That time when the past comes back …

and bites you in the bum.  Yup, it’s been a fun couple of weeks again, just as well I accepted that some things were just never going to be easy again eh? Smile with tongue out  I follow one particular astrologer despite no longer buying into all of the New Age philosophies; this guy seems to know exactly what crapola is about to descend on me.  This does not make me trust the universe (trust is something I still have an awful relationship with … although I confess to practicing saying “trust me I’m a lawyer” in a trustworthy fashion Winking smile Surprised smile Just kidding).  Anyway, a couple of weeks ago this astrologer wrote that I would be in for a tough time emotionally from an unexpected quarter.  That’s what I read into the forecast and I thought puleeze, no way, there’s nothing happening, it’s January, nothing ever happens in January, the place is pretty much shut down until second week in February as everybody tries to get back into their slave mode.

But not only was my Dispute Resolution unit tougher emotionally than I thought it would be; I’d read all the required stuff* and knew a lot of bad feelings about our case would come up,  (I thought I was prepared); worse though, the week before I left for Darwin an aspect of our case reared its ugly head again and I had to decide whether I was going to deal with it or let it go.  Needless to say, by the time I finally walked into the moot court for the first day of the unit, with my head about to explode with my ‘maybe it would have been good to sleep last night’ headache, I was wondering if the coping mechanisms I’ve learned to ensure that I can deal with things professionally would actually hold up.

As far as learning goes I am pleased to report that I managed to learn stuff that wasn’t even in the curriculum Winking smile.  For instance I learned that when I’m dying a thousand deaths inside none of that has to affect what I do; I don’t have to react from my emotions – this one thing – for me this is the biggest.  I always wondered if I’d be able to stay in a room where every single one of my buttons gets pushed and all I want to do is find a quiet dark little corner and cry my eyes out.  You can’t imagine how awesome it feels to finally not be a slave to that particular survival instinct Smile with tongue out.

I also learned that professionals don’t always act professionally and their feelings get in the way, their buttons get pushed and then they might do something that is totally inappropriate.**  This is invaluable knowledge, knowing this means that I can stop worrying that I will be the only lawyer to have feelings that might one day get in the way – that coupled with the fact that my coping mechanisms did work makes me confident that as long as I remember that the little things will always trip me up I’m sure I’ll be able to stay professional.

There was this awkward moment where it was suggested that I have no clue about what it might possibly be like to lose your business, your home, your life’s savings …..

……

hear those crickets chirping?  Me not know that?  Me not understand the pain and suffering caused when a corporate bully plays hardball and your counsel is not helping you?  Dear friend, you have no idea how many demons I fought in that moment to remain seated and not get up and deck the person making that allegation – demons 0 Rosie 10000.   I also fought the urge to get up and shout that of all the people in that room I was probably the only one who had first-hand experience of the fallout from a bad outcome to negotiation and a bad court ruling. *** Every day I learn of new victims of the banksters, who have lost everything, I still hear of suicides because strong men can’t deal with the bullying anymore.  I know too well the demons individuals caught up in litigation fight every day just to stay alive, having to trust a system that isn’t worthy of the trust.  Hoping for an intervention that never comes, a Royal Commission that never quite gets called.

The comment was said in the context of a company that would be wound up if the negotiation failed so the person who shall remain nameless also said I had no idea about the impact on the employees.  These comments were so tragically  off the mark.   I’m about to head out to work where for a couple of hours I meet people from all walks of life who are in a dark place.   There is an assumption in Australia that only the pathetic end up on welfare, that only real idiots end up in financial strife and lose their homes because they can’t find a job.  I hate to burst their happy bubbles but I see far more highly educated people who find themselves on the scrapheap because of the downturn in mining than I do any stereotypical unemployed person.  As a matter of fact, the bulk of the people I see are not unemployed but underemployed.    It doesn’t help that our income is still derived from the mining industry and we always wonder if we’re next on the scrapheap.  I’ve learned to never say never.

Anyway, I’ve experienced a massive learning curve and now I can put one of my biggest concerns to rest – I can do this after all.  And there are a lot of options for developing professional skills where  I will be able to fill in any gaps well before I am left in charge of another individual’s life.  And that is worth knowing.

Apologies for ending this with my usual fighting song … but I’m still pretty pissed off with some stranger telling me I don’t understand – I’ll get over it; hopefully sooner rather than later.  And of-course I still have essays to write, and then a new semester to start, and then before I know it it’ll be Christmas again Smile with tongue out

Hope you have a great day,

Cheers

Lady Rosie

 

 

*actually I read the whole text book but a notice was put up after I finished that we only needed to read some of the chapters … bugger

Edit ** a fair bit of time was spent on this during one lecture – so maybe this is a biggie with a few people and not just me?  I hope it’s not just me bahahahaha Smile with tongue out

*** although I do make allowance for the fact that perhaps the speaker got emotional because they too have suffered this great loss and their own demons came up and bit them on the bum … I have to allow for that possibility because it seemed a very, very visceral comment.  I know a lot of us walking wounded do sign up to do law degrees – apparently we’re gluttons for punishment.

The Law, robust or impotent?

I’m back at study and this week the nature of the Rule of Law is sort of doing my head in – for so many reasons.  One of my units is what I refer to the art of war; it’s International Humanitarian Law but we’re dealing with the legal rules pertaining to war – that’s where the art comes in for me.

