Tag Archives: society

Essential information for ESA claims, assessments and appeals

Politics and Insights


Essential Information for claims, assessments and appeals. 

There are three essential ideas to keep in mind when claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA) because of the nature of the ESA50 form, and the fact that Atos are seeking to deny benefits, and NOT assess disability: this will not be a fair investigation of your health issues.

This information needs to be shared widely so people are made aware of them, and can use them when claiming ESA or appealing.

These very helpful ideas are:

  •  Reliably, repeatedly and safely
  •  Exceptional circumstances – Regulations 25 and 31, 29 and 35
  •  Atos assessments and pitfalls – how they try to deceive you

1. Reliably, repeatedly and safely. 

‘Lord’ Fraud made this statement in the House of Lords:

“It must be possible for all the descriptors to be completed reliably, repeatedly and safely, otherwise the individual is considered unable to complete the activity.”

You might…

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“Sailing With The Pirate Party” – Interview With Raymond Johansen (@RayJoha2)

Such an inspirational man, his courage and tenacity, his passion to do what’s right, is an example to us all.
Thanks #IntelGroup for the interview.

What’s it like living with mental illness? Ask Wil Wheaton.

I originally found this great upworthy.com article, written by Parker Molloy, on Flipboard and felt I needed to share it. I will be looking into Project UROK some more as this is the first I’ve heard of them and it looks like they do great work and I’d like to get more involved in spreading awareness and reducing stigma, as pretty much everybody in my life has had their own struggles with mental health issues. Wil Wheaton, among others, has shared his struggles with mental illness in a video interview in order to reduce stigma and support people in similar circumstances. I’ve always been a fan of his work and love his cameo appearances in The Big Bang Theory, but he has just risen hugely in my esteem for his part in Project UROK. As the founder, Jenny Jaffe, said, “Project UROK is the resource I wish I had had as a teenager.” My own struggles started in my teenage years and I do wonder how different things might have been if I’d had access to more support and resources like Project UROK.
This article was written by Parker Molloy and originally published on Upworthy. I have no rights to it and I’m sharing it only to spread awareness of Project UROK as a resource for those struggling with mental illness.

“Until we can talk about mental illness as an illness that, like anything else, requires professional treatment and care, we will continue to think of mental illness as something to be kept a secret.”
Jenny Jaffe

You can find out more about Project UROK at their website, like their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter at @ProjectUROK. You can also upload your own video about your own experiences of mental illness so that you, too, can spread awareness and maybe inspire somebody going through similar circumstances.

The Whistleblower’s Bravery

How did we reach the point where it was accepted that the government would keep secrets from us and, as a society, we should vilify anybody who exposed the shady things they saw because they felt so strongly about it being wrong? How did we come to the point where we consider a ‘traitor’ to be someone who tries to protect us from the underhand practises our elected representatives are getting up to on the sly?

These people, the ‘whistleblowers’, should be applauded, should be raised up as the kind of people we want our children to look up to! They know the dangers they face when they decide that they just can’t keep quiet about the things they’re seeing, they know that their lives will change irrevocably but come forward anyway, prepared to give up everything, in order to keep us informed of the realities of our world.

When did our own governments become the devil?
When did our own governments become the devil?

I remember seeing a documentary where Edward Snowden said to journalists, and I’m paraphrasing as I don’t have it in front of me so I can’t quote directly but the gist was, “Paint the target firmly on my back, nail me to the cross so the people that helped me gather this information aren’t in danger.”

These are brave people, heroes.

And look at how they are treated. Publicly denounced, loudly and often, as traitors to their country by the bought and paid for media puppets.

Matt Dehart’s poor parents must be heartbroken that their son is being tortured by the government of the country he grew up in for daring to speak the truth. Their pride beams through in this Cryptosphere.com article, as it should, they raised a brave, honest boy. They must be devastated to know what he has been through while waiting for trial. His speaking out hasn’t only had a huge effect on his life though, his parents are having to live in Canada, and they can’t get jobs as they, too, are considered traitors. But, when asked if they still managed to feel pride in their son after all the trouble his honesty has brought to their lives, they had this to say:

“Even more so. His resilience and faith in the face of incredible pressure is inspiring to both Leann and I. Thankfully we are able to spend some time on the phone talking to him each day. He tries to lift our spirits and those around him in his basement cell in
Kentucky. We are proud that he is not willing to bow to pressure to plea to false charges.
Pretrial detention in the US is designed to break down a citizen’s will so that he/she will accept whatever the government offers as a plea bargain. It is coercive and dehumanizing by design. The US Constitution specifically forbids cruel and unusual punishment. The current system in the US unfortunately is not unusual since it is country-wide, but it is still cruel. And, compared to all but a few countries like N. Korea, the US prison industrial system is indeed unusually cruel. Europeans would be outraged at any similar system within their own countries – Thank God.”

