Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
last updated: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:46:24 -0500

School Shooting's Survivors Cry As Florida House Rejects Talks On Assault Weapon Ban

School Shooting's Survivors Cry As Florida House Rejects Talks On Assault Weapon BanSurvivors of last week’s school shooting in Florida were brought to tears as state lawmakers refused to debate a gun control measure in Tallahassee on Tuesday.


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15 Most Stressful Jobs in the World

Everyone has a bad day at work now and then. But if you have one of these 15 Most Stressful Jobs in the World, even one bad day can get you or someone else killed. From EMT to Coal Miner to Ice Road Trucker, these are the jobs that will keep you up at nights!


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Herald Sun | Breaking News
last updated: Sun, 28 Aug 2016 22:01:00 GMT

Canal jumper released on bail
AN 18-year-old man who jumped into a canal at Surfers Paradise to avoid being arrested by police on Wednesday night has been granted bail.

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Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
last updated: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:14:25 -0500

'Pathetically Weak': Father Of Student Slain In Florida Excoriates Marco Rubio

'Pathetically Weak': Father Of Student Slain In Florida Excoriates Marco RubioFred Guttenberg, the father of a student killed last week in the massacre at a Florida high school, slammed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)


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Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
last updated: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:50:08 -0500

'Pathetically Weak': Father Of Student Slain In Florida Excoriates Marco Rubio

'Pathetically Weak': Father Of Student Slain In Florida Excoriates Marco RubioFred Guttenberg, the father of a student killed last week in the massacre at a Florida high school, slammed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)


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Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
last updated: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:03:58 -0500

'Pathetically Weak': Father Of Student Slain In Florida Excoriates Marco Rubio

'Pathetically Weak': Father Of Student Slain In Florida Excoriates Marco RubioFred Guttenberg, the father of a student killed last week in the massacre at a Florida high school, slammed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)


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Herald Sun | Top Stories
last updated: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:41:00 GMT

Response from Eddie, AFL not nearly enough
THERE'S so much wrong about the Eddie McGuire-James-Brayshaw-Danny Frawley pack mentality attack of Caroline Wilson. As was the AFL's insipid response on Monday.

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Secret tape not the only talking point
THE reasons behind a decision to release a secret expletive-laden recording of former Chief Justice Tim Carmody are almost as juicy as the tape is expected to be.

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Digg Top Stories
last updated: Thu, 22 Feb 2018 02:32:29 +0000

What Ever Happened To Brendan Fraser?
GQ's Zach Baron reports on the stupendous rise and surprising disappearance of the once ubiquitous movie star.

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Uber will aggressively invest in Southeast Asia, won't let SoftBank rule it: CEO
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc's [UBER.UL] chief executive pledged to continue investing aggressively in Southeast Asia even though the U.S. ride hailing firm expects to lose money in the fast growing market due to costly battles with rivals such as Grab.

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BuzzFeed - Latest
last updated: Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:56:30 -0500

Town Hall Irate

A Father Who Lost His Daughter In The Florida School Shooting Grilled Marco Rubio


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TIME
last updated:

Ask Dr. Ruth: Where’s My G-Spot?
Q: My partner and I still can’t find my G-spot, any tips? A: I’m not in the camp of believers. Still, so many women have reported being able to have a more intense orgasm through G-spot stimulation, I also can’t say it doesn’t exist. This is where the confusion comes in, and why I say,…

Q: My partner and I still can’t find my G-spot, any tips?

A: I’m not in the camp of believers. Still, so many women have reported being able to have a more intense orgasm through G-spot stimulation, I also can’t say it doesn’t exist. This is where the confusion comes in, and why I say, don’t allow yourself to get frustrated because you can’t find your G-spot. And most importantly, don’t blame your partner. Don’t say to him: “You’re a lousy lover since you can’t give me G-spot orgasms.” And don’t even think that to yourself because that would be very unfair to him.

On the other hand, I’m all in favor of couples exploring their bodies for any highly sensitive areas, and yes, that includes possibly finding your G-spot. Don’t do it to the point where one or both of you is feeling frustrated. Just do it in a slow and sexy way, and if you feel something extra, great, and if you don’t, just move on — or up to your clitoris. It has been scientifically proven to be the seat of a woman’s orgasm so giving it the proper stimulation is sure to lead to the result you desire: an orgasm. Maybe not one that is extra intense, but at least one that will leave you satisfied, which should be your actual goal.

