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Archive April 3 2007

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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.

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April 2007
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April 4 2007

Tardy and Late? DonInLondon - ‘A Day In the Life’

Smiles here to you. I am late writing my journal today. Most days here you find what I have written the night before. Fatigue got the better of me. And eventually sleep came around four this morning. So a good solid two hours overnight.

Too tired to sleep, too tired to write and so now, this morning, some words flow. Bitter cold last night and late to my meeting of fellows..

Late for AA?

Getting to and from meetings to AA. A slipped chain on the bicycle and time got away from me. Alcoholics are always a bit tardy? A bit under par? Not usually and not in my experience. We too have the usual happenings for everyone.

A Friend of Mine

Even Later than me, a friend arrived and listened to the end of the main share. They sat next to me where I had slipped in at the back of the meeting. I was happy, he was happy and had left family at home creating chaos in the Easter Term break from school. Children with mates round and an hour to pop out and have some connection at a meeting, with other AA fellows.

We sit and listen and spontaneously my friend raises his hand to share.

Speaks about getting back to living the ordinary life. And then comes his happy day news, all to the good and full of family news and some joy at living today. And the same had been said by our main chair tonight, ordinary wonderful life happens if we are present in the ever present moment of now.

And another share, not so joyous, about their reality, that life is still hard and even though they have not had a drink for ten years, they battle depression once more.

Two shares and recovery is looking 50/50. It seems as we share the balance in the room is still in favour of sobriety. This is how it goes in our meetings.

Experience - Strength - Hope

The keystones of our sharing time in any AA meeting. Experience of the day, a conversation with a room full of recovering people. What have we lived today and how have we done. What is working and what is bothering us.

Strength gained from human contact and a cup of something, tea or coffee or just plain water. Feeling better in company and not lonely with happy or sad thoughts, the daily grind is seen as a source of strength.

Hope, hope to get to bed tonight without a drink in some cases. And some just want to go to bed and dream of better days maybe.

We keep it in the day, we know we don’t drink anymore and that a normal day has happened, Indeed, that just for today there is some joy for some and some sadness for some others.

How was I feeling

Happy to listen of days lived, experienced in the moment and then related. A sort of soap in some respects, washing us with reality. Not like a soap on the TV. Or a load of flannel about exaggerated importance.

What did it do for me, this odd meeting of people who don’t ‘fit’ together as we are seen to the casual eye. A motley crew indeed, mingling as no barrier exists and no class divides.

One purpose, to find sanctuary, swap our daily grind, or daily happy experiences. We express and let our memories roll out as they will. Cathartic and cleansing we leave with some emptiness to fill for the next day. ‘Off loading’ and ‘de-fragmenting’ like any computer and polishing our insides and filing our living into manageable chunks, we are restored and leave with hope.

Most of us do find hope and some share more with friends in quiet corners.


And we find some connection and some peace, go home, for me via the Kings Road, and feeding a cat on the way (this is not some jargon, I am looking after a cat while the owner is out tonight).

Harmony too? Much tonight, but its not always this way. I may have been late, and still I get my experience strength and hope topped up. And then home to greet the noise of life where I am. A night of repairs on the tube tracks outside my bedroom window. They need be done, and I may sleep another night.

Tired and ok, this day is ready to be lived, with no excess baggage in my head to clutter my path. Seems ok and good for the present moment and what this day brings.

A couple of calls late on and life is ok. Sleepless in London I may be, and that’s ok, sleepless so often I accept its just the way I am today. Patience indeed.

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BBC OnLine News April 4 2007

UK sees promise in Iran contacts April 4 2007

Tony Blair believes Iran wants to achieve an "early resolution" to the crisis over the Royal Navy crew through direct talks, Downing Street has said.

A statement was issued late on Tuesday after further UK contact with Iran, including directly with its chief negotiator Ali Larijani.

The UK had proposed direct bilateral talks and awaited a response, it said.

However, both countries continue to dispute whether the 15 crew were in Iran's waters when seized on 23 March.

"The prime minister remains committed to resolving this by diplomatic means," Downing Street's statement stressed.

'Encouraging signs'

It came hours after Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett had urged caution over hopes that the sailors and marines held by Iran may soon be freed.

