Archive June 20 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.





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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June 21 2007

Ordinary - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

I don’t know quite where to start tonight. Its like a roundabout sometimes in recovery. And we cannot get off. In the olden days for me I used to take the "edge off" with a tipple or two. Actually it was rarely one or two, it was half a dozen drinks or more. How was it I heard all the advice about safe drinking levels which applied to everyone, except me of course?

I would have reasons and it seems over the years a steady increase in capacity to drink alcohol was inevitable. A law of diminishing returns as we heavy drinkers need more to get the same effect as so little did the same years before. The dramatic increases were often seen as rights of passage into adulthood I felt. And adults who held their liquor were admired rather than shunned in my circle of friends back then.

And of course I tried to hide my behaviour over the last few years, as much as I could for even I realised it was out of control. And nothing worked then especially booze.

Two Meetings of AA Today

I had hard words with my broadband "non" provider who keep billing me when the account has been shut already and advised in writing twice as repeated attempts by telephone have elicited long waits and no response as the phone cuts out after a while.. So an earlier meeting today

At Eaton Square

I knew a lot of the fellows and got there just on time. And listened and heard my story. And of course with my story there is more than just the one ailment. So it was good to hear professional advice being sought for those other things we have as time goes by. I was struck by the honesty and what was said. People don’t pull too many punches when it comes to recovery. We realise being open and honest keeps us safe. And especially when we get uncertain and confused, like I did.

Other ailments

It does not matter what other illness or conditions we get in recovery, we still feel some guilt I feel about going to doctors and anyone who might help professionally. Two reasons, first is we feel we might not be working the AA programme as well as we might, and we all feel we have some blame when it comes to our situation. And seeing doctors can make us very uncomfortable simply because the phantoms we had in the past might be haunting us now.

Doctor and Government Assessment Next Monday

Even though my Doctor and the hospital have told me I am not to work presently, the government doctor has to assess me for fitness to work. And this I checked on this morning, and the said I must attend, and I will of course. What purpose is there these days in doing this and checking up on two sets of professionals who have given their opinion. And what am I to do?
I need not feel undermined I am told and its just the way the system works.
So I realise a powerless and rather unpleasant day on Monday next. So in between I will do nothing to aggravate of think about Monday. There is no point and nothing to change how these processes work.

So Today and Tonight

My blood sugars have been all over the place, one moment I feel ok the next its feels like close to blacking out. Something is not so good right now. And I am also concerned for my Sister’s partner who is not well either. So stress is a factor today, and the impact is as is, very profound. So keeping level is something I need to work pretty hard to achieve, and not become embroiled in going round in circles about matters I am powerless over.

Most days acceptance is the key, and yet we need to challenge those boundaries with care to make we are doing our bit and enabling good choices and outcomes during the day.

Love and Spiritual

In tonight’s meeting, I was looking back at those times where there was peace and harmony in my life. And those moments are rare. Where I loved and was loved, and I felt the warmth of human contact and love as profound as any spiritual experience. And in truth no drug or any amount of alcohol every assisted my outlook to equate to absolute moments of utter peace. Any spiritual connection has always been in a moment where nothing was in between me and the truth of those moments of love without condition.

In sobriety and in particular, these past couple of years I am understanding what I have been missing all my life. A constancy in me, and in my relations with other human beings. Friendship and understanding as we do in fellowship is unconditional and what we know for ourselves. And our open honest and willing outlook can develop and we live to a set of values we come to understand. And also understand the world does not always work that way, even if we do!

A far cry from other times where I may have felt loved and loving. I realise without doubt that loving me in the past was very hard for any partner and my best friend was always about in a bottle. Even though I had integrity in many aspects of my living, I see how I devalued my own worth as time went on and nothing could stop my drinking. I may have started with low esteem from my early years, and I took it to more than one rock bottom.

Rock bottom, is the place where we are most vulnerable, we either realise our end is certain or we make an effort to find a path to recover.

Clarity is not a gift seen or understood in the deep gloom of rock bottom. And I realise my moments of clarity came after I relapsed long after many horrors and close shaves with death. I look back and shudder. And knowing now that it was inevitable as night follows day, this disease of the body and mind kills many easily and never goes away. Self inflicted? There is where shame and guilt need be thrown off as we learn the disease of addiction through recovery. It was always the first drink which did the damage and recovery is maintain just one day long.. There is no blame just chemistry as we understand the nature of our malady and the emotional obsessions we are ultimately consumed by over time.

And tonight I just had a few words with a good friend who I will see in the morning and share a few minutes with. Tomorrow feels far away and my mind is still calming down with acceptance being the key.

Tools of the Trade - In Recovery

We learn through experience and develop skills we never imagined we had. We forgive as we may, and learn humility inevitably every day. Or we go towards Ego’s drift in no time flat when we are shaken by unfair moments. And we respond with care if we are in time, as we remind ourselves of the truth, powerless over people places and things. And we make choices wisely. Some things we need not do again and some things are best left completely not just for today, every day.

In the quieter moments over the last few days I have felt enormous gratitude for partners I have lived and shared time with over the years. Women in my life so different in their make up and personalities, all so gifted and authentic. Memories and fondness felt, even when relationships foundered for whatever reason. I loved with passion and know also what was going on for me. I never felt quite good enough, was driven by career and careered all over never finding peace in myself. A man driven and running empty inside. Calmer now and accepting where life is, I see much magic over the years and not all is lost to time.

Now I See

And understanding the clinical cause was depression and seeking oblivion one moment and love the next, I was a nightmare to know. And I know more now than ever that time heals, and there is no fix to living. We need relish every moment as reality bites or delivers profound moments of bliss.

