Bald headed man with beard, given 15 years jail for impersonating a pretty woman as nobody noticed at the time (apparently !)

Well it seems as if the lunatics really have taken over the asylum, in the British court system. (It certainly could not be called a “justice” system, after the most recent crazy decision).

Duarte Xavier was just sentenced to 15 years in jail by Judge Michael Hunter, in the Kingston Crown Court, in England. He had used several online and smartphone based dating Apps (including but not limited to Tinder).

He posted a picture of a pretty girl and subsequently arranged several meet-ups. Some dates we are told took place in his flat, and some at a local park.

He asked the men who were meeting with him to wear a blindfold and they all agreed. (The article does NOT make it clear exactly how this was done. ie did the men just wander around a park aimlessly already wearing a blindfold ? Did they go right up to the door of an apartment/flat and then affix a blindfold before knocking ? We do not know, no such details are given.

The dates apparently proceeded, as internet dates often do, and subsequently they engaged in some form of sexual activity.

Now it’s never made clear exactly what form the sexual activity, or even the date itself took. Because incredible though it may seem, none of the 4 male “victims” ever spoke with the Duarte Xavier (or they would have heard his voice), nor did they kiss him, or caress or hug with him… otherwise they would have noticed that instead of the pretty, long haired woman in the online dating profile, their date was with a bald dude with a full beard and sideburns.

It’s true that his beard was not quite as large as an Amish elder’s, or Santa Claus’s, but he’s still sporting a full beard.

The “offending” only came to light when some of the men chose to remove the blindfold while the sex act was taking place, or just afterwards. It was then  they discovered that Duarte didn’t look much like the photo in the online dating app and decided to press charges. (That is why Duarte Xavier was arrested then released on bail several times, during which intervening periods, he engaged in more dates with more men.

Now there is no denying that Duarte Xavier is a bit of a scumbag and violated the terms and conditions of online dating apps by uploading photos that were NOT himself.

But I fear the court proceedings have taken a decidedly wrong path.

“… Xavier, of Wandsworth, south-west London, was found guilty of six counts of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent in October following a trial. …”

Well I certainly hope that, scumbag that he is, he appeals this and gets completely exonerated.

Let us be very very clear. The sexual activity was 100% consenting, and the 4 men involved (referred to as “heterosexual” males now claiming PTSD, and probably seeking state funded compensation payouts I daresay) consented willingly to being blindfolded, before,  and during  their sexual encounters. And it no time did they conduct any reasonable “due diligence” test on their dating partner. There was no kissing, no hugging or caressing, no listening to “her” voice. For farck sake alive, they didn’t even bother taking off the blindfold to SEE what “she” looked like, before commencing to engage in sexual activity.

So just what on Earth did their dates actually consist of ?

There are no details given regarding what the “sexual activity” actually was, so the public at large will just have to guess, I guess. This factor alone seems to be leaving the public record wanting, so for the benefit of historians looking back in decades to come when social situations may be quite different, I will suggest that it was probably NOT just toe-sucking and painting ancient Greek love poems on a partner’s bare back, but more likely the activity described as Fellatio. However we can only guess. (Perhaps it was something involving whipped cream and a banana ?)

However the facts remain that 4 men, who claim to be heterosexual, would happily meet and have a sexual experience with someone they have never seen, and wouldn’t notice their sex-partner was a bald man with a beard.

Perhaps these were married men who decided to have homosexual affairs and then later  were worried their wives would find out, so had to come up with a “cover story” ?

Note that just a few years ago in Britain a similar case happened in reverse, involving a young woman, college student Gayle Newland.

Gayle Newland made online contact using a dating profile claiming to be a man. They arranged that they would meet and because “he” had some scars from previous burns and operations, “he” had to wear special bandages.   The “victim” agreed to voluntarily wear a blindfold during the entire encounter (including before they ever met for the first time). They had many encounters over about 18 months including going for out for drives in the car together and “watching” movies, all while the alleged victim, consented to remain blindfolded.  (The article does NOT make it clear, but it seems fair to assume that Gayle Newland was the person driving, and that she was NOT wearing a blindfold at the time.

It seems to me that this whole story just doesn’t pass the “smell test”. It is bull-shit on so many levels.

