Trump vs. Congress and Our Constitution

Donald Trump is the most impeachable president in American history. Many Democrats, however, are running away from the word “impeachment” for tactical political reasons. Some Democrats say they have a sworn duty under the Constitution to present articles of impeachment for a vote in the House of Representatives, regardless of the refusal by the Republican controlled Senate to hold a trial.

Interestingly, when Republicans in the House impeached President Bill Clinton in 1998, he was more popular in polls than Donald Trump is now. The Republican controlled Senate, however, failed to get the two-thirds vote needed to remove President Clinton from office. Clinton’s offenses – lying under oath and obstruction of justice pale in comparison to the many mega offenses of Trump.

The six major House Committees are investigating issues ranging from his tax returns and business dealings to the documented serial obstructions of justice documented in the Mueller Report. As these investigations move well beyond what is already on the public record and more Americans learn their contents, there will be more than enough to substantiate numerous articles of impeachment. Plus a new one of Trump’s own creation— the wholesale, broadside obstruction of all these Congressional investigations, defying subpoenas for sworn testimony and documents, amounting to a gigantic contempt of Congress – itself an impeachable offense.

Trump is trying to bar key witnesses from testifying. He is suing his own accounting firm and Deutsche Bank to shield his sordid business relationships and potential tax violations.

I’ll bet he’s never even read our Constitution – he says out loud that whatever Congress does on impeachment, the Supreme Court will rescue him. Donald, when it comes to Congressional impeachment and conviction, the decision by Congress is final.

The House Democrats can strengthen their case with the American people by connecting impeachable offenses with actions that endanger the lives, health, and economic well-being of adults and children.

For starters, Trump and his henchmen have brazenly, openly, and defiantly refused to faithfully execute the laws of the land as required in Article 2, section 3 of the Constitution. By not enforcing the law, he has opened the floodgates for deadly emissions from various industries that are getting into the lungs of millions of Americans. By allowing more pollution into water, air, food, and workplaces of the American people by immobilizing, if not firing the federal cops on the corporate crime beat, pulling back on existing enforcement, eliminating critical safeguards on the books, and cutting enforcement budgets, he has jeopardized the health of millions of Americans. This is a gift to the lethal coal industry, the reckless drug industry, the chemical pesticide companies, the oil, gas and nuclear industries and all those extractive companies licking their chops to plunder more of our beautiful public lands such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and our national forests.

Physicians have pleaded with the Trumpsters to protect the vulnerable infants and children from toxics and micro-particulates in the air and water. “Hell no,” cry his craven gangsters who were chosen to run our health and safety agencies precisely because they want to run them into the ground.

For the first time ever, life expectancy in the United States is declining. This lawlessness is way beyond what should be excused by “prosecutorial discretion.” Trump’s defiant wholesale repeal of the rule of law begs for impeachment.

Trump’s impeachable brew is deep, hot, and deadly. He violates the constitution, federal statutes, and international treaties with his war crimes anywhere he wants to conduct them around the world. John Bolton, the unconfirmed national security advisor and Mike Pompeo, his secretary of state, are looking for new wars – whether in Iran or Venezuela. Bolton and Pompeo are prime examples of unindicted war criminals.

These men violently threaten regimes, except those run by Trump’s favorite dictators (he says he’s “fallen in love” with North Korea’s Kim), as if there are no laws whatsoever to restrain their dangerous missions. The fact that previous Presidents like Clinton, the two Bushes, and Obama committed war crimes does not exonerate Trump. Congress is also culpable. It has to stop the lawless foreign/military policies of Empire that eventually will boomerang and undermine our nation’s national security. It has already produced devastating costs in casualties and dollars.

Impeachable offenses include violating Article I, section 8 by conducting wars of choice without a Congressional declaration and other provision of the Constitution (Article 1 section 9 clause 7) and statutes banning spending tax monies without Congressional appropriation. Consider the support of the war on Yemen and bombing of Syria with immense civilian destruction as illustrations.

This is the road to tyranny and the de facto overthrow of our “constitutional order.”

Then there are Trump’s campaign finance violations, his tax frauds, and his threats to use blanket pardons of Trump associates who are now convicted criminals. Not to mention Trump’s “indifference to wrongdoing,” in the words of Charles Black, the late, eminent constitutional scholar. Such “indifference” Black declared “may be in effect equivalent to ratification of wrongdoing.”

Another standard for impeachment is the widely quoted criterion by Alexander Hamilton – behavior that constitutes “abuse or violation of some public trust.” How about Trump’s over ten thousand recorded lies or misleading fabrications? How about his bigotry, misogyny and lying about his sexual misconducts and payoffs? How about Trump allowing the enrichment of his businesses (which he refused to sell or put into a blind trust) by foreign governments spending lavishly at his hotels and other properties, in violation of our Constitution’s emoluments clause?

Our Founders condemned behavior, shorn of minimal honor and integrity that brings the Office of the Presidency into disrepute and undercuts the legitimacy of the U.S. government or the ability of the government to function.

Recall the five week shutdown of the U.S. government by our pouting juvenile president over not getting his porous border wall funded. Trump’s actions shut down critical, life-saving governmental services. That tantrum alone should be an impeachable offense.

The Congress was handed a mass of evidence by the Mueller Report and Congressional hearings are likely to find this evidence will provide a solid basis for impeachment. Bear in mind, Mueller decided he couldn’t recommend any criminal enforcement due to his hands being tied by a Justice Department “opinion,” not a law, that sitting Presidents could not be criminally indicted. Instead he punted his damning report to Congress with such statements as “Our investigation found multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations.” Over a dozen listed acts, to be specific.

As the laws start catching up with Trump, he will resort to raucous mass rallies where he will warn of violence in the streets, as he did during his campaign in 2016 when discussing his potential loss. He will start military actions, which explains why he had to pressure former generals, Mattis and Kelly, to resign from the Department of Defense and White House. Trump doesn’t like generals who advocate restraint.

Trump himself has said that he will be secure so long as the police and military are with him. Get ready for a fast-approaching major constitutional crisis with Congress and adherents of the rule of law.

Our lying, lawless President is about to face the laws of the land, backed by our Constitution. It is time for Republicans to start looking at themselves in the mirror of history. And it is time for all Americans to challenge their elected officials to stand tall and uphold the rule of law.