One of the hardest things for me to wrap my head around with all of this learnin’ how to do ye olde lawyerin’ is figuring out exactly what the lines are, where they might possibly lie and how to reconcile my personal moral compass with the duty to do the best for my client.  Exactly how far can you twist the facts so that your client who has broken the law looks like they are the poor.hard.done.by victim of that menace of society falsely claiming victimhood?  (some lawyers defending banks certainly seem to have the gift imho).  Some of the banking cases I’ve studied read more like tales from Uncommon Law by A P Herbert – and the results are unjust.

Then again, the first thing you have to wrap your head around when you study law is that you go to court to get the law, you don’t go there to get justice.  I’m guessing I’m looking forward to doing Professional Responsibility hahaha Smile with tongue out that should clear up a lot of the blurred lines imho.

The reason the title of the post is what it is is because the law is something that isn’t part of our natural behaviour.  I’m guessing this is why we have to have treaties, covenants and domestic legislation* – although there are far too many individuals who can tell themselves that it is their job to obscure the arguments so much that suddenly torture is no longer against the rules (see also Getting Away with Torture) and it is seen as wise for lawyers to advise their clients to keep putting up obtuse arguments to ensure the victim gives up on account of not being able to afford the legal fight anymore (see Westpac Letters and Idoport).

What bothers me about the  examples is that none seems to show the best of the law – rather they  tend to highlight the gutter instincts of people who want to be the best at fighting (read lawyering).  Although my feelings about dubious lawyers and their apparently loose morals and flexible adherence to the law have mellowed significantly, I still find it difficult to not judge lawyers who think bending the rules beyond recognition is the way it should be done.

From all you read from respected members of the legal profession you (at least I did) get the impression that The Law is something sacred, that it is not to be Tarnished, that everything is Above Board and Within the Law (all capitals intended).

But when the Westpac Letters saga erupted the discussion wasn’t that here is a law firm advising their client how to get away with a major breach of the law, that because their employees could face jail time the strategy should be to string out court cases as long as possible.  Rather the biggest discussion was about client confidentiality and that no-one could discuss these egregious acts because well, no-one was supposed to know it happened!  So let’s pretend that this was good advice from the law firm (it was, it’s a formula that has been followed by all the financial giants since) and that there is no other issue arising.

I tend to harp on about the Westpac Letters a lot – because to me the discussion surrounding the letters highlights that a theoretical high ground is just that – theoretical.  I don’t think every lawyer is sleazy, far from it actually, but I have to allow for the fact that there are those who either arsed their way through their degree and managed to convince someone they were good enough to employ OR they don’t care which way they play the game as long as their hip pocket wins.

Once upon a time I had normal hobbies like cake decorating, gardening and reading (fiction, you know, the fun stuff Winking smile) – now my ‘hobbies’ are pseudo law, ethics and morals of practitioners, the political scene and just when we can demand that our politicians wear their sponsors’ badges so we know why they behave the way they do …  I guess it beats other vices I could enjoy, but only marginally Smile with tongue out.

I guess the biggest challenge for me doing this particular unit is keeping sane in an insane world.  A world where a cricketer using the sleaziest pickup line known to womankind (sorry, made my skin crawl … my bad Smile with tongue out) becomes international news and a major focal point because this was sexual harassment in the workplace; but we can’t discuss criminal acts of corporations aided and abetted by their lawyers because well, it’s only lawyers doing their jobs!

As I wrap my head around the Rule of Law, and that while the law should apply equally to all but in reality how much money you have seems to be a much better indicator of how a case will end, it saddens me to conclude that as we have become flexible in our attitudes, we have become complacent in our acceptance of “the way things are”; we simply accept things as they are and forget how they should/could be.

Not enough people are demanding that the law goes back to being impartial, that perhaps giving rich people lighter sentences because they couldn’t survive real jail time is just giving said rich people every reason to not abide by the rules.

The law is supposed to protect people from those who would take advantage of them, from those who would harm them – I’m still disturbed by the sheer audacity of some of the legal profession who play with human lives as though the issue was a moot question, a theoretical exercise.  I’m disturbed by lawyers who know they are destroying a human being but do it anyway because they have a client to serve, because they are just doing their job.  (Is it okay to say I hate that excuse?  What about your job as a human being?  Sorry, there’s my bloody high horse again … le sigh Sad smile)

It’s like the gun ownership debates we’ve had around the globe – it’s funny how some people think that just because you’ve made something illegal that all problems will be solved.  I wonder how many people really believe in their heart of hearts that criminals will wake up tomorrow and simply start following the law of the land?  I wonder if holding that belief is a notifiable mental disorder? Surprised smile

Anyway, enough of my rants; here’s some more links to illustrate why I’m feeling down today …

Budding lawyer ‘too privileged’ for jail

Coward punch offender gets off with slap on the wrist – and magistrate takes swipe at ‘one punch’ campaigns

I have to conclude that the law doesn’t mean anything to anybody who really wants to do what they want to do – it’s really only as good as the highest high ground anyone is willing to stand on.

Anyway, that’s enough of all this sad bellybutton gazing – and yes, still being bad with my choice of song for today … ya gotta laugh or you might never stop crying Winking smile

*okay, confess to trying a touch of sarcasm here … sorry ‘bout that Winking smile

It’s New Year’s Eve

So tomorrow it’ll be 2016 … and not much has changed in my world; everybody still seems to be doing the same old thing, the same old way and letting stuff kind of stew.  Back when I first started my website I was sure that if enough people knew about the injustice within banking law that things would change.  But just like every other injustice (too many to mention – I mean seriously – we humans aren’t very good at this looking out for each other lark are we?)  it’s too easy to maintain the status quo.

