Monday, April 24, 2006

10 Worst Corporations

The annual list here. Two to get you started:

BP: In March, 15 workers were incinerated, and more than 170 injured, following an explosion at BP's sprawling refinery in Texas City, Texas. It was the third fatal accident at the Texas City BP facility in the last four years. Nationwide, BP's facilities have had more than 3,565 accidents since 1990, ranking first in the nation, according to a 2004 report by the Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG).
Halliburton: The company has effectively made a business model of crooked dealing with the U.S. government. Getting caught, over and over, doesn't seem to affect things much. In February, the U.S. Army agreed to pay Halliburton's KBR subsidiary nearly $2 billion for work that nobody can prove ever took place. In March, the company revealed that the U.S. Justice Department opened a criminal inquiry into possible bid-rigging on foreign contracts by Halliburton. In June, at a Congressional hearing, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, then the senior contracting specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers, testified, "I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR [Halliburton's subsidiary] represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career." And the list of abuses goes on and on...
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31 comments:

El Duque said...

Superfrankenstein,

I'd rather work the graveyard shift at Haliburton than be paid to rub Liz Taylor's feet.

I just thought it needed to be said.

spysmasher said...

Superfrankenstein,

This is the type of boring post that has lead me to greatly reduce MY posts here. Why? This site is dreadfully predictable, and thus very boring.

Bush = Evil

Jesus = To be mocked

Halliburton = Satan

etc... etc... etc....

SF, you're still repeating talking points from two years ago, and it's SO tired. All you do is say Bush is evil in every post. It's boring, and so are you, Johnny one-note.

"Hi, I'm Superfrankenstein, and Bush is evil."

"What time is it? Five o'clock, and Bush is evil."

"Nice day? Not when bush is evil."

"Political event? It must be related to Bush being evil!"

"Breaking news!!! Bush is evil!!!"

It's all you say, it's all you think, it's all you know.

B... O.. R... I... N... G.

El Duque said...

Spymaster,

But what if Bush IS evil?

Have you thought of that?

If so, good people must fight this evil. To slacken just one minute would allow the evildoer to do more acts of evil.

We learned this from your boy, George.

Superfrankenstein said...

If spysmasher's bored, then we've all done our jobs! Congratulations, everyone! Let's keep it up!

(And here I was worried that he'd find the Hasselhoff quote amusing.)

spysmasher said...

If you feel Bush is evil, then I ask you to post SPECIFIC things he has done that are evil. I've argued everyone here into silence because you liberals simply cannot be specific!

When challenged, you evade the issue, make lame jokes or sarcastic remarks, or retreat into vague generalities. All while proclaiming you COULD list specifics, but suddenly "don't have the time."

All you know is "Bush is evil." But if that's true, as I said, please post SPECIFIC things Bush has done that are "evil." No vague generalities! I'll be checking your facts, so don't try the usual liberal lies and false talking points.

(You probably won't even TRY to reply. Pondering actual specifics of issues tends to make liberal's heads explode.)

Superfrankenstein said...

duque

I thought every shift at Halliburton was the graveyard shift.

Superfrankenstein said...

spysmasher, if life were a Fantastic Four comic, you'd have a lawn sign that says "Welcome Galactus."

spysmasher said...

"Welcome Galactus."

Is that a specific evil thing Bush did?

As I said...

"When challenged, you evade the issue, make lame jokes or sarcastic remarks."

PREDICTABLE.

BORING.

YOU.

Superfrankenstein said...

What, me boring? But you seem fascinated.

El Duque said...

Superfrankenstein,

You know, I couldn't figure out what about your posting made me think of rubbing Liz Taylor's feet. Then it came to me:

Haliburton. Richard Burton.

Oh, and starting an optional war, that's pretty evil. I guess good people can do rotten things. Wars are supposed to be choices of last resort. A president should rather rub Liz Taylor's feet than start a war.

spysmasher said...

"If you feel Bush is evil, then I ask you to post SPECIFIC things he has done that are evil. I've argued everyone here into silence because you liberals simply cannot be specific!"

