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.... and youth who think the world cares about anything but their money.

I'm going through this with my son here, almost as we speak.

I think there may have been a day or two, when the FDA was actually legit. But no more.

Then again, coffee is no more than a drug either.   RS

Fredrick zinos said:

As I pointed out above. energy drinks are not intrinsically dangerous,  but they invite overuse. The overuse can be dangerous to  individuals with certain medical conditions.

Peter, are you saying that Nero was the one with a clue in his day?

I still think that music and the arts are.. a luxury.

Who ever said, food, clothing, shelter and music?

Tarzan had a tree house a loin cloth and all the food nature provided;

I know he yodeled, but did he also play the French horn?  lol

Peter Brown said:

I don't know Roger.

I think more people should take up a musical instrument. Don't you?

roger stancill said:

Peter, don't you understand, you cannot tell him anything!!!

Even when he says he agrees, he goes on to add variables

or do some one-upmanship. Every time.

Is this any way to run an airline?( old commercial slogan for those who don't know it)

The legal system that we believe is in place... is not. It has been hi-jacked

In America, the government we believe is in place... is not. It has been hi-jacked

The financial system that people think is solid and safe... is not. It has been hi-jacked.

I think for the most part you and I know this, but many/most are in a word, clueless.

How many of us actually have even heard about Maritime Law.   .0000000003 % ?

And yet it is prevasively working and alive in the world today to a degree that is

mind-boggling.( and recently, more and more exposed) but then again, who cares,

and that is how it goes. I guess, if no one cares, then it doesn't really matter; but

it is a rigged game, a money making machine, and left unchecked, it gonna get woise.

Wise up or pay up my friends... there are more laws on the way.   RS

ps- I'm either crazy, ahead of the curve, or possibly both-  time will tell

I've also heard that people have died from chocolate intake

Tho' I have no 'satistics' as Letterman used to say.

Then again, some say bacon and red meats are bad for you.

Maybe , maybe not , but when well seasoned and cooked right,

ya can't really complain   ay      RS
Fredrick zinos said:

Some day if you are interested you can look up in Merck the chemical relationship between caffeine and amphetamine. As I recall they are only one "OH" group different.  It is true that caffeine is an addictive drug (thank god), and probably would require FDA approval if it were to be introduced to commerce for the first time in 2015. 

 like alcohol, caffeine is fairly safe when used in moderation. Of course coffee   and "energy drinks" contain high amounts of caffeine but so does chocolate.

The term "energy drink" is misapplied. According the USDA/ FDA energy comes from calories. Stimulation comes from, well, stimulants.


Hello participants in the thread, readers of the thread, Roger, Peter, Fredrick and all.


It's unfortunate that Fredrick did not make an effort in his last post to refrain from making a personal and ad hominem attack.  It indicates a recurring pattern which does not strengthen his argument or reflect well on the case he is making.  I would request he limit himself to evidence, logic, and data that he can present, and the presentation of an overall philosophical framework that would add clarity to the discussion. 


In spite of flaws in his manner of presentation, and his lack of a coherent method for validating his statements, Fredrick does make some observations that could be considered worthy of attention.


He says, "What is surprising is that we fail to understand the consequences of capitalism, and particularly the consequences of unfettered capitalism as we have  in the USA."


That is a fair statement.   However, he does not seem to grasp in any coherent way the basic definition or nature of capitalism.  I would ask him if he has read any books on the subject, or even a dictionary definition. 


He says, "Capitalism means that the most important factor in your life is money." This sentence is so vague as almost to be devoid of meaning.   Does this mean, "if you are a 'capitalist' the most important thing in your life is money," or does it mean "if you live in a capitalist society" the most important thing in your life is money; or does it mean, if you BELIEVE in capitalism, the most important thing is money?  Maybe we need a working definition of capitalism before we start talking about what capitalism "means."   I would ask Fredrick how he would define capitalism as an economic, political and social system.   He can tell us whether he personally thinks "the most important thing in life" is money.



"As that applies to the law, you can have exactly as much justice as you can pay for."


