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Archive June 11 2007


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"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.



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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 12 2007

Making Good & Making Tea - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

An interesting day. After much research and finding ways to upload my videos with or without You Tube, I have found alternatives and may run both the you Tube account and another account, just in case I overstep and add something too controversial. Its not to undermine you Tube, at the same time tho’ it can happen we have ,material which is outside the community of You Tube’s remit.

So today I have found out much about video streaming and what it entails, of course the mighty Microsoft have their bases covered. And glad they do, however it can be an expensive business! So caution required.

My co tea person is not so good and has a problem with a metatarsal, very unfortunate. But I will send her loves and best wishes. And my good friend and fellow was available to help. Indeed more than one good friend would help out. it’s the nature of fellowship and getting along.

Tonight we talked about step nine and its hard not to mention step eight again in order to make sense of our steps.

I have studied and done some of these actions, and have borrowed some words and adjusted them for my style of writing, so here goes with step eight and nine. Acknowledgments that there is nothing new in this commentary and at the same time it is just one interpretation. We all choose our path in this fellowship and how we go about the steps. Sticking with the knitting pattern feels right, at the same time I feel most comfortable with good conscience to guide me and maybe not God, as I have yet to understand, merely moving from bewilderment to confusion and having a sense of good conscience does not undermine belief of others in any way or my path to understanding in the future. Respect!

Step 8.

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

Here again in Step 8 we take pen and paper in hand and proceed with the action of writing out a list of all we have harmed with our attitudes, behaviour and reactions caused by our alcoholism. Referring to our 4th Step Inventory, we list ALL the people, businesses, institutions and organizations noted there, even though we may not as yet be willing to make any amend to them. We need ensure we are thorough or we skimp and leave aside at our own peril and discomfort.

The willingness will come in time, as we complete the amends to those we are willing, and can and feel the weight of guilt lifted, this will happen some of the time and other times we may feel quite the opposite as not everyone will respond with forgiveness. We may feel the "monkey" sliding off our back. We can begin to walk down the street, on either side and in either direction without looking back over our shoulder, with the constant fear that someone/something is going to catch up with us. And I do recommend counsel with a mentor before proceeding with these actions as some may cause more difficult if we are imprecise in our aim and amends.

But for now, not to worry about any confronting, or actual making of amend. All we are doing is making a list and becoming willing to become willing to make amends to them all.

When the list is complete, even with some whose names we don't know or remember, the next action is one of reflection and discussion with your mentor or sometimes called sponsor. To become willing to begin making the amends, one at a time, one day at a time, as circumstances and time present the opportunity to make the amend.

With our willingness to begin, Step 8 is "started", but again notice that the step contains the word ALL twice. Step 8 is not complete until ALL are included in our willingness, even though we may never, or not in the foreseeable future, cross paths with some. That opportunity is not in our hands, experience will help as these opportunities present and we are ready to make the amend.

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

We should waste no time beginning the actual amend making. We can begin immediately making amends to our loved ones who have most been affected by our insanities, our self-serving unlovingness, our fears and resentments. Although one purpose of doing the 9th step is to bring our lives to order, our purpose is to Be ourselves and live life to good conscience. To be right sized and integrate into living with people in our communities. Setting past relationships right as we may and accepting some amends could cause harm and cannot be made. We are then more able to establish new relationships with better understanding and in good conscience.

Remember this when it comes to making amends. That we develop our faith, courage and confidence, and our family and community most affected by our alcoholism, will see the result of our ’living’ the steps in our new attitudes and behaviour. Our new attitudes and behaviour will be worth much more than all the words of amends we can express.

Remember also that the way we make amends to society and those we may never be able to contact is by staying sober a day at a time, practicing all the steps in all our life's affairs, continuing to help one another, doing all things out of love and fellowship. In this way we improve and develop our outlook, come to find peace within ourselves, and able to carry a message of faith, courage and confidence in our approach to living sober. We learn to favour Love and Hope and Peace in the world and this is reflected in what we do and how he live to good conscience.

With the willingness to make complete amends to all, and the making of amends to those about us where we are able, the 9th step is "started", and it is unlikely that we shall complete the step in this lifetime.

But worry not, the sooner you get started the more opportunity to live well, make amends for past insanity and make good as we go along.

So finally tonight

From the above you may recognise words from other sources. And the omission of god from my interpretation must never influence you to my viewpoint, its just my own. Choices and belief are very personal and we may not serve any purpose judging others and how they prefer to conduct and live their lives. Our fellowship is in better shape having a wide and broad appeal for both believers in God, and believers in the common good and good conscience of people. And whatever your higher power is, is not for me to judge.

