Scoop Feedback: Cuba, Common Law, The Flag & More
In this edition: Common Law & The Constitution – Cuba, Internet - Senator Byrd- NZ Flag- Problems With Telecom's $10 Txt Campaign - Hiding Student Failure - U.S. Secret Virus Program = HIV/AIDS Pandemic- Paying Sex Workers To Sleep With Disabled - Here is something NZ's media will not show New Zealanders
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Common Law & The Constitution
Letter to the Editor
Politicians have baulked at enshrining a constitution for New Zealand, often using the excuse that Common Law, based on principles of fairness and natural justice evolved over 1000 years, is more venerable and flexible than any constitution.
When politicians are prepared to respect and defer to it this argument has merit.
The situation alters when they expediently create Statute Law to overrule aspects of the Common Law inconvenient to them.
This conceit among politicians is expressed by their recently popular assertion that Parliament is the highest court in the land, implying some moral right to exercise unbridled power absent any accountable principle.
This moral right plainly does not exist. Having the power to run roughshod over the Common Law is one thing, but that does not make it right. When politicians behave in this manner to suit their convenience we learn how unprotected our freedoms really are, and the argument against a constitution is defeated. This of the Foreshore, while important in itself, is a less important issue than the casual willingness of our government to overthrow the rigorously composed Common Law rulings of our courts in order to win their political ends.
To the Editor,
"Bravo!" to Cuban Ambassador Miguel Ramirez for his excellent challenge to Scoop regarding biased coverage of this whole internet red herring ("Scoop Feedback: The Cuban Ambassador On Amnesty, Thursday, 22 January 2004").
Since 1994 I have travelled Cuba extensively for research and on visits of solidarity and friendship, including a several-month-long stay examining precisely Cuba's experience with information technology. With absolutely no doubt, no hesitation and no exaggeration I can attest to Cuba's sincere and comprehensive attempts to raise the technological capacity of its people.
Across 169 municipalities, Cuba's national youth organization (Joven Club de Computación y Electrónica) has opened more than 300 community-level, free, open training centres ("telecentros"). Each provides training in computer literacy, programming, educational databases, email services and access to the national intranet. In my research, I have seen children, seniors, the disabled -Cubans of all sort- making use of these facilities.
Internet access remains a luxury in Cuba, as it is everywhere outside of the Western world. News agencies would be well-advised to ponder the questions: Why is Cuba held to a different standard than every other developing nation? Why are news agencies so willing to unquestioningly jump on any negative story, no matter how unfounded, while continuing to ignore the developmental realities of Cuba and its many successes?
For more than forty years we have been poisoned by Washington's creation of a distorted lens held up to the Cuban Revolution. It's time to repair our eyeglasses and see the island, its deficiencies and its remarkable achievements, free of the clouded vision created by America and spread 'round the world.
Please go C-Span2 1-21-04 and See Senator Byrd Speech. This is the Speech that All Freedom Loving People Need to Watch!
S.F. Kislock III
I am disgusted that the PM is advocating a change to the NZ Flag. Our war dead , in graves around the world, must be getting set to rise and fight another war at home. How this PM has the gall to even think of it is mindboggling. Is this part of a plan to turn NZ into a republic ?
E J Smith
Problems With Telecom's $10 Txt Campaign
I was a Vodafone customer for about 5 years, and after hearing about Telecoms $10.00 txt deal, I traded my vodafone for a telecom phone. Telecom clearly state in their advertising "you will pay no more than $10.00 per month for txt messaging.
The first time I put $20.00 credit on my phone, I spent $10.00 on txt over a couple of days and so my free txting started.
I was also making chargeable calls and downloading ringtones and games that also cost money to do, until my credit reached 6 cents. All of a sudden I could not send or receive txt messages. Confused about this I called telecom customer services to see what was wrong with my phone. After speaking to 3 different people, It was finally made clear that I had been barred from any incoming and outgoing txt messages because My account balance had gone under $1.00. feeling that this was not right I searched through there entire web site to see if this was correct.
