Overworked and underpaid

Some days that’s how I feel, probably because my longest employment was in the family business and doing volunteer work.  Now it’s study and just a small amount of volunteer work; so yesterday, when I hit the study wall and just couldn’t read another word of another case I took a break – and came up with this – seems to sum up my life perfectly atm Smile with tongue out

Lady Rosa's Lament

Of-course I am not passively sitting by the dock waiting for a ship that may never arrive, that would be pretty silly (while I admit to doing many silly things – that’s not one of them haha).  I am busy studying and learning a new craft, and questioning all there is.

And it seems nothing is out of bounds when it comes to questioning stuff.  It’s not just hours devoted to how the law works (really enjoying Equity BTW – and it’s fascinating/depressing to think where it could have helped us in our case – but more on that later Winking smile).

There are questions of where do I want to take this course of study – become a lawyer or work for a corporation?  And until a friend mentioned it the other day I hadn’t really considered becoming an academic … but perhaps that holds possibilities too?

Then there’s the personal stuff like who am I now?  Given all the changes in my life how many of my old ideas still hold true?  Has my cynicism made me too dark for even me to put up with?  Exactly how long can a long-suffering husband really put up with a wife who apparently does not subscribe to the idea that all women can and must multitask the crap out of life.  I literally can’t multitask – I do not even pretend to be able to do that.

Okay, so I can sit here and write this as well as drink a cup of coffee while the washing machine does its thing and the oven is taking care of breakfast (don’t ask – I can’t do the diet thing either … le sigh).  But that’s not really multitasking – I am only doing one thing and that is all I can give my attention to at this minute.  And I have to hurry through it because those books still refuse to read themselves Surprised smile [bastards – just sayin’ Smile with tongue out).

So over the next 2 weeks I have a big problem – 4 assignments due within 6 days of each other, keeping up with the normal readings/study and somehow trying to fit in being a dutiful and attentive wife on the week-ends.  Hmmm, I think one of those things is just not going to happen – sad but true.  Still, I have been busy trying to organise fishing buddies so the MOTH doesn’t notice the neglect too much Eye rolling smile.

[When I was younger I always wished I could honestly say that my husband was my best friend – now that I’m a touch older, I’ve realised that a) I really am married to my best friend and b) that there is a downside to that.  It never occurred to me that there could be a downside to that – funny eh?  Just as well that he’s okay taking a back seat to my studies, else we could be in big trouble (again).]

And then my friend told me about a Canadian case where the judge did a really great job on tearing apart pseudo law … so now I want to read that and write about it and absorb it and … guess you get the picture – but I can’t do that until I’ve got these assessments out of the way and I have a bit of breathing space … bugger Crying face.

But one thing I have learned (while waiting for my ship to come in) is that you really have to prioritise your time – some things have to wait in the greater scheme of things.  Some of those things are matters of the heart you want to give priority to (who doesn’t want to be happy and in love?  or at least happy? just give me happy Smile with tongue out).  Other things are the practical things like work, rest, play, spending time with family and all the other things that make demands on our time and energy.  But right now they have to wait – and hopefully be given enough attention to not fall apart.  (theoretically you’d be aware enough that something else suddenly got priority so that you can head problems off at the pass – but that goes back to multitasking really – can you give your all to the BIG THING requiring immediate attention and not ignore something bigger just because you haven’t noticed it? – no idea, hoping for the best here, any and all discussion on this point is probably worthwhile haha).

Sometimes you have to call a time out – I did that last week-end when I did something I have never done before but it’s made me feel like a *real* uni student Smile with tongue out – on Saturday I had a party and then a couple of girlfriends and I ended up going to Murphy’s Irish Pub in Mandurah at about 9pm – so much for studying at night.  Then on Sunday I went to ComicCon, where I met husbands number 2 & 3, although number 1 husband isn’t worried because he knows I have Buckley’s getting with them* – not sure if I should feel insulted or agree given that this is the case Smile with tongue out.  I did point out that now that I am a real lady that this would make a difference but he’s still convinced nothing will come of it (this is no doubt a great relief to Michael Shanks and Ben Browder In love never mind their beloveds hahaha).

Anyway, the washing machine is squealing at me that it’s done, the oven timer has chimed in to say it’s time to eat, the coffee is getting pitifully cold (turns out I can’t write and drink coffee at the same time … oh dear Surprised smile) so it must be time to finish and get the nose back to ye olde grindstone … story of my life haha.

Oh, and take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Love Lady Rosie

* I have a photo of Husband #2 totally ruined by me being in the picture but the photo of Husband #3 is awesome (aided by the fact I’m not in it obviously haha).  I Photoshopped me out of the first pic and nicked the second one from Wikipedia (given that the signed one I have is a stock photo from his Stargate days Winking smile)

Michael

Ben_Browder_2014_Phoenix_ComicCon_(cropped)

** oh, and for anyone who might think I’m serious …. bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah yes, my life is tragic but I am not hehe Smile with tongue out

[edited out the guff on why I couldn’t add videos – but I figured it out, cos I’m a problem solver haha]

Sometimes the more you learn …

The more annoyed you get (you should be proud of me, annoyed wasn’t the first word that came to mind).  I’ve often discussed how my original legal eagles handled my case and that in my opinion, they didn’t even try.  Sadly for me, the more I learn at uni about how the law can be used to get justice, the more I know that I was right.  They didn’t even try.