Less Than - More Than

These days I am not seeking to be more than anyone, or feel less than anyone. I guess just plain ordinary will do me, and ordinary is the extraordinary capacity we all have to love and be loved. We need work and endeavour to be extraordinary and ordinary in this one day we have, best without denials and filters…

Maybe I am a slow learner in some elements of living, I am glad and grateful today to have experienced the truth of ordinary and extraordinary moments all in this one day.

Love is all we need..





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Big Issues London











"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.



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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Renewable revolution is here, says UN report June 21 2007




Report sees energy mix turning greener sooner - 'Great news' but 'still peanuts', says Greenpeace

Terry Macalister

A gold rush of new investment into renewable power over the past 18 months has led the United Nations to conclude that clean energy could provide almost a quarter of the world's electricity by 2030.

More than £35bn was injected into wind and solar power and biofuels in 2006, 43% more than the preceding year. Sustainable energy accounts for only 2% of the world's total but the UN says 18% of all power plants under construction are in this sector.

The findings, outlined in the Global Trends in Sustainable Development annual review, represent a challenge to the received wisdom among energy experts that green power is likely to play only a marginal part in the energy mix until at least the second half of the century.

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Times OnLine June 21 2007


British hostages held by ‘Iran-backed’ killers June 21 2007




Richard Beeston in Baghdad

A group funded, trained and armed by Iran was responsible for kidnapping five British civilians in Baghdad last month, according to the commander of US forces in Iraq.

General David Petraeus told The Times yesterday that he believed that the men, four security guards and a consultant, were alive and added that there had been repeated attempts to free them. No demands have been made for their release.

Commandos searching for the hostages have staged a series of raids on suspected terrorist hide-outs. “There have been several operations to try to rescue them, we just have not had the right intelligence,” General Petraeus said. “There is a very intensive effort ongoing to try to locate and rescue them.”

The remarks are the first official acknowledgement of secret hostage rescue efforts that the British authorities refuse to comment on. They are also likely to inflame relations with Iran further. The general said that the terrorist cell responsible had very close ties to the Iranian authorities, but he fell short of accusing Tehran of complicity.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News June 21 2007


Two words sum up why I cannot accept my MBE: Tony Blair June 21 2007



An exclusive report by Joseph Corre, co-founder of Agent Provocateur

I am not a politician. I am not a political commentator. I have never been a Conservative, on one hand, or a hippie on the other. I have certainly never hated the Labour Party. I'm simply a businessman who co-founded a company called Agent Provocateur, which makes knickers and has had the good fortune to be successful.

Three weeks ago, I was sent a letter saying that I'd been nominated for an MBE. I thought it was a nice gesture and signed a form saying that I would be happy to accept. But after news of the MBE came out in the press, the idea began wrestling with my conscience. Yesterday, I decided that I cannot accept this honour.

My reason for turning down the MBE can be summed up in two words: Tony Blair. In 1997, I voted for Mr Blair. It was a time of hope and I was hopeful that he would be a good prime minister. To a degree, his party did good things in office. I agreed with the minimum wage, and I have admired his tax regime, which created an environment in which my business could thrive.

However, I believe that the way and the methods with which Tony Blair took Britain to war in Iraq and Afghanistan alongside George Bush were dishonest. They were based on a lie. We did not enter these conflicts for moral reasons; we entered them for economic ones. That much has now become clear.

I would have admired Tony Blair, or at least respected him, if he'd have told me that we were going to war because he thought it would be good for our economy, regardless of the human cost. I would have respected that honesty, even if I strongly disagreed with him. But instead, Mr Blair dreamt up this thing called spin, which is effectively organised lying, to convince the British public that his reasons were just.

The result has been that hundreds of thousands of people have now suffered intolerably. They have suffered death and torture, and they now live in hopeless situations as a direct result of Tony Blair's invasion. What is going on daily in Iraq is a tragedy. I have seen the death and the sheer human misery. I have seen pictures of whole families being blown to pieces. It is the greatest scandal of our time.

Someone has to be held responsible for that. Someone has to stand up and hold up their hand and say sorry for the lies, and sorry for that dodgy dossier. Instead, we have had silence. The UK has become a more dangerous place, and a bigger target for terrorists. Whole communities have been alienated and still nobody from Tony Blair's government has said sorry

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BBC OnLine News June 21 2007

Brown offered Ashdown Cabinet job June 21 2007

Prime Minister-in-waiting Gordon Brown offered former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown the Cabinet post of Northern Ireland secretary, the BBC has learned.

Lord Ashdown said the offer was made on Wednesday - after Lib Dem Leader Sir Menzies Campbell said no member of his party would join Mr Brown's government.

The peer said he could not have considered taking a Cabinet post without Sir Menzies' approval.

And he said that he would not have been in favour of the proposal anyway.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said a meeting on Monday between Sir Menzies and Mr Brown included discussions about junior roles for Lord Ashdown and another Lib Dem peer, Baroness Neuberger.

'Could not conceivably consider'

He said the Lib Dem leader had not been aware that a direct offer of a Cabinet post was being made to Lord Ashdown.

It would have been unprecedented in modern times for a government with a clear majority, as Labour has, to give a Cabinet job to a member of other parties.

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BBC OnLine History June 21 2007

June 19 1945: US troops take Okinawa

The Japanese island of Okinawa has finally fallen to the Americans after a long and bloody battle.

The island, situated 340 miles (550km) south of the Japanese mainland, will now provide the Americans with an invaluable air and naval base from which to launch a sustained and forceful attack on the mainland.

It is estimated more than 90,000 Japanese troops were killed in the 82-day conflict.

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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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