Death Cup 3: 5 Things THEY Don’t Want…

Posted on December 7, 2013. Filed under: Health Studies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

…YOU to know about “shocking” results of “new health studies.” (One thing I don’t want you to know: this is the longest article I’ve posted to date.)

I really hate article titles like thatthe mysterious “they” holding back on something vital to our survival.  I have covered this before in journalistic veracityThe Big P is looking to sell advertising,* whether it is printed, broadcast, or internetted.**  To that end, salacious, frightening, or sympathy-inducing tabloid-type headlines (yellow journalism), passing as legitimate news, are the means employed.  So, I guess I’m just parodying the Yellow J with Yellow S (sarcasm}.

Rejoining Dr. Snow-Job (Carl Lavie) and his heart-clutching “premature death” announcement, we gonna analyze his load of bull sh…   uh…   bull shize manure.  Remember, TYSK means Thing(s)YouShouldKnow.

TYSK 1.  WHAT ARE THE STAKES FOR THE PUBLICIZING RESEARCHER ?

  • Justification of that 16-year long 9-5 salary?
  • Gain publicity to enhance a GRANT MONEY APPLICATION…   you know, razzle-dazzle those grant signers into giving up the loot so that “research” on the current inanity can continue?  You don’t think he is paying for the “study” out of his own pocket, do you?  The man gotta show positive results, or the money train grinds to a halt.  Ditto his employment.
  • Gain publicity that will enhance his (and his organization’s) REPUTATION, which could get him a raise or a better paying post later?

Down here in the coffee-swilling-with-a-Red Bull-chaser segment of society, we just cut through the b.s. and call it what it is:  resume building, a big feature of which involves fluffing up your creds.

TYSK 2.  WHAT WERE THE ORIGINAL PARAMETERS OF THE EXERCISE…   study…   I meant of the STUDY?

  • I mean, c’mon, who embarks on a 16-year, grant-money-approved-tedium of enrolling 43,727 humans from a (presumed) wide spectrum of society to fill out forms weekly recounting from memory*** their coffee consumption (x 52 weeks = 2,273,804 collected forms/year x 16 years = 36,380,864 collected forms for the study)…
  • …WITHOUT HAVING SOME SORT OF PRE-CONCEIVED AGENDA IN MIND?
  • Can the original (and somewhat casual?) study protocols be adhered to over so many years through so many employees with any reliable degree of accuracy?
  • Oooo…   one more step:  let’s say 10 questions on the form; that would be 363,808,640 questions to be entered for the entire study.  Unless the forms were set up for automatic scanning input, that’s an awful lot of carpal tunnel syndrome…
  • …giving us yet another basis for a new grant-money-subsidized “health” study on the downside to such massive keyboard pecking:  carpal tunnel syndrome…   leg and back problems from sitting for so long…   eyestrain from flickering monitors…   marriage problems from the above-stated work-related stress…   which, in this case, could be attributed to coffee-induced stress by proxy.  (If litigators get wind of this, Dr. Snow-Job^ better have some big bank accounts.)
  • For this study, what participant status was designated to constitute DNFIR (Dead:  No Further Input Received)?  If a participant after, say, 8 years, decided to stop this nonsense and quit sending in the weekly questionnaire, was he listed as MIA, thus prompting a visit from a response team to locate and re-indoctrinate him?  Or, did an unimaginative clerk simply list him as KIA and stick him in the “dead” column as a victim of 4CAD/EDS, thus skewing the claimed results?  (If you have been paying attention, you know this is:  4Cups A Day/Early Death Syndrome.)
  • Was the program originally scheduled for 16 years, or did it just take 16 years to figure out how to string all those non-related data bits into a pearl-like necklace that would dazzle the media and, hopefully, the eventual check-signer of the new grant application (who, incidentally, will be harder to dazzle than the slutty Big P)?

TYSK 3.  IT IS THE NEGATIVE, UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS THAT HIT THE BIG HEADLINE

  • cause they are scary and attention-getting.  Lots of people drink coffee; lots of people are uneasy about death.
  • Just note how many “it is believed that (something negative)…,”   “maybe (something negative)…,”   “there are indications that (something negative)…,”   “It could be that (something negative)…,” etc.  etc. are thrown at you.   Can you spell u-n-s-u-b-s-t-a-n-t-i-a-t-e-d?
  • Just note the big-titled sources and mind-numbing statistics listed to give the article the feel of veracity in lieu of verifiable facts.
  • HOW FORTUITOUS for me:  a new release in this study of uncertainties provides an example of expert fear-mongering-for-publicity-space to enhance the status of (…please understand my loathing to use this word) “experts.”  Seems some group has determined that burned breakfast foods have been found to contain a (possibly) harmful substance; the FDA chimed in with a “maybe” warning.  They specified breakfast, so, I guess if you eat the burned toast at lunch you gonna be in the clear.

TYSK 4.  STUDIES ON A GIVEN SUBJECT ARE INTERMITTENT AND CYCLIC:  good, bad, good, bad, good…   you get the picture.