So far, Fredrick has just skirted the main issue, which is how can he prove such a statement?  Now we have the use of the word "exactly" as part of a series of unfounded statements which are anything but "exact."  If two litigants in a court case have the same amount of money, how does each one get "exactly as much justice as they can pay for?"  This is not a mere quibble; I am pointing to a flaw in this manner of presenting a supposed truth, that turns out to be false, or extremely misleading (especially regard to the problem of historical context).  If he would point to some author, some sociological study, or some data, rather than making vague generalizations, his argument might fare better.  I am not at all unsympathetic to certain generalizations.  It should be easy to prove that a person with little or no money will be at a disadvantage vis-a-vis a corporation or individual that can pay millions of dollars to make a case, and hire a law firm that will put seven or eight lawyers into the court. But Fredrick has not even attempted to do that, much less has he been able to do much more than present us with his general "faith propositions" about the subject.  


These propositions are formulated in such a broad way as to amount to being nothing more than prescriptions for despair.


They are statements that do not exist in a historical context, nor allow for the possibility of change, such as occurs during progressive historical surges (such as have often occurred, during the era of FDR, the civil rights movement, 1968 world wide, various genuine and successful revolutions—especially in Latin America—and in the overall progress made in Scandinavia and much of Europe).  Does Fredrick believe people should challenge the system and organize to combat its excesses? He does not seem to.  Does he believe that many people do not think "money is the most important factor"? There is no strong indication that he does.  Is he aware of people, movements and organizations that believe justice, ethics, fairness, truth and beneficence are to be valued over money?  He may have heard Dr. Martin Luther Kings famous dictum.


“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”   


The mere fact that Fredrick's general statements about law do not even use the word "justice" in any meaningful way are an indication of his apparent cynicism.


His statement, "you can have exactly as much justice as you can pay for," is philosophically incoherent, since "justice that you pay for," is not justice.  If Fredrick is merely saying, "Those who have more money can more easily get their way," that's a far cry from giving us a meaningful definition of law, or an understanding of justice. 


"If you are not well to do, the law will seem capricious and cruel. If you have money the law will be the best friend you ever had. I've said above that the primary function of the law is the preservation of the status quo."


Does it not make more sense to say that it is PEOPLE (sometimes judges, police officers and prison officials) who are cruel, rather than the law itself?  A just and fair law can be cruelly administered, and an apparently unjust and unfair law, can sometimes be administered by the discretion of the judge, so as to produce a just result.   I think the generalizations made above lead to a rather mechanical understanding, and a determinist view of human nature which is patently false.  It makes no sense to say that the "primary function of the law is the preservation of the status quo."  If that were the case, the laws regarding gay marriage would not have changed so rapidly as we have just seen occur.  The real purpose of the law is justice.  The fact that justice is often thwarted by those with very large  quantities of money, or power, or simply through incompetence, does not diminish or negate the purpose of law.  If the purpose of law were always, or even mainly, the preservation of the status quo, we never would have seen the tremendous changes in women's rights, the rights of minorities and full transformations of societies around the world that we have seen over the last 100 years.  The positive changes seen in Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and in so many other societies could not have occurred if the law were what Fredrick says it is, and only what he says it is.   His apparent decision to grasp despair and pessimism as tenets of faith do not amount to a realization of truth about the nature of human beings or social reality, which are forever undergoing change.   



He ends up with the same faith proposition he starts with, namely:


"the status quo preserving function of the law insures that the wealthy litigant will win."


This is once again stated as an absolute, just like a tenet of the catechism.   He doesn't say how often this is true, in what jurisdictions this is true or to what degree.  No evidence whatsoever.  If it were so absolutely true, then one might wonder why the Trans Pacific Partnership is being pushed so hard by the corporate media and the pro-corporate Republicans and Democrats.  If the wealthy never feared losing in court, or in other venues, they would not feel the need to push legislation and trade agreements that make it more likely they will win than they do now.  This is an ongoing struggle, NOT a fait accompli, as Fredrick's unqualified proposition implies.


Fredrick (in what has the appearance of a harmless joke), then goes on to counsel people to engage in addictive behaviors, and to cloud their sensory capacities and mental processes with the unhealthy consumption of more than one type of drug.  He even praises addiction (supposedly as a joke). 


I notice he doesn't counsel people to join with like minded individuals and groups that seek positive social, economic or political change. He doesn't counsel them to read inspiring literature to help them envision progress or an improved society.  Perhaps he could explain why.


Peter, you said,

"All you really need to know about the law is, now listen very carefully. Are you listening? If you're poor, a public defender can't do anything for you."

Peter, this is the sort of generalization, or absolutist statement, that is easily falsifiable.   

"A public defender can't do anything for you."

