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 VP Candidate John Edwards VS Science
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Maglev
Skeptic Friend

Canada
65 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2004 :  13:24:49  Show Profile  Visit Maglev's Homepage  Send Maglev an ICQ Message Send Maglev a Private Message
While reading an interesting article about the media's handling of vp candidate John Edwards so far, I found a link to an even more interesting analysis of Edwards' carrer as a trial lawyer. Read the following quote; I dare you not to read the whole thing

quote:
The (Boston) Globe cited an example of Edwards' oratorical skills from a medical malpractice trial in 1985. Edwards had alleged that a doctor and a hospital had been responsible for the cerebral palsy afflicting then-five-year-old Jennifer Campbell.

'I have to tell you right now -- I didn't plan to talk about this -- right now I feel her (Jennifer), I feel her presence,' Edwards told the jury according to court records. "[Jennifer's] inside me and she's talking to you ... And this is what she says to you. She says, 'I don't ask for your pity. What I ask for is your strength. And I don't ask for your sympathy, but I do ask for your courage.'"


Oh boy. Politics in the US is much much more entertaining than in Canada, I can tell you as much.

Maglev

"The awe it inspired in me made the awe that people talk about in respect of religious experience seem, frankly, silly beside it. I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day."
--Douglas Adams, on evolutionary biology.

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2004 :  18:32:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Edwards, in my opinion, is not the best choice Kerry could have made for VP. If he could have convinced McCaine, Bush would have just stopped campaigning today. The republicans must have offered McCaine something big, or threatened him.... heh

A good option that people didn't really look at was Sam Nunn.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2004 :  20:50:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Maglev, I didn't read the whole thing (although I might, soon), but I can tell you that a trial lawyer's job is not to defend scientific reality, but to represent his/her client's goals in the best way possible to realize a successful outcome. If this means dramatically "channeling" a 5-year-old CP victim using language beyond most 5-year-olds' capacity, when most of the general population would agree that some sort of "ethereal world" exists and can be contacted, there's nothing egregiously wrong with that.

Now, had a medical expert witness said something along those lines on the stand, it'd be a cause for much skeptical outrage. But a trial lawyer who's trying to convince a jury that he's right? Just theatrics which should be expected. Or did I miss the part of the article in which it is shown that Edwards actually believed he was in contact with Jennifer?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Les
Skeptic Friend

59 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2004 :  22:24:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Les's Homepage Send Les a Private Message
I actually do think it says something about his character, though. I mean, he lied. And, in an amazing coincidence, he lied a lot like the douchebag of the universe, John Edward. His being a trial-lawyer shouldn't excuse the deliberate use of dishonesty, should it?
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2004 :  07:26:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
And I thought the word 'politics' meant "the art of lying."

Seriously, as far as I am aware, lawyers aren't under oath when doing their jobs, nor are they presenting evidence of a factual nature. That's what the witnesses do. The lawyer's job is to spin the evidence so that his/her client wins.

I mean, technically, shouldn't the losing side in any case all be tossed in jail for perjury? The jury found them to be lying. Lying on the stand is a crime. It sure would make the practice of law a whole lot different - and more truthful - if such were the case.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Les
Skeptic Friend

59 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2004 :  12:14:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Les's Homepage Send Les a Private Message
Yeah, but it would also be scary seeing as how juries make terrible mistakes all the time.

I see what you're saying about the lawyer's job to lie (not sure that I agree), but certainly we can agree that when that lawyer becomes a candidate or office-holder, they have to be held to a higher standard? Lord, I just hope he doesn't start to channel anyone when he's debating Cheney. Then again...
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2004 :  12:50:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Sure, people who lie professionally (such as lawyers, and even actors), when they gain an office or appointment in which being caught lying would be real bad, should stop lying. But, we can't expect them to have never lied in the past, just like we don't fault President Bush (for just one example) for having told some fib when he was five.

I think it'd be really funny if he decided to channel Cheney when debating Cheney. "No, I can hear you tell me through the spirit world that you don't really mean what you just said, so I'll debate against what you actually meant..."

