[sticky entry] Sticky: Introduction & Comment policy

Friday, May 21st, 2010 12:17 am
miss_s_b: (Self: Profile)
Hello! There now follow some handy hints on how to make the most of your Reading My Blog experience:
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Comments Policy:
  • Anonymous commenting is enabled, although anon comments are screened before publication; please, if you comment anonymously, give yourself a name/pseudonym/some form of identifier. If you don't your comment will not be unscreened.
  • I don't censor comments from people I know unless pushed VERY hard. Red lines include racism, misogyny, homophobia, unjoking advocation of violence, and being horrible about (or to) people I love. Anons tend to get a lot less leeway and a lot less benefit of the doubt; sorry. My blog, my rules.
  • If you want to point out cock-ups I have made, please direct them to Pedants' Corner; likewise if you want to ask me something off the topic of the post please go to this entry - this saves readers' scrolling fingers.
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Weekend Recs

Saturday, May 20th, 2017 11:02 am
miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Fangirling: Columbo)
If you're not a Lib Dem (or political activist of another stripe) then I have heard that weekends are a time for relaxing. I vaguely recall this being the case from before I got into politics... Anyway, it seemed to me that the weekend might be a good time for a recs post.
  • Book: Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. If you grew up in the 80s, this book is such a powerful kick up the memories. If you didn't it's probably less so; similarly, if you're less of a music geek than me, you might bounce off it. With those caveats in place, though, this is one of my favourite books of the last few years.

  • Film: They Live (1988 - John Carpenter). Laugh at the 80s guitar 'n' synth rock soundtrack. Giggle at the crazy conceit of it. Try to stamp down the growing paranoia that we are actually living in that world right now...

  • DW account: [personal profile] hollymath, whose posts are always thoughtful, often thought-provoking, and full of love and humanity.

  • DW comm: [community profile] weekly_food_challenge. Yeah, I know, it's one of mine. However! I feel like we passed a benchmark this week: someone I don't know posted a recipe, and it was good! It feels like a proper (albeit small) comm now, and not just me and some of my mates recipe-swapping.

  • Other website/blog/twitter/tumblr/RSS feed: Postcards from the Frontiers of Science (on DW as [syndicated profile] lewis_and_quark_feed). Utterly hilarious yet strangely compelling blog about the travails of teaching neural nets various things.
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miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
(to read this post in a more usual colour scheme, click here)

Because we Lib Dems believe that LGBT+ rights are human rights, a lot of the LGBT+ content in the manifesto (.pdf link) is spread out in the policy topic areas the manifesto covers. I like this, it means that LGBT+ rights are integral to our policies, not tacked on as an afterthought. However, it can make things easy to miss. In lieu of an index, therefore, I am going to draw it all together in one handy blog post, starting at the beginning*:
  1. Our young people are bright, creative and want a world that is clean and green and that the rest of us haven’t wrecked. They want jobs, good health and the chance to choose who they love and how they live- Introduction by Tim Farron, p7, emphasis mine.

  2. Defending social rights and equalities: Many important protections such as the right to 52 weeks’ maternity leave and rights to annual leave are currently based on EU law, and many of these rights have been upheld at the European Court of Justice. Liberal Democrats will fight to ensure that these entitlements are not undermined. - Europe section, top of p12 - while this doesn't mention LGBT+ rights specifically, there are a lot of LGBT+ rights that spring from European law or case law.

  3. Ensure that LGBT+ inclusive mental health services receive funding and support - NHS section, p20

  4. Make Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention available on the NHS. - NHS section, p22

  5. Introduce a curriculum entitlement – a slimmed down core national curriculum, which will be taught in all state-funded schools. This will include Personal, Social and Health Education: a ‘curriculum for life’ including financial literacy, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Sex and Relationship Education (SRE). - Education section, pp29-30

  6. Include in SRE teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content. - Education section, pp29-30

  7. Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, working with schools to promote positive body image and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects - Education section, p30

  8. Tackle bullying in schools, including bullying on the basis of gender, sexuality, gender identity or gender expression. - Education section, p31