I had a student a number of years ago who was charged with aggravated battery in a situation where she was actually defending herself against attack. She was black, and that could have worked against her, in addition to her being without funds.  At trial, she had a public defender.  I worked with that public defender, and testified in court as a character witness for the student.  She ended up getting off.  The public defender did a good job.  Many of them do.

If you would not make such broad and absolutist statements about the nature of the system, preceded by such qualifiers as "All you really need to know about the law is ... " I think the conversation could proceed in a more productive way.

Don't you really believe there are many things we need to know about the law, and about justice?   And don't you think that we do better by continuing to learn about it, rather than by simply making broad statements apart from actual social contexts and historical realities?

Law and justice are two different concepts.

If I am pulled over for failure to be wearing a seatbelt and get

a ticket, I have broken a law that is on 'the books' and must pay a

 fine or possibly lose my privilage to drive- which could make it difficult to get

to my job, which is where I get money to eat and pay my bills. Right?

This law is not about my safety, it is about saving the Insurance companies

money by reducing possible damage claims.

So I pay the $75 and go on my way.  Was 'Justice' served?

All you have to know about law is 'don't break them' or you will pay

one way or the other. It's a rigged system that has not much to do

with Justice.

Hello fellow discussants on this thread, all readers and any participants in Composers Forum, and Bob Porter, Fredrick, Roger, Peter et al.

Bob I know you understand that I like to read people’s posts.  


“I have had lawyer friends explain the McDonalds thing to me. I get it. They were warned their coffee was too hot. People were getting hurt.”

Not just hurt.  Many were getting extremely severe burns. They had to have skin grafts. But just consider just this case.   The woman’s hospital bill was 20,000 dollars.  That’s not simply getting a little warm coffee on your thighs, like a nice hot bath. 

“BUT if you bought coffee at McDonalds on a regular basis, you would know how hot it was. You would take precautions.”

How many million don’t buy it on a regular basis, and how many people bought it for the first time.  We only know of just 700 cases where the burns were severe enough to warrant complaints. 

“Why on earth would you put coffee that you know is too hot between your legs and drive off? It boarders on unsafe operation of a motor vehicle”

That’s not what happened.  Her vehicle was stationary at the time of the burning.  The point is that McDonald’s ignored the reasonable guidelines.   They did this because, according to their own internal memos, they wanted to save a few cents on the coffee by keeping it hotter just a bit longer.  No other restaurant chain or fast food chain was greedy enough to do this. To this extent, according to industry records.   They knew better.


.” I'm sorry this lady got burned. Interesting that I'm sure McDonalds had more money than she did, and lost. Employees tell me that McDonalds tends to just pay up without much of a fight.”


That wasn’t true in this case.  They fought this tooth and nail, and even in court, they said they would refuse to lower the coffee temperature.  Eventually, after the case was concluded they decided they would lower the coffee to the acceptable temperature.

“At 135 degrees, I throw out coffee.”

Do you use a thermometer to keep track?  What if it’s at 136 degrees?  If you read the details of the trial, you’ll see scientists testified about the temperature issue in detail.  If you keep it at 155 degrees you won’t inflict 3rd degree burns.  M’s problem was keeping it at 185 to 190 or so, consistently.   Just for a few pennies.   Scientists testified that as you come down from 185 the danger drops precipitously, due to the fact that it cools faster AND it will not immediately scald the skin and cause third degree burns necessitating skin grafts and long hospital stays for treatment.

“Seems like we are looking for ways to blame someone else for our own miscalculations.”

I don’t know what “we” is being talked about here.  The fact is the jury and the judge heard all the evidence.  It was McDonalds’ who made the miscalculation, and even did so deliberately and continuously, in spite of the 700 previous complaints they got.  The judge and jury were livid at the callousness of the policy.

The case proves, above all, that the corporation DOES have a responsibility to its customers. That’s why I mentioned it in the first place.  I wonder if Fredrick still believes that corporations only have a responsibility to their shareholders, and not to their workers or their customers. The Firestone Tire case, similarly proved a corporation had an obligation NOT to produce tires which resulted in the death of customers.  Now VW is poisoning people, and the number of increased respiratory illnesses as a result of VW fraud on the emission standard software can be calculated in the thousands.  Does Fredrick believe VW only had an obligation to their shareholders, and not to the public at large? I think VW has already admitted that they did have an obligation to their customers that superseded a decision to boost profits for shareholders.

