Uncommon Sense

November 26, 2021

Another Example of “Corporations Would Never . . .”

We have been told for years by staunch business defenders that corporations can be trusted, that they don’ need no stinkin’ regulations because “they would never, ever do anything underhanded that would damage their reputations.”

Here is yet another example of corporations and their executives lying and even placing servicemen’s lives at risk, to make even more fucking money.

32 Years of Fraud
At hand, capitalism is great and profitable, but it does create a greedy society that forces people into taking fraudulent actions just to beat their competitors. I have seen many cases but this must be the worst by far. For the past 32 years, the Director of Metallurgy at Bradken Inc. in Tacoma has been falsifying the test results that measure the toughness of steel used to produce the hulls and other parts of U.S. submarines.

During the investigation to identify the source of poor quality steel the Department of Justice had identified at fault Bradken Inc. which has been the main supplier of steel for the U.S. Navy. The company is the one producing the hulls for ships and submarines as well as creating steel based on the strict requirements of the U.S. Navy. If a steel bach fails the metallurgist’s test then it cannot be used to produce anything for the U.S. Navy.

Elaine Thomas has been the Director of the metallurgy lab at Badken Inc. for the past 32 years and during her whole time, she had falsified the results for over 240 productions of steel. Getting that high quality of steel required by the Navy is difficult and it’s normal to have a few batches fail. Of course, this costs the company a lot, therefore someone ended up making a lot of money in the process. (Source: historyofyesterday.com)


  1. I wholeheartedly agree Steve! When companies become mega corporations, getting WAY to big for their pants & own good—too often the left hand doesn’t know (or ignores) what the right hand is doing—they play Cognitive Denial & Dissonance with themselves to “save face” at the expense of their customers, clientele, patients, service or products 😠—then try to sweep it all under the rug, under the radar… HOPING oversight committees, gov’t regulators, or checks-n-balances don’t notice anything suspicious! Right? 😡

    Case and point. A personal case and point actually. At this moment, and for the last year or so, my Mom and I have been involved in the Class Action Lawsuit against Genworth Life Long-Term Care Insurance for probable (i.e. highly likely) fraudulent inducement by omission. Here’s a brief explanation from the suing plaintiffs:

    According to the class action lawsuit, the company withheld material information from policyholders regarding future rate increase plans, which would have been necessary to implement in order to pay future claims. This lack of information, the plaintiffs allege, amounted to the Class Action lawsuit being filed then negotiated settlements ongoing.

    Steve, over the last 5-7 years I have had to involve either law-enforcement OR an attorney’s office threatening these businesses or corporations with legal actions in order for them to STOP attempting to exploit my now 82-yr old mother!!! It is incredibly INFURIATING that I think sometimes I will have a god dayum aneurism!!! 🤬

    I’d much, MUCH rather our government—who is legally tasked to protect us in the first place!—go after criminal and unethical businesses for their practices! Just me and/or my Mom and I can’t do it every single time. They’d wear our asses out down to the bone, yes? Yes indeed they would.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Professor Taboo — November 26, 2021 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

    • Sorry to hear about your woes. These things are apparently all too common, especially when the GOP is in charge because they think the admin will back them over the aggrieved customers.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 26, 2021 @ 9:15 pm | Reply

      • Indeed. 👍🏻

        I tell you what Steve, much of “upper-class” America—i.e. the executives, CEOs, CFOs, stock market Fund Mgrs, mega millionaires in State/Federal government, etc, etc.—all need a serious “Come to Jesus Talk” about themselves, their country’s supposedly “pillars of business” and their government’s enslavement to it… then quickly figure out HOW to salvage this (now fake) Constitutional Republic/Democracy and its collapsing socioeconomic structure. 😣 Can anyone say:

        “Hey look! It’s the return of the 1917 Russian Class Revolution, only it’s right here on America’s doorstep!” 🤪🤦🏻‍♂️


        Comment by Professor Taboo — November 27, 2021 @ 11:08 am | Reply

        • I tend to think they are beyond redemption. I take note, however, that China has decided to eliminate billionaires. They can do it by fiat and confiscation. I think we need to do it by taxing the rich and taxing “excess profits” taxes on businesses (we’ve done it before).

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — November 27, 2021 @ 11:11 am | Reply

          • That’s right! Only, if it did succeed, would it last beyond just 2- or 4-years or even 8-years with our constant (now incredibly extreme partisanship in state/federal governments) turnover and then typical clean-house-sweeping in government branches (except our SCOTUS) of former Administrations? Hmm, I wonder. 😒


            Comment by Professor Taboo — November 27, 2021 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

  2. “they would never, ever do anything underhanded that would damage their reputations.”

    As someone once said, the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history. When I was a wee lad in high school one of our teachers spent two whole weeks with us on Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle, and it was time well spent. We didn’t just look at the book, we also looked at the other abuses corporations regularly indulged in. (I suspect that today the snowflake extremists would call that “liberal propaganda” and that they were being “canceled” by communists or something if you tried to cover the book today)

    Some people call me a cynical old fart. I am. Indeed that is an attribution that I am proud of because my cynicism has proven justified over, and over, and over again.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 27, 2021 @ 7:21 am | Reply

    • You and me both. I have been watching documentaries on subjects of recent history and my stomach gets turned from the quantity of the lies generated. A review of documents from the Kennedy assasination, just now revealed shows the CIA and FBI lied through their teeth over and over and over. Oswald was considered a “traitor” because he defected to the Soviet Union. He came back, though, and someone apparently wanted to know if any of the large number of defectors were CIA plants and the CIA supplied that person with a list and Oswalds name appeared upon it. The murder weapon found was several inches longer than the one Osward bought and had swivels in different places. Medical records were changed. Etc.