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Renae
SFN Regular

543 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2004 :  05:25:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Renae a Private Message
First off, Edwards is my guy. I caucused for him. I think he's the best choice for President, not just Vice President.

I could care less what he did in the courtroom. Honestly, I don't care much about a candidate's personality--our personalities are always subject to interpretation by others, . Politicians can't be as honest as we'd like them to be, any more than salespeople can be. What's important are a candidate's policies, voting records, values, ability to get things done, ideology, etc.

And as much as I like McCain, I'm not so sure that the Democrats are as enamored of him as people seem to believe.
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2004 :  06:06:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
I have no love for Democrats or Republicans, but I don't see where Edwards lied here or even said that he was channeling. We can say that we metaphorically "feel" someone's presence when we are trying to put ourselves in someone else's shoes, uh, womb.

It's not what I would have necessarily said, but who knows how he really felt, or is that even important? What he was trying to do was to get someone else to feel something. Which is legitimate if it doesn't overshadow the facts.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2004 :  06:48:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
I don't think edwards was 'channeling' at all. He was merely being dramatic. The most succesful trial lawyers (and polititions) are superb actors and orators.

Myself, I was hoping for Wes Clark, but I'm comfortable with Edwards. I think he's a good choice.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Les
Skeptic Friend

59 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2004 :  22:10:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Les's Homepage Send Les a Private Message
I think Bush/Cheney are as bad as it gets, but I also think ruining the lives of likely innocent obstetricians based on very flimsy evidence (the well-argued thrust of the article) is something worth considering when deciding who to vote for.
Edited by - Les on 07/16/2004 23:22:18
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Tim
SFN Regular

USA
775 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2004 :  03:44:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tim a Private Message
Filthy, what can I say...You're right as Rush!

I don't think Edwards's appeals to fantasy worlds in the courtroom are any more ascriptions to hoodoo than William Jennings Bryan's claims that our grandparents were monkeys in John Scopes's mind. Bryan didn't belive his own rhetoric, Edwards didn't believe it and neither did anyone in either courtroom.

That's called courtroom theatrics. It tends to move emotional jurors, whether they truly believe the words or not. It happens everyday--Especially if you have a talented attorney.

Plus, acting, even in courtroom theatrics, has never been considered a lie of record and punishable by perjury charges. But, if it were, could we expand perjury then to cover other lies in the courtroom like exageration and hyperbole, or analogy and metaphor? "Gee whiz, Judge, the guy looked as big as a mountain, and came at me like a demon straight up from hell." Sudenly, the judge's gavel comes crashing down, and a larger than life voice booms out from the bench, "Ten days in the county jail for perjury and contempt...And, lock him up with big Bubba for good measure!"

Finally, why am I wasting my time trying to explain such a simple concept? I'm kinda gettin' the impression that a couple of folks 'round these parts don't like John Edwards, Democrats, trial lawyers or all three!

I just don't like Democrats...Or, was that Republicans? What's the difference? Oh yeah, that guy in the White House...That's it!

"We got an issue in America. Too many good docs are gettin' out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their -- their love with women all across this country." Dubya in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 9/6/2004
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2004 :  06:01:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
"Plus, acting, even in courtroom theatrics, has never been considered a lie of record and punishable by perjury charges. But, if it were, could we expand perjury then to cover other lies in the courtroom like exageration and hyperbole, or analogy and metaphor? "Gee whiz, Judge, the guy looked as big as a mountain, and came at me like a demon straight up from hell." Sudenly, the judge's gavel comes crashing down, and a larger than life voice booms out from the bench, "Ten days in the county jail for perjury and contempt...And, lock him up with big Bubba for good measure!" "

There is a difference between a flat out lie meant to distort the facts of a trial and a comparison between two things meant to discribe it. You can't represent both as the same.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Les
Skeptic Friend

