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Archive 21 April 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 22 2007

Know your Limits

There are no words to share tonight and it’s a very strange situation I find myself in. For as long as I can remember the best way to help people is to share the truth and not be controlled or manipulated. And this is just where I am tonight and it feels like shit.

The final words on this tonight is the person in pain is not alone and is cared about, even though it may not feel so right now. I really realise just how much I have learned in recent years. And this is on top of a career where I got to be the best at something most people never go near, dealing with fear of life itself...

April 21 2007

Saturday Nights and Different Fights - DonInLondon ‘A Day In the Life’

It’s a hard thing to live in the day often, especially when there are so many things we would like to be doing and sometimes as we get a brighter outlook, we can wander into wanting things rather than needing things. So easy to get beyond the possible and into the realms of fantasy and wishes that are unlikely and quite dispiriting. We need cover our needs first and then ponder in my view, on what is next and possible. Dreams we had, lives led and then the inevitable judgment call on how we have done. Not only in the day, but a lifetime of events over which we now find we were mostly powerless to have made any different from how they turned out.

Hindsight a blessing and a conundrum

As is the way of life, there is more to share, however due to circumstances other priorities have overtaken my writing tonight. So will leave the matter here, and address more pressing issues.

April 21 2007

Making Life Work A Day At A Time - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

That Beatles track, a day in the life. So evocative of my youth! Its no wonder most of my journal writings come under this banner these days. And why not? Making life work a day at a time is my new outlook and my new understanding, well for the last few years it has become so. And why? Because on a daily basis my life has ups and downs, and I live with things I never considered would apply to me. I am an addict in recovery.

Some people believe that addiction is a self inflicted wound. A clue to self infliction is whether we want to stop self harm or not. And as it happens with any addiction, we rarely get over it completely and we need find better attitudes and behaviours which keep us well and continue to keep our mental illness in remission. Its good when we succeed a day at a time, simply because this mental condition never goes away, and once we have it, its forever.

The truth of addiction is we never recover completely, we are in a holding pattern and provided we keep to safe ground and in the right state of living, we can be pretty much healthy and live extremely well, as normal people can and do too most of the time. Indeed the quest in many ways, the ‘Holy Grail’ of Life is to live well and be happy. And as any addict can tell you once they are self aware, the preponderance to lapse and leave normal to normal people is very attractive when the shit hit’s the fan, or we get troubled times and normal tortures, just like normal people get.

So what is the difference for an addict in recovery? Well for most the principle of not using ever is the simple fact that keeps any addict alive and not heading for an inglorious end. Torture it is to be so inflicted with a disease of the mind most people look down upon or glamorise with hero’s of literature and the arts and music. We have a soft spot for people like George Best for example who could not quit drinking. And there are so many who have had the acquaintance with horrors of life that they have expired early through overdose.

We are not so clever to realise that what once alleviated our hurt and depression is eventually going to kill us if we self medicate living with the few available substances to take the edge off tragedy.

People Do Die from Broken Dreams

Reality can be so hard to cope with, we have heard often people have died from sadness so complete and consuming, life is not worth living. And as surely as I would wish everyone the gift of a happy life, its not easy and life can be a struggle at the best of times. Some of us sensitive or broken types, who have had experiences over the years so awful, we have not had resources to cope or recover from big knocks like normal can. This is just the sad truth of broken people most often with broken hearts and minds.

There is some romance as we live the hard times and record them for others to share. And there those who are as hard as nails who have no truck with such sensitivity. Why should you or anyone pity an addict?

For the people who are less aware and so strong in their views of living, they cope with everything, they ponder long and hard and see addicts as weak and tormented creatures, less than them. Or live with the prejudice that suggests addicts deserve all they get.

Broken People

Fortunately the number of people broken by life is so big we recognise it today, yet at the same time we hold prejudice and look down on them and me. Until maybe of course we have the ignominy to become addicts as well.

Broken and recovering I am, with a few other details and ailments which would test anyone and their endeavour. Somehow I am glad today to have faced and found a path to be stable in recovery, just for today..

What has happened over the last few decades in many ways shows how easy and alarming addiction has become in our societies, where we work people to death, we have installed minders over children and family and community life has been fractured, simply because of enterprise and the fast buck society we have today.

As our politicians bemoan the behaviour of the many who fall into harms way, either self harm or harming others, they don’t wish to reflect that our societies have made the problem far worse as we have made humans commodities and resources, nameless millions made to toil and endeavour. There is little time for happiness in our world, and the struggles have become harder as we have become more disparate and driven to compete and succeed at the expense of some core values of care and support.

UK Living - Work Ethic and Calamity

Life in the main has become fractured as we place the young into care and the old in harms way. Modern day politics and economy have made family, the values of care and welfare secondary to child rearing and care for the less able and infirm. We have a group of shallow and eager politicians who sit pretty as our society suffers the continual fractures in family life and values, society is indeed unravelling in the modern world and nothing is there to replace what is lost.

However did we find ourselves with a party in power that espouses a name like ‘New Labour’ as if there is virtue in child minding and poverty in old age? How dare they suggest they are the party of the working or middle classes as they cultivate the decline of our caring society? I have no clue, and when we appraise children so young as if resources and statistics and accept poverty as inevitable in old age? Well life is a pretty shocking in my view. But heck who cares what I or you think as you read these words, certainly not a politician who sits pretty and comfortable in these days of hard endeavour..

I am allowed my views like anyone else and recognise there are many who cannot see or wonder on such matters. They are too busy just trying to make ends meet, like me, a day at a time…

Mind you would I have ever known this or really understood if I had not become an addict or infirm in other ways? Most likely not and only through all living do we really get to understand the meaning of life and its value overall. Cursed or gifted I actually have no complaint in principle one day at a time, the not yet happened for and my addiction as society becomes more dissolute and fragmented are futures I would not wish on another generation, lost in a culture skin deep. Maybe I see it as its always been, maybe I see more than is good for me. Best to stick with one day at a time..