So over the next few hours a pretty large number of the world’s population will be making lots of unrealistic promises to themselves.  Stuff like “in 2016 I will get a great job”, “in 2016 I will lose weight”; “get fit”, “be nicer to mum”, “be the top right elbow model” and on it goes.  Some people do achieve their goals but apparently most don’t – and that’s supposedly because they don’t plan the how.  (I’m running on assumptions – my bad Winking smile)

I used to do that – every year I’d lie to myself – every new year would have this promise of hope; and every year life would grind me down (if I was silly enough to let it Smile with tongue out).

I can’t remember when I gave up making New Year’s resolutions … might have been last year or a couple of years ago.  I’ve been too busy living, studying and trying to be a decent human being to really take notice.

But what I do notice to the very core of my being is that there are far too many places in the world where the ritual of making promises to oneself to get greater fulfilment from life and less contentment from food or the bottom of a bottle seems a bit frivolous.

Here’s a few New Year’s resolutions I would like to see some world leaders make to ensure that all of the world’s population can climb to the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs instead of being stuck at trying to get physical needs met (you know, the old drinking water, food and shelter biz).

How about world leaders resolve to not destroy other countries – a world-wide cease fire lasting just a month would be a bloody miracle.  How bloody hard is it for countries to not threaten each other, to mind their own business and just give all the war mongering a rest?  (I know that this naiveté is at odds with my cynicism but hey, someone has to say it).

It goes without saying that since world leaders are no longer engaged in a futile “mine’s bigger than yours” battle of the egos that the ruling elite of each country vows to ensure that each citizen in their care has their human rights upheld (disclaimer here – countries that have adopted their own version of human rights where women are not human and other humans are effectively dismissed as being human should really adopt the majority view … but that’s not for other countries to enforce – not that any of them are trying atm anyway Smile with tongue out)

Nope – I’d better stop now – it’s too depressing.  But on a bright note I think this is a step in the right direction – my ‘peace, love and all that’ inner hippy might just be on the road to recovery.  You never know where this will lead Winking smile

So putting aside world leaders, I can think of a couple of New Year’s resolutions bankers could make – like putting customers ahead of shareholders (there will still be plenty of profits – and you never know – in Australia that Royal Commission might just be on its way after all – stranger things have happened at sea).  I’d like to see good faith returned to banking and banking litigation – so if you could all resolve to propagate that within your organisations … that’d be great Winking smile.

I could keep ranting – but there’s not much point, those who really do have to change won’t.

As for me; well yes, I could do with making some changes in my life, but I don’t think putting all of my hope on poor old 2016 is going to do anything other than give me another way to let myself down.  All things considered I am kind of the queen of change … I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, hell, I’m not even the same person I was 10 months ago.  Change is good, I’m just not going to buy into the “New Year, New You” philosophy … Billy loves me just the way I am Smile with tongue out

Have a safe journey into 2016 and I’ll see you when we get there

… oh, and take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Love

Lady Rosie

Update on websites

Sorry about the lack of posts – the deathly lurgy that has been felling people for weeks struck the household and I’m only just now getting to the stage where I think it wasn’t the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse after all. Eye rolling smile

Being sick when I actually had time to give in to it and do sweet bugger all gave me a lot of time to reflect on different things.   For example,  I’ve come to the conclusion that websites that I cannot update without maybe getting my life torn apart again are probably not worth the money I pay for them each year to keep.  So I have decided to not renew the hosting on ihatethenab.com and ihatethenab.info.  The .com will go offline tomorow and the .info will disappear into the abyss where old websites go to die in January.  I have taken copies of the webpages and links to other sites and will create a page on here for posterity if anyone feels the urge to take a trip down memory lane.  It’s awesome to visit if you like lashings of desperation, unfounded hope and a dollop of anger wrapped up in a purple haze of indignation.

When I first started my website I wrote all of the HTML and had a really basic one because, erm, I’m not actually a web designer.  My lack of talent in creating websites was not enough to stop me from publishing the website anyway – this was explosive stuff.  I thought my story was unique (my lawyer at that time told me so), I thought the ‘system’ would support me – I was totally and utterly wrong.

I thought the law was one thing and over time discovered it was an entirely different beast.  I thought my website would make a difference.  I thought politicians would be interested and care that there was a problem with the system and close loopholes.

In hindsight I’m embarrassed by both my naiveté and faith in the system; I’m ashamed that I wasn’t smart enough to really understand that Australia has the same level of corruption as the most corrupt country on the planet (we’re always told corruption is rife overseas – but everybody in Australia is squeaky clean Smile with tongue out ).  Still, desperate times call for desperate measures …

I’ve changed my mind a lot about different players in the scenario that played out in what now seems like someone else’s life (amazing what polishing a happy bubble on a daily basis can do for you eh?).  In some ways I have moved on but in some I remain stuck.

We have just had a Senate inquiry called to investigate white collar crime in Australia – focus is on the banking sector.  The media is finally reporting on the various bank crimes against customers on a regular basis – only some are still towing the banksters line of ‘nothing to see here’.  One bright spark wrote an article claiming CBA was cleared of fraud – they weren’t (might add link in later but I’m almost due to run off to work this morning).