59 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2004 :  11:59:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Les's Homepage Send Les a Private Message
I wish the Democrats would give me a reason to like them. "We're not Republicans!" is not a good enough reason, I'm afraid. They love the death penalty, now. They absolutely love the War on People Who Take Certain Drugs, costing us billions and destroying countless lives. They gave an unintelligent, unqualified, religious fundamentalist president unprecedented power to wage war. (They try to deny responsibility for this with a "if we only knew" argument, ignoring all the educated, knowledgeable people who did know and tried in vain to warn them.) During the Clinton/Gore administration, emission standards for cars were lowered, military actions were taken arbitrarily and with tragic results (though I supported the actions against Serbia, if not the somewhat cowardly methods used), more people were arrested for marijuana possession than in all previous adminstrations combined. They are beholden to their donors no less than the Republicans. They lie and distort no less than the Republicans.

Now I know that there are honest and true Democrats out there, just as there are honest and true Republicans (I think you can tell the honest ones by the degree to which they criticize their leadership). But if Edwards made millions suing innocent ob/gyn's using emotional manipulation instead of objective evidence (a point no one here has yet attempted to refute), then it's not because he's a Democrat that he should be condemned, but rather because he made millions suing innocent ob/gyn's using emotional manipulation instead of objective evidence.

If it turns out the assertion in the article is incorrect or weak, I'll be the first to defend him from the charges. Even if the charges are true, I doubt highly that Edwards is half the scumbag that Cheney is, but let's not hesitate to examine a candidate's character simply because of his political party.
Edited by - Les on 07/17/2004 12:07:51
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Tim
SFN Regular

USA
775 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2004 :  01:28:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tim a Private Message
Posted by Ricky
quote:
There is a difference between a flat out lie meant to distort the facts of a trial and a comparison between two things meant to discribe it. You can't represent both as the same.
Sorry, man...But, I thought that was what I was getting at. Sometimes I guess my sarcasm doesn't go over well.


Posted by Les
quote:
I wish the Democrats would give me a reason to like them.
Nice sentiment, but there doesn't seem to be many quality alternatives that stand a chance of victory. Both major parties have moved right, effectively shifting the center. Add in the trmendous amounts of corporate money financing politicos from each party, the average Joe doesn't stand much of a chance in a representative government--Unless, of course, some sort of grass roots movement crops up demanding serious campaign finance reform and respect for the production of capital rather than the accumulation of capital.

Plus, trial lawyers are often prtrayed as greedy, manipulative people bent on the redistribution of wealth from those that worked hard to make something of their lives to ignorant parasites that simply want to profit from the misfortune of others. And, you know what, that happens. Unfortunately real, hardworking people are more often harmed by the actions of others that seek to profit by gambling with the health and welfare of others. What other resource do these folks have, aside from civil court?


"We got an issue in America. Too many good docs are gettin' out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their -- their love with women all across this country." Dubya in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 9/6/2004
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Renae
SFN Regular

543 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2004 :  06:55:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Renae a Private Message
Les, Edwards is a lawyer, not a scientist. My guess is that emotional manipulation works BETTER than objective evidence in a courtroom. Many people are easily emotionally manipulated. I see no problem with Edwards doing his best by his client: THAT is his main job and he is morally and legally required to give the client the best defense possible.

I love how people like to bash trial lawyers. I suggest the bashers look in the mirror, because juries award convinctions or acquittals in these trials. Who's really to blame?

I'm annoyed at the long, anti-Democrat ramble, Les. The Democrats have given us much in the last 50 years and much during the Clinton administration. If you only look at the things you disagree with, each party will come up short. You souond like one of those "everybody sucks" thinkers, begging for a third party. Well, guess what: we have two parties because most Americans identify with one or the other. The parties have shifted right because America has shifted right. And don't kid yourself--the parties are dramatically different.

I could give you a long list of how LBJ's Great Society programs bettered our nation, or remind you of the civil rights movement or women's liberation movement (brought to you by the evil liberals), or even list Clinton's many accomplishments. But I'm tired of repeating this endlessly only to find people are determined to hate politicians or hate the Democrats.

Cynicism isn't something to aspire to.

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