Joe sues the world

Joe struggled in the world of work for years but finally came into a little inheritance so he decided to open an online stock trading account. His sources of information unfortunately were all disclaimed with the phrase "informational purposes only" and he lost everything. The value of everything he invested in became worth less than the price he paid for them shortly after buying the shares.

What really happened was that his online trading account reflected the commission for the trade in the overall value of his assets. This was to ensure that when he sold his shares he would do so at a higher price that would also cover the cost of the commission and he would earn back the difference. But Joe forgot about that.

Joe was furious and tried to sue his information sources and they rebutted with the excuse that the information they provided was for "informational purposes only and not for trading purposes or advice." They won in the lower courts, but Joe was persistent and continued his case to the highest court in the land.


On the bench of the Supreme Court were several that also dabbled in the stock market and lost big in the crash of 2008. They heard Joe's case and the memories of their losses flooded back. They sided with Joe and the phrase "informational purposes only" became outlawed, thus negating that phrase's cushion from justice throughout the country.

"Any information cannot be communicated without suffering the consequences of its dissemination." the chief justice wrote in his opinion. "The authors of disclaimers therefore must indicate directly in writing the exact risk posed by the information they disseminate."

During oral arguments a justice posed the question "What about the disclaimers themselves? Would they too require their own disclaimers?"

"No your honor, this would basically require no disclaimer at all. This would negate the value of any disclaimer as disclaimers would be too risky. Those who produce products or services that require disclaimers will face the full force of justice for that which they produce with negative consequences."

"What of the customer who fails to follow directions on the product?"

"A completely free market operates under the will of nature, which utilizes the full force of natural selection. Our society must not be allowed to be weakened by slowing down to the pace of the slowest and weakest among us."

One justice leaned forward, his eyes widened: "If someone burns or injures themselves or others because they choose not to consider safety it will be entirely their responsibility and not the product?"

Yes your honor, the product is merely the intermediary and has no power unto itself to choose its activity. The public however, has chosen to defer responsibility from those who smoke or use guns, buy toys with small parts for children too young, prescribe medications with hazardous interactions, use controlled substances or invest in companies. Our government has chosen to hold the intermediary responsible for injury because it's easy for the public to deny their own responsibility, and as a mob, take action against a scapegoat.

The chief justice leaned back in his chair. Something was happening in his mind. His expression caused a wave of realization to spread across everyone present. This case was about wording on all disclaimers that said "...for informational purposes only..." but everyone was thinking about why producers of products or services are not allowed to fail purely under the weight of the free market?

The lawyer defending the online trading company thought about why he stopped eating Peanut Butter altogether. He chimed in: "There are too many recalls and too many people can get sick from the mass distribution of one tainted innocuous product."

"That's a market signal." the plaintiff council responded. "as bad as that seems, it's a natural pressure on the producer to maintain a wholesome, healthy product. If the producer can cut production corners by way of a disclaimer on his product, the risk of catastrophe increases. These disclaimers have artificially relieved the market pressure on producers, while at the same time allowing a political bureaucracy to be created as a generic all-encompassing risk manager that has the power to cherry-pick which businesses are allowed to succeed based on some arbitrary rules that may or may not affect the consumer at all."

The second justice leaned into the conversation "so what you're saying is the Food and Drug Administration was not created out of necessity for public health to monitor products consumed by the public? That the public should take responsibility for their own choices? What about those incapable of comprehending the hazards of their choices?"

"Those people should not be here according to nature, your honor. As much as it seems callous and inhumane, every other species on this planet knows to choose a healthy mate, to look after their healthy young, and leave the infirm to the predators" said the defense council. Suddenly his eyes widened and he could not resist saying "and we are close to solving that with abortion but we still have health care."

The chief justice sat up and said "We have heard enough to make a ruling. Thank you for your time."