And as I said, don’t limit yourselves to stimulating the genitals. You might find other parts of your body that are extremely sensitive when stimulated. Even if this activity doesn’t lead to an orgasm, as long as it’s pleasurable, then it’s worth doing.

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Were Sent a Letter Containing White Powder
The letter caused a full security scare

Police in London are investigating a letter sent to a royal palace, reportedly addressed to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, containing a threatening white powder.

The letter caused a full security scare, but an analysis of the substance found it to be harmless. The letter was sent to the couple on Feb. 12, according to London’s Evening Standard newspaper, which said the powder was purported to be anthrax, used as a weapon by bioterrorists.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police confirmed a suspicious package had been delivered to St James’ Palace on Feb. 12, but did not name the intended recipient: “Police are investigating after a package containing a substance was delivered to St James’ Palace on Monday, 12 February. The substance was tested and confirmed as non suspicious. Officers are also investigating an allegation of malicious communications which relates to the same package.”

St James’ Palace contains the homes of Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, and Princess Alexandra, the Queen’s cousin. Earlier reports suggested that the letter had been sent to Kensington Palace, the home of Kate Middleton and Prince William.

A similar incident occurred in the U.S. the same week, when Donald Trump Jr.’s wife, Vanessa, opened an envelope that contained white powder, felt nauseous and was taken to New York City hospital as a precaution. A police department spokesman says a preliminary test of the powder indicated it wasn’t dangerous.

A spokesperson for the royal family told TIME that the palace would not be commenting on the story.

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Mimi O’Donnell: Forgiveness Helped Me Heal After Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death
The partner of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman writes about forgiveness after the actor passed away from an overdose

Drug overdoses kill more than 64,000 people per year, and are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. To document the nation’s devastating opioid crisis, TIME sent photographer James Nachtwey and deputy director of photography Paul Moakley across the country to gather stories from the frontlines of the epidemic. The result, The Opioid Diaries, is a visual record of a national emergency and a call to action.

When I lost Phil to a drug overdose, I found that I couldn’t begin to move on until I started to forgive. I had to forgive myself, him and anyone I thought could have done more to prevent the final outcome. In order to forgive, however, I had to let the emotions of anger, guilt and shame play out. When Phil died four years ago, I was so overwhelmed, vulnerable and cracked open that anger became my protective shield, the only thing between me and collapse.

When Phil relapsed, like so many others, I felt alone and shocked, and didn’t know where to turn for help. I was also ashamed to ask for help. And shame is powerful. It keeps addiction hidden and allows it to continue. I wondered if I had talked to more people, asked for more help — screamed louder — if it would have saved his life. When he died, I and many around him, felt so guilty. There’s this guilt of not doing more that I think is inevitable. But time really does heal, and as it’s passed, over the last year or two, I’ve started to understand how to forgive.

One of the initial things that helped soften my anger was physically letting go of his belongings. When Phil died, I kept every receipt, cigarette butt anything he touched as a way to hold onto his memory. It took a long time for me to accept that he was never coming home again. But life has a way of nudging you forward and about a year and a half after he passed, I discovered a moth infestation in my apartment. I opened the closet where many of Phil’s clothes were, and most of them were full holes. As I began to remove his physical things, my anger started to subside and other emotions, more softer and vulnerable ones, started to come in. I had to fully accept that Phil’s death was final. I also had to accept that I was now a single mother of three, something I did not want, but that’s where I was. Forgiveness is attached to ego; it’s humbling.

I also had to own how Phil passed. It was hard enough to utter the word “dead” and even more difficult to say the cause was a heroin overdose. But saying it has been very powerful for me and for my kids. It has allowed us to start to shed the shame. Still, forgiving Phil has not been easy. When he was using, I was furious and fearful. But at the same time I loved him, and had to balance these extreme emotions. I have continued to feel these extreme emotions even after his death, but I’ve come to realize that under the intense anger is the plain fact that I miss him. I wish he was still here.

