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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:37 am 
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Mike: This is a great country. The companies founded by George Westinghouse, Tom Edison et al have created vast wealth and world class products for all of us. Electricity is a really neat thing. It took us out of the agrarian economy and really launched the industrial revolution in the US. Henry Ford and his assembly line revolutionized the manufacturing process. medical advances have added 30 to 40 years to our life expectancy since 1900. If that is the result of corruption, give me more.

All I ever hear from you criticism and defeatism. Do you like anything about the US or are you one of the enlightened apologists?

We can argue politics all day. That is fine. however, you are claiming all business is corrupt, including a company I am deeply knowledgable about. How long did you work in industry? How in depth was your experience? I do not believe you can match my experience and knowledge. If so, give me details.

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Remember what the initial gist of my comment was about? Still haven't answered that yet. Oh, well. I guess us northern liberals are all the same, huh?


Yep. Was that comment a question? I remember you stating all businesses were corrupt.

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Don't waste your time in the classroom,


On the contrary, it is where I belong. The students need some balance in their education. They love it. And gues what... their parents love it. They think I am a good example of how a kid from the wrong side of the tracks can make it. I am considered a 'role model'! God works in great ways.

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Gosh, I hope I get a chance to move to Utopia too. 300 million people in this country, and I found the person who got it all figured out for everyone. This is a great country. (sarcasm here!!!)


Like I say, I am sorry for your burden. Perhaps there are some openings for you in China.

Rich

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:23 pm 
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Look at how this evil and corrupt company is responding to relief efforts:

FAIRFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)----The General Electric Company today announced that it is donating an additional $5 million in cash and $10 million in equipment and services to Hurricane Katrina disaster relief.

-- An additional $5 million to the American Red Cross. Earlier this week, GE donated $1 million to the Red Cross. In addition, GE employees have donated $1 million, which the GE Fund will match. That brings the total cash donations from GE and its employees to the Red Cross to $8 million.

-- At least $10 million in medical devices, power generation equipment, water purification and other goods and services as identified by federal relief authorities.

WNBC, NBC Universal's flagship station in New York City, hosted a one-hour telethon on August 31 that raised more than $8 million for relief efforts.

And other corrupt megacompanies are joining in the malfeasance:

"GE is proud to join with other great companies like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, P&G and others to do our part to get the Gulf Coast back on its feet," Immelt said.


Definitely shameful!

Rich

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:33 pm 
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M, I suggested another thread because:

1) this has nothing to do with pharmaceutical companies, or our litigious tendences, the major thrusts of the thread and

2) there are a lot more corrupt companies, some of which you may know more about than veteran employees you are arguing with, than GE to talk about.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:34 pm 
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IJ,

If you have read anything at all, you'll already know that I suggested to Rich to move this to another thread, but he decided to keep it here. Second, sure there are a lot more corrupt companies out there to speak of, but why bother. GE is fine. If you don't like the topic, you may always read another forum. As for being a veteran employee, no one was saying Rich is not. I certainly have questions concerning how much he knows of the inner working of a company as huge as GE? I understand what he has said, but he has left enormous doubt with the dancing around the issue and his patriotic rhetoric that has nothing to do with the questions at hand. This is not insult or condemnation, it's simply a discussion. I've asked several things and made several comments; I'm simply waiting on the answer, not another tangent.


Rich,

<This is a great country. The companies founded by George Westinghouse, Tom Edison et al have created vast wealth and world class products for all of us. Electricity is a really neat thing. It took us out of the agrarian economy and really launched the industrial revolution in the US. Henry Ford and his assembly line revolutionized the manufacturing process. medical advances have added 30 to 40 years to our life expectancy since 1900. If that is the result of corruption, give me more. >

This is certainly a great country, and one of the many things that makes this country great is the ability to use the First Amendment and call a spade a spade. George Westinghouse, Edison, Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller (the list goes on) were certainly creative genious, but you can call them Captains of Industry if you want, but you will have to allow those who see them as Robber Barons their due; otherwise, maybe you should check into China. They don't have a First Amendment for you to worry about.

