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Archive June 9 2007



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June 2007











"The Big Issue"

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.



Twelve Step Fellowship

For anyone who would like to work the steps, these versions of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous provide a platform for changing our lives and outlook to sober living one day at a time.

AA Step Change
For Human Beings

God Conscious 12 Steps Spiritual

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Good Conscience 12 Steps Spiritual

For anyone who would like to work the steps, this version of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous provides slightly different wording of the six steps that make reference to God or a Higher Power. This version of the Twelve Steps seems to have originated in agnostic A.A. groups in California.

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.

[Original: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.]

3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.

[Original: Made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.]

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

[Original: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.]

6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.

[Original: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.]

7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings.

[Original: Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.]

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.

[Original: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.]

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.



Wilde Ones Chelsea


East Street May 1 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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June 2007
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June 10 2007

World Naked Bike Ride - BBC Narrative (DonInLondon photo‘s/video)


About 700 cyclists in various states of undress have cycled through central London in another leg of the World Naked Bike Ride.

The naked cyclists - and others with strategically-placed body paint, sticky tape or bum bags - were highlighting the damage caused by car dependency.

They were also promoting the environmental benefits of cycling.

Earlier on Saturday, more than 200 naked cyclists rode through Brighton and Hove in East Sussex.

The World Naked Bike Ride is now in its fourth year with more than 60 cities participating in 2007.

The London leg began at Hyde Park and finished in Wellington Arch, a route of about six miles.

Martin Ireland was one of those taking part in the ride.

He said: "We are seeing an increasing number of stories of melting ice caps and Antarctica crumbling away and no government is doing anything serious about this.

"They are paying lip service to the problem so people have been taking to their bikes, unclothing, to express their feelings about it."

Duncan Blinkhorn, 45, one of the organisers of the seven-mile Brighton ride, said: "This is a fun if outrageous way to make the serious point that we should not have to tolerate roads, cities and a planet dominated by the brutishness of cars that routinely foul the air we all breathe.

"Bikes and naked bodies harm nobody. Car fumes... are driving us all to climate chaos."






June 9 - 10 2007

Where to Start? DonInLondon ‘Day in the Life’

Beware of the Dog

Truly it has been a day of surprises and overall a very good day. It still feels odd and still reminds me of times when I know some things are going on and I really am aware its got something to do with me.

The last week has been pretty remarkable, I am into my fourth year of sobriety. With time served I realise there is no room for complacency. The longer I keep with the recovery road, the more I realise how easy a slip could be.

I have heard others describe these times as a ‘pink cloud phenomena’ and there are moments of elation and then a crash as I feel overwhelmed and concerned. About what I am uncertain. And the uncertainty can be quite unnerving.

What I See

In my line of work over the years it was easy to spot the falsehoods and the yarns that people can spin. And in recent weeks I have heard quite a few. Not so much about me and my world, but about their worlds and what is going on. The gift if you like of spotting where the trouble is served me well for many a year. And when I see falsehood it makes me feel very uncomfortable these days.

What I Hear

Although I wonder sometimes what may be occurring and what is being said, like many others we can have a sensation that our ears are burning, and there is discomfort. We know there is some discussion and its got something to do with us. Sometimes we feel the sensation and its unpleasant. It may feel a little paranoid. And this is me tonight.

What May I do?

When there is some discomfort and I have no clue I remind myself its good to be in the company of others. And I realise today, with a few regime changes and not getting to a meeting I am not following my routines. In fact looking back I have been off track a little and the sound basis of any recovery is following patterns and keeping to safe havens.

Safe Havens

My safe havens are to be in the company of others in my fellowship. I realise I need their company, their understanding of what it feels like to be uncomfortable in ones own skin.

In recent weeks I have been drawn back into helping and supporting mode with quite a few people I know. And also stepping out into other meetings does not always do me so much good. In our fellowship we know patterns and routines keep us healthy and when we move away, even for a short time the old feelings of doubt can creep in rather rapidly.

Pushing too Far

The fun today feels like it was worth it. I am very tired and have feelings of low mood. And I know this part of the plot too well. We know in fellowship if we are feeling hungry for something, maybe angry as well, too much isolation and tired, the game is not so good. And its not so good for me to feel this way. Keeping a balance has been important and indeed a necessary adjunct to living in my day by day progress in recovery. Too many variables and the game goes sideways.

Talk Tonight

How we can see our self obsessions multiply as we endeavour to recover from one addiction, only to find it replaced by another. I guess my compelling urge to write may be another sign, and this I realise means I need not stop, I need however find balance.

Fun

It was fun to go out and enjoy the Bare Naked Bike ride event. And it made me smile at the lengths people go to make a point. And it was all fun and humorous during the afternoon. Not one cross word heard and not one face scowling. Everyone was in good humour and making a serious point and doing it with aplomb.

Conventions

I like out of the ordinary and like new interests and being involved in communicating a very serious message, be it about addiction or anything we humans might wish to consider global and local issues. Involvement and sharing our stories and truths.

Which is why when unconventional means are used to express concerns about major world issues like climate, it brings home the point.

Sublime to the Slightly Ridiculous

Seriousness has its place as well as fun. And when we see the G8 leaders having a bit of fun, well we may be mean and feel they have no right as they preside over the most appalling mess, for example the catastrophe of Africa. I heard Bob Geldof saying what he must and saying what on earth are these wealthy nations doing to help the poor of the world.