      Behind all of these events were people making money who didn’t want to lose their scam, and that is about it. After my childhood years in which “American values” are touted over and over and over, I am only left to believe that what we value is the dollar and little else.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 27, 2021 @ 8:04 am | Reply

    • Was it Bernard Shaw or Georg Hegel who said that Grouchy, about learning from history is that we don’t learn from it? Maybe? I believe I used that quote last year? Maybe? Dayum dementia. Hah! 😄

      But here’s another I really like too along the same lines of repeating history over and over ad infinitum:

      If you think [proper, extensive, post-grad] education is expensive, try ignorance.

      Many Wise, Highly Educated People 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Professor Taboo — November 27, 2021 @ 12:25 pm | Reply

      • I don’t know who said it first. The first time I encountered it was in a novel called Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner, a SF novel taking place in the near future that seems to be pretty much what we’re living in now. Nonstop, meaningless wars, corporations run wild, corrupt politics, resources under strain because of overpopulation and greed. It came out in 1968 and I think it won a Hugo for best SF novel of the year.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 27, 2021 @ 11:14 pm | Reply

        • Ahh, yes. I’ve only heard quick reviews & whispers about Stand on Zanzibar, but haven’t read it.

          I have had “1984” by George Orwell on my Watchlist and To Read List for quite some time, but haven’t been able to properly prep my stomach for such a nauseating ‘reality check’ yet. 😒 After your skuttlebutt on Brunner’s book, I suspect I won’t be reading it yet, again. 😄 For near two full years now (COVID-19) with the neverending ripple-effects… well, from EVERYTHING horribly incompetent leadership has wrought on us, I don’t think my high blood-pressure & hypertension, much less my doctor, will cope too well with MORE reality checks. 😔🤕

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Professor Taboo — November 28, 2021 @ 10:54 am | Reply

          • Stand on Zanzibar would probably seem dated today but it was a fascinating book back then. It was largely an anti-war novel, but now that I remember it (it’s been years since I read it) it seems to pretty much describe what we’re going through now. Apparently mindless violence, riots, corporations wielding the power of governments and (drum roll, please,) the horror that are influencers. Don’t blame you at all if you don’t want to read it. But back in 68, with the Vietnam war on the evening news every night at 6 PM, it was an especially influential book at the time. If nothing else read the Wikipedia article about it if you get a chance.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 28, 2021 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

            • Read it. I met John Brunner! Someone took me under their wing as it was my first convention. She told me, “If you want to meet authors, go to the bar.” That kept out the “under age set.” She set up in a booth in the bar and authors stopped by to say hello! (Robert Silverberg was another I got to meet.)

              Met Poul Anderson at another meeting.


              Comment by Steve Ruis — November 29, 2021 @ 10:58 am | Reply

              • Lucky bugger. I’ve met a couple. I corresponded with John DeChancie for a while back in the 90s and he gifted me a signed limited edition copy of Magicnet and signed copies of his Castle series. I got to know way more about his personal life than I really wanted to know. At one point he was bunking with Ellison (or Ellison was bunking with him) during a time when one of them was going through a nasty divorce. I think he’s still around. Someone told me he’d worked on the Witchblade graphic novels/comics series most recently, but if he’s still alive he has to be in his seventies now. And sometimes you shouldn’t meet your heroes. I met Harlan Ellison a couple of times and, well, to say he was an unpleasant person would be charitable.


                Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 29, 2021 @ 11:27 am | Reply

                • Harlan, unpleasant? No, say it ain’t so . . . . !

                  There is a photo of him in the dictionary next to the phrase “full of himself.”

                  I cut geniuses a lot of slack because there isn’t room in their minds for a lot of social niceties, but Mr. Ellison, while an excellent writer, ain’t no genius. A genuine American character, yes, genius, no.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  Comment by Steve Ruis — November 29, 2021 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

  3. According to the article, the company management seems to have been unaware of the fraud until someone within the company discovered it in 2017. So this particular case might not be a good example of corporate malfeasance, but more of an individual one, especially if the company didn’t actually try to sweep it under the rug and proactively told the Navy. It’s unclear from the article how the Navy became aware of this, but it doesn’t seem like the Navy was yet aware of this either at the time, and the timing of the settlement (in 2020 – and a $10M settlement case can easily take a couple of years alone) could mean that the company did contact the Navy relatively quickly.


    Comment by List of X — November 28, 2021 @ 9:51 am | Reply

    • Well, okay, but who is in charge of training their employees and instituting checks on her performance. Surely the people actually doing the tests kept records and they could be compared with hers (which has now been done). Corporations are putting their reputations in the hands of their employees and they do not seem to be shy about checking on them in other cases.


      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 28, 2021 @ 11:09 am | Reply

      • I’m not saying the company was entirely blameless here – a company probably wouldn’t pay out a $10M settlement if it could prove it was not at all at fault. Like, at the very least, was it normal that a single person was approving the samples?
        But, realistically speaking, for all the checks and verifications a company could institute it still has to leave some measure of trust in its employees and not watch them 24-7, otherwise it would be impossible to work there 🙂 And that trust could be exploited.


        Comment by List of X — November 29, 2021 @ 12:17 pm | Reply

        • Oh, I agree, but the hottest software currently in business circles is employee monitoring packages. I mean some of those people go to the bathroom way too often. And, even so, as an old union president, I am with Ronald Reagan on this one “trust but verify.”


          Comment by Steve Ruis — November 29, 2021 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

          • You can put all the hottest tracking software, but it still can’t (thankfully) track what’s in the employee’s head.
            And if you have the software that can verify every aspect of employee’s job, you might just replace that employee with a robot.


            Comment by List of X — November 29, 2021 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

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