<All I ever hear from you criticism and defeatism. Do you like anything about the US or are you one of the enlightened apologists? >

No, that's all you want to hear because I don't agree with you. Not everything in this country is sunshine and lollipops. I'm sorry to say that, but it's true. In order to fix those problems in the country people have to see the fault sometimes that are inherent in the system, and those that are recently created. Apologists? All I've read from your posts is that GE should be cannonized in the industrial world, and that just becuase emoployees do bad things, GE shouldn't be held responsible. To me, that sounds like a pretty weak excuse. Oops, I didn't mean to spill the toxins in the drinking water, blame the guy that did it, not the company who hired him or let it happen. I don't make apologies for companies that do this, or abuse third world nations, or buy elections.

<We can argue politics all day.>

No we can't, because you refuse to see the wrong is things the US does. If it has the US label it must be right. Sorry, I don't buy that at all.

<You are claiming all business is corrupt>

Did I use the absolute term of "ALL BUSINESS IS CORRUPT"? I don't think I did, but I'll have to go back and check. If I did, then I'm just as guilty as you for using these absolutes.

<Including a company I am deeply knowledgable about. How long did you work in industry? How in depth was your experience? I do not believe you can match my experience and knowledge. If so, give me details. >

I can't match your experience in working at GE because I never worked at GE. Can you match my teaching experience? Not with two years under your belt, but what does mean? Absolutely nothing. You have all the economic and production numbers that anyone can get off the net, but I still say, with the information you provided that you couldn't know all the inner workings at GE. You may know all their is to know about training and the engineering stuff you did, but were you in on negotiations about defense contracts, third world dealings, political support? I've had lunch with CEOs before, doesn't mean I was in on those kind of conversations.



<Yep. Was that comment a question? I remember you stating all businesses were corrupt. >

Absolutes my man, absolutes.


<On the contrary, it is where I belong. The students need some balance in their education. They love it. And gues what... their parents love it. They think I am a good example of how a kid from the wrong side of the tracks can make it. I am considered a 'role model'! God works in great ways. >

Where is the balance if all you tell them is that the country can do no wrong? What do you teach anyway? What subject? They ALL love it? ALL the parents? You must be teacher of the year if you have EVERYONE loving you. I wouldn't be using God in the public school classroom too much though. Not yet anyway.



<Like I say, I am sorry for your burden. Perhaps there are some openings for you in China. >

Typical response from the right. Maybe you should think about that balance you spoke of in your classroom before making remarks like this. This is so 1950s (just swithch USSR for China).

Better yet, maybe GE can run over to China and exploit the people there? Nah!

mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:51 pm 
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Back to your regularly-scheduled thread....

There's a very interesting article in the WSJ today about the second Vioxx case, which is being tried in New Jersey. Here's a clip from that article.
Quote:
On the other hand, this suit may be even tougher for Merck, because it centers on a scientifically proven link between Vioxx and heart attacks and strokes. The Texas case, in contrast, involved arrhythmia, or an irregular heart beat, a symptom that lacks an established link with Vioxx.

This was a point I made very, very early on in this thread - one that falls on deaf ears of those who want to stick it to this bad pharmaceutical company because they do things that they don't like. Damn the facts; we have a dead person and a defendant who needs to be taught a lesson.

I found it fascinating that when I presented myself as a "subject matter expert" on the topic (I spent 5 years creating heart attacks in the lab, and have approximately 30 articles in the peer-reviewed literature on the subject) that somehow it never mattered because a proper jury arrived at a decision against Merck. Or it was 'because I said so.' At least now what has been known to scientists all along - and ignored or not understood by trial lawyers - is making it into the lay literature.

This IMO is all the more reason for allowing a proper FDA approval process for a drug or medical device to be used as sufficient defense against litigation except for extraordinary circumstances. And when the subject matter is too difficult for a lay jury to understand, a defendant (such as the OBs in the infamous CP trials) should be entitled to trial by a jury of peers. I don't take anyone in this discussion to be stupid, and yet we have a failure to communicate and/or to understand. Bias, yes. Agenda, yes. Stupidity, no. I do however find it disappointing that a pharmacist - someone who SHOULD know better - would be sticking to a point of view without any scientific basis. But...it is what it is.

Finally in today's article...
Quote:
For Merck, New Jersey could be an easier playing field than Texas. John Brenner, a partner at the law firm McCarter & English who does defense work for pharmaceutical companies -- but not for Merck -- says that in New Jersey the compensatory-damages part of a liability trial can be heard separately from the punitive-damages part. The effect is to limit the evidence that a jury sees in determining liability. In addition, a New Jersey statute makes it difficult to find a drug company liable if the drug's label has been approved by the FDA, as Vioxx's was.

