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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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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