Previously I have mentioned the persistent disingenuity of Blair and the Labour Party over so called "Tory cuts" which they keep banging on about. Well this week Labour decided, after being put on the back foot so much, that they were going to try and shape the agenda by releasing a poster that would link the words "Tory" and "cut" back into peoples' minds. This was one of the campaigning points back in 1997, that the Tories had cut the funding from public services. Largely this is true for the early 1990s. It was painful for a lot of people but it was totally necessary in order to get the UK economy moving back on track after the currency debacle, interest rates problems and rapid inflationary pressure. As a result of those cuts the Labour Party inherited a golden economic legacy from a party which at the time was imploding. Having said this, it was an excellent example of media management by the Labour Party that they so successfully created a myth around the Tory Party about what they did and stood for. So much so in fact that many of us receded into the shadows and dared not admit we were Tories for fear of chastisement as evil bigoted bastards that only want to make our rich selves richer. Of course, such a description is utter rubbish, but the Labour Party managed to create it all the same. The definition was made very clear, a Tory believed in cutting public services at the expense of the poor whilst rewarding the rich. After 18 years of Tory Government it's easy to see why the media let itself be manipulated into creating such a myth. It was time for a change, personally, I think it's time for a change again, but that remains to be seen. However I digress slightly, my point is that Labour successfully linked the word "cut" with "Tory" in 1997, and in 2005 they are trying to do it again with a new poster (yes another one).|
During last week Labour released a poster which stated that the Tories would "cut" £35 billion from the public services budget. Now that sounds pretty fucking radical. £35 billion is a lot of money to be removing from a budget in one go doesn't it? But wait, it's not being removed from the budget in one go at all. In fact, in some sense it's not being removed from a budget at all because the money isn’t even there yet. When you strip away the spin from Labour's poster what you actually find is that the £35 billion is the difference between what Labour and the Tories would be spending in 2011-12 should they come to and remain in power from this year onwards. They're not even real figures; they’re just projections based on a set of assumptions about the economies performance over the next 7 years all things being equal. They do not factor in potential disasters, wars, global economy effects etc. The figures are, in themselves meaningless in that sense because they will obviously change anyway according to circumstance. However there is also something more important at play here. The actual figures of each party's projections to which the difference is calculated are massively higher than today's figures. In the case of the Labour Party’s total figure for 2011-12 it is based upon a 5% increase of the budget each year. In the case of the Tories it is based upon a 4% increase. There lies the true difference between the two parties for all to see. It is not some scare tactic figure of £35 billion that is being used by Labour because it holds the intelligence of the electorate in contempt, it's a 1% difference in an increase rate that are both over double the current inflation rate. To call that a cut would be intellectually bankrupt.
A few things of note.
Section 2: Realize that if you are not "Any parent of Theresa Marie Schiavo," this law does not apply to you.
Section 8: This law cannot act as a precedent, in other words, this law is an exception to the rules. Congress understands this, and goes so far as to say that nothing in this law may be used to create other judgements that would prevent other life-support patients from being unplugged.
I wonder, how many other Theresa Marie Schiavos are out there? This law would apply to those parents as well.
For the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo. (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by Senate)
S 653 ES
For the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo .
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. RELIEF OF THE PARENTS OF THERESA MARIE SCHIAVO .
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida shall have jurisdiction to hear, determine, and render judgment on a suit or claim by or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo for the alleged violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.
SEC. 2. PROCEDURE.
Any parent of Theresa Marie Schiavo shall have standing to bring a suit under this Act. The suit may be brought against any other person who was a party to State court proceedings relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain the life of Theresa Marie Schiavo , or who may act pursuant to a State court order authorizing or directing the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life. In such a suit, the District Court shall determine de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo within the scope of this Act, notwithstanding any prior State court determination and regardless of whether such a claim has previously been raised, considered, or decided in State court proceedings. The District Court shall entertain and determine the suit without any delay or abstention in favor of State court proceedings, and regardless of whether remedies available in the State courts have been exhausted.
SEC. 3. RELIEF.
After a determination of the merits of a suit brought under this Act, the District Court shall issue such declaratory and injunctive relief as may be necessary to protect the rights of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution and laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.
SEC. 4. TIME FOR FILING.
Notwithstanding any other time limitation, any suit or claim under this Act shall be timely if filed within 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
SEC. 5. STAY.