Finally the calls for a Royal Commission into banking have become more strident – and the people calling for it are not just bank customers who have been right royally screwed either.

There is light at the end of the tunnel …  although I’m not holding my breath.  Back in 1992 Paul McLean ended the preface of his book Bankers and Bastards with this call to arms:

This is a declaration of war – a war to change a financial system that is working against people but pretends it is working for them.  We intend this to be only part of a full frontal attack on banking as we know it.

Stirring words but we all know they went nowhere – our politicians remain unmoved and government on the whole is a recalcitrant beast unwilling to protect the people it serves.  I’m hopeful that when we do get that Royal Commission the monkey will finally be off my back.  See, I still have a shiny happy bubble Smile with tongue out

Oh well, we’ll see if anything comes of this now shall we?

Meanwhile, take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Love

Lady Rosie

Learning how to write

It seems an odd title I know, since I do know how to write.  And I like to think that as far as grammar goes I keep the mistakes to reasonable levels; although some pedants might argue my use of the word ‘reasonable’ when it comes to something as important as grammar. Smile with tongue out  Still, I suppose at least I know my failings and I do try to improve on these skills.  Especially now that getting HDs is somewhat dependent on my ability to not only string together logical arguments but also have perfect grammar and AGLC.

I also have a nasty habit of abusing the English language … sigh Crying face so I’m outing myself here Surprised smile.  Any of you who have ever received an email from me will know exactly what I’m talking about.   And then there’s my very bad habit of failing to give context to statements.  Sadly I am often misunderstood and I cannot blame anyone but me for that.  I do a really bad job of explaining things.  In short, I am a sloppy writer/communicator … and it’s a problem.

The problem isn’t quite so bad when I get email responses answering some of my question but then noting the writer has no idea what “that” refers to.  (and here you have another prime example of sloppy writing … Winking smile).  It’s not even hugely problematic when people choose to argue with me in some online forum and taking offence at my statement – when we’re on exactly the same page but I have expressed my thoughts differently.  Not sure if that one counts as ‘sloppy’ or being obtuse – but either way it does point out that there is a major problem with my communication style.

Some things are easy to communicate.  For example not many people have been told I love them – if I’ve told you there’s no doubt that I do love you (so far I have not simply stopped loving anyone – which seems unusual even to me but there you go Smile with tongue out).  However, I have been told I’m somewhat flirtatious and have been hit on by men who are sure I’m interested in them (so do I change how I interact with people in the future to avoid any embarrassing incidents or just chalk it up to experience?)  … Oh look, another flaw in my thinking Surprised smile  … maybe there is no such thing as ‘easy communication’ but only ‘sloppy communication skills’?  eeeeeekkkkkkk now it’s getting messy to boot.

And all I really wanted to say is that I need to improve how I write – so that when I do exams my answer is so clear the marker is in no doubt what I mean to say; when I write assignments there is no confusion as to which Act applies to what and so on.

It’s hard to say which particular writing offence is my worst … sometimes in an effort to be brief I leave out important details that really do change the proposition.  Sometimes I discuss a couple of ideas and then fail to differentiate as to which “that” I refer to in drawing some conclusion.  Then sometimes when I draw conclusions I can be fairly accused of drawing a long bow … although in my defence I like to think that when something looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck it is, in all probability, a duck!  Although try telling that to a duck that thinks it’s an eagle Sad smile.

But why would I worry about that when my writing skills seem to be reasonable and I do better than merely okay in my studies?  Would you believe that I worry about stuffing up my client’s chances if I don’t get things articulated in just the right way?  What if I end up working for, say a mining company, and something I’ve written can be interpreted in a totally different light and that in turn leads to a whole lot of people being financially damaged by my mistake?  It could happen – never say never in the legal game – the improbable is not impossible; and sometimes a whole lot rides on the difference between using the word OR and AND, such tiny little words that pack a whole lot of punch Surprised smile.

Don’t think that’s a far-fetched idea either – think about how much litigation revolves around the interpretation of some part of some Act that isn’t quite clear.  I remember sitting in court listening for some three hours while a barrister explained his argument that the interpretation of the Act by his learned colleague was absolutely flawed and therefore the whole case depended on the court seeing that his interpretation was the only one that mattered.

It was a loooooong three hours (was it really three hours or did it really just feel that long? Confused smile) – I remember even the judges yawning, and fidgeting, and finally when the barrister complained that his submission had been limited to a mere 20 pages one of the judges remarked “yes, and I note that you managed to find the smallest font still visible to the naked eye to make the most of the 20 pages”.*  I love a judge with a sense of humour Smile with tongue out.

I guess the poor judges might have been saved the tedium had the original drafters of that particular Act paid a bit more attention to the language they used.

Then again, some argumentative jerks have been known to argue not because the other person was wrong but because they expressed their position awkwardly.  Again outing myself as I once won an argument with someone near and dear to me wholly on account of being able to argue the way he’d expressed himself – he was right, I knew he was right, but what he’d said could be interpreted in another way.  So I argued … and when he finally threw his hands in the air and called an end to the argument I owned up and told him which bit of his statement had made him ‘wrong’ despite being right.

