Piss Ants

The Truth Is What I Say It Is

Posted on March 12, 2013. Filed under: Journalism, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

4th in the series The Manipulators

Your old saw for the day:

  • Don’t do as I do; do as I say.

Your words for the day (according to Dean):

  • truth = an extremely malleable concoction of presumed facts
  • hot button = a topic that elicits a strongly visceral reaction either for or against
  • knee jerk = visceral reaction; no rational thought required
  • jerk = an ignoramus with airs of superiority, adolescent behavior, insulting demeanor
  • The Big P = The Big Pee; all news media (lest you forget)

We revisit that catch-phrase, “The truth is what I say it is.”  I aired it in a previous article regarding the shenanigans of a litigator (Super Dan) and his trusty blogger-minion (Big Foot).  That dynamic duo, like the manipulative Press, also engages* in the business of deceiving the public. (I gave them a 25-article series called “The Great Cluster Fu…”)

In the first three articles of this series I illustrated how the The Big Pee twisted the facts in a US Immigration Department action and glorified criminal activity to illustrate bureaucratic “coldness” and “out-of-touch legislation” that harms “innocent victims.”  The hot buttons exercised were “we-are-so-much-better-than-that” and “being-humanitarian-is-always-the-right-thing-to-do” and “these special people only break the law to do what they have to do to survive.”  While empathizing with non-citizen criminals, that same institutional urinal** offers no ongoing sympathy or efforts to intercede on behalf of US citizens caught in similar plights.  Writers’ motivations?  Anybody’s guess, but, I would hazard (1) politico-socio agendas, (2) filling out that journalistic resume in the “I am so relevant” category, and (3) a journalistic achievement award of some kind at some annual Media pat-each-other-on-the-back Awards Ceremony.

The balance of these postings will highlight certain hot-buttons that have been lit up in the recent past and how that illumination reflects faulty public concepts which, to no surprise, have been cultivated by The Big Pee for decades.  You can think of those concepts as sleeper agents embedded in our social consciousness by that fifth column that bills itself as The Fourth Estate.**

New readers to these ravings…   uh…   insightful observations…   may be dismayed at my apparent distaste of journalistic offerings and skepticism of their authors’ intents.  Getting up to speed on my true feelings regarding that genre, you might click on such categories as piss ants and journalists and read previous postings.  I’ve tried to be very clear on that matter.

Back to the subject at hand.  A popular reference to stored cyber data is “the cloud.”  Earlier, such accessible on-line storage was referred to as a drop-box that allowed one to access personal documents from a variety of digital platforms (e.g., pc’s or mobile devices).  When the big boys started touting it, it had to have a bigger presence:  “the cloud” implies just such a presence.  But, when all is said and done, it is all still just a drop-box.

In the context of social perceptions, each of us keeps our individual views on everything in a personal drop-box that we identify as a “credo.”  The totality of a population’s drop-boxes forms the ethos of that population.  From that, public values — rightly or wrongly — are broadly defined.  The Big P gleefully jumps right into that “cloud” sorting through and identifying perceived popular generalities.  Sort of like a search engine categorizing key words.  To target their agendas of controversy marketing, The Big P is shopping for social hot buttons.  Like an on-line content writer, The Big P sets its desired message in the loom and weaves in those key words in such a way that the public’s emotions over-ride rational consideration of what is ultimately JUST SOME OTHER AVERAGE JOE’S PERSONAL BIASES — and they call it “news.”  The Big Pee is just one big bladder full of personal biases clothed in the guise of “expert authority” championing the “right of the people to know.”

The term “cloud” implies foggy conditions.  That “popular perceptions” cloud mined by The Big P possesses an inherent flaw that distorts reliable conclusions:  individuals, as a rule, do not broadcast the spectrum of their beliefs and conceptions.  Much is held in secrecy, either out of caution or fear of what others might think or do in response to those true feelings.  That vaunted public ethos is liberally laced with disinformation designed to deflect uncomfortable confrontations and characterizations.  Just like that search results page on-line, what you get may be wildly off the intended mark.

Undaunted, the Big Pee strokes its selected hot buttons, often blithely igniting contradictory reactions:  today, it can disparage “same gender” lifestyles and preferences, and tomorrow use that same subject to revile Average Joe as morally deficient for harboring distaste for such goings on (i.e., homophobia).  Each of us perceives self as possessing a moral state that is on a plane just a little higher than everyone else.  The Media plays to all audiences, selling different tickets to the same show by appealing to our varied secret vanities.  And the audience, literally brainwashed by the slow drip-drip-drip of decades of media-fabricated mores, responds on cue to The Big Pee’s current offering of outrage and judgment of…   well...   whatever it is hatcheting or touting as today’s special.

Truth.  What is truth?  It IS what accepted authority SAYS it is.  The Big P, upon whom we all at some time have relied for “truth,” would have you believe it is the ONE unimpeachable accepted authority.

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*On-going pre-trial disinformation campaign that continues today on Big Foot’s blog.

**The Big Pee…   please pay attention.

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Next up:  The Press-perpetuated myth of vendors’ overcharging government agencies

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It Must Be A Duck

Posted on February 19, 2013. Filed under: Journalism, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

3rd in the series The Manipulators

Your old saw for the day:

  • If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…  it must be a duck

Your words for the day (definitions according to Dean):

  • reporting = observing and retelling an event as factually as possible without inserting personal opinion or conclusions
  • commentary = using an occurrence or news item to showcase personal prejudices, opinions, judgments, et cetera
  • journalism = winging it; making it up as you go; use of facts optional
  • story = that mix of reporting, commentary, and journalism that The Big P pours over our mindsets on a daily basis.  And they call it “news.”

