Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Know Your Legal Rights: Playing For Keeps

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Law enforcement, and the 'Justice System' for the most part are not genuinely groups of people who are in the business of either protecting your rights or serving the greater interests of justice. They are in the business of indicting, convicting, fining and incarcerating. By analogy, they serve your rights as effectively and enthusiastically as the Internal Revenue Service operates to minimize your income tax payments and help you to prepare a tax return. There are some basic rules to dealing with law enforcement and its investigative and judicial allies:

1) Know your legal rights. Don't ever trust the word or promise of someone in a prosecutorial or investigative position;

2) If a law enforcement or investigative person knocks on your door "just to ask you a few questions," simply ask, while leaving them outside, "Do you have a court order or a warrant for my arrest? If not, just telephone my attorney, ________ at _____________. I'm sorry that I can't invite you in". Do not answer a single question after that, don't take the bait -- politely and apologetically close the door and advise them to "stay safe and drive carefully." You must do this despite your knowledge, or manners, or fear, or curiosity. Law enforcement counts on people's propensity to self-incriminate and to be easily intimidated in order to keep those conviction records high.

3) Never ever communicate with any judicial, investigative or law enforcement agency except through an attorney. Don't accept an invitations to have casual conversations with strangers, or to come downtown so we can have you answer a few questions -- you'll be back in a hour or less."

4) Never resist arrest, or defy a search warrant. Just don't talk. As they say on television, "lawyer up."

5) Try to conduct all of your business within the confines of the letter (if not the spirit) of the law, and avoid unnecessary exposure or direct interaction with any government agency if it can be avoided. Do not inadvertently make yourself or your activities a target.
The article excerpt link below appears courtesy of THE BIGTHINK DAILY IDEAFEED Newsletter. They are not only an excellent source of information -- they are a valuable source of commentary; and commentary is what brings utility, applicability and direct personal relevance to reported news.

This Video Will Keep You Out of Jail
This Video Will Keep You Out of Jail
Daniel Honan
What's the Big Idea? How well do you know your rights? Moreover, have you ever had to exercise your rights during an encounter with a ... Read »
I am not an advocate of either conducting your affairs illegally, or of being either overtly insulting or uncooperative with these hardworking folks who are just 'doing their job'. All that is important to remember is that they are not generally (with some very special exceptions) 'out to help you' and that your cooperation can be limited to simple courtesy in saying "no."

by Douglas E Castle

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Leadership: Sealing The 'Working Bond'

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If you are a leader, or are going to become one, one of your first crucial chores when assuming responsibility for others and taking the scepter of command is to create a working bond, i.e., a person-to-person bond with everyone in your organization or company -- even if that organization or company is a very large one.

You must not only achieve this symbolic but very powerful working bond with all of those persons who will be reporting to you, and to all of the persons who will be working for them --- all of the way down the hierarchical pyramid. It will be time-consuming, but worthwhile.

This process can and should be accomplished with a group of people present (picture a military commander assembling and addressing his troops) or in several segments, each with a group present. The purpose of the group is to bear witness to the bonding act with each individual assembled.

Your job is simple: Using your best posture, and your clearest voice of command, walk up to each of your people , make direct, unflinching eye contact and say, simultaneous with offering a firm handshake, "I'm _______________. What's your name?" [wait for the answer]. Then: "_________________ (stating the person's full first and last name), I'm honored to meet you. Thank you for being here."

Each person you establish eye contact with, shake hands with and address with professional respect, will immediately be taken with your command, and will immediately become 'bonded' [in a profound emotional way which is very difficult to explain in non-technical terms] to you and in your service. The reason for having the others in the group each witnessing this act is multiply its image, strength and memorability.

It is a very special occasion, and you have made it so by sanctifying it with this personal greeting ceremony. It also reinforces the utility of the proceedings by indirectly bonding the whole group together.

Incidentally, this is far more than a mere show - it is a critically important early-stage person-to-person interaction which will serve you in good stead. I strongly advise you to seal the "working bond" with each conquest, acquisition, victory or promotion.

Douglas E. Castle [http://TakingCommand.blogspot.com]

by Douglas E Castle

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Truth About 'Reputation Management' | Douglas E. Castle

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Reputation protection and management are indeed crucial aspects of building your credibility. Because anyone can post anything to any number of complaint boards, fraud alert boards, or to the web in general, unless we have never been alive, someone has been angered with us over something which we have said or done -- whether baseless or absolutely true. Some are matters of opinion and some are matters of documented fact. 