I guess ^that’s the reason why some of my family and friends think I will make a great lawyer … Embarrassed smile

Anyway, I still have to work on my written expression – and that’s the next challenge in my study career – to get on top of sloppy communication skills and ace the language thingy.

Because you know, none of us  want to be misunderstood Winking smile

OR this version wlEmoticon-winkingsmile.png

Take care out there in Banksterland  Winking smile

Oh and if I haven’t told you in a while … you know who ‘you’ are – I love you Flirt female Red heartSend a kissSmile with tongue out

Love

Lady Rosie xxx

 

*please note the disclaimer that this is not word for word what the judge said – I guess I was laughing too hard to really remember everything verbatim Smile with tongue out

Exams and other bruises

It’s the pointy end of the semester, the week where you have no lectures or tutorials (unless you have a super duper awesome lecturer who takes pity on you and gives your class a revision tutorial – especially when these take the form of a pep talk Winking smile).  The time when you’re reading through your study notes and wondering if you’re going to remember enough of this stuff when you’re in exams.

This semester is the first time I’ve come across a take-home exam in this degree and I had two to complete.  When I first saw that in the unit outlines I wasn’t sure if this was a bonus or if it was a trap.  I’ve now come to the conclusion that it is definitely a trap Smile with tongue out.

Here’s the thing, when you rock up in your exam room you know that you have a limited time in which to answer all the questions.  You know you have to at least attempt every question because you might get some of the easy marks in a brief outline of your answer.  With enough planning you can figure out how much time each type of question will take.  You know you can’t go into detail in any answer because, well, you know … time.

One of the things I did to figure out how to plan an essay type question was I printed out 800 words of a sample answer for one of my units and then timed myself to see how many words I could actually write legibly in 40 minutes.  I’d already figured out that 40 minutes would be the maximum time I could allocate to the essay question (going by a previous exam made available by the university).   I managed to write only 649 words in that time … I could have written faster and achieved more but then the marker wouldn’t have been able read it and that would be a bit of a fuck up methinks!

So then I dummy up an answer on a random topic that is examinable – and that’s to figure out how much detail I can put into each point that has to be covered.  Remembering your marks get into the distinction and high distinction level the more depth of knowledge you can show.   Of-course the trick here is to remember the nuances; and always talk about the prickly end of the pineapple.

And this helps me with the pre-exam panic (I don’t have the time to panic while I’m actually in an exam even if I am stunned by the War and Peace length exam question).

Take-home exams are not like this.   I understand that there is this this idea that take-home exams are easy; trust me, they’re not.  Take-home exams come with so many levels of evil that makes a 3 hour equity exam with said War and Peace tome question feel like you’re lying on the beach with some honey bringing you an endless supply of your favourite tipple and nothing better to do than think about what you might fancy for dinner.

Take-home exams suck …. totally.

Remember those 649 words I can write in 40 minutes?  One of my take-homes was a maximum of 4500 words, the other 3500 words … and just because it says ‘maximum’ you’d be an idiot to think that maybe you can get by with 2000.  It doesn’t quite work like that, not if you want to address the main issues and then the curly bits.  So I spent days working on them … for a couple of reasons.

First, I wouldn’t mind keeping my HD and secondly (probably this is really number one) – I didn’t want my lecturers thinking I was a slacker who put in a minimum amount of effort.  Funny how I don’t care what most people think about me but I am seriously committed to working hard so my lecturers know I care enough about my studies to actually, you know … study Smile with tongue out.

And do you know how I feel about my efforts after all of those hours analysing the question and then setting out the best possible answer I could come up with?  Not great … that’s how I feel.  I wonder if I analysed the question enough, wonder if I identified the right points I needed to address.  I worry I didn’t give a good analytical answer.   I second-guess myself just as much as I do after a three hour exam but I’ve spent so much more time on it.

Take-home exams are a trap … give me a tortuous invigilated exam any day of the week – and here I am just hoping that today’s song choice won’t be me after I get my results back … I live in hope after all Rainbow

Oh, and I think I know how to approach this whole bank fraud thingy from an academic perspective now … so it’s all coming together quite nicely thank you Nerd smile

Take care out there in Banksterland peeps Peace

Love

Lady Rosie

The social media trap

I’d call myself a bit of a social media expert … after all, I have a BA in Internet Communications and spend a lot of time in various online groups and see how social networking works (or doesn’t).  Last semester we spent a fair bit of time on defamation law and of-course there was that attempt at suing me for defamation from some turkey who really ought to be sued for defaming me in the first place (among other things) … but hey, I’m kinda busy atm Smile with tongue out and I don’t want to get into this tit for tat litigation thing that a few people have going on.

But there is a fair bit of stuff happening in defamation litigation involving social media atm that has a few of my family and friends concerned, not just for me but for our freedom of speech in general.  I’ve written about SLAPP before (that’s a strategic lawsuit against public participation) and how defamation law is abused to stop people from discussing issues of public concern; especially on social media platforms like Facebook, where a lot of the current crop of litigation seems to stem from.

I don’t want to talk about the legal implications, I’d much rather share my thoughts about my journey through this acceptance of an online persona that leaves a huge digital footprint – Google my name and there’s an awful lot that is about me.  I’ve set up Facebook to not allow browsers to find my comments but I’d bet a few of them still find their way into the public forum.