Safeguarding our democracy requires nothing less. For more information on impeachment, listen to my interview with scholar Alan Hirsch, author of Impeaching the President: Past Present and Future: https://ralphnaderradiohour.com/impeaching-the-president/

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Boeing Mismanagers Forfeit Your Pay and Resign: An Open Letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg

Dennis A. Muilenburg
Chairman, President, and
Chief Executive Officer
The Boeing Company
100 North Riverside
Chicago, IL 60606

Dear Mr. Muilenburg:

On April 4, 2019 you somewhat belatedly released a statement that “We at Boeing are sorry for the lives lost in the recent 737 MAX accidents.” You added that a preliminary investigation made it “apparent that in both flights” the MCAS “activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information.”

Your acknowledgement of the problems with the 737 MAX somehow escaped inclusion in your messages to shareholders, the capital markets, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is now stunningly clear that your overly optimistic outlook on January 20, 2019 – after the Indonesian Lion Air crash – was misleading. Whatever the public learns, day after day about the troubles of your company, it is still far less than what Boeing knows will come out day by day, and not just about the deadly design of the 737 MAX.

Your narrow-body passenger aircraft – namely, the long series of 737’s that began in the nineteen sixties was past its prime. How long could Boeing avoid making the investment needed to produce a “clean-sheet” aircraft and, instead, in the words of Bloomberg Businessweek “push an aging design beyond its limits?” Answer: As long as Boeing could get away with it and keep necessary pilot training and other costs low for the airlines as a sales incentive.

To compete with the Airbus A320neo, Boeing equipped the 737 MAX with larger engines tilted more forward and upward on the wings than prior 737’s. Thus began the trail of criminal negligence that will implicate the company and its executives. The larger engines changed the center of gravity and the plane’s aerodynamics. Boeing management was on a fast track and ignored warnings by its own engineers, not to mention scores of other technical aerospace people outside the company.

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) software fix or patch with all its glitches and miscues is now a historic example of a grave failure of Boeing management. Yet, you insist the 737 MAX is still safe and some alteration of the MCAS and other pilot advisories will make the aircraft airworthy. Aircrafts should be stall-proof, not stall-prone. Trying to shift the burden onto the pilots for any vast numbers of failure modes beyond the software’s predictability is scurrilous. The Boeing 737 MAX must never be permitted to fly again – it has an inherent aerodynamic design defect. Sell your Boeing 737NG instead.

No matter your previous safety record of the 737 series, Boeing doesn’t get one, two, or more crashes that are preventable by adopting long-established aeronautical knowledge and practices. You are on the highest level of notice not to add to your already extraordinary record of criminally negligent decisions and inactions. Result – 346 innocent people lost their lives.

Boeing management’s behavior must be seen in the context of Boeing’s use of its earned capital. Did you use the $30 billion surplus from 2009 to 2017 to reinvest in R&D, in new narrow-body passenger aircraft?  Or did you, instead, essentially burn this surplus with self-serving stock buybacks of $30 billion in that period? Boeing is one of the companies that MarketWatch labelled as “Five companies that spent lavishly on stock buybacks while pension funding lagged.”

Incredibly, your buybacks of $9.24 billion in 2017 comprised 109% of annual earnings. As you know, stock buybacks do not create any jobs. They improve the metrics for the executive compensation packages of top Boeing bosses.

To make your management recklessly worse, in December 2018 you arranged for your rubberstamp Board of Directors to approve $20 billion more in buybacks now placed on pause.

Then, after the Indonesian crash, came the second software-bomb that took away control from the pilots and brought down Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, taking the lives of 156 passengers and crew. At the time, you were way overdue with your new software allegedly addressing the avoidable risks associated with the notorious 737 MAX.

Don’t you see some inverted priorities here? Don’t you see how you should have invested in producing better aircraft? Instead, your top management was inebriated with the prospect of higher stock values, and higher profits by keeping your costs lower with that “aging design” of the Boeing 737s. You guessed wrong – big time for your passengers as well as for your company.

Boeing is in additional trouble that reflects poor management. On March 22, 2019, the Washington Post reported that NASA’s Administrator, Jim Bridenstine said “the agency is considering sidelining the massive rocket Boeing is building because of how far behind schedule it is.”

And now, the agency is about to announce another major delay in the high-profile spacecraft Boeing is building to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

Then on April 21, 2019, the New York Times in a lengthy front-page story, based on “internal emails, corporate documents and federal records, as well as interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees,” reported that your South Carolina factory, which produces the 787 Dreamliner, “has been plagued by shoddy production and weak oversight that have threatened to compromise safety.”

It is not as if you are receiving anything but top dollar payments for these military (the Air Force tanker) and government contracts. You overpay yourself at over $23 million in 2018, which comes to about $12,000 an hour!

In the midst of these accusations, whistleblower lawsuits, alleged retaliations by management, the Times reports your pace of production “has quickened” and that you are eliminating “about a hundred quality control positions in North Charleston [South Carolina].” Why?

Big corporations are run like top-down dictatorships where the hired hands determine their own pay and strip their shareholder owners of necessary powers of governance. Your Board of Directors should disclose what you told them about the 737 MAX and when they knew it.

Already, corporate crime specialists are making the case for you and other top Boeing managers, having refused to listen to the warnings of your conscientious engineers, regarding the redesign of the 737 MAX, to face criminal prosecution. Note BP pleading guilty in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to eleven counts of manslaughter in 2013.

Glass Lewis urges removal of Boeing audit committee head Lawrence Kellner for “failing to foresee safety risks with the 737 MAX aircraft,” reported the Financial Times, on April 16, 2019.

Consider, in addition, the statement of two Harvard scholars—Leonard J. Marcus and Eric J. McNulty, (authors of the forthcoming book, You’re It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When it Matters Most).

“Of course, if Boeing did not act in good faith in deploying the 737 Max and the Justice Department’s investigation discovers Boeing cut corners or attempted to avoid proper regulatory reviews of the modifications to the aircraft, Muilenburg and any other executives involved should resign immediately. Too many families, indeed communities, depend on the continued viability of Boeing.”

These preconditions have already been disclosed and are evidentially based. Your mismanagement is replete with documentation. Management was criminally negligent, 346 lives of passengers and crew were lost. You and your team should forfeit your compensation and should resign forthwith.

All concerned with aviation safety should have your public response.