And that IMO is the way it should be.

A final note... My brother, an attorney, was completely in agreement with me about the Texas decision. As he said, even if the plantiff had died of a cause statistically linked to Vioxx consumption, the case didn't have "the burden of proof" needed for a disease process with multiple risk factors. But as he said, "You just never know how a jury trial will end up."

And that's what the appeals process is all about. Problem is, it's a tremendous financial burden on the defendant and the system. It should not cost a king's ransom to defend one's innocence, and it should not cost me (or the poor and elderly) more money for prescription drugs because these kinds of cases are being tried. The tragedy of it all is that it scares the pharmaceutical industry away from doing research for drugs which treat rare but serious diseases. If the litigation risks diminish or eliminate the profit margins, it just isn't worth it. The under-represented are the ultimate losers here.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 8:50 pm 
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Mike

On the other hand to deny the very real good that the USA did and does, to deny the pretty good place it is, overall, is equally as bad if not worse.
Worse because it implies a "on purpose" selectivity of memory and fact.

It may, as you say, "not be all sunshine and lollipops."

But then again NOTHING AND NOWHERE is.

Very easy to focus on the negative, so easy in fact that people often lose sight of the fact that utopia's do and did not exsist and as long as people are people, will not.

Measured vs the notion of a fantasy utopia the USA does not make the cut--and no nation would.
Measured vs the rest of the real world?
We have not done such a bad job--and much better than plenty of others.

Not hubris, just a statement of fact.


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 Post subject: right on
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:47 pm 
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CXT,

I agree with what you say. The US is the greatest country in the world. It's the longest running Democracy of its kind going, and it has found ways to fix the major problems throughout its short history. I have no problem with that, but there are many people out there who look at what is done in this country and accept it face value. Just because the president says it's true, doesn't mean that it is. We have enough examples of lies from the Executive Office. Just because a guy puts on a uniform, be it a service uniform or a gi if you like, doesn't make him anyting more than the man he is. His or her actions speak louder than words.

Believe it or no, people can be "good Americans" and not agree with the raw sewage coming out of politicians' mouth most times. If it weren't for dessenters, then we would still have many of the problems that plagued us in the 1700s. Utopia? That would be nice, but again, let's see it for what it really is, a project in the works, and make the corrections as we go.

mike

Sorry to disrupt your regular scheduled program Bill sensei!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:56 pm 
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I do however find it disappointing that a pharmacist - someone who SHOULD know better - would be sticking to a point of view without any scientific basis. But...it is what it is.


And what point of view is that, Bill?

Quote:
deaf ears of those who want to stick it to this bad pharmaceutical company because they do things that they don't like


I'm not quite sure who you are referring to on that one, Bill. Perhaps that person can weigh in?

Quote:
Damn the facts; we have a dead person and a defendant who needs to be taught a lesson.


My position all along has been that we should scrutinize the facts; we have a dead person and a defendant that needs to be taught a lesson if they are at fault. You're painting an extreme position of what I think, and what you say doesn't fit me at all - others maybe.

There's no doubting your qualifications - reference long ago (and probably ignored) posts about my admiration for your credentials. But the "other side" had just as credentialed witnesses for them.

Quote:
This IMO is all the more reason for allowing a proper FDA approval process for a drug or medical device to be used as sufficient defense against litigation except for extraordinary circumstances.


Define extraordinary circumstance. Does that apply here, where dangers were known as far back as 1997, yet the data was hidden?

Quote:
And when the subject matter is too difficult for a lay jury to understand


That's a broad brush to paint - lay jury". Like "lay" people are stupid. And define "lay". And where the subject matter is too difficult, that's where expert witnesses come in. And a good lawyer (on either side) will be able to start low and bring a jury up to speed on the supposedly incomprehendable scientific subject matter at hand.

Gene


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 Post subject: Surprise!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:02 pm 
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This is going to knock your socks off:

I think there are stroing appellate issues here. The science does not fit quite right for my taste, and the coroner's testimony perhaps leads toa conclusion that maybe isn't supported. But there's no question - even for Bill - that Merck hid data that should have been discloses. That the deceased took Vioxx without being warned of that danger. And the deceased is dead. The question is whether the Vioxx killed him. The jury said yes. But I don't know on this one. This one actually could have gone either way. But all a jury has to decide is whether is was more likely than not that Vioxx killed him. Not a very high burden to meet sometimes.