Well, we got your STORY right here:  The Houston Chronicle, January 16, 2013, Section A, page 1, title:  US unmoved by plight of dying daughterAuthor:  Jenny Stonebottom.*  (I made that name up; it might be considered bad form to openly criticize a writer for The Big Pee.)

What Stonebottom shared with us:

The article opens under the topic  I M M I G R A T I O N  on the front page.  A dying illegal immigrant (Mexican) cannot see her parents (in Mexico) because the US government says, “Uh uh!  No way.”  Parents (legally in Mexico) haven’t seen her in 9 years.  She is 20 years old, has a husband but her last name is not his, and she has a daughter about 6 years old from “husband” with a different name; he is also from Mexico, but, is in the US legally with a green card.

The US bureaucratic reasoning for denial is covered in-depth, apparently to illustrate their remorse for being the unfeeling, callous, and unmoved bastards that they are — albeit legal in their obstinate denial of a sanctioned entry.

A local Catholic official chimes in with his 2-bits of criticism:  the bureaucracy is out of touch and US immigration law needs to be overhauled.

When her illegal status was revealed, the sick woman was booted out of one hospital which was named in the article, apparently to instill shame in them for their heartlessness.  She did no better with the backup plan because the freebie government hospital would not do surgery since “the tumor was inoperable.”

The “husband” cannot afford to get her back home before she dies, a Plan B, so to speak, for dealing with cold-hearted bureaucratic obstinacy.  He says he will pay for a post-mortem trip back home.

Stonebottom did give a little bit of fill-in of facts:  Those distraught parents can’t get the furlough because a decade ago they flouted US immigration law and lived in the US illegally until caught and deported.  Even though it has been 9 years since the parents last saw their daughter, they are still being denied one last look.

The tone of the article is clearly designed to (1) wring from the reader empathy for an unfortunate fellow-soul caught in circumstance and bureaucratic coldness, and (2) to give the writer a leg up in the journalistic “we-are-so-much-better-than-that” achievement competition.

I would wager that most readers identified with the empathy angle of Stonebottom’s article.  After all, it was on page one of the local major, so all the facts must have merit.  But, that’s…

…NOT WHAT I READ.  I read about a hotbed of criminal activity being whitewashed by a Pulitzer-seeking graduate of PAU.**   Note the following points:

  • Mom and Dad (in Mexico…   now) have a history of circumventing US immigration law.  That makes them UNDESIRABLE ALIENS.
  • Mom and Dad have not seen their “beloved little girl” in nine years.  The concerned, bereaved parents, then, sent (or left) their 11-year old daughter alone into a foreign land for what purposes, only God knows.  HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
  • That 11-year old girl was transported across the US-Mexico border under dangerous conditions (exposure to elements AND illegal smuggling operations).  Sounds like CHILD ENDANGERMENT.
  • The 20-year old illegal alien has a child, apparently about 6-years old.  That means that someone had sex with her at least once when she was about 13 years old.  No way around this one:  SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A MINOR, which reinforces the HUMAN TRAFFICKING observation.

Clearly, the 20-year old dying woman is a victim of many injustices, but none of them committed by the US bureaucracy or US immigration law, as writer Stonebottom is alluding.  At first glance, one might think she was fortunate to have found someone to look out for her, say…   her “husband” who entered the US legally and has a green card.  She is lucky;  the US is not:

  • Husband who has a different last name and a legal green card is apparently the father of her child.  IF THIS IS SO, he would be the RAPIST who SEXUALLY ASSAULTED A MINOR.  As “husband,” it is likely an ongoing criminal act.
  • Husband who has a legal green card has been HARBORING A FUGITIVE FROM US IMMIGRATION LAW ENFORCEMENT for years.
  • If husband with legal green card was instrumental in TRANSPORTING an ll-year old minor illegally across the US-Mexico border, how many other laws besides CHILD ENDANGERMENT did he violate?
  • Has husband with the legal green card demonstrated RESPECT FOR and COMPLIANCE WITH US laws and customs, which would be a condition of his continued LEGAL residence in the country of the United States of America?  Or is he, like his purported in-laws, an UNDESIRABLE ALIEN who should be deported immediately?

And how ’bout that Catholic Church Official for Migration (not immigration, mind you…   MIGRATION…)?  He unflinchingly casts rocks at US immigration law — and the bureaucrats charged with implementing them — from behind the walls of the institution that has become infamous for shielding pedophiles (a form of CRIMINALITY) from public accountability.  Instead of self-righteously wasting time — time the dying daughter does not have — reviling the United States government and getting his name in the papers, why hasn’t he petitioned his Church (which surely has more money than God) to foot the bill for taking the dying woman back to her parents for her passing?  Caesar gets his due, the God-fearing, hapless 20-year old gets reunited with her parents, and Stonebottom gets her Pulitzer for some other story (or at least a shot at the finals) without irritating the likes of me.  Win-win-win-win, am I right?

