I’ve written about the men who have sex with men blood donor ban before. Christopher Banks basically wins the debate with this comment. TL;DR: there is a huge list of deferral criteria, MSM aren’t being singled out and NZ Blood Service aren’t trying to be dicks, just trying to make the blood supply as safe as possible for people who find themselves in a situation where they need it.
“What’s more, gay men are not being singled out for deferral – if you look at the eligibility criteria on the New Zealand Blood Service website, you can be turned away for a variety of reasons, including your age, whether you’re on certain forms of medication, have been recently vaccinated, are pregnant, had sex with someone from a country with a high HIV prevalence, or lived in the UK for more than six months between 1980 and 1996 (due to the outbreak of variant CJD, or “mad cow” disease).
Dr Peter Flannagan, the medical director of the New Zealand Blood Service, is himself prohibited from giving blood due to the latter reason.
Though I’m sure the guilt trip from ads like the above isn’t appreciated.
“Safes found during demolition – there had been only half a dozen – were either opened under police or security firm supervision, or, if they were attached to concrete, dumped.”
Why is this even necessary? Is it that hard to work out that a safe found in the rubble of building X maybe belongs to someone occupying building X? Could we build on that and guess that someone occupying building X would be able to open the safe themselves, without force, even if it is attached to concrete?
Scarier, is that computers and files containing confidential information, in this case mental health records are 1) being “thrown out” at all and 2) if they are “water-damaged”, which doesn’t fly with me, aren’t being disposed of securely.
“The items she was most concerned about included files and computer hard drives containing personal information. Securities House, a seven-level building in Gloucester St near Latimer Square, was demolished by March Construction and Shilton and Brown in May. It housed at least nine mental health agencies.
Tenants, tipped off about the demolition, managed to stop a truck leaving the site in the rain and divert it to an empty section where the contents were tipped.
Tenants then spent the next two days retrieving files from the rubbish. The files had been in locked metal cabinets which had been emptied.
Office manager Mark Petrie said he had contacted a project manager at the time of the demolition to be told no chance existed for any records or personal effects to be salvaged.
He was told all records were water-damaged and filing cabinets rusted.
A former Shilton and Brown worker who worked on the Securities House demolition told The Press workers were told to throw files, many of which appeared to him to be in good order, in the rubbish.”
“Canterbury Muscular Dystrophy Association office manager Eris Le Compte, whose office was on the first floor of Community House, said she had gone to look for the 230 personal medical files she had in her office.”
Hopefully other businesses are doing better, because it’s not just a couple of buildings in the red zone that are housing sensitive information.
CERA feigns ignorance. Clearly some demolition contractors have no idea what they’re doing (or every idea of what they’re doing). If CERA has no knowledge of specific cases of important belongings going missing inside the red zone they’re obviously not doing a very good job.
“A CERA spokeswoman said CERA regularly and actively engaged with contractors who had a clear understanding of their obligations within contracts and the law.
‘We have no knowledge of the specific cases you refer to and we can’t comment on whether any allegations of loss of goods within the CBD Red Zone are attributed to contractors’ staff or some other person,’ the spokeswoman said.”
What’s been going on inside the red zone raises a number of issues businesses need to be planning for. After an event like the Canterbury Earthquake, how effective will locks, safes, and filing cabinets be at protecting valuable and confidential information through demolition and when 930+ people are left roaming in and around your building for a significant period of time?
A television “comedian” gets drunk and comes home, his partner declines his sexual advances and goes to sleep. Later, their four-year-old daughter joins them in bed. He pulls down her pyjama pants and her pull-up nappy and sexually assaults her by way of oral sex (described ambiguously in recent news reports as kissing).
His partner wakes up to him doing this and the police get involved. The charges get shaken around in court (a charge of unlawful sexual connection with a child aged under 12 is taken off the table, along with the possibility of jail) and he pleads guilty to performing an indecent act on a child.
Things that irritate me regarding this case:
He says that he thought his daughter was his partner, which implies that this non-consensual sexual act would have been fine if it was performed on an adult (his partner had already said no earlier in the night).
He says that he thought his daughter was his partner, which implies that a four-year-old and a fully grown woman don’t have extremely obviously differences in body shape and size or that fully grown women wear pull-ups.
That the judge treats him like a victim because people know what he did. “Despite suppression orders it was widely known in his industry who he was and that had taken a toll on his career. He must have significant strength of character to deal with all of that.” She says that he’d “paid an extremely high price already”.
Alcohol being used as an excuse.
The judge felt it worth mentioning that the assault happened in front of the mother which she says is very “unusual”, as if that means it wasn’t real abuse because it didn’t happen in secret.
He gets discharged without conviction by Judge Philippa Cunningham. The Auckland Now and Dominion Post articles conflict as to if voluntary community work was imposed as a condition (and my definition of voluntary conflicts with theirs).