  9. Extend the Equality Act to all large companies with more than 250 employees, requiring them to monitor and publish data on gender, BAME, and LGBT+ employment levels and pay gaps. - Justice and Equalities section, p71

  10. Campaign to reduce intolerance, including anti-Semitism, and hate crimes alongside organisations such as Show Racism the Red Card, the Anne Frank Trust UK, and Kick It Out - Justice and Equalities section, p71

  11. Ask the Advisory Committee on Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs periodically to review rules around men who have sex with men and other related groups donating blood to consider what restrictions remain necessary - Justice and Equalities section, pp71-72

  12. Introduce an ‘X’ option on passports, identity documents, and official forms for those who do not wish to identify as either male or female, and campaign for their introduction in the provision of other services, for example utilities. - Justice and Equalities section, p72

  13. Strengthen legal rights and obligations for couples by introducing mixed-sex civil partnerships and extending rights to cohabiting couples - Justice and Equalities section, p72

  14. Extend protection of gender reassignment in equality law to explicitly cover gender identity and expression, and streamline and simplify the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to allow individuals to change their legal gender without unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles, for example the intrusive medical tests currently required. - Justice and Equalities section, p72

  15. Remove the spousal veto, and abolish remaining marriage inequalities in areas such as pensions, hospital visitation rights and custody of children in the event of bereavement. - Justice and Equalities section, p72

  16. Ensure that trans prisoners are placed in prisons that reflect their gender identity, rather than their birth gender - Justice and Equalities section, p76

  17. Offer asylum to people fleeing countries where their sexual orientation orgender identification means that they risk imprisonment, torture or execution, and stop deporting people at risk to such countries. - Immigration and Asylum section, p79

  18. Develop a comprehensive strategy for promoting the decriminalisation of homosexuality around the world and advancing the cause of LGBT+ rights - International policy section, p87

  19. Introduce legislation to allow for all-BAME and all-LGBT+ parliamentary shortlists - Democracy and Devolution section, p91
I'm hoping that someone else can do this for other things - feminists are going to be happy about our commitment to scrap the rape clause for example, or ending period poverty, and there's lots of good stuff in there about other areas I care deeply about, like racism, disability, immigration, drugs, domestic violence, digital rights, and poverty. It's almost like a manifesto is a whole programme for government...

Any volunteers to do this for other topics?



* yes, this does mean I have read the entire manifesto. Mostly I have done this to get cross at the bits that don't go far enough for me - our Immigration policy is still a coalition era compromise and I hate that it is not shouting from the rooftops about the awesomeness of immigration, for example.
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Doctor Who: Oxygen

Monday, May 15th, 2017 12:36 pm
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I didn't like it.

I don't know what was the worst thing - spoilers under the cut ) Eurgh. Doctor Who (neither the character nor the show) should not be needlessly cruel to ramp up tension in the story. Doctor Who is about hope.

The idea of it was interesting, the effects were good, the acting was top notch. But the politics of it horrified me, and I am stunned by the number of people who are lauding it as an example of how Who is progressivist just because it has an on-it's-face critique of capitalism.

Sorry, people who liked it.
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miss_s_b: (Blogging: Internet forever!!)
So yesterday I went out on my bike for the first time in months; I did 8 miles! it was ace! However, this morning my... uh... parts are kinda sore and bruised, because the canal towpath, while very pretty and traffic-free, is a bit bumpy; also the saddle on my bike, despite claiming to have a gel seat pad, is not the softest.

So!

What do I do to cure this? Do I need a new saddle? If so, what kind do you recommend? Is one of those lycra gel seat pads that you can get off eBay worth the three quid they go for? Do I need to get some kind of springing thing UNDER the saddle?

FYI: please don't suggest padded pants. I'm not wearing padded pants for several reasons:
  1. One looks a complete tit in them.
  2. You can't get them in fabrics I'm not allergic to.
  3. I firmly resist specialist cycling clothing in general. Part of the joy of a bike for me is that you can just hop on and go.
  4. One really does look like a total tit in them.
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miss_s_b: (Music: Progtastic Rock Wankman)
Well, I say review, it's more a disjointed set of ramblings.

background about why we went )
Shinedown )
Maiden themselves )

We had a really great time, and Hol really loved it, and is fully looking forward to Alice Cooper in the autumn now :)
miss_s_b: (Music: Progtastic Rock Wankman)
IRON MAIDEN!!!!!