I have to agree with Fredrick when he says,


“That's true of many companies. The calculation (at least those with which I am familiar) goes something like this: Which will cost the company least?.. 1) paying chump change to a supposed victim of the alleged corporate negligence or 2) going to court and litigating? In almost all cases the answer is #1.”


It is something that happens a lot.  It is nicely dramatized in the film Fight Club, where the protagonist reveals how the computation process works.  If the projection of the number of people killed and the cost through lawsuits is LESS than the amount it would cost to fix a defect, a company will often do the calculation and conclude:  Let’s just let a few people die.  We can handle the bills.  I agree, of course that this happens far more often than we want to allow it to happen.  This is why we have laws to begin with, rather than saying, “Oh to hell with it; no need passing any laws at all, because in every single case, with virtually no exception, in 99.9999999999999999999% of cases a corporation can do whatever it wants with no penalty whatsoever.” 

Fredrick says,

“The case settles out of court for $100,000. The contingency attorney gets $40K and plaintiff receives $60K. However, plaintiff is taxed on the entire $100K, usually as ordinary income but sometimes as capital gains. Plaintiff has to borrow money to pay for their "victory." OO apparently thinks that's fair. What do you think?”

I don’t know how Fredrick draws the conclusion that this particular fictitious example represents fairness in my mind.  Why do I “apparently think that’s fair?”  I’ve never seen this example before, and have not commented on it, so why, Fredrick, do you falsely assert I think it’s fair.

What I have said, concerns several points that you have yet to answer.

My questions were about your apparent refusal to engage much more than defeatist reasoning on these and other issues.   Your refusal to endorse any kind of reform, protest movement or effort to change conditions.   There also seems to be an unwillingness to look at things in historical and social context.  

The wide use of the class action lawsuit, for instance, represented an advance over previous systems, in helping the ordinary citizen to find justice.  The McDonalds’ case represents one kind of victory.   You still haven’t told us, with any research, study or statistics, how often the person with the “most money buys justice” (which, of course, is not justice at all).  I don’t even disagree with you that the wealthy often bend the system to their own advantage.  But to make blanket assertions without facts does amount to a kind of faith in evil, and something akin to a belief that justice will never triumph, or can never triumph in face of difficult circumstances, where the deck seems stacked. 

Again, in this last post you cite a fictitious unfair situation, without demonstrating any optimism or possibility that things can or will change.  You recommend no alteration of the system.  Thus your view seems to counsel despair and acceptance of the status quo as something that must inevitably remain as it is.  History shows this is false.  I gave many examples in my last post.

When might you abandon your faith in evil, your unconditional belief that the negative outcomes are simply inevitable in all cases?  (Or inevitable in so many cases as to make the distinction meaningless between all and most).

Another point which you did not answer was your seeming predilection for making statements in favor drug use, and even for “addiction” (thank God for addiction, was your sentiment, I believe).  Not that I have any reason to condemn moderate usage of any beverage, though you must admit the 5-hour energy makers have no interest in promoting health in any meaningful way, rather the reverse.  It’s in the nature of the product.

You have mentioned martinis, coffee, and 5-hour energy drinks in hardly anything but the most positive light.  This in spite of the fact that rates of innumerable diseases, and the rates of hospitalization have increased (especially for heart disease and increased blood pressure).  It seems like a contradiction and double standard:  the whole of the law and all corporations are in their very essence totally corrupt, but the producers of beverages with dubious benefits, or outright health sapping characteristics, are given a pass. 

So we talk about social problems, economic injustice, and you seem not to want to counsel people, or imply in any way, that social activism would be a good thing, or that reading or understanding history would be good thing, or that exercise (instead of the martini) would be a good thing.  I haven’t done a count of the number of times you have recommended or praised alcohol as a solution or simply a kind of recreation (used in “moderation” of course).  But it seems to be a considerable number of times in comparison to how often you counsel people to be of good cheer or to entertain a positive thought.


How do you explain this tendency in your comments, if not by reference to a faith in blanket statements about the “law,” or by a faith in the good will of the distillery owners, and in the benign or even salutary effects of alcohol (used in moderation, to be sure)?




How can McDonald's have won, if they dropped the temperature of the coffee, which during the trial, they said they would refuse to do?


How can McDonald's have won, if they decided to settle the case rather than go on to an appeal?


[You said before, Fredrick, that the corporation would wear the plaintiff out, by a series of appeals.  Isn't it likely that McDonald's settled because they knew they would have lost the appeals, given the trial record, and the discovery revealing the previous 700 egregious complaints?]