They engaged in many “dates” some including penetrative sex over an 18 month period (indeed they met up, over 100 times in all). On every occasion the “victim” agreed to wear a blindfold and have only limited contact with the other person.  They were never “forced” to wear a blindfold. There was no gun, no knife. One person simply asked the other person, in advance of the date “If we are going to meet on a date then I want you to wear a blindfold” and the other person said “ok”.

It’s claimed some kind of artificial sex-toy penis-substitute was used, and the victim (despite being “sexually experienced” with men) never noticed she was having sexual activity with another woman (and NOT the man as depicted in the online dating profile photo).

After being in this “relationship” of occasional dates over an 18 month period, one day the woman simply removed her blindfold (an option that had been available to her at any time previously, including right from the very first time they met).

Suddenly she realised she was having sex with a woman and got all upset and called the coppers, crying “rape”. Bull phukking shit, I say.

In that case the female “perpetrator” also got a prison sentence of 8 years. This was overturned on appeal and a new trial ordered. Gayle Newland was again found guilty by a jury (a jury comprised of  mentally defective dog-turds, apparently).

While not condoning the activities of Duarte Xavier or Gayle Newland, it is worth noting that all 5 “victims”, in both cases mentioned above, VOLUNTARILY wore blindfolds and could have removed them at any time, should they have chosen to, including at the beginning of the very first  “date” when they first met.

I hope that Duarte Xavier lodges an appeal and gets found NOT GUILTY of all offences at a re-trial. Yes he’s a scumbag and should have his Tinder and online dating profiles cancelled for breaching the terms of use of those websites, but he certainly doesn’t deserve 15 years in jail, just because his date partners CHOSE to wear blindfolds !

Let – us – get – one – thing – perfectly – clear – In the 2 separate cases detailed above, All 4 men and 1 woman, the so-called “victims”, consented to have sex, but made a FREE CHOICE to NOT LOOK at their sex-partner beforehand. So what if later they didn’t 100% match their online dating profile picture, then whoopy-doo. Be a bit of a grown up about it. Pissy cry-babies the lot of them. Court cases like those against Duarte Xavier and Gayle Newland, de-value what real victims of sexual assault and rape go through.

Here is a link to the Daily Mail newspaper’s website article by Richard Spillett, regarding the Duarte Xavier case. and below that the  case of Gayle Newland.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz//lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=12157894&ref=clavis

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/29/gayle-newland-found-guilty-at-retrial-of-tricking-female-friend-into-sex

 

Ultimately,  Gayle Newland got a 6 year jail sentence after being found guilty at a second trial. She was also sentenced to a further 6 months in jail for unrelated fraud charges, relating to over-billing a previous employer on some contract work. Note that Gayle had been previously employed to deliberately post dubious materials online.  (although as that employer’s normal job was being engaged in shonky, barely legal , online falsification practices themselves, it seems to me that perhaps the court  decision got it wrong on that count as well ?).

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/20/gayle-newland-jailed-for-tricking-female-friend-into-sex

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Suckers in England, hand themselves in to Police, because somebody offended by “disrespectful” Bonfire on Guy Fawkes night

The monkeys really have taken over the zoo, as the P.C. brigade reigns supreme, so it seems.

England, oh green and verdant isle of my historical ancestorage, I love you as my grand-mother country, but golly-gee whillakers is the place full of morons or what !

Recently throughout Britain and many Commonwealth countries we had the annual celebration of GUY FAWKES (5th November). Stemming from an event hundreds of years ago when a conspiracy narrowly failed to explode gunpowder barrels under the English parliament.

Celebrations often turn into a fun family or indeed local community affair with fireworks (where permitted by local laws) and public or private bonfires. Often there is a party atmosphere along with a Barbecue and food. Often a crude effigy in the approximate shape of a man (called a “Guy” after the lead conspirator) is set atop the bonfire to burn.

Well it has come to light that a video was recorded a few days ago.

Apparently, somewhere in England in someone’s private backyard, they had a small bonfire. Upon that bonfire was a small effigy, not of the historical character “Guy Fawkes” but of the Grenfell Tower.

