creation of the new state
“If after the passage of more than half a century the state is still concealing certain files from the public, it’s only because they contain particularly dark secrets — that is what the reasonable individual understands. A democratic society is obliged to allow a free discussion of its wars. The discussion is a guarantee of democratic resilience. This file perhaps contains material for such a discussion, but that is a reason to open it, not close it,” he explained.The state archivist’s impassioned plea was nonetheless ignored, and the government committee overseeing the release of classified files blocked its publication for a further five years on unarticulated grounds — however, ministers did not restrict citizens from viewing the report ‘in-the-flesh’ at the Israeli archives. As a result, Akevot Institute researchers located and digitized a copy of the Riftin Report stored at the Yad Tabenkin Archives and prepared to publish it on their website, submitting its version to the Israeli Military Censor for review in November 2017. Several months later, they received a response.
“After Akevot issued a letter demanding the Censor give its decision within seven days, Akevot was provided with a copy of the report with each of the pages circled and stamped with the word “on hold”, in other words, barred from publication pending the final decision of the Military Censorship [committee]. Despite several reminders, for the past eight months, the [committee] has yet to provide a decision whether to allow the publication of this March 1948 document,” the group writes.
For the organization, the Riftin Report saga is a palpable microcosm of the wider issue of Israeli government determination to suppress archival material implicating the state in atrocities carried out against civilians when the country was in its infancy. For instance, the Military Court of Appeals is currently reviewing a historian’s request to declassify files relating to the 1956 Kafr Qasim massacre — an application steadfastly opposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israeli Military Censor, and IDF Information Security Department. Authorities likewise repeatedly blocked attempts to declassify files related to the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre, although ultimately settled for publishing heavily redacted versions due to public pressure.
In Nov 2017 we submitted to the Military Censor’s review a 1948 document describing an investigation into serious crimes. Eight months later the Censor has yet to provide a decision approving or denying release of the Riftin Report: https://t.co/xdLZPmK5Bcpic.twitter.com/OoBfhRRoRA
”While many of [these] incidents are discussed in the press and in historical literature, the state goes to great lengths to withhold publication of archival records documenting the incidents and the state’s responses to them, citing the need to protect national security and foreign relations. The result is the distortion of history and denial of both a record of our near past and the ability to have a fact-based discussion about war crimes committed by IDF soldiers and members of the security forces over the years, including before statehood, and how to reckon with them,” Akevot argues.
Further complicating the picture is the recent publication of an extensive summary of the Riftin Report by leading Israeli media outlet Haaretz — their analysis refers to the document as “difficult reading”, despite the passage of decades.
The report apparently doesn’t resolve key questions of who the slain Polish Christians were, why they were in Tel Aviv immediately prior to Israel’s creation, and why they were killed in quick succession. However, it documents their fates with some detail.
“Three weeks ago, a Polish Christian was arrested in Tel Aviv and taken to Yona base. He was not interrogated. His guard shot and killed him. The body was taken and thrown into Hadassah Garden,” Haaretz quotes.
Тель-Авив вошел в тройку лучших городов мира по версии Lonely Planet
A later case involved another Polish Christian again arrested in Tel Aviv, on what is now Ben-Gurion Boulevard. His interrogation, in which he was avowedly subjected to torture, apparently exposed him as an underworld figure involved in robberies from an early age — it was also established he had “ties the Germans abroad”. The account ends curtly, stating “there was a suspicion that he was not sane. Executed.”
As the Catholic Church battles to stem their continuing exposure of clerical pedophilia, detectives have uncovered an “unprecedented” amount of child pornography including images, videos and other explicit content discovered within the walls of the Vatican.The Vatican Promotor of Justice, Gian Piero Milano, released a report in response to the allegations which he read in full to Catholic Church officials during a judicial ceremony.Due to the Catholic Church’s internal investigations protocol, Milano claims he is under no legal obligation to actually name names of people accused of pedophilia and possessing child pornography.However, Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Holy See, showed a rare display of openness and named Archbishop Josef Wesolowski as one of the accused that had triggered the investigation.Although this may seem like a forthcoming gesture by the Vatican, reports of Wesolowski not only possessing more than 100,000 images and videos of children being forced into sex acts but also of him sexually abusing multiple children in Poland and the Dominican Republic have already previously been exposed in 2014.
Due to the Vatican’s internal policies, Wesolowski was investigated but escaped jail for “his own protection”.In an unusual move by the church, the high-ranking Catholic official was facing trial from the Vatican’s prosecution for his crimes and had been placed under “protective” house arrest, but mysteriously died before the case even reached a “courtroom”.The lack of justice following his death left many of his victims frustrated with suggestions that the only reason for the house arrest is the fact that word got out that he was allowed to roam free after he was quietly whisked away from the Dominican Republic and back to the Catholic city-state by Vatican officials in order to avoid prosecution there.
According to Church and State, the descriptions of what was actually found on Wesolowski’s computer were more than a little stomach-churning:There were more than 160 videos of teenaged boys being forced to masturbate for the camera and perform sex acts on one another.In addition, the boys were raped and forced to perform sex acts on adults, as well.Wesolowski was tedious and protective of his child porn collection, filing more than 86,000 images into categories in locked folders.In addition to the images and videos present on the computer, at least 45,000 others had already been deleted.
This article about the British charitable organisation, the Campaign against Anti-Semitism (CAA), and its officers, Gideon Falter and Steve Silverman, examines events in England but ought to serve as a cautionary message for Canadians and Americans.