Sincerely,
Ralph Nader

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Children’s Moral Power Can Challenge Corporate Power on Climate Crisis

The famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead, once said to me that children have a distinct moral authority to change some of their parents’ habits or opinions. She gave use of seat belts and smoking cigarettes as examples.

Indeed, most of us know instances when sons and daughters have looked into the eyes of their fathers and mothers and urged them to wear their seatbelts or stop smoking. They say in their own plaintive way that they want mommy and daddy around for them. Many mothers and fathers have had such experiences.

Many parents and corporate executives are doing slow motion dances round global climate disruptions, despite the brutally visual and scientific evidence of our climate crisis. The rising tide of worldwide protests in recent months by young students cutting classes to shake up their elders should be a wakeup call and a sign of more activism on the horizon. Earth Day on April 22nd should give them another visible platform.

Last year the Global Youth Climate Strike manifested itself in Sweden, where it was started by a then fifteen year old teenager, Greta Thunberg. Every Friday she stood in silent protest outside the historic Swedish Parliament in Stockholm.

On March 15, an estimated 150,000 European students left school to protest. In Sweden, Germany, France, Britain, and other countries, these youngsters admonished adults, who have the power to urgently diminish greenhouse gases by cutting the use of coal, oil, and gas, and expanding the use of renewables and energy conservation.

In India, demonstrations were about the suffocating air pollution. In South Africa, protestors spoke about the worsening droughts.

At a rally in Washington, DC, eight year old Havana Chapman-Edwards told protestors at the U.S. Capitol: “Today we are telling the truth and we do not take no for an answer,” according to the New York Times.

Protestors already see the truth in the South Pacific’s rising sea levels and the Arctic Circle’s melting ice.

These youngsters can argue their case with facts and figures, with stories of record-setting fires, floods, tornados, and hurricanes and species extinctions. But they are viscerally feeling the impact of climate crisis and fearing for their lives before reaching middle age.

As University of Maryland Professor Dana Fisher told the Times, children are afraid of the tumultuous world they will inherit. Their elders are not protecting them.

Greta, the emerging spokesperson for this escalating youth agitation put it wisely: “There is a crisis in front of us that we will have to live with for all our lives, our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations.” The movement has much more room to grow, but we are depending on them developing a strong, organized voice, while retaining their individual spontaneity.

Not surprisingly, climate deniers took to social media to falsely declare that environmental groups were using the students. In fact, this outburst was quite commendably a result of students taking what they’ve learned seriously.

In England, students are insisting their government declare a state of emergency to highlight the severity of the threat. They want more material on global warming in their national school curriculum.

Some teachers and principals in the U.K. don’t like students missing classes and are trying to block or penalize those who do. But many school leaders are approving such brief intermissions to help save the planet. Sixteen year old Bonnie Morely decried the politicians for being “asleep at the wheel. We have to wake them up and I think thousands of kids on the streets will do just that.”

How about millions of them! Their numbers are growing, with some demonstrations reaching tens of thousands. In France, over 2 million students signed petitions. Some politicians are chiding them about the costs of their demands, as if energy pollution and toxic waste are not costly to people, as if the costs of violent weather patterns aren’t costing huge sums of money and lives already.

In Brussels, Belgium, 18 year old Liam pointed to “a growing momentum,” but he told a Times reporter maybe it should become more disruptive to attain more attention. “Maybe we should change the timing of the protests to rush hour.”

The youngsters understand the problem and want solutions now to counter the current omnicidal lethargy. Although some companies get it—such as the sterling Patagonia and Interface corporations in the U.S.—most large companies either are resisting, engaging in “greenwashing” lip service, or taking the smallest of steps for public relations purposes.

The people of our tormented Planet must pull together as if there was an impending invasion from Mars. Fortunately, the urgent pathways to be pursued are full of favorable economic efficiencies and good jobs. Think of solar energy installations, weatherizing homes and other buildings, modern public transportation, grants to speed up climate chaos mitigation, and economies moving to net or even negative carbon impact. The known remedial technology is far ahead of its mandated applications by sluggish legislators and their myopic corporate paymasters.

Children can and do communicate with each other often and freely around their community, country, and globe. The faster trivial text messages are replaced by texts calling for a relentless call to action, the better. Students taking to the streets and taking on legislators will advance the fight for a safer planet and a more just society.

Stay tuned! This is only the beginning of the world’s children raising adults to a maturity that faces the awful, onrushing realities.

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Boeing’s Homicides Will Give Way to Safety Reforms if Flyers Organize

To understand the enormity of the Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes (Lion Air 610 and Ethiopian Airlines 302) that took a combined total of 346 lives, it is useful to look at past events and anticipate future possible problems.

In 2011, Boeing executives wanted to start a “clean sheet” new narrow body air passenger plane to replace its old 737 design from the nineteen sixties. Shortly thereafter, Boeing’s bosses panicked when American Airlines put in a large order for the competitive Airbus A320neo.  Boeing shelved the new design and rushed to put out the 737 Max that, in Business Week’s words, was “pushing an ageing design past its limits.” The company raised the 737 Max landing gear and attached larger, slightly more fuel efficient engines angled higher and more forward on the wings. Such a configuration changed the aerodynamics and made the plane more prone to stall (see attached article: https://www.aviationcv.com/aviation-blog/2019/boeing-canceling-737-max).

This put Boeing’s management in a quandary. Their sales pitch to the airlines was that the 737 Max only received an “amended” certification from the FAA. That it did not have to be included in more pilot training, simulators, and detailed in the flight manuals. The airlines could save money and would be more likely to buy the Boeing 737 Max.

Boeing engineers were worried. They knew better. But the managers ordered software to address the stall problem without even telling the pilots or most of the airlines. Using only one operating sensor (Airbus A320neo has three sensors), an optional warning light and indicator, Boeing set the stage for misfiring sensors that overcame pilot efforts to control the planes from their nose-down death dive.

These fixes or patches would not have been used were the new 737’s aerodynamics the same as the previous 737 models. Step by step, Boeing’s criminal negligence, driven by a race to make profits, worsened. Before and after the fatal crashes, Boeing did not reveal, did not warn, did not train, and did not address the basic defective aerodynamic design. It gagged everyone that it could.  Boeing still insists that the 737 Max is safe and is building two a day, while pushing to end the grounding.