Only a handful of people knew about this bonfire at the time, and all this fuss has come up about simply because some poor quality photographs have surfaced, filmed in these people’s private backyard, during the bonfire.

By way of background info, remember that Grenfell Tower was a multi-story tower building of many housing apartments for poorer people, those on low wages or social welfare payments. It was located in a fancy London suburb and owned by the local city council, as part of its legal requirement to provide some assisted housing.

Awhile back, the rather old skyscraper building had undergone renovations. Those renovations were primarily intended to make the building look prettier to their wealthy neighbours, and comprised use of an external cladding overtop of the building’s outer layer. The cladding does have “some” value as an added insulator. It was “supposedly” fire retardant.

The cost of adding the cladding to make the tower-block look prettier was about UK 3 million pounds. However the authorities actively chose *NOT* to spend UK 300 thousand pounds to install a sprinkler system.

Well lo-and-behold a small fire broke out on one night in June 2017. Residents were initially advised to stay INSIDE their apartments as the building was non-flammable. Turned out it was about as non-flammable as the Titanic was un-sinkable.

72 people died in the appalling tragedy. Meanwhile those involved in the local council who made the decisions about NOT installing sprinklers and prioritising the primarily decorative outer cladding, the companies that sold and installed the cladding, they have all been off laughing all the way to the bank on the huge profits they made.

As all the people that died were only poor (and many of them were immigrants) so their lives weren’t worth much… or so it seems.

There’s a bit of an inquiry going on, but don’t worry, it won’t amount to much. Same old same old.

Now this recent Guy Fawkes night (known sometimes in England as Bonfire Night), a few people in a private backyard burnt a crude cardboard and paper effigy of the Grenfell Tower.

Some people got offended. They reckoned it was “disrespecful”.

There was a huge call put out and 5 people have actually voluntarily turned up at a London police station to “turn themselves in”.

Suckers, outright idiots, I’m calling it to their faces.

As folks might know, it is standard UK police practice to fingerprint and DNA test everyone, and those details are kept on file even if no charges are laid; or if charged, the person is later found innocent in court.

People in custody are often intimidated into giving interviews without lawyers being present and are encouraged and manipulated by skilled police interrogators, to admit to crimes (even if they haven’t committed any), but hey it makes the monthly crime clear-up rate statistics look good !

UK police already have a track record of fitting up innocent people using previously collected fingerprints. It is reasonable to assume the same thing may be going on also with DNA that is collected.

So just because “somebody” was offended by some photos, of a small bonfire that took place in a private backyard, several days ago, these several men, well suckers and idiots, voluntarily handed themselves into the police.

Note another news story says a sixth man has been “arrested”.

I’d like to know what the bloody actual charge on the charge sheet says. (Under which law is “disrespecting” people that are already deceased, a crime?) Callous and in bad taste, yes. But a crime?

What a namby-pamby world we live in today, where 72 people can be killed by corporate  negligence, pretty much with impunity, by the local council and their housing authority.  Yet when 6 people in a backyard, having a private memorial in their own way, end up arrested.

However I do feel some sympathy for the police. In the face of all the SJW (social justice warriors) snowflakes in society mounting a barrage of attacks via social media, telling about how offended they felt, police probably felt obliged to do “something” (or anything!) just to be seen to be doing something.

Below are links for the story as it was reported in New Zealand on the Stuff website and a British website.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/108388203/Five-arrested-over-disrespectful-Grenfell-Tower-model-bonfire

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/grenfell-tower-effigy-arrest-latest-names-burning-video-sixth-man-arrested-bonfire-night-a8620691.html

Did a large manilla envelope full of cash, buy convicted drug dealer NZ residency ?

OK so a quick run-down of the story so far…

Some big dude (real name Karel Sroubek) escaped The Czech Republic by stealing a friend’s passport. He came to New Zealand in 2003 calling himself Jan Antolik and has been in trouble ever since.

Described as a “gang associate” he’s been charged with numerous offences related to robberies and drugs, but eluded convictions, or else once convicted, got them later overturned on appeal.

Finally he was charged with something that stuck. He was convicted of importing 5 kg of precursors to manufacture the illegal drug MDMA (“Ecstasy”).

