Saturday, October 17, 2009

Purple Ribbons

I had a light grey zippy top with a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon embroidered onto it.

I was dyeing some clothes a few months ago, and I didn't really like the pale grey of the top any more, so decided to dye it purple, along with some other stuff which I was tie-dyeing.

The result was that as well as having a newly funky purple hoodie, it also now sported a purple ribbon instead of a pink one.

I have finally got round to looking it up, to see what I'm inadvertently supporting these days with it.

Good old wikipedia informs me that I have quite a choice.

A purple ribbon is worn to raise awareness for various causes, including:
-Xenophobia and Homophobia (Austria 2009)
-Overdose Prevention
-Domestic violence
-The exile of FVSports poster Str8EastCoastin
-Alzheimer's disease
-Crohn's Disease
-Cystic Fibrosis
-Huntington's disease
-Arnold-Chiari Malformation
-Animal abuse
-Religious tolerance
-Victims of 9/11
-Macular degeneration
-Pediatric stroke
-Gastrointestinal cancers
-Thyroid cancer[1]
-Ulcerative Colitis
-Pancreatic cancer
-Cancer survival
-Rwandan Genocide
It is worn by trade union members on Workers' Memorial Day (April 28), to commemorate workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.[2] It is also a symbol used by 4 R Kids Sake whose mission is to protect our children from preventable injuries and death in and around cars. They were the driving force behind purple ribbon month in CA.
On the website, poster Horns21 is using the purple ribbon wrapped around a bottle of wild turkey as a symbol of support for banned poster Str8EastCoastin.

So really, I can pick a different one every day.

I'm Not Like Other Girls

Following my call for zine submissions post, I now have a deadline, so if you want to send me your sentence about why you're not like other girls, please do so by Sunday 25th October.

All the info you need is here.

Thank you!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Testing times for disabled people

From the Guardian

Testing times for disabled people

The new eligibility test for people on sickness benefit will only intensify the massive disadvantage faced by disabled people

There are some good principles behind the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), but what does the accompanying eligibility test actually mean for disabled people? The first full set of figures to show its impact suggest that more disabled people could end up in poverty.

A year ago the ESA was introduced to replace Incapacity Benefit (IB). At the same time the "work capability assessment", was introduced. Now the figures showing the impact of this new assessment have been published.

Essentially, they show that the new assessment is considerably tougher than the old one, so fewer people are being found eligible for the benefit. As eventually all existing recipients of IB will also be retested under the new assessment, the figures also show us that many people currently in receipt of IB will be found ineligible for the new benefit when retested.

Their circumstances won't have changed, their impairment will not have altered, but as the new test is tougher, they will no longer be eligible.

Disabled people still face massive disadvantage in the labour market. They are far less likely to be in employment than non-disabled people, and when in work likely to earn less. A recent survey of human resources professionals found that nine out of 10 agreed that employers would choose a non-disabled candidate over an equally qualified disabled candidate. Disabled people are also twice as likely as non-disabled people to have no qualifications, and twice as likely to live in poverty. It is clear that a benefits system that does more to help disabled people to find work, while also better supporting those furthest from the labour market, could potentially play a massive role in challenging disability poverty.

The new ESA is meant to offer disabled people better and more personalised support to get back to work. But if the assessment is made so tough that people are not getting the benefit in the first place, then they will also not be getting the support that could help them get into employment.

The benefit also includes a higher rate for those not expected to return to work. Of course this is positive, but the basic rate is just £5 more per week, and will not even begin to lift people out of poverty. The best way to save money in the long term would be to ensure disabled people have the support they need to get into work.

The extent of disability poverty in the UK should be a national scandal, and the benefits system should be a key weapon in changing the situation. Disabled people want to work and there is a crucial role for an active, engaging benefits system that offers support, challenges the continuing barriers to employment and works to lift those furthest from employment out of poverty. The key must be to get disabled people the support that they need and not to push them away from it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If God Had Wanted Me To Be Accepting Of Gays, He Would Have Given Me The Warmth And Compassion To Do So

Gotta love The Onion...

If God Had Wanted Me To Be Accepting Of Gays, He Would Have Given Me The Warmth And Compassion To Do So

I don't question God. The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall put none above Him. Which is why I know that if it were part of God's plan for me to stop viciously condemning others based solely on their sexual preference, He would have seen fit—in His infinite wisdom and all—to have given me the tiniest bit of human empathy necessary to do so.

It's a simple matter of logic, really. God made me who I am, and who I am is a cold, anti-gay zealot. Thus, I abhor gay people because God made me that way. Why is that so hard to understand?

Here, let's start with the basic facts: I hate and fear gay people. The way they feel is different from how I feel, and that causes me a lot of confusion and anger. Everyone knows God is all-powerful. He could easily have given me the capacity to investigate what's behind those feelings rather than tell strangers in the park they're going to hell for holding hands. But God clearly has another path for me. And who am I to question His divine will?

Compassion, tolerance, understanding, basic decency, the ability to put myself in another person's position: God could have endowed me with any of those traits and yet—here is the crucial part—He didn't. Why? Because the Creator of the Universe wants me to demonize homosexuals in an effort to strip them of their fundamental human rights.

I'm sorry, but you can't possibly ask me to explain everything God does. He works in mysterious ways, remember?

Try to understand. If I were capable of thinking and acting any other way, then I'm sure I would, but God seems to be quite adamant about this one. He's just not budging at all. So unless our almighty Lord and Savior decides to change His mind about my ability to empathize on even the most basic level—which I find highly unlikely—then everyone is just going to have to accept the fact that I'm going to keep on hating homosexuals. And I know that He will fill me with the strength to remain mindless and hurtful in the face of adversity.

Which isn't to say that my faith hasn't been tested. Believe me, there have been times when I've drifted from the bitter and terrified life God has chosen for me. When my younger brother told me he was gay, it shook my faith to its very core. But here I am, 27 years later, still refusing to take his calls. Just the way God intended.

It's actually pretty astonishing how many complaints to the school board you can make regarding the new band teacher you've never met when you are filled with the Light of Christ and devoid of any real kindness or mercy toward His other children.

At the end of the day, I'm just trying to lead a good Christian life. That means going to church on Sunday, following the Ten Commandments, and fighting what I believe to be a sexual abomination through a series of petty actions and bitter comments made under my breath. Sure, I sometimes wish God would just reach into my heart and give me the ability to treat all people with, at the very least, the decency and respect they deserve as human beings. But unfortunately for that new couple who moved in three houses down, He hasn't yet.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have God's work to do.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I've just made a complaint to OFCOM about a comment made by Dannii Minogue on X Factor tonight. After one singer - Danyl - finished his song she made a comment which essentially 'outed' him.

Firstly, his sexuality, whatever it may be, is entirely irrelevant to his talent (or not!) as a singer and performer.

Secondly, no-one should ever, ever out anyone else, particularly not on live TV.

My mouth actually dropped open when she said it, it was uncalled for, inappropriate, unnecessary, and smacked of desperate bullying.

I need to stop fuming so I can go to sleep.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Use Up BNP Resources

I just wanted to let you know that the BNP has a freephone number, and if you hypothetically called it from a payphone and left it off the hook, it could hypothetically cost them lots of money. The number is 0800 0086191.

That's all. Hypothetically, of course.