Documentary of the night: “Hot Coffee”

Currently watching the 2011 documentary “Hot Coffee” that begins with the famous lawsuit of the woman severely burnt by McDonald’s coffee and sued:

This is a case that most of us assume we’re familiar with, though we really aren’t. Several years back I was yammering on about frivolous lawsuits to my stepdad one night and mentioned this case as an example when he emailed back links outlining what actually happened there. Read about it and changed my views. Truly astounding how it’s been played up in the media as purely frivolous in nature and without basis, with most of the details changed so as to sway public opinion.

So I came across this film tonight and decided to see what all it had to say on the matter. I’m about 22 minutes into it right now (watching on Netflix — also found it on YT for free viewing if others are interested).

Glad to hear Clinton did something decent during his presidency by shooting down tort reform at the federal level.

Also interesting to note how many corporations were backing that propaganda to push for tort reform in an effort to reduce their own liability to consumers, including most notably major insurance companies and Big Tobacco companies. I’ve typically been on the side of defending Big Tobacco seeing as how I did research into their labeling and feel what they put on their packaging since the 1950s did indeed indicate health risks are associated with smoking. BUT, further research since shows me time and time again where they’ve stepped over the line and funded projects such as this to where I must revoke my personal defense. Not planning on suing them since I’m aware of my risks, but I wouldn’t go so far as to offer those corporate giants my compassion. Because here they weren’t only defending their own empire but also every other major corporation, no matter how shady their dealings might prove to be.

Glad to see the organization Public Citizen up in this mix. I’m a subscriber to their mailings and an occasional donor to support their causes. Definitely a group worth looking into.

Should’ve known Karl Rove would have his grimy fingers all up in this matter. That scumbag is relentless.

The Citizens United ruling is involved where major corporations were allowed to buy off elected judges.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce up in the mix helping major corporations spread propaganda. Damn. This topic is far-reaching.

Then we wind back around to arbitration clauses imposed by major corporations like Halliburton (and Wells Fargo and many others — see the small print on practically anything you sign these days, both on and offline — even Netflix stipulates this for whatever reason). (The lease I was initially offered for my latest apartment even had an arbitration clause due to possible asbestos problems, said to only be a real concern at one of my landlord’s other properties, and I had it stricken from my rental agreement before agreeing to sign.) Bastards are trying to maneuver us away from even being able to seek legal remedy in a court of law every chance they get. That should worry the hell out of us.

On a sidenote, my problems with arbitration are also a big reason for why I cannot support anarcho-capitalist schemes like that advocated by Stefan Molyneux since he envisions arbitration replacing our courts entirely in a setup where the government is completely done away with and citizens must contend with corporations directly. That’s a losing proposition for average people.

Back to the film…also good to see the Mississippi Innocence Project mentioned in there. That organization has offices all around the country and they’re all doing extremely important work.

Just finished viewing. What a very good film. I’ll be sure to add this one to my documentaries tab up above.

Damn near lights fire under my ass to want to get back into local voting once again. But it’s so incredibly difficult to make sense of the laws and to be aware of all of their riders before heading to the voting booth, and this gives me great consternation over possibly voting the wrong way. With the presidential elections I ask for an absentee ballot that I can work through at home and research candidates and judges as I go. Without that ability, so much of it turns into guesswork, and that isn’t acceptable. The process could be made a lot easier if proposed legislation didn’t take up as many pages as a novel and weren’t worded in indecipherable legalese — why we allow that alone to continue is anyone’s guess. But so long as people can’t comprehend so much of this nonsense we’re not in a good position to effectively call out the bullshit, which I believe is precisely why it’s all been rendered so confusing.

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