Reacting to all these documented derelictions, a flurry of investigations is underway. The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General, Calvin L. Scovel III, is investigating the hapless, captive FAA that has delegated to Boeing important FAA statutory and regulatory duties. The Justice Department and FBI have opened a criminal probe, with an active grand jury. The National Transportation Safety Board, long the hair shirt of the FAA, is investigating. As are two Senate and House Committees. Foreign governments are investigating, as surely are the giant insurance companies who are on the hook. This all sounds encouraging, but we’ve seen such initiatives pull back before.

This time, however, the outrageous corner-cutting and suppression of engineering dissent, within both Boeing and the FAA (there were reported “heated discussions”) produced a worst case scenario. So, Boeing is working overtime with its legions of Washington lobbyists, its New York P.R. firm, its continued campaign contributions to some 330 Members of Congress. The airlines and pilots’ union chiefs (but not some angry pilots) are staying mum, scared into silence due to contracts and jobs, waiting for the Boeing 737 Max planes to fly again.

BUT THE BOEING 737 MAX MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO FLY AGAIN. Pushing new software that will allow Boeing to blame the pilots is a dangerous maneuver. Saying that U.S. pilots, many of whom are ex-Air Force, are more experienced in reacting to a sudden wildly gyrating aircraft (consider the F-16 diving and swooping) than many foreign airline pilots only trained by civil aviation, opens a can of worms from cancellation of 737 Max orders  to indignation from foreign airlines and pilots. It also displays an aversion to human-factors engineering with a vast number of avoidable failure modes not properly envisioned by Boeing’s software patches.

The overriding problem is the basic unstable design of the 737 Max. An aircraft has to be stall proof not stall prone. An aircraft manufacturer like Boeing, notwithstanding its past safety record, is not entitled to more aircraft disasters that are preventable by following long-established aeronautical engineering practices and standards.

With 5,000 Max orders at stake, the unfolding criminal investigation may move the case from criminal negligence to evidence of knowing and willful behavior amounting to corporate homicide involving Boeing officials. Boeing better cut its losses by going back to the drawing boards. That would mean scrapping the 737 Max 8 designs, with its risk of more software time bombs, safely upgrading the existing 737-800 with amenities and discounts for its airline carrier customers and moving ahead with its early decision to design a new plane to compete with Airbus’s model, which does not have the 737 Max’s design problem.

Meanwhile, airline passengers should pay attention to Senator Richard Blumenthal’s interest in forthcoming legislation to bring the regulatory power back into the FAA. Senator Blumenthal also intends to reintroduce his legislation to criminalize business concealment of imminent risks that their products and services pose to innocent consumers and workers (the “Hide No Harm Act”).

What of the near future? Airline passengers should organize a consumer boycott of the Boeing 737 Max 8 to avoid having to fly on these planes in the coming decade. Once Boeing realizes that this brand has a deep marketing stigma, it may move more quickly to the drawing boards, so as to not alienate airline carriers.

Much more information will come out in the coming months. Much more. The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), which receives incident reports from pilots, air traffic controllers, dispatchers, cabin crew, maintenance technicians, and others, is buzzing, as is the FlyersRights.org website. Other countries, such as France, have tougher criminal statutes for such corporate crime than the U.S. does. The increasing emergence of whistle-blowers from Boeing, the FAA and, other institutions is inevitable.

Not to mention, the information that will come out of the civil litigation against this killer mass tort disaster. And of course the relentless reporting of newspapers such as the Seattle Times, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and AP, among others will continue to shed light on Boeings misdeeds and the FAA’s deficiencies.

Boeing executives should reject the advice from the reassuring, monetized minds of Wall Street stock analysts saying you can easily absorb the $2 billion cost and move on. Boeing, let your engineers and scientists be free to exert their “professional options for revisions” to save your company from the ruinous road you are presently upon.

Respect those who perished at your hand and their grieving families.

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Greedy Boeing’s Avoidable Design and Software Time Bombs

As internal and external pressures mount to hold Boeing responsible for its criminal negligence, the giant company is exerting its immense influence to limit both its past and future accountability. Boeing whistleblowers and outside aviation safety experts are coming forward to reveal the serial, criminal negligence of Boeing’s handling of its dangerous Boeing 737 Max airplanes, grounded in the aftermath of two deadly crashes that took 346 lives. Boeing, is used to having its way in Washington, D.C. For decades, Boeing and some of its airline allies have greased the wheels for chronic inaction related to the additional protection and comfort of airline passengers and airline workers.

Most notoriously, the airlines, after the hijacks to Cuba in the late Sixties and early Seventies, made sure that Congress and the FAA did not require hardened cockpit doors and stronger latches on all aircraft, costing a modest $3000 per plane. Then the 9/11 massacre happened, a grisly consequence of non-regulation, pushed by right wing corporatist advocacy centers.

Year after year, Flyers Rights – the airline passenger consumer group –proposed a real passengers bill of rights. Year after year the industry’s toadies in Congress said no. A slim version passed last year — requiring regulations creating minimum seat standards, regulations regarding prompt refunds for ancillary services not provided or on a flight not taken, and a variety of small improvements for consumers.

Boeing is all over Capitol Hill. They have 100 full time lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Over 300 members of Congress regularly take campaign cash from Boeing. The airlines lather the politicians with complimentary ticket upgrades, amenities, waivers of fees for reservation changes, priority boarding, and VIP escorts. Twice, we sent surveys about these special freebies to every member of Congress with not a single response. (See my letter and survey .)

That is the corrupt backdrop that at least two Congressional Committees have to overcome in holding public hearings into the causes of the Indonesian’s Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airline crash on March 10, 2019.

Will the Senate and House Committee invite the technical dissenters to testify against Boeing’s sequential corner cutting on its single sensor software that miscued and took control of the 737 Max 8 from its pilots, pulling down on the plane’s nose? Boeing’s sales-driven avoidance of producing effective manuals with upgraded pilot training was courting disaster as was outrageously leaving many of the pilots in the dark.

The Congressional Committees must issue subpoenas to critics of Boeing and the FAA in order to protect them from corporate and agency retaliation.

Moreover, the Committees must get rid of the grotesque self-regulation that allows Boeing  to control the aircraft certification process for the FAA. This dangerous delegation has worsened in recent years because Trump and Republicans in Congress have cut the FAA’s budget.