Take the single case my lawyer emailed to me that he reckoned supported my case, National Australia Bank v Blacker (2000) 104 FCR 288.  Just a couple of months ago I cynically observed on this very blog that my lawyer couldn’t even make it past the Bs when he was looking up cases to help my cause.  Turns out it is much, much worse than that (in my humble opinion).  You see NAB v Blacker is a first year Property Law case that all law students are taught – it’s used in relation to fixtures and chattels …

Now I’m also studying Advanced Torts so have spent the last 4 odd weeks wrapping my head around defamation – which means I’m now firmly convinced that the current defamation laws exist to protect the legal fraternity from aggrieved clients who only want to discuss the failures of their legal eagles.  Having had one of the illustrious pair file a defamation suit against me just pissed me off when he did it.  Now I know that when I first discovered that he had discussed my case with my brother and told my brother and a couple of other people that I didn’t have a case and I was crazy, I should have sued the arse off him.  But I didn’t know, just like I didn’t know a lot of other stuff.

Am I worried now that I might say something that will set either of these two geniuses off and encourage them to file a defamation suit?  Nope, I only write what is true and what I can prove.  I have my brother’s affidavit, and my son was pulled into this so he also knows what my brother believed courtesy of his good friend the legal eagle.  And I’m not the one with a recorded conviction or a couple of other hearings (downloadable from Austlii, so consider that recorded and public) discussing my suitability to practice the law … just sayin’.

I’m finding the study hard going – because this semester 3 of my units are pointing out the failures of my original legal eagles.  I had equity to help me … they didn’t consider that at all from what I can gather.  Surely when someone’s livelihood is at stake you throw everything you got at it?  Where contract law let us down, equity would have been sympathetic … but it was never raised as an issue and I want to know why not.

I’m a first year law student and I thought by studying law I’d get closure, understand why I lost everything and be able to move on.  But that’s not what’s happening.  What is happening is that I see so many gaps in the system, so many flaws, so many people reaping the benefits of their profession without actually providing an adequate service.  It’s not even close to being fair, just or acceptable.

No wonder people like Shane Dowling won’t let it go and risk everything to expose the corruption (his matter was not related to bank fraud but his story about the court process is scary).

So here I am, wrapping my head around all of the options my legal team had to save our financial position and I’m thinking that this is all really, really depressing.  I have a well-honed sense of justice, I believe I have good morals and great ethics.  I believe the only time I should be looking down on anyone is when I’m helping them up.  I know that despite how much I despise these geniuses who ruined my life (lumping all of them together here, from acting bank manager right through) if I were to come across them in an emergency and they were in the deep shit I’d help them.

Not sure who else says this a lot, but it’s common in these here parts – “I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire” – well, that’s not who I am.  Despite how badly these people treated me, the shit they did because money was more important than people, you know what?  That’s their issue.  I think they should all be in jail for what they did – but if they were about to die and I was the only one who could help them I would (okay unlikely scenario but give me a break, I’m trying to make a point here Smile with tongue out ).

And the reason boils down to this – they deserve to be in jail but the death penalty is a tad over the top.  So while I hope the Karma bus comes along and clips them behind the ear in spectacular fashion – maybe getting a bit of what I’ve had to go through is enough?  Maybe having their life torn apart and having to start again from scratch might let them reconsider their priorities and make them decent human beings?  (okay, again with the happy bubble but gees life should be about looking after each other not tearing each other apart).

I’m still trying to rephrase, to re-form, to make a shiny new Rosie, and it’s tough going.  But the first thing I really had to learn to do was to let go of the crap – and there is so much crap surrounding my case.  I could have stayed angry but I know that the only person that would have hurt is me, and I’m kind of tired of hurting and stressing and blaming (usually myself because I did get myself into this mess, admittedly I had a lot of help from people who benefited from my disaster but hey, the buck stops with me).

Anyway, it’s Easter – a time to reflect on the bigger picture and embrace the spiritual opportunities on offer.  Have a lovely Easter and may the Easter bunny, God and the Universe bring you plenty of chocolate and blessings.  But most of all, I hope you can find some peace in your soul, even if that means doing the unbelievable and embracing forgiveness of those who destroyed you.  Remember, they don’t give a crap, they waste zero seconds every day thinking about the pain they caused you.  All you can do is look after yourself – I can’t even cheer you up and say ‘trust that this fraud will be exposed and those responsible jailed’ – because I have no faith whatsoever that our government will ever have the balls to stop this bank fraud.  They’ve had so much evidence of dodgy banks and still haven’t called for a Royal Commission – so I’m guessing they like the status quo.