--------

As predicted, vague generalities and "witty" remarks -- no substance though. No specifics. On this site, or any liberal site, NEVER any specifics. (That takes actual thinking.)

I win again!

Superfrankenstein said...

Actually, el duque gave you a specific answer. I wouldn't waste my time typing one out, because you just proved you're too fuckin' stupid to read it.

Jersey Shore said...

Spysmasher said:

“If you feel Bush is evil, then I ask you to post SPECIFIC things he has done that are evil. I've argued everyone here into silence because you liberals simply cannot be specific!”

Okay.

Deliberate lie number one, on Ocotber 2, 2002:

“The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.”

Retrieved from Bushie’s own White House, right here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html

Here’s a headline dated April 26, 2005 from FOX NEWS. FOX, of course can hardly be accused of being part of the “liberal media”:

Iraq WMD Inspectors End Search, Find Nothing

WASHINGTON — Wrapping up his investigation into Saddam Hussein's purported arsenal, the CIA's top weapons hunter in Iraq said his search for weapons of mass destruction "has been exhausted" without finding any.

Retrieved from:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,154574,00.html

Here is the latest Iraq body count. (Sorry, it’s from that liberal CNN. But, they get their figures from the Pentagon, so complain to them. And, I couldn’t find any casualty figures at the Washington (Moonie) Times website):
Eight soldiers have been killed over the weekend, bringing the number of U.S. service members and military civilians killed in the Iraq war to 2,390.
Retrieved from:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/04/23/iraq.main/index.html

Here’s one more specific, evil thing that Bush has done:

Abu Gharib

Don’t say he didn’t know. Of course he did. He’s commander in Chief. If he really didn’t, then we wasn’t doing the job he was morally obligated to do. He took an oath before God, remember?

Bush.

Evil.

(Boy, some people just walk around with signs on their backs, sayng, "Kick me hard.")

spysmasher said...

DEAR JERSEY SHORE -

I thank you for your specifics. They prove nothing, but at least you tried.

All you said was that Bush initially said there were WMD, and it turned out there weren't. Also that people have been killed in the war.

How are these things EVIL?

If thinking Iraq had WMD was evil, then the following people are also evil: Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, John Kerry, the CIA, Europe, and on and on and on. They ALL said the same.

As for the deaths in the war... again, how is this evil? People VOLUNTEERED to join the military, and are reenlisting in record numbers. Those who have done duty in Iraq are reenlisting in EVEN HIGHER numbers!

But you, sitting in the safety of your home -- you, who have never even BEEN to Iraq, you seem to think you know better than they do. Typical liberal.

Bush is evil? To people like Superfrankenstein, yes -- because they have one-track minds, and cannot absorb ANY new information without first putting a "Bush is evil" spin on it. They live and breathe "Bush is evil," and can think of little else.

But for those of us who have lives and live in reality -- the American economy is BOOMING, and we have not been attacked since 9/11.

You have utterly failed to prove your point.

Next?

spysmasher said...

I forgot to discuss. Abu Gharib.

So, Bush knew about that, huh?

He probably even ordered it, right?

"Hey Rumsfeld! I want a dozen naked prisoners piled up and photographed! With dog leashes! It's the most EVIL thing I can think of, because I'm so dumb, and like Hitler!"

A totally plausible scenario.

(If you're a retard, that is.)

By the way... about that oath... does that cover discussing sending troops into battle while getting a blow-job, like Clinton did? Just asking.

Superfrankenstein said...

Please, dear god, let him be 14...

spysmasher said...

"When challenged, you evade the issue, make lame jokes or sarcastic remarks."

So predictable.

So boring.

So totally idea-free.

You.

El Duque said...

Spysmasher,

The reason so many people believed Iraq had WMD was their President told them so, from the bottom of his heart, and they didn't believe the President could be so deceitful or so incompetent.

I appreciate you setting the record straight on evil. I really don't think Bush is evil. He's just in over his head, WAY OVER his head. And the people who got him there have always been working on hidden agendas. Throughout his life, that's the common denominator.