Joe got justice, but it wasn't really the justice he was looking for. All disclaimers and required product warning labels were allowed to be completely removed from products. Lawn Darts came back on the market, as well as a plethora of dangerous chemistry sets, adhesives, solvents, insecticides, dangerous modes of transportation, etc. Age restrictions were removed from all media products, and substances that were once controlled are now not. The culling of the human species through self-determination, after so many generations of coddling the weak was going to be epic.

The end.

Million Dollar Fingers Part II

Jerry was in his late forties. He was also late for his rent, his phone bill, credit card payments, but not his cable bill, he shut that off long ago. Nobody will hire him because of his age. He put up most of his furniture for sale on Craigslist but nobody was buying. Before his credit cards were frozen, he hoarded cash from advances on those credit cards.

Jerry has severe chronic gouty arthritis in his feet. He can barely walk sometimes if only one foot was afflicted, but he had it in both feet and was in bed unable to walk, eat or use the toilet at all for four days.

Over the last three years, Jerry went to all the "Prompt Care," "Urgent Care," "Priority Care" and hospital emergency rooms hoping to get the cause of his Gout treated with something like Allopurinol, but instead only his symptoms were treated with Naproxen, Cyclobenzaprine, Hydrocodone. When he ran out, he was taking upwards of eight hundred milligrams of Ibuprofen.

Jerry had no insurance. He had to pay out-of-pocket for all of his health care. One day he went to the hardware store and picked up a ten foot length of three hundred pound tested wire tow rope and some wire-rope clamps. There was already a loop at one end meant for a hook, but instead, Jerry threaded the other end of the wire through the loop, then fashioned a larger loop at the other end, secured with three clamps. The idea was to quietly disappear into the forest, climb a tree as high as possible and hang himself to feed nature. He wondered how long it would be before his rotten remains tumbled to the ground, or if the wire would take off his head immediately. He imagined the crows working at his eye balls as he hung lifeless.

But Jerry was enraged about only getting medical treatment for his symptoms instead of getting treatment for the cause of his symptoms. He imagined a conspiracy of the Health Care Industrial Complex, where doctors were getting incentives from the makers of addictive pain medicine manufacturers, to get more people addicted to pain killers. A crackpot conspiracy where doctors were deliberately ensuring repeat customers in some twisted medicine cartel, by only treating symptoms of ailments that could be virtually eliminated through proper treatment of the actual causes.

Jerry was in the woods now, walking a trail almost invisible under the tall grass. He wasn't carrying his wire rope, but a black plastic bag with the hands of the last doctor who refused to treat the cause of his symptoms. "Time to feed the birds" Jerry muttered under his breath.

The end.

Million Dollar Fingers. Part 1

Detective Hardin was frustrated but relieved to see the victim alive, although in shock. Laying back on the gurney in the ambulance was a male white, approximately five feet six inches with short blonde hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a white lab coat but the sleeves were drenched with blood. Surprisingly Detective Hardin noted that the bottom of the coat had only minor blood splatter. The ambulance was en route to the hospital.

"Do you know when this happened?" Hardin asked.
"I just woke up and my hands were gone!"

The detective noticed that the victim's wallet contained only credit cards, and a drivers license. Also missing was the clear vinyl insert that holds photos and business cards. Holding the wallet close to the victim, Hardin asked "Can you tell me any thing that's missing from your wallet besides the cash?"

"My family photos and my auto insurance card, and my hospital identification card."
"Are you a doctor?"
"Yes, I'm an emergency room triage physician."
"What do you remember about the last twenty four hours."
"I just finished a thirty hour shift at six-forty-five this morning. I was walking to my car and then I remember waking up in the street with no hands. No Hands!" the victim wailed with horror and despair. His future lay before him a dark hopeless wasteland of crippling school loan debt and uselessness.

