While we’e talking about the rich and poor, read how Birmingham’s poor are being treated by the worst UK government ever
Midland Heart, one of the regions largest social landlords, say their customers
Generally feel dismayed and negative. They are unhappy and unenthusiastic about the changes to the benefits system and afraid that they will be unable to live on reduced benefits
From April 2011 the rate for Local Housing Allowance (LHA), which replaces Housing Benefit, restricts claimants to the cheapest 30% of the private rented market. This does not take into account the substantial number of landlords who will not take welfare claimants, with “No DSS” a common feature in house letting adverts. Giving Hope, Changing Lives – a social inclusion process led by the Bishop…
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Birmingham – from Workshop of the World to Workfare of the Wankers
With workfare schemes being expanded, and a new scheme being piloted in London, forcing school leavers to do a 3 month forced work placement as soon as they sign on, it is important that we show and build resistance to these schemes which force unemployed and disabled people into unsuitable work placements that threatens paid jobs and fails to help jobseekers into work.
You can read more about workfare and why we support the Boycott Workfare campaign in this post
Friday 7th September
12noon – 1pm
4 Norton Street, Hockley, B18 5RQ
Accessibility information: The nearest…
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Morning Campers! Today I awoke to discover I’ve been nominated for the hugely important Liebster Blog Award and the Nobel Peace Prize. Now I’m a busy man so had to tell the nice Swiss guy I’ll do the dynamite thing next year.
‘And just what is this Liebster Blog Award?’ I hear you scream. Glad you asked. I’ve trawled the net 🙂 and can’t honestly tell you of the award’s origins, but certain details seem to be common to the process. It’s awarded to ‘up-and-coming’ blogs with less than 200 hardcore followers and involves answering a set of searching questions. You also have to nominate others to receive this prestigious plaudit.
‘Liebster’ is German and can be translated as ‘darling’ ‘boyfriend’ ‘sweetheart’ or ‘beloved’. Quite a coincidence as my first name ‘David’ means ‘beloved’ in Hebrew.
I’m honoured to be nominated by a lovely fellow blogger who writes under the nom de plume of “Gaffelioyet”. Gaffelioyet’s Blog has the great tagline – “Broken glass. It’s just like glitter, isn’t it?” I can see the eternal truth in this statement, although the waitress in a Devon ice-cream parlour where I clumsily smashed a Knickerbocker Glory glass certainly didn’t.
Gaffelioyet’s Blog was originally written in Norwegian but has evolved into English. The author is something of a polyglot and is fluent in more languages than the average blogger has followers. This is very handy as she is currently travelling and studying ‘down under’ and obviously has a bad attack of wanderlust or ‘itchy feet’ as they say in shoe shops.
Gaffelioyet’s Blog first caught my eye with a beautiful picture of Brisbane by night and held my attention with her lust for life and irreverent attitude.
She studied drama and theatre for her BA and plans to add to this while away between visiting Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.
She’s also a musician, poet and general woman of letters so please pop in and say hello to her in person.
There are lots of blogs that deserve a mention, but I’m going to plump for “Becoming not Became” for intellectual honesty, explaining about bipolar disorder and amazing writing about desire. I imagine the title is an allusion to Hegel’s famous statement about things being in a constant state of becoming rather than arriving at an end point. Of course it may actually be about the number 11 Outer Circle bus route in Birmingham, UK. As somebody wise once said, “Who really knows anything?”
Anyway, the blogger who writes “Becoming not Became” is welcome to pop in for a cuppa if they’re in the English Midlands – and that applies to everybody reading this that isn’t a troll, ogre or large, dangerous semi-mythical monster. If you are a large, dangerous semi-mythical monster please leave your contact details and a blank cheque at the desk then scram.
Below are the questions set by Gaffelioyet, followed by some of my own for Mr Mulligan (pen name of author of “Becoming not Became”
1. How long have you blogged?
Since 2005 when I was part of the New Civilization Network, however I stopped writing there because everyone was so bitchy 🙂 I developed my blogging skills subsequently on the Moodle system at a couple of local universities, annoying as many pretentious and pompous wannabe writers as possible. This includes myself…
2. What is the talent you are most proud of?
Creativity. I was going to say “pride” but that’s conceited.
3. You wake up in a shaggy hotel in a city of your choice with your best friend and a complete stranger of the opposite sex. There’s a kitchen-battle-axe on the floor with blood on it and an owl in the bathroom. What has happened?