Raising our children every day has also helped me to heal. They are astounding human beings, and I see Phil in each of them. I’ve also come to understand the most basic truth, that the world and life go on, and we are here for such a short time. I am beyond grateful for my life with Phil. Most of the wonderful things I have are because of him, including my kids, and that’s enough. Even though the addiction was destructive, what he did when he was alive is still here. It’s still relevant. It’s still happening. It’s this awareness that’s helping me forgive and move on.

Forgiveness also let me set aside blame. When we’re blaming ourselves, the addict or the system, judgement comes into play and that stunts the conversation of how we can truly address this brutal problem.

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Rev. Barber: How We Can Address Racial Inequalities in Handling Drug Addiction
Drug overdoses kill more than 64,000 people per year, and are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. To document the nation’s devastating opioid crisis, TIME sent photographer James Nachtwey and deputy director of photography Paul Moakley across the country to gather stories from the frontlines of the epidemic. The result, The…

Drug overdoses kill more than 64,000 people per year, and are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. To document the nation’s devastating opioid crisis, TIME sent photographer James Nachtwey and deputy director of photography Paul Moakley across the country to gather stories from the frontlines of the epidemic. The result, The Opioid Diaries, is a visual record of a national emergency and a call to action.

Desmond Tutu, the prophetic voice of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, was right when he said we have “no future without forgiveness.” Americans cannot talk about forgiveness around the opioid crisis, however, without facing the ugly truth that we denied this grace to black and brown people in the War on Drugs. Yes, all people deserve a chance to heal from addiction. But both Republicans and Democrats failed to see this until the harsh drug laws they passed in the 1980s and 90s started impacting white people.

As a pastor, I know that every addiction reveals a place of hurt. As a patient who deals with excruciating pain from a crippling form of arthritis, I have compassion for any person who turns to drugs in an effort to alleviate any agony. But as a preacher in the public square, I must lift up the cry of the prophets. “Woe unto you who legislate evil,” Isaiah says, “and rob the poor of their rights.” Racial disparity in consequences for drug addiction is no accident. It is the direct result of public policy.

According to the NAACP, the incarceration rate for black Americans with drug charges is six times that of their white neighbors, despite the fact that black and white people use drugs at similar rates. As Michelle Alexander has argued, this disparity in our criminal justice system is a direct result of policy decisions made after the civil rights movement, when white people in all parts of America held onto political power by promising to be tough on “black” crime. The resulting devastation of black and brown communities is a 21st-century manifestation of America’s addiction to white supremacy.

More recent research by Boston University’s Astha Singhal suggests that impact of the opioid crisis on white communities may itself be a result of implicit racial bias. As doctors have tried to address the crisis by prescribing fewer opioids for pain relief, Singhal’s research found that African-Americans have been denied opioids at significantly higher rates. Ironically, more white people have become addicted to prescription pain killers because doctors have, however unconsciously, been more willing to believe white patients’ pain.

Last year the federal government invested $7.5 billion in prisons while Congressional leadership argued we cannot afford to offer basic access to healthcare in the world’s richest nation. By criminalizing addiction, we have chosen to invest in punishment rather than public health. Politicians who pass bills to fund opioid treatment programs while refusing to the reduce the mandatory minimum sentences that hundreds of thousands of black and brown people face are not practicing social forgiveness.

The opioid crisis reveals that systemic violence never just hurts one group of people. In fact, more white people are impacted by mass incarceration and the denial of Medicaid expansion, particularly in Southern states where poor whites and people of color have been pitted against one another for generations. Take Mashyla, a young white woman who has experienced homelessness in Washington State. Mashyla comes from a poor white community that has been ravaged by the opioid crisis because many people there haven’t known where else to turn for relief from the poverty they are experiencing. But Mashyla has joined faith leaders, anti-poverty activists and workers because, in her words, “when they threw out the ‘white trash,’ they forgot to burn it.” Her witness gives me hope that the healing we most need is in fact possible.

The forgiveness and social healing we most need is the unity of poor black, white and brown people to change the political culture in which addiction has been criminalized. It’s not enough to simply argue that we need a public health approach to the opioid crisis. We know that the forces behind our punitive justice system have far too much invested in maintaining power to change on their own. It is time to shift the moral narrative of this country.