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* May I have the envelope, please?  er-r-r-i-i-p…  And the winner for BEST JOURNALISTIC ACHIEVEMENT FOR DECEIVING THE PUBLIC isHARVEY RICE and AURORA LOSADA of The Houston Chronicle, Houston, Texas, for “U.S. not moved by plight of dying daughter,” January 16, 2013, Section A, page 1.  C’mon, give it up, folks —  clap-clap-clap-clap-clap…   (Please, someone get me a bag.)

** Piss Ant University

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Next up:  Stroking the hot buttons of public perception

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Crime: It’s Just A Word

Posted on February 16, 2013. Filed under: Journalism, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1st in the series The Manipulators

Your words for the day:

  • citizen = a legal, voting resident of the United States of America
  • non-citizen = not a citizen of the US of A
  • legal = according to law
  • illegal = NOT according to law
  • crime = violation (wittingly or unwittingly) of a law
  • The Big P = The Press (a.k.a., all media involved in the annual Pulitzer contest)

Hack!  Sputter, cough!  Hack, hack…

…stay with me a moment while I clear my craw…

  • Night court.  Traffic Court.  His honor begins his address:  “You are all here because you have committed a crime.”  Hmmm!  One guy got cited for 5-miles over the speed limit, another changed lanes safely without using the turn signal, and that lady over there was flaunting an expired inspection sticker…   you get the drift.  He said other stuff, but that bit about the “criminality” of minor traffic violations has stuck in my craw for a couple of decades.
  • A US CITIZEN single mother, with limited resources and spotty assistance from relatives, attempts to work for money to support her child and herself, can’t find a baby-sitter, so the child is left alone while she works.  She is a criminal (child abandonment, endangerment, etc., whatever the DA can tag her with) and prosecuted.  (Gotta be an item on page 1, section 1.)
  • A US CITIZEN home invader goes through your property collecting whatever he can find to improve the quality of his life.  He gets caught and is treated like a common thief.  (If not a famous invader, Press coverage somewhere in section 1.)
  • She is 17 years and 6 months old.  He is a “mature” US CITIZEN of 20 years age.  They are in love.  If you are really slow on this, he is an adult, she is a minor.  He might catch a break here if the DA is not running for re-election before she turns 18.  Just pray — if you are that “mature” US citizen — that you did not provide alcohol to an under-aged female to disable her resistance.  (Should have gotten press coverage on the first page of section 1.)
  • He is a US CITIZEN accused of sexual assault of a minor, on the run for 6 years.  He is finally apprehended and is treated like a heinous criminal, complete with public humiliation by the Press (with the big pee) and does jail time.  (Not just section 1, but headline ranking.)
  • You are a US CITIZEN, a relative of a legally entitled government benefit recipient.  The recipient dies, you keep on cashing those government checks issued in the name of the no longer responsive legal benefit recipient.  When you get caught for improving the quality of your life, think lawyer and act quickly.  Your federal government will treat you — an unquestioned US CITIZEN — like a common criminal.  (Page 1, or somewhere else in section 1, depending on what is trending.)
  • You are a US CITIZEN and you make false statements on a benefit application to get benefits you are not entitled, under U.S. laws, to receive.  Check with the preceding US citizen.  That one can recommend a good criminal lawyer for you.  (Maybe you’ll make it to section 1.)

We all live in a country with laws; that is true in whatever country on the globe you happen to live.  As a U.S. citizen visiting other countries, you can expect to be treated like a criminal if you are accused of violating local laws.  So, at home or abroad, mess with Zohan*   …uh, laws…   local laws…   your U.S. citizenship is meaningless:  you get treated like a common criminal (actually, that U.S. citizenship abroad probably adds to the severity of your sentencing).

On the flip side, you DON’T live in the United States NOR are you a citizen of said states.  You live in one of several countries south of the United States (or even Europe or Asia).  But, golly, things look pretty good up north (or, over there) in the US of A:  land of plenty, land of opportunities, land of free medical care and even free money.  Sure, they got laws and standards for immigration and the lines are long where people try to comply with U.S. law for entry.  But, you know somebody who knows somebody who can find somebody to show you the way around those checkpoints and such at the border — can you spell c-o-y-o-t-e? 

In the process of realizing your dream of being what and where you are not entitled to be, you are willing to commit crimes against the people of the United States and the government of the United States and any and all of its state governments.

But, not to worry, O Brazen Criminal.  You WILL NOT be treated as a common criminal; that is reserved for the US Citizens whose country, property, houses, and treasuries YOU WILL INVADE AND PLUNDER to improve the quality of YOUR life.

Best of all, O Brazen Criminal, your advocate works pro bono…   if you discount coveting the next Pulitzer award…  pro bono…  it means “free.”  Okay!  Now that is a big smile.

And your advocate-if-it-will-get-me-a-Pulitzer is…

_____________________________

*Don’t get all bent, Adam.  It’s a free plug for your movie…   which I have not seen.

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Next up:  Meet the #@&#! press…   again.  (I’ll clean that up a little for prime time)

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About That No-Bid Thing

Posted on August 26, 2012. Filed under: KBR, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

16th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

Your words for the day:

  • ignorance = a lack of knowledge about a specific subject (Windows XP dictionary)
  • manipulate = influence or manage shrewdly or deviously; to tamper with or falsify for personal gain (thefreedictionary.com)
  • perception = the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses (Wikipedia)

LOGCAP bid submissions are basically beauty resumes.  Organizational stability and efficiency, as well as global logistical and engineering capabilities, would be some of the points the Army would be looking at.  The intent of the LOGCAP is to have one pre-approved contractor on tap who would receive all work projects (task orders) WITHOUT THE TIME-CONSUMING FORMALITY of individual job bid submissions.  Task orders, under the LOGCAP, are done on a cost-plus basis so the selected contractor can begin immediately to fulfill the Army’s needs.  Government accounting offices would verify whether invoicing is consistent with its understanding of the contract terms.

