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Archive April 9 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 10 2007

Restored to Sanity DonInLondon ‘A Day In The life’

Maybe I might need change my journal to the daily reprieve. A daily reprieve from the awfulness of drinking without any means to stop. That is the nature of addiction in whatever form it manifests. Obsessions and the like. We need be careful to make the obvious more than it is. I guess this is where some people fall out of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.


The nature of fellowship is quite often hard to understand. The fellowship of AA is not an organisation, its not any better or worse than the people in it. The fellowship is as good as we find on any particular day, dependent on the people we meet in it. We are actually a bunch of recovering addicts who are making life work again, when life stopped working and we were at the end of a hell we had discovered through our drinking behaviour.


Some people are prone to addiction. It’s a fact that some of us are addicts of something, and others are not. Addiction is the state we get to when our power over a substance, place or person has been lost, we are powerless to stop ourselves behaving in a certain way. Its obsessive and destructive and usually killing us. Like me with drink back then...

So the fellowship for me helps me deal with life on a daily basis. Just that? And more, much more. A way of life, that is sobriety, lived just one day at a time. So easy to forget as we deal with everything sober and in the day as best we can. We can still be mad and not drunk, just mad as hell at living.

Being Human

Yes being human we sometimes make life work a day at a time and other times we find life so hard we take what seems like forever to get comfortable again in our own skin. Progress is us, and just a day at a time.

Today, its been good, dealing with everything that came my way with even handedness and accepting what works and does not work. My outlook has remained positive now for a week or so and this is really exceptional for me. There have been some niggles and unhelpful parts to the last few days like failure of equipment and loss of my camera, which was pinched somewhere in London. But these things are less than important when our relationships are reasonably level and ok.

Tonight was a great meeting for me, hearing a friend share their experience, strength and hope about their life and living today. And in relation to the second step of our programme of making life work. Its not easy to live sober when the mind is so programmed to the opposite over many years. So for some of us recovery is long and a slow process.

It feels better to experience and utilise the step of the programme in daily living as we get to understand the toolbox of life. That is how to live.

Step Two Tonight

"came to believe a power greater than us could restore us to sanity"

In our fellowship we are pretty eclectic, we have some who feel the higher power is God, some who believe anything can be their higher power, some like me who don’t really know but are happy to relate to a power greater, like good conscience or the fellowship, or whatever floats your boat. Its about not being god like, not being ego driven, not being obsessed and not being the centre of the universe. More not’s there than I realised. Mainly though its realising that through fellowship we learn to understand a concept of wisdom learned and it being more than we currently know.

This thing of learning all over again to live a new way, to live with friends and fellows who like sobriety and not drinking anymore. And seeing all the universe afresh. We need not throw away our experience, we can learn from it. The collective stories and sharing of fellows helps us find a path to deal with ourselves and be able to make our way in the world again. That’s the bottom line of AA. Living and being, finding peace and happiness. And of course dealing with all life offers to the good and bad as we endeavour, and live as human beings.
Some do believe and have a firm understanding that God is their higher power. And for me I must say I don’t know who or what god may be. I do know full well the collective wisdom of sober people is far greater than mine, and hearing the wisdom is a key for me and my recovery..

Every day I learn more wisdom, and put it into practice. I just work at living and make it a worthy endeavour with what I have, and what I learn. Experience is the best teacher, argument is my second string and often makes life harder.


Denial and filters are in me, from life and my addiction. I realise there is so much more than I can ever know about life and all its elements. I am glad I have recovery to help me find my way just gently.


Sometimes when we encounter what we don’t understand in others, we recoil and defend our own knowledge and understanding. What I have found in AA is a path which offers choice and freedom, not as some may believe, a hard nosed cult or dogma to God. If we live in argument and hard science, we get little progress in the Art of living.

If ever anyone were to try make AA as a fellowship into something it patently cannot be, an organisation or maybe the reason for failure to keep in recovery, the main points of fellowship have not been understood. That we humans are merely making progress, that there are no absolutes, that denials can dog us all the way and so many filters of intellect and personal opinion will easily tip us out and back to drink or just being angry and mad with life and our living.

When people realise the fellowship is just people who don’t drink and go to meetings. they share their story and go and live another day, as best they can with learning and choice. Choice to believe in whatever works and utilise it to sobriety, and that is all there is to it. The nature of man is sometimes so far into denial and so intent on being fixed and whole, we forget we are imperfect and merely learning through living. And we are best served by finding happiness and peace than ever we were drinking ourselves into oblivion. So tonight I feel ok and at peace. What more could I ask? Well plenty more and actually I need endeavour as I may. And be mindful of the truth and what is and is not possible. A day at a time.