You make up a theory about what you pretend to be absolutely sure happened [McDonalds won], while saying at the same time "no one" knows how it turned out.  That seems entirely contradictory to me. No one in any respectable publication who writes about this case says McDonalds won it.  But that's only one issue.


My contention was that the corporation does have a responsibility to customers and to workers, and not just to shareholders, which was illustrated by the verdict in this case, and in two others I mentioned.  The trial record itself, and the judge's statements indicate, as a matter of established law, that the corporation has a responsibility to the customer, and you know that is the case.  Your statement, "The corporation only has a responsibility to the shareholders, and NOT to the workers or customers" is patently false, based on data presented. 


So where is your evidence that ANY of the statements you have made are true.  Where is the data?  Where is the research and the study to indicate what you have said about litigants has any validity? 


You just haphazardly assert "The litigant with the most money wins, not once in a while, but always," once again, as a statement faith, but not merely as a faith proposition, without any evidence, but as a belief you adhere to IN SPITE OF EVIDENCE to the contrary.


You may as well say, "Daylight Savings Time was introduced, in order to give an extra hour of sunlight to the plants." You could make any equally erroneous or senseless statement and retain as much credibility on the issue.  You can just say, it's true because I know it's true, over and over again.


Even by your own admission, you don't even know if, in this case, McDonald's won.  You know, in fact, that McDonalds lost (otherwise they would not have been compelled to lower the temperature of their coffee).  [I mentioned before, and scientists testified to the fact, that lowering the temperature from 190 or 185 to 155 would greatly reduce the risk of burns, due to the lower temperature, and due to the fact that it would cool faster, and accidents would be less likely] MacDonald's backed down on the very issue that was the focus of the case, and what does that mean, if not losing?


[Whether Lebeck ended up with 160,000 or 140,000 in compensatory damages; or 460,000 instead of 480,000 in punitive damages is not the issue. They may have received more.  Remember, they initially asked for only 20,000 dollars to cover hospital expenses, and McDonalds foolishly refused, and took it to trial.  They didn't know discovery would reveal the 700 other cases of harm that clinched the case for the plaintiffs, in the eyes of the jury and the judge.   We can be reasonably sure they lost more than 20,000 dollars, in legal fees alone.  To call what happened a win for McDonalds is foolish].


You deflect with statements like " ... it is very likely that the settlement was a "structured settlement ... " etc. etc. without any evidence of what really was likely, or what actually happened, when no one who writes on the issue says that McDonalds won.  Then you do what, logically speaking?  Do you extrapolate from your own narrow and unfounded interpretation of the McDonald's case to come to the conclusion that "The litigant with the most money wins, not once in a while, but always?" 


That is what Kierkegaard meant by a "Leap of Faith."


I find it interesting that you tacitly concede the point that your statement amounts to a faith proposition.  But I still want to know why you want to adhere to that Credo.  It does definitely amount to a kind of religion you are advocating, but it is a theology with all devils and no other kind of being, not even real and believable humans, as far as I can tell. 


I want to know why you seem to complain about the law in such an absolutist way, unless your view is simply that it is so bad that it is irredeemable, which you maintain so you can counsel others to accept the status quo.  Perhaps you believe in the status quo.


My main question, a new one, would be this:


Do want the status quo to remain as it is?


If so, you are making arguments in such a way as to perpetuate it. 


On the issue of your advocacy of drug use, of alcohol use, and your decision to champion addiction as a good thing (Thank God for addiction, you affirm), you drop the ball.  I suppose you concede that point too, and admit that you think drugs and addiction are positive goods, while social activism, educating oneself about history and economic reality, exercising and self improvement in general are not worth commenting upon, or encouraging.


This is all consistent with an admonition to despair, the decision to urge others (directly or indirectly) to "give up" or just resign themselves to the status quo, which you appear to want to continue as it is.  So I repeat my request that you make the philosophical framework of your argument as clear as possible.



Hello, Peter.

I think you need to read a summary of the case.

You said, 

"The question is, did this lady have a legitimate complaint about the temperature of the coffee she was caressing between her legs while driving?"

It's been pointed out already that she was not driving when coffee was spilled.

Here is a summary.

