Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Records speak for themselves

Peter king, the Congressman that heads up the Homeland Security Committee, is preparing for hearings to evaluate the threat and security risk presented by the American Muslim community. Seems prudent as Muslims seem to be the only folks blowing themselves up the world over on a daily basis to kill, maim and scare. Muslims from many places around the world hate America and have acted to kill us and would act again if given the chance. Seems like there are innumerable data points to suggest that King’s efforts are prudent. That doesn’t mean that all Muslims are terrorists. Rather it means that there are enough data points to evaluate the risk posed by the community.

Then I read the WSJ story about this issue. According to the report the Obama administration’s deputy national security adviser apparently attacked Congressman King’s hearings stating to a group of Muslims “…and let’s remember that just as violence and extremism are not unique to any faith…” That’s true but there is overwhelming information that there are radical Muslims in every corner of the globe willing to take on and/or take out the Judeo-Christian heritage. I’m a student of history and I’m not a fan of Political Correctness. Let the records of the past 10 years speak for themselves. Records record. Evidence Provides. Political Correctness denies.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cleaning house is good but know when to stop.

As I have written about many times, even predating the Massey mines disaster that killed 29 miners last year, there are so many record keeping issues that are part of the mining industry. From the government database tracking mining disasters, to documenting safety infractions, record keeping is central to getting it right and reporting on what went wrong. But let’s leave that for a moment to talk about the latest developments in the Massey mine saga.
The security chief at Massey was indicted yesterday for covering stuff up, including destroying safety records after the 29 miners were killed. I’m not sure whose bright idea it was to “clean house” allegedly nefariously (AKA destroying evidence, or spoliation) after the guy, the company, or both knew they were in deep dodo. One thing is clear, when cleaning house happens to cover your tracks when you know (or reasonable should anticipate) there will be lawsuits or government investigations or both, that is the time to not destroy anything. Unless of course you are desirous of having a new boy friend and a limited meal plan while doing time.
Interestingly, in the case the General Counsel of Massey claimed that they advised the U.S. attorney's office “within hours of learning that documents” had been destroyed “and took immediate steps to recover documents and turn them over to the U.S. attorney's office."

Lessons-- Have retention rules that allow you to clean house. Cleaning house is good cause it gets rid of the crud to allow you to be a more efficient business. However, at the first smell of trouble stop cleaning house and preserve everything that may be potentially relevant if you have a lawsuit, investigation or audit coming.