During questioning of Ms. Wade, Raiznor refers to a “no-bid deal.”  Ms. Wade agreed, it was a no-bid.  But, due to Raiznor’s cut and paste video, it is not clear to the viewer (that be me) just what deal and just who the parties to that “no-bid deal” were.

  • If he is referring to the LOGCAP, KBR did submit a successful bid and was awarded the LOGCAP III Prime Contractor title.
  • If he is referring to government’s decision to NOT put the LOGCAP up for re-bidding at the start of the War on Terror, that was an operational decision by the Army in favor of continuity of logistical support during warfare.  After restructuring the LOGCAP protocol embodied in LOGCAP IV, the Army made the same operational decision of continuity of support by maintaining the LOGCAP III single-contractor format (KBR) in the Afghan combat zone.  Even without Dick Chaney in the White House.
  • If he is referring to a task order sent to KBR for the water plant rebuild, he is referring to the “NO-BID” basis of the LOGCAP concept.
  • If he is referring to a contract between KBR and a selected sub-contractor, he is using a FAST-TALKING CON to skirt past the fact that, as a private contractor and NOT a government agency, KBR does not have to ask for bids on anything.

Just as the Army had a favorable view of KBR from previous performance history, KBR — in the business of global engineering and logistics for more than half a century — has built up a registry of favored sub-contractors with whose work, capabilities, and certifications it is familiar.  It is simply a matter of picking one, presenting the project to it, and resolving any matters not in compliance with the Army’s requirements.

KBR WON THE BID to be the prime contractor under the LOGCAP III contract, and, thereby, receive ALL TASK ORDERS WITHOUT FURTHER BIDDING.  So, yes, Super Dan, ANY “deal” KBR had relevant to the war effort was a NO-BID “deal.”   …duh!

Super Dan is running a con disguised as legitimate litigation.  He knows that Mary Wade’s official title is “manager” and not “negotiator” — he had to have it right on those subpoenas for testimony and documentation; he knows that KBR, as LOGCAP prime contractor, received all task orders without the bidding process; he knows that the change order he characterized as an indemnity add-on is in response to the Client’s change in the conditions (like tossing a war in front of them) under which its Contractor (KBR) would have to perform those task orders; and, Raiznor knows that, by and large, the public is blissfully ignorant of all this.  Without competing information to focus public (i.e., jury pool) awareness, it is easy for Raiznor to manipulate the public’s perception by his slick tabloid-papparazzi-soap opera-novella-yellow press effort in his pursuit of the gold (that yellow metal, not medal).

Competing information…   yeah…   that would be the intent of this treatise, although spoofing Sparky and razing Raiznor are a lot of fun.  But, as observed by Raiznor, the public is mostly ignorant of government spending protocols, particularly so when it comes to the mind-boggling amounts involved in defense spending.  Raiznor is banking* on that void to “authenticate” his made up non-war story, even though it is predicated on the ludicrous premise that military operations cannot proceed until an environmental impact study is completed, and, that all combat-related projects must be bid on by several companies before they can be implemented.  So, what’s next, Doyle?  Requiring all company commanders to hold a vote among their troops on whether they want to storm that pesky machine-gun emplacement?

* Oh!  How he wishes.

Next up:  Elusive files

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Mrs. Sparky

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Contracts Set Boundaries

Posted on August 24, 2012. Filed under: KBR, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

15th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

Your words for the day (definitions according to Dean)

  • deal = an arrangement, often informal and unwritten, sometimes illegal, between two parties for mutual benefit.
  • contract = a formal, legally binding agreement between two parties for mutual benefit.  In business, due to the complexity of applicable laws (local, federal, international) and mandated engineering and environmental standards, these agreements are always set down in an extensive written form.

You would think that an attorney understands the basics of contracts.  Ol’ Raiznor sounds like a legal school dropout in his characterization of the LOGCAP III Water Plant Task Order from The Government to KBR.  But, then, he is not giving a lecture to first-year law students; it is more like a refresher course in Fast Talking Con Artistry 101.  You will note that Super Dan avoids the word “contract” as though it might bite him.  Instead, he employs the word “deal,” carefully enunciating it with a calculated hint of distaste.

Everybody knows what a contract is.  You buy a house, you sign a contract.  You buy a car, you sign a contract.  You rent a residence, you sign a contract.  You enlist in the military, you sign a contract.  You borrow money, you sign a contract.  Is anyone in doubt about what a contract is? 

Everybody knows what a deal is.  The phrase “it’s a deal” is a conditional expression of enthusiasm uttered when it looks like a mutual arrangement has been achieved; continuity of that enthusiasm (except to the most naive among us) is dependent upon a written version of the “deal” with all the whereas‘s and wherefore‘s carefully in place.  A deal without a written contract can be as disagreeable  as a glass of pure lemon juice taken straight up.

