I learned a lot from reading Rick Dakan’s novel about activist (or criminal, per your point of view) hacking into a congressman’s telephone/internet connections while also controlling a key political contact to effect a major scandal and expose modern day slavery. The reality is that major industries, such as Big Pharma or the insurance lobby, could do the same thing and control access to key attorneys (say, class action firms, perhaps). Sure, the news media makes it look like there are too many lawsuits already. Perhaps that is why they are slowly shutting down the court system in California. It’s not really a budget issue?: it is that there isn’t any more need to protect our rights to keep major industries from contaminating the environment? No need to keep the pharmaceutical industry from continuing to lie and push drugs at us?
Gerry Spence wrote about this issue, within the topic of tort reform, on one of his sites. It was shocking to discover how few suits there actually were. I was a practicing physician for over 20 years. I carried a million dollars of malpractice insurance, rather a lot for a family physician. I was never sued by any of my patients. I was not afraid of suits. In fact, I carried that amount of insurance (roughly 5 times the amount the local hospitals required physicians to carry) because if I did hurt one of my patients, I wanted there to be funds to take care of them. I sure didn’t have any assets outside of a homestead and retirement funds. I was so angry at the piss poor medical care I received from one of my physicians in particular that I decided to sue her for malpractice. At first, I had an attorney (being consulted for the disability insurance issue) who suggested I consider such an act. Once I thought about how it would change the standards of care and many, many people would benefit, I decided it would be well worth the negative publicity. Shortly afterward, that attorney discovered that his phone number was incorrect in the latest edition of the local telephone book. He didn’t want to see me again. Other attorneys I contacted (and this was before the constitutional amendment capping punitive damages) refused the case also. Think how many people with sleep apnea would have been treated and not dismissed out of hand to go on and have a car accident, stroke, MI, or just plain old social disarray , like job or career loss. But I digress.
The actual reality is that the U S government has such a large black budget and contractors have such influence that they could arrange to short-circuit access to any law firm. They could pay a contractor to do it so the government’s prints are not on it. Maybe, the only way an individual whistleblower can get legal assistance is to shout it out to the world. The legal system in the USA is actually becoming third world.
Dana Priest, New York Times associated writer, spoke on NPR recently on the surveillance state. She spoke of 1200 federal agencies that spy on us (for us?). She spoke of 2000 private contractors doing the same thing. She noted that contractors have subcontractors and we have no figures on this. Considering that two jets did not bring down three world class skyscrapers, isn’t this just a little much? Now that whistle blowers have outed the administration (executive branch, ATF Alcohol Tobacco Firearms) as sponsoring Operation Fast and Furious where we sold thousands of weapons to Mexican cartels, we need someone to protect us from this government. If not attorneys, then who? The only reason I haven’t been in the streets is that I am concerned it will be an impediment to bringing my cases into Federal court. Once I give up that hope?