Welcome To The Mimentum Blog...

We've been going since 2006 - completely free speakers, tackling consumer issues, current affairs and other issues and injustices that arise. Based in Australia and New Zealand we enjoy the privaledge of free speech without the threat of the Chinese Communist Party's Green Dam, Iranian Government, the USA's "Homeland Security" thought police, CIA (so much for "Land of the Free!"), and almost all the other fruitloops in the world who can't handle some constructive criticism.

Shame on you Australia!

Posted By on December 22, 2017

In the 1967 war, Israel invaded Palestine in spite of UN sanctions and stole a large chunk of Palestine that includes Jerusalem today. In 1980 Israel declared Jerusalem it’s capital but the UN voted to reject the idea. Under International Law, the same law that recognises Israel as a state, any country that invades another cannot claim territory it has taken, as it’s own.

When the US said it would not only recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but in an added slap in the face to the rest of the world, would move it’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the UN refused to accept the idea. Not only is it in breach of International Law but it also would be a very public slap in the face for all of Islam. Like the Christians, they too regard Jerusalem as a significant religious site. Aside from the legality of the situation, it makes common sense to leave Jerusalem alone. Calling it part of Israel would unite all the Islamic factions in a holy war against the USA and all it’s allies.

If close allies like Australia had the balls to vote for the UN sanction against recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would have been a wake up call for Trump, telling the US administration that it had overstepped the line. Unfortunately Australia caved in to Trump’s threats and abstained from voting, demonstrating to all the Islamic nations it is in the USA’a pocket. If it was low on the list of Jehad targets yesterday, it’s gutless actions just moved itself up to the top of the list today.

While the Australian government might believe the USA will protect it in the event of a terrorist war, they might find reality a little different. Until now only ISIL has been targeting the USA. Now all of Islam could target the USA, creating a terrorist war there and abroad. If this blows up, not only the Arab nations will target USA and it’s allies but the South East Asian nations with their predominantly Islamic population will be drawn into the fray as well.
And who is the nearest US ally in their region?
Top of the hit parade will be Australia, just a short boat ride away and Pine Gap, the control center for all the USA drone activity in that half of the world. Australia with it’s vast unprotected coastline and neighbors who are still reeling from being screwed over the Timor gas field swindle, it’s mining companies raping their lands and dumping it’s unwanted in offshore illegal prison camps. Australia has a long history of arrogance in the region. The few countries it shares good relations with, are already struggling with Islamic uprisings. The rest could quite easily turn a blind eye, like the Americans did to New Zealand in the Rainbow Warrior bombing.

Is the same Donald Trump, who is going to make America great and doesn’t give a stuff about anyone else, going to rush to Australia’s aid while he has so many other battles going on?

Australia missed an opportunity to do what was right by both law and common sense. It could have made a stand to curb Donald Trump’s stupid arrogance. Instead it has shown the world it is a spineless wimp, Donald Trump’s personal brown nosed suckhole.

Even worse, it was shamed by it’s neighbor, New Zealand, who stood by it’s principles and voted “No” to recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, like the majority of other UN members.

Shame on you Australia!


The hopelessly late Westpac bank

Posted By on December 19, 2017

Back in 2012, I informed Westpac that I had received a phone call from a male with an Indian accent, saying I had been overcharged bank fees for my Westpac account and would receive over $400.00 if I could confirm my Westpac account I.D. I had some friends who also banked with Westpac and they reported the same thing. However other friends with accounts in different banks had not received any such phone calls. The caller knew my name, bank accousst numbers, phone number and address, along with the fact I banked with the local branch of the Westpac Bank. The fact that only Westpac customers had been phoned, not customers with other banks, indicated some form of security breach at Westpac. I met with Sanjay, the Manager of the Melton Branch of the Westpac Bank, who denied there was any breach in their security but could not explain why only Westpac, no other banks customers were being called.