Contracts define the boundaries of benefits and obligations.  In business, contracts usually involve the transfer of hard goods or services for money.  One party provides or performs (the contractor), and the other party sets the conditions of that performance and pays (the client).  There is an element of good faith inherent in the agreement:  the product or services are to be provided at the designated level of quality and timely completion, and the money is to be paid in the agreed amount at the agreed time.

Change orders are the rule, not the exception, in every major construction project, whether highway or building.  There can be dozens of these for every project and they may originate from either party, but — since they involve changing the original agreementboth parties must agree to the new conditions.  These changes may be precipitated by weather conditions, availability of supplies, unforseen site conditions, changes in design of the project or of a component…   just about anything.  It is simply the way business is conducted.

An independent arbiter may be sought by either party when there is an impasse over the meaning of terms set forth in the contract.  In litigator terms, one party sues the other in civil court.  Such actions are common in business, and, thousands of these take place every year without a running commentary from Ms. Sparky or every news outlet in the country.  These actions are strictly the business of the contract parties and no one else.  Social and political views have absolutely nothing to do with the interpretation of contractual terms.

Next up:  About that “no-bid” comment by Raiznor

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky

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Urban Lore: Taxpayer’s Money and Such

Posted on August 14, 2012. Filed under: KBR, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

14th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

 Your words for the day (definitions according to Dean)

  • government = a legal entity that levies taxes on non-government entities
  • taxes = money that government says is owed to the government by non-government entities
  • government funds = that pool of money possessed by, and in sole control of, government
  • taxpayer money = all the funds possessed by, and in sole control of, a taxpayer after deducting for taxes
  • tax evaders = that group of entities who have had all their assets attached, or, are doing hard time because they did not understand — or, intentionally did not heed — when government said, “MINE!”

Inserted around the testimony of Mary L. Wade (Senior Contracts Manager, KBR), Raiznor uses the terms “bail-out” and “taxpayers’ money” to characterize a post military-engagement indemnity clause added to the LOGCAP III agreement.  We will have to digress at this point to expand on the common knowledge Raiznor is tapping into.

BAIL OUT.  One of the more recent hot issues that have heated up voter temperaments:  that Wall Street fiasco.

  • A segment of Big Business did not manage its operations very well and dug itself a very deep financial hole.  In keeping with the “survival of the fittest” mandate inherent in the free enterprise system of capitalism, a number of mega-corporations were teetering on the precipice of extinction;  the weak would pass on, the strongest would survive and prosper.
  • The government of the US of A, ostensibly in fear of a major ripple-effect through the national (possibly even global) economy, interfered in the natural order of things to save those endangered corporations AND their inefficient operations;  billions of dollars provided to avoid an economic Armageddon.
  • That revived industry displayed its gratitude by putting millions of those relief dollars into the personal pockets of its corporate executives;  that would be the same type of conduct that got them in a bind in the first place.
  • The public (all them taxpayers) was incensed.  The Press (with the big P) augmented that outrage by characterizing this unexpected development as misuse of “taxpayer money.”  The bigger the flame the public sees, the bigger the media profits at the end of the day.

TAXPAYER MONEY.  When the government spends on perceived unpopular items, the tab is payed with “taxpayer money.”  If it is a perceived okay expenditure, the money came from “government funds.”  Sounds like word play for effect doesn’t it?  Let’s look at a few people who have practiced this word play and see what effect they got.

  • Al Capone and a host of other off-the-books entrepreneurs failed to either file or pay taxes to the government.  It is moot whether they just felt the money they earned belonged solely to them, that the government did not have the right to claim any of an individual’s income, or whether they realized that itemizing the sources of their income was tantamount to confessions of a life of crime.*  They DID NOT pay, the government DID PROSECUTE under its laws, and they DID TIME in the Big House.
  • Lyndon LaRouche (Libertarian Party) proved, to his own satisfaction, that the government did not have the right to tax personal income.  He DID NOT pay (or file), the government DID PROSECUTE under its laws, and he DID TIME in the Big House.
  • Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, another pair of off-the-books entrepreneurs (in the name of religion, you understand), DID NOT pay, the government DID PROSECUTE, under its laws, Jim DID TIME in the Big House; Tammy Faye has since died, yet BOTH of them are still on the IRS hook for an unpaid $6,000,000 in personal income taxes.  Uncle Sam — tougher than a dedicated loan shark.
  • Mr. APYMOTS,**  about that fabulous, off-shore tax shelter your shady financial “advisor” turned you on to…

Taxes.  You MUST pay them (or at least acknowledge that you owe them) to keep the government from acting like you are stealing GOVERNMENT MONEY and PROSECUTING YOU under federal criminal laws.  So, whose money is it?  The TAXPAYERS’ or the GOVERNMENT’S?

Next up:  Contracts and boundaries

  * An idle thought:  would not the requirement to officially itemize criminal activities to avoid being charged with a crime be a violation of a person’s Fifth Amendment rights?

** Acronym…   remember?  Any Person You Meet On The Street

References:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky,

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The Hot Button Offense

Posted on August 11, 2012. Filed under: KBR, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

13th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices.

