June 29, 2012

Cyber Anonymity: One Obstacle Towards Eliminating Discrimination

As you have read my past posts, I believe you’ve noticed that I want to fight for the rights of the minorities, particularly those of sex and color. Clearly, based on what I’ve seen in the media’s conservative presentation of the LGBT, the minority still has little to no public voice to date. Today’s modern society can accept the existence of the LGBT. However, the step towards eliminating discrimination has a curse and grace: the Internet.

The Internet is a vast network of interlinked computers all over the world. Anyone who has access to the Internet, such as yourself and I, can share information about ourselves, regardless of whether true or false. With this kind of power, the LGBT community were able to share more about their ideas, garner the attention and support of many people, including myself. I discovered about their ideologies, their objectives, how exactly they became people as normal as anybody else and why they did not deserve such treatment.

However, as mentioned earlier, anything can be shared over the Internet. Some community websites that allow users anonymous profiles enable them to post many remarks under the shield of an assumed identity. Still, by looking through the comments from image to video sharing community websites, there are still many racist remarks.

Most image-sharing communities even present jokes about color and sex. As people can post their material with an assumed identity, such as anonymous user names and profile photos, they can just leave such remarks. It goes without saying that once you’ve lifted up the mask of society, still everyone can’t accept the fact that they’re no less better than anyone else.

The Internet is a great tool for communication, social interaction and for sharing your own ideas. However, it can be easy to spread ideas over the vast network of computers. Somehow, cyber anonymity is the biggest obstacle towards eliminating discrimination. Coupled with selfishness, indifference and apathy, the doors towards the acceptance of all genders and colors is still a long way to go.

June 21, 2012

Syrian Violence and Massacre: A Critical Viewpoint

I’ve been reading all over the Internet about the violence in Syria and about their government using heavy armor and shelling the villages of civilians. If that in itself is not repulsive enough for you, the UN reports that there have been at least 49 children who have died in the massacre. Truly, this is unforgivable.

Most news articles claim that more than 7,500 people have already died in Syria since the President Bashar Assad came into power. What comes out over the Internet and what official news sources get from Syria is a result of the improving transmission techniques of the Syrian locales in providing videos and photos of the violence in the country.

The start of the Syrian conflict began when protesters last year gathered in Daraa city after children who spray-painted anti-government slogans in the city were arrested and brutally tortured (if I was in their position, I’d be mad as hell as well). The protesters wanted to have a voice in congress, have greater freedoms and demand political participation.

The protest did not really call for Assad’s resignation. They just wanted to improve their daily lives, have the basic freedoms they deserve, remove the monopoly in their country and the abuses of the elite. Yet these protesters were shelled. Shelled. They were rained bullets and tear gas, which killed several protesters.

If we look at the situation from the critical standpoint, the people of Syria are already in peril. Why are government bodies such as the UN not doing anything about the conflict? Basically, the answer to the previous question is that the UN cannot interfere with the politics inside the country. Syria is a country rich with sectors. Sectarianism can clearly be a cause for division. This is a modern form of ethnic cleansing.

The UN continues to observe the events. However, if the year long crisis, which has brought upon thousands of deaths on civilians, continues, what future will there be for Syria?

Let’s think about this and lay aside our own problems with LGBT violence and a developed nation’s pangs against a ‘compensation culture‘.  While all these issues may have caused deaths, the death of freedom, for any kind of man, is the greatest death for themselves. Without the power to choose willfully how they want to live their lives, they die without anything.

June 14, 2012

Reclaiming Your Repayments From a Mis Sold PPI

You have probably heard the news about millions of UK citizens being mis sold PPI. You might have opted to make a claim but you do not know where to begin. Making a PPI claim is how you can reclaim the ten thousands of pounds you’ve paid for a mis sold insurance policy. Making a PPI claim is actually simple, yet you will need time and effort to invest in making your claim successful. The first things you need to know is how you were mis sold PPI and how you are initially ineligible for its requirements.

Knowing your eligibility is a start. PPI or payment protection insurance is any insurance policy that provides loan repayments for customers who find him or herself unable to repay loans due to financial troubles caused by taking a leave from work to recover from accidents or illnesses. Virtually anything that causes problems with your income flow, even unemployment during the loan repayment term, allows the PPI to provide 12 months worth of repayments. The PPI requires that upon purchasing the insurance, the buyer was employed and had perfect health.

The way you were mis sold PPI is the second part of the particular task. Insurance brokers, bank representatives and other commission-based financial advisers are responsible for mis selling millions of PPI to the country. Playing on the trust of their customers while motivated to ensure a sale with their highest-priced insurance product, they only explain the positive aspects of the PPI policy and then rationalize how it makes the financial situation of the customer better. Most victims of mis sold PPI are customers with multiple financing.

In your claim, you must thoroughly explain how you were mis sold PPI by your financial adviser and why you were initially ineligible for the insurance policy. You can highlight these particular information in the PPI claims form. It is advised that you seek the help of a ppi claims company like www.ppiclaimuk.co.uk in filling up the PPI claims form. Most claims experts provide free consultation for claimants.

June 6, 2012

Media Conservatism and LGBT Violence

I was talking to a friend over coffee yesterday. She is a member of an LGBT community. After we talked about many things about our lives, we eventually tackled the subject of how were things in the LGBT community. She is a lesbian. She was saying that their efforts to raise the awareness of same-sex relationships, unique sexual and identity orientations and anti-violence campaigns were very effective. We focused on the anti-violence campaigns and I was really shocked to hear that still, the violence against LGBT and coloured people were still very high.

Then I was watching the tube earlier with my husband. Most news segments we encountered rarely depicted the realities that the LGBT community faced. Then I realized that the media outfits in the country did not really bother to report about these particular violent scenarios to the LGBT communities. Somehow, it was related to conservatism. The media cannot show the particular details because a unique sexual or identity orientation can be very devastating in terms of media integrity.

I searched in the Internet and found that my friend was telling the truth. In this particular article, I discovered that in 2011, the highest number of LGBT murders were discovered. The increase was around 11%. Hate murders of colour made up 87% of the 30 murders reported last year by the National Coalition of Anti Violence Programs in America. Transgender women made up the 40% of those murders.

I also found in this news article that in Iraq, LGBT’s were still considered “adulterous” by the Shiite neighbourhoods. This is clearly depressing news. Iraq may have been freed by the Americans, but still, their predominant patriarchal culture still affects the way they might accept gay and other unique sexual orientations.

However, I saw none of these make the evening news. News like these are only found in the Internet. So thank God for the Internet as it is indeed a great source of information. But this clearly indicates that almost every news outfit out there is trying their best to only provide the top news, which might reflect conservatism in my case. Newspapers are even following suit.

If we are not aware of the crimes against our unique fellowmen, then it is certainly something we must think about. A person’s death, and any kind of atrocity, is something very important for every person to know. Sure the media cannot report everything in a short 1 hour or even 30 minute segment, but given the ratio of news relating to hate murders and human rights as to financial, business and entertainment subjects can be estimated roughly to 1:10. Are we blinded by such conservatism in the news or caught up with the lives of actors and personalities as the media intends us to be, given that we did not notice this gap? I think we are, and it looks like it is going to be a huge problem in the future.

-Andrea