Having worked in bank security for another bank over 5 years ago, I played the caller at their own game and asked which branch and account was he referring to. I was fishing to see how much information he had and where it might have come from. The caller knew the bank, the branch and my account numbers – including ones that don’t appear on any ATM screen, so he wasn’t spying on ATMs. He didn’t know I had been a Westpac customer over 7 years previously, at another branch, leaving for an opposition bank, so the information had to come from Westpac and not some place like the tax office or a credit reporting company. Because he knew other account numbers, the information could not have come from a phone account (or any other type of account) application.

To be honest, he almost convinced me, he had so much information but I had only opened the accounts he was referring to, a couple of months ago and there was no way I had been charged enough bank fees to be overcharged anywhere near the $400.00 amount he promised.

I contacted Westpac’s head office and followed up with emails, outlining how these scammers were operating. Westpac responded with platitudes and denials. Today they are still refusing to admit there was a leak.

You have to wonder, if there was no security breach:

  1. How did that caller get my name, phone number and and address?
  2. Of all the banks in Australia, how did they even know I was a Westpac customer?
  3. If the information didn’t come from an ATM and acoording to Westpac, there was no security breach, where did the caller get my Westpac bank details?
  4. How did the caller know so much information about me and what other information did he have, that I didn’t know about?
  5. What other institution would have that particular collection of only my personal banking Westpac details, when I also banked with another non Westpac bank as well ?
  6. I use Linux, not Windows, so a key logger or spyware was not likely (remember we are back in 2012). I never let anyone use my card, PIN or bank on my behalf. The leak must have been at the bank, I am sure that the leak did not come from me.

It’s now the 19th of December 2017 and I just received this email from the Westpac Bank, one of Australia’s big 4 banks :

Dear (Name suppressed),

At Westpac, helping our customers avoid falling victim to scams is our top priority. We’d like to make you aware of a current phone scam targeting Australians.

The scam involves a caller posing as an employee of a large telco, utility provider or computer company. The caller will usually advise they are calling you because your PC has malicious software, help is needed to catch a criminal, or to recover an outstanding debt owed to a government body. Callers may become quite aggressive, or threaten you with prosecution, if you do not comply with their request.

(Name suppressed), we strongly recommend you simply hang up if you receive this type of call. If you believe the call was legitimate, we recommend you return the call to the company on a trusted number found in the yellow pages or on the company’s website.

I have heard, the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly and according to Westpac’s reassurances back in 2012, that they take security very seriously but 5 years later to hear they still deny any leak for the same old scam, is a bit long, you’d think?

Today, in 2017, there is the technology to trace these calls. If the banks really take fraud seriously you have to ask, are the banks really doing enough to prevent this type of scam?

When an idiot is in charge

Posted By on December 10, 2017

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump formally recognised Jerusalem as the capital
of Israel and said he would start the process of moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Once again he has ignored the rest of the world to suck up to those with money. I don’t want
to sound antisemitic, it’s a fact that the Jewish community is a tight knit clan bound by
religion and persecution. They are very active in the banking and finance sectors. If you
surveyed the faiths and family ties in the world’s finance sector, you would find more Jews
there than in any other industry. That’s because their faith demands tithes and their church
elders are business focused, lending to their own, especially when it comes to finance.
You have to admit, they’re damned good at it.

They are also good at stealing land too. After World War 2 it was agreed that, as a reward
for their support for the allies, against the Germans and as compensation for the
atrocities committed against the Jews, they would be given a homeland. In World War 1,
the British defeated the Ottoman Empire and took control of Palestine. They carved this
in half to create a Jewish homeland, Israel, under the Balfour Declaration, in 1948.
Ever since, the Jews have been taking more and more land from Palestine.  The United
Nations stepped in and ruled Israel’s theft of Palestinian land was illegal but Israel
ignored the ruling. Jerusalem is in that block of stolen land. Donald Trump’s decision
to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel , flagrantly ignores international law.