Brace yourself. Here is how the Washington Post described this abandonment of regulation by FAA, endorsed by Boeing’s Congress:

“In practice, one Boeing engineer would conduct a test of a particular system on the Max 8, while another Boeing engineer would act as the FAA’s representative, signing on behalf of the U.S. government that the technology complied with federal safety regulations…”
“Hundreds of Boeing engineers would have played out this scenario thousands of times as the company sought to verify the performance of mechanical systems, hardware installation and massive amounts of computer code…”

So, citizens, watch out for bloviating Congressional Committee members castigating Boeing executives at the witness table before the television cameras and then doing nothing once the television broadcasts fade away.

Boeing’s 737 series started in 1967 and has had a good engineering safety record in this country. But Boeing was in a rush with its Boeing 737 Max 8. They had to catch up with the growing orders for a similar-sized passenger jet built by Airbus. Being in a rush meant a modification that added more seats (a key motivation), that led to larger engines that affected the aerodynamics of the plane that led to the inadequate, mostly uncommunicated software fix to the pilots. Step by step, top management pushed the engineers in ways that compromised their professional expertise and each slide set the stage for a deeper slide. Now, the press is reporting a criminal probe by the Justice Department. The Inspector General of the Department of Transportation is also investigating the FAA’s certification of 737 Max 8.

Years ago, aviation experts say, Boeing should have developed a brand new aircraft design for such intermediate distances. But Boeing dug in and compliant FAA officials dropped the ball. And President Trump has failed to fill three top slots at the FAA since January 2017.

That is why, after flight 302 crashed outside Addis Ababa, both Boeing and the FAA kept issuing statements filled with gibberish saying that the 737 Max 8 was safe, safe, safe—the malfunction-prone software time bomb to the contrary. A brand new plane, crashing twice and taking hundreds of lives, can’t be blamed on pilot error.

Caution: the grounding of the planes may receive a whitewash unless the media keeps light and heat on this corporate-government collusion.

Installing artificial intelligence replacing or overpowering human intelligence in ever more complex machines, such as modern aircraft or weapons systems or medical technology is the harbinger of what’s to come.  In a 2014 BBC interview Stephen Hawking, the famed theoretical physicist, said:  “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” And in 2018 Elon Musk said: “If AI has a goal and humanity just happens to be in the way, it will destroy humanity as a matter of course without even thinking about it. No hard feelings.”

At the wreckage near Bishoftu in a small pastoral farm field and in the Java Sea off Indonesia lie the remains of the early victims of arrogant, algorithm  driven corner cutting, by reckless corporate executives and their captive government regulators.

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Who will Displace the Omniciders?

Citizens challenging the towering threat of climate crisis should never underestimate the consequences of our dependence on fossil fuel corporations. Real engagement with the worsening climate disruption means spending more of our leisure hours on civic action. The fate of future generations and our planet depends on the intensity of these actions.

This was my impression after interviewing Dahr Jamail, author of the gripping new book, The End of Ice, on my Radio Hour. Jamail, wrote books and prize-winning articles, as the leading freelance journalist covering the Bush/Cheney Iraq war and its devastating aftermath. For his latest book, Jamail went to the visible global warming hot spots to get firsthand accounts from victims of climate disruption. His gripping reporting is bolstered by facts from life-long specialists working in the regions he visited.

Readers of The End of Ice are taken on a journey to see what is happening in Alaska, the mountain forests of California, the coral reefs of Australia, the heavily populated lowlands of South Florida, the critical Amazon forest, and other areas threatened by our corporate-driven climate crisis.

Jamail, an accomplished mountaineer, precisely illustrates the late great environmentalist, Barry Commoner’s first law of ecology. Namely, that “everything is connected to everything else.” Jamail makes the connection between the rising sea levels and the untold catastrophes engulfing forests, mountains, and the wildlife on land and in the sea. Jamail is not relying on computer models. What he is seeing, photographing, and experiencing is often worse than what the models show in terms of accelerating sea level rises and the melting ice of the glaciers.

Jamail’s trenchant conversations with bona fide experts who have spent a lifetime seeing what mankind has done to the natural world, presents a compelling case of the threat the climate crisis poses to human survival.

Jamail, near the end of his narrative, writes: “Disrespect for nature is leading to our own destruction… This is the direct result of our inability to understand our part in the natural world. We live in a world where we are acidifying the oceans, where there will be few places cold enough to support year-round ice, where all the current coastlines will be underwater, and where droughts, wildfires, floods, storms, and extreme weather are already becoming the new normal.”

If you don’t know that melting ice and permafrost is a big tragedy, then that is all the more reason to read this book and immerse yourself in its vivid prose.

His chapter on south Florida and its millions of residents is probably the one scenario that will bring the alarming message home to people in coastal communities worldwide. South Florida could be underwater in fifty years or less. Many of the houses, buildings and infrastructures are located only a few feet or yards above sea level. Engineers and some city officials see Miami Beach as doomed and say Floridians must prepare for evacuations.

There are other more approaching, intermediate dangers. As Jamail writes: “One major source of concern is the Florida aquifer. Once that water is contaminated by saltwater, it is over.”

Already, some banks will not provide 30 year home mortgages for vulnerably located houses. Some home values along the ocean are starting to be adversely affected. Insurance companies are reluctant to publicize their projections but their actuarial tables are not, shall we say, consumer friendly.

Then there are the lethal-storm surges during major hurricanes as sea levels and high tides rise relentlessly.

Most businesses, people, and municipalities are looking the other way. Two-term Governor Rick Scott (a corporate crook) even prohibited state employees from uttering or writing the words “climate change” in any state documents. It is admittedly hard to face such catastrophe while the sun is shining and most normal life continues. In 2017, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Florida Power and Light, the go-ahead to build two new nuclear power plants (they’re too expensive and won’t be built) to join its aging plants on the beach. Shades of the Fukushima disaster in Japan 8 years ago.

None of these warnings are recent. Climate scientists warned President Lyndon Johnson about the dangers associated with carbon release in the atmosphere in 1965. President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore released a detailed, urgent, report, with pictures and graphs, about climate disruption in 1993 to demonstrate that the clock was ticking. Unfortunately, in the following seven years, they mostly did what the auto industry wanted them to do—nothing.

Some of the most poignant passages in Jamail’s book are the informed cries and worries of the onsite specialists he interviewed. People you have never heard of, but who should be heard all the time. One of them, Dr. Rita Mesquita, a biologist with the largest research institute in Brazil for the Amazon forest says, “We are not telling the general public what is really going on.” While the general public is spending more time in virtual reality and, with growing urbanization, becoming estranged from nature, this ominous disconnect is widening.