To add insult to injury, here’s part of her reasoning:
“He’s a talented New Zealander. He makes people laugh, and laughter’s an incredible medicine that we all need a lot of” and that the effects of a conviction “outweighed the gravity of the offending”.
What exact context these comments are in, I’m not sure, but they seem extremely stupid.
Yes, he must feel, quite frankly, shitty for doing what he did to his daughter, but to comment on what a funny guy he is and how disastrous a conviction would be for, I assume, his career…?
Is prison the right place for this guy? No. However, is being discharged without conviction the best choice? No.
Steven Price reminds complainers that the name suppression in this case is automatic and is to protect the identity of the child.
Though Graeme Edgeler points out in the comments that there is a way to name the offender while still protecting the identity of the victim, something that crossed my mind too: if the media don’t report on the relationship between offender and victim, naming the offender won’t out the victim.
Spot the differences (or more like spot the similarities) between the comedian case and this musician’s case1 (name suppression wasn’t automatic here though, and was dubiously granted).
“The man admitted a charge of inducing an indecent act but was discharged without conviction and given permanent name suppression on the grounds that naming him would affect his record and concert ticket sales.”
And of course being convicted would adversely affect the musician’s career:
“A conviction would have an adverse affect on his chances to break into international markets.” “It would also have a negative impact on musicians that he performs with.” “Naming the man could destroy the man’s chances of succeeding overseas and could have a negative affect on New Zealand music overseas.”
Preferential treatment of celebrities? Of course not.
Side note: Google is either pretty smart, or someone puts in a bit of effort to influence related search terms in order to out people with name suppression.
1. Stuff took that article down, so here it is:
Teen victim slams musician’s name suppression By JONATHAN MARSHALL – Sunday News http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/news/3085484/Teen-victim-slams-musicians-name-suppression
THE TEENAGE girl attacked by a prominent entertainer has broken her silence, describing the musician as a “disgusting, self-righteous pig”.
And Brittany Cancian’s mother has also spoken out, saying the musician’s permanent name suppression was “totally disgusting”.
Brittany, 17, was in central Wellington on March 5 when two of her friends were led away with the drunk man around 3.30am. Brittany’s mother Racheal, of Lower Hutt, said her daughter was attacked by the man while she was checking on her friends.
“I think he’s an animal, when I heard what he had done I thought it was animalistic. He wasn’t at all gentle about it,” Racheal said.
“What happened has absolutely been downplayed. She never followed him down the alleyway. She went to see that her friends, who had followed him, were OK. She has quite a caring heart and she wanted to check on her mates. When she went around the corner he grabbed her.”
Earlier this month the Auckland District Court heard how the famous entertainer asked Brittany and her friends to “kiss my balls” before he grabbed the teenager’s head and pulled it towards his crotch. His genitals brushed Brittany’s face.
The man admitted a charge of inducing an indecent act but was discharged without conviction and given permanent name suppression on the grounds that naming him would affect his record and concert ticket sales. The charge carried a maximum jail term of two years.
The musician was ordered to pay $5000 reparation to Brittany, who is yet to receive the money.
Racheal said police never asked her or Brittany if they wanted the man’s name suppression application opposed. Court documents reveal police maintained a “neutral” position on the matter.
“As a mother I am disgusted that he could get name suppression and I’m disgusted that he could do this to my daughter.”
Brittany said in a statement that the entertainer should have been named so other females could be “wary” of him.
Brittany and her mother’s comments come just days after the Law Commission released a report recommending an overhaul of New Zealand’s name suppression system to make it harder for offenders to keep their names secret.
Commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer said if recommendations in the report had been adopted by the government prior to the musician’s court appearance, he “certainly would not” have received suppression.
“He would have to show extreme hardship and that is very difficult to do … that is hardship out of the ordinary, not ordinary hardship, and that is a much higher threshold than the law currently provides.”
“We all have to have equality before the law. The person who is a grave-digger has to be treated the same as a person who is an All Black.”
Asked whether families’ views on suppression should be taken into account, Justice Minister Simon Power said: “The issue of name suppression needs a very broad overhaul and I’m not closed to any suggestions.”
Racheal was reluctant to discuss why her daughter, aged 16 at the time, was out in central Wellington during the early morning.
“I don’t really want to go into that part but, yeah, she was quite naughty.”
His siblings aren’t missing out on the fun either. Or at least one isn’t. His older nine-year-old brother Joshua (JeebsTV) has his own YouTube channel too with the same high production value and sponsor.
Assumedly his parent’s goal is for him to be discovered by someone like Ellen (a feat which might be difficult as his videos are so polished already), release an album and tour the world.
If he does make it big, what kind of attention is he going to attract? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Fame comes with hate, and a lack of privacy. Maybe he knows he wants to rap, but does he understand the potential ramifications for his future? Because I’m not sure his parents do.