The vocals were a LITTLE low in the mix, so sometimes clarity was a bit lacking. Thankfully I knew most of the words anyway.

SCREAM FOR ME LEEDS!!!!!

They didn't play my favourite song, but they did play Holly's, and the look on her face when she heard the opening bars is a thing I will treasure for always.

I am very happy and slightly deaf and slightly hoarse. But definitely very happy.

ISIHAC on Sunday! :)
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miss_s_b: (Fanigrling: Rumpole)
Please, please be careful when commenting on Tory Expenses. Tories are generally not shy of litigiousness. Don't libel anyone. But remember this quote from the CPS report, when the inevitable Tory fulmination about being "cleared of any wrongdoing" happens:

Although there is evidence to suggest the returns may have been inaccurate, there is insufficient evidence to prove to the criminal standard that any candidate or agent was dishonest

That is not "cleared of any wrongdoing". You don't generally get "cleared of any wrongdoing" under English criminal law; you either get convicted, or you get "we can't prove you did anything wrong". In the case of this particular offence, the CPS would have to not only prove that you did something wrong (the actus reus element of the offence), but that you knew it was wrong when you were doing it (the mens rea element of the offence). That statement right there is "while we think that some wrong things might have happened, we can't prove beyond reasonable doubt that the individuals concerned knew they were doing something wrong". Note also that this decision only applies to the conduct of individuals; in respect of the party and its overall behaviour, record fines were levied some time ago. You might well think that all of these things are worth bearing in mind when the words "cleared of any wrong-doing" are uttered.

Now, you might also think that what has happened shows up a little legal lacuna. You might even think that the law as it stands is not fit for purpose and needs to be revised, and many experts would agree with you. Sadly, you can't blame the Tories for that being the case. The last Representation of the People Act was passed in 2000. So we can thank our old friend Tony Blair (or whichever of his little minions actually did the drafting) for this. And neither of the two main parties really has any incentive to sort this out properly; electoral law being opaque and difficult and unenforceable benefits both of them.

Anyway, if you want the full text of the CPS statement, click through from this image:



It's an interesting lesson in legal language, if nothing else.

And as I said at the start, if you are disappointed in this decision please be careful about how you express that. Don't libel anybody. And if you want to sort it out, apply pressure to the correct people: whoever is in government after the 8th of June will have the power to change this, if they want to. I suspect they won't want to, but it can't hurt to lobby them.
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miss_s_b: (Mood: Oh dear)
There's a message floatin'
In the air.
Tory Voters talkin' everywhere.
"We're not racist and we
Like the poor.
It's not those things that we're
Votin' for"

"Yes we know disabled people are going to die, yeah.
It's all worth it if we only stop that Labour guy"
Tory Voters
Tory Voters
Tory Voters

Never stop and they
Never die.
As they get older they just multiply.
Tory Voters, will they
Never halt?
If they keep votin' that way
It's our fault.

We need to show they there's another way, yeah.
You don't need to vote tory to make Labour pay.
Tory Voters
Tory Voters
Tory Voters

So take a good look around,
See what they've done, what they've done,
They've done,
They've done,
They've done,
They've done.

Tory Voters
Tory Voters
Tory Voters
Tory Voters

ETA: Other things that need winkling out of my head are something to the tune of All Things Bright and Beautiful which involves the lines "Strong and Stable government" and "Labour, green and liberal/The tories hate us all"; and, for the magnificent John Skipworth, and possibly other people who do arduous and thankless things for the party "You're once, twice, three times an agent... and we loooovvve you"
miss_s_b: (Default)

Ask Me Anything

Sunday, May 7th, 2017 10:44 am
miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Fangirling: Columbo)
A few people have been posting AMAs today: a reminder that mine is here if you want it :)

About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.







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