So he’s sentenced to do a stint in The Big House and like almost every single other major criminal who was already in NZ illegally, was staring down the 100% likelihood of being deported immediately upon his release from jail.

Actually his release has been delayed as the Parole Board rejected him last time around. Their reported comments, couched in parole-board-speak seem to indicate he is, what in colloquial terms might be “a lying sack of shit”.

But Karel (or Jan, or whatever he’s calling himself this week) must have friends in the right places because Immigration Minister, Ian Lees-Galloway has used his ministerial prerogative to grant him permanent residency. There is no appeal to this and the public have no right to know any of the details.

However here’s what what just one leading academic thinks…

“…Massey University’s Professor Paul Spoonley said he was scratching his head over why Sroubek was given residency.

Considering his serious crimes, and history with the law, if there were exceptional circumstances that warranted keeping here the public needed to be informed about what they were. …”

Karel Sroubek is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with in the fields of body-building and kick-boxing, but given his remarkable penchant for storytelling already, indeed right from the time of his first arrival on a stolen passport,normal Kiwis should only rightly be suspicious of his claims that he would be at risk of corrupt police if deported to his Czech homeland.

You really do have to wonder if a large manilla envelope full of cash, crossed “somebody’s” desk, in order to facilitate so easily, what The Christchurch Press’, Stuff website, describes as a “get out of jail” free card.

Recent cases in the media have covered how Fijian/Indian immigrant workers, who entered NZ legally many years ago, but who’s visa renewals later failed due to no fault on their part, (workers who had been here for years and never committed an offence) are facing deportation while the minister refuses to grant them clemency. You’ve got to wonder what’s going on.

Perhaps Fijian and Indian women just aren’t worth as much as a nice strong white dude from Europe ? (As a former kick-boxer, I’m sure he punches well above his weight !)  Possibly  Immigration Minister Ian Lees-Galloway is  just too darn busy to help those hard working Fijians, because he’s down at the local shopping mall, buying something. Nice clothes, Rolex watch, a Bentley at the local car sales. Who knows ?

Here below is a link to the original article.  (UPDATED, see at bottom)

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/108155476/jailed-drugdealer-escapes-deportation-as-govt-grants-him-nz-residency-behind-bars

And here is the Auckland Herald Newspaper’s NZHerald website’s take on this matter:-

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12150262

The Immigration Minister, under pressure, has released some of the conditions he placed on his granting of a visa. Here is an update on the story from the NZHerald website.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz//nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12150741&ref=clavis

There is a follow-up item from the Stuff webpage, it includes a link showing the letter with conditions of visa on it (but does NOT give any hints as to the reasoning that led to the  Immigration Minister’s decision).  For some kind of technical reason the direct clickable link to that item may not be reliable. The item by Collette Devlin was uploaded at 17:56 on October 29 entitled “Drug smuggler Karel Sroubek’s ‘strict conditions’ to remain in New Zealand”. It should still be viewable on the  “Stuff” website.

 

 

 

A restaurant’s “perfect storm” can lead to slow service and confusion over who gets who’s meal

Last night I attended at Maharaja Indian restaurant at 452 Papanui Road in Christchurch. It was in celebration of some friends’ formal engagement, and the booking had been made many weeks in advance and with a more recent contact to verify numbers attending.

The experience was “interesting”.

The stated start time was 6pm and I arrived a few minutes before that. There was about 8 already there, the rest of our group of about 20 trickled in over the next 35 minutes (some people had work or other commitments).

A waiter turned up promptly to take the first round of drink orders (yes I realise that restaurants succeed or fail on the profits of their alcoholic drink sales). As I don’t drink, there’s nothing for me in that.

So I sat and waited. (Obviously I spoke to the folks around me, I’m not a total cave-dwelling Neanderthal !).

Waiter came about 7pm to take food orders. Those who ordered entrees did receive them awhile later (not sure how long, as I considered the cost of a main meal enough in itself, so that was all I ordered).

My (main) meal arrived at about 8.55pm so just under 2 hours from when it was ordered about 7pm. Remember though I arrived before 6pm and had ordered a meal at the first opportunity it was presented to me.