Upon the filing of a suit or claim under this Act, the District Court may issue a stay of any State court order authorizing or directing the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain the life of Theresa Marie Schiavo pending the determination of the suit.
SEC. 6. NO CHANGE OF SUBSTANTIVE RIGHTS.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to create substantive rights not otherwise secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the several States.
SEC. 7. NO EFFECT ON ASSISTING SUICIDE.
Nothing is this Act shall be construed to confer additional jurisdiction on any court to consider any claim related--
(1) to assisting suicide, or
(2) a State law regarding assisting suicide.
SEC. 8. NO PRECEDENT FOR FUTURE LEGISLATION.
Nothing is this Act shall constitute a precedent with respect to future legislation.
SEC. 9. NO AFFECT ON THE PATIENT SELF-DETERMINATION ACT OF 1990.
Nothing in this Act shall affect the rights of any person under the Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990.
Passed the Senate March 17, 2005.
As anyone reading some of my posts might have guessed, we in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are currently entering the election silly season. Right now we are in what is known as the pre-election campaign. Offically know one knows when the election is going to be, the joy of our system is such that the Prime Minister decides when to have an election so long as it happens before the end of the fifth Parliamentary session of his majoirty. When he decides, or more correctly, when he assesses that he has the greatest chance of winning, he will call an election by going to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and requesting that she dissolve Parliament and hold elections. When this announcement is made we have a two week election campaign and then we vote. Now, as it stands, Blair is in his fourth of a potential five Parliamentary sessions as Prime Minister. We have a general convention in the UK that general elections are held in the summer months to captialise on long daylight hours and "better" weather. We also have a general convention that the election be held on the first Thursday of the month. Given all this it is most likely - and considered pretty probable - that the next general election will be on Thursday May 5th this year. It doesn't have to be then but everyone is pretty sure that is when it is going to happen given the revving up of the Government's own party political campaign headquarters and pre-election posters etc. Basically everyone is getting off the starting blocks for the dissolution of Parliament in approximately three weeks time.|
Labour, as I've mentioned before have had a shit time of it in their early campaign. Not only have the Tories been better than them, but they have made some horrendous gaffs which is not like them when one considers the staunch professionalism of their media campaigns in the past. The first big gaff came with their proposals for posters. The party got members to vote on which posters they most wanted to see. Unfortunately these posters got leaked and the content of them caused a mild furore. You see, the leader of the Tory party Michael Howard is a jew, as too is his proposed Chancellor of the Exchequer Oliver Letwin. One of the proposed posters was a depiction of two flying pigs with the faces of Howard and Letwin superimposed on them. Now, the obvious intention of the poster was to draw inference to Tory financial policies with the age old adage "pig might fly". In other words the policies were unbelievable. Of course, no one seemed to notice that depicting two of the highest profile jewish politicians in Britain as pigs might cause a bit of a backlash. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think for a minute that the poster was being deliberately anti-semitic or anything of the sort, I honestly beleive that it was lacking in malice in that sense. However, for no one in the campaign team to pick this up during fielding of designs suggests a lapse in concentration. This is especially the case when the posters came to light in the same week as Holocaust Day. It seems highly likely that the leaking of the posters was politically motivated, but the poster itself was a political gaffe and misjudgment none the less. Labour's argument when some in the Jewish Community complained (including the Chief Rabbi) was that the poster was never meant to be anti-jewish it was meant to be anti-tory.
Sadly though it didn't end there. There was another poster that had been designed for Labour members to vote on. This time Oliver Letwin was the lone target of the poster. It superimposed his face on to a chaacter dressed like Fagin from Oliver Twist and had the by-line that Letwin would "pick a pocket or two" from the people. I think the intention was to refer to the the so-called "Tory cuts" that don't really exist. Of course, for those that might not have noticed, there is a minor problem with this poster as well. You see, the way Dickens describes Fagin in his book is such that the picture is drawn of a nasty evil man with a hook nose that is basically a more Victorian England version of Shylock (a la The Merchant of Venice). When you add the ethnic description to the fact that Fagin is a anagram of the Hebrew word "ganif" which means thief, you basicaly have a recipe for disaster... politically speaking I mean. Again though, as with the other poster, I do not beleive that the intent was one of anti-semitism. However what it does show is a lack of knowledge about history and literature in the Labour campaign team which has caused them two political headaches which could very well have been avoidable. If I were someone high up in Labour I would be firing people for not spotting the potential problems with my posters.
