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Friday, March 19, 2004

Who Gave What To Whom 

I lifted this from another site. It will help you access public records regarding political contributions in these very important times! Please take a look at it!

Abandoning Injured Mothers, Innocent Babies and ER Patients On The Hospital Steps 

This has been adapted from a front page article on the www.nystla.org website today.

A New Anti-Patient Bill Would Strip Injured Mothers, Babies and Emergency Room Patients of Their Legal Rights


S.2207, a new bill on the United States Senate floor is being called the "Pregnancy and Trauma Care Access Protection Act of 2004". It has nothing to do with protecting patients or providing access to medical care. This bill is an alarming attack on the rights of the most vulnerable of innocent victims: not simply injured emergency room patients, but particularly mothers and babies. This bill cruelly targets pregnant mothers, their babies and those needing emergency care by seeking to strip them of the same legal protections everyone else has. As is always the case when discussing changes in tort law, when distilled, the issue boils down to a question that weighs the issue of more profits for financial concerns like insurance carriers against what is fair and reasonable compensation for the innocent victims of medical malpractice. Pain, suffering, and the loss of enjoyment of life are all but completely dismissed by this bill, which places the false, propagandistic financial concerns of those institutions above the value of human life.
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Under the newest incarnation of this Bill, individuals suffering from an injury who then seek treatment in emergency rooms or trauma care centers will be penalized for doing so if they are then harmed by medical negligence. The Bill's cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages is inherently discriminatory and particularly harmful to pregnant women who frequently have a limited income. Most disgracefully, this bill completely dismisses the societal worth of children, who have no income. Babies who sustain life-long injuries will likely only be able to recover "non-economic" damages under the new law, and this limit will have a devastating impact on our society as a whole.

The sad fact is that our friends in the insurance industry and medical professions do not realize that they may be inadvertently abandoning their own extended families. No one wants to be able to envision one's self or one's family member as an innocent victim; the truth, though, is that this bill does not discriminate. A doctor's child or an insurance executive's child, or niece, or nephew, will suffer the same consequences as a letter carrier's child under this proposed new law. Fortunately for those children of doctors and insurance company executives, though, their parents will most likely have enough money to make their painful lives more comfortable while the children of school teachers, letter carriers, sanitation workers, transportation workers, and others will never be able to afford certain comfort items that any innocent victim surely deserves.

And, by the way, where are the Senate and House Bills requiring mandatory minimums for insurance coverage? When there is too little or no insurance available to an innocent injured victim to recover even simple economic loss, the burden shifts to you and me via public assistance. And that is another item on the agenda for this Congress. Don't be fooled! Many hospitals are "self-insured" or have small policies that could not possibly cover the damages they might inflict through improper medical practices borne of lax screening of the qualifications of their doctors.

Fewer than five percent of medical doctors commit more than ninety percent of the medical malpractice in this state alone each year. Research bears out that it is always the same people. Shouldn't congress be looking toward regulating or expelling those people who have caused what they call a "crisis"?

Please tell your Senators to oppose this dangerous, discriminatory legislation.

Don't forget, too, that the vast majority of automobiles in this country are under-insured, carrying State personal injury minimums as low as only $15,000. The public currently foots the bill for that shortcoming, one way or another.






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Saturday, March 06, 2004

How to leave a voice message that won't be deleted! 

Crafting the Perfect Voice-Mail Message: After the Beep
Why executives delete voice-mail messages—and how to make sure yours
won't be one of them.




Hi, Ms. Stevens. It's Robert. Just a few thoughts on this guy's proposal. It's kind of like the problem we had back in March. Am I making myself clear? Well, I just think . . .

How important is an effective voice mail? Put it this way: According to a study conducted by Pitney Bowes, the typical office executive receives upwards of 375 communiqués every day, including e-mails, phone calls, faxes, and letters. In this environment, any excuse that a caller gives an exec to delete a voice mail—even five slightly rambling seconds—is a valid one.

Start Strong
The single worst thing to do is to clutter the beginning of a message with useless information (phone-tag jokes most certainly qualify). According to Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach, Florida, the superfluous pleasantries so many people rely on to start their messages make a distinctly negative impression on busy executives. "Don't say 'I hope you're having a good day,'" she explains. "That's a cliché that doesn't mean anything." Instead, signal that you won't waste the person's time—state your name, reason for calling, and phone number up front. Keep your message to less than 30 seconds and you come off as someone who takes action rather than someone who talks about it.

Give 'Em Structure
If there are several items of business to address, announce them right away, and then take each in turn. "There's a structure to all communications that linguists refer to as the frame, the context in which people expect to hear certain things," says Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D., associate professor emeritus of linguistics at San Diego State University. "Anything that breaks people out of the frame causes them to start missing the information." Nail the structure of the message by taking 60 seconds before you call to scratch out four or five bullet points. Yes, it sounds simplistic, but it can mean the difference between a lucid message and a meandering mess. It also drastically reduces the "ums" and "ers" that signal nervousness and lack of professionalism.

Pace Yourself
In making snap judgments about which messages to attend to, people often unconsciously take linguistic cues from the caller's delivery. Speaking too slowly could mean the beginning of a long, drawn-out voice mail. Speaking too fast forces the listener to replay the message, or, more likely, to move on to the next one. Subtle phrasing can also send unwanted signals. "Women in particular often lift their intonation at the end of a sentence, as you would for a question," says Erin McKean, who edits Verbatim, an academic journal about language. "That can make you sound tentative and hesitant."

Say It Again
Repeat your phone number at the end of the message, and when you do, break it into groups of three or four digits. "Linguistic studies have proven that people tend to remember information more accurately when it's delivered in short chunks," says Elgin. "That's why they originally decided to group phone numbers into distinct clumps."

Get Technical
Digital voice recording systems are designed not to capture silence. "A soft, barely audible word can be mistaken for silence and not preserved in a message," says Seth Munter, manager of technical training at Siebel Systems in San Mateo, California. Many systems also offer "flags" to mark a message as urgent and move it to the front of the line. (Less than one percent of callers take advantage of this function.) While doing so might make you look a bit pushy, it certainly demonstrates a facility with technology and a distinct by-any-means-necessary attitude.

