---Carlos Ruiz Zafon
In April, 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan switched from Detroit's water system, to water from the Flint River for cost cutting purposes. People complained about the water and were told it was safe. Now, over 8,000 children have been exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water.
Years ago a lawyer friend explained to me the realities of major corporations. Even if they are aware of a major consumer danger dealing with their product, if the cost of paying off those that are injured is less than recalling the product, they opt for the financial win. Acceptable loss. One of the most horrifying concepts I can ever imagine.
Since 1963, more people in our country have been killed by guns than all of the wars put together. The NRA spends every waking hour lobbying our congress to take away all gun control. Why? Gun sales =high revenue. Congress blocks these bills. Why? The NRA contributes big money to their campaigns.
It is difficult to imagine that these corporate leaders and city, state and national politicians are the people next door. We want to see them as the mean ogres who are trying to destroy us. Instead, we realize they are our friends and neighbors, Boy Scout leaders, t-ball coaches, etc. They have just bought into the culture that makes money their God. Unfortunately, unless it affects us directly, we allow it to go on. We sympathize with the father whose two year old son registers lead levels 10 times the accepted level, or the mother burying her son who was killed by a stray bullet on New Years Eve, but we don't go the extra step to force our leaders to affect change. I am as guilty as the next person, and I want to change. I want to help make sure that there is no "acceptable loss," and I want everyone to join me in recognizing that the quest for more money is costing us a fortune.
Victor Methos' book, An Invisible Client, really got me thinking. Attorney Noah Byron worships the almighty dollar and only takes on cases that will contribute to his lifestyle. Then he meets twelve year-old Joel, who is one of Pharma-K's "acceptable loses." His mother gave him cough medicine one day, and he has been in intensive care ever since. The drug was laced with poison, and the drug company will do anything to avoid responsibility. Good premise...great book.
Another book that got me thinking this week was Jim Defede's The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander Newfoundland. What an example of a shining light in a world of darkness. When hundreds of planes were diverted to airports through Canada, the people of Gander stepped up and truly made us believe in the goodness of people. This is a book that will make you smile, even through your tears. I heartily recommend it.
As always, complete reviews will follow this blog.