The Jews claim a convenient part of history to support their claim to Jerusalem. If we
were to uphold this, Bosnia would have to be returned to the Magyars, Paris to the Vikings,
half of China to the Mongols, Australia to the Aborigines, New Zealand to the Morioris,
Mexico to the native Indians and the whole of the USA to the various tribes of American
Indians. Historically speaking, all these lands changed possession after the Jews lost

Keep in mind that this territory is also religiously significant, not only to the Jews
but Christianity, Islam, Samaritanism, Druze and the Bahá’í Faith. In another act of
massive international stupidity , Donald Trump has not only thumbed his nose at
International Law, wrecking any chance of a peaceful solution between Palestine and
Israel but lit the powder keg of an international religious war, on a scale never seen

If you are not familiar with Islam, there are two main factions that are in permanent
disagreement – the Shiite and the Sunni. This forms the underlying force driving most
(if not all) of the wars within the Arabic world. Donald Trump’s decision is an insult
to the entire Islamic faith and of sufficient magnitude to, not only dwarf the
Shiite/Sunni schism but invoke their unified wrath against the USA. Of course, once
again, (like it did in the fake Weapons of Mass Destruction) war in Iraq, it will run
squealing to the rest of the West for support. Frankly, I think this time we should say
“No!” and let them take the consequences of leaving a “f—king idiot” (their own words,
not mine) in charge.

Donald Trump should have been reigned in long ago. If something isn’t done to stop that
lunatic,we could see our children dragged into a war that’s not of our making and dying
on some foreign battlefield; all because of some maniac US President’s idiotic decision.

It should have been on page one

Posted By on December 4, 2017

Both New Zealand and Australia are short of aged care workers and the governments see the solution is to ease up on immigration.

Not a headline news item but maybe it should be. For starters, no matter who you are, you will get old. Unless your luck runs out, you’ll eventually end up in aged care, so the standards of aged care we set today will determine the level of care you will receive. Secondly, you or someone close to you has an elderly relative in, or about to go into aged care. Thirdly; we should ask, are foreigners the best people to care for the elderly?
This is an issue that effects all of us, no matter what our age.

Have our leaders missed the logic here?

Shouldn’t they be asking why there is a shortage of aged carers?

Shouldn’t they be asking who is best, to care for our elderly?

Why is there a shortage of local aged carers?

Aged care is perceived as a lowly job by many in the community (evidenced by the prevalence of foreign workers). Even inside the medical profession, geriatric nursing is seen as a less prestigious form of nursing. Dealing with incontinent, immobile, confused and often aggressive patients is not an ideal working environment, add shift work hours, none of this not reflected in the wages of aged carers.

To handball the issue of aged care facilities funding, governments have promoted privatization, passing it on to rest home operators. When any service is privatized and profit becomes the motive, you drive the service down to the lowest dollar to yield the maximum profits. Put another way, you provide the least for the most.

They do this a number of ways – reducing the numbers of staff, reducing the staff qualification levels, reducing their pay rates, increasing workload without raising wages, reducing the standards of meals and other services. We frequently read stories of neglect, abuse and closures of aged care facilities who fall below minimum standards.

Recently, aged care workers have won a case for pay equality. How sad, that we are in the 21st century and still fighting inequality in a civilized country!

It’s time our leaders took a good look at the aged care sector and paid the people what they are really worth. A corporal in the defense forces earns more than an aged care worker, and gets more privileges.

Who should be looking after our elderly?

Will foreigners from a different country, culture and religion, be able to offer the same care as locals who are familiar with our ways? That “infidel” could be your mother or father.

Caring involves empathy. Do these foreigners have relatives in the same situation here, that they empathize with?

There is a very high proportion of dementia and hearing loss amongst the elderly. Does it make sense to place them in the care of people with an accent? Wouldn’t that compound the communication problems the elderly already have?

Immigrants are vulnerable to threats of deportation and easily manipulated to accept lower wages or take on unacceptably higher work loads than locals. This leaves the profession open to abuse and corruption. Already we have a high incidence of abuse both of patients and overall standards of care. Trusting rest home and aged care operators to do the right thing for immigrant workers, is akin to letting the fox guard the hen house.

It’s not rocket science; it all comes down to paying the carers what they are really worth. This will attract local people into this profession, especially older workers looking for a career change.

It’s time we got our priorities right.

Democracy NZ style – the weirdest system.

Posted By on December 3, 2017

If you were asked to explain democracy,  like me, you’d probably describe it as:
Democracy is a system where the people vote for a government, from a selection of contenders and the one with the most votes, wins.”
At least that’s what we were taught. Right?

