Litigation – Oh My

After losing my brother to cancer, I’ve been offline for a while and on my return I’m going a bit off the normal subject to try and get back into the swing.

I read today that a Los Angeles man sued Krispy Kreme Company for falsely advertising the ingredients of blue berries and maple syrup in their doughnuts.  He is asking five million dollars.   It turns out they use those little fake blueberries and artificial maple flavoring, as I suspect, do most other doughnut makers.  I do know for sure that the instant blueberry muffin mixes use those same fake blueberries.  Dumb Question: Could this gentleman possibly have received five million dollars of damage from eating these already unhealthy doughnuts?  The amount of butter and sugar alone should be enough to stop anyone.

That’s not the real point though.  The real point is that I believe all the crazy litigation in the name of making money leads to less and less self-responsibility.  It leads to the goal of making one’s own problems someone else’s.

THE LAWYERS DON’T HELP.  A quick internet search on frivolous law suits will blow any working man’s mind.  In particular, I’m always entertained by the late night attorney’s advertisements asking if someone ever took this drug, or had this or that surgery.  If so call 1-800———.   I’m waiting for an advertisement that says “Have you been to a Doctor’s office this year?  If so call 1-800——— because you may be entitled to a lawsuit.”

WORSE YET, when someone is injured on public property, for example slips on ice, the city gets sued because some clod couldn’t be responsible for his own safety in walking.  Needless to say this leads to people intentionally falling and sustaining irreversible psychological damage to the point that they deserve no less than a few million dollars.

HOW ABOUT THIS?  How about making people responsible for their own choices?  In Japan they have very little crime, and probably not only because they don’t have guns.  What they have is incentive for families to teach self-responsibility.  This one simple example demonstrates the vast difference in Japan and the USA, and in my mind, displays part of the reason that we have so many people that don’t accept responsibility, but try to pass it off onto someone else.

In Japan, if you commit suicide by jumping in front of a Train, Rail Companies charge your family a fee.  Japan Rail in fact routinely charges families of suicide victims more than US $2 million, a financially devastating sum of money for most; although it is unclear whether any families can actually pay such a high bill.

The purpose is to reinforce how the suicide victim should not have created a burden for others and to reinforce the legitimacy of the shared cultural space of the commute.

Taken from:

YES, this is true and can be verified via many sources.

Why is this interesting?  My guess is that in the U.S., the family would be suing the local train or subway company for not creating barriers to stop someone from harming him/herself.  The family and some hungry attorney would see it as an opportunity to extract money from what they perceive to be a source of unlimited funds, rather than feel they should pay for the burden they created on society, and those whose lives were disrupted by their family member.

Imagine if our society encouraged each of us to teach our family members that they must be responsible for their own actions.  Perhaps then we would see less frivolous litigation.  In the end, when a company loses a multi-million dollar lawsuit, costs go up, more regulations are created, and more opportunities for lawsuits exist.  Is this really an efficient way to run a society?


Life Priorities

No, this is not a political post, it’s about life.

I live on the West Coast in Washington State.  Every Presidential election, it seems the winner is announced before my State’s votes are even counted.  It may just be me, but with age I become more indifferent about the elections.  Today, I look at the lineup and wonder what our world has come to.

After every election, I wait for things to be better, but it seems that in the end, other than seeing my taxes go up for one reason or another, the world goes on, both sides attack the other, and my life is about the same.  The Democrats try to convince the world that the Republicans are idiots, and the Republicans try to convince the world that the Democrats are stealing their liberties.  Each cycle, it seems that what used to be considered a form of civil service creates more wealth for politicians, and the rich Republicans and the rich Democrats get richer, or make someone else richer, somehow using us to do it.

Most of us are putting forth labor so they can reach their goal of going from average Joe to rich politician.  Still, we continue to listen to their ideals and allow them to manipulate how we choose or keep friends.  We debate the issues with emotion, argue with fervor, and promote those ideals we have been manipulated to identify with.  In the end, it’s often wealth and lobbying that influences what comes out of the politicians mouths, regardless of the party, with the end goal of influencing our thoughts.

Today, I’m sitting in my brother’s home as he and his family face the effects of a Terminal Brain Tumor.  He can no longer make it to the restroom alone and his wife needs help because she can only do so much.  His children, one in college, and one out in the work force are home for the weekend to help.  Life, not on hold, but coming to an end.  Priorities now straight, and somehow Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, neither of which has anything to offer the world in my opinion become trivial background noise, a place I hope they remain every day.

A terminal diagnosis does wonders for understanding priorities in life, and it turns out that most of them are not out in the world trying to fix world problems.  In fact, for those who have families that they love, and families that love them, priorities might all be right at home.   Such a diagnosis is fodder for consideration that, while we have our armchair debates about the world’s problems, most of us never resolve our own issues.  On the rare occasion that we are given a terminal diagnosis we might have the chance.

Today, I would appeal to each one of you to cast aside your political discussions, turn towards your family, childhood friends, and for a minute realize that civilizations, the world, capitalism, socialism, and great societies have been running their cycles for thousands of years, and individuals have minimal to no effect on the course a society takes from start until collapse once the wheels are set in motion.  If your political debates and discussions make you feel you’re having an influence, continue on, but a deeper perspective may help you focus on the areas where you can have an influence.  An interesting book, “The Lessons of History”, Will & Ariel Durant, summarizes these cycles of civilization in a short concise manner.

Don’t wait for your terminal diagnosis, or for that of one close to you to find your priorities and where you can make life meaningful.  First, take a close look at the presidential candidates and ask yourself if they’re worthy of much of your time or thoughts.  Second, realize that today’s the day to take care of those close to you without the influence of any institution.  Do it from your own heart in your own way.