There are much stronger cases out there, as evidenced by the fact that Merck is making settlement overtures to people who took VIoxx for 18 months or more and had a heart attack.

See you all next week.


Gene


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:24 pm 
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Gene wrote:
And a good lawyer (on either side) will be able to start low and bring a jury up to speed on the supposedly incomprehendable scientific subject matter at hand.

No, Gene. History is on my side here. Tell that to all the OBs whose careers were put in a tailspin and malpractice insurance pockets picked because their patients happened to have delivered cerebral palsy babies. It wasn't once or twice; it was repeatedly by a handful of trial attorneys who churned a formula until the system finally caught up with them. And none of the money was given back, or damage compensated.

The damage to their careers - and to the entire state of OB malpractice - is still being felt today.

One day if you ever get a decent grade on an LSAT and get your JD, you'll get a little more street wisdom on the subject. And you'll also learn, as I did from my attorney brother over the weekend , that there are deep political and philosophical differences amongst attorneys in the profession on all these subjects.

Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:52 am 
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Mike, I don't think you're hearing me, so, I submit. Intersect Merck and GE all you want.

Gene, I explained a half dozen times why physicians would be hard pressed to settle this issue and many others in the time allowed; lay people, while not necessarily ignorant, may be, and are usually starting from zero. They cannot answer this question. And while you're correct that the other side had expert testimony, this is reassuring only because of your central assumption:

If the jury decided it, it was good.

Bill's point is that the data is clear that in this case, merck was NOT more likely than not to have caused the death. It wasn't a heart attack. It was sudden death, likely arrythmic, and Merck is not to blame. Jesus, even if the man had prolonged use and had a typical heart attack Merck would never be "more likely than not" to have caused the MI!! Never!!! The vast number of attacks in this country mean that in any given heart attack, the odds of it being natural are many many times higher than ithe odds of it having been merck's fault!! The stats don't lie: an individual cannot prove that merck is more likely than not to have caused an individual attack.

Your fundamental assumption is flawed. Juries make mistakes. In this case, they misunderstood science, punished a misbehaving company, but for something that didn't meet criteria for guilt. Emotion won, consumers lost. MERCK MISBEHAVED but under no rational system would they have lost this suit! Just because this is "our system" and lawyers "can" present misleading data and sway poorly prepared jury members to their side doesn't mean the lawyers, the juries, or the decisions are correct. In this case the lawyers were seeking cash only or were incompetent at interpretting the science themselves; the juries were swayed by emotion. Period.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:51 pm 
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This thread, even the off-topic parts, seem to be on the way to finally running it's course to some sort of ending... (Thankfully :D )

I couldn't me happier, however I will reiterate that if folks don't stop being so invective and start being calmer, I'll lock the thread and bring it to an end regardless.

Last warning...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:41 pm 
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Last week I switched to Verizon DSL and unfortunately it has been very slow and unreliable. I may just go back to dial-up. As a result my on line time has been pretty minimal.

I do have my response in order but in light of what Panther has requested will not post again on this particular thread.

Mike: If you wish to continue 'our' thread in a in a new area start up a new one. If not I am sure we will have further oportunities to chat.

Rich

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:50 am 
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Rich,

I just signed up for Verizon DSL and can't be happier for the week + that I've used it. Sorry...

Gene


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:46 am 
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A couple of comments on DSL...

If you're on the end/edge of the distance from the switching station, then it will be slower.

If you're on older phone lines that have any lightening arrestor/fuses that are going bad, then it will be slower. (There are a few other things that can cause similar problems that are in the lines)

If you are in a neighborhood where they have limited lines with lots of customers, it can be slower.

I know lots of folks who have DSL with great results, but I also know folks who have gotten worse speeds with DSL than with their dial-up. THOSE folks have universally complained long and loudly to Verizon. Why should you pay for DSL and get worse than dial-up speeds? Doesn't make sense. I know one person that gets normal DSL speeds only when Verizon gives them the super-duper extra bandwidth package. They've "come to an agreement" with Verizon where they pay for regular DSL, get the super-duper bandwidth package (without being billed for it), and they're happy. Every once in awhile some bean-counter dweeb at Verizon sees that this person is getting the "extra" for the lower price and cuts the person's service back. They've had to mark the account or something to stop that. Regardless, it's something you should check into Rich. If you aren't getting the bandwidth, but you're paying for the service, that can be construed as breach of contract on their part.


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