However, consider the case of New Zealand:

On the 22nd of September 2017, New Zealand held a general election. There are two major parties in New Zealand;

  • National (conservatives who favour commerce) and
  • Labour (liberals who are more socially orientated).

There are also a smattering of minor parties with various interests. So far it’s a typical democratic system but here’s where it becomes weird:

The votes came in and both the major parties did not get enough votes to form a government on their own. This means, to form a government, they have to for a coalition with one or more of the minor parties.

So we have a system where the real power is no longer with the party that got the most votes. It’s actually with the parties that got the least votes!

To complicate it further, only one of those minor parties won enough votes to make up the difference to send either of the major parties into government – The NZ First Party, lead by Winston Peters.

So we now have a system where the two major parties, who won the election, are held to ransom by a party who lost the election. Winston Peters and his NZ First Party are calling the shots. The first party to agree to his terms wins government.

To put it another way, democracy (New Zealand style) is where the party who didn’t win the election is forms the government and has the most say.

Are Americans really that stupid?

Posted By on November 17, 2017

Donald Trump’s election campaign focused on the middle Americans, the working class people. Now he’s won, he’s sending a message to his election base with his new tax bill and it’s basically “f— you suckers!” If ever there was proof that the USA is the land of the ignorant, this has to be it!

The house tax bill has passed through the senate and is on it’s way to becoming law. It’s shrouded in smoke and mirrors but essentially it gives more tax breaks and a tax cut to the rich while raising taxes and reducing exemptions for the lower and middle income sections of the community – a classic case of the rich feathering their own nest.

Unfortunately it’s shrouded in conditions that provide exemptions for some families, which makes it complicated enough to hide the real slug on the bottom end of town. It will vary for some, just enough to tart it up for selling to the public. Also it doesn’t start to come in until 2019, ramping up to peak in 2021. The fact is, most families earning between $10,000 and $75,000 a year will see their taxes go up. As if that’s not enough, to make sure the tax cuts for the wealthy are funded, Trump’s party is removing the affordable health care bill, saving millions. A conservative estimate says 13 million people will have lost their health cover and the health insurers will increase their premiums by at least 10% in the first year.

If you don’t live in the USA, you probably don’t really care and like the rest of the world you probably think, “You voted for a TV personality, slum landlord, greedy, narcissist and got what you deserve – so suck it up Princess”

However, there’s a groundswell and I’m hearing subtle rumblings around the globe. More and more people are asking questions about the ever growing divide between the rich and poor. Last century rich people were respected and lauded for their entrepreneurship and philanthropic contributions to society. That was before the Global Financial Crisis that laid bare the wanton greed and absence of ethics in the top end of town. As a society, there is a growing trend towards social responsibility and anti corruption.

Is the tide turning? Already it’s surfaced in Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe, the most powerful, corrupt and ruthless leader has been deposed. If Americans wake up and see Trump’s grab bag of goodies for the rich, for what it is – a further widening the rich-poor divide, we could see the birth of a new kind of capitalism – one with a conscience.

New Zealand’s Self Inflicted Teacher Crisis

Posted By on October 16, 2017

New Zealand is suffering a critical shortage of teachers. It’s become so bad, many schools where a teacher resigns, will have to redistribute the students to other classrooms and create classes that are well over the class size limit.

In some cases, the shortage is so bad that a teacher resignation could force schools to turn classes into mixed year classes, part way through the school year. Teachers, already overloaded will have to suddenly rewrite their plans, alter their student registers and completely reorganize their rooms. This sort of chaos actually promotes teachers leaving the system, exacerbating the problem.

This fiasco is the result of an out of touch government, concerned purely with economics, at the expense of its own people. Successive governments from both sides of politics have repeatedly cut the education budget. Teachers don’t have time to get involved in political lobbying. If they do speak out they are labelled too militant by their bureaucrat employers, who don’t want to admit the system is broken because the politicians will place the blame back on them.

Ironically there are plenty of trained teachers in New Zealand who are currently in other areas of employment. As a teacher, it is easy to lose yourself in the world of teaching, so many like to get out in the “real world” for some “real world” experience. Often this involves travel and teaching overseas. These teachers are a valuable asset to the profession. Some have left to become parents of their own children. Their broader experience makes them far more relatable to both parents and students alike.