There is an incentive for restaurants to deliberately serve food slowly, as the folks that drink, keep on buying more and more of the highly price marked-up alcohol, as they sit waiting for their food orders to arrive.  I heard a member of our party complaining about the high price of alcoholic drinks, (but they still kept buyin’ it. About 5 times over  as I recall).

Meanwhile folks like me get to sit like muppets from 6pm until 8.55pm.

A number of our party left after having the entrees, as the main meals had still not shown up by after 8.30pm. This might account for, why when food did eventually turn up, there seemed to be some extra meals looking for a patron.

Keep in mind that my comments are by someone who has never worked in a restaurant, and who only visits once a year or less (but I do have a brain, so I’m in a bit of a minority there). I think last night was a “perfect storm” which led to almost everyone in our group being dissatisfied, in one way or another.

Much of it was the restaurant’s fault. In part because their “systems” were the standard restaurant system which I think is fundamentally defective. I know from having been a customer and speaking to wait-staff at another restaurant, (The Lotus Heart) that wait-staff often allocate orders using a system of numbering the customers in a pattern as they are seated at the tables. However sometimes customers move in between ordering and receiving food (especially if the wait is close to 2 hours in between !).

Restaurants are setting themselves up to fail if they do not have a better system. A better system, could be as simple as taking orders thus “Good evening ma’am, I’m here to take your order. Might I begin by asking your first name ?” (customer replies “Stephanie” and goes on to give their order for Grilled Gorilla Balls on Toast). We will assume that Stephanie is sitting at table position 8, in the restaurant’s scheme of things.

Note that customers do not even know the table numbering system. Later (hopefully not too much later !) when the food arrives, Stephanie, wearing just a mini-skirt, has moved to position 4 to be out of a cold draught. As the wait staff arrive and find Johnathon at table position 8, they immediately get a heads-up that maybe they need to check the order AND RECIPIENT.

The waiter can then ask “I have an order of Grilled Gorilla Balls On Toast for Stephanie,” at which point Stephanie can attract the waiter’s attention “Those Gorilla balls are mine !”. The waiter as they hand the food to Stephanie can cross-check with Johnathon “I’m sorry sir, what was your order ?) (Johnathon’s a vegetarian so let’s say he ordered 3 Daffodils and a small square of lawn turf).

The wait staff can then check their notes and indeed see that Johnathon did indeed order that, but he was sitting at table position 4 originally, having swapped with Stephanie. The waiter then amends their seating/order notes.

That restaurants as a normal practice DO NOT use people’s first names at least, as an extra check against table-position changes absolutely confounds me. Especially when folks have been kept waiting a particularly long time, there is greater chance that folks may have left the table to use the toilet or go outside to the “smokers lounge”, and when returned, taken different seats. There you go, I’ve never worked in a restaurant yet I’ve told the industry how to fix it’s inherent problems. (“Thank you Catherine. As your reward You can go and get some fish and chips now”). A 10 minute wait is all and I’ll have all I can eat for less than $10. Some fish and chip shops even issue numbered dockets to minimise the chance of an order S.N.A.F.U.

Note that I did enjoy my meal when it arrived and at NZ $18.90 its price was I thought quite reasonable. I had especially asked for a “mild” meal and indeed I enjoyed it and it was NOT too spicy, it was just right (although it was never made clear when handing the meal over that I had indeed got the mild meal that I had especially ordered). Although I had indeed remained in MY original seat, the meals as they came out seemed to be offered up at random, just by calling out what the name of what the meal was. Remember though that among our group, several people had ordered the same meals, although they were available in variations of spice levels, and those spice levels were NOT made clear, as the meals were delivered.  I am surprised that there weren’t more foul-ups with the orders.  They really need to get their meal ordering and delivery system sorted, I reckon. A better system would ultimately  be easier on the wait-staff also.

If visiting this restaurant, allow plenty of time and don’t be in a hurry. Whether they had staff off sick or something I do not know. I was not told of any particular reason for the slow food service, nor was I offered an earlier opportunity to place my order. Perhaps in future, I should  be pro-active and go up to the counter and place an order manually soon after arriving. I realise that wait-staff need to allow patrons “some” time to read the menu after first arriving. But I don’t need a whole hour !