Your words for the day:

  • hot button issue = an issue that elicits strong emotional reactions; a social, economic, theological, spiritual, scientific or legal issue which has become a political issue as a result of deliberate action or otherwise (Wikipedia)
  • hot buttons = subjects about which we have already made up our minds.  At their mention, we cannot get to the hat check counter quickly enough to turn in our abilities to reason…   and, you don’t even get a claim ticket.  (TheDean01)

Over the past couple of decades, a number of business and political “scandals” have hit the media headlines.  From that, quite a number of issues have been investigated, aired, and judged, and terms concomitant to that publicity have become media and litigation staples: corporate greed, file shredding , missing files, voter fraud, poor business practices, cover up, negligence, disregard for public and/or employee well-being, insider sources, whistle-blower, misappropriation of funds, etc.  Litigators, in pursuit of the M-O-N-E-Y from targeted C-A-S-H-C-O-W-S, seize upon the “button of the day”  and hammer on issues calculated to elicit negative reactions from the sitting jury toward the alleged “monster” being sued.  Pertinence to the suit is not important; whether the hot issue engenders a negative response toward the defendant IS of utmost importance.

Raiznor is no different.  We have already explored how convenient it would be if the alleged injuries to his client (clients?) were not associated with that infernal “designated combat zone,” and how he is attempting to focus the alleged cause of those alleged injuries onto alleged corporate mis-management apart from that war zone.  But, Raiznor has gone one step further in his argument:  during one of his recurring intermezzos in the video, he sings, “…this no-bid deal, negotiated in a shockingly, casual way by KBR with our government…”   In essence, Raiznor is saying that KBR’s alleged negligence and alleged disregard for human life were sanctioned, if not abetted, by the US of A.

Raiznor seemingly employs just about every hot-button coined in the last 100 years.  The following is not a complete list, but, will serve as a rough outline of the topics under discussion.  Raiznor may not have said some of these, but, they are there, none-the-less, for you to deduce for yourselves:

  • From popular knowledge:  taxpayer money;  no bid;  quickie deals.
  • Earlier business scandals:  missing and critical files, cover up
  • Back room political schemes:  hasty, free-wheeling ‘n’ dealing negotiations
  • Disregard for public safety:  greed, profit motive, reckless business practices
  • Whistle blowing:  two fame-seekers “did” (allegedly, but not really)
  • Dead client:  show-and-tell for fatal business recklessness.  (i.e., tabloid-like tear-jerker ending, just in case Raiznor’s load of crap just doesn’t quite smell right)

As I concluded earlier, Raiznor’s venture into yellow journalism IS NOT for judicial consumption;  IT IS STRICTLY AN ATTEMPT TO NEGATIVELY PREJUDICE THE POTENTIAL JURY POOL’S PERCEPTION OF KBR.  None of the stuff presented in this on-line format would stand up in a court-room setting under rules of evidence admissibility and cross-examination.  Which also means that Raiznor doesn’t even have to bring it to court-room scrutiny.  When the jury is selected, the work of his unethical opus will have already been done.  Even after a trial starts, do you actually believe that jury members NEVER rush home in the evening to surf the internet for “fill-in” on what they encountered in court testimony?  Or discuss the case with friends and family who did?  Raiznor’s smear will still be posted for their forbidden browsing and discussions.

The best way to expose this deceit is to turn Super Dan’s O-P-U-S into alphabet S-O-U-P and examine it letter by letter.

Next up:  Urban lore – taxpayer money and such

Reference:  Mary L. Wade, KBR, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, Qarmat Ali, litigator

 

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Manager vs. Negotiator

Posted on July 30, 2012. Filed under: KBR, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

12th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…  A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

Your words for the day:

  • negotiator (1) = one who converses, bargains, or discusses with another in an attempt to reach an agreement (yourdictionary.com)
  • negotiator (2) = one who concludes a business transaction (yourdictionary.com)
  • manager = an individual who is in charge of a certain group of tasks (BusinessDictionary.com)

In the 5th installment of this series (The Truth Hurts), I posed three questions:  (1) Who the hell is he (Doyle Raiznor) representing, (2) who the hell is he trying to convince in the absence of a court room and jury, and (3) how much money does he expect to clear from this yellow journalism venture.  As to the client, Sparky mentions “several State National Guard Units” so that is probably Raiznor’s class-action gold mine.  That indirectly answers question number 3, in that the more claimants in a successful suit  THE GREATER THE LITIGATOR’S CUT.  That leaves just question number 2…

Who the hell is he trying to convince in the absence of a court room and jury?  In the words of the deceased scientist in Isaac Asimov’s classic, “I,Robot” (a Will Smith movie adaptation):  That, detective, is the right question.”

In the ordered setting of the judicial forum, claimant’s attorney presents his side of the argument, and the defendant’s attorney provides his side of the argument, each attempting to poke holes in the other’s claims.  That forum is presided over by a judge (a referee) in the presence of a jury which will vote on its perceptions of the opposing arguments.  For Raiznor, there’s the rub.

That ordered setting will glaringly show that, because of acts of war (you know, all that crap that can. and does, happen when you are trying to do a good job while other people are trying to kill you) and the contractual exceptions granted KBR by its client, the US of A., the claimants have no case at all.  Worse, plaintiff’s attorney has a short period of time to convince jurors who, like their clients, have had their lives abruptly impacted by government mandate.  UN-like their clients,  the jurors did not sign a contract beforehand permitting this unannounced inconvenience; they might not be receptive to “somebody-owes-me” arguments.  What’s a salty litigator to do:

 Well, there’s always jury tampering, but messing with jurors during a trial is considered unethical…   and…   in some circles…   HIGHLY ILLEGAL.  Super Dan’s retirement fund may be screaming for refreshment, but he is neither that greedy nor that stupid.  Besides, Danny Boy has been to the mountain-top and has experienced an epiphany:  If I can’t get to the impaneled jury, maybe I can taint the potential jury pool against KBR.