Or I too might perish from a broken heart as humanity makes steady progress into more chaos by the day and by the generation...

More DonInLondon "A Day In The Life"

We Can Still Demonstrate In This Country?

Guardian Unlimited OnLine April 22 2007

Plans for clamp on teenage smoking April 22 2007

Ministers consider ban on packs of 10

Denis Campbell, health correspondent

Radical plans to clamp down on the way cigarettes are sold are being considered by the government in an effort to tackle historically high levels of smoking among teenagers.
The blueprint for making cigarettes harder to buy, particularly for young people, have been drawn up by leading doctors and will now be evaluated by the Department of Health.

The sale of packs of 10 cigarettes - attractive to teenagers because they are cheaper - would be banned and cigarettes kept out of sight in shops.

A fifth of teenagers are described as 'regular smokers', a number that has remained stubbornly high despite government public health campaigns.

The proposals, contained in a report from the British Medical Association, also include plans to compel retailers to obtain licences to sell tobacco, to outlaw tobacco vending machines and impose regular and above-inflation price increases to try to cut demand.

Read The Guardian OnLine

Times OnLine April 22 2007 April 22 2007

Robert Winnett and David Leppard

SCOTLAND YARD detectives believe they have amassed sufficient evidence for Jonathan Powell, the prime minister’s most senior aide, to be charged over an alleged cover-up in the cash for honours scandal.

Powell, Tony Blair’s chief of staff, is facing allegations that he conspired to pervert the course of justice, a serious offence punishable with jail.

The revelation - by well-placed Whitehall sources - is potentially disastrous for the prime minister given Powell’s central role in Blair’s administration.

Last Friday, the Metropolitan police completed its 13-month inquiry into the alleged sale of honours and sent its 216-page report to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News April 22 2007

Wi-Fi: Children at risk from 'electronic smog' April 22 2007

Revealed - radiation threat from new wireless computer networks

Teachers demand inquiry to protect a generation of pupils

By Geoffrey Lean, environment editor

Britain's top health protection watchdog is pressing for a formal investigation into the hazards of using wireless communication networks in schools amid mounting concern that they may be damaging children's health, 'The Independent on Sunday' can reveal.

Sir William Stewart, the chairman of the Health Protection Agency, wants pupils to be monitored for ill effects from the networks - known as Wi-Fi - which emit radiation and are being installed in classrooms across the nation.

Sir William - who is a former chief scientific adviser to the Government, and has chaired two official inquiries into the hazards of mobile phones - is adding his weight to growing pressure for a similar examination of Wi-Fi, which some scientists fear could cause cancer and premature senility.

Wi-Fi - described by the Department of Education and Skills as a "magical" system that means computers do not have to be connected to telephone lines - is rapidly being taken up inschools, with estimates that more than half of primary schools - and four-fifths of secondary schools - have installed it .

But several European provincial governments have already taken action to ban, or limit, its use in the classroom, and Stowe School has partially removed it after a teacher became ill.

This week the Professional Association of Teachers, which represents 35,000 staff across the country, will write to Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education, to demand an official inquiry. Virtually no studies have been carried out into Wi-Fi's effects on pupils, but it gives off radiation similar to emissions from mobile phones and phone masts.

Recent research has linked radiation from mobiles to cancer and to brain damage. And many studies have found disturbing symptoms in people near masts.

Professor Olle Johansson, of Sweden's prestigious Karolinska Institute, who is deeply concerned about the spread of Wi-Fi, says there are "thousands" of articles in scientific literature demonstrating "adverse health effects". He adds: "Do we not know enough already to say, 'Stop!'?"

For the past 16 months, the provincial government of Salzburg in Austria has been advising schools not to install Wi-Fi, and is considering a ban. Dr Gerd Oberfeld, its head of environmental health and medicine, calls the technology "dangerous".

Sir William - who takes a stronger position on the issue than his agency - was not available for comment yesterday, but two members of an expert group that he chairs on the hazards of radiation spoke of his concern

Read The Independent OnLine

BBC OnLine News April 22 2007

France set for presidential vote April 22 2007

French voters are set to go to the polls in a presidential election billed as the most unpredictable in decades.

Voting begins at 0800 (0600 GMT) for 12 hours, with 12 candidates vying to win through to the run-off on 6 May.

The leading candidates are centre-right Nicolas Sarkozy, socialist Segolene Royal, centrist Francois Bayrou and far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.

French citizens living abroad have already been to the polls, in a bid to make sure all votes count.

After one of the most hard-fought campaigns France has seen, dominated as much by personality as policy, more than one-third of voters are said to remain undecided.

BBC OnLine Full Story

BBC OnLine History April 22 2007

April 22 2000: Swat team grabs tug-of-love Cuban boy

US federal agents have seized six-year-old Cuban shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez in an early morning raid on the home of his relatives in Miami.
About 25 officers broke down the door of the house and re-emerged minutes later with Elian wrapped in a blanket.

They bundled the screaming boy into a vehicle and drove him away, as the crowd outside the house shouted protests.

Chaotic scenes followed as the officers retreated and pepper spray was used to keep back the crowd.

Elian was put on a plane and flown to Andrews Air force base outside Washington where he was reunited with his father for the first time in five months.

Elian has been at the centre of a bitter custody battle between his Miami relatives and his father in Cuba since being shipwrecked off the Florida coast last November.

His mother, and 10 other people attempting to enter the US as illegal immigrants, drowned.

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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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