I am surprised you seem to side with McDonalds without even knowing the essential facts:

The Incident:
(Albuquerque, New Mexico – February 1992)
Stella Liebeck, 79, suffered severe burns after she spilled coffee on herself. She purchased the coffee at a drive-through owned and operated by fast-food giant McDonald's. She was not the driver of the car and the coffee was spilled while the car was parked. That is, Ms. Liebeck's grandson had pulled the car to the curb and the vehicle was stationary before she placed the cup of coffee between her knees and attempted to remove the lid for the purpose of adding cream and sugar. As she lifted one side of the lid, the coffee spilled onto her lap. Immediately, the coffee was absorbed by her sweatpants. Her clothing forced what was later learned to be “super-heated coffee” against her skin. 

The Injuries:
Ms. Liebeck's injuries were severe. She suffered full thickness burns 
(third-degree burns) and scalding to her inner thighs, groin and buttocks. She was in the hospital for eight days and had to undergo extremely painful procedures to remove layers of dead skin, as well as several graft operations. 

The Coffee:
The McDonald's coffee Ms. Liebeck purchased was served at a temperature of between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit. For home use, coffee is generally brewed at 135 to 140 degrees. If spilled on skin, any beverage heated to between 180 and 190 degrees will cause third-degree burns in two to seven seconds.

The Action:
Ms. Liebeck's original intention was to obtain legal help in order to be reimbursed for her medical expenses, which were said to have totalled nearly $20,000. However, McDonald's refused to pay her medical bills. This led Ms. Liebeck to file a product-liability suit.

The Damage Awards: 
A jury awarded Ms. Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages. This sum was reduced to $160,000 because, appropriately, she was found to be partially responsible for the incident. More significantly, the jury members saw fit to punish McDonald's. The jury awarded Ms. Liebeck $2.7 million in punitive damages. This amount represented approximately two days of profit from coffee sales for the restaurant chain. It also represented the single most publicized aspect of this case. The trial judge reduced the award of punitive damages to $480,000 (three times the amount of the original compensatory damages). Rather than going through an appeal, the actual settlement amount was reached between the parties, confidentially, for an undisclosed sum.

The Key, but Least Publicized, Details: 
During trial preparation, Ms. Liebeck's lawyer learned that McDonald's had roughly 700 reports on file of similar injuries caused (between 1982 and 1992) by its extremely hot coffee. Some of the complaints advised of third-degree burns that were caused by McDonald’s superheated coffee. Despite this information, McDonald's had not taken any actions to reduce the temperature of its coffee. NOTE: The restaurant chain has since reduced the temperature of its product.

Peter Brown said:


Nope. It's not 'fair'. But all kidding aside, the issue isn't really about 'fairness' is it. It's about power, greed and authority that permeates our present judicial system. The question is, did this lady have a legitimate complaint about the temperature of the coffee she was caressing between her legs while driving? Obviously not. Was she able to put McDonalds out of business because the coffee made a red mark somewhere between her legs? Nope. Did she benefit from her burns? Yep. Did Mcdonalds loose face or any significant amount of money resulting from this litigation? Nope.

Was this whole scenario a big scam originally perpetrated by an insider at McDonalds for marketing purposes? This we may never know. I only wonder if the scars are still visible after all these years... :-o


Peter, imagine if all the accordian players and all the bagpipe players got together

and circled the Capitol and the White House, day after day, until even the present mainstream

media was forced to report the incessant playing. This would bring attention to any cause.  

Both House and Senate would be driven to 'the edge' and Obama would go running through the

streets of Washington, naked and screaming, 'I'm a liar, I'm a liar, I'm a liar  aahhhhhahaahhhhaahhhhh :+&

Peter Brown said:


I guess if Nero was telling everyone to play a musical instrument, he just might have been. But there had to be good reason for it. Imagine if all the detainees in America's prisons had access to a piano, guitar, wind and brass instruments and a variety of stringed and percussion instruments? 

Imagine if you wanted to become a state employee or a government official, a Congressman or a Senator and needed to play a musical instrument (pretty damn well)  to evidence your desire to serve the public? And the artists and musicians were the heads of state and servants of the public?

What a Beautiful Symphony that would be...

But, you can't legislate morality any more than you can make love and happiness mandatory. 

Just saying...

roger stancill said:

Peter, are you saying that Nero was the one with a clue in his day?

I still think that music and the arts are.. a luxury.

Who ever said, food, clothing, shelter and music?