This article was written by Paul Scott. It appeared in the February 2001 issue of MBA Jungle.




Back to the Protocol School of Palm Beach News and Articles Page











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The Truth About NEWSWEEK'S "Lawsuit Hell" 

Newsweek's Inaccuracies: "Lawsuit Hell" Examined
This week's issue of Newsweek features a series of cover stories and opinion pieces with titles such as "Lawsuit Hell", "Civil Wars," and "The City of Deep Pockets,". The articles present a dramatically one-sided rendering of the civil justice system, attacking trial by jury and the rights of Americans who have been injured through no fault of their own. In addition to the Newsweek series, NBC and MSNBC are broadcasting a number of related pieces this week.



As pointed out in a letter from ATLA President David Casey, advocates of the civil justice system were only consulted at the last minute and were allowed only minimal input. A wealth of factual evidence and studies that contradict the opinions put forth in the article were rejected. Other numerous inaccuracies and ommissions are listed in further detail below.



NYSTLA urges you to take action by calling or writing letters to the editors and authors of these biased articles and participating in an online chat.



Stuart Taylor, Jr., Author of "Civil Wars" article:

staylor@nationaljournal.com



Newsweek.MSNBC.com

Editorial questions and comments:

WebEditors@newsweek.com



Newsweek, print edition

Letters to the Editor for the U.S. print edition: Letters@newsweek.com

Mailing Address:

Newsweek

251 W. 57th St.

New York, NY 10019



Tom Watson, Newsweek Senior Editor

tom.watson@newsweek.com



Jon Meacham, Newsweek Managing Editor

jon.meacham@newsweek.com



Those who wish to contact NBC Nightly News should email nightly@nbc.com. All the producers and Tom Brokaw read the mail sent to that address.



In addition, this Thursday, December 11 at 11 a.m., Stuart Taylor, author of the "Civil Wars" article, will be responding to questions and comments in an online chat.



A sample of some of the misconstrued cases presented in the Newsweek/NBC series include:



1. The Kentucky Case - In the article "Civil Wars," Newsweek cites a case in which a mother filed suit against her daughter's school. This case was severely mischaracterized by Newsweek. According to an article in the Lexington Herald Leader, the girl was suspended by the School Principal for ten days for having consensual sex on a school bus. When the mother appealed the ruling, the Board of Education ruled that the act was forced and the girl had been sexually assaulted but the Board then suspended her for two days for not reporting the assault. The mother's suit did not seek money, but rather demanded that the Board set up a training program for its employees about how to deal with sexual assault. (Taylor, Louise, "Lafayette student alleges assault: School board sued over bus incident," Lexington Herald Leader, December 18, 2002.)



2. The Missouri Case - The NBC Nightly News ran a story Sunday night, December 7, on a case in Reeds Spring, Missouri. While NBC construed the story as a basic slip-and-fall case in which a woman's injury caused the city to go bankrupt, the truth involves much more. A woman fell and injured her ankle, requiring surgery. She notified the Mayor of her fall and asked that the city fix the hole and help with her medical expenses. The Mayor responded by saying, "...to collect any damage with us you will probably have to sue us" and that "the chance of us paying this without a lawsuit is practically zero." Additionally, while the city had liability insurance coverage at the time of the fall and at the time of notice, the city subsequently cancelled the insurance coverage and did so retroactively so that there was no coverage for her injury. Despite this knowledge, NBC News mischaracterized this important fact by stating that, "The town had no insurance at the time because its coverage had lapsed," when, in fact, it had been consciously cancelled retroactively. Once the Court of Appeals affirmed the $100,000 verdict for the plaintiff and in spite of the victim's willingness to work out a payment plan, the city filed bankruptcy, claiming that they could not afford to pay the claim. (Transcript from NBC Nightly News, "Small town on the brink" by Jeannie Ohm, December 7, 2003, www.msnbc.com/news/1002360.asp.)



3. The California Case - In the article "Civil Wars," Newsweek cites a medical malpractice case involving a California couple by stating they "...won a $70 million judgment against Stanford University Hospital and two other health-care centers for failing to prevent their child from becoming disabled by a rare birth condition." While Newsweek reported the verdict at $70 million, the present value of the award was $8.3 million ($6.3 for medical expenses, $1.8 for lost wages, $250,000 for non-economic damages), meaning the verdict required the insurer to set aside a total of $8 million to cover the costs of the injury to the child. The victim in this case is a young boy who had a genetic disease that was not properly diagnosed at birth by the hospital and the boy's pediatricians, resulting permanent brain damage and a need for lifetime care. (Michael Cook v. Stanford Health Services, et al., San Francisco Superior Court, No. 324905, Sept. 26, 2003.)



The Real Truth...



Based upon an analysis by the Center for Justice & Democracy, the Newsweek article fails to discuss statistics on litigation which actually show that overall personal injury litigation is decreasing in this country.



Tort lawsuit filings have decreased 9% since 1992, according to the country's most accurate and comprehensive overview of state court litigation statistics. (Examining the Work of State Courts, 2002, a joint project of the Conference of State Court Administrators, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for State Courts' Court Statistics projects.)



The Newsweek article argues throughout that Little League coaches may be sued at the slightest provocation, apparently unaware that in 1997, Congress passed a law that immunizes Little League coaches from negligence lawsuits. Under the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997, volunteers for non-profit organizations or government programs around the country - even those dealing with children - can no longer be held responsible for their negligence.



The Newsweek article mentions almost nothing about the critical benefits of our civil justice system. Society benefits in countless ways as a result of lawsuits: they prevent future injuries by removing dangerous products and practices from the marketplace and spurring safety innovation; they educate the public to unnecessary and unacceptable risks associated with some products and services through disclosure of facts discovered during trial; and they provide authoritative judicial forums for the ethical growth of law. (See CJ&D's study, Lifesavers,) The power and authority of juries represents an important counterweight to the dominance of organized moneyed interests elsewhere in our government. Newsweek ignored all of this in its article. It also ignored observations by doctors like Dr. Wayne Cohen, who in 1995 was medical director of Bronx Municipal Hospital, who said, "The city was spending so much money defending obstetrics suits, they just made a decision that it would be cheaper to hire people who knew what they were doing." (Dean Baquet and Jane Fritsch, "New York's Public Hospitals Fail, and Babies Are the Victims," New York Times, March 5, 1995.)