One of the reasons I was careful in the beginning of starting to use Facebook and other apps is because of the questions raised during my studies (I’d also note here that the reason I got so involved with so many apps out there is because of my studies Eye rolling smile).  I was very careful about not adding people I knew through the blog because they were caught up in banking litigation like I was.  I would be super careful that when I commented on newspaper stories online that I kept the tone just fine and dandy (still managed to get blocked on a few haha Smile with tongue out).  I tried to watch my Ps & Qs.

So why was I careful about who I added as a ‘friend’ on say, Facebook?  Initially it was because I didn’t want to have the expectation that all I post is bank stuff …. I sometimes share bank stories but my Fb wall is supposed to be a social experience for me.  I share funny videos, music videos, quirky things and some downright unPC stuff that tickles my funny bone.   A part of me only wanted people who really were friends in my real Facebook account.  I was so anal about it I had a couple of ‘fake’ accounts just so I could play games like Farm Town and Castleville and ‘friend’ people to my hearts content and they’d never get to know the real me.

The real me was pretty much non-existent following my bank experience so I played with developing a new me online and seeing if that could translate to being a whole new, functioning me offline too.  Sometimes I’d use the fake me’s email accounts to post comments on stories about banks (after real me was banned hehe – oh my, maybe I’m not as sweet and lovely and straight down the line as I like to pretend?  oooops, my bad Embarrassed smile).

But the more I studied, the more I learned about me in the process, I grew back into my own skin.  I still worried that my digital footprint would hurt any future career, especially this blog – everything I write on here is open to scrutiny – people will judge.  Will it cost me a job?  I know family and friends were really worried about supporting me because, you know, they might need to get another loan one day and they wouldn’t want the banks to know they supported me or anything (that’s probably one of the biggest reasons fraud in major corporations can flourish – who feels powerful enough to stand up and be counted?  Can affect your job, finances, standing in the community – say the wrong thing about the wrong company/person and your life can effectively be over – that’s mass censorship based on nothing more than fear – and it’s bloody hard to beat).

There’s this frightening phenomenon at the moment where self-righteous do-gooders feel it is their duty to contact employers of Facebook users who dare to post their personal opinion on refugees in a public forum and demand these people be sacked.  They then brag about how many people they have gotten sacked and feel good about doing this – never mind the fact that the people sacked have mortgages and now their kids will probably be facing poverty because of a smear campaign that is unwarranted.  I’m not sure the particular refugee advocate I am referring to even gets the hypocrisy of her actions, but it’s social media – apparently it’s okay for one person to destroy people’s lives because they can’t agree on something.

So I’ve always been a bit circumspect about what I post and how I word things (I have pretty average, run of the mill opinions and the most controversial thing I’ll say is that I think banksters and those who allow them to strip assets off customers with illegal/dodgy scams need to be thrown in jail and the key accidentally lost).

But recently I’ve developed a bit of a rebellious streak – I’ve accepted that there will always be people who judge me by what I write on any given day (and sometimes I write on a bad day when the world is total crap and my words won’t be measured).  Any potential employer that sees this blog and doesn’t see the personal journey I have had that makes me a bloody good employee will miss out on having a great team player who understands the meaning of ethics and morals.   That’s life.

I’ve started accepting and sending out friend requests on Facebook to all sorts of people who couldn’t  be considered ‘friends’ in any real sense of the world.  I’ve now got a large cohort of bank victims being subjected to my odd sense of humour and my occasional (or maybe not so occasional) foul mouth (is it still a foul mouth when you type excessive expletives?).  If you have a love of the irreverent, the downright odd or just like to look on the bright side of life (and don’t mind reminders that Christmas is coming  313 days before the event) then maybe I’m the Facebook friend for you hahahah Smile with tongue out.

I would note that I fell foul of my own brother once and he unfriended me on Facebook!!!  (yes, that really did need the extra exclamation marks Winking smile).  What was my great offence?  Erm, okay, I posted this

gay marriage

and when he made a derogatory comment I told him it was totally unfair that marriage could only make heteros miserable … oh dear Nyah-Nyah.  It’s all good now but gees, after what happened with the bank we had a pretty difficult relationship anyway – and this is just something I sometimes give (fleeting) consideration to.  Apologies to all deeply emotionally attached people on either side of this particular fence, but I have other things to get worked up about and at the moment I have a pretty short fuse on all things religious.  And yes, I find lawsuits against Christian bakers who refuse to bake a gay wedding cake to be a batty idea ….  The law should not exist to kiss anybody’s booboo better (sh*t it didn’t give a damn about mine and mine wasn’t hurt feelings FFS … oh dear, my happy bubble just got pricked Crying face).

Best sign off and get on with it … and just to end on a happy note (reinflating the happy bubble) enjoy Smile

oh and I found a really funny video but that one made it on my Facebook wall, because, you know, at least it’s (mostly) private so I won’t be judged too harshly hahaha Smile with tongue out

Hang in there and take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Love

Lady Rosie

Understanding expert opinion

This is just a very quick post about something that has been bugging me for a long time.  When I say a long time, I really mean since I was a child and being told what to do by people who knew better than me – which judging by how often this happens this is pretty much everybody.  And doesn’t everybody really like to make sure I know it!  Smile with tongue out

It doesn’t matter how old I am or how much I know from serious studies – whenever I state an opinion or query some action (like why would the government do *insert whatever crap thing the government has done now* ) and put forth alternatives, all and sundry go all Ygritte on me Sad smile.   Because there are experts who say it’s all good and I am wrong to have my opinion (ergo I know nothing).

