No Safety in Numbers: It’s War

Posted on June 20, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

4th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices.

Your word for the day:   

  • ignore = refuse to notice.

It was while perusing the internet recentlyWait!  That should be “surfin’ the net,” shouldn’t it?  — I ran across one such super litigator who seems to have found himself a big one — a Cape Buffalo — and was angling to bring it home for proper milking.  As his luck would have it, it was standing between some bad publicity brush and a huge government contract tree.  It was trying to shake some unwanted partisan politics off one hoof while batting away the politically inspired bad press buzzing like flies around it.  The litigator must have been stunned silly, and became frantic to climb that money tree and get his.  Big downer, though:  the only way to the money tree was through that Cape Buffalo, which was very healthy, alert, and roaming free in a temporary game preserve.  In that environment, it was a legally protected species.  He knew it was gonna take a lotta work to get that baby to stand still for a little milking.  (Oh, ick!!  See the litigator salivate?)

In deference to his apparent self-image, lets call this dandy litigator Super Dan, an advocate for any reason (even if one has to be made up), but, most especially, for the  M – O – N – E – Y  (that may sound a little like unbridled greed, so let’s call it attorneys’ fees).

Okay, lets peek behind the bovine metaphor.  The cash cow that Super Dan has his eyes on is that global, multi-billion dollar contractor formerly known as Kellogg Brown and RootKBR these days.  He has taken on a client who is not an employee of KBR.  He be a  soldier.  An employee of the US of A.  Who had signed a contract of military service for the US of A.  Who sent the soldier to a war.  The same war in which the US of A contracted the assistance of KBR in refurbishing a defunct water purification plant.  As well as a host of other engineering jobs in that war zone.  Jobs that, to all intents and purposes, made KBR a valuable and functioning part of the US of A war machine.  The preserve that protected KBR from pecuniary liability was the combat theater designated by the US of A.

The  water purification plant at Qarmat Ali belonged (formerly) to one Saddam Hussein, head of state, State of Iraq.  Which Head objected fiercely to having his State invaded for any reason.  Brought out his fighting side.  And all his fighting forces.  But, for all that, he was a bad poker player, and lost the plant in a high stakes game with the US of A.  He wasn’t any better at domestic house-keeping, either, as it turns out, and had left the place in a mess.  He saw no reason to take the time to clean it up for the new owner.

The US of A decided it needed that water plant in operation and plunked hundreds, if not thousands, of civilian support personnel into a hot combat theater.  Forbade them from carrying weapons to defend themselves, but, thoughtfully enough, furnished its armed combat personnel to escort and watch over the unarmed civilian work force while they were outside designated “safe” zones.  Like our salivating litigator above, lets gloss over the fact that a lone mortar shell (or RPG) exploding nearby will take out both the unarmed civilian and the armed, combat-ready soldier.

In a combat zone, everyone is a combatant.  NO ONE is safe.  That is something our drooling litigator has chosen to ignore while looking for a nice “safe” place to set up his milking operation.

Next up:  The truth hurts.

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, litigation, sued, cluster, deposition, hexavalent chromium

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Pismire: Getting The Handles Right

Posted on March 19, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, language | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pismire is the archaic term for ant.  Pronounce it any way you like and make it yours.  I like it because of its origin.  Ants utilize formic acid as an agent of defense or as a means of disabling a potential meal.  The greater the number of ants nesting in a given area, the stronger the odor of the acid, which, incidentally, is the same as urine.  Breaking the word down, mire is an old term for ant, and pis meant the same as our familiar term piss.  Put ’em together and you literally get…

Piss ant, a designation we use disparagingly to mean insignificant, obnoxious, ubiquitous, troublesome, vexing abundant, irksome…   I could go on, and probably will later, but, let’s stop there for now.

PAU.  Acronym for Piss Ant University.  There just seems to be a special place that turns out hordes of aspirants to obnoxity (might be a made-up term), people whose sworn duty in life seems to be to just piss you off.

PU.  By enunciation, that could refer to the malodorous presence of these critters, but it’s a new acronym I’ll use for pismire ubiquity.  Feel free to think “P-U” whenever you see it.