Amazingly this is one of the questions Inspector Marie du Plessis of the Jo’burg Police dept. put to me only last week in a memorable 12-hour interrogation. As I told her then, the owl works for Mossad and follows me every night like a winged vampire. I still have no knowledge of where it roosts each day. My friend is an architect and no doubt picked up the stranger at a conference on how hotels get shaggy in the first place. It’s a mystery to me – I thought they were built of bricks and concrete and stuff.
4. What’s your favourite day of the week?
All of them. As a freethinker, I’ve been trying to deprogram myself out of the idea that different days have different feelings as I realised this is an artefact of the ‘working week syndrome’. However as a shaman and occultist I know that particular days are more suitable for certain magical operations so use astrological and other correspondences to achieve my ends.
5. If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
A bear. This is my totem animal and came to me magically on a multi-storey carpark in Birmingham City Centre when under the influence of sacred entheogenic fungi when I was 18.
6. What are you doing for your living?
Writing, marking and critiquing academic essays and teaching this and that.
7. Where would you take me in your hometown, if I visit you?
A multi-storey carpark in the City Centre to take sacred fungi and dance with the ancestors.
8. What is your favourite sound?
9. Do you have a celebrity crush? Who is it?
Groucho Marx – sadly he’s no longer with us, however after ingesting sacred fungi on the top floor of a City Centre carpark…
10. What is the first website you go to when you open your browser?
11. What languages do you speak?
English, some French and Italian to myself. I’m good at accents too.
Right – these are my questions 😉
1. OMG what’s that behind you?
2. What do you do with your hands when you are in bed? Thanks to the late, great Ivor Cutler for that.
3. Can you remember your first and last orgasms?
4. If you were a car, what would you have in your glove compartment?
5. If you had all the world’s religious leaders in a box, what would you do with it?
6. Have you ever had a mystical experience?
7. Have you ever asked a lady her age?
8. Would you kiss the Pope’s ring?
9. Would you share underwear with a French person?
10. What’s the first piece of music you bought?
11. Would you rather meet a devil or an angel?
So my friend – answer those questions and nominate someone else for the award.
I look forward to reading your responses…
Love to all, even evangelical Christians
Back in the 80’s I lived in Moseley, Birmingham, UK and there was a Scientology shop in the village. The woman in the next flat had terrible acne, low confidence and was taken in by the cult. After she moved away we looked through some of the group’s materials and letters she’d left and were dismayed to see what nonsense it was and how exorbitant the cost of ridiculous books.
To cover this up, Scientology uses litigation against its critics, and has been condemned for harassment.
In 2005, Scientology claimed eight million members, but a survey by the City University of New York found only 55,000 people in the US. In 2008, the American Religious Identification Survey found that the number had dropped to 25,000.
Scientology teaches souls (“thetans”) reincarnate after living on other planets before coming on Earth, but ‘higher’ teachings are not revealed to practitioners until they have paid thousands of dollars to Scientology. They teach these on their own ships.
Among these advanced teachings is the story of Xemu or Xenu, the tyrant ruler of the Galactic Confederacy.
Apparently, 75 million years ago, Xenu brought billions of people to Earth in spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and then detonated hydrogen bombs. The thetans then clustered together, stuck to the bodies of the living, and still today.
Scientologists claim increased spiritual awareness and physical benefits are gained through counselling sessions called auditing. Through auditing, Scientology claims people can solve their problems and free themselves of hang-ups.
Auditing requires an E-meter, a device that measures minute changes in skin electrical resistance. Scientology claims changes in the E-meter’s display helps locate blocks.
Once these are worked through the person is called a ‘Clear’. Most of the concepts associated with the “E-meter” and its use are regarded by the scientific and medical communities as pseudoscience. An up-to-date model costs $4,650.00
When the US Internal Revenue Service was considering whether to grant tax-free status, The New York Times claimed Scientology funded a campaign which used a whistle-blower to publicly attack the IRS, as well as hiring private investigators to look into the private lives of IRS officials. The IRS cited a statement frequently attributed to Hubbard that the ‘way to get rich was to found a religion.’
Journalists, courts, and governmental bodies of many countries claim Scientology is an unscrupulous commercial enterprise that harasses its critics and brutally exploits its members. Time Magazine published an article in 1991 which described Scientology as “a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner.”
Scientology operates eight churches that are designated Celebrity Centers, the largest being (surprise surprise) in Hollywood. They are open to the general public, but are primarily for entertainers such as John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Lisa Marie Presley, Nancy Cartwright, Jason Lee, Isaac Hayes, Edgar Winter, Tom Cruise, Chick Corea and Leah Remini.