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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gosh, it's been a while. I've been to two weddings, the pigeons have progressed hugely, and can now fly! Briefly...

And today I ventured out to do some charity shopping and everyone was talking about a car randomly exploding in the street. However, that didn't prepare me... it was a shocking sight. Thankfully noone was in it.



It was on Ecclesall Road, for any Sheffielders wondering...

The main charity shop excitement was that I bought a barometer. I have wanted one for years and only once saw one on sale, also in a charity shop, which I have always bitterly regretted not buying. I was extra pleased that this one was only £2.50. It made me daftly happy!

There is so much to update, and so little energy to do it. I'll get there.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals...

Thanks to Positive Atheism, I can bring you this pile of shite touching homage to the recently deceased Jerry Falwell.

If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

This is probably as bad a day as the court has had on social issues since "Roe v Wade."
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, reacting to the Supreme Court's ruling in the Texas sodomy case, "Lawrence v. Texas," wherein the high court upheld an individual's (or a couple's) right to privacy; "It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter," said Justice Anthony M Kennedy, for the majority in an opinion "as broad in its constitutional vision as any ever issued by the court," wrote Charles Lane for The Washington Post; in his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia, an extremist Evangelical Christian, complained that the justices voting to uphold the right to privacy were creating a new constitutional right, that they were not upholding the Constitution, quoted from "Planned Parenthood Federal Action Report" (July, 2003) ††

I had a student ask me, "Could the savior you believe in save Osama bin Laden?" Of course, we know the blood of Jesus Christ can save him, and then he must be executed.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, cited in Cary McMullen, "Falwell: Now Is the Time for Gospel," in the Lakeland (Florida) Ledger (November 12, 2001), quoted from Randy Cassingham, This is True (18 November 2001). Falwell added: "We visit prisoners on death row, and some of them are saved, but we believe their sentences should be carried out because they have a debt to society."

God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, to which Rev Pat Robertson agreed, quoted from John F Harris, "God Gave US 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, to which Rev Pat Robertson again agreed, quoted from AANEWS #958 by American Atheists (September 14, 2001)

And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen."
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, quoted from John F Harris, "God Gave US 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

I sincerely believe that the collective efforts of many secularists during the past generation, resulting in the expulsion from our schools and from the public square, has left us vulnerable.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, after the 700 Club broadcast wherein he had blamed civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, speaking to The New York Times, quoted from Dick Meyer, "Holy Smoke," CBS News (September 15, 2001)

I put all the blame legally and morally on the actions of the terrorist, [but America's] secular and anti-Christian environment left us open to our Lord's [decision] not to protect. When a nation deserts God and expels God from the culture ... the result is not good.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, backpedaling amidst criticism of his statement blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, quoted from John F Harris, "God Gave US 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

Pat, did you notice yesterday the ACLU, and all the Christ-haters, People For the American Way, NOW, etc. were totally disregarded by the Democrats and the Republicans in both houses of Congress as they went out on the steps and called out on to God in prayer and sang "God Bless America" and said "let the ACLU be hanged"? In other words, when the nation is on its knees, the only normal and natural and spiritual thing to do is what we ought to be doing all the time -- calling upon God.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, justifying the breech of Constitutional Separation of Religion from Government while blaming civil libertarians for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, to which Rev Pat Robertson again agreed, quoted from AANEWS #958 by American Atheists (September 14, 2001)

I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, America Can Be Saved, 1979 pp. 52-53, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.
-- Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, Sermon, July 4, 1976

If we are going to save America and evangelize the world, we cannot accommodate secular philosophies that are diametrically opposed to Christian truth ... We need to pull out all the stops to recruit and train 25 million Americans to become informed pro-moral activists whose voices can be heard in the halls of Congress.
I am convinced that America can be turned around if we will all get serious about the Master's business. It may be late, but it is never too late to do what is right. We need an old-fashioned, God-honoring, Christ-exalting revival to turn American back to God. America can be saved!