And I can be quite circumspect. With a catalogue of things to contend with, I do ok, and yet like tonight I know the depth of my recovery and recovering is merely one day deep.

Just one day

So I know my feelings and temperament are disturbed. And I know the why of some of it. The reactive components of my disturbance are to do with diabetes for one and depression another. I need forget my regime a few hours and I am alert and aware I can be in for trouble.

Besides is what Winston Churchill referred to as "black dog."

Black Dog

Where we slide into dark, and desolate moments where we are inconsolable. The truth of it is the depression we get as time and whatever chemical change occurs means we slip down and down. What can I do?

Get back to routine and getting adequate rest. Stop pushing against boundaries I set to keep me safe. I have been too far off the path and it now comes to haunt me. Simply it’s the chill that never goes even in the warmest moments and the most tranquil for others. It gnaws at calm and grates on nerves not settled or settling.

So for now I’ll stop and relax as I may. This agitation is a sign I recognise and makes me concerned, And have no desire to speculate further. It will do no good to fret, as inevitably and with a sad certainty some things like "Black Dog" return unwanted and unloved. Till later..




More DonInLondon "A Day In The Life"


Fantastic Four Coming Soon


Guardian Unlimited OnLine June 10 2007


Corruption threat to aid June 10 2007




Britain could hold back £15m for impoverished Sierra Leone, the jewel in Blair's foreign policy crown

Alex Duval Smith, Freetown

Senior sources in Sierra Leone believe Britain is about to freeze a £15m payment to the West African nation amid evidence of endemic corruption that has seen millions of pounds in aid line the pockets of dishonest officials while ordinary people struggle in conditions of catastrophic poverty .

Britain, as the single largest donor country, gives the small country more than £50m a year, including £12m for its armed forces and the £15m direct payment to the Treasury, which is due in July to cover public servants' salaries.

A Foreign Office source claimed that the July payment will not be released. But a source for the Department for International Development (Dfid) disputed this last night, insisting the 'payment will be released' but admitted that some concerns remain about the ability of the Sierra Leone government to meet certain requirements such as accounting for the aid they receive and reaching certain benchmarks.

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Times OnLine June 10 2007


UK’s richest man in slave labour row June 10 2007




Mark Franchetti in Shakhtinsk, Kazakhstan, and Robert Winnett

WORKERS employed by Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man, are accusing the billionaire of cashing in on “slave labour” conditions after scores have died in accidents in his mines.

Coalminers working in Mittal’s Kazakh mines claim his firm is endangering their lives by using dangerous, outdated equipment and by cutting corners. More than 90 have died in the mines since 2004.

Miners claim that conditions are worse than in Soviet times and say they would rather work in Siberian mines.

This weekend Arcelor Mittal, his company, said health and safety was a “top priority” and that it intended to invest £63m improving safety at the mines.

Read The Times OnLine






Independent OnLine 'Indy' News June 10 2007


What happened to childhood? How we are failing the young June 10 2007



A major study of British children obtained by the 'IoS' before its submission to the UN, makes disturbing reading. They are materially wealthier than ever, but poorer in health and well-being, and demonised by Asbos. By Sophie Goodchild and Jonathan Owen

The health and well-being of an entire generation of children are at risk because the Government is failing to uphold their rights to privacy, safety and equality.

A dossier of evidence from 380 campaign and welfare groups, the most extensive ever into children's rights, obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveals that more than 40 child-protection safeguards are being breached in the UK.

The Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), which represents the groups, is to hand over the evidence to the United Nations and accuse the Government of "wilful neglect" over its repeated failure to implement the international treaty protecting under-18s, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

CRAE, whose members include Save the Children and Barnado's, warns that the widespread use of CCTV in schools, the "naming and shaming" of Asbo teenagers and the fact that parents can still smack children at home are just some examples of how the rights of children are being undermined.

They say that the life chances of the young and vulnerable, including refugees, teenagers in prison and children living in poverty, are being severely jeopardised by the lack of protection they are given by the state

Read The Independent OnLine






BBC OnLine News June 10 2007

Call to scrap tests for under-16s June 10 2007

The national exams sat by under-16s in England's schools should be scrapped, a teaching standards watchdog has urged.

The General Teaching Council (GTC) believes exams are failing to raise standards and are demoralising children, the Observer reports.

Instead of tests at seven, 11 and 14, the GTC said standards could be checked by monitoring a sample of pupils.

But the Department for Education said parents valued the information gleaned from tests and they would remain.

BBC OnLine Full Story




BBC OnLine History June 10 2007

June 10 1967: Israel ends six-day war

Fighting in the Middle East has ended after Israel finally observed the UN ceasefire and halted her advance into Syria.

Within the last six days Israeli troops have taken territory many times larger than Israel itself and united the holy city of Jerusalem for the first time since 1948.

Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol justified the pre-emptive strike on Egypt, and battles with Jordanian and Syrian forces by saying his country was acting in self-defence.

He told the Sunday Times newspaper: "The threat of destruction that hung over Israel since its establishment and which was about to be implemented has been removed."

He added: "For the first time in 19 years, Jews are again free to pray at the Wailing Wall and at other shrines sacred to Judaism in Jerusalem and Hebron."

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Ghandi

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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