This is not how democracy is supposed to work. Whistleblowers are treated in such a disgusting manner, risking their lives to speak out, facing worse prison sentences than murderers and rapists and being banned from using a computer.

This is nonsense. We should be backing them all the way. If we’re all standing up and speaking out, if society as a whole shouts out the message that all this secrecy and lies coming from our governments is unacceptable, then they can’t lock us all up, they can’t torture everybody.

We have to start forcing them to make changes now, before it’s too late.

If you’d like to read more about hacktivism and ordinary people fighting back, then checkout these links:

Facebook censors news of #Anonymous Sweden hacking NSA

Facebook censorship
People got a shock when they tried to share the Pastebin link to the NSA hack details and it soon disappeared off their Facebook.

An interesting article looking at the morality of hacktivism

The efforts of activists to fight against TTP

The Cryptosphere

Matt Dehart via Anony_Mia on Twitter Matt Dehart via Anony_Mia on Twitter

This is another in the ongoing series on Enforced Transparency by Raymond Johansen and Kitty Hundal, featured here on the Cryptosphere as well as their own site, HacktivistCulture, with related articles on the Fifth Column News, and HackRead. This article focuses on an interview with the parents of accused hacker, former Anon, and former US soldier Matt DeHart.

EnfoorcedTransparency_Illustration2WHISTLEBLOWING IS  TRANSPARENCY

This article, the fourth in the series, is one of the pillars of the concept of Enforced Transparency. Currently the news is filled with reports about the Trident whistleblower, William McNeilly, from the UK. We will talk about that – and focus on the sheer braveryof whistleblowers and the hardships these heroes endure. We will talk to the parents of accused hacktivist Matt DeHart to try to understand how this issue affects not only the one enforcing transparency, but…

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What do geese and addicts have in common?

Sounds like the setup for a terrible punchline, doesn’t it?

I just came across an interesting forum post called “Lessons From Geese” and it’s really made me think about both where I’m at in my recovery and where society is heading as a whole. I’ve heard a few people recently say that we’re heading backwards; all this censorship, inequality, terrorism and, even worse, our rights being gradually stolen in the name of anti-terrorism.

But I hope that the awakening I’ve felt happening around me gradually, little by little, for the last few years does take us backwards! I hope we can go back to a time when people looked after their communities; wherever we were when the NHS was set up and British people were proud that their taxes were paying for something that benefited everybody; when we did our shopping with locally owned businesses, with shopkeepers that knew our name and had time for a gossip, and our food was locally sourced and fresh instead of flown halfway around the world. Anyway, speaking of flying, back to the geese!

Society could learn a lot from geese, if we just look a little deeper

Lessons from Geese

Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow.
By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater range
than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common sense of direction and community can get
where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the
thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and
resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take
advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those
headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give
our help to others.

Fact 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another
goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership, as with
geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skill, capabilities and
unique arrangement of gifts, talents or resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up
their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there
is encouragement, the productivity is much greater. The power of
encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the
heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of
formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay until it dies
or can fly again. Then they launch out with another formation or catch up
with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult
times as well as when we are strong.

Lessons from Geese was transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arrien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network and is based on the work of Milton Olson
smile at people in the street and chat to old ladies waiting for the bus; make your world a nicer place!

It seems perfectly obvious when you think about it but I, probably like a lot of people, sometimes need the obvious pointing out in order to think about it!
It’s something I’ve seen a lot from doing voluntary work with addicts and going to weekly Smart Recovery meetings. We’re quite often each other’s lifeline. There’s always at least one person in the group that’s struggling and everybody else naturally bouys them up; I do it automatically, without thinking, and then when I am struggling they will support me in return. It comes so naturally to us in recovery to ‘give back’ because we understand our own need for that support and we’re grateful for having recieved the benefits of it. I often think that if SMART, mindfulness and self awareness were taught in schools then the world would be a much nicer place!
Surely this is how the world should work? What comes so naturally to geese and to a lot of individuals in recovery should surely be the system on which our society is based? To look after those that are weaker than ourselves and to have the security of knowing that we, too, will be looked after should it be necessary, should be the foundation of everyday life; we must have understood this as a society at one point, it is what caused the formation of the NHS after all.
So until the world in general, or those running it, comes to its senses, let’s those of us that are self aware enough to know that we should always be looking at who we are as people in order to grow, and understand that we are all a constant work in progress, let’s look after those in our communities that need it, let’s talk to our neighbours and offer our support, let’s smile at people in the street and chat to old ladies waiting for the bus. Keep fighting to change your bit of the world, your community, for the better and show that we won’t submit to being worthless, easily replaced commodities with no individual spirit.

Let’s make the effort to spread positivity and hope that the message eventually spreads to those that haven’t quite got it yet!