You can't seem to stand anybody saying bad things about your boy. Well, you better get used to it, my friend, because this isn't a bad month or two-week losing jag. This is history being made. This is his legacy, and that war is going to be a bigger ball-and-chain around his neck than anything Nixon ever had to drag for Watergate. This war is going to do more damage to the Republican Party than 10 Abramoff scandals, back to back.

You say the economy is booming? What planet are you posting from? The price of gasoline is killing us. The government statistics have been changed so much that they measure only projections of past projected measurements. Are you pointing to a number and saying, "Look at how good everything is?" That won't cut it.

And if you're a real conservative, how do justify the hot checks being cut by the government? Do you think the deficit just goes away and never has to be paid? Conservatives were supposed to fight that stuff. They were the ones who stopped the liberals from building bridges to nowhere.

I'm trying not to be "sarcastic" or "witty" at your expense. Do you really want to discuss stuff? or do you want to troll... that is, to insult the other side just so you feel better about yourself. Suit yourself. But get used to hearing bad things about your boy. The worst is yet to come.

spysmasher said...

Duque--

I’m hardly upset about everyone saying bad things about “my boy.” As if I care what a bunch of non-thinking liberals say!

You may THINK you are “discussing the issues, but all you’re doing is repeating tired talking liberal points that simply are not true.

For example, you said, "You say the economy is booming? What planet are you posting from?"

Answer: Earth. Ever visit it? You can always select weak spots in any economy, but it’s best to look at the BIG picture. The numbers that take into account the WHOLE country.

And on planet earth, in America, the big picture is this: Despite high gas prices -- which are still far lower than they are in Europe and elsewhere -- America currently has the best ecomomy in the entire WORLD, RECORD low unemployment, a housing BOOM, and LOW inflation!

It’s not like I’m making this up. The stats are there. They’re all over! In fact, high gas prices are among the VERY few weak spots in the current economy. You say, “Are you pointing to a number and saying, "Look at how good everything is? That won't cut it.”

But if this were true, we would have no means whatsoever of judging our economy. So how would you know it’s bad? Stats and numerical data ARE all we have. Shall we disband the professions that use this data because YOU say it’s all wrong? Outlaw accounts and economists? Dismissing all data as useless is a non-starter, and quite ridiculous.

The fact is, we are in a BOOM. Yes, yes, I know, Bush is a horribly incompetent sub-moronic liar etc. etc. -- but still -- the fact remains -- America is enjoying an ecomomic BOOM.

Here are some headlines to ponder:

"The US remains the main engine of growth for the world economy."

Source: Financial Times http://us.ft.com/ftsuperpage/superpage.php?news_id=fto041920061855535013&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=NewsKW

The March 2006 unemployment rate ended up matching January's jobless rate, which was the lowest in 4 1/2 years.

Source: USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2006-04-07-march-employment_x.htm


”Pessimists will have to wait as housing boom rolls on.

Source: CSMonitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1112/p01s03-usec.html


I think they proves my point. There are hundreds more like them. Strangely, none saying we are in a recession or depression. Wonder why.

Thanks for trying. Next time, though, you’d do better if you avoided basing your arguments on stale liberal talking points that have been discredited for many years now.

Try reading a VARIETY of news sources. You might learn something!

spysmasher/ Quin Hillyer said...

I think this article by Quin Hillyer says it all.

Memo to Mr. and Mrs. Media: No matter how many times you report that the American middle class is getting "squeezed," you're just flat-out wrong.

This past Sunday's Parade magazine featured the latest attempt by the mainstream media to deny the self-evident truth that the American economy right now is booming. Before dissecting Parade's story, it's worth reviewing the real statistics. All the traditional measurements are not just solid, but spectacular: Unemployment is at a low, low 4.7 percent; the average inflation rate has been under 4 percent for years now; interest rates that seem high today (prime rate on a 10-year T-bond right around 5 percent) are, by historical standards, incredibly low. The economy is producing jobs lickety-split and, just yesterday, the latest consumer confidence report showed that measure of public financial optimism to be at its highest rate in four years.