-- Jerry Falwell, "Moral Majority Report" for September, 1984

It appears that America's anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men's movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening.
-- Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

There is no separation of church and state. Modern US Supreme Courts have raped the Constitution and raped the Christian faith and raped the churches by misinterpreting what the Founders had in mind in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
-- Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

The Bible is the inerrant ... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible,without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.
-- Jerry Falwell, Finding Inner Peace and Strength

But these things speak evil of those things, verse 10 [reading from Jude] which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Look at the Metropolitan Community Church today, the gay church, almost accepted into the World Council of Churches. Almost, the vote was against them. But they will try again and again until they get in, and the tragedy is that they would get one vote. Because they are spoken of here in Jude as being brute beasts, that is going to the baser lust of the flesh to live immorally, and so Jude describes this as apostasy. But thank God this vile and satanic system will one day be utterly annihilated and there'll be a celebration in heaven.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, "Old Time Gospel Hour" broadcast, March 11, 1984, quoted by Rev Jerry Sloan, "Is Jerry Falwell a liar?" Freedom Writer, September, 1994

The Jews are returning to their land of unbelief. They are spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior.
-- Jerry Falwell, Listen, America!

Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.
-- Jerry Falwell, on CNN's Crossfire, May 17, 1997

I do not believe the homosexual community deserves minority status. One's misbehavior does not qualify him or her for minority status. Blacks, Hispanics, women, etc., are God-ordained minorities who do indeed deserve minority status.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, USA Today Chat, quoted from The Religious Freedom Coalition, "The Two faces of Jerry Falwell"

Dan Moldea, the lead investigator for Larry Flynt's ongoing quest to uncover sexual indiscretions of Republican congressional members, has now admitted he was hired by the law firm defending President Clinton.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, from "The Bizarre Flynt-Clinton Connection," in the January 15, 1999, "Falwell Confidential" fax report to 162,000 members, referring to the firm Williams & Connolly. Dan Moldea responded, "This entire statement is false and misleading, reckless and malicious. It is a complete fabrication." However, the San Diego Union-Tribune picked up the fabrication and ran it as fact. Quoted from The Religious Freedom Coalition, "The Two faces of Jerry Falwell."

Jerry FalwellWe're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism ... we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today ... our battle is with Satan himself.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah's chariotters.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

You'll be riding along in an automobile. You'll be the driver perhaps. You're a Christian. There'll be several people in the automobile with you, maybe someone who is not a Christian. When the trumpet sounds you and the other born-again believers in that automobile will be instantly caught away -- you will disappear, leaving behind only your clothes and physical things that cannot inherit eternal life. That unsaved person or persons in the automobile will suddenly be startled to find the car suddenly somewhere crashes.... Other cars on the highway driven by believers will suddenly be out of control and stark pandemonium will occur on ... every highway in the world where Christians are caught away from the drivers wheel.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, in his pamphlet, "Nuclear War and the Second Coming of Christ," quoted from Ronnie Dugger,"Does Reagan Expect a Nuclear Armageddon?" in Washington Post Outlook (April 8, 1984)

Friday, May 18, 2007

IDAHOmophobia

Yesterday I went to the Sheffield event for the International Day Against Homophobia - IDAHO. There were speakers, a one-minute noise, and an LGB choir. It was good actually, with a reasonable turnout.

The speakers consisted of Jan Wilson, leader of Sheffield Council; Steve Slack, Director of the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health; Paul Broadbent, Assistant Chief Constable, South Yorkshire Police; Clive Skelton, Liberal Democrat Councillor; Alan Jones, Chair of the Area Child Protection Committee; Jackie Drayton, the former Lord Mayor of Sheffield; Graham Jones, Amnesty International; and the fantastically fabulous Claire Donnelly, of the Sheffield City Council LGBT Council Officer Group.