Many online credibility management or social media "cleanup" services have recently sprung up to combat the increasing problem of getting negative news (posted on the web for all to see) by either persons you've wronged, persons who just don't like you, or personal details about your divorces, regulatory issues, multiple bankruptcies, business failures, table manners, misdemeanors, felonies, arrests, time in a sanitarium, firings and dismissals, censures, license revocations, affiliations, rotten posts which you later regretted after placing them on FaceBook and other social media, your pending foreclosure, pictures of you with a lampshade over your head at an office party, personal telephone and residence information, sealed court records (incidentally, nothing is ever actually either sealed or is actually inaccessible for an assiduous muckraker) consumer complaints either 1) off of the the major search engines (particularly Google), or 2) "buried" deep in the bowels of the search engines (i.e., the 59th page in Google) where no "normal" person would have the time or patience to look.

There is actually no good news here, folks. There are no panaceas. No "black hat" hackery/ crackery or quackery tools or cleanup squads available... even powerful governments have been caught in massive lies, coverups and political scandals -- WikiLeaks, anyone? There is some useful information which can help to minimize or mitigate the effects upon you and your career by these pesky postings that befoul your otherwise exemplary search engine reports.

1) If someone has posted something that is a matter or published fact or public record, don't even bother trying to delete it or remove it, unless it is a civil matter which has subsequently been legally settled, paid, satisfied, rescinded, vacated, dismissed, released or otherwise satisfied with a court-stamped or other evidentiary agreement. If this is the case, the cheap fix is to publish the document evidencing the satisfaction. The better fix might be to retain a professional firm, as referenced above to have the posting party issue a publicly-posted rescission.

2) If there was a regulatory investigation, whether dropped, or prosecuted, it will not be expunged. Don't waste a minute. Don't try to eliminate facts. Be prepared to briefly explain them (denials are invariably perceived as admissions of even greater guilt and wrongdoing) only if asked and don't offer apologies or feeble, wishy-washy discussions about mitigating circumstances. Stay in command, and never assume a defensive posture. Remember -- whatever happened in the past is done. Right or wrong, it is now merely a piece of history. Let it strengthen you, or even have a third party spin it in your favor.

When a corporate executive and aspiring statesman was asked (as in an "Is it true that...?" open question-style confrontation) by a reporter at a press conference about a previous felony conviction (from  some years prior), the executive (after waiting for a hush from the crowd of reporters, and signaling them to be quiet), simply said, without, engaging the reporter, something to the effect of, "Yes. That is absolutely true. It was a troublesome thing. Now, ladies and gentlemen of the press, if you don't mind, I'd like to avoid wasting any further of your valuable time and get back to the matter that needs to be addressed immediately. I'll continue, but I will insist that we keep the nature of this conference relevant and highly-focused. I have limited time, as we all do, and a business to run. Thank you."

That "Thank you," was fully and deafeningly dismissive.  

3) Do not waste a minute of time or a penny seeking legal relief for defamation of character;

4) Do not engage the other party by any inflammatory response.

5) The best of the professional services will either 1) legally seek to have incorrect factual information corrected or removed, or what they will do is use some SEO chicanery to "stuff" the search engines with all manner of articles related to all manner of possible search engine queries which speak of you or your business in glowing terms.

Having said all of this, the best advice that a leader who has chosen to be successful is to avoid wasting too much time with off-target problem solving, lest you fail to conserve adequate time to invest in pursuing growth opportunities.

Douglas E. Castle [http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/douglascastle] and the Taking Command! Blog.

Never, ever let defensiveness or desperation be a motivating force for your decisions or actions. Leaders and commanders are permitted to err. The idea is to keep your Achille's heel (which each have one or more) out of a bear trap, and to keep from letting emotion turn the present path of progress into a detour into the woods. Stay in control, and never exhibit submissiveness. Nobody said that it would be easy.

by Douglas E Castle

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Intelligence Versus Force And Surprise - D.E. Castle's Four Fundamental Settlement Options

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Core, infrastructure, operational groups, supp...Image via Wikipedia

In situations/ encounters where one group (tribe, nation, gang, army, corporation, aliens from another stellar system) comes to meet (or, more aptly, confront) another previously unknown group, the first inclination (strictly a function of Human Nature) is for both groups to be distrustful and suspicious of each other, and to seek some form of safe settlement or stability to minimize the fear and maximize the sensation of security. This sense of security may be temporary or longer-term, and it may be well-founded or very illusory. But it is always a destination point -- especially where resources or territory are limited or otherwise at issue. Either the groups will reach a productive accord, or one will ultimately prevail and dominate.

