Friday, March 28, 2008

Legal Con Man Tactics Used in Flood of Frivolous Law Suits

--Awash in Law Suits, American Court System Struggling to get out from Under

Magalia, California--A sue-happy America has unleashed a tidal wave of law suits on its court system. Once called, "frivolous," many of these are now being won by plaintiffs, some with eye-popping jury awards. At risk are not only deep-pockets defendants, but struggling small business persons of every ilk. people who can ill-afford such legal attacks.

A random sampling:

A West Virginia convenience store worker receives a jury award of $3,000,000 when she injures her back while opening a jar of pickles.

Suit brought against a Las Vegas casino by a California man claiming the casino was negligent in permitting him to gamble away $1,000,000 while he was drunk.

Passengers sue American Airlines for the "emotional impact" of 28 seconds of turbulent weather on a flight from Los Angeles to New York. A jury awards them $2,000,000.

The manufacturer of Louisville slugger baseball bats is sued for $1,000,000 as the result of a ball hit with one of its bats bouncing off the head of a player.

A mother, rushed to a hospital emergency room, caused her 2 daughters so much trauma that they sue the hospital--not for their mother's treatment--for the emotional stress this caused them.

A 420-pound man sues McDonald's for employment discrimination. for not hiring him. Federal judge lets trial stand.

A Missouri woman wins $6,000 from a beauty salon for emotional stress and early retirement caused by a bad hair treatment.

Four women sue a California seafood restaurant for emotional stress, and subsequent psychiatrist visits, when one of them bites into a condom in a cup of clam chowder.

A volunteer, unpaid little league baseball coach,a street-maintenance worker, is sued for $2,000 by the father of the team's catcher. The complaint? Poor coaching.

With shades of con man tactics, such law suits are proliferating as America's law schools let loose a flood of new lawyers on its citizenry, many of them relishing in praying on the economic system in general. Canada, too has suffered from this con-man type plague which seemingly grows on its populace like a colony of E Coli bacteria attacking a slab of choice Canadian beef, critics say.

Jack Payne, author of 55 business books, wraps up the subject this way, "The only hope for all the unfortunate defendants seems to be to subscribe to, and believe in, the Law of Bureaucracy: The second myth of management efficiency is that skill equals success," he says. "Often it does not.. This seems about the last hope in erecting a con-man-resistant shield against these abuses of the system.""

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yada, Yada, Yada--Blah, Blah, Blah

--Epitaph on Your Tombstone will include 2 Dates, with a Dash between them Representing your Life--This is a Study of the Dash

If each day you wake up to the sharp realities of morning, with the belief that things will get better--and end the day going to an outdoor party that features cheap wine and barbequed Spam, you know something went wrong in between.

What are some of these things that go damnably wrong, daily--with maddening regularity--much of it spawned by the con man world in which we live? We're getting to it. Hang with us.

But, first, for stage setting, consider this:
You've graduated with honors from college. You've been fine-tuned to the expectations of an idealistic working career experience, including all applicable Golden Rule observances.

You get a job. You are now told that your employer's company thrives on interconnectedness, diversity, free exchange of ideas and opinion--is one big happy family.

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

Now, on to reality...

In contrast you quickly find that all bad policies are more likely to be supplemented than repealed. You learn that the perfect candidate for any job will show up shortly after the position is filled. After things have gone from bad to worse the cycle will repeat itself. After all is said and done a lot more will be said than done.

Further, the inconsistencies with your education now jump out at you. You begin to wonder why closed minds and open mouths seem to go together. Starting with Sturgeon's First Law--90% of everything is bull--you become aware of the many Laws of Bureaucracy which dominate your working environment: Nothing is ever accomplished by being reasonable. Rules grow at about the same speed as weeds.
There's always one person who knows what's going on; this person quits, retires, or is fired. All's well that creates more work. Catalog all details; never mind facts. Management's decision, "Maybe" is always final. The first myth of management efficiency is that it exists.

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

You see a political ad on TV. In it, Senator Pothole, running for President, ignores al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea, and Hugo Chavez as threats to all of us. Instead he singles "you" out, as an individual, and dramatically proclaims that it is "you" he is fighting for. He sternly warns that your most feared menaces--from which you will gain his protection, if elected--are Corporate America, Big Oil, Big Pharmaceuticals, incandescent light bulbs, and Wal-Mart. At this point a background voiceover kicks in to alert you as to the shortcomings of Senator Pothole's opponent. From hushed, conspiratorial-sounding intonations you learn that this unworthy opponent is a Child Molester / Drug Dealer / Wife Beater / Pimp, who is, tragically, beyond rehabilitation.

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

Your last credit card payment arrives at its destination office one day late. Your APR is kicked from 18% to 35%. This doubling, you are told, is due to your slippage to a new higher-risk credit category. The incongruity of this makes you feel like a roosting, migrant bird that has lost its homing instincts, caught in a dream of perpetual, static flight.

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

You pick up a newspaper, leaf through it, browse the headlines (taken from actual newspaper headlines): Something went wrong in Jet Crash, Experts Say. Miners Refuse to work After Death. Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 years. If Strike isn't Settled Quickly, it May Last Awhile. Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge. Sex Education Delayed; Teachers Request Training. War dims Hopes for Peace.