Barber is President of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. He is the author of The Third Reconstruction, with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.

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Flea: The Temptation of Drugs Is a B*tch
The bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers reflects on how he overcame addiction

Drug overdoses kill more than 64,000 people per year, and are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. To document the nation’s devastating opioid crisis, TIME sent photographer James Nachtwey and deputy director of photography Paul Moakley across the country to gather stories from the frontlines of the epidemic. The result, The Opioid Diaries, is a visual record of a national emergency and a call to action.

I’ve been around substance abuse since the day I was born. All the adults in my life regularly numbed themselves to ease their troubles, and alcohol or drugs were everywhere, always. I started smoking weed when I was eleven, and then proceeded to snort, shoot, pop, smoke, drop and dragon chase my way through my teens and twenties.

I saw three of my dearest friends die from drugs before they turned 26, and had some close calls myself. It was a powerful yearning to be a good father that eventually inspired a sense of self-preservation, and in 1993 at the age of 30 I finally got that drugs were destructive and robbing my life force. I cut them out forever.

Temptation is a bitch though. All my life I’ve gone through periods of horrific anxiety: a tightness in my stomach that creeps up and squeezes my brain in an icy grip. My mind relentlessly whirring, I can’t eat or sleep, and I stare into a seemingly infinite void of despair, a bottomless pit of fear. Ouch. Man, drugs would fix all that in a flash.

Once you’ve opened the door to drug abuse, it’s always there, seducing you to come on in and get your head right. I can meditate, exercise, pray, go to a shrink, work patiently and humbly through my most difficult relationship problems, or I could just meet a dealer, cop a bag of dope for $50 and fix it all in a minute.

What I’ve learned is to always be grateful for my pain. That mindset has helped me stay away from the temptation of drugs.

I didn’t get clean through rehab or a 12-step program. I believe wholeheartedly in organizations like AA, but that was not my path. What worked for me was learning that the best way to grow is to consciously experience the hard times. I had a burning desire for good health and love, and found that I had to go through periods of suffering to get there. That realization was not easy, but it freed me up to have faith in myself. A clear head has allowed me to walk through to the other side of pain and addiction, and there I’ve found real success, joy and strength.

 

flea-opioids-essay
Courtesy of FleaFlea at age 26 with his one year old daughter, Clara Balzary.

But back when I was a petty thievin’ Hollywood street urchin running feral, and doing every drug in the book, the dangers were clear. Cops busted me, drug dealers burned me, accidental overdoses happened and scary gun-toting criminals lurked in the shadows. To step into this seedy world of narcotics was obviously dangerous.

But what if your dealer was someone you’d trusted to keep you healthy since you were a kid? Many who are suffering today were introduced to drugs through their healthcare providers. When I was a kid, my doctor would give me a butterscotch candy after a checkup. Now, they’re handing out scripts. It’s hard to beat temptation when the person supplying you has a fancy job and credentials and it’s usually bad advice not to trust them.

A few years ago I broke my arm snowboarding and had to have major surgery. My doctor put me back together perfectly, and thanks to him I can still play bass with all my heart. But he also gave me two-month supply of Oxycontin. The bottle said to take four each day. I was high as hell when I took those things. It not only quelled my physical pain, but all my emotions as well. I only took one a day, but I was not present for my kids, my creative spirit went into decline and I became depressed. I stopped taking them after a month, but I could have easily gotten another refill.

Perfectly sane people become addicted to these medications and end up dead. Lawyers, plumbers, philosophers, celebrities — addiction doesn’t care who you are.

There is obviously a time when painkillers should be prescribed, but medical professions should be more discerning. It’s also equally obvious that part of any opioid prescription should include follow-up, monitoring and a clear solution and path to rehabilitation if anyone becomes addicted. Big pharma could pay for this with a percentage of their huge profits.

Addiction is a cruel disease, and the medical community, together with the government, should offer help to all of those who need it.

