CURRENT MESSAGE!
Erin Brockovich, the Movie

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Posted:
30 March 2000

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 10:40:39 -0600 (CST)
From: "Roy L. Beavers" <rbeavers@llion.org>
To: emfguru <rbeavers@llion.org>
Subject: Erin Brockovich (guru)..

Hi everybody:

Heeding the advice which a number of you had given me, last evening I went to see the "Erin Brockovich" film....

It is as you told me - a (true) story that is a very close parallel to that which we are experiencing in the EMF saga.....  It has most of the very same elements:

(1)  The power company, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), that displays absolutely no sense of public responsibility in its willingness to unload a serious public health risk on an uninformed public.

     In the "Brockovich" case, it is chemical contamination, chromium-6, not EMF, but it's consequences are much the same as the EMF contamination which that company is continuing to unload on an uninformed public ... even as this is being written.....

(2)  The desperate legal battle against a politically powerful and $$$$$$$-loaded power company.

     In the "Brockovich" case, it is not the lawyer who leads the fight, but his minimally educated 39 year old (sexy and curvaceous) "beauty queen" female assistant - a lady he had been "forced" into hiring because he had lost a tort-damages case for her which left her penniless.

     For her part, she was not only totally broke and desperate, financially - dependent upon a male "biker" to babysit her three young children - but twice previously married and divorced from two no-good husbands.....  She had no college education and certainly no experience in the law, except her own failed attempt to win a liability suit against an insurance company.  The clothes she wore were considered "tacky" by the other "soccer-moms" with whom she worked.....

     Still, it was she (Erin) who can truly be said to have "led the fight."

(3)   Then, there was (as almost always) the clever, smooth, big offices and staff, "tort-damages" lawyer who was willing to "come in" and "take over" the case against the power company - but only if he could have half of the 40% (lawyers fee) of the "take."  ....Which he got, even though most of the really important "spade work" was done by Ms Brockovich.....

     The point that needs to be WELL understood, here, by all: .....If it had NOT been a multi-million $$$$$$ damages case, NO lawyer would have been willing to take it....!!!  (Have any of you heard that before????)  There are few lawyers ... and little justice ... for the middle-class $50,000 to $200,000-or-so cases we hear about on this list almost every day.....

     Why?? ... Because few lawyers can afford to get tangled up in such cases for so few dollars in the ultimate settlement and thus, the small fee.....  These cases are exhaustive on the attorneys who pursue them - all their staff and financial resources are likely to be tied up for maybe YEARS!  The opposing Goliath corporations will spend millions ($$$$$$$$) against the plaintiff's tens of thousands ($$$$$) - if even that much can be committed.....

(4)  The power company (Pacific Gas and Electric, one of the nation's largest), for its part, employed all the "usual" dishonest, misleading propaganda tactics ... even lying to the public about the chemical which they were using that was causing the problem....

     They paid for minimal medical care of the victims - hiring "company" doctors who reassured the hundreds of people in the polluted neighborhood that: "the water was perfectly safe"...!!

     They (PG&E) even went so far as to destroy some of the company records that allegedly were "proof" that the "big" parent company knew the truth about those dangers - even as the "big" parent company created an intermediary (phony) company to take the loss - thereby intended to make fewer $$$$$$ available to the litigants.....

     (Folks, everything described in this paragraph is TYPICAL.....!!! Haven't some of you noted "out there" that the cell phone industry has started creating "tower companies" to own and operate the towers......!!! That is being done to "shift" and reduce the possible $$$$$$$ losses to the industry - if damage "judgments" occur.....  I ask the legislators and other "responsible" government people on this list to please take note!!!)

(5)   Finally, the story depicts the totally ruthless and intimidating theology that is the embedded culture of the U.S. "free market" capitalist system today ... carried out under a look the other way lobbyist/governmental system controlled by a $$$$$$$-bought Congress, Senate, White House and bureaucracy!!!

     All of these $$$$$$$ "swooshing around" in the U.S. oligarchy are focused at the vortex of the seemingly utter hopelessness the average citizen experiences ... if he/she decides to take on a "Goliath" industry, with its unlimited $$$$$$ and other lobbying staff or "P.R." political resources......

[Just in case you wonder - the above is written by a "Main Street" - some say "moderate" - Republican....  NOT a communist.....]

Not in my experience ... has a movie ever captured that aspect as well as does "Erin Brockovich."  I hope ALL of you will get to see it.

The one criticism of the film which I venture:  it may lead many people to believe "the system is working" ... after all, the "good guys" won.....??!!

But that is NOT what happened......  The good guys got a big $$$$$$$ settlement because they were willing to go to arbitration -- instead of via a court trial (with a public jury and all the attendant publicity, along with YEARS of delay) -- making it possible for the allegedcriminal activities of the corporation to be finessed, and, actually, getting "the power company" off lightly.....!!!

(Though the company may still get "its due" in another case scheduled for the courts later this year!!)

This kind of a settlement makes it easy for the "status quo" to continue....

The government (s) at all levels (local, state and federal) can continue to "look the other way".....

The company can put the $$$$$$ losses it incurs into its rates..... Profits $$$$$$$ continue unabated.....  The public doesn't know about all this because the media takes little interest if it is not a sensational trial story.....  (Unless some enterprising producer decides it would make a good movie.....  Then, the public sees it as entertainment - not as a powerful indictment of the "American Way" ... so described by Republican Senator Trent Lott...)

And the rapacious American corporate culture, which places profits above people (with the government's approval) ... thunders on to the tune of a daily record-breaking Wall Street crescendo.....

If the U.S.' traditional/historic democracy is to be preserved - It is the system that must be changed....!!

Balance - meaning GENUINE EQUALITY under the law (meaning how the laws are written and how they are applied) - for every American citizen MUST be restored......  That is what I understood John McCain to be saying.......

And that is why his candidacy scared the living B-Jesus out of the Republican oligarchy....!!!!

Cheerio......

Roy Beavers (EMFguru)
roy@emfguru.com

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness

People are more important than profits!!


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