Since the exit of the Bush-Chaney administration and the back-off from KBR by Halliburton, negative criticism of KBR by the media has subsided considerably (no evening news hot-buttons).  Clearly The Press (with the big P) could not be counted on for pre-emptive bad-mouthing of his mark.  Gotta take matters into his own hands.

That fake deposition being touted by Sparky’s site looks for all the world like a draft of a possible strategy in attacking KBR’s defense in court.  For that purpose, it is totally legitimate.  But, Super Dan’s decision to use it in a reputation-smearing campaign against a possible court opponent clearly qualifies as unethical.  Those subpoenaed testimonies (reformatted, biased “explanations”  patched in,  packaged in  the tabloid presentation of a fictionalized “expose“) and a fake “news” site filled only with Doyle Raiznor anti-KBR propaganda have been posted on-line for months and years.  The purpose:  INSTILL THE PERCEPTION THAT KBR  CAN’T POSSIBLY BE RIGHT ABOUT ANYTHING.   The target audience:  THE POTENTIAL JURY POOL (that be the public) FOR ANY CIVIL SUITS AGAINST KBR.

And that brings us to the importance of manager versus negotiator.  One title implies “tight control” and the other, “free-wheeling  and dealing.”

Next up:  Hot-button offense

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Sparky Misfires

Posted on July 20, 2012. Filed under: KBR, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

11th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

Your words for the day:

  • agenda = somebody’s particular motive or bias
  • sleight  = cunning, trickery

When you are rabid about a single agenda, details and facts get overlooked.  I mentioned that Sparky is either illiterate or just doesn’t read what she puts up.  Case in point:  Mary Wade’s title.  It is right there on KBR documents that have gotten the internet spotlight.  Doyle Raiznor cites that title as “Senior Contract Negotiator” while Sparky one-ups him with her “Chief Contract Negotiator.”  Fact is, neither of those is, nor ever was, her title.

Senior Contracts Manager.  Yep!  That’s it.  Printed right there on those older documents from 2003.  That is still her title today.  (Just a heads-up to that dynamic duo, Spark-Igor and Franken-Raiznor:  Your long wait is over…   THE TELEPHONE HAS BEEN INVENTED!  Just in case you are concerned with accuracy…   a.k.a., the truth.)

But, accuracy was never the goal of either Spark-Igor or Franken-Raiznor.  Their goal has been to take the ordinary (KBR) and turn it into a monster-like, ravenous, corrupt thing that lives only to devour class-action hordes of litigation clients.  Effect is what they are after.  Sleight of word — subtle, and not so subtle, shadings of meaning — is the scalpel (or hammer) of choice. 

More from Sparky’s intro page monologue:

(1) “In the ongoing legal battle being waged by several State National Guard Units, (2) this video is pretty typical of what I’ve seen of KBR testimony  (3) about the role they played in exposing US and British soldiers, US and local civilians to deadly hexavalent chromium at Qarmat Ali.”

That’s a complete quote of that sentence.  These are my points:

(1)  Ongoing legal battle.  Let’s see how this “battle” goes:  Farmer Brown, the class-action litigator, takes his milking stool into the lobby of KBR’s legal department.  He presents his list of demands, most notably — in alphabetical order  — cash, dinero, dollars, euros, gold, Hong Kong dollars, lira…  he is not picky.  Other than that, not much else.  In response to KBR’s quizzical look and disbelieving, “Why?” he replied, “I just want some of that money you got.”  He was quickly shown the door.  But, that did not stop him from making several trips back with the same milking stool, same demand and the same result.  Farmer Brown thinks, “This is turning into a real battle.”   (2)  Typical video vs. KBR testimony.  The TESTIMONY of current KBR employees, taken by itself, reveals that all of them did their jobs (the one’s they were hired to do) as straightforwardly as possible.  Since their employment continued at least through the taking of depositions, “exemplary” might be a word used by their supervisors.  The TYPICAL VIDEO Sparky vigorously touts is an after-market, FICTICIOUS offering by Doyle Raiznor that is a blatant effort to rewrite what each has said to accommodate Raiznor’s off-beat strategy — the claim that what actually happened in the combat theater had its roots in Houston, Texas, before the Qarmat Ali cleanup effort.  Hopefully, he could convince enough jurors that an event precipitated by, and occurring in, a hot combat war zone half-way around the world, really took place in the corrupt board rooms of capitalism.  You know, in the US of A.  (3)  The role that KBR played in the exposure to hexavalent chromium.  To borrow Doyle Raiznor’s quote, I really didn’t have to do any research to answer this one:  It wasn’t KBR’s war.  It wasn’t KBR’s real estate.  It wasn’t KBR’s water plant.  It wasn’t KBR’s toxic spill site.  It wasn’t KBR’s initiative to refurbish the ruin.  It wasn’t KBR’s decision to use US and British soldiers to protect civilians doing the reclamation.  It wasn’t KBR’s decision to have the work done down-range from hot combat operations.  So, I would say, just as a matter of idle speculation you understand, THAT KBR PLAYED NO ROLE IN EXPOSING ANYONE TO THE TOXIN.  And, for your blood-thirsty bent, Sparky, I would suggest you pay attention to the real news every now and then.  Maybe you missed it (being so busy with witch-hunting and all) but, the monster that made all of that happen was dug out of a spider-hole and got to be the guest of honor at an old-fashioned neck-tie party.  And you didn’t get prime rights to the video.  Tsk, tsk.