Bugger that is far too depressing, so time to sign off, stay healthy, stay sane and well – live life, it’s far too short for all this bullshit.

Here’s some vids to get you through the week-end Open-mouthed smile

(Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum)

(Let it Be – Beatles)

(Somebody that I Used to Know – Gotye)

… and don’t forget, take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Lady Rosie xxx

Cracklin Rosie is a song about what?

There are many times when I am wont to say “I did not know that” … take that awesome song from Neil Diamond “Cracklin Rosie” (always been one of my faves and not just because my name is Rosie Smile with tongue out ).  A couple of weeks ago I found out that this song is not about a woman but a wine …  apparently Diamond heard a story about a native Canadian tribe where there were more men than women, and the men sans the fairer sex would sit around the camp fire cradling their wine.  This is from Wikipedia which also goes on to say that perhaps the Rosie is a play on rosé (okay, Wikipedia says that’s a misspelling … but I don’t buy into that interpretation, what with my utter faith in music God Mr Diamond knowing exactly what he’s doing Winking smile).  I guess I can still look on the bright side though … the song can still be my theme song – perhaps I am like a bottle of wine – simply getting better with age Open-mouthed smile.  I will be celebrating my umpteenth 21st this month – oh, so does it still count?  Thinking smileI don't know smileConfused smile I might have to snuggle with a glass of wine to ponder the conundrum Smile with tongue out.

But the whole point of bringing it up is that no matter how old we get we can always have our assumptions and beliefs challenged.

Take my reading for Criminal Law this week (6 substantial chapters of a book written in the tiniest font they could possibly get away with … but I digress Surprised smile) – it was certainly an eye opener for me.  It’s hard for me to explain the nuanced difference between what I believed the law was in relation to corporations being charged with a crime, what I had been told by a couple of lawyers and what this book explained as the current state of affairs in relation to corporations found to be breaking the law.  As far as research topics go this one sounds really promising as well – especially in light of the calls for a Royal Commission into banks and their unscrupulous activities (okay, criminal activities – they are all guilty of crimes).

The more I learn about the law and how it is meant to operate, how the courts have ruled in the (not so distant) past and how things are going now in bank fraud cases (where the bank employees have committed the fraud and the banks are taking their customers to court to pay the ultimate price) the more depressed I get.  To say I have days when my readings/lectures/tutorials trigger unwanted emotional responses is an understatement.  The more I learn, the angrier I get about how the system was used against us so that we could not possibly win even though the law was actually on our side.  We had law and equity to draw on … and got screwed over by lord knows whatCrying face.

When I first thought about starting this degree I didn’t consider becoming a lawyer and dealing with the banks on behalf of people like me.  This has not changed, rather, I am more convinced than ever that I would not be an exceptional advocate for people like me.  I fear I would hamper their case as my ‘issues’ cloud my judgment and my emotions run riot (I have visions of slapping my learned friend when s/he implies my client is a master criminal who had intended to defraud the bank, or smugly says “caveat emptor” … I take it you get the drift Smile with tongue out).

While I want to research this whole shemozzle and be a part of the change that needs to happen, I don’t’ see me making a good living out of that – and because of what happened to us I have become a convert to the “show me the money” philosophy of career choice.  So right now I’m thinking specializing in mining law with all the other laws that come into it (you know, environment, employment & corporate law) but hey, I haven’t even finished my first year yet so plenty of time to figure out where I want to be … right?

Anyway … my head is fried and I still have readings to do before heading off to tomorrow’s lectures and tutes so I’ll leave you with my favourite song about wine …

and don’t forget – take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Fate versus Free Will

Oh that sounds a tad dramatic eh?  Smile with tongue out Never mind the drama, this is a question that I frequently find myself asking.  Especially since the bank did the dirty on me and my life completely changed.  You know I ask myself if people come into my life for a reason, and this isn’t all people I meet but just some individuals who seem to fit like family, where you can’t imagine your life without them in it.  Or those who destroy you (but we don’t dwell on those wlEmoticon-smilewithtongueout.png).

At other times it’s this thing about timing and events.  Let me explain that one a bit more because that was an obtuse statement really.

Have you ever been diverted from your normal route for some reason (at the last minute you decide you want to grab some donuts on your way home so you take a different road home) only to hear later that at the time when you would have been at a certain point on the usual road there was a big accident – so either you would have been in that accident or somehow been affected?  And you’re grateful that you really wanted donuts then.

Last Tuesday I had one of those days ….

