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The Evil Twins

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   2 comments
Message Gail Lakritz

In order to fix a problem, you must first recognize there is a problem.

This was my conclusion to a discussion on one of those "friends" lists. Everyone had an opinion of the present administration and the handling of the many crisis situations it has had to face. Right after composing that sentence, I dashed off to the minimart which gave me time to reflect on what I had written.

On more than one occasion, I have self-admitted to a limited use of the vast amounts of the gray matter that has been bestowed upon me. However, this one thought had so clarified a situation in my mind, that I did not need all the brains in the world to fully understand what I had just espoused.

I hear all the time from people who have attempted to report corruption in their own communities to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. To the last one, they are ignored, sometimes with a vengeance, by those they attempt to report to. No longer does the FBI and those it employs wish to focus on corruption, or so it appears. Their stated area of concern has backed away from the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) as it pertains to homegrown criminal organizations.

"The very heart of FBI operations lies in our investigations--which serve, as our mission states, "to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to enforce the criminal laws of the United States."[i]

Their list of targeted criminal organizations only mentions those having offshore roots. Who says a guy named John Smith is any less apt to be corrupt than one named Marco Rossi or Sergei Ivanov? It looks like the FBI is guilty of nationality bias and profiling.

I realize that terrorism is a deadly problem, but allow me to use a similar analogy what I used with my friends, and possibly expound on it.

Suppose you are the CEO of the largest consumer products company, Housewives Best Friend. HBF makes everything from baby food to rocking chairs. As CEO, you are expected to be involved in the operations of the company, but you are not expected to micromanage every facet of the operations. You might be involved in the promotion of a product, such as a new flavor of baby food, but you are not expected to go to the facility that manufactures it every day and mash, mix, cook, bottle, label and ship every jar ever produced. You have people to do that. And if a customer complains that one of the thousands of jars made every year is short weighted, you have management to handle the complaint.

There is, as with all large corporations and governments, layers of management that filter and insulate those at the top from problems at the bottom.

Now suppose that there is a group of people who are employed at the HBF baby food facility in Deer Snoot, Michigan. They have just lost benefits in the new labor contract. A group of employees get together and decide, to make up for the lost benefits, to sabotage production by short weighting all the jars of mashed carrots. They can sell off the excess product to a competitor. It is an act of corporate terrorism.

All complaints on baby food pass through one person in customer service. It is her responsibility to decide when a problem is large enough to bring it to the attention of upper management. When she first notices that the complaints of short weighting on carrots are on the rise, she does as she is supposed to, and investigates the production line. While investigating, the leader of the renegade employees approaches her and uses their friendship as a bargaining chip. She agrees to close her eyes to the problem. He has used his influence to set-up corruption component.

HBF is now suffering from the evil twins. One cannot exist without the other. There is always someone who knows about the terrorism and someone who has to hide it. Because of the layers of information filters, the CEO may not aware of the problem until market share drops so low that it is impossible to recover.

This is what is happening in our government. We have lost our market share in governing. The FBI, the customer service component, has agreed, if only tacitly, to short weighting.

Lack of investigation of reported corruption can leave our country venerable to terrorism from within. Not all terrorists sport exploding underwear. There are those who, for money, influence or bias, will make decisions that affect the lives of many people, not just the few who stand before them.

On a corporate level, we have seen it with Massey Energy and British Petroleum. Our government has allowed the energy lobby to make and enforce our laws. In the last two months, 34 people may have lost their lives as a result of the alleged corruption. I am sure, given the heavy handed methods both companies appeared to employ directly following the tragedies, the families of the dead and the survivors of both accidents feel they are suffering from terrorism.

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Survivor of and activist against violence on women. In America, only 5% of rapists are convicted. 32% of women live in domestically violent situations with no way out. Courts are less likely to believe charges of sexual abuse of children made by (more...)
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