Life hurts. The world is scary and it’s easier to take drugs than work through pain, anxiety, injustice and disappointment. But by starting with gratitude for the rough times, and valuing the lessons of our difficulties, we’ve got the opportunity to rise above them and be healthier and happier individuals who live above the strong temptation of addiction.

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Elizabeth Wurtzel: Giving Up Drugs Was the Hardest Thing Ever. And I Have Cancer
The author of ‘Prozac Nation’ and ‘More, Now, Again’ writes about the challenges of recovery

Drug overdoses kill more than 64,000 people per year, and are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. To document the nation’s devastating opioid crisis, TIME sent photographer James Nachtwey and deputy director of photography Paul Moakley across the country to gather stories from the frontlines of the epidemic. The result, The Opioid Diaries, is a visual record of a national emergency and a call to action.

Because I overcame addiction, my life is easy.

Getting drugs out of my life is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I like difficult. You might say that difficult is my thing. I write books, which is the most difficult thing you can do sitting down — and I would not want to try it standing up. Every book has been the labor of the Israelites in Mizraim.

So I go for tough. But giving up drugs was the hardest thing ever.

If I had not been in a 72-hour hold the first time I tried, it would not have happened. Of course, it never works the first time unless you aren’t an addict. Relapse is part of quitting. Only the resilient-as-all-get-out get through. I know a lot of people who died because they could not go on without heroin and they did too much or the wrong stuff. That is how you die. Dope-sick people who are desperate do something that kills them. You have to keep trying.

I spent four months in Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut, during the winter that ran across 1997 into 1998, trying to get away from cocaine. I ate caviar from the Russian Tea Room in rehab on New Year’s Eve when I was 30. My agent sent it, which was kind. Me and everyone in the chemical-dependency ward, junkies still shaking with the D.T.s, sat there that night digging into Beluga and watching nature shows on TV.

I got clean that way. And the day I got out, I used. I used to see if I still could, now that I was better. That is what addicts do.

I snorted coke all night in my garret apartment in the West Village, with the alleged illegitimate son of a famous actor, who I met on a flight from Miami to JFK before I checked in. Of course I did.

There is always a reason to use just one more time. There is always one more time.

I went back and forth with cocaine for many months. I kept going to AA and NA. I got into a day program for substance abuse in a midtown hospital. There were homeless people in it, and Liza Minnelli. Also the usual anesthesiologists and airline pilots that make you realize we live in a dangerous world.

Addiction is an ailment that belongs to people whose problems take over the world. If you hate the junkie you know, I do not blame you. We are the worst or we would not be doing this. Blame doctors, blame pharmaceutical companies, but finally why are addicts unable to take life straight? If you can’t get through without a chemical adhesive, it is on you.

Oh, I get the seduction. If you don’t, you should. Drugs are intimate. They are inside of you. No human being could be that close. Who would want to be? Addiction is a love story, or it would not survive the desperation. When I used, it made me so happy to know my only concern was getting high. I did not care about anything or anyone. I could not believe people expected anything at all from me. There is no point trying to get through to an addict. Stop trying. Drugs are too powerful. You will not win. Your husband definitely loves his drugs more than he loves you. That’s why he’s a junkie.

I did recover. I got clean Sept. 11, 1998, which was a very long time ago. I believe it is because I have a lot to live for. I mean: I like difficult. Maybe that makes me a Twelve Steps type. It is a hard program to learn to like, but once you get it, it is the answer. I actually feel sorry for people who have no occasion to bring this wisdom into their lives. There is no way to explain to an outsider the brilliance of surrendering your will to a higher power — if only everybody could learn to do this. (Please. Soon.)

Because of what I know from going to meetings and practicing the Twelve Steps, my life is easy. I now have advanced breast cancer, which most people would not take well. But I am good. I don’t think about the past or the future — I don’t even worry about the present. I just do the next right thing.

My first year clean, the whole world was flecked in gold and coming at me. I never felt so much as I did then. My brain was shivering. My eyeballs were compasses swinging wildly in search of a way. I prayed to whatever was out there. I got on my knees and cried for help.

Every day that I did not use was a miracle.

I felt awful, but I lived in miracles and wonders. Sometimes, I miss being that alive.

Anyone who gives up drugs could get that.

