Sunday, August 10, 2008

Trust the People

I am not the only person in America who has been in a steady state of haranguing about He Who Would Be King's abuse of the constitution in his so-called war on terror. The public, by and large, has now caught on to the idea that Bush is dead wrong in his approach. The seeds of the pattern of his approach were sown in the eighties (the nineteen eighties) by the Reagan administration when Reagan himself began his assault on lawyers. Who could forget his famous speech when he assailed the poor lady who spilt boiling McDonald's hot coffee in her lap and suffered severe burn injuries? Republicans quickly spotted an issue which could be used to galvanize the forces, so to speak, against do-gooding, greedy lawyers who were responsible for driving up insurance rates and making it impossible for responsible citizens throughout the country to obtain quality medical care, insure small businesses and the like. What, in effect, was going on was an attack on the constitutionally-created wisdom and function of the people. Issues and civil conflicts, big or small, were traditionally and constitutionally decided by a select handful of people. This small group of people is called the 'jury.' The jury is placed in a special position of trust by our society. A jury is entrusted with hearing the spectrum of proofs presented by the parties to a dispute and, sorting out the positions, arriving at a decision. It is granted that some jury decisions over the past two hundred-plus years have been anomalous, but by and large the system has worked beautifully and by itself stands alone to distinguish America from the rest of the world. Fast forward from the Reagan rant to the Guantanomo fiasco; the trial of Osama bin Laden's driver which,for the most part was conducted in secret and the ground rules of which prevented a determination of not guilty. (The latter caused the initial prosecutor to resign to depict the utter unfairness of the rule). What is profound and disturbing is the lack of trust in a system that has stood the test of time for more than two centuries. This lack of trust is fostered by big money interests and big fat cat Republican bastards who want to continue making money off over priced and dangerous drugs, automobiles, medical and hospital care, as examples, without being held accountable to the public. At this point in time in America, medical malpractice, drug product liability, product liability, slip and fall, automobile accidents and other legal disputes often carry as many, or more, restrictions on truth determinations by juries as does the Guantanamo kangaroo court. All of this has occurred via a game plan of selling the public on the high costs of insurance in a manner exactly analagous to selling the public on blaming blameless Irag for the terrorist attack of 9-11. Let me rest my case with one question; when was the last time an insurance company notified you that your rates were being reduced? If you think this is a typical over-reaction from a lawyer who represented people injured by big business interests for 35 years, please think again.

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