Unfortunately the New Zealand education system doesn’t acknowledge this fact. Instead they want these teachers with their added life experiences to retrain, refusing to give them any credit for their past experience, even if it was teaching elsewhere . But it gets worse! . . . They also demand these teachers pay an additional $4,000 for the retraining.

Is it any wonder there’s a critical shortage of teachers in New Zealand?

Even if the government was to treble the intake of teacher trainees, those teachers would not begin teaching for another three years at least and how will they perform, compared to teachers with decades of experience in the field and as people who have not only taught children but actually raised them?

It’s time the New Zealand government woke up and recognized this asset, right under their noses. Recognize and reward their experience.

Provide a fully paid re-integration course to welcome these living treasures back into our education system.

This will create highly skilled and experienced teachers, ready to step into the classroom in a matter of weeks, not years.

Scam? – OpenOffice Writer Usability Study with a single task

Posted By on October 3, 2017

I received an email from Lucrecia Llerena ( lucreciallerena2016n@gmail.com ) with the subject line – Re: OpenOffice Writer Usability Study with a single task

It claims to be from the Open Office people. It asked me to take part in a survey that would provide them with data that would help them improve Open Office.

I am a strong advocate for open source software and like many other open source users, will go out of my way to help improve open source wares, which makes me a bit more gullible when it comes to a scam based around open source ware. But would you take part in this survey?

Here’s an extract from the introduction, you judge:

Given that the deadline to present results of our investigation culminates in a short time, we request your collaboration to
participate in a usability experiment with OpenOffice Writer through the application of the Thinking Aloud and SUS Survey techniques. This time we need you just execute a task by following 8 steps in OpenOffice Writer. The average time to perform the task is 20 minutes. This experiment requires the installation of some applications (such as OpenOffice Writer and Morae Recorder) on your computer. As long as you execute the task in OpenOffice Writer, the time taken to perform and the number of clicks you made will automatically be measured by the Morae tool. To perform the installation of the Morae tool it is necessary that the computer where you are going to execute the task, has to have Windows Operating System (*) for its compatibility with the tool. It is necessary for our research that the recording contains audio and video of your facial expressions (audio is indispensable for Thinking Aloud technique and facial recording will be useful for measure your grade of satisfaction when executing the task). However, if you disagree, you can perform the recording only of your screen. “

Firstly, it has a very long wordy introduction and explanation – not the sort of thing we are used to with Open Office. The English, while grammatically correct, seems a little clumsy and the sender doesn’t appear to cite any Open Office credentials. They have addressed me by my sir name, as if it is my christian name. Maybe that’s just a mail-merge glitch. While I am a champion of open source software, I wouldn’t take this survey, even if it was genuine and helped the Open Office designers.

  1. Even though their email passed all the spam filters, it has an email address that is unknown to me and looks nothing like anything I am used to with Open Office, Libre Office or any of my Linux contacts.
  2. It asks me to download some unknown software and admits it is spying on me, through both my keyboard activity and through my webcam. They use the term “recording” but it’s the same thing as spying isn’t it?.
  3. If this is a scam, it has planted a key logger and hacked into my webcam – to put it another way – it has taken over my computer. What’s next, a ransom ware screen?

Seriously, if the sender was at all familiar with Open Source ware, they would have planned the survey differently. For the most part, open source users are more computer savvy than the general public. Many are using open source, rather than commercial software, because they already reject the various monitoring methods used by commercial software distributors to mine data for advertising, identify copyright breaches and logging user activity for updates and bug handling. Those types of people are less likely to be stupid enough to be conned into accepting spying software.

If Open Office genuinely planned this survey (and I doubt they are so stupid) Iwould be removing all their software because this demonstrates a complete ignorance of computer security – what’s that say about the security of their software?

I’d advise everyone DO NOT TAKE PART IN THIS SURVEY!

New Zealands shortsighted Government gets caught out.

Posted By on September 18, 2017

Congratulations if you are touring in NZ at the moment. You get to stay a bit longer – like it or not! (And stuck in Auckland, you probably won’t like it.)