The new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has openly vowed to bolster more commercial development in the Amazon and on indigenous tribal land.

How will India’s billion plus people get their water if its rivers dry up because the glaciers in the Himalayas have melted? How do you relocate 30 million people from Mumbai from rising sea levels? How do you head off spreading diseases due to habitat destruction? Meanwhile, 100 corporations (e.g. ExxonMobil, Shell, and state entities) continue to be the source of 71% of total global carbon dioxide emissions.

There are 600 cable channels in the U.S. transmitting largely junk programs. How about one percent of them (six) being dedicated to the global stories and urgencies of climate catastrophes, and to how movements like Drawdown (of greenhouse gases) are succeeding in cutting these menaces (see Drawdown by Paul Hawken) around the world?

Think about what we should be doing with some of our time for our descendants so as not to have them curse us for being oblivious, narcissistic ancestors!

We can start with instructing our Congress to deploy its transformative leverage over the economy. The only reason Congress has been an oil, gas, and coal toady, instead of an efficient, renewable energy force, is because we have sat on the sidelines watching ExxonMobil be Congress’ quarterback.

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Unleashed Graphic Designers – Art over Function

Many readers object to illegible print in contemporary print newspapers and magazines. In today’s print news, legible print is on a collision course with flights of fancy by graphic artists.

Admittedly, this is the golden age for graphic artists to show their creativity. Editors have convinced themselves that with readers’ shorter attention spans and the younger generation’s aversion to spending time with print publications, the graphic artists must be unleashed. Never mind what the ophthalmologists or the optometrists may think. Space, color, and type size are the domain of liberated gung-ho artists.

There is one additional problem with low expectations for print newsreaders: Even though print readership is shrinking, there will be even fewer readers of print if they physically cannot read the printed word.

I have tried, to no avail, to speak with graphic design editors of some leading newspapers about three pronounced trends that are obscuring content. First is the use of background colors that seriously blur the visibility of the text on the page. Second is print size, which is often so small and light that even readers with good eyesight would need the assistance of a magnifying glass. Third is that graphic designers have been given far too much space to replace content already squeezed by space limitations.

Function should not follow art. Readers should not have to squint to make out the text on the page. Some readers might even abandon an article because of its illegible text! One wonders why editors have ceded control of the readability of their publications to graphic designers. Editors cannot escape responsibility by saying that the graphic designers know best.

I am not taking to task the artists who combine attention-getting graphics with conveyance of substantive content. A good graphic provides emotional readiness for the words that follow.

However, in the February 17, 2019 Sunday edition of the New York Times, the page one article of the Sunday Review Section was titled, “Time to Panic,” about global climate disruption by David Wallace-Wells. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. The editors wanted to strike fear in readers to jolt their attentiveness to such peril, through a lurid two giant fingers with a human eye in between. A dubious attempt. Taking up the entire first page of the precious Sunday Review section (except for a hefty slice of an ad for the Broadway play “To Kill a Mockingbird”), smattered by three paragraphs of small, white and almost unreadable text on a dark pink background, is counterproductive. Less graphic license and clearer type would have had art following function.

Many graphic artists seem to have lost their sense of proportion – unless that is, the editors are pushing them to bleed out more and more valuable space with their increasingly extravagant designs. It is bad enough that print publications have been shrinking due to diminished ad revenue.  It is time for better editorial judgment and artistic restraint.

Unfortunately, there is no sign of such prudence. In that same Sunday edition of the Times, over eighty percent of page one of the Business Section was devoted entirely to a graphic of a presumed taxpayer smothered by flying sheets of the federal tax return – it rendered the page devoid of content. At the bottom of this front page, there was a listing of five articles under the title “Your Taxes 2019.” I can only imagine Times reporters gnashing their teeth about having their prose jettisoned from being featured on this valuable page of the Business Section. That wasn’t all. The artists ran amok on the inside pages with their pointless artistry taking up over half of the next three pages of this section.

Think of all the additional articles on other pressing business topics that never reached readers. Gretchen Morgenson’s prize-winning weekly column exposing corporate wrongdoing used to be on page one of the Business Section. She is now at the Wall Street Journal.

This is happening in, arguably, the most serious newspaper in America – one that tries to adjust its print editions to an Internet age that, it believes, threatens the very existence of print’s superiority for conversation, impact and longevity for readers, scholars, and posterity alike.

I first came across run-a-muck graphic design at the turn of the century in Wired Magazine. Technology has dramatically reduced the cost of multi-colored printing. I could scarcely believe the unreadability and the hop-scotch snippets presented in obscure colors, and small print nestled in-degrading visuals. At the time, I just shrugged it off and did not renew my subscription due to invincible unreadability.

Now, however, the imperialism of graphic designers knows few boundaries. Many graphic designers don’t like to explain themselves or be questioned by readers. After all, to them readers have little understanding of the nuances of the visual arts and, besides, maybe they should see their optometrists.

Well, nearly a year ago, I wrote to Dr. Keith Carter, president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Dr. Christopher J. Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association, asking for their reactions (enclosing some examples of designer excess). I urged them to issue a public report suggesting guidelines with pertinent illustrations. After all, they are professionals who should be looking out for their clients’ visual comfort. Who would know more?

Dr. Carter responded, sympathizing with my observations but throwing up his hands in modest despair about not being able to do anything about the plight of readers. I never heard from anybody at the Optometric Association.

Of all the preventable conditions coursing across this tormented Earth, this is one we should be able to remedy. It is time to restore some level of visual sanity. Don’t editors think print readers are an endangered species? One would think!

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What are Torts? They’re Everywhere!

What exposed the Tobacco industry’s carcinogenic cover-up? The lethal asbestos industry cover-up? The General Motors’ deadly ignition switch defect cover-up? The Catholic Church’s pedophile scandal? All kinds of toxic waste poisonings?

Not the state legislatures of our country. Not Congress. Not the regulatory agencies of our federal or state governments. These abuses and other wrongs were exposed by lawsuits brought by individuals or groups of afflicted plaintiffs using the venerable American law of torts.

Almost every day, the media reports on stories of injured parties using our legal system to seek justice for wrongful injuries. Unfortunately, the media almost never mentions that the lawsuits were filed under the law of torts.