Disclaimer: I'm not a chrsitian and I don't hold the view that a child is a human being from conception. As such I am not against abortion in the early months of pregnancy.|
Yesterday in the UK, the Conservative Party leader Michael Howard put the abortion back onto the political agenda of Britain. In recent weeks the Tories have been doing very well at setting the agenda, this has been because of their demographic targetting software pruchased from one Karl Rove six months ago. It appears to be working. The abortion issue has not been put on to the agenda in terms of banning it however, it has been raised in relation to our time limits for abortion. In the UK you cannot have an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy. This has caused a bit of a storm amongst the Labour Party who care scared that Britain will go down the route of America and start to have abortion as a wedge issue. I personally don;t agree with that notion, but the Labour Party, and Tony Blair personally have said the argument should not be discussed and the law is fine. I'm not sure I entirely agree with that though.
As some of you know from the limeys at Asylum who have discussed abortion before, the reason that the abortion time limit was set at 24 weeks was because it was agreed (in Parliament and with the Church of England) that it was not until at least 24 weeeks that the child could exist independently of the mother. In other words it was based on the survival chance of the child outside the womb. That was back in the 1970s. Midwifery practice today states that they consider a child "viable" at 21 weeks (I have that straight from an NNS "Pregnancy" book) and there have now been cases of children born from 21 weeks on that have survived because of new technological and medical advances. Now, given that Britain quite rightly made this issue one of clincal viability in relation to the survival of the child when it drew up the law I am not quite sure why it is wrong to review the law on the same grounds now. If a child can be shown to be able to survive indepedently of the mother at an earlier date than the law currently sets then surely the law should be changed to take account of that.
There is no doubt of course that Howard is targeting a particular demographic for votes. He's a politician, what do you expect? Labour do it to. Opportunism is not the reserve of the Tory Party alone and to suggest otherwise would be intellectually bankrupt. However, there is also a logical argument for the reviewal of a law drawn up many years ago which is not now in date with current clinical thinking. I think the clincal argument is the key here. If the medical profession has evidence that a child can survive before 24 weeks then the law should reflect that (unless of course one refuses to acknowledge the underlying assumptions used in the drawing up of the current legislation, which I guess is one prerogative, although it would be a bit disingenuous).
Let's put this in perspective for a minute though. 24 weeks pregnant is 6 months. The proposal of 20 weeks is therefore 5 month. Even if the law was changed to a middle ground option of 22 weeks, that is still a 5 months plus period after conception. Only an extermely small minority would not know they were pregnant at that sort of time, and one would assume that if one wanted an abortion they would not wait until they were over half way gone before they decided to have one.
The proposal being put forward are certainly designed to be vote catching, but they do also make logical sense in relation to the basis of our current laws.
I think that almost all of us know that. 1 want to tell you, my friends, just a little bit about my experience that tells me life can be difficult.|
I was born clubfooted in both feet. Severely for the left foot, moderately for the right. At age 11 months I had my first operation to correct those problems. I was in and out of the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, CA many times over the next 2 ½ years. I wore braces (a la Forrest Gump) until I was seven.
As a consequence of the various surgeries, the braces, and the months spent in casts from the waist down, my legs never grew the way they should have. I’m nearly six feet tall, and have a 27 inch in-seam. According to the doctors, had my legs grown as they should, my height-now would be more nearly 6’6” to 6’8”. In some ways I am very glad that I am not that tall, but I would not choose the methodology that achieved that end for any other child.
I was clumsy, and very accident prone, as a child. Many cuts requiring stitches, some broken bones, and one gunshot wound, before I ever reached puberty. I spent an inordinate amount of my childhood recovering from injuries.
At age 12, my left hand was twisted off in a washing machine (in spin cycle). I had to learn how to write all over again, having been left-handed my entire life. I was in the seventh grade in February of 1968, when I lost my hand. I spent 27 days in the hospital and another nine days at home. Finally, having missed a month of school, I returned to the grade school I attended. All of the seventh and eighth grade classes were concentrated in one hallway of the school. Eight classrooms and eight teachers. We moved from classroom to classroom through the course of the day depending upon the subject we were scheduled into at that time. The purpose of this was to prepare us for high school.