I found in there web site that they state many times "you will pay no more than $10.00 per month for txt".
It does say conditions apply, and even when you click on "conditions apply" it still does not state this rule. It does say "customer who exceed their credit balance may have txt capability restricted."
It does not say that you have to maintain $1.00 credit to have free txt after spending $10.00, I'm sure any one would assume that "exceeding your account balance" was going under $0.00 credit, which obviously you cant do this with a prepaid phone anyway!
After reading this I sent telecom an email to complain about this because I felt there advertising was false and misleading.
In the mean time I put another $20.00 credit on my phone to lift the barr. I was not at all happy about this but it had to be done or else I would not be able to send or receive txt. when I put the $20.00 credit on my phone, I had to pay another $10.00 for txt messages before txting was free again, so them stating in their advertising that "you will pay no more than $10.00 per month for txt" is obviously false, because so far I have paid $20.00 this month for txt!
I finally received a reply email from telecom yesterday, I have copied and pasted the email they sent me below:
(I have added my thoughts in capital letters)
From : <*Customer_Service@telecom.co.nz>
Sent : Friday, 16 January 2004 2:20:01 a.m.
Subject : Telecom request 20040109-216950
Dear Melissa Harding,
Thank you for your email.
I would like to apologise if you feel that you have been mislead by the advertising regarding the $10 monthly text cap.
Our advertising clearly states that 027 Prepaid customers who exceed their credit balance may have text capability restricted. To have a credit balance, you need to have at least $1.00. To exceed the credit balance, you will be under $1.00. The reason there needs to be at least $1.00 balance to be able to use the phone, is because you are able to receive text messages that cost the recipient to open. We need to ensure that you have enough airtime left to receive this message if possible.
I FEEL THIS IS UNTRUE BECAUSE IF THIS WAS "CLEARLY STATED" IT WOULD STATE THIS IMPORTANT DETAIL OTHER WISE CUSTOMERS ARE NONE THE WISER! SO WHY DON'T THEY JUST STATEIN THEIR ADVERTISING YOU NEED TO HAVE AT LEAST $1.00???ALSO IN THEIR ADVERTISING THEY STATE THAT "ALL TXT MESSAGES ARE FREE TO RECEIVE"YET IN THIS EMAIL THEY HAVE STATED TO ME THAT I AM ABLE TO RECEIVE TXT MESSAGES THATCOST TO OPEN!
I'd like to make it clear that you are not losing money because of this rule. When you top up the phone with new airtime, whatever balance you had remaining will still be available to you. I can understand that this was not listed on our advertising, but all of our advertising states that "terms and conditions apply" and this is one of those terms.
I HAVE LOST MONEY BECAUSE OF THIS RULE. BECAUSE I WAS TOTALLY UNAWARE OF THIS RULE BECAUSETHEY NEGLECT TO INFORM THERE CUSTOMERS OF THIS, I EXCEEDED $1.00 CREDIT AND WAS THEN BARRED.I HAD TO SPEND ANOTHER $20.00 THIS MONTH ON MY PHONE TO HAVE THIS BARR LIFTED, AND ANOTHER$10.00 THIS MONTH ON TOP OF THE $10.00 I HAD ALREADY SPENT, TO HAVE FREE TXT AGAIN. IFTHERE ADVERTISING WAS CORRECT SHOULDN'T MY FREE TXT HAVE CARRIED ON WHEN I PUT CREDIT ON MY PHONE? THEY STATE MANY TIMES IN THEIR ADVERTISING THAT "YOU WILL PAY NO MORE THAN $10.00PER MONTH FOR TXT" YET I HAVE PAID $20.00 SO FAR WITHIN A COUPLE OF WEEKS!I FEEL THIS IS VERY MISLEADING!AND THEY HAVE ALSO STATED IN THIS EMAIL THAT ALL OF THERE ADVERTISING STATES THAT "TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY" AND THAT THIS IS ONE OF THOSE TERMS.ON THERE WEB SITE YOU CAN CLICK ON THERE TERMS AND CONDITIONS TO READ WHAT THEY ARE, YET THEYSTILL DO NOT STATE THESE RULES IN THERE TERMS AND CONDITIONS! WHY NOT???!IT SEEMS THEY ONLY STATE WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR!
