Monday, January 10, 2011

Sarah Palin And The Pornography of Violence

It was a chilling scene: Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, flees to Canterbury Cathedral where services are in progress. Knights of Henry II find Becket at the altar, mercilessly drawing their swords and hacking the Archbishop until his skull splits open and he dies.

How did the murder come about? What was the motive? For sure, Henry wanted to consolidate his political power. If he eliminated Becket, he would remove a political obstacle.

Did Henry directly commission the knights to kill the Archbishop? No, Henry was more cunning; he used others as his tools.

History records Henry as saying, “What sluggards? What cowards have I brought up in my court, who care nothing for their allegiance to their lord? Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" Henry’s well-coined phrase, disguised ambiguity, rhetorical structure, falling on the right ears, was calculated to arouse the passions enough to inspire the right type of person to commit murder.

When Sarah Palin put crosshairs on Gabrielle Giffords and 19 other members of congress, she knew the image it would conjure and the passions it would arouse, if it infected the right set of ears. Palin’s crosshairs, Limbaugh’s vitriol, and Beck’s paranoia, all emerge from the same lust for power, each an exquisite example of the pornography of violence.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Injection Vials Recalled over Particulate Matter...

Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. has recalled six lots of Acetadote Injection because of particulate matter found in some vials. The company said the recall is a precautionary measure. Acetadote is a treatment to prevent or lessen liver injury after ingestion of a potentially toxic quantity of acetaminophen.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 12/30/2010 Read Article: PR Newswire

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Shareholders Fight Back In Suit Against Johnson and Johnson

Johnson and Johnson shareholders have accused the company of ignoring "red flags" that predated J and J product recalls and government investigations into J and J earlier this year.

The shareholders have sued company executives and have asked for damages. The suit claims the company received "years of red flag warnings of systemic misconduct" but did nothing.

The government is "investigating whether J and J illegally marketed drugs and devices for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and paid kickbacks."

Read: David Voreacos and Alex Nussbaum , Bloomberg: J and J Directors Ignored ‘Red Flags’ on Recalls, Probes…

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Insurers Sue Toyota Over Acceleration Crashes

Toyota is back in the news!

Seven insurance companies filed lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp. in an attempt to recover money they paid to cover crashes associated with sudden acceleration claims. The suits were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and seek damages for more than $230,000 from 14 crashes in the U.S. But, here's the curious thing about the suit.

Insurers rate risk by the type of car the insured drives. Insurers reason that the owners of "certain cars" are a greater risk. Based on data that is very precise, insurers track the payouts for particular makes and models and the reasons for the payout. For example, insurers know the make and model of vehicles that have an unusual number of tire separations, accelerator problems, etc. Consequently, those owners generally pay a higher premium, a premium that reflects the fact that the insurers consider the vehicle unsafe. Insurers even send the data to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who keeps it secret from the public until the problem becomes subject of a recall. Here's the irony.

Insurers never tell their insureds what they've uncovered about a vehicle, although the insureds premium reflect the fact the insurer considers the vehicle make or model to be a greater risk! Why? Because corporate friendly courts protect insurers by insulating them from liability for failing to notify policyholders about defects in vehicles that insurers track.

Associated Press, The Shreveport Times 01/04/2011 Read Article

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Chrysler Recalls Dodge Ram Trucks and Dodge Journey SUVs

Chrysler has announced a recall of 150,000 vehicles in three separate recalls to fix various problems. The recalls cover Dodge Ram trucks and Dodge Journey SUVs. The issues include steering problems and faulty rear axle components in the Ram trucks and faulty airbags in the SUVs. The company has not received any reports of injuries associated with the recalls. Ken Thomas, Forbes 12/31/2010

Monday, January 03, 2011

Insurer Sued Over Death Bets Gone Bad

Leslie Scism of the Wall Street Journal reports that several insurers have filed hundreds of lawsuits during the past two years seeking to cancel life insurance policies that the insurers say were not intended as an "estate planning tool" but rather were crafted to enrich investors speculating on people's lives.

Some investors are striking back, saying that insurers encouraged sales to investors and that the industry called attention to the practice only when its profits were less than expected. Investors want insurers to honor the policies or refund all premiums they have paid. Some seek punitive damages.

So insurance isn't "speculating"? Says who? Who are insurers kidding? Isn't that what insurance is all about? The insurer is like the" house" at a casino. Insurance companies bet you will not die, not wreck your car, or will not get sick, etc, and the insured bets that he will die or will wreck the car, and will get sick!

Can you imagine what would happen in Las Vegas if the casino said, "Hey these games are for entertainment only; we should not have to pay off because some gamblers are good at it!"