In the face of this abundance of good news, Parade produces a tendentious poll that it selectively (mis)interprets to ask, in big headlines, "Is the American Dream Still Possible?" -- and then to answer that the "comfortable and contented lifestyle" that once characterized the American middle class "is harder to achieve and maintain." After a series of illustrative semi-hard-luck stories, the article closes by quoting a New Mexico woman to the effect that "The American Dream is a bygone thing." She and her husband, you see, net just $50,000 per year, and they have a seven-year old daughter who is deaf in one ear and goes to a private school that costs $3,600 each school year.

What's the supposed evidence from the poll that things are so hard? Well, you see, 47 percent of those polled who have household incomes between $30,000 and $99,000 per year "say that no matter how hard they work, they cannot get ahead." And "almost two-thirds say they live from paycheck to paycheck." Meanwhile, real median household income is down, reports Parade. And "the percentage of households earning $25,000 to $99,999 (roughly middle-income range) shrank 1.5 percent." And credit card-debt is at an all-time high, and college tuition is too high, and "the savings rate for Americans is the lowest it has been in 73 years." And so on.

But here's the rub: The first two figures are for years 2000-2004, so they include the post-tech-crash, 9/11-influenced recession, but they exclude the huge boom of 2005. Also, the figure on the supposedly shrinking middle class (wow, a whole whopping 1.5 percent -- oh my!!) leaves out the most crucial information: In which direction did the shrinking occur? Did the 1.5 percent of Americans who no longer fall in that arbitrary income range sink below the range -- or, more likely, did they rise above it? If the formerly middle-income earners are now upper-earners...well, uh, what, exactly, is the problem?


ALSO MISSING IS ANY comparative data. Is it actually unusual for 47 percent of middle-class earners to feel they are running in place financially rather than "get[ting] ahead"? (How many of those feel they are falling behind?) Is it unusual for 66 percent to think they live paycheck to paycheck? If those same question were asked, say, 25 years ago and again 15 years ago and the numbers in those years were much smaller, then that would be a sign of an increasing feeling of being "squeezed." But with no old apples to compare to these new apples, it's impossible to tell if the new ones are wormy or just par for the middle-class course.

Then there's the nearly useless information about the low "savings rate" in American households. A very quick Google search yielded a plethora of news articles and columns, from a variety of sources (i.e., not just conservative ones), explaining why the official measure of household savings is not terribly useful -- specifically, why it makes matters look far, far worse than they are. First and most importantly, the measurement excludes increases in the value of assets such as stocks and private homes. It also excludes employer contributions to 401(k) plans. In other words, what most Americans consider to be their nest eggs -- especially in this age of record-high home ownership levels and record-high stock ownership, especially in retirement plans -- doesn't even count, by official statistics, as thousands of dollars (or even pennies) saved for a rainy day.

Last year the Federal Reserve reported that the average U.S. household has a net worth of more than $400,000. In most people's minds, that's a lot of money saved. And last August, raging-moderate economics columnist Robert J. Samuelson, known for his doom-and-gloom outlook, noted that the low savings rate is belied by these statistics: "From 1985 to March of this year, Americans' mutual funds and stocks rose from $1.3 trillion to $10 trillion; over the same period, real-estate values jumped from $4.6 trillion to $17.7 trillion. Once you consider these value changes, most Americans don't look so irresponsible."

Finally, Business Week columnist Michael Mandel complains that the official measurement counts money spent on education and research-and-development as, well, spending, rather than as investments. He argues that they amount to a "hidden savings rate" that should be credited to our economy -- and notes that "the U.S. far outperforms its major industrialized rivals" in such useful investments.


NOW, BACK TO THE PARADE STORY. The Sunday magazine does dutifully report, but seems not to understand the import, of several encouraging statistics. It highlights, for instance, the supposedly disturbing news (which is actually a measure of the impressions of those surveyed, not of actual economic data) that 57 percent of what the magazine defines as middle-class respondents "say they believe that the middle class in America is decreasing." But the magazine doesn't see the contradiction between that finding and its passing note that, of the 2,200 Americans surveyed (this was before the pollster then self-selected for the $30,000-$99,000 range), "fully 84 percent described themselves as belonging to the middle class."