Regularly, the media reports someone filing a civil rights lawsuit or a civil liberties lawsuit. When was the last time you read, heard, or saw a journalist start their report by saying…“so and so today filed a tort lawsuit against a reckless manufacturer or a sexual predator, or against the wrongdoers who exposed the people of a town like Flint, Michigan to harmful levels of lead in drinking water? Or lawsuits against Donald Trump for ugly defamations or sexual assaults”?

I was recently discussing this strange omission with Richard Newman, executive director of the American Museum of Tort Law and a former leading trial attorney in Connecticut. He too was intrigued. He told me that when high school students tour the Museum, their accompanying teachers often admit that they themselves never heard of tort law!

Last fall, a progressive talk show host, who has had many victims of wrongful injuries on her show, visited the museum. While walking through the door, she too declared that she didn’t know what tort law was. She certainly did after spending an hour touring the museum. (See tortmuseum.org).

Public ignorance about tort law should have been taken care of in our high schools. Sadly even some lawyers advised us not to use the word “tort” in the Museum’s name because nobody would know what it meant.

“Tort” comes from the French word for “a wrongful injury.” Millions of torts involving people and property occur every year. Bullies in schools, assaults, negligent drivers, hazardous medicines, defective motor vehicles, toxic chemicals, hospital and medical malpractices, and occupational diseases, and more can all be the sources of a tort claim.

Yes, crimes are almost always torts as well. When police officers use wildly excessive force and innocent people die, families can sue the police department under tort law and have recovered compensation for “wrongful deaths.”

American law runs on the notion that “for every wrong, there should be a remedy.” When Americans get into trouble with the law, they are told by judges that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” and that “you are presumed to know the law.” In that case, why then don’t we teach the rudiments of tort law (or fine print contract law for that matter) in high schools?

After all, youngsters are not exempt from wrongful injuries in their daily street and school lives. Just recently, scores of schools’ drinking water fountains were found to contain dangerous levels of lead. That is a detectable, preventable condition and would be deemed gross negligence invoking tort law.

Most remarkably, the insurance industry has spent billions of dollars over the past fifty years on advertising and demanding “tort reform”, meaning restricting the rights of claimants who go to court and capping the compensation available to injured patients no matter how serious their disability. Still the public’s curiosity was never quickened to learn more about tort law and trial by jury. The right to trial by jury is older than the American Revolution, is protected by the seventh amendment to our Constitution and is available to be used by injured parties to help defend against or deter those who would expose people and their property to wrongful harm or damage.

One way to educate people is to do what a physician friend of mine did at a conference of Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialists. He walked in wearing a Tort Museum T-Shirt, raising eyebrows and provoking discussion.

There are, of course, more systematic ways to inform Americans about tort law. Bring the high school curriculums down to earth and educate students about this great pillar of American freedom. Devote one of the 600 cable channels in America to teaching citizens about the law, and how to use it to improve levels of justice in our country.

From social media to traditional media, the law of torts needs to be illustrated with actual case studies showing its great contribution and even greater potential to provide compensation for or deterrence to all kinds of preventable violence.

Artists and musicians should use their talents to convey many of these David vs. Goliath battles in our courts of law. Oh, for a great song on the delights of having a jury bring a wrongdoer to justice.

The powerless can hold the powerful accountable, with a contingent fee attorney. Tort law remains vastly underutilized—though it is before us in plain sight. The plutocrats must be happy that so few people know about or use the remedies available through tort law.

Hear this practicing plaintiff lawyers—wherever you are: You number 60,000 strong in the U.S. If you each speak to small groups—classes, clubs, reunions, etc.—totaling some 1,000 people a year, that is 60 million people receiving knowledge central to their quality of life and security. Every year! Fascinating human interest stories full of courage, persistence, and vindication of critical rights will captivate and inspire your audiences. What say you, “officers of the court”?

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The Realized Temptations of NPR and PBS

Recently an elderly gentleman asked me about my opinion on NPR and PBS, knowing of my vigorous support in the nineteen sixties for these alternatives to commercial radio and television stations.

Here is my response:

Congress created NPR and PBS to provide serious programming, without any advertisements, for the American people. Former media executive Fred Friendly and others worried that the commercial stations were not meeting the 1934 Communications Act requirement that they operate for the “public interest, convenience and necessity.”

In 1961, before a shocked convention of broadcasters, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Newton Minow called commercial television “a vast wasteland.”

Over the decades, NPR and PBS have produced some good programming – original features (among the best coming from Boston affiliate WGBH) and interviews. NPR has the largest radio audience in the country. David Brancaccio, the bright host of Marketplace Morning Report, has a daily listening audience of 11 million.

However, over the years, without regular critiques by liberal and progressive groups, both NPR and PBS have bent to the continual right-wing antagonism in Congress that decreased public budgets. PBS started to allow advertisements (called “support for x station or x PBS network program comes from y corporation.”) These ads have become more frequent and can be as long as 15 seconds.

During the 8am to 9am hour WAMC, Albany recently aired 28 such “support from…” commercials. That is almost one “ad” every two minutes!

The omnipresence of the ads hour after hour has irritated many NPR listeners around the country. By way of comparison, a major commercial station in Hartford – WTIC – clocked 18 advertisements in that 8am hourly slot – albeit they were longer than the NPR ones.

It seems that NPR and PBS, often by their omissions and slants, bend over backward in order not to offend right-wing lobbies and corporations. They invite guests on air who ideologically oppose public broadcasting – that’s fine, but then they minimize the appearances by leading progressives.

Occasionally, I speak with the NPR and PBS Ombudsmen. The purpose of the ombudsman is to maintain proper standards and ethics as well as to consider audience complaints. A while back, an NPR Ombudsman volunteered to me that NPR was giving far more time to representatives of conservative evangelical groups than to representatives of liberal religious organizations.

Charlie Rose on PBS had many more CEOs on his program than civic leaders. During a rare appearance by me on his show with Jim Hightower and William Greider in 1998, the audience reaction was robust. The response from around the country was so pronounced that in an internal e-mail, that was inadvertently sent to my office, a Rose staffer complained that we might have been encouraging the positive response. Absurd and false, but revealing nonetheless.

Rose, by the way, set the stage for PBS and NPR by interviewing his two favorite reporters again and again instead of active specialists or scholars in various fields. For example, Judy Woodruff, the ultra-cautious, exclusionary anchor of the “News Hour,” interviewed reporters on complex tax legislation instead of authentic experts such as the long-time director of the well-regarded Citizens for Tax Justice, Robert McIntyre, often invited by her predecessors.