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Trump, Pence and Other Conservative Leaders Are Set to Speak at the CPAC: Watch It Live Here
The Conservative Political Action Conference kicks off on Thursday

The Conservative Political Action Conference kicks off on Thursday, with scheduled speeches by Vice President Mike Pence and controversial French political figure Maréchal-Le Pen, the niece of far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

The conference — held just outside Washington, D.C. in National Harbor, Maryland — brings together conservative leaders each year.

Pence is scheduled to speak Thursday at 10:35 a.m., and President Donald Trump is scheduled to address the conference shortly after 10 a.m. on Friday. Members of his Cabinet will also make appearances during the four-day conference, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

Wayne LaPierre, CEO and executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, is expected to speak at the conference, but his name has been kept off the published agenda. The NRA is a sponsor of the conference, but the organization has been facing heavy backlash in the wake of a high school shooting last week that left 17 people dead.

Watch a livestream of the conference here.

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Macklemore: Compassion Led Me to Rehab and It Can Help the Country Fight the Opioid Crisis
The Grammy-winning musician writes about his battle with drug addiction

Drug overdoses kill more than 64,000 people per year, and are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. To document the nation’s devastating opioid crisis, TIME sent photographer James Nachtwey and deputy director of photography Paul Moakley across the country to gather stories from the frontlines of the epidemic. The result, The Opioid Diaries, is a visual record of a national emergency and a call to action.

When I was 25, my dad asked me a simple question that ended up changing my life. He asked me if I was happy. At that point, my drug addiction had led me to a place of deep depression and self-hate. I couldn’t get away from the shadow that opioids had cast over my life. My love for making music was gone. My relationships with friends and family were strained at best, and permanently damaged at worst. I spent most of my time in my room with the blinds drawn. The world that I once loved was going on outside without me.

“Are you happy?” The answer was simple, yet the process to attain this estranged happiness seemed impossible in that moment. It took my dad’s question to make me realize how far gone I really was. That act of love and compassion saved my life. After years of trying to get sober on my own, I went to rehab.

When I went to treatment, I learned about my disease for the first time. Until then I didn’t know that I had a disease. As the weeks went by, I started acquiring tools to stay sober, one day at a time. When I got out I became immersed in a recovery community that I rely on to this day. Without a group of people who share my experience, I start slipping back into old behavior and start thinking I can do this on my own. My experience time and time again is that I can’t. My parents’ willingness to show up for me and offer me the chance to go to rehab came from a place of love rather than judgement. It’s that kind of compassion our country needs to fight the current opioid crisis.

There are a lot of misconceptions about addicts and a lot of stigma surrounding addiction. People ask: Why don’t addicts just stop? Why don’t they just give it up? I certainly asked myself those questions when I was addicted, but this is a disease. I had to educate myself about addiction in order to learn compassion for myself. No one wants to be miserable, depressed, suicidal and slowly killing themselves. That’s not a choice that people make; it’s where drugs lead you.

We’ve been conditioned for so long to think of drug addicts as bad people, that somehow addiction is a moral failing or a personal choice. But the truth is addiction can affect anyone. Almost every family in America has been touched by the disease in some way. Our society is at a crucial point and more people are coming forward and being honest about the disease and how it has impacted their lives. And as we learn more about addiction, the stigma around it is decreasing and giving way to compassion.

That’s an important step forward, because stigma helps perpetuate the problem. It prevents policy makers and those in power from focusing on treatment and solutions, and instead puts the focus on punishment. Rather than punitive laws that don’t address the root of the problem, we need to provide more tools to help people get their lives back together, get their kids back, get jobs, be happy and be functioning members of society.

One way to achieve this is to give addicts and their families a platform to share their stories because that’s how we’ll learn compassion for this issue and each other. We have to have these conversations. We have to discuss these stories. We have to discuss the over-incarceration of addicts and the over-prescription of America. We need to mobilize around recovery and restoration, and find ways to get addicts who want help the resources to do so.

These actions will bring about progress and change how we treat those affected by this disease. Without discussion, it’s too easy to ignore the problem, too easy not to care. If our nation can treat addiction with compassion, I think we’re going to see a beautiful transformation, a reorientation toward recovery.