If so many Americans self-describe themselves as middle-class, while a majority of the what the magazine defines as middle-class respondents think the middle-class is actually shrinking, this shows nothing more than that the polled Americans have been bombarded with so much media-driven scaremongering about a shrinking middle-class that they have begun to believe it's true. True, that is, for other people out there, because an astonishing 84 percent of them, remember, believe that they themselves are indeed middle-class.

Finally, Parade also reports, but as if the numbers are a mere anomaly in their tale of woe rather than as if they are the real story of the poll, the following encouraging results:

- The average households polled "own a home and at least two cars, and they are able to take vacations."

- "Almost three-quarters of the middle-class respondents surveyed say they take responsibility for their own financial destiny and believe they will succeed or fail based on their own efforts." ("Still," Parade hastens to add in the very next sentence, "many are downsizing their dreams."

- "More than 52% of middle-class Americans think that they're better off than their parents were."

- "80% say they believe it is still possible to achieve the American dream." (!!!)

And no wonder. Americans' sense of what is "normal" has changed a great deal over the years. So many things once thought of as luxuries are now considered necessities. Americans have bigger homes, more gadgets and trinkets, and more access to more types of entertainment than ever before. And Americans buy more food at restaurants (or pre-cooked take-out meals from grocery stores) than they did 20 years ago (and thus pay more for food, rather than pay less to cook at home), and probably (I can't find the statistics) far more than was the case 30 or 40 years ago.


INDEED, A NEWLY RELEASED SURVEY by ACNielsen shows that Americans recognize that dining out is an expendable luxury, which means the "squeeze" for supposed necessities is somewhat self-selected: "In the United States… consumers cited cutting down on take-out meals as their most popular cost-cutting method." (Worldwide, the survey showed that the supposedly imperiled middle-class wouldn't suffer if their finances seemed tight; instead, they would just "cut down on out-of-home entertainment and spend less on new clothes.")

In other words, the apparent problem isn't one of economic hardship, but of lifestyle choices and changed cultural expectations. What once would have seemed luxurious now feels, to many middle-class Americans, to be almost an entitlement.

All of which helps explain why, with the national economy booming to an incredible degree, President George W. Bush seems to receive no credit for the good news: Americans don't realize just how good things are.

It's especially hard for them to realize it when the mainstream media keeps using pretzel-twisted logic and misleading headlines to convince them that their livelihoods are frighteningly imperiled. But the truth is that the American Dream isn't merely alive and well, it's actually not even a dream. Instead, the beautiful dream is reality right here and now -- no matter what the headline writers say.

(Quin Hillyer is executive editor of The American Spectator.)

Superfrankenstein said...

This spysomething person who claims not to care what we think just posted three times in the last half hour.

It's nice that you folks care enough to try to calmly reason with her/him. Jersey & duque, I loved what you wrote.

But a troll is a troll. Feed it and it will shit all over you.

Anonymous said...

You know, I only occasionally check out this blog. Why? I sometimes enjoy SF's sense of irony and the funny photos. Overall, his politics are secondary to the humor (I think), and pose no real threat to our social order.

So, Spysmasher, why do you give a shit? What compels you to be such an ass? If indeed you are of voting age, vote for whom you wish. Really, it has nothing to do with politics or logical argument. Don't let me evade the issue--you strike me as someone who would be really annoying to be around.

It makes me wonder--if you had the power to do whatever you wanted to the "liberals" of the world, just what would you do? Let's talk about real change, dude. Give us something exciting and new.

Bush isn't evil. He's just a crappy manager. However, I am a bit worried about you.

Jersey Shore said...

“People VOLUNTEERED to join the military, and are reenlisting in record numbers.”

Of course. Here’s why:
Army Stops Many Soldiers From Quitting
Orders Extend Enlistments to Curtail Troop Shortages
Retrieved from:

http://www.sullivan-county.com/bush/soldiers.htm

Ah, yes! Nothing but lies and half-truths in the Neocon Universe!