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I’m told I’m doing it wrong, or I’m wrong to feel how I feel, or I should stop talking about what is happening (this is not specifically about the government ignoring calls for a Royal Commission into banking).  Apparently only experts are allowed to have an opinion and ignorant me needs to get with the program

Don’t get me started on the fact that I have armchair experts tell me that I can’t be a lawyer and write this blog so  I need to stop blogging about what happened to us and not talk about any problems I might have during the semester because somehow this will lessen my validity.  When I counter that argument and say that this adds to my portfolio of useful life experiences and shows my willingness to engage with deeper analysis of legal problems I am often on the receiving end of “the look” Surprised smile.

Mind you, I’m sure I am the giver of “the look” when I get sucked into arguments on some legal point and the armchair expert (who acquired their legal knowledge by osmosis) knowledgably informs me that when SCT* happened to X** the law screwed them over because of STIR.*** Silly me thinks that maybe they want to know whether poor X could have been saved by the law or wondering if they might get caught up in the same web of deceit (usually the context of the conversation leads me to assume they want to test the state of my current legal knowledge).

Even when I call them out on the DSB**** by stating the law and the consequences/remedies (sometimes I’ll even know a case on point) and ask if they’re sure they have the details right (the devil’s in the details) they confidently tell me that is exactly what happened and obviously I’m wasting my time studying law because I remain the feminine version of Ygritte’s Jon Snow Eye rolling smile.  Looking on the bright side this does prepare me for stepping into any professional role where I will be derided by other experts because my opinion based on my understanding of complex matters is plain old wrong.

The problem with expert opinion is that the opinion part gets confused with set.in.stone fact and anyone who doesn’t agree with the majority view is a denier, a conspiracy theorist or just an idiot.  Have a look at politicians and the kindyesque shenanigans our current crop of parliamentarians are up to; they pick an expert opinion that reflects their agenda and state it as fact i.e. there is no need for a RC into banking because there isn’t a real problem – the banks have explained it all in a totally believable way.

Or think of the scientists copping flak for not agreeing with climate change and economists who argue with current economic policies,  the personal attacks on the integrity of these individuals are breathtaking and abhorrent. (so we’re all entitled to our opinion as long as everybody else has the same opinion?)  Watch any debate on the telly and there are at least two sides – and which side wins invariably depends on who puts forward the better argument.

So who are the experts whose opinion counts more than mine?  Well, realistically they are just people like me – people who have an interest in a certain subject/object and then study the arse out of it.  They talk to other people who share their interests and the top of the whizz experts really delve into the dark side of the matter.  And they write about it, and share their conclusions (these would be the opinions they have formed given all of the evidence) – there are no guarantees that they are right in the God-like sense.  It’s just they hold a set of beliefs based on their knowledge.  The quality of their knowledge is not dependent on whether the majority agrees with their opinion.  Over time some people might get stuck in one particular mind-set and be immovable from that position regardless of new information that arises but most experts continually reassess whether their original opinion is still valid.

I guess that makes me an expert in my field … and I’m really enjoying the challenge of figuring out what’s what and what matters and how to fix the system that allows banksters to get away with dastardly deeds.  And yes, there’s a part of me that would really like to work in a bank and sort it out within its hallowed halls – sometimes a good bog-out is quite therapeutic Smile with tongue out

Anyhow, that’s all I have time for just now, a thrilling week of readings awaits :P – have a great week and take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Cheers

Lady Rosie xxx

*some crap thing  ** invariably some step-brother of the boss’ niece’s step-mother-in-law’s next door neighbour *** some totally illogical reason **** deeply suspicious bullshit

Running on empty (or running out of catchy titles for blog posts)

Or the past always comes back to bite you on the bum Crying face

Apologies for my prolonged absence – things have been … erm, interesting here Disappointed smile, as I’m not one to make mysterious statements and leave people guessing (hey, I’m writing a warts and all blog – it seems counterintuitive to go all shy now right? Smile with tongue out) I guess I can fess up and say that last semester kind of broke me.  It was a whole lot of things ganging up on me that combined to present the perfect storm really (metaphorically speaking – I would have hated to have been in that shit storm if it was an actual, physical shit storm Surprised smile).

People who only know me because of what happened with the bank may get the impression that this was the first “bad thing” to happen in my life … but family and long-standing friends know that since my husband and I got together we seem to have lurched from  one  disaster to another.  Life has been kind to us in an unkind kinda way.  Even though our family has seen more disasters than seems fair for one family to handle we seem to have had a reasonably good outcome considering the circumstances.

For example our premmie son didn’t die (with just one factor different he would not have lived – we got a lucky break) – this same son has had so many near misses I’m beginning to think he’s got a fair bit of cat in him (he almost died in a car accident and a couple of years later almost died from Wegener’s Granulomatosis, there’s also been other near-misses that didn’t involve hospital visits).  I won’t bore you with the sad-sack stories of my own medical disasters but some of that became a part of the perfect storm.

To put it simply; even though we have faced adversity, we seem to have had it easier than others who have faced similar circumstances and I am both aware and grateful that we got the breaks (I’m guessing my guardian angel was on holidays trying to recuperate from saving my sorry arse all the time when the semester from hell rocked up).  Even with this bank thing – we didn’t go bankrupt and hubby started looking on the bright side long before I started accepting things (for me the only bright side is that I ended up going back to uni and have finished one degree and I got the confidence to start the law degree – no idea where life will take me but I know this wouldn’t have happened but for the bank screwing us over – and yes, still wishing I had my old life back … Confused smile).