I had been thinking about going to the Law School Roadshow ( a presentation put on by CDU for external students) since receiving the first email, finally I made up my mind that I was going and RSVPd.  I was pretty excited about it all Smile so when Tuesday morning rocked up, I thought I’d plan my day (the event went from 6 – 8pm and I knew the venue was a hike from the train station).  Hubby doesn’t like me going into the city on my own when I’m going to be there late (okay, any time after dark he considers ‘late’ and unsafe) and he really didn’t want me to go.  But hey, this is Perth, it’s relatively safe and I was sure there was a bus stop close so I wouldn’t have to walk all the way back to the station on my lonesome.

I have no idea why I ended up Googling the whole way back home but I am glad I did – it turns out that last week the trains were not going to be running from Perth to Mandurah after 8pm.  So that put a spanner in the works because there’s no way you’ll get me on a bus on my own after dark (long story).  So I thought I might have to cancel the trip (not happy Jan!). Crying face

Not one to give in so easily, I then checked out where the closest car parks were because I could always drive in.  Yes, that sounded great – decision made the minute I saw the public parking just around the corner from the venue … woohoo – outing saved Smile with tongue out.

My Facebook page exists mostly for me to chat to family and friends and to let people know where I’ll be – it’s not a stream of consciousness thing, more like a general ‘if I don’t get back to you it’s because I’m doing xxxxxxxxxxxx, text me if it’s urgent’ that type of thing (unless I get a good grade in a unit and then I claim bragging rights but that’s another story Winking smile).  So I posted my little tale of woe and how clever I was at solving the problem hehe.

Which is probably a good thing because as I was getting ready to leave my son rang, his news wasn’t good – there was a fire out of control near the freeway and the north bound lanes were closed.  WTF?  So it’s back onto the computer to Google alternate routes recommended in light of the road closures.  By the time I’d figured out a way I could drive to Perth most of the roads were blocked with traffic or closed.   hmmmmmm Thinking smile

With no way to make it to the event on time, I gave up.  I just wasn’t meant to go eh?

So here’s the thing:

What the hell might have happened to me had I gone to Perth for the Universe to decide that it had to stop a train from running (knowing I don’t do buses for long distances) and then when I plan to take the car it starts a great big fire?

And so it is with other things in my life:  I sometimes wonder why I am now studying law instead of still being on the farm – there were some pretty big decisions made by other people that made that happen.  The outcome we had was not the only way it could have gone – it could have been so different – we had the evidence before Summary Judgment to easily convince the judge that there was more to our story and we could prove our case (and therefore not lose the farm … life would have kept ticking over as it was).

So was it fate that saw our son get so ill that I stopped being so involved in the case that I missed the fact my team wasn’t interested in defending the action?  Would we have had a different outcome but for that single event?  Was I meant to go through all that so that I would study law and be able to (eventually) guide ordinary people like us through this legal minefield?

This week Semester 1 starts and I’m quietly looking forward to it – and funnily enough I’m most excited about doing the Equity unit.  Somehow I get the impression that that’s where I’ll find a lot of the answers and I’ll be able to start publishing some information that will help people like me … people who have no idea what is possible when you fight the banks using ALL the tools in the legal toolshed.  Kinda excited about that ….

And since the Universe went to so much effort to stop me getting to Perth (proving that its plans are bigger than my own) …. enjoy this Johnny Cash song  Winking smile

I am still gathering my thoughts on the latest bank scandal to be reported in the media – apparently the CEO has been called up in front of the latest Senate inquiry but the evidence is so overwhelming that all banks are so corrupt that the renewed calls for a Royal Commission probably can’t be ignored much longer.  Here’s hoping that finally the powers that be realise they have to bite the bullet and clean up the mess ….

Meanwhile … stay safe, be happy and take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Research v stalking

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to prove things on my case – what with the police (Federal and State) not being interested.  And one of the things I’ve been looking at is just how much information is actually online for various people.  Maybe some of this is to do with the digital footprint I had to write so many essays about for my degree.  Maybe a lot of it is to do with just how much real information is online about any individual at all.

My thinking goes along these lines – X did y and the result was it f*%k*d A – so is there any real information on X online that would expose the activities that f*%*d A?

I found some court cases that involved one of the significant players in my case – so might post links to these one day (when I get enough info – although legally I could post links to this today without triggering that particular dickhead’s proclivity to suing for defamation [you know who you are and you should be terrified of my particular form of elephantitis (elephants never forget) – in this case my memory which remembers what you did you prick)].

Anyway, as part of that endeavour I’ve been using details of friends where I know enough about them to at least identify that I have the right person …

And the results have been scary.

zoominfo have been helpful – seriously, they even know when some people have threatened defamation suits! (that’s a different prick I’m looking at hahaha … apologies for the language but if I were to refer to him once again as ‘that big fat prick’ then lots of people would identify the who and well … former lawyers can be so pedantic about frivolous law suits it doesn’t bear thinking about) .