“But you, sitting in the safety of your home -- you, who have never even BEEN to Iraq, you seem to think you know better than they do. Typical liberal.”

I’m a Viet Nam era Veteran. That means that – while I didn’t serve there – there was always the possibility that I could be sent there and put in harm’s way. THAT’S your typical liberal.

Your typical conservatives, like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’reilly, Dick “Five Deferments” Cheney, Tom Delay, etc. somehow never bothered to get into a uniform. George Bush was doing beer runs for the Texas Air National Guard – when he wasn’t AWOL. And I don’t think YOU’RE wearing a uniform and writing from Iraq, either.

“You have utterly failed to prove your point.”

No.

You refuse to see the truth when it is pointed out – and documented – to you. Bush had a hard on for Saddam since before he became president. As a result of him deliberately lying and refusing to see ALL the facts as presented to him, he has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis.

It’s called “the banality of evil.”

spysmasher said...

Jersey Shore,

Well, at least you didn't try to refute the fact that we are in an economic BOOM right now, so I am making progress here.

You say recruitment is setting record because the army is not letting people out. Way to miss the point! The point being, when they CAN get out... they are NOT!

Two of every three eligible soldiers continue to re-enlist, putting the Army, which has endured most of the fighting in Iraq, ahead of its annual goal.

"The Army was 15% ahead of its re-enlistment goal of 34,668 for the first six months of fiscal year 2006, which ended March 31. More than 39,900 soldiers had re-enlisted, according to figures scheduled to be released today by the Army."

SOURCE: USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-04-09-army-re-enlistments_x.htm

You're "a Vietnam-era veteran." Congratulations! What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Are you immune from all criticism because of this?

Since Bush was "only" in the National Guard (Patooie! Everyone in the Guard is a useless jjerk! Spit on them!) and you were a "Vietnam era veteran who never went to Nam but could have," SO WHAT? The fact remains that Bush in now Commander in Chief, and has been for years.

You said, "You refuse to see the truth when it is pointed out – and documented – to you."

What "truth" have you pointed out? Your opinions are not "the truth." Your entire post contains only ONE FACT, that the army is using a stop loss policy. That is correct. It's totally irrelevant to the overall recruiting success, however.

So I repeat: What "truth" have you supposedly pointed out?

If you mean the truth that liberals like to focus on the negative while offering no solutions of their own -- then yes, you have done that.

spysmasher said...

SF write: This spysomething person who claims not to care what we think just posted three times in the last half hour.

Actually, I wrote "As if I care what a bunch of non-thinking liberals say!"

So, thank you for admitting you are all non-thinking liberals! I knew it all along.

SF wrote: "a troll is a troll. Feed it and it will shit all over you.

Translation from the liberalese:
"Damn! This Spysmasher guy writes better than I do, and he isn't even a professional writer! Plus, he knows his stuff, so I'm afraid to go toe to toe with him in a battle of ideas. I'd lose! Instead, I'll mock him and try to minimize his influence here. Damn! I wish I had never given him so much attention in the first place, because my site now belongs to SPYSMASHER!"

Superfrankenstein said...

spysmasher wrote, "liberals like to focus on the negative while offering no solutions of their own."

Translation from spysmashese:
"I sleep with my mother."

spysmasher said...

"When challenged, you evade the issue, and make lame jokes or sarcastic remarks."

Superfrankenstein said...

"When challenged, you evade the issue, and make lame jokes or sarcastic remarks."

Translation from spysmashese:
"Really. I sleep with my mother."

spysmasher said...

"When challenged, you evade the issue, and make lame jokes or sarcastic remarks."

Twice now, and counting.

Will Superfrankenstein EVER say ANYTHING of substance?

Of course not! He's a liberal!

Superfrankenstein said...

"Will Superfrankenstein EVER say ANYTHING of substance?"

Translation: "Seriously. I sleep. With. My mother."

spysmasher said...

"When challenged, you evade the issue, and make lame jokes or sarcastic remarks."

THREE times now, and still counting. No end in sight.