The Newsweek article calls juries overly sympathetic, emotional, and unable to handle complex issues, but close observers of the jury system, including judges, believe the opposite. Why is it that the justice system trusts juries to sentence people to death in criminal cases, but does not trust juries to determine monetary awards in civil cases? Isn't life more precious than money? Who better to determine the value of loss than your friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers?



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It is always a good idea to visit the website that I have taken this information from. I will include the link to the original site in my post. Usually, due to the formatting of the Blog, the link will not be an active one, so you may need to re-type it or cut and paste it into the address line on your browser. I strongly encourage you to view the original source sites.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SO-CALLED MEDICAL PRACTITIONER'S INSURANCE PREMIUM CRISIS

Examining the Evidence: Medical Society's Claims of "Crisis"
The Medical Society of the State of New York says there is a "crisis" in medical malpractice insurance premiums. According to the Society, "The vast majority of practicing physicians are paying an astounding 27% to 43% more for their medical liability insurance now than they were paying for essentially the same coverage they had two years ago."



To deal with this so-called "crisis", the Medical Society calls for severe and unfair limitations on the ability of people injured by medical malpractice to receive compensation in court.



The tables below prove there is no "crisis".



These tables report the actual premiums physicians paid every year from 1996 to 2003 to the Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company (MLMIC), which covers the majority of New York State doctors. Even in comparatively high cost areas such as New York City and Long Island, premiums have not kept pace with inflation. In fact, thousands of doctors are paying less today than they did in 1996. This data comes from the company's own filings with the New York State Department of Insurance.



Indeed, while MLMIC's statewide average malpractice insurance premiums rose 8.5% in 2003, there was no increase at all in the average statewide premium in 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 and 1997 and premiums declined by 9% in 1996 for thousands of doctors.



The first seven tables below provide premium data for New York State's seven rating territories, or groups of counties. Click on the table for the territory you wish to view. Each table lists the premium paid by each physician specialty. Specialties are assigned a class number, 1 to 17.



Premiums for 1996 to 2003 are provided for $1 million/$3 million coverage. For 2003, premiums are also provided for $1.3 million/$3.9 million coverage, which physicians were required to purchase beginning in 2003.



Click on Table 8 to see the numbers of physicians per class and which specialties were assigned to each class each year. Finally, click on Table 9 to see number of MLMIC-covered physicians in each territory. (Please visit www.nystla.org to access the hyperlinks to the .pdf files referenced here.)
Related Documents


Table 1: MLMIC Premiums 1996-2003 in Territory 00 -- Rest of State


Table 2: MLMIC Premiums 1996-2003 in Territory 01 -- New York, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Westchester


Table 3: MLMIC Premiums 1996-2003 in Territory 02 -- Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island


Tabel 4: MLMIC Premiums 1996-2003 in Territory 03 -- Nassau, Suffolk


Table 5: MLMIC Premiums 1996-2003 in Territory 04 -- Columbia, Duchess, Greene, Putnam, and Ulster


Table 6: MLMIC Premiums 1996-2003 in Territory 05 -- Erie, Niagara


Table 7: MLMIC Premiums 1996-2003 in Territory 06 -- Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, Yates


Table 8: MLMIC Specialty Class by Year


Table 9: MLMIC Physicians per Territory, 2002







It is always a good idea to visit the website that I have taken this information from. I will include the link to the original site in my post. Usually, due to the formatting of the Blog, the link will not be an active one, so you may need to re-type it or cut and paste it into the address line on your browser. I strongly encourage you to view the original source sites.

Friday, December 26, 2003

TORT "REFORM" IN THE AUTOMOBILE AREA: WILL IT SAVE YOU MONEY IN THE END?

The Insurance industry's lobbyists in Washington advocate for aggressive changes in existing tort law-- a body of law that has developed over centuries, taking into account the common, everyday experiences of victims and the changes thrust upon them as the result of somebody else's negligence. Victims' rights are under attack on many fronts, from President Bush to local politicians who buy into the insurance industry's myth-making. Below is an article from The Center For Economic Justice, which may be found at
http://www.cej-online.org, outlining one injustice perpetrated on victims of "reform" in Texas in the form of huge profits reaped by the insurance companies. These money making up these profits was supposed to have benefited the consumers in the form of lower premiums. There are similar studies in many other states.

Auto Insurance Overcharges 1997

[Charts are available showing the auto liability loss ratios from 1990 -1997, as well as the 1997 loss ratios by company.]

Texas auto insurers continued to earn record windfall profits in 1997, topping the excess profits in 1996. After keeping $900 million in windfall profits in 1996, Texas auto insurers in 1997 reaped $1.2 billion in additional windfall profits on liability insurance. So far, the result of tort reform has been a $2 billion windfall to Texas auto insurers.

Losses Have Dropped: After the legislature passed so-called tort reform legislation in 1995, the amount insurers paid for losses on auto liability insurance dropped dramatically. Although the legislature intended that insurers pass those savings on to consumers, insurers kept the money. CEJ performed a loss ratio analysis to calculate the estimate of the overcharges. CEJ used data provided by insurers to the Texas Department of Insurance. The loss ratio measures the percentage of the premium dollar that actually benefits consumers through the payment of losses. The Department of Insurance has set 74% as a reasonable loss ratio.

1996 Overcharges: Although the loss ratios for liability coverages -- the coverages affected by tort reform legislation -- was a dismal 56%, insurers paid out only 56% of the premiums to consumers. This resulted in a $900 million windfall profit to insurers in 1996 alone because insurers could have charged substantially lower rates to earn a reasonable profit with a 74% loss ratio.

1997 Overcharges: Although the loss ratios for private passenger auto insurance hit record lows in 1996, the loss ratios in 1997 were even lower. In 1997, the loss ratio for liability insurance dropped to 52%. This means that Texas consumers were overcharged $1.2 billion in 1997 for auto liability insurance. The combined effect of the first two years of tort reform legislation was a $2 billion windfall profit to Texas insurers.

