Sunday, September 20, 2009


Recently there has been a horde of news regarding the ill-advised wrongdoings of a small number of Acorn employees. What this handful of Acorn employees did was dumber than a grocery clerk accepting a seven dollar bill from a patron to pay for their groceries. With that said, I would like to focus on how the right wing Republicans distribute their racism toward predominantly Black ran organizations, as opposed to predominantly White ran organizations. Everyday Foxnews remind us of how dumb those few Acorn employees were; now every news outlet has followed Foxnews lead on this story. Even the House and the Senate has joined the fray against Acorn. The Senate recently voted to prohibit HUD from giving Acorn anymore federal housing money; and the U.S. Census Bureau dropped Acorn as a partner. House Republican leader John Boehner recently asked President Obama to cut off all federal funding to Acorn stating, “It is evident that Acorn is incapable of using federal funds in a manner consistent with the law.” It has to be noted that a lot of Acorn’s troubles came during the last election for hiring voter registration workers who turned in phony names (again a few dumb employees).

Now let’s ponder how the media, the House, and the Senate handled Halliburton after discovering Halliburton’s escapades as related to receiving federal funds. 2001 Halliburton won a contract from the Department of Defense (DOD) to provide “emergency services” to the Pentagon. Bids were taken from five different competitors, Halliburton won the low bid. There was nothing illegal or irregular about this process, but the contract won by Halliburton could very much explain former Vice President Dick Cheney and his gang on the real truth why America went to war with Iraq; but we’ll leave that to argue at a another time. This could get a little wordy, but it’s important to cover the facts so the reader will truly understand the premise of the comparison of Acorn and Halliburton by the media, the House, and the Senate.

Let’s deal with some facts, it’s a fact that all of Halliburton’s employees hired to fulfill this contract of “emergency services” were civilians. The fact is, civilian employees of private firms cannot be ordered into a war zone. Halliburton and its subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR) were to supply air conditioned Quonset Huts to the U.S. troops for summer 2003; they failed to do so. When the guerrilla war broke out, Halliburton civilian employees refused to go to U.S. positions and build Quonset Huts and install air conditioning. As a result, U.S. troops had the appearance of “homeless transients and smelled like pigs” was the words of a soldier, as their shaving cream cans exploded in the 140 degree heat. If on the other hand when I was in the military during the Vietnam War (3rd Marines, 9th Marines Division), U.S. troops would have been assigned to build the Quonset Huts and install the air condition units, could have easily been accomplished. However, Halliburton was paid for the Quonset Huts and air condition units by taxpayer dollars; no scrutiny by the media, and not one call to cut funds for Halliburton by the House or the Senate.

July 2006 Pentagon auditors found over $1 billion in questionable costs under the “emergency services” contract. Current and former employees described instances where Halliburton overcharged U.S. taxpayers by paying $45 per case of soda, $100 for a standard cleaning of laundry, and $80,000 for brand new Mercedes trucks that were torched because of minor equipment problems. In another report by former Halliburton employees, it was revealed the company was delivering contaminated and unhealthy water to unsuspecting U.S. soldiers throughout Iraq on a regular basis. Despite of the evidence provided by former Halliburton employees and actual soldiers in the field, on July 28th 2006 the Army awarded Halliburton $5 million as part of a $54 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-award-fee contract. I’ll explain exactly what a firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-award-fee contract is later. But yet, nothing from the media, and not one word from the House or the Senate to look into this abuse. The incidents of abuse goes on and on.

September 8, 2006 Halliburton's KBR subsidiary in Iraq billed millions to U.S. taxpayers for nonexistent recreational activities, a company whistleblower revealed in a lawsuit. Julie McBride was employed by KBR as a "morale, welfare, and recreation" coordinator at a Marine base in Fallujah, Iraq. McBride revealed the military was billed according to the number of Marines that used KBR's recreation facility, but the company deliberately and falsely inflated the number of Marines that used the facility. For example, a Marine who used a computer in the recreation center was counted as one customer, but if that Marine subsequently used the weight room, he would be counted as two customers. The center included a weight room, video games, Internet cafe, library, and phone bank. This wasn’t double billing or triple billing, but quadruple billing. The Pentagon auditor’s have concluded that millions of dollars have been submitted by Halliburton for “recreation services” that has never been provided. Once again, the media, the House, and the Senate silent on what Ms. McBride revealed.

The most blood-chilling incident of all of Halliburton’s negligence resulted in the death of our soldiers. The Department of Defense paid former Halliburton subsidiary KBR more than $80 million in bonuses for contracts to install electrical wiring in Iraq. The award payments were for the very work that resulted in the electrocution deaths of U.S. soldiers. More than $30 million in bonuses were paid months after the death of Sgt. Ryan Maseth, a highly decorated, 24-year-old Green Beret, who was electrocuted while taking a shower at a U.S. base in January 2008.

James Childs, a master electrician hired by the Army to review electrical work in Iraq during 2008, testified that KBR's work in Iraq was the "most hazardous, worst quality work" he'd ever seen. He said his investigation found improper wiring in "every" building KBR wired in Iraq (of which there are thousands) and that KBR's rewiring work in buildings that were previously safely wired resulted in the electrical system becoming unsafe. Childs said that KBR did not do any work "according to code." He also testified that the same risks exist in Afghanistan, which he recently visited. "While doing inspections in Afghanistan, I found the exact same code violations," Childs said.