For further information on Text Messaging , please visit :
If we can assist you any further with this matter, or any other please feel free to contact Telecom on 123.
We will be happy to help.
For National Manager, Customer Services
0800 10 80 10 32385
I feel that telecom's advertising is very false and misleading.I have spoken to many telecom prepaid customers who feel they have been misled by telecom's advertising and have had the exact same problem as iv had but it seems this rule only applies to some.I know for a fact that my sister exceeds $1.00 credit almost every month, but yet she had NEVER been barred!
I have copied and pasted some pieces of telecom's advertising that I feel is very misleading below. I would very much appreciate it if you would email me back and let me know what you think about this and if there is any thing that can be done about it to prevent future telecom customers from been mislead.
If you're into text messaging you can text all you want and the most you'll pay is $10 a month!.* That means even if you only send two person to person text messages a day, you're saving money every month!
$10 TXT. On our 027 prepaid plans you can text all you want and the most you'll pay is $10 a month *
Hiding Student Failure
Letter to the Editor
Is the practice of deception a new standard to which legislators and government funded interest groups now aspire to? The NZQA encourages the education industry to "hide" student failure; Justice Minister Phil Goff is drafting the Clean Slate Bill in order to "conceal" criminal convictions from employers; the Family Planning Association refuses to show young mothers pictures and research information pertaining to the life of an unborn foetus from conception; anti-smoking lobby group ASH secure government funding to "secretly lobby" pro-choice MP's, whilst claiming independence; and various "poverty advocate" action groups are remiss in telling us that just having food in our fridge, clothes on our back, a roof over our head, and a place to sleep, makes us richer than 75% of the worlds population. When the truth becomes a negotiable commodity, then both society and those that live within it become dispensible pawns, particularly in the absence of any resistance. Is apathy the! new "Kiwi way"? If the last 4 years are anything to go by, then the answer would appear to be "Yes".
Stephen D. Taylor
U.S. Secret Virus Program = HIV/AIDS Pandemic
I'm a Vietnam Vet in the States bothered by the growing similarity between the current dubya bush regime, and the Nazi Party of Germany. Dubya's grandfather, Prescott Bush, financed Hitler and the Nazi Party. -- Is anyone paying at- tention?
Hi, please visit the site setup by Dr. Boyd Graves http://www.boydgraves.com to see for yourself the evidence gathered by Dr. Graves over seven years of hunting for the source of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
He found it.
Paying Sex Workers To Sleep With Disabled
Letter to the Editor
I am writing in regards to the latest proposal by Georgina Byer: To pay sex workers to sleep with those who are mentally disabled, specifically those who are IHC. I object to this proposal because I believe it exploits those with IHC, and conflicts with the law on underage sex.
Although it could be argued that there are varying degrees of mental impairment, in many cases IHC suffers are children living in adults bodies and therefore not mentally old enough to have sex.
The most satisfying and intimate relationships in life are those with depth and sacrifice, a genuine interest in the other person. This proposal suggests that all a physically mature IHC person needs is sexual expression with another person. The relational needs for love and nurture are ignored. This argument is a step down the slippery slope which will open a wide door to extreme exploitation of those suffering from IHC.
This idea effectively legalizes rape of a person without the mental capacity to understand the relationship, and give informed agreement. Basically it is abuse. This is the kind of abuse that our laws on underage sex are designed to prevent.
I trust that as the issue is more thoroughly thought through it will be quashed immediately.
Here is something NZ's media will not show New Zealanders.
That is a picture of the anti-terrorism demonstration held in Iraq yesterday. Yes, unlike the picture the media paints, there are a great many Iraqis grateful of U.S. efforts. There was not a word about it anywhere on TV, the radio, nor in the press. Plenty of U.S. bashing, though. Can you please tell me when Scoop will do its part in lifting the embargo it has against good news coming from Iraq and give New Zealanders an accurate picture?