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Missouri Family E-News October 5, 2010


Illegal Drug Use in U.S. on the Rise Again


Rates of illegal drug use have risen in the United States to the highest level in the last decade. The nation's drug control czar says he believes a major reason for the jump is the growing campaign for the legalization of so-called "medical marijuana." Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, says that young people are being exposed to mixed societal messages about marijuana. "I think all of the attention and the focus of calling marijuana medicine has sent the absolute wrong message to our young people." Fourteen states have now legalized marijuana for "medicinal use," and the issue is on a statewide ballot in California this November. Kerlikowske says that marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug, and remains an "entry drug" for further experimentation with illegal narcotics. The latest annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 6.6 percent of persons aged 12 or older admitted to using marijuana during 2009, which adds up to approximately 16.7 million people. While the use of "hard drugs" like cocaine has dropped significantly, there has been a sharp increase in the abuse of prescription drugs. The use of methamphetamines jumped by 60% in the last year. Kalikowske says that laws regulating the sale of pseudoephedrine helped initially, but that now most meth is being smuggled across the border from Mexico. The latest results also suggest that rising unemployment levels have increased the incidence of illegal drug use. Nearly one out of every five adults who are unemployed admits to using illegal drugs, while only 8 percent of those who are employed full-time are habitual drug users. Kerlikowske says that the latest drug survey results are disappointing, but not surprising. "Youth attitudes about the dangers of drugs have softened in the past couple of years. In the past this has often signaled that increases in use are coming." Kerlikowske says parents are the key in any effective drug control strategy. "Talk to your kids about drugs. Make sure they know of the harms that can result from drug use and that you don't approve of them. Second, when you get home today, go through your medicine cabinet and remove unused or unneeded prescription drugs."


Pro-Family Website Destroyed by Islamic Hacker

The leading pro-family organization in Florida reports that it has been the victim of an attack on its computer system by a hostile Muslim fanatic. John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council, says that the hacker succeeded in destroying the organization's website. The Florida Family Policy Council is the organization in the Sunshine State associated with Focus on the Family, and is a sister organization to the Missouri Family Policy Council. Stemberger reports that the hacker left obscene messages on the council's website, including the message: "This is what you get for defaming Great Islam." Shortly thereafter, the hacker disabled the website, corrupting the site's content management system, data, and coding. In addition to his leadership of the Florida Family Policy Council, Stemberger is an attorney who served as the lawyer for Rifqa Bary. Bary is the teenage girl of Muslim parents who recently received national notoriety for converting to Christianity, and then sought refuge because of her belief that her parents would kill her for abandoning the Muslim religion. Stemberger argued in court that the mosque Bary's parents attended near Columbus, Ohio, was linked to international terrorist groups and supported so-called "honor killings." Bary recently gained independence from her parents when she turned 18 last month. Stemberger believes the hacker may have been inspired by a defamation lawsuit filed against him in recent weeks by Bary's parents who claim that Stemberger's allegations about them were false. The suit seeks $10 million in damages. We ask you to be please be praying for John Stemberger. He is a selfless honorable man who has been a champion for Christian values in Florida. He was the leading figure in the recent campaign to amend Florida's Constitution to preserve traditional marriage. Please be praying that John and his staff will be able to rebuild their family network and technology infrastructure quickly. Please pray that John will be shielded from any economic loss for defending the religious liberties of Rifqa Bary. Please be praying that what the devil intended for evil in this situation God will use for His Glory.

 

Please Pray For My Health


Please Pray for My Health We apologize that we were unable to provide you with the Jeff City Update this past week. Unfortunately, your weekly correspondent has been out of commission due to an injury. I broke my wrist when I slipped and fell during a father/son scrimmage held during one of my son's recent soccer practices. You might ask what is a 54-year old man doing trying to keep up on the soccer field with a bunch of 9 and 10 year old boys. Well, it's not because I profess to be any kind of athlete, which I'm not. I just didn't want to disappoint my son by not being out there with the other dads. I have learned the hard way that there are many other ways to show kinship with my son that are less hazardous to my health. I thank God that I am already able to type again with the hand that is injured, and that is why you are receiving this edition of our newsletter. Please pray for my speedy healing and recovery, and that my new experience in hand therapy goes smoothly. ----Joe Ortwerth
Attorney General Koster Continues Campaign Against Sexual Trafficking

