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Archive May 23 2007


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The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.

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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May 24 - 25 2007

Brave faces and Steps of AA - DonInLondon ‘Day in the Life’

When we have secrets about ourselves we are often apt to put on a brave face and let the world think we are OK. The more we develop our ability and skill at facing the world with a brave face, the less the world knows about us. When we have a mask of peace and harmony and our heads are full of worry and fear we don’t know ourselves and we don’t let other people help us.

Being brave, having a good face to show the world, it is about pride and fear often. We don’t really give ourselves a chance to live and make life work as it may, and as we really are.

Competing and Being

Often we are caught up in competing and being concerned to be right and be first, be the right person and be in the front, in the lead and making our way. Inside I have often wondered how much fear and worry go on. Not just for me but for so many ordinary people. Most people have fear inside them, and are often worried about what other people think and feel about them. Wasting lifetimes trying to look right is not really all that useful to anyone. Yet we often do these crazy things to get people to love us and cherish us. And then they find out the truth! We don’t know ourselves and they don’t know us..

When we are taught to put on a brave face, a mask and a way to attract friends or lovers, then when we are full of ego, we tend to cover up our fear and our insecurity. The best way to live? Some nations and cultures are all about face and looking right. They have spent thousands of years learning how to make themselves look right. I feel as a citizen of our United kingdom, we are as obvious in our competitive nature and inclination to make a face look brave and that’s our own.

And of course we do this for so many reasons. One of the primary reasons is to fit in with everyone and be a part of life, to be included. Another reason is being able to control ourselves, pull over selves together and meet all danger head on as well as be loved for our bravery. And we want love from others, most likely the thing we crave most and make less and less obvious the more we seek it and don’t feel it.

So difficult is life, we can spend a whole lifetime trying to look right and end up feeling left out and missing some vital part of what is going on. Love is a strange emotion, we don’t want to be without love, yet the vulnerability to be loved leaves many of us confused and worried.

Be Ourselves

Some of us learn quickly or slowly about how to be ourselves. That we are ok and can fit in. yet somewhere fear often lurks and the awful sting of rejection makes us feel so bad, we would rather pretend all is well when obviously for many years often we just don’t meet our basic needs.


Being lost to love and real life? We can be more happy in letting go fear and letting in the world. The world will not know us as we don’t often know ourselves. We can live a life and never know the beauty of love. Or simply how to be loved and love others.


Finding myself nearly at 51 and still a learner makes me happy to be alive. To have a go at being me. And if it only took me a few years, then its probably all been worth it.

Learning to Live

We can start any day, with any situation and make a start to find ourselves if that is our need. Many people learn to live life from the moment they are born, like what they find and get on. Many like me lost the plot a long time ago and now simply find a new life a day at a time.


Even though most of my life may be behind me, I can consider what I have achieved over the years, as well as the trials and tribulations of just being alive and surviving when others in my situation have long gone.


There are few moments in living where we have found complete and utter peace of love and being loved. It seems for me it remained such a rare occurrence as I had little understanding of love or loving. That is not to say I have not tried all my life to love, I have, and I realise as time has gone by, I never learned the nature of what love is, and remains.

Ephemeral and Eternal.

Love can blossom in a day and then be lost to all time, love can be forever. Such is the nature of love and its opposite.

Forgiving and Acceptance

Means we come to realise where and when love springs and consumes and wraps us in secure peace. And we know the difference as life teaches and renders our vulnerable soul over and over to every nuance life may offer the open mind.

Strength in our vulnerable self, knowing the path, being open and honest and willing to be a part of life. What wonders life offers. And we can learn at any age, best we learn sooner than later? There is no time like the present.


Our spiritual connection is simply to this one moment of now, and love will grow or wane as life affords and we develop and include as we may. Spiritual is ephemeral and eternal, just like love. And makes our world go round and round and round…

Live Life

Life May 24 2007

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Guardian Unlimited OnLine May 25 2007

Government knew of HIV risk from imported blood May 25 2007

Sarah Hall

The government's advisers on medicine knew that patients were at risk of contracting Aids from imported blood products as early as 1983, but ruled against a ban because of fears it would cause a shortage of supply.

Minutes obtained by the Guardian of a meeting held on July 13 1983 reveal that the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) knew that "patients who repeatedly receive blood clotting-factor concentrates appear to be at risk" of Aids.

They also knew that the risks were highest if the blood products came "from the blood of homosexual and IV drug users in areas of high incidence - eg New York and California" and for those who repeatedly received high doses of the blood plasma products. Despite this, the committee ruled that the risk of contracting Aids had to be balanced against the "life-saving" benefits of their use to haemophiliacs. They also argued that withdrawing the blood products was "not feasible on the grounds of supply".

British patients with the rare inherited condition in which blood does not clot normally were not told of the risks. Critics say they would have preferred to carry on receiving their previous treatment, called cryoprecipitate, manufactured in the UK from single donors, even though it meant going to hospital.