 

* In New Zealand it has been illegal to smoke indoors for many years. Smokers are required to exit buildings to smoke. Many Bars, Cafes etc have an outside area set aside with chairs and tables, with ashtrays available there. Otherwise the “smoker’s lounge”  could just mean standing around outside on the footpath or in the car-park.

Charities feeding and clothing school-kids, making things worse not better.

I fear that schools or charities providing meals or clothes for children, is a double-edged sword, and a bad road to go down. PARENTS should be providing adequate food and clothing for their children, in a home that is warm enough to be healthy.

If the problem is that minimum wages or welfare benefits cannot pay enough to cover the rent (or mortgage) on a modest but healthy and safe home, with enough left over for food and clothing, then the rules of society need to be re-jigged, with either minimum wages and welfare benefits going up substantially, or rents and mortgages going down substantially (or a bit of both).

If it becomes commonplace for Schools and charities to feed and clothe kids, then that’s just disguising the problems. What we need are GENUINE government actions to build a substantial number of homes, actually doing it, NOT just talking about it. A Substantial state housing provision in society would virtually fix the problem in itself. Why would a poor family “choose” to pay $700 a week to rent an Auckland house from a private landlord, if they could easily access a state house at $125 a week ?

The remaining money from their wages/benefits pays for lots of food and clothes and extra books and educational opportunities for their children. Property price speculators and “capital gains” have destroyed the lower 40% of NZ’s society for the benefit of the upper half. Consider that Auckland landlords wouldn’t be able to get away with charging $700 a week, if tenants could easily get state houses at $125 a week.

Landlords would therefore be dis-incentivised to pay “too much” for houses. Houses would therefore sell at prices that lower waged workers could afford to buy without being so heavily indebted with such overbearing mortgage payments that they cannot afford food and clothing for the kids. With the best of intentions, by charities and schools providing clothes and food for kids, it is just covering up the problems temporarily and kicking-the-can down the road for later, when it will be much harder to fix.

My overall message to the Labour-Greens gubbermint is to quote back to them, what one of the Labour dudes said to National a couple of years ago “Stop playing silly buggers and get those houses built”.

Note that when selling houses, including the much vaunted (all 18 of them so far !) “Kiwibuild” houses, if there were to be conditions on the title such that, if ever they were to be onsold, they had to be onsold back to the govt housing department at the original issue price, that would IMMEDIATELY, at the stroke of a pen, REMOVE ALL PROPERTY PRICE AND CAPITAL GAINS SPECULATORS, from at least, that one small portion of the housing market. Over time, as that portion slowly grew, more and more of the housing “market” would be on a not-for-profit basis, with people buying a house simply to use it as a residential home, and not some way to win untaxed capital gains “free money” (money which indirectly gets taken from the food and clothing allowances of poor kids).

The current “Kiwibuild” system just means that a small number of already upper-middle income folks, who win the ballot, will get a nice new home for a reduced price, that they can onsell and themselves profit from. Notice that the prices for the “Kiwibuild” townhouses, ($650,000 for Auckland and $500,000 for Christchurch) already exceed by a large measure, stand-alone 3 bedroom houses on sections which are available in cheaper areas, of those same cities. So EVERYONE currently even approved to take part in a Kiwibuild ballot, could already simply go out tomorrow, to a cheaper suburb and buy a house already.

The ONLY thing Kiwibuild is doing is providing a few more, nice, new, multistorey townhouses, for the upper-middle segment of the current housing market. A fail on every level. Mark my words, in five years, with the housing situation even worse, I will be proven correct.

“Pay-Wave” type contactless payment systems *are not* your friend

Well Kiwibank, I love that you are one of the only Kiwi owned and run banking options, where any profits made get retained in New Zealand and help to build and develop this tiny nation, but you’re a pack of shysters and I hate your guts, as of today.

I just got a replacement for my soon-to-expire Credit-Debit card, which is needed for various internet and time payment transactions as it functions as a credit card (but using ONLY the money I have loaded onto it in advance). I have had the current card just on 3 years. I went with this one because, 3 years ago, the Australian owned corporate bank “Westpac” tried to force me to have a replacement card which was “Pay-Wave” (or a similar “contactless” system).