Tort reform legislation affects the liability portion of an auto insurance policy. Thus, the Center for Economic Justice analyzed the loss ratios of liability coverages after tort reform. CEJ also analyzed the loss ratios of auto insurers for all coverages. While these other coverages showed more reasonable profit levels, the profitability of these other coverages did not offset the $2 billion overcharge.

Insurers with the most excessive auto liability insurance profits in 1997 alone:

State Farm $ 424,242,109
Allstate $ 135,079,827
Farmers $ 118,953,626
USAA $ 71,345,872
Progressive $ 68,237,533





Nobody arguing against changes in tort law is anti-capitalist. Quite the contrary. We believe that the market will accommodate for profits and losses; the same forces of free-market economics that make certain efficient companies prosper make certain that awards in tort cases are fair, just, and reasonable. The numbers you read in the press rarely, if ever, reflect the actual recoveries of victims. All awards are subject to appellate review on a number of levels and on a number of theories. There is a governor on the system. There are no "run-away jury" awards that are collectible. In all cases, pecuniary (economic) damages or losses must be proven by a preponderance of tangible evidence. Further, the intangible awards for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life are governed by the principles of fairness and reasonableness. These awards are subjected to strict scrutiny and compared to past sustained awards in similar cases. Judges make the ultimate determination of what is "fair and reasonable", not juries.

On that note, what do you believe would be fair and reasonable compensation for the following potential case: A 29 year old construction worker, with a wife and three children, is rendered quadriplegic after falling from a scaffold that was improperly constructed and did not have proper safety devices in place. This worker is ordered by his foreman to work in a position that made hooking up to a safety line impossible. Further, no safety line is available, anyway. Another worker who refuses to work on that platform is fired. He has no brain damage, and is completely mentally intact. Just as a starting point for your consideration, the cost of his everyday care for the rest of his natural life expectancy will be approximately $15 million dollars. Remember, tort reformers want to put a cap on what they call "pain and suffering" (the complete legal phrase is "pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life). Most proposals would cap these non-economic losses at anywhere from $250,000 to $750,000.

First question: Who should bear the cost of this injured victim's life-care--the negligent parties (who are required by law to have insurance to cover just such a scenario), or the taxpayers who would ultimately have to pay for his healthcare if he received no award for his economic losses? (Tort reformers are quietly attacking the foundation of the laws in New York State that allow injured construction workers to recover even economic damages.)

Second question: What amount of money is enough to compensate this young man for his loss of enjoyment of life? Remember, this 29 year old husband and father of three will be a prisoner in his own body for the rest of his natural life. Tort reformers say these non-economic losses should be capped below $1 million dollars. With enough money, such a "prisoner" would be able to hire the right professionals to allow him to get out to attend a family picnic, or a sporting event for one of his children. These activities are not covered by "pecuniary (economic) losses"; they are considered non-economic. However, they are the very definition of "loss of enjoyment of life".

Please email your responses to alwphd@optonline.net.











It is always a good idea to visit the website that I have taken this information from. I will include the link to the original site in my post. Usually, due to the formatting of the Blog, the link will not be an active one, so you may need to re-type it or cut and paste it into the address line on your browser. I strongly encourage you to view the original source sites. In this case:

Monday, December 15, 2003

MYTHBUSTER!
THE "MCDONALD'S COFFEE CASE"
AND OTHER FICTIONS

From: http://www.centerjd.org/

Anecdotal descriptions of a few atypical lawsuits intended to shock or amuse the public have been the cornerstone of the business community’s anti-jury advertising and public relations campaign since the 1980s. Focusing on a few rare, anecdotal cases, instead of the majority of cases that pass through the courts each year, feeds into a false and dangerous perception that the system is overflowing with frivolous lawsuits. Often such verdicts have either been thrown out or substantially reduced by trial judges or appellate courts, which is exactly how the system is supposed to work. Yet the public is given the false impression that a plaintiff received a windfall, a defendant was financially ruined, or the system failed. This is particularly irresponsible when, as is typical, cases are not cited by name or even by date so they can be checked for accuracy. When journalists or researchers do track them down, they find in virtually every situation that such cases have been misreported and misused.

The “McDonald’s coffee” case. We have all heard it: a woman spills McDonald's coffee, sues and gets $3 million. Here are the facts of this widely misreported and misunderstood case:

Stella Liebeck, 79 years old, was sitting in the passenger seat of her grandson’s car having purchased a cup of McDonald’s coffee. After the car stopped, she tried to hold the cup securely between her knees while removing the lid. However, the cup tipped over, pouring scalding hot coffee onto her. She received third-degree burns over 16 percent of her body, necessitating hospitalization for eight days, whirlpool treatment for debridement of her wounds, skin grafting, scarring, and disability for more than two years. Morgan, The Recorder, September 30, 1994. Despite these extensive injuries, she offered to settle with McDonald’s for $20,000. However, McDonald’s refused to settle. The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages -- reduced to $160,000 because the jury found her 20 percent at fault -- and $2.7 million in punitive damages for McDonald’s callous conduct. (To put this in perspective, McDonald's revenue from coffee sales alone is in excess of $1.3 million a day.) The trial judge reduced the punitive damages to $480,000. Subsequently, the parties entered a post-verdict settlement. According to Stella Liebeck’s attorney, S. Reed Morgan, the jury heard the following evidence in the case:

By corporate specifications, McDonald's sells its coffee at 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit;


Coffee at that temperature, if spilled, causes third-degree burns (the skin is burned away down to the muscle/fatty-tissue layer) in two to seven seconds;


Third-degree burns do not heal without skin grafting, debridement and whirlpool treatments that cost tens of thousands of dollars and result in permanent disfigurement, extreme pain and disability of the victim for many months, and in some cases, years;


The chairman of the department of mechanical engineering and bio-mechanical engineering at the University of Texas testified that this risk of harm is unacceptable, as did a widely recognized expert on burns, the editor in chief of the leading scholarly publication in the specialty, the Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation;


McDonald's admitted that it has known about the risk of serious burns from its scalding hot coffee for more than 10 years -- the risk was brought to its attention through numerous other claims and suits, to no avail;


From 1982 to 1992, McDonald's coffee burned more than 700 people, many receiving severe burns to the genital area, perineum, inner thighs, and buttocks;