Ubiquity, by the way, means, “They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere.”  I’m not talking down to you on this term, it’s just that I heard it a number of times before I was curious enough to look it up.  When talking about the prevalence of something, ubiquitous just doesn’t jump off the tip of your tongue.  Be thankful  this term has yet to be used as frequently, and as inappropriately, as passion.

Piss’ant-ism is a condition that is endemic to many segments of our social infrastructure;  neither Orkin, Terminix nor any other exterminator can rid us of these pests.  The afflicted really seem to think they are pursuing relevant matters and issues that must be fixed for the rest of us (ala VICKI of the Will Smith movie, I Robot?) whether we want it fixed or not.   It is, after all, for our own good…

Or, as my cynicism assures me, for the financial good of the piss ants, who pursue their chosen shticks with the fervor of religious zealots in the premeditated intent of making a buck off us compliant sheep, who frequently confuse the skulking jackal with the shepherd.  (Ooooo, I finally did it — a one sentence paragraph.)

Next up:  Meet the press

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Agenda: 50-50 Foresight

Posted on March 17, 2012. Filed under: Humor, language | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Procrastination.  That’s a word.  It means, “Not now.  Maybe later.”  But, you already knew that.

It also means I should have started working on this post 3 hours ago, but, I got side-tracked surfing for a white wolf sculpture;  no luck yet.  So, I guess I had better hop to it if I don’t want to delay this next post yet another day.

My itches are many.  While it’s true that I’m crabby, it’s not crabs causing that chronic itch; it’s those obnoxious pismires.  Those things are everywhere, in horde-like numbers.  And, socially, they smell bad.  Possibly, it is mainstream media that has caused the harshest rashes I’ve had to endure (heretofore) meekly over the years, so guess who gets to go first in my commentaries?  Whoa!  You came up with that real quick.  And, they (the media) said you were slow and couldn’t even think for yourself.

Anticipated direction of my scratching is thus:  Media, experts, litigators (yeah, lawyers yucca-pa-tooie)…   Beyond that, it’ll be itches of opportunity.  All of it, you understand, out of a sense of community service and not out of festering spite, resentment, or any #%*@! thing like that.

On the light side, is a container — at 50% capacity —  half empty or half full?  What is the sound of one hand clapping?  If a tree falls in the forest…  SID (Ship’s Inane Digresser) said he has a few thoughts along those lines.

And, since I will have more than a few of them, I should include a page devoted to acronyms and abbreviations.  I’ll work on that.

That RSS feed thingy.  Yeah, IWOT.

New Year’s Resolution:  Figure out how to respond to comments.  It seems impolite not to.

Next up:  Bookends

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Quicksilver

Posted on March 11, 2012. Filed under: Humor, language, Mythology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I suspect that recognition of his tattle-tale talents took all the fun out of it for Hermes, so he loaned those winged boots and caduceus to Mercury, his Roman cousin (face it, they had to be related in that little Peyton Place) and let him take all the press as messenger of the gods.

And that explains how the winged Mercury (Quicksilver to his buds) became so intertwined with the messenger business…   that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

But, it doesn’t explain why you were subjected to this strange little stroll through ancient mythology.  Pleas, let me count the ways:

  1. I truly was stranded just short of inspiration for the next segment of this cruise.  What I needed was a segue (single syllable) between Mercury (the god) and the Press/Media (self-proclaimed gods).
  2. The 9 Muses ploy did get me moving on a train of thought.  I didn’t even know about Hermes, or who the heck all those muses were, until I punched in “mercury” on my smart phone.  So, none of this was really my fault; blame Wikipedia and Mobil Britannica.
  3. It was basically just a lot of fun stringing all those thought snippets into a story of sorts.
  4. Now, really, aren’t you glad you came along for the ride?

Mercury, a lesser god, enhanced his stature by being a go-between for the big gods.  As we continue our cruise, I will use that relationship as a metaphor for present day media-expert relations.  You are in for a treat, because, in this pursuit, we will encounter such terms as litigation, pismires, journalists, reporters, pismires, yellow journalism, pismires, lawyers (yucca-pah-too-ee!  Sorry.  That was a reaction, not a noun), and even pismires, all of which put the itch in my woolen long johns.

Next up:  Ship’s itinerary – a quick review.

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