My photographs of the demo are available to view here, and the Sheffield Star's report on it is here.

Now, we just need to end homophobia! Let's all get on the case.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Eurovision and Pigeon-vision.

So, it's that single night of the year when Terry Wogan is actually funny. I usually get really annoyed at the point of the results when I can't remember which act was which, so for the first time, this year I actually made notes... Tragic, I know.



I suspect I am the only person in Europe to have actually liked the French entry...

In terms of pigeons, they are getting notably bigger, and the feathers are beginning to look like proper feathers. Enjoy!

Day 7:
100_3852

Day 8:
100_3860

Day 9:


Day 10:
2007 05 11 pigeonsday10 008

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Amazon Continues to Promote Normalisation of Sexual Violence.

Mr Nongkynrih,

I find it difficult to believe that you 'value the feedback of your customers', as you state, when you are clearly hiding from the obvious truth that you are offending and upsetting many, many people by stocking this 'toy'. You are doing the wrong thing.

And stating that you require a parent's consent for a child to shop at your store hardly makes everything ok. I find it offensive and disturbing that a Rapist doll is being sold at all, I am as concerned by adults buying this product as well as children.

In a society where one in four women have been raped, or have experienced attempted rape, your profiting from selling a RAPIST TOY is disgusting.

Have you no ethics or conscience about promoting sexual violence and its normalisation in society?

Having dolls called 'Rapist Number 1' on sale is distasteful, immoral, offensive, unethical and irresponsible. Your company is trivialising rape, and this is unforgiveable.

I again demand that you withdraw this item from sale immediately.

hippie

Thank you for writing to Amazon.co.uk with your concerns.

I am sorry to hear that you are upset by this item's "Rapist Number
1 from Planet Terror" inclusion in our Toys & Games store on
Amazon.co.uk.

Our goal as a retailer is to provide customers with the broadest
selection possible so they can find, discover and buy any item they
might be seeking. Such a broad selection will inevitably include
some items which some people may find distasteful or otherwise
objectionable.

As stated in Amazon.co.uk's Conditions of Use, as posted on their
website (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html/202-
2896130-4273436?ie=UTF8&nodeId=1040616), "If you are under 18, you
may use Amazon.com only with involvement of a parent or guardian."
We expect the customers shopping on our site to be adults who may
make their own decisions about which products they choose to browse
or purchase.

However, I have passed your comments along to the appropriate
department in our company for consideration. We value all feedback
from our customers, and I thank you again for taking the time to
send us your comments about this issue.

If you have any other suggestions for us or would like to make a
comment at another time, please don't hesitate to send us an
e-mail. To do this, please visit our Help Desk at the following URL:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/contact-us

Thanks you so much for contacting us at Amazon.co.uk.

Warmest regards

Aaron Nongkynrih
Customer Service
Amazon.co.uk


see post Rapist for Sale for background information.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pigeon Progress.

The squabs are growing at quite a rapid rate. They are also getting more spiky grey hairs (beginnings of their feathers, I think) and the yellow hairy stuff is reducing.

Intriguing process!!

Day 4:
100_3764

Day5:
100_3809

Day 6:
100_3845


See: Pigeon Progress set on flickr.

Now, when's the snooker back on?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Rapist For Sale.

Oh - where is your sense of humour - it's only a toy!

Amazon is selling a rapist.


Rapist Number One is a character from Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse. The toy demonstrates the extent to which rape is taken seriously in our society. Sexual violence is a subject of play and entertainment. Amazon is obviously on the quest for rape-profits through this surrender to male porn culture. No doubt they will accrue much male approval, particularly from the little tikes who want to play at rape with their Barbies on the lounge carpet, giving them the enormous relief of being to act out in play, the vulgar and brutal little fantasies that roam around their peanut-sized brains.