Not only men and women, but also children and infants, have been burned by McDonald's scalding hot coffee, in some instances due to inadvertent spillage by McDonald's employees;


At least one woman had coffee dropped in her lap through the service window, causing third-degree burns to her inner thighs and other sensitive areas, which resulted in disability for years;


Witnesses for McDonald's admitted in court that consumers are unaware of the extent of the risk of serious burns from spilled coffee served at McDonald's required temperature;


McDonald's admitted that it did not warn customers of the nature and extent of this risk and could offer no explanation as to why it did not;


McDonald's witnesses testified that it did not intend to turn down the heat -- As one witness put it: “No, there is no current plan to change the procedure that we're using in that regard right now;”


McDonald's admitted that its coffee is “not fit for consumption” when sold because it causes severe scalds if spilled or drunk;


Liebeck's treating physician testified that her injury was one of the worst scald burns he had ever seen.
Morgan, The Recorder, September 30, 1994. Moreover, the Shriner’s Burn Institute in Cincinnati had published warnings to the franchise food industry that its members were unnecessarily causing serious scald burns by serving beverages above 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

In refusing to grant a new trial in the case, Judge Robert Scott called McDonald's behavior “callous.” Moreover, “the day after the verdict, the news media documented that coffee at the McDonald's in Albuquerque [where Liebeck was burned] is now sold at 158 degrees. This will cause third-degree burns in about 60 seconds, rather than in two to seven seconds [so that], the margin of safety has been increased as a direct consequence of this verdict.” Id.

Irresponsible use of anecdotal cases by “tort reform” proponents is nothing new. The case of Charles Bigbee was the “McDonald’s coffee case” of the 1980s. Ronald Reagan described Bigbee’s case in a 1986 speech as follows: “In California, a man was using a public telephone booth to place a call. An alleged drunk driver careened down the street, lost control of his car, and crashed into a phone booth. Now, it’s no surprise that the injured man sued. But you might be startled to hear whom he sued: the telephone company and associated firms!” In fact, Bigbee’s leg was severed after a car hit the phone booth in which he had been trapped. The door jammed after he saw the car coming ‚ he tried to flee but could not. The accident left him unable to walk, severely depressed and unable to work. Because the phone company had placed the booth near a known hazardous intersection, and because the door was defective, keeping him trapped inside, he sued the phone company for compensation. Bigbee was brought to Congress to testify. He said, “I believe it would be very helpful if I could talk briefly about my case and show how it has been distorted not only by the President, but by the media as well. That is probably the best way to show that people who are injured due to the fault of others should be justly compensated for the damages they have to live with the rest of their lives.” House Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, July 23, 1986. Charles Bigbee died in 1994 at age 52. Nader, Smith, No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America (1996).


It is always a good idea to visit the website that I have taken this information from. I will include the link to the original site in my post. Usually, due to the formatting of the Blog, the link will not be an active one, so you may need to re-type it or cut and paste it into the address line on your browser. I strongly encourage you to view the original source sites.

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SO-CALLED MEDICAL MALPRACTICE PREMIUM CRISIS (Adapted, with permission, from http://www.nystla.org)

Examining the Evidence: Medical Society's Claims of "Crisis"
The Medical Society of the State of New York says there is a "crisis" in medical malpractice insurance premiums. According to the Society, "The vast majority of practicing physicians are paying an astounding 27% to 43% more for their medical liability insurance now than they were paying for essentially the same coverage they had two years ago."

To deal with this so-called "crisis", the Medical Society calls for severe and unfair limitations on the ability of people injured by medical malpractice to receive compensation in court.

The tables below prove there is no "crisis".

These tables report the actual premiums physicians paid every year from 1996 to 2003 to the Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company (MLMIC), which covers the majority of New York State doctors. Even in comparatively high cost areas such as New York City and Long Island, premiums have not kept pace with inflation. In fact, thousands of doctors are paying less today than they did in 1996. This data comes from the company's own filings with the New York State Department of Insurance.

Indeed, while MLMIC's statewide average malpractice insurance premiums rose 8.5% in 2003, there was no increase at all in the average statewide premium in 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 and 1997 and premiums declined by 9% in 1996 for thousands of doctors.

The first seven tables below provide premium data for New York State's seven rating territories, or groups of counties. Click on the table for the territory you wish to view. Each table lists the premium paid by each physician specialty. Specialties are assigned a class number, 1 to 17.

Premiums for 1996 to 2003 are provided for $1 million/$3 million coverage. For 2003, premiums are also provided for $1.3 million/$3.9 million coverage, which physicians were required to purchase beginning in 2003.

Click on Table 8 to see the numbers of physicians per class and which specialties were assigned to each class each year. Finally, click on Table 9 to see number of MLMIC-covered physicians in each territory.
To view the tables referenced in the article, please visit:
if the link does not work, please cut and paste it into your browser's address line, or simply type "www.nystla.org" into the address line. It is a GREAT site!


Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!


Friday, December 12, 2003

CONTINUING THE ASSAULT ON MALPRACTICE PATIENTS' RIGHTS 

The Attack on Patient Rights
A top priority of the Bush Administration has been to push medical malpractice liability legislation through Congress. A bill defeated in the U.S Senate on July 9 would have severely limited access to justice for people injured by medical malpractice, improper HMO practices, unsafe medical products, and nursing home abuse and neglect. At a time when up to 98,000 people die each year in hospitals alone as a result of preventable medical errors, curtailing patient's access to the civil justice system and preventing victims from being able to obtain fair and just compensation is unjustified. The solution proposed by the medical lobby and the insurance industry is to reduce victims' rights, rather than address the wrongs against them. And according to the New York Times, the battle for patient rights will only intensify in the next legislative session.

Here in New York, doctors' groups and the insurance industry had tried to use the recent Desiderio decision to further reduce victims' rights. In the June 26, 2003 President's Post, NYSTLA President Jeffrey Lichtman explains the implications of the bill passed regarding CPLR Article 50-A. Please check NYSTLA's Headlines section for breaking news and developments in the medical malpractice battle, and check the Medical Malpractice section often for information on how you can respond to the attack on patient rights.

Today's top medical malpractice news:
In the New York State Legislature, OB-GYNs are asking lawmakers to help subsidize the costs of medical malpractice insurance.