Of-course when you put just any old name into the old Google search engine it doesn’t really work all that well.  I use google .com as opposed to the regional variant (something about getting global search results as opposed to a limited geographical one ) – so some searches turn up zero results within specific domain names (Spokeo comes to mind which yielded spot on results for someone I knew who lived in the States but the closest matches to others weren’t what I needed).  I guess I can forget about a new career as a modern female version of Magnum PI then? muahahahahaha Smile with tongue out

Using google.com as opposed to the regional version has been interesting to say the least – throwing in ex-pats names does bring up results although knowing as many details as I do about some of the individuals I can pretty much say that even though I can access the full information for as little as 95 cents USD, that really isn’t enticing me to buy into it.  While it is disconcerting that for as little as $1USD I could get all the information on anyone I care to know more about … somehow it seems far too stalkerish to actually follow through – and it doesn’t matter that perhaps this could prove that the information online about specific individuals is legit …

But as always this post gets back to the legal things … every now and then (especially now with the whole how we lost the farm thing firmly in my mind) I consider what else I can do to expose this cover up (that’s how I see this – a whole lot of ‘making it go away’ and hiding the evidence).  The thing that always sticks out is the legal system which is the body of law on one side and procedure on the other – and you have to pussyfoot your way around both to even be heard!  Far too many people I know have been buried by the procedure bit for me to ever buy into the fairness of the legal system.

How can it be fair that someone who has a legitimate case against a corporation can lose everything just because their legal counsel decided not to put the evidence in for a Summary Judgment hearing?  How is it fair that someone who paid a supposed professional gets screwed at the starting gates because their legal counsel decided not to submit the actual evidence that was presented in an affidavit?  Yes, you can sue your lawyer – but who has the energy after being screwed over and losing everything in the first place?  Do you have any idea about how convoluted and frustrating the legal system really is?  If you think that ‘well, they lost everything in court so they were wrong’ – then you don’t understand what really goes on in a system that is as much about following procedure and making sure all the evidence is in right from the beginning as it is about the law.

It’s all a bit frustrating.

And I’d like to apologise to all the people I know around the world whose names I’ve been googling just to see what kind of information is reliable online … I wasn’t really looking at you per se, rather, I was trying to validate search results … and sadly that has been very interesting (and no, not a single person has shown up on ‘don’t date that guy/gal’ or anything else untoward bahahahaha Smile with tongue out)

Today’s song is the stalker’s anthem … Every Breath You Take … because well, sometimes obsession isn’t always about love hahahaha Smile with tongue out

as always … stay safe out there in Banksterland wlEmoticon-winkingsmile.png

unhappy anniversary baby

Today is the fifth anniversary of the day my old life officially ended.  So this might seem like a bit of a downer for you if you’re following my path – sometimes despite truth and the law being on your side, it doesn’t always translate into the knight in shining armour rushing in at the last minute to save you.  The law certainly let me down, just as it has let down countless others.  Banks on the other hand have their champion well sorted.

It’s not often these days that I get bummed out to the max (as we once used to say – no idea what we say these days) but today is one of those days.  I had a strategy to not arrive at the point where I am right now – that feeling of being so lost, rudderless, without purpose.  Although I am working a plan and I am even slightly ahead on the plan – today it really doesn’t seem like enough.  As you can tell, my strategy did not work … here I am trying to resist the temptation to go out and buy a veritable tonne of chocolate and litres of wine to drown my sorrows.

Talk about feeling silly … I’m sitting here feeling like a prize goose because I am in such a dark mood today.  I wonder how things would be today if we had had a better outcome.  Would I be happy?  Or would it all still have gone pear shaped because it was all destiny and I was supposed to leave Boddington and go back to uni to finally get my degree?  Although technically I could have done that on the farm – I know damned well I wouldn’t have.  There would have been too many other jobs to do, too many things to juggle.  I would never, ever have considered studying law (and I’m rather enjoying it in a masochistic kind of way Smile with tongue out).

When things were really bleak  and the bulk of the emotional damage inflicted I made some plans, plans that ended up being set aside because of the legal fight we were going to have.  And on this day every year I wonder what could have been if I’d done things differently.

It’s a perfect waste of time of-course, all of that wondering if I made a mistake and should have done x rather than y.  I’m not even sure if this classifies as regret or if it’s just curiosity as to who I might be today if I’d done something different.

And I guess that’s the reason for this particular post; because I’m pretty sure my reaction to today is perfectly normal, that everybody who has had any kind of a life changing experience finds themselves wondering how things would be today if only they’d done something different at a critical point in the distant past.  If only they had chosen this instead of that then their life would be perfect today, all their dreams would have been fulfilled.

Which is a load of poppycock if you ask me ….

On the bright side, I’m still alive, managed to keep most of my friendships intact, have completed one degree and am enjoying having to work for the law degree.  While I still haven’t got my shit together and am therefore not ecstatically happy, I am doing okay.  All things considered it could be worse, and I am grateful that it isn’t.