On the day that I returned to the seventh grade, as I was standing in the hallway before first period, talking with a group of my friends, my girlfriend, with whom I was “going steady” walked up to me with a brown paper bag in her hand. She handed the bag to me, turned, and walked away without saying a word. I opened the bag. In it was everything I had ever given to her, along with a note which simply said “I can no longer be your girlfriend”. No explanation, no reason, just a bald statement
Everyone in my life; family, friends and relatives, doctors in the hospital, nurses in the hospital, all of them had continually commented on how well I was dealing with the loss of my hand. How strong I was. I did not let anyone, not even my mother, see how much I hurt inside. I had already learned that pain doesn’t decrease by letting others see it. I knew from much experience that allowing others to see the pain would be taken as weakness. Weakness was never something I felt I could afford
You see, as a consequence of all of the problems I had in early life, at age 12 I was four foot nine and weighed less than 80 pounds. Just a few months before I lost my hand, at the beginning of the school year, they assembled all of the students in the school, nearly 1,000 children. We assembled on the playground outside the school building in ranks by height. I was in the first row even though I was in the seventh grade. The only child in the school shorter than myself was a first grade girl.
I was an angry, mean little shit, with a very bad attitude - at least according to the teachers and many of my fellow students. For myself, the attitude which I displayed was a necessity. A necessity, in order to cope with the fact that my peers were all much larger than I, and like children everywhere, picked on anyone different from the group. I was very different from the group.
Having lost my hand, my girlfriend, and most of my motivation, I entered into a period of depression which lasted for nearly three years. Prior to the loss of my hand, I had never received anything but an A on any academic subject on any report card ever sent home with me. I passed the second half of seventh grade as a courtesy of my teachers, not because of any effort of my own. I entered the eighth grade, did the absolute bare bones minimum, which would get me a C or D and pass the courses. It did not require any effort, as the eighth-grade really does not introduce anything truly knew, in the grade school curriculum. Possibly some maths, but that is basically the extent of it. Without doing a single bit of homework, without opening a textbook, without reading any of the required books, without doing anything other than simply sitting at my desk listening to the teacher, it was quite possible to get C’s and D’s. That’s all I did.
Freshman year in high school was much the same, so was sophomore year. Late in sophomore year I began to come out of the depression I had been suffering for so long, and look around me. I asked myself a simple question. Did I want to go to college? I decided that I did. I reviewed the requirements to obtain entry to the various colleges I had developed an interest in. It didn’t take long to realize that there was no way possible given the grades which I had obtained to that time to obtain entry even into community college.
I spent the summer between sophomore & junior years thinking intensely about what it would take to be able to get into a decent college given my academic record. At pre-registration for junior year I managed to persuade my guidance counselor that I could take 10 courses in an 8 period day, and pass them all. We struck a deal. If I could maintain a 4.0 average (perfect grades) for the first nine weeks then he would allow me to continue the second nine weeks with the same schedule. And so on. I ended my junior year with a 4.0 for the year. I am not bragging here, simply stating the facts, knowing full well that anyone sufficiently motivated could have done as well.
Having completed the necessary credits for graduation, I elected to attend community college for my senior year instead of high school. Many of the people who knew me in school thought I had dropped out. The only class I attended was an “early bird” class which met before regularly scheduled class hours. French IV. I only attended that class because the school district and the school board refused to allow me to graduate early and would only give me the necessary consent forms to attend community college if I showed up to have my little head counted for tax revenue purposes for at least one class each day.
So every morning I arrived at the school house at 730, attended French IV with the other six enrollees in that class. Ran to my car, drove like a madman to the community college 20 miles away to get to my first-class, which was at 9 AM. As a part of the agreement with the school board that allowed me to do this I had to maintain a 4.0 average that year as well. I did so.
I have said all of the foregoing for a very simple reason. I truly believe that if one can find within oneself the desire to achieve anything, that in it is within one’s grasp. It matters not how impossible it may seem. It matters not what others may say about the attempt. The only thing which matters is one’s own belief that the goal is worth the effort.
Regardless of the level of difficulty one encounters in life the primary impediment to achievement for almost all of humanity is their own failure to believe in themselves.
Do you believe in yourself?