Of course the arguments will be that it is just a toy and that even graphical depictions of rape and violence do not lead to actual violence. We don't accept the premise of such 'WeirdWorld' justifications because EVEN if that were true, it still ignores the fact that rape and sexual violence are being used as something to enjoy. Their arguments do not acknowledge the pure weirdness of someone who wants to think about rape and contempt of women as a way of enjoying themselves - HELLO, WAKE UP, THIS IS WRONG WRONG WRONG.

Living in a world filled with images and products which are all aimed at the titillation of the lowest, most base, males in society tends to grind us all down. Toys like 'Rapist Number One' operate below the level of language and act to normalise the sexual domination of women. Come on Amazon, you really don't need the profits from this rape-doll, so do humanity a favour and stop selling it.

"Grindhouse - designed as a tribute to the ultra-violent B-movie programmes of old - the trend officially reaches the mainstream. Made up of two films plus a clutch of trailers for non-existent movies, Grindhouse bombed when it was released in the US last month. American audiences were said to have been put off by the three-hour running time, and last week it was announced that Grindhouse will be released in a different format in the UK, the two films sold as separate features. Whether either film is any good is still up for debate - I, for one, found them both suicidally boring. What isn't in question is the disturbing attitude towards women in these films". (See full article The Guardian, 1st May 2007)

from Truth About Rape.


Contact Amazon.co.uk here. Now.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pigeon Chicks Day 2.


100_3755, originally uploaded by incurable_hippie.

People keep telling me they're cute...

I still think they're really ugly. I do, however, wish them no harm and am quite interested to witness their growing-up progress.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pigeon Chicks.



Baby pigeons are really, really ugly.

And there are two on my balcony.

The eggs were small and white and perfect, and I was kinda hoping for cute little things. But no. REALLY ugly.

Ah well, you live and learn.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Blog Against Disablism Day 2007.

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2007

This post is mainly a republishing of an earlier post, to mark Blogging Against Disablism Day. Unfortunately, things haven't changed since February 2006 when I posted it originally, and some areas seem to be getting worse.

I wish this post could be celebrating the reduction in disablism when it comes to mental health treatment, stigma and support, but with the Incapacity Benefit fiasco, and mental health care services being slashed (no pun intended, maybe) this government's so called 'priority' of mental health care is clearly either a huge lie, or they have really fuckin weird ways of prioritising things.



Self-Harm and Medical Treatment
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), in 2004 issued some guidelines on

The short-term physical and psychological management and secondary prevention of self-harm in primary and secondary care


These include instructions such as,

People who have self-harmed should be treated with the
same care, respect and privacy as any patient. In addition,
healthcare professionals should take full account of the
likely distress associated with self-harm.
[...]

If a person who has self-harmed has to wait for treatment,
he or she should be offered an environment that is safe,
supportive and minimises any distress. For many patients,
this may be a separate, quiet room with supervision and
regular contact with a named member of staff to ensure
safety.
[...]

Always treat people with care and respect.
[...]

Take full account of the likely distress associated with
self-harm.

Offer the choice of male or female staff for assessment and
treatment. If it is not possible to give people a choice, explain
why and write it in their notes.

Always ask the service user to explain in their own words why
they have self-harmed. Remember, when people
self-harm often, the reason for each act may be different on
each occasion; don’t assume it’s done for the same reasons.

Involve the service user in clinical decision-making and provide
information about treatment options.
[...]

Always offer necessary physical treatments even if the person
doesn’t want psychosocial or psychiatric assessment.

Always use proper anaesthesia and/or analgesia if treatment
for self-injury is painful.

Offer sedation if treatment may evoke distressing memories
of previous sexual abuse, such as when repairing harm to the
genital area.
[...]
• Don’t delay treatment because it is self-inflicted.


There is an awful lot of info in the report, but some of the pertinent points I have listed above.

I have heard endless stories of people in A&E being refused stitches to a self-injury cut, on the basis that 'You've got so many scars already, one more won't make a difference', or 'There's no point - you'll only do it again'. Similarly with people who have been refused anaesthetic before being stitched or having other painful treatments.