THE CONTINUING EROSION OF VICTIMS' RIGHTS TO FAIR AND JUST COMPENSATION FOR PAIN, SUFFERING, LOSS OF ENJOYMENT OF LIFE, AND ECONOMIC LOSS, AS ORCHESTRATED BY PRESIDENT BUSH AND SENATOR/DOCTOR BILL FRIST, AND IN THIS CASE AS EXECUTED BY NEW YORK CITY MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG.

Bill Castro, who has been at his wife's side at Staten Island University Hospital since the October 15 Staten Island ferry crash, shed light on the difficulty of her recovery process: "I go as my wife goes," he said. "If she doesn't have a good day, I don't have a good day." In the Staten Island ferry crash, Castro's wife, Debra, lost half of her right leg, all of her left leg, part of her pelvis and her ear, which had to be reattached. She is still in a drug-induced coma. "It can be frustrating that you can't get an answer from the doctor because he doesn't have one. He's never experienced anything like it," Castro said. "It's like she's ... stepped on a land mine." According to the State Island Advance, Bill Castro said he has still has not seen all of his wife's injuries and worries about her reaction when she wakes up.

New York City, backed by Mayor Bloomberg, has requested a limitation of liability to $14.4 million and encouraged victims to forego legal representation. The City is relying on a 150-year-old federal maritime law written with cargo -- not passenger -- ships in mind, which has struck some as "grossly unfair," according to The New York Times. In a related story, federal prosecutors have been investigating the conduct of Patrick Ryan, the director of ferry operations for the city's Department of Transportation, for failing to enforce regulations regarding the positioning of pilots during ferry trips.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THE CITY OF NEW YORK WILL BE FULLY REPRESENTED IN ANY PROCEEDING BY ITS OWN CORPORATION COUNSEL, MICHAEL CARDOZO. THE VICTIMS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAVE LEGAL COUNSEL.

For more information about the continuing erosion and planned obliteration of victims' rights please visit
and

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

MAYBE NOT THE BEST HOMELAND SECURITY PLAN, BUT IT'S A START. SEE BELOW FOR DICK GEPHARDT'S PROPOSAL




Gephardt Offers Bold Plan to Stem Terror and Bolster Domestic Security


Dick Gephardt today outlined a bold plan to better secure our homeland by both promoting a foreign policy of consensus and inclusiveness and building a domestic security plan based on prevention and preparation. In a speech entitled "Homeland Security We Can Count On," Gephardt highlighted his plan to create a Homeland Security Trust Fund to provide states and local communities with a dedicated source of funding to keep our families safe and secure.

"For me, a guiding principle of homeland security is that it should look both inward and outward. A foreign policy that drives away natural allies in the war against terrorism does our country no good. And short-changing domestic security puts our citizens here at home at undue risk," Gephardt told an audience of police officers at the Cedar Rapids Police Station. "Just as with most things in life, homeland security involves balance and common sense. Unfortunately, those are two qualities we rarely see in this White House."

"We deserve better than a president who commits Americans to such a war while abdicating defensive measures. What is national defense if we're not protecting Americans within our own country?"

"The presidency should be about setting high goals, and then following through on your commitments. Unfortunately, this president's resolve to pass irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy far outweighs his commitment to homeland security. Tax cuts are no defense against weapons of mass destruction."

"The U.S. Conference of Mayors has estimated that American cities have spent more than $2.6 billion on additional homeland security costs like police equipment and patrols, fire department upgrades, and emergency health care preparedness. And those cities are spending over $70 million every week that America is at a heightened security level under the code orange alert."

"America's front-line in the war on terror is not just Iraq or Afghanistan. It's not limited to rogue nations like Iran or North Korea. It's everywhere, including right here on the streets of our heartland. As president, I'm determined to give these police officers and the rest of our first responders every resource at our disposal to do a job that will never end. That's not asking for too much, and neither are these officers."

A Gephardt administration will take the following steps to better secure the homeland:



Create a Homeland Security Trust Fund so states and local communities have the resources they need to keep our families safe. Gephardt will dedicate $20 billion per year to the trust fund.

Establish a $10 billion First Responder Grant Program, similar to the COPS program in the 1993 Crime Bill, to provide money to localities to hire and train first responders, and provide necessary equipment and support services.

Create a unified terrorist 'watch-list' that provides a single database of suspected terrorists. Gephardt will make coordination between state, local, and federal law enforcement a priority, will hire enough border guards and deploy the technology to patrol every mile of both of our borders, and will coordinate the security of our ports.

Gephardt will pay for these proposals by forming a Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission, legislation he co-authored with Senator John McCain. Much like the independent base closing commission, the commission will weed out special interest provisions and pork from the federal tax code. The resulting revenue will be used to endow the Homeland Security Trust Fund.


Full text of the speech
Policy outline and Gephardt's record on Homeland Security
"Many will say that this struggle against terrorism is here to stay. The anger and hatred that would lead to suicide bombings and hijacked airliners is not easily extinguished, and I'm realistic about that. There is a messianic fever against America in many corners of the world, and we have to come to grips with why that is and what we can do about it."

"There are no easy answers. But there are obvious truths. We cannot live in peace by pushing people away. We cannot risk the innocent through hypocrisy and greed. And we cannot abdicate leadership at the time of greatest peril."


Tune In: Dick Gephardt on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"
Be sure to tune in to NBC's "The Tonight Show" on Tuesday, December 2nd. Dick Gephardt will be Jay Leno's guest that night, along with other scheduled guests actress Naomi Watts and singer Phil Collins.


What: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"
When: Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 11:30 pm ET
Where: NBC

More Recent Campaign News


Who Can Beat George W. Bush? (Atlantic Monthly)
Dean or Gephardt? My hunch is that Dean's anti-war stance would get him a heavy vote in states the Democrats would carry anyway but would hurt him in swing states won by Clinton and lost by Gore—states like West Virginia, Arkansas, and Louisiana. There is not a state Dean would carry that Gephardt would lose, but Gephardt would be competitive in states Dean would lose. So is the answer to the question, "Who can beat George W. Bush?," Dick Gephardt? To end on a note of justified equivocation, perhaps.