TYSK 5.  THE TIMING OF THE RELEASES AND WHY THEY ARE ALMOST ALWAYS COUNTER TO CURRENT PUBLIC THINKING

  • “Timing” is easy.  “We are running out of money for all the salaries being paid and need to show fruits of research in order to keep the grant bank open.  We want to keep this sweet gig going as long as possible.”
  • Why counter to public thinking?  In a few words, TO GET ATTENTION.  If you have a yellow announcement posted with a lot of other same shade yellow announcements (same old same old), your bid for the fabled 15-minutes of fame does not stand out and your opinion…   uh…   your biased assertions…   uh, hold on now, I think I’ve got it…   your “scientific conclusions” will go unappreciated.
  • Turf-marking amongst the elite “experts.”  Check with author Diana Gainer^^ (New Title 2:  The Human Journey, available at Amazon.com) who noted that, if you dig up old bones that have been previously named, no one remembers you.   If you can claim those bones are a new type, you get to name them and people remember you.  Authoritarians are no different from gangs or wild animal packs guarding their claimed territories assiduously.  Basically, that means…
  • THE RANKER YOUR MARKING MEDIUM (as attested to by Fido the dog and Tom the cat), THE MORE NOTICIBLE YOUR PERSONA.  Others get a whiff of you, and their ears perk up.

I guess I am old-fashioned; if you tell me with authority that PROBLEM “X” is going to kill me, I am expecting more in the way of reasons than “IT IS SUSPECTED THAT…,”   “MAYBE…,”   “THERE ARE INDICATIONS THAT…,”   and ‘IT COULD BE THAT…”   To me, those are all just variations of…

  • “Blow this up your butt and feel the burn — and, by the way, my name is DR. G. WHIZZ, with 2 z’s…   That’s right, TWO Z’s.  And, YES, I AM A DOCTOR!”

That was just a personal aside so that you feel I am close enough to share my dark side; in the interest of “truth in opinionating,” here is TYSK 6, which is my personal itch aggravated by the unholy union of gossip-journalism [which is (1) the typical genre of today’s info media, and (2) doing it for the money) and pseudo-science (which (1) is doing it for the money, and (2) can be grouped with pop-psychology).

  • TYSK 6.  That kind of crap REALLY pisses me off.  (And, judging from comments affixed to Jenny’s article, a lot of others feel the same way.)

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently provided background music for the gossip- and pseudo- adherents with its “burnt-stuff-for-breakfast” warning — lots of if, maybe, it could be, etc.  Next, we can expect to see litigator ambulance-chasing ads such as —

  • “If your bread or sausage, or that of a loved one living or dead, tends to burn when you over cook it, it is NOT your fault, nor that of your dead or living loved one.  YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION from the bakers and packers who failed to include FDA approved fire-retardants in the base mixtures.  Contact us at 1-800-FillMyPpockets.  We are…

(Here, you may insert one of the following proven client grabbersChristians…   Big Business Tamers…   Champions of the common people…   et cetera ad nauseum)

  • “…SO YOU CAN TRUST US TO GET YOU WHAT YOU DESERVE.”

 ________________________

*Obnoxious pop-ups

**Posting stuff on the web (my definition)

***Alluded to by Dr. Paul Euan, Executive Director of the British Coffee Association

^Dr. Carl Lavie, Oschner Medical Center, New Orleans

^^I do not know how the science community views Ms. Gainer, but, since she seems to use clarity of thought in her comparisons, I suspect she is persona-non-grata at the annual mutual-admiration meetings of the Science Boys Clubs.

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Myth: Vendor Overcharges to Government (Part 1)

Posted on March 23, 2013. Filed under: Journalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

5th in the series The Manipulators

Your words for the day:

  • The Great Unwashed = another euphemism for the general public; you know, the masses of political philosophy
  • schtick = that act each of us adopts to get through this brief, but trying, thing called life
  • yellow journalism = lurid, outlandish, and inflammatory “reporting”
  • tabloid tactics = see “yellow journalism”

Who hasn’t heard it?  A high-profile vendor OVERCHARGES some government agency.  A contractor (another word for vendor) submits UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES to the Defense Department.  Big business uses federal BAIL OUT MONEY to give millions IN BONUSES to its top executives.

Who hasn’t agreed with the Media that “this is some bad stuff” costing the taxpayers some serious money?  Such information releases are directed at us, The Great Unwashed, by journalists who adopt the persona of experts-in-all-matters-deemed-beneficial to “public awareness.”  The Press ( with the big P) has only the best interest of the public in mind as it strokes those proven hot buttons of public perception and pockets huge gate receipts as we, the public sheep, ante up for our tickets to their carnival sideshow.

I, like everyone else in this Society of The Great Unwashed, can be as gullible as anyone.  Do you purchase every rag sheet, tabloid, gaudy magazine, and newspaper that your gaze falls upon?  Or, do you simply note and absorb the blaring headline that, in a few words, engraves an impression into your consciousness?  You realize that analysis of the story line may actually say something different from that headline, but few of us have the will to read and analyze every bit of “news” that inundates us daily.  We are content to remember the “knee-jerk” stimulus and to secretly enjoy the “kick” we derived from it.

