Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I recently read John Grisham’s latest book, “ Ford Country.” This has nothing to do with Ford automobiles. It’s a collection of several short stories and each is a terrific read by this master storyteller. I liked it so much I picked up one of his older novels “The Rainmaker” and read it this week. Grisham can really spin a yarn.

I have a great distaste for most trial lawyers. When I was in practice I saw much evidence of their frivolous lawsuits. Reading Grisham, I do gain a little appreciation for the value of the plaintiff attorneys. “The Rainmaker’ contains characters who represent the worst of the legal profession including ambulance chasers. It’s also about some who want to do right by going after those who have committed a grave injustice. The story centers around a corrupt and greedy health insurance company that denied claims just to make a buck. The insurance companies are out of control as we have seen with the incredible rise in premiums. Much of this goes to support the salaries of greedy executives. Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of capitalism going wild with greed and the only way to contain it is through litigation or government regulation. The safety and rights of individuals is jeopardized by this greed. The more the population increases, in a free society, the more there is a need for regulation and laws to protect us from our greatest enemy – us.

There has recently been a lot of news about the safety of X-Ray machines and the lack of concern regarding radiation exposure by the users. The machines may emit excessive amounts of radiation and of even greater concern is the indiscriminate use of X-Ray by physicians to make a profit. Today, I learned that the FDA is going to have greater oversight of radiation producing equipment such as CT scanners, fluoroscopy and nuclear medicine. Machines will have detectors to measure the amount of radiation and warn the user of danger levels. There is still nothing to restrict the doctors from ordering unnecessary studies because they think it is medically justified when the real reason is to pad their pocketbook.

Unfortunately. a lot of things are in need of regulating. I wish someone would take a critical look at electric companies. The major increase in electric bills this winter is partially due to the extremely cold weather but I suspect there is more to it. Even the food we eat and the toys our kids play with need strict oversight are farmers and manufacturers would poison us all to death. The meat we consume is from animals that have been given antibiotics and resulted in resistant strains of bacteria such a MRSA. The list goes on and on. It’s sad that the human race can’t behave and there is a need for trial lawyers and government regulation.

All this has even affected my life on the porch. We are turning the lights off when it gets dark and turning the heat down to save on the expensive electricity. I’m becoming more like my ancestors who lived on the farm before electricity. I’m just going to bed early and staying under the cover. Guess I will be writing some of my blogs from under the cover so the spelling may be even worse than usual.


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