Gephardt blasts Bush policies (Dubuque Telegraph Herald)
Buoyed by more than 100 Democratic faithful cheering him on, Richard Gephardt brought his presidential campaign to Dubuque Saturday night, lambasting President George Bush as an "arrogant cowboy." ... Gephardt called Bush's foreign policy "a miserable failure," and said as House minority leader he tried to convince Bush to get United Nation's support before moving U.S. troops into Iraq. "He's hard to help," Gephardt quipped. "If you'd been meeting with him every week after 9/11, you'd be running for president."

"Meet the Press" (NBC)
Host Tim Russert: Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, gave an interview to The Washington Times yesterday and said this, "There clearly are concerns about Dean's ability to appeal to the entire country, particularly on national security issues. ... There is concern about how does [Dean's antiwar campaign] play out a year from now? How can you compete with President Bush on"--the--"national security front?" There's--"some concern about whether Dean can rise to the occasion on this issue."

And, David Broder, the article goes on to talk about Dean's opposition to the Bush tax cuts, his support of imposing new regulations on businesses, new trade protection rules, and favoring civil unions for gay couples. How concerned are traditional Democrats that Howard Dean may not be the kind of candidate they want in a general election?


MR. BRODER: None have any fingernails left. There is a lot of concern, particularly among the elected officials. Dean is not a particularly collegial Democrat, so he doesn't have a lot of natural allies among the Democratic governors. He's a stranger to most of the members of Congress, though he's tried to begin to build some relationships there. All they know about him, basically, are the positions that he's taken and those positions make a good many Democrats very nervous.

Gephardt Named Winner of Latest Democratic Debate (CNN's "Inside Politics")
CNN's Judy Woodruff: Ron, who was the winner? Or was there a winner?

Ron Brownstein, Los Angeles Times: Well, actually, I think that Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean probably had the best debate partly because of the way that they performed, but mostly because I think they had the clearest strategy. Look, what Dick Gephardt is doing may not be glamorous, but it is disciplined and targeted.

What he's doing consistently is attacking Howard Dean on trade and on social spending issues. First entitlements, then beginning with yesterday's debate, his budget priorities in Vermont. Basically aiming his candidacy and these arguments at a blue collar and senior audience. Most of the people who have not been to college are less attracted to candidates, reform candidates like Dean to begin with.


Sunday, November 30, 2003

President Bush signed a huge new defense bill that includes millions of dollars for a small nuclear bomb designed to destroy deep, hardened underground bunkers.

Among the many items tucked away in the $401 billion defense authorization act was a $15 million three-year research project by the Energy and Defense departments to create the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.

The legislation repeals a decade-old ban on research into low-yield nuclear weapons.

The controversial new weapon would consist of a hard-nosed rocket able to penetrate 20 feet into the earth with a small-scale nuclear bomb, modified from an existing nuke, that would go off on a delay - so that it would explode at the deepest point.


Saturday, November 29, 2003

Byrd's Fable Fits Perfectly
Jimmy Breslin. Newsday. (Combined editions).Long Island, N.Y.: Nov 27, 2003. pg. A.02
Abstract (Article Summary)
"Those who have dared to expose the nakedness of the administration's policies in Iraq have been subjected to scorn. Those who have noticed the elephant in the room - that is, the fact that this war was based on falsehoods - have had our patriotism questioned. Those who have spoken aloud the thought shared by hundreds of thousands of military families across this country, that our troops should return quickly and safely from the dangers half a world away, have been accused of cowardice. We have then seen the untruths, the dissembling, the fabrication, the misleading inferences surrounding this rush to war in Iraq wrapped quickly in the flag.
"The single-minded obsession of this administration to now make sense of the chaos in Iraq, and the continuing propaganda which emanates from the White House painting Iraq as the geographical center of terrorism is distracting our attention from Afghanistan and the 60 other countries in the world where terrorists hide. It is sapping resources which could be used to make us safer from terrorists on our own shores. The body armor for our own citizens still has many, many chinks. Have we forgotten that the most horrific terror attacks in history occurred right here at home! Yet, this administration turns back money for homeland security, while the president pours billions into security for Iraq. I am powerless to understand or explain such a policy.
"I have tried mightily to improve this bill. I twice tried to separate the reconstruction money in this bill, so that those dollars could be considered separately from the military spending. I offered an amendment to force the administration to craft a plan to get other nations to assist the troops and formulate a plan to get the UN in, and the U.S. out, of Iraq. Twice I tried to rid the bill of expansive, flexible authorities that turn this $87 billion into a blank check. The American people should understand that we provide more foreign aid for Iraq in this bill, $20.3 billion, than we provide for the rest of the entire world! I attempted to remove from this bill billions in wasteful programs and divert those funds to better use. But, at every turn, my efforts were thwarted by the vapid argument that we must all support the requests of the commander in chief.

Full Text (1783 words)
Copyright Newsday Inc., 2003)