A cautious trial-and-error ritual is called for in every one of these cases. It is a ritual that leads to positioning and settlement of one sort or another. If a symbiosis or synergy is not rapidly found, acknowledged, valued and put into operation between the two sides, there will be a conflict where both sides will sustain losses, but one will emerge the victor-of-record. By crude analogy, the ceremonial dance will either result in a mating or a massacre.

In these situations, each of the parties will absolutely choose one of the following four fundamental settlement strategies. Being badly in need of ego gratification, I refer to these as Douglas E. Castle's Four Fundamental Settlement Options:

OPTION 1: Diplomacy. Finding complementarity. Becoming valuable to each other as allies.

OPTION 2: Avoidance. At its worst, this becomes appeasement.

OPTION 3: Warfare. Whether covert or overt, it is reliant upon the elements, as discussed in short order, of surprise and overwhelming force. Sometimes it is done in a repeated 'hit-and-run' fashion, and sometimes it is done with

OPTION 4: Espionage and Applied Intelligence. This requires great technological and social engineering skills. The objective is either to a) be gone when the enemy strike takes place, causing the attacker to waste tremendous resources, and to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or b) to attack the enemy at its weakest point in terms of resources, preparedness and time. Both a and b work hand-in-hand in an optimal OPTION 4 Scenario.

My first choice is OPTION 1. When the possibilities and the prospects do not seem good, my immediate second choice is OPTION 4. Sadly, OPTION 2 leads to enslavement, and OPTION 3 is one of the most profitable industries in the world for too many powerful parties who stand to benefit by prolonged and inefficient conflicts...behavioral psychology coldly and meticulously exploited in the name of avarice.

In law enforcement and many rudimentary military operations, the conventional (and short-order) wisdom is that in order to overwhelm a target,presumably an enemy, you must have two elements on your side: 1) Complete Surprise; and 2) Overwhelming Force.

 These are indeed critical components in overpowering and conquering an enemy. They also require a tremendous investment in ordnance, personnel, logistics and communications, as well as the ability to keep a secret by using tight need-to-know informational controls, impenetrable communications systems and zero leakage.

Many very otherwise under equipped forces (terrorist cells, insurgent groups, organized 'underground' movements) fraction their information into compartmentalized 'cells' so that no one individual has complete knowledge of the plan of attack. In larger, more powerful forces, this fine point of splitting up information into little puzzle pieces (so that no traitor or captured party can divulge any significant part of the plan -- willfully or under extreme duress*) is not taken very seriously. When budgetary resources are plentiful, and a profit can be derived from a protracted and primitive conflict -- OPTION 4 is underutilized (and often underdeveloped) and overshadowed by the dubious promise of OPTION 3.

Any student of history knows this. In fact, just watch some late night television shows and see how many well-planned strikes, or "busts" fail because the targeted location was either abandoned by the adversary due to some illicit advance notice of the pending strike. In fact, to compound matters and make things worse, these heavily-armed, resource-laden strike teams are often led right into an ambush or trap, creating a double victory for the would-be victims.

*With reference to the photo at the top of this article, it is a simplified structural diagram, courtesy of Wikipedia, of the Core, infrastructure, operational groups, support net from al-Qaeda style cell system.

The most efficient option [of those possible in accord with D.E. Castle's Four Fundamental Settlement Options] is the one which uses the minimal resources to the maximum advantage. OPTION 1 is my preference because of its inherent potential for prosperity and peace. My second choice, when in serious doubt, is OPTION 4.

Knowledge, if properly acted upon, is indeed power; and brute force is as expensive as it is ineffective when lined up against well-implemented espionage derived of reliable intelligence analyzed and acted upon decisively.

In terms of a leadership or command decision, this OPTION 1 to OPTION 4 move is not indicative of cowardliness by any means. It is a matter of pragmatism in terms of conserving resources and maximizing the chance of either alliance or victory, as appropriate in the circumstances.

Douglas E. Castle [http://TheInternationalistPage.blogspot.com]

by Douglas E Castle

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