What can I say that I can let you people hear without fear of some sort of backlash? You know I look around me and at the mirror and I see a host of people with an endless array of interesting stories. Even the seemingly stupid or socially inept could reveal to you a deep past, full of great tragadies and triumphs. Things that have made huge impacts on their spirits and their lives. Everyone has a story and most everyone has something over you.|
To what do I refer? One of the phrases I have come to live by is that "everything is a science" only when you try to encompass the whole of any given thing do you realise how large and complex everything is. You think you know a lot? Maybe but that guy over there knows more than you about something. Maybe its physics or sport, it could be anything. People seem to forget that their discipline rests on the shoulders of a myriad of other people and their professions. Everything only works when we put everyone together and no one man is inexpendable however good they might claim to be. Nor can anything be seen as worthless unless it truely has no talent.
It's to easy for people to forget that they are dealing with layers of people every day. What you see of someone is never the full story and when we deal through a medium such as this that danger is magnified many times over. Rise above a crowd of people and try to guess at them. Where did they come from? Where are they going? what do they want? What do they fear? Look at the multitudes that surround you and marvel at the great and groaning infrastructure that supports them in every concievable way. Everything is constantly in motion and yet simultaneously understood and manipulated in the most logical and methodical of ways. You are a job to hundreds of people every moment of your existence.
Trying to command an eagles eye view of the world whilst seeking to understand the intricacies of all things is pretty damn hard. You *will* fail. It isn't possible to handle that amount of information yourself. But do your best and you'll see the necessities behind a great many things.
How does this relate to me? Whats my touching story? Well its long and painful even at this early stage of my life but then maybe it picks up around the middle, who knows right? I think for now you're going to have to settle for a snapshot of my point of view and there it is above. We'll see about the rest.
That's what the sign said.
From Apple pucker to Zebra stripe.
It took me less than 15 seconds to decide on Lime. Just an ordinary flavor. The kid behind the counter looked at me like I was just crazy. Nobody orders the simple flavors. Why they bother to put them on the menu anymore is beyond me. I layed down two George Washington's and walked off with a lime green sno-cone.
Someone said that the "best things in life are free." I reckon it was worth the 2 dollar mark up on a 93 degree day.
so it seems many of the National Health Service Trusts in the country are pretty shabby at managing their finances. Specifically they are all heavily in the red. This in itself is not a funny thing, however a statement from a Health minister was (can't remember his name but it wasn't the Secretary of State it was one of his minions). When questioned about the fact that a multitude of hospitals across London (including Great Ormond Street) were in the red by so many millions that they have had to close wards in the past year because they do not have the necessary funds his reply was, and I freely admit I paraphrase, "it's perfectly normal for hospitals to be in the red by this much at the beginning of the year, we've put more money than anyone else ever into the NHS". First up, normal to be in the red at the beginning of the year? Has no one told this guy that in accounting the year is not based around the calender but is based around the tax cycle (April to April), which makes March the end of the year. Thus a hospital being in serious debt in March is not an acceptable thing at all. It's a very bad thing. Second, no one questioned whether Labour had put more money into the NHS, what they're questioning is where the hell has it gone if hospitals are millions in debt and cannot keep wards open? Classic Labour dodge and spin.|
The second most funny thing I read yesterday was Gordon Brown's (Chancellor of the Exchequer) speech from Sunday. In that speech he said that we "have the lowest mortgage rates for 30 years". Errrr... mortgage rates have gone up four times in the last two years. We do not have the lowest mortgage rates for 30 years. We had the lowest mortgage rates for 30 years but that has now changed, rates are rising and have been for a while now. Another example of Labour disingenuity and misrepresentation of the facts for political purposes.
Finally are Labour's attack on the Tory Party. They've had to do this because they gave been caught totally on the back foot in campaign terms and the Tories have set the agenda. So what we had was the rolling out of the big Labour guns to scream about how the Tories would "cut billions from the budget". However, the use of the word "cut" is nothing more than disingenuous semantic bullshit. What is actually meant when Labour says "cut" is a reduction in the rate of a budget's increase. In other words the budget for say health this year will not be less next year if the Tories were to win the election. What would be different is the amount by which it would increase. Thus a "cut" in Labour terms is a reduction in money that is neither received or allocated yet.
Spin.. don't you just love it?
I never knew how she felt. Apparently my assumptions were wrong.|
But, you know what they say about assumptions.
I never heard the words I love you. Apparently she was waiting for them too.