In 2016 we convened for eight days in the largest gathering of civic leaders, doers, and thinkers of more reforms and redirections ever brought together. They made over 160 presentations in Constitution Hall (see breakingthroughpower.org). Although we advanced this remarkable Superbowl of Civic Action directly to NPR and PBS producers, their reporters never showed up. Certainly, they have not treated right-wing conventions in Washington, D.C. in that manner.

There are other practices of public broadcasting and its syndicated talk shows, that its audiences should know about to understand how much broader coverage they have been denied. One is that the amount of time devoted to music and entertainment pieces goes well beyond the intent of the legislators who created NPR and PBS (both created by the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967). Members of Congress knew that entertainment was adequately taken care of by the thousands of commercial stations.

Moreover, even commercial network radio would not use its weekday 6pm hour for music, as one NPR station does in Washington, D.C. Nor does commercial network TV news in the evening start their programs with several advertisements, as does PBS’s The NewsHour and Kai Ryssdal’s jazzy, drumbeat, breathless NPR evening show – Marketplace.

Recently, I discovered another woeful transformation. Wondering why I could not get calls back from the state-wide NPR stations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I sent them written complaints. These stations had venerable programs that used to interview me and other civic leaders on consumer, environment, and corporate crime topics.

Minnesota Public Radio politely wrote back, regretting that they had not called me back and explained that they now adjust their programming to react or expand on ”what is in the national conversation.” Since Trump et al. command the heights (or the depths) of the news agenda, very important subjects, conditions and activities not part of this frenzied news feed are relegated to far less frequent attention.

These are just a few of the issues that should be analyzed by print journalists who cover the media full time, such as the estimable Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post, formerly the “public editor” of The New York Times. But then, she also doesn’t return my calls.

The slide toward commercialism and amiable stupefaction will continue on PBS and NPR until enough people review public broadcast’s history, raise their expectation levels consistent with why PBS and NPR were created, and insist on adequate public funding (a truly modest amount compared to giant corporate subsidies by taxpayers). These redirections would enable public broadcasting to fulfill better its serious statutory public interest missions.

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Rand Paul’s Call—Reality vs. Rigidity

Two contemporary stories about Senator Rand Paul (R- KY) illustrate the disconnect between one’s ideology and personal experiences. Imagine a fierce opponent of regulation being saved in a crash by government-mandated seat belts and air bags and the ensuing cognitive dissonance.

In the case of Rand Paul, MD (ophthalmology) the two experiences came almost at the same time. Last month Senator Paul went to the Shouldice Hernia Centre, the world famous hernia repair institution located just outside of Toronto, Ontario.

Before he departed for his surgery, some in the media recollected his virulent opposition to any government health insurance programs, including Medicare and Obamacare. In 2011, running for the Senate, Rand Paul declared:

“With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care…It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. … You are basically saying you believe in slavery.”

In 2010, Rand Paul ran for the U.S. Senate, and won demonstrating the abject weakness of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

Explaining why he chose Shouldice — a hospital in a country where single payer covers everyone and gives them free choice of  physician and hospital, averaging half the price per person of the U.S. system (that still leaves over 27 million people without any insurance, and millions more underinsured) — Paul replied that Shouldice is a private hospital that “accepts Americans who pay cash.”

But as any Canadian knows, there are many private hospitals in Canada. The single payer system means that the governments (the Provinces assisted by Ottawa) are the payer while the delivery is mostly private. Shouldice operates under the Canadian single payer system.

In any event, Rand Paul chose the best place for hernia repair – Shouldice uses tissue repair, not the risky mesh insertion used in U.S. hospitals that has bred so much tort law litigation (see Jane Akre’s recent column). Shouldice, as reported in peer reviewed medical journals, has the lowest infection and recurrence rate in North America. It also conducts its operations, including a four-day stay at their hotel-like premises replete with gardens, at about forty percent of the price charged for the-in-and-out-in-one-day surgery prevalent at many U.S. hospitals.

By all accounts, Senator Paul was pleased with how his operation turned out and enjoyed the food and company of his fellow patients over his four-day stay.

So has Senator Paul changed his mind about single payer, clearly the more efficient, humane system? Canada does not have socialized medicine like the U.K. Our Canadian neighbors have a public funding, private delivery system that hugely reduces the kind of anxiety, dread, and fear afflicting Americans (see my recent column, “25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare”). Moreover, Canadians are not subjected to arbitrary denials of care, maddening fine print complexity, co-pays, inscrutable bills often larded with fraud, and sometimes a “pay or die” drug pricing or surgery confrontation. Then there are those choice-destroying narrow networks. Americans would benefit substantially in a single payer system.

Apparently, Dr. Paul has not budged. He was unavailable for comment to this writer.

The other experience Senator Paul had was with the tort law or personal-injury civil justice system. While piling brush near the property boundary with his neighbor, Senator Paul was violently blind-sided, and tackled by the neighbor, Rene Boucher. Later, Boucher pleaded guilty to a criminal charge and served a 30 day prison sentence.

The assault left Senator Paul with several broken ribs and other injuries. “I went through horrendous pain,” he said, adding that his traumas resulted in two bouts of pneumonia and fluid buildup in his lungs.

As a physician and a U.S Senator, Rand Paul stands with the “tort deformers,” those lobbyists and lawmakers who push for legislation to restrict wrongfully injured people from adequate awards, their full day in court with trial by jury. Senator Paul specifically favored a $250,000 lifetime cap on pain and suffering no matter how serious were the injuries to the victims of medical malpractice.

Yet when wrongfully injured, Rand Paul sued Rene Boucher under the law of torts and asked for far more money than the caps he has favored for others allow. After two hours of deliberation, a Bowling Green Kentucky jury awarded the Senator $200,000 for pain and suffering, $375,000 in punitive damages and $7,834 for medical expenses.

Rand Paul sought justice in Kentucky’s state court and received justice for his painful wounds.

Now let’s see whether Senator Paul opposes Kentucky Senate Bill 11, filed by state Senator Ralph Alvarado, which would amend the state constitution and repeal the present ban on the state legislature limiting jury awards.

It is a recurring question as to whether, Senator Paul, a libertarian conservative, is willing to modify his ideology due to his real-life experiences. Our civil justice system and the Canadian health care system have provided him with significant benefits. Don’t Americans deserve the same?

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