… and while the song I’ve picked for today could be construed to be regret about my man – erm, nope, dedicated to the bank – ‘cos I was never loved by them … Crying face

Stay safe, stay sane and take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Weird and wonderful laws

I’ve been banging on about existing laws a bit and as an American friend once pointed out to me, Australia has some really weird laws.  So this is going to be a bit of a light-hearted look at odd laws we may not even know exist.  That said, Australia is not the only country with laws that make you go “Huh?” Smile with tongue out so I might take a bit of a gander at weird and wonderful laws found around the world.

Try these laws from Oz:  Considering the (young) Australian male’s ritualistic behaviour on any given week-end (possibly starting on a Thursday night and going through to Wednesday midnight Smile with tongue out) it amazes me that it is actually illegal to be drunk in a pub (this attracts a fine of $500).  The wearing of hot pink pants is illegal after midday on a Sunday (some might argue that this should be illegal at all times hehe).  Unbelievably, you cannot dress up as Robin or Batman (so this is a relatively recent law – and definitely raises the eyebrows far more than could be physically possible!).  And just like suicide is against the law, touching electric wires that cause death instantly attracts a fine of $200 – the mind boggles!  It is also somewhat disconcerting to discover that I have been breaking the law on a regular basis for years – since only licensed electricians may change a light bulb!  Try getting a licenced electrician for anything and you’re waiting a long time – so unless they want us all to sit around in the dark I don’t think they’ll be prosecuting anyone for that offence any time soon haha.

America may be the land of the free, but some laws make me have a rethink of the use of the word ‘free’ – like this beauty from Minnesota where apparently it is illegal to sleep naked Surprised smile.  So the anti-nudity police break into your house at night to make sure you’re following the rules?  Hahaha, yup, the mind boggles.  Still in Minnesota all men riding motorbikes must wear shirts – I’m guessing it’s therefore okay for women to ride bare-chested?  Surprised smileSurprised smile.   In Montana it’s a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail; although this is one of those ones that I entirely agree with why single out the wife? I must find the wording of it … I’m sure it would just ‘include’ the wife? – and ‘felony’ might be a bit rough, especially in light of the 3 strikes you’re out thingy!

In Nebraska it is illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup.  And I do love this one … in Lehigh it’s illegal to sell donut holes …. huh? Smile with tongue out  Then in Nevada – I really have to find out if this one is true because my best friend’s son lives in Elko where everyone walking the streets is required to wear a mask.  (hmmm, methinks someone is yanking my chain  surely this can’t be right?).  I also know a few people who need to stay away from New Jersey where it is illegal to slurp soup!

I probably shouldn’t have started with the letter m, it’s just the first law I saw on Google happened to be the sleeping naked one (that one really fascinates me LOL) – so let’s cruise to Alabama where it is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.  But at least these ‘laws’ are pretty tame, let’s get serious and head to North Korea – where it’s pretty rough to say the least.

Apparently in NK it is illegal to watch television other than the state owned propaganda channel and according to this video published last month, in the last two years NK has publicly executed around 130 people for watching South Korean TV … yikes Crying face.   Now that’s what I call depressing – so I’ll try to find some more funny laws (that aren’t actually enforced).

In sunny England it is considered treason to place a postage stamp that bears the Queen (or King) upside down … and you can only shoot a Welsh person with a bow and arrow inside the city walls and after midnight (I have a sneaky suspicion that that one is a bit old haha – but it is still on the books).  Not to be left out of the legal shenanigans I must make mention of the fact that in Germany a pillow can be considered a passive weapon – so watch those pillow fights lest ye land in jail Smile

I probably should have put this disclaimer at the top – I’ve only verified a couple of these laws (the Aussie ones are surprisingly real Surprised smile but some of the other country’s I haven’t looked at closely).  I’ve added the links to my sources for your entertainment Open-mouthed smile.  And to wrap things up on a fun note, here’s a couple of songs that might tie in – sort of  Smile.

meanwhile … take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Wilful blindness, black swan events and fighting shadows

So I’ve been banging on about a group of people who convince real victims of bank fraud to fight the banks in court with pseudo law.  You know, the argument that you don’t have to pay your loan back because the bank created the money out of thin air so it’s not like it’s real or anything I don't know smile.  Let the bank prove in court that you owe them money and they can’t.

What I find really frustrating about the argument is that while it is right (hey, the banks did create the money out of thin air, it’s not like it really does exist in physical form) there is also the fact that money, the law and everything else that’s an idea in a civilized world is a construct.  While we do have physical money it is only legal tender in certain circumstances, and that’s where the idea of the construct comes in.

The laws that govern us are also a construct, an idea that helps us live together in a relatively peaceful and positive way.  The idea that killing another human being is ‘against the law’ is just that, an idea, mind you it’s a great idea if you believe in the protection of human beings.  I’m not sure prehistoric man had that ‘law’, I have a feeling that perhaps things simply boiled down to if you hurt mine I’ll hurt you right back.  There are still family feuds that go back generations where the fighting continues despite no-one really remembering what started it all in the first place.  But the law aims to stop random killing by giving consequences.