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Firefighter Lit His Children’s Hands On Fire to Teach Them About Poor Decision-Making, Police Say
(FERRISBURGH, Vt.) — A Vermont firefighter is charged with lighting his children’s hands on fire in what he told police was an attempt to teach them about poor decision-making. Twenty-eight-year-old Levi Dykema, of Ferrisburgh, is facing three counts of reckless endangerment after police say he covered the hands of his children, ages 5, 7 and…

(FERRISBURGH, Vt.) — A Vermont firefighter is charged with lighting his children’s hands on fire in what he told police was an attempt to teach them about poor decision-making.

Twenty-eight-year-old Levi Dykema, of Ferrisburgh, is facing three counts of reckless endangerment after police say he covered the hands of his children, ages 5, 7 and 10, with hand sanitizer and ignited it. WCAX-TV reports he is also accused of posting video of the event to social media.

Dykema, who has pleaded not guilty, told police he was demonstrating the flammability of sanitizer and attempting to teach them about poor decision-making. Police say the children were not injured, but could have been seriously burned.

The Charlotte Select Board says Dykema has been suspended from his position as a volunteer firefighter.

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German Politics Is a Mess, and No One Is as Worried About It as They Should Be
A weakened Chancellor is pursuing a bad deal with a coalition partner whose members may yet reject it

Angela Merkel didn’t say much of anything at this year’s Munich Security Conference. The same cannot be said for those whispering about her on the sidelines.

Most everyone at this year’s Davos-but-for-geopolitics confab was fixated on just how badly Merkel negotiated the tentative agreement for another “grand coalition,” Germany’s third since 2005. In order to get the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) to join Merkel’s center-right party in government, Merkel had to cede plenty to her junior coalition partners, including control of key ministries like the powerful finance ministry.

Given that the SPD got the lowest share of the vote in a national election since World War II (just 20.5 percent, compared to the 33 percent captured by Merkel and her party), its negotiations haul is nothing to scoff at. But it doesn’t hide the fact that both of Germany’s establishment parties are now in free fall.

To be fair, the SPD saw this coming. It had initially tried to avoid joining another coalition government with Merkel out of fear that its close association with the Chancellor and her unpopular migration policy cost it support among the German electorate. But when Merkel’s original coalition talks with the business-friendly Free Democrats and the environmentalist Greens fell apart, the SPD was faced with a choice—either negotiate with Merkel, or push for new elections.

Given that current polls show the SPD faring even worse if elections were run again (indeed, for the first time, a poll released this week shows the far-right AfD ahead of the SPD), it wasn’t much of a choice at all. The SPD entered negotiations and was able to hammer out a deal, and all it cost it (so far) was the head of its party, Martin Schulz, who resigned last week to jettison some of the political baggage involved in striking the deal.

Now the SPD’s party base has until March 2 to vote by mail on whether to accept the terms of the grand coalition deal. Most assume it will pass—why would the SPD base push for another round of elections that are poised to deliver even heavier losses? But there’s genuine dissent in the SPD ranks, particularly among its youth wing, that believes signing up for another four years of Merkel isn’t just a betrayal of its own center-left politics, it’s also a betrayal of sane political strategy.

Given the party’s recent electoral performance, that’s hard to argue with. But it’s also hard to argue that forcing another round of elections will benefit the SPD in either the short- or long-term. Based off conversations I had with folks in Munich, there’s about a 1 in 3 chance that the SPD membership refuses to sign off on the coalition agreement, a not-negligible percentage. If this were any other country, the 1/3 chance would be blaring across headlines; as it stands now, it barely registers a blip.

Merkel could survive a “no” vote from the SPD membership and yet continue to lead the country as the head of a minority government. Should she decide to do so though, she’d be incredibly weakened, and her lasting legacy would be as a politician doing whatever it takes to stay in power rather than as a politician who does whatever is best for Germany.

Of course, there’s a certain amount of complacency among the German populace that’s dulling the sense of political urgency this moment needs. That complacency is being helped by the strength of the German economy, which has raised its growth forecasts twice since government formation talks began. But in this age of the West receding, we’re losing something yet again. No one is as worried about the state of German politics as they should be.

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