But, I only say it when I'm really sure.
I never pushed her forward with our relations. Apparently she wanted me to.
But, I don't like to be the pushy type of guy.
I never heard about the other guy. Apparently he appeared after I "left her."
But, I only thought of it as being relocated.
I never saw it coming. Apparently I was not in tune.
But, she did not give me any signs to follow.
I never got the announcement. Apparently she was too scared to tell me.
But, her friends were quick to call and console me.
I never thought to ask "thee" question. Apparently his ring fit her finger.
But, I know I'm not ready for that commitment anyway.
I never expected the call the night before. Apparently her feet grew cold.
But, it was unfair to tell me "if only you had..."
I never thought she'd go through with it. Apparently she wanted me there.
But, I couldn't bare the sight of her taking another man's name.
I always loved her. Apparently she felt the same way.
But, I guess it wasn't meant to be.
I am honest now if nothing else. I can see myself for who I am today. I am not special nor unique. I'm not the worst person you could ever meet or the best, I would fall in the middle somewhere. What does seperate me and make me unique from normal human beings is how I react when I consume alcohol or drugs. I will trade all of my tomorrows for a few minutes or a few hours of bliss. I know this and have proven it to my self again and again since the age of 12. We (people in recovery) call this doing research. I have done extensive research and privately funded research projects that were held in all sorts of lavish and horrid locations. The result is always the same, I will move heaven and earth for more once I have started getting high. When others have quit partying and said "Thats all for me, I'm going home" I am just getting started. I will drive into sections of town at 4:00am that armed police wont approach in broad daylight just to get $20 bucks worth of dope. My drug of choice is Cocaine and the preffered method of use is cooking it to remove the impurities and then smoking it. It's not pretty but it is extremely effective. Thats right Mabel...Just a little dab'll do ya.|
Somewhere in the middle of May 1999 early one morning around 3:00am I laid in bed half alive and half dead. I had been smoking for around 48-72 hours and had gone through a quarter ounce of very potent rock (Crack). I couldnt feel my extremeties and was just basic heart and lungs alive. My heart was beating so hard and so fast in my chest that you could hear it echo off the walls in the bedroom. I was finally beaten and knew that it was over, I finally wished for the end to come. I cried out to my Dad who had died years earlier and told him "I'm so sorry for what I've become, I love you Dad" I then cried out to whoever was out there in the universe listening to me "If this is all there fucking is I dont want it, if this is what I get to know then let me fucking die, thanks a fucking lot".
Some people call what happened to me after speaking those words a "Spiritual Experience" I dont know what it was but I choose to call it God hearing my plea. The room was pitch black and then lightened up and sort of started glowing. I felt a wave of warmth rush through my body to all my ice cold limbs and I was overwhelmed by a sense of comfort. I cant explain that sense very well but its like the peace of knowing that all is well in the universe and it's gonna be OK. I promised myself I'd die before ever doing that again and have never touched it again since 1999.
I've been a recovering alcoholic and addict since July 25th 1999. My sobriety has not been continuous having relapsed and taken a drink at 3 1/2 years for foolish reasons. I wanted to drink like a normal drinker again and thought I could manage it. I quickly descended into being drunk 24 hours a day within a month.
Life is better when I dont drink or get high. I stopped and just got a year again recently.
The title "4th step" for me is very important. "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves" I got (get) to look at a lot of the people, places, and things that I drank and used over. more about that some other time.
Also there is no real 13th step it refers to getting laid in AA, there are those who use the program as a place to hook up. It's human nature and when people get sober their bodies start to work and function somewhat normally again. The only problem I see with this is most people feel better before their minds and souls get better and can cloud the waters of their growth with having relationships too early on. The ultimate sorry motherfucker in the universe is the person who's been sober for a while (years) and will latch onto a newcomer just walking in looking (Crying Out) for help and they tell them all the right things they want to hear just to get what they want. I've seen this drive newcomers back out the door and some have died.
Personal Footnote: A Perfect Circle's "Thirteenth Step" is one of my favorite CD's (Weak and Powerless is my favorite track) it covers a lot of this ground. I dont know if Billy or Maynard are/were in recovery but for sure someone in that group has definetly been exposed to it.
This following may not mean much to you and thats OK, but it means a great deal to me. I'm not perfect but I am trying to a better person day by day.
The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
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.