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BBC OnLine News April 9 2007

Iran nuclear 'landmark' angers US April 9 2007

The US has criticised Iran over its announcement that it can now produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale.

"Iran continues to defy the international community and further isolate itself by expanding its nuclear programme," a US official said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that his country had "joined the nuclear club of nations".

Iran maintains its nuclear programme is purely peaceful but the West fears it wants to build atomic bombs.

A spokesman for the White House's National Security Council, Gordon Johndroe, said: "We are very concerned about Iran's announcement that they entered an 'industrial stage' of nuclear fuel production."

A British official said the Iranian announcement marked "a further breach of International Atomic Energy Agency and UN resolutions".

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Guardian Unlimited OnLine April 10 2007

MoD bows to public pressure and halts sale of hostage interviews to media April 10 2007

- Defence secretary overturns navy ruling

- Forces chiefs called in to set out new guidelines

Will Woodward, chief political correspondent

The government last night capitulated to an overwhelming public outcry over the sale of interviews by the sailors and marines detained by Iran, as it rushed through a ban on any further media deals by armed forces personnel.

With the controversy widening into accusations that the government was fostering a culture that devalued heroism and promoted instant celebrity, Des Browne, the defence secretary, said the navy's earlier decision - which he had endorsed - to let the 15 former detainees sell their stories had "not reached a satisfactory outcome".

While the MoD said the navy had applied existing regulations correctly, the head of the army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, allowed it to be known he was unhappy about the move

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Times OnLine April 10 2007

Protests force U-turn on captives selling stories April 10 2007

Anthony Browne, Chief Political Correspondent

The Royal Marines and sailors who were held captive in Iran have been banned from selling any more of their stories after Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, reversed the decision to allow them to profit from the ordeal.

After a day of sustained criticism Mr Browne imposed an immediate ban on any Armed Forces personnel accepting money for television or newspaper interviews, admitting that the outcome of the sailors’ interviews “was not satisfactory”.

The U-turn came after Leading Seaman Faye Turney sold her story to The Sun and ITV — apparently for a total of £80,000 — and the youngest captive, Arthur Batchelor, sold his account to the Daily Mirror. Anger mounted during the day from victims’ families, military figures, politicians of all parties, former defence secretaries and even a former tabloid editor.

The decision to allow the former captives to sell their stories was described as “appalling” and “outrageous”, with some critics saying the personnel were being used as pawns in a government-inspired propaganda campaign.

Read The Times OnLine

Independent OnLine 'Indy' News April 10 2007

Iran defies UN to join nuclear club April 10 2007

By Angus McDowall in Natanz

Iran announced yesterday that it has taken a step forward in its nuclear programme by moving to industrial scale enrichment, thereby defying three United Nations resolutions and setting itself on a collision course with the United States.

At an extraordinary ceremony to celebrate Iran's now-annual "nuclear technology day", President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: "With great honour, I declare that as of today our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations and can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale."

The ceremony, which was broadcast on national television, was attended by cabinet and security officials, who sat in front of a large dais at the end of the hall, where an orchestra played first the national anthem, and later a rousing "nuclear symphony". A poem was recited extolling the glories of God's creation - religious code for scientific progress.

Later Iranian officials refused to specify to journalists the number of centrifuges they've begun operating, a key indicator of how far their nuclear weapons programme has progressed, leading some diplomats to query whether the claim might be at least partly a bluff.

But coming just two weeks after a UN resolution that increased sanctions on Iran over its nuclear plans, the move will be interpreted as a sign that Tehran is committed to accelerating its programme whatever the cost. The 12-day confrontation with the UK over its capture of British sailors and marines now looks deliberately calibrated to demonstrate this resolve.

Read The Independent OnLine

BBC OnLine History April 9 2007

April 10 1998: Northern Ireland peace deal reached

The Northern Ireland peace talks have ended with an historic agreement.

The accord - dubbed the Good Friday Agreement - was reached after nearly two years of talks and 30 years of conflict.

Negotiations on the final day dragged on more than 17 hours after the deadline for an agreement passed.

The agreement is a triumph for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Republic of Ireland's leader, Bertie Ahern, who have succeeded where all their predecessors failed.

Speaking at a news conference after the deal was announced Tony Blair said he hoped it marked a new beginning.

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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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