While Australia tries to deport New Zealanders, we can’t even get our Aussies off the ground! They can’t get enough fuel for trans Tasman flights and are cancelling them faster than NZ Greens Party members.

In 2012 the NZ National Party government received a report on security. All countries do one, every so often to pinpoint the kind of flaws terrorists could target to maximise disruption. The report highlighted a weak link in New Zealand’s fuel supply to Auckland, it’s largest city and main point of entry for international visitors. All the fuel for Auckland and most of the top of the North Island comes from Marsden Point oil refinery in a single 10 inch pipe line. That’s probably a third of the country’s population.

Typically the National Government’s Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) was asked to make a recommendation, which is akin to asking the fox to renovate the henhouse. The MBIE is focused on business profits, not infrastructure security. As far as they are concerned if it’s making a profit today and it’s not broken, then don’t improve on it for tomorrow. Their solution was to suggest motorists don’t fill their tanks as often and airlines “bunker” fuel reserves. In plain English, that translates to cancel flights that don’t pass through an airport with fuel and add stopovers for refuelling on flights that do. Somehow that answer averted the fuel security problem, as far as the National Government was concerned.

So we come to today; there’s no terrorist attack, just some farmer with a digger pulling out a tree stump, that damaged the pipeline from Marsden Point. The damage is not as extensive as we would see from a terrorist attack with explosives but we will be short on fuel in Auckland for up to two weeks. Motorists are asked to not fill up their tanks, so the place doesn’t grind to a halt from panic buying. At least 2000 tourists get to see soggy Auckland a bit longer – could be worse – could be stuck in windy and soggy Wellington …(Oh but wait – they have fuel!)

And we have an election coming up in a few weeks. If they haven’y fixed that pipeline, it’ll be a decided on postal votes alone – if that isn’t a reason to vote for a different party to take over from National, then what is?

September in the USA … and here we go again!

Posted By on September 5, 2017

Here we go again! How many times has the US economy faced a spending crisis?

Each time it gets worse and they have to borrow more and more.

Considering the US Dollar is a world currency benchmark, the fact that they can’t get their own economy together is alarming, internationally. Once again they can’t balance their books and have to extend the limit on the amount their government can borrow, just to fund the basics. When Greece did this it was blocked because it reached the point where it could not make the repayments. The USA debt ceiling was put in place to prevent the same thing happening in the USA – but it’s been raised …. and raised again….. and now it will have to be raised again!

Before the end of September, the US government has to raise their debt ceiling just to pay the usual government cost . . . again! Failure to do so means public servants like police, military, and all government services (pensions, customs, coast guard, intelligence, immigration etc) will not get paid. Being a capitalist nation, by their own constitution, that means they don’t have to come to work!

But wait there’s more :

  • It promised to fund children’s medical expenses to patch up a hole in their health program.
  • It tried to scrap Obamacare, their public medical insurance program and failed, so they have to fund the arrears for that.
  • They have to find funds for Hurricane Harvey, to rebuild Houston infrastructure, then fund compensation to families to start the reconstruction of the thousands of lost homes damaged in the floods. In addition they have to pay the extra relief services (welfare, health care, emergency accommodation, extra policing against looters, clean up crews, administration to manage assess and process claims) until that reconstruction has progressed to the point where people can be independent once more – probably one of two years at least.
  • All this has to be decided and passed through the political machine that is debating whether their leader colluded with the Russians to swing the election. This will take up much of the available senate and congress time before they go into recess.
  • In the shadows of congress you have various members on both sides mumbling impeachment for Trump (a polite name for sacking the top dog and stripping away their immunity from prosecution).
  • Add to all this a nut case at the helm, who says let the government shut down until I get what I want – unlimited funds to build a wall to keep out the Mexicans, who we need to help build the wall! – (Yes, you read that right – the US does not have the skilled labour to undertake the job of building the wall). That labour comes from immigrants from … you guessed it … Mexico and neighboring South American countries).

If you thought the US Government behaved like a bunch of spoiled brats when Obama was in power, these Trump lunatics just wrote the text book for irresponsible government.