Now just to be clear, “Pay-Wave” is a con-job intended to make it so easy to spend money you don’t even need to ener a pin number or put your card inside a slot in a reader machine. Amounts of $80 can be debited, even as your wallet or bag simply come too close to a shop’s counter. Although the accompanying letter makes claims that the bank will make good any losses, as long as the account-holder did not contribute to those losses, we know from stories on TV and in other media that getting banks to reimburse lost or stolen funds is only slightly easier than getting blood out of a stone. Most customers end up bearing the brunt of the losses and thefts themselves.

I went to the considerable trouble to battle to Riccarton on the way home from class today and went into the Kiwibank branch there. I was attended at first by a younger woman and then an older (“supervisor”?) came over Needless to say there is no option but to accept the SCAMMER card if I am to have access to a credit-debit card at all.

When I politely made clear my unhappiness at the inherent security flaws of “Pay-Wave” she suggested I simply “leave the card at home” so it would be safe from theft. Obviously I live a life deprived of the basic necessities, as I had to carefully explain to her, that my flat comes equipped with a water supply and electricity, but alas, no (burglar resistant) safe. I said I carry my card in my bag with me everywhere as THAT’s where it is LEAST likely to be stolen. I did query with the supervisor about whether putting the card through the clothes’ washer, or bashing the balonies out of it with a hammer, would likely render it’s internal computer chip useless, but still allow me to use it’s numbers for telephone and internet based payments.

That may be what I end up having to do. I have to use it in a machine once to “activate” it, after that it might be “accidentally” washed or hammered, then I’ll try another Pay-Wave machine transaction and see if it fails, or works.

Remember folks, don’t fall for the slick TV advertising featuring yuppies spending up big on expensive rubbish, “Pay-Wave” (and other similar technologies) are there for two reasons and two reasons ONLY. (1) to encourage over-spending by people and encourage and maximise that overspending, banks want you to be in debt. and (2) it is intended to make it easier for burglars, muggers and thieves to extract money from your account.

I don’t think it puts me in the tinfoil hat brigade, to say openly that I do NOT like Pay-Wave and contactless payment systems, I think they are NOT in customers’ best interest.

Sometimes when you win, you still lose !

Woo-hoo the wins just keep on coming to me over and over lately… well sorta.

I bothered to waste my time filling out an online quiz which was offering as a prize, a Fitbit. Now although some people find this kind of wristwatch walking distance counting device useful, as far as I’m concerned it would be a useless piece of junk, but hey, it’d make a nice gift to pass onto a friend.

So yesterday, being the 23rd of September, I dutifully filled out the quiz (offered, not by a bunch of shysters, but by “GoDairy.co.nz” an official NZ Dairy farming support organisation), but when I got to the final page, you can imagine my joy (!) to be greeted with the message about how the prize had already been awarded, on September 26th, 2018. Apparently only a time-travelling machine could have given me a chance to win that competition, oh well, c’est la vie.

Still smarting from this impossible to understand rejection, I was pleasantly surprised to receive in the mailbox this morning a movie double pass from Mediaworks Radio (from a competition I had entered earlier). Redeemable at Hoyts or Reading cinemas for 2 tickets to see “The FlipSide” which it conveniently tells me, starts on the 6 of September.

It’s only taken half an evening of swearing at the computer today, but it seems as if this film has finished its run, at EVERY cinema in Christchurch already.

Now I know what it felt like for that Lotto syndicate in Australia, about 15 or so years ago, that won the multi-million dollar (“First Division”) Lotto and even though their entry was registered on their Syndicate’s identity swipe-card (under the rules of which, prizes were to be automatically paid out after 14 days), the Lotto organisers (or should I call them “thieves”) simply refused to pay out the money…EVER, UNLESS the syndicate holders first went, and forced them to pay, in court.

I never did hear whether they got their money… they were going to have to pay tens of thousands of dollars in advance, (and taking many months of delay) dragging the official government authorised monopoly Lotto organisation through every Law Court in the land). Keep in mind that winning a court-case once, is often not enough. Parties often need to win through two or three court processes, as the person that doesn’t want to pay them any money, will appeal it and appeal it, until they get the verdict they’ve (effectively) bought and paid for.