He never hoped to see one
But in this ruling anyhow
He’ rather see than be one
With a proper nod toward poet Gelett Burgess, a Purple Cow is a metaphor for something that is out of the ordinary, something remarkable. Today, too many people conform, and many do not want to take a chance and be that Purple Cow, to stand out from the rest.
The opioid pandemic is a purple cow
And Pete Wilson took forty-five pages to weasel his way to letting the pharmaceutical industry have its way with Lady Justice in a back-alley.
In a ruling issued late Monday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Wilson found the companies, including Johnson & Johnson, aren’t “legally liable” for the opioid crisis. It wasn’t what I would term a superior ruling but, in the modern style of superior judgemanship, another tree in the forest of ethical rulings just fell.
Whump! That’s a lot of metaphor in a relatively short couple of paragraphs of text, but we’re living in political and social times when figures of speech seem more realistic than circumstance.
Someone murdered 841,000 Americans since 1999
I don’t wonder who that was? I’ve written their name.
Opioid deaths amount to ten times the total military deaths in the Vietnam and Afghan wars combined. Those wars are over—behind us. This war is still going on and the murdering continues.
Murder is a strong charge and is defined as “to kill intentionally and with premeditation.” Emails and company documents prove that the primary family behind this atrocity and their pharmaceutical company (along with others) knew their drug was highly addictive. They knew hundreds of thousands were dying because of its use. Yet they kept goosing the marketing and paying doctors to prescribe—for profit.
They didn’t even hate their victims, as a murderer might. They kept on because they (both persons and companies) were made fabulously rich in the process. It doesn’t get any more premeditated than that.
I have no idea if Pete Wilson struggles with that or not when he tucks the covers under his chin at night. Superior Court judges are a strange bunch, very esoteric and seldom see the world as you or I might.
Judges are merely attorneys grown large
It was (and continues to be) the business of great attorneys like Clarence Darrow to present the law in such plain language that the common man impaneled on a jury could understand the charges and make a fair-minded judgement. That’s the essence of America, a land we like to think of as ruled by law rather than autocrats.
It is the business of high-priced but less principled attorneys to present the law in such complicated and arcane language that the common juror is led away from the fair and probable into the less fair but possible. Justice is not often found there. O.J. Simpson, the pharmaceutical industry, America’s to-big-to-fail banks, major industrial polluters, most gangsters and nearly all the super-rich can be found among the winners in these circumstances.
But our subject is mass murder
And the murderer is still a large, thanks in part to Superior Court judge Peter J. Wilson (in the current matter) and Federal Judge Robert Drain in a bankruptcy proceeding just two months ago that granted the criminally liable Sackler family “global peace” from any liability for the opioid epidemic.
When I say, “still at large,” I mean that, during the time these two trials were underway, an additional 49,860 overdose deaths occurred. No murder charges have been brought and no persons accused in (arguably) the largest mass-murder in world history. Roughly a thousand dead a week and it continues.
We the people are a legally abused portion of American society, but we are not stupid.
We notice when the poor get life in prison for stealing a scarf (the three-strike law) and the rich are beyond the arm of the law. We watch and discuss over the kitchen-table as minor drug dealers go to the slammer and rich drug dealers go to vacation on their yachts. We are not fans of those who pay no taxes as we see the taxes withheld on our pay stubs.
Covid is not the only pandemic we suffer.
Image Credit: Capital Benefits Group