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10-16-2004

Jury Dummy, Draft, and TD Mohammed


What a strange three weeks it has been. Two weeks of Jury Duty and a week of travel. Whew, glad that is over.

Juror number one…

Question: “Do any of you have any family members, friends or associates that were or are members of the medical field?”
Answer: “Yes, my mother was a nurse for 31 years.”

Question: “Have any of you had medical treatment or surgery at Geisinger Hospital Wyoming Valley?”
Answer: “Yes, several times for myself and for my children as well.”

Question: “Have any of you or have any members of your families had treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia?”
Answer: “Yes, my sister was successfully treated there for Leukemia for a period of ten years.”

Okay, that’s three strikes against me there is no way I will get selected for this jury.

Judge: “Please clear the jury box.”
Assistant: “Juror number one, Private Sector Dude.”
Good gravy.

And so it begins. The trial was an amazing thing. It is one thing to see it in the movies, but another thing to actually be a part of it. And no, it is NOT like the movies, otherwise there would never be a lawyer/courtroom movie made. After spending hours reviewing 30 page Curriculum Vitaes proving that certain individuals were indeed experts in their fields, we actually got to the questions and the science and the facts.

Medical malpractice is never an easy thing. But in this case it seemed quite cut and dry. A pre-existing condition in an unborn child resulted in that child needing a transplant several years after birth. The case took more than a decade to come to trial, and the facts of the case are not what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is how incredibly illogical some people can be. Within our group were four people that I must say, had about a 4th grade education level. Now while I do not begrudge anyone their opinion, or their education, but this experience just added more fuel to my belief that we should have professional jurors in this country.

We had woman whose only point was that the doctor could have done more. She did not care about the facts, or the instructions from the judge stating that we are to consider the facts based upon what the doctor actually did. She also did not care that her notes were not evidence as she kept referring to items in her notes that were not true. “The doctor said that test xyz should have been done,” she would say. As the foreman, I said “No, that statement does not appear in his testimony.” “Oh, well it must have been in the hospital report,” was her reply. “Well I am holding all the hospital reports right here and it does not say anywhere that test xyz should be performed.” “Oh, well that’s what I thought,” she said. “Your notes and your thoughts are not facts,” was my reply, but it was too late, she was on to the next item. This went on for two hours and again and again, her notes proved to be false, probably 12 times. Finally, and older man sitting across from me said “Lady, you need to come back to earth!” Funny, but what a set of brass ones he had, because I feeling the same. Her reply, “The doctor could have done more.” How do you argue with someone that lives in a “could have, should have” world while ignoring science and fact?

Finally, we started to sway other jurors once I and one other man pointed out that the prosecution had switched their strategy from plan A to plan B after the defense totally shattered plan A. One woman changed her mind saying, “You know, you’re right, the prosecutor never proved his case.” Our friend above’s comment “He could have done more.” No lie, I kid you not. Again we reminded her we are to deliberate the facts not what could have happened.

After 5 hours of this we finally got her to admit that at best the evidence was 50-50. In other words, there was no real burden of proof. I asked her, “Do you agree then that the evidence is equally weighted?” Yes she said. Okay then we have verdict I said. We had been instructed that if the evidence was equally balanced, we must find for the defense. Her reply “I can’t do that.” I told her she cannot ignore the judge’s orders. Her comment, “I don’t care, I can’t vote NO.” What!!!???

Now we had two other guys, both older, neither of which took a single note or asked any questions or even spoke, who hung out with this woman on smoke break and they stuck by her. We were dead locked. One person then asked for clarification on finding the doctor negligent, but not the cause of the kid's injuries as they were presented to us as different questions. The judge confirmed their thoughts and several folks instantly changed their votes. I was absolutely dumbfounded. In the end I had to read a verdict I did not agree with: Count one: Negligent, Count two: Not the cause of the injuries, case over. I was shaking as I faced the judge, the doctor and the poor family. My heart goes out to them and the doctor, but a trial should not be judged on emotion or “could haves.”

I enjoyed the process and it is amazing to me that a group of peers can judge right and wrong. It was an honor and a civic duty. I just wish that folks could actually be chosen based upon tougher criteria.

You’re in the Army now…

So, there is going to be a behind the scenes draft, eh? There’s a bill out there, eh? Okay, I did the leg work and here it is. Yes, there is a draft bill. HR 163 is a real Bill put forth early in 2003-January 7. It was a political ploy used to detract folks from the war and to tarnish Bush. It was sponsored by:

Charles Rangle-D (NY)

and has 15 co-sponsors (now actually 14 as one has withdrawn):

Neil Abercrombie-D (HI)
Donna Christensen-D (VI)
John Conyers-D (MI)
Alcee Hastings-D (FL)
Sheila Jackson-Lee-D (TX). She is the one that stated that the names of hurricanes are too "lily-white" (her actual words) and that should now have names that reflect African-Americans.

Jim McDermott-D (WA). He is the one that went to Iraq and stated the capture of Saddam was staged and was booed by the troops.

Pete Stark-D (CA)
Eleanor Holmes Norton-D (DC) She has now withdrawn her support, possibly because she faces re-election and knows that the bill has no support.