These situations appall me. People who have caused their own injuries deserve just as good (physical and psychological) care as those whose injuries were accidental or caused by others. People do not self-harm for no reason - it almost always occurs within a context of intense distress and desperation, and can frequently prevent the person from further harm (for example, suicide attempts) by releasing some of the pressure before it boils over.

People who need treatment for self-harm injuries are likely to be feeling dreadful, full of their own inner guilt for needing treatment, and very possibly feeling quite vulnerable. They do not need doctors or nurses or ambulance staff to reinforce their own feelings of self-hatred or to imply that they are wasting people's time.

I cannot talk for everyone who self-harms, and I also do not want to downplay the incredible sensitive and appropriate treatment offered by many medical staff. There are people who self-harm who won't relate at all to what I say, and there are doctors, nurses and ambulance staff who do brilliant work. There's no doubt about that.

However some people are treated appallingly, and this only leads to the person who has self-harmed to feel even worse about themselves, and further self-harm feels more appealing because they have had all their worst fears and feelings confirmed.

So, where am I going with this?

Well, there are cases of blatantly bad treatment (being refused stitches when they are needed, not using local anaesthetic where it normally would be used, derogatory comments by staff etc.), and these are easy to criticise. But there are also many, many occasions when someone who has self-harmed gets bad-mediocre treatment, but it is hard to know what the motivation behind the not-really-caring is.

I needed treatment the last couple of weeks for a burn. I went to a GP, who asked the Practice Nurse to dress it. The nurse's treatment was, well, lukewarm to say the least. She dressed the burn very badly - using inadequate dressings and suggested no follow-up at all. I needed to go back 2 days later because of the state of the dressing and the injury and although she dressed the injury better than the first time, it was still very careless, unnecessarily painful and there was no plan for follow-up again.

I came out of both of these encounters very upset, especially the second one. I was spinning between 'I deserve better treatment than this' and 'Why on earth should I expect decent treatment? It's my own stupid fault anyway'. On top of that, I really didn't know whether the nurse didn't treat me well because my injury was self-inflicted, or whether she was actually just quite incompetent and not very interested in general.

I still don't know the answer to that, but the following week I saw a different nurse at the practice, who dealt with my injury competently, and was actually nice to me. It made a huge difference to how I felt when I left the surgery. I didn't feel full of self-hatred, full of self-loathing, full of self-directed anger.

I have that age-old double standard. I believe, without a doubt, that people who have self-harmed deserve and require treatment which is as good as people who have injuries which were accidental or caused by someone else. However, when it's *me*, I of course don't deserve a single nice word or a dressing which actually deals adequately with the wound. I am stupid and a waste of time, though noone else is!

I really don't know if I got sub-standard treatment because the nurse wasn't up to speed on burn dressings, or on 'bedside' manner, or whether it was because she didn't want to deal with a self-inflicted injury, or didn't think it deserved time and treatment, or indeed deal with someone who could self-injure.

All I know is that I came out of the appointment with the second nurse feeling much more positive and capable and listened to. I'm no expert on dressings, but even I knew that the first two were inadequate. I came out of those appointments feeling disgusting and loathsome.

I do believe that in terms of avoiding future self-harm, feeling positive and capable and listened to is certainly a better place to start!




Some other relevant past posts:
Blogging Against Disablism 2006
Who Are The Mad Ones?
Information Release: Sheffield Welfare Action Network
The Difference Between Self-Harm and Suicide
Self Injury Awareness Day
Amitryptyline
National Inquiry into Self-Harm Report
Trial and Error
Time For More Health Awareness
Psycho Babble or Psychic Healing?
Alcohol, Coke and Oil
Volunteering Lunch Expenses Campaign
Lunatic Enters Number 10
Things You Need To See
I'm Not Ok
Bastard
Quietness
and plenty more!