Personally, I think KBR has a good claim against the US of A because it sent in a bunch of whining week-end-warriors apparently not considered good enough for real combat duties:  We’re sorry, KBR, but, our A-Team is out giving Saddam what-for; we don’t want you to hire dedicated mercenaries as guards, so we’ll give you our finest B-Team — The National Lampoon Guard.  Obviously, the joke’s on KBR, but, only Sparky and Doyle are laughing.

Next up:  Manager vs. Negotiator

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Sparky: A Legend In Her Own Mind

Posted on July 14, 2012. Filed under: KBR, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

10th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…  A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices.

Your words for the day:

  • cryptid = rumored — but unproven — to be real
  • kangaroo court = a pretend trial delivering a pre-determined judgement
  • megalomania = unbridled greed for power / a psychiatric disorder
  • shit = I’ll not be so condescending as to define it, but, I can observe that it emanates from Sparky’s mouth

Right off, let’s jump on those last two words.  Says Sparky’s website:  “I strive to live my life in such a way that when my feet hit the floor in the morning corrupt defense contractors shudder and say, “OH SHIT  …SHE’S AWAKE”  Ms.Sparky(TM)

My humble observations: 

  1. I guess the search for that cryptid (an unbiased reporter-blogger) continues.
  2. She has extremely large feet.  If her feet are not the reputed size of the Hulk’s dogs (size 87, per Wikipedia) how could  anyone down the street from her padded cell bedroom hear her escape dismount her nightly restraining device bed?  (It would be one of those shoes my Muse hit me with in the previous post.)
  3. If she really thinks that multi-billion dollar contractors actually tremble just because she is looking for an unused can of spray paint to vandalize their reputations, this babe has serious power-complex issues (megalomania) complicated by delusions of grandeur (check out that trademark on her blogger title).
  4. You read it:  “shit” came straight out of her mouth.
  5. What’s with this fetish for “corrupt” defense contractors?  Are corrupt lawyers, bankers, politicians, et alia, really cool with her?  Or, is her hatred of certain defense contractors politically motivated?  Maybe she is still sulking over the loss of her favorite cadavers…   candidates!…   her favorite candidates from elections that go back nearly a decade.  That would be my guess…  humble though it be.

Let’s get to the way Ms. Sparky(TM) has chosen to display the opening page of her collaboration with Doyle Raiznor, et al.  It is reminiscent, to me, of televised publicity stunts by terrorists or revolutionaries in banana republics (yes, that is meant to be derogatory) — saber-rattling in lieu of floor stomping so those in power will tremble and say, “OH SHIT …SHE’S AWAKE!”…   or something equally as dreadfully foreboding.  Those disenfranchised outs, who desperately want to be franchised ins so they can deal properly with anyone who disagrees with them, typically like to have a back drop displaying their slogans and righteous objectives while reading off a list of “crimes” against workers of the world by government leaders and all those other people who are just plain smarter than they.  “Boy, when we get the power, you will all get a “fair” trial just before we execute you.”   …the kangaroo court thing.

Sparky, who is apparently an amateur geneticist, sort of married all those techniques.  She has that scroll-like banner dropped vertically along one side of the screen and a picture of someone (who happens to be an awful lot smarter than she has ever dreamed of being) displayed as an effigy of evil.  Surprisingly, Sparky has not been so vain as to wear a turban or such, or dress in rough, rebel regalia, or have a shot of herself standing in front of the banner-poster-picture holding a long list of grievances — while robed in rough, rebel regalia.  Nor does she actually behead/or execute someone on camera.  Does this mean that she can talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk?  (I hate sports clichés, but, that little puppy just begged to get out for a walk.)  For non-sports enthusiasts,  is she just a blowhard?

On the banner, she alludes to wrong doings (no specifics), states her horror at what the money-hungry litigator has been feeding her about Qarmat Ali and it’s evil-doers, then reveals her streak of sadism mixed with a tinge of homicidal tendencies:  she thinks “someone or several someones* should be sent to prison” for high crimes (which carry the death penalty)** BASED SOLELY ON HER CACHE OF DARKLY TWISTED PREJUDICES.

And, Sparky either can’t read or just doesn’t bother to read what she is posting on her malcontent’s wall.  If an item has a negative feel toward her private hatreds, it goes up.  Even tweak it if the mood strikes.  Old Super Dan (the dandy litigator) changed Mary Wade’s title to better fit his little fantasy tale;  Bigfoot Sparky jumped in and changed Super Dan’s change.  I can thank both of you charlatans for illustrating graphically just exactly what you are up to.

Next up:  Sparky misfires

 * This example of bad grammar is all hers.

**Well, if that is how we are playing, Sparky, I’ve got a few candidates myself for the dungeon and guillotine.  Crimes?  Not really.  Just journalistic pandering and unethical litigator practices.  You know, stuff that irritates the crap out of ME.  Are you and Doyle busy next weekend?  Meet me at the front door to the Bastille.  It’s in France.  Down from the Rue morgue.  Just your kind of place.

 

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