You scratch your head in disbelief.
You wonder: Are newspaper headline writers con artists too?

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

You now realize that so much of what you hear daily is from people who would have you believe the world is flat, Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy exist, and there is such a thing as an honest politician. And, much of this spin twirled at you is seemingly coming from a skilled diplomat who can tell you where to go in such a way that you look forward to the trip. Puzzled, you ask yourself: Is road kill really a gourmet meal?

As things end up you can only wonder at this incomrehensible menu of unresolved, childlike prattle you have to put up with.

Jeanie, Jeanie, eats zuchini. Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater.

When in doubt, mumble.

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Con Artists' Newest Trick: Make Victims Part of the Scam--Are You Included?

--Have these Con Artists come up with the Perfect Scam? Here's how it is Put Together

Magalia, California--When in doubt, make your victims part of the crime. This appears to be the newest strategy of con artists. Their rationale? Seemingly it is: Why not? Can one think of a better way to buy silence?

It works this way:

Innocent shopper spots a high-end, expensive item on an internet site, a lap top computer which retails for $3,000. Seller offers to sell for $1,300. Upon getting inquiry from innocent shopper, seller (read, con artist) offers to ship the lap top, no questions asked. No upfront money is required either--only a promise to return it, or wire payment within 48 hours.

Too good to be true?

No. Not quite. Ignorance is no excuse; it's the real thing, it's said. Here's what happens next:

Using the home address and the information provided by innocent shopper, con man, using a stolen credit card number, orders the lap top at the full $3,000 retail price and has it drop-shipped, directly to innocent shopper.

No one is listening till you make a mistake, it so often seems. Innocent shopper, happy with the product, wires $1,300 payment, leaving himself the receiver of stolen property. In addition, another anonymous victim has a fraudulent charge on his / her credit card. And, a merchant has delivered stolen goods.

One product. Repeat orders to fill. Inclusion of everybody involved in the scam itself. What could be sweeter than this for the con artist? The FBI and several European police authorities currently have their hands full trying to crack down on this near-foolproof scam. Trouble they are having is getting enough innocent victims to come forward.

"If you want something to validate your inherent mistrust of strangers, this should be it," says legal thriller author, Jack Payne. "Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer. Something like this should be the first clue."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tax Time Scams--How to keep I.R.S. from Knocking on Your Door

--Amateur Tax Cheats Going Berserk with Looney Tunes Tax Filings--Don't Make these Mistakes

Tax time puts the Law of Argument in the spotlight: Anything is possible if you don't know what you're talking about. If you need a match and a cup of gasoline, aimless tax cheating might qualify you for such playthings.

So many of the excuses so many taxpayers use at filing time to avoid paying taxes are totally absurd. They are not only plentiful, but unbelievable, child-like. If they are in training to become a professional con man, they have failed miserably. In prison you spend most of your time in an 8 x 10 cell; at work you spend most of your time in a 6 x 8 cubicle. Maybe these people are trying, in some warped way, to upgrade their lifestyle. Here are some examples of their attempts to qualify:

> The filing of a tax return, and payment of taxes are "voluntary," is the claim. Wrong. You don't say this to IRS any more than you would say to a feminist, "Isn't that cute?" Voluntary only refers to the individual's rights to put the figures together. The right to file, and pay, is definitely involuntary. To the point of a pounding drum beat, courts have repeatedly told us this.

> The filing of a zero return, entering the figure 0 on every line. Some taxpayers even go so far as to request a refund of their taxes withheld. Insanity? At times it seems reality is a crutch for people who can't handle drugs. This doesn't even have the first raw rudiments of a legal scam.

> Contention: Section 6020(6) of the tax code requires the IRS to prepare a federal tax return for any person who does not file. Another nutty, unimaginative argument. (Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.) Oh, if you don't file, IRS will file for you alright. They will gather the figures on compensation, and tax you on the entire gross amount. No split-out gross / adjustable gross / net income figures here.

> Some actually assert that wages, tips, and other compensation received for personal services rendered are not income--because, get this, there is no taxable gain when a person "exchanges" labor for money. This "reasoning" is like trying to figure why a woman can't apply mascara with her mouth closed. Still another head-scratcher.

> Federal Reserve Notes are not money. Why? Because they cannot be exchanged for gold or silver. How about wampum?

> Some claim they have rejected U.S. citizenship in favor of state citizenship, thereby freeing themselves of all obligations to pay federal taxes. Easy way out, huh? After all, there is no recorded case of an ostrich ever having died of suffocation from burying its head in the sand.

> Some even go so far as to claim that the United States consists only of the District of Columbia, federal territories, e.g. Puerto Rico, Guam, etc., and federal enclaves such as Indian reservations and military bases; therefore non-residents of these enclaves are tax exempt. Dreamers, dreamers, dreamers. (Never give yourself a haircut after 3 Martinis.)

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once? Is that the driving motivation?
Real people. Real thought processes. But, you must ask, are these people all living in the real world?