The outcome is the same either way, sobriety. And a spiritual path, not predicated on a particular form of religious observation, one which helps us live to the good, a day at a time. Can we do this 24 hours a day, just one day only? Well, we make progress and develop our spiritual connection to reality, the very essence of spiritual development. May your force be with you..

Spiritual as defined

1. of soul: relating to the soul or spirit, usually in contrast to material things

2. of religion: relating to religious or sacred things rather than worldly things

3. temperamentally or intellectually akin: connected by an affinity of the mind, spirit, or temperament

4. refined: showing great refinement and concern with the higher things in life




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Guardian Unlimited OnLine June 12 2007


MoD accused over role in Bandar's £1bn June 12 2007




BBC says officials processed payments - Goldsmith refuses to answer questions

David Leigh and Rob Evans

Pressure was mounting on ministers for full disclosure of the government's role in Britain's biggest arms deal last night after claims that the Ministry of Defence directly administered payments of more than £1bn to Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia.

The MoD refused to address the specific allegations, made in BBC's Panorama, while the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, continued to stonewall questions over his role in the affair. BAE, the weapons manufacuturer at the centre of the controversy, remained silent.

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Times OnLine June 12 2007


Police ‘failed’ victim of honour killing June 12 2007




Steve Bird

An inquiry was under way last night into a series of police blunders which ended in the “honour” killing of a young woman at the hands of her father and uncle.

At the centre of the police investigation will be the role played by PC Angela Cornes, who ignored the claims by Banaz Mahmood that her life was in danger and instead dismissed the 20-year-old Kurdish woman as being melodramatic.

After her father Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and her uncle Ari Mahmod, 51, were convicted for murder yesterday at the Old Bailey, The Times can reveal that Miss Mahmood had told police on at least four separate occasions that the men were going to kill her because she had fallen in love with a man they disapproved of.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News June 12 2007


Hay fever: the cure and the catch June 12 2007



By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor

A once-a-day pill for hay fever that could transform the lives of sufferers is being denied to thousands of those most severely affected because of the cost.

The pill, which is dissolved under the tongue, is the first oral vaccine developed for hay fever. But the majority of NHS trusts have failed to fund it. With the hay fever season at its peak, millions of people with an allergy to grass pollen are sneezing, snuffling and rubbing itchy eyes. Hay fever affects about 20 per cent of the UK population - more than 10 million people - of whom up to one million are so badly affected it interferes with their lives.

The new treatment, Grazax, is the first oral vaccine for hay fever developed to tackle the underlying condition rather than the symptoms. Manufactured by a Danish company, and licensed in January, it contains small amounts of Timothy grass and is designed to "recondition" the immune system's response to pollen in people who do not respond to normal treatment.

According to a study released yesterday, the vaccine can produce a cumulative and long-term improvement for hayfever sufferers. Results presented at an international allergy conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, yesterday showed that the longer the treatment is taken the greater the protection it offers.

A trial in 2,500 patients in 12 European countries and Canada showed it reduced symptoms by 36 per cent in the second year compared with a 30 per cent reduction in the first year. Patients in the trial were allowed to use their usual antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays and the findings showed a 44 per cent reduction in the need for this "rescue" medication in the second year, compared with a 38 per cent reduction in the first year.

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BBC OnLine News June 12 2007

Call to protect Afghan civilians June 12 2007

The International Committee of the Red Cross says the situation in Afghanistan is growing worse with insecurity spreading and the conflict escalating.

In a statement it said civilians were suffering unbearably, and that over the past year there had been a steady deterioration of security.

It was critical not just of roadside bombs and suicide attacks, but also of aerial bombings by Nato forces.

The Red Cross called on all parties there to do more to protect civilians.

There are thousands of international troops in Afghanistan and billions of dollars in aid has been spent there.

But according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, life for ordinary people is getting worse, not better.

'Heavy price'

The organisation's director of operations, Pierre Kraehenbuhl says violence is now spreading right across the country:

"There's been an intensification of the fighting, it has spread to new parts of the country, so it's no longer confined to the south.

"The types of attacks include roadside bombs and suicide attacks, significant aerial bombardments and fighting on the ground," he said.

"It's really had a heavy price in terms of the population, both in terms of wounded and in terms of killed and people displaced so yes it's a very worrying situation."

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BBC OnLine History June 12 2007

June 10 1975: Gandhi found guilty of corruption

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has been barred from holding office for six years after she was found guilty of electoral corruption.

But Mrs Gandhi rejected calls to resign and announced plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The verdict was delivered by Mr Justice Sinha at Allahabad High Court. It came almost four years after the case was brought by Raj Narain, the premier's defeated opponent in the 1971 parliamentary election.

Mrs Gandhi, who gave evidence in her defence during the trial, was found guilty of dishonest election practices, excessive election expenditure, and of using government machinery and officials for party purposes.

The judge rejected more serious charges of bribery against her.

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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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