Tarzan had a tree house a loin cloth and all the food nature provided;

I know he yodeled, but did he also play the French horn?  lol

O-man, sorry but if that lady hadn't figured out that the coffee was hot before or by the time she got to

her car, I have NO sympathy for her, what-so-ever. She is, ( sorry ladies for the language) a punk ass

opportunist crying wolf, based on her own stupidity. The Judge is the criminal for even hearing the case

and not throwing it out. In all honesty, this should never have gone to court.

I did a job years ago, for a guy that was the victim in a whiplash suit. He even took  itso far as to have

neck operations. He won the case, monetarily, but in talking with him, I knew he was lying about it.

Honesty is not what was behind either of the cases (coffee or neck).

I love that quote of Mark Twain, ' Oh, I can lie, I just choose to tell the truth '  RS



Fredrick:  No.


O:  Yes.


Fredrick: McDonalds paid a small amount of chump change because that was less expensive than continuing the case.


O: Irrelevant.  "Chump change."  Undefined term, and subjective judgment, put forward to avoid facts. 


Fredrick:  The litigant got pretty close to nothing.


O:  Not proven. 


Fredrick: The litigant with the most money always wins.


O:  Mere repetition for the fourth or fifth time of the unproven generalization.


Fredrick:  That's the beauty of capitalism.


O:   So the beauty of Nazi Germany was that Hitler usually got his way?  The beauty of Stalin's USSR was that the "Great Helmsman" did what he wanted to do to others, without being accountable?


Is this the answer to my question, "Do you wish the status quo to continue?


"That's the beauty of capitalism."  (?)


It seems that you do wish it to continue, just as it is.  After asking you two or three times now, how it should be changed, you have provided no answer.


Doesn't this undermine any valid point you are trying to make?  If you think the 'beauty' of any system is that it encourages the rewarding of grossly immoral behavior, then what is the philosophical foundation of your thinking?  [Don't tell me you work in marketing or advertising, please.  That's no excuse].  As Aristotle would say, your argument has no ethos or logos, but only a certain amount of pathos.  (No ethical content or logic, only emotion).


Fredrick:  The temperature of the coffee, the probability that serving coffee at a high temperature constitutes negligence and the contributory negligence of the old lady are facts of the case. But that's not we are discussing. We are discussing outcomes.


O:  Exactly my point.  ONE of the outcomes was that McDonald's was compelled to bring the temperature down.  ONE of the outcomes was that McDonalds lost  the very point it was trying to contest, and so lost the case.  It's like Stalin being told, "Here is one law you have to obey, and that means there are people you cannot torture or inflict injury upon in the future."  Nothing hurts a tyrant more than that, all money issues aside.  Carnegie didn't like insubordination any more than Hitler did, which was why the Scottish industrialist sent his goons to kill off a few strikers at the steel mills. Hitler and Carnegie didn't always win, however.  Mussolini and Standard Oil didn't always win either. It's humiliating for a dictator or CEO's of a company to realize they cannot always do whatever they want to.


AND that is the essence of law.  If a few CEO's or managers had been put in jail, that might have been better.  I'll bet someone at McDonalds didn't get a bonus that year, and he must have been humiliated too.  Some other executives might have been reprimanded, demoted or fired (or even shunned at a cocktail party).  In any case, SOMEONE at McDonalds didn't get 480,000,  and someone didn't get the 160,000 or so.  McDonalds also probably wasted millions on legal fees. That means somebody, real people working at McDonalds, lost money.  It's real money that people wanted and didn't get, and whoever they were, they were not happy about that. And it was real power that was lost.  And losing power is humiliating.  So yes, we are talking about results. That was another "result." I don't know what happened to stock price that year, but that might have been a "result," too.  I'll bet the other fast food chain owners had a good laugh and snickered when the McDonald's execs showed up late at the Fast Food Chain convention, and that hurt as much as seeing Jones next door getting a new car that you or I couldn't afford. "It's all relative," I suppose you would say.


But I appreciate your admission that you believe savage capitalism is "a beautiful system."  It seems to contradict what you said earlier about "savage capitalism."  But maybe this statement about its beauty is more honest than what was said before.  I love irony as much as anyone, but Voltaire's irony can be differentiated from Mephistopheles'.


Your moral stance seems clearer now.  (Or your lack of a moral stance).  Still, if you think it's not clear, you can take time and clarify it further.  I would like that.  If you have any ethical principles that you believe in, or any moral beliefs at all, I would welcome your stating at least one of them, too.








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