Dear Editor

Old milk problem regurgitated?

A friend who runs a Holstein herd in the UK tells me your article “Bad Milk” in nose212 is old news in the UK and the hype has died down.

She recommended that I go online to www.nationaldairycouncil.org/content/2015/understanding-the-science-behind-A2-milk for more information.

Barry Midgley

The owner of a Holstein herd would have to hope “the hype dies down”. Old news or not, you and I and South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council clearly hadn’t heard it. Noseweek’s article offers an explanation for some serious health issues and raises questions that remain to be answered.Ed.

ISIS news raises red flags

ISIS is really a marketing company designed to sell us fear, (“The Isis guide to bloody scary reading” nose212).

The CIA and US military were caught spending over half a billion dollars in Iraq to make propaganda videos to be disseminated through various media. Some were specifically made to resemble videos by Arab news outlets – and passed for such on many occasions.

Seeing as there is plenty of evidence that the CIA created ISIS itself, this is not hard to believe.
I don’t want to make light of serious issues, but any news about what ISIS is doing raises red flags. We know ISIS is a creation of the CIA (whether you think they created it deliberately or accidentally).

We also know that the main point of various terrorist organisations (including those funded by the US government) is to spread fear.

As always, we need to be alert to potential real risks in order to thwart them, while not falling into the trap of being so fearful that we are panicked into forfeiting our civil rights and liberty.

By email

Strachan’s sympathies misplaced

Harold Strachan’s column in nose212 is venomous. His ability to morph from joking about Nazi linguistics to equating “we Zionists” with a killing machine mirroring that of the Nazis is cunning and ugly.

Israel’s “Philistine” enemies have never ceased to work and kill with the aim of ending its existence and the annihilation of its Jewish inhabitants. Wake up Mr Strachan! Your innocent Philistines are the authors of their own fate.

Martin Behr

Night of glorious rapture

I am always grateful for my monthly Noseweek, but on this occasion I need to write to thank you for the review of the Cape Town Youth Choir in nose209. Without it I would not have known to attend their performance at Parow. Even the choir’s numerous accomplishments you listed had not prepared me for the uplifting experience: a night of glorious rapture.

D Beelders

The effrontery of our banks!

I recently called the Standard Bank call centre to inquire what my daily withdrawal amount was on my credit card.

To verify my status as the account holder I was asked:
Q: What credit card do you hold?  
My Answer:  Standard Bank Gold Master Card.

Q: Do you have a credit account with Furniture City?   A: No

Q: What is your credit limit on your Gold American Express card?   
A: That is none of your business.

I was told if I do not answer the question they cannot assist me further.

So I asked a supervisor what business it is of Standard Bank what my credit limit is with another bank, especially since I never transferred or made payments via Standard Bank to American Express. How would the system know my personal information listed with American Express/Nedbank to verify the truth or not of my answer?

I was informed that “the system” generates the questions based on information obtained “from Home Affairs and other sources”. What “sources” might those be?  No answer.

The call-centre manager eventually called me and I once again asked my question. She explained that the new system had been instituted for the security of their clients due to the high incidence of banking fraud.

She then asked if she could assist me in the verification process and so we began again.

Q: Do you have a credit account at Queens Park?   A: No.

Q: What was the amount of your last Telkom payment?   A: I don’t know, about a thousand rand.

Q: Are you a Director or employed by Vulcan CC? A: Director.

Q: What was the last payment amount on your American Express credit card statement? 

We were back there, but now in even greater detail, raising two serious questions: 1. Is Standard Bank using verification procedures as a front for fishing/conducting a marketing survey? 2. Is someone at Amex/Nedbank sharing my (and other clients’) personal information with Standard Bank? How else would they know what my last payment on my Amex card had been?

I refused to answer that question as it is none of Standard Bank’s business and I feel it is an infringement on my privacy. Where does the Popi Act stand with regard to these questions?
Again I was told unless I answer the questions she cannot assist me any further.

And here’s the irony of the whole debacle: I then drove up to Standard Bank Randburg, walked up to information and asked the attendant, please can you tell me what is my daily withdrawal amount on this card?

The attendant took the card, punched in the card number on the system and replied “R5,000 rand per day, Sir,” without even asking me for any proof that I was the card holder!

Dave Kearney

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