There are also consequences if fraud is committed.  Sadly for bank customers, banks generally only push the fraud angle when their employees defraud the banks themselves – they are not so keen on pursuing employees who defraud customers.  This is despite the fact that it is against the law to do so (erm, defraud a customer – not the report the employee bit haha Who me?).  A second problem bank customers face is that there is a general attitude in the wider community that banks do not simply allow their employees to engage in fraud that results in the financial destruction of their own valued customers.  Not only is there a law against it, but there is a whole system in place to protect customers from the rare bad apple.

This is where the term black swan event arises in my mind.  The term relates to the idea that pre discovery of the black swan in Western Australia it was a widely held belief that there is no such thing as a black swan.  All swans are white – that’s what everybody knew – until of-course the first reports of black swans existing despite all previous evidence to the contrary.  Can you imagine the uncertainty that caused?  Many people must have thought that these explorers were just making it up – yanking their chain.  The fact was that all swans ‘were’ white and anyone who said different might not have been telling the truth.  It is because of this that unexpected and unplanned for events that change everything are called black swan events – because they change how we see the world.  The 911 attack is considered a black swan event because no-one could have predicted it.

For businesses black swan events can be devastating – remember the fall-out from 911?  How could any business have considered the consequences in their risk management planning?  And so it is with this bank fraud which in my personal life ended up being my own black swan event.   With all of the planning I have done in managing our financial affairs for our business the one thing I couldn’t plan for was that the biggest risk I faced was from my bank – I had all the law and this whole system to protect the financial side of the business.  This was a blanket guarantee that I now understand to be non-existent.  Without rehashing the sad and sorry events of 2006 and their dire consequences in 2010, there was no way to protect our business against the black swan event that destroyed us.

I was talking to one of the people who contacted me through this blog and we managed to laugh at the ruling she received from FOS.  Yes, the bank had done the wrong thing but she had to wear 50% of the blame because she did nothing to protect herself from the bank!  How could she have known that she needed to protect herself from the bank?  No-one seriously discusses how this fraud works – no-one seriously says that bank employees have changed financial information to make a non-viable loan application go through.  No-one talks about fraud within the banks, no-one talks about forged signatures or unconscionable conduct, never mind misleading or deceptive conduct.

It will require a lot more research and understanding of legal procedure before I will understand how the banks get away with fraud on such a large scale.  There is such a large element of wilful blindness on behalf of the courts and the government that they continue to deny that this is a real problem.  The fact that predatory lending is not technically against the law in most states is mind-blowing.  The fact that banks can get away with not producing documents in court despite being subpoenaed to to so is disgusting.  But try telling the government that the laws have to be tweaked and customers compensated for their losses … the response is invariably that the banks do nothing wrong.

The government must wear the ultimate responsibility for failing to protect bank customers from their own (trusted) banks, to continue to pretend there is no problem is nothing less than wilful blindness.  The combination of denial by the government that there is a problem, reliance by the courts on the honesty and integrity of the banks in producing documents and acting in good faith, and the disingenuous way the media continues to portray victims of this bank fraud as merely careless individuals whose own greed lead to their financial downfall continues to support the banks in their actions.

So far everything we (a collective of customers affected by bank fraud) have tried to do to reign in the banks and stop these rorts has failed.  Despite massive evidence that signatures were forged, that banks have had an employee working with criminal gangs in mortgage fraud of $110 million (see also here ) and that bank customers are taken to court (despite the financial information used to approve the loans being fabricated by employees rather than the customer) – all of this and still no Royal Commission.  All of this and still no news reports of the jailing of a bank employee, all of this and still no tightening/review of banking law.

The banks are allowed to continue to monitor their own actions, rule against customers in disputes and con the courts into handing Summary Judgment in their favour because they don’t act in good faith and they certainly lie to the court about the circumstances surrounding their claim.

I guess of all of the ideas we have in modern society the one that is most destructive to truth and justice is money – because money talks and justice is bought.  But I’m not really cynical, no, not me … Smile with tongue out.

But just so that I don’t end on a negative note it should be remembered that not all judgments go in favour of the banks.  That when you have evidence that the bank did the wrong thing and you, the customer, acted in good faith all along the way you can have a win (admittedly this is pretty rare atm).  You might have to appeal the decision but you know a few people have put wins on the board through the appeals process.  Or you could still sue the bank for damages after the event – as long as you have all of the evidence that the loan was unaffordable and the bank failed to act as a ‘due and diligent banker’.  (Okay, a bit more complicated than that, but hey, this is just to give you a bit of a lift – the law isn’t all bad … use it wisely).

… don’t forget to take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Taking on the banks … using real law

I’ve written a few posts but ended up not publishing them – it’s difficult to explain the difference between ‘real law’ and ‘pseudo law’ in a few hundred words.  And of-course language is at the heart of it all – and those who push the pseudo law, well, they sound so convincing.  It all sounds so great, and logical and it makes sense.  The use of the right number of legal words just makes it sound like real legalese.  The problem though, is that while it sounds pretty wise and like the smart way to fight a bank in court there isn’t a judge here who will give a win to anyone using these arguments.