The article will delve into the corrosive methods of the CAA; review the manner in which this ultra Zionist group “discovers” anti-Semitic “incidents”; examine their inaccurate statistical “studies” and see how they seek to intimidate political parties, venues, the press and others; and look at the court cases which the CAA has prosecuted. In the guise of fighting anti-Semitism, the CAA has managed to manoeuvre British society into abdicating its core liberal values, intimidate the prosecutorial and judicial system, and silence criticism of Israel in both social media and the mainstream media.
The CAA does not just attempt to limit speech; it openly follows a scorched earth policy “that if someone commits an anti-Semitic act in the UK (including criticism of Israel)” the CAA “ensure[s] ruinous consequences, be they criminal, professional, financial or reputational”.
For example, in the last 18 months Britain’s largest political party, the Labour Party, has suspended and expelled over a hundred of its members for expressing their views on Israel or Jewish history. Presumably these dismissals act as a deterrent to others who might also wish to express their opinions. Hard as it is to believe, in 21st century Britain people have been imprisoned for trying to be funny…
The CAA’s “success” in Britain is not irrelevant to Americans. Despite the First Amendment, rules limiting speech have been creeping into our society, notwithstanding our constitutional protections.
In 2006 Rowan Laxton was using an exercise bike alone on the mezzanine floor of a London gym when he saw a television report about an elderly Palestinian man killed by the Israeli assault on Gaza. Laxton allegedly exclaimed: “F…..g Israelis! F…..g Jews!” Gideon Falter (now head of the CAA) and William Lemaine, who were on a lower floor using weights, claimed to have overheard Laxton, and complained to staff at the gym.
The police were going to let Laxton off with a caution but, before it could be arranged, Falter found out that Laxton was a senior Foreign Office official and brought the story to half a dozen newspapers. The police decided to proceed with a prosecution.
Laxton was initially found guilty of “using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour… within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby…” aggravated by using abusive words that had a racial or ethnic element. Laxton was fined and removed from his Foreign Office position.
Laxton exercised his right to an appeal and a rehearing wherein the Crown Court found that Laxton did not say “f…..g Jews”, the comment on which the prosecution was based and which he had always denied. The court also found, as an alternative ground, that Laxton would have thought no one was within earshot.
The Daily Mailplayed a key role in ensuring that the case received national attention and went to trial, but seems not to have reported the appeal and acquittal at all. It is an open question of how Falter heard Laxton’s alleged outburst, if at the time no one was within earshot of Laxton. One reasonable assumption is that the court did not believe that Falter actually heard Laxton’s statement.
Eight years after the Laxton incident, Gideon Falter founded the Campaign Against Anti-Semitsm, a hardcore Zionist charity that advocates zero tolerance of, and vows to ensure “criminal, professional and reputational consequences”, to those it decides are anti-Semites.
Often left-brain subscribing folks love this argument so much that they would pin it to the wall of their finest victories, showing off how sharp their minds really are.
Throw them a near-death experience and they would write it off as chemical reactions before the brain shuts down.
Throw them a kiss, and they debunk into neurological processes.
Spirituality doesn’t take you away from reality, as some critics of free thinking spirituality would claim, it gets us in touch with Reality V2.
I like both sides of the tale, since a kiss will carpet bomb the nervous systems with all the cool drugs we can produce inside, and the other side, the spiritual side, just adds to that – and a kiss can send you eons back in time, and make you write inspiring poems about the anatomy of love.
It seems so silly not to embed both sides of the story, for whatever story we are telling or experiencing. Luckily the war between science and spirituality, the more subjective way of experiencing life, seems to have gone into a ceasefire, as goes for personal belief patterns. I wish it would do the same when the talk targets alternative treatments, mostly homeopathy. But again, some alternative treatments are way out there and so are the treatments that pure science has to offer.
Before we even enter those thoughts or beliefs, either in Science or in Spirituality, it might help to define: Objective Reality and Subjective Reality.
Science would say that 1 kilo of Sugar is one kilo of sugar.
I know that, but sometimes it feels heavy and sometimes it feels light. Depends. So the idea of 1 kilo is impacted by something else: Could be the mood, could be laziness, could be that I don’t dig sugar. But it still is 1 kilo.
So why agree or why disagree?
Not that important really.
Science has just been to Mars (I presume its true). Visionaries have remote viewed the planet for decades and found life. But that’s highly subjective and a question of belief in their abilities. Well, I raise the same concern whether folks have set foot on the moon or a rover has run on the reddish planes of Mars.
With the concept of ‘Reality’ now morphing into science: I think I have seen 100 headlines from Science: We live in a hologram or Reality is not real – well, that is actually what enlightened people have been saying and seeing and sensing for millennia.
Good, but anyway: Those bills on the desk; who doesn’t really know how to stay in line; or a lover’s breakup, or a broken arm; sure feels real no matter if it hits cutting edge science or somebody drifting away strung out on funny mushrooms while repeating the ‘OM’ in an endless chant.
So if this reality is manufactured fiction posing as reality – it’s confusing and if folks out there who scream “Reality is a hoax” would please explain this predicament once and for all it would be so relieving. Haven’t met anybody yet. Haven’t read anybody yet.
At one point the left brainer might be right, since along the spiritual path there will come a time where we will have a really hard time plugging into the reality that surrounds us. We seem to forget it: Shit, the rent was due 5 weeks ago, should have paid it.