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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.





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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DonInLondon July 11 - Spiritual ‘Day in the Life’

Zeitgeist

A big word for something so simple and offering something profound : ideas and spirit of time: the ideas prevalent in a period and place, particularly as expressed in literature, philosophy, and religion. Or in this moment as I choose to express it.

Spirit of the Time

There were excellent plans and intentions for my sister these last few weeks and months. A wedding and now no wedding, instead a funeral. It’s a tragedy as sharp and poignant as any who have experienced such times. As hurting can be, we are not so good ever with times where we fall apart to an extent. And actually we humans are designed to fall apart and then reassemble ourselves. We get our composure back, we start to process the impossible we are faced with. If we had to do it all at once, well we might prefer not being here at all. We need our time and space to understand our disbelief and then find ways to come to terms with life different.

Tonight

Being Here and being able to support. It is worth it. And as I said to my sister, I will make loads of mistakes, most likely say the wrong thing. And do it all with the best of intent. At the same time she knows I do mean to be helpful and we are both big enough these days to resolve any misunderstandings. I am hoping so. I for one have been a slow learner on some elements of life and living. And at others exemplary.

We Help Others Often

We do help others often, and we do this often because looking in the mirror is just plain hard. So a few years of time in the fellowship has helped enormously putting me back together. And simply getting a life to work when life and purpose had been lost along the way.

Never Blame - Just Forgive

Seems its got to be this way if we ever want to get a life back. We can look at everything and wonder where we have got to. And the simple answer is truly to live in the moment. As we pile our futures with yet to do’s we can lose site of the journey. And especially when the day by day is utterly painful we can ask those questions we dare not admit, about being alive or not. We humans have qualities we might wish we never had.

Some things which keeps us going enough are worth their weight in gold. And actually even gold is not the measure of human endeavour under the most difficult or extraordinary circumstances.

Tonight - Love

Love is what we have to share and offer when we are most pressed and most involved. We need keep a close eye on our love for and care for others. And when we do this as we learn how, the rewards are what they are.

Love!

We are reminded so often we are sometimes forgetful. And in the busy lives we lead, we are best served to pause and reflect what life truly is about. We can be side tracked here and there, and then we can find peace in the moments where nothing but a moment count for all endeavour. Hardships fall away, the toil, the grit, all is for love. Those moments of peace and tranquillity are a gift.

As today has gone by, I am relieved I have my wits. Well most of them. And as time allows we find a path so rich in care and living, we can see all the hard work was always worth it, because it was the endeavours which kept us doing the right things and for the right people. Our quest seems a singular path, and yet is best made in company we value and share. Love is what binds us and nothing else comes close.

As Life moves slowly and quickly around times like these. It is astonishing how we live and endeavour. it’s the way we learn the high and lows of living. From the most profound and sad recollections we don’t wish to forget, we find our grasp is softened as each days passes. And our anger abates and love is restored as acceptance follows for the years to come.

We never replace love, we find love again. We are very human as we live. And we simply work at life and best when we are back to reality and in train.

No easy ways on this spiritual gallop and then slowing pace catching our breath when the ephemeral nature of man and living catch us unaware. There is peace as we learn living over and over. And new ways to live in the day.

For Now

Times move me as memory and circumstances jolt not only me for these days are hard. There are old memories inside me and they are unlocked again, for a while. I need feel those times and learn more for my next encounters in the days to come. Love has that other gift we encounter of every feeling there can be its opposite, and we need tread softly or we disturb peace which can be secure as we learn forgiveness over and over again. Life and serenity are found through all endeavours the high and low moments of life make our path bitter sweet. There is a gift in every moment, and in every day.

Zeitgeist a word - An age to understand and good for one day, today.



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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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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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Brown U-turn over plan for supercasino July 12 2007




· Cabinet was not consulted on move

· Decision could cost 2,700 jobs

Tania Branigan and Patrick Wintour

Gordon Brown yesterday tore up Blairite plans for a supercasino based in Manchester, breaking with his predecessor and reasserting Labour's moral stance in the face of the Conservative focus on family values and the "broken society".

The prime minister chose to overshadow his own presentation of the legislative programme by telling parliament that regeneration might be "a better way of meeting [the] economic and social needs" of deprived areas than a Las Vegas-style casino. Whitehall sources later acknowledged that the controversial plans were "dead in the water".