Here are some shining examples of friendly Dailybooth commenters (http://dailybooth.com/MattyBRaps/10761255, http://dailybooth.com/MattyBRaps/10109139).
Would there have been anything lost (maybe except for money) if Matty was encouraged to pursue what he loves outside of the internet spotlight, at least until he was older? Sure, keep the vocal coach, but was there a need to commercialize him this early in his life?
Running your son like a business. Exploitative or just entrepreneurial?
Mine has been slowly breaking near the end that connects to the computer for the past month. I’ve now become skilled at what I have to do to get it to work after it’s plugged in (the very technical approach of jiggling) but touching anything in the vicinity the wrong way will cause the charger to stop working again.
It’s been about one and a half years after I bought the Mac, so it definitely shouldn’t be breaking so soon, but that also means that I’m outside of the one year warranty. I didn’t buy AppleCare, because, you know, I live life on the edge. And also because it’s freakishly expensive at $600. Laptops are probably the only thing that I’d consider buying an extended warranty for, but I wouldn’t have chosen a Mac if I thought it would need $600 worth of repairs before it was three years old. Also, we have the Consumer Guarantees Act.
The 15 minute call
So I called Apple. I’d read on an Instructables post that some people had good experiences calling up Apple and receiving a new charger even outside of their warranty period. Their reasoning being because Apple knows the chargers are poorly designed (but nice to look at) they will replace them.
I called Apple, and I think spoke to someone in Australia. Side note: outsourcing is fine by me if it doesn’t interfere with getting stuff done for the customer, which in Apple’s case it kind of does.
The second person I spoke to, in his defence I think he was foreign to Australia, didn’t know much about the geography of New Zealand.
Their list of Christchurch repairers was outdated and I was given Yoobee’s earthquaked Moorhouse Ave location, prompting a humorous response from the rep: “If they’re listed here they should be open. Otherwise it would defeat the purpose of my list.” I can’t imagine a list of Apple stores being outdated.
And according to an Instructables comment, if I was in the USA this could have all been done by courier, or according to Yoobee’s staff, if we actually had Apple stores here in New Zealand (which the international phone reps often assume) I could have just walked in and got a new charger straight away.
I tell the rep what’s wrong with the charger: it’s broken at the moment, when I plug it in sometimes it works but the majority of time it doesn’t and I have to play around with it to get it to work. We go through my serial number (which today I found out has SWAG in it), whether it’s the original charger, the purchase date, my lack of AppleCare and my email address. I get told it’s outside of warranty and some dubious information about incorrect watt adapters blowing up. I bring up the endless one star reviews, he says he’s read them the other day and most are because of blown up chargers. I drop four magic words: the Consumer Guarantees Act, get told I should contact the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and then talk to Apple’s legal team, which seems like it’s probably said to scare people away. I ask to be transferred to their legal team but get told that’s not possible.
[funky hold music]
His supervisor says that it would be inconsiderate (his words) if they provided an exception for me because it would be unfair for people who bought AppleCare (also his words). Guilt trip. He asks if I’m sure it’s the power adapter and when it started happening. He asks if I can bring it into one of their service providers so they can do a full diagnostic, which basically consists of plugging the charger into a computer and scanning the barcode the computer displays when the charger doesn’t work. Once it’s confirmed they’ll look into the possibility of giving me an exception, but he can’t promise me anything, because it would be unfair.
Scene change – Yoobee store
Apple makes them send in the broken charger before they will send out a new one, “That’s the rule they give us”. Apple won’t just take their word that the charger is broken. Having no charger is worse than having one that works intermittently. Yoobee checked if they had any ones they could loan me, but they didn’t. I didn’t ask why they couldn’t just give me one off the shelf, pick your battles and all, you know?
Unsurprisingly they say about broken chargers that “we do deal with these all the time.”
TO THE CAAAAARRRRR.
Scene change – the car park
I ring Apple from the car and get the same supervisor. We have a 36 minute conversation which basically consists of me complaining about the ridiculous policy (Apple says it’s Yoobee’s, Yoobee says it’s Apple’s. I side with Yoobee) of not being able to keep a semi-working charger while waiting for the new one and the rep trying to make me feel bad because he gave me an exception to the out of warranty policy for a charger that isn’t even properly broken (like giving away a charger is such a rare event, if the charger wasn’t so poorly designed I wouldn’t need a new one after 18 months, butbattles). Apparently the free charger was because their product lasted 12 months so I didn’t need to get anything fixed during my warranty, and not because of known product flaws.
The conversation ends with me inside the store again having a speakerphone conversation with the rep and a Yoobee Apple tech.
I kept the charger. A new one is coming in on Wednesday for me. Also, Yoobee texts you with updates on your case. Technology.