Hardin immediate called dispatch to send officers to the doctor's home to notify the family and keep an eye on the property should the home be vacated for this emergency. Hardin's mind was churning with clues. The victim was perhaps sitting at a table when his hands were cut off, and the perpetrator bandaged the wounds before moving the victim after the attack. The victim's inability to remember might be drug or concussion induced amnesia, hopefully temporary.

Harden turned to the attending paramedic.
"Who bandaged the hands?"
"They were bandaged when we found him."
"Those bandages are evidence. I need to cover them with plastic bags and they will need to be carefully removed and replaced as soon as possible!"

The detective noted the time the witness discovered the victim as eight fifteen in the morning. They were returning to the same hospital where the victim worked and should arrive within fifteen minutes. Hardin's partner Jim Long was already there collecting security footage of the parking lot and any witness statements from patients, visitors and staff still in the emergency department waiting area. Still ahead was the fanning out of officers to the homes of other emergency department personnel that also finished a thirty hour stretch in the Emergency Department that morning.

The detective looked at the doctor whose hands were only just violently removed this morning, laying in the gurney, his head turned away to shield his agonizing sobs of anguish and pain. The ambulance was approaching the ramp. The paramedic started to gather up his gear for patient transfer. He quickly pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his coat hanging in the corner of the ambulance and stuffed it in his pants pocket. He felt around his pockets for an absent cigarette lighter and frowned, but noticed people smoking nearby just off the hospital property.

The ambulance bay was nearly empty when they arrived. The detective thought to himself 'at least he's not going to wait too long to be seen.'

Work Visas

Jeff downloaded an App to his iPad that tested the speed of the current Internet Service Provider he was using. The goal was to go around to all the coffee shops and restaurants providing wireless Internet service and write reviews about using public Internet access.

Jeff set up an outline of issues faced by the public interacting at various locations, such as seating arrangement, glare, noise, foot traffic around the tables, the types of customers, and finally the Internet speed itself at that location.

As Jeff ventured forth unto his first Starbucks, he ordered his Venti Iced Mocha Frappuccino and began his survey while waiting, with the Internet speed test. He launched the application and in fumbling with the device accidentally tapped the "Global Stats" icon which opened a window featuring the "Top Countries WiFi."

The United States was nowhere to be found on the top ten list of public WiFi. Public WiFi access in the United States averages less than five Megabits per second, while number ten in the world is Australia at 7.97 Mbps.

This information bothered Jeff so much he discontinued is task and sat staring out the window, slurping down his Frappuccino. The brain freeze was a welcome sensation to his existing headache.

'Why is the Internet so slow in the United States compared to the rest of the world?' Jeff thought. 'Even Ukraine is 8.45 Mbps!' Jeff shook his head in disbelief. The Internet was started in the United States and was a strategic asset much like the Federal Interstate Highway system that Dwight Eisenhower established. Why would the Internet in the U.S. be so neglected?

Something dawned on Jeff. He wondered what our roads, highways, bridges and rail systems might be like if the United States only temporarily imported underpaid workers from foreign countries and then sent them home again when the work was finished. He wondered how loyal to the job and country, are the current outsourced overworked underpaid workers.

Why would they create an advantage for the U.S. over their own country in anything at all?

The End.

They own you now

One day the people rose up against the nobility. The Nobility of that era were defined as anyone who succeeded in acquiring wealth by manipulating the government to its own ends, creating barricades in their wake for anyone else seeking success, and distorting public education by manipulating curriculum.

Military service personnel were fed up with the corporatocracy and appointed a ruler who made it his priority to seize the Cayman Islands to start. Around the world every enlisted, drafted or conscripted individual suffered the same, so they united globally in their effort to seize the riches of the "nobility."

The nobility had their own private mercenaries who harassed and disappeared the families of the global revolutionary military. They also shut down the Internet, but it was already clear to the people whom they should eliminate and it made no difference. The Internet was back up within hours anyway, and the big red cut-off switch was put on display with the bloody hand of the gentry who pushed it. Everyone LOL'd.