His abrupt announcement was greeted with delight by anti-gambling campaigners, but with fury from MPs and businesses in the north-west, who questioned why the government had changed its mind at such a late stage. They complained that the belated decision had wasted time and money, and dashed hopes of bringing up to £200m investment and as many as 2,700 jobs to the deprived area of east Manchester.

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Times OnLine July 12 2007


Three million homes but not a supercasino July 12 2007




Philip Webster, Political Editor and Jill Sherman

Gordon Brown yesterday promised the biggest programme of housebuilding since the 1970s — but left the country guessing where the homes will be, how much they will cost and what they will look like.

At the same time he stunned MPs by killing off the supercasino, the centrepiece of Tony Blair’s long-planned expansion of gambling in Britain.

The Prime Minister pledged the creation of three million extra new homes by the end of the next decade as he put the housing crisis at the top of the political agenda. The annual housebuilding target is to be increased to 240,000 homes a year. The last time that figure was reached was in 1979, when council houses were still being built.

In the years since, council building has virtually stopped, but it will be revived drastically as part of yesterday’s package. Doubts were voiced last night over whether councils would be able to remobilise the construction expertise that they once had.

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'A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi... You know, so what?' July 12 2007



Interviews with US veterans show for the first time the pattern of brutality in Iraq

By Leonard Doyle in Washington

It is an axiom of American political life that the actions of the US military are beyond criticism. Democrats and Republicans praise the men and women in uniform at every turn. Apart from the odd bad apple at Abu Ghraib, the US military in Iraq is deemed to be doing a heroic job under trying circumstances.

That perception will take a severe knock today with the publication in The Nation magazine of a series of in-depth interviews with 50 combat veterans of the Iraq war from across the US. In the interviews, veterans have described acts of violence in which US forces have abused or killed Iraqi men, women and children with impunity.

The report steers clear of widely reported atrocities, such as the massacre in Haditha in 2005, but instead unearths a pattern of human rights abuses. "It's not individual atrocity," Specialist Garett Reppenhagen, a sniper from the 263rd Armour Battalion, said. "It's the fact that the entire war is an atrocity."

A number of the troops have returned home bearing mental and physical scars from fighting a war in an environment in which the insurgents are supported by the population. Many of those interviewed have come to oppose the US military presence in Iraq, joining the groundswell of public opinion across the US that views the war as futile.

This view is echoed in Washington, where increasing numbers of Democrats and Republicans are openly calling for an early withdrawal from Iraq. And the Iraq quagmire has pushed President George Bush's poll ratings to an all-time low.

Journalists and human rights groups have published numerous reports drawing attention to the killing of Iraqi civilians by US forces. The Nation's investigation presents for the first time named military witnesses who back those assertions. Some participated themselves.

Through a combination of gung-ho recklessness and criminal behaviour born of panic, a narrative emerges of an army that frequently commits acts of cold-blooded violence. A number of interviewees revealed that the military will attempt to frame innocent bystanders as insurgents, often after panicked American troops have fired into groups of unarmed Iraqis. The veterans said the troops involved would round up any survivors and accuse them of being in the resistance while planting Kalashnikov AK47 rifles beside corpses to make it appear that they had died in combat.

"It would always be an AK because they have so many of these lying around," said Joe Hatcher, 26, a scout with the 4th Calvary Regiment. He revealed the army also planted 9mm handguns and shovels to make it look like the civilians were shot while digging a hole for a roadside bomb.

"Every good cop carries a throwaway," Hatcher said of weapons planted on innocent victims in incidents that occurred while he was stationed between Tikrit and Samarra, from February 2004 to March 2005. Any survivors were sent to jail for interrogation.

There were also deaths caused by the reckless behaviour of military convoys. Sgt Kelly Dougherty of the Colorado National Guard described a hit-and-run in which a military convoy ran over a 10-year-old boy and his three donkeys, killing them all. "Judging by the skid marks, they hardly even slowed down. But, I mean... your order is that you never stop."

The worst abuses seem to have been during raids on private homes when soldiers were hunting insurgents. Thousands of such raids have taken place, usually at dead of night. The veterans point out that most are futile and serve only to terrify the civilians, while generating sympathy for the resistance.

Sgt John Bruhns, 29, of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armoured Division, described a typical raid. "You want to catch them off guard," he explained. "You want to catch them in their sleep ... You grab the man of the house. You rip him out of bed in front of his wife. You put him up against the wall... Then you go into a room and you tear the room to shreds. You'll ask 'Do you have any weapons? Do you have any anti-US propaganda?'

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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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