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has ramped up his campaign against Internet websites used for purposes of sexual trafficking and sexual exploitation. Koster has joined a group of his fellow attorneys general in demanding that the website Backpage.com suspend its "adult services" classified advertising section. State Attorney, Chris Koster Koster and his colleagues argue that the website is being used to promote prostitution and child trafficking. "We call on Backpage to listen, to care, and to respond now by shutting down the adult services section of its website. It is the right thing to do to protect innocent women and children." Koster says there is little question that the site is being used heavily by those who are marketing sexual services, including those of underage children. "Anybody who goes on these sites and takes a look at the type of advertisements that are occurring, the types of photography, the hourly rates, the dollar-per hour requests, would be left with little to no doubt that many of these ads are directly related to prostitution," Koster says.
State Attorney, Chris Koster The challenge by Koster and 20 other attorneys general comes on the heels of a decision by the website Craigslist to eliminate its "adult services" classified advertising section. Craigslist buckled to pressure from the attorneys general and a strong public outcry from victims advocates in deciding to suspend its slimy "adult services" postings. Backpage.com says it will continue to sell and post such advertising. Koster and his colleagues believe that the volume of ads promoting illegal sexual activity on Backpage.com will grow as sexual traffickers migrate from the Craigslist community.
State Attorney, Chris Koster In their letter to Backpage.com administrators, the attorneys general state: "It is time for [Backpage] to follow Craigslist's lead and take immediate action to end the misery of the women and children who may be victimized by these ads. We sincerely hope Backpage will hear the voices of these victims..." Backpage recently became the subject of a lawsuit filed in federal court in St. Louis. A woman claims that she was advertised for prostitution services on Backpage.com by a pimp at the age of 14. The suit alleges that Backpage is aware that its site is being used for illegal sexual trafficking, but has failed to monitor the postings "for fear of what it would learn" so that Backpage could continue to generate the lucrative revenue such ads bring.
State Attorney, Chris Koster Advocates for victims of sexual enslavement and sexual abuse have taken direct aim at internet websites that they claim serve as an international marketplace for the solicitation of sex with children who are in sexual bondage. Fox News recently reported that even the popular social networking website Facebook is being used by the world's largest pedophile organization to manage its links to child abusers throughout the world. The Fox News investigation revealed that the National Man/Boy Love Association was using a Facebook site to exchange photos of children with its members around the world, and to "identify, target, and reel in child victims." Fox News reported that posts on a pedophile blog offered "tips" on using the site to have real-life conversations with children, and how to evade the eye of law enforcement while trolling Facebook for victims.
State Attorney, Chris Koster"This is just the downright filthiest of society setting up on Facebook in a public way, and the question is, 'Why is Facebook allowing this?'," said Hemanshu Nigam, co-chairman of President Obama's online safety technology working group and a member of the board of directors of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children." Last month eleven suspects were arrested by U.S., Canadian, United Kingdom, and Australian authorities. The suspects were charged with operating an international child exploitation syndicate that operated through Facebook. Law enforcement officials criticized Facebook for not alerting them to the online activities of the perpetrators involved.
State Attorney, Chris KosterUnder federal law, companies with electronic servers in the United States are required to report suspected child pornography to law enforcement through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. James Marsh, an attorney who represents children who are victims of sexual exploitation, says that Facebook and other social networking websites must do more than what is required by the law.
State Attorney, Chris Koster"Facebook has a moral and public duty to monitor and stop this activity on their site. Hiding behind legal technicalities is not enough to be a good corporate citizen in the digital age. Facebook needs to put children ahead of profits and do what Congress and the American people expect--protect our kids from criminals like NAMBLA." Many law enforcement officials caution that shutting down dedicated sex trafficking sites will not eliminate online sexual solicitation. "When we get close to the bad people in one area, they move someplace else," says Andy Anderson of the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force." Yet Anderson agrees that the efforts by Koster and other state attorneys general are an important step in the battle against human trafficking and sexual exploitation. We commend Attorney General Koster for continuing to make this issue a priority of his office and for his aggressive efforts to protect women and children in our state. You can let him know of your appreciation for his work by using this link: Attorney General Koster The Missouri Family Policy Council is working on legislation for the coming session to strengthen Missouri's laws regulating human trafficking and sexual exploitation. 
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