Read The Guardian OnLine

Times OnLine May 25 2007

Zero – the new alcohol limit in pregnancy May 25 2007

Rosemary Bennett, Social Affairs Correspondent

Women who are pregnant or trying for a baby should stop drinking alcohol altogether, the Government’s leading doctors give warning today.

The new advice radically revises existing guidelines, which say that women can drink up to two units once or twice a week. Fiona Adshead, the deputy chief medical officer, said that the change was meant to send “a strong signal” to the thousands of women who drank more than the recommended limit that they were putting their babies at risk. But she admitted that it was not in response to any new medical evidence.

Women are often confused about what drinking in moderation really means, the new guidelines say, and surveys suggest that many accidently or deliberately exceed the limit. “Our advice is simple: avoid alcohol if pregnant or trying to conceive,” Dr Adshead said. “We have strengthened our advice to women to help ensure that no one underestimates the risk to the foetus.”

She suggested that bottles of beer, wines and spirits should carry the new warning that pregnant women give up drinking. However, it emerged yesterday that the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists intended to stick with its advice that moderate drinking was perfectly safe, which could leave many pregnant women confused. The college said that it would examine the new advice and decide whether to adopt it “in due course”.

Read The Times OnLine

Independent OnLine 'Indy' News May 25 2007

The green house effect: Eco-houses get closer May 25 2007

The home of the future will be kind to the environment. This week ministers laid the foundations

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor

The Eco-House, the one which doesn't damage the planet with its profligate energy use, has just got closer.

Not as imminent as it needs to be. But after three big sets of government proposals in the space of four days, the road to the energy-saving home which is sustainable as well as comfortable is certainly clearer than it was.

White Papers on planning and energy (plus a new strategy for waste disposal) have this week all set out ways of making Britain's housing stock much more environmentally friendly.

Not before time. Although most of the attention in the fight against climate change is focused on greenhouse gas emissions from power stations, motor vehicles and aircraft, emissions from buildings are hugely significant - as the Government's chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, is constantly keen to point out.

Just look at the figures. Britain's emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal gas causing global warming, were 152 million tonnes (expressed as millions of tonnes of carbon, mtC) in 2004, and of this, emissions from the domestic building stock were 41.7mtC - no less than 27 per cent of the total.

Most of that energy goes on heating water and heating space. (For the record, 53 per cent goes on space heating, 20 per cent on water heating, 16 per cent to power appliances such as computers and televisions, 6 per cent on lighting and 5 per cent on cooking.)

But much of that can be cut right back - as of course it will have to be if the Government is to meet its climate change target of slashing UK carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.

It can be done in two ways - by energy-saving measures in the home, and also by decentralising the electricity supply system so that power is generated locally, on a small scale, rather than at a huge power station far away, which wastes much of the energy it produces in transmission. In some places this has produced astonishing results: Woking in Surrey reduced its carbon emissions by 77.4 per cent between 1992 and 2004.

Local generation may take place in a miniature power station serving a small community, but taken to its logical conclusion, you can do it in your own home, with solar panels on your roof or even a mini-wind turbine à la David Cameron. This is known as "microgeneration".

Read The Independent OnLine

BBC OnLine News May 25 2007

Congress backs Iraq funding bill May 25 2007

Both houses of the US Congress have passed a bill allocating $100bn of new funding for the Iraq war.

The House of Representatives voted in favour of the bill, and the Senate approved it shortly afterwards.

Earlier President George W Bush praised the bill, a compromise measure between Republicans and Democrats which has no timetable for a US troop withdrawal.

The deal ended months of wrangling over demands by Democrats, who control Congress, for checks on Iraq funding.

Democrats had wanted timetables for withdrawal built into any funding bill, but those conditions prompted Mr Bush to veto earlier legislation.

BBC OnLine Full Story

BBC OnLine History May 25 2007

May 25 1982: Dozens killed as Argentines hit British ships

Dozens of men are feared dead in the seas around the Falkland Islands after the container ship Atlantic Conveyor and the destroyer HMS Coventry were hit by Argentine missiles.

HMS Coventry managed to destroy two Argentine Skyhawk planes with Sea Dart missiles. Another wave of Skyhawks hit her four times with 1,000 bombs. She capsized, losing 21 of her crew.

An explosion and a fireball swept through the operations room. The ship listed to port and the crew and wounded made their way to the upper decks from where they were rescued.

It is thought the Atlantic Conveyor, owned by Cunard, was mistaken for the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.

She was attacked by two Super Etendards which fired French-built Exocets like the ones that sunk the Coventry's sister ship HMS Sheffield on 4 May.

One of the eight men still unaccounted for on the container ship is her master, Captain Ian North.

Bill Slater, Managing Director of Cunard, said he was a "remarkable man... very well known in the industry generally and this is typified by the messages of sympathy we've received from all over the world".

Two Exocets were fired at the Atlantic Conveyor.

Only one struck home but it was enough to damage the ship seriously.

BBC OnLine Full Story

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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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