And here a few people will throw up their hands, call me ignorant and continue to plan their attack on the banks using these laws that our dumb judges have forgotten about or ignore.  Me, hey, I’ve finished my case against the bank, we did have a sort.of.win and I could walk away from this and hold my head high.

Only thing is I can’t actually walk away, not while there are people with really good cases against their financial service provider who might lose only because they have trusted someone who speaks knowledgeably about the law and all the real law that is ignored.  And the only reason these people get caught up with pseudo law is because they can’t afford a lawyer to help them fight the banks because the banks have drained all their funds so they can’t afford to fight back.  It’s tough enough having to self-represent without a bunch of people coming forward with legal loopholes that don’t exist.

We have a lot of problems with bank fraud in Australia (you know, where banks defraud customers) – but we can’t fight it using non-existent laws.  We have to use the existing laws because that’s all we have.  And while once upon a time I thought all judges were idiots or crooks owned by the banks I have changed my mind on that one.

The more cases I read and the more I understand how the law operates, the more convinced I am that the problem right now lies squarely with the legislative arm of our system of law.  The politicians who refuse to support calls for a Royal Commission into banks and the fraud they continue to perpetrate.  The wilful blindness that stops them from amending the Banking Act 1959 to set out in clear language that banks cannot commit fraud and cover it up as they have done since bank deregulation.

One of the things that really annoys me is that banking is a federal issue according to the Constitution, yet there is no way for bank customers to be able to get a fraud claim against a bank investigated and there are no criminal charges against bank employees.  You will note that brokers who fraudulently change loan application forms have been charged and jailed – so why not bank employees when they do the same crime?

And why do customers pay the ultimate price when the person behind the fraud was an employee of the bank?  It seems to me that there is a lot of wilful blindness surrounding banks and their activities.

Here is the link* to the essay I wrote for my Contracts unit – I lost points for being a tad emotive (hahaha – oh yes, I knew it’d be a problem) and because it was meant to be on Good Faith I also lost some points because some of the cases weren’t fought on issues of good faith (but illustrated perfectly the bad faith displayed by financial institutions).  We won’t mention the points I lost for not getting the referencing right (but I think this particular form of referencing probably requires a whole unit to learn – sheesh it’s complex LOL).  Not my best work but it does show why we need to have an Australia wide Contracts Review Act similar to that of NSW – because bank customers there at least have half a hope in hell of getting a win (it does, however, remain a problem).

There is also a small issue with the facts in one case (Kay) – this is because for legal writing we have to relate everything back to what the court ruled on – and I know a lot of the evidence of the Kay case  was different to some of the information in the case, I added the references to the Today Tonight story to make sure the important stuff made it into the article.  From personal experience I know that the ‘facts’ as related in court often bear little resemblance to actual facts backed up with documented evidence.  I wanted to use other cases as well but these were so distorted by the court process that it would have taken the word limit to explain what actually happened rather than what the judges were told.  It’s one of those things that puts all of us behind the eight ball … and unless we start to address the real issues precedent will remain in favour of the banks.

To read the PDF version click here.

* I’ve removed the essay itself because well, I’m a bit shy with that one hahaha … and who the heck wants to read it anyway?  But it is still available online :)

So here’s a song instead – I do prefer ending my posts with a bit of fun – life’s too short and all that.  It is a bit embarrassing to know that a bird can dance better than I can hahaha

 

Tomorrow it’s back to the study grindstone in earnest … meanwhile do yourself a favour – take care out there in banksterland ;)

Happy New Year

Another one bites the dust …

This year I’ve decided to not indulge in the usual “New Year, new me” bulldust … I’m just gonna keep plodding on and hopefully getting more things right than wrong.   No extensive list of New Year’s resolutions that will bite the dust by next Monday.  No unrealistic expectations of finally getting the fitness and healthy eating routine sorted* – I hereby declare myself an unapologetic chocoholic with a penchant for strawberry bubbly (must be Katlenburger … to wash down the milk Lindt chocolate haha).  I suppose I will try to remember that I do have a backyard when the next full semester starts but I make no promises at this stage.

And while I seem to remember doing a similar post last New Year’s day … in the darkness of my soul I honestly did think I’d have a go all the same … you know, change the bad habits and suddenly, magically be happy.   We all know it’s a crock but there you go … hopefully my resolution not to make a resolution will resolutely last until past 6pm tonight!

Anyway – here’s a couple of songs to finally get rid of 2014, may the new year bring you peace, happiness, joy and keep you safely out of the banksters hands Winking smile

While I enjoy the last days sans study – do yourself a favour – take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

* I have visions of being super fit once more and back to my obsessive healthy eating regime … then I remember how much it all sucked even back then and I get a bit gun shy hahaha Winking smile