I have always talked about the crap fest that seems to happen to us, not because I feel sorry for myself, but because I figure maybe by sharing someone else may benefit from my experience and either handle things differently/better or just know they’re not alone in having to deal with stuff.  When I first started sharing my story with the bank via the website and blog I had no idea just how big this thing really is and how hard it would be to get the system cleaned up – six years later and I’m still hitting my head against a brick wall.   Although there seems to be a turn-around in the fortunes of customers at the moment – great in one way as I really am happy for them but it does tend to amplify my own losses.  Just as well I’m a big girl now eh?  Smile with tongue out

So I talk about all the bad stuff that happens to us – except I don’t – not all of it – there was one thing that happened that family and close friends knew about but we don’t talk about it.  I don’t think I’ll ever wrap my head around it or get over the mix of feelings.  And while I won’t say what this thing was trust me it was big, it was ugly, too many families have to deal with it and too many people excuse it.  And this thing was a discussion topic in one of my units for what seemed like every lecture and tutorial (I’m sure it wasn’t but it still feels like it’s all we talked about).  I let the lecturer know but that didn’t help.  I put the anxiety down to the massive work-load and the medical problem that affects me intermittently (an injury from a car accident that gives me curry every now and then making life a bit unpleasant); I told myself that I could look at the content of the unit in a dispassionate way just like lawyers should.

Silly me didn’t allow for the fact that I’ve been a mother longer than a law student and I’d dealt with the situation but not with how I felt about it Embarrassed smile (the embarrassed emoticon is because I’m a trained counsellor and should have seen it coming a mile away … le sigh).  And of-course every week I told myself that now that we’ve dealt with it in class I don’t have to worry about it again – not realising that this was the topic the lecturer had chosen to teach the whole damned unit through and that it would be right there every week in some shape or form.   Fast forward to exams and this unit was the second exam – I think I felt myself break when I read the questions …

So not only did I give limited attention to the blog during that time but since that exam I’ve been pretty much AWOL from life.   We’d already booked an eleven day break in Phuket so at least I had some warm weather to look forward to.  I managed to read five and a half novels in that time and still spent a lot of time doing stuff (read Dan Brown and Terry Pratchett if you’re interested Smile with tongue out).  We even managed to catch up with an old friend while we were there so that was good.

Do I feel ready to put ye olde nose back to the grindstone next week?  Probably not, but I know how to pick myself up, dust myself off, spit out the blood and get back into it … anyway, I have nothing else planned so may as well ace this semester eh? Winking smile

Oh and I did okay with all my units so no need to stress about having failed one, so sex ed remains the only thing I have ever failed in my study career (as I patiently explained to my teacher, it really doesn’t help me to know what all the internal bits are called because if anything goes wrong with them I will have to see a doctor who knows all the names Smile with tongue out).

Hopefully my energy levels will rise to my normal level of exhaustion by next week – I’ve certainly given my body and soul a break, although now I feel guilty that I didn’t manage to do all those semester break odd jobs I’d promised myself I’d get around to … oh well, can’t win them all.

So enjoy today’s music video …

 

Remember – take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Cheers

Lady Rosie

… exams

That’s it, exams are here and I am feeling more than a little underdone; and part of the reason is probably that I’m pretty sure I get it.  I get the nuances of law, that the approach you take depends on who is asking you to help them; that there is no black and white but more than a touch over 50 shades of grey.  Right and wrong don’t come into it; there is just the law (and equity but let’s not go there this fine morning haha Smile with tongue out).  What you get when you go to court isn’t justice per se – you get the law (only winners are grinners in this game).

I worry about spotting the issues when the pressure is on, although I have noticed I do that much better in a quick glance at a problem than I do after long and careful analysis (the luxury of time makes me far too creative in dealing with issues … thinking equity here where there’s a few ways to skin that legal cat Surprised smile).  For one exam I am really, really worried about fish – well, actually, only one kind of fish – the red herring.  There is one lecturer who has spent the whole semester posing problems with the veritable school of red herrings happily hiding in amongst the issues he’d like us to address; it makes for awesome mind-gymnastics and is closer to real life than most hypotheticals we work through that teach us the rules of law.

He also had a habit of giving our hypothetical clients unsavoury habits (like breaking the law) but when it boiled down to it there was a way to resolve the issues in their favour because despite being awful people they did have a good case to present to the court and their numerous misdemeanours had nothing to do with the case in hand.  It has been a great lesson in understanding we won’t always feel sympathy with clients but can still do our job.

For me this has been a particularly difficult thing to wrap my head around because all semester long I felt that I was representing a certain bank and helping them to screw over customers because the law was on their side.  I have a lot more respect for the lawyers who work for the banks; while some sociopaths no doubt enjoy that kind of work and the suffering they inflict I think I understand the reasons for the statistics on depression in the legal profession much better now.

As I get ready to meet my doom (haha, slight exaggeration really Smile with tongue out) I thought I’d share this song – because well, I can, and it reminds me of the good old days – you know, when my memory was great, hopes high, the future bright and the music awesomely good fun.

Anyway, take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile (note there’s yet another inquiry to make submissions to – will blog about it after exams).

Love

Lady Rosie Peace