The hand shakes but the mind does not. Nor does the voice waver. Always in his jacket pocket is a copy of the Constitution of the United States, which he loves.
And Oct. 17, Robert C. Byrd, 86, United States senator from West Virginia, rose in the Senate and read a speech, with sentences shorter than his usual because his thoughts were so biting. He had searched his heart and the skies above for words that would scald now, and be a legacy for all to follow.
You will not have to tell your grandchildren of the heights to which Robert Byrd took us on that day. They will be able to read his speech in their classrooms and libraries. For his are the words of his time that will last.
The speech is printed here as a gift to readers.
Byrd spoke at a time when we have a president who has a singular ineptitude with the English language.
Bush is in the nation's capital and he uses the loutish language of a high school locker room:
"Bring 'em on."
And now at a time when he is so needed, here is Robert C. Byrd's "The Emperor Has No Clothes."
He started with Hans Christian Andersen's 1837 story of an emperor who was so enamored of his appearance and his clothing that he had a different suit for every hour of the day. Two rogues came into town and convinced the emperor that they could weave magical cloth that was visible only to those completely pure in mind and spirit. The rogues feigned work on empty looms.
Ministers exhorted the beauty of the cloth on the looms even though they could see nothing. The emperor saw nothing, but he went through the motion of carefully putting on these wonderful new garments. His people cheered. They didn't want to be seen as less than pure of heart. The bubble burst when an innocent child exclaimed that the emperor had no clothes.
Now Sen. Robert S. Byrd announced to the Senate:
"The tale seems to me very like the way this nation was led to war. ... We were told that we were threatened by weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but they have not been seen.
"We were told that the throngs of Iraqis would welcome our troops with flowers, but no throngs or flowers appeared.
"We were led to believe that Saddam Hussein was connected to the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, but no evidence has ever been produced.
"We were told in 16 words that Saddam Hussein tried to buy 'yellow cake' from Africa for production of nuclear weapons, but the story has turned into empty air.
"We were frightened with visions of mushroom clouds, but they turned out to be only vapors of the mind.
"We were told that major combat was over, but 101 Americans [as of Oct. 17] have died in combat since that proclamation from the deck of an aircraft carrier by our very own emperor in his new clothes.
"Our emperor says that we are not occupiers, yet we show no inclination to relinquish the country of Iraq to its people.
"Those who have dared to expose the nakedness of the administration's policies in Iraq have been subjected to scorn. Those who have noticed the elephant in the room - that is, the fact that this war was based on falsehoods - have had our patriotism questioned. Those who have spoken aloud the thought shared by hundreds of thousands of military families across this country, that our troops should return quickly and safely from the dangers half a world away, have been accused of cowardice. We have then seen the untruths, the dissembling, the fabrication, the misleading inferences surrounding this rush to war in Iraq wrapped quickly in the flag.
"The right to ask questions, debate, and dissent is under attack. The drums of war are beaten ever louder in an attempt to drown out those who speak of our predicament in stark terms.
"Even in the Senate, our history and tradition of being the world's greatest deliberative body is being snubbed. This huge spending bill has been rushed through this chamber in just one month. There were just three open hearings by the Senate Appropriations Committee on $87 billion, without a single outside witness called to challenge the administration's line.
"Ambassador Bremer went so far as to refuse to return to the Appropriations Committee to answer additional questions because, and I quote: 'I don't have time. I'm completely booked, and I have to get back to Baghdad to my duties.'
"Despite this callous stiff-arm of the Senate and its duties to ask questions in order to represent the American people, few dared to voice their opposition to rushing this bill through these halls of Congress. Perhaps they were intimidated by the false claims that our troops are in immediate need of more funds.
"But the time has come for the sheep-like political correctness which has cowed members of this Senate to come to an end.
"The emperor has no clothes. This entire adventure in Iraq has been based on propaganda and manipulation. Eighty-seven billion dollars is too much to pay for the continuation of a war based on falsehoods.
"Taking the nation to war based on misleading rhetoric and hyped intelligence is a travesty and a tragedy. It is the most cynical of all cynical acts. It is dangerous to manipulate the truth. It is dangerous because once having lied, it is difficult to ever be believed again. Having misled the American people and stampeded them to war, this administration must now attempt to sustain a policy predicated on falsehoods. The President asks for billions from those same citizens who know that they were misled about the need to go to war. We misinformed and insulted our friends and allies, and now this administration is having more than a little trouble getting help from the international community. It is perilous to mislead.
"The single-minded obsession of this administration to now make sense of the chaos in Iraq, and the continuing propaganda which emanates from the White House painting Iraq as the geographical center of terrorism is distracting our attention from Afghanistan and the 60 other countries in the world where terrorists hide. It is sapping resources which could be used to make us safer from terrorists on our own shores. The body armor for our own citizens still has many, many chinks. Have we forgotten that the most horrific terror attacks in history occurred right here at home! Yet, this administration turns back money for homeland security, while the president pours billions into security for Iraq. I am powerless to understand or explain such a policy.
"I have tried mightily to improve this bill. I twice tried to separate the reconstruction money in this bill, so that those dollars could be considered separately from the military spending. I offered an amendment to force the administration to craft a plan to get other nations to assist the troops and formulate a plan to get the UN in, and the U.S. out, of Iraq. Twice I tried to rid the bill of expansive, flexible authorities that turn this $87 billion into a blank check. The American people should understand that we provide more foreign aid for Iraq in this bill, $20.3 billion, than we provide for the rest of the entire world! I attempted to remove from this bill billions in wasteful programs and divert those funds to better use. But, at every turn, my efforts were thwarted by the vapid argument that we must all support the requests of the commander in chief.
"I cannot stand by and continue to watch our grandchildren become increasingly burdened by the billions that fly out of the Treasury for a war and a policy based largely on propaganda and prevarication. We are borrowing $87 billion to finance this adventure in Iraq. The president is asking this Senate to pay for this war with increased debt, a debt that will have to be paid by our children and by those same troops that are currently fighting this war. I cannot support outlandish tax cuts that plunge our country into potentially disastrous debt while our troops are fighting and dying in a war that the White House chose to begin.
"I cannot support the continuation of a policy that unwisely ties down 150,000 American troops for the foreseeable future, with no end in sight.
"I cannot support a president who refuses to authorize the reasonable change in course that would bring traditional allies to our side in Iraq.
"I cannot support the politics of zeal and 'might makes right' that created the new American arrogance and unilateralism which passes for foreign policy in this administration.
"I cannot support this foolish manifestation of the dangerous and destabilizing doctrine of pre-emption that changes the image of America into that of a reckless bully.
"The emperor has no clothes. And our former allies around the world were the first to loudly observe it.
"I shall vote against this bill because I cannot support a policy based on prevarication. I cannot support doling out 87 billion of our hard-earned tax dollars when I have so many doubts about the wisdom of its use.
"I began my remarks with a fairy tale. I shall close my remarks with a horror story, in the form of a quote from the book 'Nuremberg Diaries,' written by G.M. Gilbert, in which the author interviews Hermann Goering.
"'We got around to the subject of war again, and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.
"'... But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
"'There is one difference,' I pointed out. 'In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States, only Congress can declare wars.'
"'Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.'"
[Illustration]
Caption: AP File Photo - On the Senate floor, Sen. Robert C. Byrd told "Emperor" Bush the naked truth.



Weitz, Kleinick & Weitz, LLP Attorneys At Law

Thursday, November 27, 2003

For free legal advice about personal injury law in New York, visit our website and use the email link for Andrew L. Weitz.
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