Corrine Brown-D (FL)
William Lacy Clay-D (MO)
Elijah Cummings-D (MD)
Jesse Jackson Jr-D (IL)
John Lewis-D (GA)
James Moran-D (VA)
Nydia Velazquez-D (NY)

Notice anything about the sponsors. All Democrats. The untold fact is that 12 of the original sponsors are black and members of the black caucus. It is being used as a scare tactic in the black community in that African-Americans make up about 30% of the military and young blacks are being told that they will be forced to serve, while young white folks will be given privilege-an outright lie. The bill was brought to committee and was soundly and loudly put down. Donald Rumsfeld was a huge critic saying that in no way was a draft needed, as was President Bush and VP Cheney. It got no support from any Republicans, including John McCain.

Bush does not support a draft. And there are even reports that John Manley, Canadian Foreign Affairs minister is signing laws to prevent folks from fleeing to Canada. John Manley was the former Industry Minister for Canada, not the Foreign Affairs Minister. But it was a good try. There are also reports that draft board positions are being filled. I did find this quote in regards to filling many draft board positions: "the SSS claimed that there were no plans to re-instate the draft and that the SSS were just having a routine recruitment drive since many of the Local Draft Board Member spots were vacant." It turns out that many of these positions, mostly low level, have been vacant since the days of good ole’ Bill.

HR 163 has died, but I have found several opinion pieces, all on liberal websites, that Bush secretly will implement a draft. Considering he doesn't have that power, that it is not needed, that the vast majority of Americans do not favor the draft, that Bush does not favor the draft and has said so many times, and that now co-sponsors are running away from it tells me it was just a political ploy.

Oh and by the way, Kerry and the DNC are out there talking about suppressing the black vote. Wasn't it the DNC and Algore that suppressed 250,000 GI votes, votes that were completed on time, but somehow delivered late? Wasn’t it a liberal judge that allowed the votes to be suppressed illegally? And 18% of them were black votes. I'll do the math, that's 45,000 black votes that didn't count. So who actually suppressed votes? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I know Bush lied.

The Kerry reconciliation factor is currently running at 0%:

*He claims to be a fiscal conservative, but supports huge entitlements, and his spending proposal of 2.2 trillion dollars on health care and education alone would send the deficit soaring, even though he criticizes Bush’s deficit spending
*He says life begins at conception but opposes restrictions on abortion, even partial birth abortion
*He pretends to be a friend to gays, but opposes gay marriage
*He decries dirty campaigning, just absolutely hates it, while fraudulently calling President Bush a liar daily
*He says he would cut taxes, but his record shows he's a consistent tax raiser to the tune of 350 votes including the largest tax increases on Social Security in history
*He says he favors tort reform, while Edwards and his biggest supporters are trial lawyers
*He says he'll be tough on terror when he's been antiwar all his life
*He swears he'll be tough in Iraq, while insisting it's the wrong war
*He complains that Iraq is an unworthy cause and bashes our existing coalition partners, yet wants us to believe that somehow he can build a bigger coalition with countries that have already stated that even if he won they would not join him (France, Germany)
*He's a proud liberal, but denies it
*He panders to gun owners while championing gun control
*He owns SUVs when talking in Detroit, but not when talking in California or elsewhere-then his “family” owns them
*He denounces activist judges, but will apply a pro-abortion litmus test to all constitutionalist judicial nominees
*He is a proud military hero, but won't release his records-sign the form Mr. Kerry, President Bush totaled 954 points in the Reserves against a target of 300-I say that’s a pretty good fulfillment of his obligation.
*He strictly follows his strategy of selling union votes for nothing, the AFL-CIO has endorsed Sen. John Kerry who voted for NAFTA, voted for trade with China and voted against drilling for oil in Alaska, costing tens of thousands of union jobs; There is only one candidate for president who didn't vote for NAFTA, didn't vote for trade with China and supported drilling in ANWR. That candidate is George Bush; Amazing that these unions keep voting against themselves

Rudi…

The National Review had a story that pointed out that Notre Dame Football is popular in Iraq. In the story they even show a picture of “the four horseman” from the 1920s. The story goes on to say that ND is really the only popular NCAA team and that the thought was this is due to the long standing and historical winning tradition. I myself am a ND fan which is weird because I am a PSU graduate and fan.

However, I think there may be some required changes, such as the four horseman becoming the four camelmen, touchdown Jesus will become touchdown Allah, the wave will be replaced with facing Mecca and bowing, and “Conversion through contact” will become the new slogan. Of course the movie “Rudi” will also be replaced by one called “Mohammed.”

Joe Paterno was as confused about this as he is about what the word “Offense” actually means, and even questioned if Iraq’s adopting of ND as its football team without an open bid was even legal much like Halliburton. “We have a young team, what do I know, I’m just a wop from Brooklyn,” he stated. Thanks “Franchise,” love ya.

Lastly, folk have probably seen the disgusting ad from a Tennessee State Representative comparing Bush to Special Olympians, poor kids that are mentally disabled. Yet another attempt at humor by the liberals. And again I ask, why do liberals, who claim to be so into diversity, feel they have to constantly denigrate and hurt people in their humor. I have worked Special Olympics and anyone that has will know what an incredible feeling it is and that there may truly be no place on Earth where one will feel more love.

Oh and this just in: Edwards has now stated that when Kerry is elected he will be able to make the dead rise. Imagine using Christopher Reeve as a political ploy, referring to his comment that if Kerry is elected people like Christopher Reeve will get up out of their wheelchairs, which in turn is referencing stem cell research. Note to Mr. Edwards, in case he didn’t know, President Bush has supported and funded stem cell research, about which even the most ardent supporters and scientists admit that cures for diseases are still 10-20 years away at best.

Keep the faith.
Private Sector Dude.