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Guardian Unlimited OnLine April 4 2007

Four years in Guantánamo - the man who said no to MI5 April 4 2007

Vikram Dodd

British resident Jamil el-Banna, 44, knew Abu Qatada, a cleric accused of being al-Qaida's spiritual leader in Europe. In 2002 Mr Banna, a father of five from London, was seized by the CIA and secretly flown to Guantánamo Bay, after MI5 wrongly told the Americans that his travelling companion was carrying bomb parts on a business trip to Gambia. On Friday, his companion, Bisher al-Rawi, was released without charge after four years in the US detention camp, after it emerged that he had helped MI5 keep track of Qatada. But Mr Banna's incarceration in Cuba continues.

It has now emerged that only days before Mr Banna's arrest, MI5 visited him at his home and attempted to recruit him as an informer, with the lure of a new identity, relocation and money. The Guardian has obtained this MI5 document in which the intelligence officer details, in his own words, that encounter.

Read The Guardian OnLine

Times OnLine April 4 2007

Childless couples to face new IVF hurdle April 4 2007

Mark Henderson, Science Editor

IVF clinics that produce twins and triplets in more than one in ten pregnancies will face disciplinary action under plans to cut multiple births announced yesterday.

The cap proposed by the fertility watchdog would mean that about 50 per cent of women having IVF treatment, mostly first-time patients under 35, would be allowed to use just one embryo at a time.

It would virtually eliminate their chances of having twins or triplets, which is the greatest health risk of the procedure to both mothers and babies, but could slightly reduce the prospect of a successful pregnancy at the first attempt.

While the measure is backed by doctors and patient groups, it creates fresh pressure on the Government to improve funding of fertility treatment on the NHS.

Read The Times OnLine

Independent OnLine 'Indy' News April 4 2007

Britain vs Iran: A high-stakes game of chess April 4 2007

The Pawn: Iranian diplomat is released by Iraq as hostage crisis enters crucial stage

The Gambit: Margaret Beckett says Britain is 'ready to engage' with Tehran

The Endgame? Hopes rise that British sailors may be freed through prisoner exchange

By Patrick Cockburn

The stand-off over the 15 British sailors and marines captured by Iran looks to be moving towards a de facto prisoner exchange, despite denials by Britain and Iran that a swap was intended.

The first sign of a breakthrough yesterday was the release of Jalal Sharafi, an Iranian diplomat abducted from the streets of Baghdad two months ago, whom Iran claimed had been seized by Iraqi commandos controlled by the US. At the same time, an Iraqi Foreign Ministry official said the Iraqi government was "intensively" seeking the release of five Iranian officials captured in a US helicopter raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the Kurdish capital of Arbil in January.

The rhetoric in Tehran and London became more diplomatic as Tony Blair said the next two days would be "fairly critical" in resolving the crisis, though the Prime Minister gave no details. Iran continues to deny it seized the British naval detachment in the northern Persian Gulf on 23 March to force an exchange of hostages, while Britain said it would not bargain for their release.

The seizure of the sailors and marines was the latest episode in a series of tit-for-tat confrontations between the US and Iran which began, as The Independent revealed yesterday, when the US tried to seize senior Iranian intelligence officials on an official visit to Arbil on 11 January. The raid failed and only succeeded in detaining five Iranian officials at the liaison office, which has now been officially recognised as a consular office.

Senior Kurdish officials told The Independent that the real US targets were Mohammed Jafari, the powerful deputy head of the Supreme National Security Council, and General Minojahar Frouzanda, the head of intelligence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. They had visited President Jalal Talabani of Iraq at Dokan near Sulaimaniyah and then gone on to Arbil where they saw Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan regional government, at his headquarters outside the city.

The Arbil raid came a few hours after an aggressive address to the nation by President George Bush, in which he denounced Iran as America's great enemy in Iraq. It has been followed by a series of tit-for-tat incidents such as the attempted abduction of five US soldiers in a highly sophisticated attack near the holy city of Kerbala, south of Baghdad, in which the assailants first tried to take prisoner the US soldiers but later killed them. The US blamed the episode on Iraqi Shias acting as proxies for Iran.

Read The Independent OnLine

BBC OnLine History April 4 2007

April 4 1968: Martin Luther King shot dead

The American black civil rights leader, Dr Martin Luther King, has been assassinated.

Dr King was shot dead in the southern US city of Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a march of sanitation workers protesting against low wages and poor working conditions

He was shot in the neck as he stood on a hotel balcony and died in hospital soon afterwards.

Reverend Jesse Jackson was on the balcony with Dr King when the single shot rang out.

"He had just bent over. I reckon if he had been standing up he would not have been hit in the face," said Mr Jackson.

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There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.

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