There was a big white truck that parked on Pennsylvania Avenue. A giant hydraulic press was welded to the back, and a huge blade that was sharpened to perfectly, cleanly chop telephone poles into smaller sections, began to demonstrate on some of the long wooden poles. "Ker-Chunk!" went the hydraulic chopper, and everyone around was shocked at the efficiency of the great machine.

Then a large dark blue school bus pulled up along side, and the first of many "nobles" was lifted out of the back kicking and screaming and carried over to the machine, a revolutionary guardsman gripping each arm and leg. The noble was not gagged for the effect of his pleadings. The audience was looking at the other nobles on the bus, watching their expressions as the machine mechanically beheaded the nobles one-by-one.

It was a nice dream, but more humanely, the money was seized and everyone who had an offshore bank account was exiled to the location of their bank forever and left with around $100 and became indentured servants to the locals there. They were never allowed to travel or do business in the United States again.

Big Insurance wins again

Health insurance companies were struggling because the only people who were buying insurance policies were rich, educated people who were smart enough to stay away from situations and things that would create health problems. Too many policy holders were practicing preventive medicine which usually only requires healthy decisions at no cost. These policy holders were not getting sick.

Some people had insurance but were getting sick from diseases that are inherited, but they bought policies from insurance companies that didn't cover those conditions. Other people were just smart enough to know that buying insurance is gambling and so didn't buy any insurance.

In the boardroom of a large unnamed organization of health insurance companies, the board members were slumped and swiveling around in their chairs staring at the ceiling. One CFO was reading Twitter and scrolled down to a tweet posted by which was telling everyone to sign a petition promoting Single-Payer health care reform.

The CFO grumbled "Looks like we gotta get more petition signatures for our side and send more cash to Congress. This health care reform act is gonna socialize medicine and put us out of business!"

Another member turned toward the CFO and said "what if we got Congress to change the law to make our role in health care permanent? The Republicans would surely all vote our way no matter what, so how can we make them look good and us richer by them voting in favor of the reform? What can we do?"

A man at the head of the conference table sat up, put his elbows on the table and folded his hands with his index fingers pointing up. This signaled for the undivided attention of everyone in the room who stopped swiveling and looked unblinking toward the head of the table. 

"In the history of this country, the federal government has never forced its people to pay for a private service or product. Right now most people believe that health care reform means getting the same kind of health care that Congress and the Senate members receive, basically a tax funded system. Some people believe that everyone will suddenly become eligible for Medicare or Medicaid."

The CFO snapped his chair upright and said "So we get our politicians to make it mandatory for the public to buy insurance!? That would keep health care private and we still have the option to deny services, brilliant! We will be richer than ever!"

Another voice at the table spouted "And we have the Bush Supreme Court to back it up!"

With that everyone applauded and began texting their politicians and lobbyists.

In the end, more Americans were sent to prison because they couldn't afford to buy insurance and couldn't afford to pay the penalty for not buying insurance. The disposable income that might have gone to supporting local businesses was funneled into the hands of the insurance industry. Bars, restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, convention centers and sports arenas all suffered from the Heath Care Mandate.

Several people independently concluded that the Health Care Mandate should be considered a direct threat to one's life. Those people took the lives of the first people who contacted them with threats of making them pay a fine for not buying the insurance. Other people simply took their frustrations out on the nearest IRS office because they finally had had enough.

The End.

Language of the Doomed

One upon a time there was a newspaper that was very old and very well respected. It regularly published articles on such things as insurance and retirement.

One day the Internet came and destroyed most tangible subscriptions to actual newspapers, so the old, well respected newspaper joined the Internet and enjoyed a temporary reprieve from oblivion.

Unfortunately, the old, well respected newspaper continued to publish articles online about insurance and retirement, even though most people couldn't afford insurance and knew they would never have retirement. The newspaper became irrelevant and faded into oblivion after all.

The end.