Eric Peters, a master electrician who worked for KBR in Iraq as recently as 2009, said that 50 percent of the KBR-managed buildings he saw were not properly wired. "I worried every day people would be injured or killed as a result of this work," Peters testified. He estimated that at least half the electricians hired by KBR--many of them cheaper-costing Third Country Nationals (TCNs)--to service the U.S. military in Iraq would not have been hired to work in the United States, saying they were not trained in U.S. or U.K. electrical standards. TCNs--from places like India, Bangladesh and Bosnia--are estimated to have done some 60 percent of the electrical work for KBR in Iraq. Peters charged that KBR allowed trainees to take notes in to certification tests, making it very easy to be cleared for work. Peters also charged that KBR "frowned upon" any refusal to sign off on work that Peters deemed incomplete or unsafe. Peters and others who testified said that "all over theater," meaning everywhere in Iraq, KBR would effectively double-bill U.S. taxpayers by leaving electrical work half-done or incorrectly done and then billing taxpayers again to repair its own shoddy work. Peters characterized KBR managers as "completely unqualified" and said he is not a "disgruntled former employee" but rather a "disgusted former employee."

It’s amazing it took the death of our brave soldiers for the media, the House, and the Senate to take a close look at Halliburton. But that’s all they did, took a look and nothing else. No calls for suspending all taxpayer dollars to Halliburton, now compare that to what the media, the House, and the Senate is declaring on Acorn. One group had a few empoyees that committed some stupid dumb acts that led to the group revealing themselves in need to take a closer look at the people they employ; but led to no loss of life by the employees work. Another group cheated American taxpayers out of billions of dollars, and their employees shabby work led to our troops death. Now take a guess at what group the media, the House, and the Senate is scrutinizing the most, and voting to cut-off all government funds. I’ll give you a hint, one group is predominately ran by Whites, and one group is predominately ran by Blacks; this should be easy for anyone with common sense to figure out.

As promised, I’ll try to explain how Halliburton outright stole millions of taxpayer dollars with their firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-award-fee contract. Firm-fixed-price is essentially a contract that provides for a price which normally is not subject to any change. The cost-plus-award-fee part is really how the money gets stolen. The cost-plus-award-fee contract should be used when work to be performed is neither feasible nor effective to devise predetermined objective incentive targets applicable to cost, technical performance, or schedule; Halliburton achieved neither of the afore mentioned goals, but was paid anyway. This type of contract encourages exceptional performance and provides the government with the flexibility to evaluate both performance and the conditions under which it was achieved without incurring additional administrative efforts and cost. Our government under the guidance of former Vice President Dick Cheney showed absolutely no flexibility to evaluate performance. Cost-plus-award-fee contracts provide for evaluation at stated intervals during performance, so that the contractor can be periodically informed of the performance quality and, when necessary, areas in which improvements are required. Partial payment of award fee generally corresponds to the evaluation periods. This is an effective tool that encourages the contractor to either improve poor performance or to continue good performance. As all of us now know, our government ignored any and everything Halliburton did to do everything that a cost-plus-award-fee contract was to suppose to do to protect taxpayer dollars.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Taxpayer March On Washington"

Saturday September 12, 2009, Freedomworks a group of Teabaggers organized a march on Washington and dubbed their rally as "Taxpayers March on Washington". What I saw was a sea of White people sprinkled by a handful of brainwashed people of color. Somebody should have informed these ignorant group of people that one of the first things President Obama did when he took office, was lower taxes for the middle class below what taxes has been in eight years. The people at the rally are so blinded by hatred for President Obama, they fail to realize the Government Option offered by the President's Health Plan would benefit ninety percent of Americans.

I know it's politically incorrect to point out that these people are not protesting against higher taxes or government spending. What these people are really protesting against is, America have a Black man as President. I'm not so naive to ignore the fact that there was no way President Obama would have won the Presidency without a lot of White people voting for him. Everybody know, including the Teabaggers, there are only a handful of these angry White people and brainwashed people of color protesting against the President. I often hear these people calling in to cspan during the segment Washington Journal, complaining about because they disagree with the President they're deemed racists. These are the same people who dubbed people that disagreed with the Iraq war as unpatriotic, must feel good getting some of your medicine thrown back in your face.

My question for Uncle Toms like Mason Weaver, Deneen Borelli, and Lloyd Marcus, where were your march on Washington when George Bush was lowering taxes on the rich, and spending over two billion dollars a week on the Iraq war; while not paying for none of it? The same question goes to the Teabaggers also. As for the wannabe rappers on the stage trying to rap about how much they support the troops, it's insulting to the troops for cowards to be rapping about how they support the troops and the only support they show is to tie a ribbon around a tree. I'm a Marine Veteran (3rd Marines; 9th Marines Division) so I've earned the right to call you cowards out.

The best thing the Teabaggers can do is stop doing their dumb impression of Joe The Plumber, and as for the brainwashed Uncle Toms, they need to start thinking on their own and stop allowing their masters to pull their string and make them do some kind of Bojangles dance.