You be the judge…
If anyone needs additional evidence—after recent Supreme Court rulings—that the US justice system is screwed up, look no further than the award of $23 billion—yes, billion, not million—to an individual who’s husband died, allegedly, from too much smoking.
All are aware that corporations lie, especially tobacco and oil corporations (obviously taking a lesson from the politicians they buy), and that they should be punished for their evil ways, but what is one lady going to do with so much money? Why not force the company to put that money into cancer research, which would be more useful?
Common sense seems to have no place in the United States, a land ruled by money, crooked and/or inept politicians, and stupid courts.
The German word for today is Geier, which is a vulture. This word also refers to a person that is overly greedy and preying upon weak or stupid people for their own benefit.
This word came to mind, when I noticed an article about a Chicago law firm plane planning to file a class action suit against Boeing and Malaysian Airline. They want to represent as many families of victims as possible and will claim mechanical failure. Of course, they do not care that the plane has not been found or that any evidence of the cause will not be available for a long time, if ever. The main thing is to file suit.
But, as you probably know, some lawyers are all-seeing, all-knowing deities, so facts are irrelevant.
Which calls for some humor...
An airliner was having engine trouble, and the pilot instructed the cabin crew to have the passengers take their seats and get prepared for an emergency landing.
A few minutes later, the pilot asked the flight attendants if everyone was buckled in and ready.
"All set back here, Captain," came the reply, "except the lawyers are still going around passing out business cards."
Everyone in the world knows that the United States is the land of consumerism. Americans have spread and made fashionable the lust for things and brands. Who can forgot Dear Leader Bush’s imploring people to “go shopping” to relieve the shock caused by the September 11 attack on American complacency? What better therapy for the masses than to increase their credit card debt?
Of course, not every country in the world allows people, companies, and organizations to shop for the verdict they desire in a criminal or civil law case. How can anyone believe in a legal system that lets people bargain for their punishment or shop around for a judge to provide a favorable ruling on their case? The current battle between NFL owners and players illustrates this perfectly. Every few days a new court ruling reverses the one recently reported. Each side merely finds a new judge to give them the ruling they want, which merely means the other side spins the cycle another turn. And, every report of some case includes the words “plea bargain”, which makes one wonder about the seriousness of the legal system.
It is no wonder that the United States is the land to lawyer jokes. I have not heard one in any other country I know.
The nuclear catastrophe in Japan has re-ignited the debate in Germany about use of nuclear energy. The Green Party is having a field day.
During the dark days of socialist/green government, about ten years ago, they passed laws to drop this energy source in the future. Few could explain how to power the German industrial machine in a better manner, but rational argument rarely matters in politics. Once the conservatives regained power, they immediately reversed the decision.
Unfortunately for politicians, Nature has a way of entering the fray and not listening to politicians' "reasoning". After Fukishima, even the Conservative Party recognized the need react to the news and announced the premature closing of a few older nuclear reactors (which were already planned to be decommissioned). In politics, chemistry, and nuclear physics, every action causes an equal and opposite reaction. The government may have appeased voters, but failed to reckon with the energy companies: they sued, claiming that the decision to close the aging nuclear plants had "no legal basis".
I wonder if the tectonic plates had a "legal basis" for or sought a "legal opinion" before moving underneath Japan. I doubt it. Of course, lawyers somewhere are probably considering the case against Nature...while others will surely be willing to defend the earthquake and tsumani. Fees could be massive...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.