The good news is that, although gullible, we of the Great Unwashed are not overly stupid (even though, at any given moment, there are enough of us acting stupidly enough to imply an endemic class trait).  That means that all of us, from time to time, get to peek behind the stage curtain and get a glimpse of The Great and Powerful Oz,* and, by golly, realize that ol’ Oz is really just another one of us –The Great Unwashed — wearing the robes of deception…   ah, journalism…   I mean the robes of journalism.

Our “trusted” news sources are nothing more than fellow gullibles who got a paying job just like the rest of us.  Unlike the rest of us, they also got elevated to a higher plane of credibility, adopting the schtick of expert-in-everything (i.e., journalist).  As such, they drag with them the perception-skewing baggage of media-stressed common-knowledge they acquired when rubbing elbows with all of us lesser beings.  They just fatten up their own biases and make a buck out of it.  And, they call it “news.”

As the title of this article implies, my current axe to grind is the media staple of “big business’s gouging of government agencies for taxpayer money.”  I call it a media-perpetuated myth because of several reasons:

  • It takes two to tango
  • You get what you pay for
  • The paper trail
  • Caveat emptor

To perpetuate this myth and stir the media-purchasing public to…   well…   purchase…   media offerings, those realities are ignored by The Big Pee.  Instead, they go for a morality play wherein they decide who will be the villain and who will be the victim, while presenting themselves as the champion of what is right and good.  Basically, it is just yellow journalism and tabloid tactics to turn a buck…   and win some award, maybe.  But, mostly, it is just to make a buck.

Ignorance on the part of both the public and the writers is what gives this story line its perennial appeal.  The expert-in-everything journalist presents his story from the view of someone in the know, and the public (that be us) — freely confessing its ignorance on the matter — sits at the foot of the master, eagerly tossing coins into his tin cup.

_____________________

* The Big P

_____________________

Next up:  The Myth (Part 2)  The Office Depot gets skewered

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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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Yellow Journalism

Posted on May 6, 2012. Filed under: Journalism, language, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Yellow journalismSensational news-reporting.  A style of journalism that makes unscrupulous use of scandalous, lurid or sensational stories to attract readers.  Media using this style, collectively, are referred to as Yellow Press

Well, the definition speaks for itself.  Out of today’s enormous field of journalistic enterprises, those dealing in “sensation” stand out like a tart at a nuns’ convention.  They are too easy to spot, but, then, it’s not like they’re really trying to hide, since being noticed is the goal.  Today we call them tabloids… celebrity updates… the evening news…

Not just fringe media.  Even the big boys of broadcast lean to the lurid, pretend “news.”  Most recently, down in a big city on the Gulf Coast, there was this hit-and-run thing;  actually, it was an alleged sideswipe of a parked car (not a collision, not a fender bender, not an injury) at low speed in a parking zone as one driver, allegedly, tried to leave a bar.  How many hundreds of those happen every month without making the local evening news? 

But the owner of the scraped car said he saw who did it, and, it was mmffmnfm lxrrmfs, a well-known conservative talk show host.  Hot dog!  NOW, we got some news.

After the story broke, by  golly, we got some bona fide video that (allegedly) places our subject at an establishment in the area.  Look, there he is,  alone, carrying a bottle (beer?) and making his way toward the exit.  That’s all that’s in the video.  Can’t tell which, or what kind of, establishment.  So, all we got so far is a scraped car and a witness who says he saw who did it, video footage apparently showing the named suspect leaving someplace (his only companion a… beer?… bottle) with the time-stamp just before the alleged time of the alleged damage.  Those are the facts, ma’am.

BUT WAIT!  THERE’S MORE!  The security footage, according to the voice-over, is said to be from a nearby bar.  Not impressed?  Get this:  it is a bar frequented by GAY persons.  Thus, the moniker “gay bar.”  Every time we (remember?… we…   the stupid masses?) were updated on the “ongoing investigation,”  we also got to hear the term GAY BAR vigorously delivered at least 5 times per update in association with the name of this alleged heinous perpetrator.  Never did  find out if the subject was:  gay, married, a father, a Catholic, agnostic, football fan, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, evolutionist, a brother, an Elk, marathon runner, vegetarian, or even if he was hungry a lot.  Any and all of those  are as relevant to the alleged property damage as the fact that there was a gay bar nearby.  Not relevant, but, by golly, loudly proclaiming GAY BAR just had to keep audiences glued to the television.  It must have been the first high for those ALLEGED reporters since they got to say “penis” over and over some years ago on the morning, afternoon , and evening news hours.

Remember cars rigged by a documentary producer to explode when impacted by another vehicle to “prove” car manufacturer negligence?  How about the super market chain selling out-of-date meats, only, it was the “reporter” who switched labels on the packaging?  [Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”   -Sir Walter Scot]

Next:  Does the yellow ever go away?

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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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